Are Energy Take Classic 5.1s still considered the best budget speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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originally was planning on bigger speakers for a new 5.1 setup, but my wife declared that they were too big and she wouldn't have them ruining the decor. So now I'm considering the following speaker packages (to be used 60% tv, 30% movies, 10% music):

- Energy 5.1 Take Classic
- Klipsch HD 500 Compact 5.1
- Polk Audio RM705 5.1
- MartinLogan MLT-1 5.1 (or maybe the MLT-2 if they have a sale on them again)

From what I've been able to find, the Energy's are the most recommended, or at least were. I haven't found many recent reviews on them. Are they still considered the best for the price?

From those products you can see about what my budget is, too...
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post #2 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 02:53 PM
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Maybe you could step up to the Polk TL3 system?

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post #3 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Maybe you could step up to the Polk TL3 system?

$699 on amazon, and doesn't include a sub. I'd rather not go up that much in budget - money I save here will be used for a new LED tv for the front room, and I'm much more of a tv/picture quality snob than speaker/audio snob smile.gif
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post #4 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Maybe you could step up to the Polk TL3 system?

Yeah, I agree that the Polk Blackstone speakers are small (pleases the wife), but sound good. Check out the Polk Audio direct storefront on Ebay. The products are usually manufacture refurbished, but come with a warranty. I bought a sub from them and it looks and sounds like new.

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post #5 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mark1280 View Post

Yeah, I agree that the Polk Blackstone speakers are small (pleases the wife), but sound good.

is there much difference between the TL2 and TL3 Blackstones (keeping in mind that I'm no big audiophile)?
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post #6 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by blakeyj08 View Post

is there much difference between the TL2 and TL3 Blackstones (keeping in mind that I'm no big audiophile)?

I have not heard them all side by side so I can not say for sure. I have heard the TL1's and they sounded pretty good given there small size. according to their website the TL1s are for people new to HT. The TL2 are fuller and richer in sound and the TL3s are for serious listeners. Check out this link for more info. Either way I think you cant really go wrong with any of them for that price range and keeping size in mind.

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post #7 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mark1280 View Post

I have not heard them all side by side so I can not say for sure. I have heard the TL1's and they sounded pretty good given there small size. according to their website the TL1s are for people new to HT. The TL2 are fuller and richer in sound and the TL3s are for serious listeners.

I wish I could listen to them and compare. Around here the Fry's is pretty run down and never seems to have anything hooked up in the listening areas, and BB only had 2 systems set up when I went in the other day.

Will even the TL1s be a step up from the ones I listed in the OP?
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post #8 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by blakeyj08 View Post

I wish I could listen to them and compare. Around here the Fry's is pretty run down and never seems to have anything hooked up in the listening areas, and BB only had 2 systems set up when I went in the other day.
Will even the TL1s be a step up from the ones I listed in the OP?

Yeah that is too bad that they have such a bad setup. Our BB is the same way too. We do have a local chain called American TV that has all of these speakers setup to audition, however the sales people are all commission and I hate going in there to audition speakers when I am not planning on buying.

That is tough to say which is better without listening to any of them. They all look to be made to compete with one another. The only thing I do not like about the Klipsch is that they did not include 5 way binding posts for terminals. Other than that I can only vouch for the Polk TL series because that is all I have actually auditioned out of the ones mentioned. I prefer the silk dome tweeters used on the TL series as apposed to the aluminum tweeters on most of the other speakers mentioned in the OP. IMHO the silk dome tweeters have a softer sound. I just do not like the sound of aluminum tweeters but that is just me. You may like it.

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post #9 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 04:49 PM
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I suggest that you check out the ones on the KEF Direct website. They will sound much better than any of those.




Quote:
Originally Posted by blakeyj08 View Post

originally was planning on bigger speakers for a new 5.1 setup, but my wife declared that they were too big and she wouldn't have them ruining the decor. So now I'm considering the following speaker packages (to be used 60% tv, 30% movies, 10% music):
- Energy 5.1 Take Classic
- Klipsch HD 500 Compact 5.1
- Polk Audio RM705 5.1
- MartinLogan MLT-1 5.1 (or maybe the MLT-2 if they have a sale on them again)
From what I've been able to find, the Energy's are the most recommended, or at least were. I haven't found many recent reviews on them. Are they still considered the best for the price?
From those products you can see about what my budget is, too...
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post #10 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 04:51 PM
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Why is she worried about the Decor? You let her have nice things. She should let you get the speakers that you want. You aren't asking for much.
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post #11 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 04:55 PM
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I agree with commsysman KEF Sounds good. I just heard some 4,000 dollar KEF speakers Saturday in NYC. I heard good and bad things about the smaller energy speakers. Some people didn't think that they had a full enough or loud enough sound. I just bought energy veritas 6.2 and like them. They are tall though. vanns was having a good deal on them. They have a good bass. They are discontinued so it;'s harder to find them.
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post #12 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyboardcat View Post

Why is she worried about the Decor? You let her have nice things. She should let you get the speakers that you want. You aren't asking for much.

