$10K Home Audio System - All planned... feedback and suggestions? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 91 Old 04-05-2013, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone,

My first post in this community. smile.gif I initially posted this in error in the UK forum, that post contains the equipment links.

I'm taking my time to plan a new home audio system and I'm at a point where I would enjoy knowledgeable advice / critics about my choices so far... So I'm inviting feedback: would there be better alternatives to some or all of the choices made below? Approx budget is $10K.

***********************

The starting point: I already have a Niles SI-1260 and I'm leaving TV's out of the planning (already have it). I want to enjoy home cinema 5.1 in the living room, powerful and musical audio in the basement and solid quality music outdoors, therefore 3 zones. I also wish to minimize the need for in-wall wiring so I would consider wireless only if convinced that it would not be too detrimental to the quality of the music.

Most of the music played will be from an iTunes Library (which currently resides on my PC) and Pandora. I now understand the value of encoding lossless so I plan to re-rip my CD's in Apple lossless and do same in the future! Unfortunately that will leave out a lot of my music that is encoded in mp3...

So... choices follow. All prices are approx.

***********************

Rack: need to keep it all tidy, tucked away and cool so it seems a rack would work and with all the equipment 36U gets used up quickly... I was thinking Sanus CFR2136 ($1,200 for the basic rack) plus rack accessories (rack power & thermostat supply $250 / temperature display $120 / about three fans each $120 - 1U or 3U - total $360 / power conditioner Belkin Power Console PF60 $200 and I know there is lots of debate whether power conditioners are useful or not)

Amp: Niles SI-1260 (already have it no purchase needed so this unit does not count towards the $10K budget). This amp (12 channels 60W each / 2 channels can be bridged to obtain 120W) can accept two distinct pre-amp bus inputs and/or a per-channel distinct preamp input

AV Receiver: Denon AVR-3313Cl ($1,300) - I like: Zone 1 powered 7:2 outputs even if I only want a 5.1 speaker system; assignable zone 2 and 3 pre-amp outputs (which nicely corresponds to the Niles two pre-amp bus inputs); Audyssey Speaker calibration with included setup microphone; Denon iPhone Remote control app; lots of HDMI inputs; reasonably future-proof as in 4D video upscaling etc.

iTunes Server and NAS: thinking that by adding a Network Attached Storage (NAS) to the mix I can achieve many goals in one shot: iTunes server on the home network and backup solution for all houseold members. So... I'm thinking Synology RS812 ($620) which has an iTunes server solution, NAS in a RAID5 configuration with 4 hard disks ($520) because it will also serve as a home office / household backup solution. Since I need an iTunes client to control what music I'm listening to and I don't want to use my own laptop for this, I think I need a dedicated PC for this, I was thinking to use a basic rack mount PC for this (like the SuperLogics SL-1U-2500HN-GC only criteria here is rack form factor ideally 1U) and I can control that iTunes client with the "Remote" iPhone app. Assuming I'm playing Apple lossless music from that computer, from what I've crash-learned in the last two weeks it seems a quality Digital to Audio Converter (DAC) is also needed?

DAC: Meridien Explorer ($300) seems to fit my needs. I understand I will need to get a third party USB Class 2 audio driver for the PC iTunes client (I think?). One thing I don't understand is what concerns should I have, if any, if I have lots of music in the iTunes library that is encoded differently?

Blu-Ray Player: I like LG BP620 ($180) because it can do many different things that I want to do: stream internet content (I assume including Pandora), access photos / videos on USB storage devices, access files on PC / smartphone via wifi, etc.

***********************

Now... for speakers. I am looking for hifi musical experience in a reasonable price range. Bass / looks matter. So... choices so far follow.

Home Theatre 5.1: Fluance ESTHB System ($750) - a 5.0 system -- I prefer to buy the sub separately: Hsu VTF-1 MK2 ($507). The criticism I heard about Fluance ES1 speakers is their lack of bass below 150 Hz but since I have that sub I'm not too worried.

