Originally Posted by sid369
I am looking to buy speakers for a home theater, but I need the low down.
I keep reading reviews on high end speakers and how people compare them side-by-side using the same classical music, etc.
However, the fronts, center and rears. I am not that interested how speakers will image a classical band, but whether it will be able to play an action scene without blowing up. To me home theater speakers need to produce just enough imagining (for a movie) while having the power handling to take on some explosive scenes. For example, I know B&W are excellent speakers, but are they the best bang for my buck for playing loud (and clear) movies?
Based on reading this forum I have demoed the following
Paradigm Studio 60, 100, monitor 11
PSB Image T
Def tech 8040
Kef Q 700
Polk TSI 300
To me the B&W 684 sounded very open and felt had a wide soundstage, The focals also sounded good for the music when A/B against PSB. Paradigm Studio 60 also sounded great, did n't care for the rest.
But for movies all of them sounded kinda the same, so would a cheaper infinity primus p363 not be able to do the job for HT.
I also am reading that the center channel is the most important piece, but the B&W 600 series center gets mixed reviews, so does the focal 700 series, I don't know how the Paradigm or PSB center in their respective series fair.
I'm sorry I contributed to this thread getting way off track. I would like to shed some light on what your actual question is. Do HT speakers NEED to be expensive? That all depends on the variables you have to deal with. Room size, desired volume levels (want it loud like a real theater?), aesthetic & installation concerns/needs + wants.
These factors will all play into if something NEEDS to be expensive or not. There's an old saying: NEEDS are cheap, WANTS will cost you!
Going by the speakers you listed it seems as if you are looking at something between $799 & $1,800 each for the fronts in a tower format?Some notes on floor standing towers & NEED:
- Towers are rarely, if ever, NEEDED for theater use. It's completely unnecessary unless your room is massively huge.
- Towers for HT are more of a want because someone likes the way they look or have an installation requirement.
Lets look at a speaker I would consider a high end bargain for HT use and a pretty good music speaker as well, the JBL Synthesis LS series loudspeakers. This speaker is one of my favorites. It can play very loud (even the smaller one) and clean with clarity over a wide seating area. They look good and classic with the grilles on and really mean and aggressive with them off so, aesthetically, they're pretty fun depending on your tastes.
Seen at these links:LS80: http://www.jblsynthesis.com/Products/Details/97
(MSRP: $1499 each)LS60: http://www.jblsynthesis.com/Products/Details/98
(MSRP $1099 each)LS40: http://www.jblsynthesis.com/Products/Details/99
(MSRP $799 each)
OK, so... the above three speakers are all voiced similarly and can be powered by a sub $1800 receiver just fine. I've done LS40 systems with a $700 Yamah and it's great, the towers will need a bit more "oomph". If you your room is sized to where the bookshelf LS40 at $799 each can perform it's best, which is actually a pretty good sized room... STOP RIGHT THERE. To buy the towers would be a waste unless.... you like the way towers look or don't want to stand/cabinet mount the LS40, then buy the LS60 floor standing version for the extra $600 a pair. The matching center will keep up just fine. This should really be a stopping point for most rooms (even fairly large ones) in this line of speaker if HT is your only concern.
Does that mean the JBL Synthesis LS line is the be all end all of HT speakers? Pffffft! Hell no. But it's a line that I think represents a killer value in what is referred to as an In-Room speaker. If you have cabinetry the speakers need to occupy, I would say to check out something else if you needed more output than the LS40 (which WILL do fine in a cabinet). The ADAM Audio GTC77 at $1250 each comes to mind: http://www.adam-audio.com/en/installation/products
(honestly, I prefer it to the LS60, but the installation requirements make it more expensive because it needs stands or cabinetry).In the end
, I would say that if someone only has 1 to 2 rows of seating in a fairly large room and they want to be impressed every time they turn their system on, a budget between $1,100 to $2,000 per speaker for the front L/C/R can do the trick (the rears would come in lower per speaker more than likely). That would cover most people's desires for in-wall, on-wall, in-cabinet, or in-room speakers. Subs are a different animal but a dual sub setup between $1,000 - $3,500 each should suit most people there as well. Again, if they want blown off their seats.
But there are always exceptions! Can you mount on-walls under your flat panel or behind an AT screen? If so, I would look at the Jamo D500 & D600 series. Those are $349/$499 each and will do some very big rooms (D600) and sound fantastic.
Regardless, the above budgets should allow someone to find a speaker that can be installed the way they want, play to the desired volume level they want, and have the voicing they desire for any movie and achieve incredible results as long as they are setup, powered, and processed correctly.
Is there a higher end than that? Heck yes! My favorite system goes for between $16,000 & $35,000 (the only difference in cost is determined by room size) with amplification. But is it NEEDED? No. That system is a WANT, so it'll cost you.