HT/Music Help, 2K - 2.5K Budget, Pics Inside - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-11-2009, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all -- first time poster, so bear with me here. I've done a lot of reading over the weekend trying to get a handle on what's out there and I think I have a basic idea of what I'm looking for. Here goes!

Room size -- 18' Wide X 13' Deep X 8' High

HT -- 50% Music -- 50%







Basically looking for a quality 5.1 speaker set, subwoofer, and an AVR to power it all. I have a Hitachi 51" Rear Projection CRT that has 1 HDMI input. Video sources include a PS3 as my Blu-Ray player and a HD cable box that is currently hooked up via component I believe.

Would like to spend around 2K total, but could got to 2.5K if the extra $500 would make a big difference.

5.1 Speakers

Ascend Acoustics ** Special: 340SE/340SEC/170SE system ** for $1K

Forum member Robert Cook recommends these in other threads -- any reason I should stay away from these in my space?

Subwoofer

Looks like SVS may be the way to go here? I don't know which one though.

Receiver

No idea here -- I have no loyalties, just want something solid.


Any help you guys can give will be greatly appreciated. I'll get those pictures up as soon as I get a few more posts.
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-11-2009, 01:41 PM
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I think the Ascend speakers are a great recommendation. Many folks love those speakers. Have you taken any time to listen to some quality speakers locally as well? PSB, NHT, Paradigm, KEF, Klipsch, Deftech, etc? I highly recommend taking some time and listening to what is out there and then determine what it is you like and don't like with regards to speakers. Granted, whatever you buy will sound different once it is in your home, but it really helps to know what you like in a speaker (ie, loudness, imaging, soundstage, bass, etc).

As for the SVS subs, I would probably recommend the PB12-NSD based on your budget, but you should also consider the HSU VTF-2MK3 sub as well.

For a receiver, I would recommend something like this:
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...r-BLACK/1.html

It is factory refurbished but comes with a 1 year warranty. They have the 806 for $100 more as well, or some nice Marantz receivers in the same price range.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-11-2009, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply ack -- I have not listened to any speakers locally yet, I'm sorry to say. I plan on hitting up the local Ultimate Electronics to see what they carry over there. I'll have to check and see what other higher end stores there are here in Tulsa.

I've read that I should try to compare say a Polk to a Klipsch and see what I think. I'll try and do that in the next day or so and report back.

Thanks again
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-12-2009, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Just got back from listening to some Definitive Technologies and Klipsch speakers at Ultimate Electronics. Can't really say which I prefer. Being as I intend to use these for my music listening throughout the house I'd probably prefer a dome tweeter over the horns.

Aside from that, I really can't say -- they both sounded nice, and much better than my $300 Sony HTIB. I'd probably need to go to a more standard high end stereo store to really get a feel for what my tastes are. They just wanted to sell me something rather than deal with me I felt.

That probably doesn't help anyone with a recommendation for me. With regard to the Ascends, what would you guys say their like as far as a speaker? Bright? Neutral? etc.

After doing more research on subs, I see some people are liking the Rhythmik F12's? Ascend has the F12 SE's that are very nice looking. How would that compare to the SVS PB12-NSD besides being more expensive?

Again, appreciate any and all replies. I should be able to get the pictures up now -- I'll do that as soon as I post this.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-12-2009, 07:51 PM
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Your space is going to have a lot of off-axis listening spots so speakers with good off axis response will be CRITICAL to the performance in your space. Play VERY close attention to the center channel you choose as most of todays M-T-M design center channels suffer from terrible off axis response and comb filtering which really destroys dialogue intelligability. A Center channel with a horizontal TM is needed with such a wide seating area with limited summation distance. Offerings from Paradigm and NHT should be strongly considered here. Here's som examples

http://nhthifi.com/current/products/...rs/threec.html

http://paradigm.com/en/paradigm/cent...4-1-7.paradigm

AS for matching mains, both companies offer very musical oriented two ways with excellent off axis response such as

http://paradigm.com/en/paradigm/fron...4-1-2.paradigm

http://nhthifi.com/current/products/speakers/three.html

For musicality, a Rythmik F12 is a sound choice with solid, low freq extension and excellent transient response. See Ascend as a dealer or Rythmikaudio direct.

