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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,
I currently have a budget 5.2.2 setup (pic attached) in a dedicated home theater room. I am looking at LCR speaker and subwoofer upgrade suggestions/recommendations from fellow home theater owners/experts.
Budget for LCR and subwoofer upgrade - $2500
Current setup
-
  • L/R - Sony Bookshelf CS5
  • Center - Sony CS8
  • Surrounds - Polk S10
  • Subwoofers - 2 X Klipsch R12SW
  • Height - 2 X Polk OWM3
  • AVR - Sony 7.2 STRDN1080
  • Bluray Player - Sony UBP-X800
  • Projector - Optoma UHD50X
  • Projector screen - 120" Silver Ticket
Room size - 16' X 14' X 10' (closed room on 2nd floor, 1 door opens to game room)
Home theater use - 90% Movies, 9% Gaming (PS5), 1% Music
Listening position distance from L/R ~ 10ft ( 3 seater couch against the wall)
Willing to audition - I have never auditioned speakers and at this point it's not an option for me and I am willing to trust the opinions here.

The current setup is more or less ported to my new home from my previous apartment setup (projector is new). I have been doing my due diligence and research since last week and have some questions.

Questions :
  1. Considering the room size and listening distance, am I good with upgrade to better bookshelf speakers or should I consider tower speakers as well. My spouse thinks tower speakers look cool. But, based on some research I have done, people have suggested that room dimensions need to be taken into account for L/R speaker selections. Would you suggest towers for my room?
  2. If towers, what speakers would you recommend?
  3. If bookshelves, which L/R speakers would be a great upgrade?
  4. What center channel would be a great match for the upgraded suggestions?
  5. I have zeroed in on dual subs either SVS PB 2000 Pro or HSU VTF-2 MK5. Should I consider 15" subs like HSU VTF-3 MK5 for my room? Or, would that be overkill for my room (~ 2200 cubic feet)?
  6. How would you divide $2500 for my upgrade?
Many thanks for reading and responding :) Cheers..
Here's the pic of the current setup.
3059727
 

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For the speakers, if you're not in a rush and have to have it by a certain timeframe (ie Christmas holiday), wait for the next Infinity Reference sale.
You'll be able to get a significant upgrade well under budget.
RC263 center, or if it doesn't go on sale, settle for the RC252. Move it towards the front of your shelving unit so sound doesn't reflect off of it.
The R262 and R252 towers will go on sale, but the R162 bookshelves are very capable for less money.
Though you were looking for LCR, I'd advocate a pair of RS152 surrounds as well.
Put one on the left wall aimed at the listening position, and make a bracket to hold the other facing the listening position.

If want things by the holidays, consider staggering Emobucks purchases from Emotiva with for C1+/C2+ center and T-Zero/T1+/T2+ towers.
You might consider the E2+ surrounds as well.

For the subs, given that you're tracking the PB-2000s already, that's a pretty good pair for the sale price. It may already be overkill for the space, but it fits budget.

Hello,
I currently have a budget 5.2.2 setup (pic attached) in a dedicated home theater room.
Budget for LCR and subwoofer upgrade - $2500
Room size
- 16' X 14' X 10' (closed room on 2nd floor, 1 door opens to game room)
Questions :
  1. Considering the room size and listening distance, am I good with upgrade to better bookshelf speakers or should I consider tower speakers as well. My spouse thinks tower speakers look cool. But, based on some research I have done, people have suggested that room dimensions need to be taken into account for L/R speaker selections. Would you suggest towers for my room?
  2. If towers, what speakers would you recommend? I have looked at FAQ under HTBuyingGuide and there are too many options listed there and is confusing.
  3. If bookshelves, which L/R speakers would be a great upgrade?
  4. What center channel would be a great match for the upgraded suggestions?
  5. I have zeroed in on dual subs either SVS PB 2000 Pro or HSU VTF-2 MK5. Should I consider 15" subs like HSU VTF-3 MK5 for my room? Or, would that be overkill.
  6. How would you divide $2500 for my upgrade?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For the speakers, if you're not in a rush and have to have it by a certain timeframe (ie Christmas holiday), wait for the next Infinity Reference sale.
You'll be able to get a significant upgrade well under budget.
RC263 center, or if it doesn't go on sale, settle for the RC252. Move it towards the front of your shelving unit so sound doesn't reflect off of it.
The R262 and R252 towers will go on sale, but the R162 bookshelves are very capable for less money.
Though you were looking for LCR, I'd advocate a pair of RS152 surrounds as well.
Put one on the left wall aimed at the listening position, and make a bracket to hold the other facing the listening position.

