New floorstanding speakers...advice needed! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 07-14-2013, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey all. We are finishing a basment and it should be done in 2 weeks. I have my blue jeans cables and my Onkyo AVR ready to roll. I have a Energy Classic speaker system, but wanna replace 2 for reasonably priced, good quality floorstanding speakers. I guess price range is 300-400 max each. Any advice out there? Thanks in advance!!
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post #2 of 31 Old 07-14-2013, 08:13 AM
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Id highly recommend checking these out:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1481516/arx-a5-setup-and-unboxing-pictures-video
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post #3 of 31 Old 07-14-2013, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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they sound amazing, but gosh a little pricey. 1500 for a pair is more than i was looking for.
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post #4 of 31 Old 07-14-2013, 08:27 AM
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They're $749 a pair if that makes you feel better.
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post #5 of 31 Old 07-14-2013, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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oh, that does make a huge difference. i thought it was for 1. wow, for a pair. i may have to jump on these. im a complete noob when it comes to speakers. better than polk TSI series?
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post #6 of 31 Old 07-14-2013, 09:42 AM
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Well the choices are overwhelming, especially because most of us on here aren't auditioning. Figure out what "style" of speaker you might like and people can direct you a little better. I have Klipsch speakers and I'm trying to move to something else. Not because I don't like them, but I've had them forever and would like to try something new. One other thing to note since your remodeling.....I just remodeled and it changed the way my speakers sounded. Went from carpet to bamboo. Wood ceiling as well. Based on what I've read, the Arx are a little warm. If like bright/forward/lively they may not be for you. Conversely, if you like warm/laid back the Arx may be perfect. I've always liked the bright Klipsch sound, but with the hard floors, it's time to move on to something else.
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post #7 of 31 Old 07-14-2013, 09:48 AM
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+1 for the Arx A5's. Awesome sounding speakers and IMO are not as laid back as the A1b are. Doing an A/B comparison with A1, A1b, A2, and A5s the A5s SEEM like they are alittle more forward but not by much. Perhaps its the extra definition with the dedicated midrange.

Stereo listening with music, I run them at 40hrz and no subwoofer and the drums pan across the front with authority and definition. Imaging is good and very large horizontally.

IMO I don't think you'll find a tower at its price that offers the tech, quality and sound the A5s do.
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post #8 of 31 Old 07-14-2013, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the advice. The basement room is carpeted and these speakers will be mostly for movies and sports, rarely for music only. Hearing the A5s are "warm" concerns me a little bit, but from what I have read, great response from those who purchased. I have been looking at TIS500s Polk, HDT THREE, and now A5. Are either of these "better" for movies/sports?
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post #9 of 31 Old 07-14-2013, 12:21 PM
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post #10 of 31 Old 07-14-2013, 01:07 PM
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Well I can't completely comment on the A5's yet as I have not fully broken them in, but I will be using them for 80/20 Theater/Stereo. They offer a great deal for the quality of drivers within them. I'll have more of an opinion next week after I move.
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post #11 of 31 Old 07-16-2013, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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well lets just say i am thoroughly confused. i am down to HTD 3s and Arx, but have no clue how to come up with a decision. cant listen to either. any owners out there that would chime in, would be greatly appreciated. i read shoot out results, but thought more than one opinion would help. this is mostly for movies/sports and i love clarity with some boom, but not excessive bass.
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post #12 of 31 Old 07-16-2013, 12:33 PM
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How about EMP tek? They have very nice speakers and a lot of people rave about their sound quality.
They are reasonably priced too.
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post #13 of 31 Old 07-16-2013, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lohajat112 View Post

well lets just say i am thoroughly confused. i am down to HTD 3s and Arx, but have no clue how to come up with a decision. cant listen to either. any owners out there that would chime in, would be greatly appreciated. i read shoot out results, but thought more than one opinion would help. this is mostly for movies/sports and i love clarity with some boom, but not excessive bass.

