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post #1 of 77 Old 11-13-2011, 12:55 AM - Thread Starter
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PLEASE HELP WITH SPEAKER TYPE, SELECTION, LAYOUT, ETC....ON A BUDGET.

Hello, I'm new to this forum and would really appreciate some basic advice on setting up a new stereo system. It has been about 20 years since I have bought anything and I am feeling overwhelmed after researching here and elsewhere...so much has changed since then. I have read through many relevant threads/reviews but am still quite unclear; sorry for another newb thread....

I am looking for advice with the following situation:

Music 100% (or 65% and movies/TV 35% if we do HT/surround). 0% gaming, etc.

My wife is a part-time opera singer, so it is important that the set-up be geared for her to listen to her practices and other works, as well as a range of music from classical to jazz and blues. We have a nice television but have never looked into home theater, etc. That might be nice, but is not a major criterion, especially if it affects the music. The music is essential.

In terms of equipment, the only stereo components we use now (these are old and I don't know if they are worth keepingbut if possible we would like to in order to contain costs) are a Philips FR 920 A/V Surround receiver; a Sony C77ES CD player; and a DVD player. The no-name speakers are trashed and that is our primary need. We also have several Sonos pieces throughout the house, and play those through the stereo and computer, but none of these are in the living area.

If it helps, I have attached a plan of the living/dining area. The space is quite long (37') and is divided into 2 sections in terms of height. The shaded area that has red dots over (where the stereo/TV are) is about 12' x 14' with a flat ceiling about 8.5' high, while the area not dotted (over the dining table) rises from 8.5' at the windows to about 16' high at the curved dashed line. The floors are terrazzo except for 3 rugs; the walls are plaster over brick; the ceilings are drywall...so mainly hard surfaces.



I realize that it is best to listen to speakers before buying, but we're not yet ready for that I think, and not even sure what to ask a salesman (although we will go to some stores with the same questions listed here). I would just feel better with a bit more knowledge and focus before running that gauntlet.

Despite my wife's avocation, we are not really equipment audiophiles; not tech geeks; and are on a budget. Basically, new (used would also be fine) speakers at $400-$600 total are the first necessity, and this is where it gets confusing. I have read all the best speakers under $300...$500 etc. threads here and elsewhere, but I'm feeling information overload because I don't know how to set the system criteria.

I don't know if we should focus on:
A) 2 bookshelf or towers (bookshelf would be much better for space and position reasons, but towers may be more efficient = no subwoofer?);
B) 3.1 l/r/center or at 2 speakers + subwoofer; or
C) 5.1 music/TV setup + subwoofer.
Is one approach "better" than others for predominantly music listening?

In reading the relevant threads I'm taking notes and trying to set up a list of various speaker options, but that is not the main issue right now. I'm not looking for a list of brands, etc. although any recommendations are certainly appreciated. I'm listing things from the Best Buy Pioneer package to things like HSU, etc. A bit too much range I think! I would rather understand the approach first, then research speaker options, and only then present some packages for comment.

So, perhaps this is too general a question, but I would truly appreciate advice first on which direction to pursue, from among the options listed above; this will help focus the research and hopefully lessen the overwhelming amount of choices.

Also, it would really help to know if we need to replace the receiver. I suspect so, but I really don't know. If we need to do so, we would probably go with a Denon or Cambridge Audio Azur refurb (possibly Onkyo too, but the "overheating issue" scares me a bit...I don't get it) from Accesories4Less.

Thanks in advance.
I am cross-posting this on a couple of other forums also, so apologies to those who read the same thread twice.
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post #2 of 77 Old 11-13-2011, 06:37 AM
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please clarify - $300 per speaker or $300 budget cap ?
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post #3 of 77 Old 11-13-2011, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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$300-$350 for a pair of good speakers (if 2, and used is better in that case I think), and roughly the same for smaller 5 (i.e. SuperZero) hopefully. Extra for a sub and receiver if needed. The total allocation depends on our needs. I'm trying to understand what the best setup would be first of all, and go from there.




Edit:
We do like music-listening/background but not loud partying, etc. If we are listening/reading/watching television of course we are centered on the stereo location, but we also like music while dining/entertaining, esp with friends over since some of them are also singers and a conductor/teacher. People do tend to move around.

Just to be clear, the "room" where the stereo is located is only enclosed on 3 sides. It is completely open to the high-ceiling dining area, so ideally the setup would sound good in both situations: 1: frontal, music; and 2: off-axis, dining. This is why I was thinking that perhaps 4 or 5 smaller wall-mounted speakers such as NHT SuperZero might work well, at the 4 corners/front center of the sitting area, so as to then also reflect out, but I don't know.



