Of Experts, Advice, Marketing and $1500

Discussion in 'Beginners and Audiophytes' started by LitoGeorge, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. LitoGeorge Audioholic Intern

    LitoGeorge
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    Thank you for clicking on my thread. I know how it is on forums when a newb joins, asks for advice (clearly in the uninformed category) and then disappears. I hope to buck that last trend.

    I've spent weeks reading similar threads, advice from real enthusiasts and reviews from those esteemed on this site. The end result is a much better understanding of whats current, whats appropriate for $500 - $1500 odd (all the way to $2500), and lastly, confusing. The confusion rests with different audio tastes and this is where I hope to gain some clarity.

    Who I am:

    a) Someone who can get along with a HTiaB, but whose audio tastes run into much higher leagues. I certainly appreciate clarity, no distortion and beautiful crisp seperation of notes

    b) I havent had an audio system since 1994. Lots of financial discipline to get to this point.

    c) My movie/ music ratio is 65:35 at the moment, probably go to 50:50 soon

    d) My basement is my entertainment area. L shaped room, probably 500-700 sq ft. Concrete floor, drywall walls separating the concrete/insulation from the basement foundations. Live in our house, own property.

    e) I am not buying for now, but for the next 5 years at least. We will be living in a larger house by then.

    f) My TV is a Panny 65ST50. Larger than we need right now, but looking to the future as above.

    g) Standard AppleTV3, and I airplay a lot through that device.


    Components I've reviewed and shortlisted:

    Receiver:

    Denon 1712. I like the 7.1 aspect of this (5.1) down and 2.1 for living room music upstairs. As well as the Audyssey aspect.


    Sub:

    VTF -2 MK4 Subwoofer or SVS PB-1000 & SB-1000 Powered Subwoofers

    I know either will be really ample for our current space, but at similar pricing.... what is the preference here? I like to learn and will certainly learn to take advantage of finely tuned bass.

    Centers:

    SP-C22 - Andrew Jones Designed Center Channel Speaker, re-engineered for 2012
    NHT SuperZero 2.0

    Any other suggestions?

    Fronts:

    SP FS 52 Andrew Jones Pioneers
    NHT SuperZero 2.0
    Jamo S 426 HCS 3 WENGE (I can get all 5 speakers for $200 currently on special)


    Surrounds

    Andrew Jones SP BS41
    NHT SuperZero 2.0


    I would have posted links but need 5 posts before I can do that. I'd truly appreciate your thoughts and to reiterate, all of those choices above come from specific advice from well respected forum members here.

    Lastly, I am coming from Canada to buy and pick up these items at one central point in America, as the prices are superior.

    Many, many thanks.

    George
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  2. 3db Audioholic Overlord

    3db
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    Welcome to the forum. :) Its important that you keep the front speakers and the center channel speaker from the same series of a manufacturer for the best timbre matching possible. I mention that just in case you didn't erroneously didn't include the Jamos in your center channel selection. :)
    3db,
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  3. markw Audioholic Overlord

    markw
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    Since many of these items are available only via the internet (like the subs) or from various different sources, how do you expect to accomplish this? Also, warranties may not be transferrerable from one country to another.
  4. LitoGeorge Audioholic Intern

    LitoGeorge
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    Thanks 3DB! I forgot to add those Jamos to the centre list, but thank you for the timely reminder. I will happily edit my post.

    MarkW, I aim to buy and ship to a central collection point. I've done it many times before many different items. As for warranties, I've largely never needed them, and while I know there is that "one time" it will be necessary, I am happy to take the risk.

    edit: seems that I cant edit my original post again. Cant submit those Jamos for each category (except subs).
  5. hizzaah Full Audioholic

    hizzaah
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    Out of those I would vote for Pioneers all around and the HSU sub. I'll admit I haven't heard any of them, but the Pioneers are outclassing a lot of speakers for their low price and I love my HSU sub. HSU will actually will ship to Canada, so you may get in touch with them and see if they'd honor the warranty in Canada..

