Recommendations for towers, center and surrounds on a 4k budget? Svs, GoldenEar, Kef? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By JustaSheep
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 21 Old 07-28-2014, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Recommendations for towers, center and surrounds on a 4k budget? Svs, GoldenEar, Kef?

Hi everyone,
I'm a new member of this forum as well as relative new to setting up audio systems.
Untill now I had my electronics hooked up to a logitech z5500 thx set which always did a pretty good job since the room size was only about 14 by 12.

Since we're moving in a little while, I want to use the occasion to upgrade to a dedicated 5.1 system but I have a few issues on which I would like to get some input from much more experienced audiophiles :-)

For now my budget is 3500-4000$/€, this should include all speakers except for a sub. I had my mind pretty much set on the svs ultra towers, bookshelves and center. But after reading some more reviews, the Goldenear speaker line also really caught my attention. The Triton Three towers, Aon3 bookshelves and Supercenter XL would be on budget. Another possible contender is the R-series from Kef. Lookwise I would definitely prefer the svs speakers over the kef's and the tritons but the sound is really the most important thing to me. Note that I don't include a subwoofer, for now I have a SVS SB12-NSD sub and I want to integrate that in the system and add a second woofer in the future or replace it with a more powerful one.

I'm planning to setup the system in the attic, this space measures roughly estimated 26 by 18. I have added a picture of the attic, what you see is about 18 by 16; the room extends for about 8 more feet behind from where this picture is taken. The soundsystem will be used for gaming, movies as well as music so the more allround the speakers are the better.
So here are my concerns: is this room too big for this setup? I will only use half of the attic space for home cinema, other half will get another purpose but the sound will of course be travelling through the other area as well. If the size would be too big and if I would be acoustically better off using one of the bedrooms as a home cinema, I will but it certainly would be more practical if the attic would work out.

Can anyone with experience with any one of these speaker sets give me their opinion whether these speakers will sufficy in this space or maybe recommend an other set up all together?
I have found a dealer nearby who has both GoldenEar as Kef speakers so I will make an appointment to listen to both soon. Svs speakers are a bit harder to listen to since they only have online dealers.

All your input is highly valued! Thanks in advance!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2014-07-27_19_27_26.png
Views:	74
Size:	409.9 KB
ID:	183914  
deprinsk is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 21 Old 07-28-2014, 08:49 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Gecko85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: California
Posts: 2,184
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Liked: 80
One thing you'll hear often on this forum is to demo the speakers in your home, not in-store. There are too many variables in the store (their own room treatments, room dimensions, etc.) Most dealers will let you do an in-home demo.

Now, for some anecdotal info from when I recently purchased some bookshelf speakers (you mentioned the Aon 3, which I demoed in-home): I tried several different bookshelf speakers, including the Aon 3, and for me, in my space, the B&W CM1's were clearly superior to the Aon 3's. Better midrange, more bottom end, cleaner highs. Again, though, that was in my space - your mileage may vary.

Can't comment on towers since my space is better suited for bookshelves.

Also, SVS usually allows free in-home demo with free return shipping, so you should be fine there if you want to try them out.

Panasonic TC-P60ST60, Pioneer SC-1523-K, Oppo BDP-103D, Pioneer PL-550 + Cambridge Audio Azur 640P, B&W CM1 (fronts), B&W CM Centre, Athena Point 5 Mk II (rears), Hsu VTF-2
----------------------------------------
Sony 34XBR960, Onkyo TX-NR414, Sony PS3, Athena Point 5 Mk II (center and fronts), Wharfedale WH-2 (rears), Polk PSW10
Gecko85 is online now  
post #3 of 21 Old 07-28-2014, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 0
That sounds pretty logic, I'll follow that approach. First go to the dealer, hear some speakers over there,  decide which ones I prefer most and ask if a home demo is possible with those speakers.  After that I can still order the svs speakers on trail if I'm still in doubt. I really like the design of the svs line but performace and sound quality are definitely the most important factors.

