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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a new 5.1 System with receiver for my living room. I've attached a really bad drawing with dimensions. Overall the room is roughly 16x20 carpeted with 8 foot ceilings. The living room is open to the kitchen. Currently there are mounts or spots where there used to be speakers (shown on the picture). I'd like to use these since there is already a hole in the wall.


The TV is a 55 inch Vizio with internet connectivity. Most of the time it will be used for watching TV and Movies. I do stream some Pandora through the TV as well.


I am looking for a nice 5.1 system and a receiver. There is some space behind the tv stand since it sits angled against the wall. I assume this would be the best place for it. I'd like to get some towers to put on the each side of the TV stand and mount the rears on the wall in the mentioned spots. The center channel would go on the top shelf of the entertainment center, which would sit about 18 inches off the ground. The TV is about 2.5 feet of the ground. I don't think there is room to put the center channel on the top of the entertainment center unless i push the TV further back.


As far as a receiver, I haven't really looked at options. Currently the only thing connected is Xbox and Cable via HDMI.



Budget: Roughly $1K give or take.


I've looked at Energy (CF-30) and (S-606-HCS-3) but that is based off what I have read on here. I am open to any thoughts. Please let me know if there is any other information i can provide to help.


Thank you.
 

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You might want to think about buying the 5.1 in pieces, as you won't get much for a grand, counting the price of an AVR. Buy a pair of towers first, with an AVR and then add matching surrounds and a center later.


Take a look on Amazon for JBL, Infinity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What would be a good center for the cf30? Is it worth bumping up to the cf70 for extra $200?


I have no problem going two towers and receiver at first. Maybe get a center if the money works.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG85 /forum/post/20848132


What would be a good center for the cf30? Is it worth bumping up to the cf70 for extra $200?


I have no problem going two towers and receiver at first. Maybe get a center if the money works.

I like Energy towers, almost bought a MC system a decade ago. But I didn't like their center speakers at the time. I thought they were the weak link.


I just looked at the Energy centers again, and it looks as if they have not changed much, as ALL are true MTM designs. Having a vertical MTM speaker is one thing, but to lay them on their sides and call them a center is not a good idea.


The best horizontal centers either have the tweeter and midrange drivers stacked vertically, with the mid-bass driver to the sides. Or the tweeter is mounted above the centerline of the mid-bass drivers.

Those designs provide the best dialogue. There are many post on AVS about people can't hear the dialogue over the soundtrack. And in most cases, the center is a straight MTM.

As I have not auditioned Energy speakers since about '02, I can not really give a comment on their current centers. But I would rather have a vertical bookshelf speaker for a center.


I would get the cf70 over the cf30, as it plays lower, much better having two 6.5" drivers than 5.5". And it has a true midrange driver that the cf30 does not have.
 

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Given the very short distance available between the left and right mains, i'd forgoe a center channel and run phantom through the AVR. Lots of boundary gains and early first reflection points with a corner loaded setup like that so speakers with high directivity are a must. From an astethic standpoint, towers are going to really overpower and complicate that corner with such a large display. Think bookshelfs on stands and a capable sub. Using the space behind the TV stand for the sub streamlines the look and helps to pick up some low end extension. A good reference point would be 40% of your budget for the AVR and the rest on the speaker/system. 2011 AVR models offer signifcant savings while still remaining future proof for years to come. There's some excellent deals on Pioneer Elites floating around as well as Yamaha.


Here's an example
http://www.6ave.com/shop/usertpl.aspx?fle=weekly_ad.htm


Now if you do decide to take my advice, some of the best gear available at substantial savings is pre-owned. Take a look on Audiogon for higher end offerings. A good sub is going to soak up a large chunk of your budget so visit the subwoofer section here on AVS once you've determined your remaining budget.
 

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Actually placing an audio system on a 45* angle to the walls reduces first reflections arriving to the seating.

But you are right about maybe not using a center.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info. A couple of questions:


1. If I go with bookshelf speakers on a stand, would that change the idea eliminating the center?


2. Would moving towers to the opposite sides of the doorways be completely dumb? So sitting on the right side of the couch, one tower would directly in front and the second directly to the right?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG85 /forum/post/20849708


1. If I go with bookshelf speakers on a stand, would that change the idea eliminating the center?

Nope. Whether you have a center channel speaker or whether you go "phantom center" is independent of the speaker type for the left/right mains.

Quote:
2. Would moving towers to the opposite sides of the doorways be completely dumb? So sitting on the right side of the couch, one tower would directly in front and the second directly to the right?

I wouldn't recommend it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG85 /forum/post/20849708


Thanks for the info. A couple of questions:


1. If I go with bookshelf speakers on a stand, would that change the idea eliminating the center?


2. Would moving towers to the opposite sides of the doorways be completely dumb? So sitting on the right side of the couch, one tower would directly in front and the second directly to the right?

