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Hi everybody!

My first post here— although I've lurked in the background for some time. I'm glad to be able and participate and hope I can add to, and not detract from, the fine HT forum experience here.

My situation: I'm in the market to upgrade the speakers (currently running a 7.0 set-up) in my home theater room. The room's dimensions are 17x18 with a peaked 9' ceiling. My current speaker set-up consists of two JBL s38s (stand mounted) for L&R fronts; match JBL s-center, two CSWs Newton Series II S205 Surrounds, two old RadioShack Minimus 7 speakers (!!) for the rear, plus a new SVS PC12-nsd sub. Other than the PC12 (which is outstanding!), the rest of the gear is lacking. I'm not entirely happy with the sound of the JBLs— very fatiguing to listen to for extended periods and somewhat 'boomy' so my first job is to replace (upgrade) the front three. My budget to do so is $700 to $1300. I'd like to continue to use stand-mounters (versus towers) for the fronts as they work best in my set-up. So far in my research, I've narrowed the field down to...

SVS STS-01 5.0 package: NOT bookshelves, but the price is so appealing for these towers with center & surrounds... $1009 + s&h
SVS SCS line: 3 SCS fronts & 2 SBS surrounds (I'd move my Newtons to the rears); great price-point at only $690+S&H
SVS MBS + center: REALLY pushing beyond the budget here, so this is an 'iffy' choice. $1520 w/ no surrounds....
Swan D2.1se: 2 fronts and matching center (which releases mid-June). May do the SBSs for the surrounds; approx $1100 for front 3; $200 for SBS surrounds
PSB Stratus GB & GC1: around $1200; $200 for SBS surrounds
Ascend CMT-340 Mains & center; $800 approx; $350 for the matching surrounds

All these would be powered by a Marantz SR8100 125w AVR.

What I'm looking for are people's experiences with these speakers (good, bad, or indifferent) and comments. I'm leaning seriously toward the SCS line (price & value)— but those new towers are also calling out to me! The Swans are up there, too. Most of these manufacturers have in-home trial periods that I will probably take advantage of so i can demo them in my own home, but in advance of that, I really wanted to hear from you folks 'out in the field' of real world testing.

Usage-wise: in my set-up, it's about 75% Ht & 25% music.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Kevin
 

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HI Kevin, welcome. I really like SVS speakers, I would go for the highest level you can afford. Even the SBS-01's will make you a believer. Have fun, Dennis
 

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HI Kevin, welcome. I really like SVS speakers, I would go for the highest level you can afford. Even the SBS-01's will make you a believer. Have fun, Dennis
Hi Dennis. Thank you for the welcome. I wasn't sure if I was violating forum protocol by just jumping in with a question right off the bat. I didn't discover the 'Welcome/Member Introduction' section until after I had already posted this in the SVSound section. My apologies if I've made a faux pas...

I'm a fan of SVS— I've had a bit of correspondence with both Ron and Jack and have found them both to be extremely helpful, patient and forthcoming with information about the SVS products and alleviating my concerns regarding finding the right 'fit' for my HT.
The SCS/SBS combo or STS are really the front-runners in my list, and my hope was to hear from owners and maybe see a few pics of these speakers in people's theatre environment. I know almost ANYTHING would be a big improvement over my current arrangement (both Ron & Jack concur that any of the SVS choices would make a dramatic difference). The difference between the new STS Towers versus the SCS mains, according to Jack, "...is the amount of punch, slam, and dynamic agility they bring to the party."— which I do find intriguing. Hmm... decisions, decisions...
 

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I have three SCS-01 speakers that I use as my mains (they replaced some Polk rt600i towers) and the audible difference was pretty apparent. I auditioned many speakers locally (PSB, NHT, Deftech, Klipsch, etc) but none of the speakers you have listed in your thread. I think the SCS speakers stack up very well even against more expensive bookshelf speakers. I really am enjoying them (they are used primarily for HT playback).

The question I have is how loud do you play your movies and music? If you are peaking into the 105db+ range the STS towers may be a better fit as they are more efficient and it sounds like will pack a little more punch.

Tough call, between the SCS and STS speakers since you already have a powerful sub that can handle the lower frequency bass.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I have three SCS-01 speakers that I use as my mains (they replaced some Polk rt600i towers) and the audible difference was pretty apparent. I auditioned many speakers locally (PSB, NHT, Deftech, Klipsch, etc) but none of the speakers you have listed in your thread. I think the SCS speakers stack up very well even against more expensive bookshelf speakers. I really am enjoying them (they are used primarily for HT playback).

The question I have is how loud do you play your movies and music? If you are peaking into the 105db+ range the STS towers may be a better fit as they are more efficient and it sounds like will pack a little more punch.

Tough call, between the SCS and STS speakers since you already have a powerful sub that can handle the lower frequency bass.
I originally liked the idea of just using bookshelves vs floorstanders/towers as the smaller speakers on stands work best around my media/component stand. (see link to photo below). The component cabinet has two wide doors that swing outward to allow access to disks, gaming consoles, etc.— and in the current set-up, swing under the stand-mounted speakers. Since this photo was taken, the BIC sub has been replaced by the aforementioned SVS which is now located across the room behind the seating. So there's a bit more floor space (3-4 feet) on either side of the media cabinet to accommodate towers or floorstanders .

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v288/GuitarPix/boysroom_revised.jpg

Since the room is fairly secluded (sound-proofed), music and HT sound levels are pretty loud. The JBLs do a pretty good job at those volumes, but can get very shrill to listen to for extended periods. The additional 'punch' the STS towers would provide has me seriously considering them as a first choice versus the smaller SCS (and other bookshelf-sized) for L&R fronts.

