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post #1 of 31 Old 03-04-2013, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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A thank you to all the advice I got in my first thread, wonderfully helpful, especially as so many good speakers companies are easy to miss, being internet only and little/no marketing past word of mouth or trade shows.

Over the weekend i did a lot of reading and some test arranging in my space with an old pair of bookshelves out of storage.
I found my initial estimate of a 10"(+/- 2") speaker depth was a little high.

My space is only 7x9(w,d) with a large computer desk(fills front wall), desk chair and couch(fills back wall) already. Speakers with 10" depth would make the space go from cozy to cramped i think. After seeing just a pair of small speakers(9hx7dx7w), let alone adding 3 more and a sub I had to rethink a bit of what i had been looking at. If you don't live in a really small space it can be hard to imagine, but trust me in such a small space +/- a few inches can make room go from roomy feeling, to cozy, to cramped.
I may still put in something a little bigger but want to keep it as small as i can without going to satellites.

If anyone has any weigh in on this before I buy i would be very grateful for the input. i am currently on the edge of suffering from the paradox of choice(too many options) so any input would be great even if its to say everything you're looking at is fine and you won't go wrong even if you just random roll pick a set.

More space or more money (1.4k max) is NOT an option. Some WAF is involved in this equation so please don't go making me wish for something i can't have by suggesting "if only a little bigger" or "only a little more money."
I'm already going to catch a fair amount of flack for the price as it is, as well as the wall mounted stuff no matter how small(it's just a part of the cost of what you want sometimes but i can only "afford" so much)


So here is the list in rank order from most to least likely buy based on current costs, availability, and information. List at top break down details below.

FYI: Whatever i buy will be used both with and WITHOUT the sub unit turned on. I'm in a duplex and my floor is another's ceiling so on weekend late nights the sub goes off(current satellite system is terrible to hear without the sub, which is why i'm not looking at a sat. system for such a small room).

1: HSU Research Value 1 - 5.1 Package.

2: Ascend HTM-200 SE + STF-1 Sub from HSU

3: PSB Alpha B1 + Alpha C1 + STF-1
OR
PSB Image B4 + image C4 + STF-1

4: Boston Acoustics A25 + A225C + SFT-1 or BA's
ASW 250
)

5: Cambridge Audio S30 + S50 + SFT-1

6: Wharfedale Diamond 10.0 + 10cs + SFT-1 OR DIAMOND 10 SX.





1: HSU Research Value 1 - 5.1 Package.

The Hybrid 2 was suggested(which is how i found to look here thank you very much)but the sub was way bigger than i can fit in the room. However the package here has a sub that will fit great.
Everything i read about this set seems like it's the right fit(for me, but maybe not for the room so much). The speakers at 15" tall are a bit room filling, and due to their size i would likely have to mount these very high on the wall just a few inches from the ceiling.(wrote to HSU asking about this speaker placement and await their reply)
And just maybe i can figure out how to place the fronts on my desk, but the rears would still have to be high wall mounted.



2: Ascend HTM-200 SE + STF-1 Sub from HSU (yes i would like the STF-2 but the 1 fits in the room way better for it's 11"w)

I have seen some posts/reviews from people with a set of 5 of these that were good, and they seem made to be in a small room. This is my second choice and may actually be better for the space i have than the HSU set.
In my email to HSU i described my room and setup options asking them if they feel this space would do their speakers justice or if they think my space would be better server by this configuration.

If this seems to be the way to go i may get the 170s for fronts...but the 200s would fit in the space better...how much flack I can take will be a consideration for this.



Those are the two real contenders for me right now and a reply from HSU is going to carry weight for the decision to be sure. From all that i have read about the company/the person(Dr.Hsu) i feel that i can probably trust them to let me know if they think their speakers are not the best fit for the space(rather than just be sales people that say yes to whatever gets the money handed over).


There were 4 other options i had looked at but found little info, or mixed reviews so i thought I would ask about them here before i go spending money. i don't expect to be in a bigger space or upgrade these speakers anytime soon, so i want to make a purchase I can live with for years to come.


3: PSB Alpha B1 + Alpha C1 + STF-1
OR
PSB Image B4 + image C4 + STF-1

All round seems like decent reviews on these and they get suggested over the Cambridge Audio s30s in a review i found.

Is there any real step up from the Alpha to the Image? both are within budget but the Image set only just.



4: Boston Acoustics A25 + A225C + SFT-1 or BA's
ASW 250
)

Decent reviews on this set but about $300 more than the HSU set with the BA sub. Speakers are a good size fit for the room overall, about same foot print as HSU but 3" shorter.
Anyone have a thought on this one vs. the current two contenders?



5: Cambridge Audio S30 + S50 + SFT-1

All reviews on these say great buy, but for some reason when i look at them they just kinda turn me off. I'm not usually influenced much by this kind of thing as i am very much a function over form person, but i just don't like the looks from some reason and so these did not get high on my list, though they probably should be from all that i have read. Hardly a bad review out there about them. My real concern here is that most people seem to say they sound much better a bit out from the wall and that's not going to be an option in my space. So like the HSU speakers they just might mot be a good match to the space i have.


6: Wharfedale Diamond 10.0 + 10cs + SFT-1 OR DIAMOND 10 SX.

