Recomendations for Fronts in the $600 range?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Kevin Day, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. Kevin Day

    Kevin Day Auditioning

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    I could really use some help and advice on a set of front speakers for my HT setup. All comments welcome and appreciated.

    I recently purchased a pair of speakers that I won't name here in order to keep this thread from getting out of control.* I went to a specialty audio store in my area and listened to them. I brought along one of my favorite Jazz CD's (stan getz in case anyone cares) and thought they sounded pretty good. I wasn't going to pay $1000 though. A few days later I saw them at Best Buy for $600. I know all the "bad press" that bose has, especially around this forum, but I wasn't convinced to ignore them based simply on word of mouth, especially since I didn't think they sounded that bad in the first store, and besides, speakers ALWAYS sound better in your own home right?

    Wrong.

    I got them home, and while I must admit they are a MAJOR, MAJOR step up from the old college Pioneer towers I have, they're not what I was expecting. Especially in Movies. They just sound, well, flat. I still think my music has never sounded better, probably because it hasn't. They're good, but I don't think they're $600 good. So I'm going to return them. Lesson learned, but I had to do it the hard way. I always would have had doubts if I hadn't bought them.

    So what do you folks recommend in the $600 range? I'm going to look at a pair of Klipsch RF-15's tomorrow, but I'm a little scared of the whole "niche sound" thing. I'm afraid they'll be too bright. I'm also a klipsch skeptic since I've now owned three sets of their multimedia speakers for my computer, and so far this is the set with the least audible hum. I'm also going to look at the Athena AS-F2's. I know nothing about them, any comments? Any other speakers that I should look at? So many choices, I don't even know where to start!

    oh, and if anyone has a pair of Axiom M50ti's that they want to sell for $650, I'm your buyer [​IMG]

    Thanks guys for all your help.



    *ok, i lied. They're Bose 701's.
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    B&W 600 series is popular, I don't like them, but other people do, and you might too. Paradigm Reference Studio V2s are on their way out, the 20s were 650 a pair in laminate, and quite the bargain, you could probably get a dealer to come down in price since they are trying to get rid of their left-over inventory. The new V3 20s are 800, and probably will be well worth it. I heard some Regas (i didn't know rega made speakers, but now they do), and I really enjoyed them. They were 1K simple 2-way floorstanders, but they have a bookshelf model thats probably in there around 600 or so. There are some JM labs too, but I liked em once, then went back and I really didn't like them, so i dunno bout them. Worth hearing everything you can though. Monitor audio is brighter stuff, but very nice also. I'm a paradigm man myself, so I'll add my STRONG recommendation that you hear the 'digms.

    Yeah... any of those would blow away the bose. They all sound different, what you like may be different than me. But even the ones in that list that I don't like so much would smoke the bose. I'll stop now, because you may not have a flame suit on. [​IMG]
     
  3. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Also have a look at the internet direct brands such as Ascend Acoustics and Axiom Audio.

    Call Ascend and ask about the left/right version of their CMT-340.
     
  4. BillyH

    BillyH Stunt Coordinator

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    Now don't laugh but I think a pair of Cambridge Sound System Tower II's at 600 per pair is a helluva deal. You get two eight inch woofers a mid and a twetter for that, not to mention that they were designed by the late great Henry Kloss. This is a closeout price so I don't know if they are available anymore. Of course unless you are near a store in Frisco or New England you will have to go mail order but there is a 30day in home trial. The Tower III's are bipole in nature with tweeters out the backside and I think they are 8 or 900 a pair. If I had to start over again I think I would try these first. They have a web site but I can't remember it but type in Cambridge Soundworks into Google, that shoud do it.

    PS: There is no shame in venturing into Best Buy, I do it all the time, just don't don't let your clergyman see you.
     
  5. BillyH

    BillyH Stunt Coordinator

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    Now don't laugh but I think a pair of Cambridge Sound System Tower II's at 600 per pair is a helluva deal. You get two eight inch woofers a mid and a twetter for that, not to mention that they were designed by the late great Henry Kloss. This is a closeout price so I don't know if they are available anymore. Of course unless you are near a store in Frisco or New England you will have to go mail order but there is a 30day in home trial. The Tower III's are bipole in nature with tweeters out the backside and I think they are 8 or 900 a pair. If I had to start over again I think I would try these first. They have a web site but I can't remember it but type in Cambridge Soundworks into Google, that shoud do it.

    PS: There is no shame in venturing into Best Buy, I do it all the time, just don't don't let your clergyman see you.
     
  6. Mike_Gr

    Mike_Gr Stunt Coordinator

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    Axiom M50's are $620 brand new. Did you mean M60's?
     
  7. Jeff Aguilar

    Jeff Aguilar Stunt Coordinator

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    I do believe that you can get a pair of Energy Veritas around that price. There is a new line coming out, so the have discounted their stuff tremendously. I think that the 2.2's might be in that price. These are INCREDIBLE sounding speakers at a great price. Do yourself a favor and just check them out.

    Jeff Aguilar
     
  8. ShaunLB

    ShaunLB Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd check the circuit city's around your area if you have any. Polk has recently replaced their RTxxi line with the RTixx and is soon to replace those with yet some more new models. I've seen some incredible deals on the "older" models. These series switches helped me get a $800 list price pair of fronts for just over $250...with tax! Remember, when choosing fronts and thinking forward to surround, make sure you consider the rest of a companies line and its prices. I'm happy with Polk, give em a listen.
     
  9. Chris J Hall

    Chris J Hall Auditioning

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    Wow, what great suggestions.


    I'll second the Energy suggestion and throw Rockets into the mix with the rs250 being $699/pair and the rs150 399/pair.