I have the same constraints when it comes to the HT speakers I buy and my wife limited the size my HT too. I think it should be more of a compromise. If it was up to my wife she would not have any speakers in her house, but we compromise. As long as I do not go too big she is happy. The way I look at it it is her house too and I veto flowery girly decor when she tries to decorate too, so it goes both ways.

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post #13 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I suggest that you check out the ones on the KEF Direct website. They will sound much better than any of those.

For how much more expensive they are, I'd sure hope so. I don't see any options there that are within my price range though.
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Why is she worried about the Decor? You let her have nice things. She should let you get the speakers that you want. You aren't asking for much.

I've already won the battles for a new laptop, Roku, and a second tv smile.gif. There's not really any place we could put floor standing speakers either, so the only options would be bookshelf speakers (provided they're less than about 7" wide) or smaller satellites.

I'd originally planned on doing the YHT-695 package (Yamah RX-V471 receiver + bookshelf fronts, sub and satellite rears), but now have to adjust and look for smaller ones. There's a chance that if I convince her that the quality goes down from bookshelves to satellites while prices go up that she'd change her mind, though.
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post #14 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh, the other thing too is that the house we're moving to already has wiring in the walls for the fronts and backs, so if I do bookshelves I'll have to find a way to hide the holes/cables on the TV wall that we wouldn't be using.
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post #15 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakeyj08 View Post

originally was planning on bigger speakers for a new 5.1 setup, but my wife declared that they were too big and she wouldn't have them ruining the decor. So now I'm considering the following speaker packages (to be used 60% tv, 30% movies, 10% music):
- Energy 5.1 Take Classic
- Klipsch HD 500 Compact 5.1
- Polk Audio RM705 5.1
- MartinLogan MLT-1 5.1 (or maybe the MLT-2 if they have a sale on them again)
From what I've been able to find, the Energy's are the most recommended, or at least were. I haven't found many recent reviews on them. Are they still considered the best for the price?
From those products you can see about what my budget is, too...

I had the Energy Take Classic 5.1 in my dedicated home theater for two years before I upgraded to another Energy Speaker line.

The speakers were so amazing I actually picked up an Energy Take Classic 5.0 , so I could run 7.1. Energy doesn't sell the satellites as separates.

I have both sets complete in factory boxes. Send me a private message if you are interested. You will not be disappointed with the sound. Very full and dynamic soundfield.

Current set-up in the JMAX Theater.

Onkyo TX-NR 818 Receiver
Oppo 93 Bluray player
Epson 6500 UB 1080p Projector
Energy VSW 10 Subwoofer
Seven Energy LCR speakers
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post #16 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 05:44 PM
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What size is your room?

I have the Energy 5.1 Take Classics hooked up to a Yamaha RX-V867 in a 16x20 room. The sound fills the room and the one sub does the job. They are loud enough and have a good balance between theater and music. I do wish the dialogue was a little more focused, but I don't generally have a problem hearing if the audience is well-behaved. It's a good all-around set and looks nice too. Your wife will approve and you will have a nice sounding system at a very reasonable price.
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post #17 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skylarlove1999 View Post

I had the Energy Take Classic 5.1 in my dedicated home theater for two years before I upgraded to another Energy Speaker line.
The speakers were so amazing I actually picked up an Energy Take Classic 5.0 , so I could run 7.1.

Wow, that looks like a sweet set up you have!
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What size is your room?
I have the Energy 5.1 Take Classics hooked up to a Yamaha RX-V867 in a 16x20 room. The sound fills the room and the one sub does the job. They are loud enough and have a good balance between theater and music. I do wish the dialogue was a little more focused, but I don't generally have a problem hearing if the audience is well-behaved. It's a good all-around set and looks nice too. Your wife will approve and you will have a nice sounding system at a very reasonable price.

the room is probably about 35' x 15', with the TV along the 35" wall. The room is combo living room/dining room and then opens into the kitchen, so even though the room itself is pretty big I'm mainly concerned about the 15' x 15' area where the tv and couches are.






