Help me spend $5,000 on a 5.1 speaker system

Hi everyone,

I'm relatively new to high-end audio equipment, so please forgive me for not knowing what is good or not. I have $5,000 that I'm planning on spending for speakers in my living room. I recently bought a pioneer elite VSX-94 receiver and a pioneer elite dvd player. I have a 50" Sony LCD tv (although I may upgrade to a larger tv/projector next year. As for now, I want to get the best speaker system possible for "movies". Here is what I've found, please let me know if you have better suggestions!

Definitive Technology BP7002 $1099x2
Definitive Technology CLR2500 $899
Definitive Technology BPVX $499x2
System Cost: $4095.00

Axiom Epic M80 $665x2
Axiom Epic EP500 $1230
Axiom Epic VP150 $408
Axiom Epic XS8 $270x2
System Cost: $3508.00

KEF iQ9 $600x2
KEF iQ6c $500
KEF iQ8ds $300x2
KEF PSW3500 $1200
System Cost: $3500.00
Go Gallo all-around. Ref. 3.1s up front with a Ref AV Center and 2 Ref Avs in the rear. Complement with the Gallo woofer and you're set. Purchased off Audiogon should put you in the $5k ballpark...

I would take a very long look at the Salk SongTower system. That will be very tough to beat given your budget.
You might look at the Paradigm line. All of their speakers are pretty efficent and that will be a good thing with the Pioneer receiver. The Studio Line should fit within your budget new.
How about a surround system with all omni-directional speakers for under $5000?

Take a look at

I'm not a surround sound kind of guy ( I have a simple 2 channel A/V system in addition to my main audio system), but if I were, this is what I'd probably be considering. I never really considered it but I own enough pairs of Ohms (3 pair currently) to do it if I wanted, I suppose.
Somehow include the biggest VELODYNE Digital Drive subwoofer you can. Built in EQ for your room that adjusts automatically and really works. It will compliment and improve ANY speakers.
Omnidirectional speakers are a good choice for HT and stereo. You should also look into this system. You'll not only have topnotch HT, you'll have great 2-channel for music.

I use definitives in a 7.1 set up..Go for the BPX the powered surrounds are overkill..You could even go with the 7004's and use what you saved between that and the surrounds to add a SuperCubeII sub. You will still need it even with the built in subs in the speakers...
I suggest you take a look at the SVS MTS-01 family. Either the bookshelf or tower system, you'll have ample funds left over for one of their excellent subwoofers. Read the Secrets of Home Theater review linked from the SVS page.

You are the second person to mention SVS speakers, are they really that good? I'm a little scared of buying speakers off the internet that I've never heard before.
Ufmatt00, I understand your concern. I bought the last 3 pairs of speakers without ever hearing them, but I'm pretty sure what appeals to me so I really wasn't taking a much of a risk.

I believe SVS has a reasonable return policy. The review by Dr. Johnson would be enough for me to try them -- I like measurements. Based on the quality of their subs, the tweeter they are using, the fact they've been in business for a decade, offer excellent customer support I really don't see a down side.

In the spirit of full disclosure... I have not heard them, but even if I had what sounds good to me may not sound good to you. There is also a review of their entry speaker line in the most recent Sensible Sound.

I would probably buy a pair for auditioning to keep return shipping costs down. I would buy one of their subs regardless of whose speakers you end up buying.
Well, I am not sure about the rest but I would go full range ( or at least very close to it ) all around and sub only for .1 effects. Especially true if surround music is your cup of tea. There is no substitute for full scale presentation IMHO.
Also , if movies is all that you need them to do well - go THX all the way but most speakers that excell in music reproduction are also great for Hollywood crap. If you are going to go with small monitors , they all should be the same in all aspects.
For movies only - I like M&K THX all around. For music.....I like my own AAD 2001 monitors that reach down to 30Hz and you can always add their sub later. However that setup ( 5 monitors would cost you around 5K - given that dealer would give you a price break on the package of 5 ) . This set up would be funtastic IMO, based on my experience in stereo mode since I am not much of videophile myself.

Cheers and good luck

Has anyone actually heard a SVS system of an Axiom audio system? If so, please let me know how they compare to what you see in the stores.
I am seriously debating between the following two systems - just like my previous post, has anyone actually heard either of these systems? How do they compare to what you can hear in the stores?

SVS Sound MTS-01 5.1 System w/ PC13 Ultra sub $4400.00

Axiom Epic 80 5.1 System w/ EP500 Sub $3332.60
For home theater you can't beat Definitive Tech. I've had several and it blows away most and for rock and roll it even sounded better than my current, way more expensive system I have now.
I wish I could actually hear the SVS system and the Axiom system next to the Definitive Tech system. Has anyone out there had the opportunity to compare these systems in person?
Ufmatt00, sorry I can't help you in comparing the systems you are considering, but I'm curious how large is your room and how far away from the speakers will you be sitting?

Unless you have a huge room I see no reason to have such a big box as the Axiom M80 towers. And personally, I would pick the SVS stand mount over their floorstander. Large boxes seldom add anything positive; especially in this case since the SVS floorstander isn't a 3-way and you'll be using a sub. Also, compare the weight of the Axiom tower to the SVS -- the Axiom has 2X the number of drivers and yet weighs less. Hmmm...

Here's two links measuring the Axiom EP-600
and the SVS PB13 Ultra subwoofers. It appears to be no contest to me.

Again, I suggest you pick an SVS sub regardless of which speakers you choose. Good luck.

I ended up getting an incredible deal on Focal speakers at a local tweeter store, and picked up a Panamax power conditioner as well. What subwoofer do you recommend for my system? Tweeter did not carry the SW908 that matches my speakers, so I think I might need to go with another brand sub:

Pioneer Elite VSX-84txsi receiver (msrp 1500)
Pioneer Elite DV-48av dvd player (msrp 300)
Panamax M5400-ex power conditioner (msrp 700)
Focal Profile 918 front towers (msrp 2000/each)
Focal Profile CC908 Center (msrp 1700)
Focal Profile 908 bookshelf rears (msrp 1150/each)