Options for $2k speaker budget - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-28-2012, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking to upgrade my current 5.1 setup. Presently, I have ~7 year old Athena Technologies (F2 towers, C2 center, B2 surrounds) plus HSU STF-2. Receiver is Yamaha RX-A800, which I am also considering upgrading (maybe to Denon 3312 or Sherwood R-972 or similar). Probably 80% TV/movies and 20% music.

Have done extensive research here and elsewhere and would like some opinions on the following options. The list below has only the speakers, it seems that the subwoofer upgrade will come from comparable options from the usual suspects (Rythmik, SVS, HSU, Outlaw). Any help in narrowing the speaker list down into a more manageable "short list" is greatly appreciated. Several of the options are not readily available locally for demos and I'd rather not be auditioning six or more options at home.

Pricing puts these choices between roughly $1-2k with the PSB Image T6, Aperion and Wharfedale 10.7 at the high end and KEF, Energy, Ascend at the low. In no particular order:

KEF iQ (iQ90 fronts, IQ60c center, IQ10 surrounds)
PSB image (either T6-C5-B6 or T5-C5-B5)
Wharfedale diamond (either 10.7-10cm-10.sr or 10.6-10cm-10.sr)
also checked out the Evo2 line, but could only find the towers
Energy (RC-70, RC-LCR, RC-10)
NHT (absolute towers, center, zeros)
Aperion versus (forte towers, center, surrounds)
Ascend (CMT-340SE fronts, 340SE center, HTM-200SE)
EMP (E55ti, E5ci, E55wi; considered E56ci center, but too wide for my setup)

If I've overlooked something that has similar or more bang-for-buck then I am open to other suggestions. Mainly I am interested in any feedback on the above options. Any suggestions and advice is greatly appreciated.

Mike
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-28-2012, 02:13 PM
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I have an A800, it can definitely benefit from and external amp, something to think about rather then another receiver. I added a 100W @ 8ohm amp and the difference was noticeable.

You can get the NHT Classic 3 monitors for $600pr right now, that's pretty hard to beat, and will be better then the Absolute setup. This would also allow more budget toward subs (dual subs ). You can use the Ascend pedestal stands with the NHT's also, as they're the same width, and the depth is only off by .125"

I also like the ascend option for this same reason. I dont see a difference in sound quality going with those large tower setups, they just cost more.


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post #3 of 9 Old 05-28-2012, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Jay1, thanks for the reply and giving me something else to consider.

Coming from my Athena setup, and from my list above I was definitely focusing on tower fronts. I also wasn't giving any thought to a second sub. But if I spend $500-700 on a sub I would hope that two wouldn't be necessary to have a great system. My current HSU STF-2 always did a great job and the new options seem to have quite a bit more power.

A bit of an aside from my original topic, but I have zero experience with external amps. Which one did you go with and are there any other ones to consider? Since I'm totally unfamiliar with how it works, the external amp is for just the front L and R, or also for center and surrounds?

Would welcome comments from anyone else regarding my original options, plus the NHT Classic 3. Thanks,

Mike
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-28-2012, 05:52 PM
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Probably should have gone over this first but, how big is your room, and how far back are you sitting?

Dual subs aren't just for increased SPL, they help equalize room modes, and decrease any chance of localizing the sub. A pair of $600 subs will have outstanding performance in an average sized room.

I have an ART SLA4, which is a 4 channel pro amp. I use it to run the LCR. Depending on your budget you can go from 1 channel amps to 7 channel amps, but I recommend getting the front 3 off the receiver for HT, or for a stereo focus the LR. The rear channels aren't very demanding and the receiver can handle them just fine. To connect an external amp you simply run an RCA cable from the pre-out on the back of the receiver to the amp input for each channel. The ART being a pro amp, I need an RCA - 1/4" cable for each channel.


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post #5 of 9 Old 05-28-2012, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info on the amp...I'll have to do a bit of reading and research to catch up.

The room is 20x16 with the TV and components located at the middle of one of the 20' walls. Viewing position is 7' from the TV. The room has a high sloping ceiling - (8' behind the TV and sloping upwards as you move away from the TV so that at the back of the room it is 15'). Not sure how much longer I'll be at this location, however.

Thanks again,
Mike
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-29-2012, 01:45 PM
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Try the Magnepan 12 with CC5 center. Pair it with a NHT amp and small sub and you have an awesome system.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-29-2012, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpo1977 View Post

Looking to upgrade my current 5.1 setup. Presently, I have ~7 year old Athena Technologies (F2 towers, C2 center, B2 surrounds) plus HSU STF-2. Receiver is Yamaha RX-A800, which I am also considering upgrading (maybe to Denon 3312 or Sherwood R-972 or similar). Probably 80% TV/movies and 20% music.

Have done extensive research here and elsewhere and would like some opinions on the following options. The list below has only the speakers, it seems that the subwoofer upgrade will come from comparable options from the usual suspects (Rythmik, SVS, HSU, Outlaw). Any help in narrowing the speaker list down into a more manageable "short list" is greatly appreciated. Several of the options are not readily available locally for demos and I'd rather not be auditioning six or more options at home.

Pricing puts these choices between roughly $1-2k with the PSB Image T6, Aperion and Wharfedale 10.7 at the high end and KEF, Energy, Ascend at the low. In no particular order:

KEF iQ (iQ90 fronts, IQ60c center, IQ10 surrounds)
PSB image (either T6-C5-B6 or T5-C5-B5)
Wharfedale diamond (either 10.7-10cm-10.sr or 10.6-10cm-10.sr)
also checked out the Evo2 line, but could only find the towers
Energy (RC-70, RC-LCR, RC-10)
NHT (absolute towers, center, zeros)
Aperion versus (forte towers, center, surrounds)
Ascend (CMT-340SE fronts, 340SE center, HTM-200SE)
EMP (E55ti, E5ci, E55wi; considered E56ci center, but too wide for my setup)

If I've overlooked something that has similar or more bang-for-buck then I am open to other suggestions. Mainly I am interested in any feedback on the above options. Any suggestions and advice is greatly appreciated.

Mike

Definitely, there will be no concern for you to choose Wharfedale series. Among the list above, they are the best at both quality/price as well as the good looking/matching with amplifier.
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-29-2012, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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nxcuongvn, thanks for the advice. Was your comment in regards to the Diamond 10.7 or do you also feel the 10.6 offers best quality/price on the list?

Thanks, Mike
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-29-2012, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpo1977 View Post

nxcuongvn, thanks for the advice. Was your comment in regards to the Diamond 10.7 or do you also feel the 10.6 offers best quality/price on the list?

Thanks, Mike

Be aware that with the 10.7 being a 4-way all the drivers might not properly integrated at only 7' which could make them seem disjointed, and while the 10.6 is a 3-way its woofer is crossed over at 100hz which serves no benefit when used with an 80hz crossover for HT. If you're able to move your seat back a couple feet the 10.7 would be a very good choice.

You missed out on the NHT 3 sale price, they're back to $800pr...


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