Need Help with speaker selection. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 27 Old 10-16-2015, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Need Help with speaker selection.

So after a long hiatus I want to get my home theater system set back up. Currently I have NO receiver. I have 2 circa 2006 Energy RC-50 towers and matching center channel.

I had a guy come out today and look at my space and give me an idea about what it will cost to mount the rear channels, etc. He suggested for "better sound, and more modern technology" I scrap the Energy stuff, and I just start fresh with some Monitor audio speakers. He also kind of talked me out of a high end receiver such as a Marrantz or even higher end of Dennon's offerings and into a $5-$600 receiver.

So I am kind of torn on what to do:
1. Go with his recommendation?
2. Stick with the Energy stuff?
3. Other? Here is where I am open to suggestions. Can anyone recommend something in the 4-5k range?


I do have a friend selling some Paradigm S6 V2 towers and I could grab those and add an appropriate center and rear channels if it would be a good option.

Any help is appreciated.
D
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post #2 of 27 Old 10-16-2015, 10:29 AM
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IMO:
That guy sounds like a pretentious "audiophile".

If you like how your speakers sound, keep them. If you don't, audition some new speakers. There are lots of brands / models to choose from.

As for receivers, you don't need to pay a sucker's ransom of $5-6K for something that will give you good sounds, useful features and plenty of connectivity options. $2K or less will get you a good AVR with pre-outs (in case you want to add additional amplification).

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post #3 of 27 Old 10-16-2015, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
IMO:
That guy sounds like a pretentious "audiophile".

If you like how your speakers sound, keep them. If you don't, audition some new speakers. There are lots of brands / models to choose from.

As for receivers, you don't need to pay a sucker's ransom of $5-6K for something that will give you good sounds, useful features and plenty of connectivity options. $2K or less will get you a good AVR with pre-outs (in case you want to add additional amplification).
Thanks!
Honestly I never was fully happy with how the energy sounded but I feel that they were under powered, with my less than stellar receiver at the time. I think auditioning something might be best, I am just having trouble finding somewhere locally.

I hear what you are saying on the receiver as well. I think it just struck me as odd that he would suggest a $500 receiver. Is that really going to be adequate?

EDIT** To add I am pretty set on upgrading from my Energy. I think my question is more do I go with Monitor audio or do I go with something else, and potentially better? I have no experience with Monitor.

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post #4 of 27 Old 10-16-2015, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
IMO:
That guy sounds like a pretentious "audiophile".

If you like how your speakers sound, keep them. If you don't, audition some new speakers. There are lots of brands / models to choose from.

As for receivers, you don't need to pay a sucker's ransom of $5-6K for something that will give you good sounds, useful features and plenty of connectivity options. $2K or less will get you a good AVR with pre-outs (in case you want to add additional amplification).
Why would you consider him a pretentious "audiophile" if he suggested low-mid range AVR ?
A lot of forum members suggest that is all that is required in many cases.
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post #5 of 27 Old 10-16-2015, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by AZtitan123 View Post
Thanks!
Honestly I never was fully happy with how the energy sounded but I feel that they were under powered, with my less than stellar receiver at the time. I think auditioning something might be best, I am just having trouble finding somewhere locally.

I hear what you are saying on the receiver as well. I think it just struck me as odd that he would suggest a $500 receiver. Is that really going to be adequate?

EDIT** To add I am pretty set on upgrading from my Energy. I think my question is more do I go with Monitor audio or do I go with something else, and potentially better? I have no experience with Monitor.
There are hundreds of brands to choose from.
I have some mid range monitor audio and like them. They range from platinum series down through little cheap ones.
It is best if you can go listen to some different brands/models and see what you like.
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post #6 of 27 Old 10-16-2015, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by AZtitan123;
... Honestly I never was fully happy with how the energy sounded but I feel that they were under powered, with my less than stellar receiver at the time. I think auditioning something might be best, I am just having trouble finding somewhere locally.

