Sony HT-CT550W vs Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 09-28-2013, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not an audiophile by any means.

I've had the Sony CT-550W soundbar for more than a year now in my living room and I was ok with it. My brother in law who is a DJ brought over a couple of Polk bookshelf speakers over, I was switching back and forth and I was surprised how "muddy" my speakers sounded when I had something to compare it to. Of course now this is bugging me.

I live in a relatively small NYC apartment and my wife won't allow those size Polk speakers in our living room, they were about 17 inches high, 8 inches wide and about 15 inches deep.

With an open box deal and some store credit, I can get the Energy Take Classic 5.1 system for less than $100. I bring them home and try it side by side because its a final sale type deal.

Will the Energy Take Classic 5.1 paired with a Sony STR-DN1010 Reciever I have laying around sound better than the Sony CT-550W soundbar I'm using now?

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post #2 of 30 Old 09-28-2013, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oseymour View Post

I'm not an audiophile by any means.

I've had the Sony CT-550W soundbar for more than a year now in my living room and I was ok with it. My brother in law who is a DJ brought over a couple of Polk bookshelf speakers over, I was switching back and forth and I was surprised how "muddy" my speakers sounded when I had something to compare it to. Of course now this is bugging me.

I live in a relatively small NYC apartment and my wife won't allow those size Polk speakers in our living room, they were about 17 inches high, 8 inches wide and about 15 inches deep.

With an open box deal and some store credit, I can get the Energy Take Classic 5.1 system for less than $100. I bring them home and try it side by side because its a final sale type deal.

Will the Energy Take Classic 5.1 paired with a Sony STR-DN1010 Reciever I have laying around sound better than the Sony CT-550W soundbar I'm using now?


Yes.
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post #3 of 30 Old 09-28-2013, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply but please educate a novice on a few reasons why it sounds better

Thanks. smile.gif

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post #4 of 30 Old 09-28-2013, 07:42 PM
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You'll have bigger and cleaner sound at high to lower volumes.
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post #5 of 30 Old 09-29-2013, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Are there any other compact systems or speakers you recommend other than the Energy? I'll seriously consider other options as long as the speakers are relatively small.

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post #6 of 30 Old 09-29-2013, 05:58 AM
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That is a great deal on the Energy. They are really very good small speakers. Any mini-system from any electronics manufacturer, like Sony, Onkyo,etc, will sound much worse than the Energy speakers. If you want to spend more money, we can certainly recommend some very nice larger speaker systems.
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post #7 of 30 Old 09-29-2013, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oseymour View Post

Are there any other compact systems or speakers you recommend other than the Energy? I'll seriously consider other options as long as the speakers are relatively small.

Thanks for giving the dimensions on the Polks, we know those are two large.

But do you have an idea what wouldn't be too large?

Would these be too big?

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/CAMBS30OAK/CAMBRIDGE-AUDIO-S30-4-2-way-Bookshelf-Speakers-Pair-Dark-Oak/1.html#!specifications

These are about 1/4 the size of the Polks.
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post #8 of 30 Old 09-29-2013, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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We just looked at some Polk TL3 and IMO they sound waaaay better than my Soundbar, I can tell that even not listening to them side by side. And they fit right into my size requirements. Its a bit outside the budget but I would get the 2 bookshelf and center.

Does the TL3 sounds a lot better than the Energy Classic 5.1?

I didn't get a chance to listen to the TL2 but in case I can't stretch the budget to the TL3, is the TL2 still better than the Energy 5.1


I really appreciate everyone taking the time to answer my questions.

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post #9 of 30 Old 09-29-2013, 11:53 AM
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The TL3 and TL2 use the same size drivers, the TL3 looks like they upgraded the materials for them.
http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Product/CompareTo.aspx?compareItems=01|107TL3B&compareItems=01|107TL2B&g=37900

Get whichever one fits your budget.

But I doubt there will be a huge difference from the Take Classics, TL2 and TL3.

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post #10 of 30 Old 09-29-2013, 12:45 PM
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They should also sound much better in a small apartment.
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post #11 of 30 Old 09-29-2013, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll probably stick with the Energy since I'm getting them so cheap and there shouldn't be that much of a difference to justify paying more.

I went back to the store this evening and saw a Energy RC-Micro 5.1, for almost the same price as the Energy Classic. The only reason why I'm even mentioning them is because they are even smaller and the MSRP was $1100. That's a big drop in price. If its not worth it I'll go with the Energy and probably upgrade the sub.
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The TL3 and TL2 use the same size drivers, the TL3 looks like they upgraded the materials for them.
http://www.crutchfield.com/App/Product/CompareTo.aspx?compareItems=01|107TL3B&compareItems=01|107TL2B&g=37900

Get whichever one fits your budget.

