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The Official "What Speakers or Subwoofer Should I Buy" Assistance Thread (1 Viewer)

JohnRice

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Hey and welcome to HTF. Re Wireless: don’t do it.

Other than that because of your modest budget I recommend you check out SVS, Monoprice and maybe Pioneer Andrew Jones if any are still around. Costco may have a decent Klipsh home theater package too. Don’t be fooled by wireless HTIB kits. Most are proprietary junk.

If you absolutely must go wireless you might need to pony up for Sonos.

Got any other input @JohnRice or @ManW_TheUncool ?
Wireless requests tend to scare me away. If that isn’t a requirement I can definitely make suggestions.
 

Nathank9000

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Wireless requests tend to scare me away. If that isn’t a requirement I can definitely make suggestions.
It's really that terrible? I'm trying to figure out how to get the rear speakers set up in this oddly-shaped room, and *without* annoying the wife... and it's a rental so I can't go tearing up walls to run cable conduits... suggestions?
 

JohnRice

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It's really that terrible? I'm trying to figure out how to get the rear speakers set up in this oddly-shaped room, and *without* annoying the wife... and it's a rental so I can't go tearing up walls to run cable conduits... suggestions?
Well, I'm not going to comment on whether it's terrible or not. It's just barely a reality, and severely limited to a handful of closed system options. For one thing, there isn't really such a thing as wireless in this particular sense, because the speakers need power, and at the least will still need to be plugged into a power outlet. It's completely different from distributing audio around the house using something like AirPlay.

I find that in these situations there are ways to wire it, or otherwise I tend to find the best compromise is a 3.1 system with no surround speakers.
 

jedieb

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What are you looking for (Speakers, Subwoofer or Both)? Both

Primary Use: 20% Music, 80% TV & Movies

Desired Configuration: 7.1.4 or 7.2.4

Room Size: 20 x 14

Is the room open to other areas of your home: No

Do you already have an AV receiver or amplifier? No

What's your budget (low to high): $5,000 - 10,000

Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance)? Nope
 

FrizzyHybrid

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Hello!

New to the game, I've been running a Vizio soundbar with a sub and two small surround speakers for the past few years while in a paper thin apartment. We just finally started to move into a house so I'm sort of running free trying to build a 3.1/5.1 system I've been longing to build for a long time. Usage will be about 40% Movies/TV 35% Music 25% Games.



I've had a listen to some KEF, B&W, and other things around the local AV shop, and the Dali caught my attention. KEF did too but I didn't hop on the fire sale in time for the R5. The Dali Oberon 5s were great to me, but Opticons are reasonably available right now so I feel like I should take the leap over the Oberon 5/7. Kind of feel like I might never want to upgrade if I do.



Our room is 14.5'x18.5' (4.4mx5.5m), but the back wall doesn't exactly exist and the left side opens to the hallway/entrance. Just want to double check I'm not going under/overdoing what's good for the space. Two questions I have:
1.Will this be enough to tackle a room this size, any sound treatment for the odd space?

2. You think I need an amp? I think I need an amp. Fishing for recommendations.

Planned equipment:

Budget: 4- 6k
L/R: Dali Oberon 5 or Opticon 6 MK2
Center: Dali Oberon Vokal or Opticon Vokal MK2
Sub: SVS PB-1000 or 2000 Pro
Surround: TBD, have to sort out the space first, but probably try something that pops on sale this fall/winter
Receiver: Denon AVR-X3700H
Amp: TBD

Pics of the living room: Partially Unpacked Living Room

Thanks for any feedback/thoughts. Happy tof field other recommendations.
 

John Dirk

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Hello!

New to the game, I've been running a Vizio soundbar with a sub and two small surround speakers for the past few years while in a paper thin apartment. We just finally started to move into a house so I'm sort of running free trying to build a 3.1/5.1 system I've been longing to build for a long time. Usage will be about 40% Movies/TV 35% Music 25% Games.