The 10.1 were recommended but at 11" deep it's going to be a little more than i had thought i could fit. Also i can't find anyone with 10.1 speakers to sell anyway. A guessed at 4-6 weeks shipping time was the best i could find and that's just a guess not a guarantee. Not really wanting to have to wait around on this one, I'm in project mode now.
But the 10.0 seem to be getting mixed reviews from what i could find. As this set would cost more than the other two I'd rather get more info/input before spending the $.

i did look at NHTs but they just go beyond the budget for me a set of 4 Zeros + C is already 1.2k with no sub, and i don't want to cheap out on the sub to make the budget.


Thanks again for any input you may have to offer.
I will be more patience this time in waiting for replies too.


P.S.
I'm in the computer tech industry as well as it's my hobby. The forums i am used to frequenting have a really fast turn over rate. Things go from OP, to an answer or two, to a conflicting answer, to a flame war and dead in about a 3-6 hour life cycle on average.
I don't know, bunch of people who's 9-5+ work frequently involves getting input from others through forums while on the job, go figure.

Please feel free to ask any computer technical issues, and hardware build/buy advice questions while I'm here, it's all i have to offer yall in return for all the great info you've already given me.
Oh and of course once bought and installed i'll come back and give a review of how things worked out in case any other small room folks roll though.
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post #2 of 31 Old 03-04-2013, 03:09 PM
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Maybe I missed it, but I didn't really understand exactly what you'll be using these for (movies, gaming, music?)

I actually had a room very similar to yours dimension-wise. I had a few iterations of the Definitive Technology 5.1 system (started with the ProCinema 600, then went to 1000's all the way around). Movies sounded awesome, but I can't tell you much about their sound without a sub. The ProMonitor 1000's will go deeper than your typical satellite, as they have a resonator on the top. From there, I replaced my L/R with Def Tec StudioMonitor 450's, and that's when I realized I preferred the sound of 2-channel audio in a room of that size, even for movies.

So, I sold everything, and I purchased a pair of Goldenear Aon 3's. They projected a wall of sound that just made my jaw drop. Even on movies, I really didn't miss having rear surrounds and a sub because I was so impressed with what I was hearing in front of me, and bookshelf speakers of that size can give you some surprisingly good bass.

The point of this all is just to consider spending that money on two great bookshelf speakers, set them up wide and toed in, and hear what you think.

If you're dead set on surround sound, I think any of those options are going to do it for you. In my experience, however, the bass response of small bookshelf speakers on their own, while better than tiny satellites, has never impressed me.

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post #3 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guteLaune View Post

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't really understand exactly what you'll be using these for (movies, gaming, music?)

Thanks for the input.


It's going to be for all 3(movies, music, games) run from my computer. Games will be the primary use, so for me surround is important(need to know when to spin around on someone trying to come up behind me).
I know most smaller speakers don't carry a lot of bass, but they will mostly be used with the sub, just has to go off if i'm up late. Currently though after killing the sub from the satellites I have(fairly cheap ones to be sure) it's like listening to a speaker project for kids made out of cardboard box, note paper cone and scotch tape, so much is lost.

So i want something that can carry more range for those times. They need not be bassy, just able to carry a decent range over what i currently use in that situation, while being a great full sound system with the sub in use most of the time.

While the current space will not allow for it, the longer term use plans include output from these sources:

1: computer games
2: DVD/Streaming movies(from computer)
3: music from computer
4: music from turntables
5: output from a Yamaha electric piano
6: output from a Sequential Circuits Drumtraks


For now though there is no room for the turn tables + mixer , piano, or drum machine. So those are relegated to garage use currently with the club speakers until we move to a place where i have space to get it all into one room again. That's not likely to be anytime soon though so rather then wait for us to move i'm settling in as best i can with what space i do have.
For this reason it would be nice to get something that would fit in the current space, but also move with me and remain a decent choice even if my room is upped in size a bit(it will never be that much bigger we like being in a smaller space as it's just the two of us).
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post #4 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 10:19 AM
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Based on reviews and auditioning the HB-1 Mk2s, the S30s got my vote for the space I was in (my living room is something like 11.5' x 12' x 8' ceiling). In a few days of sub-less 2.0 testing with music and movies they did astonishingly well. The S30-derived Mordaunt Short Carnival 2 is supposed to sound similar and its front porting might save some space.


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post #5 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 10:44 AM
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^^ I have a pair of Mordaunt Short Carnival 2 on my desktop. if I were robbed they would be the first thing I replace - with another pair of Mordaunt Short Carnival 2. I love them. The S30 and Energy RC-10 were very close contenders for nearfield passive speakers, the Carnivals were a tad less "in your ears", which I preferred sitting this close. One admission - I didn't bring the S30 home for audition, the RC-10 and Carnival 2 were tested in side-by side comparison.

Wharfedale was the only other speaker I wanted to try but didn't. I wouldn't recommend the PSB (for anything eek.gif ) as desktop speakers. One additional speaker that I loved in this configuration, but couldn't justify the price, was Peachtree Audio D5. The Carnival's warmth and laid back characteristic was close (and 25% of the price).

Try to listen to as many speakers as you can. Listening from a meter away is way different. Fatigue can quickly set in if you consider the speakers to be at all bright in store.

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post #6 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip on the Mordaunt Short Carnival 2 speakers, but they seem a bit hard to come by as they are no longer made.

Google turns up little


And the one place i can find them is Sears? Really, Sears online store with a non-sears vendor selling them called Choice Avenue. they seem to sell a potpourri of whatever which makes me just a bit hesitant to purchase from them.
Supposedly they do have 4 of these in stock and I can get a carnival 5 center from another seller there as well.
This was the only place i found these for sale at all, other wise just one used pair at amazon.

