Which Home Theater speakers for under $28,000.

I am looking for a 7.1 HT system including equipment for a 3,000 cu. ft. dedicated Home Theater & music room. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks
Martin Logan
1pr Ascent i- 4,300
2pr Aeon i- 6,600
1ea Theater i- 2,795 (discontinued but still in stock at some retailers)
2ea Descent subwoofer- 2,795 x 2

Lexicon MC-4 - 4,495 (same as MC-8 w/o multi zone cappability, Lexicon trade-in program for upgrades later on)

A51- 4,000
A21- 2,000

Retail 29,780
Package price 25,495
Leaves enough in budget to hire a good installer and pay for all wiring.

All you need after that is a display (probably DLP projector, last years model Sharp, Runco, InFocus, or the like), screen, and $1,000 Japoneese DVD player.

Good luck!
You can do a full Vandersteen system (5A main speakers, VCC-5 center channel, VSM Signature surrounds, and two 2Wq subs) for about $22k. This is one hell of a system, which is also outstanding for music. The current issue of "The Perfect Vision" chose the Vandersteen system as one of its two selections for its top-rated home theater setup.
Do you want it more for Music or Movies, or an even Mix? It's important because you have a great budget, but do you want to by a great projector, with super resolution? Or, do you want the sound to rock your world as a listening room? Does your $28k include your furinture?
I second sdcampbell's recomendation for the Vandy system. You'll be hard pressed to do better. The Martin-Logans are beautiful to look at and sound good too, but for home theater useage, if you play loud, you might not get the dynamic range the Vandy's can give you, that you might well need for a HT setup in the price category that you are looking into.
IMHO Martin Logans are too loose in bass for music, I would look at Eminent Tech for Speakers, second vote for both the Parasound and Lexicon!
Dont let the Eminent Technology price tag fool you, they will run circles around alot of speakers....something like $5000 would get you a complete 7 channel, then get a fast sealed sub for your .1 and you are set for a LONG time!
If used is an option the last generation Utopia line would be my choice. Utopias up front, mezzos or minis rear and all around.
Well as a dealer I feel limited in what I can say but I don't mean to be unfair to those who have posted by not posting my recommended equipment, but with the exception of the Vandersteen Fives which are too expensive to place into a $30K systems even used.....the items suggested would be lucky to make mediocrity in a 3000cuft. theater.

Martin Logans 2005 Midfi...Tweeter sells them FCS! Making the panel smaller is certainly the wrong way to go...think about it! I must admit breaking glass on a ML thetaer takes on a new standard, that's about it.

Eminent Technology as a theater speaker? c'mon! What do they play too 101-102dB @ 1M, what are you trying not to wake someone in the next room? ...same room?

Last and not least, if you use dipoles for theater, then suffer the consequences for not following the directions! I have heard the Maggie Theater I have heard the Innersound (which by the way is head and shoulders above other Dipole Systems for theater) And they are not even close, wet noodle theater for those who wish to kid themselves about a hybrid music and film system. Dipoles are by nature a "built-in" four channel system when in a room, they have surround built-in. So to use them is putting surround on surround, not a very good thing. Unless someone can explain to me how I'm wrong.

"Sounds Good" --"feels good" does not equal "Real Good".

This man is spending big money $30,000 and the rec's are absolutely sub mediocre or useless....keep trying. You're letting him down 'goners. As a dealer I'm not going to make any specific rec's to risk being labled a shill but where's the prowess, the knowledge. These are pathetic systems.

Stop recommending by the midfi mag's deep pocket pets and what you already own, isn't that kinda like recommending what I sell, except I get money and you get ego satisfaction. :)

C'mon you can do better. Think about what a theater needs atleast Macdadtexas was inquisitive before he goes on to recommend those mediocre Gallo's and Maggies. Sorry MDT anyone with a Gallo Duet, recommending Gallo Duets for a center channel when they make marginal rears is not practicing good Theater IM-ns-HO

Keep trying guys,
Electrostaticman's post may be a bit misleading. I based my answer on the title of his post (Which HT Speakers Under $28K?), rather than having $28k for an entire HT system. If he actually means speakers, and not the whole system, I'll stand by my Vandy 5A-based system recommendation. If his post means the total cost of the HT system, then I'd suggest using Vandy 3A Sig's instead of the 5A's (I haven't heard the Quatros yet), but go with the rest of the Vandy system as described.
"Which Home Theater speakers for under $28,000.

