Basic questions - Speakers selection, Room size - 30 % TV & 70 % music - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 05-14-2013, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I am newbie who has been reading up & trying out various demo speaker. I still have some very basic questions that i need help with. So, far, i have listened to mostly Floor standing speakers & Polk RTIa7's are the ones that i really like.

1. Currently, i live in a townhouse & the room size is (12 W x 20 L x 9 H). Are RTIA7's too big for this room size ? If yes, then there is a possibility that i might move to an apartment in the near future. Would these size speakers be advisable for an apartment ? I do not want to bother my neighbors or get complaints about noise. Should i try something smaller ? Something like a Pioneer SP-FS52 ? Or maybe even bookshelfs ? Please note that my motivation to get speakers is to enjoy music but will use this setup for TV also.

2. Considering the setup will be for music 70 % & 30 % TV, what is a good setup ? Are LCR's sufficient if i do not care for bass ? Or i have to get subs ? Or, if i go low end(Pioneer SP-FS52), then i will need to get the subs. I do not plan on getting the surrounds(rear speakers). Personally, i would like to lean towards an LCR but do not want to buy an incomplete system.
What are a realistic set of speakers for apartment living ?

For the speakers alone, i am thinking of 1500 as max budget. I currently do not own a receiver but will decide after finalizing the speakers. Here is a list of speakers i have listened to so far. Please note that i live in a small town & will drive up to a big town & try out more speakers after getting recommendations.

Polk RTIA7 - Loved the sound but not sure if i have space / Will have space in future
TSi300 - Sounded too bright (more treble)
Pioneer SP-FS52 - Decent for the price
Klipsch KF-28 - Sound was very good - about the same as RTIA7's


I should also mention that i started this journey, after making this post & want to thank forum memebers who have helped me thus far.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1470120/avr-speaker-setup-under-1400-for-music-including-avr-floorstanding-speakers
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post #2 of 27 Old 05-14-2013, 03:56 PM
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If you like the Polks, get them. Don't worry about them being too big. Have you considered 2.1, rather than 3.0? If your listening position is fairly well centered, running a phantom center is just fine. Throw in something like the Klipsch RW-12D and you'd have a nice sounding system.
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post #3 of 27 Old 05-14-2013, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmundy View Post

I am newbie who has been reading up & trying out various demo speaker. I still have some very basic questions that i need help with.
I should also mention that i started this journey, after making this post & want to thank forum memebers who have helped me thus far.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1470120/avr-speaker-setup-under-1400-for-music-including-avr-floorstanding-speakers

You might look at philharmonic speakers from Dennis Murphy. He has a monitor that is going for $850 a pair. He will break them up and you can use one as a center. He is a musician as well as a cross-over artist. He would probably recommend NHT SuperZero 2.1s for surrounds…. only $100 each. But for music, this is an excellent place to start. Go to www.philharmonicaudio.com to learn more. These will play down to 42Hz which is a bass guitar low E. It may be a challenge to audition them… but at this price… you won't find a better music speaker.
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post #4 of 27 Old 05-14-2013, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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If you like the Polks, get them. Don't worry about them being too big. Have you considered 2.1, rather than 3.0? If your listening position is fairly well centered, running a phantom center is just fine. Throw in something like the Klipsch RW-12D and you'd have a nice sounding system.
My listening position is very well centered because we always sit right in front of the speakers. I don't care much for bass but it looks like having a sub is more important than a dedicated center (knowing that i can run phantom center & seating is in middle ? ) Pls bear in mind that i will be using the same speakers for tv & tv use is 70 percent of time but the 30 percent music listening time is where quality would be most important ..i guess
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post #5 of 27 Old 05-14-2013, 09:16 PM
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Sounds like you're a prime candidate to run a phantom center. I don't miss having a center channel speaker, but greatly enjoy the punch of the sub while watching movies.
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post #6 of 27 Old 05-15-2013, 07:30 AM
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What kind of music do you listen to? Rock, Classical, Jazz….?
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post #7 of 27 Old 05-15-2013, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for re-inforcing the suggestion to use phantom channel .. I am leaning towards doing so & only getting L & R Polk RTIA7's. If i don't enjoy the punch of sub while watching movies/TV, can i do without the sub also then ? I would love to have minimal number of pieces in my setup but don't want to have an incomplete system
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post #8 of 27 Old 05-15-2013, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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What kind of music do you listen to? Rock, Classical, Jazz….?