Another issue is speaker size: the apartment is in Venice, Italy where I will be returning for the holidays and then permanently in a few months (my wife is already there). Smaller speakers rather than big towers will obviously be easier to ship (from California).
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post #4 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I realize there are many, many threads such as this one here, and that it is impossible for the regular and experienced members to reply to every one, but I would really appreciate at least a basic response to the criteria question I posed in post #1 (now edited).

I am reading the similar threads for responses/comments in terms of brands, etc., and am compiling a list to then refine once I know more. I think the speaker budget needs to go up, and I suppose we will need a new receiver.

The main question now is: in terms of the A, B, C approaches listed above, is there one in particular I should focus on? That would help a lot.
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post #5 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 04:08 PM
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Just give us your total budget for 5 speakers and a subwoofer? And it looks like it isn't actually 100% home theater as you want your wife to be able to listen to her music.

Panasonic P60ST50-Yamaha RX-V467 receiver-Sony PS3-Velodyne SMS-1-Canton 430 mains, 455 center and 402 surrounds-Rythmik FV15HP subwoofer- Pro-ject Debut III turntable- I also have a pair of Mark K's DIY design, the ER18DXT's
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My humble entertainment room
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1417652/midwest...
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post #6 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 04:09 PM
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Focus on the primary - your budget is a challenge.

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Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #7 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 04:23 PM
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You definitely want good, musical speakers. That will cost you more than $300 / pair.

Up it to >$700 / pair and you have some real options. Otherwise, it's budget, plain-jane stuff for you.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #8 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benclement11 View Post

Just give us your total budget for 5 speakers and a subwoofer? And it looks like it isn't actually 100% home theater as you want your wife to be able to listen to her music.

If we need a new receiver, maybe $1000 absolute max for 5 + sub + rec.

Is 5 + sub the best way to go though? You are right: it is not 100% HT at all and never will be. The music is the important thing. We can watch TV/films as we always have. The 5 would be only if it provided great music listening and as a bonus allowed HT/surround. Otherwise we're not that interested and would rather (need to) save money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Focus on the primary - your budget is a challenge.

I have seen that you often provide very helpful advice in threads like these; thanks much. How much budget? Mainly, which approach first, of the 3 listed above? By primary, do you mean a new receiver and 2 good speakers, or 2 + sub?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

You definitely want good, musical speakers. That will cost you more than $300 / pair.

Up it to >$700 / pair and you have some real options. Otherwise, it's budget, plain-jane stuff for you.

Yes, I'm getting that distinct feeling.
I'm confused when I read that the Pioneer Best Buy package is "amazing", but maybe it's just because it's very good for $310, but not really that special? I went yesterday to try to listen to those and others, but the place was a zoo, no salesman available, etc. I need to go back at a calmer time.

In any case, I agree: even on the "budget end", from what I've gleaned so far:
Pioneer package (on sale right now) = $310 total, incl. tax.
Infinity (which zieglj01 has recommended in a few cases) 2-P163 + 1-PC251 + 2-P152 = $526 shipped Amazon.
Infinity 2-P163 + 1-PC351 + 2-P152 = $631 shipped Amazon.
Energy 2-CB10 + 1-CC10 + 2-CB5 = $710 shipped Amazon.
And still no sub and no receiver....

However, I don't know if 5.1 is the way to go. But even for 2 only the prices for Monitor BX, BR, etc; Wharfedale 10; Cambridge S30, etc. are going to put us in a higher range.

I don't know where the "good" cut-off is, but I certainly don't want to spend $300-400 for stuff that doesn't really deliver. That makes no sense at all. On the other hand we need to contain costs and be realistic about the situation (not pros, no listening room, etc.) as much as possible.

Thanks all.
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post #9 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 05:07 PM
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I would start with 2.0 for now - by primary, I mean the TV and general
sitting area. Get a receiver with zone 2 - to set up speakers in the dining
area, when you save some money. I do reccomend Infinity from time to
time - however, I think there are better musical speakers around. Pioneer
is good - however, I do not consider it amazing.

Speakers, Boston VS260 - Very musical
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...oustics-vs-260
http://www.bostonacoustics.com/-VS-2...aker-P229.aspx

Receiver, Yamaha A800 - with second zone.
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-A800.../dp/B003XDU498

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #10 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 05:10 PM
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The Pioneer stuff is good in the sense of "good for a budget speaker" category.

Since you have a higher requirement for sound quality you might want to look at a good stereo pair and then add a bit at a time.

AperionAudio.com makes a good Verus Grand Bookshelf.

Some like the Arx speakers at theaudioinsider.com.

I'm running out of time on my computer session where I am at the moment, so I'll have to come back later with more.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #11 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

I would start with 2.0 for now - by primary, I mean the TV and general
sitting area. Get a receiver with zone 2 - to set up speakers in the dining
area, when you save some money. I do reccomend Infinity from time to
time - however, I think there are better musical speakers around. Pioneer
is good - however, I do not consider it amazing.

