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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, new to the forum, but hopefully I wont sound like a complete buffoon. First let me explain what I have now. I'm running a Denon 1612. I have a Velodyne vx11 sub (I know it's not the best), in the rear I'm using 2 Bose Acoustimass 5 series II cube speakers that run through a Bose 6'' sub. I'm not a huge fan of Bose for the money, but they were given to me. I do also have a Bose VCS-10 center channel because it's one of the only center channel speakers that is short enough to fit where I want to put it. Now, my front speakers are lower level Yamaha bookshelf speakers (NX E300). These are what I'm planning to replace first. My setup is in a fairly small living room and it doesn't sound too bad for a budget setup, but I'd like it to be better.


Here's my question. I would like to replace the Yamaha's with something better and spend between $200-$400. Bookshelf speakers work best, but if there are some decent price towers you'd recommend, I'm open to that. I've read that I need to try and match the front speakers to the center for best sound. By matching drivers, series, size, etc... Not sure the best speakers to match what I have. I play music and movies loudly and need something to accommodate both. I was looking at the Energy RC-10s. will those work? Other Ideas? Is my setup ridiculous and should I scrap all my speakers? Did I screw up by getting a Bose center channel? Appreciate any thoughts people that know more than me have.
 

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Start over ....the ohm of the speakers need to match ..... All the fronts need to match for the best sound ! You are not going to find anything that great for $200-$400 ! Maybe about $500 each speaker maybe ..... Just match everything that's a good place to start.... Bose in over rated put them on eBay , Klipsch speakers are great .... B&W and Focal are better if you have the money . Good luck my friend ! Any question on speaker or wiring just ask ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
$500 for each speaker is out of the question for now. I know the VCS-10 is not the best and maybe I will replace that along with the fronts, but that's the best I can do for now. If I get the RC-10's is there a center that I should look into? I'm sure many will say just get an energy to match, is that the best course of action? Do I have options? What am I looking for in a center? I'd prefer the center not be too enormous. Will any fronts match well with the VCS-10? For now the sub and rears I probably will keep, but I am open to fronts and maybe center. Price is a concern however.
 

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Get the RC-10s and RC-LCR for the center (check Vanns.com). Excellent sound quality for the money. Eventually you will need to add a sub.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbean16  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts#post_22163853


Will any fronts match well with the VCS-10? For now the sub and rears I probably will keep, but I am open to fronts and maybe center. Price is a concern however.

No, nothing will match the Bose center. There are a few options for you with your budget, that

will be a nice upgrade for you. Since you are interested in Energy, check them out.
 

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Always remember the center is the most Important speaker and it 100% has to match your Fronts and if you don't have at least $800 to $1000 to buy all 3 fronts speakers .... Save your money and wait to get something good ... Don't buy crap just to get speakers ! Trust me
 

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Discussion Starter #7

Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeTheater1010  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts#post_22163907


Always remember the center is the most Important speaker and it 100% has to match your Fronts and if you don't have at least $800 to $1000 to buy all 3 fronts speakers .... Save your money and wait to get something good ... Don't buy crap just to get speakers ! Trust me

Are you saying the RC-10's are crap? If I go with those and the RC-LCR center, you're saying that isn't good enough?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbean16  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22163815


I do also have a Bose VCS-10 center channel because it's one of the only center channel speakers that is short enough to fit where I want to put it.

How much space, in all dimensions, do you have for a center?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbean16  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22163815


Now, my front speakers are lower level Yamaha bookshelf speakers (NX E300). These are what I'm planning to replace first. My setup is in a fairly small living room and it doesn't sound too bad for a budget setup, but I'd like it to be better.

You may be able to improve the sound quality of your system for movies for $0 by using a "phantom center" instead--just tell your receiver (in the settings) that you don't have a center speaker.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbean16  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22163815


Here's my question. I would like to replace the Yamaha's with something better and spend between $200-$400. Bookshelf speakers work best, but if there are some decent price towers you'd recommend, I'm open to that. I've read that I need to try and match the front speakers to the center for best sound.

