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post #1 of 49 Old 05-22-2013, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I am looking for some new speakers and a receiver. I am really overwhelmed by the sheer number of speakers there are to choose from, so any help narrowing down my choices is greatly appreciated. I currently have a sony HTIB but it's only marginally better than my TV speakers.

Budget: $1200 ($1500 absolute max) for speakers and receiver
Room size: 18x15 but it's not very closed
Main use: Music (sometimes I watch movies and TV)

I will be content with a 2.1 setup. I can even pass on the subwoofer if needed. I have seen in other threads that the surrounds don't need to be great so I might use the HTIB surrounds for now. Also, the receiver doesn't need to have any extra features (like network connectivity).

Please let me know what other information I need to provide. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 49 Old 05-22-2013, 07:16 PM
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Need to prioritized/budget. Here would be my recommendations for a av Rec, sub and 2.0 speakers.
Reciever: 200 dollars (I recently got the yamaha v373 for 179.00)
subwoofer: two klipsch subs are great budget subs...the synergy 10 inch and the rd-12 12 inch sub, 180 and 280 dollars when on sale.
Assuming a budget of 1200, that leaves 6-700 dollars for your mains. I would recommend ascend acoust cmt 340 as one possible choice in that range.

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 #3 of 49 Old 05-22-2013, 10:41 PM
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Infinity p363 fronts
Infinity p163 bookshelf center
Infinity p163 surrounds

Subwoofer: klipsch rw-12d or bic f12

Get a receiver with audyssey. Make sure to match the front LCR for smooth transitions.

Surround speaker quality matters a lot to me, others may not care, I prefer direct firing regular bookshelf speakers for surround. Bookshelf center placed vertical for optimal dialogue clarity. Subwoofer should be mandatory. These are all my opinions, you can choose to believe or not.

Here is my setup. Ignore all the wires, yeah it's messy. Also, instead of a couch, get a memory foam mattress so you can relax in full comfort while enjoying supreme 5.1 audio bliss. biggrin.gif


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post #4 of 49 Old 05-23-2013, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Need to prioritized/budget. Here would be my recommendations for a av Rec, sub and 2.0 speakers.
Reciever: 200 dollars (I recently got the yamaha v373 for 179.00)
subwoofer: two klipsch subs are great budget subs...the synergy 10 inch and the rd-12 12 inch sub, 180 and 280 dollars when on sale.
Assuming a budget of 1200, that leaves 6-700 dollars for your mains. I would recommend ascend acoust cmt 340 as one possible choice in that range.

Do you know of a brick and mortar retailer that carries Ascend speakers? I have a best buy and fry's electronics but neither carries any Ascends.
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Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

Infinity p363 fronts
Infinity p163 bookshelf center
Infinity p163 surrounds

Subwoofer: klipsch rw-12d or bic f12

Get a receiver with audyssey. Make sure to match the front LCR for smooth transitions.

Surround speaker quality matters a lot to me, others may not care, I prefer direct firing regular bookshelf speakers for surround. Bookshelf center placed vertical for optimal dialogue clarity. Subwoofer should be mandatory. These are all my opinions, you can choose to believe or not.

Here is my setup. Ignore all the wires, yeah it's messy. Also, instead of a couch, get a memory foam mattress so you can relax in full comfort while enjoying supreme 5.1 audio bliss. biggrin.gif

Thanks. I will go listen to these sometime this weekend and report back. Are there any other speakers that I should compare with these in the same price range?
Also, are surrounds mandatory? I think I am going to buy the surrounds later unless they are absolutely necessary.

So is audyssey a calibration feature? The yamaha suggested above doesn't have it but it has something called "ypao". Is it equivalent?
I looked at Denon receivers and the lowest one that has audyssey is $300.

