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Old 06-27-2004, 08:42 AM   #1  
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Default Best speaker brands

Don't know if this is the right spot for this post, but am curious as to what speakers others are using. I am looking at upgrading my speakers (Sony). Have looked at the following speakers at my local audio / video stores:

- Klipsch
- B&W
- Paradigm

Right now the Paradigm speakers are at the top of the list (best combination of sound & price), but I must admit that the whole thing is confusing. Would be nice if there was a demo room with all the choices side by side.

Your input would be appreciated. My room will by 18' x 18' with 9' ceiling. Usage will be 10% music (mostly Classical), 40% DVD movie watching and 50% TV watching.

Also am interested in opinions on free standing vs installed in walls / ceiling.
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Old 06-30-2004, 11:38 AM   #2  
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Default Speaker selection...

Choosing speakers is highly subjective and without a direct side-by-side comparison you may have a difficult time distinguishing one from the other. The thing about speakers is that unlike other electronics your investment today can be enjoyed for many years to come because speaker technology doesn't make your "old" speakers obsolete anywhere near as quickly as with electronics. I purchased my speakers about 3 years ago and they are still a great buy today - in fact I've recently seen them selling for slightly more than I paid for them years ago. The strategy I suggest is going to see speakers side-by-side in the SAME room using the same source equipment so you can make a direct comparison. When I bought my speakers (from a store called Tweeters) this setup was available and I compared many speakers side-by-side before making my choice. It was still very difficult even under these ideal conditions!

I did compare Klipsch and B&W as well as several others. I chose the Vienna Acoustics Haydn speakers (two pair at $900/pair) with a Vienna Acoustics 5.1 center speaker (don't mix speaker brands if you can help it for your surround sound) driven by a Dennon AV receiver. I purchased a Rel Strata III subwoofer (expensive but WOW on the thunderous bass). I choose the Vienna Acoustics speakers because they sounded fantastic playing music as well as 5.1 surround and worked great with the Rel subwoofer (which I also compared in that same sound room at the HiFi store). I'm now purchasing a Sony VPL-HS20 front projection LCD projector and am building a dedicated Home Theater room in my new home. I sleep well knowing the speakers I bought years ago will still do an outstanding job with my shiney hew Cinema equipment (I will probably upgrade the Dennon reciever because they DO become obsolete more quickly). I'm sure happy now I didn't splurge on the top AV receiver at the time!

Of course YOU may prefer an entirely different setup than I do... so go hear them for yourself and don't worry about what everyone else thinks is the ideal setup. It's highly subjective and thus your opinion is the most important one. I'd suggest you spend a little extra to get the speakers you really want because you can enjoy them a very long time. Spend a little less on the electronics (that you'll likely upgrade in a couple years anyway) if you have to in order to get what you really love.

Good luck shopping!
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Old 06-30-2004, 12:40 PM   #3  
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Default Thanks!

I appreciate your comments. Ended up buying the Paradigm speakers (except for the subwoofer). Will upgrade the subwoofer at a later date.

Especially liked your comments regarding how speakers do not become "obsolete", unlike the other electronic components. Kind of makes it easier to pay a little extra on the front end. My next upgrade will be to my receiver. If you think of it, let me know what you chose when you upgrade.
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Old 06-30-2004, 09:39 PM   #4  
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Default Great choice...

Well, now that you've made your choice I can say I think you made a good choice. I personally liked the B&W's that I've heard but I think the Paradigm more suit my taste as well. I was never a fan of Klipsch speakers, except for their subwoofers which I really do like a lot (I think you get very good quality/cost out of Klipsch). Of course that's as of a few years ago when I was actively shopping.

I currently have a Denon AVR 3300 receiver and I have always been very impressed with it. Unfortunately, the digital input/outputs are very limited and I think I'm going to have to upgrade with my new Home Theater setup. I'm thinking of going with a Denon AVR-3805 Receiver (160 W/Channel, 7.1 Channels). Of course I won't buy until I do a lot more research but right now it's my leading candidate.