The store is also a b&w dealer so I'll make sure to ask after your bookshelves as well.

I can't spend this budget on speakers any time soon again so I just want to make sure to get the most value for my budget. To do that it looks like I need to be a bit more patient and wait untill we moved in there ;-)

Thanks for your advice!
deprinsk is offline  
post #4 of 21 Old 07-28-2014, 01:01 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Gecko85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: California
Posts: 2,184
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Liked: 80
If you decide you like a set after demoing from the dealer, ask if they'll sell you the demos. They often will, and it'll save you some money.

Panasonic TC-P60ST60, Pioneer SC-1523-K, Oppo BDP-103D, Pioneer PL-550 + Cambridge Audio Azur 640P, B&W CM1 (fronts), B&W CM Centre, Athena Point 5 Mk II (rears), Hsu VTF-2
----------------------------------------
Sony 34XBR960, Onkyo TX-NR414, Sony PS3, Athena Point 5 Mk II (center and fronts), Wharfedale WH-2 (rears), Polk PSW10
Gecko85 is online now  
post #5 of 21 Old 07-28-2014, 02:06 PM
Member
 
theblackangus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 69
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Also if you are looking at the Kef's, check out the LS-50's.
I heard them recently and loved their sound for the size/price.
theblackangus is offline  
post #6 of 21 Old 07-28-2014, 02:25 PM
Senior Member
 
mpjmeyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 218
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked: 17
+1 for SVS Ultra speakers.

I purchased a very nice center channel from Best Buy for my theater but something kept telling me to try SVS so I purchased their Ultra center and did a side by side test. 24 hours later I was standing in the return line at Best Buy. SVS speakers are very well designed and have a very rich tune that blends perfect with dual PB12 plus subs.
mpjmeyer is offline  
post #7 of 21 Old 07-28-2014, 06:55 PM
AVS Special Member
 
rlindo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: ON, Canada
Posts: 4,739
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Liked: 136
I recently upgraded to the SVS Ultras (2 bookshelves, center, 2 surrounds) and they are fantastic. I can definitely give them a recommendation to try out and I'd imagine the towers are pretty awesome.

ROB
rlindo is offline  
post #8 of 21 Old 07-28-2014, 07:35 PM
Member
 
JustaSheep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 27
I can't comment on any of the options you listed, but if you're willing to try an internet direct company, I can recommend Ascend Acoustics. I have their Sierra towers and center with 340's as surrounds which you could do for just under $4k including shipping and tax. I can't tell you how happy I am with them. I'm not sure where you are located but if you go to their forum, you can request a demo. You can search the forums here, too, if you want to get a feel for how they stack up with other brands and experiences.
-Sheep
JustaSheep is offline  
post #9 of 21 Old 07-29-2014, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 0
I'll make sure to ask about demo models and prices, I'm always in for saving money ;-) As long as this doesn't compromise the warranty; you can expect speakers in this price range to last a really long time but I just want some ease of mind for the years to come.


I found those Kef's LS50's on the dealer's ex-demo webpage and there's currently a discount of 200€ off compared to a brand new set.


Sounds familiar about wanting to hear the svs'es, I've got that same recurring feeling ;-) But I'll go and listen to some other speakers in the store first and decide from there.


I'm still curious on the sound charasterics of those folded ribbon tweeters from GoldenEar, I wonder on how they sound like compared to conventienal tweeters. I'll make an appointment for next week in the store since they only do personal demo's but that's a good sign showing that they're willing to take the necessary time for a demonstration.


If custum support is on the same level as store dealers, I'm not affraid to buy online. I believe both svs and ascend got that base covered but I'm unsure whether Ascend will ship to Europe.. couldn't really tell on their website..


Anyway, I'll keep you updated on how the demo went and which speakers I will be ordering.


