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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Denon 3802 AVR with Ascend CBM170 speakers (not SE) and a Hsu Research sub. I am remodeling my house and would like smaller speakers that will fit in my smallish living room a bit better as I have to put one of the front speakers in a doorway on wall that I walk along. Consequently, I'd prefer a speaker that won't stick out from the wall very far and I'd rather not compromise on sound quality. I do plan on setting the speaker into a shallow alcove on the wall so it won't stick out so much and one issue with the CBMs is that they have a rear port which the alcove, I expect, will muck up. I'll be using the system about 75% for HT but also want music to sound good for parties and regular listening.


I'm considering the Ascend HTM-200 speakers using one of the CBMs as a center channel (still with it set in an alcove above the tv) or using another HTM if it will sound better in that location. The HTMs have the smallest footprint of the bookshelf speakers I've seen being only 6.5" W x 6.375" D and would fit best. I'm also considering the SV Sound SBS-01 (7" W x 9.5" D) with SCS-01 center speaker, the HTD Level 2 bookshelf (7.125" W x 10" D) with Level 2 center, and the Infinity Primus 152 (7.375" W x 10" D) w/ PC250 center. All would get a matching sub, probably one up from entry level.


With the larger speakers I may have to adjust the shape of the surface on the kitchen side of the wall which would impact my kitchen counter. This would be hidden but I'd have to notch a cabinet to deal with it which I'd rather not do. The HTMs wouldn't need this so they'd be easiest overall.


Last I'd consider the Hsu Ventriloquist VT-12 but I'm afraid the sound would just not be up to the demands I'd put on them. Still I'm considering them for another smaller room I'll be using as an office/lounge/spare bedroom with a smaller HDTV than in the living room and am wondering how good they really are.


So, questions!


1. Would my current Ascends sound okay tucked into a wall or will the rear facing port stuck inside the wall cause a significant decay in sound quality? The front right and the center would have their backs pushed close to the wall while the front left would be somewhat more open but still obstructed. Reusing them is my cheapest solution but not best aesthetically.

2. Will I take a significant hit in sound quality with the HTMs? These would be the easiest to deal with from an installation point of view.

3. The SVS speakers come in white which would tend to hide against the white walls in my living room which I like. They are the next smallest footprint but not by much. The center is a good size for my walls as well. So I kinda like these speakers. How are they compared to the CBMs?

4. How would one generally rank these speakers?

5. What other systems should I consider?


I realize that speaker selection can be very subjective but I don't think I could find one place that had more than one of these brands in a single location so doing a side by side comparison is next to impossible. My house currently has no walls so even ordering a set and comparing to my current speakers would not be very revealing. I appreciate any insight you could provide.


Steve
 

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You can have small, good and cheap as long as you only need two out of three.


Do not stick the 170s in the wall. The port is tuned to provide low end response.


General opinion here has the SVS falling in between the CBM and HTM in overall performance.


The SVS and HTM are sealed, which is what you want.


They are both above the ventriloquist, but HSU has a new speaker system that is getting pretty good word of mouth. Not sure if it is sealed or ported, but should be considered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I considered the Hsu bookshelfs but they also have a rear port.


I also realize that, even though sealed, placing a speaker the way I want is not ideal. Still, I want to minimize the effect of placement on the sound if possible.


Thanks for the input.


Steve
 
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