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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I am new to the AVS forum and have been trolling over various posts for a few hours now. I figure it's high time I make a post and get the advice I need, rather than trying to figure it all out from scratch. I am looking to buy 2 speakers and a subwoofer system soon, mostly for stereo music, but would like to make purchases that could easily be included in a HT at some point.


My current sound system leaves much to be desired, a couple of KLH 12" 3-way floorstanding speakers which don't even have a model number on the back and a pair of entry level Polk bookshelf speakers connected to a Technics 100Wx2 stereo receiver. I plan to move the Polks and Technics into the kitchen for the wife to connect an iPod at her leisure, and upgrade my living room setup for better stereo sound. My wife and I currently don't own a TV because we never watch anything, but think purchasing a medium sized LCD next year for movies would be nice. So until then, I need good stereo that could ultimately be reconfigured for 5.1 surround. At that time, I could grab another RMX850 and power some rears, but the hard part there might be signal processing since I'd rather not downgrade to the built-in amps of an AVR.


My plan is to use some pro audio equipment that I have picked up to power the speakers and connect a computer through a quality USB DAC. The amplifier I plan to use is a QSC RMX850 (200w per channel @ 8ohm), although I also have a QSC USA900 (270w per channel @ 8ohm), but that has more miles on it. My first question is which speakers would best be matched with these amps for under $1000 to produce a good audiophile sound for music? My second question is what subwoofer should I match it with and should I get a powered sub or use the USA900 bridged (900w bridged @ 8ohm) to power a quality sub in cabinet? From what I've been reading, powered subs are the norm for home users, and using a Pro Audio amp to power HT subs is reserved only for the true expert. Am I putting myself in an odd position considering I am new to HT? One reason I would like to get a powered sub is because it would have a built-in crossover, which would keep me from having to buy any more signal processing. But I might be wrong on that too.


The two brands that I hear alot of from friends are Polk (from a few friends) and Paradigm (from one friend in particular whose opinion I trust more). The way I see it, I need to buy two floorstanding towers and a good sub. I am wary that bookshelf speakers can provide enough rich sound, but am open to suggestions. So far, what I see in my budget from those brands are the Polk TSi or RTi series, and the Paradigm Monitor series. Im not really sure how to figure out what Paradigm's prices are, but I am interested in the Monitor 9 v.5 as that will handle the 200w I can give it and they look great. If I went with Polk I could afford either the highest model of the TSi line or the lowest one of the RTi line, but that leaves little for a sub.


Any recommendations? I found the nearest Paradigm dealer and plan to stop by Monday.
 

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- Don't worry about matching the amp to any specific speakers. Amps don't have specific sound.


- Don't worry about matching 200W to the maximum rating of speakers. It's just about meaningless. If you hear distorsion, turn it down. Everyday listening will be at less than 1W anyway.


- Don't worry about matching the sub to the speakers. There is no timbre sound matching here. Save money and buy a sub online from SVS, Hsu or eD.


- Plan ahead and buy mains that have a decent matching center speaker that will fit where you plan on setting it up.
 

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I would go listen to as much as you can. Take notes on each model as you should listen to at least a dozen different models or more. Bring your own music that you know. Everyone hears different so what we or your friends say is meaningless. You can get some great info from this site but in the end you will need to make the choice.
 

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As someone who used to own Polk rti series towers and now owns SVS (bookshelf speakers) I feel very comfortable recommending a set of these:
http://www.svsound.com/products-spks-sts01.cfm


My only concern as that these speakers may not extend as low as you would like (I use a dedicated sub), but for the price you could always add a dedicated subwoofer as well if you are willing to go a little over budget.


I also am a fan of Paradigm and would definitely consider those as well and those may meet your needs better. If you do go Polk I would definitely stick with the rti series or lsi series if you can find them used. A pair of Klipsch towers would also be in your budget:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Klipsch-Referanc...ht_2988wt_1167
 

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If music is important, get the best 2-channel setup you can for now...even if you have to extend your budget a bit. Don't worry about what sounds good with your amp...it has enough power for just about anything you have a budget for. Also don't worry about a sub at this point...in fact, I'd probably add that after you have your other 5 speakers in place or at least the front three. Definitely find a pair of fronts that have matching center and surrounds that you like and that work with your room constraints (wall-mounted, CC housed in a TV stand, etc), though you don't need to go out and listen to a dozen different setups unless your completely OCD like all of us here. Find something that you like, maybe listen to a handful of options, and then make your choice. You're likely not looking for the system that you'll pass along to your kids, so it doesn't have to be the holy grail at this point. Paradigm is a good starting point because they offer such a wide array of options at various price points. Maybe check their site for a dealer near you and give them a listen. Moving up from your current setup, you're certain to be happy with just about whatever you end up with (not meant as an insult).


Good luck!


J.
 