But I doubt there will be a huge difference from the Take Classics, TL2 and TL3.

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post #12 of 30 Old 09-29-2013, 09:28 PM
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I think the RC line should be better than the Take Classic line. The Take Classic takes after CB line of Energy speakers and the RC Micro's after the RC line.
Lot of people consider the RC line step up in overall sound to the CB line and a bit more musical. One thing I can tell you is that the CB line should sound bit more forward than the RC line.

I never heard the Polks, but from what I have read, alot of people like the Polks and the Andrew Jones Pioneers.
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post #13 of 30 Old 09-30-2013, 01:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAIM101 View Post

I think the RC line should be better than the Take Classic line. The Take Classic takes after CB line of Energy speakers and the RC Micro's after the RC line.
Lot of people consider the RC line step up in overall sound to the CB line and a bit more musical. One thing I can tell you is that the CB line should sound bit more forward than the RC line.

I never heard the Polks, but from what I have read, alot of people like the Polks and the Andrew Jones Pioneers.

Maybe its just me but I'm a bit confused by your answer.

In the first sentence you said the RC (RC Micro) line should be better and then in the second sentence you said the CB (Take Classic) line should sound a bit more forward than the RC.

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post #14 of 30 Old 09-30-2013, 01:17 AM
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Yes, some prefer laid back speakers and some prefer aggresive and forward speakers. One thing you should expect from forward speakers in general is that it will carry more dynamics, but with laid back speakers it will be easier on the ears. Smoother in general.

Its really upto you. If you are looking for punch and fullness, go for the CB line, if you are looking for laid back, better soundstaging and smoother go for the RC line.
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post #15 of 30 Old 10-01-2013, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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After much research, reading forums, trading with friends and visiting and listen to speakers all day in Audio stores in NYC.

Still roughly within the same budget

Sony STR-DN1040 Reciever
Energy CC-5 Center
Energy CB-5 Bookshelves.
Polk PSW505.

I know its a far cry from what I originally wanted these sounded good to me. It gave better sound than the Energy Classic and it was still within my budget. I can add surround speakers later or move the CB-5 to surrounds and get other fronts.

At one store I saw a Energy Classic in a large room and I don't think it will be enough punch. My living room is 17 x 14 and the TV will be on the 17 wall and I'll be about 10ft from the TV.

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The CB-5's will be better for the size of your room. how much are you looking to spend for your first set-up?
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post #17 of 30 Old 10-01-2013, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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The CB-5's will be better for the size of your room. how much are you looking to spend for your first set-up?

Already had the reciever from a previous trade.

The sub is costing me $200 on Ebay. For that I'm selling my $100 BB gift card and the rest will be out of pocket.

Everything else is barter, trading an old iPhone 4s black for the speakers. Found a dude on craigslist.

Then I'm probably going to sell the Sony system on Ebay to recoup some of my funds.

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post #18 of 30 Old 10-01-2013, 04:23 PM
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The CB-5 and the CC-5 center will be fine for your room. Its a step-up from HTIB like the Take Classics.
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post #19 of 30 Old 10-01-2013, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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The CB-5 and the CC-5 center will be fine for your room. Its a step-up from HTIB like the Take Classics.

And if I'm not satisfied, I'll use the funds from selling the Sony to get better bookshelf speakers and move the CB-5's to surrounds.

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post #20 of 30 Old 10-01-2013, 04:35 PM
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Just make sure to stick to same tweeter types when you buy new speakers for the fronts and move the cb-5's to the sorrounds.
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post #21 of 30 Old 10-01-2013, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oseymour View Post

Maybe its just me but I'm a bit confused by your answer.

In the first sentence you said the RC (RC Micro) line should be better and then in the second sentence you said the CB (Take Classic) line should sound a bit more forward than the RC.

I caught one of those deals where RC Micro 5.0 set was on sale for $60 last year. I set them up my bedroom at my fathers house with a Dayton 10" sub. Having previously owned Take satellites I'd say the Takes are better speakers because they can play at a lower frequency. I calibrated my Denon receiver twice and it set a crossover of 200hz for the Micros. That's way too high and makes the sub do extra work trying to play up to 200hz. Set the RC's up at my own place before taking them to dad's and the Audyssey calibration there set them at 150hz.

The Takes will go down to 120hz which makes them compatible with many more subwoofers. My Energy s10.3 goes to 120hz and older e:xl s10 only to 100hz so they would not be good with the RC Micros at all and barely good enough for the Takes.

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post #22 of 30 Old 10-01-2013, 05:42 PM
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The CC-5 and CB-5 will be better than the Take Classics or RC Micros due to their larger size.

