Need advice: Sony or Klipsch speakers?

Beachguy

Auditioning
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Dec 22, 2008
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2
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Scott
Hello, I'm new here and could use some advice from people with more home theater experience than me.

I have a Toshiba 46" HDTV that actually produces very nice sound, but I've already used up all my HDMI inputs on it and need to add some more components. Instead of buying an HDMI switcher I picked up a Sony DG720 receiver on Black Friday for $199. This seemed to be the only receiver that had 3 HDMI switchable inputs, plus 7.1 sound, so I snapped it up. Since then I've been thinking about what speakers to get with it, which brings me here.

I like to shop at Best Buy because of the 18 month credit and Rewards Zone points, so I narrowed down my choices to these:

Option # 1: Sony speakers
2 SSF-5000 floor speakers for front
1 SSCN-5000 center speaker
2 SSB 1000 bookshelf speakers for rear
No subwoofer (I live in an apartment and don't want to disturb my neighbors. I also read that the Sony floor speakers put out some nice bass that will rumble the room. And I can always add a sub later if I need more oomph).
Price: Approx. $350

Option # 2: Klipsch speakers
Synergy Quintet III (satellite speaker system)
10" Subwoofer
Price: $699 for both (currently on sale)

Between those two options, which would you suggest? I like the price of the Sony but the small size of the Klipsch. If the Klipsch produces a sound as good as the larger Sony's, I wouldn't mind paying extra for that.

Incidentally, on the one hand I felt proud of myself for not getting a HT in a box set up and actually making the effort to build a good system. But on the other hand, from reading some of the posts here and on other audiophile boards it looks like Sony and Klipsch are not well respected. This is interesting to me because both brands get extremely high customer feedback on the Best Buy and Amazon sites. I suppose that some of those comments might be fake, but there are so many good ones that there must be some truth to them. The only negative comments I've seen for Klipsch relate to their horn construction and the unique sound they make. On Sony, some people say not to expect good speakers from an electronics company. But again, the overwhelming comments from the "non-professionals" are glowing for Sony and Klipsch.

Finally, I know that the common advice for this type of question is to "go out and listen to each", but unfortunately I live about 100 miles from the nearest BB store or anywhere else I can listen, so I need to buy online and rely on internet reviews and feedback from folks like you to guide me.

Thanks for your help!
 

Lew Crippen

Executive Producer
Senior HTF Member
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May 19, 2002
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12,060
Welcome to the forum Scott.

There is no substitute for listening. Speaker selection is very much a personal preference. For example (although I have not listened to speakers in question), I really don’t care at all for horn sound of Klipsch (but those who love the sound, really love it) and I really think that there are many superior speakers (for the price) than any Sony speakers that I’ve heard.

Since you can’t audition in person, you might see if anyone local has some Klipsch speakers of more or less the size of the Quintet III system.

As you are considering online sources, you might investigate SVS or Axiom, both companies make good products at competitive prices and are HTF sponsors.
 

Doug_H

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 21, 2000
Messages
586
Scott

Lew is right that speakers are very subjective and close listening is the best way to go. I would not recommend the Sony speakers, they make great electronics but their speakers are easily bested for the money.

Look at Elemental Designs, I recently got a set of these for my second system and am very pleased with them for the money.

I am sure you will get many good recommendations from other members as well.
 

Ennsio

Second Unit
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Feb 22, 2007
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265
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Chris
One thing to question with the reviews you read on Best Buy or Amazon's website when you read glowing reviews for speakers like those Sony speakers is whether or not those people have heard any other superior performance speakers to compare the Sonys to. That is one of the values of relying more on the opinions of people at a forum like this with members that are quite familiar with the sound and performance of a wide range of speaker models from personal experience or auditioning.

Since you would need to buy online anyway, I would suggest looking at some of the speakers at Audio Advisor or Saturday Audio. They have some very nice brands there to look at with sales at very good prices. At your price range, I would recommend bookshelves from Athena or Energy (C Series) from Audio Advisor. I have the Athena LS100s and they are significantly better than what those Sony floorstanders would sound like, but they are a brand that has been discontinued and I don't think you can find the centre channel to go with it.

Monitor Audio and PSB are very well respected speaker brands as well, which you can find at Saturday Audio.
 

Bob McElfresh

Producer
Senior HTF Member
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May 22, 1999
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5,182
In general - Klipsch is a speaker company while Sony is .. kind of an add-on business. So I tend to always recommend buying speakers from speaker companies.
 

Kevin Stewart

Second Unit
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Oct 7, 2003
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363
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Texas
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Kevin Stewart
I agree with Bob. Sony makes some very nice things, but speakers aren't one of them.

On the other hand, I love Klipsch speakers. I've had a set of original quintets in my living room for over 8 years and couldn't be happier.
In regards to the subwoofer, you might consider upgrading to the 12". I had the 10" for a couple of weeks and didn't think it had enough "presence" for my living room. Upgraded to the 12" and there was a night and day difference.

Keep in mind, also, that just because you get the Klipsch speakers doesn't mean you have to get their sub. I like my Klipsch 12", but if I had to do it over again, I'd probably get a different sub (although if you have to use BB, you're a bit limited).
 

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