Best 5.1 system for ~$5000 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 29 Old 02-20-2020, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Best 5.1 system for ~$5000

Hey all so I am looking to spend up to $5000 on a new 5.1 system. This is going to be in a large (mostly enclosed) media space (18ft x 23 ft) with a large projector screen (120in - 150in). This will be exclusively used for movies and occasional TV. Already have a pair of in ceiling atmos speakers installed to the sides of the seating position (not included in the 5k). I have been leaning towards the SVS Ultra tower package (2 ultra towers, 2 ultra surround and 1 ultra center) for $3500 (I do not need a bundled system, willing to buy separate speakers if it makes sense) + a PB-3000 sub for $1400, but wanted to get other opinions before pulling the trigger. So if you had $5000 and a large movie room what would you recommend?


https://www.svsound.com/products/ult...rround-package
https://www.svsound.com/products/pb-3000

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post #2 of 29 Old 02-20-2020, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by t0g View Post
Hey all so I am looking to spend up to $5000 on a new 5.1 system. This is going to be in a large (mostly enclosed) media space (18ft x 23 ft) with a large projector screen (120in - 150in). This will be exclusively used for movies and occasional TV. Already have a pair of in ceiling atmos speakers installed to the sides of the seating position (not included in the 5k). I have been leaning towards the SVS Ultra tower package (2 ultra towers, 2 ultra surround and 1 ultra center) for $3500 (I do not need a bundled system, willing to buy separate speakers if it makes sense) + a PB-3000 sub for $1400, but wanted to get other opinions before pulling the trigger. So if you had $5000 and a large movie room what would you recommend?


https://www.svsound.com/products/ult...rround-package
https://www.svsound.com/products/pb-3000
For your sub, I'd either go with a HSU VTF-15H MK2, a PSA V1512 or a Rythmik FV15HP + this bundle: https://www.chanemusiccinema.com/ind...ew&bundle_id=8

The HSU sub is the least expensive, and could be the best-bang-for-buck sub on that list (unless someone corrects me).

That'll run you less than half to just a bit more than half of your budget, and could arguably run circles around the SVS speakers. You could even run dual HSU VTF-15Hs, and still be well under budget.

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post #3 of 29 Old 02-20-2020, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by t0g View Post
Hey all so I am looking to spend up to $5000 on a new 5.1 system. This is going to be in a large (mostly enclosed) media space (18ft x 23 ft) with a large projector screen (120in - 150in). This will be exclusively used for movies and occasional TV. Already have a pair of in ceiling atmos speakers installed to the sides of the seating position (not included in the 5k). I have been leaning towards the SVS Ultra tower package (2 ultra towers, 2 ultra surround and 1 ultra center) for $3500 (I do not need a bundled system, willing to buy separate speakers if it makes sense) + a PB-3000 sub for $1400, but wanted to get other opinions before pulling the trigger. So if you had $5000 and a large movie room what would you recommend?


https://www.svsound.com/products/ult...rround-package
https://www.svsound.com/products/pb-3000
PSA! Compression drives, highly efficient requiring little power to drive. Clear and intelligibility dialogue and great imaging.
https://www.powersoundaudio.com/
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post #5 of 29 Old 02-20-2020, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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PSA! Compression drives, highly efficient requiring little power to drive. Clear and intelligibility dialogue and great imaging.
https://www.powersoundaudio.com/

The PSA speakers look great, but looks like it would be $4900 just for the 5 speakers (no sub), which is putting me way over budget. Unless there is some bundle discount I am missing?
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post #6 of 29 Old 02-20-2020, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by t0g View Post
The PSA speakers look great, but looks like it would be $4900 just for the 5 speakers (no sub), which is putting me way over budget. Unless there is some bundle discount I am missing?
The Chane 5.5 bundle + Dual HSU VTF-15H MK2 subwoofers will run you $3216... just sayin'...
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post #7 of 29 Old 02-20-2020, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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The Chane 5.5 bundle + Dual HSU VTF-15H MK2 subwoofers will run you $3216... just sayin'...

So I have never heard of Chane, and them being only $1500 worries me. This is the same price as my Klipsch setup which I'm not in love with. The towers only have 1 review which also worries me. The HSU subs have been on my radar and I have nothing against those (I figured if I was going to go with the SVS ultra speakers I might as well grab the SVS sub since it gets a package discount). If money was no object, say you were given $5000 use it or lose it, would you still go with the Chane + HSU set up and lose the $1800?



