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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR705

Current speakers: 5.1 setup, nothing else is worth mentioning as they came together with my old receiver that was purchased nearly nine years ago (in other words they're junk).

Most frequent audio sources:

-PS3 via HDMI; MP3s, CDs, SACDs, DVDs, Blu-ray and gaming.

-Turntable; I listen to lots of vinyl, original pressings typically of Blues, Blues-rock and guitar oriented Rock released from the 1940s through the 1970s.

-My ordered big A/V pleasures in life, music > movies >= video-games.


My undertaking: To replace my front three speakers (stereo and center) with new good quality speakers for around or under $700. This is long overdue, and I understand my remaining speakers are still junk but I'll be able to retire my junk stereo speakers to a 7.1 setup.


I'm open to ordering speakers online but would prefer buying them at a local shop. One of the only local specialty shops I know of is http://universityaudio.com/ . Their website isn't much but it lists the brands they carry, so you know what is available locally for me. I've been there a couple of times, great place, but at the time I was shopping for headphones (bought Grado SR225s) and not speakers. I know the classic advice that "only I know what sounds good to me" and I do plan on making a few trips there in the near future. But I want third-party advice and suggestions before I really start shopping around so I know what to look for.


Any degree of input is highly appreciated.


Thanks.
 

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Best bang for the buck at the moment is the KEF iQx selloff as the new iQx0 line is in - but they're going fast (almost no iQ6 centres left, but I have the iQ2 and it's good).


Online the best prices are at Vanns, then OneCall then accessories4less. In the KEF thread at the end there is a retailer in Tennessee offering good prices via PM.


If you like the KEF iQ sound (I have some and love them) they are a fabulous deal now.
 

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Swans 2.1 BC mains and C3 BC center would be another good option a bit under $700 cap. There are too many to list, but you'll likely get tons of good recommendations here.
 

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I always recommend checking the ID companies, Axiomaudio, Aperion, Ascend, av123 etc. I feel they offer a little more bang for the buck. From Axiom you could get M22s and a VP100 from the Factory Outlet for $654 US delivered.
 

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Im looking to do the same thing, but I'd like keep my budget around $500. I'm new to buying "real" speakers, meaning anything that doesn't come in a HTIB. Do you guys think I would be able to get some good front speakers and a matching center for around that price or should i be looking at the same price range as henry_the_horse?


Im in a very similar situation as henry_the_horse, as I use mostly my PS3 for blu-ray, video games and streaming mp3's, a turntable and my directv HR20 for televisoin. Im running everything through my Onkyo TX-SR606. A family member recently passed on some Bose 301 series IV bookshelfs to me that I plan on moving to the rear of my room to use as surrounds in a 5.1 setup. And I currently have an older 12" sub, the make and model is escaping me right now, but it does the trick.


I plan on heading to some local shops tonight and tomorrow to start listening to some options, and it'd be nice if i could go there with an idea of whats in my price range that is also a quality buy.


thanks for any input.


edit:


also, do you think using the Bose 301's as surrounds is a good idea?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgorhan /forum/post/15555489


Im looking to do the same thing, but I'd like keep my budget around $500. I'm new to buying "real" speakers, meaning anything that doesn't come in a HTIB. Do you guys think I would be able to get some good front speakers and a matching center for around that price or should i be looking at the same price range as henry_the_horse?


Im in a very similar situation as henry_the_horse, as I use mostly my PS3 for blu-ray, video games and streaming mp3's, a turntable and my directv HR20 for televisoin. Im running everything through my Onkyo TX-SR606. A family member recently passed on some Bose 301 series IV bookshelfs to me that I plan on moving to the rear of my room to use as surrounds in a 5.1 setup. And I currently have an older 12" sub, the make and model is escaping me right now, but it does the trick.


I plan on heading to some local shops tonight and tomorrow to start listening to some options, and it'd be nice if i could go there with an idea of whats in my price range that is also a quality buy.


thanks for any input.

I'm getting repetitive in all of these threads, but


- KEF iQ1, 2 pairs at $200 per pair from Vanns

- KEF iQ2 centre for $150 also at Vanns


Great 5.0 for $550. Save up and someday replace your sub with a SVS PB10-NSD, HSU STF-2 or a Paradigm DSP-3100 (that's what I got).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Originally Posted by jakewash /forum/post/15554731


I always recommend checking the ID companies, Axiomaudio, Aperion, Ascend, av123 etc. I feel they offer a little more bang for the buck. From Axiom you could get M22s and a VP100 from the Factory Outlet for $654 US delivered.

A coworker recommended Ascend Acoustics to me and from what I read people seem to really like what they make. I haven't listened to any of their speakers but the amount of praise they get would almost justify buying them without a listen. The CMT-340 SE mains and center are specifically what I was eyeballing but they exceed my budget by about $200.
 

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Everyone is offering ideas on stereo mains + "center". Just in case you didn't know (like I didn't just a couple of years ago), the ideal is to have three identical speakers, upright, on the same plane. The benefits make for a long list. What IS nice about ID brands is that you don't have to buy two pairs and store the extra to do so. However, there are BM brands that also sell individually, but it's not the norm.


