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post #1 of 13 Old Today, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Help with speaker choice!

Hi,

I wish to upgrade my speaker set, in particular my front stage. Right now I have a setup that goes like this:

Equipment
Front right and left: Polk R150s (on speaker stands)
Center and surrounds: Polk RM8
Presence (front height): Polk OWM3 (top of the wall)
Sub: Yamaha YST-SW012
AVR: Yamaha RX-V675 (7.1)
TV: LG OLED B7 55 in

Room
Room is 13 x 14 feet, see attached diagram for layout. If you are confused by the two positions for the TV and fronts, it's normal: given the fact that this is our main living room, the TV stand normally sits in the room corner, but I've installed wheels on it so that I simply roll it to face the couch when I watch a movie. Very handy.
Walls are 9 ft high.

Long-term goal: I eventually want to have a 5.1.4 Atmos setup, but that will wait until I get a new receiver and figure a way to install front ceiling speakers (upfiring is not a viable option due to popcorn ceilings)

Short-term goal: I want to start upgrade my front stage (the Polk R150s and the center RM8)

Budget for left and right front speakers: $300-$500 for the pair, plus $300 max for center (could wait a little for that one).

I am no audiophile and have limited experience with speakers. I have done quite a bit of research but given the ridiculous number of options in that price range, I am lost. Let me list a few comments that may be useful:
- Usage is 95% movies
- I do not care much about bass (I have a sub for that anyway), but I tend to really like detail in speakers, particularly when it comes to watching movies
- I probably will eventually upgrade the surround speakers, but that can wait
- I want bookshelf speakers that are not to heavy or large, as I need to move them every time I change the position of the TV and front speakers (see diagram)
- I am very limited in what I can do for the center speaker: given the TV stand I have and I need (corner shaped), I do not see how I can fit a large speaker in the cabinet in addition to the AVR, Blu-Ray player and PS4. Right now the center speaker (very small) sits on top of the Blu-Ray. Also, unless I find a way to lift the TV, I cannot fit it on top of the stand.

Looking around these forums and others, I came up with a few options. The only one I have actually tested is the first option (hard to find places to test speakers around here), but that was in a noisy environment, so honestly we can probably discount it.

KEF Q150: can get them right now for 400 CAD (about 300 USD), but I'm really worried about my center option: the Q250C is really expensive and big. Other option of finding a single Q150 would also imply having a large center.
ELAC DEBUT B6.2
Jamo S803
Ascend CMB-170 SE
Q Acoustics 3020i
MTX TP160 (on clearance these days)

Other options that I should be seriously considering?

Basically if KEF had a more compact (less than 5" high) and more affordable center, I would probably just go for the Q150s. But because of that limitation, I'm considering other options, since I don't want to get a center from another brand due to timbre matching.
Another option would be not to have a center speaker at least for now, and instead to run a phantom center. Are the Q150s decent off axis? Is this an option you would recommend?

Any help would be very highly appreciated, the more I search the more I feel lost!
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Last edited by Turpentine22; Today at 07:43 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old Today, 07:09 PM
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check out the RSL CG3 or CG23

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You are restricted to 5 inches high on the center?

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post #4 of 13 Old Today, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turpentine22 View Post
Room is 13 x 14 feet, see attached diagram for layout. If you are confused by the two positions for the TV and fronts, it's normal: given the fact that this is our main living room, the TV stand normally sits in the room corner, but I've installed wheels on it so that I simply roll it to face the couch when I watch a movie. Very handy.

- Usage is 95% movies
- I do not care much about bass (I have a sub for that anyway), but I tend to really like detail in speakers, particularly when it comes to watching movies
- I probably will eventually upgrade the surround speakers, but that can wait
- I want bookshelf speakers that are not to heavy or large, as I need to move them every time I change the position of the TV and front speakers (see diagram)
- I am very limited in what I can do for the center speaker: given the TV stand I have and I need (corner shaped), I do not see how I can fit a large speaker in the cabinet in addition to the AVR, Blu-Ray player and PS4. Right now the center speaker (very small) sits on top of the Blu-Ray. Also, unless I find a way to lift the TV, I cannot fit it on top of the stand.
Since you're in Canada, this is the best bang for your buck by far...just buy 3 of them for $390 CAD and you're done. In the US those same speakers would cost $525 (700CAD). They are quite good by all accounts, especially for HT...very detailed and lively. Being a sealed (no ports) design, they are quite compact and can sit inside a cabinet easily.
https://www.amazon.ca/NHT-Audio-Supe...dp/B00LJX4HCY/

In fact, at those prices you could even upgrade your rears with their little brother for $88 CAD apiece:
https://www.amazon.ca/NHT-Audio-Supe...dp/B00CKNOYWK/

What sub do you have? You wrote "Yamaha HS8" but google tells me that's a studio monitor.

