ebuilding My Hodgepodge HT System, Help?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by RyanJN, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. RyanJN

    RyanJN Auditioning

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    Last Christmas I was gifted a Cerwin-Vega AVS-632 speaker-system in a box.The sound was ok, but the speaker mounts were flimsy, and it did sound a tadtinny. But it was an upgrade over my strictly Pro Logic setup with an old Sony center channel, bose bookshelves on the fronts, and Yamaha loudspeakers in the back.

    For my wedding, one of my guests, a Bose employee gifted upon us the Acoustimass 5 Series 3 system. Being fairly uneducated on matters of speaker quality, I was giddy and accepted them and replaced the two front CV speakers with the Acoustimass system. I went out and augmented these with
    the Bose VCS-10 center channel. I was on a fairly limited budget at the time, but thought that I eventually just wanted to get everything over to Bose.

    So for Christmas, I asked for a pair of rear speakers to finish up the system. I'd probably keep the sub from the CV system, as the Bass Module from the Acoustimass System is hardly adequate for bass for anything. My wife went out, and without much research, decided that the VCS-30's I had been looking at were total crap and sounded terrible. So I started doing some research, and have found a lot of varying opinions on Bose - the most bothersome of which is that I'm paying for the name on the box and for my money, I could build something far superior with the same cost of one of the big acoustimass home theatre systems.

    I'm sure that I might get responses that resonate of "beauty is in the ear of the beholder," and that I should judge my purchase decisions based on how I think certain systems sound. But I'm looking for some help. Currently, I have the two CV speakers in the rear, as well a the CV sub, the bose stuff in the center and fronts, and a sony DT685 receiver connecting the whole sha-bang together. The environment at the moment is a room in an
    apartment, about 25x20'. I'm looking to spend between 1000 and 1500 to start from scratch and rebuild the system. What would people here reccomend?

    I'm sure helpful folks might want some more information before they make any reccomendations. let me know what you need to know to help me out.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Tim Streagle

    Tim Streagle Stunt Coordinator

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    You are in HT hell! Bose and Cerwin Vega are a recipe for sonic heartburn. Perhaps your ears need some sonic maalox in the form of the offerings from Axiom, Fluance, or one of the other brands praised here. This may be the best route based on the receiver you currently have.

    You may also be interested in getting some speakers that will send you to audio Nirvana, namely the economical offerings from Magnepan... $550 for a pair of MMG's. With them you probably won't even notice you are missing surrounds and center! Perhaps you can wait for a while and snag the new system that's just been reviewed (see link).



    I know I'm ready to upgrade my 15 year old Maggies with this new offering. But then again you might hate planars... just send 'em back!

    I'd love to see the reaction from you and your wife when you hear what you've been missing!
     
  3. RyanJN

    RyanJN Auditioning

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    I went to Tweeter last night and heard the reflective models from Mirage, and was very impressed with their music reproduction - very clean, easily filled the room and the stereophonics were fantastic. Also heard some Boston Acoustic bookshelves, which weren't bad at all, although I thought their strength seemed to be movies over music.

    The mangepans look intriquing aesthetically. Space is a concern in my Apt., so these would probably hit the spot. I'll have to look at them though. How well would they mis and match with other speakers though in terms of sound? As nice as they look, I'd like to do the whole sha-bang (or at least L-R-C) right now and given my budget, can't exactly buy 5 of these things [​IMG]
     
  4. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    First things first: You have a large room at 4000 cubic feet. Neither one of those two subs you mentioned is able to handle the room. One sub that isn't exactly small but should work for your purpose is the SVS 25-31PC+. Goes for around $815 or so delivered. Add in the Rocket ELT center and mains for $548 plus shipping and you are looking at a much better HT system.

    The first thing you need to do is add an adequate sub to your system. For that, look at the SVS 25-31PC+, SVS PB2-ISD, or HSU VTF-3 for starters especially as that is what seems to be the problem.
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    yeah, on that room size, the 15" Velodyne on special or refurb somewhere is probably your cheapest best bet on a subwoofer.
     
  6. Tim Streagle

    Tim Streagle Stunt Coordinator

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    Be careful when subwoofer purchasing and living in an apartment. "Pressurizing the room" may lead to early lease termination!
     
  7. AaronJB

    AaronJB Second Unit

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    I just replaced my front mains with JBL S38II. These are large bookshelf speakers that are now apparently discontinued, as JBL has moved on to new models.

    1. They are heavy. You need something sturdy to hold these suckers up. The build quality is extremely good, but at nearly 30 pounds per speaker, you need sturdy shelves or stands.

    2. They are "recommended" to be placed horizontally. I'm awestruck by the sound of these and I've got them placed vertically. Your mileage may vary based upon your room.

    3. These are very dynamic speakers, able to produce tight, rich bass and crisp, clean highs. I'm really impressed at how they can provide pinpoint details, yet also back that up with warm, tight bass. Apparently, some have found they can go as low as 35hz.

    4. They were originally priced at $600, but now you can find them for less than half that price at Amazon or Onecall. For the price you can currently find them at, they are a steal.

    Overall, I'm very, very happy with these speakers (and very, very, very happy I don't have to send them back, because the box was massive). If I could afford to and the room allowed me to (they're too big to fit as the surrounds), I would have these as surrounds, as well.

    If you can find a way to demo these (I'm not sure if any retailers aside from online ones still carry these), I would definitely recommend them. They've reawakened the experience of listening to music in stereo (not surround as I usually do) for me, which is saying a lot. They sound great as HT speakers, too.
     

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