Ordering from online stores-Which of two would you recommend?


Terri Cooper
Hi everyone,
If you have been reading this forum for the last few weeks and have read my posts, I thought my purchase of a new HT system was to be put on long time hold due to having to pay for several trees from Hurricane Izzy to be removed from our yard. Well, my husband has said he wants to get me part of the system for Christmas (and I think he is being generous so I'll stop driving him crazy talking about it :)) I have made a decision- gasp!-about the receiver. I am going to go with H/K- Hawk if you are reading this I'll get to why not NAD in a minute- and found that a deal that involves JandR and Onecall. They quoted me within two dollars of each other. Both are authorized HK dealers. We are in Va. Have any of you dealt with them and would offer advice on whom to order from? I would really appreciate your advice!

Went with the HK over the NAD because I could hear it. I couldn't find a NAD dealer to listen to NAD with and I (and he) just didn't feel comfortable having my husband buy this for me without "trying it on". But, maybe someday I will be able to listen to it and compare!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Since you're in VA, go with J&R. They're in NYC or NJ. Shipping might be a little less and faster. Onecall is in Washington state. Both are good authorized vendors though.

Which HK is it?

J&R is in downtown Manhattan and OneCall is in Spokane, WA

I have dealt with both. Onecall shipped my AVR325 in 2 days (they said it was 3 days Fed Ex but came in 2 days)

J&R are good and generally have the lowest price. For most items they have a fixed shipping of $4.95 (not for receivers for sure, unless its free).
For J&R I would advice you call and make sure they have it stock. I had one bad experience with them when an item was posted as available but it never came (it was backordered the day after I ordered). Eventually I had to cancel the order as I was under time constraints. However, I have known a lot of people having good experience with them. Otherwise I have other stuff and have a lot of friends who have bought from them both from their physical store and online.
Hope tihs helps

you can check out http://resellerratings.com
onecall may match price or waive shipping. They've done this for me on two occasions, and I got a great deal on a new H/K 325 last month. YMMV

Terri Cooper
GT, et.al,
I just ordered the 525 from onecall. I matched jandr's price (who had matched 6ave.'s price of $575) I have to pay 16.00 in shipping, but I went with them because of the way they were over the phone. No pressure and extremely helpful. I almost went for the 325 but it was less than 100 dollars difference with the 525. We are going to be piecing this together bit by bit, so I rationalized (don't all women do that with big purchases :)?) that I could spend a bit more now as we will wait on adding on.

Now, I guess I am going to need your help on speakers. I searched and read through several earlier replies about axiom, monitor,ascend,NHT, and athenas. Our room is 12 x 22, has wood floors(covered with a rug), and two windows in on one short wall on the front of the house where the TV is. The axioms M3ti look good on price for a pair. Ralph at onecall wanted me to go for the NHT's that they had on special (150.00 per pair). What do you all think? I am so excited! Now, I am sure that the 525's will drop again- I may not read this forum for fear of seeing it- naaahh- I am hooked! :) Have a great day everyone!

All those speakers choices are very good. What's your budget? Are you only looking for one pair right now? Which NHT's are on special for $150/pr? If it's the SuperZero's you probably want to go for a little bit bigger bookshelf than that, as they only have a 4.5" woofer. You're room is pretty big.

Terri Cooper
I am looking to spend no more than 300 dollars if I can. I saw on dmc-electronics' site a couple of deals- one for Carver CS 5.1 for $150. The other was for Mission (which I have read about) the 702 model for 300 dollars. Are these a good deal or do you know of others? I assume that I will probably be looking at just getting a pair of bookshelf speakers being that I am looking to keep costs down. Thanks!

$300 is a fairly tight pricepoint. You'd probably do better buying fronts for now and upgrading later.

HOWEVER - I see on Best Buy's webpage that they have the Athena Point 5 speaker system for $399 (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1051806302315&skuId=5335979&type=product ). I wouldn't be too suprised if you couldn't find them for a better price with a bit of searching around.

I have Athena speakers (not the point 5, however), and they sound good with my H/K 320. I have read good things about the point 5, but I haven't listened to them myself. Best Buy isn't the worlds best place for auditioning speakers, but they do have a good return policy.

Good luck!

I think two bookshelves is definitely the way to go for $300. If you're willing to go slightly over that price look seriously at the Ascend CBM-170 for $328. They're not pretty but they are very good. Also the Axiom M22 which list for $400 but you can pick up for $360 from their factory outlet. http://www.axiomaudio.com/m22ti.html. Give both dealers a call and speak to their people. They have great customer service, free shipping and a 30 day trial period.

