$600 to spend- 3.1 setup with towers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-19-2013, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there anything remotely doable here?

Basically I am finally able to upgrade my audio experience.

I'm running an HK-AVR254 (7.1/50 watts per) That I would rather not upgrade since my speaker setup is 2 Polk 6751 and an old sony HTIB center since the kids yanked my matching center down. Sub is a Polk PSW 10 that I also would like to replace. Floor space is a concern though. The surrounds are currently hidden under the couch cushions. haha. Those aren't changing at this point.

Anyways, it seems as if the wife is willing to approve tower speakers. Large bookshelfs/wall mounts are out of the question. So basically towers vs. satellites, and I'm leaning towards the tower setup and an upgraded sub

I will have $600 to spend on upgrading at this point.


First question is how much of an issue would it be to have a decent center 8' high above the TV and speakera even with sitting height? I have no real issues with the way it sounds now, so I can't imagine having much of an issue.

Second question is what can I get for my budget?

I'd obviously love to do all of them at once, but can wait to upgrade things as I get money. (sub for instance)

Tower speakers obviously range all over the place. So as much help as I can I'd really appreciate it.


This will be for 90% TV/Movies. 10% music. Basically on pretty much all day long.


Thanks.
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-19-2013, 05:16 PM
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White with a black grill - $400 a pair new in the box
Boston A360
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA360WHA/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A360-3-Way-Dual-6.5in-Tower-Speaker-Each-White/1.html

The Cadence sub, will pancake the Polk sub
http://www.cadencesound.com/products/CSX12-Mark-II.html

If color is a problem - then look at HTD Level Two towers
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Tower-Speakers

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post #3 of 19 Old 01-20-2013, 04:29 AM
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+1 the boston acoustics a360's $199ea. above ^^^ and the a250's at $99 ea. are a great bargin on some great sounding speakers. you could build yourself a great sounding system with these on the cheap

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post #4 of 19 Old 01-20-2013, 06:56 AM
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I can list a ton of speakers on a budget that people have recommended, but having not heard any of them i wont post them..

I have heard however the Andrew Jones Pioneer speakers..

http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-FS52-LR-Designed-standing-Loudspeakers/dp/B008NCD2S4

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008NCD2EI/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1/177-1263841-0135609?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_r=0W92990T4EB47QG2NMD9&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_i=B008NCD2S4


That leaves you another ~$250 for a subwoofer..

I'd look at the BIC F12

http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-F12-475-Watt-Subwoofer/dp/B0015A8Y5M




Those Pioneer speakers are really impressive. I demoed them a few weeks ago, I was actually thinking of picking up a set simply because of the price to demo in my home and just return tongue.gif They can't get extremely loud, but at a reasonable listening level in a small/mid size room they really have a great sound and good distinctions in detail between the high-mid-low range.

If you want speakers that go extremely loud, these are not for you, however if you want the best detailed speakers for the buck.. out of the speakers I have personally heard you cannot beat them. I'm sure there are many others that have other suggestions they have heard, but this is from my own experiance.



However, if you would not mind going to bookshelf route.. look at HTD level two.. I have the Level 2 bookshelves all around as well as the Level 2 center.. I think they have a little better imaging than the pioneers, and the highs are much better than the pioneers IMO.. A 3.1 Level 2 setup will cost you about 340 bucks after shipping, and again I'd go with the bic f12 sub.. and hell if you can get the wife to let you squeeze another 200 bucks out, you can get the level two towers wink.gif

http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers



Go to best buy and demo the Pioneers.. Pretty sure just about every best buy carries them. If you want to take my word for it, go for the HTD's I don't think you would be dissapointed.. They are great speakers, especially for movies IMO

EMP E55ti | EMP E56ci | Polk T15's for surround duty | Ultimax 15" Sub | Integra 40.2 | Rotel 976 | Panasonic 60ST60
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-20-2013, 07:09 AM
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I suggest that you get a pair of the Polk Audio R300 speakers. These run about $100 each and are pretty decent speakers. They should be a major improvement over what you have at a very modest cost.

For a center speaker, I suggest the Cambridge Audio S50, which is excellent and quite compact. I find most of the lower-priced Polk center speakers to not sound all that great.

That is $199. If you don't want to go that high, the Polk CSR is inexpensive.

If you wany to mount the center speaker above the TV, find some way to aim it down toward your listening ear level.
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-20-2013, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I suggest that you get a pair of the Polk Audio R300 speakers. These run about $100 each and are pretty decent speakers.

