Spend 2k for speakers (and not a penny more)

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Seth_B, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. Seth_B

    Seth_B Extra

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    Including shipping, if from an online source.

    I want to upgrade my JBL Northridge surround system. I figure that I could spend about 2k MAX for something better. So as my first question asked in this forum, I ask you guys to buy me a system.

    Some other things to consider:
    -HK receiver
    -would prefer floor standing front channels. I don't care if the rears are floor standing or bookshelf.
    -already have a 20-39PCi sub that I am VERY happy with.
    -room size is approx. 16' x 13' with 8' ceilings.
    -approx 35% music, 65% DVD

    Have at it. From lurking here for close to a year, I know that there are many here that know a lot more that I do. I am interested some opinions.
     
  2. Tim Streagle

    Tim Streagle Stunt Coordinator

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    I am a Magneplanar fanatic. With this brand I would recommend:

    MG-12 Mains ($1200?) or MMG's ($550)
    MMG-W surrounds (one or two pairs at $300/pr.)
    either MMG-C or two MMG-W's for center ($300)

    If my H/K can handle the 4-ohm loads, can yours?
     
  3. James Sarno

    James Sarno Stunt Coordinator

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    If you haven't done so already,check out the Axiom and Paradigm sites...I'm pretty sure you can get a good deal on some quality speakers...especially at the Axiom site
     
  4. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    Here is what I have and have been very pleased: Paradigm Monitor 7s for the front, CC-350, now replaced by the CC-370 Center, Mini-Monitors for surround, and the Paradigm PW-2200 sub. There are several combinations in the Paradigm Monitor series that you could audition that would fit in your budget. Happy shopping.
     
  5. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

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    My reccomendation would be Swan's Divas. Either 6.1mains, 2.1surrounds and a C3 center... or 2 pairs of 5.2s and C3 center. You coule even probably work out a deal to get 6.1 mains, C3 center, and 2 pairs of 2.1s for the back for under $2k. You could definitely get 5.2mains, C3 center, and 2 pairs of 2.1s for surrounds. All of these configurations are in the black cherry finish.

    Check out www.theaudioinsider.com [​IMG]
     
  6. Bobby T

    Bobby T Supporting Actor

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    Klipsch Reference. 3 RF35 towers up front and a pair of RS35 rears or RF35 front RC35 center and RS35 rears. Either way is under $2000.
     
  7. Dan Halchak

    Dan Halchak Stunt Coordinator

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    Could look at a B&W setup of the 600 series.

    Go with...
    DM603 S3 (towers) for the front (~$950)
    LCR600 S3 for the Center ($400)
    DM602 S3 (Bookshelves) for the rear ($500)

    For $2200 you could upgrade the DM603 to the better DM604s (which I think are a lot better). But it would be up to you.

    You could even save yourself some money and get 4 DM602s (all bookshelves) for ~$1000 and then the LCR600 center and be only at ~$1500 and couple that with your SVS would sound unbelieveable.
     
  8. BobAlbano

    BobAlbano Second Unit

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    I would look at the offerings from Onix Rocket, Swan Diva, and Axiom in this price range. All three speaker will have different signatures so it's up to you to get out and listen to decide what speaker "sound" is for you. [​IMG] Check out www.audioenvy.com to see if there are any Diva or Rocket owners that would let you audition...
     
  9. CarlosM

    CarlosM Stunt Coordinator

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    If you go with b&w, you will not need 603s with that sub -- stick with the DM602 S3's for the front, 601s in the rear, and then either an LCR60 or LCR600 for your center (B&W recommends the LCR60 to go with the DM602 S3s).

    DM602s = $600/pair.

    LCR60 = 350
    LCR600 = 500


    im picking up the rest of my b&w 600 series today (hopefully) and cannot wait to be finally be done.
     
  10. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

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    I've heard really good things about the Axiom speakers. I've heard good things about Fluance speakers also. I've got Paradigms and love them.
     