I hear what you are saying on the receiver as well. I think it just struck me as odd that he would suggest a $500 receiver. Is that really going to be adequate? ...
First off: My bad. I misread $5-600 as $5-6000.

Before you move away from your current speakers, I'd start by getting a good receiver (personally, I'd spend closer to $1K and make sure the AVR has pre-outs) and seeing whether that has any impact on what you're hearing.

If you're happy, great; otherwise, sell the Energy speakers and move on to something else. Be sure to audition as many different brands as you can (and read as many reviews as you can about the ones you can't audition).
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post #7 of 27 Old 10-16-2015, 10:55 AM
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Why would you consider him a pretentious "audiophile" if he suggested low-mid range AVR ? ...
I misread $5-600 as $5-6000. My bad.
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post #8 of 27 Old 10-16-2015, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by AZtitan123 View Post

I do have a friend selling some Paradigm S6 V2 towers and I could grab those and add an appropriate center and rear channels if it would be a good option.

Any help is appreciated.
D
Those would be a great start if the price is right, if you have the room, and if you like their sound.
The rear channels do not need much for speakers.
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post #9 of 27 Old 10-16-2015, 11:24 AM
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Just keep in mind, Energy and Paradigm have pretty different sound. Keep in mind this is my opinion from hearing these brands, but I find Energy more laid back sounding, whereas Paradigm has more forward top end. If you like your current speakers, I don't know that you will feel the same about those Paradigms, but it's always worth a listen.

I think you can get a perfectly fine AVR for $500. You just need to buy the features you need, if you need HDCP 2.2 for 4K content, then you need one of the newer receivers. If you need pre-outs as mentioned above, you have to step up to a more expensive model. If you don't need the latest and greatest in the way of 4K, then you can save some money by getting last years model. I like Denon and I think they make a good product, FWIW Denon and Marantz are the same company. It's like Honda and Acura, you are generally paying more for the name and a little bit nicer appearance.

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post #10 of 27 Old 10-16-2015, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post
I misread $5-600 as $5-6000. My bad.
lol... ya, i would have choked on that price range too
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post #11 of 27 Old 10-16-2015, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Those would be a great start if the price is right, if you have the room, and if you like their sound.
The rear channels do not need much for speakers.
What center channel would go well with that?

As for the auditioning I guess I need to find some places that stock this stuff.

I can't even remember my energy honestly. Been so long since I had them working. When I moved into the new house, I never set everything back up, do to life getting in the way.
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post #12 of 27 Old 10-16-2015, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by AZtitan123 View Post
EDIT** To add I am pretty set on upgrading from my Energy. I think my question is more do I go with Monitor audio or do I go with something else, and potentially better? I have no experience with Monitor.
The silver series monitor audios are pretty neutral when positioned properly. They are not bassy at the bottom or piercing at the top. They are fun to listen to if the music is fun or they can sound flat with a poor recording.

The bronze series is a little more pronounced bottom, neutral mids and not strong at the top.
Your tastes will vary of course along with the room/position they are in.

You are on a quest... good luck
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post #13 of 27 Old 10-16-2015, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by AZtitan123 View Post
What center channel would go well with that?

As for the auditioning I guess I need to find some places that stock this stuff.

I can't even remember my energy honestly. Been so long since I had them working. When I moved into the new house, I never set everything back up, do to life getting in the way.
Life tends to do that...

It is usually best to try to stick to the same range/model/brand center as the left and right speakers.
This will help negate weird nuances such as a car sounding like mercedes/volkswagon/mercedes as it travels across the sound stage.
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post #14 of 27 Old 10-17-2015, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Life tends to do that...

It is usually best to try to stick to the same range/model/brand center as the left and right speakers.
This will help negate weird nuances such as a car sounding like mercedes/volkswagon/mercedes as it travels across the sound stage.
Would buying the current model year signature c3 center be fine in your opinion? His towers are v2 and 4-5 years old iirc.

