Rate your own speakers...honestly!


May 15, 2000
Anybody who doesn't love their speakers should not be allowed to have speakers.

In my case, B&W N805s, HTM2, CWM800s and SVS 20-39PC. All shaken, not stirred, by a pair of BK2s.

Given my room and furnishings, the only thing I'd have done differently would be the in-wall speakers. They sound great, even create a nice side image with the N805s, but there's no moving those babies...

John Wes

Stunt Coordinator
Nov 23, 2002
I just replaced a set of Marantz HD88's and a set of HD66's for the rears....

Receiver, Pioneer 47TX..

Fronts Rockets RS750's Now I did a lot of searching when I went to replace my speakers. I listened to Polks, Infinity, Paradigms, B&W and even some I couldn't afford..Martian Logans. Without a blind listening test among all of them, my comparisons would really be worthless. I'll say that for the money, I'm more than pleased with them.

Center Rocket 200 big foot Wonderful sound out of this monster. The mids are silky smooth imho..and since it uses the same tweeter (Vifa XT 25) as the 750 line, I'm pretty much timber matched across the front sound stage for movies and multichannel music. My SACD's and DVD-As come alive with this center if it's used in the mix..

Sides Rocket dipoles. I'm not sure what to compare them too. I like em. The looks are also great as there is the WF..

Surround rear..2 each Rocket RS 750's. I went this route for multichannel music. I'm not positive that I wouldn't have been just as happy with 550's as the rears aren't used that much with the multichannel music I do have. There are exceptions of course.

The sub.. is a DIY Tempest, ported with a 380 watt plate amp. This setup is more than killer for the money spent on it. I can shake the house on various parts of movies...The gates of Mordor....The girl thumping on the aquarium glass in Finding Nemo...

I'll say that I'm thrilled with the Rocket line. The craftsmanship is top notch and the speakers are beautiful indeed! I would whole heartedly endorse anyone looking for speakers to find someone who would give you an audition.


Stunt Coordinator
Dec 27, 2003

I beg to differ.

I have seen numerous threads on these forums such as:

"My speakers are terrible at X! What did I do wrong? Did I just get screwed out of $n?"

Sometimes people make a mistake, and then can't take their speakers back and are stuck with them.

Take Klipsch and Polk for example. They are basically polar opposites as far as sound goes (not talking about subs, because Polk subs leave alot to be desired, and Klipsch seems to be doing quite well in that aspect). Some like the harsher sounding Klipsch and others like the softness of the Polks. Few people like both. Someone may listen to one, buy it, then hear the other, and realize they completely hate the way theirs sound!


Anyway, I think it is possible for someone to NOT love their speakers. That is the whole point. Buy, hear better, save, and upgrade! I'm sure thats why we are all here!
Dec 20, 2003
My setup is in a small room 11'x10' and budget is tight at the moment but I have tweaked this system to sound pretty good if not overpowering.
Receiver: Sony STR DE595 (not bad, easy to use entry HT model). What sounds better with Polk?
Fronts: Polk RT15i
Center: Polk RT25i(picked this up at a flea market, the guy dropped the other one so this was a steal to buy for $30.)I use it as my center channel and it blends well. I didnt think spending more money on a dedicated center channel was necessary. Opinions?
Rears: Polk M1
Sub: Jensen (got it free)
The sub is the weak spot although it sounds ok for now. I will save up for a Polk sub or will take advice on any other brand that would be good in this size room. I love the sound of Polks and I want to get another RT25i and then make them my fronts. Hard to find one though.I like the sound of the older RTi line better than the newer R line.


Stunt Coordinator
Dec 27, 2003

I'm a Polk fan myself.
It will be difficult to find stuff from the old Polk line. They tend to either be a) Keepers for people who adore the sound (thats you) or b) hand-me-downs to little brothers, kids/parents, or the like. Thats not saying you won't find them, but it may not be easy.

As far as Polk subwoofers go:

::Governator dive::

Even the biggest Polk fans are usually in agreement that Polk really dropped the ball on their subs. They are very weak in many aspects, and better subs can be had at similar/less prices. Velodyne, Hsu, SVS are good for the mid-end. There is a Sony (don't know the exact model number, but another member can assist you here) and a Dayton sub that have been dominating the low end (sub $200 (no pun intended)) market. If you can spend more than that, you should think about upgrading your speakers first.

Jason Reich

Stunt Coordinator
Feb 19, 2001
Here is mine:

5.1- all wired in wall with banana plug plates.

Fronts: Def tech Pro Cinima 100's
Center: Def tech Pro Cinima 100
Surrounds: Def tech Pro Cinima 80's
Sub: SVS 25-31pci(22 tune)

My theater is small 17long by 9 1/2 wide
The system I have is more than enough for my room

The def techs have been great! My system is for movies mainly, and with the small size of the speakers is does not perform great with just music. For movies on the other hand it is great. When I build a bigger room the def techs will be moved to a bedroom setup.

The SVS is hands down the best speaker purchase I have ever made- I am into Car audio as well- and to put it plainly this sub owns. I am confident that it would perform just as well in a room larger than mine too.