I am looking for a 7.1 HT system including equipment for a 3,000 cu. ft. ..."

Here is where there is some confusion. You maybe right.

Why $28,000 for just the speakers, I'm not sure either.

Which issue did Vandersteen get best HT May/June please tell me the Magneplanar wasn't the other system!
How about the new Martin Logan Summit @ $10K each. Wow, that would leave little money left for ML Theater i, cables, and tax -- no subwoofer at all. The HT setup would be 3.0 :> )
Just Kidding.
Sorry guys & gals let me expand a little. I am building a new home and theater. My total HT package is arround 40,000 for speakers & equipment. I have a recliner picked out for an additional $3,100. In the past I enjoyed dual channel sound from Prodigy speakers and Levinson equipment. I no longer own this system. I agree the electrostatics may not be the way to go with a HT & music system so I am willing to try something else. Great responses, keep it up. Thanks
Just wondering why anyone should listen to Cinema systems when he cant even put a system together for himself..yet he seems so eager to bash others ideas....
"minimalistic"...there is an under-statement, down right weak for such a big ego.
I love how dealers talk their book. I love that many have never heard the equipment that they disparage. I did not suggest that anyone look at a Gallo Due (learn what the equipment is named before you talk smack about it, think a DEALER would know that), in this price range. It also is amazing that The Absolute Sound's reference surround system is a total Magnepan system. But Cinematic Systems knows that dipoles are terrible for theater, so much for trade publications and all that knowledge the Editorial staff there has. They should have known to call the Niles Audio dealer from Pig's Knuckle Arkansas before they put that system together.

In your price range Maggies, Innersounds or Vandersteens would be great systems. Cinema SLAM comes from the subwoofers, in general, and all of those are augmented by such. A Maggies system would need multiple subs, maybe a Vandy 2wq up front and a dedicated LFE sub for soundtrack. A Sunfire True Sig would do the trick, there are a lot of very good "Boomers". If you want just one, a Velodyne DD18 would compress the whole room and integrate very well for music.

Once again, before you listen to some guy who claims to be some type of audio dealer, read some opinions of other users and trade pubs. You already have an excellent set up it appears, and there is so much good equipment out there that for $30k you will be very happy. Just stay away from Charlatan "Dealers". I guess if you worked at Radio Shack for a couple of weeks in 1978 you can call yourself a dealer.
JBL K2's and 2- Velodyne DD15's are good place to start lift off.
Electroman, I'm not familiar with the conversion from cu. feet to sq. feet. What's the sq. footage of your room? Am I way off thinking it may be about 30' x 15'? (My sq ft HT is 23'x13' with ceiling of roughly 8'. Multiply them together and I get 2,392 - is that right for cubic feet?)
Obviously, I'm not expert; would appreciate a post clarifying.
Anyway, if my calculations are correct/ballpark, then this room Electrostatman is discussing is not monstrously large, and Speakers such as Eminent Technology's, Magnepans, or Vandersteens could certainly work. Especially if supported by twin subs.

If I'm way off on the measurements, I'd have to reconsider.

Electro. maybe you would like to determine how much personal effort you want to put into assembing your system. $30k is a big chunk to spend on components assembled from Agon recommendations.
You obviously have deep enough pockets to afford spending a few dollars on consulting. Seek out the highest quality audio salon near you (or two). Be very up front; tell them you're paying them for an hour or two of their time for expertise. Not for their equipment. Ask them to put together the best possible system for the $, using both items they sell as well as ones they don't.
If they don't want to play that game, walk away.

But, if they are willing to consult and sell a combo of their pieces as well as other recommended components, you could end up with a significantly better system than finding things on your own. They may give you insights you'd never learn on your own.
Again, if it's made clear you're paying them for consulting, then you don't need to feel obligated to buy their systems. They should know that up front. If their equipment/recommendations has enough merit, then they'll profit from it.
I paid $70/hour for a HT consultant from a high end independent audio shop when I built my HT. VERY worth the money spent. I would suggest two consultations with different shops. Amazing what you can learn from competitors.
I also recommend a subscription to "Home Theater Builder" magazine, if you plan on rehabing the room. Even if not, it's a terrific read to give you ideas on what kind of equipment you could pursue. You can obtain back issues. When spending that kind of $, you want to get the room "tuned" well too.
The difficulty with all this is that it seems you won't get to hear the final system until it's up and running in your room. To do that, you'd likely have to support the local audio shop by purchasing from them, and they could loan components to you to demo. If you want to go it on your own, spend lots of time researching the components and thinking about compatability/integration, i.e. will all components be able to be controlled by universal remote.
If you get some esoteric equipment that doesn't have remotes, etc. you may be frustrated at having to mess with switches all the time, etc. Also, if this will be used by family members, you need to keep it simple enough operationally, or it'll collect dust.