    Taste will be your biggest factor as I am of the opinion that you cannot go wrong with any of the suggestions on this thread so far.
     
  10. Kevin Day

    Kevin Day Auditioning

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    Thank you to everyone for the suggestions. In reply to a couple things from further up in the thread: 1)Flame away. I always would have wondered if I hadn't at least tried the Bose in my own home. I'm done with it, they took them back no questions asked. 2)Yes I meant the M60's. My bad.

    That being said, My girlfriend and I went out tonight and listened to a bunch of speakers in or around my target price. We listened to the Klipsch RF-3II's, the RF-15's, and a pair of the Synergy series. I also listened to a pair of def tech's (sorry, don't remember model numbers off the top of my head) and two pairs of Infinitys. I was never really planning on infinity, so we just listened for comparison purposes. Neither pair blew me away. The Definitive's were also less than monumental, so we pretty much gave up on that idea after a few minutes of listening to them. I'm sure that if I had $1000 to spend, the definitives would fit the bill. Unfortunatley, I would like to be done with alot more than just the fronts for that price.

    The Synergy's sounded pretty good, but lacked the clarity of the Refrences, especially in mid. The RF-3II's were VERY nice, and I'm sure they would have sounded GREAT in movies, but I am also looking for speakers I can enjoy music on, and they were very bright. I listen to alot of jazz and lots of guitar metal (i know, weird combo), and the trumpets sounded good, but the guitar was almost too shrill. The RF-15's had all the good qualities of the RF-3II's without too much horn, so to speak. It's almost like they toned down the tweeter on the new speakers. We both agreed that the RF-15's were the best speakers at the right price (I did listen to the RF-25's for about 45 seconds, but didn't want to get my hopes up because I can't afford them, so we turned them off in a hurry) so I bought the pair for $540. I haven't had much time to listen to them tonight, but my initial reaction is good. They don't fill the room with oozing, overly projected, ported bass like the bose's did, but that's what the sub is for. Next on the list are the center and surrounds, and maybe then I'll start saving my money for a sub. Overall I'm really happy. I think they sound great for the money, and I have a much better gut feeling about them then I did about the Smoke and Mirrors, I mean Bose's.

    Just as a side note: I went into this fearing the Klipsch sound, but came out very satisfied. As it turns out, the guy who had my car before I bought it installed a pair of boston competition components up front (among other things) so I'm quite used to having a very "bright" in-your-face tweeter jumping off the dash at me. I've grown accustomed to this sound, and the Klipsch sound is similar if you can make the comparison between home audio and car audio (don't kill me) so I'm finally satisfied that my home audio has that "clarity" that it was always lacking.

    Hooray, and thanks again for the suggestions guys. I may still head back out one more time to audition a few more before I make the final call on these, but the outlook is good. I think they're keepers.
     
  11. Ben_L

    Ben_L Agent

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    If there's a PSB dealer in your area, id highly recommend checking out their Image 5T or 6T tower speakers. They're $559 & $650 respectively(blemish prices) through www.dmc-electronics.com. I've gone there myself to listen to the 5T with rock and r&b music and was amazed at what these midpriced speakers could do.

    I would have bought them on the spot if i could afford it, but i went with the less expensive Image 2B bookshelves instead.
     
  12. Chad A

    Chad A Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out the Wharfedale Diamond 8.4's.
    $550 a pair which can be had for $370 if you know where to look.
    Myself and many others here have the Diamond 8 line and all (critics too) have much priase for them.

    Have fun on the hunt.
     
  13. yung cheng

    yung cheng Extra

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  14. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    I'll second the energy and onix rockets. They sound quite different so it gives you something to choose from. If you can't listen to the rockets, I think they sound a lot like paradigm.
     
  15. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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  16. Chris J Hall

    Chris J Hall Auditioning

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    Ahh somebody figured out what I was up to in my suggestion[​IMG] Give them variation!


    As far as what the Rockets sound like goes. I can see where both of you are coming from. The rs750 is voiced differently from the rest of the line and the rs150 has a different tweeter.


    Now if I were to send someone to get a handle on what to expect I would say check out the LS series Polks for the tweet and Paradigm or B&W for the mids/base. There's a Rocket in there somewhere.[​IMG]
     
  17. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    I would throw in the Axioms and Ascends.

    The Ascend CBM-170 and Axiom M22's have done well in comparisons with the B&W 600 series and Paradigms up to the Studio 40 (v2).

    And the unadvertised l/r version of Ascend's CMT-340 is an excellent speaker IMO. At $650 with matching stands ($500 without)....competes well with speakers at double or triple the price.

    All worth a listen if you willing to deal with internet direct.
     
  18. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    I was referring to the Energy Veritas. I wish I could upgrade to them [​IMG] I really really liked there sound and I agree they sound very different from the rockets.

    About Paradigm (referring to the studios) sounding like rockets, to be fair I own neither and have never heard them together. I'm not sure which rockets I heard at a dudes house but it included towers for the mains. To me both brands (speaking very generally) sound very laid back. Neither are really my choice but I see why people like them.
     
  19. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    I understand the Rocket RS550 is much different than the RS750. Maybe that is the one you heard. The RS750 did not sound like any Paradigm I heard, the Rocket was much more laid back.
     
  20. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Curtis, I’ve never done an A/B with any Rocket and any Paradigm. But even so, I would not make the Rocket/Paradigm comparison. Others most likely hear different things when listening.


    I’ve heard both the 550s and 750s and would agree that the 550s are a bit more forward than the 750s—but this is a matter of degree—they are the same family and I think that the differences are of degree.


    In any case both the 550s and 750s are over budget for Kevin.

    Already mentioned in this line are the Rocket 150s and 250s, both of which I consider very good value for the money.
     

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