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post #1 of 25 Old 09-01-2012, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everybody,

I had looked for the forum's advice a few months ago, but then had to leave the country for until now so everything remained on the back burner...

Here's the situation: after some years dealing with a Yamaha HTIB, I finally decided I need to get something decent.

1) The speakers will most certainly be on a table, the center is in front of a corner, and the right channel not more than 10 inches from a wall. Nice, right? Wait, there's more: the left speaker will be a foot away from a glass window. Front ported speakers required? Floor-standing under the table?

2) I will need a subwoofer. I know absolutely nothing of subwoofers, but I would like a musical one (the one in the HTIB set is not).

The use will be 70% music, 30% movies. Mostly I listen to Jazz, Blues, Classical, Vocal.

Brands: I have no idea. There are so many. I lurked many threads but still have not a very good idea of what the "character" of the different manufacturers is.
people seem to like the Aperion Verus Grand a lot. Other people find the Ascend CMT-340 a great speaker. Same for the EMPs or Axiom M22. I read many consider the Infinity Primus a great deal...

So, I am very confused... would really help if someone could comment on the major character of these different solutions.

Right now I see there are many special deals around for Labor day, on EMPs, Energy 10.3, Emotiva, Primus, Kliptsch Subwoofer...

Thanks so much and pardon my total noobness.
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post #2 of 25 Old 09-01-2012, 01:17 PM
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1. budget

2. you've given placement constraints, good - are there aesthetic goals as well

3. don't worry about what brands other people have listened to and liked, what brands have listened to and liked, what brands have you listened to and not liked

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post #3 of 25 Old 09-01-2012, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rick240 View Post

1. budget
2. you've given placement constraints, good - are there aesthetic goals as well
3. don't worry about what brands other people have listened to and liked, what brands have listened to and liked, what brands have you listened to and not liked

First of all, thanks a lot for your promptly response and for helping.

No aesthetics goal whatsoever.

Budget is theoretically pretty flexible, but considering what I am upgrading from I am leaning towards a gradual evolution maybe... unless there is a great benefit in reaching a certain price point under which you really can't find decent quality. I see a lot of very big price cuts in the cheap part of the market, and I have no experience on where you start to really hit strong diminishing returns... So, roughly I'd prefer to stay below 500 for the main speakers. I do not have experience with subwoofers so I do not really know what you are getting by spending more there...

What do I know and like? Not much. On the other side of the ocean I use a 2.0 system that has a tube ampli (primaluna) and a pair of floorstanding speakers by a small italian artisan. The stereo was a gift so I did not pick the components, but I so like the sound. That's however a music only system, while what I am trying to put together now will also be used for movies. Here I have a horrible Yamaha HTIB (with passive subwoofer) that sounds terrible. And I really mean terrible. My biggest complaint would be the absolute lack of clarity in movie dialogues and the tremendous amount of details lost in music (there are Jazz quartets that sound like trios..).

I listened to some Kliptsch (spelling?) and found them very very (too?) bright. That's it.

I am located in NYC, so I guess I could try and audition a few brands... but realistically I won't do it much because righ now I really have limited free time. Also, aren't direct-from-the-internet a better overall deal? Cutting the middle man and all that jazz...

Sorry for the basic-ness of my questions, but I am just as clueless as I appear to be.
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post #4 of 25 Old 09-01-2012, 04:36 PM
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I think you have to go front ported book shelf speakers.

Few more questions, what size is your listening room, how far do you sit from your speakers, and do you have any shared walls with neighbors? Do you have a receiver?

I want to say look into these:
http://www.svsound.com/systems/scs-02m-3#.UEKNJ45SbHg

Great for music and home theater and they are sealed so no rear port. I have actually owned them and loved them and instead of selling them gave them to my brother-in-law and now he is loving them.

If you pair these with an SVS SB12 subwoofer (they should give you a package discount) this would be a nice setup:
http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/sb12-nsd#.UEKN445SbHg

These would make great surrounds for a 5.1 system on a budget:
http://www.svsound.com/systems/scs-02m-5#.UEKNrI5SbHg
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post #5 of 25 Old 09-01-2012, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I think you have to go front ported book shelf speakers.
Few more questions, what size is your listening room, how far do you sit from your speakers, and do you have any shared walls with neighbors? Do you have a receiver?
I want to say look into these:
http://www.svsound.com/systems/scs-02m-3#.UEKNJ45SbHg
Great for music and home theater and they are sealed so no rear port. I have actually owned them and loved them and instead of selling them gave them to my brother-in-law and now he is loving them.
If you pair these with an SVS SB12 subwoofer (they should give you a package discount) this would be a nice setup:
http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/sb12-nsd#.UEKN445SbHg
These would make great surrounds for a 5.1 system on a budget:
http://www.svsound.com/systems/scs-02m-5#.UEKNrI5SbHg

