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Installer Doesn't Recommend 5.1? Says go with Bose 321!

by mrpmml / March 12, 2007 11:14 PM PDT

I am working with a highly recommended installer, and in his assessment he suggested that i DO NOT put 5.1 becuase the room, 12x9 ,is too small and the speakers will be too close to allow for proper surround sound delays. I disccussed with him the possibility of using the delay feature in the receiver, but he said it doesn't matter. I really don't want to go with a virtual sound setup after spending so much money, and i can get a small good 5.1 for cheap for this size room. I will be sitting 10 ft from the LCD.

As far as setup, the room only has a couch and a Samsung 40 LCD 4095D. I was thinking of a Onkyo 5.1 TX-SR304S with a Polk RM6750BK 5.1. I would use an upconverting DVD and DirectTV HD both connected to the LCD with HDMI and for audio to the Onkyo with digital optical. I will probably do this for under $800, not including the cables. All the components will be in the closet with RF remotes.

What are you experiences with rooms this small? Will I still be able to get the sound field that I need for surround? Am I not considering something. This represents a couple of weeks of research.

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by EXCON / March 12, 2007 11:46 PM PDT

ANY installer who recommends ANY Bose product is FAR FROM REPUTABLE!
Bose always was, is and probably always will be low budget trash that is marketed to the uninformed masses.

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well, the truth is...
by woodygg / March 14, 2007 4:26 AM PDT
In reply to: IMHO

you're right!

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Not a highly professional installer, maybe he thought he
by NM_Bill / March 13, 2007 1:50 AM PDT

was doing you a favor recommending the more simplified set up with fewer tangle of wires and fewer, smaller speakers, both of which get high WAF (wife approval factor) marks for less clutter. The Bose 321 is overpriced but does have a pleasant sort of sound, at least compared to the afterthought built in TV speaker. However, a 5.1 set up is a step up to sound more satisfying in the long run.

Bose is very successful selling it's "lifestyle" solutions. The majority here don't favor their products compared to better alternatives which often cost less. It's your room, your sound, your dollars, your call. I insisted on my living room remaining a normal living room when I got the big screen and Paradigm 5.1 set up. Really fine sound. It was extra trouble and expense to route the rear speakers. Six holes in the drywall to snake wires up over my open floor plan. Rears are mounted on the three foot high rear with a downward tilt. Space provided by living room twelve foot height and adjoining nine foot ceilings.

Twelve by nine is modest space, but it's what you have to work with. We wish you could stretch the $800 budget a bit. You should compare your possible receiver to c/net entry level receivers reviews/ratings. Something rated well is around $250. Then as to speakers, J&R does have a tempting closeout price - $600 list @ $250. That set may qualify at the lower end. We do wish you would personally listen to what's available in your area.

Typical good choices include Polk, JBL, Klipsch, Boston Acoustics & Infinity. I would add thse specific models; Paradigm Atom, PSB Alpha B, Epos ELS3 & Monitor Audio Bronze B2. These four models are winners good enough to seek out hearing and value priced.

Speakers are the most personal choice of the set up. Choose well and satisfaction is long term. Typical recommended budget proportion is 70-75% speaker & 30-25% receiver. Speakers may seem expensive up front, but they basically don't wear out. Components change technology faster & come & go quicker. In the long run speaker cost is surely justified. Audition them rather than take a chance on a pig in a poke.

Though my living room is generous size, my music listening is a spare bedroom 11 x 12. Tight but it's what I have. I enjoy the intimate sound.

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Monitor Audio
by EXCON / March 13, 2007 2:52 AM PDT

NM Bill,
I see you recommended the Monitor Audios. I own the Radius 90's and the 180 as a center. These speakers IMO are as close to B&W and other "high end" speakers as you can get without breaking the bank. I used to own a set of Paradigm towers. They were HUGE with about 6 speakers in each tower. The TINY Monitor Audios with only a single tweeter and driver BLOW AWAY those huge Paradigms. Just proves a fact: SIZE AND NUMBERS DO NOT EQUAL QUALITY. The only addition needed to make these FANTASTIC speakers work is a quality Subwoofer. When I bought my Radius 80's they listed at 200 apiece so your talking about 1000 bucks includding the center if you shop around. $1000.00 for a complete set of QUALITY speakers is a BARGAIN. Look at the trash Bose sells and what they charge! PT Barnum was right.

