3.1 Set up for $4000

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by Ironman129, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Ironman129 Audioholic Intern

    Ironman129
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    So I have about $4k to spend on speakers for a 3.1 setup. It will be about 50/50 between music and movies. I listen to a lot of jazz and vocals. I have been looking at Salk and Philharmonic 2s. Was wondering if there were any other suggestions for this pricerange. Probably going to be powering them with an Emotiva XPA-3. Thanks for the help.
  2. Swerd Audioholic Ninja

    Swerd
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    Excellent choices! In my opinion, nothing else comes close in your price range. I've heard the Philharmonic 1 & 3, and own SongTowers. I don't know if a Philharmonic 2 has been built yet, but I'm pretty sure what it will sound like. For the same price as standard SongTowers, the Philharmonic 2 is an excellent deal (as long as you're OK with black cabinets).

    With SongTowers, a SongCenter is an obvious choice. What are you thinking of as a center speaker if you get the Phil 2?

    I know the SongTowers are an easy load to drive (any amp with at least 50 watts/channel at 8 ohms will get the job done), and suspect the Phil 2 will also be very easy for many amps. An amp as potent as the one you mentioned should very easily drive these speakers.

    For a subwoofer, you should wait until you've heard your speakers in your home before you consider that.
  3. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    I would get 3 Philharmonic2 towers for $3,000 + 2 Rythmik FV12 subwoofers for $1,000 = total of $4,000.
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  4. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    Do you think the Philharmonic speakers sound exactly like the Salk speakers?:D
  5. jcl Senior Audioholic

    jcl
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    I'll stir the pot a little. Why 3.1? Are you planning on eventually filling in the surround channels with the same speakers? That would be optimal, however, might not make the best economic sense.

    For music I don't think you'll find the center adds anything, you may just listen in stereo. For movies a matching center is great, but probably overkill.

    Many receivers have a setting for phantom center channel, where the center channel is sent to left/right mains. You might think about giving that a try before buying the center.

    I think getting surrounds will have more impact for movies than the center. Maybe you can borrow speakers from a friend and decide what sounds best to you?
    jcl,
  6. Ironman129 Audioholic Intern

    Ironman129
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    I wasn't sure anout eh center. I was wondering how well the songcenter would work with the Phils

    I want to get the best speakers i can right now, then add to them when the money comes in. I've been debating on whether I should start with a 2.2 setup rather than a 3.1. Yes, the center would mainly be helpful in movies and eventually will add surrounds. I probably will not do full towers for the surrounds, but wondering where the place place to start is.
  7. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    I would like to add PSB Synchronies to that list;

    [​IMG] the towers...

    [​IMG]

    The Synchrony One's listening-window response (a five-point average of axial and +/–15-degree horizontal and vertical responses) measures +1.18/–2.24 decibels from 200 hertz to 10 kilohertz. The –3-dB point is at 56 Hz, and the –6-dB point is at 50 Hz. Impedance reaches a minimum of 3.32 ohms at 70 Hz and a phase angle of –37.55 degrees at 27 Hz.


    It requires a stout amp to drive these however. They've garnered nothing but great reviews in the audio industry.
    3db,
  8. Ironman129 Audioholic Intern

    Ironman129
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    They are a beautiful speaker, and in the price range as well. The amp is 200w per channel. I've heard good things about the Emotiva amp, do think it will be enough?
  9. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    Yes...That amp will drive them nicely.
    3db,
  10. Swerd Audioholic Ninja

    Swerd
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    That would be my first choice.
    I think the front speakers are much more important than the rear speakers. If you skimp anywhere, skimp on the rear speakers.

    I would not run out and get any subwoofer, much less two, until you first hear your main speakers and how well their bass works, or doesn't work, in your room. With the SongTowers, supplementing their bass with a subwoofer was rather easy in my experience. The Phil 2 goes a bit lower than the ST, so it should be that much easier. A powerful amp, like the Emotiva you mentioned, will help out the bass. I think many people mistakenly spend too much on subwoofer(s) and get little in return.

    Exactly is a strong word. I would say they are close enough to easily recognize their family ties. There are some differences in design that, under some circumstances, might make it easier to tell them apart. One is an MTM tower, and the other is a 3-way with an open back midrange. It probably requires careful comparison to notice these differences, but on first listen, these speakers are quite close.

