Satellite/Subwoofer Options; A newbie's view

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by HowardGjr, Mar 18, 2002.

  1. HowardGjr

    HowardGjr Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd say this is my two cents on the "micro speaker/subwoofer" home theater speakers. However, I know so little about it that I'm pretty sure my opinion's not quite worth two cents. I'm the ultimate newbie. I didn't even know what a SPL meter was, let alone how to use one. I don't have a very good vocabulary for describing sound, so please bear with me.

    Please comment and/or provide suggestions. I haven't bought anything yet. If you think I'm going down an "perilous path" with my selections, let me know. Is there a better way to go about comparing speaker systems?

    Overall Impression:

    Almost all of the systems seem to be able to handle the "home theater" function. All of them appeared to me to have enough bass for the "action/adventure" genre films that the sales folk like to demo.

    I could hear significant differences between speaker systems when listening to music. Unfortunately, I had to go to a number of different places to hear all the speakers. It seemed to me to be very hard to compare speakers when each place had a different setup and room size. In general, most of the systems that I listened to sounded a little more "harsh" than when I compared them to the sound of a system with larger (and in most cases more expensive) speakers. I explained it to my wife as the difference between drinking a good young cabernet sauvingon and a excellent mature complex cabernet sauvingon. Not a perfect analogy, but the best I have at the moment. (I'm a better drinker than listener).

    Note: Almost all of the systems seemed like they had way too much bass when I first listened to a CD. In many cases, I had to ask the salesperson to turn down the bass. I guess movie sound effects are more impressive with a heavy infusion of bass. To my ears, many of these systems sound pretty bad with bass settings are cranked all the way up.

    Is there a vast difference between salespeople in the business? Some guys appeared to know every detail and nuance of all the systems. At other stores, the salespeople seemed to only know the difference in price and had a very difficult time getting the systems configured properly.

    Assuming the systems are similarly priced, does the receiver manufacturer make a significant difference in the sound? Would a typical casual listener notice the difference between receivers with the speaker systems I listed below.

    My Speaker Systems Notes:

    1. B&W LM-1 with a B&W Sub that I don't remember the name of. I liked the sound of these alot. They sounded very clear, but not as harsh as some of the other systems. If I shut my eyes, I got a good sense of where instruments were located on an imaginary stage. They sounded quick. Not as harsh as most of the other systems. A little too big but pretty cool looking to my eyes. Integra 9.1? Receiver

    Sound 8, Appearance 6.

    2. Boston Acoustics System 9500. Great with movies, very dynamic. Sounds a little harsh (shrill?) at louder levels. Nice size but a little boring. Yamaha RXV-3000 receiver.

    Sound 6.5, Appearance 7.

    3. Boston Acoustics System 9000 II. Very Good with movies, very dynamic. A little less bass then the 9500. Otherwise, very similar sound. Very similar look to 9000. Yamaha RXV-3000 receiver.

    Sound 6, Appearance 7.

    4. Energy Take 5.2. Heard in a different room than Boston Acoustics. However, it sounded very similar. Maybe a little less bass punch. Definitely sounded "cheaper" (tinny) than some of the other systems I listened to.

    Sound 5, Appearance 6.

    5. Energy Encore. Bigger Speakers...But I really liked the sound of this system. Definitely the choice of the two Energy systems. Satellites seemed well integrated with bass. Richer more complex sound. Liked significantly better than Kef system. The big shiny speakers won't fit well with my wife's plan.

    Sound 8.5, Appearance 5.

    6. Bose Lifestyle 35. Terrible listening environment. Great satellite speaker size. Got the feeling I was being pressured to make a decision. DVD Demo sounded impressive. Sales people didn't want to spend much time with me so I didn't get a real good impression of how they sounded with music.

    Sound 5, Appearance 8

    7. Definitive Tech Cinema Pro Cinema 100. These had a terrible hissing, crackling popping sound. I'm guessing the speakers were damaged, but, the salesperson seemed to think they were ok. All of the people that I was with heard the same sounds. It even sounded like it was having problems while listening to a movie. They are a nice size, if a little boring to look at.

