Small Satellite 5.1 speakers with good sound ? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Small Satellite 5.1 speakers with good sound ?

This is for my low end downstairs HT the family uses. This room is a living space and we have dedicated theater upstairs with massive 100 lb Mark Seaton Cat 12s. I know the small speakers wont be great I just want something a decent step up from the crappy Bose speakers I am using presently.

The Bose are white 4.5 inches tall and 3 inches wide. Nearly invisible in the room. (I'll try and post a picture.)What would be ideal is something up to 6-8 inches and white. Haven’t had luck finding anything yet that would be an upgrade in sound quality that small.


I was very impressed with the Martin Logan motion 4 inch speakers I listened to at Magnolia. A bit bigger that I want. Only 6 lbs but they are 12.5 tall 5.5x5.5. The 3 inch version was a bit smaller at 9 inches and still sounded great but there was a noticeable jump when comparing to the 4 inch. They are $180 and $250 each. Neither is available in white. 😟. Going by sound alone these would be a HUGE upgrade in sound quality over the Bose. Clarity was amazing and sounds were very full and rich.

I was looking at the Cambridge Minx Min 22. Reviews are good. $150 each and available in white. 3.1 x 3.4 x 6.1 inches.


Intrigued by the Focal Dome 5.1 I found for $800. Speakers sell for $400 individually ....

Wasn't at all impressed by the Def Tech or Bower Wilkins speakers I listened to in the showroom.

Other ideas/ options ?

Thank you


Update

Narrowed down to these.

Monitor Audio Radius 90 White 7.8 X 4.8 X 6.5 4.6 lbs $75 each (good used)

RSL CG3 White 9.5 x 6.5 X 5 X 6 lbs $140 each

Gallo A'Diva. White 5 inch round 3.5 lbs $240 each.

Focal Dome 5.1 setup new for $800

Cambridge Minx Min 22s White 6 x 3 x 3 1.6 lbs $150 each

.

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post #2 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Side Rant : Ughh, in day light the wrinkles in screen look terrible. We only watch in this room at night time and I assume the wrinkles are less after it has been down for a while. Still a $3K tab tensioned screen shouldn't do this

HT #1 Yamaha AVENTAGE 1080 /Dalite 133 built in ceiling / Ben Q W1500 / SVS PB1000 Sub / Bose (LOL I know)
HT#2 Seaton Catalyst 12C L/C/R / JVC RS4500 / Yamaha 3070 / DYI 160 inch wall screen.
65 in Panasonic Plasma in bedroom

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post #3 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dllhg View Post
This is for my low end downstairs HT the family uses. This room is a living space and we have dedicated theater upstairs with massive 100 lb Mark Seaton Cat 12s. I know the small speakers wont be great I just want something a decent step up from the crappy Bose speakers I am using presently.

The Bose are white 4.5 inches tall and 3 inches wide. Nearly invisible in the room. (I'll try and post a picture.)What would be ideal is something up to 6-8 inches and white. Haven’t had luck finding anything yet that would be an upgrade in sound quality that small.


I was very impressed with the Martin Logan motion 4 inch speakers I listened to at Magnolia. A bit bigger that I want. Only 6 lbs but they are 12.5 tall 5.5x5.5. The 3 inch version was a bit smaller at 9 inches and still sounded great but there was a noticeable jump when comparing to the 4 inch. They are $180 and $250 each. Neither is available in white. 😟. Going by sound alone these would be a HUGE upgrade in sound quality over the Bose. Clarity was amazing and sounds were very full and rich.

I was looking at the Cambridge Minx Min 22. Reviews are good. $150 each and available in white. 3.1 x 3.4 x 6.1 inches.


Intrigued by the Focal Dome Flax 5.1 I found for $800. Speakers sell for $400 individually ....

Wasn't at all impressed by the Def Tech or Bower Wilkins speakers I listened to in the showroom.

Other ideas/ options ?

Thank you



.
The Focal Dome Flax may be your best option. They have a full size tweeter and 4" driver. They won't blow your head off and be super dynamic, but with a decent sub, they should easily trounce the Bose cubes.
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post #4 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dllhg View Post
This is for my low end downstairs HT the family uses. This room is a living space and we have dedicated theater upstairs with massive 100 lb Mark Seaton Cat 12s. I know the small speakers wont be great I just want something a decent step up from the crappy Bose speakers I am using presently.