If horiz center is necessary, KEF's coincidental design is a very good one to sidestep lobing. The coaxial design also allows KEF to make the shortest horiz centers, with a better design, that I know of.


My experiences with Ascend are also very positive. Good luck!
 

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I think they would be worth going over the budget for and you really have not much to lose. All ID companies offer a money back guarrantee in some flavor, Axiom asks that you pay the return shipping just as Ascend does, only Axiom includes shipping to you in their pricing. Others will pay shipping both ways. $200 to me is worth being truly satified and not wondering if you could have bought better for the money. SVSound also has some well reviewed speaker systems and their subs are very good.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick240 /forum/post/15555676


I'm getting repetitive in all of these threads, but


- KEF iQ1, 2 pairs at $200 per pair from Vanns

- KEF iQ2 centre for $150 also at Vanns


Great 5.0 for $550. Save up and someday replace your sub with a SVS PB10-NSD, HSU STF-2 or a Paradigm DSP-3100 (that's what I got).

Sweet, thanks. I'll have to try to find a dealer near me so I can take a listen before I make my final decision.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by henry_the_horse /forum/post/15555783


The CMT-340 SE mains and center are specifically what I was eyeballing but they exceed my budget by about $200.

Just a thought, you don't have to get the 340's. You could go with a pair of HTM-200 SE's for the L and R plus the HTM-200 SE center. One heck of a good start. It might be a stretch, but I just tried their package system calculater and added another pair of HTM-200 SE's for the rears and that would bring you to $664 with shipping. See link:

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...isor.mv#bottom
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by henry_the_horse /forum/post/15554350


Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR705

Current speakers: 5.1 setup, nothing else is worth mentioning as they came together with my old receiver that was purchased nearly nine years ago (in other words they're junk).

Most frequent audio sources:

-PS3 via HDMI; MP3s, CDs, SACDs, DVDs, Blu-ray and gaming.

-Turntable; I listen to lots of vinyl, original pressings typically of Blues, Blues-rock and guitar oriented Rock released from the 1940s through the 1970s.

-My ordered big A/V pleasures in life, music > movies >= video-games.


My undertaking: To replace my front three speakers (stereo and center) with new good quality speakers for around or under $700. This is long overdue, and I understand my remaining speakers are still junk but I'll be able to retire my junk stereo speakers to a 7.1 setup.


I'm open to ordering speakers online but would prefer buying them at a local shop. One of the only local specialty shops I know of is http://universityaudio.com/ . Their website isn't much but it lists the brands they carry, so you know what is available locally for me. I've been there a couple of times, great place, but at the time I was shopping for headphones (bought Grado SR225s) and not speakers. I know the classic advice that "only I know what sounds good to me" and I do plan on making a few trips there in the near future. But I want third-party advice and suggestions before I really start shopping around so I know what to look for.


Any degree of input is highly appreciated.


Thanks.


I listen to the same types of music that you do and have an extensive Blues collection on LP as well as classic rock mostly geared towards guitar. I have owned a lot of different speakers over the years, Triangle, (superb for music) several itterations of Infinity, Dunlavy (superb for everything), Axiom, and the list goes on. Right now in my media room I run two Vandersteen Model 2CE's, and a Vandersteen VCC-1 center channel. Outstanding sound for music and very dynamic for movies. I purchased them used for $650 on a lark and was just going to fart around with them. But when I hooked them up the sound was superb so they are still there. I don't know if you want to go the used route or not, but retail for those speakers is $2500+. When I move to my new home I have decided to go with used Dunlavy IV's or V's. I love the used market place.
 

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With an Onkyo receiver and your musical taste, I'd say the KEF sounds good literally as I've auditioned that setup many times.
 

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just got back from two sixth aves where i thought i'd be able to find the Kef iQ1's and iQ2, but neither had them in stock because they are discontinued. The salesman at the second store tried to sell me 2 Definitive Pro monitor 1000's and a Definitive Pro Monitor 1000 Center for $500.


Has anyone heard these speakers? He demoed them for me in the store and they sounded good, but its always kinda tough to get a good feeling for speakers in that environment. How do they compare to the Kef iQ1s? Is that a deal i should have jumped on? They list for $219.95 per speaker on Vanns.com. And the center goes for $220.


any input would be appreciated.
 

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DefTechs were on my short list when I bought last June, they are really nice.


If you went that way you would really want the ProCenter 2000 to go with the ProMonitor 1000.


