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Hi all,

College student on a budget. Currently using an Onkyo HTIB 7.1 speaker collection with a Sony STR-DN1000 receiver - rather than the Onkyo one.


I was going to update the surround channels and subwoofer but ended up seeing this deal at Bestbuy . Apparently the TSX series is half off and I'm about ready to pull the trigger. I plan on buying two TSX-100b Bookshelf pairs to utilize as surround and rear speakers, the TSX 150 C as a center channel, and two TSX 330t as front channels. This should be a noticeable improvement over the current speakers.


Some pretty basic questions for you all, as I'm a bit of a newbie:

  1. BIG QUESTION: My 50" Pana Plasma is wall mounted 5 feet from the floor (to middle of screen) and my entertainment stand reaches only 2.5 feet high (where I'd leave the center since it is too heavy to wall mount). Would this be problematic for movie and game content? The towers are 42" tall. I sit quite close to the screen, the room is small, and I'm worried about the height positioning.
  2. Will these speakers work well with a BIC PL-2000 or BIC F12 Subwoofer?
  3. Would I need to upgrade my receiver to really enjoy these speakers?
  4. Bestbuy has the black speakers marked half off but not the cherry. I've contacted them and so far they're hesitant to sell me the cherry at the same price. Any advice? Price match elsewhere?


I'd love to get the TSX 550T or one of the higher end Polk models but I simply can't afford them. With this deal, I'd be able to get the seven speakers (two fronts, one center, four bookshelves) for only $600 - the price of one of Polk or Klipsch high end towers. And while I'm sure those sound amazing I suppose I'll need to wait a few years for those haha.



Thanks in advance!
 

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For $125 each, that is indeed a super deal.


Those speakers are obviously not the very best in the world, but you are getting a reasonably good speaker for an incredibly low price.


Polks rating of 33 Hz on the low end is a stretch; my bet is that they are 3db down at around 45-50 Hz, but with a subwoofer that is no problem.


Just run the sub below 50 Hz and run the main speakers full-range and it should sound good.


There should be no problem with that location.


The BIC F12 is probably as good as you can get for a low price, but you might check around to see what sort of price you can get on a Polk PSW505, which is better ( I see it for $229 at newegg).


I do question whether that receiver has the capability to run 7 channels without pushing its limits and getting into excessive distortion.


I would stick to 5 channels; you will have less chance of problems that way, and it will probably sound better.


If the main speaker drivers are lower than the listening ear level, use some spacers or spikes to tilt the speakers back slightly, so they are aimed upward at ear level.
 

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I think you would be better served by going with a higher line of bookshelf speaker than going with towers, especially on a budget.  Since this has come up in the past, I will quote myself:

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 23109VC 


if I had bookshelf speakers...since they are smaller, wouldn't they sound wimpier and not fill up the room very well?
That's the assumption commonly made by those who assume that there is an inherent benefit to floor standers. That assumption is incorrect.

Floor standers have exactly one advantage over book shelves, and that's better low frequency response. That advantage disappears if you have subs, because then the floor standers aren't working in the lows anyway.

As to whether floor standers without subs are preferable to bookshelves with subs, the simple answer is no. In terms of low frequency extension and output the average floor stander falls well short of the average sub. So short that for serious HT use most floor stander users have to use subs anyway. More important is the issue of placement. For best results sources that operate above 100Hz and those that operate below 100H, ie, mains versus subs, will almost never work best sharing the same foot print. With floor standers putting the high and low frequency sources each where they work the best isn't an option.
 

I agree.  I think it is generally a waste of money to go with floorstanding speakers when one is going to have a subwoofer anyway.  The times when it is not a waste are generally at the cheap end of things, in cases where the floorstanding speakers cost no more than the cost of a pair of speaker stands over the cost of the comparable bookshelf speakers.

 

Occasionally, one encounters someone who claims that they like to listen to music without the subwoofer and just use their tower speakers, because they say the bass is too "boomy" with the subwoofer on.  Typically, when one checks into the matter, one finds that the person has boosted the subwoofer up well above the proper setting for matching the main speakers, because the person likes boomy bass with movies.  Of course, the proper solution is to set the subwoofer level properly for the main speakers and then one will get the right amount of bass with one's music, and it will go as deep as the subwoofer can go, if the music requires it.

