Is it worth upgrading my front speakers from one woofer to two woofer speakers? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 34 Old 04-14-2019, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Is it worth upgrading my front speakers from one woofer to two woofer speakers?

This is my current speaker setup:


Front: Polk Audio Monitor30 Series II
Center: Polk Audio CS1 Series II
Surrounds: Dayton Audio B652



I was thinking of retiring the Dayton Audio speakers, then moving the Polk Audio Monitor 30s to the rear and then buying the Polk Audio Monitor40 Series II speakers for my new front speakers. The monitor 40s have the same drivers as the 30s, only they have one extra woofer.


Does anyone feel this is worth the upgrade? Will the sound be significantly better with the extra woofers? The Monitor 40s cost $150 and I wanted to ask and make sure this is a worthwhile upgrade before making the purchase.

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post #2 of 34 Old 04-14-2019, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHT View Post
This is my current speaker setup:


Front: Polk Audio Monitor30 Series II
Center: Polk Audio CS1 Series II
Surrounds: Dayton Audio B652



I was thinking of retiring the Dayton Audio speakers, then moving the Polk Audio Monitor 30s to the rear and then buying the Polk Audio Monitor40 Series II speakers for my new front speakers. The monitor 40s have the same drivers as the 30s, only they have one extra woofer.


Does anyone feel this is worth the upgrade? Will the sound be significantly better with the extra woofers? The Monitor 40s cost $150 and I wanted to ask and make sure this is a worthwhile upgrade before making the purchase.
Paradigm indicates you get 7hz better bass extension down to 47hz so without a subwoofer perhaps you'd notice.

With a subwoofer in play you would not notice the deeper extension but the overall surround effect and system dynamics would improve with the Dayton Audios out of the picture.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #3 of 34 Old 04-14-2019, 12:41 PM
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Are you not using a subwoofer? If not, I think I would first invest in a decent subwoofer, which will make a bigger impact than swapping the Monitor 30's for the 40's. I used to own the Monitor 40 SII speakers and they will give you a small bump in bass output over the Monitor 30 SII. Might be a better idea to get a more substantial upgrade when and if budget allows. The Polk Signature line would be a substantial move up in overall sound quality.

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post #4 of 34 Old 04-14-2019, 01:38 PM
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I would save up for a real upgrade
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post #5 of 34 Old 04-14-2019, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHT View Post
This is my current speaker setup:


Front: Polk Audio Monitor30 Series II
Center: Polk Audio CS1 Series II
Surrounds: Dayton Audio B652



I was thinking of retiring the Dayton Audio speakers, then moving the Polk Audio Monitor 30s to the rear and then buying the Polk Audio Monitor40 Series II speakers for my new front speakers. The monitor 40s have the same drivers as the 30s, only they have one extra woofer.


Does anyone feel this is worth the upgrade? Will the sound be significantly better with the extra woofers? The Monitor 40s cost $150 and I wanted to ask and make sure this is a worthwhile upgrade before making the purchase.
As mentioned above adding a good sub(s) would be more beneficial than upgrading the fronts. If you already have a decent sub in the mix and assuming it's properly placed and setup, switching to towers will improve dynamics and have a little more presence. You'd also gain a few decibels in SPL potential.

For a more noticeable upgrade, moving up to the S or RTIA series maybe more noticeable in terms of sound quality. That said, going this route would be a little more expensive.

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post #6 of 34 Old 04-14-2019, 03:08 PM
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I also agree a sub is a better upgrade but many years ago I actually compared the Monitor 30's to Monitor 40's so I can share my experience. I was mainly doing it to compare a 2 way TM to an MTM style speaker since they use the same drivers. With a sub in the mix, I actually preferred the monitor 30s, they just had a more natural presentation. Of course the Monitor 40's can play a bit louder and probably have a bit more output in the bass but MTM style speakers don't really sound as natural to me as a normal 2-way, due to the more limited vertical dispersion would be my guess.
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post #7 of 34 Old 04-14-2019, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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To answer everyone's question, yes, I have a good subwoofer already.... at least, to me, I think my subwoofer is pretty good. I have no problem with the sound of my current setup, I was just wondering if I could make it sound even better if I had a complete Polk Audio set of speakers instead of having nice Polk speakers in front and the mediocro Daytons in the back. But to spend $150 just to update the rears and have a slight upgrade in the fronts might not be worth it. Like I said, I think everything sounds good as it is already so if the upgrade is not significant, then I'll pass on this and save the $150.
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post #8 of 34 Old 04-14-2019, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHT View Post
To answer everyone's question, yes, I have a good subwoofer already.... at least, to me, I think my subwoofer is pretty good. I have no problem with the sound of my current setup, I was just wondering if I could make it sound even better if I had a complete Polk Audio set of speakers instead of having nice Polk speakers in front and the mediocro Daytons in the back. But to spend $150 just to update the rears and have a slight upgrade in the fronts might not be worth it. Like I said, I think everything sounds good as it is already so if the upgrade is not significant, then I'll pass on this and save the $150.
If you do a lot of gaming and multi channel music, having matching surrounds is more critical since the surrounds are much more active for those applications. For TV/HT having matching surrounds will help create a more cohesive soundstage and larger fronts will also add better dynamics. At $150 for the pair, I think it's a reasonable upgrade if you're happy with everything else. You could even get them for less if it's from a private seller.

