Upgrading speakers in the Onkyo HT-S3400 set? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 03-03-2012, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
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For owners or those familiar with the Onkyo HT-S3400, has anyone tried to upgrade the speakers that come in this HTIB?

The HT-S3400 is the first 5.1 surround sound that I've ever owned. It IS a wonderful set, and it has allowed me to learn more about the nuances and intricacies of home theater audio. With that said, the novelty has worn off and I have noticed that the speakers do sound a little "muffled" (indicative of mediocre mid-range?).

Has anyone attempted to replace any or all of the speakers? If so, what would you recommend and why? I have been seeing a slew of quality deals for bookshelf, floor standing, etc. speakers from the likes of Polk Audio and Martin Logan, so it's tempting to pull the trigger on upgrading.

Also, am I correct to assume that I need to find speakers with the same impudence and ohms rating? This area is still new and confusing for me.

The passive subwoofer is more than adequate for my needs, so no need to replace that.

(For those who don't know, the HT-S3400 HTIB is actually a standalone Onkyo receiver bundled with speaker wires and a speaker/subwoofer set).
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post #2 of 30 Old 03-03-2012, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

For owners or those familiar with the Onkyo HT-S3400, has anyone tried to upgrade the speakers that come in this HTIB?

The HT-S3400 is the first 5.1 surround sound that I've ever owned. It IS a wonderful set, and it has allowed me to learn more about the nuances and intricacies of home theater audio. With that said, the novelty has worn off and I have noticed that the speakers do sound a little "muffled" (indicative of mediocre mid-range?).

Has anyone attempted to replace any or all of the speakers? If so, what would you recommend and why? I have been seeing a slew of quality deals for bookshelf, floor standing, etc. speakers from the likes of Polk Audio and Martin Logan, so it's tempting to pull the trigger on upgrading.

Also, am I correct to assume that I need to find speakers with the same impudence and ohms rating? This area is still new and confusing for me.

The passive subwoofer is more than adequate for my needs, so no need to replace that.

(For those who don't know, the HT-S3400 HTIB is actually a standalone Onkyo receiver bundled with speaker wires and a speaker/subwoofer set).

Budget?

Room size?

What will you be listening to and how much of each?

Thanks.
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post #3 of 30 Old 03-03-2012, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Budget is about $200, whether that is for replacing the fronts+center, or for replacing all 5 speakers -- whichever makes more sense right now. FYI, the rears on the S3400 are average, at best.

I have a small to mid-size rectangular living room.

I do video gaming through the Xbox 360 & PS3, Blu-ray viewing, and am in the midst of building a gaming/media PC.
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post #4 of 30 Old 03-03-2012, 08:20 AM
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If you want better mid-range, look at larger full-sized bookshelf speakers, such as the Polk Monitor40s and matching center. Sign up for Newegg's mailing list. They run specials on different speakers in the Polk Monitor series every week.

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post #5 of 30 Old 03-03-2012, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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That's exactly what I am referring to; I am seeing many deals for bookshelf speakers from Newegg and other vendors.

1. What should I be looking for in terms of ohms and impedance?

2. Also, I read somewhere that this Onkyo receiver's Audyssey features becomes unusable if you switch out the speakers (due to factory calibration). This is most likely due to the lack of a calibration mic. Yes, yes, I know... it is a limitation because I bought an HTIB instead of a standalone receiver. Any thoughts on that?
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post #6 of 30 Old 03-03-2012, 08:43 AM
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In your budget range at Newegg, look at the Polk Monitor series for speakers.

As for Audyssey, using the mic with Audyssey 2EQ and MultiEQ enabled receivers allows Audyssey to measure the speakers' response in a room and apply EQ filters, which is very helpful. You don't have those features. Just Audyssey Dyanamic EQ and Volume EQ. If you can live without those features, I wouldn't worry about it.

