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post #1 of 37 Old 05-21-2020, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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3.1 Needs amended....

Hey all, I asked for guidance on a 3.1 purchase a few weeks ago with a top budget of $1000. I need to make an amendment of a budget of about $800. Lots of recs for Chane, but that would have put us at about $1200, though I imagine would sound amazing. I say $800 because the other option is a Harmon 1300 Enchant with wireless sub. I realize the sound won't compete with individual speakers, but the clean and wireless reality of the Enchant has its own perks, and it with the wireless sub come in at $800.

Is there any decent 3.1 separate speakers out there for $800? Mind you, coming from 20 year old Energy Take 5s. Would be powered by a Pioneer SC 1522, a 9.1, NON atmos receiver that was great six years ago and still sounds solid.

I go on Crutchfield and just want to take a nap with how many bookshelf options there are.
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post #2 of 37 Old 05-21-2020, 06:45 PM
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Monolith 10" ported sub for $500


You'd probably be better off going 2 nice bookshelf speakers right now and doing a center channel later.
Polk S20 $200/pr
HSU HB-1 $160/ea

Front: Polk S55
Center: Polk S30
Rear: Polk S10
Sub: P̶L̶-̶2̶0̶0̶I̶I̶ | (̶2̶)̶ ̶F̶V̶X̶1̶2̶ | V1812
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post #3 of 37 Old 05-21-2020, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Monolith 10" ported sub for $500


You'd probably be better off going 2 nice bookshelf speakers right now and doing a center channel later.
Polk S20 $200/pr
HSU HB-1 $160/ea
It seems like Polk has a ton of models in that $150 - $230 range. Is there a significant difference? For example, I was looking at two Polk RTi3 bookshelf speakers, and one Polk CSi A6 center. All three a significant size increase over the old energy speakers. But the speakers you sugested, the S20's are $20 more and I can't tell the difference. Thoughts?
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post #4 of 37 Old 05-21-2020, 07:13 PM
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It seems like Polk has a ton of models in that $150 - $230 range. Is there a significant difference? For example, I was looking at two Polk RTi3 bookshelf speakers, and one Polk CSi A6 center. All three a significant size increase over the old energy speakers. But the speakers you sugested, the S20's are $20 more and I can't tell the difference. Thoughts?

Yes, there is a difference. Do not waste time with the CSi lineup. I personally don't care much for the RTi. The S20 is a nice neutral speaker that can be easily equalized to any taste. I think the port design on the S20 is the best, too.

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post #5 of 37 Old 05-21-2020, 07:17 PM
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It seems like Polk has a ton of models in that $150 - $230 range. Is there a significant difference? For example, I was looking at two Polk RTi3 bookshelf speakers, and one Polk CSi A6 center. All three a significant size increase over the old energy speakers. But the speakers you sugested, the S20's are $20 more and I can't tell the difference. Thoughts?
The no-brainer steal of a deal I'd pounce on if I were you are the Infinity RC-263C with R-162 bookshelves for $320 shipped and FREE RETURN SHIPPING.
https://slickdeals.net/f/14060573-in...archBarV2Algo1

The big 3-way center would destroy anything made by Polk.

You'd have enough left for that $500 Monolith 10" ported sub.
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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 #6 of 37 Old 05-21-2020, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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The no-brainer steal of a deal I'd pounce on if I were you are the Infinity RC-263C with R-162 bookshelves for $320 shipped and FREE RETURN SHIPPING.
https://slickdeals.net/f/14060573-in...archBarV2Algo1

The big 3-way center would destroy anything made by Polk.

You'd have enough left for that $500 Monolith 10" ported sub.
Zorba this is the second time you've offered quick and helpful advice in one of my threads so thank you. Are you able to quickly help me understand the quality of infinity speakers? I only associate that name with a car brand. Thank you!
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post #7 of 37 Old 05-22-2020, 05:43 AM
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Zorba this is the second time you've offered quick and helpful advice in one of my threads so thank you. Are you able to quickly help me understand the quality of infinity speakers? I only associate that name with a car brand. Thank you!

They are a name brand mass manufacturer of home audio components. Their quality should be in line with everyone else.

