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New Home, Same Wife, Reckless Kids...HELP!

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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Steve James

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Posted March 14 2003 - 08:04 AM

New poster, old reader... Just bought a new house, and the wife gave permission to buy new speakers. Currently I have an awful setup... L/R: Polk RT 600 C: 8 year old KLH center with 2 4" paper "woofers" Surrounds: Wharfedale Monitor M-128 towers Sub: None The wife is only giving me $500 to play with. The Polks aren't bad at all, but the rest blow. Especially the center. I have to mount on the wall or get towers, because of my 2 young kids that would knock stands over easily. I was thinking about getting a complete 5.1 setup like the AR HC-6, but I'm afraid i won't be happy, since the room is 19'x14'. My other option is to upgrade only part of the setup. I would like new fronts and a center, but decent towers in my price range are hard to find. Any ideas? Thanks!

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Khoa Tran

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Posted March 14 2003 - 10:02 AM


#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Torgny Nilsson

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Posted March 14 2003 - 10:22 AM

I'd recommend that you use your money to purchase a SVS sub. I had an even worse setup than you have when my wife gave me permission to buy a sub. The improvement is simply amazing. While I spent a little more on my SVS 25-31PC+ sub, SVS makes subs in your price range that should be equally astonishing. (Of course, I am now in the process of improving the rest of my system to match my new sub!)

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Keith Mickunas

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Posted March 14 2003 - 10:38 AM

Polk is still making speakers similar to the RT series. You can get a matching center and surrounds there. That would probably be your best bet. However with only $500 to spend its going to be hard to replace your center, surrounds, and sub. I'd recommend doing the center more than any other, then deciding for yourself whether or sub or new surrounds is needed. You might also consider used speakers. Look to see if anyone is selling a CS-350 or CS-400. Either one of those would be wonderful with your RT600. Polks have a 5 year warranty, and I've heard of people getting service outside of that, so buying used isn't too risky. Polk's site has info on their older speakers, so if you are looking through used listings you can find some of them there. For the RT series, basically anything with an RT or CS (for centers) will be a close match to your's.

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Steve James

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Posted March 14 2003 - 10:42 AM

Thanks for the replies. I actually called Polk earlier, and they said the newer models should match up well with my RT 600's. As we talked more, I asked about in-walls. They said that would be a good option as well, but didn't get too technical in details. If they are surrounds, and I run a sub, would in-wall surrounds sound just as good as a satellite speaker?

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   TimTurtino


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Posted March 14 2003 - 11:24 AM

Depending on your room setup (and your walls), in-walls have the potential to run from sounding very good to very bad. When they do work, they're an awfully inexpensive way to get pretty decent sound with a very high WAF. When they don't work, they can sound pretty terrible.

You can get a pair of fairly nice in-wall speakers and still have the majority of your cash left over for a good center channel. Although the lack of a sub is still going to hurt...

Anyway, if you do go that route, buy from a store with a good return policy, be prepared to experiment a little, and be willing to cover up largish holes in your walls/ceilings if the experimenting doesn't work. Posted Image

That sounds pretty terrible, but in your situation, it might end up being the best bang for your buck...


#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Jamey F

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Posted March 14 2003 - 12:50 PM

Sell the kids, ditch the wife, and you'll have tons of money/options to work with. Posted Image OR, if you really insist on keeping the family, you should just concentrate on one very significant upgrade. Choose either a sub or a center speaker. Pick which is the most important to you...bass or dialog. Upgrade other things as you get more funds.

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Mitch E S

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Posted March 14 2003 - 01:13 PM

You just bought her a new house and all she'll "give" you to spend is $500? I say grow some balls and buy a $600 sub. Put it in a MAN room with a lock on the door!!! Next month buy the center. The month after that... you get the point.

