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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all!
It's been a while. I am trying to help my friend put in her first 'real' A/V system. She lives in a townhouse and the livingroom is about 15' deep by about 20' wide with a 10' wide back wall (seating area) that has openings on both sides to other rooms. She is learning to appreciate 'better' sound and likes the idea of getting a medium level AVR and decent initial speakers. We like the reviews and price point of the Elac Debut 2.0 series speakers and would install the following for sure:

Center: C5.2
Mains: F5.2
Sub: Sub3010

We were considering the B5.2's for wired surrounds, but they are a little big to fit on either side of her couch on stands and she would rather not mount anything on the rear wall. She likes her place clean looking and fairly minimalist. I would have to don a hazmat suit and string the speaker wire under the condo to connect the rear/surrounds - and that is definately not on my list of fun things to do on a weekend and she doesn't want any holes in her oak floors - I have promised I could hide the holes just under the baseboard most likely.

I was leaning towards the Denon AVR X1600H thinking that I could use the Heos speakers as surrounds, but after research here, elsewhere, and confirming it with Denon TS, they can be for Zone 2, but not surrounds.

So, now I started looking into the Yamaha RX-V865 AV and maybe using their MusicCast 20 speakers for surrounds but I would still have to have power cords strung along behind the couch like with the Heos speakers.

I know I could go with a full Sonos 5.1 system and I have some of their products elsewhere and like them, but would prefer not to have her be locked into a non AVR, proprietary wireless system that doesn't really allow for more flexible connectivity and integration with future output devices.

Battery powered Bluetooth speakers don't seem to be a quality option.

What would you do for the surrounds?

THANKS!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I know that this is a huge topic for our industry and am just trying to filter out all the out of date reports and get to what is current and appropriate. So many people entering our hobby do not want or cannot run wires to their rear speakersMost searches here and with Google show things from 2018. I'm hoping that you all know more and can help narrow things down.

Thanks,

PauldF
 

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Center: C5.2
The ELAC center has gotten some mixed reviews from users here.

If she gets it, I would recommend holding on to the sales receipt, evaluating its dialogue clarity ASAP and keeping an eye on the return window if needed.

Also, there is zero need to match the brand of the sub to the brand of the speakers. Unless you are getting that 3010 sub for a substantial discount, there are much better subs available at its $600 pricepoint, like the Hsu VTF-2 and Rythmik LV-12F.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all, I thought the Yamaha system might work, but in the end the vast flexibility (AVR maker, Speaker maker, speaker size, sound, etc) of just adding wired surrounds dictates running wires from the AVR.

I like the idea of these speakers from the Elac Debut 2 series - the price point is nice and they get great reviews. There is no place near me to demo them, and of course with things the way they are today I probably couldn't even if there was. As noted above by Zorba, some have criticized the Center and the Sub, and the Surrounds are a bit large size-wise for this room so I might go with smaller footprint surrounds and maybe swap the sub for an Hsu. I have a VTF3 MK4 and love it, but even the VTF2 might be overkill for this raised wood floor room - perhaps a 8-10" Sunfire? I don't think I will change out the center until I have heard it. Any thoughts on small footprint unobtrusive looking wired surround speakers to go with this set up? Probably now with the Denon AVR X1600H again.

Thanks! Have a great weekend!
 

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Thanks all, I thought the Yamaha system might work, but in the end the vast flexibility (AVR maker, Speaker maker, speaker size, sound, etc) of just adding wired surrounds dictates running wires from the AVR.

I like the idea of these speakers from the Elac Debut 2 series - the price point is nice and they get great reviews. There is no place near me to demo them, and of course with things the way they are today I probably couldn't even if there was. As noted above by Zorba, some have criticized the Center and the Sub, and the Surrounds are a bit large size-wise for this room so I might go with smaller footprint surrounds and maybe swap the sub for an Hsu. I have a VTF3 MK4 and love it, but even the VTF2 might be overkill for this raised wood floor room - perhaps a 8-10" Sunfire? I don't think I will change out the center until I have heard it. Any thoughts on small footprint unobtrusive looking wired surround speakers to go with this set up? Probably now with the Denon AVR X1600H again.
Sunfire subs are notoriously overpriced and underperforming. When ID subs first came out back in the early 00s, Sunfire subs were often used as a point of comparison to demonstrate just how dismal a price-to-performance ratio most retail subs are in comparison to ID subs. There is no need to worry about "overkill" anyhow---you simply turn down the "Gain" control knob on the back as needed. It's always better to have more sub than you need, versus less. A 15 x 20' room with openings to adjacent rooms is FAR from being too small for a VTF-2 anyhow. If anything, it could be best served by the larger VTF-3!

If you want small footprint surrounds, the NHT SuperZero would be a good bet, or the Sony Core bookshelves, or (at double the cost) the RSL CG3 or Ascend 200SE. The 200SE are actually the best quality of those 4 and can even be used for the front 3 speakers as well as for the surrounds. They are sealed cabinets so you can push them or mount them flush up against a wall if needed.
 

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Elac has the on-wall Debut 4.2 - a bottom-ported on-wall surround speaker. Crutchfield has them for about $300/pr.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Sigpig, I did see those but I think wall mounting is a no go for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sunfire subs are notoriously overpriced and underperforming. When ID subs first came out back in the early 00s, Sunfire subs were often used as a point of comparison to demonstrate just how dismal a price-to-performance ratio most retail subs are in comparison to ID subs. There is no need to worry about "overkill" anyhow---you simply turn down the "Gain" control knob on the back as needed. It's always better to have more sub than you need, versus less. A 15 x 20' room with openings to adjacent rooms is FAR from being too small for a VTF-2 anyhow. If anything, it could be best served by the larger VTF-3!

If you want small footprint surrounds, the NHT SuperZero would be a good bet, or the Sony Core bookshelves, or (at double the cost) the RSL CG3 or Ascend 200SE. The 200SE are actually the best quality of those 4 and can even be used for the front 3 speakers as well as for the surrounds. They are sealed cabinets so you can push them or mount them flush up against a wall if needed.
Zorba, I had heard just the opposite from some 2 channel audiophile friends about the Sunfires they had used in their AV rooms, but it's all relative I guess and more information is always a good thing - thanks for the ideas, I will look into them. Do you think pairing the Super 8 sub with the Superzero 2.1's would be enough? This is not a high volume music or video environment and no deep bass urban dance type music at all - just mellow jazz/rock and some medium volume movie and sports watching.
 

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Zorba, I had heard just the opposite from some 2 channel audiophile friends about the Sunfires they had used in their AV rooms, but it's all relative I guess and more information is always a good thing - thanks for the ideas, I will look into them. Do you think pairing the Super 8 sub with the Superzero 2.1's would be enough? This is not a high volume music or video environment and no deep bass urban dance type music at all - just mellow jazz/rock and some medium volume movie and sports watching.
I imagine the Sunfire subs would be fine for music, which is probably what your 2 channel friends use them for. For HT, I don't think they can come anywhere near the extension and output of the ID subs for the same money.

The Super8 was designed to provide lots of output up to 200Hz where the SuperZeros are famously weak; I doubt they can deliver much of the deeper bass in HT.

I'd sooner try the RSL 10S ... it costs the same or less as the Super8 but is much more capable, and you get free return shipping just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks to all for the help. She will make a decision in the next couple of weeks. Will follow up on how it works/sounds.
 
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