Help! Wife wants Bose for 5.1 system - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

We are redoing our house and in our basement we are going to have a TV and surround sound system. The room is 15' by 35' and we are going to be have a seating area with a tv and surround sound on one side. Our main seating will be against one wall and the TV will be 15' away on the other wall, using a 13' x 15' part of the room. I realize having the sofa against one wall makes it difficult for rear sound, but the most I can do is move the sofa 10" off the wall. The system is mainly going to be for surround sound, but we will also use it connected to a sonos system for listening to background music while kids play or we play pool.

My wife wants small speakers and is comfortable with the Bose lifestyle v20 system. Including brackets, etc., that is about $1,850. So, my goal is to find a different system with very small or flat speakers that can deliver something better without spending more money than that. She would love it if we could do in wall speakers, and the walls are open, so that should be easy.

I have a Harmon Kardon AVR630 from nearly ten years ago that I can use as the receiver, unless there is a reason not to. I also have a pair of Klipsch 2.5 that she does not want me to use because they are too big for front speakers (though I am going to start another thread with that as an alternative if I can convince her to use them). I also have a Klipsch SW8 II sub, but I got that many moons ago for use in a much smaller room, and I do not know if it is worth still using now.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Frogster
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post #2 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 11:18 AM
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Take a look at the Cambridge Audio Minx speakers. Those speakers work with any reciever.
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post #3 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wronganswer View Post

Take a look at the Cambridge Audio Minx speakers. Those speakers work with any reciever.
+1. Also look at the Deftech pro cinema series.
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post #4 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 11:46 AM
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I don't have any experience with in-wall speakers so I can't make suggestions.

There are several good satellite systems, all wall mountable and all would be a significant improvement over the Bose ...
- Paradigm MilleniaOne 5.0 $1000 (also comes in white)
- Cambridge Audio Minx 5.0 $730 (Min21 x 3 LCR, Min11 x2 surrounds, also come in white, $75 extra for the wall mounts or table stands)
- KEF KHT 3005 series 5.1 $1100 (only comes in black)

Focal also has a couple of superb satellite systems (Dome, Bird) but they are considerably more expensive than the Bose.

Re Subs: I'd recommend not getting the sub that "comes with" the satellite speaker 5.1 systems (you can purchase the satellites as 5.0).
- The Go-To budget HT sub most often recommended in the forums is the Klipsch RW12D for $300 give or take depending on a sale. If you go with in walls it would be fine. IMO it's a bit too sloppy to be optimal for use with satellite speakers. Since they're smaller satellite speakers need a higher crossover. This means the sub is covering more of the upper bass and lower mid-range frequencies so you want a sub that's very tight, accurate and detailed, esp. in it's upper register.
- There are several ID sub manufacturers with excellent subs in the $550 to $650 range - in no particular order SVS, Rythmik, HSU, and Outlaw. I happen to have the SVS SB12-NSD and it's excellent (and it's uniquely small, which may be good for your WAF), but subs from any of those ID companies would work equally well wink.gif
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post #5 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 12:24 PM
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I have never heard a flat speaker I was impressed with outside of planars, so I would just skip those entirely. I would go with Klipsch or Hsu in-walls. Your little Klipsch sub will get destroyed by that room size. I would go with something a lot more powerful. Problem is, powerful subs are bigger subs, so that might go down well with the wife. You could probably get a good in-wall speaker and subwoofer package with Hsu, I would call them up and see what they can do for you. They have some very powerful subwoofers. AVS can cut you a deal on some Klipsch speakers too, and for that room size you would want something like a Klipsch SW-115 subwoofer (or two).
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post #6 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogville View Post

Hi all,
My wife wants small speakers and is comfortable with the Bose lifestyle v20 system. Including brackets, etc., that is about $1,850. So, my goal is to find a different system with very small or flat speakers that can deliver something better without spending more money than that.
Frogster

Explain to your wife that paying $1,850 for a $23 sound system doesn't make sense.
+2 for Def Tech and the Mythos are nice and flat for on walls
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post #7 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogville View Post

My wife wants small speakers and is comfortable with the Bose lifestyle v20 system.
That's grounds for divorce. smile.gif
Enter the laws of physics, Hoffman's Iron Law to be specific: You can have cute little speakers, or you can have speakers that sound really good. They can't be both.

