Tasked to build $2K-$3K 5.1 Home Theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello All,


Story

My Mother and stepfather recently Purchased a newer construction home. They are going to purchase a new flat screen in the upcoming weeks. Once they have the new TV they would like to purchase a 5.1 HT system. They have tasked me with picking it all out for them. My stepfather currently has a Bose 2.1 system that he bought quite a few years ago. He thinks that Bose is the best and I wanted to show him that Bose is not really as good as he thinks it is. He does not know much about speakers even after naming some of the more mainstream brands like Klipcsh and Polk he said he has not heard of them before. I know I cannot disappoint him or I will never hear the end of it for years to come.

Problem

I am a little newer to the HT game, so I would like some advice from anyone who has systems in this range. I read all of the time people giving recommendations on speakers they THINK will be better than another, but cannot confirm because they have not heard them. I can be just as guilty when it comes to being brand biased. That is where I am hoping you guys can help.

Dimensions

15x20 with 9' ceiling. One problem is there are only 3 walls. One side is 100% open to the kitchen.

Budget

No exact budget was given, but I am thinking $2k is a good range and no more than $3k for everything. The AVR will be around $600.

What I had In Mind So far

Although I have not head them, I know everyone raves about HSU subs. No matter what front and center speakers I go with I am thinking of recommending an HSU sub, so I really just need to focus on the rest of the speakers.

Constraints

The only constraints they gave me is that they prefer bookshelf speakers over towers. I would guess they watch more TV than music. Additionally, one thing to mention is that my stepfather is the type that likes the finer things in life and has the money to buy nice things which is why he bought into the Bose hype, so please keep in mind that although the speakers need to sound good they have to look good too if you know what I mean (expensive). I do not think he would be happy with some generic big black box even if it sounded slightly better than say another.

Thanks!

Yamaha RX-V471 (AVR)
Polk Monitor 50 (fronts)
Polk CS1 (center)
Polk OWM3 (surrounds)
Polk DSW pro550wi (sub)

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post #2 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 10:31 AM
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Did they task you or did you interfere and get tasked ?
If the latter my advice is to bow out gracefully and tell them that you have done some more research, changed your opinion about the "new" Bose systems and step father should feel good about getting whichever one he wants.
Then if (and only if) he asks for help hooking it up cheerfully help him without any beeswax about something else would have been better.
Every time you are visiting and it is playing compliment the way it sounds (do not be sarcastic) and spread peace and goodwill to your family.
You can change your friends but you cannot change your family (mother) so there is no need to prove something sounds better than Bose to your step father. keep in mind that Bose sells more systems to satisified customers than any other "higher end" (expensive) manufacturer.
Trust me, this fire is really not worth messing with, its not your money, and unless you are living with them (you need to move out) you won't be the one listening to it so it really should not matter if they buy Bose or not.
Just my $.02 worth of life experience.... and it is probably only worth $.01... but I didn't charge anything for it... so feel free to flush as necessary.

Regards,
Charlie

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post #3 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 11:02 AM
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Aesthetics is extremely important to me as well, just as measurements and sound quality.

Check out the NHT Absolute Zero @ $200 each. They come in both piano gloss black & white.

nht-b000bynp7k.jpg

41Db3FH3wrL._AA300_.jpg

The Absolute Zero’s listening-window response (a five-point average of axial and +/–15-degree horizontal and vertical responses) measures +0.94/–0.82 decibels from 200 hertz to 10 kilohertz. You cannot get any better than that!

Measurements

Add a nice piano gloss subwoofer, and you are good to go!

