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Advice on an upper budget system?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi folks, I've finally decided it's time to take the plunge and purchase a 5.1 system. I've spent hours and hours over the last several days poring over these forums and trying to learn as much as possible from the vast knowledge contained here but I'm very much still new to A/V so I appreciate all the advice that you can provide.

This system will be roughly used for 40% Games / 40% Movies / 20% Music. It's going to go in what I imagine will be a "challenging" acoustic environment. The entire apartment (~1000 sq ft and 2BR) has wood floors in the bedrooms, and tile floors in the living room/dining/kitchen area where the system will reside.

The listening area in the living room is roughly 12ft long, 10ft wide, with 8 ft ceilings. The couch and TV (54" Panasonic Plasma) are both set against walls, however, to the right of the couch is a sliding glass door that runs almost the entire length of the room which gives onto a balcony. To the left of the couch the room continues uninterrupted into a dining area and then a kitchen with a bar separating the kitchen. The entire room (including the dining area and kitchen) is roughly 30 ft wide by 12ft. The ceiling drops somewhat in the kitchen and is ~7.5ft.

Keep in mind I'm also on the 4th floor of a condo (with neighbors above, below, and on either side of me) and thus I won't be cranking the volume up too loud, although I'd like to get the most bang for my buck as I expect this equipment to last many years. The living room walls (where the satellites would be positioned) give onto both bedrooms.

Due mainly to advice in these forums, I took advantage of the NewEgg deal to pick up an Energy S10.3 subwoofer from NewEgg and plan to order a Denon AVR-2112 if I can get it for $450 or less shipped. I'm most likely also going to get a "SubDude" to hopefully reduce the chance of neighbor complaints.

I need advice on speakers, and have to admit the dizzying array of options has my head spinning. I'm leaning towards going with floor standing speakers on either side of my TV, a center channel underneath the TV, and due to space limitations, bookshelf speakers on stands for the rears.

Total budget for 5 speakers (not including sub or receiver) is $500-$700. Matching the living room "decor" is very much a criteria. For simplicity and to maintain a consistent look and feel with the S10.3 sub I've been primarily researching Energy speakers, although I'm open to other options that are dark colored and look relatively classy.

How would two CF-50s do up front, combined with CB-20s in the rear and a CC-10 center channel? Would these be acoustically matched? Looking online, I'm not sure if I can get these in my budget, but I have read that in the speaker business the best prices are not posted online but can only be had by calling...

Any advice, thoughts? Apologies for the long post--if you made it this far hopefully it provided some good background.
post #2 of 7
That's acoustically matched, and you could get away with CB-10s in the rears and might not even notice the difference. Given your budget, the CB-20s would be fine in the front, too, on stands. Before you buy, definitely call Vanns and see what kind of deal they would give you.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

That's acoustically matched, and you could get away with CB-10s in the rears and might not even notice the difference. Given your budget, the CB-20s would be fine in the front, too, on stands. Before you buy, definitely call Vanns and see what kind of deal they would give you.


Thanks, I'll do that. Tried to call today but they had closed. I'll definitely look at the price difference with the CB-10s, thanks for the suggestion.

I'd read elsewhere that given my needs I could probably get away with decent bookshelf speakers up front (like the CB-20s you suggest) but as I have the space for floor-standing up-front my thinking is that I may as well spring for the larger speakers, assuming they don't totally blow the budget.

Anyone have any thoughts on the CB-50s in particular? I've seen several folks recommending CB-70s, but haven't seen much discussion on the CB-50.

Thanks!
post #4 of 7
You are thinking of the CF-50s? They have 5 1/4 drivers, as opposed to the 6 1/2 in the CB-20 and CF-70. It might be good to research in the Energy Owners Thread to see what others say about how they sound.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Interesting, would that imply that the CB-20s might sound "better" than the CF-50s? Sorry if that's a n00b question. I was assuming that the floor-standing would generally be better than bookshelf size speakers. I'm going to go peruse that thread right now...
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnerJi View Post

Interesting, would that imply that the CB-20s might sound "better" than the CF-50s? Sorry if that's a n00b question. I was assuming that the floor-standing would generally be better than bookshelf size speakers. I'm going to go peruse that thread right now...

Not necessarily better but perhaps different. Might be that some people like the CB-20 better.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Not necessarily better but perhaps different. Might be that some people like the CB-20 better.

Cel, thanks for your help. After much research on the Energy thread (and a few other threads), I decided to jump on the Vann's promotion for RC-10s Front/Rear and RCLCR center channel.

Can't wait to try them out! Now I just need to pick up some suitable stands...
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