Best towers for front speakers under $1,000? Under $500? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 214 Old 02-01-2017, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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*EDIT* Best towers OR bookshelves for front speakers under $1,000? Under $500?

I need to upgrade front speakers and I would like towers (I think) OR bookshelves but on a limited budget at the moment. I'm about to upgrade my sub and maybe even go duals so trying to decide best move here. If I upgrade fronts I could move my 800's to the sides and just sell a pair of the 600's.. ???

Pioneer Elite VSX-90 7.2 AVR
Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000
Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800 L/R
Definitive Technology 600 satellite surrounds and rears
Martin Logan Dynamo 500 sub
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post #2 of 214 Old 02-01-2017, 12:55 PM
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IMO, a sub upgrade would have a big impact on your listening enjoyment. Dual SVS SB12-NSD subwoofer would fit right into your budget. Having dual subs evens out the bass across the room.
https://www.amazon.com/SVS-SB12-NSD-...=svs+subwoofer

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post #3 of 214 Old 02-01-2017, 02:50 PM
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Are you happy with that rather small center channel?

To be honest I'd get Def Tecs very very well regarded stand mount Studio Monitors on some nice looking stands.

A huge upgrade from what you have now for L/R.

If the Studio 65s are too much at $900/pair I'd get the very well regarded 55s at $600.

Good news is you can buy them at Best Buy and return them if not happy with them.

Here's what Stereophile had to say about the 55s:

"Summing Up

Definitive Technology has produced a detailed and uncolored bookshelf speaker that provides superb value for the money. And in terms of its midbass definition and high-level dynamic drama with orchestral works, you'd probably have to spend more than $1000/pair to exceed its performance. I'm sorry I waited so long to review a Definitive Technology speaker. Next time, I won't wait."

Read more at http://www.stereophile.com/content/d...QRXBRkSF9Oy.99

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post #4 of 214 Old 02-01-2017, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
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This center speaker sounds fine to me. Although I haven't really heard anything else bigger. I went from an old Sony (in a box) surround sound to the Def Tech 600. I bought the Def Tech ProCenter 1000 and sold the 600. It is louder and more full than the 600. Also, no other center I've found will fit in the console where this one is. I can't put a center on top because it's covers up the tv. If I could find a center under 5 1/2" tall I'd consider it.
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post #5 of 214 Old 02-01-2017, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Why would I want to spend $800-$1000 for a bookshelf when I can get the SVS Prime towers for $1,000?

What about the Elac Debut F5 towers for $558 for the pair?
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post #6 of 214 Old 02-01-2017, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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What about the KEF Q500 towers? I don't know anything about KEF speakers but they're normally $549 each and they're on Sale for $349 each!
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post #7 of 214 Old 02-01-2017, 07:03 PM
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I like the KEF Q series. Very good deal right now.

Also look into Emotiva's speakers: http://emotiva.com/products/emotiva/loudspeakers

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post #8 of 214 Old 02-01-2017, 07:14 PM
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If you get bigger speakers, you'll need a bigger TV. I'm sorry, that's the rules, I don't make 'em, I just follow 'em. UHD 70 looks great if you're wondering.

If you get new mains, get whatever matches for a center. Install a shelf over the TV and point the center down at your listening position a little if you have to.
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post #9 of 214 Old 02-01-2017, 10:23 PM
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Best towers for front speakers under $1,000? Under $500?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Falconsfan71 View Post
Why would I want to spend $800-$1000 for a bookshelf when I can get the SVS Prime towers for $1,000?
Because now you've exceeded your budget that you presented in your "SVS? Hsu??" Sub thread.

Another reply is correct, if you get new left and right, get a complementary center channel or you'll be hating life. THAT is why I suggested a 3.1 setup from Hsu, or Prime left, right and center speakers from SVS.

IMHO you should not be shopping for two new speakers, but three. Focusing just on left and right would be a doofus mistake.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ChromeJob View Post
Huzzah. I'm glad you're opening up to alternatives to what you started the thread to propose.



Here's my advice. You've got $1000 to spend, right? Let's try something that's not too extreme (like ginormous towers with so-called built-in subwoofers). We could economize by continuing to use your ML Dynamic 500something, but frankly, I'd resell that or return or something.




  1. Replace the front stage with compatible speakers. Mike's right, the center channel works hard (dialog, sound, some music), the surrounds can too but you won't mind so much if helicopters and cars and doors and infrequent dialog aren't incredible sounding.
    1. Option 1. Hsu.

      3.0 speaker package in satin black. $519.

      VTF-1 in satin black. $399.

      Shipping.