NHT also offers 30-day free in-home trial. Free shipping to you. And if you are not impressed, you can return with free shipping back to NHT for 100% refund.
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post #4 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 11:03 AM
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Focal 706V fronts
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-41246-focal-chorus-706v-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx
Focal 700V center
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-4927-focal-cc700v-center-speaker.aspx
Focal 705V surrounds
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-41245-focal-chorus-705v-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx

HSU Sub
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk4.html

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Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #5 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 11:04 AM
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Have you considered the Hybrid 3, Hybrid 15, or Ultra 15 packages from HSU Research? They're available in rosenut veneer, which looks pretty good to me, and they're quality speakers that will easily and obviously outperform any Bose 5.1 system in every way. While I personally prefer the other options for sound quality, it doesn't hurt to have additional options since aesthetics are important here.
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post #6 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 11:09 AM
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The NHTs are pretty cool speakers. Another option is the Infinity P163. $3k should get you a very decent system.
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post #7 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 11:39 AM
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You should also consider the Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1:

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/SRM1/srm1.html
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/SRM1C/srm1c.html

These are really nice speakers. A 5.0 set costs $1930 to $2170, depending on the finish option. Just add the HSU subwoofer of your choice--the VTF-3 MK4 should suffice in a room of that size.
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post #8 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 11:45 AM
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Here you go,

Monitor Audio RX1, get the RX-FX if he wants them on-wall, or if he wants them on stands get another pair of RX1s and RX Center In the Rosenut color they will look and sound fabulous. The rear surrounds might put you over budget a little, but they have a nice clean flush look, and will work great esp. if the house can be wired in the walls/ceiling.

Then go www.hsuresearch.com, get the VTF3 MK4 $898 in rosewood shipped, it will match the speakers color pretty close, Amazon for the Onkyo 709 $560

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk4.html

http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-NR709-7-2-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B004V8KWQO/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1339698575&sr=1-1

Your total budget was $3600, so that puts you under budget $3483.

If your total budget is $3k including the AVR, go with the PSB Image B5, C5 and S5(or another set of B5s) from audioadvisor.com and the same sub and AVR, your budget would be just over or at $3k. Id go Dark Cherry for a better look.
http://www.audioadvisor.com/products.asp?dept=200&sort_on=title&sort_by=&view_all=true

You would need stands also, audio advisor has some for like $50-65 that are metal and can be filled with sand to add weight. Im sure you could get a price break if you call and ask for a package deal on the speakers

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post #9 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Aesthetics is extremely important to me as well, just as measurements and sound quality.
Check out the NHT Absolute Zero @ $200 each. They come in both piano gloss black & white.
The Absolute Zero’s listening-window response (a five-point average of axial and +/–15-degree horizontal and vertical responses) measures +0.94/–0.82 decibels from 200 hertz to 10 kilohertz. You cannot get any better than that!
Measurements
Add a nice piano gloss subwoofer, and you are good to go!
NHT also offers 30-day free in-home trial. Free shipping to you. And if you are not impressed, you can return with free shipping back to NHT for 100% refund.

Those do look nice. I will have to check them out. Have you heard them before?

Yamaha RX-V471 (AVR)
Polk Monitor 50 (fronts)
Polk CS1 (center)
Polk OWM3 (surrounds)
Polk DSW pro550wi (sub)

Mark
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post #10 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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This is actually a setup I had in mind down to the T. I love the way the Focal's look and I know my stepfather would too, but I have not auditioned them. Has anyone listened to the Focal Chorus 700 line before that can give their feedback?

Yamaha RX-V471 (AVR)
Polk Monitor 50 (fronts)
Polk CS1 (center)
Polk OWM3 (surrounds)
Polk DSW pro550wi (sub)

Mark
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post #11 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark1280 View Post

This is actually a setup I had in mind down to the T. I love the way the Focal's look and I know my stepfather would too, but I have not auditioned them. Has anyone listened to the Focal Chorus 700 line before that can give their feedback?

A nice balanced and detailed sound, for movies/music - and they can get you back into music.
They have good imaging with a nice soundstage, and they do not sound harsh, or sharp/edgy.
Also - do not tell anyone, that I prefer their sound over the NHT series.smile.gif

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #12 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark1280 View Post

Those do look nice. I will have to check them out. Have you heard them before?

