Speaker Ownership – Your Path to Satisfaction - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 61 Old 12-08-2012, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Sister thread:
Subwoofer Ownership – Your Path to Satisfaction

GOAL OF THIS THREAD
To provide an organized focal point for anyone interested in hearing AVS members experiences with the speakers they have owned through the years. A timeline of ownership and a brief summary of each member's personal journey and lessons learned through experience is intended to assist others in avoiding buyer's remorse or a never ending case of upgraditus.

FORMAT

Timeline
Keep this short and to the point.

About Your Journey
Tell us what you've had to go through to reach satisfaction.

Lessons Learned / Advice
This is where you can expand on your "if I knew then what I know now" spiel in an attempt to help people save time and money by not making the same mistakes that you had to go through to reach your satisfaction level.

FAQ
If you always seem to get the SAME questions asked about your setup, post them here to avoid any unnecessary PM's.
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post #2 of 61 Old 12-08-2012, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 61 Old 12-08-2012, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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CONSOLIDATED LIST

AcuDefTechGuy: Current(2013) - Salon2, Kef 201/2, B&W 802D, Dynaudio X32, Philharmonic 3
AC Science Sales 5: Current(2013) - DIY SEOS 12/DNA-360 with TD12M midwoofers
callas01: Current(2012) - Dynaudio Focus 160s/X22 Center/Mission M30i surrounds
CHASLS2: Current(2012) - Paradigm Signature 2's
dannybenz: Current(2013) - Selah Prestigio in a 2.2 Music Setup.
dharel: Current(2013) - KEF iQ90/60/30/10's
edgeh2o: Current(2013) - Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 LCR
fatuglyguy: Current(2012) - Monitor Audio Silver RX6, Silver RX Center
Gorilla83: Current(2013) - Yorkville Unity U215 x 2, SEOS Sentential Center & BP30's x 4
justindo: Current(2013) - Jamo S426 Speaker Package
MKtheater: Current(2013) - BFM DR-200, Dual Stacked BFM DR-250 Arrays, Wedge 10's on top of T-39's.
Nuance: Current(2013) - Salk SongTowers (Auditioned Several Speakers Here)
pokekevin: Current(2012) - Atlantic Tech System 450e thx
popalock: Current(2012) - Klipsch RF-7II Home Theater System (w/o sub)
psycholis: Current(2012) - Klipsch WF-35, WC-24, WB-14, Yamaha bookshelf rears
simp1yamazn: Current(2013) - MartinLogan Montis, Motif X, Motion 2’s, Depth I
tetsu96: Current(2013) - Klipsch RF83s / RC64 / RS62s
tsaville: Current(2013) - Klipsch Reference (RF82-II fronts, RC62-II center, RS52-II surrounds)
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post #4 of 61 Old 12-08-2012, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Timeline
1994 - Sony 2 Channel Stereo w/ two (2) 12's per speaker
2009 - Bose 5.1 Satellites w/Acoustimass Sub
2010 - Creative Gigaworks T3 2.1
Current - Klipsch RF-&7II Home Theater System(no sub)

About My Journey
I've always had a thing for speakers, but I really started to pay attention and wanted to learn more when I was about 12 years old. My dad had just got remarried and this lady had the biggest stereo I had ever seen! I knew about speakers, but I had never seen two 12" speakers in a single speaker box. Before the parent's would get home from work, I used to crank it to obscene volumes and (quite literally) bounce off the walls! As I got older I got into the car audio scene. I fed my stereo/sound/bass addicition through car audio from about 2001-2007 when I separated from the military. The first quasi home theater I owned (Bose) was actually inherited when I met my wife in 2009. Threw that in storage and deployed with my wife (she is active duty) to Afghanistan in 2010. We actually got to live together overseas and I bought that Gigaworks T3 2.1 set up because I read good reviews. Tell you what, it
was AWESOME in our little show box of a living quarters. Walls were paper thin, so I never got to crank it.

When the wife and I returned from our deployment in 2011 I got to splurge a bit on the home theater in our new home. Of COURSE I limited my research to Google, big box retailers and whatever small Home Theater shops I could find locally. Little did I know I had AVS here the whole time to help me make a more informed decision! Anyway, I ended up purchasing the Klipsch RF-7II HT System. It came with the RF-7II L/R mains, RC-64 Center, and RS62 surrounds. It's served me well thus far, and I really have little to complain about...

When I move to my next home, where I have a clean slate, I plan on going even bigger and better. I recently had the opportunity to experience the JTR Noesis at a get together. They were on another level from what I have personally heard, so I’m hoping a 7 channel Neosis setup is in my not-too-distant future.

Lessons Learned / Advice
Wish I would have taken the time to dig deep into the forums before making my decision. For some reason, the concept of "Internet Direct" companies was not existent in my thought process. If I could do it all over again, as hard as it would have been to buy blind, I would have went with a company such as Seaton or JTR to get more performance for price.

FAQ
N/A
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post #5 of 61 Old 12-08-2012, 04:52 PM
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Too many speakers to list.

Started out with Klipsch KG3.5's in 2001, just got a pair a Paradigm Signature 2's this week.