For center speaker, I suggest the Cambridge Audio S50, which is excellent and quite compact. I find most of the lower-priced Polk center speakers to not sound all that great.

After not having matched speakers in the past, to going to matched speakers.. I would never suggest mis matching the fronts ever again.. Just my opinion.

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post #7 of 19 Old 01-20-2013, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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So the wife actually likes the white. In fact she prefers not having black or wood. Guess she doesnt understand the speaker market.

So basically with that in mind, I'm digging the BA stuff.

The 360s look great, and are a steal at 199 ea IMO but I have some reservations. Based on my budget a center would be out of the question as the sub if probably a more important upgrade right? The TV center is 3.5' higher than the top of the towers, so I worry there would be some oddness is directionality and voices coming from nowhere near the screen. Anyone have any experience with towers being so far below the TV center. Think I can pull off a phantom center with these that won't be odd?


The 250s would leave me room to add a center. Unfortunately one more restriction on the cenyer is that anything over 6" deep will overhand the TV severely and look funky.

In terms of Sub- I did some more measuring, and I have to keep it under 15" wide at the absolute max. depth and height not so much of an issue.

So today I'm thinking it comes down to:

Boston Acoustics A250s in white 99/ea
Boston Acoustics HS225C in white at 130 (at 7" deep overhand is minimal plus a keyhole will keep it secure). Not exactly matched series wise so that may be a problem.

then for the sub keeping my new required footprint and near $300 in mind

-Klipsch Reference RW-12d
-Lava LSP 10 or 12
-HSU STF-2 bit over budget
-PA120

or I can d ithe A360s and probably the LSP-10 since my budget would be close to over and I am sort of stuck with my budget point.


Another this that has been OK'd in the WAF dept is the nanostats and the Polk Blackstone series if I ultimately go satellites. While they'd be an improvement (especially with a good sub), they aren't as "cool" to me.


Oh also The Polks mentioned above- the R300 are on sale for $50 each (80 list plus 30 instant off each)
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-20-2013, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirkyman View Post

So the wife actually likes the white. In fact she prefers not having black or wood. Guess she doesnt understand the speaker market.

So basically with that in mind, I'm digging the BA stuff.

The 360s look great, and are a steal at 199 ea IMO but I have some reservations. Based on my budget a center would be out of the question as the sub if probably a more important upgrade right? The TV center is 3.5' higher than the top of the towers, so I worry there would be some oddness is directionality and voices coming from nowhere near the screen. Anyone have any experience with towers being so far below the TV center. Think I can pull off a phantom center with these that won't be odd?


The 250s would leave me room to add a center. Unfortunately one more restriction on the cenyer is that anything over 6" deep will overhand the TV severely and look funky.

In terms of Sub- I did some more measuring, and I have to keep it under 15" wide at the absolute max. depth and height not so much of an issue.

So today I'm thinking it comes down to:

Boston Acoustics A250s in white 99/ea
Boston Acoustics HS225C in white at 130 (at 7" deep overhand is minimal plus a keyhole will keep it secure). Not exactly matched series wise so that may be a problem.

then for the sub keeping my new required footprint and near $300 in mind

-Klipsch Reference RW-12d
-Lava LSP 10 or 12
-HSU STF-2 bit over budget
-PA120

or I can d ithe A360s and probably the LSP-10 since my budget would be close to over and I am sort of stuck with my budget point.


Another this that has been OK'd in the WAF dept is the nanostats and the Polk Blackstone series if I ultimately go satellites. While they'd be an improvement (especially with a good sub), they aren't as "cool" to me.


Oh also The Polks mentioned above- the R300 are on sale for $50 each (80 list plus 30 instant off each)


I would skip the center if those are your restrictions... Go with the A360's as a stereo pair. If you have them pulled into the room a few inches past your tv, they will image very well (the more the better).

For a sub, this Bic V1220 will fit into your 15" gap.

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=303-432&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=pla&utm_term={keyword}
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post #9 of 19 Old 01-20-2013, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirkyman View Post

So the wife actually likes the white. In fact she prefers not having black or wood. Guess she doesnt understand the speaker market.

So basically with that in mind, I'm digging the BA stuff.

The 360s look great, and are a steal at 199 ea IMO but I have some reservations. Based on my budget a center would be out of the question as the sub if probably a more important upgrade right? The TV center is 3.5' higher than the top of the towers, so I worry there would be some oddness is directionality and voices coming from nowhere near the screen. Anyone have any experience with towers being so far below the TV center. Think I can pull off a phantom center with these that won't be odd?