On the lower side definitely give the Athena AS-B2, Axiom M3, NHT SuperOnes from Onecall, Monitor Bronze B1 and even the Polk Rti38, which is on major clearance at Circuit City. My local CC had them for $91 each as they're preparing for the new product line.

You've got a tough decision to make but you'll come out with some good choices.

Paradigm Atoms - $188.00
Paradigm Cinema 70 - $158
Paradigm, MICRO - $148
NHT Super Zero - $88ea

Other good Paradigms are the Titan and Focus. Both have 6.5" woofers. List price for the Focus is $299, Titans $219.

I can never find them locally to hear though. One store around me had them and then went real high end with the expensive B&W line. I think they only carry Paradigm Studios now.

Paradigm makes a very good speaker for a nice price. Include them in your test.


I highly recommend the following to meet your budget for speakers:

1. NHT SB-1s (available for $235 from Kief's--get the phone # from their website at www.kiefs.com, and talk to Ed, the Store manager).

2. Mirage FR-x5s ($250/pr.) or Mirage FR-x3s (on super special right now for $150/pr.). These were top speakers from a highly regarded Canadian speaker company, a brother company to Athena and Energy, and they are being closed out (no longer in production) by Audio Advisor who bought out the remaining production (audioadvisor.com). The "5" are floorstanding speakers that I like even better than the Athena AS-F2s and their original list price is $550, so they are 60% off. The "3" are a bookshelf that oringally listed for $350/pr. Either is an incredible bargain, within your price range, and will give you a wonderful stereo image with your new H/K. I can tell you that they are better for the money than any of the other speakers listed on this thread (although all are very worthy speakers) because they are a higher quality speaker--they just shouldn't cost this little, but hey, a closeout price on high quality speakers just doesn't happen very often. Audio Advisor is also offering free shipping right now for a limited time.

Good luck!

Terri Cooper
You all are so generous with your advice and I am so thankful for it! I emailed Ed at Kief's, specifically about the monitor S-1's and S-2's he has on sale. Hawk, do you think that these Mirage's and NHT's would be a better set? Or, is it just apples and oranges? The Axiom's are prettier- now I know that you guys don't consider that to be an issue- kinda like what does it matter if the dirty plate is in the sink or the dishwasher- it is "put away", right? :) , but I guess it does matter a bit to me....I hadn't considered floor standing, but if they are a great deal, I wouldn't have to have big, heavy speaker stands. That might be nice. Keep the comments coming! and thanks!

Terri Cooper
Just one more thought. If I went with the Mirage (either bookshelf or floor) what would I do when the time came to get a center or a subwoofer if this company is going out of business? This may be a dumb question, but is it better to have matching (from the same manufacturer) speakers when you add on? Or is it ok to mix other brands? Thanks again!

I just read some review on the Frx line on audioreview.com. They thought the Frx-5 was good (4.3 of 5, 10 reviews), but reviewers said the frx-3 was great (5 of 5, 13 reviews). Then again if you have to buy stands, you're paying the same price for both.

Audioadvisor has the FRx-5 in black but the FRx-3 is in cherry. I was going to suggest buying each from front and rear but the colors might be a problem. Maybe if you give them a call they'll have one or the other color available in both models.

The matching center is the Frx-C. It might still be available. Actually I see this site has 3 new ones in stock for $150. http://www.stereoexchange.com/Closeout.htm

Hawk, I'm not clear on your note. Mirage isn't going of out business are they? I thought they are just closing out this line of speakers.

I've never heard the Mirage product but since it comes from Audio Products Intl which owns Mirage, Energy and Athena it is probably a pretty good speaker.

Terri Cooper
Hi everyone!
I am getting there! I just ordered the Mirage FRx-3 bookshelf speakers- I thought that at $150 and free shipping I couldn't go wrong- THANK YOU so much Hawk for putting me onto them and the audioadvisor site. GT- they didn't have anything but the black floorstanding models, but I thought that I may be able to get a cheaper set of speaker stands somewhere...I had to go with the prettiness factor you know :) Now, the salesman said that down the road I would probably want to get a sub vs. the center. What would be the Mirage sub speaker number to look for in this line? He said they didn't have any Mirage subs. They did have some very affordable DVD players though....What in all of your opinions is the best one to pair up with these speakers and this receiver to give music CDs the best sound? For about 150 dollars+/-. Once I get this set up- I'll need you there,too, I am sure- I wish I could fly everyone here to VA for a party to pay you back for all the help you've given!! :)

You're going to want both a sub and a center if you plan to watch DVD movies. The sub doesn't need to be Mirage, any good brand will work. Depends how much you want to spend. I would advise you to get the FRx-C center as soon as you can because it will perfectly match your bookshelf speakers. You definitely want matching speakers in the front & center. That model may not be around much longer. Check the stereoexchange site I listed earlier to see if they're in stock.