C2s @ 307 a pair + 250 for the center
comes to $1009 shipped without a sub, so is very close to maxing my budget after adding a sub.

i did find S30s at $219 a pair so

S30s @ @219 a pair + center S50 @ 199 is $637 shipped.

A $372 difference.

This seems a bit big of a price gap for a set of speakers that are consider to be close to the same thing.

Worth it? Do you think the vendor may be iffy?

I'm always a little cautious when buying something no longer being made and very low in availability like this.
Would you stick to a vendor that's audio product focused for this kind of a buy?
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post #7 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 12:51 PM
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not sure about other options on the Carnivals, and if you've got a 30 day return policy I don't know how much vendor specialization matters in this case, but audioadvisor.com is another source for the S30s.


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post #8 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 12:51 PM
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http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/MORDCARNPACK/MORDAUNT-SHORT-Carnival-Home-Theater-Speaker-Package/1.html

There is a Mordaunt Short Carnival 5.1 package for $399 new.
And from a Authorized Dealer
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post #9 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 01:14 PM
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Yikes Yeti, I didn't realize they were no longer available. I only paid $250 a pair (I think), that Sears price is not realistic. Amazon has the Aviano 2 for $309 a pair, they are the next upgrade from carnival. If interested you might want to give them a try, Amazon is very good about accepting returns.

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post #10 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the input.
Good to hear what the new cost was in the range of for comparison to what i could find.

The C2 seemed like a good fit with the front ports and proper size(<10" deep) for my space but alas all the current lines they make are rear ported. Not that i couldn't use them but it was a + point for the space i have to be sure.

thanks also for the look around to find some deals.

Closer looking at the 5.1 set shows the C2s(front ported) clearly in the picture, but the details in print say it's shipping with the C1s, not the C2s
As i have a good deal more room in my budget over the $400 for the 5.1 C1 setup I'm going to keep looking.


Looking at the Mordaunt-Short Aviano 2 shows a depth of just over 11". A little too big for my room i'm afraid. i got to stay in the 10" or less deep zone and not really nay wiggle room on that one.
The Aviano 1 comes in at 10.7 so is also just a little too big for the space probably...4+ the Aviano 5 at $349 comes to about $850(+ tax and shipping still)

and the S30s are still about $200 cheaper . Worth the cost?

Anyone here use the or have exp. with Aviano 1 speakers?

Looking more and more like the S30s might be the way to go from what i have read and the feed back i get in the forums. It seems to be the speaker most people have nothing particularly negative to say about. Not that others don't come well recommended, just seems like the overall highest satisfaction though from what other users have to say.
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post #11 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 02:58 PM
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The Avianos are very good there is just something about there treble and mids that make me think I bought the wrong towers (different company) after I heard the bookshelves.
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post #12 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 03:20 PM
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Just to make sure the S30s will physically fit the space: the owner's manual wants them at least 8 cm off the wall. The Vidsecu clamping mounts from Amazon might open up some positioning options - and they'll allow plenty of room behind the speakers - but they do require some wall drilling. I used them for my surrounds.


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post #13 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 04:22 PM
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For your varied use cases, I would say you're on the right track pursuing the S30s. My old ears are just too sensitive cool.gif

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post #14 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Well it's down to these two for me it looks like

2: Ascend HTM-200 SE set of 5....maybe the 170s for the fronts if i feel i can take the heat for their extra size.(WAF heat. What's up with girls and speakers needing to be small all the time?)

or the

5: Cambridge Audio S30 x4 + S50



I did see people saying that the S30 might be a little bright or something(a little in your face treble sometimes) Which is one of my concerns.
Whatever I get will be wall mounted, but the fronts and center will be near field to my computer use position(primary use say 80% and mostly for games) and about 6'+ from the couch for tv/movie watching(secondary use maybe 15%).
Music listening is the least use, as i tend to go to the turn tables in the garage for that most days anyway, and when it is music form the computer i'm not generally in the room but doing stuff around the house while it plays.

I did order the wall mounts a few days ago as they seemed like the way i was likely to go already(the clamping ones).
Also speaker size will have some effect on how high up the wall i will have to mount the fronts (the bigger the higher they will have to be mounted).
All measurements are est.

I currently est. the fronts will be about 3' from me at most unless i mount them higher up the wall. Currently looking at about 6' off the floor but could go higher(may have to go higher for WAF).


So being that they will be near filed listing, used as a 5.1 set most of the time(for games not movies as much), and wall mounted is there a clear choice or is this a coin toss?
Both sets (170x2+200x3 or S30x4 + S50x1 ) cost within a few dollars of each other so no price considerations, just what will i be better served by?


I lean a bit to the ascends. A mix of looks, place of manufacture, and i just like to support smaller and local companies when i can, but i'm no free market sucker i do want to get proper value for my $ not just a good feeling about where it's going.



A couple extra questions if I may.

Both sets also come in cheap enough that i could spend some extra on the sub.

Currently looking at the HSU STF-1. Seemed to get decent reviews and it's over all size is about as big as i could have. The 11" w is quite a perfect fit for the space other wise I would have gone straight to the SFT-2 but at 14" it's going to eat up a bit more room than i want to give up.
Is this a decent plan or would anyone suggest something else that's with in my size and price limits? The two choices above leave me about $500 to burn(yea little more but the spending less is good and factors into the WAF equation). In fact if i could find a set of speakers that i really liked but would only take up 10 square inches total she would probably be ok with spending a years earnings on them wink.gif



Also as i described the front speaker setup would you recommend mounting the center closer to the LCD or keep it even with what ever height i wind up mounting the fronts?


