Speaker options for new home theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-30-2013, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I am constructing a basement home theater. I will be using equipment from my previous home theater but I am considering upgrading my speakers during construction.

Here are the old setup:

H/K AVR247
Optoma HD70
PS3
Oppo DVD/SACD player
JBL E30's all around
DIY Sonotube 15" Dayton Titanic sub (tuned to 18hz)
H/K multi-disc CD player
Technics record player

Usage:
70% Movies/TV
30% Music/Concerts

Room is 17.5' x 14' (actual room is more like 17.5 x 28, but support beams separate the room and half is consumed by a pool table)

The speakers must be bookshelf, wall mount, or in wall. I want to keep the speakers off the ground and out of reach of children. I have 6 JBL E30's and could use them, however, I do not have a matching center channel and have not been able to find one. Also, I would have to build shelves of some sort or figure out a way to mount them to the walls. This is why I was leaning towards on/in-walls. The room currently has a giant built in corner entertainment center that houses a 37" tube TV. The corner unit is nice, however, the TV is built in so I am going to have to tear the entire thing out. The plan is to tear all the drywall out and redo the room, so the options are numerous.

I would like to stay as close to $1000 as possible, but could potentially go as high as $1500. DIY is not completely ruled out, however, I am not sure I have the time for it. I would like to do a 7.1 setup, however, could stick with 5.1 for now and expand to 7.1 in the future.

So, in summary, what would you all recommend for a 5 or 7 speaker setup with ~$1000 budget?

I was looking at the following for an on wall setup:
Center: JBL LC2 ~$290
Fronts: JBL L820 ~$350 per pair
Rears: either
JBL L820's
or
JBL L810's ~$280 per pair

Secondly, is it even worth upgrading from my JBL E30's in this price range or should I just try to find a center channel that matches?
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-30-2013, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Any opinions?
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 07:59 AM
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Do you like the JBL speakers? If so, why not use one of them horizontally as your center? With 6 you still could do a full 5.1 system.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I have enjoyed the JBL's, and that is how I had them setup in my previous 5.1 setup (horizontal center). The only drawback is the depth of the box, they are at least a foot deep. I am not ruling this option out, however, this limits my ability to go to a matching 7.1 setup.

Maybe the question I should have asked is, can I improve significantly from the E30's with $1000 budget? For example, will the setup described above improve my sound significantly. Another option would be just purchasing the front 3 speakers and using the E30's for rears, or some combination of in-wall/in-ceiling rears and bookshelf/on-wall LCR.

One thing to note that I haven't mentioned previously is that I am going to have trouble placing the right side surround speaker due to the room layout. The rear surrounds can be on the rear wall, but with my proposed layout, the right side is open to the pool table. That is why I was considering a in-ceiling solution for the side surrounds (in a 7.1 setup). Is this a bad idea? I could put it on the wall, but it is ~15 feet from the right side of the seating, where the left would be ~2 feet from the left side.

I have so many ideas running through my mind. That is why I made this thread.
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 09:01 AM
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I'm no pro, but I just bought 8 Def tech promonitor 350's, and a klipsch rw12-d sub for my first home theater. I they are gonna be in my basement also which has a open layout and measures 19'W x 40'L. Heard they were very good speakers, and most reviews I have read have been very positive on both the speakers and sub. I got them from Newegg and the entire setup without the receiver cost me a little over $1000. I'm going to be using them in a 7.1 setup with a 350 as my center, I will have a extra 350 laying around cause It was cheaper to buy them in pairs. Good luck hope this helps, you can check out my thread and see what others recommended for me also.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1454964/noob-question-about-new-speakers-and-receiver-ht/60#post_22894004

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post #6 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letzleta View Post

Maybe the question I should have asked is, can I improve significantly from the E30's with $1000 budget? For example, will the setup described above improve my sound significantly. Another option would be just purchasing the front 3 speakers and using the E30's for rears, or some combination of in-wall/in-ceiling rears and bookshelf/on-wall LCR.

Without ever having heard the E30's I can't really say what might provide a "significant" improvement, but I can point you at Ascend Acoustics. Their CMT-340 SEC center and 4 CMB-170 SE's would come in under $1000 and give you one very nice setup.

