Best starter tower speakers- Def Tech? ELAC? Klipsch? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Best starter tower speakers- Def Tech? ELAC? Klipsch?

Hey Guys-

Avid reader, first time poster!

I'm looking forward to building my first home theatre surround sound system (though will be used for music) and I wanted to get an opinion from the folks here as to what would be the best way to start. My room is a 20x20x13 open concept living / dining room. My budget for start will be about 2K to 2.2K.

Right now for a receiver I've been looking at the Marantz SR5010 and the Denon X3300. I plan on purchasing a 4K TV so the pass through is a must. Also with wide variety of speakers I've been looking at, I think these two models could drive everything.

My question to the collective group here is where is the best bang for my buck in obtaining a tower speaker pair for under $1300?

I've seen rave reviews of the new ELAC UF5s, though the fact that they need to be driven by a true 4ohm capable receiver scares me a bit. I recently demo'd the new Def Tech BP9040s with the A90 Atmos add on and they sounded superb. But the Def Tech's have an 8" sub built into the tower- is the quality there or would it best to purchase a stand alone sub? I also have a friend that owns the Klipsch R-28F which sound phenominal.

The ELACs run $1000 for a pair, BP9040s at $1300 before the A90 add on, and lastly the Klipschs are at $900 a pair.

Down the line, in a perfect world with more disposable income, I'd love to add a channel center and a true subwoofer. Are the speakers im looking at now good for the money? Any suggestions on which would be best or other models I should be looking at for my setup?

Looking forward to everyone's thoughts! Thanks!
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post #2 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 02:36 PM
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First off I would not spend that much for a receiver based on your speaker budget unless you are getting a crazy deal. Second, if you an efficient speaker like the Deftech and Klipsch models you really don't need a bonkers receiver.

Third, can you clarify how much you will be using these speakers for home theater vs music? There are a lot of options out there in your price range, I would definitely try to take a listen to the new Klipsch RP lineup, but if you are hunting for more musical speakes I would say to take a good look at ARX speakers by Chane and also HTD Level III speakers.

https://www.chanemusiccinema.com/lou...peakers/a5rx-c

http://www.htd.com/Products/level-th...Tower-Speakers

These HTD's really are a great value and with the ribbon tweeter and dual 7" drivers they should be good for 2 channel music too.

At some point you will want a good subwoofer as well. You can also go the bookshelf with subwoofer route and open up some more options.

Few more tower options to really consider:
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15494-w...eakers-pr.aspx

These should be something to consider too if you cut back on your receiver money:
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-139683-...eakers-pr.aspx
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post #3 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 02:40 PM
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Andrew has already stated numerous times that the new UniFi speakers can be driven by a vast majority of the receivers out there. One person on this forum suggested that Andrew was lying about this to sell speakers. I had a good laugh over that ignorance.

Anyway, there are a good many posters here who can attest that the Uni Fi's can be driven by a wide variety of receivers.
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post #4 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Bobert01 View Post
Andrew has already stated numerous times that the new UniFi speakers can be driven by a vast majority of the receivers out there. One person on this forum suggested that Andrew was lying about this to sell speakers. I had a good laugh over that ignorance.

Anyway, there are a good many posters here who can attest that the Uni Fi's can be driven by a wide variety of receivers.
Thanks Bobert! Some friends had mentioned the same. Would either of the receivers I mentioned be able to adequately drive the UF5s? Their spec sheets specifically call out 6ohm capability, however their overview pages their ability to handle 4ohms as well.
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post #5 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post
First off I would not spend that much for a receiver based on your speaker budget unless you are getting a crazy deal. Second, if you an efficient speaker like the Deftech and Klipsch models you really don't need a bonkers receiver.

Third, can you clarify how much you will be using these speakers for home theater vs music? There are a lot of options out there in your price range, I would definitely try to take a listen to the new Klipsch RP lineup, but if you are hunting for more musical speakes I would say to take a good look at ARX speakers by Chane and also HTD Level III speakers.

https://www.chanemusiccinema.com/lou...peakers/a5rx-c

http://www.htd.com/Products/level-th...Tower-Speakers

These HTD's really are a great value and with the ribbon tweeter and dual 7" drivers they should be good for 2 channel music too.

