Recommendations on setup

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ZSamuels28

Enthusiast
Hi Guys and Gals,

Looking to start building a music/home theater setup. I want to start with a 3.1 system and build off of it. I am in an apartment and my living room isn’t too big. Looking to spend 1000-2000 on this system.

I have a Rega Planar 2 for records and currently AudioEngine A5+. I would say my listening is probably 50/50 Music and TV/Movies. Thinking of something like the following:

Bookshelfs: Klipsch 600M
Center: Klipsch 404C
Subwoofer: HSU VTF-2 MK5 (Or SVS PB-1000) - Leaning toward the HSU
Receiver: Yamaha RX-780 or Denon X1600h - Leaning toward the Denon

Recommendations or thoughts?

Thanks!!
 
ski2xblack

ski2xblack

Audioholic Field Marshall
I would personally choose the Hsu HB1 (I think that's the model#) bookshelf speaker over the Klipsch you mentioned. More neutral, more satisfying over time.
 
Z

ZSamuels28

Enthusiast
@ski2xblack Thanks! You got me reading and now I'm going down the rabbit hole again (I was ready to buy the 600Ms :p). Reading this: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/2201609-help-me-decide-ascend-vs-hsu.html

What are your opinions about HSU HB1 and Ascend? Are there any other worthy speakers around 500-600?

Also, what for center channel?

Or is it worth spending the extra $100 or so and getting a used pair of B&W 607s? Although I do see so many people raving about the 600Ms. While I have read their sound isn't for everyone, it seems most enjoy them.
 
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ski2xblack

ski2xblack

Audioholic Field Marshall
Sorry, no experience with Ascend, but can't help but note the different approach to high frequencies. The Hsu (and Klipsch m600 for that matter) will have more narrow dispersion from horm loaded tweets than the Ascend's flush mounted ribbon. Which is better is more a function of room acoustics and personal taste than an endorsement of either approach.

As for a center channel, ideally, that would be the exact same as your L & R. Short of that, stick with the same brand at least, for as similar voicing as possible across the front stage. So whichever way you go, go all Ascend, or all Hsu, or whatever else, for your L/C/R.
 
Z

ZSamuels28

Enthusiast
@ski2xblack thanks! After reading so much good stuff about the 600M, I might bite the bullet and go with those. I can also "virtually try them" out (if that even does anything haha). Also was reading the B&W 606 aren't as great as the 600M which surprises me...

To pair with the 600M which Receiver would you recommend?
 
ski2xblack

ski2xblack

Audioholic Field Marshall
They aren't difficult to drive, so unless your room is huge or your listening habits fall in the headbanger category, the Denon you're considering should be ok, but it never hurts to apply some critical thinking before shelling out the ducats. You can look upstream for more comprehensive features and more power, but to determine what features or how much power you need requires feedback from you, and will depend somewhat on the specific speakers you go with. So you're going with the Klipsch, so we know (roughly) their sensitivity/impedance/phase and can then choose amplification appropriately. Room size, distance to speakers, how loud do you like it? Do you ever plan on dual subs, where Audyssey multisubEQ would come in handy? Any other features (streaming, etc.) you want/need that the Denon lacks?
 
Z

ZSamuels28

Enthusiast
My living room is only about 300 or so sq ft, I would say 50/50 Music and TV/Movies. Distance would be about 10-20 feet from the speakers. Loudness, not crazy loud (I have tenants below me :p). Only 1 sub for now and I already have an Alexa so I'd use that for Streaming (or I can use Airplay 2).

Would the Audyssey make a huge difference to go with Denon?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Two thoughts for the long run for the avr. If you do get a Denon with Audyssey, the XT32/SubEQ version is better than just the XT in the 1600, not just for the dual sub capabilities, but also if you need amp flexibility down the line as the 1600 does not have a full set of pre-outs. Another consideration is the 1600 does not appear to have a phono stage, or do you already have a separate one? The Klipsch are higher sensitivity (altho probably overstated by 4-5dB) than Ascend so amp needs might be considered by using something like this spl calculator to approximate your needs, particularly at 20 ft (what are actual dims of your room?). I like the Hsu over that SVS sub.

I do have several Ascend speakers, Sierra-1s with NrT, 170SEs and 200SEs, altho none have the new Raal tweeters. I like them quite a bit. I haven't heard the latest from Klipsch you're considering at all but they do seem to get better reports than older bookshelf models I've heard.
 
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Z

ZSamuels28

Enthusiast
@lovinthehd which Denon would you recommend with XT32? I'm set on the HSU then :) Still thinking about the speakers but I guess I can try and if I don't like then return them.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
I am not a big fan of the Klipsch center channel. If you decide to go with the Hsu speakers, consider using a CCB-8 as a center instead of the HC-1 center. The HC-1 is OK as MTM designs go, but the CCB-8 is a genuinely good center speaker design.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
@lovinthehd which Denon would you recommend with XT32? I'm set on the HSU then :) Still thinking about the speakers but I guess I can try and if I don't like then return them.
XT32 and the pre-outs (and possibly a phono stage) come on Denons in the 3xxx models and up. Their sister company Marantz offers similar avrs (believe 6xxx series and above for those features), but generally marketed at a bit higher price point. Check out accessories4less.com if you don't mind a refurb (but keep in mind the warranty/return situation that generally comes with such).
 
Z

ZSamuels28

Enthusiast
Excellent, thanks! @shadyJ interesting recommendation on the CCB-8! Have you heard anything on the 404C? Is there any other better center I can pair with the 600Ms?

