Advice Needed - New Speakers 1,200 budget - AVS Forum
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Been a while since I've been around so not sure if this is the right place for this but here's the deets:

Panny Plasma, 50", Denon AVR 791 - Orb Mod2 Setup.

I have had the Orbs for like nine years and the sub is giving me problems, I'm thinking it's time to move on from them completely.

Looking for 5.1 setup. I moved into a house last year with built in ceiling rears and I don't see any reason to replace them (even though I don't know what they are exactly) so keeping those out of the mix. Wish I could do 7.1 but they'd just get in the way.

Really looking for L-C-R + Sub suggestions.

A lot of film and TV. Definitely a huge music fan and love music DVDs but don't seem to get the time to turn up the music nearly as much as a Friday night Blu Ray but, it's definitely important it sounds great for music.

Room is about 14X11 but it's really an open living room/kitchen so it goes all the way down to 30x11 (ceiling rear right is at 14)

Hoping to add a picture so hopefully that works. Looks like I could possibly do bookshelf style LR but big towers aren't an option.

Your help is greatly appreciated!

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Old 04-17-2013, 10:04 PM
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You wanna place the speakers in the cabinet? or on stands? or? A nice budget setup might be to get the regularly on sale at newegg.com Klipsch RW12d sub for $300 shipped plus 3 Ascend Acoustics 340SEs for $904 shipped.

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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Old 04-18-2013, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

You wanna place the speakers in the cabinet? or on stands? or? A nice budget setup might be to get the regularly on sale at newegg.com Klipsch RW12d sub for $300 shipped plus 3 Ascend Acoustics 340SEs for $904 shipped.

I think in the cabinets would be best. I have young kids so stands won't work. You're the second person the recommend the Ascend 340s to me so I'm going to really check them out

EDIT -

New info - wife is NOT loving the idea of the 340s speakers filling up her cabinets - what do you think about the 170s and/or 200s? What combination would be best for L-C-R? I could maybe fit the 170s on the TV cab if I raised the TV up a little bit + that would mean no drilling which would make my wife happy. Maybe 170s for LR and 200 for center?

If I did put the 170s in the cabs (my wife has OK'd the 170s in there) they'd be about 6 ft apart. Is that too much?

THANKS!
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:37 AM
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I figured there was some WAF involved with all the bric-a-brac in the cabinet. Being single, fortunately I can stay focused on what counts wink.gif

How about ceiling mounting? Easier to do with the 170 & 200 models (I have both, but actually don't have the 340...yet). 6 feet apart somewhat depends on your listening position, but probably fine (many prefer a triangle arrangement, with you equal distance from the speakers as they are apart from each other). One concern with putting them in cabinets is the rear port on the 340/170 can be affected by the enclosed shelf somewhat, and you'd want to put the speaker at the edge of the shelf to reduce reflections (hopefully that is okay smile.gif ). 170 L/R and 200 C would work, perhaps not ideal (I use a 200 for a center with some non-Ascend speakers and have used it with a pair of 170s also, no issues).

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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Old 04-18-2013, 11:49 AM
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My living room dimension and floor plan are similar to yours. I would recommend to get a better sub rather than going with the RW-12D. I am currently using the RW-12D, which I am selling now to go with a Power Sound XV30. When I started getting in to the home theater saga, I didn't believer what most hardcore HT people told me...."You usually spend double on the subwoofer than what you spend on your speaker set up." I believe this now lol. I really like the RW-12D, but now that my wife and I are listening to more music there are certain times the sub / low notes do not sound as good as we want.

Anyway, speaker wise. Ascend are good. HTD, HSU, KEF. If you are in a low budget Polk Audio Monitor Series, Pioneer Phase 2. I am currently using the Monitor 70s for front, Monitor 25c center and they sound good, but now I am looking to replace them with HTD Level 3 speakers wink.gif.

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Old 04-18-2013, 12:20 PM
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Arx A1 bookshelfs for LCR very similar in performance to the Ascend 170SE but slightly cheaper. http://www.theaudioinsider.com/manufacturers.php?mPath=13 3 across the front would come in way under budget with enought left of a great subwoofer.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:28 PM
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At 6' apart, I'd put your L-C-R money into just L-R and spend the rest on a good sub. Looks like you're not very close to the speakers/tv so I really don't think a center would be needed.

KEF Q300 + Outlaw LFM-1ex = $1,120
HTD Lvl 3 + Outlaw LFM-1ex = $950
ARX a1 + Outlaw LFM-1ex = $950
EMP e5bi + Outlaw LFM-1ex = $900
EMP e4 + Outlaw LFM-1ex = $950


Others to look at:

Klipsch RB-51 and RB-61
PSB B5 and B6
Paradigm Monitor line
Wharfedale Diamond line

...I'm sure I'm forgetting some

Panny 65st60 / Denon X1000 / EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:02 PM
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Now, I'm wondering if the Arx would sound better than the HTD rolleyes.gif

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Old 04-18-2013, 01:16 PM
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You're in CA so I'm sure there are a few people that might have these speakers around you. Ask if anyone is located near you in the owners threads of these brands...

