Ideas for shelf front left/right and center or LCR speakers for <= $3k - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 08-03-2013, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I am seeking any ideas and suggestions for a pair of front left/right speakers and center or a set of LCR speakers with the following requirements:

* total around $2k-$3k or less (looking for best value but willing to pay for better performance and long-term investment)
* cannot be more than 12" deep
* prefer no more than 10" high for center but can make exception on this for right solution

Thanks in advance for the help! cool.gif
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post #2 of 27 Old 08-03-2013, 12:38 AM
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Going with 3 WtmW centers might be a good solution

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Center-Channel-Speaker/dp/B0062PAWGY

http://www.aperionaudio.com/speakers/verus-home-theater-speakers/verus-grand-center-channel-speaker
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post #3 of 27 Old 08-03-2013, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I have heard some Aperion speakers before and liked them. It has been a long time since I have heard Polk.

How would these compare to something like B&W CM Centre or CM Centre 2?
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post #4 of 27 Old 08-03-2013, 10:22 AM
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The CM Centre 2 would be a fine choice as well. The regular CM Centre, not so much. A horizontal MTM is one of the worst possible configurations for horizontal dispersion, it will only perform well within a limited window.

Aperion doesnt list the crossover frequencies so it's harder to comment on. Polk and B&W both have fairly low woofer to mid crossovers, that means the lobbing issues from the horizontal woofers are pushed down low enough to not be an issue, and they should work fine as stereo mains.
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post #5 of 27 Old 08-03-2013, 02:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanewu View Post

I am seeking any ideas and suggestions for a pair of front left/right speakers and center or a set of LCR speakers with the following requirements:

* total around $2k-$3k or less (looking for best value but willing to pay for better performance and long-term investment)
* cannot be more than 12" deep
* prefer no more than 10" high for center but can make exception on this for right solution

Thanks in advance for the help! cool.gif

I don't know what your aesthetic concerns are in terms of cosmetics (or how big your room is) so I'll recommend a few choices that are all outstanding and quite different from each other.

- ADAM Audio GTC-55 http://www.adam-audio.com/en/installation/products/gtc55/description @ $800 each MSRP ($2,400 for all 3)

- Phase Technology PC-3.5 or PC33.5 either of these can be had within your budget and offer gloss black or gloss cherry finishes.
http://phasetechnology.com/products.cfm?category_id=Center%20Channel&product_id=PC-3.5 or http://phasetechnology.com/products.cfm?category_id=Center%20Channel&product_id=PC-33.5

- RBH Has several models that all fit your criteria....

The SX, Signature Classic, and MC series all offer what you have desicrbed. Here is a list of their options. http://rbhsound.com/lcr_centers.php


All three of the above manufacturers offer a unique history and bring a top shelf product to the table.

- ADAM Audio with their German manufacturing and, in particular, their take on the Oskar Heil air motion transformer.

- Phase Technology's founder Bill Hecht invented the soft dome tweeter, manufacturers some of the finest drivers in the industry, and everything (even the cabinets, voice coils, crossovers, etc.) is made in the USA in house. His son Ken is president of the company and has a hand in engineering their products. He's a smart man.

- RBH is famous for being a cabinet maker. They made the cabinets for many high end brands for years, one of which being McIntosh Reference. Their speakers are spectacular as well and utilize aluminum components as well as anyone. RBH also engineers everything in-house and makes an incredibly articulate, clean, accurate speaker.

Hope this helps give you some pieces to look into.
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post #6 of 27 Old 08-03-2013, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Plex and Jay... thanks for the additional input.

I keep asking about B&W because I have some custom installation quotes with B&W on them, but I started wondering if they are worth the price (as in 'am i paying for a brand or true quality/innovation/durability/etc?').

I have also been curious about the B&W CT7.3 LCRS and CT7.4 LCRS. Any thoughts on those by themselves and compared to other speakers mentioned?

My room is actually quite large... I'm basically using half of a huge (~ 14' x 26') living room / great room in an hold 1950s era house. Aesthetics are a medium concern (my wife and I have seen some great looking white finishes on speakers that we'd like to have since these are going on white shelves but I struggle with making the look a priority... I keep looking at some Canton's that are appealing). I just bought an 80" Sharp 757u TV go with the speakers and am considering a Pioneer Elite SC-77 (see one of my other recent posts) to drive it all and to give the nice new speakers more power than my Integra DTR-30.1.

Plex - I hadn't heard of any of those brands so I'm looking forward to checking them out. It's always exciting to learn about formally unknown good brands. Love the fact that Phase is made in the USA!
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post #7 of 27 Old 08-04-2013, 07:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanewu View Post

Plex and Jay... thanks for the additional input.

