Best tower speaker set for around $500? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 06-17-2012, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Looking at getting front mains. What is the best I can do for this price right now, any recommendations are good deals floating around online at the moment (sales/clearance/etc)?

not even sure what brand or models I should be looking at. I do have a pretty good $400 200 watt Optimus subwoofer for low end, and a $200 Optimus center channel. The mains don't need to match this, as I want the best sound I can get for the money. This is just context for where these speakers will fit into my system. I have been pretty happy with the Optimus speakers overall.

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post #2 of 41 Old 06-17-2012, 10:57 AM
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You should match your mains with your center.

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post #3 of 41 Old 06-17-2012, 11:00 AM
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post #4 of 41 Old 06-17-2012, 11:03 AM
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Way better than Optimus speakers
HTD Level Two
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Tower-Speakers

Clearance price here
http://www.htd.com/Products/Discontinued/Level-THREE-Bookshelf-LIGHT-CHERRY-discontinued_2

Matching center
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Center-Channel-Speaker

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post #5 of 41 Old 06-17-2012, 11:27 AM
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Looks like some VERY interesting speakers. I like the specs on the level 3 towers. Looks like they play down to 30hz, which is what I am looking for. Does anyone know anything about them?

I'm your Huckleberry
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post #6 of 41 Old 06-17-2012, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEFFREY GTS View Post

Looks like some VERY interesting speakers. I like the specs on the level 3 towers. Looks like they play down to 30hz, which is what I am looking for. Does anyone know anything about them?

The HTD Level Three and Two speakers, do nicely for music and home theater,
and they do have good bass. They were designed, to play above speakers in the
general entry level mass market. They are open, balanced and detailed. However,
I still prefer the likes of KEF Q, Monitor Audio Silver, and Focal above them.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
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post #7 of 41 Old 06-17-2012, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

The HTD Level Three and Two speakers, do nicely for music and home theater,
and they do have good bass. They were designed, to play above speakers in the
general entry level mass market. They are open, balanced and detailed. However,
I still prefer the likes of KEF Q, Monitor Audio Silver, and Focal above them.

I agree. I can't give my real opinion because I have never heard them but it does seem like an entry level company to get into higher quality sound for the masses. It would probably be a downgrade from my current av123 Rocket RS450's. And I want to upgrade not downgrade.

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post #8 of 41 Old 06-17-2012, 04:13 PM
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I would be looking at monitors or bookshelf in this range with the intent of matching the center later with the same line. You will get a better sounding speaker IMO and even at much higher price ranges I would say the same thing. Once again , my opinion only. Add a decent sub later. Doesn't have to be all now.

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-41245-focal-chorus-705v-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx

Squeek another $150.? Not my cash but a thought..

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-41246-focal-chorus-706v-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx


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post #9 of 41 Old 06-17-2012, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.SoftDome View Post

I would be looking at monitors or bookshelf in this range with the intent of matching the center later with the same line. You will get a better sounding speaker IMO and even at much higher price ranges I would say the same thing. Once again , my opinion only. Add a decent sub later. Doesn't have to be all now.
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-41245-focal-chorus-705v-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx
Squeek another $150.? Not my cash but a thought..
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-41246-focal-chorus-706v-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx
Rick

The 706's for the extra $150 is totally worth it. They are one of The Absolute Sound's best bookshelf speakers of the year and was high on my list while I was looking at bookshelf speakers.

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post #10 of 41 Old 06-17-2012, 04:32 PM
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post #11 of 41 Old 06-17-2012, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEFFREY GTS View Post

The 706's for the extra $150 is totally worth it. They are one of The Absolute Sound's best bookshelf speakers of the year and was high on my list while I was looking at bookshelf speakers.

If I was looking to start out, I would take a serious look at this
Focal set here.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/320924304579?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

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post #12 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

If I was looking to start out, I would take a serious look at this
Focal set here.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/320924304579?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

Hmm, those look way different from the current 705s. How many years old is that model?

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post #13 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 06:08 AM
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Best $500/pr towers are the Infinity P363.

They have been measured and REVIEWED.

They have excellent on-axis and off-axis frequency responses. In a double-blinded study, people preferred the P362 over speakers costing 4 times their price.

