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-   -   3.0 starter system (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/2450146-3-0-starter-system.html)

Theriddler07sms 05-11-2016 02:30 AM

3.0 starter system
 
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First post! I am looking to build a 3.0 system to begin with and am looking for advice. Ive read a lot on these forums and theres so much information and I am very new to the speaker world. Ive had klipsch speakers many years ago but that was it for non boxed theatre systems.

The reciever I am going to get will be either a Denon 1200w or 3200w depending on if I can snag a 3200w thats on sale. I will not be buying all the pieces at once so my budget will be a bit higher.

The system will be in a basement that is about 14ft by 15ft. I will be adding onto the system eventually to be 5.1 and eventually 7.1. I am ok with either towers up front or bookshelf speaks on stands.

If its better to go 2.0 over 3.0 to have noticeably better quality speakers I can go down that route too.

My initial budget will be $1500 for the front speakers. The reciever will have already been bought by the point I order the speakers. If there are some links that might help me understand speakers and the world of sound please share.

Thank You,

Theriddler07sms 05-11-2016 03:24 AM

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SVS prime towers and centers land me right at $1500 if I pay full retail. All the reviews are pointing towards these being great speakers. could eventually finish it off with an svs sub and satellite speakers for the full 5.1 surround.

Transmaniacon 05-11-2016 04:25 AM

They are a good choice, but there are dozens of great options in this price range. I would try and visit a local hi-fi shop, or perhaps a Best Buy Magnolia and listen to as many speakers as you can to see what sound you like. You may prefer the Klipsch sound with emphasized top end, or perhaps a more relaxed sound like B&W. With an idea of your sound preferences, we can suggest other similar speakers.

SVS however is always a nice place to start as they offer free shipping both ways. Crutchfield and Amazon are great vendors as well with free or cheap ($10) return shipping.

Mattopotamus 05-11-2016 07:36 AM

I made a similar thread a few days ago and received some really good advise. I went with a 3.0 set up and will add the sub within 2 months and the rear speakers by the end of the year. I personally chose 3.0 over 2.1 b.c I need clear dialog and value that over lows.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-spe...-1-set-up.html

gajCA 05-11-2016 10:13 AM

Heard great things about the speakers you are considering.

These are being blown out right now; $1,000 MSRP going for less than half that.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A398ZQO/...4AGZ0KQTV52MRB

Theriddler07sms 05-11-2016 05:21 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Transmaniacon (Post 43942330)
They are a good choice, but there are dozens of great options in this price range. I would try and visit a local hi-fi shop, or perhaps a Best Buy Magnolia and listen to as many speakers as you can to see what sound you like. You may prefer the Klipsch sound with emphasized top end, or perhaps a more relaxed sound like B&W. With an idea of your sound preferences, we can suggest other similar speakers.

SVS however is always a nice place to start as they offer free shipping both ways. Crutchfield and Amazon are great vendors as well with free or cheap ($10) return shipping.

I honestly dont know my sound preference yet. I love watching movies and playing video games. I do not have any Hi-Fi music yet. I have listened to some and would love to get into it. I have a feeling no matter what I end up getting will blow me away and as I grow with them I can tweak things a bit.

Theriddler07sms 05-11-2016 05:28 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mattopotamus (Post 43945722)
I made a similar thread a few days ago and received some really good advise. I went with a 3.0 set up and will add the sub within 2 months and the rear speakers by the end of the year. I personally chose 3.0 over 2.1 b.c I need clear dialog and value that over lows.

haha I read thru that thread a few times. Thats actually why i settled ont he Denon x1200w or the x3200w. And the reason I decided to go 3.0 instead of 2.1. I would rather have a center speaker before a sub.

Zorba922 05-11-2016 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Theriddler07sms (Post 43960970)
haha I read thru that thread a few times. Thats actually why i settled ont he Denon x1200w or the x3200w. And the reason I decided to go 3.0 instead of 2.1. I would rather have a center speaker before a sub.

What kind of movies do you watch the most often? I watch about 90% dramas, comedies, and indie movies rather than big-budget action movies, so I would agree with your placing the center at a higher priority than a sub. However, if I were a big action movie fan, I would go ahead and invest in a good sub first, even if it meant having to wait on the center.

That said, with your $1500 budget, you may actually not need to compromise or wait for anything at all. There are all kinds of excellent options available in budget speakers these days, which would've been unimaginable just ten years ago (when I bought my first HT system).