I used to own the smaller & less accurate (in terms of frequency response) NHT SuperZero. Even they sound excellent. 100% better than Bose for sure.

Absolute Zero frequency response is +/- 1dB from 200Hz-10kHz.

SuperZero is +/- 3dB.

Bose is +/- 10dB.eek.gifbiggrin.gif
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post #13 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Cook View Post

Have you considered the Hybrid 3, Hybrid 15, or Ultra 15 packages from HSU Research? They're available in rosenut veneer, which looks pretty good to me, and they're quality speakers that will easily and obviously outperform any Bose 5.1 system in every way. While I personally prefer the other options for sound quality, it doesn't hurt to have additional options since aesthetics are important here.

I was researching these packages also, but a few reviews I read on the HB-1 said that with the grill it sounded like someone placed a towel over the speaker. I have no idea if they plan on using grills of not, but I do not want that to be an issue. Other than that these packages would be in the running.

Yamaha RX-V471 (AVR)
Polk Monitor 50 (fronts)
Polk CS1 (center)
Polk OWM3 (surrounds)
Polk DSW pro550wi (sub)

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post #14 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

A nice balanced and detailed sound, for movies/music - and they can get you back into music.
They have good imaging with a nice soundstage, and they do not sound harsh, or sharp/edgy.
Also - do not tell anyone, that I prefer their sound over the NHT series.smile.gif

I am glad to know this. On reviewer on this forum said that the Focal Chorus line was bright. The speakers I own are very warm, so I did not want to recommend something I myself would not like. I sort of dismissed the Focal Chorus lineup because of that, but I think they are back in the front running.

Yamaha RX-V471 (AVR)
Polk Monitor 50 (fronts)
Polk CS1 (center)
Polk OWM3 (surrounds)
Polk DSW pro550wi (sub)

Mark
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post #15 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callas01 View Post

If your total budget is $3k including the AVR, go with the PSB Image B5, C5 and S5(or another set of B5s) from audioadvisor.com and the same sub and AVR, your budget would be just over or at $3k. Id go Dark Cherry for a better look.
http://www.audioadvisor.com/products.asp?dept=200&sort_on=title&sort_by=&view_all=true

Yeah I would like to keep the full 5.1 with AVR under $3k. The PSB speeakers look nice as well. I have not read up much on these. Do you know how they sound?

Yamaha RX-V471 (AVR)
Polk Monitor 50 (fronts)
Polk CS1 (center)
Polk OWM3 (surrounds)
Polk DSW pro550wi (sub)

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post #16 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I know some people either love them or hate them, but biases aside what do you think about Polk RTI A3's or the LSI7's? I read the LSI7's are nice sounding and they look visually appealing, but my only worries about these is in finding an AVR that can drive them to their potential without dropping $1k on the AVR alone. Has anyone heard either of these before?

Yamaha RX-V471 (AVR)
Polk Monitor 50 (fronts)
Polk CS1 (center)
Polk OWM3 (surrounds)
Polk DSW pro550wi (sub)

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post #17 of 27 Old 06-14-2012, 03:21 PM
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There are lots of speakers that meet your requirements. I am partial to RBH, having used several different models from this company for the last 13 years. You could take a look at:

RBH MC-6C:http://www.rbhsound.com/mc6c.php
RBH MC-616:http://www.rbhsound.com/mc616c.php
RBH MC-44C: http://www.rbhsound.com/mc44c.php

RDAB front baffles: http://www.rbhsound.com/support/rdab.html

An SVS sub like the SB12-NSD: http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/sb12-nsd and you would have a nice little system. If we can help you with selection, shoot us an email.

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post #18 of 27 Old 06-15-2012, 08:22 AM
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Mark:

I note that you are in Rockford, Illinois, just 30 miles from Woodstock, home of Epik subwoofers. If the CHS VS-18.1s I recommended are too large, take a look at dual Epik Empires. http://epiksubwoofers.com/dualempire.html. You could pick them up and save shipping costs.But unfortunately you would pay sales tax.

