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post #1 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I give up. Looking for 5.0 Recommendations.

I have officially hit the paralysis by analysis wall. I have been searching and researching on this forum for a couple weeks and I just can't make any progress. I have run myself in circles in trying to figure out my path forward. I think I have resolved myself to at least the plan of buying a fully matched 5.0 set of speakers. I have a sub that is more than adequate at this time and will consider future sub upgrades down the road.


I have included a picture of my space below. Here are some key aspects:
  • Price $1000 for 5.0 or $1500 for 5.1
  • Odd shaped room with a total volume around 5,200 cubic feet (kinda shaped like a cross)
  • Movies, sports and music equally (movies can range from quiet night time to loud watching and music is almost always loud)
  • My listening spot is directly in front of the TV on the coach which is about 12' from the face of the TV.
  • I would like to keep the center and surrounds on the smaller side to keep the wife happy and prevent as much protruding out into the room as much as possible so they are less likely to get taking out by the kids throwing crap. The surrounds will need to be mounted up high near the wiring faceplates you can see in the pictures (will this require aiming capability for the mounting method?)
  • No preference for bookshelf or towers as long as the final setup will have a clean appearance (able to hide wires in the speaker stands).
  • No real brand preference or avoidance. I'm not a Polk, JBL, SVS, etc. fanboy of anyone.
  • No specific appearance requirements
  • Current receiver is Sony STR-DE898 (DTS, DD, 7.1) but will likely upgrade in the not too distant future (recommendations on this are welcome too)
  • Not enough of an audiophile to say if I prefer warm or bright speakers. My music tastes are mainly hard rock but also a decent amount of instrumental music including traditional classical (more strings, percussion and woodwinds rather than brass with a fair amount of grand piano solos)


I need some audio master to set me down the right path so I quit chasing worthless rabbit holes. I greatly appreciate everyone's input.

Thank you.
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post #2 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 09:25 AM
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So you researched this forum for a couple of weeks.

How much time have you spent visiting retailers to demo speakers?

Have you found any you liked or disliked?
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post #3 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badtlc View Post
I have officially hit the paralysis by analysis wall. I have been searching and researching on this forum for a couple weeks and I just can't make any progress. I have run myself in circles in trying to figure out my path forward. I think I have resolved myself to at least the plan of buying a fully matched 5.0 set of speakers. I have a sub that is more than adequate at this time and will consider future sub upgrades down the road.


I have included a picture of my space below. Here are some key aspects:
  • Price $1000 for 5.0 or $1500 for 5.1
  • Odd shaped room with a total volume around 5,200 cubic feet (kinda shaped like a cross)
  • Movies, sports and music equally (movies can range from quiet night time to loud watching and music is almost always loud)
  • My listening spot is directly in front of the TV on the coach which is about 12' from the face of the TV.
  • I would like to keep the center and surrounds on the smaller side to keep the wife happy and prevent as much protruding out into the room as much as possible so they are less likely to get taking out by the kids throwing crap. The surrounds will need to be mounted up high near the wiring faceplates you can see in the pictures (will this require aiming capability for the mounting method?)
  • No preference for bookshelf or towers as long as the final setup will have a clean appearance (able to hide wires in the speaker stands).
  • No real brand preference or avoidance. I'm not a Polk, JBL, SVS, etc. fanboy of anyone.
  • No specific appearance requirements
  • Current receiver is Sony STR-DE898 (DTS, DD, 7.1) but will likely upgrade in the not too distant future (recommendations on this are welcome too)
  • Not enough of an audiophile to say if I prefer warm or bright speakers. My music tastes are mainly hard rock but also a decent amount of instrumental music including traditional classical (more strings, percussion and woodwinds rather than brass with a fair amount of grand piano solos)


I need some audio master to set me down the right path so I quit chasing worthless rabbit holes. I greatly appreciate everyone's input.

Thank you.
I recommend going to Best Buy and listening to the Klipsch RP 500/600. They can get quite loud with minimal effort and are known to do well with hard rock/metal. You should also listen to other brands to see what you like and don't like.