Also probably would go with the signature in in ceiling speakers as I need in ceilings.
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post #15 of 27 Old 10-17-2015, 06:40 AM
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Would buying the current model year signature c3 center be fine in your opinion? His towers are v2 and 4-5 years old iirc.
Yes. They both have the beryllium tweeter. I believe the v3 is just a tick higher in sensitivity, so you might have to turn down the center a notch. The C3 is $2,800, but I've seen some used ones go by for $1,500+.

Personally, I have Signature v3 fronts with a C3v1 center (v1 doesn't have the beryllium tweeter) and it sounds fine. Very clear dialog. I picked up this center for under $600.

Edit: Actually there's a C3v3 in cherry on ebay right now for $1,275 or offer.

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post #16 of 27 Old 10-17-2015, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Perfect, thanks. I am thinking that is the route I will go. I have to think that is a better option than the Monitor Bronze/Silvers. Just need to pick a receiver.
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post #17 of 27 Old 10-17-2015, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by AZtitan123 View Post
So after a long hiatus I want to get my home theater system set back up. Currently I have NO receiver. I have 2 circa 2006 Energy RC-50 towers and matching center channel.

I had a guy come out today and look at my space and give me an idea about what it will cost to mount the rear channels, etc. He suggested for "better sound, and more modern technology" I scrap the Energy stuff, and I just start fresh with some Monitor audio speakers. He also kind of talked me out of a high end receiver such as a Marrantz or even higher end of Dennon's offerings and into a $5-$600 receiver.

So I am kind of torn on what to do:
1. Go with his recommendation?
2. Stick with the Energy stuff?
3. Other? Here is where I am open to suggestions. Can anyone recommend something in the 4-5k range?

I do have a friend selling some Paradigm S6 V2 towers and I could grab those and add an appropriate center and rear channels if it would be a good option.
The receiver has a relatively minor impact on overall sound quality, especially with HT usage. And the one thing I agree with him on is that it shouldn't cost more than $500-600 NEW...however, you can buy perfectly good manufacturer refurbs for half off retail, so you don't even need to spend much over $250-400, really:
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...ceivers/1.html

For speakers, if this is going to be all HT/TV/gaming use with little or no music listening, I'd budget $100-300 per speaker tops. Skip all the local retail brand except for the deeply discounted clearance sales that pop up once in a while at Fry's or Best Buy (but don't buy their stuff at normal prices!). Stay away from small boutique audio shops.

For subs, manufacturer direct is the best way to go in terms of maximum bang for your buck. Hsu, SVS, PSA, etc. are some of the ones I'd be looking at.

$300 receiver + $500 sub + $500-600 for 5 speakers = will get you an excellent HT setup that would probably cost at least twice as much if you bought local retail at regular prices.
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post #18 of 27 Old 10-17-2015, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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The receiver has a relatively minor impact on overall sound quality, especially with HT usage. And the one thing I agree with him on is that it shouldn't cost more than $500-600 NEW...however, you can buy perfectly good manufacturer refurbs for half off retail, so you don't even need to spend much over $250-400, really:
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...ceivers/1.html

For speakers, if this is going to be all HT/TV/gaming use with little or no music listening, I'd budget $100-300 per speaker tops. Skip all the local retail brand except for the deeply discounted clearance sales that pop up once in a while at Fry's or Best Buy (but don't buy their stuff at normal prices!). Stay away from small boutique audio shops.

For subs, manufacturer direct is the best way to go in terms of maximum bang for your buck. Hsu, SVS, PSA, etc. are some of the ones I'd be looking at.

$300 receiver + $500 sub + $500-600 for 5 speakers = will get you an excellent HT setup that would probably cost at least twice as much if you bought local retail at regular prices.
Thanks! I am admittedly really bad with this stuff. It starts out small. Entry level speakers, decent receiver, etc. And here I am now ready to drop 10-12k on something nicer..lol It escalates so quickly, and I begin to talk myself out of the lower end stuff.

Today, I am sitting here, looking at the monitor audio Silvers, and thinking "screw it, just go wit the MA golds..."

