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post #1 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all.

I live in the Fredericksburg, VA, USA area. I've decided to begin slowly building a decent surround sound system. Right now I have the stereo I got back before college, so I'm basically starting from nothing. I haven't set a budget for it-- I figured I'd find what I liked and save up for each component. Start with a receiver, move to floorstanders, etc. If it helps to have some idea of prices I like, I've been looking at the Marantz SR7005 (although I'll admit it's mostly because I like the minimalist design). I also like how the Klipsch RF-82 IIs look.

I'm currently in the process of discovery. I know different speakers pair differently with different receivers. I also know that what sounds good is only partially objective-- lots of it depends on what *I* think sounds good. I figured the obvious first step would be to listen to as many options as I can.

That leads me to the problem. When I call the local "hifi" stores, they tell me that listening to speaker/receiver combos won't help me since all rooms are different, causing them to sound different. They instead want to come out to my apartment and plan a system for me and have me buy what they say. Maybe it's just me being a naturally untrusting person, but I don't like the idea of buying before I try. I'm fairly certain I can get an idea of what sounds good even in a different space. Is this not true?

Everything I read about sound systems says to find what you like by listening. How do people listen to systems if this is the attitude of the local sound shops? I'm a little frustrated, and I'd love some advice. I figure I'll have one of the local shops come out see what they say, but I have no intention of buying anything yet. What would YOU do in this situation?
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post #2 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Beacon11 View Post

Hello all.

I live in the Fredericksburg, VA, USA area. I've decided to begin slowly building a decent surround sound system. Right now I have the stereo I got back before college, so I'm basically starting from nothing. I haven't set a budget for it-- I figured I'd find what I liked and save up for each component. Start with a receiver, move to floorstanders, etc. If it helps to have some idea of prices I like, I've been looking at the Marantz SR7005 (although I'll admit it's mostly because I like the minimalist design). I also like how the Klipsch RF-82 IIs look.

I'm currently in the process of discovery. I know different speakers pair differently with different receivers. I also know that what sounds good is only partially objective-- lots of it depends on what *I* think sounds good. I figured the obvious first step would be to listen to as many options as I can.

That leads me to the problem. When I call the local "hifi" stores, they tell me that listening to speaker/receiver combos won't help me since all rooms are different, causing them to sound different. They instead want to come out to my apartment and plan a system for me and have me buy what they say. Maybe it's just me being a naturally untrusting person, but I don't like the idea of buying before I try. I'm fairly certain I can get an idea of what sounds good even in a different space. Is this not true?

Everything I read about sound systems says to find what you like by listening. How do people listen to systems if this is the attitude of the local sound shops? I'm a little frustrated, and I'd love some advice. I figure I'll have one of the local shops come out see what they say, but I have no intention of buying anything yet. What would YOU do in this situation?


I would tell them i want to listen to some speakers in the store. If they have a problem with that then i would take my business elsewhere . I wouldn't even have them come to your house as you might get charged for that ? .. idk but yes, listen to as many as you can then when you know what you like get it .
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post #3 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 10:14 AM
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I would not want someone to come into my house and do a set up demo because than I would feel a lot of pressure to just buy it because they did all this work for me. It's easier to just walk out a store than have someone pick up all their products out of my house. I would rather go out and audition as many speakers as possible and then select a few brands that was on my top list and bring those home to audition.

You'll just have to look for stores willing to allow you to audition speakers, so that at least you can get a feel what they sound like. Yes, they might sound different in you room, being untreated but at least, you can get a feel for it first. I remember this local hi-fi store that my brother and I went to. He wanted to audition some speakers. Four times we went there, four times they didn't even look at us once. All the sales rep, manager ignored us, pretending we weren't even there. After the 4th time, we realize it wasn't a coincidence. My brother wasn't about to BEG a business to take his money. LMAO.
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post #4 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by idkwhattoput View Post

I would tell them i want to listen to some speakers in the store. If they have a problem with that then i would take my business elsewhere . I wouldn't even have them come to your house as you might get charged for that ? .. idk but yes, listen to as many as you can then when you know what you like get it .

I did, and their response was the "it wouldn't do you any good since rooms are different" bit. Good point on the fee for house visit... I'll have to check into that, thanks.

The thing is, of all the places I've found so far (only a couple), they all seem to specialize in custom installs. They don't really have setups for people to listen to.