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post #4 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badtlc View Post
  • Price $1000 for 5.0 or $1500 for 5.1
  • Odd shaped room with a total volume around 5,200 cubic feet (kinda shaped like a cross)
  • Movies, sports and music equally (movies can range from quiet night time to loud watching and music is almost always loud)
  • My listening spot is directly in front of the TV on the coach which is about 12' from the face of the TV.
  • I would like to keep the center and surrounds on the smaller side to keep the wife happy and prevent as much protruding out into the room as much as possible so they are less likely to get taking out by the kids throwing crap. The surrounds will need to be mounted up high near the wiring faceplates you can see in the pictures (will this require aiming capability for the mounting method?)
  • No preference for bookshelf or towers as long as the final setup will have a clean appearance (able to hide wires in the speaker stands).
  • No real brand preference or avoidance. I'm not a Polk, JBL, SVS, etc. fanboy of anyone.
  • No specific appearance requirements
  • Current receiver is Sony STR-DE898 (DTS, DD, 7.1) but will likely upgrade in the not too distant future (recommendations on this are welcome too)
  • Not enough of an audiophile to say if I prefer warm or bright speakers. My music tastes are mainly hard rock but also a decent amount of instrumental music including traditional classical (more strings, percussion and woodwinds rather than brass with a fair amount of grand piano solos)
Just go with 5 x NHT SuperOne from Amazon, $500 shipped. These are compact, sealed-cabinet speakers so they would be easily wall mountable for maximum child-proofing. But they have full 6.5" woofers and mid-bass down to 55Hz so no worries about tinny sound.
https://www.amazon.com/NHT-SuperOne-.../dp/B00LJX4HCY

Throw in a pair of SVS PB12 subs and you'll be set. $500 apiece from SVS Outlet (or Amazon).
https://www.svsound.com/products/pb12-nsd-outlet
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post #5 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boombox13 View Post
So you researched this forum for a couple of weeks.

How much time have you spent visiting retailers to demo speakers?

Have you found any you liked or disliked?

I haven't found many local places to go listen at other than best buy. Of course everything sounds a bit different. I can see why klipsch can be considered "brighter" than other but they sound fine to me. I also think Polk sound good.



As far as what I have liked and not, I don't think I would be all that picky. I like balance and clarity. I don't really care for the highs or lows dominating but how my ear for that compares to others, I don't know. I hate distortion, muffled or clumsy sounding speakers.



I just figured given my price point quality would drive the options more than my personal taste. I didn't assume there would be many quality options in this price range.
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post #6 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Just go with 5 x NHT SuperOne from Amazon, $500 shipped. These are compact, sealed-cabinet speakers so they would be easily wall mountable for maximum child-proofing. But they have full 6.5" woofers and mid-bass down to 55Hz so no worries about tinny sound.
https://www.amazon.com/NHT-SuperOne-.../dp/B00LJX4HCY

I looked at these when you suggested them when I was last looking for just rear speakers. I guess my first thought with regards to these is how do you make them look good as front speakers? They seem a bit dainty and I don't know what kind of stand would help with that.
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post #7 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badtlc View Post
I looked at these when you suggested them when I was last looking for just rear speakers. I guess my first thought with regards to these is how do you make them look good as front speakers? They seem a bit dainty and I don't know what kind of stand would help with that.
Any kind of steel stands would work, imo:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=metal+spe...f=nb_sb_noss_2

If you're willing to do mismatched rear surrounds, I'd say NHT SuperZeros for them (maximum compactness) and 3 x Ascend 170SE up front. Ascend has allegedly B-stock 170SE x 3 for just $378, knockout deal. Or B-stock 170SE x 2 + 340SE center.
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/Merch...ry_Code=BSTOCK

Another good option on-wall surrounds would be Emotiva E2 allegedly "factory renewed" ... you could also get the T-Zeros up front to avoid the speaker stands, and C1+ center if you don't want the size of the C2:
https://emotiva.com/collections/loudspeakers?page=2

If you're ok with Emotiva's Batmobile looks, they are an outstanding bang for the buck option.

~ 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 #8 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Any kind of steel stands would work, imo:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=metal+spe...f=nb_sb_noss_2

If you're willing to do mismatched rear surrounds, I'd say NHT SuperZeros for them (maximum compactness) and 3 x Ascend 170SE up front. Ascend has allegedly B-stock 170SE x 3 for just $378, knockout deal. Or B-stock 170SE x 2 + 340SE center.
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/Merch...ry_Code=BSTOCK

Another good option on-wall surrounds would be Emotiva E2 allegedly "factory renewed" ... you could also get the T-Zeros up front to avoid the speaker stands, and C1+ center if you don't want the size of the C2:
https://emotiva.com/collections/loudspeakers?page=2

If you're ok with Emotiva's Batmobile looks, they are an outstanding bang for the buck option.

