Looking for Guidance on Front Speakers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-23-2019, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Looking for Guidance on Front Speakers

Hi all. We are moving into a new place in a few weeks and I am trying to figure what speakers to put in the front of our home theater setup. The room is not especially big -- maybe 15x15, and it opens up into our dining area. Like many posters on these fora, I have certain domestic constraints that limit my ability to go all out. As a result, I am focusing on bookshelf speakers, preferably that I can wall mount, or possibly place on top of a TV stand on either side of a center channel. I am not too worried about the rear surrounds. They have to be white, and they can be relatively inexpensive. The TV will be wall mounted, so the TV stand will have an unobstructed top for speaker placement.

My current setup is as follows:

Samsung 65" Q6F
Yamaha RX-A550 or Onkyo TX-NR646 (this is in the exercise area currently)
F/R Cambridge Soundworks Newton MC150s
Center Cambridge Soundworks Newton MC300
Rear Surrounds Cambridge Soundworks Newton S100s
Subwoofer Cambridge Soundworks BassCube 8

All of the speakers date to around 2003. They are fine, but they feel tired and underwhelming. I don't particularly care for the subwoofer.

I think I will go with a Dayton Audio Sub 1200. For the room, and my needs, that feels more than adequate.

The speakers are a different story. I am all over the place. These are the ones I am considering:

-Canton Plus GXL.3
-ELAC Debut 2.0 5.2
-QAcoustics 3020
-Wharfedale Diamond 10.1
-NHT SuperOne 2.1
-Boston Acoustics A26

For the Center speaker, I would use a center speaker that corresponds with the F/R.

All of these speakers are relatively similar price points, plus or minus $50. Do people have any thoughts on these? Are there other speakers you might also recommend? I have scoured Craigslist and Facebook and not seen anything overwhelming. Someone has a pair of used ELAC Debut B6 for $250, but I am thinking the B6 is overkill for my situation, and also not a great price.

I appreciate any guidance you guys may have.
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-23-2019, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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An addendum to my prior post. There is also a set of Emotiva B1s and C1 for $400 that is available near me.
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-23-2019, 09:52 AM
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Yeah, add Emotiva and Chane to the list ...

You have been living with a very warm set of speakers for a long time, so your ears are going to need some time to adjust to newer, more open, speakers. Have you done any listening? If so, anything appeal, or not?

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post #4 of 19 Old 05-23-2019, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Emotiva is also on my list. As I mentioned, there is someone selling them near me. I haven't heard most of the speakers I identified. I have heard the Boston Acoustics and some "higher end" Polks and midlevel Klipsch. I had also been using a set of JBL LX500s for several years, which I liked at the time, but they are shot. And those were used more for music than home theater.
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post #5 of 19 Old 05-23-2019, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian381 View Post
Emotiva is also on my list. As I mentioned, there is someone selling them near me. I haven't heard most of the speakers I identified. I have heard the Boston Acoustics and some "higher end" Polks and midlevel Klipsch. I had also been using a set of JBL LX500s for several years, which I liked at the time, but they are shot. And those were used more for music than home theater.
This might be a better sub choice.

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...s-black/1.html
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-24-2019, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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[quote=gajCA;58089088]This might be a better sub choice.



Thanks. I assume 10" is plenty for a small space?


Any thoughts on ELAC vs Emotiva?
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-24-2019, 09:35 AM
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[quote=Yossarian381;58093378]
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
This might be a better sub choice.



Thanks. I assume 10" is plenty for a small space?


Any thoughts on ELAC vs Emotiva?
Yes, a 10" 100 watt ported sub with 250 watt peak power should be fine in a small space when your budget is under $200.

Many fans of both Elac and Emotiva though the original Debut Elacs received more criticism than the newer Elac 2.0 Debut series.

Quite a few found the original Elac Debuts to be a bit too "warm" and not detailed enough.

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post #8 of 19 Old 05-24-2019, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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[quote=gajCA;58093416]
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Originally Posted by Yossarian381 View Post

Yes, a 10" 100 watt ported sub with 250 watt peak power should be fine in a small space when your budget is under $200.

Many fans of both Elac and Emotiva though the original Debut Elacs received more criticism than the newer Elac 2.0 Debut series.

Quite a few found the original Elac Debuts to be a bit too "warm" and not detailed enough.

Thanks. There is a person selling a HSU VTF-2 for $350. I know it is a good deal, but in a 15 x 15 room, will it be overkill, particularly with ELACs, Emotivas or similar speakers?
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-24-2019, 10:19 AM
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[quote=Yossarian381;58093560]
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post


Thanks. There is a person selling a HSU VTF-2 for $350. I know it is a good deal, but in a 15 x 15 room, will it be overkill, particularly with ELACs, Emotivas or similar speakers?
How old is the VTF2?