And a big thank you again for all the great input, it's been really helpful.
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post #15 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 07:43 PM
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Others will probably have a clearer idea than myself for positioning the center in that scenario, but another option may be to use a wall mounted S30 instead of an S50.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

Well it's down to these two for me it looks like

2: Ascend HTM-200 SE set of 5....maybe the 170s for the fronts if i feel i can take the heat for their extra size.(WAF heat. What's up with girls and speakers needing to be small all the time?)

or the

5: Cambridge Audio S30 x4 + S50
?

I can't speak to the HTM-200 SEs or CBM-170s, but in case you hadn't seen Ster3ohead's 170/s30 comparison, here's the link: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1327952/almost-got-floored-by-cambridge-s30/150#post_20447176

his side by side pics: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1327952/almost-got-floored-by-cambridge-s30/150#post_20403433
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

Currently looking at the HSU STF-1. Seemed to get decent reviews and it's over all size is about as big as i could have. The 11" w is quite a perfect fit for the space other wise I would have gone straight to the SFT-2 but at 14" it's going to eat up a bit more room than i want to give up.
Is this a decent plan or would anyone suggest something else that's with in my size and price limits?

At that size, maybe also consider the SB1000, but I think the HSU would be good. Haven't heard either myself, but I have been impressed with larger models from each company.


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post #16 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

Well it's down to these two for me it looks like

2: Ascend HTM-200 SE set of 5....maybe the 170s for the fronts if i feel i can take the heat for their extra size.(WAF heat. What's up with girls and speakers needing to be small all the time?)

or the

5: Cambridge Audio S30 x4 + S50

One thing to keep in mind is that the HTM-200 SE is designed for maximum output for its size while being used with a subwoofer for bass extension (crossed over at 80 Hz, so it's hardly a typical satellite, though), while the S30 is designed to have enough bass extension (for a bookshelf speaker of this class) to be used without a subwoofer if desired, so in this respect the S30 has a major advantage; the HTM has an advantage in being only 6 3/8" deep, though. Now, the CBM-170 SE has the bass extension you'll want AND it can play louder more cleanly than the S30 because it's a much larger speaker, but its size is obviously a tradeoff. An argument could definitely be made for either choice, with the S30 seeming to be a more ideal fit with its combination of small size (albeit its 9.2" depth) and decent bass extension.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

I did see people saying that the S30 might be a little bright or something(a little in your face treble sometimes) Which is one of my concerns.

Everybody hears a bit differently, but this is not something I've heard a lot about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

So being that they will be near filed listing, used as a 5.1 set most of the time(for games not movies as much), and wall mounted is there a clear choice or is this a coin toss?

No issues here with that mount.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

Both sets (170x2+200x3 or S30x4 + S50x1 ) cost within a few dollars of each other so no price considerations, just what will i be better served by?

The Ascend system will give you greater output capabilities (probably unnecessary in your case), superior resolution, and better accuracy in terms of "coloring" the sound less (they're deliberately designed with many of the same goals as studio monitors), although the Cambridge system will be good in this regard, too, and some people simply prefer how the S30 sounds, regardless. With the CBM-170 SE, the Ascend system will be larger, and without it there may not be enough bass extension when played without a subwoofer, so I think that you'd need the CBM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

I lean a bit to the ascends. A mix of looks, place of manufacture, and i just like to support smaller and local companies when i can, but i'm no free market sucker i do want to get proper value for my $ not just a good feeling about where it's going.

These are all great values--you can't go wrong with either choice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

Currently looking at the HSU STF-1. Seemed to get decent reviews and it's over all size is about as big as i could have. The 11" w is quite a perfect fit for the space other wise I would have gone straight to the SFT-2 but at 14" it's going to eat up a bit more room than i want to give up.

With size being of such concern (understandably), the STF-1 would be a good choice, in my opinion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

Also as i described the front speaker setup would you recommend mounting the center closer to the LCD or keep it even with what ever height i wind up mounting the fronts?

I generally prefer all three front speakers to be at the same height, as long as the center wouldn't be far from the screen, but if it would be then I'd compromise to get the center right above or below it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Resonate View Post

another option may be to use a wall mounted S30 instead of an S50.

I second this option, if you decide to go with the Cambridge system. You could also substitute the S20 for the surrounds, which would save you some room as well as money.
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post #17 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

Also speaker size will have some effect on how high up the wall i will have to mount the fronts (the bigger the higher they will have to be mounted).
All measurements are est.

I currently est. the fronts will be about 3' from me at most unless i mount them higher up the wall. Currently looking at about 6' off the floor but could go higher(may have to go higher for WAF).

So if I'm reading this correctly, the wall the speakers will be mounted on is 3' in front of you, and the speakers will be about 2' (or more?) above your ear level. Is this correct? At this extreme off-axis angle (near 45 degrees from the fronts of the speakers), the sound quality of the speakers will be compromised; even if you tilted the clamping mount that you're considering as far as it will go, this would only reduce the angle by about 7 degrees. At your couch the situation is a bit less extreme, but you still may need to use different mounts to be able to tilt the speakers down enough. Am I close to the mark in saying that you'd be sitting about 6' away from the speakers when on the couch? What is your approximate ear height when sitting at your desk and on the couch (could be anywhere from 3-4 feet, I suppose depending on the chair and your height)? Let me know so that I can find some solutions if necessary.
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post #18 of 31 Old 03-06-2013, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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^^
The space is 7wx9d, couch on back wall, desk on front wall, desk chair close to center of space(bout 2' closer to front wall then back).
A wall is to my left when seated(about 2-3'' away) open space on right. Total room size is 13x9, but speakers will stay in the 7x9 area as the other part of the room is wife's computer desk/office area.


