speaker hunting! $700 - $1300 budget - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-25-2014, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking into upgrading my speaker setup I've had for 7 years now, Fluance AV-HTB+.
Keeping my Energy S10.3 sub.
Harman Kardon AVR247.
My budget range for all 5 speakers is $700-$1300.
My current room is on the smaller side (14' deep, 10' wide, 8' tall, extends another 13 feet towards kitchen on one side), but I hope to move to a bigger space within a couple years, and I'm looking to keep whatever I buy for a very long time.
Usage is 50% TV/movies, 25% games, 25% music.
I'm partial towards having towers and a horizontal center.
I'm a professional musician with good ears, but not an audiophile (yet?)

Here's what I'm looking at, in order of current preference:

Fluance XL-HTB - On the cheaper side, with free shipping to boot. Very pretty - wife will approve.

Arx A5, A2rx-c, A1-b - I like everything I read about this. Particularly it winning the shootout on HTS. A little over my budget with shipping factored in. I understand Arx is getting phased out soon. Worth an extra $600 over the Fluance?

HTD Level 2 or 3 - I live 15 minutes away from HTD near Dallas, so no shipping costs if I want to return after audition. I haven't visited them yet, should soon though. Level 2 is at the bottom end of my budget, 3 is at the top. Not sure which I would go for, or maybe combine if they match well (level 3 fronts and center, level 2 surrounds?).

also considering:

Aperion Intimus 4/5 combination (will they match?)
Emptek Impression E55Ti, E5Bi, E5Ci or E56Ci
Polk TSx440T (my Frys has for $280 per), TSx220B, TSx250c
Klipsch Reference RF-52ii, RC-52ii, RS-41ii

Grant me your wisdom, internets!
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-26-2014, 03:42 AM
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For that budget, my top recommendation would be four of the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers with the Diamond 10CS center speaker.

Those are excellent speakers; better than the others you listed IMO.

Music Direct has the 10.1 for $350 per pair and the 10CS for $299, so that is $1000 total.

If you want towers for the front, the Diamond 10.3 speakers would add another $300 to the total.
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-26-2014, 03:49 AM
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Mattmooresucks,

I'm also in the same boat as you. Trying to decide between Arx and HTD. I wont be able to audition any of these speakers, so mainly going on reviews and recommendations. HTD does have a 10% off right how if that changes anything. Let me know if you audition the HTD and how they sound.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-26-2014, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

For that budget, my top recommendation would be four of the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers with the Diamond 10CS center speaker.

Those are excellent speakers; better than the others you listed IMO.

Please tell us more about how you compared the Wharfedales to the speakers mentioned by the OP.
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-26-2014, 05:43 AM
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There's also Ascend. Just got my parents a used 5.0 set of them and they sounded very nice.

Denon 2113, Klipsch RF-52, RC-35, RB-61, SVS PB-1000
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-26-2014, 07:09 AM
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Here's my 2 cents...

The Diamond 10.1 were nice, but I found them a bit exaggerated in the bass, and overall a somewhat dark/dull sounding speaker. I can say, it's one speaker that would never give listening fatigue. I think, in a more wide open room that the one I had them in at the time, the bass would not have been so overpowering. That room has quite a bit of gain down low. I have yet to really hear anything good about Wharfedale's 2-way MTM centers from the Diamond series (both 9 and 10). I would at least go after the 10.CM for center if you went the Wharfedale route.

HTD Level 2 are nice (haven't heard Level 3), but I personally liked the Wavecrest Audio HVL-1, Cambridge Audio S30, and Mordaunt Short Aviano 1 all better than the Level 2 towers when I compared them all. Yes the towers had the best bass extension by a wide margin, and I felt the HTD were clearly better build cabinets than any of the others, with the Aviano second, but soundwise they weren't quite right for me. Still, they are a good value and many like them. They also look much nicer than Arx, Wave Crest, S30, and Aviano IMO. The 10% off right now makes for some good deals - and they're already running discounts on 3 and 5-packs of the centers - so you could get 3 of the L2 or L3 centers for quite a bargain price to go along with the towers...

