If you had 30k to spend on a 5.1 system, what would you buy? - AVS Forum
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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If you had 30k to spend on a 5.1 system, what would you buy?

hey guys, i'm in the market for a 5.1 system, and am looking to spend 25-30k (that's including tax). can anyone help me with some recommendations?

for speakers i've been looking at the B&W 803 diamonds for L/R, center would be B&W CM Centre 2 (cabinet has max 11 inch height so the HTM4 won't fit), and rears would be B&W PM1. subwoofer i'm not sure of, DB1 might be overkill.

the room is around 20 feet by 13.5 feet, no acoustic treatment as it backs on to the kitchen (open concept).

for the amp and processor i have no idea. any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by stile View Post
hey guys, i'm in the market for a 5.1 system, and am looking to spend 25-30k (that's including tax). can anyone help me with some recommendations?

for speakers i've been looking at the B&W 803 diamonds for L/R, center would be B&W CM Centre 2 (cabinet has max 11 inch height so the HTM4 won't fit), and rears would be B&W PM1. subwoofer i'm not sure of, DB1 might be overkill.

the room is around 20 feet by 13.5 feet, no acoustic treatment as it backs on to the kitchen (open concept).

for the amp and processor i have no idea. any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
For $30k you have hundreds of options. Here is my pick:

Main:
Martin Logan 60XT ($3000)

Centre:
Martin Logan 50XT ($1000)

Surrounds:
Martin Logan Motion FX ($700)

Subwoofer:
Martin Logan BalancedForce 212 ($4000) OR
JL Fathom 212 ($7000) - kinda overpriced in my opinion though

For the amp/receiver, I would go with this:
Cambridge Azur 751R

Total you are looking at just below $15000 including taxes + shipping though.
For processor, I would use a PC.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:50 AM
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If you are going to do receiver the ada Rapture is a nicer piece $ 5,249.00 .
Dynaudio speakers using the esotar tweeter up front, and esotec for rears. JL makes good subs.

Confidence C4 II Maple, Cherry, Rosewood or Black Ash. $20,000.00 / pair
Confidence Center II Maple, Cherry, Rosewood or Black Ash. $7,700.00 / each
Contour SR Maple, Cherry, Rosewood or Black Ash. $2,400.00 /pair
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by stile View Post
subwoofer i'm not sure of, DB1 might be overkill.
More than one sub. Perhaps many more. Especially with the opening to the kitchen, you're not going to get much pressurization. And one sub would not likely provide bass evenly throughout the listening area, anyway.

I don't think I've seen "subwoofer" and "overkill" used in the same sentence on this forum before.

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Old 07-21-2014, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by littlemoule View Post
For $30k you have hundreds of options. Here is my pick:

Main:
Martin Logan 60XT ($3000)

Centre:
Martin Logan 50XT ($1000)

Surrounds:
Martin Logan Motion FX ($700)

Subwoofer:
Martin Logan BalancedForce 212 ($4000) OR
JL Fathom 212 ($7000) - kinda overpriced in my opinion though

For the amp/receiver, I would go with this:
Cambridge Azur 751R

Total you are looking at just below $15000 including taxes + shipping though.
For processor, I would use a PC.
good speaker choices...though I prefer B&W

but I would 86 that Cambridge AVR and go with a Anthem Statement D2V pre/pro and P5 amp combo

more $$ than the AVR...but a LOT more performance as well

When things change all you have to do is replace the pro/pro

The amp is rock solid and can be used with the next generation of sound...whatever that is

Warren

Rm 1 Samsung 64F8500 Onkyo 5509 prepro Sherbourn 5/1500A amp B&W CM10s..CM2 center...CM5's.rears
Rm 2 LG 47LE8500 Denon 4520 Celestion 305 speaker system
Rm 3 Samsung 51E8000 Yamaha A2010 Kef 2005.2 speaker system
Rm 4 Panasonic 50ST50 906 Mirage Omni sat speaker system
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:54 PM
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If it were me, I'd combine 3 Genelec HT210 with 2 AIW26 and an HTS4b. No need for amps or crossovers...just a pre/pro and a source. Active speakers total about $25K and change.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pete View Post
If it were me, I'd combine 3 Genelec HT210 with 2 AIW26 and an HTS4b. No need for amps or crossovers...just a pre/pro and a source. Active speakers total about $25K and change.
i do love genelec speakers... don't know of any dealers where i live though.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:10 PM
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:59 PM
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I would definitely go with Genelec powered monitors with an Integra 60.5
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
If it were me, I'd combine 3 Genelec HT210 with 2 AIW26 and an HTS4b. No need for amps or crossovers...just a pre/pro and a source. Active speakers total about $25K and change.
Anyone buying genelecs a design from the early nineties needs to see the quested line a design 20 years ahead in transparency and power handling.
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:31 PM
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Anyone buying genelecs a design from the early nineties needs to see the quested line a design 20 years ahead in transparency and power handling.
I agree, I had Genelecs and they don't hold a candle to the Quested speakers.

