Q Acoustics 3050 or Polk S55 / 60 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 79 Old 05-15-2020, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Q Acoustics 3050 or Polk S55 / 60

Hi y'all,

Please help me to choose the right buy for me.

I am looking to replace my current front speakers in a 5.1 setup.

My current 5.1 setup is a pretty basic Onkyo HTP-528 set, including Onkyo SKF-528 as front speakers.
Which may have cost about 200 Euro's, 250 US dollars.

Maybe a budget setup, still I am pretty happy with the performance.

I am looking to have a little more in-your-face sound experience when watching movies in my humble home theater room.
For now, I am looking to replace my front speakers with either the Q Acoustics 3050 (non i version) or the Polk S55 or S60.

I will be mostly using the speakers in a 5.1 setup to watch movies; music is less important. I think it will be maybe 80 percent movies, and 20 percent audio.

Listening in a store to either brand is not possible for me, but here in The Netherlands, you can fairly easy test at home and decide to keep the speakers or not.

My room is about 5 x 4 meters and I am using a Onkyo TX-NR696 receiver.

Please mind I have little room to place the speakers.
I can reserve 20 centimeters, maybe a foot room to the back wall but at the sides the speakers will be placed between furniture and/or sidewall.

So why the Q Acoustics 3050?

- decent priced in The Netherlands (440 Euro a pair)
- Highly rated in many reviews including What HiFi
- madly in love with the design and the anthracite color
- 92 dB sensitivity

Apparently, they need much room around them, in the back minimum 20 cm to a foot and about 50 cm, nearly 2 feet at the sides.
The back wall requirement is not a problem, sidewall requirement is a problem.

So why the Polk S55 or S60?

- In my budget
- PowerPort for better placement against walls
- like the designs

Why not?

- Much more expensive than the 3050's (S55 cost 500 a pair, S60 600 a pair)
- Hard to find reviews from decent sources
- Specifications are not on par with the 3050's

So what will be your advice for me guys?

- Will I achieve my goal for a better movie experience?
- Looking at my speaker placement, which will better perform?
- Is the S60 worth the extra compared to the S55?
- Are the Polk Signature E series much improved compared to the original Signature series?
- Is there anyway to describe the sounds of the Q Acoustics (British) versus the Polk's (American)?
- Any alternatives?

Please, help me with my decision and I will be incredibly grateful!

Many thanks in advance!

ManFromGouda
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post #2 of 79 Old 05-15-2020, 11:40 PM
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Q Acoustics 3050s.

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post #3 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 12:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Q Acoustics 3050s.
You think? Even keeping in mind the limited space I have to place the 3050 a decent amount of the walls?
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post #4 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ManFromGouda View Post
You think? Even keeping in mind the limited space I have to place the 3050 a decent amount of the walls?
Are you keen on sticking with towers? What is your total budget? If space is a concern, you could maybe pick up a pair of the 3020s, and possibly this sub: http://www.bkelec.com/HiFi/Sub_Woofers/XLS200.htm

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post #5 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 02:39 AM - Thread Starter
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[quote=Ryan Statz;59654136]Are you keen on sticking with towers? What is your total budget? If space is a concern, you could maybe pick up a pair of the 3020s, and possibly this sub: /quote]


At the moment I have Onkyo standmounts, on very slim stands.

Budget will be around 600 - 700 EUR / US Dollar total.

Will the 3020i standmounts have better performance compared to the 3050 floorstanders?
Both have a rear firing port with foam bung, so I keep having the placement issue, I guess.

Problem with the 3020i will be I need a large stand to place them correctly, which takes up space and budget.

I have no complaint about my current Onkyo subwoofer, but if it's better to acompany a new speaker with a new sub, I will consider this as an option.
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post #6 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 10:25 AM
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[quote=ManFromGouda;59654228]
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
Are you keen on sticking with towers? What is your total budget? If space is a concern, you could maybe pick up a pair of the 3020s, and possibly this sub: /quote]


At the moment I have Onkyo standmounts, on very slim stands.

