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Best 3.0 / 3.1 Movie & Music Bookshelf Speakers under $700

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

Requirements:

3.0 or 3.1 setup

$700 Budget

No towers

Smaller is a plus!  They will go on a wide TV stand

Treble clarity is needed for my hearing loss

Main use is theater, but needs to be good for music too

 

What I've been thinking about so far.  Keep in mind I haven't heard any of these since Best Buy doesn't carry much, and I don't have any audiophile buddies.  So all I know is reviews, so your advice is paramount.

 

Listed by Cost:

NHT SuperZero 2.1 x 2
NHT Absolute Center x 1

Cost $530 NHT Site (Room for Cheap Sub)

 

Klipsch Reference RB 41 II x 2

Klipsch Reference RC 42 II x 1

Cost $550 Crutchfield (Room for Cheap Sub)

 

PSB Alpha B1 x2

PSB Alpha C1 x 1

Cost $550 Crutchfield (Room for Cheap Sub)

 

Boston Acoustics A25 x 2

Boston Acoustics A 225C x 1

Cost $550 Crutchfield (Room for Cheap Sub)

 

Polk Rti A1 x 2

Polk Csi A4 x 1

Polk Sub Free with Crutchfield Special (PSW 110 or 111)

Cost:$575 Crutchfield

 

Definitive Technology Studio Monitor 45 x 2

Definitive Technology Pro Center 1000 x 1

Cost $620 Crutchfield

 

PSB Image B4 x 2

PSB Image C4 x 1

Cost $630 Crutchfield

 

Boston Acoustics A26 x 2

Boston Acoustics A 225C x 1

Cost $650 Crutchfield

 

Definitive Technology Pro Monitor 1000 x 2

Definitive Technology Pro Center 1000 x 1

Cost $660 Crutchfield


Edited by laanguiano - 2/1/14 at 9:58am
post #2 of 48
Are you restricted to Crutchfield?
post #3 of 48
Thread Starter 

No Ill buy any authorized good dealer.
 

I forgot to add the NHT.  I edited and put that up there.  I just used crutchfield as my base pricing

post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by laanguiano View Post

No Ill buy any authorized good dealer.
I forgot to add the NHT.  I edited and put that up there.  I just used crutchfield as my base pricing

How big is your room?
post #5 of 48
Another option Ascend 170x3 and a BIC F12 would be right at $700.
post #6 of 48
Thread Starter 

Our couch is only about 12 feet from the tv and speakers.  And the width of the room is about 18ft.  Behind our couch is the kitchen and is another space about the same size

 

 

post #7 of 48
Not sure that stand is wide enough for 3.1. Could you wall mount the left and right? Or maybe 2.1 of better quality.
post #8 of 48
I would go 2.1

And, from your list the Definitive SM45, with this
Mordaunt Short Aviano 7 subwoofer
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/MORDAVI7RW/Mordaunt-Short-Aviano-7-10-175-Watt-Powered-Subwoofer-Rose/1.html
post #9 of 48
Thread Starter 
I was scared of going 2.1 for movies with hearing loss and dialogue??

He table is 60" across. Is that long enough or 3 speakers?

The pics dimensionally are off. Darn camera phone lens
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by laanguiano View Post

I was scared of going 2.1 for movies with hearing loss and dialogue??

He table is 60" across. Is that long enough or 3 speakers?

The pics dimensionally are off. Darn camera phone lens

Phantom center can work for you, with a pair of speakers on that cabinet.

However if you are un-comfortable, then look at HTD Level Two speakers - they are
nice for the price.

Bookshelf
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Bookshelf-Speakers

Center
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Center-Channel-Speaker

with the Aviano sub that I linked in post #8
post #11 of 48
Thread Starter 
Any other thoughts?
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by laanguiano View Post

Any other thoughts?

I'll add a +1 for the HTD Level Two's, I own them and they are very good..

a review..

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/speaker-subwoofer-reviews/68348-home-theater-direct-htd-level-two-system-review.html

and a pic for Ziegl of the cherry veneer..



