Onkyo S3500 with Energy Take Classic 5.1 Worth It? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-21-2013, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello.

I currently have the Onkyo S3500 HITB. I know I can change the speakers out, but I was wondering if in the future I decided to get the Energy Take classics....would it be worth it? I mean, I'm still learning about surround sound and stuff and read that the only gripe with the HITB I bought was the unpowered subwoofer.

Would it be best to just get another home theater set up in the future (powered sub next time around) or upgrade my current unit? I can always use the S3500 in another room. I'm just curious is all. Thanks!biggrin.gif
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-21-2013, 05:52 PM
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GOOD NEWS!!!! (maybe top gear watchers will get that reference)

The Sub that is included in the take classic set has speaker level inputs... this means you can pair that powered sub with the 3500.

I think that the Take Classic is a better level of speaker than the included ones. This will probably be a noticable improvement but weather it will be worth it? That is harder to say... there are people who pay thousands to hear maybe a 1% difference.

Good luck smile.gif

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post #3 of 16 Old 04-11-2014, 08:42 AM
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I'm wondering as well what the quality of sound difference between these two would be? Any other opinions? Thanks.
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post #4 of 16 Old 04-11-2014, 09:09 AM
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Listen to them if you can and let your ears decide. The Classics have a better "reputation" than the Onkyo-supplied speakers. Probably a step up in quality/sound but not a huge leap.
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-11-2014, 10:07 AM
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Yeah I wish I could hear the classics. No stores around me carry them to listen to. It's all word of mouth and user reviews unfortunately.
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-11-2014, 10:09 AM
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Both would blow away any Soundbar I would assume? My wife is wanting a very minimal setup. Not large bookshelf speakers etc., although I know they would sound way better.
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-11-2014, 11:03 AM
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It depends on the soundbar. I know there are some fairly expensive ones out there that are supposed to be really good but for the same price, or cheaper, nothing beats a discrete 5.1 system. For the same price, if I had to choose between a soundbar and the Classics, I'd take the Classics without thinking about it (if the receiver supports 5 separate speakers, iow, it doesn't have a built-in blu-ray player).
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-11-2014, 12:07 PM
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Yeah, makes sense. Thanks again for your reply. Anyone else feel free to chime in. Onkyo ht-s3500 for $200 refurb, take classics/monoprice 10565's for $230 and up without receiver, or Soundbar. Thanks again.
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-11-2014, 01:44 PM
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After months for looking at reviews verses prices, I recently purchased the Energy speakers and I have never been pleased with the sound.  I fried the voice coil on the Energy subwoofer in an attempt to get more bass after a two week break-in period while watching the last Hunger Games movie.  I then purchased a BIC f12 sub  to use along with the Energy sub (which I fixed with a new speaker), and still the system is missing something.  To be fair, my "theater" room is large plus I am using a Yamaha 375 to power the speakers and maybe the combination of a cheap receiver and inexpensive speakers is the issue.  So now I am fighting the urge to upgrade the speakers, and if that doesn't fix the problem, then it is on to new receiver or subs.  I should have avoided all this and purchased a quality system the first time.  

 

Recently, a co-worker caught the Denon 5.1 system with Boston Acoustics speakers on sale for $300 (usually $599) and he loves it.  He took me with him to pick it out and the system sounds okay, but not "great" to my ears.   He previously had expensive Klipsch speakers with an quality receiver in a prior home and his opinion is that the Klipsch was better but not $1800 worth of better which is what he spent on them verses the Boston Acoustics.  (When he sold the home, the buyer wanted the dedicated theater room left intact so he did not take the system with him.)

 

I know this sounds crazy, but I keep coming back to my original set up of a Logitech 2.1 THX 200 watt system or to my wireless JVC headphones.  The Logitech probably has too much bass, but it makes my home theater feel like a cinema experience.   If the Logitech had a center channel for "clear" dialog, I would be completely satisfied with it.  I have started to cheat and use both the headphones for dialog and the Logitech for bass.     

