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post #1 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Let me preface this with thank you all for your help, I know there are dozens of these threads created daily. I'm looking to set up what will be a dedicated theater room in the house I just bought, and all I have right now is a subwoofer (Outlaw LFM-1 plus). The room is a finished attic, vaulted ceilings going up to 9', and about 16x22. Three walls are completely closed off, the other is somewhat open to the stairwell. I have pre-wired the room for 7.2 (going to buy another Outlaw eventually), but now need to pull the trigger on speakers and an AVR.

Specs:
$2000 budget for 7 speakers and AVR
16x22x9 vaulted ceiling room


Here's my wants/needs:
I need 7.1, 7.2 would be a bonus but at this point wouldn't be used.
I want Audyssey MultiEQ XT
I need wall mountable speakers for the surround and surround rears (haven't bought mounts yet)
I need either wall mountable or towers for the front sound stage
I need at least 4 HDMI inputs
I don't need analog inputs/outputs
I need a networked AVR
I want Airplay compatibility
I want to do the entire system now, but if absolutely necessary I will do 5 speakers if $2000 really isn't enough for 7.
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post #2 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 06:37 AM
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Denon 2112: $400

Ascend CMT-340 L/C/R
Ascend CBM-170 surround and back surround
Package from Ascend for $1490

Total $1890
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post #3 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 06:42 AM
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If it were me, I would look to spend $500 on the AVR (or even a little less), and put the rest into the speakers. That would cover your "needs", but would specifically exclude the "want" of XT 32. The Onkyo 818 would fit the bill, but would cost about $1,000.

If you are ok with MultEq XT, there are some good deals on the Denon 2112 and 2312 (both at or under $500), and that would open up some other speaker options.
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post #4 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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First off, I forgot to mention the uses of these speakers... They'll be probably used 60% movies, 30% games, 10% music
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnythan View Post

Denon 2112: $400
Ascend CMT-340 L/C/R
Ascend CBM-170 surround and back surround
Package from Ascend for $1490
Total $1890

That package looks great, definitely a contender. Are they more musical speakers or better for HT? I've never looked at Ascend before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by guns&motorcycles View Post

If it were me, I would look to spend $500 on the AVR (or even a little less), and put the rest into the speakers. That would cover your "needs", but would specifically exclude the "want" of XT 32. The Onkyo 818 would fit the bill, but would cost about $1,000.
If you are ok with MultEq XT, there are some good deals on the Denon 2112 and 2312 (both at or under $500), and that would open up some other speaker options.


I'm still on the fence about XT32, but I might be able to deal with just XT. Another option is I have an Onkyo SR806 that I can use (was going to sell), but I will just need to find another way to do the networking features. Would expanding my speaker budget to $1900 (probably $100 for an appleTV) greatly expand my options?
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post #5 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 07:10 AM
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The Ascends are fantastically neutral speakers with good dynamics that should excel at pretty much anything.

What in XT32 is it that really attracts you?
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post #6 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnythan View Post

The Ascends are fantastically neutral speakers with good dynamics that should excel at pretty much anything.
What in XT32 is it that really attracts you?

My biggest draw to it is it's multi-sub tuning ability, but it's not something I would be using right away. The 2112 has XT, right?
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post #7 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 07:14 AM
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Yeah, XT. You need to pay a lot more money to go from XT to XT32. With your budget that doesn't seem like the best idea.
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post #8 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 07:21 AM
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If you have an Onkyo 806, wouldn't you be able to use that along with an Apple TV? That would spare a couple hundred dollars for speakers.

Three sets of Paradigm Mini Monitors and the matching center would get you a system that (I think) would work very well for a home theater system. The Mini Monitors are $560/pair, and the center is about $400 (I think). You might be able to get a slightly better deal if you ask your dealer nicely. They have a lot of 'impact' so they're good for home theater (in my opinion), but perhaps a bit bright for music - that said, having identical speakers all around should do pretty well for multichannel music (if you have any).

The Atoms are one size smaller and might be easier to wall mount than the Mini Monitors, though you'll get better bass out of the Mini Monitors (can cross over your Outlaw a bit lower).
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post #9 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 07:26 AM
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You should definitely try calling around to the online retailers because I am also looking to build a home theater setup soon and I have been calling around and they will work with you on the phone with the pricing on items. Vann's is good because it is free shipping and no sales tax to all lower 48 states, considering you are from the U.S.

I have been looking at several speaker options with around the same budget. You should check out the Klipsch RF-82 Series II front towers with the matching center and surrounds. Or even check out the KEF iQ90's as fronts because they are pretty reasonably priced now.

Hope this helps some.
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post #10 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 07:32 AM
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The RF-82 and iQ90 are about $500 each.

