Seeking help on first budget setup - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Seeking help on first budget setup

Guys and Gals, I need some help on selecting my next set of speakers. I've been running HTIB speakers for a while, and its time to upgrade. I'm not on a budget per say

I've already purchased a pair of Pioneer SP-FS52s and SP-BS22A-LRs not realizing that the SP-FS52s are meant for the front (silly me). Im trying to figure out what my next move is.

*Attempt to use the SP-BS22A-LRs w/ ATMOS wired, for the rears
or
*Return them and get a pair of SP-BS22-LRs, for the rears

As you can see in my photos, I have limited to no space between the couch and the rear wall. It seems the BS22As in the rear wouldn't be appropriate for ATMOS considering the room size and configuration. I am not dead set on ATMOS, I got a good deal on the BS22As and think its a neat feature.

The room is enclosed on 3 sides, opens into a larger kitchen space. The "living room area" where the speakers are is 11'L x 12'W x 9'H. Width measured until it opens into the kitchen (end of the rear wall). I live in a condo with units above and below. So I have to be considerate of my neighbors when it comes to sound.

What are your thoughts?

Also, can you please let me know if I'm on track for my Future Setup. I still have to buy the center and sub. Open to any and all suggestions on speakers, placement, decor =).

Current Setup

Receiver: Marantz NR1606 (ATMOS capable 5.2.2)
Speakers: Harman Kardon HKTS 30
Couch Shakers: Dayton APA150 w/ 2x Auro Pro

Proposed Future Setup

Receiver: Marantz NR1606
Fronts: Pioneer SP-FS52
Rears: Pioneer SP-BS22-LR or SP-BS22A-LR
Center: PhilHarmonic Affordable Accuracy Center
Sub: Dayton SUB-1200
Couch Shakers: Dayton APA150 w/ 2x Auro Pro
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:08 PM
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Receiver is good. center is good. How about the Phil AA monitors for L/R? what is your usage? HT?/ music? what sound profile do you like? Many will advise against towers for HT. your room is on the small side. another reason for not doing towers. I don't have any feedback for you running those style of Atmos speakers.

if you are space limited for the surrounds, put something up higher on the wall, and point them towards the MLP. or soothing like the Boston Acoustics bravo that has a wedge shape. ( wiring might be an issue if you don't want to see the wires and don't want to break the drywall).

Since you haven't bought a center or sub yet, take a look at emotiva C1. and the Bas-x 8" or 10" sub.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:16 PM
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Are the Pioneers returnable? If yes, I'd get your money back and start over. If not, I would try to redeem them by getting a damn good center speaker to make up for the Pioneers' lack of detail/dynamics---the Emotiva C1 previously suggested would be a solid choice.

Despite all the gushing shill reviews online, the Pioneers are much better for music (if you like a "warm" presentation) than HT. And I would banish all thoughts of any Dayton subs.

~ 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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Old 08-11-2018, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies so far!

These will be primarily used for movies. Not much if any music.

Not sure I have a refined enough ear yet for sound profile. I enjoy full and enveloping sound.

I can return all of the speakers, that shouldn't be an issue.

All in I was looking at a budget of $4-500 for Fronts, Rears, Center and Sub.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenncommander View Post
These will be primarily used for movies. Not much if any music...All in I was looking at a budget of $4-500 for Fronts, Rears, Center and Sub.
That is not really enough to get good pieces. So to echo what many others have said on these forums, I recommend getting one part at a time:
- I'd probably keep those rears you have now just for ambience for a while-in the long run, something up on the wall (can you drill?) and possibly dipole for less localization.
- Get some really good front towers, so you can have bass to start with. I'd sink your whole budget into this now. These https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ELDF52 are somewhat over that budget but wait and save if you must, it will make a tremendous difference and speakers last a long time. I'd try to spend even another $100 and move up to the 6" version. Here https://www.crutchfield.com/g_12000/...ers.html?&pg=1 are a lot of choices, and the Polk RTi A7 are on a crazy good sale.
- Then a good center. Almost all centers are woofer-tweeter-woofer which is OK in the sweet spot but not off axis. For the other seats, go either coax or 3-way where there's a mid and tweeter vertical between the woofers.
- Later get a good sub. Maybe a Dayton 1200 or something, assuming this is an apartment/condo and you can't blast the neighbors (and if that's so, and you're listening just on the couch, you can think about nearfield subwoofers placed directly behind/under the couch.
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:01 PM
 
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sony cores when on sale

or preferrably

http://www.philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html

3 AAM's (affordable accuracy monitors from philharmonic audio)
thats what i currently use in my bedroom. cant beat these for the price
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kenncommander View Post
Thanks for the replies so far!

