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post #1 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Upgrading from 3.1 to 5.1 Recommendations

Hello everyone,

I received some wonderful help in the past from you guys and was hoping you could help me with my next upgrade. I just purchased a new home and was able to have the builder wire up a media/game room for 5.1. Right now I have a budget system you all helped me set up in my rental home that consists of EMP tek R5Bi bookshelfs, R5Ci center channel, an Outlaw LFM-1 plus subwoofer, and a Denon AVR-E300 receiver. I have been nothing but impressed by this system and would like to expand on it.

It may be worth noting that I am also very excited to be moving from a poor shaped room, very rectangle, about 12' x 30' with one end open and the system positioned on the long side with basically no side walls to resonate off of to a fairly square room 16' x 19' isolated from the rest of the house with only a staircase breaking up the soundstage.

What I'd like to do is of course take advantage of the opportunity to upgrade to 5.1 but not sure what the best configuration would be or if there are other components I should consider. I want to keep with this line of speakers but do I go R55Ti towers and move the bookshelfs to the rear (ceiling mounted), get two more bookshelfs, get the R55Wi for surrounds and keep the bookshelfs in front? So many choices! Another thought I had was that the Denon is almost certainly lacking for power, would tossing in a powered amplifier (nothing too expensive) like the Outlaw Model 5000 really wake up the system?

Budget isn't really a concern, I can fund nearly any combination of components listed above but for a realistic limit, lets say $1,000-1,2000. Thanks for any recommendations!
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post #2 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 10:53 AM
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I began with three R5Bi’s for my front stage. I too was not sure how to expand. I thought about getting two more R5Bi’s for surrounds or choose a smaller speaker for the surrounds. I then decided on the R55Ti’s and moved the R5Bi’s to surround duties. You can read my comments on this move here, so perhaps this will help in your decision: http://www.amazon.com/review/R20W1GQ...re=electronics

BTW, the smaller room will help that nice Outlaw sub, so enjoy .
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post #3 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 10:57 AM
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Yeah, I'd spend the $750 for the towers that complement your center and move your current fronts to the rear as you like their sound.

The towers play 20hz lower than your bookshelves giving you more flexibility on crossover setting on your AVR and most certainly will sound far superior in Pure Direct stereo mode if you prefer that, as I do, for music.

Another plus is they are very handsome speakers:

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post #4 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh yeah, I probably should have told you what I use it for. This is purely a system for movies, games, TV. I don't ever use it for music.
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post #5 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by USAFDave13 View Post
Oh yeah, I probably should have told you what I use it for. This is purely a system for movies, games, TV. I don't ever use it for music.
Go with the towers; you will be VERY happy with the much bigger sound stage from speakers that have sound coming at you from virtually every point on a 4 foot tower.
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post #6 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by USAFDave13 View Post
Oh yeah, I probably should have told you what I use it for. This is purely a system for movies, games, TV. I don't ever use it for music.
If you are just using it for movies with a sub. I do not think you will hear much if any difference between towers and bookshelf speakers of the same series. The lower range of the towers will not make any difference as the sub will cover frequencies up to around 80 Hz. If money is not an option, base your choice on aesthetics. Towers will get the tweeters at ear level and may not be as restricted for positioning.
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post #7 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by golfster View Post
If you are just using it for movies with a sub. I do not think you will hear much if any difference between towers and bookshelf speakers of the same series. The lower range of the towers will not make any difference as the sub will cover frequencies up to around 80 Hz. If money is not an option, base your choice on aesthetics. Towers will get the tweeters at ear level and may not be as restricted for positioning.
Better vertical dispersion for sure and they certainly move more air.
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post #8 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Towers it is then! Thank you all for the help.
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post #9 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by USAFDave13 View Post
Towers it is then! Thank you all for the help.
I'll have to vote with some of the others that for movies you won't notice much difference with towers in the front.

As for power your AVR doesn't have any pre-outs to be able to connect an amp.

If you're really looking for an upgrade then use your 5bs for surround and get three of these for the front.

http://www.powersoundaudio.com/colle...roducts/mt-110

You won't have to worry about not having enough power with these either.

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post #10 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 12:27 PM
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I went from excellent bookshelves, (B&W Concept 90 CM1's), and a DD15+ sub to the same sub with Usher V602 Towers and am glad I did.

It is certainly a better fit for the OP to go with complimentary towers with his current setup and less than 1/2 the price of the suggested 70hz-18khz bookshelves suggested.

If he notices "no difference" as suggested in 3.1 mode, (as a test), he can simply return them within 30 days.

I'm going to guess that the OP will be very satisfied with the upgrade.
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post #11 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
I went from excellent bookshelves, (B&W Concept 90 CM1's), and a DD15+ sub to the same sub with Usher V602 Towers and am glad I did.

It is certainly a better fit for the OP to go with complimentary towers with his current setup and less than 1/2 the price of the suggested 70hz-18khz bookshelves suggested.

If he notices "no difference" as suggested in 3.1 mode, (as a test), he can simply return them within 30 days.

