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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks,


I am planning to upgrade my current audio setup and looking for your guidance to pick the next set.


My use: mostly music but movies once in a while. For movies, dialogue clarity and fullness is important. Music - listen to popular, classic rock, pop, PInk Floyd, Led Zep, The Doors etc.

Current setup (5.1)

Harman Kardon AVR240

Front - Infinity Beta 40

Center - Infinity Beta C360

Rear - Infinity Primus 150

Sub - BIC F-12

New setup (5.1)


AVR - leaning towards Pioneer Elite SC-61 or SC-63.


Option 1: (approx. $1425)

Front - B&W 683

Center - B&W HTM61


Option 2: (approx. $680)

Front - Energy CF-70

Center - Energy CC-10

Questions:

1. Can I do better than Pioneer Elite if I am expecting to pay around $600?

2. Understand it's eventually my preference but how do the two speaker sets compare? I listened to them briefly (was in a hurry) and Energy sounded brighter and warmer. B&W were only marginally crisper. Given the price difference I am wondering if B&W is worth that much more? It also appeared that B&W needed more power. Not sure if I have the appetite to get an(other) amp.

3. Can I use Beta center C360 with any of the two options - Energy or B&W. If so I can save some dough.

4. What about F-12. Should/could I keep the sub? Not too crazy about deep bass. But I like the effect in action movies etc. How will F-12 pair with any of the options? For music, will it adequately support a 2.1 set up?

5. For rear, could I keep Primus? Suspect I will stick to 2.1 or front-center for music and 5.1 for movies. So rears are not that important.


My upgrade budget is about $2000. Sounds like Option 1 + SC-63 is about that much. Of course, option 2 saves me money!


Suggestions?
 

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Never heard anyone say a speaker sounds brighter AND warmer. Its usually one or the other.


Look at some Focal towers at accessoriesfor less.com or musicdirect.com. you can get a pair around. $800 and will easily be better than the CF-70.


No matter what speakers you buy you'll need to purchase the matching center.l
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt  /t/1523812/b-w-683-vs-energy-cf-70#post_24518574


Never heard anyone say a speaker sounds brighter AND warmer. Its usually one or the other.


Look at some Focal towers at accessoriesfor less.com or musicdirect.com. you can get a pair around. $800 and will easily be better than the CF-70.


No matter what speakers you buy you'll need to purchase the matching center.l


+1


On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best), I would rank the speakers in your price range as follows:


Focal- 9


PSB-9


Monitor Audio- 9


Wharfedale- 8


B & W- 6


Polk- 5


Energy-3


Klipsch- 2



My advice is to back up and start over, before you waste your money and end up unhappy.


Also; I think the best receiver you can get for $600 is the NAD T-748. IMO it sounds better with almost any speakers than anything from Yamaha, Pioneer, Sony or Anthem.


NAD has a well-deserved reputation for better amplifier and power supply design, which results in lower distortion driving real speakers, which are a load 100 times more difficult than a mere resistor on a test bench.


Ignore the published power specs, because they do not give you a clue how the receiver will really sound. Distortion is the key, and very few meaningful specs are ever published.



For $1300, you can get a pair of Monitor Audio BX-6 speakers and a BX Center speaker.


For $1600, you can get a pair of Focal 714V speakers and a CC700 center speaker (Music Direct).


For $1400, you can get a pair of PSB Image T6 speakers and a C4 center speaker (Saturday Audio).


Any of those 3 will give you a very good system.
 

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Of the two options you listed the 683 would be the best choice IMHO. They should be discounted now due to the S2 model being released this month. If you are open to other options the Focal, Monitor Audio, and PSB speakers already mentioned are excellent. You might also consider some internet direct companies such as Ascend Acoustics, Arx, HSU Research, Emptek, HTD, and Philharmonic Audio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All.


Thanks for all the responses. You guys are great!


I am honing in on two choices now -

1. MA BX-5 or BX-6

2. PSB T5 vs T6


Questions:

1. If I am going to have a sub anyway does it matter between T5 and T6? Same for BX5/BX6. Hoping T5 will render better mid-range and sub can provide better bass overall? Does T6 provide value over T5 with sub?

2. Thinking of upgrading to HSU STF-2 (from BIC H-100). My room has a listening area with kitchen/nook behind the person listening. Listening area is about 1800 cu. ft. And the entire area is about 3600. STF2 will help me stay in budget, will it be good enough? Mostly for music.

3. Or would you recommend I just get T6 or BX6 and NOT upgrade sub?

4. Any recommendations for where to buy speakers at a good price? Any good sale around on MA or PSB?


Thanks!,
 

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I would definitely listen before you buy and go with what you like best. I have found Energy to be a good speaker for my tastes. I will add that I think the center channel is lacking. I did listen to the B&W at one point and found it to be marginally better than Energy. As one poster stated, you should be able to get the older model on a deeper discount. Also, make sure you are going with the 63 because it has some features you want and will use. Don't assume the 63 will be better just because it is one model up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Wes - thanks for your note. Since my initial query I have moved on, comparing MA and PSB now per my note below. I auditioned Energy again and for some reason it didn't sound as great in comparison.


The hardest part with listening to speakers is having access to them at one place so you can listen side-by-side. And THEN imagining how will they sound at my home with my equipment. In a perfect world, I will have all these speakers to compare at my home and rely on my ears only. In lieu of that input from the forum helps.


Where I am stuck at right now is whether really the only advantage with one model up (T6 or BX6) is deeper bass !? If so then whether having a sub with T5/BX5 takes away that advantage? No point spending money on the "upgrade" if I won't use it anyway. Said differently, can I throw out my sub if I were get T6/BX6?
 
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