How much is enough? Point of diminishing returns. - AVS Forum
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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At what point does one draw the line? My house will be done in a few months and I'll be ready to order some speakers and a sub.

I've allotted myself a max of $3K. But how much more does that get me than say half of that?

I would probably be happy (coming from what I have now) with 5 Polk TL3s and 660DSW sub for $1100. Double the sub budget to $700 and I can get a Rythmik FV12 or maybe a HSU VTF-1 (shipping is about $200 for subs that size) or Epik Legend. Maybe 2 at about $1300-$1400 for the subs?

Or I can spend $1300 on 3 NHT Classic 2s and a pair of their new wall mount Absolute Zero plus one of the a fore mentioned subs.

Plus any other number speakers I'm considering from Emotiva X-refs, RSL, Aperion Versus possible KEF Q series.

Will 1 sub work in my nearly square room 13x14x9? Should I spend the money for 2?

At what point do I or should I draw the line? I can't demo any of these, nor can I take advantage of any of the 30 day in home trials.

Help! Time is running out and I'm suffering from analysis paralysis

Thanks

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Old 02-21-2012, 05:26 PM
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Is 3K the max for now or period? What can you do out and demo? I believe if your going to spend that much, you better get what you love to hear everyday.

Have you considered which AVR you would like to have?

Or are you asking how you should spread out the 3K for now?
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

At what point does one draw the line? My house will be done in a few months and I'll be ready to order some speakers and a sub.

I've allotted myself a max of $3K. But how much more does that get me than say half of that?

I would probably be happy (coming from what I have now) with 5 Polk TL3s and 660DSW sub for $1100. Double the sub budget to $700 and I can get a Rythmik FV12 or maybe a HSU VTF-1 (shipping is about $200 for subs that size) or Epik Legend. Maybe 2 at about $1300-$1400 for the subs?

Or I can spend $1300 on 3 NHT Classic 2s and a pair of their new wall mount Absolute Zero plus one of the a fore mentioned subs.

Plus any other number speakers I'm considering from Emotiva X-refs, RSL, Aperion Versus possible KEF Q series.

Will 1 sub work in my nearly square room 13x14x9? Should I spend the money for 2?

At what point do I or should I draw the line? I can't demo any of these, nor can I take advantage of any of the 30 day in home trials.

Help! Time is running out and I'm suffering from analysis paralysis

Thanks

Is the room a dedicated theater space closed to the rest of the house? Also very important IMHO, how will the sound system be used? All theater, some music, background music, high resolution music, gaming, TV?

I think if I was looking at a serious music rig, I might look at a full range Tower stereo pair in your budget range. You can always work on completing the system later, and you will have an excellent starting point for quality music reproduction, and front stage for movies.

If the system is almost strictly for theater, I'd look at speakers designed for that appication (high sensitivity/output) that will effortlessly reproduce the extreme dynamic requirements of movie tracks.

There is no "one size fits all" answer for the correct speakers to fit the needs of every application (IMHO of course).

Jay

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Old 02-21-2012, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAMP568 View Post

Is 3K the max for now or period? What can you do out and demo? I believe if your going to spend that much, you better get what you love to hear everyday.

Have you considered which AVR you would like to have?

Or are you asking how you should spread out the 3K for now?

Pretty much max for the foreseeable future other than maybe an AVR upgrade.

I have an HK AVR 1600 that I like a lot and see no need to change that.

Mostly for movies, TV like about 60-70% and the remainder split between music and gaming.

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Old 02-21-2012, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pet Motel View Post

Is the room a dedicated theater space closed to the rest of the house? Also very important IMHO, how will the sound system be used? All theater, some music, background music, high resolution music, gaming, TV?

I think if I was looking at a serious music rig, I might look at a full range Tower stereo pair in your budget range. You can always work on completing the system later, and you will have an excellent starting point for quality music reproduction, and front stage for movies.

If the system is almost strictly for theater, I'd look at speakers designed for that appication (high sensitivity/output) that will effortlessly reproduce the extreme dynamic requirements of movie tracks.

There is no "one size fits all" answer for the correct speakers to fit the needs of every application (IMHO of course).

Jay

Yes dedicated theater/TV/gaming room.

60-70% movies and TV. The rest equal split between music and gaming.

Room can be sealed off from rest of the house with 2 doors.

