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post #1 of 31 Old 02-26-2020, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Home Theater Speakers: ELAC vs Martin Logan vs DefTech

Hello,

New here and looking for some advice. I know more about TVs than I know about audio so I'm hoping your expertise here can help me.

Moved to a new house recently and currently have the following:

TV: Panasonic P55-VT30
Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR636
Front Speakers: Monitor Audio BX5
Subwoofer: Polk Audio PSW10

I'm looking to get a 3.1 setup and once the house is set up a bit more, add the rears (and maybe height speakers for Atmos). I'd heard great things about the ELAC Debut 2.0 series so was all set to get those. But I went to Magnolia and the sales guy was trying to steer me towards either the DefTech Demand D7 or the Martin Logan Motion 4i. Short of buying all 3 of the above sets and trying them out at home, does anyone have any advice? I'm not sure I trust the sales people at stores because maybe they have incentive to push one brand over the other.

On the forums, I hear great things about the Chane speakers too.

Feeling a bit like fish out of water here

Thanks in advance for your help!
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post #2 of 31 Old 02-26-2020, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rajb82 View Post
Hello,

New here and looking for some advice. I know more about TVs than I know about audio so I'm hoping your expertise here can help me.

Moved to a new house recently and currently have the following:

TV: Panasonic P55-VT30
Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR636
Front Speakers: Monitor Audio BX5
Subwoofer: Polk Audio PSW10

I'm looking to get a 3.1 setup and once the house is set up a bit more, add the rears (and maybe height speakers for Atmos). I'd heard great things about the ELAC Debut 2.0 series so was all set to get those. But I went to Magnolia and the sales guy was trying to steer me towards either the DefTech Demand D7 or the Martin Logan Motion 4i. Short of buying all 3 of the above sets and trying them out at home, does anyone have any advice? I'm not sure I trust the sales people at stores because maybe they have incentive to push one brand over the other.

On the forums, I hear great things about the Chane speakers too.

Feeling a bit like fish out of water here

Thanks in advance for your help!
What don't you like about the BX5s?

Not sure the speakers you are looking at will be a step.

If it were me I'd add a Monitor Audio center and a sell your old sub and get a better one.
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Geoff A. J., California
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post #3 of 31 Old 02-26-2020, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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What don't you like about the BX5s?

Not sure the speakers you are looking at will be a step.

If it were me I'd add a Monitor Audio center and a sell your old sub and get a better one.
Hi, looking for a few things:

1. We have 2 small children and we often watch shows and movies when they're asleep. We can't always hear the dialog without turning up the whole system which is too loud with kids sleeping.
2. The sound doesn't seem as "full" (for a lack of a better word). When I listen at Magnolia, those speakers sound fuller to me. But that could possibly be my receiver or the fact that they play it louder.

Basically I want to experience all the sounds but without turning it up so loud that the kids wake up. This may be an impossible problem to solve ha
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post #4 of 31 Old 02-26-2020, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rajb82 View Post
Hi, looking for a few things:

1. We have 2 small children and we often watch shows and movies when they're asleep. We can't always hear the dialog without turning up the whole system which is too loud with kids sleeping.
2. The sound doesn't seem as "full" (for a lack of a better word). When I listen at Magnolia, those speakers sound fuller to me. But that could possibly be my receiver or the fact that they play it louder.

Basically I want to experience all the sounds but without turning it up so loud that the kids wake up. This may be an impossible problem to solve ha
Are you in the US?

If so order a Monitor Audio Bronze from Crutchfield with $10 returns within 60 days.

That should solve your issue completely is my guess.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #5 of 31 Old 02-26-2020, 07:23 PM
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There's really nothing wrong with your speakers or receiver (actually, the speakers are quite decent). The sub is a cheap one, though.

I agree with the above...get a MA Bronze center channel and perhaps a better sub and that should solve most of your problems. You can fine-tune your center dialogue so you don't have to crank everything else up.
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post #6 of 31 Old 02-26-2020, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rajb82 View Post
Hi, looking for a few things:

1. We have 2 small children and we often watch shows and movies when they're asleep. We can't always hear the dialog without turning up the whole system which is too loud with kids sleeping.
2. The sound doesn't seem as "full" (for a lack of a better word). When I listen at Magnolia, those speakers sound fuller to me. But that could possibly be my receiver or the fact that they play it louder.