So it looks like approximately:
200 - 300 for the receiver
200 - 350 for the sub
~700 for the speakers
Is that about right?
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post #5 of 49 Old 05-23-2013, 01:30 PM
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+1 on csgamer's suggestions. That is what I would do. Ypao will work as well in place of Audyssey, although it might not be quite as good as Audyssey.
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post #6 of 49 Old 05-23-2013, 01:47 PM
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Also I forgot to mention with audyssey. Get I think minimum audyssey mult xt. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong on the naming. The reason being it will also calibrate a single subwoofer. I have not used ypao but I find audyssey fantastic with my setup. It is a requirement for me.
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post #7 of 49 Old 05-23-2013, 01:51 PM
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Nothing is mandatory. For me I need full 5.1 in my listening area to be fully satisfied. Some are satisfied with 2.0 stereo.

I have not found a direct competition for the primus speakers at its price point. I think you would have to pay a lot more to get better than the p363.
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post #8 of 49 Old 05-23-2013, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Sounds good. I will listen to the p363 this weekend if possible.
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post #9 of 49 Old 05-23-2013, 02:39 PM
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At Best Buy listen to the Pioneer Andrew Jones line of speakers. Cheap, but considered good bang for your buck speakers (fs52 tower, bs22 surround). The aforementioned Infinity Primus is another good budget line of speakers. Fry's will often have bundled specials with Polk speakers, worth looking at. Any avr you get will have some form of room correction software (ypao, mcacc, or audyssey). A sub really helps. Hopefully NewEgg will get more of the Klipsch rw-12d in stock. You don't have to get the full 5.1 to begin with. I'm running 2.1 and I'm happy. If you get a center channel make sure it is from the same line as the fronts. It's called timbre matching and you want it. Coming from HTIB, anything you get will be an improvement. Do try and listen to your speakers before buying. There are many reputable speaker mfg's that sell only online, but with very good return policies. One, Aperion, which is highly rated, offers 30 days and free shipping both ways.
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post #10 of 49 Old 05-23-2013, 03:08 PM
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Make sure to remove the grilles on the p363 to check if the drivers and tweeter has been intentionally damaged by jealous competitors. I have been to two different stores where I saw this.
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post #11 of 49 Old 05-23-2013, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crn3371 View Post

At Best Buy listen to the Pioneer Andrew Jones line of speakers. Cheap, but considered good bang for your buck speakers (fs52 tower, bs22 surround). The aforementioned Infinity Primus is another good budget line of speakers. Fry's will often have bundled specials with Polk speakers, worth looking at. Any avr you get will have some form of room correction software (ypao, mcacc, or audyssey). A sub really helps. Hopefully NewEgg will get more of the Klipsch rw-12d in stock. You don't have to get the full 5.1 to begin with. I'm running 2.1 and I'm happy. If you get a center channel make sure it is from the same line as the fronts. It's called timbre matching and you want it. Coming from HTIB, anything you get will be an improvement. Do try and listen to your speakers before buying. There are many reputable speaker mfg's that sell only online, but with very good return policies. One, Aperion, which is highly rated, offers 30 days and free shipping both ways.

I'm not a fan of polk monitors and rti. Listened to them on multiple occasions, they never impressed me. Tweeters seemed harsh as well.

I tried out the pioneers but found them to be inferior to the infinity primus. The difference in dynamics between the two towers is substantial. Midrange is much better on the primus p363 as well. Much better midbass punch. I was also hear annoying sibilance in the pioneer tweeters which I could not get rid of with EQ or audyssey. The MTM horizontal pioneer center is so much worse than the vertical bookshelf p163. Vocal clarity is off the charts with a vertical p163 bookshelf on axis and off axis.


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post #12 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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So I went to Fry's yesterday and I will post details about which speakers I listened to later today.

I listened to the p363 and it sounded pretty good. But I saw Klipsch rf62 II for around the same price and it sounded better to me. Any comments on that?
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post #13 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samsoundar16 View Post

So I went to Fry's yesterday and I will post details about which speakers I listened to later today.

I listened to the p363 and it sounded pretty good. But I saw Klipsch rf62 II for around the same price and it sounded better to me. Any comments on that?

