R/L upgrade for $1400 (pair) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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R/L upgrade for $1400 (pair)

I have gotten some great info on here in the past for picking out a subwoofer, and I am hoping that y’all can shed some light on my newest question. My wife finally approved buying some new speakers! That being said; there are some restrictions:


Budget: $1400-1500 MAX for the R and L speakers (I intend to piece this system together to end up with a 5.1 or 5.2.

Room Size: Here is the tough part, I am Active Duty Military and do not know what size room I will have in a year and a half or any real way to know future room size. So not sure how to plan for that.


Existing Equipment: 50” LG Plasma, PS3, Pioneer Receiver, SVS PB1000.


Use: Movies/Sports>Video games> music (I really do like listening to music and I think if I had the room set up I would do more real music listing than I do now).


Speaker size: My wife would prefer bookshelf speakers but small and/or nicely finished floor standers would work. I could care less, as long as it sounds good.


My wife is not wild about the idea of Internet Direct companies and having to buy speakers, hope they work, and if not send them back and try again. I think we would both prefer to hear them in a store; I live near Seattle and know there are a few good stores to choose from. Finally, I have heard the DefTech 8020’s, the B&W's, Energy bookshelf speakers and Focal 906’s my top two were the Def.techs and Focal 906 if that helps out. We plan on purchasing around or after Christmas time. I look forward to some suggestions.
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post #2 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 07:48 AM
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If you have to listen before buying you might try Hawthorne Stereo in Seattle. They have both new and used speakers. You can negotiate with them on their prices.
http://www.hawthornestereo.com/used/
Don't be afraid of buying used. Most speakers will last 30+ years. There's also SpeakerLab in Seattle http://www.speakerlab.com/ and Definitive in Seattle and Bellevue. http://www.definitive.com/ .
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post #3 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 07:55 AM
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I know you are weary about ID brands, but many of them have outstanding reputations, and you can confidently buy a product from them.

For this budget, I am not sure you can do better than the Ascend Sierra-2 bookshelves. High quality drivers, beautiful finish, and superb sound quality. Their customer service is on par with SVS and you get a 30 day trial to make sure you like them.

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...SRM2/srm2.html
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post #4 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XStanleyX View Post
If you have to listen before buying you might try Hawthorne Stereo in Seattle. They have both new and used speakers. You can negotiate with them on their prices.
http://www.hawthornestereo.com/used/
Don't be afraid of buying used. Most speakers will last 30+ years. There's also SpeakerLab in Seattle http://www.speakerlab.com/ and Definitive in Seattle and Bellevue. http://www.definitive.com/ .
I will have to check out Hawthorne Stereo, I have been to the Definitive store and the small store that was right up the street, the name I cant remember, it where I heard the Focal speakers. When I say close to Seattle I mean 2 hours (Whidby island if your are familiar with the area) so I would probably drive up, hit up all the stores in one day.
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post #5 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 08:14 AM
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Looks like Hawthorne Stereo carries Monitor Audio. Listen to the Silver6 or 8. Highly regarded manufacturer, glowing reviews, etc...
Very nice finish and a relatively small footprint for a floorstander. Also, they will be around in the future for you to fill out your system.

\http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/produ...r-6/#/overview
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post #6 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 08:14 AM
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Along with the Focal Aria - check out Monitor Audio Silver, Wharfedale Jade and KEF R series speakers.

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post #7 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 10:46 AM
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I'll add the RBH sx-61/r

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post #8 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post
I know you are weary about ID brands, but many of them have outstanding reputations, and you can confidently buy a product from them.

For this budget, I am not sure you can do better than the Ascend Sierra-2 bookshelves. High quality drivers, beautiful finish, and superb sound quality. Their customer service is on par with SVS and you get a 30 day trial to make sure you like them.

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...SRM2/srm2.html
I'd like to second the Sierra 2. I haven't heard it but I do own the 170 bookshelves and 340 mini towers from ascend. I paid for 500 for my 340s and to this day I consider them the best value per dollar item I have in my theater. If ascend can make a product that good for 500 bucks I'd love to hear what 1300 would sound like.

I recently bought new jtr noesis 228s for mains, it was between those And the sierra towers. I decided to go with the 228 because they are more powerful for movies and still sound great for music, I was also interested in just trying a new brand of audio. If I were buying speakers with music more in mind I would have went with the sierra towers. Who knows maybe one day I'll big a pair

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post #9 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 01:03 PM
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I too agree that the Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2's would be an excellent choice from everything I've heard about them. They come with a ribbon tweeter and are highly thought of. Still, just because you have $1,400 to spend doesn't mean you have to spend it. I'd also look at the Sierra 2's twin from Philharmonic Audio, the Philharmonitors @ $850 / pair shipped: http://philharmonicaudio.com/

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post #10 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 04:06 PM
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I like klipsch and you can get a sweet deal from http://www.sounddistributors.com/ for LR I would go with Rf-82II
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post #11 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the feedback! It sounds like the Ascend Sierra 2 are a top choice. Would a 5 channel AVR be enough to power them? A question about the Philharmonic Audio speakers, are they the same internally? If so, why do people not buy them instead? I have heard good things about KEF as well as Warfedale would these be better suited to music or HT?
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post #12 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 04:25 PM
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Yes a standars avr would power them easily.

1600 cubic foot sealed room! Samsung 8500 curved 4k
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Quad PSA T18s!!!!!!
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post #13 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 04:30 PM
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No, they are different, but both have ribbon tweeters, and they have slightly different specs. Ascend is more well known than Philharmonic Audio, but you're not going to go wrong with either choice (and both are highly regarded). If curious, talk to Dennis Murphy at Philharmonic Audio.

