Seriously need a push in the right direction!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kincade, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. Kincade

    Kincade Second Unit

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    Hey all - first time poster here! I've been reading up here for a year, but haven't really dared ask any newbie questions. ;-)

    I'm currently searching like mad for speakers - my use will be 50% music, 50% HT. I run a concert promotion/production company, so musical reproduction is important to me, as well as a good cinema experience. My receiver will be one of the following:

    Denon 3802/3
    Denon 2802/3
    Sony DA4ES
    Sony DA7ES
    And possibly a Yamaha in that same range.

    Here's where it gets difficult - the demo rooms are horrible here, and for the most part, have not been able to accurately represent what any of the speakers are capable of. My budget is approximately $1000 ( +- 150 or so) for speakers.

    Here's what i'm currently considering -

    JBL northridge, with n310 mains - i did not like the S series at all, although that may have had more to do with Bestbuy's horrible demo situation than anything else - the S seemed to overemphasize the mids.

    Paradigm - my demo experience was extremely disappointing - there's only ONE dealer in utah - and when he found out i'm spending a max of $1k, he pretty much left me to my own devices. I liked the titans, mini monitors, and the monitor 5's (listed respecively to best sounding last) - 9 and 11's were nice as well, but pretty much shot the budget. All seemed to have a very crisp accurate sound. Here i'd be looking at either the titan/mini/mon5's for mains, then the cc370 for center and adp 170/370 for rears.

    Axiom - no dealers i know of here in utah - but they seem highly regarded by those who liked the N JBL's and Paradigm monitor series.

    Energy - the ONLY dealer in utah that has a demo room only carries the veritas line - which i understand will shoot my budget clean out of the water.

    NHT - no dealers that i know of in utah.

    Klipsch - RF311/SF2 - liked both ok for mains, but the hors seemed to wear on me after a while - seemed more like being at work than anything - and they seem like they'd wear on you after a movie.

    Any of these will be coupled with a sony SA-WM40 (to be stuffed with polyfill) that i'm getting for $50 - and when i move out of my apartment, i'm planning on either upgrading to a SVS or adire rava sub. Either upgrade would be wasted now, and quite possibly get me kicked out of my apartment!

    SO - can anyone please advise me on this selection? I've read so many pages in the last weeks my head is spinning! Do I need floor mounted mains for music? Or will the smaller bookshelves coupled with a sub adequately reproduce that experience?

    Any direction you can point me is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance,
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I am not a fan of Energy or Klipsch, so I will not comment on them here. Both are too bright for my taste.

    NHT - a bit pricey for what you get compared to the likes of Axiom and even Paradigm, but still have very good sound and great build quality. Great for music.

    Axiom - On the bright side, but excellent value for what you get. I was very impressed with their sound.

    I am surprised that you did not like the JBL S series (though I have listened to them at Best Buy also, not a good idea). I have heard them in a calibrated system, with proper placement and they sounded very clear in the midrange to me. Excellent value for the price. I find the N series acceptable, not spectacular, even for the price.

    Paradigm - As mains, I'd step past the Titans and go for Minis. I had Minis as mains and was pretty happy with them, but stepped up to 5s for the cleaner midrange (got a good deal). I am using Titans as surrounds and they do just fine. The Minis are now in a second system, for mostly music w/ no sub and doing quite well.

    You do not need large floorstanders for good music, though with a good floorstander, music does tend to be better to my ears.
     
  3. Philip A

    Philip A Agent

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    I was in your situation just 6 months ago...
    I have family with Klipsch. Immediately impressive, but horns are way too fatiguing for me.
    After much research (though I have even more limited listening opportunities than you being in Idaho), I was all set to buy Axioms due to online and professional reviews. The best prices were coming from Ottawa, Canada's Audio Shop (Marc Hallam). I called and was getting ready to buy the Axioms when I decided to ask him if there was anything else in this price point that I should consider. He said that he had a relatively new line of speakers that were beating Axioms in A/B showdowns in his showroom. Marc explained that the venerable Dahlquist name had been acquired by a Canadian speaker manufacturer recently and their speakers were out performing the Axioms, Paradigms, and other similarly priced speakers in his shop.
    I was intrigued and read the professional review on their QX10 (top of the line floor-stander). The review was great and based on multiple recommendations of Marc from online forums, I went for it. My budget notwithstanding, I bought the QX10's and a QX60C up front, and QX6's and a QX4 for my surrounds/rear center.
    These speakers are so impressive that my brother and nephews (three different Klipsch guys) just shook their heads. In fact, one of them is trying to unload his to upgrade to the Dahlquists. These are so stellar in every respect (build quality, tone, presence, soundstage, sheer loudness, detail). Without going on and on, let me say that you should visit with Marc and get his opinion. He has been wonderful to work with.
    If you email him, he will call you. Great service.
    http://www.audioshop.on.ca/
    Good luck,
    Phil
     