 

Also, many times people do not compare things properly, as they compare expensive towers with cheap bookshelf speakers from the same line.  The thing is, instead of spending that extra money on towers, one could spend the extra money on a higher line of bookshelf speakers, thus getting better sound for the same price.  If you are looking at towers for $1000, the proper thing to do is to compare with bookshelf speakers for $1000.  Or, to be more exact, one should compare speakers for the front three positions at the same total price to decide which is best, as the center should match the front right and left speakers (ideally, they will all be identical speakers). 

 

So, for people who properly set up their gear, bookshelf speakers are a smart choice when there will be a subwoofer.
 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper 

 
...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 23109VC 

 

...

i do like bass in my music.  so I suspect that I woudl probably tend to like the larger floor speakers that have better midrange vs bookshelf speakers.. but i will need to go to a stereo shop and demo stuff. 

 

...

 
 

With speaker lines that are "voice matched", the bookshelf speaker and the tower speaker will have the same or nearly the same midrange.  The tower speaker gives you deeper bass, not necessarily anything else.  Since you will use a subwoofer, it is not necessary or particularly helpful.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 23109VC 

 

if I was looking to spend about $300 for a pair of speakers... and was lookign at used ones - would it make a difference going bookshelf vs floor standing?  ...
 

With used, it all depends on what you happen to find in your area.  Normally, here is the sort of thing to expect when comparing bookshelf speakers with tower speakers:

 

Polk Audio Monitor 50 Series II BLACK Tower Speakers [NEW/PAIR]

 

RTi4 CHERRY Bookshelf Speakers Polk Audio [NEW/PAIR]

 

Here you can look at the specifications:

 

http://www.polkaudio.com/products/monitor50

 

http://www.polkaudio.com/products/rti4

 

Notice, the tower speakers are a little more money, but the price is close.  The bookshelf speakers, though, are from a higher line, and will sound better for the frequencies they cover.  So you will get better midrange and better treble for less money (excluding the cost of speaker stands, if needed, though these bookshelf speakers can be wall-mounted).  You give up a little bass, but that will not matter if you use a subwoofer and proper bass management.  Assuming that the specifications are exactly correct, with enough power, you could get slightly more volume from the tower speakers, but a very insignificant difference (0.8dB, which would be barely detectable).  You also get a much nicer finish on the bookshelf speakers in this instance, though that obviously is not going to make any difference for how the system sounds.

 

In my opinion, it would make a lot more sense to buy the bookshelf speakers.

 

But, again, if you are looking at used, it will all depend on what you happen to find, and the particular deals available in your area.  It might turn out that you can get a great deal on floorstanding speakers, but normally, with a subwoofer, you get more for your money with bookshelf speakers, because you are not wasting money on bass capability that you are not going to need due to using a subwoofer.
 

I personally would go with the higher line RTi4 speakers in the post above before I would buy the speakers you are planning on buying.  They also have a nice real wood finish.  And I would go with identical bookshelf speakers all around (which, in fact, I have done in my own system, though with a different and more expensive bookshelf speaker).

 

 

Regarding the other response you have received, Polk rates the TSX330T as being 3dB down at 45 Hz.  See:

 

http://www.polkaudio.com/products/tsx330t

 

 

 

To more directly answer your specific questions:

 
  1. Ideally, the speakers will be located such that the tweeters are at or near ear level, and ideally, they will be at the same height as the screen.  I recommend having the speakers as close in height as the screen as reasonably possible, and the speakers with the tweeters as close to ear height as reasonably possible.  How much this may matter to you, though, it impossible for me to predict.  You may want to consider lowering your screen if you mounted it too high.
  2. Yes.  The only concern when matching subwoofers and main speakers is that the low end of the frequency response of the main speakers goes low enough to blend well with a subwoofer.  Most bookshelf speakers with 5" or larger woofers are adequate for this (though you should select by performance, not size of woofer; a speaker that goes down to about 60 Hz or so, or lower, will work with the THX recommended crossover of 80 Hz).
  3. No.
  4. My advice is the discontinued RTi speakers direct from Polk at the link above instead.  However, it will put you up to $700 to get them for all 7 channels (with one extra speaker left over, as it would be 4 pairs).  If that is too much, I would just go with 3 pairs and do a 5.1 or 6.1 system.
 
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