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Best bang for the buck bookshelf speakers

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I been looking at bookshelf speakers for about a year now. About to finally move from my apt to enjoy good HT sound with an AT screen. I decided on dual 18in Dayton speakers that are amazing for the price when going DIY. Picking up a denon 4520 avr and I'm doing a 11.2 setup. Hoping for 11.4 by next year, maybe this year. I think I might go with the HSU HB-1 MK2 bookshelf speakers, but I'm tempted to save about $650 by going with the Emp Tek E5Bi bookshelf speakers. Is there really a reason to choose the HSU over the Emp Tek or should I just go with the cheaper speakers with similar performance?
Edited by blee0120 - 8/3/13 at 3:29pm

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post #2 of 16
Arx A1b definitely deserves consideration. http://www.theaudioinsider.com/manufacturers.php?mPath=13 Great performing bookshelf and I actually demo'd the HSU bookshelf and the Arx A1 together at the same time and kept the Arx A1. $299 plus shipping is a pretty good deal.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks, got to add these to the list
post #4 of 16
+1 the Arx A1b in that price range.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
When looking at how loud these speakers can go, should I look recommended watts?
post #6 of 16
+2 for the ARX A1b for the price.

Although I'm not sure why you are going for 11.2 unless you have a huge setup with multiple rows of seats. I'd cut back on the number of speakers (that add little to your listening experience) and upgrade to the ARX A5s for LR speakers.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
A dedicated theater with two rows. But I hear how 11.2 adds a more dynamic sound to a HT, so why do you think it adds little? Also, since I'm going the AT screen route, I'm doing bookshelf speakers with multiple subs. Starting with 2 and building more over time. I thinking that a 11.4 setup with bookshelf speakers will give me a better sound than a 7.2 setup with floorstanding speakers as my mains.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by blee0120 View Post

A dedicated theater with two rows. But I hear how 11.2 adds a more dynamic sound to a HT, so why do you think it adds little? Also, since I'm going the AT screen route, I'm doing bookshelf speakers with multiple subs. Starting with 2 and building more over time. I thinking that a 11.4 setup with bookshelf speakers will give me a better sound than a 7.2 setup with floorstanding speakers as my mains.

I think start out with the A1b's and then move them to the sides once the A2 arrives and use that as the center and vertical fronts and then add more A1b for rears and height and another set of A2 for wides. Using those Dayton 18s I would want something alittle larger than the A1b for mains after you have everything finished. The A2 would be a perfect fit for an AT screen 3 MTM LCRs across the front would give a seamless soundstage and the A2 vertical have a pretty large expansive sound to them. They also come in cheaper than similar performing speakers.
post #9 of 16
Just curious why you are not choosing floor standers for front L and R?
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveCarrera4 View Post

Just curious why you are not choosing floor standers for front L and R?

This is a quote from Mike from AVS on a different thread when I asked about floorstanding vs bookshelf speakers

"In my opinion the three towers would be a waste. Look at the crossover frequency, it is 120hz. When crossing to multiple subs at 80hz, means the lower two woofers will not be doing too much. I would go with book shelf speakers and more subs."

Plus, multiple sources say to get the best HT sound is to go the bookshelf speaker route with subs.
post #11 of 16
I would go with something from Ascend Acoustics over those ARX speakers. Something like the Sierra-1 or the 340's. I would personally recommend the Sierra-1 + Sierra-1-Center + 170's for the surrounds. That would most likely be the best bang for your buck out there and not only that, but you would also have a truly awesome setup for both music and movies.
post #12 of 16
If you can DIY subs, you can DIY speakers too. That being the case, I would go for some SEOS or Pi kits, they would be far more appropriate than conventional bookshelfs and towers. Check out some of these SEOS kits and Pi kits. Their dynamic range will be so far beyond any of the other speakers being discussed here, it would be like those dayton subs vs consumer subs of the same price if not more so. They can't be compared, they are in different leagues.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I would go with something from Ascend Acoustics over those ARX speakers. Something like the Sierra-1 or the 340's. I would personally recommend the Sierra-1 + Sierra-1-Center + 170's for the surrounds. That would most likely be the best bang for your buck out there and not only that, but you would also have a truly awesome setup for both music and movies.

There isn't anything special about the Ascends to pick those over the Arx. Its been a toss up from owners who have listened to both the Ascend speakers and Arx speakers. Have you listened to both Ascend and Arx? The Arx competes well with the Ascend speakers and they come in slightly cheaper as well.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestion guys, but I think I'm going to build them.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

If you can DIY subs, you can DIY speakers too. That being the case, I would go for some SEOS or Pi kits, they would be far more appropriate than conventional bookshelfs and towers. Check out some of these SEOS kits and Pi kits. Their dynamic range will be so far beyond any of the other speakers being discussed here, it would be like those dayton subs vs consumer subs of the same price if not more so. They can't be compared, they are in different leagues.

Do you think 15" speakers as my mains would be overkill in a 20x14 room?
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by blee0120 View Post

Do you think 15" speakers as my mains would be overkill in a 20x14 room?

Lol probably yes, but that is what I would do. The 12"s would probably be enough. The 15"s will just give you endless amounts of headroom, so go ahead and turn it up, you would be able to surpass THX Reference standards easily. None of the other speakers discussed here are likely able to take you to THX Reference levels. Don't think that Reference levels are deafeningly loud, that is the typically volume level at a THX certified theater. Any speaker can get loud, but to play clean at loud levels like they do in those heavy duty commercial theaters is the name of the game. Low distortion loudness is a lot more bearable than loud noise with all kinds of shrieking high order distortion on top of it. It's why 105 dB peaks at the Imax doesn't sound so bad. I would encourage you to go looking around in the DIY forum, there is a ton of info around there and a lot of guys who can help. There are lots of threads about SEOS and Pi speakers, among other designs.
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