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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am hoping to have the basement wrapped up within the next month or so. Iam going to have a slightly larger area than I do now and would like to upgrademy system. I need to keep it under $1400 or risk execution by the wife.

My current setup is Alpha B1 L/R, Alpha C1, Alpha A/V surround. I was looking at moving the Alpha B1 to thesurround and getting X1T for the L/R. With the remainder of the money I havetwo options.

Option 1: purchase a modest sub. It sure would be nice to have a little bitmore rumble when stuff blows up. I live in a semi-detached, we insulated thebasement as best we could, sealed the back of the electric boxes, and coveredthem with pads. I am putting up 5/8” drywall. That said I do not expect it tobe sound proof, my neighbors are great people and I want to keep it that way sowhen I say modest sub I mean just that.

Option 2: purchase an XC center channel to match the X1T. Currently I wouldlike to hear more vocals out of the center channel depending on the audiosource and the mix sometime it seems vocals get lost. I spent time tweaking thelevels and got it sound ok and the new setup will also improve it as it will bequieter and you won’t be getting your ear pounded by surrounds sitting 2” away.My concern here is there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between the XCand the C1 other than tweeter size.

The total room size is 28’x15’. The “entertainment” area is 14’x15’ with theright hand side almost wide open (yea I know it is not ideal but I didn’t winthe lottery so it is what I had to work with).

Thanks for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So I talked to a local store. They have a pair of episode 700 towers one sale for less than a pair of x1t towers. What I am thinking is to buy the x1t or the episodes and see what they sound like with my center. If I don't like it then I buy a new center. If it is ok then I go for a sub. I am having trouble finding much on the episode speakers what do you guys think about them?
 

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What sub are you using now?
When I hear modest sub, I think inadequate. And remember, a powerful sub will produce good accurate bass at lower volumes and at higher volumes. Cheap subs just sound like crap, and believe me, I bought several crappy subs (two Klipsch, one Martin Logan Dynamo...) before I moved into the decent sub category
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. Right now I have no sub, I had a crappy Sony10" (80watt) that blew up just after my first son was born and never hadthe chance to replace it.
I am going to my local PSB dealer to listen to the X series vs the alphas tosee if my ears can tell the difference. I was looking at the towers because wealso putting a small bar in the basement and thought that tower would also benice for music, however, I don’t want to sacrifice my movie watching just forthat.
I also have the opportunity to buy Episodes 700 towers (as I mentionedbefore) and a center for ~$1100. I need to listen to these things to tell ifthey are worth it. I saw some old threads around here about Episode but can'tfind anything recent. I also found a couple reviews but I trust them about asmuch as I trust the manufacture’s own reviews. Does anyone have any real world experiencewith them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
After doing a bunch of research I think I decided to stick with book shelf speakers and get a decent sub. My reasoning is that 90% of my HT use is TV and movies. While I have no experience with towers in surround sound setting I feel like having two big towers and a small center would make for a awkward transition when sound is moving across the front stage. If I used the setup for primary music or had a setup that could accommodate three towers, I can see how I would benefit from towers. That said I stopped by my local psb dealer today to test drive some speakers...

First I started with the Alpha B1s, which I currently own, to get a baseline. I then moved to the PSB xB.... I was imediatly wowed by the fullness of the xB. The instrumentals were fuller and low frequencies were much more pronounced. Once we moved from instrumentals to dialog I found my self disappointed. Although the Alphas seem tinny in comparison I think they reproduce vocals much better and clearer than the xB.

After the xB I tried the Goldenear Aon2. I was floored, in fact when he told me they were only $500 a pair. I was ready to get out my credit card... until he doubled checked the price book and told me that was $500 a piece :mad:. I didn't spend much more time with them.

In case anyone here cares about Episode 700 towers I tried them.... to be nice I did not care for them at all. The Alphas B1s have better bass extension and the clarity was not what I would expect for a $800 speaker.

I think for now I am going to stick with my current setup and invest in a sub and some new stands for my L/R... see y'all in the sub section.
 

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I feel like having two big towers and a small center would make for a awkward transition when sound is moving across the front stage
You feel? Why would you make home theater decisions based on your emotions. You can easily adjust the levels of surrounds vs your main speakers in your preamp/avr. This really isn't an issue.
 

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You feel? Why would you make home theater decisions based on your emotions. You can easily adjust the levels of surrounds vs your main speakers in your preamp/avr. This really isn't an issue.
What do the surrounds have to do with the front sound stage between his 2 towers and a small center?
That said, as long as the timbre is a reasonably close match between the mains and the center, it really doesnt matter what size they each are. Especially if you use a subwoofer and send the low bass to the sub.
 

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In case anyone here cares about Episode 700 towers I tried them.... to be nice I did not care for them at all. The Alphas B1s have better bass extension and the clarity was not what I would expect for a $800 speaker.

I think for now I am going to stick with my current setup and invest in a sub and some new stands for my L/R... see y'all in the sub section.
You've just proven why personal auditions are so important. Reviews are one thing. Listening is quite another. I think keeping your speakers is a wise choice … for now. A good subwoofer will make those speakers sound even better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I just made an impulse buy. Crutchfield has alpha t1 pairs for $400 with free shipping. Hoping they play well with my b1,c1, and newly purchased sb-1000 that is sitting halfway across the country at a FedEx depot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have got to give crutch field and UPS some kudos here... 9pm Wednesday I place my order. It ships Thursday morning and I get them Friday!

I knew walking into this that the "towers" I was purchasing were basically larger floor standing bookshelf speakers so I was not expecting much. I am not sure if it was because I bumped the crossover up to 110 Hz (because i also added a sub) or if it is the speakers themselves but the high-lows and mids are a night and day difference. I was playing COD and actually tracked someone from the sound of their feet scuffling.
 
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