Thanks for your input, Tim!
 

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Hey Kevin!

I purchased a "complete" SVS Package back in October. I have 3 SCS fronts, and 4 SBS surrounds with a PB12 plus sub. My room dimensions are 21Lx14w. I have put these guys to the test and they always pass with flying colors. I have managed to push the subs limits on occasion with a few scenes in The Incredible Hulk (2008), but the SCS mains have yet to perform anywhere below stellar. I haven't had a chance to listen to the JBL's you mention, but I have listened to quite a few other comparables, and SVS outperforms them no question. I haven't regretted the purchase one ounce. Heres a few shots of my home theater before I hid all the wires and such, but the speakers are fairly visible.


*Pug foreman provided for size comparison purposes ;-)
 

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Hey Kevin!
Boy, speakers decisions can be maddening! When I built my HT many of the brands you've mentioned (PSB, SVS, Ascend) as well as others (Axiom, Hsu, JBL and Boston Acoustics) were considered. I spent months reading every review I could find.

I ended up trying to decide between SVS and Ascend. When I analyzed published measurements and reviews, I concluded there was a very slight edge of Ascends 170/340 series over the SVS S series (this was before the Ascend "Sierra" and SVS "M" series). I had a chance to buy some used Ascend 200's at a good price to act as an audition for the Ascend sound. If I didn't like them for HT, I had another application in mind. I ended up loving the sound and ordered the following: 340's LCR and 170's for surrounds, with the 200's as back surrounds in my 7.1 setup. In addition, I bought an SVS PB12-NSD sub.

While I love my Ascends, my experience with the PB12-NSD leads me to believe I would have been just as happy with the SVS S series speakers. I'd love to hear a direct comparison in my room. I think the PB12-NSD is awesome and they blend well with the Ascends. In my HT, the uncorrected PB12 is essentially flat from 17-80hz (the crossover). The handover is so well matched that it continues flat to my testing cutoff of 200hz. I had to "tighten up" my room to keep doors and picture frames from rattling with HD LFE tracks!

Both companies were a joy to work with. Dave at Ascend and Ed at SVS personnally responded to emails with good advice.

You can't go wrong with either. Let us know what you finally decide and give us a report when you get them hooked up and broken in.
 

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Hey Kevin!

I purchased a "complete" SVS Package back in October. I have 3 SCS fronts, and 4 SBS surrounds with a PB12 plus sub. My room dimensions are 21Lx14w. I have put these guys to the test and they always pass with flying colors. I have managed to push the subs limits on occasion with a few scenes in The Incredible Hulk (2008), but the SCS mains have yet to perform anywhere below stellar. I haven't had a chance to listen to the JBL's you mention, but I have listened to quite a few other comparables, and SVS outperforms them no question. I haven't regretted the purchase one ounce. Heres a few shots of my home theater before I hid all the wires and such, but the speakers are fairly visible.
Thanks for the response, Richard. I'm glad to hear the SCS's seem to be up to the task of filling your large space! That was one of my concerns— upgrading my current speakers ($$) and having the new ones NOT being able to 'fill' my HT/Listening space with impactful nor musical sound. Still debating the SCSs versus the 'new' STS towers—tough because it's a new product and no reviews are available on the towers yet....
You're soooo right about The Hulk putting a sub through it's paces!! LOL. I played it last night at a reasonable loud volume (-15) just out of curiosity and... WHAM! VERY impactful! Had two of my sons come upstairs from clear across the house wondering what the was happening! The SVS sub performed beautifully. So glad I upgraded that piece (my sub) early on.

Nice theatre set-up too, by the way. Love those chairs! great looking balance between comfort & functionality! Color-matched to the little pug....awesome!
 

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Hey Kevin!
Boy, speakers decisions can be maddening! When I built my HT many of the brands you've mentioned (PSB, SVS, Ascend) as well as others (Axiom, Hsu, JBL and Boston Acoustics) were considered. I spent months reading every review I could find.

I ended up trying to decide between SVS and Ascend. When I analyzed published measurements and reviews, I concluded there was a very slight edge of Ascends 170/340 series over the SVS S series (this was before the Ascend "Sierra" and SVS "M" series). I had a chance to buy some used Ascend 200's at a good price to act as an audition for the Ascend sound. If I didn't like them for HT, I had another application in mind. I ended up loving the sound and ordered the following: 340's LCR and 170's for surrounds, with the 200's as back surrounds in my 7.1 setup. In addition, I bought an SVS PB12-NSD sub.

While I love my Ascends, my experience with the PB12-NSD leads me to believe I would have been just as happy with the SVS S series speakers. I'd love to hear a direct comparison in my room. I think the PB12-NSD is awesome and they blend well with the Ascends. In my HT, the uncorrected PB12 is essentially flat from 17-80hz (the crossover). The handover is so well matched that it continues flat to my testing cutoff of 200hz. I had to "tighten up" my room to keep doors and picture frames from rattling with HD LFE tracks!

Both companies were a joy to work with. Dave at Ascend and Ed at SVS personnally responded to emails with good advice.

You can't go wrong with either. Let us know what you finally decide and give us a report when you get them hooked up and broken in.
The Ascends look especially appealing now that they're having a 'moving' sale— all 5 speakers shipped for free (LCR 340s, 2 170s) for under $1K....or about $150 off the regular package price.
 

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Kevin,
I ordered and installed an SBS-01 5.1 system from SVS about two years ago, or around the time they first came out, and I couldn't believe how good these little guys (little in SVS terms) sounded. So I can only imagine any of the SVS speakers you're looking at would better the SBS-01's. I think you'll be happy with any of them!
 
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