If want things by the holidays, consider staggering Emobucks purchases from Emotiva with for C1+/C2+ center and T-Zero/T1+/T2+ towers.
You might consider the E2+ surrounds as well.

For the subs, given that you're tracking the PB-2000s already, that's a pretty good pair for the sale price. It may already be overkill for the space, but it fits budget.
I am in no rush and can wait 1-2 months easily. I started looking a week earlier as to coincide the timing with black friday.

I do not see R262 on the website but see the tower R263 listed for 499 and the bookshelf for $449. I did not hear about these before and will do some research on these. Do you think they will go lower than their current prices, specially when bookshelf and tower are so close in their price.

Do you think a 3-way L/R bookshelf may be better than 2-way?

I will also look at Emoitiva. Thanks for your suggestions.

And, moving the center forward is a good idea. I did not know about that.

Will SVS PB 2000 Pro offer significant upgrade over PB 2000 which are on sale. I was waiting on pro series to go on sale btw.
 

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Hello,
I currently have a budget 5.2.2 setup (pic attached) in a dedicated home theater room. I am looking at LCR speaker and subwoofer upgrade suggestions/recommendations from fellow home theater owners/experts.
Budget for LCR and subwoofer upgrade - $2500
Current setup
-
  • L/R - Sony Bookshelf CS5
  • Center - Sony CS8
  • Surrounds - Polk S10
  • Subwoofers - 2 X Klipsch R12SW
  • Height - 2 X Polk OWM3
  • AVR - Sony 7.2 STRDN1080
  • Bluray Player - Sony UBP-X800
  • Projector - Optoma UHD50X
  • Projector screen - 120" Silver Ticket
Room size - 16' X 14' X 10' (closed room on 2nd floor, 1 door opens to game room)
Home theater use - 90% Movies, 9% Gaming (PS5), 1% Music
Listening position distance from L/R ~ 10ft ( 3 seater couch against the wall)
Willing to audition - I have never auditioned speakers and at this point it's not an option for me and I am willing to trust the opinions here.

The current setup is more or less ported to my new home from my previous apartment setup (projector is new). I have been doing my due diligence and research since last week and have some questions.

Questions :
  1. Considering the room size and listening distance, am I good with upgrade to better bookshelf speakers or should I consider tower speakers as well. My spouse thinks tower speakers look cool. But, based on some research I have done, people have suggested that room dimensions need to be taken into account for L/R speaker selections. Would you suggest towers for my room?
  2. If towers, what speakers would you recommend?
  3. If bookshelves, which L/R speakers would be a great upgrade?
  4. What center channel would be a great match for the upgraded suggestions?
  5. I have zeroed in on dual subs either SVS PB 2000 Pro or HSU VTF-2 MK5. Should I consider 15" subs like HSU VTF-3 MK5 for my room? Or, would that be overkill for my room (~ 2200 cubic feet)?
  6. How would you divide $2500 for my upgrade?
1-3. Zero FUNCTIONAL need for towers in your room, but if you have a strong VISUAL preference for them, the best bang for your buck would be the Emotiva T-Zeros at $400/pr...about the same cost as a pair of good bookshelf speakers plus stands.
4. You have plenty of space under your screen for the magnificent but massive Emotiva C2+ which would be a real treat given your all HT usage.
5. The VTF-2 would be plenty for that room. They are a much better value than the PB2000 Pro which costs more while offering not-much-better performance. If you do the VTF-3, just one will be plenty for that room since it appears to be totally enclosed.
6. This is how I'd spend your $2500:
a. Emotiva T-Zeros, $400
b. Emotiva C2+, $400
c. Dual VTF-2, $1200
d. Emotiva B1+ for surrounds, $230

Emotiva currently is running an "Emobucks" discount program. Check out their website for details, as this will knock off a couple hundred from your total expenditure.
 
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When the Infinity speakers go on sale, they can go for over 60% off. Not every time, but it happens. However it's rare that the all go on sale at the same time.
Here's an example of a past sale:

You can also look at expired deals on slickdeals.net to see what's happened before, and set a notification up for when they come back on sale.
They also have refurbished items that carry the same-as-new warranty and anecdotally have been pristine.