Panny 60VT60 Acurus 200x3
Pioneer Elite 05FD &51FD
2 Oppo 83's Pioneer Elite DV 59AVI
Paradigm SIg2 v3's & 490cc
Pioneer Elite SC61 SVS SB12NSD
2 S-VHS VCR's
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post #6 of 61 Old 12-08-2012, 11:26 PM
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Timeline
1990s - Sony stereo with single 10 inch
1996 - Aiwa surround sound system with 5 channel in
2000s - Sony HTiB with 5 disk DVD changer
2005ish - Tons of sony receivers and a goodwill set of sony speakers, yamaha speakers
2006 - Goodwill KLH ST120ETH for $1.50 (best purchase ever)
2008 - Sony SS-TL4 towers with matching 90s center and bookshelf surround. Settled on Sony STR 645 receiver which just recently (2 months ago) died.
Current - Klipsch WF-35, WC-24, RW-12D, yamaha bookshelf rears running on a Marantz SR5007.

About My Journey
Growing up my grandparents had a set of sony towers that were in very good condition. I got to appreciate how loud the old school towers would play during my high school years. In the meantime I got a part time job working with my grandpa painting and used the money to buy the aiwa surround system which at the time being 12 was the best thing I had ever owned. Knowing what I know now I realize it wasn't the greatest thing in the world, but for me it was like being that kid who had the awesome stereo.

Somewhere at the end of high school we got a 5 disk HTiB sony set with little cube speakers and a downfiring 8 inch sub. The step up from having analog in to digital 5.1 was like moving into a whole new world. Suddenly home theater was a real thing. As college came I started to discover more about receivers and actual speakers. My girlfriend was working at goodwill at the time so I was always perusing for speakers. Full 5 channel sets and towers were a common thing to come in to goodwill. I kicked myself for not picking up an old set of Infinity reference speakers that came in once and went for around 200.

While working for goodwill she calls me one day and says she has a speaker she wants me to look at. I go in and see that it's a powered subwoofer. At this point I had bought a craigslist sony woofer (I really liked sony stuff during my college days) and wasn't that interested. Until I plugged my player into the RCA and it blurted out some bass. No one really knew what it was worth and seeing how many speaker purchases I had made at good wills and having my gf work there, I got the woofer for $1.50. I have only recently (as in 2 days ago) replaced it with a RW-12D. Probably the best audio purchase I've ever made.

The Sony towers were a real lucky find and were the first towers that I had owned for myself - by this time the old sony towers my grandparents had were given to some less fortunate family members who didn't take care of them. One side had a blown out crossover so I replaced them with some 3 way cerwin-vegas, which at the time seemed like a good idea but I know better now. They sounded fine but I kind of wish I knew how they would have been had I used a proper crossover.

Since graduating from college I've moved and only brought with me a set of yamaha bookshelfs, my KLH woofer and a sony receiver. I had graduated college in 2009, pretty much right in line with the economic slump. I got a job as an assembly line worker making barely more than minimum. Home theater was not anywhere in my mind. But perserverence pays off and now I'm living quite comfortably. Around summer I decided to splurge and buy the front Klipsch soundstage from newegg having already missed the deal on the WB-14 pair (anyone have one f/s espresso?) My sony receiver finally kicked the bucket and I got the SR5007 and even though the $1.50 KLH is a great sub, it was time to upgrade. So that's where I stand now.

Lessons Learned / Advice
A 12 year old will think any box that makes a sound is awesome (usually). Even though the Aiwa was a mass market, china made plastic gimmick with no sound quality, it still remains in my heart because I bought it with money I earned. Where you sit in a room makes all the difference as learned from hearing a below 30 hz note on the big sony towers for the first time in the corner chair. I also came to realize that full towers are the way to go when it comes to dynamics, though it seems obvious now. HTiB was such a huge hit because of the convenience of it all and this holds true to this day. It was only after I got my first true receiver that I started down the long winding road. If you're still thinking of getting one, there are other options, it's just a matter of how much you want to spend. There are other brands besides sony out there. Seriously, it took me a long time to realize this.

TL;DR - Sony fanboy now owns Klipsch/Marantz. Got a 10" 120watt woofer for $1.50. wink.gif

Marantz SR-5007
Klipsch WF-35, WC-24, WB-14
SVS PB-2000
LG 55LN5600
Sony PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U
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post #7 of 61 Old 12-09-2012, 02:29 AM
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Timeline
2007 - Sony HT-DDW990 5.1 HTIB - 5 satellites (3.5" woofer, no tweeter), 8" active subwoofer.
2010 - Klipsch Quintet IV, Pioneer VSX-819 Receiver, then upgraded to Pioneer Elite VSX-21TXH AVR. same sub from Sony HTIB
late 2010 - retired Sony HTIB sub, replaced with a MartinLogan Dynamo 700
2011 - B&W 685, B&W HTM61, Energy CB-5 (rear),same MartinLogan Dynamo 700 / Pioneer SP-BS21-LR & Pioneer VSX-521 AVR (Secondary setup)
2012 [Current] - Monitor Audio Silver RX6, Monitor Audio Silver RX Centre, Marantz SR5006 AVR, same MartinLogan Dynamo 70


About My Journey
I never really grew up around any "audiophiles," but I remember when I was a kid we had a stereo system in the living room that we'd turn on a lot when people came over. I don't remember what type of speakers we had. We used a JVC "Super A" X-A5 integrated amp and a matching JVC T-X5 (I think) tuner. Silver face with wood side paneling. I only remember model numbers because the amp/tuner is still in our garage. I remember being fascinated, even intimidated with the lights and dials on the amp and I would always mess with them. My older brother was pretty into music as a teen. Again, I don't remember the speakers he had, but I recall that they were big old floorstanders. He used our grandfather's hand-me-down Pioneer SX-1250 receiver and a JVC turntable. I still have the SX-1250 and am hoping to get it in working order one day as it was Pioneer's flagship receiver in the mid-70s - the right channel crackles and fades in and out, but the sweet amber lights still work and everything. It's a beast and I'm sure it would sound incredible with my current speakers.