While this is generally true, it means that the quality and output capabilities of your center speaker will be a major limiting factor for your system as a whole, and a major limiting factor for your choice of center is the space you have available. I'm normally a big advocate of having a center speaker for the best possible movie experience, but in some circumstances it may actually be better overall to not have a center.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbean16  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22163815


By matching drivers, series, size, etc... Not sure the best speakers to match what I have. I play music and movies loudly and need something to accommodate both.

In this case, your center is inferior to even your current left & right speakers, so you wouldn't want speakers matched to it. In fact, you already own such speakers--the ones that you are currently using as surrounds. If you like to play movies and music loudly, then it would be better to have larger, more efficient speakers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbean16  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22163815


I was looking at the Energy RC-10s. will those work? Other Ideas?

The Energy RC-10 is a pretty good speaker, especially at that price point, and it would leave some money left for a center speaker. Before we go over any more options, however, it would be useful to know how large a speaker you could accommodate as a center (height, width, and depth). There may be other mounting options available, as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbean16  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22163815


Is my setup ridiculous and should I scrap all my speakers? Did I screw up by getting a Bose center channel? Appreciate any thoughts people that know more than me have.

The Bose center does severely limit the potential of your system, and it should go, whether you choose to have a center speaker or not, moving forward. The Bose cubes can work alright as surrounds, I suppose, but they're definitely on the low-end side regarding quality. I'd focus on what we can do with your front speakers first, though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeTheater1010  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22163839


the ohm of the speakers need to match .....

No, they don't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeTheater1010  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22163839


You are not going to find anything that great for $200-$400 ! Maybe about $500 each speaker maybe .....

Yes, you can.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbean16  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22163853


What am I looking for in a center? I'd prefer the center not be too enormous.

The center needs to be at least as capable as the left & right front speakers, or else it'll hold your system back for movies. How big a center can you accommodate?
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22163867


Get the RC-10s and RC-LCR for the center (check Vanns.com). Excellent sound quality for the money. Eventually you will need to add a sub.

That's a great suggestion as long as the OP can handle a 7.5" tall center.
The total will be $470 (currently), but this includes the center.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Cook  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts#post_22166039


How big a center can you accommodate?

Thanks for the help Robert, you seem to know your stuff. As far as the center goes I got the VCS 10 because I could put it in front of the TV on my stand without blocking the screen. I realize I made a mistake, so I think I will just make a platform to set the TV on to raise it's height and accommodate a larger center. So the height doesn't matter now I guess, I will just raise the TV accordingly, but hopefully not more than 10'' high total for the center speaker. As far as width and depth, Id say no more than 11'' deep and width doesn't matter, up to 45''. The fronts I would like to keep as bookshelf if possible since I have limited space and I do have a reasonable sub for the space. The energy options seem like a great price (is the RC-LCR 3 way center the right way to go? Another energy center?), but if you know of anything better in that range or any other info I'm not taking into account, I'd appreciate your thoughts.
 

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Yes. The RC-LCR is the correct center for the RC-10. And if you don't want to have to build a stand for it, this one works pretty well and is pretty cheap. I upgraded my TV to a 60lb Plasma and it works fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah that stand looks like it will work perfectly. I have also been looking at some Boston Acoustics A25's and PSB Alpha B1 speakers. Both are under $300. Any thoughts with those? Stick with the Energy?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbean16  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts#post_22166654


Yeah that stand looks like it will work perfectly. I have also been looking at some Boston Acoustics A25's and PSB Alpha B1 speakers. Both are under $300. Any thoughts with those? Stick with the Energy?

They are both good speakers, and also a big step above Yamaha and Bose.


It all comes down to you and your decision.
 

