7.1 Speakers for $4,000 - 5,000? - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 76 Old 09-14-2011, 11:06 AM
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OP,
If music is of great concern, and you want A+ sound with music, look at brands like Dynaudio Excite bookshelfs, Revel F12s and Dali Lektor 6. then look at the Integra DHC-40.2 pre-pro, and an Emotiva XPA-5 im sure you have plenty of power and great sound for whatever you want to listen to.

Dynaudio Focus 260s, Focus 210C, DM 2/6, Hsu VTF2 MK4, Oppo BDP-103,
Naim Nait XS-2, Jolida FX Tube DAC, Integra DTR-40.2, 55" Panasonic Plasma
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post #62 of 76 Old 09-14-2011, 11:11 AM
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If it were me, I would go with a magnepan system.

Get 2 pairs of mgmw for surrounds (about $700 total with shipping).
http://www.magnepan.com/model_MMGW

A pair of MMG for fronts (about $650 with shipping)
http://www.magnepan.com/model_MMG

A pair of mmgc for dual centers. (about $650 with shipping)
http://www.magnepan.com/model_MMGC

That would leave about $2,000 for subs.
I would probably get 2 hsu vtf-15h which would be around $2,100 shipped.
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15h.html

That would sound awesome for everything. I don't think you can touch the sound quality of this setup from any other manufacturer for around $4,000.

Many people state magenpans require a powerful amp because they're 4 ohms and ribbons. I haven't found that to be true at all. I can drive mine with a 100 wpc Marantz receiver with no problem.
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post #63 of 76 Old 09-14-2011, 11:15 AM
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4-ohm on-wall speakers with 86dB sensitivity?

Hm.
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post #64 of 76 Old 09-14-2011, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesBFree View Post


- I want good movie sound performance, but also want the speakers to do very well for music purposes.

Are you listen 2 channels music ( Stereo) or SACD (Multi channels)?
This will help to narrow down specific type of speakers you looking for
Hard to get speakers good for both HT and Music
NM....I see you already made make up your mind
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post #65 of 76 Old 09-14-2011, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnythan View Post

4-ohm on-wall speakers with 86dB sensitivity?

Hm.

They're not on-wall. Although you can mount them that way. The recommendation is to place them a couple of feet from the wall. MMGW mount on a hinge so one side corner is on wall. They're like a shudder with a hinge.

I wouldn't pay attention to the stats. Different manufacturers calculate stats differently and everything is very frequency dependent. You can't judge a speaker by numbers.

If you haven't listened to magnapans, I suggest you do. They produce a sound that boxed speakers can't possibly produce. It's hard to describe. You have to hear it. They don't produce much bass, so a good sub(s) is needed.

The ones I suggested come with a 60 day trial period, so if you don't like them, you can return them. I believe you have to pay for shipping.

Good luck. I think you can't really go wrong with any of the recommendations.
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post #66 of 76 Old 09-14-2011, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony123 View Post

Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. Lots of blood, sweat and tears in that room. 100% done myself.

You should be proud, great work.

Djoel
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post #67 of 76 Old 09-14-2011, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post


You should be proud, great work.

Djoel

+1, awesome theater and most impressive that it was built with your own hands and no prior experience.
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post #68 of 76 Old 09-14-2011, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

If it were me, I would go with a magnepan system.

Get 2 pairs of mgmw for surrounds (about $700 total with shipping).
http://www.magnepan.com/model_MMGW

A pair of MMG for fronts (about $650 with shipping)
http://www.magnepan.com/model_MMG

A pair of mmgc for dual centers. (about $650 with shipping)
http://www.magnepan.com/model_MMGC

That would leave about $2,000 for subs.
I would probably get 2 hsu vtf-15h which would be around $2,100 shipped.
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15h.html

That would sound awesome for everything. I don't think you can touch the sound quality of this setup from any other manufacturer for around $4,000.

Many people state magenpans require a powerful amp because they're 4 ohms and ribbons. I haven't found that to be true at all. I can drive mine with a 100 wpc Marantz receiver with no problem.

I absolutely love Maggie's for music but they are not anywhere near good enough for HT.

Television: Mitsubishi WD65737 DLP
Processor: Emotiva UMC-200
Amps: Carver AV 806x/Behringer EP4000
Mains: DCM TimeFrame 600 Center: AT 453C
Surrounds: AT 251.1 Sub: Danley DTS-10
Blu Ray: Panasonic DMP-BD655
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post #69 of 76 Old 09-15-2011, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesBFree

And thanks to you Nuance - the 2 links in your .sig are VERY helpful and I think we have similar ears from what I read, making the Salks very interesting. (Posting them here for future reference in case you ever decide to change it.)

