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Please Help Choosing an HT system - Page 2

post #31 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by isagreg View Post

shadyJ:
I read somewhere that those Infinity speakers are 4 ohm.

They do have some dips into 4 ohm territory in their impedance charts, but many speakers do, likely including the Polks you are considering. Anyway, you would have to get a really poor receiver that couldn't handle them. I have a pair and my mid range Onkyo has never had a problem with them, even when blaring an entire movie at reference level.

Also, I can vouch for the Rythmik FV12, I spent some time with a previous version of that sub, it's a terrific value for the money. You will gain more output with more expensive subs from Hsu, Outlaw, and PSA, but the Rythmik does pretty well there. There is no way I would get any of the SVS 1000 subs if you can get the Rythmik for only $50 more or a Hsu VTF2 for only $100 more, I think they are both likely a lot more sub for just a little bit more money.
post #32 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by isagreg View Post

eljaycanuck:
No, 75T is not big physically, and it has 6.5" drivers, and should go lower (vs 5.25" in 65T). But it's not overkill, is it?
SVS PB-1000 is "only" 10", everyone is recommending at least 12". Also it is 2.5 times more expensive.
Another thing, ported vs sealed subs. Like SVS PB-1000 and SVS SB-1000. Which is usually better?

Transmaniacon:
EMP E5Ti are out of stock. They only got E55Ti for $795 pr.
In general will EMP be better than Polk monitors? The price is definitely higher but in audio world higher price does not necessarily mean better quality (Bose for example)

Matts
Where can I see that DefTech deal?

shadyJ:
I' wanna go with towers because (1) the tower enclosure usually allows to reach lower frequencies and (2) with bookshelf I'm gonna need stands, which will add to the total cost.
And in general is it a good idea to go with the same speakers for front and back (as Hsu does)?

Sorry for late reply. But I believe any authorized dealer of DefTech should offer the deal, but it lasts only through the end of the month if I am not mistaken. I know that the Magnolia in Best Buy is offering the deal, but I am not sure when the deal ends.
post #33 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by isagreg View Post

Transmaniacon:
EMP E5Ti are out of stock. They only got E55Ti for $795 pr.
In general will EMP be better than Polk monitors? The price is definitely higher but in audio world higher price does not necessarily mean better quality (Bose for example)

I currently have the E55Tis, and have some of the Polk Monitors packed away in the basement. The difference is very significant, at least for my ears. I have not heard the smaller E5Ti tower, but it's bigger brother sure has impressed me. I find the mid-bass much clearer and pronounced, the imaging is better, and they still maintain clarity when turned up.
post #34 of 95
Me and Transman are in the same boat...about two years ago, I bought some Polk m40s and last year, the EMP speakers...the Polk quickly got retired. If I ever get a basement HT setup, the Polk may see action again...
And Btw, I have heard and own the smaller EMP towers, the E5ti and they are outstanding...
post #35 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Me and Transman are in the same boat...about two years ago, I bought some Polk m40s and last year, the EMP speakers...the Polk quickly got retired. If I ever get a basement HT setup, the Polk may see action again...
And Btw, I have heard and own the smaller EMP towers, the E5ti and they are outstanding...

I would love to hear the smaller towers, they seem ideal for a bedroom setup, glad you like them! When I bought the E55Tis, they were on sale for less than the E5Ti so I couldn't pass that up biggrin.gif
post #36 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

I would love to hear the smaller towers, they seem ideal for a bedroom setup, glad you like them! When I bought the E55Tis, they were on sale for less than the E5Ti so I couldn't pass that up biggrin.gif