The PSAs are more expensive, but if they totally blow everything else away I might be able to convince the wife to let me spend a little more to get the best sound. I am looking for something that can last me many years to come and that I don't have to start upgrading right away.
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post #8 of 29 Old 02-20-2020, 05:47 PM
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Never be put off by low pricing. Low pricing doesn't mean low value. Chane is a reputable brand and they should be on your list of speakers to audition. They do however have a relatively low sensitivity and so will need more power to drive them.



That being said, many folks here will steer you toward PSA, particularly with a movie-only system. The sensitivity is off the charts.



Most ID (Internet Direct) companies have a great return policy. Get some different towers in your house and listen. Keep the ones that speak to you the most. If you get some that don't do what you want them to do, return them. Crutchfield also has a pretty liberal return policy.


For a movie-only system I've never heard anyone even remotely dismiss PSA, quite the opposite actually.
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post #9 of 29 Old 02-20-2020, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t0g View Post
Hey all so I am looking to spend up to $5000 on a new 5.1 system. This is going to be in a large (mostly enclosed) media space (18ft x 23 ft) with a large projector screen (120in - 150in). This will be exclusively used for movies and occasional TV. Already have a pair of in ceiling atmos speakers installed to the sides of the seating position (not included in the 5k). I have been leaning towards the SVS Ultra tower package (2 ultra towers, 2 ultra surround and 1 ultra center) for $3500 (I do not need a bundled system, willing to buy separate speakers if it makes sense) + a PB-3000 sub for $1400, but wanted to get other opinions before pulling the trigger. So if you had $5000 and a large movie room what would you recommend?
L & R
Canton Chrono SL 596 DC (Accessories4less: 599.99 ea).....I own these speakers.

Center
Canton Vento 866.2 (Accessories4less:$899.99)...The Vento is a step above the Chrono SL's.

Surrounds
Canton Chrono SL 526.2 (Accessories4less:$549.99 pair)

$2,649.96

Made in Germany

In my opinion, Canton Chrono SL's are better than B&W 703S2's and every bit as good (better to me) as Focal Aria 936.

Here is a comparison of an older Canton Chrono 509 DC's vs Focal Aria 936.
The Chrono SL's 596 DC's are a step above and newer than Chrono 509 DC's.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Z9uq7DIWYg

For subwoofer I would get at 2- SVS SB-2000 (or comparable).
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post #10 of 29 Old 02-20-2020, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by t0g View Post
The PSA speakers look great, but looks like it would be $4900 just for the 5 speakers (no sub), which is putting me way over budget. Unless there is some bundle discount I am missing?
I use chane for my 2ch system( I love it)
I have PSA for my front stage in my living room & my surrounds are some old ass Polk TSi100. IMO it sounds great, you don't need all five PSA speakers...you can add matching surrounds later.
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post #11 of 29 Old 02-20-2020, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gary Mertz View Post
Never be put off by low pricing. Low pricing doesn't mean low value. Chane is a reputable brand and they should be on your list of speakers to audition. They do however have a relatively low sensitivity and so will need more power to drive them.



That being said, many folks here will steer you toward PSA, particularly with a movie-only system. The sensitivity is off the charts.



Most ID (Internet Direct) companies have a great return policy. Get some different towers in your house and listen. Keep the ones that speak to you the most. If you get some that don't do what you want them to do, return them. Crutchfield also has a pretty liberal return policy.


For a movie-only system I've never heard anyone even remotely dismiss PSA, quite the opposite actually.

I guess I never thought about doing trial runs. I assumed return shipping would be a huge pain. It looks like PSA doesn't do free return shipping and I assume that would cost me an arm and a leg to return those beasts.
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post #12 of 29 Old 02-20-2020, 07:09 PM
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I guess I never thought about doing trial runs. I assumed return shipping would be a huge pain. It looks like PSA doesn't do free return shipping and I assume that would cost me an arm and a leg to return those beasts.
IMHO you don't need towers. Three MTM210 for a front stage is perfect. That's only just under 3k.
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post #13 of 29 Old 02-20-2020, 07:21 PM
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So I have never heard of Chane, and them being only $1500 worries me. This is the same price as my Klipsch setup which I'm not in love with. The towers only have 1 review which also worries me. The HSU subs have been on my radar and I have nothing against those (I figured if I was going to go with the SVS ultra speakers I might as well grab the SVS sub since it gets a package discount). If money was no object, say you were given $5000 use it or lose it, would you still go with the Chane + HSU set up and lose the $1800?



