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post #31 of 53 Old 02-15-2014, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Trace79 View Post

The NHT classic three look really nice. I like they are a three-way speaker and the absolute zero wall speakers would be great due to their size and ease of mounting. I could get a five speaker package for about $1900. Is there a home trial period like other brands?

All the speakers I like pretty much have the same 86-87 sensitivity @ 1 watt/meter. I've read that the sierra 1 and NHT can eat up some power at higher SPL. I'm guessing all these speakers will be around the same when it comes to power consumption. Im'm guessing if I got a 7-channel AVR @ 100 watts w/ 2 channels driven and bi-amped the two mains would be more than enough to solve this issue.

I know perception of SQ is subjective and I'm literally starting at ground zero being in Egypt for so long. My old speakers were a pair of Tannoy 501 studio monitors and those were the best sounding speakers I've had. There was no EQ or sub EQ for my pc12-nsd but they rocked for a 2.1 PC speaker system. Now I want a great HT experience.

I think I'm going to have to narrow my options to only companies that I can do a home trial and choose what sounds best in my room. I appreciate all the input and help but I won't be able to make a solid choice without hearing two or three speaker sets.

With this in mind, it will be real expensive to demo L/C/R set of two differing brands at the same time. Will it be safe to try and just demo the L/R mains and whichever I like better just get the matching center and surrounds? Or should I demo the center too?

Yes, NHT offers a in-home trial. I believe it's for 30 days.

What receiver do you have or are you buying?
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post #32 of 53 Old 02-15-2014, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey man just thought I would throw in my two cents. I can't attest to the other speakers mentioned as I have not heard them but I can say that I own the ultra bookshelves and center and couldn't be happier. I replaced some Boston Acoustics towers and center with the the SVS and found them to be a huge upgrade. I am about a 75% music/25% movie listener and these speakers fill both needs. Surprising bass extension, accurate midrange and clean non-bright highs are how I would describe. The caveat here I would say is some may find the highs laking in a bit of air or even a bit warm. This is good for me as I find bright treble very fatiguing. The center channel I find particularly nice with dialogue on movies being articulate and intelligible, even if seated a bit off axis, a big improvement over my old center. Build Quality, fit and finish is very nice and pleased the wife. I am powering these with a yamaha rxv1900 receiver and have a sb-12 nsd sub. As for surrounds I have mirage omd5 for sides and def tek moniter 350 for rears. I dont detect any tonal problems using non matching surrounds. I hope this may be helpful choosing speakers can be a fun but agonizing experience! What ever you choose please enjoy!
If you listen to any blue ray 5.1 concerts or music that would be great to know to see how those surrounds match.

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Originally Posted by MarsianMan View Post

Salk Sounds makes the custom center but you could just rotate the tweeter and use it as a center. And then use the same for surrounds. That should match very well for those blu-ray concerts you mentioned earlier.

Unfortunately I wouldn't be able to use these as surrounds due to their size :/

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Originally Posted by NagysAudio View Post

I'm going to recommend the B&W CM line as I always do in this price range. I've honestly heard at least a sample from everything listed in this thread and the CM line of speakers are significantly better sounding.
I think B&W is a bit out of my price range for now.
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Yes, NHT offers a in-home trial. I believe it's for 30 days.

What receiver do you have or are you buying?

I'll probably get a Denon or Marantz from accessories4less or a Yamaha A line. I don't think I'll be able to afford one with 125-140 watts w/ 2 channels driven unless it's an older model. Most likely it'll be 100-110 watts. I'm sure this will be fine for movies but when I want to throw some parties and have friends over, I may need more juice to drive the NHT's.
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post #33 of 53 Old 02-15-2014, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Having matching surrounds of smaller stature are very important due to my room and speaker placement. I want the same timber for 5.1 music so this is a must. Having a shallow footprint of say 7" deep or less and not weighing too much would make placement much easier for the rear right surround speaker. I'm still most likely going to have to make a custom stand anyway.

Here are some pros and con's of the brands I like the most so far - minus how they sound which is most important of course smile.gif.

