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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I need some advice / experienced feedback to help me upgrade my tv sound system. I currently have a simple 2.1 sound system with my TV in my den that I've had now for almost 10 years. It's been a decent setup, but I have trouble hearing/understanding a lot of the dialogue in movies/tv shows. I would like to get a better setup to correct this. I have a dedicated sound system for music listening, this setup is only used to watch movies/tv.

My current setup:

Harmon Kardon HK3490 Stereo Receiver
Polk Audio R50 floor-standing speakers
Polk Audio PSW10 subwoofer

I have purchased a Denon AVR-X1300W AV receiver to replace the HK 3490. I am considering the following options:

1. Add a Polk CSi A4 center channel ($150) to help clear up the dialogue.

2. Purchase a pair of Elac B6 bookshelfs, C5 center channel, and a set of speaker stands ($540).


Do you think the Elac speakers would be a big enough improvement to justify the extra $400 expense? Is there a better option that I should consider?
 

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Hello, I need some advice / experienced feedback to help me upgrade my tv sound system. I currently have a simple 2.1 sound system with my TV in my den that I've had now for almost 10 years. It's been a decent setup, but I have trouble hearing/understanding a lot of the dialogue in movies/tv shows. I would like to get a better setup to correct this. I have a dedicated sound system for music listening, this setup is only used to watch movies/tv.

My current setup:

Harmon Kardon HK3490 Stereo Receiver
Polk Audio R50 floor-standing speakers
Polk Audio PSW10 subwoofer

I have purchased a Denon AVR-X1300W AV receiver to replace the HK 3490. I am considering the following options:

1. Add a Polk CSi A4 center channel ($150) to help clear up the dialogue.

2. Purchase a pair of Elac B6 bookshelfs, C5 center channel, and a set of speaker stands ($540).


Do you think the Elac speakers would be a big enough improvement to justify the extra $400 expense? Is there a better option that I should consider?
Elac would a good option if music was a main priority. For TV/HT I recommend one of the following.
Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 45 X3 across the front $375
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_735SM45/Definitive-Technology-StudioMonitor-45.html
Kef Q100 X3 $429
https://www.accessories4less.com/ma....25-2-way-bookshelf-speaker-black-pair/1.html
https://www.accessories4less.com/ma...shelf-speaker-black-one-single-speaker/1.html
JBL Arena 130 + 125c $374
https://www.amazon.com/JBL-Arena-13...UTF8&qid=1512920473&sr=8-5&keywords=jbl+arena
https://www.amazon.com/JBL-Arena-12...93&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=jbl+arena+125c&psc=1
Any one of the will beat the pants off those Polk R50's.
 

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Poor dialog intelligibility is far more a function of speaker placement and room acoustics than speaker choice. Before you waste money on different speakers, experiment with placement of your existing speakers. Get them away from walls. If you have a wood floor, put a rug between you and the speakers. These are the kinds of things you should be focusing on, not the gear. Polks are perfectly fine speakers.

The above notwithstanding, a good center speaker properly positioned can help with dialog. But it needs to be matched to the left/right pair for good sound across the front array.
 
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Paradigm Studio 100v2 Crossover?? If setting is on SMALL with a subwoofer what?s a good crossover setting?
I would start at 80hz then experiment +20/-20 till you find your sweet spot. You should not however set it lower than the default setting determined by your room correction software.
 
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Hello, I need some advice / experienced feedback to help me upgrade my tv sound system. I currently have a simple 2.1 sound system with my TV in my den that I've had now for almost 10 years. It's been a decent setup, but I have trouble hearing/understanding a lot of the dialogue in movies/tv shows. I would like to get a better setup to correct this. I have a dedicated sound system for music listening, this setup is only used to watch movies/tv.

My current setup:

Harmon Kardon HK3490 Stereo Receiver
Polk Audio R50 floor-standing speakers
Polk Audio PSW10 subwoofer

I have purchased a Denon AVR-X1300W AV receiver to replace the HK 3490. I am considering the following options:

1. Add a Polk CSi A4 center channel ($150) to help clear up the dialogue.

2. Purchase a pair of Elac B6 bookshelfs, C5 center channel, and a set of speaker stands ($540).

Do you think the Elac speakers would be a big enough improvement to justify the extra $400 expense? Is there a better option that I should consider?
I would find a center channel speaker you like first, then add the matching L/R. Try and find a local retailer that carries the brands you're considering. I think Frys carries them both. No offense, but the Polk R50's were their entry-level speakers back in the day. The RTi line is a couple of steps above. I would prefer the RTiA3 bookshelves over the R50's. The Polk PSW10 is also an entry level model but if you're happy with it then that's fine.