Same with the receiver. I feel like I am short changing myself getting a $400 receiver, and need to spend $2k.
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post #19 of 27 Old 10-17-2015, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by AZtitan123 View Post
Thanks! I am admittedly really bad with this stuff. It starts out small. Entry level speakers, decent receiver, etc. And here I am now ready to drop 10-12k on something nicer..lol It escalates so quickly, and I begin to talk myself out of the lower end stuff.

Today, I am sitting here, looking at the monitor audio Silvers, and thinking "screw it, just go wit the MA golds..."

Same with the receiver. I feel like I am short changing myself getting a $400 receiver, and need to spend $2k.
As long as you are not driving the amp to clipping, a 2K receiver will not sound better than a $400 receiver in terms of amplification. Now they can have better room correction, which can make a difference. Plus a 2K might have features you might want.

But generally, spend more money on the speakers, they are what you hear.
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post #20 of 27 Old 10-17-2015, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by AZtitan123 View Post
Thanks! I am admittedly really bad with this stuff. It starts out small. Entry level speakers, decent receiver, etc. And here I am now ready to drop 10-12k on something nicer..lol It escalates so quickly, and I begin to talk myself out of the lower end stuff.

Today, I am sitting here, looking at the monitor audio Silvers, and thinking "screw it, just go wit the MA golds..."

Same with the receiver. I feel like I am short changing myself getting a $400 receiver, and need to spend $2k.
It's only worth it if you do a lot of critical music listening; with HT, 90% of your attention is focused on whatever's happening on the screen---unless you get all OCD and watch movies with both ears pricked up to detect any small sonic imperfections. That kind of OCD is a particularly expensive habit.
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Originally Posted by AZtitan123 View Post
Thanks! I am admittedly really bad with this stuff. It starts out small. Entry level speakers, decent receiver, etc. And here I am now ready to drop 10-12k on something nicer..lol It escalates so quickly, and I begin to talk myself out of the lower end stuff.

Today, I am sitting here, looking at the monitor audio Silvers, and thinking "screw it, just go wit the MA golds..."

Same with the receiver. I feel like I am short changing myself getting a $400 receiver, and need to spend $2k.
Were you able to find anywhere to audition some speakers ?
Most of the time, listening will make a world of difference in your decision.
For example, you may find the sound difference vs price isn't worth it to go for the gold
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post #22 of 27 Old 10-17-2015, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
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It's only worth it if you do a lot of critical music listening; with HT, 90% of your attention is focused on whatever's happening on the screen---unless you get all OCD and watch movies with both ears pricked up to detect any small sonic imperfections. That kind of OCD is a particularly expensive habit.
haha. I actually probably listen to music more than I do HT.I would say 60/40 in favor of music
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As long as you are not driving the amp to clipping, a 2K receiver will not sound better than a $400 receiver in terms of amplification. Now they can have better room correction, which can make a difference. Plus a 2K might have features you might want.

But generally, spend more money on the speakers, they are what you hear.
Got ya! I will heed that advice.
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Were you able to find anywhere to audition some speakers ?
Most of the time, listening will make a world of difference in your decision.
For example, you may find the sound difference vs price isn't worth it to go for the gold
I didn't find any where un fortunately.
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post #23 of 27 Old 10-18-2015, 05:57 AM
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haha. I actually probably listen to music more than I do HT.I would say 60/40 in favor of music

Got ya! I will heed that advice.

I didn't find any where un fortunately.
Did you check out the thread about where members have speakers they will demo?
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post #24 of 27 Old 11-05-2015, 12:45 PM
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haha. I actually probably listen to music more than I do HT.I would say 60/40 in favor of music

Got ya! I will heed that advice.

I didn't find any where un fortunately.

Hi,

I like your speaker upgrade plan. They are the real heart of your system for both music and HT.

