***Official HTIB Alternatives Thread*** - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 3363 Old 03-26-2007, 01:44 PM
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bigsaucer, thanks for the info. Ya, I know I am in a bit of a bind. I know wireless rears are not great, but thats what I would have to use if I can't find a really good 2.1 with virtual surround. The space has no attic above. I don't think the Polk item would be a good choice for such a large room. But I do appreciate your help.

Is there anyone else that has any ideas. Even if there are good front speakers, and not so good wireless surround, that would be ok. Or a good 2.1 system with wireless surround capability. I have been looking at the Denon S301, but I think for the price or a little more, I could get better seperates,,,,especially more Input/Outputs, i.e. HDMI, as well as upscaling, and far better speakers. Anyway, I am hoping to get this accomplished soon, so any help would be very much appreciated.

George

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post #92 of 3363 Old 03-26-2007, 01:45 PM
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oops, i meant sig-sauer, sorry

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post #93 of 3363 Old 03-26-2007, 09:00 PM
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So basicaly what you need to do is find a AVR you like. The only one i know of in the budget range that does what you mentioned is the Yamaha 661. I dont think it does it all but close. As far as speakers for a 2.1 setup it will depend on what you spend on a reciever and what style you want. There is soooo many options you really need to sample and pick a size/style that fits your needs. Then you need a sub, lots of options there also. Personaly i would go with a pair of Polk or Energy mid range towers and a Velodyne sub. Most of that stuff is available at large stores so you can sample sound quality.
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post #94 of 3363 Old 03-28-2007, 07:42 PM
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Sig-Sauer, thanks for the info. I was looking around, and it looks like Accoustic Research is coming out with a wireless solution that is supposed to be pretty good. It is the model WHT6024. It comes out in April, and if it gets good reviews, then I will just have to find a good receiver to match with it. I have upped my limit to $1,500, which leaves me about $600 for the receiver (I left a little extra money for the upscaling DVD). Because it will be a 5.1 system, I wont need the virtual surround but would like as many features and HDMI ins/outs as possible. Any suggestions?

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post #95 of 3363 Old 03-29-2007, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studdad View Post

I have upped my limit to $1,500, which leaves me about $600 for the receiver (I left a little extra money for the upscaling DVD).

that is a healthy budget for a 5.1 system. i would strongly urge you to reconsider the wireless aspect though...they have always been plauged with interference and poor SQ issues.

if it were me, i would allocate the funds as follows:

upscaling DVD player: 5 - 10%

7.1 receiver: 15 - 20%

ID sub: 30 - 35%

5 speakers: 45 - 50%

this is the most "bang for the buck" route IMO. at this pricepoint, a good quality sub and speakers will do far more for the overall HT experience than a $600 receiver.

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post #96 of 3363 Old 03-29-2007, 07:31 PM
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G-Star, thanks for the advice. My only problem is I have hardwood floors, and due to the ceiling and wall layout, I am unable to run cables to the back. I figured I could either go wireless rears (if I could find something worthwhile) or a 2.1 setup. I was leaning towards the 2.1, with a good receiver that would allow me to upgrade later to 5.1 or larger when wireless got better, but then I saw the new introduction from Acoustic Reasearch that is coming out in April/May. According to the pre-reviews, it is supposed to be pretty good, so I thought I would wait and see what was said, i.e. distortion, once the product is introduced and reviews have been made. In regards to receivers, I would like one that is going to grow with me. I like the Yamaha rx661, as recommended by Sig-Sauer, but when looking at it, I also noticed the Yamaha rx861. The big difference, as far as I can see, is the upscaling (I love a great picture, particularly when watching regular shows on Directv) and about 15 more watts per channel (from 90 to 105). So..........please let me have your advice. The 861 is $400 to $500 more (twice the cost of the 661) but it does have the the two added advantages described above, and I would assume, probably has better guts. However, I am getting Directv HD with an HD DVR. Will going from regular Directv to Directv HD improve my regular tv picture (i.e. non HD programming)? I get a good picture now, but as I said, I want the picture as clear and crisp as possible. If the Directv HD does improve regular picture, do you think the upscaling from the 861 would make much of a difference? And finally, my room is about 400sq. ft. I would be using the receiver primarily for tv. Would the 90 watts per channel be sufficient, or would I need to go to the 861 (105 watts) to get the volume necessary for a room this size? Oh, I have an HDTV, but it is a Sony 36" tube, as I have not made the switch to LCD or Plasma yet. It is only about 1-2 years old, and was their top of the line tube (about $1,400 when I bought it). Just wanted to throw that in if it makes any difference in the response to picture (it has one HDMI input and no outs).

thanks again, and in advance to your reply.

