Originally Posted by soundmusic
I finally visited several local stores that carry the speakers I wanted to demo. One store has Golden Ear, B&W and Paradigm. The other was Hsu Research and last was good o' Best Buy. What I found out was that Hsu Research has pretty good bookshelves and subs. However, they don't have towers and their subs are just massive. My place is pretty good size but I still wouldn't want that monster in there. So although their bookshelves and center sounds really good, I might not go with them because I want all the speakers to be from the same family/brand.
I was very please to found a local store that Golden Ear, B&M and Paradigm. But because of my budget, the sales guy was pushing me more towards the B&Ws. I really didn't hear much of Golden Ear and Paradigm unfortunately. But thanks to this guy, he helped me settle the question of whether I should get the tower or the bookshelves dilemma. From his demo, for my home theater, it got to be floor standing speakers. The bookshelves sound incredible just as good as the floor standing but the problem is that it has less output than a floor standing. I don't feel like I'm getting the full blast of the sound. But with floor standing speakers, you do. So I am going with floor standing.
When i was at Best Buy, I get to check out the B&W speakers again along with Energy, Definitive and the Martin Logan ESL series. After spending some quality time there (about 2 hours) listening to movie clips over and over, I have to say that the B&Ws are pretty good. They sounded clear, crisp and pleasant. But in fairness, they all sound good but I just seem to like B&Ws more. Maybe because of the stories surrounding it. The sales guy said that Skywalker Ranch, musicians all uses B&Ws. I'm sure musicians uses other speakers as well but Skywalker Ranch? That's pretty impressive. But more importantly to me is how they actually sound and they sounded good and it is within my budget.
But what is discouraging about them is their reviews. Why do they get such mediocre reviews? Is there something wrong with them? They sounded just good with me.
I know there are companies out there such as SVS, Ascend, Rythmic that were mentioned here. The problem is that I need to hear them out before I buy. I know they offer a 30 or 45 home trial but I think it's such a hassle to unpack and repack. But unless you guys think I'm totally throwing my money away with B&W and that I should really try a certain brand out over the B&W, then I would seriously reconsider my decision.
Ok, with the B&Ws, there are the speakers I'm thinking about picking up.
(2) 683b $750 each
(1) HTM61B Center $650 each
(1 maybe 2) ASW61STB 10" 200 watt sub $650 each
Total is $2800 which is just fine.
My question is what do you think about the B&W sub ASW61STB? I know when it comes to movies, the sub is so super important. Do you think getting 2 would make the expeience better or is the Rythmic better?
Is it ok to mix different brands like Rythmic sub with B&M speakers?
I also just ordered some Audioquest speakers 14 gauge wires. What do you think of these?
Sorry for so many questions.
Glad you were able to hear some speakers, it is really important to audition before you buy. That said, I have a few comments:
B&W is a very reputable brand, and yes they are a very popular speaker (though I would wager George Lucas has some Diamonds
). Unless the reviews are complaining about some technical flaw, then you pick a speaker based on how it sounds to you. Some people can love a speaker, others hate it, its personal preference.
For the love of all that is holy, please do not buy that B&W sub. Brick and mortar brands like B&W overcharge for underperforming subs. That $650 will get you a nice Rythmik LV12R which will stomp it, or a SVS PB12-NSD. If you want to get 2, even better. You do not need to match subs and speakers, the only speakers that really need to match are your front three.
If you can return those speaker wires, do so and save yoursef a lot of money. www.monoprice.com
speaker wire is just as good, copper is copper, don't believe their snake oil marketing. If you want to get some nice premade wires, www.bluejeanscable.com
makes some great stuff and is much more affordable.
I think you will be really happy with your purchase, but I would make a few changes to better spend your money.