Speaker brands and models??

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Sean Mullin, Sep 5, 2003.

  1. Sean Mullin

    Sean Mullin Agent

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    OK,
    I am wanting to revamp my HT but am at a crossroads over speakers... Around here there is limited opportunity to "test drive" different options before buying. 17 or so years ago I worked for an electronics outfit, I sold Bose and a few other speaker brands.. Bose being the top of the line we had. I was really impressed with their sound way back then. but that was THEN. Today may be different. What I currently have are a pair of Klipsch KG-4's and a pair of Cerwin-Vega LS-12's along with a CV center speaker.

    it is ok... but not the best I am sure (currently my amp is NOT even a 5.1)

    So here is my question. What should I do about Speakers...I don't wanna spend too much, but don't want a weak sounding system either. I listen to music as well as using it as my Theatre. So would I do ok with Bose?? A brand new 901 set (I can get with EQ and stands for 700, really I can) Bose Sub and a set of 301's for the rear with the Bose center channel Speaker. I figure I can put all of this together for something like 1200 so is there something better out there for less money?? or same money for complete 5.1 or 6.1??
    Thanks for your knowledgeable help,
     
  2. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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    Ascend acoustics 5 speaker system for about $700 online direct from Ascend plus an SVS 25-31 PCi for $550 online direct from SVS will blow away what you have. The alternative is to get 5 identical Axiom M3ti speakers for the same $700 online direct from Axiom. Paradigm, Dahlquist, Energy, and JBL are others, but I recommend Axiom, Ascend, or the Paradigms as first choice and the SVS sub as a must. Just my opinion.
     
  3. Chuck Schilling

    Chuck Schilling Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, you'll get absolutely no love for any Bose products here, so don't expect to see anyone ratifying those choices. I've got a set of 901 Series V's gathering dust, and though I'd say they're decent for music only (assuming perfect acoustics, that is), I sure wouldn't use them for HT as they are absolutely incompatible with the dead room acoustics that good HT requires. You'll see a lot of recommendations here for speakers you've probably not heard of, and all I will suggest is that you visit as many different electronics stores as you can and let your ears tell you which sound better than others to you.
     
  4. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Bose is just god awful, I wouldn't even bother looking at them. There crummy little center channel is just a piece of garbage that can't do anything since it is so small, there sub isn't even a sub, it's an "acoustimess" and there 901's aren't the best either.

    For the money there are lots and lots that are better. You are probably looking for a midrange system, probably along the lines of bookshelves or even some floorstanders.

    Personally I love Klipsch and if you like the ones you have now you should be pretty happy with the new line they have. Here is a small suggestion and of course alot of people will post there others:

    Klipsch RB-25 ($300)
    Klipsch RC-25 ($200)
    Klipsch RS-25 ($300)
    Klipsch RW-8 ($260)

    The total for all that is $1060 and the sound will be amazing. If you want to get more deeper sub you will of course have to go with a bigger sub but the subs are all in the air... It is good to match most main speakers (left, right, center, rear surrounds) together but with subs you will have an open selection, almost anything goes in that range. The lower the frequency and the better it plays it the better the sub.

    I hope this helps you out.
     
  5. Sean Mullin

    Sean Mullin Agent

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    thanks guys,

    I'd love to do some physical research on this subject, BUT all of the electronics outfits around this area I have visited have HORRIBLE theater rooms. all of the speakers sound roughly the same in the poor environments I have been forced to hear them in... all glass rooms and the like.. some speakers sound bassier and the like.. some brighter.. but none really stand out as awesome. I've listened to the JBL's and love their sound as far as I've been able to actually listen to them... as for the other brands mentioned.. you are so right... I've never even heard of most of them. So I guess I'll need to drop some airfare to really get the opportunity to hear some different speaker brands in a fairly decent atmosphere.

    So, with the dollar budget I listed above.. any other suggestions??
     
  6. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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    The online manufacturers offer 30-45 day in home trials. Try the Axioms or the Ascends and get the SVS. Calibrate the channels with a Radio Shack SPL meter and be amazed at the difference between these little powerhouses and the Bose an CVs you have.
     
  7. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    I will second the Ascend Acoustics recommendation, and then one of the new Hsu STF series of subwoofers....serious value and performance from that setup. Like most other internet direct brands, they offer a 30 day trial period as well.

    Check out the Ascend forum if you have any questions. It is run and supported by Ascend customers like myself, and all are straight shooters.
     