Basically I want to experience all the sounds but without turning it up so loud that the kids wake up. This may be an impossible problem to solve ha
Actually I used to be in the exact same situation, thanks to having a wife who was super paranoid that we'd disturb our neighbors watching movies late at night when we used to live in an apartment with extremely thin walls...she was constantly making me turn it down.

This amazing center speaker saved the day for us, couldn't recommend it more highly at this closeout price (we paid $250):
https://emotiva.com/collections/loud...ed-airmotiv-c1

~ 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 #7 of 31 Old 02-26-2020, 09:49 PM
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Emotiva even found a way to make a center channel look hideous. Just think how many more speakers they'd sell if they looked the part of how they sounded.

But anyway, center channel is your ticket for late-night movie watching.
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post #8 of 31 Old 02-26-2020, 10:02 PM
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Emotiva even found a way to make a center channel look hideous. Just think how many more speakers they'd sell if they looked the part of how they sounded.
The center isn't that bad looking with the grill on. It's the towers that look really weird, lol

But yeah, they seem determined to set themselves apart with this Batmobile styling for some reason.

~ 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 31 Old 02-27-2020, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Actually I used to be in the exact same situation, thanks to having a wife who was super paranoid that we'd disturb our neighbors watching movies late at night when we used to live in an apartment with extremely thin walls...she was constantly making me turn it down.

This amazing center speaker saved the day for us, couldn't recommend it more highly at this closeout price (we paid $250):
Ah, thank you! But isn't conventional wisdom that you want your center and fronts to match? So it probably makes sense to get a Monitor Audio Bronze center or replace my L/R speakers with Emotiva too?
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Actually I used to be in the exact same situation, thanks to having a wife who was super paranoid that we'd disturb our neighbors watching movies late at night when we used to live in an apartment with extremely thin walls...she was constantly making me turn it down.

This amazing center speaker saved the day for us, couldn't recommend it more highly at this closeout price (we paid $250):
Quote:
Originally Posted by _tk View Post
There's really nothing wrong with your speakers or receiver (actually, the speakers are quite decent). The sub is a cheap one, though.

I agree with the above...get a MA Bronze center channel and perhaps a better sub and that should solve most of your problems. You can fine-tune your center dialogue so you don't have to crank everything else up.
Thanks! Just ordered the Bronze center to try out. I also made a change in my receiver to set the correct distance for the speakers from where I'm sitting and I think it actually made a difference (altho I never know with audio, maybe I'm just imagining it.) It was originally set at 12ft, but I actually sit 8ft away. Changed it to 8 now.
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post #11 of 31 Old 02-27-2020, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
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There's really nothing wrong with your speakers or receiver (actually, the speakers are quite decent). The sub is a cheap one, though.

I agree with the above...get a MA Bronze center channel and perhaps a better sub and that should solve most of your problems. You can fine-tune your center dialogue so you don't have to crank everything else up.
Which sub would you recommend? And just for my knowledge, what's wrong with the one I have?
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post #12 of 31 Old 02-27-2020, 01:51 AM
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Emotiva even found a way to make a center channel look hideous. Just think how many more speakers they'd sell if they looked the part of how they sounded.

But anyway, center channel is your ticket for late-night movie watching.
So true. Their towers are so ugly I couldn’t even consider them. I tried but couldn’t get past the looks.
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post #13 of 31 Old 02-27-2020, 08:45 AM
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Ah, thank you! But isn't conventional wisdom that you want your center and fronts to match? So it probably makes sense to get a Monitor Audio Bronze center or replace my L/R speakers with Emotiva too?
It's just an old wives tale, in my experience.

1. I've had a "matching" LCR of 3 identical front speakers, with the L/R vertical and the C horizontal.
2. I've had a "quasi-matching" LCR of 2 bookshelves and 1 horizontal center from the same brand and model family.
3. I've had a "mismatched" set of a horizontal center from a completely different brand and different tweeter type than the L/R speakers.
4. I've had a "mismatched" set of 2 bookshelves with a 3rd bookshelf of a different brand in the center position standing up, aligned with the L/R.
5. I've had a "mismatched" set of 2 bookshelves with a 3rd bookshelf of a different brand in the center position on its side.