  4. Kincade

    Kincade Second Unit

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    john and philip -

    thanks for your quick replies - i appreciate all the advice.

    john - both demo rooms i tried the jbl S in they seemed to sound terrible - overly harsh, high on the mids, not too much bass. i definitely was not impressed.

    after my paradigm experience here, i'm not too interested in spending a lot of money w/ that dealership - although the speakers did sound very good. i'd hate to trouble the dealer to spend my measly $1200.

    i did take philips advice, and called marc - talked to him today for about 90 minutes! hell of a nice guy, and extremely helpful - i would highly recommend calling him if you're looking into any of the speakers he carries. he answered every question i had with enthusiasm, and this guy definitely did what it takes to make me feel comfortable spending my money.

    in any case, i've narrowed it down to one of the following packages:

    Axiom M50 fronts
    VP150 center
    Qs8 rears (or alternatively, the m2i rears)

    OR

    Dahlquist QX10 fronts
    QX60 center
    QX20R rears

    i'm impressed with the QX20R rears - they're switchable as either a direct speaker, or a dipole - good for both situations! that's fairly impressive to me, and saves me a decision right there that i'd have to make w/ the axioms.

    the only thing holding me back is resale - although the dahlquist sound like the better deal and speaker of the two, i'm wondering if resale will be anything with them, as opposed to the axiom, which are clearly more recognizeable for most consumers.

    i suspect i'll end up with the dahlquists - as they sound like the deal of the century for the money. to get into a decent set of paradigm towers, i'd be close to what i'd be in this whole system. gotta love the value of the US dollar in canada!

    any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated before i jump in headfirst! ;-)
     
  5. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    Hi Kincade,
    Thanks for the kind words. Sorry for keeping you on the phone so long, when I get yakking about speakers I just don't know when to shut up. [​IMG]
    Thank you Phil for referring Kincade to our shop!
    Best of the season to you!
     
  6. Kincade

    Kincade Second Unit

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    Marc,

    Thank YOU for taking the time to talk with me and explain in detail a few things i needed to know - NO other dealer has done that for me - not the paradigm dealer, not the energy dealer, and certainly not any of the chain shops i have been to! Talk to you tomorrow...
     
  7. Alex Dydula

    Alex Dydula Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi!

    Its no choice!!

    I have had the Dahlquists for 2 months and they are just plain AWESOME!!

    I have QX10's for mains, a Qx60C center, 125 sub, QX6 rears....biwired!!

    Female voice is really, really good, HT is awesome, 2 ch stereo is awesome, even with the large RPTV in the middle in a fairly small room...

    Marc, is the guy to talk to and he is genuinely interested in what the customer is interested in..

    Alex
    Raleigh
    (oh, have I told you the the Dahlquists are really good!!!)
     
  8. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    It is really hard for me to tell you what to get. Those are all good choices, and it is personal preference. I am sorry that you have had bad demo experiences. That is really the only way to make a good decision. So for what it is worth, I like the Paradigms. I have Mini Monitors up front, CC-370, and Titans for the rear. I am considering upgrading to Monitor 5's up front, because I love those as well. But the Minis are great too. I went 5 months in an apartment while my new house was being built with them alone. They had excellent imaging, and great response. I was amazed at how well they sounded by themselves. The midrange is slightly muffled compared to more expensive speakers, but for your price range they are very controlled. The Titans are almost as good, for considerably less, but their midrange suffers more, and the highs are slightly more harsh. But they work great for rears. And I love the CC-370. It is a monster center channel that handles anything I throw at it with ease. I don't know if that helps any, because your ears need to decide.
     
  9. Kincade

    Kincade Second Unit

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