Speakers, Boston VS260 - Very musical
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...oustics-vs-260
http://www.bostonacoustics.com/-VS-2...aker-P229.aspx

Receiver, Yamaha A800 - with second zone.
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-A800.../dp/B003XDU498

I see, just 2 speakers. I think you're right. The HT is just not that important to us. Is a center used only in HT/surround, and 2 speakers alone only/mainly for music?

The Philips receiver we have now is 2-zone I believe; it has "A" and "B" speaker on/off buttons. But it is pretty old.

That Yamaha you linked looks very impressive, but do I need 7.1? Or did you link it mainly because of the power/quality/future options?

Another thought on the second zone (dining): I'm thinking now though that it would be simpler to focus only on the living area. To serve the dining area we could use the Sonos ZP90, hooked up to the receiver and put the Sonos S5 (we already have both, very nice gifts) on the dining credenza; that way no wiring all the way down there. I think that would work. We don't need hi-fi in the dining area: the ceiling is way up there, people are talking, etc. The Sonos S5 seems like it would be fine, and then the focus can be only on the living area components and set-up. In this case we wouldn't need a 2-zone receiver, correct?

Thanks much, for the links as well: I have read more than once that the BA (and Monitor Audio) are good speakers at this price for music. Would the BAs require a sub? They look very nice, real wood, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

The Pioneer stuff is good in the sense of "good for a budget speaker" category.

Since you have a higher requirement for sound quality you might want to look at a good stereo pair and then add a bit at a time.

AperionAudio.com makes a good Verus Grand Bookshelf.

Some like the Arx speakers at theaudioinsider.com.

I'm running out of time on my computer session where I am at the moment, so I'll have to come back later with more.

Thank you also. I agree with the direction you and zieglj01 are recommending. I have looked at Arx when I was looking at Swan (but the Swans that would serve are too $$$). I'll look at Aperion. Also intrigued by KEF and Wharfedale 9.1 or 10.1 (but those require a 6 ohm receiver I believe).
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post #12 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 06:07 PM
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For $281 - the Harman Kardon stereo receiver
http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-.../dp/B00198F89A

I would not A & B, that Phillips receiver

The Boston has good bass, no rush for a sub with music - and has good detail,
definition and depth.

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #13 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 06:09 PM
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Since music is so important to you, I have picked the fallowing based on that and I STRONGLY STRONGLY believe, you will not find anything better for the money.

A pair of Energy RC-10 bookshelves. $350 shipped. (They play Opera like it's their job). A very warm and neutral sounding speaker. Here is the link: http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...05/energy-rc10

Subwoofer would be the Emotiva Ultra 12 which is on clearance ($329 shipped) and is said to sound amazing during music applications. I have one of Emotiva's newer subs and music is also very important to me. It sounds superb and I have heard subs 2-3 times it's price that don't even sound as good. You WILL NOT and I repeat WILL NOT find a better sounding sub at this price point. Here is the link: http://emotiva.com/ultra_sub12.shtm

For the receiver, I chose you a Yamaha RX-V471 which cost $329 shipped. I don't have this model but I do own another Yamaha receiver. They are very warm/neutral sounding and also very reliable that will last for years on end. They also run very cool which comes in handy if you have it enclosed in a cabinet. For $329 you get a good amount of power and a lot of bells and whistles. In my opinion, you don't need a receiver with anything more than this has. If you do, you could always look at other offerings but from the sounds of things, you just want a good sounding system for music and the ability to upgrade to a good sounding HT surround system. Here is the link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882115314

After everything is all said and done, all you would need to do is save up $700 to complete a surround sound set up of another pair of RC-10's and the matching center channel, the RC-LCR. I don't know what your room looks like but the RC's are very classy looking speakers that will sure enough compliment any room with their real wood veneer cabinets and Kevlar woofers. I do think you should get a sub in the beginning to help fill in the sound frequencies below 80-100 Hz. You don't however need a center channel and surround speakers for music or HT. In fact, most of us will only listen to music in 2.1 channel. The receiver I picked will give you a phantom center when watching movies however, your eventually going to want the surrounds and center to magnify the movie experience and who knows, you may prefer music listening in 5.1. Trust me man, you will thank me.
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post #14 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

For $281 - the Harman Kardon stereo receiver
http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-.../dp/B00198F89A

I would not A & B, that phillips receiver

The Boston has good bass, no rush for a sub with music - and has good detail,
definition and depth.

I don't think we'll use the Philips at all. Perhaps it's fine...I no longer know because our speakers are so bad, but in any case it is old and I doubt compatible with any future additions.

I think a new receiver is important, but do we need a 2-zone if we use the Sonos in the dining area?

