3k budget for LR Fronts & center - AVS Forum
Speakers > 3k budget for LR Fronts & center
Lablatz's Avatar Lablatz 02:35 PM 06-13-2013
I have approximately a 3K budget for new fronts and a center. Usage = 65% Movie, 35% Music.

Current set up is Marantz SR6003 receiver, Athena FS2 fronts, Athena CS1 center, Boston Acoustics PV 600 sub.

I recently tried the Aperion Grand Towers and Center speakers and was extremely disappointed despite all the great reviews. The Aperion Grand Towers sounded NO BETTER than my Athenas. However the Aperion center was much better.

I have found that lots of speaker sound great for movies, but fall short with music.

Any help would be appreciated.

jenkzy56's Avatar jenkzy56 02:53 PM 06-13-2013
Well that is a really nice price point for LCR, so congrats to that.
How loud do you usually listen to movies and music?
I ask because that could determine what kind of recommendations you get.
How big is your space, your new frontstage will most likely necessitate a newer sub
at some point.

Off the top of my head you could go with JTR 228 noesis
Ascend Acoustics Sierra towers and Horizon center, Salk Songtowers and Song center.
there will be many other companys that fall well into that price range.

the more details you provide the more refined the list can become.

good luck
Lablatz's Avatar Lablatz 02:59 PM 06-13-2013
Thanks for the response jenkzy.
Listening space - 12' x 20' x 9'. Seating distance = 9'. Listening volume for music = mid to low (don't typically crank it). Listening volume for movies = mid+.
Plan is to replace sub too (1-2K budget for that).
commsysman's Avatar commsysman 05:15 PM 06-13-2013
The problem you have is the same problem most HT receiver owners have.

Your receiver is only designed for 8 ohm speakers, and most high-quality speakers (even some "rated" at 8 ohms by the manufacturer), ACTUALLY are as low as 3 or 4 ohms in part of the audio spectrum.

The only way to REALLY find out the REAL impedance of any speaker is to see a GRAPH of the impedance vs frequency for that speaker. This may be available in reviews, but is often hard to get from the manufacturer. They really don't want you to know the truth about this.

Look at some typical Stereophile speaker reviews, where REAL impedance graphs are determined for the speaker by actual TESTING with precision equipment. You will see that there are actually VERY FEW speakers that can truthfully be called "8 ohms".

Speakers that drop down to 4 ohms at some frequencies (and almost all high quality speakers DO) will cause your receiver's amplifiers to distort and so "the speakers will sound bad" (through no fault of the speakers) WHEN DRIVEN BY YOUR RECEIVER.

This is the fault of the cheap amplifier and power supply design that is inherent in 80% of the HT receivers. It is NOT a defect in the speakers; they just need more peak drive current than most HT receivers have available. The few HT receivers that HAVE better power supplies and amplifiers typically cost over $1000 (although a high price does not always mean a good receiver).

The bottom line is that your receiver will only work well (and sound good) with the very few speakers that REALLY have an impedance above 6 ohms at ALL frequencies.

You either need to seek out those speakers that WILL work with your receiver, or get a much better receiver like the Denon 3312 or the Cambridge 651R, which can drive almost any speaker without distorting.
cschang's Avatar cschang 05:22 PM 06-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The problem you have is the same problem most HT receiver owners have.

Your receiver is only designed for 8 ohm speakers, and most high-quality speakers (even some "rated" at 8 ohms by the manufacturer), ACTUALLY are as low as 3 or 4 ohms in part of the audio spectrum.

The only way to REALLY find out the REAL impedance is to see a GRAPH of the impedance vs frequency. This may be available in reviews, but is often hard to get from the manufacturer.

Look at some typical Stereophile speaker reviews, where REAL impedance graphs are determined for the speaker by actual TESTING with precision equipment. You will see that there are actually VERY FEW speakers that can trulhfully be called "8 ohms".

Speakers that drop down to 4 ohms at some frequencies (and almost all high quality speakers DO) will cause your receiver's amplifiers to distort and so "the speakers will sound bad". (through no fault of the speakers).