Thanks again for the feedback so far!
deprinsk is offline  
post #10 of 21 Old 07-30-2014, 07:18 PM
Member
 
JustaSheep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 27
Didn't realize you were in Europe. I know there are several people not in the US who do own Ascends from posts in the forums, so I'm sure they ship internationally. Their customer service is top notch, but it's hard to know what they can do for a customer overseas cost effectively. It couldn't hurt to ask, though.

Good luck in your search. The research and anticipation is 1/2 the fun.
-Sheep
JustaSheep is offline  
post #11 of 21 Old 07-31-2014, 05:35 AM
AVS Special Member
 
smasher50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: right behind you
Posts: 2,205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Liked: 1361
fwiw, I would also recommend the kef ls 50's in your attic situation. 3 for the front and a pair of kef q 100's for rears .enough money left over for that second svs sub.

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
smasher50 is offline  
post #12 of 21 Old 08-02-2014, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Oh ok, I couldn't find any shipping info on their website but I can always ask what their conditions are for shipping to foreign countries. There might be taxes involved if the speakers arrive in Europe but not sure on that. And like you say, the hunt is a pleasurable part but the quantity of speakers in this price range is a bit overwhelming to narrow it down quickly too ;-)

Looks like I have to be a bit more patient, I've contacted the dealer yesterday but he has his annual vacation during August. This does give me some time to create a good demo cd :-)

He will contact me somewhere this month though to do the demo. For now the demo includes the Golden ears, Kefs and another, unexpected contender.. the tiny towers from Sonus Faber. He has a demo set which are 1180, new they're priced at 1650€ so that could be also a good deal. From the specs I shouldn't expect excellent bass from those but I'm really looking for solid and pure mid and high frequencies since the lower frequencies can always be covered by the sub I own.

If I should really like the toy towers, do you think its a good idea to use these as fronts as well as surrounds? I would still be under budget with 2 pair of these. Or is it better to have more power coming from the fronts and use monitors for the surround channel?
deprinsk is offline  
post #13 of 21 Old 08-02-2014, 05:26 PM
Member
 
JustaSheep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 27
I would say if money is no object, have the surrounds match the fronts, but since you are on a budget, I would get the best matching front stage I could afford and a lower level surround recommended as a good cheaper alternative by the same manufacture. Surrounds simply don't get as much use. Most music is 2 channel and movies are primarily from your center and L/R.

I would not buy towers that do not have a matching center. By matching I mean the same components, the same crossover(s), the same materials, the same volume (cubic meters), etc., ie. the center has the same design goals as the towers. A well designed center that matches your l/r will disappear on the "stage". This would be far more important to me than matching the surrounds.
darthray likes this.

Last edited by JustaSheep; 08-03-2014 at 12:28 PM.
JustaSheep is offline  
post #14 of 21 Old 08-04-2014, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 0
I also thought that the fronts are the most important pieces of a surround setup but I wasn't sure on that so thanks for clearing that up for me Sheep.


The toy series from sonus also includes a center (500 €) and bookshelves (700€ for a pair, stands not included). The center has the same tweeter and 2 midrange drivers as the tower. The bookshelf has also got this tweeter and midrange driver. Both lack the 180mm woofer that's housed in the tower. Only difference is their output. Where the tower has an output of 35-200 Watts, the center and surrounds have an output of "only" 20-100Watts. Here's a link to the pdf file with the specs. http://www.technologyfactory.eu/data/mediablocks/Sonus_Faber_Toy.pdf


Since the drivers and materials are all the same, it should bring a harmonious sound. I was just wondering if you were to use towers in the back as well, that it might bring more sound in the room since their output is bigger? But I'm unsure if that's a good approach. Or is that just overkill for surrounds as they're not so much used like you mentioned above Sheep?
The good thing is that these speakers (whether its 4 towers and a center or 2 towers, surrounds and a center) should leave me with more money for a new receiver or a subwoofer. But lets first experience how they stack up against the Kefs and goldenEars :-)
deprinsk is offline  
post #15 of 21 Old 08-04-2014, 08:18 AM
Member
 
JustaSheep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 27
Below is a link to a discussion that identifies what I would be concerned about with a center that doesn't match the L/R in frequency response. I am not familiar with that SF line, but if the L/R are 3-way and the center only 2-way, the concern would be more significant. Essentially, you will be forced to choose a different crossover for your center channel than you L/R or raise the crossover on your L/R to match the capability of your center. This adds a host of potential issues with dialogue, pushes the upper range of your sub, and could cause the center to be a noticeable weak point when action scenes sweep from right to left.

