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-   -   3.1 starter system advice (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/1346374-3-1-starter-system-advice.html)

Blindphleb 07-08-2011 03:35 PM

Hello, Forum

I'm slowly putting together a home audio set for a basement room that is 23' by 17'. I plan on starting with a 3.1 set that I can add on to and finish as a 5.1 or 7.1. Budget is around $200 - $300 per speaker and that doesn't include the sub. I'm looking at around $500 on the sub give or take. Usage will be 60% movies/TV shows, 30% music, 10% video games. I've considered the polk monitors, HSU (although I wish they had a floorstander), and BIC acoustics. I haven't had a chance to listen to much. However, I tend to enjoy warmer sounds more.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

callas01 07-08-2011 05:01 PM

If I were you, with that budget, Id look at

Wharfedale Diamond
Energy CF-30 speakers

Id look at elemental designs for a subwoofer in your price range.

Polk and BIC are not warm speakers, they tend to be brighter sounding. So Id pass on those if you like warm speakers.

zieglj01 07-08-2011 05:11 PM

The Wharfedale EVO speakers are on close out - check them out.
http://www.musicdirect.com/search.as...++++++++++++++

Epik subwoofer - check them out
http://www.epiksubwoofers.com/legend.html

sholling 07-08-2011 05:37 PM

Ascend Acoustics' CMT-340 are very good and fit the budget. I'd classify them as very neutral sounding.

For the subwoofer I suggest measuring the room including anything open to the room and contacting Hsu Research, Outlaw Audio, and Elemental Designs and have them suggest a sub to meet the needs of the room.

Blindphleb 07-08-2011 05:56 PM

Thanks for the suggestions so far guys. I'm impressed with the wharfedale evo and ascend speakers on paper, but they are a bit rich for my blood. That Epik subwoofer looks like a winner; how would it compare to a HSU VTF-2 or VTF-3?

Blindphleb 07-08-2011 05:59 PM

oh, wait the price on the ascend is for a pair?

zieglj01 07-08-2011 06:30 PM

And the EVO, is priced by the pair.

sholling 07-08-2011 06:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindphleb View Post

oh, wait the price on the ascend is for a pair?

Yes it's for a pair. The matching center is here.

I have not heard the Epik but it has a good reputation. I have heard the Hsu's. Because the Epik is sealed and the Hsu are ported I would expect a totally different sound. Sealed speakers in general tend to sound a bit tighter but also tend to start sounding compressed down low when played loud. That's strictly a generalization. The choice usually comes down to personal taste and priorities. I personally like ported subs but that's my taste.

Blindphleb 07-09-2011 07:39 PM

Some additional information: I would consider used speakers also so things like ebay and the like could be included. Listening style varies as much as the next person, but if I had to pick just one type of music it would probably be electronic.

When comparing the Wharfedale evo and diamond series what is the biggest difference between the two?

Blindphleb 07-10-2011 09:01 PM

I was able to listen to some speakers today. I started off at Best Buy. I listened to the polk and klipsch offerings they had. I liked the sound of the klipsch better than the polk.

Then I spent some time at my local home audio store and listened to some B&W 684s. I really enjoyed sound stage and imaging of the B&Ws, but at $1100 they blew my budget. How would the Wharfedale, Ascend, and Jamo concert line speakers compare to what I listened to today?

ambesolman 07-10-2011 09:30 PM

I have a hsu vtf3.3 and it's the $hit. My father just got the enthusiast 2 package with the vtf3.3 upgrade. The HB-1s are great and got even better as they broke in. Even though they don't have a floorstander, you can just buy 3 HC-1s (centers) and they will rotate the horns for the L & R before sending them to you. Makes for a perfectly seamless soundstage. This is my eventual goal but will have to just start with a couple of HB-1s for now. They are on sale this month for $129.

Blindphleb 07-10-2011 09:42 PM

Does the HC-1 have a mount on the bottom that would look strange if used as a floor stander?

sholling 07-11-2011 12:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindphleb View Post

I was able to listen to some speakers today. I started off at Best Buy. I listened to the polk and klipsch offerings they had. I liked the sound of the klipsch better than the polk.

Then I spent some time at my local home audio store and listened to some B&W 684s. I really enjoyed sound stage and imaging of the B&Ws, but at $1100 they blew my budget. How would the Wharfedale, Ascend, and Jamo concert line speakers compare to what I listened to today?

I don't know what models of Polks or Klipsch that you listened to and I can't speak for all of the other but I have listened to several Polk and Klipsch products and the Hsu speakers and own a set of Ascend CMT-340SE and a set of their Sierra-1s.

Polk: I'm not a huge fan (but not a hater either) of Polk's Monitor and replacement TSi line but for what the discontinues Monitor series goes for on clearance they are a heck of a bargain. I have not heard the higher end Polks in a long time and make no judgement what so ever.

Klipsch: Most of their affordable products are much pretty much love them or don't love them at all. I find them a bit harsh and fatiguing but some people absolutely love them. The important thing is to spend some time (at least 30-45 minutes) listening at medium-high volume and find out for yourself if you or the wife find them fatiguing, if not and you like them then they might not be a bad choice.

Hsu HB-1: These are pretty good bang for the buck but not quite my taste. But again taste is relative. To my ear they have an ever so slight cupped hands horn sound that I don't care for but they have a very loyal following. BTW I am a big fan of Hsu subwoofers.

B&W: It's been too many years since I listened to 6 series B&W to say how they fare.

Ascend CMT-340SE: I find them very good for the money with a very flat frequency response. Very good bang for the dollars and very easy to drive.

The bottom line is my hearing and taste may be completely different than yours. Every one of the above speakers has fans here that will think I'm full of crap so the only advice I can give is listen to what you can and read up on some pro reviews. They aren't always trustworthy but it's a place to start. Oh and make sure that you have a 30 day return window because a speaker can sound a lot different once you get it home.

shadyJ 07-11-2011 03:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindphleb View Post

Does the HC-1 have a mount on the bottom that would look strange if used as a floor stander?

It kind of does. What the HC-1 has is two circular plastic things that go into a mount. They can be removed but under them is bare MDF board, so you end up having two stripes of exposed MDF. I am using them vertically. very good speakers, but probably not the best for tower speakers because ideally what you want is the tweeters at ear level. It would work much better on a stand of some kind.


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