Advice on Home Theatre components...

Hey guys, I'm a relative newbie to higher end audio, and I can't really afford a lot of the high end stuff that seems to be pretty standard on here, but I wanted some advice on my system if anyone is game. I just bought a new house, closing is sept 1st!) and the designated room is 23'x15'

I currently have:

Recently purchased:
Receiver: Denon AVR-3805
TV: Samsung HLN507W
CD/DVD player: Sony DVP-CX985V 400 disk (was a gift)
Monster MP HTS 3600
Cables: Monster Cable Interlink Datalink 100, and M series M500V x2.

Several years old:
powered Subwoofer: psb Century subsonic 2i
center: psb century 200Ci

~15 yrs old:
Front speakers: BIC America Venturi V830 (x2)
Rear speakers BIC America Venturi V52 (x2)

PS2, VCR, etc

On the right front speaker, one of the woofers moves freely when pushed in, but the other has a slight grinding feel to it (still sounds ok though). The tweeter on the front left speaker is gone. I probably have to replace the front speakers and possibly rear/center to match it since I can't even find SPECS on these things, much less replacement parts.

Anyway, I've gone on a few trips to some stereo shops to listen to some speakers, and I really liked the Martin Logan electrostatic lines, (Clarity, Aeon, Ascent front, cinema center) but I was concerned with the dispersion (~30 degrees?) I'd also like to keep it semi-reasonable pricewise. My main use for the system is for movies, football games, etc. I do listen to music on it, especially when friends are over, but I'll be honest, I do most of my music listening in the car. This system would be mainly for movies.

I wanted to know what you guys suggest. If I have to replace my speakers rather than repair, what kind should I get? What are the weakest points of my system? (Like I said, I'm new to this). Do I need to have the front/rear/center speakers from the same company? I was hoping to keep the speakers under 3k-ish (under 2k would be even better). Used would be fine so long as they're in good shape. What other things should I worry about? I've never set up a high end system before, so forgive me if the answers to some of these questions are glaringly obvious.

Thanks in advance!

Your speakers obviously are your next upgrade point - I have the ML Aeon / Theatre centre / Script rears. They are excellent for HT as they have a very fast response, good dynamics and (where they score over conventional speakers) vertical stage height. I have had no problems whatsoever with dispersion and put that down to their convex shape. I used a B&W centre speaker (LRC6) for a couple of years to economise. I then tried the Cinema centre which I found hopeless as it has a very focussed sweet spot probably due to its concave shape. Eventually I found a S/H Theatre and this is great - I didn't really believe in timbre matching but having put the Theatre up between the 2 Aeons I now have an open and seamless front stage. I would think that 4 Clarity's would be good - the slightly extended bass of the Aeon's isn't really needed with an LFE channel. For music I think it very important to try to keep the speakers matched as per maker and model as far as is practical - your Denon 3805 should cope OK with the ML's and leave you with the future option of a standalone amp!
Why not match your PSB sub to a pair of PSB 5T/6Ts?
KEF speakers work nicley with Denon recievers. You can definatly pick up a whole surround set for under 2-3k. You might want to give them a try

From what I have read here so far, it looks like you have put together an impressive system so far. At looking at your speakers, I was hoping to look for a quick fix and suggest that you round off your PSB Century 200Ci Center Channel and Subsonic 2i with fronts and rears also from the PSB Century series. But after visiting their website, what I hoped to find as a quick fix ended up in vain. PSB no longer makes or markets the "Century" Series. If you wish to stick with PSB, then I'm afraid that all new speakers will be have to be the order. And if you want something that is similar to the now discontinued "Century" series, you will have to take a look at their more current "Image" series. And if you want to keep the price of the total package to under $3K (or as you might prefer......... $2K), the PSB and MAYBE (!!!!!) KEF are probably your only options. If you intend to use the Denon AVR-3805 as a standalone control/power center, these are in fact your ONLY options. Martin Logans definitely will sound better than PSBs or KEFs. But the price for such a package will make Martin Logans prohibitly expensive. And......... unless you're planning on adding an outboard power amplifier in order to power the M/Ls and use the Denon AVR-3805 as a Pre/Pro, I don't really see the feasibility in using such an exotic speaker such as a Martin Logan with a $1,200.00 receiver. You might want to take a hard look at the PSB Image Series, or the KEF Q Series. These speakers will be a better match for the Denon than will the Martin Logans. And at prices starting at about $2K for a complete package sans subwoofer, they're much easier on your wallet too.

