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post #1 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm thinking of upgrading my left, center, and right speakers to something of a higher quality. I currently have Pioneer FS51's as my left/right, and the C21 for the center.

I'm looking to have a noticeable upgrade here. I don't want it to be such a small improvement over what I have now, that only I can tell the difference. If my budget is too small then that's fine, I'll hold off until I can afford to take the next step.

Basically I'm looking at a few speakers already.

Kef Q500's with matching center.

Aperion Grand bookshelves with center.
(This is over my budget, but they look awesome. Can I get the Grand bookshelves with the Forte center?)

PSB Image, perhaps B6. Would love the towers, but I don't know if it could fit my budget.

Has anyone upgraded from a Pioneer setup like mine? If so, what did you upgrade to? Any help is appreciated here guys!

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post #2 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 07:24 AM
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Is this setup for music, movies, gaming (% each)? How big is your room? What kind of sub are you running with your setup?

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post #3 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 07:33 AM
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You could look at the Ascend CMT-340 SE with matching center, or the NHT Classic Three with matching center. Wharfedale makes some excellent speakers, you could look in to the Diamond 10.2 bookshelf and Diamond 10 CM center.

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post #4 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok. I listen to music constantly, but I also want the speakers to be equally suited towards movies. I don't have much time to watch movies, but when I do I want it to sound as good as I can afford.

So, strictly on a time basis: 70% Music, 30% Movies. Games, while I play them when I can, aren't a big concern here. If it sounds good for movies/music, I imagine it'll be good for games.

I have a DIY Dayton HO 18". Room is about 2500 cubic ft.

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post #5 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

You could look at the Ascend CMT-340 SE with matching center, or the NHT Classic Three with matching center. Wharfedale makes some excellent speakers, you could look in to the Diamond 10.2 bookshelf and Diamond 10 CM center.

Ah. I do like the looks of those Wharfdale 10.2's.

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post #6 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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What about Wharfdale 10.4's over the 10.2's? Do you think it would be a noticeable improvement?

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post #7 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

You could look at the Ascend CMT-340 SE with matching center, or the NHT Classic Three with matching center. Wharfedale makes some excellent speakers, you could look in to the Diamond 10.2 bookshelf and Diamond 10 CM center.

+1

Those could be excellent choices.
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Ok. I listen to music constantly, but I also want the speakers to be equally suited towards movies. I don't have much time to watch movies, but when I do I want it to sound as good as I can afford.

So, strictly on a time basis: 70% Music, 30% Movies. Games, while I play them when I can, aren't a big concern here. If it sounds good for movies/music, I imagine it'll be good for games.

I have a DIY Dayton HO 18". Room is about 2500 cubic ft.

Definitely. I think of gaming and movies as similar when it comes to buying speakers, although movies tend to have more <30hz bass effects. But you already have a kick ass sub. No problem there biggrin.gif

In fact, given your good sub, I would think you might could definitely be happy with bookshelves over towers if you are satisfied with that <80hz midbass output on your Dayton HO. Do those HO give you what you need with your Pioneers when crossed at 80hz?

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post #8 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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My sub plays great crossed at 80Hz with my mains. Midbass sounds great and only becomes localized above 100hz it seems.

Is the ONLY benefit of towers over bookshelves low end extension? If I were to compare the Wharfdale 10.2's and 10.4's both crossed at 80hz with my sub, would they sound similar? Or would the 10.4's have a slight advantage with dynamics?

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post #9 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 08:11 AM
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Look at EMP, HTD, Arx, Aperion, Ascend, HSU, DIY..if that's your thing....can't think of any others right now. Oh, the Focal 814v from A4L is a good buy in this range also. There's plenty of reviews out there for the EMP's, Aperions and HTD's. I say this like always....you can't beat EMP and Aperions 30-day trial if you can't audition. It's a nice thing to have before buying, realizing you don't like them (aka...same boat you're in now) and having to sell them or return them for a small loss.

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post #10 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louquid View Post

My sub plays great crossed at 80Hz with my mains. Midbass sounds great and only becomes localized above 100hz it seems.