I keep asking about B&W because I have some custom installation quotes with B&W on them, but I started wondering if they are worth the price (as in 'am i paying for a brand or true quality/innovation/durability/etc?').

I have also been curious about the B&W CT7.3 LCRS and CT7.4 LCRS. Any thoughts on those by themselves and compared to other speakers mentioned?

My room is actually quite large... I'm basically using half of a huge (~ 14' x 26') living room / great room in an hold 1950s era house. Aesthetics are a medium concern (my wife and I have seen some great looking white finishes on speakers that we'd like to have since these are going on white shelves but I struggle with making the look a priority... I keep looking at some Canton's that are appealing). I just bought an 80" Sharp 757u TV go with the speakers and am considering a Pioneer Elite SC-77 (see one of my other recent posts) to drive it all and to give the nice new speakers more power than my Integra DTR-30.1.

Plex - I hadn't heard of any of those brands so I'm looking forward to checking them out. It's always exciting to learn about formally unknown good brands. Love the fact that Phase is made in the USA!


- Canton is also a great speaker manufacturer. Certainly on par to the others I mentioned. We used to be Canton dealers a few years ago, but ended up dropping the line for a few reasons. They make a speaker worth anyone's consideration. I always considered them the German version of B&W, only with better manufacturing and stricter values.

- If you are looking at white I would look at the new Revel Performa3 series. Those models are all available in white and fit within your $3,000 limit. Revel is an outstanding speaker line as well.

- The B&W speakers you are looking at are ok. I have never been enamored with the line. I feel like they are known for the 800 series of product, which is a fine speaker line, but most of what is manufactured below that doesn't hold up to the same expectations of quality. I don't find the line very linear in quality in engineering is what I'm trying to say.

- If you are OK with the "In-Cabinet" look similar to the B&W's you referenced, I would seriously consider the ADAM AUDIO GTC line I linked in my last post as well as some of the RBH pieces. I think they offer much more for the investment. Along the same pricing as those B&W and, IMO, a much better speaker would be the GTC-77 http://www.adam-audio.com/en/installation/products/gtc77/description
Review Here: http://www.hometheater.com/content/adam-audio-gtc77-speaker-system

- After using the Pioneer Elite line on a few jobs I would say that we have not had good experiences with it and I cannot recommend. My installers loath them and had HDMI issues on several projects. Denon & Marantz have been solid for years and we use them occasionally but my current favorite receiver line is the Yamaha AVENTAGE. The build quality has been outstanding so far, they are feature rich with the best app I have seen, and sound fantastic - even at higher volume limits. I have ONE minor nitpick with the line, which is rare, and that is they do not offer front panel setup. The receivers are all setup vie on-screen menus which, depending on your install can be annoying at first.

EDIT: The GTC-77 is .2" taller than your 10" center channel height limit restriction at 10.2" when laid on it's side.
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post #8 of 27 Old 08-04-2013, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanewu View Post

I am seeking any ideas and suggestions for a pair of front left/right speakers and center or a set of LCR speakers with the following requirements:

* total around $2k-$3k or less (looking for best value but willing to pay for better performance and long-term investment)
* cannot be more than 12" deep
* prefer no more than 10" high for center but can make exception on this for right solution

cool.gif

Just finished a fairly broad speaker search myself. Here's a cut and paste of the contenders I was looking at. There are a bunch of other great speakers, like some of those already mentioned in this thread, that did not make the list for one reason or the other. The pricing is all over the place, but many of these would fit into your budget. And of course, budgets are made to be broken. biggrin.gif

Ascend Sierra : 2K pair, cherry, 43” tall, 5 year warranty, 30 day trial, 4 ohm, rear ported

Aperion Verus: 2K pair, cherry, 43” tall, 10 year warranty, 30 day trial, 6 ohm, rear ported

Axiom M60: 1.2K pair, cherry, 38” tall, 5 year warranty, 30 day trial, 8 ohm, front ported (M80 is 1.5K, 4” tall and 4 ohm)

GoldenEar T2: 2.5K, black, 48” tall, 3/5 year split warranty on electronics and drivers, 8 ohm, rear ported

HTD Level 3: $800 pair, cherry veneer, 41” tall, 5 year warranty, 30 day trial, 8 ohm, front ported

Wharfedale Jade 7: $4K, cherry, cherry, 47” tall, 5 year warranty, 6 ohm, sealed or rear ported

Wharfedale Jade 3: $1.5K, cherry, bookshelf only

JAS Orsus: $4K pair, 55” tall, 8 ohm, rear ported, 2-5 year warranty

JBL L890: $1200 pair, cherry, 42” tall, 5 year warranty, 8 ohm, front ported. Center is LC1 or LC2.