One last thought; become intimately familiar with audioreview.com an excellent source to weigh in on used equipment being considered.
Will not defend my recomendations on any level. Will explain them though. This is a large room you are working with. Electrostats will not reach the absurdly loud volume levels that horns will and will not sound like the local cinema multi-plex. They will reach reasonable volume levels with the big ol' Parasound amps for anyone who still has enough hearing left to tell the difference between quality components (can we give him credit for still having this ability?). The Logans will do something that few other speakers will do though. Because the sound comes from a curved pannel approxamately 4 ft in height you can expect the seamless integration of 7 speakers in a huge room (given good processing). No you will not be able to reach the volume levels that you would with 7 JBL horn-loaded speakers. If loud were your only concern you would not be at this level of gear though. Also in a room that size you will benefit from two subwoofers and a pre-pro with great tweakability. Since your budget is larger than I thought you may want to consider the Lex MC-12. Do qualify your installer though. A good installer can make a 10K system sound better than many 40K systems by proper speaker placement and processor set-up.

Good luck!
I have a friend who has a killer custom home theater setup in his townhouse basement. The L/R front speakers he is using are Revels, Ultima Salons as I recall. The subwoofer is also a Revel Ultima Sub 30. The center is also a Revel Voice I believe. I do not know what the surrounds are, they are hidden from. Actually, ALL the speakers are hidden from view. The system sounds *fabulous*, partly from the speakers and partly from having a pro room designer come in and do his magic. It's a *system*, act accordingly...

I have a room about the size of yours, and have the system as described in the system section. As you apparently like stats, as you can see I wouldn't disagree that a stat makes for a nice HT set-up, although my system is home theater and music. As you say this is a dedicated theater, I think I would probably go with dynamic speakers.

I recently heard Revel and Aerial home theaters, and have to admit that dynamic drivers do have some serious benefits for a home theater. You can get a very nice set-up of either brand. As Douglas_schroeder suggests, the room is such an important part of the theater set-up, that you need to dedicate a reasonable amount of your budget to getting that straight. Try www.auralex.com for a tremendous number of great ideas for the room.

What would lead cinema systems to provide the "input" he did truly escapes me. As a dealer, he should not only feel limited in what he can say, but also feel that if he does feel a need to say something, there should be a hint of intelligence in it. That a dealer has the time to write such a long post that says nothing should give a fairly good indication of his success as a dealer - apparently about the same as it is as a poster.
Douglas_schroeder the room size is approximately 16'-5" wide by 18'-10" long (122.4 sq. ft.)with a champfered ceiling at 10'(3100 plus cu. ft.). The HT consultant recommended the JBL synthesis system for 28,000 plus dollars (this includes the systems equipment as well as speakers for 7.1 system).
I did vandersteens! 100% happy. I have tried a whole bunch of things in the past to many to list. This is the system if you have the room the 5a need a med to bigger room.
I'm not only a custom home theater guy, with over 6 retail stores and 15 years around this business, but am a long time two channel audiphile as well.
My recommendation for effective Home theater sound is still to consider more refined sounding, yet DEDICATED HOME THEATER SPEAKER SYSTEMS...that were designed as such...not music speakers doing "double dubty". That's my first recomomendation.
Let me say that, as someone who's sold everthing from Dunlavy's to Wilson's/Thiel's, B&W's, JM Labs, Meridian's, Logan's/Maggies, all the way down to more commercial Def Tech, Klipsch, NHT, M&K, Tannoy, Polk, etc, that you can indeed spend a lot on speakers, and not get the returns for your money for an effective home theater experience, just as with 2 channel! And this is very easy to do wrong, let me tell ya.
I would still strongly suggest you consider my recommendations I previously posted elsewere, and look at the KLipsch THX stuff, and Infinity Prelude MTS system if you want more refined/flexible audiophile music. Yes, the Def tech with powered subs has good dynamics for HT, and I've sold all that.
I can get anything I want at mostly cost, or close, and I like these systems for what they do, for what they cost. They're good for even larger rooms, and sound great.
For a dedicated HT system, for a passive setup, I'd recommend the Klipsh THX wholehartedly over most out there right now. It's very affordable, and very good sounding...especially potent on HT, and more refined than commercial theater speakers by far.
Anyway, I just can't recommend anything else I've come across for that money range, even more expensive audiophile speakers I've heard.
Other choices are to go Powered speakers, like M&K THX powered 150P's, active ATC mini-monitors(acoustics need to be spot on however with this design), and similarly active models.
YOu want "focus", dynamics,dialoge inteligibility, coherence, good detail and dynamic range, and PRESSENCE from a good HT system!...not laid back audiophile speaker sound. This yields a decidedly uninvolving sound that's not thrilling or effective for movie mixes in my experience.
The other, at least as equally as important part, is getting it all set up right, tweeking it, dealing with critical acoustics, and making it all work together, no matter what you get.
Invest in good experience, and it will be superb. If not, you end up with lots of mediocrity, and ill-spent money.
I can't believe no one has chimed in with B&W yet.