The front wall is about 2' 6" from my seated position and 6' off the floor mount height puts the speakers(using a tape measure while seated) at just about 3' from my ear(a diagonally straight line from ear to where i est. the cones would be). I am fairly well centered on the wall so this is right about the same distance for both speakers.
This includes that the speakers would be in the clamp mounts so a little bit out from the wall.

they may be about 1' (maybe +/- 2-3" at most) above ear level when i'm sitting in my chair(I'm 6' tall so i sit a little high) and about 2' or so above ear level when on the couch.
The bottom of the front speakers would be just a little above the top of my LCD(maybe 6") so the center could be both inline with the fronts and only a few inches above the display(under is not an option that's precious desk real estate)

i think just a little over about 6' from the fronts while on the couch is correct, but I'm not as concerned about the couch time as that accounts for a fairly small % of total use. If i can get this set up well for my desk sitting spot that's the real goal, i can live with whatever that means for couch time.

Putting the rears even with the fronts(for height) has the bottom of the speakers come to just a little over head height while on the couch. As they are on the same wall(as the couch) they will be close to even(out from the wall) with a person's head sitting on the couch(antique couch fairly narrow back, not a modern over stuffed).

For this, i had wondered if i should mount the rears a little higher and slight more down angle so they might be heard better form the couch. But i would not do that if it would compromise the desk listening position. Desk is number 1, all other positions are not important enough to make any compromises to that listening position.






Super thanks for those two links Resonate. i have been reading that thread(almost got floored) but was not likely to make it 168 posts in.
The pictures of all the speakers next to each other for size really helps(thank you Ster3ohead) and the pics of the speakers set up in home look way better than then the company site pics. I think i'm sold on the S30s now after the side by side compare was given as it sounds like this person may have similar sound tastes to my own.

Thanks again for all the helpful advice yall.

P.S.
any place you prefer to use for such a purchase? The S30 is not found so easy as the S30SL seems to be it's replacement. Found at sears online from a 3rd party called HiDef Lifestye but have not bought form them before(buy lots of computer hardware online so i only really know those sites well), anyone yea/nay on them?
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post #19 of 31 Old 03-06-2013, 01:51 PM
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5 NHT SuperZeros and 1 awesome sub. I use 5 of them in room much larger than yours with a 50 watt/channel AVR and I have no problem hitting over 95db at the MLP (about 10ft from the front 3).

They sound wonderful, great imaging and disappear completely when watching movies or gaming. Plus they're small and look great too.

Combine them with a SVS SB1000 or SB12 and you're all set.

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^the OP needs to run w/o a sub sometimes though:
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Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

FYI: Whatever i buy will be used both with and WITHOUT the sub unit turned on. I'm in a duplex and my floor is another's ceiling so on weekend late nights the sub goes off(current satellite system is terrible to hear without the sub, which is why i'm not looking at a sat. system for such a small room).


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the other place I know of with S30s: http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=CAS30
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Originally Posted by Robert Cook View Post

I second this option, if you decide to go with the Cambridge system. You could also substitute the S20 for the surrounds, which would save you some room as well as money.

That sounds like it could be a nice fit. I like to use my S30 surrounds in Multichannel Stereo mode when I'm not in the room (the whole house is rockin with the volume at -40dB) but aside from that they aren't asked to do nearly as much as the fronts.


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Originally Posted by Resonate View Post

the other place I know of with S30s: http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=CAS30
That sounds like it could be a nice fit. I like to use my S30 surrounds in Multichannel Stereo mode when I'm not in the room (the whole house is rockin with the volume at -40dB) but aside from that they aren't asked to do nearly as much as the fronts.

They say "some items out of stock. do you want what we have now and ship the other stuff later when we get it in or wait till we have it all and ship it as a group?" but they don't tell me this until i'm checking out and it's not saying what it is that's out of stock so i can't get what they have from them and what they don't have from someone else. geerrrrrrr (actually played with the cart, they are out of both S30s and the S50 they just like to let you pretend your going to buy something)
Hope I didn't miss the boat on these.

I'll keep looking today but i'm wanting to pull the trigger on this buy sometime thur. if i can. I'm lazy(outside my primary hobbies) and this project is already running over my effort budget. I get OCD on this stuff if it goes on too long, and then I'll be dreaming about shopping and installing speakers soon if i'm not careful. I prefer dreaming about tearing apart computer hardware and my computer related DIY projects. Well that and hot sex.

I do have the space and budget for it so i'm going to get the S30s as a 4 set and an S50 center instead of 30s and 20s.
Now if i can just find a set to buy.


Yea I did look at some NHTs but anything that seemed to meet the needs in sound came up over budget. The Zeros don't dip into the lower ranges quite enough for me seeming to be specifically designed for use with a sub for a proper full sound.

Thanks again all for your time and effort here helping me out.
And really if you happen to have a computer related tech issue or build/buy advice needed don't hesitate to ask i do wish I could offer more in return for all your time.
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post #23 of 31 Old 03-06-2013, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

^^
The space is 7wx9d, couch on back wall, desk on front wall, desk chair close to center of space(bout 2' closer to front wall then back).
A wall is to my left when seated(about 2-3'' away) open space on right. Total room size is 13x9, but speakers will stay in the 7x9 area as the other part of the room is wife's computer desk/office area.


