Opinions...... B&W 685 vs. Klipsch RB 61 II - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone,

I'm very curious to hear any feedback about your preferences between the B&W 685 vs. the Klipsch RB 61 II.

Both speakers have front ports and same sized (6.5") woofer.



Oh, and these would be used as front speakers.


Thanks in advance for your thoughts.



EDITED: I guess I should mention that I'm a Canadian working in China at this time, so I can't audition both. I used to own Paradigm Studio speakers but they are too expensive here. I have heard Klipsch before, and heard them here as well. I don't have an issue with their sound. I can't audition B&W, unfortunately.

Also, cost where I am, is probably $150 more for a pair of 685's.

Klipsch RB 61 II - $550 a pair
B&W 685 - $700 a pair
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post #2 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo11 View Post

Hello everyone,

I'm very curious to hear any feedback about your preferences between the B&W 685 vs. the Klipsch RB 61 II.

Both speakers have front ports and same sized (6.5") woofer.



Oh, and these would be used as front speakers.


Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

If you have Best Buy Magnolia in your area you should be able to listen to them both. Do yourself a favor an audition them.
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post #3 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo11 View Post

Hello everyone,

I'm very curious to hear any feedback about your preferences between the B&W 685 vs. the Klipsch RB 61 II.

Both speakers have front ports and same sized (6.5") woofer.



Oh, and these would be used as front speakers.


Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

The woofer size is about the only thing these speakers have in common.

You will have a difficult time finding a good center for the 685 unless you use a 685 as the center.
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post #4 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Havok305 View Post

If you have Best Buy Magnolia in your area you should be able to listen to them both. Do yourself a favor an audition them.

Havoc, I edited my initial post to say I can't audition them because of where I live.
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post #5 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Havok305 View Post

If you have Best Buy Magnolia in your area you should be able to listen to them both. Do yourself a favor an audition them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post

The woofer size is about the only thing these speakers have in common.

You will have a difficult time finding a good center for the 685 unless you use a 685 as the center.


Can I ask why I can't use the B&W HTM 62 or HTM 61? Even the B&W website says they are matched.
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post #6 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 06:46 AM
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Those centers ARE voicematched.

You CAN use either one. I don't want to speak for the other poster, but I believe the concerns he may have with the 61 is that it has a VERY narrow sweet spot. If you're sitting much outside this center sweet spot, the sound of the center falls apart.

That is true. But if, like me, you're sitting in front of the TV, it won't matter.

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post #7 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [Irishman] View Post

Those centers ARE voicematched.

You CAN use either one. I don't want to speak for the other poster, but I believe the concerns he may have with the 61 is that it has a VERY narrow sweet spot. If you're sitting much outside this center sweet spot, the sound of the center falls apart.

That is true. But if, like me, you're sitting in front of the TV, it won't matter.

Hello Irishman,

Thanks for your comments. I assume you mean the HTM 61, and not the RB 61.

You seem to know about the sweet spots of center... if I get the RB 61's, I'll obviously get the RC 62. Any opinion on it? I've heard it's a good center.
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post #8 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo11 View Post

Havoc, I edited my initial post to say I can't audition them because of where I live.

Check this thread for impressions by another user on the 685's.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1369703

Also check out the search function.

Good luck.
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post #9 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo11 View Post

Can I ask why I can't use the B&W HTM 62 or HTM 61? Even the B&W website says they are matched.

If you have not listened to a good center you may think the HTM61 sounds good. A direct (side by side) comparison may show otherwise.
I have never found a sweet spot that keeps the HTM61 from sounding small and muffled.

Do the research. The pro reviewers say the same.

Then again, the 61 may sound great to you.
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post #10 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post

If you have not listened to a good center you may think the HTM61 sounds good. A direct (side by side) comparison may show otherwise.
I have never found a sweet spot that keeps the HTM61 from sounding small and muffled.

Do the research. The pro reviewers say the same.

Then again, the 61 may sound great to you.


Mudcat,

Can you give me your opinion about Klipsch centers.... in particular the RC 62?

Thanks
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post #11 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo11 View Post

Mudcat,

Can you give me your opinion about Klipsch centers.... in particular the RC 62?

