Suggestions for Speakers to Audition?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris_James, Feb 2, 2003.

  1. Chris_James

    Chris_James Auditioning

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    So I am going to get started on a HT in my new house. I was going to begin with a receiver, but some common logic (thanks Angelo) convinced me otherwise, so I am going to begin with some speakers. I was actually able to wire the house before we moved in, so I have monster wire buried from the wall to the media closet for front, rear, and center speakers. Didn't completely know what I was doing so no wires for a sub [​IMG]

    As I am new at this, I would appreciate some suggestions on front speakers to audition. I would like to stay in the 600$ ballpark on the pair, and would prefer as wide a freq range as possible (esp low end), as I probably won't be going with a sub. I have the usual Best Buy, Good Guys, Circuit City B&Ms around, in addition to some hard core HT shops, so the brands I have access to include the usual: Klipsch, Energy, Bose, Polk, Boston Acoustic, JBL, and the "unusual": Wharfdale, speakercraft, snell acoustics, monitor audio, definitive technology, M&K, etc. A quick online search from the above B&Ms gave me these two ideas- Polk R50, and the Klipsch SF-2.

    Anything else to recommend from these guys in my price range? Anything to avoid? Any other comments? Like I mentioned my ears are pretty new to this- I even think my old Fisher speakers (3" tweeter, 5" mid, 15" woofer) sound good. So hopefully I am in for a suprise. Thanks for the advice.

    Chris
     
  2. Mike_Gr

    Mike_Gr Stunt Coordinator

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    When I think of good speakers in that price range....3 manufacturers come to mind that you didn't already mention.

    Paradigm has many to choose from at different price ranges. They have a great website you should check out in order to find some particular models that fits your needs (they have many models). Then try your local dealer to audition them.
    Onix Rockets (RS550)
    Axiom M60ti
     
  3. Chris_James

    Chris_James Auditioning

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    Thanks for the tip Mike, Paradigm does have an awesome website! I'll look for these when I head out.
     
  4. Alex Dydula

    Alex Dydula Stunt Coordinator

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    Two Speakers I would look at Dahlquist and Axiom.

    Talk to Marc at the Audioshop, in Ottawa, Canada. They sell way below what the USA sells for, the USA Canadian dollar differential, you'll get more speaker for the bucks and they ship 2 day double boxed FEDEX, NO VAT or Customs Tax..NAFTA!!

    He sell both...a set of Dahlquist QX9's on stands would be great to start off with!


    http://www.audioshop.on.ca/dahlquistmains.htm

    Alex
    Raleigh, nc
     
  5. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    BTW: Since you're in Seattle it will likely be worth the drive up to Canada to buy Paradigms, Dahlquist or Axioms - they should be a good deal cheaper up there. For $600USD you could likely get a pair of Paradigm Monitor 7s in Canada.

    While I like the Rockets, the suggested RS550s are $900/pair - a bit beyond your stated budget of $600.
     
  6. Chris_James

    Chris_James Auditioning

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    Some great ideas, thanks guys. Never thought about Canada, will definately keep that in mind- hopefully I can find some of the speakers down here to listen to first. Those QX9s for the $$$ look great compared to the Klipsch and Energys that I see on the B&M websites here in the states. I should have a better idea of what route I am taking after the weekend when I can get out and listen - but the online track is definately looking more attractive!
     
  7. Ray Gutnick

    Ray Gutnick Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm going to post a summary of what speakers are being used by the forum members...look for this sometime this week. It should at least give you an idea of which brands to check out.
     
  8. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    When auditioning Paradigm, I suggest you look at the Monitor 7's. They have a nice sound, and should be near your ballpark, with some disount.
     
  9. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I'd actually disagree, while the 7s probably rock, going to Studio 20s might be preferable. Still, the monitor series [​IMG]
     
  10. Chris_James

    Chris_James Auditioning

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    Excellent- help from Seattle! Chris, I was planning on a trip to Definitive Audio this weekend, as they are a dealer for Paradigm, what else should I hit down there? Will these places have speakers in the 600$ range, or are the they all top-flight outfits? From the web sites I was a little apprehensive about checking these places out (Definitive, Speakerlab, etc) as they looked and sounded way out of my budget.
     
  11. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Definitive is the local dealer, they have an outlet in Seattle and in Bellevue. Assuming you are going to the one in seattle, you must have the address and all via their website, there are a few other stores within walking distance. And I do mean walking distance, they are all in about 1-2 blocks on the same street, you can't miss them. They all sell different brands, the biggest there is Magnolia HiFi, then Speakerlab, Definitive, Premier A/V, and Hawthorne. Hawthorne sells used stuff as well as new. They are all great stores and nice folks, but kudos to Definitive. They rock and have some amazing stuff there in all price ranges.