SVS Ultras:
Pros - can bi-amp, looks, three-way center looks like it can do the job, SVS customer service and warranty, 45 trial w/ free shipping, 5% military discount. Surrounds are only about 6" deep and should be easy to mount.
Cons - $1200 surrounds so will have to buy different brand until I can afford the SVS surrounds.

Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1:
Pros - Fantastic ability to upgrade in many ways [huge plus], can bi-amp, great customer service and warranty, 30 day in home trial, most affordable from my list.
Con's - 200SE surrounds won't match if I upgrade the tweeters to RAAL or get sierra 2's [Huge minus,] another set of sierra 1 are too big for surround duty. Sierra 1 center is just one tweeter and one driver - might not be as good as other brand centers. Horizon center is big and pricey at $1100. I'll save money in the beginning, but will spend the most inevitably later on as I know I'll get the upgrade bug lol.

NHT Classic 3's:
Pros - Great looks, three-way speaker, center channel looks solid and isn't too tall, plenty of options for surround duty like the Absolute Zero wall hanging speakers and not too expensive either at $400/pair, in home trial period.
Cons - No bi-amp option so may have to get a separate amp later on to drive them loud. Heard they can eat up power pretty easy [but also heard that about the Sierras.]

Focals 706v:
Pros - looks, easily attainable at decent prices unlike the 800 series, surrounds are only 5" deep and affordable at $600 a pair, center channel seems legit, affordable, may be able to be driven harder with less power due to their slight increase in sensitivity.
Con's - No idea on customer service, warranty, or in-home trial, not sure how they compare to the speakers above in SQ. These aren't really con's, more so ignorance on my part.

I'm sure there are other I can look at too. But this is just what I've found so far. I'm not sure if Dynaudio is in my price range but I keep hearing how amazing those are.

Anyway, I didn't think it was going to be as big an issue as it is, but looks like the surrounds have a major play in my decision.
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post #34 of 53 Old 02-16-2014, 12:11 AM
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I believe Ascend also has a military discount.

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post #35 of 53 Old 02-16-2014, 11:06 AM
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Don't worry about "bi-amping".
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post #36 of 53 Old 02-16-2014, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

I believe Ascend also has a military discount.

This is good to know, thank you.
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Originally Posted by 65 Electra Glide View Post

Don't worry about "bi-amping".

Can you elaborate why? I hear you can get better sound.
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post #37 of 53 Old 02-16-2014, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Just saw the Goldenear Aon 3 with Supercenter X and Supersat 3 surrounds. $2000. The surrounds are very small and easy to mount. Sensitivity of 90 too. Seems these new speakers are gettingnlots of praise.

These, like the NHT, are really attractive due to the small surrounds that will fit in my room.
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post #38 of 53 Old 02-16-2014, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Trace79 View Post

Can you elaborate why? I hear you can get better sound.
If you do a search on the forum, you will see various debates on the subject.

Also, don't confuse bi-amping vs bi-wiring.

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post #39 of 53 Old 02-16-2014, 05:23 PM
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Can you elaborate why? I hear you can get better sound.

There is only so much, a speaker with passive crossovers can give.

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post #40 of 53 Old 02-16-2014, 05:32 PM
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I got my Denon 3313ci not that long ago for a pretty good price. It drives my speakers with no problem but I may add a amp in the future. My room is 20x19. This AVR will play them as loud as I want. Have plenty of room to go up for parties.

What sub(s) do you have?
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post #41 of 53 Old 02-16-2014, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trace79 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

I believe Ascend also has a military discount.

This is good to know, thank you.
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Originally Posted by 65 Electra Glide View Post

Don't worry about "bi-amping".

Can you elaborate why? I hear you can get better sound.

In theory,
You send some power to your tweeter/mids
and the other channel of power to your woofer only.

If you can afford more channel of power amps for your speakers, than the more power to you.
I am perfectly happy with a 7 channel power amp with bi-amp speakers (not bi-amp).
A friend of mine is going as far of separate electronic crossover for each tweeter, midrange and woofers (that is, 3 stereo amp for each pair of speakers).
But everytime he come over, He is in the Nirvana of sound.
What I am trying to say, some stuff is a diminishing return to your investment.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trace79 View Post

Can you elaborate why? I hear you can get better sound.
If you do a search on the forum, you will see various debates on the subject.