The 250s would leave me room to add a center. Unfortunately one more restriction on the cenyer is that anything over 6" deep will overhand the TV severely and look funky.

In terms of Sub- I did some more measuring, and I have to keep it under 15" wide at the absolute max. depth and height not so much of an issue.

So today I'm thinking it comes down to:

Boston Acoustics A250s in white 99/ea
Boston Acoustics HS225C in white at 130 (at 7" deep overhand is minimal plus a keyhole will keep it secure). Not exactly matched series wise so that may be a problem.

then for the sub keeping my new required footprint and near $300 in mind

-Klipsch Reference RW-12d
-Lava LSP 10 or 12
-HSU STF-2 bit over budget
-PA120

or I can d ithe A360s and probably the LSP-10 since my budget would be close to over and I am sort of stuck with my budget point.


Another this that has been OK'd in the WAF dept is the nanostats and the Polk Blackstone series if I ultimately go satellites. While they'd be an improvement (especially with a good sub), they aren't as "cool" to me.


Oh also The Polks mentioned above- the R300 are on sale for $50 each (80 list plus 30 instant off each)

Out of those subs, I would get the RW-12D.. its under 15" wide, and if you can get it for the 300 price.. its one hell of a subwoofer.

EMP E55ti | EMP E56ci | Polk T15's for surround duty | Ultimax 15" Sub | Integra 40.2 | Rotel 976 | Panasonic 60ST60
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-20-2013, 03:53 PM
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Out of those subs, I would get the RW-12D.. its under 15" wide, and if you can get it for the 300 price.. its one hell of a subwoofer.
+1 i agree for its price. also ac4l does have the matching center a225c $150 but in black

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #11 of 19 Old 01-20-2013, 04:22 PM
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just out of curiousity whats the reasoning of not being able to put center channel below t.v .what is directly below middle of the t.v?

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #12 of 19 Old 01-20-2013, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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A gas fireplace that gets used a lot. . Basically there is a cutout placed above the fireplace/mantle. The mantle has 4" of space is all.

I did play around with placing the satellites I do have down to tower level, along with turning off the center. While it is certainly different in that I wasn't hearing that center channel separation, it is far more natural. I don't know if I just like having the separation now because I'm so used to it or not. However I now have no concerns about the towers being far below the TV.

It is super easy though to turn on and off the center in my receiver settings, so maybe I just find a small non matching center for those times I really want some separation.

So towers are definitely going to happen. I do have some reservations about the 360s being overkill. The 250s would be a pretty serious step up as is right?


So now to the sub-

I was just given the news the sub has to move to a different corner if I plan on having towers. So I have to factor in wireless transmitter as there is no way I can run cables to the new location without serious baseboard work. That sort of kills my sub budget a bit.

The RW-12D is on special at Newegg right now.... I could do the 250s and this sub with wireless transmitter for $600. Hmmmm.
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post #13 of 19 Old 01-20-2013, 05:55 PM
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Find a way to mount it above the TV and angle it at your seating position...it can be done! The center channel is crucial!
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post #14 of 19 Old 01-22-2013, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright so I've spent the last couple of days playing some different blu-rays and some music just to get a feel for what the setup would be like. I really started to miss the center separation. While sitting in my prime spot, the phantom was more natural, just one cushion over and I found myself getting distracted. For my setup with only 1 optimum seating position, and 5 other not so optimal spots, I have decided to go with the center.

So I'm going to pull the trigger on the following setup- which is a massive upgrade to my current setup.

-Boston Acoustics A250s (99/ea) in white
-Boston Acoustics HS225C (129) in white (not a "series match", is discontinued, but the closest I'll find in the boston like-up with my depth and color requirements.)

I am going to get a wireless adapter and hide the PSW-10 in a corner, and save my money for a proper upgrade there. I could pop for the Bic V1220 now, and come in around 650 shipped, but no need to rush.


While I would love to do the 360s, and really do feel they are a tremendous value
budget wise I'm just not comfortable going there.

Onward and Onward.
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post #15 of 19 Old 01-22-2013, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirkyman View Post

-Boston Acoustics A250s (99/ea) in white
-Boston Acoustics HS225C (129) in white (not a "series match", is discontinued, but the closest I'll find in the boston like-up with my depth and color requirements.)

While I would love to do the 360s, and really do feel they are a tremendous value - budget wise I'm just not comfortable going there. .

That is still a good choice - have fun and enjoy.