Like you guys I had a chance ot listen to Polks at a friends house and it came no where near the sound the EMP tek's could do, Trust me they sound and really look amazing for there price!! I own the E55ti as well and was looking at getting a pair of E5ti speakers for our small computer room to have to listen too.
post #37 of 95
I have the following speakers in my possession-EMPtek e5tis, def tech sm450s, polkm40s, SLS q line gold sats and some Pyle pro crap which rates slightly better than Bose, but not much else.
Recently, I took my EMP towers to my friend rays house...to do "battle of the speaker" between the e5ti and his Ascend acoust cmt340s. Don't really have a comprehensive review like that done by bitter/ nht...but we both decided it was a dead even heat. The emps were slightly better at lows, the ascend were slightly better high. Both excellent...
Suprising, in my own a/b challenge, the emps and def tech were clearly the best two of the speakers I own. However, I think the SLS q line speakers sounded much better than the polks at the mid and high end and I have never been a fan if the sort of muffled bass I get from the m40s!
Edited by Elihawk - 2/14/13 at 10:48am
post #38 of 95
Thread Starter 
This is much more difficult than I thought. So many brands to choose from. And so many different opinions.

My budget is $2,000 -ish, it can go a few hundred up or down if necessary. That is for AVR, Speakers (preferably 7) and Sub.
I read that 70-75% of the budget should go towards the speakers (why?), so my guess is that's why ack_bk was suggesting not to "overspend" on the AVR.

AVR:

I'd prefer an AVR with Audyssey MultEQ XT (none from Onkyo 2013 line up, only Denon and Marantz have it), 7.1 (or 7.2) channels, not more than $800.
I was gonna go with Denon AVR-2113CI, $650. Open to better suggestions (no refurbished, used, open boxes please).

SPEAKERS:

For front L/R I'd prefer towers ('cause for bookshelves I will need stands, and I'd like to spend that money on the speakers, not the stands)
Not a fan of cherry, would prefer black cabinets

Looks like everybody suggests to stay away from Polk Monitors.
EMPtek E5Ti may be good but they're are out of stock. E55Ti are $800 a pair, a bit pricey.
Ascend CMT-340 SE looks interesting. $570 speakers + $140 stands (on sale) = $710 pair
I don't like how DefTech and Infinity look.
Hsu only has bookshelves.

SUBWOOFER:

Paper or Aluminum cone?
Ported or Sealed?
Front or Down firing?

Here are the choices from recommended ones. Which one?
SVS: PB-1000 or SB-1000? Both are $500. Or SB12-NSD 12" $650?
Hsu: VTF-2 MK4 12" $530
PSA: The cheapest PSA is XS15 (15"!) $750 is out of budget.
Outlaw Audio: LFM-1 12" $550 and LFM-1 EX 12" $650
Rythmik: the only thing I can afford from Rythmik is LV12R 12" $550 Paper Cone?
post #39 of 95
Paper or aluminum cones, front firing or down firing, none of that makes a difference, but you will want ported if you want to hear deep frequencies.
You are not factoring in shipping on the subs. The Outlaw and Hsu subs do not include shipping prices, so if $750 is too much, you wan't be able to get the LFM-1 EX either. That would have been the sub to beat in that bunch though. Rythmik has free shipping for the time being on the FV12r as an introductory deal, that makes it a great deal. The Hsu has a small discount right now which brings the total to less than $600. The SVS subs are not on the same performance level as the others, I would stay away from them. I would go for the the VTF2, Outlaw Plus, or Rythmik. The Outlaw might have the most output between the three of those, but it wouldn't lead by much.
post #40 of 95
Isagreg, where are you located? If you are in the Houston, TX area I am auditioning the Arx A5 and HTD level 3 towers.
post #41 of 95
Thread Starter 
Los Angeles
post #42 of 95
HSU and Ascend are in Orange County and I believe they still offer private demos. Might be worth a road trip.
post #43 of 95
Thread Starter 
Polk 75T is on sale again, $220 on newegg

Onkyo TX-NR818 is $780 amazon
post #44 of 95
If you only have 2 g total...man, dint spend 40% on a reciever!? Get a 300 dollar reciever and the best speaker/sub you can. Great speakers will sound very good with a mediocre reciever. However, a top of the line reciever will sound mediocre with mediocre speakers.
post #45 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

