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post #1 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I’m looking for some advice and suggestions on a new audio set up for my home entertainment system.
My wife and I are moving to a new place next week, and for the first time I’ll have my own man cave.

The room is about 20x15. And I’ve attached a picture to help people get an idea of the size and layout.
In this picture, only the bar will remain when we move in.

Current Setup:

For my current audio set up, I have a Polk Audio RM6750 5.1 home theatre in a box system (http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Channel-Theater-Speaker/dp/B0002WTK4S/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1376235810&sr=1-2&keywords=Polk+Audio+RM+5.1-channel+home+theater+speaker+system) powered by an Onkyo TX-SR606. The TV is a Samsung UN60F7500 (considering replacing it with the F8000 or P8500, but that is a different discussion).

What I’m Trying to Do:

I’m hoping I can procure a substantially better 5.1 system while staying around $1,000 for the 5 speakers (sub would be separate).

Here are my most important criteria: (a) I’d use the system primarily for movies and TV and only occasionally for music and (b) sound quality (whatever that might be at my price level) is more important to me than volume. Regarding the front left and right channels, I don’t have a particular preference of bookshelf speakers compared to floor standing.

One issue I will need to address is center channel placement. Currently, my center channel sits directly on the top surface of my entertainment center in front of the TV. Because the speaker is only 4.25” in height, it doesn’t block the TV from my viewing position. But already by 5” in height a center channel will start blocking part of the TV. If I get a larger channel speaker, I’m not sure what I can do because my entertain center can’t accommodate it on a shelf, and I’m reluctant to mount it above the TV (seems like that would be too high and it would leave an ugly wire dangling down).

Speaker Options:

First, I’ve been looking at the Paradigm Atom monitors ($200 each) (http://www.paradigm.com/products/collection=classic). The relevant Paradigm center channel (Center 1) is $379. These Paradigm speakers, particularly the Atom, get great reviews.

That said, I’m a little confused on what Paradigm speakers to get. I’ve seen reviews where they reviewed the system using Atom monitors as the center channel in place of the Paradigm Center 1 and in place of the surrounds. Would just Atom monitors be more than sufficient as my surrounds? Am I missing out on a lot if I use the Atom over the Center 1 as my center channel or the Atom over their dedicated surrounds?

Most importantly, would these Paradigm atoms represent a big step up for me? i.e. are they worth it compared to what I currently have?

Second, I’ve also heard great things about the HSU speakers. (http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/value2pkg.html) They are definitely in my price range as well. Would these also represent a great option for me?

Any other systems in particular I should be considering?

Issues:

Each speaker system option, however, presents a challenge on the center channel issue – both would partially block my TV using my current placement.

Also, another question is whether my AVR will power the speakers sufficiently. It is “rated” at 90 watts a channel.

Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magogian View Post

Hello,

I’m looking for some advice and suggestions on a new audio set up for my home entertainment system.
My wife and I are moving to a new place next week, and for the first time I’ll have my own man cave.

The room is about 20x15. And I’ve attached a picture to help people get an idea of the size and layout.
In this picture, only the bar will remain when we move in.

Current Setup:

For my current audio set up, I have a Polk Audio RM6750 5.1 home theatre in a box system (http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Channel-Theater-Speaker/dp/B0002WTK4S/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1376235810&sr=1-2&keywords=Polk+Audio+RM+5.1-channel+home+theater+speaker+system) powered by an Onkyo TX-SR606. The TV is a Samsung UN60F7500 (considering replacing it with the F8000 or P8500, but that is a different discussion).

What I’m Trying to Do:

I’m hoping I can procure a substantially better 5.1 system while staying around $1,000 for the 5 speakers (sub would be separate).

Here are my most important criteria: (a) I’d use the system primarily for movies and TV and only occasionally for music and (b) sound quality (whatever that might be at my price level) is more important to me than volume. Regarding the front left and right channels, I don’t have a particular preference of bookshelf speakers compared to floor standing.

