I need recommendations for a new front stage - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I need recommendations for a new front stage

Alright so I could really use some help short-listing speakers to replace my current setup of SVS Prime Towers and a center. I find the existing setup to be harsh, to not image all that well, and generally be kinda meh sounding especially for music. On the other hand I do enjoy the punch, dynamic range, and low end extension. Here are the criteria I am working with:
  • Aiming under $3,000 for all three front speakers.
  • Center channel needs to be 8" or less in height to fit in my TV stand.
  • I really value accuracy and balanced sound across a wide range of seating positions. No weird drop outs in certain frequency ranges or major tonality shifts off axis.
  • I don't like sibilance or harshness in the highs.
  • No real size limitations on the towers. I like larger woofers.
  • No gloss finishes. I repeat: NO. GLOSS.
  • It'd be nice if the speakers look great with the grills off (looking at you JBL).
It's tough to find reviews that include both good subjective and objective coverage of speakers, but I have a few candidates of interest so far. The PSB Imagine X2T and Paradigm Premiere 800f are on my radar so far. Also looking at the Ascend Sierra, although I'd have to use the Duo LCR as a center and I'm not totally sure if that is a kosher combination.



Misc info in case it's helpful: 5.2 total configuration, main listening position about 14-15 feet away. Denon X3400h driving the system but I'm open to adding/changing amplification. Room has bass traps and Gik 244 absorbers at first reflection points. Listening levels are roundabout 10-15 dB down from reference. Usage is 60% gaming, 30% movies, 10% music. I'd probably use it for music more if I enjoyed the system's musical tonality, but the emphasis is still gaming.
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post #2 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Promit View Post
Alright so I could really use some help short-listing speakers to replace my current setup of SVS Prime Towers and a center. I find the existing setup to be harsh, to not image all that well, and generally be kinda meh sounding especially for music. On the other hand I do enjoy the punch, dynamic range, and low end extension. Here are the criteria I am working with:
  • Aiming under $3,000 for all three front speakers.
  • Center channel needs to be 8" or less in height to fit in my TV stand.
  • I really value accuracy and balanced sound across a wide range of seating positions. No weird drop outs in certain frequency ranges or major tonality shifts off axis.
  • I don't like sibilance or harshness in the highs.
  • No real size limitations on the towers. I like larger woofers.
  • No gloss finishes. I repeat: NO. GLOSS.
  • It'd be nice if the speakers look great with the grills off (looking at you JBL).
It's tough to find reviews that include both good subjective and objective coverage of speakers, but I have a few candidates of interest so far. The PSB Imagine X2T and Paradigm Premiere 800f are on my radar so far. Also looking at the Ascend Sierra, although I'd have to use the Duo LCR as a center and I'm not totally sure if that is a kosher combination.

Misc info in case it's helpful: 5.2 total configuration, main listening position about 14-15 feet away. Denon X3400h driving the system but I'm open to adding/changing amplification. Room has bass traps and Gik 244 absorbers at first reflection points. Listening levels are roundabout 10-15 dB down from reference. Usage is 60% gaming, 30% movies, 10% music. I'd probably use it for music more if I enjoyed the system's musical tonality, but the emphasis is still gaming.
8" or less height limitation for the center makes you a prime candidate for the Chane A2.4 --- dual 5.25" woofers.

The "matching" tower would be their A5.5 ... ordered as a bundle, it would run you just $1200 shipped.

Or, if you're not hell bent on the "timbre matching" dogma, you could get the A2.4 center with the Sierra towers instead.

You could use the A2.4 with practically *any* L/R speakers in my opinion, because they are dead neutral, not calling any attention to themselves, while producing excellent voice clarity and throwing a huge soundstage with respectable mid-bass extension.
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post #3 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Promit View Post
It's tough to find reviews that include both good subjective and objective coverage of speakers, but I have a few candidates of interest so far. The PSB Imagine X2T and Paradigm Premiere 800f are on my radar so far. Also looking at the Ascend Sierra, although I'd have to use the Duo LCR as a center and I'm not totally sure if that is a kosher combination.

