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Best high-end surround speaker "system?"

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I first posted this another thread but it was suggested I would have more luck under "speakers."


Sure, I see the HTIB "systems" at the big box stores, but I'm looking for much better quality. (Don't get me wrong; I know everyone has a budget, including me.)

Sure, I see these, gulp, systems from Linn ($128K, $58K and $17K) but that's way beyond my budget. (Of course, amps are included in those deals.

KEF has a surround sound speaker system for around $3,500 which is much more like it. Yes, I could do a "mix and match" deal with various speakers as many of us do, but if I'm determined to Start All Over and desire very nice fronts for music teamed with a sub, center and two rears for TV and Blu-Ray, are there any other companies that offer a complete, co-ordinated package (minus receiver) in that $2,500 to $4,500 ballpark?

Lots out there, but any favorites?

All advice and counsel appreciated!
post #2 of 23
Salk, Paradigm, Klipsch (some will disagree), JBL, Thiel, Swan, B&W, Martin Logan, Genelec...

... there are many other choices too. It only matters what you like.
post #3 of 23
post #4 of 23
Originally Posted by MLKstudios View Post

Salk, Paradigm, Klipsch (some will disagree), JBL, Thiel, Swan, B&W, Martin Logan, Genelec...

Those are all good choices, and they all have complete systems. You did leave one great brand out and Genelec may be out of the price range, but their active stuff is very good. And I am not a Klipsch basher at all; their stuff is lively and dynamic.

Picking a speaker system means matching it to the room, your budget, and your output expectations. What is good for one application may not be good for another.

BTW, there's a big difference in performance and choices in the $4,500 range compared to the $2,500 range. Always spend more than you should, and more than you can afford on your speakers.
post #5 of 23
I'll add Ascends & ERAs to the list!
post #6 of 23

Here is a great "all in one" package. Priced from 3099-4099 you can get ALOT for your money. For the 4099 package you get one one the elite subs in the game.
post #7 of 23
Oh.. add Triad too.
post #8 of 23
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

Always spend more than you should, and more than you can afford on your speakers.

Ha Ha Ha. If we all did that, we'd all be broke, but rich in sonic Nirvana.
post #9 of 23
Originally Posted by MLKstudios View Post

Oh.. add Triad too.

All kidding aside nothing in-wall matches theirs.
post #10 of 23
Psb are a great entry system for value, and at the imagine lv, they are pretty amazing.
post #11 of 23
Paradigm Reference Studios v5
Front Studio 60's 2000
Center Studio 20 600 (They also have actual centers starting at 800)
Rear Studio 20 1200 pr.

Total 3800 without sub, invest 500 to 800 for a good sub like SVS and others
That setup I been considering myself for sometime and love the way the Paradigms sound and look. If you have a Paradigm dealer, you owe it to yourself to go and listen to them before plunking down the dough. There are a lot of good brands out there and auditioning is key before purchase. Martin Logans I really love to have, but then price really shoots up if you are going to make a full fledge movie package out of those. Paradigm also has an entry level that also sounds good for almost half the price of the Studios I have mentioned. Go to Paradigm.com and you will see coordinated setups in the various lines they offer. Don't bother looking at their Signatures though, they are a sticker shock!! Kick butt series though.
post #12 of 23
Originally Posted by simplemath View Post

Psb are a great entry system for value, and at the imagine lv, they are pretty amazing.