 

To sum up, try to sample the speakers prior to purchase because the Energy speakers sound "plain" to me (my teenagers, my co-worker and my wife agree), and the Denon system sounds too "harsh" while the Logitech sounds just right. For me, it all comes down to a lack of bass or the "movie" rumble, but even with two subs the Energy seems lacking.  When I cut out the subs for both systems, the Logitech front speakers produce at least twice the bass of the Energy fronts and center. 

 

All of the above are better than my Sony sound bar (2.1) which I never liked.  I let my co-worker listen to all three (sound bar, Logitech, and Yamaha/Energy) before he made his purchase and it came down to "looks".  He wanted something more impressive for "fight nights" with friends than computer speakers while not being too expensive since he has five kids from 3 to 12.

 

Good luck.

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post #10 of 16 Old 04-11-2014, 02:37 PM
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Nice reply. Good to hear some first hand opinions. Maybe I will just go with the Onkyo for $200, and expect it to be quite a step up from most soundbars.
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-11-2014, 03:36 PM
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Keep in mind that your listening environment will significantly affect what you "hear" (carpeting, curtains, wall hanging, open space, wood floors, etc). It's always best to setup your system and just listen to it for a few days to let your ears get accustomed to the sound and then calibrate your system for your environment. Calibration can be achieved by either some sort of Audyssey auto-cal system if your receiver has it or you can use an SPL meter and adjust accordingly. Understanding the dynamics of your speaker specs is also helpful even though you can't go on the published speaker specs that come with them because you don't know how they were derived. 8 ohms vs 6 ohms, speaker placement, proper x-over settings, etc all can help you squeeze the best performance you can given the speakers. Energy is known for mfr speakers, Onkyo and Monoprice not so much. unless they are rebranded from a known speaker maker.
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-11-2014, 05:13 PM
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Thanks. So with the SPL meter, would I just sit in my main listening area and calibrate each speaker to the same level on the meter? And yes, those Monoprice speakers are definitely a close clone to the Energys. I tried a Sony Soundbar out, and it was just real muddy on everything. Bass was floppy, dialogue was muffled. I just want something that tightens up the bass a bit, and clears the dialogue up as well. Don't need my room to rattle. Just sound tight.
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-11-2014, 05:35 PM
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I would just decide on which speakers you want and set them up. You can Google the use of an SPL meter. Once you get your speakers setup, I can give you some settings, and why, based on my setup to get you started. My speakers aren't "calibrated" in the true sense of the word but I based my settings on the speaker specs and what can realistically be heard.
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-11-2014, 10:13 PM
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Ok. Sounds good. Thanks again!
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-14-2014, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve1106 View Post

After months for looking at reviews verses prices, I recently purchased the Energy speakers and I have never been pleased with the sound.  I fried the voice coil on the Energy subwoofer in an attempt to get more bass after a two week break-in period while watching the last Hunger Games movie.  I then purchased a BIC f12 sub  to use along with the Energy sub (which I fixed with a new speaker), and still the system is missing something.  To be fair, my "theater" room is large plus I am using a Yamaha 375 to power the speakers and maybe the combination of a cheap receiver and inexpensive speakers is the issue.  So now I am fighting the urge to upgrade the speakers, and if that doesn't fix the problem, then it is on to new receiver or subs.  I should have avoided all this and purchased a quality system the first time.  

Recently, a co-worker caught the Denon 5.1 system with Boston Acoustics speakers on sale for $300 (usually $599) and he loves it.  He took me with him to pick it out and the system sounds okay, but not "great" to my ears.   He previously had expensive Klipsch speakers with an quality receiver in a prior home and his opinion is that the Klipsch was better but not $1800 worth of better which is what he spent on them verses the Boston Acoustics.  (When he sold the home, the buyer wanted the dedicated theater room left intact so he did not take the system with him.)

I know this sounds crazy, but I keep coming back to my original set up of a Logitech 2.1 THX 200 watt system or to my wireless JVC headphones.  The Logitech probably has too much bass, but it makes my home theater feel like a cinema experience.   If the Logitech had a center channel for "clear" dialog, I would be completely satisfied with it.  I have started to cheat and use both the headphones for dialog and the Logitech for bass.     

