AVS Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello - I've been reading the forums here for almost a decade, but only recently decided to register and post for the first time. Just bought a new house and finally have a room that I can use to rebuild the surround setup that I had to dismantle ~6 years ago. Sometime in the next month or three I would like to make a speaker purchase decision, but at the moment I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the options. I tend to be pretty patient in my research, but I think it's time to narrow the field a bit more, if possible.


At some local establishments, I have recently listened to B&W, Paradigm, Martin Logan, Vienna Acoustics, Thiel, and Focal. Out of those, I would say that the only one I am still considering is Focal, since I liked their offerings the best for the price. I should note that while price is not a huge limiting factor, I am a very value-driven consumer. In my experience - and this may be just for me - the point of diminishing returns on value per incremental dollar is probably in the $2k to $3k range for 5 speakers. Just for fun I have listened to some Wilson Audio and Meridian offerings - while the Wilsons were nice and the Meridians were astounding, I was not willing to pay the asking price. Aesthetics matter very little to me, as long as the speakers are not incredibly huge or garish, and my wife is generally very accommodating as well.


From everything that I have read and understand about how the various business models operate, I am definitely interested in some of the internet-direct (ID) offerings that seem to be popular here and on other forums. I took a flyer on a pretty new company when I bought my SVS subwoofer almost nine years ago, but I've had a great experience with it.

Here's the shortlist of speakers I am currently considering strongly, in rough order of preference at the moment:
  • SVS MTS series: (2) MTS-01 towers, (2) MBS-01 bookshelves, (1) MCS-01 center. I mentioned already that I like my SVS sub a lot, and I'm certainly a believer in the company. However, I've noticed that these speakers don't seem to have generated the kind of following here that some others have. I am planning on making a trip to the showroom to hear them in person soon, if possible. With stands, shipping, and tax, this puts me at about $3100, less any discount I could get as a previous SVS customer.
  • Aperion 6 series: (2) Intimus 6T towers, (2) 6B bookshelves, (1) 6C center. Aperions seem to be quite popular here, with a regular following. The "free shipping both ways" on the in-home trial is also quite appealing. Total cost would be about $2900 including stands.
  • Emotiva "package 1": (2) ERT-8.3 towers, (2) ERD-1 surrounds, (1) ERM-6.3 center. Again, a solid following, but seemingly not as devoted as the Aperion people. My amplifier would have no issue with the 4-ohm impedance. I'd like to hear them in person too, so I'm also considering a trip to their showroom. About $2400 including stands and shipping.

And some additional possibilities:
  • Salk Song: (2) SongTower QWT, (2) SongSurround, (1) SongCenter. Intriguing, with some recent very positive reviews and some very vocal owners. Somewhat more expensive at about $3400 with stands, excluding shipping (could not find shipping costs on the site). I am also a bit concerned that they might not have the movie performance I would want. There's also the Salk HTS series, but they do not seem to have the same critical acclaim. Also, I've heard some negatives about needing to replace ribbon tweeters somewhat often, which I would prefer to avoid.
  • JTR 8s: (3) Triple 8HT, (2) Slanted 8HT. Specifications and reviews of these are great, but they're also a lot more costly than the others I'm considering. They would likely be overkill for the room I have, and would probably lead me to upgrade the subwoofer sooner than I otherwise would, just to keep up with them. Also, these are the only speakers where my wife even raised an eyebrow regarding appearances after looking at them. Probably about $5100 without shipping costs (again, could not find the shipping costs listed). Not outside the realm of possibility, but they would really, really have to blow everything else away for me to justify that cost difference.


I would guess that listening time will be about 80% movies and 20% music, but I am pretty picky about that 20%. I used to have Klipsch Reference speakers, and I loved the detail of them, so I'm looking for something that is similar but without the harshness that would sometimes grate on me after a while. I would like full-range towers for the front pair for stereo listening, but I'm not overly concerned about super-low bass extension on them - in my view, that's why I have a subwoofer. The room is about 2200 cubic feet, so filling it with sound should not be a big problem.

