Best Bookshelves for HT under $1,000 a pair - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 93 Old 01-02-2018, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Best Bookshelves for HT under $1,000 a pair

I used to want towers, but i think I've converted to Bookshelves. Main use is 80% movies, 10% games, %10 music.

Currently have 5.1.2 with my Onkyo 656 but will eventually upgrade to 7.2.4.

I'll have 2 monster subs in the future as well.

I've been reading and watching reviews and have noticed more of the quality bookshelves are made more for music and much less for HT.

I'm guessing HT is not as demanding due to the overall help of the complete system together?

Now as for Sound Signature, I'm not sure. I'm open to any ideas or advice. I like learning why ppl choose certain signatures.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 93 Old 01-02-2018, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoJustGeo View Post
I used to want towers, but i think I've converted to Bookshelves. Main use is 80% movies, 10% games, %10 music.

Currently have 5.1.2 with my Onkyo 656 but will eventually upgrade to 7.2.4.

I'll have 2 monster subs in the future as well.

I've been reading and watching reviews and have noticed more of the quality bookshelves are made more for music and much less for HT.

I'm guessing HT is not as demanding due to the overall help of the complete system together?

Now as for Sound Signature, I'm not sure. I'm open to any ideas or advice. I like learning why ppl choose certain signatures.

Thanks in advance.
People usually choose from what is available and if they like the sound they keep them. I'd probably like just about any decent speaker no matter the sound signature. There is or should be no difference in selecting a speaker for HT or music unless you have a large dedicated theater in which case you would want large high efficiency speakers. Otherwise get whatever sounds good to you and fits your budget and space.
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post #3 of 93 Old 01-02-2018, 08:00 PM
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the q acoustic concept 20 might be a good pick .. also monitor audio silver might work well ... Chane makes good bookshelf speakers too... for even less the kef q 100 or 300 would be nice..Focal makes a great speaker as well...

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post #4 of 93 Old 01-02-2018, 08:04 PM
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These NHT C3s would be great. They are the newer version of the NHT Classic 3 which has received great reviews. I have the Classic 3s and as far as I can tell the only difference between them is that the C3 has a different enclosure. The C3 (and the Classic 3) is a 3-way speaker and so can more easily be designed for a flat response.
https://www.nhthifi.com/products/165...es#description
Here are a couple of reviews of the Classic 3
http://www.audioholics.com/bookshelf...e-loudspeakers
https://www.stereophile.com/standlou...nht/index.html
Both the C3 and Classic 3 are available from Amazon at $370.
https://www.amazon.com/NHT-Classic-B...=nht+classic+3
https://www.amazon.com/NHT-3-Way-Boo...=nht+classic+3

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post #5 of 93 Old 01-02-2018, 09:30 PM
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JBL Studio 230, $300/pair shipped from jbl.com with free return shipping.

Ascend 340SE, currently $560/pair shipped

Hsu CCB-8, around $750 shipped

Of those 3 the Ascend is the most neutral and therefore would be equally good at music as HT; however, you may find the JBL and Hsu options better for HT.
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post #6 of 93 Old 01-02-2018, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoJustGeo View Post
I've been reading and watching reviews and have noticed more of the quality bookshelves are made more for music and much less for HT.
No, not really -- a good speaker is able to produce good sound period.

Canton Vento Bookshelf
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ss-pair/1.html

Canton Chrono
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html

Monitor Audio Silver 1
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_893SLV...Oak.html?cc=07

Klipsch RP160
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_714RP1...60M-Ebony.html

Focal Chorus 605
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html

Boston A26 -- sold each
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/boston-...BoCWc0QAvD_BwE

JBL Studio 230

NHT SuperOne 2.1 -- sold each

HTD Level Three
https://www.htd.com/Level-THREE-Bookshelf-Speakers

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post #7 of 93 Old 01-02-2018, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
No, not really -- a good speaker is able to produce good sound period.

