Need a < $1000 5 or 6 speaker setup.

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Steve Griswold, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. Steve Griswold

    Steve Griswold Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been looking around for a new speaker set to go with my new place (moving in around December).

    It's got a fairly small (narrow) living room so I don't need anything too big -- I think bookshelf speakers would do fine. Also, these will be for 90% movies, 10% video games. I don't listen to music unless I'm in the car.

    I'm a bigger fan of full, natural sound rather than bright, vibrant ones. For example, Boston Acoustics, Energy, JBL, and most studio monitors appeal to me, but Klipsch speakers (horns ugh) make me cringe.

    Here are the brands I've been considering. I don't really need a sub since I have a JBL PB12 right now, and I'll probably just upgrade to a Hsu or SVS eventually anyway.

    - Axiom Audio (M22ti + VP100 + QS8)
    - Rocket by Onix ELT
    - Aperion Audio (though I hear that these sound "thin")
    - Ascend Acoustics (CBM170 + HTM200)
    - Swan Diva (2.1 + C2 + R2)
    - Onkyo SKS-HT510
    - Home Theater Direct Level Three
    - Fluance AV-HTB

    I've also considered Paradigm, Mirage, and there's a Magnolia Hi-Fi that just opened up here offering sales on Definitive and MK.

    Now, I know not all the speakers I mentioned are in the same league, but I'm looking for the best bang for my buck here. "Real" speakers are still a fond fantasy for some day years from now.
     
  2. Richard_B

    Richard_B Stunt Coordinator

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    I would suggest to give the Onix ELTs a shot. That package deal for $899 is a bargain in my opinion.
     
  3. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    go to www.rutledgeaudiodesign.com and check out the RADMicro package. Custom built (just for you) by Brian, who is a true craftsman.

    Great guy to deal with, and a great product.
     
  4. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    No offense, George, but I think for $1k he should get a speaker set that has 2-way satellites. I mean, I haven't heard the RAD micros myself, but full range drivers for the satellites when he has that amount of money to spend doesn't seem right.

    Of the ones listed, I like the Ascend and the HTD's. The reason for some mixed reviews on the Aperion probably has to do with their DiAural crossover. You can read about it on their web site.
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I agree with Richard--the ELTs are a fine value.
     
  6. Steve Griswold

    Steve Griswold Stunt Coordinator

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    I hear so many things about the Ascends I might have to give those a chance. Personally I don't care for their looks all that much (I prefer a wood veneer or similar cabinet) but it's possible that the sound quality will make me overlook that.

    They're based in Gardena, which is only about 20 minutes away, so I'll call and see if they have a showroom or something. [​IMG]

    Right now I'm really leaning towards the Axiom M3ti + Q4 set or the Rocket/Onix set.
     
  7. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    Steve,

    I think there are several owners of Rockets/Axioms/Ascends in your area. See if you can contact them at the respective forums for an in-home demo (their places, of course). All have really good reputations and are fine products.
     
  8. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Steve,

    I own the Ascends.....you are welcome to visit my place.
     
  9. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Post on the av123 board for an ELT audition request. I know there are some owners near you.
     
  10. BobAlbano

    BobAlbano Second Unit

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    There are definitely a couple of people in the LA area that have ELT systems that would be more than happy to let you audition them. If you check with a guy named Mad Dog over at www.AV123.com I'm sure that he would be happy to help you out. Good luck with your decision! [​IMG]
     
  11. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Some people this past weekend got together in the Philly area and had a little comparison. You can read about it here.
     
  12. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I really like the swans and I think the 2.1s are a great choice. The C2 and R2 however would probably be the week point of the system you mentioned. 2 pairs of 2.1s and a C3 would come in at $900 in the black cherry finish and would sound alot better, especially the center. The C2 is VERY small and sounds very small compared to the C3. The R2 surrounds seem to be there more to fit a price point than anything. They use two of the 4" drivers at full range with no tweeter. Also the C2 and R2 are 4ohm speakers which, depending on your receiver, may not work in your setup due to amp incapabilities.

    With the Swan's you would have "Real" speakers, just not Real Big speakers. A 2.1 + 2.1 + C3 would sound better than anything you put up (if you like a slightly warm sound), and i've heard everything you listed other than the ELT (they may be close, but $900 w/ a sub probably won't hang w/ another well regarded internet brand $900 w/out, and you said you don't feel the need for a new sub right this minute... i'm sure they sound great, but they remind me of a higher end HTIB speaker too... just my snap judgement i guess). W/ the Swan setup you can always just upgrade your mains on down the road to something like the 5.2 and have an amazing 7ch system w/ BIG full range mains that sound amazing. I have the 4.1s, 2.1s, and C3 and love them, just hope to have the $$ to move up to the 5.2s in the front in the intermediate future.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  13. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Richard,

    You would be surprised what a good full range driver can sound like, although at this price point, there is only so much you can do, and in some respects this is a good alternative. One good driver, instead of 2 inexpensive ones with cheap crossovers.
     
  14. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I wouldn't write Axiom, Ascend, Rocket, or Swans off as inexpensive drivers and cheap crossovers.
     
  15. Steve Griswold

    Steve Griswold Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the offer, Curtis.

    It appears, though, that my choices will probably end up being between the ELT and the Axiom speakers.

    Once I sell my Rogers DB101's I'll make my final decision. [​IMG]

    Thank you all for your help, but keep the opinions coming!
     
  16. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    "Richard,

    You would be surprised what a good full range driver can sound like, although at this price point, there is only so much you can do, and in some respects this is a good alternative. One good driver, instead of 2 inexpensive ones with cheap crossovers."

    Have you heard all these speakers? Axiom, Ascend, Onix, and the Swans are NOT inexpensive drivers with cheap crossovers.
     
  17. JohnnyCasaba

    JohnnyCasaba Agent

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    Steve, out of your list I have heard the Axiom M22's, ELT's, and I own the Ascend 170's. I know you don't care for the look of the 170's, but I think they are the fullest sounding of this group of three, which is something you say you are looking for in a speaker. But you really don't have to take my word for it, you have owners of all three in your area that would be more than willing to give you a demo. I know it may be awkward at first going to a complete strangers home, but I have done this 4 times now and everyone I have met has been extremely nice.
     
  18. Steve Griswold

    Steve Griswold Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone in LA have either the Axiom m3ti or m22ti speakers and want to let me hear them? I think that's my final choice after sifting through the "real" data (e.g. solid professional reviews) rather than the narrow-sighted fanboy-ism on the respective boards. [​IMG]
     
  19. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Steve,

    I would take the opinion of people who own these speakers and have had them in their homes for awhile over that of a professional reviewer, who spends a few days at most with a given speaker, any day of the week. Calling the advice you've been given "fanboy-ism" is not a good way to make sure you get help next time you need it. Good luck with your purchase.
     
  20. DarrenAlan

    DarrenAlan Stunt Coordinator

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    Would also look @ the KEF 1005 and 2005.2 series.
     

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