~ 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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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Since you're in Canada, this is the best bang for your buck by far...just buy 3 of them for $390 CAD and you're done. In the US those same speakers would cost $525 (700CAD). They are quite good by all accounts, especially for HT...very detailed and lively.
Oh, I saw the NHT SuperOnes show up in threads but never actually looked into them (so many options...), I will now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
What sub do you have? You wrote "Yamaha HS8" but google tells me that's a studio monitor.
Yikes, sorry, it's actually a Yamaha YST-SW012.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
You are restricted to 5 inches high on the center?
Maybe more like 6 in if I squeeze it in. Unless I put it on a shelf resting on top of the TV. Not a very popular option in the household though...
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post #7 of 13 Old Today, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithsabom View Post
check out the RSL CG3 or CG23
Thanks, never came across that model, will look into them.
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post #8 of 13 Old Today, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turpentine22 View Post
Yikes, sorry, it's actually a Yamaha YST-SW012.
Since you'd be saving a boatload of money going with NHT, this would be well worth it:
https://www.electronicsforless.ca/sv...ofer-3884.html

Only $15 more than US retail pricing...most American speakers/subs cost an arm and a leg in Canada. I would hold off on upgrading the rear speakers if that would give you more budget to get the SVS sub. For HT it *will* make a huge difference over that Yamaha, unless you never watch big budget action/thriller flicks.

~ 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 #9 of 13 Old Today, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Since you're in Canada, this is the best bang for your buck by far...just buy 3 of them for $390 CAD and you're done.
I see that the NHT Super Centre 2.1 is 166 CAD. Would it be a better/worse option than a third SuperOne? The reason this is an interesting option for me is because the center is only 5.5 in high, vs 7.25 in for a SuperOne on its side (would not fit in my cabinet).

Thanks a lot for your help.
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post #10 of 13 Old Today, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turpentine22 View Post
Maybe more like 6 in if I squeeze it in. Unless I put it on a shelf resting on top of the TV. Not a very popular option in the household though...
A stand to put on your stand to raise the TV
https://www.amazon.com/PERLESMITH-Un...NsaWNrPXRydWU=

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post #11 of 13 Old Today, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turpentine22 View Post
I see that the NHT Super Centre 2.1 is 166 CAD. Would it be a better/worse option than a third SuperOne? The reason this is an interesting option for me is because the center is only 5.5 in high, vs 7.25 in for a SuperOne on its side (would not fit in my cabinet).
I have not heard great things about the Super Center, so my first recommendation is just order two SuperOnes and see if you're ok WITHOUT a physical center speaker. This is called a "phantom center" and some people actually prefer it.

If you are really unsatisfied with the "phantom center," then I would get the SuperCenter if there is absolutely no way around it---but first I would do my damndest to avoid it by raising the TV, or using a single speaker stand (https://www.amazon.ca/Monolith-Inch-.../dp/B076HX81WZ) or improvising with a step stool, milk crate, plant stand, media cart...pretty much anything to let you use a 3rd SuperOne standing up (ideally with the tweeter lined up with the L/R speakers' tweeter).
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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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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Since you're in Canada, this is the best bang for your buck by far...
Leaving aside the fact that the Q150 and ELAC pairs would be more expensive (400 and 340 CAD vs 260 for the NHT), should I expect a significant difference in quality or sounds profile relative the NHT? I'm not thinking of upgrading again for a while, so hoping to have a decent upgrade over my Polk R150!
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post #13 of 13 Old Today, 09:06 PM
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You might also want to consider the Dali Oberon 1 for your front L/R if you can stretch to $550. I have heard Oberon at audio shows and they are the real deal. Now, the Oberon Vokal center is a bit pricey, but also very good. If you want to run with a phantom center, you could go with the larger Oberon 3 and its 7 inch woofer.

https://www.dali-speakers.com/loudsp...eron/oberon-1/


https://www.dali-speakers.com/loudsp...eron/oberon-3/

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MASTER BEDROOM--Dynaudio Audience 82 tower speakers, Outlaw LFM-1 sub, Yamaha RX-V1800 receiver, Sherbourn 5/1500A 5-channel amp, Oppo BDP-83 Universal Disc Player, Panasonic 60-ST60 plasma TV.
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