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If you had $500-700 to spend on bookshelf's, a sub and a center what would you buy?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
So I loved this thread (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1294274), and I have a similar but different problem. After reading AVSForum threads for a week I decided to start with a 3.1 setup.

* Basement size: 14x17x7.5
* Mainly listen to Movies/TV (90%) and then music (10%)
* Receiver: Marantz NR1501

I need bookshelf speakers to fit in my built-in, which has a height restriction of 12". Apparently bookshelf's will fare better than satellites. Also, according to the official Marantz thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post18203659, I'll need efficient speakers (> ~90db) to not push the receiver too hard.

Any thoughts on bookshelf's + a center + a sub to fit my setup?
Farhan
post #2 of 33
I'd say.... SVS SBS-02 bookshelves, SCS-02 center, and Bic F12 subwoofer. Should be close to $700.

I was going to suggest Hsu HB-1 and HC-1, but they're 15" tall...
post #3 of 33
hey op I see your in toronto as well.

I suggest buying the RC-MINI bookshelf and center channel. Possibly buy 3 of the RC-MINI Center channel for fronts(if it can fit) and 2 bookshelf for rears.

They had them

Also I think the Velodyne VDR12 is good buy @ $350 at futureshop. But remember with this setup a good sub is important.

Also if you want to save money I suggest buying 3 front speakers along with sub first and then add rears for later

Edit:
I got the same amp and it ran the RC speakers perfectly. I would have kept them(especially for the price) but I found the matching center channel and rears for my RC-70 towers I got from boxing day.
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by fnthawar View Post

So I loved this thread (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1294274), and I have a similar but different problem. After reading AVSForum threads for a week I decided to start with a 3.1 setup.

* Basement size: 14x17x7.5
* Mainly listen to Movies/TV (90%) and then music (10%)
* Receiver: Marantz NR1501

I need bookshelf speakers to fit in my built-in, which has a height restriction of 12". Apparently bookshelf's will fare better than satellites. Also, according to the official Marantz thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post18203659, I'll need efficient speakers (> ~90db) to not push the receiver too hard.

Any thoughts on bookshelf's + a center + a sub to fit my setup?
Farhan

I got
Definitive sm450 for $249 new
Definitive clr2002 for $89 open box
Emotiva ultra 10 for $249 new
I know its not there normal prices but if you search and take the time you can get a lot for a little. This combo so far has been awesome.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaball77 View Post

I'd say.... SVS SBS-02 bookshelves, SCS-02 center, and Bic F12 subwoofer. Should be close to $700.

I was going to suggest Hsu HB-1 and HC-1, but they're 15" tall...

The SBS and SCS are not close to the 90 db the OP wants, but probably nothing is with those size and budget restrictions. Can the bookshelf speakers be turned on their sides?
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick replies guys.

@jaball77 - should I be worried about the 82db sensitivity vs. needing => 90db? I thought the Marantz couldn't handle these well. Sub suggestion looks good, will have to find it in Canada but I'm sure I could find it. Overstock has these others: http://www.overstock.com/search?keyw...rchtype=Header

@Badman - I'm confused. Are you suggesting I get the 3xEnergy RC-Mini Centers instead of 2xRc-Mini bookshelf + 1xRc-Mini Center? I think that'll blow my budget. Is this because you consider the RC-Mini bookshelf's to really be satellites? I don't mind spending more a sub and less on fronts/center in general though.

@cchrono - will look into those
post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Can the bookshelf speakers be turned on their sides?