Front: Polk S55
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post #8 of 37 Old 05-22-2020, 06:26 AM
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They are a name brand mass manufacturer of home audio components. Their quality should be in line with everyone else.
At their sale price, they would certainly be better quality then most EVERYTHING else.
That LCR is, IMHO, the absolute best combination, right now, for that price.
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post #9 of 37 Old 05-22-2020, 07:18 AM
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LooK at the Infinity Reference speakers as recommended ... they make some good stuff

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post #10 of 37 Old 05-22-2020, 09:36 AM
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Zorba this is the second time you've offered quick and helpful advice in one of my threads so thank you. Are you able to quickly help me understand the quality of infinity speakers? I only associate that name with a car brand. Thank you!
Infinity's R series is a solid step up from their budget Primus series that used to be widely available at Fry's and other big box stores; with free return shipping you have nothing to lose by trying them. Have yet to hear of anyone being unhappy with them.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #11 of 37 Old 05-22-2020, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Croikee26 View Post
Zorba this is the second time you've offered quick and helpful advice in one of my threads so thank you. Are you able to quickly help me understand the quality of infinity speakers? I only associate that name with a car brand. Thank you!
Reviews here with measurements; I'd get them ASAP.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...-review.12333/

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...-review.12442/
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post #12 of 37 Old 05-22-2020, 11:04 AM
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Make sure the rear port works with your speaker locations. You won't be able to keep them up against a wall or located in a bookshelf/cabinet.

Front: Polk S55
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Sub: P̶L̶-̶2̶0̶0̶I̶I̶ | (̶2̶)̶ ̶F̶V̶X̶1̶2̶ | V1812
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post #13 of 37 Old 05-24-2020, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Infinity's R series is a solid step up from their budget Primus series that used to be widely available at Fry's and other big box stores; with free return shipping you have nothing to lose by trying them. Have yet to hear of anyone being unhappy with them.
Okay, really trying to work this with our new home. The top two areas I'm struggling with are (a) wires compared to a soundbar and (b) bookshelf speakers on stands with a 19 month old running around.

So two questions: Would the RSL Speedwoofer 10s be a HUGE downgrade to the Monolith 10? I ask because the Speedwoofer comes with wireless built in for $50 more, which still comes in at $50 less than the Monolith. Curious for thoughts on this, but would eliminate one wire.

On the second, do any of you know of good stands that are sturdy and won't tip over easily? I found some on Amazon but looks like the speaker just sits on top with no screws, don't really like that idea.

Thoughts?
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post #14 of 37 Old 05-24-2020, 07:54 PM
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Okay, really trying to work this with our new home. The top two areas I'm struggling with are (a) wires compared to a soundbar and (b) bookshelf speakers on stands with a 19 month old running around.

So two questions: Would the RSL Speedwoofer 10s be a HUGE downgrade to the Monolith 10? I ask because the Speedwoofer comes with wireless built in for $50 more, which still comes in at $50 less than the Monolith. Curious for thoughts on this, but would eliminate one wire.

On the second, do any of you know of good stands that are sturdy and won't tip over easily? I found some on Amazon but looks like the speaker just sits on top with no screws, don't really like that idea.
3 speakers will require 3 speaker cables running from the receiver. There are rigid cable organizer tubes that you can use to make them more child safe, but the safest route with a kid in the picture is to use wall mounted bookshelves---if you're renting this obviously isn't an option, if you own then it's doable and will both sound better and cost less than paying for installation of in-wall speakers. Towers that would fit into your current budget limits are not going to offer much more safety than bookshelf speakers Blue Tacked onto stands that are filled with sand or kitty litter. For example the Emotiva T Zeros at $400/pr would be outstanding bang for the buck but they weigh around 38lbs each, less than many bookshelf speakers plus filled metal stands.

Or you could do 3 identical compact bookshelf speakers wall mounted just above your TV and angled downwards towards ear level, perhaps 3 x Ascend 200SE (about $500 shipped) or 3 x NHT C1s from Amazon ($128 each), backed up by a robust sub or two. Both are sealed cabinet designs so they will be better suited for mounting close up against a wall.

Are you interested in the Speedwoofer's wireless capability for child safety reasons, or for placement flexibility? Off the top of my head, I can tell you that the Monolith is 32lbs heavier and has 150 extra watts over the RSL so I'd expect it to be the heavier hitter for HT; if you want more feedback on that specific rec I'd post and ask in the Subwoofers forum.

~ 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 37 Old 05-24-2020, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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3 speakers will require 3 speaker cables running from the receiver. There are rigid cable organizer tubes that you can use to make them more child safe, but the safest route with a kid in the picture is to use wall mounted bookshelves---if you're renting this obviously isn't an option, if you own then it's doable and will both sound better and cost less than paying for installation of in-wall speakers. Towers that would fit into your current budget limits are not going to offer much more safety than bookshelf speakers Blue Tacked onto stands that are filled with sand or kitty litter. For example the Emotiva T Zeros at $400/pr would be outstanding bang for the buck but they weigh around 38lbs each, less than many bookshelf speakers plus filled metal stands.