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post #9 of 34 Old 04-14-2019, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHT View Post
To answer everyone's question, yes, I have a good subwoofer already.... at least, to me, I think my subwoofer is pretty good.

What sub are you running?

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post #10 of 34 Old 04-15-2019, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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What sub are you running?

Boston Acoustics CSSUB10B


I'm sure that's nothing compared to what all of you audiophiles have, but that sub packs enough punch for me since I live in a small apartment.
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post #11 of 34 Old 04-15-2019, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHT View Post
To answer everyone's question, yes, I have a good subwoofer already.... at least, to me, I think my subwoofer is pretty good. I have no problem with the sound of my current setup, I was just wondering if I could make it sound even better if I had a complete Polk Audio set of speakers instead of having nice Polk speakers in front and the mediocro Daytons in the back. But to spend $150 just to update the rears and have a slight upgrade in the fronts might not be worth it. Like I said, I think everything sounds good as it is already so if the upgrade is not significant, then I'll pass on this and save the $150.
Having an all Polk setup will give you more dynamics in surround sound than the "decent enough but don't like to play loud" Dayton Audios that I once bought on a lark and passed on to another AVS member.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #12 of 34 Old 04-15-2019, 11:21 AM
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Having an all Polk setup will give you more dynamics in surround sound than the "decent enough but don't like to play loud" Dayton Audios that I once bought on a lark and passed on to another AVS member.
Well, the Polk Monitor 30 Series II are spec'd to about 6dB higher on dynamics than the Dayton B652, but that's not even twice as loud.

If 103-109dB dynamics from each surround somehow isn't enough, then you probably should move up from little bookshelf speakers with dome tweeters. The Monoprice Stage Right 15" passive PA speaker is a heck of a bargain, gets you a 97dB sensitivity and handles 500W RMS. You may even prefer them as the main speakers!

Diysoundgroup has many excellent choices for main and surround speakers, most with both high sensitivity and power handling for dynamics.

I think surrounds see harsher duty when playing high-volume music than during movies or games.

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post #13 of 34 Old 04-15-2019, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by fill35U View Post
Well, the Polk Monitor 30 Series II are spec'd to about 6dB higher on dynamics than the Dayton B652, but that's not even twice as loud.

If 103-109dB dynamics from each surround somehow isn't enough, then you probably should move up from little bookshelf speakers with dome tweeters. The Monoprice Stage Right 15" passive PA speaker is a heck of a bargain, gets you a 97dB sensitivity and handles 500W RMS. You may even prefer them as the main speakers!

Diysoundgroup has many excellent choices for main and surround speakers, most with both high sensitivity and power handling for dynamics.

I think surrounds see harsher duty when playing high-volume music than during movies or games.
+6db is a significant difference.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #14 of 34 Old 05-31-2020, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I'm resurrecting the thread because my subwoofer died and rather than replace it, I've decide to just upgrade and order the Polk Audio Monitor 40 speakers. I really think it's time I upgrade my speaker system to 100% Polk Audio speakers and ditch those cheap Dayton Audio speakers that I currently have as my rear speakers. Considering I built this home theater back in 2011, it's a miracle that the Monitor 40s are still available for purchase. That way, I can upgrade my speakers and still have all matching drivers, which is great!



I live in an apartment and having a subwoofer on the floor has always made me uneasy. Because of that, I've never really pushed my sub to its limits as I don't want to disturb anyone. If I had my own house, a subwoofer would be great! But considering that I live in a shared living space, my conscience tells me to forget about replacing the sub.
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post #15 of 34 Old 05-31-2020, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MrHT View Post
Ok, I'm resurrecting the thread because my subwoofer died and rather than replace it, I've decide to just upgrade and order the Polk Audio Monitor 40 speakers. I really think it's time I upgrade my speaker system to 100% Polk Audio speakers and ditch those cheap Dayton Audio speakers that I currently have as my rear speakers. Considering I built this home theater back in 2011, it's a miracle that the Monitor 40s are still available for purchase. That way, I can upgrade my speakers and still have all matching drivers, which is great!
The M40s will be fine as L/R speakers, but if you get one of those "matching" CS2/10/20 Polk centers, make sure you get an easy return policy. They are the second most complained about center speakers on this forum, after the Pioneer AJ center.