Unfortunately, if I turn the speakers on their sides, I'll ruin the aesthetic of the built-in

Farhan
post #8 of 33
might be an entire 5/8" of an inch too tall, but I would personally go with:
Yamaha NS-333's + the C444 center; the 333's are listed at 12-5/8" though

and then I'd look at the Polk PSW505 or PSW125 depending on your cosmetic/space/bass tastes - the 125 looks smarter but isn't quite as powerful

overall you're looking at like $500-$600 (US), might be able to throw in a pair of Yamaha's 125 bookshelves (which, depending on your retailer, might actually cost *more* than the 333's (in which case disregard this suggestion)) for the money, and have surrounds as well (they aren't the bestest speakers ever made, but if you wall-mount them, you get *ok* low-end response, for their size)
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by fnthawar View Post

@jaball77 - should I be worried about the 82db sensitivity vs. needing => 90db? I thought the Marantz couldn't handle these well. Sub suggestion looks good, will have to find it in Canada but I'm sure I could find it. Overstock has these others: http://www.overstock.com/search?keyw...rchtype=Header

Wow, I didn't see the sensitivity rating on the SVS's... 82db is pretty terrible, especially considering the max input power is only 80W. So yeah, I'd cross those off.

Since you're in Canada maybe you have some Paradigm or PSB dealers nearby? Not sure if you could do the front three for under $500 though.

You could also look on Craigslist for used gear. That's probably what I'd do given your set of requirements.

*edit* Maybe offer this guy $500? http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/tor/ele/2135463242.html
post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaball77 View Post

*edit* Maybe offer this guy $500? http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/tor/ele/2135463242.html

Wow, thanks for the quick research. Doesn't have a sub, but will try for a good deal to leave me room for that.

Jaball77, amazing! Thank you.
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
So no reply from the Paradigm craigslist dude, but I did get a reply from http://www.baybloorradio.com/.

They suggested
* PSB B4 bookshelf's
* PSB C4 center
* PSB Sub Series 1 sub

Again, they missed on the sensitivity (87db vs. 90db) and impedance (6ohm vs. 8-16ohm). Since I'm a newbie, and unsure how much the stats matter, should I be worried?

Farhan
post #12 of 33
87 dB is half as efficient as 90 dB, so what that means is if you have your theoretical speaker A and it has an efficiency of 87dB/1W/1M and your theoretical speaker B and it has an efficiency of 90dB/1W/1M and you want the same output level at your listening position (lets assume 2M because most people don't sit right on top of their televisions and 6-8 ft is what I would call "average" for what most people have their living rooms set-up as) you'll need twice as much power into A than B (so say you want 93 dB at your listening position (which is absurdly loud for long-term use) speaker A will require 4W while speaker B will require 2W - this scales exponentially so to increase that to say, 105 dB you would need 64W into speaker A and only 32W into speaker B (notice how quickly this uses up the 80-110W/ch that your average a/v receiver can push out)); generally speaking 87 dB is on the lower end of the efficiency scale (target is around 90, most speakers I've owned are between 89 and 92, high-side is anything in or above the mid 90s - like Klipschorns)

to play with the numbers to your heart's content, without having to do the calculations in your head, see here:
http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html (it also tries to take placement and other things into mind)

regarding the 6-ohm vs 8/16-ohm thing, lower impedance demands higher current (see the power triangle) for the same power, which many lesser amplifiers will not deliver; generally if the amplifier doesn't provide 2 or 4 ohm numbers it should not be used to drive 2 or 4 ohm speakers, however with 6-ohm speakers I've found are somewhat of an oddity - they would *probably* work just fine, but I wouldn't be surprised if your receiver runs a bit warmer, just watch the output level and if the unit goes into protection that should be a sign

personally it sounds to me like they're just trying to sell you something, not actually taking your requirements into consideration
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for the detailed explanation as to why I need to worry about sensitivity. I'm leaning towards the following:
* Energy RC-mini x2 (left/right)
* Energy RC-mini center
* BIC H100 sub

The Energy RC-Mini's are a good size and have a sensitivity rating of 90db. Unfortunately the shop I went to didn't have them for listening, so I heard the V-Mini's instead. They sounded great but are out of my range.

