I'm a first-time poster. I listen probably 80% home theater, 20% music. My music tastes lie towards the classical and jazz bent.
I live in a po-dunk town with no high-end audio/home theater shops. Most folks around here think good speakers are what you buy from Wal-Mart as opposed to what's available from K-Mart. But, alas...not me. So I'm relegated to researching on the 'net and mail-order.
As it so happens, I was able to pick up a Sony SA-WM40 sub at the local furniture store for a great price...$89. Seems that it had been in stock for soooo long the manager was willing to make a deal. "None of my customers want this high-quality type of speakers, you know," he says to me. High-quality, my old grandma's eye. None-the-less, I snatch it up, based on the reviews on this site and others. I know it's not a great sub, but it's better than what I had. This leads me to...
I'm in the market to upgrade my Audiofile Home Theater brand speakers. I've got a set of their M6.5's running through a 12" passive sub as mains, a TV4.5 as center, and three SAT4's across the back in a 6.1 setup with the Sony sub mentioned above running off a Sony ES STR-DA5ES receiver. The Audiofile speakers seemed like a great bargain at the time I purchased them, 8 year ago, but the company is long out of business and I'm hankerin' for something better. I've got to keep it under $2000 and thought I'd stay with the new Sony SA-WM40 sub for now and up-grade it later. I'd prefer to purchase the mains, center-front, and surrounds now. I'll add a center-back later as well.
My HT room is 15x22x8. The TV is sitting in the center of the 15' wall. I figure I have room for towers in the front and either towers or bookshelf speakers in the rear. As it turns out, the wife has placed three six-foot bookshelves right where the surrounds and center-back need to go. Currently, I have the three bookshelf speakers sitting on the top of the bookshelves. Works fine. But I do have space, along the two side walls, to place tower speakers and still have the center-back on the bookshelf. I don't know if it's worth the extra money to use slightly smaller tower speakers as side surrounds or to stick to bookshelf/surround speakers. I'm open to suggestions and advice as to the two combinations I've listed below.
I've been drawn to the Axiom line, based on so many good reviews on the 'net. I can't audition them, obviously, so I'd have to buy them blind. I've priced out a set of factory outlet speakers (I've got three small kids, so nicks and scratches are inevitable). I've thought a good setup would be M80's for mains, M60's for surrounds, and a VP150 in front. Later I'll add a VP50 or VP100 for the center-back. Or I could drop the M60's and replace them with QS8's for the surrounds. This also drops the price and would allow me to pick up the center back now, instead of waiting. It'd sure be nice if Axiom offered a single QS8 for center-back use.
I can't decide which of these options I want...towers for surrounds or bookshelfs/surrounds for surrounds...what to do.
So here I am in a quandary. I've got the money burning a hole in my pocket, I don't know if I should pay the extra for tower surrounds as opposed to bookshelf/surrounds for the surround speakers.
I find many Axiom reviews on the net and everyone seems to love them, but I can't seem to find any comments about using smaller towers as surrounds.
So...here I am looking for advice.
Thanks for reading this long diatribe and I hope for you all to straighten me right out...