    And this is the only forum I've come across that has a time limit on editing your posts.. Takes some getting used to

    Edit: the Jamo set is list for $129 on Amazon currently. They would be at the bottom out of the three options though, assuming money wasn't a factor.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
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  6. LitoGeorge Audioholic Intern

    LitoGeorge
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    Thanks Hizzaah, lots to get used to here. I will post two more empty posts in order to post links to the products.

    Opinion seems to favour the Jamos at the bottom end, so thats useful confirmation. Tx
  7. LitoGeorge Audioholic Intern

    LitoGeorge
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    Fourth post to speed up process and enable link additions.
  8. LitoGeorge Audioholic Intern

    LitoGeorge
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    Fifth post to speed up process and enable link additions.
  9. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

    zieglj01
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    I do not favor Jamo - I have bookshelf speakers, that weigh
    as much as them towers. However, your call.
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  10. LitoGeorge Audioholic Intern

    LitoGeorge
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  11. LitoGeorge Audioholic Intern

    LitoGeorge
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    Tx Ziegl, I'd appreciate your inpion here, so feel free to tell me what you think, or what products are better.

    The Jamo inference I made was that they are the least favourite of the bunch.

    I'd say that I am happy to go to around $1500 for the whole set. I am fairly flexible.
  12. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

    zieglj01
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    I favor Pioneer or HTD, minus their subs

    HTD Level Two speakers
    Towers
    Center
    Bookshelves
    HTD Level TWO Speakers

    Also, Level Three
    Towers
    Center
    Bookshelves
    http://www.htd.com/Products/level-three-speakers
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
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  13. hizzaah Full Audioholic

    hizzaah
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    If you like the above mentioned HTD, they have some B-Stock available if you wanted to save a bit of money

    B-Stock
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  14. LitoGeorge Audioholic Intern

    LitoGeorge
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  15. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

    zieglj01
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    The answer is subjective - it depends on preference/choice

    5 bookshelf speakers with a nice subwoofer is a good option.

    The Superzero's are nice - however, I would lean towards bigger
    bookshelf speakers, at least for the front 3. >> I prefer that the
    front channel speakers go down lower in the bass.
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  16. LitoGeorge Audioholic Intern

    LitoGeorge
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    Thats good input, tx.

    What about this setup?

    Upstairs easy listening: 2 x SuperZero 2.0 bookshelf speakers

    Entertainment room:

    HSU VTF 3 Mk4 sub
    Pioneer Andrew Jones Fronts, Centre, Surrounds
    Onkyo NR809 or the 819

    Any thoughts there? I am truthfully fairly clueless as to the nuances of each and going by review only.
  17. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

    zieglj01
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    If you do not care much about bass - then the SuperZero 2.0 can be fine.
    They are going to sound somewhat thin, without a subwoofer.

    This is their measured bass response - from HT Labs >
    The –3-dB point is at 110 Hz, and the –6-dB point is at 97 Hz
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  18. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

    shadyJ
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    Agreed with Zieg, the superzeros will not have any bass. I would go for something with larger woofers and deeper extension.
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  19. hizzaah Full Audioholic

    hizzaah
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    If you want to step down in price, these TEAC LS-H265 refurbs are $80 ($200 new)..

    125W (Max Music Power)
    0.8" Dome Tweeter
    5¼" Woofer
    8 ohms Impedance
    Sensitivity: 88dB
    Frequency Response: 54-40kHz
    Binding-post Speaker Terminals
    Dimension: 7-1/16”(W) x 11-1/2”(H) x 10-1/8”(D) 180(W) x 292(H) x 257(D) mm
    Weight: 9.7 lbs. 4.4kg

    Or if you're feeling a bit handy, I'd recommend this Dayton Audio BR-1S DIY kit from Parts Express for $196. I linked to the shielded version, but there's a cheaper unsheilded version too. I've been wanting to get one of their kits for a while now..


    System Specifications:
    Impedance: 8 ohms
    Frequency response: 43-18,000 Hz
    SPL: 85 dB 2.83V/1m
    Power handling: 100 watts max.
    Cabinet dimensions: 14-1/4" H x 8-5/8" W x 11" D.
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  20. FirstReflection AV Rant Co-Host

    FirstReflection
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    Hi there, LitoGeorge.