The PSAs are more expensive, but if they totally blow everything else away I might be able to convince the wife to let me spend a little more to get the best sound. I am looking for something that can last me many years to come and that I don't have to start upgrading right away.
Chane is a very highly-regarded ID company around here. You can ask around, I know you'd get a lot of positive responses - they're amongst the most-recommended speaker brands on these forums. Don't let the price scare you off because sometimes that does not indicate the quality. You'd definitely be getting way more speaker per dollar with the Chanes than the SVS speakers, that's the beauty of ID companies.

If money was absolutely no object, for a bit more than 6k I'd go with Ascend Acoustics Sierra towers + Horizon center + Sierra 2EX surrounds + the pair of HSU subs (but I'd do the ULS-15 MK2s because I prefer sealed subs). That's probably my dream set up.

And you wouldn't be losing the $1800 so much as having that money to re-allocate towards something else (like a really nice receiver or something since you guys don't get gouged out the wazoo in the US on that stuff).
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
Chane is a very highly-regarded ID company around here. You can ask around, I know you'd get a lot of positive responses - they're amongst the most-recommended speaker brands on these forums. Don't let the price scare you off because sometimes that does not indicate the quality. You'd definitely be getting way more speaker per dollar with the Chanes than the SVS speakers, that's the beauty of ID companies.
Why is it amongst the most recommended speaker?

Could it be that there are more posts asking for recommendations with limited budgets (Less than $1500 ) vs posts with 5k budgets?

I believe it’s important to consider the audience who will be providing the positive response.

The beauty of ID companies such as Chane or Emotiva is that they provide a budget speaker at a budget price.

Fact is, neither will hold a candle to brands like Revel, Focal, Canton, Martin Logan, or B&W.

Even the low end models of these brands are better, let alone the higher end models.

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post #15 of 29 Old 02-21-2020, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by t0g View Post
Hey all so I am looking to spend up to $5000 on a new 5.1 system. This is going to be in a large (mostly enclosed) media space (18ft x 23 ft) with a large projector screen (120in - 150in). This will be exclusively used for movies and occasional TV. Already have a pair of in ceiling atmos speakers installed to the sides of the seating position (not included in the 5k). I have been leaning towards the SVS Ultra tower package (2 ultra towers, 2 ultra surround and 1 ultra center) for $3500 (I do not need a bundled system, willing to buy separate speakers if it makes sense) + a PB-3000 sub for $1400, but wanted to get other opinions before pulling the trigger. So if you had $5000 and a large movie room what would you recommend?


https://www.svsound.com/products/ult...rround-package
https://www.svsound.com/products/pb-3000
I would go over to Ascend Acoustics (http://www.ascendacoustics.com/) and look at what they offer. For a room the size you have, you do not necessarily need large towers. I have a friend who has a HT room almost twice the size of your room (by volume). He has some of the least expensive Ascend speakers offered and his setup blows me away. The first time I watched Ironman, OMG, it was off-the-chart fantastic. He also has a 120" screen. His Ascend speakers are (3) CMT-340SE and (2) HTM-200. He also has an HSU sub. With your budget, you could get Ascend's top-of-the-line speakers. They also sell Rythmik subs.

Post in their forum and you most likely will get a reply from Dave Fabrikant, the owner and speaker designer.

The Ascend website is a little dated but is supposedly being redone.

http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/for...es-Electronics
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post #16 of 29 Old 02-21-2020, 01:17 PM
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Use an acoustically transparent screen, so you can place the speakers properly behind it. That approach will also allow you to forego the horizontal center scenario, and employ three identical speakers for the front.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #17 of 29 Old 02-21-2020, 03:26 PM
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Why is it the most recommended speaker?

Could it be that there are more posts asking for recommendations with limited budgets (Less than $1500 ) vs posts with 5k budgets?

I believe it’s important to consider the audience who will be providing the positive response.

The beauty of ID companies such as Chane or Emotiva is that they provide a budget speaker at a budget price.

Fact is, neither will hold a candle to brands like Revel, Focal, Canton, Martin Logan, or B&W.

Even the low end models of these brands are better, let alone the higher end models.
Well, I said it was amongst the most recommended, not the most.

And no, ID companies offer more speaker per dollar than Revel, Focal, ML, B&W, etc...
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Well, I said it was amongst the most recommended, not the most.

