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Hi there,

Sorry to post yet another “need help with a setup” thread, but I figure the advice of experts is always welcome. Moved into the new place a little bit ago, and finally looking to fully upgrade my entire speaker setup. My current speakers are from the Onkyo HT-S5100B which I bought around 2009 or 2010 I think (here’s a link to them I found in case anyone cares : https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/543864-REG/Onkyo_HT_S5100B_HT_S5100B_7_1_Channel_Home_Theater.html). I upgraded the receiver to a Denon X2400 in 2017, and will probably get the new Denon 2700 this fall. My current TV is a 65 LG C7, but plan to get a 77 CX this fall (black Friday sales!). Below are pictures from my current room. Room is ~17 feet wide, and its ~14 feet from the TV to the center of the couch. Ceilings are 8.5 feet (so ~2,000 ft^3 for the main listening area). Based on the advice here, I think I’ll wind up with a 7.1, 7.2, 7.1.2 or 7.2.2 setup.

My experience/knowledge with speakers is pretty basic (as in how to plug them in, and somewhat know where to place them). Been trying to read stuff about crossover, THD, dipoles, bi-amping, etc. and it’s all one big whoosh over my head. My intent is to use Audyssey to handle those settings. My use is probably 60% games and 40% movies/TV. Music gets played maybe once or twice a year when guests are over, but it’s mostly as background, and definitely no discerning ears for that.

For now, here are my initial thoughts on speakers for each position (all bookshelves):

L-R: Figure I can swing somewhere around $900-$1,200 for the pair. Ones on the list for now are:
- KEF LS50 (#1 in WAF, and it seems they maybe disperse sound better instead of laser-focusing it?)
- SVS ultra bookshelf (#2 in WAF right now)
- Revel Concerta2 M16
- Martin Logan 35XTi (if I can get them on sale)
- Wharfdale Evo 4.2

Center: figure something around $400-700 here. Ones on the list for now are:
- KEF Q250C and Q650C are still #1 in WAF.
- Klipsh RP-404C, 500C and 600C
- SVS Ultra Center
- Warfdale Evo4.2C

For the surrounds, I’d pretty much need them flush on the wall up near the ceiling, and aiming down at the listening positions I guess, so the ones I’ve found with that requirement are:
- SVS prime Elevation (they have the Ultra surround, but I have no idea how those double-angled facing speakers work)
- Klipsch Reference R-41SA

Been looking at Atmos speakers as well, but they’d have to bounce off the ceiling unless, I can get some more speakers that aim down, and place them higher on my shelves, left and right of the TV. I think the SVS surrounds work like that too?

Sub: Still not sure if doing 1 or 2. I truly have no idea on subs, so fully open to suggestions on these:
- Saw many people recommend the HSU VTF-3 MK5 here, so if I get just one, it’d be this one (I can swing one at $800, but not 2 of these). Though the picture from all the settings and connections on the back side of this one is pretty intimidating. Also, maybe keep my current sub to use as second to this one?
- If I get 2, they’d have to be no more than $500 each, so I know there’s the SVS 1000 (not sure of difference between PB or SB), or the something like the Klipchs R-120SW.

L-R speakers would obviously go to the left and right of the TV. Looks like slightly above ear level, but that’s the best I can do. Center speaker is an issue. The OLED’s base is pretty “deep” from the front of the TV, to the back, so I don’t have room for depth of the center, and are also pretty “low” to the ground on that base, so really can’t put it in front. Would have to be off-center like the current one is, and probably figure out some sort of stand to aim it downwards. The nuclear option would be to mount the TV to “raise” it above the spears. I really hate mounting TVs, so I hope it doesn’t come down to this (and it would make the TV itself too high I think, not sure I’m a fan of looking up at the TV). The surrounds and back surrounds would have to go up near the ceiling aiming down. Have circled the positions I’m thinking of for reference, but wanted to get opinions on this positioning.

Wanted to see what people thought of this.

Thanks!
 

