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n00b wants suggestion for his first HT speakers

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Greetings everyone,

I am a complete n00b in this field. I plan to buy a new 5.1 HT system

A brief description of my wish list -
Usage 80:20 [HT Surround:Music]
Aesthetic (was the #1 priority from my wife)
I keep on moving to diff 4places, so a smaller form factor is desired
Wanted to be in the range of 1.2K - 1.5K (USD) for speaker & sub

Couple of options that I was looking at are ...
1. HSU Research Hybrid 2 - 5.1 package [4xHB-1 MK2, 1xHC-1 MK2, VTF2 - MK4]: $1259

2. SVS SCS-02M-5.0-SSS Package [2xSCS-02M, 1xSCS-02C, 2xSSS-02]: $697 paired with the PB12-NSD Sub: $769 ... total $1466

3. Aperion Intimus 4T Hybrid SD Package [2x4T,1x4C,2x4B,Bravus 8D sub]: $1349

4. Aperion Intimus 4 series & HSU mix/match [2x4T,1x4C,2x4BP]: $1000 & HSU VTF-2 MK4 sub: $519 ... total $1500

5. Aperion Intimus 5 series & HSU mix/match [2x5B,1x5C,2x4BP] & HSU VTF-2 MK4 sub ... total $1470

6. HTD Lvl2 Bookshelf speakers [Lvl2 Bookshelf, centr channel & surround] & HSU VTF-2 MK4 ... total $1100 [If I go for Lvl2 towers in the main that adds $200]

7. HTD Lvl3 Bookshelf speakers [Lvl3 Bookshelf, centr channel & surround] & HSU VTF-2 MK4 ... total $1500

Unfortunately lot of my options (maybe becoz of the price range I chose) are internet direct retailers and I cannot audition them. Would need your suggestion.

Thanks
post #2 of 16
What is the size of the room these are going in? How far away will you be sitting from the main speakers? What will these mostly be used for (music, or home theater)?
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for responding. Pretty valid questions -







1. Pls find the attached floor plan, to give you idea on the rooms dimensions. We have a vaulted ceiling where one side is of 9' height, while the other side is 20'. Have tried capturing this inf in the floor plan as well
2. Viewing distance will be 13-14'
3. Usage wise (music:HT) it should be 30:70 to 20:80
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by aniban View Post

Thanks for responding. Pretty valid questions -





1. Pls find the attached floor plan, to give you idea on the rooms dimensions. We have a vaulted ceiling where one side is of 9' height, while the other side is 20'. Have tried capturing this inf in the floor plan as well
2. Viewing distance will be 13-14'
3. Usage wise (music:HT) it should be 30:70 to 20:80

You have a fairly long listening distance. With that and your usage being 80% HT, I would look at speakers with higher sensitivity. Have you considered Klipsch? If you would like recommendations, shoot us an email.
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post #5 of 16
As long as you are not trying to play these speakers at ridiculously loud levels, I like that Hsu package for the money. I have not heard the HTD speakers, but the Hsu speakers are very solid, and the company is top notch to deal with. I owned the SVS speakers you mentioned and I really liked them, but as Mike mentioned, you are sitting pretty far back and may be asking too much from those speakers.

Aperion offers a great money free home trial, and their speakers are well regarded.
post #6 of 16
You have a 20' ceiling, and the length spans over 40'? I would definitely want a stronger sub. The HSU speakers will do okay at 4 meters You should be looking at the vtf15 to pair them with, even if you have to start out with just a 3.1 setup. Adding a pair of surrounds down the road is a lot cheaper then finding out you need to replace the sub.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid15pkg.html
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

You have a 20' ceiling, and the length spans over 40'? I would definitely want a stronger sub. The HSU speakers will do okay at 4 meters You should be looking at the vtf15 to pair them with, even if you have to start out with just a 3.1 setup. Adding a pair of surrounds down the road is a lot cheaper then finding out you need to replace the sub.
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid15pkg.html

Yeah, I missed the 20' part.. That is a lot of volume to fill.

OP, is this a house, apartment, condo? Any shared walls?

