Home Theater Forum and Systems banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ive been doing my research & trying to make a choice but with so many great options out there with ID companies & without hearing them, makes it really tough to do so. Been looking at the HSU bookshelfs with horn tweeters, the SVS small bookshelfs, The Ascend cbm-170's, also even considered the EMP e5ti tower package, will be needing a 12" sub also.
My room is 30x20 but 10x10 of that is open to the kitchen.
Listening to all these is not an option but from your guys experience, where would you put your money????
Another question which may save me some$$$, if the rear surrounds are directly behind the sofa should I still go with a quality matching bookshelf or will a small less expensive satelite be plenty in my large room?
My concerns are mostly with home theater use 90%, but ofcoarse they should sound good while playing music which I personally never do. That im sure will change after I get my system done & in ahhh over the sound, I hope.
So, opinions & advise would be really appreciated at this point, thanks! One of these must shine hands down without a doubt from the rest in every way but me being a newbie, I dont know & would like multiple inputs before I waste my money.
Lots of great deals out there right now but if I cant decide....


addition per Glen:

Purchased a Vizio 55inch LED/LCD from Costco & I just picked up an Onkyo 706 per Jacks recommendation from accecories4less.
Listening habits, I guess I would say low to moderate volume levels. Im not looking to shake the house or huge volume levels arent that important to me. Im sure all my choices will be loud enough! Ive read a few post regarding more nuetral speakers vs. more forgiving softer speaker.
Dont know what that really means to me & my untrained ears, etc..
I would like it to sound great at lower levels as I see myself using it during everyday tv use.
The HSU is the only one that has a horn, not sure if that would be a + or not.
Shipping costs & sales tax is another thing im considering. Im in San Diego so HSU appears that ide be paying sales tax.
I havent actually confirmed with SVS but looks like about $150-$160 in shipping charges for a complete system with sub according to the website.
Seems ridiculious!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,538 Posts
I think each of these will have their own tonal quality, for instance, may have greater bass output in the mains, brighter highs, or improved efficiency, so your system and room will play a critical role in your decision making. Post your system equipment (receiver), listening habits (volume) and acoustical environment so we can better give you suggestions:T You can often get better sub deals with the system purchase, something to consider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think each of these will have their own tonal quality, for instance, may have greater bass output in the mains, brighter highs, or improved efficiency, so your system and room will play a critical role in your decision making. Post your system equipment (receiver), listening habits (volume) and acoustical environment so we can better give you suggestions:T You can often get better sub deals with the system purchase, something to consider.

addition per Glen:
I just picked up an Onkyo 706 per Jacks recommendation from accecories4less.
Listening habits, I guess I would say low to moderate volume levels. Im not looking to shake the house or huge volume levels arent that important to me. Im sure all my choices will be loud enough! Ive read a few post regarding more nuetral speakers vs. more forgiving softer speaker.
Dont know what that really means to me & my untrained ears, etc..
I would like it to sound great at lower levels as I see myself using it during everyday tv use.
The HSU is the only one that has a horn, not sure if that would be a + or not.
Shipping costs & sales tax is another thing im considering. Im in San Diego so HSU appears that ide be paying sales tax.
I havent actually confirmed with SVS but looks like about $150-$160 in shipping charges for a complete system with sub according to the website.
Seems ridiculious!
A few very knowledgable people on the forums stated that some of these bookshelfs will outperform & sound better than the towers in my price range, want the most bang for my buck!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,538 Posts
A few (hopefully) helpful pointers:

bookshelves will cost less than towers of equal sound quality (cost into the cabinet), but nice stands aren't cheap (unless diy)

horns tend to be efficient, brighter creatures, where a well damped room/weaker receiver can benefit (not so much your case with the 706)

spend on the mains/center, save on the surround speakers, just be sure they reach 70-80hz smoothly. most manufacturers do that in their systems

in this price range, some manu. tend to favor aesthetics over sound quality, or vice versa; I think you can tell by comparing them visually (my opinion) they've got to make ends meet and if they are comparably priced and one has a noticeably better finish...