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The Laws of Physics aren't swayed by opinion.
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post #8 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 01:15 PM
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I would rather use some of these, tiny speakers should be cheap http://www.bicamerica.com/showpage.php?brand=2&type=7&spkrID=35

I use a pair in our second set up as surrounds and they are actually pretty good. Don't need any mounts or anchors just some spare screws.
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post #9 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wronganswer View Post

Take a look at the Cambridge Audio Minx speakers. Those speakers work with any reciever.
+1 from me also. This line is incredible for the footprint it has. If you are able to demo them, I sincerely suggest you have a listen.
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post #10 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 01:19 PM
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Tell her she can choose the sound system if you can choose her wardrobe (including shoes).
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post #11 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I have never heard a flat speaker I was impressed with outside of planars, so I would just skip those entirely ...
+1
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Originally Posted by ien2 View Post

+1 from me also. This line is incredible for the footprint it has. If you are able to demo them, I sincerely suggest you have a listen.
The Cambridge Audio Minx speakers are available via Amazon Prime. If you have the Prime membership you get 30 days to return the items, return shipping paid. From a form-factor/size standpoint these are the most similar to the Bose, they will disappear into the room (assuming that's the wife's goal). But the sound is miles better than the Bose, especially with a good sub wink.gif
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post #12 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

Tell her she can choose the sound system if you can choose her wardrobe (including shoes).

Now that's funny smile.gif
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post #13 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 01:41 PM
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I don't understand (I really don't) why can't you explain that nobody can change the law of physics. The smaller the speaker, the crappier they will be. Worst case scenario, the smallest speakers I can tolerate are the Monitor Audio Mass series.

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post #14 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 02:16 PM
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I had a similar situation with waf so I found the following brands offered something for her and something for me :/ good luck.
Kef
Mirage
Gallo
All very cool looking and won't break the bank. Check the Gallo Direct outlet prices.
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post #15 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 02:24 PM
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Bear in mind those sizes require the XO to be set at 120 Hz making the dialogue comes out of the sub which results in forcing you to put the sub in the middle right below the centre channel.

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post #16 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 05:09 PM
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You could buy the Energy Take Classic 5.1 for $300 and get better performance than the Lifestyle speakers.
http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Classic-Theater-System-Black/dp/B001202C44/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1369526918&sr=1-1&keywords=energy+take+classic

Since you're willing to spend more on speakers some of those other sub/sat systems would be great.

Buy a slimline Marantz receiver like the 1603 and you're set.
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=MANR1603

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post #17 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 07:24 PM
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Mirage has made better micro-speakers than blows.

My choice would be a set of NHT Superzeros and matching sub.
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post #18 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 07:52 PM
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The Gallo A'Diva SE is a fullrange rated down to 80hz if wall mounted, and 100hz if on stands. A sub mated to the wall mounted A'Diva would generally not be directional.
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post #19 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpbpete View Post

I had a similar situation with waf so I found the following brands offered something for her and something for me :/ good luck.
Kef
Mirage
Gallo
All very cool looking and won't break the bank. Check the Gallo Direct outlet prices.

The Gallo Strada's are excellent IMO. I didn't mention them because they're above the Bose budget (1K a piece) and for satellites they are on the big side (13" tall).
Quote:
Originally Posted by lespurgeon View Post

Mirage has made better micro-speakers than blows.

My choice would be a set of NHT Superzeros and matching sub.
I would add the NHT Superzeros to my list. They would be a less expensive option, $500 for a 5.0 setup.