Thanks

I have only heard it a few times and those times were not serious evaluations. I did have the RC7 center. The RC7 was excellent and I would expect the 62 to be excellent also.
Search the Klipsch owners forum.
PS: Klipsch is generally not as bright as some lead us to believe. I have heard many speakers that were brighter yet their followers just claim that they are detailed.
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post #12 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 07:25 PM
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I demoed the tower versions 683 for the B&W and RF62II klipsch. The 683s were by far much more pleasing for music. The RF62s were better for movies (and I assume gaming as well).

The B&Ws really ate up all the Marantz 5006 AVR could give it in 2 channel. So extrapolating the from the towers........I would guess it would be sort of the same for the book shelf models.

I am one that found the Klipsch to be too bright and fatiguing for music at medium and above volume but I loved them for movies. So dynamic and the vocals from the center channel (the smaller RC52) were very, very good.

That's it...

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post #13 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

I demoed the tower versions 683 for the B&W and RF62II klipsch. The 683s were by far much more pleasing for music. The RF62s were better for movies (and I assume gaming as well).

The B&Ws really ate up all the Marantz 5006 AVR could give it in 2 channel. So extrapolating the from the towers........I would guess it would be sort of the same for the book shelf models.

I am one that found the Klipsch to be too bright and fatiguing for music at medium and above volume but I loved them for movies. So dynamic and the vocals from the center channel (the smaller RC52) were very, very good.

That's it...


Kini,

Thanks so much for that information. That is actually EXTREMELY useful and pertinent to my situation.

I'm going to be setting up an entire 5.1 system with Klipsch, and that room will be specifically for watching BluRay movies and also possibly getting into some gaming.

My main room is going to have a 2.1 setup. I was going to put Klipsch in that room as well, but based on what I've been reading, I'm thinking of going with another brand instead. I think I'm going to buy the Klipsch for my 5.1 system, and then test the fronts as a 2.1 in my main room. If I enjoy the sound, I'll buy Klipsch for that system, and if not, I'll switch.

Note: Right now, Klipsch are giving me the best "bang-for-the-buck" compared to some other brands, and unfortunately at this stage that makes a difference, since I'm setting up 2 systems at the same time, and that includes buying receivers.

Once again, thanks a lot for that post... I appreciate it, and it makes me feel better about a home theatre based on Klipsch speakers.
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post #14 of 32 Old 11-02-2011, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

I demoed the tower versions 683 for the B&W and RF62II klipsch. The 683s were by far much more pleasing for music. The RF62s were better for movies (and I assume gaming as well).

The B&Ws really ate up all the Marantz 5006 AVR could give it in 2 channel. So extrapolating the from the towers........I would guess it would be sort of the same for the book shelf models.

I am one that found the Klipsch to be too bright and fatiguing for music at medium and above volume but I loved them for movies. So dynamic and the vocals from the center channel (the smaller RC52) were very, very good.

That's it...


One more question.

You mentioned B&W's being played off of a Marantz SR5006. Did you listen to the Klipsch off the same Marantz??

I'm considering going with a Marantz sr6006 to power the 5.1 system I'm going to outfit with Klipsch for home theater use. Any experience with that combination would be great.

Thanks again.
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post #15 of 32 Old 11-03-2011, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

I demoed the tower versions 683 for the B&W and RF62II klipsch. The 683s were by far much more pleasing for music. The RF62s were better for movies (and I assume gaming as well).

The B&Ws really ate up all the Marantz 5006 AVR could give it in 2 channel. So extrapolating the from the towers........I would guess it would be sort of the same for the book shelf models.

I am one that found the Klipsch to be too bright and fatiguing for music at medium and above volume but I loved them for movies. So dynamic and the vocals from the center channel (the smaller RC52) were very, very good.

That's it...

I agree that the 6xx series will be better for music for most listeners. Providing that an amp with sufficient power is used. On my first listen to the 683 I was very impressed because I did not exceed a medium volume and was using the store music. Mostly acoustical or solo singer. Later when listening to Eagles music and Master and Commander DVD ( and others) I noticed that the 683's became compressed / congested at decent listening levels. They were being powered by a Denon 3808 which is rated at 130 watts.I immediately noticed that the HTM61 was inferior to even the least quality center channel speaker that I have ever heard. This was in a Hi FI store with better listening room than BB.

