With a 15k budget would you still buy the same speakers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-01-2015, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
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With a 15k budget would you still buy the same speakers

Hi,

I've heard many people of this forum say speakers from JTR and Yorkville are a lot better than speakers from the larger, more well known manufacturers.

If you are one of those people and someone had given you up to 10/15k to spend on a pair of speakers, would you still have chosen the same speakers or would you have gone with something else?

I have some very good old speakers which have had some issues. I'm wondering if it's worth spending the money to get them fixed or if I'm going to get just as much quality from a 5k pair of speakers.
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post #2 of 21 Old 03-01-2015, 11:09 PM
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Answer: Yes, and I did.

Liking one speaker over another is subjective, no matter what the price. Yes, I had well over 15k to spend on speakers and chose a pair for 5k instead of a pair that cost 16k and another that cost 22k. I felt the 5k speakers were simply superior. Don't look at the cost of a speaker versus quality of sound. Look for the speaker that you like the best.

If your speakers have issues, find out what is causing those issues. Could be an easy and fairly inexpensive fix, such as re-edging.

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post #3 of 21 Old 03-01-2015, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewtodd View Post
Hi,

I've heard many people of this forum say speakers from JTR and Yorkville are a lot better than speakers from the larger, more well known manufacturers.

If you are one of those people and someone had given you up to 10/15k to spend on a pair of speakers, would you still have chosen the same speakers or would you have gone with something else?

I have some very good old speakers which have had some issues. I'm wondering if it's worth spending the money to get them fixed or if I'm going to get just as much quality from a 5k pair of speakers.
What very good old speakers do you have? If you like them then spending some money to get them fixed is a good plan.

I have never said that JTR's or Seatons or Danley are a "lot better" than other speakers and although they be better at some things, they may lack something in another area. I am very happy with my speakers but others might not feel the same about them. Many of us "upgrade" out of curiosity and just wanting to try something new. Only you know what you need from a speaker but if you already have one you like, I'd fix them.
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post #4 of 21 Old 03-02-2015, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RMK! View Post
What very good old speakers do you have? If you like them then spending some money to get them fixed is a good plan.

I have never said that JTR's or Seatons or Danley are a "lot better" than other speakers and although they be better at some things, they may lack something in another area. I am very happy with my speakers but others might not feel the same about them. Many of us "upgrade" out of curiosity and just wanting to try something new. Only you know what you need from a speaker but if you already have one you like, I'd fix them.
I have Meridian DSP5500s. I replaced a tweeter in one of the speakers last week and this week the power went out on the DVD player. Because the speakers can only be used with other Meridian equipment I need to buy other speakers for movies anyway. The Meridian's are 12 years old and I'm concerned that once I fix this issue something else will come up.

If I can find home theater speakers that I can afford, that also sound as good for music as the ones I currently have, not only would I not have to worry about old speakers breaking down, I'd also have saved some space. I just can't afford to spend 10k on a pair of speakers when I also need 10 other speakers, a bluray player, a projector, a screen, a processor and one or two amps.
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post #5 of 21 Old 03-02-2015, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewtodd View Post
I have Meridian DSP5500s. I replaced a tweeter in one of the speakers last week and this week the power went out on the DVD player. Because the speakers can only be used with other Meridian equipment I need to buy other speakers for movies anyway. The Meridian's are 12 years old and I'm concerned that once I fix this issue something else will come up.

If I can find home theater speakers that I can afford, that also sound as good for music as the ones I currently have, not only would I not have to worry about old speakers breaking down, I'd also have saved some space. I just can't afford to spend 10k on a pair of speakers when I also need 10 other speakers, a bluray player, a projector, a screen, a processor and one or two amps.
Never heard them but the Meridians look nice. Try and get some demos of speakers that interest you. Going full bore into HT represents a sizable investment and you shouldn't make it blind.

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post #6 of 21 Old 03-02-2015, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Never heard them but the Meridians look nice. Try and get some demos of speakers that interest you. Going full bore into HT represents a sizable investment and you shouldn't make it blind.
I've been buying home theater equipment for 15 years but recently sold most of my speakers before we moved to Austin. I still have many of the components but I want a dolby atmos theater and therefore I'm just using the existing components in the family room.

