Need help with 5.1 speaker selection. $2500 maximum budget - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 54 Old 03-30-2013, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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**Updated thoughts, increased max budget to $2500**
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1465948/need-help-with-5-0-speaker-selection-1500-maximum-budget/30#post_23278397
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I want some speakers for my living room for 90% gaming/movies and 10% music. The speakers will go in a townhouse, 1st floor living room, dimensions for living room are 10' x 12' x 20' high ceiling, but it also opens up to the dining room and kitchen. I attached a picture of the layout. Any furniture such as tv stand can be changed to improve sound quality.

I'm not new to this forum but I want to be sure I'm not missing any speakers that I should try out. I'm open to buying new or used, bookshelf or floorstander. I do not want the speakers to sound small, but I also don't want to overload the room either. The $1500 budget is the absolute maximum. Would like a 5.0 set but could spend the max budget on the front 3 speakers. I will get the subwoofer later. Speakers will be powered by a denon 1712 avr.

Wants:
neutral sound, open/airy, speakers that have been measured if possible
same speakers for the front LCR or nicely designed center, I am open to using a vertical bookshelf for center speaker, floorstander in center probably would be too tall
monopole speakers for surround

Speakers I'm considering:
ascend acoustics 3 x cmt-340se, ascend cbm-170se for surrounds
revel f12, revel c12 center, infinity p162 surround
kef q900, q600c, q100 (also considering 5 q300's for 5.0)

Thoughts, comments? Are floorstanders like the revel f12 and kef q900 too much for my room? Any other speakers I should consider for audition?

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post #2 of 54 Old 03-30-2013, 02:48 PM
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Some other speakers to look at would be the Arx, Aperion Intimus, HTD Level 2 and 3(the 2 uses a silk or soft dome tweeter and the 3 uses a folded horn loaded ribbon tweeter), Monitor Audio Bronze series, Wharfedale Diamond series. I have a 340 center and 170's for mains and to me they sound great. Out of curiosity, do you plan on adding a sub later, or are you not considering one due to neighbors?

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post #3 of 54 Old 03-30-2013, 02:48 PM
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I know you've said in earlier posts that your kind of leary about them but the 5 Arx A1b would be a pretty nice setup. Theres a single A1b option for those that want a center (till the A2c stocks) vertical or horizontal use by rotating the tweeter. All 5 would come in under $1k including shipping.



Details about how he measured and a few other things: http://www.theaudioinsider.com/forum/showthread.php?1904-Arx-A1b-response
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post #4 of 54 Old 03-30-2013, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkpoet25 View Post

Some other speakers to look at would be the Arx, Aperion Intimus, HTD Level 2 and 3(the 2 uses a silk or soft dome tweeter and the 3 uses a folded horn loaded ribbon tweeter), Monitor Audio Bronze series, Wharfedale Diamond series. I have a 340 center and 170's for mains and to me they sound great. Out of curiosity, do you plan on adding a sub later, or are you not considering one due to neighbors?

The aperion intimus hasn't appealed to me. I am kind of interested in the HTD's. But have the HTD's been measured, I don't think I have seen those? Also, the level 3 floorstanders seem to have a tiny midrange. I plan on adding a sub later, probably won't be ginormous because of neighbors. Hopefully dual subs if I get the money. Monitor audio seems kind of overpriced for what you get, I could be wrong. I haven't seen that many positive wharfedale diamond reviews.
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Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

I know you've said in earlier posts that your kind of leary about them but the 5 Arx A1b would be a pretty nice setup. Theres a single A1b option for those that want a center (till the A2c stocks) vertical or horizontal use by rotating the tweeter. All 5 would come in under $1k including shipping.



Details about how he measured and a few other things: http://www.theaudioinsider.com/forum/showthread.php?1904-Arx-A1b-response

I would still consider Arx speakers. But one thing that gives me pause is it seems the product is still changing too often. I think the A1b changed recently, correct me if I'm wrong? I just wouldn't want to buy something to have it have a better model a few months later. But 5 Arx A1b's could be possible for me, maybe I'll look more into it.
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post #5 of 54 Old 03-30-2013, 03:55 PM
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Yes the A1 changed to the A1b, but the sound is still the same ie not voiced differently. The only change was a slightly larger cabinet compared to the A1 to the A1b. There was a slight crossover retune, to account for the extra 10hrz extension. Its the same driver, same tweeter, same xover components. But it was 2years from the intro of the Arx A1 to the release of the A1b so it was over night.

