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post #1 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there! New on the forum. Been lurking since the summer. I'm having a terrible time trying to get together a setup. I spend a couple hours a Saturday auditioning stuff. As well as every lunch hour since June reading up on others setups and the classifieds. My problem is: what I'm going for is a music based setup with the weekly Saturday night movie on a $3k budget(including the receiver) for the fronts and a center for now. I've got my eye on an Onkyo tx929. I don't have the guts to order it until I at least have better direction. I am partial to the 929 due to its features and owning an Onkyo tx sv727 for half of my life and it giving me zero problems. I am open to any suggestions believe me. So far the speakers I have checked out are:

 

Kef Q900

Paradigm studio 60

Monitor audio rx8

PSB imagine T

 

To be honest they all sound very similar in the stores. My living room is just shy of 20x20 so its hard to imagine what it would sound like at home. I guess I was just holding out to possibly find something used. And squeeze under my budget. Any suggestions on possibly a different route to take.PS I've been on the 929 owners thread and it seems to be a pretty good starting point too.

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post #2 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 06:30 PM
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Some quick thoughts that may be of help:

 

1. the majority of your sound quality comes from good speakers and a good subwoofer so don't skimp here. Every speaker you mentioned are considered to be very good. I'm partial to PSB but I've heard a lot of love given to the KEF. Paradigm has a lot of loyal customers. It will boil down to which ever one you like the best and that's the only way to ever choose speakers. 

 

2. Don't skimp on you subwoofer. Best bang for you buck are the ID companies. PSA, SVS, Rythmik, Outlaw, and HSU are all highly respected. Excellent subs at great prices with great customer service.

 

3. Technology changes so fast that AVR's are often changed out every few years to keep up. That said, I would buy a a decent midrange AVR to start and funnel the majority of my budget into my speakers and subwoofer. People change their one receiver much more often than their 5 to 7 speakers. I would look at Denon, Marantz, and Onkyo because they have Audyssey and IMO Audyssey offers great room EQ. I wouldn't spend more than $300 to $500 tops on an AVR to start. 

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post #3 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopinater View Post

Some quick thoughts that may be of help:

1. the majority of your sound quality comes from good speakers and a good subwoofer so don't skimp here. Every speaker you mentioned are considered to be very good. I'm partial to PSB but I've heard a lot of love given to the KEF. Paradigm has a lot of loyal customers. It will boil down to which ever one you like the best and that's the only way to ever choose speakers. 

2. Don't skimp on you subwoofer. Best bang for you buck are the ID companies. PSA, SVS, Rythmik, Outlaw, and HSU are all highly respected. Excellent subs at great prices with great customer service.

3. Technology changes so fast that AVR's are often changed out every few years to keep up. That said, I would buy a a decent midrange AVR to start and funnel the majority of my budget into my speakers and subwoofer. People change their one receiver much more often than their 5 to 7 speakers. I would look at Denon, Marantz, and Onkyo because they have Audyssey and IMO Audyssey offers great room EQ. I wouldn't spend more than $300 to $500 tops on an AVR to start. 



This is the best advice I've been given since June. The AV dealers in my area (Dallas) have me running around in circles making me feel like I need to spend at least 6k or its going to sound like a clock radio if I don't.
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post #4 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 06:39 PM
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With $3k budget you are over spending on budget for receiver.

So this is primarily music system with occassional movies? Do you not want surround sound for your movies cause given the price those speakers go for online you will not have any money left over for center channel and surrounds and quality subwoofer
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post #5 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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This is just a start. I will add surround and a sub when I save more cash up.
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post #6 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megamix068 View Post


This is the best advice I've been given since June. The AV dealers in my area (Dallas) have me running around in circles making me feel like I need to spend at least 6k or its going to sound like a clock radio if I don't.

Yeah, don't buy into their salesmanship. Their goal is different than yours. Theirs is to make money for the store, yours is to have a great audio setup at a reasonable price. 

 

There are other options for speakers out there as well. Aperion and SVS have free shipping to your home, free trial periods and free return shipping if you decide you don't like them. No risk in home trial, what's not to like?

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post #7 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopinater View Post

Yeah, don't buy into their salesmanship. Their goal is different than yours. Theirs is to make money for the store, yours is to have a great audio setup at a reasonable price. 

