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front speaker advice for 5.1 system

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am a newb here, so be gentle.............

I would appreciate some recommendations on front speakers for a 5.1 system with the following stipulations:

Budget $600/pr or so

Space 15 x 15 x 8 ft, carpeted, 3 sides enclosed ( 1 outside wall) with another 15 x 10 ft area behind space, linoleum ( part of kitchen)

Usage 75% TV/Movie 25% Music ( mostly XM, rock > pop > classical)

Current system Panasonic SA-HE100 receiver with ( don't laugh) Mitsubishi floorstanding speakers ( that came with a previous all-inclusive stereo set)....

Sound quality preference probably "warm/neutral" over " bright"

Getting a panasonic 50" plasma for TV

Currently have large entertainment component cabinet that takes up most of front wall space....will need to separate components to place new TV to near limits of wall dimension ( less than 6 inches on either side).........front speaker placement will need to be slightly in front of TV screen and close to components of entertainment center ( thus rear port speakers for bass may be compromised......)

Looking at Denon 2112 for receiver ( $400 refurb at AC4L)

Speakers I have researched......fall into 2 price ranges ~300/pr and ~600/pr

Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 500/pr
Ascend CMT-340 SE 600/pr
Paradigm MiniMonitor v7 600/pr
Def Tech SM55 600/pr
KEF Q300 480/pr ( open box)

Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 350/pr
Ascend CBM-170 SE 300/pr
Energy RC-10 300/pr
Arx A1B 300/pr

AGAIN..........I am looking for help in getting front speakers for this system..........and I am coming from junk, speaker-wise.....I will probably NOT be able to demo anything in stores, as I am over 2 hours away from any metro areas............

Highly informed opinions welcome..............or any helpful comments
post #2 of 8
I would recommend either the Diamond 10.1 or 10.2. They are excellent for the money.

If you are not going to have a subwoofer, the 10.2 would be better, because it has more bass extension.

The KEF iQ7 is an excellent speaker, for $600 per pair, but you apparently do not want floorstanding speakers.
post #3 of 8
Of all the speakers you mention, I would have to say the Wharfedale Diamond 10.2's also. They are excellent speakers at only $450 pair; not $500 as you quoted.

I once had a full 5.1 set of Diamond 9's and sold the front three to a friend. I kept a pair of 9.2's and currently use them as surrounds because I was so impressed with them. I would think the 10.2's are even better. Good luck in whatever decison you make.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your suggestions.......

I will be purchasing a sub sometime in the future, so I am not ( too) concerned with fabulous bass response .....but that will be another research project.....
post #5 of 8
Arx A1b is an awesome bookshelf. IMO for $300 is a steal, tough to find a bookshelf under $350 with quality cabinets, cast alloy frame woofers, cast alloy tweeter face plate, XBL2/Splitgap licensed tech. The planar ribbon in the Arx is one of the best i've heard dome or ribbons (thats not saying its the best though). A very neutral to slightly laid back sound in the treble, i'd say natural sounding. It never presents its self or sounds harsh. Woofer can belt out some serious bass when called too if you want to run them full range but still sounds great with a higher freq xover.

But I would say with the ones you have listed its a win win situation, probably can't go wrong with either.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the glowing report on the Arx's........

I guess here's the big question.....is there a big enough qualitative difference ( sound difference) between the $300/pr and $600/pr speakers to warrant the higher price here.........I'm not talking room-filling; I think any of these speakers can adequately fill the space. All of these speakers have been recommended by many others in other threads and forums.......do any of them say OMG the loudest??
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
So............After "letting" someone else get the Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 open box speakers for $350 on AC4L frown.gif......I am looking more towards the Ascend 170 SE's vs Arx A1b as an initial purchase......

Any thoughts one way or the other?

OR should i just get both and see which I prefer best???
post #8 of 8
Originally Posted by padgman1 View Post

OR should i just get both and see which I prefer best???

This would be the best option IMO. You could order both for the trial period (both offer no hassle returns) and write up a review on both and then keep which ever one you prefer the most.
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