Thanks @lovinthehd for the receiver recommendation! The 3000 models are hard to find for less than 600, especially since they are discontinued (I checked accessories4less), any other recommendations?
 
ski2xblack

ski2xblack

Audioholic Field Marshall
I am not a big fan of the Klipsch center channel. If you decide to go with the Hsu speakers, consider using a CCB-8 as a center instead of the HC-1 center. The HC-1 is OK as MTM designs go, but the CCB-8 is a genuinely good center speaker design.
Or CCB-8 for L, C, and R!

@shadyJ , you have heard both Hsu speakers, correct? It was my own impression that the CCB-8 and HSB1 (whatever the current model is) are tonally distinct enough that mixing them on the front stage would be suboptimal, despite the CCB's advantage in the lobing department. Thoughts?

May not be relevant, OP seems to want the Klipsch.
 
Z

ZSamuels28

Enthusiast
@ski2xblack only reason I want Klipsch is price vs performance. If I can spend a bit more and get something significantly better I'd be open, but I'm trying to keep the price ranges around here:

Bookshelfs max 600
Center max 400
Receiver max 500
Sub (already chose HSU VTF-2 MK5 so ~500)
 
ski2xblack

ski2xblack

Audioholic Field Marshall
Gotcha. We respect your budget. The Klipsch are not bad, but probably not value leaders either.

The Hsu bookshelves more closely adhere to the basics, such as flat frequency response, than Klipsh has with the 600M, plus the Hsu's real wood veneers are far classier IMO. I would see what sort of package deal (and return policy) Hsu would make if you bought speakers as well as your sub from them.

The reason for my question to James stems from noting signifigant improvement from using three identical speakers as L, C, & R, and the differences between the specific speakers in question. Even if the speakers are not perfect in and of themselves, the uniformity of panning sounds by using identical speakers on all front channels results in one less audible tell (a big one), so attention is maintained on the content and not drawn to the gear. So my conjecture is that three CCB-8, or three Klipsch 600M if you go that way, would trounce any mish-mash of disparate speakers. Since you're still in the early stage, you may want to consider taking this route.
 
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S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Or CCB-8 for L, C, and R!

@shadyJ , you have heard both Hsu speakers, correct? It was my own impression that the CCB-8 and HSB1 (whatever the current model is) are tonally distinct enough that mixing them on the front stage would be suboptimal, despite the CCB's advantage in the lobing department. Thoughts?

May not be relevant, OP seems to want the Klipsch.
I have a lot of experience with all the Hsu speakers as well as extensive measurements for all of them. The tonal balance is similar between them although not exact, as they should be having all been voiced by Dr. Hsu. I have a family member who has a HB-1 left/right along with a CCB-8 center, and his system sounds fine to me (for how they are setup). The dispersion characteristics will be what really separate them. However, there is an even larger dispersion difference between the standard two-way bookshelf speakers and a toppled MTM like the HC-1 or RP404c. A speaker like the CCB-8 doesn't have off-axis lobing issues like those MTMs or even vertical lobing issues like regular MT speakers. These lobing issues will affect tonality as well, even if you only ever listen in the 'sweet spot.' If I were deciding between the speaker sets, I would have the center speaker serve as the deciding factor given its paramount importance in the sound mix.
 
Z

ZSamuels28

Enthusiast
Are the CCB-8 a better speaker than the 600M? Looks like I can get a 3 pack for ~1000. Maybe HSU will give me a deal if I also get their sub.

I’m confused by the design and excuse my audio ignorance but is it only 1 speaker? As opposed to a mid and tweeter?

Still not sure which receiver to go for...
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Are the CCB-8 a better speaker than the 600M? Looks like I can get a 3 pack for ~1000. Maybe HSU will give me a deal if I also get their sub.

I’m confused by the design and excuse my audio ignorance but is it only 1 speaker? As opposed to a mid and tweeter?

Still not sure which receiver to go for...
The CCB-8 is a two-way speaker. The tweeter is mounted in the middle of the woofer. This is how there are no time-alignment issues off axis. Whenever there is spacing between driver, there will be nulls where parts of the sound drop out off-axis. The CCB-8 doesn't have this problems since the acoustic centers of the drivers are co-incident.

Hsu does have package deals for the VTF-2 and CCB-8 set but it looks like the shipping costs break your budget a bit.
 
Z

ZSamuels28

Enthusiast
Ouch! $202 for shipping!

I was going to buy a sub from them anyway so is it worth me just biting the bullet and getting them?

How are the CCB-8 compared to the 600Ms? Also, don’t know how I’m going to put it on it’s side in front of my TV (I don’t think my TV goes up any more than where it’s at). Would I be a fool to put this on the bottom shelf?

49DB4751-60EB-4F98-BB1D-8D57360564FD.jpeg


Also, which receiver would pair with these?
 
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S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ouch! $202 for shipping!

I was going to buy a sub from them anyway so is it worth me just biting the bullet and getting them?

How are the CCB-8 compared to the 600Ms?

Also, which receiver would pair with these?
The CCB-8 is a lot more powerful then the 600Ms. Any receiver could drive either of these speakers just fine. My preference is Yamaha for their reputation for reliability. I think you could probably get a package of HB-1s with a CCB-8 center and save a few hundred dollars and be just fine. I am not suggesting that you get the CCB-8 for the extra power but rather more consistent off-axis behavior which is beneficial for a center speaker.

One other thing that makes me prefer the Hsu set is that if you are ordering these things for delivery, Klipsch has pretty poor packing. They use styrofoam packing for their speakers which is insufficient for the weight and shock protection of many of their products. It might be sufficient for a one way trip to your door for a bookshelf speaker, but hopefully you won't ever have to ship them anywhere after that.
 

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