The most difficult thing about buying the likes of the JTR speakers is that you have to buy them directly from the manufacturer which makes them very hard to personally demo.
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post #7 of 21 Old 03-02-2015, 04:09 PM
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Where are you located? Most of the JTR crowd is pretty open to hosting auditions. I know I did a few when I had the JTR's.

As far as your question. I've had about the same budget as you and have had 3 different speakers in 4 months. Maybe I haven't found the perfect speaker yet. If you buy at a good price you shouldn't have much of a problem selling them if you want to try out different speakers.
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-02-2015, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewtodd View Post
Hi,

I've heard many people of this forum say speakers from JTR and Yorkville are a lot better than speakers from the larger, more well known manufacturers.

If you are one of those people and someone had given you up to 10/15k to spend on a pair of speakers, would you still have chosen the same speakers or would you have gone with something else?

I have some very good old speakers which have had some issues. I'm wondering if it's worth spending the money to get them fixed or if I'm going to get just as much quality from a 5k pair of speakers.
IMHO, those folks haven't spent the time listening to really what's out there! There are so many brands to audition................. tricky part, room plays BIGGEST part in what you hear!!! Buyer beware...............

Never heard Yorkvilles.....................have heard JTR which are a fine speaker with a specific purpose......................I've heard quite a few brands that were much better speakers than JTR's. Again............my ears...........my opinion.
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post #9 of 21 Old 03-02-2015, 05:39 PM
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Have there been improvements in speaker technology since your speakers were bought? Yup.

Is it worth it to you to replace instead of keep what you have, even factoring in the upkeep issues one encounters with older product? Tough call naturally, considering your investment.

For me it always comes down to value for dollar spent, no matter the range. Can the change-out be audibly appreciated? That is the most important consideration to me. I care less about cosmetics, active or passive, sizing, etc. than bottom line in-room SQ.

I paid a ridiculously low price for my current FL-FR with $2k original MSRP on closeout in 2002 and still have them. Loved them so much I bought a second pair a few months after the first, still in storage and available for replacement in parts or whole usage. No matter what the pricing range, it always comes down to what does the ear actually discern when listening? But like many here, I have over the years completely changed out my electronics through selective upgrading and have been able to satisfy myself`that improvements along these lines are more obviously on the margins, yet still appreciable with capable speakers.

Speakers physically do wear down over time so if the thought of keeping up your initial investment is troubling, I personally would not hesitate to move on. There is a plethora of great quality out there for a good bit less than you originally spent. My level of upgrade would very likely never exceed something more than the Aerial Acoustics 7Ts at just under $10K. But realistically IMHO there is likely 95% or more of that capability for a good bit less.

Good luck in your decision.

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post #10 of 21 Old 03-02-2015, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewtodd View Post
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Originally Posted by RMK! View Post
What very good old speakers do you have? If you like them then spending some money to get them fixed is a good plan.

I have never said that JTR's or Seatons or Danley are a "lot better" than other speakers and although they be better at some things, they may lack something in another area. I am very happy with my speakers but others might not feel the same about them. Many of us "upgrade" out of curiosity and just wanting to try something new. Only you know what you need from a speaker but if you already have one you like, I'd fix them.
I have Meridian DSP5500s. I replaced a tweeter in one of the speakers last week and this week the power went out on the DVD player. Because the speakers can only be used with other Meridian equipment I need to buy other speakers for movies anyway. The Meridian's are 12 years old and I'm concerned that once I fix this issue something else will come up.

If I can find home theater speakers that I can afford, that also sound as good for music as the ones I currently have, not only would I not have to worry about old speakers breaking down, I'd also have saved some space. I just can't afford to spend 10k on a pair of speakers when I also need 10 other speakers, a bluray player, a projector, a screen, a processor and one or two amps.
Why can they only be used with other meridian equipment?
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post #11 of 21 Old 03-02-2015, 06:37 PM
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Why can they only be used with other meridian equipment?
From what I read, these speakers contain different DACs, a digital preamp and amplifiers for each driver. So if something goes out (DACs, preamp or amp), the whole speaker is tanked. Obviously, this is not your typical speaker and accepts only digital inputs, but then Meridian is anything but typical . Beautiful speakers, and they weigh a ton and have amazing specs. You do have to hope they never fail or it's big bucks to ship and repair.