Is the ONLY benefit of towers over bookshelves low end extension? If I were to compare the Wharfdale 10.2's and 10.4's both crossed at 80hz with my sub, would they sound similar? Or would the 10.4's have a slight advantage with dynamics?

The lower bass extension is one of of the big benefits. The point is that for the price of the 10.4s, you could step up to another bookshelf speaker that could sound better for music because of better driver and tweeter IF you have a good sub that takes care of that lower midbass. For example, the Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1. However, then the center channel will cost more, too smile.gif

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post #11 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louquid View Post

My sub plays great crossed at 80Hz with my mains. Midbass sounds great and only becomes localized above 100hz it seems.

Is the ONLY benefit of towers over bookshelves low end extension? If I were to compare the Wharfdale 10.2's and 10.4's both crossed at 80hz with my sub, would they sound similar? Or would the 10.4's have a slight advantage with dynamics?

With these Wharfedales it's a bit less of a comparison, but if you could choose mains with a total of 4+ 6.5" up to 8" drivers covering down to 80hz OR mains with a total of 2 5.5" or 6.5" drivers covering down to 80hz, which would you choose? Just based on that alone. You're lowering xmax which is lowering thd, along with many other things.

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post #12 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post

With these Wharfedales it's a bit less of a comparison, but if you could choose mains with a total of 4+ 6.5" up to 8" drivers covering down to 80hz OR mains with a total of 2 5.5" or 6.5" drivers covering down to 80hz, which would you choose? Just based on that alone. You're lowering xmax which is lowering thd, along with many other things.

This does not factor in driver and tweeter quality, where there can be increases in detail and imaging. Towers ARE better than bookshelves in the same speaker line, for the reasons given. But towers MAY NOT be better in SQ when comparing them to comparably priced bookshelves in a different speaker line. As for differences in THD, that's going to matter most in terms of max SPL, where the speakers are reaching their limits. So that sort of depends on how loud one will listen to their speakers. If the bookshelves have enough sensitivity to achieve the volume needed, it's mostly a moot point. Given that the current speakers are the Pioneers, probably not going to be difficult to find bookshelves that equal or exceed the sensitivity of them and achieve the same volume output with the receiver.

I'm not trying to take sides here. When a good sub is available to take care of the bass response below the tuning point of the bookshelves, the debate is too controversial over bookshelves vs towers to act like one is a clear winner over the other.

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post #13 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 11:46 AM
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This does not factor in driver and tweeter quality, where there can be increases in detail and imaging. Towers ARE better than bookshelves in the same speaker line, for the reasons given. But towers MAY NOT be better in SQ when comparing them to comparably priced bookshelves in a different speaker line. As for differences in THD, that's going to matter most in terms of max SPL, where the speakers are reaching their limits. So that sort of depends on how loud one will listen to their speakers. If the bookshelves have enough sensitivity to achieve the volume needed, it's mostly a moot point. Given that the current speakers are the Pioneers, probably not going to be difficult to find bookshelves that equal or exceed the sensitivity of them and achieve the same volume output with the receiver.

I'm not trying to take sides here. When a good sub is available to take care of the bass response below the tuning point of the bookshelves, the debate is too controversial over bookshelves vs towers to act like one is a clear winner over the other.


exactly my point. Speakers and sound are subjective. No right or wrong and too many "what if's" to really say. I know what you mean lol. Basically saying the same thing so yeah....carry on!

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post #14 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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It's pretty much as I thought. $500 bookshelf speakers should be better than $500 tower speakers. I like the looks of towers, but I would have no problem using any of the bookshelves mentioned, as I like the looks of those too.

How would any of the recommened speakers sound compared to my Pioneer setup? Would the improvements be subtle or "night and day"?

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post #15 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 11:56 AM
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All of these speakers will be noticeably better.

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post #16 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Sweet. So looks like you guys have the EMP E55Ti's? How would you describe their sound?

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post #17 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louquid View Post

It's pretty much as I thought. $500 bookshelf speakers should be better than $500 tower speakers. I like the looks of towers, but I would have no problem using any of the bookshelves mentioned, as I like the looks of those too.

How would any of the recommened speakers sound compared to my Pioneer setup? Would the improvements be subtle or "night and day"?