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post #7 of 30 Old 03-03-2012, 08:57 AM
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And you have a standalone receiver. It's just a bottom barrel one. Stick with your receiver for now since you're on a tight budget and it being spent on speakers will give you the biggest bang for the buck at the moment. And after you build up your speakers you can upgrade to a better receiver if that's what you want.
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post #8 of 30 Old 03-03-2012, 09:09 AM
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+1

Upgrade all your speakers and the sub before worrying about a new receiver

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post #9 of 30 Old 03-03-2012, 09:09 AM
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a suggestion for lcr $200 budget

a pair of bic fh65 b fronts $95 on amazon

bic fh6 center $119

then you can add a bic f-12 sub later just a suggestion

edit** sorry the bic fh65 are$95 for single speaker my mistake

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #10 of 30 Old 03-03-2012, 10:11 AM
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I had the onkyo ht-s3300 same thing basically just yours is a year newer. I upgraded to bic acoustech speakers worked just fine , then i replaced the receiver as well .
your receiver that you have should be fine unless you want to replace your sub which then you will need a new receiver
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post #11 of 30 Old 03-03-2012, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

In your budget range at Newegg, look at the Polk Monitor series for speakers.

As for Audyssey, using the mic with Audyssey 2EQ and MultiEQ enabled receivers allows Audyssey to measure the speakers' response in a room and apply EQ filters, which is very helpful. You don't have those features. Just Audyssey Dyanamic EQ and Volume EQ. If you can live without those features, I wouldn't worry about it.

Per your suggestion, I've been researching the Polk Monitor series. Am I correct to understand the following?

1. I know that my entry-grade receiver only has Audyssey loudness correction (not a true mic-based calibration system). Even if I switch out the speakers, the loudness correction will still work properly? I have it set to "Low" and it makes a world of a difference vs. having it off.

2. Because the Polks have a larger driver (5 1/4" vs the Onkyo's 3" driver), this allows the cones to produce a crisper, less muffled midrange?

3. The Polks have tweeters, whereas I think the Onkyo's do not...not 100% positive though. Am I correct to understand that having tweeters is important for the high range stuff?

4. The Polks are listed with an impedance of 8ohms whereas my Onkyo's are 6ohms. Is it OK for me to go from 6 to 8? Does this have any affect on actual sound quality or is it simply an electrical design thing?

5. The Polks only go down to 47Hz, whereas my Onkyo's are rated to handle frequencies up to 80Hz. My crossover is already set to Low. Should I not be concerned since my subwoofer is more than adequate at reproducing low range, and that I am more concerned with the mid's and high's?

Thanks again to everyone!
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post #12 of 30 Old 03-05-2012, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

Per your suggestion, I've been researching the Polk Monitor series. Am I correct to understand the following?

1. I know that my entry-grade receiver only has Audyssey loudness correction (not a true mic-based calibration system). Even if I switch out the speakers, the loudness correction will still work properly? I have it set to "Low" and it makes a world of a difference vs. having it off.

2. Because the Polks have a larger driver (5 1/4" vs the Onkyo's 3" driver), this allows the cones to produce a crisper, less muffled midrange?

3. The Polks have tweeters, whereas I think the Onkyo's do not...not 100% positive though. Am I correct to understand that having tweeters is important for the high range stuff?

4. The Polks are listed with an impedance of 8ohms whereas my Onkyo's are 6ohms. Is it OK for me to go from 6 to 8? Does this have any affect on actual sound quality or is it simply an electrical design thing?

5. The Polks only go down to 47Hz, whereas my Onkyo's are rated to handle frequencies up to 80Hz. My crossover is already set to Low. Should I not be concerned since my subwoofer is more than adequate at reproducing low range, and that I am more concerned with the mid's and high's?

Thanks again to everyone!

