comment on my budget speaker plan?
Oct 30, 2005 at 1:07 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

AdamWill

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So, I have nice headphones. This pleases me. My HTPC, where we spend quite a lot of time watching TV and such, and which I use to listen to music while doing stuff around the house, has a fairly terrible speaker set up, though. This displeases me. Right now I'm running off NForce 2 onboard sound hooked directly up to a set of Logitech Z5300s. Hardly anyone's idea of hi-fi
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. So I am drawing up a budget-home-theater-that-doesn't-suck plan, and I'd appreciate the comments of those more experienced than myself. So far, I've really only picked out the receiver and four speakers. Receiver I'm looking at this:

http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...gon=&langid=EN

I have considerations beyond audio here; I mostly picked this receiver because it's the only thing in the price range with three (as opposed to two) component video inputs. I can also get a rather nice Future Shop staff discount through my partner, which knocks the price down to around $270. I don't think the receiver will be the bottleneck of the system anyway, so this should do fine. I'll be hooking the computer and other stuff (Playstation, cable box...) up via digital connections.

For the main and surround speakers (I'm only going 5.1, no point 7.1 in my room, I'd have nowhere to put the side surrounds), I'm going to get Paradigm Titans. They get a good press and there's tons available (I already have two lined up from a fellow head-fi'er and will pick up a couple more here or on eBay). I could save a few dimes by getting something worse for the surrounds, but my theory is that if I decide to drop some money on upgrading the main speakers later, the Titans will still hold up OK as surrounds. And it's really not a big difference, when a pair is $100-$120.

I haven't decided on a centre channel yet. Could just be another Titan, or an Atom - anyone have any other suggestions? Are there any benefits to getting the centre channel speakers that are actually designed expressly as centre channels?

Ditto the sub. To go with that receiver I need an active sub, it doesn't power a passive one. I'm just thinking of going with another Paradigm, whatever I can afford, to match the system, but I'm certainly willing to be talked out of it. Budget is probably CAN$200-$500 ($500 is an absolute max, no "if you can just spend another $200, you could get..." please :>).

So, does this look like a sane plan? There's one other limitation to bear in mind on other recommendations: I don't have a credit card, so anything recommended has to be available for a reasonable price locally in Vancouver, or easily buyable from somewhere online that accepts Paypal.

Thanks for any comments
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Oct 30, 2005 at 6:45 AM Post #2 of 23

soundboy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AdamWill
I haven't decided on a centre channel yet. Could just be another Titan, or an Atom - anyone have any other suggestions? Are there any benefits to getting the centre channel speakers that are actually designed expressly as centre channels?


Go with the matching Paradigm center-channel model, whatever the model number. While having identical speakers all the way around is ideal, if you're doing just 5.1, then you will have an extra speaker sitting around since the Titan are sold in pairs. Right? However, if you go 6.1, then a pair of Titan will make sense. If you have a CRT monitor, remember to get shielded version of the Titan for center-channel duty.

Good choice on the Pioneer receiver....its pre-outs will allow you a path to upgrade to separates at a later time.
 
Oct 30, 2005 at 7:07 AM Post #3 of 23

Wodgy

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The Titans are a good choice. Just be sure to audition before you buy. Speaker selection is very personal, and what gets good reviews doesn't always suit your ear. Also, because speakers are very room-dependent, I wouldn't buy the front and rears at the same time. Buy the fronts, give them three weeks in your room, and if you like them, get the rears.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AdamWill
I haven't decided on a centre channel yet. Could just be another Titan, or an Atom - anyone have any other suggestions? Are there any benefits to getting the centre channel speakers that are actually designed expressly as centre channels?


The dirty little secret about most center channels (the ones in an MTM arrangement that are designed to lay on their side and sit on top of TVs) is that they have serious lobing problems off-axis. That's just physics (do a search for "MTM lobing"). Speaker manufacturers keep selling them because the slim "on-top-of-the-TV" look is what people want, but if you don't mind the aesthetics of a regular speaker sitting on top of your TV, you would get better sound from using another Titan as the center channel.
 
