I believe the exact same speakers you choose for music should be the ones you choose for HT. Many disagree with a statement like this so I use words from the experts at Axiom Audio to back up my point:
....."Q.I've been told that there are subwoofers and speakers that are “good for home theater” and others that are “great for music.” Can you explain which one the Axiom subs are best suited to, and why?
A. A smooth, accurate and transparent loudspeaker or subwoofer doesn't distinguish between different types of sound. It does not know which electrical signals are reaching it from the amplifier, DVD player, CD player or turntable, whether it's the sound of a summer rain storm on a movie soundtrack, an explosion in a war picture, the dynamic musical shadings of a full orchestra, or the full-bore impact of a rock band. The final test of a transparent loudspeaker is always accuracy, and musical realism, and that includes subwoofers. A neutral loudspeaker accurately reproduces the audio signals, no matter what the source, so a subwoofer capable of realistic reproduction of a jazz acoustic bass or pipe organ will do just as good a job with explosions and dinosaur footfalls. Likewise, the delicate timbre of male and female vocals and movie dialog or even the sounds of a helicopter flying overhead will be handled with equal aplomb by an accurate speaker."
That said I would recommend planning for stereo speakers that will become the 2 mains of a 5.1 or 7.1 HT system. All 5 or 7 speakers (the sub can be from any brand) should be from the same brand and same series in that they should have the same exact tweeter and also the same midrange if possible. This presents the same voicing/timbre for the most perfect surround soundstage. The difference is clearly audible. Once you hear a properly presented audio source in 5.1 or 7.1 you will not go back.
As far as the KEF Q70's, aren't those about 12-15 years old? I have heard the Q series at my brother's place years ago (can't remember the exact model he owned but it was quite large). They were very nice but if I remember correctly quite power hungry and in my opinion overpriced. He had them driven by a high quality separate amp which went into clipping quite regularly when pushed to high volumes. It would seem to me that you could buy a new speaker with equal or superior sound for not that much more than you might pay for the used KEF's. There really are significant improvements in the last few years. Some of the latest designs with the newest drivers, port designs and cabinet materials and shapes make an audible improvement in my opinion.
I especially recommend going for a small to medium size bookshelf speaker inhanced by a powered sub. Many of the newest subs are great at very low bass when you need it and also are very musical. Crossing over to them at about 70-80hz allows you to place the sub in the best location for bass performance while avoiding the bass hump and standing waves that the large floor standing left and right mains usually produce. This also allows the main amps to usually loaf along only having to drive the frequencies above 80hz for the mains. The overall improvement in the entire frequency range is audible in my opinion. Less distortion, less bass/mid mud and superior imaging and soundstage. The bookshelf speakers also allow more placement options.
The bookshelf speakers have the same exact high and midrange/upper bass drivers as the floor model but in a much smaller cabinet. This results in a much lower priced speaker that goes down -3db to about 60-80Hz instead of into the 30's or so. Also the smaller cabinet usually allows a more neutral and less honky reproduction of the critical mids. The sub if properly set up and placed handles all the bass with lower extention and less distortion. Usually you can purchase two speakers and a sub for the same price as the large floor standing speakers. Now you only need a center and two surrounds for that HT system. Look to some of the Canadian brands for great speakers and to SVS, HSU and Outlaw Audio for great direct factory to buyer prices on subs that are the equal to any produced.
Do you know anything about the Outlaw subs from experience? I have looked at SVS and HSU and their reputation is excellent. Have not heard about Outlaw's models as much, and just wondering how they would compare. They subs do look nice on the website based on specs and appearance alone. If the subs are built like the amplifiers, they should be pretty good.
Modernaire did mention HT which includes subs so I don't think he'll mind.
I bought the Oultaw Audio LFM-1 Plus with a Velodyne SMS-1 digital equalizer (we only have one possible location for the sub) about 18 months ago after a lot of research. Originally I was set on the SVS, 20-39 PC Plus, cylinder shaped sub. Their website photos were not very good and they were very kind to send me a sample of the material. Both my wife and I wanted a great looking as well as sounding sub. Unfortunately the material was a sort of shiny velvet, glitzy, sparkly type fabric which neither of us could live with. Too bad since it is a dynamite performer and the higher end model, the SVS PC Ultra, is one of the best subs available at any price period. SVS also makes box style subs.
After ruling out several Velodynes (which are excellent subs) and many other brands I narrowed it down to the HSU VTF-3 MK2 (now the MK3) and the Outlaw LFM-1 Plus (now the LFM-1 EX). Dr. HSU helped in the design of the Outlaw subs and the LFM is a close clone of the HSU VTF sub. The Outlaw subs have a black plexiglass inlaid top which does not show well on the website. However, we ordered it based on other photos we saw of it. The plexiglass top along with the satin black finish on the sides in our opinion makes for a stunningly georgous sub. It goes very well with our black plasma display, our all black components, our wood/black metal/glass Bello rack and our front Axiom speakers which are a custom finished black piano gloss. I think the HSU might have an ever so slight edge in performance but the Outlaw won out in looks. My wife is very happy and that means I get lucky a lot! The new HSU VTF series with Turbochargers I hear are extra good performers. Suggest you type in your search window the specific model number and then the word "review" and you will get links to lots of pro reviews on these subs. Reviews on the models just below or above frequently have lots of relevant info.
This is why I dig the AudRev so much, thanks all for your input. The reading is very educational for me and I appreciate the time and length put into your responses.
There is a difference in HT speakers and music speakers correct?
I'm currently listening closer to my Pioneer CS-J725 speakers. Anyone know these? They're older Pioneer that are four-ways - two 10" midrange with thow types of tweeters in the center right above two woofer holes.
I'm a newbs/wanna-be-audiophile, so thanks for your knowledge sharing.