When I was about 12 or 13, my brother got into home theater, so naturally so did I. He purchased a 24" Sony FD Trinitron, a Kenwood 5.1 digital AVR, 5 Sony Bookshelf speakers, and a Polk subwoofer, plus a DVD player. When he was nice enough to let me a watch a movie in his room, I was amazed at how the sound moved and spanned all across his room. From then on I wanted a home theater of my own. When I was a teen, I saved up money however I could and bought the Sony HTIB for $200. At the time the sound blew me away...then a few years later the upgradeitis started. I started my "real HT" with the Klipsch Quintets. I became unsatisfied with them when I started becoming more interested in quality music reproduction, and the Quintets didn't cut it. I had always loved the allure of tower speakers, but due to size/space/price limitations I decided on the B&W setup. Loved the B&Ws, but I heard the Monitors and it was love. Finally 100% happy with them. Don't plan on upgrading until I can afford something much better, since I find the sound preferable to a lot of other speakers. They sound sublime with music, and blend very well with my sub thanks to audyssey. The MA center is also a much better speaker than the B&W center. I did end up removing the Energys from the rear and am doing 3.1 as of now to save space. I don't miss them all that much.
As far as other upgrades, I'd like to add a stereo power amp to my existing setup down the line, like a Parasound A23.

Lessons Learned / Advice
Buy what you really want the first the time, and save yourself the regret and wasted money. it took me a while to land on a setup I was really satisfied with. You know what they say, "He who buys cheap buys twice...or thrice...or four times..." biggrin.gif

FAQ
N/A

ht Panasonic 60" ZT60, Monitor Audio: Silver RX6, RX Centre, RX1; Martinlogan Dynamo 700, Marantz SR5006, PS3, Oppo BDP-103D, Panamax M-5100PM
2ch Sony 32" W650A, Sonus faber Toy Monitor, REL T3, Marantz PM8004, Sony BDP-S1000ES, JVC T-X3 tuner, Apple TV, Peachtree Audio DAC•iT, Panamax MR4300
pc Monitor Audio Radius 90HD, Audioengine D1, FiiO A1
+ Sony 65" XBRX850B, Sony BDP-S5100
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post #8 of 61 Old 12-09-2012, 11:45 AM
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Timeline
1995 - aiwa multi player that i learned how to connect for stereo use
2005 - JVC HTIB
2007 - Sony SS-F5000/C5000/B1000/SW3000 Sony STR-DG710 avr
2008 - Sony STR-DG920
2008 - Energy C-300/C-C100/C-100/C-50 Acoustic Audio 10" sub
2009 - elemental Designs A2-300 subwoofer
2009 - Pro-ject Debute III turntable
2010 - Dynaudio Excite X16s/X22 Center/Mission M30i surrounds and the same eD A2-300 subwoofer
2010 - Integra DTR-40.2
2011 - Naim Nait 5i Integrated Amp and a Musical Fidelity VLPS phono stage and an Arcam rDAC
2012 - Dynaudio Focus 160s/X22 Center/Mission M30i surrounds and eD A2-300 subwoofer
2013 - Bellari VP130 tube phono pre-amp and Jolida FX Tube DAC

About My Journey
Grew up with my dad having an old pioneer elite stereo receiver and a sony multi channel cd player and some JBL speakers with the 12" woofers, 1.2" tweeter and 3" mid-range these speakers were the entrance to my hi-fi days as a kid in school, he used to let us use it to rock out and play all kinds of stuff. I also had a small tape player and a walkman that i took everywhere. Later My dad got into HT as well and he bought some B&W 603 S2s, 600LCR S2 with some inwall speakers for surrounds. As I went off to college he bought me the Aiwa that I had cause he knew I enjoyed music and movies. It broke down over the years and I never got anything else. I bought a condo and likewise bought a large 36" CRT tv must of weighed 175 lbs. After my wife and I had our first daughter my inlaws bought us the JVC HTIB and i used it for a little bit, but the cd player of the unit always acted up, so I gave up on it and went back to my progressive scan dvd player and tv speakers. I quickly got tired of that and bought the sony speakers, then we learned we were getting a house, so i bought a new Vizio HDTV as well. Plus one for the bedroom. It was a good setup for $200(black friday sales). I ended up selling it cause I saw the energys on sale and I new them from my college days when they were sold a the good guys and they were always good speakers i thought, so I grabbed a pair and a full setup eventually, these were being liquidated because of the new line coming out. these helped me turn a corner and rediscover how good music was again. It had been a long time since my days with my dads setups, and this was were I rediscovered my love of music. Even my wife walked in and was amazed at the sound of the speakers and how good Incubis sounded. A little later we added the TT and was rockin out with vinyl and cd's and blu-ray concerts.