I was not promoting Klipsch earlier. I would likely take the 683's and use a 685 or CMC for a center. Mainly because the 683 has better bass and has a more filling and larger sound. Dang those B&W centers.
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post #16 of 32 Old 11-03-2011, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by markopolo11 View Post

Hello Irishman,

Thanks for your comments. I assume you mean the HTM 61, and not the RB 61.

You seem to know about the sweet spots of center... if I get the RB 61's, I'll obviously get the RC 62. Any opinion on it? I've heard it's a good center.

Yeah, the RC62 is a great center. It doesn't have the same issues that the HTM61 does. On the other hand, Klipsch speakers can sound too bright (read harsh) to some ears. Others (like me) enjoy their precision, efficiency, and dynamics.

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post #17 of 32 Old 11-03-2011, 06:32 AM
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As a current Marantz sr5003 and former Klipsch RF52/RC52/RB51 owner, I agree with Kini62 as far as Klipsch being very good for movies. The combination of Marantz and Klipsch work very well together. Even though the Klipsch are sensitive, they LOVE power!
These are my own opinions of following speakers.....
RC52 - pretty solid center, very clear on vocals, dynamic, and a little forward in presentation.
RF52 - nice highs, very nice bass for 5.25" woofers, only thing I noticed was that it was a little recessed in the mids - would notice it during music and a little against the RC52.
RB51 - very nice bookshelf speakers - decent bass, mids were a little more present compared to tower version.
RB61 - never heard them personally. "could" provide better mids with larger woofer.
685 - nice bookshelf speaker - nice highs/ mids/ lows. only thing was that I could always tell where the were, but could have been bad positioning on my part.

Sorry for long post, but thought I should share since I have a little bit of experience with most.
Please note that some of the characteristics I heard could change depending on room size and furnishings.
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post #18 of 32 Old 11-03-2011, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeLo View Post

As a current Marantz sr5003 and former Klipsch RF52/RC52/RB51 owner, I agree with Kini62 as far as Klipsch being very good for movies. The combination of Marantz and Klipsch work very well together. Even though the Klipsch are sensitive, they LOVE power!

explain to us how something "loves power" that it doesn't even use?

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post #19 of 32 Old 11-03-2011, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeLo View Post

As a current Marantz sr5003 and former Klipsch RF52/RC52/RB51 owner, I agree with Kini62 as far as Klipsch being very good for movies. The combination of Marantz and Klipsch work very well together. Even though the Klipsch are sensitive, they LOVE power!
These are my own opinions of following speakers.....
RC52 - pretty solid center, very clear on vocals, dynamic, and a little forward in presentation.
RF52 - nice highs, very nice bass for 5.25" woofers, only thing I noticed was that it was a little recessed in the mids - would notice it during music and a little against the RC52.
RB51 - very nice bookshelf speakers - decent bass, mids were a little more present compared to tower version.
RB61 - never heard them personally. "could" provide better mids with larger woofer.
685 - nice bookshelf speaker - nice highs/ mids/ lows. only thing was that I could always tell where the were, but could have been bad positioning on my part.

Sorry for long post, but thought I should share since I have a little bit of experience with most.
Please note that some of the characteristics I heard could change depending on room size and furnishings.


Not too long by any means... I'm happy to read anything you're willing to type.

I appreciate the information and the details for each type of speaker.
Thanks a lot.
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Originally Posted by [Irishman] View Post

Yeah, the RC62 is a great center. It doesn't have the same issues that the HTM61 does. On the other hand, Klipsch speakers can sound too bright (read harsh) to some ears. Others (like me) enjoy their precision, efficiency, and dynamics.

Well Irishman, I hope I also enjoy their precision, efficiency and dynamics, because I've decided I'm definitely going to fill one my setups (the 5.1 system at least) entirely with Klipsch.
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post #21 of 32 Old 11-03-2011, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo11 View Post

One more question.

You mentioned B&W's being played off of a Marantz SR5006. Did you listen to the Klipsch off the same Marantz??

I'm considering going with a Marantz sr6006 to power the 5.1 system I'm going to outfit with Klipsch for home theater use. Any experience with that combination would be great.

Thanks again.

I listened to the klipsch in a much larger room with a lower powered Denon AVR and they rocked. Very dynamic and clear. Great surround sound with the klipsch RS speakers too. The 6006 will drive them louder than you can stand in any normal size room.

Home theater mag just posted a review of the RB61II based system. The specs are good, but more importantly the reviewer was very impressed with the speakers. Skip the klipsch sub though.