I've had a listen to some KEF, B&W, and other things around the local AV shop, and the Dali caught my attention. KEF did too but I didn't hop on the fire sale in time for the R5. The Dali Oberon 5s were great to me, but Opticons are reasonably available right now so I feel like I should take the leap over the Oberon 5/7. Kind of feel like I might never want to upgrade if I do.



Our room is 14.5'x18.5' (4.4mx5.5m), but the back wall doesn't exactly exist and the left side opens to the hallway/entrance. Just want to double check I'm not going under/overdoing what's good for the space. Two questions I have:
1.Will this be enough to tackle a room this size, any sound treatment for the odd space?

2. You think I need an amp? I think I need an amp. Fishing for recommendations.

Planned equipment:

Budget: 4- 6k
L/R: Dali Oberon 5 or Opticon 6 MK2
Center: Dali Oberon Vokal or Opticon Vokal MK2
Sub: SVS PB-1000 or 2000 Pro
Surround: TBD, have to sort out the space first, but probably try something that pops on sale this fall/winter
Receiver: Denon AVR-X3700H
Amp: TBD

Pics of the living room: Partially Unpacked Living Room

Thanks for any feedback/thoughts. Happy tof field other recommendations.
Welcome!

Sorry your post has gone so long without a response. Here are my initial thoughts...

I haven't personally hear of Dali speakers but they seem a bit on the pricey side for what they are. That may be due to shipping costs since they're manufactured in Denmark? They may be fine speakers but I'd encourage you to take a look at the Elac Uni Fi line as well in your price range.

Your post is very informative in general but you haven't said anything about your expectations for this system. Is it just meant for standard fare, casual performance and use or are you looking for the best audio experience you can reasonably achieve? If it's the latter I'd definitely consider a separates approach. The AVR-X3700H is a solid performer but may struggle with demanding multi-channel sound mixes at higher volumes as it's claimed 105 WPC is only with 2 channels driven.

For a room that size [again, depending on your expectations] I'd recommend dual subs and probably nothing less than the SVS 2000 series. If you're heavily into music as opposed to theater, you might want to go with one of their sealed designs. SVS has a great tool to help you sort it all out and also some speakers of their own that might be worth a look.

Hope this helps.
 

JohnRice

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I generally agree with @John Dirk , except I think he accidentally linked the ELAC UniFi Reference, rather than the regular UniFi. Crutchfield lists the Dalis by the pair, and the ELAC as singles, so the ELAC is slightly cheaper. Then just the matching center and a pair of bookshelves for surround.

I also agree with his suggestion of seriously considering the sealed SVS subs. The thing is, for slightly more than the price of a PB2000 Pro you can get an SB3000. In my book, it's a better all around sub, especially since music is a priority for you. It's also significantly smaller and easier to fit into the room.

An X3xxxH series Denon receiver is a good, reasonably priced choice, especially since you can add external amps if you want. And you can do that later. I'd probably get a three channel one to drive the front speakers, and let the receiver power the rest.
 

Steve Armbrust

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I've had a home theater system in my basement mancave for 20 years, and I've replaced components as needed. But the speakers have remained the same -- Paradigm Studio 40's in the front, Paradigm CC470V3 in the center, Paradigm mini-MON IV3s in the rear, and a Paradigm PW2100V2 sub. Unfortunately, the subwoofer now has a torn surround (I think that's what you call it -- rubber piece at outer edge of the speaker cone). No replacement parts available, so to fix it, they have to send it back to the factory, at about $400 for repair and shipping.

The folks at the store question whether it's worth it to do this for a 20-year-old sub, because they claim the average life of a sub is about 10 years and the electronics could go next. They recommend replacing the sub, and the one they recommend that would be as good as the one I have now (better actually) would be a REL HT/1205, at about $800. (I originally paid $700 for the Paradigm sub 20 years ago.)

