$1000 (or less) for center and front sides : what to buy? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-01-2014, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Second try: 1st attempt did not seem to post. Here goes again.

Firstly, let me say thank you to everyone for help yesterday. I've gotten much more targeted now that you've helped me along the path. New question today thanks to you.

About the space/set up

I have a traditional family room (19x22).
TV "system" is in a bookcase in the corner of the room.
FYI, I have a separate whole house audio system that serves music everywhere.
Although not in place yet, I am about to add a Denon AVR x2000.
FYI, zone 2 of Denon will be an additional source on whole-house system to stream Pandora/other network audio
Bookcase dimensions will be a factor in speakers I select -- I think ideal placement is for center to be under TV (on a shelf with a relatively narrow "cabinet door" opening. Bookcase above TV can hold the front side speakers (placed as far L and R as possible).

About me/usage habits

I am 45, married, with kids.
While I would love to be an audiophile, it is not practical in my life -- I listen to music while dressing, cooking dinner, doing work at the kitchen table. I do NOT have the luxury to sit in the perfect listening spot in acoustically designed room and spin vinyl. Thus whole-house audio is the practical choice for me to really enjoy music.

Same for this dedicated TV system. It would be cool to sit in a "real" home theater and shake the rafters with hi-def theater experience. But the practical reality is that we grab a little time for our favorite show after dinner -- or sometimes rent a "family movie" and eat nachos on the couch. I *DO* want a full TV experience -- and sound needs a real upgrade. But, again, I'm looking for "good and practical" at the same time.

The specific question

If I have UP TO $1000 to spend on center and front sides (sub to be added LATER), what do I buy.

1. My local A/V guy (who I want to support) carries PolkAudio, MartinLogan, Energy, other.
2. I like the idea of Klipsch. (I don't know . . . I read a good review of the reference series?)
3. I love my Emotiva "ipod dock" set up at work . . . but I don't think that has an application in my HT.
4. I don't NEED to spend $1000 -- where is the sweet spot? $800? $500?
5. I realize that there are infinite possibilities. How do I get this "right?"


Thanks all for your SUPER advice and direction.

All best,
M
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-01-2014, 09:36 AM
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There are good options at most budgets, I would say around $600-800 starts to give you some good choices. You will need to tell us the maximum dimensions your bookcase can support. The best way to choose speakers though is to take some of your favorite music or a movie you like and go demo. Whatever sounds good to you and is within your budget is what you should buy. There are lots of internet direct brands with risk free trials, but I would first decide what kind of sound you like. For example, Klipsch is known to be bright sounding, while Energy is the opposite. See which speakers you like and then we can make some other recommendations.

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post #3 of 17 Old 04-01-2014, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok. Have to find a place to listen then.
Will also start to get some dimensions out . . . Upper shelves are adjustable. Lower shelves (especially width) are not.
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-01-2014, 06:38 PM
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I am looking just like you and room size very similar. All I can tell you is what speakers I have on my short list thanks to many posters on here. This will be my first set of nice speakers, so I cant help you evaluating them. I'm having enough trouble deciding myself.
A) Emp Tek E55Ti (towers/pair) & E56Ci (center) - $1090.00 (includes free shipping I think)
B) Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 (pair) & CMT-340 (center) - $ 932.00 (includes shipping, but doesn't include stands, another $140)
C) Chane Arx A5 (towers/pair) & A2 (center) - $1030.00 (doesn't include shipping and out of stock)
Arx A3 (towers/pair) & A2 (center) - $770.00 (doesn't include shipping and A2 out of stock)
Arx A2 x 3 - $690.00 (doesn't include shipping and out of stock)
Not sure what's up with the Chane Arx speakers. Guess a new model is coming out.
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-02-2014, 03:35 AM
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The Hsu speakers could be a good option.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/speakers.html

You didn't mention having a subwoofer. You'll probably want one with any bookshelf or in-wall speakers.
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-02-2014, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyncal View Post

I am looking just like you and room size very similar. All I can tell you is what speakers I have on my short list thanks to many posters on here. This will be my first set of nice speakers, so I cant help you evaluating them. I'm having enough trouble deciding myself.
A) Emp Tek E55Ti (towers/pair) & E56Ci (center) - $1090.00 (includes free shipping I think)
B) Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 (pair) & CMT-340 (center) - $ 932.00 (includes shipping, but doesn't include stands, another $140)
C) Chane Arx A5 (towers/pair) & A2 (center) - $1030.00 (doesn't include shipping and out of stock)
Arx A3 (towers/pair) & A2 (center) - $770.00 (doesn't include shipping and A2 out of stock)
Arx A2 x 3 - $690.00 (doesn't include shipping and out of stock)
Not sure what's up with the Chane Arx speakers. Guess a new model is coming out.

