Choice of Speakers....2 Philosophies..need Suggestions!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello All,

I need opinions....I am no audiophile by any stretch of the imagination..I am a guy simply looking to upgrade the audio in his family room. My entire family room is part of a huge open floor plan...whereas the family room continues on into the kitchen...creating a huge rectangle..with my TV being on one end of the shorter sides. I have a low budget at the moment...and am wondering which course of actions makes most sense. I watch more TV/Blu Ray than listen to music..although the wife listens to quite a bit of music. Please note that I was going to purchase a HTIB (Yamaha 597) however, the receiver will NOT fit into my built in shelving. This is why I am absolutely stuck with getting either a Marantz Slimline 1403 or 1603 receiver. They are the only receivers I have found anywhere that will fit my space. No here is my question: Which scenario makes more sense with my budget being about $1000 max at this time.

1. Purchase the Marantz 1403 ($369.99) or 1603(639.99) and the Energy Take Classic 5.1 speaker set ($399.99). This is the less expensive route and gives me all the speakers I need all at once. I prob wouldnt even be using the rears at all yet until I can figure out where to put them . Although the Energy speakers get fantastic reviews for their price point..will they be THAT much underwhelming for my space? If so....how about choice 2:

2. Purchase the Marantz 1403 ($369.99) or 1603(639.99) and a pair of Totem Dreamcatchers ($575). This is more expensive and only provides me with two fronts .....but I was told that these 2 speakers alone will be AS good or better as the entire Energy Take set. My plan would be to slowly save and get a Totem Center and Totem Sub......Anyone have any other suggestions in terms of 2 Front speakers in that price range that would be a better choice other than the totems? I heard the Pioneer SP-BS21 ($49.99/pair on sale at Newegg) or SP-BS41 ($149.99) are also amazing for the price...if these would be adequate..I could prob swing a Sub and/or Center as well.....

Thanks in advance..and I'm open to any suggestions...
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-06-2012, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Deanwam8 View Post

Hello All,
I need opinions....I am no audiophile by any stretch of the imagination..I am a guy simply looking to upgrade the audio in his family room. My entire family room is part of a huge open floor plan...whereas the family room continues on into the kitchen...creating a huge rectangle..with my TV being on one end of the shorter sides. I have a low budget at the moment...and am wondering which course of actions makes most sense. I watch more TV/Blu Ray than listen to music..although the wife listens to quite a bit of music. Please note that I was going to purchase a HTIB (Yamaha 597) however, the receiver will NOT fit into my built in shelving. This is why I am absolutely stuck with getting either a Marantz Slimline 1403 or 1603 receiver. They are the only receivers I have found anywhere that will fit my space. No here is my question: Which scenario makes more sense with my budget being about $1000 max at this time.
1. Purchase the Marantz 1403 ($369.99) or 1603(639.99) and the Energy Take Classic 5.1 speaker set ($399.99). This is the less expensive route and gives me all the speakers I need all at once. I prob wouldnt even be using the rears at all yet until I can figure out where to put them . Although the Energy speakers get fantastic reviews for their price point..will they be THAT much underwhelming for my space? If so....how about choice 2:
2. Purchase the Marantz 1403 ($369.99) or 1603(639.99) and a pair of Totem Dreamcatchers ($575). This is more expensive and only provides me with two fronts .....but I was told that these 2 speakers alone will be AS good or better as the entire Energy Take set. My plan would be to slowly save and get a Totem Center and Totem Sub......Anyone have any other suggestions in terms of 2 Front speakers in that price range that would be a better choice other than the totems? I heard the Pioneer SP-BS21 ($49.99/pair on sale at Newegg) or SP-BS41 ($149.99) are also amazing for the price...if these would be adequate..I could prob swing a Sub and/or Center as well.....
Thanks in advance..and I'm open to any suggestions...

I did some searching and I was surprised to see that the Marantz receivers you mention are uncommon in terms of their size and features.

As far as speakers go, there is what I find to be an amazing sale going on, where you can get Inifinty P163 speakers for under $100 a piece at places like Amazon. With their 6.5 inch lower range speakers and good review history, it seems safe to assume that they would blow away many other alternatives. At the price and within your budget you could obtain 5 of them and finish out your system's need for main and surround speakers, needing only a good subwoofer for really fine sound. Of course, I don't know if you live in the US and can take advantage of this deal.
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-06-2012, 09:57 AM
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As far as speakers go, there is what I find to be an amazing sale going on, where you can get Inifinty P163 speakers for under $100 a piece at places like Amazon.
I think you mean $200 apiece. I'd still pick a pair of them over the Totems the OP was looking at.

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post #4 of 16 Old 09-06-2012, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

I think you mean $200 apiece. I'd still pick a pair of them over the Totems the OP was looking at.

No, I mean less than $100 each. Just type amazon into google and infinity p163 into amazon. Adarama, who I have also done business is offering similar pricing.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-06-2012, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your reply.... so are you saying you think the Marantz is an adequate choice of receivers? Also, do you absolutely think the Infinities would be a better choice vs the Pioneers I quoted... or the entire boxed 5.1 Energy Take Classic system? I don't mind paying a bit more for better sound... but depends just how much better I can expect them to be..the totems are obviously 4-5x more expensive than either the Infinities or Pioneers.... I've heard them in person and they do sound great.... but I dont know if they are worth the premium over the other choices....
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-06-2012, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Deanwam8 View Post

Thank you so much for your reply.... so are you saying you think the Marantz is an adequate choice of receivers?

