Best speaker option ~$300? 2.1 (Energy RC10 vs Arx A1b) vs 3.1 (3 x Energy Veritas V-Mini-C) vs Other? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Title: Best speaker option ~$300? 2.1 (Energy RC10 vs Arx A1b) vs 3.1 (3 x Energy Veritas V-Mini-C) vs Other?
(edit: too long, looks like it got cut off)

Hey-

AVS Forum noobie here (long-time reader, first-time poster smile.gif) and looking for some help (or maybe just some confirmation I'm on the right path)... My long title kind of sums up what I'm looking for help with, but basically I'm trying to find out what my best option is (in terms of value and quality) for some replacement speakers in the $300 range (willing to go a little higher if there's a big value difference).

Anyway, here's some background information...

Objective:
Replace my trusty, but underwhelming Logitech surround setup with a high quality (budget-friendly) sound system. The new set up will be multi-purposed, but heavily weighed for listening to music. I'd also like to have the option of upgrading to 3.1 or 5.1 in the future without having to replace whatever I buy now.

Intended Usage:
- 75% music while working (in "room"... more on that below)
- 10% music while upstairs (...)
- 15% movies/TV/youtube/etc (already have a HT set up downstairs though, but would watch occasionally).

Room/Area configuration:
I have an office/nook area upstairs in my house. One wall is open (above about 4') and there's no door, so it's an open area to the upstairs. I have an extended desk that goes wall to wall (current subwoofer is under desk, near corner).

Other equipment:
Denon AVR 1613 (purchased)
SB-1000 (open to other suggestions, but I'm leaning towards the SB-1000 (and that's my price ceiling)).

Leading Candidates:
Arx A1b- If I go 2.0, as of now, I'd probably go with the Arx A1bs. Looks like they are well reviewed pretty much everywhere and a strong option for music.
Energy RC 10- I've been seeing good things about the RC 10s in terms of value and quality for listening to music. It looks like they might have been discontinued so not sure if tracking down a pair would be an issue.

I was thinking about getting a 2.1 set up now and potentially adding a center/surround at some later point... but I saw a deal for Energy Veritas V-Mini-C for a little over $90 each (+free shipping). That seems like a pretty awesome deal, which threw a wrench into my plan... It looks like they are also good for music and a 'shorter' center channel would work well for me (the way my monitors are set up, a sub 5" center would be ideal).

Follow up questions:
Does anyone have any experience using 3 of these (V-Mini-C) in a 3.1 or 5.1 setup?
(Main concern) Would that they might be too 'bright' for music?
How much of a drop off would these be from the Arx A1b for music if I have a decent sub like the SB-1000 to go along with them?

I'd be fine with open box or manufacturer refurbished items too (under the right circumstances).

Phwew, well, if anyone makes it through all that... Thanks smile.gif and let me know what you think and if you have any questions.

EDIT: Looks like I'll be going with a 2.1 setup. Heavy emphasis is still on (many types of) music.
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post #2 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 03:57 AM
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don't know anything about ARX A1 except what I've read in these forums.

I own Energy RC-10's and have a RC Mini center which is very similar to the V Mini center. The RC-10s are a better speaker than the Mini center. Plays deeper, larger cabinet, bigger woofer. I'd rather have two of those than 3 V-mini centers.I recommend them if you can find a pair but they have been discontinued. Also finding the matching RC LCR center for decent price is a quite difficult.

Another speaker that may interest you and is popular on AVSForum is the Level Three bookshelf speaker from Home Theater Direct. The price is $299/pr and you can purchase the matching center whenever you're ready to add more speakers to your system.

http://www.htd.com/Products/level-three-speakers/Level-THREE-Bookshelf-Speakers

HTD will give a 30 day risk free guarantee so you can try them out in your home.

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post #3 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 09:31 AM
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Even though I have not heard them, I would go with the Arx A1bs. I previously owned the RC-10s. They are excellent speakers, but the RC series is discontinued. The matching center, the RC-LCR, is even difficult to find used at a good price. Not a good choice for building out a setup later on.