The same thing with the A2 and A2c. The only change was going from 24" across horizontal to 20" across to allow more placement option in cabinets/av stands. There is a new slightly revised tweeter coming out, but the only difference is that it can handle more power. It looks and sounds the same. The reason Jon decided to go with a revised tweeter was he is planning much higher output models and did not want a tweeter that could possible hold any of the other components back. One model thats been tossed around is a MTM WW or MTM WWW. Using either triple 6.5" XBL2 woofers like the Exodus Anarcy driver or dual 8" XBL2 woofers.

Jon says that old and new tweeters are all interchangable and will sound the same, one just has more thermal power handling.
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post #6 of 54 Old 03-30-2013, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

Yes the A1 changed to the A1b, but the sound is still the same ie not voiced differently. The only change was a slightly larger cabinet compared to the A1 to the A1b. There was a slight crossover retune, to account for the extra 10hrz extension. Its the same driver, same tweeter, same xover components. But it was 2years from the intro of the Arx A1 to the release of the A1b so it was over night.

The same thing with the A2 and A2c. The only change was going from 24" across horizontal to 20" across to allow more placement option in cabinets/av stands. There is a new slightly revised tweeter coming out, but the only difference is that it can handle more power. It looks and sounds the same. The reason Jon decided to go with a revised tweeter was he is planning much higher output models and did not want a tweeter that could possible hold any of the other components back. One model thats been tossed around is a MTM WW or MTM WWW. Using either triple 6.5" XBL2 woofers like the Exodus Anarcy driver or dual 8" XBL2 woofers.

Jon says that old and new tweeters are all interchangable and will sound the same, one just has more thermal power handling.

Which would you rather have for the front LCR, three arx a1b's or three arx a2c's?
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post #7 of 54 Old 03-30-2013, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

Which would you rather have for the front LCR, three arx a1b's or three arx a2c's?

A2c for sure. I've had the A1 as mains with a A2 center, then I went to A2s across the front, and then was drooling over the A5s and now I have those as mains. A2s across the front had a huge soundstage, dynamics was improved and it just had a more effortless sound to them. Its really just like comparing the Ascend 170SE vs the 340SE. Jon has said that the A2s would be the best 80hrz front stage for Arx speakers. Seamless and tons of output, but he still only considers them a 80hrz and up system. But i've ran them fullrange at alittle under reference with ACDC and heard no stress or strain, subwoofer like excursion but no mech noise.

A2c though is probably another month away.
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post #8 of 54 Old 03-30-2013, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

I'm not new to this forum but I want to be sure I'm not missing any speakers that I should try out. I'm open to buying new or used, bookshelf or floorstander. I do not want the speakers to sound small, but I also don't want to overload the room either.

The question regarding floor-standers may be whether you require them (i.e. overkill), but not that they will overload the room.
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Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

Speakers I'm considering:
ascend acoustics 3 x cmt-340se, ascend cbm-170se for surrounds
revel f12, revel c12 center, infinity p162 surround
kef q900, q600c, q100 (also considering 5 q300's for 5.0)

I like the Ascend Acoustics system that you describe, and it does fit within your budget nicely (with $106 to spare, including pedestal stands) although if you're considering bookshelf fronts, then you could step up to three Sierra-1s for $1314-$1454 (depending on the finish option). Or you could save some money by going with five CBM-170 SEs all around for $872--I use this exact system in a much larger open space, and it has no trouble maxing out my Denon AVR's capabilities (not that I normally listen that loudly).

By the way, regarding the Sierra-1 system, you'd get a $68 discount off the price of the surrounds if you buy them at the same time or within 45 days--this would put you over your budget, that is true, but I thought I'd mention it (just trying to save you some money, not make you spend more overall--if you want the more expensive Sierra-1s in the first place, then that would be your decision wink.gif).
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Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

Thoughts, comments? Are floorstanders like the revel f12 and kef q900 too much for my room? Any other speakers I should consider for audition?

At the viewing distances we're talking about here, they may be more than you need, allowing you to either save some money or step up to the next level in sound quality. And by the way, the Revel F12 may present a somewhat challenging load for most receivers:
http://www.stereophile.com/content/revel-concerta-f12-loudspeaker-measurements

Its sensitivity is good, though, and Denon AVRs aren't bad as AVRs go, so it may work alright in your situation. This and so many other things depend on volume.
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But 5 Arx A1b's could be possible for me, maybe I'll look more into it.

