Best 5 speakers and a sub for under $15,000? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 54 Old 08-07-2005, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I have set a budget of no more than $15,000 for 5 speakers and a sub. I have done LOTS of research and I am now looking into the Paradigm Signature Series.

Paradigm Signature S8 - $5400
Paradigm Signature C5 - $2300
Paradigm Signature ADP - $2500
Paradigm Signature Servo - $3200

Total: $13,400

Could anybody recommend a matching system that is better for under 15k?

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Paradigm Millenia 300 Fronts, Millenia 30 Center, Millenia ADP Rears, Seismic 12 Subwoofer
Pioneer Elite 74TXVi Receiver
Pioneer Elite 79AVi DVD Player
LG 42" PB4D Plasma
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post #2 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 12:22 AM
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Revel F50 - $7500
Revel C50 - $3000
Revel S30 - $2295 (or if you prefer monopoles; M22 - $2200)
Revel B30 - $2995

Totoal: $15,790

Personally I would get the Revel system with M22's and a cheaper brand sub, like ACI, SVS, etc for $1500 or so.

I'm not saying it's better. But it is certainly worthy of an audition. I've heard both, and while the S8's are impressive, I believe I would get the Revels (would have to audition both more extensively if I were buying).

Some others to consider would be Energy Veritas, Von Shweikert, Dynaudio, and Aerial. I have not heard all of these but have read good things about them in a lot of places, and very little bad things.

Edit: Changed F12 to M22. The F12 is a floorstander in the cheaper Concerta line. The M22 is a monitor in the Performa line.

Hal
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post #3 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 01:52 AM
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the ones I've heard and LOVED....
Genesis 6.1 [now they also have a floorstander minus the powered sub]
dynaudio contours, with the new SCX center.
Dali helicons.
new B&W nautillus 8XX "D" series.
Others which I havent heard, but are well respected are...
VMPS RM 30, with the RM 40 center, RM1 rears, Larger Subs.
Onix Reference 3 ,
Salk sound Veracity HT3 etc
too many choices.... all of them worth an audition at least.

edit:- look up item number 1128117169

at audio gon dot com... nice deall on the C4 and the center :)
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post #4 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Revel F50 - $7500
Revel C50 - $3000
Revel S30 - $2295 (or if you prefer monopoles; F12 - $2200)
Revel B30 - $2995
Excelent suggestion! , but i would love to know more about the room, set-up, front-end, listening habits, volume levels, media used, etc....

Seeking a speaker recomendation? Compare for yourself or be swayed by others who hear differantly, or by marketing, or just save time and get the cheapest , nicest looking, or smallest.
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post #5 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 06:34 AM
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If you have access to them, try the Thiel CS 2.4s at $4400.

I really liked the way they sounded. I didnt audition them for movie however - just full range stereo with the SS2 subwoofer and PX03 passive crossover.

$10,000 roughly for the 2.1 stereo setup.

Although I really like B&Ws, I felt that the Thiel CS2.4s were much better, clearer, more detailed than the N804s. In addition, I felt that Paradigm didnt really improve much with their triple priced signature series - I have to say that I was "unimpressed" at the very least. :/

(then again, maybe its just because I don't like the Paradigm sound. The only paradigms I was impressed with for performance/cost was their Titan bookshelves)

JMHO
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post #6 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 07:35 AM
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Went here a few weeks ago and sale is still on.

http://www.northamptonaudio.com/Para...radigmhome.htm
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post #7 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 08:21 AM
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"Better" is all subjective as what ones tastse's in sound are may be very different than your's.
So these are just some other idea's not neccesarily "better". :)

Salk Sound:
Mains-Veracity HT3-$3,899
Center-Veracity HTC-$1,499
Rears-Veracity HT1-$2,199
Subwoofer-Velodyne DD-15 $3,000 or ACI Audio Maestro $2,100

Onix:
Mains-Reference 3-$3,499 to $4,500 depending on finish.
Center-Reference 100-$950 then perhaps upgrade to Ref 200 when released.
Rears-Reference 1-$1,200 to $1,500 depending on finish.
Subwoofer-Onix UFW-12 with RDES-$1,099 (price should go up though due to new driver being used).

Von Schweikert:
Mains-VR4 jr-$3,995
Center-LCR-15-$750
Rears-VR 1 or TS-150- ~$1,000
Subwoofer-Velodyne DD-15

Also look at ACI Audio, Dynaudio, B&W and all the other regular suspects.

Just try to listen to everything and let your own ears make the choices. :)
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post #8 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 08:36 AM
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Consider reallocating your budget.

$15k for speakers connected to a $1k receiver is a waste of speakers.

Everyone has their own rule, but personally I'd go 50% speakers, 50% amp/prepro.
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post #9 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuraCL
Consider reallocating your budget.

