Front sound stage, $1,500 or less? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-22-2013, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm on research overload and need to take a step back, I'd like to compile a solid list of brands/models to consider for my front left, right, and center channel. These need to be bookshelves for a living room home theater setup that I secondarily want to play my SACD and DVD-A collection through - but HT comes first. 5,000 cu ft, open layout with the back wall opening to the kitchen and dining room. I ordered a Rythmik FV15HP that will be delivered today, I have an Emotiva XPA-3 (200 watts per channel) to power the front three speakers. My budget range is $1,000 - $1,500 MAX including shipping etc.

My list so far is Def Tech SM-65, Ascend CMT-340, Arx A2B (when they finally come out). Also considering Philharmonitors if going more towards a musically inclined speaker. I just want to make sure the bookshelves I choose have the dynamics, low distortion, volume, punch, clarity etc for movies in my large room and don't fall on their face for music. I have a lot of power with the Emotiva so I'm not sure if I need to stick to very high sensitivity. Please help add to my list so I can start trying to audition and narrow things down. Thanks!
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-22-2013, 09:47 AM
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Good list...............

Another choice, KEF Q300's at $469 each at AC4L ( accessories4less.com)........free shipping.........

May have some problem filling that size room with smaller bookshelves ( ones listed so far are not)..........
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-22-2013, 10:05 AM
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I would second the ascend acoustic cmt340s! Excellent speaker!
Also, you may want to consider the Def Tech sm450s, often on sale for 300/pr. The center can be harder to find and abit pricey, but after what you have saved on the 450s....

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-22-2013, 01:59 PM
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That's a big ol' room!

I wonder how something like these JTR 228's would do in a room that size. I wonder if certain bookshelves are able to really fill out a space that large without running into the obvious limitations.

Panny 65st60 / Denon / EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-22-2013, 02:17 PM
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The Monitor Audio Silver RX-2 has an 8-inch woofer and can put out enough sound for that room; most bookshelf speakers cant. You will get excellent sound quality and quantity with them.

A pair goes for $850, and the matching Silver RXC center speaker goes for around $500.

IMO you can't buy a better system than those for the size and price you have in mind.
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-22-2013, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Perinne View Post

My list so far is Def Tech SM-65, Ascend CMT-340, Arx A2B (when they finally come out). Also considering Philharmonitors if going more towards a musically inclined speaker.

Can anyone tell me the differences in sound between the ribbon tweeter such as in the Philarmonitor and the dome tweeter in the Ascends? Thanks.

Please keep us updated on your opinion when you audition, as I am in the same boat with a same size room. I would think it obvious that you would get more bass out of the Ascends as compared to the Philharmonitors? A single 6.5 in. woofer in the Phils versus TWO of them in the Ascends? Yes/No?
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-22-2013, 03:24 PM
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The Rythmik sub will make a huge difference as you won't need tower speakers and can get some good bookshelf speakers. I would look for something sensitive that can extend to about 80hz and then let the sub do the rest (unless you listen to 2 channel music).

The Ascend 340's seem like a strong recommendation and are in your price range. The ARX A5 towers seem like a good option in your price range along with these:
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-three-speakers/Level-THREE-Tower-Speakers

I also like the Deftech speakers you mentioned.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-22-2013, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses so far... While the Deftech SM450's are a great deal I think the new Studio Monitors are a significant step up, I don't mind the higher price and will keep the SM-65's on my list. There is just something about the KEF Q300's that doesn't work for me, I'm not sure if they're big enough of a sound to fill my space. The JTR's are nice but blow away my budget.

commsysman - excellent recommendation, I need to dig into those as well as the Dynaudio Excite X12's. I like the idea of the 8" woofer in the MA's, I need to see if they're rear ported though (I need them in a bookshelf, not a stand).

easycruise - from what I've read, the MTM configuration gives you a bigger sound, perhaps a wider sound stage - maybe a little more bass but that might be moot if you're crossing over at 80hz for HT.

Ascend's are still on my list, they really seem like they were designed for my scenario - but I'm going to read up on these Monitor Audio Silver RX-2's.

Anything else I should add?
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-22-2013, 08:14 PM
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I would add the Paradigm Mini Monitors to your list. So far in my listening travels, they sounded the best against much more expensive competition, such as the B&W and Focal's. I was amazed at how good they sound. I am going to order the Ascends first, and if I don't like them, I'll most likely get the Paradigms. I'm only interested in 2ch audio, so bass w/o sub is important to me.
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-22-2013, 08:17 PM
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As you may have found out by now, the Monitor Audio Silver RX-2's are rear ported..............as are the Ascend 340SE's.................