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post #23 of 30 Old 10-01-2013, 06:01 PM
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The reason why he is mentioning the crossover is because the higher crossover the speakers are, you are forced to crossover the sub around the same range. The higher the sub is XO'd, the more localizable the sub is. You do not want your sub to sound localized. Ultimately, the purpose of it is to get your sub to integrate along your speakers and kind of work as one unit so that you dont hear the bass in one particular direction but from your room.
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post #24 of 30 Old 10-01-2013, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAIM101 View Post

The reason why he is mentioning the crossover is because the higher crossover the speakers are, you are forced to crossover the sub around the same range. The higher the sub is XO'd, the more localizable the sub is. You do not want your sub to sound localized. Ultimately, the purpose of it is to get your sub to integrate along your speakers and kind of work as one unit so that you dont hear the bass in one particular direction but from your room.

So essentially the better the speakers are the lower frequencies they can handle which doesn't force your sub to process higher frequencies for which they are not suited.....

That makes so much sense.

Once I do the auto calibration I'll continue to play and tweak until it sounds like a seamless transition between the speakers and subs.

And do I "trust" the frequency that the manufacturer says that their speakers and subs can process? Or make sure its not close to the max that they are rated?

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post #25 of 30 Old 10-01-2013, 09:51 PM
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Unfortunately no. Alot of manufacturer's BS on their specs. What you can do to get around it is to read the charts and measurements done by the owners of the speakers and subs.
I do not know about the polks, but alot of measurements have beend one with companies like SVS, HSU, and Rythmic, and is very accurate and as close as you can get with their published specs.
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post #26 of 30 Old 10-03-2013, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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A buddy of mine wants to know if using 3 SuperZero 2.1 as the LR and C would give about the same punch than the Energy CB-5 and CC-5 setup?

He lives in the same building and has a similarly sized living room. I think he's going to use an old Denon receiver and an old Sony sub. Link to sub - http://www.bestbuy.com/site/10-100w-powered-subwoofer/8872251.p?id=1218924793285&skuId=8872251&st=sony%20subwoofer&cp=1&lp=3

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Unfortunately no. Alot of manufacturer's BS on their specs. What you can do to get around it is to read the charts and measurements done by the owners of the speakers and subs.
I do not know about the polks, but alot of measurements have beend one with companies like SVS, HSU, and Rythmic, and is very accurate and as close as you can get with their published specs.

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post #27 of 30 Old 10-03-2013, 02:12 PM
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Pretty close comparison I bet. Both have 4.5" woofer and 1" tweeter. The CB-5 cabinet is a couple inches deeper than the Superzero so may have a little more bass.

I think the CB-5 may be a little brighter sounding. Haven't heard both though so cant say for sure.

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post #28 of 30 Old 10-03-2013, 11:10 PM
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Energy CB-5 has a .75 tweeter vs. the SuperZero at 1' tweeter. Its also using a soft dome tweeter which would give you a smoother/refined sound. You can cross the Energy CB-5 lower (70) where the superzero's are only down to 85hz however.

I think they will be equally dynamic(maybe cb-5 a little bit more dynamic/bass), but the superzero's will be more defined and bit smoother.
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post #29 of 30 Old 10-04-2013, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Back to my setup -

The Energy CB-5 arrived yesterday and my wife isn't fond of the wood finish, we started doing more research on what speakers were good but relatively small. She ended up stretching the budget herself.

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Add 2 SuperZero 2.1 as rear surrounds in a couple weeks - http://www.nhthifi.com/Bookshelf-speaker-SuperZero-2-1?sc=12&category=3772

Really liked the NHT bd10 sub to keep everything matched but its a bit out of the price range, is it worth removing the surrounds and getting the better sub? - http://www.nhthifi.com/Subwoofer-Home-theater-B-10d?sc=12&category=3779

I'll look to start with a 2.1 system then add the center, then better sub, then surround later.

Picking speakers is hard work!

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post #30 of 30 Old 10-04-2013, 11:53 PM
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Yeah that's definately the way to go. many people just want to get everything all at once and end up regretting it maybe 10/10 times. Start with good L/R, then get the rest. The reason why I am suggesting going this route is because all mixes (bluray/music) are either recorded in 2.0 (stereo) or 5.1 mix. So, if you have 4.0 or 4.1 or 3.1 system runnig, you are not getting accurate sound as intended by the mix anyway.

To start with your front's, I'd recommend the Ascend 340SE for the fronts, Ascend 170SE for the sorrounds and Rythmic sub. (if you get the package they give you 5% off the sub). They also have a trade in program so if you ever decide to upgrade later down the line to a higher line, your previous full purachse cost would be added on to the new speakers.

If you want to stick to the SuperZero's because of the price, I have heard nothing but good things about them. The SuperZero's you are looking at is an aluminum dome tweeter so expect a lttle brightness. It will be punchy and dynamic.
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