I buy most of my speakers off craigslist. The older RTi series is fairly inexpensive these days. a pair of RTi8's or 10's and a CSi3 center should run you about $250 on the used market. Being on the bright-side, they make excellent home theater speakers. Great for crashes, explosions and dialog.
 

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Paradigm Studio 100v2 Crossover?? If setting is on SMALL with a subwoofer what?s a good crossover setting?
You kind of piggy-backed onto another members thread. Sorta "verboten" in the forum community :) . You could have posted this in the Paradigm Owners forum.

The Studio 100's are huge speakers with dual 8" drivers. A 60hz crossover should work well, even 40hz with music if you keep the volume reasonable. But pick your favorite movie and try a few different settings until you find the one that works best for you and your room.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Poor dialog intelligibility is far more a function of speaker placement and room acoustics than speaker choice. Before you waste money on different speakers, experiment with placement of your existing speakers. Get them away from walls. If you have a wood floor, put a rug between you and the speakers. These are the kinds of things you should be focusing on, not the gear. Polks are perfectly fine speakers.

The above notwithstanding, a good center speaker properly positioned can help with dialog. But it needs to be matched to the left/right pair for good sound across the front array.

Thank you for your response, Filmnut. The Polk R50's are front ported towers. I have them equally spaced beside the tv, roughly 2 ft away from the back wall and toe'd (spelling?) in to my seating position. The room has carpet flooring.

You mention that the center channel would need to be properly positioned. What would be a proper position?

Also, do you think the Polk A4 would be a good match to the R50's? Or were you recommending a perfect match set?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Elac would a good option if music was a main priority. For TV/HT I recommend one of the following.


Pase22, I will have to consider the Q100's as they seem to get really good reviews. I notice that you have them in your setup. Since you are recommending them, I assume you enjoy them. Have you directly compared them to Polk speakers before?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I would find a center channel speaker you like first, then add the matching L/R. Try and find a local retailer that carries the brands you're considering. I think Frys carries them both. No offense, but the Polk R50's were their entry-level speakers back in the day. The RTi line is a couple of steps above. I would prefer the RTiA3 bookshelves over the R50's. The Polk PSW10 is also an entry level model but if you're happy with it then that's fine.

I buy most of my speakers off craigslist. The older RTi series is fairly inexpensive these days. a pair of RTi8's or 10's and a CSi3 center should run you about $250 on the used market. Being on the bright-side, they make excellent home theater speakers. Great for crashes, explosions and dialog.

Thanks for your response. I have had this system almost 10 years and I realize that the R50's and PSW10 are entry level, but it was what I could afford and they have been pretty decent. Unfortunately, the used speaker market is pretty slim in my rural area. The closest retailer is Best Buy. I did stop the other day to look around. They only had the Klipsch lower end towers and the Polk Signatures.

However I'm actually in the process of setting up a dedicated home theater room, so I'm trying to spend as little as possible now to basically tide me over until then. At that point this setup will still stay in the den for general tv / movie watching and for the kids game consoles.

I think I could get a pair of Polk A3's and an A4 center for less than $400. In your experience would the A3 bookshelfs give a measurable improvement over the R50 towers?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Filmnut, I tried to post a response to your post, but for some reason it had to be approved by a moderator?? Anyway, I will try to respond without using quotes.

The R50's are front ported. I have them equally spaced beside the tv about 2 ft from the rear wall and toe'd (spelling?) in to my seating position. The room is complete carpet flooring.

You mention needing to properly position the center channel. What is the best way to position it?

Do you think the A4 would be a good match to the R50's? Or are you suggesting that I would need to replace the R50's and get exact match to the center channel?

Thanks
 

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Thanks for your response. I have had this system almost 10 years and I realize that the R50's and PSW10 are entry level, but it was what I could afford and they have been pretty decent. Unfortunately, the used speaker market is pretty slim in my rural area. The closest retailer is Best Buy. I did stop the other day to look around. They only had the Klipsch lower end towers and the Polk Signatures.

However I'm actually in the process of setting up a dedicated home theater room, so I'm trying to spend as little as possible now to basically tide me over until then. At that point this setup will still stay in the den for general tv / movie watching and for the kids game consoles.

