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post #1 of 52 Old 02-07-2014, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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My family/home theater room is 15x15 with 18' ceilings (approx. 4000cf) and opens up almost entirely to the rest of the house. My MLP is 12' away. Not good, I know.

Add to that my other major restriction: WAF dictates any LCR speakers MUST be housed in a rather expensive custom entertainment center that she loves despite my efforts to get rid of the monstrosity by buying her off with jewellery and dinners. Long story short....it's staying and if I want to upgrade, the speakers must live there, or I live elsewhere. So stand mounts and towers are out.

Accordingly, I've spent the last few weeks concentrating on front ported designs that are as inert as I can find, and can fit in 22"h x 15"w x 15"d spaces to the left and right of where my Panny plasma sits, ideally providing as much 'uncolored' sonic pleasantries as possible. The center will have to go on a shelf above the tv, angled down.

My budget for the LCR combo is at max $2000. I'm spending another $900 or so on an SVS sealed sub, likely the SB2000. Don't get me started, as I know this is likely not enough sub oomph for most in this space, but I generally don't listen louder than -20db 95% of the time and am not a 'basshead.' Besides, a ported design will simply not fit in the one corner it is 'allowed in.' 60% movies, 40% music.

My receiver is a Sony STRDN1040.

I've read a ton about the many offerings in this price range including professional reviews and user reports. Accordingly, I demoed the following:

Def Tech SM55 and SM65
Focal 807vw
Focal 806v
Focal 906
Paradigm Studio 20 v5
Monitor Audio Apex series

I really wanted to like all these speakers that I read so many positive reviews about, but for various reasons, none produced the sound I was after.
The Focal's were a particular disappointment as I was offered excellent pricing on them but the 807vw and 906 sounded too 'colored' in the midrange to my ears. I appear to be particularly sensitive to this. I can hear 'boxy' and 'nasal' mids from a mile away. I am similarly bothered by harsh highs (that I found on the Monitor Audio's). The Def Techs I really wanted to like also but vocals sounded like hands cupped around the mouth. I suppose of all these I liked the Studio20's the most but even then, they were lacking to my ears with pronounced low and high boost....a smiley frequency range. I don't mind a little of that from perfectly flat, but not that much.

Actually, based on what I've read about these examples I was particularly dumbfounded. As I said, I wanted very much and was more than ready to like each and every one but this wasn't the case. Then I started thinking... in both stores I auditioned these speakers, the demo rooms were extremely small. In fact, I had to listen to the Focal's in a room where I was sitting less than 6' from them. I'm now second guessing what I 'thought" I heard and question what differences may be found were these units to be transplanted to my specific environment. Can anyone shed any light on this? Can speakers that sounded 'bad' to me in small demo rooms improve dramatically in my configuration? I would be particularly interested in any expert advice here from those who understand and can explain what may be expected and why.

I can tell you what I do like. My friend's Martin Logan ELstats. I love that sparkly, airy, detailed and dimensional sound they produce without the hissy overloaded highs some speakers spew. Is it even possible to reproduce (or come close to) that type of sound with bookshelf speakers and a sub in my particular space and budget?

Insights and recommendations are welcomed. I know this chase is supposed to be fun and I was really looking forward to that but thus far, due to my circumstances, I feel mostly frustration thus far.
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post #2 of 52 Old 02-07-2014, 09:55 PM
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Speakers that you hear in a small demo room, can/will sound different in your room.
However, that still does not guarantee that you will like them. However, you may be
surprised at the difference.

I do not like sitting 6 feet or less from most speakers.

Also need to remember, that sometimes it is the source, or poor recordings and some
speakers will not cover-up or change that.

As recommended, also look at some Internet Direct brands.

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post #4 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Mark but ID speakers are probably out for me as I live in Canada. I should have mentioned that. Shipping and related border expenses will likely make these offerings far less attractive. Also, I note that some are not front ported and / or 4ohm; the latter don't seem like a good match for my AVR's capability.
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post #5 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Speakers that you hear in a small demo room, can/will sound different in your room.
However, that still does not guarantee that you will like them. However, you may be
surprised at the difference.

