Satelite speakers..Optimal system..Recommendations

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Richard_s, Mar 25, 2002.

  1. Richard_s

    Richard_s Second Unit

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    Upgrade of sound system for my Home Theater system. I have the Sony 53HS10 now want improved sound but want to stay with satelite (small surrround and front speakers). What I have now is an older Pioneer DPL receiver with sound fields and Bose AM7 fronts and Bose model 100 rear. What I don't like is that the bose system does not have good midrange capability and is too "brilliant" for my liking on voice and instruments like violin. I listen to Music and also use for Movies.
    Seems like If I get a new receiver that gives me the ability of setting my speakers to "small" and LFE that I can use satelite size speakers along with a subwoofer or subwoofers that will blend with the satelites (set on small) to give me excellent response at all frequencies (highs, lows and midrange). I could live without room shaking sound what I am after is beautiful sound for listening (movies and music both classical and rock like Dave Matthews/ Pink Floyd as examples)
    Also my room is 16X24 cathedral ceiling (15'high in center) so it is an acoustic challenge. TV centered on the 24 foot wall.
    I plan to buy a receiver also but based on what I read here I am waiting until the new models come out so I am trying to "budget myself" for a new receiver and speaker system.
    I would really appreciate some recommendations for a very good satelite based system. I have no idea what such a system will cost but that is what a budget is for I will spread the purchases over time (or wait). My guess is that I can get a reasonably prices receiver and am better off putting my money into the speakers.
    Thanks All [​IMG]
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    If you don't like the missing midrange of Bose, then you need to get away from satellite speakers. You can stick with small bookshelf speakers, but again, you will still be stepping up greatly in size from Bose cubes to get good midrange. Personally, I feel it's worth it. [​IMG]
    What it really comes down to, is most or all tiny satellites do not have what it takes to give good midrange because they either begin to or completely roll of in the 70-80Hz range naturally, just due to the physical limitations of driver size.
    IMO, what I look for in a bookshelf speaker is that it can do at least 60Hz, and 50-55Hz would be better. Then, even if you use a lower crossover point of maybe 80Hz, they will still cover all the way down to where the receiver's x-over slope rolls completely off without losing response.
     
  3. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    2) Ease with blending with any sub of choice - including the highly sought after SVS (no mid/lower bass holes between satellite & sub)
    3) Cinema Theater Dynamic Playback SPL (w/sub - easily reach 106+ dB SPL crystal clear and dynamic fast peaks or approx. -10 dB below REF Level, without fear of blowing a drivers - ex. "Tomorrow Never Dies / SE" opening terrorist depot chaos / destruction - my HT/family room 20'x30' w/10' high vaulted ceiling)
    **For a sub, you can get the highly acclaimed SVS 25-31PCi, another overachiever @ it's INTRO Price of $549.00 +S/H! If your budget is lower, many HTF'ers have used the Sony SA-WM40 - the lowest price thru the internet is $139.87 +S/H.
    For more JBL NSP1 INFO & Reviews w/links, see my web page Why you should add JBL N & S Series to your audition list!.
    NOTE: Because my website is 'free', hosted by GeoCities, if too many HT enthusiasts visit, GeoCities will shut it down for an hour or so because it exceeded the specified 'freebie' Data Transfer Rate. Sorry about that, just bookmark it and visit my site an hour later or when everyone has gone to bed!
    Phil
     
  4. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    You need to have a budget in mind. Speakers range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. I reccommend small bookshelf speakers. They will be bigger, but you will get better performance and a fuller range until you get a good sub. With sub/satelitte sets you have to get all 6 speakers at once because the satelittes rely on the sub. With Bookshelf speakers you can buy a much better pair of front speakers and then save for the center, rear and then sub. I recommend the Paradigm Performance or Monitor line for higher quality speakers on a budget. Go to www.paradigm.com to take a look and find a dealer near you to go take a test listen.
    Whatever you do, listen to a lot of different speakers, some cheaper and some more expensive than you are thinking. That way you can decide what sounds best to you.
     
  5. matthew_rm

    matthew_rm Second Unit

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    Yeah, I think the little paradigms sound AWSOME for movies. Havn't heard them much, but when I have, I was impressed!
     
  6. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    I agree with John about the bookshelf speakers being much better, but if you have to stick with sat's I would suggest the Def tech Procinema systems. There are three sizes, 4", 5.25", and 6.5". All are exceptional for the size they come in. If they are too pricey for you consider the Paradigm cinema, or the energy take 5 system.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The Energy Take 5.2 got a good review in S&V recently, though I would want to upgrade the Sub, in which case the JBL package would be a better way to go.

    Although I own Paradigm speakers, I have never listened to the Cinema series.

    I did listen to the Def Tech Pro Cinema 80s and 100s, and I was not pleased with them for the price (full range, no sub, SR7200, CC3000 and my own CD). Not bad, but they wouldn't be my choice.
     
  8. Richard_s

    Richard_s Second Unit

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    Just the information I am looking for I really appreciate the detail here. I have some research to do based on the information there is alot here to absorb. I guess I will give up on satelites. Seems like a bookshelf subwoofer system would work for me. I like the idea of getting a solid sounding system with 5 bookshelf (or 6 with a rear middle) and add the subwoofer later.

    Budget well if I go bookshelf with sub then maybe : receiver $400 range, 5 speakers could swing $200 each subwoofer $300 That would keep it in reach.