Canton Vento Bookshelf
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ss-pair/1.html

Canton Chrono
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html

Monitor Audio Silver 1
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_893SLV...Oak.html?cc=07

Klipsch RP160
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_714RP1...60M-Ebony.html

Focal Chorus 605
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html

Boston A26 -- sold each
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/boston-...BoCWc0QAvD_BwE

JBL Studio 230

NHT SuperOne 2.1 -- sold each

HTD Level Three
https://www.htd.com/Level-THREE-Bookshelf-Speakers
I'd probably bump up to the Silver 2 for the Monitor Audio option in your list ($799).

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post #8 of 93 Old 01-03-2018, 01:35 AM
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Ascend Acoustic Sierra-2's, b-stock, if they have any, would be right on budget.
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post #9 of 93 Old 01-03-2018, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postrokfan View Post
I'd probably bump up to the Silver 2 for the Monitor Audio option in your list ($799).
Good option

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post #10 of 93 Old 01-03-2018, 10:21 AM
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What speakers/brands have you listened too and which do you like?

59" Samsung Series 7000 Plasma TV Samsung BD-D5500 Blu-ray player
Onkyo TX-NR609 AV Receiver
Canton TBD (Center) Canton Chrono SL 596 DC (L & R)
JBL SP6CII (Frt Height & RR Surround)
Martin Logan Dynamo 1000
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post #11 of 93 Old 01-03-2018, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoJustGeo View Post
I used to want towers, but i think I've converted to Bookshelves. Main use is 80% movies, 10% games, %10 music.

Currently have 5.1.2 with my Onkyo 656 but will eventually upgrade to 7.2.4.

I'll have 2 monster subs in the future as well.

I've been reading and watching reviews and have noticed more of the quality bookshelves are made more for music and much less for HT.

I'm guessing HT is not as demanding due to the overall help of the complete system together?

Now as for Sound Signature, I'm not sure. I'm open to any ideas or advice. I like learning why ppl choose certain signatures.

Thanks in advance.
In many ways Home Theater is more demanding.

Consider LCR style speakers which are essentially mini towers designed to work with subs; these have dual 6.5" main drivers.

If you can have the center vertical like the left and right all the better otherwise these are also designed to be on their side, (though Ascend has a matching center tweaked to work best on its side).

I've added the very nice Klipsch RP160 for comparison with a single 6..5" driver vs two so you can get an idea of how much more bang for buck you get from buying from a well respected internet direct company.

MSRP PORT? H/W/D ROUNDED TO NEAREST INCH


$568 REAR 23X8X10 2 way 2 X 6.5" [60hz] HSU HC1

$608 REAR 21X8X11 2 way 2 X 6.5" [45hz] ASCEND ACOUSTICS CMT 340 SE

$650 REAR 17x9x13 2 way 6.5 [45hz] KLIPSCH RP 160M, often 10% off Best Buy, Crutchfield
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post #12 of 93 Old 01-03-2018, 02:58 PM
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Being 80% movies and 10% gaming w/only 10% music, then I recommend the Klipsch RP speakers. Klipsch is known for being very bright and clear. However, the RP Series is said to tame that overly brightness somewhat. That being said, Klipsch is also known as an easy load to drive and are very dynamic due to such high sensitivity. That is very helpful given the OP's preference is on HT. Here is a link for the OP:


https://www.crutchfield.com/p_714RP1...ano-Black.html



https://www.crutchfield.com/p_714RP2...50C-Ebony.html



Klipsch has really stepped up their game inmho. The RP Series also would do well w/music. Best wishes to the OP in making a well informed decision.



Cheers,

Phil
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post #13 of 93 Old 01-03-2018, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you to all who have responded with your options and opinions. Looks like I got a lot of homework to do! Everyone's input is much appreciated!
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post #14 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 02:06 AM
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If I may tag on... I’m also interested in everyone’s opinion on best bookshelves.