This could be compounded depending on the bass management options of your AVR/pre/pro.

Center Channel Frequency Response?

Note, these are just potential concerns and many, many people do just fine w/ the smaller center. I think you can do better in the price range you listed (as I did) so I would keep looking. Maybe Sonus has a beefier center in the next step up, for example, that would allow you spend more on the front 3 and use the bookshelves as Surrounds and still be at/under budget.
-Sheep

Edit: Another option I failed to mention is buying a 3rd tower to fill in for the center. Many people have chosen to go this route frustrated by trying to find matching centers. This can create it's own set of problems depending on your TV and TV stand/cabinet, but it's worth investigating.

Last edited by JustaSheep; 08-04-2014 at 10:22 AM.
JustaSheep is offline  
post #16 of 21 Old 08-09-2014, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Thanks for that link, I read through the discussion a couple days back and now I have a bit more insight on crossovers; I wasn't aware that near the crossover point the speakers will actually overlap the frequencies. I think I understand your concern about those crossovers of the entry line sf speakers better now.


I looked at the specs of the Sierra towers, horizon center and Sierra's 2 bookshelves a bit deeper and although these are more expensive then those sf's, I'm also confident that the sound will be more advanced throughout the soundspectrum so that would be worth the extra cash.



I've contacted Ascend through e-mail this tuesday to find out if I can also trial their speakers here in Belgium. No reply from them yet so I'll send a new mail this evening or post the questions on their forum.
Just out of curiosity, do you have the nrT or RAAL ribbons in your speaker setup? I would like to have all my speakers to be fitted with those RAAL ribbons but that would exceed my budget significantly. It all depends on the shipping cost to ship them overseas.
Maybe I'll go for just the towers and center for now and order the surrounds later. Or save up a couple more months and get all the speakers at once. I know you can always upgrade the tweeters later on but that would be rather expensive to send them back to the factory and I don't want to fiddle with the speakers myself.


Interesting idea to use a tower as a center! Unfortunetaly a third tower isn't an option in this space really so I will have to go with a horizontal speaker as a center.
deprinsk is offline  
post #17 of 21 Old 08-09-2014, 10:11 AM
Member
 
JustaSheep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 27
Yes, unfortunately, Ascend can be slow to respond to email, but once the ball gets rolling they are fantastic to deal with. I am certainly happy w/ my purchase from them and I'm afraid only familiar with U.S. companies and stores, but I'm sure there are other options if shipping or something else makes them unrealistic...the primary goal being to have a closely matched L/R/C, not necessarily a sale for Ascend. I definitely think you are on the right track, though. I am by no means an expert (more like a novice), but I did a lot of reading and followed the advice and couldn't be happier.

I have nrt in the L/R. The RAAL was not available when I bought the towers. By the time the center was designed and available, so was the RAAL. I did opt for it in the center. There is a difference between the 2 tweeters. As many have said, the RAAL has an very natural airy quality that makes higher vocals light and crisp, symbols sizzle (in a good way), and horns sing. For me, though, upgrading the towers was not something I was interested in. I very, very rarely listen to multi-channel music so the center is not on when I'm listening to music. I mostly listen to rock, techno/electriconic, etc, so the qualities that shine on the RAALs would be mostly wasted on my listening habits. The nrt tweeters are no slouches either, though.

Yeah, the space issue on the center is tough. That's why so many speaker companies make smaller, less robust centers. The Ascend center is huge. It has the same volume as the towers, so it is (essentially) the same size as the towers, just in different directions with a horizontal orientation.

