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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm not new to Surround sound and own a couple setups, including a 5.1 Klipsch & 7.1 Infinity, that are in idle. (My kids are small and I didn't want the speakers damaged or wrote on, little brats :).

But yesterday my parents asked me to look into picking out a Surround system for movies and TV. They're in their low 80's btw, but don't mind spending the money. They've earned it for damn sure. Dad had his eye on the Bose Cinemate 130 sound bar setup because he heard one at their friends place, BUT I don't think that is the right way to go for them. Neither one of them can hear real well. The room they have the Samsung LED F8000 75" TV in is like 18' x 14. They sit at one end in recliners, TV at the other. So they are approximately 12' form the TV.

I suggested that they need rear speakers in order to hear the audio better. When I walk in there at times, the TV is freaking LOUD! Dad has NASCAR turned up to the point I can't hear myself talk lol. They agreed that would probably be a good idea, but want wireless for rear speakers one way or another. Mom does not like wires and I don't want to have to run them down and up through the floor in the basement. :)

So I guess what what I'm after are some opinions on weather I should just get them a MiB system, if there even is a dman good one or piece one together? I'm not worried about the wireless rear speakers as I could get a pair of soundcast's I believe that will do the trick for that. Total investment should stay under no more than like $1800/2000 max.

I suggested they use one of mine and buy a good receiver but they said they'd just prefer to buy a new setup.
 

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Could buy a Denon X1100 refurb for $250 and use your front 3 Klipsch speakers to see how they like it. The Klipsch Reference II stuff is on closeout everywhere and RF-62's with RC-62 would be $950.

I mean the speaker choices are nearly endless...
 
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Don't let them waste their money on Bose...

Do you have any local audio shops or a Best Buy Magnolia near you? It would be good for them to hear a few different speakers, to see what appeals more.

As mentioned, the Klipsch Reference II is on closeout and you can get some stupid good deals right now. Their higher sensitivity would give them plenty of volume and they are easy to drive with just a receiver. That Denon X1100 for $250 is one of the best deals right now, and I would at least pull the trigger on that while you decide on speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Guys. So no Bose then. Check.
One issue I know will come up is that their TV sits very low on the stand it is on. Most CS I see are pretty tall and it will interfere with the picture. Mom will not hang the TV on the wall. They like the fireplace/stand like thing it sits on. dad liked the Bose one because it thin and laid flat.
Any suggestions for a thin awesome CS?
In the mean time I will look at the Denon X1100 and Klipsch Reference II's.

What other Receivers and Speakers get high praise?

Thanks!
 

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Depending on weight of the TV you could maybe put it on top of the Klipsch center. I have my 50" plasma on top of mine (plasma usually a little heavier than lcd). Or could maybe not even have a center channel (or the shelf mentioned above).

The Denon receivers are the most recommended around here I have noticed. Everyone I know that has one loves it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow - I forgot how much Klipsch has went up since I bought mine in the 90's. Of course the sound has also improved no doubt.

Although I'm a fan. I can see how to piece together a Klipsch system for less than $2500+.

What other brand/series of speakers should I look at?
 

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Wow - I forgot how much Klipsch has went up since I bought mine in the 90's. Of course the sound has also improved no doubt.

Although I'm a fan. I can see how to piece together a Klipsch system for less than $2500+.

What other brand/series of speakers should I look at?
Look at the Reference II series on Amazon, the new Premiere are more expensive, but not worth twice the price.

RF-62 II ($600)
RC-62 II ($350)
RB-41 II ($150)
Denon X1100 ($250)

Then you can grab a sub, like the Outlaw Ultra X-12 and be right around your budget.

And then
 

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What other brand/series of speakers should I look at?
JBL Studio 530 bookshelf speakers - they are good
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-53...8337982&sr=8-1&keywords=jbl+studio+2+speakers

Option - the 570 towers
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-57...38267&sr=8-1&keywords=jbl+studio+570+speakers

JBL Studio 520 center
http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Studio-52...8337982&sr=8-6&keywords=jbl+studio+2+speakers

Then the HSU VTF-2 subwoofer
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk4.html

Then add the receiver and wireless surrounds if you desire.
 

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I don't think speakers behind them will help them hear dialogue! Most surround sound coding have mostly special affects from them...
 
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I'm going to go in another direction entirely. First, your parents are in their 80s, and I just don't see a 5.1 system filling their needs (which is their hearing problem). They don't need rear speakers or a subwoofer, but need a speaker capable of enhancing dialog. I suggest going with a Zvox platform speaker. It takes all of 10 minutes to unpack and setup, and one places the TV on top of the platform speaker. They won't even know it's there.

