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  #2385018 4-Jan-2020 15:44
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As a quick update, had a nosey and listened to the Polk audio s55 floors standers ($1400ish) and a Klipsch reference floorstander (forgot the name, $1150ish) at HN. Both sounded good to my ears, although I think the polks sounded slightly “higher”. Both looked good as well, although I think at those price points I imagine they are veneer covered stands rather than solid wood. No B&W unfortunately to have a listen to (which I think looks the nicest). And I could complete both sets overtime purchasing via HN, rather than having to go via various stores to get the matching set.

Didn’t manage to hit soundhub as I had the kids at the local tramp park. Although that’s the plan over the next 2 weeks hopefully.

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  #2385696 6-Jan-2020 08:19
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Interesting that you thought the Polks sounded "higher" (which I'm taking in this case to mean bright or sharp highs), the Klipsch Reference lineup (guessing they are either the R-620F or R-820F you listened to) seem to be universally considered a second sun in terms of their brightness. The Klipsch Reference Premier line-up are little bit more refined, so if you like the Klipsch sound, you could always give the RP-6000Fs a try. They normally sit ~$1800, but I have seen them go as low as $1397 at HN. Unfortunately, the rest of the lineup is similarly priced, so it ain't cheap to collect a set.

 

I was really tossing up on the Polk's, and it was only a last minute deal on some Emotiva gear that made me go otherwise. THe S55s have been as low as $1110 since I was looking at them (PriceSpy says they went even lower before that) and the S15s drop down under $400 on occasion. Add in an S30 and you have yourself an awesome little 5.0 setup for less than $2k (at less than RRP prices). In case you can't tell, I'm a person that treats RRP as a guideline haha.

 

I haven't ever seen B & W speakers on display at HN, so since they are reasonably popular, maybe someone here might have a set?


 
 
 
 


Go Hawks!
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  #2385706 6-Jan-2020 08:40
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If you go with the Polks, my local HN was able to get the S35 in, which is a little more subtle when under a television - and from memory the price quoted was less than any pricespy listing.

 

With the Polks, for action movies you are going to need a sub - the bass doesn’t quite reach those lows.




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  #2386284 6-Jan-2020 19:04
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@shinychrome it was the 620f speakers they had there which would perhaps explain the that they didn’t sound as nice as the polks. And the polks sounded nicer and a touch sharper than the Klipsch ones, the 620s had a definately muddier sound to them than the polks. The centre they had was the s30 which has bigger woofers than the s35, which may explain why a lot of people say it sounds nicer than the s35.

@wazzageek space for the centre speaker isn’t an issue as the tv is wall mounted above the cabinet.

I like the idea of the s15s as these would sit nicely on the tv caBinet and wouldn’t impact the screen, however they may not be large enough to get enough sound from for the room size. Hence why I’m looking more at the s55s instead. Although with a sub this may be more than compensated for. And if they aren’t ebnough I could either get a larger bookshelf or the s55s at a later date.

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  #2386307 6-Jan-2020 20:08
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Listen to the Klipsch RP6000F's (I think that's their name?).

 

Their bookshelf brethren are massively well reviewed and I will say that the RP floor standers kick butt... but (hurhur) if you want to hear a really cool version of the Premiere speakers, try the 4 or 5" driver versions, they kick like mules! It's not deep bass, but boy is it good from slimline floor standers.

 

I'm picking Soundhub will have them, certainly worth your time.

 

Of course... then there's the Elac Debut's and UniFi's... amazing reviews and far more neutral voicing.


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  #2386309 6-Jan-2020 20:15
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Without hijacking the thread - what are peoples experience of the Theophany range?


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  #2386353 6-Jan-2020 21:52
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Dunnersfella:

 

Listen to the Klipsch RP6000F's (I think that's their name?).

 

Their bookshelf brethren are massively well reviewed and I will say that the RP floor standers kick butt... but (hurhur) if you want to hear a really cool version of the Premiere speakers, try the 4 or 5" driver versions, they kick like mules! It's not deep bass, but boy is it good from slimline floor standers.

 

I'm picking Soundhub will have them, certainly worth your time.

 

Of course... then there's the Elac Debut's and UniFi's... amazing reviews and far more neutral voicing.

 

 

 

 

I have the 6000F's and they are really good speakers the voice quality and music quality is amazing. I do find they need a sub to get the low punch though


 
 
 
 


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  #2386409 7-Jan-2020 08:08
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Dunnersfella:

 

Listen to the Klipsch RP6000F's (I think that's their name?).

 

Their bookshelf brethren are massively well reviewed and I will say that the RP floor standers kick butt... but (hurhur) if you want to hear a really cool version of the Premiere speakers, try the 4 or 5" driver versions, they kick like mules! It's not deep bass, but boy is it good from slimline floor standers.