The PSB CHS80 options are not entry level

I will 2nd the opinion for Triad In-walls.
post #13 of 23
SVS MTS series is very nice especially with an Ultra sub, Axiom audio Epic 60-600 is another great system.
post #14 of 23
Whatever speakers you get, make sure you get an SVS utra 13 sub.
Paradigm, Klipsch, B&W, Atlantic Tech, and the rest can't do a sub like SVS.
post #15 of 23

Total 3800 without sub, invest 500 to 800 for a good sub like SVS and others

Curious, why spend almost $4k on speakers and only $800 on a sub?
I am not denying the prowess of an SVS (proud owner of a PB+/2), but even that 'mid level' sub was almost $1.5k.
post #16 of 23
Good point (in a way). But I figured since he is looking for "very good fronts" for music I think the bulk of the investment should go toward a good pair of fronts. Is there not a sub below a grand that puts out good slam with clarity, I think my Kef sub does real well although it does not go real deep like some people would want. After all being a $1200 subwoofer, I paid only less than half for it brand new off of Accessories 4 less. So I am taking into account whatever Benseattle goes with, he would get a get some kind of deal probably not as much with the digms but some others. I read about some AV123 15" sub for around 500 to 600 dollars that is supposed to be good even though I be more comfortable with sticking with SVS.
post #17 of 23
I think you can build up a much better system a few pieces at a time than you would be able to buy all at once. Go out and listen to a mojority of speakers in yur price range but only concentrate on the mains and center channel, then when time allows add a great sub like the PB13 Ultra or similar. Finally add a set of surrounds to match your mains. I think you would have a much better sounding system this way.
post #18 of 23
I am a big fan of Triad and Atlantic Technology. Both offer very nice speaker packages. As for the sub.... I have chosen Velodyne. Again Triad and Atlantic Technology have very nice subs in there packages as well. FYI The Atlantic Technology speaker packages are named after the price points for the most part. The 1200s are $1200 the 2200s are $2200 and so on. The air volume of you room may narrow down your search. Atlantic Technology and Velodyne have some specks on there sites to show what fits in what room size. Speakers are so hard to recommend. Everyone hears a little different. One speaker may sound totally different in one environment then in another too. More is always better then less. You can always turn them down. Look for rubber surround in the woofers if you are concerned about longevity. I have 35 year old towers that still sound great due to the surround and glues holding up well. Foam surrounds tend to deteriorate a lot faster then rubber. The amp is going to have a lot to do with how the speaker performs as well. Two different high quality amps on the same speaker will make the speaker sound different just so slightly. I hope that helps.
post #19 of 23
I'd suggest these or these - both have matching surrounds and center available.
post #20 of 23
Does your space have any restrictions in terms of floorstanding vs. bookshelf?

If I had your budget and was buying for my space (with like you, a high emphasis on music) my 5.1 would be:

- 3 Tannoy Revolution Signature DC6 for the fronts
- 2 Tannoy Revolution Signature DC4 for the rears
- Rythmik F12SE for the sub

Hook them up to a Marantz sr8002 with an Oppo BDP-83 universal player and throw in Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon multi-channel SACD and enjoy.

If going with towers in the front I would probably make Salk Songtowers the first audition.
post #21 of 23
I second (or 3rd) the Paradigm suggestion. I think its perfect for your price range. Go to their website and they will reccommend mixes of fronts, centers, surrounds and subs for all levels.

I have Studio 100s and a Servo 15. I think I picked them up for $3,000 (MSRP is probably $4,000). I've looked at adding a center and 2 surrounds and it would cost me <$1,500 if I follow what Paradigm says to buy.
post #22 of 23
+1 on ssr.
post #23 of 23
It isn't clear whether you are looking for freestanding speakers, or inwall / onwall.

I demo-ed as many inwalls as I could find for a system in a new home I am building. The only thing I can tell you is to MY ears, it came down to a choice between Triad and Martin Logan.

Now those are two very different sounding speaker systems. The Triads were very warm. The Martin Logans very open ... very clean ... in sound. Both excellent speakers for what they are trying to do. I ended up selecting Martin Logan, but in truth I'd be pretty happy with either.

Since good stereo shops are a dying breed, just FINDING some choices to listen to takes a lot of investigative work. Prepare yourself to be patient, and spend some time tracking down places to visit. Prepare yourself to have to drive some distances to listen. Be sure to call in advance and make an appointment, in part to be sure they have floor models you can hear before you travel, and in part to make it clear you are serious and therefore get proper attention from the sales staff when you arrive.
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