Are you totally relying on reviews/recommendations, or can you get out there and do some auditioning? What does your local market offer, if anything?

7.2.4 System: Display: Sony XBR-65X930D; Processing: Anthem AVM60
Mains:
Paradigm Prestige 85F and 55C; Side / Rear Surrounds: Totem Acoustic Tribe III / Tribe I; Amplification: D-Sonic M3a-2800-7 (7ch. x 400w)
ATMOS:
Definitive Technology DI8R; Amplification: Class D Audio SDS-470C (4ch. x 300w)
Subwoofers:
2 x SVS-SB13Ultras; Media: Oppo UDP-203, Pioneer CLD-59
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post #4 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Promit View Post
Alright so I could really use some help short-listing speakers to replace my current setup of SVS Prime Towers and a center. I find the existing setup to be harsh, to not image all that well, and generally be kinda meh sounding especially for music. On the other hand I do enjoy the punch, dynamic range, and low end extension. Here are the criteria I am working with:
  • Aiming under $3,000 for all three front speakers.
  • Center channel needs to be 8" or less in height to fit in my TV stand.
  • I really value accuracy and balanced sound across a wide range of seating positions. No weird drop outs in certain frequency ranges or major tonality shifts off axis.
  • I don't like sibilance or harshness in the highs.
  • No real size limitations on the towers. I like larger woofers.
  • No gloss finishes. I repeat: NO. GLOSS.
  • It'd be nice if the speakers look great with the grills off (looking at you JBL).
It's tough to find reviews that include both good subjective and objective coverage of speakers, but I have a few candidates of interest so far. The PSB Imagine X2T and Paradigm Premiere 800f are on my radar so far. Also looking at the Ascend Sierra, although I'd have to use the Duo LCR as a center and I'm not totally sure if that is a kosher combination.



Misc info in case it's helpful: 5.2 total configuration, main listening position about 14-15 feet away. Denon X3400h driving the system but I'm open to adding/changing amplification. Room has bass traps and Gik 244 absorbers at first reflection points. Listening levels are roundabout 10-15 dB down from reference. Usage is 60% gaming, 30% movies, 10% music. I'd probably use it for music more if I enjoyed the system's musical tonality, but the emphasis is still gaming.
Very good return policy, even on towers.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_336EV4...ck.html?tp=189

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_336EVO...4-4-Black.html

Geoff A. J., California
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post #5 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 02:17 PM
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https://www.tektondesign.com/center-channel-lp.html as your center, outfit with any Tekton L&R that fits your budget / needs. Fits the vast majority of your criteria.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #6 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Promit View Post
Alright so I could really use some help short-listing speakers to replace my current setup of SVS Prime Towers and a center. I find the existing setup to be harsh, to not image all that well, and generally be kinda meh sounding especially for music. On the other hand I do enjoy the punch, dynamic range, and low end extension. Here are the criteria I am working with:
  • Aiming under $3,000 for all three front speakers.
  • Center channel needs to be 8" or less in height to fit in my TV stand.
  • I really value accuracy and balanced sound across a wide range of seating positions. No weird drop outs in certain frequency ranges or major tonality shifts off axis.
  • I don't like sibilance or harshness in the highs.
  • No real size limitations on the towers. I like larger woofers.
  • No gloss finishes. I repeat: NO. GLOSS.
  • It'd be nice if the speakers look great with the grills off (looking at you JBL).
It's tough to find reviews that include both good subjective and objective coverage of speakers, but I have a few candidates of interest so far. The PSB Imagine X2T and Paradigm Premiere 800f are on my radar so far. Also looking at the Ascend Sierra, although I'd have to use the Duo LCR as a center and I'm not totally sure if that is a kosher combination.