I just did the math, from doorway~doorway there would be about 94". So placing the speakers right next to those doors you would have about 84" C/C.


So that is not all that narrow. But all being equal as to developed phantom center, using towers or bookshelf make no difference to having a center.


You can try placing the towers to the far sides of the doors, that would be spreading them to around 13~14 ft. The problem then becomes, the width of the soundstage won't match the width of the screen. And you will notice that during scenes that have action going across the screen.

Plus, due to the L/R spread, then you would need a center speaker, as that might be too much of a distance for a good phantom center image and even if it wasn't too far, then the bandwidth of comb filtering becomes much bigger, compared to only being 84" spread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok thanks. I think I will go with a nice pair of bookshelves for the front. I figure with 400 for receiver and 600 for pair of bookshelves and sub. I can wait on the rears.


My only concern would be the dialogue and lack of center channel. It's my understanding that the center channel provides much of this. If I go bookshelves on stands there will be almost 6 feet between the speakers (70 inches). Give or take. I hate not being able to hear the dialogue over the other sounds. So a center would sit right in the middle.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG85 /forum/post/20849982


Ok thanks. I think I will go with a nice pair of bookshelves for the front. I figure with 400 for receiver and 600 for pair of bookshelves and sub. I can wait on the rears.


My only concern would be the dialogue and lack of center channel. It's my understanding that the center channel provides much of this. If I go bookshelves on stands there will be almost 6 feet between the speakers (70 inches). Give or take. I hate not being able to hear the dialogue over the other sounds. So a center would sit right in the middle.

That would totally depend on the speakers you buy. They will either produce a good phantom center image or they don't. And they produce good dialogue or they don't. But L/R speakers with a good midrange driver is what you need, as that is where the voice range is.


And as I've said before, I don't think Energy builds very good centers, straight MTM designs are over a decade past gone. There are much better designs for a center. Like these.






I'd rather use one of these for a center;
and I do,

Than one of these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok. If the center needs to be mounted vertical, I don't think I'd have a place to put it. I'm not limited to the energy speakers. So far I'm looking at Energy, jamo, and the infinity primus line.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG85 /forum/post/20850295


Sorry I think I misunderstood. A horizontal center would work as long as the tweet and midrange are vertical, correct?

Yes, or dual offset like that first center I posted. It is in fact an Infinity PC351.

The second was a JBL LC2.

Just so the tweeter and midrange are not on the mid-bass centerline.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG85 /forum/post/20850295


A horizontal center would work as long as the tweet and midrange are vertical, correct?

Well, they would work better than a center where everything is horizontal. But the best case is to use a third bookshelf, just like the left and right. It all depends on what you want and what you can have in your setup.


Center channels are made horizontal solely because most setups can't accommodate a vertical speaker in the position. Vertical speakers are the ideal in any position, but sometimes you have to compromise if your display or entertainment center won't allow for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the info. I went up to best buy today to listen to what they have. They had some energy speakers but were way overpriced. I did listen to a pair of b&w 686b bookshelves that were nice. I really liked the way they sounded. Also added a energy esw-c10 sub. It wasn't my favorite sub but I was pressed for time. All of this was running through one of the pioneer elite vsx-50.


I think I could swing the b&w bookshelves, sub, and receiver with my budget. Then i would add rears later.


Thoughts on that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I went a listened to a pair of energy cf-30s today. I also listened to it paired with a 10 inch klipsche sub. I can't remember what model, but it sounded good for $350. I was thinking of pairing it with a yamaha rx4671bc.


They also have a rc-52 center channel. I can get either the sub or center right now, leaning towards the sub because the cf-30s needed it.


Any thoughts?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG85 /forum/post/20860133


I went a listened to a pair of energy cf-30s today. I also listened to it paired with a 10 inch klipsche sub. I can't remember what model, but it sounded good for $350. I was thinking of pairing it with a yamaha rx4671bc.


They also have a rc-52 center channel. I can get either the sub or center right now, leaning towards the sub because the cf-30s needed it.


Any thoughts?

As the CF-30s bottom at 43 htz, get the sub. As for the center, I don't see a RC-52 on their web site. But the 4 centers they do show, are straight MTM design, as I said before. If you think you might want to buy a center, either now or later, you better have a good listen with a movie to hear how it is for dialogue.

When I was considering Energy's top of the line system a few years ago, the center was really the weak link, which caused me to look elsewhere.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG85 /forum/post/20860974


The rc-52 is klipsche reference line. But it appears t be the MTM setup you mentioned.

It is NOT a good idea to mix brands for your LCRs. You will end up with a timbre mis-match. As the sound moves from L~R, or R~L during a movie the timbre of the sound will change. Even with having different surround speakers that can also happen. 12 years ago I had identical LCRs but my surrounds were completely different, even though the same brand, and every time the sound moved from front~back it always would sound wrong.
 
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