    Sound 3, Appearce 6

    8. Kef 2005. Listened to these in the same session as products from Energy. I didn't really care for them a whole lot. I definitely liked the Encore system better. The Encore system seemed simultaneously warmer and more focused. However, the KEF system appeared to do pretty well when you weren't sitting directly in the center of the room. Nice size, kind of wierd looking to my eye. A little too George Jetson.

    Sound 6, Appearance 5. Unknown Onkyo Receiver

    9. Paradigm Cinema 90. Same store as definitive tech system. Sounded a little harsh at high levels. Bass didn't seem well integrated with satellites but at least no hissing, cracking, popping sound. Listening is constantly interupted by someone playing James Taylor somewhere else in the store. Starting to think it's not the speaker system but, instead the system is setup properly. I'm getting the feeling the people at this store are pretty clueless. Very impressive when listening to the effects on "The Fast and the Furious." Denon 2802

    10. Gallo Micro Systems. These seem softer and less harsh than the other systems. Sound excellent when listening to female vocals. Initially, the bass was over bearing. This was corrected by adjusting the level on the powered subwoofer. Smaller demo room than some of the others. Very cool looking particularly in stainless. Don't care for the stands. NAD Receiver..not sure of model

    Sound 8, Looks 9.

    Conclusion:

    I really liked the Gallo system. Excluding price, it was the best compromise between sight and sound. To me, the Gallo's seemed more mellow than most of the other offerings. I really liked the sound of the Energy Encore. It's just a little to "big and shiny" for the room. Now, if I can just get some of you experts to suggest an appropriate receiver for the gallos, I'll be all set.

    Feel free to skip this stuff if you want...it's just some background info.

    Background:

    In the process of redoing our family room, I convinced my wife to let me install a home theater system (60% movies/40% music). Our family room is pretty small; roughly 14x14x9 and pretty irregularly shaped. Prior to looking for speakers, I already decided that I was not going to replace the "display device." I already own a 2001(?) 32" WEGA Sony TV which seems to fit the scale of the room. My original thought was to get one of the Sony "Dream" systems or the Bose Lifestyle system. My wife liked the Bose system when we saw the demo at one of the outlet stores. She really liked the fact that the speakers were so small that they didn't dominate the asthetics of the room. The moral of the story; no big speakers need apply and no black boxes. To make a long story short, my buddy suggested that the "integrated" systems didn't perform as well as the "component systems." He suggested that I go with him to a "high end" audio/ home theater stores and "demo" some systems. Needless to say, I went with him and listened to systems that sounded much better than the Sony or Bose offerings. Being anal retentive, I had listen to "a whole bunch" of systems before I picked one.

    Listening Habits:

    I'm no audiophile or videophile. I've never really even had a good stereo system. I did grow up with a family with eclectic taste in music. My dad loves swing music, Benny Goodman, Les Brown, Glenn Miller... My brother, the keyboard player, was always blaring Emerson, Lake and Palmer, some kind of early R&B song. My mom only listens to country and gospel music.

    I mostly listen to jazz; Early Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck Stan Getz, and Dexter Gordon. I like vocal music from Diana Krall, Chet Baker, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra,Rebecca Pidgeon and Nat King Cole. I like some classical music and will occasionaly go to the symphony. When I get a chance, I'll listen to some more modern groups. Over recent years, I've liked the Wallflowers, Smashing Pumpkins, Blink 182, Lenny Kravitz, Gravity Kills, Sheryl Crow, and Santana.
     