If under 5 years old that seems like a great deal and it will be fine in a room your size unless the cabinet is too darned big. =15w21h22d=

It has various EQ settings to "tune" the sub to your room which is great.

Here's the size of the Boston Acoustics sub: (H x W x D) 14-1/16 x 14-11/16 x 16-3/8”

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post #10 of 19 Old 05-24-2019, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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[quote=gajCA;58093612]
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Originally Posted by Yossarian381 View Post

How old is the VTF2?

If under 5 years old that seems like a great deal and it will be fine in a room your size unless the cabinet is too darned big. =15w21h22d=

It has various EQ settings to "tune" the sub to your room which is great.

Here's the size of the Boston Acoustics sub: (H x W x D) 14-1/16 x 14-11/16 x 16-3/8”
At least 5 years old, but "hardly used."
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post #11 of 19 Old 05-24-2019, 10:42 AM
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[quote=Yossarian381;58093560]
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post


Thanks. There is a person selling a HSU VTF-2 for $350. I know it is a good deal, but in a 15 x 15 room, will it be overkill, particularly with ELACs, Emotivas or similar speakers?
Not overkill. You can control how much output you want. The various tuning options make it ideal for both music and movies. Just make sure it's in good condition and nothing rattles at higher volume. If everything checks out and the sub is only a few years old, It's a reasonable asking price, though you can always offer him less to see if he bites.
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post #12 of 19 Old 05-24-2019, 10:52 AM
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[quote=Yossarian381;58093696]
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post

At least 5 years old, but "hardly used."
I've never had a sub amp fail within 9 years but you might want to start a thread in the AVS Subwoofer section titled "how long has your HSU VTF2 amp lasted" or something like that.

I'd also call HSU so you are aware how much an amp repair or replacement would cost.

Good luck.

BTW, my sister in law has the first version of the HSU VTF1 and it might be 10 years old, if not older, and it's still going strong.

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post #13 of 19 Old 05-24-2019, 11:59 AM
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The VTF is a monster in a good way
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post #14 of 19 Old 05-24-2019, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I was able to get new, open box Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 for $185 all in.

Now to negotiate for the subwoofer.

Question on the center channel. Is that much more compelling to go with the Debut 2.0 C6.2 as opposed to the Debut 2.0 C5.2?
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post #15 of 19 Old 05-24-2019, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian381 View Post
I was able to get new, open box Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 for $185 all in.

Now to negotiate for the subwoofer.

Question on the center channel. Is that much more compelling to go with the Debut 2.0 C6.2 as opposed to the Debut 2.0 C5.2?
If you have space for the 6.2 go with the 6.2. The center is the workhorse of an HT setup carrying most of the dialogue.

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post #16 of 19 Old 05-24-2019, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian381 View Post
I was able to get new, open box Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 for $185 all in.

Now to negotiate for the subwoofer.

Question on the center channel. Is that much more compelling to go with the Debut 2.0 C6.2 as opposed to the Debut 2.0 C5.2?
Assuming you have the space to fit the larger center by all means go for it.

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post #17 of 19 Old 05-25-2019, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Assuming you have the space to fit the larger center by all means go for it.

I have the space if I get a wide enough TV stand. The Head of Domestic Relations has decreed that any front speakers shall be required to sit on the top of the TV stand. It's not ideal, but I can do that and still have some spacing between the speakers as I only have 80 inches to work with total, and can get a 70-74 inch width TV stand.

Also, the guy selling the HSU will take $300 for it. Assuming it still sounds as it should, that is a solid price, even if it is 5-10 years old?
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post #18 of 19 Old 05-25-2019, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Yossarian381 View Post
I have the space if I get a wide enough TV stand. The Head of Domestic Relations has decreed that any front speakers shall be required to sit on the top of the TV stand. It's not ideal, but I can do that and still have some spacing between the speakers as I only have 80 inches to work with total, and can get a 70-74 inch width TV stand.

Also, the guy selling the HSU will take $300 for it. Assuming it still sounds as it should, that is a solid price, even if it is 5-10 years old?
Ask in the sub section how long their VTF2s have lasted with the original amp and how much it cost to repair if it failed and then decide.

$300 sounds like a lot when $400 buys you a brand new RSL subwoofer that likely will sound just as good to most people.

Yes, a new VTF2 is worth the extra $200 vs the RSL for those wanting more bass or have larger rooms but a used sub that is over 5 years old should be less than half the cost of a new one IMHO.

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post #19 of 19 Old 05-25-2019, 10:36 PM
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Nothing worse than having an underwhelming sub.

Get the HSU and forget about the lesser subs. You will be really glad you did.

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