Let me know what way you're leaning and why... I'm open to suggestions as I haven't yet had time to look into what's available. Whatever I eventually buy will have to be great at playing digital music as well as surround (for HDTV of course). I'm hoping to be able to find something for under $1000.

Comments from anyone are appeciated
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Old 07-01-2004, 11:46 AM   #5  
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Default No hurry for receiver

I am actually not in a big hurry to get the a/v receiver. My 6.1 Yamaha gives me a great sound and is only being used as a 3.1 right now (front speakers / subwoofer only, and at a very low volume). Am in an apartment till my house is completed.

The house will hopefully be completed in Nov/Dec/Jan, depending upon weather and whether I lose the entire month of Nov to deer hunting construction workers. At that time I will want a 7.1 a/v receiver. It will be my first chance to hear my Paradigm speakers at a "movie level" volume.

The a/v receivers that I see on the market right now do not appear to have DVI inputs/outputs. Although there is not much using DVI right now, my guess is that we will need these connections if we are going to use future HD related technologies. It might make more sense just to use the Yamaha till things shake out a bit.

I printed the Denon a/v spec sheets after reading your comments. Have a Denon 2800MK DVD player that I really like, so have always had Denon on my short list. I also like the sound that I am getting from my current Yamaha receiver, so will look at what they are offering as well.
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Old 07-04-2004, 08:57 AM   #6  
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For anyone who may be looking for a simpler setup, I've had an excellent experience with my Jamo surround sound all-in-one system. The main unit includes the DVD player,CD player and AM/FM receiver along with a digital amplifier. I chose the 300 series speakers, because my room is medium sized and they look very sleek and contemporary, so they look great with my 50" Samsung DLP tv. I would encourage others to go to jamo.com to see all of the various products they have available, and to read some of the reviews regarding their equipment. It's not something a person who likes to upgrade year after year would want, but it plays virtually every format of audio and video out there, and it's very reasonably priced.
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Old 07-05-2004, 09:57 PM   #7  
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Default AV Receivers

SLedford, I appreciate your comments on AV receivers... after reading your comments I looked at the specs on a few new AV receivers and found that you're dead-on. In fact, the newer AV receivers don't really have any more digital connectors than my 3 or 4 year-old Denon! What a surprise that was to me... thanks.

Well, especially with that info in hand I wouldn't bother upgrading your Yamaha AV receiver either - and I'm not going to bother upgrading my old Denon 3300.

On a curious note... when I bought my current Dennon AVR3300 a Yamaha receiver (in the same price range) was on my short list at the time. The biggest reason I bought the Dennon is that it mached my black componeants and speakers better than the Yamaha.

Like you I'll keep one eye on the market and wait until things settle-down a bit before investing in an upgrade.
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Old 07-12-2004, 08:41 PM   #8  
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Default Nht

I use NHT real I'm happy with them used for music and movies
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Old 07-13-2004, 08:38 AM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnn1265
SLedford, I appreciate your comments on AV receivers... after reading your comments I looked at the specs on a few new AV receivers and found that you're dead-on. In fact, the newer AV receivers don't really have any more digital connectors than my 3 or 4 year-old Denon! What a surprise that was to me... thanks.

Well, especially with that info in hand I wouldn't bother upgrading your Yamaha AV receiver either - and I'm not going to bother upgrading my old Denon 3300.

On a curious note... when I bought my current Dennon AVR3300 a Yamaha receiver (in the same price range) was on my short list at the time. The biggest reason I bought the Dennon is that it mached my black componeants and speakers better than the Yamaha.

Like you I'll keep one eye on the market and wait until things settle-down a bit before investing in an upgrade.

