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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I live in an apartment and my main room is about 10by10.

I've got the UB5 hooked up to a Denon 730H 165W pc. Most of the time the AVR is set to 60-80 depending on the source. My main usage is TVs and movies about 60/40 tv/movie, through netflix, amazon prime etc.

Recently I decided to pick up the Elac UC5 center for 200$.

The 2.0 setup I've been pretty happy with, but at times I felt like vocal clarity is missing, which I hope the incoming UC5 will improve.

In my scenario what speakers would you opt for? Size is a constraint, since I do not want to go any larger then the UB5 and the center. Am I doing anything wrong or would you opt for something different. Would you keep my Elac setup, or go to something more basic like the Sony Core and save some cash.

Note I got the UB5s for a little more than 300$ and the UC5 for a little over 200$ and the AVR for 280$. In other words for a 500$ what 3.0 setup would you think is optimal for my scenario.

Subs are a nono based on my neighboors.
 

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Hi all, I live in an apartment and my main room is about 10by10.

I've got the UB5 hooked up to a Denon 730H 165W pc. Most of the time the AVR is set to 60-80 depending on the source. My main usage is TVs and movies about 60/40 tv/movie, through netflix, amazon prime etc.

Recently I decided to pick up the Elac UC5 center for 200$.

The 2.0 setup I've been pretty happy with, but at times I felt like vocal clarity is missing, which I hope the incoming UC5 will improve.

In my scenario what speakers would you opt for? Size is a constraint, since I do not want to go any larger then the UB5 and the center. Am I doing anything wrong or would you opt for something different. Would you keep my Elac setup, or go to something more basic like the Sony Core and save some cash.

Note I got the UB5s for a little more than 300$ and the UC5 for a little over 200$ and the AVR for 280$. In other words for a 500$ what 3.0 setup would you think is optimal for my scenario.

Subs are a nono based on my neighboors.
I'd take a peek at Emotiva B1+ and C1+ - they'll run you $480, and likely give you loads more vocal clarity. Ain't nothing wrong with the AVR.
 
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While not the easiest speakers to drive, your sitting distance and volume levels are well within your AVR's power specs. What I would do is invest in a subwoofer and apply bass management through your AVR.
This will alleviate those little bookshelf speakers from playing the most difficult parts of TV/movies - bass. Even in an apartment, a subwoofer helps your system immensely.
 
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Subs are a nono based on my neighboors.
There is a popular misconception that subs are a bad idea in any non-detached housing. Not true at all, in my experience: every sub has a "gain" knob on the back. I used to live in an apartment with paper-thin walls, ceilings and floors, where you could easily hear neighbors fighting or having sex. Had neighbors across the hall, next to me, above and below me too. When I moved out five years later, they were all shocked to see me lugging a 65lb sub. They could hear my music (usually at moderate volumes, so never had any complaints) but never guessed that there was a sub in use the whole time!

Moral of the story: use the GAIN KNOB, and some common sense, and you'll be much much happier with a decent sub in play, esp. when going with small bookshelf speakers. A home sub is NOTHING like one of those horrible boom-boom-boom car subs you see teeny-boppers driving around showing off.
 

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Hi all, I live in an apartment and my main room is about 10by10.

I've got the UB5 hooked up to a Denon 730H 165W pc. Most of the time the AVR is set to 60-80 depending on the source. My main usage is TVs and movies about 60/40 tv/movie, through netflix, amazon prime etc.
That Denon does NOT do 165 wpc, that is the "peak power" spec which speaker companies basically pull out of their backsides. It realistically gets half of that at best, and only with 2 channels driven most likely...the more channels in use at the same time, the more actual power output will decrease. Most receivers play fast and loose with their power specs like that.

Those ELAC UB and UC speakers are widely reported as needing a hefty amp to really sound their best. That Denon ain't it. This fact never shows up in all the shill professional reviews and bot-generated Amazon reviews. If I were you I'd return them if you're going to keep that Denon, and get speakers that are a much easier load.

These Ascends would be my rec, $378 for 3 of them giving you the much prized "identical front 3" for the only true "timbre matching" that's physically possible.
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=S22-0000&Category_Code=BSTOCK

("B-stock" in this industry just means "surplus A stock we want to discount surreptitiously.")
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That Denon does NOT do 165 wpc, that is the "peak power" spec which speaker companies basically pull out of their backsides. It realistically gets half of that at best, and only with 2 channels driven most likely...the more channels in use at the same time, the more actual power output will decrease. Most receivers play fast and loose with their power specs like that.

Those ELAC UB and UC speakers are widely reported as needing a hefty amp to really sound their best. That Denon ain't it. This fact never shows up in all the shill professional reviews and bot-generated Amazon reviews. If I were you I'd return them if you're going to keep that Denon, and get speakers that are a much easier load.

These Ascends would be my rec, $378 for 3 of them giving you the much prized "identical front 3" for the only true "timbre matching" that's physically possible.
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=S22-0000&Category_Code=BSTOCK

("B-stock" in this industry just means "surplus A stock we want to discount surreptitiously.")