One thing to consider is placing the sub near placement when you have a large space like that. The closer you can get the sub to the main seating position the better most likely...
post #8 of 16
I would stay away from the Intimus 4 speakers as well unless you are only listening at modest volumes. That kind of space is asking too much of a speaker with 4" drivers. If you can fit a large subwoofer, the 3.1 Hsu package with the VTF15h would be more appropriate, but that is truly a large subwoofer.
post #9 of 16
What about Ascend Acoustics? My listening distance and setup is pretty close to yours with the physical walls pretty close. My listening distance to my ears is 12' 8". You could do 3 340's for LCR and 2 170's for side surrounds. Your HSU would be cool or the Rythmic Audio servo subs. Www.ascendacoustics.com

Brian in Bakersfield...
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for your valuable feedback

@ Mike: After receiving your email I started looking at the Klipsch - I liked the RF-52 II model, but needed to extend my budget; that's why I am still thinking

@ack_bk: I live in a dual family house, but fortunately no wall for this particular living room is shared with our next door neighbor

@Hspecialist: I did not look at Ascend earlier, but got interested in it as there are many great rave reviews about the Ascend 340 & 170s

I got slightly confused with 2 statements above - Intimus 4T has dual 4" drivers, and HSU has got single 6" driver ... is the later considered to create a better sound experience than the former? What if I try for something in between, like Axiom M22 - which has dual 5.25" drivers?

For the sub I think the HSU wins hands down and majority of you are suggesting to go for VTF15 - I did a rough calculation of the open space and it turned out to be 4000+ cu.ft.

One more thing just out of curiosity ... I had auditioned a pair of B&W 683B in the local "BestBuy" - I knew very well it was not in the genre I was looking at, but I expected I would be wow-ed by the sonic quality; to my utter disappointment those B&Ws sounded bland in comparison to a pair of Def-Tech (SM45 - $199/each) bookshelf speakers. Has it to do with poor placement / set-up?


With more research, some new speaker system are also popping up ... Axiom, Fluance etc. ... are these any good? They cost very less when compared to the reputed brands, but have got pretty great reviews? Or are the reviews should be read more from the aspect of bang-for-buck ... if the specifications are exactly alike, then is there a difference between a speaker made by let's say B&W and a regular XYZ brand?
Edited by aniban - 7/29/12 at 3:17pm
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aniban View Post

Thanks all for your valuable feedback
@ Mike: After receiving your email I started looking at the Klipsch - I liked the RF-52 II model, but needed to extend my budget; that's why I am still thinking
@ack_bk: I live in a dual family house, but fortunately no wall for this particular living room is shared with our next door neighbor
@Hspecialist: I did not look at Ascend earlier, but got interested in it as there are many great rave reviews about the Ascend 340 & 170s
I got slightly confused with 2 statements above - Intimus 4T has dual 4" drivers, and HSU has got single 6" driver ... is the later considered to create a better sound experience than the former? What if I try for something in between, like Axiom M22 - which has dual 5.25" drivers?
For the sub I think the HSU wins hands down and majority of you are suggesting to go for VTF15 - I did a rough calculation of the open space and it turned out to be 4000+ cu.ft.
One more thing just out of curiosity ... I had auditioned a pair of B&W 683B in the local "BestBuy" - I knew very well it was not in the genre I was looking at, but I expected I would be wow-ed by the sonic quality; to my utter disappointment those B&Ws sounded bland in comparison to a pair of Def-Tech (SM45 - $199/each) bookshelf speakers. Has it to do with poor placement / set-up?
With more research, some new speaker system are also popping up ... Axiom, Fluance etc. ... are these any good? They cost very less when compared to the reputed brands, but have got pretty great reviews? Or are the reviews should be read more from the aspect of bang-for-buck ... if the specifications are exactly alike, then is there a difference between a speaker made by let's say B&W and a regular XYZ brand?

Any updates from anyone?
post #12 of 16
Heres a good suggestion/set up to look at:
www.sounddistributors.com/buynow.asp?action=detail&prid=516&crid=291&cat_name=BIC+Acoustech+Speakers

The Bic PL series has higher sensitivity such as Klipsch and IMHO are excellent with HT. I listed the PL-89 series that has the 8" drivers but they also have the PL-76 series that has the 6.5" drivers for a little less money.
I would check in with the Bic Accoustic thread here on AVS to get more input from the owners as they can give you a bit more info as well.

I would contact Eric at S.D. as to see how much it would cost to replace the PL-200 sub with the PA-150 sub thou as I feel that sub would much suit your area better.
post #13 of 16
In 4000+ cubic feet, either the HSU VTF-3 MK4, SVS PB123-NSD, or Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX could be enough for you. All of these three subs are comparable in class. Audioholics reviewed the PB12 and the EX and rated them as good in rooms up to 5,000 cubic feet:

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/subwoofers/pb12-nsd
http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/subwoofers/lfm-1-ex-review

(the rating is at the end of the review)

If you decide you want more bass, you could always add a 2nd one later on down the road. Dual subs also have the benefit of offering a smoother frequency response and better bass coverage in a room.