I'm not an expert in subs, but the cheap replacement sub that I had laying around sounds like crap. So I'd really like to find something that is about as good as what I had. But I'm also not looking forward to spending $800. So my questions to you folks are, 1) Fix the old one or replace it? and 2) Is the REL a good sub for the money, or should I be looking at something else at (or preferably below) that price point? Any advice you could give this non-expert would be greatly appreciated.

What are you looking for (Speakers, Subwoofer or Both)? Subwoofer

Primary Use: 99% TV & Movies

Desired Configuration: 5.1

Room Size: 18x12 (that's about right) In a finished basement with low ceilings -- 7'

Is the room open to other areas of your home: Not really

Do you already have an AV receiver or amplifier? Yes

What's your budget (low to high): $800 or below

Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance)? Nope
 

JohnRice

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I've had a home theater system in my basement mancave for 20 years, and I've replaced components as needed. But the speakers have remained the same -- Paradigm Studio 40's in the front, Paradigm CC470V3 in the center, Paradigm mini-MON IV3s in the rear, and a Paradigm PW2100V2 sub. Unfortunately, the subwoofer now has a torn surround (I think that's what you call it -- rubber piece at outer edge of the speaker cone). No replacement parts available, so to fix it, they have to send it back to the factory, at about $400 for repair and shipping.

The folks at the store question whether it's worth it to do this for a 20-year-old sub, because they claim the average life of a sub is about 10 years and the electronics could go next. They recommend replacing the sub, and the one they recommend that would be as good as the one I have now (better actually) would be a REL HT/1205, at about $800. (I originally paid $700 for the Paradigm sub 20 years ago.)

I'm not an expert in subs, but the cheap replacement sub that I had laying around sounds like crap. So I'd really like to find something that is about as good as what I had. But I'm also not looking forward to spending $800. So my questions to you folks are, 1) Fix the old one or replace it? and 2) Is the REL a good sub for the money, or should I be looking at something else at (or preferably below) that price point? Any advice you could give this non-expert would be greatly appreciated.

What are you looking for (Speakers, Subwoofer or Both)? Subwoofer

Primary Use: 99% TV & Movies

Desired Configuration: 5.1

Room Size: 18x12 (that's about right) In a finished basement with low ceilings -- 7'

Is the room open to other areas of your home: Not really

Do you already have an AV receiver or amplifier? Yes

What's your budget (low to high): $800 or below

Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance)? Nope
That's pretty reasonable for a sub, actually. An alternative would be an SVS SB-1000 Pro for $200 less than the REL. I think it'll suit your needs as well as the REL. Much less than that, and you're risking getting something you're disappointed in.

I don't suggest paying to have the Paradigm fixed.
 

JohnRice

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I've had a home theater system in my basement mancave for 20 years, and I've replaced components as needed. But the speakers have remained the same -- Paradigm Studio 40's in the front, Paradigm CC470V3 in the center, Paradigm mini-MON IV3s in the rear, and a Paradigm PW2100V2 sub. Unfortunately, the subwoofer now has a torn surround (I think that's what you call it -- rubber piece at outer edge of the speaker cone). No replacement parts available, so to fix it, they have to send it back to the factory, at about $400 for repair and shipping.

The folks at the store question whether it's worth it to do this for a 20-year-old sub, because they claim the average life of a sub is about 10 years and the electronics could go next. They recommend replacing the sub, and the one they recommend that would be as good as the one I have now (better actually) would be a REL HT/1205, at about $800. (I originally paid $700 for the Paradigm sub 20 years ago.)

I'm not an expert in subs, but the cheap replacement sub that I had laying around sounds like crap. So I'd really like to find something that is about as good as what I had. But I'm also not looking forward to spending $800. So my questions to you folks are, 1) Fix the old one or replace it? and 2) Is the REL a good sub for the money, or should I be looking at something else at (or preferably below) that price point? Any advice you could give this non-expert would be greatly appreciated.

