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Speaker suggestions (front L-C-R) for under $1500

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am looking to upgrade my speakers and I am wondering what I should get. I have an older Kef 5.0 set currently and I do like the way they sound, but I wanted to get some ideas.

I will be using it for about 75% music and 25% movies and they will be hooked up to the Pioneer Elite SC-65. Thanks in advance.

Note: I do not want Polk or Klipsch. I have looked at the Mordaunt Short Carnival line but the specs on the bookshelves do not seem like they can handle my amp.

PSB, Axiom, Definitive Technology, NHT, Cambridge audio (a few different speakers I am considering.)
Edited by Ricsim78 - 2/8/13 at 5:44pm
post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
For more info on what I am looking for, I like speakers that sound crisp and well balanced. I have considered this


with this


Or Option 2:


with http://www.amazon.com/Definitive-Technology-Speaker-Single-Black/dp/B000TD8XCU/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1360375122&sr=1-4&keywords=definitive+technology+center

For around the same money, can I do better or would this be a good setup to add 2 speakers later
Edited by Ricsim78 - 2/8/13 at 6:00pm
post #3 of 15
Check out the Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE and CMT-340 SE center. Excellent choice for a front sound stage since you get three of the exact same speakers across the front, giving you a perfect timbre match.
post #4 of 15
I second the Ascend cmt340 recommendation! Excellent speaker, very clear and detailed!
post #5 of 15
If you want PSB speakers for L/C/R, here are 2 options.........

PSB Image B5 or B6 fronts with Image C5 center ( B5 has 5 1/2 inch woofer, B6 has 6 1/2 inch woofer, C5 has 5 1/2 inch woofers)........$850 with the B5's, $1000 with the B6's

PSB Image T5 tower with Image C5 center ( both have 5 1/2 inch woofers)........just under $1500.

You might be able to find the Image T6 towers ( that have the stellar reviews) for under $1200 to combine with the Image C5 center....to get at ~$1600
post #6 of 15
And for NHT...........

Either NHT Absolute Towers with Absolute Center at ~$1500 or

NHT Classic Threes with Classic Three Center at ~$1500

(I'm getting prices off Audio Advisor)

I know a couple of people really like NHT - see if you can PM zieglj01 ( a frequent poster and recommender of NHT speakers) or go to NHT owners thread..........
post #7 of 15
These are crisp and well balanced speakers with superb build quality and are a bargain:

post #8 of 15
I'd add the KEF Q300 (L/R) and KEF Q200C (center) to the list. $1100
post #9 of 15
+1 the KEF, Focal and Ascend, esp. since music listening is a priority. Re the Ascend, your budget could actually accommodate Sierra 1's LCR over the cmt340 series (worth the upgrade for music listening).

I'm a huge fan of the Cambridge Audio S series - for the money they are practically impossible to beat (esp. the S30). But, they are in a different/lower class than the three speakers above.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
I want to thank everyone and some awesome suggestions at that! I wanted some ideas of what to go listen to (if I can find at a local dealer).

Right now I am either leaning towards 3x Definitive Technology Studio Monitor 65 or 3x GoldenEar Aon 3 and getting 2 more soon for the surrounds. I just wish I could find a place to audition all of these but I know I cannot go far wrong.

I will definitely do my best to check out as many of these as I can before I purchase. Keep them coming if you have more suggestions. Maybe I should have added a poll?

Those Focals sure do look nice! I have heard good things about Focal and Ascend and considered Ascends in the past. The issue I have with Ascend is finding local places that happen to have them so I can listen to them.
Edited by Ricsim78 - 2/10/13 at 10:16pm
post #11 of 15
If you like the deT Tech SM65, you may want to look at the SM450 (300/pr). The SM450 is the 10 yr old cousin of the new DT SM series and because they are being discontinued, are pretty cheap right now.
Edited by Elihawk - 2/11/13 at 5:33am
post #12 of 15
The Ascend speakers are internet direct so you would have to find someone locally that is willing to let you addition. Otherwise, you could demo a pair at home and return them before the 30-day trial period was up. My guess is you probably wouldn't return them. wink.gif
post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

If you like the deT Tech SM65, you may want to look at the SM450 (300/pr). The SM450 is the 10 yr old cousin of the new DT SM series and because they are being discontinued, are pretty cheap right now.

thats a nice suggestion. What center would you go with? i have a pretty large room(17x 20). limited height space (7'). Im assuming its best to match with a Def Tech center? Thanks
post #14 of 15
I considered the 450's as well but can't hear them anywhere. I was under the impression that the 450's are closer matched to the SM55 and not the SM65.

The SM55 that I listened to at Best Buy bottomed out the woofer when powered from a pioneer s61 amplifier at about -5db. The B&W 685's (only $50 more than the SM55 pair) never bottomed out and only got louder and louder and more clear as the receiver went up to +5db. The difference from -5 to +5 was unreal. The SM55's sounded like they were ready to just blow up but the 685's loved the power...

I'd stay away from the 450's unless you can actually hear them or confirm that they're closer to the SM65's than 55's.
post #15 of 15
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