I do not like sitting 6 feet or less from most speakers.

Also need to remember, that sometimes it is the source, or poor recordings and some
speakers will not cover-up or change that.

As recommended, also look at some Internet Direct brands.


Any guesses as to what would likely sound different between a small and large/high ceiling room like mine? I realize the low freq. would probably be less pronounced but what about the high's? How are they
likely to differ between the different room dimensions? Most importantly for me, is it possible those 'colored mids' I heard in the small demo room would disappear, stay the same or become more prominent in a larger
room?

I believe the source material was pretty good; mostly flac encodings through higher end AVR's (Pioneer and Onkyo)
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post #6 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzione View Post

Any guesses as to what would likely sound different between a small and large/high ceiling room like mine? I realize the low freq. would probably be less pronounced but what about the high's? How are they
likely to differ between the different room dimensions? Most importantly for me, is it possible those 'colored mids' I heard in the small demo room would disappear, stay the same or become more prominent in a larger
room?

I believe the source material was pretty good; mostly flac encodings through higher end AVR's (Pioneer and Onkyo)

If your room has non carpeted floors and/or is "live" that will affect the sound a lot. You can clap your hands and see how live your room is. a hollow room will affect the sound greatly.

You really cant tell how a speaker will sound until you listen to it in your room.
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post #7 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 11:32 AM
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post #8 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 11:44 AM
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Add to that my other major restriction: WAF dictates any LCR speakers MUST be housed in a rather expensive custom entertainment center that she loves despite my efforts to get rid of the monstrosity by buying her off with jewellery and dinners. Long story short....it's staying and if I want to upgrade, the speakers must live there, or I live elsewhere. So stand mounts and towers are out.

 

Fuzzione, this entertainment center sounds like it is putting you in a really tough spot, fiendishly compounded by the square and high-ceiling dimensions of your room. Can you post some photos of the entertainment center, especially of the space/enclosures where your main speakers might go? Do you also want a matching center?

 

Obviously, you'll get lots of advice on strategy for getting rid of the entertainment center, but assuming as you say that is not a possibility, then I would say you really need to focus on speakers that can work inside another enclosure, as you suggest. This rules out tons of speakers, clearly. Many of the best bookshelf monitors/mains will only shine if placed on stands (or their equivalent) at least 4 inches from the wall, but always preferably at least 12 inches.

 

Without seeing the entertainment center and the spot where your new mains need to go, it's hard to weigh in with certainty, but my first thought is that you ought to be looking at constant directivity-style (CD) speakers. There's a pretty wide range among them, so I would imagine you can find one you like. A CD style speaker like the Klipsch THX Ultra 2 series (http://www.klipsch.com/thx-ultra2) can work inside another enclosure, i.e., inside some nook of your entertainment center, if I am reading your description correctly. A lot of people praise the musicality of the TXH series. I haven't heard them and can't weigh in, but in your situation, you simply can't look at speakers that aren't made to function within another enclosure. That limits your choices a ton - and it's why pursuing Plan B, ditching the ent. center, is appealing. But you've said that's a no go.

 

So, bottom line, my suggestion (other than upping the bribe factor to get rid of the entertainment center) would be to start looking at constant-directivity style sealed speakers. They should offer a better chance of dealing with the constraints of your entertainment center and room size. You can find some strong partisans for them here on the forums, pushing for the Geddes Abbey, some of the JBL pro audio speakers, the Klipsch high-end (not the Best Buy level) or THX, and the like. I've even heard people wax on about the pro audio monitor Behringer Truth 2031 (the active or passive model) used in a small home theater. I don't know if all of these waveguide/constant-directivity speakers can sit INSIDE another enclosure, but I did read that Klipsch says you can do this with their THX speaker if necessary, so that's at least a well-respected place to start.

 

One other consideration - hopefully others can weigh in - depending on the exact size of the shelf or enclosure where you place these speakers, you may want to surround them with batting or something within the enclosure and complete the box. If the speaker sits within an enclosure but there are gaps of 3-4 inches all around it, you could get some nasty resonances.

