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  #71  
Old 04-12-2017, 12:15 PM
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Egghead Egghead is offline
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Actually, I just thought of another answer that my wife could really go for: Is there a soundbar out there that adequately takes care of center plus front L+R? I'm so used to the cheap powered soundbars that come in these HTIB packages. But if I got a really good one that I power with my new amp, then aesthetically my wife is happy. And all I'd have to do is get two unobtrusive rear speakers.
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  #72  
Old 04-12-2017, 12:40 PM
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Actually, I just thought of another answer that my wife could really go for: Is there a soundbar out there that adequately takes care of center plus front L+R? I'm so used to the cheap powered soundbars that come in these HTIB packages. But if I got a really good one that I power with my new amp, then aesthetically my wife is happy. And all I'd have to do is get two unobtrusive rear speakers.
Check out the PSB W3 soundbar. Soundbars aren't wide enough for most rooms, ideally you'd want the left and right speakers farther apart. But I've heard this thing, it sounds outstanding given the size of it. Worth a look.
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  #73  
Old 04-12-2017, 12:48 PM
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Regarding the rest:

I don't think 7.1 is worth it over 5.1, for the reasons you mention. More cost, more speakers to cram in the room. If you were finishing a basement and could slap in some in-wall surrounds, maybe.

20w more power is negligible. It's a fraction of a decibel of peak output.

I think bookshelf speakers would be a solid choice if the wife is OK with them. They will have larger drivers, so more output and less distortion. And larger speakers are more efficient, which is a good thing. Efficient speakers are more dynamic, google 'power compression' if you want to know why. Most bookshelf speakers aren't terribly efficient, but better than Bose-sized things.

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  #74  
Old 04-12-2017, 01:45 PM
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Check out the PSB W3 soundbar. Soundbars aren't wide enough for most rooms, ideally you'd want the left and right speakers farther apart. But I've heard this thing, it sounds outstanding given the size of it. Worth a look.
Yeah, soundstage limitations are a big problem with soundbars.

I looked up that PSB you mention. Interestingly, one review said that a lot of people might prefer the somewhat cheaper GoldenEars SuperCinema 3D. That bar includes inverted drivers, which actually send out canceling waves to reduce the amount of L/R blending that happens on the way from the speaker to the listener's ears. A number of reviewers say that the effect works very well, and sound seems to be coming from a source well wide of the soundbar enclosure.

I still wonder if I would be happier with good bookshelf speakers...
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  #75  
Old 04-12-2017, 01:58 PM
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Man, I'm seeing an awful lot of good press for the HSU HB-1 Mk2 horn bookshelf speakers. Even when not on sale, they are less than $200 each including shipping. I could get just one pair to see how I like them. If nothing else, they should make awesome rear surround speakers. But if they're as good as people are saying, maybe I could do all 5 channels with them, including center?
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  #76  
Old 04-12-2017, 03:17 PM
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Actually, it looks like HSU has a center channel designed to go with the HB-1 speakers! It's $249. Not bad...

Meanwhile, I checked with the folks at Outlaw. They said they have an Atlantic Technology 3.1 HSB system that they were using for testing. Normally $799, they could sell it to me for $679 including shipping. I'd have a small sub that I don't really need since the Ultra-X12 is going to be far better. Not sure I want to mess with unloading a sub. Nor do I have a logical place to stick one.
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  #77  
Old 04-12-2017, 04:45 PM
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How important is it to have a "matched set" of surround speakers? I see this concept come up a fair amount on discussion boards.

If I got the HB-1 speakers and the center speaker that goes with that model, then those would clearly be matched. But it turns out HSU came out with a new improved model late last year called the CCB-8. I'm tempted to get one of those as my center (which they said it's good for) and two of the HB-1 speakers. If I decide that the more expensive CCB-8 is worth the premium, I could buy 2 more to have my L/C/R all in one style, and could use the less expensive speakers for my rears.
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  #78  
Old 04-12-2017, 06:22 PM
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How important is it to have a "matched set" of surround speakers?
Surrounds matching the front speakers? Not important, unless you're into 5.1 multi-channel music like DVD-Audio.
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  #79  
Old 04-12-2017, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Egghead View Post
How important is it to have a "matched set" of surround speakers? I see this concept come up a fair amount on discussion boards.

If I got the HB-1 speakers and the center speaker that goes with that model, then those would clearly be matched. But it turns out HSU came out with a new improved model late last year called the CCB-8. I'm tempted to get one of those as my center (which they said it's good for) and two of the HB-1 speakers. If I decide that the more expensive CCB-8 is worth the premium, I could buy 2 more to have my L/C/R all in one style, and could use the less expensive speakers for my rears.
I like the klipsch ref ii series. I have the double 6.5 center. I have the 6.5 bookshelf x 4. Then I have a couple russound in ceilings.

I like safe and sound hq for all my purchasing needs. Check them out and give them a call. They always crush it on price. Free shipping.
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  #80  
Old 04-13-2017, 02:10 AM
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Surrounds matching the front speakers? Not important, unless you're into 5.1 multi-channel music like DVD-Audio.
Not an expert on 5.1 audio. But I generally agree that it's not a huge deal to have five matching speakers.
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