Misc info in case it's helpful: 5.2 total configuration, main listening position about 14-15 feet away. Denon X3400h driving the system but I'm open to adding/changing amplification. Room has bass traps and Gik 244 absorbers at first reflection points. Listening levels are roundabout 10-15 dB down from reference. Usage is 60% gaming, 30% movies, 10% music. I'd probably use it for music more if I enjoyed the system's musical tonality, but the emphasis is still gaming.
Chane A5.5 Front Bundle (A5.5 pair + A2.4 centre channel)
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2EX + Luna Duo centre channel
HSU 3.0 bundle (HB-1 MK2 pair + HC-1 MK2 - note, I think the base isn't affixed to the speaker, and it is not glossy despite what it looks like in photos as I have a sub with the same finish, and it's more of a satin finish)
KEF Q750 + Q250c or 2 pairs of KEF Q150s, and turn one on its side for the centre channel
Monitor Audio Silver 300 + Silver 150
Emotiva T1+ pair + C1+ centre channel

Home Theatre: Marantz SR6014 | Polk Audio RTi A3 Front L/R | KEF Q650c Centre | KEF Q150 Surround L/R | HSU ULS-15 MK2 Subwoofer | Sony XBR55X900E | PS4 Pro | Xbox One S | Nintendo Switch | TBA: KEF Q750 Front L/R

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post #7 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jonas2 View Post
Are you totally relying on reviews/recommendations, or can you get out there and do some auditioning? What does your local market offer, if anything?
I have a local hifi store with a few things, notably GoldenEar. But now that COVID happened, any hope of auditioning anything in the near future has gone out the window.


I appreciate the speaker suggestions so far, and some of them have already crossed my screen. I know there are a lot of Chane boosters around in particular. But I will say that I'm not likely to buy anything unless I can find a basic FR chart for the on-axis and off-axis response, and I haven't been able to find that for a number of the suggestions. Subjective impressions are difficult to put in context on their own. For example, these numbers for the Monitor Audio Silver 200 show a wide noticeable suck-out in the mids that knocked those speakers off my short list.
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post #8 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Promit View Post
I have a local hifi store with a few things, notably GoldenEar. But now that COVID happened, any hope of auditioning anything in the near future has gone out the window.


I appreciate the speaker suggestions so far, and some of them have already crossed my screen. I know there are a lot of Chane boosters around in particular. But I will say that I'm not likely to buy anything unless I can find a basic FR chart for the on-axis and off-axis response, and I haven't been able to find that for a number of the suggestions. Subjective impressions are difficult to put in context on their own. For example, these numbers for the Monitor Audio Silver 200 show a wide noticeable suck-out in the mids that knocked those speakers off my short list.
I think its a good call to expect good objective measurement data. Relying only on subjective impressions can cause you to fall prey to popular but poorly designed speakers.

Most KEF speakers measure pretty well...I don't know if there is good data out there on all of them but their basic coax design is a pretty safe bet. Maybe the Q950?

Keep your eyes on ASR, he's measuring a lot of popular speakers, many of which don't have any published measurement data. Chane has a pretty strong following for budget speakers, maybe the company would be willing to send some to ASR to be tested, see where the rubber meets the road.
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post #9 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been looking at the Q950 but I'm coming up thin for both objective and subjective there, so I'm having to make guesses based on other speakers. They are definitely of interest though. I've also been reading a lot of ASR, sending Amir some of my equipment in fact, but there are only a few speakers so far.
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post #10 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Promit View Post
I appreciate the speaker suggestions so far, and some of them have already crossed my screen. I know there are a lot of Chane boosters around in particular. But I will say that I'm not likely to buy anything unless I can find a basic FR chart for the on-axis and off-axis response, and I haven't been able to find that for a number of the suggestions.
Someone was just asking about measurements for Chane a few weeks ago, and got them. Can't remember his name. If you go to the Chane Owners' Thread and skim through the last half dozen pages or so, you should be able to find it.

Or, you could shoot an email to @Jon Lane the owner, I'm pretty sure he could help you out.

