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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of upgrading and configuring my home theater and i was hoping to get some feedback

on what i can do to make it better.


This is my current configuration: Room is about 10x14


Sony STR-DC835 reciever - old schol

Center speaker is Bose VCS-10

Front speakers are Bose Direct reflect 601 floorstanding

Rear speakers are Acoustimas 5 Cubes


For a Sub i am using the Bose sub that came with my Acoustimas 5 cubes and also my 601's have subs built in.


My first question is if i have the right sub setup or if i need to do something there?

Currently i have the wire to the fronts running throught the Acoustimas Sub then into the 601's.


Second question is I am upgrading my reciever and am getting a Pioneer VSX-54TX and i know i am going to

need two more speakers. What speakers should i get? and where should i place them? ie.. put the new speakers to

the rear and have the bose the side speakers or leave the bose to the rear and get new side speakers. For the

new surround sound speakers they can be either bookshelf or small surround and I'll pay up to a total of about

$500 for the pair.


Any suggestions as far as setup, new speakers, etc. would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Welcome to the forum!


Are you happy with the sound from your existing speakers? If so, then I'd suggest that you pick up 2 more speakers from the same manufacturer. Just don't read the threads here on Bose - if you are happy, that's all that matters.


If you aren't satisfied, $500 is a great starting point to where you could start building another system. You could pick up some great mains for that price and start shifting your speakers around until you upgrade them all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by grimreaper0
I am in the process of upgrading and configuring my home theater and i was hoping to get some feedback

on what i can do to make it better.


Any suggestions as far as setup, new speakers, etc. would be much appreciated. Thanks.
You have several issues with your current set-up that leave a lot of room for improvement. Bose are not very popular here for numerous reasons, I'll try not to Bose-bash, but give you some advice on how to get the best sound out of what you have with.


First, you don't have a subwoofer. The 601's have woofers which probably don't have much output below 40Hz. The acoustimass bass module is also not a sub; it's purpose is to fill in the bass missing in the cubes, which lack a real woofer; it does not go deep enough to be considered a sub. For home theater, you need a real subwoofer. $300 will get you an entry level model from a good manufacturer, like a Hsu STF-1. Believe me, you don't know what you're missing without one!


Until then, do not run any speakers through the acoustimass sub other than the cubes; it has a passive cross-over which strips out all bass. Also, I would not run the cubes without the bass module, as when driven with bass, you could blow them. Think of the acoustimass as a system, cubes and bass module, which together make a complete pair of speakers, equivalent in bass response to large bookshelves, or small floorstanders. Keep them together and use them as either side or rear surrounds.


I do not like the idea if using direct/reflecting speakers in the front, as they blur the image, but the 601's are your best speakers, and should probably be your left/right.


Stick with the VCS-10 in the center; it's workable with what you have.


Your new reciever is 7.1, so if you want that extra rear channel you will need an extra pair of speakers. To be honest, a $500 pair of surrounds woul be overkill for what you have now, and that money should be spent on a good sub. Listen to some other brand speakers and see if your prefer their sound over the Bose you have. If so, get a pair of speakers from a brnad you would like to have all around eventually. If you're happy with your Bose, then get any small speakers that go well with them; $100 for pair is plenty, especially if you buy used. I can't say which speakers will sound better as side vs. rear; you'll have to experiment.


Your biggest priority should be to get a true subwoofer. $300-400 can get you something good online.


When you hook up your new receiver, set all the speakers to 'small', yes small, since none of your speakers are truly 'full-range'. If you have more flexable bass management, try tuning the cross-over frequency to match each speaker.


This will give you the best 7.1 system with what you currently have as a starting point, and with $500 or so to spend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. Before submitting this i was new to ur forum and had not read very many entries. Since then I have and was surprised to see how bad everyone feels bose is. I personally thinks its ok. Thats it just...ok. I have only listened to a few speaker setups in the stores and they blow mine away but that was after the purchase. I was one of the suckers that was in frys listened to it in their special theater and thought, wow! i need one of those... and so i got it. Needless to say i have it and i dont quite have the funds to just dump it and start from scratch so i figured id start building with what i had.


As far as the speaker setup and what to do with the module thanks for letting me know that i had it improperly setup. I had noticed that i didnt have much base and was messing with the bass boost just to try and get some.


What kind of speakers would u suggest i put for the fronts? In the say $500-$750 dollar a pair range?


Thanks again.
 

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I'd agree that there are some members here who are hard on Bose. But don't take their word for it and certainly don't beat yourself up over it. You purchased something you liked and there's nothing to stop you from eBaying it and upgrading IF you find something else you like better.