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Equipment: Goldenear Triton Ones, SuperCenter XXL, Aon 2 surrounds, Invisa 650 ceiling speakers, Oppo BD 103d, Marantz 7702 mk2, Outlaw 2200 M-block (2) & 7125 7-channel, Roku 4, Sonos, and way too many old speakers, including an original pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s, one of the flattest frequency bookshelf speakers SoundStage ever measured.
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post #9 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 11:47 AM
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PS - A completely different approach that  might meet the constraints and WAF would be too look at something like the Gallo orb speakers that can be wall mounted. Because of their size and ability to be placed on the wall, you might find a good spot to place them (again, hard to say without seeing photos of the room first).

 

The sub integrating with whatever you get is a whole nother matter - but that can be a challenge in any room. A square room makes it harder, but it's rarely easy. So you're not in such a unique boat there. Two subs will likely be your best starting approach.


"These go to eleven."

Equipment: Goldenear Triton Ones, SuperCenter XXL, Aon 2 surrounds, Invisa 650 ceiling speakers, Oppo BD 103d, Marantz 7702 mk2, Outlaw 2200 M-block (2) & 7125 7-channel, Roku 4, Sonos, and way too many old speakers, including an original pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s, one of the flattest frequency bookshelf speakers SoundStage ever measured.
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post #10 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mark62 View Post

You could try looking here...

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/classifieds/3-speakers/

Good suggestion; been going there every day for the last 2 months smile.gif

Even if I found something worthwhile there, following my recent experience of supposedly excellent speakers not sounding good to me (albeit in a less than ideal environment), I'd be reluctant to buy based on faith or online reviews alone.
Problem is up here ...there really aren't many quality places to go and audition a wide variety of speakers. That's why I'm attempting to gain as much insight as I can as to what certain speakers might sound like in my particular space, so I can at least narrow it down a little or rule out certain models completely.

I.e., how does a 'boxy sounding midrange' in a small room sound in a bigger one? I'd hate to think I ruled out the Focals prematurely if there is any chance they might sound much better in my environment. Any other speaker characteristics that are particularly susceptible to change in a large room and placed in my cabinets? etc.

My room is not very reflective, has furniture and a large area rug; sound does not tend to bounce around that much but it's far from being considered acoustically perfect.
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post #11 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by fuzzione View Post


Any guesses as to what would likely sound different between a small and large/high ceiling room like mine?

 

You're room is highly distinctive, being square and on the medium-small side, yet with very high ceilings. (It's rare to find a ceiling higher than both the width and height.) Because of this, a) I would only plan on purchasing speakers you can audition in your room - the sound from a showroom or friend's room will just be way too different, and b) I would get some very good advice on speaker placement options, so that when you audition, you're hearing your room at close to its best potential. If you post photos here, you'll get a range of suggestions, just know that some may not apply to your unique situation. Jim Smith wrote an excellent book, Get Good Sound, based on his career setting up listening rooms and high-end audio displays for the major audio companies. It's a great book on how to tune your room, mainly through low-cost and no-cost things you can do yourself. It's pricey at $30 but that will probably be the best $30 you spend on your system. It will save you hundreds more chasing tweaks that don't address the fundamental issues of your room - while giving you lots of practical advice on how to improve your sound and audition new equipment effectively. If you buy that book first, it will get you thinking on how best to set up your room so you'll be in good shape to audition speakers.

 

My guess is you'll end up doing some creative things to cope with reflections from the unusually high ceiling while ultimately finding a way to ditch the ent center .... or accept some sonic compromises.


"These go to eleven."

Equipment: Goldenear Triton Ones, SuperCenter XXL, Aon 2 surrounds, Invisa 650 ceiling speakers, Oppo BD 103d, Marantz 7702 mk2, Outlaw 2200 M-block (2) & 7125 7-channel, Roku 4, Sonos, and way too many old speakers, including an original pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s, one of the flattest frequency bookshelf speakers SoundStage ever measured.
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post #12 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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OpenMind, those were certainly quality responses and I do thank you for your effort. In fact, it provides another possible direction to research of which I was previously unaware.

