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Discussion Starter #1
So I've pretty much narrowed down my LCR for my buddies system to the GoldenEar SuperCinema 3D Array XL (due to room dimension constraints - doors bordering both sides of TV).

Now my biggest question is what decent, but inexpensive surrounds, rears, and sub should I pair it with. Since we've blown the budget on the Soundbar, a great AVR, and a nice TV, unfortunately we need to go a bit cheaper on the rest. We have less than $1000 left in the budget to finish. I need 4 more bookshelf/mini speakers plus the sub.

The contenders so far are the SVS Prime Satellites with an SB-1000 sub, the EMP Tek E3bs with an EMP Tek S-10, the EMP Tek E41s, perhaps the NHT SuperZero mini-monitors.

FWIW, the room is 15x15x8, so 1800 cubic feet. I'm sure any of these (and others I haven't listed) might sound good enough on their own. I'm just concerned with how the combined set up will sound with the Array XL. What have YOU found goes well the GEs?...on a budget.
 

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The surround speakers aren’t as important as the front stage, so there are many speakers one can choose from. While I own the EMP Tek R5Bi’s, I have not heard the E3b’s so I cannot comment. The purchase your friend should concentrate on now is the subwoofer. That is where the bulk (or all) of the remaining money should be spent. One can always get surround speakers later. The following should be very impressive in that room volume:

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

Gamma 15 (15-inch sealed design) @ $850 (includes shipping): http://reaction-audio.myshopify.com/collections/subwoofers/products/gamma-15
Echo 15 (15-inch ported design) @ $950 (includes shipping): http://reaction-audio.myshopify.com/collections/subwoofers/products/alpha-16

S1500 (15-inch sealed design just released) @ $949 (includes shipping both ways): http://www.powersoundaudio.com/collections/subwoofers/products/s1500
V1500 (15-inch ported design just released) @ $1,049 (includes shipping both ways): http://www.powersoundaudio.com/collections/subwoofers/products/v1500

PB-2000 (12-inch ported design) @ $800 (includes shipping both ways): http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/pb-2000
PC-2000 (12-inch ported design) @ $800 (includes shipping both ways): http://www.svsound.com/subwoofers/ported-box/pb-2000

Oops, I almost forgot. Take a look at Rythmik's newest offering:

FVX-15 (15-inch ported design) @ $1049 (introductory offer includes shipping one-way): http://www.rythmikaudio.com/FVX15.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As much as I'd like to encourage him to go a bit spendier on the sub or go with dual subs, he wants to have the full surround experience ready in the next couple of weeks.

I think I'm leaning toward the SVS Prime Satellites with the PB-1000 sub now, as opposed to the SB-1000. Seems to be a LOT of bang for the buck, and maybe I'll just get him wired up and ready to roll in case he'd like to add another sub later on down the road.

Is there any reason that these (or any other) wouldn't pair well with the aforementioned LCR Array?
 

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Since your friend wants 5.1 now, get him some inexpensive surround speakers (many to choose from for under $100 per pair that are pretty good -- $70 / pair for the Sound Appeal). The surrounds handle very little audio information. Concentrate on the subwoofer. If going with SVS, choose the PB-2000, but I'd still opt for the Gamma 15 or VTF-3 Mk5.

Reviews of Sound Appeal: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...l-sa-vf6-5s-review-break-down-comparison.html

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...ppeal-bookshelf-do-they-have-some-appeal.html
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Since your friend wants 5.1 now, get him some inexpensive surround speakers (many to choose from for under $100 per pair that are pretty good -- $70 / pair for the Sound Appeal). The surrounds handle very little audio information. Concentrate on the subwoofer. If going with SVS, choose the PB-2000, but I'd still opt for the Gamma 15 or VTF-3 Mk5.
While I agree on concentrating on the sub (wish I could up the budget!), I'm not sure I agree about surrounds handling such little audio info. Especially with the more recent audio codecs, quite a bit of sound comes out the rears/surrounds these days, and the choice of speakers can really make or break the surround experience (as can the sub). I'm still thinking the PB-1000 will be plenty for that size room. Especially if he adds another in the future, or upgrades to the PB-2000.
 

