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Opinions differ on the amount of sound the surround/Atmos channels produce. It all depends on the audio engineer, as well as the genre of movies you watch.
Action, Sci-Fi, blockbuster films, all make extensive use of Atmos and surrounds. Many indie, drama, documentary, etc films and shows generally don't.
Does it mean you should ignore surround speakers? No.
Does it mean you shouldn't over-budget for surround speakers? Yes, but there's a catch.
If your surround speakers are a fair distance from you (as the rear ones will be) then you need capable speakers. I usually suggest a medium-sized bookshelfs from the same series as you mains, as I do (my budget wasn't affected, I SAVED money by not using bi-pole speakers).
If at all possible, surround and Atmos speakers should be capable of an 80Hz crossover. These are just the guidelines I suggest, and they are not that hard to accomplish.
I fully agree with Zorba on placement. For me, Atmos is a thing (action and Sci-Fi fan). For others, it is not. Your AVR will be able to compensate, within reason, your speaker placement. There is really no "wrong" placement in your photo, just think of the future if you ever think you will expand to Atmos.
 

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Discussion Starter #62
What a difference a day makes! The cabinet doors should be installed next Tuesday or Wednesday, which will finish that project, and then we have a chandelier coming in November which should just about finish up the room, other than the A/V stuff. I can't wait to get rid of that soundbar. It's going to be tricky getting all the wires to fit in that center cabinet and leave enough room for the AVR and Nvidia Shield.

I forgot the the 1.5" depth of the vertical wood slat panels was going to take away depth from the countertop, so now there's about 14.5" to the rear wall and 13.5" to the grommet passthrough. I may need to end up looking at speakers with a slightly smaller footprint.

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I forgot the the 1.5" depth of the vertical wood slat panels was going to take away depth from the countertop, so now there's about 14.5" to the rear wall and 13.5" to the grommet passthrough. I may need to end up looking at speakers with a slightly smaller footprint.
I would consider doing 3 of these, all in horizontal position---they are only 8.25" deep and have sealed cabinets. Would fit perfectly on top of your cabinet under the TV.
 

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I see a space like that and I just see and hear three big beautiful Maple wood Klipsch Reference speakers, (would need a larger shelf!) but I don't think they make them in Maple anymore.
 

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I see a space like that and I just see and hear three big beautiful Maple wood Klipsch Reference speakers, (would need a larger shelf!) but I don't think they make them in Maple anymore.
A pair of Cornwalls would be incredible in that room. WAF, however... lol
Come to think of it, let's play a game. Let's see how many different speaker sets will LOOK amazing in that room. I already suggested Cornwalls, but a nice pair of dual-concentric Tannoys would look incredible too...
 
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A pair of Cornwalls would be incredible in that room. WAF, however... lol
Come to think of it, let's play a game. Let's see how many different speaker sets will LOOK amazing in that room.
Any of the Wharfedale Evos in Walnut...
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Heck, if he shows his wife some of these pics, she might change her mind... lol
At least we're actually showing CAPABLE speakers that look great too...
Of course, anything by Jim Salk would look and sound incredible as well.
 
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Discussion Starter #71
You guys are right, seeing the finished product has me leaning back towards floor standers, which was my initial plan, and the reason I left that empty space to the left and right of the cabinet. I talked myself out of it, though, when I realized there is no other wall space available to utilize for subs. Do the cylindrical SVS subs also need to be placed near a wall similar to traditional subwoofer boxes? Decisions, decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
I'm reconsidering the way this system will be used. While I felt initially that the system should be significantly targeted towards HT use, I've realized that since we're using a Sonos Playbar currently, we actually have music playing as often, if not more often, than we are actively watching TV. I am a (novice) musician, and can certainly picture myself sitting dead center, listening to some of my favorites to hear detail I was never able to previously.

Of course, part of this stems from me trying to rationalize buying some of those beautiful towers you guys have been posting. There is also a fair amount of gaming happening on the system, but this would be the lowest priority. Still, it would be nice to timbre match the front three since gaming may become more prevalent as my sons grow older.

I'm thinking that I may purchase a 3.0 setup now (engage center for HT, 2.0 for music) and expand with a subwoofer and surrounds later.

The Emotiva C2+ with T2+ towers are in strong consideration, I just really wish they were more attractive. I also considered taking the Ascend CMT-340 with their matched stands, but my two concerns there are they may not have enough low extension for use without a sub for a while, and the center channel appears as though it will suffer from comb issues based on the MTM horizontal layout. They don't look as though they'd win any beauty contests either. The Chane A5.5 and 2.4 would work, I believe @Zorba922 has mentioned on many threads that they are similar to Emotiva, in an easier-to-drive impedance (although this would not detract me from Emotiva as I've read all the evidence he's also linked about lower end receivers being perfectly fine with them). I'm not crazy about having to wait for specific products to become available or relying on a smaller company that is subject to the whims of a single individual. Does the tweeter design of the 2.4 eliminate the issues of horizontal driver placement? I considered the JBL Studio 570/590s on sale, but no possibility of a strong matching center channel. The 590s are also very large, and again, looks are meh... The Triangle Borea BR08 has an appearance that my wife would certainly be happy with (at least from pics online, no idea what to expect in terms of fit and finish), but it's hard to get excited about them compared to these others that get heaps of praise.

I think I'm leaning away from Klipsch due to many examples of forum members comparing Reference Premiers to Emotiva towers and them getting clobbered every time. They are nicer looking than many of the others, though.

I think I could get away (MAYBE) with an absolute max of $1500 for the front three, and they'd better look gorgeous to get my wife on board with that price!
 