Yes.
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Also, do you absolutely think the Infinities would be a better choice vs the Pioneers I quoted... or the entire boxed 5.1 Energy Take Classic system?

Yes and yes.
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I don't mind paying a bit more for better sound... but depends just how much better I can expect them to be..the totems are obviously 4-5x more expensive than either the Infinities or Pioneers.... I've heard them in person and they do sound great.... but I dont know if they are worth the premium over the other choices....

I haven't heard the Totems but I own a pair of the P163s and they also sound great. With the much larger woofers they probably have more oomph!
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-06-2012, 12:10 PM
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No, I mean less than $100 each.
So they are. I was thinking of the 363s.

At $85 apiece, 5 of them plus any kind of subwoofer would be a heck of a budget system. The OP could start with a 2.1 system, and build from there quite easily.

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post #8 of 16 Old 09-06-2012, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Yes.
Yes and yes.
I haven't heard the Totems but I own a pair of the P163s and they also sound great. With the much larger woofers they probably have more oomph!

Thanks for the replies! I trust what you are saying...I guess I just find it difficult to believe that the $85 P163s could possibly even approach the $575 Totems...if they are that close..why in the world would anyone spend 6 times as much for the Totems lol....the only other thing I do have to consider is form factor...Ideally, I was looking for something with a small footprint...hence my original thought of going with the Energy set of speakers....but I may be able to make it work....if I schmooze the wife enough...only thing I'm worried about is the colossal size of the Infinity Center that goes with the P163s....
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-06-2012, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Deanwam8 View Post

Also, do you absolutely think the Infinities would be a better choice vs the Pioneers I quoted... or the entire boxed 5.1 Energy Take Classic system? I don't mind paying a bit more for better sound....
you should audition them back to back. My opinion is Infinity has made anything decent since they were bought by Harmon in the early '80s.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-06-2012, 02:34 PM
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you should audition them back to back. My opinion is Infinity has made anything decent since they were bought by Harmon in the early '80s.

Actually, Infinity unleashed any number of highly questionable speakers on the world, prior to the Harman purchase. Several of them are legendary for being nearly impossible for most amplifiers to drive.
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-06-2012, 02:57 PM
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Actually, Infinity unleashed any number of highly questionable speakers on the world, prior to the Harman purchase. Several of them are legendary for being nearly impossible for most amplifiers to drive.
That's true but those were high end speakers that Infinity was basically saying you better have serious amplification or stay home.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-06-2012, 03:07 PM
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I guess I just find it difficult to believe that the $85 P163s could possibly even approach the $575 Totems.
The Totem name has audiophile cred. But most audiophiles are quite credulous. Not that the Totems are bad in any way (although any spec sheet that starts out with "break-in time" should disqualify that product from consideration). But they really aren't going to outperform the Infinity's to that extent. Remember that Infinity is made by a very large company which enjoys substantial economies of scale, so it can make good speakers for less than a little company could.
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only thing I'm worried about is the colossal size of the Infinity Center that goes with the P163s.
So just use another P163 for the center.

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post #13 of 16 Old 09-06-2012, 03:08 PM
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My opinion is Infinity has made anything decent since they were bought by Harmon in the early '80s.
You're entitled to your opinion. But Harman has put serious effort into research on what makes a speaker sound good, and the results show.

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post #14 of 16 Old 09-07-2012, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave1027 View Post

you should audition them back to back. My opinion is Infinity has made anything decent since they were bought by Harmon in the early '80s.

Interestingly enough, there are back-to-back reviews of the Dreamcatcher and the P162 where the P163 is just a slight update of the P162:

P162 Frequency response:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/infinity-primus-p162-loudspeaker-measurements



Dreamcatcher Frequency response:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/totem-dreamcatcher-loudspeaker-measurements



The Dreamcatcher's excessive port noise, notch near the crossover frequency, and the mismatch of the port and direct response all occur at frequencies that are definitely audible.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-07-2012, 02:59 PM
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But Arny, those Totems were probably measured without the Beaks to control resonance or the Claws to decouple them completely from the stands. With them, they'd be like, totally awesome.

Hot chicks think so....

element-ember-en-large.png

.... but I think this guy's expression says more "Merde, I paid how much for these?"

tribe-v-en.png
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-07-2012, 03:55 PM
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But Arny, those Totems were probably measured without the Beaks to control resonance or the Claws to decouple them completely from the stands. With them, they'd be like, totally awesome.
Hot chicks think so....
element-ember-en-large.png
.... but I think this guy's expression says more "Merde, I paid how much for these?"
tribe-v-en.png

Not only that, the availability and pricing of beaks and claws seems to be a bit of a mystery.

So you pay the big bucks for the speakers, and then a few hundred more for some stuff that looks for all the world like snake oil.

BTW, the beaks apparently sit on top of the speaker and wouldn't address the port noise. Some old socks would probably be more to the point..

I must be very old fashioned because I've always thought of speaker systems as things that were usable as they come out of the box without several hundred $$$ worth of accessories.
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