So I’m looking for some nice floor standing speakers for home theater AND music and want to spend $2500 to $3500 for the mains. I’ll be using 80% Movies 20% Music and I have my eye on a pair of Monitor Audio Gold 200’s so what would you BUY?
There is no way to answer that question unless you just want to spend money. Heck, I can make you a set of speaker wires and sell them to you for a couple of grand and your mission is complete!
If you like, I can create pages of amazing words that will impress you friends and give you that warm feeling of exclusiv, yet magic abilities of whatever slant you wish to take--at no extra charge! I am cool like that!
Although you provided almost no information, I do gather you wish to built an HT system which the "mains" are not a pair of speakers, they are THREE speakers. The center is the most critical, then the subwoofers and finally the left/right speakers so start at the most critical first--the center. This is where everything is dictated from--the center of the HT universe so it must fit your requirements for size, weight and configuration first--it is also dictated by the video display which is unknown. Quite a difference between what speakers you can use if you have an acoustic screen and projector VS say a 65 inch TV. There is also those annoying things like listening distance, how much SPL is required (reference levels be they higher or lower) what types of amplification you wish to use, how much electricity you have available to feed the amplifiers, room size, shape and how reflective the room is. Big difference between a carpeted room with curtains over a hard wood floor, glass windows on one side or a slanted ceiling. To do it properly, this creates different dispersion characteristics from the mains and surrounds to fight natural room issues. For example, I would not use a wide dispersion coaxial/concentric speaker with a listening distance of 4 meters in a highly reflective room with wood floors, huge glass windows on one side and a slanted ceiling--wrong design!
If you want to use giant towers for left/right but only can have a 6 inch tall center channel laid on it's side because you just have to slap the flat screen right above the fireplace--you will fail. If you can only alllow one sub of 2 cubic feet for an 8000 cubic foot room but want realistic theater levels, you will fail yet again. If you wish to get reference levels or higher at a listening distance of 4 meters and everything runs off a 15 amp breaker--you can do that but it won't be small!
There is a method to the madness and no matter how much money you throw at the problem you will fail if you don't understand what your requirements are (SPL levels, distortion levels, listening distances, how low in frequency you wish to get accurate response etc.)
We could take a wild guess though, I can easily default to get the largest, most efficient speakers so they can run on 20 watts and blow your hearing--I could do that! Pick up a three pack of JBL 4722N actual theater speakers and throw the Be upgrades in the massive horn on top and enjoy! For subs, get FOUR Emiinence 21" touring subs and slap them into 15 cubic foot boxes tuned to 17Hz and power them with a stadium amp--done! Granted, you'll need a basement to hold the things, they are very large, very heavy speakers but they will get your head ringing on any basic AVR. If you are in a small living room they won't fit, you will be to close to them and four Eminence touring 21" subwoofers might blow the glass out of your living room but you can always turn them down.
With that out of the way, you need to do some reading, learning and educate yourself enough to attach numbers, requirements and such to things we can work with. Every sound system on the planet has a compromise which explains why so many different ways to build speakers exist. To get an understanding on what the limits are, a guy named Hoffman created his iron law back in 1957 to assist. It would be a good idea to understand the basics of how speakers work, why they come in different sizes, different configurations and narrow down your requirements to what is available off the shelf. For some uses, the speakers will need to be custom built to fit your speace. Say you want those 21" Eminence touring subs and to get the full performance out of them with a 10 KW arena amplifier--better call the electrician now!
The term used in these parts is "falling down the rabbit hole" so understanding what you want up front will prevent you from wasting money and getting the wrong thing at the start.
So let us know what size your room is, how reflective it is, what your sound level requirements are, what is the maximum size you can stand for not only left/right speakers but the center channel, the sizes of surrounds, how many surrounds, what types of subwoofers and how many you plan to use along with what electrical capabilities of the room. To break it down, look at it lin pieces that fit together. The Left/Right?center (LRC) the subwoofers, the surrounds and Atmos surrounds if required now or in the future. They all work together and there is not much of a point to blow a bunch of cash on left/right if the center will be very small or you are very limited on subwoofer size, quality and placement. If you want Atmos now or in the future, be aware they should be the same or as close as possible to the surround designs--don't blame me, just what Dolby hands out for advice. It would be a ggod idea to go to Dolby's website as they will aeducate you on proper setup/calibration of an HT system before you spend your first pocket change. Very helpful site and honestly think about how all your gear works as a system. Nothing worse than purchasing the wrong thing then attempting to "make it work" by severe compromise with everything else.
If it was me, I'd go to the Dolby site and get a good overview of proper HT systems and gain an understanding of how all this fits together. The basic concept for multi-channel is the center channel is the center of the speaker solar system and whatever you can use for that dictates what additional speakers (left/right/surrouncs, Atmos) that rotate around it. Once you know the capabilities of the speakers that dictates the requirements for the subwoofers to mix in properly. If you are limited on what the subwoofers can do, that will dictate the limits of what the mains can or should do and so on. Of course, all this stuff runs on electricity from your outlet(s) so you can't just keep throwing power and money at it if you have to share the breaker with the TV, computers and so on--there are natural limits. As with cars, boats or houses--it is best to learn about what you want and what is available before jumping in with both feet. Just as you can't tow a 26 foot boat with a sports car, you can't get IMAX from a sub that is the size of a flower pot--although I wish I could! Time to hit reset and define your terms using some of that free information provided by Dolby as a start. If you accidently get what you want and have money left over--you can always send it to me! 18 would love a pair of 21" subs in my garage. Throwin' that one out there.
Good luck in your quest, enjoy the read and we can give some guidance along the way as your define and refine your requirements--Enjoy!