The Dynaudio Excite X12's are $1200 at most sites.............would not have enough dough to get the matching center ( $850-900).............

The Arx A5 tower speakers have many loyal and rabid followers, similar to the EMPtek E55ti towers...........the Arxs are only 7.1 inches wide, the EMP tek e55tis only 8.5 inches wide ................can you fit these around your bookshelf setup........both would provide ample soundstage to fill your room space and would be easily driven with the Emotiva amp................
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post #11 of 17 Old 02-22-2013, 08:26 PM
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Hi, you can rent speakers in NYC
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post #12 of 17 Old 02-22-2013, 08:38 PM
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I am going to break one of my own rules and recommend something you didn't ask for. However, I wish I would have known actually how easy it is.
Build your own. Speakers and sub. What you can gain in performance to $ ratio is outstanding. Especially in the speaker world.
It is really easy too. If you find a proven design, all you need to do is know how to solder and read an electrical schematic. i don't know how to read a schematic, but a friend does. All he did was lay out the pieces how they should be hooked together and bang...i just did the soldering. If you don't know someone that knows how to read one, there are lots of people that will help and lots of times the plans include pics that show it.
It really is worth it. The speakers I built cost me $800 finished in rosewood veneer. They blow away the Canton speakers I paid the same price for.
This is the next one I want to attempt. Like the guy who introduced me to these....if Klipsch slapped their name on these, they would cost at least $2000 a pair, maybe $3000. You can build 3 for around $1500. I know that is over your budget, but I am just giving you an idea. 2 yrs ago I would have never guessed I could pull something like this off. I am not gifted in this type of way, but it is suprisingly easy to copy an existing design//especially if the box is not fancy.
http://www.diysoundgroup.com/waveguide-speaker-kits/alpha12-kit.html

Panasonic P60ST50-Yamaha RX-V467 receiver-Sony PS3-Velodyne SMS-1-Canton 430 mains, 455 center and 402 surrounds-Rythmik FV15HP subwoofer- Pro-ject Debut III turntable- I also have a pair of Mark K's DIY design, the ER18DXT's
.
My humble entertainment room
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1417652/midwest...
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post #13 of 17 Old 02-23-2013, 01:55 PM
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I'm confused - are rear ported speakers an issue or not? Are you placing the speaker "in" a shelf (vs "on" an open shelf)?

The KEF Q300's play loudly very well (i.e. keep a good sound at loud volume) so that shouldn't be an issue. They are front ported and work well when placed "in" a shelf.

The SM-65's are excellent speakers but you should note that they have a bass radiator on the top of the speaker. If you are putting them "in" a shelf that could be problematic.

Both the MA Silver and Ascend 340's are well regarded and well reviewed but they are rear ported. How much space you have available behind the speaker could be a consideration.
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post #14 of 17 Old 02-23-2013, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I have 18" in depth for the cabinet base the speakers will sit on, the shelves above are adjustable and the WAF will allow me to go up to around 22" clearance. The depth should allow a rear ported speaker depending how much clearance is needed (but not as good as if stand mounted). The heigth lets me use most MTM configured speakers and gives proper clearance for the SM-65's. Left to right is not an issue - I have 4' to work with. I could upload a photo if it would help?
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post #15 of 17 Old 02-24-2013, 01:44 AM
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18" shelf depth probably comes out to 6" or 7" space behind the speaker, so some rear ported speakers would work.

Even with 22" height that leaves less the 6" overhead clearance for the SM-65s. I would be very hesitant to use them in that situation - they are designed for a more open space above them. (I'm a fan of the new DefTech SM series speakers - this isn't a brand bias comment.)

Because of your unique space/placement situation, before buying I would recommend posting in the individual speaker brand owners threads (Ascend Owners Thread, Monitor Audio Owners Thread, etc.) to get feedback on the specific models you're considering. That way you'll be getting answers from people that specifically own/use the speakers your considering.
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post #16 of 17 Old 02-25-2013, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Would the NHT Classic Three's be worthy of adding to my list?
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post #17 of 17 Old 02-25-2013, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Perinne View Post

Would the NHT Classic Three's be worthy of adding to my list?


Yes.

Klipsch RF-62II, RC-500, RS-400, SVS PC12+,
Def Tech SC8000
Harman Kardon AVR 1600
PS3, Apple TV, Sharp 70" Qattron
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