And the only two conclusions I can derive from my experience with any degree of certainty are:
I. #4 usually sounds a bit better than #5 . And even then, #5 doesn't apply if all 3 speakers are of a concentric design.
II. The perceptible SQ difference between #1 , 2, and 3 are negligible as long as the horizontal center speaker is a good one.

There are however 3 rough "working" rules that I have inferred from my experience:

a. A crappy center speaker (mainly one lacking in adequate voice clarity) is a crappy center speaker which will severely hamper your HT enjoyment, whether it "matches" the other speakers or not. Do not suffer with a crappy center speaker merely for the sake of some ivory-tower ideal.

b. A very good bookshelf speaker used in the center position that is identical to the L/R bookshelf speakers, will sound very good...BUT at moderately loud or louder volumes, it will still not sound quite as "big" (involving, dramatic, vivid, immersive, etc.) as a very good horizontal center speaker that has double or more the surface area in woofers, esp. a 3-way design that minimizes lobing such as the Emotiva centers. The exceptions might be with very high-sensitivity single woofer designs like the PSA MT-110 which are already extremely dynamic and clear by themselves.

c. If #3 best fits your budget and WAF requirements, by all means do it. Don't overthink this silly hobby, it's not worth it...just get the best you can with what budget you have, then sit back and (gasp!) ENJOY what you have. Don't become a chronic, obsessive gearhead...that will only suck the life and joy out of everything.

~ 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 #14 of 31 Old 02-27-2020, 08:50 AM
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Which sub would you recommend? And just for my knowledge, what's wrong with the one I have?
A sub like the PSW10 will sharply drop off around 30-40Hz and what bass it does produce will be lacking in both quantity (low output) and quality (muddy, boomy, one-note rather than tight/fast/articulate).

A good sub starts at $400-500. Under-spending on the sub while overspending on the receiver and buying towers that are actually more of a luxury than a necessity is an all too common newbie mistake.

~ 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 #15 of 31 Old 02-27-2020, 10:05 AM
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Thanks! Just ordered the Bronze center to try out. I also made a change in my receiver to set the correct distance for the speakers from where I'm sitting and I think it actually made a difference (altho I never know with audio, maybe I'm just imagining it.) It was originally set at 12ft, but I actually sit 8ft away. Changed it to 8 now.
That should make quite the difference.

Your sub is a 50 watt 10" sub that even Polk says reaches only 40hz which is not much more than your speakers reach.

Here are your options in the US:

3 years 120watts =13w15h16d= 29 lbs 10" [29hz] $239 MARTIN LOGAN DYNAMO 500 E'bay

2 years 350watts =15w16h17d= 40 lbs 10" [30hz] $399 RSL SPEEDWOOFER 10S, (extension from Sound & Vision review)

5 years 300watts =15w19h20d= 46 lbs 10" [18hz] $499 SVS PB1000, (extension from Sound & Vision Review)

5 years 400watts =17w21hx22d= 66 lbs 12" [19hz] $500 SVS PB12 NSD, (extension from Sound & Vision Review)

5 years 500watts =15w19h20d= 72 lbs 10" [20hz] $500 MONOPRICE MONOLITH THX 10"

3 years 300watts =16w22h21d= 69 lbs* 12" [19hz] $599 RHYTHMIK LV12F

2 years 350watts =15w21h22d= 62 lbs 12" [18hz] $607 HSU VTF2 MK5, (extension from Audioholics review)
* = shipping weight

Geoff A. J., California
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A sub like the PSW10 will sharply drop off around 30-40Hz and what bass it does produce will be lacking in both quantity (low output) and quality (muddy, boomy, one-note rather than tight/fast/articulate).

A good sub starts at $400-500. Under-spending on the sub while overspending on the receiver and buying towers that are actually more of a luxury than a necessity is an all too common newbie mistake.
Interesting, that makes total sense. I looked at the BX5 specs yesterday and it did say that they go down to 36Hz, so yeah, the sub doesn't seem to be faring much better at around 40Hz. I took a look at the ones recommended below and will probably go with either a Monolith THX 10 or the SVS PB1000 or the HSU VTF-2 MK5. Thanks for your help!
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That should make quite the difference.

