Originally Posted by Colonel Mustard
Below you can see my living room, there is plenty of windows and a windowed door out to a balcony on the left. The speakers will be only in the middle area but hopefully they can fill the rest of the room for at least music even if the main usage are for movies.
I am only going to buy two bookshelves and 1 sub. I have been looking at various speakers between $700 and $1600 and some of the ones that have caught my eye have been the Klipsch RP-160M, SVS Ultra, KEF LS50 and KEF R300. I have heard a chance to listen to all of them except for the SVS speakers very briefly, but just for a little bit so I do not think I could make a fair judgement but I actually like all of them. The Klipsch speakers are probably the most crystal clear to me but can at times sound a bit distant. I'm not sure I could distinguish between the LS50 and the R300 enough that I could say which one I like the most. Any input on that? I heard that the R300 is better at filling the room while LS50 are better when just listening to a song straight in front of you.
I have not narrowed it down to them, I am actually very open to options.
As far as sub goes, I do not want a large one, I want a smaller one but I do not wish make it so small that the sub impact is negligible with an already good pair of speakers
The raging steal for subwoofers right now is this JBL, $189 shipped (retails for $600 on the JBL website)...I would get 2 if you can, that will greatly even out room nulls so you get a nice even response. You won't get the deep kick-in-the-chest effect of something like a Hsu VTF-3 but it sounds like you aren't looking for that.
Since your usage is mainly HT not music, I would cross off the KEF LS50 and R300 as well as the (very overpriced IMO) SVS Ultra. To be honest, with your budget and lack of interest in surround sound I would just buy a good pair of towers, the physical footprint would be about the same and you wouldn't have to bother buying speaker stands plus you'd have more of a room-filling effect.
These QAs would do well for both HT and music, and they look quite nice as well:
Their sound signature is neutral with a touch of warmth which would be a good idea in a room with so many hard surfaces and windows like yours...a more treble-forward speaker in such a room might run the risk of "brightness" which is ok for HT but not so great for music.
These are not quite as nice looking as the QAs but for HT usage they would be ideal, and are more than 50% off MSRP:
However, if you are set on bookshelves, I'd recommend a dual-woofer design not a single-woofer design...the extra woofer will give you greater sensitivity, greater mid-bass punch, and more of a room-filling capability. Great options well within your budget would be the Ascend 340SE, Chane A2.4, Hsu HC-1, and maybe even the RSL CG23. Google them.