    Got your PM. Thanks for getting in touch! Sorry I've not replied sooner. Busy time of year. I'm sure you understand :)

    So, $1500 budget, L-shaped room, over 4000 cubic feet, meaning you've got a "very large" room, in terms of the sort of bass output you'll need.

    With that in mind, because they're so good, and because you have to spend significantly more in order to get speakers that are genuinely "better", I'd have to recommend that you stick with the Pioneer 2nd Gen Andrew Jones speakers. Keeping those as your speakers of choice will allow you to put more money towards the subwoofer, which you're definitely going to need, and perhaps a bit more towards the Receiver as well - which would be more of a forward-looking thing vs. what you actually need right now.

    You're looking at $480 for the 5 speaker set of the SP-FS52, SP-C22, and SP-BS22-LR. To me, the next clear step up in performance would be a system like the Ascend CMT-340SE Mains & Center with a pair of HTM-200SE for surrounds. That would set you back $1068 + shipping, so it pretty much destroys your budget cap, and wouldn't allow you to complete your system with a sub and receiver.

    So I really think the Pioneer speakers make the most sense. They're what I'd buy with a $1500 budget and a large room, that's for sure ;)

    With around $500 allocated to the speakers, you've got a couple of choices for how you want to complete the system here.

    Option #1: would be the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus subwoofer - which is a great deal on sale right now for $499 with free shipping!

    The LFM-1 Plus is basically a clone of the old HSU VTF-3 MK2. It doesn't have all the tuning and filter options of the newer HSU VTF-2 MK4 - which is its closest price competitor - but it's got a slightly more powerful amp. For a room your size, this is sort of a "bare minimum", IMO. I certainly wouldn't want to go with less output and extension than the LFM-1 Plus in a room like yours.

    So you could combine the Pioneer speakers, and the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus sub with the Onkyo TX-NR709 Receiver . If you can't stand the idea of the "refurbished" label from accessories4less, getting the TX-NR709 from OneCall would just barely put you over budget.

    My reason for suggesting the TX-NR709 is simple: speaker pre-outs. If you ever want to connect a separate amplifier for your speakers in the future, you're going to need pre-outs, and the TX-NR709 is the least expensive receiver out there that has them!

    It's also a great Receiver all around. I know several owners have had their issues with the HDMI board, but Onkyo WILL fix it if you happen to get an old stock, bad unit. Just a case of a bad batch of parts, unfortunately. It happens sometimes, and warranty repairs can take a few weeks, so it hurt Onkyo's reputation. A shame. But I still stand behind the recommendation. In terms of features for the price, there's no better deal :)

    So that's a really nicely balanced $1500 budget system. Spending equal parts in measure, and giving yourself lots of opportunity to expand if you want to in the future.

    Option #2: If you're dead certain that you'll never want a separate amplifier though, then you can save a bit on the Receiver, and put that money towards a bigger sub!

    And that ain't a bad idea at all! Like I say, the LFM-1 Plus is something of a "bare minimum" for your room size.

    The next step up in price and output for subs are going to be your SVSound PB or PC12-NSD, your HSU VTF-3 MK4, your Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX, your Power Sound XV15, and at the extreme end of the budget, your HSU VTF-15H

    Truth be told, I'd be perfectly happy with any of those. You're kinda splitting hairs between them. So looks and physical size are perfectly good reasons for picking any one of those over the others.

    Combine the bigger sub with one of the less expensive Denon Receivers, like the AVR-1712 you've suggested, or the AVR-1912 if the AVR-1712 is unavailable.

    In this price range, with your room size, I don't think it makes sense to spend more on the speakers at the expense of the subwoofer. The sub is your audio's foundation. That's where you want to really avoid any sort of skimping!

    I'd love to recommend a pair of subs, but it just won't fit in the budget. That said, if you have more money available in the future, definitely keep a second identical sub in mind as your first upgarde :)

    The Pioneer speakers are so good for their price that they easily make the most sense to me. Getting the way better sub as a result is absolutely the way to go here. And then the choice of AV Receiver will simply depend on whether you want more options for expansion in the future, or if you just want to meet the needs you have right now.

    Hope that helps!
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