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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Never in my life have I been so frustrated as I am now trying to figure out which speakers to purchase. I am upgrading and have looked at B&W, Paradigm, NHT and Klipsch. I would like to have a complete system (5.1) for about $2,000-2,500 including the sub. My user preferences are probably about 80%HT-20%Music, but I want both to sound good. I currently have the Sony 555ES but plan on upgrading that to the 4ES or the new model coming out to replace the 4ES. Any of the speakers I listed that I should definitely stay away from based on your experiences? I have listened to them all, but get more confused each time I listen to a new "brand"!


Any suggestions?


Thanks in advance!:D
 

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Listen to them next to each other. Pick what you like at the price you want to pay. If you go to a dealer you should be able to demo them at home - a much better option all round.
 

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I would seriously consider the rockets in that price category and you could take advantage of their new sub as well at a discounted price. I do not own them or have any vested interest in their products, but many here on the forum are happy with them and I don't think anyone could argue about their looks or construction. Just curious why you want to upgrade your 555ES? I have had mine for several years and have been happy with the unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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Originally posted by Maggie Guy
I would seriously consider the rockets in that price category and you could take advantage of their new sub as well at a discounted price. I do not own them or have any vested interest in their products, but many here on the forum are happy with them and I don't think anyone could argue about their looks or construction. Just curious why you want to upgrade your 555ES? I have had mine for several years and have been happy with the unit.


Well, we are in the process of selling and building. My current set-up is a Sony 57hw40, 555ES, Bose AM series, etc. all built in a custom cabinet. I told the buyer I would include everything with the house at a certain price. So, that is really the only reason I am thinking of upgrading my 555ES. I really do like the 555ES and have never had any problems whatsoever with my unit!


Any more takers on suggestions???
 

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I have listened to them all, but get more confused each time I listen to a new "brand"!
What do you exactly mean here? You are confused because you cannot hear or describe the differences in sound character? Or you cannot judge which sound you like better? Did you bring your own favorite CD's with you for the demo (which I think is absolutely essential)?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by pjohnscpa
Never in my life have I been so frustrated as I am now trying to figure out which speakers to purchase. I am upgrading and have looked at B&W, Paradigm, NHT and Klipsch. I would like to have a complete system (5.1) for about $2,000-2,500 including the sub. My user preferences are probably about 80%HT-20%Music, but I want both to sound good. I currently have the Sony 555ES but plan on upgrading that to the 4ES or the new model coming out to replace the 4ES. Any of the speakers I listed that I should definitely stay away from based on your experiences? I have listened to them all, but get more confused each time I listen to a new "brand"!


Any suggestions?


Thanks in advance!:D


It would be of great importance for you to describe what you like in these brands. Some of them have what I would consider a vast sonic difference.


I would suggest going back to the store and listening to each speaker again. Please remember to take along a CD or two...or three that you are VERY familiar with. This will help you pick up on the differences and aid you in your decision.


Its true that home auditions are the best, but they are not exactly easy in execution or on time. Thus the practicality of such is low for quite a few people. If this is the case for you then just do more work in the showroom, and don't let the salesmen make you feel like you're imposing or just bothering them in general. If this happens simply go to another store......and tell the manager. This is $2000-2500 of your money and should be given the amount of time and effort relative to how long it took you to earn it....... something a salesman should never have an impact on.
 

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I would worry less about "brand" and more about what sounds best to you. And, if for some reason, you can't hear a difference between the speakers, buy the cheaper ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally posted by bubbawat
"never been so frustrated"


I assume you are single are in the least you are not raising a teenager :D


Maybe I am stretching it a little. I am not single and am raising two young toddlers, both girls!!:D :D



As far as "brand", I am not worried about the actual nameplate. I cannot take the speakers home and audition them there. So, I guess what I am worried about is the store having the "perfect" set-up and then when I get them home they sound terrible. None of the speakers sound bad, in fact, I would rate my liking as follows: Paradigm, B&W, NHT, Klipsch. So, for the money, I guess I should choose Paradigm? But I have no clue as to craftmanship, quality of cust. service, life expectancy, etc. on any of these brands.


Overall, I think I like the Paradigm's for the money, but am worried about the "dipole" surrounds. Although most reviews I have read say they sound just as good though they may take some getting used to. I don't know, I think I am just nervous because this is my first REAL purchase of speakers--not just buying Bose.


Thanks for all the replies.
 

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If you liked the Paradigms best, go for it. As you see in this forum, there are tons of Paradigm fans. It is regarded as one of "reputable" brands. I would not worry about the dipole surrounds, either. There are tons of dipole fans, too. Just try to place it so that the center of the speakers (called the "null" point) face straight toward the main listening position.
 

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pjohnscpa

I would suggest you wait to make your decision and audition the speakers in the room where you will be using them and have the electronics you will be using with them. Speakers can sound different depending on the room and the associated electronics
 

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I currently run the V555ES with Paradigm Studio's... 60's up front, 20's in the back, a CC, and a PW-2200 sub... I'm extremely happy with the setup... The 555ES does a fine job of powering everything... It's my first "real" 5.1 system and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the same price range... If you decide to go this way, I don't think you will be disappointed...
 