These will be primarily used for movies. Not much if any music.

Not sure I have a refined enough ear yet for sound profile. I enjoy full and enveloping sound.

I can return all of the speakers, that shouldn't be an issue.

All in I was looking at a budget of $4-500 for Fronts, Rears, Center and Sub.
If you're hell bent on getting the whole 5.1 immediately instead of just starting with 3.1 (a much better idea) then this is what I'd do:

4 x Dayton AIR speakers, $107 shipped
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...-pair--300-651
1 x Emotiva C1 center, $250 shipped (10-15% less if they have alleged "B-stock" ... call and ask)
1 x Emotiva BasX 8 sub, $200 shipped (ditto on the B-stock)

This will still sound a lot better than what you have right now as well as your proposed setup. If you can go with a less expensive receiver (look at accessories4less.com) you can go up to an Emotiva BasX10 or 12.
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~ 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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Old 08-11-2018, 06:14 PM
 
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or you could just get this, while you save money for a better setup.
then sell it for like $100


https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=10565
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:59 PM
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Buy 3 ea of the Boston A25 speakers for your front channels -- Use the HK speakers for surrounds at this current time
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-each/1.html

An Emotiva sub is a good option

However, if you like the Pioneer speakers then keep them -- as no one can speak for your ears.
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Old 08-11-2018, 07:16 PM
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I say take entire budget and buy a sub 15inches or bigger from one of the premier id companies we always preach great things about(jtr/rythmik/psa/hsu)....once you have a kickass sub, come back with new budget for speakers.
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenncommander View Post

I've already purchased a pair of Pioneer SP-FS52s and SP-BS22A-LRs not realizing that the SP-FS52s are meant for the front (silly me). Im trying to figure out what my next move is.

Do you like the Pioneers? My first reaction would be similar to Zorba's, that a lot of people find them too warm for HT (including myself), but if you like them, that's all that matters.

Have you listened to any other speakers? Maybe take a run up to Best Buy, listen to whatever they have out if you haven't already. Some BB's may be redoing some of their speaker setups too... mine redid their standard Core/cheap Klipsch/even cheaper Polk T stations and separated them, and now also include Polk Signatures. Not an ideal way to listen to speakers, but better than nothing.

Several ways you can go with this, as I'm sure you noticed by the replies here. But it helps if we know what sort of speakers you prefer.
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Visited BB today and spoiled myself it seems. I walked away wishing I had a set of Definitive Technology 9060s, fronts and center.

I demo'd them on a Marantz NR1609. Was excited to hear how that performed. Hoping my NR1606 can do the same! The only other brands there were Martin Logic, B&W, Samsung and some HTIBs. Ill have to go out and demo a few more speakers, so see what my profile is/which brand I prefer. I am certainly open to a 3.1 configuration, but I think I'd prefer the presentation of a 5.1.

I was hoping the Pioneers would be better than the HKs. I had Focal Sibs and a Cub 2 before them. Sounds like I unintentionally downgraded when I got the HKs. *Shakes fist at falling for marketing messages*

@Zorba922 and all. It seems I have a lot to learn about proper HT setups. I read a post where you broke down an approximate output percentage for each speaker. I had no idea that the center was so crucial, taking care of ~70-80% of the show!

It looks like I'm going to return the Pioneers. I'll wait until I own my house before I outfit my living room with towers and massive subs. If I replace the HKs, I will end up selling that kit whole.