At some point you will want a good subwoofer as well. You can also go the bookshelf with subwoofer route and open up some more options.

Few more tower options to really consider:
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-15494-w...eakers-pr.aspx

These should be something to consider too if you cut back on your receiver money:
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-139683-...eakers-pr.aspx
Thanks Ack for the quick reply! Not gettig any crazy deals, right now my thought process has been to spend the money upfront and have something that would be plenty capable for years to come. For your third point- it will probably be a 60/40 split between theatre and music. I'm planning on purchasing a new 4K TV and the built in speakers on most of these new flat screens are junk. Therefore, my speakers would operate as my everyday TV / movie/ and music speakers- for those days I'm cleaning, music with dinner, company, etc.

I've heard great things about the new Klipach RP line, I'll do more research there. Thanks for passing on some others options as well, I'll give them a look and get back with questions!

Ultimately my goal again, is to add a subwoofer a center channel. I like your point about bookshelves as well, to make a true 5.1 experience.
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post #6 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 03:40 PM
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That depends,

When you say surround sound, are you talking at reference levels--like at a real THX theater? If so, this can be done with a regular 100 watt per channel AVR at 10 to 13 feet of distance. The Def Techs are iffy but the Klipsch are efficient enough to get the SPL required to meet specifications.

The good thing about reaching THX reference levels from a typical AVR at 10 feet or more is it eliminates most speakers for lack of efficiency. Go for something at least 90 dB or higher for efficiency, 92dB or higher if you can swing it at EIGHT ohms for AVR use. (I use 98dB mains and 94dB surrounds with a cool running AVR) You have to remember when using an AVR that the power supply feeds all the channels, if you really hammer it for current running 4 ohms speakers it will cause a hotter running receiver and that is never good for long term reliability.

Personally, I don't recommend speakers to anyone--the only thing I do is recommend ohms/efficiency ratings for speakers depending on what their ultimate SPL requirements are in specific rooms with specific amplifiers. My rough guide for AVRs under $1K is to run 8 ohms, 6 ohms in a pinch. 4 ohms are fine if you run outboard amplifiers or run your AVR with an outboard 2 channel amp to take the heat/current load off the power supply.

AVRs have enough problems trying to drive 8 ohm loads without cooking the HDMI, surround and DSP processor chips--no point at driving them at their limits unless you replace your AVR once the warranty expires. Good luck!
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post #7 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 04:58 PM
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Chane. Two A5s and one 2.4 will do the trick. Add a Rythmic L12 when funds become available, then spend some quality time integrating the sub into the system, so you have nice even frequency response.
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post #8 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 05:30 PM
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I highly recommend this AVR and it will pass 4K through to your 4K TV:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...0-value/1.html


Or this one:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...0-value/1.html


For towers I also second the Chanes:

The A5's are actually on sale right now:

http://www.chanemusiccinema.com/foru...Summer-of-2016

Then, I would wait for the A2.4 to become available:

https://www.chanemusiccinema.com/lou...dspeakers/A2.4

Use the A1.4's in the rear:

https://www.chanemusiccinema.com/lou...dspeakers/A1.4

YOU can read up about them from that link above. Both the A1.4 and the A2.4 will be available soon. Might want to become a forum member at Chane to get in on some deals Jon has mentioned about offering once the new models come out. There was some mention about free shipping or some other kind of deal. Get your name in the hat.

As far as subs go I highly recommend that you check out PSA, SVS, Hsu, Rythmik, Outlaw to name a few. I own dual PSA S1500's myself. Both are B-stocks and they perform and look like brand new. My AVR is a refurb from Acc4less. Great folks to deal with. Anyways, I think that you are headed in the right direction. Lots of good advice here. Good luck in making a well informed decision.