I also recently upgraded my desktop setup to the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs. I like them better than both the Energy RC-10s and Energy Veritas V5.1s. More neutral response with better mid-bass and a little lower bass extension. I definitely like them better for nearfield use. Since the A1bs have been compared favorably with the 170s, I would lean toward them if I only had $300 to spend.

What kind of music do you listen to?
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post #4 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Even though I have not heard them, I would go with the Arx A1bs. I previously owned the RC-10s. They are excellent speakers, but the RC series is discontinued. The matching center, the RC-LCR, is even difficult to find used at a good price. Not a good choice for building out a setup later on.

I also recently upgraded my desktop setup to the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs. I like them better than both the Energy RC-10s and Energy Veritas V5.1s. More neutral response with better mid-bass and a little lower bass extension. I definitely like them better for nearfield use. Since the A1bs have been compared favorably with the 170s, I would lean toward them if I only had $300 to spend.

Cool, as of right now I'm leaning towards the Arx A1bs. There will be a lot of nearfield use for these.
However, If I go that route, do I have any good options for getting a center channel later? I've heard it's a bad idea to mix and match LR with different center channel model/brand, but the center channels for both the Arx A1bs and the L3 bookshelves look pretty massive (not sure I can fit anything taller than 6" (and sub 5" would be ideal)), but width and depth are not an issue at all...
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

What kind of music do you listen to?

All kinds... except for country and polka and hardcore heavy/speed metal. When I'm working or just listening to music, it's mostly a lot of classic/90s rock or current alternative with some classical/jazz or 80s/90s rap mixed in (with the occasional electronic/techno/dubsteb song). Not much pop. When I'm working out (listening outside of the 'room'), there's a lot more hip hop/higher bpm music in the mix.
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post #5 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 11:17 AM
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You want the matching center channel because an exact timbre match is important for the front sound stage. I would rather go without a center channel than have a mismatched one. Maybe you can mount the center channel above your monitor? Or you might find that for occasional movie watching sitting at your computer, you might not miss it that much.

My listening tastes seem similar to yours smile.gif

I find that the CBM-170 SEs have enough bass for me, even with much old school hip hop and EDM where the midbass is important. Just not dubstep or some EDM that has very low frequency output. They do pretty well down to 50hz for nearfield listening. Most of the time I just leave my sub off because the 170s produce very tight bass response. That was not true with the RC-10s. Not sure how the A1bs are in that regard. Ascend Acoustics does have b-stock of the 170s in your price range. You might consider them, too. Here's one AVS member's journey with both of those speakers in his home:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b
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post #6 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

You want the matching center channel because an exact timbre match is important for the front sound stage. I would rather go without a center channel than have a mismatched one. Maybe you can mount the center channel above your monitor? Or you might find that for occasional movie watching sitting at your computer, you might not miss it that much.

My computer monitor setup is kind of crazy, so not sure if going above would be a good idea (and would likely be difficult to set up reliably). I've got a 30" (1600p) and a 24" (1080p) stacked horizontally with a vertical 24" (1200p) on each side. The monitors in the middle (24"/30") are on adjustable monitor arms, so a low profile center speaker under the 30" would be no big deal... but gets a lot more complicated if its too tall (or above the monitors).

I'm guessing I might be fine without a center channel, but just want to make sure I have a backup plan smile.gif.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I find that the CBM-170 SEs have enough bass for me, even with much old school hip hop and EDM where the midbass is important. Just not dubstep or some EDM that has very low frequency output. They do pretty well down to 50hz for nearfield listening. Most of the time I just leave my sub off because the 170s produce very tight bass response. That was not true with the RC-10s. Not sure how the A1bs are in that regard. Ascend Acoustics does have b-stock of the 170s in your price range. You might consider them, too. Here's one AVS member's journey with both of those speakers in his home:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b

Thanks, I'll check out that thread a bit more later today... at first glance his note about the dialogue and sensitivity, the CBM 170s now look like they might be a better option for movies, etc (especially if I don't get a center channel). Any idea if anyone has done a comparison of these two strictly for music (ideally using a SB-1000 or comparable S/W)?

