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advice on replacement home theater/music speakers

487 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  7Below
I am setting up a small HT 9.5x14.5. Currently I have a pair of Celestion SL600/6000 and some misc stuff for center and surrounds. I like the Celestion's very much but they will be impossible to match and are too finicky about placement I want to replace the whole lot and get an integrated system with 5 matched speakers. Due to the small room I don't think I will need a very large set.


My requirements are

1. Tower or mini monitor on stands but they shouldn't exceed 3 feet (lower is better) because my room is so narrow and I have an 80' wide screen, I will put the speakers under the screen.


2. I listen to lots of music about 50% digital and 50% analog. Have decent electronics


3. I would like to keep the mains at or below $2,500 and have the whole system sans sub for 4,500



Speakers I heard recently


Onix Ref 1's liked but setup for critical listening was not right, can't say.


Totem mite's great imaging, very nice. Lacking depth and I am not talking about bass.


Rocket 750s- fine for HT but I like a more forward speaker for music and a more seductive midrange.


Snell XA1900- couldn't tell fairly poor dealer demo setup. All three fronts were stacked against the wall three in a row. Zero imaging and the prime seat was in a bass suckout zone. Over my budget


Vienna Acoustics Beethoven- I think these might be good but dealer setup was even worst then the Snell. The room was so live the sound was ping-ponging around felt like someone was talking or making noise outside. Also over my budget
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Quote:
Vienna Acoustics Beethoven
Are these shorter than 3 ft? Most of the speakers in your list are tower speakers. I'd strongly suggest looking at monitor-sized speakers (1 tweet + 2 midrange on stands) with a quality sub. Check out the higher end Paradigm, PSB, and Thiele offerings (or the smaller Rockets).


Tweeter was liquidating all their Vienna Acoustics speakers awhile ago (at 50-60% off). You may want to see if they have any more laying around.


It sounds like you plan on placing the speakers near the front wall. Acoustic treatments are critical (and may explain your 'depth' complaint about the Totems). A few hundred dollars spent in wall treatment will make your speakers sound 3-4x better. IMO, a $1k set of speakers with $500 worth of treatment will sound better than a $5k set of speakers. Keep in mind that acoustic treatments don't have to be unsightly foam...
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Greg , No the Vienna Acoustics are taller then three feet and probably too much for the space. I agree I think for my size room a monitor on stands might be the best. I can move the speakers a foot or more away from the front wall. One of the reasons I am considering getting rid of the Celestions is that they like being at least 2 feet (3 is better) away from both side and front walls and with a 9.5' wide room that doesn't leave much room left.
I can understand the aesthetic reasons and positioning difficulties that might lead you toward speakers lower than three feet, but remember that the tweeters should be at ear level. Are you planning on sitting on the floor? Are you planning on tilting them upward?


Again, as Greg_R said, it might be a waste of good speakers if they aren't positioned correctly from a height perspective as well.
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Originally posted by colinsm
I can understand the aesthetic reasons and positioning difficulties that might lead you toward speakers lower than three feet, but remember that the tweeters should be at ear level. Are you planning on sitting on the floor? Are you planning on tilting them upward?


Again, as Greg_R said, it might be a waste of good speakers if they aren't positioned correctly from a height perspective as well.
My room is 115" wide less 80" for the screen that leaves 17.5 inches per side. If the speaker is a foot wide then the speaker would only be 11 inches from the wall. From my experience 11 inches may be too close for most speakers. My thought would be to go with speakers that I can put below my screen. Another question I could ask is how high can I mount the screen? Maybe 36" is just too high. I just read that the viewing angle shouldn't be more than 15% over your eye level. That would put my screen down to 27".


My Celestion sl600s are mounted on top of the 6000 subwoofers, that is the way they were designed. As I recall their height is only 34". Sitting my ear height is only 40". A 36" high speaker might have tweeter at 34", only 6" below my ear height. That is less then 3% off axis, I am not sure if this enough to be perceptible. I could also slightly tilt the speaker back by raising the front about .5" to .7". Correct me if I am wrong but I believe that the speakers are generally more sensitive to their placement near boundaries.
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In January, Gallo should be releasing their Center Channel for their Reference III's. MSRP meets the budget, and from the sound of the Reference III's, I would imagine that a Home Theatre/Music system would be rather interesting to say the least. Just an idea that may be worth the wait... GL
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