svs can't do better with their shipping package imo- very protected. I'd just factor the cost into the total and make comparisons from there against the others, probably not as bad (though it does drive the total cost up considerably)

if you're not planning on using it for 2 channel much, I'd recommend spending on a good sub for your ht use, it really makes a difference. I can't give any advice on the 5.0 as I don't have any experience with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,170 Posts
Hey Slater, Now if I understand you correctly your on the fence about horns or soft dome, go to your local Best Buy and give Klipsch a listen since they are horn tweeters and also some Polk's since they are soft dome tweeters to see which sound you prefer if you like the horn sound then the Hsu's are for you if not then it comes down to SVS and Ascend. At least this way you know what you prefer without the risk of spending your budget. I hope this helps
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,112 Posts
Hello,
If Rob's leaning is HT, I would probably go with the HSU Package that comes with the VTF 2. The VTF-2 is one of my favorite ID Subwoofers. Especially since the current one is pretty much identical to the last generation VTF-3. Simply an awesome subwoofer.

The fact is there is an overwhelming number of Speaker Companies out there. I realize it can be frustrating deciding which company to choose. When looking at budget conscious purchases, the ID (internet direct) firms are all but impossible to beat due to them selling direct. All of the companies listed make quality speakers at amazing prices. The good thing about most ID Companies is they offer generous return/audition policies.

As has been pointed out, there is a big sonic difference between compression horn and dome tweeter based speakers. Speakers are highly subjective and everyone has different tastes. I usually advise people who listen to music more than movies to go with a soft dome tweeter, but many are happy with Klipsch's and other horn speakers for music. Horns are much more efficient and work well with receivers to allow Cinema SPL's in ones HT.

I really think that given Rob's primary listening is going to be HT, the HSU would be a great choice. Dr. Hsu is an unbelievably talented designer. His Subwoofers have been on the forefront of price/performance for over a decade. Dr. Hsu is also MIT educated and really is a passionate and knowledgeable designer who offers excellent value in his offerings. Given that many who buy sub 2K speaker packages will be mating them with receivers, horn based speakers are a good call given how efficient they are.

Whatever the choice, I do believe it to be important for all speakers to share the same sonic attributes.
That is if the front stage are horns, the surrounds should be as well. And vice versa with dome tweeters. Surround Sound is at its best with matching speakers.
Cheers,
JJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks JJ
Such a stellar reply, None of the other gurus are going to want to compete & voice there opinions now! Just joking, I really want to hear from other who have heard & demo'd these id products!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,423 Posts
Personally,... I'd put my money on the 30+ years of experience. But that's just me :)

I have heard some good things about those HSU speakers,... as long as they are in a relatively small room, you may be pushing it...

The only way to really make an informed decision is to do what you said you couldn't do. You need to listen to them to decide which is best for you. Take advantage of those generous return policies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
/Ok, went to my local Magnolia BestBuy & listened to 2 bookshelfs, dont have model #s.
$219 each Definitives & $400 each Kilipsh's.
Observation to my untrained ear. We watched a shoot'em scene in the Incredible Hulk.
The bullets & gunshoots were very twangy & way more dramatic with the Kilipsh's vs the Definitive hands down were very muffled to me.
Wouldnt have paid $50 to get the sound I heard from the Definitives, they were very blah & ordinary to my ear. Not sure if it was the bass that made them sound muffled or just lack of a horn tweeter compared to the Kilipsh. Being able to listen to the 2 speakers side by side I can say I would want the sound that the Kilpish offered me. Even though I would never spend $419 per speaker. That was the only horn loaded bookshelf they had for my comparision.
So I guess I dont like a soft sounding speaker. I loved the sharpness , krispness & brightness of the highs in the Kilipsh.
Not sure if that means the HSU's are my answer or the quality in The Ascends will give me the same sound???
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,112 Posts
Hello,
Nova, what speakers are you referring to? I did not see a recommendation in this thread. Apologies if I have missed it. Hsu speakers have actually gotten excellent reviews in several Specialist A/V Publications. Their subwoofers have always been critically acclaimed, but I was not too familiar with their speakers. After reading some reviews, I came away quite impressed.

Again, there is a mind numbing number of speaker choices out there. Unfortunately, many of the highest value/performance ratio speakers are impossible to audition at a store. What allows them to offer killer values does really hurt them in this regard. Speakers make a huge impact and everyone has their own preferences.

This is where AV Magazines, forums like ours, and Hifi Shows come into play with ID Speakers. People who have personal experience with these companies wares. I also especially value when Magazines provide measurements of these products.

