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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well trying to get the most bang for my buck on my upgrade here. Im holding off getting rid of my denon receiver until all of this 4k nonsense is figured out same goes for my mitsu 65 dlp. But I currently run 5.1 and will stay with it going into a new 4k setup. My current center is a polk cs1 and monitor 60s for my L/R my surrounds are monitor 30s. I have a polk psw12 which is nothing but boomy and muddy. This has been a great budget build despite some negatives I have read. I have noticed at times I need to up the volume on my center to get better dialogue. I have been kicking around either replacing the front 3 or going with a hsu dual drive 15" setup for 2k. Would a bigger impact in my current setup come from investing in subs or 3 new speakers upfront? This is in a living room setting currently that has 21 ft cathedral ceilings and completely open living room/dining/kitchen. Its only my wife and I right now and we watch several movies weekly together. She said to hold of on a soundproof theater build until new home or a baby comes :( any advice greatly appreciated
 

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In a space that open, definitely Subs, and yes, plural, but honestly they're probably going to need to be substantial, so one may eat up your budget, but better to get the right "one" now and add another later, than get the wrong "two".

If it were me I'd get one (or two depending on your budget) now, and wait any other upgrade until you know for sure about a new space, Subs will probably be easier to integrate into a different space than your LCR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did like what I read about a rythmik fv15hp. I am concerned with their size I havent seen them in person tho. I read the dual drive hsu usl 15 play a great punch when listening to music and can easily handle down low for any movie I can throw at it. I like a tighter hitting bass . The ported polk sub I have does nothing but boom and rattle various parts of the house. I have tried a sub crawl and various settings. Most people think it sounds great. But not to me and thats the most important thing. Being that I am satisfied for now with my current speakers I to think subs would be the most impact right now. Any other thoughts?
 

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With the future theatre build in mind, I'd go for a single sub now with a view to second one when the new room is up and running. You'll be able to go wild with a higher performing LCR setup that suits the new space and leave the Polk LCR's (and sub) behind in the living room for more casual viewing.

My pick: Rythmik FVX15 FTW! Currently on intro pricing for $999 including shipping. It plays as low as the FV15HP and only gives away 2.5dB in output. The amp adjustments and variable tuning will allow for more integration options in the future room.


How's your Polk CS-1 placed? Is it on top of an entertainment unit? If so, make sure it's pulled right forward to the very front edge of the unit and aiming at seated head height. Re-run Audyssey.

Hope that helps! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I read you can flip the cs1 to tilt it toward ear level going to try that as it is below my tv. I plan to build a heavier duty tv stand when I go to an 80" 4k eventually which will raise the tv and put a center channel much closer to ear level. For the forseeable future my ht will stay in the living room. I have to go with 2 subs minimum because I have problems hahah. Do you think the rhytmik sub will hit as clean as the sealed hsu? I am.coming from this polk 12" so im sure both will be a huge gain. Im also considering these arx a5 towers I keep reading about. I would like a fuller richer sound throughout all aspects in movies and music. I feel like im missing out on a fuller sound with my monitor setup. Correct me if I am wrong because I was blown away when I first built this budget system. Figure if I do change my lcr speakers I can run my m60s at the sides and use the monitor 30s at the rear unless that would throw my sound off??? I know thr front sound stage should match but what about sides and rears? Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Forgot to add but I would love to feel a physical bass hitting my chest in my recliner. I think this may be impossible with the open concept. The theater sits under my loft so my ceilings are much lower and sound will shoot straight back to the kitchen. But to the left of tv and seating is the open sitting room with the 21 ft peak
 

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So assuming you have no complaints about the Polk Monitor 60's and 30's with the CS1 I would stick with them if you like their sound and replace the subwoofer. One thing I might do differently is get a CS2 center while they are still available to just give your a better center, if you like the Monitor 60's. I personally am a Polk fan. I had Monitor 30's with CS1 prior to my current Polk RTi4's with CSi3 center.

Personally I would go with ported subwoofers over sealed. I say this because you want to "feel" the bass. Ported subwoofers can sound just as good as sealed subwoofer when you are playing with your budget for subwoofers. Rythmik and HSU are both great companies. You might want to add the HSU VTF-15H Mk2 or VTF-3 Mk5 to your list.

No real need to timbre match your surrounds unless you are doing critical multichannel music listening which requires the same exact speaker for all 7 to get the best sound.

I had a Polk PSW12 for a week and the person I bought it from just bought the HSU VTF-2 Mk4. The HSU sub walked all over the PSW12 in terms of performance and output. I would spend the money on a subwoofer and maybe a CS2 center.
 

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I agree with everyone else...upgrade the sub right away, like before the next movie lol! Another temporary fix you could do is pick up a Polk CSI A4 center. You can find them for around $150 used. You'll get much better sound and dialog out of it compared to the cs1/cs2/csi3. Won't be a perfect match but will still sound better.
 