Also, don't confuse bi-amping vs bi-wiring.

Big +1 on that

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post #42 of 53 Old 02-16-2014, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

I got my Denon 3313ci not that long ago for a pretty good price. It drives my speakers with no problem but I may add a amp in the future. My room is 20x19. This AVR will play them as loud as I want. Have plenty of room to go up for parties.

What sub(s) do you have?

I 'had' an SVS PC12-NSD but returned it right before I deployed to Egypt for a credit towards an upgrade when I get back in May. I'll most likely get a PC12-Plus. Dual SB-2000's are a possibility too though. My room is only 14'x 9'x 8'. I was hitting that limiter constantly on the pc12-nsd though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

If you do a search on the forum, you will see various debates on the subject.

Also, don't confuse bi-amping vs bi-wiring.

Okay, I will in time. I've been researchingnthe hell out of everything lately. There's really a lot to learn in this hobby smile.gif
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post #43 of 53 Old 03-08-2014, 01:53 AM
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I just got the svs ultra towers and center,had b&w matrix 805s,the sound is just unbelievable,bass extension,mids and those sweet higs everything so well blended,i wouldnt expected that kind of performance for such money....

As for surrounds,why dont you buy ultra bookshelves,i dont see any reason to buy their surrounds,unless you're going 7.1,it has smaller midbass driver too...
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post #44 of 53 Old 03-08-2014, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I just got the svs ultra towers and center,had b&w matrix 805s,the sound is just unbelievable,bass extension,mids and those sweet higs everything so well blended,i wouldnt expected that kind of performance for such money....

As for surrounds,why dont you buy ultra bookshelves,i dont see any reason to buy their surrounds,unless you're going 7.1,it has smaller midbass driver too...

What are you using to drive them? I'll be using some type of 100watt x 2 channels driven avr so it needs to be enough to push the speakers hard. I've turned away from the NHT's because of this. I heard they're actually less than advertised as far as sensitivity.

I'm really dependent on the surrounds being thinner...like 6" deep or less due to placement so the ultra bookshelves would be a bit big.

I really like the way that the SVS look, but am also a bit concerned about their 87 sensitivity rating with only 100 watt avr.
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post #45 of 53 Old 03-08-2014, 08:45 AM
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I'm driving it with bryston processor and marantz 5ch amp..but they are towers,and it can play at ridiculously high levels..bookshelves dont need that much power,but i recommend you to buy some ext.amp,the difference is really noticeable...
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post #46 of 53 Old 03-08-2014, 01:04 PM
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"What are you using to drive them? I'll be using some type of 100watt x 2 channels driven avr so it needs to be enough to push the speakers hard. I've turned away from the NHT's because of this. I heard they're actually less than advertised as far as sensitivity.

I'm really dependent on the surrounds being thinner...like 6" deep or less due to placement so the ultra bookshelves would be a bit big.

I really like the way that the SVS look, but am also a bit concerned about their 87 sensitivity rating with only 100 watt avr."