Front L/R 802D 12,000
Center HTM2D 4,000
Sides/Rears 805S 1250 Ea. 5,000
Sub/Subs Velodyne SPL 1000R 1,000

Total 1 Sub 22,000
Total 2 Subs 23,000

The above said, I am very happy with my current set up which is in a room that is 11' x 23'. It does double duty as an execelent 2 channel with a home theater augment.

I would recomend you give B&K with B&W a listen or Classe' & B&W for the electronics. Unless you want execelent 2 channel.
To respond to CinematicSystems' post: the July-August 2005 issue contained the article which mentioned the Vandy 5A-based system for their "no holds barred" HT system. The other speaker system in this category was the Wilson surround system ($57k: WATT/Puppy 7 in the front, Watch center and surrounds, and Watchdog sub). For $35K difference in price between the Wilson and the Vandy systems, I'll take the Vandersteen setup and use the money I save to upgrade the room, get a better video monitor or projector, etc. -- or enjoy a couple of great dive vacations in the western Pacific.
Greetings, Electrostatman, I can see a storm brewing...
Strong opinions here.
First, your room is generous, but by no means so huge you have to get monstrous speakers. Most sizeable floor standers will suit you well.
Also, you may be getting the cart ahead of the horse; first give some time to the size and placement of the screen. Are you doing projection? Where and what will be equipment placement, including amps? Will you have any other decorative furnishings in front? Any built in cabinetry up front? These considerations can effect speaker selection! Where will you be putting your center chanel speaker, etc? This is why I suggest you do some reading in "Home Theater Builder" mag. and the like. Failure to plan, and you'll have an expensive OOOPS!
Go stand in the room and visualize for an hour or more. Think through every contingency and possible problem. Might save you a TON of money. Oh, and you may want to get your wife to stand there with you; could save a bunch of hassle later.
Maybe you need to decide which is far more important to you, two chanel listening, or HT. I have put the bulk of $ into two chanel, and about 15% into surround. I have never felt the surround to suffer, but I haven't expected the world of it either. I built the room primarily for music and secondarily for HT.
If you want a superb two chanel system, put the bulk of $ there. If that's your goal, it will be difficult to achieve with JBL, Klipsch, Definitive Technology and the like. Without disrespect to vendors, they're distortion-makers.They may sound ok when a car is crashing on screen, but turn off the video and listen to them critically and it'll hurt. As I said, Vandersteen, Magnepan, Revel, etc. will more satisfactorily achieve the sound you're chasing (don't misread me, other posters, I'm not saying they're the ultimate). Especially if you've lived with quality two chanel! If you've lived for two chanel, ignore this at your own peril.
I believe that fantastic two chanel is the base for a wonderful surround system. In fact, I will go so far as to say that one can have slight disparity between the higher quality mains and lesser quality surrounds and still be quite content. Make that decision based on the proportion of movie viewing you WILL do, not what you THINK you'll do. Just spending $28k won't make you have time to watch more movies.
If you watch a movie about once a month like me, who cares as much about the surrounds? But if you're living for the DVD player and you'll watch movies four times more than you'll listen to music, then you should think differently and place more $ on the surrounds. Just don't go and get all identical speakers for the 5 chanels! Then you'll really suffer when you listen to two chanel! Unless, of course, you plan on setting up some serious two chanel gig elsewhere...