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Old 02-21-2012, 07:43 PM
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Square rooms are tough on subs. You might be better off with two subs to even out the response, like a pair of FV12s, rather than one bigger sub. Also, you might benefit from a receiver that will Eq at least one sub, like something with Audyssey MultEq XT from the Denon XX12 line, maybe a 1712 or 2112. If you could get into a receiver with XT32 that would be even better because it will Eq 2 subs, but a lot more money.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjackkrash View Post

Square rooms are tough on subs. You might be better off with two subs to even out the response, like a pair of FV12s, rather than one bigger sub. Also, you might benefit from a receiver that will Eq at least one sub, like something with Audyssey MultEq XT from the Denon XX12 line, maybe a 1712 or 2112. If you could get into a receiver with XT32 that would be even better because it will Eq 2 subs, but a lot more money.

Thanks. I certainly wouldn't want bigger. I would prefer 2 subs about the size of the SVS SB12. Don't really want to spend that much though. A little over $1600 with shipping. ?

I'm not planning on an AVR upgrade.

As far as being able audition anything, that would be a big fat no. Not an audio video store within 300 miles and I'd have to fly to get there.

I'm really having a hard time coming to any conclusion. I change my mind it seems daily. I read too many threads here. ?

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Old 02-21-2012, 08:53 PM
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The room size you mentioned will be fine with one nice sub and some large bookshelf speakers.

You would have the bookshelf take care of the highs and mids, while the subs would take care of the low-end. Going this path you would be saving some money and able to get a little better bookshelf speaker set. If you buy towers and sub, it's like buying the lowend twice.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Yes dedicated theater/TV/gaming room.

60-70% movies and TV. The rest equal split between music and gaming.

Room can be sealed off from rest of the house with 2 doors.

Thanks

Kind of a slippery slope recommending something I've not personally heard, but it sounds to me like maybe the Elemental Designs cinema series would fit your needs, and budget. They have been well reviewed on AVS by a few owners.

They also carry a respected line of subs, and have package deals that would get the job done in your budget. Personally, I'd pass on two subs for now, it might be just fine if you get the placement right. Best of luck!

http://www.edesignaudio.com/index.php?cPath=2_141

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Old 02-21-2012, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Thanks. I certainly wouldn't want bigger. I would prefer 2 subs about the size of the SVS SB12. Don't really want to spend that much though. A little over $1600 with shipping. ?

I'm not planning on an AVR upgrade.

As far as being able audition anything, that would be a big fat no. Not an audio video store within 300 miles and I'd have to fly to get there.

I'm really having a hard time coming to any conclusion. I change my mind it seems daily. I read too many threads here. ?

2 Rythmik FV12's would be $1000. With no sub eq and a square room I think you would be well served with two smaller subs. The Rythmik also has the benefit of a servo. I agree with other posters that the room is small enough for one, but I have read many times that a square room usually gets you some big nulls which is why I would go with two subs to even out the response.

Here is an Audiohaulics link to an article on sub placement and read what it says about square rooms:

http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/sp...ent-guidelines
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:45 PM
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Since you still have a few months to go - you may still change
your mind a few times. A strong 5.1 bookshelf system, with one
real good ID sub can work, and raise you to a higher level than
you have now. There are some good and poor, $2000 and $3000
systems. However what will be enough for you, is hard to say.
The question is, how loud do you plan to play your system?

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Old 02-22-2012, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjackkrash View Post

2 Rythmik FV12's would be $1000.
http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/sp...ent-guidelines

That would be $1400 for me.

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Old 02-22-2012, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Since you still have a few months to go - you may still change
your mind a few times. A strong 5.1 bookshelf system, with one
real good ID sub can work, and raise you to a higher level than
you have now. There are some good and poor, $2000 and $3000
systems. However what will be enough for you, is hard to say.
The question is, how loud do you plan to play your system?

This is my dilemma. There are a few 5.0 speaker systems I'm considering based mostly on reviews I can find, price, size, finish and shipping cost.

I prefer something sealed or front ported for easier placement. I've listened to Klipsch and while nice for movies I wouldn't last 5 minutes with them for music.

Like I said, I would probably be happy with a $1000-$1200 5.1 system. But would wonder what another $1000 would get me.

It would likely be better, but how much better? I guess only I can answer whether it would be worth the extra cost.