Marty M

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Dec 6, 1998
I am a happy owner of Paradigm Monitor series. I have owned version 1 Monitor 7s, CC-350, Mini-Monitors for surround, and a PW-2200 sub for over five years. I have been contemplating purchasing Version 3 of the Monitor 7s. You can't find many other speaker brands that give you this great sound for the money. No, I am not a paid representative from Paradigm.


Stunt Coordinator
Dec 27, 2003

Do you feel you are missing anything by having the sub tuned to 22hz as opposed to 20 (or even 15, but you would loose alot of power there, assuming your sub (I don't know SVS very well) could handle it)? Someone asked how much they were missing from 22hz compared to 20 on another forum, and was it worth some extra money, and I didn't have the answer. Just curious...


Senior HTF Member
Aug 15, 2002
My home office music system is a pair of JBL S38IIs and a harman/kardon 130, which is, at the moment, playing "Little One" from Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage.

The S38IIs are among the best speakers I've ever owned, and were an almost criminal steal for what they cost. I'm wowed.

Jesse Sharrow

Supporting Actor
Jul 11, 2003
Well I love my setup very very much. I need a sub pretty badly, but it pretty good for now.

But today I heard the best surround system I have ever heard, or will maybe ever hear. Here is the equipment...

1 pair of Kef 207's

1 matching Kef center

1 pair of Kef 205's as surrounds

1 Krell Stack

1 Denon DVD-2900


Absolutly unbelievable! I have never heard a system this close to acctually being their! Unreal! Im bringing some discs of mine to work tommorrow to listen.

Evan S

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Nov 21, 2001
I did a complete overhaul of my system in 2003.

Paradigm Studio Reference Speakers all around (40's in front, 20's in rear, Studio CC in center). Anthem AVM-20 Processor, Anthem MCA-5 amp powering all 5 with a Mirage BPS-100 Subwoofer

Only the Anthem AVM-20 has remained. Main amp is now an Odyssey Dual Mono Stratos with a Sherbourn 5/1500A powering the Center and 4 surrounds. Speakers are now all ACI, all around. Sapphires in front, Essence for a center, Emerald on-walls for the sides and regular Emeralds in the rear with a Titan II LE for the Subwoofer.

Basically, my system is exactly as I want it right now. Highs that are just right, detailed and dynamic without being fatiguing. I would have to give music a 9.5 out of 10 with SACD getting a 9.7. Movies are great too, all the good I got out of the Paradigms I get from the ACI's with none of the bad. My only complaint is that my sub doesn't shake the walls, but with a Q rating of around .6 it really integrates well in my system with the mains and is a great music sub. I am really happy now and I don't see a new purchase into my system for quite some time.


Stunt Coordinator
Nov 21, 2003
My HT system is nothing to write home about. It is comprised of old equipment left over from 20 years of upgrading a High End music system. It has a pair of old Boston Accoustic T-870 for the main, Cambridge center, a pair of Radio Shack Optimus 7 for the rear and a pair of Entec SW 5 Servo Control Subs. They're all driven by a Hafler 500 and a pair of Hafler 200 (except the Entecs, which has built in 175w amps) with a Sony Digital Dolby decoder as a preamp. The main problem is that my rear speakers are ceiling mounted right above the seating position in line with the X1 projector. This limit me to the size of the rears. However, the RS speakers do an adequate job though lacking a little in bass. The sound as a whole probablly rate only a 6 out of 10. The quality of the 96 inch LB image more than makes up for it.

Now, my music system is something to write home about. It consist of a pair of Martin Logan CLS 2 (with the Z mod) bi-amped with a pair of Entec SW 5 servo crontrol subs (the same pair I use for HT) at 100hz. The panels are driven with a Counterpoint SA-2 mod to a NPS-200 at Altavista Audio and a Counterpoint 3000 preamp. The hybrid design of the Counterpoints makes a perfect match for the CLS's. The tube quality of the Counterpoints add a certain body to the highs and midrange that Solid State amps can't provide. The sound is so transparent, fast and life like that you can almost feel the air move when a vocalist takes a breath. There's only a few sub that are fast enough to mate with electrostatics. Entec being one of them (to bad they're no longer in business). The Entec SW 5 were designed to be mated with Quads. The bass from these sevro control subs is tight, fast and very linear down to 20hz. They never overwhelm the panels to the point of making them sound like box speakers. To round off the front end I got a Micro Seiki VG1500 TT, Well Temper Arm, Monster Genesis 2000 cartridge and a Vendetta SPC-2a phono section. With vinyl, this system rate 9.5 out of 10 and with CD's, 9 out of 10.

Mark gas

Second Unit
Mar 23, 2002
I have a pair a Paradigm Titans and a pair of Athena Asb 2's

Paradigms 4/10
Athenas 3/10

hearing some Dynaudio audience speakers makes you wish you never heard them because every thing else you listen to doesn’t seem that good.

Jed M

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Oct 2, 2001
Since my speakers have yet to be represented, I will take a turn at this.

