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Thinking of replacing my front & center speakers for $300-400... ideas?

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Thinking of replacing my front & center speakers for $300-400... ideas?

Old 12-14-02, 12:39 PM
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Thinking of replacing my fronts & center for $300-400... ideas?

Right now I have a set of fairly inexpensive 5.1 speakers from Sony's SA-VE line that I bought about two years ago. I'm looking to upgrade, and I heard that it's more important to upgrade the fronts than the rears, and to upgrade the fronts + center together to timbre-match. My receiver is a 110-watt Yamaha HTR-5250 (specs here). I live in a 1BR apartment, and my living room is of medium/decent size. The options I thought up so far:

1. I found an Energy dealer that sells the Take 5.2 speakers up the road from my house... I think the three speakers would run me around $400.

2. I also could pick up some N-series JBLs from Best Buy (or wherever) for around $330. Which means I could probably get them cheaper somewhere online, but I'm hesitant to make big purchases on line... if something goes wrong, I guess I'd prefer to be able to take them somewhere in town.

Any other thoughts on brands & prices within my price range? I've heard good things about Klipsch and Polk Audio as well.
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Old 12-14-02, 04:27 PM
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I expect a new mass market line from Klipsch very soon. I may be wrong but it may happen. At the pice you are looking you are at $100~125 for each front and ~$150 for the center. This is the starting point of almost all mid fi vendors line-up. If you have a brand you like start by listening to stereo at home of a few tracks you really like and then take the same tracks with you and listen at the dealers. There are lots a factors in listening but for now this gives you a start. It kind of fun to do if you have a weekend to give to it.

Last edited by bfrank; 12-15-02 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 12-14-02, 07:22 PM
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Have a listen to PSB, you should be able to meet your needs and budget.
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Old 12-14-02, 09:00 PM
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Originally posted by nekobus
Have a listen to PSB, you should be able to meet your needs and budget.
I'll second that, Ilove my PSBs. Check out www.yawaonline,com - they usually have some really good deals on B stock (I have B stock and can't find any flaws).
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Old 12-15-02, 08:25 AM
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I have the Klipsch synergy system up front and center. I am very pleased with them so far, especially on movies and 5 channel audio. Their sound is exceptionally clean and detailed, with superb imaging. These were in the price range you are looking at when I purchased them 2 years ago. I havent been into the dealers to see what the current klipsch lineup is like, but I have been very pleased with mine. I dont know how much truth there is to the concept of the "tractix" horns, but the high end detail is quite startling at first, but they break in nicely.
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Old 12-15-02, 11:27 AM
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I second Kipsch and PSB's, both are nice speakers. I am looking forward to the day I can get rid of my Sony-DE545 with that stupid hissing problem and my Kenwood speakers Maybe I should start www.savepedagogue.com

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Old 12-15-02, 12:19 PM
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I'll do some poking around about Klipsch & PSB... thanks!

Another question... how big of a difference is there between the JBL N-Series and S-Series? Getting three S-Series speakers is a little outside my budget, but if they will sound noticeably better than the N-Series, I'll splurge.
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Old 12-16-02, 01:31 AM
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I have an S-series center and N-series mains. I know they say not to mix but I have no complaints, in fact, I love them. I went for the S in the center channel because that carries most of the dialog and I had small yamahas before and they were really lacking and I didn't want to take any chances. But the N-series mains are awesome. They really crank.
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Old 12-16-02, 02:14 AM
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ill second or third the PSB, see my sig.
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Old 12-17-02, 04:08 PM
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I'll nominate Wharfedales for their value and quality....they can be had for song from a few different places and i've been VERY happy with mine.....
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Old 12-18-02, 10:58 AM
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Two excellent choices come to mind. The PSB Alpha series and the Paradigm Performance series. The speakers are:

PSB Alpha A/V
PSB Alpha B
Paradigm Titans

PSB Alpha Center
PSB Alpha C
Paradigm CC-170

Look for local dealers to audition them:

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Old 12-18-02, 11:17 AM
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Thanks, Mr. Moderator!

To be more specific about the other sets I'm considering:

Polk: CSi30 center + RTi38 or RTi28 fronts
JBL: S-CenterII + JBL S-38II or JBLS-36II fronts
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