Here is a nicely done review (in a series of posts) that compares the A1b to the CBM-170 SE:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b/0_100#post_22793229
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b/0_100#post_22796786
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b/100_100#post_22804434
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b/100_100#post_22805217
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b/100_100#post_22805887
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b/100_100#post_22806214
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b/100_100#post_22838442
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b/100_100#post_22961859
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b/100_100#post_23026522

That's a lot of links, so maybe you'd prefer to read through the thread, focusing on the reviewer's (padgman1) posts. Keep in mind that this is only one person's opinion (as it is with all of us), although it does cover some broad territory and seems to give a good sense of the differences between these speakers. I think that one way in which my own perspective differs is that of neutrality, particularly with regard to whether the midrange seems more "forward" or "laid-back." I haven't heard the A1b personally, but I consider the CBM-170 SE's midrange very close to neutral and the Sierra-1's ever so slightly laid-back, while padgman1 considers the A1b more neutral (slightly laid-back overall) and the 170SE clearly forward, while others have said that the Sierra-1 sounds forward in comparison to the A1b. These speakers always seem to be placed in the same relative order, but what exactly is neutral is a big question, and it is quite possible that we simply hear things differently.

One other note is that the 340SE, 170SE, and A2c are significantly more sensitive than the Sierra-1 and A1b, which depending on your preferred volume may offer some advantages, especially when used only with an AVR (e.g. headroom for dynamics, reduced power compression).
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post #9 of 54 Old 03-30-2013, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmm, I was thinking with my 7-8 feet listening distance, that floorstanders might be too much. If they don't muck up the sound for my room size and distance, then I will still consider floorstanders. If revel f12's will have trouble being driven with my avr, then I think I will pass. I have to leave some money for my subwoofers later.

I checked out the thread between the arx a1b and ascend cbm-170se but it just leaves me more confused. He did say, he thought ascends were more lively which I will probably like better. It sounds like it may give clearer dialogue for movies/gaming. Moving up to the ascend sierra, I don't know how much benefit I will get with movies/gaming. I do remember reading from somebody who owns both, that they prefer the cmt-340se for home theater.
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post #10 of 54 Old 03-30-2013, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csgamer View Post


I checked out the thread between the arx a1b and ascend cbm-170se but it just leaves me more confused. He did say, he thought ascends were more lively which I will probably like better. It sounds like it may give clearer dialogue for movies/gaming.

Well he never actually level matched them when listening. The Arx is less sensitive than the CBM 170 but he judged the low volume listening by what his volume level was on the receiver. He though that if his Ascends played nice at 40 on his receiver than the Arx should play just as good with that same level. Well it wasn't fair because the Arx wasn't at the same SPL that the Ascend was, he needed to bump it up a few more notches.

It would be the same as judging Salks and JTR. The JTRs play so clear and nice at a low volume of my receiver so the Salks should too, oh wait they don't there for JTRs are more clear. < that seemed to be his way of thinking on that.
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post #11 of 54 Old 03-30-2013, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
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True, without level matching, one can perceive the louder speaker as better. This is why reviews are so hard to trust, but I feel I have to narrow down the field of speakers I want to consider.

Although, he did mention the bass being better on the arx.
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post #12 of 54 Old 03-30-2013, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

I checked out the thread between the arx a1b and ascend cbm-170se but it just leaves me more confused. He did say, he thought ascends were more lively which I will probably like better. It sounds like it may give clearer dialogue for movies/gaming. Moving up to the ascend sierra, I don't know how much benefit I will get with movies/gaming. I do remember reading from somebody who owns both, that they prefer the cmt-340se for home theater.

The 340SE is a larger speaker that gets loud more "effortlessly" than a smaller speaker would. It's hard to describe exactly what that means, but it is perceivable and that's how it feels. That said, in a smaller area, less actual loudness is required, which makes the difference much less perceivable.
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Well he never actually level matched them when listening. The Arx is less sensitive than the CBM 170 but he judged the low volume listening by what his volume level was on the receiver. He though that if his Ascends played nice at 40 on his receiver than the Arx should play just as good with that same level. Well it wasn't fair because the Arx wasn't at the same SPL that the Ascend was, he needed to bump it up a few more notches.