Budget will be around 600 - 700 EUR / US Dollar total.

Will the 3020i standmounts have better performance compared to the 3050 floorstanders?
Both have a rear firing port with foam bung, so I keep having the placement issue, I guess.

Problem with the 3020i will be I need a large stand to place them correctly, which takes up space and budget.

I have no complaint about my current Onkyo subwoofer, but if it's better to acompany a new speaker with a new sub, I will consider this as an option.
As you have a sub, if you cross over the bass from the main speakers to the sub at 80hz, the rear port on the speakers barely does anything so not as critical in terms of placement when using a subwoofer vs not using one.

Have you considered the Concept 20 bookshelves?

Here in the States they are still far cheaper than the 3050 towers.

With a subwoofer that would be a better speaker in my opinion.

I tested them here at home against my older B&Ws and some Martin Logan LX16s and the Concept 20s were excellent, first rate.
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post #7 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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[quote=gajCA;59655814]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManFromGouda View Post

As you have a sub, if you cross over the bass from the main speakers to the sub at 80hz, the rear port on the speakers barely does anything so not as critical in terms of placement when using a subwoofer vs not using one.

Have you considered the Concept 20 bookshelves?

Here in the States they are still far cheaper than the 3050 towers.

With a subwoofer that would be a better speaker in my opinion.

I tested them here at home against my older B&Ws and some Martin Logan LX16s and the Concept 20s were excellent, first rate.
That's an interesting conclusion! I hope you are so right. Indeed, I will be using a subwoofer.

The Concept 20's are very rare over here and are priced the same as the 3050's.
But, then I have to buy decent stands too, which will make too expensive for my budget.

I hope someone can corroborate your opinion about the rear port in combination with the subwoofer.
Interesting, thanks mate!
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post #8 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 10:58 AM
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[quote=ManFromGouda;59655880]
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post

That's an interesting conclusion! I hope you are so right. Indeed, I will be using a subwoofer.

The Concept 20's are very rare over here and are priced the same as the 3050's.
But, then I have to buy decent stands too, which will make too expensive for my budget.

I hope someone can corroborate your opinion about the rear port in combination with the subwoofer.
Interesting, thanks mate!
He is one of the senior members here, and his statements on the port are accurate - the port doesn't really come into play until around the 65Hz mark, so if you set a crossover at 80Hz it won't really be a factor. You can put the bung in there just in case, but you probably won't need it as your subwoofer should be assigned to handle the bass grunt work.
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post #9 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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[quote=Ryan Statz;59655998]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManFromGouda View Post

He is one of the senior members here, and his statements on the port are accurate - the port doesn't really come into play until around the 65Hz mark, so if you set a crossover at 80Hz it won't really be a factor. You can put the bung in there just in case, but you probably won't need it as your subwoofer should be assigned to handle the bass grunt work.
At the moment, I am using the subwoofer also at the 80 Hz crossover. With lesser speakers, so I think it will be allright.

I am going to think about it for a couple of hours, but I want to thank you guys for this great advice.
I think this will give me confidence to order the 3050's and give it a try.
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post #10 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 11:14 AM
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[quote=ManFromGouda;59655880]
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post

That's an interesting conclusion! I hope you are so right. Indeed, I will be using a subwoofer.

The Concept 20's are very rare over here and are priced the same as the 3050's.
But, then I have to buy decent stands too, which will make too expensive for my budget.

I hope someone can corroborate your opinion about the rear port in combination with the subwoofer.
Interesting, thanks mate!
Well it is very very easy to "test" this if you already have a ported speaker.

Simply run these test tones and tape a single piece of toilet paper over the port and play these test tones...or simply put your hand over the port.

You will see that nothing happens until you get well below 100hz unless the speaker is very very small.

https://www.audiocheck.net/testtones...rsts20-200.php


"In a vented box type of woofer subsystem all of the acoustic out put of the system is from the woofer driver itself at frequencies well above the vent tuning frequency of the box, that is, the F(B).