Here's an example:

2 x EMPTek R5Bi + 1 R5Ci center speaker = $338 shipped

These are CLAIMED to be "Scratch and Dent B-stock" but I suspect they are actually brand new---EMPTek is simply clearing out stock because they are getting ready to introduce updated models of these speakers in the next couple of months, but they don't want to hurt their product's perceived brand value. Very common practice across the industry.

These are the best looking compact speakers in the $225 range (their regular price) that actually sound good, by a long shot.
http://emptek.com/bstockZ1744.php

If you are unfamiliar with this brand, EMPTek is part of RBH, a very well established and respected maker of pretty high end speakers: http://emptek.com/about.php

Rythmik LV12R subwoofer, $570 shipped
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...ubs/lv12r.html

For your surrounds, you can go with another pair of the R5Bi speakers referenced above and still stay well within your $1500 budget, or if you want to save a little money, you can get a pair of JBL Loft 40 for surrounds for $60 shipped:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-015-_-Product
Your surrounds only do 10-15% of HT output, so this is where you can go cheap and be perfectly fine.

Theriddler07sms 05-11-2016 07:21 PM

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I'm reading the Denon x1200w might not have enough power to power some B&W 683 or 684 front speakers. Should I just settle on the 3200w or even think bigger? I would sure hate for my system to be held back because I decided to save money on an underpowered reciever

Zorba922 05-11-2016 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Theriddler07sms (Post 43963242)
I'm reading the Denon x1200w might not have enough power to power some B&W 683 or 684 front speakers. Should I just settle on the 3200w or even think bigger? I would sure hate for my system to be held back because I decided to save money on an underpowered reciever

For HT, you won't really need that much power for the mains, since you'll have them set on "small" with all the low frequencies crossed over to your subwoofer anyhow. The extra power would mainly come in handy if you were doing 2-channel music listening at high volumes, in which case you can get a good external Class D amp like the Crown XLS 1502 for just three hundred bucks which will make much more of a difference than going up from the Denon X1200 to X3200.

B&Ws are more often favored by music listeners more than HT users since they tend to be warm and laid back, whereas most people find a more forward, detailed and dynamic presentation to be more exciting for HT.

Steve M. 2 05-11-2016 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zorba922 (Post 43963674)
For HT, you won't really need that much power for the mains, since you'll have them set on "small" with all the low frequencies crossed over to your subwoofer anyhow. The extra power would mainly come in handy if you were doing 2-channel music listening at high volumes, in which case you can get a good external Class D amp like the Crown XLS 1502 for just three hundred bucks which will make much more of a difference than going up from the Denon X1200 to X3200.

B&Ws are more often favored by music listeners more than HT users since they tend to be warm and laid back, whereas most people find a more forward, detailed and dynamic presentation to be more exciting for HT.

Not OP, but as a relative noob just trying to figure things out, thanks for the help in this thread.

Theriddler07sms 05-11-2016 07:51 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Zorba922 (Post 43963674)
For HT, you won't really need that much power for the mains, since you'll have them set on "small" with all the low frequencies crossed over to your subwoofer anyhow. The extra power would mainly come in handy if you were doing 2-channel music listening at high volumes, in which case you can get a good external Class D amp like the Crown XLS 1502 for just three hundred bucks which will make much more of a difference than going up from the Denon X1200 to X3200.

B&Ws are more often favored by music listeners more than HT users since they tend to be warm and laid back, whereas most people find a more forward, detailed and dynamic presentation to be more exciting for HT.

Thank you for your input. I definitely use my room for movies and games a lot more than music. Are there great companies for strictly HT viewing?

Like I mentioned above my budget for a 3.0 system is around $1500 which can be stretched if needed (will just take another month or so to make the order). I will be getting a sub after I get my 3.0 set up. I would just rather have a center speaker before a sub initially.

Zorba922 05-11-2016 08:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Theriddler07sms (Post 43963866)
Thank you for your input. I definitely use my room for movies and games a lot more than music. Are there great companies for strictly HT viewing?

Like I mentioned above my budget for a 3.0 system is around $1500 which can be stretched if needed (will just take another month or so to make the order). I will be getting a sub after I get my 3.0 set up. I would just rather have a center speaker before a sub initially.