Thanks again for the help.
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post #7 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koeikan View Post

Any idea if anyone has done a comparison of these two strictly for music (ideally using a SB-1000 or comparable S/W)?

Take a look at that thread I linked to. The AVS member did quite a bit of comparison between the two.

I would expect the SB-1000 to perform equally well with either set of speakers. However, it is very small compact sub that is meant for smaller rooms. Since your room is open to the upstairs, the PB-1000 would probably be the better choice (same price) if you have room for the larger size. When you are ready to order, call SVS and ask them. They can tell you.
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post #8 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 11:55 AM
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:Doesn't sound like you'd have room for a center channel, at least a decent one. Probably better off with a 2.1 setup.

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post #9 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Even though I have not heard them, I would go with the Arx A1bs. I previously owned the RC-10s. They are excellent speakers, but the RC series is discontinued. The matching center, the RC-LCR, is even difficult to find used at a good price. Not a good choice for building out a setup later on.

I also recently upgraded my desktop setup to the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs. I like them better than both the Energy RC-10s and Energy Veritas V5.1s. More neutral response with better mid-bass and a little lower bass extension. I definitely like them better for nearfield use. Since the A1bs have been compared favorably with the 170s, I would lean toward them if I only had $300 to spend.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Thanks for your feedback here. I had the 170s (non SE version) and currently have the rc10s. I'm considering trying the 170SEs and comparing them to the rc10s. The rc10s are great speakers in the $300 pricepoint, plus their relatively small size is nice for nearfield/desktop use. Mine are the black ash finish, which is a nice touch as well. Compared to the rc10s I remember the 170s being a bit more "live" but the room variable is a big one. One thing I dont like about the 170s is their finish - they don't get fingerprints which is nice but I wish they looked a little nicer...

I'm surprised you noticed the bass extension for desktop use - is it that much better than the rc10s? I generally listen at lower levels but just curious as I remember reading the 170SEs having a bit better bass response than the earlier versions.

Also, what are you using to power the 170s? I'm using audioengine A2s for desktop use and considering going with the newer 170s and a small amp/receiver to power them.
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post #10 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Take a look at that thread I linked to. The AVS member did quite a bit of comparison between the two.

Will do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I would expect the SB-1000 to perform equally well with either set of speakers. However, it is very small compact sub that is meant for smaller rooms. Since your room is open to the upstairs, the PB-1000 would probably be the better choice (same price) if you have room for the larger size. When you are ready to order, call SVS and ask them. They can tell you.

Thanks for putting the PB-1000 on my radar, but wouldn't a sealed sub be better for music (at least in theory)? (I will also ask when I call.) Any other subs in the ~400-500 range that I should consider (for music)? (I was also considering the HSU STF-2, but it looked like the SB-1000 might be a better option for 'musicality'). Also, it might sound stupid smile.gif, but my desk setup seems to help a lot with the room being 'open' (it's under the corner section of the desk and it's pretty much blocked off in all directions after a few feet except the front... where I generally will be).

Thanks again... it's looking like 2.1 will be my best option (unless I can figure out a way to change my monitor set up).
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post #11 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koeikan View Post

Thanks for the replies.
Cool, as of right now I'm leaning towards the Arx A1bs. There will be a lot of nearfield use for these.
However, If I go that route, do I have any good options for getting a center channel later? I've heard it's a bad idea to mix and match LR with different center channel model/brand, but the center channels for both the Arx A1bs and the L3 bookshelves look pretty massive (not sure I can fit anything taller than 6" (and sub 5" would be ideal)), but width and depth are not an issue at all