Klipsch have exagerated (overly bright) highs due to the horns which sound good to some people while being completely obnoxious to others. If they sound good to you, go for it. It doesn't really matter how they sound to others.

Since I just told you that my opnion doesn't matter, I'll give it to you. wink.gif I think that Klipsch speakers sound great for movies, but I can't take them for music which is a deal breaker for me.
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post #14 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 12:16 PM
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I have heard the Ascends and the Infinity primus line. The primus line is fine, but they won't hold a candle to the Ascend Acoust CMT340! However a p363 pair cost the same or less than a single CMT340, so it isn't a fair fight. The Ascends will have to be ordered and home auditioned, but they have a 30 day, no question return policy- you may have to pay shipping one way or the other, however.

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 #15 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 12:25 PM
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I would be interested in a comparison with ascend 340 and p363. I might have taken a chance on ascend if they had cmt towers. TheSierra towers would have blown my budget. I prefer towers for my front pair.
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post #16 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 01:16 PM
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Th Infinity's have always been a favourite of mine. Something about the way they produce the sound is just unreal. I really like them for the price.
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post #17 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tampa frank View Post

Klipsch have exagerated (overly bright) highs due to the horns which sound good to some people while being completely obnoxious to others. If they sound good to you, go for it. It doesn't really matter how they sound to others.

Since I just told you that my opnion doesn't matter, I'll give it to you. wink.gif I think that Klipsch speakers sound great for movies, but I can't take them for music which is a deal breaker for me.

I did notice that the highs were a bit annoying. I listened to a movie that the salesman had. I think I will go there again with a CD.
Also I read on different forums that a lot of folks don't like the "Klipsch sound". They did have a distinct difference from other speakers. But I haven't decided if I like that or not yet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

I have heard the Ascends and the Infinity primus line. The primus line is fine, but they won't hold a candle to the Ascend Acoust CMT340! However a p363 pair cost the same or less than a single CMT340, so it isn't a fair fight. The Ascends will have to be ordered and home auditioned, but they have a 30 day, no question return policy- you may have to pay shipping one way or the other, however.

So there is no store that carries the Ascends? I think it is a big hassle returning stuff online but it may not be with these guys. I will have to think about it.

On the subject of the budget:
I see the infinity primus p363 on amazon for $400 / pair and the ascend cmt340 for $500 / pair. I think my allotment for speakers was around $700. Is there really not much improvement going from $500 to $700. I can even adjust my budget higher to accommodate a $1000 pair of speakers. Or is my money better spent elsewhere?

Also, are there "standard" audio tracks that people audition speakers with (I saw a lot of mentions of Hotel California by the Eagles)? Or should I audition with what I usually listen to?
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post #18 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samsoundar16 View Post

I did notice that the highs were a bit annoying. I listened to a movie that the salesman had. I think I will go there again with a CD.
Also I read on different forums that a lot of folks don't like the "Klipsch sound". They did have a distinct difference from other speakers. But I haven't decided if I like that or not yet.
So there is no store that carries the Ascends? I think it is a big hassle returning stuff online but it may not be with these guys. I will have to think about it.

On the subject of the budget:
I see the infinity primus p363 on amazon for $400 / pair and the ascend cmt340 for $500 / pair. I think my allotment for speakers was around $700. Is there really not much improvement going from $500 to $700. I can even adjust my budget higher to accommodate a $1000 pair of speakers. Or is my money better spent elsewhere?

Also, are there "standard" audio tracks that people audition speakers with (I saw a lot of mentions of Hotel California by the Eagles)? Or should I audition with what I usually listen to?

The internet direct companies (Acsend, Hsu, etc) offer in home trials, so returning shouldn't be a hassle.

Make sure to consider the cost of the stands when comparing bookshelf speakers to towers. The Ascend stands are an additional $140.

I like Dark Side of the Moon to try speakers out, but I guess that it really depends on what you listen to. Try the speakers with music that you are very familiar with.
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post #19 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok. I will add that $140 into the cost.
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Originally Posted by tampa frank View Post

The internet direct companies (Acsend, Hsu, etc) offer in home trials, so returning shouldn't be a hassle.