What is your total upgrade budget?

~ 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 #16 of 34 Old 05-31-2020, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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The M40s will be fine as L/R speakers, but if you get one of those "matching" CS2/10/20 Polk centers, make sure you get an easy return policy. They are the second most complained about center speakers on this forum, after the Pioneer AJ center.

What is your total upgrade budget?

I already own the Polk Audio CS1 Series II speakers. I posted my speakers on the first post of this thread. I've been very happy with that center speaker. The M40s have the same drivers as my other Polk speakers. With the M40s replacing my Dayton speakers, I now will have a full matching set of speakers.
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post #17 of 34 Old 05-31-2020, 07:52 PM
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I already own the Polk Audio CS1 Series II speakers. I posted my speakers on the first post of this thread. I've been very happy with that center speaker.
Sorry, don't know how I missed that...never mind then, and happy listening!

~ 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 #18 of 34 Old 06-01-2020, 09:47 AM
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I already own the Polk Audio CS1 Series II speakers. I posted my speakers on the first post of this thread. I've been very happy with that center speaker. The M40s have the same drivers as my other Polk speakers. With the M40s replacing my Dayton speakers, I now will have a full matching set of speakers.
My sister in law has that center and it gets a bad rap on AVS and, indeed it sounded terrible because Audyssey had set it to "large" with a 40hz crossover to the sub.

Changing that to "small" with an 80hz crossover made a huge difference so even though you will NOT be running a sub you might want to set it to "small" with an 80hz crossover to the front speakers.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #19 of 34 Old 06-01-2020, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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My sister in law has that center and it gets a bad rap on AVS and, indeed it sounded terrible because Audyssey had set it to "large" with a 40hz crossover to the sub.

Changing that to "small" with an 80hz crossover made a huge difference so even though you will NOT be running a sub you might want to set it to "small" with an 80hz crossover to the front speakers.

The center is set to small. The only ones set to large are the fronts. I left the crossover to default at 100 hz. Is that ok?


By the way, I ordered the Monitor 40s from Amazon and they should arrive by the end of the week. So, the 40s will soon be the ones to bear the LFE sound since I will be moving the 30s to the rear and the rears are set to small. The 40s are the exact same drivers as the CS1 center so all three front speakers should sound identical.
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post #20 of 34 Old 06-01-2020, 01:33 PM
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The center is set to small. The only ones set to large are the fronts. I left the crossover to default at 100 hz. Is that ok?


By the way, I ordered the Monitor 40s from Amazon and they should arrive by the end of the week. So, the 40s will soon be the ones to bear the LFE sound since I will be moving the 30s to the rear and the rears are set to small.

The 40s are the exact same drivers as the CS1 center so all three front speakers should sound identical.
Actually, no. The only way for the front 3 to sound IDENTICAL is to have a 3rd M40 as your center *and* standing up so that the 3 tweeters are aligned. THAT is the only real "timbre matching" under the sun.

The notion that a HORIZONTAL center is going to "timbre match" with vertical L/R speakers just because they are from the same brand & have the same drivers, is nothing more than an industry sales pitch, which gets endlessly regurgitated by alleged "experts" including payola-driven "professional" reviewers.

Personally, I would spend the $180 that Amazon charges for a pair of M40s on a budget sub, even a $180-200 one like the BIC F12. Even a starter sub like that is better than no sub at all, if you watch a lot of blockbuster action movies.

~ 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 #21 of 34 Old 06-01-2020, 01:36 PM
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The below are what true "timbre matching" looks like.
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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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post #22 of 34 Old 06-01-2020, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually, no. The only way for the front 3 to sound IDENTICAL is to have a 3rd M40 as your center *and* standing up so that the 3 tweeters are aligned. THAT is the only real "timbre matching" under the sun.

The notion that a HORIZONTAL center is going to "timbre match" with vertical L/R speakers just because they are from the same brand & have the same drivers, is nothing more than an industry sales pitch, which gets endlessly regurgitated by alleged "experts" including payola-driven "professional" reviewers.

Personally, I would spend the $180 that Amazon charges for a pair of M40s on a budget sub, even a $180-200 one like the BIC F12. Even a starter sub like that is better than no sub at all, if you watch a lot of blockbuster action movies.

I'm actually surprised how "identical" the M30s sound along with the CS1 considering that the CS1 has one extra woofer compared to the 30s.



Having said that, I'm also happy with the bass the 30s produce when I set my fronts to Large. I'm kind of wondering if ordering the 40s is really necessary. I'm debating about cancelling my order. But then again, I'm thinking it's time to retire my Dayton Audio speakers. I've had them for 10 years already. Hmm, decisions decisions...

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post #23 of 34 Old 06-01-2020, 02:30 PM
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The center is set to small. The only ones set to large are the fronts. I left the crossover to default at 100 hz. Is that ok?