For music I also like speakers with folded ribbon tweeters such as Golden Ear and Martin Logan.
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post #6 of 25 Old 09-04-2012, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I think you have to go front ported book shelf speakers.
Few more questions, what size is your listening room, how far do you sit from your speakers, and do you have any shared walls with neighbors? Do you have a receiver?
I want to say look into these:
http://www.svsound.com/systems/scs-02m-3#.UEKNJ45SbHg
Great for music and home theater and they are sealed so no rear port. I have actually owned them and loved them and instead of selling them gave them to my brother-in-law and now he is loving them.
If you pair these with an SVS SB12 subwoofer (they should give you a package discount) this would be a nice setup:
http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/sb12-nsd#.UEKN445SbHg
These would make great surrounds for a 5.1 system on a budget:
http://www.svsound.com/systems/scs-02m-5#.UEKNrI5SbHg

The room is (roughly) 22x20, with 13' ceilings, and brick walls, one shared with a neighbor. But I will be often be sitting close or very close to the speakers, in the 2 to 12 feet range. The speakers you linked seem very interesting. Any other suggestion?

The receiver will probably be a refurbished Denon 2312 unless there is a good reason why I should prefer something else.

Thanks so much for your help.
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post #7 of 25 Old 09-04-2012, 11:41 AM
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The best-sounding receiver you can buy for under $3000 is IMO the Cambridge 551R; I think it goes for around $1200, and its sound quality just blows away the DenonMarantzYamaonkyo junk IMO. If you can tell the difference between mediocre sound and good sound quality, you will really like it.

For speakers, I recommend that you get the KEF Q300 speakers ($650/pair) and the Q200C speaker for the center ($450 at KEF Direct). They are all front-ported.

I love my NHT B12D subwoofer, and have yet to hear anything better for the price, around $700. It is very linear, clean, and powerful.

It is a sealed acoustic suspension design, which sounds much cleaner and more realistic to me than anything else I have heard for under $1000.
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post #8 of 25 Old 09-04-2012, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The best-sounding receiver you can buy for under $3000 is IMO the Cambridge 551R; I think it goes for around $1200, and its sound quality just blows away the DenonMarantzYamaonkyo junk IMO. If you can tell the difference between mediocre sound and good sound quality, you will really like it.
For speakers, I recommend that you get the KEF Q300 speakers ($650/pair) and the Q200C speaker for the center ($450 at KEF Direct). They are all front-ported.
I love my NHT B12D subwoofer, and have yet to hear anything better for the price, around $700. It is very linear, clean, and powerful.
It is a sealed acoustic suspension design, which sounds much cleaner and more realistic to me than anything else I have heard for under $1000.

Cambridge Audio is junk, pure overpriced garbage, strip out all the options and features double the price and you have Cambridge Audio receiver. Not worth it IMO Denon, Marantz, Onkyo sound just as good and include all the options and features of a MODERN receiver. I have the Onkyo TX-NR 818 and its a solid receiver under $1k, has a ton of options and the previous model 809 measured really well actually over 100watts per channel with 5 channels driven. 135watts with two channels.
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post #9 of 25 Old 09-04-2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didyouhearthat? View Post

The room is (roughly) 22x20, with 13' ceilings, and brick walls, one shared with a neighbor. But I will be often be sitting close or very close to the speakers, in the 2 to 12 feet range. The speakers you linked seem very interesting. Any other suggestion?
The receiver will probably be a refurbished Denon 2312 unless there is a good reason why I should prefer something else.
Thanks so much for your help.

These are nice speakers on a good sale right now and are front ported.
http://www.kefdirect.com/iq30-bookshelf-loudspeaker.html

I like the new Deftech Studio Monitor series as well (SM55, and SM65) but am concerned about how they will sound that close to the wall due to their design.

Paradigm also makes some nice sounding bookshelves that are front ported (check into the Studio 20's).
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post #10 of 25 Old 09-04-2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The best-sounding receiver you can buy for under $3000 is IMO the Cambridge 551R; I think it goes for around $1200, and its sound quality just blows away the DenonMarantzYamaonkyo junk IMO. If you can tell the difference between mediocre sound and good sound quality, you will really like it.
For speakers, I recommend that you get the KEF Q300 speakers ($650/pair) and the Q200C speaker for the center ($450 at KEF Direct). They are all front-ported.
I love my NHT B12D subwoofer, and have yet to hear anything better for the price, around $700. It is very linear, clean, and powerful.
It is a sealed acoustic suspension design, which sounds much cleaner and more realistic to me than anything else I have heard for under $1000.

