5.1.2 recommendations

blahblahblah

Standard Member
It's time to upgrade my setup - I've currently got a Denon AVR-x2300w with a Boston Soundware XS 5.1 set up. I'm planning on keeping the AVR - its served me well and is a very capable bit of kit. The Soundwares will be retired to make way for some grown up speakers.
  • The room - 4.85m x 3.65m, with the TV in the middle of the longer side.

  • Will mostly used for movies/tv (90%), occasionally music (10%)

  • Budget for the speakers & sub is £1300 - new or used
    • Splitting the budget: Sub - £400.00, Centre - £300.00, Front L&R - £300.00, Rear L&R - £200.00, Ceiling - £100.00
  • Desired 5.1.2 with 2 in the ceiling (top middle)
    • For the fronts - love the idea of floorstanders. But to get the most out of the budget, the sensible option would be standmounts - am I wrong?
      • Maybe Q Acoustics 3050 floor standers (used around £300). Of course, with that will come the Q Acoustics 3090c, under budged - I could get the concept centre, but it would not work well with the 3050's. Going for the concept floor-standers will blow the budget.
      • Standmount/Bookshelf with matching centre recommendations please?
    • For the rears/sides
      • What about 2 B&W M1's? Ideally i'd like standmounts/bookshelfs but the M1 type will be more practical in the room (smaller). And they're available used within budget.
      • Alternatively, Klipsch R-41M seem decent and price new at £230
    • Sub
      • I'm thinking SVS SB-1000, used around £400. This is where my budget is holding me back - decent used subs seem to start around £400
    • Budget for the speakers & sub is £1250 - will consider used.
      • Splitting the budget: Sub - £400.00, Centre - £350.00, Front L&R - £300.00, Rear L&R - £200.00, Ceiling - £150.00
I'm looking for recommendations and a better understanding of pairing speakers.
Thank you
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I wouldn´t buy used sub and for speakers you would need to know what to look for. At least with new speakers you can book demo time for local hifi shop and go listen/compare. That doesn`t cost anything and they don`t require you to buy them!

Most M1s are the old models where the grill doesn`t go all the way to up. Really old! The M1 mk2 came 2012 so they are quite old too, that is the latest model still but rarely available as 2nd hand. Lifestyle speakers aren´t updated often.

Forget Klipsch Reference range (R). RP = Reference Premiere is only worth considering and that will cost so much in UK that you can get competitors much cheaper.

With 90% movie usage and tight budget i would pick standmount speakers with cheap 600mm stands and put little bit more money in to subwoofer if possible, but let`s see.

You want to put big amount of budget for the LCR. If you could start with 3.1 system then you could get better speakers and sub. I`m going to post few options you to think about.

Mains 350£

Centre 515£

or if too large then this 445£

Stands 60£

119£ "rears" (used)


But too expensive if you want everything right away as not enough for sub and overhead channels. Let`s have a look for B&W as there is old model still available and i think you could possibly have these 606s 70£ cheaper if you ask as they went 379£ not that long ago, especially if you buy together with center channel.




total 759£

M1 mk2 about 200£ pair from ebay if bought from the guy who sells them each for 101,24£.

Fisual stands 60£

759£ + 200£ + 60£ = 1019£ again we are spending too much as the subwoofer will cost 410£ as minium new and something better will cost ~ 500£.






Looking cheaper options Monitor Audio Bronze range is usually one of the best in class option which comes in 4 different finishes. Definitely give them a listen as most people find them very enjoyable and the vinyl wrap finish is one of the best looking! Home Cinema Choice gave them just best buy, they got EISA award for best speakers in their class etc. AVForums rated very highly the earlier Bronze 5.1 system which review you can google too.

50s as mains 285£ - there is also larger Bronze 100 model for 359£

Centre C150 - 195£

Small rears in gloss white ~130£ used older model


Fisual 600mm tall speaker stands 60£

Fisual in-ceiling speakers 100£/pair.


SVS PB1000 Pro with AVForums member discount (-10%) 575£


Total: 1345£


Personally i would pick the PB model over SB if the size isn`t issue.

Speaker wires, hdmi cables you should order from Amazon, we can look those later.
 

blahblahblah

Standard Member
I wouldn´t buy used sub and for speakers you would need to know what to look for. At least with new speakers you can book demo time for local hifi shop and go listen/compare. That doesn`t cost anything and they don`t require you to buy them!

Most M1s are the old models where the grill doesn`t go all the way to up. Really old! The M1 mk2 came 2012 so they are quite old too, that is the latest model still but rarely available as 2nd hand. Lifestyle speakers aren´t updated often.

Forget Klipsch Reference range (R). RP = Reference Premiere is only worth considering and that will cost so much in UK that you can get competitors much cheaper.

With 90% movie usage and tight budget i would pick standmount speakers with cheap 600mm stands and put little bit more money in to subwoofer if possible, but let`s see.

You want to put big amount of budget for the LCR. If you could start with 3.1 system then you could get better speakers and sub. I`m going to post few options you to think about.