Cheers,

Phil
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post #9 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 05:37 PM
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Get a pair of Klipsch RP-280F towers, they sound awesome!
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post #10 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 07:38 PM
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Just throwing it out there, but the Definitive Technology 8XXX speakers (predecessors to the 9XXX that you liked) are on clearance at many places now since they are the "old" model. You could pick up a pair of the BP8060STs for under $1K and they would have a little more oomph for your space than the BP9040ST. You would probably want a separate sub or two eventually, but they're plenty capable on the low end frequencies.
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post #11 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Hurts View Post
That depends,

When you say surround sound, are you talking at reference levels--like at a real THX theater? If so, this can be done with a regular 100 watt per channel AVR at 10 to 13 feet of distance. The Def Techs are iffy but the Klipsch are efficient enough to get the SPL required to meet specifications.

The good thing about reaching THX reference levels from a typical AVR at 10 feet or more is it eliminates most speakers for lack of efficiency. Go for something at least 90 dB or higher for efficiency, 92dB or higher if you can swing it at EIGHT ohms for AVR use. (I use 98dB mains and 94dB surrounds with a cool running AVR) You have to remember when using an AVR that the power supply feeds all the channels, if you really hammer it for current running 4 ohms speakers it will cause a hotter running receiver and that is never good for long term reliability.

Personally, I don't recommend speakers to anyone--the only thing I do is recommend ohms/efficiency ratings for speakers depending on what their ultimate SPL requirements are in specific rooms with specific amplifiers. My rough guide for AVRs under $1K is to run 8 ohms, 6 ohms in a pinch. 4 ohms are fine if you run outboard amplifiers or run your AVR with an outboard 2 channel amp to take the heat/current load off the power supply.

AVRs have enough problems trying to drive 8 ohm loads without cooking the HDMI, surround and DSP processor chips--no point at driving them at their limits unless you replace your AVR once the warranty expires. Good luck!
I like this advice

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Originally Posted by audiofreak38 View Post
I highly recommend this AVR and it will pass 4K through to your 4K TV:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...0-value/1.html


Or this one:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...0-value/1.html


For towers I also second the Chanes:

The A5's are actually on sale right now:

http://www.chanemusiccinema.com/foru...Summer-of-2016

Then, I would wait for the A2.4 to become available:

https://www.chanemusiccinema.com/lou...dspeakers/A2.4

Use the A1.4's in the rear:

https://www.chanemusiccinema.com/lou...dspeakers/A1.4

YOU can read up about them from that link above. Both the A1.4 and the A2.4 will be available soon. Might want to become a forum member at Chane to get in on some deals Jon has mentioned about offering once the new models come out. There was some mention about free shipping or some other kind of deal. Get your name in the hat.

As far as subs go I highly recommend that you check out PSA, SVS, Hsu, Rythmik, Outlaw to name a few. I own dual PSA S1500's myself. Both are B-stocks and they perform and look like brand new. My AVR is a refurb from Acc4less. Great folks to deal with. Anyways, I think that you are headed in the right direction. Lots of good advice here. Good luck in making a well informed decision.

Cheers,

Phil
Thanks for your thoughts! I was originally looking at the SR5010 and the X3300, but you managed to find both step up models at the same price! That's really incredible. You've had good luck with their site before?

I'm pretty unfamiliar with Chane as a brand on the whole. Perhaps it's due to the fact I'm just getting in the hobby . Open question to everyone- what's your opinion on their overall quality?
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post #13 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
Chane. Two A5s and one 2.4 will do the trick. Add a Rythmic L12 when funds become available, then spend some quality time integrating the sub into the system, so you have nice even frequency response.
My A5's are getting delivered this Tuesday and I have dual LV12R's for them to be friends with so I like your advice. I talked to Jon about the A2.4's time frame and he said they were still several weeks out. I'll run a phantom center till then I guess. Excited to listen to the towers though.

Sent from my 710C using Tapatalk
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Boston M350 and they are new in the box
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...specifications
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post #15 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by AudioNewGuy View Post
Thanks for your thoughts! I was originally looking at the SR5010 and the X3300, but you managed to find both step up models at the same price! That's really incredible. You've had good luck with their site before?