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I would not want someone to come into my house and do a set up demo because than I would feel a lot of pressure to just buy it because they did all this work for me. It's easier to just walk out a store than have someone pick up all their products out of my house. I would rather go out and audition as many speakers as possible and then select a few brands that was on my top list and bring those home to audition.

Well, I didn't get the impression they would bring stuff to setup, I thought they would come, look at my space, and from their experience, have something to recommend. However, even if that is the case, I completely agree with you-- I would MUCH rather audition things at the store and test them in my space. But I can't seem to find a place other than Best Buy that will let me listen to stuff, much less allow me to bring things home for an audition. Where do you find a place like that?
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post #5 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 10:20 AM
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Well, you "know" some stuff that's not particularly true, and there's some other important stuff it's not clear you know. Read some more of the threads, especially the stickies.

The most important thing to know is that the speakers, and their placement in the room, make the most difference.
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Originally Posted by Beacon11 View Post

Hello all.

I know different speakers pair differently with different receivers.

Not really, and not that important. The way the speakers interact with the room is 100 times as important, but few people want to do the work of figuring that out. Or they just want the speakers to be in a certain place.

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When I call the local "hifi" stores, they tell me that listening to speaker/receiver combos won't help me since all rooms are different, causing them to sound different.

Your room would be different, but that's ridiculous. Presumably they'll have them set up in a room that makes them sound somewhat like they are intended to, and you can get an idea of what they sound like.

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Everything I read about sound systems says to find what you like by listening. How do people listen to systems if this is the attitude of the local sound shops? I'm a little frustrated, and I'd love some advice. I figure I'll have one of the local shops come out see what they say, but I have no intention of buying anything yet. What would YOU do in this situation?

Think about what you need and want - your budget, the space, etc. Look at some of the threads for similar discussions. Start a thread - describe your use, needs and space. Find a couple good speakers, and try them.

A lot of people think it's like test driving a bunch of cars. It can be, but it doesn't have to be. Honestly, at this stage the way you'll learn the most is by listening to a system for a while. There are multiple good options, rather than worrying about which one is the best, work toward finding one setup that meets your needs and budget.
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post #6 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by idkwhattoput View Post

I would tell them i want to listen to some speakers in the store. If they have a problem with that then i would take my business elsewhere . I wouldn't even have them come to your house as you might get charged for that ? .. idk but yes, listen to as many as you can then when you know what you like get it .

Agree. It's not an either/or proposition. You should be able to demo different products in a controlled environment to assess their relative merits prior to having someone come to your home.

That said, having a knowledgable person come to your home to provide advice on placement, treatments, etc is not a bad idea but not a route often taken by folks on a budget. Generally this is a service provided by higher end retailers.
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post #7 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by NBR View Post

I would not want someone to come into my house and do a set up demo because than I would feel a lot of pressure to just buy it because they did all this work for me.

That's precisely why they want to do so. Go elsewhere.

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post #8 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

Your room would be different, but that's ridiculous. Presumably they'll have them set up in a room that makes them sound somewhat like they are intended to, and you can get an idea of what they sound like.

Yeah, that's exactly my thought. I think comparing speakers to each other in an ideal environment would still be valuable, even if MY space isn't ideal.

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Originally Posted by dpc716 View Post

... having a knowledgable person come to your home to provide advice on placement, treatments, etc is not a bad idea but not a route often taken by folks on a budget. Generally this is a service provided by higher end retailers.

So a quick clarification-- are you saying its not worth having someone come out unless I'm prepared to spend thirty grand on my sound? Maybe I'm not clear on the definition of "higher end."

So it seems that the general consensus is that there SHOULD be a place where I can demo different setups, and not to accept anything else. Does that sound about right? Perhaps I will begin looking for places further away, maybe around the DC area.
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post #9 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 10:38 AM
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Definitely take this advice and deal with an outfit that doesn't want to be in your face in the comfort of your own home. I would be a dick and have them truck in top of the line stuff, then tell them thanks, but no thanks. Perhaps that will tach them a lesson in being so pushy. Others dont do so well undernthese circumstances and would cave under pressure. I find this a very unethical practice by those dealers.

I remember back in 1998 a friend of mine was dealing with a dealer who was very similar. He was upset that this guy called him at least twice a day and was pushy as hell. This salesman pretty much begged him to come into the house with Adcom separates and amps.

