What do get on my $800 budget? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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Lord Nikon
02-08-2005, 09:39 AM
I am looking to replace my center channel and L/R mains. My budget allows $800 worth of spending. I will be pushing the speakers with a Yamaha HTR-5760, and they will be used for 50% music, 50% tv/movies. The only thing I've come up with so far is the Swan 2.1 and Swan C3 center channel. Please exclude Ascend Acoustics from your suggestions because those are the speakers I am replacing. :)

02-08-2005, 11:14 AM
Hey Nikon (Do you have a Nikon DSLR?),
What have you looked at so far? There are obviously many many options out there, just wondering what you have sampled...

...what kind of sound do you like, more of a forward sound (i.e. Klipsch, Paradigm, etc) or more of a laid back sound (Vienna Acoustics, Sonus Faber, etc)? I think that's important to identify. That being said, I'd give some of the following a sample listening in your price range. If any of the packages below exceed your price limit, you can always look at the used market as well...

Paradigm Studio 20s w/ matching CC center
B&W DM601/602s and matching LCR center
Klipsch RB25/35 and matching RC center

I can personally recommend the Paradigm combo. I don't own them but I have relatives that do and I hear them all the time.

There are also similar offers from PSB, NHT, Monitor Audio, etc that you could also try out.

Lord Nikon
02-08-2005, 11:42 AM
I am looking for a warm sounding speaker that makes me feel like I am right there (upfront I guess). I'm not a fan of Klipsch, but the B&W come a little over budget. I dislike the way B&W's center channels work. Now I did have my eye on the PSB, they seem very nice. I don't nkow how they compare to the Swans. Now I could get the older PSB Image T4, or their new bookshelf B25's and one of their centers. I just don't want to get that tinny sound, so I lean towards silk tweeters.

02-08-2005, 07:31 PM
The Swan speakers, like the PSB speakers are very neutral sounding and will sound similar to the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 speakers in your listening room. I continue to think that the brightness of the Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 center speaker is your primary problem. This brightness in the center channel may be compounded by the acoustics of your room. Do you have a lot of hard and acoustically reflective surfaces in your listening room?

Nevertheless, I think that I understand the sound that you are looking for. I strongly urge you to find your closest Mirage speaker dealer (http://miragespeakers.com/wheretobuy.php) and audition their OmniSat (http://miragespeakers.com/omnistat.shtml) and Omni (http://miragespeakers.com/omniseries.shtml) lines of speakers. Here are reviews of the OmniSat (http://www.hometheatersound.com/equipment/mirage_omnisat6.htm) and Omni 60 (http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/mirage_omni60.htm) speakers to give you some idea of the sound.

Lord Nikon
02-08-2005, 08:02 PM
Well I know the Swans have silk tweeters, and I pretty much enjoyed the highs of almost all silks. Why I keep ending up without them is another story. My Ascends are now sold... and I plan to get something else. :) The 'tinny' sound I had will be no more. It was aweful while I was playing The Phatnom of the Opera cd the other day. I was like f'this. :) A few days later auditioned some B&W 600 series, and all I could say was WOW. The difference in the smoothness during the highs was amazing. No tinny sound at all. It's a shame the B&W are out of my price range... and I would have to get stands. :)

Lord Nikon
02-08-2005, 08:10 PM
Here are some pictures of the room. Some are before I got the CMT-340c and the new tv. Everything else remains.


02-08-2005, 09:45 PM
Just from the pictures, I would say that you have a room that is quite acoustically reflective. The area of the room covered in upholstered furniture is limited and the carpeting looks to be a low pile type -- and these are the only sound absorbers I see in the entire room. The windows, walls, fireplace, tables and ceiling are all highly reflective. You may want to consider adding some additional sound absorbing things to the room such as draperies, bookshelves, tapestries, sheepskin rug, or additional upholstered furniture. My concern is that any neutral sounding speaker is going to sound bright in this room, regardless of how good it sounded at the audio showroom. Your alternative to treating the room is to go with speakers like the Mirage OmniSats that have a rolled off top end and are designed to work with room reflections. Even with these, however, some room treatment will probably be required for the best sound.

Lord Nikon
02-09-2005, 12:30 PM
I will go and listen to the Mirage if I can find them. Do you feel they are a better value for the money then the Ascends and or Swans?

02-09-2005, 01:11 PM
I will go and listen to the Mirage if I can find them. Do you feel they are a better value for the money then the Ascends and or Swans?No, I don't feel that they are a better value. However, I do feel that they will fit the acoustics of your listening room and your personal tastes better than the Ascends or Swans.

Any speaker you decide to try should be purchased with a provision that allows for an in-home audition. Your particular listening room has acoustics which are quite different from those you will encounter in any well set up audio showroom.