  2. Ricky c

    Ricky c Stunt Coordinator

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    If you can go listen to the Def.Tech 100's somewhere else.By your desrciption they didn't sound right.I personally have that system 100's w/200tl sub.It's awesome to say the least.The procinemas are probably the best sub/sat system on the mkt,so i have been told.I also tend to believe this as true.Try to listen again.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Howard. Welcome to HTF! [​IMG]
    You discoverd something that we often advise people shoping for speakers: Music is a more reveling test of a speaker than a DVD movie.
    And just like your wine analogy, each speaker has a different "flavor". You really need to sample each and decide which you prefer.
    And the stores/salespeople - some are like drinking wine from crystal, others are like using a paper or stryofoam cup. (Ugh).
    You did an extensive ammount of auditions. Great job. Now...you should do it again.
    Take 2 of your favorite CD's and go back to your top 2 choices and listen again. You will be suprised at how your opinions may change with a second listen. When the same set impresses on 2 visits - then you have a contender.
    The Gallo speakers are not the most popular (read: they dont have a large distribution system). But they are well reguarded. A co worker has a set and loves them. They have also made the "Stereophile Guide to Home Theater" annual recommended list.
    The Gallo's are not known to be "picky" in terms of electronics. See what kind of a package your dealer will put together. You can sometimes get 10-15% off by buying speakers & electronics together. See what your dealer will put together for electronics, then post in the "receivers" section to get the reputation.
    (Hopefully, the dealer that sells Gallo/NAD equipment has helpfull, knowledgable people that you can reward with your business.)
    If you are looking at a A/V receiver, I would suggest you look at Yamaha, Dennon as first brands, then Onkyo/JVC/Kenwood as seconds. I would like you to be in the $500 ballpark, but most of these lines have less-expensive models that sound good as well.
    Oh..we have a term for how acceptiable some equipment is: SAF - Spousal Acceptance Factor. It's the high SAF of Bose speakers that keep Bose in business.
    Good luck and let us know what you decide.
     
  4. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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  5. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    There are several things I'm going to point out if you're a newbied that imho must be done for a more fair comparison.

    1) bring a spl meter and match levels preferably with something like video essentials.

    2) make certain that all speakers are set to small and sub is on (since it looks like you are sub/sat shopping).

    3) most stores are very notorious about have bass/treble controls maxed, bass channel level preout maxed (or even all channels maxed), and loudness on the AVR set to on (some done by customers, some done by ignorant sales staff). Also check the back of most powered subs and lower their gain (volume control) to 1/4 setting (most stores have this maxed and the sub then just booms with poor pitch definition, if any, with no headroom) and raise their X-over point to the max (so there won't be an interaction between the AVR X-over and the subs, this will cause the peaks and dips to swing away from flat and usually do more harm than good). Make certain that DSPs are turned off also.

    4) toe in speakers and try to get them at ear level as well.

    5) Make certain the wires are going from AVR to speakers and not thru a switch box (which can harm sound if it's a low quality unit).

    6) bring sources that you are familiar with.

    7) test how it also sounds with DRC or midnight theater mode to see if it has acceptable sound for those times you might want to watch it when everyone else in your family wants to sleep.
     
  6. Lee Weiss

    Lee Weiss Stunt Coordinator

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    Not that I know much of anything more than you, and I have not auditioned any of the systems you referred to, but I purchased some Polk rt15's for rears to replace my Polk M2's that are shot from a defective speaker bracket. Big difference in sound!

    I stayed with Polk cause I have Polk mains and center channel. I did audition a couple of satellite systems to see if I should just replace all speakers becuase I need space.

    Every time I closed my eyes, I felt like there was something missing in the midrange with small satellites. This was all with the same receiver in the same room. I was pleasantly suprised with the high-end Polk system though. You may want to consider floorstanding mains or at least listen to them.

    Whatever you choose, enjoy.
     
  7. Marshall Sander

    Marshall Sander Stunt Coordinator

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    Good post. I am also looking for a satellite/sub system. I also know next-to-nothing about speakers and different brands, except that I have read this and other forums trying to learn.
    It's hard to believe the Gallo speakers can have good sound quality in their small package -- I think they are the smallest next to Bose. Have you considered the Gallo Due speakers?
    I have also been referred to a new system from Cerwin-Vega, which was not mentioned in your post. Did you look at those speakers? The are at http://www.cerwin-vega.com/products/index.html
     
  8. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Location:
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    Real Name:
    Greg
     
  9. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Listen to some PSB speakers too. I have a set in my HT and I really love them for both music and movies. About your room. I have my setup in a 12 x 14 foot room and let me tell you one of the biggest drawbacks. The squar-ish shape and reflective back wall. If you can pull the couch away from the back wall even a foot or maybe two feet and then put something sound absorbing on the wall, you'll be better off in the long run. As a test, I often listen to music and cup my ears and face the back wall. The sound is so strong I figure that the reflection is too harsh. In other words, loud in small room equals bad sounding. Avoid loud volume without treating the walls with sound absorbtion. It ruins the spatial too. I am currently experimenting.