If you only have 2 g total...man, dint spend 40% on a reciever!? Get a 300 dollar reciever and the best speaker/sub you can. Great speakers will sound very good with a mediocre reciever. However, a top of the line reciever will sound mediocre with mediocre speakers.
Totally agree. Plus the Onkyo has a very poor track record with HDMI board failures. I nearly pulled the trigger on this same receiver but all the reported issues really concerned me.
post #46 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Totally agree. Plus the Onkyo has a very poor track record with HDMI board failures. I nearly pulled the trigger on this same receiver but all the reported issues really concerned me.
That is why I am avoiding Onkyo. Plus with new features coming out (like AirPlay/Spotify) you might want to refresh in the future anyway, so spending so much of your budget on the receiver does not really make sense. As long as you are using a reasonably mainstream receiver, I think the sound quality is fine and speaker ability will be more noticeable.
post #47 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by isagreg View Post

Polk 75T is on sale again, $220 on newegg

I feel compelled to chime in here, the Polk 75T for $220/each is a RIP. Newegg fairly regularly put the Polk Monitor 70's on sale for $159 or even $149/each in some instances and they're virtually the same speaker. The 75T's use the EXACT same drivers as the 70's in a slightly larger enclosure, and sound the same IMO, so there's no way I would pay $220/each for them. That said, I purchased a set of Monitor 70's for $320 shipped from Newegg last summer, and they're an excellent pair of speakers for the money. With proper amping and a quality signal, they really sing. Unfortunately now that the 30/40/50/60/70 series has been replaced by the 35/45/55/65/75, they're not nearly as good of a buy, and I think you can do better with your budget.

If I had the opportunity to go back in time and build my system again, I'd keep my Yamaha RX-V671 and Hsu VTF-2 MK4 (both GREAT pieces of equipment), but substitute Ascend Acoustics CMT-340SE mains, a CMT-340SE center, and CBM-170SE surrounds. The Ascend Acoustics are really excellent speakers, and I would recommend the same setup for your space. The only thing to consider is that space is obviously at a premium in your room, and as awesome as the Hsu VTF-2 MK4 is, it is admittedly a giant. You may not want to forego that much space for a sub, or shake literally every condo around you. (the VTF-2 is more than capable of shaking my entire 2,000 sq ft house without breaking a sweat) If I were you, I would invest in higher quality speakers and downsize slightly on the sub. For instance, a Hsu VTF-1 MK2 would be more than enough sub for that room and save you a little space. Just something to think about . . .
post #48 of 95
Thread Starter 
I am ordering Denon AVR-2113CI right now for $520 shipping and taxes included.
post #49 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by isagreg View Post

I am ordering Denon AVR-2113CI right now for $520 shipping and taxes included.

For $30 dollars more you can get the Pioneer SC-1222, with pre-outs....I am still pondering about it.
post #50 of 95
Thread Starter 
Already ordered. And Pioneer doesn't have Audyssey
post #51 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

For $30 dollars more you can get the Pioneer SC-1222, with pre-outs....I am still pondering about it.
The Pioneers seem like great buys but--based on reviews I read--are at the bottom with regards to sound quality of the mainstream receivers. Granted, I was looking more at the VSX line. To my mind the top tier (of mainstream receivers) is Denon/Marantz.
post #52 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarsianMan View Post

The Pioneers seem like great buys but--based on reviews I read--are at the bottom with regards to sound quality of the mainstream receivers. Granted, I was looking more at the VSX line. To my mind the top tier (of mainstream receivers) is Denon/Marantz.

If you go to the SC-1222 thread, it appears a lot of new owners are liking it, and some like the MCACC more than Audyssey. I am thinking of buying a refurbished Denon 3313ic from AC4L. However, I am waiting for the insurance company from the other driver who was at fault to pay for my vehicle. I am hoping they contact me today.
post #53 of 95
Thread Starter 
OK, I'm done with the receiver (saved $130 there)

Now the speakers, 5.0 for now:

EMP: E55Ti + E56Ci (this thing is huge) + E5Bi = $1,495 (Shipped no tax)
Ascend: CMT-340 SE L/R + Stands + CMT-340 SE center + CBM-170 = $1,208 (Not shure about shipping cost and tax)
HTD Level Three: Towers + Center + Bookshelves = $1,342.00 (Shipped no tax)
HSU packages are using the same speakers with different subs, which I don't really like. Don't think I need the same speakers for the back.

