Upgrading help from 2.1 to 5.1, need suggestions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-15-2014, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Smile Upgrading help from 2.1 to 5.1, need suggestions

Hi everyone,

I want to upgrade my sound system from 2.1 to 5.1
I usually watch movie and listen to music. My room is not very big, but its not small. And it is wide open.

My current setup:

Receiver: Yamaha RXA 740
Subwoofer: JL Audio E-sub 110
Bookshelf: Kef Q100s -> to be used as rear

So, due to my dimension restriction, my center channel speaker has to be less than 5 inches.
Do you have any suggestions for decent center channel speakers?

Currently I'm looking at Kef Q700s as well.
My spending range is 1500 for the tower speakers and center.

Additional Questions, Do I really need a center channel speaker?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-15-2014, 03:41 PM
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With no indication of what your room size is it will be difficult for anyone to give accurate suggestions, so knowing that info will be helpful. You also say there's a 5" size restriction for the center, but you don't say why that restriction exists. What's the reason for such a small center?

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-15-2014, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post
With no indication of what your room size is it will be difficult for anyone to give accurate suggestions, so knowing that info will be helpful. You also say there's a 5" size restriction for the center, but you don't say why that restriction exists. What's the reason for such a small center?
I'm not at home, so I cannot measure it now. I will update the room size later.

The center speaker restriction is simply because of the furniture I bought
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-15-2014, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinorRain View Post
I usually watch movie and listen to music. My room is not very big, but its not small. And it is wide open.
Sorry, some more questions:

When you say wide open, do you mean wide open to other adjacent rooms?
What are the dimensions of your room including rooms that are open to your listening room?

With speakers, we can only give suggestions because we don't know what type of "sound" you like - some speakers are warm sounding, others won't go very loud but are very accurate, still others are very lively with brighter highs and can play LOUD. Any idea what you do like?

You currently have KEF, do you like those? Most people consider KEF to be warm speakers - mine were the warmest speakers I ever owned as I found out I actually like brighter speakers. They are really great speakers, just not for everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinorRain View Post
So, due to my dimension restriction, my center channel speaker has to be less than 5 inches. Do you have any suggestions for decent center channel speakers?

Currently I'm looking at Kef Q700s as well. My spending range is 1500 for the tower speakers and center.

Additional Questions, Do I really need a center channel speaker?
There is debate about this, but in my opinion: Yes, you need a center speaker. Unless you are going to sit directly between your front speakers in the exact center when watching movies and nobody else will ever sit anywhere else.

I have a lot of suggestions for center speakers. The first is that the center should be the best speaker in your HT (or very close to the fronts) which usually means just as expensive. The center speaker reproduces a large part of soundtracks and multi-channel music and should be the sonic superior (or at least equal) of the front speakers.

The KEF towers you suggest ($750 ea) will take your entire budget - that's a rough start.

For those towers, it looks like the matched center would be the Q200c which is 7.1" tall (and another $500) - is there no way that you can put a center speaker somewhere else? Above the monitor / screen? Move a shelf, etc? A limit of 5" height for a center speaker means that the mid range drivers are going to be 4" or smaller - you are not going to get any mid-bass from a driver that small and that is where some human voices live (on the frequency spectrum) - you want to be able to understand the actors!

My other suggestion is that if you really like the KEF, you probably don't need front towers that big unless 1) you don't want a sub or 2) you listen to music without the sub or 3) you want your system to be able to be really loud (in that case there are better choices than KEF). Smaller towers like the Q500 will allow for center speaker budget and will probably sound identical with an AVR doing bass management and sending the low bass to a subwoofer.

My suggestions are all 7" to 8" tall (as they all have 6"+ drivers) - you should demo them:

Your suggested KEF Q200 - I've never heard it buy you should go listen to it
NHT TwoC Center Channel Speaker - $550
Paradigm Monitor Center 3 - $600

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2, Paradigm Signature S4 v.2, (2) SVS SB12-NSD subs, AQ & Cardas XLR
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-15-2014, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinorRain View Post
The center speaker restriction is simply because of the furniture I bought
Can you use a stand like this to place the center on top of your TV?

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post #6 of 9 Old 08-15-2014, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post
Can you use a stand like this to place the center on top of your TV?
Also sold at Crutchfield
http://www.crutchfield.com/shopsearc...e_bracket.html

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post #7 of 9 Old 08-16-2014, 05:11 AM
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That bracket only holds a 15lb speaker - most good center speakers at going to be more than that (the ones I suggested are 19 to 28lbs), but as long as the TV stand can hold the weight I guess it could work.

Can't you either wall mount the TV or get a taller table top stand (these aren't too expensive) or get a floor stand behind your cabinet to move the TV higher so there is room under the TV for a real center channel speaker?



If you cannot wall mount, wouldn't something like this work?

Steel Floor TV Stand with Wheels for a 27 to 60 inch Television, Height-Adjustable, Rotating and Tilting - Black

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2, Paradigm Signature S4 v.2, (2) SVS SB12-NSD subs, AQ & Cardas XLR
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-16-2014, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinorRain View Post
Hi everyone,
Currently I'm looking at Kef Q700s as well.

I don't know why you are getting floor standers when you have a subwoofer.

Quote:
My spending range is 1500 for the tower speakers and center.

Additional Questions, Do I really need a center channel speaker?
Given that you have a sub, you need a center channel speaker and bookshelves.

You need the center channel speaker more than you need towers.

The only things you need more than the center channel speaker is the L&R speakers and the subwoofer.

One way to mount a heavy speaker above your TV set is a strong wall-mounted bracket that is attached directly to the studs.

For example these inexpensive brackets have impressive strength and rigidity if firmly mounted to wall studs.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10136135/



I use them like this:



They work with any shelf with the right thickness and depth, which is 1 inch thick and 11 inches deep or less.

The speakers on that shelf weigh about 26 pounds a piece. The shelf is nowhere near being stressed.

I'd recommend 3 each Q100 or (better) Q300 speakers. Because of their excellent dispersion control due to the Uni-Q design these speakers are unusually well suited for this kind of application.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-16-2014, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
I don't know why you are getting floor standers when you have a subwoofer.
How are towers and subwoofers mutually exclusive? People match them up all the time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
Given that you have a sub, you need a center channel speaker and bookshelves.

You need the center channel speaker more than you need towers.

The only things you need more than the center channel speaker is the L&R speakers and the subwoofer.
With capable L&R's he wouldn't actually need a dedicated center, he could use a phantom. It's not an ideal arrangement, but it is certainly an option.

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