Then an interesting thing occured, a guy on a forum bought some Monitor Audio RS6 and was raving about them, so I was curious and wanted to hear them for myself, found a local dealer that had them went to see what they were about. I was amazed that the RS6s had bass for such a small speaker, however they were a little sharp in the highs(the new RXs are great and lost that sharpness in the lower trebble). The dealer also demo'd 2 pairs of Dali speakers the Concept 8 and Ikon 7. The 8s were the same price as the RS6s, but the Dali's mid-range with piano was much better at reproducing the keystrokes and with male voices i was amazed. The Ikons had the highs of the RS6s, where the 8s were a little more laidback, but I liked the 8s warmth the most. I wanted them, but I had just got the Energys and wasnt gonna ask the wife for them. BUT what I discovered was that there was a whole other level of performance I had discovered and the prices were reasonable, but still not cheap. I decided that I would go on a auditioning crusade to see what was out there. I ended up listening to about 25 different brands over a year and probably 50 models. What I discovered was that there was lots of great brands and speakers, of course many are priced about right and some perform above their prices, and unfortunately you have some that should be priced a little less then they ask. So I targeted the brands that seemed to offer the greatest value for the money. I relistened and relistened to them several times and narrowed it down to a few brands/models and finally chose the Dynaudio Excites as they were the more well rounded highest performers I felt I had heard for the money. The Integra was a good match with them but when I added the Naim Integrated Amp the performance of them got even better. After 2 years I still loved the performance of them, however Dynaudio launched a new line of Focus speakers and when I heard them I loved them, and the dealer offered me a great deal to get the 160s I have now, so I could not turn it down.

Lessons Learned / Advice
audition, audition, audition
dont settle for mediocure. many times with audio you get what you pay for. so if youre gonna go for it, then take time to audition as much as you can , save up and buy whats right for YOU!
dont listen what everyone says, we all have different tastes. I say this because even tho I heard some really good speakers they just werent for me personally.

FAQ
Why an Integrated amp vs a power amp? I have found that Integrated amps with a HTBP work great when used as a power amp for movies just like any power amp would. However for music the performance level is much, much better then any AVR I have heard in terms of detail, soundstage, dynamics and musical timing. Also the high current delivery of the Integrated Amp has made marked improvements over an AVRs performance.

Dynaudio Focus 260s, Focus 210C, DM 2/6, Hsu VTF2 MK4, Oppo BDP-103,
Naim Nait XS-2, Jolida FX Tube DAC, Integra DTR-40.2, 55" Panasonic Plasma
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post #9 of 61 Old 01-01-2013, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callas01 View Post

Lessons Learned / Advice
audition, audition, audition
dont settle for mediocure. many times with audio you get what you pay for. so if youre gonna go for it, then take time to audition as much as you can , save up and buy whats right for YOU!
Great advice callas!

Man, you seem as though you have a ton of real world listening experience! Thanks for the input.
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post #10 of 61 Old 01-02-2013, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Simplified the overly complicated format.
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post #11 of 61 Old 01-02-2013, 02:57 AM
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I'll add more later.

In short. In less than a year I went from a Denon HTIB to a LCR consisting of the Atlantic Tech System 450e thx + Quad Outlaw LFM-1 EXs. What did I learn? Better to just go big the first time (Went thru the Denon HTIB, Martin Logan MLT-2/Paradigm Cinema 90s, Energy RC-10s+ RC LCR, Energy RC-70s+ RC LCR) <--all within a year. I blame IvanPino and the other guys of the LA home theater group. Everytime I came home from a meet I had the upgrade addiction.

OH and now I'm planning on building a dedicated room!

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #12 of 61 Old 01-02-2013, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

In less than a year I went from a Denon HTIB to a LCR consisting of the Atlantic Tech System 450e thx + Quad Outlaw LFM-1 EXs.

Quad outlaws! Impressive sir. You have to be happy with that setup. Have you had a chance to demo edogg's quad LMS-U setup? It would be interesting to see your perspective on how your quad outlaws compare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

What did I learn? Better to just go big the first time (Went thru the Denon HTIB, Martin Logan MLT-2/Paradigm Cinema 90s, Energy RC-10s+ RC LCR, Energy RC-70s+ RC LCR) <--all within a year.

Well said. That's really the intent of this thread. To assist others in avoiding all of those unnecessary purchases up front. Thanks for your input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

OH and now I'm planning on building a dedicated room!

Awesome, have you started a build thread yet?
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post #13 of 61 Old 01-02-2013, 06:52 AM
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My "journey" is in my signature, but here is the link as well. It's way too long to post in one sitting, hence the link.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/919069/my-journey-to-find-the-perfect-speaker

Timeline
Years

About Your Journey
I auditioned dozens of speakers, many not mentioned in my thread, and I continue to audition speakers even though I am happy with what I currently have. The journey is always ongoing. smile.gif

Lessons Learned / Advice
Audition everything you can, and in your own home if possible. Learn to correlate measurements, and use them to help weed out the bad designs. Don't listen to other's negative opinions if it contrasts your own happiness. This hobby is too subjective to make a purchase or change your mind based on someone else's opinion.