They spent a good 4 hours setting it up and then a few demoing it. He kindly declined their $7500 offering and actually told them he felt his realistic speakers he had gotten from cleaning out his grandfathers garage after his passing, sounded better coupled to this pos fisher system from 1984.

He is the kind of guy who can totally keep a straight face while pulling someone's leg. To this day he still jokes about it. He has a very nice system today but always brings tht story up when people ask him about his system.
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post #10 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Venomous View Post

They spent a good 4 hours setting it up and then a few demoing it. He kindly declined their $7500 offering and actually told them he felt his realistic speakers he had gotten from cleaning out his grandfathers garage after his passing, sounded better coupled to this pos fisher system from 1984.

Haha, I would have paid to see their faces. Thank you for the information, I'm sure I'll be able to find a good place out here... it's just apparently gonna take some looking.
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post #11 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 10:45 AM
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I remember a member here who had a tough situation. What happened was tbhe dealer brought the speakers to his house to demo...but also brought the speaker's designer lol. Id say tell em you want to hear in store. If not take your business elsewhere

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #12 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Beacon11 View Post

Yeah, that's exactly my thought. I think comparing speakers to each other in an ideal environment would still be valuable, even if MY space isn't ideal.



So a quick clarification-- are you saying its not worth having someone come out unless I'm prepared to spend thirty grand on my sound? Maybe I'm not clear on the definition of "higher end."

So it seems that the general consensus is that there SHOULD be a place where I can demo different setups, and not to accept anything else. Does that sound about right? I will continue looking for places around the DC area.

Precisely... It's your money and you are the one calling the shots, so do it on your own terms, not theirs.

You can get the $30k equipment sound by spending significantly less. However, you really need to drill down and decide, what type of system you want. Will you mainly be listening to music or movies... Or both? That question right there will determine the types of speakers you need to be looking at. Your budget, type of system (2.0,5.1,7.1?), preference on receiver functions and budget for that.

Setting a budget allows you to begin the speaker research. I will always tell someone to spend as much as they can on their speakers then their receiver. If you really think about it and play your cards right, think of your speakers as a long term investment.

Most of us wouldn't consider looking at a speaker upgrade until about the 15 year mark if you already have $5k-10k in speakers. It's a long term purchase and easier to digest the cost. Your processor is most likely going to see two to four upgrades over the lifetime of your speakers.

You can also put together a nice budget system to get you by as you decide how much you want to invest in this hobby. there's no shame going this direction either.
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post #13 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Beacon11 View Post

So a quick clarification-- are you saying its not worth having someone come out unless I'm prepared to spend thirty grand on my sound? Maybe I'm not clear on the definition of "higher end."

Its worth it if the person is knowledgeable and not just selling stuff.The question is the price you pay.... Most often it is included in the (considerable) margin of the product you end up buying. If you want to go this route and you don't want a sales pitch try to find someone competent to do it for a flat fee.

I should also add you can get good advice from the folks here for nothing.
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post #14 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Beacon11 View Post

How do people listen to systems if this is the attitude of the local sound shops?

How about you visiting peoples homes and get an idea of what they can sound like there? (realizing that their home isn't the same as yours AND of course, finding agreeable people)

I've had probably two dozen different folks over to my place to let them take a test drive. House was located near knoxville, TN and I've had people come from Nashville TN, Lexington KY, Charlotte NC, Atlanta GA, Athens GA, (several locally of course) and the two long drivers.... one from Long Island NY and another from New Hampshire (or was it Maine...?)

Granted the last two were already "in the neighborhood" and didn't drive specifically to hear my system. They just knew they were in the area and took me up on my offer.

What's your budget and how easily can/do you get to Richmond area?
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post #15 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 11:16 AM
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It's a long term purchase and easier to digest the cost.

I agree 100%

I bought my LaScalas new back in '79. I think I paid about $1,300 for them but frankly.... it's been a while

Heck, if I paid $2,000 for them, which I did not, that would still equate to $60/year. If I'm right at $1,300 then we are at $39/year AND, other than replacing the crossover after 25 years, they are 100% BONE STOCK. Original drivers and still sound fantastic.

I read about these other folks who swap in/out.... and wonder how much they've spent.

That said, I have other speakers, however I still have/use the LaScalas. The others are merely the bigger brothers for even better sound.

