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Entry level bookshelves vs high-end sats for a small room

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi!
I'm a newbie to good home theater systems though I've been reading a few months now!

I am based in India where every component is about twice as expensive as elsewhere...so please help me sort out this confusion! Thanks!

I am planning to purchase the Marantz NR1402

I am planning to buy a 5.0 BS/5.1 sub-sat system to go with this for a 150 sqft room-budget around 800-900$

From all my reading and out of availability - I have found the following:

Bookshelf system:

1) Pioneer SP-PK21BS (5.1) which I can get here for about 700$

2) Infinity Primus P153x4 + PC251 center channel for about 900-1000$(estimated)

3) Pioneer SP-PK41BS+SP-PK21BS (5.1) which I can get here for about 900$


Sub-Sat

1) Polk Audio TL350 if I can manage to ask someone to get them from USA- around 700$

2) Def Tech ProCinema 800 5.0 at about 700$- from USA

3)Energy Take Classic 5.1 at about 700$- from India

paired with a ~350$ Paradigm Cinema Sub/350$ Wharfedale SW150 sub



I wanted to know if these higher-end, high rated sub-sats can compare with the lower end bookshelves...for 50% music and 50% movies in a small room!

Considering my relatively constrained options and budget, please help me out deciding!

Any 600-700$ 5.0 sat system from USA would do, or a 300-400$ 5.0 BS system I can get here for the same price?

Thanks!
post #2 of 24
5 nht super zeros- $500
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhil Oswal View Post

I wanted to know if these higher-end, high rated sub-sats can compare with the lower end bookshelves...for 50% music and 50% movies in a small room!
Considering my relatively constrained options and budget, please help me out deciding!
Any 600-700$ 5.0 sat system from USA would do, or a 300-400$ 5.0 BS system I can get here for the same price?
Thanks!
Whenever possible, I would aim for bigger speakers over the small sats.
From the USA, this is a solid deal for some good Boston speakers.
A25 bookshelves (x4)
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA25WHA/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A25-2-Way-5.25in-Bookshelf-Speaker-Each-Gloss-White/1.html

A225C Center
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA225CWHA/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A225C-2-Way-Center-Channel-Speaker-White/1.html
Edited by zieglj01 - 8/2/12 at 7:28pm
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Great!
Thanks a lot for the replies!
The thing is I just Cant exceed 1000$ as of now...not for a while actually

Doing a little digging I found that I can get

1) 5x NHT SuperZeros I can get over ebay at around 1100$. That means no Sub.

2) Boston acoustics A25x4+ Center A225C +ASW250 Sub= 1100$

3) Infinity Primus P153x4+PC351= probably 1000$ with delvery. No Sub.

4) Pioneer SP PK 21BS 5.1 package= 800$

5) Polk Audio TL350+ Paradigm Cinema 100 Sub = 1000$

Based on the following what would you suggest? I can't afford a Sub if I go for the high-rated NHTs and Infinity's...will that work well?
Or should I prefer the cheaper Pioneer?
Or can the not-too-common, expensive-driver made TL350 do the trick in a much smaller proportion?


The worst part is I cant audition most of these systems easily here...I'll maybe have to buy online.
Thanks!
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
PS: I have an old pair of Philips bookshelves. A bit too bright...not that great but they're decent.
Would you recommend getting a front 3 bookshelf system and subwoofer and pair these Philips up for the surrounds?
Or should I stress on matching out 5 speakers for best movie quality and not care about a sub right now?

PPS: I read in a review that the A225C center isnt that great...would a similar priced center channel speaker sound better?

Thanks again smile.gif
post #6 of 24
I would not buy the Infinity or NHT without a sub, NHT really needs a sub most of all >>
The sub that comes with the Pioneer package is weak. From your list, I favor the Boston.
Your choice and good luck.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hmm..thanks for the advice smile.gif

Now after reading about NHT Superzero 2.0s...My head's kind of fixated on them biggrin.gif
I Might be able to get 5 for 900$-if i Do, I think I'll buy them and pair up an 8" sub!

However, I Nearly own a Marantz NR1402 now, do you think the 50W/channel output will be able to drive them at the relatively low efficiency?
Its a small room- 3x4.5 metres with a viewing distance of 3, will it be decently loud enough?



