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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm finally moving into a house (yay!) from my apartment and I think it's time to upgrade the home theater speakers... I currently have JBL S36 mains, S-Center, N24 surrounds, and a Velodyne CHT12 sub. I think it sounds pretty okay, but the S36's sweet spot is really small. If you're not in JUST the right spot, the quality really falls off. My plan is to keep the sub and replace the other 5. I'd like to go with floor standing speakers (mainly for the aesthetics), but I guess I'm open to bookshelf's on nice stands. The room is about 15x15 with a tile floor

Listening will be about 70% movies/HDTV and 30% music. I don't pretend to be an audiophile, but I'd like to think I can appreciate nice sound. :)

I'd like to stick under the $1500 point... With Internet shopping, here's what I've come up with so far.

Infinity - Beta 50 main, C360 center, Beta 10 surround - $1100
Ascend Acoustics - CMT340SE main/center, CBM-170SE surround - $1200
Axiom Audio - M50 main, VP150 center, M2 surround - $1400
Polk Audio - RTiA5 main, CSi A6 center, RTi A1 surround - $1400
Klipsch - Reference RF-62 main, RC-52 center, RB-51 surround - $1500


I looked at AV123's "Rocket" series, but they're just so ugly I don't think I could have them in my living room, haha.

I'd LOVE to build something around the KEF IQ7, but they're just too expensive. Soooo pretty though!

Right now I think I'm leaning toward the Axioms. They seem to get great reviews and I think they look nice too. Unfortunately, Tampa doesn't seem like a hotbed of audio activity, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to audition any of these in person...


So, any other recommendations? Or any input on my short list?


Thanks!
 

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I think you've found some good choices, but now you will have to listen to them and make up your own mind as our ears and brain may very well be much different than yours in assessing which is best. I'd be very hesitant buying anything I couldn't listen to. Ascend and Axiom offer a 30-day home trial that I would take advantage of.

Klipsch audition possibilities.
Polk audition possibilities.

You may have to go to Orlando (hour and a half), West Palm Beach or Jacksonville (3+ hours), or Miami (4+ hours) to hear the Infinity Betas.
 

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If you can, I'd take a listen to the Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 1000 system which I believe retails right around $1,500.00, but of course can be had for less at street prices.
Audio Advisor is also running a "close out" special sale, and some of their products are 50% off although some are refurbed...but still have the manufacturers entire full warranty. They have some really good deals right now.
my 2 cents is all...good luck.
Cheers,
Konky.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So many choices! I'll definitely look at SVS... or maybe I'll sell a kidney and buy the KEF's I really want, heh.

Thanks for all the replies!
 

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I'm very happy with my Ascend 340SE's so I certainly feel they are worthy of consideration. For $1500 you could even step up to Sierra's for the the L-C-R and HTM-200 SE's for surrounds.
 

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I too am in the market for a new setup in this price range and I am very close to going with Axiom. Or at least I was....
Course, the more I look the more I consider other brands as well.

SVS could be a good choice.

Now, I am now even considering Magnepan 1.2 or 1.6 (used?). I need to go hear these though.

I originally set my limit around 1500 but I think I am willing to go a little higher.

I know the best thing to do is audition as many as you can and that is what I need to do also.

I do like the fact that Axiom has a 30 day trial period (and so does Aperion).

I think Aperion will even pay the shipping back to them and Axiom you pay the shipping to return.

What got me thinking about Magnepan is their little offer of the MMGs @550 + shipping.

I know I am no help here, but in a similar situation.

Looks forward to what others have to say about a setup in this price range.

Oh almost forgot, for me 1500-2000 does not include the sub as I just bought a like new SVS Plus/2 (Thanks again, Sonnie!). It is my first sub and I love it! Just adding the sub brings new life to my horrible speaker setup.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The search continues....

I went to Sound Advice today and listened to the Polk RTI-A series, and I liked those a lot. Expecially when played back to back with the Klipsch References in the same room... The Polks were SO smooth. Very nice.

Also, I found a place locally (Sensuous Sound Systems on Busch Blvd here in Tampa) that carries Paradigm, so I'm going to give those a listen next weekend when the new models arrive. They fit my price range (about $1650) and they're supposed to be fantastic. We shall see! :)
 

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I too am in the market for a new setup in this price range and I am very close to going with Axiom. Or at least I was....

Now, I am now even considering Magnepan 1.2 or 1.6 (used?). I need to go hear these though.

What got me thinking about Magnepan is their little offer of the MMGs @550 + shipping.

Oh almost forgot, for me 1500-2000 does not include the sub as I just bought a like new SVS Plus/2 (Thanks again, Sonnie!). It is my first sub and I love it! Just adding the sub brings new life to my horrible speaker setup.
First of all...great sub! Secondly, how nice to see an informed and open minded speaker auditioner. I only want to add that I think you will find the "Maggies" to be unbelievablely open and clean. In addition, that little offer from Magnepan for the MMGs at what can only be called a ridiculously low price IMHO, comes with yet another perk: Should you decide to upgrade to a higher end model Maggie within a year. they will give you 100% credit for the purchase of your MMGs toward the new pair. Now, that's what I call customer satisfaction and service above and beyond the limit! :T

Check them out, I do believe that you will love them as you already have the bass very well covered.
Cheers and good luck,
Konky.
 

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Thanks Konky! The MMG offer is so so tempting...

But oh so many choices out there.

Don't mean to hijack this thread but very much on topic for me as I am in the same situation as the original poster.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I listened to a couple more speakers this week and I made a choice!

I listened to some BG Z-7's (floorstanders with a ribbon tweeter), which were interesting... Excellent imaging, very clear and detailed, but lacking in mid- and low-end...and not cheap.

After being repeatedly blown off by Sensuous Sound in Tampa, I drove down to Bradenton and listened to the new Paradigm Monitors there. I was blown away. Just as detailed as the BG's (though not quite the transparency), way more dynamic, and cheaper. The low frequency is amazing considering they're only 6.25" drivers...

So I put in my order for a pair of Monitor 9's, a CC290 center, and a pair of ADP190 dipole surrounds. It's a bit above my earlier stated price goal, but what's a couple hundred bucks? :)
 

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Nice choice. I would set that Velodyne around 80 Hz for the low pass and see how that sounds.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nice choice. I would set that Velodyne around 80 Hz for the low pass and see how that sounds.
I was experimenting with the sub and the crossover today and these Monitor 9's are AMAZING. They go SO low SO well that you almost don't need a sub. The brochure says they're flat down to 39hz, but it sounds like they're good way below that. I was switching back and forth between the no-sub and 40hz crossover setting, and I could barely tell the difference. These things are truly awesome! :)
 

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Compared to anything listed already this is what I would suggest, a 5 channel JBL Studio L series. Currently there is an ebay store selling such a system for $899. Two L880 towers, LC1 center and two L810 surrounds. Plus you could pick up a matching L8400 sub, elsewhere, for the rest of the $1500.
The Studio L series will surpass anything in its price range and then some. That $899 is less than the individual prices of the 5 speakers.
 
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