To sum up, try to sample the speakers prior to purchase because the Energy speakers sound "plain" to me (my teenagers, my co-worker and my wife agree), and the Denon system sounds too "harsh" while the Logitech sounds just right. For me, it all comes down to a lack of bass or the "movie" rumble, but even with two subs the Energy seems lacking.  When I cut out the subs for both systems, the Logitech front speakers produce at least twice the bass of the Energy fronts and center. 

All of the above are better than my Sony sound bar (2.1) which I never liked.  I let my co-worker listen to all three (sound bar, Logitech, and Yamaha/Energy) before he made his purchase and it came down to "looks".  He wanted something more impressive for "fight nights" with friends than computer speakers while not being too expensive since he has five kids from 3 to 12.

Good luck.

If you've got a large room the Take Classics will never sound good in there. They are made for small to medium sized room. They only have 3" drivers so they can't play very low and the sub has an 8" woofer. They really are made for smaller rooms.

In your room it sounds like you'd needs some bookshelf speakers and a larger sub.

Afro GT
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-15-2014, 01:04 PM
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Afro Gt, you are right sir, and I admit I am not sure what I was thinking when I bought the Energy speakers, but I was using the cheap Logitech 2.1 system and it "fills up the room" so I just assumed based on the reviews that the Energy 5.1 would at least match the 2.1 with the added bonus of clear dialog and surround sound.  (I got the added bonus but not the "fills up the room".) So I added the BIC f12 sub and repaired the Energy Sub and the sound is okay now but not great.  I don't want to sink more into the system (entry level Yamaha receiver/Energy speakers/BIC sub/replacement speaker for the sub), so I am to the point of giving up on the 5.1, and waiting until my wife stops telling me "I told you so" to get a 7.2 or 9.2 system.  My room will never be "good" for sound due to the shape/walls and amount of "junk" (book cases, sofa, etc.) so I just need to pay up for a quality AV receiver and better speakers.

 

But...that is the catch, a better sound system needs a better projector and a better projector needs a good projection screen and a better  "home theater" needs better seating and then I need to redo the room for the better system and seating...  I fight the urge everyday not to order better speakers because I know that the Yamaha doesn't have the power needed for larger speakers.

 

I think for me "right now" it is better to use what I've got which is the Logitech 2.1 (for movies) and the 5.1 system (for TV), and eventually get the 5.1 Logitech system since I know I like the sound (which I know is crazy) and it would only add $300 to the overall cost.  Also, the system is not used for music other than when on the treadmill, so music quality is not an issue.

 

I followed this pattern with the projector by buying the wrong projector (don't laugh/ a SVGA) in September and upgrading to a 1080p projector in October, so I have another smaller room with the SVGA projector in which I can move the 5.1 to on down the road.  (I figured I would never like a projector more than my 70 inch TV, and I was wrong.)

 

I just didn't want linkgx1 to make my mistake and not get the right speakers for his room in the beginning, but to be fair, if I had not been exposed to the Logitech 2.1 system (which I am not sure why they sound good to me because they shouldn't), I would probably think the Energy 5.1 speakers were great and they may be for most users.  However, I like the "boom/bass" feel of a movie (but not too loud) and maybe not the "quality" highs/mids/lows, so I may not be typical of the average home theater user.

 

As one "poster" on this thread pointed out, calibration is the key.  My only calibration was using the receiver's microphone and letting the system set itself up, so that could be the issue with the Energy speakers.  I doubt you get much calibration from a $200 dollar system, so maybe it is not the system for a "plug and play" guy like myself.  Also, I fried the voice coil on the Energy sub fairly easily by putting the sub volume a 65% and turning up the receiver volume during a movie, so I really am the learning the hard way as I go, but it has been fun and has kept me entertained during a bad (snow/cold) winter and a slow time at work.  Plus, it is cheaper than a sports car.

 

So far, I've helped a co-worker and a now a neighbor avoid my mistakes.  I treat my "still inexpensive" media room/journey like a proud papa showing off his child's picture/accomplishment to everyone that will look/listen.  Poping in a blu-ray of a movie and showing a 169 inch HD image to someone for the first time and watching as they realize than for less than the cost of a large TV they could have an almost cinema experience in their home, is great.  While my room does not compare or even come close to most home theaters on this site, it is still my "baby". 

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