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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm working on building a home theater system on a budget. I recently picked up the Energy Take Classic 5.1 theater in a box set up since the price point and reviews had it looking really appealing. I also picked up the Yamaha RX-V377 receiver to power the speaker set up.

Now my main question was, now that I have the HTIB set up, I'm looking to maybe upgrade the front 3 speakers (L,R,C) to tower speakers and possibly the subwoofer, while still staying within a pretty tight budget.

I consider myself a pretty hardcore audiophile, able to pick up on small things, but well, money is always an issue so heh, I can 'settle' if you know what I mean!

Anyways, I'm looking at the BIC DV64 or DV84 tower speakers as my main speakers, and I had a few questions:

- Will the BICs sound okay if I keep the Energy center speaker? (Since I heard mixing is taboo).
- If there are better speakers than the BICs for around the same price range, which are they?
- I love some nice deep bass (Listen to a lot of EDM / Electro / Dubstep), will the setup I have boom with music?
- If you had to pick which would you prefer the DV64 or the DV84?
- Are the Energy Classic speakers enough to satisfy the ear for music and theater? Should I replace the sub with a BIC F-12?


Sorry for the newb questions, I did a ton of searching through forums and reviews and sometimes find it best to get some live feedback!

Thanks for any light you pros can shed on my situation!
 

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Do you live near a Frys? If you do, I would encourage you to wait for their sale on the Infinity Primus p363 and get that rather than the BIC. You can also get it for a reasonable price on Amazon if you have Prime. It can stay clean at loud levels and has excellent off-axis response. After that, save up for a good subwoofer. Given your tastes, I would save up for the Premiere Acoustics PA-150. If you use the 'make an offer' button, you can get it for around $400. It doesn't get that deep but will suffice for dubstep, if you have some decent room gain (where a small room will boost low frequencies due to bass acoustics). If you are serious about deep bass, get a Hsu VTF2 mk4 or Rythmik LV12r. Those are about $600 each though.
 

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Where should we start? 1. The Energy Take classic is a set up design for a very small room, has small front drivers (3 inch, cannot produce much bass) and a very undersized subwoofer. If your room is the size of a small dorm room, maybe.

- Will the BICs sound okay if I keep the Energy center speaker? (Since I heard mixing is taboo). Likely a compromise and the Bic may overpower the energy center[/B]
- If there are better speakers than the BICs for around the same price range, which are they? As Shady suggest, the IP p163/p363 would be better
- I love some nice deep bass (Listen to a lot of EDM / Electro / Dubstep), will the setup I have boom with music? No, the Energy take classic cannot "boom"...
- If you had to pick which would you prefer the DV64 or the DV84? Neither...
- Are the Energy Classic speakers enough to satisfy the ear for music and theater? Should I replace the sub with a BIC F-12? Not my ears, and yes, the Bic F12 would be an improvement- you are going from an 8 inch sub/200 watts to a 12 inch/475 watt sub. The Bic F12 might be the best subwoofer you can often get for 200 dollars.
 

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Well I started with the Energy 5.1 Take Classics and a Yamaha RX375. Realized I made an Oops after a few weeks, so I went with the Infinity speakers as a "bang for the buck" upgrade and threw in the BIC F12. Just adding the PC251 (center) made all the difference. The next day the P163s arrived and they were much better than the Energy speakers. I did use the Energy for the rear speakers for a while until the P153s went on sale. Anything is better than the Energy sub even the Polk $99ish sub.


Photos: P363 and P163; P153 vs Energy and PC251 vs the Energy center; Energy, PC251 and PC351, BIC F12 verses the Polk sub.


If you want to try the Infinity get the PC351 since it only fluctuates slightly in price. If you like it (if not return it), catch the others on sale (P363 $99, P163 $50, P153 $45) usually at half price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input guys!

