Bookshelf versus tower when using a good sub - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm currently looking to upgrade my front 3 (NHT SuperZeros) to either larger bookshelf or towers. I have a PC12+ for a sub.

Mostly TV and movies with some music and gaming. I like to listen to movies and music loud.

I'm looking for more impact, volume, dynamics in that area beyond the sub crossover up to the tweeter taking over.

So would a tower, for example, with 2 5.25" mids offer more impact, volume and dynamics than say a bookshelf with a single 6.5" driver? Would the much larger cabinet of the tower have any bearing above the crossover point?

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post #2 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 09:48 AM
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You could go with an MTM speaker for better mid-bass and dynamics. The Ascend CMT-340SE is a good option. What is your room size, budget, and current power source?

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post #3 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

I'm currently looking to upgrade my front 3 (NHT SuperZeros) to either larger bookshelf or towers. I have a PC12+ for a sub.

Mostly TV and movies with some music and gaming. I like to listen to movies and music loud.

I'm looking for more impact, volume, dynamics in that area beyond the sub crossover up to the tweeter taking over.

So would a tower, for example, with 2 5.25" mids offer more impact, volume and dynamics than say a bookshelf with a single 6.5" driver? Would the much larger cabinet of the tower have any bearing above the crossover point?

A good sub, properly implemented should give you good sonic impact.

The PC 12+ looks like a good candidate, but its implementation must be lacking based on your complaints.

Also as much as I loved my NHT SZ's (still have them, they are in a store room right now but if I ever need a small system...) they are kinda light for use with a big subwoofer on the scale of the PC 12+. The big problem with them is that they only go down to about 120 Hz. Normally, we are looking for something that goes down to 60 or 80 Hz for a first rate system in a typically sized room.

As has already been pointed out, you don't have to go to a tower to get dual woofers. I discovered a LCR solution that IME can't be beat for focus and timbre matching anywhere near the price in the form of 3 each Primus PC 351s. They have 2 5 inch woofers and 2 3 inch midranges each. Audyssey decided that they are good down to 60 Hz based on its in-room testing. Being center channel speakers their design is optimized for lying on their side and minimal height. They have less height than many sound bars.

The usual wisdom is that a true MTM speaker is not ideal for side-mounting. The more expensive center channel speakers usually have the tweeter mounted above the midrange, and the midrange(s) between the woofers:



(Primus PC 351 -$199)

or



(Aperion Verus Grand - $699)

Getting back to implementation of the subwoofer, how is it hooked up? Where is it locatied in the room and relatively to the L^R speakers? Are you using an AVR with a subwoofer output jack? Are you using an AVR with some kind of automated system optimization facility such as Audyssey, YPAO or MCACC?
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post #4 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

So would a tower, for example, with 2 5.25" mids offer more impact, volume and dynamics than say a bookshelf with a single 6.5" driver?
No, but if I was going to get an MTM it would be a bookshelf.
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Would the much larger cabinet of the tower have any bearing above the crossover point?
Yes. If anything it would not work as well. Does a 250HP engine give better performance when in a 2dr coupe or when in a two ton pickup truck?

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post #5 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Budget is around $1000-$1400 or so. Again I'm not concerned some much with output below 100hz, it's in the area of 100-120hz and up to when the mids crossover to the tweeters where I want more volume, impact and dynamic sound. I figure that the PC12+ is going to have more output up to 100-120hz than any pair of speakers I can afford, so for movies, tv and gaming I would likely continue to run a 120hz crossover.

I was looking into the JBL studio series either the 570 towers (2x5.25 drivers) or the 530 bookshelf (1 5.25 driver), Klipsch RF52 or 62 towers (2x5.25 and 6.5 drivers respectively) or the RB61, 1 6.5" driver) or anything else similar for around the same price. Pretty much needs to be available from Crutchfield or Amazon prime.

So, would having more drivers in a larger cabinet help in that area compared to a single driver in a smaller cabinet?

Thanks again.

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post #6 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 02:15 PM
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Usually all you gain from getting larger speakers is more power handling and more bass. If you are running a sub, that will usually negate any benefit of the larger floor standing speakers. There are several of us that use identical high efficiency speakers for all channels. Something like the Bic FH6-LCR would work well for your setup and come in well under budget. Many people compare them to the Klipsch and JBL speakers that you seemed interested in.
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post #7 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 02:23 PM
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There are points of view, of course. The most common advice is to let the subwoofer do all the low end work. In this type of setup, woofers in the main speaker cabinets might be superfluous. I don't do it that way personally. I have full range main speakers and I let them play fully in my HT. The subwoofer is then combined with them to fill out and strengthen the bass response. I do this because it provides better mid bass in my system. Mid bass is sometimes weaker in suwoofer/bookshelf arrangements. So I have my mains playing "large" or full range with my subwoofer added to the mix. That may not work best for you or best in your environment but it does in mine and others. Use whatever scheme works best for you.
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post #8 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post