The Bose are white 4.5 inches tall and 3 inches wide. Nearly invisible in the room. (I'll try and post a picture.)What would be ideal is something up to 6-8 inches and white. Haven’t had luck finding anything yet that would be an upgrade in sound quality that small.


I was very impressed with the Martin Logan motion 4 inch speakers I listened to at Magnolia. A bit bigger that I want. Only 6 lbs but they are 12.5 tall 5.5x5.5. The 3 inch version was a bit smaller at 9 inches and still sounded great but there was a noticeable jump when comparing to the 4 inch. They are $180 and $250 each. Neither is available in white. 😟. Going by sound alone these would be a HUGE upgrade in sound quality over the Bose. Clarity was amazing and sounds were very full and rich.

I was looking at the Cambridge Minx Min 22. Reviews are good. $150 each and available in white. 3.1 x 3.4 x 6.1 inches.


Intrigued by the Focal Dome Flax 5.1 I found for $800. Speakers sell for $400 individually ....

Wasn't at all impressed by the Def Tech or Bower Wilkins speakers I listened to in the showroom.

Other ideas/ options ?

Thank you



.

Focal dome flax for sure if they're actually the "flax" version.



Maybe return the screen. A $3K it should be perfect.
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post #5 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Maybe return the screen. A $3K it should be perfect.
It doesn't appear to be hanging flat - it looks like it's bent forward, likely because it's draping across the fireplace mantle...

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post #6 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
It doesn't appear to be hanging flat - it looks like it's bent forward, likely because it's draping across the fireplace mantle...

It clears the mantle by several inches.

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post #7 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Focal dome flax for sure if they're actually the "flax" version.



Maybe return the screen. A $3K it should be perfect.
Not the Flax version. I found the Previous Focal Dome 5.1 with a more round subwoofer for $800 new. The newer Flax version are $2K. I cant find a good deal on the white ones though. Even the previous Gen are almost $2K as well.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dllhg View Post
It clears the mantle by several inches.
It still doesn't look like it drapes straight down in the photo - what is the black part behind the screen?

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post #9 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 04:08 PM
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Not cheap, but you get a lot from a smaller sized speaker:

https://www.monitoraudio.com/en/prod.../apex-a10av12/

Another option:

https://www.bowerswilkins.com/mini-theater/mt-50

Here is the aforementioned Flax speaker:

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_091DF5...5-1-White.html
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post #10 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 04:29 PM
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These might do the trick for you...

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_893R90...tin-White.html
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post #11 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
It still doesn't look like it drapes straight down in the photo - what is the black part behind the screen?

It hangs straight down and doesn't touch anything. Not sure what black part you are talking about ? Below is the fireplace.

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post #12 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
Not cheap, but you get a lot from a smaller sized speaker:

https://www.monitoraudio.com/en/prod.../apex-a10av12/

Another option:

https://www.bowerswilkins.com/mini-theater/mt-50

Here is the aforementioned Flax speaker:

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_091DF5...5-1-White.html

$500 per speaker is a bit much for what I want to do downstairs.

I listened to the Bower Wilkins at Magnolia and they left a lot to be desired. The Martin Logan Motion 3 and 4s blew them out of the water when I switched back and forth. So much clearer and richer sounding.

Sight unseen the Focals sure look good. Well the deal for $800 does anyway.

Thinking about just replacing the front three speakers and leaving the two Bose in the rear. Have two Bose setups one is 3 speaker the other a 2 speaker. Then again would be nice to have a matched set and ditch both the Bose Subs.

HT #1 Yamaha AVENTAGE 1080 /Dalite 133 built in ceiling / Ben Q W1500 / SVS PB1000 Sub / Bose (LOL I know)
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post #13 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by doctors11 View Post
These might do the trick for you...

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_893R90...tin-White.html

Size wise those look good. Price wise they are good too. Sound quality is the only question.

Wow found those for as low as $75 each used good condition.....

Right now the only benchmark I have for Sat speakers are my Bose and the ones I tried at Magnolia. The Motion Flow 3 and 4s were both very impressive.

