Advice on best surrounds to go with new Athena Fronts?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by StephenBrandon, May 28, 2005.

  1. StephenBrandon

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    X-posted (essentially) at avsforum.com too.

    Ok, so I'm writing with a bit of an update and a question.

    I posted a little while back when I was trying to figure out what rout to go for a budget speaker set up. I was at the time trying to decide between a Fluance set up (probalby the SX-HTB) and anything else you all might suggest. Well a whole bunch of you suggested the Athena's on clearance and boy amd I glad I listened! So far I've gotten a pair of AS-F1's and an AS-C1. I picked them up at Best Buy, got the floor models and used a coupon for an extra 30% off of open box stuff and have so far paid a total of about $55 for each of the speakers. They sound great and I'm so incredibly happy with myself for the deal I got on them.
    I was going to wait on the surround speakers, but realize that at these prices it might not be a bad idea to just go for it and get the rest of my set up now, even though I won't need it for a while. Basically I'm now trying to decide between three different paths for the rears. The cheapest would be to get a pair of AS-B1's (I had been concerned about their size, but have realized I think I can get away from that being an issue, I'll just have to be a bit careful with speaker stands and such). The next option i"m considering is to get a pair of the Fluance bipole surrounds, for about $100 per pair, with about $20 of shipping tacked on. The main advantage of this is their size, the bi-pole nature of the speakers (the room is very small, so the speakers are going to be pretty close to the listener, and a more diffuse sound is probably a good idea), and the fact that when I order them for about $60 I can get 250 feet of 12 gauge wire with them (also some bannana plugs, making the total price after shipping about $200 for these). The third, option is to get a pair of AS-R1's, which will probably run me about $190 or so after shipping and all (I think).
    Now of course before I order anything online I'll head out and see if I can find it in person (and hopefully open box). I noticed one best buy had one R1 on display, but I didn't look into it. What do you guys thing I should do? If I go for anything but the Fluance speakers I'll still have to get speaker wire and such, but even if I go for the R-1's I'll probably have about $100 left in my budget for such things. It'd be nice to do this for under my proposed budget though, and maybe have some money left over for other fun things (like putting some away for a subwoofer). I'd really like to get the R-1's, but I'm really just not sure it's worth it to me at over $80 a peice. Do you think the B1's will be too localized sounding? Anyone know anything about the Fluance bi-pole surrounds? Anyone know where I can find some R1's for real cheap? If I'm lucky I'll find some open box at a Best Buy and can once again walk away with an AMAZING price for such things, but I'm not holding out a lot of hope for that.
    But I'm sure I could get the B1's for $80, and could probably find some open box ones so I could probably get them for even less. But since I've already saved so much, I'm willing to spend a little more, if it'll be worth it. And am almost leaning toward just spending the extra money and getting the R1's anyway, they'll be a little easier to place and will probably work slightly better for the room anyway. But the price of the B1's makes them awefully tempting.
    Also any suggestions on where to find cheap speaker wire would be most appreciated!
    Thanks for any help you guys can offer!
     
  2. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    You definitely don't want to spend more on your surrounds than on your fronts, so if you can get the AS-B1s really cheap then do that. Or you can wait until Fry's has a sale on their Polk R15s, sometimes as low as $50 a pair.

    Remember that unless you plan on listening to multichannel music on SACD/DVD-A, your surrounds will do only about 10% of the work during normal HT...so that's where you can really go cheap and not notice much difference.

    Cheap speaker wire...Home Depot 12-16 gauge generic, or even their 14 gauge lamp cord. Don't fall for the Monster Cable scam whatever you do.
     
  3. StephenBrandon

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    Well I do plan to listen to SACD's etc, so the surrounds could potentially be pretty important. I do realize it seems silly to spend more on the surrounds than the rest of the speakers, but if I were to be buying them normally (ie not open box) I'd have spent more on the others, so this is sort of an exceptional situation, and I'm ok with spending more on the Surrounds if that's the only way I can get them (plus I'm still saving a boatload of money off of what they'd have been a few months ago). But the B1's might be the better option anyway. Really for me the main advantages of the R1's would be that they will be a lot easier to place in the room I'm going to be putting them in, and are bi-directional and so won't be quite as localized sounding. But you do bring up a good point, it might be silly of me to spend that much on them if I don't have to.
     
  4. StephenBrandon

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    Oh, and quick question, any idea how much the home depot generic typically goes for? Just trying to budget a bit here.
     
  5. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    HD generic should cost you maybe $20-30 max for the whole system, depending on the gauge.
     
  6. StephenBrandon

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    Eddie,
    Thanks so much, I probably just wouldn't have thought of the Home Depot option, that should save me quite a bit right there. I'll probalby head over there in the next few days and see what they've got, though, I'll probably wait till I'm actually setting up the speakers etc. (in a few months when I move downstairs into the basement) to get the speaker wire, but it's good know it's there and cheap!
     
  7. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    If you're going to listen to SACD or DVD-Audio, I would think it would better to get bookshelf speakers in the rear instead of bipole or dipoles. The bidirectional speakers might be better for background effects in cinema but the bookshelves should be better with SACD. The B1's would be a good compliment to your system.

    I think 14ga speaker wire at Home Depot is maybe 20 cents a foot. 12ga is more like 30 cents I believe.

    Also try partsexpress.com. Their Sound King wire comes highly recommended.

    I'm sure some of the experts will chime in to your questions.
     
  8. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    you're very welcome, Stephen. Good luck, and happy listening!
     
  9. StephenBrandon

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    Greg,
    I hadn't really thought about that factor, so now you've got me leaning toward the B1's again. And honestly it's probably the better move in the end. I'm going to be using this system for both movies and music, so the B1's are probably the more versitile option, plus they're cheaper. Later on when I'm a bit more comfortable financially and I can have a seperate set up for music and movies, would probably be the time to get the bi-directionals.
    The B1's will be a bit more of a pain to place but I can definitely work something out with them. Plus this way I come in way under budget, rather than just somewhat under budget. And I might even end up saving enough to justify getting that Dayton 10" sub over at partsexpress.com I'd been planning on getting a month or two down the line! We shall see. Thanks for the advice!
     

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