Fronts Onix Ref 1's
Center Onix Ref 100
Rear Onix Ref 1's
Sub SVS 20-39CS+

You can read my conclusion after spending time with both the Ref's and GR AV-2's if you like, but I would rate the Ref's as a 9 musically and for movies an 8.5. I really do love the way they sound, but if I rated them any higher it would give me little wiggle room in the future. My previous Klipsch that I replaced last month I would rate a 4 for music and an 8 for movies.

The SVS is the most jaw dropping item I have ever bought, but now that I have the Ref's it doesn't seem to hold up as well musically as it used to in SACD and DVD-A. For that, I give it a 7.5 in music and a 9.5 in movies (since I figure the B4+ would trounce it I can't give it a 10).


Jun 13, 2002
my $.02

B&K 220Ms powering Deftech BP30 mains
B&K 220M powering Deftech CLR 2000 Center
B&K 2220 powering Deftech BP1Xs surrounds
B&K 2220 powering Deftech BP1Xs rears
2 DIY Stryke AV-12 PR subs.

I give my Deftechs about 6.5/10. The mains are really hard to place with the bipolar designs. In fact, I'm looking for a new front three right now. Considering: RBH, Thiel, Energy, PSB, NHT, Revel, and B&W.......Too bad Arkansas has really no place to Audition speakers. oh well. Road Trip!


Stunt Coordinator
Dec 27, 2003
We have something in common. I live in Michigan...guh!
What we don't have in common: You can afford to buy new speakers :p)


Jun 12, 1999
I am proud to announce that I haven't bought any speakers in over 6 months! Which is unusual as I've been one to buy and try a LOT of speakers in the past few years thinking and believing that new stuff has just got to be better than my old stuff but...........not.....(IMHO).

I am lucky enought to have owned a pair of JBL L100 since 1978 and so far, nothing has been able to push them out as my mains in my HT system...... I've changed receivers, added amps, bought several "high end" speakers sets and those old L's are still here. I know that listening to these for all these years have probably biased my opinion toward them but they really are some "sound on steroids". When ever I buy any other speaker, a bunch of us always blind test against what I currently have...... and those old L's beat the crap outta everything so far. My GF just laughs at me when I get some big boxes as she knows they'll be heading back out the door pretty soon.

I know I'm gonna keep trying other speaker brands but I no longer hope to "beat" what these old JBLs are doing.

Lanny Hoff

Stunt Coordinator
Dec 20, 2000
HT System
Denon 3803
Sub: SVS 46-16 CS+ with Samson 1000 amp
Fronts: Paradigm Mini Monitor V1
Center: Paradigm CC350
Sides: JBL Something somethings
Backs: Paradigm Atoms V2

Music Rating: 5/10. The sub is great, but I have fallen out of love with the Paradigm Monitor sound. I've heard a friends Studio 20's, and those are nice. Can't really stand to listen to music on them anymore. *see 2-channel system below*

HT Rating: 7/10. Room for improvement with the JBL something somethings (I have no clue what they are) and the Atoms, but for general HT things are reasonable. Contrary to what a lot of people say, I find the lower-end Paradigms to lack detail and have a throaty/chesty mid-bass which I find trying, but this is not much of a problem with HT. The SVS is terrific and the most capable part of my speaker system. Overall I am satisfied, but looking for the next step up.

2-Channel System
Onkyo Integra DTR-6
Sub: HSU VTF-2
Mains: ACI Emerald

Overall rating 9/10. The HSU sub is extremely good. Very musical and it plays well with other speakers. Great sound, price no object, and for what they get, it's silly. This system used to feature Paradigm Atoms as my main speakers. Let me not mince words (my opinion only—you will have yours): the Paradigm Atom is not a patch on the a$$ of the ACI Emerald. You want detail? Clarity? Imaging? Surely I understand that you cannot compare a $750/pr speaker with a $190/pr speaker, but the Atoms just hint at the music within my CD collection while the Emeralds let it loose.

Anyone looking for "the next step" in their system should look at ACI. Even with my Integra receiver these speakers are wonderful! I can only imagine what it will be like when I upgrade the front end electronics.

Rory Buszka

Supporting Actor
Jun 5, 2002

DVD Player: Oritron something or other (dirt cheap)
RCA 5-disc changer ($70-something)
Sherwood RVD-6090R ($150 a couple years back)
TV: 13" (yeah, 13") RCA ("Image is nothing. Sound is everything.")

The electronics suck but they get the job done well enough. The speakers are what really make the experience, though.

Mains: DIY two-way MTMs with Def Tech woofers from Parts Express Buyout, and Norwegian-made SEAS aluminum dome tweeters, need a little crossover tweaking, $200 for the pair.
Sub: 10" Blueprint Drivers 1001 long-excursion woofer in a DIY vented box with 150 watts, quite powerful and good and loud but not as tight as I would like.

Upgrade is coming soon to a subwoofer based on Stryke AV12 in 3 cubic feet with dual 15" horizontally-opposed passive radiators and 500 watts of Bob Carver Class-G power. It's going to be excellent.

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