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post #97 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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studad,

as far as watts/channel goes, there will be practically no audible difference in going from 90 to 105w/c. in reality, both of those receivers probably run around 35w/channel continuously into all 7 channels. the lower end model will be more than enough for your needs.

as far as upscaling, remember that most of your components will be doing some kind of signal processing. DVD player, STB, HDTV...they all scale/deinterlace the signal to some degree. putting a receiver into the mix adds another step, and IMO, is unessecary and maybe even detrimental (don't want to "over-process" you video feed). i would forget about an upscaling receiver, and allow either the display or the video source take care of that for you.

receiver technology changes faster than speaker/sub tech. having it "grow" with you is a tall order, especially now that we are in the midst of a "growth spurt" with all of new HD technology. i would recommend you buy an entry level receiver and spend more on your speakers/sub. then upgrade the receiver in a few years when the HD dust settles.

good luck.

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post #98 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 05:46 AM
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Excellent post G-star. Read and heed advice.

Some days it's hardly worth chewing through the restraints.
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post #99 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 06:05 AM
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Studdad, don't know if this would be practical for you or not but I figured I'd throw it out there. I just bought a dremel tool and a plunge router base for it from Amazon (just for little stuff, fishing lures and such). While reading through the literature I came across a section where they had ideas for using the tool and one of them was removing your baseboard and routing a channel down the middle to hide otherwise exposed wiring.

I thought it was a pretty neat idea and when I saw your post I thought I'd mention it. I don't know if you're a diy guy or not but this seemed like something pretty simple. I wouldn't think it would take more than a couple hours to remove the baseboard, route a channel through it, tape the speaker wire in the channel and tack it back up. Just another option fwiw.
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post #100 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 03:39 PM
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As with everyone else in here I am new to the HT arena.

I would like to take the advice of this thread and start small and build up what is the best bang for the buck for a starter system I can enjoy now?

I would like to stay in the 500 dollar range which I am sure means 2.1 but I am okay with that.
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post #101 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 04:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrysDark View Post

As with everyone else in here I am new to the HT arena.

I would like to take the advice of this thread and start small and build up what is the best bang for the buck for a starter system I can enjoy now?

I would like to stay in the 500 dollar range which I am sure means 2.1 but I am okay with that.

Have you considered the Onkyo HT-S790 HTIB? It is a very good system and will give you a really big bang for the buck!
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post #102 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 04:03 PM
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G-star, thanks again, you have been very helpful. Jerkin, your idea is a good one, but the room is L-Shaped, (living/dining rooms) with some obstructions in the way, including doors, so not only would it be difficult, but it would need a really, really long cable. But thanks for the suggestion. Ok, I have a few more questions. You have convinced me I don't need the upscaling, but should I stick with the 661, or is there a cheaper, decent option with 2 HDMI ins and one out?
If so, please let me know what you suggest.

Now for the DVD. I have a Sony progressive scan model (DVP-NS725P). It has a great picture, but would a see a noticable difference with a new upscaling one? How about one with HDMI as opposed to component?

My TV only has one HDMI input (Sony KD-36XS955) so I figured I would have to wire my setup as follows (I am getting an HD DVR,,,,the HR20, which has me a little leary, but I want the HD and recording capabilities):


HD DVR to Receiver via HDMI

New HD DVD to Receiver via HDMI (or component if I don't get a new one)

VHS to receiver via whatever (rarely use it)

Speakers to Receiver via (whatever, I don't know what the new inputs are or look like for speakers. Please let me know)

Receiver to TV via HDMI.

Does this sound like the best way to set it up, or is there a better way that would give me better sound or picture?

