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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted these questions originally on a local Canadian deals forum, but AVSforum is the expert hangout so here's the dilemma...


I'm going from my Harman Kardon HKTS15 speakers to something larger, better. I was thinking floor standing speakers for the fronts, a beefy center channel, big ass subwoofer and bookshelf speakers for my surrounds. I too got caught up in the flashy black finish and HK branding, and while these speakers have done the job for 2 years, I find myself a little limited when watching Blu-Ray movies. I want to have the insane explosions, the full range, all that stuff.


All that's dandy, but do I need a receiver upgrade to power those speakers? Currently using an HK AVR140, which, according to some Google results should work fine, but I don't know too much about watts vs. ohms vs. impedance and all that stuff. Just what I remember from physics and even that's iffy (ohms x volts = watts?).


Best Buy Canada has a sale on speakers, so there's some deals I found interesting. What do you guys think of these for the main L/R speakers?


BB has Klipsch Synergy F2s for 199/piece, so 400 for a pair.
http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/prodde...86&catid=20322


Klipsch Icon VF-35s, though I really don't want to spend this amount...
http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/prodde...84&catid=20322


And at Future Shop (sister company of Best Buy in Canada)


Polk RTiA5s... $500
http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...0090950&catid=


Klipsch Reference Series RF-52, $500 for the pair
http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...0113244&catid=


People recommend Paradigms, but the Paradigms I found on Craigslist were mad expensive.... 600+ for sets that were years old. How much do they cost new?



So do you guys think the RF-52s are good for 565 bucks with tax? From what I can see, I don't know how I can do better for the money.


I tried my best to find reviews on all the speakers, and from what I saw on other forums and reviews, people don't like the Synergy series from Klipsch that much, being a low end line or whatever. I tried, but couldn't find anything negative about the Klipsch Reference series, so my only option there (reasonably priced, that is) seems to be the RF-52s for 249 each plus tax. Would you guys know of any places I might find these cheaper?


The other speaker I found glowing reviews about was the Polk Audio RTia5. It seems to be pretty much down to this or the Klipsch RF-52, but I couldn't find anything comparing them. Same price as the better Klipsch ones, so tough decision. Can anybody help me between these two?



Oh, and one last question. On Craigslist, I found a 15" Velodyne sub, for which the owner is asking 450. I hadn't planned on spending that much on a sub, but I'll see if he's willing to come down to 300 or at least 350. Would that be a good deal? It sells at FS for 799, but I'm thinking that's an inflated price. Is this sub really worth the difference compared to, say, your average 12" $2xx sub?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh, and if I do go with the Klipsches (that's fun to say), do I have to go with the matching center channel, the RC-52? There's a cheaper version, an RC-10, and then loads of other brands. Can I mix and match?


The surrounds can come later, but I'm thinking Klipsch Icon surrounds maybe... the price seems right.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by heartlesslova /forum/post/15446033

1. Oh, and if I do go with the Klipsches (that's fun to say), do I have to go with the matching center channel, the RC-52? There's a cheaper version, an RC-10, and then loads of other brands. Can I mix and match?

2. The surrounds can come later, but I'm thinking Klipsch Icon surrounds maybe... the price seems right.
1. Klipsch (not even gonna try to say it your way
) is a little different sound than what you're used to with your speakers. They have horn loaded tweaters which really emphasize the high end. And, while that may be just fine and dandy for some, many find it painful on the ears after a while. Especially at higher volumes.


When I did my HT speaker auditioning several years ago, I used the same four reference CDs and kept a journal on each speaker I listened to. I wrote down everything I felt about the speaker at the time. After I auditioned the Klipsch flagship at the time, the RF-7's, my notes were all about the punchy bass and the crystal clear high end.... "airy" I believe I called them.