Don't forget to factor in stands (if needed) to the cost of bookshelves. Nicer stands can really drive up the cost.

Let me first say that sound is subjective, BUT I'd think most would agree that all the speakers mentioned here are going to be quite a bit better. Whether you like what each has to offer is another story. That's why there are so many different people that like/dislike certain speakers.

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Sweet. So looks like you guys have the EMP E55Ti's? How would you describe their sound?

The e55ti's are arguably one of the best budget towers out there under $1,500. There have been countless measurements on them showing them to be +/- 2db IN-ROOM, have good off-axis response, etc. VERY nice looking for the price (subjective of course but most agree). The top end isn't so much "warm", but it's not edgy or bright either. Overall they're a very neutral and true to the source speaker. The midrange is pretty much dead on. Voices sound extremely accurate and lifelike. I've ran mine with MultEQ XT for the past few weeks and I think they're actually even better now (with a slight "con"). Audyssey brought up the top end a few db's, but maybe just a hair too much. Any type of auto DSP will be finnicky for the most part and I'm sure I can get it to drop that top end a little. If not, I can use manual EQ...though I'd lose the DynamicEQ on these Denon's! Pretty cool feature. If you do a little searching on here you'll see that there was at GTG recently and the owners of the Phil 2's, new SVS towers and a few others were very impressed with them. There's a user on another forum that compared his e55ti's to Paradigms Studio 100's. Said they were very close to the same and the Studio's are more than 2x the price. Is there better out there? Depends on your overall goals, budget, etc. Will you enjoy them? I can't say. That trial period is nice to have though!

For the price now, they're a great buy. For the price they were on Black Friday....there is NO WAY you will find something better new, with a 30-day trial period w/ free return shipping if needed. No way. (subjective of course...seems like you have to keep saying that on here or people will throw a fit smile.gif)

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post #18 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome. I have a good place for a set of bookshelf speakers to go, but may build a set of stands if I go that route.

I like the looks of towers and the ease of placement. (No stands needed) But I think i'm thoroughly confused on what to get now.

This is a pretty tough decision. lol

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post #19 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 12:55 PM
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I upgraded from some old Infinity Reference towers to the E55Ti's, so it's probably safe to assume most choices would have been an upgrade rolleyes.gif As ousooner2 said, they are a very neutral speaker, and I like that. Compared to my Infinity's, the sound seems more natural, at least what I would imagine it is supposed to sound like. I just have the towers in a 2.1 but I find the imaging very good, and they maintain detail and clarity even when I turn them up. I eventually will upgrade to a new receiver, something with Audyssey MultEQ XT hopefully, and see how it handles them. I am very happy with my purchase and was originally looking in the $400-500 range for speakers, so when I saw these on sale for $450 for Black Friday, I bought them on the spot.

If I had auditioned them though when they weren't on sale, I would probably have pulled the trigger still. In red burl they are gorgeous, if at the very least, give them an audition. You don't pay anything and get 30-days to at least establish a benchmark for further auditions.

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post #20 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I upgraded from some old Infinity Reference towers to the E55Ti's, so it's probably safe to assume most choices would have been an upgrade rolleyes.gif As ousooner2 said, they are a very neutral speaker, and I like that. Compared to my Infinity's, the sound seems more natural, at least what I would imagine it is supposed to sound like. I just have the towers in a 2.1 but I find the imaging very good, and they maintain detail and clarity even when I turn them up. I eventually will upgrade to a new receiver, something with Audyssey MultEQ XT hopefully, and see how it handles them. I am very happy with my purchase and was originally looking in the $400-500 range for speakers, so when I saw these on sale for $450 for Black Friday, I bought them on the spot.

Yeah, If I saw these for $450 right now I wouldn't hesitate to pick them up.