The front wall is about 2' 6" from my seated position and 6' off the floor mount height puts the speakers(using a tape measure while seated) at just about 3' from my ear(a diagonally straight line from ear to where i est. the cones would be). I am fairly well centered on the wall so this is right about the same distance for both speakers.
This includes that the speakers would be in the clamp mounts so a little bit out from the wall.

they may be about 1' (maybe +/- 2-3" at most) above ear level when i'm sitting in my chair(I'm 6' tall so i sit a little high) and about 2' or so above ear level when on the couch.
The bottom of the front speakers would be just a little above the top of my LCD(maybe 6") so the center could be both inline with the fronts and only a few inches above the display(under is not an option that's precious desk real estate)

Alright, thanks--good info! It's not as bad as I had feared. You will be vertically off-axis by approximately 20 degrees--that's not good, either, but if you tilt the speakers down as far as the mount will go, then the angle will be about 13 degrees. With the HTM-200 SE or the CBM-170 SE (inverted), I think that would be fine (based on measurements and experience), but with the S30 I'm not so certain (not enough data). As with the other speakers mentioned, you'll likely get the best performance by inverting it so that its tweeter is underneath its midwoofer (try it both ways if you go with the S30).

Or you could fully correct this issue by using another mount such as the OmniMount 20.0, but the S30 does not have threaded inserts, so you'd have to drill wood screws into them instead.

Sorry, I don't mean to make things harder than they already are, but if you want the best performance from your equipment, you'll want to set it up optimally.
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Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

i think just a little over about 6' from the fronts while on the couch is correct, but I'm not as concerned about the couch time as that accounts for a fairly small % of total use. If i can get this set up well for my desk sitting spot that's the real goal, i can live with whatever that means for couch time.

Well, the situation happens to be better for the couch anyway, so no worries there.
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Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

Putting the rears even with the fronts(for height) has the bottom of the speakers come to just a little over head height while on the couch. As they are on the same wall(as the couch) they will be close to even(out from the wall) with a person's head sitting on the couch(antique couch fairly narrow back, not a modern over stuffed).

I don't get it--I thought from reading the above that the front speakers would be 2' above the couch listening position, and naturally the same would be true of the surrounds (not rears) if they're mounted at the same height. confused.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

For this, i had wondered if i should mount the rears a little higher and slight more down angle so they might be heard better form the couch. But i would not do that if it would compromise the desk listening position. Desk is number 1, all other positions are not important enough to make any compromises to that listening position.

Go ahead and raise them a bit higher than the fronts if it would give them more distance from those sitting on the couch.
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Originally Posted by Resonate View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Cook View Post

I second this option, if you decide to go with the Cambridge system. You could also substitute the S20 for the surrounds, which would save you some room as well as money.

That sounds like it could be a nice fit. I like to use my S30 surrounds in Multichannel Stereo mode when I'm not in the room (the whole house is rockin with the volume at -40dB) but aside from that they aren't asked to do nearly as much as the fronts.

I prefer to use large surrounds myself (and do), but when space is at a premium, smaller surrounds can get the job done.
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post #24 of 31 Old 03-07-2013, 05:24 AM
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Gotcha^

In case it helps, I would say that the S30s certainly have a bigger sweet spot than FS52s and possibly a bigger sweet spot than the HB-1 Mk2s - this is just based on my genereal impression watching/listening from different spots on my couch during testing.

In regard to the height of the fronts, maybe wait till the mounts come in, tilt them all the way down (bottom out the tilt groove before you tighten them and you'll both get a little extra and lock the full tilt in place), lash a yardstick to them, and see how high you can go while keeping the tweeter ~zeroed on your ear.

Also, it occurs to me that I may have a bit of comparable S30 nearfield experience from when I tried out Multichannel Stereo for a couple days when I first set it up - my surrounds were set up as in the above paragraph, but mounted on walls 11.5' apart. Although I stopped using Multchannel Stereo for in room music listening, it was more enveloping and had better soundstaging than I get with the TV-hugging fronts 12 feet away. The first thing I remember noticing was a bell in a song that seemed to clearly originate from a specific point in the room each time it was played. I'd say it was very much like wearing headphones. In that scenario the downsides were that the surrounds COMPLETELY eclipsed the fronts, and due the surrounds' position relative to the sub, it often felt like the music was coming from behind me, which I did not want. Anyhow, I think the way you'll have it set up will be great. Also, I might try setting up my fronts the same way when the mounts come in; as it is they're only 3 inches from the sides of the TV.


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post #25 of 31 Old 03-07-2013, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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@Robert Cook

yea my est. on where the rear speakers come to is probably off. As i don't have mounts or speakers in hand yet I'm just eyeballing it a fair amount right now. I probably under guessed it in relation to the couch position. I'm using a cardboard box as speaker place holder and my use of the measuring tape is a bit lax. I'll get properly careful once i have things in hand and can actually see how they fill the space.
Thank you for all the input this is going to help a lot.


And now my one real issue left is I CAN'T BUY THESE SPEAKER ANYMORE.
The S30 seems to be out of stock with everyone and the S30-SL is not yet available(don't care for the finish on it anyway really).
A few places say they have S30s, only to find out they don't during check out, or that they list it for buy but your actually pre-ordering for when they get more in. Which I'm not willing to do, especially as it seems the S30 is about to be EOL, they may not get anymore in anyway.