I'm pretty unfamiliar with Chane as a brand on the whole. Perhaps it's due to the fact I'm just getting in the hobby . Open question to everyone- what's your opinion on their overall quality?
I have bought (2) AVR's from Acc4less. One a Marantz, the other a Denon and have had zero issues with either of them. Extremely good customer service to say the least. Down the road, I will upgrade avr's again and will buy form Acc4less yet again. As for the Chane speakers, just do a bit of research and you will find that they are very well received and offer a HUGE bang for your buck. I hope to be ordering a single A2.4 and a set of the A1.4's very soon. Got my fronts already taken care of. To be honest with you, I would opt for (3) of the A2.4's across the front with a set of the A1.4's in the rear. Personally, I am NOT a tower guy. Really like a MTM design myself. Thus, (3) A2.4's across the front followed by a set of the A1.4's in the rear would be AWESOME! Especially, if you also buy a very capable sub or subs! Love my dual PSA S1500's! Highly recommend them.

Cheers,

Phil
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Originally Posted by Madmax67 View Post
My A5's are getting delivered this Tuesday and I have dual LV12R's for them to be friends with so I like your advice. I talked to Jon about the A2.4's time frame and he said they were still several weeks out. I'll run a phantom center till then I guess. Excited to listen to the towers though.

Sent from my 710C using Tapatalk
Yeah, the A2.4 is no doubt going to be something very special. Have my fronts taken care of, but do plan to order a single A2.4 for a center and a set of the A1.4's for rears! Really looking forward to it! Sounds like YOU are as well. Congrats on the A5's! Be sure to share your thoughts onthem. And, as always, we love some PICS!

Cheers,

Phil
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Originally Posted by audiofreak38 View Post
Yeah, the A2.4 is no doubt going to be something very special. Have my fronts taken care of, but do plan to order a single A2.4 for a center and a set of the A1.4's for rears! Really looking forward to it! Sounds like YOU are as well. Congrats on the A5's! Be sure to share your thoughts onthem. And, as always, we love some PICS!

Cheers,

Phil
Oh yeah I'm excited. My plan was to wait on the new A2.4 and get my feet wet that way but Chane ran a sale and I just figured I'd jump in. I have horned speakers now but I've had domed tweeters before that so my ear can adjust to different sounds. I was just ready for a change and I kept hearing about Jon's speakers and reading shootouts where the Chane's did incredibly well with some pretty experienced ears so I took the leap of faith but I don't doubt it will be rewarded. Then I'll do like you're planning to do and get the A2.4 and I'm not sure on the surrounds. I have wide dispersion monopoles as side surrounds now and I'm within about 4 feet or so of them on either side so I don't know what having a dedicated bookshelf speaker like the A1.4 would sound like as side surrounds that close. Tempting to finally have everything all around match for once though .

-Tom

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post #18 of 42 Old 06-11-2016, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by AudioNewGuy View Post
Thanks for your thoughts! I was originally looking at the SR5010 and the X3300, but you managed to find both step up models at the same price! That's really incredible. You've had good luck with their site before?

I'm pretty unfamiliar with Chane as a brand on the whole. Perhaps it's due to the fact I'm just getting in the hobby . Open question to everyone- what's your opinion on their overall quality?
This is a few years old but it's the Chane A5's in an under $1000 tower shootout with some pretty impressive competing speakers for 2 channel listening but I believe a speaker great for music can also do really well with movies. It's a good read and covers several different types of speaker designs. Chane has redesigned the A5's a bit since this time but their philosophy is incremental changes not dramatic so much of this review I believe is relevant to the current iteration of the Chane A5.


http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...t-results.html

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Originally Posted by Madmax67 View Post
This is a few years old but it's the Chane A5's in an under $1000 tower shootout with some pretty impressive competing speakers for 2 channel listening but I believe a speaker great for music can also do really well with movies. It's a good read and covers several different types of speaker designs. Chane has redesigned the A5's a bit since this time but their philosophy is incremental changes not dramatic so much of this review I believe is relevant to the current iteration of the Chane A5.

