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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well the Bose 501s my dad bought before I was born have finally given out. I may have them refurbished, but think this is a good time to upgrade anyway (they were more than a little muddy anyway). So was hoping for this forums advice.


I was using the 501s as the front speakers for the system in our great room. That system consists of:


Denon AVR-X3000
Bose 501s
Polk CS1 (Center)
Polk R15 (Rears)
Polk PSW10 (Sub)
Unknown bookshelf (L2, I will explain later)


Our great room (kitchen/living room) is fairly large (18' x 22' 6") with a 12' 6" ceiling above the TV which slopes down to 9'. There is also a large opening into the front room, about 5' wide that goes all the way up to the 12' ceiling. I have attached a room layout drawing to this post to help visualize. The front speakers sit on a huge mantel along with the TV, about 5' off the ground.


The speakers are used 2/3 or more of the time for TV and movies. The rest of the time they are used for music, which is why I have the L2. The 'normal' left speaker is placed in a normal position to the left of the TV. I wired a hidden switch into our entertainment shelving that swaps L for L2, with L2 being placed in the far left corner of the room (about 7' off the ground on top of our kitchen cabinets) and used to better fill the room when listening to music.


When listening to music it is generally current country or pop. My tastes are bit eclectic though, so contemporary classical, 'true' classical, electronic, dance, etc... often come into the mix as well. I have a limited background in a string orchestra, so like to pretend I have a decent ear, but then again that was years ago so I am probably just humoring myself. I played the string bass for some time though, so have a preference towards heavy bass.


I have been generally happy with our current setup, though I did find the Bose to be pretty muddy, and sometimes found voices in movies to a bit difficult to understand. To be honest though I haven't listened with a focus on critiquing the sound in some time.


I believe the weak links in my setup are my fronts and the sub. So am looking for advice on those (though I am happy for any other input as well), keeping in mind that I will need 3 fronts. I am looking at a budget of around $1000, but there is some flexibility in that. I figure if I stretch that some and am impressed with the sound I can rationalize it, if I am not impressed I can return some things.


With the placement of the fronts being so high off the ground I think towers are ruled out. That would put the tweeters insanely high and make very difficult to point them at the listener. Which I guess means a good set of bookshelves would be the way to go? Given that I have a Polk center I think? it is advised to stick with Polk? In which case I have looked at the RTI A3s which seem to get good reviews. Although some say they sound a little bright, which I worry may clash with my preference for bass. I plan to see if I can find someplace to listen to them.


I also wonder if my sub is holding me back some. While the reviews on Amazon and Best Buy for the PSW10 are good, the reviews and comparisons on this forum aren't so hot. I am wondering if an upgrade to a BIC F12 for Klipsch RW-12D or something might pay off?


Any input is greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!


Alon
 

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I have the a3's, they can be bright, more so on movies than music. I will say they seemed fatiguing on my Yamaha avr, but now on the onkyo not so much. they would be big difference from your 501's, get a csia6 center, the bic will trump the POSw10. If you can audition somewhere do so, audio ive found is extremely a personal preference thing.there are better bookshelves for a lil more money. the list above will keep your budget. lastly, ive wasted at least 3k on incremental upgrades over the past couple of years,if you can spend your max budget or even more, youll thank yourself later
 

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You have several things going on. First, is the volume of your listening room and kitchen. You are looking at the top end of a large room (3,000 to 5,000 cu. ft. is considered large). That means you will need a very good subwoofer and possibly two (one now and another identical sub when funds are available). One good sub will take that $1,000 budget. Yeah, I know. It wasn’t what you wanted to hear.

VTF-3 Mk5 HP (15-inch ported design) @ $799 ($89 shipping): http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk5HP.html
VTF-15H Mk2 (15-inch ported design) @ $899 ($109 shipping): http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15hmk2.html

Echo 15 (15-inch ported design) @ $950 (includes shipping): http://reaction-audio.myshopify.com/collections/subwoofers/products/alpha-16

V1500 (15-inch ported design just released) @ $1,049 (includes shipping both ways): http://www.powersoundaudio.com/collections/subwoofers/products/v1500

Another problematic item to consider is the location of your left rear speaker (kinda odd). Locating the front stage on the mantel, while not exactly ideal, will work well provided that the front edge of the speakers overhang the mantel and are pointed toward your head. For your front stage, go out and listen to some speakers. Take your time, bring your favorite music, and if you like something, go back and audition again.

