Convince me not to buy a soundbar! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Convince me not to buy a soundbar!

So I am finally in the process of finishing my basement and the expensive (for me anyway) 5.1 sound system and Denon receiver are moving downstairs to be hooked up to a projector. I bought them a year ago thinking I was going to be ready for them back then, but wasn't, so they have been hooked up to my TV upstairs this whole time. That monolith 15" sub is taking up a lot of room though! I am going to miss them upstairs and want to replace it all with something fairly inexpensive but an upgrade over the TV speakers (LG 65" oled).


I have looked at sound bars a bit, but I know that with a bit of know how, I should be able to purchase a 3.1 system that could crush most soundbars for not too much moola. I hesitate at buying a second receiver (no way really of hooking them up to the one downstairs), but if it's cheap enough and will do the trick, I might be able to do it.


I was hoping to keep it all under $500 though. Is that even going to be possible?


Thanks for the help
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post #2 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 05:33 PM
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I'd go with a HTIB over a sound bar any day. And then replace speakers/sub/AVR one by one as you're able.

And the HTIB wouldn't go to waste at the end. You can put it out in the garage, backyard, etc.

EDIT:
And don't forget you can always buy used gear. If you live in the Tampa area, there is a killer deal on ebay right now:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Jbl-7-Chann...sAAOSwyJVdXz2j

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post #3 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 05:36 PM
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Soundbars are a major cause of ED.
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post #4 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taz291819 View Post
I'd go with a HTIB over a sound bar any day. And then replace speakers/sub/AVR one by one as you're able.

And the HTIB wouldn't go to waste at the end. You can put it out in the garage, backyard, etc.

EDIT:
And don't forget you can always buy used gear. If you live in the Tampa area, there is a killer deal on ebay right now:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Jbl-7-Chann...sAAOSwyJVdXz2j
The best course of action. That JBL speaker set looks promising.
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post #5 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 05:39 PM
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I agree with the HTIB route. I have an Energy Take Classic 5.1 and love it. It's in my den and it's really great for what it is. Look it up online, you won't find many, if any, negative reviews. Look on that auction site and you will find it is well under your budget.
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post #6 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 05:41 PM
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If you're like 60 then probably not worried about ED, and want a soundbar in the room
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post #7 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 05:42 PM
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You could get close with DCM speakers. They are on closeout and very nice sounding.

3 way tower.
https://pricedrightsales.com/product...p260-ch-2-pack

2 way tower
https://pricedrightsales.com/product...p160-ch-2-pack

Center
https://pricedrightsales.com/product...-mtx-tp160c-ch

See what receivers Accessories4less has cheap. They also have Boston Acoustics on sale so check them out also. Very good for the price.
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ceivers/1.html

Sub is going to be a challenge.
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post #8 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cocrh View Post
You could get close with DCM speakers. They are on closeout and very nice sounding.

3 way tower.
https://pricedrightsales.com/product...p260-ch-2-pack

2 way tower
https://pricedrightsales.com/product...p160-ch-2-pack

Center
https://pricedrightsales.com/product...-mtx-tp160c-ch

See what receivers Accessories4less has cheap. They also have Boston Acoustics on sale so check them out also. Very good for the price.
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ceivers/1.html

Sub is going to be a challenge.
If that's not his primary display, he could get by without a sub if the mains are 3-way (and decent).

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post #9 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Transistorious View Post
The best course of action. That JBL speaker set looks promising.
I was going to buy that set, but it's an 11-hour drive each way for me.

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post #10 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taz291819 View Post
If that's not his primary display, he could get by without a sub if the mains are 3-way (and decent).

I probably should have mentioned, I dont have room for towers. I need bookshelves. For some reason I was thinking that people looked down on an HTIB quite a bit, so I had not looked into that.

I dont really really need a sub, but, I really really want one And it would be best of course with only bookshelves.


I should probably also mention, I do have a very old 5.1 Polk RM6000BD speaker set. Its not bad, but wanted a bit of an upgrade.


Ok I can maybe go a bit over $500.....

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post #11 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok how about this. I buy that Denon 5.2 receiver on Accessories4less for $188, then get the best LRC bookshelf speakers I can for under $400. I can worry about a sub later. I am going to be watching movies downstairs anyway. This will mostly be for Netflix while eating dinner, stuff like that.


In that case, maybe some speaker recommendations in that range? Thanks all.


I could get a pair of CBM-170 SE from Ascend for $300 on sale right now, and grab an HTM-200 center for $160. Would be in the $700 range at that point, but sure would be nice stuff. Although those speakers are kind of on the large side. Center wouldn't even fit under my TV I dont think lol.
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post #12 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malodium View Post
Ok how about this. I buy that Denon 5.2 receiver on Accessories4less for $188, then get the best LRC bookshelf speakers I can for under $400. I can worry about a sub later. I am going to be watching movies downstairs anyway. This will mostly be for Netflix while eating dinner, stuff like that.


In that case, maybe some speaker recommendations in that range? Thanks all.