    Back to the speakers...like I said, check out PSB if at all possible, but the others seems good. Avoid BOSE all together. You don't need lots of technical explaination or senseless bashing to understand just take a look at these simple reasons why BOSE doesn't sound as good as most other speakers. Small tweeters (1 inch dome being the most popular) really sound very very nice and smooth in my experience and BOSE uses a 2 1/2 " driver as a tweeter which is too large for my tastes AND this driver is also the midrange. Also, BOSE speakers have to transition from the midrange down to bass reproduced by their subwoofer. There is a hole there where it sounds poor with music cause the response of the 2 1/2" tweeter/woofer can't go low enough and the subwoofer can't and shouldn't go high enough to fill the gap. Avoid BOSE.

    Toeing in speakers. If the distance between the speakers is almost as big as the distance from you to the speakers, I'd "experiment" with toeing them in. You end up with better imaging and sound at various locations. You actually improve the sweet spot because the tweeters aim right at you, and yet, the performance at the sides is better too because you trade off intensity and time. For instance, if speakers are not toed in and you sit roughly in front of the right speaker, you not only are closer to the right speaker, but you are also closer to its direct radiating sweet spot for it s tweeter and the farther speaker is not only farther away from you, but not aimed at you. If the speakers are toed in, the closer speaker is no longer aiming right at you. The trade off isn't enough to make the seating position irrelevant, but at least the other speaker is at similarly aimed as the one you are closest. Again, experiment, but I have found toeing in the speakers doesn't hurt imaging and only enhances it (not to mention lessens or helps to minimize sidewall reflections which might be too strong.)
     
  10. HowardGjr

    HowardGjr Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow...thanks all the comments. I think I got more out of your responses than I did from almost all the salespeople I've talked to in the last months. Great to see all constructive advice...especially since I'm not really sure what I'm talking about. Thanks again.

    To clarify some things, I did bring my own CD's. Each time I demo'd the receivers I brought Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" and a Diana Krall CD (various CD's). I've heard these CD's many, many times so I thought they would make a good point of reference. Is there a particular type of music that I should bring that would highlight performance differences between systems?

    SAF is of prime importance. I actually like the look of floor standing speakers, but it's a definite no-go on the domestic front. BTW...I did get a chance to listen to a B&W floor standing system (Nautilus?) that sounded spectacular. It was paired up with a bunch of brushed aluminum? components that I think were made by the Krell (?) company. Amazing sound!

    Finally, after cruising the forum for awhile it seems like upgrades are inevitable. In the future, would I be able to "Upgrade" my HT with different manufacturer's speakers. Is this possible? Most of the posts I've seen recommend buying speakers from one company. Could someone explain to me why this is the case?

    More questions: Has anyone heard the Due' speakers from Gallo? Would they be a reasonable choice for the center channel (and/or) the front two speakers if I decided to spend more money.

    Addressing Specific Posts:

    Bob: Thanks for the advice. I will try to audition at least a couple of the systems before making my final choice. Fortunately, I found two dealers in the area that carry gallo and both have been VERY knowledgeable. One of the dealers carries mostly NAD receivers. The other carries Yamaha, Integra, and Rotel. I'll definitely try to work out a package deal.

    RickyC: I read a review of the DefTech systems that was very positive. I'm pretty sure in retrospect that something was messed up in the seutp. I'll try to find a different place to demo them.

    StephenL: I'm really a newbie! Is a crossover a high/low band pass filter that are present on the output of the receiver and on the input of the speaker? Do Gallo satellites even have a crossover? or do you mean the crossover between the sub/satellite? Help...I'm confused and I can't get up.

    Robert: Wow...you're a little over my head. Do dealers usually let you adjust the settings when you demo speakers? If so, could you point me to a tutorial that would show me how to adjust levels using an SPL? What does the small setting do on the receiver? Where would I find it in a typical receiver setup? I'm assuming DSP are digital signal processing algorithms that are used to process the sound in the receiver. How do I go about turning them off? Do all receivers use these?