I looked at their return policy and it says that the customer is responsible for both initial shipping and return shipping. Initial shipping is $40 and if you assume return shipping is about the same, that's $80 to audition the speakers. Still worth it?

I really don't mind buying online. I do it all the time. But I am sure I want to keep the product.
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post #20 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 01:58 PM
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For the most part the best deals are from the internet direct companies. While you are responsible for shipping both ways what they offer for the price is phenomenal.
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post #21 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 02:20 PM
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What ID towers are good values? How are they compared to infinity p363, revel f12, and kef q900 at their respective price points?

Anybody have any comparisons?
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post #22 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 02:24 PM
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I find p363 unbeatable at its price point for tower pairs under $400
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post #23 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 02:34 PM
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For awhile, Fry's had the p363 for 100/speaker. Now that was an unbelievable bargain!

It would appear that Ascend does indeed ask you to pay return shipping for their products, which i guess you cannot really blame them!

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 #24 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 02:51 PM
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Yeah for that price, it is the best audio deal. I think I'm going to have to shell out a lot more money for significant improvement
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post #25 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 03:50 PM
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If you want an ID speaker mfg with good return policy try Aperion. 30 days, and they pay shipping both ways. Highly regarded speakers too.
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post #26 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 05:08 PM
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If you want simple and cheap and decent sounding with tons of features...Energy Take Classic 5.1 and a Onkyo TX-NR616. I've got that set up in my 12'x22' family room with 20 foot ceilings. The Takes go on sale for $299 from the usual $399 and the 616 goes down to $329 now that the 2013 replacement 626 is on sale. The 616 has the second lowest Audyssey being 2eq and is the victim of some early firmware plus HDMI issues. Some of the issues have lingered for some owners and not others and so that avr has a rep of heavy on features and poor on reliability. Many of us though apparently got ones made on a Wednesday with no issues. If you get a good one and can live with 2EQ it is a decent avr.
Pull up a bunch of receivers and do a side by side to the 616 at $329. My short list of AVR's had several far more expensive receivers and I kept coming back to the 616. I had fully expected to have to spend a lot more $ on the AVR.
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post #27 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 10:05 PM
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Going by this statement :
Quote:
Main use: Music (sometimes I watch movies and TV)

......personally I recommend:

* staying away from "bright" sounding speakers. To my ears this would include brands like Polk Audio & Klipsch. Why? Because much modern music & many remasters of older music seems to be recorded with exaggerated higher frequencies (to help overcome the deficiencies of cheap earbuds and low-bitrate MP3 files?) plus the widespread use of overcompression can make this even worse, so bright-sounding speakers simply makes all that even worse i.e. irritating/tiring/unnatural.

* sticking with matching, or at least similar-sounding, surround speakers. Dissimilar-sounding front/rear speakers can prevent a proper surround soundfield from forming, significantly reducing the "suspension of disbelief" effect a home theater is supposed to create.

* staying away from speakers with tiny woofers (a single 4" and below). Personally I would not use a speaker with anything smaller than a 6.5" woofer, or 5.25" at the absolute smallest. Anything smaller and imo music will sound thin/unconvincing/lack punch.

As far as network connectivity is concerned: the amount of great music out there in streaming form on the 'net is mind-blowing (there's literally thousands of stations to choose from), much better IMO than what most commercial radio stations offer with their stale, formulaic & "safe" music offerings. So for me anyway, network connectivity is almost mandatory!* smile.gif



* there's standalone audio streamers available too, like this one
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post #28 of 49 Old 05-24-2013, 10:23 PM
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Everybody's different you may love the klipsch for music. However I prefer my p363 over klipsch reference and Polk rti. They both have harsh tweets especially the klipsch. I would probably go revel f12 or kef q900 if spending a little more.