Another option thats popping up is a pair of Cambridge S30s...how would that work out within the system? Or will the difference in

And the Boston Acoustics A25x4+ A225C is always there smile.gif
post #8 of 24
post #9 of 24
^^

Yep. Contact NHT. They do provide international shipping.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhil Oswal View Post

Hmm..thanks for the advice smile.gif
Now after reading about NHT Superzero 2.0s...My head's kind of fixated on them biggrin.gif
I Might be able to get 5 for 900$-if i Do, I think I'll buy them and pair up an 8" sub!
However, I Nearly own a Marantz NR1402 now, do you think the 50W/channel output will be able to drive them at the relatively low efficiency?
Its a small room- 3x4.5 metres with a viewing distance of 3, will it be decently loud enough?
Another option thats popping up is a pair of Cambridge S30s...how would that work out within the system?

The Cambridge S30 is a real nice speaker and has good bass down to 60hz - I prefer the S30 ove the
small NHT sats. However, the NHT with a sub is still a nice option. The Marantz 1402 in your room will
be fine.
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ok so final (almost verdict)....

5 NHTs + sub are going beyond my budget. a bit way beyond.

3 NHT SZ + 1 pair Cambridge S30+sub, I can Just afford.

Cambridge audio s30x4 plus unknown center plus sub I can afford

Boston Acoustics package is also crossing the limit at 1100.


So can I pair a front 3 NHT package with CA S30s for surrounds? Or will they mismatch?
I thought in this way I could at any time switch the front pair and check...


Since I live far away auditioning/returning arent valid options...so will the mixing be too risky? Or will an entire Cambridge set outdo the mixing?

Thanks guys for some great inputs...I was stuck in the research and speaker hunt for way too long...and I'm (this) close to deciding!

Please throw in your final inputs before I buy!
post #12 of 24
Why wouldn't you just get all Cambridge? Do they cost you less than the NHT?
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhil Oswal View Post

Ok so final (almost verdict)....
5 NHTs + sub are going beyond my budget. a bit way beyond.
3 NHT SZ + 1 pair Cambridge S30+sub, I can Just afford.
Cambridge audio s30x4 plus unknown center plus sub I can afford
Boston Acoustics package is also crossing the limit at 1100.
So can I pair a front 3 NHT package with CA S30s for surrounds? Or will they mismatch?
I thought in this way I could at any time switch the front pair and check...
Since I live far away auditioning/returning arent valid options...so will the mixing be too risky? Or will an entire Cambridge set outdo the mixing?
Thanks guys for some great inputs...I was stuck in the research and speaker hunt for way too long...and I'm (this) close to deciding!
Please throw in your final inputs before I buy!

IMO, the Cambridge S30 easily outperforms the NHT SuperZero 2.0... so you'd be shortchanging yourself using them only as rears and using the SZ 2.0 up front. I've had both in my home. The SZ 2.0 has NO bass... none... but the mids and highs are nice, although not the most detailed/resolving (as expected at the price point). The S30 has very solid bass given the small cabinet, and that 4.5" woofer is closer in actual size to what most companies call a 5.25" woofer. Upper mids/lower treble are a little bit forward to me, but some really like that sound. They throw a bigger soundstage too. Overall, I just think the S30 is a better speaker.

If budget is tight, look here for an open box pair of S30's:
http://www.avhifi.com/shop/clearance-items.html

That dealer also has an active coupon code for 10% off to save a bit more.
Edited by alphaiii - 8/3/12 at 10:06am
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhil Oswal View Post

Ok so final (almost verdict)....

3 NHT SZ + 1 pair Cambridge S30+sub, I can Just afford.

So can I pair a front 3 NHT package with CA S30s for surrounds? Or will they mismatch?
I thought in this way I could at any time switch the front pair and check...
Since I live far away auditioning/returning arent valid options...so will the mixing be too risky? Or will an entire Cambridge set outdo the mixing?
Thanks guys for some great inputs...I was stuck in the research and speaker hunt for way too long...and I'm (this) close to deciding!
Please throw in your final inputs before I buy!

