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Reference Series vs. Icon W Series


Cory722
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So I'm sure that the subject of this post already tells you what I'm going to ask. I'm ready to start upgrading my home theater, and I'm having a hard time deciding if I want to go with the Reference series, or the Icon W series. Part of the reason that I'm considering the Icon W series is that I already have WC-24 center channel having bought them on sale last Black Friday. The WF-35 is on sale for $269 on Newegg right now. Now my question is whether I should settle for the Icon-W series being it's alot cheaper, or go for the super expensive route and get the Reference Series. I would end up getting all of the best of the Reference Series if I went that route, it would just take a really long time.

To put my current home theater in perspective, this is what I have:

Receiver: Onkyo HT-990 (from this HTIB- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882120187&Tpk=onkyo%20ht-s%209400thx)

Center Channel: Klipsch Icon WC-24

Front Channels: Sony SS-F7000

Surrounds x 4: Onkyo (from this HTIB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882120187&Tpk=onkyo%20ht-s%209400thx)

Subwoofer: Polk Audio PSW505

I'm not rich btw, If I were to go the Reference route, it would probably take at least 2 years to save up (just out of high school, minimum wage job). So my question is which one. What are your perspectives, with both music and movies, on each of these series?

Any advice is helpful, thanks!

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Welcome to the forums Cory. I have never heard the Icon series so I cannot comment on them. I can tell you that the Reference Series are absolutely fantastic for HT.

I'm not rich btw,

You don't have to be rich to build a quality HT. I never dreamed I would actually have a dedicated HT (thought they were only owned by rich people). I'm a Student Pastor and my wife is a Teacher. Best advice I can give you is listen to as many setups as you can to determine what would satisfy your audio needs. I have learned the hard way if you "settle", you typically will end up selling it down the road (much less than you paid) and buying what you wanted to begin with and end up spending more money in the process.

If you are patient, and do not mind putting it together over time, you can either save up and buy new components as your budget allows or look for quality used gear on Craigslist, Ebay, Audiogon and the Klispch Garage Sale.

IMO, the RF-82 / RC-62 combo is a great all around setup. You can pick up an RF-3 / RC-3 combo for around $450. Get a solid front soundstage (Left, Center & Right) and build from there. For HT, make sure you get a quality sub and a quality center channel as they are the two most important items in your HT.

And when you get ready to buy cables and interconnects, check out Monoprice.com. I still do not see how they can make money selling HDMI cables for $5.00.

Hope that helps.

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Welcome to the forum. The folks who populate this Forum, based on my expierence have found to be helpful, honest, and very willing to share their expierences both the good and the ugly. I suspect their are a few high rollers out there, I know their are many looking for great sound without breaking the Bank. As well as many of us in situations where were attempting to feed our desire for quality sound and keeping our significant other happy as well.

Your first step was finding the Klipsch sound, I have found their are different folks out in the world, those that buy strickly on price, those that have to have the newest and the best, then their is the Klipsch crowd that simply care about the SOUND. Klipsch has a long history that began in a shack in Hope, Arkansas.

You can find some great speakers here on the forum from other members upgrading, and sadly more often due to the the economy folks are off in need of cash and are selling. Usually can find something on Craigs list and/or E-Bay. Many people ask on the forum for feedback on a particular Klipsch speaker product. Myself, I fell in love with Klipsch in 1983, and saved my money and bought a pair of Heresy speakers, and slowly built up and improved my two-channel system since then.

Today I have a five channel speakers all Klipsch. Subwoofer from SWS, which was my present for the year to myself and wife. First subwoofer I ever own and probably will be the only as I am no longer on the young side.

Monoprice.com is a great find for virtually all your cable needs. Klipsch speakers are so efficent, you could use lamp cord and have a great sound. Another recent find is a company called Emotiva, they sell some great seperates. Amplifiers, Preproccessers, and other seperates. Two years ago I upgraded my system to also be a home theatre. I have the benefit of my two channel for music, and 5.1 to enhance our TV, Cable, DVD, & Blu-ray.

Good luck, take your time, may take some time to build exactly what you want, enjoy the process as you get there.

All the best, Jeff

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Thank you for all of your advice. To those of you telling me to save up, I know what you mean. If I were to settle with one setup, I would just want to upgrade again anyways, although I wonder if it would be best to go with the cheaper route for now until I get my feet on more solid ground financially. It will take some thought on my part, although the deal on the Icon W fronts does end today. I was honestly hoping for some thoughts from someone who had heard the Icon W Series, because I know that the Reference Series is great, but am not 100% sure on the Icon W. I would be using it for both movies and music.

Sometimes I scold myself for getting into such expensive hobbies and interests at such a young age.

