Newbie in need of advice re new surround speakers [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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Marty L.
07-25-2004, 08:31 AM
Hi all.

A few years ago I purchased a pair of Boston Acoustics VR-950 front speakers, which I have been very happy with. Recently, I purchased a 50-inch plasma TV and I would like to upgrade my sound system to 5.1 surround sound. For the receiver, I'm considering purchasing a Marantz SR-7300 that I found on close-out for $600. (If anyone can suggest a better alternative in the range of that price I'd appreciate your guidance).

My primary question relates to the surround speakers, center channel and subwoofer that I need to get.

I'd like to get components that will match reasonably well with the VR-950s, but I would also like not to spend an arm and a leg if possible. I visited a store recently and a salesman was giving me the hard sell that in order to match the 950's, I had to pay up and buy BA's top of the line surround, center and subwooofer components. The tally would come to:

Surround BA VR-MXs ($800 per pair) or VR M50s ($1000 per pair)
Center: VR MC ($600)
Subwoofer: PV900 ($700)

Aside from the expense, I am not crazy about how big and bulky these components are.

I was hoping to put this question to a group of knowledgable people who are not trying to sell me something: Are there any smaller and less expensive speakers I could buy that would give me solid surround sound performance when matched with my BA-950's? Would it be a big mistake to go for some of BA's micro speakers instead?

Thanks in advance for your help.

07-25-2004, 08:52 AM
IMO, center and surround speakers should have the same midrange and tweeters as the front left and right channels to have a "timbral" match. From what I can see, the VR 950 is no longer available. I'd look to buy smaller speakers and a center channel from the same series used if necessary.

BTW, here's a pair of VR 950s you could use for your surround speakers;

This might be the center channel you need;

As for a subwoofer, I'd look around, I don't think a brand match matters. Parts Express has several self powered units that look very promising and while it would be nice to spring for the top of the line Titanic III 15 inch, if you're on a budget, the smaller units look good too. If you can spend one hour building what appears to be a modest kit, you can save more money.

Good Luck.