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Need expert advice! $1500 budget. Paradigm the way to go?

I've been looking at a couple different options:

Best Buy's Mirage Nanosat 5.1 system and a Denon 1508 receiver for about $1000.
Paradigm Cinema 90 CT system with an Integra 5.8 receiver for about $1300.

Is there anywhere else I should be looking? Other brands to check out? What's the best bang for the buck?


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Just my opinion

In reply to: Need expert advice! $1500 budget. Paradigm the way to go?

you do not list any other restrictions, whether size, color, usage, # of speakers. Assuming strict budget, my vote is:

6x PSB B25 $900 total
Onkyo 805 refurbished $600

Save $500-600 for another day for a sub, either SVS 12" or AV123 MFW-15.

That Integra could be a good deal, but I needed to shave off $200 to get some nice 6.0 speakers.

I personally don't think my combo can be beat for the money for HT usage. If you had 2k, then add sub. I could have gone eD for sub, but I spared you the ugliness.

the center channel would be an upright bookshelf. gives you superior performance while costing less than a "center channel speaker" due to its inferior compromised horizontal mtm design.

If you have more money, you might try Denon for the receiver if you worry about Onkyo QC. But a similar model seems to cost about 3x as much.

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Here's some further information...

In reply to: Just my opinion

Thanks for the help so far!
Our living room is rather large and awkward... about 15' x 30' and is actually two stories, which I'm thinking will hurt sound quality. We have prewired surround sound which makes wall mounted speakers desirable, but I could always add shelves if needed.
I was thinking 5.1 to start but, you're right, I can always add pieces later.
Where do you recommend looking for higher end brands such as PSB? Buy direct from the manufacturer? Or are there other nice suppliers around?
Again, thanks!

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Paradigm Cinema 90 CT system with an Integra 5.8 receiver fo

In reply to: Here's some further information...

this is good setup for small speakers that can be wall mounted, and Integra is the same companys as onkyo, but the integra is a step up from the onkyo line.

you might try paradigm 330's in the front and cinema 90's in the rear for a little more fuller sound, one other option is monitor audio they have some small speakers the same size as the paradigm 330's and come in diffrent colors to match the room color and I think they come with the wall mounts.

good luck

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In reply to: Paradigm Cinema 90 CT system with an Integra 5.8 receiver fo

I really like paradigm. Sound is pretty subjective. If you want to save some money I'd check out ascend acoustics. To me... they sound exactly like paradigm for much less.

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Follow up.

In reply to: Subjective

Can anyone give me some idea where to look at prices or comparisons for these brands?
If josten is around... where would you suggest looking for the PSBs? DIrect from the company?
Just having difficulty comparing the speakers online and there aren't many places near me that have high end stuff to listen to.

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Following up

In reply to: Follow up.

Gabe's rec follows the same line of thought, perhaps, as your original ideas: "lifestyle". I typically throw lifestyle out the window, and try for either high-end, or maximum bang for buck. In other words, performance only, and Im only speaking for myself.

noah's rec of the ascends can prove to be interesting because they are typically smaller compared to their competition, and fare well considering. The only issue might be that they are a bit too "bright" for some, but then again, the same might be said of Paradigm. Possibly even PSB as well, but this is not said about them as often as with the others. Ascend is ID, or internet direct. You will not find them in store, and you can try them at home for a month or so.

PSBs look ok. Their strength, imo, is their ability to crank. Good for HT, good for your room. Regarding a big room, that is actually much more desirable than too small of a room. You will be less affected by numerous modes, particularly in the bass. OTOH, this usually calls for larger budgets, if you indeed going for cinematic volumes. Well, at least for the sub(s). For the speakers, the actual distance you sit from them will matter more I would think. Then other little aspects that I don't think will come into play so much at your budget. Considering all the above, you may or may not want a beefy amp section. Actually, probably a beefy amp section... again, that's me.
B25s going for $299. shipping is $25 for the pair. I dont think I could find a better HT bookshelf for $162 each, brand new A-stock. They are BIG though... part of the reason they can out-crank nearly all other such bookshelves in its budget.
best prices new, maple only:

best prices, period, but refurbished:

OTOH, dmc offers sienna finish, depending on the model. IMO, sienna easily looks the best. Sienna, then maple, then black, is my opinion.

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