Thoughts and suggestions on speakers

M

MacCali

Full Audioholic
So Black Friday is approaching and I have been saving up for speakers. My first official 5 channel setup, if that. So I wanted to know what you guys think is a good route. I have been shopping around and trying to see my options.

I got so far Elac Unifi 2.0 bookshelves, debating on Focal Chora 726/826. Paradigm has some nice offerings. I have a local audio shop with Kef Q950 pair for 1000.

Trying to debate if it is better to go with a full 5 channels or go with 3 channel higher end.

I really like Focal, and own a set of their headphones. Just kind of tough deciding what is the best route.

My Budget would be in the 2000 dollar range and maybe maximum 2500. I bought the Elac Unifi 2.0 and with my lack of experience with passive speakers I really enjoy them. Honestly 0 complaints, but that should be expected.

I am also considering my room size. Which is fairly small, which makes me lean back towards other speakers. I was looking at the Focal Aria 926, but they are suggesting placement and listening position which is impossible in my theater room based on the size. So I strayed away from that with that in m

A friend of mine suggested that I only go with 3 channels as my room is small and that should definitely suffice, which just got me thinking should I sacrifice quantity for quality. 10’x16’

Even if I did buy 3 channels I still have Elacs which may not blend very well as surrounds or so I understand.

Also I have considerably shifted from more time on movies to music, as speakers make the listening experience more immersive.

Lastly, I am very unclear on measurements and performance and that is usually related directly to quality speakers. Which is where you guys maybe able to step in and narrow my search down.
 
P

pcosmic

Audioholic
Don't you have space for 5 speakers? If you don't have the space, you could go with a soundbar.

If you have space for 5 speakers, get the Unifi 2.0 center channel and floorstanders since you already have the bookshelves. It looks like it fits your budget. What's the problem here?
 
M

MacCali

Full Audioholic
Don't you have space for 5 speakers? If you don't have the space, you could go with a soundbar.

If you have space for 5 speakers, get the Unifi 2.0 center channel and floorstanders since you already have the bookshelves. It looks like it fits your budget. What's the problem here?
I can fit 5 speakers if I want it shouldn't be an issue, but like I said it comes down to which system to go with and what to sacrifice. Trying to see what my options are besides what I am thinking of and which avenue to take. That's all, it's difficult choosing speakers as you can imagine, especially if it your first real set.
 
P

pcosmic

Audioholic
I can fit 5 speakers if I want it shouldn't be an issue, but like I said it comes down to which system to go with and what to sacrifice. Trying to see what my options are besides what I am thinking of and which avenue to take. That's all, it's difficult choosing speakers as you can imagine, especially if it your first real set.
You will need to spend loads of cash (way past your budget) to make something sound better than the Unifi 2.0. Get them and count your blessings!

As you improve your electronics later on, you will stay future proofed on speakers for a longg time.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
It depends what your after and how important surround sound is to you. I've had a 3.1 system in the bedroom up until the recent passing of my wife and I can tell you that 3.1 is not surround sound. Its way better than the TV's speakers for sure but its not surround. You need the surround speakers as well.

People argue that the center channel is the most important speaker in the system but there are some qualifications behind that arguement that needs to be addressed in order for that to be true. The center channel is supposed to anchor the main dialog to the display and this is very important if your listening positions are greater than 30 degrees off center from the display. However, if your listening position is narrower than that, you can forgo the center channel and use the "Phantom Center" channel in your AVR's setup to put the dialog across the front left and right main speakers. It depends on how good your left and right main speakers are. I've had to stash my center channel away to stage a house for sale and I never missed it the center channel because my listening positioning was narrow than 30 degrees. It really worked well.

I'm telling you all of this as there are strategies to for you to follow to get you your 5.1 system but not all at once. You will need to budget for a yearish to complete the package

  1. If your listening position will be under 30 degrees for at least a year, forgo the center channel and pick up the surround channels. Save up and get the center channel the following year or whenever you get the money.
  2. If you think your listening position will be greater than 30 degrees, then budget for the surrounds and get them once the money comes in.
I hope this helped.


Once last thing, its very important from a timbre matching perspective to ensure that your front 3 speakers come from the same manufacturer and even better if it comes from the same lineup from the manufacturer. Do not mix manufacturers because pans across the 3 speakers will sound disjointed and the AVR room correction facilities cannot fix this.
 
Last edited:
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic Chief
If your main passion is music I would get two quality stereo speakers. I have a 7.2.4 setup but when I'm listening to music and want high definition sound I usually default to stereo with my Ascend Sierra Towers and HSU subs.

Surrounds are great for movies and you could easily use your existing speakers for the surrounds. With a room size of 10' x 16' you might consider bookshelf if you feel the Focal Aria 926 is too big.

In my office I have a pair of Canton Vento Reference 9.2 DC speakers ($1499) that fill the room with high action punchy sound and a pair of BMR's ($1700) that offer a highly detailed beautiful flat response. I think either one of these on 28" stands would elevate your music listening experience significantly.


 
M

MacCali

Full Audioholic
It depends what your after and how important surround sound is to you. I've had a 3.1 system in the bedroom up until the recent passing of my wife and I can tell you that 3.1 is not surround sound. Its way better than the TV's speakers for sure but its not surround. You need the surround speakers as well.