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Very good read, appreciate you pointing this out! Ultimately, these will be both my TV / Music speakers- good to know the A5s can do them both well!
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Originally Posted by Madmax67 View Post
My A5's are getting delivered this Tuesday and I have dual LV12R's for them to be friends with so I like your advice. I talked to Jon about the A2.4's time frame and he said they were still several weeks out. I'll run a phantom center till then I guess. Excited to listen to the towers though.

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Would love to see some pics and your impressions once fully set up! Let us know what tracks you take them through / any movies you watch =]
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedie95 View Post
Just throwing it out there, but the Definitive Technology 8XXX speakers (predecessors to the 9XXX that you liked) are on clearance at many places now since they are the "old" model. You could pick up a pair of the BP8060STs for under $1K and they would have a little more oomph for your space than the BP9040ST. You would probably want a separate sub or two eventually, but they're plenty capable on the low end frequencies.
I saw that as well. I've also been reading in other parts of the forum that most folks actually enjoy the BP7000 series more than the 8000s and in the reviews of the 9000s. I'm actually warming up more and more to the Chane A5's then eventually building a true 5.1 surround between them an A2.4 and an A1.4. Still chugging along though!
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post #23 of 42 Old 06-14-2016, 12:58 PM
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In this thread the thread starter upgraded from Elac Bookshelves which he hated to some 1/2 priced Def Tecs and is mighty pleased.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-spe...ggestions.html
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Originally Posted by AudioNewGuy View Post
I'm looking forward to building my first home theatre surround sound system (though will be used for music) and I wanted to get an opinion from the folks here as to what would be the best way to start. My room is a 20x20x13 open concept living / dining room. My budget for start will be about 2K to 2.2K.

Right now for a receiver I've been looking at the Marantz SR5010 and the Denon X3300. I plan on purchasing a 4K TV so the pass through is a must. Also with wide variety of speakers I've been looking at, I think these two models could drive everything.

My question to the collective group here is where is the best bang for my buck in obtaining a tower speaker pair for under $1300?
That's a pretty big room with all the open space. I'd say skip the towers, just get a good pair of easy to drive (high sensitivity, 8 ohms impedance) speakers with a robust sub (Hsu VTF-3/VTF-15H) or maybe even two of them. Some good candidates like the Chanes have been mentioned although again, I don't think you necessarily need TOWERS unless you have a strong preference for their looks.

I'd add the Ascend 340SE to the list...I used to have them for my front stage in a huge open plan, cathedral-ceilinged living room and even with a cheap $250 AVR they achieved reference levels easily and cleanly, with impeccably clear natural sound that was perfect for HT and quite good for music (some HT speakers can't do music very well). These now come with free return shipping, unlike most of the other options mentioned.

The Hsu HB-1 and HC-1 are also worth looking into, if you want more compact and WAF-friendly cabinets.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #25 of 42 Old 06-14-2016, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm.. Never heard of Fluance, I'll need to do some ready into them.

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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
In this thread the thread starter upgraded from Elac Bookshelves which he hated to some 1/2 priced Def Tecs and is mighty pleased.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-spe...ggestions.html
Appreciate the thread suggestion, I'll get to reading!
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
That's a pretty big room with all the open space. I'd say skip the towers, just get a good pair of easy to drive (high sensitivity, 8 ohms impedance) speakers with a robust sub (Hsu VTF-3/VTF-15H) or maybe even two of them. Some good candidates like the Chanes have been mentioned although again, I don't think you necessarily need TOWERS unless you have a strong preference for their looks.

I'd add the Ascend 340SE to the list...I used to have them for my front stage in a huge open plan, cathedral-ceilinged living room and even with a cheap $250 AVR they achieved reference levels easily and cleanly, with impeccably clear natural sound that was perfect for HT and quite good for music (some HT speakers can't do music very well). These now come with free return shipping, unlike most of the other options mentioned.

