best 3 front speakers for around 2000 and under

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Jon_Krug, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. Jon_Krug

    Jon_Krug Stunt Coordinator

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    first off, i would like to say thank you to all the ppl who wrote about their svs'... i got the pb2+ about a week and a half ago to compare it against my friend's m&k mx350 and it was absolutely awesome. needless to say i will be staying with the pb2+. that being said, i have been trying to figure out what r the best front 3 speakers around the 2000 and under range and also the best 5 speakers for around 3000 and under. i have currently listened to the m&k s250 (if i go with m&k it would be the s150's which i imagine sound almost the same) and also the b&w cdm1nt (if i buy b&w i would probably wait till i can get the 705 which is replacing the cdm1nt). i have also read about the rocket 750 and the axiom m60ti.
    as far as the m&k's vs the b&w's, it was a catch 20/20 for me. i love the m&k's for ht and i spent a whole weekend watching movies at my friend's house with those speakers and my pb2+ connected (his doorman came up and made me turn jurasic park III down lol), but i felt that something small was missing for music. the b&w's i thought were absolutely awesome for music but not as good for ht (i did not have a prober setup to compare the ht for the b&w though because his center channel was messed up). i am sure that i will use the system more for ht but i really want it to sound very good for music considering the money i am putting into this.
    if anyone has compared any of these speakers or recomends either of them (or has compared another speaker that u recomend against one of these), i would very much appreciate your input. also if there r any ppl that have the axiom m60 or m80, or the rocket 750's that live in the nyc area and would allow me to listen to them briefly i would definitely appreciate that as well.
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    IMO, the Axioms are not in the same league as the CDMs. Very good yes, but not quite at that level.

    I agree that the CDMs are not perfect for HT, but they do the job just fine. I listen to more music than movies, so I give more weight to musical performance, and I would lean towards the CDMs or wait for the 700s. I can't wait to hear the 700 series (even though I just purchased my front 3).

    I would recommend listening to the Paradigm Studio series at the very least for comparison. Studio 40s and a CC470 will be under $2K, but I like the CDMs better for music.

    You can go to www.audioenvy.com to search for possible auditions of Rockets in your area.
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Jon, you might want to check out audioenvy.com for NYC Rocket owners who will audition. You would probably also have success posting on the AV123 forum.

    I have heard setups with 750s and a 200 up front and 550s in the rear and was amazingly impressed. I have never heard one that had 750s at the rear as well, but you could get four 750s and a 200 and still come in under $3,000.

    I can’t compare to the Axioms, as I have not heard their larger speakers. The cabinet finish is nowhere near the quality of the Rockets (or B&W for that matter). While this has nothing to do with the sound, it is important for some people.
     
  4. Jon_Krug

    Jon_Krug Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks, i actually did try the audioenvy.com the other day, but have not received any emails yet (probably supposed to take more than a day though).
    i have put some thought into ordering the rockets and auditioning them at home like i did with the svs, but i am hesitant to do that because i am sure it will be a pain to send back 5 speakers. i also have not checked on the shipping prices yet.
     
  5. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    I think the Axioms you mentioned stack up very well with the Paradigms Studio series that John has mentioned in terms of sound, as well as the Rocket RS750. To me, the Studio 20 and 40 are surpassed in value by the offerings coming from Ascend and Axiom.

    In the end, it is all preference, and looking for auditions is the right thing to do.
     
  6. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    GR Research AV-2s or the ACI Emerald
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    [​IMG] I can second the A/V-2s Those are what I just purchased. LOL. If you don't mind "kit" speakers, these are some very nice sounding speakers, and I think they might fit in with your taste based on what you said.

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...ghlight=a%2Fv2
     
  8. Mike_Gr

    Mike_Gr Stunt Coordinator

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    Few comments here...

    I agree with Curtis regarding how Ascend and Axiom will surpass the Paradigm Studio series in value. If you are considering Axiom, you owe it to yourself to head over to the Axiom forum and ask questions. The folks on that forum are very knowledgable and friendly.

    Regarding B&W....the CDM NT series are competent speakers. However, due to their price, I find them to be low in terms of value. Secondly, are these better than Ascend or Axiom? Not in my opinion...but only you can make that call. IMO, I find Axiom to be more comparable to B&W's Nautilus series. And yes, I have heard both.

    Regarding M&K...they are decent for HT, but leave little to be desired musically.

    Another one to consider is Wharfedale, specifically their Pacific Evolution series. These speakers can readily compete with the others you mentioned. I would describe them as sounding slightly warm...just a tad....but have all the detail that some 'warm'speakers can lack. Granted, I prefer a more forward speaker....which in the end is why I didn't go with the Wharf's. Anyway, the Evo's are excellent performers and offer the best of both worlds because they not only sound good, but they are pleasing to the eye as well (they come in real wood veneers and have a stylish tapered cabinet). Considering their price, they are an outstanding value as well. Give these a listen if you have a dealer near you.
     