JBL LS80: $4K pair, 43” tall, dark cherry, 5 year, 8 ohm, rear port.

JBL 1400: $5K pair, 46” tall, dark cherry, 46”, 5 year, 8 ohm, rear ported.

Klipsch RF7-11: $2100 pair, cherry, 48.5” tall x 11” wide x 16” deep, 5 year warranty, 8 ohm, rear ported, high efficiency. (Price for B stock, 3K for A stock.)

Klipsch Horn: 10K pair, cherry, 50” tall, 8 ohm, 60 year production, totally different look.

Magnepan 1.7: $2500 pair, black, 64” tall, (19” W), 3 year warranty, 60 day trial, 4 ohm

Martin Logan Theos: 5K pair, 60” tall, rosewood / see through panels

Paradigm M11: $1K pair, cherry, 41” tall, 5 year warranty, 8 ohm,

Polk RTI A9: $1,500 pair, cherry, 48.5” tall x 9” wide by 21”deep, 5 year warranty, 8 ohm, front ported

PSB Image T6: $1.3K pair, cherry, 41” tall, ? warranty, 8 ohm, front ported.

Revel F12: $1.5K pair, cherry, 42” tall, 6 ohm, rear ported

Salk HTS: $1.5K pair, 4 ohm, gorgeous. Premium sound.

SVS Ultra: $2K pair, black, 45” tall, 8 ohm rear ported, 5 year warranty

Tekton Pendragon: $2.5K pair, 54” tall, 5 year warranty, 8 ohm.

Thiel CS 3.7 $7K, 50” tall, 10 year warranty, 4 ohms, front ported

Thiel CS 2.4 $4K, 42” tall, 4 ohms, 10 year warranty, 4 ohms, front ported


Every once in a while, quite inexplicably, things actually go according to plan.
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post #9 of 27 Old 08-04-2013, 08:44 AM
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These might be worth a look it you can be a tad flexible on your dimensions

http://www.polkaudio.com/products/lsim703

http://www.polkaudio.com/products/lsim706c

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post #10 of 27 Old 08-04-2013, 08:53 AM
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Also, JTR makes their Single 8HT's, 14"H x 9.75" W x 10" D. $900ea. + shipping will be under your 3k limit and meet your criteria if you put the center on it's side. I just ordered 5 myself and will be laying the center on its side as well. Also, you'll be able to drive them effectively with almost any decent AVR you decide to go with. BTW, I plan on driving them all with a Pio SC-35. Just another thought to add to the list of excellent models already mentioned..
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post #11 of 27 Old 08-04-2013, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanewu View Post

I am seeking any ideas and suggestions for a pair of front left/right speakers and center or a set of LCR speakers with the following requirements:

* total around $2k-$3k or less (looking for best value but willing to pay for better performance and long-term investment)
* cannot be more than 12" deep
* prefer no more than 10" high for center but can make exception on this for right solution

Thanks in advance for the help! cool.gif

I am recently impressed with KEF. You should demo them.

I was thinking of the R series, but I think they are a bit larger than your space may permit.

However, they have a new line of speakers called the LS 50 Mini Monitor. They have had very favorable reviews. You could use three across the front and have an awesome set up. They are $1500 for the LR and $800 for the single.

Also, Triad is very popular on this forum. Not sure how their models will fit into your size constraints, but they likely have an option.
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post #12 of 27 Old 08-04-2013, 10:16 AM
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I am all for Revel, KEF, RBH. wink.gif
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post #13 of 27 Old 08-04-2013, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Once again, you guys offer great input. I don't have time for much of a response (been busy with the house we are moving), but I hope to offer more response in the next couple days.

I did notice last night that the KEF Q Series does come in white, which is cool. However, I don't know where I could get them in white yet.
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post #14 of 27 Old 08-04-2013, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanewu View Post

Once again, you guys offer great input. I don't have time for much of a response (been busy with the house we are moving), but I hope to offer more response in the next couple days.

I did notice last night that the KEF Q Series does come in white, which is cool. However, I don't know where I could get them in white yet.

I don't think you really get any kind of a discount off of retail but you can order white Q series directly from KEF.
http://www.kefdirect.com/
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post #15 of 27 Old 08-04-2013, 10:47 PM
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I will also second the few replies about the aperion Verus Grant series.