Another option since you will have a sub is 3 high quality bookshelves. Many people go this route, too. Some have even used all Center channels.

Edit: Just saw this on their forum. They are closed for the next 2 weeks. The DaveF who made the post is the owner/engineer. http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/sho...ompany-holiday

Last edited by JustaSheep; 08-09-2014 at 10:15 AM.
JustaSheep is offline  
post #18 of 21 Old 08-10-2014, 03:41 AM
Advanced Member
 
darthray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Cold lake Alberta Canada
Posts: 993
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 89 Post(s)
Liked: 122
The OP location, is Belgium.

So he/she has to be carefull of the shipping charge since lots of the free shipping, only aply to the US.
Some of the sugestions may or may not have a European dealers/distributer.

I think, this should be kept in mind before making sugestion.
Yes the OP can buy from an ID company, but it would be pretty well a decive one.

My only recomandation is for the OP to do lots research and reading before buying, if He/She get something from an ID company.
Lots of them are more than worth it!
So purchasing from them could good be a great choice.
But like I said, a one way trip and final decision.

Ray

Edit, I see it was mention that the OP leave in Europe

Birthdays are good for you
The more you have
The longer you live

Last edited by darthray; 08-10-2014 at 02:33 PM.
darthray is online now  
post #19 of 21 Old 08-10-2014, 05:21 AM
Advanced Member
 
Teremei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 909
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 145 Post(s)
Liked: 133
Sierra 2 towers would be a purchase you probably would never want to return. I've been researching speakers just under that price range. And if I had a bigger room I'd probably up my budget for those. But my room is only 13x11 so no need to go that big on my part. I'd love to hear those play a good blu ray movie though, just once.

Sony KDL-70R550A (passive 3D tv)
Denon x4000 (amazing sound correcting software)
Klipsch RF-62IIs (amazing horns)
Klipsch RC-62II (so clear)
Klipsch RS-41IIs (so full)
SVS PC12-NSD + Klipsch RW12d (so boom)
Teremei is online now  
post #20 of 21 Old 08-12-2014, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Oh ok, if they're on a yearly holiday now, that explains why I didn't get a very rapid reply. Thanks for that information!


Although the company has its annual holiday, Dave did reply to me yesterday :-) All the conditions of the speakers remain the same as US residents so that's good news. I also asked if they might have ex demo's or returned speakers after a trail, he referred to the b-stock site which unfortunately doesn't have any of the speakers I'm looking for right now.


I did a simulation on the UPS website to get an idea of the potential shipping costs and it would set me back half of my budget lol. And there's still my concern about import taxes as well once they arrive in Europe. All luxury goods here have a tax rate of 21% so that also might add an extra grand to the total cost. So I'm very curious to find out if these numbers are correct and hopefully Dave can fill me in on those details. Fyi Darth, I'm moving to a house only 5 miles away so I will still have to clear the same issues ;-)


Since I will have to clear out these points above first before I can make any decission, I'll contact another hifi store to listen to some speakers because I've read/compared so many specs of speakers that before I can rule out any, I will have to start listening to them now I think. I will keep reading and searching here on the forum for other contenders besides the ones we already lmentioned here.
Keep you guys posted and cheers!


Btw, I'm no stranger to rock and electronic either but I can very much appreciate other genres as well ;-)
deprinsk is offline  
post #21 of 21 Old 08-12-2014, 09:48 AM
Member
 
JustaSheep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 27
Darth makes some good points. I'm just speaking from my experience. The 2 companies Ascend works with for cones and ribbons both have distributors in Germany and I was able to locate a couple of speaker manufacturers there using the parts from them, as well. A speaker is much more than the sum of it's parts, though. A lot of engineering goes into the construction, shape, baffle, crossovers and crossover points, etc., so I wouldn't assume because they use similar parts they are the same, but it does open up some options for more local internet direct companies if you find the local hi-fi store is lacking in selection or is overpriced.
JustaSheep is offline  
Reply Speakers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off