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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long time listener, first time caller. I need some advice on HT speakers.


I just purchased a Panasonic 50-inch plasma (the 9uk) and had it hung on a wall between two doorways. The room is about 12X11, and the wall to the right of the TV has an open doorway for the first half or so. The other wall is 4 french doors.


My installer said that he can't hang a 7.1 system because of the french doors. He also said it probably wouldn't make a difference in a room this small. He said the Polk SurroundBar paired with two FXi3 rears on-wall and the PSW303 sub would "sound as close as you can get to 7.1" because, while the SurroundBar can't really do good rears, it will fill in the sides, and if you set the FXi3s to bipolar, that will help as well.


For about the same price, however, I can get 2X Energy Take Lucres for right and left, an Energy FPS for center, two Energy SATs and an S8.3 sub.


The installer said that in a room that small, the sound from the Energy speakers will be too discrete, meaning I will not get immersion, and I will be able to look right at the speaker. He feels the Polks will spread the sound and make it more realistic. (BTW, he's not getting a cut of either speaker purchase, so he doesn't care from that perspective). That WAS a big problem in my old Yamaha HTIB setup.


I generally believe that Energy speakers are better than Polks, but I've never heard the SurroundBar. I was generally happy to see that it doesn't rely on the same "bounce off the walls" technology the Yamaha YSPs do, but one speaker solutions have never really impressed me much. The FXi3s are also really big for the back wall.


Which way should I go?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyEarl /forum/post/0


Long time listener, first time caller. I need some advice on HT speakers.


I just purchased a Panasonic 50-inch plasma (the 9uk) and had it hung on a wall between two doorways. The room is about 12X11, and the wall to the right of the TV has an open doorway for the first half or so. The other wall is 4 french doors.


My installer said that he can't hang a 7.1 system because of the french doors. He also said it probably wouldn't make a difference in a room this small. He said the Polk SurroundBar paired with two FXi3 rears on-wall and the PSW303 sub would "sound as close as you can get to 7.1" because, while the SurroundBar can't really do good rears, it will fill in the sides, and if you set the FXi3s to bipolar, that will help as well.


For about the same price, however, I can get 2X Energy Take Lucres for right and left, an Energy FPS for center, two Energy SATs and an S8.3 sub.


The installer said that in a room that small, the sound from the Energy speakers will be too discrete, meaning I will not get immersion, and I will be able to look right at the speaker. He feels the Polks will spread the sound and make it more realistic. (BTW, he's not getting a cut of either speaker purchase, so he doesn't care from that perspective). That WAS a big problem in my old Yamaha HTIB setup.


I generally believe that Energy speakers are better than Polks, but I've never heard the SurroundBar. I was generally happy to see that it doesn't rely on the same "bounce off the walls" technology the Yamaha YSPs do, but one speaker solutions have never really impressed me much. The FXi3s are also really big for the back wall.


Which way should I go?

IMO, a 5.1 setup will be better. No matter how good those surroundBars are, they will not be able to match a properly done 5.1 setup. The following image from Dolby will give you some ideas about the speaker placement

 

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I think your installer have a point about the separate speakers being too discrete.


Have you looked at Mirage's products?(sister company of Energy)


Their OmniSat speakers do provide a more diffuse soundfield that is less localizable with a larger sweetspot. This would be a better alternative to Energys in a smaller environment.


They have a UNI-Theater LCR bar if you are looking at alternatives to an Polk all-in-one speaker.


Personally, I don't like these all-in-ones either. A properly placed 5.1 system is going to provide a more distinct surround effect than any one-speaker solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow, thanks for the quick replies. I looked at the mirage speakers, but since I can't put them on the ceiling (don't ask), I decided they look kind of odd on the wall. Are they enough better sounding to make a difference?


As to the Mirage UNI-Theater LCR, not only is it a bit more expensive ($300-400) than the Polk price I was quoted, my installer felt like an LCR all-in-one bar (whatever the brand) wouldn't be as good at filling in the side spaces. He also said that in that room, since there's only about 8 inches to either side of the TV to put the side speakers (because of the two doorways on iether side of the TV), and the center would go right underneath the TV, even 3 separate LCRs would be so close as to be about the same as the all-in-one bar.


He also doesn't like directional surrounds (like the Take SAT) in small rooms because the sound is too "pinpointed." He said either the Polk FXi3 (since they match the SurroundBar) or the Klipsch SS-5 (he just likes the way these sound as rears) would give me better results.
 
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