  11. Seth_B

    Seth_B Extra

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    To answer a couple of questions ... I am not sure if the H/K can handle 4 ohms or not. I am at work right now, so I do not have the model number with me. I can tell you that it is a 5.1, 55w/channel and cost approx. $600 via circuit city two years ago. Maybe you guys will know which unit I have.

    Here are my random, scattered thoughts (in no particular order). I really like the look of the axiom speakers, but my only experience is from the banner ads both here and at audio review. I have never seen or heard any in person.

    Also, I do not have a good feeling about Klipsch but I am probably jaded considering my only experience is with my former sub, which compared the the SVS, is junk. Are Klipsch speakers better than their subs?

    I know of B&W by reputation only. I was a little surprised to see that I could get some in my price range. I thought that they would be waaaaaay too expensive.

    I have never heard of swans or onix, but I assume they are internet direct like SVS as well(?)

    The biggest thing is getting both an audio and aesthetic improvement vs. the JBL speakers (which sound average at best and are dog ugly, IMO). How would these suggestions compare to my existing system? BTW, thanks guys for all the responses. This is exactly the type of stuff that I am looking for.
     
  12. CarlosM

    CarlosM Stunt Coordinator

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    Seth: go to www.bwspeakers.com and you can search for a dealer in your area to demo the B&Ws. Like i and others said, with the SVS, do not get suckered into a floor standing model -- it wont be needed. I currently run the DM602's with a HSU sub and the combination is beautiful.

    The 602s have the benefit of having the largest mid driver in the 600 line, and there is no matching floor standing. To my ears, the 602s had better clarity in voices than any other model i heard. If your room allows it, a 3rd 602 as a center channel is an option i'd explore (I wish my setup allowed it, but 602s ARE NOT SHIELDED so cannot be placed close to crt televisions, thus i must go with the LCR series).

    At any rate, listen to them first... any place selling b&w is bound to sell many other competitive brands.. so bring your favorite music/movies and try to hear things youve never heard before.

    please let me know what your decision becomes.
     
  13. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Welcome to the forum Seth. And we are glad that you are making the journey from being a lurker to becoming a contributing member of society. [​IMG]

    As to your question, there have been a lot of good suggestions already. I particularly agree with Bob, as I think that some of the Internet-direct companies offer very fine products at outstanding price points.

    I have not ever done comparisons of the speakers that he mentions (Axioms, Divas and Rockets) but do own a Rocket configuration that might well meet your needs (and there are others). Since you prefer floor standing spears for your R/L front I would direct you to either their
    package #3 or package #4, at $1,800 and $1,700 respectively.

    The difference is that package #4 has direct radiating surround speakers (bookshelves), while #3 has dipoles that are best mounted on side walls.

    Both the Divas and Rockets have beautiful cabinet work, while the Axiom line is vinyl. I think that the Divas are only available in rosewood (but this might not be correct), while the Rockets can be had in rosewood or ebony. The Axioms can be had in a variety of finishes.

    The Axiom line has a reputation of being a bit brighter, while the Rockets are a bit warmer. Only you can decide the best sound for you.

    Since I bought Rockets, you can guess my preference. In particular the RS550s in either of the packages, I find to be very fine speakers for a combination of HT/music with the emphasis on HT. The RSC200 center speaker in this line is just an outstanding center speaker.

    Have fun with your evaluation and decision.
     
  14. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Just a bit more since you added that while I was typing (and distracted).

    Both the Swan Divas and Onix Rockets will be stunning additions to your home (provided that you like strongly grained, dark wood). The Rockets fronts are sold in pairs. For some strange reason AV123 does not seem to emphasize that (at least) their floor-standing models) are made to match each other (the grain on the veneer matches). I did not realize this until I saw several different pairs. Just very fine cabinetwork.

    I am not so familiar with the Divas, but from what I have seen, they are manufactured with very close attention to craftsmanship as well.