And no, ID companies offer more speaker per dollar than Revel, Focal, ML, B&W, etc...
My apologies... I edited my post.
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post #19 of 29 Old 02-21-2020, 04:21 PM
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The beauty of ID companies such as Chane or Emotiva is that they provide a budget speaker at a budget price.
Fact is, neither will hold a candle to brands like Revel, Focal, Canton, Martin Logan, or B&W.
Even the low end models of these brands are better, let alone the higher end models.
That's extremely debatable.

Especially when the OP's usage is 100% movies/TV, zero critical music listening where subtle nuances would actually be discernible.
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IMHO you don't need towers. Three MTM210 for a front stage is perfect. That's only just under 3k.
@t0g - This.

But to be honest, unless you see yourself regularly blasting movies at reference levels (85db and up), the 90-92 sensitivity speakers like Ascend 340SE or Klipsch RP series (albeit a slight brightness risk) would be plenty. The Klipsch RP have prettier cabinets, if that is important to you; the Ascend will be more neutral. Chane, Emotiva, and HTD (Level 3) are also other internet-direct companies worth considering.

And instead of one PB3000, you'd be better off wiht 2 x PB2000 or 2 x Hsu VTF-2 or 2 x Rythmik LV12-F subs.

~ 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 #21 of 29 Old 02-23-2020, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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@t0g - This.

But to be honest, unless you see yourself regularly blasting movies at reference levels (85db and up), the 90-92 sensitivity speakers like Ascend 340SE or Klipsch RP series (albeit a slight brightness risk) would be plenty. The Klipsch RP have prettier cabinets, if that is important to you; the Ascend will be more neutral. Chane, Emotiva, and HTD (Level 3) are also other internet-direct companies worth considering.

And instead of one PB3000, you'd be better off wiht 2 x PB2000 or 2 x Hsu VTF-2 or 2 x Rythmik LV12-F subs.

Yeah I will probably never get close to reference levels since I have two kids under 5, and when I do want to turn up the volume I don't want to wake them up by shaking their rooms two floors up. I wanted to get some type of tower speakers because I figured stands would be more prone to getting knocked over by kids running around. I just want the best sound in that price range for "conversational" volumes (if that's a thing) because with kids that's what I will be tied to most the time.... but I also want to be able to show off the system on some action movies when need be. I guess this means the PSAs would probably be overkill for my needs. The Ascends seem like a good compromise.. I am surprised no one has anything good to say about the SVS speakers, saw tons of good reviews for them elsewhere.
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post #22 of 29 Old 02-23-2020, 07:56 AM
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Yeah I will probably never get close to reference levels since I have two kids under 5, and when I do want to turn up the volume I don't want to wake them up by shaking their rooms two floors up. I wanted to get some type of tower speakers because I figured stands would be more prone to getting knocked over by kids running around. I just want the best sound in that price range for "conversational" volumes (if that's a thing) because with kids that's what I will be tied to most the time.... but I also want to be able to show off the system on some action movies when need be. I guess this means the PSAs would probably be overkill for my needs. The Ascends seem like a good compromise.. I am surprised no one has anything good to say about the SVS speakers, saw tons of good reviews for them elsewhere.
These would be good options for hi fidelity at a reasonable price.
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post #23 of 29 Old 02-23-2020, 06:44 PM
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The Ascends seem like a good compromise.. I am surprised no one has anything good to say about the SVS speakers, saw tons of good reviews for them elsewhere.
SVS has world-class customer service and solid products (except for the Prime series, lol), plus a great website that I wish Ascend would emulate, but otherwise Ascend simply slaughters them in price-to-performance, as does most of their internet-direct competitors like Hsu, Rythmik, Emotiva, etc. (Excluding their once a year Black Friday sales and outlet specials.) The glowing reviews of SVS are a testament to their indisputable marketing genius, which has seen them move into retail sales at big box stores like Best Buy---and the fact that you can buy SVS products at BB for the exact *same* price as SVS sells them online direct, should tell you everything you need to know about how far your dollar ISN'T going with them.
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~ 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 #24 of 29 Old 02-24-2020, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
SVS has world-class customer service and solid products (except for the Prime series, lol), plus a great website that I wish Ascend would emulate, but otherwise Ascend simply slaughters them in price-to-performance

Which speakers offered by Ascend do you believe slaughters the SVS ultra system for cheaper? I guess at this point I need to at least give them a try since everyone seems to love them around here! They have so many choices and not sure what the difference is between them all (other than price). I am assuming the CMT-340s or Sierra 1 since their sierra towers + horizon are much more expensive? One of my main issues with Ascend is that I need to wall mount the surround sound speakers, and wall mounting a large bookshelf speaker would look odd in this room imo. I love the look of the PSA MT-110SR and SVS Ultra Surrounds for wall mounting.
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post #25 of 29 Old 02-24-2020, 06:53 AM
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Which speakers offered by Ascend do you believe slaughters the SVS ultra system for cheaper?
  • Ascend Sierra 1 ($680/pr) over Ultra bookshelf ($1000/pr)