None of the Arx centers will fit, the A1b is a nice center with the tweeter rotated for horizontal use but its going to be 7.1" tall even on its side. Like someone else mentioned you'll probably be better off with a 2.1 setup. The Arx can image damn good and makes it sound as if the sound is coming from the tv.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

They do pretty well down to 50hz for nearfield listening. Most of the time I just leave my sub off because the 170s produce very tight bass response. That was not true with the RC-10s. Not sure how the A1bs are in that regard. Ascend Acoustics does have b-stock of the 170s in your price range. You might consider them, too. Here's one AVS member's journey with both of those speakers in his home:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b

The Arx are flat to 47hrz, so nearfield I wouldn't be afraid to run them fullrange at all. The Arx speakers are criticially damped with a Q of .5 which is very nice for cone control. Add to that the xbl2 woofers and low distortion and it makes for a very nice midbass sound.
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post #12 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koeikan View Post

Thanks for putting the PB-1000 on my radar, but wouldn't a sealed sub be better for music (at least in theory)? (I will also ask when I call.) Any other subs in the ~400-500 range that I should consider (for music)? (I was also considering the HSU STF-2, but it looked like the SB-1000 might be a better option for 'musicality'). Also, it might sound stupid smile.gif, but my desk setup seems to help a lot with the room being 'open' (it's under the corner section of the desk and it's pretty much blocked off in all directions after a few feet except the front... where I generally will be).

If you are only concerned about the bass output when sitting at your desk, the SB-1000 would be fine if it's right there with you. If you want bass that will fill your upstairs when you crank your stereo, it probably won't do that. That's why I said ask SVS. They know their subs better than anyone else, and understand more about subs that most people on this forum smile.gif
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post #13 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

If you are only concerned about the bass output when sitting at your desk, the SB-1000 would be fine if it's right there with you. If you want bass that will fill your upstairs when you crank your stereo, it probably won't do that. That's why I said ask SVS. They know their subs better than anyone else, and understand more about subs that most people on this forum smile.gif

Makes sense smile.gif.
At desk is definitely the top priority and I want a tight/responsive musical sub for those conditions, but I'd want it to sound 'good' elsewhere as well.

As far as music goes (and ~$500 limit) is SVS my best bet? Seems to be much harder to track down quality musical subs around $500... when I set up my HT a few years back, I had a lot more options smile.gif.

Right now, after reviewing that other thread, I'm thinking my best bet might be to get a pair of the Arx A1bs and the CBM-170 SEs (and maybe the Level 3 bookshelves from HTD) if they have a money back return policies and returning the one(s) I like less... I keep going back and forth reading the review(s) smile.gif and going with the SB-1000 (unless SVS convinces me the PB-1000 is the better option for my room configuration).

Thanks everyone for the help, this has definitely been helpful... feel free to chime in with anything else I should be considering.
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post #14 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koeikan View Post

Right now, after reviewing that other thread, I'm thinking my best bet might be to get a pair of the Arx A1bs and the CBM-170 SEs (and maybe the Level 3 bookshelves from HTD) if they have a money back return policies and returning the one(s) I like less.

You definitely should. Not just to prevent buyer's remorse and make sure you got the best speakers for you. But also because it is a fun part of the process do that kind of in-home demo with more than one set of speakers smile.gif

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post #15 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 06:03 PM
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Hi,

Your room size for subwoofer choice is unknown. I just put in an SB-1000 last week, my office is about 1200 cf. The SB-1000 is about 7' away from me, over my right shoulder and sitting in a corner. The placement is good (given that I had very few choices), the sub performs very well in this space but I wouldn't expect it to perform the same in a space much larger. My office is zone 1, living room zone 2. If I play the same source from both I can detect that the sub is active while in the living room but I wouldn't call it ideal (disclaimer: my subwoofer is level matched to bookshelves, I'm not a boomy kind of guy smile.gif ). Great little sub though. I listen to everything from indie to classical with the same restrictions as you, and have been very pleased with the results.