People argue that the center channel is the most important speaker in the system but there are some qualifications behind that arguement that needs to be addressed in order for that to be true. The center channel is supposed to anchor the main dialog to the display and this is very important if your listening positions are greater than 30 degrees off center from the display. However, if your listening position is narrower than that, you can forgo the center channel and use the "Phantom Center" channel in your AVR's setup to put the dialog across the front left and right main speakers. It depends on how good your left and right main speakers are. I've had to stash my center channel away to stage a house for sale and I never missed it the center channel because my listening positioning was narrow than 30 degrees. It really worked well.

I'm telling you all of this as there are strategies to for you to follow to get you your 5.1 system but not all at once. You will need to budget for a yearish to complete the package

  1. If your listening position will be under 30 degrees for at least a year, forgo the center channel and pick up the surround channels. Save up and get the center channel the following year or whenever you get the money.
  2. If you think your listening position will be greater than 30 degrees, then budget for the surrounds and get them once the money comes in.
I hope this helped.


Once last thing, its very important from a timbre matching perspective to ensure that your front 3 speakers come from the same manufacturer and even better if it comes from the same lineup from the manufacturer. Do not mix manufacturers because pans across the 3 speakers will sound disjointed and the AVR room correction facilities cannot fix this.
Yes I have heard of that mixing speakers doesn’t work very well.

So I am confused. I am the only person 90% of the time watching and listening to music. Especially now, more than ever with this virus. You’re basically saying the center channel fans out about 30 degrees to cover multiple spaces, but if I am going to be the only person or two max that basically means it can be held off. Don’t even think two people fan out 15 degrees.

I know gene was talking about turning on that setting with your AVR when listening to music with a center channel. So your sound stage and imaging won’t be destroyed.
 
M

MacCali

Full Audioholic
If your main passion is music I would get two quality stereo speakers. I have a 7.2.4 setup but when I'm listening to music and want high definition sound I usually default to stereo with my Ascend Sierra Towers and HSU subs.

Surrounds are great for movies and you could easily use your existing speakers for the surrounds. With a room size of 10' x 16' you might consider bookshelf if you feel the Focal Aria 926 is too big.

In my office I have a pair of Canton Vento Reference 9.2 DC speakers ($1499) that fill the room with high action punchy sound and a pair of BMR's ($1700) that offer a highly detailed beautiful flat response. I think either one of these on 28" stands would elevate your music listening experience significantly.


So basically you are saying when you listen to music you just switch back to two channel? That’s what you mean by stereo?

Your sound stage doesn’t get better when you use more speakers? I really thought it would. With at least 4 speakers being used, fronts and surrounds.
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
When you go to a concert does the band sit behind you or they sit in front of you so what do you need surround speakers on for
 
M

MacCali

Full Audioholic
When you go to a concert does the band sit behind you or they sit in front of you so what do you need surround speakers on for
Depends what seat you can afford;)

Also, I already purchased the surrounds. Right now I am looking for towers, so that is the topic at hand
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
I have four surround systems, two have fairly well matched sets of speakers, two are more mismatches. I do like the matching speakers particularly for mulich music, but the mismatched systems sound quite good, too. I think it matters for music more than typical movie soundtracks, tho. Going with more Elac sounds like a good route if you like them...
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Depends what seat you can afford;)
Some bands have surround concerts, too :) Not many I know..... Plus, the surround effect can still provide much of the sound coming from the typical imagined stage that often has nothing to do with the recording outside of classical music :)
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Audioholic Chief
If you have a really nice set of stereo speakers for Fronts, music can sound more defined just using them and leave the other speakers off except subs.

There are also times when I like the 3D sound of Auro-3D with music. It's a different sound but it's also nice.

My Ascend Sierra Towers with RAAL 70-20 tweeters can really get it on with "Kieth don't Go" and other music with acoustic guitar. The added definition of stereo showcases them while a 7.2.4 sound is more of a mesh.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
I find it more about the particular content at hand as to whether 2.0 or multich might be better, but I do prefer having the choice immediately at hand rather than a dedicated two channel system (I tend to make 2ch only the least used system in the house). I do generally prefer music mixed specifically as multich rather than using an upmixer, but I do like a fair amount of music using an upmixer, too.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Yes I have heard of that mixing speakers doesn’t work very well.

So I am confused. I am the only person 90% of the time watching and listening to music. Especially now, more than ever with this virus. You’re basically saying the center channel fans out about 30 degrees to cover multiple spaces, but if I am going to be the only person or two max that basically means it can be held off. Don’t even think two people fan out 15 degrees.

I know gene was talking about turning on that setting with your AVR when listening to music with a center channel. So your sound stage and imaging won’t be destroyed.
What is it you want? Do you want a surround system or a 2 channel system. It may be just me but I dont find your telling us what you really want.
 
M

MacCali

Full Audioholic
Also I made mistake, the focal aria’s I want are the 936, not the 926. 926 and 826 are same size.

The 936 are 2500+ per speaker going for 1200. I definitely feel those will murder the Unifi 2.0, at nearly 6 times the original price @pcosmic. Without a doubt. Just realized cause I know when I was looking it had two ports and the 926 only has one.
 
M

MacCali

Full Audioholic
What is it you want? Do you want a surround system or a 2 channel system. It may be just me but I dont find your telling us what you really want.
Well that’s what I am saying, I do not know what I want. Should I go with quality or quantity because they will roughly be the same cost wise. Unless I go with the 936. I can only get two

That’s the whole reason I why I posted this thread, because I am second guessing myself and which route would work best. Seems to me I am doing more music now, but I will be also doing movies

I don’t understand these measurements and have the ability to compare. So that is why I am asking.
 

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