• 01-18-2006, 07:32 AM
    John D
    Need some advice on speaker choice (long).
    I have been searching around for a while, trying to find out which speaker setup would be best for my needs. I haven't found the information I was looking for, so I decided to get a new thread going to gather some specific advice for my situation. I apoligize in advance if this gets long.

    Here it goes...
    For the past few years, my home theatre setup consisted of a Kenwood VR-409 Receiver, Mach Ones for mains, and Sony CR/SR 305's for center and surrounds. I was pleased with this setup and felt no need to upgrade. Each speaker had sound coming out and this seemed good enough.

    Boxing day, I realized that the foam surrounds in my Mach Ones were rotted (what a kick in the head that was!). Anyway, I got in line early at Future Shop to pick up the Polk Audio RM6005 set that was on sale for $300 (half price). Got it hooked up and it sounded decent. That was when I started looking around the net for information and reviews about some speakers. I did check out some reviews on the Polk set before I bought them and they seemed good.

    Now, I am concerned about the frequency hole I have in my sound (not that there may have not been one there before) because the satellites go down to around 150Hz or so and the sub (PSW10) is set to crossover around 90Hz or so (anything above that and I can pick out the sub). I am not getting the warm fuzzy feeling with the satellites.

    I have been looking around for a decent bookshelf speaker set. The GF is happy to see the Mach One beasts go and enjoys the extra floor space. I've ordered a set of surrounds for the Mach Ones, and told her that they will be coming back, at which point, I got 'the look'! 'The look' wasn't as bad when I mentioned smaller bookshelf speakers, so that is what I am exploring now.

    Sorry about the rambling, but it may help give you guys a better idea of my situation. Anyway, here are my questions. (Finally!)


    Which of these speakers do you think would be the best value for my mains? I have a very tight budget and it will be very difficult to justify spending over $300 CDN for a set of speakers.

    Athena AS-B1 -- $230 @ Future Shop
    Athena AS-B2 -- $300 @ Future Shop
    JBL E20/E30 -- $190/$250 @ Future Shop
    Polk Audio R15 -- $200 @ Future Shop
    Paradigm Atom -- $250 @ Wacky Wheatleys
    Paradigm Titan -- $?? @ Wacky Wheatleys

    I would like a speaker with a larger woofer (6" or more), but if something with a smaller woofer (5" for example) sounds better, then I'd go for that. I do have the PSW10 sub to help with the lower frequencies. I will also try to wait to see if any of the speakers go on sale at Future Shop. I've also considered trying to get the R15s for surrounds as well, if they go on sale cheap enough.

    Another option would be to convince the GF that none of these speakers will sound as good as the Mach Ones. I may be able to put these back in service when/if I sucessfully get the surrounds replaced.

    Thanks in advance for any advice/input and again, I apoligize for the novel!

    (Added paragraph spacing to make it easier to read)
  • 01-18-2006, 07:51 AM
    kexodusc
    Hmmm, how about a much better speaker that you can assemble yourself?
    You'll need to solder, but that's super easy, and instructions are provided.
    I'd easily put these up against Paradigm's $450 cdn Mini-Monitors. They look better than the photo's suggest:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=300-642

    I still haven't found a better speaker or complete kit for cheaper than the BR-1. Or a better commercial speaker for double the price. These are a very good value.

    I've owned the Titans and Atoms, they're pretty good for the money, but I think have been overtaken by the stiff competition in recent years. I think I'd have to go with the Atom over the Titan, especially since you have a sub, I find the smaller woofer is actually a bit better sounding in the mid-range.

    If the kit isn't an option for you, I'd recommend Axiom's M2i's ($340/pair including shipping)...Also a very good speaker for the money.

    What province are you in? welcome to ar.com
  • 01-18-2006, 12:40 PM
    John D
    I am in Newfoundland. Thanks for the link. I checked out the website quickly and it does make sense that a speaker would be cheaper if you build it yourself. I usually don't purchase items online, so I don't think this would be an option for me at this time, although the thought of building my own speakers does sound interesting.