$15k for speakers connected to a $1k receiver is a waste of speakers.

Everyone has their own rule, but personally I'd go 50% speakers, 50% amp/prepro.
You can't forget about the room either. Room acoustics probably matter almost as much as the pre/pro and amp.
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post #10 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I am buying this system with the future in mind.

My living room is not exactly optimal but I refuse to buy equipment that will match the room because I move too often.

I plan to use the system 50/50 music and movies.

I will be connecting the speakers to a Pioneer VSX-74TXVi A/V receiver (140w X 7) and Pioneer DV79-AVi DVD player.

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Paradigm Millenia 300 Fronts, Millenia 30 Center, Millenia ADP Rears, Seismic 12 Subwoofer
Pioneer Elite 74TXVi Receiver
Pioneer Elite 79AVi DVD Player
LG 42" PB4D Plasma
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post #11 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 02:04 PM
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deafgoose, I have the Signatures in my home, S2, C3, and the ADPs and for my size room I love them. I previously had the 805N B&W series setup, though they were great speakers, I like most, have roaming curiosity to try new stuff and ended up with the Signature speakers in the Birdseye Maple :) I am more than pleased with the sound quality and finish of these speakers...and btw, the ADPs really rock! I have a small room and don't require anything larger than this setup. These speakers coupled with Arcam AVR300, fmj DV29, and their fmj CD33, I couldn't be any happier. I listen to 75% music/dvd-a, and 25% video. Having this gear and speakers in my home affords me the opportunity to speak first-hand about the Signature line, and after listening for about 3 weeks they only get better ;) Maybe another time I would have gone with different speakers, and really went into my dealer looking to upgrade the Nautilus speakers and was swayed by auditions. My next choice would have been Thiel...but these Signatures hit my sweetspot, cost aside they are really great speakers with supreme finishes....Good luck in your search, thats the best part :D
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post #12 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zorro99
Went here a few weeks ago and sale is still on.

http://www.northamptonaudio.com/Para...radigmhome.htm
I would run, not walk, to take advantage of this one. The $2500 savings could buy a nice upgrade to your electronics...

John

"What happens in Vegas..."
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post #13 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuraCL
Consider reallocating your budget.

$15k for speakers connected to a $1k receiver is a waste of speakers.

Everyone has their own rule, but personally I'd go 50% speakers, 50% amp/prepro.
I think that most people would definitely recommend spending significantly more on the speakers than the electronics. 75/25 or 80/20 are pretty common recommendations.

"Nature Abhors a Vacuum Tube" -  J. R. Pierce
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post #14 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehlarson
I think that most people would definitely recommend spending significantly more on the speakers than the electronics. 75/25 or 80/20 are pretty common recommendations.
Just ask Dave Wilson who auditioned his speakers hooked up to an Ipod to prove that very point. ^_^
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post #15 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirpie
Just ask Dave Wilson who auditioned his speakers hooked up to an Ipod to prove that very point. ^_^
I thought that was a Rotel amplifier (with the much-more-expensive Krells just there for display)? Stereophile article, I think...?

I dig Enigma's post. I really like the Revel sound. How about the Gems?

I'd also suggest 7 speakers with 2 subwoofers, room treatments (at least consider DIY bass traps & absorption at first reflection points) and reviewing your electronics. That's quite a generous budget, but I was already looking at used equipment to stretch it further... incorrigible!

Did you recently come into some money? :D
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post #16 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 09:29 PM
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Sorry for the follow-up post:

Would you happen to live in Chicago? If so, then this Snell setup might be an option.
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post #17 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 09:41 PM
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I can't say "better" to you, but these would be good to check out:

Meridian DSP33s/D2500 digital active (requires Meridian preamp but no amps) - ~$15K + preamp
Triad Gold LCR w/dual Gold subs (in Widescreen Review this month) - ~$12K + amp + preamp
NHT Xd Digital Active system (amps included) - ~$16K + preamp
Phase Technology digital active (amps included) - ~$15K + preamp

John
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post #18 of 54 Old 08-08-2005, 10:25 PM
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if you dont want to spend much on the processing part of your HT, thats fine you can always trade up in the future.
but almost all the speakers mentioned will SURELY suck the Pioneer dry.
you'll definitely need a nice 5 channel amp, like Gemstone,
or better[value] still... a 3 channel odyssey [with all upgrades] and the pioneer driving the surrounds.

ps: whats the 79AVi? have they announced the new universal player?
wouldnt you be better off with the [now cheaper] 59avi, if you intend to use it only as an all digital transport?
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post #19 of 54 Old 08-09-2005, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehlarson
I think that most people would definitely recommend spending significantly more on the speakers than the electronics. 75/25 or 80/20 are pretty common recommendations.
Which is probably why they're constantly "upgrading" their electronics.
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post #20 of 54 Old 08-09-2005, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuraCL
Which is probably why they're constantly "upgrading" their electronics.
Agreed, I am pulling about 60/40 (speaker/electronics). 75/25 in most cases will be not allowing the speaker its full potential.
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post #21 of 54 Old 08-09-2005, 09:09 AM
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I agree Jonomega. 60/40 is certainly within the "wiggle room" that exists in a well-balanced system.