At lower frequencies, specifically a narrow band of frequencies centered on the box tuning frequency F(B), all of the acoustic output is from the vent.

Thus the speaker system consists of two acoustic sources: the driver and the vent.

The total output of the speaker system is the acoustic sum of the outputs of these two sources.

...most vented systems are tuned below 100 Hz..."


https://trueaudio.com/st_ventq.htm
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post #11 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 11:20 AM
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[quote=Ryan Statz;59655998]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManFromGouda View Post

He is one of the senior members here, and his statements on the port are accurate - the port doesn't really come into play until around the 65Hz mark, so if you set a crossover at 80Hz it won't really be a factor. You can put the bung in there just in case, but you probably won't need it as your subwoofer should be assigned to handle the bass grunt work.
Thanks for the compliment Ryan but I do NOT consider myself an expert at all.

Simply an experienced enthusiast who has made a lot of mistakes over the years to gain that "experience"!

Having had one of the first surround systems in the mid 80s when no such thing as a center channel, or Audio Video receiver even existed, kind of forced on into the mysteries of "decoders" and the miles of wire needed to extract surround sound from a stack of a minimum of four separate boxes for amplification/processing.

It was a royal PITA and VERY expensive but, at the time, mind blowing.

Today it's relatively ho hum...and better and far far cheaper.

But I've read the "theory" on port tuning and used test tones to verify that oddly, at around the tuning frequency if you are close enough to the speaker, you can actually "hear" the bass energy shift from coming from the woofer directly at you to all of a sudden disappearing from the front and coming from the rear in a rear ported speaker.

Something you'd never "notice" while playing them full range while seted 6 feet away or so.
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post #12 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 11:27 AM
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[quote=ManFromGouda;59656028]
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post

At the moment, I am using the subwoofer also at the 80 Hz crossover. With lesser speakers, so I think it will be allright.

I am going to think about it for a couple of hours, but I want to thank you guys for this great advice.
I think this will give me confidence to order the 3050's and give it a try.
Looking forward to your impressions, I doubt you'll even need to use the port bungs but experiment.

Was in Amsterdam this time last year.

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post #13 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManFromGouda View Post
At the moment, I am using the subwoofer also at the 80 Hz crossover. With lesser speakers, so I think it will be allright.

I am going to think about it for a couple of hours, but I want to thank you guys for this great advice.
I think this will give me confidence to order the 3050's and give it a try.
I would set the subwoofer's crossover (it appears as LFE in the settings menu) to 120Hz. Then, if there's a frequency knob on the back of the sub, turn that all the way to its max. The idea is for there to be a blend between your speakers and sub in order to eliminate sub localization (meaning, your ears picking up the exact location of your sub frequencies rather than the sub frequencies sounding like they're coming from all around you).
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post #14 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
I would set the subwoofer's crossover (it appears as LFE in the settings menu) to 120Hz. Then, if there's a frequency knob on the back of the sub, turn that all the way to its max. The idea is for there to be a blend between your speakers and sub in order to eliminate sub localization (meaning, your ears picking up the exact location of your sub frequencies rather than the sub frequencies sounding like they're coming from all around you).
If he can he should set the crossovers to the 3050s to 80hz unless he can only set one crossover for all speakers and then 100hz might be a good starting point.
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post #15 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ManFromGouda View Post
So why the Q Acoustics 3050?

- decent priced in The Netherlands (440 Euro a pair)
- Highly rated in many reviews including What HiFi
- madly in love with the design and the anthracite color
- 92 dB sensitivity

Apparently, they need much room around them, in the back minimum 20 cm to a foot and about 50 cm, nearly 2 feet at the sides.
The back wall requirement is not a problem, sidewall requirement is a problem.
I have a pair of 3050. They seem fine to me. I haven't compared them to anything else. I don't have the patience or knowledge to deal with that. They are pretty close to the wall, but as the subwoofer handles the lower stuff, it isn't an issue.