The Cambridge is more suited for up front, over the NHT, and will blend better with a subwoofer. The NHT would be
more suited as surrounds. You can also look at the Cambridge S20 for the surrounds, and should be cheaper.
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Frankly, I just got tempted by the SuperZero reviews.... the mentioned clarity and imaging seemed brilliant! I don't need my speakers to go too low as I will be getting a sub.
However the CA s30 look amazing too, but in the limitation of my knowledge to reading, they seem to be slightly lesser in definition than the SZ
The CA package alone and SZ with CA I can afford...not the complete SZ package

In case the matching is very hard...I'll stick to CA. Just up to what suggestions I get now smile.gif
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Great! I'll proceed with the combined order then...and try both front and rear combos for the 2 brands...and choose accordingly!
Thanks for your inputs! I'm so excited I'm finally getting my first system biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

Hopefully everything with delivery would arrive within 2 weeks biggrin.gif

If I do manage to get them...I'll post my opinion smile.gif
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhil Oswal View Post

Frankly, I just got tempted by the SuperZero reviews.... the mentioned clarity and imaging seemed brilliant! I don't need my speakers to go too low as I will be getting a sub.
However the CA s30 look amazing too, but in the limitation of my knowledge to reading, they seem to be slightly lesser in definition than the SZ
The CA package alone and SZ with CA I can afford...not the complete SZ package
In case the matching is very hard...I'll stick to CA. Just up to what suggestions I get now smile.gif

I don't agree that the S30 has less definition than the SZ 2.0.

While you don't think you need your speakers to go low since you have a sub... I'd argue that there is ALOT to gain by having a speaker capable of some bass. With the SZ 2.0, expect to set your xover to at least 120Hz... If you're going to listen at loud volumes, 150Hz is more appropriate. Otherwise, that little woofer is going to run out of steam and you'll won't get a nice smooth blend with the sub.

Keep in mind that, unless you can locate your sub between your left/right speakers, having a high xover (above 80-100Hz) will result in bass that easier to localize (ie. it'll sound like it's coming from the sub and not the speakers).

In addition, alot of subs (especially budget subs), do not play well up around 150Hz and above.

With the S30, you can set your xover at 80-90Hz and they'll handle it just fine.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhil Oswal View Post

Great! I'll proceed with the combined order then...and try both front and rear combos for the 2 brands...and choose accordingly!
Thanks for your inputs! I'm so excited I'm finally getting my first system biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif
Hopefully everything with delivery would arrive within 2 weeks biggrin.gif
If I do manage to get them...I'll post my opinion smile.gif

Nothing better than auditioning both options in your home. Have fun with it!
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akhil Oswal View Post

Frankly, I just got tempted by the SuperZero reviews.... the mentioned clarity and imaging seemed brilliant! I don't need my speakers to go too low as I will be getting a sub.
However the CA s30 look amazing too, but in the limitation of my knowledge to reading, they seem to be slightly lesser in definition than the SZ

The S30 does not have less definition than the Super Zero - The Cambridge is a good speaker, and they have
good detail and definition.
post #20 of 24
I wonder is cambridge the one who makes their speakers or do they have someone else do it for them ? I know NAD sold speakers awhile back, but having PSB as a sister company allowed them to have PSB manufacture them.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbridled_id View Post

I wonder is cambridge the one who makes their speakers or do they have someone else do it for them ? I know NAD sold speakers awhile back, but having PSB as a sister company allowed them to have PSB manufacture them.

Cambridge Audio and Mordaunt Short are owned by the same company, located in London.
http://www.audiopartnership.com/product-development.php
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Cambridge Audio and Mordaunt Short are owned by the same company, located in London.
http://www.audiopartnership.com/product-development.php

Thank you sir...
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbridled_id View Post

Thank you sir...

Your welcome - have a good day.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Sorry to bump this thread...but there's always room for more doubt :P

I suddenly hear great things about the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1s.
At the same price...for pure sound...which of the following would you suggest?

Surrounds as of now will be my old Philips bookshelves...

1) 3.1 Wharfedale Diamond 10.1x2 + Diamond 10 Center + Wharfedale SW150

2) 3.1 NHT SuperZero 2.0x3 + NHT Super 8 Sub

3) 3.1 Cambridge Audio S30 x3 + some sub

4) 3.1 Energy RC10x2 + Energy RC center + some sub.


Again...sorry to bump but this is so confusing without the chance to audition!
I lean towards the NHTs purely out of reviews...
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