I have the NHT Classic 3's and the 3C Center and driving them with a TX-NR818 (135w per channel) with no problems. I also have Axiom Qs8 surrounds(a great surround that disappears well and don't worry about mixing brands) and in 5.1 configuration in a 2300 cu ft room (bigger than yours) watching concert DVD's I feel I'm right there at the concert! There is not much difference between 100w and 135w's so the NHT'S would be fine for you. I am also right now auditioning a pair of Ascend Sierra 2's and although there are things I like better about them(a little more detailed highs and deeper lows if I am using them without a subwoofer) the NHT's throw a bigger soundstage and are more forward with vocals and guitars (which I seem to like) and make you feel you are right there live! I have only had the Ascends for 5 days now, so I'll be doing more experimenting.smile.gif I have a Rythmik F15 sub that I use so I don't need speakers that dig deep and I cross them at 80hz. There is just something magical about the NHT's that you should try. I ordered the Ascend's because of the positive feedback and am going to give them a little more time to "settle in". This hobby is a lot of fun and you should audition as many speakers in your home as you can (and sometimes what your budget can allow) biggrin.gif
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post #47 of 53 Old 03-08-2014, 02:19 PM
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With your size restrictions your might check out the Ascend HTM-200 for surrounds. It's not very deep, and it's designed for easy placement (even flush wall mounted).
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post #48 of 53 Old 03-08-2014, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
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@Misko72 - if we only live in a perfect world lol. Getting a separate amp would be ideal but I'm already pushing my budget right now as it is. Maybe in the future once everything else is in place, I can look into that. But for now, a refurbished avr from Accessories4less will have to suffice. curious how many watts your Marantz is too btw?
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I have the NHT Classic 3's and the 3C Center and driving them with a TX-NR818 (135w per channel) with no problems. I also have Axiom Qs8 surrounds(a great surround that disappears well and don't worry about mixing brands) and in 5.1 configuration in a 2300 cu ft room (bigger than yours) watching concert DVD's I feel I'm right there at the concert! There is not much difference between 100w and 135w's so the NHT'S would be fine for you. I am also right now auditioning a pair of Ascend Sierra 2's and although there are things I like better about them(a little more detailed highs and deeper lows if I am using them without a subwoofer) the NHT's throw a bigger soundstage and are more forward with vocals and guitars (which I seem to like) and make you feel you are right there live! I have only had the Ascends for 5 days now, so I'll be doing more experimenting.smile.gif I have a Rythmik F15 sub that I use so I don't need speakers that dig deep and I cross them at 80hz. There is just something magical about the NHT's that you should try. I ordered the Ascend's because of the positive feedback and am going to give them a little more time to "settle in". This hobby is a lot of fun and you should audition as many speakers in your home as you can (and sometimes what your budget can allow) biggrin.gif

Good info, TY smile.gif. To me the aesthetics of the SVS and NHT's are the best visually speaking but that's subjective and also not nearly as important as the sound I know. I'm sure 100 watts will drive them, but will I be able to hit reference levels in my room is the question...I like to crank it loud sometimes on the weekends with friends which is why I sent my PC12-NSD in for an upgrade. Yes, even that sub was not enough in my tiny room lol. The price is right for the NHT's and the available surrounds in the size that I need sweeten the deal so it's hard to decide. The comment I made was from a post in the Classic Three's thread a few pages back about how they are only about a 83-84 sensitivity instead of the 87 listed by NHT. There were links in the post to soundandvision's article so taking it with a grain of salt.

I've crossed the Sierra 1/2's off my list because Ascend doesn't offer a matching surround that is in the size I need unfortunately. It's too bad too because I was really excited about the ability to upgrade to the RAAL tweeter I heard so much about later on. I'm glad to hear your impressions of the Sierra 2's vs the NHT's. You should post a more thorough review later on for the rest of us to read smile.gif

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With your size restrictions your might check out the Ascend HTM-200 for surrounds. It's not very deep, and it's designed for easy placement (even flush wall mounted).

This is why I am still contemplating the 340-SE's for L/C/R and the HTM-200's as surrounds. I hear they're still great sounding speakers, have a high sensitivity so easy to push, and are the cheapest out of all the others I am looking at.

So far this is what I am considering in this order due to high sensitivity, good reviews, and available surrounds with a smaller size and matching timbre.

Def Tech SM65's for the L/C/R [92 sensitivity rating,] with 8040 surrounds...$1700
Goldenear Aon 3's for L/R [90 sensitivity rating,] with supercenter x, and supersat50's surrounds...$2100
Ascend 340-SE for L/C/R [92 sensitivity rating,] with HTM-200's surrounds...$1250
SVS ultra series [87 sensitivity rating,] is most expensive at $2900
NHT classic three's [not really sure how sensitive due to mixed reviews,] w/ classic three center and absolute zero wall surrounds...$1900 roughly.