I think (and maybe I'm wrong), when you buy a more commercial brand speaker for 500-600, you might be actually buying a 250-300 speaker and the rest of the price is covers the overhead a big company has (need for higher margins, advertising, endless lines of speakers, bigger staff, brand name etc). When you buy one from a smaller but reputable company, you just get "more speaker" for a similar price.
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post #16 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ManFromGouda View Post
I am looking to have a little more in-your-face sound experience when watching movies in my humble home theater room.
For now, I am looking to replace my front speakers with either the Q Acoustics 3050 (non i version) or the Polk S55 or S60.

I will be mostly using the speakers in a 5.1 setup to watch movies; music is less important. I think it will be maybe 80 percent movies, and 20 percent audio. My room is about 5 x 4 meters and I am using a Onkyo TX-NR696 receiver.

Please mind I have little room to place the speakers.
I can reserve 20 centimeters, maybe a foot room to the back wall but at the sides the speakers will be placed between furniture and/or sidewall.

So why the Q Acoustics 3050?

- decent priced in The Netherlands (440 Euro a pair)
- Highly rated in many reviews including What HiFi
- madly in love with the design and the anthracite color
- 92 dB sensitivity

- Will I achieve my goal for a better movie experience?
- Looking at my speaker placement, which will better perform?
I would get the 3050i mainly for the attractive price and the fact that you won't have to buy speaker stands for them. They are good speakers no doubt, but since you say that movies not music is your main focus, the most important piece of the puzzle is the CENTER SPEAKER---and in my experience, Q Acoustics makes mediocre center speakers with stupid tiny little woofers that produce a boxy and not very dynamic sound. (Some people will disagree with me, on this, Geoff in particular. ) In any case, I can say with confidence that the QA centers will *not* produce what you described as "more in-your-face sound experience when watching movies"---probably the opposite.

However, the good news: contrary to popular superstition, you do NOT need to "match" the center speaker with the L/R speakers. I've experimented with over a dozen different combinations of both "matching" and non matching front 3 speakers, which has driven that point home time and time again.

So, my advice to you would be to get the 3050i but for your center, go with this:
https://www.amazon.nl/Klipsch-106581...dp/B07G3CQQ4G/

What speaker stores will never tell you is, the center speaker does 70-80% of the HT/TV output and 98% of the DIALOGUE. It is *the* true workhorse/backbone of any HT setup and thus the absolute LAST place you should ever cut corners. Smaller centers (less than 5.25" woofers) almost always produce tinny voices and often, terrible voice clarity. Getting towers for an HT system is a visual preference, not a functional necessity---but in this case, the "matching" Klipsch RP-600M costs more than the 3050i plus you'd need to buy a pair of stands for them, so you might as well get the 3050i:
https://www.amazon.nl/Klipsch-106580...dp/B07G3D2C8S/

The next dramatic upgrade for your system would be a good subwoofer. Best source in the EU is this UK-based company:
https://www.bkelec.com/HiFi/Sub_Woofers.htm
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I would get the 3050i mainly for the attractive price and the fact that you won't have to buy speaker stands for them. They are good speakers no doubt, but since you say that movies not music is your main focus, the most important piece of the puzzle is the CENTER SPEAKER---and in my experience, Q Acoustics makes mediocre center speakers with stupid tiny little woofers that produce a boxy and not very dynamic sound. (Some people will disagree with me, on this, Geoff in particular. ) In any case, I can say with confidence that the QA centers will *not* produce what you described as "more in-your-face sound experience when watching movies"---probably the opposite......
I followed many great advises from Geoff and Zorba. Many summed up in this post^^. I can't say I notice an issue with a mismatched center, but I'm far from being an authority.

The Towers vs Bookshelf also makes sense. I like the presence of towers + I don't like to pay for stands almost as much as I pay for the "stuff" that sits on them
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post #18 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 12:44 PM
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I followed many great advises from Geoff and Zorba. Many summed up in this post^^. I can't say I notice an issue with a mismatched center, but I'm far from being an authority.

