Best HT System for $2500?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sean L, Nov 21, 2002.

  1. Sean L

    Sean L Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been researching a mid priced Home Theater for the past 3-4 weeks. I'm looking for a nice receiver and speakers w/ sub for around $2000-$2500.

    I believe I have narrowed it down to one of the following, but I would like input from those who have 'been there done that'....

    OPTION 1
    KEF Q5 front
    KEF Q3 rear/ss
    KEF Q9c center
    SVS 25-31 PCi sub (via mail order)
    Denon 2802
    Total
    $2688 out the door

    -OR-

    OPTION 2 Paradigm...
    Phantom Fronts
    Focus rear/ss
    CC-270 center
    PW2200 sub
    Denon 2802
    $2598 out the door
    (The Paradigm dealer isn't giving me much of a discount, so I can't afford to go with the Monitors..)

    Thanks guys!

    Sean in Nor Cal
     
  2. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    I very nearly bought a version of your KEF option, but with a Marantz 7200 receiver. When I did an A/B of KEF Q series vs. Paradigm Monitor series there was no doubt that for my tastes the KEF Qs won. Much more refined musically than the Paradigms - the Paradigms were boomier. Of course I was equally concerned about music and movies.

    In the end I took a risk with Ascend Acoustics/Hsu speakers and a H/K AVR-520 receiver and am very happy (about $1800 for 5.1 speakers and the receiver - great deal).
     
  3. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Here's my 2 cents:

    Receiver: Pioneer Elite 45TX - $900
    Mains: JBL S38 - $260
    Center: JBL S Center - $140
    Surrounds JBL S36AW - $170
    Back Surrounds: JBL S36AW - $170
    Sub: SVS 16-46 PCi - $650

    Total (before shipping) - $2290

    I'm a big fan of JBL. I love the Studio series, but right now i'm stuck with the Northridge series paired with a Denon 1803 (still a great set up for a 12x12 college apartment living room).

    I think the Studio series (the S38 in particular) are some of the best mass market speakers out there. Also, the S36AWs are a bargain at $170. That's only $10 more than the cheapest i found the S26s, and the S36s are much smoother and a much better match for the S38s as mains.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Sean L

    Sean L Stunt Coordinator

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    Stephen-

    How do you like your SVS Sub? I recently came across their website and did some research, their products seem to be well engineered and are excellent values. I really would like to try one out...vs going with a sub from the speaker manufacturer I end up going with (KEF or Paradigm).

    -Sean
     
  5. MatthewK

    MatthewK Stunt Coordinator

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    Sean,

    If you want to hear an SVS and live in the East Bay would be happy to have a visitor come over for a demo of the SVS 25-31PC+. I have it setup with the Energy Take 5.2s.

    PM me if interested.

    Matthew
     
  6. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I guess i wasn't clear in my post. I recommended the SVS sub because they are widely recommended and loved on this forum. I don't, however, have the income to have my own yet :/ Maybe this summer when i get a job, but Studio series speakers and a 45TX or 3802 are first and second on my list.

    Regardless, i think for the money, it would be very hard to beat anything in the SVS PCi series.

    Hope this clears things up.
     
  7. Sean L

    Sean L Stunt Coordinator

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    Just got back from visiting the local Paradigm dealer, we are working a deal on Monitor 7s, Mini Monitors, CC370 center, PW2200 sub and Denon 2802. However, I am still undecided on the sub...the PW2200 is $800 list compared to the $600 delivered for the SVS....

    ???

    -Sean
     
  8. Nick Cerretti

    Nick Cerretti Stunt Coordinator

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    Paradigm's subs are good but way overpriced. Any sub from the PCi line would blow it away, and you save 200 bucks in the process.
     
  9. Trey Jones

    Trey Jones Stunt Coordinator

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    Reciever: Pioneer Elite 45TX $900

    and

    Axiom Grand Master without sub $1090
    Components
    Bookshelves M22ti
    Surrounds QS8
    Centers VP100

    and

    SVS 25-31PCi $550

    Total: $2540
     
  10. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Some more alternatives..

    Outlaw 950 - $900
    Parasound 5 channel amplifier - $300

    Parts Express Vance Dickason #200-655 LDC6 Home theater system, 5 speakers DIY kit, requires some soldering: $900

    Sub: DIY 10" titanic kit #300-739 - $350 (requires assembly)

    $2450
     
  11. Sean L

    Sean L Stunt Coordinator

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    I've shopped around, I can get a pretty good discount on KEFs online, good enough so I can step up to the Q7s for my front mains instead of Q5s.

    I think I'm going to try the SVS PCi25-31, it's a relatively risk free proposition and if it's as good as everyone says, I'll be very happy indeed.

    Regards

    Sean
     
  12. Nick.Y

    Nick.Y Auditioning

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    Hey Stephen, where can I get the Studio series for the prices you posted?
     
  13. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    My posted prices were the lowest prices i found for each using shopping.yahoo.com .
    I was really suprised to find the S36AWs for $170 a pair, which is only $10 more than the cheapest i found the S26s.
    Also, for some odd reason, i was able to find the S38II's and the S Center II cheaper than the original S38s and S Center.
    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  14. Mike_Ch

    Mike_Ch Stunt Coordinator

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    IMHO, the Kef Q series is far superior to either the Paradigm Monitor and lower lines for music. The Q7 itself is very highly regarded, and for those online prices would be a no-brainer for me. For home theatre, you might find the Paradigm's sound a little more "exciting" (brighter) at the expense of imaging and soundstage (related to horizontal dispersion) and smoothness.

    Cheers,
    Mike
     

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