      PM HsuKevin for some help on the shipping cost (buying multiple stuff) so you can come in on budget. He's here on this forum (check the Hsu support threads). He also answers sales assistance on their site IIRC. Super helpful guy. He talked me out of buying a lesser sub and mid-bass sub for what would've been more money (and helping clear out a discontinued model). He did it because he was confident I'd be happier with what he recommended. I trusted him because he was putting my satisfaction before gross sales revenue. (BTW, a customer on one of these forums mentioned meeting Dr. Hsu at a convention, and he was super friendly. SVS guys were "business as usual.") Results have been incredible. I have a Jim Keltner drum solo demo track that the sub makes sound like he's right in the room. =
    2. Option 2. SVS.

      Prime bookshelf speakers $500 ($249 ea).

      Prime center speaker $349.

      Sub: well, to come in on budget, keep using your ML, or $500 for SB-1000 (weensy bit less range and SPL from PB-1000, but smaller cabinet).

      Ask SVS if they can give you a break on price for building a 3.1 system and cross your fingers. Tell them you heard about them on this forum. Say pretty please with sugar on top.
  2. Install them building that triangle we were talking about (or that the Dolby article does). You'll need to improvise stands for now to put them at ear level when sitting on that nice couch. Use the boxes.
  3. Do a subwoofer crawl, or just run the sub out to a corner of the room (6" from each wall). It's EASY.
  4. Rerun the YPAO or other automated speaker setup in your AVR.
  5. In your AVR, set the speaker sizes to "small" (if not already) which enables bass management. Set the bass crossover to about 20Hz higher than the lowest rated freq for the new speakers (probably 100Hz or 120Hz).
  6. Let 'er rip. Play some music. Put on a movie with some great front soundstage action, like Star Wars Ep IV or The Hunt For the Red October or the BD of Sex, Lies, and Videotape (no joke, the image and sound restoration for this release was phenomenal). Put on some jazz or rock or something, and walk around the room.
  7. Tell me if I'm full of it, or steered you right. If you don't like it, you can ship 'em back (free with SVS, cost of shipping for Hsu), and I'll apologize profusely.



I'll bet you like this and grin from ear to ear. It's a sucker bet because upgrading your front stage with a good sub will certainly give you the general bass you think you're missing (not just the subaural stuff that hits you in the gonads).
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post #10 of 214 Old 02-02-2017, 03:25 AM - Thread Starter
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But I don't have room right now for a big center speaker. This Def Tech ProCenter 1000 will surprise you. It has (2) 4.5" woofers with (2) 4.5" bass radiators and a 1" tweeter. Most centers I've looked at under $300-$400 have 4.5"-5.5" woofers and aren't much more "wattage" than this one. Also, if I get towers, after I run the MCAAC Pro I could always adjust the center if needed...? It plays and sounds bigger than its size.

200 watts peak
47hz-30khz
90db
Crossover 40hz
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post #11 of 214 Old 02-02-2017, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falconsfan71 View Post
But I don't have room right now for a big center speaker. This Def Tech ProCenter 1000 will surprise you. It has (2) 4.5" woofers with (2) 4.5" bass radiators and a 1" tweeter. Most centers I've looked at under $300-$400 have 4.5"-5.5" woofers and aren't much more "wattage" than this one. Also, if I get towers, after I run the MCAAC Pro I could always adjust the center if needed...? It plays and sounds bigger than its size.

200 watts peak
47hz-30khz
90db
Crossover 40hz
Which is why I suggested the Def Tec monitors; they have a far better chance of matching up sonically with your center than other brands...but you could always call Def Tec to get their input.

Some here say anything goes with the front three but I think if you like the center why not try and get as close as possible a sonic match.

The Def Tec 8020 tower is in your price range but it needs far more room than you have away from walls to function properly and would be a poor choice for your space.
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post #12 of 214 Old 02-02-2017, 12:50 PM
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Best towers for front speakers under $1,000? Under $500?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Falconsfan71 View Post
But I don't have room right now for a big center speaker. This Def Tech ProCenter 1000 will surprise you. It has (2) 4.5" woofers with (2) 4.5" bass radiators and a 1" tweeter. Most centers I've looked at under $300-$400 have 4.5"-5.5" woofers and aren't much more "wattage" than this one. Also, if I get towers, after I run the MCAAC Pro I could always adjust the center if needed...? It plays and sounds bigger than its size.

200 watts peak
47hz-30khz
90db
Crossover 40hz
That should be sufficient, then. Similar to the Yamaha CS-550 I have. In fact, then I would look for front speakers that are comparable to that Def Tech 1000 you have. [As gajCA is proposing.] I wasn't aware of the specs of the speaker (you have to spoonfeed that to me).