This advice is based on combo of common sense and practical economics, and having learned the hard way of upgrading from low-fi speakers to lower-level hifi speakers. Practically speaking, if you want good quality through out your HT, then you'll need likely $15k for projection, screen, cabling, and components. Leaves about 8K or nine for mains and a 3k-ish for surrounds.
Oh, and we haven't even touched on cost of projector/television! That will skew everything also.
So, back to sqare one: What's more important to you, the sound or picture? etc...

Let me explain why I did this;

1. Theater requires a specific set of parameters to work properly (many early posts ignore this), the studios mix to this standard, why not conform to that standard just to make life easier? If you want to use an all dipole system with limited output than be man enough to face the criticism when you proudly tell someone to spend their hard earned money setting up their system the wrong way! And please try not to regurgitate the BS marketing as a defense, get your own ideas.

FYI Bignerd, its 7 seemless front fired waves, 7 rear fired waves (are all your speakers the same distance from the wall), what the frequency response of your drywall? So now I have 14 speakers don't I?, which was my point, but the brochure didn't bother to explain this phenomena to you or that your precious seemless panel will arc somewhere in the 106dB range.

Just go to dolby and look at the standard.

2. You guys are remarkably in sync with popular audio magazines and reviews, Magnepan, I've got atleast three 20.1 owner complaining about their midbass and bass output on MUSIC, JAZZ noless! Let alone theater. Vandersteen and Wilson number 1 and 2 theaters, see what 20 years of advertising will get you. ( although the Vandersteen still deserves most of the accolades). Look at your rec's all popular brands thank god people like Flrnlamb and RL chimed in with some stellar recs.

3. I wanted to see if you all would re-evaluate some of your pathetic recommendations, but you're all too proud and all to willing to try to discredit me(it is fun I know). Fact is maybe Flrnlamb is near my league in systems installed but with 6 stores I have to think installing systems is a distant past in his job requirements. Over 600 systems and my clients, they love me for all the reasons you hate me.

My post was about honesty and many of you have failed. My greatest critics are the ones who would simply say to Electrostaitcman what I bought is perfect for you. And now you know atleast one of us on this thread is laughing at that level of arrogance.

Even Chadnliz wouldn't fess up to the fact that the ET system max output is barely 10dB above Dolby calibration at 3M's! That's like 8dB of dynamic range for the system!

Bose Lifestyle system may not sound as good but its got more dynamic range than that!

If you didn't understand the important information in my first post, I'm sorry, but there is some good stuff there and the fact you disagree with the facts of those comments, not my problem.

Macdadtexas I am not a liar, infact based on your enthusiasm I went to hear a Magnaplanar surround system based on MG3.6's and whatever the matching stuff is. It was ok. I worked for Sound Images for two years in Falls Church, VA. Look it up they are a Gallo dealer. When Gallo makes better sounding speakers than I do, I'll start paying more attention.

I love messing with you guys...:)
You can see how people's opinions/tastes vary. I totally respect others opinions on gear selection, and everyone's taste. That's a good reason most everyone ownes different gear!...including the professional reviewers.
I've been around high end biz for almost 23 years, and it's all stuff, it's all for sale, and everyone likes something different, not to mention lifestyles.
That all said, I know the Vandersteen's sold like millions of their 2c's alone! I also know Meridian pre's are highly talked about and such. But then, I've worked in 6 high end stores over the years, and probably have known a 100 or more audiophiles personally that I've worked with/around...and none of them own Vandersteen or Meridian, nor would they ever, including me. I also understand B&W makes some nice stuff, yet I'm not intersted personally, and I've sold it in 2 different stores...just not for me, but maybe you?
I can get most any audio product for cost or bellow, and I still know what works right for movies. Music, you have choices, depending on room/setup/lifestyle/syset matching, etc. Multi-channel effective movie speaker systems need to work well in your room/setup, and be effective at delivering the dynamics, intelligibility, focus, soundstage, coherence, and detail that was intended in the mixing process. Many audiphile home offerings can't do justice to what mixing engineers of DD/DTS soundtracks intended. If you think not, just go to any good local cineplex, or even Vegas IMAX ride/experience, and see what they're using to deliver these muli-channel experiences to you, and you'll understand what works best for movies in the home...or at least what is to be accomplished. You cannot substite the speakers these venues choose for, say, some "Vandee's", B&W's, or even Logan's and such. They don't work. Anyway, even in a smaller home setting, the same attributes must be considered to get the job done. I just think the dainty audiophile offerings mostly mis the target...chose wisely.
Agree with Artizen65 on the B&W system. As an owner of several different B&W speakers, I like them for their accuracy, which is important in home theater. That said, I gave up trying to set up a combination HT and two channel music system because there are two many compromises. And I use the home theater much less than the two channel, which I listen to most every day. Further, with separate systems there is no fight for the two channel system, as my daughter can watch on the surround sound system while I enjoy my music in another room.
My response to Douglas_schroeder: Let me first say, I appreciate your imput.