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post #16 of 19 Old 01-22-2013, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I went ahead and popped for the Bic V1220 also. I just couldn't resist (I just sold some of my editing gear- so I "splurged"

Now the wait......
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post #17 of 19 Old 01-30-2013, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, got the A 250s and the HS225 in and wow what a difference in music- with no sub.

Musically this setup is pretty amazing even with crappy 96kbps MP3s. My uncompressed AIFFs, AAC lossless, pretty much everything. Everything is crisp and full sounding. Instrumental detail is there throughout. Really good range. I just can't get over the clarity though. I have a lot of orchestral stuff (soundtracks) some simulated some truly orchestrated and live, and they are amazing. Some older Miles Davis and jazz stuff if I close my eyes I can almost feel as if Im in the blues club. I admit I don't listen to a lot of music at home, but this will definitely change.

Movies are a new experience for sure. I have the 1220 frequency set near 80. Mains crossed over at 60, center at 80 and the Polk 6750s that formerly were my mains tucked into the couch for surrounds at 120.

Everything is so crisp and clear. I was worried about the height difference causing some distraction. but it's really a pretty seamless front stage. Even standing 3 feet from my TV and speakers, it is pretty seamless. The only thing I'm finding is that the center may be a bit more boomy than I'd like. I Mostly notice it with female voices. The center is ported, and based on mounting location location above TV there is only about 4" of clearance from wall so that may be affecting things. I've gone ahead and run the auto eq, and readjusted the crossovers back to where I want them and the tone feels like it has improved in terms of voices. Might be imagination. We'll see.

The Sub is a world of difference compared to the Polk. I haven't had a chance to play with music while I've had the sub as my apple tv is frozen in an update, but movies are so much cleaner. The polk just puts out noise, the 1220 really is more of an experience. Now I am starting to realize what a sub truly should be vs just a big rumble - which considering I'm sorta like a responsible party in the movie mix process isn't a bad thing .... hahaha

The street speak is that BA typically need break in as well, so im looking forward to it. I can't wait until the wife is out of the house to give it a real test run.

Very pleased. Thanks for the suggestions. The beauty is I still have room to upgrade in the future all the way around.
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post #18 of 19 Old 02-15-2013, 11:58 PM
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I am planning to get a boston acoustics a360, a225c and a26 along with svs pb1000 sub. Any advice?

How has your a250 setup been sounding?
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post #19 of 19 Old 02-24-2013, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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The A 250s I've been really happy with. I mean for 99 each (yes they are white) I feel like I got tremendous value that would be very hard to match. Arguably one of the best 100 dollar speakers around is what I'd say just to cause controversy : ) I can't comment on the 360s, A225C or A26 or sub combo obviously. I'd love to hear the 360s and especially the A225C though just so I can see what I'm missing with the series match. It has a little lower freq response compared to the HS225 I'm running, but I'd be curious to see if its tonally different.

I went ahead and ran the ezeq setup on my HK just to see if it helped with tone, and surprisingly it really helped the HS225 center harshness and bassiness I was feeling on dialog. Musically though the center has always been awesome to me. The crossovers were changed to below where I was happy and below the specs on the speakers, so I readjusted my mains crossovers back to 60 (the A250s are 45-2xk) and the center back to 80 as those felt like the sweet spot. The sub knob I have set somewhere between 60-80.

The A250s by themselves have broken in really nicely. Super smooth. Very nice low end with the crossover set to 60 and dropping the sub volume to 0 just to see how they are by themselves. Stereo music is really crisp but still feels really smooth and natural. I feel like nothing is a struggle musically from Jazz to hip hop. My bad 96Kbps mp3s sound horrible compared to 48k aifs so there is definitely a sense of definition that I didn't get from my satellites before. I feel these speakers perform equally well with music and movies. I definitely wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. Of course I'd love to hear the 360s to hear what larger woofers with a smaller mid would sound like. I would also like to get them more juice just to see how far I could push them, as right now I'm driving with 50w per. At 90% volume no distortion, but a whole lot of noise. These things can definitely be pushed harder.

I'm really impressed with the BA sound though. Very natural and balanced is how I would describe the sound. And so you know how I compare others- the Polk sound which to me I would describe has "hot" because there is a bit more to the mids/treble which I actually like as well. Martin Logan I would describe as smooth without crisp (almost like a 1 frame blur on a picture).

I don't think you can go wrong with the BA line though. The center may be the only area I'd like to see some work, but they may have done that with the A series.

The nice thing about these speakers for me is there is room to grow and step up further down the line to a 3 way.

I was OTD for the 250s with shipping for under 250.
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