On another note, i was making some jokes before about my honey's willingness to part with more money to save space. Turns out it's no joke.
My honey is a serious penny pincher(which is good cause i just lite money on fire sometimes for no need at all so it keeps me in check) But it turns out parting with money is not such an issue when compared to giving up household space.

So, if the S30s are no where to be had, and i would have to spend more money to get a speaker meeting my needs, around the same size or smaller (as S30, it was the smallest of what i had recommendations on)it's apparently not going to be an issue.
In fact even if the S30 were in stock she would still not care about spending more if it meant space saving.

All previous needs are still in effect of course. While wanting small i need something that can preform on it's own without a sub. Fine if a sub is needed to really fill out the sound, but not if it's needed to keep from listening to tin can sounding higher ranges only speakers.

Or of course, i was sold on the S30s and would snatch up a set of 4 if i could. I have pretty good google-foo, but i keep turning up empty for a seller that actually has these in stock. After 3 days of looking I'm about outta hope.
I could go for the Ascend set still, but that picture of the 170 and the S30 side by side really helped sell the S30's size to me. Space is a real factor for me too, i don't want to sit in a room that feels cramped all the time.


So on that note.
Any speaker suggestions for my wants if i upped the budget a bit?
I had been shooting for around 1k with a willingness to go to 1.4k max, but now i'm more willing to hit 1.6-1.8 or so for a 5.1 setup(smaller speakers = more money is ok according to the WAF variable). Which i interpret to mean: If the S30 was as small as it's going to get and it costs more to get something same sized now that's it's out of stock, so be it.


A little more money, and a focus on small size(10"or less deep, about 12" tall or less) turned up a few other things to consider.

What do you think of these options?
I'm still, open some of the OP options too(the Ascends were next on the list), but if the budget is upped and something S30 sized or smaller/better can be had, i'd be in for it(as is also my honey).


Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000

Paradigm Atom Monitor

Monitor Audio BX1

FOCAL CHORUS 705V


Unless there is a better rec for the sub I'm probably sticking with the HSU STF-1 for it's most proper size fit for me. But i did note that the SuperCube 2000 and the ProSub 1000 both come in about the same size and can be had in a package deal with the 1000 F/B/C set. Any thoughts on that? both more or less = or is the HSU sub a little on top for that size range maybe?

I find the Focal 705Vs to be very nice looking, are they more style then substance for the price($400 pr.)?



BTW sorry to be back to the drawing board on this one yall. Twice now i have been teased with great speaker recs. that met all my wants, only to find they can't be bought anymore. I guess makers figure out pretty quick when they have something too good for the price point.

And as always, a most deep bow and big thank you to all chipping in on this quest for small but full sounding speakers.
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post #26 of 31 Old 03-07-2013, 01:34 PM
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Sorry to hear of the fruitless search. One current option is these + S50 + S20s. That way you're spending more AND saving space with the S20s wink.gif. Dennis Murphy's S30 mod is by all accounts worthwhile (check out the Almost Floored thread for the background and reviews of it).

And if that doesn't work out: Based on my quick listen [to the v7] the Atom Monitors would probably do the trick; I am not familiar with the others. You may have a Paradigm dealer nearby with an audition room.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

And now my one real issue left is I CAN'T BUY THESE SPEAKER ANYMORE.
The S30 seems to be out of stock with everyone and the S30-SL is not yet available(don't care for the finish on it anyway really).
A few places say they have S30s, only to find out they don't during check out, or that they list it for buy but your actually pre-ordering for when they get more in. Which I'm not willing to do, especially as it seems the S30 is about to be EOL, they may not get anymore in anyway.

Bummer! frown.gif
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So, if the S30s are no where to be had, and i would have to spend more money to get a speaker meeting my needs, around the same size or smaller (as S30, it was the smallest of what i had recommendations on)it's apparently not going to be an issue.
In fact even if the S30 were in stock she would still not care about spending more if it meant space saving.

The main problem is that it is difficult to find such capable speakers of a small size at any reasonable cost, or even at ANY cost, period. I guess that's why you're here asking wink.gif, but I'm just saying that your options will be limited.
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I could go for the Ascend set still, but that picture of the 170 and the S30 side by side really helped sell the S30's size to me. Space is a real factor for me too, i don't want to sit in a room that feels cramped all the time.

Given the dimensions of your space, I totally understand--frankly the 170 would look huge in here (and take up substantial space). As much as I like and enjoy listening to mine, it's not necessary for you to use such a large bookshelf speaker (well, it's ordinary sized, but you need small). On the other hand, if you ever plan to use it in a large room someday, it would be future-proof in that sense--this one can take a lot of power and put out a lot of sound for its size.
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Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000

Paradigm Atom Monitor

Monitor Audio BX1

FOCAL CHORUS 705V

Of these, I like the Monitor Audio BX1 the most. The others aren't as accurate in tonal balance (my personal preference, anyway), and this one is small but seems to have sufficient bass extension to be used by itself at reasonably low volumes (probably your plan, anyway). The Focal Chorus 705V should be quite capable, but it's large--you might as well go for the CBM-170 SE, in that case. I'm not sure how the other two match up in sound quality, but they've never impressed me (with the caveat that I've only auditioned an early version of the Paradigm Atom).
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Unless there is a better rec for the sub I'm probably sticking with the HSU STF-1 for it's most proper size fit for me. But i did note that the SuperCube 2000 and the ProSub 1000 both come in about the same size and can be had in a package deal with the 1000 F/B/C set. Any thoughts on that? both more or less = or is the HSU sub a little on top for that size range maybe?