There are points of view, of course. The most common advice is to let the subwoofer do all the low end work. In this type of setup, woofers in the main speaker cabinets might be superfluous. I don't do it that way personally. I have full range main speakers and I let them play fully in my HT. The subwoofer is then combined with them to fill out and strengthen the bass response. I do this because it provides better mid bass in my system. Mid bass is sometimes weaker in suwoofer/bookshelf arrangements. So I have my mains playing "large" or full range with my subwoofer added to the mix. That may not work best for you or best in your environment but it does in mine and others. Use whatever scheme works best for you.

I see what you did there wink.gif

Anyway, I assume the woofers or midrange drivers are producing the sound from the crossover point of the sub and the start of the tweeter kicking in. What part of movie audio is in that range? I'm guessing it's quite a lot which is the reason I wonder if more drivers for this purpose is better.

What is considered mid bass? What is the area of 100hz -2000hz considered? Is that the mid range?

Thanks

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post #9 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

So, would having more drivers in a larger cabinet help in that area compared to a single driver in a smaller cabinet?
No. The only benefit to the larger cabinet is bass response. That also requires using drivers optimized to work in a larger cabinet to lower frequencies, and when that's the case said drivers don't work as well in the higher frequencies as drivers optimized to work with subs handling the lows. However, having more drivers in a bookshelf is beneficial. No single 5 incher or for than matter 6 incher is going to give concert level output, unless you typically sit in the last row.

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post #10 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

No. The only benefit to the larger cabinet is bass response. That also requires using drivers optimized to work in a larger cabinet to lower frequencies, and when that's the case said drivers don't work as well in the higher frequencies as drivers optimized to work with subs handling the lows. However, having more drivers in a bookshelf is beneficial. No single 5 incher or for than matter 6 incher is going to give concert level output, unless you typically sit in the last row.

Thanks Bill,

Just to clarify, I would be no better off using a pair of Klipsch RF52s (2. 5.25") drivers than I would with a pair of RB61s (6.5" bookshelf) when crossed over at 100hz? The towers would not have any benefit beyond the crossover even though they have 60% more driver face?

Thanks

And I only sit about 9ft from the speakers.

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post #11 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 04:33 PM
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Kini62 get the jbl speakers ,you been talking about this speakers in some threads for some time ,personally I like how they look and I can tell from videos that they sound nice, I know ,YouTube right !!but oh well ! you get at least an idea.

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post #12 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Just to clarify, I would be no better off using a pair of Klipsch RF52s (2. 5.25") drivers than I would with a pair of RB61s (6.5" bookshelf) when crossed over at 100hz? The towers would not have any benefit beyond the crossover even though they have 60% more driver face?
.
Not when they have higher Mms, lower Fs, lower Qms, larger Vas and longer xmax that allows them to function well below 100Hz , rather than the opposite to give the best results above 100Hz. But I still wouldn't buy anything with a single 6.5.
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And I only sit about 9ft from the speakers
I sit twelve feet from mine, the L/R loaded with eight fours and twelve tweeters each, the center loaded with six fours and six tweeters.

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post #13 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

I see what you did there wink.gif

Anyway, I assume the woofers or midrange drivers are producing the sound from the crossover point of the sub and the start of the tweeter kicking in. What part of movie audio is in that range? I'm guessing it's quite a lot which is the reason I wonder if more drivers for this purpose is better.

What is considered mid bass? What is the area of 100hz -2000hz considered? Is that the mid range?

Thanks

No, the main speakers work independently of the subwoofer. They work exactly as they would with no subwoofer. The subwoofer is managed by the AVR but doesn't replace anything from the speakers. It simply adds its output output from 80 hz down. For me Mid bass would be from around 50 hz to around 200hz or so. Others probably have different definitions.
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post #14 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post

The subwoofer is managed by the AVR but doesn't replace anything from the speakers. It simply adds its output output from 80 hz down.

Have you measured the frequency response you get with that configuration?
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post #15 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by losservatore View Post

Kini62 get the jbl speakers ,you been talking about this speakers in some threads for some time ,personally I like how they look and I can tell from videos that they sound nice, I know ,YouTube right !!but oh well ! you get at least an idea.

I know I should but it seems they may go off sale before I'm ready to buy. If they do I might give Klipsch a shot and see if I can live with them for music. I listen to mostly blues and jazz vocal like Melody Gardot or jazz soft pop like Sade. I occasionally listen to hard rock but usually not for very long at any one stretch. I know I like the Klipsch for movie, tv and gaming so...... with Crutchfield there is no risk too.

