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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I've been scouring this board the last week or so and finally decided I needed to post a thread to get some advice.


My current setup is about 10-12 years old (except for the receiver which is only about 2 years old). We moved 6 months ago and are finishing our basement and here is where I'm going to place my home theater. I currently have a smaller 5.1 setup, I'm going to make it a 7.1 and slowly replace all the speakers (can't afford to do it all at once). This is primarily for movies, tv, games, a little bit of music but not much. Here is the current setup:


Receiver -- Yamaha HTR-5960

Center -- BOSE VCS-10

Fronts -- BOSE 301 Series II

Rears -- BOSE 141

Sub -- Sony, unsure of the model, nothing special


(I got a deal on a BOSE package at SAM's club in college... don't laugh too hard... and until now haven't had a room large enough to warrant the upgrade)


Attached is a mock up of our floor plan with the essential info, along with where I EXPECT the speakers should go (correct if I'm wrong). Keep in mind that to the left of the chair their is actually more to the room, but the ceiling will drop about 7" lower and there will be a section there for mounting a speaker (where the right surround speaker is marked). The rear and surround speakers will be wall mounted about 7 feet up (I can't make them any lower due to doors / open space).


I want to replace my current rears and add another set for surrounds to complete the 7.1 right away, and then over the next few months replace the fronts, center, and sub.


My research is pointing me toward Polk Monitor 30's for the rear 4 (~ $100 per pair), 60's or 70's (if I can get them on sale like the newegg deals of late) (~$150-175 per speaker), a CS1 for center (~$100) and PSW10 (~$120) for sub. Does this sound right? Does anyone have any counter setups I should be looking at? This is the max of my price I can go with, so suggestions need to stay at or less than this.


One of my potential issues is that where the rear speakers are going I only have about 11" (the actual height of the monitor 30's) of height to work with, if I have to set them horizontally and build a shelf, does that affect the sound quality at all?


The right surround will actually be dangling slightly below the section of wall I have to work with (about 3-4 inches) but should be high enough not to have anyone bump their head... are there any smaller speakers I should be considering for the rears and surrounds?


I will be purchasing the 30's right away, then was planning on doing the center in a month or two, the fronts another month or so after that, then the sub.


I think I have a lot of this figured out (hence the novel above), but this is a larger investment for me and I want to make sure I do it right and you guys are the experts.


Any advice is appreciated!


Chris
 

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first the layout....move the side speakers to slightly behind the listener.
http://www.dolby.com/consumer/setup/...ide/index.html


Polk Monitor 60 can use the CS1 center, you should use the CS2 with the Monitor 70's


another option which may not last long are the Jamo E680 towers and S60 center from wwstereo.com . You could still use the Polk Monitor 30's for the surrounds since multi-channel music was not on your listening list. (and you can lay them on their sides)
http://www.wwstereo.com/website/ecom...&per=9&brd=103
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, I (obviously) haven't mounted anything yet, so I'll move them closer to the seats in my plan... I was concerned with them being higher up that it would sound too much like it was above me if they were too close.


Would I notice much of a difference in the M-60/CS1 vs M-70/CS2 setups?


In your oppinion are the Jamo's better than the Polk's? Should I consider buying this first and sticking with my existing rears and only a 5.1 setup for a few months, or stick with the plan to replace the rears first and go to 7.1?


I really appreciate the suggestions, thank you!
 

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My personal recomendation would be to start with your front left and right speakers and your center, then the sub then the surrounds. Just as m_vanmeter stated if you go with monitor 70s for fronts then you MUST go with the cs2 but if you go with the monitor 60s you can go with the cs1 although for a mostly movie system I recommend you go with the cs2 period. Don't waste your money on the sub you have listed above because you will be left wanting.
 

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Dolby mentions mounting the sides "slightly above seated ear level" - of course you have to guess what "slightly" means.


Jamo vs. Polk - Jamo's are noted for a warmer sound and the E680's use 8" woofers, the Monitor 60's use 5.25" and the Monitor 70's use 6.5". To some, and it is very much based on the individual, the Polks can be a little harsh on the high end....but that is a very subjective thing based on each individuals ability to hear.


CS1 center matches the 5.25" mid's of the Monitor 60, CS2 6.5" mids match the Monitor 70.....but you can easily use either because the tweeter is the same.


Without a subwoofer, the Monitor 70's and CS2 will play much lower and have better mid-range than the M60/CS1 combo. When you add a powered subwoofer, much of the difference dissappears.


There really is no "wrong" decision here. For an excellent system, within budget, either setup will be great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru /forum/post/18250081


My personal recomendation would be to start with your front left and right speakers and your center, then the sub then the surrounds. Just as m_vanmeter stated if you go with monitor 70s for fronts then you MUST go with the cs2 but if you go with the monitor 60s you can go with the cs1 although for a mostly movie system I recommend you go with the cs2 period. Don't waste your money on the sub you have listed above because you will be left wanting.

Ok is there another sub in the same price range I would be better off getting?


Would the CS2 center channel work with the 60's (you seem to think the CS2 is the better way to go, but the price jump in that may preclude me from getting the 70's)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by m_vanmeter /forum/post/18250118


Dolby mentions mounting the sides "slightly above seated ear level" - of course you have to guess what "slightly" means.


Jamo vs. Polk - Jamo's are noted for a warmer sound and the E680's use 8" woofers, the Monitor 60's use 5.25" and the Monitor 70's use 6.5". To some, and it is very much based on the individual, the Polks can be a little harsh on the high end....but that is a very subjective thing based on each individuals ability to hear.


CS1 center matches the 5.25" mid's of the Monitor 60, CS2 6.5" mids match the Monitor 70.....but you can easily use either because the tweeter is the same.