From the feedback I’ve received + read, it seems like the best options may be (not in order) Elac, SVS, NHT, or Klipsch. For me, my bookshelves will be <1’ from the wall, so I think front ported or sealed would be best, which would rule out Elac and SVS. If that’s true, does anyone have strong recommendations for or against any of these (assuming subs will also be used in a 3.2 setup):

NHT C1 ($500/pair)
NHT SuperZero ($250/pair)
NHT SuperOne ($350/pair)

Klipsch RPs ($500/pair)


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post #15 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 05:32 AM
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Check out Zeos reviews on youtube.I was ready to drop a grand on SVS ultras until I Watched his review and sound demo on JBL 230 and though he picked ultras as best speaker choice for the year, his demo Of the 230s was so close to ultras I went with JBL.I could not be happier and with money saved I went with an SVS sub.
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post #16 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbeashore View Post
If I may tag on... I’m also interested in everyone’s opinion on best bookshelves.

From the feedback I’ve received + read, it seems like the best options may be (not in order) Elac, SVS, NHT, or Klipsch. For me, my bookshelves will be <1’ from the wall, so I think front ported or sealed would be best, which would rule out Elac and SVS. If that’s true, does anyone have strong recommendations for or against any of these (assuming subs will also be used in a 3.2 setup):

NHT C1 ($500/pair)
NHT SuperZero ($250/pair)
NHT SuperOne ($350/pair)

Klipsch RPs ($500/pair)


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1 foot from the rear wall, or even less, should be just fine for rear ported speakers when the lowest notes are crossed over to a sub as it is the lowest notes that come out of the rear port.

Elac are not a great choice for HT as they are harder to power and have a warm/veiled sound signature.

Klipsch RPs are excellent, and easy to try and return if not happy at Best Buy.

JBL also have free returns on their website and offer a better bang for buck than Klipsch RP if budget is a concern.

NHT is a solid choice but no free returns if not happy.
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post #17 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 11:25 AM
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Hand built speaker in a nice cabinet by a master of speaker design...
http://philharmonicaudio.com/Mini-Monitor.html
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post #18 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 11:27 AM
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I would go with the NHT C1 -- sometimes you have to step out and take a small risk
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post #19 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 12:18 PM
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Best Bookshelves for HT under $1,000 a pair

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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
I would go with the NHT C1 -- sometimes you have to step out and take a small risk


These are the ones that I am leaning towards, but I wanted to listen to as much feedback as people were willing to give, since I could find almost no reviews online.


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post #20 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 01:04 PM
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These are the ones that I am leaning towards, but I wanted to listen to as much feedback as people were willing to give, since I could find almost no reviews online.


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$500/pair with many AVS fans of NHT bookshelves.

Crutchfield has many speakers in that price range with just $10/box returns but none that are sealed at that price.

Not sure why you are focused on sealed when you say you have 1 foot of space behind the speakers.

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post #21 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 01:55 PM
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Best Bookshelves for HT under $1,000 a pair

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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
$500/pair with many AVS fans of NHT bookshelves.



Crutchfield has many speakers in that price range with just $10/box returns but none that are sealed at that price.



Not sure why you are focused on sealed when you say you have 1 foot of space behind the speakers.


I suppose I don’t have to have sealed speakers. I’m pretty new to the differences, so that decision was based on what I could find online. The shelves that the speaker will sit on are only 18” deep, so the back of the speaker may actually be more like 3-6” from the wall depending on the size of the speaker.

In addition to the NHTs and Klipsch, I have also been considering Elac and SVS bookshelves.


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post #22 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbeashore View Post
I suppose I don’t have to have sealed speakers. I’m pretty new to the differences, so that decision was based on what I could find online. The shelves that the speaker will sit on are only 18” deep, so the back of the speaker may actually be more like 3-6” from the wall depending on the size of the speaker.

In addition to the NHTs and Klipsch, I have also been considering Elac and SVS bookshelves.