There are other options for speakers out there as well. Aperion and SVS have free shipping to your home, free trial periods and free return shipping if you decide you don't like them. No risk in home trial, what's not to like?
HTD and Acend Acoutics also allow for in home trials.

A home trial will show you how the speakers sound in your home. Its alot different than having to convince your ears the speakers that sounded awesome in the store, which actually sound horrible in your home must sound good cause you droped 3k on them.
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post #8 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 07:20 PM
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Where are you located? Just trying to get an idea of what is available to you.

Thanks and welcome aboard.

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post #9 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megamix068 View Post

This is the best advice I've been given since June. The AV dealers in my area (Dallas) have me running around in circles making me feel like I need to spend at least 6k or its going to sound like a clock radio if I don't.
Ignore them - some of us know from experience - and they are just trying to
get you to spend more

I like music too - Monitor Audio and PSB Imagine are nice options

I will also throw a wild card - and their bi-radial horns are not harsh,
or aggressive sounding - and Amazon has a easy return policy. The
Studio 5 series is good with music >
JBL Studio 580
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-580-Floorstanding-Loudspeaker/dp/B0060IG460/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389842318&sr=8-1&keywords=jbl+studio+580

Studio 590
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-590-Floorstanding-Loudspeaker/dp/B0060IG3R0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389842384&sr=8-1&keywords=jbl+studio+590

JBL Studio 520
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-520CBK-Channel-Speaker/dp/B00622SUHK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389842430&sr=8-1&keywords=jbl+studio+520

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #10 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post


HTD and Acend Acoutics also allow for in home trials.

A home trial will show you how the speakers sound in your home. Its alot different than having to convince your ears the speakers that sounded awesome in the store, which actually sound horrible in your home must sound good cause you droped 3k on them.

Good info.

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post #11 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopinater View Post

Good info.

HTD is located in Plano - you can visit the showroom

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #12 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 07:24 PM
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HTD is located in Plano - you can visit the showroom

I can't unless I want to take a long drive or flight. I'm in Central VA. But I wish I could because I would love to check those speakers out. 

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post #13 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopinater View Post

I can't unless I want to take a long drive or flight. I'm in Central VA. But I wish I could because I would love to check those speakers out. 
But OP may be close to Plano since he was going to Dallas stores (I have no clue how close those cities are as a new englander)
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post #14 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 07:30 PM
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But OP may be close to Plano since he was going to Dallas stores (I have no clue how close those cities are as a new englander)

For some people around 30 minutes

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Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #15 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post


For some people around 30 minutes

Sounds like he could easily stop by there. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post


But OP may be close to Plano since he was going to Dallas stores (I have no clue how close those cities are as a new englander)

Good catch. I totally missed that.

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post #16 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 09:41 PM
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I can't unless I want to take a long drive or flight. I'm in Central VA. But I wish I could because I would love to check those speakers out. 

your welcome to come by my house to listen to my Level Two setup. its not THAT far....smile.gif
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post #17 of 68 Old 01-15-2014, 09:43 PM
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yeah if he is close to dallas i would recommend an audition at the HTD showroom. i love love to hear the Level Three Towers myself.
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post #18 of 68 Old 01-16-2014, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Going to check out the HTD stuff asap! I'll let you guys know my thoughts. What receiver would go best with the level 3 towers, center, and surround? I'm open to other brands besides onkyo if it means better band for the buck. I'll most likely get my receiver from accessories4less if that helps. Thanks everyone!!!!!! 

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post #19 of 68 Old 01-16-2014, 10:41 AM
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the Level three towers are currently out of stock but they probably will have a pair to audition at the showroom.
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post #20 of 68 Old 01-16-2014, 11:54 AM
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He won't need towers if he plans a subwoofer. Another great option are the EMP Impressions. I mention it because I own a whole 5 speaker set of them and hence have personal experience.
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post #21 of 68 Old 01-16-2014, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
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Going to check out the HTD stuff asap! I'll let you guys know my thoughts. What receiver would go best with the level 3 towers, center, and surround? I'm open to other brands besides onkyo if it means better band for the buck. I'll most likely get my receiver from accessories4less if that helps. Thanks everyone!!!!!! 