Another NHT speaker you might consider is the Absolute Zero Wall Speaker. It comes in white and mounts flush onto the wall. It's doesn't sound like the other flat-wall speakers I've heard that are 2" or less deep, it's about 4" deep and sounds more like a regular speaker. A 5.0 set runs $1100.
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post #20 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post

The Gallo A'Diva SE is a fullrange rated down to 80hz if wall mounted, and 100hz if on stands. A sub mated to the wall mounted A'Diva would generally not be directional.

Unfortunately that's the ambitious rating from the manufacturer. The roll-off (when corner-wall mounted) below 100 Hz is quite steep based on my RTA measurements. When it's only wall (but not corner) mounted, the huge roll-off starts at 118 Hz.

I love the look of Gallo and they are leaps and bounds better than Bose but the frequency responses are not as advertised (well, yeah they go as low as 80 Hz but only when at the corner, microphone on 0-degree axis with steep roll-off)

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post #21 of 28 Old 05-25-2013, 08:01 PM
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About the DT Mythos previously mentioned, Newegg has the Definitive Technology Mythos 2 on special. The Mythos 3 center is $100 off with promo code EMCXRVW98. Then maybe some Mythos Gems for the rear.

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post #22 of 28 Old 05-26-2013, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for your responses. My wife thought they were pretty funny, too. Our new operating principle is that "there is a difference between protruding and jutting."

We went and listened to some speakers and surround systems so that she could get a better sense of things over the weekend, and she understands that it makes sense from a sound and value perspective to consider "real" speakers for the fronts, even though she would prefer in-wall speakers. However, because there is a difference between "protruding and jutting", we do not want them to come out more than six to eight inches from the wall. From a relative size perspective in terms of where they get placed and how they look mounted on a wall (or on stands, if absolutely necessary), it might be worth noting that we are going to have about a 75" tv. (As noted above, we are 15' wall to wall and sofa is on the wall with the tv mounted on the other.) Also, because the sofa is going to be against that wall, we need to use speakers for the rears that work in that situation and get mounted on or in the walls (cannot go in the ceiling).

We could probably bump the budget up to closer to $2,200 if that helps.

You all have already been so much help, and I would appreciate any further thoughts. Thanks.

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post #23 of 28 Old 05-26-2013, 08:09 PM
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I'd put the extra budget toward a powerful quality sub. You've got a giant room to fill with bass.

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post #24 of 28 Old 05-26-2013, 08:10 PM
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One more thing. Have you thought about transparent screen and a projector? Then you could put whatever speakers you want behind the screen where no one would see them.

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post #25 of 28 Old 05-26-2013, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

One more thing. Have you thought about transparent screen and a projector? Then you could put whatever speakers you want behind the screen where no one would see them.

We did think about this, but because our kids may one day want to game, we decided not to do this. Appreciate the thought, though.
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post #26 of 28 Old 05-26-2013, 09:04 PM
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post #27 of 28 Old 05-26-2013, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogville View Post

We did think about this, but because our kids may one day want to game, we decided not to do this. Appreciate the thought, though.

Then my choice would be two of the Mythos Two and one of the Mythos Three. That would run you about $750. Use your Klipsch for surround speakers since it's not as critical for rears to match and you have those nice speaker already (and of course to save money). Then a Power Sound Audio XS-15 sub. Finally, the rest on the receiver. Last year's Denons should be going on sale now since the new models came out.

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post #28 of 28 Old 05-27-2013, 06:00 AM
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If you do decide to go the V-20 route I have a complete set I replaced in Mar 2011 with a DefTech setup. I was going to put it in my BR but since it has not happened yet then I am sure its not going to. smile.gif I have all original packaging and the 5 Bose mounts that cost $25 a piece but will be included. Paid $2200 new(no icon for sucker) biggrin.gif
It was purchase New at Best Buy in May 2008 OR 09. Excellent condition. Great Price.
If interested I will post in classifieds so PM me for any questions.
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