Quality Reciever and Speakers Under $2500


I am in the market for some new speakers and a surround sound reciever. I have about $2500 to spend on a pair of speakers and a reciever. I fully intend to expand this system to a 5.1 channel theater system in the future. As a start, I am considering a pair of Paradigm Monitor 5's and possibly a PS-1200 if funds allow, but beyond that I haven't got too many ideas. The Denon-3803 seems to be a decent reciever feature wise, but I do not really like the way it sounds through Paradigm Titans, so I don't think I would like it through more expensive speakers.

The problem is, I don't have too much time to try things out, as I live in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming. If I can get an idea of which way to go I can drive somewhere and try some things out without knowing absolutely nothing. Would anyone have some reccomendations?

-I forgot to mention, I have never purchased a reciever before, and only set of speakers I have was a Klipsh Promedia 5.1 system with a digital decoder, which I felt was a hunk of crap, as I had to send it back twice.

I put a home theater system in for some people (I pretended like I knew what I was talking about). It consisted of Paradigm speakers: 4 titans, cc-170, and pdr-10. These were hooked in to a Denon 3803. I realize that the amp may be a bit much for the Titans and that is probably why they sounded no good at any relatively high volumes, maybe Monitor 5s would sound superior. Obviously I am new to this.



You have a nice budget and you can get something a lot better than a Denon 3803 with plenty of money left over for yor speakers.

I have a Denon myself, and I have been somewhat critical of its dry and artificial sound. I always tell people ot trust their own ears. You have to live with the system, so you should like the way it sounds. The Denon did not sound good with the Paradigm Titans you installed not because it had too much power, but because they are a poor match, sound-wise. The Paradigms are somewhat "laid back" ("relaxed") sounding and the Denon is much the same. You need an amp which has a sound that is a little more forward to provide a good balance to the sound. Paradigms also need a lot of current (which is real power, rated in amps, not watts). Although they are very efficient, they are in that class of speaker that needs a lot of current to really sing. Denon, Onkyo and Yamaha are among those receivers that are very poor at putting out much current. A 50 wpc NAD has more real power, based upon my observations, than does my Denon 3803, rated at 110 wpc (most receiver power ratings are, sadly, a joke, including the Denon's).

I don't know what part of Wyoming you are in (Wyoming is a big place). However, I live south of Denver and I would recommend you go to Cherry Creek Audio in Denver if you are near enough (like the Cheyenne area). They carry Paradigm speakers and they are having a sale right now on the NAD T 752 (20% off or $720). It sounds much smoother and warmer than the Denon, and considerably more realistic, as well. There is also an NAD dealer in Ft. Collins, but I haven't been in the store.

Paradigms with NAD is an awesome combination and well worth the investment. It would be a great partner for a pair of Monitor 5s. For your budget, you should be able to get the NAD T752, a pair of Monitor 5s and a CC-370, and still be able to get a PDR-12 subwoofer.

Thanks for your reccomendation. I just moved to Laramie, and apparently Ovation Audio on College in Ft. Collins is the dealer you're talking about, so that is only an hour trip for me. I'll have to head down there and check out the T752, I assume they have listening rooms and such down there. I just learned they are a Rotel Dealer as well, and I have heard good of them, though I know not how they are priced, I can check that out as well. If I like the T752, Cherry Creek Audio is only another hour and a half, and since it is on Colorado I can find it pretty easily.

I am good friends with the Music Box guys up here (I am surprised they sell Paradigm, even References, but not anything of higher stature than Denon for recievers and the like), and can get a pair of monitor 5's for probably $470ish, leaving plenty of room in the budget for center's, subs, and maybe even some surrounds if I like the NAD.


I went by the store in Ft. Collins on the Saturday of the Labor Day weekend precisely because they had both Rotel and NAD and it was closed--the owner had gone fishing! So call before you drive down! It is a simple store front and I could not see any soundrooms, so it may be a pretty simple operation.

Cherry creek Audio is very easy to get to--take I-25 south and exit Colorado Blvd. northbound. It is about a mile north of the freeway on the west side of the street in a building painted a flat red color across the street from the VW dealer.

Your prices on the Paradigms at Music Box sounds pretty good--I may have to drive up there myself to see what they want for some Studio 20s! I will say that it is no real surprise that they don't have better electronics. They don't have a lot of competition and Denon has been steadily taking over the top spot in sales from Yamaha, so they think they have a sales winner. It is, but that doesn't mean it has great sound. It just has good sound that is better than Yamaha's.

Good luck!

Thanks for the info. I have to go to Music Box later this week, I will ask what they would charge me for a pair of Studio 20's and I can let you know. I figure I have spent around $12,000 of other peoples money there, consulting for theaters and such, they are bound to give me a good deal!

Paul T
I just recently shopped around for Studio 20v3's myself (great speaker) and like you I had to drive a bit to hear them, two of the dealers I called before going told me they were selling them for $799 which is pretty much msrp and told me up front they would not come down on the price but the third was a very nice dealer and wouldn't give me a price over the phone but did promise to take care of me if I drove the hour to their shop. They had them set up nicely for me when I got there and even had a nice leather chair for me to sit and audition them with my CDs. They did give me a nice discount for my trouble so I think if you approach them this way and also let them know how much buisness you steered their way you will make out fine.. Also as Hawk said the Studios like power, my Yamaha just couldn't cut it and my new NAD T52 should arrive tomorrow, fingers crossed...
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