The entertainment unit measures 11.5' end to end, left to right. Although I estimated the speaker cubby holes in my OP, I just measured them again and they are exactly 22.5" H, 17.1" W and 15.1" D. The lower shelf of the cubby hole is 26" off the ground, as is the TV stand/cabinet in the middle of these. The speakers would therefore sit 8.5' apart, measured center to center, with the TV in the middle. As you have correctly suggested, getting rid the EU is an impossibility. It is likely the wood will eventually be fashioned into my coffin! You have in fact correctly identified the many limitations I face with this configuration, hence my plea for suggestions (apart from marriage counselling).

The Klipsch units look extremely interesting. Alas, at $1500 each, it would more than double my budget for the front stage.

I'm off to investigate some of your other suggestions...thanks again.
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post #13 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 12:39 PM
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Well, what kind of AVS Forum member would I be if I did not immediately suggest something that's twice your budget!


"These go to eleven."

Equipment: Goldenear Triton Ones, SuperCenter XXL, Aon 2 surrounds, Invisa 650 ceiling speakers, Oppo BD 103d, Marantz 7702 mk2, Outlaw 2200 M-block (2) & 7125 7-channel, Roku 4, Sonos, and way too many old speakers, including an original pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s, one of the flattest frequency bookshelf speakers SoundStage ever measured.
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post #14 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzzione View Post

... the speaker cubby holes in my OP ...are exactly 22.5" H, 17.1" W and 15.1" D. The lower shelf of the cubby hole is 26" off the ground, as is the TV stand/cabinet in the middle of these. The speakers would therefore sit 8.5' apart, measured center to center, with the TV in the middle.

 

If it were me with that set up as immutable, I'd do it one of two ways.

 

1) Slightly harder: look for a less expensive sealed waveguide-style speaker similar to the Klipsch THX Ultra 2 OR, same idea, look for an in-wall speaker (again with a waveguide or amiable tweeter), and plan on boxing it in to the enclosure in an attractive way. So I'd get it built up where I want it (so the tweeter is ear height) inside the enclosure, then pack the enclosure with some sound-deadening material and essentially turn each cubby into the sealed container of an in-wall type of speaker. Your wife might like the way an in-wall looks here.

 

2) Try something like those round Gallos mounted onto the vertical shelf supports of the EC or an attractive piece of wood built in to the cubby. I would start with a plank of wood from Home Despot to experiment with in this case and try different configurations of books and stuff filling the cubby to try and cope with any resonances. The resonances may be too much, but the Gallos are supposed to work well against a wall, so you could in theory wall up all or most of the cubby with a nice piece of wood that you then stain to match the entertainment center. You might get lucky, though - maybe the Gallos will work just fine mounted onto a vertical support of the shelves, with a cubby full of books, chotchkes, or fake plants behind them.

 

I think you can get the Gallos on a home-trial basis, so I'd try option 2 first, hope it works, but return them if it doesn't work, then concede to reality and go with option 1.

 

I would not place a bookshelf speaker inside the cubby and hope for the best. Even a wonderful, neutral, expensive and highly touted bookshelf will perform poorly in this situation, and you could potentially throw your speaker money right down the drain.

 

Meantime you can work on having your bass issues smoothed out, which will totally influence how well you like whatever small speakers you audition in there.


"These go to eleven."

Equipment: Goldenear Triton Ones, SuperCenter XXL, Aon 2 surrounds, Invisa 650 ceiling speakers, Oppo BD 103d, Marantz 7702 mk2, Outlaw 2200 M-block (2) & 7125 7-channel, Roku 4, Sonos, and way too many old speakers, including an original pair of Ascend Acoustics CBM-170s, one of the flattest frequency bookshelf speakers SoundStage ever measured.
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post #15 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzione View Post

Any guesses as to what would likely sound different between a small and large/high ceiling room like mine? I realize the low freq. would probably be less pronounced but what about the high's? How are they
likely to differ between the different room dimensions? Most importantly for me, is it possible those 'colored mids' I heard in the small demo room would disappear, stay the same or become more prominent in a larger
room?
Everyone may/can perceive and hears things a little different - the so-called close to perfect speaker
is not easy to find. No one can really speak for your ears.