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Nothing is really crap... Just every time I got a speaker cause it was cheaper or I just wanted to add something . I always kicked myself for not saving or doing more research ... That's all ... Good luck to you .... Just remember you get what you pay for and in this crazy world ... That is the truth ... Take care
 

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And just cause someone sounds like they know what they are talking about doesn't mean they do this is the Internet ..... I can say I'm a millionaire and prove it ... Doesn't mean I am ..... Match the ohms trust me on that .... 4 ohm speakers make the amp work harder and 8 ohm don't need that much power ... And the reciever I have has two different settings ... You read up and see for yourself ... I also now have RF-7 II ... RF-82 II were good ......but Cook you get what you pay for ..... Night and Day .... Believe your ears and nothing else ....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbean16  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22166221


The energy options seem like a great price (is the RC-LCR 3 way center the right way to go? Another energy center?), but if you know of anything better in that range or any other info I'm not taking into account, I'd appreciate your thoughts.

That is precisely the correct center speaker to match the RC-10. A third RC-10 on its side would also work, but it seems that they only come in pairs. About the only thing left to cover is what kind of sound you like. The Energy RC series has a detailed, non-fatiguing tweeter, and the speakers as a whole have a laid-back, mellow character relative to most other speakers. They don't have any major weaknesses, aside from maybe slightly sloppy bass (perhaps because they dig a bit deeper than they ought to), but some people prefer a bolder, more in-your-face character from the midrange and/or treble, while others favor the more "relaxed" RC sound. What are your thoughts on this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbean16  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22166654


Boston Acoustics A25's and PSB Alpha B1 speakers. Both are under $300. Any thoughts with those? Stick with the Energy?

They're good speakers, too--not as laid-back as the Energy RCs, but perhaps not quite as detailed in the high frequencies. I haven't listened to these as much, but their sound seemed pretty well balanced overall to me. You may want to jump on the following deal before it goes away:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA25GB/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A25-2-Way-5.25in-Bookshelf-Speaker-Each-Gloss-Black/1.html


Buy three of these for $240 total, and call it done--what a steal!
Or if you wouldn't mind having white speakers, then you could step up to the A26 for $30 more, total:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA26WHA/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A26-2-Way-6.5in-Bookshelf-Speaker-Each-Gloss-White/1.html


Within your original price range for a pair, my personal favorite is the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE ($556 for a set of three):

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cbm170/cbm170.html


I currently use this speaker in my own home theater front soundstage, and have been happy with it for five years and counting. Its main drawback is that it's not so pretty, but for this price range, it does everything well--tight, accurate bass; clean, solid midrange; precise imaging; very detailed treble; dynamic and powerful for its size (I use it in a huge room of nearly 8000 cubic feet, and it still sounds big for its size). Of course, it costs more despite its cheap exterior finish (nearly all of the money is in the drivers), so you don't get something for nothing.



I like the other speakers too, though, and that deal on the Boston Acoustics A25 would save you a lot of money--it's up to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If I go with the A26 speakers should I get a dedicated center channel like the A225C from Boston (which is the same price)? Or just get another A26? Does it matter?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeTheater1010  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22167151


And just cause someone sounds like they know what they are talking about doesn't mean they do this is the Internet .....

That's true enough, although it doesn't mean that they don't know, either--ultimately everybody has to rely on their own judgment and instincts to decide what to believe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeTheater1010  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22167151


Match the ohms trust me on that .... 4 ohm speakers make the amp work harder and 8 ohm don't need that much power ...

Power is one thing, and current is another (although obviously there is a relationship between the two). I would not recommend using 4 ohm (nominal) speakers with a typical receiver because they'll probably draw too much current at typical home theater volumes, but that does not mean all of the speakers have to match--for example, there is no problem with using 8 ohm speakers with 6 ohm or 12 ohm speakers. The nominal impedance rating is nothing more than a rough indicator of speaker-amp compatibility based on a speaker's often highly variable impedance curve, which also takes into account factors such as the phase angle (also highly variable with most speakers).
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeTheater1010  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22167151


And the reciever I have has two different settings ... You read up and see for yourself ...