Ascend does have tons of highly detailed charts and measurements and technical info on their website, one of the many reasons I never hesitate to recommend them too.
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post #11 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Promit View Post
Alright so I could really use some help short-listing speakers to replace my current setup of SVS Prime Towers and a center. I find the existing setup to be harsh, to not image all that well, and generally be kinda meh sounding especially for music. On the other hand I do enjoy the punch, dynamic range, and low end extension. Here are the criteria I am working with:
  • Aiming under $3,000 for all three front speakers.
  • Center channel needs to be 8" or less in height to fit in my TV stand.
  • I really value accuracy and balanced sound across a wide range of seating positions. No weird drop outs in certain frequency ranges or major tonality shifts off axis.
  • I don't like sibilance or harshness in the highs.
  • No real size limitations on the towers. I like larger woofers.
  • No gloss finishes. I repeat: NO. GLOSS.
  • It'd be nice if the speakers look great with the grills off (looking at you JBL).
It's tough to find reviews that include both good subjective and objective coverage of speakers, but I have a few candidates of interest so far. The PSB Imagine X2T and Paradigm Premiere 800f are on my radar so far. Also looking at the Ascend Sierra, although I'd have to use the Duo LCR as a center and I'm not totally sure if that is a kosher combination.



Misc info in case it's helpful: 5.2 total configuration, main listening position about 14-15 feet away. Denon X3400h driving the system but I'm open to adding/changing amplification. Room has bass traps and Gik 244 absorbers at first reflection points. Listening levels are roundabout 10-15 dB down from reference. Usage is 60% gaming, 30% movies, 10% music. I'd probably use it for music more if I enjoyed the system's musical tonality, but the emphasis is still gaming.
If you can still find the jbl studio 500 series they would or should be a nice upgrade.

Alternatively you could get a pair of the new jbl hdi 1600 bookshelf speakers and the matching center from crutchfield for a few hundred over your budget with a 60 day trial period.

What sub or subs are you using?
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post #12 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Someone was just asking about measurements for Chane a few weeks ago, and got them. Can't remember his name. If you go to the Chane Owners' Thread and skim through the last half dozen pages or so, you should be able to find it.

Or, you could shoot an email to @Jon Lane the owner, I'm pretty sure he could help you out.

Ascend does have tons of highly detailed charts and measurements and technical info on their website, one of the many reasons I never hesitate to recommend them too.
He might even be able to contact @HsuKevin to see about getting measurements for their speakers, too?
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post #13 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Promit View Post
I have a local hifi store with a few things, notably GoldenEar. But now that COVID happened, any hope of auditioning anything in the near future has gone out the window.

You might want to wait. I mean, you already have speakers, so it's not like you're out of business in the sound department! If you can stick it out and then get out there and listen to some stuff, that might be best. How firm are you on the 3K?

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Paradigm Prestige 85F and 55C; Side / Rear Surrounds: Totem Acoustic Tribe III / Tribe I; Amplification: D-Sonic M3a-2800-7 (7ch. x 400w)
ATMOS:
Definitive Technology DI8R; Amplification: Class D Audio SDS-470C (4ch. x 300w)
Subwoofers:
2 x SVS-SB13Ultras; Media: Oppo UDP-203, Pioneer CLD-59
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post #14 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
What sub or subs are you using?
Currently a pair of SVS PC-2000, but I'm in the process of DIYing up something much bigger. That said, I have this oddball belief that front towers should be crossed at 40, or 60 at a stretch, so substantial low end still matters quite a bit to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonas2 View Post
You might want to wait. I mean, you already have speakers, so it's not like you're out of business in the sound department! If you can stick it out and then get out there and listen to some stuff, that might be best. How firm are you on the 3K?
It'd have to be a really convincing argument of why I need to stretch. Auditioning is great, but the glut of ID or online-only brands means that it's of limited use in practice because there are too many options I can't try. I haven't gotten as far as checking which brands have audition-at-home policies.

Last edited by Promit; 04-04-2020 at 06:53 PM.
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post #15 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 07:11 PM
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It'd have to be a really convincing argument of why I need to stretch. Auditioning is great, but the glut of ID or online-only brands means that it's of limited use in practice because there are too many options I can't try. I haven't gotten as far as checking which brands have audition-at-home policies.

It'd only matter for brands that you might consider locally. Both PSB and Ascend that you mention do have in-home trial periods. As does Chane, I think a lot of them do really! Of course buying from a place like Crutchfield (if you want to pay MSRP) also comes with guarantees, even if the brand itself might not have a trial period.