However I'm still interested in hearing some Polk lsim and klipsch heritage. People seem to love the heritage. Haven't heard them myself.
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post #29 of 49 Old 05-25-2013, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

Yeah for that price, it is the best audio deal. I think I'm going to have to shell out a lot more money for significant improvement
I understand that the p363 is a great value product but are you really saying that there's nothing better for even double the price?
Also, those pioneers in that picture you posted was on sale for $150/pair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crn3371 View Post

If you want an ID speaker mfg with good return policy try Aperion. 30 days, and they pay shipping both ways. Highly regarded speakers too.
Thanks. I will check these out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkust View Post

If you want simple and cheap and decent sounding with tons of features...Energy Take Classic 5.1 and a Onkyo TX-NR616. I've got that set up in my 12'x22' family room with 20 foot ceilings. The Takes go on sale for $299 from the usual $399 and the 616 goes down to $329 now that the 2013 replacement 626 is on sale. The 616 has the second lowest Audyssey being 2eq and is the victim of some early firmware plus HDMI issues. Some of the issues have lingered for some owners and not others and so that avr has a rep of heavy on features and poor on reliability. Many of us though apparently got ones made on a Wednesday with no issues. If you get a good one and can live with 2EQ it is a decent avr.
Pull up a bunch of receivers and do a side by side to the 616 at $329. My short list of AVR's had several far more expensive receivers and I kept coming back to the 616. I had fully expected to have to spend a lot more $ on the AVR.
I see a Denon AVR-1713 for $340 on amazon and it has MultEQ XT. Otherwise the 616 looks pretty equivalent to my untrained eye. Anything else I should consider?
I understand the energy takes are probably good value, but I don't mind going beyond the point of diminishing returns to get something marginally better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donutfan View Post

Going by this statement :
......personally I recommend:

* staying away from "bright" sounding speakers. To my ears this would include brands like Polk Audio & Klipsch. Why? Because much modern music & many remasters of older music seems to be recorded with exaggerated higher frequencies (to help overcome the deficiencies of cheap earbuds and low-bitrate MP3 files?) plus the widespread use of overcompression can make this even worse, so bright-sounding speakers simply makes all that even worse i.e. irritating/tiring/unnatural.

* sticking with matching, or at least similar-sounding, surround speakers. Dissimilar-sounding front/rear speakers can prevent a proper surround soundfield from forming, significantly reducing the "suspension of disbelief" effect a home theater is supposed to create.

* staying away from speakers with tiny woofers (a single 4" and below). Personally I would not use a speaker with anything smaller than a 6.5" woofer, or 5.25" at the absolute smallest. Anything smaller and imo music will sound thin/unconvincing/lack punch.

As far as network connectivity is concerned: the amount of great music out there in streaming form on the 'net is mind-blowing (there's literally thousands of stations to choose from), much better IMO than what most commercial radio stations offer with their stale, formulaic & "safe" music offerings. So for me anyway, network connectivity is almost mandatory!* smile.gif



* there's standalone audio streamers available too, like this one
Thanks for your recommendations. I have a bunch of other devices that stream music but sometimes it doesn't really save you money to not a have feature. From looking around, it looks like a lot of the decent receivers have network streaming.

I also want to try out those ascend speakers but I am very hesitant about paying $80 for auditioning (if I return it). Perhaps I can ask on craigslist and someone will let me listen to their speakers.
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post #30 of 49 Old 05-25-2013, 01:05 PM
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The p363 are the best towers I have heard under $500 a pair. To get a solid improvement I think I need to spend over $1000 a pair.

If somebody has heard anything better which I can listen to locally for under $500/pair, then I'm all ears.
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Yamaha Rx V373 5 1 Channel Av Receiver , Infinity Primus P363 Three Way Dual Infinity Floor Standing Speaker , Infinity Primus Two Way 6 1 2 Inch Bookshelf Satellite Speaker , Klipsch Rw 12d 12 Subwoofer Each , Bic America F12 12 Inch 475 Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer
Gear in this thread - P363 by PriceGrabber.com

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