Speaker comparison for budget upgrade: KEF, B&W, ASCEND, SVS - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old Yesterday, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Speaker comparison for budget upgrade: KEF, B&W, ASCEND, SVS

Last time, I promise...

Thank you all for the help along the way. After listening to various speakers, countless research and reading, I'm stuck hoping to get some general feedback here.

I'm looking to upgrade my fronts and center channel. I have the room, and am now planning on getting 3 bookshelf speakers for the LCR as it seems both for cost as well as the listening experience... why not?

I've auditioned many a speaker - but only one inside our home- the Polk rti A1 with the A4 center. They were noticeably better than what we currently have (mirage avs-500)- but did not give me that 'wow' factor. I had some HTD Level 3's on order, but then they became backordered. I'm planning on going to audition some KEF's soon, but need to call the few stores around me to see if they have the models I'm considering. I've listened to the B&W 685's at best buy, along with some def techs and klipsch- but not in home.

Here is my current list with a quick blip as to why it's on the list- all thoughts are welcome. Again, my comparison will be my choice should be MUCH better than the rti A1 experience. I'm debating of waiting/ordering online and comparing from a few of these as well... but I'd rather narrow this down to 2 or 3 to do that.

Ascend cbm170 - price, many seem surprised as to the sound compared to others for the $
B&W 685/686 - have already heard
KEF Q100 - enough of a difference, or for $100 more- bump it up to the....
KEF Q300 - wanting to hear, nothing but good things read
Ascend Sierra 1 (pushing budget, but if worth it compared to the others, NRT upgrade)
SVS Ultra Bookshelf (maxing/over budget- MUST be worth it compared to others)
HTD Level 3's

This will be 90% HT use. The room is 14 x 18, not overly acoustically treated, and I have a sub. The AVR and sub will eventually be upgraded, but what I have is better than garbage right now. I'm really looking for a noticeable difference in sound quality- especially dialogue. I've read many posts about mid-range clarity in the 'smaller series' of the speakers- so could be a factor- you tell me. Other suggestions are welcome, but I'm limiting the size of the cabinet as they'll sit below our TV - ideally 14" max.

Last item, which I'm not totally concerned with at the moment- being able to get a speaker as a single rather than pair. I know with many of the online companies- not an issue. My guess, it'll be with whom I order from more than anything else.

Thank everyone again for their patience and help with another asking variations of the same question thread here, and I'll leave it by saying if you had to narrow it down to two of the above (or wildcard) to fight side by side- which would those be?
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post #2 of 6 Old Yesterday, 06:28 PM
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I was you just about 3 weeks ago! I ended up buying from Power Sound Audio or PSA. I bought the 210's but they have a 110 that's probably the size you are looking for. If I understand it properly the guy there used to work for SVS and designed some of their speakers. someone can correct me if I'm wrong. Anyways, I have 3 new loves in my life and I hate to add more to your list but you should atleast give them a read!

I posted a review of them the other day if you want to read it.

Official Power Sound Audio Speaker Thread
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post #3 of 6 Old Yesterday, 06:50 PM
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If the Sierras with the NRT are within the budget and your use is 90% HT and looks are not a major factor then you should try or take a look at the PSA 110s mentioned above and Reaction Audio CX0s. The CX10s are like Kefs on MAJOR steroids.
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post #4 of 6 Old Yesterday, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the confusion :smiley:

I'll take a look for sure- I went from updating a 5.1 on a budget to deciding to focus on the front sound stage and spending the extra $500 (I'll say) to make me really smile.
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post #5 of 6 Unread Yesterday, 09:07 PM
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http://www.sunfire.com/productdetail.asp?id=24

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post #6 of 6 Unread Today, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I looked at the PSA's and Reaction audios... both a bit too large (dimensionally) for the space i've got. The PSA 110's COULD work... but I'd be limiting myself to the size of a future TV as well as pushing beyond the budget, which has already been pushed a few times

Thanks for those suggestions though!
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