If I do the NHT, I was going to do SuperOne for the Fronts, the Super Center and the SuperZeros for the rear. That appears to be a very affordable option. I fear my room might be too big for these smallish speakers, though.


I have no issues with the Emotiva. The only concerns I had with them is how to mount those E2s (which orientation?) and they seem to have impedences that range from 4 to 8 ohms. I think I would prefer to have matching ohm ratings.
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How are you going to setup the rear speakers?

Wall, ceiling, shelf, stands, etc...?
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post #10 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Boombox13 View Post
How are you going to setup the rear speakers?

Wall, ceiling, shelf, stands, etc...?

If you can open the image in the original post, you can see the rear speaker wiring j-boxes up on the walls to the sides of the couch. The "plan" was to hopefully wall mount somewhere in the immediate vicinity of the wire j-boxes. These are about 7' AFF. Not ideal, I know. I hope to move to stands and a 7.1 setup when the kids have all moved out.
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post #11 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badtlc View Post
If I do the NHT, I was going to do SuperOne for the Fronts, the Super Center and the SuperZeros for the rear. That appears to be a very affordable option. I fear my room might be too big for these smallish speakers, though.

I have no issues with the Emotiva. The only concerns I had with them is how to mount those E2s (which orientation?) and they seem to have impedences that range from 4 to 8 ohms. I think I would prefer to have matching ohm ratings.
If you go with NHT, I'd do a SuperOne as the center. The SuperCenter has had mixed reviews, unsurprising given its puny 4" woofers---have never had a good experience with any horizontal centers with such small woofers esp. a 2 way MTM.

The Emotiva impedance numbers have little relevance in real life usage as long as you're not trying to get ear-splitting reference levels, in my experience.

If you like it loud, the Ascends might be your safest choice.

~ 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 #12 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badtlc View Post
If you can open the image in the original post, you can see the rear speaker wiring j-boxes up on the walls to the sides of the couch. The "plan" was to hopefully wall mount somewhere in the immediate vicinity of the wire j-boxes. These are about 7' AFF. Not ideal, I know. I hope to move to stands and a 7.1 setup when the kids have all moved out.
Sorry about that. I should have caught that from your original post.

What front 3 speakers are in your room?
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post #13 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badtlc View Post
I have officially hit the paralysis by analysis wall. I have been searching and researching on this forum for a couple weeks and I just can't make any progress. I have run myself in circles in trying to figure out my path forward. I think I have resolved myself to at least the plan of buying a fully matched 5.0 set of speakers. I have a sub that is more than adequate at this time and will consider future sub upgrades down the road.


I have included a picture of my space below. Here are some key aspects:
  • Price $1000 for 5.0 or $1500 for 5.1
  • Odd shaped room with a total volume around 5,200 cubic feet (kinda shaped like a cross)
  • Movies, sports and music equally (movies can range from quiet night time to loud watching and music is almost always loud)
  • My listening spot is directly in front of the TV on the coach which is about 12' from the face of the TV.
  • I would like to keep the center and surrounds on the smaller side to keep the wife happy and prevent as much protruding out into the room as much as possible so they are less likely to get taking out by the kids throwing crap. The surrounds will need to be mounted up high near the wiring faceplates you can see in the pictures (will this require aiming capability for the mounting method?)
  • No preference for bookshelf or towers as long as the final setup will have a clean appearance (able to hide wires in the speaker stands).
  • No real brand preference or avoidance. I'm not a Polk, JBL, SVS, etc. fanboy of anyone.
  • No specific appearance requirements
  • Current receiver is Sony STR-DE898 (DTS, DD, 7.1) but will likely upgrade in the not too distant future (recommendations on this are welcome too)
  • Not enough of an audiophile to say if I prefer warm or bright speakers. My music tastes are mainly hard rock but also a decent amount of instrumental music including traditional classical (more strings, percussion and woodwinds rather than brass with a fair amount of grand piano solos)


I need some audio master to set me down the right path so I quit chasing worthless rabbit holes. I greatly appreciate everyone's input.

Thank you.
How much space do you have in that cabinet where the center sits now?

Do you live near any of these folks?

