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-   -   3.1 System Recommendations for $1200 or less (Polk / Elac / Chane) (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/3089776-3-1-system-recommendations-1200-less-polk-elac-chane.html)

thinkthis 09-09-2019 02:56 PM

3.1 System Recommendations for $1200 or less (Polk / Elac / Chane)
 
I'm helping my parents put together a new 3.1 system for home theater / music use. It will go in a family room that's about 16x20 with vaulted ceilings that runs alongside a kitchen area that's another 16x15 or so. My mom doesn't want tower speakers but is down for a bookshelf speaker on a stand.

I've done a fair amount of research here, reddit, Wirecutter, etc. and I'm down to a few options and I'm curious what people on here would do with aprox $500-1000 for the LCR and $300-500 for the sub (cheaper the LCR the more I can spend on the sub obv) and these requirements. This thread is only about the LCR, but you can assume a decent 300-500 watt RMS sub. Oh, I have a Yamaha 685 powering this setup (90W per channel).

Cheapest system (Polk Signature):
LR: Polk Signature S15 - $170
C: Polk Signature S35 - $200
Total - $370
Pros - Amazing value, looks great, small

Cons - Weaker speakers

The Popular Kid (Elac Debut 2.0):
LR: Debut 2.0 6.2: $300 (although these have gone as low as $150 during last Christmas)
C: Debut 2.0: $280
Total - $580
Pros - Amazing value, will fill the living room / kitchen more easily than Polk system

Cons - Look like butt. People say these are power hungry - is a 90 watt per channel amp good enough to get the most out of them?

Dark Horse (Chane)
LCR: Chane A2.4 x 3 - $945 (after shipping and bundle discount) EDIT: or maybe Chane A1.4 x 2 with A2.4 Center, which is about $750.
Total: $945
Pros: Good value, best treble audio?


Cons - Looks like butt. Large. Most expensive.

I'm leaning toward the Chane because I'm obsessed with clear highs and I feel like the Chane planar leaf tweeter can't possibly be beaten by the other two on this front, but I'm not sure it's worth the price and size. I know audio is entirely subjective, but I'm curious what you guys would do for a 3.1 system made of bookshelf speakers where you spend less than $1k on the 3.0 portion. This is going to be 85% movies and 15% music.

Russdawg1 09-09-2019 03:18 PM

You’ll want phenomenal subwoofers if you watch 85% movies.

Something like the Ascend CBM170’s which are about half the price of the A2.4’s will do just as good, are just as efficient, and will have just as clear highs.

That leaves almost $800 for the subs.

100% get the HSU VTF3 MK5 sub which is on sale.

thinkthis 09-09-2019 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Russdawg1 (Post 58535054)
You’ll want phenomenal subwoofers if you watch 85% movies.

Something like the Ascend CBM170’s which are about half the price of the A2.4’s will do just as good, are just as efficient, and will have just as clear highs.

That leaves almost $800 for the subs.

100% get the HSU VTF3 MK5 sub which is on sale.

I get the value of a good sub - but do you really think those Ascend speakers are in the same class as a Chane A2.4? I definitely like the smaller size and lower price, but I don't see how that's possible.

Russdawg1 09-09-2019 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thinkthis (Post 58535090)
I get the value of a good sub - but do you really think those Ascend speakers are in the same class as a Chane A2.4? I definitely like the smaller size and lower price, but I don't see how that's possible.


The equivalent to the A2.4 is the Ascend CMT340. Compare those.

I was saying you don’t need the extra woofer as the sensitivity increase isn’t all that great and they will sound the same.

Ascend CBM170’s compare to Chane’s A1.4.

thinkthis 09-09-2019 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Russdawg1 (Post 58535102)
The equivalent to the A2.4 is the Ascend CMT340. Compare those.

I was saying you don’t need the extra woofer as the sensitivity increase isn’t all that great and they will sound the same.

Ascend CBM170’s compare to Chane’s A1.4.

I've seen people argue it both ways for home theater use - getting smaller speakers and investing more in a decent sub vs widening the sound stage for the 80-100 hz stuff and putting less burden on the sub. My parents aren't blasting Terminator 4 at 100db or anything. That being said - I really appreciate your thoughts - I hadn't even looked at Ascend as a possibility. Is there a reason you like this over the Elac 2.0 or even the Chane A1.4?

Lp85253 09-09-2019 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thinkthis (Post 58535118)
I've seen people argue it both ways for home theater use - getting smaller speakers and investing more in a decent sub vs widening the sound stage for the 80-100 hz stuff and putting less burden on the sub. My parents aren't blasting Terminator 4 at 100db or anything. That being said - I really appreciate your thoughts - I hadn't even looked at Ascend as a possibility. Is there a reason you like this over the Elac 2.0 or even the Chane A1.4?

the chanes may sound a little smoother for music , but the ascends will be every bit as good in ht, i'm listening to the cbm 170 se's right now(music) , and i'll kiss your rear end if the chanes "outclass" the ascends.. take a look at the reviews..;)

Russdawg1 09-09-2019 04:06 PM

3.1 System Recommendations for $1200 or less (Polk / Elac / Chane)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by thinkthis (Post 58535118)
I've seen people argue it both ways for home theater use - getting smaller speakers and investing more in a decent sub vs widening the sound stage for the 80-100 hz stuff and putting less burden on the sub. My parents aren't blasting Terminator 4 at 100db or anything. That being said - I really appreciate your thoughts - I hadn't even looked at Ascend as a possibility. Is there a reason you like this over the Elac 2.0 or even the Chane A1.4?


