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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi -


I'm looking for some advice on an upgrade for the front 3 speakers of my system. It's going to go from occasional use to full time when the new TV comes in. This is a mixed use setup, though - common room TV with all day news, sports, TV, etc but also weekend movies where the 5.1 setup is nice.


My current system is an Onkyo TX-SR604 receiver with the Velodyne CHT Front Row bookshelf speakers (set of 5) that were popular on the HTIB forum a while back, and a BIC H-100 sub (which has died). This setup has been Ok, but we've only used it for "movie night". The Velodynes seemed a little stuck in the middle of the audible range - missing some highs that would add to vocal clarity and lows that created a gap with the subwoofer. They start to come alive when pushed at higher volumes, but didn't do as well at the lower volumes we'd use for daily news, sports, TV, etc - so we used the (reasonably good) speaker strip on the old TV for that.


I'm hoping for something with clean, clear sound and dialog at low volumes which scales well into full 5.1 at moderate volumes. I will be playing with things like night mode range control on the Onkyo at lower volumes if needed... Any suggestions? Budget is somewhat flexible, but let's say $1,000 to set a starting point.


Additional info - the room is 16x18 with vaulted ceilings and an open back - not ideal for an HT setup. The TV is in a corner placement that requires a wide sound field. I realize this is a compromise with regard to 5.1, which is why I want to focus on the front 3. Frankly, I could drop down to 2.0, 2.1 or 3.1 and it wouldn't matter much so long as I have good up front performance at low and moderate volumes. I also have a size constraint on the center speaker - it needs to sit horizontally on the stand in front of the TV. I'm not sure of the dimensions yet but I'm working with 6" high and 8" deep as an assumption (width doesn't matter). Bookshelves or small towers are fine for Left and Right.


It's pretty hard to audition home audio hardware these days. To give you a limited sense what I've heard, I visited BB/Magnolia and slightly preferred the higher end of the larger MartinLogan bookshelves and small towers to the Definitive Technology speakers, though I thought the DT speakers filled the room better when pushed. I generally don't like an overly bright or shrill high end, but I do appreciate nice clear, progressive clarity.


Thanks for your help.
 

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You may want to give a budget as that will help others to figure out what to recommend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry, I guess that might have gotten buried in my TMI too much info above



Budget is somewhat flexible, but $1,000 for the three makes sense as a starting point.
 

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For the front stage, I would suggest:


1) 2 x Empteks E55ti (Front Right or Left ) Aprox. $700/pair

1 X E56Ci Center Channel Aprox $400


or



2) HSU HB-1 MK2/HC-1 mk2 3.0 speaker package Arpox $600

You can change to all 3 to HC-1 MK2 Aprox. $900



or


3) Ascends Acoustics CMB-170SE and CMT-340 SE or 3 CMT-340


You may also try listening to Klipsch Reference Speakers to see if you like those.


My personal preference is option 1 and 2. However, I added the Ascends because they are highly regarded at its price point, and it may give you a slightly better dialogue clarity at low volumes over the HSU.
 
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