    As for your receiver you should call AV123 and talk with one of their guys. Sean, Steve and Greg are extremely knowledgeable and will have a valid opinion as to that receiver being able to drive the Rockets. A lot will depend on the size of your room and how loudly you like to listen to music and HT. I drive mine with a 90 watt/channel Pioneer that is actually a bit substandard from what I’d prefer and it does fine unless I really crank the volume. Since HK specifications are normally quite conservative, I would not be surprised if your receiver did not have more real, clean power than mine.
     
  15. Dan Halchak

    Dan Halchak Stunt Coordinator

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    Carlos is right on the B&Ws, the 602s are by far one of the best sounding Bookshelfs I've heard. You should be able to get them for $500 without too much hassle. I got mine for $500 without saying a word to the dealer.

    If you have to have floorstanding (which seemed like you did) the DM604s use the same 7" mid paper/kevlar mix as the 602s and incorporate two more 7" aluminum woofers to the mix. Them alone sounds really good for music and decent for HT. But coupled with the SVS, makes it sound awesome. I would try to find a dealer and at least check them out. Most likely that dealer is going to sell Paradigm, Boston, etc. So you should get a good feel of a variety of brands.

    Whatever you are looking for, all your choices listed above are AWESOME...just depends on exactly what your ears like.
     
  16. Seth_B

    Seth_B Extra

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    Ok, a few more things after reading the responses ...

    Carlos - after looking at the B&W web site, it looks like the 602's are floor standing models. Am I looking at that right? Just curious because you advised to stay away from floor standing models. I also found a dealer that is pretty close, so I'll probably check them out this weekend.

    Lew - I'm a little disappointed to learn that Axioms are vinyl covered as opposed to real wood. Personally, I prefer a lighter color than offered by Swan and Onyx, and Axiom had a color that looked good to me (more specifically the Mansfield Beech color to get an idea). The rosewood rockets look very nice though and I could see myself getting that color to avoid vinyl. I really don't like the yellow cone in the swans.

    Does anybody have an idea about who might make a light colored "real" wood finished speaker in my price range. Here is a good color example (not necesarily good a grain example though). *I tried to post a url for a color example but I can't until I have 15 forum posts. Anyway, just imagine a blond, natural color - or look at the onyx reference series for example (color only of course, I know I cannot afford them).*
     
  17. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    ACI makes speakers with a variety of finishes. If you are satisfied with bookshelves, I think that their Emerald series might do the trick for you. They make very fine speakers, if a bit more expensive overall than the others we have been discussing.

    And their cabinetwork, like the Rockets is very fine.

    Edited to add that I did include these in my recommendation because only their bookshelves fit within your budget.
     
  18. CarlosM

    CarlosM Stunt Coordinator

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    they are shown with stands on the B&W site -- this may be what you saw. Also, B&W offers a light finish on the 600 series as well as them in black. Go have fun this weekend.
     
  19. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    Seth,

    The 602s are book shelf speakers, the B&W site shows them on stands which are sold separately & your local B&W dealer may or may not carry those particular stands.

    Another vote for 602/601 (or 4x602). If you go with that setup you don't need to go with a LCR600, the LCR60 is fine.
    I;m very happy with my B&Ws especially now I upgraded to a Rotel receiver.
     
  20. Seth_B

    Seth_B Extra

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    I see what I was looking at on the B&W site. They actually make a speaker by the same name that is boxed all the way to the floor. Click on "floor standing models" and it is the first speaker you will see. I now see the bookshelf variety that you guys are talking about ..... not bad.

    Lew - thanks for all the links, but I'll pass on the ACI. Of course everything is a matter of taste, but IMO those things are ugly as sin. I don't like the plastic looking black front mixed with the wood sides.

    So far onyx and B&W are in the lead. Does anybody know about Magneplanar (listed as a candidate by Tim in the first reply).
     

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