Again, they were so "different" than a non horn loaded speaker which I was used to.... that I felt like "WOW." They were kind of cool. After around six months of auditioning as many different brands as I possibly could, the RF-7's were in my final three to go back and audition again. They were the exact same pair of speakers sitting in the exact same location in the show room, hooked up to the exact same Denon gear. But, this time.... I could only listen for about ten minutes. I found the high end to be overly bright and quite annoying.


But, again.... that was my personal experience and opinion only. Only YOU can determine what's going to sound good to YOU. No schmuck on an internet forum can tell you what you are going to like or is going to sound good to you. You really should do some auditioning of different brands for yourself. What simply rocks for one person, may sound like dog doo to another. So, my best advice is audition for yourself and don't buy what someone tells you to buy.


Don't "cheap out" on your center channel. As much as 80% of a recorded sound track can be recorded in the center channel at times during a movie. You want one that is designed to go with your R/L mains. Even better, all three speakers across the front being the exact same speaker. Which isn't always possible of course, so at least get the one designed by the manufacturer to go with your R/L mains.


Why? Think of the engine rumble of a Shelby Cobra roaring across the front sound stage.... deep rumble from the left and as it pans center screen as the car races from left to right.... it all of a sudden sounds like a Yugo center screen, only to go back to sounding like the deep rumble of the Shelby as it pans right. Or, maybe even better.... the deep baritone/bass voice of James Earl Jones and Darth Vader all of a sudden sounding like Tiny Tim as he pans center screen then back to normal as he pans right. I've heard it.... it's annoying as hell.

2. As for the surrounds for movies, smaller speakers are just fine since less information is recorded there. For multi channel music though, your surrounds become a lot more important.


Bottom line.... take your time and audition as many different speakers as you can. If you do, you will find something that you really, really like and can be happy with for years. I know I'm still in love with my AUDES Blues based HT speakers after eight years of owning them. If you don't, and you buy the first thing that comes along or that someone says is da-bomb.... you may just find yourself disappointed after a while and starting the process all over once again.


Good luck!

 

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Everything he said. I've had Klipsch before, they did loud very well, but, can get harsh and painful. Make sure you at least do a few treatments in your room. It will help absorb some of the highs and help them smooth out a little. Just go out and listen, to everything you find in your budget ( don't torture yourself and listen to stuff you can't afford) and had fun with it. Don't make it a chore, don't make it hard, just fun.



Guess the Indy crew showed up early
 

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And everything they both said! Tell me, after all of your research, which speakers sound good to you? What's that, you haven't heard any of these? Well, what are you waiting for; go listen to some!


Believe me, I can truly understand how confusing this can all be after all, there are a lot of speakers out there. Now that you have read a little and are at the point of seeking advise, it's time to go listen to some. I'm not recommending that you spend months and drive 100's of miles to listen to every brand ever made. Just go to what's ever close and try to listen to Klispch (horn loaded very detailed sound) Polk (soft dome tweeter not as harsh sounding) and whatever metal dome tweeter that might be available. Just listening to those 3 types of speakers will help you understand what type of sound your ears might like. Some people really, really love the Klipsch sound, some don't. Some love Polk, or Energy, or Paradigms, some don't.


Take some of your favorite CDs that you are very familiar with, with you, and play them on various speakers just to see how different they can sound. Who knows, it may only take you an hour or so to discover what you like or dislike about the brands you've read about.


Reading reviews and forums like this will help educate you on what your spending your money on but, you listen to speakers, you don't read them! Go and listen to some, and then come back and tell us what you've learned about what type of sound appeals to you. Then we will be in a better position to help you.


Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by quadriverfalls /forum/post/15446363

1. Klipsch (not even gonna try to say it your way
) is a little different sound than what you're used to with your speakers. They have horn loaded tweaters which really emphasize the high end. And, while that may be just fine and dandy for some, many find it painful on the ears after a while. Especially at higher volumes.


When I did my HT speaker auditioning several years ago, I used the same four reference CDs and kept a journal on each speaker I listened to. I wrote down everything I felt about the speaker at the time. After I auditioned the Klipsch flagship at the time, the RF-7's, my notes were all about the punchy bass and the crystal clear high end.... "airy" I believe I called them.