Without a subwoofer, the Monitor 70's and CS2 will play much lower and have better mid-range than the M60/CS1 combo. When you add a powered subwoofer, much of the difference dissappears.


There really is no "wrong" decision here. For an excellent system, within budget, either setup will be great.

I'm glad you guys are giving suggestions, because its making me think now. Would I be better off replacing the fronts and center first (would I notice more of an immediate difference with this than by replacing my rears and adding the extra 2 channels?), and if I went with the 70's could I get away with NOT replacing my sub (in which case should I ditch my existing sub and go without one)?
 

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The "front 3" speakers in a typical 5.1 or 7.1 setup carry 95% of all the audio on the movie soundtrack. The biggest bang for the buck is improving your front L-C-R, or if keeping your CS2, adding matching Monitor 70's (cherry model on sale at Newegg today, don't know how long that will last - probably not long).


You will notice a huge and immediate difference from the Bose 301's, which are indirect speakers to begin with. The Bose form of sound bouncing indirect speakers had their place in the "stereo, 2 speaker days" - but NOT in a Dolby 3.1/5.1/7.1 setup where Dolby recommends direct monopole speakers aimed at the listening position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah those Bose's did the job in a small apartment (and even then I wasn't real happy with the quality) but they sound terrible in my new house.


Ok, I think I'm convinced, I gotta replace the front 3 first, now to convince the wife to let me spend twice as much up front!


If I went with the Jamo setup you recommended, would I be better off continuing to use my POS sub or just eliminating it and running my bass from the Jamos?


Again, if I get the Jamo's, you said the Polk 30's would work as the rears, is there a better option in the same price range (and without getting any physically bigger)?


Thanks again to both of you guys for all your suggestions, I'm glad I asked because I feel like I'm making a better decision now (if the wife agrees hehe)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Another Jamo question, I see that that site has the jamo E7 CEN center on sale and that one is listed as the match for the E680's (earlier it listed it as only available in store) would this be a better match (besides the aesthetic that its the same color) for the E680s?
 

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I checked the Jamo site and the specs for the E7 vs S6 centers are very similar. If WWStereo indicates the E 7CEN is a match for the E680, then I would take their word for it.


Tell the wifey that this is a 5 to 10 year purchase....do it right the first time and you will not "need" to change the speakers out for a long time (PS: you may "want" to change them for bigger/better....but you will not "need" to
)


as for the Sony sub - experiment. Try the system with it and without. I don't think it will add much, but you will know for sure with a couple of simple setup experiments.


With the Polk M70's or Jamo E680's you can get along without a sub for a while, until the budget rebuilds, but adding a "good" subwoofer always improves the movie experience in an HT system.


if you are even considering the Jamo E680 towers and center, do NOT wait too long. WWStereo sold out of these speakers very fast the last time they had them (it was a killer price for a 5.0 setup with either E680 or the smaller E660 towers - sold like hot cakes ). You might cruise through the Jamo thread on this forum, there should be lots of folks who have the E680/660 towers.


As for the surrounds, you could consider the Jamo C403 bookshelf units - the veneer would match and the speakers would be a better match for the front 3 - keep it all in the Jamo family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have the Jamo's in my cart, just waiting for the wife to get home from work to get the OK.


As for the C403, I'll keep them in mind when the time comes, I'm just afraid they'll be too large, my wall space where they need to go is very limited.... I did some searching, what are your thoughts (sorry to keep asking, but you are much more knowledgeable on this than I am) on these:

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...1827/jamo-c401


They seem to be among the same series as the 403, and the size makes them much more realistic for my set up (actually a better fit than the monitor 30's I was originally looking at).
 

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for surrounds in a "mostly movies" setup, I think the smaller C401's will work fine. There really just is not that much audio information in the side or rear surround channels...mostly ambient and positional audio effects.


I will caution that the availability of all of these Jamo speakers is somewhat restricted. Jamo is a heavy hitter in Europe, where they sell top end ( meaning $$$$$ ) speakers. Their move into the US market is focused on the entry level to mid-market level, but they do "come and go". Supplies are limited, and they may not be easily available in the future. If you get the "front 3" at one time, you have insured the compatibility of your most important speakers. The surrounds are nowhere as critical, but the "C" series is relatively new and the "E" series has sold out once before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well its official, the 680s and E7 center are ordered!


I have the wife halfway talked into ordering the surrounds and rears shortly also!


Thanks again for all your help, I'm looking forward to hooking these up and taking a listen!
 

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That's great !


You will really enjoy your new speakers. They will be so noticeably better than the old, mismatched speakers you were using that there will be NO doubt you did the right thing.


ENJOY
 

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Matt your a lucky man. I'm stuck with an Onkyo 7.2 setup for the time being. My wife and I are droppin $9k on our kitchen in a month so there goes the chance of me getting new speakers sometime soon. If I go with the Polk monitor series I could probably get them next year, but I would like to get a 7.2 setup with Klipsch reference series speakers and 2 subs from an ID company but I'll probably have to wait a couple of years to do that. My wife thinks the Onkyos sound good, man what a laugh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I figure since you guys helped out so much, I'll keep you updated. The fronts and center are scheduled for delivery today, and this morning I placed an order for 2 pair of C401's for surrounds! Unfortunately now I have to wait until I finish my walls and ceiling to mount the rears and surrounds... but I'll be enjoying the fronts and center tonight to be sure!


Thanks again, I'll let everyone know how they sound!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
WOW! Got the fronts and center hooked up at lunch, did a very brief listen to before heading back to work and so far I'm impressed. I didn't push them very loud yet, but the clarity in them was excellent. I heard sounds I'd never heard before with my old setup. I'm running 3.1 right now because my walls aren't finished, I can't wait until I get them finished so I can put up the rear and surrounds to hear the final setup!


Thanks!
 
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