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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm replacing the 2.1 system in my 11x14' family room with a 5.1 system. The surrounds are the old front speakers (NHT zeros circa 1991), the sub is a Sunfire HRS-8.


For visual reasons, I'm trying to limit the satellites to 9" high (and the center to

SVS, HTD, BA, Ascend, Paradigm, and av123 all don't have anything this small. Aperion does, but the specs looked bad. NHT has their "Absolute Zero" but their smallest center was 19" wide.



So I'm wondering if there's anything else out there that I should be considering.


Thanks!

/j
 

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era d3 or d4s with a d3 LCR or d4 LCR if you can swing that extra .8"


I bought D3s for surround channel and they outperformed my Monitor AUdio front three.


Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldoCombs /forum/post/18184609


era d3 or d4s with a d3 LCR or d4 LCR if you can swing that extra .8"


Ron

D4/LCR4 looks like an interesting combination. About the same specs as the PSRs (albeit a bit less efficient), but (sigh) twice the price. I'd like to check them out, but no dealers in my state (MA) (sigh) and apparently they're not sold on-line?
 

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Mirage OMD-5 are very nice speakers. Good price too at Vann's, although out of stock at the moment. Someone in the Mirage owner's thread said they were told late March for the next stock of them. The matching center is wider than 15" though. You could always use another OMD-5 and have 3 identical speakers across the front. You don't HAVE to use a "center channel" speaker.


I've read good things about the Quad Lite speakers as well. Haven't heard them though.
 

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The Def Tech Promonitor 800 is ~8.5" tall and the matching center (PC1000) is 14.75" wide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mirage OMD5 - thanks. Interesting speaker. I didn't mention, though, we're hanging near the ceiling, might be a placement issue due to their unique design? Center is also pretty wide.


Quad L-ite: Specs are on target - not sure where I could buy one though - they only list dealers in the UK - the prices I found ($449 for one satellite) weren't that encouraging. I don't mean to disparage, but I would wonder if they're worth > 2x the cost of the psbs.


Definitive: Yup - they hit the sizes, good prices. Quite efficient, and (physically) light. I wouldn't have thought a chain-store speaker was worth a listen (local dealer is Best-Buy), but I'll see if I can listen to a pair.

thanks!

/j
 

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do you like your NHT's? why not the newer Absolute Zeros?
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=NHTAZ

Quote:
I didn't mention, though, we're hanging near the ceiling, might be a placement issue due to their unique design?

actually it's fine, you just mount them upside-down.


since you are mounting near the ceiling, even more reason why you don't actually need a dedicated, horizontal center. You can go with three identical satellites across the front.

Quote:
Definitive: Yup - they hit the sizes, good prices. Quite efficient, and (physically) light. I wouldn't have thought a chain-store speaker was worth a listen (local dealer is Best-Buy)

while Def Tech is sold in Best Buy and is (IMHO) overpriced, they are far from a "chain-store speaker". Def Tech is a top notch speaker company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks batpig - I actually had a few concerns (my problems not theirs) with the OMD-5 -

One of the placements is up on a bookshelf. An omni would be "boxed-in" on 5-sides, probably not the best placement. Also, we were leaning toward putting the center channel over the screen. Finally, the OMD-5 is discontined, not much info out there about the new ones that I can find.


And I know Definitive makes some very good speakers, but based on what I could find on-line, I'm not sure the 800/1000 is better than the Image C4/C5. I'll see if BB will let me "borrow" a pair.... 8-}


You guys know a lot more than I do, though, are all of these a better choice than the PSB Image C4/C5? (I mean, is PSB a crappy brand or something?)

THANKS!

/j
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffw_00 /forum/post/18185495


You guys know a lot more than I do, though, are all of these a better choice than the PSB Image C4/C5? (I mean, is PSB a crappy brand or something?)

THANKS!

/j

PSB is an excellent brand and I like the Image speakers a lot. I like era more but it depends on your ears and budget whether they are worth the extra $$$. PSB & era are by far my favorites mentioned within this thread.


Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Compared to my NHT Zero's, I found that the sound of the PSB B4s is -much- more open (I don't even have the C4 yet) Movies (especially musicals) sound -much- much clearer. But when I listen to music, I had hoped for/expected a little wider dynamic range: a brighter high-end and a noticible bass. To my surprise, the B4s seemed to have a little -less- bass than my ancient NHT zeroes.


But what I don't know is if my expectations are reasonable. The PSBs may be "right" because they're are optimized to be part of a home theater system (so maybe the highs shouldn't be too harsh, and there's a sub to take care of the bass). If that's true, maybe I should stand pat. Not that your suggestions aren't good, but maybe the speakers you suggest, while different, are not much "better" than the psbs for non-super-picky listeners?

Only way I know how to be sure is to try more speakers myself, or ask here. The ones you've listed so far are hard for me to get my hands on. Wish I could try the era's, but the nearest dealer is 2.5 hrs away.


Admittedly, I might be over-optimizing here, but no way to know until I posted 8-}


thanks for the comments, keep 'em comin'

/j
 

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Quote:
Not that your suggestions aren't good, but maybe the speakers you suggest, while different, are not much "better" than the psbs for non-super-picky listeners?

the big point that everyone is making is that this is true for ALL of your choices! once you get to a certain budget range of quality, the differences will be more about "different" than "better vs worse" -- it's going to be up to YOUR ears, so you should not be afraid to try speakers out and find what works for YOU
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig /forum/post/18185806


the big point that everyone is making is that this is true for ALL of your choices! once you get to a certain budget range of quality, the differences will be more about "different" than "better vs worse" -- it's going to be up to YOUR ears, so you should not be afraid to try speakers out and find what works for YOU

Also, those NHTs are excellent speakers, switching to PSB Image is more of a lateral than an upgrade IMO.


Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Actually Ron - I would disagree with that. The NHT's I have are circa 1991. They had a little more bass than the PSBs, but the clarity and, well, "openess" of PSBs blows my NHTs away (NHTs sound muffled by comparison). Swapping in the PSBs for my front 2 was a -big- sound upgrade. So much that when I have the $ I might swap the NHTs out as surrounds. (I did consider the NEW NHT Subzeros, which look like a good choice, but the matched center is too big for my situation).


Ron & BP: I understand that when a technology is mature, there are a lot of options that, at a gross level, get the job done, and it sounds like that's the case here (which I didn't know until I posted). Still, not everything in this size/price is a quality product, and it helps to know that the PSBs are at least in that (quality) class.


In an ideal universe I'd compare 5 or 6 different pairs and pick the one i "like" best. I'd actually like to compare to a few others, but so far, other than perhaps the Definitives, all the proposals appear to be unobtanium to me. 8-{.

Maybe I'll order the Aperions. They seem a little light on paper but they do have free shipping both ways...


question - Would you expect your favorites to have sharp highs and significant bass, or are the limitations I'm seeing typical of this class these days (as I said - perhaps by design to improve home theater performance)?


thanks!

/j
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffw_00 /forum/post/18184956


Mirage OMD5 - thanks. Interesting speaker. I didn't mention, though, we're hanging near the ceiling, might be a placement issue due to their unique design? Center is also pretty wide.


Quad L-ite: Specs are on target - not sure where I could buy one though - they only list dealers in the UK - the prices I found ($449 for one satellite) weren't that encouraging. I don't mean to disparage, but I would wonder if they're worth > 2x the cost of the psbs.


Definitive: Yup - they hit the sizes, good prices. Quite efficient, and (physically) light. I wouldn't have thought a chain-store speaker was worth a listen (local dealer is Best-Buy), but I'll see if I can listen to a pair.

thanks!

/j

With the Mirage OMD-5...you'd just mount them upside down. Mirage recommends they be mounted that way if they are mounted higher than 6ft. There are several in the Mirage owner's thread who have done this with good results. The center can be mounted this way as well.