If I have them for 33 years, well.... I'll probably be dead by then.
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post #16 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 11:32 AM
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It is next to impossible to get it "right" the first time, unless you have lots of help, and not from a store. There seems to be a mindset about trying to get it right on the first try. If you become addicted to this hobby, you will upgrade until you reach a satisfactory level that is always dependent upon your preferences that may change over time as you experience more and more. Even if you use to have a stereo system as a hobby in the past, when it comes to home theater you are almost guaranteed to miss something because you didn't understand enough. Start with a more than decent high definition display and then, seriously, look into a cheap home theater in a box system. If you are satisfied, leave it there, but if not, it will be a learning experience in which the curve can be pretty steep, especially if you have to figure it out by yourself. As someone suggested, experience a bunch of home theater systems (not in a store) and ask questions.
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post #17 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

I remember a member here who had a tough situation. What happened was tbhe dealer brought the speakers to his house to demo...but also brought the speaker's designer lol. Id say tell em you want to hear in store. If not take your business elsewhere

Man... that would suck. Well... unless you loved the sound and/or design in which case it would be an interesting discussion.

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Originally Posted by Venomous View Post

You can get the $30k equipment sound by spending significantly less. However, you really need to drill down and decide, what type of system you want. Will you mainly be listening to music or movies... Or both? That question right there will determine the types of speakers you need to be looking at. Your budget, type of system (2.0,5.1,7.1?), preference on receiver functions and budget for that.

Setting a budget allows you to begin the speaker research. I will always tell someone to spend as much as they can on their speakers then their receiver. If you really think about it and play your cards right, think of your speakers as a long term investment.

I have answers to a few of those questions-- music AND movies (although music is more important), and the type of system will eventually be 7.1 but I'll start with 2.0. The budget question is the one I haven't nailed down. I mean, I have the same desires as everyone else-- I want great sound, without spending a fortune. My definition of a fortune? Heck, I dunno. I know what numbers sound good to me (e.g. I can imagine spending $1500 on a receiver and $2000 for a pair of floorstanders), but I can't honestly say I know what that money gets me (other than info I've read on the internet, including this forum). I'll save as long as necessary.

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Originally Posted by coytee View Post

How about you visiting peoples homes and get an idea of what they can sound like there? (realizing that their home isn't the same as yours AND of course, finding agreeable people)

What's your budget and how easily can/do you get to Richmond area?

Well now, that's an idea. Richmond is an easy drive, I fly out of there all the time. My budget, as I stated in response to Venomous, isn't really settled. I mean... there's a limit where I can say the price isn't justifiable (I would say I can't justify spending 30k on a sound system for my living room). But other than that I don't know. Do you live in Richmond, then?
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post #18 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 11:52 AM
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I would suggest learning as much as you can and building this system by yourself. Paying a store to do it teaches you nothing and just makes your wallet a lot lighter. A good way to learn is by reading first. Another good way to learn is by a friend or a coworker that knows what they're doing. This hobby takes a lot of trial and error but is based on some basic fundamentals. It will take time to learn these so take your time.
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post #19 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I would suggest learning as much as you can and building this system by yourself. Paying a store to do it teaches you nothing and just makes your wallet a lot lighter. A good way to learn is by reading first. Another good way to learn is by a friend or a coworker that knows what they're doing. This hobby takes a lot of trial and error but is based on some basic fundamentals. It will take time to learn these so take your time.

Yeah I agree. That's why I want to listen to stuff. I had no intention of paying the store to do it, I was just curious to see what he had to say. I didn't really think about them charging me for it, nor did I consider the pressure to buy. I'm just struggling to find a place that DOES allow me to listen, and I was wondering what people with more experience would do in my situation.

Fortunately, it's totally my thing to try and understand something as completely as possible before I make any decisions. I just started reading through this thread the "Setting Up Your Home Theater Audio 101" thread (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=824554), I figure it'll help.
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post #20 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 04:09 PM
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If I understand postings in another thread, it's increasingly hard for independent hifi stores to survive. A lot of them have started doing mostly custom installs, because it's a way to compete with online and big box retailers. And for custom installs, they use a fairly large product line that has speakers specialized to all kinds of situation, such is in wall, in ceiling, and behind a screen. They may simply not be set up to demo in the store. For someone who wants two moderate-priced speakers to start out, I don't know whether that approach is going to be cost-effective. But if you talk with them first about your price range and they think they can work with it, it may be the most practical way to listen to some of the alternatives.