ACCESSORIES 4 LESS*** NEAR ORLANDO FLORIDA
APERION* NEAR PORTLAND OREGON
ASCEND** NEAR LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA
CHANE TAMPA FLORIDA
CRUTCHFIELD*** CHARLOTTESVILLE VIRGINIA
DEEP SEA SOUND SUBS NEAR KNOXVILLE TENNESSEE
DIYSOUND GROUP CINCINNATI OHIO
EMOTIVA NEAR NASHVILLE TENNESSEE
HI FI HEAVEN*** GREEN BAY WISONSIN
HSU NEAR LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA
HTD* NEAR DALLAS TEXAS
JTR NEAR MILWAUKEE WISCONSIN
MONOPRICE NEAR RIVERSIDE CALIFORNIA
MUSIC DIRECT*** CHICAGO ILLINOIS
NHT NEAR SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA
OHM BROOKLYN NEW YORK
PSA NEAR YOUNGSTOWN OHIO
RBH NEAR SALT LAKE CITY UTAH
RHYTHMIK SUBS NEAR AUSTIN TEXAS
RSL* NEAR LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA
SALK AUDIO PONTIAC MICHIGAN
SATURDAY AUDIO--- CHICAGO ILLINOIS
SEATON SOUND NEAR CHICAGO ILLINOIS
SELAH AUDIO NEAR RALEIGH NORTH CAROLINA
SVS* YOUNGSTOWN OHIO
TEKTON NEAR PROVO UTAH
TYLER ACOUSTICS NEAR LOUISVILLE KENTUCKY
WORLDWIDE STEREO*** NEAR PHILADELPHIA PENNSYLVANIA

Geoff A. J., California
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post #14 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 12:41 PM
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Wall mount options (Budget not sufficient for a quality set of 5 including floorstanding):

Chane A2.4 x 3 + A4.? x 2 (A4 to be released momentarily, but if you can't wait, the A1.5s will do nicely). This will give you plenty of dBs, be clear and clean for movie dialog, and will render piano splendidly (not an easy task for inexpensive speakers, or even expensive ones, for that matter). You will need wall mounts that give the speaker a bit of space behind, maybe 2 inches?

RSL CG23 x 3 + CG3 x 2. Very neutral speaker with clear dialog and no frequency band having preference. Various packages available. These are front ported, so can mount directly to the wall to minimize their physical intrusion into the room. Free shipping both ways, so no cost to test in your home.

These are both internet direct speaker companies, so you get more bang for your buck.

Question, when you listen to music, will you use just the two main speakers (+ sub?), or all of them?
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post #15 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 12:44 PM
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Not widely known, but an amazing value for the level of performance are the BIC America.

https://bicamerica.com/product-categ...ries-speakers/

Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk
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Sorry about that. I should have caught that from your original post.

What front 3 speakers are in your room?

Yamaha NS-A200XT (fronts)
Yamaha NS-AC40X (center)
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post #17 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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How much space do you have in that cabinet where the center sits now?

Do you live near any of these folks?

I could probably fit 10"H x 24"W in that space given the current configuration. The shelf the center speaker sits on can go up or down but going down takes away from venting area above the receiver.


No, I don't live near any of those. I live in Kansas City area.

Last edited by badtlc; 02-12-2020 at 12:54 PM.
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post #18 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Question, when you listen to music, will you use just the two main speakers (+ sub?), or all of them?

Sorry. I apologize. I thought I had covered all the pertinent information but I obviously didn't. I feel very embarrassed I didn't have that.



I listen to music in 2.1 only.

Last edited by badtlc; 02-12-2020 at 01:09 PM.
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post #19 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I see everyone seems to be mainly focused on bookshelf. I thought maybe the room volume would require towers. Will I get more bang for my buck in the bookshelf market?


I'm really liking the HSU, RSL and SVS options. The price of the NHT is so tempting but I have had bad experiences with paper cones in my past. That is my biggest hangup with those.
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post #20 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badtlc View Post
I see everyone seems to be mainly focused on bookshelf. I thought maybe the room volume would require towers. Will I get more bang for my buck in the bookshelf market?


I'm really liking the HSU, RSL and SVS options. The price of the NHT is so tempting but I have had bad experiences with paper cones in my past. That is my biggest hangup with those.
Perhaps if you were sitting further away - it looks like you're relatively close based on the photo, so towers wouldn't be necessary (at least IMO). Go for the HSU HB-1 +HC-1 5.0 package - whether you go satin black or rosenut, either is under your $1000 budget.