A sub is going to be the hard one for this budget...
post #13 of 48
You might also consider the KEF Q300s from accessories4less.com for $499 or Monitor Audio RX-1 Silver from audioadvisor for the same price.
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Phantom center can work for you, with a pair of speakers on that cabinet.

However if you are un-comfortable, then look at HTD Level Two speakers - they are
nice for the price.

Bookshelf
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Bookshelf-Speakers

Center
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Center-Channel-Speaker

with the Aviano sub that I linked in post #8

They're located in Plano - so you can go and visit/listen to them.
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by postrokfan View Post

for $499 Monitor Audio RX-1 Silver from audioadvisor .

+1 a real good option -
http://www.audioadvisor.com/Monitor-Audio-Silver-RX-1-2-way-Compact-Loudspeakers/productinfo/MRSRX1/#.Uu3KY_ldUpY

and if you can squeeze $80, to fit the Aviano 7 sub in -
you would have a real nice system.
post #16 of 48
What about Cambridge S30 (and matching center) + something like a Klipsch RW-12D as sub?
post #17 of 48
You are definitely headed down the right path. I'm in the same boat as you. I already have my main theater/man cave already set up. However I convinced my wife to let me loose on a 3.1 in our living room. I told her I refuse to watch our tv shows out of tv speakers upstairs. She HATES moving down to the man cave just to watch a few shows. Anyway, after A LOT of research, and with how truly amazing my HSU VTF-15 has been in my 20x24' home theater downstairs, I pulled the trigger on this package...

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid1pkg.html

It's a little above your price range, but take a look at the Value 1 package. It's right in your range. The reason I went with HSU research is how blown away I was with their subwoofers. My brother turned me to the HSU sub for my current set up, and I couldn't be happier. The more I read about HSU's speakers, I had to pull the trigger. They come on Tues. I upgraded to the Hybrid 1 due to the larger sub. This move was against my religion as I don't believe anyone should invest money into speakers they haven't heard before, but I've read nothing but good to great reviews about HSU's speakers. The nice thing is, if I am disappointed or simply don't like them, I can pack them back up and ship them back within 30 days. But I have a feeling I will be satisfied.

Due to my personal experience, if you aren't interested in HSU. I would recommend Klipsch or NHT, especially NHT due to the smaller speaker size, but to each is own. Have you had a chance to hear all of these different speakers?
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarsianMan View Post

What about Cambridge S30 (and matching center) + something like a Klipsch RW-12D as sub?

The Cambridge S30 is a real nice option - the Klipsch sub is pretty much history.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/CAMBS30OAK/CAMBRIDGE-AUDIO-S30-4-2-way-Bookshelf-Speakers-Pair-Dark-Oak/1.html
post #19 of 48
fwiw, 3 of these http://www.wavecrestaudio.com/products/hvl-1-two-way-loudspeaker-pair and a pair of these http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-sub-1200-12-120-watt-powered-subwoofer--300-629imo this sub is just as good as any sub in the $200-$300 price range. it wont get you to 20hz( no sub in this price range will if they do it will be very unlistenable and ruin your movie experience) but good output to higher20's and 30's. just as good as the bic f-12 but way cheaper. having duel subs will help with the bass response in your open concept room. as for music it depends on what you listen to and at what volumes.just like very much any sub in this budget music will suffer with deep bass music at high volumes. just my 2 cents. also placing 3 speakers on that table will not give you a very big soundstage. placing L&R speakers on some stands placed wider apart will improve your sound.
Edited by smasher50 - 2/2/14 at 5:52am
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by laanguiano View Post

Requirements:
3.0 or 3.1 setup
$700 Budget
No towers
Smaller is a plus!  They will go on a wide TV stand
Treble clarity is needed for my hearing loss
Main use is theater, but needs to be good for music too

What I've been thinking about so far.  Keep in mind I haven't heard any of these since Best Buy doesn't carry much, and I don't have any audiophile buddies.  So all I know is reviews, so your advice is paramount.