    That was the reason I listed those specific speakers. As far as I know, they are all available for pickup at any time. And they are all in pretty much the same price range. If either set is just as good as the other, then I can just wait for the first one to go on sale at a decent price and go get a set (or two, depending on the price). If one set is a remarkable value over another, then I would certainly give that set more attention.
  • 01-18-2006, 01:11 PM
    BC Dave
    similar experience+outcome
    Hi,

    I was in the same boat. Picked up a set of five Klipsch Quintet IIs on Jan. 2. My wife was thrilled that I got rid of my Mission towers. I farted around with my sub crossover setting and other adjustments for a week and realized I couldn't stand how tinny these Quintets sounded while watching the TV news or That 70s show. For music they were quite good but they gave me a headache on most other stuff. Bottom line: I sold them and bought two Paradigm Titan version 4s and a CC170 center. I have mis-matched rears (Image Concept 100s built by Mirage/Energy -- great speakers) but this system sounds night-and-day better than the Quintets did. There's no gap between the Titans and my Paradigm PS-1000 v4 sub and I love the system for both music and movies.
  • 01-18-2006, 01:50 PM
    Dmax
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Hmmm, how about a much better speaker that you can assemble yourself?
    You'll need to solder, but that's super easy, and instructions are provided.
    I'd easily put these up against Paradigm's $450 cdn Mini-Monitors. They look better than the photo's suggest:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=300-642

    I still haven't found a better speaker or complete kit for cheaper than the BR-1. Or a better commercial speaker for double the price. These are a very good value.

    I've owned the Titans and Atoms, they're pretty good for the money, but I think have been overtaken by the stiff competition in recent years. I think I'd have to go with the Atom over the Titan, especially since you have a sub, I find the smaller woofer is actually a bit better sounding in the mid-range.

    If the kit isn't an option for you, I'd recommend Axiom's M2i's ($340/pair including shipping)...Also a very good speaker for the money.

    What province are you in? welcome to ar.com

    Are Dayton's any good?
  • 01-18-2006, 02:06 PM
    zepman1
    I have heard from a number of people impressed with the Dayton speaker kits. I would be interested to hear more comments on them from anyone in the know. Would be nice to be able to pick up a sweet bookshelf for $150 and a fun project.
  • 01-19-2006, 10:32 AM
    John D
    Leaning towards Titans
    I found the price on the Titans at Wacky's. They are $299 CDN for the pair, which is not too bad of a price step-up from the Atoms @$250.

    Luckily I phoned another store to check out their bookshelfs. They have sets of Titans for @200 (they have the grey grills). Judging by the prices for the speakers I listed above, I think the Titans are the best value for the money. I think I'll try to go listen to them this evening.

    Does anyone have an opinion as to why the Titans would not be a good choice?


    (Here is the list again for reference)
    Athena AS-B1 -- $230 @ Future Shop
    Athena AS-B2 -- $300 @ Future Shop
    JBL E20/E30 -- $190/$250 @ Future Shop
    Polk Audio R15 -- $200 @ Future Shop
    Paradigm Atom -- $250 @ Wacky Wheatleys
    Paradigm Titan -- $300 @ Wacky Wheatleys


    kexodusc,
    I checked out the Axiom website and I was considering them as well. I was actually thinking more about the M3's than the M2's (especially with the 10% discount for the seconds). Just a little bigger for just a little more. Now that I may be able to get the Titans for $200, I may buy 2 sets and use the other set for the surrounds. I know I'll need a new center speaker, but that may have to wait for a short while until the GF forgets about the price I paid for this round of speaker buying!
  • 01-19-2006, 11:05 AM
    kexodusc
    Hey John D, I have family in NFLD...My father was born there before moving to the USA...my grandfather was stationed at the US air force base in Stephenville (where he met my grandmother).
    He actually moved back to Canada and retired there.
    We need more of you guys on the forum...

    As for speakers, the Axiom M3ti's are what I have in my dining room upstairs. They are a good step up on the Titans. It's not really a fair comparison in fact. I'd compare them easily with my old Mini Monitors...a bit better in the midrange, with not as much bass, but overall maybe a better speaker. They image extremely well. For small to medium rooms, they are an excellent choice. In rooms 350 sq ft or larger, you might want something a bit bigger if you really crank the music up.

    Nothing wrong with the Titans though. I'll say it again, the Atoms are probably a better speaker if you are going to be using a subwoofer. The only real advantage in the larger woofer is in the bass region. Midrange performance is generally compromised as driver size increases (to varying degrees mind you) but having owned both Atoms and Titans, I think the smaller Atoms are better sounding speaker for less money. If you can, give both a demo. They are very similar, but listen to vocals. I think you might be surprised at how bigger isn't necessarily better. With a subwoofer, why pay more money for bass capability you won't be using anyway?