For the Quad Lite - you should be able to do way better than $450 per satellite...that's outrageous. I can't help you with a dealer to go listen, but I know Underwood HiFi deals Quad speakers, and sells the package for less than MSRP. Best bet would be to talk to them and see what kind of deal they can offer. You just missed a used 5.0 set of these for $600 obo on Audiogon - marked as sold today.


I can't say whether the Quad is better than the PSB...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig /forum/post/18185441


actually it's fine, you just mount them upside-down.


since you are mounting near the ceiling, even more reason why you don't actually need a dedicated, horizontal center. You can go with three identical satellites across the front.

Heh, beat me to it...
 

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I would recommend that you look at the B&W CM series.

i have a pair of CM1's and the small center channel in my bedroom, and for the space, i really love how they sound, i also added an 8" JBL sub. the dimensions are not exactly what you are asking for, but depending maybe they can work for you?


Also i didn't see you stating your budget. I think for the 3 speakers I paid 1,000$.

http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/display.aspx?infid=798


I hope this helps.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffw_00 /forum/post/18186167


Actually Ron - I would disagree with that. The NHT's I have are circa 1991. They had a little more bass than the PSBs, but the clarity and, well, "openess" of PSBs blows my NHTs away (NHTs sound muffled by comparison). Swapping in the PSBs for my front 2 was a -big- sound upgrade. So much that when I have the $ I might swap the NHTs out as surrounds. (I did consider the NEW NHT Subzeros, which look like a good choice, but the matched center is too big for my situation).


Ron & BP: I understand that when a technology is mature, there are a lot of options that, at a gross level, get the job done, and it sounds like that's the case here (which I didn't know until I posted). Still, not everything in this size/price is a quality product, and it helps to know that the PSBs are at least in that (quality) class.


In an ideal universe I'd compare 5 or 6 different pairs and pick the one i "like" best. I'd actually like to compare to a few others, but so far, other than perhaps the Definitives, all the proposals appear to be unobtanium to me. 8-{.

Maybe I'll order the Aperions. They seem a little light on paper but they do have free shipping both ways...


question - Would you expect your favorites to have sharp highs and significant bass, or are the limitations I'm seeing typical of this class these days (as I said - perhaps by design to improve home theater performance)?


thanks!

/j

The way you describe your NHT's matches my memory of them - I always considered it a design choice geared towards a neutral sound and would wager the new ones don't sound dramatically different. I could be wrong, it's been awhile since I've heard them, but I do know they are good.


To your question: would I expect my favorites to have sharp highs and significant bass? NO, for two reasons, A: no such thing as *significant* bass in a speaker the size we are discussing, but down to 60hz would be my preference. B: My preference would lean away from describing a favorite as having "sharp highs," but tweeter is unaffected by speaker size so you should be able to get whatever you want in that regard.


I really like PSBs, you seem happy, that's great! I also like the B&W CM series that person above mentioned - didn't realize they could be had for that price.


Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
dakkon - thanks for the tip on the CM-1s but they fall into the next highest size category, where they have a lot of good competition (SVS, etc), but are larger than I'm allowed to mount.


I got the Image C4 last night (still on trial), and I am coming to the conclusion that the psbs sound good enough. Still, thanks to everyone for their help. One purpose of my post was to make sure I didn't miss anything obvious. This has all been quite helpful.


Now, my next issue is that the "Audyssey" auto-eq in the Onkyo-SR607 is turning down the fronts and the sub by at least 6db, which tells me that, comparatively, the NHTs are quieter. If only I could afford 2 more B4s... 8-}


/j
 

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Quote:
Now, my next issue is that the "Audyssey" auto-eq in the Onkyo-SR607 is turning down the fronts and the sub by at least 6db, which tells me that, comparatively, the NHTs are quieter.

why is this an "issue"? different speakers have different sensitivity ratings, that is the point of being able to balance the speaker volumes...


as long as they play at the same calibrated volume once the trims are adjusted, what's the problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I don't disagree per-se, but when I see adjustment numbers in excess of 6dB I start to wonder about 2nd order effects from poorly-volume-matched units.


/j
 
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