$3,000 to $3,500 - 5.1 HT Setup: B&W 683s, PSB T6 or Other? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 01-14-2013, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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So I picked up a B&W 683 5.1 setup from a local HT store a week ago and have two weeks left in my demo period. I've been thinking of swapping out the 683 speakers for the CM9 or the PSB T6. Below is the package deal that I got.

________________Reg. Price____Package Price____Discount %
Marantz SR6007___$1199.99_____$799.98_________33%
683 pair__________$1,499.98____$1,349.98________10%
686 pair__________$479.99______$407.98_________15%
CMC2____________$1,249.99____$1,061.65________15%
Total_____________$4,027.96____$3,618.62
Total w/ tax____________________$3,894.35
Savings_______________________$409.35__________10%

I think my ears are more partial to the PSB T6 sound (or if I want to step up in price, the Imagine T2s or CM9s sound great). I found the following deal for PSB T6s via an online retailer, which I think is a much better deal; however, I generally don't like dealing with the hassle of returning or servicing electronics purchased online. Below is the deal for the PSB T6s.

________________Reg. Price____Package Price____Discount %
Denon 3313ci_____$1,199.99____$899.99_________25%
T6 pair___________$1,299.98____$974.99_________25%
S5 pair___________$899.99______$674.99________25%
C5______________$399.99______$299.99_________25%
Total_____________$3,799.95____$2,849.96
No tax b/c online sale
Savings_______________________$949.99________25%
Savings vs B&W Package_________$1,044.39

I am using two SVS PB-1000s for my subwoofer. Prior to buying the B&Ws, I auditioned KEF 700s and Energy speakers.

Should I swap out the 683s for the T6 package, keep the 683s or try something else entirely? Appreciate any responses.

~Vic
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post #2 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 05:12 AM
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I would start with B&W package, but upgrade surround speakers to 685 and get a better receiver. For receiver I suggest Denon 4xxx models (whatever is the latest there). 686 are very poor speakers. And with Denon brand over Marantz you get a better value for a dollar (internally they are very close).
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post #3 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

I would start with B&W package, but upgrade surround speakers to 685 and get a better receiver. For receiver I suggest Denon 4xxx models (whatever is the latest there). 686 are very poor speakers. And with Denon brand over Marantz you get a better value for a dollar (internally they are very close).

Thanks for the reply, but I'm not sure I need 150w per channel (that the 4520ci offers) in my space. I previously had the Denon 3312 powering this setup, and with both the 3312 and the SR6007, I haven't needed to turn the volume above 60% of max volume. I also wont be using a zone 2 or 3 anytime in the foreseeable future. What other benefits would the 4520ci offer?

With respect to the 686 swap for the 685s, is there an appreciable difference if I'm just using them for surrounds? I thought of changing them, but when I auditioned them, I could hear a significant difference when used as fronts, but not as rears. I've already upgraded the center channel from the CMC to the CM2 because that difference was notable.
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post #4 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 07:50 AM
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I think the PSB Image T6 speakers are WAY WAY better than the B & W speakers ( I had them for 2 years and they are excellent).

Be careful about the S5 speakers. Those are tricky to use acoustically, although in certain rooms they are appropriate. You might want to consider using B5 speakers instead.
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post #5 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I think the PSB Image T6 speakers are WAY WAY better than the B & W speakers ( I had them for 2 years and they are excellent).

Be careful about the S5 speakers. Those are tricky to use acoustically, although in certain rooms they are appropriate. You might want to consider using B5 speakers instead.

Are the S5 speakers potentially problematic based on a given room's dimensions and dynamics, or is it due to placement of the speakers (i.e., wall mounting vs stand mounting)? Also, did you audition the B&Ws before you pulled the trigger on the T6s? Thanks for the reply.
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post #6 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 08:17 AM
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Yes, I did listen to several B & W speakers.

I found that I liked the PSB speakers better, and also some KEF and Monitor Audio speakers that I auditioned. For me, the B & W speakers just did not measure up to the others.

I found the B & W speakers, in general, to be higher-priced and not as good-sounding as the KEF and PSB speakers. B & W makes some excellent speakers but they cost over $5000, and I was not shopping in that price bracket.

The bipolar speakers can be hard to place in many rooms, because their radiation pattern is very broad and has no flexibility; tricky to get right.