Anyone?
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post #13 of 30 Old 03-05-2012, 11:27 AM
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Don't see any reason why loudness correction wouldn't still work your receiver doesn't know you switched brand on speakers. Yeah the bigger driver means a fuller sound than your current onkyo's, and tweeters handle the highs. 6ohm receiver with 8 ohm speakers is fine. You're actually making it easier on the receiver running those speakers. Only time you really need to be concerned with 4-6-8 ohm speakers on a non matching ohm receiver is with 4 ohm speakers on a non 4 ohm receiver. Even then there are some receivers that can run those. I find it astonishing if your onkyo's don't have tweeters, but anything is possible I guess. You're onkyo's probably have gaps in the midrange currently. You will notice the difference with the polks. Your all around sound should be much much better
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post #14 of 30 Old 03-05-2012, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khankewycz View Post

Don't see any reason why loudness correction wouldn't still work your receiver doesn't know you switched brand on speakers. Yeah the bigger driver means a fuller sound than your current onkyo's, and tweeters handle the highs. 6ohm receiver with 8 ohm speakers is fine. You're actually making it easier on the receiver running those speakers. Only time you really need to be concerned with 4-6-8 ohm speakers on a non matching ohm receiver is with 4 ohm speakers on a non 4 ohm receiver. Even then there are some receivers that can run those. I find it astonishing if your onkyo's don't have tweeters, but anything is possible I guess. You're onkyo's probably have gaps in the midrange currently. You will notice the difference with the polks. Your all around sound should be much much better

Awesome - thanks for the reply!

If I were to keep my Onkyo 6ohm rears but switch to the 8ohm Polks for the fronts, will that mess with the loudness correction?

Again, my entry-level receiver's Audyssey is not based on mic-calibration. Instead, it's factory calibrated to match the Onkyo speakers that come with the set. Admittingly, I do enjoy how Audyssey loudness correction makes the sound "come alive" and would love if this feature can be used with the new higher-end Polk speakers.
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post #15 of 30 Old 03-05-2012, 02:23 PM
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A lot of people express their displeasure with Bose satellite systems for this very reason...the lack of tweeters in a speaker limits the range that the speaker can "express". So the Polk speakers not only have bigger drivers to get more range, but have tweeters that are designed to "express" high freq sounds will further improve the range of the speaker.
I own the polk M40s and they sound good, You might consider the M30s, them move them to the surround position when you upgrade again (and maybe get a set of M60s or 70s, with matching center of course).

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #16 of 30 Old 03-05-2012, 03:36 PM
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I have no experiance with the onkyo loudness correction. I doubt it will only work with the packaged speakers I'm not sure how it would. So again I can't say for sure if the 6ohm rear vs 8ohm fronts would work with that feature with good results. But I'm betting loudness correction or not you will notice a huge difference between front and rear sound. But thats because of the speakers themselves, not the ohm ratings. I look at it like this even without loudness correction the polks will be miles superior.
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post #17 of 30 Old 03-05-2012, 05:33 PM
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The biggest problem with your surrounds is the low sensitivity. They are 80db speakers while the Monitor 40's are 89db. So it takes a whole lot more power to drive your Onkyo surrounds. The 6ohm vs 8ohms is minor compared to the sensitivity difference.

Just by upgrading all your speakers you'll notice a huge performance increase from your receiver.

I think you can still send test tones and manually adjust each channel level with that receiver. It would help if you got a SPL meter though.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/7-Range-Soun...item231a859936

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post #18 of 30 Old 03-05-2012, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

For owners or those familiar with the Onkyo HT-S3400, has anyone tried to upgrade the speakers that come in this HTIB?

The HT-S3400 is the first 5.1 surround sound that I've ever owned. It IS a wonderful set, and it has allowed me to learn more about the nuances and intricacies of home theater audio. With that said, the novelty has worn off and I have noticed that the speakers do sound a little "muffled" (indicative of mediocre mid-range?).

Has anyone attempted to replace any or all of the speakers? If so, what would you recommend and why? I have been seeing a slew of quality deals for bookshelf, floor standing, etc. speakers from the likes of Polk Audio and Martin Logan, so it's tempting to pull the trigger on upgrading.

Also, am I correct to assume that I need to find speakers with the same impudence and ohms rating? This area is still new and confusing for me.