Speakers tend to be sensitive to placement and rooms. Reflections can counter-act, and too much
treatment can hinder the sound of some speakers.

Also, with your placement restrictions, not much to recommend - I am not a fan of placing speakers
in a cubby-hole, which can then cause a tunnel effect. However, you can work around some.

Check into some Martin Logan bookshelf speakers - however for your restrictions, I would prefer sealed
or front ported speakers.

See if NHT is in your area.
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post #16 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by OpenMindAudio View Post

Well, what kind of AVS Forum member would I be if I did not immediately suggest something that's twice your budget!

hehe. So true. I figured this was inevitable however. I'm rather surprised I haven't yet received the 'trade the wife for another sub' and use the 'EU as firewood' advice yet. I must be in the wrong sub-forum biggrin.gif
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...

I would not place a bookshelf speaker inside the cubby and hope for the best. Even a wonderful, neutral, expensive and highly touted bookshelf will perform poorly in this situation, and you could potentially throw your speaker money right down the drain.

...

I was afraid someone would say this. Who was the guy that invented the phrase 'bookshelf speaker' anyway?!

It's difficult to accept that sensible solutions to this scenario are so elusive. I was so hoping for the magic bullet answer "these speakers in your price range would be perfect for your application." Although some very helpful suggestions have indeed been presented for which I'm grateful.

The Gallo's look very interesting. Again, it's harder for us in Canada to access all these heavier internet goods without getting royally shafted on shipping, taxes and duties. Let alone demo them anywhere.
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post #18 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzzione View Post

I was afraid someone would say this. Who was the guy that invented the phrase 'bookshelf speaker' anyway?!

It's difficult to accept that sensible solutions to this scenario are so elusive. I was so hoping for the magic bullet answer "these speakers in your price range would be perfect for your application." Although some very helpful suggestions have indeed been presented for which I'm grateful.

There are some things you can do, however your wife may not like, the decorative mod look to the cubby-hole

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post #19 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzzione View Post


I was afraid someone would say this. Who was the guy that invented the phrase 'bookshelf speaker' anyway?!

It's difficult to accept that sensible solutions to this scenario are so elusive. I was so hoping for the magic bullet answer "these speakers in your price range would be perfect for your application." Although some very helpful suggestions have indeed been presented for which I'm grateful.

The Gallo's look very interesting. Again, it's harder for us in Canada to access all these heavier internet goods without getting royally shafted on shipping, taxes and duties. Let alone demo them anywhere.

 

Isn't that the truth. I've been intently following this thread as I have a similar problem with LR room acoustics and lack of nearby audio outlets to audition. As a fellow Canadian I can relate. 

 

Many thanks to those who have contributed thus far and I'll continue to follow. 

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I'm not sure it's the room that's difficult here. Personally, I'd stop worrying about perfection in this location. Get something enjoyable and enjoy it. And if need be, equalize it. ("OH GOD. THE HORROR," AVS Forum responds as one.)

BTW, it strikes me that many of the comments about speakers in cabinets are from people who have read about it, not people who have done it. Again, if you're willing to set the target as something you can enjoy, it can work.

For critical listening, have another set up in another location that's more amenable to listening. A desktop, bedroom or headphone setup.
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post #21 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

I'm not sure it's the room that's difficult here. Personally, I'd stop worrying about perfection in this location. Get something enjoyable and enjoy it. And if need be, equalize it. ("OH GOD. THE HORROR," AVS Forum responds as one.)
quite
BTW, it strikes me that many of the comments about speakers in cabinets are from people who have read about it, not people who have done it. Again, if you're willing to set the target as something you can enjoy, it can work.

For critical listening, have another set up in another location that's more amenable to listening. A desktop, bedroom or headphone setup.

Good comments.

However I should perhaps clarify that not for a moment do I expect perfection given room parameters and budget. What I'm after is a discernible improvement representing a step up, that is worth my intended $3000 budget, over my present meager but functionally adequate system.