Now my final item.....the speakers. My choices are either get a 2.1 system now and upgrade as wireless technology improves, or wait until the new Acoustic Research speakers come out in April/May (almost there) and see if their wireless rears are really the rage everyone is talking about. The speakers will retail for $799 for the 5.1 system, so I assume the cabled speakers are of good quality, but I have no clue. So, let me ask you guys if Acoustic Research is known for quality speakers? If not, then the 2.1 would be the option regardless. Now, lets say I do have to end up going 2.1, what speakers and sub would you recommend? And, should I get a receiver that offers virtual surround (I think the 661 one does, but I don't remember).

Again, you guys have been great, and I thank you very much for lending your expertise.

George

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post #103 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 04:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

This thread would also be good to people who start out with a HTIB and want to upgrade.

Say you get a killer deal on a 790 from Shoponkyo, but after a while you get more in your budget and want better sound. Well, the receiver is roughly the same as the Onkyo mentioned in G-Star's link, so you're good to go there, just add the sub or speaker packages and you're on your way.

I think a Bic H-100 is next on my list.

Some of us are more than satisfied with our 790's and really don't want or need to upgrade. After all how much better can excellent sound get? I would rather spend the extra $$$ on the more important things in life and i am sure others here feel the same way.
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post #104 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studdad View Post

Now for the DVD. I have a Sony progressive scan model (DVP-NS725P). It has a great picture, but would a see a noticable difference with a new upscaling one? How about one with HDMI as opposed to component?

The Oppo 970 is a very nice upscaler for smaller CRTs and as a bonus does 480i over HDMI, as well as, upscaling to 720P and 1080i. The SQ is excellent for this budget universal player...$150.

Quote:
My TV only has one HDMI input (Sony KD-36XS955) so I figured I would have to wire my setup as follows (I am getting an HD DVR,,,,the HR20, which has me a little leary, but I want the HD and recording capabilities):


HD DVR to Receiver via HDMI

New HD DVD to Receiver via HDMI (or component if I don't get a new one)

VHS to receiver via whatever (rarely use it)

Speakers to Receiver via (whatever, I don't know what the new inputs are or look like for speakers. Please let me know)

Receiver to TV via HDMI.

Yep, that'll work...

As far as speakers, I'd check out the Rocket X-LSs for $220/pr or the new EX upgrade for $300/pr...they will be exceptional. For a sub, I'll alway recommend the Bic H100 for ~ $250 for a starter, but for real quality and 2X the performance the SVS PB10NSD is amazing for ~ $450 shipped. This 2.1 setup offers exceptional quality above it's price point. If you choose to go this route, you will be hooked and I doubt you'll settle for wireless surrounds.

Good luck

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post #105 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 07:48 PM
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Ron:

TY very much for the info. One problem, I could not find a pair of rockets for under $600. Do you know where I can find the ones for $250-300? Also, do they only come in that red finish? If so, I am not sure if they would pass the wife test. Any other suggestions?

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post #106 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 09:38 PM
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Ron:

One other thing. Would the Oppo 981 for about $70 more be worth the investment for the DVD?

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post #107 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flags View Post

Some of us are more than satisfied with our 790's and really don't want or need to upgrade.

that's fine...then this thread isn't for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flags View Post

After all how much better can excellent sound get?

if you're referring to the 790, it can get better. A LOT better. for not much more money. clearly you have nothing to compare your HTIB to, so don't you think it is a little ignorant to in effect say: "this is the only thing i've ever heard, it sounds good to me, so there must not be anything better out there".

there are inexpensive cars that get you where you need to go. spend some more money, and you'll have a car that gets you where you need to go, but with more power, finesse, style, and overall enjoyment. in the world of budget HT, the smart shoppers can get a taste of this for not much more than that entry level car. that's what we're talking about here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flags View Post

I would rather spend the extra $$$ on the more important things in life and i am sure others here feel the same way.

great, then go spend your money as you see fit. some of us are willing to spend our $$ to go above and beyond the HTIB approach for the sake of great sound quality, as baffling as that may seem to you.

