Help Again - HT Speaker selection

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tim_B, Sep 11, 2002.

  1. Tim_B

    Tim_B Agent

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    Ok, I posted a couple of days ago on recommendations for my speakers, I just wanted to consolidate the various options that I am now considering.

    I just placed an order for a Denon 1803! And now I need a 5.1 speaker setup. My budget is $500 to $750. The room is 12x12 (8' ceiling) with Saltilo Tile floors (large area rug). With the room limitations, I expect that a very nice set of speakers may be considered overkill.

    I will be using the system for 75%HT and 25% music. I was thinking about throwing down $500 for the Acoustic Research HC6's (or Dahlquist 5.1 system) after reading the love letter review in Perfect Vision. Then I could work on getting a better HT setup in a year or so. However, I am getting the urge to spend a bit more and not have to worry about upgrading in a year or so. Here is what I am considering right now. Let me know what you think and what else you would suggest.

    AR HC6's

    Dahlquist 5.1

    Energy Take 5.2

    Ascend Acoustic 5.1 system (with or without the HSU VTF-2)

    Axiom Epic Master (or Epic Mini w/ M2i's as fronts)

    JBL System (S36II, S-Center II, S26II surrounds) and whatever sub.

    Athena Point 5 system

    Atlantic Technology System T70

    NHT (4 nht superones, Super Center, Supersub)

    Ok, that about does it.

    Thanks,

    Tim
     
  2. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    Tim,

    Congratulations on the 1803, be sure to put some feedback or thought about it.

    With the speaker I cant tell to much as I havent heard all the ones you have mention, but heres my opinion.

     
  3. Tim_B

    Tim_B Agent

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    Thanks Pablo.

    Everyone seems to be touting the Ascends right now, maybe I will give them a try.

    I haven't seen much on the Dalhquists, Athena's or Atlantic Technologies. Anyone???

    thx.
     
  4. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Supporting Actor

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    I like the Denon and Energy combo. I've upgraded my receiver and speakers twice in the past three years. I went from a 3801 and energy encores ( which I still like) to the 3802, Veritas and a parasound 5 channel amp.

    Try doing a search and you will find many other satisfied owners of this setup.
     
  5. Tim_B

    Tim_B Agent

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    How do you guys feel about forgoing the sub for a while? I am now considering the Ascend 5.1 system without the woofer (699) and get the woofer after Christmas??!?!
     
  6. Ben_wood

    Ben_wood Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd go for an Ascend Acoustics 5.1 system (5 CBM-170s and a Hsu VTF-2 sub) I really enjoy mine!
    The only drawback to getting the sub later is you lose the package deal discount. Keep an eye on their website and they will probably have another sale. (I got my 5.1 set with a $100 discount AND free shipping) [​IMG]
     
  7. Tim_B

    Tim_B Agent

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    Ben, did you consider the HTM-200's for the center and surrounds. That pacakge is 699.
     
  8. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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  9. Ben_wood

    Ben_wood Stunt Coordinator

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    Tim_ B,
    I have 4 CBM-170s on the "corners" with a HTM-200 for the center. This was sort of a compromise because a 170 would not fit in the space between the top of my tv and the shelf holding my components (my system is housed in an entertainment center). I think that perhaps the best Ascend lineup for the money would be 3 CBM-170s across the front with 2 HTM-200s for the surrounds with either a Hsu VTF-2 (thats what I have) or a VTF-3 (if you're a real bass fanatic). Anyway I've been extremely pleased with the Ascend/Hsu setup. A friend of mine with a $10000 HT system remarked after hearing my modestly priced theater that "You really got the most sound quality for the money". Its all about the law of diminishing returns.
     
  10. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Forget about a nice set of speakers being overkill. Get what you like for odds are the speakers will remain with you for years to come. In the long run you will end up saving money. Of course, if you really wanted too, you could go with the JBL NSP1 package from J&R for $250 delivered and get a HSU VTF-2 for $450 or SVS 25-31PCi for $499 and upgrade the speakers later. However, getting good speakers now and a good sub later will end up saving you a minimum of $250. Another excellent option would be to look at used speakers here, audiogon.com, or at harmonicdiscord.com. Could end up with a much better deal than what you otherwise would find.
     
  11. Tim_B

    Tim_B Agent

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    I was all ready to pull the trigger on the Ascends, when someone recommended the Athena 5.1 system (which includes a subwoofer) for 800 delivered.

    Has anyone done a comparision between these two systems? The athena received a love letter from Sound & Vision magazine.
     
  12. RandyKudor

    RandyKudor Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Tim,

    You seem to be, "sittin on the fence" and I will help you out a bit.

    In all honesty, that Athena system (I believe you are talking about the point 5 system) is not in the same league as the Ascend system you are considering. I think this is why nobody has responded to your question.

    I heard the $800 Athena system and while it looked nice, it sounded like a typical small sub / sat system. Overly bright and thin with a definite hole in the midbass when listening to music. Very poor musical performance.

    The point 5 system is a true sub / sat system, the satellites are miniscule 5 lb cabinets with 4" woofers. The CBM-170s are 13.5 lbs with 6.5" woofers that have good bass into the 60hz region. This allows you to run the system at an 80hz crossover (without getting a hole in the response) which makes the subwoofer much less localized and at the same time achieving a perfect blend with the speakers. You simply can't achieve this with a sub/sat system.

    Another very important issue is that I did not like the Athena subwoofer AT ALL. It was boomy and could not play deep bass. The HSU VTF-2 which is included in the ascend system is, how can I say this, worlds better and not even a fair comparison. Kind of like comparing the performance of a Ford Escort GT vs. a 2002 Corvette.

    While the Athena system looks cool and is decent for HT, and is probably worth $800 retail (think about that, $800 retail probably means it cost $200 to build with typical retail markup) it is not in the same league at all. The ascend system for $1200 with no retail markup probably cost around $600 to build.

    Be aware of those typical magazine reviews. Heck, to this day I still have not read a bad review in Sound & Vision, which Athena does happen to advertise heavily in. (no accusation, just an observation)

    Yes, I am a newfound proud owner of an ascend system. Yes, I did my homework and researched for about 4 months. Yes, I made the right decision by far and I am way beyond satisfied with my purchase.

    Best of luck in your hunting!
    -Randy
     
  13. Tim_B

    Tim_B Agent

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    Thanks for the advice Randy. That was exactly what I was looking for. Now all I have to do is decide if I should order the subwoofer or not....
     
  14. Tim_B

    Tim_B Agent

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    Well, I did it. My Ascend Speakers are being assembled and should ship in a few days. As Ben suggested, I have 3 CMB170's across the front and am using the HTM-200's as the sats. I am waiting on the sub, but I can order the sub within 45 days if I choose for the package price.

    So Now, here is the HT setup:

    Panasonic 53wx42
    Panasonic RP82
    Denon 1803
    Ascend 5.1 (minus sub)
     
  15. Ben_wood

    Ben_wood Stunt Coordinator

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    Way to go Tim!
    I'm sure that you will be very pleased with the Ascends. I forgot to mention their "extender purchase program" that allows you to buy your system a little at a time, but still gets you the system discount price - but I see that you found that out on your own. Please post your thoughts on these speakers after you've had some time to evaluate them. ENJOY!! [​IMG]
     
  16. Kevin L K

    Kevin L K Second Unit

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    Tim--you will definitely be very impressed and happy with your Ascend system--I know I am.Enjoy [​IMG]
     

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