I already have (I can see the ridicule coming) a 5.1 'system' set up in the very same speaker locations comprised of 2-15 yr old budget bookshelves made by Sound Dynamics, which are essentially clones of Energy / Mission speakers. 1" silk dome tweeters, 8" woofs, rear ported (boominess and coloration are not evident unless I'm up near reference levels...which seldom happens). An Axiom center that sounds surprisingly good for the money I paid, and 2 axiom surrounds that are admittedly so-so. Oh, and an 8", 100w cheapo (but well regarded as a budget offering in its day) sub that still manages to vibrate the couches, but not shake them or the china off the shelves...which I'm not into, and doesn't sound boomy.

The effect, after considerable calibration, sub corner loading and eq, despite this limited raw material, is a rather pleasing if far from audiophile presentation. Clear, immersive, and adequate for most material, and surprisingly 'flat.' I was floored when the well regarded speakers I demo'd as per my OP did not sound as good, leading me to believe that the right equipment in the right environment is key. There is no hint of 'nasally' or midrange colored sounds in my present setup despite my very humble equipment, and all I expect is 'much better but not perfect' for my $3G.
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post #22 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 04:10 PM
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Is it not amazing that where I live, that a set of speakers are in a cabinet. Speculation and guess work sure is free.
However, I do read sometimes.smile.gif

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post #23 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzione View Post

I already have (I can see the ridicule coming) a 5.1 'system' set up in the very same speaker locations comprised of 2-15 yr old budget bookshelves made by Sound Dynamics, which are essentially clones of Energy / Mission speakers. 1" silk dome tweeters, 8" woofs, rear ported (boominess and coloration are not evident unless I'm up near reference levels...which seldom happens). An Axiom center that sounds surprisingly good for the money I paid, and 2 axiom surrounds that are admittedly so-so. Oh, and an 8", 100w cheapo (but well regarded as a budget offering in its day) sub that still manages to vibrate the couches, but not shake them or the china off the shelves...which I'm not into, and doesn't sound boomy.

No ridicule will come from me - all that matters is that you enjoy what you own.

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post #24 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 05:14 PM
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fuzzione, maybe what you've proved is that the constraints of the situation mean the audio here isn't the place to focus your upgrade dollars. Maybe it's other parts of the system - TV or sources, like a networked audio or video player - or a system in a room that's more suitable.
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Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

fuzzione, maybe what you've proved is that the constraints of the situation mean the audio here isn't the place to focus your upgrade dollars. Maybe it's other parts of the system - TV or sources, like a networked audio or video player - or a system in a room that's more suitable.

I hear you but am not giving up that easily smile.gif

There remains a question for me, if $3000 can buy an appreciable increase in sound quality (to my ears) over what I presently enjoy, even given my constraints. It may be just a matter of selecting and properly setting up the right equipment for my space. Some here seem to agree it's not impossible, while others don't hold much hope. I do appreciate both points of view and feel that if I've proven anything at all, it's that opinions on this appear to differ.

It's clear that this is going to take more effort on my part to resolve.

Perhaps some learned individual will in the interim happen by this thread and express 'fuzzione, I was exactly where you are and this is what I bought and this is what I did.'
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post #26 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 08:27 PM
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FWIW IME putting speakers "in" a shelf sometimes works, sometimes doesn't, you really just have to try it out. In the past I've been surprised which speakers worked well and which didn't. That being said typically sealed or front ported have higher odds of working wink.gif

Considering your space limitations, the size of your room and that you'll only have moderate bass support, these speakers come to mind (in no particular order)...

Ascend Acoustics CMT-340. These are really a mini-tower with two woofers (instead of 1 woofer as in most bookshelf speakers) and they fill big rooms very easily. They are rear ported but if you call and ask Ascend has solutions/suggestions for your "in" shelf setup.

NHT Classic 3 bookshelf and ThreeC center. Sealed speaker with nice sound. They are the most expensive of my recommendations and always felt a little over priced to me (currently on sale for 20% off).

Three KEF Q300's as LCR. They are front ported with a wide sweet spot. Since it is a single concentric driver, unlike most speakers you can lay it on it's side as a center speaker.