One issue I will need to address is center channel placement. Currently, my center channel sits directly on the top surface of my entertainment center in front of the TV. Because the speaker is only 4.25” in height, it doesn’t block the TV from my viewing position. But already by 5” in height a center channel will start blocking part of the TV. If I get a larger channel speaker, I’m not sure what I can do because my entertain center can’t accommodate it on a shelf, and I’m reluctant to mount it above the TV (seems like that would be too high and it would leave an ugly wire dangling down).

Speaker Options:

First, I’ve been looking at the Paradigm Atom monitors ($200 each) (http://www.paradigm.com/products/collection=classic). The relevant Paradigm center channel (Center 1) is $379. These Paradigm speakers, particularly the Atom, get great reviews.

That said, I’m a little confused on what Paradigm speakers to get. I’ve seen reviews where they reviewed the system using Atom monitors as the center channel in place of the Paradigm Center 1 and in place of the surrounds. Would just Atom monitors be more than sufficient as my surrounds? Am I missing out on a lot if I use the Atom over the Center 1 as my center channel or the Atom over their dedicated surrounds?

Most importantly, would these Paradigm atoms represent a big step up for me? i.e. are they worth it compared to what I currently have?

Second, I’ve also heard great things about the HSU speakers. (http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/value2pkg.html) They are definitely in my price range as well. Would these also represent a great option for me?

Any other systems in particular I should be considering?

Issues:

Each speaker system option, however, presents a challenge on the center channel issue – both would partially block my TV using my current placement.

Also, another question is whether my AVR will power the speakers sufficiently. It is “rated” at 90 watts a channel.

Thanks for your help!

I use one of these to mount my center over the TV.

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-K6bT54zJ0ar/shopsearch/Center_Stage.html

The wire goes behind the speaker, then behind the TV and down to the receiver, so I really don't see it.

Would this give you some flexibility in your choices?
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post #3 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 11:33 AM
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The problem is, small speakers are going to give you a small sound, and you could only get a small speaker set due to your center height restrictions. That is basically forcing you to have s set of speakers with 3.5" woofers at the largest, which is going to be very limiting to the sound. I would either skip the center speaker by using a phantom center channel setup in your receiver, or figure out how to accommodate a larger center like what the above post linked to. The Hsu speakers are good but their center height to to tall for your present space. Also, for the Hsu, I would want to go with a larger sub then the one in the package you linked to, the STF2. I would go with a setup using the VTF2 at the very least.
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post #4 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 12:01 PM
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I'd work on some options to free yourself from the center height restrictions. How about wall mounting the tv, freeing up the top shelf for your center channel?
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post #5 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bladerunner6 View Post

I use one of these to mount my center over the TV.

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-K6bT54zJ0ar/shopsearch/Center_Stage.html

The wire goes behind the speaker, then behind the TV and down to the receiver, so I really don't see it.

Would this give you some flexibility in your choices?

Very Interesting! Thanks for the info. I, however, don't think that will work with my TV. My TV has a mike and camera that I think would interfere with center stage bracket.

Also, does that make it sound odd if the voices are coming from that high up?
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post #6 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by magogian View Post

Very Interesting! Thanks for the info. I, however, don't think that will work with my TV. My TV has a mike and camera that I think would interfere with center stage bracket.

Also, does that make it sound odd if the voices are coming from that high up?

The bracket only comes down about 1/2 inch over the top of the TV. If the camera and mike are more than a 1/2 inch from the top of the TV, you are okay.

As for the height, the speaker is angled down slightly, so it works pretty well from that aspect. Thus, the speaker can be "aimed" at your ears at your typical viewing position.

If you read the reviews, they are overwhelming positive for the product.

My only reservation would be where the mic and camera are on the TV.
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post #7 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bladerunner6 View Post

The bracket only comes down about 1/2 inch over the top of the TV. If the camera and mike are more than a 1/2 inch from the top of the TV, you are okay.

.

They are flush with the top of the tv on the top, and then extend down the back partially.
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post #8 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 03:15 PM
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They are flush with the top of the tv on the top, and then extend down the back partially.

Do you actually use them?
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post #9 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you actually use them?

Eh, not really. I'll keep looking into the option you suggested. But I'm worried less about this issue. That said, I do really appreciate the help.

More of wondering now if people think I'm looking at the right speaker options.
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post #10 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by magogian View Post

Eh, not really.