The Towers vs Bookshelf also makes sense. I like the presence of towers + I don't like to pay for stands almost as much as I pay for the "stuff" that sits on them
Having set up my Q650c ahead of getting my Q750s, I can also verify that my ears aren't hearing a lick of difference in timbre between the Polk mains/surrounds and KEF centre - and I haven't even re-calibrated yet.
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post #19 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 12:54 PM
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Having set up my Q650c ahead of getting my Q750s, I can also verify that my ears aren't hearing a lick of difference in timbre between the Polk mains/surrounds and KEF centre - and I haven't even re-calibrated yet.
Man, I wish I could get AVS to make a sticky out of this post and all the others just like it.
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post #20 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 01:13 PM
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Having set up my Q650c ahead of getting my Q750s, I can also verify that my ears aren't hearing a lick of difference in timbre between the Polk mains/surrounds and KEF centre - and I haven't even re-calibrated yet.
I guess one may not be advised to mix speakers that sound very different.
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post #21 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 01:20 PM
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I guess one may not be advised to mix speakers that sound very different.
The only reason I'd look for a non "matching" center speaker is if the matching one didn't offer the qualities I wanted in sound primarily and aesthetics secondarily.

I've had both types of setups and prefer the aesthetics of a matching setup and have yet to be disappointed with the sound even in my secondary room where my center is a dual 4" center.
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post #22 of 79 Old 05-16-2020, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
The only reason I'd look for a non "matching" center speaker is if the matching one didn't offer the qualities I wanted in sound primarily and aesthetics secondarily.

I've had both types of setups and prefer the aesthetics of a matching setup and have yet to be disappointed with the sound even in my secondary room where my center is a dual 4" center.
Good point. In my case, as you may remember, the initial plan was to add a center to very old speakers that never had one available.
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post #23 of 79 Old 05-17-2020, 01:35 AM - Thread Starter
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[quote=gajCA;59656144]
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Originally Posted by ManFromGouda View Post

Looking forward to your impressions, I doubt you'll even need to use the port bungs but experiment.

Was in Amsterdam this time last year.

The bicycle riders there at rush hour are insane!

Nice! It's a little bit typical but biking is something you learn here when you're a small child and will do mostly the rest of your time.
Now with the electric bikes, there are a lot of elder people joining the road again and it's getting even more crowded!

Did you like you time in The Netherlands? I've been many times in the States and it's my favorite country to visit.
I find American people really nice and open, we Europeans are more reserved and to our selfs I guess.
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post #24 of 79 Old 05-17-2020, 03:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
I would get the 3050i mainly for the attractive price and the fact that you won't have to buy speaker stands for them. They are good speakers no doubt, but since you say that movies not music is your main focus, the most important piece of the puzzle is the CENTER SPEAKER---and in my experience, Q Acoustics makes mediocre center speakers with stupid tiny little woofers that produce a boxy and not very dynamic sound. (Some people will disagree with me, on this, Geoff in particular. ) In any case, I can say with confidence that the QA centers will *not* produce what you described as "more in-your-face sound experience when watching movies"---probably the opposite.

However, the good news: contrary to popular superstition, you do NOT need to "match" the center speaker with the L/R speakers. I've experimented with over a dozen different combinations of both "matching" and non matching front 3 speakers, which has driven that point home time and time again.

So, my advice to you would be to get the 3050i but for your center, go with this:
https://www.amazon.nl/Klipsch-106581...dp/B07G3CQQ4G/

What speaker stores will never tell you is, the center speaker does 70-80% of the HT/TV output and 98% of the DIALOGUE. It is *the* true workhorse/backbone of any HT setup and thus the absolute LAST place you should ever cut corners. Smaller centers (less than 5.25" woofers) almost always produce tinny voices and often, terrible voice clarity. Getting towers for an HT system is a visual preference, not a functional necessity---but in this case, the "matching" Klipsch RP-600M costs more than the 3050i plus you'd need to buy a pair of stands for them, so you might as well get the 3050i:
https://www.amazon.nl/Klipsch-106580...dp/B07G3D2C8S/

The next dramatic upgrade for your system would be a good subwoofer. Best source in the EU is this UK-based company:
https://www.bkelec.com/HiFi/Sub_Woofers.htm
Great advice!