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Dolby suggests that the surrounds handles less than 5% of the total content, btw...on average! A few movie, more for sure...
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I vote for the SVS Prime satellites and either a PB-1000 or (preferably) a PB-2000 - I think a ported sub would work better in that room.
Awesome. That's kind of what I thought. I just pulled the trigger on exactly that. By the way, SVS customer service is AWESOME. Incredibly helpful and super knowledgeable about their products. They let me do the 5.1 Satellite package but let me swap out the SB-1000 for the PB-1000 for a small upcharge. I basically got a free satellite since I only needed 4. Will definitely buy from them again.


Dolby suggests that the surrounds handles less than 5% of the total content, btw...on average! A few movie, more for sure...
That may be true overall (less so these days), but the problem is when people think "Hey, the surrounds only handle like 5% of the sound anyway, so I'll just get that much cheaper of a speaker." Good fidelity can take that 5% a LONG way. I've heard cheap HTIB surrounds versus quality ones, and well...there's no comparison. Those cheap-o surrounds can just destroy the experience, especially when paired to good quality LCRs. From my experience, crappy surrounds end up making DTS-HD/Dolby TrueHD sound like freaking Dolby ProLogic. It's all personal preference where you prioritize your budget, but personally I don't like to cheap out TOO much on surrounds. 50/50 was a good compromise to me. Again, with some of the way certain movies are engineered, a LOT of sound can come out of the surrounds. Gotta love it. I'm sure the PB-1000's going to be a VERY competent subwoofer for the space.
 

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For movies, I want capable surrounds, but I also want most of my money on the speakers that handle 95% of what I am hearing! Sure, if budget were no issue, buy expensive surrounds. for me, budget is an issue...
 

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Also depends on what movies you watch....dramas and comedies have a lot less surround usually than action and animated movies
 

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Discussion Starter #12
True that. Master & Commander was one of the first movies that REALLY showed me what DTS could do back in the day. That movie pushed my system hard! Dang near blew a friend's speakers apart when he tried it on his. Now there are plenty of DTS-HD MA mixes that push your rears even harder. Worth the money if you can swing something decent. I'm probably going to go with some nice big bookshelf speakers for my next setup. Some of these new movies are gonna blow my house off it's foundation if I don't watch it. Haha.
 

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I am not necessarly disagreeing with you, I mean I just upgraded my surround speakers to bookshelves with a 5.25 inch woofer (e5Bi from EMP)...but they are nowhere near as capable as my front 3.1, which is where most of a budget should go, IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am not necessarly disagreeing with you, I mean I just upgraded my surround speakers to bookshelves with a 5.25 inch woofer (e5Bi from EMP)...but they are nowhere near as capable as my front 3.1, which is where most of a budget should go, IMHO.
Oh, I agree whole heartedly. Looking at some EMPs for myself. I also agree that the front 3 and the sub is where the bulk of the capability should be. That's why we didn't cheap out and went with the GoldenEar. I just don't agree with people I've talked to in the past who think that since such a (technically) small percentage of overall audio goes to the rears that it can be totally skimped on. Their 5.1 systems sounded like poo.
 

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Oh, I agree whole heartedly. Looking at some EMPs for myself. I also agree that the front 3 and the sub is where the bulk of the capability should be. That's why we didn't cheap out and went with the GoldenEar. I just don't agree with people I've talked to in the past who think that since such a (technically) small percentage of overall audio goes to the rears that it can be totally skimped on. Their 5.1 systems sounded like poo.
No one said, “totally skimped on”. The surround speakers have an important function, and that is to immerse you into the surround effect, be it movies or 5.1 music videos. Matter-of-fact, if your friend has a lot of 5.1 music videos, one should try to timbre match all 5 speakers. No one should buy poor speakers period, but instead should concentrate on the best speakers for the least amount of cost for surround speakers if movies are the main focus. The low cost speakers mentioned (E3b and especially the Sound Appeal) are alternatives if one is looking for a more impressive sub.

There is nothing wrong with going with more expensive surrounds. If you prefer SVS or a similar type quality speaker at around that price range from EMP Tek, Hsu, Ascend, HTB etc, then by all means that is what you should aim for. But since you asked for suggestions, I gave them to you and the reasons why, whether you agree with those reasons or not :).
 
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