I too have heard great things about KEF and Warfedale, but haven't auditioned their speakers. Let's face it, there are a lot of really nice speakers out in the wild, and probably many of us would be very happy with dozens of them.

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post #14 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 04:31 PM
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Aperion Audio is in Portland and offer 30 day in home trial with shipping both ways.

The Forte is in your budget. The Forte and Grand Versus are beautifully finished as well.
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post #15 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwell88 View Post
I have heard good things about KEF as well as Warfedale would these be better suited to music or HT?
A good speaker is a good speaker, and is suited for both Music and Home Theater.
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post #16 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Aperion Audio is in Portland and offer 30 day in home trial with shipping both ways.

The Forte is in your budget. The Forte and Grand Versus are beautifully finished as well.
They are very nice looking, I am sure my wife would not mind those being in her house!
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post #17 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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So, the Ascend Sierra 2's have my eye, and the 7 year warrantee doesn't hurt. If I was to go with these and eventually get the matching center, would I be able to maybe use the CMB 170's for surrounds? Also if anybody has heard these will they pair ok with my SVS Subwoofer or should I try and get floor-standing speakers for better mid-bass? I still have a few weeks before I buy but I like to do my homework and have all my options laid out on the table. One other option If I am going ID, has anybody heard the SVS line I think the SVS Ultra bookshelf speakers are in my price range, how would these two compare?
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post #18 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 09:01 PM
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The CMB 170 surrounds would be great. But you can really use any surround you want. Unlike the front stage, they don't have to be timbre-matched (but should be at least in the ballpark). A subwoofer is a subwoofer. Works for any speaker.

I've read a couple of reviews on the Ultra bookshelf speakers: 4-1/2 star performance and 4 stars overall and a 5-star performance and 4-1/2 stars overall, so they should be pretty darn good. Whether they are better than the Sierra 2s or the Philharmonitor is probably up for debate.

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http://hometheaterreview.com/svs-ult...aker-reviewed/

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post #19 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 09:35 PM
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post #20 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 09:51 PM
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I think that you will be happy with the ascend, this speaker use an special designed RAAl Ribbon tweeter vs the Philharmonitor that use the Fountek Ribbon and it looks like the XTZ 99.25 MK II also use a Fountek Ribbon.
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post #21 of 43 Old 12-04-2014, 10:38 PM
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Add the Golden Ear Triton 7s to the mix ... they are right at the $1400 mark for a front pair.
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post #22 of 43 Old 12-05-2014, 04:46 AM
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Since you already have a capable sub, and the wife wants bookshelves, I would definitely get bookshelves. Your money goes a lot further this way, especially since finish is important.

Your AVR will power them fine, just look to invest in a nice pair of stands for them (I'm not sure if the Ascend pedestal stands fit the new Sierra-2).

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post #23 of 43 Old 12-05-2014, 07:30 AM
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Honestly, with the RBH, Ascend or Phil...you're likely going to love any of them. For the money, those would be my top 3 go to bookshelves in this price range. That's just me though. There are a few more that I'd like to hear, but these 3 have me intrigued. The Phil's are quite a bit cheaper than the rest though. Seems like they would sound fairly similar too from what I've seen

Philharmonitor - $850
RBH SX-61/r - $1,200-ish
Ascend Sierra2 - $1,500ish

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post #24 of 43 Old 12-05-2014, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post
Honestly, with the RBH, Ascend or Phil...you're likely going to love any of them. For the money, those would be my top 3 go to bookshelves in this price range. That's just me though. There are a few more that I'd like to hear, but these 3 have me intrigued. The Phil's are quite a bit cheaper than the rest though. Seems like they would sound fairly similar too from what I've seen

Philharmonitor - $850
RBH SX-61/r - $1,200-ish
Ascend Sierra2 - $1,500ish
It is a shame I don't have the kind of funds to buy all 3, try them out and then return the ones I did not like....
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post #25 of 43 Old 12-07-2014, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
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So in talkng with the wife, she mentioned wanting these speakers to last. We plan on building a home in 3 years or so. Obviously we don't have a floor plan, but for the sake of future proofing and the possibility of a large family room or open floor plan, would I be better off with floorstanding vs bookshelf? If this is the case anything else I should look into?
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post #26 of 43 Old 12-07-2014, 09:49 PM
 
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I think bookshelves are more versatile, and with a sub there's not much to be gained from a tower anyways (although with bookshelves you might need stands). I'd also recommend Ascend as a happy owner of Sierra-1s, 170SEs & 200SEs. If I were to spend $1400 now the Sierra-2 would be my choice.
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post #27 of 43 Old 12-07-2014, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I think bookshelves are more versatile, and with a sub there's not much to be gained from a tower anyways (although with bookshelves you might need stands). I'd also recommend Ascend as a happy owner of Sierra-1s, 170SEs & 200SEs. If I were to spend $1400 now the Sierra-2 would be my choice.
So you think they could fill a potentially large room? That would be my concern.
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post #28 of 43 Old 12-07-2014, 10:03 PM
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If you are planning to have kids or have kids get a wider tv stand and place the speakers there instead on a stand.I have kids and I prefer to use towers.
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post #29 of 43 Old 12-07-2014, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
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If you are planning to have kids or have kids get a wider tv stand and place the speakers there instead on a stand.I have kids and I prefer to use towers.
Well, I guess we would probably wall mount the TV, but with 2 dogs (50lbs. And 80lbs and steadily growing ) and hopefully kids at some point I could see why floor standing might be more sturdy.
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post #30 of 43 Old 12-07-2014, 10:36 PM
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You should be fine if you wall mount the tv and place the speakers on a wider tv stand.

Last edited by losservatore; 12-07-2014 at 10:51 PM.
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