75/25 or 80/20 ... in the price range of $15k speakers, is going to reveal every one of the considerable shortcomings of electronics in that price range. It's so disproportionate that the listener could well dislike and "blame" the speakers when all they are doing is playing the crap being fed to them.

It is a "system" and it is only as good as its weakest component.
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post #22 of 54 Old 08-09-2005, 08:04 PM
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I am not a fan of conventional center channel speakers, and I also feel that with a good subwoofer you can get much better imaging, midrange, and highe end performance from a booksehlf (or monitor) style speaker. i don't know if you can buy these speakers as a single item, but for my money I would go with 5 JM Labs Micro Utopias (6K a pair) and a 2k SV Subwoofer. If you could buy those speakers individually they that would only put you 2 K over your budget, but I'm sure a dealer would come down by close to that much. I think you'd be hard pressed to do any better for imaging and midrange clarity (along with deep powerfull bass) for that kind of money from anything else. Just to think outside the traditional box for a second.

I love this stuff!
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post #23 of 54 Old 08-09-2005, 08:24 PM
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JM labs are VERY impressive

Searching for the sound...
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post #24 of 54 Old 08-09-2005, 10:07 PM
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I would take a listen to the Klipsch THX Ultra II system. Very impressive reviews
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post #25 of 54 Old 08-10-2005, 08:53 AM
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Given that is it 50/50 music movies I would say that most THX speakers systems tend to fail when it comes to music. They usually sound a little harsh without enough detail

I love this stuff!
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post #26 of 54 Old 08-10-2005, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuraCL
75/25 or 80/20 ... in the price range of $15k speakers, is going to reveal every one of the considerable shortcomings of electronics in that price range. It's so disproportionate that the listener could well dislike and "blame" the speakers when all they are doing is playing the crap being fed to them.
I'm not so sure I'd agree. For instance, if you're buying a $1500 system, you might only spend 50/50 on speakers. And if you do more than about 60/40, the receiver is increasingly likely to not be up to par.

However, you can get highly competant electronics for under $3K and easily drive, maybe even overdrive, many $12K systems, for a 80/20. I mean, really, you can get a nicely equipped 7-channel 150-200W/ch NAD, Rotel, Adcom, B&K, Sherbourn, etc system easily for that. And you could drive most anything pretty well. $12K in speakers doesn't get you much from any high-end company, especially when most flagship speakers are $10K-$20K, so it doesn't make financial sense to go to a flagship preamp/amp to run mid-level product from most high-end speaker companies. You can barely get an entry level 800 series B&W system or decent Thiel system for $12K these days. Top-end speaker systems, without going crazy, are $30K-$50K. While a top-end preamp/amp system, without going crazy, is more like $10K-$15K. So, even then, if you buy a $50K system with Meridian, Theta, Krell, etc electronics, you're still at something like 70/30.

IOW, I see nothing at all wrong with spending $1500 - $2000 each on two components to drive 8-9 components that cost $1000-$2000 each. Personally, I'm at 70/30 speakers (and I think that's the sweetspot) to electronics and my speakers are *actually* hard to drive, unlike most 90dB efficient speakers these days.

John
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post #27 of 54 Old 08-10-2005, 02:20 PM
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When you're in the $15k ballpark, Von Schweikert 4 SRs should be considered. Since they go down to 20hz, you don't need a separate subwoofer.

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post #28 of 54 Old 08-10-2005, 02:39 PM
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You guys are funny. I'd love an entire system even around the $5000 area. Really less for just a pair of Axiom M80TI's ($1200) and EP350/500 ($1150/$650) + electronics (I'd be fine with $500).

Eric
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post #29 of 54 Old 08-10-2005, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
5/25 in most cases will be not allowing the speaker its full potential.
True very true. Getting full revel Performa package then powering it with a $1000.00 receiver would be doing the speakers a huge injustice.


Rotel amps or maybe a bryston would make them happy

That Cuban girl
That brought me low
She had that skin so fine and red lips rose-like now
Her mouth was wide
And sweet as well
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post #30 of 54 Old 08-10-2005, 04:09 PM
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For that kind of cash, you might look into some Maggies.
Fronts: 3.6R's $4,700
Center: CC2 $1,200
Surr: 1.6 $1,500
Sub: James EMB 1000 $1500
Room correction: either by electronics (TacT or Meridian) or treatments $1-3,000
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