Which Subwoofer, and other speaker questions

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Jonathan Dagmar, May 27, 2004.

  1. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    When I first got my home theatre my goal was to get a complete system all at once. I didn't have a lot to spend but I was not willing sacrifice upgradabilty buy buying a HTIAB.

    I ended up with a very nice Panasonic 6.1 all digital reciever (SAXR25), and a Panasonic F65 DVD player. Both of those items will be staying until they break, I am very happy with them. The TV I purchased is a JVC i'art 27 inch flatscreen analog set. I am more or less happy with it. it will be replaced by a progressive scan set as soon as I can. Still trying to decide if I should wait for an affordable LCD or just buy the Toshiba direct view I have been looking at.

    Anyway, my apologies for rambling. My real question is about speakers, as my current ones are my least loved part of my system. I bought a set of Yamaha Sattelites and sub. They sound ok with most movies, but I do think the sub bottoms out fairly frequently. For music they leave much to be desired, being quite anemic in two channel mode, though a lot better if I use Pro Logic II.

    I have more or less decided to buy the following:

    Fronts: Athena ASB2 Bookshelf speakers
    ( http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...=&newdeptid=10 )

    Left and right surrounds: Either ASB2's or ASB1. Leaning towards the cheaper ASB1's, is this wise?
    ( http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...=&newdeptid=10 )

    Center: Athena ASC-1 {http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...=&newdeptid=10 }

    Now for the center surround I am not sure what to do. I would prefer to put another ASB2 or ASB1 back there, but I don't know if I can buy a single, so I would have to buy two and just set one aside. The alternative is to use another ASC-1 center for the center surround, but it seems like overkill to use a center channel cpeaker for the surround speaker that will probably see the least use of all the speakers. I am also thinking that it may not be such a bad thing to have that extra speaker around in case I ever have a space large enough that splitting the center surround between two speaker made sense.

    As for the subwoofer, this is where it gets quite tricky for me. I haven't really known what to look for. I have considred both of the following:

    Athena AS-P400 { http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...=&newdeptid=10 }

    Velodyne CHT-10 {http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...=&newdeptid=10 }

    Neither of these subs go down to 20hz, should this be a concern? Please be aware that if you suggest other models they should be easilly available, preferably at best buy as I work there and get a discount.
     
  2. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    How much do you want to spend on a sub? If you're willing to spend $399, I think that's what Comp USA sells the Hsu for and it is a very nice sub for that amount of money. If I'm wrong about the price, someone will correct me.
     
  3. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    You might also try partsexpress.com as they sell sub kits, which require that you put them together. The payoff is that you save money. I've never heard them personally, but they've received many a rave review. As for the assembly, they adventise that you can put together the kit in an hour...although given my mechanical skills, it would probably take me three hours.
     
  4. Nathan Bjork

    Nathan Bjork Stunt Coordinator

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    Thats wierd, no one suggested an SV Subwoofer.

    Jonathan, have you looked at SVS yet for a subwoofer, or are you not able to go to $600 shipped?

    Are you set on Athena or are you open for all kinds of Ideas for speakers? Have you looked at or heard JBL speakers yet? The JBL E50 bookshelf speaker is really nice, and has a great price.

    I have never really listened to Athenas in a 'real' HT, so thats just
    My 2 cents
     
  5. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    Hey again. I'm set on the Athenas because they are very affordable and I have hear nothing but great things about them.

    It's the subwoofer I am not sure about. I don't want to spend more than $500 Canadian, unless there is a really good reason. Ordering over the net is not good unless it's a Canadian outlet otherwise I will get slapped with a bunch of duties.
     
  6. Dwayne-S

    Dwayne-S Agent

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    I own a suite of Athena speakers and could not be happier. I used to own JBL S312's and sold them on eBay after setting the two systems side by side and doing A/B comps. (Took a loss on the deal but couldn't stand to listen to the JBL's as they are harsh by comparison). The Athenas have a MUCH better soundstage and are very smooth (my mother in law's untrained ear was impressed even). They pair nicely with my SVS PB2+. For the money, you would be hard to find a better all around speaker. Don't neccessarily trust what you hear in the stores as you are never certain if the demo units haven't been overdriven to damage, the quality of the source material, or even if the speakers are wired out of phase. Buy a pair of AS-F2's and listen to them at home. You have 30 days to take them back (@ Best Buy) if I am wrong. Only 2 "mass market" speakers have made Stereophile's recommended list in recent history, the Athena AS-F2 and the JBL S38 (bookshelf model in Studio series). But DON'T skimp on the sub - WAIT until you can afford an SVS - it makes ALL the difference
     
  7. Dwayne-S

    Dwayne-S Agent

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    I would buy the B2's rather than the B1's. The larger woofer has better bass and seems to blend more smoothly with the tweeter at the crossover point. I have both B2's and B1's. I use the B1's as the surrounds because of the smaller size, and the B2's are part of another set up. Get the AS-F2's if you possibly can. Whatever you get, make sure to BREAK them in for at LEAST 50 hours. No kidding, this does make a difference - takes the "edge" off of them.
     
  8. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    John, which city are you in?

    I *strongly* suggest that you look at stores other than Futre Shop for your main speakers. If you can, have a look at the "usual Canadian suspects" at the $2-300 price range. Ferinstance, the Unholy Canadian Trio of PSB/Energy/Paradigm has terrific offerings in this range.

    Also, do you see yourself continually upgrading your speakers? You may wish to pursue a nicer front three, and just use the leftover front satellites for your rear surround(s). This will get you better 2-ch music as well.

    If you're even more ambitiou$, you can get a nice front three (centre and pair of minimonitors), save up more money (heh) and get the matching towers to get to a 5.1 set with two towers for 2-ch.
     
  9. Dwayne-S

    Dwayne-S Agent

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    Athena is the "budget" line from Audio Products Intl. which also makes the Mirage and Energy line of speakers. Athena has good "bloodlines" which may account for the sound quality despite the low price. Go to athenaspeakers.com and you will find links to various reviews and information.
     
  10. Jonathan Dagmar

    Jonathan Dagmar Supporting Actor

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    2 channel music is secondary. Home Theatre sound is my primary concern. I have no interest in perusing nice front speaker as I remain firmly unconvinced that any great gains will be seen over Athena. I may perhaps get the Athena floorstander instead of bookshelfs for the fronts though. As for using the remaining sattelites for the surrouns, out of the question. They would sound tinny and would not be timbre matched to the fronts. It would drive me crazy.

    Thanks for all the tips, but my only real question was about the SUBWOOFER, and whether or not I should choose a center channel speaker for the rear center or not. I don't think anyone really answered that.
     

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