For the PB-2000 vs Pro, the Pro offers DSPs for better room integration along with any other features. The Sony AVR won't be able to set them up to play well together on its own.
Otherwise you'd have to look at a DSP solution like a MiniDSP or module like a Dayton Audio DSP-LF
Even Monolith 10" may be more than enough with 2 of them to save some money, but they have the worst rep for customer convenience.
Besides those and the Hsu VTF-2 Mk5, there's the Rythmik LV12F in the same ballpark.

For 2-way vs 3-way for L/R, I put much more concern to the center channel. I'd spend less on L/R, but your choice may be different.

I am in no rush and can wait 1-2 months easily. I started looking a week earlier as to coincide the timing with black friday.

I do not see R262 on the website but see the tower R263 listed for 499 and the bookshelf for $449. I did not hear about these before and will do some research on these. Do you think they will go lower than their current prices, specially when bookshelf and tower are so close in their price.

Do you think a 3-way L/R bookshelf may be better than 2-way?

Will SVS PB 2000 Pro offer significant upgrade over PB 2000 which are on sale. I was waiting on pro series to go on sale btw.
 

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Klipsch RP-600M/600C and a pair of VTF-2s.
 

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Your choices are pretty much endless. Buy from someplace that has a good trial period and return policy. People generally seem to like the Emotiva speakers, especially for the price, but you'd be out a fair amount in return shipping if you're someone who does not like them.

As for subs, while most here would consider a single VTF2.5 or PB2000 adequate for that size room having 2 subs is more about getting better bass over a broader area. You're already at a huge disadvantage with the seating up against the back wall. It's about the worst place possible for good sound. Can you turn the room to watch on the long end? Having your seating off the wall by 3 or 4' will make a huge difference, provide a much better environment for the surrounds and offer more places to put your subs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
1-3. Zero FUNCTIONAL need for towers in your room, but if you have a strong VISUAL preference for them, the best bang for your buck would be the Emotiva T-Zeros at $400/pr...about the same cost as a pair of good bookshelf speakers plus stands.
I agree, I would probably go with bookselves. My wife was keen on checking if we can fit towers. But, given left main currently is only about 2 feet off of the walls, not sure if towers will add to more distortions. And, since I have decided to go dual subwoofer probably Hsu VTF-2 MK5, I can get away with bookselves I think.

4. You have plenty of space under your screen for the magnificent but massive Emotiva C2+ which would be a real treat given your all HT usage.
Emotiva C2+ looks really promising. I should be able to fit the center channel neatly under the projector screen on the media console. How would C2+ compare against SVS Ultra center as both are 3-way?

Compared to Emotiva mains, how would SVS Ultra lineup fare? I see they get good marks on reviews and impressions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You can also look at expired deals on slickdeals.net to see what's happened before, and set a notification up for when they come back on sale.
They also have refurbished items that carry the same-as-new warranty and anecdotally have been pristine.
That's a great idea. I would create SlickDeals alerts for couple of good brands. I am checking out some reviews for the infinity reference line.

The Sony AVR won't be able to set them up to play well together on its own.
Otherwise you'd have to look at a DSP solution like a MiniDSP or module like a Dayton Audio DSP-LF
I have an upgrade plan later next year to upgrade the AVR to a Denon 9.2 channel so that I can finally do 5.2.4.

For 2-way vs 3-way for L/R, I put much more concern to the center channel. I'd spend less on L/R, but your choice may be different.
That makes sense. I too would go for a higher quality center channel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As for subs, while most here would consider a single VTF2.5 or PB2000 adequate for that size room having 2 subs is more about getting better bass over a broader area.
Yea, I would definitely be doing 2 subs for even bass distribution. And, since I have 10 foot ceiling, the cubic feet is close to 2300 for the room so I suppose dual 12" would work great.


You're already at a huge disadvantage with the seating up against the back wall. It's about the worst place possible for good sound. Can you turn the room to watch on the long end? Having your seating off the wall by 3 or 4' will make a huge difference, provide a much better environment for the surrounds and offer more places to put your subs.
Unfortunately, that turning the room right angle would not be possible. Fitting the 120" screen will be a pain and will not leave much room for L/R speaker placement. Another reason for this configuration is the entry door (from where the pic was taken) has 2 steps so the projector will interfere with people entering the room. I have a plan to purchase 2 theater seating seats that will give me about 3 feet of cushion from back of the wall.

