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post #1 of 13 Old 08-02-2012, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Howdy all. Pretty new to the world of "better than garbage" av equipment, and was hoping to get some speaker advice.

I just purchased the Denon 2312 and my tv is a Panasonic P55ST50. They are in an older house, hardwood floors and plaster walls, about 15 x 15.

I have read many good reviews about the Energy Take Classic 5.1, but I like to listen to music just as much as I enjoy watching movies, so I was thinking that a small surround sound system probably isn't the best idea. Thoughts on that?

Right now, I would say my budget is about $1000, so I wanted to start with two bookshelves and a center, and then add on with Christmas presents and birthday presents to myself in the next few months to a year. The local dealer here primarily stocks B&W, PSB, Audioengine and Definitive Technology. I'll be honest, I don't know much, if anything about these speakers, even though I've heard of a couple those brands. I would like to shop at this store, because I trust them (local and been in business for a long time), and if you want to upgrade your speakers within a year, as long as you have the original packaging and the speakers are in good condition, they will put their value towards new speakers. So, in the future, I can move the bookshelves to the rear, or just upgrade completely.

Sorry, I feel like I've given a lot of pointless information in order to ask my simple questions... Can anybody recommend a set-up in that price range? Should I hold off on getting a center, because they seem to cost more than bookshelf speakers?

Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-02-2012, 09:26 PM
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Those are all good brands that you mentioned but we have no idea what this local store charges. The best thing to do is listen to as many speakers as you can. Here are some ideas from the brands you listed.

Def Tech Studio Monitor 55 @$299 each

Def Tech CLR 2002 center channel, $349

Vanns has these Def Tech towers on sale for the same price as the bookshelf speakers @ $299ea. Not sure if your store has this deal.

idea #2
PSB Image B6 and Image C5 center, $549 and $399

idea #3
B&W 685 and HTM62 center, maybe you can get a package deal under $1000

What other brands do they carry? I don't think Audioengine makes a large enough bookshelf speaker for your needs.

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post #3 of 13 Old 08-02-2012, 09:47 PM
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PSB Image speakers are nice, and the new Definitive Studio Monitors are getting some nice
reviews. The Definitive speakers have my attention - buy what sounds best to you.

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Speakers -- Snell K7 > Digital Phase AP-.5 > Harman Kardon Ten > Boston VS240 -- Receiver > Integra 50.2
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-02-2012, 10:51 PM
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The PSB and new Deftech monitor series would be solid choices. Also look into KEF.

Another option would be this:

You could get the 5.0 speaker package and then save up for a nice sub.
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-03-2012, 01:57 AM
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The PSB Image B6 and C5 is one that would get thumbs up from me too. Good stuff.

Another I would recommend would be the Monitor Audio Bronze BX-2 and Bronze BX Center speakers, which should also be well under $1000.

From KEF, the iQ30 and C6 LCR center speaker would also be nice and in that price range (KEF Direct website).
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-03-2012, 11:02 AM
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fwiw, a pair of chase home theater sho-10's for lr and build from there

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for all of the responses!
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 05:44 PM
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Hey Budwac, I was in the same boat as you. I went and listened to the def tech sm55's and didn't care for how they sounded. I ended up going with the def tech pro monitor 1000's for my front L& R and my sats, and a procenter 2000. The sm 55's sounded a bit muffled in the mid range to me. The pm1000's sounded brighter and cleaner. I'm still searching and trying to decide on my sub. If you can, try to demo your speakers before purchasing. Good luck!
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 06:04 PM
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Or these...


Then save up for a nice sub..

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post #10 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 06:47 PM
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Take some time at the store and listen to each of the store's offerings. I agree that the Audioengines probably don't provide sufficient output for your room. The Deftech and PSB speakers are highly regarded. I personally like the 685s as well but they're not for everyone as they are a bit polite (laid back) and the midrange leaves a bit to be desired. This is just an opinion of course and I actually own a pair of the 685s. The CM5s are much better but quite pricey for what you get.