The passive subwoofer is more than adequate for my needs, so no need to replace that.

(For those who don't know, the HT-S3400 HTIB is actually a standalone Onkyo receiver bundled with speaker wires and a speaker/subwoofer set).

the pioneers at new egg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882117403

the whole 7.0 set is $270 after discount
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post #19 of 30 Old 03-06-2012, 12:36 AM
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Parts Express B652's. Currently at $39/pr. Amazing sound for the money, or a whole lot more. Do a search, there are a number of reviews out there.
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post #20 of 30 Old 03-06-2012, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Parts Express B652's. Currently at $39/pr. Amazing sound for the money, or a whole lot more. Do a search, there are a number of reviews out there.

WOW, the B652's look intriguing, especially at that price point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by khankewycz View Post

I have no experiance with the onkyo loudness correction. I doubt it will only work with the packaged speakers I'm not sure how it would. So again I can't say for sure if the 6ohm rear vs 8ohm fronts would work with that feature with good results. But I'm betting loudness correction or not you will notice a huge difference between front and rear sound. But thats because of the speakers themselves, not the ohm ratings. I look at it like this even without loudness correction the polks will be miles superior.

I was mistaken about the Audyssey being Loudness Correction. The feature that is pleasing to my ears is called "Audyssey Dynamic EQ" and many HT-S3400 users have the setting at "Low" and it sounds amazing. Will buying new speakers destroy the Audyssey Dynamic EQ?

I tend to listen to movies/games at a lower volume. That's why the Dynamic EQ is important and having speakers that are clear in the mid's/high's are important (instead of room rattling bass).
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post #21 of 30 Old 03-06-2012, 08:46 AM
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You will be fine. If for some reason it doesn't work(it should) you can just go with what afrog is saying and adjust them that way. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

Afrog is also right about the sensitivity.

The b652's are nice but don't be mistaken. They are still $30 speakers. Would I build a surround system out of them if you can afford the polks? nope. But for cheap surrounds they're better than the onkyo's for now.
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post #22 of 30 Old 03-25-2012, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a new dilemma...

So I was looking at those sweet Polk speakers, but they are physically too damn big. I have a small'ish living room with a small'ish entertainment center. For example, I'd have to wall-mount my TV in order to accommodate the depth of these Polk speakers.

Alternatively, I've stumbled upon other speakers that have similar physical dimensions, but nothing seems to fit the bill. For example, Energy has a similar-sized set (can't remember the model) but I'd downgrade from a 3.25" dome to 2.5", but gain a 1" tweeter.

Am I chasing a ghost or are there higher quality speakers in a small'ish dimension?

FYI - I'm not a crazy audiophile, but I do notice that my Onkyo speakers have a slightly "muffled" sound to them, and the Onkyo speakers don't have a tweeter for high's.
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post #23 of 30 Old 03-25-2012, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

I have a new dilemma...

So I was looking at those sweet Polk speakers, but they are physically too damn big. I have a small'ish living room with a small'ish entertainment center. For example, I'd have to wall-mount my TV in order to accommodate the depth of these Polk speakers.

Alternatively, I've stumbled upon other speakers that have similar physical dimensions, but nothing seems to fit the bill. For example, Energy has a similar-sized set (can't remember the model) but I'd downgrade from a 3.25" dome to 2.5", but gain a 1" tweeter.

Am I chasing a ghost or are there higher quality speakers in a small'ish dimension?

FYI - I'm not a crazy audiophile, but I do notice that my Onkyo speakers have a slightly "muffled" sound to them, and the Onkyo speakers don't have a tweeter for high's.

Unfortunately, tiny little speakers mean tiny little sound.
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post #24 of 30 Old 03-25-2012, 08:48 AM
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NHT SuperZeros Mini Monitors have 4.5" drivers. A little more expensive than you might have originally planned, but would they fit?

Also, what are the dimensions of your space for the front L/R and center?