How would you compare SVS Ultra center against Emotiva 3 way 2+?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Klipsch RP-600M/600C and a pair of VTF-2s.
I have a bias against Klipsch for them being harsh based on the reviews and research. So, I am not looking at Klipsch for the time being. VTF-2s get good reviews across the board and I am seeing the value per dollar about them. So, I would say I may just be a step away from finalizing Hsu VTF2 if SVS PB 2000 Pro doesnt go on sale this black friday.
 

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I agree, I would probably go with bookselves. My wife was keen on checking if we can fit towers. But, given left main currently is only about 2 feet off of the walls, not sure if towers will add to more distortions. And, since I have decided to go dual subwoofer probably Hsu VTF-2 MK5, I can get away with bookselves I think.


Emotiva C2+ looks really promising. I should be able to fit the center channel neatly under the projector screen on the media console. How would C2+ compare against SVS Ultra center as both are 3-way?

Compared to Emotiva mains, how would SVS Ultra lineup fare? I see they get good marks on reviews and impressions.
I think the C2+ would probably destroy the Ultra center despite costing half as much. The Ultra bookshelves would beat the B1+ bookshelves but only if you're playing quite loud (75-80db or more and without subs). The only clear advantage of the Ultras over the Emotivas is pretty cabinetry.

If you want prettier bookshelves than the Emotiva B1+ you could look at the Martin Logans which are on sale, and you get Crutchfield's sweet $10 flat rate return shipping policy just in case:

Only problem with the MLs is that the center speakers are just 2 way designs and ridiculously overpriced, but you could use the C2+ center with the Motion 15s instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think the C2+ would probably destroy the Ultra center despite costing half as much. The Ultra bookshelves would beat the B1+ bookshelves but only if you're playing quite loud (75-80db or more and without subs). The only clear advantage of the Ultras over the Emotivas is pretty cabinetry.
I do not have Sony AVR set to db mode, but I do not exceed vol 50-55 which I am not sure what in db translates to. But, yea not super loud but loud enough so that dialogues are clear. And, I almost always need to set center channel few DBs higher than the mains currently. That is another reason I am looking at upgrade!

Only problem with the MLs is that the center speakers are just 2 way designs and ridiculously overpriced, but you could use the C2+ center with the Motion 15s instead.
I though general advice was to do timbre matching with LCR and use the same brand and series lineup for smooth sound. Can we mix and match center with L/R from another brand?
 

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I do not have Sony AVR set to db mode, but I do not exceed vol 50-55 which I am not sure what in db translates to. But, yea not super loud but loud enough so that dialogues are clear. And, I almost always need to set center channel few DBs higher than the mains currently. That is another reason I am looking at upgrade!

I though general advice was to do timbre matching with LCR and use the same brand and series lineup for smooth sound. Can we mix and match center with L/R from another brand?
1. Download a free SPL Meter app to your phone and find out...receivers' volume numbers vary widely.

2. The importance of "timbre matching" is hugely exaggerated, imo. There is a mountain of theoretical arguments why you should do it, and there is a mountain of real world anecdotal evidence that it doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

See my next post below for #2.
 

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To see how multiple people are finding out FOR THEMSELVES just how silly the whole "timbre matching" hoopla is, start with post #19 of this thread:

There are many more threads like that:

Hsu HC-1 with NHT SuperOnes

Infinity RC263 used with JBL 590s

Infinity RC263 with Emotiva T1, vs C2

Emotiva C2 with Klipsch RP-600M, JBL Studio 530, etc.

Klipsch RC-62ii with JBL 590:

Klipsch RP-450C with JBL 590

Emotiva C2 with Revel F35, and with JBL 530:

Polk 706C with Legacy Signature II:

SVS Ultra center with Polk LSi-9

Emotiva C2 with Mission 770

KEF Q650 with Polk RTiA3

Emotiva C1+ with Wharfedale Diamond 225

Paradigm center with B&W in-wall speakers
 
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Even before a sale you can do a pretty good upgrade, including the new receiver, under budget

This combo:
AVR-X3600H at listenup
Refurbished RC263 3-way center at harmanaudio
Refurbished R162 pair for L/R
Refurbished RS152 pair for surrounds
2x Monolith 10" on holiday sale

Is right at your budget (before tax)

I imagine the Infinity speakers to cost less soon enough, which would get some room for towers or a sub upgrade

I have an upgrade plan later next year to upgrade the AVR to a Denon 9.2 channel so that I can finally do 5.2.4.
 

