Input wanted: Yamaha/Paradigm setup vs Denon/Mirage setup

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Mitch G, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. Mitch G

    Mitch G Agent

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    I have $1000 to spend on a home theater setup that includes receiver and speakers. And, sorry, $1000 is a hard limit. (Heck I started this endeavor thinking I was only going to spend $300 for a complete setup. So, I have learned something. [​IMG])

    Well, at this point, I'm looking at two options which are each being offered for $1000:

    Option 1: Yamaha RXV-540 with Paradigm Cinema 70s for the satellites and surrounds, a Paradigm Cinema CC for the center channel, and a Paradigm PDR-8 for the sub.

    Option 2: Denon AVR1804 with a Mirage LF-100 for the sub, and some set of Mirage speakers for the sats, cc, and surrounds. This is the TWTRWISEBUYIV package offered by Tweeter. (If anyone can tell me which Mirage sats/surrounds and cc speakers are being offered here, I would appreciate it since I cannot figure it out from the website.)

    I've listened to parts of the Paradigm setup and thought it sounded quite nice. But, I haven't listened to the Tweeter setup yet (hopefully tonight).

    So, I would like some opinions and thoughts about these respective combinations.
    What should I listen for when I audition the Mirages?
    What should I listen for when I re-audition the Paradigms?
    Are these good packages for the money?
    Which do you like better and why?

    Really, any thoughts, opinions, insights are appreciated.

    Thanks,


    Mitch
     
  2. MuneebM

    MuneebM Supporting Actor

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    Depends on your taste Mitch. If you like bright and detailed sound, definitely go for the Yamaha/Paradigm set up. If you prefer warm and neutral sound, go for the Denon/Mirage set up.
     
  3. Michael__M

    Michael__M Stunt Coordinator

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    How large is your room? I took a look at that Tweeter package a few days ago and it is definitely for a smaller room.
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I would say you could do much better w/ $1k than either setup, especially the Paradigm Cinema series which isn't near the bang/buck of other paradigm products. The subs will be the weak points of both systems and I've never been a big fan of tiny satelite type speakers, especially when there are great bookshelf speakers available in the price range.

    Personaly I would go with a Denon 1803 (available for less than the 1804, nearly exactly the same features), 3 pairs of JBL S26s, and an Adire Rava subwoofer. This system would be very hard to beat around $1k, but you'll have to shop online to get these prices. The 1803 is available as b-stock for $300 at www.dakmart.com (authorized dealer) and check froogle.google.com for the best prices on the S26s. The Adire Rava is available directly from Adire.

    If what you find pushes the budget too much, give the JBL NSP1 package a look. You pick up the NSP1 and a pair of N26s or N28s for around the same price as the 6 S26s and have a full 7.1 system. It just depends on how tight the budget is and the configuration you're looking for.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  5. Mitch G

    Mitch G Agent

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    Thanks for the feedback, so far, please keep it coming.

    It's an average sized family room. I think it is about 18x14 (16x12?) with a vaulted ceiling.


    Mitch
     
  6. AnthonyJS

    AnthonyJS Agent

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    Those Mirage speakers at Tweeter are the AVS series. They are "sister" speakers to the infamous Energy Take 5 system (now sold as Take 5+1). Hope that helps.
     
  7. Mitch G

    Mitch G Agent

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    Thanks for the info on which Mirage speakers they are.

    Now, is being a sister to the Energy Takes a good thing or a bad thing?


    Mitch
     
  8. Mitch G

    Mitch G Agent

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    Well, I auditioned the Mirage setup and the Paradigm setup (again) today. I thought I would like the Mirage setup better given the comment that it is more subdued and neutral, but I think I prefer the crispness of the Paradigm setup better.

    The guy also switched between the Cinema 70s and the Atoms. The Atoms were definitely noticeably richer when switching to them, but I didn't notice as much of a difference when switching from them back to the 70s. Regardless, though, I can't pull the trigger on a setup based on the Atoms at this time.
    But, the good news is that the store has an 18-month trade-up policy. In other words, I can box everything up and return it for a full refund to be applied to a different set of equipment within 18 months of my purchase.