Farhan
post #14 of 33
These are 12 5/8" tall - is the 12" height set in stone

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...kers/SP-PK21BS

$399 for a 5.1 set-up. Speakers get excellent reviews on this forum


These would fit your height requirements

Cabinet Size: 9H x 5.5W x 5D

http://www.nhthifi.com/bookshelf-spe...&category=3830

$799 for a 5.1 system
post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately the 12" is set in stone due to my built-in shelves.

Took a look at the NHT's (thanks for the reco), but the sensitivity is too low for my Marantz NR1501 (needs 90db or above apparently). I'm just going by forum opinions, but that's what the forum gods tell me.

Farhan
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by fnthawar View Post

Unfortunately the 12" is set in stone due to my built-in shelves.

Took a look at the NHT's (thanks for the reco), but the sensitivity is too low for my Marantz NR1501 (needs 90db or above apparently). I'm just going by forum opinions, but that's what the forum gods tell me.

Farhan

Okay

Try these

https://dmc-electronics.com/Main.asp

PSB Alpha B1 BLACK
Brand New

7 1/8 x 11 7/8 x 9 3/4

$279.00/pair

PSB Alpha c1
Brand New

$229.00/each

http://www.psbspeakers.com/products/...pha-B1-Monitor

Sensitivity
1w (2.83V) @ 1m, IEC-filtered Pink Noise, C-weighted
Anechoic Chamber 89 dB
Typical Listening Room 91 dB

http://www.psbspeakers.com/products/...lpha-C1-Center

Sensitivity
1w (2.83V) @ 1m, IEC-filtered Pink Noise, C-weighted
Anechoic Chamber 90 dB
Typical Listening Room 92 dB


PSB Subsonic 5i
$349.00/each
Minor Cosmetic Blemish
*Full Factory Warranty
Available in black ash


Limited Quantity!

Please email or call our store for non-blemished price.
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by fnthawar View Post

Wow, thanks for the detailed explanation as to why I need to worry about sensitivity. I'm leaning towards the following:
* Energy RC-mini x2 (left/right)
* Energy RC-mini center
* BIC H100 sub

The Energy RC-Mini's are a good size and have a sensitivity rating of 90db. Unfortunately the shop I went to didn't have them for listening, so I heard the V-Mini's instead. They sounded great but are out of my range.

Farhan

The V-Mini's sounds the same. It's basically the replacement for the RC-Mini's. I would go for those.
post #18 of 33
This one just popped up today.
http://www.amazon.com/KEF-C1SYSTEM-S...4704684&sr=8-1

The bookshelf speakers are 10.5" tall so would fit under your 12" limit.

Everyone else sells this system for $850 or more. With a $700 budget you can even add a larger sub for $300 if you wish
post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your help. Bought the RC-Mini's (left/right/center) online for $480. Still waiting for them to arrive.

Now if I could only find a Bic f12 in Canada! So far they are $350 shipped

Farhan
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

This one just popped up today.
http://www.amazon.com/KEF-C1SYSTEM-S...4704684&sr=8-1

The bookshelf speakers are 10.5" tall so would fit under your 12" limit.

Everyone else sells this system for $850 or more. With a $700 budget you can even add a larger sub for $300 if you wish

Can anyone compare the KEF C1 5.1 system to the others being discussed here, sound quality wise? That is, the Pioneer ($400), NHT ($800), PSB ($1140), and Energy RC-Mini (maybe ~$1000 not sure).

My concern is about 50/50 Movies/Music, but of course for the OP it was 90/10.

I will receive the KEF's soon, but have 30 days to return if I change my mind.

[Actually with B stock at DMC the PSB's would be $220x2 + $170 + $350 = $960]
post #21 of 33
Thread Starter 
So I removed my 5 x Sony SS-MPS1 satellites and added in my 2 RC-Mini left and rights and my RC-Mini center. Although I'm still using my Sony STR-KSL7 receiver (NR1501 hasn't arrived yet) and my Sony SA-WMSP1 subwoofer (no BIC yet) I expected a dramatic difference.

