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Need Some Recommendations in Upgrading My Family Room Speaker System

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi everybody!

Right now, we have a family room with a 5.0 setup. All 5 of the speakers are Polk brand. The left and right speakers are bookshelf speakers due to a wall unit. We'd like to replace the left, right, and center speakers and add a subwoofer.

The shelves that the left and right speakers are located in are removable, making a 36-37" cabinet that could possibly accommodate floor standing speakers, rather than bookshelves. However, I'm not sure if floor standing speakers are called floor standing because of their height, or if they're meant for the floor. The cabinet is about 4 feet off the ground, so if it's the latter, I guess it's back to bookshelves.
As for the subwoofer, anything is open to suggestions. (If you need anymore information about this, just ask)

The room is about 21' in length, 20' in width, and 14' in height. To the left of the room are sliding glass doors. Behind, the room opens up into the kitchen. To the right, the room opens up into a large hallway leading to the rest of the house.

As for a distribution for what we plan on watching:
90% Regular TV shows/Sports
5% Movies (We have a dedicated theater for that)
5% Music (For when we have people over)

Our budget: Anything less than about $3000.

I'm not sure what brands to start off looking at, so any suggestions would be great.
Thanks in advance!

P.S. I'm a little bit of a novice when it comes to speakers and the sound part of everything, so please go easy on me.
post #2 of 11
Do you have any stores close to you where you can audition various speaker brands? Really best you listen to what you are considering before buying.

Have you seen any bookshelf speakers locally that you might possibly use?
post #3 of 11
Quote:


The shelves that the left and right speakers are located in are removable, making a 36-37" cabinet that could possibly accommodate floor standing speakers, rather than bookshelves. However, I'm not sure if floor standing speakers are called floor standing because of their height, or if they're meant for the floor. The cabinet is about 4 feet off the ground, so if it's the latter, I guess it's back to bookshelves.
As for the subwoofer, anything is open to suggestions. (If you need anymore information about this, just ask)

Floor standing speakers are just that; they can range in height from 2~6 ft tall. Elevating floor models places the tweeter/midrange too high.

What I am not understanding is why you think you can not use floor standing speakers, on the floor.
You say the wall cabinet is 4 ft above the floor. That gives you more than enough room for most floor standing models. Why can you not place floor speakers below that cabinet?
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAV View Post

Do you have any stores close to you where you can audition various speaker brands? Really best you listen to what you are considering before buying.

Have you seen any bookshelf speakers locally that you might possibly use?

There really aren't any stores close enough where we can listen to the speakers before. Maybe before we buy we'll make the journey, but we don't want to go up more than once.
I have looked online and saw the B&W CM5 bookshelves, but I don't know if that would fit what we would use them for, and I don't know about the quality of them. Are there any other good brands to look for? Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

Floor standing speakers are just that; they can range in height from 2~6 ft tall. Elevating floor models places the tweeter/midrange too high.

What I am not understanding is why you think you can not use floor standing speakers, on the floor.
You say the wall cabinet is 4 ft above the floor. That gives you more than enough room for most floor standing models. Why can you not place floor speakers below that cabinet?

Ok, so I guess it's bookshelves then. We have a wall unit along the whole wall, and don't have room for floor standing speakers in front of the unit. Thanks.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Kite View Post

There really aren't any stores close enough where we can listen to the speakers before. Maybe before we buy we'll make the journey, but we don't want to go up more than once.
I have looked online and saw the B&W CM5 bookshelves, but I don't know if that would fit what we would use them for, and I don't know about the quality of them. Are there any other good brands to look for? Thanks.

There are very many and they each have their advocates which is why it is best for you to compare them for yourself.

Quote:


Ok, so I guess it's bookshelves then. We have a wall unit along the whole wall, and don't have room for floor standing speakers in front of the unit. Thanks.

A picture or two would be a big help.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Attached are some pictures of the wall unit and the room. (The pictures were rotated when they were uploaded, so you might have to turn your head)
The first picture just shows the wall unit along the wall. The second shows the cabinet that the left speaker would go into (the right speaker would go into a cabinet identical to the one shown). The third shows the cabinet for the center speaker. The last picture shows a side view of the room.

We do plan on comparing the speakers before we buy, as I realize that its very important to listen first because this is a choice of a opinion, but we also want to know some pointers and guides as to what brands/models we should look at.

Thanks for all your help so far!
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post #7 of 11
What do you have in your theater room, and how do you like those?
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
We bought the house with the theater already built with a 5.1 setup, then upgraded to a 7.1. The left, right, center, and sub are Vienna Acoustics. The surround backs are in ceiling Polks. The surround sides are in ceiling Sonance.
The sound in the theater room is absolutely great, and is actually partly the reason we're upgrading our Family Room. We realize that we'll never get the same results because the Family Room is open to other rooms, not closed like the theater room, and also lacks the acoustical treatments that the theater room has.
Still though, we don't feel the Family Room has the greatest sound that it could.
The Vienna Acoustics look like they may be too expensive, so I'm not too keen to getting anymore of them (Not that it looks like they make bookshelves).
The Sonance (I may be wrong) seems like they mostly create the hidden/architectural speakers, not many bookshelves.
Right now we have Polk in the room, and we're not really finding the quality to be the *best* (Don't want to start any wars, so stating that this is opinion).

EDIT: Apparently Vienna Acoustics does may some bookshelves, but I think the price may be too high.
post #9 of 11
Look at the NHT Classic Three system - I prefer sealed or front
ported speakers, for in-cabinet placement.
http://www.nhthifi.com/NHT-Classic-T...System-Package
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Look at the NHT Classic Three system - I prefer sealed or front
ported speakers, for in-cabinet placement.
http://www.nhthifi.com/NHT-Classic-T...System-Package

Thanks, Ziegl! These look very nice, but there aren't any dealers near by me to let me hear them before I buy them.

Speaking of which, I have made an appointment to compare various speakers this Saturday, so I'll report back then. Before I go, though, are there anythings I should be looking out for when I listen to the speakers?
Thanks again!
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Kite View Post

Speaking of which, I have made an appointment to compare various speakers this Saturday, so I'll report back then. Before I go, though, are there anythings I should be looking out for when I listen to the speakers?
Thanks again!

This is my advice, just before you go out - play some music on your
Polk speakers. Then take that same music with you on your auditions.

Regardless of what you audition - the sound quality of the speakers
will suffer somewhat, inside your cabinets.
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