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post #1 of 18 Old 08-15-2015, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Help Choosing an Audio System

So I am new to this form however have been reading a lot of amazing posts about home audio. The reason for me posting today is because I am trying to build a home audio system on a budget. I recently visited best buy to hear the klipsch quintet speakers because of their low cost and compact design. However after hearing a set of $1300 bowers and wilkins floor speakers I decided that I would much rather have a set of floor speakers as they produce a very clean mid vocal range and are not as bright as a cube speaker. It would be ideal if I could find a discontinued set of floor speakers at a price point of under $500 that produce a very nice vocal range without being horn loaded. The klipsch quintet version 5 is going for $500 while the version 4 is selling on amazon for $200 which makes me assume that you can acquire discontinued speakers on a budget please correct me if I am wrong? If you could point me in the right direction of some nice discounted floor speakers it would be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-15-2015, 08:04 PM
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I enjoy my BIC Acoustechs, which like the Klipsch, have horn tweeters. I have the PL-980s, but they are a bit above your target price. The BIC PL-89iis, however are right in your target price and they get good reviews (see below).

http://floor-standing-speakers.topte...89-review.html

I think they are some speakers that you should add to your list to check out.

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post #3 of 18 Old 08-15-2015, 08:35 PM
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I agree that cubes are useless. However, you don't necessarily have to have floorstanders in order to get a nice full midrange. Many bookshelf speakers can do that and, and when coupled with even an inexpensive entry-level subwoofer, your system will also provide a lot more quality bass than any floorstanding speakers under $1500-2000.

For example:
http://www.wavecrestaudio.com/produc...udspeaker-pair = $225/pair shipped
plus
http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-F1...ywords=bic+f12 = $217/pair shipped

But if you absolutely must have floorstanders, this would be definitely worth a listen---they have leaf tweeters, which give you the clarity of a horn but without any harshness:
http://www.chanemusiccinema.com/chan...peakers/A3rx-c = $630 shipped
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post #4 of 18 Old 08-15-2015, 08:39 PM
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If you specifically hate brightness (exaggerated treble) in a speaker, which horns are often accused of, there are also certain speakers that are known for a warm, lush, laid-back musical quality...they'll typically have an earlier treble roll off so you'll sacrifice a bit of detail at the highest frequencies, but you'll get plenty of luscious mids.

Great example, and well within your budget:
http://www.stereophile.com/content/w...01-loudspeaker

They're currently being clearanced for $300 shipped per pair at MusicDirect.com -- and they put out a surprising amount of mid-bass so for most music listening you may be fine without a subwoofer.
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post #5 of 18 Old 08-15-2015, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I wanted to start off by thanking you for the quick response. I forgot to mention that I have a very nice klipsch subwoofer tucked away in storage. Currently, my home audio useage consists of 60% movies and 40% music and my experience with a samsung sound bar followed by samsung tower speakers ended up in 2 returns. I am not opposed to a horn speaker I ultimately would just like to avoid a headache. The experience that I felt when I listened to the quality of the bowers and wilkins speakers was unbelieveable. It was as if the artist was in the same room as me. I hope this makes sense as it was such an exciting experience and I never knew I could obtain that sort of sound quality without going to a live show. Am I crazy for thinking that I could still obtain that sort of sound quality at my minimal $500 budget for the first 2 speakers? My current room is 15 feet by 14 feet and my couch is positioned 8 feet back from the screen. I am open to building onto the system in due time with a center and 2 rear speakers. As for bookshelf speakers vs floor speakers I am open to both the main reason for considering floor speakers is my living room foot print would allow them.
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post #6 of 18 Old 08-15-2015, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by adcondos View Post
The experience that I felt when I listened to the quality of the bowers and wilkins speakers was unbelieveable. It was as if the artist was in the same room as me. I hope this makes sense as it was such an exciting experience and I never knew I could obtain that sort of sound quality without going to a live show. Am I crazy for thinking that I could still obtain that sort of sound quality at my minimal $500 budget for the first 2 speakers? My current room is 15 feet by 14 feet and my couch is positioned 8 feet back from the screen. I am open to building onto the system in due time with a center and 2 rear speakers. As for bookshelf speakers vs floor speakers I am open to both the main reason for considering floor speakers is my living room foot print would allow them.
Yes, what you're describing is simply a full midrange response, which no soundbar, HTIB (home theater in a box) system, computer speakers or satellite cubes can replicate. It's not that hard to find, you just have to go off the beaten track a bit...as with most things, the biggest most well-known and hyper-advertised brands (Sony, Bose, etc.) often offer mediocre performance for the price.

