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Pick my speakers- $1,000 budget

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
First post! I'm just getting back into home theater. I came across the Costco Pioneer 1522 deal which has motivated me to upgrade my entire system. My current 5.1 system was pieced together 15 years ago when I didn't know much and didn't have any money rolleyes.gif. I plan to replace everything with exception of the sub which I'll use as a second. If it makes sense to reuse something, I'd be open to it. Here is what I currently have:

Harmon Kardon AVR something- It is old.
Bose floorstanding speakers- Not very good.
Cerwin Vega E76c center channel
Cerwin Vega 5.25" bookshelf surrounds
Cerwin Vega LW-12 sub

I want to spend up to $1,000 for new speakers. No size restrictions; I'd like floorstanding mains or at least larger reference speakers. Room size- not sure; we are in the process of moving, but plan on a large open room (living room). The 1522 is 9.2 capable, so I can pretty much go any direction on configuration. I'm leaning towards 5.2, but I'm open to 6.2 or 7.2.

I've been researching speakers online all week and hope to hit some stores to listen to some speakers this weekend. I've got some ideas through reading reviews, but I want to here opinions from the experts before asking about specific systems.

Does it make sense to reuse the Cerwin Vega sub as a second? Would the CW center and surrounds be usable as the rear speakers in a 6.2 system? I know that it is not ideal, but it would allow me to spend the entire budget on the front speakers and sub.

Help me spend $1,000.
post #2 of 20
In order to get the best speakers possible I'd spent the whole $1000 on L/C/R channels. More information needed about your listening habits and the room they will be placed in though.

Re-use the CV bookshelves and sub until budget permits more upgrades.
post #3 of 20
+1
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Sounds like a plan. So $1,000 for a center and pair of towers. What are my options?

Also, does it make sense to bi-amp the towers since I will have un-used channels from my AVR anyways? If so, I'd want this capabitly in the towers.

I'd estimate the system use at about 65% TV / 20% music / 15% movies. My listening preference probably leans towards overly bright highs and punchy bass. I'm not educated enough on the subject to really know, though. Hopefully, I can listen to some different speakers this weekend to get a better idea.

I'm not certain of the room parameters yet either. We are in the process of selling our house any looking for another one. Home theater will most likely be in the living room = a big open space. Not ideal, but I doubt that I will end up with a dedicated home theater room.
post #5 of 20
Oh sweet, so be really patient in the listening process.... take notes on what you do and don't like. (sound, finish, size)
Take movies/music you enjoy listening to and ask the vendors to listen to it....

I wouldn't purchase until you know the dimension of the new house, if you are moving in a very short amount of time.
post #6 of 20
If you have the 1k cash. I would look in the used section. More bang for your buck.
post #7 of 20
For towers/center in your price range here are some obvious choices ...

Arx A5 towers
Arx A2c center

Swan Diva 4.2 towers
Swan Diva 4.2c center

HTD Level 3 towers
HTD Level 3 center

Ascend CMT-340 with Ascend pedestal stands (looks/functions like towers)
Ascend CMT-340 center

If you can bump the budget just a little to 1150 accessories4less still has these on sale ...
Focal Chorus 814V towers
Focal Chorus CC814V center
post #8 of 20
i have bowers and wilkins but klipsch are great begniner budget speakers !!

rf52ii and rc52ii should be in that budget
post #9 of 20
What have you heard that you liked or disliked?
post #10 of 20
IMO, I'd spend the 1k on mains and go phantom center, until funds permit.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cvetan1 View Post

IMO, I'd spend the 1k on mains and go phantom center, until funds permit.

There was a thread like this not too long ago and I was thinking about saying the same thing, but realized that I couldn't think of any floorstanders at $1,000/pr and/or that would be better than most of the $800-ish towers that you could also buy a center with.

Maybe I'm just not thinking of some of the 1K floorstanders. It is Friday after all! smile.gif
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post

There was a thread like this not too long ago and I was thinking about saying the same thing, but realized that I couldn't think of any floorstanders at $1,000/pr and/or that would be better than most of the $800-ish towers that you could also buy a center with.