Those Bostons do look very good, very nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ObsceneJesster View Post

Since music is so important to you, I have picked the fallowing based on that and I STRONGLY STRONGLY believe, you will not find anything better for the money.

A pair of Energy RC-10 bookshelves. $350 shipped. (They play Opera like it's their job). A very warm and neutral sounding speaker. Here is the link: http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...05/energy-rc10

Subwoofer would be the Emotiva Ultra 12 which is on clearance ($329 shipped) and is said to sound amazing during music applications. I have one of Emotiva's newer subs and music is also very important to me. It sounds superb and I have heard subs 2-3 times it's price that don't even sound as good. You WILL NOT and I repeat WILL NOT find a better sounding sub at this price point. Here is the link: http://emotiva.com/ultra_sub12.shtm

For the receiver, I chose you a Yamaha RX-V471 which cost $329 shipped. I don't have this model but I do own another Yamaha receiver. They are very warm/neutral sounding and also very reliable that will last for years on end. They also run very cool which comes in handy if you have it enclosed in a cabinet. For $329 you get a good amount of power and a lot of bells and whistles. In my opinion, you don't need a receiver with anything more than this has. If you do, you could always look at other offerings but from the sounds of things, you just want a good sounding system for music and the ability to upgrade to a good sounding HT surround system. Here is the link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882115314

After everything is all said and done, all you would need to do is save up $700 to complete a surround sound set up of another pair of RC-10's and the matching center channel, the RC-LCR. I don't know what your room looks like but the RC's are very classy looking speakers that will sure enough compliment any room with their real wood veneer cabinets and Kevlar woofers. I do think you should get a sub in the beginning to help fill in the sound frequencies below 80-100 Hz. You don't however need a center channel and surround speakers for music or HT. In fact, most of us will only listen to music in 2.1 channel. The receiver I picked will give you a phantom center when watching movies however, your eventually going to want the surrounds and center to magnify the movie experience and who knows, you may prefer music listening in 5.1. Trust me man, you will thank me.


I'm thanking you now: wonderful. Very thoughtful, detailed post.

I have read a lot of positive comments and reviews re: the Energy, and in fact I listed them some posts up. However, I had subsituted the CB-20 and -10 or -5 because I thought I had read in a few places that they were more suited to classical music than the RC series, that the CB-20 were a bit more even while the RC could get tinny I think. Did I misunderstand? I am definitely feeling overloaeded with info so perhaps I confused statements. Because I sure do read a lot of +++ comments re: the RC here. Almost universal.

In terms of aesthetics: +1. The space is very minimal: white walls, terrazzo floor, exposed beams, modern clean furniture. The minimalist RCs would look quite good in the setting, I'm certain. Either black, rosewood, or cherry cabinets would look good; white, maple, walnut less so.

Subs, I know nothing about other than that Emotiva (the name sounds good for music), SVS, Velodyne, maybe HSU are the ones to look at. I'll look at the ones you suggest.

I have always admired Yamaha receivers. I think they sound good, look good, and last well. For some reason I'm more comfortable with the idea of a 5.1 than the (beautiful, for sure, but maybe too much) 7.1 one zieglj01 linked.

Thanks both for the good suggestions, links, etc. I already feel more clear.
I assume many of you that post here a lot are in the industry in some way? You guys fire off links faster than I can type! I appreciate it.


One generic question: I will be buying these components in the US, but in the spring I am moving back to Italy permanently. Other than needing good power convertors, is there any reason that any of this equipment would not work in Italy?

I'm not sure about the Emotiva, etc. yet, but one thing I noted on the HSU sub is that it has an external 120/240 switch, very simple.

Note: I just read the Emotiva manual online: it doesn't look like it is switchable; but I a good converter would be fine?


Edit: @OJ: I saw your edit: what is a "phantom center"?
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post #15 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venessian View Post


I think a new receiver is important, but do we need a 2-zone if we use the Sonos in the dining area?

Those Bostons do look very good, very nice.

Second zone is an option or choice - not a requirement. I linked a
surround receiver as an option, for the future. That is a killer price
on the A800, regardless of 5.1 or 7.1 - I also linked it because, it
does not have cheap 1 khz specs. It has good power and will drive
good speakers like the Boston. Your choice.

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #16 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Second zone is an option or choice - not a requirement. I linked a
surround receiver as an option, for the future. That is a killer price
on the A800, regardless of 5.1 or 7.1 - I also linked it because it
does not have cheap 1 khz specs. It has good power and will drive
good speakers like the Boston. Your choice.

Yes, I saw that, thanks.
No issues using a 7.1 on 2.1 only and maybe 5.1 future? It has huge power it seems.