I listen to a variety of music but which includes a lot of international music....blues, jazz, folk, reggae, 80's..
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post #9 of 27 Old 05-15-2013, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmundy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by crn3371 View Post

If you like the Polks, get them. Don't worry about them being too big. Have you considered 2.1, rather than 3.0? If your listening position is fairly well centered, running a phantom center is just fine. Throw in something like the Klipsch RW-12D and you'd have a nice sounding system.
My listening position is very well centered because we always sit right in front of the speakers. I don't care much for bass but it looks like having a sub is more important than a dedicated center (knowing that i can run phantom center & seating is in middle ? ) Pls bear in mind that i will be using the same speakers for tv & tv use is 70 percent of time but the 30 percent music listening time is where quality would be most important ..i guess

Your music vs TV listening percentage (and preference toward music quality) are pretty similar to mine. I've been running a phantom center setup for about a year and a half and I have not missed the center once. If your speakers image well and you're LP is pretty well centered you may not miss the center. If you do, you could always pick one up later. This is assuming that you have an AVR that allows for speaker/bass management.
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post #10 of 27 Old 05-15-2013, 01:23 PM
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I listen to a variety of music but which includes a lot of international music....blues, jazz, folk, reggae, 80's..
With these styles of music… I would look for a speaker that can resolve a lot of detail. I personally enjoy hearing the pick strike the strings and even being able to tell if they are using a stiff or light pick. Along with a lot of other details that make me feel like I am there. Which leads me to reinforce the idea of the Philharmonitor from Philharmonic audio. There is a lot to be said about a speaker that is willing to display their Frequency Response curve on axis and up to 45° off axis.

Skipping the center is an ok idea… if I had to skip a center speaker or a sub, I would skip the center.
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post #11 of 27 Old 05-15-2013, 02:24 PM
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fwiw, my recommendation pair of kef q300 $500 at accessories4less and a svs pb-12 nsd sub $769

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #12 of 27 Old 05-15-2013, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmundy View Post

I listen to a variety of music but which includes a lot of international music....blues, jazz, folk, reggae, 80's..
With these styles of music… I would look for a speaker that can resolve a lot of detail. I personally enjoy hearing the pick strike the strings and even being able to tell if they are using a stiff or light pick. Along with a lot of other details that make me feel like I am there. Which leads me to reinforce the idea of the Philharmonitor from Philharmonic audio. There is a lot to be said about a speaker that is willing to display their Frequency Response curve on axis and up to 45° off axis.

Skipping the center is an ok idea… if I had to skip a center speaker or a sub, I would skip the center.

+1

The Philharmoitors and a Rythmik sub would make for an excellent 2.1 music setup.
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post #13 of 27 Old 05-16-2013, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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+1

The Philharmoitors and a Rythmik sub would make for an excellent 2.1 music setup.

Where can i audition Philharmoitors near Chicago ? I googled and could not find much. Also, is there a way to find places near chicago that has a nice selection of speakers besides frys ?
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post #14 of 27 Old 05-16-2013, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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fwiw, my recommendation pair of kef q300 $500 at accessories4less and a svs pb-12 nsd sub $769

Any place near Chicago to audition these speakers ?
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post #15 of 27 Old 05-16-2013, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by unavol View Post

Your music vs TV listening percentage (and preference toward music quality) are pretty similar to mine. I've been running a phantom center setup for about a year and a half and I have not missed the center once. If your speakers image well and you're LP is pretty well centered you may not miss the center. If you do, you could always pick one up later. This is assuming that you have an AVR that allows for speaker/bass management.

Thanks, I will keep this in mind when looking for an AVR
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post #16 of 27 Old 05-16-2013, 10:28 AM
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In the ID direct era of consumer purchases, audition means you buy from a place with a good return policy! Hearing the speakers at YOUR house/apartment/room is best anyway!
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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 #17 of 27 Old 05-16-2013, 10:59 AM
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Any place near Chicago to audition these speakers ?
Saturday Audio, be a great place to hear allot of stuff. Could probably find something real nice new or used there.

http://www.saturdayaudio.com
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post #18 of 27 Old 05-17-2013, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I was calling up various places in Chicago to find someone who can demo the NHT Absolute Tower speakers and i happened to speak to someone who had left the business but was very knowledgeable. He strongly suggested to go for NHT Absolute Tower package & I am inclined to give these a try. This person is no longer in the business & he gave very unbiased advice. I will give these a try & if these do not work for me, I will try the Polk RTI A7's. What do you all think ? I am eagerly looking for your inputs ...

http://www.nhthifi.com/Home-Theater-Subwoofer-Absolute-Tower-B-10d
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post #19 of 27 Old 05-17-2013, 08:56 PM
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I would recommend the NHT over the Polk.
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post #20 of 27 Old 05-18-2013, 05:24 AM
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fwiw, was looking thru other threads and saw a fellow member recommend the mordaunt-short aviano6's that where on sale at highdeflifestyle for$479 they list for $1200. never heard the aviano 6's but they do get some nice reviews( but pretty much every speaker you look at has good reviews) what hifi gave them a 5 star rating.also never bought anything from highdef lifestyle so I would do some research into them if you where interested.just some more speakers to look at. good luck
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post #21 of 27 Old 05-18-2013, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I was calling up various places in Chicago to find someone who can demo the NHT Absolute Tower speakers and i happened to speak to someone who had left the business but was very knowledgeable. He strongly suggested to go for NHT Absolute Tower package & I am inclined to give these a try. This person is no longer in the business & he gave very unbiased advice. I will give these a try & if these do not work for me, I will try the Polk RTI A7's. What do you all think ? I am eagerly looking for your inputs ...

