Re: Feedback on a $10-12k Equipment Build - Lessons Learned - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 08-10-2012, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Evening guys. Just thought I'd post a follow up to my initial post. Wow, sure feels like I've grown a lot over the past month. First off, how naive to think $10-12k was a big outlay. Despite being more than the value of my current vehicle, I'm learning this is really chump change in the world of home theater. I could see how this could become a very expensive hobby!

So I've spent the last few weekends visiting showrooms, talking to dealers, and reading, reading, reading. This forum has been a wealth of knowledge, thanks to all the contributors. Here's a quick update.

For projectors, I demoed the Epson 6010, Sony HW30 and JVC RS45. I really liked the brightness of the Epson, but I'm a video game dork and there was just a bit too much lag. In the end, Sony beat out the JVC due to the better 3D image. Wasn't a big win, but in the end, a choice had to be made.

In the meantime, I've been busy on a speaker quest. This is in listening order, and please forgive the lack of lingo, I'm still learning.

• Triad Bronze – nice sound, great clarity, but missing power. Just wasn't blown away. Had high expectations, but honestly, felt a little let down. Probably for the best, because would have been ruled out anyway due to the inaccessibility of wall cavities in our room.

• B&W CM8/CM-Centre – happened past a Modia on the way home from the Triad demo. Wow. I know there's strong sentiment about B&W being inaccurate on the forum, but these speakers made me smile. I can't explain it, the music just sounded alive.

• Paradigm Studio 100/CC-690 – I wanted to love these. Even brought the wife, because everything I read made me think these would be 'the one'. Don't get me wrong – amazing, powerful sound. Just sounded shrill to me, the highs almost made me wince. This was in a well-setup showroom with lots of power.

• B&W CM9/CM-Centre 2 – this was at a different Modia, near the Paradigm demo. Wanted to re-listen to the CM8's, but that room was busy so we tried the CM9's. In a way, I hoped my first listen was just over-excitement, but I was equally impressed with the CM9's ... as was my wife. I've read all the bad press, so maybe I'm tone deaf. All I know is I really like the B&W line.

• Focal 826V – put these on the list after reading a recommendation on the forum. These are REALLY impressive speakers. The dynamics were incredible and the sound … well, the only word that comes to mind is beautiful. And I couldn't believe the price. About half that of the CM9 or Studio 100.

• PSB Synchrony 2 & Jamo C607 – these were both setup at the same showroom as the Focals. The PSB's were nice and seemed to handle lower tones a tad better than the Focals, but the Focals just had an overall better sound – again, at almost half the price. The Jamo, well, there really just wasn't a comparison in A/B against either the PSB or Focal. But definitely at a lower price point and, for the money, would have definitely been a contender.

So at the moment, I'm leaning towards either the B&W CM8 or Focal 826V. I really enjoyed the B&W's, but to be honest, I'm hesitant due to some of the negative forum feeback.

There's another showroom in the vicinity with a Paradigm setup, though a good drive away. I'm debating giving them another shot in a different environment. Like I said, I really *wanted* to love them.

With all this speaker talk, I've been curious – is just a receiver enough to power speakers of this quality? I've read the Studio 100's are very power hungry – what about the CM8 or 826V? BllDo made recommendation in my first post to the Denon AVR-3312CI, which is rated at 125 watts per channel. Is that enough? I certainly don't want to spend this kind of money and then damage the speakers by not having them powered well. And since I'm already blowing the budget, the need for an external amp may limit my choices...

I'll keep you guys posted once I decide to pull the trigger.
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post #2 of 2 Old 08-11-2012, 06:13 PM
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Hello and welcome.

While speakers are a very personal choice, due to personal listening impressions are you against buying from an ID (internet direct) company? If you are not opposed to the idea look at Ascend. They are a fantastic company with outstanding products and customer service. I have the towers/center with the 170 SE's as my surrounds, it is a fantastic setup if I do say so myself.

Regarding the issue of power. You will find that while all manufactures list their products power as XXX watts per channel, rarely does that mean all channels driven. I would look into getting a separate amp like the Emotiva XPA-3 which has three channels at 200 watts/channel, more than enough for power hungry speakers.

Just remember as well that unless they have a dedicated listening room the showroom is not a very good environment to listen to speakers, your listening area/room is ultimately the best.

Good luck in this journey and as you are learning the budget can go by the wayside very quickly!



My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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