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I upgraded the receiver to a Denon X2400 in 2017, and will probably get the new Denon 2700 this fall.

Room is ~17 feet wide, and its ~14 feet from the TV to the center of the couch. Ceilings are 8.5 feet (so ~2,000 ft^3 for the main listening area). Based on the advice here, I think I’ll wind up with a 7.1, 7.2, 7.1.2 or 7.2.2 setup.

L-R: Figure I can swing somewhere around $900-$1,200 for the pair.

Center: figure something around $400-700 here.

For the surrounds, I’d pretty much need them flush on the wall up near the ceiling, and aiming down at the listening positions I guess, so the ones I’ve found with that requirement are:
- SVS prime Elevation (they have the Ultra surround, but I have no idea how those double-angled facing speakers work)
- Klipsch Reference R-41SA

Been looking at Atmos speakers as well,

Sub: Still not sure if doing 1 or 2. I truly have no idea on subs, so fully open to suggestions on these:
- Saw many people recommend the HSU VTF-3 MK5 here, so if I get just one, it’d be this one (I can swing one at $800, but not 2 of these).
- If I get 2, they’d have to be no more than $500 each, so I know there’s the SVS 1000 (not sure of difference between PB or SB), or the something like the Klipchs R-120SW.

L-R speakers would obviously go to the left and right of the TV. Looks like slightly above ear level, but that’s the best I can do. Center speaker is an issue. The OLED’s base is pretty “deep” from the front of the TV, to the back, so I don’t have room for depth of the center, and are also pretty “low” to the ground on that base, so really can’t put it in front. Would have to be off-center like the current one is, and probably figure out some sort of stand to aim it downwards. The nuclear option would be to mount the TV to “raise” it above the spears.
No reason to get a new receiver; put that cost savings into a second VTF-3. Receivers make diddly difference unless there are specific features you just can't live without, such as extra channels to run Atmos.

In your case, since you're going to put your surround speakers so high up anyway, there is no benefit to doing Atmos since you won't get any contrast between ear-level and ceiling-level speakers. So that saves you a big wad of cash and headaches in terms of not needing to pay for extra speakers or a new 9-11 channel receiver.

With your usage being 100% movies & gaming, you can cross off many of the more finesse speakers on your list such as the LS50 and SVS Ultra. That would be like buying a Ferrari to commute to work on the freeway when a Prius or Civic would do the job just as well or better and for a whole lot less. You'll never hear the qualitative difference, so it's a complete waste of money.

The only speakers on your list I'd still keep for consideration are the Klipsch RP series, mainly because you can buy them at Best Buy to try out at home since you get an easy 15 day return policy.

In your current photo, you have the L/R speakers way too close together. You want the L/R speakers to form an equilateral triangle with your main listening position. So I'd spread them about an additional 3 feet closer to the side walls, toed in at the MLP.

Do whatever you need to do to get a REAL, full-sized CENTER speaker. The center speaker does 70-80% of the HT/TV output and 98% of the DIALOGUE. It is *the* true workhorse/backbone of any HT setup and thus the absolute LAST place you should ever cut corners. Smaller centers 4.5" or smaller woofers) almost always produce tinny voices and often, terrible voice clarity.

Now, the problem is that your front 3 speakers look like they will be sitting pretty much straight up against those built-in shelves. For that reason, I would avoid rear-ported speakers (like the Klipsch RP) and go with front-ported or sealed cabinet speakers.

I'd recommend looking at RSL CG5 and CG25 speakers, as well as HTD Level 3 bookshelves and center. These two internet-direct companies offer free return shipping; their speakers are front-ported and the HTDs in particular offer lots of dynamics and detail at a reasonable cost (the HTD are the better bang for the buck between those two).

Two other great options, sealed cabinet speakers, would be the Ascend 200SE and the NHT C1 and C3; unfortunately neither company offers free return shipping. The Ascends are the best bang for the buck of all, and you can easily use them for every single location if you wanted a perfectly seamless soundstage.
 

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Thank you for the response.

