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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,


I've been researching for a while on speakers and have pretty much decided on a Fluance SX-HTB system. During my research, a lot of people told me about Athena floorstanders being excellent deals. The Fluance package is at the top of my budget (around 300 shipped). I am about to buy the Fluance, but I came across Athena AS-F1.2 floorstanders at $230 for the pair.


I couldn't dig up much information on these Athenas. Is there a difference between the F1's and the F1.2's? I like the fact that the Athenas are more efficient and have a deeper bass response, but the Fluance gives me 5 speakers and are said to sound amazing for the price as well.


What would everyone here choose? Which option would you go with?


-Erik
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the link but I've already looked at it. I'm just wondering which speakers you guys would go with out of those two options.
 

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I would go with the Athena's. I'm sure the Fluances are nice, but I think the Athenas would be a noticeable step up in sound quality and will hold you over for a longer time.


The Athena AS-F1 and 1.2's are supposed to sound nearly identical. Athena says the new ones are just intended to be a cosmetic upgrade.
 

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per unit weights are slightly less on the .2 versions versus the original line.

Thinner cabs? Lighter wood?
 

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Cptn, let me tell you that the SX mains are no slouch either. Last time I checked, I was strong and flat to around 32hz at 76db (per realtraps.com test tones). They really held their own during the Pod Race scene.


Speaking of which, has anyone here actually had decent time with both the Athenas and Fluances to actually claim that company A sounds better than B, popularity aside?
 

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I'm wary of fluance because I've never heard or seen them, and the reviews on the net that I've found are not by audio review websites (even though almost all reviews of speakers are glowing anyway). I have heard good things from people here, but I would take my chances on athenas if it were me. You can listen to athenas at BB, etc and see what you think. Athena is part of API, which makes other good stuff like Energy brand; so they've been around for a while and know how to make decent speakers. The athenas were especially attractive at clearance pricing.....where getting a 5 speaker setup was cheaper/close to what the fluance sells for.


It also depends on budget and price....can you get an athena setup within your budget? Are you willing to spend more? Spending more should mean you'll get better speakers....and maybe not have to upgrade in the near future.


There are other brands out there too.....polk, jbl, paradigm, energy, and internet direct brands like the rockets and ascends...etc, etc
 

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Erik,

Are you dead set on a floor standing pair for your fronts? Because if you are not, you can go with a pair of Athena AS-B1 bookshelf ($100) + AS-C1 Center ($100) + a Dayton Sub ($100) and use a 3.1 setup for now. The Athenas can be found at audioadvisor and the Dayton can be found at partsexpress.


I upgraded from Fluance SX-HTB to 4 AS-B1 + AS-C1 + Dayton sub set up. The center speaker of the Fluance set is definitely a weak link (as many have reported). The AS-B1s sounds clearer (brighter?) when it comes to music in comparison with the two Fronts in SX-HTB, but the Fluance Fronts definitely extend lower. All in all, I feel the upgrade gives me clearer and more even sound. Despite all that, I still like the SX-HTB quite a bit. Either way you go, Fluance or Athena, I suspect you will be satisfied with the performance.


For whatever it's worth, Best Buy doesn't yet have the new Athena .2s in stock yet, which means you can't audition them locally. And I haven't seen much reviews about the .2s yet in comparison with the original line up. Like what has been mentioned earlier in this thread, there seem to be more changes to the .2s than just cosmetics, since the weights are different.
 

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Yup, the center speaker is what's gonna get upgraded first.


Bitpoh, what's powering your B1s? I find my Panny XR50 a tad on the bright side still, and I can imagine the "brighter" B1s only making things worse. It's as if the SX+XR50 combo is riding the fine line between accurate clarity and a hint of brightness. More breaking in to do.
 

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12andy, I am using a Pioneer 1014TX. Was tempted to try out the Panny XR50 too :). How are you liking it, especially for 2-channel music listening?
 

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The 1014 was one of my first choices when researching what to get, but it was like $700CDN - way out of my budget. :eek:


I don't think my speaker placement is the best, nor do I have a DVD-A/SACD player yet (boo, no money), but so far so good with regards to 2-ch stuff. Very wide stage with decent depth I think (sorry, still learning all of this audio lingo, newbie alert!). Instruments really shine though in particular; I'm not really an instrumental music listener, but hot damn is it enjoyable to listen to. :)


Other than the additional clarity of your B1s, in what other ways do they stand out from the SXs? If it wasn't for me hearing about the clearance deal at Future Shop late in the game, I'd be running the B1, C1, and R1 combo right about now. Oh well, no regrets, still very happy with the Fluances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for everyones input. I definitely want floorstanders. An entire Athena setup would be out of my budget. The two mains on the SX are what I really care about, and the extra 3 speakers for 5.1 is a huge bonus, but not that important. Keyword here is value.


So which is a better value: Fluance SX-HTB for $300 shipped, or a pair of Athena AS-F1.2's for $230 shipped?


Which one you guys think will sound better for music?


Edit: I see futureshop.ca has the F1.2's going for $550 dollars a pair!! This is making me feel like the $230 a pair is a HUGE deal, but I don't know. Help!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the suggestion. I'm pretty much set on either the athenas or the fluance. I just need to know what everyone here would go with.


Edit: There are AS-F2.2's for 350 a pair. How important is sensitivity in speakers? I was planning on driving them with a yamaha RX-v650 @ 95 watts per channel.


One last question, which is a better deal: a pair of 1.2's for 230, or a pair of 2.2's for 350?
 

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Lou, in other threads for low-budget speakers, you've always mentioned Fluance and claimed for them to be good for the price. I saw that you yourself had a set (SX-HTB I assume) until you replaced them with the Polks, and now, out of nowhere, these Wharfs are the king of the budget class. What's the deal? Not unless you've listened to them only very recently, then I understand.


Cptn, I take it you're not the auditioner type, so this seems like a one shot deal. I guess the best way to approach this is, do you want good stereo sound for $70 less, or good stereo and surround sound for $70 more?


Lol, $350... already exceeding the budget now, are we? ;)
 

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I can vouch for the older Athena F1, which is a very impressive speaker in a home environment.


Originally I had an all Athena 6.1 system - B2 for mains, C1 for center, you get the idea. Never did like the B2's. Then I stumbled into a display model closeout on a pair of F1's in excellent condition. WOW! Surprisingly extended bass, with good power handing (driven by a Yamaha RX-V1400 receiver). For music, there is abolutely no need for a subwoofer. In fact my sub was unplugged due to some re-wiring, yet I had visitors comment on how good the sub sounded. It was the F1s alone!


I can only imagine the new version is equally good, and it's bigger brother is really only needed for truly large rooms.


Personally I would like to hear a pair of Fluance speakers - look like a good deal.


As I said above, I can vouch for the smallest Athena towers, and they are impressive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah it is exceeding the budget, but from what I see there will be no need for a subwoofer if I get the athenas. I would if I got the Fluance.


I'm just confused because of the prices.


An AS-F2 is 500 dollars on amazon. The AS-F2.2 is 175. Whats the deal??? Are the .2's an inferior speaker??
 

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can't go wrong with the floorstnading E-60, E-80, E-90, E-100 by JBL. I just hooked them up without my sub (hadn't come in yet) and they are very nice.
 

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Are they within his price range?
 
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