A combination of online competition, big box stores, people going for price rather than quality, and the recession have been killing lots of local retail. Unfortunately speakers are an area where I really don't want to use Amazon.

Fortunately I don't have any immediate need for new speakers. My primary speakers are ADS L500's, and for the moment they seem good enough for my purposes.
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post #21 of 51 Old 03-03-2012, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by hedrick View Post

If I understand postings in another thread, it's increasingly hard for independent hifi stores to survive. A lot of them have started doing mostly custom installs, because it's a way to compete with online and big box retailers. And for custom installs, they use a fairly large product line that has speakers specialized to all kinds of situation, such is in wall, in ceiling, and behind a screen. They may simply not be set up to demo in the store. For someone who wants two moderate-priced speakers to start out, I don't know whether that approach is going to be cost-effective. But if you talk with them first about your price range and they think they can work with it, it may be the most practical way to listen to some of the alternatives.

A combination of online competition, big box stores, people going for price rather than quality, and the recession have been killing lots of local retail. Unfortunately speakers are an area where I really don't want to use Amazon.

Fortunately I don't have any immediate need for new speakers. My primary speakers are ADS L500's, and for the moment they seem good enough for my purposes.

+1

My favorite local shop I use to deal with for over 20yrs finally went under. They simply couldn't compete with big box stores and internet dealers; it costs alot to have a storefront and have a wide variety of speakers and electronics on hand to audition. Another problem was people would go to the store to audition, taking up alot of their time, then order online instead to save a few bucks. No one is willing to pay for good service.

I really miss that shop.

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Originally Posted by Beacon11 View Post

Hello all.

I live in the Fredericksburg, VA, USA area. I've decided to begin slowly building a decent surround sound system. Right now I have the stereo I got back before college, so I'm basically starting from nothing. I haven't set a budget for it-- I figured I'd find what I liked and save up for each component. Start with a receiver, move to floorstanders, etc. If it helps to have some idea of prices I like, I've been looking at the Marantz SR7005 (although I'll admit it's mostly because I like the minimalist design). I also like how the Klipsch RF-82 IIs look.

I'm currently in the process of discovery. I know different speakers pair differently with different receivers. I also know that what sounds good is only partially objective-- lots of it depends on what *I* think sounds good. I figured the obvious first step would be to listen to as many options as I can.

That leads me to the problem. When I call the local "hifi" stores, they tell me that listening to speaker/receiver combos won't help me since all rooms are different, causing them to sound different. They instead want to come out to my apartment and plan a system for me and have me buy what they say. Maybe it's just me being a naturally untrusting person, but I don't like the idea of buying before I try. I'm fairly certain I can get an idea of what sounds good even in a different space. Is this not true?

Everything I read about sound systems says to find what you like by listening. How do people listen to systems if this is the attitude of the local sound shops? I'm a little frustrated, and I'd love some advice. I figure I'll have one of the local shops come out see what they say, but I have no intention of buying anything yet. What would YOU do in this situation?

I read you are willing to travel to Richmond. I can highly recommend Sound & Image Design (I've dealt with Tim Stinson). His customer service is excellent and absolutely no pressure.

http://www.soundandimage.com/

Also, you mentioned you can see spending $2k on speakers (a pair?). If so, you owe it to yourself to listen to Salk and Philharmonic Audio. Both offer big bang for the buck; much more so than speakers sold in retailers.

Dennis Murphy is a highly respected crossover (and now speaker) designer who designs the crossovers for Salk and is the owner of Philharmonic Audio. His own speakers (Philharmonic Audio) he designed and sells are, IMO, the biggest bang for the buck I've ever heard! He is located in Bethesda MD and would be more than happy to have you over to his place to audition speakers (he has both Salk and Philharmonic). I've visited him twice to audition and found him to be a great guy who is very honest, upfront, generous with his time and knowledge, and will never try to "sell" you something (the same can be said of Jim Salk).

Both Jim Salk and Dennis Murphy offer some of the best service in the industry.

http://www.salksound.com/

http://www.philharmonicaudio.com/

You can also contact Jim Salk and Dennis Murphy to help you locate a local owner willing to offer you an audition. I do know of at least one Salk owner in the DC area and a Philharmonic owner in the Richmond area.