I had Energy RC-10 for a short time, auditioning them for nearfield use and passed them up. Really nice I thought, but not quite what I was looking for in a desktop speaker. While I don't know the CMB-170, based on both cel4145's recommendation and our collective experience with the RC-10 I'd say it's a very good choice. I've just changed to Emp E41-B, which I find to be several notches above the RC-10 in midrange but with less bass (depending on RC-10 placement/port), which is why I decided on the SVS.

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post #16 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

You definitely should. Not just to prevent buyer's remorse and make sure you got the best speakers for you. But also because it is a fun part of the process do that kind of in-home demo with more than one set of speakers smile.gif

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biggrin.gif

Most of these companies are very generous with return policy, if it costs a little more to make the right choice by shipping a couple of pairs back then it's an expense worth having and it all works out. The entertainment value of in-home audition alone is worth the expense!

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post #17 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Hi,

Your room size for subwoofer choice is unknown. I just put in an SB-1000 last week, my office is about 1200 cf. The SB-1000 is about 7' away from me, over my right shoulder and sitting in a corner. The placement is good (given that I had very few choices), the sub performs very well in this space but I wouldn't expect it to perform the same in a space much larger.

Since his room is open to the upstairs, definitely sounds like he needs to put the SB-1000 nearfield 2 or 3 feet away, or go for the PB-1000.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Hi,
I've just changed to Emp E41-B, which I find to be several notches above the RC-10 in midrange but with less bass (depending on RC-10 placement/port), which is why I decided on the SVS.

I'd like to hear the EMP Teks. We need a speaker swap club smile.gif

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post #18 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 06:39 PM
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I'll weigh-in. I'm an unashamed fan of Arx, but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't consider the CBM-170SE's as well. Maybe an in-home trial for both if your budget can swing it?

Also, I'm a HUGE fan of HSU subs. A VTF-2 mk3 would be a mighty fine companion to any small bookshelf.

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post #19 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Your room size for subwoofer choice is unknown.

The area under the corner section of the desk is about 20cf (The surface area of the opening is around 7-8'). The size of the office/nook is around 525cf and TIL apparently almost a perfect cube. There are 2 full walls, .4 of a wall (open area) and .75 of a wall (entrance). As aforementioned, I will occasionally be listening to the audio from other rooms also, but have reasonable expectations for when I do.

Thanks.
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post #20 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

I'll weigh-in. I'm an unashamed fan of Arx, but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't consider the CBM-170SE's as well. Maybe an in-home trial for both if your budget can swing it?

Yeah, I think that's what I'm going to have to do. It seems the A1b vs 170 SE both have their subtle differences and I can't make up my mind smile.gif. If the CBM's aren't too bright for me, I think that's what I may end up with though... but I'll put them to the my test.
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Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

Also, I'm a HUGE fan of HSU subs. A VTF-2 mk3 would be a mighty fine companion to any small bookshelf.

I'd probably go with HSU if I was going to be watching more movies, etc. How do you (others feel free to chime in too smile.gif) think they stack up against the SVS subs for music (or just how are they for music, if you haven't used/heard the SVS subs)?
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post #21 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 07:28 PM
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Other speakers I haven't seen mentioned in your budget are the Hsu HB-1 mk2 and the HTD Level Threes. This recent comparison from Sound and Vision would be worth looking at given your budget.

For a subwoofer with size limitations, this is the guy I would get. It takes just a small bit of assembly but all you need is a screw driver. It will likely be more powerful than the SB12 NSD, and will most certainly blow a SB1000 away. If you can find room for a large sub, look at the Outlaw LFM-1 EX, which is on sale right now for $629 shipped, a great deal when you consider how powerful that sub is.