What are you looking for (Speakers, Subwoofer or Both)? Subwoofer

Primary Use: 99% TV & Movies

Desired Configuration: 5.1

Room Size: 18x12 (that's about right) In a finished basement with low ceilings -- 7'

Is the room open to other areas of your home: Not really

Do you already have an AV receiver or amplifier? Yes

What's your budget (low to high): $800 or below

Any special requirements (Wife Acceptance)? Nope
A couple decent budget options are the Dayton SUB-1200, and SUB-1500, the second is out of stock for about six weeks.
 

theJman

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The person at the store gave you good advice, a 20 year old subwoofer isn't really worth additional investment. You likely won't get that type of longevity again, it's pretty rare to be honest.

REL makes very nice subwoofers, so this salesperson did you another solid with their recommendation. There is one part about your situation that's a little concerning though, "finished basement". If that means a concrete floor you're going to need an awful lot more than one tiny subwoofer if 99% of your viewing is TV & movies. Solid structures decimate bass waves, they really take a toll on the experience. The PW2100V2 is certainly no monster however, if it was used in the same room - and you're comfortable with what it could do - then perhaps replacing it with something equally small won't prove to be an issue for you.

The HT/1205 MKII is a really good option, so certainly one to consider. Another potential choice is the RSL SpeedWoofer 10S MKII, definitely a good value that doesn't sacrifice sound quality for low price. Although a little over your budget, the SVS SB-2000 Pro is a very good alternative.
 

Steve Armbrust

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Thanks for your advice, gentlemen. I will probably go with the REL. The store is locally owned and has been in business for decades. So I'd rather give my money to them than a chain. However, I might first try a do-it-yourself fix and purchase an inexpensive third-party surround repair kit, if I can find one, and try to install it myself. When I spoke to folks at Paradigm originally (very nice folks, BTW), they said this was an option, but that I would probably fail because it usually takes somebody ten tries before they get it right. At this point, I figure what have I got to lose except another $20 and a little time. I might even learn something.
 

JohnRice

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There is one part about your situation that's a little concerning though, "finished basement". If that means a concrete floor you're going to need an awful lot more than one tiny subwoofer if 99% of your viewing is TV & movies. Solid structures decimate bass waves, they really take a toll on the experience.
I realize that's the conventional belief, but why? I mean, from a perspective of physics, why is that? Certainly the actual floor won't vibrate when it's on concrete, but most of the bass we perceive is sound waves traveling through the air. The concrete structure prevents those waves from being absorbed. So it reflects more and seems to me will maintain more energy. Also those surfaces can't rattle, which is something that especially annoys me.

I ask because both my systems are in rooms with concrete subfloors, and my HT also has two concrete walls. I have no problem achieving completely visceral bass. In all fairness, my HT has dual SVS SB-16 Ultras, so it's not lacking in capability, but it can feel like the earth is moving, even though I know it isn't. It is a different phenomena than when the floor is actually shaking, but it seems to me that it in no conceivable way "decimates bass waves."
 

theJman

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As you mentioned, concrete all but negates ULF from having any impact because of it's rigid nature. That's also what I was alluding to when I said it would decimate bass waves. The OP mentioned he's 99% TV and movies, the latter in particular loses a lot when you don't have vibrations being transmitted through the structure. Mid-bass, which most describe with words like 'chest slam', is indeed transmitted primarily through the driver and ports, the unyielding floor wouldn't really impact that aspect too much.

When I commented to him about "need an awful lot more than one tiny subwoofer" to overcome the foundation, that's exactly what you've done with dual SB-16's; you attacked the problem by throwing brute force at it. He won't be able to do that using only one small sub. Horsepower is one way to overcome the problem, the other is transducers. I'm not a fan of those though so I would never suggest them.

In my opinion his listening preferences run counter to the environment and the subwoofer options available for the stated budget, that combination will lead to distinct limitations. Perhaps he's ok with those, I was just highlighting it in case he wanted to rethink the approach before spending any money.
 

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