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You can still get tactile feel from a subwoofer in a large open room, you just have to be strategic.
What I would do is upgrade your subwoofer to the most powerful you can afford (you can add a second, third, or fourth once you do the theater room) Then place the subwoofer near field. Others may suggest splitting your budget and getting two less expensive subs, but in my experience this ends up being a path to sub upgrades in the future.
I would suggest doing a sub crawl near your seating position to find the best placement for near field placement.
 

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Other than not hearing dialog as clearly as you’d like, is there anything else you don’t like about your front stage? Many people, even with pretty good center channels complain about dialog, and many turn their center channel up because of it. That’s pretty normal. And yes, actors mumble, and have accents, and with stuff going on in the background they are darn hard to understand at times, no matter what center channel you have.

You say your sub is boomy and muddy. It’s possible it is a really poor sub and we know that sub is far too small for your room, but 9 times out of 10 it is the location. I’m surprised that in such a large area it would sound that way. Did you do the subwoofer crawl test to determine the best position for your sub? If you haven’t, I suggest you do so. Placing a big, bad sub in a bad location won’t help your situation. You need to know the very best location before you buy. So I suggest that you do a little checking and testing before committing a lot of money. Let’s face it, if you haven’t been able to get one sub sounding good, what makes you think you can get two sounding any better?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Reading this forum is what got me to start bashing my own front stage is all really and makes me feel im missing out on a fuller stage before that and I still am happy with the sound if that makss any sense at all haha. I have heard that the cs2 does offer a better output compared to cs1. I found cs2 for 129$ I may do that. I have even considered m70s up front and moving my 60s to surrounds. I have done a sub crawl and its the best with its current configuration. But our tv room is moving away from the 22 ft fireplace area once we replace carpet wih hardwood throughout house. It will be where my current dining room is which is a regular ceiling height and offers much better tv/speaker/sesting arrangements. So one sub for now dont spring for 2? Anything else? Thanks again much appreciated
 

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Reading this forum is what got me to start bashing my own front stage is all really and makes me feel im missing out on a fuller stage before that and I still am happy with the sound if that makss any sense at all haha. I have heard that the cs2 does offer a better output compared to cs1. I found cs2 for 129$ I may do that. I have even considered m70s up front and moving my 60s to surrounds. I have done a sub crawl and its the best with its current configuration. But our tv room is moving away from the 22 ft fireplace area once we replace carpet wih hardwood throughout house. It will be where my current dining room is which is a regular ceiling height and offers much better tv/speaker/sesting arrangements. So one sub for now dont spring for 2? Anything else? Thanks again much appreciated
Multiple subs are always better than one in regards to headroom and smoothing of frequencies.
What will be your viewing distance once you move the home theater to its intended location?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
14ish feet its hard to do we have alot of remodeling in tge near future. Entire A frame cabin has paneling....... If you can imagine that...our 65" is to small and even the wife says a 75"+ would be nice
 

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I would fix your dialog problems personally. The center speaker is much more active than your sub. If you are constantly adjusting volume to make sense of things it takes the magic out of the movie. Can you fit 3 vertical speakers in your space? This is the single greatest thing you can do to achieve audiophile status IMO. I was in the same place as you for years. Went through 2 different horizontal centers, then a mediocre tower center which helped quite a bit, to 3 identical PSA MTM-210's up front and my theater came alive for the first time ever! If you have the budget for some good up front speakers they will actually add to the base experience as well. I have a single SVS PC13 ultra sub that hits really low but in my room lacked a bit in mid base punch. My 3 new speakers added the base I was missing and all of it together has created a sound experience I could have never imagined.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well I definetly dont have room for another tower in my center. Suprisingly we switched the wife over to my car insurance and she offered to pitch in on new sub/speakers after her savings on new insurance WOW!!!!!! Unheard of!!!! Especially with how aggressivly we work at paying car and house down. If I upgrade to a cs2 and if m70s are wortth it over my current m60s I will get them too. A new receiver with full 4k support and a higher watt per channel will be bought for xmas hopefully. But I believe the rythmik f x15 is in my future very soon. I know with the negatives I have read about the polk sub I run now I should be absolutely blown away by a real sub. Any thoughts on this plan? Should I hold off all together on updat i ng my front stage and say go with arx a5s next year or is there not much difference between polk monitors and something in the arx price range? Sorry for being all over the place but im excited now
 

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Well you better hurry up before she changes her mind!! :)

Sounds like your heart is set on a sub, I'd go with the component that you are most longing for. Maybe the center next time? A good sub does make a huge difference. My sub hits so hard sometimes it pops the entrance door open! I will say this, when it comes to impressing guests a great sub will do it! :)
 

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I have not heard the Polks, but I have read everything on the internet about the Chane Arx speakers, and bought them recently. I have also owned EMP and Infinity Primus speakers. The Arx should sound very different than the Polks, but I can't describe how without hearing them myself.
 
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