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I agree, I would probably go with bookselves. My wife was keen on checking if we can fit towers. But, given left main currently is only about 2 feet off of the walls, not sure if towers will add to more distortions. And, since I have decided to go dual subwoofer probably Hsu VTF-2 MK5, I can get away with bookselves I think.


Emotiva C2+ looks really promising. I should be able to fit the center channel neatly under the projector screen on the media console. How would C2+ compare against SVS Ultra center as both are 3-way?

Compared to Emotiva mains, how would SVS Ultra lineup fare? I see they get good marks on reviews and impressions.
Can't say about the C2+... but I have the SVS Ultra Center and I couldn't be happier - it's pretty amazing. Running SVS Prime Pinnacles for L/R too... that set of 3 front speakers is awesome. Driving them with the Denon X3700H and all is good.
 

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Yea, I would definitely be doing 2 subs for even bass distribution. And, since I have 10 foot ceiling, the cubic feet is close to 2300 for the room so I suppose dual 12" would work great.



Unfortunately, that turning the room right angle would not be possible. Fitting the 120" screen will be a pain and will not leave much room for L/R speaker placement. Another reason for this configuration is the entry door (from where the pic was taken) has 2 steps so the projector will interfere with people entering the room. I have a plan to purchase 2 theater seating seats that will give me about 3 feet of cushion from back of the wall.

How would you compare SVS Ultra center against Emotiva 3 way 2+?
Never heard either. But for $300 less the C2+ would be a better buy. IMO they would be close in performance since they are pretty similar in overall design. The C2+ is a fair bit larger and heavier though.

Kef has the Q series on sale. Q150s for $299/pair and 350s for $499/pair since you're not a fan of Klipsch.
I just upgraded from the older RFseries II to the Q750s and am really happy with the move.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
To see how multiple people are finding out FOR THEMSELVES just how silly the whole "timbre matching" hoopla is, start with post #19 of this thread:
Thanks for sharing these links. Interesting real world read. Emotiva C2+ seems to be a beast for a center channel.

Is there any obvious advantage of having 2 smaller 3" midrange drivers in C2+ vs 1 larger 4" midrange driver in SVS Ultra bookshelf? Both have 1 X 1" tweeter and 2 X 6.5" woofers so same there.

I am also considering Aperian Grand Center channel
Any inputs on these?

Also, what will be the advantage of bookshelves having larger 6.5" driver vs common 5-1/4" ones found generally? Thanks again...
 

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Thanks for sharing these links. Interesting real world read. Emotiva C2+ seems to be a beast for a center channel.

Is there any obvious advantage of having 2 smaller 3" midrange drivers in C2+ vs 1 larger 4" midrange driver in SVS Ultra bookshelf? Both have 1 X 1" tweeter and 2 X 6.5" woofers so same there.

I am also considering Aperian Grand Center channel
Any inputs on these?

Also, what will be the advantage of bookshelves having larger 6.5" driver vs common 5-1/4" ones found generally? Thanks again...
The bigger the woofer, usually the more headroom and dynamics, and a little bit more mid-bass.

On sale, the Aperion Verus center is not a bad deal---you do get a much prettier cabinet than the C2+ and possibly more than the Ultra center which is $180 more. Both have the same sized drivers. However, the Verus is a sealed cabinet and the Ultra has dual rear ports like the C2+ ... ported speakers usually have better dynamics and headroom than sealed, though sealed gives you more placement flexibility if you need to put the center inside a rear-enclosed cabinet or flush up against a wall. Proponents of sealed speakers sometimes claim that you get tighter, more accurate mid-bass out of them too, just less sheer output. Both of those have free return shipping, so you'd lose nothing by doing a head to head in-home comparison.

The Emotiva center is distinguished by its AMT tweeter, which to many people's ears (mine included) gives you the best of both worlds: excellent treble detail and extension, without any harshness or glare. Some people however prefer a more aggressive tweeter, as found in something like the SVS. Personal preferences again.
 
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