P.S. - The speakers I have now are the Gallo Acoustics Classico speakers, which are even better than the PSB speakers. You might want to check out the review on them at avguide.com. They are a bit more, but not out of your price range, and they are just amazingly good. You should be able to get the CL-3, CL-2 and a CL-C for under $3000, I think. I assume you will keep your current subwoofers, so that should do it..

Gallo will also let you try them FREE in your home for 60 days, which is kind of spectacular. They pay shipping both ways and give a full refund if you ship them back (but I'll bet they get damn few returns...lol). I can hardly imagine anyone hearing them and not keeping them; they are that good.
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post #7 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Yes, I did listen to several B & W speakers.

I found that I liked the PSB speakers better, and also some KEF and Monitor Audio speakers that I auditioned. For me, the B & W speakers just did not measure up to the others.

I found the B & W speakers, in general, to be higher-priced and not as good-sounding as the KEF and PSB speakers. B & W makes some excellent speakers but they cost over $5000, and I was not shopping in that price bracket.

The bipolar speakers can be hard to place in many rooms, because their radiation pattern is very broad and has no flexibility; tricky to get right.

P.S. - The speakers I have now are the Gallo Acoustics Classico speakers, which are even better than the PSB speakers. You might want to check out the review on them at avguide.com. They are a bit more, but not out of your price range, and they are just amazingly good. You should be able to get the CL-3, CL-2 and a CL-C for under $3000, I think. I assume you will keep your current subwoofers, so that should do it..

Gallo will also let you try them FREE in your home for 60 days, which is kind of spectacular. They pay shipping both ways and give a full refund if you ship them back (but I'll bet they get damn few returns...lol). I can hardly imagine anyone hearing them and not keeping them; they are that good.

Thanks (i think) for the intro to the Gallo speakers. They look quite enticing. If I were to go that route, do you think the Marantz SR6007 (which I got a pretty good deal on) would suffice to power those? Looking at the speakers specs it seems like it would be fine. Also, do you know if Gallo offers any package pricing?
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post #8 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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post #9 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks (i think - now more research) for the intro to the Gallo speakers. They look quite enticing. If I were to go that route, do you think the Marantz SR6007 (which I got a pretty good deal on) would suffice to power those? Looking at the speakers specs it seems like it would be fine. Also, do you know if Gallo offers any package pricing?
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post #10 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VicTorious1 View Post

Thanks (i think) for the intro to the Gallo speakers. They look quite enticing. If I were to go that route, do you think the Marantz SR6007 (which I got a pretty good deal on) would suffice to power those? Looking at the speakers specs it seems like it would be fine. Also, do you know if Gallo offers any package pricing?

FYI: Your posts are "held for moderation" approval (all new members go through this to prevent spamming). So if your post doesn't show up, please give us time to review before posting the same information again.

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post #11 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 09:28 AM
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VicToriuos1,

I am also looking at PSB speakers. Can you PM the online retailer that quoted those prices?

Thanks,

GB

My Media Room (Basement)
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post #12 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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FYI: Your posts are "held for moderation" approval (all new members go through this to prevent spamming). So if your post doesn't show up, please give us time to review before posting the same information again.

Thanks
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I see. I thought it was because I was signed in from multiple devices (iPad, desktop & phone).
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post #13 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 10:12 AM
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I don't know if they offer package pricing, but a phone call will tell you; they might do something on 5 speakers. (818-341-4488)

Their prices are very good though; the CL-3 was originally going to sell for $2395 through dealers, but they decided to sell direct and cut out the dealer markup, which brought them down to $1595 per pair.

They are very efficient; practically anything has enough power for them.
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post #14 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I don't know if they offer package pricing, but a phone call will tell you; they might do something on 5 speakers. (818-341-4488)

Their prices are very good though; the CL-3 was originally going to sell for $2395 through dealers, but they decided to sell direct and cut out the dealer markup, which brought them down to $1595 per pair.

They are very efficient; practically anything has enough power for them.

I called them for a package quote and they said they might be able to. I'm awaiting a return call. My space is about 2,800 cubic feet. Would the CL-3 sound underwhelming? Would the CL-4 be a better bet?
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post #15 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 10:29 AM
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Well, the CL-3 is quite powerful, but obviously the CL-4 has 50% more cone area. Don't know, but they will be able to give you a good guess.