So far, it sounds pretty much the same. One would think that after spending $500 on 3 speakers I'd hear a real sound difference. Reasons I can think of:

* I'm not an audiophile and can't tell
* Sound quality will change past the 100hour speaker break-in point
* Didn't spend enough $$$
* New receiver or sub will make the difference
* Sony equipment replaced was similar to new equipment bought

Farhan
post #22 of 33
When you get a real receiver in there and calibrate it properly you will hear a difference. The Marantz 1501 will run circles around that Sony receiver.

Is that a powered sub or do does it use speaker level outputs? If you've got a BIC coming that will be a big improvement too.

When you get all your new stuff in you'll notice for sure!
post #23 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks

Will update the thread when receiver is in. Still looking for deals on a sub, since in Canada the f12 or H100 are both $350 shipped
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by fnthawar View Post
So I removed my 5 x Sony SS-MPS1 satellites and added in my 2 RC-Mini left and rights and my RC-Mini center. Although I'm still using my Sony STR-KSL7 receiver (NR1501 hasn't arrived yet) and my Sony SA-WMSP1 subwoofer (no BIC yet) I expected a dramatic difference.

So far, it sounds pretty much the same. One would think that after spending $500 on 3 speakers I'd hear a real sound difference. Reasons I can think of:

* I'm not an audiophile and can't tell
* Sound quality will change past the 100hour speaker break-in point
* Didn't spend enough $$$
* New receiver or sub will make the difference
* Sony equipment replaced was similar to new equipment bought

Farhan
Well there could be many reasons why its not a dramatic difference(as yet)

I found for the energy RC series the 100hr mark does make a huge difference. After the first 50hrs you start noticing a difference.

The amplifier will make a nice difference once it comes in and you calibrated the speakers to the environment.

Also although the Energy are excellent speakers the mini models require a good sub to effectively work. They have a higher crossover point so a good sub for lower ranges will make a difference. Average crossover point for them is 100hz so they have excellent mid-high range but no low range(to be expected until you buy towers or large bookshelves speakers)

I say if you want a sub now, futureshop has the velodyne VDR-12 now for $299!. I don't think you would get a much better sub that's 12" at that price in Canada.
I bought one and have the same marantz amp but with Energy RC-70 towers and its a great sub for the price.
post #25 of 33
Some good suggestions above. I'll add the Mirage OMD-5's (from Vanns.com) across the front combined with an HSU sub.
post #26 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badman View Post

I say if you want a sub now, futureshop has the velodyne VDR-12 now for $299!. I don't think you would get a much better sub that's 12" at that price in Canada.

Lol, we are on the same wavelength. I bought the VDR12 online on Sunday

Will let you know how it goes. Thank you for all the advice!

Farhan
post #27 of 33
Wait are these speakers going to be in a enclosed space with no opening to the back? I would be hesitant to use rear ported speakers then
post #28 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

Wait are these speakers going to be in a enclosed space with no opening to the back? I would be hesitant to use rear ported speakers then

Are you talking about the RC-Mini's? Yeah they are rear ported, but I've tried to place the left/rights about a foot away from the back of the bookshelf. Not sure if that's enough, but not much choice there.

The center is at the base of the TV, not sure I can do much about that either

Did I buy the wrong speakers? I couldn't find anything else that worked for my reqs.

Farhan
post #29 of 33
the rear port on the mini is small. 1 foot is plenty. You're not going to get much bass out of that speaker anyway.
post #30 of 33
Farhan, how did you make out in the end?

I'm asking because I have the same Sony speakers atm, and was thinking about replacing them with something along the lines of Energy's Take Classic 5.1 or a Yamaha 5.0 system using NS-555, NS-444, and NS-333 speakers + the current Sony sub.

I'm currently still using the now 10 year old Sony receiver that came with the speakers, but will likely replace it with Yamaha's RX-V667 very soon. I was thinking about replacing the Sony HTIB speakers too, but I'm not an audiophile, I'm using the system exclusively for movies and games, and don't want to drop $400+ on speakers if there's not going to be much difference.
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