Alan
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post #19 of 27 Old 06-15-2012, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Mark:
I note that you are in Rockford, Illinois, just 30 miles from Woodstock, home of Epik subwoofers. If the CHS VS-18.1s I recommended are too large, take a look at dual Epik Empires. http://epiksubwoofers.com/dualempire.html. You could pick them up and save shipping costs.But unfortunately you would pay sales tax.

Wow you learn something new everyday. I had no idea they were made in Woodstock. That is only about a 40min drive from my house, if that. Good to know!

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Polk Monitor 50 (fronts)
Polk CS1 (center)
Polk OWM3 (surrounds)
Polk DSW pro550wi (sub)

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post #20 of 27 Old 06-15-2012, 10:21 AM
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post #21 of 27 Old 06-15-2012, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

New Denon 3312 @ 50% off on Amazon ($550):
http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR3312CI-Integrated-Surround-Receiver/dp/B004Z50L6E

Wow that is a good deal. Is this last years top of the line model? Sorry, I have not owned a Denon before, so I am not sure where this rates, but based on features I would guess that it is up there.

Yamaha RX-V471 (AVR)
Polk Monitor 50 (fronts)
Polk CS1 (center)
Polk OWM3 (surrounds)
Polk DSW pro550wi (sub)

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post #22 of 27 Old 06-15-2012, 12:11 PM
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Wow that is a good deal. Is this last years top of the line model? Sorry, I have not owned a Denon before, so I am not sure where this rates, but based on features I would guess that it is up there.

Midrange price. Retail is $1100. But has125wpc & 7 HDMI Inputs and a lot of features. Sales end today I think.
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post #23 of 27 Old 06-15-2012, 04:01 PM
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See this thread. It will walk you through all the Denon XX12 models and tell you the difference.

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post #24 of 27 Old 06-16-2012, 02:35 PM
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Hello All,
Story
My Mother and stepfather recently Purchased a newer construction home. They are going to purchase a new flat screen in the upcoming weeks. Once they have the new TV they would like to purchase a 5.1 HT system. They have tasked me with picking it all out for them. My stepfather currently has a Bose 2.1 system that he bought quite a few years ago. He thinks that Bose is the best and I wanted to show him that Bose is not really as good as he thinks it is. He does not know much about speakers even after naming some of the more mainstream brands like Klipcsh and Polk he said he has not heard of them before. I know I cannot disappoint him or I will never hear the end of it for years to come.
Problem
I am a little newer to the HT game, so I would like some advice from anyone who has systems in this range. I read all of the time people giving recommendations on speakers they THINK will be better than another, but cannot confirm because they have not heard them. I can be just as guilty when it comes to being brand biased. That is where I am hoping you guys can help.
Dimensions
15x20 with 9' ceiling. One problem is there are only 3 walls. One side is 100% open to the kitchen.
Budget
No exact budget was given, but I am thinking $2k is a good range and no more than $3k for everything. The AVR will be around $600.
What I had In Mind So far
Although I have not head them, I know everyone raves about HSU subs. No matter what front and center speakers I go with I am thinking of recommending an HSU sub, so I really just need to focus on the rest of the speakers.
Constraints
The only constraints they gave me is that they prefer bookshelf speakers over towers. I would guess they watch more TV than music. Additionally, one thing to mention is that my stepfather is the type that likes the finer things in life and has the money to buy nice things which is why he bought into the Bose hype, so please keep in mind that although the speakers need to sound good they have to look good too if you know what I mean (expensive). I do not think he would be happy with some generic big black box even if it sounded slightly better than say another.
Thanks!

I came across this thread and thought I would share my two cents...for what it's worth. At one time I owned a Bose lifestyle 35 system and thought it was awesome and that I had the greatest thing. Long story short: one day I turned it on and had no sound, after calling back-up (my brother), we couldn't get the thing to work so I got a HTIB for a quick fix (couldn't play games and watch movies without some kind of surround sound) and now I have upgraded every piece of equipment from that HTIB (and that HTIB sounded better than the Bose to me) and I couldn't be happier with my set up. I no longer think Bose is that great...well I have formed my own opinions over a while about Bose but that would be for another time and that topic has been beaten to death. Anyway...