Otherwise, great system (and not bad for a first timer).

Good Luck........

Well, one addendum is that I hope to put together a system in which I wouldn't have to buy/sell that many components in a short period of time. I wouldn't mind getting speakers that the rest of the system could grow into (so long as the Denon amp could handle them for the time being).

The PSB speakers I have were sort of a quick fix. I was in medical school at the time, and couldn't really afford much. Now I've finished, and I'm starting to make a little more cash, so I can afford to upgrade a bit. Also, to be perfectly honest with you, I don't love the center speaker OR the sub now that I've had them for a while, so I think I'd be hesitant about buying any more PSB products.

Seminola, your setup with the ML Aeon / Theatre centre / Script rears sounded excellent, by the way. I agree with the cinema having a limited sweet spot (I took it for a test listen the other day and that was a definite concern) but it would be hard to stay under 3k buying these (used). I was thinking maybe a clarity / theatre / script combination, or possibly leaving out the theatre and using the psb temporarily as a center. That might be more reasonable for the time being.

Chaskelljr2001: I was wondering what you meant about the KEF and PSB being my only options if I used the Denon as a standalone... when I listened to the speakers, they actually had the Aeons and scripts hooked up to the Denon AVR-3805, and told me that I would have no problem if I wanted to run these speakers of the amp. Were they mistaken? How can I determine whether an amp is adequate to power a certain set of speakers? (the denon is, I believe, 160 watts per channel?) Please correct me if I'm going in the wrong direction with this....

I haven't heard much about the KEF lines, what type of speaker are they? (planar?) And what kind of sound to they have?
Although you directed your query at Charles I might say that I used the Aeons / Scripts / Theatre initially with a Denon AVR-5800 (nominally 170 W/Ch) and they sounded fine and I have no doubt that they will work well with your 3805.

The problem with multi channel amp specs is that they rarely (if ever) deliver the claimed power on all channels at once, but against that, in movies, it is very rare that all channels are firing up at the same time. An amp's characteristics depends, amongst other things, on its damping factor, ability to stop and start the speaker cones to deliver sharp transients and their decay, and ability to supply power in current rather than just volts. This is why standalone amps are often used and power ratings used way over that required - a big amp at low volumes usually sounds better than a little amp at high volumes and also reduces the speaker destroying risk of clipping.

There is also a tonal difference, between amps, and I think this is most marked between US/UK amps vs Japanese gear - IMHO Japanese amps sound smooth, refined and controlled but sometimes lack the ball grabbing excitement of Theta/ARcam/EAD/gear ....

In terms of bang for buck and listening pleasure your speaker purchase will provide a much greater difference than your digital source, cabling or amplifier choice so I'd say buy the speakers YOU like the sound of and save worrying about the finer print of amps, sources and interconnects for the day when you can afford embarking on a very expensive journey.

FWIW I use a Theta Intrepid with my MLs - but there's absolutely nothing wrong with your Denon - I just personally don't like the sound of Denon amps.

Thanks Seminola, appreciate the input. Do you have any recommendations as to where to buy ML speakers? Where did you get yours? If I were to buy them used, are there any places aside from here and ebay in which I might find used high end speakers for sale?

Anyone have any recommended dealers? (I'm in Philadelphia if that helps).
There are two Tweeter stores in Philly . They started selling ML this year and can demo them for you hooked to a 3805.