    All that said, I've been wondering if I would be happy with something like a Cambridge Soundworks system or the HSU Ventriloquist system. It would save me $100-$200 dollars. But, is it worth it? And then, I start thinking I should maybe just bump up my budget a few hundred dollars.

    Darn this industry and their constant barrage of sirens around every bend beckoning you to their island of listening pleasure! [​IMG]


    Mitch
     
  9. Luitz

    Luitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Energy take 5's are okay speakers
    Energy it self has always been decent.
    http://www.audiorevolution.com/equip/energytake5/

    IMO I don't like such a small front main speaker and center I find they lack (little 3.5 to 4 inch speakers don't cut it for me) Regardless of who makes them.
    But above all Listen.
    Who cares what we say its what your hearing that counts.
    As for the Adire Rava subwoofer hard to beat at that price point.
     
  10. Mitch G

    Mitch G Agent

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    Well, the sirens got me. [​IMG]
    I ended up buying a Yamaha HTR-5640 from Best Buy since it's priced at $249 now and it's basically (completely?) the same as the RXV-540 I was going to get from the dealer and about $70 cheaper. This gave me a bit more depth in the funds department which allowed me to go for more depth in the sound department.

    After doing back-to-back comparisons between the Cinema 70s/Cinema-CC and the Atoms/CC-170, I ended up walking out with the Atoms. I just found myself appreciating the fuller sound the Atoms provided enough to justify the difference in price (about $200 difference due to discounts being offered on the Cinemas). In both cases I was auditioning the PDR-8 sub and ended up taking that home as well.

    So, here are the totals in case anyone cares:

    HTR-5640 - $249 (best buy)
    PDR-8 - $249 (discounted price from the dealer)
    Atoms - $190/pair (standard price)
    CC-170 - $199 (standard price)

    TOTAL - priceless [​IMG]

    I appreciate the input everyone gave. It helped me think outside the box I had put myself in. Of course, the 18 month trade up policy could be a problem. [​IMG]


    Mitch
     
  11. Greg_sford

    Greg_sford Agent

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    Nice job, and you're under budget [​IMG] !
    Let us know how it sounds all put together...
     
  12. Mitch G

    Mitch G Agent

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    Actually, I'm $100 over my original budget - 2 pairs of Atoms, don't forget. But, I agree, I did do a good job. [​IMG]

    I haven't even put the speakers on stands or mounts yet, nor have I really tweeked anything yet, but the system sounds fabulous.


    Mitch
     
  13. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Budgets in the home theatre world are like highway speed limits...they're meant to be exceeded. [​IMG]
     
  14. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    I have been a happy owner of Paradigm speakers with a Yamaha receiver for over 5 years. When you can save up some money you should give the Monitor series an listen. In the meantime enjoy your setup.
     
  15. Mitch G

    Mitch G Agent

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    This is a rather self-serving post, but I felt like giving an update on my system.

    To put things in perspective, I initially had the mains sitting on a hearth and small bench, while the surrounds were on end tables on either side of the couch. This was simply because I wasn't sure how I was going to mount everything in the room.

    So, the first improvement was to get the mains on speaker stands. I bought a pair of adjustable height stands from Parts Express ($39/pair compared to $89/pair for the same stands at Circuit City).

    Then I spent a week or so deciding what to do about the surrounds. At first I was going to use stands, but they would have been too cumbersome for the room. So, I decided to go with wall mounts.

    So, I mounted the speakers on BT-77 mounts - a very nice mount for the money ($70 or so per pair) and they don't require screwing screws into the speakers. I ran in-wall wiring - a bit challenging at times but still a rather rewarding DYI project.

    Given the room layout, the speakers are to the sides of the main viewing couch and pointed towards each other. I expected an improvement over them sitting on the tables, but it's simply amazing how much better it sounds! Everything sounds better - even commercials.
    (If this testimony prompts only one person to mount their speakers "correctly," then it's been worth it. [​IMG])

    I'm also enjoying listening to music quite a bit. This was not necessarily one of the original goals for the system, but it sure has been a nice side-effect.

    Next up is the MX-700 remote that should be here early this week and I think the "theater" will be complete. At least for a while. [​IMG]


    Mitch
     

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