What is the smallest speaker that can handle 80 Hz ??? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I have gone through several sets of speakers in the last few years, and now understand how important it is for the front 3 speakers to play down to 80Hz. Yes a subwoofer is in the mix with my system. I recognize that it is VERY important to have the front main speakers competently reproduce down to 80Hz to get clear dialogue. HT is the primary use of the speakers.

I started with in-wall speakers, than went to semi-compact (Energy Take series), and then went with full size towers (AV123 X-series). I was finally satisfied with the sound given by the full size tower and center; however, I am getting tired of the size and floor space taken. It will be used primarily for HT, and MUST be able to be held in place by brackets.

If I were to set a budget, I do not want to spend more than $500 for the front 3.


The first set-up. In-wall Polk speakers:





The second set-up. Energy Take series. Dialouge was not clear, and they could not play lower than 150Hz.






Final and current set-up. Sounds good, but time to down-size. Notice how the black center perfectly goes in the center fireplace. I would mount the new center on a swivel mount at about the same height. I plan on having the Left and Right speakers mounted on a swivel mount connected to the outer sides of the fireplace.



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post #2 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 05:33 AM
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What SPL are you looking for at the listening position? A cheesy micro cube will play 80Hz at some volume level. As the SPL increases, so does the size of the speaker, generally.

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post #3 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
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It would be nice to get close to 90dbs (when doing demos), but would be satisfied with it getting a little above 80 dbs.
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post #4 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 06:05 AM
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What's the problem with the in wall speakers? Using those will give you some space
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post #5 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 06:39 AM
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If the listening position is, say, 8-12 feet away, hitting 90dB won't be a problem, even with a smaller speaker. Get something with decent sensitivity, around 90dB and, if vented, an F3 in the 40-50Hz range. Give it a few watts and you've got 90dB at the LP. That room doesn't look to be incredibly huge, so maybe it's just a matter of not finding anything that you really like, yet.

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post #6 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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In-walls ARE great; however, positioning is the problem. With these in-walls being so high, dialogue is not clear (plus the TV is largely blocking the center channel).

The room is small, so you are right in that it shouldn't take much to get to 90dbs. I have not really looked around much. I like the size and design of the Energy Take 5, but it really can't do much below 120Hz. I am just looking for options and ideas.
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post #7 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 06:59 AM
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From what I have heard, Atlantic Technology makes in wall speakers that tilt to the desired listening position. I'm not sure how low they go but you might want to check them out.

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post #8 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 07:02 AM
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NHT Absolute Zero comes to mind.
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post #9 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Alcasid View Post

NHT Absolute Zero comes to mind.

http://www.nhthifi.com/Absolute-Zero...&category=3772

Wow...great option!! They can even be mounted on omni-mounts. I need to research if they have a designated center, or just use the same. I guess I would be interested in speakers of this size and caliber. The comparison research will begin to find my best option.

I don't really want to invest in in-walls as they are money lost in the house, and can't easily be changed if I am not satisfied.

EDIT:

Absolute center is a bit weak with 4.5 drivers and a specified frequency start at 80...which means in real life it is closer to 100Hz. I guess I could use another Absolute Zero bookshelf.

http://www.nhthifi.com/Absolute-Center
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post #10 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepstang View Post

Wow...great option!! They can even be mounted on omni-mounts. I need to research if they have a designated center, or just use the same. I guess I would be interested in speakers of this size and caliber. The comparison research will begin to find my best option.

I don't really want to invest in in-walls as they are money lost in the house, and can't easily be changed if I am not satisfied.

The is a matching center but I'd go with identical speakers up front if you can accommodate it.
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post #11 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 08:23 AM
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You could always go with the Classic Two center which uses 5.25" woofers like the Absolute Zero bookshelf.

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post #12 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

You could always go with the Classic Two center which uses 5.25" woofers like the Absolute Zero bookshelf.

Thanks, but no bueno

http://www.energy-speakers.com/na-en...e&viewall=true

http://www.energy-speakers.com/na-en...-5-1-overview/
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post #13 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I think the HSU HB-1 and the NHT are top contenders, as I am looking for something with that size and WAF. Any opinions??

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hb-1.html

http://www.nhthifi.com/Absolute-Zero...&category=3772

The price is very competitive between the two. I think the NHT wins the WAF.
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post #14 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 01:28 PM
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The Classic Two is a NHT speaker, big brother to the Absolut Zero.

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post #15 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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So sorry about that AfroGT. Thanks for the clarification. If I am using a sub, would the Classic Two make a $300 difference (for 3) vs the Absolute??

The HSU HB-1 mk2 is pretty affordable and reviewed. I wonder how the horn tweeter would compare to the NHT.
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post #16 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepstang View Post
So sorry about that AfroGT. Thanks for the clarification. If I am using a sub, would the Classic Two make a $300 difference (for 3) vs the Absolute??

The HSU HB-1 mk2 is pretty affordable and reviewed. I wonder how the horn tweeter would compare to the NHT.
I had the Classic 2 in my room to test out, and have heard the HB-1MK2 on many occasions. IMO, the Hsu is a MUCH better speaker for the money, especially when used for HT.

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post #17 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Curtis, that comment holds a lot of weight because it is coming from you. Wow! I guess the HSU is the way I will try to go! What a bargain!!

Does anyone have any ideas how I can have these mounted at the same speaker level as the above av123s?? I don't see any wall mount connections on the back of the HSU speakers. Maybe I can build a small 10" shelf off the side of each fireplace pillar. I really want to loose the center stand. Any ideas for mounting the HSU HC-1 center??
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post #18 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 03:30 PM
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Having a TV over a fireplace makes things tough. Your options are very limited. I am not a fan of these situations...and not just because of audio.