  9. GregAV

    GregAV Agent

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    Have you auditioned the JBL Studio series? Search the forum for the S38's and give them a listen before you spend your cash. 4 S38's and a SCenterII are well under 1k and should sound great for HT and music.

    While not considered "high end" I suppose, they deserve an audition considering your criteria for musicality/HT.

    Have fun,

    Greg
     
  10. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    If it were me I would order both the Rockets and the Axioms and see which I would like best. You would be out maybe $50 or so to send one set back but you would have the opportunity to audition both in your own environment with your own gear. $50 is not alot of money for something you will have to live with for along time. Glad you like your PB2 as I love mine... Still waiting for my Rockets to get here.
     
  11. Jon_Krug

    Jon_Krug Stunt Coordinator

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    i am considering doing that, but considering i live in an apt in nyc, it will be a pain in the ___ for me. that being said, i was wondering if anyone has heard both the rockets and axioms that could possible campare them and point out what they liked and/or disliked about each.
     
  12. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Well, here I thought I'd go ahead and suggest something and all my suggestions are already made.

    OK, then, I'll echo the suggestions for online brands such as Ascend, Rocket, Axiom, GR-Research, and, of course, my babies, the ACI's. I'd do an extended search first to try and, as much as possible, get an idea as to the sonic characteristics of each brand. I wouldn't restrict myself to searching this site only, but see what's said at places like AVSForum and Audioreview.com. Try to narrow it down in accordance to your taste and likes and dislikes. I went into buying online speakers with trepidation, but spent exhaustive hours reading and rereading all I could and, from this point on, online speakers will be my option of choice. I will say that I've heard wonderful things about each of these speakers.

    As for ACI, with 2K for three speakers, I'm sure Mike over there would give you three 25th aniversay Sapphires and might throw in shipping for that amount. They are simply great speakers, but so are many of the others listed here, I'm sure.

    Excellent suggestions in this thread!!! [​IMG]
     
  13. Jon_Welker

    Jon_Welker Second Unit

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    Well, let me jump into the heap, if you're looking for a speaker to do both music and movies very well, then I suggest you give the NHT M5's a listen. Three of them would run you about $1500, and I did choose these over some B$W CDM 7NT's and, yes, Paradigm Studio 100's v2. Just go listen to them is all I'm gonna say. Let your ears do the walking.
     
  14. RickLe

    RickLe Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd just like to add a note about the Ascends. I've heard people say they don't do so well as ht surrounds. Well I was listening to an old Cars cd last night and seriously thought my Sherbourn processor was set to a surround setting and not stereo and that I was receiving a signal through my center.
     
  15. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Dali speakers would be worth looking into.

    They make like over 60 different models and many of those are within your budget range.

    A local dealer started carrying them over the summer and I thought they did a great job of disappearing. Need to go back and listen some more, especially since he now has some Euphonia series.
    Do a search for Dali in the speaker forum at Audio Asylum to get more opinions on them.
     
  16. John Robert

    John Robert Stunt Coordinator

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    This might be too "mainstream" for some but I have Polk Lsi15s and LsiC in my bedroom system and feel that they are very "musical" with an outstanding midrange (supposedly use same Vifa driver found in much more expensive speakers) and also great for HT. They can be found online approx. $1600 for all three...
     
  17. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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  18. Mike_Gr

    Mike_Gr Stunt Coordinator

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    Jon -

    I can tell you that the Rockets and Axioms sound very different from one another. Those that love the Axiom sound will more than likely dislike the Rocket sound. Those that love the Rocket sound will more than likely dislike the Axiom sound.

    Axiom:
    If you look at the fequency response measurments of an Axiom, you will see they are very neutral speakers. This means the speaker will be very true to the source and what you hear is what the producer (Lucas, etc.) intended for you to hear. A neutral speaker is also referred to as accurate...since it stays true to the source. Since the Axioms are very accurate, they will reveal poor recordings. Poor recordings through an Axiom setup can sound too forward..perhaps even bright depending on how poor the source is. A good recording on the Axioms will reward you very well.

    Rockets:
    The Rockets are regarded as a more 'laid back' speaker. Some people also call this 'warm' or 'mellow' sounding. Some would say the highs are rolled off, attributing to their warm and laid-back sound.

    Out of these two, none is better than the other. It's really a matter of which sound you prefer......which IMO has a lot to do with what you are used to hearing. Anyway, what you really need to discover is whether you prefer the nuetral/forward sound or the warm, laid-back sound. I think both speakers are regarded as having solid value and a quality build. Both companies are regarded as having excellent customer service.

    Best of luck..
     
  19. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  20. Tim Ranger

    Tim Ranger Stunt Coordinator

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    A pair of ACI Sapphires and an Essence center will run you around $2200 but in my opinion will be a considerable step up in quality from the other fine options already mentioned. The Sapphires for example are generally considered to be very comparable to the $1500 Onix Ref 1s. The Essence has the reputation as one of the best centers out there. ACI has said they are coming out with a smaller, less expensive center that offers much of what the Essence does. That would probably get you under the $2K mark.
     

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