The following are inexpensive, but good bookshelf speakers:

$600 / pair (includes shipping) JBL Studio 530 bookshelf speaker: http://www.jbl.com/estore/jbl/us/pr...earchMode=regularProductOnly&sCatId=cat140013 Note: The reason this is on my “inexpensive but good list” is because a fellow member noted that he has seen these for around $300 / pair. If you can find them for that, snap them up.
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$165 / pair (shipping extra) Philharmonic Audio Affordable Accuracy bookshelf speakers: http://philharmonicaudio.com/ and http://philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html
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$318 / pair to $378 / pair ($50 shipping) Hsu HB-1 Mk2 bookshelf speaker: http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hb-1.html

$249 to $289 each ($30 shipping) Hsu HC-1 Mk 2 center channel: http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hc-1.html

Note: 3.1 pkg deal = $519 to $619 ($80 shipping) Note: I’ve auditioned these.
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$225 / pair (includes shipping) EMP Tek R5Bi bookshelf speaker (formally E5Bi): http://emptek.com/r5bi.php (Note: I own these, but they have been out of stock for some time and don’t have a clue when they will be replenished.)
Andrew Robinson's video review:

Another note: The JBLs can be listened to in an audio store (check your area) or on a 30-day home trial. All the rest are speakers from I.D. companies ... meaning 30-day in-home trials (you pay the return shipping if you don't like them). All the subs are from I.D. companies and you pay the return shipping (except PSA and SVS, they pay for return shipping).
 

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You might want to just cosider the Polk RTi4's ($200) which are the previous version of the Polk RTi A1's and they sound identical when compared side by side.

Then I would put the rest of the money towards a proper subwoofer.

I had Monitor 30's and CS1 center for awhile before my Polk RTi4's and CSi3 Center. I am extremely happy with RTi4's and CSi3 set-up. There is alittle difference between the CS1 and CSi3 in terms of sound. I never thought Polk's were bright in my listening but I have listened to Klipsch speakers extensively at a friends place and they are headache inducing at volume which I can't say the same for my Polk's.
 

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Were the Bose 501s the last good speaker Bose made?
 

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^ No. They still have the 901s.
 

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lastly, ive wasted at least 3k on incremental upgrades over the past couple of years,if you can spend your max budget or even more, youll thank yourself later
YES YES YES X1000!

Unless you have the dedication of a monk PLEASE buy what you want to have not what you want to spend.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks for all of the tips! I was looking at the PSA V1500 sub and stumbled upon a b stock unit (cosmetic blemish) at a discount. Ended up chatting with Tom over there for quite some time, who treated me really well and answered all of my newbie questions. Long story short I ended ordering the V1500 and a pair of PSA MT-110s. Should be here in about a week! Next up will be getting the placement and tuning all set up correctly.
 

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Thanks for all of the tips! I was looking at the PSA V1500 sub and stumbled upon a discounted b stock unit (cosmetic blemish) at a discount. Ended up chatting with Tom over there for quite some time, who treated me really well and answered all of my newbie questions. Long story short I ended ordering the V1500 and a pair of PSA MT-110s. Should be here in about a week! Next up will be getting the placement and tuning all set up correctly.
Well, you shot your budget all to h*ll :D. Congratulations on your decision! I think you'll be in for a very nice surprise. Let us know how you like your new setup.
 

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Thanks for all of the tips! I was looking at the PSA V1500 sub and stumbled upon a discounted b stock unit (cosmetic blemish) at a discount. Ended up chatting with Tom over there for quite some time, who treated me really well and answered all of my newbie questions. Long story short I ended ordering the V1500 and a pair of PSA MT-110s. Should be here in about a week! Next up will be getting the placement and tuning all set up correctly.
Good for you man. I only wish I had been that smart, the 110's are getting great reviews, the bonus is if you don't like them your out nothing. congrats
 

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Well, you shot your budget all to h*ll :D. Congratulations on your decision! I think you'll be in for a very nice surprise. Let us know how you like your new setup.

Yep! Well all the advice to just do it right the first time made sense. And as noted if I am not impressed I can just send them back! Tom dug around and found some cosmetic blemish 110s for me to save a few bucks too, great customer service! I will definitely report back my findings, will probably be asking for tips on placement and tuning anyway! Thanks again!
 

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Thanks for all of the tips! I was looking at the PSA V1500 sub and stumbled upon a b stock unit (cosmetic blemish) at a discount. Ended up chatting with Tom over there for quite some time, who treated me really well and answered all of my newbie questions. Long story short I ended ordering the V1500 and a pair of PSA MT-110s. Should be here in about a week! Next up will be getting the placement and tuning all set up correctly.
You're going to be more than impressed coming from what you have now.
 

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the guys aren't lying, the psw10 is pretty munch junk. I have one and replaced it with SVS SB2000. Huge difference. Good advice here
 

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Thanks for all of the tips! I was looking at the PSA V1500 sub and stumbled upon a b stock unit (cosmetic blemish) at a discount. Ended up chatting with Tom over there for quite some time, who treated me really well and answered all of my newbie questions. Long story short I ended ordering the V1500 and a pair of PSA MT-110s. Should be here in about a week! Next up will be getting the placement and tuning all set up correctly.

You will not be disappointed:)
You are in for a treat coming from the 501.


Tom is a great guy to deal with.
For your info, Tom was a founder of SVS. The V stand for his last name, the first S was the first letter of his partner last name and the last S was for subwoofer.


Now Tom has this new company with a new partner.
Same attitude as, nothing will be sold until it is tested and proven to be an excellent product for the money and customer service as to be excellent:D


Happy listening and let us know of your listening experience with your new toys.


Ray
 
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