Yes, the Boston are very intriguing. One thing I find odd in my very recent research is, for all the sophistication, how absolutely terrible stereo product photography often is, esp. of black finishes. I'm trying to look at images of the Boston now on my laptop and the photos are horrible: small, very high contrast, very dark. It's strange, because I've seen this on many sites.



I finally found a 1/2 decent image: it looks like the Boston case is shaped from front to back and on top as well. It looks very elegant, but I agree: the performance sounds very good too. I'm getting some difficult choices here, but in a good way. I'll have to see if I can go hear these, the Energy, etc.

I'm curious about the shaping in general: those that do it say that it minimzes reflections and those that oppose it say that it only makes reflections less predictable and is mainly aesthetic. I can see both sides, but it is interesting that KEF had curved cases on the iQ30, etc. recently, but now are back to square on the new Q series.
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post #17 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 07:36 PM
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The shape makes a difference in sound and looks - The proof is in the
sound. However, the shape of the box is only part of the engineering.
I own Boston VS speakers, and they are one of my all time favorites.
They also do a good job with movies and TV. The high gloss black will
take your finger prints.

Internal bracing for square boxes, also makes a difference - It all comes
down to the end result - the design as a whole.

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #18 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 08:16 PM
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You got it backwards when comparing the Energy RC's to the CB's. Usually, everyone says the RC's are better for Classical, Opera and Contemporary while the CB's are better for Rock and Pop.

If you want to know anything else regarding Energy speakers, just head over to the Energy Thread and start asking away. Everyone there is more than helpful and it's the largest community on these forums. Usually people who buy Energy stay with Energy. I know I have. I currently have two rooms set up and they both consist of different lines from Energy.
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post #19 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

The shape makes a difference in sound and looks - The proof is in the
sound. However, the shape of the box is only part of the engineering.
I own Boston VS speakers, and they are one of my all time favorites.
They also do a good job with movies and TV. The high gloss black will
take your finger prints.

Internal bracing for square boxes, also makes a difference - It all comes
down to the end result - the design as a whole.

I can certainly believe the shape does make a difference. I worked (as an architect though) on a concert hall, with one of the premier acousticians. Tweaks, even sometimes small ones, made a measurable difference in FEA, then in a 1/10 scale sealed mockup, and finally in the real building. I can only assume that it is similar inside a speaker cabinet.

I have no understanding of these numbers, in a real-world sense, but looking at the Boston VS260 v. the Energy RC-10 for now, I see that the BA has a higher power rating; broader freq. range; 87dB v. 91 dB sensitivity for the RC (isn't higher "better"?); lower crossover (don't know if this is important in itself); slightly larger woofer; is physically larger (but interestingly weighs less).

One real-world measurable is:
BA V260: $600 shipped, Vanns.
Energy RC-10: $350 shipped, Vanns.

That $250 is a lot to chew on.
I hope for maybe a couple of other suggestions, or other advice for 1 or the other. Perhaps the RC-10 are exceptional, or perhaps the BA at "only" $250 more is definitely worth it, I just don't know. They both have appeal.
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post #20 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 08:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObsceneJesster View Post

You got it backwards when comparing the Energy RC's to the CB's. Usually, everyone says the RC's are better for Classical, Opera and Contemporary while the CB's are better for Rock and Pop.

If you want to know anything else regarding Energy speakers, just head over to the Energy Thread and start asking away. Everyone there is more than helpful and it's the largest community on these forums. Usually people who buy Energy stay with Energy. I know I have. I currently have two rooms set up and they both consist of different lines from Energy.

Yeah, I thought I might have...at 3:00 AM or whatever the other night! The RC-10 just seems more engineered for Classical, etc. than the CBs.

Good suggestion on the Energy thread. I'll start reading that. Thanks.
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post #21 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venessian View Post

I see that the BA has a higher power rating; broader freq. range; 87dB v. 91 dB sensitivity for the RC (isn't higher "better"?); lower crossover (don't know if this is important in itself); slightly larger woofer; is physically larger (but interestingly weighs less).

One real-world measurable is:
BA V260: $600 shipped, Vanns.
Energy RC-10: $350 shipped, Vanns.

That $250 is a lot to chew on.
I hope for maybe a couple of other suggestions, or other advice for 1 or the other. Perhaps the RC-10 are exceptional, or perhaps the BA at "only" $250 more is definitely worth it, I just don't know. They both have appeal.

91 db means the speaker will play louder with less watts - louder does not
guarantee better sound. It is your choice on which speaker you choose. I
do not know about the RC10 weight - 27 lbs each, seems optimistic to me.
As far as general speaker specs - I do not pay a lot of attention to them.
The Boston will give you more bass. If you are looking for votes - a lot of
people will vote for the RC10 - and a lot of people have not listened to the
Boston speakers. Your choice, your money - in home audition is a good option.
Good Luck!