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post #7 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 09:07 AM
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It may be tough to improve on your current speakers at that budget level.

An excellent center speaker that I would recommend to you is the Cambridge S50.

It should work well with your system.

If you play LPs much, you might want to invest in something like the Music Hall MMF-2.2 turntable , which will be a noticeable improvement over your existing one.

Mounting wood shelves is not a problem; just use metal L-brackets with the vertical part screwed to the wall so that it will be behind the speaker and the horizontal under the shelf, and they are invisible with the speaker in place.

Since you are stripping the drywall, you can mount a 2 x 12 between the studs at each speaker location to provide a very strong place to put in the screws for the shelves.
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ab Liquor View Post

I'm no pro, but I just bought 8 Def tech promonitor 350's, and a klipsch rw12-d sub for my first home theater. I they are gonna be in my basement also which has a open layout and measures 19'W x 40'L. Heard they were very good speakers, and most reviews I have read have been very positive on both the speakers and sub. I got them from Newegg and the entire setup without the receiver cost me a little over $1000. I'm going to be using them in a 7.1 setup with a 350 as my center, I will have a extra 350 laying around cause It was cheaper to buy them in pairs. Good luck hope this helps, you can check out my thread and see what others recommended for me also.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1454964/noob-question-about-new-speakers-and-receiver-ht/60#post_22894004

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

Those look like nice speakers. If I end up going with them, I will shoot you a PM about potentially purchasing your extra one from you! Thanks.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

It may be tough to improve on your current speakers at that budget level.

An excellent center speaker that I would recommend to you is the Cambridge S50.

It should work well with your system.

If you play LPs much, you might want to invest in something like the Music Hall MMF-2.2 turntable , which will be a noticeable improvement over your existing one.

Mounting wood shelves is not a problem; just use metal L-brackets with the vertical part screwed to the wall so that it will be behind the speaker and the horizontal under the shelf, and they are invisible with the speaker in place.

Since you are stripping the drywall, you can mount a 2 x 12 between the studs at each speaker location to provide a very strong place to put in the screws for the shelves.

How are you able to tell the S50 would mate well with my E30's? I am not challenging that suggestion, just want to understand how I can tell what will mate (timbre match) with the E30's. I tried to get an EC35 a while back, but couldn't get my hands on one.
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 09:40 AM
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Look at the HTD Level Three speakers - they are real good
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-three-speakers

They also have in-ceiling/in-wall speakers for surround help
http://www.htd.com/Products/high-definition

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post #11 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letzleta View Post

Those look like nice speakers. If I end up going with them, I will shoot you a PM about potentially purchasing your extra one from you! Thanks.

that sounds good, i should be receiving the entire system tomorrow, i will let you know how that goes, and sounds once install is done, i can't wait biggrin.gif
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post #12 of 14 Old 02-06-2013, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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One other option would be:

Center: JBL LC2 ~$290
Fronts: JBL L820 ~$350 per pair
Rears: JBL E30's (already own)

This option would only end up costing me ~$600 and I think it would improve my setup.
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post #13 of 14 Old 02-06-2013, 09:45 PM
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letzleta,
If you can't find a center you are looking for (keep looking) then another E30 for center would do fine and also the least expensive option.
I liked the Studio L series so much that I snagged all of them and changed configurations every so often just for fun. The L830 and L810 make a good match together and sound a little different then the L820s so IMHO would not mix L820s with L810s or L830s.
The L820s make good surround speakers but with their single 6" woofer may sound a little on the weak side as Mains.
The LC2 is one heck of a speaker (basicly a wall mounted L880!) and many folks have used 3 of them across the front, even as surrounds also. I eventually ended up with 3 L880s in the front with L820s as surounds for the living room and the L830/LC1/L810 combo in the bedroom.
Have fun.
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post #14 of 14 Old 02-06-2013, 10:02 PM
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I really like the ascend cmt340s, so I second that recommendation!
Commysman, you are the only poster I know who often recommends mismatched centers! I would recommend a timbre match across your front stage!

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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