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11-29-2005, 12:04 PM
I’m in need of help as you can imagine given the title of this thread. I have a couple issues I’d like to bring up and this post will be lengthy and with pictures even because I’m hoping someone here will be kind and patient enough to put up with me.

Consider this a classic, “What would YOU do, if you were in my shoes?”

Putting it out here like this certainly makes it easier for me to grasp the whole picture too.

You have been warned :)

So let’s get to it shall we…

My current equipment consists of:
2 JM Lab Chorus 715 Floor-standing loudspeakers
1 SVS sub similar to this subwoofer (http://www.svsound.com/products-sub-box-10isd.cfm) shown here
1 Marantz HT Receiver sr4300
1 Panasonic DVD player
1 Xbox
1 JVC 32” Flat CRT

All bundled up into a basic entertainment center piece of furniture, I drew my setup in Paint below.

Actual pictures of my setup to follow shortly

Current setup:
DRW = Drawer, RCV = Receiver

Room Layout:
Notice there is not a wall on the left side of the family room. The layout of this room has been like this for 4 years because there is not another way to fit stuff in here unfortunately.


1 – My current speakers don’t mix well with my 2.5 year old son, the sub on the floor is no big deal since the cone is not accessible (down-firing) and it’s so damn heavy, the floor speakers on the other hand are another matter all together. On several occasions they have nearly taken a dive and I am not willing to risk damage to them so I’m willing to change my entire setup if I have to. Plus, I’m kind of tired of 2.1 sound and would like 5.1 if I can pull it off.

2 – The tight space of the entertainment center and the fact that it does not allow for a “proper” center channel speaker to be installed under the TV makes 5.1 seem impossible without modification to the furniture or some weird installation of a center hanging from the ceiling or some crap.

2.5 – Due to the space constraints I would need to modify the entertainment center by removing a top shelf which sits above the TV so that a Center could be placed on-top of the TV OR Modify the space that currently holds the Marantz receiver and a drawer to the left which holds xbox controllers.

3 – My wife says, NO to new furniture and MAYBE to a whole new setup (YEEHAW?) and YES to new loudspeakers only.

Option 1:
Keep all components same and buy new speakers that can be wall mounted somehow like Totem Rainmakers or Mackies or something really really good. This would probably be the simplest most economical way to go but it’s still 2.1… although my music would rock /sigh, decisions.

DRW = Drawer, RCV = Receiver

Option 2:
Take out the top shelf that currently holds the DVD and Xbox and put the center speaker on-top of the TV and mount the L and R speakers to the wall at about the same elevation.

This would mean I need a new DVD Receiver since I do not want to put a DVD player down below behind a door like the VCR. Then voila, I got myself 5.1 with a simple modification to the furniture, the main concern here is finding the RIGHT size center to fit on-top of the TV. This basically limits me on my choices but hell I’m not looking for the “best” system in the world, only something that works well.

DRW = Drawer, RCV = Receiver

Option 3:
Leave the top shelf in place and knock out the support shelf on the bottom which holds up the TV and find a way to get a 150 pound TV to rest securely on a center speaker… oh and then find a REALLY short DVD Receiver for the top shelf above the TV to boot yeah…


Products I am looking at:

2.1 Speakers:
My buddy has a pair of Mackie HR824's (http://www.mackie.com/products/hr824/index.html) and I absolutely love them and would seriously consider them if they had a grill to go with them, darn wife…

Not to long ago I auditioned a pair of Totem Rainmakers (http://www.totemacoustic.com/english/products/bookShelf_rainmaker.htm) and was completely blown away at the performance from such a little package.

At the same time I auditioned a pair of Definitive SM450 (http://www.definitivetech.com/loudspeakers/studiomonitor/studiomonitor.html) and was impressed with their cost vs price performance but I am skeptical as to how well they would sound in my room.

And lastly my friend showed me these Definitive Mythos 6 (http://www.definitivetech.com/loudspeakers/mythos/mythos_table.html) which look awesome but I know nothing about.

5.1 Speakers:
If I go the 5.1 route, I am very seriously considering this 5.1 SBS-01surround sound (http://www.svsound.com/products-spks-sbs01.cfm) set from www.svsound.com since I am so damn impressed with the sub I bought.

I could really use some help with more 5.1 speakers where the center would be no more than 6-7 inches tall, please let me know what’s good.

DVD Receivers:
I have read many good things about this Pioneer EX-500 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00097BZA8/102-5488837-0356942?v=glance&n=172282&s=electronics&v=glance&tagActionCode=ruggedeleganc12-20) and have found them on eBay for $200 and change. These reviews for the EX-500 (http://www.audioreview.com/mfr/pioneer-elite/dvd-players/PRD_289344_1587crx.aspx) make the unit look VERY good.

Another DVD Receiver I found is the Sony AVD-C700ES (http://www.onecall.com/ProductDetails.aspx?FromURLMapper=1&sHist=12-57&didRedirect=true&id=22876) which looks great on paper but I have not been able to get any solid review data for. There is also a sony avdc500es but they are impossible to get. Then there is the Sony AVD-S50ES (http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?sofocus=bs&sbrftog=1&catref=C6&fstype=1&from=R10&satitle=avd-s50es&sacat=-1%26catref%3DC6&bs=Search&fsop=1%26fsoo%3D1&coaction=compare&copagenum=1&coentrypage=search&sargn=-1%26saslc%3D2&sadis=200&fpos=33406&ftrt=1&ftrv=1&saprclo=&saprchi=) which can be found on eBay.

JVC had a DVD receiver and so did Kenwood but the ones I mentioned above seem to be the only ones worth mentioning.

Final note:
I know a new 2.1 system would have great speakers, and a 5.1 system would have only good speakers and that the 5.1 svs speakers are no match for mackies or totems.

I honestly use my system for both movies and music HALF the time which makes these decisions super tough to make. I thank you for your time in reading my plight and thanks in advance to any words of wisdom you can offer.

Have a nice day

12-03-2005, 03:24 PM
Well, it was worth a shot to try and get some advice. I'll chunk it next time by making smaller posts, maybe that'll draw a response :p

12-06-2005, 10:19 PM
I will give you my two cents worth.

The center channel is VERY important since a great deal of information is sent to the center channel. With this in mind, it is best placed on a plane that is in line with your ears.
This goes for the tweeters on your floorstanders or wall mounted left and right speakers, as well.

I think that if you review the site I have attached, you will find that there are much better DVD players out there that are not expensive than the ones you are considering.


I would move the sub to the left corner. You are loosing a lot of your base through the opening in the left wall where it is placed now.

SVS makes a GREAT sub for getting down low, but I think that a speaker that has a higher sensitivity and is more efficient will get the most from the power provided from your current receiver. JBL, Klipsch, Altec, and others fit this last criteria well and are based on horn designs. There are also some transmission line speakers that do the job quite well.

I hope this information helps and I wish you the best of luck.