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Old 07-22-2014, 11:06 PM
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I would say spending anything beyond $3000 for a pair of speakers is just nuts (and if you disagree then you are one). The fact of the matter is Law of Diminishing return kicks in around that mark. And speakers above that price range are sold based on brand image and blind faith.
Look at the cable market for example, Audio quest sells an HDMI cable for $1500 for 6 ft with claims of noise dissipation in a digital signal is totally retarded.
http://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-Dia.../dp/B003CT2A2M
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:26 PM
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by littlemoule View Post
I would say spending anything beyond $3000 for a pair of speakers is just nuts (and if you disagree then you are one). The fact of the matter is Law of Diminishing return kicks in around that mark. And speakers above that price range are sold based on brand image and blind faith.
Look at the cable market for example, Audio quest sells an HDMI cable for $1500 for 6 ft with claims of noise dissipation in a digital signal is totally retarded.
http://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-Dia.../dp/B003CT2A2M
I would say anyone drawing an analogy between spending more than $3000 on a pair of speakers and spending $1500 on an HDMI cable is nuts (or rather; clueless).
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:57 PM
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stile View Post
hey guys, i'm in the market for a 5.1 system, and am looking to spend 25-30k (that's including tax). can anyone help me with some recommendations?

for speakers i've been looking at the B&W 803 diamonds for L/R, center would be B&W CM Centre 2 (cabinet has max 11 inch height so the HTM4 won't fit), and rears would be B&W PM1. subwoofer i'm not sure of, DB1 might be overkill.

the room is around 20 feet by 13.5 feet, no acoustic treatment as it backs on to the kitchen (open concept).

for the amp and processor i have no idea. any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
For $30,000 I'd be surprised if a single regular on this forum would build a 5.1 system. 5.3 would probably be the starting point.

If you are going to listen to music as well, consider getting a pair of LX521s built as mains. $3100 for the parts at Madisound - http://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com...-speaker-kits/ and then pay someone $2000 or so to build and finish them. Budget about $3000 for an ATI amp to drive the mains (http://www.classicaudioparts.com/ind...ock-120-v.html). Then allocate about $4000 for 3 subs, and you've got the heart of it for around $12,000. Unfortunately I don't know what center and surrounds are recommended for the LX521s. Maybe ask around the Linkwitz forum?
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stile View Post
hey guys, i'm in the market for a 5.1 system, and am looking to spend 25-30k (that's including tax). can anyone help me with some recommendations?

for speakers i've been looking at the B&W 803 diamonds for L/R, center would be B&W CM Centre 2 (cabinet has max 11 inch height so the HTM4 won't fit), and rears would be B&W PM1. subwoofer i'm not sure of, DB1 might be overkill.

the room is around 20 feet by 13.5 feet, no acoustic treatment as it backs on to the kitchen (open concept).

for the amp and processor i have no idea. any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
From the choice of speakers I assume this is a mixed audio & video system, with an audiophile flavor? And it has to look pretty? :-)

The natural and very frequent match for B&W speakers are Classe processor and power amps. IMO this is because Classe has a warm sound, making it a perfect match for the cool character of B&W speakers. I believe that B&W's own North America show room uses Classe (anyone please correct as needed). At higher cost, Theta Casablanca is another outstanding choice and considered among the very best of sound processors because of its tremendous audio quality - detailed, yet relaxed, with powerful bass. Of course, Theta's current chief engineer, David Reich, was Classe's chief designer, so if they happen to have similar sound signature, there is a reason.