Now I've just seen Def Tech ProCinema 60's on sale at newegg, so throw that in as a possibility too...
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post #18 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 06:45 PM
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Recently, I installed a Dayton HTP 5.1 ($129) and BIC America F12 ($192) for a person with a $400 budget. Ive owned and installed Energy 5.1 Classics/Micro's in the past and felt that the Dayton/BIC was a better value. The most notable difference being the sub woofer.
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post #19 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Del Cosmos View Post

Recently, I installed a Dayton HTP 5.1 ($129) and BIC America F12 ($192) for a person with a $400 budget. Ive owned and installed Energy 5.1 Classics/Micro's in the past and felt that the Dayton/BIC was a better value. The most notable difference being the sub woofer.

Great... now instead of getting CLOSER to a decision you've thrown in another option! I've got analysis paralysis... maybe I'll head down to Fry's and start hooking up speakers to receivers myself and test some out biggrin.gif
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post #20 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakeyj08 View Post

I've got analysis paralysis...

In that case, step up to 4 of the Energy V Minis (use promo code "audio" on this page http://www.vanns.com/shop/promo to get the $100 price) and a V-Mini center. Those are a step up from the Energy Takes with bigger drivers, yet still would probably meet your WAF requirements. Given the size of that room, you should wait until you can afford to spend money (and convince the wife) on a good 12" sub from HSU, Outlaw Audio, or Epik. All of those subs in those satellite speaker packages you have listed in your original post will be overwhelmed by your room. The subs are way too small.

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post #21 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Cosmos View Post

Recently, I installed a Dayton HTP 5.1 ($129) and BIC America F12 ($192) for a person with a $400 budget. Ive owned and installed Energy 5.1 Classics/Micro's in the past and felt that the Dayton/BIC was a better value. The most notable difference being the sub woofer.
Can you elaborate more on "better value"? More bang for buck? If cost wasn't an issue, would you say they are about equal or wound the energy still be better?

SACD library.
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post #22 of 64 Old 06-13-2012, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
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In that case, step up to 4 of the Energy V Minis (use promo code "audio" on this page http://www.vanns.com/shop/promo to get the $100 price) and a V-Mini center. Those are a step up from the Energy Takes with bigger drivers, yet still would probably meet your WAF requirements. Given the size of that room, you should wait until you can afford to spend money (and convince the wife) on a good 12" sub from HSU, Outlaw Audio, or Epik. All of those subs in those satellite speaker packages you have listed in your original post will be overwhelmed by your room. The subs are way too small.

Pardon my ignorance, but what does WAF refer to? Room size? I just checked the plans, the whole room is 32'x16', with the 'living room' area being about the front 18'x13'

Would the Bic F12 sub that Del Cosmos suggested still not be enough for the room?
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post #23 of 64 Old 06-14-2012, 04:17 AM
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^^^

waf = wife acceptance factor....

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #24 of 64 Old 06-14-2012, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakeyj08 View Post

Would the Bic F12 sub that Del Cosmos suggested still not be enough for the room?

Depends.

Sub performance is related to room volume (not just area) for an open floor plan because a sub produces waves that depend on pressurizing the air. Even assuming normal ceiling height, that would put you at around 4,000 to 5,000 cubic feet. Some other factors are distance from the listening position (closer is better), placement in the room (some locations are better depending on the room acoustics), and even floor construction (some bass may travel through wood flooring, but not very well through concrete).

A 12" budget sub like the BIC F12 will have a much better chance of sounding OK in your room than the small subs that come with those HT satellite speaker sets, but maybe not. That is a big space, and it depends on your expectations for bass.

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post #25 of 64 Old 06-14-2012, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Can you elaborate more on "better value"? More bang for buck? If cost wasn't an issue, would you say they are about equal or wound the energy still be better?

In my experience the BIC F12 offered cleaner room filling bass compared to subs included with the Energy kit. Comparing the speakers offered no notable differences to write home about. In my friends application, the cheaper speakers allowed him to choose a more expensive receiver (for improved Audyssey room correction).

I'm not saying this application will work well considering your room size - but it's the best sounding budget conscience setup I can think of...
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post #26 of 64 Old 06-14-2012, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^
waf = wife acceptance factor....