Thanks for the help.
Gene

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Old 02-22-2012, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post


I prefer something sealed or front ported for easier placement. I've listened to Klipsch and while nice for movies I wouldn't last 5 minutes with them for music.

Like I said, I would probably be happy with a $1000-$1200 5.1 system. But would wonder what another $1000 would get me.

Sometimes to the critical ear, a little more can mean a lot. There are times when I did invest more,
it really did pay off. I would put Focal and NHT on a short list.

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Old 02-22-2012, 10:43 AM
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Kini62, like the rest of us, the "I wonder what" always poses a problem. What speakers and sub are you currently running?
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

That would be $1400 for me.

Where are you located?
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:21 AM
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I use Axiomaudio.com speakers exclusively and am very pleased with the sound quality. They are always testing, enhancing, and growing their product line. They only sell direct from their Canadian factory, which helps keep their prices down. They just don't get a lot of love from this particular forum. I think that's probably due to some ancient reviews of some ancient product lines.

Anyway, in keeping in line with the subject of this particular thread, Axiom Audio will give you a decent bang for your buck.

Also, they have spent the last 10 years or so developing a new flagship model of speaker, which is to be announced in the coming months.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatBrat View Post

I use Axiomaudio.com speakers exclusively and am very pleased with the sound quality. They are always testing, enhancing, and growing their product line. They only sell direct from their Canadian factory, which helps keep their prices down. They just don't get a lot of love from this particular forum. I think that's probably due to some ancient reviews of some ancient product lines.

Anyway, in keeping in line with the subject of this particular thread, Axiom Audio will give you a decent bang for your buck.

Also, they have spent the last 10 years or so developing a new flagship model of speaker, which is to be announced in the coming months.

^ Corporate shill. Axiom speakers are nice though.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Mostly for movies, TV like about 60-70% and the remainder split between music and gaming.

Myself personally, if it was *going to stay* mostly for TV/movies, then I wouldn't go chasing the more expensive model lines of speakers and would just settle for something I like the sound of and be happy.

But but but...

Initially I started out with my HT with that thought also... but rediscovered the joy of music listening once I started using my new HT system! Now I am 60-70% music and the rest TV/movies.

That lead me to upgrading my speakers to higher quality ones that do better with music and my initial set of speakers are sitting unused in storage. I would have been better off buying the better speakers for a start with hindsight.

So, will it stay mostly for TV/movies? Or like a lot of other people rediscover music and find yourself listening to more of it?
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Myself personally, if it was *going to stay* mostly for TV/movies, then I wouldn't go chasing the more expensive model lines of speakers and would just settle for something I like the sound of and be happy.

But but but...

Initially I started out with my HT with that thought also... but rediscovered the joy of music listening once I started using my new HT system! Now I am 60-70% music and the rest TV/movies.

That lead me to upgrading my speakers to higher quality ones that do better with music and my initial set of speakers are sitting unused in storage. I would have been better off buying the better speakers for a start with hindsight.

So, will it stay mostly for TV/movies? Or like a lot of other people rediscover music and find yourself listening to more of it?


Oy, I'm in the same boat. I've improved my music listening tremendously in other areas of my home, and now my HT is disappointing (2 months ago it was great!). Since I've had the same speakers for about 8 years I am justifying this to start bugging avsforum with yet another "What can I buy for $2-3k" post in a couple of months.

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Old 02-22-2012, 12:32 PM
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^ Corporate shill. Axiom speakers are nice though.

LOL. Nope, not a shill. Just a pleased customer.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:36 PM
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I'd say that once you've invested about 4 to 5 grand in a set up, you've reached a point where you literally have to invest more than 10 grand in order to even notice a significant difference in sound quality from that point on.. I just don't understand investing any more than that in an audio system.

The difference between a $1,000 and $2,000 5.1 setup would be pretty phenomenal though. That can be the difference between entry level, rinky-dink, satellite speakers and true bookshelf or monitor speakers. I'd even go as far to say a $2,000 setup done right can sound not twice, but three times as good as a $1,000 setup.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:14 PM
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I start drawing the line with space and monetary budgets. Space is generally pretty fixed if you own the house. Look at speakers, subs that will integrate with your room well. Then, depending on budget, go one step up to satisfy the "what if" bugs. Also, look at the items that will give you the most value adds. Room treatments, dual subs, a solid front soundstage, all of these will give you a lot more enjoyment than some other features or upgrades. System cohesion and integration into your room should be prime factors in your decision. When looking at this, try to keep thinking of how the components will interact as a system, instead of just the individual parts. It is easy to start to bump the budget for one item (subs, and then feel the need t bump another area( speakers) which starts keeps you going down the rabbit hole (AVR/Amps, more bass traps, new seats/couch, etc). You have a good budget, with which you can build a very good system, keep that in mind as you put it all together.

