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$600 for speakers. Need advice

1023 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  CenterForAnts
HTiB? Center and 2 mains? I know this is vague as all get out, but I want all kinds of opinions.

Room is TERRIBLE for accoustics with the vaulted ceiling and a close wall only on the left side (opens into the kitchen area). Don't know if that matters in the slightest.
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JBL E90's and an EC35 center will fill the bill nicely for you.
2 mains.

With proper placement you won't need a center and can get it last.

Order (I think) is :




surround back,


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I actually was contemplating those JBL speakers, though I haven't listened to them yet.

Seth, what sort of mains do you recommend? Floors, bookshelves, or is that personal preference?

Also, any recommendations on brands/types for these mains?
Everything is personal preference with everything.

Some people prefer SUV's and other people preferluxury sedans, even though they would both cost $50k.

If you want to know what I personally prefer, here's my logic:

You only need your mains to go down to the 50's. 40's if you want to spoil yourself. everything lower (and slightly higher) is the subs job.

That really rules out most floorstanders, except for small ones, and most bookshelves except for large ones. Since large bookshelves are cheaper than small floorstanders for no difference when using a sub, financial prudence insists on the large bookshelf. Plus your options for mounting are greater since you can use stands or shelving etc. and not just the floor.

The nice part is that for rears, you can use more matching bookshelves anyway, and of course the center.

LCR (left center right) speakers I think are the best for this. So my money now would go towards the best LCR's I can find.

That's now. Before it was buy the best floorstander you can afford since the sub will come later and you really want the extension. However, if you were to use the money to buy a bookshelf that you would for the 'best floorstander you can afford' you really are buying more speaker.

Now back to budget. You only have $600, so for a pair that's got alot of choices. You even could probably get a left, center and right but you couldn't get a left right and a sub.

Now if you wanted to get not such large bookshelves for the rest but large for the fronts, or just large all around, or small all around, you can get two systems:

For a lower budget -

Rocket/ACI ELT's. These come in LRS and CSE.

For a pinch higher -

Ascend Acoustics. These come in CBM 170 and 340.

For $600 you can get in the rocket/aci center and special edition bookshelves.

For $600 you can get in Ascend the 340c and the 170 bookshelves.

Or you can just get the big Rocket CSE pair, or Ascend 340 pair and no sub.

Or just get the basic bookshelves and an entry SVS or Hsu sub.

I personally prefer getting the entry sub and the big bookshelves and that should set you back a grand. But, it will be killer for music too, however bust your budget.


P.S If you want links:
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Thanks a bunch for the advice. Now, where do I get to go and listen to these things? I'm assuming these are internet only types of purchase? I can't seem to find any sort of link to local dealers.

As silly as it sounds, it's a bit hard to judge speakers when you can't hear them!

If not, at least these are systems to consider.

As of now I like the idea of the Ascends just because if I did the C170's and 340, I could get two more 340's later and move the 170's to the surrounds later.

Then again, I guess I could do that with the Rocket's...

Anyone have any other options? I'm an options type of guy.
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And I must ask a DUMB freakin' question. I thought subs usually had just a subwoofer cable plug. Can you tell I'm new at this? Anyway, why the heck are there 8 connections on the back on the lower-end subs for these two lines?
You only need those other connections if your receiver does not have an rca sub out.
Thanks for the xcjago. Now let's get back to the speaker discussion =)

you can't audition the internet brands unless you buy first, and then decide to ship them back no questions asked. Unless you find someone on their 'audition list' who already owns them and they let you into their house to listen, you're out of luck and making a 'deaf' purchase.

There's also hometheaterdirect level 3's. But those aren't MTM's.

there are lots of choices in my list below.

If I was you, and in your exact position, I'd get the ascends. Psycologically speaking you are buying the best speaker the company makes, as opposed to the 'lower line' of the rockets and wondering what you're missing in the higher line.

The only thing is you need some frame of reference to know what you're purchasing. Like listen to some klipsch or paradigm.

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Why those two, Seth? Are the Rockets and Ascends "knock offs" of those two, or are you just suggesting listening to anything decent just for reference when my Internet speakers show up?
They are definately not knock offs. I'm just suggesting listening for reference purposes.

I agree with sethwas's suggestion of going with bookshelf speakers.

If you want to audition Ascends or Rockets, they both have networks of owners that will let you listen to their speakers in their homes.

Paradigm's Performance line is within your budget. You could get two Atoms and a CC-270 for $500. A decent sub will cost you at least another $400. For about $600, you could get a pair of Paradigm Monitor 5's for the front and get a center and sub later. IMO, even the internet companies will not give you more "bang for the buck" than Paradigm. They also have a less expensive Cinema line, but they only go down to 75Hz, which is cutting it a little too close if you are crossing the sub at 80Hz.

Definately worth checking out to see if you like the way they sound.
Originally posted by Jayshaw91
HTiB? Center and 2 mains? I know this is vague as all get out, but I want all kinds of opinions.

Room is TERRIBLE for accoustics with the vaulted ceiling and a close wall only on the left side (opens into the kitchen area). Don't know if that matters in the slightest.
See http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=515392 (minus the surrounds).
I second the Ascend suggestion. I love my 170 mains and 340c
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