Hi all. I'm new here so go easy on me. I'm looking for advice on a 5.1 speaker package with a budget of about $3k. I've looked at the Focal Dome(not sure about the design), the Quad L-ite and the ERA D4 series. I haven't actually heard the ERA's but I can't find any bad reviews about them anywhere. Actually, I can't find anything negative about ANY of these packages, so I'm kind of stuck. Help if you can. Thanks.
Welcome! Those appear to be fine systems. Is there a reason you seem to be partial to the satellite style?
If you have the room and wanted to rock the house, that is have a more impactfull system for both music and movies I would think you could find the outgoing model Monitor Audio RS6 package at the top of your budget.
PSB is another manufacturer you may want to consider for a similiar system.
I would second the Monitor Audio RS6, RSLCR, RSFX and RSW12 in closeout for $2366.
"The flawless and exceptional Silver RS6 gave me more listening pleasure than any other loudspeaker I have reviewed for Stereophile. In my more than 20 years of reviewing, I have not reviewed and audio component that produced greater sound quality per dollar than Monitor Audio's Silver RS6." - Robert J. Reina, Stereophile Magazine
If you are looking at four bookshelf speakers, a center and subwoofer then I'd also consider four PSB Image B25s ($800 w/ PSB SP-25i stands), a PSB Image C60 center ($280) and PSB Subseries 5i ($300) in closeout. List price for those items is $2154.
Hey guys. Thanks for the input. I should have mentioned before what I already own. Right now I have all Paradigm speakers. Monitor 9 fronts, Mini Monitor rears, matching center and sub. I'm not happy with it at all. It just sounds "harsh" to me. The vocals through the center sound nasally and the treble from the 9's is way too bright. I also have an Arcam AVR300 for power, so I'm assuming that the speakers are the weak link in my system. I'm also learning that I'm one of those freaks who like the sound of monitor speakers(bookshelf) better than floorstanders. This works out nicely because my wife says she would like to get away from the "college dorm room" looking speakers and into something a bit more design friendly. Her words, not mine. All that said, I have heard some PSB speakers and also some Monitor Audio stuff and liked them, but have not been blown away, though I can't for the life of me remember which models I heard. I've also heard B&W and have been even less impressed. And the thought of going into my local audio stores again right now and listening to the sales guys spew turns my stomach. There must be a sales school that they all go to that teaches them the same speech. I go to one store and the sales person says "I'll put these Focal's against anything else twice the price." Move on to the next store and it's "I'll put these Quads against anything else twice the price." On to the last store and it's the same crap "These ERA's will blow away anything else twice as expensive." I'm sure they all believe their product is the best, but come on. Not one of them ever said "follow your ears." Anyway, enough ranting for one day. Sorry about that.
What about acoustic treatments for your listening room?
You might just like four Totem Mites bookshelf speakers with stands for $1830, a Totem Mite-T Center for $565 and a SVS PB12-NSD subwoofer for $600. For a smaller room this would be a nice system. I've found Totems are anything but harsh. Find a place to listen to them if you can.
Hey guys. Thanks for the help. I got a chance to go out this weekend and gave a listen to some speakers. Heard the Totem Mites and Dreamcatcher. They both sounded pretty good but the store didn't have a sub to listen to. I'll have to go back later when they have a sub hooked up. However, you'll be pleased to hear that I think I have the wife wore down a bit and she may be more receptive of a larger bookshelf speaker. I listened to the Paradigm Studio 20 and was VERY impressed. This really surprised me because I don't like the Paradigm Monitors I have now at all. I also like the Focal 806V and the Quad 11 L2 packages all at the upper end of my price range. So basically I'm more confused now than I was before, but the search continues.