I could get a pair of CBM-170 SE from Ascend for $300 on sale right now, and grab an HTM-200 center for $160. Would be in the $700 range at that point, but sure would be nice stuff. Although those speakers are kind of on the large side. Center wouldn't even fit under my TV I dont think lol.
that's actually a good idea..

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bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. ascend cbm 170 se... kef q100 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #13 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 06:40 PM
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i was going to buy that set, but it's an 11-hour drive each way for me.
ouch
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post #14 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 07:09 PM
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Here is my preference over a soundbar, an excellent 2.0 system:

For use by my wife and myself only (no guests) in our theater room, we prefer using the two-channel phantom mode.

If I had to choose between a tiny center speaker or phantom mode with nice main speakers, as suggested below, I would go with phantom mode every time, even with visitors filling the room.

For slightly more than your stated budget consider a Yamaha AV receiver ($250) and a nice pair of loudspeakers, such as Wharfedale 225s ($300) from their highly regarded Diamond series. The speakers have a 6.5-inch bass driver, which would provide a very nice low end. If desired, add a little bass boost with the AVR's tone control or EQ. An inexpensive pair of speaker stands, if you do not have any, are available from Amazon for about $60.

Links:

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_022RXV...a-RX-V385.html

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_336D22...nut-Pearl.html

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_336D22...Blackwood.html

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Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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post #15 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 07:15 PM
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How about a compromise?

I use a Definitive SSA42 soundbar...passive, meaning it's a long soundbar filled with larger than your average powered soundbards speakers, full 5.1 set on the bar. The SSA50 is for larger TV's...it's basically a convinient way to mount/hold a full set of speakers under the front of the TV if you are limited on room to position them all over the place on stands or such. Just add an A/V receiver of your choice.

Paul

*they are cheaper on the used market ;-)

https://www.definitivetechnology.com.../mythos-ssa-50

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post #16 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malodium View Post
I probably should have mentioned, I dont have room for towers. I need bookshelves. For some reason I was thinking that people looked down on an HTIB quite a bit, so I had not looked into that.

I dont really really need a sub, but, I really really want one And it would be best of course with only bookshelves.


I should probably also mention, I do have a very old 5.1 Polk RM6000BD speaker set. Its not bad, but wanted a bit of an upgrade.


Ok I can maybe go a bit over $500.....
Then have a look at those Boston A26 or A25 bookshelf speakers (buy one get one 1/2 off) at Accessories4less. The A225C is the center model.

A26
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-each/1.html

A25
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-each/1.html

Center A225C
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...r-black/1.html
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post #17 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 08:14 PM
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What about something like this? Pair it with a decent receiver and it'd make a nice small setup under a TV.

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...black--300-686
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post #18 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 08:38 PM
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If you want the entire bundle (sans receiver):

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...oofer--300-747

Or save even more with the 10" sub ...

Seems to me both the MK402x and MK442 were reviewed here (Jim Wilson?) a number of months ago and were said to well outperform their price tag. BTW, if you are expecting the sub bundled with this set of speakers to perform anything like the Monolith it replaces, you are just kidding yourself. In this price range, there will be compromises, especially in bass performance.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

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post #19 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 09:44 PM
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Don't buy a sound bar.
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post #20 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 10:03 PM
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All of suggestions above are good ideas, can't knock any of them. It really depends on the sound you like.

Since I don't know where you live, I don't know if that link I posted is an option (no, I'm not the seller, and don't know them). But those S38's are great bookshelf speakers, and they are 3-way. I'm more jealous that I can't buy them due to no shipping, but would rather an AVS member get them than someone that doesn't really care about sound. Back in the day (2000), that set new would have cost around ~$1500, even without a sub.

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post #21 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taz291819 View Post
All of suggestions above are good ideas, can't knock any of them. It really depends on the sound you like.

Since I don't know where you live, I don't know if that link I posted is an option (no, I'm not the seller, and don't know them). But those S38's are great bookshelf speakers, and they are 3-way. I'm more jealous that I can't buy them due to no shipping, but would rather an AVS member get them than someone that doesn't really care about sound. Back in the day (2000), that set new would have cost around ~$1500, even without a sub.

I am rather distant. SE Idaho.


I am somewhat interested in the two-channel phantom mode Alex mentioned above. There is precious little space below the TV. It's wall mounted, and I like them lower than most people, and there is a large cabinet right under it that is only a year old and im not moving it so there . I just went and measured and I only have 4 inches between the cabinet and the bottom of the screen.



So, something like the Definitive speaker bar mentioned, or the two-channel phantom mode. I could spend more obviously on a nice pair of bookshelves if I didn't bother with a center channel. I assume this phantom mode something that is set up in the receiver?
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post #22 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malodium View Post
I am rather distant. SE Idaho.


I am somewhat interested in the two-channel phantom mode Alex mentioned above. There is precious little space below the TV. It's wall mounted, and I like them lower than most people, and there is a large cabinet right under it that is only a year old and im not moving it so there . I just went and measured and I only have 4 inches between the cabinet and the bottom of the screen.



So, something like the Definitive speaker bar mentioned, or the two-channel phantom mode. I could spend more obviously on a nice pair of bookshelves if I didn't bother with a center channel. I assume this phantom mode something that is set up in the receiver?
Sort of. You just don't connect a center channel speaker, and set the AVR to 2.1/4.1/6.1.