A receiver with XT32 and a pair of RF-82s would consume his entire budget.
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post #11 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 07:38 AM
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Most will quote around $450 for each Klipsch and you can get the KEF iQ90's for around $350 each. But after doing the math this is true about the total, unless you start with just the front stage and a receiver that does not have the XT32 option. I know you can get the 2112 and 2312 Denon receivers for pretty good prices right now.

I beleive the Klipsch RF-62 Series II would also be a great speaker, just based on the reviews I have read and from the people I have talked to. Also movie theaters will have Klipsch speakers, just to give you an idea.
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post #12 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVMan1414 View Post

Most will quote around $450 for each Klipsch and you can get the KEF iQ90's for around $350 each. But after doing the math this is true about the total, unless you start with just the front stage and a receiver that does not have the XT32 option. I know you can get the 2112 and 2312 Denon receivers for pretty good prices right now.
The Klipsch RF-62 Series II speakers are also a great option!

I'm scrapping my XT32 dream, it's apparent that I can't really get my full speaker set (or anywhere close) and XT32, so I'll edit my original post.
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post #13 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profanitypete View Post

Let me preface this with thank you all for your help, I know there are dozens of these threads created daily. I'm looking to set up what will be a dedicated theater room in the house I just bought, and all I have right now is a subwoofer (Outlaw LFM-1 plus). The room is a finished attic, vaulted ceilings going up to 9', and about 16x22. Three walls are completely closed off, the other is somewhat open to the stairwell. I have pre-wired the room for 7.2 (going to buy another Outlaw eventually), but now need to pull the trigger on speakers and an AVR.
Specs:
$2000 budget for 7 speakers and AVR
16x22x9 vaulted ceiling room
Here's my wants/needs:
I need 7.1, 7.2 would be a bonus but at this point wouldn't be used.
I want Audyssey MultiEQ XT32
I need wall mountable speakers for the surround and surround rears (haven't bought mounts yet)
I need either wall mountable or towers for the front sound stage
I need at least 4 HDMI inputs
I don't need analog inputs/outputs
I need a networked AVR
I want Airplay compatibility
I want to do the entire system now, but if absolutely necessary I will do 5 speakers if $2000 really isn't enough for 7.

For HT I would start off with 5.1. You could look at Klipsch RF-62's for mains, RC-522 for center,RS-42 for surrounds and a SW-110 for sub. For AVR, you could look at Denon 2113. If we can help you with selection, shoot us an email.

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post #14 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 08:03 AM
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I know its kind of out of your price range but the Definitive Technology 8040ST are also great speakers, if you ever find them at a lower price!
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post #15 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVMan1414 View Post

I know its kind of out of your price range but the Definitive Technology 8040ST are also great speakers, if you ever find them at a lower price!

I actually have 2 of these in my living room along with the center, and absolutely love it. If I could swing it to get at least a 5.0 for under $2k where the fronts wouldn't completely overpower the surrounds, I would probably jump on it.
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post #16 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 08:40 AM
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So why don't you just use the Def Tech 8040's in the theater room and build on those? Also I have not owned any Def Tech speakers but I listened to the 8040ST and they sounded really good and even have the built in subwoofer. I am actually trying to decide if I want to purchase them as my fronts.

Any input is highly appreciated.
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post #17 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guns&motorcycles View Post

If it were me, I would look to spend $500 on the AVR (or even a little less), and put the rest into the speakers.

+1 - even at that, only leaves you $200 per speaker (granted, LCR could be a bigger part of the speaker budget) - I managed to shoehorn myself just under that same budget with a Pioneer 1120K + 7x B stock Chase Home Theater speakers.
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post #18 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profanitypete View Post

Let me preface this with thank you all for your help, I know there are dozens of these threads created daily. I'm looking to set up what will be a dedicated theater room in the house I just bought, and all I have right now is a subwoofer (Outlaw LFM-1 plus). The room is a finished attic, vaulted ceilings going up to 9', and about 16x22. Three walls are completely closed off, the other is somewhat open to the stairwell. I have pre-wired the room for 7.2 (going to buy another Outlaw eventually), but now need to pull the trigger on speakers and an AVR.
Specs:
$2000 budget for 7 speakers and AVR
16x22x9 vaulted ceiling room
Here's my wants/needs:
I need 7.1, 7.2 would be a bonus but at this point wouldn't be used.
I want Audyssey MultiEQ XT
I need wall mountable speakers for the surround and surround rears (haven't bought mounts yet)
I need either wall mountable or towers for the front sound stage
I need at least 4 HDMI inputs
I don't need analog inputs/outputs
I need a networked AVR
I want Airplay compatibility
I want to do the entire system now, but if absolutely necessary I will do 5 speakers if $2000 really isn't enough for 7.