Some receivers may have settings that are slightly more optimal for certain average or nominal impedances, but that doesn't mean you can't use speakers with different electrical characteristics at the same time. Impedance is not nearly as simple as you seem to think--for one thing, in the general case, it is NOT a single number. And not everybody calculates "nominal" impedance the same way, in any case--I know of "6 ohm" speakers that are easier for a typical receiver to drive than some "8 ohm" speakers, and this is because one manufacturer was being more conservative than the other, as opposed to having anything to do with how the speakers actually compare with one another.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeTheater1010  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22167151


I also now have RF-7 II ... RF-82 II were good ......but Cook you get what you pay for ..... Night and Day .... Believe your ears and nothing else ....

So does a speaker sound worse than it did before because it happens to be heavily discounted for whatever reasons? Some brands also offer greater value than others. Additionally, quality is always relative, and I don't think that you or anybody else can set an arbitrary price point at which speakers are good enough. The OP certainly can get a significant improvement for less than $500/speaker--even a small fraction of that, given the starting point and the excellent bargains that can be found with a little effort.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbean16  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts#post_22167233


If I go with the A26 speakers should I get a dedicated center channel like the A225C from Boston (which is the same price)? Or just get another A26? Does it matter?

Since you are going to re-arrange your center area - I would get the A-25 for the center

channel, and stand it straight up - it is 10 11/16" tall. This would be better than a normal

center channel. If you can go higher, then do 3 of the A-26.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So you're saying that there's no advantage to the center channel having dual woofers? Or the a26 is just a much better speaker than the a225c? Is there a better dedicated center to consider?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbean16  /t/1417360/help-choosing-fronts/0_100#post_22167233


If I go with the A26 speakers should I get a dedicated center channel like the A225C from Boston (which is the same price)? Or just get another A26? Does it matter?

I'm glad that you asked.
There are a couple of reasons why I suggested getting three bookshelf speakers for your fronts in this case. One is that there is at least one review that claims that the A225C noticeably underperforms in comparison to the A25 (and the A26):

http://www.digitaltrends.com/speaker-and-subwoofer-reviews/boston-acoustics-a-series-review/2/


Admittedly, I have NOT auditioned this center speaker myself (I've only listened to the towers and bookshelf speakers of the same series), so I can neither confirm nor deny this single claim. I'm not suggesting that we take any review as the absolute truth, either (and for all we know, this particular A225C could have been a lemon), but it is something to keep in mind, in any case.


The other reason is that these speakers are available individually, and in general, even when turned on their sides, a two-way, two-driver bookshelf speaker has superior horizontal dispersion to that of a two-way, three-driver "MTM" (having a tweeter between two midwoofers) center speaker. This means that viewers who are sitting off-axis (i.e. to either side of the center seat) will get better sound--including clearer movie dialogue--than they would with a regular center speaker. As for the reasons for this, you can read the following if you're interested:

http://www.audioholics.com/education/loudspeaker-basics/vertical-vs-horizontal-speaker-designs


The focus of the above article is on vertical vs horizontal centers, but it still shows why horizontal MTMs are not the ideal configuration for center speakers. In most home theaters, this is actually not a major issue, and people have been satisfied with their horizontal MTM centers for years, but whenever I can I like to help people further optimize their systems rather than doing what people normally do just because (I personally use a vertical bookshelf speaker for the center because I need really good and wide dispersion for my seating arrangement). If we combine this with the negative review of the A225C referenced above, then I don't see why you shouldn't go with three A26s (with the center one turned on its side if you feel that you must, although being vertical would be ideal).


By the way, regarding the RC-10 & RC-LCR, that is a different case. The RC-10 is not generally available as a single speaker, and while you could buy a pair and sell off one of them or keep it as a spare, I think that the RC-LCR gives you additional capability for the center, which is the most important channel for home theater. Additionally, regarding horizontal dispersion the RC-LCR is a three-way design with closely-spaced midrange drivers, so it should have pretty good (and symmetrical) horizontal dispersion, which I can confirm personally as I've helped install one such system for somebody.
 
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