With only a 14 x 15' room and little or no critical music listening anticipated, $1500 seems overly generous, unless you have stringent WAF requirements.

There are companies whose customer base is predominantly HT users rather than music listeners, yes: Klipsch and Definitive Technology come to mind, both of them famously tend to generate very polarized reactions---people either love or hate them (except for the high end and vintage Klipsch speakers, which are almost universally well regarded). SVS would also be on that list in terms of popularity, in large part due to their free 2-way shipping policy (which accounts for their speakers costing about 20% more than most of their internet-direct competition), and they do score well in WAF.

If you are determined to spend more rather than less, I'd look into Power Sound Audio, but their lowest priced 3.0 configuration is about $300 over your budget.

More budget friendly options, but probably no less competent for addressing your space and usage would be Ascend CMT-340SEs across the front, Hsu HC-1s across the front, or Chane A3rx-c or/and A2rx-c across the front. All 3 of these should also be quite good for music listening as well as HT, the Ascends in particular. (Although the Hsu would be the most attractive of the 3, especially if you go for their Rosenut veneer versions.)

Theriddler07sms 05-11-2016 08:12 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Zorba922 (Post 43964202)
With only a 14 x 15' room and little or no critical music listening anticipated, $1500 seems overly generous, unless you have stringent WAF requirements.

There are companies whose customer base is predominantly HT users rather than music listeners, yes: Klipsch and Definitive Technology come to mind, both of them famously tend to generate very polarized reactions---people either love or hate them (except for the high end and vintage Klipsch speakers, which are almost universally well regarded). SVS would also be on that list in terms of popularity, in large part due to their free 2-way shipping policy (which accounts for their speakers costing about 20% more than most of their internet-direct competition), and they do score well in WAF.

If you are determined to spend more rather than less, I'd look into Power Sound Audio, but their lowest priced 3.0 configuration is about $300 over your budget.

More budget friendly options, but probably no less competent for addressing your space and usage would be Ascend CMT-340SEs across the front, Hsu HC-1s across the front, or Chane A3rx-c or/and A2rx-c across the front. All 3 of these should also be quite good for music listening as well as HT, the Ascends in particular. (Although the Hsu would be the most attractive of the 3, especially if you go for their Rosenut veneer versions.)


I will research those tonight, have nothing else to do while at work. Also as far as WAF standards they only have to appeal to me so im not too worried about looks. As far as $1500 budget, I dont have to spend that at all if I can get a great system for cheaper. I just know most people want to know a "max" when offering help. I can spend more if necessary, however, the difference from a $1200 system to the $1900 system would have to be a great deal difference.

This is my first system and I expect over the years that I will be upgrading so getting used to the higher end HT side of things with a "lower end" 3.0 system wouldnt be a deal breaker either. If I spend less on a 3.0 system that just means I have more put away for when I buy the remaining surround and subs.

Theriddler07sms 05-11-2016 08:46 PM

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Havent had a chance to start reading reviews on these but the Ascend will run $976 for 3.0, HSU will be $619 for 3.0 and $949 for 5.0, and the Chane will run $777 for 3.0. These look like all great options for under $1000 with the Hsu having the best ascetics.

Piecing together a Klipsch and looks like with RP-280f with a center will run right at $1500 and the SVS will run about the same.

I will run around town and see if there are any speaker stores that might have some of these to listen too. There is a place in the mall and one shop by itself I know of. I have a best buy here but it doesnt have a dedicated home theatre area.

choombak 05-11-2016 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Theriddler07sms (Post 43964802)
Havent had a chance to start reading reviews on these but the Ascend will run $976 for 3.0, HSU will be $619 for 3.0 and $949 for 5.0, and the Chane will run $777 for 3.0. These look like all great options for under $1000 with the Hsu having the best ascetics.

Piecing together a Klipsch and looks like with RP-280f with a center will run right at $1500 and the SVS will run about the same.

I will run around town and see if there are any speaker stores that might have some of these to listen too. There is a place in the mall and one shop by itself I know of. I have a best buy here but it doesnt have a dedicated home theatre area.