I've been more than happy with the Arx A5s. Really IMO the HTD are nice speakers but don't have the same driver and tech as the Arx do, which is unusual for this price range and even higher. Cast alloy frame high excursion woofers with proper venting, cast alloy tweeter face plate, and quality crossover components (wire wound resistors and large caps).
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post #14 of 31 Old 07-16-2013, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

I've been more than happy with the Arx A5s. Really IMO the HTD are nice speakers but don't have the same driver and tech as the Arx do, which is unusual for this price range and even higher. Cast alloy frame high excursion woofers with proper venting, cast alloy tweeter face plate, and quality crossover components (wire wound resistors and large caps).


Thanks GTP. I have no idea what those additions mean/do, but it sure does sound good!!!
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post #15 of 31 Old 07-16-2013, 03:25 PM
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I was in the same boat with the HTD level 3, Arx A5 and EmpTek to a lesser extent. I looked for over 6 months between all of these. I narrowed down to the HTD and ARX mostly due to the reviews and the EMP TEK looked great but were just larger speakers than I was looking for as well as the fact they were out of stock until just recently. The emptek/htd/arx shootout thread was really helpful and the images were great for reference. I had the online cart filled out and ready to submit many times for both companies but couldn't quite pull the trigger either way. the HTD look slightly better cosmetically and the front facing port would work well with most setups while the ARX has a rabid online following and I've never really seen a negative review along with it's pretty high end tech for such a low cost.

I was exchanging some emails with Jon Lane from Arx (great customer service and great knowledge of audio in general) and I decided to go ahead and take a chance on the ARX. The HTD looked great but looking at the knowledge and passion Jon had for his product it seemed like something to take a chance on. I honestly don't think you'll go wrong with either product as they both get really good reviews and seem to both be just amazing bang for the buck type products.

I just got the ARX in this week (A5 with an A1B for the center) and so far they seem pretty amazing. With no real break in or much setup done on them they are a big upgrade from my previous speakers. The clarity is actually a little startling on some of the stuff I have been listening to so far. I have a pretty cheap sub in the setup they are in and I'm actually about 50/50 whether i'll even run it with them based on the extension i'm seeing with the A5 right out of the box. Supposedly it will get better as the splitgap woofers break in a bit as well. We'll see as I get them fine tuned and setup for my room, but so far I"m really happy with them and glad I went with them. They are not "fancy" at all but their plainness is actually refreshing and helps them to just blend into the background of most rooms I would think. (thought this may not be what everyone is looking for in their speakers from a looks standpoint)

You can always get bookshelves or a center from both companies and try it out. It's pretty low cost/free for the return shipping depending on the company you go with, and gets you at least in the ballpark of how the towers/system sound without having to go "all in". Arx also tends to have some B Stock especially if you contact them directly which can help defray the shipping costs if you don't mind refurb.

At the end of the day I don't think you'll go wrong with either company but so far very early into my Arx experience i'm quite pleased.
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post #16 of 31 Old 07-16-2013, 10:20 PM
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I was torn between Ascend and ARX. After a lot of reading, I went with the ARX A5 and I was thrilled with the results. These speakers are very accurate and the soul of clarity. You won't find a speaker with better clarity anywhere nears its price range, starting with the smaller A1b. They dig deep enough that you will not necessarily need a sub for music, unless you're a basshead.

I have not heard the HTD speakers and they seem pretty good, but I'm sure you will be more than happy with the A5s.
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post #17 of 31 Old 07-17-2013, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

IMO I don't think you'll find a tower at its price that offers the tech, quality and sound the A5s do.