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Definitive Technology DI8R; Amplification: Class D Audio SDS-470C (4ch. x 300w)
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2 x SVS-SB13Ultras; Media: Oppo UDP-203, Pioneer CLD-59
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post #16 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 07:16 PM
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How firm are you on the 3K?
I honestly think $3k is a rather healthy budget, and he can get some very respectable speakers for that amount of money. I would feel like I could get anything I want with that

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post #17 of 49 Old 04-04-2020, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Promit View Post
Auditioning is great, but the glut of ID or online-only brands means that it's of limited use in practice because there are too many options I can't try. I haven't gotten as far as checking which brands have audition-at-home policies.
With 90% HT/gaming usage, $3K is IMO more than enough for 3 speakers unless you're trying to get ear shattering reference levels in an auditorium-sized room.

EVERY internet-direct brand gives you a free trial period. Only a small handful (JBL & SVS for towers) provide free return shipping, however.

Problem is, if you're dead set on towers then the return shipping costs CAN quickly become painful with the non-FRS brands if you want to audition 2-3 pairs at home.

Crutchfield has a flat rate $75 return shipping on towers.

The thing is, with your usage NOT being music-focused, there are honestly A LOT of speakers that could make you equally happy. My personal strategy is, start with the least expensive ones first, then work up the price chain as (or if) needed. No need to splurge on a Porsche just to commute to work in gridlocked traffic when a Civic would do just fine.
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post #18 of 49 Old 04-05-2020, 06:22 AM
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i would have thought the audyssey xt32 ARC would have leveled the harshness out of the SVS speakers. Does it not work well?

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post #19 of 49 Old 04-05-2020, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
The thing is, with your usage NOT being music-focused, there are honestly A LOT of speakers that could make you equally happy. My personal strategy is, start with the least expensive ones first, then work up the price chain as (or if) needed. No need to splurge on a Porsche just to commute to work in gridlocked traffic when a Civic would do just fine.

This x100. I'm amazed at how many quality products get ignored just because the price tag isn't big enough.

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post #20 of 49 Old 04-05-2020, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Promit View Post
Alright so I could really use some help short-listing speakers to replace my current setup of SVS Prime Towers and a center. I find the existing setup to be harsh, to not image all that well, and generally be kinda meh sounding especially for music. On the other hand I do enjoy the punch, dynamic range, and low end extension. Here are the criteria I am working with:
  • Aiming under $3,000 for all three front speakers.
  • Center channel needs to be 8" or less in height to fit in my TV stand.
  • I really value accuracy and balanced sound across a wide range of seating positions. No weird drop outs in certain frequency ranges or major tonality shifts off axis.
  • I don't like sibilance or harshness in the highs.
  • No real size limitations on the towers. I like larger woofers.
  • No gloss finishes. I repeat: NO. GLOSS.
  • It'd be nice if the speakers look great with the grills off (looking at you JBL).
It's tough to find reviews that include both good subjective and objective coverage of speakers, but I have a few candidates of interest so far. The PSB Imagine X2T and Paradigm Premiere 800f are on my radar so far. Also looking at the Ascend Sierra, although I'd have to use the Duo LCR as a center and I'm not totally sure if that is a kosher combination.



Misc info in case it's helpful: 5.2 total configuration, main listening position about 14-15 feet away. Denon X3400h driving the system but I'm open to adding/changing amplification. Room has bass traps and Gik 244 absorbers at first reflection points. Listening levels are roundabout 10-15 dB down from reference. Usage is 60% gaming, 30% movies, 10% music. I'd probably use it for music more if I enjoyed the system's musical tonality, but the emphasis is still gaming.
I just went through a similar process and tried out a number of different speakers from Revel, JBL, Ascend, PSA, Buchardt, and Kef. The winner for me was the new JBL HDI series. They are incredibly dynamic, have a wide soundstage, powerful, and easy to listen to for movies, music, and gaming. The 4500 center channel speaker is unbelievable. It was better than the Ascend Horizon and Revel c208 in my opinion (and three other people's opinions who listed with me), and it works from a height standpoint (7.48" tall). The HDI were the most difficult to drive on paper, but my Denon x4500 handled them just fine to loud listening levels while also pushing six other surround and atmos speakers.

