What do I buy?

I have a decent Emotiva surround receiver capable of 250 watts per channel (I think, I'm not near the unit) and I'm looking for decent speakers to go with it. By decent, I mean high end but not ridiculous, I could go to $5000 for two front, two rear and a center speaker.

I don't want a sub woofer but the two fronts at least should have decent bass, so not Magnaplanars unless they also have a decent woofer. I've seen combos like that by Martin Logan.

I'm out of touch with what's out there so any opinions are very welcome.

Thanks - rev
My first research would be with Monitor Audio Silver speakers. I have had the Bronze and Silver series and they are good for HT, plus the front floorstanders would be decent two channel stereo speakers. If you can work a deal (without the sub) you might be able to get the gold series 200 without the subwoofer. Check out Audio Advisor. My second place to look would be the Elac series from Music Direct. Both of these brands make decent two channel speakers that would "voice" tonally the same as a HT package setup and can offer good front floorstanders. Why not try to get a pair of respectable 2 channel speakers with your HT money? My two cents...

BTW Andrew Jones is the main engineer/designer for Elac speakers. He also designs speakers for Pioneer and TAD.
I'm using an Oppo UDP-205 4K player connected directly to an Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 amp for one of my surround systems in my downstairs showroom. I'm using a pair of KEF R500s for the front channels, a KEF R600C for the center, and a pair of R300s on a pair of stands for the side channels. If you are capable of installing in wall speakers, you could add KEF-CI200QL speakers for the rear. The price for all of the KEFs including the speaker stands, and excluding the in walls, would be $6200. If you substituted the KEF CI200QL in walls for the R300s, your price would be $4900. If you replaced the R300s with the smaller R100s, your price would be $5300. I hope that helps. Here is a review that I found that might be of interest.

The only Emotiva surround receiver that came out (that I know of) is the Fusion 8100. Keep in mind that this only provide 65 watts per channel when all channels are driven (or 110 watts per channel if you ONLY use left/right). The only way you’d get 250 watts per channel is if you connected an external amplifier to the Emotiva receiver pre-outs.

I would be careful about choosing the Monitor Audio speakers as they drop down to 3 ohms impedance in the midbass area. The power supply of the Emotiva receiver is really not large enough to handle 5 speakers with this kind of impedance. What happens is a reduction in bass/midbass strength and the speakers will sound lean or lacking bass. Sure, you can do it, but you won’t be driving the Monitor Audio to their best advantage.


The Elac speakers are actually a very good choice for your receiver, as their impedance curve is on the high side and only drops down to about 6 ohms minimum (or 5.4 ohms based on the F6 specs). The Elac would be easier for the Emotiva to drive and, ultimately, you’ll probably get better results. They have been said to sound very nice as well (the ones designed by Andrew Jones).

The Kef R500 are 8 ohm, but minimum 3.2 ohm impedance. Be careful with these also.

In general, if you look at other speakers, look for 8ohm speakers and avoid the 6ohm or 4ohm speakers. Research the impedance curves (if they are tested by somebody like Stereophile or others), and make sure the impedance doesn’t really drop down below 6ohm or so.

The Paradigm Prestige appears to drop down to about 4 ohms or so (based on the 95F model).

You've got some good recommendations here already.  I'll add Aperion Audio.  Good quality, good value, good reviews, and great customer service.  Plus, they have very good center channel speakers (at least from 5C up) that are so important to home theater.  Also, you really need a sub for the complete home theater experience, and it will also significantly lower the power demands on your receiver.  Aperion has several HT speaker packages that are at or well below your price point including a sub.  Best of luck. 

Some good suggestions here.

I agree that MA offers a lot of bang for the buck and they can do double duty as HT/ Stereo speakers. The newest Silver series has a more benign impedance, and if your receiver truly meets its published specs, I wouldn't worry about the impedance dips. 

You should also add the Revel Concerta series to your list, a very different sounding speaker, but many like them.
In my opinion smooth surround performance is key to multichannel and /or home theater. I've had 5.1 systems with vertical left and right speakers horizontal center and dipole rears. After you get past the whiz bang of a new speakers the synergy of Home Theater systems simply sucks especially when listening to multichannel music. I've had both second hand and personal dissatisfying experience with Emo products.     

I've put together modest 5.1 and 7.1 surround systems for a few friends using economical $130. 88dB Pioneer SP-C22's a subwoofer and modest but modern Denon and Integra receivers. More recently using  $650. 91dB Triangle Voce's EZ and two Velodyne DD Plus 10" subs.

These are all center speakers placed as close to equal distance and ear level as possible. The 7.1 Pioneer/ Integra system in a spacious basement using very little room correction was a clinic on just how good surround can be when you have the space for matching speaker placement.