You might also consider these Behringer 2031p monitors. They are large but they will rival any of these other speakers for sound quality, they measure impeccably. Plus, they have terrific bass extension, so you can have a lower crossover to the sub. This will do a lot to fight against subwoofer localization, an advantage you particularly may be able to appreciate coming from a logitech system. Unlike every other speaker mentioned thus far, they are geared for near-field listening, which is what your setup is. Here is the 6.5" woofer version of that monitor, the 2030p, it doesn't have the bass extension of the 2031 but it is smaller and friendlier to budget receiver amps. Of all the speakers mentioned in this thread, I would go with the 2031p, and as a bonus, it is one of the less expensive speakers here.
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Since his room is open to the upstairs, definitely sounds like he needs to put the SB-1000 nearfield 2 or 3 feet away, or go for the PB-1000.

85+% of the time, I will be using them nearfield... but still want them to pack a decent punch for that other 15%.
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We need a speaker swap club smile.gif

+1 smile.gif
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post #23 of 111 Old 04-07-2013, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Koeikan View Post

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Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

I'll weigh-in. I'm an unashamed fan of Arx, but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't consider the CBM-170SE's as well. Maybe an in-home trial for both if your budget can swing it?

Yeah, I think that's what I'm going to have to do. It seems the A1b vs 170 SE both have their subtle differences and I can't make up my mind smile.gif. If the CBM's aren't too bright for me, I think that's what I may end up with though... but I'll put them to the my test.
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Originally Posted by BufordTJustice View Post

Also, I'm a HUGE fan of HSU subs. A VTF-2 mk3 would be a mighty fine companion to any small bookshelf.

I'd probably go with HSU if I was going to be watching more movies, etc. How do you (others feel free to chime in too smile.gif) think they stack up against the SVS subs for music (or just how are they for music, if you haven't used/heard the SVS subs)?

Yeah, If you can swing an in-home audition for both(at the same time) then that's the only way you'll really KNOW which you prefer. Rock on with that.

As far as musicality, I have always found the HSU subs to be very musical... even going WAY back to the original 10" 175 watt VTF-2 (back in like 2003/2004). My VTF-15h is still amazingly subtle and musical. Also, the new VTF-2 mk3 has the "q-control" which varies the amplifier's control over the driver (by what I am assuming is a controlled passive feedback loop in the amp). Either way, it makes a noticeable, yet subtle difference in the crispness of the attack and the texture of the bass. If you want really DEEP bass, you can has that. If you want still-pretty-deep, yet crisp bass (much like the sound of a sealed sub), you can have that as well. SVS makes great subs...but the HSU's have always won-out for music to my ears....at least when talking about lower-end models. Top end SVS ultras always sound really good on everything.

Both are very high quality and would serve you well for a long time....so I'm not bashing SVS at all. You could do so much worse than a HSU vs SVS line of thinking. Lots of value there and you can't really go wrong with either.
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

This recent comparison from Sound and Vision would be worth looking at given your budget.

Thanks.
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

For a subwoofer with size limitations, this is the guy I would get. It takes just a small bit of assembly but all you need is a screw driver. It will likely be more powerful than the SB12 NSD, and will most certainly blow a SB1000 away. If you can find room for a large sub, look at the Outlaw LFM-1 EX, which is on sale right now for $629 shipped, a great deal when you consider how powerful that sub is.

Thanks, but a couple follow ups... I don't have any size limits for the sub or speakers (just looking for musical subs and don't really have vertical room for a center channel). I would probably shy away from anything I have to assemble, if only for potential future resale, etc. Also, do you mean blow away the SB 1000 in terms of power or music quality? The latter is much more important for me in this set up. Decent to good power would be expected, but it's not the driving factor. Also, that Outlaw is a bit more than I'd like to spend on the sub (...unless it's waaay better for my purposes than the SB 1000). I'm mostly looking for the best value for a quality musical sub (I previously considered the Outlaw M8, but I think the LFM-EX might be more sub than I need)....