As far as DVD players go, I'm partial to Toshiba. I've had good luck with their products over the years. I've got an 18 year old 20" TV with 3 sets of video inputs. Nobody had that back then. And my 36" set is also Toshiba. I have two Toshiba DVD units and never had problems. Other makers such as Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer make very good players also. The real hot one right now is the Pioneer DVD 563A. It plays DVD, CD, DVD-Audio, SACD, MP3 and is progressive scan. It's also a digital photo viewer. Goes for about $170. I think its the first global player that does everything. You might want to look there first. I'm sure others will give you DVD player recommendations.

No matter what brand you get, make sure it's progressive scan because somewhere down the line you'll probably have HDTV and will need it.

No matter what brand you get, make sure it's progressive scan because somewhere down the line you'll probably have HDTV and will need it.

I am not so sure. HDTVs still cost a lot of money and unless you are planning to upgrade in the 'near' future its a pointless investment. Progressive Scan DVD players are already hitting the sub-$100 mark and in the coming years are only bound to go lower or remain the same. I think a better trade off would be a 5 disc changeror a mp3 player/SACD etc rather than a DVD player with progressive scan or component video out. You can always get the progressive scan when you get the HDTV and you can get a newer product with better processors and components.


No, Mirage is not going out of business, but they have shifted their business toward their Omni line of loudspeakers, which uses a very different principle for generating a soundfield (top mounted tweeters radiating in a 360 degree pattern). The Omni Sats have been a huge winner for Mirage and allowed Mirage to increase their dealerships. However, it is my understanding that the FR-x line was largely used as a basis for launching the Athena Audition line. Remember, Mirage and Athena are both divisions of API, Ltd., and they freely use the same data among the various API lines (including Energy). Sorry if I wasn't clear that this is merely a closeout.


Yes, you may wish to get the FR-xC available from another site listed above by the ever-resourceful GT. It does help if the speakers are "timbre-matched" as you will get a more seamless front soundstage. However, if the FR-xCs are not available, I would look to the Athena AS-C1. It isn't as pretty as the Mirages, but it will be a very close match with them. If you do get the Mirages, I would go ahead and get the Mirage center channel while it is still available and wait on the sub. You can get a sub anytime.

Now, if you are uncomfortable with getting the Mirage, I understand--Mirage inventory is getting very low and you probably can't hear them at a local dealer, but I offered something I knew was a very good deal given your budget constraints. On the other hand, the NHT SB-1s can be obtained in either a gloss black piano finish or a gloss white piano finish, and you can obviate the need for a speaker stand by hanging them on the wall--OmniMount makes some wall brackets that specifically fit the SB-1s. The Center channel speaker is widely available as well.

As far as a subwoofer goes, you do not need to stick with the same brand as your speakers--low frequency sounds are pretty much the same provided you have a quality sub. I recommend the PSB SubZero from DMC Electronics. It is priced at $219, but it is worth stretching the budget to get it. Below $200 is usually bad news when it comes to subs. There are a number of them out there, but they are usually pretty boomy sounding that does little to enhance the experience.

I also agree with GT's suggestion of the Pioneer 563 DVD player, about which I have heard very good things. I don't know anything about Toshiba DVD players, but I have had two Sonys and have had very good luck with them. Check out the DV-P725, which you can get from One Call for $128 and some change.

Good luck.

I think a better trade off would be a 5 disc changeror a mp3 player/SACD etc rather than a DVD player with progressive scan or component video out.

Component video is pretty standard now on all but the lowest end DVD players and TV's. I've been using it on my 36" TV for 4 years running. It's definitely richer than Svideo and composite. I keep my CD and DVD playing on seperate devices. Mainly because I've had a carousel CD player for a dozen years and got into DVD in 1999. On most DVD carousels I've seen, the access time for CD's seems slower than my carousel. I don't know why though since they are newer technology. MP3's to me don't sound nearly as good as a CD. Most people create them at 128 or 160 rates and the better audio equipment you have the poorer they sound. IMHO MP3's are best for computers and portable equipment where people are less critical of the sound.

My next DVD player would probably something like the Pioneer 563A which does DVD-Audio and SACD along with everything else.
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