They are all being updated to the 'rx' models, the A5 is the last one left I believe and should be available shortly.

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Samsung PN60F5300 | Denon DBP-1611 | Roku 3
Denon AVR-1713 | EMP E55Ti | EMP E56Ci | EMP E5Bi | BIC F-12

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post #7 of 17 Old 04-02-2014, 01:27 PM
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If you're close by...this is a great buy

http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/classifieds-sell-your-gear/90031-emp-e55ti-towers-emp-e56ci-center.html

Panny 65st60 / Denon X1000 / EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-03-2014, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all. Am studying all links and ideas that you send me.
A couple of folks have asked dimensions available in my bookcases.

Here's my best info: My center channel needs to be 17 inches wide (or less). Not exactly true, as I could have the edges bleed over 'behind the door" so to speak . . . but the physical speakers should be that tight.
The bookshelf speakers need to be no more than 10 inches deep (height is adjustable).

Is that enough room to get something decent?

What do you all think of the MartinLogan 15/30 series?

M
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-03-2014, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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i changed my cabinet design. I have more width for a center speaker.

which speakers from Energy do people suggest?
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-03-2014, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc1263 View Post

which speakers from Energy do people suggest?
The Reference Connoisseur line or Veritas line

3 RC-LCR's would make great front speakers. Or RC-10's with an RC-LCR as center
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post #11 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc1263 View Post

which speakers from Energy do people suggest?

Why do you ask? The better Energy lines are no longer easy to get any more, and thus are often not the values that they once were.

Your questions are answered:
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post #12 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 04:17 PM
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Keep an eye out at Fry's. I have a feeling they'll have at least one more blow out sale on the Energy RCs. They just had the RC-70s on sale for $350 each, but that ended.

You said you need speakers less than 10" deep. The Hsu are only 8".
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post #13 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Why do you ask?.

I'm trying really hard to set a direction for 3.0 for now (with addition of .1 later).
My local av guy who I want to support carries
martin logon (but what I read isn't glowing)
Polk
Energy
Atlantic technology
Proficient
Sun fire
Velodyne


I probably can seek out a place to listen to something .... But I'm all over the map right now.

I need help.

I appreciate all the ideas that people have offered, but I'm afraid I'm more confused rather than less confused.

Got advice?
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post #14 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc1263 View Post

I'm trying really hard to set a direction for 3.0 for now (with addition of .1 later).
My local av guy who I want to support carries
martin logon (but what I read isn't glowing)
Polk
Energy
Atlantic technology
Proficient
Sun fire
Velodyne


I probably can seek out a place to listen to something .... But I'm all over the map right now.

I need help.

I appreciate all the ideas that people have offered, but I'm afraid I'm more confused rather than less confused.

Got advice?

Atlantic Technology makes nice stuff.
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post #15 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 04:47 PM
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I went through a similar problem as you recently. I flopped around until I had enough and then made a decision. I made a list that met my (space) requirements, found out what was important to me, find reviews on my speakers, rank them, and then choose.

The speaker decision I made on this forum isn't popular brand/speaker, but I found that outside of a few outliers, there generally are few "bad" speakers if they were willing to subject themselves to reviews by sound and vision, stereophile, and others. I'm happy with my purchase as it met my requirements, not some other person's requirements.

Hope that helps in a vague way. Too many choices imo.
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post #16 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 05:41 PM
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If he is locking himself into buying from one local audio guy, he is severely limiting his choices and probably not going to get the best bang for his buck possible.

Internet direct brands and closeouts on older models of brick and mortar brands are where the value resides.
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post #17 of 17 Old 04-04-2014, 05:42 PM
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Hi :

Have you considered used speakers you can find incredible buys on used equipment. A lot of audiophiles are constantly looking to upgrade there system. In fact I am doing so as we speak. A good place to check for quality mid to high end used gear is audiogon.com.

In fact I am just about to list my home theater speakers on several different places. I have an all Focal home theater the chorus line ( There lower of the high end gear. But do not let the word lower fool you. Focal makes speakers from several hundred dollars to about $100,000/Pr.

I am selling a pair of 715's full range towers and CC 700 center for $750 also have the matching sub and 4 monitors and 2 surrounds from the same company. $750is less than half what I paid for them. (check out Focal on line )

Regardless of whether you are interested you should at least check out audiogon web site. Most of the speakers on this site are in a different class fromt what the dealer is trying to sell you. Not that they are bad speakers they are what they are.

Good luck in finding speakers and enjoy them.

P.S I also have a pioneer Elite receiver that is about a year old that you could get a deal on. I purchased a 4K TV and need something with 4K passthru and 2.0



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