Not only do they measure very well, they sound very good. Most speakers that cost more don't even measure as well!

I have these speakers myself. No doubt in my mind they are the best $500/pr speakers (if buying brand new).
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post #14 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 08:01 AM
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I have had the Level TWO HTD (7.1 all HTD) for a few months and really do love the sound. Dialog is crisp/clear and I never get fatigue when listening to music at a high level. At $400 a pair I think they sound "better than" the price but I also know there are better speakers out there that cost more.

I compared them to the Infinity P363's and thought the Infinity sounded WAY more harsh and bright and think I could get tired of listening to them. My next upgrade down the road might be the Level 3's but I do not have the itch or the need for a long time, very happy with what I have and what I paid.

Rambling now but good luck, HTD makes a great product IMO and they do offer a 30 day money back guarantee and pay the shipping both ways.
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post #15 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slider34z View Post

At $400 a pair I think they sound "better than" the price but I also know there are better speakers out there that cost more.
I compared them to the Infinity P363's and thought the Infinity sounded WAY more harsh and bright and think I could get tired of listening to them. My next upgrade down the road might be the Level 3's but I do not have the itch or the need for a long time, very happy with what I have and what I paid.
I agree - I prefer HTD over Infinity > they are more involving and musical sounding to me.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #16 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slider34z View Post

I compared them to the Infinity P363's and thought the Infinity sounded WAY more harsh and bright and think I could get tired of listening to them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

I agree - I prefer HTD over Infinity > they are more involving and musical sounding to me.

Are there any actual objective measurements, or just some subjective user opinions ?
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post #17 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Are there any actual objective measurements, or just some subjective user reviews?

There are no measurements at this time - and since life is short, I do not wait for measurements to come out >
to help me decide if I will like a speaker or not. 30 day in home trial is the name of the game, and the way to go.
I agree that the Infinity speaker is nice - however, they do not float my boat on a day to day basis.

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

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #18 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrot View Post

Hmm, those look way different from the current 705s. How many years old is that model?

I am not sure about the age, they look to be over 7 years old - they seem to be in good shape
and well taken care of. However, some people have commented about a somewhat bright treble
with the earlier versions of the Chorus series.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #19 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Are there any actual objective measurements, or just some subjective user opinions ?

Once again, there is a lot more to a speaker than a spectral decay and FR graph. A marginally better FR does not mean a speaker is better than another.

A flat FR is a good sign of quality, but that's not all there is to it. Resolution, power compression and dynamics, etc, all contribute significantly to the sound and are generally not measured. You can't establish that one speaker is better than another just because its +/- numbers are ever so slightly smaller.
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post #20 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 09:11 AM
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Oh, I didn't realize I said graphs were the ONLY thing. Let me go back and read my post again. It was a while ago.....No I did not say that.

No doubt more information is better than less information.

But the only information for most of these speakers are opinions. There is not a single measurement on most of these speakers.

So is it okay with you if I ask for more information? Is that too much to ask? Do I need permission to ask for any objective information?

Edit: Never mind. Blocked Member. Great feature.
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post #21 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Oh, I didn't realize I said graphs were the ONLY thing. Let me go back and read my post again. It was a while ago.
Well, no doubt more information is better than less information.
But the only information for most of these speakers are opinions.
So is it okay with you if I ask for more information? Any objective information? Or is that too much to ask? Do I need permission to ask for any objective information at all?

You implied it by asking someone to basically prove their choice of speaker is better by using a couple of measurement graphs.

The guy said he prefers one speaker over another. So be it. You could use some measurements to establish that the HTD speakers are probably good or are probably not good. You "asked" for the measurements in a very confrontational way, challenging him on his preference.

I try to go out of my way not to recommend for or against speakers I have not personally heard, unless user and professional reviews tend to agree to a significant degree yay or nay. Your comments really appear to be boiling down everything about how a speaker sounds to a couple of graphs and claiming that a speaker that measures better than another is an objectively better product. That's not the case.
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post #22 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Are there any actual objective measurements, or just some subjective user opinions ?

My thoughts on HTD and Infinity in the $200ish per pair is completely an opinion. I always try to say if you want something more bright, HTD is probably not for you.