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post #21 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 01:05 PM
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"There's a user on another forum that compared his e55ti's to Paradigms Studio 100's. Said they were very close to the same and the Studio's are more than 2x the price" Some guy on some forum said this? Now there is some rock solid evidence. If I had a dollar for everytime I heard comments like this, I would have enough money to buy another set of speakers. Its a great way for people to feel good about their speaker purchase. There was another company where owners said they compare to the studios and I found the hard way that it wasn't true when I compared them side by side. I am not saying emp speakers aren't great for the money, as I have not heard them, it's just I don't buy into the premise that "some guy said" or my buddy told me. If I did buy into this then I would have believed my neighbor 10 years ago when he told me bose was the best. The nice thing about Id brands that you can listen in your own home and return them if you don't like them.
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post #22 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I keep going back to the Wharfdale's. The Diamond 10.2's are beautiful in my opinion. The towers look even better, but I think logically I'd have to go with the 10.2 bookshelfs.

But, a pair of Focal 706V's would also be awesome. At this particular point in time I'm almost trying to decide between this:

Wharfdale Diamond 10.2 pair - $450
Wharfdale Diamond 10 CM - $450

VS.

Focal Chorus 706V pair -$500
Focal Chorus CC700V - $400

Both sets come out to $900...

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post #23 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
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"There's a user on another forum that compared his e55ti's to Paradigms Studio 100's. Said they were very close to the same and the Studio's are more than 2x the price" Some guy on some forum said this? Now there is some rock solid evidence. If I had a dollar for everytime I heard comments like this, I would have enough money to buy another set of speakers. Its a great way for people to feel good about their speaker purchase. There was another company where owners said they compare to the studios and I found the hard way that it wasn't true when I compared them side by side. I am not saying emp speakers aren't great for the money, as I have not heard them, it's just I don't buy into the premise that "some guy said" or my buddy told me. If I did buy into this then I would have believed my neighbor 10 years ago when he told me bose was the best. The nice thing about Id brands that you can listen in your own home and return them if you don't like them.

rolleyes.gif My god. Every other week it's someone who is way to critical of a subjective hobby.

...ya know what....99% of people on these forums DO NOT and CAN NOT audition every single speaker. So you know what they do...they look to measurements, reviews, etc to find what they think MIGHT suit them the best. And ya know what, even then its purely subjective...LIKE I'VE ALREADY MENTIONED. I stated subjective opinions and even said it's possible he might not like them. Multiple times actually! Not to mention that if he doesn't....he can return them for free! Just because someone reviewed them and said they're great...doesn't make them great. And vise versa. The user on another forum might also be a user here, but he frequents HomeTheaterShack from what it looks like. He's listened to and reviewed countless speakers. WAY more than you or me most likely. Not only just listened to them, but taken notes over them and put them on forums. There are also G2G's and one of the most recent had owners of other speakers pleasantly surprised with the e55's. I mean it wouldn't matter what speaker we're talking about here....those are pretty good odds that most would take if they could not audition their list of speakers.

Unless you've auditioned everything you wanted IN-HOME then there's always going to be some inherent risk. What you can do is look to measurements and reviews from people that have either heard a wide variety and multiple speakers OR people that seem to have the same tastes as you. Does that mean you'll like them? Nope. But it will likely get you closer to being happy with your purchase than not looking at anything and going with what some random at BB says is awesome.

There are times when you can't be 100% sure in the decision you made and at those times you just have to do the best with what you're dealt
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post #24 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 02:25 PM
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I just did the same thing looking for L/R around the $1000 mark. You have gotten some really good suggestions in this thread.

There is no way you can go wrong with the Ascend CMT-340 SE.

People seem to like the Emp's but I don't understand why the woof's are crossed over at 120hz. If you are crossing your HO (nice sub) at 80hz, then you have 6 - 6 1/2 woofers only getting 1/2 an octave from 80hz to 120hz. Crossover points that close usually creates a null.

The Arx's look like a great value and I personally like planar tweeters when properly placed. However, the PVC veneer is a big negative for me.

I heard the Focal 716's last weekend and they are really sweet. For the price at A4L, I don't think you could do much better.