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post #16 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Not when they have higher Mms, lower Fs, lower Qms, larger Vas and longer xmax that allows them to function well below 100Hz , rather than the opposite to give the best results above 100Hz.

Huh?

In laymen terms, what type/brand/model of speaker (that fits my limited budget) will give me the most impact and dynamics above 100hz? If I could afford the JTRs or JBL Synthesis that would be what I would go with or the Klipsch THX models, but I can't. So...

Thanks

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post #17 of 211 Old 10-04-2013, 07:27 PM
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I don't recommend speakers, I only give technical advice. But from a technical standpoint I'd suggest the Hsu HC-1 appears to be a well designed speaker at a very reasonable price. While they're advertised mainly as centers they would make good mains when placed vertically.
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post #18 of 211 Old 10-05-2013, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

I don't recommend speakers, I only give technical advice. But from a technical standpoint I'd suggest the Hsu HC-1 appears to be a well designed speaker at a very reasonable price. While they're advertised mainly as centers they would make good mains when placed vertically.
would you have to rotate the horn when standing vertically

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post #19 of 211 Old 10-05-2013, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

I don't recommend speakers, I only give technical advice. But from a technical standpoint I'd suggest the Hsu HC-1 appears to be a well designed speaker at a very reasonable price. While they're advertised mainly as centers they would make good mains when placed vertically.

http://38.102.4.79/forum/showthread.php?p=54701#post54701
Anyone use an HC-1 as a bookshelf?
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post #20 of 211 Old 10-05-2013, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

I don't recommend speakers, I only give technical advice. But from a technical standpoint I'd suggest the Hsu HC-1 appears to be a well designed speaker at a very reasonable price. While they're advertised mainly as centers they would make good mains when placed vertically.
would you have to rotate the horn when standing vertically

Good question.

Here is a picture of the HB-1




Here is a picture of the HC-1 center channel speaker:



It appears that the tweeter is rotated so that it has the same orientation when these speakers are in their preferred orientation.

That would seem to be the desired orientation as installed, but its not clear if there are any crossover changes that would also be needed for optimal response. Simply using the center channel model for L, C, and R would be a reasonable option so you could then use all of the speakers in their preferred orientations and have the best possible timbre-matching.

I'm doing this with Infinty Primus PC-351s and it seems to work well.

Here's a review of HB-1 and HC-1s with technical tests:

http://www.soundandvision.com/content/hsu-research-hb-1-horn-speaker-and-vtf-3-mk3-subwoofer-measurements

"The HC-1's on-axis response is noticeably smoother than that of the HB-1, though the center speaker has a similar suckout in the presence region (narrower in this case, and centered at approximately 2.3kHz). The surprising thing here is the smoothness of the HC-1's treble in comparison to that of the HB-1, considering the fact that both speakers use the same tweeter design. Though the tweeter in the HC-1 may be balanced a bit on the high side, it produced one of the flattest, smoothest curves we have ever measured from 4kHz-20kHz."

Hsu seems to have an interesting strategy with these speakers - avoid making them sound bright which is part of the horn-speaker stereotype.
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post #21 of 211 Old 10-05-2013, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

So would a tower, for example, with 2 5.25" mids offer more impact, volume and dynamics than say a bookshelf with a single 6.5" driver? Would the much larger cabinet of the tower have any bearing above the crossover point?

All things being equal, two drivers of the same size provide the opportunity for more dynamic range in the bass and midbass range than just one. There might be some advantage in terms of directional control with more drivers of a kind. In a tower a stack of woofers some distance above the ground can provide some control over "bass bounce" which is a common notch in the mid bass due to reflections off of the floor.

As others have pointed out, you need not buy a tower in order to get doubled-up bass drivers. A lot of center channel speakers have two bass (and sometimes midrange) drivers.

The larger cabinet provides the opportunity for either higher efficiency or deeper bass extension. Of course if you are using a sub, this is moot. In sub/sat system responsibility for impact usually lies more with the sub.
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post #22 of 211 Old 10-05-2013, 06:42 AM
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saying you did rotate the horns 90 degrees on the hc-1's. would you just do the left and right and keep the center horizontal without rotating its horn or go vertical all across the front rotating all three horns for best sound

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post #23 of 211 Old 10-05-2013, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

saying you did rotate the horns 90 degrees on the hc-1's. would you just do the left and right and keep the center horizontal without rotating its horn or go vertical all across the front rotating all three horns for best sound
The orientation of the horn defines the dispersion angle. You would not want to change that if the speaker is left horizontal.