Or you could do 3 identical compact bookshelf speakers wall mounted just above your TV and angled downwards towards ear level, perhaps 3 x Ascend 200SE (about $500 shipped) or 3 x NHT C1s from Amazon ($128 each), backed up by a robust sub or two. Both are sealed cabinet designs so they will be better suited for mounting close up against a wall.

Are you interested in the Speedwoofer's wireless capability for child safety reasons, or for placement flexibility? Off the top of my head, I can tell you that the Monolith is 32lbs heavier and has 150 extra watts over the RSL so I'd expect it to be the heavier hitter for HT; if you want more feedback on that specific rec I'd post and ask in the Subwoofers forum.
How do speakers sound wall mounted vs on stands? Do you just drill screws into studs and then hook the screws into the back of the speaker? Or does it require brackets etc?

Not worried about the sub for child proofing reasons, more so for aesthetics and placement flexibility. I'll shoot that over to the sub forum though.
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post #16 of 37 Old 05-25-2020, 11:00 AM
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Not worried about the sub for child proofing reasons, more so for aesthetics and placement flexibility. I'll shoot that over to the sub forum though.

there are wirless kits to make any subwoofer wireless if that is what you need. Don't let that push the speedwoofer to the front. Focus on sound needs.
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post #17 of 37 Old 05-25-2020, 11:37 AM
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How do speakers sound wall mounted vs on stands? Do you just drill screws into studs and then hook the screws into the back of the speaker? Or does it require brackets etc?
You use heavy duty L-mount brackets so that you'll be able to swivel and tilt the speakers, as opposed to flush wall mounting where you can't.

Ideally, you'd use front ported or sealed cabinet speakers rather than rear ported ones in order to minimize room boundary interference; these speakers also tend to have shallower cabinets than rear ported ones which makes them more attractive as well as lighter...just compare the dimensions of the Ascend 200SE to the Polk S20.
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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 #18 of 37 Old 05-25-2020, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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there are wirless kits to make any subwoofer wireless if that is what you need. Don't let that push the speedwoofer to the front. Focus on sound needs.
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You use heavy duty L-mount brackets so that you'll be able to swivel and tilt the speakers, as opposed to flush wall mounting where you can't.

Ideally, you'd use front ported or sealed cabinet speakers rather than rear ported ones in order to minimize room boundary interference; these speakers also tend to have shallower cabinets than rear ported ones which makes them more attractive as well as lighter...just compare the dimensions of the Ascend 200SE to the Polk S20.
Well, missed out on that Infinity deal, took too long deciding between floor stands filled with stand, or switching to searching for a front port bookshelf that I can mount on a wall mount. Wasn't meant to be...or I took to long

Curious for thoughts on these? Don't need surrounds right now, but getting them would let me plan for the future. Planing on the Monolith 10thx sub. Open to LRC suggestions that can be wall mounted (not the center) for about $400.
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Open to LRC suggestions that can be wall mounted (not the center) for about $400.
$400 apiece, or $400 for both L/R pair?

~ 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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$400 apiece, or $400 for both L/R pair?
$400 ish for the L, R, and C

Not a great budget but its what I got. Could get speaker stands and fill with sand, or mount on wall.
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$400 ish for the L, R, and C

Not a great budget but its what I got. Could get speaker stands and fill with sand, or mount on wall.
If wall mounting, I would go with a sealed or front ported speaker.

Best long term investment imo, would be 3 x Ascend 200SE, $476 shipped. You have to use this page to get that bundle pricing:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...isor.mv#bottom

Or, 3 x NHT C1s at $384 shipped from Amazon. Looks like Amazon has stopped its previous limit of 2 per account, so you can get all 3 in one swoop. The Ascends will be more neutral, but the NHTs do have nicer looking cabinets.

~ 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 37 Old 05-25-2020, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
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If wall mounting, I would go with a sealed or front ported speaker.