I got in march the towers, center and bookshelfs.
Nice speakers that are well built with a outstanding finish and sound amazing.

But let's face it. At this price range there is a lot of good sounding speakers and lot of time it is a personal preference of what sound better.

Ray

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post #16 of 27 Old 08-06-2013, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't think you really get any kind of a discount off of retail but you can order white Q series directly from KEF.
http://www.kefdirect.com/
Cool. I didn't see that option on kef.com yet. Thanks!
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post #17 of 27 Old 08-06-2013, 01:40 PM
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I will also second the few replies about the aperion Verus Grant series.

I got in march the towers, center and bookshelfs.
Nice speakers that are well built with a outstanding finish and sound amazing.

But let's face it. At this price range there is a lot of good sounding speakers and lot of time it is a personal preference of what sound better.

Ray

I will "third" that. Have Verus Grand Towers, Forte center (no room for Grand) and Grand bookshelves as surrounds. Excellent sound in a large (18x25x19) unfriendly room. Cherry or black is not white but the cherry finish is better than any furniture I have owned. Note that they have a 30 day trial period AND they pay for return shipping if you don't like them. Check the professional reviews on their site.
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post #18 of 27 Old 08-06-2013, 06:34 PM
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I will "third" that. Have Verus Grand Towers, Forte center (no room for Grand) and Grand bookshelves as surrounds. Excellent sound in a large (18x25x19) unfriendly room. Cherry or black is not white but the cherry finish is better than any furniture I have owned. Note that they have a 30 day trial period AND they pay for return shipping if you don't like them. Check the professional reviews on their site.

+1 on, Check the professional reviews on their site.

Too bad you do not have the room for the VGC (I assume you must be using a A/V cabinet of some sort and cannot use a stand), it is a perfect match for the VGT.

Funny, I was looking for some review about another ID brand when I saw the aperion Verus Grand series and start reading on the professional review and I thought to my-self it is time for a change when for the last 10 years never had the want or need to do so.
Got my self the VGT, VGC and 4 VGB and I could not be happier.

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post #19 of 27 Old 08-07-2013, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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+1 on, Check the professional reviews on their site.

Too bad you do not have the room for the VGC (I assume you must be using a A/V cabinet of some sort and cannot use a stand), it is a perfect match for the VGT.

Funny, I was looking for some review about another ID brand when I saw the aperion Verus Grand series and start reading on the professional review and I thought to my-self it is time for a change when for the last 10 years never had the want or need to do so.
Got my self the VGT, VGC and 4 VGB and I could not be happier.

Ray
I think I do actually have room for the VGC and am considering it.

I'm still researching a lot of the above recommendations, but at this time, I'm also considering KEF R200c, Q200c, Q600c and Canton Chrono 505.2. There are a couple others that I can't remember right now.

Here is a pic of the room: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1484698/need-recommendations-for-10-11-deep-subs#post_23603663.
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post #20 of 27 Old 08-07-2013, 01:53 PM
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I think I do actually have room for the VGC and am considering it.

I'm still researching a lot of the above recommendations, but at this time, I'm also considering KEF R200c, Q200c, Q600c and Canton Chrono 505.2. There are a couple others that I can't remember right now.

Here is a pic of the room: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1484698/need-recommendations-for-10-11-deep-subs#post_23603663.

After a quick look and little thought, I think i would remove the 2 end shelves entirely and put your L&R speakers there. Lots of room for moving them to find best sounding location. Put the 2 subs at outside ends of the 2 remaining shelves with, again lots of room to move them around to find any sweet spots. Overall width of the 4 shelves is almost identical to my setup and VGTs can fill up the space with sound. They set a the ends of a Salamander console that is about 21/2 of your shelves wide. Suds have to go along right wall.
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post #21 of 27 Old 08-07-2013, 03:49 PM
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... Suds have to go along right wall.

Suds go in the cup holder at our house. Harder to spill that way. 😎


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post #22 of 27 Old 08-07-2013, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
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LOL @ mogrub

As much as I appreciate the idea, dsinger, my wife really isn't going to let me tear up the shelves.

mogrub - which speakers, especially center, did you end up buying?
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post #23 of 27 Old 08-07-2013, 11:33 PM
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I appreciate the idea, dsinger, my wife really isn't going to let me tear up the shelves. mogrub - which speakers, especially center, did you end up buying?
First thing, props to dsinger for his great post. His suggestions were creative and spot on.

Shanewu, I ended up going with electrostats. That took me above your original price point (and mine), so not sure how much help that would be.