Again, they were so "different" than a non horn loaded speaker which I was used to.... that I felt like "WOW." They were kind of cool. After around six months of auditioning as many different brands as I possibly could, the RF-7's were in my final three to go back and audition again. They were the exact same pair of speakers sitting in the exact same location in the show room, hooked up to the exact same Denon gear. But, this time.... I could only listen for about ten minutes. I found the high end to be overly bright and quite annoying.


But, again.... that was my personal experience and opinion only. Only YOU can determine what's going to sound good to YOU. No schmuck on an internet forum can tell you what you are going to like or is going to sound good to you. You really should do some auditioning of different brands for yourself. What simply rocks for one person, may sound like dog doo to another. So, my best advice is audition for yourself and don't buy what someone tells you to buy.


Don't "cheap out" on your center channel. As much as 80% of a recorded sound track can be recorded in the center channel at times during a movie. You want one that is designed to go with your R/L mains. Even better, all three speakers across the front being the exact same speaker. Which isn't always possible of course, so at least get the one designed by the manufacturer to go with your R/L mains.


Why? Think of the engine rumble of a Shelby Cobra roaring across the front sound stage.... deep rumble from the left and as it pans center screen as the car races from left to right.... it all of a sudden sounds like a Yugo center screen, only to go back to sounding like the deep rumble of the Shelby as it pans right. Or, maybe even better.... the deep baritone/bass voice of James Earl Jones and Darth Vader all of a sudden sounding like Tiny Tim as he pans center screen then back to normal as he pans right. I've heard it.... it's annoying as hell.

2. As for the surrounds for movies, smaller speakers are just fine since less information is recorded there. For multi channel music though, your surrounds become a lot more important.


Bottom line.... take your time and audition as many different speakers as you can. If you do, you will find something that you really, really like and can be happy with for years. I know I'm still in love with my AUDES Blues based HT speakers after eight years of owning them. If you don't, and you buy the first thing that comes along or that someone says is da-bomb.... you may just find yourself disappointed after a while and starting the process all over once again.


Good luck!


Thanks for such a great response! I wouldn't like that extremely high high end you describing, at least I think. And thanks to your description, I see that the center channel would be pretty important. I'll try to get a matching unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chadci /forum/post/15446445


Everything he said. I've had Klipsch before, they did loud very well, but, can get harsh and painful. Make sure you at least do a few treatments in your room. It will help absorb some of the highs and help them smooth out a little. Just go out and listen, to everything you find in your budget ( don't torture yourself and listen to stuff you can't afford) and had fun with it. Don't make it a chore, don't make it hard, just fun.



Guess the Indy crew showed up early

What do you think about the Polks I mentioned? RTiA5 I believe...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogEarz /forum/post/15446648


And everything they both said! Tell me, after all of your research, which speakers sound good to you? What's that, you haven't heard any of these? Well, what are you waiting for; go listen to some!


Believe me, I can truly understand how confusing this can all be after all, there are a lot of speakers out there. Now that you have read a little and are at the point of seeking advise, it's time to go listen to some. I'm not recommending that you spend months and drive 100's of miles to listen to every brand ever made. Just go to what's ever close and try to listen to Klispch (horn loaded very detailed sound) Polk (soft dome tweeter not as harsh sounding) and whatever metal dome tweeter that might be available. Just listening to those 3 types of speakers will help you understand what type of sound your ears might like. Some people really, really love the Klipsch sound, some don't. Some love Polk, or Energy, or Paradigms, some don't.


Take some of your favorite CDs that you are very familiar with, with you, and play them on various speakers just to see how different they can sound. Who knows, it may only take you an hour or so to discover what you like or dislike about the brands you've read about.


Reading reviews and forums like this will help educate you on what your spending your money on but, you listen to speakers, you don't read them! Go and listen to some, and then come back and tell us what you've learned about what type of sound appeals to you. Then we will be in a better position to help you.