I don't follow Classe's latest components so don't know the exact models, but following is a rough suggestion, all **IMHO** of course. A dealer should be able to help you:
Pre amp/processor: Classe SSP 800 for lower budget, Theta Casablanca if you could spend more (Don't know latest pricing but IIRC Theta III HD at a discount is about $2000 more than Classe SSP 800). Theta is an excellent choice because it could be upgraded to have room correction if you have the $ later. It would very likely also be upgrade-able to future surround sound codecs such as Atmos, etc., so you will not be left with an obsolete component.
Power amp: either Theta or Classe amps. For the main speakers, get as big :-) of an an amp as possible to supply the current for those 803's; the surround could use smaller multi-channel Theta or Classe amp.
Subwoofer: Fathom 212 or 112. This is THE subwoofer to have for audiophiles setting up his hometheater. Fast (subjective) sounding subwoofer that would muddy up you mains the least.

Krell would be another choice, but although I am a big Krell fan, the Krell sound is analytical, hence not necessarily a good match for B&W. But this is strictly personal taste, no right or wrong if anyone happens to like Krell with B&W. The key is to listen in person - find a B&W dealer that carries Classe or Theta and listen to the combination.

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Last edited by cannga; 07-24-2014 at 03:09 AM.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:52 AM
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For speakers: You are on your own; this is too much of a personal choice - only you have your set of ears inside your own soul (space).

For a surround sound processor & multichannel amp(s): Wait for Dolby Atmos to make its first appearance this fall.

For your source(s): A hi-res music/movie server perhaps, an Oppo BD player.

For your display: How big you want? ...A flat panel LCD LED 70" class. ...A front projector?

Wires: You'll need some.

* Room treatments: For better acoustics; you thought of that? ...That's an important/integral part of your multichannel sound sytem overall "Balanced Sound" envelopment/enjoyment.

<<>> Two subwoofers are better than a single one.

- Take your time, keep investigating, think it over more than twice, audition all the speakers you can, and live life freely and happily with all the people surrounding you.

P.S. That post above mine; sounds promising but could be over your budget when all considered, calculated, measured, and finally done.

Last edited by NorthSky; 07-24-2014 at 02:58 AM. Reason: Postcript
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:05 AM
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I'm still a newbie around here but Sonus Faber seems to around the kind of money your talking about and they have some impressive designs, I haven't had and probably never will have an opportunity to hear them so I can't say how they sound
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:04 PM
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Now if your $3k speakers can reproduce an acoustic bass as good as my 2 x 15" active woofers on each channel, that is fantastic. I'd love to hear them.
Atleast you showed some intelligence. I have 1 x 18" active woofer currently sitting in my basement come over and do a blind-fold comparison and then tell me how much you think it's worth (you'd be surprised). All I was saying is price alone is not always indicative of quality/performance.

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For speakers: You are on your own; this is too much of a personal choice - only you have your set of ears inside your own soul (space).
+1

Quote:
For your source(s): A hi-res music/movie server perhaps, an Oppo BD player.
To the OP, go with a computer/server. Don't bother with Oppo crap.

Quote:
Wires: You'll need some.
Love the way you said it. If it is an analog signal cable, even for a 20k+ system if you are spending more than $8/feet then you are getting ripped off. Brand doesn't matter, just make sure it is 16 (or preferably 14 AWG Copper) and well shielded.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by littlemoule View Post
Atleast you showed some intelligence. I have 1 x 18" active woofer currently sitting in my basement come over and do a blind-fold comparison and then tell me how much you think it's worth (you'd be surprised). All I was saying is price alone is not always indicative of quality/performance.
Total rip off. The 15" woofer cabinets on my modular speakers sell for $10K a piece when bought separately. Plain robbery. However, when bought used and fully depreciated I don't really care. Interest on $10K in the bank is <1%, and I can always resell.

Now, I once owned a pair of JL113's bought on the grey market for $2200 a piece, which in my view was a great value and you feel you actually bought $2K worth of electronics. JL audio has economies of scale though.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:55 AM
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9 X JTR 215RT's

And a processor to route LFE channel to all 9...


Would be a 9.9 system...


Here is what 3 of them look like.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:10 AM
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Seaton Sound Catalyst 8c or 12c for LCR. Seaton Submersive(s) for sub(s).
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:42 AM
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Man...

These threads get old.

Dropping $30K on gear in a room with no sort of acoustical treatment is a horrible idea. You could spend $5K on speakers (Insert Brand) and $5K on properly treating your room and it would sound better than dropping $25K on speakers alone.

Either take the time to learn about the basics, or make better use of your budget and hire a acoustical consultant that can ensure you get the best performance out of the space you are intending to use.