HT #1 Yamaha AVENTAGE 1080 /Dalite 133 built in ceiling / Ben Q W1500 / SVS PB1000 Sub / Bose (LOL I know)
HT#2 Seaton Catalyst 12C L/C/R / JVC RS4500 / Yamaha 3070 / DYI 160 inch wall screen.
65 in Panasonic Plasma in bedroom

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post #14 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 05:17 PM
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Real good price on the Focal Sib -- if you can handle the size
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...m-white/1.html

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post #15 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by dllhg View Post
Size wise those look good. Price wise they are good too. Sound quality is the only question.

Wow found those for as low as $75 each used good condition.....

Right now the only benchmark I have for Sat speakers are my Bose and the ones I tried at Magnolia. The Motion Flow 3 and 4s were both very impressive.
I read somewhere that these were significantly improved a few years ago. Make sure you get the new version. Apparently these are loosely based on the Silver series...should sound WAY better than the Bose.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dllhg View Post
It hangs straight down and doesn't touch anything. Not sure what black part you are talking about ? Below is the fireplace.
I mean the black border around the screen. You can clearly see that it drapes forward, and the wrinkles in the screen corresponds to that forward draping.

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post #17 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dllhg View Post
This is for my low end downstairs HT the family uses. I know the small speakers wont be great I just want something a decent step up from the crappy Bose speakers I am using presently.

What would be ideal is something up to 6-8 inches and white. Haven’t had luck finding anything yet that would be an upgrade in sound quality that small.


I was very impressed with the Martin Logan motion 4 inch speakers I listened to at Magnolia. A bit bigger that I want. Only 6 lbs but they are 12.5 tall 5.5x5.5. The 3 inch version was a bit smaller at 9 inches and still sounded great but there was a noticeable jump when comparing to the 4 inch. They are $180 and $250 each. Neither is available in white. 😟. Going by sound alone these would be a HUGE upgrade in sound quality over the Bose. Clarity was amazing and sounds were very full and rich.

Other ideas/ options?
1. It won't be hard to beat out the Bose cubes in SQ...but make no mistake, you will NOT get any huge leap if you are determined to stay in such a miniscule size range, at ANY budget...physics is physics. That you easily heard a big difference going from the 3" to the 4" ML models makes perfect sense...around 4" is the bare minimum woofer size to get halfway decent sound out of any speaker, IMO.

2. I'm partial to AMT tweeters, so I'm sure the MLs did sound very good esp. compared to what else was available at Magnolia. And there's no denying that the glossy finish and stylish curvy shape of the cabinet looks great.

3. However, in the same size ballpark as the ML4, you can actually get a great (for HT, equal or better) speaker for just a little over half the price! The speaker I'm thinking of is the Ascend 200SE, which I once had on loan for an extended period and was very impressed with given its size and modest price, and which I think is really the hidden gem in the highly-regarded Ascend lineup. While actually being 1.6" SHORTER than the ML4 and only about 0.7" wider and deeper, you get TWO 4" woofers giving you a much bigger sound in a similarly sized package! The only area where it clearly loses out to the ML4 is aesthetic: it's just a plain rectangular box, without even the benefit of a nice glossy finish...not ugly so much as totally functional/utilitarian-looking. Oh and it's not available for in-store audition, Ascend being an internet-direct company (the ID companies all give you a 30 day trial though, you just have to pay for return shipping which I'd guesstimate to be around $40 for a pair of small speakers like this).

And like most really high bang-for-the-buck speakers, you can have it in any color you wish as long as it's black. :P

Here's a direct comparison of the two speakers, on paper:

Martin Logan Motion 4i
5.7 x 5.6 x 12.6 in
Drivers: 4" woofer + AMT tweeter
Mid-bass extension: 70Hz (not specified if anechoic or in-room)
Sensitivity: 90db (not specified if anechoic or in-room)
Impedance: 4 ohms
Recommended power: 20-150 watts
Rear-ported cabinet
Weight: 6lbs
$250 each

Ascend HTM-200SE
6.5 x 6.4 x 11 inch
Drivers: twin 4" woofers + 1" tweeter
Mid-bass extension: 68Hz in-room, 74Hz anechoic
Sensitivity: 89db in-room, 87db anechoic
Impedance: 8 ohms
Recommended power: 25-200 watts
Sealed cabinet = much more placement options
Weight: 10lbs
$322/pair shipped (also available in singles)

~ 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 52 Old 10-19-2019, 09:05 PM
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RSL CG3/23 comes in white. Top of your size range, but you'll need to go there (or similar) for a significant improvement (in your price range).