Have fun!

I realize that it's not the best environment, but I checked some out at Best Buy, and found that I didn't like the Synergy F1/F2/F3s that much. VF-35s sounded better than the others by a lot, all the JBLs etc.


In Canada, Klipsch, Paradigm etc. only have a handful of dealers in each city, and most of them are very snobby. I just called a place today that told me "I wouldn't be interested in selling you speakers if your total bill was under $50,000."


Generally speaking, I understand what you mean about listening to each speaker and forming a personal opinion, however, in the larger sense, would you recommend I go with the Polks or the Klipsch, assuming I couldn't really listen to them in the store the way I wanted and had to go with the opinion of the AVS community?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda /forum/post/15446564


Why not the PSB Alpha T1 floorstanders...

Hah, I was gonna say I'm gonna have a hard time finding them in Canada until I saw that PSB Int'l is located in Pickering, Ontario. Canadian company I think?


Do you think these are better than the RF-52s and the RTia5s?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by heartlesslova /forum/post/15446857


Hah, I was gonna say I'm gonna have a hard time finding them in Canada until I saw that PSB Int'l is located in Pickering, Ontario. Canadian company I think?


Do you think these are better than the RF-52s and the RTia5s?

Heartless.... once again, it really doesn't matter what I think, what Mr. Veda thinks or anyone else in the AVS comunnity "thinks" is better. You really DO need to just relax, take a little time and go find what YOU think sounds "better or best."


There are many different locations where you can audition speakers. Grab a phone book and look up Home Theater installers, Home Automation/Smart House type companies etc. Many of them have small demo or show rooms that cater to their customers. Also check for any used gear shops. Those are sometimes the very BEST to go "hang out" and listen to gear.


Seriously, if you do your homework, you WILL find places other than BB to audition speakers. Once you do, you will find something that YOU like and will be happy with for years. If you don't want to spend the time and effort, go ahead and just buy something that someone on this board says "oh yeah.... those are GREAT speakers." Then six months from now when you're looking to up grade again.... remember that the old quadman (and others) told 'ya so.
 

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A few years ago I had a very small budget ( around 1 grand total) to buy speakers AND a receiver. I did lots of homework and shopping and I came up with the following


Onkyo 503

JBL EC35

JBL E30 (mains)

JBL E20 (sides)

JBL E10 (rears)


I also got a JBL E250P which I do not reccomend for a home theater based system.


The Onkyo was a great piece for what I paid... I still use the speakers. That EC35 is probably one of the better centers I've owned and I've had bigger priced brands in the past, including Klipsch. I really like the sound of JBL for movies, it just has a big, impactful sound and they do not wuss out, they also do a great job for games and a so so job for music. I would like to get a lower profile system, so, I'm looking at JBL again, this time a LC2 and L820's for mains, sides and rears.


In about 5 minutes I'm heading to the garage to build my second IB.


All this goes to show that with a little work and time spent shopping for deals you can get a great sounding system for not a whole lot of money. Never EVER skimp on the center channel especially if it's going to be mostly a movie based system. I tried that 2 or 3 systems ago and it was a total waste of money.


Like I said, above all things, have fun with it. Get out and listen to everything you can.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by heartlesslova /forum/post/15446842


I realize that it's not the best environment, but I checked some out at Best Buy, and found that I didn't like the Synergy F1/F2/F3s that much. VF-35s sounded better than the others by a lot, all the JBLs etc.

Bingo!


Too often in this forum (and others) people make generalizations about the "Klipsch sound". But it's usually based on hearing one model, and often on a listening that was done years ago. Even worse are generalizations based on hearsay, i.e. "I've heard that Klipsch speakers are so harsh they'll make your ears bleed". Not saying it was done in this thread, but you'll see similar comments throughout this forum as posters merely parrot comments made by others.