I'm going to guess that the OP will be very satisfied with the upgrade.
Well according to the OP the use is 100% HT. It's not complimentary to his use to add inefficient tower speakers designed primarily for music especially considering the current concern over power.

The "bookshelf" speakers I linked to will have far, far greater output in the mid-bass. They are much more efficient and dynamic. Plus the towers being suggested have useable output only down to about 60hz. The speakers I linked to are sealed and in room frequency response will be good down to the 50-60hz range if needed to be.

I guess the OP could order the "matching" towers and a pair of the PSA 110s and compare them and send the loser back. PSA has shipping both ways included.

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post #12 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by USAFDave13 View Post
Towers it is then! Thank you all for the help.
I disagree completely with the above statements, but that's normal (different rooms mean different sound). If you read my review, I mentioned that the towers soundstage is restricted in height compared to the bookshelf speakers thanks to the MTM configuration. Where the towers benefit is in the upper bass / lower midrange frequencies. That, and it's a more sensitive speaker. What I don't like about the towers, other people will, and that is its warmth. May pay off in a bright room, but too colored (for me for music) in a carpeted (or soft) room. I also don't like that their bass is not well controlled, but with a subwoofer it won't make a difference. Since I'm using this primarily for TV and movies (same as you), the warmth doesn't bother me and probably won't bother you. But hey, you have 30 days to make a decision.

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post #13 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by USAFDave13 View Post
Hello everyone,

I received some wonderful help in the past from you guys and was hoping you could help me with my next upgrade. I just purchased a new home and was able to have the builder wire up a media/game room for 5.1. Right now I have a budget system you all helped me set up in my rental home that consists of EMP tek R5Bi bookshelfs, R5Ci center channel, an Outlaw LFM-1 plus subwoofer, and a Denon AVR-E300 receiver. I have been nothing but impressed by this system and would like to expand on it.

It may be worth noting that I am also very excited to be moving from a poor shaped room, very rectangle, about 12' x 30' with one end open and the system positioned on the long side with basically no side walls to resonate off of to a fairly square room 16' x 19' isolated from the rest of the house with only a staircase breaking up the soundstage.

What I'd like to do is of course take advantage of the opportunity to upgrade to 5.1 but not sure what the best configuration would be or if there are other components I should consider. I want to keep with this line of speakers but do I go R55Ti towers and move the bookshelfs to the rear (ceiling mounted), get two more bookshelfs, get the R55Wi for surrounds and keep the bookshelfs in front? So many choices! Another thought I had was that the Denon is almost certainly lacking for power, would tossing in a powered amplifier (nothing too expensive) like the Outlaw Model 5000 really wake up the system?

Budget isn't really a concern, I can fund nearly any combination of components listed above but for a realistic limit, lets say $1,000-1,2000. Thanks for any recommendations!

I will add more fuel to the fire


First, I am a tower guy for those reason:
-Look
-play a little bit more effortless when cross at 80Hz over a bookshelf due to a lower frequency design


While it true a good bookshelf can achieve Great result, my Personal Preference is a tower with a sub.


I would read dsrussel review to make your mind-up, he does have lots of experience with the Emp Tek.


To go with the Outlaw Model 5000 is a very good option.
A power amp give power to All channel played at the same time, from 20 to 20000Hz, has a Receiver quote a number that could be for 1 or 2 channels played at 1KHz.


So take this with a grain of salt, from a guy that like Towers and power amps


Ray
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post #14 of 18 Old 04-30-2016, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Random tangent, but it was pointed out to me before that the Denon E300 doesn't have the outputs for an amp. Not that I'm going to jump on this right away but in case I'd like to amp in the future, what would be a decent budget AVR that would be compatible with an amp?
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post #15 of 18 Old 05-01-2016, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by USAFDave13 View Post
Random tangent, but it was pointed out to me before that the Denon E300 doesn't have the outputs for an amp. Not that I'm going to jump on this right away but in case I'd like to amp in the future, what would be a decent budget AVR that would be compatible with an amp?
Why?

My Denon AVR only is rated with 15 more watts than yours, my speakers are just a tiny hair more sensitive than yours (2db) and it plays at 90db effortlessly in 5.1.

I very much doubt you listen much above 90db and if you do, you shouldn't!
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post #16 of 18 Old 05-01-2016, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I thought more about it with the size of the room. I won't need an amp, just excited about expanding .
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post #17 of 18 Old 05-02-2016, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by USAFDave13 View Post
Yeah, I thought more about it with the size of the room. I won't need an amp, just excited about expanding .
Tons of reviews out there, hard to find a negative one!

https://www.audioholics.com/tower-sp...i-introduction
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post #18 of 18 Old 05-02-2016, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by USAFDave13 View Post
Yeah, I thought more about it with the size of the room. I won't need an amp, just excited about expanding .

Good, this is what is fun about this hobby
While, I am a big supporter for power amp for the extra power, there is nothing wrong with a good AVR


Enjoy your up-grades.


Ray
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