For low bass, the room volume is a major factor, but for the most part the key thing is the distance from you to the speaker.
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post #16 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VicTorious1 View Post

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Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

I would start with B&W package, but upgrade surround speakers to 685 and get a better receiver. For receiver I suggest Denon 4xxx models (whatever is the latest there). 686 are very poor speakers. And with Denon brand over Marantz you get a better value for a dollar (internally they are very close).

Thanks for the reply, but I'm not sure I need 150w per channel (that the 4520ci offers) in my space. I previously had the Denon 3312 powering this setup, and with both the 3312 and the SR6007, I haven't needed to turn the volume above 60% of max volume. I also wont be using a zone 2 or 3 anytime in the foreseeable future. What other benefits would the 4520ci offer?

With respect to the 686 swap for the 685s, is there an appreciable difference if I'm just using them for surrounds? I thought of changing them, but when I auditioned them, I could hear a significant difference when used as fronts, but not as rears. I've already upgraded the center channel from the CMC to the CM2 because that difference was notable.

685 will be better if you are going to listen surround music. They are also very close to 683 in their sound signature. Price difference is not that big considering what you get. 150W or whatever power 4520 does will be completely consumed by 683s. These speakers like a lot of power, moreover you need high current amplifier to drive them, and 4520 will be much better in that regard than 3312. Keep in mind that you need at least 10x of power reserve. That means that if your average program needs 10W, you still need 100W to handle dynamic peaks without clipping. I use Onkyo 876 (more than 250W per channel in stereo mode) with 683s and it was a significant improvement from Denon 889 (2x110W) that I originally bought for my HT system.
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post #17 of 26 Old 01-15-2013, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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685 will be better if you are going to listen surround music. They are also very close to 683 in their sound signature. Price difference is not that big considering what you get. 150W or whatever power 4520 does will be completely consumed by 683s. These speakers like a lot of power, moreover you need high current amplifier to drive them, and 4520 will be much better in that regard than 3312. Keep in mind that you need at least 10x of power reserve. That means that if your average program needs 10W, you still need 100W to handle dynamic peaks without clipping. I use Onkyo 876 (more than 250W per channel in stereo mode) with 683s and it was a significant improvement from Denon 889 (2x110W) that I originally bought for my HT system.

I'll keep that in mind. I'm not sure if I will be listening to surround music that much, but I'll reconsider 685s for the rears. I though the Onkyo 876 had a max 160W per channel output in stereo at 8 ohms and 170W per channel in stereo at 6 ohms (270W max at 4 ohms with 1 channel driven). Perhaps I should look into getting a more powerful receiver, but I'm not sure the $2,500 price tag on the 4520 is worth it for what I will be using it for.
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post #18 of 26 Old 01-16-2013, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by VicTorious1 View Post

I'll keep that in mind. I'm not sure if I will be listening to surround music that much, but I'll reconsider 685s for the rears. I though the Onkyo 876 had a max 160W per channel output in stereo at 8 ohms and 170W per channel in stereo at 6 ohms (270W max at 4 ohms with 1 channel driven). Perhaps I should look into getting a more powerful receiver, but I'm not sure the $2,500 price tag on the 4520 is worth it for what I will be using it for.

You can always add two channel external amplifier to help receiver drive two main speakers. Look at Emotiva amps for that purpose. 683 are practically 4 ohm speakers, so additional power will help.
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post #19 of 26 Old 01-16-2013, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I don't know if they offer package pricing, but a phone call will tell you; they might do something on 5 speakers. (818-341-4488)

Their prices are very good though; the CL-3 was originally going to sell for $2395 through dealers, but they decided to sell direct and cut out the dealer markup, which brought them down to $1595 per pair.

They are very efficient; practically anything has enough power for them.

But they are listed as being true 4 ohm speakers so while 4 ohm speakers take less power to get sufficient volume they do of course draw twice the current.

So not any run of the mill AVR will last long at high volume without shutting down. Which means avoiding pretty much anything under $1000 from Denon, Onkyo, or Yamaha.

The least expensive 4 ohm certified AVR is the Pioneer 1222-K which goes on sale for around $550-$600 occasionally.