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=919069

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...082&highlight=
Thank you for the kind words sir. Best wishes to you and your search. I look forward to seeing what you end up with.

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post #70 of 76 Old 09-24-2011, 04:45 PM
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Sorry to semi-hijack the thread, but I am looking in the same price range for a similarly sized room for a 7.1/2 system and thought it might add to the thread to bring this up. Even though I enjoy music (mostly rock), my primary purpose is HT for this room and anticipate that being the usage at least 80% of the time.

I've been focusing on the speakers first and then plan to select my other equipment around them. Even though CD speakers seem to be the preferred choice given my budget, I think I have an alternate that might be viable. Frankly, I'm scared that I'm not going to like the "harshness" of Klipsches that I can afford and the availability of other quality CD-based speakers in my price appears to be limited right now.

One approach I have considered is going with Emotiva 3 X ERM-6.3 for L/R/C and 2 pairs of ERD-1 surrounds. I have read very good things about the Emotivas and given their current clearance pricing, I could afford to pair them with amps (UPA5 + XPA2 for comparison - but I haven't researched amps much yet).

The total Emotiva setup would run $2900 before I added the sub or preamp/processor, which I'm reasonably certain I can do well with up to $2100 to spend. This would mitigate the inefficiency of the 4OHM speakers and give a very flexible and upgrade-able setup.

Does anyone have any feedback on this approach? What would be an ideal pair of subs to pair with these?

Thanks!
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post #71 of 76 Old 09-24-2011, 09:14 PM
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CHT Pro/SHO-10's are CD and are not harsh like the Klipsch speakers.

Television: Mitsubishi WD65737 DLP
Processor: Emotiva UMC-200
Amps: Carver AV 806x/Behringer EP4000
Mains: DCM TimeFrame 600 Center: AT 453C
Surrounds: AT 251.1 Sub: Danley DTS-10
Blu Ray: Panasonic DMP-BD655
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post #72 of 76 Old 09-25-2011, 05:54 AM
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So for perfectly matching speakers, I could go with 7 X SHO-10's for $1500. I would lose out on the placement flexibility of the bi-directional surrounds, but could probably deal with that.

Are the SHO's in the same class (i.e. quality) of speaker?
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post #73 of 76 Old 10-28-2011, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, a quick update:

Got out and did some more listening. I figured we would go listen to the B&W 683s since I really don't want to spend the $7 - 8k on the CM8 surround setup.

We went to a high end HT store but they seemed to focus more on complete HT design/build and not so much on retail sales. The experience started out very disappointing as the guy helping us basically set us up in a very narrow alcove in their store with a pair of B&W 683s and 2 kitchen-type chairs (there were 3 of us). After standing there listening for a few minutes, I kicked my wife out of the chair and we took turns sitting and listening (I am only semi-joking about kicking her out - but it was not fun having to switch off).

The speakers did not sound that great but I attributed that to listening in an 8' wide space with 8' ceiling and a lot of drywall. We asked if we could listen to them in one of their dedicated listening rooms. The answer was that those rooms had all the speakers in-wall and no way to change them out. This seemed very odd and I was getting pretty mad.

(The other stores I had been to years ago last time I bought new gear all had dedicated rooms where they were happy to do A/B tests and swap in and out a lot of equipment. Was I being screwed with, or is this just how stores operate now?)

The other thing I was unhappy about was that the sales guy complained about the hard rock CD I had (Social Distortion, 1 of 10 CDs of a wide variety of music) was too dense of music to sound good. Whether true or not, I wanted to see what it sounded like. He popped it out and put on an iPod with Diane Krall on it (at who knows what bit rate). So we compromised by putting on Lloyd Cole (great male vocals, very clear and clean). That also didn't sound that great and my wife leaned over and said that honestly she didn't think it sounded any better than the old Cambridge Soundworks bookshelf speakers we have sitting around. I agreed. Again, I think it was the room or maybe equipment or cabling issue. One of the speakers did have a loose connection but seemed OK that way after jiggling it.

Whether you like B&Ws or not, this should sound odd to you, and it certainly did to us.

So we tried a pair of PSB Imagine T6s next. Much the same results, so it wasn't just the B&W speakers.