Your sub is a 50 watt 10" sub that even Polk says reaches only 40hz which is not much more than your speakers reach.

Here are your options in the US:

3 years 120watts =13w15h16d= 29 lbs 10" [29hz] $239 MARTIN LOGAN DYNAMO 500 E'bay

2 years 350watts =15w16h17d= 40 lbs 10" [30hz] $399 RSL SPEEDWOOFER 10S, (extension from Sound & Vision review)

5 years 300watts =15w19h20d= 46 lbs 10" [18hz] $499 SVS PB1000, (extension from Sound & Vision Review)

5 years 400watts =17w21hx22d= 66 lbs 12" [19hz] $500 SVS PB12 NSD, (extension from Sound & Vision Review)

5 years 500watts =15w19h20d= 72 lbs 10" [20hz] $500 MONOPRICE MONOLITH THX 10"

3 years 300watts =16w22h21d= 69 lbs* 12" [19hz] $599 RHYTHMIK LV12F

2 years 350watts =15w21h22d= 62 lbs 12" [18hz] $607 HSU VTF2 MK5, (extension from Audioholics review)
* = shipping weight
Thank you for this list! Leaning towards the HSU VTF-2 MK5.
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Don't overthink this silly hobby, it's not worth it...just get the best you can with what budget you have, then sit back and (gasp!) ENJOY what you have. Don't become a chronic, obsessive gearhead...that will only suck the life and joy out of everything.
I like this a lot! I should apply this to my other hobbies too haha

Anyway, I ordered the Bronze BX5 and will most likely get the HSU VTF-2 MK5. Hope that helps in my situation!
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post #19 of 31 Old 02-27-2020, 01:48 PM
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Interesting, that makes total sense. I looked at the BX5 specs yesterday and it did say that they go down to 36Hz, so yeah, the sub doesn't seem to be faring much better at around 40Hz. I took a look at the ones recommended below and will probably go with either a Monolith THX 10 or the SVS PB1000 or the HSU VTF-2 MK5. Thanks for your help!
All good choices.

I'd lean toward the VTF2 with its numerous EQ options.

Are you located near any of the sub manufacturers?

HSU NEAR LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA
MONOPRICE NEAR RIVERSIDE CALIFORNIA
RHYTHMIK SUBS NEAR AUSTIN TEXAS
SVS* YOUNGSTOWN OHIO

Geoff A. J., California
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I like this a lot! I should apply this to my other hobbies too haha



Anyway, I ordered the Bronze BX5 and will most likely get the HSU VTF-2 MK5. Hope that helps in my situation!
I'm rockin a Vtf-3 mk5. Have had a few SVS in past and a custom 18" sound splinter in a huge sonotuhbe with a 900 watt amp. These new HSU are no joke. My much better half told me awesome job on the upgrade and you know she doesn't really care about HT

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

TCL 65 6 Series
Firec TV Cube 4k
Denonn X3500H
Chane A5.5 L/R, A2.5 C, JBL E10s surrounds
HSU VTF 3 MK 5

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post #21 of 31 Old 02-27-2020, 06:40 PM
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Interesting, that makes total sense. I looked at the BX5 specs yesterday and it did say that they go down to 36Hz
I looked at the MA website and it didn't specify whether 36Hz was the 3db, 6db, or 10db roll-off. I suspect it's at least 10db since this is an entry level tower that weighs only 26lbs apiece and with relatively small-ish woofers...3db roll off point is probably closer to 45db, would be my guess.

~ 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 #22 of 31 Old 03-02-2020, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Are you in the US?

If so order a Monitor Audio Bronze from Crutchfield with $10 returns within 60 days.

That should solve your issue completely is my guess.
Just got the MA Bronze Center today. Took out the DefTech ProCenter 1000 that I was trying and WOW, the MA sounds amazing! Even my wife, who doesn't care about any of this stuff was amazed when I swapped out the DefTech and put in the MA. We were watching a movie on bluray and we heard sounds we didn't just 2 minutes before with the other center.