 

I'm picking Soundhub will have them, certainly worth your time.

 

Of course... then there's the Elac Debut's and UniFi's... amazing reviews and far more neutral voicing.

 

 

I had pretty much pulled the trigger on those at the start of 2019 before I picked up a ex-demo pair of KEF Q700s for half the price. One of the first speakers I auditioned at SoundHub was the previous version (RP-280f) with the 8" drivers; boy if I had the $2k+ to burn, those things were sublime. I can only imagine how the RF7s or further up sound. HN also has them as well. I can't imagine I could do long sessions with them, but nothing does dynamics and clarity (well at this price bracket anyway) like horn loaded tweeters.

 

Although funnily enough, the pricing is a bit arse-backward; the RP-4000f or 5000f end up more expensive then the 6000f, which I'm assuming is due to HN stocking the latter.

 

I also listened to some Elac Debut F6s in the audition as well, but I don't think I would recommend them for HT though. Even with a reasonable amp driving them at SH, they just sounded veiled and muddy when I listened to them, A/Bing with both the Klipsch and some KEF Q550s. They also have some UniFi floorstanders though which I have heard are much better, maybe I should go and sample the wares again...


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  #2386421 7-Jan-2020 08:44
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Loismustdye: shinychrome it was the 620f speakers they had there which would perhaps explain the that they didn’t sound as nice as the polks. And the polks sounded nicer and a touch sharper than the Klipsch ones, the 620s had a definately muddier sound to them than the polks. The centre they had was the s30 which has bigger woofers than the s35, which may explain why a lot of people say it sounds nicer than the s35.

wazzageek space for the centre speaker isn’t an issue as the tv is wall mounted above the cabinet.

I like the idea of the s15s as these would sit nicely on the tv caBinet and wouldn’t impact the screen, however they may not be large enough to get enough sound from for the room size. Hence why I’m looking more at the s55s instead. Although with a sub this may be more than compensated for. And if they aren’t ebnough I could either get a larger bookshelf or the s55s at a later date.

 

I would say if you are going to go with the Polks, you are definitely right about the center if space isn't an issue. The recommended XO for the S35 is around 100hz, so not great for dialogue that can reaches down to 80-85hz. Which is a center speaker's main purpose... so yeah...

 

The key differences between bookshelves and floorstanders in the same line is usually bass extension and loudness. Personally I would be leaning towards floorstanders + center to start with, especially if you have a big room and HT is its primary purpose (and it passes SAF). Bookshelves may start to distort at louder volumes if your MVP/MLP is further away as in a bigger room and trying to cope with the peaks of a demanding movie soundtrack. And unlike the US, finding a good HT sub here is not cheap. So even the extra bass extension of a floorstander should hopefully keep you satisfied, until you start to get that itch haha. 

 

How big is your HT room (sometimes also know as a "lounge" or "living room")?




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  #2386906 7-Jan-2020 18:21
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@shinychrome the room is approx 5-6m long by 4-5m side, unfortunately the viewing distance is across the shorter width of the room due to doors and windows.
I see soundhub has the kef 550 floors for a grand which review pretty well and are a smaller floor stander as well, which if are in store I may have a listen to as well.

My plan is to get the fronts and centre first, then the sub later in the year. Then finally surrounds, although I already have something like the SVS prime elevation speakers in mind. The rear speaker wires are quite high in the walls, and the elevation speakers are angled down to point the sound down. They can also be purchased in white colour which I would prefer in order for them not to be highlighted on the wall. I could also get another set for front presence speakers if I wanted.

I’m on a budget, I don’t want to go over $2k for the front and centres if I can help it as I know a good sub will cost me in the $1300 mark.
Despite all this the B&W 607 bookshelves and the 603 floor standers look the best in my mind, however they do sit a little high in the price range for me (the matching centre is currently $1000 special).

I do have to admit that the more I look into things, the more confused I get, making a decision is going to be the hardest part lol

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  #2386973 7-Jan-2020 19:39
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Honestly - listen, listen, listen.

 

 


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  #2387037 7-Jan-2020 21:03
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@Dunnersfella I agree up to a point.  Speaking from experience though, when you are new to the game and only have TV speakers or HTiB as a reference, everything sounds great in comparison!

 

It does takes a great deal of time and effort to even find out what you like, let alone identify differences between 5+ different brands/types. Time you could be enjoying a "good enough" speaker, that you may decide is still perfect after years of ownership. Or tire of eventually and begin the cycle anew. Because lets be honest, it is more likely that we will run out of budget before finding our end-game setup haha.