To answere some of your questions; I plan on using a projector-considering a sony Qualia-004 and a perferated 100" fixed screen. My consultant planned on placing the r/l/c speakers behind the screen (depth 24") and the equipment along one side adjacent the screen. The other niche adjacent the screen for storage (no wire). The projector will be mounted on the ceiling (10ft.champered to 8ft.)and one row of seating approximately 14ft to 15ft from screen. The thought was on or in-wall surround speakers for a 7.1 HT system. I feared my kids ages 9 and 13 years my damage free standing speakers (probably not but the wife may have something to say about free standing speakers in her space).

I am looking for the excitement of theater and the enjoyment of DVD consert music. I am considering a second listnig room on the main floor, but I pre-wired the space for ceiling mounted in-wall speakers in our great room where a plazma may hang above the fireplace. There is space on one side of the fireplace but the other encroches on a large window and I would have to convince the wife. She already cheered when I sold off my two channel ML Prodigy speakers and equipment which were in an identicle room in our last home. She gave in for the kids and I to have the home theater so besides budget I will have to sell her on the idea again. The budget is always a factor especially with the 3-chip projector. I want the best of all worlds (as we all do), great projection with no artifacts, exciting surround sound and clear pure sound on a budget of 45,000 may be a stretch. Also we pre-wired for full house sound/using "zon" controlers.
Not to argue; it seems Cenematic _systems has his stats down on decibels, etc. Just an observation; as an Eminent Technology LFT-8A owner (running them "stacked" or double pairs for mains, assisted in low end by dual Vandersteen 2W subs), it seems amazing to me to hear comments about them not having great dynamic range. Are we simply talking sheer loudness per watt here? Or, if it means they can't go lower, then stick a sub in with them!
I would appreciate hearing more about this; I plead ignorance on it. It seems counterintuitive to me that a speaker (LFT-8) which receives rave reviews from HiFi+ Magazine wouldn't be as suitable for HT applications as JBL or Klipsch. So, are we saying that a speaker that has more extreme range of decibels from whisper to BOOM is better? Hmmm, I'd rather have a speaker that reproduces voice and istruments in an uncannily natural way, then send them an audio signal from a video source...
Again, not to be cantankerous, but is "dynamic range" even a real world concern? To the average guy setting up his HT, is he going to lay awake at night thinking, "Man, I have to find some way to increase the dynamic range of my system..." An audiophile speaker is going to sound better regardless of what you have it play. So, if Definitive Tech or JBL has better dynamic range, I'm more inclined to use it for HT application? I don't think so. Maybe JBL or Klipsch has dynamic range on the Eminents. That's all they've got. You could't pay me enough to have me switch out for them.
I'm sure there's thousands of happy people out there with great sounding home theater and crappy two chanel, all in one system!
So, Electrostatman, which is it, primarily HT or two chanel? That will determine everything.
Electroman, sounds lovely! As they say, "this changes everything." I can hardly recommend larger main speakers when you're hiding them behind things. Doing more diminutive speakers behind the screen and in wall. That's out of my realm of knowledge. It sounds great! Very tidy/clean and aesthetically pleasing.
But, yeah, you'll have to do the two chanel again too. Man cannot live on HT alone...
You must post pics for us when finished!
OK, someone get Albert Porter in here. His opionion I trust.

BTW - because of some of these posts I just went to hear a Vandy 5a based system with their VCC-5 as the center channel, and the Vandy surrounds and Subs (2 V2W's), just to make sure that I was not crazy. Electronics were BEL and Theta Digital, with a Runco Projector (don't know which model but they said it had a scaler) and Stewart screen. All BEL wires and connects, video through the Denon 5910, audio Linn Unidisk 2.1. It was sublime for all media. Just for kicks, the store owner even hooked up a Rega P7 through the PrePro (Musical Fidelity X-lp phono stage with tube line stage in the path), and the sound was fantastic even through the PrePro.