Basement Audio: 2 pairs of Fluance ES1 ($900) (4 speakers that I would each bi-amp needing a total of 8 channels from the Niles Amp) + 1 mid bass sub Hsu MBM-12 MK2 ($500) + 1 true sub Hsu VTF-15H ($880). To bring the signal to the subs, I was thinking of using a quality, metal only RCA splitter on the pre-amp Zone 2 output, 1 for a high-pass filter ($100) onwards to the Niles Amp Bus 1 input (servicing the 4 speakers in the basement) and the other to a wireless transmitter Nyrius 5.8 GHz ($85). The wireless receiver, in the basement, would have RCA quality metal splitters allowing the signal to get to both subs (mid-bass and true bass)

Outdoor Audio: I hesitate between using powered speakers with a wireless transmitter (similar to above) but haven't found a good quality / price ratio for such outdoor speakers... But am open to suggestions! I don't like the idea (and the work) of going through the outside wall to run speaker wires. If I have to, the other option is passive speakers: Pyle Audio PDWR63 ($185) (pair powered by 4 bridged Amp channel total 120W per bridged channel each speaker). Now... If I want to really annoy the neighbours I could add an outdoor sub SpeakerCraft BoomTomb ($550) which means I have to add a dedicated amp in my rack SpeakerCraft Bass Power 250 ($955). This means the Preamp Zone 3 output would be to a quality metal only RCA splitter, 1 output to the Niles Amp Bus 2 input (servicing the outdoor speaker pair) and the other to the outdoor sub amp.

***********************

There remains cabling. I don't mind terminating the speaker wires (buying direct from Jeans Cable for example) myself with banana plugs (Sewell Silverback). I understand that a distinct cable is better for subwoofers. To choose the AWG, I read an article that lead me to think a lot of people appear to be overestimating their AWG requirements..?!

From the numerous articles I read on topic, it does not appear that bi-wiring is worth it. I understand the theory behind it, but real life tests are far from conclusive...

Incidentally I plan to use raceways instead of inwall wiring, such as these.

***********************

Thoughts... Suggestions... Ideas? Anything else I should consider so that this sytem has increased "future-proof" potential?

Random thoughts: I do not have a separate CD player because I thought the Blu-Ray player could handle the occasional CD. I really like that the receiver and iTunes have iPhone apps to control them (a must for me - I don't want to get into IR receivers etc.). I am wondering if it is better to ask an electrician to have a separate, powerful enough circuit in the house to service clean noiseless power outlets dedicated to all AV and speaker equipment (better than buying this Belkin power conditioner). I wonder if my lesser mp3 quality in iTunes will still play ok with this setup. And most of all... I wonder if there is some kind of cat/dog repellant spray I can use on my speakers so they don't get chewed off or scratched by my cat and my dog!!

For those that made it here... thanks wink.gif
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post #2 of 91 Old 04-05-2013, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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the UK forum post with equipment links:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/speakers/1761903-10k-home-audio-system-all-planned-feedback-suggestions.html
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post #3 of 91 Old 04-05-2013, 09:35 AM
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If I were putting together a 10K system, I'd have much better speakers than Fluance.
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post #4 of 91 Old 04-05-2013, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Electra Glide - ok; so where would you "cut" and what speakers would you get?
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post #5 of 91 Old 04-05-2013, 10:08 AM
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Speakers: KEF, Revel, Monitor Audio, ATC, PMC, NHT, Ascend, Salk, Focal, PSB, Dynaudio, etc.

Subwoofers: HSU is a fine choice. Here are some subs comparisons:

From Audioholics & Data-bass, CEA Standard 2 Meters SPL @ 32/40/50/63 Hz:

$1,200 B&W ASW-610XP: 96.1/101.5/105.9/108.9
$700 Emotiva X-Ref 12: 99.1/103.5/107.6/108.5
$1,600 Klipsch SW-311: 102.6/105.3/108.6/111.4
$769 SVS PB12-NSD: 105.9/106.5/107.3/108.0
$300 BIC PL-200: 102.5/107.7/110.4/108.1 (HSU STF-2 clone)
$4,000 Velodyne DD15+: 102.0/109.0/109.0/112.0
$900 Aperion Bravus II 12D: 105.3/109.8/112.6/112.2
$879 Velodyne EQ-MAX15: 104.2/110.0/114.2/114.8
$1,200 RBH SX-12: 108/111.1/113.7/112.7
$650 Outlaw LFM-1EX: 110.7/112.3/113.7/113.8
$800 Power Sound XV15: 109.6/113.7/116.6/114.7
$1,200 SVS PB12+: 111.5/114.3/115.3/115.3
$800 Epik Empire: 109.7/113.2/116.4/119.2
$1,700 Funk FW12X: 112.4/114.0/113.9/113.1
$9,000 Paradigm Sig Sub2: 109.9/113.2/116.9/120.2
$2,200 JL Audio F112: 112.4/116.2/113.3/117.6
$900 Hsu VTF-15H: 113.0/115.7/115.7/115.6
$5,000 Velodyne DD18+: 113.0/115.8/116.8/115.3
$2,000 SVS PB13 Ultra: 115.5/117.5/117.8/116.6
$1,100 Chase HT VS18.1: 116.0/118.1/117.8/117.2
$1,200 Rythmik FV15HP: 117.0/119.5/119.1/118.8
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post #6 of 91 Old 04-05-2013, 11:09 AM
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^ What he said. I would spend less money on the electronics to put more into the speakers and sub or subs. I'd get a Denon 4311, the OPPO $500 model blu-ray player, and they would make a killer front end combo for a little less than $1500.
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post #7 of 91 Old 04-05-2013, 11:23 AM
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I don't think you need to buy a separate DAC. Put that money into speakers/ AVR. The DAC inside AVRs like the Denon 4311 & 3313 are high quality.

For BD players, I recommend the $130 Sony S590, which plays BD, DVD, CD, & SACD, but not DVD-Audio if that is a requirement. Just bitstream via HDMI to a high quality AVR, like a Denon 4311 or even 3313.

The Sony S590 also streams 1080p & 5.1 Dolby Digital for both Netflix & Amazon video. The OPPO and most BD players cannot stream Amazon video, and those that can stream Amazon Video can only stream 2.0 Audio, not 5.1 DD. The S590 also streams Vudu, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora, and other channels.
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post #8 of 91 Old 04-05-2013, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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great stuff!! many thanks. am now researching a lot of what has been posted above. In that process I also came across these (intriguing) speakers: Magnepan Magneplanar... I never saw or heard such speakers... Have to wonder how they would be?!
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post #9 of 91 Old 04-05-2013, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fidelis1970 View Post

great stuff!! many thanks. am now researching a lot of what has been posted above. In that process I also came across these (intriguing) speakers: Magnepan Magneplanar... I never saw or heard such speakers... Have to wonder how they would be?!

Speakers are personal preference. It is recommended that you audition first before buying.
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post #10 of 91 Old 04-09-2013, 03:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fidelis1970 View Post

great stuff!! many thanks. am now researching a lot of what has been posted above. In that process I also came across these (intriguing) speakers: Magnepan Magneplanar... I never saw or heard such speakers... Have to wonder how they would be?!

Magnepan MG12's sound great and for $1200 its a steal. Magnepan 1.7's are about 6' tall but sound better for 2k. You could also audition Martin Logan Electromotion ESL's,which I have,they are also around 2k but look a lot nicer than the maggies. Both type of speakers will excel in music and home theater.. Its a diff sound than a typical box speaker,either you like the sound or you don't.
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post #11 of 91 Old 04-09-2013, 03:41 PM
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I auditioned some martin logans a few years ago and the sound was amazing. Their mids and highs were pristine. I have heard some talk on the martin logan forums and other forums that their drivers are not as well built as they used to be and have had issues.

Another problem with electrostats is their positional requirements. They have a very small sweet spot and require very high qualty amps because of their very low impedance dips. Im not sure if I would use them for ht for these reasons. For music and a single seat however, they are very nice.
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post #12 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 08:02 AM
 
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You should probably watch this.. Cause most of that isn't true. There is nothing wrong with their drivers. I assume your talking about the motion 40's..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCodk1tN4GI
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post #13 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 08:18 AM
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I recommend the Klipsch THX Ultra2:

"...The relative flatness of the response curves (particularly with the KL-650 & KL-525s) underscores the tonally balanced & sonically accurate presentation of this very impressive system. It's easy to see how the musicalness (ability to accurately render the timbre of individual instruments) of the system is as outstanding as it is...

The THX Ultra2 is simply amazing in terms of sheer musicalness, its ability to deliver exceptional dynamics and clean, unadulterated detail. It's a system that proves once and for all you can bring, in an authentic way, the big-screen cinema sound experience to your home. It will again and again surprise you in ways that define the exceptional listening experience. The Klipsch Ultra2 THX 7.1 home theater system gives the consumer the opportunity to reap the benefits of a product built on 60 years of engineering expertise and technological refinement all in a package that can fit into your home theater.