Other options include Gallo Micro/A'Diva or Q Acoustics 7000i series. However, these get you back into the 3" driver range where you will need a sub with good output in the 150-250 Hz range. Kef Eggs are available at accessories4less, but beware the draconian return policy.

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post #19 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
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RSL CG3/23 comes in white. Top of your size range, but you'll need to go there (or similar) for a significant improvement (in your price range).

Other options include Gallo Micro/A'Diva or Q Acoustics 7000i series. However, these get you back into the 3" driver range where you will need a sub with good output in the 150-250 Hz range. Kef Eggs are available at accessories4less, but beware the draconian return policy.
Those Gallo speakers sure are nice and small.


I didnt like the Def Tech 5.1 I listened to in the showroom compared to the Martin Logan motion Flows which sounded much cleaner and fuller. Are these other ones a step up from the Def Techs and at least on par with the Motion Flows ? If I could get the MF sound from a compact speaker I'd be all over it. I was impressed by the sound they produced.

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post #20 of 52 Old 10-19-2019, 11:09 PM
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I looked at a lot of the other speakers mentioned and the poly Focals are a steal.
First class construction. I bought the 5.1 set for $1k to get four ceiling speakers for Atmos. I listened to them as bookshelves before installing and definitely could be happy with them for a quality small lifestyle system. Plugged in the sub to make sure it worked and it was much more usable than I expected, although made in China and not in the same class as the French made satellites.


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post #21 of 52 Old 10-20-2019, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I mean the black border around the screen. You can clearly see that it drapes forward, and the wrinkles in the screen corresponds to that forward draping.

Unit just hangs evenly from the ceiling. I don't see how it could drape forward as you suggest. If it is draping forward what would be causing that ?

HT #1 Yamaha AVENTAGE 1080 /Dalite 133 built in ceiling / Ben Q W1500 / SVS PB1000 Sub / Bose (LOL I know)
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post #22 of 52 Old 10-20-2019, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I feel like I'm really getting somewhere and have some good options thanks to the help I have received on this forum Thank you guys !

The Ascend sound great but are getting a little bigger than I want. 11 inches tall VS 8 and 9 inches on the others.

I wonder how the Monitor Audio Radius 90 compare to the RSL CG3. RSL are a little bigger. Both come in white and similar style. The Radius can be had for $75 per speaker in great condition used.


The cleanest and smallest from the suggestions are the Gallo A'Diva. 5 inches round. Only half inch taller than my existing ones. I have no problem getting a better sub if that could make these shine equal to the others suggested. Found a 5 speaker set for $750 with mounts. Stainless not white but they look really good.

HT #1 Yamaha AVENTAGE 1080 /Dalite 133 built in ceiling / Ben Q W1500 / SVS PB1000 Sub / Bose (LOL I know)
HT#2 Seaton Catalyst 12C L/C/R / JVC RS4500 / Yamaha 3070 / DYI 160 inch wall screen.
65 in Panasonic Plasma in bedroom

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post #23 of 52 Old 10-20-2019, 01:15 AM
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We recently moved into our dream home and was forced to downsize my living room based 5.1 system and went with Cambridge Minx Min 22s and an SVS SB 1000 and have been more than surprised by their overall performance.

My expectations were pretty realistic going in and I'm super happy with the results.
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post #24 of 52 Old 10-20-2019, 01:19 AM - Thread Starter
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We recently moved into our dream home and was forced to downsize my living room based 5.1 system and went with Cambridge Minx Min 22s and an SVS SB 1000 and have been more than surprised by their overall performance.

My expectations were pretty realistic going in and I'm super happy with the results.
Thanks for reminding me. I had those on my list as well. Very affordable and have heard they sound great...... Decisions decisions.

