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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm helping a friend put together a HT setup from scratch. He prefers to get this done from one of the local installers and wanted me to suggest the equipment that he can then pass on to the installer. The media room is above a 3 car garage and is about 25x20.

For speakers, i'd normally recommend the SVS ultra towers or ascend sierra towers with a center from the same series and inwalls for surround. But he is going with an installer, i thought of suggesting a brand that is available in store. So what models are there that can be bought from a local store and is comparable to the SVS ultra or ascend sierra towers?

Budget is ~4k for 7.1 speakers.
 

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First of all, you need to research the brick-n-mortar shops in your area as to what they carry. People may suggest things that you might not be able to find locally. Once we have a list of brands that you can check out we can make recommendations from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm in the dallas metroplex area and we have a few AV showrooms around here that carry B&W, paradigm, PSB, energy, polk, infinity, jbl, definitive tech, dynaudio, golden ear, pmc, rega, proac, vandersteen, vienna acoustics etc (audioconcepts, ed kellum, kcaudio, etc are some of the stores)
I'm more into DIY speakers and has been a long while since i bought or did any research on in-store speakers ...
 

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In all honesty, I have not heard the Ascend Sierra towers nor the SVS Ultras. I have the Sierra-2 RAAL ribbon monitors but have only the SVS Prime Sats to make any comparisons. The Sierra-2's are in my basement audio 2.1 setup, and the Primes are in my living room HT setup. I have not done any serious speaker auditioning in B&M stores as I've been 100% satisfied with the Sierra-2's, so I cannot offer a valid recommendation.


Since internet-direct is ruled out here, just set a budget, determine if you want bookshelf or tower speakers, see what the stores have in their showrooms that fit the criteria and do some auditioning with music you bring. The downfall of going to multiple stores is when you have picked a favorite from each store, then having to choose between those. Acoustic memory is very short and is why instant A-B switching is usually the only way to hear differences between them. Trying to pick between them and having to drive from store to store in order to hear them is about useless. Unless......you can arrange to have them all in your friend's room together on a home-trial basis. His credit card will have to absorb the initial expense until the returned speakers are credited back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for your responses, and sorry for my delay.
I wasn't aware of SVS being carried locally. I'll have my friend visit this place, and see if he can get a quote for the below:

LRC - SVS ultra towers and center
Subwoofer - SVS PB2000
Receiver - Marantz 7008
Projector - Epson 5030
Surround - Niles inwall (4)
sony ps4 as the source.
 

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Was talking to a SVS rep the other day and he told me that the Best Buy "Magnolia" stores are even carrying their brand, or will be soon. SVS may be internet direct, but apparently they are getting out to brick and mortar too. Rock on!!!
 
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