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post #25 of 30 Old 05-19-2012, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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So after an extra few months of using the HT-S3400 and "learning" more about home audio, I have a better grasp on the system's limitations and now have the itch to upgrade again.

Question: The HT-S3400 speakers all feature a 1x3.25" woofer with no tweeter. Is it a downgrade if I were to go with speakers that feature TWO 2.5" woofer + one .5" tweeter?

Example: Polk Audio RM85 - these speakers are physically smaller but HT gurus say that size doesn't necessarily correlate with audio quality.

Space is still a constraint. The Polk Monitor 40's are very desirable BUT because of physical their size vs. the space of my Entertainment Center, it actually covers up the corners of my television (even after I wall-mount it). If I mount my television any higher to avoid the blockage, the TV is going to look funny IMO.

Here is a picture of my living before I received the HT-S3400 over Christmas. The front speakers all sit on the top shelf with the TV. When wall-mounted, the TV will be vertically centered between the 2nd and 3rd level shelves.



Thoughts?
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post #26 of 30 Old 05-19-2012, 04:25 PM
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[quote=cel4145;21824914]NHT SuperZeros Mini Monitors have 4.5" drivers. A little more expensive than you might have originally planned, but would they fit?



i don't know what your budget is now but the nht superzeros listed back in march would be great fit.

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #27 of 30 Old 05-19-2012, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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[quote=smasher50;22041917]
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

NHT SuperZeros Mini Monitors have 4.5" drivers. A little more expensive than you might have originally planned, but would they fit?

i don't know what your budget is now but the nht superzeros listed back in march would be great fit.

WOW, I overlooked those - they DO fit and they DO look awesome. 4.5" woofer with 1" tweeter in a 9" high, 5" wide, 5" deep enclosure. The reviews all seem very positive too!!

Question 1: Can I set the SuperZero 2.0 Center speaker on its side? If not, I must admit that a vertical center speaker is aesthetically awkward, but it could also be years of marketing drilled into my head.

Question 2: My receiver's Crossover is set at 120hz. If I were to get these SuperZero 2.0's for the front stage (while moving my HT-S3400 fronts to the rears).

Question 3: Should I be concerned with mixing speaker impedance? The HT-S3400 rears are 6ohm, while the SuperZero 2.0's are 8ohm.

Question 4: Are there any other setups similar to the SuperZero 2.0 that I should consider? I'm the type that researches into all alternative options before I pull the trigger.
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post #28 of 30 Old 05-19-2012, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

WOW, the B652's look intriguing, especially at that price point!

B652s may sound better as surrounds than your Onkyo front speakers, but if the latter will suffice in that role for a while, then perhaps you could wait a while, learn more along the way through experience, and then decide when and how to upgrade your surrounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

I was mistaken about the Audyssey being Loudness Correction. The feature that is pleasing to my ears is called "Audyssey Dynamic EQ" and many HT-S3400 users have the setting at "Low" and it sounds amazing. Will buying new speakers destroy the Audyssey Dynamic EQ?

Unfortunately, I believe that the Dynamic EQ function only works in conjunction with the room correction function, so if you can't use the latter, then you can't use the former. On the other hand, you could still try it to see how it sounds for low-volume listening (who knows?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

I tend to listen to movies/games at a lower volume. That's why the Dynamic EQ is important and having speakers that are clear in the mid's/high's are important (instead of room rattling bass).

I can't guarantee anything, but I believe that superior speakers should more than compensate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

Alternatively, I've stumbled upon other speakers that have similar physical dimensions, but nothing seems to fit the bill. For example, Energy has a similar-sized set (can't remember the model) but I'd downgrade from a 3.25" dome to 2.5", but gain a 1" tweeter.

Am I chasing a ghost or are there higher quality speakers in a small'ish dimension?