But their claim that those little 4.5" woofers go down to 47 Hz is a friggin laugh. I'd say cross over from that speaker at 120, maybe 130 Hz. Oh, they may claim that the woofer can go that low, but you should be concerned with what the woofer will reliably, consistently produce along with all the other freqs the tweeter won't handle. Somewhere you can find white papers talking about what freq range you can expect from woofers of specific sizes.... Or M.Zilch or JimWilson can tell ya.


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post #13 of 214 Old 02-02-2017, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChromeJob View Post
That should be sufficient, then. Similar to the Yamaha CS-550 I have. In fact, then I would look for front speakers that are comparable to that Def Tech 1000 you have. [As gajCA is proposing.] I wasn't aware of the specs of the speaker (you have to spoonfeed that to me).

But their claim that those little 4.5" woofers go down to 47 Hz is a friggin laugh. I'd say cross over from that speaker at 120, maybe 130 Hz. Oh, they may claim that the woofer can go that low, but you should be concerned with what the woofer will reliably, consistently produce along with all the other freqs the tweeter won't handle. Somewhere you can find white papers talking about what freq range you can expect from woofers of specific sizes.... Or M.Zilch or JimWilson can tell ya.


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If I read it right, they say the PC 1000 crossover is 40hz and the PM 800 is 100hz..?? They are the same size speakers! Is it because the center has two speakers?
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post #14 of 214 Old 02-02-2017, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm seriously considering some Def Tech bookshelf speakers now.. maybe the Studio Monitor 55's? They are $299 each but if I go to the same BB store that same manager will give me at least 20-25% off. So maybe I could get two of them for $500 or less.. ??? and the stands for around $110-$120 maybe. But then again, I can get two SVS Prime bookshelves for $500...
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post #15 of 214 Old 02-02-2017, 01:54 PM
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post #16 of 214 Old 02-02-2017, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Are you happy with that rather small center channel?

To be honest I'd get Def Tecs very very well regarded stand mount Studio Monitors on some nice looking stands.

A huge upgrade from what you have now for L/R.

If the Studio 65s are too much at $900/pair I'd get the very well regarded 55s at $600.

Good news is you can buy them at Best Buy and return them if not happy with them.

Here's what Stereophile had to say about the 55s:

"Summing Up

Definitive Technology has produced a detailed and uncolored bookshelf speaker that provides superb value for the money. And in terms of its midbass definition and high-level dynamic drama with orchestral works, you'd probably have to spend more than $1000/pair to exceed its performance. I'm sorry I waited so long to review a Definitive Technology speaker. Next time, I won't wait."

Read more at http://www.stereophile.com/content/d...QRXBRkSF9Oy.99
I've had both generations of the Def Tech SM line, and I has a hell of a time getting the SM45s or SM65s to sound good in my rooms. Both of them were just a boomy dull mess in 4/5 rooms. Meanwhile the SM350 and SM450 have worked time and time in different locations.

Seemed to be just my experience, but maybe their is more too it.
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post #17 of 214 Old 02-02-2017, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AverageJoeAudio View Post
I've had both generations of the Def Tech SM line, and I has a hell of a time getting the SM45s or SM65s to sound good in my rooms. Both of them were just a boomy dull mess in 4/5 rooms. Meanwhile the SM350 and SM450 have worked time and time in different locations.

Seemed to be just my experience, but maybe their is more too it.
I guess those are the older monitors and are no longer available and were improved with the newer SMs.

Can find a few on e'bay though...dirt cheap.

http://www.ebay.com/p/Definitive-Tec...akers/94225209
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post #18 of 214 Old 02-02-2017, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
I guess those are the older monitors and are no longer available and were improved with the newer SMs.

Can find a few on e'bay though...dirt cheap.

http://www.ebay.com/p/Definitive-Tec...akers/94225209
Yeah, I've had both the old in the new. I've only kept the old versions. The new/current generation has never worked for me.
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post #19 of 214 Old 02-02-2017, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Watch this! This is the same center I have. He has it set to 'Large' though which I'd never do. Definitive Technology makes good speakers.

Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000
200 watts peak
(2) 4.5" woofers
(2) 4.5" bass radiators
1" tweeter
Crossover (small) 40hz

https://youtu.be/u92yWCbbqoY

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post #20 of 214 Old 02-03-2017, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falconsfan71 View Post
Watch this! This is the same center I have. He has it set to 'Large' though which I'd never do. Definitive Technology makes good speakers.

Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000
200 watts peak
(2) 4.5" woofers
(2) 4.5" bass radiators
1" tweeter
Crossover (small) 40hz

https://youtu.be/u92yWCbbqoY
It's great that you love your center; the specs aren't bad and it works for you which is fantastic.

The question is how best to upgrade your left and right.

I'd say start with some larger Def Tec bookshelves from Best Buy because if they don't satisfy returns are easy and financially painless.