The Hsu HB-1 and HC-1 are also worth looking into, if you want more compact and WAF-friendly cabinets.
Thanks Zorba, I appreciate the input. I am a bit partial towards towers, I don't plan on wall mounting my new TV- so I think the towers would look sharp on either side of my stand. In terms of a sub, I'm leaning towards a Rythmik L12. The reviews are solid and I think it would fill up my space well.

All in all, my plan is to create a 5.1 experience when I get the money =]. Start with towers, add a center channel & sub, then look for bookshelves in the rear. I've been leaning towards the Chane A5s, and then eventually add their other pieces. That said, the Ascends you mentioned are enticing and I'll need to continue to do my homework
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post #27 of 42 Old 06-14-2016, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by AudioNewGuy View Post
Thanks Zorba, I appreciate the input. I am a bit partial towards towers, I don't plan on wall mounting my new TV- so I think the towers would look sharp on either side of my stand. In terms of a sub, I'm leaning towards a Rythmik L12. The reviews are solid and I think it would fill up my space well.

All in all, my plan is to create a 5.1 experience when I get the money =]. Start with towers, add a center channel & sub, then look for bookshelves in the rear. I've been leaning towards the Chane A5s, and then eventually add their other pieces. That said, the Ascends you mentioned are enticing and I'll need to continue to do my homework
The L12 is a sealed sub...sure it's attractive with its small footprint, but it's going to produce maybe 1/2 or 1/3 as much output as its larger ported brother the LV12R. In that space I think you would end up regretting your choice.

FWIW, if you have small kids or large frisky dogs, the Ascends do have optional OEM stands that are sand fillable to +100lbs each, they'd be pretty much bulletproof esp. since the drivers would be 24" off the ground, safe from little hands.
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/image..._stand1_hr.jpg

But they actually don't look bad on normal stands, either:
https://www.avsforum.com/photopost/da...0_picture.jpeg

Another option might be this NHT, which has built-in Atmos height speakers (if you have no interest in Atmos like me, disregard of course):
http://www.nhthifi.com/products/1655...846-subwoofers

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #28 of 42 Old 06-15-2016, 06:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
The L12 is a sealed sub...sure it's attractive with its small footprint, but it's going to produce maybe 1/2 or 1/3 as much output as its larger ported brother the LV12R. In that space I think you would end up regretting your choice.

FWIW, if you have small kids or large frisky dogs, the Ascends do have optional OEM stands that are sand fillable to +100lbs each, they'd be pretty much bulletproof esp. since the drivers would be 24" off the ground, safe from little hands.
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/image..._stand1_hr.jpg

But they actually don't look bad on normal stands, either:
https://www.avsforum.com/photopost/da...0_picture.jpeg

Another option might be this NHT, which has built-in Atmos height speakers (if you have no interest in Atmos like me, disregard of course):
http://www.nhthifi.com/products/1655...846-subwoofers
I'm not crazy about Atmos, not yet at least. Perhaps when I own a home and have a dedicated theatre room I would consider, but not at my current place. The Ascends certainly do look good mounted- appreciate you passing along links. When it comes to subs, would you mind pointing out the main differences between sealed and ported? The LV12R is negligibly priced versus the L12. My basic understanding is a ported sub allows for more 'boom' so to speak? As in the air within the box travels in and out vs. a sealed sub where the air is contained.
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post #29 of 42 Old 06-15-2016, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by AudioNewGuy View Post
Hey Guys-

Avid reader, first time poster!

I'm looking forward to building my first home theatre surround sound system (though will be used for music) and I wanted to get an opinion from the folks here as to what would be the best way to start. My room is a 20x20x13 open concept living / dining room. My budget for start will be about 2K to 2.2K.

Right now for a receiver I've been looking at the Marantz SR5010 and the Denon X3300. I plan on purchasing a 4K TV so the pass through is a must. Also with wide variety of speakers I've been looking at, I think these two models could drive everything.