By the way, I ordered the Monitor 40s from Amazon and they should arrive by the end of the week. So, the 40s will soon be the ones to bear the LFE sound since I will be moving the 30s to the rear and the rears are set to small. The 40s are the exact same drivers as the CS1 center so all three front speakers should sound identical.
Yes, 100hz is fine.

I think having the center from the same family is your best move unless it sucks, not just from a sound standpoint, but from an aesthetic one as well.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #24 of 34 Old 06-01-2020, 02:31 PM
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I'm actually surprised how "identical" the M30s sound along with the CS1 considering that the CS1 has one extra woofer compared to the 30s.



Having said that, I'm also happy with the bass the 30s produce when I set my fronts to Large. I'm kind of wondering if ordering the 40s is really necessary. I'm debating about cancelling my order. But then again, I'm thinking it's time to retire my Dayton Audio speakers. I've had them for 10 years already. Hmm, decisions decisions...
All matching is best at resale time...and will be better in the meantime for you as well.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #25 of 34 Old 06-01-2020, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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All matching is best at resale time...and will be better in the meantime for you as well.

Thanks, I'll keep my order. Considering that I bought my Polk speakers over 9 years ago, it's a miracle that I can still find a matching set of speakers to upgrade my home theater. I might as well complete the set now while Polk still makes them. And honestly, I've always felt uneasy having Polk speakers in the front and Daytons in the rear. Just doesn't look right.
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post #26 of 34 Old 06-01-2020, 03:16 PM
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Having said that, I'm also happy with the bass the 30s produce when I set my fronts to Large.
No comparison to how much better the 30s will sound when they're crossed over to a sub, ANY sub---sending the 80Hz and under frequencies to the sub will clean them up and open them up significantly. If you've never had a sub, you simply have nothing to compare with.

For HT, I would take say, a $300 sub with a $200 pair of bookshelves, over a $2000 pair of towers and no sub, any day.

~ 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 #27 of 34 Old 06-01-2020, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
No comparison to how much better the 30s will sound when they're crossed over to a sub, ANY sub---sending the 80Hz and under frequencies to the sub will clean them up and open them up significantly. If you've never had a sub, you simply have nothing to compare with.

For HT, I would take say, a $300 sub with a $200 pair of bookshelves, over a $2000 pair of towers and no sub, any day.

I had a sub, but it broke a few days ago. It was great, but it vibrates the floor that I was always cringing at the fact that neighbors could be knocking on my door any minute complaining. Even if your turn down the volume, some action movies have some really heavy bass in them that the booming and vibration is just unavoidable.


Having said all of that, let me cancel my order from Amazon and sleep on this for a couple of days and decide. Not sure if spending $200 is worth the slight upgrade in the front speakers. The rears rarely get used much in movies that replacing the Daytons is not really all that necessary.
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post #28 of 34 Old 06-01-2020, 03:44 PM
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I had a sub, but it broke a few days ago. It was great, but it vibrates the floor that I was always cringing at the fact that neighbors could be knocking on my door any minute complaining. Even if your turn down the volume, some action movies have some really heavy bass in them that the booming and vibration is just unavoidable.


Having said all of that, let me cancel my order from Amazon and sleep on this for a couple of days and decide. Not sure if spending $200 is worth the slight upgrade in the front speakers. The rears rarely get used much in movies that replacing the Daytons is not really all that necessary.
The front L/R are mainly used for theme music and any front spatial effects. 70-80% of the HT output comes out of the center speaker, so logically THAT is where an upgrade would yield the most dramatic and noticeable results.

What make/model was the old sub?

~ 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 #29 of 34 Old 06-01-2020, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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The front L/R are mainly used for theme music and any front spatial effects. 70-80% of the HT output comes out of the center speaker, so logically THAT is where an upgrade would yield the most dramatic and noticeable results.

What make/model was the old sub?

Boston Acoustics CSSUB10B
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post #30 of 34 Old 06-01-2020, 04:56 PM
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Boston Acoustics CSSUB10B
Ah, downfiring...wonder if something like a SubDude pad might've helped. Plus, speaker companies usually don't make great subs.

In any case, I'd definitely invest in a good sub---preferably front firing and either front or rear ported. Expect to spend $400-600 depending on room size.

There is a popular misconception that subs are a bad idea in any non-detached housing. Not true at all, in my experience: every sub has a "gain" knob on the back. I used to live in an apartment with paper-thin walls, ceilings and floors, where you could easily hear neighbors fighting or having sex. Had neighbors across the hall, next to me, above and below me too. When I moved out five years later, they were all shocked to see me lugging a 65lb sub. They could hear my music (usually at moderate volumes, so never had any complaints) but never guessed that there was a sub in use the whole time!
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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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