Look at manufacturers who have good reviews, service and return policies since you can't audition the ones you are looking at. Some are better than others in this regard. As for sub's, dual if you can place them right are going to provide a better frequency response between seats than a single. I personally like having more than one spot to be able to sit in, and the bit of extra headroom that duals can offer, so I prefer 2 subs. Additionally, while I would call your room overly small, some of the larger, single subs may just take up too much floor space to be feasible, forcing you to place them in sub-optimal locations. With only 1638 cubic feet to pressurize though, smaller subs/sealed subs shouldn't be a problem. You may actually benefit from some nice room gain, helping beef up the response of smaller sealed subs.

You should be able to put together a pretty nice system for your budget.

Example:
Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE for mains, CMT-340 SE C for the center, CMT-170 SE for the surrounds. This runs you about $1212 ($1118 + $94 S/H). Stands for the 340's can be had for $50-$140+ depending on what you want. The ones from Ascend give a tower speaker look and are sand fallible, giving a nice steady platform, but they are pricier than some of their competition. Ball park $125 for stands with the realization it can go up by $55 or so. Speaker total $1337 delivered, (+/- $55). Here you have dynamic, musical speakers, an identical front L/C/R (practically ideal), and very well matched surrounds. If you move to a larger room, these can go with you. At the same time, they are smaller than towers, allowing you some flexibility and not eating up all you rooms space.

Subs: Dual HSU VTF-2 MK 4's, if you can fit them, would run ~$1,164 delivered, or dual Rythmik FV12's should be ~$1,134 delivered (estimated shipping to NY as I don't know where you are). Or, if you need a smaller footprint, dual SVS SB12-NSD's in the standard finish will be $1,298 delivered.

That gives us a range of $2,416 (less expensive stands, dual Rythmik's) to $2,690 delivered (SVS subs, Ascend stands).

With your budget you still have room for some room treatments. For around $375 (delivered) you can get 2 ATS 36*24*4 panels for first reflection points, 2 ATS 24*48*4 open backed, corner mountable bass traps and 1 24*48*4 closed back panel for your back wall (behind the couch). The cost of course can go up from there, if you choose more panels, or custom fabrics, etc. But this gets you in the ball park.

Grand total: $2,791 to $3,065, delivered. With that you have a solid set of speakers, with matching L/C/R, timbre matched surrounds, dual subs, and a solid start on room treatments. For movies and TV, this system would rock pretty well, and it is also very good for music. Later on you could look at a new AVR, perhaps with room correction software such as Audyssey or ARC, which will still benefit from your effort on the speakers/subs/treatments. Additionally, it would start to cost a lot more to begin to get solid gains in performance over this. I think your $3k budget is pretty solid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

... nor can I take advantage of any of the 30 day in home trials.

Why can't you take advantage of the trial period out of curiosity? Overseas?

~Nick

 

Augustine's Law: "The last 10% of performance generates one-third of the cost and two-thirds of the problems."

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Old 02-22-2012, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D_M View Post

Kini62, like the rest of us, the "I wonder what" always poses a problem. What speakers and sub are you currently running?

Prepare to be impressed

I'm running a pair of B&W V201 bookshelfs bought in 93 and a 15" Audiosource sub bought in about 01 for $200 at Costco. You have now been duly impressed.

They actually don't do that bad. The speakers have a nice sound, imaging and soundstage. The sub is OK for movie to the point that it loses control and starts making funny sounds.

So pretty much anything is going to be an upgrade at this point.

Thanks

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Old 02-22-2012, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jjackkrash View Post

Where are you located?

Hawaii. There are a lot of great things about living here, shipping however is not one of them.

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Old 02-22-2012, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CatBrat View Post

LOL. Nope, not a shill. Just a pleased customer.

Axiom does ship free to Hawaii, even the subs for whatever that's worth.