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post #12 of 21 Old 03-02-2015, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewtodd View Post

If you are one of those people and someone had given you up to 10/15k to spend on a pair of speakers, would you still have chosen the same speakers or would you have gone with something else?

I have some very good old speakers which have had some issues. I'm wondering if it's worth spending the money to get them fixed or if I'm going to get just as much quality from a 5k pair of speakers.
I did have that budget, I recently bought a pair of Sonus Faber Olympica III's, and I would do it again. And they sound much better than any $5k pair of speakers I have heard. Although there is diminishing returns, you generally get what you pay for, and most $15k speakers will sound better than most $5k speakers..
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post #13 of 21 Old 03-02-2015, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewtodd View Post
The most difficult thing about buying the likes of the JTR speakers is that you have to buy them directly from the manufacturer which makes them very hard to personally demo.
True. Luckily there is PSA who also produces similar speakers that can reach reference levels and they provide free shipping both ways. Try it out for 30 days and if not satisfied, ship it back on their dime and wait for their refund (usually within 10 working days or less).

Music area: Magnepan 3.6, McIntosh MC2205 amp & C48 preamp, SVS SB13-Ultra, Oppo BDP 95, dbx 3BX, and assorted equipment.
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Where are you located? Most of the JTR crowd is pretty open to hosting auditions. I know I did a few when I had the JTR's.
I live in Austin. I'd love to hear someones JTRs if there is anyone out here willing to demo the speakers.

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Originally Posted by doublewing11 View Post
...have heard JTR which are a fine speaker with a specific purpose......................I've heard quite a few brands that were much better speakers than JTR's. Again............my ears...........my opinion.
What would that purpose be?

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Originally Posted by ClarkeBar View Post
Have there been improvements in speaker technology since your speakers were bought? Yup.

Is it worth it to you to replace instead of keep what you have, even factoring in the upkeep issues one encounters with older product? Tough call naturally, considering your investment.

For me it always comes down to value for dollar spent, no matter the range. Can the change-out be audibly appreciated? That is the most important consideration to me. I care less about cosmetics, active or passive, sizing, etc. than bottom line in-room SQ.

I paid a ridiculously low price for my current FL-FR with $2k original MSRP on closeout in 2002 and still have them. Loved them so much I bought a second pair a few months after the first, still in storage and available for replacement in parts or whole usage. No matter what the pricing range, it always comes down to what does the ear actually discern when listening? But like many here, I have over the years completely changed out my electronics through selective upgrading and have been able to satisfy myself`that improvements along these lines are more obviously on the margins, yet still appreciable with capable speakers.

Speakers physically do wear down over time so if the thought of keeping up your initial investment is troubling, I personally would not hesitate to move on. There is a plethora of great quality out there for a good bit less than you originally spent. My level of upgrade would very likely never exceed something more than the Aerial Acoustics 7Ts at just under $10K. But realistically IMHO there is likely 95% or more of that capability for a good bit less.

Good luck in your decision.
I didn't actually buy the speakers. They were given to me by a very kind neighbor, whose wife thought they were too big for the room. They actually were far too big for the room. I won't lose anything by replacing them but I'm not sure I have the money to buy anything of the same quality. Even though they were free, downgrading is not easy. I wouldn't actually be directly replacing them either. I would just have to look for speakers that are good for movies and music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkfan9 View Post
Why can they only be used with other meridian equipment?
As dsrussell said, they are an all in one digital speaker system. All equipment uses specialized comms cables so even volume level is passed from one piece of equipment to the next. And he's definitely right about the weight. It's a serious chore moving them.

The only thing I've got going for me is that I also have a pair of dsp 5000s that share many of the same parts as the 5500s. I've already taken a tweeter from one and used it to replace a damaged one in the larger speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
True. Luckily there is PSA who also produces similar speakers that can reach reference levels and they provide free shipping both ways. Try it out for 30 days and if not satisfied, ship it back on their dime and wait for their refund (usually within 10 working days or less).
It's a shame some of the other don't work like that.