B&W are nice speakers, although not the best value for your money---in large part you're paying for the brand cachet and the indisputably beautiful cabinetry they usually come in: this is what enables the hefty brick-and-mortar dealer markup which further enhances the brand's cachet. (Not to mention the fact that aside from their powered computer and iPod speakers, they are not allowed to be sold online at all.)

If you are willing to do without the brand cachet and (especially) if you are willing to accept more functional rather than cosmetically-appealing cabinet design however, you can get most if not all of their sonic attributes that you were admiring for a fraction of the cost.
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post #7 of 18 Old 08-16-2015, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Zorba922,

Thank you for your in depth response I really like what Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 loudspeaker has to offer. After speaking with you I think my mindset of wanting the instant gratification of having a complete 5.1 setup instantly at a marginal price point may not be in reach without sacrificing the quality of sound. Before reviewing the speakers that you sent over to me which are all amazing my initial thought was to purchase the following listed below. This would place my speaker budget at $840 minus the fact that I already have a subwoofer. What do you think about this setup or if you had a $900 max budget for a 5 speaker system what would you change knowing the sound quality that I am looking to obtain? Also an option should I just purchase a 2 speaker system and add to it at a later date?

Denon AVR-S700W 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
$300

Polk monitor 60s = Front * $260 for the pair

Slim Design houses a 1" dome tweeter and three 5.25 drivers
Magnetically shielded
Measures 8-1/8"W x 38-3/4"H x 13"D
8-ohm impedance
Frequency response: 38Hz-25kHz
Power rating 20-200W

Polk cs2 = Center * $130 each

50Hz-25kHz
8 Ohms 20-175W
90dB

Polk monitor 30s = Rear * $150 pair

55Hz - 25kHz
8 ohms 20 -100 w/channel
89 dB
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-16-2015, 06:23 AM
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I think the Polks are a nice product line since you are looking for more of the warm sound that comes from a dome tweeter. I would take a look at the other products that Zorba has recommended. You may still end up with the Polks, but at least you will have compared them with other products and know you found the product that was best for you.

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post #9 of 18 Old 08-16-2015, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by adcondos View Post
Zorba922,

Thank you for your in depth response I really like what Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 loudspeaker has to offer. After speaking with you I think my mindset of wanting the instant gratification of having a complete 5.1 setup instantly at a marginal price point may not be in reach without sacrificing the quality of sound. Before reviewing the speakers that you sent over to me which are all amazing my initial thought was to purchase the following listed below. This would place my speaker budget at $840 minus the fact that I already have a subwoofer. What do you think about this setup or if you had a $900 max budget for a 5 speaker system what would you change knowing the sound quality that I am looking to obtain? Also an option should I just purchase a 2 speaker system and add to it at a later date?

Denon AVR-S700W 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
$300

Polk monitor 60s = Front * $260 for the pair

Slim Design houses a 1" dome tweeter and three 5.25 drivers
Magnetically shielded
Measures 8-1/8"W x 38-3/4"H x 13"D
8-ohm impedance
Frequency response: 38Hz-25kHz
Power rating 20-200W

Polk cs2 = Center * $130 each

50Hz-25kHz
8 Ohms 20-175W
90dB

Polk monitor 30s = Rear * $150 pair

55Hz - 25kHz
8 ohms 20 -100 w/channel
89 dB
Yes, don't rush into buying all 5 speakers right off the bat. To be honest, most people don't really need rear surrounds---only if you watch LOTS of action movies on original DVDs and BluRay (since cable and streaming video usually doesn't have fully encoded surround sound audio to begin with) or do a lot of gaming. And they don't really need a monstrous sub, unless they are in a huge room and also have an action movie habit.

Since you value full and smooth midrange response, the Polk Monitor series would be an incredibly poor choice---a few years ago I made the mistake of ordering the Polk Monitor 30s myself, seduced by a $100/pair Newegg.com sale, and unloaded them on Craigslist within a month. The Monitor line is Polk's second from bottom line, known for a harsh yet veiled tweeter, bloated mid-bass, and actually a RECESSED midrange. In short, I found them unlistenable, and I'm hardly a "golden ears" type. They do have somewhat attractive cabinets though. Polk's next model line up, the RTi line, is relatively decent if a little thin sounding at higher volumes. The only Polks that have ever impressed me were their LSi speakers, but those are very pricey and until very recently, demanded higher level amps due to their 4ohm impedance (the newest ones now are 8ohms, apparently).