What I already have:
  • Integra DTR-7.1 receiver, not the newest thing on the market but still sounds great and meets my needs. I'm only using it as a preamp anyway (see next item). I don't need HDMI switching or the very latest surround format, so I don't see a real need to upgrade here.
  • EAD PowerMaster 500 amplifier. I just love the sound of it, even though it doesn't put out a huge amount of power (100wpc into 8 ohms, about double that into 4).
  • SVS 20-39CS. Great sub, don't see any need to upgrade just now. I want to see how it performs in the new room first.
  • Adcom GFA-5500. Currently being drastically underutilized as a sub amp, but I'm not sure what else to do with it.


Thanks for reading all of this and for any insight or suggestions that you can provide. I am most interested in hearing from people who have heard two or more of the speaker lines in my lists above, and their direct comparison experiences. I've already read a few reviews that got at this issue, but more is always better!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,362 Posts
I am very happy with my Aperions. I have 3 6Ts across the front with 4 5 series for surrounds. I have a Emotiva XPA 3 running my Towers and a Denon 3808 driving my 5 series surrounds and SV PB13 Ultra. Sounds great for HT/Music. Before ordering the Aperions I did a lot of researching also, but I couldn't find very many negative reviews/ratings on Aperion. I ordered and very happy I did. Excellent warranty and customer service also. Happy speaker hunting
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,362 Posts
I have owned Klipsch, JBL and a center and surrounds made by Bose...they were not the cubes though. Aperion sounds very neutral and not fatiguing to listen for extended periods to my ears. I have been listening to 2 channel music today for hours and had pretty loud for most of the day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Hi, I have owned Salk HTS speakers for about 4 years, have played them a lot, almost every day, and many times at almost ear bleeding levels. I have never blown out a ribbon tweeter element (or anything else for that matter). I asked Jim about this when I bought the speakers and he said ribbon tweeter elements get damaged if you blow on them ( or try to dust them with a vacumn cleaner).I definately LOVE ribbon tweeters. Sam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good to know - if you were selecting speakers today, do you think you would go for the HTS again or the SongTowers (I know that the latter were not available 4 years ago)? The 5-speaker packages could be configured to be about the same price, so I'm just interested to know what you would do. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
Audition, Audition, Audition! You'll have to listen to them yourselves to see which sound you prefer!


I think the choices that you've listed are all great speakers - The Emotiva, Salk, and the JTRs constantly get rave reviews.


Since Aperion has the free two way shipping and 30 day in-home trial, I think if people didn't take advantage of that, they'd be silly!


Post in the Salk forums about listening to someone's speakers - they are very enthusiastic and I'm sure would welcome you to their homes if you live nearby them.


I own the Rocket Signatures from AV123 (RS850/RSC200/RS450), and I'm very happy with mine. If you're interested and if you're ever around the SF Bay Area in CA you're welcome to drop by for a listen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks - the challenge of auditioning the internet-direct speakers is what is causing this process to drag out a bit. I'm just looking for opinions to help me narrow the field somewhat, as I don't want the travel budget to exceed the speaker budget.
 

·
The Village Idiot
Joined
·
9,713 Posts
I have the Emotiva speakers you mentioned above - except I use the AV123 Rocket RSC200 'Bigfoot' for my center. The 8.3s are absolutely awesome if you are into music - and they do great in HT as well. The real wonder about the Emotiva speakers however is the diminutive ERD-1 surrounds. They keep up with the LCR speakers no problem whatever.


I think if you were to buy that speaker package you'd better have a good amp to drive them - they are 4 ohm speakers and demand just a bit more from an amp/receiver than 8 ohm speaker. I use the Emotiva UPA-7. It is a very capable amp - it does what its supposed to do - make beautiful music and delivers 125wpc with all channels driven. Also delivers 280wpc in 2 channel to the 8.3s - gets em singing!


I don't imagine you could go far wrong with any of the speaker packages you've listed above. ID companies simply deliver a much better product for the money spent that you can get at an audio shop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am pretty sure that my amp would be able to handle the Emotivas, although it might not be able to play them at earthshattering volume. The less I spend buying new equipment, the more I have for speakers.



Good to know on the SongTowers vs. the HTS - I tend to prefer solid bass response on the L-R pair so that I can do some stereo listening, even though it may mean not having a perfectly matched front three.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top