Or you could try this tower, it is certainly attractive.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/definiti...?skuId=6639346

Buyt you can also start with the matching Left and Right for that center for less than $400/pair.

They play down to 47hz (deeper than the tower) so they should give you more impact than the ones you have now that only barely play down to 80hz...if that.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/definiti...?skuId=7656404
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I am considering both those options.. either get the PM 1000's or the SM 55's and put them on speaker stands or get towers. I'm gonna use the PM 800's as my side surrounds and maybe get another pair of 800's for rears and sell my 4 600's. Then I could change my AVR crossover to 100hz or maybe even 80hz instead of 150hz and still be fine. But I don't need "sub" towers because I'm gonna upgrade sub(s) anyway. I just don't like the glass base on the Mythos.. :/
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post #22 of 214 Old 02-03-2017, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falconsfan71 View Post
I am considering both those options.. either get the PM 1000's or the SM 55's and put them on speaker stands or get towers. I'm gonna use the PM 800's as my side surrounds and maybe get another pair of 800's for rears and sell my 4 600's. Then I could change my AVR crossover to 100hz or maybe even 80hz instead of 150hz and still be fine. But I don't need "sub" towers because I'm gonna upgrade sub(s) anyway. I just don't like the glass base on the Mythos.. :/
Aesthetics is a perfectly logical reason to prefer one speaker over another IMHO.

Sanus has some very nice speaker stands at attractive prices as does Def Tec.

https://www.crutchfield.com/shopsear...ir=FFCategory|[rank15800]Speaker Stands %26 Mounts&nvpair=FFBrand|Definitive Technology&nvpair=FFBrand|Sanus

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post #23 of 214 Old 02-04-2017, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=TrojanHorse;50414129]If you get bigger speakers, you'll need a bigger TV. I'm sorry, that's the rules, I don't make 'em, I just follow 'em. UHD 70 looks great if you're wondering.

I am fine with my 55" 4k for now. It's only 6 months old. I sit only 9' from the tv...
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post #24 of 214 Old 02-04-2017, 09:09 AM
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[quote=Falconsfan71;50486073]
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
If you get bigger speakers, you'll need a bigger TV. I'm sorry, that's the rules, I don't make 'em, I just follow 'em. UHD 70 looks great if you're wondering.

I am fine with my 55" 4k for now. It's only 6 months old. I sit only 9' from the tv...
+1

I am OK with my 1080p Panny 50" plasma. I don't know how some of these people were able to watch TV 20 years ago.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
Living room HT: Energy RC-50, Ascend Sierra Horizon w/RAAL, Ascend Sierra 1, PSB Imagine XA | PSA V1500 and CHT SS 18.1 | Denon X4200W | modified Dayton SA1000
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post #25 of 214 Old 02-04-2017, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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These Kef Q300's are very attractive for $399 for the pair on Sale right now!
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post #26 of 214 Old 02-04-2017, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm seriously thinking about the Def Tech ProMonitor 1000's... something like this:


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post #27 of 214 Old 02-04-2017, 09:52 AM
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[quote=cel4145;50486241]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Falconsfan71 View Post

+1

I am OK with my 1080p Panny 50" plasma. I don't know how some of these people were able to watch TV 20 years ago.
No kidding.

My Panny 720p 50" Plasma TV in the front room looks darned near as good, and big, at 10 feet as my 1080p 60" Panny Plasma at 14 feet.

Really don't want anything bigger though I might go for 65" in the main HT when the 60 incher dies.

At those distances 4k won't look any better when they finally die.

Got the 50" plasma free from a buddy who closed an office and was using it in his conference rooms for presentations.

I think I paid $1100 for the 60".

Geoff A. J., California
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post #28 of 214 Old 02-04-2017, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falconsfan71 View Post
I'm seriously thinking about the Def Tech ProMonitor 1000's... something like this:
Best thing is you can get them at Best Buy and return them with no wallet damage if not satisfied.
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post #29 of 214 Old 02-04-2017, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falconsfan71 View Post
These Kef Q300's are very attractive for $399 for the pair on Sale right now!
+1

Great price!

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
Living room HT: Energy RC-50, Ascend Sierra Horizon w/RAAL, Ascend Sierra 1, PSB Imagine XA | PSA V1500 and CHT SS 18.1 | Denon X4200W | modified Dayton SA1000
Other rooms: CBM-170 SE | SVS SB-1000 | Audio-GD NFB-11 | Parasound Zamp | JBL LSR305
Headphone & Portable AKG K7XX | HE-400i | NAD HP50 | Sony MDR-1A | Soundmagic E50 & E80 | X5ii | DX50 | E12
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post #30 of 214 Old 02-04-2017, 10:17 AM
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FWIW, I went from KEF Q700 towers to Chane A5rx-c towers. I noticed a huge improvement and never looked back.


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