Ah. Got it. Thanks. That's much simpler than all of the ideas I came with (Wide Angle Field? Wide Area Frequency?)

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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Some other factors are distance from the listening position (closer is better), placement in the room (some locations are better depending on the room acoustics), and even floor construction (some bass may travel through wood flooring, but not very well through concrete).
A 12" budget sub like the BIC F12 will have a much better chance of sounding OK in your room than the small subs that come with those HT satellite speaker sets, but maybe not. That is a big space, and it depends on your expectations for bass.

Thanks for the explanation. the room is all hardwood floors, and the sub would be probably about 10' away from the listener. I don't expect it to shake the house, just to be respectable compared to the other components.




Last night I looked through other threads on here about budgets setups for about 2 hours. Now I'm considering if I just want to go with a center, R/L fronts and sub and be able to spend a little more on each. Is that something that you guys would recommend too?
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post #27 of 64 Old 06-14-2012, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakeyj08 View Post

Ah. Got it. Thanks. That's much simpler than all of the ideas I came with (Wide Angle Field? Wide Area Frequency?)
Thanks for the explanation. the room is all hardwood floors, and the sub would be probably about 10' away from the listener. I don't expect it to shake the house, just to be respectable compared to the other components.
Last night I looked through other threads on here about budgets setups for about 2 hours. Now I'm considering if I just want to go with a center, R/L fronts and sub and be able to spend a little more on each. Is that something that you guys would recommend too?

I'd take cel's advice and get the Energy V-mini package. The drivers in those are larger than the classics, the finish is very nice, to pacify the WAF goddess. I have their predecessors, the RC-minis as surrounds now, but once did have the exact same setup in a large (18X20) family room adjoining an open kitchen, and that system sounded excellent in that environment.

I would actually spend a bit more money on the sub, since the WAF factor is the same for those. They are meant to lurk in the peripheries, so they can be ignored at will. If later you triumph and can spend more on good bookshelf speakers or (gasp eek.gif ) floorstanders, the existing ones can me migrated to give you a 7.X system.
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post #28 of 64 Old 06-14-2012, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakeyj08 View Post

Ah. Got it. Thanks. That's much simpler than all of the ideas I came with (Wide Angle Field? Wide Area Frequency?)
Thanks for the explanation. the room is all hardwood floors, and the sub would be probably about 10' away from the listener. I don't expect it to shake the house, just to be respectable compared to the other components.
Last night I looked through other threads on here about budgets setups for about 2 hours. Now I'm considering if I just want to go with a center, R/L fronts and sub and be able to spend a little more on each. Is that something that you guys would recommend too?

That is exactly what I did because I was on a tight budget too. I also had Best Buy gift cards, so I was limited to what I could buy and where. I setup a 3.1 system at first so that way I could get a little nicer speakers and a little bit better receiver and sub for my budget. I definitely did not want to go the HTIB route, so I settled for a 3.1 setup over my ideal 5.1. I figured that would be a good start and I could always upgrade components later on as more funds are available.

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post #29 of 64 Old 06-14-2012, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hernanu View Post

I'd take cel's advice and get the Energy V-mini package. The drivers in those are larger than the classics, the finish is very nice, to pacify the WAF goddess. I have their predecessors, the RC-minis as surrounds now, but once did have the exact same setup in a large (18X20) family room adjoining an open kitchen, and that system sounded excellent in that environment.
I would actually spend a bit more money on the sub, since the WAF factor is the same for those. They are meant to lurk in the peripheries, so they can be ignored at will. If later you triumph and can spend more on good bookshelf speakers or (gasp eek.gif ) floorstanders, the existing ones can me migrated to give you a 7.X system.

I wish the black ones were on sale - I don't really care for the red cabinets. Unfortunately due to the layout of the room we'll never really have a place for floorstanders... I'll have to wait until I start making the big bucks and we move somewhere with a big, dedicated living room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark1280 View Post

That is exactly what I did because I was on a tight budget too. I definitely did not want to go the HTIB route, so I settled for a 3.1 setup over my ideal 5.1. I figured that would be a good start and I could always upgrade components later on as more funds are available.

What did you end up getting? Do you have it set up in a big room? I'm looking at maybe Polk Monitor 30's for fronts, Polk CS1 or CS2 for the center, and the Bic F12 sub. Maybe throw in a pair of Dayton's for $40 to serve as rears...
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post #30 of 64 Old 06-14-2012, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, thanks to all of you for your help and suggestions. I'd be completely lost if it weren't for this forum!
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