Someone else buying a 5.1 system. Recommends needed!

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Geo Gabor, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. Geo Gabor

    Geo Gabor Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 1999
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm going to be buying a completely new 5.1 system in a few months. It's been a while since I've delved into the world of buying speakers, so I was hoping to get some recommendations. I've been doing some research and I'll give you my complete thoughts to date. Any info you can provide will be most appreciated.

    First, I'll mention that I'm not able to demo anything in-home at this time, due to my living situation. Given the fact that I'm mainly interested in internet deals, that makes things more interesting.

    Next, the theater room: The family room is 20x17 (feet) with a cathedral ceiling. Behind the room (opposite the TV), it opens into a morning room, kitchen, etc., so as far as the listening area goes, it's bigger than the 20x17 space. This means that the mains need to be able to fill that much more space with sound, especially when listening to music.

    My budget for the system is around $2500.

    I'll probably be splitting the time 50/50 between music and DVDs. My tastes in music tend toward jazz, classical, country, and light rock. My tastes in movies tend away from the modern movies, although I do like a little action now and then (LOTR, Spidey)

    When I first started doing research, I became interested in Axiom. On their website, their wizard recommended the M80 mains, VP150 center, QS8 surrounds, and EP350 sub.

    Automatically, the sub is probably going to be replaced with an SVS PB1-ISD or PB10-ISD.

    I've read in several reviews that the Axiom center speakers are not so wonderful, which would also affect my main speaker choice as well. So now I'm thinking of the Swan 6.1 mains, coupled with the C3 center speaker. Would that be the better way to go?

    As far as the center speaker goes, I want to make sure that there is ample dialog dispersal going on. With my last center speaker (Boston Acoustics) in my old house, if you sat on the side of the room, you could barely hear what was being said. (that was about 5 feet off-center, about 6 feet back)

    I haven't read too many reviews of surround speakers. Can anybody give me a good reason not to get the Axiom QS8s? I know that matching the fronts with the center is important, but is matching the surrounds with the fronts important as well? Sound quality notwithstanding, I do like the fact that Axiom makes a stand specifically for the QS8s!

    I've also read good things about the Rocket RS750s. Would coupling those with an RSC200 center be even better? It's a little more than I wanted to spend, but I was wondering if there's a huge jump in sound quality. The full Rocket package I've looked at (750s, 200 center, 300 surrounds) comes at a discounted price that's almost within my budget.

    The whole setup is being powered by a Kenwood VR2090 receiver. I don't have the specs on it, as both it and the documentation are in storage.

    I know that sound appreciation is subjective and that my ears will hear things differently than everyone else. But since I'm planning to order via internet, it would be nice to have some objective statements from others in order to minimize the possibility of having to make a return shipment.

    Many thanks in advance for your comments! And sorry this is so wordy! [​IMG]

    Geo.
     
  2. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not to pry, but can you elaborate on this:



    Will you be able to demo in the future, or never at all?
     
  3. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 1999
    Messages:
    6,017
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would strongly recommend you audition first.
    http://www.audioenvy.com should take care of the Rocket situation. I don't know about Swans but asking this same question on the Axiom forum should net you a listen.

    You could ask 5 people and get 5 responses.

    I would also not rule out whats out there at the local Brick and Mortar stores. Just because they are not sold online doesn't make them a poor value. Paradigm, Monitor Audio, Phase Tech, Polk, PSB all offer lots of options in that price range. Listening to lots of speakers has its advantages because you should be able to determine what type of sound you are really after. This is after all a $2000 purchase and hopefully not a $2000 mistake. The more you listen to all your options, the less chance that you make that mistake.

    The Rockets are the power hungry ones of the bunch. I'd be a little worried that your Kenwood would be able to deliver the current they are after. I would ask this question on the av123 forums.
     
  4. Geo Gabor

    Geo Gabor Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 1999
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, guys, for your responses!
    Not prying at all, Joe! I moved out-of-state and am currently living in an apartment; my audio equipment, on the other hand, is living in a storage locker until my new house gets built. Once the house gets built I should be able to demo.

    I'm fully prepared to return any speakers to the online suppliers if they aren't to my liking (since they mostly allow you to return), but I'd hopefully like to minimize that.

    Thanks, Shane, for your comments about the Rockets. I was wondering about that. I've read lots of good things about the 750s, but the power issue was one I didn't have resolved in my mind.

    You're right about the value of some of the store-bought speakers, but when I add in sales tax and all the other costs of b&m marketing, I like to think that I'm getting a better value on the online purchase. If I get a chance to demo, that will help a bunch.

    I guess the other reason for asking other people's feedback is that if most people who comment on, say, the Axioms have the same comments, then that's a good indication of the general direction of opinions. Not conclusive, but a good indication.

    Thanks again, and I look forward to more comments!

    Geo
     
  5. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would say get your house wired the way you will want it for audio/video and worry about what speakers once you move in. There just isn't a substitute for auditioning speakers in the space they are intended to be listened to.

    You're on the right track though: Rockets, Swans, Axiom are all good choices. Only your ear will tell you which is right for you.
     

Share This Page