Are you sure about this? I mean, he does say (in this post) "The Ascends have a strong presence at all levels of volume ( and at lower "dial volume" level on my Denon 2113ci than the Arxs)," which would seem to clearly indicate that he was well aware of the distinction between actual loudness and the position of the volume control. If this is true, then it is very likely that he was trying to be as fair as he could in this regard.
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True, without level matching, one can perceive the louder speaker as better. This is why reviews are so hard to trust, but I feel I have to narrow down the field of speakers I want to consider.

Well, the reviewer seemed to understand this, and others participating in that thread had helped make sure of this before he evaluated the speakers.
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Although, he did mention the bass being better on the arx.

On its own, without a subwoofer, the A1b's bass goes a bit deeper, but that and the smaller midwoofer cone are where it loses sensitivity against the mostly comparable 170SE (the A1b requires about 2.5 times as much power for the same loudness), much like the case is with the Sierra-1. Jon Lane talks about this (in a general sense) and related topics in this post (in the review thread):
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b/100_100#post_22801443

When using a subwoofer, bass extension doesn't matter nearly as much. Now, there may be other aspects of the A1b's bass performance that he prefers, too, just like there are aspects of the 170SE's performance in other areas that he prefers--that's why he likes them both, but for different reasons.
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post #13 of 54 Old 04-02-2013, 12:35 PM
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Continuing from a different thread:
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Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

I haven't really reduced my budget, but just want something that will give me bang for my buck. If I can get a noticeable improvement, then I'm willing to pay more. But I don't want to pay a lot more for minimal gain. Plus, spending less on my movie/gaming speakers, means I'll have more money for my music desktop speakers. I was very close to pulling the trigger on 3 ascend cmt-340se's with cbm-170's for surround. But decided against it because of the center channel being MTM design and not having 5 identical speakers.

These speakers are well matched, however, as they use similar components and were expressly designed to sound very similar to one another (even identical speakers will sound a bit different due to placement). Since you don't seem to have high output requirements, by going with five CBM-170 SEs you could save money while gaining a vertically-oriented T/M bookshelf center that will disperse sound more widely on the horizontal axis for off-center viewers (if that is even an issue, and in your case, with the short distance involved, it may be).
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Yeah, maybe I'm overthinking things, but I don't want to have to buy/return/resell too much. I'm still considering 5 ascend cbm-170's but question if I will notice the difference between those and infinity primus or pioneer budget speakers.

You are right to ask such a question. I can tell you that there is a significant difference between them in sound quality, from my point of view. What I can't tell you, however, is how significant the difference will sound to you, and whether it would be worth paying about twice as much for the system in comparison to five Infinity P163s. For some, the P163 would be a better value because it makes sound (not being facetious here--that's most of what we're looking for, in terms of placing a value on any speaker) and it sounds pretty good in comparison to speakers that most of the general population use. For others, like me, the CBM-170 SE is actually a better value even at twice the price because it sounds that much better and I'd be satisfied with it for much longer. Not everybody would agree, of course.
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I actually previously had the primus series. 2 x p362's and a pc350 center. I was never fully satisfied with the dialogue clarity through the center. But, I never set up the pc350 center channel optimally though. It is a sealed speaker, and I placed towards the edge of tv stand to reduce reflections but it was sort of inside a cabinet. I get the feeling a vertical bookshelf will get me better dialogue clarity. I should have done more testing when I had those speakers.

Using a vertically-oriented bookshelf speaker really only helps with dialogue intelligibility for off-center viewers--while this can be important, if you were judging your previously-owned PC350 from the central viewing position, then horizontal versus vertical orientation had nothing to do with it.

What you could do for now to reduce your risk is try just a pair of CBM-170 SEs to find out whether you like them and whether they'd do the trick for you regarding dialogue clarity--the trial period is 30 days, and you can still get the full package discount (worth $96 in this case) up to 45 days after the initial purchase if you decide to complete your system using this speaker (be sure to mention the "Extender Purchase Plan" to Ascend).
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post #14 of 54 Old 04-02-2013, 01:30 PM
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The Arx A1bs would be about $50 bucks cheaper a pair compared to the 170SEs so if the sound was a toss up with the one user/review then price might be a good way to break the toss up. You would save probably $100-120ish on the 5 speaker Arx setup compared to the Ascend and still get compariable sound. But seems like Arx or Ascend is a win win really.
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If you can swing it, and have the time and patience to do it, get a pair of Arx A1b's and the Ascend 170SE's. Now be aware that Ascend does charge a shipping fee both ways, not sure about the Arx speakers, perhaps GT knows. Hook up one of each speaker to the front left and right on your AVR, level match them and play some movies/music. When listening to them take notes as to which speaker sounds better with the same material and vice versa. Since we have no idea about sound characteristics in your home, only you can decide what sounds better in your environment. Which is the benefit to buying from an ID company is the free 30 day in home trial, because no matter how a speaker sounds in a showroom or on a salesfloor, your own furniture or room acoustics will play a factor in overall sound quality. Contact both companies(Dave and Dina are both great, as I am sure those who work at Arx are), and see if you can purchase a single speaker of each to do an in home comparison(now that I think about it you can get a single speaker from Arx, so that wouldn't be a problem). This is all assuming that you would actually want to go this route in the first place. Again this is just a suggestion, the rest is all up to you. Good luck with finding the right speaker that you will be happy with.