With ANYTHING in life, you get out what you put in... Investing time into researching will either save you money on gear, or ensure you make the most efficient use of your budget.

One final thought. There is going to be a huge difference in price between a great performing product and a decent performing product in a very pretty cabinet. It's all about your priorities. If you even know what your priorities are?
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:38 AM
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Brand doesn't matter, just make sure it is 16 (or preferably 14 AWG Copper) and well shielded.
Do you need to shield the entire cable(s)… Or areas thats likely to interfere…

Something like this?… http://www.amazon.co.uk/Direct-Produ...dp/B00DDVG340/

Do people use ferrite cores on their speaker systems?
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:37 PM
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Dropping $30K on gear in a room with no sort of acoustical treatment is a horrible idea. You could spend $5K on speakers (Insert Brand) and $5K on properly treating your room and it would sound better than dropping $25K on speakers alone.
+1.

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However, when bought used and fully depreciated I don't really care.
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Diminishing returns? damn right - what do i care? if we all bought **** in the price performance sweetspot,
But try and explain the first paragraph to this genius above (edorr) whose argument always concludes with "because I don't care". While how much you want to spend is a matter of personal choice - but in some sense I am also here to protect the noobs from overspending who don't know much about sound science and other factors (besides cost) that they should take into account.

Quote:
Do you need to shield the entire cable(s)… Or areas thats likely to interfere…
From practical stand point, you only need to shield areas that pass by near high voltage (for example near wall outlets) or power hungry equipment (microwave). But most high quality cables are shielded from end to end.

The method used for shielding is similar to this in principle.

Quote:
Do people use ferrite cores on their speaker systems?
I use all copper with proper AWG.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by littlemoule View Post
But try and explain the first paragraph to this genius above (edorr) whose argument always concludes with "because I don't care". While how much you want to spend is a matter of personal choice - but in some sense I am also here to protect the noobs from overspending who don't know much about sound science and other factors (besides cost) that they should take into account.
My point is that diminishing returns is old news and boring. Anything I spend on audio over and above the $100 audio system in my car has diminishing returns.

You're advocating not to spend more than $3K on speakers, zero on cables so let's say you approve of any system up to $10K. Now if you have plenty of discretionary money to spend, you enjoy music and fiddling with sound system and you have and estimated 30 more years to live before dementia sets in. Why wouldn't you spend whatever the hell you want (within you means) on an audio system - diminishing returns be damned?

I can guarantee you a well put together $50K system sounds a lot better than your $10K system, so as long as there are any sort of "returns" who cares they are diminishing? You say anyone spending more than $3K on a pair of speakers is retarded. I say anyone that genuinely enjoys music, but listens to $3K speakers so they can take their money to the grave is retarded.

Now, if the choice is between getting the kids through college or upgrading your speakers, the equation obviously changes. BUT, drawing an arbitrary line at $3K for a pair of speakers, not knowing someone's financial situation and spending preference is nonsense. This advise would only make sense if a $10K pair of speakers sounds as good as $3K pair, and getting the expensive pair would be pure ignorance or snobbery. For speaker CABLES some people (including you) would make this argument. For actual speakers, this is rubbish.
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by littlemoule View Post
But try and explain the first paragraph to this genius above (edorr) whose argument always concludes with "because I don't care". While how much you want to spend is a matter of personal choice - but in some sense I am also here to protect the noobs from overspending who don't know much about sound science and other factors (besides cost) that they should take into account.
Your back handed insults are not needed. And I agree Edorr, I have moved from $2,000 a piece speakers to many times more expensive speakers and I will never go back unless I hear a cheaper speaker that has the same quality.

Essentially you are suggesting that you compromise on the speaker sound quality for the cost, but why do that if the OP has the money to spend on the speakers?

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Old 07-25-2014, 06:11 PM
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One of my main goals in life is to spend less money and to gain more freedom and happiness.

* Thirty grands is a fair sum of change to get it; go for it. We only live once.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:29 PM
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You should check out Seaton Sound and JTR speakers.

Get any finish you like. Price to performance ratio is off the standard scale.

It's in your interest to demo as much as you can before you drop the coin.

Can you fly out to a home theater like dlbecks for a demo? He has the Savoy theater and it was home theater of the month recently. Absolutely epic! And his JTR speakers were probably 1/2 your budget.
HT of the Month: The Savoy
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"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
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2011 KC Sub Shootout
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