Some great brands to listen to in that price range (especially if you can buy them used) might include Energy, B&W, Klipsch, Paradigm and PSB. Odds are that something in that list will be to your tastes, but go ahead and listen to everything you can find in and out of your price range.

Here is one article on how to audition speakers.
 

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you forgot Axiom :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not that it probably matters specially since every1 is fond of bose, but the speakers are 701's not 601's as i stated.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirquack
you forgot Axiom :)
You are right: I didn't mention any of the internet direct brands just because they can be a little more problematic to audition. Perhaps someone can post that website that matches individuals up with folks who own the gear and are willing to let others audition?


Other ID brands include ACI (maybe out of your price range) and Rockets and Ascend.


grimreaper0, definitely the 701 v 601 thing matters. If nothing else, it helps determine how much resale value they have. ;)
 

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This was an interesting thread to read, for me. Having a Bose system myself, it was good to see that all of you refrained from the bashing. Having said that, I would like to ask of the following option. wleehendrick said not to run the cubes w/o the base module. Does anyone know about how much of the base the xover strips out?


The reason for asking is I have a 5.1 setup(not all bose), but would like to upgrade the front speakers which are the dual cubes. Would it be detrimental to run smaller bookshelfs w/4"or5" drivers with the base module? My thinking is the bass of the small speakers would be supplemented with the base module.


Just trying to think of the most cost effective way to upgrade sound that I am MOSTLY satisfied with.


Thanks for your feedback
 

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I would not electrically mix non-Bose Acoustimass speakers into an Acoustimass system. I believe the Bose cubes have a natural roll off at 250Hz and the bass module picks up at 120Hz, there abouts, so the X-over is somewhere in there. Regardless, even if it is 120Hz it's too high for most bookshelf speakers with a 5.25" or larger bass driver. Personally, I'd consider doing it this way, though it'll cost ya:


Buy a pair of inexpensive but decent floorstanding speakers for the front and connect it directly to the receiver. Bookshelves would be good but require a proper subwoofer to cover the entire spectrum. Keep the Bose cubes for the center and rear channels. As you get additional replacement speakers, the first of which should be the center, just unplug the remaining Bose cubes from the bass module. When there are no more cubes connected to the bass module, replace it with a proper subwoofer.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeLee
I would not electrically mix non-Bose Acoustimass speakers into an Acoustimass system. I believe the Bose cubes have a natural roll off at 250Hz and the bass module picks up at 120Hz, there abouts, so the X-over is somewhere in there. Regardless, even if it is 120Hz it's too high for most bookshelf speakers with a 5.25" or larger bass driver. Personally, I'd consider doing it this way, though it'll cost ya:


Buy a pair of inexpensive but decent floorstanding speakers for the front and connect it directly to the receiver. Bookshelves would be good but require a proper subwoofer to cover the entire spectrum. Keep the Bose cubes for the center and rear channels. As you get additional replacement speakers, the first of which should be the center, just unplug the remaining Bose cubes from the bass module. When there are no more cubes connected to the bass module, replace it with a proper subwoofer.
I agree with LeeLee here, but the bass situation is even worse than he describes. From http://www.intellexual.net/bose.html :


SATELLITES 280 Hz to 13.3k Hz at ±10.5 dB

BASS MODULE 46Hz to 202Hz at ±2.3 dB


The cross-over is above 200Hz! You will destroy the sound of any decent pair of speakers by running them through the Bose module. I highly recommend replacing the cubes, but since the Bose bass module doesn't even get down to 40Hz, if you replace the cubes with floor standing mains, just ditch the bass module since it won't add anything. However, it would probably help out some small bookshelves. Since the bass module plays so high, the only way I can recommend integrating it into a non Bose system would be to set your other speakers to 'small' and use the sub pre-out. This way, the bass module is only getting frequencies below the cross-over set by the bass management in your AV receiver. The bass module is powered, but it's meant to be driven at speaker level, not line level, so a spare amplifier (a decent used stereo receiver can be had very cheap) would be needed to up the voltage. Note, this is still a poor replacement for a true subwoofer, even a small, modestly powered 8" model will blow the Bose away, so upgrading to a decent sub should be high on your priority list.


Hope this helps,


Lee
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by splode
Does anyone know about how much of the base the xover strips out?
The bass module rolls off around 202Hz and the satellites pick up around 280Hz (yes, there is a 80Hz gap). Personally, I wouldn't separate the Bose cubes from the bass module since they are designed to work as a system.