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As you can see, even speakers with 6.5" main drivers would have enough breathing room as there is little to no port effect below 80hz which is the standard crossover point where the sub takes over the bass.

AVS FAVORITES: BOOKSHELF SPEAKER PAIRS WITH >6.4" MAIN DRIVER AND UNDER $650 MSRP, (**equals free returns)

NOTES: >note that most speakers do not actually reach within 10hz of their stated bass extension; check pro reviews

>CRUTCHFIELD carries many speakers that Best Buy does not listed below. Their return policy is very inexpensive and longer in time.
$10 per package, (not tower speakers), within 60days.

>check center speakr prices before choosing a pair for a surround system as some companies have VERY high prices for centers


MSRP/PR PORT? H/W/D ROUNDED TO NEAREST INCH
$200 FRONT 14X8X11 2 way 6.5" [41hz] CAMBRIDGE AUDIO SX60 Accessories4less pice

$225 REAR 15X9X11 2 way 7" [55hz] JBL ARENA 130**

$235 REAR 14X9X11 2 way 6.5" [48hz] PHILHARMONIC AUDIO AFFORDABLE ACCURACY MONITOR

$299 REAR 14x9x12 2 way 6.5" [40hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10.2, Music Direct Price

$300 REAR 15X9X14 2 way 6.5" [39hz] POLK SIGNATURE 20, often 10% off Best Buy**

$319 FRONT 16X9X12 2 way 6.5" [47hz] HTD LEVEL THREE**

$330 REAR 12X9X10 2 way 6.5" [58hz] ASCEND ACOUSTICS CBM 170 SE

$350 SEALED 11X7X8 2 way 6.5" [56hz] NHT SUPERONE 2.1

$376 REAR 15X8X9 2 way 6.5" [60hz] HSU HB1

$400 REAR 15X9X11 2 way 6.5" [52hz] JBL STUDIO 230**

$450 DOWN 14X7X12 2 way 6.5" [45hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 225, often 10% off Best Buy**

$500 FRONT 14X8X10 2 way 6.5" [42hz] MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE 2

$500 REAR 13X8X10 2 way 6.5" [48hz] SVS PRIME BOOKSHELF**

$568 REAR 23X8X10 2 way 2 X 6.5" [60hz] HSU HC1

$608 REAR 21X8X11 2 way 2 X 6.5" [45hz] ASCEND ACOUSTICS CMT 340 SE

$650 REAR 17x9x13 2 way 6.5" [45hz] KLIPSCH RP 160M, often 10% off Best Buy, Crutchfield
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post #23 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 03:20 PM
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Best Bookshelves for HT under $1,000 a pair

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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
As you can see, even speakers with 6.5" main drivers would have enough breathing room as there is little to no port effect below 80hz which is the standard crossover point where the sub takes over the bass.

Just because I’m still new to the front/back port vs sealed differences, what do you think is the reason to NOT get a sealed speaker? I’m not sold either way, just really trying to make sure I understand the pros/cons.



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post #24 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbeashore View Post
Just because I’m still new to the front/back port vs sealed differences, what do you think is the reason to NOT get a sealed speaker? I’m not sold either way, just really trying to make sure I understand the pros/cons.



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All of my nineties era B&W bookshelves were sealed and they sounded great; still using a pair as my rears in my surround sound system (DM100i) and my daughter has a pair as her main speakers today, (CM1 Concept 90s).

Some say they actually blend better with subwoofers and have better transient response.

Strangely they have fallen out of favor.

Here's an article on the subject.

http://www.audioholics.com/loudspeak...aled-vs-ported

But one thing is clear, places with free or very inexpensive returns for bookshelves, (Best Buy and Crutchfield), don't offer any sealed designs in your price range so it takes more of a leap of faith today to buy a sealed bookshelf as returns will likely run $50+ to return.
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post #25 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbeashore View Post
These are the ones that I am leaning towards, but I wanted to listen to as much feedback as people were willing to give, since I could find almost no reviews online.