Tech isn't everything though GTP biggrin.gif Sure the Arx speakers might have a cast basket, but that doesn't automatically equal better sound quality. I know most higher end drivers used cast baskets and I vaguely remember reading about the differences years ago...ringing and resonance issues, but can't remember if/when it matters enough to overcome the costs of a thick stamped steel basket. I know you said "IMO", but it's still a little out there to say they're the best sounding tower in the price range when you haven't heard the others. One of these days I'd like to hear the Arx's. I think if they looked a little less bleh, I would have tried them also. Not bad looking, don't get me wrong, but just wouldn't look right in my home. I had the Energy c-500's (wow those were bad and I didn't even realize it), but they look pretty close to the A5's (cabinet wise)

Wish someone with the A5's lived closer! Hopefully Jon will build something like a MTM/WW with 6.5's or MTM/WWW with 5" woofers. Make the cab a little taller and wider and do something to spice up the cabinet a little...that'd be a real eye opener to most in the sub $1,000 range

On the topic of basket material, etc...maybe I'll post in the Arx thread and see if Jon will come in and talk about it. All the drivers in my car use cast baskets and most that I've used over time do also, but the ones I didn't use also sounded good. Take for instance, the Rythmik LV12r...it used a cast basket. So does the HSU VTF-15H if I remember correctly. Again, just wondering 'when' it would matter the most on a speaker.

Edit: Good reading here... http://techtalk.parts-express.com/showthread.php?233499-Stamped-vs-Cast-driver-baskets
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Originally Posted by lohajat112 View Post

Thanks all for the advice. The basement room is carpeted and these speakers will be mostly for movies and sports, rarely for music only. Hearing the A5s are "warm" concerns me a little bit, but from what I have read, great response from those who purchased. I have been looking at TIS500s Polk, HDT THREE, and now A5. Are either of these "better" for movies/sports?

If you're using it for mostly movies & tv/sports (rare for music), then I'd look at something like a bookshelf setup with a sub or multiple subs. Depending on the volume/size of your room, you could benefit much more with something like this configuration. What's the size of your basement room that this will be going in?

There is no "better" in audio. It's 100% personal preference and relies on more factors than just sound with 99% of people. Factors like price, sound quality, company, aesthetics, etc. Only you can make the decision based on what your ears tell you, what your wallet/situation tells you, etc. If you can't hear what you'd like to hear in person and/or in your home....then it's just a shot in the dark and you have to hope you made the right decision smile.gif

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Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer View Post

This thread should be right up your alley:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1458372/arx-a5-vs-htd-level-three-vs-emp-e55ti-tower-shootout

Good thread, but I think the OP that tried all the speakers wasn't really up to speed what was correct, what was incorrect, how to describe sound (sometimes things would change in his descriptions for better or for worse), etc

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well lets just say i am thoroughly confused. i am down to HTD 3s and Arx, but have no clue how to come up with a decision. cant listen to either. any owners out there that would chime in, would be greatly appreciated. i read shoot out results, but thought more than one opinion would help. this is mostly for movies/sports and i love clarity with some boom, but not excessive bass.

Have you posted in the masters threads for ARX, EMP and HTD? Just post asking if anyone is located near you and would allow you to have a listen. Maybe you'll get lucky

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Originally Posted by lohajat112 View Post

Thanks GTP. I have no idea what those additions mean/do, but it sure does sound good!!!

Those additions can be a very nice thing. Especially in this price range, BUT it doesn't mean you're going to like the sound more than anything else in this range. Audio sucks...I know. I wish it were that easy to just know 'what's better' and be done with it. I would venture to say that the drivers used in the Arx speakers are nicer than most in and around the price range of these companies comparable speakers, but only your ears and the factors mentioned above can tell you if they're the one's for you. On the basis of customer service, Jon at Arx seems great and always helpful. I can tell you EMP has been nothing but great to myself and others also. I don't think you can go wrong with those 2 with regards to customer service
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Originally Posted by BarnacleBill View Post

You won't find a speaker with better clarity anywhere nears its price range, starting with the smaller A1b.

They did deep enough that you will not necessarily need a sub for music, unless you're a basshead.

I have not heard the HTD speakers and they seem pretty good, but I'm sure you will be more than happy with the A5s.

