Newbie setup idea but need some pointers [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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12-04-2005, 09:36 AM
I'm stuck in my Sennheiser HD-600's. They are great headphones no doubt, but I want to feel some bass now and then. I do most speaker listening on Definitive Tech SM-350's (3-way bookshelf) set close to my computer desk. They have good bass for their small size, but nothing to speak of under 40Hz.

I want to set up a system for listening to 5.1 mixed CD's (and home theatre, but the music part is the important part).

Since I work for B-Buy, I can get a discount on Athena AS-F-2.2's (dual 8", 2 way) which I guess are regarded to be a good option as cheap but good-for-the-price speakers. BBuy no longer carries this model, at least not in-store, so I haven't been able to listen. I can get a pair for $239.

I was thinking 4 of these, with their center channel (AS-C1.2) and their 12" sub (AS-P6000) to make the 5.1.
Total price $695.

I'm still hesitant. The other option is JBL which I can get a discount on as well, but only the Northridge Series, the most similar to the F2.2 being the E90 which is also a dual 8" floorstander but is 3-way, having a midrange driver as well. I would of course prefer a flatter frequency response, does anyone know if the Athenas are spotty? I thought the JBL's might be better because of the mid-range. But the JBLs would also cost approximately twice as much ($1300 for most similar setup, all floorstanders, but all speakers are 3-way). It would be less going with bookshelves for the surrounds. Oh the JBL's also have bi-wiring, Athenas not.

The Athena F2.2's are rated at 93dB efficiency, and the center at 90dB. I was wondering if it would be possible to work dedicated Sonic T-Amps into a surround system, one to drive each speaker ($30*5=$150), and if this would produce satisfactory results? I have a simple Onkyo receiver, so I've never done anything like this. I would need someone to point me to a good idea for 5.1 SACD/DVD source or a preamp or what-not too. Is it possible?

12-04-2005, 10:07 AM
"Output is rated at 15W into 4 ohms and 10W into 8, but these numbers, if you look at Tripath's specs a little more carefully, are more than a little optimistic since total harmonic distortion (THD) at these power levels is rated at a whopping 10%!"

Offhand, I think you might be better off with what your current receiver.

As far as speakers go, you may be well advised to put more faith in what your ears tell you from listening as opposed to what your eyes tell you by reading specs. I have Athena F1's as my mains and never found them to be "spotty". When I bought them two and a half years I found them to be more to my liking than other speakers in their price range by the "mainstream" names.

IMHSHO, Those 8 8" woofers will require one heckuva sub to really augment them to any great degree. My velo 1210 is rarely needed for music with my F1's.

12-04-2005, 10:22 AM
Heh, yeah I guess you're right. But I still need a new power source. What might be a good match for these speakers? I also would like to get something that plays DVD-A. I'd like to go modular, but I have never done this so I'm not sure what to get.

12-04-2005, 10:38 AM
What might be a good match for these speakers?The Athenas* don't really take too much power to sound good, but the more clean watts the better they will sound. Mine are quite happy being powered by a Denon 2802, which is rated at 90 HT wpc.

What do you mean by "modular?"

*dunno about those JBL's