Question Help with home theater system purchase!

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by CstJohnson, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. CstJohnson

    CstJohnson
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    I am in the process of building a home theater system from scratch and after countless hours of research on different forums and watching reviews I was able to choose the speakers and receiver for my system. No matter how much I look online though there is nothing more important than the opinion of people with much more experience than me in this matter...

    To understand my choice in hardware some context is necessary. I was looking for compact speakers with the biggest sound possible for their size. I need small speakers because I have very limited space to fit everything (20m2 and a 120inch projector screen). Also, I belong to the cursed race that wants wants to listen to both Hi-fi music as much as watch movies with big sound.... To add a cherry on top there are no organized audio/video shops in my country where I can camp for a week and test different speaker configurations, so this makes my choice even more difficult....

    For the main speakers I picked the MA Apex A10 for front and surround sound and the A40 for the center. According to reviewers and people who owned these speakers they are good for both music and movies and their size is perfect. This is where my first questions begin:

    - I am very concerned about the age of the speakers... The Apex series was released on 2010 and even though they are great speakers and have aged well, they still use the same 9 year old technology. Since then, new speakers have come out, such as the q-acoustics 3020, and I don't know how they compare. Are the Apex still validn in 2018-2019 or have they been outpaced by the competition with speakers that can perform better while costing less?

    - Would you recommend me to buy 3 A40s for front speakers instead of 2 A10s and 1 A40? I have seen many people using this setup, and even though I would love the bigger speakers I wouldn't mind saving a few bucks since the whole system is already crazy expensive (at least for me). I don't mind going with the A10s but if the A40s make a huge difference (like every single penny of the extra 600€ they cost in total) then I would consider them because I don't want to have any regrets later.

    For the subwoofer I went with the SVS SB2000. The sealed subs are for music and the ported for movies.... I wish there was a "why not both" option but I though instead of going with the PB1000 I should go with the sealed 2000 series sub in order to get good tight sound for music but still deliver big sound when watching movies with the 200 extra watts and lower frequency response.

    - I only hear good things about the SVS subs but is my logic above sound (pun not intentional)?

    Finally, the receiver of my choice is the Denon AVR-X3500H. Unfortunately I can't go any higher price-wish but I believe this price point is good enough for this system (although I am aware that a 1500€ receiver would be ideal in my case). I was thinking about Marantz too but I heard they are the same as Denon receivers.

    What do you think of my choices? Can you recommend any other compact speakers or a receiver that outperform this setup while costing the same or even less? Since I cannot listen to this system beforehand your feedback and opinion is extremely important to me!

    Thank you in advance
     
  2. Gasp3621

    Gasp3621
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    @CstJohnson

    Apex serie is build on MA Silver RX technology. After that there has been Silver 5th Gen and 6th Gen which came some time ago. No words from MA to upgrade Apex serie yet, Mass should be next in line. If you put similar models from Silver RX and new Silver 6th Gen next to each other, sure listener would notice some refinements, but i don´t believe it would be night and day. Manufacturer learns new tricks with higher series which are brought to lower series, but they also have certain budget for X line and they can`t do magics as MA has also kept the final price for customers same.

    QA 3000i serie and Apex compete in different price class. I`m not saying QA`s would be bad as they clearly aren`t, but they would compete more with MA Bronze line and as i mentioned Apex is based on Silver tech. This usually means thicker cabinet with higher quality finish, higher quality drivers and audio crossover parts. Especially if you listen music lot, you will appreciate the higher detail level etc. Choosing speakers is always tough and personal choice. Some might feel cheaper lines are enough for them (esp for movie use mostly) and some are hungry for more. Very sad to hear you can`t listen before buying.

    A40 = larger cabinet, higher power handling -> higher SPL, extra drivers, higher sensitivity -> less power hungry etc. @sanjualf and @fayeanddavid can probably answer you better, if i remember correctly they did the swap from A10 to A40 for LCR.

    If you have X3400H or X4400H (2017) still available where you live, get it! There is only few extra features more in the new X3500H, but price jump is noticeable. It`s always recommended to buy last years model if possible, cause basically the internals are usually same but you pay for couple mostly useless features. Yamaha RX-A1070 (2017) could be on your list aswell if you can find it for good price! Marantz SR6012 (2017) would be good option with 2extra channels.

    Have you bought SB2000 already? There is other options aswell which i think could give you even better bang for buck for approx same price. Delivery to Greece isn`t problem. And ported design being automatically poor for music, i don´t believe everyone would agree with this. Too many variables to think about, product, music type, eq used, sub placement etc. Example with the XTZ`s case most owners and reviews have praised how good it sounds with music even vents open, but you can run it sealed aswell. Arendal is another popular option and regarding build quality and dynamics it should be ahead of SB2000. Not saying SVS would be bad choice, just that there is other options aswell to look for which should give you some extra for movies aswell.
    1723 Subwoofer 1
    XTZ - SUB 12.17 EDGE - Subwoofers

    Here is Sanjualfs system A40s LCR + dual 12.17. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  3. CstJohnson

    CstJohnson
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    @Gasp3621

    Thank you very much for taking the time to reply!

    I do not have a lot of experience with speakers since this will be my first system so I am happy to hear that the difference between different gen speakers is not night and day.

    I would really like to hear the opinion of @sanjualf and @fayeanddavid on this matter! If the upgrade to 3 A40s is worth the extra cost then I am more than willing to be flexible with my budget.

    The price difference between the 3400H and 3500H is small (at least in my country) so I don't mind going with the newer generation but it's good to know that the internals are usually the same. I thought they upgrade both hardware and software with every new generation... Unfortunately both the Marantz SR6012 and especially the Yamaha RX-A1070 are over my budget but I will do some research because... Well you know how these things are... At the beginning I was looking for a sub 1000€ system and after losing my self in audio/video forums I ended up planning to buy a 3.5 grand system... I have a flexible budget but it's still limited...

    No I haven't bought anything yet. To tell you the truth hearing every source talking about the booming bass of ported speakers when listening to music scared me a little bit... I also listen to a wide range of music genres so this makes things even more difficult. I mostly listen to classical and orchestral soundtrack music but I also listen to jazz, funk, rock and prog metal.... I couldn't find any of these sub makers you mentioned in Greece but I assume I could order them directly from their website. I guess a long research section is waiting for me today :)

    That last picture... So damn beautiful.... I really like the dual sub setup too but my wallet is begging me to restrain myself... Why did I have to visit audiophile forums before buying speakers??? Why couldn't I have bought a 500€ system from one of the usual shops around here full of know-it-all employees with very questionable knowledge ;)
     

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