    Dmax: The Dayton BR-1's are a very good entry level speaker kit. I've personally demoed those straight up against a set of Paradigm Mini Monitors (v.3), which cost almost 3 times as much. The highs are much smoother in the Dayton, the midrange a bit better defined. There's no "boom and sizzle"....The bass favored the Mini Monitors, and let's be honest, the looks did as well. The Mini's are also more efficient, but BR-1's won't be hard for any receiver to drive except to ear-bleeding levels. I've been recommending the BR-1's to people here for over a year now. I can say with no bias or reservation that I have not heard a better speaker for the money, period.

    That particular tweeter in the BR-1 shares a lot in common with a rather high-end $45 Morel tweeter (I believe it was made by Morel for Dayton) that you'll find in a few $1000 plus speakers. The woofer is a quality cone construction. The cabinets use 5/8" MDF, not the cheaper, resonance prone particle board most sub $500 commercial speakers use. The crossover is not generic either, but tailor made for these 2 drivers. Dayton is synonymous in the DIY community with "value". I just wish they found a prettier cabinet, but for $140 - $150 (depending if you want shielded or not) with cabinets, you can't complain.

    I think Jocko, and a few others here have built them as well...I'm sure a search would reveal nothing but positives.
  • 01-19-2006, 01:24 PM
    emorphien
    Having heard the Mini Monitors and the Axiom M3Tis (I own the M3Tis and have for about a year and a half now) I'd say that I agree they lack a bit in bass compared to the Mini Monitor but imaged better and had a better response in the higher frequencies. Overall I found them to be the better speaker but I had been considering the Mini Monitors after listening to them and just decided to give the Axioms a chance and was very happy.

    I am extremely happy with the sound and the match of my Axioms to my new NAD components.
  • 01-20-2006, 05:12 AM
    John D
    Picked up the Titans
    I ended up getting the Titans yesterday for $200/pr. I bought two pairs of these because I wanted to replace the surrounds as well. I inquired about the Atoms (maybe for the surrounds), but they were more expensive than the Titans. Also got a CC-170 center because I knew that new fronts would definately be mis-matched with the tiny 3" woofers from my Polk center. Paid $230 for this one. After picking up a couple of sets of wall brackets and a couple of surge suppressors, I managed to spend a fine few dollars during this excursion!

    I got the fronts and center hooked up last night. They sound pretty good so far. Definately no complaints! Interestingly enough, shortly after I got these hooked up, The Matrix Revolutions was coming on one of the Movie Channels in DD. Perfect opportunity to test them out! WOW! Now I am happy! I even got a nod of approval from the GF when she got back from work and seen them set up. Now, I just have to find something to do with the Mach Ones once I get the rotted surrounds replaced, because I'm pretty sure they are not going back.

    Thanks again guys for the suggestions and help.
  • 01-20-2006, 05:20 AM
    kexodusc
    $200/pr for the Titans is a pretty sweet find, I can't fault anyone for jumping on that deal. Congrats on your new toys, enjoy!!!
  • 01-20-2006, 05:48 AM
    John D
    Thanks
    Hey, man. Thanks. Hopefully I have my 'speaker upgrade itch' scratched now and will be happy for years to come! Next big purchase may be the Hi-Def Big Screen!
  • 01-20-2006, 07:13 AM
    kexodusc
    No question the jump to HD (widescreen, bigger the better) will make a huge difference. Some of the others here know, but I never was one for the video side of home theater, having come from owning 2-channel stereo gear to get into this stuff in the first place.

    But when my wife bought me a new 51" TV that all changed...I've converted. HD is awesome.
  • 01-20-2006, 07:20 AM
    John D
    A co-worker of mine has a 51" Hi-Def CRT. We've watched a couple of Superbowl's, Grey Cup's and DVD's on his TV. The picture is awsome. After coming back from his last Grey Cup party, and watching my 27" RCA (the picture is not too bad), I can almost see the lines of resolution on my TV and I was disapponted to the point that it was hard to watch TV on it anymore. I'm getting used to it again.
  • 01-20-2006, 03:00 PM
    GMichael
    Glad you ended up with something you like. These guys here are great.

    Video next huh? Don't forget to look at projectors while you're at it. Prices are coming down while the quality is going up.
  • 01-20-2006, 11:59 PM
    jtgofish
    The best value speakers I know of are the AR.com kits that use Peerless drivers.I have built 2 pairs of these for friends.These have a level of refinement you simply can't get elsewhere anywhere near the cost .

    JT