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post #20 of 26 Old 01-17-2013, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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But they are listed as being true 4 ohm speakers so while 4 ohm speakers take less power to get sufficient volume they do of course draw twice the current.

So not any run of the mill AVR will last long at high volume without shutting down. Which means avoiding pretty much anything under $1000 from Denon, Onkyo, or Yamaha.

The least expensive 4 ohm certified AVR is the Pioneer 1222-K which goes on sale for around $550-$600 occasionally.

Do the Gallo's operate at 4 ohm most of the time, or do they simply dip that low and are nominally 6 or 8 ohm? If truly 4 ohm, I'm not sure the Marantz SR6007 or Denon 3313ci would handle that impedance load without using an additional amp.
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post #21 of 26 Old 01-17-2013, 01:42 PM
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Sorry to thread jack ... but do you mind PMing me the contact info for your PSB dealer? I am very interested at those prices. Thanks!

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post #22 of 26 Old 01-17-2013, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VicTorious1 View Post

Do the Gallo's operate at 4 ohm most of the time, or do they simply dip that low and are nominally 6 or 8 ohm? If truly 4 ohm, I'm not sure the Marantz SR6007 or Denon 3313ci would handle that impedance load without using an additional amp.

Good question!

The manual http://www.roundsound.com/manuals/classico-cl-3-manual.pdf says 4 ohm.

The website http://www.roundsound.com/classico-cl-3-specs.html says 8 ohm.

BTW the website lists the center, Classico 4 and bookshelf as 4 ohm. So I'm thinking it's an error on their website.

Maybe PM commsysman as he owns a pair or call the company 800.459.4183 and ask them.

They do seem to be an interesting speaker that is pretty small and lightweight yet seem to perform like much larger speakers according to a few reviews around.

Edit: OK I called them. Still not sure if they're 4 ohm or 8 ohm but they did say they will work with any amp without issue, plus if you're in the lower 48 you get free shipping both ways if not satisfied.

I on the other hand "get" to pay $250 each way if not happy. eek.gif

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post #23 of 26 Old 01-17-2013, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Good question!

The manual http://www.roundsound.com/manuals/classico-cl-3-manual.pdf says 4 ohm.

The website http://www.roundsound.com/classico-cl-3-specs.html says 8 ohm.

BTW the website lists the center, Classico 4 and bookshelf as 4 ohm. So I'm thinking it's an error on their website.

Maybe PM commsysman as he owns a pair or call the company 800.459.4183 and ask them.

They do seem to be an interesting speaker that is pretty small and lightweight yet seem to perform like much larger speakers according to a few reviews around.

Edit: OK I called them. Still not sure if they're 4 ohm or 8 ohm but they did say they will work with any amp without issue, plus if you're in the lower 48 you get free shipping both ways if not satisfied.

I on the other hand "get" to pay $250 each way if not happy. eek.gif

I was just coming here to note that it says that they are 8 ohm on their website. I spoke with them as well and they said that the Marantz SR6007 has plenty of power to handle them. I'm a little wary of their small size, though. I'm sure that's just years of conditioning that size does matter.
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post #24 of 26 Old 01-17-2013, 04:01 PM
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All subjective but I listened to the PSB surround package. I like PSB for music but really dislike it for Home Theater. The sound stage was not Immersive. While exceptionally clear and responsive the sound stage appeared to be small and localized and the ummph / depth was not there.
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post #25 of 26 Old 01-18-2013, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, the CL-3 is quite powerful, but obviously the CL-4 has 50% more cone area. Don't know, but they will be able to give you a good guess.

For low bass, the room volume is a major factor, but for the most part the key thing is the distance from you to the speaker.

Commsysman - do you use your CL-3s for movies/tv at all? If so, how do the CL-3s handle HT? Do you also have the center (CL-C) and rears (CL-2 or CL-1)?
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post #26 of 26 Old 01-18-2013, 01:38 AM
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If I were you and you were still interested in B&W speakers I would look at the CM line or better yet see if you could find a used pair of B&W 700 series, something like a used pair of 703 if you could find them. The 700 series from B&W were some truly exceptional speakers at good value, sadly they started to cannibalize sales of the flagship 800 series, as more people started buying 700 series speakers instead of the flagship line, so B&W put the kibosh on the 700 series pretty quick. If you decide you don't like B&W sound in general, then PSB would be my recommendation.
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