For me, it is not a problem to have a mismatch between the front and the center speakers.
I am open for any idea!

I love the Klipsch RP-600c, but I ran in to some trouble:

Just took some measurements and the Klipsch center won't fit in my cabinet.
My tv cannot be placed on the wall, sadly, the wall won't hold the tv.

So I am limited to about 6.5 inch / 17 centimeters maximum for a center speaker.

I have to say, the Klipsch RP-600c is a little bit too high priced also.
But again, it won't fit in the cabinet so that's out of the picture unfortunately.

The center speaker will be a next project: searching for a center speaker with max. 6.5 inch height and budget from 200 to 300 EUR / US dollar.
Any ideas?

What do you think about my orginal goal? I am watching lots of action packed movies, will I get a more in-your-face experience with the new front speakers?
I am hoping for a more bombastic, full sound experience.

Thanks for all your help mate!
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post #25 of 79 Old 05-17-2020, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ManFromGouda View Post
So I am limited to about 6.5 inch / 17 centimeters maximum for a center speaker.
You can use a desktop or floor standmount for the TV. That's what I used to make room for the center to be under the TV. Amazon has a lot of options for such and they are fairly cheap.
Depends how big you TV is and how it's placed now.
e.g
https://www.amazon.nl/FITUEYES-verst...dp/B07QQP296J/
https://www.amazon.nl/FITUEYES-TV-st...dp/B07RXNQXHJ/

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Originally Posted by ManFromGouda View Post
What do you think about my orginal goal? I am watching lots of action packed movies, will I get a more in-your-face experience with the new front speakers?
I am hoping for a more bombastic, full sound experience.
You'll probably want a good subwoofer for action stuff. Like the one Zorba recommeded.

Last edited by AlexLac; 05-17-2020 at 04:57 AM.
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post #26 of 79 Old 05-17-2020, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
If he can he should set the crossovers to the 3050s to 80hz unless he can only set one crossover for all speakers and then 100hz might be a good starting point.

I believe Ryan was referring to the LPF for LFE setting. That's the .1 lfe channel only, nothing to do with the crossover to the speakers. The .1 track contains information up to 120hz. If you set that to 80hz , for example, the receiver is tapering the upper limit of the LFE track between 80hz and 120hz. It's not a brick wall like it is above 120hz.
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post #27 of 79 Old 05-17-2020, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexLac View Post
I think (and maybe I'm wrong), when you buy a more commercial brand speaker for 500-600, you might be actually buying a 250-300 speaker and the rest of the price is covers the overhead a big company has (need for higher margins, advertising, endless lines of speakers, bigger staff, brand name etc). When you buy one from a smaller but reputable company, you just get "more speaker" for a similar price.
Here's an in-depth article from Audioholics on this topic.
https://www.audioholics.com/loudspea...y-loudspeakers
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post #28 of 79 Old 05-17-2020, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
If he can he should set the crossovers to the 3050s to 80hz unless he can only set one crossover for all speakers and then 100hz might be a good starting point.
Yes, indeed I can choose the crossover for all the speakers separately.
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post #29 of 79 Old 05-17-2020, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by djp2k7 View Post
Here's an in-depth article from Audioholics on this topic.
https://www.audioholics.com/loudspea...y-loudspeakers
It's a good read. Thanks for that.

After reading page 1, it seems I was generous in my unprofessional assessment.
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post #30 of 79 Old 05-17-2020, 07:36 AM
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It's a good read. Thanks for that.

After reading page 1, it seems I was generous in my unprofessional assessment.
Their YouTube channel is full of great informative videos on setup, theory, etc.
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