Bold claim. You haven't heard any HTD speakers...or EMP speakers...no telling what else, but he "wont find a speaker with better clarity anywhere nears it's price range"? Wow. Come on man

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post #18 of 31 Old 07-17-2013, 10:58 AM
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Tech isn't everything though GTP biggrin.gif Sure the Arx speakers might have a cast basket, but that doesn't automatically equal better sound quality. I know most higher end drivers used cast baskets and I vaguely remember reading about the differences years ago...ringing and resonance issues, but can't remember if/when it matters enough to overcome the costs of a thick stamped steel basket. I know you said "IMO", but it's still a little out there to say they're the best sounding tower in the price range when you haven't heard the others. One of these days I'd like to hear the Arx's. I think if they looked a little less bleh, I would have tried them also. Not bad looking, don't get me wrong, but just wouldn't look right in my home. I had the Energy c-500's (wow those were bad and I didn't even realize it), but they look pretty close to the A5's (cabinet wise)

Wish someone with the A5's lived closer! Hopefully Jon will build something like a MTM/WW with 6.5's or MTM/WWW with 5" woofers. Make the cab a little taller and wider and do something to spice up the cabinet a little...that'd be a real eye opener to most in the sub $1,000 range

Yes it was my opinion (Not stated as fact and even if its out there in your opinion its still my opinion smile.gif. Strong powerful motors, PROVEN xbl2 tech that drastically slashes distortion, wire wound non-inductive resistors, extra large poly caps, is all something you do not find in the Arx price ranges. What you typically find is cheap hollow cabinets, bottom of the barrel crossover components and small under motor stamp drivers, with not pole venting or under spider venting. I'll put the Arx 5.3" woofers against just about any 6.5" woofer any day. The Arx woofer makes up for surface area by having crazy low distortion high excursion levels.

Your right I haven't listened to the other two towers in this thread but I have heard Paradigm Monitor 9 and 11, Axiom M60s, Boston Acoustics Vistas, Golden Ear, and several others and I'm pretty confident that the Arx competes well with $1000 plus towers.

This fall there will be some more news on new Arx models and US made premium finish models. As well as a Linearray model. I think Jon would go with something like the A5 Mids in a MTM with dual splitgap 8" instead of triple or double 6.5s. But from what i've read he's not entirely sold on the idea of a larger Arx tower but I'm going to keep on him about it, biggrin.gif
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post #19 of 31 Old 07-17-2013, 12:01 PM
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Yes it was my opinion (Not stated as fact and even if its out there in your opinion its still my opinion smile.gif. Strong powerful motors, PROVEN xbl2 tech that drastically slashes distortion, wire wound non-inductive resistors, extra large poly caps, is all something you do not find in the Arx price ranges. What you typically find is cheap hollow cabinets, bottom of the barrel crossover components and small under motor stamp drivers, with not pole venting or under spider venting. I'll put the Arx 5.3" woofers against just about any 6.5" woofer any day. The Arx woofer makes up for surface area by having crazy low distortion high excursion levels.

Your right I haven't listened to the other two towers in this thread but I have heard Paradigm Monitor 9 and 11, Axiom M60s, Boston Acoustics Vistas, Golden Ear, and several others and I'm pretty confident that the Arx competes well with $1000 plus towers.

This fall there will be some more news on new Arx models and US made premium finish models. As well as a Linearray model. I think Jon would go with something like the A5 Mids in a MTM with dual splitgap 8" instead of triple or double 6.5s. But from what i've read he's not entirely sold on the idea of a larger Arx tower but I'm going to keep on him about it, biggrin.gif

MTM/WW with 8's

eek.gif

Where do I sign up? You could probably get damn close to full range with something like that (high exc. 8's). That'd be pretty cool though. Even with a few 6.5's like you mentioned, that'd likely be plenty for most as we tend to run with sub(s). I don't see why you can't make both though! lol