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post #24 of 211 Old 10-05-2013, 06:54 AM
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The orientation of the horn defines the dispersion angle. You would not want to change that if the speaker is left horizontal.
I get that but would you get better sound with the unchanged center horizontal compared to a rotated vertical center

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post #25 of 211 Old 10-05-2013, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Budget is around $1000-$1400 or so. Again I'm not concerned some much with output below 100hz, it's in the area of 100-120hz and up to when the mids crossover to the tweeters where I want more volume, impact and dynamic sound. I figure that the PC12+ is going to have more output up to 100-120hz than any pair of speakers I can afford, so for movies, tv and gaming I would likely continue to run a 120hz crossover.

I was looking into the JBL studio series either the 570 towers (2x5.25 drivers) or the 530 bookshelf (1 5.25 driver), Klipsch RF52 or 62 towers (2x5.25 and 6.5 drivers respectively) or the RB61, 1 6.5" driver) or anything else similar for around the same price. Pretty much needs to be available from Crutchfield or Amazon prime.

So, would having more drivers in a larger cabinet help in that area compared to a single driver in a smaller cabinet?

Thanks again.

I saw the measurement of the Klipsch RB61 II on HTM. It looks pretty good. Sensitivity is 90.5dB/2.83v/m. FR is flat.

The RB-61 II’s listening-window response (a five-point average of axial and +/–15-degree horizontal and vertical responses) measures +1.27/–2.40 decibels from 200 hertz to 10 kilohertz. The –3-dB point is at 50 Hz, and the –6-dB point is at 45 Hz. Impedance reaches a minimum of 4.82 ohms at 174 Hz and a phase angle of –49.43 degrees at 106 Hz.

The JBL LS40’s listening-window response (a five-point average of axial and +/–15-degree horizontal and vertical responses) measures +3.73/–2.36 decibels from 200 hertz to 10 kilohertz. The –3-dB point is at 54 Hz, and the –6-dB point is at 42 Hz. Impedance reaches a minimum of 4.78 ohms at 3.7 kHz and a phase angle of –53.02 degrees at 91 Hz. But from 200Hz-8kHz, it's pretty much +/-2dB. Sensitivity is 88dB.
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post #26 of 211 Old 10-05-2013, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

I get that but would you get better sound with the unchanged center horizontal compared to a rotated vertical center
You'll always get a better result from a vertical speaker. Horizontal speakers aren't made that way because it's the right way, they're made that way so that they'll fit under a TV.

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post #27 of 211 Old 10-05-2013, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

saying you did rotate the horns 90 degrees on the hc-1's. would you just do the left and right and keep the center horizontal without rotating its horn or go vertical all across the front rotating all three horns for best sound

The Hsus are good speakers. I have a pr of HB-1s, my father has a 5.1 hsu pkg. All sound great. There was a member here a while back that was running HC-1s across the front. Don't know if they were all vertical, but if you tell hsu you plans they will rotate the horn for you prior to shipping. Great company and speakers with excellent customer service.
FYI the rosenut finish is really nice as is the satin black.
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post #28 of 211 Old 10-05-2013, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Have you measured the frequency response you get with that configuration?

No, I adjust the sub by ear.
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post #29 of 211 Old 10-05-2013, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ambesolman View Post

The Hsus are good speakers. I have a pr of HB-1s, my father has a 5.1 hsu pkg. All sound great. There was a member here a while back that was running HC-1s across the front. Don't know if they were all vertical, but if you tell hsu you plans they will rotate the horn for you prior to shipping. Great company and speakers with excellent customer service.
FYI the rosenut finish is really nice as is the satin black.
I know they are good speakers as I had 5.1 setup of the original hb-1s about 5 yrs ago until I got divorced and they went with my ex. have not heard the newer version or had 5.1 system in my home since, just a few 2.1 systems(except in my garage for when the grand kids come over and watch movies with their friends 5 Dayton audio b652's and a Dayton sub120. didn't want nothing to expensive with all the balls and other objects flying about with all the horse playing its survived for a few years now and they really enjoy it which helps them stay busy and out of the house) in different rooms as I don't really watch that many movies anymore like I use to. mostly music and the once in a while netflix movie . was just seeing if it would be ideal for the extra cash to go with the hc-1's as I recommended a hsu 5.1system to a friend

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #30 of 211 Old 10-05-2013, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

I don't recommend speakers, I only give technical advice. But from a technical standpoint I'd suggest the Hsu HC-1 appears to be a well designed speaker at a very reasonable price. While they're advertised mainly as centers they would make good mains when placed vertically.
Are you suggesting 3 HC-1s all placed vertically for LCR?

No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die!
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