Definitive Technology Studio Monitor 45 x 2
Definitive Technology Pro Center 1000 x 1
Cost $620 Crutchfield

Definitive Technology Pro Monitor 1000 x 2
Definitive Technology Pro Center 1000 x 1
Cost $660 Crutchfield
Best Buy Magnolia stores carry the Pro Monitor and Studio Monitor series. You should be able to demo them if you have one near by. Check the dedicated DefTech threads for more info - but if you decide you like them, check out a well regarded eBay seller "bajawaverunner". It's an "unofficial" DefTech refurb seller. (You'll save 40-50% off retail leaving more $ more a sub...)

Also, the PC2000 is a better match to the PM1000s... DefTech messed up on their naming scheme for that series for some reason.
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by blaker34 View Post

You are definitely headed down the right path. I'm in the same boat as you. I already have my main theater/man cave already set up. However I convinced my wife to let me loose on a 3.1 in our living room. I told her I refuse to watch our tv shows out of tv speakers upstairs. She HATES moving down to the man cave just to watch a few shows. Anyway, after A LOT of research, and with how truly amazing my HSU VTF-15 has been in my 20x24' home theater downstairs, I pulled the trigger on this package...

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid1pkg.html

It's a little above your price range, but take a look at the Value 1 package. It's right in your range. The reason I went with HSU research is how blown away I was with their subwoofers. My brother turned me to the HSU sub for my current set up, and I couldn't be happier. The more I read about HSU's speakers, I had to pull the trigger. They come on Tues. I upgraded to the Hybrid 1 due to the larger sub. This move was against my religion as I don't believe anyone should invest money into speakers they haven't heard before, but I've read nothing but good to great reviews about HSU's speakers. The nice thing is, if I am disappointed or simply don't like them, I can pack them back up and ship them back within 30 days. But I have a feeling I will be satisfied.

Due to my personal experience, if you aren't interested in HSU. I would recommend Klipsch or NHT, especially NHT due to the smaller speaker size, but to each is own. Have you had a chance to hear all of these different speakers?


+1 for the HSU setup.  I have them and am very satisfied. 

 

   However, given your budget and the fact that you need a sub, my recommendation would be the Pioneer Andrew Jones speaker setup.  You have room for floor standers on either side of your stand, which would give you the separation you need to run a center channel.  This will help a lot with dialogue for movies.  Floorstanders plus center will run you $350, leaving you with $350 for the sub.  If you stick with bookshelves, you can grab the L,R, and center for 200-$250 and have room for an SVS PB1000 sub @ $499 shipped or perhaps $449 outlet.  This is the only way I see of having room in your total budget for a decent sub.  $500 is the starting point for any true home theater capable sub.

post #22 of 48
Thread Starter 

Okay sounds like I need to make a trip to Plano to try out HTD.  Hows their customer support and warranty.  Their company name makes them sound cheap.

 

I do need to try out the Definitive 1000's and 45's at best buy.. i went yesterday but the magnolia person could care less i was there and half the time wasnt even in the magnolia section.

 

I listened to the Andrew Jones at best buy and they sounded good, but the instore ones didnt have the treble clarity i was looking for, they did sound very warm.  Could of been the demo or enviroment though.

 

And yes as far as NHT, PSB, Cambridge, HSU, Polk, etc... ive never heard them.. just reviews. As i said earlier, Fort Worth high end audio stores are weak, and i have no audiophile friends.

post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by laanguiano View Post

Okay sounds like I need to make a trip to Plano to try out HTD.  Hows their customer support and warranty.  Their company name makes them sound cheap.

I do need to try out the Definitive 1000's and 45's at best buy.. i went yesterday but the magnolia person could care less i was there and half the time wasnt even in the magnolia section.

I listened to the Andrew Jones at best buy and they sounded good, but the instore ones didnt have the treble clarity i was looking for, they did sound very warm.  Could of been the demo or enviroment though.

And yes as far as NHT, PSB, Cambridge, HSU, Polk, etc... ive never heard them.. just reviews. As i said earlier, Fort Worth high end audio stores are weak, and i have no audiophile friends.

HTD has great customer support... bar none... I've dealt with several times and they will bend over backwards for you.
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by laanguiano View Post

Okay sounds like I need to make a trip to Plano to try out HTD.  Hows their customer support and warranty.  Their company name makes them sound cheap.

