Yet another question -- regarding speakers

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Hi all,

Well, I've done my research, and have decided on Athena speakers for my home
theatre setup.  (Those gorgeous looking Totems are a bit out of my price
range!)  The Audition range of Athena speakers are incredibly affordable,
look good, and seem pretty good specs-wise.  But still I've got some choices
to make.

One -- for the front speakers, should I go for the AS-F1 or AS-F2?  The
AS-F1's got one 8-inch woofer, while the AS-F2 has two of them.  The AS-F1
has a frequency response of 40 Hz to 20 kHz, while the AS-F2's is 35 Hz to
20 kHz.  The AS-F1's power handling is 200 watts per channel, while the
AS-F2's is 250.  And the AS-F1's sensitivity is 92 dB, while the AS-F2's is
93 dB.  Is it really worth an extra $200 (or $162 US) for these tiny
improvements?

Two -- for the rear speakers, it's sorta the same thing:  The AS-B1's woofer
is 5.5 inches, while the AS-B2's is 6.5 inches.  The AS-B1's frequency
response is 60 Hz to 20 kHz, while the AS-B2's is 50 Hz to 20 kHz.  The
AS-B1's power handling is 125 watts per channel, while the AS-B2's is 150.
And the AS-B1's sensitivity is 90 dB, while the AS-B2's is 91 dB.  So is it
worth the extra $100 (or $81 US) for these marginal improvements?

The receiver will almost definitely be a Yamaha RX-V750, and if I do go with
Athena, then the centre speaker will likely be the Athena AS-C1.  I haven't
decided yet on a subwoofer, although it'll probably be an Athena AS-P400,
just to keep everything uniform.  I'm hoping to go down in a few days to my
audio/video store and "audition" these speakers -- I have no idea if they'll
actually set all of these up for me to listen.  Anyway, assuming I like what
I hear, do you think the extra cash ($200 more for the fronts, $100 more for
the rears) is money well spent?  Or is it money spent on improvements that
make no discernible difference?

Thanks so much to anyone who can help me out!
vij




Re: Yet another question -- regarding speakers


I think this is a question only you can answer after you've listened to
the speakers yourself. I'd ignore the specs and listen for yourself to
decide if the speakers work for your needs and taste.

The only local dealer I have for Athena is Best Buys, and the
conditions for listening to Athena (or any other brand) speakers in
these stores locally (I'm in the US) are very poor, so I've never done
the comparison you'll be doing.

A few thoughts:

* Rear speakers produce mostly just ambient sound, while front speakers
do most of the work. You may not find that having an extra inch of
woofer (as on the AS-B2) on each rear speaker makes any difference you
can hear.

* With the cheaper speakers, you'd have $300 left over to put towards a
subwoofer, if you decide you need a sub.

* Because both the AS-F1 and AS-F2 are big floorstanding speakers,
either or both may produce enough bass for your needs, with no need for
a sub. A sub can be nice to have, but if you find the Athena AS-F1 or
AS-F2 produce enough bass for you, you won't need the sub.

* I'd start by listening with the cheaper speakers (the AS-F1 and the
AS-B1). If the AS-F1 doesn't provide enough bass, the AS-F2 might.

* OTOH, in the context of a home theater system, $300 to get (probably)
some more bass and a bigger sound may not be a lot to pay.

Anyway, I'd start my listening with the cheapest speakers and no sub,
then try the more expensive speakers, then try adding the sub. Then
you'd know if spending more money is really worthwhile for you.

Hope this helps!



Re: Yet another question -- regarding speakers


You're right, of course, that I should ignore the specs and just listen for
myself.  I plan on doing that just as soon as this store (the only one in
Toronto to carry Athena floorstanders) get them in.  And I'm lucky -- this
store has a room where they wire together combo packages for customers, who
bring in CDs and DVDs to listen to.  So I'll get a chance to listen to the
speakers soon.  It's good advice, by the way, to listen to the lesser combo
first and work my way up, and I will do just that.

Hmmm . . . maybe I don't actually need a sub, since the F2 has a frequency
range that goes all the way down to 35 Hz.  There are some subwoofers that
don't even get down that far!  The Athena sub I've had my eye on does get
all the way down to 23 Hz, though, which I think is pretty good.  Sigh.
Just when you think you've figured out what you want, something always pops
up to give your brain more to consider!

cheers,
vij

>I think this is a question only you can answer after you've listened to
> the speakers yourself. I'd ignore the specs and listen for yourself to
> decide if the speakers work for your needs and taste.
>
> The only local dealer I have for Athena is Best Buys, and the
> conditions for listening to Athena (or any other brand) speakers in
> these stores locally (I'm in the US) are very poor, so I've never done
> the comparison you'll be doing.
>
> A few thoughts:
>
> * Rear speakers produce mostly just ambient sound, while front speakers
> do most of the work. You may not find that having an extra inch of
> woofer (as on the AS-B2) on each rear speaker makes any difference you
> can hear.
>
> * With the cheaper speakers, you'd have $300 left over to put towards a
> subwoofer, if you decide you need a sub.
>
> * Because both the AS-F1 and AS-F2 are big floorstanding speakers,
> either or both may produce enough bass for your needs, with no need for
> a sub. A sub can be nice to have, but if you find the Athena AS-F1 or
> AS-F2 produce enough bass for you, you won't need the sub.
>
> * I'd start by listening with the cheaper speakers (the AS-F1 and the
> AS-B1). If the AS-F1 doesn't provide enough bass, the AS-F2 might.
>
> * OTOH, in the context of a home theater system, $300 to get (probably)
> some more bass and a bigger sound may not be a lot to pay.
>
> Anyway, I'd start my listening with the cheapest speakers and no sub,
> then try the more expensive speakers, then try adding the sub. Then
> you'd know if spending more money is really worthwhile for you.
>
> Hope this helps!
>




Re: Yet another question -- regarding speakers



> Hmmm . . . maybe I don't actually need a sub, since the F2 has a
> frequency range that goes all the way down to 35 Hz.  There are some
> subwoofers that don't even get down that far!  The Athena sub I've
had
> my eye on does get all the way down to 23 Hz, though, which I think
is
> pretty good.  Sigh. Just when you think you've figured out what you
> want, something always pops up to give your brain more to consider!
>
> cheers,
> vij


vij,

And you can kiss your mouse problems good-bye!!!!!!!!

Andy

--
"Ladies and gentlemen, The Beatles!"
- Ed Sullivan (1964)


Re: Yet another question -- regarding speakers


>
>> Hmmm . . . maybe I don't actually need a sub, since the F2 has a
>> frequency range that goes all the way down to 35 Hz.  There are some
>> subwoofers that don't even get down that far!  The Athena sub I've
> had
>> my eye on does get all the way down to 23 Hz, though, which I think
> is
>> pretty good.  Sigh. Just when you think you've figured out what you
>> want, something always pops up to give your brain more to consider!
>>
>> cheers,
>> vij
>
>
> vij,
>
> And you can kiss your mouse problems good-bye!!!!!!!!

Micky . . . Micky . . . we hardly knew ya!




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