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You might also consider these Behr
inger 2031p
monitors. They are large but they will rival any of these other speakers for sound quality, they measure impeccably. Plus, they have terrific bass extension, so you can have a lower crossover to the sub. This will do a lot to fight against subwoofer localization, an advantage you particularly may be able to appreciate coming from a logitech system. Unlike every other speaker mentioned thus far, they are geared for near-field listening, which is what your setup is. Here is the 6.5" woofer version of that monitor, the 2030p, it doesn't have the bass extension of the 2031 but it is smaller and friendlier to budget receiver amps. Of all the speakers mentioned in this thread, I would go with the 2031p, and as a bonus, it is one of the less expensive speakers here.

Haha, yes, I can definitely appreciate that coming from my current setup smile.gif. I'll add those to the short list and try to find some more info on those (being nearfield is a bonus). I think I recall seeing a few people prefer Arx A1b speakers over those, which is why I think I initially didn't include them... but I'll do some follow up digging to see if I want to include them in the auditions. Thanks.
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Originally Posted by Koeikan View Post

I don't have any size limits for the sub or speakers (just looking for musical subs and don't really have vertical room for a center channel). I would probably shy away from anything I have to assemble, if only for potential future resale, etc. Also, do you mean blow away the SB 1000 in terms of power or music quality? The latter is much more important for me in this set up. Decent to good power would be expected, but it's not the driving factor. Also, that Outlaw is a bit more than I'd like to spend on the sub (...unless it's waaay better for my purposes than the SB 1000). I'm mostly looking for the best value for a quality musical sub (I previously considered the Outlaw M8, but I think the LFM-EX might be more sub than I need)....
I think the Outlaw would be better. Better dynamics and much greater extension. It will not be compressing those peaks at all, unless you really push it hard. With a SB1000, anytime you want to rock, it will be riding its limiter. I don't know that the Outlaw would be more articulate necessarily. If you are only ever going to be listening at modest volumes, the SB1000 will be fine. Let's put it another way: buying one LFM-1 EX is like buying three or four SB1000's.
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Originally Posted by Koeikan View Post

Haha, yes, I can definitely appreciate that coming from my current setup smile.gif. I'll add those to the short list and try to find some more info on those (being nearfield is a bonus). I think I recall seeing a few people prefer Arx A1b speakers over those, which is why I think I initially didn't include them... but I'll do some follow up digging to see if I want to include them in the auditions. Thanks.
If I had to choose between the Arx and Behringer, I would go with Behringer. The 2031 have been tested extensively multiple times by third parties and is a known, proven quantity, you can do a google search to see. There are no third party measurements of the Arx that I know of, and I think it unlikely to measure as well as the Behringers. The way I see it, the advantages of the Behringers vs the Arx would be higher sensitivity, lower distortion, better off-axis performance, and less fragile tweeter. The Advantages of the Arx would be higher impedance load, and maybe a bit more treble detail due to the ribbon tweeter, possibly better on-axis frequency response, and smaller footprint.
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

If I had to choose between the Arx and Behringer, I would go with Behringer. The 2031 have been tested extensively multiple times by third parties and is a known, proven quantity, you can do a google search to see. There are no third party measurements of the Arx that I know of, and I think it unlikely to measure as well as the Behringers. The way I see it, the advantages of the Behringers vs the Arx would be higher sensitivity, lower distortion, better off-axis performance, and less fragile tweeter. The Advantages of the Arx would be higher impedance load, and maybe a bit more treble detail due to the ribbon tweeter, possibly better on-axis frequency response, and smaller footprint.

Without derailing the thread, the bolded parts are some awful strong assumptions made of a speaker that you have never seen, heard, or measured. Shady, no need to lambast the Arx A1b with heresay.