I understand where you are coming from, however doesn't the fact that I have been using the UB5 at 60-85 volume without any volume for the 3 years evidence that the amp in my current situation and listening distance not an issue? My distance to the speakers are 8-9 ft and my room size relatively small.


Very interesting recommendation, I wasn't aware of this model from Ascend. They are slightly shorter and less deep, but wider, with a much wider woofer.

Do you think it would be a significant upgrade? Note we are comparing a 3-way with a 2-wayy. The price is quite good. The only issue with this setup is the center channel would interfere with the television on the lower half. I don't see them having an MTM version of this model. Other than pairing them with the CMT-340.
 

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I understand where you are coming from, however doesn't the fact that I have been using the UB5 at 60-85 volume without any volume for the 3 years evidence that the amp in my current situation and listening distance not an issue? My distance to the speakers are 8-9 ft and my room size relatively small.

Very interesting recommendation, I wasn't aware of this model from Ascend. They are slightly shorter and less deep, but wider, with a much wider woofer.

Do you think it would be a significant upgrade? Note we are comparing a 3-way with a 2-wayy. The price is quite good. The only issue with this setup is the center channel would interfere with the television on the lower half. I don't see them having an MTM version of this model. Other than pairing them with the CMT-340.
Well, if you're 100% happy with the UB5 then I'd keep them and just change out the center. As long as you listen to music in 2 channel not upmixed into fake surround, there's zero need to "match" the center with the L/R speakers.

Here are some proven-performer horizontal centers in the $250-400 range, any of which would be a big improvement over the UC5:

* Emotiva C1 or C2
* Chane A2.4 (currently sold out, unfortunately)
* Ascend 340SE
* Hsu HC-1 or CCB-8
* HTD Level 3 center (free return shipping)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The Chane audio looks quite good and would fit my decor. Any idea on the quality of their bookshelves in relation the UB5 ?
 

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The Chane audio looks quite good and would fit my decor. Any idea on the quality of their bookshelves in relation the UB5 ?
Very good.
 

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Hi all, I live in an apartment and my main room is about 10by10.

I've got the UB5 hooked up to a Denon 730H 165W pc. Most of the time the AVR is set to 60-80 depending on the source. My main usage is TVs and movies about 60/40 tv/movie, through netflix, amazon prime etc.

Recently I decided to pick up the Elac UC5 center for 200$.

The 2.0 setup I've been pretty happy with, but at times I felt like vocal clarity is missing, which I hope the incoming UC5 will improve.

In my scenario what speakers would you opt for? Size is a constraint, since I do not want to go any larger then the UB5 and the center. Am I doing anything wrong or would you opt for something different. Would you keep my Elac setup, or go to something more basic like the Sony Core and save some cash.

Note I got the UB5s for a little more than 300$ and the UC5 for a little over 200$ and the AVR for 280$. In other words for a 500$ what 3.0 setup would you think is optimal for my scenario.

Subs are a nono based on my neighboors.
Just because you have neighbors doesn't mean you can't have a sub. A sub would add much needed depth to bookshelf speakers.


If you're happy with the sound of the UB5'S there's no need to change. The UC5 will make a big difference since 70% of the soundtrack and 99% of dialogue comes through the center channel. Keep in mind that proper placement is crucial so you'll want to make sure it's direct below the TV and not shoving it against the back wall or putting it in a cubby hole or bottom shelf.



Your AVR is just fine, but remember to re-run audyssey after adding the center.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just because you have neighbors doesn't mean you can't have a sub. A sub would add much needed depth to bookshelf speakers.


If you're happy with the sound of the UB5'S there's no need to change. The UC5 will make a big difference since 70% of the soundtrack and 99% of dialogue comes through the center channel. Keep in mind that proper placement is crucial so you'll want to make sure it's direct below the TV and not shoving it against the back wall or putting it in a cubby hole or bottom shelf.



Your AVR is just fine, but remember to re-run audyssey after adding the center.


Yep, my bookshelves are aligned right up to the front on my media console to avoid reflections. I will align the UC5 as well and run Audyssey. I will report back on my findings regarding the audio. Perhaps I won't decide to change up my setup if I am satisfied. The Chane audio offering is quite intriguing, I'm not sure how good their resale value is (avsforum / ebay / reddit avsexchange). I'm also curious about mentions that Elac centers are bad, in principle it's the same crossover in an MTM design, what could possibly make it worse then the bookshelves?
 

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Yep, my bookshelves are aligned right up to the front on my media console to avoid reflections. I will align the UC5 as well and run Audyssey. I will report back on my findings regarding the audio. Perhaps I won't decide to change up my setup if I am satisfied. The Chane audio offering is quite intriguing, I'm not sure how good their resale value is (avsforum / ebay / reddit avsexchange). I'm also curious about mentions that Elac centers are bad, in principle it's the same crossover in an MTM design, what could possibly make it worse then the bookshelves?

Your current setup isn't bad by any means. Sure there are countless other options which will sound different, but not necessarily better for the same price.
 

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The Chane audio looks quite good and would fit my decor. Any idea on the quality of their bookshelves in relation the UB5 ?
Far easier load to drive than either of your ELACs.

