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Energy Take Classic 5.1 + 2 CF-30's = Great 7.1 setup?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi all! First time poster. Be gentle.

I'm looking to get a solid surround system at a decent price.

I plan on purchasing the Pioneer Elite SC-61 A/V Receiver because I like its amps, AirPlay, iOS app remote feature, upconversion features, and generally I trust the Elite Brand.

I want a 7.1 set-up. I know the Take Classic 5.1 is a great system for the price, but doesn't do well as a 2.1 setup for stereo purposes.

So, would buying the Take Classic 5.1 system and using all 4 satellites as rear surround speakers, and replacing both front speakers with a pair of kick-ass CF-30s be a good decision? I can find the CF-30's at about $250 each online.

This set up needs to be able to move from apartment to apartment as I am renting and don't plan to buy a house for a few years.

I want to spend less than $1000 for the 7.1 speaker set.

Thoughts and opinions appreciated!

-AJ
Edited by Styphin - 12/17/12 at 4:07pm
post #2 of 13
How big is your room? The Energy take 5.1 has two limitations- fronts with 3 inch drivers and a small sub. Your strategy takes care of the fronts, although you will likely want to get a matching center channel speaker as well. That will leave a light weight sub as the only major issue with that system...which you can take care of down the road, but you might be lacking for decent bass if your room isn't really small!
if you get the correct center and a better sub, that will be a very nice system...
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Elihawk, thank you for your reply!

Right now the home theater is in a smallish room - about 9ft wide x 15 feet deep, although the sitting area is much closer to the TV, say, 7ft. It's carpeted, with low ceilings (a little less than 7ft). It's basically a basement man-cave in a older house.

Based on your input, seems like I could get away with this set up for a while, until I move it to a larger room down the road, when I'll need a new sub and center?

I appreciate your response!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Or, I found the full CF-30 5.1 surround kit for $1000 on eBay... a killer price.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Energy-Speakers-CF-30-5-1-Home-Theater-System-NEW-/310171743600#vi-content

Should I just get this, getting a stronger center channel and sub, and then get additional surround speakers later? I might not need 7.1 for such a small room...
post #5 of 13
That sub is a bad match for that setup. The ESW-M6 doesn't have much more low end extension than the CF-30s.

And you are right. That's a pretty small room. With your budget, go with 5.1 and then add two additional speakers later if you need it.

If you can spend a little more, I'd consider the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE for front and rear (on sale for $300 a pair) and CMT-340 SE center. Then a Polk PSW505 or BIC F12 sub.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Cel, thanks for the feedback. I'm looking into these speakers now. I'm not learned enough in audio as I am in video, so I do appreciate the input of audio connoisseurs!

It's funny how I set a budget and then say, "well if I spend just a little bit more...." and then that turns into "hmmm if i spend just a little bit more than that..." and suddenly I'm looking at systems twice my budget.

I may be ignorant when it comes to sound but I do like the idea of all my speakers being the same brand.

I found this listing for $1500.
Energy -

(2) CF-50 Front LR

(1) CC-10 Center

(2) CR-10 Surrounds

(1) ESW-C10 Subwoofer

It's a bit more than I wanted to spend upfront, but replacing speakers later would be more expensive in the long run. But it seems, again, that the sub isn't going that much lower than the CF-50s. Is this a good set up? Or am I overthinking this and just get the Take Classic 5.1s as originally planned? I worry they're too weak for the Elite SC-61.
post #7 of 13
Yes. It's very important to timbre match the front three speakers, and they will typically need to be the same brand and model series. This gives you the best front soundstage. Not quite so important to have the rear speakers match the front, although there is some benefit. However, there's no reason to match the sub with the speaker brand of the rest of the speakers. Get the sub that's the best value that fits your needs.

As for the Take Classics, while a very good deal for small satellite speakers when on sale, they are just that: small satellites. Because they have such small drivers, they have to rely on a sub for midbass and can sound kind of thin. So they are best for people that must have that small speaker size.

Now I own multiple pairs of Energy speakers, so I do like them. But I don't think the Energy CF series is a particularly good value at the prices you are considering, especially given that the subs are not very impressive. This is why I recommended the Ascends, and for a $1500 budget, I would suggest the Ascend CMT-340 SE for the front left and right. There are other speaker brands you might consider as well.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Awesome! Thank you, I will definitely do more research then, particularly on those Ascends!
post #9 of 13
If you have a $1500 budget I suggest that you get some really good-sounding speakers; the ones that have been talked about so far are only mediocre at best IMO.

A good place to start is Four of the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers; these will run you about $700 for the four speakers and they have received rave reviews from just about every expert in the business. Add the 10 CS center speaker for $300. I suggest that you get the best 5.1 setup you can for your money and forget about 7.1 for now. Spreading your money too thin guarantees lower sound quality.

For a subwoofer, you should be able to get a good 12-inch sub with at least 300 watts of RMS power for less than $500. The Klipsch RW12D is one such.
Edited by commsysman - 12/18/12 at 8:31am
post #10 of 13
Yes I would definitely check out those Ascends, gets great reviews and tons of satisfied customers. IMO they are the only NON mediocre speakers talked about so far.

I would also check into Aperion Audio Intimus speakers. Top notch customer service and a totally free 30 day in home trial. Free shipping both ways and full refund if you don't like them.
post #11 of 13
for that sized room, the Take Classics would be adequate (given that there would be a gap between the how low the sats can go and how high the sub can get).
However, if you are planning for a system that you can eventually move to a bigger room, I would go with the Ascends- very good speaker!
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you all! You have been very helpful and it's great to get such good feedback from the audio community.

I have done a bit more research, and based on your recommendations I have ultimately decided to go with the Ascends in this configuration -

2 x CMT-340 SE for Front LR
CMT 340 SE Center
CBM-170 SE for Surround

grouped with one of the subs mentioned above... not sure which one yet. The Klipsch RW12D looks nice but I can't be shaking the entire house down all the time.

With the stands for the front, the total price comes to less than $1200, leaving me with a chunk of change for the sub.

While the Ascends are not quite as pretty as the Energys, the price and quality look like they can't be beat. I'm sure I will be very happy with my set-up.

Thanks again!
post #13 of 13
I have the same setup, 2 CF-30's for the fronts, and a Energy Take 5.1 system, I just received my Denon 2311ci Receiver which
is a 7.2 channel. I am going to bi-amp my CF-30's, and I have another Take Classic subwoofer coming to make a solid 5.2
setup. I might get a new C-5 center channel or a C-10 down the road, but I'm hoping it will sound ok with the energy take center,
if not i will upgrade again.biggrin.gif
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