You can always order the bracket and try it out to see if it fits.

Crutchfield has a good return policy and great technical and customer support. In fact, you might even call them and see what they say.

And if it fits, then you can start thinking about a broader size of speaker options.

That is just my take.
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post #11 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bladerunner6 View Post

You can always order the bracket and try it out to see if it fits.

Crutchfield has a good return policy and great technical and customer support. In fact, you might even call them and see what they say.

And if it fits, then you can start thinking about a broader size of speaker options.

That is just my take.

Thanks, I do appreciate it. Assuming I can use basically any center channel, do you any comments on either of the speaker sets I mentioned?
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post #12 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by magogian View Post

Thanks, I do appreciate it. Assuming I can use basically any center channel, do you any comments on either of the speaker sets I mentioned?

I am sorry, I am not familiar with either of one of your choices.

Someone else might be able to chime in on them.
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post #13 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 03:45 PM
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Thanks, I do appreciate it. Assuming I can use basically any center channel, do you any comments on either of the speaker sets I mentioned?

They have been directly compared in this shootout.
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post #14 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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They have been directly compared in this shootout.

ooo, thanks!!
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post #15 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 04:08 PM
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If it were me, I'd get 4 total Cambridge Audio S30 bookshelf speakers. The center will not fit from what I read but if you needed to you could probably put a book or another piece of lumber under the tv for additional clearance. That seems like less of an issue and like you'd have more options if you tried with that.

http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Audio-Sirocco-Channel-Speaker/dp/B002C7X9HU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376262056&sr=8-1&keywords=cambridge+audio+center
http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-S30-N-Speakers-Black-Pair/dp/B004DAN3GQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376262336&sr=8-2&keywords=cambridge+audio+s30

If you think those are not enough for you, (they would be) you could trade one of the bookshelf speaker sets for their towers

http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Audio-S70-Tower-Speakers/dp/B004UEMGHW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376262379&sr=8-1&keywords=cambridge+audio+tower

That is $919 shipped, timbre matched, and the bookshelf speakers (S30) are some of the highest rated budget bookshelf speakers I've ever come across. I use them myself and one pair of S30's overwhelms my entire old Infinity P363+153+163 system. I highly recommend.
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post #16 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 04:11 PM
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Also, from ShadyJ's review, the Monitor Audio speakers are my favorite. I think the Silver series would be ideal for you but I don't believe there is any way you could get it into your price zone. Sorry to say!
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post #17 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 04:38 PM
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I think your second option with ShadyJ's sub recommendation.

Panasonic 65VT60 / Marantz SR7005 / Marantz UD7007 /PSA XS30 /Revel Performa3 F206 / Revel Performa3 C205 / Sonos Connect/ Roku 3 / Amazon Fire tv / Xbox One / HTPC / Darbee 5000 /Sonos system for rooms/
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post #18 of 48 Old 08-12-2013, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I think your second option with ShadyJ's sub recommendation.

I do like the HSU speakers. Their packages seem like a great option for what I'm looking for.
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post #19 of 48 Old 08-12-2013, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by losservatore View Post

I think your second option with ShadyJ's sub recommendation.

I do like the HSU speakers. Their packages seem like a great option for what I'm looking for.



For the price!!!! you will be happy with that setup.


When someone new to this forum is looking for bookshelf speakers with a great sound at a affordable price ,the first two brands that people recommend are the hsu and ascend.

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post #20 of 48 Old 08-15-2013, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, now i'm just saving up a bit more to get the Hsu 5.1 speaker package that I want. Anyone have something as good or better for around $1,000-$1,200 that I should be considering?
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post #21 of 48 Old 08-15-2013, 07:12 AM
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Ascend Acoustics are often recommended along that price range. I actually just placed on order for a 5.0 package from them.