Maybe I'm just not thinking of some of the 1K floorstanders. It is Friday after all! smile.gif

Like these? They are $1k

Swan 6.1
post #13 of 20
You should be able to find plenty of nice mains on the used market, for 1K.

I just sold 2 pairs of Polk LSi15's and an LSiC center, for 1k.
post #14 of 20
I am new user to this site. When you say used market , can you please tell me what are the popular sites ? I am looking to put a system together for 1500 and if I find some good deals that would be awesome. Thank you
post #15 of 20
Here in the classifieds (which can be found here: http://www.avsforum.com/f/209/audio-gear)

Audioholics.com
Hometheatershack.com
Audiogon.com
Craigslist.org (not likely to find anything worth a damn, but who knows)
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
I went to a few places to listen to speakers today. Here is what I heard and my thoughts about them. Maybe this will give you guys some ideas of where to steer me.

Klipsch KF-28- Big, impressive sound, bright highs, maybe a bit annoying though??

Pioneer towers- very clean sound, not as loud as others This speaker surprised me due to its low cost.

Polk Tsi400- Not much to say here, nothing really stood out to me

Energy CF-50- ditto

Bowers and Wilkins 684B- These sounded great to me. The clarity was amazing.

B&W CM5 bookshelf speakers- These were even better than the 684, but lacked the bass. Coupled with a sub, I think that I would be better than the towers.

Does this help any?
post #17 of 20
Glad you had a chance to go listen to some speakers! I would likely give the same review to that group - the B&W C series are excellent sounding speakers wink.gif

My only complaint with B&W is that, IMO, they are overpriced. If the CM5's were $800 or $900 a pair instead of $1500 a pair I would consider them very competitive. Perhaps you can find them used, in which case then the price would be more fair (to me at least).

For your stated budget, and stated preference for towers, I would stand by the tower/center sets listed in my earlier post as very good, viable options. (Of course there are other great options too, those are just the ones I know about.)

If you're planning on using a sub and want to consider bookshelf/center sets there are many more excellent options.

Or, as a couple of posters have mentioned used could be a great way to go. (In which case you might look at 1400-1800 new-price speaker sets for a 1k used-price purchase.)
post #18 of 20
interesting, the OP and I have similar taste, as I would generally classify each speaker similarly. B&W roped me in on the soundstage..... Therefore an ID company with a a great soundstage and good bass response should hit home.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

Glad you had a chance to go listen to some speakers! I would likely give the same review to that group - the B&W C series are excellent sounding speakers wink.gif

My only complaint with B&W is that, IMO, they are overpriced. If the CM5's were $800 or $900 a pair instead of $1500 a pair I would consider them very competitive. Perhaps you can find them used, in which case then the price would be more fair (to me at least).

For your stated budget, and stated preference for towers, I would stand by the tower/center sets listed in my earlier post as very good, viable options. (Of course there are other great options too, those are just the ones I know about.)

If you're planning on using a sub and want to consider bookshelf/center sets there are many more excellent options.

Or, as a couple of posters have mentioned used could be a great way to go. (In which case you might look at 1400-1800 new-price speaker sets for a 1k used-price purchase.)

I'm not opposed to bookshelves for the fronts; I just figured towers would be better. After hearing the clarity of the CM5's vs. the towers, I'm reconsidering if this is true. I already have the CV LW-12 sub. It is OK at bass fill, but lacks any sort of punch. I plan to use it until I can buy a nicer sub, then use it as a second.

The Focal Chorus that you pointed out seem like a great deal. Can you give me an idea of how they would compare to anything that I heard? I have also been researching the Ascents, and like what I have read about them. I'd love to find somewhere to hear them. Would they be similar to the CM5's?
post #20 of 20
The Focals I mentioned at accessories4less are an unusually good deal (will be over when A4L runs out of stock).

"Personally" I would take the Focals over the B&W CM series. But, you should definitely get additional feedback! (Personal preference is just that ... personal.) Maybe try asking about the 716V Chorus (the 814V is a special edition of that speaker with a piano black finish) over in the Focal Owners thread.
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