http://www.nhthifi.com/Home-Theater-Subwoofer-Absolute-Tower-B-10d

What do you guys think ? I will most likely start with just the two towers and run phantom center. Any AVR recommendations for phantom center or do all Receivers have this capability ?
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post #22 of 27 Old 05-18-2013, 07:47 AM
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All avr's will do phantom center.
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post #23 of 27 Old 05-18-2013, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmundy View Post

I was calling up various places in Chicago to find someone who can demo the NHT Absolute Tower speakers and i happened to speak to someone who had left the business but was very knowledgeable. He strongly suggested to go for NHT Absolute Tower package & I am inclined to give these a try. This person is no longer in the business & he gave very unbiased advice. I will give these a try & if these do not work for me, I will try the Polk RTI A7's. What do you all think ? I am eagerly looking for your inputs ...

http://www.nhthifi.com/Home-Theater-Subwoofer-Absolute-Tower-B-10d

I do like NHT and have 5 of them in my house. I bought a HT setup about 12 years ago with three SuperOnes for the front and 2 SuperZeros for the surrounds. I haven't heard the towers that you are talking about. We recently downsized our house and I have merged my 'Audiophile' speakers with the SuperOne that I am using as a Center. They are close enough in quality that it works ok. I thought about going with a phantom center… but one downside of my Audiophile speaker (Thiel CS 1.5) is that they don't play real loud. So, I think one extra speaker for loud dynamic movies is a good idea.

My Bottom line is that I think NHT provides an excellent value. But, if I were buying speakers for 70% music listening in your price range… I would put the Philharmonitor at the top of my list and NHT would probably be second. Philharmonic audio is a new and very small company. But, the owner, Dennis Murphy has been involved in DIY speaker building for a long time. He is a very respected cross-over designer. He designs the cross-overs for Salk Speakers and others that are highly regarded. He is highly involved with the Washington Philharmonic Orchestra as the assistant principal violist and also plays lead violin in two tango orchestras. So, he places a high value on reproducing the sound of acoustic instruments accurately. He also doesn't buy into some of the snake oil that floats around the audio business at times.

I would be surprised if you can find a philharmonitor to listen to in the Chicago area. But, one good thing about the Internet Direct audio business. Is that usually you can get an in-home audition. You will probably have to pay for return shipping if you don't like them. But, that cost would not be huge on monitors. Dennis has a thread here that he follows or you can Direct Message him on this forum. But, if you find a way to chat with him, I am sure you will find him to be a real honest, straight forward guy.

[Edit] I would probably also consider the CAOW1 that is a Dennis Murphy design, but Salk Sound makes it… it is $1000 for a pair, I believe. IMO, in your price range, a high quality monitor paired with a Sub is the best value for Music and some TV/Movies. Since Dennis designed both speakers, he can probably give a comparison.
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post #24 of 27 Old 05-24-2013, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Saturday Audio, be a great place to hear allot of stuff. Could probably find something real nice new or used there.

http://www.saturdayaudio.com

Thanks, I went there to try out the PSB T6 speakers and they were very nice people. I did not like the speakers but i would highly recommend this place.
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post #25 of 27 Old 05-24-2013, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I want to thank everyone for their valuable inputs. Since i live in a small town, i went to Chicago to audition several speakers. I listened to RTIA7, A9, P363, some JBL's & Klipsch floorstanding speakers at FRY's. Then I went down to Saturday Audio Exchange to audition PSB 6's. Tyhe folks at Saturday Audio Exchange were very nice and helpful but i did not like the speakers that much. They sounded 'tinny' to me. Maybe it was the lower quality MP3's on my iphone... I realized that I need to start with something not too fancy since my audio sources are not that good(MP3's 320 kbps at best playing from HTPC or Airplay). At this point my fav's were still RTIA7's but they were a bit big for my room. I chose to go with Pioneer SP-PK52FS LCR's and the matching sub. I have picked up AVR 1613 from Best Buy but have already ordered Denon AVR E300 from Accessories For Less. I also ended up returning the subwoofer the next since i am enjoying the sound without the subwoofer.
I am really enjoying this 3.0 setup with LCR from Pioneer and want to thank everyone for their inputs in helping me choose the setup that i like.

In the future, when i want to upgrade, i will audition the NHT Absolute Towers, Philharmonitors & RTI A7's and come back here to get advise. Now, i will move on and get started on a new HTPC smile.gif
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post #26 of 27 Old 05-25-2013, 05:08 AM
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Enjoy your new system!! I know that I went through several sets of speakers before I felt comfortable with where my money is best spent. Also what will fit best in my room. Enjoy the process.
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post #27 of 27 Old 05-28-2013, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Enjoy your new system!! I know that I went through several sets of speakers before I felt comfortable with where my money is best spent. Also what will fit best in my room. Enjoy the process.

Thanks, I am enjoying it !
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