FAQ
Yes I still own my SongTower's, though one day I hope to own a pair of Salk SoundScape 8's.

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
Dr. Olive's Blog

 

 

No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
sounds good. - Dr. Floyd Toole
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post #14 of 61 Old 01-02-2013, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

My "journey" is in my signature, but here is the link as well. It's way too long to post in one sitting, hence the link.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/919069/my-journey-to-find-the-perfect-speaker
Timeline
Years
About Your Journey
I auditioned dozens of speakers, many not mentioned in my thread, and I continue to audition speakers even though I am happy with what I currently have. The journey is always ongoing. smile.gif
Lessons Learned / Advice
Audition everything you can, and in your own home if possible. Learn to correlate measurements, and use them to help weed out the bad designs. Don't listen to other's negative opinions if it contrasts your own happiness. This hobby is too subjective to make a purchase or change your mind based on someone else's opinion.
FAQ
Yes I still own my SongTower's, though one day I hope to own a pair of Salk SoundScape 8's.

Wow, nice thread Brandon. It's obviously received a TON of interest over the years and deservedly so...

Have you had a chance to compare your Salk vs any of the ID companies, such as the JTR T12 or Noesis or even any DIY offerings, such as the SEOS?

Just for the sake of consistency, I am going to add the following to the consolidated list:

Nuance
Auditioned Several Speakers Here
Current(2013) - Salk SongTowers
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post #15 of 61 Old 01-02-2013, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popalock View Post

Wow, nice thread Brandon. It's obviously received a TON of interest over the years and deservedly so...
Have you had a chance to compare your Salk vs any of the ID companies, such as the JTR T12 or Noesis or even any DIY offerings, such as the SEOS?
Just for the sake of consistency, I am going to add the following to the consolidated list:
Nuance
Auditioned Several Speakers Here
Current(2013) - Salk SongTowers

Thank you.

I've heard numerous ID speakers, yes, many of which I (we) have documented in our Wisconsin Speaker GTG Thread here on AVS. There's a lot of nice product out there for the money, whether it's B&M or ID. The JTR Noesis look amazing on paper, but I've yet to hear them. A pal of mine went to hear them recently, but I was given short notice and couldn't attend with him unfortunately. I've not heard anything with a SEOS waveguide, though.

My journey to find the "perfect" speaker
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post #16 of 61 Old 01-02-2013, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Thank you.
I've heard numerous ID speakers, yes, many of which I (we) have documented in our Wisconsin Speaker GTG Thread here on AVS. There's a lot of nice product out there for the money, whether it's B&M or ID. The JTR Noesis look amazing on paper, but I've yet to hear them. A pal of mine went to hear them recently, but I was given short notice and couldn't attend with him unfortunately. I've not heard anything with a SEOS waveguide, though.

Awesome man. I've had the opportunity to hear the Noesis in person. They were ear candy for sure. However, I don't have near the breath of auditions under my belt, so it would be hard for me to pinpoint where they fit on the scale.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on them as soon as you get a chance to check them out.
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post #17 of 61 Old 01-02-2013, 01:53 PM
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I am not sure I should post as I change quite often, moreso than my subs! OK here we go.
From 2001-2004(all 5 speakers)
M&K 750 THX system
M&K S-80
M&K S-85
M&K S-125's
M&K S-100B's(awesome speakers!)
M&K S-150's

From 2005-present
M&K S-250's
Axiom M80's
Behringer truth nearfield monitors
Magnepan MMG's(awesome for small room(HT))
Klipsch THX ultra 2 system
M&K S-5000'sTHX
JTR triple 8's
JBL 3622N
JBL 3731 DIY clone
JBL 4675C-LF
CHT SHO-10
QSC K-10(pair)
M&K S-5000(again to remind me of the past)
M&K S-90's
Triad in room gold LCR(old smaller models)
eD cinema upgraded to max
new JTR 888LP
BFM DR-200
BFM DR-250
Wedge 6 and 8's.

What have I learned? Well, start with goals! What is it that you want? Are you a tweaker or just putting speakers in a room? Find a sound you like and learn what it is you like. I like live sound or speakers that sound real. These tend to be neutral with lots of dynamics. Many speakers have dynamics but sound like crap. Read the forums and you can start to see patterns with other members who like the same things as you and you can start to trust their opinion to open up even more speakers. There is no one speaker to rule them all and their will always be better.

AVR-Yamaha A830
amps-5 Adcom 555 in 850 watt monoblock mode
sub amp-Sanway FP14K
LCR-Dual stacked BFM DR-250's
Surrounds- Dual stacked BFM W10's
subs-12 SI 18's ported 6hz.
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post #18 of 61 Old 01-02-2013, 02:07 PM
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Holy Crap, where do I start?

First off - my passion for audio and specifically speakers began at a very young age. My dad was into hi-fi and building his own amps and speakers. In the first grade i was given a Dynaco pre-amp/amp combo and my dad and I constructed a pair of Dynaco A-30 speakers. That same year I brought my equipment into school and played music for the school's kindergarten graduation. From there on out it's been a devout passion for me. I toyed around with the Dj thing for a little while but really settled in the home theater arena.