Oct 30, 2005 at 9:24 AM Post #4 of 23

AdamWill

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soundboy: I'm not sure there's a 'matching' centre for the Titans, as they're mostly sold as a stereo pair, not in an HT set up. I was kinda hoping I could find a single one knocking around somewhere, to save having a spare
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. Guess I could always go 6.1 if worst comes to worst, though.

wodgy: that's likely what'll happen in practice. Auditioning might not be feasible on the cheap, though. Friendly, expensive hi-fi dealers are happy to let you audition stuff before buying; Bob from eBay usually isn't. And I wouldn't feel right auditioning a pair from a hi-fi store when I knew I had absolutely no intention of buying 'em there. Thanks for the tip on centre channels. It wouldn't be sitting on top of my TV, though, there's not enough flat to rest a Titan on. It'd probably wind up attached to the wall directly above it.

My current TV is a good ol' CRT, hoping to go LCD or plasma next year. Keeping distance between the speakers and the TV isn't a problem, though.

So any idea on a sub? I'm not a basshead, I'd much rather have a moderate amount of accurate bass than a pile of sludge. Or even a pile of accurate bass, actually. In headphone terms, I was perfectly happy with unmodded Eggo D66s.
 
Oct 30, 2005 at 7:27 PM Post #5 of 23

soundboy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AdamWill
soundboy: I'm not sure there's a 'matching' centre for the Titans, as they're mostly sold as a stereo pair, not in an HT set up. I was kinda hoping I could find a single one knocking around somewhere, to save having a spare
smily_headphones1.gif
. Guess I could always go 6.1 if worst comes to worst, though.



The CC-170 is the current matching center-channel speaker for the Titan. If you have no problem with placement, then identical speaker all around is the way to go. Go 6.1 if you can....it will be easier to find a pair of Titan instead of just one speaker.
 
Oct 31, 2005 at 4:56 AM Post #6 of 23

AdamWill

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Yeah, I'll probably end up doing that. Thanks.
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Still no sub ideas?
 
Oct 31, 2005 at 6:39 AM Post #8 of 23

ooheadsoo

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Without going into diy, I would suggest you look into the availability of either Hsu Research or SVS subs. They both have at least one model in your price range, I believe. In your price range, I'd probably go with a Hsu, having owned one in the past, even though the $430 svs goes lower.
 
Oct 31, 2005 at 1:51 PM Post #10 of 23

ooheadsoo

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Yup, though you can get the vtf-2 in piano black on sale within your budget right now. Just be careful integrating the sub because it's capable of overwhelming your system if you don't know what you're doing.
 
Nov 7, 2005 at 5:57 AM Post #11 of 23

AdamWill

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Ah, so it's been an expensive day on eBay for me today...in addition to the Titans I got here, I'm now the proud owner of http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=5825054526 , some second hand Mini Monitors. For those of you who really believed someone with head-fi wallet tendencies was going to stick with the original 'cheapo Titans all round' plan, I've got this bridge you might interested in...
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. The sub's going to have to wait till next month, now...

(oh, I'm also the proud new owner of the MFSL version of R.E.M.'s Murmur. yay eBay. boo wallet.)
 
Nov 7, 2005 at 5:59 AM Post #12 of 23

AdamWill

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Actually, I just remembered another question I had. What's the best way to situate the speakers? I know it's not recommended to just sit them on the floor, but is it better to wall-mount them, or use speaker stands?
 
Nov 7, 2005 at 6:36 AM Post #13 of 23

MoxMonkey

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i was in the same boat as you not to long ago, i had originally planned to go with titans,atoms and a cc170 (match to titans/atoms) but upon auditioning mini monitors and up i decided to spend more and buy stuff over time. I ended up going Monitor 5 for fronts, cc370 center, and will be buying some adp170s when i get the cash. If you can afford it now i would highly suggest if you can afford it go with mini's up front as they sound much better imo
 
Nov 7, 2005 at 6:38 AM Post #14 of 23

AdamWill

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mox: click the link, I already bought 'em...
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Nov 7, 2005 at 7:00 AM Post #15 of 23

MoxMonkey

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lol stupid me
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but yah definatley go for a 370 to match the front as for sub check out svs if buying new. i managed to get a steal on a paradigm pw2200 for about half or the new retail price from someone upgrading so that solved my problem
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heh it's been a long day and i have a term paper due in 12 hours
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