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Discussion Starter #1
So after putting it on hold for a while, I've decided to add some real speakers to go with my Pioneer Elite VSX82TSX receiver. I've set a budget of $3500 that will be used to purchase 2 towers, a center channel, 2 satellites, and subwoofer. The configuration of my room is such that 7.1 channel is both unnecessary and almost impossible so I'd like to save the money on the 2 extra speakers to get better equipment for the rest.


Rather than asking for specific speaker recommendations (though those are appreciated), what I'd like to ask is what brands should I be looking at within this price range? I'm certainly not going to buy any speakers without hearing them first--but I'd like to get an idea of what I should be looking for.


Thanks!
 

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You should probably look at the Salk SongTowers, SongCenter, and SongSurrounds. Your package pricing is $1800 for the towers, $700 for the center, and $800 for the MT version surrounds.


I spent a LOT of time searching for the right speakers, and after much research this is what I decided on. Of course that blows your entire budget without a sub, but if you can stretch it, then all the research I did suggests it may be well worth the extra money. Salk offers a 30 day in home trial, but I believe shipping is at your expense if you return them. Jim Salk builds custom speakers, and the care he puts into taking care of customers and building his speakers is unmatched in my experience. He certainly won me over and I never even heard the speakers before purchasing! I have yet to find one negative thing about Salk speakers from reviews. Check his website at www.salksound.com . He even gives you his cell phone number to reach him almost any time of day.


If you want recommendations for things strictly under or at your budget, I'd look at **********'s Rocket line with their MFW-15 subwoofer. You could get a package for the price you're looking at and have a hard time doing much better. They offer a 30 day in home trial and will pay shipping both ways if you don't keep what you got.


For retail brands you can go hear in person I'd recommend listening to Monitor Audio, Paradigm, B&W, Totem, and the list goes on and on really. My personal recommendations would be Monitor Audio and Paradigm based on the speakers I've heard personally. I really like B&W but I think other companies offer a better bang for the buck in many cases.


Other ID brands you might look at are Ascend, Axiom, SVS, and Elemental Designs.


In terms of subs I ended up buying an Epik Tower ( www.epiksubwoofers.com ). I used Craigsub's subwoofer ranking thread here http://www.tweakcityaudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11 to make my decision. You can get something really nice between $699 and $1599 depending on what other speakers you purchase.


Ultimately the decisions is yours, but these brands should get you started



Oh and just so you know what others have done, I'd highly recommend reading these 3 threads in their entirety:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=995082
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=919069
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=931069


Once you decide on a brand you think you're going to buy, as a last step you should begin (and perhaps read through entirely as well) the "Official owners" thread. You'll find a lot of hands on owners there, experiences, and maybe questions you have about the brand are probably already answered within those specific threads.


Hope this helps!


-Chad
 

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Agree with Thirdeye's recommendation. If you want to do a lot of reading on your own, you can find some great readings on speaker comparison on Funkmonkey's and Nuance's threads. Just do a search you'll find it. Also, hit the owner's thread on these speakers as well.


My top choices for ID was:


AV123's Rockets

theaudioInsider's Swans

Aperionaudio

Salk


B&M:


Paradigm

Monitor Audio

Polk Lsi
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the great responses. I'm currently burying myself in the information you referred me to.



Does anyone have any recommendations as to how I can demo some of these ID speakers? I hesitate to buy before I hear them.
 

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I would also recommend the Revel Concerta's - I have the c12 center and it matches my Linn Ninkas very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
One thing I forgot to mention in my original post is that these speakers will be used for about 70% movies, 30% music.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nalthien /forum/post/14205261


Thanks for the great responses. I'm currently burying myself in the information you referred me to.



Does anyone have any recommendations as to how I can demo some of these ID speakers? I hesitate to buy before I hear them.


The best way to demo ID companies are to go to their website and ask for an audition on their forum. Most are very helpful and willing to do it. 2nd best way is to have them send it to you and have it tested in your home. But you must pay attention to their policy. Most will give you a 30 day period but some will pay for shipping and others won't, varies from company to company. Currently, Aperion Audio does free shipping both ways, if you are not happy, just send them back. AV123 will refund everything including shipping if you don't like their speakers. But if you don't want to deal with packing things up, best you hit their forum and ask for an audition.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nalthien /forum/post/14205261


Thanks for the great responses. I'm currently burying myself in the information you referred me to.



Does anyone have any recommendations as to how I can demo some of these ID speakers? I hesitate to buy before I hear them.

If you want to demo Salk speakers call Jim directly, and see if he has shipped any speakers to your area. He may be able to get you in contact with an owner for a demo. You can also check the Salk Sound Owner's audition list:

http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/i...&topic=20721.0


You could also read through the Salk Sound owner's list on here and see if anyone is willing to audition in your area.