This guy has been a dealer, a real dealer, for years and we live in by far the worst big city in the US as far as audio goes, and he still thrives. Anyway, he pushes people to certain product because he knows they will be satisfied. It is all a matter of what you like, and need. Very few businesses survive on reputation alone, especially in highly specialized consumer goods. Names like McIntosh, Magnepan, Vandersteen, Musical Fidelity, Nottingham, VPI, Wilson produce fantastic products. If they did not they would be out of business. To say their advertising pays off so well is a ridiculous assertion. In such a small commuinity as audio-philia only performance will allow a company to last, little lone thrive.

Also, to the "Dealer(?)" whose customer's Maggie 20.1's are having problems, send them to their area Maggie dealer for help. I am sure they have the requisite knowledge to help them clear up the problems these customers are having with what many real experts argue is the finest speaker made at any price. They may need to move them away from the wall, and plug in an amp that matches the speakers characteristics. Pretty tough to help them with that, but shouldn't be for such an expert dealer.
I wouldnt trust some of these self proclaimed experts for directions to a mall let alone my HT investment. but to Electroman, I hope you get what makes you happy and I wish I was in your shoes right now, best of luck on your project...please post results and pics when complete!

Happy Fourth of July to all!
Thank you all for your help and advise. I hope everyone has a great Happy Fourth of July-have fun.
Its good to see everyone's so sure of themselves that their entire opinion is based on what a few other guys write in a magazine. Ever meet an audio reviewer?

Way to be independent thinkers. How about some facts or where am I mistaken? How could I be this dumb and yet know how to build a theater better than you? Have you asked yourselves that question :)

BTW Elctrostaticman, despite lashing these Noobs for being very unimaginitive (with your money) I will recommend a system that will fit your budget and will be peerless in your room.

Sony Qualia 004
Immersive Simmetry DVD/Video processor http://www.immersiveinc.com/

Meridian G98xxl
ATC Concept 5 Active speaker system with 4 SCM 10's for rears
ATC Concept 6 Subwoofer

Don't get a perf screen if you don't have to. See if you can squeeze the center under. If the picture is a touch high it won't matter much and the Meridian can help you out if the center is a touch low.

Properly setup you will have the best audio/video for the money. If you live near western Chicago, My friend has this very system setup except it has a TAG McLaren AV192 at the core. Video is by far the best I have ever seen, and I know that he is working hand in hand with Immersive to actually customize and enhance the interface software specifically to the Qualia.

The audio system will afford you incredible dynamics for movies and natural vocals and music that many people in the music world see fit to make their recordings on, like DSOTM, infact the same front speakers Pink Floyd themselves judged the SACD mix on.

See, I know famous people who can back up my equipment too and there not a bunch of armchair critics.

Cinematic, you seem to think you are king of something and better than everyone else, Michael Jackson calls himself the King of Pop...that doesnt make it so, and you claiming to be better at this then anyone else is only supported by your words and maybe your mom, get off your cloud, and hug your mom if you can..she is most likely your biggest fan.

Trying to be helpful is noble, but you weren't trying.

Recommending equipment that is not compatible with the job at hand is a disservice to us all.

See you guys jump all over me because i'm criticizing your recommendations which is in bad form. And two wrongs don't make a right, but seriously is the ET system the best home theater you can think of?

I look at your recommendation as insincere and irresponsible since you own better theater speakers than the ET's in the Innersound actives and they would have been the best rec till the Vandersteen and Revel systems. So why try to be clever with some background music speakers and waste Estatman's time and maybe his hard earned money. All due respect to ET's they do what they do well, but HT is not on the resume even if you have two pairs?

Why are you wasting bandwidth with this almost evil recommendation, let me ask you this, if I owned a Martin Logan Aeon two channel system, how far down the list is Parasound to run on those speakers for two channel? Is Parasound and Martin Logan like peanut butter and jelly? It could be a regional thing I'm unaware of, where i'm from that ain't right.

Why ten years ago would a CUSTOMER and GUYS LIKE YOU laugh in my face for suggesting using Magneplanars and Martin Logans for home Theater and somehow today its the best theater according to Absolute Sound.