I do think there are some advantages to having an AVR with room correction, particularly for low frequencies. But it should still be possible to get something very good, with Audyssey XT-32, for instance, for around $1000 if you look at older models. (Not used, just superseded by newer models.) As another poster said, though, if you are trying to get HDCP 2.2 (4K enabled), that will require one of the newer model AVR's.

The other thing that you need to budget some money for is a good subwoofer. As with the AVR, I might budget about $1000 for a sub. You will get a lot of different suggestions for a sub at that price point and any of them should serve you well. Subs don't exhibit the individual sound characteristics that speakers do, so if I were you I wouldn't spend too much time obsessing about which one to get as the suggestions roll in. You may also hear advice to get two lesser subs for about $500 each. That's not bad advice, either, as two subs can help to smooth frequency response. My own approach would be to get something good (about $1000) with an eye toward building for the future (adding a second one if necessary and as finances permit). That would be consistent with your plan to start with good speakers, and would give you time to learn more about your room, and how much low bass you really like.

There are a lot of valid viewpoints in audio, and no clear consensus on the single best approach, so you will simply have to continue to ask questions, listen to the various answers, and then use your own judgment.

Regards,
Mike

GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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post #25 of 27 Old 11-05-2015, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I like your speaker upgrade plan. They are the real heart of your system for both music and HT.

I do think there are some advantages to having an AVR with room correction, particularly for low frequencies. But it should still be possible to get something very good, with Audyssey XT-32, for instance, for around $1000 if you look at older models. (Not used, just superseded by newer models.) As another poster said, though, if you are trying to get HDCP 2.2 (4K enabled), that will require one of the newer model AVR's.

The other thing that you need to budget some money for is a good subwoofer. As with the AVR, I might budget about $1000 for a sub. You will get a lot of different suggestions for a sub at that price point and any of them should serve you well. Subs don't exhibit the individual sound characteristics that speakers do, so if I were you I wouldn't spend too much time obsessing about which one to get as the suggestions roll in. You may also hear advice to get two lesser subs for about $500 each. That's not bad advice, either, as two subs can help to smooth frequency response. My own approach would be to get something good (about $1000) with an eye toward building for the future (adding a second one if necessary and as finances permit). That would be consistent with your plan to start with good speakers, and would give you time to learn more about your room, and how much low bass you really like.

There are a lot of valid viewpoints in audio, and no clear consensus on the single best approach, so you will simply have to continue to ask questions, listen to the various answers, and then use your own judgment.

Regards,
Mike
Thanks Mike. I actually ended up getting everything. I ended up with a Marantz Sr6010 receiver, Monitor Silver 8 L/R, a Silver Center. Gold inceiling rears, and yesterday i ordered 2 x of these http://www.powersoundaudio.com/products/s3000i I think that should provide adequate bass..LOL
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post #26 of 27 Old 11-05-2015, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by AZtitan123 View Post
Thanks Mike. I actually ended up getting everything. I ended up with a Marantz Sr6010 receiver, Monitor Silver 8 L/R, a Silver Center. Gold inceiling rears, and yesterday i ordered 2 x of these http://www.powersoundaudio.com/products/s3000i I think that should provide adequate bass..LOL


Excellent! I don't know about the adequate bass, though. I hate to see you under-powered there.

GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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post #27 of 27 Old 11-05-2015, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by AZtitan123 View Post
Thanks Mike. I actually ended up getting everything. I ended up with a Marantz Sr6010 receiver, Monitor Silver 8 L/R, a Silver Center. Gold inceiling rears, and yesterday i ordered 2 x of these http://www.powersoundaudio.com/products/s3000i I think that should provide adequate bass..LOL
Good to see you don’t mess around . Congratulations! That setup should be nothing less than outstanding.

Music area: Magnepan 3.6, McIntosh MC2205 amp & C48 preamp, SVS SB13-Ultra, Oppo BDP 95, dbx 3BX, and assorted equipment.
Movie area: EMP Tek E5Bi (were rebadged to R5Bi), RBH/EMP Tek R55Ti, PSA S3000i, Denon X2000, Oppo BDP 83.
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