Three KEF Q200c's as LCR. This speaker is marketed as a horizontal center but it is really an LCR speaker that can also be used vertically (and it has the same wide sweet spot as the Q300). A little more expensive than the Q300 but, like the Ascend, it has two woofers so it will have more output and more easily fill your space. Also like the Ascend it is rear ported, but, it comes with port-bungs and is designed to work in tight spaces.

Good luck!
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post #27 of 52 Old 02-08-2014, 09:34 PM
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Expanding on sdg4vfx's good MTM idea... if you feel up for a bit of DIY... these may work well in your room...

www.parts-express.com/project-gallery-speaker-project-celestion-micromax
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post #28 of 52 Old 02-09-2014, 05:05 AM
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From what I've read ;-) the NHT Classic 3 is not a speaker that wants to be in a cabinet.

If the NHT M5 was still around that would be an idea.

People always talk about it, but I don't think the porting is the biggest issue, especially if there's some depth behind the speaker. (2 - 3x the port tube diameter). And ports can be plugged. Sometimes the other interaction with the boundary and furniture is less manageable.

The real bigger issue with cabinets is that it limits your placement options.

Given the dimensions - 22.5" H, 17.1" W and 15.1" D - if you're looking to fill the room, maybe you should be looking for something with a form factor like this Boston Acoustics BT1.

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post #29 of 52 Old 02-09-2014, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

FWIW IME putting speakers "in" a shelf sometimes works, sometimes doesn't, you really just have to try it out. In the past I've been surprised which speakers worked well and which didn't. That being said typically sealed or front ported have higher odds of working wink.gif

Considering your space limitations, the size of your room and that you'll only have moderate bass support, these speakers come to mind (in no particular order)...

Ascend Acoustics CMT-340. These are really a mini-tower with two woofers (instead of 1 woofer as in most bookshelf speakers) and they fill big rooms very easily. They are rear ported but if you call and ask Ascend has solutions/suggestions for your "in" shelf setup.

NHT Classic 3 bookshelf and ThreeC center. Sealed speaker with nice sound. They are the most expensive of my recommendations and always felt a little over priced to me (currently on sale for 20% off).

Three KEF Q300's as LCR. They are front ported with a wide sweet spot. Since it is a single concentric driver, unlike most speakers you can lay it on it's side as a center speaker.

Three KEF Q200c's as LCR. This speaker is marketed as a horizontal center but it is really an LCR speaker that can also be used vertically (and it has the same wide sweet spot as the Q300). A little more expensive than the Q300 but, like the Ascend, it has two woofers so it will have more output and more easily fill your space. Also like the Ascend it is rear ported, but, it comes with port-bungs and is designed to work in tight spaces.

Good luck!

Thanks sdg, very helpful, particularly the KEF Q200 x 3 option. I'm intrigued by the Q200 as the unit appears to be a sealed design and should, 'in theory' work well. I will be investigating this possibility in depth; unlike many other options the Q200's are far more accessible in Canada and it is likely I can audition them somewhere or even buy them from a place with a return policy if they don't work out.

I'm beginning to believe in the probable validity of your highlighted statement above, an opinion apparently shared by others in this thread. I find this heartening.

I'm only really concerned about sound quality at my MLP (I'm selfish that way....) as opposed to really 'filling the room' so the added woofage from the Q300 may not be much of an improvement for me, particularly if the Q200's can be properly integrated with my intended SVS SB2000 sub. I rarely listen to material louder than -20db in any event.

I'm somewhat reluctant to buy expensive speakers that are rear-ported just to wind up plugging the ports. Does this not defeat the purpose of any signature sound or tuning the engineers intend? I note with interest however that another opinion apparently shared here is that a rear ported design in a cabinet space like mine, may not necessarily represent the primary concern, after all. I've read about the 340's and also the new Sierra 2's (those Raal drivers would likely sound amazing). Ascend would be difficult to source in Canada and would likely be cost prohibitive shipped.
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post #30 of 52 Old 02-09-2014, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Expanding on sdg4vfx's good MTM idea... if you feel up for a bit of DIY... these may work well in your room...

www.parts-express.com/project-gallery-speaker-project-celestion-micromax

Thanks Kiwi but I'd like to leave a DIY option as a last ditch possibility failing all others.
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