I was mainly referring to the Prime series:
  • Ascend 170SE ($300/pr for single 6.5" woofers) and 340SE ($500/pr for dual 6.5" woofers) over Prime bookshelf ($500/pr for single 6.5" woofer)
  • Ascend 200SE ($300/pr) for dual 4" woofers over Prime sats ($270/pr for single 4" woofer)
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~ 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 #26 of 29 Old 02-24-2020, 07:56 AM
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Why is it amongst the most recommended speaker?

Could it be that there are more posts asking for recommendations with limited budgets (Less than $1500 ) vs posts with 5k budgets?

I believe it’s important to consider the audience who will be providing the positive response.

The beauty of ID companies such as Chane or Emotiva is that they provide a budget speaker at a budget price.

Fact is, neither will hold a candle to brands like Revel, Focal, Canton, Martin Logan, or B&W.

Even the low end models of these brands are better, let alone the higher end models.
i would tend to agree with this thought .. though there are caveats , such as, Canton, and Focal do make budget fare that is likely *the same* level as Emo, Chane.. and B&W are very hit and miss sound wise , lots of folks that like balanced sound don't care for them...but.. Revel, Dynaudio , Salk(and others) make "entry level" speakers that play true(er) to sound and have *better* hardware as well...there is some nice stuff to be had at below the OP's budget.. NHT, Ascend, polk,can be added to the list in that vein..
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post #27 of 29 Old 02-24-2020, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by t0g View Post
Which speakers offered by Ascend do you believe slaughters the SVS ultra system for cheaper? I guess at this point I need to at least give them a try since everyone seems to love them around here! They have so many choices and not sure what the difference is between them all (other than price). I am assuming the CMT-340s or Sierra 1 since their sierra towers + horizon are much more expensive? One of my main issues with Ascend is that I need to wall mount the surround sound speakers, and wall mounting a large bookshelf speaker would look odd in this room imo. I love the look of the PSA MT-110SR and SVS Ultra Surrounds for wall mounting.
The Sierra Luna is front-ported and can be mounted. Pricey but worth it. I would go to the Ascend site and send them an email if you are interested in their speakers. Tell them your budget and what your likes are. Ascend is one of the classiest speaker companies around. I have Sierra-1s from 10 years ago. Will be upgrading soon.
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post #28 of 29 Old 02-25-2020, 01:43 PM
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Fwiw... here's my experience. I was a newbie(still a newbie) about 7 years ago and researched the speakers at the time to death. Went with Cambridge S70s first. Returned them and bought JBL530s for Left and Right and 520c for the center. Bought a HSU sub VTF15H(now there is a newer MK2 version).

My surrounds in my home theater are in-wall and do ok. When I play movies for my kids or guests, it feels great to see them startled in certain scenes and they comment that my setup is better than XD digital in Cinemark.

So what I am trying to say is that if you look into the speaker recommendation threads for the last 1 year or so between ($1000 and $5000) and pick one of the top five setups, you will be fine with it. For a non-audiophile like me that watches mostly movies and listens to some music, any of the top 5 speakers recommendeded here will be great.

That said, my setup of JBL530s($600 for a pair) and JBL520c(approx $350) and a HSU VTF 15h~$1000 is phenomenal even for larger rooms. If you like, you can add one more VTF 15H.

Also, I get your need for towers - JBL 590 go on sale time to time($1000 for a pair instead of each). Buy 3 if you can use an acoustically transparent screen.

You could start with 530s and when you buy the 590s, you can move 530s to use as surrounds although I think that is extreme overkill.

My 2 cents FWIW.
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post #29 of 29 Old 02-25-2020, 06:56 PM
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whatever speaker you get go for the best center you can afford.

i started with a bic venturi towers l/r and center in a 3.1 set up, i cant understand the dialogue, we hafta put the closed captioning on all the time.
bough ascends s2 for l/r and ascend sierra horizon center, we've never used the closed caption since then even british accent are easily understood.

Ascend Sierra Towers w/RAAL Left/Right, Ascend Horizon Center w/RAAL, Ascend Sierra 2 w/RAAL Surrounds, Outlaw Ultra X-12 (x2)
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