With the THX Ultra2, Klipsch have managed to carry forward decades of home & professional cinema sound experience and bundle it all into one brilliantly executed system. If you're ready to move up to a THX Ultra2 system and plan on making the rounds of all your local audio salons with audition list in hand, put this system at the top of that list. You'll save yourself an awful lot of audition time."


http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/satellite/klipsch-thx-ultra2/page-5

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/satellite/klipsch-thx-ultra2/page-6
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post #14 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 08:30 AM
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His whole budget is 10K and just that speaker system is 12K.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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He's not spending 10k just on speakers. I'm guessing you have heard those Acudef? If your looking to make your ears bleed from piercing highs these speakers will produce,go for it. I've never thought most movie theaters sounded that great. Way too loud and bright.. That's just my opinion of course..
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post

His whole budget is 10K and just that speaker system is 12K.

Try $5,945 for 5.0 system.

http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/core/search.cfm

KL-650 @ $1499 x 3 = $4497
KL-525 @ $1249 x 2 = $2498
Total = $6995

15% Coupon Code: TV15

Total Minus Coupon = $5,945.75 for 5.0 speakers
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post #17 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 08:57 AM
 
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Lets take a poll and see how many guys would spend 5K on Klipsch... I doubt you would even buy them..rolleyes.gif
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post #18 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 09:11 AM
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AcuDefTechGuy is having a hard enough time figuring out which speakers he should use in his own system. biggrin.gif

I'm never quite seen someone have so many different pairs of front speakers.

My Gear:

JTR Noesis 228HT (LCR)
Axiom Audio QS8 surrounds
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Pioneer VSX-21TXH
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post #19 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goat1 View Post

He's not spending 10k just on speakers. I'm guessing you have heard those Acudef? If your looking to make your ears bleed from piercing highs these speakers will produce,go for it. I've never thought most movie theaters sounded that great. Way too loud and bright.. That's just my opinion of course..

I have not heard those THX Ultra2 models, but I have heard other Klipsch models.

I trust Audioholics reviews more than I trust any other reviews or hearsay from forums. biggrin.gif

The Klipsch KL-650 & KL-525 MEASURE EXTREMELY ACCURATELY confirmed by 3rd party (Audioholics).

I can't say the same thing about MOST of the speakers mentioned around forums that are supposedly "great" but have ABSOLUTELY no proof of any kind such as real 3rd party confirmed measurements! biggrin.gif

I already own way too many speakers, but I may collect a pair of THX Ultra2 KL-650 speakers since they measure SO ACCURATELY by credible 3rd party.
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post #20 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Try $5,945 for 5.0 system.

http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/core/search.cfm

KL-650 @ $1499 x 3 = $4497
KL-525 @ $1249 x 2 = $2498
Total = $6995

15% Coupon Code: TV15

Total Minus Coupon = $5,945.75 for 5.0 speakers

Are a better option:

Noesis 228HT @ $1199 x 3 = $3597
Single 8's @ $899 x 2 = $1798
Total = $5395

5% discount for buy four or more pieces

Total minus 5% discount = $5125.25

I think you'll find a far longer list of guys willing to spend that kind of money on JTR speakers then you would on a Klipsch Ultra2 setup. Well at least the ones that actually read up on speakers and do research on them instead of just walking into a big box store to buy speakers.

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Axiom Audio QS8 surrounds
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post #21 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 09:25 AM
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I second the upgrade to the Denon 4311. I purchased mine under $1,200 from an authorized online dealer -- you have to haggle a bit. The Sony player someone recommended above looks like a fine choice as well, I'm thinking about getting that same one.
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post #22 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goat1 View Post

Lets take a poll and see how many guys would spend 5K on Klipsch... I doubt you would even buy them..rolleyes.gif

How would you feel if others said the same of YOUR speakers?

Others who believe that ACCURATELY MEASURED speakers sound A LOT better?
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post #23 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 09:33 AM
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LOL.... I wouldn't be bothered by it, especially knowing that there are other JTR owners that have ACTUALLY owned and heard the Ultra2 setup and said the JTR's were better.

You preach about measurements but like many other have pointed out, you haven't even done any measurements in your own room.