I recommend Energy speakers. I had the CF/CB line and now I have the Energy RC line with a Hsu subwoofer and everything sounds amazing. You can get the RC line at vanns for an excellent price at http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/item/features/542600578/energy-rclcr. This link is to the Energy RC-LCR. If he wants bookshelves these may be too big for his tastes but these speakers look great and sound even better. Your step-father could get 3 of the rc-lcrs and a pair of the rc-10s for surrounds or rc-10s all the way around or whatever he likes. The Hsu sub is outstanding and if the speakers are anything like the subs, they would be great too. I just thought I would throw in another option with the other great recommendations already presented. It sounds like any of these would be an absolute great system, whichever is decided upon.
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post #25 of 27 Old 06-16-2012, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mark1280 View Post

Yeah I would like to keep the full 5.1 with AVR under $3k. The PSB speeakers look nice as well. I have not read up much on these. Do you know how they sound?

been away for a couple days, they are great speakers at their price range. mid-range is pretty clean, the highs are nice and easy to listen to. The bass is good, but they'll need a subwoofer.
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post #26 of 27 Old 06-18-2012, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callas01 View Post

been away for a couple days, they are great speakers at their price range. mid-range is pretty clean, the highs are nice and easy to listen to. The bass is good, but they'll need a subwoofer.

That is good to know. I read a lot about all the good speaker brands out there, but it is hard to make a purchase without ever listening to them. There are a few stores that carry some of the audiophile speaker brands, but not many. I basically started this thread so I could get opinions about speakers from people that have actually heard the speakers they are recommending. That being said, I appreciate your input! The PSBs look nice, so I guess I will have to do a little more research:)

Yamaha RX-V471 (AVR)
Polk Monitor 50 (fronts)
Polk CS1 (center)
Polk OWM3 (surrounds)
Polk DSW pro550wi (sub)

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post #27 of 27 Old 06-18-2012, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiTcHaSuM View Post

I came across this thread and thought I would share my two cents...for what it's worth. At one time I owned a Bose lifestyle 35 system and thought it was awesome and that I had the greatest thing. Long story short: one day I turned it on and had no sound, after calling back-up (my brother), we couldn't get the thing to work so I got a HTIB for a quick fix (couldn't play games and watch movies without some kind of surround sound) and now I have upgraded every piece of equipment from that HTIB (and that HTIB sounded better than the Bose to me) and I couldn't be happier with my set up. I no longer think Bose is that great...well I have formed my own opinions over a while about Bose but that would be for another time and that topic has been beaten to death. Anyway...
I recommend Energy speakers. I had the CF/CB line and now I have the Energy RC line with a Hsu subwoofer and everything sounds amazing. You can get the RC line at vanns for an excellent price at http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/item/features/542600578/energy-rclcr. This link is to the Energy RC-LCR. If he wants bookshelves these may be too big for his tastes but these speakers look great and sound even better. Your step-father could get 3 of the rc-lcrs and a pair of the rc-10s for surrounds or rc-10s all the way around or whatever he likes. The Hsu sub is outstanding and if the speakers are anything like the subs, they would be great too. I just thought I would throw in another option with the other great recommendations already presented. It sounds like any of these would be an absolute great system, whichever is decided upon.

Thanks for the recommendation! I have recently heard this line of speakers brought up in a couple other threads as well. I am not too sure my stepfather will like the height of the LCR vertically for fronts, but I will check out the RC10s. I will add these to my list of speakers to research:)

These were exactly the types of responses I was looking for. Thanks again!

Yamaha RX-V471 (AVR)
Polk Monitor 50 (fronts)
Polk CS1 (center)
Polk OWM3 (surrounds)
Polk DSW pro550wi (sub)

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