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Always audition your final choices side by side. If you do this, it is far more revealing of what speaker is doing what accurately vs euphony.


Now, if you are doing HT 80%, having the speakers identical all the way around is a HUGE advantage. If you are using bookshelf monitors with a sub, they should be sealed so as not to interfere with the subwoofers output. Porting creates lots of interference patterns. Of course, NHT allows you to do this more easily than the others, but you have to go with what you like. But, if the speakers are speaking with one voice, you don't hear 5 speakers (or 6 or 7), you just hear a sound field. If an NHT dealer tries to sell you their dedicated center speaker, just smile and ask for 5 identical monitors! Unfortunately, NHT has a small hole where you are buying. You can go just under $2000 or over $3500. But hey, I'm biased, so don't mind me...........
 

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Try auditioning them with music not from your usual listening genre, perhaps even music you don't like, in order to ferret out offensive tones particular to one speaker.


When you are emotionally detached from the music source, you can be more critical of flaws in the presentation.
 

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In terms of dipole, nobody is forcing you to buy the Paradigm APDs for the surrounds. You can just as easily put regular bookshelves back there if you want. You should, however, spend some time with some surround material, movies and such, with each of those options if you're gonna go the Paradigm route. I am a big fan of Paradigm and B&W, they both make great speakers, with i think the bargain value going to paradigm. Great all-around for the price, wheras B&W can get a little pricey and be great in another area, but lacking in others unless you spend mucho $$$. I'm not too familiar with NHT so i can't comment, and while a lot of people like klipsch, I myself do not. They don't compete with Paradigm or B&W, and what little i've heard from NHT. Still, they are all great brands, and quality should not be a concern. Those brands generally have good dealers that provide great service, and often trade-in options which are usually quite desirable. And don't be afraid to spend significant amounts of time with each, preferably in a well-put together setup. Overkill on the sources is usually better that way you're not worrying about that, and also usually those fancier setups are done better, and aren't just the generic setup feeding a whole row of speakers up there on the shelf. Better to go into a room and set up one pair on stands well, and listen for a good long time, then switch, and do this a few times and find what you like. Also do make sure you get a good return policy if they don't fit or sound well in your home. Another sometimes negative result of going into that high-end room to audition is it's usually got some absorptive panels, and is a great-sounding room, which allows you to hear the speakers perform to their fullest, but your home may be quite different. If what you pick doesn't sound as good to you at home, then make sure you can bring it right back.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by pjohnscpa
Maybe I am stretching it a little. I am not single and am raising two young toddlers, both girls!!:D :D



As far as "brand", I am not worried about the actual nameplate. I cannot take the speakers home and audition them there. So, I guess what I am worried about is the store having the "perfect" set-up and then when I get them home they sound terrible. None of the speakers sound bad, in fact, I would rate my liking as follows: Paradigm, B&W, NHT, Klipsch. So, for the money, I guess I should choose Paradigm? But I have no clue as to craftmanship, quality of cust. service, life expectancy, etc. on any of these brands.
Usually it works the other way around. The speakers usually sound better in your own home after you can experiment with positioning, acoustic treatment etc. It is a very unusual store that has a "perfect set-up" that would sound better than you could do at home. The real point to beware of is in listning to speakers driven by high quality seperates at a dealer and then having them sound bright or etched on top due to using a reciever at home.


All the brands you are considering are quite reputable in terms of service and any speakers should effectively last as long as you choose to listen to them. I still have 2 pairs of my first speakers, DCM Time Windows, now almost 25 yrs old and they have been doing surround speaker duty lately. Decent well made speakers just don't wear out if they are cared for.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by pjohnscpa
Maybe I am stretching it a little. I am not single and am raising two young toddlers, both girls!!:D :D



As far as "brand", I am not worried about the actual nameplate. I cannot take the speakers home and audition them there. So, I guess what I am worried about is the store having the "perfect" set-up and then when I get them home they sound terrible. None of the speakers sound bad, in fact, I would rate my liking as follows: Paradigm, B&W, NHT, Klipsch. So, for the money, I guess I should choose Paradigm? But I have no clue as to craftmanship, quality of cust. service, life expectancy, etc. on any of these brands.
Usually it works the other way around. The speakers usually sound better in your own home after you can experiment with positioning, acoustic treatment etc. It is a very unusual store that has a "perfect set-up" that would sound better than you could do at home. The real point to beware of is in listening to speakers driven by high quality seperates at a dealer and then having them sound bright or etched on top due to using a reciever at home. Insist that the demo speakers are driven by electronics that are at least approximately the same as you will be using.


All the brands you are considering are quite reputable in terms of service and any speakers should effectively last as long as you choose to listen to them. I still have 2 pairs of my first speakers, DCM Time Windows, now almost 25 yrs old and they have been doing surround speaker duty lately. Decent well made speakers just don't wear out if they are cared for.
 

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Hmmm, just to throw in my 2 cents here, have you listened to Mirage's Omni Series yet? Especially since you say 80% HT. Check this thread .
 
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