 

Add in to that the reality that audio is a very niche market in NZ, and we don't get the luxury of things like 30 day returns for in-home a/b testing (US has its faults a plenty, but it really is the mecca of HT) as well.

 

@loismustdye sounds like you have a solid game plan. Based on your measurements, I guess-timated about 2500 cu-ft, which is a relatively medium-ish room for subs/HT. I reckon something like a SVS PB-1000 (or PB12-NSD if they still have it) or decent 12" ported sub would work quite nicely in there when you get around to it, so your $1300 estimate would be on the money.

 

The Q550 for $999 is a good deal, if they had them at that price I would have definitely considered them. Add in a KEF Q250c or Q650c for $600-800 and you will come out a little ahead in budget. Can you demo them at SoundHub? Might be interesting to A/B them with a few different types of speaker like the Elacs or Klipsch.




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  #2387071 7-Jan-2020 21:50
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ShinyChrome:

@Dunnersfella I agree up to a point.  Speaking from experience though, when you are new to the game and only have TV speakers or HTiB as a reference, everything sounds great in comparison!


It does takes a great deal of time and effort to even find out what you like, let alone identify differences between 5+ different brands/types. Time you could be enjoying a "good enough" speaker, that you may decide is still perfect after years of ownership. Or tire of eventually and begin the cycle anew. Because lets be honest, it is more likely that we will run out of budget before finding our end-game setup haha.


Add in to that the reality that audio is a very niche market in NZ, and we don't get the luxury of things like 30 day returns for in-home a/b testing (US has its faults a plenty, but it really is the mecca of HT) as well.


@loismustdye sounds like you have a solid game plan. Based on your measurements, I guess-timated about 2500 cu-ft, which is a relatively medium-ish room for subs/HT. I reckon something like a SVS PB-1000 (or PB12-NSD if they still have it) or decent 12" ported sub would work quite nicely in there when you get around to it, so your $1300 estimate would be on the money.


The Q550 for $999 is a good deal, if they had them at that price I would have definitely considered them. Add in a KEF Q250c or Q650c for $600-800 and you will come out a little ahead in budget. Can you demo them at SoundHub? Might be interesting to A/B them with a few different types of speaker like the Elacs or Klipsch.



Hoping to head in this weekend to SH to have a listen, will be interesting to see what else they have around the similar sort of specs, and at the bare minimum have another reference listening point.
On a positive note I have to get floorstanders for the front, my wife has told me she doesn’t want speakers on the cabinet as it will look cluttered, pretty happy with her response to be honest. Fingers crossed for a decision over the next week and then you all can go back to your lives again lol.

But seriously, thanks for the discussion pints and tips guys, gained some valuable tips to consider.

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  #2387162 8-Jan-2020 08:23
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I am eyeing up the Kef 550s for my room, but my Mrs only wants them in Walnut so have to either hope for the right price with someone with them in stock or wait for the supplier to get more. I have the Kef R7s for the living / family room but feel that something in the R series is overkill for pretty much a movie only room that plays mostly streamed movies. At $999, that is some very good pricing for a speaker that is normally +$1500


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  #2387175 8-Jan-2020 08:57
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Loismustdye:

Hoping to head in this weekend to SH to have a listen, will be interesting to see what else they have around the similar sort of specs, and at the bare minimum have another reference listening point.
On a positive note I have to get floorstanders for the front, my wife has told me she doesn’t want speakers on the cabinet as it will look cluttered, pretty happy with her response to be honest. Fingers crossed for a decision over the next week and then you all can go back to your lives again lol.

But seriously, thanks for the discussion pints and tips guys, gained some valuable tips to consider.

 

It's all part of the fun friend; when you run out of money to buy more gear, then you start living vicariously haha.

 

I think I would remember if there were discussion pints... speaking of which, I reckon it might be time for a gathering of the Manawatu GZers...

 

 

 

sen8or:

 

I am eyeing up the Kef 550s for my room, but my Mrs only wants them in Walnut so have to either hope for the right price with someone with them in stock or wait for the supplier to get more. I have the Kef R7s for the living / family room but feel that something in the R series is overkill for pretty much a movie only room that plays mostly streamed movies. At $999, that is some very good pricing for a speaker that is normally +$1500

 

 

They do look quite nice in Walnut I must admit, but that is certainly the cheapest I have seen them yet. I'll bet those R7s sound fantastic for most things though.

 

I was reading a little bit ago somewhere that the Q150 drivers were rumored to be basically taking the LS50 driver and making it cheaper, to the point that one of the engineers let slip about the Q150s being a budget LS50. Given the Q550 shares the same size driver... I must admit that A/Bing the Q550 and Q750, the former was noticeably more refined and had more clarity, with a surprising amount of bass for its size.


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