I do need to try out the Definitive 1000's and 45's at best buy.. i went yesterday but the magnolia person could care less i was there and half the time wasnt even in the magnolia section.

I listened to the Andrew Jones at best buy and they sounded good, but the instore ones didnt have the treble clarity i was looking for, they did sound very warm.  Could of been the demo or enviroment though.

And yes as far as NHT, PSB, Cambridge, HSU, Polk, etc... ive never heard them.. just reviews. As i said earlier, Fort Worth high end audio stores are weak, and i have no audiophile friends.

Even very nice high end dealers can give you problems. You have salesmen out there that are fan boys just like a lot of regular home theater enthusiasts. It seems every time I go into a dedicated home theater shop, the salesmen goes crazy over one brand, whether it's B&W, Klipsch, Martin Logan, etc. You have to go in there open minded and prepared to listen and make your own decision on what YOU prefer. They make you feel like if you don't pick the speaker they are pushing, you're making a huge mistake. There are definitely fan boys here, but this thread has basically given you no lose options imo. As long as they are set up correctly, powered with a decent amp, you're going to love it.

I happened to get caught up with a guy from best buy in the magnolia department when I was picking up my new tv. He started going in about home theater and I told him I was going with HSU research speakers/sub, he seemed confused. Technically, he was knowledgeable. He was dead set on selling me these B&W bookshelves with a sub. I was not there to buy, or even look/listen to speakers. It would have been approx. $1,600. for a 2.1 system. Well I got my 3.1 HSU system for $900, he says to me, "Well I just think you should really think before you spend that much on a knock off, low end brand" I looked at him and gave props to B&W, but urged him to do his research on HSU. But I walked out of there realizing he never once tried to show me any other speaker for less and basically told me it was B&W or bust. I love B&W, I think they are incredible speakers, but sometimes dealing with salesmen who will only sell what they have in their home is completely counterproductive for the customer.
post #25 of 48
Thread Starter 
Mark or others,
Did you compare the HTD speakers to any others? They are like half the price of the definitive technology 45's, which are the ones i was leaning towards.

If they are that good, then I could definitely get a nicer sub.

Thanks,
adrian
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by laanguiano View Post

If they are that good, then I could definitely get a nicer sub.

What sub are you talking about?
post #27 of 48
fwiw, the def 45's are nice speakers but the only problem I see is scoring a matching center. if you do it might be costly just something to think about
post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

fwiw, the def 45's are nice speakers but the only problem I see is scoring a matching center. if you do it might be costly just something to think about
If going that route - in the future, all you need is another SM 45 for $199
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by laanguiano View Post

Mark or others,
Did you compare the HTD speakers to any others? They are like half the price of the definitive technology 45's, which are the ones i was leaning towards.

If they are that good, then I could definitely get a nicer sub.
Now, here is a good deal for you - and I prefer them over the HTD Level Two

Definitive SM 350, and they have good clarity - and only $179 a pair
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882325059
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by laanguiano View Post

Mark or others,
Did you compare the HTD speakers to any others? They are like half the price of the definitive technology 45's, which are the ones i was leaning towards.

If they are that good, then I could definitely get a nicer sub.

Thanks,
adrian

I have compared them to a few other speakers. I have also owned several speakers over the years. they are quite good, they are not perfect, nor is any speaker. My most recent speakers were the first generation A.J. Pioneers, Jamo 426 package, a Paradigm cinema package, a boston 5.1 package, Polk Monitor 70's, Energy CF-70's and matching center, and lastly the HTD Level Three Bookshelves and center.

At first when getting back in to HT I tried to go cheap, really cheap and nothing worked for me. Then I paid good money for the Energy's and they were way too bright for me. In the end I have the Level Twos, and they are very good.

I did have the Level Three's like I mentioned but at the time HTD had a issue with the ribbon tweeter and I decided I didn't want to wait for them to fix the issue so I got the Two's. The level Threes are a little better IMO but I dont feel I'm missing anything with the Level Twos.

Speakers are so subjective that no one really can tell you what speaker is better or better for you, what sound you like, your room, etc...
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