There certainly are, and they'll sound a lot clearer, more detailed, and more "transparent" (i.e. can't tell that the sound is coming from a speaker as much), but small size still limits their capabilities. Then again, since you tend to listen at low volumes, maybe it doesn't matter as much. I still prefer to be able to cross over the subwoofer at 80 Hz, however, and most tiny "satellite" speakers, even high quality ones, don't do this well, leaving it up to the subwoofer to handle some directional sounds (should be coming from another direction and you can tell something is amiss) and even some of the dialogue, which tends to sound bad (especially with a low-end subwoofer, of course).

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Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

So after an extra few months of using the HT-S3400 and "learning" more about home audio, I have a better grasp on the system's limitations and now have the itch to upgrade again.

Is your budget for the front speakers still $200, or has it "itched" up any since then?

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Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

Question: The HT-S3400 speakers all feature a 1x3.25" woofer with no tweeter. Is it a downgrade if I were to go with speakers that feature TWO 2.5" woofer + one .5" tweeter?

Example: Polk Audio RM85 - these speakers are physically smaller but HT gurus say that size doesn't necessarily correlate with audio quality.

In overall sound quality this would hardly be a downgrade, but these are still rather small speakers that are limited in their bass capability (even upper bass). In this example, you'd actually have to raise your subwoofer crossover to 140 or 150 Hz. Some people may not mind, but I for one find anything over 100 Hz a major compromise, especially with a low-end sub, and I prefer 80 Hz or lower because for all practical purposes it keeps deep voices out of the sub.

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Space is still a constraint. The Polk Monitor 40's are very desirable BUT because of physical their size vs. the space of my Entertainment Center, it actually covers up the corners of my television (even after I wall-mount it). If I mount my television any higher to avoid the blockage, the TV is going to look funny IMO.

Wouldn't looking way upward be kind of annoying, too? Anyway, could you accommodate the shorter Polk Audio Monitor 30 and CS1? The total cost is $180 right now at Newegg.com.

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Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

WOW, I overlooked those - they DO fit and they DO look awesome. 4.5" woofer with 1" tweeter in a 9" high, 5" wide, 5" deep enclosure. The reviews all seem very positive too!!

These are great-sounding speakers (like all NHTs), but they're still rather light on bass. If $300 is alright with you, these will sound better than the Polks, in my opinion. They're well balanced in tone overall (bass output notwithstanding), albeit a bit "polite" in the way of dynamics. Given the choice, I'd take them over the other options listed thus far.

Among small speakers, one that I like even more, though, is the Ascend Acoustics HTM-200 SE. It's only a couple of inches taller than the SuperZero 2.0, and about an inch larger in both width and depth, but it has two 4" woofers, which gives it decent bass capability that holds up well in a medium-sized room at moderate volumes--you can even cross it over to the sub at the THX-recommended (and personally-recommended, for whatever that might be worth ) 80 Hz, no problem. It also sounds at least as good as the SuperZero--very detailed yet smooth in the midrange and treble, with clean bass. A set of three for the front costs $464, which is obviously significantly more than your original budget, but I thought I'd bring it up anyway because it's a relatively "big" speaker in a relatively small package (more future-proof if you ever decide to start playing them louder).

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Question 1: Can I set the SuperZero 2.0 Center speaker on its side?

I imagine that you could, but like the vast majority of speakers of this basic configuration (tweeter over midwoofer), it probably has wider, more symmetrical horizontal dispersion (important for a center speaker) when oriented vertically as intended.

The HTM-200 SE, by the way, actually works best as a center when oriented horizontally, as its close-set midwoofers and offset tweeter effectively make it a tweeter-over-midwoofer (or "T/M" as I like to call it) speaker in that orientation. The left & right front speakers can also be oriented horizontally if you wish, or vertically if you prefer (in which case there is a specific left and a specific right speaker, mirror-imaged).

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Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

If not, I must admit that a vertical center speaker is aesthetically awkward, but it could also be years of marketing drilled into my head.