I didn't want to start a new thread but I'm in a similar budget situation but I'm looking to do a 5.1 in my townhome living room. Because of the small size of the room I'm looking to do in-wall speakers. So far I'm looking at: smile.gif
Front/Rear LR: Speakercraft MTTWO or B&W CCM664
Center: unsure
Sub: Maybe DefTech ProSub 800
Receiver: Denon 3312ci for about $650 or Pioneer Elite SC-55 for $900

I realize the receiver options/wants will take me over budget but the sound reproduction on the SC-55 won me over. I haven't heard the Denon yet.

I'd appreciate your opinions! Thanks!

UPDATE: Listened to the Denon 3312ci earlier this afternoon, loved it! I think it may offer the most bang for my buck especially with EE offering it for $628 plus shipping right now.
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post #19 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 10:00 AM
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I would do just 5.1 and free up some cash for either better AVR or better sub or speakers. All the surround speakers are sidekicks and should cost a lot less than the main front 3 speakers and subwoofer.

If you are doing in-wall speakers, you might also do in-wall non - powered subwoofer.
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post #20 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 10:25 AM
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If you live near an audio/video boutique, consider going in and demo some speakers. Plenty of shops will have speakers+avr to fit your budget.

for HT/gaming I will throw my hat in with Paradigm. The Monitor series is very affordable and does a great job at surround. Should be able to get a 5.1 for around 1100 and probably jump up to 7.1 with room for a good AVR.

I can't speak from experience, but I believe the Denons would likely meet your needs for a receiver. If you haven't take some time to browse audigon and see what people have for sale. Always good deals to find.

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post #21 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I just tested out some Def Techs (again) at Magnolia... I absolutely love these speakers, but I'm wondering if it would be worth it to upgrade to 8040 towers, then get 2 pairs of their bipolar surround speakers, the 8040 center, and eat ramen for a couple months.... It wouldn't be that bad but that's a BIG jump in price from the Paradigms... any input? The setup new would run me about $3100 + tax, unless I could cut a deal with someone.
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post #22 of 49 Old 06-13-2012, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVMan1414 View Post

So why don't you just use the Def Tech 8040's in the theater room and build on those? Also I have not owned any Def Tech speakers but I listened to the 8040ST and they sounded really good and even have the built in subwoofer. I am actually trying to decide if I want to purchase them as my fronts.
Any input is highly appreciated.

I am not a fan of speakers with built in subs. You are locked in on speaker location due to imaging requirements and that locks in the sub at a location that may not be best for bass. Also the bass in any of these tower speakers with built in subs is not going to be as good was what you can get out of a dedicated sub. The bass from the built in subs, usually does not go low enough to suit me, requiring a dedicated sub and if you have to purchase a dedicated sub, then what do you do:

A Run those large tower speakers as small wasting the subs in the towers?
B Run them as large and miss out on some of the lower frequencies that the towers can't reproduce.

Neither seems like a great choice to me.

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post #23 of 49 Old 06-14-2012, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnythan View Post

Denon 2112: $400
Ascend CMT-340 L/C/R
Ascend CBM-170 surround and back surround
Package from Ascend for $1490
Total $1890

Johnny (and everyone else)
I'm really leaning towards Ascend, they look like great speakers. First off, do you see the upgrade from Audyssey Dynamic EQ (Onkyo SR806) to MultiEQ XT worth it? Or would the $400 on the Denon receiver be better spent on an Apple TV and $300 towards speakers?

Secondly, would having the CMT-340 pairs as surrounds and back surrrounds overpower everything? Or would upgrading to Sierra-1s for LCR and 170s (or 340s if I could squeeze it) for the surrounds be a better use of that money?I'm trying to think of what upgrades I could do to get me closer to $2000 (assuming I don't get the Denon).
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post #24 of 49 Old 06-14-2012, 10:46 AM
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The 806 has MultEQ. The 2112 has MultEQ XT. XT has 8x the filter resolution for the speakers. I don't think it's really that big of an upgrade over MultEQ. MultEQ is a big upgrade over 2EQ though. The Denon adds HDMI 1.4 and 3D compatibility, as well as networking.

I'm not sure what you want to do with networking specifically, but the AppleTV may not meet your needs. You could look at a Roku or Squeezebox or something too.