Sanjay
 

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Thanks for the input. I do own a sub, the bose are the front L/R. With a xover @200+hz it sounds as though it will add nothing unless I get some really small bookshelves. Speakers are already set at small. Make a suggestion as to the "small bookeshelves" to add to bass module or should I just forget it? By the way, these are ancient bose 3 piece system w/o bass module.


thanks again
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cme
You are right: I didn't mention any of the internet direct brands just because they can be a little more problematic to audition. Perhaps someone can post that website that matches individuals up with folks who own the gear and are willing to let others audition?


Other ID brands include ACI (maybe out of your price range) and Rockets and Ascend.


grimreaper0, definitely the 701 v 601 thing matters. If nothing else, it helps determine how much resale value they have. ;)
www.audioenvy.com


I used it to audition Onix Rockets before I got mine, but many complain of not getting a response. If you don't have any luck with Audioenvy, I'd suggest you try the respective forum for each product. You'd have much better luck there.


Oh, and you should try to hear Onix, Axiom and Swans.
 

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I also inherited an Acoustimass system. I couldn't get any bass out of it (now I know why).


I hooked up the Bose cubes directly into my receiver and hooked up a different subwoofer. Can I do this? Some of this thread indicates this isn't a good idea. Should I set my receiver to "large" or "small"? The wife isn't going to be happy if I have to keep teh Acoustimass and the subwoofer hooked up.
 

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I hope this doesn't come off as condescending, because that's NOT how I mean it at all.


Kudos to all participants in this thread. It's WONDERFUL to see members fulfill the mission of the forum which is to help other's achieve a setup that will satisfy his/her needs and wants. I confess that when I read the first post, I thought "OH OH, here we go again." I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the support being offered the posters with questions.


Grimreaper0, you have nothing to feel bad about. There is a pretty steep learning curve to all of this. I would wager there are very few among us who haven't, at least once, thought "gee, I wish I hadn't done that :eek: .


I really have nothing to add to this thread, there is plenty of good advice being dispensed. You all deserve praise, so I just wanted to offer a little. Bravo everybody!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsingleton
I also inherited an Acoustimass system. I couldn't get any bass out of it (now I know why).


I hooked up the Bose cubes directly into my receiver and hooked up a different subwoofer. Can I do this? Some of this thread indicates this isn't a good idea. Should I set my receiver to "large" or "small"? The wife isn't going to be happy if I have to keep teh Acoustimass and the subwoofer hooked up.
You can do this, but I wouldn't recommend it because the cubes are now getting driven with bass that they were never meant to see, since the bass module acts as a passive crossover. You'll probably be OK at low volume but you could easily overdrive the little 2" drivers in the cubes by subjecting them to 100Hz.


Ideally, you should do one of the following:


1) Use the Bose cubes as you are now, set to 'small' with the highest cross-over frequency available in the receiver if adjustable. Unfortunately, you will have a hole from ~280Hz, the deepest the cubes play, to ~120Hz, wherever your sub/bass management tops out. If you really want to get rid of the bass module, and use them this way, I would strongly recommend protecting the cubes by making a simple first order high-pass crossover for them. A 40 mF capacitor in series with the cube is the proper value assuming an 8 Ohm speaker load and a 200Hz -3dB point; you want as high a capacitance as possible that doesn't affect the sound of the cube. This probably sounds much more difficult than it actually is.


2) Use the Acousticmass bass module with the cubes as designed, driven from the speaker outputs, but still set to 'small'; if you can adust cross over frequency, try 60 and 80Hz (your sub will handle the low bass). This will fill in the hole up to ~200Hz, but you'll still have the hole in the mid-200Hz range which is inherent to the Acoustimass system.


3) Replace the Bose altogether with speakers with at least a 4" driver and reconfigure your bass management.


Hope this helps.


P.S. Thanks for the kind words, Rijax.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by splode
Thanks for the input. I do own a sub, the bose are the front L/R. With a xover @200+hz it sounds as though it will add nothing unless I get some really small bookshelves. Speakers are already set at small. Make a suggestion as to the "small bookeshelves" to add to bass module or should I just forget it? By the way, these are ancient bose 3 piece system w/o bass module.


thanks again
Hi splode, For your situtation, since you already have a sub, I would get a decent pair of bookshelves with at least a 4" driver and forget the Bose bass module. Bose has faily high resale, you can probably come close to breaking even by selling the Acoustimass as a system and replacing it with a pair of decent small speakers.


Lee
 
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