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Okay, here I go again. Don't even have the Tektons open and I think I need more. Shhhhhh, don't dare tell me wife.

 

I'm thinking about making a 3 channel home theater with a sub. I could use the KHorns for mains, but want to see what other folks suggest. To me, I prefer the stereo sound really rather than that darn directional center for some reason, but I'll likely hook one up to prove I don't use it. I'm probably just bi-polar. Even tho I say HT, 90% would be just stereo music listening.

 

The room is fairly large - probably 28 x 20ish, combined kitchen and living room.

 

I've heard real good things about these subs and it's in my price range. In fact I hear they are womderful. Course I've never heard one myself. http://store.epiksubwoofers.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=50

 

What might you suggest for mains in the max $5,000 per pair range? Wish I could swing something like BW 803Ds, but I'm not sure I should spend that much. Maybe something like Dynaudio 3.4s? What cha suggest I hunt down to listen to? I'm trying to set my addiction to KHorns aside and be objective here! So what cha think?

 

 

 

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This will be a tough one to find, but I suggest listening to a pair of Avalon Acoustics. They have speakers in many price ranges surprisingly :-) Also, have you looked at REL subwoofers?

 

I too am a fan of B&W and always recommend any pair of speakers in the 800 series. I used to have a pair of 802 speakers and they were fabulous!

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Agree - heard nice things about REL too. Seems if you go at it knowing you will use a strong sub, then you can worry a bit less about low end on the mains. I'll snoop Avalon - thanks

 

What did you replace your 802's with?

 

Eager to hear Rick chime in.

 

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Obviously speakers are very subjective but the first thing I would say is that the new B&W 800 series, although they look very similar, are vastly better than the Nautilus series. Much better driver integration and in my view more musical. If you can live with something that isn't a piece of furniture, the Vandersteen 3A's are an incredible value at 4K. And surprisingly for a 1st order crossover design, they do theater dynamics very well if you have the voltage for it. The WAF is fairly low but can't be much worse than K-horns (forgive me, markr). The very natural response and the immediacy and "rightness" of the 1st order Xover is very effective on theater fare, not to mention music.

 

How far apart are your L/R's going to be and how wide is your listening seating? I know this goes against the grain but I think the best center channel is none. I completely agree with Gordon Rankin on this one. I use Vandersteen 5A's and feel no need for a center or a sub. Of course the 5A's have a great sub built in, albeit not as an LFE channel and I am about 14' from the speakers. The vast majority of center channels do not sound like their matching L/R's. Unless you are too close or have a very wide listening area, I would spend the money on better speakers, or just save the money (that was for you, Tim). You can always add a center down the road should you feel the need.

 

I have never missed having a center in my system and it goes without saying that my "center" perfectly matches the L/R's.

 

Audio Research DAC8, Mac mini w/8g ram, SSD, Amarra full version, Audio Research REF 5SE Preamp, Sutherland Phd, Ayre V-5, Vandersteen 5A\'s, Audioquest Wild and Redwood cabling, VPI Classic 3 w/Dynavector XX2MkII

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... don't worry about it - George is the one with the K-Horns. I've got the LSI's. While I do have a pair of folded corner horns, they are custom built EV Cardinals, circa 1966 or so - they are also in need of some updating & live in the garage right now.

 

markr

 

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Thanks for the tip Rick. I'm glad I'm not nuts about the center channel issue. I just have never liked that "directional" center, but I've never heard a 200 pound gorilla center channel either. Funny bout the wife, when I talked to her about adding an alternative to the K-horns, I learned she has really come to like the sound and look of them. Our room is fairly big I suppose so they aren't overpowering. She said they need a flower or something sitting on them. Aint life grand. Off to research more about Vanders...

 

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Your "directional center" comment is interesting. It's one of the things I have never understood about so many of the center channel offerings. The driver configuration is two small, 4"or 5 1/4" woofer mids with a tweeter between them. This is called an MTM for obvious reasons, or a D'Apollito configuration. The thing is intended for VERTICAL use. All crossovers lobe to some degree and the idea is that the lobing causes a very narrow vertical dispersion. This makes a certain amount of sense because you are bouncing less sound off the floor and ceiling. Some like it, some don't (I don't) but at least there is some logic there.

 

It makes zero sense turned on it's side. Now the lobing is on the horizontal plane and the only person getting a smooth response is the one in the sweet spot who needs no center to start with. I also often find that the dual woofer designs are kind of chesty and inarticulate in the mids, the opposite of what you want in a center speaker. But.... they are low profile, sleek and sell like crazy so what do I know?

 

Rick

 

 

 

Audio Research DAC8, Mac mini w/8g ram, SSD, Amarra full version, Audio Research REF 5SE Preamp, Sutherland Phd, Ayre V-5, Vandersteen 5A\'s, Audioquest Wild and Redwood cabling, VPI Classic 3 w/Dynavector XX2MkII

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I guess you learn something everyday. I've never seen a real center channel speaker placed vertically. I've seen systems where they use a full range center like a B&W 801D or something, but that's a different thing altogether. This kind of blows me away considering all the manufacturers make and sell stands for their speakers that place the center channel speaker horizontal. They are promoting bad sound!

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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If you look at B&W"s (for example) 800 series center channel offerings they are all vertical in terms of the midrange and tweeter. Having the woofers off on either side is not much of an issue because of the long wavelengths involved. The midrange/tweeter is the critical frequency area and they always have the tweeter above the mids on their bigger stuff.

 

Audio Research DAC8, Mac mini w/8g ram, SSD, Amarra full version, Audio Research REF 5SE Preamp, Sutherland Phd, Ayre V-5, Vandersteen 5A\'s, Audioquest Wild and Redwood cabling, VPI Classic 3 w/Dynavector XX2MkII

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Indeed, horizontal placement is pretty lousy, particularly since in most cases, the speaker sits below or above the TV, so the dialog is not really coming from the center of the TV. The vertical orientation is of course much better but works really well only for transparent screens, i.e., the speakers are mounted behind the screen. All that probably explains why more and more people with TVs are converting to setups that don't have a center channel. Best - MM

 

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