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

Music: Cambridge Audio AXR100 | Stanton T.62 | Cambridge Audio AXC35 | KEF Q150 L/R
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post #21 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badtlc View Post
I see everyone seems to be mainly focused on bookshelf. I thought maybe the room volume would require towers. Will I get more bang for my buck in the bookshelf market?


I'm really liking the HSU, RSL and SVS options. The price of the NHT is so tempting but I have had bad experiences with paper cones in my past. That is my biggest hangup with those.
With HSU you could go with three HC1s as they can be used at all three positions and when vertical they are essentially mini towers.

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post #22 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badtlc View Post
I have officially hit the paralysis by analysis wall. I have been searching and researching on this forum for a couple weeks and I just can't make any progress. I have run myself in circles in trying to figure out my path forward.
I’m sure you will agree that during your research, the speakers recommended are no surprise.

So I think a good question for you is:
What’s the hiccup?
There is something holding you back.

Any additional information would probably be very helpful.
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post #23 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Perhaps if you were sitting further away - it looks like you're relatively close based on the photo, so towers wouldn't be necessary (at least IMO). Go for the HSU HB-1 +HC-1 5.0 package - whether you go satin black or rosenut, either is under your $1000 budget.

My biggest concern with the HSUs is mounting the rears. I'm not sure how to do it so that it would look nice and also be properly oriented. They seem a bit bulky for elevated wall mounted rears.
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post #24 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 02:17 PM
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My biggest concern with the HSUs is mounting the rears. I'm not sure how to do it so that it would look nice and also be properly oriented. They seem a bit bulky for elevated wall mounted rears.
Emotiva?

T Zero towers, C1 center, E2 surrounds.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #25 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Boombox13 View Post
I’m sure you will agree that during your research, the speakers recommended are no surprise.

So I think a good question for you is:
What’s the hiccup?
There is something holding you back.

Any additional information would probably be very helpful.

The biggest problem is it is just in my nature to love the research side more than actually making a decision. I think I'm making progress, though, after responses in this thread.


I thought bookshelves would be like the home theater in a box which I want nothing to do with. I didn't realize how high end the bookshelf market went and that they aren't the same thing as satellites. One of my first hurdles was thinking I just had to have towers for music. But it seemed from researching that wasn't necessarily true and bookshelves can provide detail and magnitude. I'm to the point now where I realize if I want the best sound quality I can get for my money that bookshelves are the most likely choice. I thought higher quality music would require reducing the role of the subwoofer to help increase and maintain detail, eliminate transition issues and just have better balance. I can see now that many high end designs require "more" involvement from the subwoofer to free up the rest of the speakers for more focus on the the rest of the listening spectrum.



My biggest hiccups with bookshelves at this point are appearance, mounting and filling the space. I cant afford the perfect media room but I still want my space to look as nice and well thought out as reasonably possible. Some of these like the RSL I just can't imagine how the CG23 would look on a pedestal. It seems like vertically it would fall over from the slightest touch. Then you have the HSUs which I think would be great for the front but the rears just seem too big to have a nice clean install in my space.


That leads to my other, silly, hiccup that I want things to all essentially match for both sound and aesthetics.



I know I am not being very helpful but this is my first foray into trying to find quality speaker and I always like to be 100% committed before I pull the trigger on anything. I realize that is probably impossible to ask for in the world of audio. I probably need to try some of these options that allow free returns, find out what I like and then come back to get more guidance.
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post #26 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Emotiva?

T Zero towers, C1 center, E2 surrounds.

I am interested in these. What would be the best way to mount the E2 surrounds?
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post #27 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by badtlc View Post
My biggest concern with the HSUs is mounting the rears. I'm not sure how to do it so that it would look nice and also be properly oriented. They seem a bit bulky for elevated wall mounted rears.
https://www.primecables.ca/p-370483-...ck-primecables

These will work just fine. You can rotate them, and angle them downwards.

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

Music: Cambridge Audio AXR100 | Stanton T.62 | Cambridge Audio AXC35 | KEF Q150 L/R
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post #28 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 02:35 PM
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I am interested in these. What would be the best way to mount the E2 surrounds?
They are designed to be wall mounted on either the back or side wall.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #29 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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They are designed to be wall mounted on either the back or side wall.

Mount them just flat on the wall? Which orientation would be best vertical or horizontal?
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post #30 of 62 Old 02-12-2020, 02:53 PM
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Mount them just flat on the wall? Which orientation would be best vertical or horizontal?
Yep, horizontally.

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