I was actually hoping I would like the Infinity more because at the time, I could get the P363's for $149 a pair and save about a $100.

So many speakers to choose from and that's a good thing. I was just simply saying what I liked better. The Infinity does make a nice speaker in this price range, just not right for me.

Good luck to the original poster on whatever you buy!
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post #23 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, as the OP I want to thank you all for your input.

I was speaking with my son who said I should really consider some Polk RTi A7s if I was willing to up my budget. Any thoughts on these. By the way this will already tax my budget so while the "If you were willing to spend $$$ more..." comments will fall on deaf ears (no pun intended). :-)

Any thought on the A7s?

Steve
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post #24 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Me3 View Post

Hi, as the OP I want to thank you all for your input.
I was speaking with my son who said I should really consider some Polk RTi A7s if I was willing to up my budget. Any thoughts on these. By the way this will already tax my budget so while the "If you were willing to spend $$$ more..." comments will fall on deaf ears (no pun intended). :-)
Any thought on the A7s?

Depends on how much you are paying. I'm sure they're nice speakers. I'm not a fan of their sound but many are. One caveat would be they should really be paired with a powerful AVR or amp to sound their best. So that means more money. eek.gif

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post #25 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Me3 View Post

Hi, as the OP I want to thank you all for your input.
I was speaking with my son who said I should really consider some Polk RTi A7s if I was willing to up my budget. Any thoughts on these. By the way this will already tax my budget so while the "If you were willing to spend $$$ more..." comments will fall on deaf ears (no pun intended). :-)
Any thought on the A7s?

I would still make a purchase, where you can get a matching center inside
your max budget - your option and choice.

I still prefer KEF and HTD over Polk.

KEF iQ70
http://www.kefdirect.com/iq70-floorstanding-loudspeaker.html

HTD Level Three
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-three-speakers/Level-THREE-Tower-Speakers
http://www.htd.com/Products/Discontinued/Level-THREE-Bookshelf-LIGHT-CHERRY-discontinued

If you really want towers only -
Look at Wharfedale
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15535-wharfedale-evo2-40-tower-speakers-pr.aspx
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15532-wharfedale-evo2-30-tower-speakers-pr.aspx

Polk Ebay
http://www.ebay.com/itm/EACH-RTi-A7-RTiA7-BLACK-Tower-Speaker-Polk-Audio-/230794956554?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item35bc738f0a

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #26 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 04:02 PM
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If you want some of the best value left and right towers for around $500, I recommend looking at the DIY market. Here's a pair of renown GR Research A/V-3s (designed by Danny Richie) being sold for a very good price: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=106713.0. The kit alone (barebones drivers and other components) costs $330. This pair is already fully assembled with cabinets finished by a very skilled builder. Shipping might be a bit expensive but these will easily shame any new name-brand speakers in the price range and will compete with other floorstanders priced over $1,000.
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post #27 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 04:28 PM
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Never heard them, but they have been suggested to me. $499 pair! ARX A3. I have been told they are a best bang for the buck!
http://www.theaudioinsider.com/product_info.php?p=arx-a3-floorstanding-loudspeaker&products_id=67&
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post #28 of 41 Old 06-18-2012, 07:25 PM
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^^^

I recently bought 5 Arx A2's for my 5.1 system and I am very satisfied with the sound quality of Arx speakers.

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post #29 of 41 Old 06-21-2012, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Best $500/pr towers are the Infinity P363.
They have been measured and REVIEWED.
They have excellent on-axis and off-axis frequency responses. In a double-blinded study, people preferred the P362 over speakers costing 4 times their price.
Not only do they measure very well, they sound very good. Most speakers that cost more don't even measure as well!
I have these speakers myself. No doubt in my mind they are the best $500/pr speakers (if buying brand new).
Have u ever compared the Primus 363 to any of your more expensive speakers
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post #30 of 41 Old 06-21-2012, 10:37 PM
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I have listened-to the ARX A3 in my home extensively. I have also heard the Infiniti P363's predecessor in my home as well.

I would strongly advise giving the Arx A3 towers a listen. They outclassed the P362 (correct model number?) for music and movies. I think a listen would be worth your time. Maybe check over at The Audio Insider Forums for some A3 owners in your area.

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