I can vouch for the sound quality of the Ascend CMT-340 SE - to my ears, they are far superior in terms of 3D soundstage, imaging, instrument separation/details, and crisp highs (non-fatiguing). I've been through Klipsch (returned), followed by SVS Prime (sold), and finally settled on Ascend. I'd recommend trying them out first. Also, make sure you use the system advisor on Ascend's website (Purchase > System Advisor), which slightly discounts them when bundled together (3.0 CMT-340 SE comes to $834 shipped (w/o tax). None of the brands you listed will be found in b&m stores (Ascends for sure no). Good luck, and let us know what you decide to go with finally (and post pictures). :D

Theriddler07sms 05-11-2016 09:46 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by choombak (Post 43965554)
I can vouch for the sound quality of the Ascend CMT-340 SE - to my ears, they are far superior in terms of 3D soundstage, imaging, instrument separation/details, and crisp highs (non-fatiguing). I've been through Klipsch (returned), followed by SVS Prime (sold), and finally settled on Ascend. I'd recommend trying them out first. Also, make sure you use the system advisor on Ascend's website (Purchase > System Advisor), which slightly discounts them when bundled together (3.0 CMT-340 SE comes to $834 shipped (w/o tax). None of the brands you listed will be found in b&m stores (Ascends for sure no). Good luck, and let us know what you decide to go with finally (and post pictures). :D

Did your Ascend price happen to have the matching towers in there? The front speakers have to be floor standing for reasons :D.

kuzul 05-11-2016 10:09 PM

I would strongly consider 2.1 over any other option.
I really like my monitor audio bronze audio 2, sub brand dosnt matter that much, get the biggest your budget can fit.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Theriddler07sms 05-11-2016 11:43 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kuzul (Post 43966010)
I would strongly consider 2.1 over any other option.
I really like my monitor audio bronze audio 2, sub brand dosnt matter that much, get the biggest your budget can fit.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


I appreciate your advice. However, I am currently set on 3.0 set up to begin with. I have the SVS SB-2000 in mind for my sub as soon as I expand my setup.

pxthree 05-12-2016 05:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Theriddler07sms (Post 43966650)
I appreciate your advice. However, I am currently set on 3.0 set up to begin with. I have the SVS SB-2000 in mind for my sub as soon as I expand my setup.

I recently bought the Def Tech BP-8040ST towers for a secondary room in my new house. I've been using them in my current room which is about 12x20. These sound great. They have built in 8" subs which will do well for me in a secondary room and would probably be good for you to use now until you add a dedicated sub. For the center I bought the CS-8040HD. Whole package can be bought right now for ~$1000 since they are on clearance at Amazon and most other retailers since the 9000 series is coming out in a couple weeks. Get into a Magnolia to have a listen. You could even go up to the 8060 or the 8080 with your budget.

Mattopotamus 05-12-2016 06:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Theriddler07sms (Post 43966650)
I appreciate your advice. However, I am currently set on 3.0 set up to begin with. I have the SVS SB-2000 in mind for my sub as soon as I expand my setup.

Starting with 3.0, like I did, I would set the speakers to "large" if you are doing towers. When you add the sub you can go to "small".

choombak 05-12-2016 06:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Theriddler07sms (Post 43965762)
Did your Ascend price happen to have the matching towers in there? The front speakers have to be floor standing for reasons :D.

Ah! No. Unless you want a seamless tower look, I won't recommend the Ascend stands. I've seen them and ain't a fan of their quality or the retention piece that goes partly on the stand and partly on the speaker. Plus they must be filled with packing peanuts or sand.

Get something that is versatile and can be reused for other speakers like the Dayton stands (SSMB24) from parts-express instead.

Robbiey60 05-12-2016 07:02 AM

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If movies and gaming are what you like, Klipsch is where its at. Dynamic and easy to drive to insane volumes with relatively little power, any receiver will work. Go big from the get go, look for a set of rf7ii. They best anything from the new line, and the new line are awesome! Dont pay full price, deals can be had.

Zorba922 05-12-2016 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Theriddler07sms (Post 43965762)
Did your Ascend price happen to have the matching towers in there? The front speakers have to be floor standing for reasons :D.

$834 shipped for 3 Ascend 340s (sales tax only in CA, if I'm not mistaken), plus $180 for the stands. Like the speakers themselves, the stands aren't beautiful but neither are they objectionably ugly...they are very useful if you have large frisky dogs or small kids who might knock over lighter stands, since you can fill them up with +100lbs each with play sand from Home Depot on the cheap, and they keep the drivers elevated 24" off the ground, safe from those little hands.