For reference in case this changes anything, the Fronts/Center are roughly 9 feet from the MLP, the surrounds are 4 feet from the MLP (directly in line, left and right. They cannot be placed behind the couch). The Fronts/Centers cannot be pushed back much further. The Surrounds can be moved 2 feet further away from the MLP.
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:14 PM
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@Zorba922 and all. It seems I have a lot to learn about proper HT setups. I read a post where you broke down an approximate output percentage for each speaker. I had no idea that the center was so crucial, taking care of ~70-80% of the show!
Yes, which is why it cracks me up that people go to places like BB, hear only the FRONT L/R speakers (often while listening to MUSIC rather than the MOVIES/TV that they will actually be using at home), buy an entire 5.1 setup based on just some sleazy salesman's advice. Then they come home and after the initial "look at my new toys" euphoria wears off, they realize that their subwoofer sucks and they can barely understand WTF the actors are saying, lol. Even worse, then they go back to the same store and simply throw more money at a more expensive 5.1 package, which more often than not has similarly crappy subwoofer and center speakers!

Mainstream speaker companies know full well that most retail consumers will mindlessly buy whatever "matching" center, surrounds and subwoofer they come across, so they often half-ass the center and subs.

Internet direct companies are dealing with a far more educated/informed clientele who will not only return crappy goods but come to forums like this and loudly b*tch about them.

Anyway, if you are dead set on a $500-ish budget then frankly I would just start with a center and subwoofer right now (Emotiva C1 + BasX 10), use your existing HKs for L/R speakers until you have $120 for a pair of Sony Core bookshelf speakers, keep the HK speakers for your surrounds.

~ 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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Old 08-12-2018, 02:27 PM
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That way you don't have to keep getting rid of things, adding up to a bigger total expenditure at the end.

~ 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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Old 08-12-2018, 02:32 PM
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I was hoping the Pioneers would be better than the HKs. I had Focal Sibs and a Cub 2 before them. Sounds like I unintentionally downgraded when I got the HKs. *Shakes fist at falling for marketing messages*
Do you still have the Focal Sibs? I assume not? Just going by feedback in this forum, I'd expect the Pioneers to be a downgrade as well.

Would be easier if you kept the Sibs... then I'd say upgrade center + sub + add Atmos and you are done.

If you find a BB that carries them, try to give a listen to Polk Signatures, Sony Cores, Elac (v 2 only), Kef Q100s (probably out of stock by now) and whatever else they may have. Remember to make sure it's a fair fight, meaning if you listen to some towers vs bookshelves, make sure the bookshelves have a sub.
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you still have the Focal Sibs? I assume not?
Sadly I don't. Wish I had kept them now. I will give a fair listen to whats out there. Some great suggestions y'all have given me and a ton to think about and research.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:06 AM
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Sadly I don't. Wish I had kept them now. I will give a fair listen to whats out there. Some great suggestions y'all have given me and a ton to think about and research.
So no Elacs to listen to?

They are usually available at BB and have received good marks on AVS as being better than the prior iteration with excellent price/value and various towers/bookshelves/centers to choose from.

For subs consider these instead of Dayton. Center and sub two most important speakers for movies.

PORTED SUBWOOFERS $600 AND BELOW, DELIVERED

NOTE: IF LOOKING AT LARGER/MORE EXPENSIVE SUBWOOFERS ADD PSA TO THE LIST OF BRANDS

ALSO, IF YOU ARE NOT AN ACTION MOVIE FAN A SUBWOOFER WITH 22-30HZ EXTENSION WOULD BE FINE

Specs are from the manufacturer unless noted otherwise.