CMT-340 SE front pr + CMT-340 SE center + HTM-200 SE rear pr
Link to L/R: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html
Link to C: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340c/cmt340c.html
Link to Surrounds: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/htm200/htm200.html

You can also use the CBM-170s as surrounds if you can mount them with some clearance from a wall as they are rear ported:
Link: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cbm170/cbm170.html

5.0 price: $1,068



I think that 5.0 system above is out of your price range once you add a sub, but here is another very good system from them:
CBM-170 SE front pr + CBM-170 SE center + HTM-200 SE rear pr
Link to L/R/C: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cbm170/cbm170.html
Link to Surrounds: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/htm200/htm200.html
$688

You get 5% off a Rythmik sub if you buy from Ascend and a Rythmik LV12R fits your budget: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/subs/lv12r.html

Again, you can use the CBM-170s for surrounds at the same price as the HTM-200s but they need a little breathing room from the wall.

5.1 price: $1,247.55

I have heard great things about HSU as well. I think you would be happy with either package.
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post #22 of 48 Old 08-15-2013, 09:51 AM
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Just remember, hsu speaker uses kind of a hybrid/horn tweeter. So if you don't care for horn tweeters...probably not a great choice!

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 #23 of 48 Old 08-15-2013, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Just remember, hsu speaker uses kind of a hybrid/horn tweeter. So if you don't care for horn tweeters...probably not a great choice!

I've heard that horn tweeters generally can sound somewhat harsh. But I believe many of the reviews point out that the HSU speakers don't exhibit the negative side effects of horn tweeters, as compared to say a Klipsch.
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post #24 of 48 Old 08-15-2013, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
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Just remember, hsu speaker uses kind of a hybrid/horn tweeter. So if you don't care for horn tweeters...probably not a great choice!

Horn tweeters are not inherently harsh. Klipsch speakers can be. What's a hybrid/horn tweeter?
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post #25 of 48 Old 08-16-2013, 04:32 AM
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As shady said, mostly the cheaper horn tweeter tend to be a little harsh. Low end klipch or bic, for instance. But even the higher end have a distinct sound...often more forward or bright, but with that comes very dynamic! Just make sure you like the sound of Horn tweeters before you buy one!

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 #26 of 48 Old 08-16-2013, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

As shady said, mostly the cheaper horn tweeter tend to be a little harsh. Low end klipch or bic, for instance. But even the higher end have a distinct sound...often more forward or bright, but with that comes very dynamic! Just make sure you like the sound of Horn tweeters before you buy one!
If response is the same and dispersion is the same you cannot tell a horn tweeter from a dome, or a cone, or a ribbon. The only attribute generally found with horns is lower distortion, because distortion is closely related to diaphragm excursion, and horn loaded diaphragms have the lowest excursion for a given SPL than any other driver type. The lower distortion of horns is why they're superior for high output needs, and why you've never been to a live concert where you weren't listening to horn loaded drivers. That doesn't mean horns can't sound bad, as is the case with any driver there are good and there are bad horns.

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post #27 of 48 Old 08-16-2013, 08:07 AM
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I think Ascend + Rthmik would be good.

Another good option is NHT AZ.

NHT had the Absolute Zero (AZ) on sale for $175 each delivered - call and ask if they would still give you the sale price.

The NHT AZ measured superbly on HTM: +/-0.9dB 100Hz-10kHz.

NHT offers 30 day in-home trial free shipping.

I really like their speakers a lot.
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post #28 of 48 Old 08-16-2013, 08:34 AM
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Probably all true, Bill...you would know. But the OP has stated he has a 1000 dollar budget for a full 5.1...so i would just warn anyone in that budget to make sure they like the sound of the mid level to cheap horn before buying.

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 #29 of 48 Old 08-16-2013, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Probably all true, Bill...you would know. But the OP has stated he has a 1000 dollar budget for a full 5.1...so i would just warn anyone in that budget to make sure they like the sound of the mid level to cheap horn before buying.
Horn loaded drivers are no more expensive than other formats, and dollar for dollar can sound just as good, if not better, than other options, if the overall system is well designed. Where speakers are concerned what usually separates the good from the bad is how well designed they are, and you really can't tell that from the price, or for that matter the manufacturer. More than one emperor out there is running around stark naked. rolleyes.gif

Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design

The Laws of Physics aren't swayed by opinion.
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post #30 of 48 Old 08-16-2013, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Bill,

Are you familiar with the HSU speakers I've referenced in this thread?
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