Good luck.
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post #25 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 03:02 PM
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Louquid in answer to question in your original post, you can use the Forte center with Grand bookshelves. All of the Verus line are timbre matched. A lot of people have had to do this due to size restrictions (Grand center is a monster). An advantage to this for you may be that if you are doing this for budget reasons Aperion has an upgrade program. You can get the Forte centre for now and upgrade to the Grand within a year if you choose to do so. Give Jason or one of the other Gurus a call and they can fill you in on the details. Customer service at Aperion is outstanding and they will answer any questions without trying to give you the hard sell.
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post #26 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post

exactly my point. Speakers and sound are subjective. No right or wrong and too many "what if's" to really say. I know what you mean lol. Basically saying the same thing so yeah....carry on!

Sorry if I came off too strong there redface.gif

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post #27 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post

rolleyes.gif My god. Every other week it's someone who is way to critical of a subjective hobby.

...ya know what....99% of people on these forums DO NOT and CAN NOT audition every single speaker. So you know what they do...they look to measurements, reviews, etc to find what they think MIGHT suit them the best. And ya know what, even then its purely subjective...LIKE I'VE ALREADY MENTIONED. I stated subjective opinions and even said it's possible he might not like them. Multiple times actually!

Agreed.

And that is the problem. Anyone who is expecting definitive answers on exactly which speaker to buy on an Internet forum is deluding themselves. Speaker choice is also an aesthetic experience, and one's individual listening preferences are such a big factor (in addition to room acoustics and placement), that the recommendations here on AVS, which are of best intent and generally well thought out, can only get you 90% of the way there. Then it has to be a best guess. You read lots of stuff, and then it's sort of like predicting the weather. There are no guarantees. smile.gif

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post #28 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 04:53 PM
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^ yup

That upgrade thing from Aperion is pretty cool! I was wondering about timbre match from Forte to Grand also. Lotta different sized drivers but that's good to know they are matched. I bet the grands and sierras are real nice for the price.

Panny 65st60 / Denon / EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i
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post #29 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post

rolleyes.gif My god. Every other week it's someone who is way to critical of a subjective hobby.

...ya know what....99% of people on these forums DO NOT and CAN NOT audition every single speaker. So you know what they do...they look to measurements, reviews, etc to find what they think MIGHT suit them the best. And ya know what, even then its purely subjective...LIKE I'VE ALREADY MENTIONED. I stated subjective opinions and even said it's possible he might not like them. Multiple times actually! Not to mention that if he doesn't....he can return them for free! Just because someone reviewed them and said they're great...doesn't make them great. And vise versa. The user on another forum might also be a user here, but he frequents HomeTheaterShack from what it looks like. He's listened to and reviewed countless speakers. WAY more than you or me most likely. Not only just listened to them, but taken notes over them and put them on forums. There are also G2G's and one of the most recent had owners of other speakers pleasantly surprised with the e55's. I mean it wouldn't matter what speaker we're talking about here....those are pretty good odds that most would take if they could not audition their list of speakers.

Unless you've auditioned everything you wanted IN-HOME then there's always going to be some inherent risk. What you can do is look to measurements and reviews from people that have either heard a wide variety and multiple speakers OR people that seem to have the same tastes as you. Does that mean you'll like them? Nope. But it will likely get you closer to being happy with your purchase than not looking at anything and going with what some random at BB says is awesome.

There are times when you can't be 100% sure in the decision you made and at those times you just have to do the best with what you're dealt

+1
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post #30 of 60 Old 02-21-2013, 09:32 PM
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Did I say somthing wrong in my post? nope, anything untrue, nope. So you get upset that I have my own opinion which differs from yours? You said that emp sounds alot like the studios because some guy on some forum said so, and you thinks thats credible?
Do you do this to everyone who has a different opinion from yours? Do $800 dollar speakers sound like $4000 speaker, In my opinion no. I remember reading in audioholics from jean I believe, that if someone tells you that a $400 dollar bookshelf sounds like a $1400 bookshelf, then they are probaly smoking something. I am sure Emp speakers are very cable and they are very nice looking and are a great price, and I'm sure many happy owners also. If i've said anything untrue in my statement or previous post than prove me wrong, just don't use statements like "some guy on some forum" Doesn't matter, me or you, we seem to get defensive when we both just like the hobby? I'm sorry if I ruffled any feathers! In a perfect world , we would all get to hear every speaker out there and own some of them, or as many as the wife would let.smile.gif Have a good night.smile.gif
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