Maybe I'm biased myself because I've been using a vertically-oriented center speaker for the past several years, I'm not sure, but I do think there is a bias against them based on precedence (or marketing). OK, I get that it's not as aesthetically harmonious with the wider-than-tall TV, but on the other hand it goes very well with vertically-oriented left & right speakers, which is another way of looking at it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

Question 2: My receiver's Crossover is set at 120hz. If I were to get these SuperZero 2.0's for the front stage (while moving my HT-S3400 fronts to the rears).

I think you forgot to ask the question. At low volumes you could probably go as low as 90-100 Hz, but reportedly the SuperZero 2.0's bass output "runs out of gas" pretty quick. Its specifications say that it is -3 dB at 85 Hz, and I'm not questioning the measurement, but specifications alone don't always tell us everything about what a speaker can and can't do under actual use. Being close to a wall, as in your case, should help though.

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Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

Question 3: Should I be concerned with mixing speaker impedance? The HT-S3400 rears are 6ohm, while the SuperZero 2.0's are 8ohm.

Nope, not at all.

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Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

Question 4: Are there any other setups similar to the SuperZero 2.0 that I should consider? I'm the type that researches into all alternative options before I pull the trigger.

So am I. There certainly are other options, but it depends on what your budget is now (if it has changed over the past couple of months), as well as how large a speaker you can or would be willing to accommodate. Sticking with the criteria I've seen so far, here are a couple of other options worth considering:

Cambridge Audio S30 - Sold only in pairs for $220, people really seem to love this speaker. At low-to-moderate volumes, there is no issue with bass on this thing, despite the small midwoofer (reportedly very punchy for a small speaker). I haven't heard it myself, but based on anecdotes I don't expect it to sound as detailed or refined as the SuperZero 2.0 or HTM-200 SE, but it has certain qualities that have earned it quite a following. The center speaker that is supposed to go with it does not seem as impressive and it costs a lot more, so it would actually be a better deal to buy two pairs ($440 total) and sell the extra speaker, or use it for some other purpose (e.g. save it for surround use in the distant future if you ever have a bigger 7.1 system, or use it as a back speaker in a 6.1 configuration).

RBH AC-51 - Long discontinued, a few new pairs are still available here at a steep discount. The intended center speaker has a weird design, so as with the S30 (for different reasons) I'd recommend avoiding it. I don't know how this speaker sounds, but it comes from a reputable manufacturer and it's an MSRP $299/pair speaker going for $91/pair, so it probably sounds darn good for the money.
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post #29 of 30 Old 06-06-2012, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I've narrowed it down. The NHT Absolute Zeros look AWESOME.

People also praise the Martin Logan MLT-2, which occassionally goes on sale for $300 at Newegg. The physical dimensions are really attractive and although the mid-woofer isn't as large (4.5" vs 5.25" in the AbsoluteZeros), both feature a 1" tweeter. The MLT-2 is also "satellite" which theoretically cannot achieve the same quality of sound as a bookshelf. I'd also have to buy the speakers individually or buy the set and sell the Subwoofer since my receiver (from the HT-S3400) only takes in a Passive Subwoofer.

Any thoughts on how the MLT-2 stacks up against Absolute Zeros?

(Thank you to all for your responses - especially Robert Cook! This has been quite the learning experience! eek.gif)
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post #30 of 30 Old 06-06-2012, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

I think I've narrowed it down. The NHT Absolute Zeros look AWESOME.
People also praise the Martin Logan MLT-2, which occassionally goes on sale for $300 at Newegg. The physical dimensions are really attractive and although the mid-woofer isn't as large (4.5" vs 5.25" in the AbsoluteZeros), both feature a 1" tweeter. The MLT-2 is also "satellite" which theoretically cannot achieve the same quality of sound as a bookshelf. I'd also have to buy the speakers individually or buy the set and sell the Subwoofer since my receiver (from the HT-S3400) only takes in a Passive Subwoofer.
Any thoughts on how the MLT-2 stacks up against Absolute Zeros?

With the NHT, you can have a stronger and more productive center channel. Also, bigger drivers can throw a better radiation pattern.
The NHT is a solid choice - the midrange and treble, is really nice.

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