Sorry, but it had to be said,

ps. have fun putting up window treatments Posted Image

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   JeremyFr


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Posted March 15 2003 - 01:43 AM

If you want a great all around system close to that Price point you could check out the Energy Take 5+1's, they retail for around 700 but can be found online as low as $485. I have these currently in an 18Wx18Dx8H room and they're quite impressive. I thought having them in such a large room would yeild a less than formidable sounding system but I found out quite the contrary. They're great sounding speakers and they come with a great sounding sub. As you can see in the pictures of my system the satellites are quite small which makes them easy to hang and all are completely matched with one another. The sub though it looks small sounds quite big. Its rated at 100 watts RMS 400 Watts Peak on the amplifier and for an 8inch sub is quite amazing sounding. These speakers do quite an exceptional job with both Music and Movies and have kept me more than happy and have not ceased to impress anyone who comes over and hears them. The Take 5+1's have repeatedly won awards and admiration from major publications since they were introduced and even still are held in great admiration by many for there quality and pricepoint. I would highly recommend giving them a listen.
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For those of you who dont know your job is to learn.

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Chip E

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Posted March 15 2003 - 01:55 AM

I'd definately get a sub first.. What receiver are you using ?
- Chip


#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Steve James

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Posted March 15 2003 - 02:02 AM

I'm using an old Kenwood VR-407... Also, I'm looking into using the polks in another room and going with jbl's, maybe N38's up front with the 24's in the back. The wife is real big on getting cherry finish though to match our furniture in the room...

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Tommy Rodgers

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Posted March 15 2003 - 03:29 AM

I am actually selling some Polk RT series speakers on Ebay right now. No reserve and a low starting price- here is a link. [LINK REMOVED BY ADMIN.] This auction is for a CS400, check my other auctions for RT800 (pair) and RT55 (pair). All in excellent condition, I too am buying a new home and have to get smaller speakers due to room size constraints. Hope it's OK to post this auction link here, just looking to help someone out (as well as myself, of course). ADMIN'S NOTE: FOR-SALE ITEMS CAN'T BE PROMOTED IN THIS AREA. PLEASE TAKE THIS TO THE APPROPRIATE HARDWARE-FOR-SALE SECTION. THANK YOU.]
I need more money!

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Jeff_Garcia



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Posted March 15 2003 - 05:50 PM

i'll 2nd for fluance baby! Posted Image

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert_Gaither



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Posted March 15 2003 - 06:48 PM

I'd advise sell the Polks, and replace them with the JBL Nsp1 series in white (the N center, 4 N24s, and can be found at various websites), or buy 5 Nht SuperZeroes from Onecall (I think about $75-90/each last I checked), and add either an Adire Rava or HSU VTF2 for the price after the tower sale. I think your wife could put up with a set of white speakers on the wall of good quality (and keep it out of the inquirying hands of little children).

As for sub, if you do end up getting another AVR then the Kenwood could power a passive SVS (you might could find one used cheap) until either you upgrade to a plate amp or would rather build the following:


#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Martice



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Posted March 16 2003 - 12:00 AM

The difference in adding a quality sub to your system can be so dramatic that your wife may come to appreciate the complexity and benefits of having a quality HT/Audio system therefore allowing you to extend the budget for a matching center channel. Although just as important as a sub, (maybe even more) the benefit of a center channel may not be as obvious and may still leave your wife initially baffled as to why you should have to spend more money on speakers when you have so many already.

I've installed systems for some folks and the level of excitement sky rockets when the sub makes it's first presence known. However, it is when the final listen takes place(after calibration and placement) that they appreciate the overall sound and clarity of the rest of the speakers in the system and the sub becomes more of a team player as opposed to the star of the show. (depending on the software used of course Posted Image)

In short, you shouldn't have to make compromises between possibly the two most important speakers in your system. You either are going to have a HT or you're not. If you can't afford to buy the center and sub all at once, then purchase them one at a time and if you're given the green light to pursue these items one at a time, I'd go with the sub first for the immediate 'WOW' factor and the setup for the obvious and highly used line by others in your situation....

Just wait until the matching center channel gets here.

Good Luck
Turn Key Guy!

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   steve nn

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Posted March 16 2003 - 12:24 AM

I ditto Martice's Thoughts. Well said and articulated.

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