Thats actually where I heard the ML speakers (Aeon / Script), and they were hooked up to the 3805 at the time. Sounded fantastic.
Aesculapius , did you form an opinion at Tweeter about their selection of wide screens ? I am in the market and don't know whether to go with a close out (on sale) 65' Mitsubishi or a new (3rd) generation Samsung DLP.
I looked into big screen TVs for a while before I picked mine up. I think part of it is personal preference, but I would recommend going to a best buy or a circuit city where they have a large selection of big screen TVs (tweeter doesn't have as large a selection). Take a look around and see which style of picture you like best.

My personal preference was the DLP because they're a nice compromise between a plasma and a traditional big screen. The DLPs have higher resolution than most rear/front projection TVs, and I liked the quality of the picture better when compared to projection OR plasma. They also don't have the limited lifespan that plasma televisions suffer from, and they're a MUCH more economical choice. (50" DLP ~3k, 50" plasma ~8k, but those are just ballpark estimates). The only reason I would get a plasma is if space was a serious consideration, or if I wanted to mount the tv in an odd place, such as over a fireplace.

The mitsubishi has a beautiful picture, but check the weight on it... the thing is like a battleship! 333 lbs when compared to the DLP 61" which is ~100 lbs. It's also a much deeper set. If space and weight are not limitations, you can get a really nice picture for less money with the mitsubishi.

Anyway, check em out and see how you like the picture on the different types, and make your decision based on that. :)
OH THIS IS TOO RIPE!!!!!!! This just cracks me the &!%# up!I just got through posting on "preamp deal of the century" that there are so many threads like "I just bought a Denon 3805...NOW WHAT SPEAKERS DO I BUY!?!" I was completely joking! a point. Then I see your thread saying "I have a Denon 3805, so what speakers should I buy!?"
I'm tellin ya, this guy doesn't even have speakers with tweeters or "unblown woofers!" And he's not totaly sure if he needs new speakers or not!!!!! But at least he does have a new Denon 3805!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAahaahhahahaahah AAAAAahhahahaahaaha. I'm dyin' here!!!!! Stop it, please!?!
The world is going to audio hell! I'm sorry!...that cracks me up!
...AND I QUOTE "I PROBABLY have to replace the front speakers and POSSIBLY rear/center to match it..." AND ALSO "..if I HAVE TO REPLACE my speakers...?" AND, "...what's the weakest link in my system...?!!!!!"
I'm sorry, even though this guy is a newbie, it typifies the typical audio enthusiests stance!!!!!
Too funny!..."what's my weakest link!?!" That just cracks me up.
Yea, thanks for the sarcasm there buddy. Nice to know that at any level of expertise, you'll find a few assholes ready to jump in and stoke their egos in an attempt to deride others.

The "probably have to replace" was in regards to my rears and center. The fronts do NOT have a blown woofer, one is starting to go, but still sounds fine. The tweeter is gone on one and I was talking about replacing the speakers vs replacing the tweeters. I guess you spent too much time learning about speakers and not enough learning to read?

Anyway, your little tirade is what makes it hard for people who are just getting into audio gear to ever ask any questions. I'm just glad there were a few helpful people on here who posted responses before your drivel.
Check out Exertfluffer's last 200 or so threads and you will see that in about half of them he brags about where he's worked, what he's sold (which is everything under the sun), how many systems he's installed or helped install (he claims thousands!!), his accomplishments, and his supposed golden ear. I pretty much don't listen to anything he says anymore because it is all crap and quite frankly I'm very tired of hearing him ramble on continuously about himself. I really don't care how much experience he has or how much he thinks he knows, he gets no respect from me and I'm quite certain that I'm not the only one who feels that way, especially after this last post of his. Don't be threatened by him, he's just a big jerk who thinks he knows everything but in actuality is just bragging and is probably telling many lies about his life’s experiences.

To be couteous and respectfull to you, yes, your speakers would need to be your first upgrade. My recommendation would be to check out some of the on-line direct companys like Ascend, Axiom, HSU, etc.
Good luck
Hey, Mbourner, Tell us how you really feel! ;)
One of the trademark typical lines often found in most Exertfluffer's postings is "I've done more than 1,000 systems and I know well....". We hear you alright and you don't need to repeat that so many times. :)