    Given my budget would any of you recommend anything different. I still would like bookshelves on the smaller side so is there a favorite out there for a bookshelf based system. Also should the rears be the same as the fronts (dolby digital 5.1 / DPL II)
     
  9. Sanjiva

    Sanjiva Agent

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    I would strongly recommend Def Tech ProMon 100s. They are awesome for the size. I found them putting out "cleaner" sound than even Paradigm minimonitors (only other speaker which came close in audio quality). But without a sub, minimonotors sounded better. Since, you would anyway be running them with a sub, ProMon would be a great choice in my opinion.
     
  10. Dave Vaughn

    Dave Vaughn Stunt Coordinator

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    Richard,

    Since you are in MA, you can also check out Cambridge Soundworks. Although there are people on this forum who don't like them, I am one of the few who do. Check out their MC300's as main speakers. With a good sub, they are the way to go. Just my .02.

    Dave
     
  11. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I didn't pay attention to location, and since you are in Ma as Dave pointed out, I would definitely give Cambridge a listen. However, I would suggest the M60s or M80s. Now that the prices have dropped, they are very decent performers for the price, and you can often find some on sale or B-stock in the stores.
    Cambridge - Hifi.com
    If you want excellent performance from a fairly small speaker at a good price, my recommendation would be the Paradigm Atom. Around $180/pair, very accurate, decent bass response and just a great all around speaker. I chose one model up for my bedroom, the Titan (right around $200/pr), because of it's better bass response so I could run them without a sub for music.
    Phil sounds like a JBL commercial [​IMG] Do you get paid to rep them Phil ? J/K [​IMG] I'm on for this Wed.
     
  13. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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  14. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Richard, I'll second the Cambridge Soundworks Newton line - especially the bookshelves. I have M50s (as big as I could go) and they're a nice pair of speakers. I'd also second the Paradigm Atoms which should be about the same price per pair (~$200/pair). The CSW M60s and M80s are a little more but if you catch one of the sales, you can get the M80s for $300/pair. Paradigm also has bigger bookshelves in their performance line.

    good luck,

    --tom
     
  15. Richard_s

    Richard_s Second Unit

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    Zeroing in. You are all great[​IMG]
    Based on many recommendations It seems like I should go with the Sony SA-WM40. Based on this now I need to pick the main center and surround speakers. Price seems in line with all recommendations so that is not the issue. This weekend I will audition the paradigm (dealer 10 miles away) and the JBL speakers (Best Buy easy to home audition N24/N26). I am leaning towards the JBL N24 (9.5x6.5x4.75) or the Paradigm Atom (10.5x6.5x8.5) due to their size being best for me. The cambridge units are all quite large in comparison and a larger price tag to match but I will audition those as well. If I have to go larger to get the sound I want then I will have to concider the larger units but the ATOM and the N24 with a decent SUB may be just fine. Configurations below What do you recommend for the center in the Paradym setup? Do I have the surround speaker choices correct? Would you get the Sony, size for the SUB is not an issue for me(quality of sound more important to me than the room shaking ability for effect). Also on the SUB SVS 25-31PCi at $549.00 too high for me but maybe there is something better than the Sony in the $300 range.
    Speaker system specifications:
    using JBL
    subwoofer Sony SA-WM40 (OK with the N24?)
    N24 Front and Surround (will audition N26 also)
    N-Center
    using Paradigm:
    Subwoofer Sony SA-WM40 (OK with the ATOM?)
    Atom Front and surround (will audition Titan)
    Center????? What is recommended here
    Is the "S" any better than the "N" JBL line??
    The $10,000 dollar question..Will these two setups (above)outperform the BOSE AM7 w/model 100 rears. Just seems very inexpensive compared to BOSE but then again BOSE could just be overpriced (good thing I got my AM7 system used for $350 including the two model 100 rears)
     
  16. John_E

    John_E Stunt Coordinator

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    I auditioned the N24, Atom, and Titan. I ended up buying 4 Atoms, a CC170, and a PDR-10. The JBL's were nice, but I liked both offerings from Paradigm better. I think that the big difference for me was the Paradigm 10" sub vs. the JBL 10" sub. The PDR-10 was much more accurate. I didn't notice too much of a difference between the Atoms and the Titan when paired with a sub. John Garcia is right when he says that the Titans are better than the Atoms w/o a sub. My wife preferred the size of the Atoms for our family room, so I didn't argue. Also, for me, there was hardly a price difference for me between JBL & Paradigm. I bought the Paradigm setup for $625US ($1000 Canadian). If you can get to Canada, you can save some $$.

    I think you will be happy with whichever you choose. Both JBL & Paradigm have an excellent offering at this price level. I wouldn't look anywhere else.

    Good Luck.
     
  17. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The CC-170 uses identical drivers as the Atom, and should pair up perfectly with them, as well as the Titans. The 270 (less common in the states for some reason) uses the same drivers as the Titans, and is quite a bit larger, but will still work fine with either of them as mains.

    I can't comment on the SA-WM40 pairing with them, because I haven't heard any of them together.

    I had Titans as mains, and Atoms as rears. I stepped up a little to Mini Monitors for mains, and moved the Titans to the back. Sounds great to me.
     
  18. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Richard,

    The Cambridge Soundworks Newton M50s are about the same

    size as the Paradigm Atoms and they should be about the

    same price. They've been on sale in the past for $200/pair

    which is what I got them for. If you go to audition them, make sure to mention this fact. I've found them to be quite willing to take some $$$ off their high prices if you ask.

    As for subs, take a look at the PDR-8 or PDR-10 from Paradigm. For a bigger room, you'll need a PDR-10 most likely.

    good luck,

    --tom
     
  19. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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  20. David_Stein

    David_Stein Second Unit

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    with the PCi's starting to ship, if you wanted to get an SVS i would just hang around the fs/ft forum and see if something pops up. if you have more time the PC+'s are on the way sometime soon, and im sure plenty of people will be upgrading then...
     

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