150watts =11w18h13d= 18 lbs 8" [28hz] $199 EMOTIVA BASX S8

200watts =14w16h16d= 34 lbs 10" [27hz] $299 EMOTIVA BASX S10

350watts =15w16h17d= 40 lbs 10" [30hz] $399 RSL SPEEDWOOFER 10S, (extension from Sound & Vision review)

400watts =14w15h15d= 32 lbs 10" [25hz] $450 ELAC DEBUT 2.0 SUB3010, (extension from Sound & Vision review)
NOTE: THIS SUB HAS PHONE APP EQ FOR THE SUB

250watts =15w19h17d= 42 lbs 10" [25hz] $455 HSU VTF 1 MK3 (extension from Audioholics review)

300watts =15w19h20d= 46 lbs 10" [18hz] $499 SVS PB1000, (extension from Sound & Vision Review)

500watts =15w19h20d= 72 lbs 10" [20hz] $500 MONOPRICE MONOLITH THX 10" (out of stock till August)

300watts =16w22h21d= 69 lbs* 12" [19hz] $549 RHYTHMIK LV12R

350watts =15w21h22d= 62 lbs 12" [18hz] $607 HSU VTF2 MK5, (extension from Audioholics review)

* = shipping weight
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:53 AM
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Anyway, if you are dead set on a $500-ish budget then frankly I would just start with a center and subwoofer right now (Emotiva C1 + BasX 10), use your existing HKs for L/R speakers until you have $120 for a pair of Sony Core bookshelf speakers, keep the HK speakers for your surrounds.

Then when you want a better LCR you can push the Sony Cores to surrounds.
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:21 PM
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Then when you want a better LCR you can push the Sony Cores to surrounds.
Exactly!

~ 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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Old 08-20-2018, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Appreciate all the help guys. Adorama was running a sale on the Polk Signatures. I picked up the following:

2 x S60
2 x S20
1 x S30 (got the S35 in the bundle, but opted to purchase the S30 separately)
1 x HTS 12

https://www.adorama.com/pkults60c.ht...ce=rflaid62905

From what I read, the S20s may be overkill as surrounds. But I have options if I want to move them around in the future.
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Old 08-20-2018, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by kenncommander View Post
Appreciate all the help guys. Adorama was running a sale on the Polk Signatures. I picked up the following:

2 x S60
2 x S20
1 x S30 (got the S35 in the bundle, but opted to purchase the S30 separately)
1 x HTS 12

https://www.adorama.com/pkults60c.ht...ce=rflaid62905

From what I read, the S20s may be overkill as surrounds. But I have options if I want to move them around in the future.
AVS liked the sub.

https://www.avsforum.com/review-polk...woofer-review/
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:05 PM
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Appreciate all the help guys. Adorama was running a sale on the Polk Signatures. I picked up the following:

2 x S60
2 x S20
1 x S30 (got the S35 in the bundle, but opted to purchase the S30 separately)
1 x HTS 12

https://www.adorama.com/pkults60c.ht...ce=rflaid62905

From what I read, the S20s may be overkill as surrounds. But I have options if I want to move them around in the future.
I assume you did the 1K deal that was floating about on slickdeals?
$400 sub + $250 S20s + $230 S35 = $120 for a pair of S60 towers.

Pretty nice. And unlike their other deals, I think this time they were actually new. Although most of their past open-box deals were probably new as well.
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Old 08-24-2018, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I assume you did the 1K deal that was floating about on slickdeals?
$400 sub + $250 S20s + $230 S35 = $120 for a pair of S60 towers.

Indeed I did! Just unpackaged the S60s, S30 and HTS 12...

Serious question, did I go too far? Was the deal that spectacular? These speakers are enormous. Well at least compared to my living space. I'm hoping for the price/quality I can grow into them in the next 5-10 years (or longer), without a need to upgrade.

See what I mean:
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Last edited by kenncommander; 08-24-2018 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 08-24-2018, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by kenncommander View Post
Indeed I did! Just unpackaged the S60s, S30 and HTS 12...

Serious question, did I go too far? Was the deal that spectacular? These speakers are enormous. Well at least compared to my living space. I'm hoping for the price/quality I can grow into them in the next 5-10 years (or longer), without a need to upgrade.

See what I mean:
Seems like a nice deal to me. A decent sub alone would run you at least $400 anyway.

As for too far... nah. I have towers in my setup and I sit like 7.5' away. They may only seem enormous if you were coming from a smaller setup. Give it a couple of months, then you'll wonder if you want an extra sub or larger center. Or 7.1... or Atmos... It's kind of relative, what you get used to.