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Sometimes I scold myself for getting into such expensive hobbies and interests at such a young age.

Welcome

You could have alot worse hobbies, cars, strippers...[:$] well you get the idea, at least this hobby is safe unless you listen at crazy levels. Have fun

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Welcome to the forums Cory. I have never heard the Icon series so I cannot comment on them. I can tell you that the Reference Series are absolutely fantastic for HT.

I'm not rich btw,

You don't have to be rich to build a quality HT. I never dreamed I would actually have a dedicated HT (thought they were only owned by rich people). I'm a Student Pastor and my wife is a Teacher. Best advice I can give you is listen to as many setups as you can to determine what would satisfy your audio needs. I have learned the hard way if you "settle", you typically will end up selling it down the road (much less than you paid) and buying what you wanted to begin with and end up spending more money in the process.

If you are patient, and do not mind putting it together over time, you can either save up and buy new components as your budget allows or look for quality used gear on Craigslist, Ebay, Audiogon and the Klispch Garage Sale.

IMO, the RF-82 / RC-62 combo is a great all around setup. You can pick up an RF-3 / RC-3 combo for around $450. Get a solid front soundstage (Left, Center & Right) and build from there. For HT, make sure you get a quality sub and a quality center channel as they are the two most important items in your HT.

And when you get ready to buy cables and interconnects, check out Monoprice.com. I still do not see how they can make money selling HDMI cables for $5.00.

Hope that helps.

To the OP, read this one more time and consider it is sound advice. For what you would spend on a set and wonder, I would spend and have very close to what I wanted, it would take longer and be more work though......

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Proud owner of reference series and icon w series! I can tell you straight up the wf-35 for 269 each is a steal! I have talked about ten friends into buying them since I have been back in Missouri for two months. The icon w series is a drop dead gorgeous set. Easy to keep your spouse happy with the set. I can tell you that I love these speakers for music. I have a set that I bought for my 2 channel setup that will not be going anywhere for a long time. To me the only downfall of the w series is the center. I wish they made a larger one. But I can tell you that if you are ok with the center you have now, then buy the fronts while they are at 270 and don't look back. They run side by side with the reference speakers 62's and down for movies as well. Now the 82's have a little more low end for sure. And my 63's are a different ball game. A lot higher components were used to make them. But I still love the wf-35's. one of my favorite things about them is the horn and its dispersion. It has a much larger sweet spot. I had a set of wf-34's and a wc-24 and wb-14 that I sold to a buddy. I got a good deal on em then moved along just to hear them. Then I bought the 35's went they went on sale. I love going to his house and hearing the setup in a good size room. Every seat has a sweet spot it seems like. They are worth every penny in my opinion. You wanted to hear from someone who owns both and that is my 2 cents sir.

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That is a lot for just 2 cents. It sound like you will be a happy camper with the Icon W's or a nice reference set. Enjoy now, we all will be ungrading thing for years just because we like trying new things. The used and discount market is the way to go if you want the most mileage out of your dollars.

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I ended up getting the Icon's, and I love them! They are super-clear compared to the Sony's that I had, and they actually keep up in overall frequency range despite the Sony's having much larger drivers. As far as the direction that I am headed with this setup? I think I am simply going to stick with the Icon-W series, eventually replacing the Onkyo surrounds with the Icon-W surrounds, and probably investing in a new subwoofer at some point. Not sure if that will be Klipsch or not, I will have to do some research. I'm not sure if I should replace the receiver. It came with a HTIB, but it seems to be pretty nice. I will probably end up replacing it at some point one way or another.

Those are my thoughts for now... As far as the future goes, I have no idea. I may end up saving for the Klipsch Reference series at some point, or go with some other brand, like Bowers & Wilkins, but this is looking far into the future, when I hope I will have a little more than the money I'm making now.

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I'm not rich btw, If I were to go the Reference route, it would probably take at least 2 years to save up (just out of high school, minimum wage job). So my question is which one. What are your perspectives, with both music and movies, on each of these series?

Any advice is helpful, thanks!

Welcome to the forum, When I first signed up I was around 22 years old building a theater in my bedroom so I know exactly where your coming from. I just recently started posting again on here and it was like I never left. All the guys on this forum are great and always willing to help.

I see you finally got the WF's Post pics of your rig after you have it all setup.

You could have alot worse hobbies, cars, strippers...Embarrassed well you get the idea, at least this hobby is safe unless you listen at crazy levels. Have fun

He's right, its expensive but there are other hobbies that cost more.. Ugh I have a project car and a daily driver I started putting in a nice system as well.

All fun hobbies tend to be expensive. If you enjoy it, its worth it!

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