    Yes, 200 wpc will be plenty for any of these speakers.
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  11. Ironman129 Audioholic Intern

    Ironman129
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    So I'm kind of reaching the end of my budget, here's what I am looking at so far:

    Salk HT2-TL ($4200)

    PSB Synchrony One ($5000)

    Paradigm S6v3 ($5500)

    With any of these choices I will have to settle with just the towers then add a sub or 2 in 6 months, and eventually center and rears. I know I just need to audition them myself and see which I like best, but any feedback on these speakers?
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  12. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    I like the Philharmonic 2s option. The open back midrange just adds its own dimensionality to the sound, that I think a lot of us here flat out CRAVE :D - there's a reason that Salk's flagship speaker is a similar (albeit more high end) design. If such a speaker were being sold by another company, I'd imagine its price to be closer 5k to 8k, not 2k! Raal ribbon tweeter + Neo8 midrange + transmission line 8" woofer. With two to four subs in place, it'd be just excellent, plain and simple.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  13. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    All are good performing spekaers and it will boild down to a personal choice or better known as best fit to your ears. Thats the fun part. :)
    3db,
  14. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    The Salk & Philharmonics are direct internet, so you won't get any discounts.
    As Grant stated, the Salks and Philharmonics would probably cost twice as much if they were sold at dealers.

    So the PSB & Paradigm are probably worth half as much in terms of direct internet pricing since they have to go through all that dealership and marketing and markup.

    If the OP is raising the budget, I would get 3 of the flagship Philharmonic 3 towers in custom finishes = $4,200.

    These pictures were sent to me from Dennis Murphy:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  15. Ironman129 Audioholic Intern

    Ironman129
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    The only issue I have with the philharmonics is having a matching center and surrounds. Again I could go with the Salk center and that should be close, but with the other lines there is a matching center and surrounds. @ $2800 they are obviously the best priced of the bunch, but I just can't picture having a third speaker right in the center. :(
  16. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    Matching surrounds aren't an issue. You could do the Salk Song Surrounds, or basically anything else that's decent like the Ascend 180s, or the EMP e5Bis, or a lot of else. They're just too different in application to need to "match".

    As for a center, I believe dennis has developed one, although the need for one is dubious. You might find that a 4.2 or 6.4 setup is all you need... no center. Of course, if you can get past the psychoacoustic limitations of "getting past a third identical speaker in the center", getting a third identical speaker has VERY positive audible rewards.
  17. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    All you need for the center and surrounds are bookshelf speakers.

    So if Dennis Murphy can offer a matching bookshelf speaker, that would be a perfect matching center and surround.
  18. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

    zieglj01
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    I would contact Dennis Murphy, and communicate with him - he is
    a good guy.
  19. Dennis Murphy Audioholic Chief

    Dennis Murphy
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    I'm having trouble picturing that as well. I do have a center channel similar to the Salk center. It uses the Fountek ribbon instead of the 0W2 dome, and two 5" SB Acoustics woofers. But I agree with some of the other posts. Get the L & R mains that you really want, and then see whether a center is all that necessary. And I wouldn't sweat a perfect match for the surrounds. You want decent quality monitors with reasonably flat response. The new NHT super zero's would probably do nicely, as would any of a number of well engineered bargain-priced speakers from Cambridge Audio, Ascend, and Pioneer. This assumes your multichannel setup will mainly be for HT. For true 5-channel music source material, you would want to put more money into the surrounds and get a matching center channel.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
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  20. gpost3 Banned

    gpost3
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    The only criteria you have given is 4k. That is a helpful starting point but what about other parameters? Like do you have any speaker size preference? And how big is the room that you plan to put these in?

    You said 50% movies? Then a sub woofer might be what you need. There is the Velodyne DLS-4000R which I auditioned a few months ago seemed pretty good I think you can pick one up for less than $500. As for speakers, I can give some general suggestions. I would personally avoid floorstanding speakers that have a big subwoofer built in (usually at the bottom). Look into floorstanding speakers that have 6 1/2" drivers preferably three drivers if your room is big but minimum two.

    How about Polk Audio's RTi A9 package? I have personally never audition them though.

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