Like you I found out that there is a significant difference in the sound quality within the different model lines of one manufacturer. I too did not care for the Synergy series you mentioned nor the earlier Reference series (RF5/35), but when I listened to the Reference IV series, even with a built-in bias against them, I found them to be much more subdued in their upper range, so much so that I ended up purchasing them for myself (RB51/RC52). The Icons series that I've heard also exhibit this subdued upper range.

So when you see posters make sweeping generalizations about a manufacturers entire line of speakers, whether it's Klipsch or any other, unless they've critically listened to the exact series that you're considering, take it with a grain of salt. It doe not matter if a manufacturer has a "sound", the only sound that matters is the sound of the exact models that will be sitting in your house. Believe your own ears.
 

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Which is why I suggested actually going and listening to something, anything. The original poster found that even in the Klipsch line there were some that sounded better to him. You can read all you want and come here and asked for all of the opinions you crave, but until you actually put your own ears in front of some speakers, how are you going to know what appeals to you.


Heartless, generally speaking in the larger sense, if someone needed suggestions without being able to listen and choose for themselves, I would suggest Polk over Klipsch. Simply because, after hearing both of them for myself, and reading so many opinions where people either loved or hated Klipsch (no middle ground). Since Klipsch speakers appear to be so polarized (love/hate) I would have to recommend the Polks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by heartlesslova /forum/post/15446842



In Canada, Klipsch, Paradigm etc. only have a handful of dealers in each city, and most of them are very snobby. I just called a place today that told me "I wouldn't be interested in selling you speakers if your total bill was under $50,000."

Wow did a dealer actually say this? If so I would be flabergasted what brands do they represent?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrat /forum/post/15455407


Wow did a dealer actually say this? If so I would be flabergasted what brands do they represent?

Yeah, a dealer said this. What you guys don't know is that in Canada, we have these little bubble economies. The GTA, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal. Not a lot of big centers means not many dealers for each line. I found like 6 or so Klipsch dealers from their site, and most of them were out in booney land somewhere, like Alliston (where Corollas are made, but not much else happens).


Anyways, long story short... I really appreciate all the input from all you guys. I went out to a few hifi stores, mostly the type that are snobby, and ended up at a smaller place (actually really dingy/funky...take it how you will) run by this one ponytailed man. I tried out a few, and the ones that I found decent for my budget were the RF-52s, so I picked those up as well as a matching center channel and 12 guage wiring. Really... awesome! I'm so happy about this purchase, because I'm always upgrading things like TVs and stuff, and as far as home theater goes, speakers last pretty long.


I couldn't afford to pick up Klipsch surrounds, so I picked up a pair of "Precison Acoustics" bookshelf speakers from Best Buy for fifty bucks until I can upgrade. Oh, and I grabbed the Velodyne 1000 watt 15" sub, RLS-5000R I believe. Pretty awesome! I hated it when subs would bottom out, which would be always, since my experience was with HTIBs and 5.1 PC speakers till now. This doesn't do that!


I was pretty miffed when I found out my PS3 won't output multichannel LPCM over optical, so I sold my HK AVR 140 and picked up an Onkyo TX-SR606. So far, I found two (majorish) issues with it. One, its not nearly as loud as I want it to be. Batman Begins Blu-Ray needs to play at around 60 on the volume scale on it, and it maxes out at 65 or something... no headroom. Secondly, and a bigger issue, the sub buzz. I'm going to get rid of this Onkyo, and I would love the advice you guys have on what to replace it with. I've started a new thread here...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post15481922


Again, thanks so much to all of you!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by heartlesslova /forum/post/15481966


like Alliston (where Corollas are made, but not much else happens).

Actually, the Honda Civic is made in Alliston. (as was the ridgeline, not sure if they still make it there or not though).


I would love to know the name of the place that commented about the 50K.


I'm guessing he's a one man show in which case, I sort of get it, though it's a pretty dick way of getting a point across. If he isn't though, I'd prefer to know so I can avoid that place. Mostly because places like that are full of useless opinions.