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65 in Panasonic Plasma in bedroom
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post #25 of 52 Old 10-20-2019, 01:31 AM - Thread Starter
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So narrowed down to these

Monitor Audio Radius 90 White 7.8 X 4.8 X 6.5 4.6 lbs $75 each (good used)

RSL CG3 White 9.5 x 6.5 X 5 X 6 lbs $140 each

Gallo A'Diva. White 5 inch round 3.5 lbs $240 each. Or $750 for full 5.1 setup new.

Focal Dome 5.1 setup new for $800

Cambridge Minx Min 22s White 6 x 3 x 3 1.6 lbs $150 each

HT #1 Yamaha AVENTAGE 1080 /Dalite 133 built in ceiling / Ben Q W1500 / SVS PB1000 Sub / Bose (LOL I know)
HT#2 Seaton Catalyst 12C L/C/R / JVC RS4500 / Yamaha 3070 / DYI 160 inch wall screen.
65 in Panasonic Plasma in bedroom

Last edited by dllhg; 10-21-2019 at 12:29 AM.
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post #26 of 52 Old 10-20-2019, 07:30 AM
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Size wise those look good. Price wise they are good too. Sound quality is the only question.

Wow found those for as low as $75 each used good condition.....

Right now the only benchmark I have for Sat speakers are my Bose and the ones I tried at Magnolia. The Motion Flow 3 and 4s were both very impressive.
There are 12 reviews on Crutchfield, mostly 5 stars. More if you Google them.

I think they were improved in 2014. If I'm not mistaken the older version was semi gloss with the newer version being satin finish.
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post #27 of 52 Old 10-20-2019, 11:44 AM
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So narrowed down to these

Monitor Audio Radius 90 White 7.8 X 4.8 X 6.5 4.6 lbs $75 each (good used)

RSL CG3 White 6.5 X 5 X 9.5 6 lbs $140 each

Gallo A'Diva. White 5 inch round 3.5 lbs $240 each

Cambridge Minx Min 22s White 6 x 3 x 3 1.6 lbs $150 each
Me, I'd go with the RSL first: free return shipping if you don't like them.

~ 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 #28 of 52 Old 10-20-2019, 12:21 PM
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Unit just hangs evenly from the ceiling. I don't see how it could drape forward as you suggest. If it is draping forward what would be causing that ?
The black border is wider at the bottom than it is at the top in your photo, that indicates that it is closer towards you at the bottom than it is at the top, and if you follow the edge from top to bottom, you can very clearly see that where those wrinkles start to appear is in line with the forward-sloping curve of the black border. I'm not entirely sure how you're not seeing that unless it's your camera causing that distortion.

Home Theatre: Onkyo TX-NR747 | Polk Audio RTi A3 Front L/R | Polk Audio CSi A6 Centre | Polk Audio RTi A1 Surround L/R | HSU ULS-15 MK2 Subwoofer | Sony XBR55X900E | PlayStation 4 Pro | Xbox One S

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post #29 of 52 Old 10-20-2019, 04:56 PM
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These will sound better than your Bose as the sats have 5" midbass driver and separate tweeter.

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...m-white/1.html

Afro GT

Last edited by afrogt; 10-20-2019 at 05:14 PM.
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post #30 of 52 Old 10-20-2019, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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[IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/confused.gif[/IMG] Unit just hangs evenly from the ceiling. I don't see how it could drape forward as you suggest. If it is draping forward what would be causing that ?
The black border is wider at the bottom than it is at the top in your photo, that indicates that it is closer towards you at the bottom than it is at the top, and if you follow the edge from top to bottom, you can very clearly see that where those wrinkles start to appear is in line with the forward-sloping curve of the black border. I'm not entirely sure how you're not seeing that unless it's your camera causing that distortion.
That’s how the screen is made. Border is wider at bottom as it gets closer to the bar.

HT #1 Yamaha AVENTAGE 1080 /Dalite 133 built in ceiling / Ben Q W1500 / SVS PB1000 Sub / Bose (LOL I know)
HT#2 Seaton Catalyst 12C L/C/R / JVC RS4500 / Yamaha 3070 / DYI 160 inch wall screen.
65 in Panasonic Plasma in bedroom
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