This is the fault of the poor amplifier and power supply design that is inherent in 80% of the HT receivers. It is NOT a defect in the speakers; they just need more peak drive current than most HT receivers have available.

The bottom line is that your receiver will only work well with the very few speakers that REALLY have an impedance above 6 ohms at ALL frequencies.

You either need to seek out those speakers that WILL work with your receiver, or get a much better receiver like the Denon 3312 or the Cambridge 651R, which can drive almost any speaker without distorting.

You do realize it is an average impedance that is usually listed for the speakers, not the lowest....and the amp is rated for the average impedance.
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 05:30 PM 06-13-2013
No, he likely doesn't realize that - or anything else - because his head is in the sand.

Tell me commsysman, at what levels will the AVRs not be able to power 4 Ohm speakers? Do the AVR distort all the time when driving a speaker that goes below 8 Ohms? Even at low volume levels? rolleyes.gif
commsysman's Avatar commsysman 05:39 PM 06-13-2013
If the ACTUAL impedance of a speaker at some frequency is 4 ohms, the amplifier has a 4 ohm load to drive at that frequency.

My whole point is what any audio technician or engineer knows; the ratings you refer to are worthless because they are gross generalizations that are completely inaccurate.

You need to dig a lot deeper to find out what really will work well with what.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

You do realize it is an average impedance that is usually listed for the speakers, not the lowest....and the amp is rated for the average impedance.

lifeis11's Avatar lifeis11 05:42 PM 06-13-2013
my home theater setup has B&W 683 floorstanders and a single B&W 685 as a center - that would run you right around 2k.

my dad's setup is a paradigm studio 60 and cc 590 setup, but that would probably run ~500 bit over your budget, but you never know if you shop around.

More than anything else, as im sure people will tell you, audition as much as you can and go from there. are you near an area with a decent hifi shop at least?
mjpearce023's Avatar mjpearce023 05:46 PM 06-13-2013
Since the OP is only 9 feet from the speakers and listens to music at mid to low volume I think pointing fingers at the receiver is the wrong way to go here. The 6003 is not an entry level receiver and will not fall apart at mid to low listening levels.

OP: You will of course have to listen to speakers to figure out which ones work best for you but there are some good brand recommendations in this thread that I would look at first. The Ascend Sierras and the Paradigm studios are both great options if you like a more neutral speaker for music listening.
commsysman's Avatar commsysman 05:47 PM 06-13-2013
Most HT system users expect their system to deliver some very high peak power levels in order to reproduce those BIG sound effects, which can require power peaks at least 100 times the average power being used.

The degree to which the amplifiers of an HT receiver distort depends on the total current required to drive the speakers.

Seven speakers take more peak current that 5 or 3, and any frequency where speaker impedance is low makes more of a current demand.

It should be fairly obvious, even to those with the limited intellect to constantly attempt cheap-shot insults, that all of these factors combine to eventually demand more current than most HT receivers are designed to deliver.

When the power supply runs out of current, distortion results, and the system "sounds bad".

This is why HIGH-QUALITY speakers, which are KNOWN TO SOUND EXCELLENT with high-quality amplifiers, will not sound good at all with a typical HT receiver.





Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

No, he likely doesn't realize that - or anything else - because his head is in the sand.

Tell me commsysman, at what levels will the AVRs not be able to power 4 Ohm speakers? Do the AVR distort all the time when driving a speaker that goes below 8 Ohms? Even at low volume levels? rolleyes.gif

Jay1's Avatar Jay1 05:51 PM 06-13-2013
The impedance through the woofers range is what actually determines what the system impedance is, as that demands the most from your amp. A typical dual woofer speaker will be 4 ohms from low end cutoff through 300+ hz, even if it never drops below 16 ohms above that point, it is a 4 ohm speaker.

I have to give commsysman a little credit, he finally learned something wink.gif

FYI, most receivers can handle a 4 ohm load, if they couldn't we would hear about receivers shutting down and going up in smoke non stop.
beaveav's Avatar beaveav 05:51 PM 06-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Most HT system users expect their system to deliver some very high peak power levels in order to reproduce those BIG sound effects, which can require power peaks at least 100 times the average power being used.