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post #24 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahjd2000 View Post

I second the upgrade to the Denon 4311. I purchased mine under $1,200 from an authorized online dealer -- you have to haggle a bit. The Sony player someone recommended above looks like a fine choice as well, I'm thinking about getting that same one.

The new Sony BD are the S1100/3100/5100.

These & the S590 will bitstream DD 5.1 for Amazon Video & DD+ 5.1 for Netflix, but they will not bitstream DTS-HD/ TrueHD on BD (they can internally decode & send PCM via HDMI).

Good thing I already own the Denon DBP-4010UD player for BD. I'm using the Sony BDP just for streaming Netflix & Amazon in DD+/DD 5.1 1080P.

The Denon 4311 is top notch for sure.
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post #25 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 09:46 AM
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LOL.... I wouldn't be bothered by it, especially knowing that there are other JTR owners that have ACTUALLY owned and heard the Ultra2 setup and said the JTR's were better.

You preach about measurements but like many other have pointed out, you haven't even done any measurements in your own room.

First, hearsay. Who cares about hearsay?

Second, hearsay again. Who cares again about hearsay? Pure 100% bias opinions that mean absolutely nothing.

Oh, geez, my friends think their BOSE sound better than JTR or MarinLogan! eek.gif Who cares about hearsay?

Third, nobody cares how they measure in MY ROOM. They want to know the BASELINE NEUTRAL measurement of the speakers. That's how good the speakers CAN SOUND!

If they can sound great in a neutral room (baseline), they could also potentially sound great in other people's room.

If they measure like CRAP in a neutral room, how do you expect them to sound great in a lesser room that is not as neutral or well-treated? eek.gif

Who cares about hearsay? Back it up with real BASELINE NEUTRAL measurements!
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post #26 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 10:01 AM
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LOL..... you claim hearsay yet you yourself are recommending speakers you've never heard over a brand that people have switched from and have said were a step up rolleyes.gif

At least I have say I have people that have switched from Ultra2 to JTR's and preferred the JTR's. Can you make the same claim about that going the other way?
I'm sure any moment you'll start to make claims that Seaton speakers can't be nearly as good at Klipsch speakers because there's no measurements around to look at and anyone's opinion is just hearsay rolleyes.gif

My Gear:

JTR Noesis 228HT (LCR)
Axiom Audio QS8 surrounds
Sherbourn PA 7-350
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post #27 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 10:05 AM
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There's two upcoming GTG's and thread for both of them, why don't you ask in either of those threads how many would take an Ultra2 setup over a JTR or Seaton setup just solely based on the fact that there is measurements for the Ultra2 but not for Seaton or JTR speakers.

For the record I have never said the Ultra2 isn't a great setup, I even considered one for my theater. You on the other hand claim that just because there's no measurements on the JTR speakers there's no way they can sound as good as the Ultra2 stuff yet others have switched from them to JTR speakers and said the JTR speakers were better.

But of course that's all hearsay rolleyes.gif

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post #28 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Try $5,945 for 5.0 system.

http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/core/search.cfm

KL-650 @ $1499 x 3 = $4497
KL-525 @ $1249 x 2 = $2498
Total = $6995

15% Coupon Code: TV15

Total Minus Coupon = $5,945.75 for 5.0 speakers
That's definitely in his budget range but I wholeheartedly agree that the Noesis fronts w/single 8 sides will be quite a bit better for less $. If the Trip 8's can keep up with or surpass the Klipsch, then the Noesis line steps it up to a whole new level.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #29 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

How would you feel if others said the same of YOUR speakers?

Others who believe that ACCURATELY MEASURED speakers sound A LOT better?

Apparently you do not believe that accuracy sounds better or you would sell your B&W's.

I own Klipsch KG's and probably would not swap. OTH, if I had Klipsch Ultra's I would trade for the JTR's.

I only care that a speaker sounds good to me, regardless of how it measures. I also do not like room correction that AVR's incorporate. Too sterile sounding.
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post #30 of 91 Old 04-10-2013, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post

Apparently you do not believe that accuracy sounds better or you would sell your B&W's.

I own Klipsch KG's and probably would not swap. OTH, if I had Klipsch Ultra's I would trade for the JTR's.

I only care that a speaker sounds good to me, regardless of how it measures. I also do not like room correction that AVR's incorporate. Too sterile sounding.
I've always been really interested in the KG series and want to snag a used pair to see what all the fuss is about.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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