No reason 340s in the back would "overpower" anything. WIth proper calibration a 340 will be putting out the exact same SPL has a 200 or 170. I don't think there's any reason to spend the extra money to have 340s in the back though. By the time you get stands, mounts, and cables you'll be hitting your $2000 mark anyway wink.gif
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post #25 of 49 Old 06-14-2012, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Would the extra money of getting Sierra-1s in the front and 170s for the other four be worth it do you think? That still puts me at $1820 shipped, + $100 for stands and I'm still under budget. The unfortunate thing with these is that I can't demo them, but they do have a 30 day return policy... Trying to maximize my quality with using all my budget. I'm not worried about wall mounts or cable, already hard-wired the room for 7.1 and I budgeted extra for wall mounts for the back 4.
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post #26 of 49 Old 06-14-2012, 11:00 AM
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I would do that in a heartbeat, yes. I didn't recommend them initially because they leave no room in the budget for a receiver.

Everything I've heard about the Sierra-1s has been unabashedly positive. They are, by all accounts, extraordinary.
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post #27 of 49 Old 06-14-2012, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profanitypete View Post

Secondly, would having the CMT-340 pairs as surrounds and back surrrounds overpower everything?

Not as long as they're properly calibrated, as any speaker should be, although many would consider them overkill for this role. The HTM-200 SE is generally considered sufficient for the surrounds, although there should be no harm in using CBM-170 SEs instead (I do, and there are times, albeit rare, when I can notice that they're bigger speakers). If you want to use the CMT-340 SE, then go right on ahead--I'm just saying that it's probably unnecessary.
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Or would upgrading to Sierra-1s for LCR and 170s (or 340s if I could squeeze it) for the surrounds be a better use of that money?I'm trying to think of what upgrades I could do to get me closer to $2000 (assuming I don't get the Denon).

The 340s are bigger, more efficient speakers that would be better as fronts if you intend to play them relatively loudly, while the Sierra-1 is a bit more refined for critical music listening. Not that the Sierra-1 couldn't play loudly even in a room of this size (it certainly could, although it requires more power and will compress sooner at loud volumes), or that the 340 is not great for music, but the differences are a matter of degree, and what is most optimal depends on their intended use and the personal priorities of the owner.
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Would the extra money of getting Sierra-1s in the front and 170s for the other four be worth it do you think?

If you intend to listen at moderate volumes and want the best sound quality for your budget, then I'd say yes.
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post #28 of 49 Old 06-14-2012, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Not as long as they're properly calibrated, as any speaker should be, although many would consider them overkill for this role. The HTM-200 SE is generally considered sufficient for the surrounds, although there should be no harm in using CBM-170 SEs instead (I do, and there are times, albeit rare, when I can notice that they're bigger speakers). If you want to use the CMT-340 SE, then go right on ahead--I'm just saying that it's probably unnecessary.
The 340s are bigger, more efficient speakers that would be better as fronts if you intend to play them relatively loudly, while the Sierra-1 is a bit more refined for critical music listening. Not that the Sierra-1 couldn't play loudly even in a room of this size (it certainly could, although it requires more power and will compress sooner at loud volumes), or that the 340 is not great for music, but the differences are a matter of degree, and what is most optimal depends on their intended use and the personal priorities of the owner.

Thank you both for your great feedback, but now you put me in a tough spot :P. Not being able to test either speaker means I have to go solely off of recommendations and personal preferences... and I'm getting both sides. I'm leaning towards saving the money and maybe upgrading either the receiver or getting like a Mac mini or something... The system will not be used for music much, but I am looking for crisp clear sound and a "wow factor" system. I will most likely be one of the few listening to the system that will recognize the audible difference between the speakers, so I think that I will increase the entire experience with other aspects and be able to provide cleaner loud listening.

What differences would I get between the 170s and the 200s? There isn't much of a price difference ($100 for four of them), but if the 200s are more tailored for HT then that's probably a better bet.
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post #29 of 49 Old 06-14-2012, 12:24 PM
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The 200s are smaller and more suited to wall-mounting. They're a lot thinner and don't have ports on the back.
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post #30 of 49 Old 06-14-2012, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profanitypete View Post

Not being able to test either speaker means I have to go solely off of recommendations and personal preferences... and I'm getting both sides. I'm leaning towards saving the money and maybe upgrading either the receiver or getting like a Mac mini or something... The system will not be used for music much, but I am looking for crisp clear sound and a "wow factor" system.

There would be nothing wrong with this, since you're making an informed decision (well, as informed as you can be, given the circumstances), and I'm confident that the 340 will deliver (it's a great speaker for music in its own right).

By the way, will you be using a vertically-oriented center (the 340 in its "mini-tower" configuration), or do you have to use a horizontally-oriented center? If it's the latter, then what will your viewing distance be, and how wide will your seating area be?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnythan View Post

The 200s are smaller and more suited to wall-mounting. They're a lot thinner and don't have ports on the back.

Right, and on the other hand, the 170 is still a bigger speaker, which may occasionally make a difference with bassy surround effects and multichannel music. Most people by far opt for the 200.
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