    PSB Poster (sorry I forgot the name): I found a place that has PSB speakers in my area. I'll try to go give them a listen. What is it about Canada that so many reputable speaker companies are located there? I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  11. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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    The crossover in the receiver or preamp/processor has high-pass and low-pass filters for the main speakers and subwoofer respectively. Here's an example. The THX crossover has a high-pass filter frequency response of 12 dB per octave below the -3 dB point of 80 Hz and a low-pass (subwoofer output) frequency response of 24 dB per octave above the -6 dB point of 80 Hz. The THX crossover is designed to work with main speakers that are also down 3 dB at 80 Hz and rolling off at 12 dB per octave. The combined response of the high-pass filter and main speakers is 24 dB per octave below the -6 dB point of 80 Hz, so the high-pass and low-pass response is symmetrical. In theory, this design keeps the main speakers and subwoofer in phase and provides a relatively flat frequency response. These articles explain the THX crossover:
    http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/Buy...p?ArticleID=66
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...tspeakers.html
    If the satellite speakers do not have reasonably flat response down to the crossover frequency, there will be a notch (loss of upper bass) between the subwoofer and the satellites. In addition you risk distortion and damage to the satellites by sending them low frequencies that they can't handle. If you must buy small satellites then look for a receiver with an adjustable crossover that can be set at an appropriate frequency.
     
  12. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Good that you're really researching thoroughly before you buy. I was actually able to take home a pair of PSB 6T's to my house for 1 whole day to demo (leaving my visa card number of course!) [​IMG] But what a good experience. I was so happy with the speakers I choose them after 30 days of hard thinking. They were larger and more expensive than the other speakers I was comparing them to.
    I don't know why we have a good number of speaker manufacturers, but I guess there are a few, thats for sure.
    Apart from a different subwoofer, I would recommend getting speakers from the same manufacturer as its best to match the tonal quality for home theater. As an examples, the PSB Image series is the middle line and provides what I feel is by far the best value and the matching is unique. All the speakers, the front 6T left and right, 9C center and 2B surrounds have the exact same tweeter and midrange with the exception of the 6T fronts which also have 2 additional woofers [​IMG]
    There are a few different models, but suffice to say you can match them well and they sound great to my ears. I used to own a pair of Boston Acoustics, and the move to PSB speakers was simply a move to more efficient and smoother less distorted sound. Not a huge improvement, as the Bostons were hardy old buggers, a noticable and much appreciated improvement [​IMG]
    Good luck in your speaker searching [​IMG]
     
  13. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    Howard, IMHO you should seriously consider buying the "best" main channel loudspeakers than you can, and add on from there, especially since you will be listening to 40% music. Also remember that many stores will do a very poor job of setting up certain speakers. The speakers that I own have sounded very flat and uninvolving at many stores I have been to, because they were set up very poorly and/or used with associated equipment which did not match well with them. There are many great speaker choices out there. Go with what you feel with match your aesthetic and sonic preferences. Good luck!
     
  14. HowardGjr

    HowardGjr Stunt Coordinator

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    Damn...I'm addicted, I hate when that happens.

    Three months ago I thought receivers played on football teams...Now, I'm actually interested in when the Outlaw 950 pre/pro comes out

    After another round of listening, some negotiation I decided to go with the following equipment for my "entry" into home theater.

    1. Gallo Micro System -- Of the micro satellite systems, I liked this one the best. I think my "naive" ears are overly sensitive to what a number of people characterize as bright. I'm also guessing that being an "aging male" that my high frequency hearing isn't very good (maybe gone) because I'm not bothered by the attenuated high frequencies as much as other people. Thanks for all the advice, almost of the speakers sounded better when I went for the reaudition. Unfortunately, I never did find DefTech speakers that I thought were working properly.

    2. Integra DTR 6.2 (Receiever) -- I like the sound of the Integra and the remote. I'm going with the Integra over the Onkyo primarily because the store is giving me a excellent discount on the package and they don't carry Onkyo. Integra probably represents the lower (lowest) end of the equipment in that store.

    3. Integra DPS 7.2 (DVD Player)-- I loved the sound of the DVD Audio. I know it's very pricy (MSRP) but I'm getting it at a very good discount.

    4. Outlaw ICBM-1 -- The receiver has a fixed crossover at 80 Hz and although the receiver's specified frequency range goes down to 80 Hz, I'm guessing that's...well optimistic. Regardless, since I'm using a sub/sat combo I'll need it for DVD Audio. Thank you StephenL for pointing this issue out to me. Plus..it should be interesting to play with different crossovers and configurations.