You could go with the HDI 1600 bookshelf speakers and the HDI 4500 center and be closer to $2k and be perfectly happy, especially if you have some solid subwoofers to handle the low end. Or, you could stretch the budget a little and get the HDI 3600 towers with the 4500 center. These come in a satin walnut and a satin gray oak which are not glossy or reflective (I prefer the gray oak but both are awesome). Shoot me a PM if you have questions or want more information on my "testing" of all these speakers. Happy to help.
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Last edited by ClemsonChad; 04-05-2020 at 07:22 AM.
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post #21 of 49 Old 04-05-2020, 07:26 AM
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I honestly think $3k is a rather healthy budget, and he can get some very respectable speakers for that amount of money. I would feel like I could get anything I want with that

It is a good budget and certainly could get excellent speakers for that price. Larger budgets simply open you up to more possibilities. It's all about where one places the line of "good enough" for one's own ears.
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7.2.4 System: Display: Sony XBR-65X930D; Processing: Anthem AVM60
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post #22 of 49 Old 04-05-2020, 07:30 AM
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https://www.tektondesign.com/center-channel-lp.html as your center, outfit with any Tekton L&R that fits your budget / needs. Fits the vast majority of your criteria.
A 2nd for Tekton. I'm running Impact Monitor's as left and right in a 7.4 setup and would recommend them.
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post #23 of 49 Old 04-05-2020, 10:11 AM
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This x100. I'm amazed at how many quality products get ignored just because the price tag isn't big enough.
Yep, "You get what you pay for" is the dominant sales pitch that most people swallow hook, line, and sinker.

And it IS true but only up to a point...a $500/pair of speakers is going to destroy a $100/pair of speakers, but the difference between a $1000/pr vs a $2000/pr is much much smaller. Especially for everyday HT not audio-nerd, reference-level HT.

~ 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 49 Old 04-05-2020, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Promit View Post
I have a local hifi store with a few things, notably GoldenEar. But now that COVID happened, any hope of auditioning anything in the near future has gone out the window.


I appreciate the speaker suggestions so far, and some of them have already crossed my screen. I know there are a lot of Chane boosters around in particular. But I will say that I'm not likely to buy anything unless I can find a basic FR chart for the on-axis and off-axis response, and I haven't been able to find that for a number of the suggestions. Subjective impressions are difficult to put in context on their own. For example, these numbers for the Monitor Audio Silver 200 show a wide noticeable suck-out in the mids that knocked those speakers off my short list.
I don't see the suckout you are seeing in the charts.

The charts for GoldenEar speakers are much worse in terms of sharply rising treble.

Crutchfield carries Revel that measure well.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #25 of 49 Old 04-05-2020, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
The charts for GoldenEar speakers are much worse in terms of sharply rising treble.
That confirms my general impression of GE, from reading user feedback: definitely on the "bright" side.

~ 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 49 Old 04-05-2020, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Promit View Post
Currently a pair of SVS PC-2000, but I'm in the process of DIYing up something much bigger.
Why not look at the DIY speakers if you're building subs?
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post #27 of 49 Old 04-05-2020, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
The charts for GoldenEar speakers are much worse in terms of sharply rising treble.
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
That confirms my general impression of GE, from reading user feedback: definitely on the "bright" side.
Ah yes, the "detail spike". The "I plugged in the speakers and heard things I've never heard before" rise. I hate when speaker designers do that.


