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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


I am on the planning stages of putting together my first home theater system. This forum has been extremely helpful to get me started and to get most of my questions answered.


I am planning on focusing on the receiver and speakers initially. For this I'd like to spend around $2000 at most. As far as projected use, it will be around 80% movies, 20% music. For the receiver, I am down to two choices: Onkyo TX-SR600 or Denon AVR-1803, although I am somewhat leaning towards waiting for the AVR-2803, whenever that's released. Anyone see any reason for choosing one or another? I'd like to get something that is somewhat future-proof (if there is such a thing ;-) ), that could connect to an HDTV, progressive scan DVD player, sat box, etc.


But my main question is regarding the speakers. I haven't auditioned many speakers yet, but have read about quite a few in this forum. One of the speaker systems I did audition, but have not read anything about here, is the Definitive Technology StudioCinema 350 system. It sounded great at the store, but I'd like to hear from people that own these or have auditioned them. Any opinions about this particular set, or def tech in general? I am also considering the Polk RM6700 or RM7200, and Energy Take 5.2 systems.


Any help is appreciated, thanks!


Javier
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the links to the reviews, they look pretty good. However, I was interested in also hearing from people who own these, or have audtioned them. Any other opinions???


Thanks!
 

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I own a pair of the 450s, as well as the CLR 2002 center channel and the bi-polar surrounds. They are used in our Den with a Hsu VF2 sub in a 5:1 setup. The only difference between the 450 and the 350 is the 450 is a 10" passive sub versus the 350 and its 8" passive sub.


I am very pleased with them as speakers used primarily for DVD or television surround. Although we do play music in that room it is secondary to our main listening room. As such, it is used more for video sources.


The 450s required break-in. I started to notice the sound softening at around the two month mark (how many hours who knows?). The 2002 center channel took longer to break in, perhaps another 30 days. Maybe it was just more apparent to me as it carries the majority of the 5:1 sound?


It is now smooth, very dynamic and shows OK imaging characteristics.


The surrounds are extremely good for video surround. Point-source speakers as surrounds do not cut it for anything but DVD music in my opinion. Bi-polar surrounds really spread the ambiance out and make background noises very "background" in perception.


The built-in passive subs on the 450s are very dependent upon placement. Since I augment them with a real sub this is less of an issue.


I would be exaggerating if I said these were the best speakers I had ever owned or heard. But, it is safe to say they are very good home theater speakers, and good music speakers.


Where do they lack? They do not image particularly well, as the drivers are not time aligned. They are also mounted somewhat back "into" their enclosures. This cannot help with the spatial characteristics for the very best imaging so maybe this factor contributes to a somewhat "flat" presence. If you've ever heard Martin Logans, for example, with jaw-dropping placement of the musical instruments, or Vandersteens (and I know there are many others like the B&W Nautilus in our Listening Room) you'll understand. But these are crisp, clean, dynamic and easy to listen to.


For our needs, in this secondary somewhat small space, they are more than adequate and very easy on the ears. No peaks and no shrillness and they do a good job defining the sound sources. They do NOT, however, knock your socks off with the spatial imaging of really expensive speakers.


I would buy them again, no problem. They are driven with an Integra 8.2 receiver which is 100 x 5.


Hope this helps.


regards,


patrick
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, great explanation Patrick! That's why I keep coming back to these forums :)


I think based on your explanation and experience, these speakers should be more thatn enough for my needs. I'm setting up my first home theater system, in a 12x12 room. The def tech studiocinema 350 system is probably the most I'd want to spend on speakers right now, based on my budget. If you have any other suggestions in the same price range, or below, I'd like to hear that too.


Thanks!


Javier
 

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You're welcome.


But it is important to restate what has been stated for decades with regard to speakers...


USE YOUR OWN EARS and decide what sounds good.


An in-home trial is one of the most golden ways to settle the issue as Joe_M noted.


As an alternative, you should listen to Cambridge packages or combinations. They offer excellent value, a liberal return/exchange policy and are priced affordably. If you are from San Jose they have stores in your area.


There are so many brands available it boggles the mind. The Defs and the Cambridge are on the edge of the "mass market" speakers and perhaps offer slightly better value than the real mainstream speakers like Polk, Energy, Bose and a few others. But please,no flames, what matters is what sounds good TO YOU.


regards,


patrick
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You are absolutely right that it boggles the mind. Tell me about it!!! Sometimes I feel overloaded with information in regards to speakers by reading this forum, but overall it helps quite a bit.


I agree the most important thing is that they sound good to me. I will try to go to the Cambridge store in Milpitas this weekend to listen to their speakers. I'm afraid my ears are not developed enough to really differentiate what's good or bad, but I will have to give it a try. I think the in home trial sounds like a good idea, but I guess I'll have to buy a receiver first :) Do you know anything about Paradigm speakers, the monitor series I think? They seem to be mentioned quite a bit in these forums as well. Do you know where they sell them?


Thanks!
 

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jandrade,


I am also in the process of developing a surround system for a future HT.

I have not demoed the Def Tech's yet but plan to. You mentioned that you may possibly demo speakers from the Paradigm monitor line. I would recommend you at least give them a look. I demoed a set of monitor 3's and I can tell you these are excellent speakers. The all Paradigm set-up included, monitor 3's front left, right, rear left, right and rear center.

Front center channel was the CC-370 with the PW-2200 sub.

I set my $$ limit between $2500 and $3000 so when the sales person showed me this set-up for $2100 I was pleasantly surprised. Thus far, if I had to purchase my 6.1 set-up today, I would go with the above monitor set-up.

I still want to demo the DT 350's and then go back and listen to the Paradigm set-up again before I make a purchase.


One thing you might want to consider if you are still a long way off from completing your HT is purchasing your speakers before your receiver because of changing technology. This is the route I am taking because I am so far from my completion date of my basement theater.


Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Craig,


Actually, I did buy the Paradigm monitors already. I also thought they sounded great! Plus I've read many great reviews on this forum and other forums. I bought the following:


receiver: Onkyo TX-SR600

fronts: Monitor 7

center: CC-370

surrounds: ADP-370

sub: PDR-12


The entire setup ran around $2500 or so including cables as well. So far I've got everything but the fronts and center since they were out of stock, but should have them next week. Can't wait!!! My only issue right now has to do with the surrounds. In my room, I'm only able to mount them on the back wall, and since they are dipoles, I'm not sure how well they'd work. Apparently the recommended placement is on side walls.


I thought that between the Def techs StudioCinema 350 and the Paradigms I got, the Paradigms were a better value, and better sounding too. Good luck on your speaker search!
 
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