I had never heard of some of those speaker brands, so I'll definitely start looking at them for both reviews and WAF. Some questions/comments on some of the stuff you mentioned:

1) I guess I didn't know but are the SVS and LS50s geared more towards music then (just asking about them again since they had really high WAF here)?

2) How much space should there be between the speakers and the back wall? Not sure I understand what back/front ported means I guess.

3) Thank you for the spacing comment on L-R. Didn't know I had to space them out more. My problem would be the Left speaker, as I don't have another "support column to place it up against. Can I maybe put both of them up against the side walls, or is that too far?

4) Yeah, I'm down to get a really good center, especially if I'll be saving money on the L-R now. My concern is the the size and position. if I place it up top, where my current center is, and angle it down, would that work? Or maybe 2 centers (is that doable?) so one doesn't look too off putting by itself off to the side.

5) Regarding the AVR, since I'll be getting the CX and the Xbox Series X, I need a new one for HDMI 2.1. I'm trying to reorganize my setup and put my electronics near the floor where the chair is right now, so I only want 1 HDMI to the TV, instead of using EArc. I'll still try to get the 2700 on sale later in the year.

6) So for the Sub, you definitely recommend going with 2 of HSU's then?

7) and for the surrounds, any preference between those SVSs or the Klipsch then?

Once again, thanks for the advice!! Much to research again.
 

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Thank you for the response.

I had never heard of some of those speaker brands, so I'll definitely start looking at them for both reviews and WAF. Some questions/comments on some of the stuff you mentioned:

1) I guess I didn't know but are the SVS and LS50s geared more towards music then (just asking about them again since they had really high WAF here)?

2) How much space should there be between the speakers and the back wall? Not sure I understand what back/front ported means I guess.

3) Thank you for the spacing comment on L-R. Didn't know I had to space them out more. My problem would be the Left speaker, as I don't have another "support column to place it up against. Can I maybe put both of them up against the side walls, or is that too far?

4) Yeah, I'm down to get a really good center, especially if I'll be saving money on the L-R now. My concern is the the size and position. if I place it up top, where my current center is, and angle it down, would that work? Or maybe 2 centers (is that doable?) so one doesn't look too off putting by itself off to the side.

5) Regarding the AVR, since I'll be getting the CX and the Xbox Series X, I need a new one for HDMI 2.1. I'm trying to reorganize my setup and put my electronics near the floor where the chair is right now, so I only want 1 HDMI to the TV, instead of using EArc. I'll still try to get the 2700 on sale later in the year.

6) So for the Sub, you definitely recommend going with 2 of HSU's then?

7) and for the surrounds, any preference between those SVSs or the Klipsch then?

Once again, thanks for the advice!! Much to research again.
If your room that is 2000 cubic feet is a sealed room, not open to other rooms, then dual HSU VTF-2s or Rythmik LV12Fs would provide plenty of output. Unless you're a basshead expecting a car subwoofer bass experience.

If open to other rooms, then you definitely might need the VTF-3.
 

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I just went from the SVS PB1000 to the Klipsch R-120RSW this past weekend. The reason I did so is that they are currently on sale at BB for $250 and decided to try it. The SVS is definitely a bit cleaner and has an even lower frequency response going one on one, but I found that two of the Klipsch is better (and at the same price as the single SVS).

For mainly HT use, you want the ported sub.
 

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No reason to get a new receiver; put that cost savings into a second VTF-3. Receivers make diddly difference unless there are specific features you just can't live without, such as extra channels to run Atmos.
He's definitely going to need a new receiver if he's going to do 4K and Atmos. Hopefully they'll have nice sale prices on the new Denon models when he's ready to buy.
 
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If your room that is 2000 cubic feet is a sealed room, not open to other rooms, then dual HSU VTF-2s or Rythmik LV12Fs would provide plenty of output. Unless you're a basshead expecting a car subwoofer bass experience.