Anyway, this was super helpful. Thank you so much!

For my knowledge, what is it about the MA Bronze Center that makes the sound so much fuller? Is it the physical size of it compared to the DefTech?
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post #23 of 31 Old 03-03-2020, 06:08 AM
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Just got the MA Bronze Center today. Took out the DefTech ProCenter 1000 that I was trying and WOW, the MA sounds amazing! Even my wife, who doesn't care about any of this stuff was amazed when I swapped out the DefTech and put in the MA. We were watching a movie on bluray and we heard sounds we didn't just 2 minutes before with the other center.

Anyway, this was super helpful. Thank you so much!

For my knowledge, what is it about the MA Bronze Center that makes the sound so much fuller? Is it the physical size of it compared to the DefTech?
My guess is a better design overall, especially the tweeter and likely the crossover.

Larger physical size should give it more "presence."

I've heard that tweeter and it is first class in my view.

Enjoy!

Geoff A. J., California
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post #24 of 31 Old 03-03-2020, 06:21 AM
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For my knowledge, what is it about the MA Bronze Center that makes the sound so much fuller? Is it the physical size of it compared to the DefTech?
Yes.

The laws of physics are immune to the lies of sales/marketing departments.

DT in general is not a great choice, imo.

~ 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 #25 of 31 Old 03-03-2020, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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The laws of physics are immune to the lies of sales/marketing departments.
This sentence is so concise and true. Love it. Thanks again for your help!
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All good choices.

I'd lean toward the VTF2 with its numerous EQ options.

Are you located near any of the sub manufacturers?

HSU NEAR LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA
MONOPRICE NEAR RIVERSIDE CALIFORNIA
RHYTHMIK SUBS NEAR AUSTIN TEXAS
SVS* YOUNGSTOWN OHIO
Thanks for all the help! I do wanna get a better sub next. Unfortunately I'm not super close to any of these places. I live in the San Francisco area, so HSU is prob the closest. I'm leaning towards the HSU sub, but it seems like subs would be a pain to return if I didn't love it.
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post #27 of 31 Old 03-03-2020, 01:31 PM
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Thanks for all the help! I do wanna get a better sub next. Unfortunately I'm not super close to any of these places. I live in the San Francisco area, so HSU is prob the closest. I'm leaning towards the HSU sub, but it seems like subs would be a pain to return if I didn't love it.
I don't think I've ever heard of anyone returning a Hsu sub, to be honest. That's one of the safest buying choices you could possibly make.
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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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post #28 of 31 Old 03-09-2020, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't think I've ever heard of anyone returning a Hsu sub, to be honest. That's one of the safest buying choices you could possibly make.
I did it. I got the VTF-2 MK5 and it's great! It just sounds better when I'm standing up behind the couch rather than sitting on it, so I need to figure out better placement.

Also, do you recommend using an SPL meter to calibrate my speakers or is that not worth the trouble?
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post #29 of 31 Old 03-09-2020, 09:56 AM
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Also, do you recommend using an SPL meter to calibrate my speakers or is that not worth the trouble?
You could start by just downloading a free SPL Meter app to your phone and using that to begin with. If you're not happy with the results, then upgrade to a standalone SPL Meter. Some people go whole hog and even get a full DSP, I think it's called Umik or something like that, around $100.

~ 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 #30 of 31 Old 03-09-2020, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
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You could start by just downloading a free SPL Meter app to your phone and using that to begin with. If you're not happy with the results, then upgrade to a standalone SPL Meter. Some people go whole hog and even get a full DSP, I think it's called Umik or something like that, around $100.
I got an SPL meter to calibrate. Unfortunately my receiver doesn't have relative volume levels, so I couldn't set it to 0dB to calibrate. I read somewhere that you should set it to 80% of the max volume. Mine goes from 0-80, so I set it at 80*.8=64 and then calibrated. My LCR was at 0dB to get them to be 75dB on the SPL meter. That doesn't seem right, is it? Anytime I've seen calibrations in Youtube videos, they're +/- by several dB. Am I just lucky?

Also, what are we doing with the calibration leveling? Is it just setting speakers relative to each other? Or is it trying to set it to some reference level? Thanks for your help on this too!
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