The retention piece goes on the back, keeping the speaker firmly anchored on the stand, and is therefore invisible unless you are in the strange habit of constantly getting up to gaze at the rear of your speakers. :)

Now if you want towers that are both beautiful and won't break the bank plus sound good (they are said to be slightly rolled off unlike the Ascends which are impeccably neutral/accurate), the EMPTek R55ti is what I'd look at:

http://emptek.com/bs3319104963RB.php
http://emptek.com/r55ti.php
They can go with the massive R56 center:
http://emptek.com/r56ci.php

dsrussell 05-12-2016 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by choombak (Post 43965554)
I can vouch for the sound quality of the Ascend CMT-340 SE - to my ears, they are far superior in terms of 3D soundstage, imaging, instrument separation/details, and crisp highs (non-fatiguing). I've been through Klipsch (returned), followed by SVS Prime (sold), and finally settled on Ascend. I'd recommend trying them out first. Also, make sure you use the system advisor on Ascend's website (Purchase > System Advisor), which slightly discounts them when bundled together (3.0 CMT-340 SE comes to $834 shipped (w/o tax). None of the brands you listed will be found in b&m stores (Ascends for sure no). Good luck, and let us know what you decide to go with finally (and post pictures). :D

I enjoyed this post! I know I probably should have tried out the Ascend speakers (along with the JBL 530’s) first! They were both high on my shortlist to audition. But after listening to the R5Bi’s, I saw absolutely no need :).

I did, however, order a pair a JBL 530’s and did like them overall slightly better than the R5Bi’s (mainly the depth of the soundstage, but there were certain frequencies I still preferred the R5Bi’s). That magical soundstage still wasn’t enough for me to give the R5Bi’s up, so I shipped the 530’s back. We all seek certain sound characteristics, and the EMP Tek filled my needs. Hopefully, I’ll be able to listen to some Ascend speakers later this month (at Ascend Acoustics … and out of curiosity). The 340’s were speakers that I mentioned to my son, should he decide to upgrade his 25 year-old Infinity bookshelf speakers (he’s talked to Dave).

Anyway, congratulations on your choice. I’ve always admired Ascend Acoustics as a company.

Theriddler07sms 05-14-2016 02:35 AM

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I've been looking at ascend pretty heavily. Their sierra speakers and towers are beautiful and very heavily liked.

How would the Sierra speakers sound in a HT application. I would go their bookshelf first and get towers later and rotate the bookshelves to surround.

cel4145 05-14-2016 07:43 AM

I just got a pair of Sierra 1s, and they are excellent sounding. I'm using them in my desktop setup, but everything I have read suggests that they work well for HT, too :)

Zorba922 05-16-2016 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Theriddler07sms (Post 44017042)
I've been looking at ascend pretty heavily. Their sierra speakers and towers are beautiful and very heavily liked.

How would the Sierra speakers sound in a HT application. I would go their bookshelf first and get towers later and rotate the bookshelves to surround.

IMHO the Sierras are overkill for HT (I can't imagine them being hugely better than the 170s/340s in that application) but probably worth it for critical music listening; however, if you can afford them, why not? :)

Theriddler07sms 05-21-2016 10:10 PM

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I'm back, stopped at two speaker places in my town. Third one is shutting down and has everything 50% off right now so I'll see if they have a receiver in the for me

Anyway, one company has jbl and revel and the other has klipsch and paradigm.

Now, I know nothing about what jbl's would be good and revels are on the spendy (but very high quality ) side.

Klipsch I have an idea what I would go with the rp280 and a good center witg evntually two bookshelves and an svs sub.

Paradigm monitor 7's look pretty good. Haven't heard them yet though as I was in a hurry. Would do monitor 11's probably and a 3v7 center.

Jbl I heard in the theatre room in an 11.2 setup it sounded amazing bit have no idea what speakers were playing.

Revel sounds amazing but might be over my budget.

All of these are better options because the company will come install everything haha.

Otger options on the table are still svs prime (or ultra prime) bookshelves and center, and...

Ascend sierra 1's or 2's (depending on funding)

I may wait an extra month or so, so I can stretch my budget some more. Will see. .

cel4145 05-21-2016 11:06 PM

I did not think the Monitor 7s I heard recently were as clear as my Sierra 1s. But of course I did not compare them in the same room at the same time.


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