Hope this helps.

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post #22 of 51 Old 03-04-2012, 05:18 AM
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$3500 for a 2.0 startup to eventual 7.1 is a great space to start. I'd put closer to 3000 in to towers, and 500 in to a receiver (assuming the speakers you decide to connect are 8 ohm, if 4 ohm, make sure the receiver/processor you select has preouts for a future upgrade to separate amplifiers (emotiva is great for this stuff). Regarding the receiver, there are steals all the time on nice Pioneer, Denon, Onkyo, and Marantz. All four of them make high quality, user-friendly receivers, and their higher end ones have some high quality amplifiers. I prefer Pioneer 1121, and Pioneer Elite, but it's really splitting hairs with the other brands, they are all high quality.

So, for that much music listening, depending on what type of music, for these purposes I will assume real music, with real instruments and real vocals, you might want to listen to some electrostatic speakers, if you have the room for them. The Salk recommended are also superior speakers, especially for music. I would also suggest taking a look at the Paradigm Signature S8. Possibly the best sounding, highest quality speaker under 5k, AND there are matching dipoles, surrounds, and centers.

As previously mentioned in the thread, most likely, your relationship with the speakers will be longterm, much longer than the processor/receiver, that's where the majority of your money should be spent. Enjoy the hobby, and take the time to set up your system correctly (through advice found on these forums). It is VERY easy to make $$$$$ systems sound like crap, a properly configured less expensive system can sound much much better (as many of us on these forums learned when entering the hobby,p for me it was the hard way).


One last point, as someone previously mentioned, picking up a nice high end tv Panasonic gt or vt maybe, will make a big difference in the movie/tv space. I also suggest a SONOS connect, and a network attached storage for your lossless music. SONOS is my most recent upgrade/change to my system, and I think it's made the most difference in the ENJOYMENT of my system since the tv purchase. Good luck, I keep this thread, or another alive, I'd like to read through your decisions.
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post #23 of 51 Old 03-04-2012, 06:15 AM
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I think you need to start wide & then go narrow.

Do you want direct/radiator type speakers? Do you want horns?

I'm an admitted fan of horns so discount any of my comments accordingly...

That said, horns (though large) will get you more in the way of sensativity. Meaning, if you have 104 db/watt horns (and I'm referring to ALL horn, including bass) you can hit/exceed reference levels with an amplifier farrrr more modest than if you have speakers that are 95db/watt.

You will also have quicker, more dynamic bass transients. You might need a sub to suppliment the lowest octaves but then, most HT systems have a sub anyway, right?

If I were you (with some presumptions on your budget on my behalf) I'd start collecting some Klipsch LaScalas over time. If you want them 'pretty' you will pay more than if you can live with them a little dinged up.

Regardless, I've got a friend in Indinapolis who's got 7 of them in his HT system and it's unbelievable. The clarity, dynamics.... and he put it together at a fairly economical cost, especially when you consider the dynamics.
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post #24 of 51 Old 03-04-2012, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Beacon11 View Post

Man... that would suck. Well... unless you loved the sound and/or design in which case it would be an interesting discussion.



I have answers to a few of those questions-- music AND movies (although music is more important), and the type of system will eventually be 7.1 but I'll start with 2.0. The budget question is the one I haven't nailed down. I mean, I have the same desires as everyone else-- I want great sound, without spending a fortune. My definition of a fortune? Heck, I dunno. I know what numbers sound good to me (e.g. I can imagine spending $1500 on a receiver and $2000 for a pair of floorstanders), but I can't honestly say I know what that money gets me (other than info I've read on the internet, including this forum). I'll save as long as necessary.



Well now, that's an idea. Richmond is an easy drive, I fly out of there all the time. My budget, as I stated in response to Venomous, isn't really settled. I mean... there's a limit where I can say the price isn't justifiable (I would say I can't justify spending 30k on a sound system for my living room). But other than that I don't know. Do you live in Richmond, then?



If you would like to hear my system, I live in Chesterfield VA. Here is what you will be listening to:

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post #25 of 51 Old 03-04-2012, 06:56 AM
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Heh... nothing like starting at the top to see what's possible!!
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post #26 of 51 Old 03-04-2012, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by coytee View Post

Heh... nothing like starting at the top to see what's possible!!

