Need Center plus Subwoofer - buy separates or a soundbar combo? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-14-2013, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All -

I only use my receiver/surround for movies - so my DVD/Netflix/AppleTV go thru my receiver, and I never use
the sound system for regular TV.

I recently moved and my new living room already has speakers ceiling mounted for front and rear surround.
I have no idea what they are but considering my limited usage they sound quite good.

I replaced my projection TV recently with a Panasonic 65" Plasma (VT60) and my current center is too tall.
I also got rid of my Bose surround system so I have no sub woofer.

I'd like to get a new 'slim' center and sub woofer but I don't know if I should look at a sound bar/sub combo,
or if I should get separates.

My priorities are:
1 - Clear voice from the center, good bass from the sub
2 - slim (approx 4" tall) center
3 - sub can be wired or wireless

I do not need surround built into the center/sound bar.
I do not need Bluetooth
etc. since all audio is run through my Onkyo receiver

I've considered a lot of options including:
Klipsch Icon SB-1
Definitive Pro or Mythos Centers (no companion sub chosen)
Definitive CS-80XX series center/bass combo (these are kind of big though)
Yamaha YAS-201 (seems like overkill)


I'm thinking the Klipsch may be the best solution....

My head is spinning now....can you help clear this up? Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-14-2013, 01:11 PM
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Since your center needs to match your mains/ fronts...what speakers are you using for your front l/r? The builder Should be able to tell you the brands. Most AV experts would recommend against in ceiling speakers, unless these have enclosure or you really like thesound in an elevator!
How big is the room the tv is in? And what type of budget do you have? Klipsch may make thebest budget subwoofers, but I WOULD NOT mix horns with regular tweeters for your center.

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-14-2013, 01:13 PM
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I suggest that you look at the Cambridge Audio S50 center speaker, which is only 4.6 inches tall.

It has excellent sound quality, and runs around $200.

The subwoofer depends on what you want to spend.

I use the NHT B12D, which is an excellent one, for $700.

The Klipsch RW12D runs around $450 or so, and it is very good.

For around $250, you can get the Polk PSW505, which is probably the best you can get for a low-budget price.

Sound bars mostly suck pretty bad.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-14-2013, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Since your center needs to match your mains/ fronts...what speakers are you using for your front l/r? The builder Should be able to tell you the brands. Most AV experts would recommend against in ceiling speakers, unless these have enclosure or you really like thesound in an elevator!
How big is the room the tv is in? And what type of budget do you have? Klipsch may make thebest budget subwoofers, but I WOULD NOT mix horns with regular tweeters for your center.

Thanks for replying - the ceiling spreakers actually sound quite good - not boxy at all.
The TV room is pretty big - it's an open area with family room/kitchen/eat-in area - probably 21' x 35', but the main watching/listening area is near the center.
When you say you would not mix horns/tweeters, are you referring to the Klipsch?
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-14-2013, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I suggest that you look at the Cambridge Audio S50 center speaker, which is only 4.6 inches tall.

It has excellent sound quality, and runs around $200.

The subwoofer depends on what you want to spend.

I use the NHT B12D, which is an excellent one, for $700.

The Klipsch RW12D runs around $450 or so, and it is very good.

For around $250, you can get the Polk PSW505, which is probably the best you can get for a low-budget price.

Sound bars mostly suck pretty bad.

Thanks - I'll check into your suggestions.
I've heard a lot of people say that soundbars aren't very good - mind you, I'm not looking for high-end stuff (clearly) but I can't stand crappy sound either.
I'd say my biggest issue is trouble understanding the voice track in movies - sometimes they mumble (others in the same movie are clear) but sometimes
the whole soundtrack can be thick and mushy...

Any comment on the Klipsch SB-1 - or does it fall in to the 'sucks' category?
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-14-2013, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoit View Post

Thanks - I'll check into your suggestions.
I've heard a lot of people say that soundbars aren't very good - mind you, I'm not looking for high-end stuff (clearly) but I can't stand crappy sound either.
I'd say my biggest issue is trouble understanding the voice track in movies - sometimes they mumble (others in the same movie are clear) but sometimes
the whole soundtrack can be thick and mushy...

Any comment on the Klipsch SB-1 - or does it fall in to the 'sucks' category?

What brand and model are your in-ceiling speakers? I would not spend a pile of money on a soundbar.

What is your budget for speakers and sub?
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-14-2013, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

What brand and model are your in-ceiling speakers? I would not spend a pile of money on a soundbar.

What is your budget for speakers and sub?

I don't know the ceiling speaker models (sorry)

I can spend up to $1000
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-14-2013, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoit View Post

I don't know the ceiling speaker models (sorry)

I can spend up to $1000

If it was me, I would consider replacing those in-ceiling speakers you have (chances are they are some cheap builder grade speaker, but you might be able to confirm if you pull the grill off one and send us a picture) with a couple options:

Option #1 Get two bookshelf speakers and a matching center channel (lots of options here)
Option #2 Get two of these in-ceiling speakers that at least have slightly angled baffles and a pivoting tweeter, and this center which should match:
http://www.htd.com/Products/high-definition/HD-R65AIM-ceiling-speakers
http://www.htd.com/Products/center-channel-speakers/Level-TWO-Center-Channel-Speaker

That still leaves you plenty of money for a sub like this one:
https://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/pb-1000

I have to think this would sound much better than what you have now for under $1K.
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-14-2013, 04:03 PM
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Yes, klipsch speakers have horn tweeters, which don't play well with traditional dome tweeters.
If you are having trouble hearing dialogue in movies, I highly doubt those speakers are the "right nan for the job"! I agree, get a decent set of bookshelves, matching center and the best sub you can afford (I got the klipsch rd-12 for 280 recently... Not as good as the svs, nht or outlaw subs, but not 500+ dollars either). Use the in ceiling surrounds and you will have a pretty good system.
I just don't think in ceiling speakers can do it for that space...

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-15-2013, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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OK - I'm going to start digging into all the suggestions - starting with trying to identify what's in my ceiling!

I'll post back with my findings - thanks!
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