Speaker frequency response are the single most unreliable spec in audio, second only to "watts per channel"---particularly at the entry-level mainstream pricepoint, the big-name manufacturers will shamelessly fudge and lie about them for sales/marketing reasons. I would take a conservatively rated "50 watts per channel" Marantz, NAD or HK receiver with minimal electronic bells and whistles over the typical Best Buy Yamaha, Onkyo, Pioneer, etc. claiming "110 wpc" or "150 wpc" any day. If you truly can't live without WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity you can easily buy external aftermarket devices for an extra $30-80, which usually provide better performance/reliability...if they break down you just replace the device instead of having to ship the entire receiver back to the factory for repairs, a costly and time-consuming process.

For a receiver that has decent musical performance, this is what I'd be looking at with a $300 budget:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Harman-Kardo...item235127d7fe
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...specifications

(Manufacturer refurbished is often more reliable than brand new, since any defects that might've occurred during the manufacturing process will have been fixed and the product systematically re-tested. I've bought plenty of refurbed electronics, computer-related as well as audio/video, and never had a hiccup.)

For the speakers, in addition to the Wharfedales you should also look at the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SE and its big brother the CMT-340SE.
http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro.../spkrlist.html

Both will give you immaculate full mids, with more treble detail and faster transient response than the Wharfedales which are voiced to reproduce the sounds of musical instruments as realistically as possible but with a certain compromise in terms of treble detail, transients, and a ruler-flat frequency response. I used to own both the 170s and 340s and enjoyed their precision and neutrality/accuracy which is especially well-suited for HT, but for sheer musical pleasure I still prefer the Wharfedales' warmer presentation and mid-bass presence, which invites me to sit and listen to music on them for hours...but it all depends on YOUR tastes of course. The main disadvantage of the 170 is its functional boxy appearance, which some people (esp. women) tend to dislike after being bombarded with cubes and sleek looking speakers like B&W. The 340 costs almost twice as much as the 170 but it will fill larger spaces more readily, and the voice reproduction is so good that you might even decide you don't need a center speaker with them.

The WaveCrest speakers I originally suggested are designed by the same guy behind the Ascends, so they will have the same attention to midrange production, and as I understand it they have more of a treble roll-off and a slightly "warmer" presentation. If you wanted to get all 5 speakers at one time on your budget, they'd be a solid choice. Plus they are front-ported so they don't need as much space behind them as rear-ported speakers do.

Maybe what I'd do is just dip your toes in the water: order the receiver, and a pair of different speakers---the Wharfedales and the WaveCrest or CBM-170SE. Ship back the pair you like less---think of the $30 return shipping as an in-home audition fee. It's not unreasonable, since an in-home audition is the only way for you to really know which ones you really prefer.
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post #10 of 18 Old 08-10-2016, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Zorba,

I hope all has been well. It has been nearly a year and prices have since reduced on a few of the speakers I was interested in as well as the amp. Let me know what you think of this setup.

Marantz SR5009 Refurbished $499

Wharfedale Diamond 230 $699 (PAIR)

* I chose the 230 because it would cost me an additional $250 for floor stands for the bookshelf speaker

* I was wondering if you think I should skip the subwoofer and purchase the diamond 240 or 250 instead?

Wharfedale 220 $349 or 225 $449

* Would you suggest the larger 225 bookshelf speaker or the 220 for my rear speakers?

* Do you see much benefit in purchasing the center and 2 rear speakers if 60% of my listening is going to be movies and 40% music.

I look forward to hearing back from you!
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post #11 of 18 Old 08-10-2016, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by adcondos View Post
Marantz SR5009 Refurbished $499

Wharfedale Diamond 230 $699 (PAIR)

* I chose the 230 because it would cost me an additional $250 for floor stands for the bookshelf speaker

* I was wondering if you think I should skip the subwoofer and purchase the diamond 240 or 250 instead?

Wharfedale 220 $349 or 225 $449

* Would you suggest the larger 225 bookshelf speaker or the 220 for my rear speakers?