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Well that's two of us who recommend Monitor Audio
by NM_Bill / March 13, 2007 5:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Monitor Audio

More people should put them on their list to hear.

Well, my A/V set up is Paradigm. I'm not going to go looking for replacements for a long time. If you can buy in-house info from them, their absolutely stressed point is that their speakers are well balanced. The explanation is that they test completed units against a "key" speaker. Must be within 1 dB over 20-20,000 Hz. Then the claim is they tested other brands they same way and over 50% would be rejected by Paradigm. Their own rejection rate is less than 1%. Their info. Take it for what it's worth.

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Thanks guys...
by mrpmml / March 13, 2007 2:53 AM PDT

Yep, to me there is no differnce cost wise and work wise btw the 2.1 and 5.1, still need to run the HDMI/component/VGA and two speaker sets to the LCD from 25 ft away (in the closet) it is not much more to the center and guess i am asking does he have a point , tchnically?

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mr. mr did you fire your installer yet?
by stewart norrie / March 13, 2007 3:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks guys...

I totally agree with the other posts. Seems he is trying to make big frofit by selling you those junk Bose speakers. May I add 5.1 is a must Also If you have a back wall go for 7.1. My room is about the same size as yours and I have a Atlantic Technology 4200 5.1. speaker system I added 2 old Cerwin Vega speakers on the back wall set my DEnon amp to 7.1 now I have a 360 degree sound field. Yess speakers are going to last a lifetime steweeee

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Again ditto to what NM_Bill says!!!!
by jcrobso / March 13, 2007 3:33 AM PDT

You room is not to small for a 5.1 system!!!!!!!
Just an update on Bose!!! I was at store over the weekend with a friend who asked me to come along to help him pick out 5.1 speaker system in the $400~500 range. We were listing to JBL, Polk Audio and Infinity systems in that price range. I like the JBL system the best, but that should not be a surprise to any that have read my posts.

A sales person came over and asked if he could help, I said OK, as long as you don't try to show us any Bo$e speakers!!!! The sales man laughed and said you don't have to worry about that! I used to work for Bo$e, "they are the most arrogant, stuck up people he had ever worked for. They really DON'T care about how the products sound that is not important to them as long as they can get people to buy them that's all they care about." He mad a comment about where he though B could shove the wave radio. Needless to say He and I got along just fine after that. John

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Ditto on what John said...
by Dan Filice / March 13, 2007 11:53 AM PDT

Your room is not too small for 5.1. Does your installer have a degree in acoustical engineering? I've been in some pretty small rooms with 5.1 that sounded great. I heard a small 5.1 speaker setup once that really knocked my socks off. I don't remember the name of the speakers, but they looked liked little orbs, about 6" in diameter that sat on their own pedestals. So long as you get a little separation on your speakers for the effect, your fine. In a small room you won't be able to use huge speakers, but you don't need huge speakers. Good quality small speakers will sound awesome.

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5.1 vs 7.1
by mrpmml / March 13, 2007 1:36 PM PDT

Can I use a 7.1 receiver with my 5.1 speakers without any issue or do you recommend I buy a strict 5.1 receiver???

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A 7.1 receiver will work fine.
by Dan Filice / March 13, 2007 1:40 PM PDT
In reply to: 5.1 vs 7.1

You just won't connect the extra speakers that your receiver can handle. Only connecting 4 satellite speakers, a center speaker and a sub-woofer for 5.1 won't adversely affect anything. 5.1 is 5.1.

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Thanks to rock
by mrpmml / March 14, 2007 11:31 AM PDT

This board has some real experts and friendly too, thanks to all for the help. I will post the conclusion soon.

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Bose systems are great
by benmoto / March 17, 2007 3:13 AM PDT

Close your eyes; sit down in front of different speaker systems and I bet you will love the Bose sound. But sound is personal so a blind test is essential. I paid $600 for my Bose 321 system and I love the rich sound it brings and the simplicity of operation. I've had many older very high end systems but at any price I like the Bose sound.