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I have the Absolute Zeros which were the predecessor to the C1. The newer version has a different enclosure but the tweeter & woofer seem to be the same. I also have a pair of SuperZeros. The Absolute Zeros (and I assume the C1s) are clearly a step up from the SuperZeros. I've been very pleased with both. Each set is coupled with a sub to handle the lows. If looks are important, the C1 is a lacquer finish while the Zeros are vinyl laminate.
Amazon carries the Zeros at just under $70 each. You can probably talk NHT into giving you their year-end 25% discount on the C1. I use both set almost exclusively for music.
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post #26 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 08:14 PM
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Best Bookshelves for HT under $1,000 a pair

Is mixing brands between your L/R and C speakers a big no-no? I think I’m all but sold on the C1s, but the problem is that the matching center is too deep! My fireplace mantle that it will sit on is only 8” deep, and the center is 9”. Thoughts?


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post #27 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Bbeashore View Post
Is mixing brands between your L/R and C speakers a big no-no? I think I’m all but sold on the C1s, but the problem is that the matching center is too deep! My fireplace mantle that it will sit on is only 8” deep, and the center is 9”. Thoughts?
A speaker hanging over 1 inch is not a bad thing and can even help the sound -- if it irritates your vision (eye sight), then also move the L/R front speakers forward 1 inch for a more even view (placement).

However you can use a different center if you wish -- but I would still test the NHT matching center
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post #28 of 93 Old 01-04-2018, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbeashore View Post
Is mixing brands between your L/R and C speakers a big no-no? I think I’m all but sold on the C1s, but the problem is that the matching center is too deep! My fireplace mantle that it will sit on is only 8” deep, and the center is 9”. Thoughts?
Ideally you want three identical speakers for LCR. I don't consider "same brand" purpose-built center speakers as any guarantee that the front three even "match." If you are not using identical speakers, try and get a center that has similar sensitivity, output capabilities, and tweeter/mid range design, i.e., generally don't mix dome tweeters with compression drivers, for example, or mix a really inefficient speaker with a very sensitive one.
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post #29 of 93 Old 01-05-2018, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbeashore View Post
Is mixing brands between your L/R and C speakers a big no-no? I think I’m all but sold on the C1s, but the problem is that the matching center is too deep! My fireplace mantle that it will sit on is only 8” deep, and the center is 9”. Thoughts?


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A small hangover is fine but remember there are speaker cables to contend with so it might be a bit more than an inch which wouldn't bother me in the least but might bother you.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #30 of 93 Old 01-05-2018, 12:24 PM
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I think I'm going to go with the NHT C1 speakers for my L/Rs. (They offered to give me the 25% year end discount, so thanks for that @dswierenga !)
I don't love the idea of having the center hanging off the mantle by 2-3" (taking the wire into account).
But if I stick with NHT for the center, which sounds like a must, then I figure my options are:

1. Buy a 3rd C1 speaker and use as a center
Model: C 1 Bookshelf Speaker
9.625" x 5.75" x 7.5" (HxWxD)
5.25" polypropylene cone woofer
1" aluminum dome tweeter

2. Buy the matching series center
Model: C LCR Center Channel Speaker
7.125" x 21.125" x 9" (HxWxD)
(2) 6.5" aluminum cone woofers
1" aluminum dome tweeter

3. Buy a different NHT center that doesn't hang off the 8" deep mantle
Model: MS Center, Center Channel Speaker
6.75" x 23" x 5.5" (HxWxD)
(2) 5.25" aluminum cone woofers
1" aluminum dome tweeter

Thoughts?

Sony KDL70W850B LED / Denon X3400H / NHT MS Center / NHT C1 Bookshelf Speaker (x2) / Sony PS4 Pro / Apple TV 4K / Belkin CNS08-T-06
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