* Do you see much benefit in purchasing the center and 2 rear speakers if 60% of my listening is going to be movies and 40% music.
The Marantz 5009 is nice, I started off with an Onkyo AVR and when I switched to a Marantz 5400 even my then-wife noticed an SQ improvement. However, there is an even better option in that price range for someone who cares about music performance:
New, $600 shipped:
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_745T748...V2.html?tp=179
Refurbished, $400:
http://www.spearitsound.com/product....0&product=7550

The NAD will not have all the "latest-and-greatest, must-have" electronic gimmicks and formats, but what it will have is high quality CURRENT that you'll appreciate when listening to music on less sensitive and lower impedance speakers (which the Wharfedales are, btw...not the lowest but not the highest by any means).

There's no need to spend $250 on a pair of speaker stands. You can get perfectly good ones for around $45. Beware anyone telling you that more expensive stands will somehow improve the sound quality, next thing you know they'll try to sell you some $250/foot magic voodoo cables, lol:

https://www.amazon.com/Sanus-BF24B-I...words=sanus+24
https://www.amazon.com/BF31-B1-Speak...words=sanus+31

If you're willing to buy the Wharfedale 250 that suggests that your maximum budget just for the fronts is $1300...I would much rather buy the bookshelf and put the savings into a monstrous subwoofer like a $900 Hsu VTF-3 because that will give you better results for both music AND movies (no tower at any price is going to be be as good as a decent subwoofer with a decent bookshelf for HT usage, and the VTF-3 is several grades above "decent" level). And who knows, you sound like you're already happy enough with your Klipsch sub (which model is it, btw?) so you might not even need to spend that kind of money to upgrade the sub if at all.

I'd recommend the smaller 220 over the 225; the 225's 6.5" woofer has about an extra 5-10Hz of mid-bass which will be irrelevant when used with a sub, and that extra mid-bass produces a more noticeable "mid-bass hump" which overwhelms the mids and highs.

As for the surrounds, I would match them only if you see yourself listening to native-surround music like SACD and DVD-A; for HT it's not necessary for non-OCD folks.

Now, the only weakness of the Wharfedale Diamond line may be in their center speakers. A couple of WD owners have reported not being thrilled by their "matching" centers' lack of stellar voice clarity, since Wharfedale seems to have followed the typical lazy speaker company habit of making a half-assed center knowing that most consumers will blindly follow the usual "you must must must timbre-match your front speakers" mantra of salespeople (and many alleged audio "experts"). If you are a believer in "timbre matching" then go ahead and order the Wharfedale center, who knows maybe you'll be ok with it---but be sure to keep all the paperwork and packaging in case you need to return it. Personally what I'd do is go with a deliberately mismatched center that is a proven performer in the voice clarity department...when listening to music you'll revert to stereo anyway so it basically just gives you the best of both worlds.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #12 of 18 Old 08-11-2016, 10:47 AM
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Another UK brand that offers excellent bang for the buck in everything but their subwoofers is Q Acoustics.

BTW, I wouldn't buy a NAD AVR after the one I paid $1200 for 10 or so years ago failed; all the digital inputs went out one by one followed by the analog inputs.

I replaced it with a $400 Denon and it performs at least as well as the NAD in all aspects.

I was a NAD fan because the NAD 7250PE receiver I bought in 1986 is still in use each and every day and sounds great.

The Marantz is the higher spec line by the company that also makes Denon so that would be a solid choice and if I had to buy an AVR today it would be a Marantz.

http://www.qacoustics.com/floorstand...aker-pair.html

Are you still using your old sub and are you happy with it?

For rear channel speakers these would work just fine; the surrounds don't have to be nearly as big or capable as the front Left and Right and the Center.

http://www.qacoustics.com/bookshelf-...r-pair-76.html

Center.

http://www.qacoustics.com/home-theat...peaker-93.html
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post #13 of 18 Old 08-11-2016, 12:06 PM
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BTW, I wouldn't buy a NAD AVR after the one I paid $1200 for 10 or so years ago failed; all the digital inputs went out one by one followed by the analog inputs.
It's true that NAD went through a couple rough years back in the mid '00s with AVR reliability, but they've come back up to industry norms in the last few years.

The AVR brand with the highest reliability ratings is Yamaha, FWIW.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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Happy 2018
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Happy New Years!