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #22 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venessian View Post

I can certainly believe the shape does make a difference. I worked (as an architect though) on a concert hall, with one of the premier acousticians. Tweaks, even sometimes small ones, made a measurable difference in FEA, then in a 1/10 scale sealed mockup, and finally in the real building. I can only assume that it is similar inside a speaker cabinet.

I have no understanding of these numbers, in a real-world sense, but looking at the Boston VS260 v. the Energy RC-10 for now, I see that the BA has a higher power rating; broader freq. range; 87dB v. 91 dB sensitivity for the RC (isn't higher "better"?); lower crossover (don't know if this is important in itself); slightly larger woofer; is physically larger (but interestingly weighs less).

One real-world measurable is:
BA V260: $600 shipped, Vanns.
Energy RC-10: $350 shipped, Vanns.

That $250 is a lot to chew on.
I hope for maybe a couple of other suggestions, or other advice for 1 or the other. Perhaps the RC-10 are exceptional, or perhaps the BA at "only" $250 more is definitely worth it, I just don't know. They both have appeal.

I don't really pay attention to speaker specs to much. Yes the RC-10's require less power to push and the BA's will play a little lower but once you factor in a sub woofer, it doesn't matter how low they will play because you will be using a 80Hz crossover on both of them. A subwoofer is designed to play low frequencies and will do so much more efficiently than both of these speakers can. I have towers that can get down to 48Hz flat but I still use a crossover at 80Hz just like 95% of the people on this forum does. For one, like I said before, not only does the sub woofer sound better at these lower frequencies but using a crossover of 80Hz also takes less power from the receiver because it doesn't have to worry about pushing the low end frequencies. The sub woofer has a built in amplifier and allowing it to take over at 80Hz will let your receiver concentrate it's power more on the highs and mids.

I have never heard those BA's and I'm sure they sound good but keep in mind every speaker sounds different. Some you like and others you don't. Just because they cost $600 and have a cool looking cabinet design doesn't make them a better sounding speaker. The RC-10's cost $700 when they first came out. What ever speakers you decide to go with, make sure you order from Vanns. They will allow returns and their customer service is some of the best I've ever experienced. I love doing business with them.
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post #23 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 09:34 PM
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Quote:


It is your choice on which speaker you choose. I
do not know about the RC10 weight - 27 lbs each, seems optimistic to me.

That weight is for a pair shipped. Don't know why Energy never changed the specs on their website. I own RC-10s and they weigh about 12.5 lbs each.

Afro GT
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post #24 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

91 db means the speaker will play louder with less watts - louder does not
guarantee better sound. It is your choice on which speaker you choose. I
do not know about the RC10 weight - 27 lbs each, seems optimistic to me.
As far as general speaker specs - I do not pay a lot of attention to them.
The Boston will give you more bass. If you are looking for votes - a lot of
people will vote for the RC10 - and a lot of people have not listened to the
Boston speakers. Your choice, your money - in home audition is a good option.
Good Luck!

Right, the weights I quoted were incorrect. On their full spec page BA has left out a "1", so the VS260 actually weigh +/-19# each, while the RC-10 weight was for the pair, so more like +/-14# each. That makes a lot more sense now.

I'm not going to rely on specs at all since they don't mean anything to me. The unfortunate thing is there is no way I will be able to listen to these in the same or maybe even similar environment, so while I'm not at all looking for votes the opinion of people who have experience and can articulate differences if possible will be helpful of course. In the end, I will have to make a semi-informed, somewhat gut choice and I'm OK with that.

Likewise, I don't really know which pro review sites are good: if someone could indicate some good ones I would at least be interested in reading the reviews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ObsceneJesster View Post

I don't really pay attention to speaker specs to much. Yes the RC-10's require less power to push and the BA's will play a little lower but once you factor in a sub woofer, it doesn't matter how low they will play because you will be using a 80Hz crossover on both of them. A subwoofer is designed to play low frequencies and will do so much more efficiently than both of these speakers can. I have towers that can get down to 48Hz flat but I still use a crossover at 80Hz just like 95% of the people on this forum does. For one, like I said before, not only does the sub woofer sound better at these lower frequencies but using a crossover of 80Hz also takes less power from the receiver because it doesn't have to worry about pushing the low end frequencies. The sub woofer has a built in amplifier and allowing it to take over at 80Hz will let your receiver concentrate it's power more on the highs and mids.

I have never heard those BA's and I'm sure they sound good but keep in mind every speaker sounds different. Some you like and others you don't. Just because they cost $600 and have a cool looking cabinet design doesn't make them a better sounding speaker. The RC-10's cost $700 when they first came out. What ever speakers you decide to go with, make sure you order from Vanns. They will allow returns and their customer service is some of the best I've ever experienced. I love doing business with them.