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post #22 of 32 Old 11-03-2011, 10:01 AM
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I demoed the Klipsch RB 61s and similiar B&Ws, don't remember the model, I bought the Klipsch. The RB 61s (and SW-450 sub) are used strickly for music, mostly rock and bluegrass/americana. I love the sound of the 61s for what I listen too. When I demoed both I listened to a variety of music and I will say the B&Ws sounded better when listening to classical music.
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post #23 of 32 Old 11-03-2011, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

explain to us how something "loves power" that it doesn't even use?

All I meant was, for me anyways. . .
The tweeter is very sensitive and generates lots of sound, its just the woofers are a little stiff and required more volume(power) to get them moving.
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post #24 of 32 Old 11-03-2011, 11:03 AM
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^^^

that's an interesting theory...

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post #25 of 32 Old 06-24-2013, 05:24 PM
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I know this is an old thread, but in case someone is looking at the same decision. Here's what I heard tonight in comparing the two:

In many ways I couldn't tell much difference between the B&W and the Klipsch bookshelf. Keep in mind I'm not an audiophile and don't have a trained ear. As I continued to listen the B&W's were cleaner in some areas (gun fight scene in Mr & Mrs Smith).

I'm leaning back towards the Klipsch. I got a good price on those B&Ws but still have to buy surrounds and their multidirectional were a. huge and b. $850 for the pair! I've also read some negative reviews of B&Ws HTM62 center having a narrow sweet spot and just overall not great whereas the Klipsch get good reviews all around.

The B&Ws did sound great, but when I take into consideration their surround I'm up to $2k...a long way away from where I started ($350 pioneers).

After listening to the two and not seeing a HUGE difference, I did plug the Pioneers back in wondering if I didn't give them a fair chance as I had auditioned them without a sub. Nope, they just are a bit flat and miss the dimension that the others bring. Don't get me wrong, great speakers for the price and if they had been in place when I bought the house it probably wouldn't be a high priority to replace them. But I do want to do this right (and not destroy my budget).

So I will likely go with:

RB-52 for the front (though I may try the RB-41s...not convinced I need the 52s for my 12x19 room, thoughts there?)
RC-52 for the center
RS-41 for the surround

and then probably the rb12 or the SVS...though I may hold onto the Klipsch sub. Any thoughts on that subwoofer?

So that's $900 plus either $500, 400 or 350 for the sub.

All powered by my Pioneer SC61.
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post #26 of 32 Old 06-24-2013, 10:12 PM
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You didn't mention whether this is for movies or music. I'm not a Klipsch basher like many others and happen to find the sound fine when properly set up. Having said that, I've listened to both extensively and I'd definitely choose the B&W's over the Klipsch for music and Klipsch over B&W for HT (though this might be a bit tougher as I happen to really like the 685's).

The reason I'd choose Klipsch for HT is because they're more sensitive and can pump out SPL, which is extremely important in HT. They don't ring or fatigue the way most people say they do (EQ + SPL meter are your friends in proper setup). B&W's are also awesome and have a very sweet sounding midrange, especially with voices/jazz music/etc.

You probably don't need an overly expensive amp to drive either one... almost any mid-range amp will do. Don't buy into all the hype.

Not sure if this helps, but you really can't go wrong with either, you can go wrong LESS with the 685's, though I would pay more attention to the amplification section of the receiver if buying those.

P.S. You can use the bookshelf all around, including for your center channel...

EDIT: Oh crap, this is a really old thread... heh.

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post #27 of 32 Old 06-25-2013, 04:34 AM
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My use is HT and Gaming, not a music guy myself.

I had been looking at a cheaper receiver, $350 range, but the first Denon I bought was DOA, then found a Pioneer Elite SC61 for $600 and grabbed it. Suppose I could return that for a different $350 receiver and put that towards a nicer projector but sounds like the SC61 is a very nice receiver for both sound and display.

BTW, what's SPL...couldn't figure that one out.

What do you think of the B&W subwoofer compared to the Klipsch RW12? The RW12 is on sale at Newegg right now for $299 so considering between that, the B&W or the SVS. I'm not a big rattle the house or even room, but do want good range and for movies that low end is important.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbuck View Post

My use is HT and Gaming, not a music guy myself.