The NHT's are sealed, so that would make mounting a bit easier vs. the ported Hsu's.

BTW...Hsu has in-wall versions of he HB-1MK2.

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post #19 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 04:50 PM
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Also look at the HTD Level Three bookshelf speakers which are front ported. They use a ribbon tweeter instead of horn tweeter. Horns tend to be too bright for my taste.

You get a risk free 30 day in home trial also.

http://www.htd.com/Products/level-th...shelf-Speakers

Plus they sell wall mounts for $35/pr.

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post #20 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 05:11 PM
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I have had excellent results with quality bookshelves in the 6" driver range when coupled with a subwoofer set to 80hz. This is of course a generalization as speaker systems can differ so much in performance.
I have also with great success putting a subwoofer in the smaller center channel line and then set the center channel to large.
Multiple subwoofers (three all together), have allowed me to use very compact speaker systems elsewhere, and still retain full range performance.
Just a thought.
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post #21 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 06:09 PM
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For budget friendly and wall mount - the HTD Level Three
For better sound with movies and music, and wall mount -
the NHT Classic Two.

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post #22 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 07:13 PM
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By looking at the photos, the problem with the in-walls and the Energy Takes is that they are not aimed properly. The speakers are much higher than you sitting position and you are only getting off-axis sound. You want the speaker tweeters to be aimed at your ears.
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post #23 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Also look at the HTD Level Three bookshelf speakers which are front ported. They use a ribbon tweeter instead of horn tweeter. Horns tend to be too bright for my taste.

The Hsu will surprise you.

The generalizations that horns are bright should be done away with...because like with any tweeter type, there are brighter and duller iterations.

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post #24 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Curtis. With the rear ports on the HSU speakers, what is the recommended minimum distance from walls? I really want to make the HSUs work; however, the lack of rear mount is a pretty notable challenge.

MikeBiker, the silver Energy speakers were only used in that set-up for less than 1 month. As my initial post said, my current set-up sounds great; however, I am trying to downsize. The in-walls are also not being currently used; however, I will use them for PLiiZ when I get a receiver with that feature.
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post #25 of 38 Old 02-14-2011, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepstang View Post

Thanks Curtis. With the rear ports on the HSU speakers, what is the recommended minimum distance from walls? I really want to make the HSUs work; however, the lack of rear mount is a pretty notable challenge.

I don't know what the recommendation is, but it is not a large diameter port, so I would guess a few inches OK, especially if you are crossing at 80hz. Call Hsu and make sure.

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post #26 of 38 Old 06-18-2011, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is a late update. I was able to buy the last 3 piano black HSU HB-1s Pete had.

The finish is absolutely AMAZING. The sound is a lot more laid back than I expected. Vocals are clear but not forward. Instruments are well placed and tangible. They play much lower than I expected. I actually forgot to turn on the subs when watching the Flight of Phoenix, and did not realize it until the end of the crash scene. I do think the sound stage is smaller than I expected. With horns I was assuming the sweet spot would be wider and the highs would be livelier. For music, these may be hard to beat for the $$$.

The one snag is that I primarily use them for HT, and they are be a bit too laid back for 100% HT. I can't make any hard conclusions on them yet as I have not played a lot of material through them.

I would recommend the HB-1 to anyone that has a 50/50 split between HT and music. The HB-1s will change your opinions on the character of horn tweeters forever. Try them so you too can be pleasantly surprised.


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post #27 of 38 Old 06-18-2011, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

The Hsu will surprise you.

The generalizations that horns are bright should be done away with...because like with any tweeter type, there are brighter and duller iterations.

They aren't overly bright but they do have a definite horn "hands cupped around your mouth" sound.

OP keep in mind that while 80hz is a great goal it's a good thing to have a bit over overlap with the sub. For an 80hz crossover that would mean a speaker that can play flat down to 60-70hz. Remember the crossover isn't a hard cut-over, it's a gradual slope starting well below the crossover point and extends well above.

The budget is a killer but I think the front ported Infinity Primus P163 and the matched PC251 center are the best bet. They may be a bit bigger than desired but you really need front ported or sealed in to get close enough to the wall. I think I'd tilt them down a bit and point the tweeters toward ear level at the seating position.
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post #28 of 38 Old 06-18-2011, 05:39 PM
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As I mentioned earlier, I would also consider the Ascend htm-200s. They are pretty small and are sealed, so they can be wall mounted for a clean install. The finish definitely isn't as nice as the piano black hsus, but if the center is tucked under the fireplace you're not really going to see it. Ascend also has custom finish options, but they are quite expensive. Other options are to mount the l/r speakers on the mantel or possibly higher and aim them down toward the listening position.

The 170s I had were very good (and I didn't have the se version). The finish wasn't as nice as other offerings, but the sound was VERY good for the pricepoint. Hearing back the hsu's and ascends, the ascends definitely have a more forward sound. I believe they are considered neutral, but I thought they were maybe a notch on the forward side. For reference (no pun intended) I would consider the hsu's a notch or two on the laid back side.
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post #29 of 38 Old 06-18-2011, 11:52 PM
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for a simple solution any THX speaker (select,select2,ultra or ultra2) would handle 80hz.

and there are lots to choose from.
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post #30 of 38 Old 06-19-2011, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balbolito View Post

for a simple solution any THX speaker (select,select2,ultra or ultra2) would handle 80hz.

and there are lots to choose from.

Ad rip you off in the process, lol
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