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  1. #1

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    Default Speaker Buying Advice

    Hi all-

    I apologize in advance- I'm a newbie- I've never had the $$$ to even seriously think about buying speakers until now, so I just have some basic questions!

    I'm looking to set up a 5.1 HT in my small apartment (living room= 11'x15'). I currently have an old reciever hooked up to some Cambridge Soundworks Sprks and Basscube 8 I got during college, that I've gotten tired of and want upgraded!

    Here is what I've found to be in my price range..

    Rec: HarmonKardon AVR 235 or 335
    Front: RTi6, Monitor 70, RTi10
    Surround: FXi3 (or i5 maybe)
    Sub: Velodyne DPS 10

    Anyone have any thoughts/advice? I live on the 3rd floor in an apt complex, so I'm not looking to get evicted THAT quickly !! Should I go bookshelfs or floorstanding? 235 vs 335? What about Monitor 70 vs. the RTi10s?

    I mostly listen to music, but really do a good movie every once in a while (also looking at this as an investment for once I move out of my small apt).

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I've read a whole lot of these threads already, and everyone seems to really know their stuff and is very willing to help- Thank you!

    -Greg

  2. #2

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    Default

    First of all, how big is your room? Second, how long do you plan on staying in the apartment? If your planning on moving into a house within a year or so, get RTi10's (have you thought about the RTi8's the savings will pay for the sub). But if you do that be prepared to use the HK eventually as a preamp, as a separate power amp will truly bring them to life.
    Being in an apt. I would tell you to skip the sub altogether, the neighbors may go medevil on your ass.
    I would probably got with the RTi4 for rears. Then when you do move someplace bigger you could put them in another room.
    Whatever you do, remember their is a break-in period with speakers (50-100 hrs), so be patient and enjoy spending the money.

  3. #3

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    I agree with markmarc 100%.

    Apartments are not built to obsorb sound. They are built for two reasons, to make money, and to house lots of people in the same spot.

    They are inherently cheap and the walls are paper thin, note Steve Martins line in "Man with 2 Brains". (dito's on the whole medival thing)

    If you plan to move out within the next millenium, I'd purchase a great set of wired head phones and not buy any speakers or heavy duty equipment right now. You don't have to worry about the neighbors and the sound is decent.

    Maybe some less expensive speakers that you can use in the garage later in life. Save your big dollars for later.
    If I could live life all over again, I would purchase a high end receiver, since it can be saved for your real system and still be used in the apartment, under certain conditions. My old Sansui 7 is still cranking out the tunes, allbeit, in the garage, but it is still working.

    Remember, trying to change the Landlords mind about how he built his crap ass apartments will do you no good. And getting married is no excuse for not having a great HT.

  4. #4

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    Default

    Personally, I certainly think it's possible for you to consider an Rti 6, CSi3 and FXi 3's system. If you will be moving soon, as was stated before, get the Rti 10's, they're great speakers. However, you won't get much out of them w/ a lower priced HK, where the 6's will sound decent. You can still buy a sub for later use in a bigger place, but you won't be able to turn it up very much.
    Not sure how the Velodyne you mentioned stacks up, but the PB 10 ISD from SVS is a great sub, goes real low, real loud. Would not be good for an apt, but sure would be nice later on.
    Also, the Dynamo from Martin Logan is a great little sub, very compact, but puts out a lot of sound, and is rated to 25 Hz. It goes for about $600.
    Current System:

    Mitsubishi 30" LCD LT-3020 (for sale**)
    Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand (Rosewood)-Mains (with Audioquest Mont Blanc cables)
    CSi5-Center (for sale**)
    FXi3-surrounds (for sale**)
    Martin Logan Depth-Sub
    B&K AVR 507
    Pimare CD21-CD Player
    Denon 1815-DVD Player
    Panamax M5500-EX-Line Conditioner

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Speaker Buying Advice

    Well, how much do you want to spend? How long do you plan on being in your place? What kind of music do you listen to?

    RTi10 > RTi6 > Monitor 70 in terms of sound quality IMO. Also look into Denon for receivers, HK is good but not the only option (unless you have some crazy hookup). There's a lot of options listed, go with what you can afford.

    Here's probably what I would do. Get the biggest/best receiver you can afford and has all the features you want/need. Obviously. For speakers, get the RTi6's, CSi5 and FXi5's. That way when you move, you can put your 6's as surround backs and then get your RTi10's to use as mains. But even for an apt, the 6's will still give you plenty of sound. If you do get the 6's now, be prepared to get a sub, no matter how big or small.
    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

    Home Setup: Sony VPL-VW85 Projo, 92" Stewart Firehawk, Pioneer Elite SC-65, PS3, RTi12 fronts, CSi5, FXi6 rears, RTi6 surround backs, RTi4 height, MFW-15 Subwoofer.