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Originally Posted by sigpig View Post
Why not look at the DIY speakers if you're building subs?
I did and am continuing to do so in parallel. Right now I'm held back by:
1) Limited DIY bandwidth. I lost access to my makerspace and have to do this at home, to compound the challenge.
2) Very limited set of DIY designs that include a matching center in my allowable dimensions.
3) Can't exactly return/sell DIY speakers I don't like.
4) I usually try to do something unique in my DIY work, which requires design work. Designing and measuring speakers properly is rather more involved than subwoofers.
At this stage I think I'd be happier focusing on my subwoofers and finding speakers I like. Then down the line I can play with DIY and have a good reference to benchmark against.
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post #28 of 49 Old 04-05-2020, 06:22 PM
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Ah yes, the "detail spike". The "I plugged in the speakers and heard things I've never heard before" rise. I hate when speaker designers do that.
There are speakers that have no lack of detail AND no treble spike or harshness...various flat tweeters from planars to AMTs to RAAL are prized for that quality, but so are quality domes that are decently engineered, such as Ascend's.

Sorry that you ended up with SVS Primes, because they are certainly not one of them.

But don't give up just yet, and don't get suckered into thinking you have to pay much more just to find that quality.
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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 #29 of 49 Old 04-05-2020, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Good try, but there are speakers that have no lack of detail AND no treble spike or harshness...various flat tweeters from planars to AMTs to RAAL are prized for that quality, but so are quality domes that are decently engineered, such as Ascend's.

Sorry that you ended up with SVS Primes, because they are certainly not one of them.

But don't give up just yet, and don't get suckered into thinking you have to pay much more just to find that quality.
I think we're speaking in slightly different directions - of course one can have detail without a treble rise. But a treble rise is a cheap and easy way to sucker audio reviewers into thinking a speaker is detailed without solving the actual problem. Cheap ribbons also have a reputation of substituting distortion ("sparkle") for detail. But for what it's worth my music reference system is a decidedly not expensive set of Adam T7V monitors (and I've listened to the A7X as well). And yes, I'm looking hard at the AMT Wharfedales for that reason. I appreciate that buying the wrong speakers (my Primes) is not in itself an argument for more expensive speakers, but I have the capacity to throw the door open to these price points and one of my current shortlist speakers is the PSB Imagine X2T at $1400/pr.


P.S. Since you brought cars into this, I daily drive a tuned (manual, 425hp) Focus RS. I don't know where that leaves me on that front

Last edited by Promit; 04-05-2020 at 06:51 PM.
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post #30 of 49 Old 04-05-2020, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Promit View Post
I think we're speaking in slightly different directions - of course one can have detail without a treble rise. But a treble rise is a cheap and easy way to sucker audio reviewers into thinking a speaker is detailed without solving the actual problem. Cheap ribbons also have a reputation of substituting distortion ("sparkle") for detail. But for what it's worth my music reference system is a decidedly not expensive set of Adam T7V monitors (and I've listened to the A7X as well). I appreciate that buying the wrong speakers (my Primes) is not in itself an argument for more expensive speakers, but I have the capacity to throw the door open to these price points and one of my current shortlist speakers is the PSB Imagine X2T at $1400/pr.

P.S. Since you brought cars into this, I daily drive a tuned (manual, 425hp) Focus RS. I don't know where that leaves me on that front
Oh, I thought you were being sarcastic. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

I think the SVS Primes are aimed squarely at the average low-information consumer walking into Best Buy, who regularly maxes out their treble and bass settings---this is how car stereos are set at the dealership when you test drive a car. Because they do have very good mid-bass punch, and very dynamic treble, sure to win over that demographic.

I home demoed the Prime books a few years ago and sent them back within 48 hours. At $500/pr I thought they were comically bad, easily outperformed by $300 speakers like the Ascend 170SE and Emotiva B1 with a sub in play. At the same $500/pr the dual woofer Ascend 340SE would have kicked them into the next galaxy.

Similarly, I think that you could find $800/pr towers that would easily give you a big and noticeable improvement over the $1K/pr Prime towers, such as the Emotiva T1 or Chane A5.5 --- wonder how those would compare to those PSBs. But $1400/pr for towers isn't outrageous.

PS. I do have a weakness for hatchbacks (have wanted a GTI for years now), am just too cheap to blow $40K on a car, lol. Especially since I mostly bike commute to work. But I envy the stick shift and all wheel drive!
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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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