OP, I think the Behringers are also good options and are worth your attention and consideration.
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I don't think those assumptions are that strong. I realize it is conjecture, but just take a look at many of the measurements of the 2031p. I would be very surprised if the budget ribbon tweeter on the Arx can match those off-axis measurements. I am not lambasting the Arx either, I do think they would be good speakers, I just think there are performance metrics in which it would not match the Behringers. A waveguide goes a long way toward thwarting lumpy off-axis response. A larger woofer goes a long way toward reducing distortion, as does XBL2 magnet structure, but XBL2 can't make a 5.25" woofer match bass output as effortlessly as a 8.75" woofer. And ribbon tweeters traditionally are a lot more fragile than typical dome tweeters. I can't believe that the ribbon tweeters in a low cost bookshelf speaker would be an exception.
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Aren't sealed subwoofers generally considered better for music though (especially for quicker bass notes, etc)? More power is tempting, but if I'd be spending more money I don't want to sacrifice anything in terms of response/articulation/musicality/etc... thoughts?


Also, any idea how the Behringers compare to the CBM 170 ES speakers? Any other models worth considering for my setup (or just 2030p > 2031p)? Thanks... I think I'll be trying to order 2 (maybe 3) pairs to try out later this week, but I haven't even settled on which ones yet eek.gif.
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I don't think those assumptions are that strong. I realize it is conjecture, but just take a look at many of the measurements of the 2031p. I would be very surprised if the budget ribbon tweeter on the Arx can match those off-axis measurements. I am not lambasting the Arx either, I do think they would be good speakers, I just think there are performance metrics in which it would not match the Behringers. A waveguide goes a long way toward thwarting lumpy off-axis response. A larger woofer goes a long way toward reducing distortion, as does XBL2 magnet structure, but XBL2 can't make a 5.25" woofer match bass output as effortlessly as a 8.75" woofer. And ribbon tweeters traditionally are a lot more fragile than typical dome tweeters. I can't believe that the ribbon tweeters in a low cost bookshelf speaker would be an exception.

I understand what you're saying and I take back the lambasting comment.


Still, it's not a budget tweeter. It's essentially a tweaked version of the HiVi 1.3 series...which is a $70 tweeter. I highly doubt the 2031's are using a $70 tweeter. Also, the Arx midwoofer is made by the same OEM as the DIY Audio Exodus Anarchy 6.5"; it would be accurate to consider it the Anarchy's little brother, but with a tweaked motor for enhanced midrange resolution. It may not be able to match a quality 8" in sheer output, displacement, or sensitivity...but it would not be accurate to write-it-off either. I don't know of many 8" woofers that have over 9mm of linear one-way x-max and are flat to past 3khz anywhere near this price range.

Also, Jon has never had one single return on a blown Arx tweeter. Further, I've abused the Arx tweeter thoroughly and it can get painfully loud and still remain very clean, indeed. I know there are domes that can play louder, but the tweeter is certainly not a weak point.
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post #30 of 111 Old 04-08-2013, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koeikan View Post

Aren't sealed subwoofers generally considered better for music though (especially for quicker bass notes, etc)? More power is tempting, but if I'd be spending more money I don't want to sacrifice anything in terms of response/articulation/musicality/etc... thoughts?


Also, any idea how the Behringers compare to the CBM 170 ES speakers? Any other models worth considering for my setup (or just 2030p > 2031p)? Thanks... I think I'll be trying to order 2 (maybe 3) pairs to try out later this week, but I haven't even settled on which ones yet eek.gif.

I went from sealed to ported (eD A7s-450 to a HSU VTF-15h) and am very pleased that I did. Unless you are getting prodigious room gain (and/or are incorporating a lot of outboard EQ), a sealed sub will begin to roll-off long before a ported sub with a similar driver and amp. I think Shady is right, that the Outlaw LFM-1EX is a great choice. The Outlaw subs were designed as a joint-project between Outlaw Audio and Dr. Hsu of HSU Research. The Outlaws are probably going to be the best value out there right now in terms of SQ. The Outlaw is extremely accurate is very dynamic for the price. Using the port plugs (which is essentially the HSU VTF system), you can alter the damping and tuning frequency of the sub to suit your tastes.
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