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Old 02-22-2012, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Snowmanick View Post

I start drawing the line with space and monetary budgets. Space is generally pretty fixed if you own the house. Look at speakers, subs that will integrate with your room well. Then, depending on budget, go one step up to satisfy the "what if" bugs. Also, look at the items that will give you the most value adds. Room treatments, dual subs, a solid front soundstage, all of these will give you a lot more enjoyment than some other features or upgrades. System cohesion and integration into your room should be prime factors in your decision.

Look at manufacturers who have good reviews, service and return policies since you can't audition the ones you are looking at. Some are better than others in this regard. As for sub's, dual if you can place them right are going to provide a better frequency response between seats than a single. I personally like having more than one spot to be able to sit in, and the bit of extra headroom that duals can offer, so I prefer 2 subs.

You should be able to out together a pretty nice system for your budget.

Example:
Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE for mains, CMT-340 SE C for the center, CMT-170 SE for the surrounds. This runs you about $1212 ($1118 + $94 S/H). Stands for the 340's can be had for $50-$140+ depending on what you want. The ones from Ascend give a tower speaker look and are sand fallible, giving a nice steady platform, but they are pricier than some of their competition. Ball park $125 for stands with the realization it can go up by $55 or so. Speaker total $1337 delivered, (+/- $55). Here you have dynamic, musical speakers, an identical front L/C/R (practically ideal), and very well matched surrounds. If you move to a larger room, these can go with you. At the same time, they are smaller than towers, allowing you some flexibility and not eating up all you rooms space.

Subs: Dual HSU VTF-2 MK 4's, if you can fit them, would run ~$1,164 delivered, or dual Rythmik FV12's should be ~$1,134 delivered (estimated shipping to NY as I don't know where you are). Or, if you need a smaller footprint, dual SVS SB12-NSD's in the standard finish will be $1,298 delivered.

That gives us a range of $2,416 (less expensive stands, dual Rythmik's) to $2,690 delivered (SVS subs, Ascend stands).

With your budget you still have room for some room treatments. For around $375 (delivered) you can get 2 ATS 36*24*4 panels for first reflection points, 2 ATS 24*48*4 open backed, corner mountable bass traps and 1 24*48*4 closed back panel for your back wall (behind the couch). The cost of course can go up from there, if you choose more panels, or custom fabrics, etc. But this gets you in the ball park.

Grand total: $2,791 to $3,065, delivered. With that you have a solid set of speakers, with matching L/C/R, timbre matched surrounds, dual subs, and a solid start on room treatments. For movies and TV, this system would rock pretty well, and it is also very good for music. Later on you could look at a new AVR, perhaps with room correction software such as Audyssey or ARC, which will still benefit from your effort on the speakers/subs/treatments. Additionally, it would start to cost a lot more to begin to get solid gains in performance over this. I think your $3k budget is pretty solid.



Why can't you take advantage of the trial period out of curiosity? Overseas?

Thanks for the detailed response. As to answer the above question- technically yes- Hawaii.

I've priced out the Ascends you mentioned. I'm not willing to pay the shipping. I know it's a necessary evil where I live but I just won't let myself pay 50% of the cost of a product in shipping charges.

That's why I shop at Amazon and Crutchfield. Some other ID companies have pretty reasonable rates, like Aperion, The Audio Insider, RSL (Roger Sound Labs), Axiom is free.

After reading most of the responses I think it would better to spend more now than regret it later.

Dual subs will be a priority I think. Just need to find the best fit in terms of size, price and shipping.

Too bad Ed discontinued their sealed subs. A pair of the 10" models would've been about $800 to my door.

Thanks
Gene

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Old 02-22-2012, 02:15 PM
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some times i like to look outside the box heres an off the wall suggestion a pair of tekton pendragons for $2500+ship.these 54" towers are almost full range from lower 20hz to 30khz so you could do without the subs use phantom center and a pair of cheap rears. if nothing else you'd have some of the biggest and badest speakers on the island

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

some times i like to look outside the box heres an off the wall suggestion a pair of tekton pendragons for $2500+ship.these 54" towers are almost full range from lower 20hz to 30khz so you could do without the subs use phantom center and a pair of cheap rears. if nothing else you'd have some of the biggest and badest speakers on the island

Hmmm, probably not Shipping would be like $1000 plus they look a little large for my space.

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Old 02-22-2012, 07:59 PM
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How much is enough? Point of diminishing returns.

5 bucks.

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