Best long term investment imo, would be 3 x Ascend 200SE, $476 shipped. You have to use this page to get that bundle pricing:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...isor.mv#bottom

Or, 3 x NHT C1s at $384 shipped from Amazon. Looks like Amazon has stopped its previous limit of 2 per account, so you can get all 3 in one swoop. The Ascends will be more neutral, but the NHTs do have nicer looking cabinets.
I'll look into both. Don't you want the center speaker to have more drivers than the left and right though? Something about dialog etc? That was my assumption and completely open to being wrong.
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post #23 of 37 Old 05-25-2020, 10:17 PM
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I'll look into both. Don't you want the center speaker to have more drivers than the left and right though? Something about dialog etc? That was my assumption and completely open to being wrong.
Depends on how far away you sit and how loud you listen.

With your $400 budget for all 3, compromises are inevitable.

If you can spend $79 above that budget, you could get Emotiva C1+ with B1+ for L/R. (Might be less, if Emotiva is still doing the 30% off credit on second purchase deal.)

~ 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 #24 of 37 Old 05-26-2020, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll look into both. Don't you want the center speaker to have more drivers than the left and right though? Something about dialog etc? That was my assumption and completely open to being wrong.
Depends on how far away you sit and how loud you listen.

With your $400 budget for all 3, compromises are inevitable.

If you can spend $79 above that budget, you could get Emotiva C1+ with B1+ for L/R. (Might be less, if Emotiva is still doing the 30% off credit on second purchase deal.)
Here is a thought... What about towers and a center, no sub (for now) for arround $900 - $1000? Would that be a good option that would allow for a sub later? Plus would still give SOME low end?

If this even sounds okay, what good towers are out there for around $600-$700 a pair?
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Here is a thought... What about towers and a center, no sub (for now) for arround $900 - $1000? Would that be a good option that would allow for a sub later? Plus would still give SOME low end?

If this even sounds okay, what good towers are out there for around $600-$700 a pair?
Well, depends...what % of your usage is likely to be 2-channel music, and what % is HT/TV?

~ 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 #26 of 37 Old 05-26-2020, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is a thought... What about towers and a center, no sub (for now) for arround $900 - $1000? Would that be a good option that would allow for a sub later? Plus would still give SOME low end?

If this even sounds okay, what good towers are out there for around $600-$700 a pair?
Well, depends...what % of your usage is likely to be 2-channel music, and what % is HT/TV?
Right now I'd say 90% TV/Movies the rest music. Nice towers might change that. And I'd only get towers with a nice center too. Thought is nice towers might cover ENOUGH bass until I can add a sub, the center would compete the 3.0 setup.
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post #27 of 37 Old 05-26-2020, 02:23 PM
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Right now I'd say 90% TV/Movies the rest music. Nice towers might change that. And I'd only get towers with a nice center too. Thought is nice towers might cover ENOUGH bass until I can add a sub, the center would compete the 3.0 setup.
Then how much in total are you able to spend right now, on just this 3.0 configuration? $800? $1000?

~ 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 37 Old 05-26-2020, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Right now I'd say 90% TV/Movies the rest music. Nice towers might change that. And I'd only get towers with a nice center too. Thought is nice towers might cover ENOUGH bass until I can add a sub, the center would compete the 3.0 setup.
Then how much in total are you able to spend right now, on just this 3.0 configuration? $800? $1000?
$1000 total for the 3.0 IF this is a good plan with a sub in the future.
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post #29 of 37 Old 05-26-2020, 02:36 PM
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$1000 total for the 3.0 IF this is a good plan with a sub in the future.
Consider this combo, buy the towers first. $75/pair to return within 60 days if not happy which is cheap to return a pair of towers.

Available in two finishes.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_760ALT...20-Walnut.html

Review.

https://www.theabsolutesound.com/art...0-loudspeaker/

Center.


https://www.crutchfield.com/p_760ALC...sh.html?tp=189

Geoff A. J., California
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post #30 of 37 Old 05-26-2020, 02:44 PM
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$1000 total for the 3.0 IF this is a good plan with a sub in the future.
Some possible combos:

1. Emotiva T Zeros ($400/pr) with C1 center ($250)
2. Emotiva T1s ($700/pr) with C1 center
3. JBL Arena 190s ($700/pr) with A125C center ($209) = these are current sale prices from jbl.com and you do get free return shipping
4. JBL Arena 170s ($420/pr) with A125C center = the 170s have dual 5.25" woofers vs dual 8" on the 190s, so they will not have quite as much bass but still quite good

The difference between JBL and Emotiva is that Emotiva will be slightly "warm" which means much less brightness risk if your room has a lot of hard surfaces, whereas the JBLs will be more dynamic and detailed, with stronger treble. So, room acoustics and your personal tastes will be the deciding factor, but the free return shipping is hard to resist.

~ 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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