I had been looking at a cheaper receiver, $350 range, but the first Denon I bought was DOA, then found a Pioneer Elite SC61 for $600 and grabbed it. Suppose I could return that for a different $350 receiver and put that towards a nicer projector but sounds like the SC61 is a very nice receiver for both sound and display.

BTW, what's SPL...couldn't figure that one out.

What do you think of the B&W subwoofer compared to the Klipsch RW12? The RW12 is on sale at Newegg right now for $299 so considering between that, the B&W or the SVS. I'm not a big rattle the house or even room, but do want good range and for movies that low end is important.

I don't have experience with Pioneer Elite, but do like the Class D amplification as it runs cooler. The SC61 is even more powerful than my Yamaha and it drives my inefficient speakers with ease. The only thing I wish it had (hindsight is always 20/20) is dual HDMI output for the TV & projector. However a $15 HDMI switch has no problems handling this role.

SPL = Sound Pressure Level. I use a Radio Shack meter which looks like this one:


They aren't 100% accurate, but there are correction files on the forum if you want to do a search. The most important part is setting the level properly - so accurate SPL isn't as important as just having all speakers at the same level at your listening location and modify the FR curve of all to be pretty level.

I don't know which B&W sub you're referring to, but they're all pretty highly priced (B&W isn't exactly a budget brand - even the well priced 6-series). You're much better off with going with a company that specializes in subs and/or does internet direct (SVS, HSU, etc.). I've actually owned the Klipsch RW12 for a few years now (got the same deal on them) and basically bought them due to price. I guess it depends on your setup, but in my living room they shake the whole house plenty -- too much even. Even if I did get a more powerful sub, I couldn't turn it up any higher. A friend of mine owns the BIC PL-200 (another budget sub) and that also sounds just fine in his house. Again, you'd want to level match this to the speakers at ~80Hz (or wherever you X-over). If you were into music a "tighter" sub would be more important, but for HT you'll be fine with something more budget friendly.

Lots of what I wrote can be a contentious subject on here... people get really religious about speakers, amps, subs, room acoustics, etc etc etc. I've listened to sound systems from a few hundred bucks all the way to the price of a nice car. For me, the sweet spot is towards the "bottom" of the range, though most would still consider it expensive. For example, I've compared the B&W 683 ($750/ea) to the B&W 802 ($12k each) and for my purposes, I didn't hear much difference (at normal SPL). Maybe I just don't have golden ears (most people don't with a blind fold on). No doubt it's a better speaker though, much better.

What's your budget for speakers BTW? I think as long as you're in the ~300-700 per speaker range you can do really well with a little bit of research. Again, depends on your needs though. If you want reference level sound in a large room it'll be hard to get with that type of budget. If you want them to be "pretty" add to the cost, etc. For example, the TCA Pro/Sho's were under $400 each and could move a TON of air, but not particularly pretty.

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post #29 of 32 Old 06-30-2013, 05:13 AM
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My budget for speakers is in the $1500ish range.

Paradigm seems to fill the room more, the Klipsch seem to have a wall. It's like you're listening to the Klipsch while Paradigm puts you into the sound.

There are times those horns really come in handy on the Klipsch, especially in action. Listening to missile fly by on the Klipsch has a bit more impact, a bit more wow. The paradigm is probably more on the realistic side, but it's warmer tones, at least for me in that kind of scene, hurts it a bit.

Definitely not as huge of a gap as there was with Klipsch and Pioneer. Of course not a big money difference either. Tough call to make.

I was expecting a bigger difference, makes me wonder if I just don't have a picky ear and maybe should just buy some satellites and save that money (or put it towards the projector).
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post #30 of 32 Old 06-30-2013, 11:56 AM
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+1 on the projector. You can always upgrade speakers as money allows. I wish i would have done the projector a long time ago. It really is the only way to get the real theater experience. biggrin.gif. You could get the rb-61ii and rc-62 center then down the road upgrade your fronts and move the rb-61iis to the rears. That way your not wasting $.

Klipsch Pro Cinema KPT-904 L/C/R, RS-62 II Reference, and RB-61 II Reference
SVS PB13-Ultra, PB12-Plus x2, and Velodyne SMS-1 Sub EQ
SC-55 elite and B&K 200.7 S2
JVC RS-45 Projector, and Seymour CS 125” 2.35 screen
Oppo BDP-103
9 ATS Acoustic panels
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