Help for girlfriend HT speaker system???

O.K. folks, this is a serious call for help!

I have an AV receiver (Pioneer Elite VSX-09TX) that is pretty much just sitting in my bedroom with an older Sony DVD I've been using as a transport and a pair of JSE 1.0's. (I've got a condo on the beach, so my living room system is within 20 feet of my bedroom) so I don't need the BR system that much, and prefer the sound of the living room system (BTW the living room system is an Activ Linn HT with a Pioneer Elite DV-09, Linn AV 5103, 5x5105, 2x5140,1x5120, and a Pair of Snell E.5's)

I'm considering giving this (AV receiver and older DVD) to my girfriend. It's not a bad setup, it puts out 120 wpc into 6 Ohms (yes, six) and has reasonable sound. I need to get a speaker system that would work well with this combo to complete the HT that will probably be her house warming present. (When she gets one...) Room situation isn't yet available....

The question is, I've never looked for something that will "just do". I've always looked for something I love. I therefore need your help for speaker systems that will work well with this power, and aren't too expensive (she's a triathlete, not an audiophile!)

What I'm looking for is something that would allow me (and her) to:

1) Watch DVD's when at her place, with a decent HT (my issue).

2) Allow he and her kids to use netflix so she's not always paying late fees (a personal pet peave of mine!)

3) Do this all without cutting out the next three vacations I've been booking this week.

I would be willing to spend ~$2000 for speakers (including fronts/center/rears, and a sub (optional)), which is all I/she'd need there.

I would like to know what your experience has been with speaker systems in this range, and what you'd recomend.

My problem is, as I said, I like what I like, but for this system, I want something I can live with for ~$2,000. I'm sure that will be something she loves....and (hopefully) allow me to enjoy movies at her place!

All and any of your experiences will help!


Ken: Take a look at the Gallo Acoustics Micro theater system. Five small round orange sized (the fruit) speakers with a powered sub. The speakers come in a variety of colors (including white) if she has white walls and they have wall mounting brackets. The sub is smaller than a hat box and shaped the same. This is a very interior friendly system that also sounds quite good. For $2K you can also purchase some decent cable and still stay within budget. Check to see if your receiver matches their power requirements/limits though and if it has a small speaker switch which may or may not be required.
Do you need 6 ohm speakers, or can your amp handle 8, with less power? If you can go into 8 ohms, I'd build the 5 speaker system around used Energy's or B&W's. You can get a used Hsu Research sub and have enough $$ left over for the other 5 speakers. The velodyne ct150 is also a great value for that level of HT, you can usually get them used for 4 to 5 hundred, less for a ct120. I'd spend a relatively low percentage on the rear speakers and rear speaker cable (and even interconnects).
Sheesh.... I thought that EVERY man new that women want BOSE !!!! After all, there is NO need for "big" speakers when Bose can give you all of the same sound in tiny little "cubes". Right ???? : ) Sean

PS... I wouldn't go crazy on speakers. Chances are, she will want something that sounds good but is unobtrusive as possible to the decor.
I second the Gallo's, but would seriously consider using B&W LM1's in this set up for front and rear, center and sub are up to you. The LM1's have a more full sound than the Gallo's (I own both BTW). Both speakers have high GAF factors, check'em out...
I have the Pioneer VSX-07TX and use Axiom speakers with good results. Check out Axiom's website, they have a dozen or so HT speakers combinations available based on budget and space requirements. The models I have have a clean sound and are very well built for the price. They also have a 30 day return policy if your girlfriend does not like them.
Get the B&W 302 ($250/pr) or new 303($300/pr) with the 300 series center channel $200. So we are talking $800 max brand new. You will need the whole $2K to get something that slightly better. Gives you money for something like the HSU VTF2 sub if you like.
Gallo's are so small and unobtrusive that most anybody and any room can accept them. But I personally have always had great results with B&W's, as big or as small as you want to go. I use the Leisure Monitors for rears right now, and they sound good enough and full enough to be used as front speakers too. B&W has a number of smaller monitors or smallish floor standers that also make great front speakers, and center channels of various sizes and prices too. I'm a female and I have never had a problem with the looks and finish of any of the many, many B&W speakers I've owned over the years (but then, I may not be typical, because I owned and loved the 801 Matrixes for about 10 years, and most wives/girlfriends would burn them on sight; I even had a boyfriend that hated their looks).
PS: If room decor is an issue Ensemble or Cambridge Soundworks (and some others) are OK and better than Bose. Also, Boston Accoustics has some decent small stuff.
Ken, get a grip man! First, the home theater at her place and next it'll be toothbrushes and Pj's in the closet - you're heading into very dangerous waters my friend. BTW, you never get that stuff back if it all goes south. Trust me.
OK, I'vve already got clothes there, don't worry, I'm not the marrying type (don't want kids so why would you?).

Yes, the receiver will power any impedance speaker within reason. The Gallo's are way cool looking, I've not heard them, but have heard many weak reviews so I'm hesitant to buy them used sound unheard.

This might freak some of you out, but I don't like (actually find annoying) B&W speakers. I just don't like the upper mids, they sound harsh to me, not smooth enough.

This is still just in the consideration phase, but I do appreciate all the help. I know no matter what I get, as long as it fits the room, she'll be happy with the sound, I'm much harder to please in this regard....

I hear you man. Before I can say anything about home theater speaker systems, let me lay down the difference between men and women. Men want their speakers to sound good and perform well, damn the cost, looks and the size of the critters. Women on the other hand, tend to go for looks, and sound quality (and in many cases, cost and size) be damned in their case. You catch my drift, don't you?? So, while it is okay to have a girlfriend and all (I know, I have one too. But she ain't living with me, and that's fine too. That way, I can put in the kind of s**t that I want to put in when it comes to my home theater. I'm heavily into this stuff, she's not), all I am saying is be careful man. Because right now, it may start with dating and courtship (and that is one of most beautiful phases of beginning a relationship), but soon enough, you'll be feeding breakfast to her in bed, and then the dreaded "M" word is going to come up, and we all know what that means. When the "M" thing happens, your stuff becomes her stuff too. But when the relationship goes sour, it's funny that nine times out of ten, she's the one that ends up with the stuff that you have bought. So, at a risk of opening up a can of worms here, all I'm saying is, be careful. I'm in the same boat as you are, but in my situation, she already knows how I feel about marriage. As soon as you say "I DO" to her, she'll be getting half of everything right off the top. And when it comes to my home theater, I ain't having that s**t.

But anyway, on to speaker systems now. For a budget of $2,000, here's what I would look at:

(A). Keep your receiver and dvd player right now. You have a very nice A/V Receiver.

(B). For speakers, if looks as well as sound are going to be part of the issue, I would go for something like the Gallo system that others have mentioned. I would also go for a H/T ensemble from either Cambridge Audio, Definitive Technology (they aren't bad looking speakers either) or from Infinity (they also make some speakers that look good as well as sound good). Boston Acoustics will be another one I'll be looking at also. If you can come away with something decent without reverting to an awful sounding Bose Acoustimass 7 system, then you'll be doing something great.

Let us know what you end up with. Good Luck.

How about a pre-neptual stating that the gear is exclusively yours alone regardless of where the relationship goes? If she won't sign then don't EVEN proceed (but hey, you already knew that)
The B&W 302s do not have the aluminum dome tweeter like the other models; it has a soft dome tweeter, so will not sound as "hard" as you say.