Cliff
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post #16 of 54 Old 04-02-2013, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

The Arx A1bs would be about $50 bucks cheaper a pair compared to the 170SEs so if the sound was a toss up with the one user/review then price might be a good way to break the toss up. You would save probably $100-120ish on the 5 speaker Arx setup compared to the Ascend and still get compariable sound. But seems like Arx or Ascend is a win win really.

Does TAI offer a package discount, though? A set of five CBM-170 SEs would cost $788 before shipping, which comes out to only $157.60 per speaker--still a bit more but much closer than without the discount. I agree that the OP couldn't go wrong either way.
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post #17 of 54 Old 04-02-2013, 04:36 PM
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Audio Insider does charge shipping both ways. Which is fairly typical, most charge a discount rate to ship back though, but i've never shipped any Arx speakers back so I don't know how much. Email Jon Lane using the TAI sales email address.

Using my address, shipping from Nevada/Vegas to Ohio 5 A1b's total would be $867.32, you get 8 different shipping options though. standard which is $100 total all the way to $690 for overnight next morning (eek.gif if you gotta have them that bad) Thats Fedex's real time prices though. I'm sure shipping could vary between higher and lower than that depending on where you at.
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post #18 of 54 Old 04-02-2013, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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When I find some time, I think I need to go out to some audio stores and listen to some of the available in-store options. Yes, it will sound different in my own home, but it is hard for me to pull the trigger on something I've never heard before.

If nothing catches my fancy, then i'll probably go internet direct. It just seems many comparisons with in-store brands are coming up short in direct value comparison with internet direct.
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post #19 of 54 Old 04-02-2013, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

Using my address, shipping from Nevada/Vegas to Ohio 5 A1b's total would be $867.32, you get 8 different shipping options though. standard which is $100 total all the way to $690 for overnight next morning (eek.gif if you gotta have them that bad) Thats Fedex's real time prices though. I'm sure shipping could vary between higher and lower than that depending on where you at.

For comparison, Ascend charges a flat $84 shipping fee for five CBM-170 SEs, which cost $788, for a total cost of $872, so the difference in price between these options is not much, depending somewhat on where you live. The OP could also save $58 by going with the HTM-200 SE for the surrounds, for a total of $814, although he has indicated that he'd prefer to have identical speakers all around, so $872 it is.
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Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

When I find some time, I think I need to go out to some audio stores and listen to some of the available in-store options. Yes, it will sound different in my own home, but it is hard for me to pull the trigger on something I've never heard before.

Be sure to do this--you can't help but learn a few things in the process, and you may find something that you really like.
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Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

If nothing catches my fancy, then i'll probably go internet direct. It just seems many comparisons with in-store brands are coming up short in direct value comparison with internet direct.

I think that this is generally true in this quality-for-price range, although there is always personal preference to account for.

By the way, if you happen to live in Southern California (or will be traveling here for any reason), you could drop by Ascend Acoustics' headquarters in San Clemente for a listen. There may also be folks in your area who would be willing to invite you over to hear their speakers.
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post #20 of 54 Old 04-02-2013, 09:12 PM
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I think either of the Ascend setups would be excellent - 340x3 with 170x2, or the 5x170.

Also think your KEF Q300x5 setup, or a Q300x3 with Q100x2 setup, would be excellent.

You would be very happy with any of those systems ; )


I can't comment on the Arx as I've never heard them.
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post #21 of 54 Old 04-03-2013, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody for your advice.

I went to fry's electronics to audition today. I was very impressed with the pioneer budget set. So much so that I picked up 2 x sp-fs52 towers, 1 x sp-c22 center, and 4 x sp-bs22lr for surround and for my desktop speakers. Wow, listening in person, really helps you decide what to get.

