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Which Speakers Should I Buy? (1 Viewer)

NTLKnight

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Hi there, I've been shopping for speakers for a HT setup I'm putting together. I'm about to buy a Denon X3800H as AVR and am looking for LCR speakers first. After that I was going to settle for cheaper surrounds (sides and rears) and then 4 height speakers for Atmos (which I'll need an additional 2-channel amp for). I got pretty close to buying Definitive Technology, either C9060 or C9080 for Center and B9080X (or D15/D17) for L/R (most likely used)...but someone suggested strongly to not get Definitive Technology. I'd appreciate any suggestions you all may have! (I've seen a few HT reviews on YT that used the Definitive Technology speakers I mentioned...and they seem pretty good...that's what inspired me to consider them. (I'll most likely be purchasing at least 1 sub woofer as well.)

Thank you for your time,
Nathan
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Is there some particular reason you wanted to get those Definitive Technology speakers? They're bipoles, which may or may not be what you really want for HT -- they're certainly not what I and many others would want, probably especially if we also want particularly good and precise music playback, not just for movies and such (w/ big sound). Also, they apparently require additional power (outlet) source for each speaker besides AVR/amp since the bass part is apparently active.

They're probably fine if you definitely don't want multiple separate (active) subwoofers plus also want their kind/variation of big sound, particularly given your big HT space... although you might still want 2 big subs to mate w/ them. Definitely try to give them a good listen (in a comparably big space) for yourself first and compare to others in similar budget ballpark.

Not sure if you saw this review, but here's what Audioholics had to say a few years ago...

_Man_
 

Mike Up

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I second that those speakers are not what most want. IMO, much better speakers for a lot less money are available. I've heard similar DT tower speakers and they sounded muddy and undefined, with lack of imaging compared to other speakers. Most likely due to their rear speaker design that's known for destroying the clarity and definition of a speaker, think Bose. And their built in subwoofers are just not great in punch or low end response.
 

NTLKnight

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Is there some particular reason you wanted to get those Definitive Technology speakers?
This guy was the first...to get me to consider DefTec speakers. He uses all DT speakers. Here he talks about listening to music on them. Then I watched a bunch of other reviews...all of them sing high praises to DT. Apart from Klipsch and another brand (which I can't remember right now), are there other options you would point me to look at? Since I'm buying used online, I don't have the luxury of testing and hearing them first.

Nathan
 

JohnRice

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I’ll just say that Klipsch and DT are probably the two most aggressively marketed speaker brands available. That doesn’t mean they are particularly good.
 

JohnRice

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The fact you are buying used makes recommendations difficult. If you wait for current speakers we would recommend, you’ll probably be waiting forever.
 

NTLKnight

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Heh, I hear you. It's always been my philosophy that with audio equipment, buying used yields better bang for the buck and has kept me on the right side of the curve. I've had (owned) an audio studio for over 30 years, I've put my computers together from scratch to not only save money, but to build the machines I needed for specific jobs. The parts I always bought new were the computer components, and the audio interfaces. The equipment I usually felt comfortable buying 2nd hand were speakers, mics, mixing boards, instruments, etc...unless I found a really good deal on new items.

Having said that, today I ran across a deeply discounted sale on DT D15's at $499.


Even though I had been looking at other alternatives, like Ascend's HTM-200SE's, CMT-340SE2, PSA's MTM 210's, amongst several others...when I came across this deal on the DTs, I couldn't pass it up. I ended up buying the D17's at $699 with free shipping (new). Since I pulled the trigger on those, now I will decide whether to get the (newer) DT D5c center speaker or an older CS9060 or CS9080 which have more beef. I'll probably be buying DT for the surrounds...but a different brand for the 4 Atmos speakers. The sub woofer is where I will need to turn my attn to next.

Kind Regards,
Nathan
 

ManW_TheUncool

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You're on the West Coast, right?

IF you're over here in NYC area, I could sell you some old Thiel CS5i's (plus MCS1 center), for around the prices you might be considering for those DT front LCRs. :P You certainly have the space for them... though you might actually need to go w/ smaller screen so they could be placed farther from the corners/walls, heh. Of course, they’re also much more demanding of substantial amp power and can’t/shouldn’t be driven by an AVR. :lol:

Anyhoo, if you definitely want to go the used route for <=$2K for a pair of good audiophile level speakers for HT, maybe see if you can find some Vandersteen 3As or 2Ce Mk2 and then matching center. Maybe 1C for surrounds if you want matching (that are similarly nearly floorstanding)... though that might be overkill.

OR you can probably be quite happy w/ ELAC UniFi Reference or maybe their Carina models...

I wouldn't generally suggest Klipsch or Def Tech...

Probably just mate them w/ some SVS subs I guess.

_Man_
 

Dave Moritz

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One thing I might suggest unless you live in a small town is if you have access to alot of different retailers is to go listen to as many brands as you can. It is difficult to recommend a speaker different than the DT because of the way speakers are tailored to have a specific sound. It depends on the kind of sound you gravitate towards and since you mentioned owning an audio studio I was thinking you might like speakers with horns. I will put a few suggestions bellow that you might want to look into as considerations. Are you looking more for live sound or precise sound ? Also depends on your budget and like others have said you can always look for used in good condition. Even then your room and speaker placement can have an effect on any speaker you buy.

  • Klipsch (I have Klipsch with Altec Lancing A-7's Voice Of The Theaters for my L&R and an SVS PB16 ultra sub)
  • Arendal
  • SVS
  • Monitor Audio
  • Pro Series JBL (Live Sound not consumer models)

  • Perlistenaudio

  • Polk Audio
  • Krix
  • Bowers & Wilkins
  • Focal
  • Revel
 

Mike Up

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The speakers I really like are my current Elac Debut 2.0s and the KEF Q series. I also like the Polk ES series and my current Polk Blackstone TL1s. Got rid of the previous Polk TSI100s as they were thinner sounding. I think there are more speakers I dislike than like.

I can't stand Klipsch speakers at all, way too bright with no fullness in the midrange. Don't care for the DT speakers as mentioned. Martin Logan Motion speakers are OK but I like other's better. I did not like the B&W S Series speakers as they sounded bright and thin.

I feel you can't go wrong with Elac, Polk ES and above, and KEF speakers.

BTW, I prioritize music over home theater so my speaker tastes are mainly for music but the speakers excel for home theater as well.

Also you can see I have Polk Blackstone TL1 speakers in both setups. I have had Infinity bookshelf speakers as surround speakers and the Polks are MUCH better. I can recommend the Polk TL1 speakers for surrounds as they are a high end speaker selling at value prices everywhere. In stereo they offer great imaging and soundstaging as well as good a timbre even though their high midrange tilts a bit up. They do not sound bright and voices are realistic and well defined.
 
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