But I think I would still go for the Vanns KEF deal first myself; either a pair of iQ3 ($250) and an iQ2 ($150) for $400, or a pair of iQ7 or iQ5 (both are $400) and an iQ2 ($150) for $550.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTZ /forum/post/15556658


Just a thought, you don't have to get the 340's. You could go with a pair of HTM-200 SE's for the L and R plus the HTM-200 SE center. One heck of a good start. It might be a stretch, but I just tried their package system calculater and added another pair of HTM-200 SE's for the rears and that would bring you to $664 with shipping. See link:

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...isor.mv#bottom

You happen to be correct with my situation. I realized this evening that buying the CMT-340 SEs for all three (center and L & R fronts) speakers would be an overkill. They seem more fitted for larger rooms which my living room isn't. However, meeting you halfway, the CBM-170 SEs look good for L & R fronts. Meeting myself halfway the CMT-340 SE looks good as a center. It appears the 340 center is designed to work flush with the 170s, correct me if I'm wrong. This also puts me at about $650 after shipping. Perfect.


Any input on this setup?


And thanks for the help this far.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by henry_the_horse /forum/post/15559324


You happen to be correct with my situation. I realized this evening that buying the CMT-340 SEs for all three (center and L & R fronts) speakers would be an overkill. They seem more fitted for larger rooms which my living room isn't. However, meeting you halfway, the CBM-170 SEs look good for L & R fronts. Meeting myself halfway the CMT-340 SE looks good as a center. It appears the 340 center is designed to work flush with the 170s, correct me if I'm wrong. This also puts me at about $650 after shipping. Perfect.


Any input on this setup?


And thanks for the help this far.

The 170/340 combo would be great, timbre matched too. Driven by your Onkyo it would sound sweet. And if you every wanted to 'overkill' in the future you could always move those 170's to the rear and add a couple 340's for L/R fronts. Or get another pair of 170's for the rear in the future. Either way I think would be on your way to a great sounding system. BTW, I appreciate some good ol' vinyl myself now and then, mostly stuff from the 60's thru the 80's. My son couldn't believe how good the Who 'Live at Leeds' album sounded compared to a song from that album he downloaded to his Ipod over Itunes.


Bet it's cold in Madison this morning too. I live in western Waukesha county and right now according to my thermometer it's -32 with the wind chill. Stay warm and good luck with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTZ /forum/post/15560340


The 170/340 combo would be great, timbre matched too. Driven by your Onkyo it would sound sweet. And if you every wanted to 'overkill' in the future you could always move those 170's to the rear and add a couple 340's for L/R fronts. Or get another pair of 170's for the rear in the future. Either way I think would be on your way to a great sounding system. BTW, I appreciate some good ol' vinyl myself now and then, mostly stuff from the 60's thru the 80's. My son couldn't believe how good the Who 'Live at Leeds' album sounded compared to a song from that album he downloaded to his Ipod over Itunes.


Bet it's cold in Madison this morning too. I live in western Waukesha county and right now according to my thermometer it's -32 with the wind chill. Stay warm and good luck with your decision.

Yeah. It's a tid bit nipply right now. Glad to see another Wisconsinite on this thread.


I had in mind what you said. Maybe in the next year or two I'll end up buying those 340 mains. I probably won't make this purchase for another month so I'm still open to ideas but the Ascends seem like a sure bet and the path I'll likely take.


Being only 24 I had to discover vinyl myself during the height of the CD era. I remember finding a box of two or so dozen records in my parent's attic, hooking up a turntable and listening to one for the nostalgia but instantly being floored by the quality. Prior to that moment I had no idea of the audio advantages of vinyl. But there are infinite debates on that topic already. What you cannot argue is the mix on a vinyl is the original and once you become a record store rat fingering through mountains of old records you'll find stuff you never would have discovered anywhere else. Vinyl definitely became and will probably always be my main interest/hobby.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick240 /forum/post/15559210


DefTechs were on my short list when I bought last June, they are really nice.


If you went that way you would really want the ProCenter 2000 to go with the ProMonitor 1000.


But I think I would still go for the Vanns KEF deal first myself; either a pair of iQ3 ($250) and an iQ2 ($150) for $400, or a pair of iQ7 or iQ5 (both are $400) and an iQ2 ($150) for $550.

yeah, i agree about the ProCenter 1000. I havent heard the ProCenter 2000, but I wasnt impressed with the 1000.


I think I'll give the KEFS a shot. Probably end up going with either the iQ1 or iQ3 for the front stereo speakers and the iQ2 as the center. How does the iQ2 compare to the DefTech ProCenter 1000 or 2000? I would hope that the iQ2 sounds better than the ProCenter 1000. Not sure what it was about it exactly that I didnt like, but there was definitely something I didnt like. Kinda had a hollow sound to it I guess.


Also, how does everyone feel about using studio monitors in a home theater set up? My job is looking to get rid of a pair of Tannoy Reveal monitors, and I can pick up a matching center online for around $300. The Tannoy Reveals are going for $249.95 a pair used on ebay. I havent checked yet, but Im sure my job would sell them to me for a significantly cheaper price than that.


Heres an old review for the Tannoys:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...rs-8-2000.html


and here is the center:

http://soniccircus.com/Tannoy-Reveal-66
https://www.copystars.com/tannoy_rev...37778_prd1.htm


Speaker shopping is so overwhelming, especially with the limited budget I'm working with and not being able to demo every speaker I would like to. Like I said, I'm new to shopping for "real" speakers. Thanks for helping me narrow it down a bit.
 
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