I will do my best for a consolidated list, this should be fun as I've never done this before:

Numerous garage sale specials - probably at least a dozen of these- Panasonic, kenwood, pioneer, etc.
Dynaco A-30s - built with Dad when young, still have these today
DIY "bumper" 12" dj setup with Radio shack piezo tweeter x 3 - built with Dad when young, still have these today
Soundbridge 2 x 15 DJ horn setup - college
RCA bookshelfs with 360 degree tweeter design X 5 - first home theater setup. Bought these when I worked at "The shack." Nice little speakers and still have a pair.
Bose Acoustmas 5, 10, and 15
Bose 301 Series V (still have in the gym)
Infinity outdoor (garage)
Klipsch RF-35s
Definitive BP30's x 4 (current)
Definitive BP3000 x 2
Definitive BP2002 x 2
Definitive BP7002 x 4
Definitive BPX x 2 (current)
Polk Monitor 70 Series II x 2
Polk Monitor 40 Series II x 2
Martin Logan Clarity X 4
Martin Logan Request X 2
Magnepan MMG x 2 (current)
Chase Home theater SHO x 2 (for sale)
B&C 15" high efficiency DIY design - (current)
Yorkville U215B X 2 (and hopefully growing) (current)

I know I'm forgetting a bunch of other setups, but I will add some in if/when I remember them. smile.gif

Notes
I love and still love the electrostatic sound. For me it's one of the few designs where I can hear a drastic difference from others. With that said, I'm sold on higher efficiency stuff for home theater use.

Lessons learned
Like Austin mentioned, I wish I knew about Id stuff long ago. Finding the forums here earlier in life would have been a blessing and a curse. I would have learned alot but in turn would have spent even more money. But the money would have been spent in the right places at least! smile.gif
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post #19 of 61 Old 01-02-2013, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Jesus man!

I had no idea you still have so much gear...

Where are your Magnepan's? In your master bathroom?
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post #20 of 61 Old 01-02-2013, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popalock View Post

Jesus man!
I had no idea you still have so much gear...
Where are your Magnepan's? In your master bathroom?

Oh yeah, it's been an evolving problem collecting all this equipment. At one point I think I had 13 pair in the house. My wife started to prod me until the list dwindled down a bit. I know I'm forgetting a bunch on that list too.

The Maggie's are sitting now in my wife's office, unused. frown.gif They are awesome, I need to set them up somewhere again.
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post #21 of 61 Old 01-03-2013, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Speaker hoarder...

DIY Junkie...

Bass Addict...

Whatelse?
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post #22 of 61 Old 01-03-2013, 12:31 PM
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When I was testing stuff I had 6 sets of 5.0 systems at one time to go along with my dual Cap1000's and 4 CHT 18.2. It was like a store. I try not to test a pair of speakers but a whole system so I can get the theater experience from them. The front 3 works well too. It can get crazy just to satisfy your curiosity. I have heard enough speakers to hear what clear and dynamic is and the two best for me were my system I have now and a very expensive McIntosh system. There is not much difference between the two except price, well, I have better bass.

AVR-Yamaha A830
amps-5 Adcom 555 in 850 watt monoblock mode
sub amp-Sanway FP14K
LCR-Dual stacked BFM DR-250's
Surrounds- Dual stacked BFM W10's
subs-12 SI 18's ported 6hz.
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post #23 of 61 Old 01-04-2013, 01:40 AM
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Great idea for a thread. There are some interesting stories and some good advice here.

My Timeline and Journey

1994
Stereo: Sony mini system
I thought it sounded okay until I first heard four-figure systems at big-box stores Best Buy (JBL and Yamaha), Circuit City (Infinity and Onkyo), and Good Guys (Energy and Adcom). I thought those systems sounded good until I heard five-figure systems with American and European separate components at small hi-fi stores. The seed was planted circa 1996 and I wanted a good audio system.

1998
Stereo: NHT 3.3, Classe’ CA-200 amp, Classe’ CP-50 pre-amp, Classe’ CDP-.5 CD player
This was my first serious stereo system and I was very happy with all aspects of the system. To get something substantially better at the time would have cost a lot more.

HT: B&W DM302 (f+r), B&W DMCC3 (c), Velodyne 12” sub, Denon 2700 receiver, Panasonic A-310 DVD player
This system was good for music but couldn’t play very loud for HT, especially the center with its 4” drivers. I sold this entire system to a friend except the sub. For music, the B&W DM302 was a great budget speaker.

1999
Stereo: I changed the NHT 3.3s to the Dynaudio Contour 3.3s for a brief time but returned the Dynaudios. I liked the looks and build quality of the Dynaudios better, but I missed the bass of the NHTs and felt the more expensive Dynaudios didn’t sound better than the NHT 3.3.

HT: Paradigm Monitor 3 (f), Paradigm Monitor CC-350 (c), Paradigm Mini Monitor (r), Velodyne 12” sub, Yamaha Receiver, Toshiba DVD player
The Paradigms definitely played louder than the B&Ws and were more dynamic, but I thought the B&Ws sounded better at lower volumes and were less bright. I bought the Yamaha receiver on closeout and never warmed to it. Overall, this was a great bang for the buck HT system, but less than impressive on music. I sold this entire system to a friend except for the Monitor 3 that I used as rears for my next HT system.