It sounds like the only way I'm going to be able to get something as good is by paying similar money. I was hoping I'd save a lot by buying ugly speakers from manufacturers with low overheads.
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post #15 of 21 Old 03-03-2015, 12:59 AM
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andrew: You have a very unique situation, simply because the Meridian is a very unique speaker. That someone gave you these is flat out amazing. Just cherish the Meridian and use them for music (or sell them and help pay for your home theater, because these cost $13,000 back in 1999, and there may be a promising market for this model). That these speakers are capable of reference levels at 28 Hz is astonishing. It's one of a few speakers that a subwoofer wouldn't be needed. And whether you want to fix the CD player is up to you. I don't know which model you have, but the 800 series is like 14 to 20 grand if memory serves me. One can find great Blu-ray players that will play any format for $500. But just on principle, I'd probably get that DVD player repaired (but do get a quote).

When concentrating on your home theater (and ATMOS), you might think about creating this in stages. And if you're looking for Meridian quality and performance, don't. There are plenty of speakers that would be excellent for home theater use, not including those with compression drivers. Just take your time, go out and audition what you can, then go from there. If you can audition in your home, so much the better. And unlike the Meridian, you'll need a great subwoofer or two or three.

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post #16 of 21 Old 03-03-2015, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewtodd View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaNile View Post
Where are you located? Most of the JTR crowd is pretty open to hosting auditions. I know I did a few when I had the JTR's.
I live in Austin. I'd love to hear someones JTRs if there is anyone out here willing to demo the speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doublewing11 View Post
...have heard JTR which are a fine speaker with a specific purpose......................I've heard quite a few brands that were much better speakers than JTR's. Again............my ears...........my opinion.
What would that purpose be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClarkeBar View Post
Have there been improvements in speaker technology since your speakers were bought? Yup.

Is it worth it to you to replace instead of keep what you have, even factoring in the upkeep issues one encounters with older product? Tough call naturally, considering your investment.

For me it always comes down to value for dollar spent, no matter the range. Can the change-out be audibly appreciated? That is the most important consideration to me. I care less about cosmetics, active or passive, sizing, etc. than bottom line in-room SQ.

I paid a ridiculously low price for my current FL-FR with $2k original MSRP on closeout in 2002 and still have them. Loved them so much I bought a second pair a few months after the first, still in storage and available for replacement in parts or whole usage. No matter what the pricing range, it always comes down to what does the ear actually discern when listening? But like many here, I have over the years completely changed out my electronics through selective upgrading and have been able to satisfy myself`that improvements along these lines are more obviously on the margins, yet still appreciable with capable speakers.

Speakers physically do wear down over time so if the thought of keeping up your initial investment is troubling, I personally would not hesitate to move on. There is a plethora of great quality out there for a good bit less than you originally spent. My level of upgrade would very likely never exceed something more than the Aerial Acoustics 7Ts at just under $10K. But realistically IMHO there is likely 95% or more of that capability for a good bit less.

Good luck in your decision.
I didn't actually buy the speakers. They were given to me by a very kind neighbor, whose wife thought they were too big for the room. They actually were far too big for the room. I won't lose anything by replacing them but I'm not sure I have the money to buy anything of the same quality. Even though they were free, downgrading is not easy. I wouldn't actually be directly replacing them either. I would just have to look for speakers that are good for movies and music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkfan9 View Post
Why can they only be used with other meridian equipment?
As dsrussell said, they are an all in one digital speaker system. All equipment uses specialized comms cables so even volume level is passed from one piece of equipment to the next. And he's definitely right about the weight. It's a serious chore moving them.

The only thing I've got going for me is that I also have a pair of dsp 5000s that share many of the same parts as the 5500s. I've already taken a tweeter from one and used it to replace a damaged one in the larger speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
True. Luckily there is PSA who also produces similar speakers that can reach reference levels and they provide free shipping both ways. Try it out for 30 days and if not satisfied, ship it back on their dime and wait for their refund (usually within 10 working days or less).
It's a shame some of the other don't work like that.

It sounds like the only way I'm going to be able to get something as good is by paying similar money. I was hoping I'd save a lot by buying ugly speakers from manufacturers with low overheads.
I'm shocked/depressed they don't have optical or coaxial inputs. Such a great set of speakers to be wasted by obsolescence
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post #17 of 21 Old 03-03-2015, 07:55 AM
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Choosing which speaker is right for you is like discovering your favorite color.

Each person has a different taste that appeals to them. Whether is food, clothing, music, or color (etc.) My favorite color is blue. Someone else's favorite color in the thread may be red, for example. That doesn't mean the color blue is superior to red, it's just was appeals to us. Each of us process things differently. Things appeal to us in different level and ways by how our brains process the material.