I couldn't have done it without you guys Coytee!

Here is the configuration and what you will be listening to:

I actually run through a Onkyo receiver
Left and Right channels are Klipsch Jubilee's with TAD 4002 drivers for the top horns
I have a Mcintosh MC402 running the top horns on the jubilees
I have a Crown K2 (500 watts per channel) running the base bins in the jubilees
Mcintosh MC7270 is running the side channels Klipsch RF-63's
Adcom 7605 is running my La Scala center channel and the Klipsch Reference RC-42's
I have 4TB servers upstairs hard wired to the Music Hall DAC running Sonos
I have a EV DC ONE active crossover for the Jubilee's running 4 channels of amplification

I know Coytee runs a similiar configuration, but he knows my system pretty well.
If you want to hear my system, just email me at ntcrusher@hotmail.com
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post #27 of 51 Old 03-04-2012, 07:21 AM
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Beacon11, for the record, nobody is saying that you should be looking at a system like Dave's (above picture). It's likely more than you are wanting to spend.

Hearing it though, WILL be an eye-opening experience for you so that you can see what type of sound you CAN get in your home.

Once you start hearing what's possible, you will then have a much better reference point.

If you get a chance to hear his system, you can get similar sound by the LaScala setup I mentioned above. It would still take some tweaking & tinkering to get the parts (and the parts are BIG as you can see).

When I'm looking to buy something, I always try to look at the top model (which is usually out of my price range) and work my way down to what fits my needs.

Seems most people try to work at the bottom of the dollar range and "upgrade" over time. I suggest that costs more than doing it right the first time.
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post #28 of 51 Old 03-04-2012, 07:41 AM
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Beacon,

I suggest going farther afield. Apparently, the only stores in Fredericksburg that have listening rooms would be Magnolia (Best Buy) and Raven Hi-Fi. If you really want to audition equipment on your own, you will have to widen your search to include the Washington, DC area. That brings a few more options your way, including Evolution AV in Tyson's Corner and Crutchfield's store in Harrisonburg.

Unfortunately, the day of the high-end hifi store has mostly passed, as others have posted. This makes it difficult to audition equipment without involving an installer/integrator who often have ulterior motives and may not provide the best bang for the buck.

It is true that speakers are the most important part of a home theater / music reproduction system, There is little difference in the sound of electronics - the speakers have a much more pronounced effect. In electronics, you can probably just buy based on published reviews, specs and comments on AVS and you'll do quite well but speaker selection is a bit more complex.

Be seeing you!
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post #29 of 51 Old 03-04-2012, 11:33 AM
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Stick to a budget you're comfortable with. Not being deragatory but alot of times people come here and say "I'm looking for speakers for X amount of $" And 15 people pipe in with speakers that are good but over budget. Just kinda the way things go. If you're budget is 2k it's 2k, and if it's 4k it's 4k. But it's not worth eating top ramen for a year because you got talked into speakers you can't afford. As you go up in price the differences in sound get smaller. Acoustic treatments and such can help speakers perform better as well.
I would auditon what you can at a big box store or in peoples homes. As said stores have obviously caught on to people coming to demo and then buying online. But the world changes and there won't always be a climate for hifi stereo stores to survive. Just like I'm sure blacksmiths are less than 100 years ago. And wagon wheel makers bit the dust. Forums like this one will become even more important.


Lastly the setup posted is nuts.
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post #30 of 51 Old 03-04-2012, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by khankewycz View Post

Stick to a budget you're comfortable with. Not being deragatory but alot of times people come here and say "I'm looking for speakers for X amount of $" And 15 people pipe in with speakers that are good but over budget. Just kinda the way things go. If you're budget is 2k it's 2k, and if it's 4k it's 4k. But it's not worth eating top ramen for a year because you got talked into speakers you can't afford. As you go up in price the differences in sound get smaller. Acoustic treatments and such can help speakers perform better as well.
I would auditon what you can at a big box store or in peoples homes. As said stores have obviously caught on to people coming to demo and then buying online. But the world changes and there won't always be a climate for hifi stereo stores to survive. Just like I'm sure blacksmiths are less than 100 years ago. And wagon wheel makers bit the dust. Forums like this one will become even more important.


Lastly the setup posted is nuts.

Define Nuts Come and give it a listen
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