    Well, they all have some very nice stuff, some more than others, but they all have entry-level stuff too. You are free to hit them all, they all have budget offerings. You can take a peek in Magnolia HiFi, but they don't have any really good speakers under about a grand. They have many under a grand, but they just don't even touch Paradigm or it's competition. They carry boston, klipsch, bose etc, not my kind at all. I made the marathon run here over the past week in fact, taking a good hour or so listening to all the different brands that I've not heard before. My favorites behind the 'digms were the Regas at hawthorne. Speakerlab and Premier had some good speakers, but just not my kind of taste. A little too "loud" sounding I guess, but well worth the listen (JM labs, snell, wharfdale, and some others I forgot). Time flies though, before you know it'll be an all day excursion. [​IMG]

    That being said, Definitive carries Paradigms, which IMO can't be beat unless you really look hard at some axioms, which I'm not willing to put blind faith in without hearing. They don't have a huge variety, though. If you want an in-between speaker, in the middle of the line, say phantoms, or monitor 5s, or studio 40s, they won't have them. I guess more people will get the entry model in the next series up than pay the same for a tower from the series below, which makes sense. Anyway, I'm rambling, and all the stores are great, you'll have a merry time.
     
  12. yung cheng

    yung cheng Extra

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    my personal experience:

    B&W602S3($600/pair) sounds better and looks nicer than paradigm monitor 7 v3($579/pair) but both without discount and not magnetic shielded.
    you may need stands for them but 602 sounds better than 602.5 & 603 in my ears.
    KEF Q9 ($1299/pair) looks & sounds best and you can get deep discount from either local or on-line retailers.
    It also has the widest sweet spot due to uni-Q.
    I am using polk audio RTi70($379/each) now for all channel matching(rear, center), it goes deeper than 602 & monitor 7 but the most important is i got them from Fry's for 30 day no-question-ask 100% refund period so i can try it at home.

    did you bi-wire front channels in house?
    before you decide your speakers, make sure you receiver can drive them to the point excel other speakers or you better save the money and buy a better sub.
     
  13. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Perhaps. I listened briefly to the 602s, and I auditioned the mini-monitors agains the 601s, and the mini-monitors came out on top. That being said, even if the 602s are better than the monitor series, the Studio 20s for $650 would obliterate the 600 series, and IMO even higher series(CM? CDM? I forget their names), or at least equal them.
     
  14. Chris_James

    Chris_James Auditioning

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  15. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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  16. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Almost. Biwiring really arose from biamping which can definitely have audible differences. I've heard the explanations on how biwiring can make a difference (albeit small) and while I'd like to try it and see if I can hear any differences (I doubt it), my mini-monitors are not biwirable so it doesn't matter(i think the 7s are biwirable, but i'm not 100% sure). Anyway, a biwirable speaker has two sets of binding posts, one for the tweeter, and one for the bass driver usually, that come with "jumpers" that join the two together. You can just connect a single set of wire as you would normally. Biwiring means you remove the jumpers, and send TWO sets of wire to the speaker, from the same amp terminals. The idea being that the highs and lows travel separately, so they don't interfere, or you can run different speaker cables that may sound better for each particular section. (sounds a little far fetched to me).

    What they are REALLY useful for, though is biAMPING, in which case you split the signal from the pre-amp and have TWO amps for each speaker. This gives you the option of an amp that has a really sweet high end to drive only the tweeter, and a very full and nice amp for the bass portions. It also can serve to isolate one part of the speaker from the other, and so that if you are at the limits of the amp driving the bass driver and it starts to clip a little, you won't blow the tweeter because it's not at all connected to it. There's probably more, but I'm guessing you won't be heading down this path. I figure your money is better spent on good speaker cable, which probably has dubious results also. Better yet, just get a few more DVDs or CDs.
     
  17. Adarsh Daswani

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    I recommend a used pair of Paradigm Studio/40 v2's from The Stereo Trading Outlet. When they have them in-stock, 9/10 rated models usually go for $659.

    I bought a pair of Studio/20 v2's from them that were rated 9/10, and honestly, they were in better condition than the brand-new Studio/60's I bought.

    www.tsto.com if you're interested, but their online inventory isn't always up to date. Give them a call.

    -A.
     

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