Going phantom center is not a bad option, either if space under the TV is rather tight for your conventional center channel speaker.

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post #23 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Sort of. You just don't connect a center channel speaker, and set the AVR to 2.1/4.1/6.1.

Going phantom center is not a bad option, either if space under the TV is rather tight for your conventional center channel speaker.
A lot of people seem to really like the Wharfedale Diamond 225s. Would those work nicely without a center or sub? With possibly getting a sub later?
I guess if I am assuming around $200 for a lower end receiver, about $300 for the bookshelves would be about right, which is what the Wharfedale cost.
There is also a pair of refurb KEF Q150s on accessories4less for $300. And I guess, for that matter a pair of Canton Chrono 502.2 for $279.
Guess I need to start reading up on all these speakers at this level!

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post #24 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malodium View Post
Ok how about this. I buy that Denon 5.2 receiver on Accessories4less for $188, then get the best LRC bookshelf speakers I can for under $400. I can worry about a sub later. I am going to be watching movies downstairs anyway. This will mostly be for Netflix while eating dinner, stuff like that.


In that case, maybe some speaker recommendations in that range? Thanks all.


I could get a pair of CBM-170 SE from Ascend for $300 on sale right now, and grab an HTM-200 center for $160. Would be in the $700 range at that point, but sure would be nice stuff. Although those speakers are kind of on the large side. Center wouldn't even fit under my TV I dont think lol.
Get 3 NHT Super Ones with a used 5.1 AVR from Craigslist. Add the RSL Speedwoofer sub later when budget permits
https://www.amazon.com/NHT-SuperOne-...H3P0KGE6RNKQ8D
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post #25 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malodium View Post
A lot of people seem to really like the Wharfedale Diamond 225s. Would those work nicely without a center or sub? With possibly getting a sub later?
I guess if I am assuming around $200 for a lower end receiver, about $300 for the bookshelves would be about right, which is what the Wharfedale cost.
There is also a pair of refurb KEF Q150s on accessories4less for $300. And I guess, for that matter a pair of Canton Chrono 502.2 for $279.
Guess I need to start reading up on all these speakers at this level!
Remember, if you're going without a sub, you want 3-way speakers for your mains.

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post #26 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by taz291819 View Post
Remember, if you're going without a sub, you want 3-way speakers for your mains.

I do plan on adding a sub at some point.


I have been finding many threads about bookshelves in this price range. The options are many it looks like. Maybe I need to narrow it down by use. These will be almost 100% used for watching crap on Netflix, Amazon etc.... not too much music.
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post #27 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 11:05 PM
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I do plan on adding a sub at some point.


I have been finding many threads about bookshelves in this price range. The options are many it looks like. Maybe I need to narrow it down by use. These will be almost 100% used for watching crap on Netflix, Amazon etc.... not too much music.
Than bookshelf and a sub is what you want.

Music is a little different, but it really comes down to your preference. IMO, the three speakers up front (LCR) are the most important, the sub is next, and the surrounds and overheads are last.

I like a warmer sound, something that soundbars and some brand of bookshelf speakers just don't do. But that's me.

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post #28 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malodium View Post
A lot of people seem to really like the Wharfedale Diamond 225s. Would those work nicely without a center or sub? With possibly getting a sub later?
I guess if I am assuming around $200 for a lower end receiver, about $300 for the bookshelves would be about right, which is what the Wharfedale cost.
There is also a pair of refurb KEF Q150s on accessories4less for $300. And I guess, for that matter a pair of Canton Chrono 502.2 for $279.
Guess I need to start reading up on all these speakers at this level!
There aren't a lot of bookshelf speakers that wouldn't require a sub, especially if it's for a 100% HT set up.

The KEFs wouldn't be a bad idea.

Home Theatre: Marantz SR6014 | 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 | Nintendo Switch

Music: Cambridge Audio AXR100 | Stanton T.62 | Cambridge Audio AXC35 | KEF Q150 L/R
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post #29 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
There aren't a lot of bookshelf speakers that wouldn't require a sub, especially if it's for a 100% HT set up.

The KEFs wouldn't be a bad idea.
Welp, thanks all for the help in directing me. I just bought a Denon X1600H and a pair of KEF Q150s from accessories4less.


A little over budget but they were offering the full 3 year warranty on the receiver so I decided to get that one over a slightly less expensive one.


Now to prowl for a sub for purchase at some future date
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post #30 of 41 Old 02-21-2020, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Malodium View Post
Welp, thanks all for the help in directing me. I just bought a Denon X1600H and a pair of KEF Q150s from accessories4less.


A little over budget but they were offering the full 3 year warranty on the receiver so I decided to get that one over a slightly less expensive one.


Now to prowl for a sub for purchase at some future date
I run a pair of Q150s for my 2ch music area. They do well.

Home Theatre: Marantz SR6014 | 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 | Nintendo Switch

Music: Cambridge Audio AXR100 | Stanton T.62 | Cambridge Audio AXC35 | KEF Q150 L/R
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