Mains 350£

Centre 515£

or if too large then this 445£

Stands 60£

119£ "rears" (used)


But too expensive if you want everything right away as not enough for sub and overhead channels. Let`s have a look for B&W as there is old model still available and i think you could possibly have these 606s 70£ cheaper if you ask as they went 379£ not that long ago, especially if you buy together with center channel.




total 759£

M1 mk2 about 200£ pair from ebay if bought from the guy who sells them each for 101,24£.

Fisual stands 60£

759£ + 200£ + 60£ = 1019£ again we are spending too much as the subwoofer will cost 410£ as minium new and something better will cost ~ 500£.






Looking cheaper options Monitor Audio Bronze range is usually one of the best in class option which comes in 4 different finishes. Definitely give them a listen as most people find them very enjoyable and the vinyl wrap finish is one of the best looking! Home Cinema Choice gave them just best buy, they got EISA award for best speakers in their class etc. AVForums rated very highly the earlier Bronze 5.1 system which review you can google too.

50s as mains 285£ - there is also larger Bronze 100 model for 359£

Centre C150 - 195£

Small rears in gloss white ~130£ used older model


Fisual 600mm tall speaker stands 60£

Fisual in-ceiling speakers 100£/pair.


SVS PB1000 Pro with AVForums member discount (-10%) 575£


Total: 1345£


Personally i would pick the PB model over SB if the size isn`t issue.

Speaker wires, hdmi cables you should order from Amazon, we can look those later.
Thank you very much for your input - quite a lot for me to consider there. So I am in no rush to get this all done, so I'm happy to wait for good deals and get bits as they come up. Unfortunately I missed out on the Kef350's refurbs you linked.

What I got from your reply, and reading around too, is that putting more budget to the sub is a must. You mentioned the PB 1000 Pro. I agree with going ported and the 12" pro version will be immense, but in the interest of cost, what about the non-pro version (10")? Have you (or anyone else) had experience of both - how do they compare? And importantly, in a room 4.85m x 3.65m will the pro make much of a difference when compared against the non-pro? Bearing in mind its a living room not a dedicated home theater.

The Kef Q350s look brilliant. I will look to demo these, along with the Q150's - I've read that with a sub the difference is small. Both take me way over budget, but I am looking out for deals/refurbs on the Q150.
MA Bronze (C150 + 100s) have received good reviews, and are priced well. These are on the shortlist.


Coming back to Q-Acoustics - how about the 3030i? with the 3090ci centre (or even the Concept centre?). How do these compare with the MS Bronze?

So I've crunched some numbers (see below). £1k is going on all but the front speakers. I've got a few options for the front speakers listed here. The budget isn't set in stone, but I'm now thinking £1400-£1600 is what I'm looking at. I'm in no rush, so I'm not planning on paying these prices - I'll grab bargains as they come up. Any feedback on these options would be great. Thank you.

SubSVS PB1000 Pro£ 575.00
CeilingFisual IC65 x2£ 100.00
Ceiling extrasFire/Acoustic Hood£ 80.00
StandsTBC£ 50.00
Cable16/18 awg£ 50.00
RearsTBC used£ 150.00
Total without Front Speakers£ 1,005.00

Front Speaker Options
Option 1CentreDALI Spektor Vokal£ 179.00
Left & RightDALI Spektor 2£ 229.00
Front Speak Total:£ 408.00£ 1,413.00Total Spend
Option 2CentreQ Acoustics 3090ci£ 169.00
Left & RightQ Acoustics 3030i£ 279.00
Front Speak Total:£ 448.00£ 1,453.00Total Spend
Option 3CentreQ Acoustics Concept£ 249.00
Left & RightQ Acoustics Concept 20£ 249.00
Front Speak Total:£ 498.00£ 1,503.00Total Spend
Option 4CentreMonitor Audio Bronze C150£ 195.00
Left & RightMonitor Audio Bronze 100£ 359.00
Front Speak Total:£ 554.00£ 1,559.00Total Spend
Option 5CentreELAC Debut C6.2£ 299.00
Left & RightELAC Debut B6.2£ 299.00
Front Speak Total:£ 598.00£ 1,603.00Total Spend
Option 6CentreDALI Oberon Vokal£ 329.00
Left & RightDALI Oberon 1£ 349.00
Front Speak Total:£ 678.00£ 1,683.00Total Spend
Option 7CentreKEF Q250C£ 445.00
Left & RightKEF Q150£ 395.00
Front Speak Total:£ 840.00£ 1,845.00Total Spend
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I would definitely spend the little extra for the new Pro model! The cabinet with dual port design is new, the amp is new more beefier and larger 12" driver over 10" in the old model so the performance gains are noticeable. Plus you get the phone app control with some extra features which is cool. I believe you would regret later if not going for the Pro model. Check Audioholics review & measurements for it.