While ID Companies offer generous audition/return policies, we all know it is none too fun to box up and return hundreds of pounds of speakers. And pay to ship them in some instances.
Cheers,
JJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes Im in a financial position to get HSU's, Ascends, & SVS's all shipped to my house but how cost effective is that. Shipping charges on the SVS system which I would have to pay to ship back alone would be $150, there goes making the ID companies such a deal if I have to send 2 sets back. Im just trying to use my resources to get a logical answer. 25000 members here & im sure lots of hardcore people in the industry I would imagine a few people have heard all these for themselves & have already been there done that & know which speaker is the top performer & sounds the best. I know thats all in that persons perspective but tonight from what I heard the answer would be clear..
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,112 Posts
Ok, went to my local Magnolia BestBuy & listened to 2 bookshelfs, dont have model #s.
$219 each Definitives & $400 each Kilipsh's.
Observation to my untrained ear. We watched a shoot'em scene in the Incredible Hulk.
The bullets & gunshoots were very twangy & way more dramatic with the Kilipsh's vs the Definitive hands down were very muffled to me.
Wouldnt have paid $50 to get the sound I heard from the Definitives, they were very blah & ordinary to my ear. Not sure if it was the bass that made them sound muffled or just lack of a horn tweeter compared to the Kilipsh. Being able to listen to the 2 speakers side by side I can say I would want the sound that the Kilpish offered me. Even though I would never spend $419 per speaker. That was the only horn loaded bookshelf they had for my comparision.
So I guess I dont like a soft sounding speaker. I loved the sharpness of the highs in the Kilipsh.
Not sure if that means the HSU's are my answer or the quality in The Ascends will give me the same sound???
Hello,
What I have to question here is if the speakers were level matched? Klipsch's are unbelievably efficient and require very little volume to play at loud levels. Say the Def Tech's were played A/B on a Switcher at the same volume setting and the Kilpsch would sound much better. When people are blind tested, all people will prefer the louder selection. Here is a link explaining the phenmenon: http://www.audiolofftreport.com/speakersound.html

I am not saying one speaker is better just the importance of the speakers being level matched when judging against one another.
Cheers,
JJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Youre saying the Kilipshes may have been more effiecient & thus it may be possible that if I turned up the Definitives, the highs may have come alive some?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,112 Posts
Hello,
Yes. They would be more alive. Level matching is important. You might still prefer the Klipsch, but it will make a difference.
Cheers,
JJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Hello,
Yes. They would be more alive. Level matching is important. You might still prefer the Klipsch, but it will make a difference.
Cheers,
JJ
I stand corrected!
The Kilpsh's I listened to wb-14 92 db vs Defs were pro monitor 1000's @ 90db. Talking to the geek squad guy on the phone just now Kilpsh were set at -7 & we played the Defs at +5
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,423 Posts
I really don't think you could go wrong with any of your choices. All are good products.

It really will boil down to personal preference. Sounds like you may prefer the sound of the horn loaded speakers, in which case your choice would seem obvious. On the other hand, once they are in "your" room they may not be to your liking.

We can all tell you what "we" think all day long but in the end it's your decision. Yes, I realize there are still significant cost involved in shipping ID speakers back and forth. Unfortunately the reality is, any speaker you purchase without hearing first,... well it's quite possible 30 minutes into your first film or listening session, you'll be ready to pull your hair out, or plug your ears with cotton ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,112 Posts
The Kilpshes I listened to xb-10 92 db vs Defs were pro monitor 1000's @ 90db. Is that number significant enough where I should go back & demo again & turn the volume up on the Deftechs?
It actually is. I would go and listen to the Def Techs at a higher volume. If you had an SPL Meter or you asked the Salesmen that you wanted it level matched, he might have an SPL.
Cheers,
JJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It actually is. I would go and listen to the Def Techs at a higher volume. If you had an SPL Meter or you asked the Salesmen that you wanted it level matched, he might have an SPL.
Cheers,
JJ
I stand corrected!
The Kilpsh's I listened to were wb-14 92 db vs Defs were pro monitor 1000's @ 90db. Talking to the geek squad guy on the phone just now Kilpsh were set at -7 & we played the Defs at +5

So they were somewhat level matched. Started with the Defs & switched to the K'stated we turned the volume down & we actually did this a few times. Im actually will be going back in the morning & listen to some towers also & be doing the bookshelves again with the gf's ear for another opinion..
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top