2000
Stereo: I changed the Classe’ CD player to a Sony SCD-1 SACD player.

HT: PSB Stratus Goldi (f) (bi-amped), PSB Stratus C6 (c), Paradigm Monitor 3 (r), 2 H/K PA5800 amps, Sherwood Newcastle AVP-9080R pre/pro
This was a very nice, warm, dynamic system that both music and HT well. A sub wasn’t really necessary, but had I kept the system longer I would have probably added one. I moved about two years after buying this system and could only have one audio system so I sold this entire system except the H/K amps to a friend. He still enjoys it, although is now powering it with a Marantz receiver.

2001
HT: I upgraded the PSB Stratus C6 center to the C6i. It matched much better.

2002
Stereo for HT: I used my NHT and Classe’ stereo system for HT, adding a Sony DVP-9000ES DVD player. Stereo sounded great with movies, but not so great if you weren’t in the sweet spot. This is why we have center channels.

2006
Stereo for HT: I moved again and had to put my NHT and Classe’ system in storage. I purchased a new old stock Onkyo Integra THX/DPL receiver for $200 (using only 2 channels) and my Paradigm Monitor 3 speakers back from my friend. Sony DVP-9000ES DVD player died in 2010.

2012
Stereo: I moved again and was able to set up my NHT and Classe’ and Sony stereo system again.

HT: Jamo S426 speaker package, no sub, Pioneer Elite VSX-42 receiver, Panasonic DMP-BDT220 DVD player
This is my casual HT system and I have less than $600 including tax so far in this system including the DVD player and all cables, which is pretty amazing considering I paid more than that for just the speaker cables in my stereo system. I will probably add a very cheap sub soon. This system is not very good for music, but HT actually sounds pretty decent. Later this year I hope to integrate my stereo and main HT systems into one, which probably means new speakers all around and a new pre/pro.

Lessons Learned and Advice

#1: Listen to as many speakers as you can and trust your ears above all else, but don’t completely ignore amateur and especially professional reviewers. If possible, listen to speakers in your own home and system. (I realize this is often not possible when it comes to large, heavy towers and some dealers.)

#2: Purchase speakers that are appropriate for your listening habits and room. Most systems sound good for HT, but music is much more challenging to speakers and electronics. If 90% of your listening is HT in a modest size room, you can probably get by with a much cheaper system than if you are an audiophile who listens to large scale orchestral music in a huge room.

#3: Electronics matter, but a balanced system should be built around the speakers. I know some people say all electronics and cables sound the same, but I disagree. Choose your speakers first and then choose an amp or receiver of commensurate quality that can adequately power them (e.g., don’t power a $10,000 4-ohm speaker package with a $1,000 receiver and don’t mate a $2,000 flagship receiver with a $1,000 speaker package). Finally, for a four-figure system, the cables from Blue Jeans are all that’s necessary, as cables to my ears make very, very subtle differences compared to electronics, and that’s assuming a high-resolution system.

#4: You usually get what you pay for, especially when it comes to speakers, amps/pre-amps/pre-pros/receivers, but the law of diminishing returns definitely applies. A $10,000 system should “blow away” a $1,000 system and is probably worth the cost to the average audiophile while a $100,000 system should be substantially better but may not “blow away” a $10,000 system and may not be worth the cost to the average audiophile. In terms of sound quality, Boulder monoblocks are probably not worth the price difference over an ATI multichannel amp in most systems, but they do sound better than the ATI.

#5: Buy what you really want and what you know you will be satisfied with long-term the first time, even if you have to wait a while.
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post #24 of 61 Old 01-15-2013, 03:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I updated the consolidated list. Given the ridiculous amount of gear that some people have owned, I figured shortning the actual gear listed to only their current setup would make it a bit easier to reference.
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post #25 of 61 Old 01-15-2013, 09:23 AM
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I'm not as hardcore as many people on this forum, but I've had fun tinkering with HT gear since I was a teenager.

Here's my story (dates and models are a bit fuzzy in places biggrin.gif):

1990: Bought my first AVR (2 channel Sony), and hooked them up to 5 Chase speakers (no relation to CHT)

The 5 Chase speakers were connected to a switch, which was connected to the stereo amp. The Chase switch (supposedly) created surround sound from a 2 channel source. They sounded like absolute garbage (I would compare them to cheap outdoor speakers), but this was my start.

1991: Bought my first Dolby Pro Logic AVR (also a Sony), and bought some giant Pioneer speakers with 15" woofers for my LR. I think I used the remainder of the Chase speakers for surrounds, but my memory of this is fuzzy.

1993: Upgraded to more powerful Pioneer Pro Logic receiver. Bought Cerwin Vega speakers (can't recall the model; they were 3-way with 12" woofer) for LR. I also bought a Cerwin Vega center channel, bookshelfs for surrounds, and a passive sub (15" I believe).

I absolutely loved these CV speakers (especially the mains). Parts of this system still live on in my friends' houses. I was never able to get much output from the passive sub (looking back on it I'm guessing I had something configured incorrectly), but a friend of mine is currently using it and it absolutely thumps. I always like it when old gear gets a good home...