Panny 65st60 / Denon X1000 / EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:20 PM
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I'd look at NHT since all their speakers are acoustic suspension (sealed) and may work better on a shelf/in a bookcase.

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Old 04-18-2013, 05:43 PM
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Sealed speakers won't make a difference in a book case. What I would want is something with controlled directivity. I would go for Klipsch or Hsu speakers, they may potentially be less affected by being placed in a book case, which is far from the ideal placement for any speaker. Nearby reflections in a book case are going to play havoc with the speaker's off axis frequency response, but the Hsu and Klipsch speaker will have less of a off-axis response to get mangled.

For surround speakers, I wouldn't spend as much on the speakers, especially on a modest budget. I would be looking at the Behringer 2030p speakers for surrounds, they are very good and inexpensive. However, if they don't pass the wide approval test, check out the BIC America FH-65b bookshelf spaekers or the Pioneer SP-BS22.

For subwoofers, I would be looking at either the Hsu VTF2 mk4, Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Plus, or Rythmik LV12r. Your room is pretty big and even those beasts will need a hand in there, so I would place them as close as possible to your seating position. Something like an endtable placement or perhaps right behind the seat would be best, that way you will get powerful bass and the sub won't have to be constantly pushed within an inch of it's life just to get you the desired levels of output.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:44 PM
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I would also suggest NHT speakers for your application. They are some of the few that are good for in-cabinet installations like yours.

A pair of the NHT Classic Two speakers runs around $600. Add the NHT Absolute Center speaker ($300) and you have a great system that
will work well in that location.

The NHT B12D subwoofer is a great one (I use it), but it is $700.

I would suggest a Klipsch RW-12D to stay within your budget.

The NHT Absolute Zero speakers would be perfect if you want surrounds, but as you say they are not too critical.





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I'd look at NHT since all their speakers are acoustic suspension (sealed) and may work better on a shelf/in a bookcase.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:48 PM
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And one more thing, the best affordable bookshelf mounts by far are the Videosecu side-clamping mounts. It's a miracle you can get such good mounts at that price, seriously. If you need to mount or angle your speakers, THOSE are the way to go. Also, make sure you get your HDMI cable from monoprice.com, do NOT go to bestbuy or radio shack to get HDMI cables, the markup on those things are insane at electronics stores. Like-wide for speaker cable, just go to Home Depot and get a roll of 14 AWG cable, because you will get ripped off at electronics stores on that as well.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:52 PM
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100 feet of the Monoprice 14 gauge speaker cable is around $25, and it is pure copper.

Hard to beat it for decent quality cable.

Some of the stuff Home Depot sells is not pure copper, so be careful there.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:39 PM
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The Home Depot near me sells GE speaker cable, 14 AWG, you can get a 100 ft roll for less than $20, I am pretty sure that stuff is pure copper.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:35 PM
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If you go with placing the speakers in the shelves I'd recommend sealed or front ported speakers as the "safest" option (I didn't see mention of how deep the shelves are). That would leave the NHT's, HTD Level 3's and the KEF Q series. They're all good speakers but I would probably favor the KEF. Two options could be ...

Q100 pair
Q200c center
SVS PB-1000 (or SB-1000) sub
Total 1230

Q300 pair
Q200c center
Klipch RW12D sub
Total 1100

The Q100 are a bit smaller than the Q300 and might have improved WAF when placed in the shelves. Or, if you decide to mount the smaller size could make things easier then also. I've auditioned both the Q300 and Q100 and I ended up keeping the Q100's (there's lot if good info re both in the KEF Owners Thread).

The Klipch RW12D ($300) is the go-to, respectable, entry-level sub for HT but IMO can be lacking for music - music needs a little more (pitch) definition and accuracy. The SVS sub I mentioned ($500) is a significant step up, and within budget if you go with the Q100's. (The other subs mentioned - the HSU, Outlaw and Rhythik - are also a step up and $50 to $100 more than SVS.)

(KEF prices from http://www.accessories4less.com/)
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:46 PM
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Rear vented speakers aren't affected negatively by an enclosed space any more so than front ported or sealed. It sounds like a lot of guys here don't get what ports do for speakers.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:03 PM
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Rear-PORTED speakers are definitely affected a LOT by any wall or partition to their rear (within 12 to 18 inches or so).

It changes their loading and therefore changes their bass response considerably.

I have no idea what a "rear-vented" speaker is.

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Rear vented speakers aren't affected negatively by an enclosed space any more so than front ported or sealed. It sounds like a lot of guys here don't get what ports do for speakers.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:28 PM
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Vented and ported are the same thing regarding speakers. Also, yes, enclosed spaces will change the bass- for the better. The native frequency response is already going to be shot by placing it into an enclosed space. The bass will get a small boost, and this is not a bad thing. It means the woofer will need to exert less effort to produce bass, so you have less distortion. Since the ports are only producing the lowest end of the speaker's tuning, it means most of that bass is omnidirectional, so it isn't going to be affected by the environment unless you cover the ports completely. Rear ported speakers won't sound different than front ported speakers unless the port's tuning is unusually high.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
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Vented and ported are the same thing regarding speakers. Also, yes, enclosed spaces will change the bass- for the better...
Quote:
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Rear vented speakers aren't affected negatively by an enclosed space any more so than front ported or sealed. It sounds like a lot of guys here don't get what ports do for speakers.