My question to the collective group here is where is the best bang for my buck in obtaining a tower speaker pair for under $1300?

I've seen rave reviews of the new ELAC UF5s, though the fact that they need to be driven by a true 4ohm capable receiver scares me a bit. I recently demo'd the new Def Tech BP9040s with the A90 Atmos add on and they sounded superb. But the Def Tech's have an 8" sub built into the tower- is the quality there or would it best to purchase a stand alone sub? I also have a friend that owns the Klipsch R-28F which sound phenominal.

The ELACs run $1000 for a pair, BP9040s at $1300 before the A90 add on, and lastly the Klipschs are at $900 a pair.

Down the line, in a perfect world with more disposable income, I'd love to add a channel center and a true subwoofer. Are the speakers im looking at now good for the money? Any suggestions on which would be best or other models I should be looking at for my setup?

Looking forward to everyone's thoughts! Thanks!
For budget towers, have you considered EMP Tek: http://emptek.com/r55ti.php

Audioholics gave those a performance rating of 4.0, and a value rating of 4.5: https://www.audioholics.com/tower-sp...s/emptek-e55ti

I've not heard those towers, specifically, but I have a pair of matching bookshelves (R5Bi) last weekend and I'm really loving them...

I know many on here recommend going lower-budget on the AVR and something like horns (or other high-sensitivity) for tweeters, but just to play devil's advocate:

1) The speaker recommendations regarding efficiency is great advice... If you like horns or ribbons. I don't have experience with ribbons, but as far as horns go, if you find them to be a little edgy and fatiguing, as I do, this recommendation doesn't work as well...

2) The consequence of this is, if you prefer these dome tweeters (that typically come with lower sensitivity ratings), AND you want to (try, at least) future-proof yourself with the latest audio codec support (TrueHD, DTS-HD-MA, Atmos, DTSX, etc) and you want HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 and 4K support... AND the ability to eventually add pre-outs in the future, if you ever find yourself wanting/needing more power... well... suddenly site's like Denon's start "filtering" you towards the higher end of their offerings.

I don't disagree that for 2-channel music, your budget is much better allocated on the speakers than it is on the AVR... just in terms of sound quality, what speakers you choose will play a much bigger role than what AVR you hook them up to. It's only when you complicate matters with just exactly what all Home Theater capabilities you want, do you I find myself (unfortunately) staring at AVRs with sticker prices well beyond what I wanted to pay...

JMO.
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post #30 of 42 Old 06-15-2016, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by AudioNewGuy View Post
I'm not crazy about Atmos, not yet at least. Perhaps when I own a home and have a dedicated theatre room I would consider, but not at my current place. The Ascends certainly do look good mounted- appreciate you passing along links. When it comes to subs, would you mind pointing out the main differences between sealed and ported? The LV12R is negligibly priced versus the L12. My basic understanding is a ported sub allows for more 'boom' so to speak? As in the air within the box travels in and out vs. a sealed sub where the air is contained.
You are correct. A ported subwoofer is able to draw air into and push air out of the box (the "port" is a giant air vent), which allows the driver to move more freely... as a result, they end up being able to hit a little harder and and drop down a little lower.

The result of this "more free motion" is that it takes more to get them to STOP MOVING when it's appropriate for them to NOT move... which is why sealed subwoofers are often described as "more musical" and "more articulate".

IMO, if you are shopping "on the cheap" at a big box store, it would be accurate to call the Ported subs "big louder fart boxes that are better for movies" and the sealed subs to be "smaller quieter more accurate subwoofers that are better for music". However, if you have some budget to allocate, I believe if you call a quality subwoofer company like SVS they will tell you that ALL their subwoofers (ported and sealed alike) are all designed and built well, with proper amps and magnets to get them to both start and stop quickly and accurately... and that the primary tradeoff in ported-vs-sealed is size-vs-output (that's what they told me when I called, at least). If you have the floor space to allocate, and you're ordering from a quality vendor like that, I'd go Ported, and benefit from the extra SPL and frequency response. JMO.
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