I know I can listen to the Def Tech and Goldenear's in a store room to decide between those two. And due to budget, I can probably order two sets of bookshelves of either NHT, SVS, or Ascend to compare side by side. Would be great if someone lived in the Denver/Dallas/Austin/San Antonio area for me to demo their NHT, SVS, or Ascends when I get back to the states biggrin.gif
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post #49 of 53 Old 03-08-2014, 03:55 PM
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I have never measured the sound in decibels from the 3's but I know they are not hitting reference levels. For me they get loud enough and I purchased the Onkyo 818 knowing it had pre-outs so I could add an external amp later if needed. I wouldn't worry about matching the rear surrounds to the front speakers. I originally had the absolute zeros as surrounds and although they are a great little speaker, you could easily localize where the sound was coming from. I then tried the Axiom Qs8's and what an improvement. They almost disappear. I know there are a few Axiom bashers, but the surrounds seem to get good reviews and I'm happy with them(for now LOL! I have a chronic case of upgrade itis). The main thing is to find out what sounds best to you, in your home with your equipment. They can sound great in the store, but may sound totally different at home. Good luck!cool.gif
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post #50 of 53 Old 03-08-2014, 04:11 PM
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Am I the only person that thinks Philharmonic speakers are ungodly ugly? i know there motto is to engineer the speakers and not sell on fancy extras, but god they are ugly.
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post #51 of 53 Old 03-09-2014, 08:06 AM
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Crossing the Sierra-1's and Sierra-2's off your list because of there not being a matching surround is lunacy! The surround channels have such little content that you would literally gain so little to nothing by using even identical speakers! It's sad that you feel that way because I can assure you that the RAAL based Sierra-1's or Sierra-2's sound much better than anything from NHT, PSB, Paradigm, Klipsch, B&W, ect.. I personally have the RAAL equipped Sierra-1's and I have done an intense a/b comparison between my Sierra-1's with the B&W 805D2's and much preferred the Sierra-1's on everything I through at them!

Matching the surrounds while good for multi-channel music, offers little to no benefit with movies, certainly not enough to compromise the front LCR's just because of there not being an exact match for surrounds! Go with the HTM-170's and be done with it!
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post #52 of 53 Old 03-09-2014, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Crossing the Sierra-1's and Sierra-2's off your list because of there not being a matching surround is lunacy! The surround channels have such little content that you would literally gain so little to nothing by using even identical speakers! It's sad that you feel that way because I can assure you that the RAAL based Sierra-1's or Sierra-2's sound much better than anything from NHT, PSB, Paradigm, Klipsch, B&W, ect.. I personally have the RAAL equipped Sierra-1's and I have done an intense a/b comparison between my Sierra-1's with the B&W 805D2's and much preferred the Sierra-1's on everything I through at them!

Matching the surrounds while good for multi-channel music, offers little to no benefit with movies, certainly not enough to compromise the front LCR's just because of there not being an exact match for surrounds! Go with the HTM-170's and be done with it!

I greatly appreciate this enthusiastic response smile.gif. Yes, the only reason I don't want to have a mismatched timbre is for the multichannel music. Back when I did have a 5 channel surround system I listened to a lot of music DVD's. And I plan on doing so again with this system.
Perhaps you're right and I might not even notice the difference. I'm simply trying to formulate the best option from months of reading so !any different subjective opinions. frown.gif

So...if I were to go with the sierras w/ raal, wouldn't it make sense to at least try and find a surround with a ribbon tweeter to get as close as possible? Like the Goldenear supersat50?
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post #53 of 53 Old 03-09-2014, 02:45 PM
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... is for the multichannel music. Back when I did have a 5 channel surround system I listened to a lot of music DVD's. And I plan on doing so again with this system...

Multichannel (surround) music is the one exception to the rule-of-thumb alluded to by Martycool wink.gif For that kind of listening surrounds that timbre match the front LCR is very, very desirable (5 matching speakers all the way around ideal, at the very least surrounds from the same make/model line).

On the other hand, many of the different Ascend speaker models work uncommonly well together so you might get away with a mixed Ascend set. (For example - there are lots of posts regarding mixing stock Sierra 1's and RAAL Sierra 1's with excellent results.) Ascend has excellent and knowledgeable customer service, might be worth calling them for suggestions/recommendations.
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