Thanks again for the clear reply, and for the Vann's tip. Vann's for receivers too?

No, again, the specs mean nothing to me.

I know I can listen to the RC-10, so I'll do that; the BA, others...I'll have to look around. I'm not swayed by the cost or the looks in the end (I don't know if I could go as far the Behringer look though...). There are some open-box Wharfedale 10.2 which seem intriguing, but there's no way I can hear those.

I guess it's the usual conundrum: it's a very subjective field, people hear differently/like differently, etc. But even if I could listen to all speakers in the same store environment, and I prefer one sound, I have no idea if that sound will be the same out of the store, broken in, sitting on a shelf or stand in a hard-surfaced apartment halfway around the world. At some point I'll have to just pull together what I can and make what I hope is a good choice. I don't know if there actually even is a "best" choice.

One question/point: while you say that the RC-10 are great for Opera, which is very important to us since my wife is a singer, these won't be "Classical-dedicated". A lot of Classical and Opera, but just as likely she'll put on her stuff from the '80's, Bowie, or Red Hot Chili Peppers, and I'll put on the Stones, Dylan, Sonny Boy Williamson, Steve Earle or Tinariwen. So we're not looking for speakers specifically geared to Classical, etc. I don't get the feeling that either of these are that; more that they are both quite good at it as well as being quite good in general?

Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

That weight is for a pair shipped. Don't know why Energy never changed the specs on their website. I own RC-10s and they weigh about 12.5 lbs each.

Exactly. And the weight on the BA site is incorrect as well.

Own and like I presume?

Again, thanks to all.
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post #25 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venessian View Post

Right, the weights I quoted were incorrect. On their full spec page BA has left out a "1", so the VS260 actually weigh +/-19# each, while the RC-10 weight was for the pair, so more like +/-14# each. That makes a lot more sense now.

I'm not going to rely on specs at all since they don't mean anything to me. The unfortunate thing is there is no way I will be able to listen to these in the same or maybe even similar environment, so while I'm not at all looking for votes the opinion of people who have experience and can articulate differences if possible will be helpful of course. In the end, I will have to make a semi-informed, somewhat gut choice and I'm OK with that.

Likewise, I don't really know which pro review sites are good: if someone could indicate some good ones I would at least be interested in reading the reviews.


Thanks again for the clear reply, and for the Vann's tip. Vann's for receivers too?

No, again, the specs mean nothing to me.

I know I can listen to the RC-10, so I'll do that; the BA, others...I'll have to look around. I'm not swayed by the cost or the looks in the end (I don't know if I could go as far the Behringer look though...). There are some open-box Wharfedale 10.2 which seem intriguing, but there's no way I can hear those.

I guess it's the usual conundrum: it's a very subjective field, people hear differently/like differently, etc. But even if I could listen to all speakers in the same store environment, and I prefer one sound, I have no idea if that sound will be the same out of the store, broken in, sitting on a shelf or stand in a hard-surfaced apartment halfway around the world. At some point I'll have to just pull together what I can and make what I hope is a good choice. I don't know if there actually even is a "best" choice.

One question/point: while you say that the RC-10 are great for Opera, which is very important to us since my wife is a singer, these won't be "Classical-dedicated". A lot of Classical and Opera, but just as likely she'll put on her stuff from the '80's, Bowie, or Red Hot Chili Peppers, and I'll put on the Stones, Dylan, Sonny Boy Williamson, Steve Earle or Tinariwen. So we're not looking for speakers specifically geared to Classical, etc. I don't get the feeling that either of these are that; more that they are both quite good at it as well as being quite good in general?


Exactly. And the weight on the BA site is incorrect as well.

Own and like I presume?

Again, thanks to all.

Nah man, not at all. The RC's are in no way at all geared towards Opera. They just make it sound very good because of their warm neutral sound. I suspect a brighter sounding speaker would make Opera sound way to harsh for the ears. The RC's are a great all around speaker but you can get much more information from the Energy thread than I would ever be able to give you.

I know you say money doesn't mean anything now but keep a couple things in mind. Your going to want a sub to start off with so put some money aside for that. Bookshelf speakers cannot give you lower frequencies and you will really be missing out on a lot of the sound the artists intended you to hear. Also keep in mind, your going to upgrade to a full 5.1 set up and that means purchasing another pair of speakers for surround duty and a center channel speaker. The good thing about those RC's is that they have RC mini's available and they are about half the size as the RC-10's which make great surrounds if you don't want larger bookshelves hanging from your wall. Also, you can pick up a pair of them for about $200.

Below is a picture of the RC-10 next to the RC-Mini. The Mini's make a great surround speaker.