What got me is the smooth highs and it didn't sound boomy, a very nice balanced sound. Voices sounded very nice. The polks there sounded worse to my ears and so did most of the other stuff I listened to. The klipsch reference rc-62, rc-52 sounded unbalanced and the highs annoyed me more than I thought they would. I wanted to compare directly with my past infinity primus towers but somebody smashed in all of the drivers of it. Oh well, from my memory though, I think these pioneers are going to be better. These pioneers were so cheap, I'm very pleased and will use these as a benchmark to compare any future speakers.
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post #22 of 54 Old 04-03-2013, 08:55 PM
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Awesome.

Was the Polks the newest Monitor line or RTi line? I remember the Polk RTi having alot of sssss sound to the tweeters.

Seems like those Pioneers are probably one of the best bang for the buck speakers available. At those prices I might just have to pick up a pair of those towers for each side of the computer desk.
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post #23 of 54 Old 04-03-2013, 09:29 PM
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Yep. The Pioneers are an amazing value. Can't go wrong with those. Now just get yourself a good sub for that big space smile.gif

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post #24 of 54 Old 04-04-2013, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if it was the newest monitor line. I didn't listen to the rti though this time, although I have before and was not impressed. The monitor tweeters sounded more harsh, worse to my ears, and a bit boomy compared to the pioneer. I was thinking of maybe going with a klipsch reference set in the past. I listened for a couple minutes and any interest was shot down. More dynamics is not worth the treble penetrating my head.
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post #25 of 54 Old 04-04-2013, 12:37 AM
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You probably don't need to spend $1500 on speakers. In economics, there is something called diminishing rate of returns. There is a huge difference between $100 and $200 speakers. If you go from $200 to $400, the difference becomes smaller, and so on. If you go from $800 to $1600, there is virtually no difference unless you are a pro or experienced audiophile.

I highly recommend: Energy Take Classic 5.0 speakers ($150-200 at many websites), plus Yamaha SW215 ($200) or SW315 ($250) subwoofer. The sound is silky smooth and natural.

This was my first system, but I was greedy and wanted floorstanding speakers, so I returned the Energy and got some Sony SSF-5000 and Polk CS10 center channel. Not a wise decision....the Sony+Polk combination is not better than the Energy. The sound from Sony is not as crisp. There is no clear advantage except that in movies and games, slamming/gunshots have a more substantial feeling.
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post #26 of 54 Old 04-04-2013, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
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The energy take classics are small satellites that don't reach flat to 80hz. I probably wouldn't like them. If these pioneer's that I just bought didn't at least get usable output to 80hz, then I would have passed.

I just know I will eventually want to spend more money, but only if it sounds better than these pioneers. I don't think spending only a little more will get me much better speakers than these, especially when buying new.
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post #27 of 54 Old 04-17-2013, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought I would update my thread to show off my pioneer speakers, I'm very pleased with them for now. Yes, that is a california king memory foam mattress in the living room, LOL. I find it is super comfortable compared to a sofa. It was suppose to be temporary but I think it will be permanent. Plastic on window will be replaced with drapes sometime. I can't wait to add a ps4. I may add room treatments if I feel it will noticeably improve the sound. Probably will eventually add a subwoofer too.






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post #28 of 54 Old 05-02-2013, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I returned the pioneers and I'm leaning towards getting kef q900 towers and q600c center based on a recent listen at an audio store.

But my concern is my close listening position of 7-8 feet. I hear that towers need room for the drivers to blend in. Should I get smaller kef's instead? The price is not the concern, only sound is important.
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post #29 of 54 Old 05-02-2013, 05:32 PM
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You are rather close. I think having that matching front stage would be ideal. Only problem is with the q300's you would need to sell the other ( or go with a 6.1 system:)) Accessories4less just upped the price of all their kef speakers.
I have auditioned the Ascends and the kefs and currently like the highs of the Kefs more.

Or go with 4 q300s and a 600c. That would sound awesome. I hate the idea of buying a book shelf to just put it on a stand. Logic tells me just buy a tower speaker. But those speakers are pretty capable. I found some q600c on amazon.com in the used section for under $400. so all 5 speakrs would run you $1200.
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post #30 of 54 Old 05-02-2013, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmm, I really want the towers for 2 channel music listening but I will not be moving from this place so I want to get the right size speakers for the room.

How many feet does the q900's need for the drivers to integrate? What about the q700's?
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