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Topic # 138394 2-Jan-2014 11:40
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Hi guys, looking for some opinions on what are some good 5.1 speaker packages available at the moment. ($3000 budget) I have a Sony STR-DN1040 on order and the room size will be your average kiwi lounge. It will be used for both movies and vinyl. Polk, Kef and Wharfdale keep coming up in my research. It will be a dedicated media room so floorstanders are fine. Has anyone seen any particular deals or has some advice for me? Thanks in advance!

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246 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 960241 2-Jan-2014 12:16
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I can't claim to be much of an audiophile (which is the territory you seem to be getting close to with that budget, and those brands), but my old man is, and the one tip i would give particularly when spending that amount of cash, is to try before you buy. Some places will have things set up in store, but the best option if possible is to listen to them in your home. And as far as i'm aware, you'll probably need to pick what sort of sound is going to be the most important for you, and go for something that delivers the best quality when playing that (i.e. movies, classical, D&B etc), and is reasonable with the not so important things. I don't think it's possible yet to get something that does everything brilliantly.

The other would be look out for good condition second hand stuff if you don't mind not having brand new, as you can get some pretty good bargains on high end gear that way.

Good luck, i wish i had that much money to throw at a sound system!

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 960254 2-Jan-2014 12:50
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B&W make great speakers. Could be pushing your budget a bit but maybe you can find them on sale somewhere.


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Reply # 960350 2-Jan-2014 16:33
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Yes the B&Ws sound great, shame as they push the budget up by around 1k.

Has anyone heard anything about Wharfedale Diamond 100 or Onkyo d509e

I am inexperienced with pairing speakers and recievers. Is it just about making sure your speaker impedance is higher than the receivers? Or is there more to it than that. 

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 960388 2-Jan-2014 18:44
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you cant go wrong with the Diamond series IMO, I still have a pair of Diamond 9 fronts in my dining room - upgraded to a B&W CM series in the main room but that's a little out of your budget at $6500+ :-)

One thing I will say is that receivers are not great for music reproduction. I recently added a Yamaha stereo amp and the sound is so much better then my Sony ES series receiver. The Yamaha also allows direct mode so it acts as a power amp for your fronts when using 5.1 so you only need one set of speaker cables.

When you live your life on Twitter and Facebook, and are only friends with like minded people on Twitter and Facebook, you are not living in the real world. You are living in a narcissistic echo chamber.


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 960390 2-Jan-2014 18:56
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Diamond 10's + a power amp could be a winner. Diamond 100 series on their own sound nice, but I'd rather invest in a 2-channel power amp to add to your existing h/theatre receiver IF it has pre-outs you can plug it in with.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 960485 3-Jan-2014 00:13
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b&w's are expensive boat anchors.

i'd rather listen to nz made images, high end wharfdales, tannoy, cambridge audio aero.

various ht packages from the above plus jamo, castle, mission et al fall within budget

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  Reply # 960516 3-Jan-2014 08:43
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Dunnersfella: Diamond 10's + a power amp could be a winner. Diamond 100 series on their own sound nice, but I'd rather invest in a 2-channel power amp to add to your existing h/theatre receiver IF it has pre-outs you can plug it in with.

Thanks, it doesn't look like the Sony 1040 has pre outs for an external amp. I will have to be happy with the speakers I end up with. Good to know for the future though.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 960528 3-Jan-2014 09:16
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I purchased the Kef Q series - they have been excellent.

You could get the Q500 fronts, the Q200 centre, the Q400 subwoofer, and the Q100 bookshelfs as rears for your budget.  For a couple hundred $$ more you could upgrade the fronts to the Q700.  I actually bought the Q900 fronts - probably a bit of overkill but the room they are in is just a bit smaller than a standard double garage.

JB Hifi do have the Q100's but they are not on their website.  From memory they were $599 when I bought them from JB.  JB also have free freight.

The other sets I looked at were Mordaunt Shorts through but they don't seem to stock them anymore.

Good luck - it took me a while researching etc before I pulled the trigger.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 960554 3-Jan-2014 09:57
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I should have prefaced my reply with...
"Asking what speakers to buy on an on-line forum is a mistake".

You will get MASSIVE variances in opinion, and everyone will be VERY stoic in their opinions, especially if they've put their hard earned cash down on such a subjective item.

The advice always remains the same, go and listen to them. Take music / movies you know and get the person who knows the most about them in the store. Buying speakers on-line doesn't make sense for me, unless you can hear them first. If you can, fill your boots!

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  Reply # 960631 3-Jan-2014 12:16
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Yes I would never buy without listening first. The problem I face at the moment is in New Plymouth there are a limited amount of places with the brands I am after. Harvey Norman have a few of them but I have had no luck finding helpful salespeople. The other day the salespeople took over 10 minutes just to set up the blu ray demo. Bit of a laugh really seeing 3 salespeople juggling numerous remotes and unplugging cables left right and centre. So I guess its down to asking for some opinions and going from there. I appreciate the help so far! :)

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 960709 3-Jan-2014 14:19
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I got some Wharfdale Vardus speakers a few years ago, $1000 on sale. They're not high end, but they're pretty good for the money. I may upgrade the center and sub at some point, but honestly they sound pretty good to me paired with my cheap Onkyo amp (which I have two fans on as it gets pretty hot).

I have heard a $10K setup, and my setup isn't comparable, but it's a lot better than anything anyone else I know has.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 960780 3-Jan-2014 16:03
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it's personal taste when it comes down to how you like things to sound

i would try and listen to as many different setups as possible and see what sounds good to you. Also check out what they are using to power the speaker cause that makes a difference. They could be using some mega $$ amp which makes the most out of those speaker and might not sound as good on your amp

i personally like b&w and kef

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  Reply # 961216 4-Jan-2014 18:28
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Hey mate. I run a full klipsch setup and would challenge anyones system. Excells in ht and pretty amazing for music too. It would be pushing your budget to get all good speakers at once, my mains were 2k, surrounds 1k, center 2k!! and just spent 1k on diy subs. I highly recommend klipsch.

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  Reply # 961541 5-Jan-2014 15:37
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I should also add that you can get cheaper speakers than what I have. All my speakers have been bought new from harvey norman at cash price. I have the best center in the range because I believe the center is the most important speaker for home theater. Also I have slowly built my system over the years. Get the best mains you can afford then the best center you can afford. Do the surrounds and sub later when money permits. In the end you will have a kick-ass setup as opposed to a mediocre setup right now. Your call obviously. Current speakers are:
Klipsch RF82ii mains
Klipsch RC64ii center
Klipsch synergy F30 surrounds
Klipsch RC62ii rear surround
Custom exodus audio tempest-x 15" sub in 200l enlosre ×2
All speakers running off seperate power amps (they make a difference)
I am in no way rich. Have ticked most of my gear up through the bank and has taken me a while but I still stand by my statement that I will take on anyones setup.

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Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 961797 6-Jan-2014 11:10
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hi i had similar troubles with harvey norman in np ended up buying a sub par speaker package due to not knowing what i wanted or needed. have since brought yamaha ns555 fronts ns333 bookcase nsc444 centre and use my existing ns7900 that i originally brought as rears. the systems sounds pretty nice now and can't quite remember total cost but don't think it would have been much more than your 3k budget. my mate has a similar set up in polk audio and his is nice but his amp lets him down. I'm in np if you wanted to come round for a bit of a looksy

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