The salesman suggested the PSB Imagine Ts, so although discouraged we figured we were already there so why not? The price was less than the B&W CM8s.

To our surprise, he had them already hooked up in a much nicer area of the store that had actual upholstered furniture and not crammed into a corner. (We still weren't allowed into the listening rooms.)

In went the requisite Diane Krall (I didn't try to fight that one as we do own a couple of her albums). The speaker sounded WAY better and I thought to myself OK this is much more like what I was expecting to hear. I could easily live with those

Then I noticed that the B&W CM8s were sitting right next to the Imagine Ts and began to not just suspect but to believe that we were being treated like slum dwellers for looking at the 683s and Imagine T6s.

We gave those a whirl (Diane Krall again so as not to upset the guy) and were really digging them to the point where we were seriously considering spending the extra money on a surround system based on them.

Then my wife pointed out that another customer appeared to be listening to music in, wait for it, one of the listening rooms.

There were a lot of other issues during our visit, such as no subwoofer being available to pair with any of those speakers (they thought it was an issue with the sub itself, but later said it was the cable, so 2 bad cables at their store for what I would consider mid-high end speakers).

One thing I did learn though - my ears like having a separate mid and not just 2 woofers. The CM8s were the only ones that did, and may have been the difference maker between those and the Imagine Ts.

Anyway, the guy said their other store had a CM8-based surround system (not the full CM8 system) set up so we went to look at it the next day. It was very nice (and had a working sub!).

Given that the CM8 system with CM1 or CM5 bookshelf speakers for the surrounds is quite pricey, we discussed options for those. The salesman was much more helpful that day, I mean REALLY helpful. Not sure what happened the first day or if what I described above is just "normal".

One option is the B&W DS3 dipole speaker (switchable to monopole), but they did not have any on hand to listen to.



So this would be a bit of a flyer in terms of not being able to listen but from other reading seems like it would be a great choice for a surround with the CM8s. (Actually, it is part of the 600 series as obviously are the 683s. The tweeter is aluminum in the DS3, and so a better match than some of their cheaper speakers with a non-metal tweeter.)

So we priced out a system with the CM8s and DS3s, but it is a rather large number.

Still going back and forth in my mind, but the wife really liked the CM8s and is OK with the price.

But Aperion has the Verus Grand Towers system on sale for about half the price and free shipping both ways so I may give that a try.
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post #74 of 76 Old 10-28-2011, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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A couple of more items from that last listening trip:

I tend to dislike the HTs I have been in that have very "crunchy" granular sound. The surround speakers with larger (like 10") woofers seem to mostly fall into that grouping. Just my personal preference.

Or the type where individual surround speakers seem to be very located in space. The kind where you think "the gunshot came from THAT speaker", as opposed to "the gunshot came from over there".

The salesman said that that is how most surround systems are designed because a lot of people want them that way. And why a lot of speaker makers have gone away from dipole speakers and how we got on the discussion on the B&W DS3s. He said that due to that, soundtracks are engineered somewhat in that direction too so are not designed to take advantage of the dipoles.
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post #75 of 76 Old 11-28-2011, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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So to close this out, I ended up going with an Aperion setup as follows:

3 x Verus Grand Towers across the front
4 x Verus Surround bi/Dipoles on the sides and rears
4 x Verus Forte Bookshelves for front high and wides
1 x Hsu VTF-15 sub (all 125 lbs of which I carried down two @$#%&^ flights of stairs by myself - man, was I ever cursing Dr. Hsu until I fired it up and WOW!)

The whole 11.1 setup was acquired for a bit over $5k delivered, which was somewhere between half and 2/3 of the price of a 7.1 B&W setup. That kept me within my budget, and coupled with the strong reviews for the Aperions, plus the sales experience, made it an easy decision to try them out (factoring in the Aperion 30-day in-home trial).

(I also went with the Onkyo TX-NR3009 receiver.)

I have put a few hours in with music, but with the screen arriving just today haven't done much movie listening yet besides a few short DVDs segments on my old slide projector screen. But I can say that this is a pretty amazing setup and I am absolutely in love with it! I had Miles' "Kind of Blue" playing while I was running cable to the projector, and found myself to have stopped working and was just standing there listening to it...

To quote Dire Straits, "can't do the talk like the talk on the TV", so I wish I could describe the sound quality as eloquently as others might, but there are professional reviews so I will leave it up to them.
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post #76 of 76 Old 11-28-2011, 05:28 PM
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Very cool, MilesBFree. Enjoy!

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No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
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