  8. Bill Polley

    Bill Polley Second Unit

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  9. AndrewErickson

    AndrewErickson Stunt Coordinator

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    Go to your nearest Circuit City and give the Polk RTi series of speakers a listen. I just bought mine on clearance and they sound great with my H/K 325.
     
  10. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    By the way, I used to own KG4's....technically, I still do own them. My ex-wife has them, and the divorce settlement says they are mine...but I am much happier with my Ascends and Hsu VTF-3, so I let her use them. [​IMG]
     
  11. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Find a paradigm dealer. (i am biased favorably towards them) Not just because they'd kick the pants off bose in every possible way (did bose ever even bother to wear any pants?) [ok... enough with my stupid metaphors], but because paradigm is pretty strict about their dealers. They will most likely have their systems well-setup, or have a well-setup room for you to demo, at least to get an idea about what REAL speakers can do. Then i suggest you branch out and see if you can find some axiom owners or ascends, I haven't heard them, but based on the knowledge around here, and that they are oft-mentioned, I would blindly guess that they're good anyway. Take a listen to as MUCH as you can with music. Don't waste your time with bose, unless you can get a SERIOUS ex-employee (i mean... like not much more than free) discount or something. Many a HTIB for a couple hundred beat the bose acoustimass systems, IMO. Their main speakers are quite a bit better, but HARDLY in the running against something like paradigm (or i would imagine axiom).

    And decide what sounds right for YOU. Take a listen to as much as you can, and carefully. If the room is bad, have the dealer move the pair into a better room.

    I also recommend both Paradigm subs, and SVS. I own SVS, and they are killer for movies, although they eat a big chunk out of your budget. They start, at what, 549 +some shipping. WELLLL worth it though.

    As for klipsch, they have a unique sound that some people really like (i can understand why). I don't, they really shine on rock music, but I'm not big on rock, and they don't fit my tastes. I recommend you take a listen though, ALWAYS take a listen to everything, you may be the PERFECT klipsch guy, who knows.

    most manufacturer websites will have a dealer-locator. Except, obviously ascend/axiom/svs as they are direct. Axiom only has canadian dealers as far as i know currently.

    paradigm.ca will have a dealer locator, i suggest you start there, and branch out, at least you will have most likely a solid sound, at a well-setup and knowledgable dealer. Dunno much about kansas... but based on all 'yonder stereotypes, you may have to take a drive to find some dealers around. [​IMG]

    Good luck!
     
  12. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    "By the way, I used to own KG4's....technically, I still do own them. My ex-wife has them, and the divorce settlement says they are mine...but I am much happier with my Ascends and Hsu VTF-3, so I let her use them."

    LOL. I love it. Leave the ex with the harsh bright speakers.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Laurence_C

    Laurence_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Sean are you just unhappy with the Klipsch KG-4's you have??? Have you considered keeping them and adding some well matched new Klipsch speakers with them? Maybe move them to the rear and pick up some new Klipsch fronts and center. This would possibly be cheaper and allow you to upgrade gradually and also let you educate yourself on speakers and their setup's with the surrounding they'll be in. Maybe some of the regular forum members here can add some input on your possibilities, it seems you're wide open for ideas. I do agree with the others that have commented on Bose. Bose just doesn't do it for those that are looking to upgrade in the future. If you're interested in matching some new Klipsch speakers with your KG-4's, the Klipsch website has a forum and they are more than willing to help in that aspect. I personally haven't listened to the KG-4's, and Chris in the last post say they're are BRIGHT. Just remember the receiver or amp you run them with will have an impact on just how bright they sound. Happy hunting!!!


    Here are the spec's on the KG-4's Sean owns:

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE:
    38Hz-20kHz±3dB
    SENSITIVITY:
    94dB @ 1watt/1meter
    POWER HANDLING:
    100 watts maximum continuous (500 watts peak)
    NOMINAL IMPEDANCE:
    6 ohms
    ENCLOSURE TYPE:
    Bass reflex via passive radiator
    DRIVE COMPONENTS:
    Two-way system using one 1" (2.54cm) phenolic dome compression driver tweeter with a 90°x40° Exponential horn, two 8" (20.32cm) front-firing, poly ICG cone woofers and one 12" (30.48cm) rear-firing, fiber-composite cone passive radiator
    TWEETER:
    K-74-K 1" (2.54cm) Phenolic dome compression driver
    HIGH FREQUENCY HORN:
    90°x40° Exponential Horn
    HF CROSSOVER:
    1800Hz
    WOOFER:
    Two K-8-K 8" (20.32cm) Poly ICG cone active / KD-12 12" (30.48cm) Fiber-composite cone passive
    DIMENSIONS:
    24.25" (61.6cm) x 15.75" (40cm) x 10.75" (27.3cm)
    WEIGHT:
    40 lbs. (18.2kg)
    ENCLOSURE MATERIAL:
    Medium density fiberboard construction (MDF)
    FINISHES:
    Walnut Oil, Oak Oil, Finished Black
    YEARS BUILT:
    1985 - 1992
     
  14. dale^g

    dale^g Stunt Coordinator

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    i listened to (and bought through the internet) JBL Studio series and they are awsome...especially for the price. i bought the JBL sub because i wanted everything to match but here are the prices:

    JBL S312ii 3-way 12" mains....$249.88 ea
    JBL S26ii 2-way 6" sides.....$149.88 pr
    JBL SCENTERII center channel....$139.99
    JBL S36II 3-way 6" rear center....$199.99 pr

    that's less than $1000 w/o the sub for JBL's Studio series...and they rock (HT and MUSIC) especially is you like the JBL sound. i have a HK7200 so it's got a really punchy sound that i love.

    then just pick out an SVS sub and you're ready to rock.
     
  15. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Ascend makes very fine product, as does Hsu, so I can certainly recommend that combination.

    You might also want to check out the new Rocket product that is targeted right at your requirements. The ELT
    has four two-way satellites, a three-way, four driver center speaker and a 200 watt subwoofer. All in beautiful, stained birch cabinets.

    I adutioned these in Dallas at a session held by the vendor and was very impressed. This system will play at reference levels in most normal sized rooms.

    If you don’t have a receiver, AV123 has a package with a very fine one for $1,250, or you can get the speaker package alone for $900.

    I have become a big fan of some of the Internet companies. All of the reputable ones will allow about a month to return the product (you would be out the shipping) in the event you are not satisified.
     
  16. Sean Mullin

    Sean Mullin Agent

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    Thanks for the advice folks... guess I'll need to do some traveling to get a decent audition before I throw down my money.. I like the idea of the home test drive, BUT I also really don't wanna go through the hassle of returns as well. so off to find some speakers to listen to.

    one final question though....

    CENTER CHANNEL SPEAKER:

    I am understanding that a very good quality speaker should be had for the center channel.. and should probably be matched fairly well with the front left and right. I am led to believe from what I have read that much of movie sound comes through the center and I have noticed that my current center just doesn't cut it for MOST of the HT sound... it IS small in comparison to the KG-4's (which I don't really find all that "bright"), and alot of onscreen sound like explosions seems to totally lose it's impact.
    so I guess I am askin about how I should go about getting something that'll handle the demand of the center low tones. OR does the powered sub (or non-powered) in a 5.1 or better surround take care of that? am sorry to be askin all this elementary stuff here, but I've been using my Pro-logic amp since 93... so you see I am definately in the market for a major upgrade. Oh and one last thing.. I know I'm rambling here... but along with the new speakers I'll be throwing down for a new amp and was lookin at either H/K or Onkyo, in the range of $800-1000. any probs you all see with either of those choices??

    thanks again for all of your experience and wisdom imparted to me..
     
  17. Laurence_C

    Laurence_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Sean, are you looking for a 2,3 or 5 channel amp?
     
  18. Sean Mullin

    Sean Mullin Agent

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    hmmm guess a five channel amp.. or maybe something that has 7.1 capabilites even.. I know most of the DVD's I've rented or purchased, no.. make that all, do not have in their setup audio settings for anything other than 5.1 so maybe chasing down 7.1 is a total waste of time.. I would like to definately make my HT do as much as I can with the money available. but I'd say it should probably have 5 channels.. I am interested in the HK AVR7200 at this point.
     
  19. Gordon Groff

    Gordon Groff Second Unit

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    Check out the Onix offerings at av123.com . I am a huge fan of their Rocket line for HT. Their new ELT system should fit close to your price range and you can get it bundled with a terrific 7.1 reciever. Since they are internet-only, you may be able to audition them if you post in their forum or go to www.audioenvy.com to try to hook up to hear 'em.
    Gordon
     
  20. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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