The PA-150 is very good for it's price, but it is not comparable to these three previous subs. While it will have good output from 40hz on up, these other three do much better for the low frequencies down to 20hz, the range where many of the bass effects in movies comes in.

The Ascend Acoustics you are looking at are a really nice choice for HT usage because the L/R and center are an exact match. That's typically best for the front sound stage.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

In 4000+ cubic feet, either the HSU VTF-3 MK4, SVS PB123-NSD, or Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX could be enough for you. All of these three subs are comparable in class. Audioholics reviewed the PB12 and the EX and rated them as good in rooms up to 5,000 cubic feet:
http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/subwoofers/pb12-nsd
http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/subwoofers/lfm-1-ex-review
(the rating is at the end of the review)
If you decide you want more bass, you could always add a 2nd one later on down the road. Dual subs also have the benefit of offering a smoother frequency response and better bass coverage in a room.
The PA-150 is very good for it's price, but it is not comparable to these three previous subs. While it will have good output from 40hz on up, these other three do much better for the low frequencies down to 20hz, the range where many of the bass effects in movies comes in.
The Ascend Acoustics you are looking at are a really nice choice for HT usage because the L/R and center are an exact match. That's typically best for the front sound stage.

Having owned a PA-150, I completely agree. It has terrific output above 40hz, but then drops like a rock and really struggles under 30hz or so with any useable bass.

I like the HSU package referenced above, and if at all possible, step up to the VTF-15H for that room size.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your response on the sub - I am pretty sure that I would be going with the HSU, and I will probably settle with the VTF-2 MK4 or VTF-3 MK4. The final decision would probably depend on how much I am left after buying the speakers

Where I am really struggling is finalizing the speakers. There are so many options that I am overwhelmed ... based on the previous comments (and reviews over the net) I have come up with the following list - can you please suggest your choice [even if you suggest 2 or 3, that will also help, at least to narrow down the options]

1. EmpTek: 2 x E55Ti (Front), 1 x E56Ci (Center), 2 x E55Wi(Surround): retailing for $1222 @ emptek.com [this one probably has got the best review from audioholics.com]
2. HSU Hybrid 15 - 5.1 package: 4 x HB-1 MK2, 1 x HC-1 MK2 and VTF-15H sub: for $1549 @ hsuresearch.com [by compromising the front speakers, i.e. coming down from the towers to bookshelf I am getting a better sub]
3. Klipsch: 2 x RF-42 II(Front), RC-42 II (Center), 2 x RS-41 II (Surround): $1197 [liked the aesthetics a lot]
4. This is where I am going completely in a tangential way ... B&W: 2 x 685B, HTM62B, 2 x DS3B: this is costing me approx $2000 in local best buy. Definitely the costliest option, but is it worth spending $800 extra

On overall size/volume/weight/footprint 2 & 4 are better than 1 & 3 (I am looking for smaller speakers)
Brand reputation wise probably the sequence is 4 > 3 > 2 > 1

.... so what is the best option here?

Couple of others that I took off from my final list were
A) Energy: 2 x v6.2 (Front), 1 x v5.2-C (Center), 2 x V-S (Surround): retailing for $1259 @ vanns.com
B) Axiom: 2 x M22 v3 (Front), 1 x VP 100 v3 (Center), 2 x QS4 v3 (Surround): retailing for $1240 @ axiomaudio.com
C) Ascend: 2 x CMT-340 SE M (Front), CMT - 340 SE C (Center), 2 x CMT - 170 SE (Surround): retailing for $1198 @ ascendacoustics.com
If you feel anyone of A,B,C meets or beats 1,2,3,4 please give your opinion

- on the a/v receiver I will either go with Marantz SR6006 or with SR5007, please let me know if you see any issues with that
post #16 of 16
I agree with ack.bk & cel4145 as the PA-150 is not quite the best below 35hrz as I can only assume it was designed more for music... maybe? I was just suggesting it to keep the price down a bit.

I like the Idea of the HSU package just for the fact it has the VTF-15 in mind ( that will be my next purchase wink.gif )

If you like the Klipsch package here a great deal....
www.sounddistributors.com/buynow.asp?action=detail&prid=685&crid=243&cat_name=Klipsch+Home+Theater+Systems

They are a factory Auth. dealer w/ free shipping. In fact it even come with a free sub, even thou its the PA-120 its still free wink.gif. If interested & dont want the sub I would get in contact with Eric to see how much lower he could go?? Even thou it says "free" I'm sure it cost him money along with shipping...just saying is all rolleyes.gif. Then I would look into the VTF-2 MK4, Outlaw Plus/EX.... or something along that line.
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