I found a pair of white DALI Zensor 7 tower speakers for sale locally on craigslist for $700...considering my set-up is pretty much gloss white and black...they're definitely tempting. Is that a good price point and is the quality of those speakers up to par with the Infinity P363 that has been mentioned quite a few times through this thread?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ugh,

The decisions! Would you argue that the sound quality of the Dali Zensor 7s are vastly superior to the Infinity P363s? Because the guy is $700 firm and the difference in price could go towards a nice sub / center piece to compliment the entire set up.

I suppose if I got the Dalis, I could run phantom mode to bypass the Energy Take center piece (assuming it would detract more than add?) until I can afford a matching Dali center?

Decisions are killer! Been looking through forums and reviews for days now!
 

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The Infinity are not bad speakers - it all comes down to your preference, ears and what
you can live with - based on your overall budget.

However, I still like the PSB Alpha Tower deal.

No one can guarantee anything - your option, choice and call.
 

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Given your tastes, I think I would just stay with the Infinitys. I do like Dali though, very nice speakers, although I have not heard that particular model. Use the price difference to get a good subwoofer and center channel. The sooner you get away from the Energy Take set, the better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alright so I've pretty much narrowed it down to the Dali Z7s or the PSB Alpha T1 deal that zieglj01 mentioned. The Dali z7s have the aesthetics that I'm looking for, but would you guys say that there is a $300 difference in sound quality? Unfortunately I am unable to test the PSBs in person since they're discontinued and all :(.

The Dalis are calling out to me like "buy me, buy me", but the PSBs are a really good deal at 400$ for two. Quality vs quality in regards to bass strength and overall mid range is there a significant difference? I know not many people can account for the Dalis since they're kind of few and far between.

I'm going to assume that the PSB A-T1s will out-shine the P363 despite only having two main drivers as opposed to three?


Thanks again for putting up with my stupid questions!
 

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I think any of them will be good. The advantage that the Dali and PSB speakers are likely to have over the Infinitys is maybe a more heavily braced cabinet and a better tweeter. The infinity tweeter isn't the best but it isn't bad. The mid woofer on the Infinity is very good though, and I have read accounts of some hobbyists buying the p36x series just to pull out the mid woofer and use it in their own designs. With respect to the PSB VS Dali, I like the PSB's MTM arrangement more, but Dali tends to use very good drivers and cabinet construction. You can't go wrong with either. The bass on any of them should all be pretty good. For the music you listen to, you will need a sub anyway, none of these speakers is going to have hard hitting bass, no matter how much wattage you give them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey there,

Thanks for the reply! I guess the biggest issue that I can't seem to get my head around is how a 2 driver speaker can provide as much depth as say a 3 to 4 driver speaker. Since I'm going to be getting a sub-woofer anyways, I guess clarity and realistic sound is what I need from the towers. I know that I've kind of beaten this topic to a pulp at this point, but when it comes to spending 300$ for a pair of towers (ie. p363s and psb alpha t1s), versus spending 700-1000$ for a pair of towers.

I understand that the 1000$ pair probably has a nicer veneer and overall build quality, but for someone who is a super audiophile (Like if you put beats studio and beats pro head phones on my head, I don't really see that much of a difference.), will the audible quality be vastly superior, or are you mostly paying for the exclusivity and materials (ie. paying 1500$ for a louis vittoun purse vs paying 50$ for a purse at target).

Thanks for your patience, I just want to make sure that I'm making the right choice :( hard to really tell when everyone says every speaker is good and I can't hear them in person!
 

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Thanks for the reply! I guess the biggest issue that I can't seem to get my head around is how a 2 driver speaker can provide as much depth as say a 3 to 4 driver speaker. Since I'm going to be getting a sub-woofer anyways, I guess clarity and realistic sound is what I need from the towers. I know that I've kind of beaten this topic to a pulp at this point, but when it comes to spending 300$ for a pair of towers (ie. p363s and psb alpha t1s), versus spending 700-1000$ for a pair of towers.
It is not so much the driver count - as it is quality, plus design and engineering as a whole.
Also, higher cost does not guarantee better sound. The sub is going to pick up the lower end,
and will take some stress off the towers. And that goes for any tower, regardless of drivers.
 