Anyways, don't want to clog the OP's thread. I'll post in the ARX thread

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post #20 of 31 Old 07-17-2013, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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MTM/WW with 8's

eek.gif

Where do I sign up? You could probably get damn close to full range with something like that (high exc. 8's). That'd be pretty cool though. Even with a few 6.5's like you mentioned, that'd likely be plenty for most as we tend to run with sub(s). I don't see why you can't make both though! lol

Anyways, don't want to clog the OP's thread. I'll post in the ARX thread

Thank you all for your opinions and assistance! OU, I will head over to the ARX board and see what opinions I get. The basement is carpeted and will be 12 x 16 feet. I am going to have a 64" set up. I currently have the Energy Classic system, but wanted to step it up a notch with the sound and thought the R/L fronts would be a good place to start before switching out the center.
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post #21 of 31 Old 07-17-2013, 05:35 PM
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So are you wanting to 600-800 now and be done?

If you're liking Arx, and I don't see why not to mention them, I would REALLY look into the A1b for fronts and pick up a sub. You could do:

2 Arx A1b's + Rythmik lv12r = $889
2 Arx A1b's + 2 Klipsch rw-12d = $860
3 Arx a1b's = $470 ..... + a sub (rw-12d, DIY something if you're handy, etc)
--> Not sure when the A2c is coming out. 3 A1's as your fronts and center is a 'better' setup though
2 Arx A1b's + SVS pb1000 = $800


If I were in your shoes, I think I would have to go with the 2 A1b's and the SVS pb1000. Your room isn't very large at all so the pb1000 should be plenty for most. When you're ready, add either the a2c or another a1b as your center (if you'd like) and another pair of a1b's as your surrounds (and another pair if you're wanting 7 channel)

That'd be a really nice setup and very cost effective

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post #22 of 31 Old 07-18-2013, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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So are you wanting to 600-800 now and be done?

Hey OU, not sure what you mean by 600-800 now?
So you think tower speakers in my size of a room would be too much? It has been sound boarded and insulated, not sure if that makes a difference.
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post #23 of 31 Old 07-18-2013, 06:11 AM
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Lohajat112... If this is going to be a X.1 sound system I highly suggest you budget for a center speaker right away as well. You will be seriously disappointed if you buy really nice towers for front L&R but have a small and non-matching center. Front 3 speakers should be from same company and model line.

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post #24 of 31 Old 07-18-2013, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lohajat112 View Post

Hey OU, not sure what you mean by 600-800 now?
So you think tower speakers in my size of a room would be too much? It has been sound boarded and insulated, not sure if that makes a difference.

I mean are you wanting to spend $600 to $800 right now on some front speakers and be done with your setup.....basically if you're just wanting to use prexisting stuff for your center (if you'd like) & surrounds. I can't suggest that as whatever center you use won't be timbre matched to the ARX's or whatever speakers you go with. You said you have the Take Classics, which wouldn't be anywhere near these speakers mentioned in this thread.

OR

if you'd like to spend $600-800 now, then down the road you're wanting to spend a little more on the next piece...whether that be a center, surrounds, sub (if you don't go that route, etc)


It's not that I think towers would be "too much", it's just your room isn't very large and you have a limited budget, which likely means you're not wanting to spend much money or any money after this purchase. With a smaller room, you'll have plenty of volume with a set of bookshelves. Look at it this way, would you rather have towers that play down to 55-60hz with no sub OR would you rather have a bookshelf that will still fill the space easily, but have a sub that can cover from 80 (or wherever you find the best crossover point to be) down to 20hz or so. If you're wanting to spend more down the road, then I don't see a problem getting the a5's for now, but I think you'd benefit in the long run with something like a1b's and a nice sub...then...

down the road, if you're wanting to spend more, you could add:

- A1b or a2c for a center. Add surrounds and be done (or another pair if you're wanting 7.x surround, etc)
- Buy a2c for center. When you have the funds for 2 more a2's, move the a1b's to surround and have your front 3 being a2's (best option, but most expensive and probably not really needed in that space)

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Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

Lohajat112... If this is going to be a X.1 sound system I highly suggest you budget for a center speaker right away as well. You will be seriously disappointed if you buy really nice towers for front L&R but have a small and non-matching center. Front 3 speakers should be from same company and model line.

