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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After installing a new over-fireplace TV (UN65c8000xf), I'm looking for some new speakers. The limiting factors are going to be 1)The Center Channel speaker size, 2) About $2K for center & fronts, 3) Wife hates big speakers in the living room.


The center channel when placed horizontally, has to be no taller than 6" (though smaller greatly preferred) and no deeper than 7" - no restriction on width.


The fronts don't have a specific size restriction for fitment, but my wife hates my old and boxy yamaha towers. Why 5.1? because she'll never let me get 2 more speakers in the living room.


Use will be mostly movies, sports, and general TV with some music from those FiOS music channels and iPod connection.


I haven't pulled the trigger on a new AVR yet, but I'm leaning towards the Denon 3311 or 991 - something in that ballpark.


What we have seen and heard in person
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Bose system (idk which one, I wasn't going to let it happen) at the outlet mall. Wife was all for it (size) until we heard the next system.


Definitive Technologies Bi-Polar 8060s and 8040s. Wife chose the smaller 8040s (duh) and liked the idea of the built-in powered subs (we can get rid of that big box!?!). - BUT the 8040 center channel won't fit - so no go. Sales guy switched over to DT's small center (pro 1000?) and it sounded like Sh1T - awful, tiny, mismatched sound.


So here I am, pleading for help and suggestions. What do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, No - the wife stays and that's why I'm here pleading for help to find something that will satisfy us both. The best things I have going for me is that 1)she appreciated the sound difference between the Bose and DT's and 2)that she accepted the size of the 8040's. Though part of the 8040s appeal was the idea of dropping a sub box.
 

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Replace the end table with a nice looking subwoofer, like a Rosewood finished Hsu VTF3, or Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX, or something along those lines. There is no replacement for real bass.


Your center channel restrictions are pretty limiting. You should just skip the center speakers and use a phantom center. It'll probably look nicer for your fireplace anyway. Take that money saved and use it for the fronts. If you skip the center speaker, you could also just buy a powerful stereo receiver and not worry about a 7.1 receiver with a middling amp and a thousand features packed in it that you payed for but would never use.
 

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I just wonder - since she hates speakers, maybe less would be better? I'm of course referring to a stereo setup. A good stereo set is still very nice for movies, while having less speakers (even if they were towers or such) causing aggravation to the significant other.


But if sticking with the 5.1 plan, there's certainly quite small yet good sounding speakers available, but then a sub is certainly a must for a full listening experience. Not having a center channel at all could also be a good solution, provided you don't normally have several people watching so that some would be too far off from the sweet spot.
 

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actually I just thought of something.. you are a prime candidate for a soundbar..


ZVOX has pretty good reviews/
 

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If you have the installation wherewithal, look into Triad in-ceiling Bronze LCR speakers. I think they are $600-700 a pop, and they can be paint-matched to your room. These are not your mother's in-ceiling speakers, and have probably kept several marriages from severing. It's a compromise, but then you've already put a TV over a fireplace anyway
You must match them with a subwoofer, but your wife will love you so much for choosing them that you'll be able to extend the budget a little. This is what I'm doing for our family room to keep things tidy and keep my kid from destroying them. Search the Triad thread for more details.
 

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In-walls could work. I'd prefer decent 2.1 over a center that can't be more than 6 inches high.

Or do like I do... TV on the wall in the kitchen close to the lunch table, stereo (but no TV at all) in the living room for music, large TV in the basement playroom for the kids, and HT/audio room in the basement for movies and evening TV.
 

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Get 3 Monitor Audio Radius 250 at $280 each for your front, and something appropriate (maybe even two more) for the rears.


There's lots of other options in this form factor - these just happen to be a great deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the replies thus far. I'm checking into all the recommended speakers thus far.


The thought of skipping the center channel altogether terrifies me. I'd have to see/hear that in person - I can't imagine how well that could work with dialogue from a movie.


I won't call a sub a deal breaker - it could just help ease the pain of larger fronts as in the case of the DT BP8040s. Reading in the DT threads, it looks like many prefer to still have separate sub (space & cash permitting).


I thought about In-Wall speakers, but backed away when considering future upgrades. Those triads are intriguing though.


The rears are a piece of cake - I already have wire run in-wall to the rear of the room.


As for my testicles - they enjoy their time with her much more than hanging around with me
 

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A phantom center is pretty good in most cases. You'd be surprised at how centered the dialogue sounds. And you don't have to worry about having a timbre matched center to your L&R's. The timbre will match exactly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
More on the room; It's a "great room" with vaulted ceilings, that has a pony wall dividing it into two areas. To the Left and Front are exterior walls, and to the right is the pony wall/open space. The rear is an open kitchen with a level ceiling and that transition is where I have the rear speakers mounted.


This is part of the battle - its a huge open area, but the pony wall that defines the living room makes for a smaller feeling room. So I know I need larger speakers and a sub for all the open space, but the footprint of the room limits what I can fit in there.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by trexmgd /forum/post/19554149


The thought of skipping the center channel altogether terrifies me. I'd have to see/hear that in person - I can't imagine how well that could work with dialogue from a movie.

It works perfectly fine. I mean, think about it - it's just like listening to stereo music where the vocals are dead in the middle despite the lack of a center speaker. Without a center the main speakers simply work as they would in a normal stereo setup. No need for a center speaker to create a soundstage where different sounds come from a different spots between the speakers (if it were, we wouldn't have stereo setups to begin with!). In fact given the positioning issues and such with the center speaker, I've always opted to be without one, since it's just not necessary for me. In addition, it's extra $$ saved when skipping one unnecessary speaker altogether.


The only reason you would ever really need one is when you have people that have to sit farther to the sides from the sweet spot, so that the center speaker "anchors" the dialogue to the screen for the off-axis listeners. Not that non-audio-savvy people generally notice, or care
 
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