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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, newbie so go easy.

I have always admired good sound and picture, so now have decided to take the plunge and create a high spec setup on a relative budget.

I know that's a very broad thing to say but I'm pretty much starting from scratch.

Currently have a LG55UG870V TV
Onkyo TX-NR636 Receiver
Oppo 103d Darbee Blu Ray player

As I said I am currently using a Bose Acoustimass 6 iii 5.1 system, but I know I am nowhere near fulfilling the potential of the equipment at my disposal. Any recommendations on a good speaker setup within $1500. (I am from England, so am using a rough conversion)

Sorry for the long winded post, but with so many manufacturers out there, its hard to make a solid decision!!
 

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In the UK you'll have different offerings than we see here in the US, and different places to source them. I do believe you can get some auditions of Wharfdale, KEF, Canton, and Focal systems. You have more "brick & mortar" retailers there who have systems set up and (usually) knowledgeable salespeople to help guide you.


Your receiver is fine, though what you use it for now and in the future determines if it's a good long term solution. What percentage of use is true 5.1 surround (movies) and how much is 2.1 stereo music?
 

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Pretty much any of the options mentioned by the previous poster would run circles around that Bose system, really.

For music, I'd lean towards Wharfedale, Tannoy or KEF. For HT, probably Triangle or Focal, and maybe Canton. But that's just me.

Focus on your front 3 speakers; the surrounds only do 10-15% of the output during HT so you can cut corners there most readily, and they definitely do not need to match the fronts unless you do multi-channel music with SACD or DVD-A.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks both for the response!

I will primarily be using the system for HT, with a view of potentially utilising the ATMOS feature.

Canton for some reason doesn't seem to be readily available over in the UK, but I see their components are highly rated in the US.

Do you suggest I go for different brands for different speakers ie specific center speakers, left & right etc? I've always liked the idea of following a mix and match approach getting the best performing product from each sector!
 

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I was going to add that...spend should be primarily on the front left, center and right. You can always update the rear surrounds later. While I prefer a matched set, that's always a matter of interminable debate here. It's often easy enough to get a package deal on the L-R mains and a matched center. Some Bose subwoofers cannot easily be used independent of the rest of the system, and they're not particularly good anyhow. There's one area where you most definitely don't need same brand and would be wise to seek one elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was going to add that...spend should be primarily on the front left, center and right. You can always update the rear surrounds later. While I prefer a matched set, that's always a matter of interminable debate here. It's often easy enough to get a package deal on the L-R mains and a matched center. Some Bose subwoofers cannot easily be used independent of the rest of the system, and they're not particularly good anyhow. There's one area where you most definitely don't need same brand and would be wise to seek one elsewhere.
Yeah, I have completely come to terms with getting rid of the Bose system completely.

Polk seem to have some good deals on currently and have certainly peaked my interest.

I was initially going to go for Bowers & Wilkins, but they are more geared towards audio by the looks of it.
 

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Do you suggest I go for different brands for different speakers ie specific center speakers, left & right etc? I've always liked the idea of following a mix and match approach getting the best performing product from each sector!
Well, first off you should spend a bit of time going around and listen to different types of speakers---ask to hear a "warm" speaker vs a "bright" speaker vs a "neutral" speaker, and see which sound signature your ears like most.

Regarding mixing and matching, I'd recommend it especially if you find that you prefer a "warm" sound for music, in which case I'd recommend going with a bright or neutral center speaker so that your HT dialogue still comes through nice and clear, because many warm speakers aren't very good with voice clarity/detail as they are with musicality.

Would not recommend Polk unless it's the RTi series (mainly for HT) or the LSi (great for music)...their lower model lines are not very good, IMO.

Not sure if B&W would suit your budget, unless they're a lot less in England than they are in the US.f

Remember to save at least $400-500 for the subwoofer.
 
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B&W are good speakers but likely above your price range. For $1500 you should be able to get the CSi A6 center and the RTi A3 bookshelves. That should put you somewhere around $700 USD depending on the deals you can get over there. That would leave $800 for a subwoofer. I'd look at ported options from SVS as I think they are the only ID company with a dealer network in England. There could be others however. That would basically max out your budget. I'd use the Bose speakers for surrounds until you can save up to add better ones. I think that's a better option than skimping on the front or the sub.
 
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Regarding mixing and matching, I'd recommend it especially if you find that you prefer a "warm" sound for music, in which case I'd recommend going with a bright or neutral center speaker so that your HT dialogue still comes through nice and clear, because many warm speakers aren't very good with voice clarity/detail as they are with musicality.
That's one of the most nonsensical statements ever on this forum. It rivals anything coming from comsysman.

If a speaker can't clearly reproduce the human voice, what the hell good is it for music, most of which has vocals?

The human voice doesn't change from music to movies.

Damn! I'm beyond flabbergasted.
 

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That's one of the most nonsensical statements ever on this forum. It rivals anything coming from comsysman.

If a speaker can't clearly reproduce the human voice, what the hell good is it for music, most of which has vocals?

The human voice doesn't change from music to movies.

Damn! I'm beyond flabbergasted.
That's because you obviously prefer clinical sound for music, if you even listen to much music to begin with. Not that there's anything wrong with preferring clinical sound, but for those of us who prefer warm and laid back, it's either getting a deliberately mismatched HT-oriented center or having two separate music and HT systems.
 

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That's because you obviously prefer clinical sound for music, if you even listen to much music to begin with. Not that there's anything wrong with preferring clinical sound, but for those of us who prefer warm and laid back, it's either getting a deliberately mismatched HT-oriented center or having two separate music and HT systems.
Either a speaker can resolve the human voice clearly or it cannot. Warm, bright, laid back, forward or whatever doesn't have anything to do with vocal clarity.
 

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Either a speaker can resolve the human voice clearly or it cannot. Warm, bright, laid back, forward or whatever doesn't have anything to do with vocal clarity.
Of course it does. You obviously haven't spent time with too many "warm" speakers, especially not in an HT application.

a. Most people find a highly detailed, fast transient speaker with full treble extension to be livelier and more exciting during HT, when their ears are largely distracted by their eyes.

b. Human voices, especially when there are several of them at the same time or cutting off each other, in addition to background noises and special effects built into the soundtrack, generally are easier to discern when those sound characteristics (a) are present.

c. Some people who listen to music for extended periods of time find that those same sound characteristics (a) tend to cause listening fatigue and/or are simply unengaging, compared to a warm and laid back speaker which may sacrifice detail, transient speed, and full treble extension in order to provide more of that unmeasurable and unverifiable but highly prized quality broadly described as "musicality."

d. Some people don't mind listening to music for extended periods of time with those sound characteristics (a), or might actually prefer it that way.

e. Some people are mainly interested in HT/TV/gaming and seldom listen to music for extended periods of time and therefore are quite happy with (a).

It's ok to be in groups D and E; but try not to be entirely oblivious about A, B, and C.
 
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