"That's right Mr. Martini...there is an Easter Bunny".
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post #108 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 10:08 PM
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Just for reference, I have the Onkyo HTIB HTS-790

If I were to upgrade just my fronts with the Polk R150s, would that be a wise decision to do for the time being? Will I get uneven sound since i'll still be using the original center channel that came with the HTIB?

Thanks

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post #109 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 10:35 PM
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I tried out a pair of bookshelf speaker paradigms and really liked the sound of those, especially compared with the onkyo htib speakers for music.

My uncle, who used to sell AV stuff recommended PSB, another canadian speaker brand and said that he liked their sound even more. While I've yet to try those out, I'm really excited about them.

My idea is to eventually get a pair of those psb image B15 speakers. Does anyone know how those sound and (when I eventually go to 5.1) how they are with the "cheaper" alpha series speakers as the rear/surround and with the c40 center speaker? Thanks in advance!
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post #110 of 3363 Old 03-30-2007, 10:59 PM
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This is what I have done over the last several months.
Before I came on this forum I went and bought a Pnny 50" plasma and a HTIB because my old receiver just didnt cut it anymore. I wish I had found out about alot of these options beforehand. But after reading alot of posts this is what I have done to rectify the situation.
The HTIB that I purchased was a Sony ht7000 for 499. I went for this for the HDMI (I didnt know what the hell passthrough meant but I sure as hell do now). So I went on the search for new speakers at a price point. I purchased the velo cht front rows and the Bic h-100 on monday. I havent received them yet but am anxiously awaiting my packages to arrive. My total came out to 439.00 for the speakers and 499 for the HTIB, I will be selling the speakers that came with the HTIB so maybe recoup some of that money, because they really are not very strong speakers.
I also want to know, why does everyone not like the sony receivers? These are all I have ever owned and I have never had a problem with them, but then again I have never really had a great system either. Any enlightenment on the sony question?
Thanks for a great post here, I have learned alot.
-Rich

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post #111 of 3363 Old 03-31-2007, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sambow87 View Post

Just for reference, I have the Onkyo HTIB HTS-790

If I were to upgrade just my fronts with the Polk R150s, would that be a wise decision to do for the time being? Will I get uneven sound since i'll still be using the original center channel that came with the HTIB?

Thanks

Try it and see how you like it...you can always turn up the center a few db until you replace it with a matching center. If there's a Frys around, pick up a pair for $100...return them if you don't like them.

I don't lurk as much as I used to and I NEVER listen. Comes from being old and cynical.

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post #112 of 3363 Old 03-31-2007, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studdad View Post

Ron:

TY very much for the info. One problem, I could not find a pair of rockets for under $600. Do you know where I can find the ones for $250-300? Also, do they only come in that red finish? If so, I am not sure if they would pass the wife test. Any other suggestions?

http://www.**********/products_produc...s&product=82.1

I've heard them and they are very nice, however the designer Danny Ritchie told me the new EX upgrade (tweeter and crossover) which is due out in April will make these speakers exceptional. av123 makes the Rocket and x-series...very highly regarded ID speakers.

On the Oppo, I have the 971 and love it on a 57" DLP. The 981 adds SACD and 1080P support. Both have the Faroudja chipset and per Oppo's site excel with larger screens. The 970 on smaller CRT screens offers equal PQ and better SQ. Unless you're going to go larger than 50", I don't think you'll notice any difference.

Good Luck

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post #113 of 3363 Old 03-31-2007, 07:13 AM
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I have lurked on the Avs Forums for many years. I am a big HTPC guy so I have used these forums for many years for that purpose. I have never believed in HTIB. Just never have. My parents have an HTIB and I hate it (also it is sony, so that doesn't help), but for them they aren't going to know the difference (or care). I put together my first "system" in college from about 1999-2000. I started off with a good set of fronts and a loaner set of surrounds and center and then added the other "parts". Problem is, I did a lousy job. I went all JBL, but different series of speakers that all have different DB sensitivity. I had Decade Series fronts with 92! DB sensitivity, and an HLS center with 88 and then some crappy 500 series surrounds with 86. I have always wanted to replace them all, but now I am married and own a house, etc etc and so I started to think that I was going to be stuck with an HTIB due to cost (let's face it once you are married....). Then I found this thread (and a few others here at Avs Forums) and the Acoustic Research ARVP25's sounded like the ticket (it also helped that I have bought from Mcminone before and they just sent me a 10% coupon) and ordered 2 sets. I also found the ARXP24C at Ebay for 63 delivered (rather than 74 thru JR). All told, my 5 speakers only cost me about 161 bucks for a very decent 5 speaker setup (I have a Velodyn CHT8? sub that should work just fine). I already have plans to pick up the ARXP62's if they go on sale or I just break down so that I can have a nice 7.1 system when I update my receiver (I was going to buy an Onkyo SR504, but then I read in a forum that the SR505 was going to have HDMI switching, not sure if that is true, but worth waiting to see).