My original idea for you, when I first read your thread, was a Klipsch center and fronts. I had specific models in mind.

I think the front left / right would have been a little deeper then you wanted, but I think the center height measurement fit exactly what you wanted.

That Klipsch set up was probably my top value choice, based on my room and needs and research. But my wife wanted a different look this time, so that's a big reason we went with the electrostats.

There were so many good ideas coming at you I didn't want to overload.


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post #24 of 27 Old 08-08-2013, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mogrub View Post

First thing, props to dsinger for his great post. His suggestions were creative and spot on.

Shanewu, I ended up going with electrostats. That took me above your original price point (and mine), so not sure how much help that would be.

My original idea for you, when I first read your thread, was a Klipsch center and fronts. I had specific models in mind.

I think the front left / right would have been a little deeper then you wanted, but I think the center height measurement fit exactly what you wanted.

That Klipsch set up was probably my top value choice, based on my room and needs and research. But my wife wanted a different look this time, so that's a big reason we went with the electrostats.

There were so many good ideas coming at you I didn't want to overload.
Are you referring to the Klipsch you listed before or other ones?

What are the models on the electrostats that you bought?
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post #25 of 27 Old 08-08-2013, 09:07 AM
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I think it will be in a walking path. Right now I'm considering putting two subs in the two corner bottom shelves. Budget for subs and amp if required is $2,400 or lessmyzV
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post #26 of 27 Old 08-08-2013, 02:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by shanewu View Post

I think I do actually have room for the VGC and am considering it.

I'm still researching a lot of the above recommendations, but at this time, I'm also considering KEF R200c, Q200c, Q600c and Canton Chrono 505.2. There are a couple others that I can't remember right now.

Here is a pic of the room: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1484698/need-recommendations-for-10-11-deep-subs#post_23603663.

Holy hard surface, Batman!

I would look at a LEON or Artison sound bar bracketed to the bottom of your flat panel.

Towards the top of your budget the 515-X-A from LEON would be excellent: http://leonspeakers.com/hz.html and they have several models both above and below that in price. The "A" in the model number represents upgraded drivers. LEON is built incredibly well. Sunning, beautiful speakers custom made for your room & TV.

Why would I recommend that? A few reasons...

1: The warmer soft dome speaker is going to be a little easier in that room with the drywall, hard floor, hard ceiling, hard shelving underneath, etc.

2: This will absolutely, positively look better than anything you can set in the shelving. Maybe you will have custom covers made by your woodworker to cover the speakers? Regardless, the LEON look in conjunction with the TV will be beautiful.

3: Sound quality. You'll have excellent sound quality with either of these two lines. Your wall & shelving isn't much larger than a large TV (I imagine that's what you'll have up there?). You won't get any more noticeable separation from the outside shelving positions over the sound bar's outside drivers. The LEON pieces image THAT well. They are absolutely fantastic when it comes to sound stage and imaging.

A great budget alternative would be the Studio 55 from Artison: http://www.artisonusa.com/loudspeakers/studio-soundbar-series/studio-55-soundbar---%28studio55-sb%29/ It has a $1899 MSRP and offers an excellent sound. Honestly, I would probably recommend this over the LEON model below the 515-X-A and possibly over the 515-X-A itself depending on some variables. Excellent sound quality and I like the fact that when you change TVs in the future you can just order a new custom cut grille rather than have the speaker cabinet replaced (as you have to do with LEON). And, it's $1100 cheaper!

Just some thoughts after viewing the room pics. I think the sound bar option will give your space the best look while keeping the sound quality fairly high given what the room will do to it.
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post #27 of 27 Old 08-09-2013, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by shanewu View Post

Are you referring to the Klipsch you listed before or other ones?

What are the models on the electrostats that you bought?

Shanewu,

Yes. the Klipsch front left and front right are the model listed there. They can be had for under $1200 each, with a Klipsch center that would make the total buy just under your $3k target.

My wife decided she didn't want to go with traditional "box" speakers this time. Just wanted a different look. So we ended up getting a pair of Martin Logan "Theos" speakers as our front left and rights, and a Martin Logan "Stage-X" center channel speaker.

You could consider electrostatics for your room, but it would probably be about +1k over your target price if you went that route. At retail, their EFX is about $3k per pair. and their Motif-X center is about $2k, but you can do better than that price wise if it became your preferred option.

I will say that we love our new speakers. They are on a completely different level than anything we've ever sat and listened to for any length of time. Big fun.

You're going to love whatever you do in your room too. Lots of great options on your page right now.


Every once in a while, quite inexplicably, things actually go according to plan.
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