Receivers aren't really made to match particular speakers so getting an Onkyo, Denon, Marantz etc would be fine. Personally I like the Audyssey room calibration so I would choose my receiver based whether it had the version of Audyssey I wanted and whether it had the other bells and whistles I wanted (such as number of speakers supported, 4k, 3D or whatever you are looking for). 

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post #22 of 68 Old 01-16-2014, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Hopinater View Post

Receivers aren't really made to match particular speakers so getting an Onkyo, Denon, Marantz etc would be fine. Personally I like the Audyssey room calibration so I would choose my receiver based whether it had the version of Audyssey I wanted and whether it had the other bells and whistles I wanted (such as number of speakers supported, 4k, 3D or whatever you are looking for). 

except if you have 4ohm speakers then you need a 4ohm rated receiver or amp that can deliver more current.

this does not apply to HTD speakers as they are 8ohm.
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post #23 of 68 Old 01-16-2014, 12:11 PM
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except if you have 4ohm speakers then you need a 4ohm rated receiver or amp that can deliver more current.

this does not appkly to HTD speakers as they are 8ohm.

Yeah. I almost added that qualifier to my post but decided to leave it out because of the speakers he's looking at. But you're absolutely right.

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post #24 of 68 Old 01-16-2014, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by megamix068 View Post

Going to check out the HTD stuff asap! I'll let you guys know my thoughts. What receiver would go best with the level 3 towers, center, and surround? I'm open to other brands besides onkyo if it means better band for the buck. I'll most likely get my receiver from accessories4less if that helps. Thanks everyone!!!!!! 

Marantz, Yamaha A series, or Denon

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Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #25 of 68 Old 01-17-2014, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Went by today on my way home. Very nice people and very honest. Gave a nice listen to the level 3 towers. They sound just as good as people say they do. Very solid build quality too. My only wonder is how they stack up against the paradigms, kef's, psb's, and monitor's. I sure wish I could do a side by side comparison. My thoughts now are do the htd level 3's or just wait a couple months and get a set of paradigms.But who wants to spend money not needed to get the same sound quality. What are you guys thoughts on how they stack up against my choices?
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post #26 of 68 Old 01-17-2014, 10:35 PM
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the Level Three Towers are a lot of speaker for the money. Internet Direct with no middle man, so the savings on having no distribution network and little advertising is passed on to you is the idea here.

some would argue that point, but believe it in HTD's case.


here is a review of them.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/speaker-subwoofer-reviews/71792-home-theater-direct-level-three-tower-review.html
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post #27 of 68 Old 01-18-2014, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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the Level Three Towers are a lot of speaker for the money. Internet Direct with no middle man, so the savings on having no distribution network and little advertising is passed on to you is the idea here.

some would argue that point, but believe it in HTD's case.


here is a review of them.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/speaker-subwoofer-reviews/71792-home-theater-direct-level-three-tower-review.html



How would they fair against a set of paradigm studio 100's is what I'm trying to figure out. I'm calling around today to try and find a place I can audition all of my options in one run. Hopefully that will get things going for me.
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post #28 of 68 Old 01-18-2014, 10:21 AM
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i have not heard Paradigms in a long while, but i used to own their monitor series, and have listened to studio series.

i would say they would do good in a pepsi challenge.
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post #29 of 68 Old 01-18-2014, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Wish you people lived closer to Dallas! Could have a speaker challenge/cookout at my house lol
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post #30 of 68 Old 01-19-2014, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Spent the entire weekend auditioning speakers. It was nice to be able to listen to all kinds of set ups back to back. I did get a chance to listen to a $50k setup and it did make me depressed and also helped me realize whats really important to me. While I was listening time started to go by 3x faster lol but I was able to understand what I'm truly after and maybe worth saving up for. When I was listening to some tracks on the more expensive than gold room, it wasn't just music anymore. I felt like I was a part of it. I could hear into the body of the guitar, I could hear the singers vocal cords. It was amazing. My next step is to try out htd again but this time bring my own music. Regardless if its right or wrong I will always have certain albums that I go to at the end of a long week: Paul Simon unplugged, Alice in chains unplugged, radio head ok computer, mazzy star tonight I might see, the police live in boston, Chris Robinson brothers of a feather.
I'm looking to become a part of the music and not just be sitting in front of a speaker. If that means breaking out the credit card I guess that's better than missing my goals. redface.gif
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