I had the Aperion 4T and 5C awhile back... Very well built and looked nice with the cherry veneer. The 4T actually sounded pretty good - on par with a nice bookshelf, but I like the Energy RC-10 I had at the time better. I just thought the 5C didn't sound quite right with dialogue. To me, it was a bit nasally and boxy sounding. Probably due to the upper midrange emphasis, I assuming designed in to add vocal clarity, that I've noted in measurements I've seen of this speaker. If it were me, I'd only look at the Aperion Verus Grand line if I went with them - but that'd be over budget.

I now have Arx A1b's, and they would be my pick over any others I just mentioned. The faux wood vinyl looks cheesy, and I think the application is just passable - there have been reports of it peeling for some owners, and in my case, there are areas where it's not cleanly done... That said, soundwise they really impressed me. Good resolution, clean articulate woofer - no boominess in the upper bass, and no low midrange muddiness - and detailed highs. I would say, like the HVL-1, they can sound a tad bright at times, but they have more low end so they sound more balanced, and the planar tweeter is, IMO, clearly better than that in the HVL-1. If only they could improve on the fit/finish of these... that's my biggest complaint. Also, they are no efficient at all, so I wouldn't recommend an el cheapo AVR with them.
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-26-2014, 09:57 AM
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Craig's List

Will I find La Scala, or better, to displace my La Scala fronts, before I displace my kg1, kg2 & kg3 with Heresy or better?

RED AND BLUE=MAROON!

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post #8 of 14 Old 01-26-2014, 11:30 AM
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Matt,

The Kef 3005se is an amazing system - I have it myself or at least an older version (the Kef 3005). I bought my system in 2007. This system is audiophile quality. A Bose system is NO comparison (I had the Bose Acc-7 with Bose 301's) before upgrading to this. This system is a tad over a grand and you will not be sorry. The Kef's uni-Q tweeter is simply stunning. The tweeter is placed in the center of the woofer. Oh, all my Kef speakers still work perfectly; 7 years old!
The highs are details and true to life without any tinny sound or harshness. The mids are simply breathtaking, so voices are clear, articulate and sound as if that person could be sitting in your living room. The sub defies logic because it is small but it will rock your house. If you have a medium to small area this sub will be more that adequate. You need a higher end receiver for these speakers. I have a 7.1 Yamaha with 110 watts per channel; this is plenty of power. Good luck!

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/KEFKHT3005SEWBLK/KEF-KHT3005SE-5.1-Speaker-Package-w/HTB2-Wireless-Subwoofer/1.html?gclid=CLKxlczBnLwCFYkWMgodLn8Ahg
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-26-2014, 11:32 AM
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Matt,

Look at the Kef Q series speakers if you run into a bit more money...
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-26-2014, 11:44 AM
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Focal - serious good prices - Good for music, movies and games

717 V towers
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/FOCAL717VHVN/FOCAL-Chorus-717V-716V-Dual-6-1/2-Tower-Speaker-PAIR-Havana/1.html


CC700/701 center
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/FOCALCC701HVN/FOCAL-Chorus-CC701-CC700-Dual-6-1/2-Drivers-Center-Speaker-Havana/1.html


The Sib for surrounds
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/FOCALSIBPRBLK/FOCAL-Sib-5-2-Way-Satellite-Loudspeakers-Pair-Gloss-Black/1.html

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #11 of 14 Old 01-26-2014, 06:05 PM
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Arx is getting phased out? For what?
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post #12 of 14 Old 01-26-2014, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Chane.

http://www.theaudioinsider.com/blog/

"We'll relaunch the A1 - A5 with Chane branding"
Don't know if anything will change.
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post #13 of 14 Old 01-26-2014, 06:55 PM
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Seems like a strange move from what I can see on the interweb. They are getting with Chase Home Theater and the two are starting a new company, which seem odd since arx and tai seems to be developing a loyal following. Interesting to see what comes of this.
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-27-2014, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socketman View Post

Seems like a strange move from what I can see on the interweb. They are getting with Chase Home Theater and the two are starting a new company, which seem odd since arx and tai seems to be developing a loyal following. Interesting to see what comes of this.

It all reads well and nice - except the name. Chane speakers? Bleah.
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