I understand the "purpose" of ports on speakers. Please note I wasn't speaking in absolutes - for the benefit of the OP I said what, in my experience, would be "safer".

I have personally seen times when a rear ported speaker in an enclosed shelf (i.e. 5 sides) "can" negatively affect the speaker sound. There are skads of variables - enclosed shelf size/shape vs speaker size/shape, solidity/density of the shelf materials and the cabinet's construction, how the speaker port is being used by the speaker - and probably many more beyond my knowledge. The negative effects I've seen (again only in "some" setups) are an undesirable woof-iness or boom-iness just on certain frequencies, or, a general degradation of the speakers' balance/evenness from hi to low caused by an over emphasis on the low. I, and other forum members, have also seen similar negative effects, on occasion, with rear-ported speakers place too close to a wall.

Sometimes (maybe most of the time?) it works fine, but sometimes it doesn't.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:00 AM
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Speakers sound best with stand-off distances. Any speaker will suffer when placed in a enclosed area. Which side the port is on doesn't matter here. If it did, no manufacturer would ever place ports on the back of the speaker. Most of those variables you mentioned are irrelevant with respect to ports. And I think those instances where someone thinks rear porting can cause boominess with proximity to surfaces can be attributed to imagination. If the port was on the front or if the speaker is sealed or using a radiator, the acoustic effects would be very similar as long as the speaker's native frequency response is similar.
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:30 AM
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I think I would go with htd speakers in your case. Never heard them, but they got great return policy, have good user reviews, look decent could pass WAF?, and the horns may help with your cabinet issue. I do not like klipsch, so i will not recommend those, but you may like them.

4 htd level 3 bookshelf speakers for front and surround with a level 3 center. Add a rythmik subwoofer.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:25 AM
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As you can see, there are lots of good options in your price range. I would get a strong sub, a PB-1000 at the minimum, or maybe a step up like the PB12-Nsd, Outlaw LFM-1EX, Hsu VTf2. You don't need to match the sub to the speakers. Then, I would order a couple of pairs of speakers and listen for yourself, plus show the wife the finish on each set so she is happy. So many speaker companies allow in home trials...Emptek, Aperion, SVS, Ascend, HTD, NHT, etc. that way your ears are the final judge. Plus, it is fun. If you are near a bunch of stores, you can also listen there and see if they will let you take pair home to test drive.

Use these forums as a starting point to get suggestions for brands you might never have heard of and other advice, but it is best to listen for yourself.

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Old 04-19-2013, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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This is fantastic! I really appreciate all of your detailed responses and I've got plenty think about thanks to all you you.

UPDATE- The NHT's are looking great due to the setup (in cabinet) and WAF factor (They come in white!). Thanks for the new term, guys. Love that! If anyone wants to weigh in more on NHT's that would be great. Doesn't seem to be a ton of info + not many places have in stock.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:37 AM
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Assume you saw their website http://www.nhthifi.com/ ?

PS and for my part, since I think I brought up the rear port/vent thing, was not to stick the speaker all the way back against the back of the cubby hole....which WAF just might prefer. smile.gif

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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Old 04-19-2013, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Assume you saw their website http://www.nhthifi.com/ ?

PS and for my part, since I think I brought up the rear port/vent thing, was not to stick the speaker all the way back against the back of the cubby hole....which WAF just might prefer. smile.gif

The port issue was something I didn't know about so definitely thanks for bringing to my attention. As for the placement, if they're white, the WAF won't mind at all - she may even actually like them!
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:05 AM
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Yes, whichever speaker you get, regardless of ported or not, try to keep it as far forward in the cabinet as possible so there are less reflections off the cabinet walls.

Also, we love updates and pictures, so let us know which speaker you decide on.

Thanks.

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Old 04-19-2013, 01:12 PM
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Yup. Flush with cabinet to reduce that first lower (and possibly side/top) reflection.

The NHT (i think it's the Classic 3..?) that had very good measurements. Also, the B&W CM1 comes in white.

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Old 04-19-2013, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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About to pull trigger on two NHT Classic Two (White) Absolute Center (Black) and already bought the RW-12D (I know, I know, but it works in my budget!) Anyone wanna try and talk me out of any of this? LOL.


Is High Def Lifestyle a reputable place to buy from? The White Two's are hard to find in stock and the have them for 299 where I see the for 329 everywhere else. Any reason for that? Hope they're not old versions or something.


http://www.hideflifestyle.com/nht-classic-two-white-bookshelf-speaker-each-n-2w.html
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:45 PM
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I would have not gone with the center and gone with a better sub, but that's just me. If your left and right mains can't create a solid center image that close together then I wouldn't be looking at those speakers

Opinion, but most will agree I'd think that the LFM-1ex looks much nicer too. I'd use that as bargaining!

Panny 65st60 / Denon X1000 / EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i
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