The performance specs of the Def Tech subs are highly exaggerated. The HSU STF-1 should have enough output for your tiny space, and probably has better sub-bass extension than these other subs in reality. That said, if you want something even smaller that also digs deeper, and wouldn't mind paying for it, consider the SVS PB-1000 for $499:
http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/sealed-box/sb-1000
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I find the Focal 705Vs to be very nice looking, are they more style then substance for the price($400 pr.)?

They are sharp-looking, I will say that. This is a quality speaker from a respected manufacturer, and is probably worth the money, but on the other hand the plain-Jane (works for me, too) CBM-170 SE is not much larger, has better bass, sounds more accurate to me, and probably has greater output capability (not necessary in your case, but just for comparison). If you want small speakers, however, then neither would be an ideal option.
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Sorry to hear of the fruitless search. One current option is these + S50 + S20s. That way you're spending more AND saving space with the S20s wink.gif. Dennis Murphy's S30 mod is by all accounts worthwhile (check out the Almost Floored thread for the background and reviews of it).

That's an interesting option, too. I'll try to dig up some more, given the loosened purse-strings. wink.gif

By the way, I just came across the following post regarding the S30's availability, for what it's worth:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1327952/almost-got-floored-by-cambridge-s30/300_100#post_23053759
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post #28 of 31 Old 03-08-2013, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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OOHHHH look a site called http://www.avhifi.com claims to have the S30 in(and a set of 4 in oak like i want) as well as the S50 center.

Anyone know this place? After 3 days of looking and only turning this up today it makes me a little hesitant as so many other sites claim to have them only to not actually have them. My concern is a BS site willing to get the payment 1st and then say oohh sorry we're out of stock on that item, we'll ship it to you when we get it in. Any company doing that kind of thing is probably a pain in the ass to get my money back out of once they have it.

Of course the budget has been upped a bit, so if i could do better in about the same size package that'd be cool.
I think I'll make this buy in a few hours if i don't hear anything else back in here. I had already decided to go this route so it kind seems like i should move on this one.



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The main problem is that it is difficult to find such capable speakers of a small size at any reasonable cost, or even at ANY cost, period. I guess that's why you're here asking wink.gif, but I'm just saying that your options will be limited.

Oh yea i'm aware that smaller speakers can only carry so much range and that the lower end bass tends to require a bit of volume to come out sometimes too.

For me it's probably best to state the advice I need most like this:

If you had to have a speaker no bigger than 10" deep(and about 10"h X 8"w +/-1-2"), no sub woofer in use, and a budget of about 1k-1.3k for a F/R/C set. What would you get?


Took me a while to figure out how to state that though as i have been playing around with what my exact space limits are, and of course a recent bump in the budget.
But whatever speaker that may be, odds are good it will beat the daylights out of the tiny satellites i have now when the sub is not on.
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post #29 of 31 Old 03-08-2013, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

OOHHHH look a site called http://www.avhifi.com claims to have the S30 in(and a set of 4 in oak like i want) as well as the S50 center.

Anyone know this place? After 3 days of looking and only turning this up today it makes me a little hesitant as so many other sites claim to have them only to not actually have them. My concern is a BS site willing to get the payment 1st and then say oohh sorry we're out of stock on that item, we'll ship it to you when we get it in. Any company doing that kind of thing is probably a pain in the ass to get my money back out of once they have it.

I'm not familiar with this seller, but they do let you pay through PayPal, so you should have some protection there. I've only had to complain to PayPal once, ever, and after a few days of non-communication from the seller, my money was refunded, no problem.
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Of course the budget has been upped a bit, so if i could do better in about the same size package that'd be cool.
I think I'll make this buy in a few hours if i don't hear anything else back in here. I had already decided to go this route so it kind seems like i should move on this one.

Oh, sorry for taking so long to answer--I set this thread aside so that I could continue to search for other options, but that search has been fruitless. There are some small, high-quality, higher-priced alternatives, most of which may be difficult to find to purchase, but I rejected one after another due to somebody or other saying that it doesn't live up to its specs regarding bass. The S30 is really special in this regard, I guess, although I think the Monitor Audio Bronze BX1 would serve you well, too.
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Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

Oh yea i'm aware that smaller speakers can only carry so much range and that the lower end bass tends to require a bit of volume to come out sometimes too.

That and their bass often fades before you get very loud, too. Size matters, but the S30 does a good job of bending the rules. smile.gif Let us know if you've ordered them by now.
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Originally Posted by FullFrontalYeti View Post

For me it's probably best to state the advice I need most like this:

If you had to have a speaker no bigger than 10" deep(and about 10"h X 8"w +/-1-2"), no sub woofer in use, and a budget of about 1k-1.3k for a F/R/C set. What would you get?

I'm probably the wrong guy to ask because my answer would be based on what I want rather than how it looks--I'd go for bigger than necessary rather than small, but that's just me. If you want capability for size, particularly bass for non-subwoofer use, then the S30 is a real winner (although its compadres will need to be crossed over to it). That said, with your increased budget and a little bending of your requirements, I'd want something like this:

3 x Ascend Sierra-1
2 x Ascend HTM-200 SE
Total = $1638

If you want to talk about bass for size, in a room this small you may not need a subwoofer at all with the Sierra-1. biggrin.gif It's a bit tall, but it's only 7.5" wide.
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post #30 of 31 Old 03-08-2013, 06:43 PM
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You could even save money by going with them use coupon code fdxhd147 to get 10% off.
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