I think I could get a pair of Polk A3's and an A4 center for less than $400. In your experience would the A3 bookshelfs give a measurable improvement over the R50 towers?
I'm pretty sure they would for me, but recommending speakers is like recommending candy. What I like, you may not. The A3's wouldn't be able to offer the bass of the R50's but things like accuracy, sound stage, detail and the like should be a noticable improvement. But there are just too many different brands out there. Choosing speakers is such a personal endeavor. I've had (and still have most of them) about 30 different pairs/sets of speakers over the last few years (I need help), everything from Polk LSi's and MB Quart Vera's to JBL L830's/880's and Studio 580/530's and I keep falling back to my little Mordaunt Short 902's ($169/pr 10 years ago). Doesn't make any sense but when listing in stereo it sounds like there are 3-4 more speakers between the left and right ones. Amazing. But they might sound bland in your room. The only way to tell if the A3's will work for you is to listen to them in your house.

The Sony Cores have also gotten great reviews and should be available at BestBuy. $250 for bookshelves/center and easily returnable.

If you buy from BB on-line you might be able to return them to the store. But check first :) .
 

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Elac would a good option if music was a main priority. For TV/HT I recommend one of the following.


Pase22, I will have to consider the Q100's as they seem to get really good reviews. I notice that you have them in your setup. Since you are recommending them, I assume you enjoy them. Have you directly compared them to Polk speakers before?
If your room is on the small side, sit less than 10 feet from the front and don't listen at movie theater levels, the Kef would be a good choice. If you like it loud, more efficient speakers like Klipsch, HSU or JBL may be better options.
 

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Poor dialog intelligibility is far more a function of speaker placement and room acoustics than speaker choice. Before you waste money on different speakers, experiment with placement of your existing speakers. Get them away from walls. If you have a wood floor, put a rug between you and the speakers. These are the kinds of things you should be focusing on, not the gear. Polks are perfectly fine speakers.


The above notwithstanding, a good center speaker properly positioned can help with dialog. But it needs to be matched to the left/right pair for good sound across the front array.

Very important points, electronics should be last on the list, other than not enough power for the speakers.
I would only add, room acoustics.


I would start at 80hz then experiment +20/-20 till you find your sweet spot. You should not however set it lower than the default setting determined by your room correction software.

Also a very good point, made the mistake once, and all I got from going 10Hz down (back ceiling surrounds from 90 to 80Hz), was a vibration and vibrations:eek:
Set it back to correct to proper setting (90Hz), and it was Nirvana:D


BCF150 , the only thing, I can add other the two previous quotes posts.


Audition, and audition, to figure what type of sound you like!!!
What may sound excellent to me or others may sound bad to you, and vs versa:eek:


Few last things about doing audition:
-bring your own music on a CD, not a download MP3
-ask politely the sale person to Shut-Up , as not to speak about the virtue of " did your hear that, and so on...", while listening.
-then get what sound better you (keeping in mind, that some speakers sound more impressive at first, due to higher level of sound, or brighter, those can be fatiguing on the hears after a little while).


Ray
 

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You mention needing to properly position the center channel. What is the best way to position it?

Do you think the A4 would be a good match to the R50's? Or are you suggesting that I would need to replace the R50's and get exact match to the center channel?
The center speaker, like the R50's you have, should be (ideally) as far away from reflective surfaces as possible, while also being as close to the same height as the left/right pair. This is tough to do if your towers are tall, and with a TV or screen in the middle of it all. Best compromise is to have the center channel below the display, but in front of it and elevated with a speaker stand that raises it as much as possible off the floor without obstructing the view of the display.

I'm not very familiar with specific Polk speakers as I haven't dealt with them in some years, but usually when a main speaker is produced for home theater use, the manufacturer also produces a "matching" center speaker which is designed to be timbre-matched to the main speakers. Surround speakers are also intended to be timbre-matched to the rest of the system, which reflects the expectation that home theater speakers will be purchased as an integrated, matched system. So, in your case the best option would probably be whatever center speaker Polk produced to match to the R50's. Failing that, a more current Polk center might be an acceptable alternative. Polk has been making good speakers for decades. Some are better than others of course.

If you buy a speaker from Crutchfield, they have a 60-day free return policy, so you can send it back if you find that having a center speaker doesn't help with dialog intelligibility.
 

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Thanks for your response. I have had this system almost 10 years and I realize that the R50's and PSW10 are entry level, but it was what I could afford and they have been pretty decent. Unfortunately, the used speaker market is pretty slim in my rural area. The closest retailer is Best Buy. I did stop the other day to look around. They only had the Klipsch lower end towers and the Polk Signatures.

However I'm actually in the process of setting up a dedicated home theater room, so I'm trying to spend as little as possible now to basically tide me over until then. At that point this setup will still stay in the den for general tv / movie watching and for the kids game consoles.

I think I could get a pair of Polk A3's and an A4 center for less than $400. In your experience would the A3 bookshelfs give a measurable improvement over the R50 towers?
any center channel will be better than none. Go get the polk like you wanted. Save save save for your upcoming home theater build.
 
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