What has changed to make a laughing stock a reference multi-channel speaker system. Can anyone tell me? I'm at a loss to understand where the paradigm shifted.

I just want you guys to think a little, how hard is it to thumb through a magazine and step out of your world and go....if I had a room that big and a budget like that I would do this. When MAcdadtexas insisted that the Maggies were tops and Absolute Sound said it was the best, I went for another listen, it was ok, I might even say better than I thought it would be once we got the delays on the rears right. But no way was even as good as the Paradigm Signatures as a theater (not insulting the Paradigms, they are very good)

ET8's if that's the best you can do than I am really sorry if i dumped on your best effort. But I must say if you feel striongly about your rec why is your comeback to pick on my joke DIY system and supposing who I think I am. You can't even defend your choices or atleast qualify it? I try to explain why your recommendations are limited and you call me names. You have been unable to rebuttle anything I have said about your recommendation and DS writes a paragraph on how important dynamic range is or isn't and that somehow having dynamic range must mean something else is wrong with the speaker. Even music guys want dynamic range.

Here's 20 brands of speakers that all make better theater speakers than the mentioned dipoles; * by rec'd already.

PMC Dynaudio
Meyersound B&W*
Genelec Westlake
Peak Consult Vivid
Verity Audio Elac
Vandersteen* VonSchwiekert
Revel* Kharma
McIntosh James
JMLabs* Genesis

BTW if you can post a Theater system as good as the one I have that retails for $45,000 or less and can atleast give a few objective reasons why it is equal or better than I'll never criticize you again and differ to you as the expert in these threads. So now its put up or shut up.

I'm just a Mama's boy pretending to be a dealer, should be a snap. 5 minutes of your time.
I'd like to throw in some more stellar pieces to your budget, depending:

Consider used/retubed world class Sony G90 CRT pj at $10k range. Also, Wilson Cub's for passive speakers. I second the ATC actives (no brainer), as Infinity Prelude MTS system, or other high end actives (sans Meridian's...too dark sounding). Amp's, depends.
Get a good scaler at $1500-2k or equivelent scaling DVD player. Sub's, look at the the Paradigm Servo 15's(multiples prefered) and Earthquake 12 or 15" models. All fine value...
I am not going to through in Innersound because they pushed out the man behind the magic (Roger Sanders) and now it is run by accountants not audiophiles, plus all the sudden they hiked the prices over 100% with no real new technology. Whatever he picks I hope it is a great experience, as for any more time on this, I think I will pass.....P.S. my father has a Legacy Focus 20/20 theater system and it sounds fantastic. Best wishes for a good Fourth of July to all

Legacy Focus 20/20, brilliant, high value theater system, infact add Legacy to the list above. Sold Legacy's as a dealer, lots of cone area, very nice.
Yeah I think I've fallen a little victim of this myself over the years. And that's the same kinda "I'm god" and "my oppinions are right, and I know better than you" kinda mentality. From a relationship/sales standpoint, or trying to basically help someone, this is wrong...I understand that. Yet, as someone who's really into this stuff as a hobby, and passionate about audio/video, it's easy to do I think. I basically wouldn't buy from someone like Cinematic Systems. It's all basiclly HIS ISSUES he appears to be forcing on you....not the way to help people. Even though you could get 99/100 people to agree that what someone like this recommends is "the best", you still don't want to do business with him, or associate with him, or get excited about dealing with him, talking, whatever! I think you all understand.
We come across this kind of mentality all the time.
Basically(again, I tend this way a bit myself. So I'm guilty too).
Peoples, it's all good. Some of us are just really anxious to share what we think is special...we just deliver it with a bunch of sour apples you gotta devour to get through the rest. Sorry...
Guys & Gals (if any)no need to apologize. I have learned a great deal and do appreciate all that has been said. As long as we stick to the subject of HT equipment and speakers I think we are answering not only my questions but others who tune in. Happy Holidays and Thanks.
Electrostaticman, go to Albert Porter's System and read his last post. A voice of reason, with real knowledge behind, it is always worth reading.
haha! had to laugh at Albert's post! Funny!

I personally want my sound effects subtantial! When the celery breaks in the audio track of the special effects indicating a human bone has snapped, it had better sound, "KA-RACK"! Only Eminent Technology speakers can provide that Visceral 'you are there' bone snapping experience! It's the ONLY speaker endorsed by the Celery Growers for Special Effects Association! Need we say more!!!!!