Best Speaker System $5000

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Phil Keep, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. Phil Keep

    Phil Keep Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey, guys...I am selling my system right now. I have a Yamaha RX-v1300 receiver (separates -Anthem?- may be on the way). I am looking to spend $5000 for 2 floor standing fronts, 2 bookshelf rears, center, sub...I also dont have the time or space to DIY, unless someone would build them for me for a moderate fee.
    Thanks,
    Philip
     
  2. Peter_A_M

    Peter_A_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd look into the speakers in the VMPS line. Their RM40 won the CES 2002 High-End Audio Best of Show award, and while their new RM/X Elixer didn't win this year, it was one of three finalists and contributed to the success of the winning processor.

    The Bolder Cable Company is a Littleton-based VMPS dealer if you care to audition them.

    The RM2, a pair of Dipole Surrounds, a 626R center channel, and either an SVS, Adire, HSU, or custom built sub will put you right around your $5000 budget. I can't think of a better sounding system for the money, but since you have a dealer so close to you, I'd first audition their speakers to see if you like them.
     
  3. Kevin_R_H

    Kevin_R_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Philip,

    I'm a happy owner of VMPS RM40s. They are simply magical. They can be had for about $4,000 through one of their dealers. You could upgrade to the Auricap caps and a nicer exterior finish, and you would be right about $5,000. Personally, I feel you should go this route. You can always add rears/center/sub later, but once you compromise on your "mains", it's not so financially sensible to try to upgrade them after 12 - 15 months.

    However, one problem is associated equipment. The Anthem amps were the mid-fi line under Sonic Frontiers. Now bought by Paradigm, they dropped SF, leaving just Anthem. While I'm sure these amps are fine for speakers like Paradigm, it is doubtful you will be able to coax the best out of the RM40s from this line of amplifiers.

    Good luck,
    Kevin
     
  4. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Hi Phil,
    This is sort of turning into a VMPS love-fest. [​IMG] I'd also recommend exploring their line of speakers--outstanding values; great sound. Whether five 626R's, or four 626R's and one LRC, or a pair of RM1's or RM2's with an LRC and the dipoles, etc., you'll be in great shape. VMPS offers several outstanding subs. Check out www.vmpsaudio.com and www.vmpseurope.com for pictures and info. Lots of additional info available in the VMPS Audio forum of Harmonic Discord (here).
    You've got a big enough budget to do a really nice surround system (VMPS or otherwise). Your current electronics might not quite be up to the caliber of your new speakers, but you indicate that that might be remedied before long.
    Have fun,
    Mike
     
  5. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    Kevin, I expect you will catch a lot of flack for calling Anthem amps mid-fi, Paridigm builds a line of speakers to compete with any speakers out there, they needed an amplifier for their speakers as they can be difficult for many amps, my understanding is that they bought SF complete not just Anthem, also I know people who drive Danes "Evidence" seaker at 85grand a pair and think it is a great match, if you have to go to the extremes you are talking about the speakers you mention cant be much, I dont own Anthem amps but I ould consider Anthem to be an amp that you could run just about whatever you wanted to with good success. BTW what do you consider to be Hi-Fi grade amps, dont say tubes. . .I did not realise you were talking about "ribbons" they can be revealing and are known to be less than reliable, rememer Carvers Amazing Loadspeaker, I cant help but think of those when I hear ribbons. I would also like to qualify my statement about Anthem, they probaly are a little too mainstream for this type of loadspeaker. If you get such an incredible deal at 4500 dollars but have to replace your electronics then it is not such a good deal anymore. I too love the sound of this type speaker, it is in my mind the speaker you want to go and listen to but not what you want in your house, you better have a big room and a vey understanding spouse, I am sure they are great speakers but IMO not for everyone.
     
  6. Phil Keep

    Phil Keep Stunt Coordinator

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    So is everyone in this room saying VMPS? Holy $%!#...I have never seen this many audiophiles agree on one thing. Hmm...any more discussion on the Anthem would not be a bad idea either...can I hear some more points of view
     
  7. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    God how I hate web-tv, I have responded to this thread 3 times now only to get booted before I am done. I really worked up a good one, it will have to wait untill I get hoe tomorrow so Ican do it justice. The short answer is that I am not saying to buy these speakers, they are not for everybody, not me anyway, way too big, way too heavy, way to difficult to drive. I have past the point in my life and my house couldnt stand them anyway, few houses are as god as those speakers, that is something to think about when shopping for high end speakers, Will your house let you get the ngood out of them, mine wont, and it is no easy fix. . .
     
  8. Kevin_R_H

    Kevin_R_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Well Guy, I certainly didn't intend to offend anyone with my Anthem comment. I can't imagine anyone thinking they are anything but mid-level amps. That's not to say they aren't an excellent value, and a wonderful choice for many folks.

    I will attempt to list some amps (both tube and solid-state) that I have much respect for, although most all of them are way out of most folks' price range. But then again, top quality seldom comes cheap. This is from memory, so if I omit some obvious choices, I apologize.

    Alphbetically:
    Accuphase
    Audio Note
    Audio Research
    Audio Valve
    Ayre
    Blue Circle
    Border Patrol
    Boulder
    Cary
    Classe' Audio (Omega Line)
    Conrad-Johnson
    Convergent Audio
    deHavilland
    Edge
    Fm Acoustics
    GamuT
    Halcro
    Jadis
    Jeff Rowland
    Joule Electra
    Kora
    KR
    Lamm
    Linn
    Manley Labs
    Mark Levinson
    McIntosh
    Nagra
    Naim
    Pass Labs
    SAP
    Tenor Audio
    Threshold
    VAC
    Venture
    Viva
    VTL
    Wavelength Audio
    Wolcott
    YBA

    By the way, the RM40s are not so difficult to fit into one's home. My listening room is just 14 x 16 x 8. I drive them with a 100W amp - full range. I'm sure if I had them in my Family Room, I would need more power. But they are easy to biamp, so I would simply add a SS amp for the bottom end.