To audition AV123 try the ********** forums. Plenty of people there should let you audition their speakers. Really it's just going to be a matter of combing through internet forums. Many of us believe that you get much more for your money with ID brands, but some people aren't willing to deal with the hassle.


For me personally I just did as much homework as possible, read others opinions, and based my decision on blind faith. Worst case scenario if I hate my speakers I can ship them back at my expense
Have yet to see one person ship back Salks though!
 

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Your are pretty much going to get the same answer as others have who have asked this question. AV123, Paradigm, Ascend, Polk, and the new flavor of the month Salk Sound. You really owe it to yourself to audition as many different choices in your area, and go with what you like. As far as the ID brands, if they offer the free return shipping, try them in your house, and see what you think. My personal vote is for Usher audio. Very good prices, quality craftsmanship, and sound wonderful to me. But everyone is different.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbacksfan51 /forum/post/14206522


Your are pretty much going to get the same answer as others have who have asked this question. AV123, Paradigm, Ascend, Polk, and the new flavor of the month Salk Sound. You really owe it to yourself to audition as many different choices in your area, and go with what you like. As far as the ID brands, if they offer the free return shipping, try them in your house, and see what you think. My personal vote is for Usher audio. Very good prices, quality craftsmanship, and sound wonderful to me. But everyone is different.

Well put; the amount of positive things I'm hearing about the Salks lead me to believe that there's a little less objectivity around the hype than I'd like. That said, I do intend to try to find someone near me who will let me demo them as I'd really like to hear them for myself.


Still no idea what I'm going to go after yet; but I'm getting a lot of great info!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nalthien /forum/post/14206870


Well put; the amount of positive things I'm hearing about the Salks lead me to believe that there's a little less objectivity around the hype than I'd like. That said, I do intend to try to find someone near me who will let me demo them as I'd really like to hear them for myself.


Still no idea what I'm going to go after yet; but I'm getting a lot of great info!

I doubt you'll find anyone on the AVS forum who disagrees with you trusting your own ears first and foremost. Especially with speakers that cost so much money! I decided to try the blind faith approach, and should have my speakers in
 

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Discussion Starter #13

Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye11 /forum/post/14207320


I doubt you'll find anyone on the AVS forum who disagrees with you trusting your own ears first and foremost. Especially with speakers that cost so much money! I decided to try the blind faith approach, and should have my speakers in
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye11 /forum/post/14207320


I doubt you'll find anyone on the AVS forum who disagrees with you trusting your own ears first and foremost. Especially with speakers that cost so much money! I decided to try the blind faith approach, and should have my speakers in
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CADOBHuK /forum/post/14208209


What did you order?

I ordered 2 Salk SongTowers, 1 SongCenter, 2 SongSurround I's (which is the MT version not the MTM version), and 1 Epik Tower subwoofer.


Took me about 2 months of reading, researching, checking professional and individual reviews. I reviewed options from Totem, B&W, Selah, AV123, Swan, Monitor Audio, Paradigm, HSU, SVS, Epik, Salk, and a host of others in making my decision.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dftkell /forum/post/14205296


I would add:


Revel Concerta's (or maybe used Revel Performa's)


Kef iQ's


Selah Audio (although I don't think there's a trial period for auditioning)

Selah offers a 45-day trial period.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye11 /forum/post/14208365


I ordered 2 Salk SongTowers, 1 SongCenter, 2 SongSurround I's (which is the MT version not the MTM version), and 1 Epik Tower subwoofer.


Took me about 2 months of reading, researching, checking professional and individual reviews. I reviewed options from Totem, B&W, Selah, AV123, Swan, Monitor Audio, Paradigm, HSU, SVS, Epik, Salk, and a host of others in making my decision.


Did you listen to any of them during that two months?
 

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Awesome, out of the options you listed I would've gone for Salk as well, if there was no Selah. Couldnt afford the songtowers though, since they're not sold as kits. And would get a castle or tower as well if I had enough money.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans /forum/post/14208607


Did you listen to any of them during that two months?

I love your skepticism, but yes. I used to be in the business and worked for Home Theater Store in Dallas, TX for some time.


Our primary lines were B&W and Dynaudio so I've listened to the entire B&W line up to the 802D, and as far as Dynaudio we carried as high as the Contour series so I've listened to them extensively as well.


I also auditioned Paradigm and Monitor Audio. Oddly enough I went with a speaker I didn't audition at all.
 

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Asking you if you listened to speakers is being a skeptic? I think its the only question that matters. What do reviews tell you?
 
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