The Sony STRDA9000ES($6000cdn)offers 2 DVI ins/1 DVI out.
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Old 07-13-2004, 10:37 PM   #10  
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That has to be the most impressive piece of audio machinery I've ever seen. Seven opticals? 3 components? 2 DVI? 63lbs!
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Old 07-24-2004, 05:52 PM   #11  
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Default re: best speakers

Very subjective decision. Take cds with you when you audition speakers, a variety of music you like. I made my decision based on the musical performance, although I use the system primarily for HDTV and DVD's. I chose the B&W because they best suited my ear. 603's for the center and sides, smaller rears and woofer because of the size a characteristics of my room. I run the sound from my HD tuner to my receiver (Denon 2803) and the component cables directly to the monitor, not through the receiver. By the way, I recently changed my hd tuner from a Mits to a SONY 300 and the quality of the picture (Mits rear 55")improved dramatically.
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Old 08-07-2004, 04:20 PM   #12  
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I would recommend either Magnepan, Ascend Acoustics, or Aperion for the surrounds and SVS for the sub.
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Old 08-13-2004, 08:43 PM   #13  
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Default speakers?

Hi guys and gals,well the best speakers for your money I think, are Athena's there Canadian made and sound wonderful.I tried buying theses at the FUTURE SHOP but the dickhead of a salesmen wouldn't drop the prices and I was about to spend 2500 on the whole surround sound package.He told me there policy is the price on the floor..........thats why if you get a chance shop in the USA at either BEST BUY or CERCUIT CITY,they move on prices dispite so called sale prices.If your wondering I was so pissed i bought the CANADIAN made ENERGY.........sound great also.Hope this was a help for you.......?
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Old 08-20-2004, 05:47 PM   #14  
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Default A sonically superior speaker

I would not overlook the Performa line of Revel Speakers. These are well-engineered and well-constructed speakers that disappear into the sound they reproduce.
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Old 08-24-2004, 03:02 AM   #15  
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Default Which BRAND is best?

Hey guys,
the original post was around which BRAND should any new purchaser buy. This is such a LOADED question. I would bet that 98 out of 100 times the replier's suggestion will be "Why of course the best brand to get is the one I bought. Hopefully reliers will elaborate on two or three brand variations which s/he has come across in his/her travels....BUT (as another replier has suggetsed to you above):
1) your ear will be different than anyone elses that you ask this question to...
2)your room will sound different than any other replier's room will...AND each and every speaker you audition in your home has a different set of characteristics when played in your room.
3)You OR anyone giving you advice on "The Best Speaker" will HAD to have placed each set of speakers referred to, SIDE BY SIDE BY SIDE in order to claim this one is BETTER than that one-not just that my speaker is the best since, I own one.

No one is going to bad mouth a Brand they have gone with, it's Human Nature. Unless they have in fact had a truly BAD experience with that brand. And even then they would have to have had several replacements of that model with a consistent problem to each in order for you to know that you best avoid this BRAND. I truly believe in the concept of a "Monday built" car/radio/speaker what have you. Some assembly guy comes in on a Monday and isn't 100% into the job that hour,day etc. etc.
For example, I bought the EXACT Panasonic DVD Player as my nephew back in 2000. Mine went mental and needed a new laser within 16 mos. My nephew still has his and NO issues. WHY?!!! It just wasn't in the cards for me. Monday Unit.
So as you can see there are too many variables to answer a general question like that about some product with any credibility.
You might ask for personal experinces with a specific BRAND or Model and get feedback on that basis. There is no right or wrong with anything you'll buy in life. Some purchases are based on a fixed budget, some on performance (screw the budget thing), some on space (i.e. Plasma TV's).
If anybody is qualified to give you advice on speakers then it is you own earbones dude. Trust yourself, trust your own hearing.

Sounds a bit preachy huh? I didn't mean it to be but, everyone has to realise that repliers always have an agenda to promote. They may even be retailler for that BRAND. Weigh everything with a grain of salt young man.

Best of luck,
Geo
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