    Kevin
     
  9. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Phil,
    BTW--you didn't indicate how much the system will be used for HT vs. music, and what types of music you tend to listen to.
    For instance, if you're biased heavily towards HT, you could try one of www.av123.com's package deals on Rocket speakers (here--I'd recommend Package 1 or 2), add a sub (Hsu VTF-3 or an SVS PCi model, for instance) and come out at just $3K+ and have one HECK of an HT system. And music would sound great too. The extra money could be spent on electronics, a nice B-P-T balanced power toy, etc.
    For more of a music purist, the VMPS systems mentioned above would be incredibly revealing as well as deliver plenty of HT punch, though push you closer to your $5K mark. Four 626R's and one LCR, plus a sub (Hsu, SVS, or VMPS) would be just under $5K (not including any discount on pricing)--but oh, what a sweet system.
    Anyway, just wanted to chime in here again you've got a lot of options at this price point, and to help you begin to narrow down the choices you might see what decisions you can reach regarding music vs. HT bias, floorstanding (fronts and/or rears) vs. bookshelf, dipoles or not for the rears, round tube shaped sub vs. boxy, etc.
    Have fun,
    Mike
     
  10. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    I didnt mean to imply that Anthem amps were as good as you can do but I would certainly put them in the list of amps you pointed out, many of the amps listed have far worse specs than Anthem, which proves nothing really as I have always said you buy for sound not specs (within reason of course)
    I have owned several of the amps you mention some are delightful, some IMO are not so delightful as with everything you buy.
    I take exception to another comment, cost does not equal good sound, I think attention to detail and matching the right speaker to the right amp along with everything else that goes with it. I have heard some mighty fine budget systems and I have heard some high dollar stuff that I was embarresed for the owner they were so bad, agreed these are exceptions.
    I am going to stop here and we are going to have to agree to disagree, I think thats one reason your list and mine are so long, everyone is intitled to their opinion and it seems there are 2 here.
     
  11. Phil Keep

    Phil Keep Stunt Coordinator

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    oh guys almost 90% HT, I used to own a dvd company...so that is where my stuff is...also, I am leaning toward something I could try in Colorado and the local VMPS dealer was quite simply a jerk on the phone, so I will concentrate elsewhere until I am in LA and can listen to VMPS. I am still leaning towards the Anthem, since I can get the Preamp and Amp for around $4200...unless someone can convince me elsewhere. Please let me know.
     
  12. Jason Brent

    Jason Brent Second Unit

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    How soon are you looking to buy?? I only ask because of the new Paradigm Statement line coming out. I was hoping to hear some news from CES on when they would be out, but so far I haven't. Maybe someone else here has. I'm sure you've heard this before but I think their current Reference line is nice. Anthem does match well with them.

    Also, Atlantic Technology has a new higher end system. I have always thought that their systems sounded good for HT. They didn't dazzle me for music, though. I think they are way overpriced at retail, IMHO.

    Just my .02
     
  13. DonJ

    DonJ Second Unit

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    Hey Phil I'm in CO also and I would suggest heading down to Cherry Creek Audio. They sell my choice Paradigm Studio Ref they have very good service and great listening rooms. They also sell Anthem which is owned by Paradigm so they will make a good match. Cherry Creek Also has a very nice 7.1 setup with the Studio 100's power by the AVM20 and it rocks[​IMG].
    Hope this helps
    Don
     
  14. Jack Dotson

    Jack Dotson Agent

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    I'll throw PSB into the mix. Stratus Gold i's for your mains (no sub needed with the right amplification and outstanding for music and movies, Stereophile class b rating since like 1991), PSB Stratus C6i (voice matched for the Stratus lines) and and Stratus mini's for the rears.

    The Stratus' have been around for awhile, but are still one of the best speakers out there. And, since they've been around they are easy to find at very reasonable prices, especially if you buy used. I see them on audiogon all the time.

    There's a reason this is one of the best selling loud speakers of all time. But, you do need a decent sized room and all the power you can afford, bi-amping recommended.
     
  15. Tyson

    Tyson Stunt Coordinator

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    Toss in another vote for the RM-40's - I've got a pair and they are simply amazing - ultra transparent, very dynamic, and will play very loud w/out strain in most rooms.

    As close to a true "chameleon" speaker as I've ever heard - does as well w/my large collection of classical music as it does with my wife's collection of hard rock, and my somewhat smaller collection of rap and trip-hop.
     
  16. SkiingNinja

    SkiingNinja Second Unit

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  17. SkiingNinja

    SkiingNinja Second Unit

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    Oh, I would still check out the RM40s even if the local guy was a jerk...they are still great speakers.

    Sean
     
  18. Tim Ranger

    Tim Ranger Stunt Coordinator

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    I like Anthem quite a bit. I had an opportunity to listen to a pair of ACI Talismans about a month ago. They are truly phenominal speakers. They sounded so musical I wished I could just camp out there. I've heard a lot of fine speakers but this setup was as good as I've ever heard. The fact that they're only around $4K is really amazing. They look killer too!
     

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