Thank you for all your help (whether you realised it or not)!!!
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post #114 of 3363 Old 03-31-2007, 07:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-star View Post

that's fine...then this thread isn't for you.


if you're referring to the 790, it can get better. A LOT better. for not much more money. clearly you have nothing to compare your HTIB to, so don't you think it is a little ignorant to in effect say: "this is the only thing i've ever heard, it sounds good to me, so there must not be anything better out there".

there are inexpensive cars that get you where you need to go. spend some more money, and you'll have a car that gets you where you need to go, but with more power, finesse, style, and overall enjoyment. in the world of budget HT, the smart shoppers can get a taste of this for not much more than that entry level car. that's what we're talking about here.


great, then go spend your money as you see fit. some of us are willing to spend our $$ to go above and beyond the HTIB approach for the sake of great sound quality, as baffling as that may seem to you.

I have compared the 790 to a $3500.00 Bose system and the 790 sounds better.
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post #115 of 3363 Old 03-31-2007, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flags View Post

I have compared the 790 to a $3500.00 Bose system and the 790 sounds better.

that won't surprise anyone, bose HTIB's are some of the worst choices one can make if an accurate, full-range, deep-extension system is the goal. 90% of that $3500 price tag goes into all those expensive bose commercials we see on Discovery HD ad nauseum. don't believe me? go see how well-regarded bose is in the speaker forum.

have you ever heard a velodyne, SVS or HSU sub? how about a $100 pair of bookshelf speakers that can survive in the A/V market on their own merits?

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post #116 of 3363 Old 03-31-2007, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Temple View Post

Try it and see how you like it...you can always turn up the center a few db until you replace it with a matching center. If there's a Frys around, pick up a pair for $100...return them if you don't like them.


Can I use these for my fronts, and lets say further down the line, use them for my rears? Or should I get different speakers for my rears?

Thanks again! Might be buying these online (from Fry's) today!

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post #117 of 3363 Old 03-31-2007, 10:43 AM
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Ron:

Thanks for your help. I will be looking for the EX upgrade this coming month. Things are coming together, and I am getting very excited!

52" Samsung 750, finally satisfaction
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post #118 of 3363 Old 03-31-2007, 10:52 AM
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hey guys. dont have an HTIB. but, has anyone mentioned the mission speakers over at tsto.com? if not i really recommend them. they range from low cost models to big $$. but really sound great no matter the price point. you can get the whole m70 cinema set (5.0) for about $300 shipped.

no affiliation to tsto- they are the only U.S. distributor for mission.
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post #119 of 3363 Old 03-31-2007, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sambow87 View Post

Can I use these for my fronts, and lets say further down the line, use them for my rears? Or should I get different speakers for my rears?

Thanks again! Might be buying these online (from Fry's) today!

They will work very well as fronts...surrounds later.

Sorry, I was thinking you were talking about the R300s...the R150s are $50/pr on sale.

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post #120 of 3363 Old 03-31-2007, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studdad View Post

Ron:

Thanks for your help. I will be looking for the EX upgrade this coming month. Things are coming together, and I am getting very excited!

There's a ton of info on these speakers on the av123 forums...you might want to check it out. Also, craigsub, on the Speaker forums here, is getting set to do a shootout between 4 sets of bookshelves, including the x-LS EX shortly.

A friend of mine has 2 sets of Danny Ritchie designed speakers. He did a mini-review on the x-LS and I got a chance to hear them. They have no business being this good for the price and the EX will be better...

http://forums.audioholics.com/forums...ad.php?t=29936

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