Well I’ll start out by saying I own the CMT340’s.

Next, you can compare the specs of them all. The Ascends have the flattest listening window (flat = neutral, and neutral speakers score better in blind tests). The efficiency is higher than both (takes less power to make them reach similar spl levels leaving headroom and lowering amplifier distortion).

And they have higher power handling if you wanted to run them at higher levels.

But the reason I suggested the CBM170’s is simply because a proper sub is everything! If you bought the Chane A2.4 set you’d be stuck with a measly 10” sub.

You’ll get greater satisfaction out of a great sub and okay speakers than an okay sub and great speakers in home theater. This is not to say the Ascends are okay, they are phenomenal.

And as a side note, Ascend builds their speakers here in the US in Southern California, Chane in China.

zieglj01 09-09-2019 08:13 PM

I would aim for the Chanes

thinkthis 09-11-2019 12:26 AM

As an update I ordered the Chane A1.5 x 2 and A2.4 x 1 for the LCR and per someone's recommendation here (and good reviews all over) the VTF-3 MK5 HP for the sub. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm very curious to see if those Chane's can fill the massive space of the open floor plan. We shall see.

RayGuy 09-11-2019 12:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thinkthis (Post 58541454)
As an update I ordered the Chane A1.5 x 2 and A2.4 x 1 for the LCR and per someone's recommendation here (and good reviews all over) the VTF-3 MK5 HP for the sub. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm very curious to see if those Chane's can fill the massive space of the open floor plan. We shall see.

Massive open floorplan argues more for the A5.4s. If the 1.4s can't fill the place, then move them to surrounds and get the 5.4s.

Russdawg1 09-11-2019 12:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayGuy (Post 58541464)
Massive open floorplan argues more for the A5.4s. If the 1.4s can't fill the place, then move them to surrounds and get the 5.4s.


84.5dB sensitivity! Geez.

thinkthis 09-11-2019 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RayGuy (Post 58541464)
Massive open floorplan argues more for the A5.4s. If the 1.4s can't fill the place, then move them to surrounds and get the 5.4s.

I was told no tower speakers allowed. The A2.4s were pushing it so I even cut back to the A1.5s. Fingers crossed.

RayGuy 09-11-2019 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Russdawg1 (Post 58541466)
84.5dB sensitivity! Geez.


;)

Lp85253 09-11-2019 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thinkthis (Post 58542924)
I was told no tower speakers allowed. The A2.4s were pushing it so I even cut back to the A1.5s. Fingers crossed.

the 2.4's may be a better fit(sound wise) ,, the ascends have better sensitivity as well , best of luck , i hope the 1.5's work well:)

gajCA 09-11-2019 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thinkthis (Post 58534956)
I'm helping my parents put together a new 3.1 system for home theater / music use. It will go in a family room that's about 16x20 with vaulted ceilings that runs alongside a kitchen area that's another 16x15 or so. My mom doesn't want tower speakers but is down for a bookshelf speaker on a stand.



I'm leaning toward the Chane because I'm obsessed with clear highs and I feel like the Chane planar leaf tweeter can't possibly be beaten by the other two on this front, but I'm not sure it's worth the price and size. I know audio is entirely subjective, but I'm curious what you guys would do for a 3.1 system made of bookshelf speakers where you spend less than $1k on the 3.0 portion. This is going to be 85% movies and 15% music.

How about a 3.1 system with free return shipping if not happy?

Only downside is that the subwoofer won't be available again until October.

https://rslspeakers.com/products/new...heater-system/

smithsabom 09-11-2019 12:05 PM

don't forget to post your impressions!

gajCA 09-11-2019 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thinkthis (Post 58542924)
I was told no tower speakers allowed. The A2.4s were pushing it so I even cut back to the A1.5s. Fingers crossed.

Chanes are a solid choice.

thinkthis 09-11-2019 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smithsabom (Post 58543646)
don't forget to post your impressions!

I will! I just have to wait now. Booo waiting.

WOKNROX 09-12-2019 09:15 AM

The HSU MK15HP is a great sub. You're gonna love it..!

I run two of them in my theater and they play very nicely with the Rythmik FV25HP I have the the theater as well.

Keep us posted...

thinkthis 09-16-2019 03:27 PM

The SUB is here! It's ridiculously big compared to any other sub I have bought or used (I personally use a GoldenEar SuperSub X, primarily due to WAF). My mom raised her eyebrows when she saw it, but I told her we were going to stick it behind the couch where you won't really see it. Some quick demos tell me that it hits freaking hard. I giggled. The Chane speakers get here on Wednesday and - sadly - the speaker stands get here on Friday. Once I have the bookshelves on stands I will run the Yamaha YPAO and post some final impressions.


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