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post #26 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 10:54 PM
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I would get the receiver from Newegg or Amazon. You can find better deals on receivers at these places unless you find a receiver you like on the Vanns daily deals or when you order your speakers, ask them what kind of deal they can do on a receiver or if they can match the price you saw somewhere else. If you can get the same price at Vanns than yea, I would say go ahead and order it through them.
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post #27 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ObsceneJesster View Post

Nah man, not at all. The RC's are in no way at all geared towards Opera. They just make it sound very good because of their warm neutral sound. I suspect a brighter sounding speaker would make Opera sound way to harsh for the ears. The RC's are a great all around speaker but you can get much more information from the Energy thread than I would ever be able to give you.

Good, thanks. Yes, I think warm will be fine, better than bright, due to the hard environment. I will look into the Energy thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ObsceneJesster View Post

I know you say money doesn't mean anything now but keep a couple things in mind. Your going to want a sub to start off with so put some money aside for that. Bookshelf speakers cannot give you lower frequencies and you will really be missing out on a lot of the sound the artists intended you to hear. Also keep in mind, your going to upgrade to a full 5.1 set up and that means purchasing another pair of speakers for surround duty and a center channel speaker. The good thing about those RC's is that they have RC mini's available and they are about half the size as the RC-10's which make great surrounds if you don't want larger bookshelves hanging from your wall. Also, you can pick up a pair of them for about $200.

Below is a picture of the RC-10 next to the RC-Mini. The Mini's make a great surround speaker.


"I know you say money doesn't mean anything now..."
I don't think I wrote that at all: money is definitely concern, and the cost of the BA is scary. BA + Emotiva sub + a receiver = $600 + $350 + ~$350 = $1300...we simply can't swing that.

I came in here today thinking a $1000 max for the first stage (which is already a lot for us), and your RC suggestion hit that mark at $1010.

So, unless I can find either used speakers, a used sub, or maybe a refurb receiver to hit +/- $1000, the BAs just are too much.

Thanks for the photo, that's very helpful. We would do that combo eventually; we don't want large speakers on the back. I like that color, but I think it's NA now.

OK thanks for the receiver tip. I'm going to try to figure out the speakers first, then the receiver. I appreciate all the time and advice you have put in here.
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post #28 of 77 Old 11-14-2011, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by venessian View Post

Good, thanks. Yes, I think warm will be fine, better than bright, due to the hard environment. I will look into the Energy thread.

"I know you say money doesn't mean anything now..."
I don't think I wrote that at all: money is definitely concern, and the cost of the BA is scary. BA + Emotiva sub + a receiver = $600 + $350 + ~$350 = $1300...we simply can't swing that.

I came in here today thinking a $1000 max for the first stage (which is already a lot for us), and your RC suggestion hit that mark at $1010.

So, unless I can find either used speakers, a used sub, or maybe a refurb receiver to hit +/- $1000, the BAs just are too much.

Thanks for the photo, that's very helpful. We would do that combo eventually; we don't want large speakers on the back. I like that color, but I think it's NA now.

OK thanks for the receiver tip. I'm going to try to figure out the speakers first, then the receiver. I appreciate all the time and advice you have put in here.

Ok cool. Feel free to ask me any more questions and ill try my best to give you an answer.
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post #29 of 77 Old 11-15-2011, 03:25 AM
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I went back and reread your original post. At the time you said that initially, you were looking at replacing your two main speakers for $400-600. Then, as always happens, things got a little out of control. (I know that if I look to replace one small thing I end up looking at replacing everything.)

With your requirements really for 100% music, and mostly classical, I think you should plan first on a pair of the best speakers you can afford. Forget about 5.1 for now. Forget about a new receiver and subwoofer for now. Your immediate need is for music and that requires either just two speakers or two speakers plus a subwoofer. With your current budget, I don't think you can get a decent sub, so look for the best main speakers you can afford. A sub is less important for music than home theater.

The Energy RC10s are an excellent choice. Bring a recording of your wife singing (and your wife) and listen to them. This may satisfy you even with their relative "lack" of bass.

I have not heard the BAs but if you audition them and like them enough and your existing receiver can handle them, consider getting them and buying nothing else now.

I don't see the need to pay for a complete 5.1 HT system when what you need is a better 2.0 music system for the same or less money.
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post #30 of 77 Old 11-15-2011, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venessian View Post

"I know you say money doesn't mean anything now..."
I don't think I wrote that at all: money is definitely concern, and the cost of the BA is scary. BA + Emotiva sub + a receiver = $600 + $350 + ~$350 = $1300...we simply can't swing that.

then the receiver. I appreciate all the time and advice you have put in here.

The choice is still yours - you do not need a sub to start with the Boston.
They use to sell for $1400 a pair - however do not make your final decision
based on that fact. The end result is for you and your wife to be happy.

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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