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Bose is not the issue
by mrpmml / March 18, 2007 2:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Bose systems are great

Bose is okay,I was trying to get feedback on the virtual sound config vs a true 5.1.

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(NT) Same general idea that 5.1 will give you a better sound
by NM_Bill / March 18, 2007 3:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Bose is not the issue
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by mrpmml / March 22, 2007 2:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Bose is not the issue

Okay...I went with the Samsung HTIB HT-70Q for $330. Reasons why (in order of priority),

1. This project is getting expensive (multiple 30 ft HDMI/Component, installation , mounts , IR distribution, also put a 26" samsung in the dinning room, hehehe)so I am trying to save money.
2. While the speakers are small and a bit cheesy, i belive it will be enough for my 9'x11' room. Tried it out and sounds decent.
3. Unit has HDMI and Component output and digital optical input for the Direct TV HD/DVR.
4. 5 disk DVD changer so I can leave the Kid's Barney DVDs in forever
5. I can always upgrade later. Right?!

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MR. P 5.1 is great 7.1 is awsome
by stewart norrie / March 22, 2007 6:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Bose is not the issue

Just throw 2 speakers on the back wall the dont even have to match the speakers you allready have set amp to 7.1. 360 degree of sound 7.1. will knock your socks off. Just remember great sounding speakers are a lifetime investment speen as much money as you can afford good luck steweeee

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2.1 vs 5.1
by kaspianxl / March 30, 2007 8:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Bose is not the issue

I have not heard any 2.1 system that can truly recreate the experience of 5.1, but if you are interested in this format, there are better options than Bose. Denon's S-301 system sounded far better to me. I heard a spectacular 2.1 system from British speaker maker KEF. Also, for small-room situations the Yamaha YSP-1100 Digital Sound Projector does a pretty good job approximating surround sound, and there are several other single-speaker solutions available from many speaker makers (unlike the Yamaha, these require a separate receiver. all would need a subwoofer) Check out the Polk surround bar, or a similar model from M&K for one-speaker set-up for surround sound. All that said, I would still prefer a small 5.1 setup. I will proudly back the Monitor Audio radius series; those speakers are absolutely astonishing. They also make in-wall and in-ceiling versions if you want to custom install. I can also say that the KEF home theatre packages are impressive. The KHT 3005 is excellent and reasonably priced at around $1500. Happy shopping!---J.

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Bose is about marketing
by tptjr / March 31, 2007 9:35 AM PDT

I used to sell Bose. 301's, 501's, 901's. Interestingly, no one where I worked had Bose. The general impression was you could do better sound for less money. What Bose does do well is market their products. The wave radio does sound good. But it's a $500 table top am/fm radio.
My best advice would be to do some listening and buy the best sounding speakers you can afford. That would include even just buying stereo speakers now and going surround later. Get a descent receiver(Marantz, Denon) and put the rest into speakers. You're going to have these for a very long time and good sound makes a whopping difference. Go to a high end store and audition their least expensive speakers. These guys live and breathe this stuff and sometimes have something used that are a real bargain. Just my take...hope this helps.

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by jonnybones / April 1, 2007 8:33 AM PDT

"Its got no highs; its got no lows, it must be bose"

Buy the onkyo/polk system, but spend the extra money for the polk rm6880's and at least a txsr504. You will notice the difference.

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by asadnyc / April 8, 2007 1:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Bose

Bose is overpriced garbage. Their target is the consumer idiots who throw their money at whatever they see on T.V. and read in a magazine. The ignorant, uninformed and careless individuals who spend 4 grand on a sound system after seeing a few Bose ads then they complain when they hear a B&W system that cost around the same price (speaking from personal experience) but sounds about a billion times better.

If your still considering Bose, just to let you know, their speakers are made out of cardboard and foam. I bet theres even a secret ingredient of dog ****. They just polish the cubes to look pretty so the Paris Hiltons and house wives could put their sticker of approval on it.

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