What to do in this system for $500 ??? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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12-02-2004, 06:36 PM
I've got $500 (including any shipping charges and tax if applicable)
to spend on upgrading my home theater sound.

I listen to music often but I expect more of the system for DVD play.

Here's what I have in my 13.5 x 20ft room with ceilings at 7' 6";

Denon AVR-2802 Surround Receiver (6 channels @ 90 W each)
Four Klipsch Reference RF-3II towers currently serving as Fronts and Side Surrounds
One Klipsch Reference RC-3 Center
One old Bose 201 bookshelf serving as Surround Back, the other as a drink holder
Panasonic RP-91 Progressive DVD player
Infocus Screenplay 4805 Projector
92" Screen

So, I was thinking I'd add a sub. I figured it was time since I've never owned one in all my
years. I did the research and figured I'd go for either the HSU STF-2 or VTF-2 MK2. I
called HSU to get help deciding which. I was forwarded to DR. Hsu himself. After hearing
what my setup was he said "You need a sub with all those Klipsch towers?" Well, I don't
know since I've never had one to compare. Anyway he figured that to get any real
improvements I'd need to go for a bigger sub such as the VTF-3. Well over the $500 point
and he knew from the start that I had that limit so I respect him greatly for not just trying
to sell something/anything to me.

I could drop the $500 on a fifth tower (Klipcsh RF35) to finally boot the old Bose from
my system and serve as the Surround Back.

I could toss the $500 in on snagging a couple of RS25s and stands to replace the side
possitioned towers (which would give me more walking room past the couch). Moving
one to the Surround Back and maybe some day picking up an amp for 7.0 sound.

I could buy a sub anyway on the asumption that the .1 addition will have to count for
something in my system.

I could buy an amp to power two of my existing speakers (high mounted Bose) for 7.0 sound.

I could, I could...

If you were in the same boat and only had $500 (all other cash being funneled to other
needs) what would you do and why?

12-02-2004, 06:53 PM
Actually, I would start by REMOVING the 201 as your back surround speaker. That speaker does not come close to timbre matching what the RF-3 sounds like. You're better off more optimally positioning the surround speakers in a 5.1 setup, than trying something as mismatched as a 201/RF-3 combo. Just because your receiver has a back surround output does not mean that hooking up the back surround speaker will always improve your sound quality. In a lot of cases (such as with severely mismatched speakers, or with the seating position right against the backwall), sticking with a 5.1 setup will sound a lot better than anything with the back surrounds active.

As far as the sub goes, you could get a sub and just let it handle the LFE track with movies while running the other speakers at full range. Hsu's VTF-2 will go lower than your RF-3IIs can, not by much mind you, but it adds a lot of versatility to how you can setup your system. One major advantage to a sub is that you can more optimally position the unit to where the bass is most advantageous. Corner placement gives you maximum bass reinforcement, while other locations might give you more even sounding bass. The location of the speakers up front along the frontwall is rarely the best location for bass. Because of this, it might sound better to actually redirect all of the bass into the subwoofer because the sub can be placed in the best spot for the low frequencies. Or it might sound best to just let the sub handle the lowest of the low sound effects that are in the LFE track. Getting a sub would allow you to play around with the options.

12-03-2004, 09:11 AM
So, I was thinking I'd add a sub. I figured it was time since I've never owned one in all my

Here's a thought. Circuit City carries Velodyne subs. If you have a CC near you, you might want to check out a Velodyne 12" model. They have a DPS-12 now that's just under your budget - $463.99 w/remote level control. This model was tested in the Sept. '04 Sound & Vision which you can see at www.ecoustics.com. It's rated down to 25Hz and produces info at 20Hz.

Verify their return policy and confirm before you leave with the sub that you can return it for any reason (or no reason) within a certain time. I don't think CC carries Klipsch so you can't get an idea as to how the sub will interact with your system from an in-store audition. You can play with positioning and settings for a couple of days to see how a sub integrates with your system. The Velodyne may be all you need. If not, you might at least get a better idea of what you need/want for your system.

There are 2 caveats to this suggestion. 1) I haven't had any recent experience with CC's return policies. If there are any pitfalls with this suggestion, like getting stuck with a sub that doesn't work well in your system, hopefully someone else will speak up. 2) I have no experience with Velodyne's DPS line. My Velodyne is the CT-120 12" and is several years old. (I do wish mine had remote level and crossover control especially when adjusting from dvds to music.)

12-03-2004, 06:21 PM
A sub would be a great addition. I'm surprised that Hsu sent you away. I run full range mains, and from my experience I can tell you that no matter how deep your mains go the LFE track is best handled by a dedicated sub.

12-07-2004, 09:57 PM
I would also first remove the bose surround back, not just because of timbre matching but also the single surround back is pointless, it is directly behind your head and with the way human ears are positioned (foward) its kind of pointless to have it right behind your head, i would instead move the sides to the the rear then you will hear it and it will give a more balanced sound (traditional 5.1), intead of loading all of the "big guns" in the front and sides you'd be spreading them out, think of it like this, your existing sound system would be like someone shouting on the sides and whispering into the back of your head, this way it would be like talking that would go to the sides and back. Then as far as the sub goes I would recommend trying to find a Velodyne CHT-15 due to low distortion, and extremely high output.