Bose Acoustimass Alternatives

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by PaulDA, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I've done several searches here and have found no discussion of my current speaker system. I have the Harman Kardon HKTS 6, purchased a year ago, for 400$. At the time, I needed a speaker set to go with my Denon AVR-1600 (which I'd been using in stereo with an old pair of Celestion DL6s). I'm not looking to brag about my current speakers as they are a very limited, budget system. I auditioned a number of similarly priced systems and found these the best of a limited lot. I believe they are actually JBLs, licensed by HK. For dvd films, they are acceptable (not very sensitive though, my receiver has to work fairly hard). I bring all this up in response to a number of threads regarding Bose Acoustimass systems. Just out of curiosity, I also listened to a couple of the Bose systems and can say that, regardless of price, my humble HKs are far better. (The price tag of the HKs was unknown to me at the time of comparison and I was going to forego the HKs, thinking they were in the Bose price-range). I'm not an engineer but I am a long-time audio enthusiast and it was easy to hear the qualitative difference.

    My finances will soon allow me to do a significant upgrade and I have narrowed the selection to the following. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Arcam AVR200
    Outlaw 950/7100
    Denon AVR3803/5

    Denon DVD2900/2200

    Speakers are a problem (too many choices and my preference is for the warm sound of my old Celestions)

    Have been told to audition the following:
    Axiom
    Aperion
    Acoustic Energy
    Energy
    Paradigm
    PSB
    Monitor Audio

    (speaker budget 1500-2000$)

    My preference is for musicality over in-your-face movie effects. Any suggestions are welcome.
     
  2. Leigh_M

    Leigh_M Stunt Coordinator

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    If you want a "warm" speaker, I would add Boston Acoustics to your list.
     
  3. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    Based on the comments re: different speakers, if you want warm, you'll probably want to scratch the following speakers off your list, although they are excellent speakers:

    Bright:

    Paradigm
    Aperion (I think, but not sure)
    Axiom

    Neutral:

    PSB
    Energy

    I've not experience with the Acoustic Energy or Monitor, so no comments.

    I owned a pair of PSB Image 6Ts, and I think they were very good, but can be classified as neutral.

    I just "upgraded" to some Onix Rockets, and people consider these as warm speakers. Their sounds are compared to Sonus Faber speakers. You might want to visit the AV123.com site and add these speakers to your list of candidates [​IMG]
     
  4. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Nhan, I've listened to the Arcam and find it the warmest, most musical (I'm not an engineer)of the receivers/amps I've auditioned with the various speakers available in that store. However, even so, I found all of them too bright. (none of them are on the list I've made above). I am correct in assuming that a warm amp/receiver like the arcam would make a neutral speaker more appealing than a brighter setup like a Yamaha? This would greatly help my auditioning.
     
  5. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    Add Totem Acoustic to your audition list... Canadian manufacturer... silk dome tweeters that might appeal to your sense of 'warmth'... great sound... quality build... reasonable pricing.

    And, if possible, consider spending a little more for a good subwoofer... the best bargains for a quality sub are found at the 'big 3' online manufacturers: Hsu, Adire, SVS... Adire makes sealed design subs which some feel offer more musicality over movie slam.

    I can't speak to your quest for 'warmth' as that is a personal preference call... if you are a critical music listener, you're advised to audition as many makes of speakers as you can... in your home, whenever possible.

    Loudspeakers first... your choice of amp or receiver should have more to do with how well it mates to the speakers you want.

    Give your room some consideration too... if you have many hard surfaces, throw a big rug down to tame harshness... there are also further room solutions that other posters can respond to better than I can.

    Happy hunting.
     
  6. Cesar

    Cesar Extra

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    Go listen and decide what kind of sound you like. As was stated earlier, the speakers you list cover different spectrums.

    I have Axioms and I'm happy and proud of them. But, it may not be for everyone. I call it detailed, others call it bright. I may listen to B&W and call them "muddy" and others will say warm. PoTAYto, poTAHto.

    Let your ears decide the type of sound you like and audition similar brands.
     
  7. Jim.M

    Jim.M Extra

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    Hey Paul -
    I not too long ago moved from a similar speaker sub/sat package. I believe mine was the HKTS 1 or 2? Anyway, they weren't terrible for the price. My dad had some Bose speakers and I def preferred my HK sats. That said, I think you are looking in the right places. I upgraded to Energy speakers and have found a VAST improvement over the HK sats. Up in Canada you should have no problem finding somewhere to audition the various Energy lines... you should also give a listen to one of API's other brands, Mirage.

    As for the receivers or separates you are considering, the only input I can give you is that I too was enamored by what I interpreted as a "warm" sound. When running through the usual suspects in my price range (up to ab $1300 or so), what stood out to me was the "warmth" of the Rotel products - i auditioned them with music. I recently pulled the trigger after a couple months of auditioning. I went with the Rotel RSX-1055, the receiver that is being discontinued as Rotel brings out their RSX-1056. I cannot comment on how it matches up with my energy speakers just yet as I won't have it for another week, but if you remind me I can give you a run down by mid-week next week. If the 1055 is not enough power for you (5ch X 75W) with pre-outs for 6.1 & 7.1, they also are phasing out the 1065 (100W X 5) - you should be able to get a deal on either one of these units. I got/am getting my RSX-1055 for $1050 US. If you can find a Rotel dealer near you, I would make a point to listen to some of their stuff.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Jim
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I’d second the Rockets if you are a bit put off by ‘bright’ speakers, but probably not their ELT package, as it has quite a bit more forward sound that the other Rocket models.

    Plenty of other non-bright speakers out there. As Cesar and others have said, it is your ears and your preference.
     
  9. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    Paul,

    Sorry, but I don't have any experiences with the Arcam receiver/amp. Which speakers did you demo that you thought were too bright (even paired with the Arcam receiver). The outlaw combo you listed should fair quite well.

    Ooops, forgot that you were in Canada :b You definitely want to try the Totems, like someone above suggested. I heard nothing but great things about their speakers. If you're still interested in the Rockets, try posting at AV123 or Audioenvy to see if a fellow Canadian near you would provide you with a demo session of the Rockets.
     
  10. Mitch_J

    Mitch_J Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll suggest you look at the Magnepans MMG W & MMG C
     

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