I have recently added to my 5.1 System and have a few questions. Currently, my system consists of the following:

RECEIVER
Denon AVR-2311CI

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-GEC6vP...VR-2311CI.html

FRONT & REAR SPEAKERS
Definitive ProCinema 80's x 4

https://www.cnet.com/products/defini...-system/specs/

CENTER SPEAKER
Definitive ProCenter 100 x 1

Klipsch KSW 10 SubWoofer

http://images.klipsch.com/KSW10Manua...5206260000.pdf

I have the opportunity to pick up some amazing additions to my system for $350 which consist of the following:

FRONT TOWER SPEAKERS
Wharfedale Diamond 240 (These would be my front speakers not sure they would work with my receivers as they are 4ohm speakers)

http://www.wharfedale.co.uk/product.php?pid=78

SUBWOOFER
Polk PSW10

https://www.polkaudio.com/products/psw10


Any feed back on what I would need to use this system for a music setup and to play movies. Should i use the front two speakers with my current amplifier that is rated for 8ohm or do I need to purchase a new amp? Also would my current setup work well for a 7.2 system if I was to move my front two monitors to the sides and then add in the wharfedale Diamond 240's to the front? Also what do you all think of the PSW10 should I purchase a second so my system is an equal 2 sub setup?
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post #16 of 18 Old 01-04-2018, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by adcondos View Post
Happy New Years!

I have recently added to my 5.1 System and have a few questions. Currently, my system consists of the following:

RECEIVER
Denon AVR-2311CI

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-GEC6vP...VR-2311CI.html

FRONT & REAR SPEAKERS
Definitive ProCinema 80's x 4

https://www.cnet.com/products/defini...-system/specs/

CENTER SPEAKER
Definitive ProCenter 100 x 1

Klipsch KSW 10 SubWoofer

http://images.klipsch.com/KSW10Manua...5206260000.pdf

I have the opportunity to pick up some amazing additions to my system for $350 which consist of the following:

FRONT TOWER SPEAKERS
Wharfedale Diamond 240 (These would be my front speakers not sure they would work with my receivers as they are 4ohm speakers)

http://www.wharfedale.co.uk/product.php?pid=78

SUBWOOFER
Polk PSW10

https://www.polkaudio.com/products/psw10


Any feed back on what I would need to use this system for a music setup and to play movies. Should i use the front two speakers with my current amplifier that is rated for 8ohm or do I need to purchase a new amp? Also would my current setup work well for a 7.2 system if I was to move my front two monitors to the sides and then add in the wharfedale Diamond 240's to the front? Also what do you all think of the PSW10 should I purchase a second so my system is an equal 2 sub setup?
That's a great deal on the Wharfedales.

I'd be tempted to sell BOTH subs though and get a real Home Theater sub that extends close to 20hz rather than those two 30hz+ subs.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #17 of 18 Old 01-04-2018, 11:13 AM
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Yes, you can get amazing deals on discontinued lines...
Looks like the Cambridge Audio SX60 or Aeros are pretty much gone at the very low price, that was the hot deal all fall!
I would consider the Philharmonic Affordable accuracy speaker (Philharmonic Audio), those are some really good speakers at just a little over 200/pr! Add the center for 150 and you have a nice front stage for 350 plus shipping that will beat any small satelite speakers like the Quintets.
http://philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html
The current best deal on a quality subwoofer is the SVS SB12 NSD12, 399/shipped
https://www.amazon.com/SVS-SB12-NSD-...svs+subwoofers

Set up #1: EMP e5Ti, e5Ci, and EMP e5Bi surrounds, Outlaw LFM1 Plus sub, SVS NSD SB12 sub, Marantz Slimeline 1504 AV receiver
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and EMPtek10i10i sub, Denon 1910 AV receiver
Set up #3: Philharmonics- BMR in a 2.0 system, music only, Yamaha RXV-363 AV receiver
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post #18 of 18 Old 01-04-2018, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
That's a great deal on the Wharfedales.

I'd be tempted to sell BOTH subs though and get a real Home Theater sub that extends close to 20hz rather than those two 30hz+ subs.
The ported SVS PB12-NSD would be even better than the sealed SB12-NSD for home theater if you can afford to take the plunge.

SVS PB12-NSD on Amazon
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KEF R500, R200C, R100, R50, SVS SB2000 sub, NAD T758v3 AVR, LG UP875 4K BlueRay, Samsung UN55JU6500F 4K LED TV, KEF M500 headphones, Sony CDP-CE500 CD changer. Office: NAD M10, KEF LS50, KEF Kube 10b, Pro-Ject RPM1 TT w/ Ortofon 2M Red. Guest room: Hafler 300 L-R, KEF Reference Model 100 center, KEF iQ10 surrounds, modded M&K V-90 sub, Bluesound Vault 2.
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