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Thread: The (Surround) Sound of Music (and TV/Movies, etc.)

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Default The (Surround) Sound of Music (and TV/Movies, etc.)

    I couldn't find a previous thread on surround sound systems, so here we go.

    What do you have in your home audio setup? What do you like about it? What would you like to improve? See any good deals on gear?

    I'll start. I currently have some Andrew Jones Pioneer speakers (BR22's and C22) up front, some old Polk R15s in the back, a recently acquired SVS SB12-NSD as the subwoofer, and a Pioneer AVR driving it all.

    I am really enjoying the improved low frequencies from the SVS sub. It replaced an old Polk that was just not nearly as capable. I like the musicality of the system, but am frustrated with the vocal clarity from the center channel.

    Anyone have recommendations for center channel speakers that will provide better clarity?
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
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    Senior Member Omaha 680's Avatar
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    I think there's a soundbar thread here somewhere. Maybe you should try that.

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    I don't know model numbers.

    In my basement theater I use an Onkyo receiver with Paradigm Monitor 9 speakers and a Paradigm PS1000 sub. If you can find a PS1000 I highly recommend it. It's one of the best sub $1000 subwoofers ever made.

    In my upstairs living room I have a Yamaha receiver with Paradigm Cinema series speakers. They are compact speakers designed to be Bose killers. They are a lot better than anything Bose makes. The sub is a PAradigm PDR 8.

    In my bedroom I'm have a Samsung sound bar that is great for that space.

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    Adventurer Walter Sobchak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha 680 View Post
    I think there's a soundbar thread here somewhere. Maybe you should try that.
    Ha!


    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    What do you have in your home audio setup?
    • Family room: old Panasonic receiver (5.1); in-wall speakers installed by builder (not sure what brand), cheap sub by PolkAudio.
    • Media room: Yamaha receiver (5.1); speakers/sub from that other Utah-based speaker company (RBH), since I don't make welder money.
    • Outdoor theater: cheap Denon receiver (7.1); speakers/sub by Cambridge SoundWorks (purchased in early 90s before Creative Labs gutted them).


    I've said this before (maybe in the Soundbars thread)... don't spend too much money on a receiver. Receivers will go out-of-date over time relatively quickly. However, a good quality speaker system will last many lifetimes.

    Highly recommend RBH.
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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaka View Post
    I don't know model numbers.

    In my basement theater I use an Onkyo receiver with Paradigm Monitor 9 speakers and a Paradigm PS1000 sub. If you can find a PS1000 I highly recommend it. It's one of the best sub $1000 subwoofers ever made.

    In my upstairs living room I have a Yamaha receiver with Paradigm Cinema series speakers. They are compact speakers designed to be Bose killers. They are a lot better than anything Bose makes. The sub is a PAradigm PDR 8.

    In my bedroom I'm have a Samsung sound bar that is great for that space.
    I was considering some used Paradigm speakers from a local craigslist seller, but I opted against them primarily because I wouldn't be able to test them beforehand. Also, I saw some reviews from owners of that particular center speaker that it wasn't great on clarity - they ended up dumping it and upgrading to a higher-end Paradigm center.

    I don't remember really looking at new Paradigms, so I might need to add those to my search.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Sobchak View Post
    Ha!




    • Family room: old Panasonic receiver (5.1); in-wall speakers installed by builder (not sure what brand), cheap sub by PolkAudio.
    • Media room: Yamaha receiver (5.1); speakers/sub from that other Utah-based speaker company (RBH), since I don't make welder money.
    • Outdoor theater: cheap Denon receiver (7.1); speakers/sub by Cambridge SoundWorks (purchased in early 90s before Creative Labs gutted them).


    I've said this before (maybe in the Soundbars thread)... don't spend too much money on a receiver. Receivers will go out-of-date over time relatively quickly. However, a good quality speaker system will last many lifetimes.

    Highly recommend RBH.
    You're right on the receivers. 4k and HDR technologies are above the grade of my not-that-old Pioneer AVR. But I won't bother switching it out until I actually have some other 4k/HDR components - that should allow it time for the technology to filter down into the price point I'm willing to spend. I've been looking at picking up a cheap used receiver to run in the garage with whatever speakers get bumped from my existing family room setup.

    I've been looking at lots of different speakers to replace either the front 3 or just the center channel - Ascend Acoustics, Philharmonic, NHT, Wavecrest, HTD, HSU, Q Acoustics, and RBH, among others. The RBH speakers are well regarded and I liked the price/performance profile of the R5Bi bookshelf speakers. The matching center channel, the R56Ci, was a bit pricier than I was willing to attempt to convince my wife we should spend.

    I've been leaning toward the Chane A2.4 for the center channel and (possibly) the A1.4s for the fronts. The reviews have been glowing for dialogue clarity. The Chane center channel is about $70 less than the RBH center. Of course, now that I compare the Chane center and fronts vs the RBH center and fronts, RBH comes out a little less expensive after shipping is factored in.

    Either option is more than I originally intended to spend, but I don't want to get something cheaper and end up disappointed that it doesn't sound good enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha 680 View Post
    I think there's a soundbar thread here somewhere. Maybe you should try that.
    I don't want to get something cheaper and end up disappointed that it doesn't sound good enough.
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

  6. #6

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    I'm not sure about the most recent speakers but Paradigm usually represents a lot of bang for the buck. You will not go wrong with Monitor Series on up.

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    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    I've been looking at picking up a cheap used receiver to run in the garage with whatever speakers get bumped from my existing family room setup.
    I ended up picking up a nice Denon receiver for the garage for $25. It works really well for that application and I loved the price. It doesn't have any HDMI inputs, but I don't have anything outputting to HDMI in the garage, anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    I've been leaning toward the Chane A2.4 for the center channel and (possibly) the A1.4s for the fronts. The reviews have been glowing for dialogue clarity.
    I got the Chane A2.4 for my center channel, and if I'd waited any longer than I did, I would have missed out. They've been out of stock for a few months now. Chane's been in the process of rolling out some new speakers and it's taken a really long time. I've really liked this center. The dialogue clarity is much better than with either my old Polk center or the Pioneer C22 that I tried briefly. And it can handle more power than I can throw at it.

    I'm thinking of picking up a pair of A1.4's for my front channels once they come back into stock.

    I've also heard really good things about the new line of Emotiva BasX speakers - good detail, good value, etc. It looks like the folded ribbon tweeter they use is very similar to the tweeter employed by the Chane speakers. I like their nontraditional styling, but it's not for everyone.
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

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