(no meaningful upgrades during my college years)

2000: Bought my first Dolby Digital AVR and my first active sub (crappy 12" Sony sub with a 100 watt amp). Even though I didn't change a lot of gear, this was a pretty big upgrade for me. I finally got output from the sub, and Dolby Digital made a HUGE difference.

2002: Bought my first house after numerous noise complaints from my apartment neighbors. biggrin.gif

2004: Bought the Onkyo SR-800 THX-certified receiver. Replaced all my speakers with Polk RTi (RTi10 mains, RTi4 surrounds, matching center (can't recall the model)).

The Polks served me well for many years (the Onkyo and the RTi4 live on as a stereo system in my kid's room). I loved the look of these speakers, and overall was happy with the sound quality. I also got married in 2004, which is definitely a negative for the HT enthusiast (why is it so loud! I have heard for the last 8 years).

2010: Bought the Onkyo 3008 receiver (RIP), and replaced the Polks with Mirage OMD (15 fronts, C1 center, 5 surrounds). I also bought my first "real" sub (HSU VTF2-MK3).
I liked certain aspects of the OMD speakers, although dialogue was always an issue (the C1 just didn't seem to cut it). I tried multiple placement options, and it just never sounded right to me. I couldn't be any happier with the HSU sub (I had no idea subs could even sound this good). I may get a second one, but I doubt I'll be replacing it anytime soon.

2012/2013: Following the passing of the Onkyo 3008, I replaced it with a Yamaha A3010. I also replaced the OMDs with Klipsch Reference speakers (RF82-II fronts, RC62-II center, RS52-II surrounds).
I had always stayed away from Klipsch over the years due to the negative comments I've read about horns (bright, harsh, fatiguing). My reasoning in buying these was that if theater speakers use horns, and I am trying to recreate the theater experience, shouldn't I be using horn-loaded speakers in my HT? I wish I had come to this conclusion years ago, because I am absolutely loving these speakers so far. My dialogue issues are completely gone, and they play much louder and clearer than my OMDs. As for the "brightness," that went away after a few days. And I don't find them harsh or fatiguing.

What I've learned:

1. If you don't like your current gear, try a completely different design/approach. This is why I have gone from traditional 3-way speakers, to towers with multiple drivers, to Mirage's "omnipolar" approach, to horns. Since I was never entirely happy with any of the speakers I had, I didn't see the point in spending slightly more for the same design. I'm glad I've taken this approach. If I hadn't, I'd probably still be stuck with soft dome tweeters and wondering why I was never quite happy with HF response. Considering how happy I am with the Klipsch, I may stick with horns in the future. If not, I still have ribbon tweeters, electrostats, and active speakers to try. smile.gif

2. Size matters. In addition to the horn-loaded tweeter, I think the reason I like the Klipsch is that they have larger drivers than my previous two setups (Polk and Mirage). You can't beat the laws of physics, and the 8" drivers on my Klipsch mains (and 6.5" on the center) simply sound richer/fuller than the 5.5" drivers on the Mirage. I cringe when I see so many recommendations for micro satellites on this site...

Anyhow, that's my story. Ended up being longer than I expected, so I understand if you stopped reading awhile ago...
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post #26 of 61 Old 01-17-2013, 03:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsaville View Post

I'm not as hardcore as many people on this forum, but I've had fun tinkering with HT gear since I was a teenager.

Nice writeup tsaville.

Since your a Klipsch fan, I wish I still lived out in DFW so you could come check out my RF-7 set-up.
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post #27 of 61 Old 01-20-2013, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by justindo View Post

Great idea for a thread. There are some interesting stories and some good advice here.

#5: Buy what you really want and what you know you will be satisfied with long-term the first time, even if you have to wait a while.

Justin, living in SoCal, there are a lot of other HT enthusiasts around you. Have you had a chance to demo anyone elses setups?
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post #28 of 61 Old 01-20-2013, 10:57 AM
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Last 5 years, and off the top of my head:

Paradigm Studio 40v3
Paradigm Studio 60v3
Paradigm Studio CC470
Paradigm Signature S2
Bowers and Wilkins 801S2
Bowers and Wilkins N801
Bowers and Wilkins HTM1
Bowers and Wilkins LM1
Bowers and Wilkins DS6
McIntosh XD-717
McIntosh XR-5
Solid
Kef Q1
Infinity RSiiib
Infinity Primus 360
Monitor Audio GSLCR
Ohm Walsh F
Green Mountain Audio Europa
PSB400i
WmAx custom builds
Salk Songtowers
Velodyne ULD-15
SVS PC-12Plus
B&W 12" sub I'm not looking on the back of to check the number.
Some speakers I was given that I could never identify, but gave to good will with dome tweeters and mids.
Whatever I've forgotten or was purchased more than 5-years ago
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post #29 of 61 Old 01-20-2013, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Jerry,

Do you currently own all of those? If not, what do you currently have running in your HT or dedicated music listening space?
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post #30 of 61 Old 01-20-2013, 12:23 PM
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No. I do not currently own all of them.

Of the ones I do own, the following are in use.

4.1 system:
Paradim S2v1 (L/R)
Infinity P360 (LS/RS)
SVS PC12+

2.0 system
Salk SCST's

2.0 system
WmAx custom.

2.1 system
PSB 400i
B&W sub that I'm not gonna pull out to look at the model on.
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