Problem: both are currently out of stock. Historically, "out of stock" at Chane can mean waiting for a few weeks, or a few MONTHS, or MANY MONTHS, for restocking. Which is fine if you're not in a hurry, because they are very nice speakers.
 

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Problem: both are currently out of stock. Historically, "out of stock" at Chane can mean waiting for a few weeks, or a few MONTHS, or MANY MONTHS, for restocking. Which is fine if you're not in a hurry, because they are very nice speakers.
From the A2.4 and A1.5 product pages, first line:

The Chane A2.4 [and A1.5] is in production and returns late Summer. Click for more.
 

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From the A2.4 and A1.5 product pages, first line:
ah, that must be a recent addition to the product page, didn't notice it last I checked.

Good news!
 

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Yep, my bookshelves are aligned right up to the front on my media console to avoid reflections. I will align the UC5 as well and run Audyssey. I will report back on my findings regarding the audio. Perhaps I won't decide to change up my setup if I am satisfied. The Chane audio offering is quite intriguing, I'm not sure how good their resale value is (avsforum / ebay / reddit avsexchange). I'm also curious about mentions that Elac centers are bad, in principle it's the same crossover in an MTM design, what could possibly make it worse then the bookshelves?
Curious your outcome. Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Reporting back. So I received the UC5 earlier today.... boy they're big! Anyways, I spent the day recutting and checking all my audio cables. Surprisingly a lot of the banana plugs oxidized (monoprice ones) after only 3 years of use.

I setup up calibration again on my Denon amp and started to listen to them. My AVR decided to set the center channel as small and the LRs as large, I changed them all as large, since I wanted to all be run in their full frequency range. Initial reaction, wow it's fantastic having a center channel. I've been missing out on so much audio information. I cast a lot of audio from my phone from Youtube. In this application, unfortunately the data that is sent does not include more than stereo data, but using the built-in app on the TV I receive 5.1 audio from Youtube. I did some listening over Netflix and Amazon prime, and the improvement have is fantastic. While watching a show, I noticed I now don't need to increase the volume as much since vocal and dialog clarity is excellent. The amp is rarley driven beyond the -30 to -20 dB volume setting (or 60-75 in absolute terms). Dispersion characteristics of this setup I would rate as excellent and especially the imaging.

I'm considering trying other center channels, but honestly I'm struggling to find something that looks significantly better in a more compact package. The Chane audio ones look tempting.

I do think the 3.0 setup looks a bit ridiculous on my media console. What do you guys think about moving the center channel in the compartment below where it is currently placed? Right now that's where my AVR is sitting (behind acoustically transparent mesh, which also adds ventilation). I would need to tilt them upwards if I placed them in that compartment and they would only be a 5-10 inches above the ground to the center tweeter.

 

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I'm considering trying other center channels, but honestly I'm struggling to find something that looks significantly better in a more compact package. The Chane audio ones look tempting.

I do think the 3.0 setup looks a bit ridiculous on my media console. What do you guys think about moving the center channel in the compartment below where it is currently placed? Right now that's where my AVR is sitting (behind acoustically transparent mesh, which also adds ventilation). I would need to tilt them upwards if I placed them in that compartment and they would only be a 5-10 inches above the ground to the center tweeter.
It looks fine IMO, though if you put the grills on it would be a lot cleaner looking. Personally I'd put the UB5s on stands to spread them out further apart and farther from the rear wall, which will both sound better and look better---less busy/dense/cluttered.

Putting the center in the bottom compartment would be a total disaster, might as well throw it out the window for all the good it'll do you---dialogue will be aimed at your shins! In fact, even in its current position your center would benefit from a couple of rubber doorstop wedges to angle it upwards a bit more.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It looks fine IMO, though if you put the grills on it would be a lot cleaner looking. Personally I'd put the UB5s on stands to spread them out further apart and farther from the rear wall, which will both sound better and look better---less busy/dense/cluttered.

Putting the center in the bottom compartment would be a total disaster, might as well throw it out the window for all the good it'll do you---dialogue will be aimed at your shins! In fact, even in its current position your center would benefit from a couple of rubber doorstop wedges to angle it upwards a bit more.
Excellent suggestion. The bookshelves are 70" apart, is that too close in your opinion?
 

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I setup up calibration again on my Denon amp and started to listen to them. My AVR decided to set the center channel as small and the LRs as large, I changed them all as large, since I wanted to all be run in their full frequency range.

I do think the 3.0 setup looks a bit ridiculous on my media console. What do you guys think about moving the center channel in the compartment below where it is currently placed? ....
I agree that set up looks great. The right way place the speakers! close to ear level for the tweeters is optimal so don't put the center in the cabinet. Once you get enveloped in the movie or concert you won't be worried about how it looks anyway, BUT it LOOKS great.

2 things about a subwoofer, well 3 things;
1. GET ONE!
2. If you don't have one why would the Denon even pick small for the center?
3. Does the Denon have Audyssey LFC™? Marantz does, it is supposed to keep bass notes in the room and not let it go thru walls, not sure how it works My unit has it but I don't use it.
 
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