So, for $600 (on sale … was $700) you can look at this: http://www.zvoxaudio.com/divinity-cart/item/4007701/zvox-audio-soundbase.770/1.html#!details You can check out the review from CNet or look at other smaller platform speakers by Zvox. Like all I.D. companies, you have a trial period (60 days for this model). If, by any chance, it doesn't help (I see no reason it wouldn't), send it back within the trial period (yes, you pay the shipping back). And yes, I did indeed have a smaller Zvox for my TV room at one point, so I can tell you it helped the dialog and sounded surprisingly decent. No muss, no fuss and no need for a receiver or a lot of wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank guys for all the input and suggestions.

Can they handle or would they want to have to use an AVR all the time?

Maybe they would be better off with one of the better sound bars or some type of BT speaker like
I don't think speakers behind them will help them hear dialogue! Most surround sound coding have mostly special affects from them...
They can handle the use of a AVR as long as I make it to where everything turns on at once and they just adjust volume. They have a smart TV and can operate that fine and it's features.

As far as speakers behind them. My thought was first to get them in front of CS that was very Clear. and dynamic. and then IF they wanted, couldn't I set the rears to full sound if the receiver has that function? It would be sweet to be able to mix in some center channel into the rears for dialog.

What my mom is trying to avoid is my dad having the volume turned WAY up to hear the dialog and then when the action starts in the movie or TV it gets REALLY loud. If my dad would just buy a pair of damn goo hearing aids, a high quality CS and Sub would be enough. But he wont and refuses.
 

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Thank guys for all the input and suggestions.





They can handle the use of a AVR as long as I make it to where everything turns on at once and they just adjust volume. They have a smart TV and can operate that fine and it's features.

As far as speakers behind them. My thought was first to get them in front of CS that was very Clear. and dynamic. and then IF they wanted, couldn't I set the rears to full sound if the receiver has that function? It would be sweet to be able to mix in some center channel into the rears for dialog.

What my mom is trying to avoid is my dad having the volume turned WAY up to hear the dialog and then when the action starts in the movie or TV it gets REALLY loud. If my dad would just buy a pair of damn goo hearing aids, a high quality CS and Sub would be enough. But he wont and refuses.
I would strongly recommend against setting the AVR to all channel stereo, I do not think this will help dialogue intelligibility at all. If mom is worried about it getting too loud during action sequences then use the Dynamic Volume setting on Medium or Heavy, this way the quiet sections are louder and the louds are quieter.... you lose all of your dynamic range, but this prevents you from having the issue you described. I use the feature late at night when my kids asleep so I don't accidentally wake him during an action scene.
 

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As far as speakers behind them. My thought was first to get them in front of CS that was very Clear. and dynamic. and then IF they wanted, couldn't I set the rears to full sound if the receiver has that function? It would be sweet to be able to mix in some center channel into the rears for dialog.

What my mom is trying to avoid is my dad having the volume turned WAY up to hear the dialog and then when the action starts in the movie or TV it gets REALLY loud. If my dad would just buy a pair of damn goo hearing aids, a high quality CS and Sub would be enough. But he wont and refuses.
I would use controlled directivity horn speakers and skip them surrounds for now.
Good clean non distorted sound, is the key and need.

Something like JBL or Klipcsh will work in 3.1 playback mode > and will be much
better overall, than them annoying loud tv speakers - and can work nice without
rear surrounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I would use controlled directivity horn speakers and skip them surrounds for now.
Good clean non distorted sound, is the key and need.

Something like JBL or Klipcsh will work in 3.1 playback mode > and will be much
better overall, than them annoying loud tv speakers - and can work nice without
rear surrounds.
By loud TV speakers you mean something like the Zvox?
 

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The Zvox is an active speaker system (has their own amplifiers), but could be hooked up with an AVR that has preamplifier output ports. However, that would be taking away one of the Zvox prime assets -- removing any complexity and being able to hook everything up with one wire. Its PhaseCue can be set where it appears that sound is coming from the sides, but guess what? Older people (at least those I know) find this annoying. They keep thinking their phone is ringing (if there is a phone in the movie) or dogs barking or birds chirping outside. So it can also be set lower or turned off. And since this speaker is capable of mid 40 Hz bass, there is no need for a subwoofer (often another annoyance for older people).

Honestly, this is made for people who don't want a lot of complexity or wires running about. If I ever decide to have more than one TV in my house (say the bedroom), that is would I would be looking at. And it will blow away the Bose. An AVR is just another complex piece of equipment that they won't want to deal with or have the patience for. They'll want to use their TV remote and nothing else (which most systems, including Zvox, allows).

I really think the people here are forgetting your parents are in their 80s and are hard of hearing.
 
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