If open to other rooms, then you definitely might need the VTF-3.
Yeah, the room is definitely not "enclosed". the 2000 ft^3 is just the area up to the couch. You can see in the second pic, the back wall is anotther 20-25 feet behind it, extending into my breakfast nook and kitchen to the right. And so, would 1 VTF-3 do it?


I just went from the SVS PB1000 to the Klipsch R-120RSW this past weekend. The reason I did so is that they are currently on sale at BB for $250 and decided to try it. The SVS is definitely a bit cleaner and has an even lower frequency response going one on one, but I found that two of the Klipsch is better (and at the same price as the single SVS).

For mainly HT use, you want the ported sub.
I guess i'll definitely go with a ported one then. The question now would 2 Klipsch be better than 1 VTF-3?


He's definitely going to need a new receiver if he's going to do 4K and Atmos. Hopefully they'll have nice sale prices on the new Denon models when he's ready to buy.
Yeah, I figure by the fall/winter they'll be a couple hundred off MSRP and I'll get it then (waiting for the new Xbox and black Friday sales for the CX anyways).
 

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The question now would 2 Klipsch be better than 1 VTF-3?
No, not anywhere close. The R-120SW is maybe 1/2 or 1/4 of a PB1000.

The PB1000's bigger brother, the PB2000 is somewhat equivalent to the VTF-2.

The VTF-3 is like ANOTHER big step up from the PB2000.

So I'd say maybe 8 of the R-120SW might get you close to a single VTF-3. :)

If you want to go dual and stay under $1K, a pair of ported Monolith 10" THX at $500 apiece (and by all accounts they beat the pants off of the PB1000) would be a better choice.
 
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Thank you for the response.

I had never heard of some of those speaker brands, so I'll definitely start looking at them for both reviews and WAF. Some questions/comments on some of the stuff you mentioned:

1) I guess I didn't know but are the SVS and LS50s geared more towards music then (just asking about them again since they had really high WAF here)?

2) How much space should there be between the speakers and the back wall? Not sure I understand what back/front ported means I guess.

3) Thank you for the spacing comment on L-R. Didn't know I had to space them out more. My problem would be the Left speaker, as I don't have another "support column to place it up against. Can I maybe put both of them up against the side walls, or is that too far?

4) Yeah, I'm down to get a really good center, especially if I'll be saving money on the L-R now. My concern is the the size and position. if I place it up top, where my current center is, and angle it down, would that work? Or maybe 2 centers (is that doable?) so one doesn't look too off putting by itself off to the side.

5) Regarding the AVR, since I'll be getting the CX and the Xbox Series X, I need a new one for HDMI 2.1. I'm trying to reorganize my setup and put my electronics near the floor where the chair is right now, so I only want 1 HDMI to the TV, instead of using EArc. I'll still try to get the 2700 on sale later in the year.

6) So for the Sub, you definitely recommend going with 2 of HSU's then?

7) and for the surrounds, any preference between those SVSs or the Klipsch then?

Once again, thanks for the advice!! Much to research again.
1) Speakers like the SVS Ultra and LS50 have certain tonal/musical subtleties that will go largely unnoticed during HT/TV use, for which you simply need detail, dynamics, and headroom...3 simple attributes that are easily had for a fraction of the price of such speakers.

2) For rear ported, I'd want at least 6-8" MINIMUM. Usually 12-18" is best if the speaker has a lot of mid-bass, unless you are running it on "small" at 80hz or higher.

3) No, you want them to be at least 1-2 feet FROM the side walls, toed inwards.

4) No, definitely just one center. Angling it down is fine.

6) Yes, dual subs are always better if you have the floor space.

7) I'd go with whichever is less expensive, probably the Klipsch.
 
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jI guess i'll definitely go with a ported one then. The question now would 2 Klipsch be better than 1 VTF-3?[/QUOTE said:
While I think the two Klipsch are better than a single PB1000, they aren't great. I am pleased enough for these two at $500. I'm not wanting to spend more at the moment because we are doing some home renovations. I would have gone with some of the other sub recomendations you have gotten if not for that. At some point I will make an upgrade, but for now this works.
 
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