Moving into apt...setting up living room, thinking 2.0 instead of 5.1...recos please :) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-11-2013, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Greetings to the most helpful forum on the internet!

I am moving out of my current home and into a smaller apartment with my girlfriend. I'm leaving behind a large living room with a nice 5.1 setup to the new owners...and moving into an apartment with shared walls, floors and ceilings with only my AVR and my TV. So, it's time to get new speakers!

Originally I was thinking 5.1, however due to a variety of issues I'm thinking 2.0 or 2.1 might be my best bet. For one, I don't want to wire in-wall or run wire along baseboards for surrounds. I also don't want to overly spend on 6 new speakers when 2 (or 3) may suffice.

So...I need a set of floorstanding ("cool-looking" - gf) front speakers, and some thoughts on whether a sub is necessary or not (and if so, a recommendation). Usage will be movies, tv, music, etc. Looking to spend a maximum of $200 per speaker, with the intent of them lasting for the next 10 years or so....

I also want to keep in mind the future. I will likely move to a larger place in the next year or so, at which point I'll (hopefully) go back to a 5.1 set up. So, whatever fronts I buy for now need to have timber-matching centers and surrounds available to purchase in the future. Also, the sub needs to keep me from getting kicked out of my apartment for now, but be able to shake my foundation in a year or two when I don't have to worry about neighbors.

Living in the US...shipping to GA if that helps. Thanks in advance for any thoughts / suggestions / recommendations!

Thanks!!
Mike

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post #2 of 10 Old 07-11-2013, 07:05 AM
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I would recommend going with bookshelves and a sub, you can get a lot more value that way and won't lose much compared to towers in a smaller space. I will assume $200 a speaker goes for the sub too, so a 2.1 gives you a $600 budget.

Given that you need "cool looking" speakers, I would take a look at these HTD Level 3 Bookshelf Speakers. They have great imaging so you will get a nice phantom center effect, and they are very well reviewed. They also come in a very sharp looking dark cherry finish. Should you want to move to 5.1 in the future, you can easily complete your setup and even add towers up front.

For a sub, I would take a look at the HSU STF-1, or if you can stretch your budget $60, the STF-2. These aren't huge subs and are tame enough for an apartment while still providing high quality bass.

HTD sells matching speaker stands for those bookshelves, but they aren't cheap ($129.99). You however can just grab a pair of 24" Sanus stands for half the price. This is one option for you, but wanting a nice looking speaker at $400/pair becomes a little more challenging.

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post #3 of 10 Old 07-11-2013, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

I would recommend going with bookshelves and a sub, you can get a lot more value that way and won't lose much compared to towers in a smaller space. I will assume $200 a speaker goes for the sub too, so a 2.1 gives you a $600 budget.

Given that you need "cool looking" speakers, I would take a look at these HTD Level 3 Bookshelf Speakers. They have great imaging so you will get a nice phantom center effect, and they are very well reviewed. They also come in a very sharp looking dark cherry finish. Should you want to move to 5.1 in the future, you can easily complete your setup and even add towers up front.

For a sub, I would take a look at the HSU STF-1, or if you can stretch your budget $60, the STF-2. These aren't huge subs and are tame enough for an apartment while still providing high quality bass.

HTD sells matching speaker stands for those bookshelves, but they aren't cheap ($129.99). You however can just grab a pair of 24" Sanus stands for half the price. This is one option for you, but wanting a nice looking speaker at $400/pair becomes a little more challenging.

+1

And for when you do want to turn it up and get an immersive HT experience for yourself, you could also get a nice set of headphones, such as the Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro 250 ohms on Amazon for $168.

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post #4 of 10 Old 07-11-2013, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! This is really helpful.

Would you recommend the following at $279? It seems to be a favorite around here, and would save me some money vs. the STF-2:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=82-780-078&Tpk=82-780-078

RW-12D
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-11-2013, 11:41 AM
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The RW-12d could easily be the best price/performance value under $300. Maybe the STF-2 might have a little bit better SQ (I don't know), but the RW-12d will easily out perform it in total output (should you ever want more bass) and should extend as low in frequency response. It also has digital modes settings so you can setup a "night mode" that has reduced bass for when you want to make certain you don't bother the neighbors.

So I definitely think for your budget, the RW-12d would be an excellent choice. Especially if it helps you to buy better speakers smile.gif

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post #6 of 10 Old 07-11-2013, 12:02 PM
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As a fellow apartment dweller, I'll tell you a sub can be a nightmare. (if you are a good neighbor that is). If I were you, I would go with he best bookshelf/center you can afford (at your price level, HSU and Ascend are well regarded) and get $100 sub. Yes, you may miss some SQ, but the need to adjust your Sub levels will lessen. when you move back to a permanent dwelling of your own, you may buy a $500+ sub that will play well with your speakers.

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post #7 of 10 Old 07-13-2013, 11:24 AM
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My experience was a bit different re using a sub in an apartment (condo). The less expensive subs were a problem. But when I got a good sub (in my case the SVS SB12-NSD) it worked out much better.

The SVS (like most subs in that price range) is very accurate, balanced, with excellent detail. I found that I could play the SVS at lower volumes and still hear everything very clearly. With the cheaper subs I had to play them louder to hear details, and they had a tendency to "boom" unexpectedly at random frequencies.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-13-2013, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

My experience was a bit different re using a sub in an apartment (condo). The less expensive subs were a problem. But when I got a good sub (in my case the SVS SB12-NSD) it worked out much better.

The SVS (like most subs in that price range) is very accurate, balanced, with excellent detail. I found that I could play the SVS at lower volumes and still hear everything very clearly. With the cheaper subs I had to play them louder to hear details, and they had a tendency to "boom" unexpectedly at random frequencies.

+1 here. A better sub will be smoother across the frequency range so you won't get big peaks which could be more of an annoyance to you and your neighbors. I'll second the recommendation for the HSU subs. I have one and LOVE it.

at ~$400 a pair for bookshelves I'd recommend the Wharfedale Diamond 10.2, Focal Chorus 706 (you'll need a sub with these), PSB Image B5, or the HTD Level Three recommended above. You could also get a pair of Infinity Primus P363s which seem to get a lot of love around here. With bookshelves you'll get better quality components in your budget. I'd go the 2.1 route all day in a small space like yours.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-13-2013, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

The RW-12d could easily be the best price/performance value under $300. Maybe the STF-2 might have a little bit better SQ (I don't know), but the RW-12d will easily out perform it in total output (should you ever want more bass) and should extend as low in frequency response. It also has digital modes settings so you can setup a "night mode" that has reduced bass for when you want to make certain you don't bother the neighbors.

So I definitely think for your budget, the RW-12d would be an excellent choice. Especially if it helps you to buy better speakers smile.gif

What do you think about pairing the RW-12D with the Ascend CBM-170's?

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cbm170/cbm170.html
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-13-2013, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bladerunner6 View Post

What do you think about pairing the RW-12D with the Ascend CBM-170's?

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cbm170/cbm170.html

I own the 170s and like them a lot.

The RW-12d is definitely a good buy at it's price. Get the best sub you can for your money and your preferences for bass and to fit your needs, and it will pair well with any of the bookshelf speakers you are considering.

Another one to look at could be the NXG NX-BAS-500. AVS member Jim Wilson did a review: http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/speaker-subwoofer-reviews/67178-nxg-nx-bas-500-subwoofer-review.html
Jim has heard lots of subs, so his reviews are good resources. He also maintains the budget subwoofer discussion thread, so you could ask questions about it there: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1396482/budget-subwoofers-discussions-opinions-and-questions-thread

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