    Car Setup: OEM Radio, RF 360.2v2, Polk SR6500 quad amped off 4 Xtant 1.1 100w mono amps, Xtant 6.1 to run an eD 13av.2, all Stinger wiring and Raammat deadener.

  6. #6

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    +1 to Toxis. I have the DPS 10, nice sub for the money. It will piss off your neighbors! ;)
    Main System:
    PreAmp: Rotel 1098 with MF X-10v3
    Amp: Rotel 1090, 1075, 1070
    Source: Pro-Ject RM9 with Blackbird Cart., Denon 2900 with MF X-DACv3
    Speakers: Gallo Ref 3s (LR), Gallo Due (C, SR, SL), Gallo Micro (RR, RL)


    Second System:
    Receiver: H/K AVR 630
    Source: Pioneer 563
    Speakers: Polk RTi10s (LR), CSi5 (C), RTR 200 (SR, SL)

  7. #7
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    IMO H/K and Denon are the best. I prefer H/K slightly because of the warmer sound and more honest power ratings/more current in the amps.

    If you want H/K then get a 235. Compared with the 335, the wattage difference is only 5watts, and the current is only +5 more. BOTH have pre-outs which is important if you want to upgrade to a separate amp down the road.

    For a room of 11x15 you don't need big speakers. IMO, fxi5's would be overkill for such a small room.

    I live in an apt. with a roomsize of 15x20 and this is my setup-


    Receiver- H/K 235
    Fronts- RTI-4 (i think they sound/image better than the rti-6's. I did an a/B comparo with the H/K and Adcom amps)

    Center- csi-3
    Sides- f/x300i (Fxi3)
    Rears- f/x300i (Fxi3)
    Sub - Velo CHT-10

    Thanks to the pre-outs on the 235- i added Adcom amps down the road.

    in the end, it's up to you.
    good luck!

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the helpful advice!

    I think I'm going to stick with aaharvel's advice to stay with the bookshelves. I don't really see myself moving into a house anytime w/i the next 4 years, only upgrading to a larger apt (still with bad acoustics + bitchy neighbors...), so the RTi10's seem a bit overkill for now.

    So what do ya'll think..RTi6 vs RTi4, with the FXi3s in rear, the H/K 235?

    For Sub, I'm debating then b/t the Velo DPS 10 & the PSW404, and the center between CSi3 &CSi5? Any advice on that decision?

    I've heard there are some big differences between the CSi3 & 5? Any thoughts?

    My room is around 14x20, and my budget is enough to have some good music and movies!

    Thanks again for all the help!

    -Greg

  9. #9

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    Default

    Originally posted by aaharvel
    For a room of 11x15 you don't need big speakers. IMO, fxi5's would be overkill for such a small room.
    so I might ask you, how big does your room have to be to enjoy fuller, better sound?
    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

    Home Setup: Sony VPL-VW85 Projo, 92" Stewart Firehawk, Pioneer Elite SC-65, PS3, RTi12 fronts, CSi5, FXi6 rears, RTi6 surround backs, RTi4 height, MFW-15 Subwoofer.

    Car Setup: OEM Radio, RF 360.2v2, Polk SR6500 quad amped off 4 Xtant 1.1 100w mono amps, Xtant 6.1 to run an eD 13av.2, all Stinger wiring and Raammat deadener.

  10. #10
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    Greg-

    Yeah i've heard there is an improvement between the csi3 and csi5- but the csi5 is also TWICE as much- and like the f/xi5- is designed for larger room applications and higher powered gear- so take that into consideration. As far as subs go: Polk vs. Velodyne? IMO not much of a choice there- I'd get the Velodyne or like Gregure said to check out SVS. Everyone seems to think very highly of them here. Gregure also makes a great point about an rti6, csi3, fxi3 combination. However, before you spend the extra dough on the rti6- check out the rti4's just in case and do an A/B comparo between the two. You might just like the smaller speaker just as much and save some $ in the process.

    If you're still not sure, then try this link.
    http://www.polkaudio.com/home/toolbox/sysbld.php

    EDIT: Welcome to the Club Polk!
    Last edited by aaharvel; 06-19-2005 at 12:59 PM.

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