Living Room: B&W 804D2, B&W ASW610, Yamaha RX-A2030, Rotel RC-1570, Rotel RB-1582 mkii, Oppo BDP-93, ATV.
Office: KEF LS50s, B&W ASW608, Parasound P5, Parasound A23, Marantz CD5004, Rega RP1, Bluesound Node 2.

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post #11 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 07:04 PM
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The most important thing you can do right now is find some local audio shops...several of them. Set up a time and go and listen to all sorts of various speakers to decide what sort of "sound" you prefer. Many brands have a unique sound that is their own and this speaks to many people almost immediately.

You need to listen to a variety of speakers and brands, including items outside of your price range so that you can learn what to listen for, what you don't like, etc. Also make sure you listen for several minutes, in many cases the speaker that "grabs" you immediately will turn out to be fatiguing or harsh or bright...sometimes a speaker that sounds ever so slightly veiled upon first hearing it, will wear the best on your ear and will provide hours of enjoyment.

Let me give you a personal example:

I've always been an audio guy, I love it, my dad loved it, though he couldn't afford anything good...I worked at Best Buy and heard a lot in my 6.5 years with them, some not too bad, and a whole lot of junk. After I finished school, I new it was a matter of time before I started building a system. Well in 2007 I began auditioning various speakers. The one's that spoke to me first were the Klipsch RF62's, they weren't boomy, they were very articulate and the movie demos I brought along to audition were somewhat impressive...So I was pretty set on Klipsch after my first 15 minutes (I left with a mild headache, didn't think much of it). So I did more research, read a lot on here and then visited another local audio shop and was introduced to Paradigm. Listened for probably an hour, various material and was pretty impressed with the Monitor 9. It wasn't boomy like the 11 and yet it had more midrange detail and had a lot lower reach then the monitor 7 which sounded almost hollow in comparison...

My looking went on for a couple months and during that time I auditioned the Klipsch several more times for 15, 30 or 45 minutes and what I realized was the speakers were too harsh/bright to my liking. They fatigued my ears with any more than 15 minutes at moderate volumes and in more than one case left me with a headache.

I say this not to bash Klipsch, several friends have them and they are GOOD speakers, but my point is my first choice ended up NOT being my choice at all after further listening. The sound just isn't for me. If you have hardwoods and typical walls, you may want to look for something regarded as neutral or even a bit warm. But ultimately it is YOUR ears that must make the choice. The only way you can make a good choice is to listen, listen and listen some more with material that you are intimately familiar with.

I ultimately wound up getting a superb deal on some Swan Diva's on clearance so I took them sight unheard, BIG risk...but I had done my homework and new that I could sell them on audiogon for what I paid for them new. So I took the plunge...they showed up and at first I was quit disappointed. The detailed but slightly warm sound I had read about seemed to be non existent. Instead I had a rather harsh speaker for upper mids and highs and some of my favorite material sounded really bad at one point.

I was kind of freaked out...but we were going out of town for the weekend so I decided to pop in a CD, put it on repeat and feed them some music for three days and then the next week while I was at work (I did no listening in between because I didn't want to taint my ears and become accustomed to the sound). After probably 150 hours of break in the speakers sound quite good and I've been very pleased. They aren't the greatest speakers but they're quite good...

Again, moral of the story...LISTEN, LISTEN and LISTEN!
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 11:43 PM
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Hi Budwac. I'm sort of in the same boat but I bought the 2313 and have the 60GT50. I suggest checking out this thread, I'm seriously considering those speakers and the Energy S10.3 subwoofer.


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post #13 of 13 Old 08-07-2012, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all the help!

So, I read through that lengthy Pioneer thread, and it did spark some interest. I could pretty much get an entire 5.1 system for the price of two B&W or PSB bookshelves. I'm planning on going to a few places this weekend to sit and listen to some speakers (thanks for the advice 6Speed), but can't help but think that I might miss something. I won't lie, I'm not sure what specs I should be looking for, and things like frequency range and matching up speakers are still foreign to me.

I know the old saying, "you get what you pay for." If I went with the budget Pioneer speakers, would I soon be regretting not piecing together better speakers over time? I know I don't have the best receiver, but with the Pioneers, am I taking advantage of what I bought?
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