Have you tried spreading those towers out a bit further from the Tv, for more separation? I can't tell exactly by the pic, but they look sorta close together there.

Last edited by Doe Doe; 08-24-2018 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 08-24-2018, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Have you tried spreading those towers out a bit further from the Tv, for more separation? I can't tell exactly by the pic, but they look sorta close together there.
I haven't played around with positioning yet. They may be. They are 6.5' apart center to center. I just got them up and running =). To be honest, not sure what Im hearing (looking) for yet. Well, I am listening to some Thievery Corporation and Zero7.

I've run audyssey on the 3.1 setup for somewhat of a baseline. I will re-run when I get the S20s hooked up. Honestly not quite sure yet what I am looking at with the crossover/levels/size, with respect to this particular setup and room dynamics.

Ill be sure to report back with my findings and a few questions (after searching the forums/google of course). HiFi/advanced audio is a new thing for me. Trying to bone up!
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Last edited by kenncommander; 08-24-2018 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenncommander View Post
Indeed I did! Just unpackaged the S60s, S30 and HTS 12...

Serious question, did I go too far? Was the deal that spectacular? These speakers are enormous. Well at least compared to my living space. I'm hoping for the price/quality I can grow into them in the next 5-10 years (or longer), without a need to upgrade.

See what I mean:
The towers are a bit close to the wall but it doesn't look like you have the space to pull them forward much but at least they don't have a rear port.

Just set all three to small with an 80hz crossover and you should be good to go.
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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The towers are a bit close to the wall but it doesn't look like you have the space to pull them forward much but at least they don't have a rear port.
I have them arranged now according to the Golden Triangle Rule modified 80% (referenced here). I will play around with placement, maybe pushing them out to the full 9x9x9 feet.

Im curious to see how far from the wall they should be. Right now the front of the cabinets are 16.5" away from the wall at the closest part (i have them toed in, each pointed at the seam on the couch between the listening positions).

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Just set all three to small with an 80hz crossover and you should be good to go.
Audyssey set the Mains as Large and the Center as small. Since the Mains were set to Large, I could only set the crossover on the Center, which was originally set at 60 Hz. I've since set all to Small and 80 Hz.

Would the S60s and S30 not be classified as "Large" Speakers?



I unboxed the S20. This is where I say I've now gone too far, haha. These are truly meant to be bookshelf/mains. I have not the room or setup to seat them around my couch.

I will be looking for a good deal on the S10s since they have mounting holes, and are only 5.4 inches deep. It's my understanding they are more than appropriate for rear surrounds. (please correct me if I am wrong). The S15s are also mountable, but they are twice the depth and weight at ~13lbs.

I will try and sell the S20s and the S35 locally as a solid 3.0 set.
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Last edited by kenncommander; 08-25-2018 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenncommander View Post

Audyssey set the Mains as Large and the Center as small. Since the Mains were set to Large, I could only set the crossover on the Center, which was originally set at 60 Hz. I've since set all to Small and 80 Hz.

Would the S60s and S30 not be classified as "Large" Speakers?


Yes, I would have been very surprised if the S60s were set to "small" by Audyssey.

The small/large thing is a bit confusing but small basically means "I'm using a sub" while large means "no sub."

Yeah, the S20s are hardly petitie!

Enjoy.
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Last edited by gajCA; 08-25-2018 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by kenncommander View Post
I will be looking for a good deal on the S10s since they have mounting holes, and are only 5.4 inches deep. It's my understanding they are more than appropriate for rear surrounds. (please correct me if I am wrong). The S15s are also mountable, but they are twice the depth and weight at ~13lbs.

I will try and sell the S20s and the S35 locally as a solid 3.0 set.
Audyssey likes to set most left/right speakers as large (sometimes even centers). As stated, it doesn't mean you should leave it at that though. Even towers usually should be set as small.

If you have need of a second setup, you almost have all the parts. Buy a cheapo setup on CL for like $50-$75, you'd probably get enough to make 2 surround systems out of it.

One tip when selling (if on CL), doesn't hurt to list each item separately plus make an ad for all in a group. Someone out there may just want 2.0 or need a center.
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