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I'm reconsidering the way this system will be used. While I felt initially that the system should be significantly targeted towards HT use, I've realized that since we're using a Sonos Playbar currently, we actually have music playing as often, if not more often, than we are actively watching TV. I am a (novice) musician, and can certainly picture myself sitting dead center, listening to some of my favorites to hear detail I was never able to previously.

Of course, part of this stems from me trying to rationalize buying some of those beautiful towers you guys have been posting. There is also a fair amount of gaming happening on the system, but this would be the lowest priority. Still, it would be nice to timbre match the front three since gaming may become more prevalent as my sons grow older.

I'm thinking that I may purchase a 3.0 setup now (engage center for HT, 2.0 for music) and expand with a subwoofer and surrounds later.

The Emotiva C2+ with T2+ towers are in strong consideration, I just really wish they were more attractive. I also considered taking the Ascend CMT-340 with their matched stands, but my two concerns there are they may not have enough low extension for use without a sub for a while, and the center channel appears as though it will suffer from comb issues based on the MTM horizontal layout. They don't look as though they'd win any beauty contests either. The Chane A5.5 and 2.4 would work, I believe @Zorba922 has mentioned on many threads that they are similar to Emotiva, in an easier-to-drive impedance (although this would not detract me from Emotiva as I've read all the evidence he's also linked about lower end receivers being perfectly fine with them). I'm not crazy about having to wait for specific products to become available or relying on a smaller company that is subject to the whims of a single individual. Does the tweeter design of the 2.4 eliminate the issues of horizontal driver placement? I considered the JBL Studio 570/590s on sale, but no possibility of a strong matching center channel. The 590s are also very large, and again, looks are meh... The Triangle Borea BR08 has an appearance that my wife would certainly be happy with (at least from pics online, no idea what to expect in terms of fit and finish), but it's hard to get excited about them compared to these others that get heaps of praise.

I think I'm leaning away from Klipsch due to many examples of forum members comparing Reference Premiers to Emotiva towers and them getting clobbered every time. They are nicer looking than many of the others, though.

I think I could get away (MAYBE) with an absolute max of $1500 for the front three, and they'd better look gorgeous to get my wife on board with that price!
Just get the Chane A5.5 towers with the Emotiva C2+ center. Do all your music in stereo as it was originally recorded for, and during HT you'll never notice the mythical "timbre" difference.

Or, if you are willing to pay more for prettier looks AND the mythical "match," you can get the Wharfedale Evo 4.4 or 4.3 towers with their 4.CS center in your choice of 3 colors --- order from Crutchfield for subsidized return shipping ($10 for the center, $75 for the towers):
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Discussion Starter #74
Just get the Chane A5.5 towers with the Emotiva C2+ center. Do all your music in stereo as it was originally recorded for, and during HT you'll never notice the mythical "timbre" difference.

Or, if you are willing to pay more for prettier looks AND the mythical "match," you can get the Wharfedale Evo 4.4 or 4.3 towers with their 4.CS center in your choice of 3 colors --- order from Crutchfield for subsidized return shipping ($10 for the center, $75 for the towers):
View attachment 3048403
I would prefer a three-way center, but the 4.C is too deep for my floating cabinet. I think the Chane towers + Emotiva is my leading choice. To be honest, it doesn't look like the Chanes are that much better looking than the T2+, and I may still end up going that direction. I appreciate all the suggestions you've made. I am going to hold off until Black Friday to see if I find any deals on speakers that would have normally been out of my price range.
 

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Discussion Starter #75 (Edited)
Are the Q Acoustics 3050i or Concept 40 towers worth considering in this application? Canton Chrono towers? Infinity Reference R263?
 

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Dali? Lots of good things said about them, Spektor, Zensor, Oberon ... check out the reviews.
 

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I would prefer a three-way center, but the 4.C is too deep for my floating cabinet. I think the Chane towers + Emotiva is my leading choice. To be honest, it doesn't look like the Chanes are that much better looking than the T2+, and I may still end up going that direction. I appreciate all the suggestions you've made. I am going to hold off until Black Friday to see if I find any deals on speakers that would have normally been out of my price range.
Bear in mind that the center channel should overhang the front of the cabinet by a small amount. If the speaker has a rear port that will be shoved up against a wall, then you would be right to pass on it, unless the rear port can be plugged and you would have to contact them to see if that is a recommenced configuration.
 

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Are the Q Acoustics 3050i or Concept 40 towers worth considering in this application? Canton Chrono towers? Infinity Reference R263?
Q Acoustics similar to JBL has weak/mediocre centers, although the Concept center is reportedly better than the 3090i center despite sharing the same lousy 4" woofer size. The Concept 40 are more neutral than the 3090i so they'd be better for music.

Canton Chrono gets very good feedback on these forums, you just need to be ok with having a difficult return policy for non-defective returns when buying from accessories4less

Infinity Ref is an outstanding bargain when found on sale and would be great for HT/TV. For music, they are widely reported as having strong treble (although not the ear-bleeding type) as opposed to the Emotiva and Wharfedale.
 

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Discussion Starter #80
Bear in mind that the center channel should overhang the front of the cabinet by a small amount. If the speaker has a rear port that will be shoved up against a wall, then you would be right to pass on it, unless the rear port can be plugged and you would have to contact them to see if that is a recommenced configuration.
I initially forgot that I had the carpenter cut some vents into my cabinet to help the AVR, so I don't want to cover those up. I've got about 11.5" from the first vent to the forward face of the countertop, plus I'm ok with an overhang of an extra 1" or so.

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