I have never seen any scientific measurements that, when comparing similarly powered receivers and amplifiers that are level matched, show any difference in sound quality. For the most part, amps are amps and power is power. Reminds me of the big HDMI debates when some people swore $100 Monster cables offered a better picture than a $5 cheap Chinese cable. Guess what, people could not tell the difference and same with amps and receivers in double blind tests when conducted properly.

Sure if you buy 4ohm rated speakers that need lots of juice and then pair them with an 8ohm underpowered receiver you can tell the difference vs a 4ohm rated receiver. But that is stacking the deck. I have participated in a blind test myself and was startled when I could not tell the difference betweeen an expensive high powered amp and a cheap Onkyo and Denon... Three of us in the room, and none of us could tell the difference.... Changed how I bought receivers from that point forward...
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post #11 of 25 Old 09-04-2012, 01:44 PM
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If the OP really wants to stay under 500 dollars, only the SVS speakers of those suggested accomplishes that goal (I love this forum, but one of the annoying things is no matter what you say your buget is, people suggest more- and I am guilty of that as well. With that in mind, I won't suggest the Acend CMT340s...and a bookshelf pair is already over 500 dollars and then you still need a matching center channel. Some suggestions that could get you a L-C-R for under 500 dollars:
-Infinity Primus p163 w/matching center or third P163- should be around 3-400 dollars and if you live close to a Fry's, maybe even cheaper? (front ports)
-EMP- E5Bi Bookshelf and matching center E5c for just under 500 dollars (rear ported, so maybe these won't work)
-Polk M40 or M50s and CS1 center channel (also rear ported, so...)
-Def Tech SM 350/450- both have been on sale from New Egg for 2-300 dollars and the matching center is just over 200 dollars (sealed, so no rear ports)

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #12 of 25 Old 09-04-2012, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

If the OP really wants to stay under 500 dollars, only the SVS speakers of those suggested accomplishes that goal (I love this forum, but one of the annoying things is no matter what you say your buget is, people suggest more- and I am guilty of that as well. With that in mind, I won't suggest the Acend CMT340s...and a bookshelf pair is already over 500 dollars and then you still need a matching center channel. Some suggestions that could get you a L-C-R for under 500 dollars:
-Infinity Primus p163 w/matching center or third P163- should be around 3-400 dollars and if you live close to a Fry's, maybe even cheaper? (front ports)
-EMP- E5Bi Bookshelf and matching center E5c for just under 500 dollars (rear ported, so maybe these won't work)
-Polk M40 or M50s and CS1 center channel (also rear ported, so...)
-Def Tech SM 350/450- both have been on sale from New Egg for 2-300 dollars and the matching center is just over 200 dollars (sealed, so no rear ports)

You mean a $1200 receiver on a $500 speaker budget is not helpful???

biggrin.gif
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post #13 of 25 Old 09-04-2012, 02:00 PM
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That would be my opinion, yes!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #14 of 25 Old 09-04-2012, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

You mean a $1200 receiver on a $500 speaker budget is not helpful??? biggrin.gif

But commsysman already had it typed up ready to copy paste on the threads biggrin.gif


I would say that the SVS SCS 02 thats on clearance would be the OPs best option for speakers.
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post #15 of 25 Old 09-04-2012, 02:43 PM
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Could or rather should check out NHT for speakers.

Klipsch RF-62II, RC-500, RS-400, SVS PC12+,
Def Tech SC8000
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post #16 of 25 Old 09-04-2012, 03:55 PM
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You can buy an energy rc lcr for under $200 at meijers, add a pair of rc 10's for $219 from amazon. Or you could buy three lcr's for $600.
I bought the lcr as a center and rc10 as mains, later replaced with rc70's moved 10's to rear. Energy rc line got a lot of great reviews about 5 years ago. Still great speakers but now at bargain prices!

Also own nht classic 3 and 3c speakers which sound better but cost 3x as much.
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post #17 of 25 Old 09-04-2012, 04:43 PM
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You can buy an energy rc lcr for under $200 at meijers, add a pair of rc 10's for $219 from amazon. Or you could buy three lcr's for $600.
I bought the lcr as a center and rc10 as mains, later replaced with rc70's moved 10's to rear. Energy rc line got a lot of great reviews about 5 years ago. Still great speakers but now at bargain prices!

