Rookie (1st post) Speaker questions - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 21 Old 05-07-08, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Rookie (1st post) Speaker questions

If you had a 140 watt per channel 7.1 AV receiver, could you use four 150 watt centers (2 5 1/2's-1 2 1/2) in place of four surrounds?
I'm in the process of completing a rather large dedicated HT and am getting close to the equipment stage and I will have a lot of questions that I will need some expert help with. I've been a frequent visitor to the Shack and have appreciated the content and attitude displayed by all involved.
Thanks to all.
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post #2 of 21 Old 05-07-08, 09:42 AM
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Re: Rookie (1st post) Speaker questions

Hello Rex and welcome to the Shack!

Sure, you can use centers for surrounds. The power really won't be an issue. However, I would probably mount the centers horizontally and not vertically.

I use a pair of Martin Logan Fresco's mounted horizontally for my surrounds. These are speakers which ML recommends for center and surrounds. They actually show them in a configuration mounted horizontally and vertically, but I am of the opinion that they will produce better horizontal dispersion for surround mounted horizontally and would be too direct if mounted vertically.
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post #3 of 21 Old 05-07-08, 09:43 AM
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Re: Rookie (1st post) Speaker questions

Hi Rex, Welcome to the Shack.
Really don't need to pay much attention to wattage ratings on receivers or speakers. For the most part those numbers are,... fudged for marketing purposes. Just use a good quality receiver and you should be fine.

What four speakers are you planning on using?
Generally speaking you could use any speaker you wanted to for the surrounds. I would definitely orient them (MTM speakers) vertically, but you may want to experiment with placement and orientation to find what sounds best.

Mark
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post #4 of 21 Old 05-07-08, 10:33 AM
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Re: Rookie (1st post) Speaker questions

Hi Rex, welcome to the Shack. Keep us updated. Have fun, Dennis

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post #5 of 21 Old 05-07-08, 01:25 PM
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Re: Rookie (1st post) Speaker questions

If you don't have the center channels already and aren't getting an amazing deal on them I would pass on them in favor of good bookshelf speakers instead. A center channel is usually a little more expensive than its bookshelf counterpart. Take what you would spend on the center and get a better bookshelf speaker. In a lot of cases a good bookshelf will have a bit deeper bass as centers are normally optimized for smooth dialog.

That's not to say that a good center channel won't be good in surround duty, it's just that a bookshelf, or even a floor stander, will make a better one. There has also been talk (here at the shack) on how the MTM style center is not a very good design and that the midrange woofers can interfere with the tweeter.

As for wattage, the 150W rating is what the speaker can handle for a sustained period of time. It could probably handle peaks of 400-500W for very short periods. What you want to avoid is a very low powered or poor quality amp that might start clipping. That could damage the speakers.
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post #6 of 21 Old 05-08-08, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rookie (1st post) Speaker questions

Thanks for the quick response all! I"m thinking Yamaha 3800 AV receiver and am considering Pioneer 120 watt bookshelf for surrounds...but have an offer on the table for some Jensen 150 watt centers at a very economical (or should I say cheap?) price. Jensen makes some pretty good guitar amp speakers so I'm intrigued. My theater is roughly 25x28 and I'm thinking a JVC HD1 projector and a 135" screen. I know I should be thinking a big amp and power, but I'm hard of hearing already! I've had a Yamaha 5550 paired with a Mitsu 65" for the last 3 years and I'm happy with the sound and simplicity. Thanks for all input...I appreciate you!
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post #7 of 21 Old 05-08-08, 10:00 AM
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Re: Rookie (1st post) Speaker questions

Hmm,... I think I'd steer you in a different direction. That 3800 is a lot of receiver for the speakers you are contemplating. If you like the Yamaha, I'd say look at the 663, unless the 3800 has some feature you need. You'll likely be much happier with your HT if you spend a little more on speakers and less on the receiver.

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post #8 of 21 Old 05-08-08, 11:09 AM
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Re: Rookie (1st post) Speaker questions

Or just one step down to the RX-V1800 and pump the $ diff into speakers.

Just remember RKlowetter, you could have a good set of speakers for over 10 years whereas receivers will be outdated at least twice in that same time frame.

If you wanted the 3800 for the network capability, you can get a media streamer or PS3/XBox for less than the price difference between the 3800 and 1800.

Edit: If you're looking for a good deal check out Axiom Audio. They have gotten pretty good reviews and are very affordable. SVS has some pretty affordable speakers also.

Last edited by MatrixDweller; 05-08-08 at 11:17 AM. Reason: additional comment
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post #9 of 21 Old 05-08-08, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rookie (1st post) Speaker questions

Posting here has already started to pay off!! You guys are great! Matrix, thanks for the tip on Axiom. Good site and the wizard recomends a vp 150, m-60, qs8, and ep 500 at half the price of the Klipsch and B&W that I've been quoted.
The only reason I considered the 3800 over the 1800 was trying to keep from being obsolete in 5 years! Maybe I should list what I'm looking for and let you experts point me in the right direction. 1080p projector sourced by 1.3 hdmi from receiver fed by Sony Blu-Ray and Dish HD.
The theater will be used for watching DVD's and sports (Dallas Cowboys and San Antonio Spurs)
A BIG part of the WAF stems from her being an avid fan of both teams....ain't I lucky?
The RXV-1800 is 130 watts per channel so should do ok. Mark, is the 663 comparable to the 1800? Thanks again gang!
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post #10 of 21 Old 05-08-08, 03:50 PM
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Re: Rookie (1st post) Speaker questions

You'll pay a premium at a local dealer. I think their margins are near 50% on speakers. What Klipsch models were you looking at? I'm partial to Klipsch as I have a set. I bought mine at cost...otherwise I'd have gone Axiom.

Re: 3800 not being obsolete in 5 years. The 1800 just lacks the networking and USB support and the 3800 has a nicer GUI. They will both be semi-obsolete in 5 years. In 5 years expect 1440p or 2880p upconversion, a newer HDMI revision and possibly new connections all together, and built in hard drives or other form of storage.

I have a Denon 4306 and the networking ability is neat but I have pretty much the same ability with my PS3.
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