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While no measurements are published for the Dali Zensor or PSB Alpha towers, there are measurements published for their bookshelf counterparts, the B1 and Zensor 1, and from these you might get a partial idea of how the towers will behave. They both measure pretty well, the PSB's have a flatter on-axis response and the Zensors have more even dispersion. I don't think there will be a huge difference in sound quality between these speakers, if that what you are worried about. The Dali Zensor 7 towers do have significantly larger woofers than the Alpha T1s which should give it more powerful bass. I wouldn't be surprised if the Dali tweeter was more robust than the PSB tweeter as well. The Dali should sound better at louder volumes, but that is just speculation on my part.

The Dali speakers look very nice, but if sound quality is your main concern, I would be looking at a pair of bookshelf speakers and a good sub with your musical tastes. If you want the basslines in dupstep and electro to have some heft, a good subwoofer is very important- that is what you should spend on. Some bookshelf speakers that will suffice for a system like that: Ascend CBM170s, Hsu HB-1 mk2s, Klipsch RB-61s, Infinity Primus p163s. Some subs to look at Reaction Gamma 15, Hsu VTF3 mk5. If those subs are just too expensive to justify, look at the Premiere Acoustics PA-150. Decent bookshelf speakers with a heavy duty sub will KILL a couple of tower speakers with a mediocre sub with respect to electronic music. It is a night-and-day difference, especially if you like your music loud from time to time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the detailed responses guys,

I'm starting to get a better idea of what I want now. I know that I'm putting a heavy emphasis on electro / dubstep music, but to be honest, my neighboors are already banging on the wall with just my 50$ logitech PC speakers with 4" subwoofer (LOL!), so more often than not I'll probably be using it for HT and netflix. Would you still recommend the book shelves over tower speakers?

I guess since I really like the gloss white look I could always paint the PSBs white with some of the 500$ I'd save on Dalis heh.
 

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Thanks for the detailed responses guys,

I'm starting to get a better idea of what I want now. I know that I'm putting a heavy emphasis on electro / dubstep music, but to be honest, my neighboors are already banging on the wall with just my 50$ logitech PC speakers with 4" subwoofer (LOL!), so more often than not I'll probably be using it for HT and netflix. Would you still recommend the book shelves over tower speakers?

I guess since I really like the gloss white look I could always paint the PSBs white with some of the 500$ I'd save on Dalis heh.
If you do buy the PSB towers, it will be like having bookshelf speakers on stands.
Since they are $300 off.

A pair of bookshelf speakers on sale to look at - is the JBL Studio 230 - they will
have some nice bass for your music.
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-230-Bookshelf-Loudspeaker/dp/B00GJXSWZW
 

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Thanks for the detailed responses guys,

I'm starting to get a better idea of what I want now. I know that I'm putting a heavy emphasis on electro / dubstep music, but to be honest, my neighboors are already banging on the wall with just my 50$ logitech PC speakers with 4" subwoofer (LOL!), so more often than not I'll probably be using it for HT and netflix. Would you still recommend the book shelves over tower speakers?

I guess since I really like the gloss white look I could always paint the PSBs white with some of the 500$ I'd save on Dalis heh.
If your logitech system is already too much for your neighbors, the tower speakers will cause the same problems. However, depending on your AVR, you should have the ability to turn down the bass. The subwoofers I mentioned will most definitely be wasted in your situation, unless you really want to be evicted. In your situation I would probably go with the PSB speakers, unless the Dalis are just too nice looking to pass up. I don't think you will be able to use the Dali's extra capability in your apartment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just wired and set up the energy take classic 5.1 that I had already ordered and it really surprised me. Maybe that's just me not being exposed to home theater audio, but I was pretty awestruck!

Anyways, I'm thinking about picking up the Infinity P363s tomorrow, but since I won't have the matching center for awhile would just running the two p363s with no center sound better than the 3 piece energy take set up? And I'm assuming if I do get the p363, that I should disconnect the energy center and run phantom mode? (Don't know how to do that btw).


Thanks for being so helpful guys!
 
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