A good set of towers should be able to get by with a phantom center. If the speaker can't throw an image rock solid in the center being the average 4-5 feet away, then I'd definitely look elsewhere. It all boils down to if he's wanting to spend more later or not. If not, I'd still rather run a solid 2.1 than a 3.0.

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post #25 of 31 Old 07-18-2013, 08:49 AM
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^^^ A phantom center can work well but only for 1 seat a seat directly in the middle of the 2 front speakers.

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post #26 of 31 Old 07-18-2013, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey OU, thanks again for the help. I am definitely planning on upgrading my center at some point, but for now budget is tight and I thought I would go with L and R first. I assume it is recommended to get center speaker from same company as L/R fronts, correct? Will it be a big issue if they are different companies, sound off balance? In all honesty, I heard the BW center speaker at Best Buy and loved it. I plan on making that my next future purchase. Thanks again!
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post #27 of 31 Old 07-18-2013, 10:06 AM
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Yeah its a huge issue if the center isn't the same company and model line as the L&R. When sounds pan from speaker to speaker you will hear a difference. Like right now if you buy whatever brand L&R and use your energy classic center, the L&R will probably overpower the center and the center won't be able to keep up. Keep in mind that the center is a very important speaker if not the most important speaker because it handles like 75% of a movie's sound track, also the center is the speaker that is used most for vocals and dialog. So you may have a very hard time hearing voices and have to constantly turn the volume up and down. So even if you don't buy all 3 fronts now buy what ever L&R speakers that will match the center you want. In an ideal situation all front 3 speakers would be the exact same speaker all placed vertically and all speakers having the tweeters at ear level (however that is basically only possible if you have a projector and an acoustically transparent screen. Horizontal centers ONLY exist because most ppl need to place them above or below the TV and don't have room for a vertical speaker.

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post #28 of 31 Old 07-18-2013, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

^^^ A phantom center can work well but only for 1 seat a seat directly in the middle of the 2 front speakers.

My EMP e55's have a rock solid center image with a mono signal and I'm sitting 10-12' directly in front of the front left speaker. They image VERY well for a budget speaker biggrin.gif. But yeah...I do agree with you that it's the one way to usually get a nice phantom center, but when someone is on a budget and in a smaller room like this, I'd think the center is less of a worry. In a room of that size, I can't imagine he'd have them spread very far apart, and he'd most likely enjoy the 2.1 setup more until he can purchase the a2 or another a1 (if he goes with Arx)
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Originally Posted by lohajat112 View Post

Hey OU, thanks again for the help. I am definitely planning on upgrading my center at some point, but for now budget is tight and I thought I would go with L and R first. I assume it is recommended to get center speaker from same company as L/R fronts, correct? Will it be a big issue if they are different companies, sound off balance? In all honesty, I heard the BW center speaker at Best Buy and loved it. I plan on making that my next future purchase. Thanks again!

See Flicks description above. It's spot on

I'm not sure when you're ready to order, but again I'd do the bookshelf + sub if I were you. You'll actually have something covering 60hz-ish and down unlike running just towers for awhile.

Panny 65st60 / Denon / EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i
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post #29 of 31 Old 07-18-2013, 11:22 AM
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Not sure if OP is looking at used but there is a member selling his entire ARX 5.0 setup. he's posted on TAI as well as here @ AVS . Great way to stretch the budget if needed.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1480313/arx-a5s-a1s-a2-system

Believe it's the A5 towers, the older A2 center and the older A1 surrounds. For the price it's a really good deal and the speakers look to be in pretty good shape overall.
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post #30 of 31 Old 07-18-2013, 12:07 PM
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Yeah that is a good deal! Sad to see the veneer peels like that. Kinda scary eek.gif

Shipping might kill, but if he's local or somewhat close then it could be a great pick up OP

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