The degree to which the amplifiers of an HT receiver distort depends on the total current required to drive the speakers.

Seven speakers take more peak current that 5 or 3, and any frequency where speaker impedance is low makes more of a current demand.

It should be fairly obvious, even to those with the limited intellect to constantly attempt cheap-shot insults, that all of these factors combine to eventually demand more current than most HT receivers are designed to deliver.

When the power supply runes out of current, distortion results, and the system "sounds bad".

Thank you for finally acknowledging that it is not a black and white issue - that it is simply a matter of degree, and that it therefore follows that most AVRs can drive most speakers without problems. Only when pushed do they distort, and in many (most?) use cases, they never get pushed to that point.
commsysman's Avatar commsysman 05:56 PM 06-13-2013
If you look at some of the test results in Stereophile, you will see that speakers often have very low impedances in the mid-bass range, but there are also quite a few that have low impedances in the upper treble region.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

The impedance through the woofers range is what actually determines what the system impedance is, as that demands the most from your amp. A typical dual woofer speaker will be 4 ohms from low end cutoff through 300+ hz, even if it never drops below 16 ohms above that point, it is a 4 ohm speaker.

I have to give commsysman a little credit, he finally learned something wink.gif

FYI, most receivers can handle a 4 ohm load, if they couldn't we would hear about receivers shutting down and going up in smoke non stop.

Jay1's Avatar Jay1 06:01 PM 06-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

If you look at some of the test results in Stereophile, you will see that speakers often have very low impedances in the mid-bass range, but there are also quite a few that have low impedances in the upper treble region.

That is something to be cautious of, as a dip to low could potentially shut an amp down with the right signal, but for continuous usage, the bass range is practically drawing constant power.
commsysman's Avatar commsysman 06:02 PM 06-13-2013
According to Home Theater magazine, the 683 has an impedance of 3.5 ohms at a frequency of 100 Hertz.

IMO there are very few HT receivers that will drive that speaker well. That is a very tough load to drive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeis11 View Post

my home theater setup has B&W 683 floorstanders and a single B&W 685 as a center - that would run you right around 2k.

my dad's setup is a paradigm studio 60 and cc 590 setup, but that would probably run ~500 bit over your budget, but you never know if you shop around.

More than anything else, as im sure people will tell you, audition as much as you can and go from there. are you near an area with a decent hifi shop at least?

Lablatz's Avatar Lablatz 06:22 PM 06-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeis11 View Post

my home theater setup has B&W 683 floorstanders and a single B&W 685 as a center - that would run you right around 2k.

my dad's setup is a paradigm studio 60 and cc 590 setup, but that would probably run ~500 bit over your budget, but you never know if you shop around.

More than anything else, as im sure people will tell you, audition as much as you can and go from there. are you near an area with a decent hifi shop at least?

That's the biggest challenge. I'm more than an hour away from any form of real hifi shop so auditioning is tough if not impossible for a lot of options.
Jay1's Avatar Jay1 06:40 PM 06-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lablatz View Post

That's the biggest challenge. I'm more than an hour away from any form of real hifi shop so auditioning is tough if not impossible for a lot of options.

Speakers from somewhere with a liberal return policy would be a good idea. I would be all over these JBL's if I wasnt to far gone with DIY

http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-590-Floorstanding-Loudspeaker/dp/B0060IG3R0/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1371170286&sr=1-1&keywords=jbl+590
mjpearce023's Avatar mjpearce023 09:33 PM 06-13-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lablatz View Post

That's the biggest challenge. I'm more than an hour away from any form of real hifi shop so auditioning is tough if not impossible for a lot of options.

Aperion and ascend both have a 30 day return policy. Ascend won't pay the return shipping while aperion will. Also keep in mind the room will have a big effect on sound quality so that could be part of the issue. If you have hard wood floors or alot of windows that's not good for audio. Also running audyssey with all 6 positions and using a tripod if you didn't originally would probably help.
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