One thing I would say/suggest though is if your main purpose is Home Theatre to avoid floor standing speakers and just buy a proper powered sub (or a couple). Right now I'm looking at replacing my speakers (perhaps all of them, 9 yr old Inifinity Reference Series) because the L and R main are floor standing and I just installed a AT (acoustically transparent) screen.


Ultimately I'm not sure the floor standing ones even have a cavity into the bulk of the speaker, I think they're more like veritcally mounted bookshelfs in a heavy and tall integrated stand as they don't really have any "boom" to them and I think the next model up on the L/R mains did allow for a 10" integrated sub in each (to probably use that space that I think is wasted on mine). Anyhow the floor standing frame itself just presents some drawbacks and mounting limitations due to size and weight. So for flexibility (And now based on experience) I would try to find a smaller more easily mountable speaker that you'd enjoy.


Also, again, just opinion, but I dunno if a 15" woofer would be desireable. While it certainly depends on the room, you're going to get more "boom" out of it. Response will be slow(er) due to it's size.


I, personally, run an old JBL 10" Powered Woofer and it makes the right sounds, but it doesn't move enough air to make things shake... so.. I installed bass shakers. This gives the feeling of a much bigger (or more powerful woofer) without the headache from the onslaught of SPL changes.



I dunno, it's not for everyone, but neither is a 15" woofer. I think you need/want a big area for 15" to make any kind of sense.


Also, this is my problem with "auditioning" speakers in environments like FS and BB. Their rooms are ass. Their speaker placement can sometimes be pointing at each other. Sales people are generally annoying or uneducated. It's just not terribly representative of the sound you'll hear in your space. But yeah I guess you can get an idea. Though frankly I'd just take advantage of their liberal return policies and just look for a product with a good general consensus, save me the time, buy them, take them home and see if I agree.


However some of the more catered stores will have rooms that will help you get a much better idea. Though your options are a little more limited (usually 1, maybe 2 sets per room and only a couple rooms) and the prices aren't usually as good. But then again, If you're going to spend 3 grand, why not spend 4 and be sure, happy. Just depends on what kind of person you are and what you expect from your home theatre experience. Some people love to hear "That sounds pretty good" while thinking "I know, this setup only cost me $800". And others expect to hear "Wow, I'm blown away" while thinking "You should be, these cost me 5 grand"



Me? I'm just trying to find a balance. Sadly this probably is the most time consuming of all options.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by heartlesslova /forum/post/15446842


In Canada, Klipsch, Paradigm etc. only have a handful of dealers in each city, and most of them are very snobby. I just called a place today that told me "I wouldn't be interested in selling you speakers if your total bill was under $50,000."
The dealer said that? I would lodge a complaint to the speaker company represented by that moron about that moron and by mentioning the store. I would have also asked that salesman to speak with a person more qualified than him to talk about speakers.


Don't be intimidated by a??holes like them. I've already said to a few sale people at different stores, "I don't like your attitude and will speak with another sales person in the store.
That gets em really miffed but I don't care. Treat me with respect and courtesy or lose my business
 

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heartlesslova,


Isnt "2001 Audio video" (name?) on Mavis (across the road from BB)? and dont they sell PSB speakers?


Im from Canada (Waterloo area) and I still do business in Mississauga monthly.


I googled consumer electronics for Mississauga, here is a link that might help you find some dealers

http://directory.mississaugadirect.i...r_Electronics/
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by quadriverfalls /forum/post/15447564


Heartless.... once again, it really doesn't matter what I think, what Mr. Veda thinks or anyone else in the AVS comunnity "thinks" is better. You really DO need to just relax, take a little time and go find what YOU think sounds "better or best."

Agreed. Heartless, there's no way for me to tell you which speaker sounds better but to not let a fellow poster know about what I think is a great speaker for the price would be a sin. So if you can, never pass a comparison with the lower end PSB's. They're great for either HT or music.
 
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