As an RC-10 and RC-LCR owner, I agree. Great setup for the price.

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post #18 of 25 Old 09-05-2012, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

If the OP really wants to stay under 500 dollars, only the SVS speakers of those suggested accomplishes that goal (I love this forum, but one of the annoying things is no matter what you say your buget is, people suggest more- and I am guilty of that as well. With that in mind, I won't suggest the Acend CMT340s...and a bookshelf pair is already over 500 dollars and then you still need a matching center channel. Some suggestions that could get you a L-C-R for under 500 dollars:
-Infinity Primus p163 w/matching center or third P163- should be around 3-400 dollars and if you live close to a Fry's, maybe even cheaper? (front ports)
-EMP- E5Bi Bookshelf and matching center E5c for just under 500 dollars (rear ported, so maybe these won't work)
-Polk M40 or M50s and CS1 center channel (also rear ported, so...)
-Def Tech SM 350/450- both have been on sale from New Egg for 2-300 dollars and the matching center is just over 200 dollars (sealed, so no rear ports)

I could increase mu budget and get the Ascends, if it were worth it. Would that be the speaker to get at that price point?

How do the Infinity Primus compare to the EMPs in term of character?

Also.. wow, can there really be such a divergence of opinions about receivers' sound quality?
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post #19 of 25 Old 09-05-2012, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Also.. wow, can there really be such a divergence of opinions about receivers' sound quality?

of course! people hear things differently.

What might be bright sounding to me is called detailed for someone else. Some people like horn tweeters, others aluminum, cloth or ribbon tweeters. Some like a smooth laid back sound, others neutral and some in your face mids and highs.

Speaker preference is very subjective.

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post #20 of 25 Old 09-05-2012, 05:05 PM
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FWIW, I would recommend the following

Denon XX12 Receiver
One RC-LCR
Two RC-10's
S10.3 Subwoofer
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post #21 of 25 Old 09-05-2012, 05:13 PM
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I have only heard the Ascends once, for a couple hours. Very clear and balanced speaker, with good bass extension and very crisp highs.
I own a set of EMPs towers and that is one nice speaker! Haven't heard the bookshelf, but I think it has the same driver as the 5ETis...the infinity are not as good a speaker as the EMPs, but not as expensive either!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #22 of 25 Old 09-05-2012, 08:08 PM
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Can you get the left right speakers off the table, and on a set of speaker stands? That may improve SQ more then buying more expensive speakers.
Decide how important home theater is to you. The 340's are probably better speakers than the Energy RC10, but for about the same price you could have 4 rc10's and a center.
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post #23 of 25 Old 09-05-2012, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mh52 View Post

Can you get the left right speakers off the table, and on a set of speaker stands? That may improve SQ more then buying more expensive speakers.
Decide how important home theater is to you. The 340's are probably better speakers than the Energy RC10, but for about the same price you could have 4 rc10's and a center.

It's going to be very hard to do. I could get it on a shelf, but then it would be really against the window glass...

I only need 3.1 because placing the surrounds would be very hard. The system will be used 70% music 30% movies... and even then the movies are often very old movies recorded stereo if not mono...

But I'd like speakers with a somewhat wam sound, as I listen to a lot of old jazz (often recorded in a less than ideal way).
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post #24 of 25 Old 09-06-2012, 06:33 AM
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My freind Ray who owns the Ascend CMT340s describes them as mostly neutral, but slightly warm. he say they are the best bookshelf he has heard that sound good high, sound good low and sounds good in the midrange- no obvious weakness, in his opinion. In the next year or so, I will own these for my basement 5.1.

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #25 of 25 Old 09-09-2012, 11:54 AM
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As much as 3.1 is on the right track for a lot of people - in your case I'd consider 2.0 or 2.1, and getting the placement right on each speaker (and the sub). You ought to be able to do a better job with just two to worry about. It's a small enough room where all the listening positions are going to be predictable. And for 70% music, IMO you'd want the center off for that anyway.

Think about what size pair of speakers you could mount / place effectively. Get those and a sub. If you can manage that with the RC-10s, you'll have a nice system. And frankly you may be able to live without the sub for a while for 70% music use.

But if a smaller speaker would give you better placement, go with that and a sub.

As mentioned, the placement of the speakers is just as important as the sound quality of the speakers. IOW, a great speaker, badly placed, sounds bad. As dozens of threads in this forum confirm.
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