Regarding speaker stands the new ones cost 50-60£ at AVO. Fisual Dynami Duo has large top plate as Dynami Uno has smaller and more suitable for smaller surrounds speaker. Just check the top plate width x depth compared to speaker width x depth so the top plate isn´t wider than speaker looks goofy or opting for Dynami Uno with the likes of Q350 which would be bit too small for them. I don´t think you find stands much cheaper than 30£ perhaps so those new Fisuals are quite cheap. There is 3 different finish options i think and heights, but for front mains 600mm typically is the standard, however depenind of your height and couch height you sit on. The idea is to get the speaker tweeters for seated ear height. When you know which speakers you choose then you can do some measuring which high 500/600/700mm stands are right for you. Small things, but i like to optimize everything when possible.

For speaker wires if you don`t require white/black then i would go with this, AWG13/2,5mm is the most often used thickness. The thinner one is only few bucks cheaper, not worth it if you don`t have issue with the 2,5mm one.
Amazon product

The speaker choice is most tricky cause you really need to listen as many of those main speakers as possible to get some idea how each brand sounds. You should be able to book demo time in your local Richer Sounds or similar which has those in stock, just ask 2-4 models for the demo so you will get answers. The Dali Spektors are bit cheaper serie, build quality not necessarily up to others. You also have quite different sized speakers there. Kef Q150 - 5,25" drivers, Bronze 100 - 8" drivers, Dali Oberon 1 quite small cab and 5,25", 3030i 6,5". If you got the space for the mains so that they don´t need to sit against walls then you can consider the larger models. Then you need to think about the looks too. Elac probably not as sexy, but those models you put there are very popular in US. Designed by Andrew Jones, good speakers no doubt. It will be very hard decision if you can`t listen anything so try to make it happen. Heck visit as many dealers as is needed so you get some idea of the sound, try using Denon receiver in the demo too. I think all can make a fine HT system, but i think there is likely few that you like more than others or perhaps even one best. You can also listen the new B&W 606 S2 cause if you like that sound then the "older" version is available for 450£ (likely under 400£ if you push the dealer) and it should sound very similar to that new S2.


Store display model, last pair: KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speakers Black, Open Box | eBay
 

password1

Distinguished Member
I would go Mission Lx Mark 2or Fyne Audio F300 or Wharfedale diamond 12.

LX3 Mark 2 mains
LX centre
LX 3d for atmos
LX1 Mark 2 or LX 3d for surrounds

The bronze are no longer very good value and theyve all gone up in price. The Kefs aren't cheap for budget entry level speakers. The prices are too close to mid range speakers such as QA concepts, Mission QX and MA Silvers 6th gen (if you can find end of the LINE discounts)
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Reading the new Wharfedale 12 review it feels again that they are more suited for music listening rather than HT system as they are leaning being more laid back and hiding some details compared to QA 3030i for example.

Bronze is most forward sounding with touch of brightness and the new range has wider dispersion due to new waveguide design. Both this new and earlier gen has picked as best buy, especially for movies they are best in class and i would pick them over QAs, Wharfedales and also over Oberons if they are still overly bright similar to earlier Zensors. Mission LX is designed by same guy as QA/Wharfedale highly likely so it`s somewhere between, but they each are toned bit different.

Elac 6.2c and Kef Q650c is the only models to offer larger dual 6,5" drivers in larger cabinets for center channels which i feel is noticeable step up from any of the QA offerings (dual 4") while keeping in mind that center channel pushes out 60-70% of movies soundtrack so i think Kef is going to be strong option if not the best also due to coaxial UniQ drivers which are reported to offer certain benefits you don`t get with classical designs. Problem with Kef is the high pricing for their center channels and the small difference with Q250c and Q650c would push me for the latter if one has enough space for it! Elacs should be fine too as designed by Andrew Jones and obectively they measure quite good what i seen and the ability to play very loud is good for HT system in mind. Seems like the joke site WhatHifi liked them alot too, but they are more popular in US. Little bit meh looking though.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
The.concept 20 is £229, concept.centre is.£195-£199.. similar prices to the 3000i range but are better build and sound quality. There's no reason to go for the 3000i over the concepts, other than aethetics and the magnetic grilles, due to the concepts heavily discounted and price increases to most of the 3000i range. e.g 3020i were £165 now £219. concept.20 were £379 now.£229.

There's no reason, other than if you prefer the aesthetics of the bronze, to go for the bronze over the silvers 6g. Due to price increases to the bronze and expected discounts on the silvers, there's not a.big price difference. SSAV have the silver 200 cheaper than the bronze 200. Bronze 200 were already expensive for entry level speakers at £570, but now gone up to £625. The Kef Q series are a sideways move to the bronze.

The Mission LX mark 2 come have 2 centres, and various sized bookshelves and.floorstanders with woofers ranging from 4 to 6.5 inches. I think overall the Missions are the best, good for music and movies..No doubt the improved mark 2 are even better.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Kef Q has been compared to Silvers at AVForums and also in Bronzes on some hifi magazines, probably depends the local country pricing also.

I think Q350 did something the Silver 100 couldn´t and vice versa, so it`s not never easy decision. The other sites i have seen said Q150 Kef was a step up from QA 3020i which is lot cheaper clearly. Kef has expensive driver that´s for sure, but the cabinet is more lively than in many competitors. However looking these things doesn´t really help as one needs to hear them at the end of day.
 

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