Speakers are very similar (obviously within a given price point/ reason. It's not fair to compare a 10k speaker pair and a $10 speaker pair). Each speaker is designed differently from another. Different material, different sensitivity, crossover, driver, and endless more design differences. One of the biggest components of a speaker is it's tweeter. Different tweeters reproduce sounds in different ways. The sound of an equal priced ribbon will sound differently than an equal priced silk dome tweeter and so on. Noticed I said differently, not better and not worse. Just like with colors, the sound reproduced by the speaker will appeal to us differently.

Obviously finding your favorite color is much easier than finding your preferred speaker, but the principals, ideas, and concepts are alike.

My advice to you is to demo many speakers with different tweeters and manufactures to see which style appeals to you the greatest. A lot of ID companies offer a decent policy on return shipping - some are even free both ways (SVS is one example). Research is the key when purchasing speakers. Local dealers are also available to demo speakers and research that way also.

One of the things that bother me in HT speakers is when people say (as an example here): Klipsch speakers are better than Polk speakers because the Klipschs sound better. That's usually the end of there statement. The problem I have is that is this is a totally opinionated statement because the sound reproduction of each manufacture will be different. Some people prefer Polk over Klipsch because of the sound reproduction is different.

Enjoy your search! (and your headaches! )
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post #18 of 21 Old 03-03-2015, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
andrew: You have a very unique situation, simply because the Meridian is a very unique speaker. That someone gave you these is flat out amazing. Just cherish the Meridian and use them for music (or sell them and help pay for your home theater, because these cost $13,000 back in 1999, and there may be a promising market for this model). That these speakers are capable of reference levels at 28 Hz is astonishing. It's one of a few speakers that a subwoofer wouldn't be needed. And whether you want to fix the CD player is up to you. I don't know which model you have, but the 800 series is like 14 to 20 grand if memory serves me. One can find great Blu-ray players that will play any format for $500. But just on principle, I'd probably get that DVD player repaired (but do get a quote).

When concentrating on your home theater (and ATMOS), you might think about creating this in stages. And if you're looking for Meridian quality and performance, don't. There are plenty of speakers that would be excellent for home theater use, not including those with compression drivers. Just take your time, go out and audition what you can, then go from there. If you can audition in your home, so much the better. And unlike the Meridian, you'll need a great subwoofer or two or three.
The player is actually a DVD player but I only use it to play cds. The model number is G98 and although it was a ridiculously expensive new, you can pick them up for $1000 now. I've spoken to an ex Meridian engineer and he said there is an 80% chance the player can be fixed. I'm not sure how much that will costs yet. I looked into replacing it with an oppo bluray player so that I can use 1 player for both movies and music but there is no way to modify the newest models to output a digital signal.

There is definitely a used market for the equipment, and since I have 3 other speakers and a subwoofer I imagine I'll get 2 or 3 thousand if I chose to sell them. I'm not sure how comfortable I am selling speakers that someone else gave me but that may make the difference between being able to afford home theater speakers and home theater speakers that also play as well as the Meridians.
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post #19 of 21 Old 03-03-2015, 10:48 AM
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Even if I was extremely rich, I would probably get JTR speakers as the "most expensive" as I feel anything passed that would have serious diminishing returns for home theater. The rest of the money would go towards the room and sub woofers. I would then be able to play anything at ear bleed levels with some serious output in all frequency ranges. That's what its all about right?

Now the stereo speaker nuts.... that is something I am not. No need to look at those 20k+ speakers. I swear its all marketing and little engineering.
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post #20 of 21 Old 03-03-2015, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiforce View Post
Even if I was extremely rich, I would probably get JTR speakers as the "most expensive" as I feel anything passed that would have serious diminishing returns for home theater. The rest of the money would go towards the room and sub woofers. I would then be able to play anything at ear bleed levels with some serious output in all frequency ranges. That's what its all about right?

Now the stereo speaker nuts.... that is something I am not. No need to look at those 20k+ speakers. I swear its all marketing and little engineering.
Seriously?

Boy, you need to get out and hear stuff!.
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post #21 of 21 Old 03-03-2015, 03:54 PM
 
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Just bought a pair of these from a bloke in a white van called "dave" in a supermarket carpark, £15,000 normally £100,000. Bargain!
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