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Take a pair of Studio 20's and just beat the dealer up a bit on the price if you need to...they are fabulous speakers. Mate them later with a 590 or a 690 (if you have the space) and ADP or Studio 10 rears and you'll be in heaven for a looooong time...


J.
 

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If you go for the RC-70....check out wwstereo... They are an authorized Energy dealer and their price (shipping is also free) is a little cheaper than Vann's. No reason not to save a few $$.


I've never heard the RC-70, but have the RC-10's and they are very nice speakers. I imagine the RC-70 would be very impressive for the closeout price.


I also own the Ascend Sierra-1...great speakers and well worth considering, IMO. Obviously, they won't match the RC-70 in terms of shear output/dynamics...but I'd be interested in seeing how they stack up in other area, such as detail, resolution, imaging, ect. The Sierra's certainly do well in these areas compared to the RC-10 (not that the RC-10 don't, just that the Sierra is a step above)....but the RC-70 is a whole different level than the RC-10.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, thats a lot of feedback. Thanks guys.


At this point I am going to go to a few places to shop. There is one Paradigm dealer that is very close to me, and another that is only 30min away. I'd also like to drop by a Best Buy just to have a reference of what other speakers sound like. I am actually somewhat scared of having to make the purchasing decision based on what "sounds good" - it would be so much easier to just find the best specs for my price range! It sorta reminds me of wine tasting where they offer you a page for notes on the wine you are trying - often my page is limited to notes like "good" and "not good". I guess this is where I will have to start with speakers too!


I would like to be able to hear at least these:

Paradigm Monitor 9 or 11

Energy RC50 or RC70

Polk RTi A5 or A7

Monitor Audio RS6


I do have a few questions though.

It seems that several folks are still recommending bookshelf speakers... Ascend Sierra-1, Paradigm Studio 20, SVS bookshelves... should I be considering bookshelves instead of floorstanding speakers for some reason? Like if I was really sold on Paradigm, what is the difference between buying a Monitor 9 or a Studio Monitor 20? Other than the fact that the Studio Monitor 20 is part of the better Reference lineup, why would I want to spend more for a bookshelf than floorstanders of the same brand? And yes, I am most attracted to Paradigm at this point.


- If I have a 200W /ch amp than what power range should I be looking for in a speaker? I don't want to make it easy to blow them (like the wife).


- If I op for bookshelves should I make room in the budget for a sub again?


I think I just need to keep reading up on how to buy speakers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by neighborhoodtech /forum/post/16856555


Wow, thats a lot of feedback. Thanks guys.


- If I have a 200W /ch amp than what power range should I be looking for in a speaker? I don't want to make it easy to blow them (like the wife).

Hmm. Either you didn't read your first reply, or you don't trust me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by psgcdn /forum/post/16856650


Hmm. Either you didn't read your first reply, or you don't trust me!

Consider it a mixture of don't trust you, don't know any better. My logic was that if I got a speaker that could handle all the wattage I had in the amp, than the risk of blowing them would be a lot less. But I have known to be wrong... often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chazk13 /forum/post/16856650


Once you get out and do some listening don't be afraid to buy used. You could get a lot more for your $$ that way.

Im actually totally happy buying used if I can take a listen first. Those Studio 80s actually look like a great deal! That guy is only an hour away too, might take a drive this week.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by neighborhoodtech /forum/post/16856970




Im actually totally happy buying used if I can take a listen first. Those Studio 80s actually look like a great deal! That guy is only an hour away too, might take a drive this week.

You can also just start listening at dealers to stuff in the $2k price range, then just expect to find it on audiogon used for around 40% - 50%.


If you like the paradigms, I'd also suggest listening to Quads if there is a dealer near you. Here is a pair...the sale is pending but they come up pretty regularly on the 'Gon.

http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....-Cherry-Finish
 

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I can crank my Aperion 6Ts up until my ears bleed...I have them running on a Emotiva XPA-3 and my 4 surrounds and sub is run by a Denon 3808.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by neighborhoodtech /forum/post/16856970


Consider it a mixture of don't trust you, don't know any better. My logic was that if I got a speaker that could handle all the wattage I had in the amp, than the risk of blowing them would be a lot less. But I have known to be wrong... often.




Im actually totally happy buying used if I can take a listen first. Those Studio 80s actually look like a great deal! That guy is only an hour away too, might take a drive this week.

Actually, what usually blows a speaker is clipping. Clipping is caused when a speaker is asking for more power than an amp can deliver. Not saying to get higher wattage speakers, but if you get, say, 240 watts speakers, and during a passage they're asking for 240 watts, your amp will only deliver 200 and clip, damaging your speakers.


Conversely, you get speakers that max out at say 140 watts, then you still have plenty of headroom on the amp (i.e, almost zero distortion) when those speakers are asking for 140 watts.


I have the RC 70's, the Paradigms are nice too. Lots of choices, but if you can go listen first, they're your ears and only your opinion will count.


Good luck
 
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