More options are wellcome

These are ID speakers.
What about non ID? Any suggestions?

Thanks
post #54 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by isagreg View Post

HSU packages are using the same speakers with different subs, which I don't really like. Don't think I need the same speakers for the back.
You definitely don't "need" identical speakers for the surrounds, but there is also definitely no downside to using identical speakers in all positions. In fact, a good timbre-match is beneficial for the surrounds. I would not shy away from the Hsu packages just because they use identical speakers in all positions. I would see that as an "advantage."

Just sayin'

Craig
post #55 of 95
You could save some money and just get different surrounds, instead of in a package. For instance, these Infinity Primus p163 speakers do very well as surrounds, as good as any of those others, and they are cheaper.
post #56 of 95
Thread Starter 
Infinity: Don't like how they look, sorry
HSU: Don't have space for such large surrounds
post #57 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by isagreg View Post

OK, I'm done with the receiver (saved $130 there)

Now the speakers, 5.0 for now:

EMP: E55Ti + E56Ci (this thing is huge) + E5Bi = $1,495 (Shipped no tax)
Ascend: CMT-340 SE L/R + Stands + CMT-340 SE center + CBM-170 = $1,208 (Not shure about shipping cost and tax)
HTD Level Three: Towers + Center + Bookshelves = $1,342.00 (Shipped no tax)
HSU packages are using the same speakers with different subs, which I don't really like. Don't think I need the same speakers for the back.

More options are wellcome

These are ID speakers.
What about non ID? Any suggestions?

Thanks

Of those four I have heard the Emptek towers and they were great. But they are big and are the most expensive of your choices. Those would blow your $2000 budget without a sub. If you went with those and the PB1000 or VTF2 sub it would be a great system. My next choice would probably be the Ascends, just because so many people seem to have really liked those.

I think you made a good choice on the receiver, BTW.
post #58 of 95
All of the surround speakers from the speaker packages you are looking at are about the same size, they all have 6.5" woofers (except for the EMP bookshelfs). Here are some smaller speakers which are purportedly very good: Cambridge S30. A bit more expensive than the Primus speakers, but maybe they will fit your space.
post #59 of 95
Thread Starter 
Looks like only crutchfield.com has Cambridge S30. But they don't have S70 black and S50 in stock.
I know, you're gonna say they don't have to match, but I like when they match, aesthetically.

Besides isn't Cambridge known as an electronics company?
post #60 of 95
You should go out and listen to some of these speakers people are suggesting and take notes on what you hear. Take either the movies or music that you enjoy most and listen to it. I think I took about 6 to 8 months to select a pair of speakers, I spent a lot of time listening. Speakers make the biggest impact on sound and will be around for the longest time of all the electronics that will be in the room. Many seem wild about Audyssey and Denon, but I don't think any of the brands that get less love sound bad in any way. I do believe receivers and amps sound different (ignoring room correction) but usually never bad. There is a much larger difference IMO on how speakers play from brand to brand vs. receiver to receiver.

I could list you 5 of the speakers I like best of the 100s of companies out there, but it does you no good if you don't go listen. I'd focus on your 5.1 and then add channels 6 and 7 once you know you picked the right speakers.

www.monoprice.com will save you a lot of money on any type of wire, if no one has mentioned it.
If you could be talked into considering a refurb receiver you will save a lot, and it comes with a year warranty. I think most popular receiver brands do a refresh in April - May, so you may have some opportunities to buy clearance brand new right around that time.

You will probably see your best value in bookshelves w/ a sub or two.
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