    5. As yet unspecified CD (SACD probably) so that I don't "burn" up the Integra. Any Suggestions?

    6. Some A/B switch boxes for the audio cable so that I can fool around with switching the inputs to the ICBM.

    7. Radio Shack SPL.

    8. Misc IR "Extenders"; The components will be located in an enclosure out of sight of the TV.

    Almost unbelievably, this is still going to come with a sticker price less than the Bose system I was originally considering...Damn, I was lucky to find this site.

    As for the future:

    1. Next Year:

    1. Upgrade TV hopefully to plasma if the prices drop.

    2. Upgrade Main and center speakers to Gallo Due' or some other speakers. I'll move micros to reading room with Gallo sub.

    3. New Sub. I'll start with SVS. Even newbie's like me can feel the love coming from/to the SVS guys.

    2. 6 months:

    1. Define system for my home office. (Less SAF so I can go with bigger speakers. Will almost exclusively be used for music). Right now, cost/performance based on recommendations has me leaning toward some set of Swan Divas Speakers...No thoughts yet or receivers, amps, etc.

    Again, thanks for your help. I'm sure I'll be asking for more as I go to set this beast up. One final thought...Vince the ongoing FAQ for new users is incredibly useful. Good stuff.
     
  15. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

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    Robert, unless you are buying a couple of thousand dollars in merchandise (and the dealer has a commitment on that) how many stores will allow you to change all of the settings, levels and placements that you mentioned? If most do then I have clearly been shopping in the wrong stores for the past few years.
     
  16. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

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    Dave: You should be able to "play" with the equipement if they don't let you, walk out, it's as simple as that! You have to be comforatble with what you are going to purchase and if they won't let you they have a serious problem. It's not like what you are doing is irreversible, unless they are selling junk and have something to hide!

    Howard: Glad you picked up something YOU liked after all those auditions, good for you! That's something most people won't do, you took the time and got what you wanted!

    I do have one comment, I find it odd you thought the Energy Take 5.2 was "bad" compared to others. It has received excellent reviews everywhere, I guess maybe the store had them set incorrectly. I do not have them but have heard them and thought they sounded fairly good.
     
  17. HowardGjr

    HowardGjr Stunt Coordinator

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    James--
    Sorry...forgot to add some comments about the "re-audition process"
    The first store I auditioned them in had the bass way to high...In the second audition, I paid more attention to setup and all of speaker sets sounded much better. On my second take, I liked the Take 5.2 system much better. I still liked the Gallo system better...but it wasn't a side by side comparison.
    To be honest, I probably would have gone with the Energy Encore system but it failed SAF muster for that room. I'm not sure why, but both times I heard that system I was impressed.
    I never got to hear a decent set of DefTech speakers. I only found the one dealer and when I went to hear them again, they demo was constantly interrupted by someone cranking movies or other music. They still had the crackling sound, so I'm pretty sure the guys in the store either had damaged speakers or a really poor configuration.
    I also listened to the Boston Acoustics 10K system. Very Nice...but a little out of my price range and I couldn't get a the same level of discount at that store.
    Finally, I'm real new at this so my listening skills and setup knowledge aren't very good...a euphemism for "damn near non-existent My opinions are that of an untrained ear, make sure you audition the speakers yourself.
     
  18. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

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    Howard, that makes more sense, I have never heard the Galo's so no comment, I'm sure they sound nice.

    I'm lucky in the fact that I am building a dedicated room in a house I paid for so my SO has NO say, nor does she really care :).

    I'm going with 6 B&W 602 S3's + CHT-15 sub :) yummy.
     
  19. HowardGjr

    HowardGjr Stunt Coordinator

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    James,

    I just went to your site...I have Home Theater Envy. Maybe sometime in the future I'll get time and money to build a dedicated home theater in the basement.

    FYI...My wife doesn't give me much grief about the $$$. But we live in an old victorian home and she just spent a lot of time rehabbing the room (plaster repair, paint, shelving, new furniture etc) so she has the right to make the "decorating call."

    I still need to find a rack for the components. What racks are you using? (I get some say so in the racks...they are going in a modified closet and will be out of view).
     

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