smaller speaker systems....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Angus, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. Angus

    Angus Auditioning

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    Hello all...
    I am new to this hifi chat system. I just picked up a Yamaha rxv-3200 and a Denon 1600 dvd player. I am going to have to add a surround sound system soon. My living room is not a large one, and the best layout would be a system that has smaller speakers that I could mount on the wall...at least the front/center speakers, the rears I could use stands. Anyway, I currently only have two speakers...I have had a set of Bose for 15 years. They have worked fine. Bose has a surround system that I am sure everyone is aware, and that size of speaker system is along the lines of what I am looking for. However, I understand there is a large Anti-Bose following for reasons I am not entirely clear (again, I am new to this forum), and would appreciate any opinions on any systems that could be recommended.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jonathan K

    Jonathan K Stunt Coordinator

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  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Basically, and I will try not to flame BOSE, the product they put out costs FAR more than what it is actually worth, while at the same time not delivering sound quality of similarly priced, and often even less expensive, speakers. This is, of course, regarding the tiny cubes.

    If you are going to spend that kind of money on a DVD player and receiver, they why waste it on a set of BOSE speakers?

    Small, frequency limited speakers simply do not cut the mustard. This is a fact, not an opinion.

    One thing you haven't mentioned is your price range.
     
  4. MatthewK

    MatthewK Stunt Coordinator

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    As an alternative to BOSE that are still relatively small in size and many feel have far superior performance are the Energy Take 5.2 series speakers.

    Check them out... I think you will agree that they are a step up from the BOSE satellite speakers and that they still satisfy your size criterion.

    Matthew
     
  5. Jonathan K

    Jonathan K Stunt Coordinator

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    Also, Axiom Audio would be nice... really, look at those last two links of mine, they are very educational...
     
  6. Angus

    Angus Auditioning

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    This is all helpful....much appreciated.
    In regards to a price range....$1200ish?
     
  7. Jonathan K

    Jonathan K Stunt Coordinator

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    So you have a DVD player, you have a reciever that can do DTS and DD5.1, and you are looking for a physically small 5.1 speaker system consisting of 5 unamplified bookshelf-type speakers and an active sub to complete the system for $1200, right?
     
  8. Angus

    Angus Auditioning

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    I want the best that I can get, for in the $1200ish range (I could not go higher than $1500). But I simply don't have the room for some mammoth front speakers, let alone rears.
     
  9. Jonathan K

    Jonathan K Stunt Coordinator

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    That's okay -- are 'normal' sized bookshelves alright? Could you describe the dimensions of the room and the seating area, where walls are and such? Lots of speakers are wall mountable...

    Ideally, the front speakers might be mounted on the wall in front of you, as bookshelves, and the rear speakers would be directly above and beside (maybe a little behind) the listening area, on the side walls beside you, and the center might be above the TV, and the sub in a corner? Could you draw a picture or take a photo or something?
     
  10. Angus

    Angus Auditioning

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    Its an odd shaped room...but I'll give it a try....
    Imagine a rectangle 15ft long X 12ft wide. The front right 1/3 of the room is open for the hallway and a stairwell, thus there is no wall there, only the left front 2/3 has a wall. Also, in the front left corner is a fireplace built cattycornered.
    In the left rear, occupying 2/3 of the rear wall space is an outpouching that resembles a bay window. It extends the room another 6ft, but is in a semi circular fashion. My couch fits in the semi circle.

    Confusing I am sure.

    Book shelf speakers I think would be too big. I am dealing with a limited amount of front wall space to mount both a left and right speaker, and I would like to get the center channel up there too, but it could always go on the tv like I've seen most centers.

    Does that help explain my situation? Its tough to describe....
     
  11. Jonathan K

    Jonathan K Stunt Coordinator

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    Angus, check your verizon email.
     
  12. MatthewK

    MatthewK Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the Energy Take 5.2 and the Axiom Epic Micro systems that were mentioned above are both great choices. My personal preference would be the Axioms.
    For more ideas, check out http://hometheater.valuecanuck.com.
    Hope that helps,
    Jeff
     
  14. JohnBrianW.

    JohnBrianW. Stunt Coordinator

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    I would also reccomend the Axiom reccomendations as well, in particular the EpicMaster set up. Dollar for dollar they are the best value. Some others worth checking out are Paradigm's Cinema Series, Dahlquist System 1 or 2, Energy 5.2
     
  15. HowardGjr

    HowardGjr Stunt Coordinator

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    Angus,


    Here is a newbie review of some speaker systems that I auditioned in the April time frame. I eventually went with the Gallo's because I liked the sound/size of them the best. I got the set for around $1350 in stainless. You probably can get them cheaper now. Be prepared for upgraditis -- I've already decided to replace the speakers and TV.

    Make sure you listen to the speakers with your own ears. Speakers of this type have acoustic design compromises and you have to be sure that you can live with the limitations. For example, the Gallo's roll off at 18KHz which doesn't bother me as much as the "brightness" that I hear in many of the other small speaker systems.

    BTW...when you audition, bring music of which you are very familiar. I had a much easier time comparing speakers when listening to music as opposed to listening to "sound effects" from movies. If you just want the speakers for movies, almost all of the systems below listed will do a good job.

    If you can afford the space of bigger speakers (bookshelf size), you'll find a much sweeter price/performance curve.

    Good luck!

    Edit: I am in a definite minority with respect to the Energy Take 5.2 system. I'm guessing the system was not configured very well when I heard it.

    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.
     
  16. Sanjiva

    Sanjiva Agent

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    there must have been something wrong with the def tech procinema set up, as i went for them after auditioning most of the sub-sat system and pretty much found them to be the best. i am immensely happy with them - i think they are difficult to beat for HT in the same price range.
     
  17. HowardGjr

    HowardGjr Stunt Coordinator

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    Sanjiva,
    I'm pretty sure you are correct. I tried to audition them twice, Unfortunately, the only place close to me that carried them insisted that they sounded "fine". Many other people with more discerning ears than mine have listened to the DefTech's and thought that they sounded great.
    Please remember that I knew nothing about this stuff when I auditioned those speakers. For example, I didn't realize how important the synergy between speakers, room size, room shape, bass management, electronics is to pleasing sound reproduction. I also didn't know that there is a wide variation in the amount of care that goes into setting up a system at different shops. Unfortunately, the DefTech's were at the store that appeared to spend the least amount of attention to setting up the system. Every speaker/electronic system in the store seemed to be configured to provide the most bass possible. Pretty awful for trying to listen to music.
    I know a little bit more now (mostly thanks to HTF [​IMG]). The reviews were provided as a starting point for systems to audition. I certainly wouldn't exclude any system based on my critique.
    Make sure you listen for yourself!!
     
  18. BruZZi

    BruZZi Second Unit

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    DefTech Pro Cinema 100 is the best IMO for that price range.
     

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