Receivers that offer some Future-Proof viability and a full feature set are the Onkyo 607, Pioneer 1019, and the Denon 1909 which all fall into your budget.

Hope this helps as your room presents some limitiations that should be addressed by the speakers you choose. Auditioning speakers is a very difficult process as most often the in home results are far from the audtioned ones unless the spaces and distances are the same. Early reflections from walls and furnishings as well as uneven open space wreak havoc on a speakers response.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-12-2009, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triglet View Post


That probably doesn't help anyone with a recommendation for me. With regard to the Ascends, what would you guys say their like as far as a speaker? Bright? Neutral? etc.

Neutral - the way speakers should sound (ie not adding their own color as much as possible).

BTW, they use soft-dome tweeters made by a highly respected OEM (SEAS).

They also have excellent off-axis measured response which also helps in my application.

Hearing is believing vs Believing is hearing.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Good to know guys, thanks for the replies.

It should probably be noted that 99% of the time it's just me and my girlfriend watching movies from the couch. The love seat is pretty much there for the dog...

I'll assume that's what you guys are referring to with the off-axis description.

Thanks again!
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 11:53 AM
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The measurements of those Ascend speakers are impressive for the price. Off axis, too. They should fullfill your desire for neutrality. Keep in mind, too, that the room will likely be adding colorations.
One thing to also consider, however, is that those Ascends are rear ported and therefore, won't work up against the wall. They'll need some room to breathe. My wife, for example, really dislikes my TV room because the speakers are "too far" into the floor space. Something to consider before you buy.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amicusterrae View Post

The measurements of those Ascend speakers are impressive for the price. Off axis, too. They should fullfill your desire for neutrality. Keep in mind, too, that the room will likely be adding colorations.
One thing to also consider, however, is that those Ascends are rear ported and therefore, won't work up against the wall. They'll need some room to breathe. My wife, for example, really dislikes my TV room because the speakers are "too far" into the floor space. Something to consider before you buy.

That is a good point. I would also consider adding an area rug which will help with acoustics.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like the Onkyo 805 gets a lot of praise around here. And with my engineering background 51 lbs of goodness just makes me smile!

Ack mentioned the 706, but for another $100 this looks like it may be worth it. Will probably pull the trigger on this tonight unless one of you guys stops me!
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-13-2009, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triglet View Post

Looks like the [url="http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ONKTXSR805/Onkyo/TX-SR805-THX-Ultra2-130w-x-7ch-HDMI-805-Receiver/1.html"]
Ack mentioned the 706, but for another $100 this looks like it may be worth it. Will probably pull the trigger on this tonight unless one of you guys stops me!

Between these two, I agree. Another good reason is the step up Audessey: the "XT" is a big deal.
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-14-2009, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Just a follow up post here to possibly help others who find this via search later on.

Made my decisions last night I'm happy to say -- I feel pretty good about them, and I can't wait for everything to arrive! Anyway, here's what I ended up deciding on after a lot of hours reading these forums and the replies in this thread.

Receiver

Onkyo 805 -- $625 Shipped

Last years model yes, but from what I've read superior to the 806 in most respects. Considered Yamaha & Marantz, but couldn't find a model from them for this price that most thought was better.

Surround Speakers

Ascend Acoustics System -- $1128 Shipped

Consists of three 340-SE's across the front, and two CBM-170's for the surrounds. Also picked up the TP-24 Pedestal Stands for the two mains up front.
Price above included everything I just listed shipped due to the special they're currently running.

Subwoofer

SVS PB12-NSD -- $635 Shipped

Looked at this one, the HSU 3.3, and the Rhythmik F12. In the end, I couldn't justify the increased cost of the HSU (+$100) and F12 (~$150) based on all the love the PB12 gets around here. Plus for my space, it should be more than enough.


Also picked up a pair of Studiotech SP-30 speaker stands for my rears off Amazon for $86 shipped.

Bought all my speaker wire, subwoofer cable, and HDMI cables from Monoprice.

When it's all said and done I spent about $2600 which was a tad over the extreme end of my initial budget. It's only money eh!?

Anyway, appreciate all the help you guys provided -- can't wait to get this setup!
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