The rear speaker should not cost more than your surrounds, IMO. Its the least important, IMO. Do I prefer 7.1? Absolutely. But, we are much less sensitive/aware of audio coming from behind us. Dunno. Your choice. If it means you can get better speakers up front by saving here, then that's where my vote goes. In fact, with a room as big as yours, I might even step up the sub. In fact, perhaps two subs. Dual subs is the bang for buck combination as far as evening out room modes and even response. Opposing midwall points if your room is indeed a symmetrical, closed room. And just FYI, the sealed sub is about the same price if size is an issue. You will get more bang for buck output with the bigger box I believe in this case.
By going smaller, however, you may more easily fit in the second sub in the future. Two good subs are better than one great sub, except for the singular case of extension. More output, you can always add more subs. You can never get more extension outisde of the model chosen.
OK. You are going to be my next victim of my #1 rant of all time: three identical speakers, upright. My last time posting I said this:
"Hello Ray, I'm here to throw you a curveball. I've been annoyingly ranting and raving, particularly to those with flat panels. Its just something to consider, or ponder over. IOW, I'm just trying to be helpful, and please feel free to ignore. But, here goes, paraphrasing a former post of mine:
The best is three towers in the front. Very few do this. I've been ranting and raving for a long time about this.
Now, if you have a large DLP sitting on an AV rack, you can't, and that's quite understood. If you have a flat panel mounted on the wall a few feet high, you absolutely can, and IMO absolutely should.
get a modular rack for $200, and put it anywhere you want, just not up front. Even the closet if you want. A URC (extremely reputable) RF-20 remote + blaster is only $75 last I checked. A 35 ft Mono HDMI is about $40.
By having the identical tower, you will be:
- perfectly matched as matched can be, in all speaker characteristics
- even plane of tweeters/drivers for perfect and even panning
- completely bypass horizontal lobing issues inherent in a horiz mtm design, which usually means a sweetspot at less than 20 degrees.
- horiz cabinet means vertical dispersion as opposed to horiz dispersion. Sound likes to travel along the path of least resistance (smallest dimension), so to speak.
- less stuff/mass/material in-between your speakers that would otherwise destroy stereo, or m-ch, imaging.
- better video immersion without all the lights up front
- best of all, money in the pocket
If it indeed must be horizontal, the best designs will be such as top mounted tweeter (ie B&W), WTMW (ie Revel, AV123), or coincidental (KEF).
Now, if you have only one loveseat, for 1-2 viewers, not as big of a deal, assuming you sit straight on. If you have more than one couch, my suggestions just only regarding center design will benefit you greatly.
and then I added this:
To complete my hijack, I just wanted to add that lobing issues with horizontal MTM design are dependent on the spacing of the woofers and the x-over point.
My PSB Image center has woofers that are 180 degrees out of phase at about 20 degrees off-axis, to the best of my knowledge.
So I suppose effects can be limited, hopefully to lower freq's which we are less sensitive to, but I am under the impression that these considerations are rarely ever of primary importance.
I only recently added the matching horizontal, because I hate the idea of buying into a compromised design. However, Im not going to buy a whole new set of speakers. I cannot use the vertical tower, nor bookshelf, because my 159" screen is not acoustically transparent.
If I had a flat panel, you can bet the farm I would. FWIW.
oh yes, lastly regarding PQ. If you are native hidef like me, you dont need any video processing. Some people do high end stuff, Lumagen, but thats like 3k, regardless. The 805's issues are with transcoding/converting of component signals to HDMI. Native HDMI inputs look pristine. My 159" pic is the most beautiful pic any of my friends or family have ever seen.
However . . . with that room size . . . I am second guessing speaker choices, and receiver choices. If hard limit on receiver is $500-600, I vote 805. If you can surpass 1k by a wee bit, I vote for an entry level receiver that has pre-outs, and just enough minimal features to please you. Add an amp. Whether a new Emotiva, or used Rotel, NAD, Outlaw, Sunfire. You don't need a 6 channel amp, or even 5 channel. Heck you can add three channel amp, or a few monoblocks such as affordable Outlaws, just for front three. You can still use the receivers amp section for whichever speakers you desire.
Im wondering if bookshelves will cut it in that room. Im really second guessing. Ascend has fantastic SQ for the money, but for HT purposes you should truly be concerned with dynamic ability and IMO the midbass. If there is one thing, video or audio, where HTs lack compared to cinemas is the midbass.
Some people get around this: to do so, you must place the subs very close to the mains. Then use a shelving filter(s) ($200?) and boost particular frequencies around 110hz, general ballpark.
99% speakers of today just cannot handle dynamic midbass. Often due to narrower speakers with smaller drivers. The narrow speaker does help with dispersion of higher freq, but OTOH it suffers from what they call step diffraction.
I know I have get tremendously technical on your azz, but better to know than not to know. Because if you are anything like me, this will never end.