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  1. #1

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    Question Need Surround Sound Advice; Did I buy the right speakers - Side/Rear/Subwoofer

    I am new to the whole home audio game and would like some advice, input, and even some answers on what I need and what to expect with my current setup. This is the first time I have attempted to put together a home audio rig on my own and didn't just buy a $250 Home Theater In a Box setup from Best Buy. I bought all of my speakers through various online sales and waited for what I thought were good deal. All together I spent a grand total of $900 for all of them brand new, shipped to my door. I have some questions, but first let me provide all of you with some information on my setup and then follow it up with the questions.

    My Setup will be generally used as follows;
    Games 50% / Movies 25% / Music 25%

    Speakers;
    Polk Audio Monitor 70 - FRONT
    Polk Audio Monitor 60 - SIDE
    Polk Audio Monitor 50 - REAR
    Polk Audio CS2 - CENTER
    Polk Audio PSW505 - SUBWOOFER

    Audio / Video Sources

    PS3 Slim (250gb upgraded to 500)
    Custom Gaming Computer w/ dual BluRay Burners & Power DVD 10 Ultra 3d ($7,500)
    Onkyo 808 Receiver (not set in stone but my current choice)

    1) Does more sound information come through the side surround speakers or rear surround speakers when watching movies?

    1b) Should I move my Monitor 60s to the rear and switch them with my Monitor 50s leave them as side surround speakers?

    1c) Should I upgrade my rear speakers (Polk Audio Monitor 50) and replace them with another pair of Monitor 60s?



    2) Someone on another forum suggested that I not buy the Onkyo 808 as it would be overkill, and instead buy a better subwoofer, is there any merit behind this suggestion? AKA Is the Polk Audio PSW505 a decent sub or are there a lot better options for under $250??? (Please do not suggest some expensive $500 sub, something in my price range of $250 maximum.)


    3) Moving up from a $200 RCA Home Theater in a box, will this setup be sound a lot better or am I wasting my time and money at this point?

    The people at the AVS forum have me very discouraged at this point with their harsh words and criticism. All because I don't want to buy $2000 speakers and a $600 subwoofer it seems my surround sound will sound like crap according to them, :(and I worry they might be right as i am a total home theater virgin noob. I just want a setup that will sound nice, rock my face off when i play my ps3 games and sound good when I'm watching movies in my apartment with my girl. I don't have $5000 to blow on my setup and i thought from the research I had done that I had a good setup, but now I'm worried I might not. I still haven't purchased my receiver so i don't know how i am going to like everything in my apartment, so could any of you with a similar setup or experience give me a heads up as to what to expect??? AKA Will I be happy with it and will my friends enjoy playing games and watching movies at my place rather than their dorm rooms or one bedroom apartments???
    Last edited by TOOdamnFRANK; 07-05-2010 at 11:10 PM.

  2. #2

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    1. Depends on the content. 5.1 audio will be split between them, so equal in that regard. I would typically recommend the same speaker for both sides and rears.

    2. Getting yourself a strong receiver is never a bad investment. But you could probably get something used and save yourself hundreds with comparable quality. Unless there are specific features you need in the 808, take a look at previous models (707, 806, etc) or other brands (Pioneer Elite, Harman Kardon, Denon, etc) A good subwoofer will add incredible dimension to the experience. (see HSU, SVS, Elemental Designs, Epik, the list goes on and on)

    3. This will be a completely different league than your HTIB. Look at the size of the speakers you had, as compared to the Monitor 70s. You sir will wet yourself.

  3. #3

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    You are gonna have perma grin. Trust me.
    Onkyo TX NR 5008 modified by The Upgrade Company
    Oppo BDP 93 modified by The Upgrade Company
    Arcam CD37
    Monitor Audio Gold GS 60
    Revolver Audio Music 5 towers.(surround)
    Vandersteen V2W

  4. #4

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    If you can deal with the idiosyncrasies... Onkyo 875 for $550 + shipping.

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/vbcla...do=ad&id=13836

  5. #5

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    I concur with all the comments. I finally hooked my Monitor 70 and 50 and dizzammmm uber grin! I am coming from Klipsch Quintet III's and boy do I hear more detail coming from the Monitor 50's as my surrounds.

    I still haven't calibrated them as I'm awaiting delivery/hookup of the Monitor 30's and CS2. Receiver crossover point is set at 110 right now for the Monitor 70/50 haha.

  6. #6

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    whatever receiver you buy, make sure it has pre-outs for an amp. I really wonder what my system would sound like amplified, but I'll never find out until i get a receiver w pre-outs. And I just bought my receiver brand new 2 weeks ago... i'm kicking myself hard... I should have done more homework!!!
    Last edited by Lietuvis91; 07-06-2010 at 06:02 PM.
    Living Room 7.1 HT Rig:

    M70 | CS2 | M60 | Atrium5 - Surr. | SUB - Emotiva ULTRA12 + Tara Labs sub cable | Pioneer Elite VSX-52 | Parasound HCAs 1000A | Sony BDP-S790 | Belkin PureAV PF60 | MIT Exp2 Wires

    Bedroom 5.0 HT Rig (Music/Movies/Gaming) :

    LSi9 | LsiC | Lsi/fx | Marantz SR7002 | NAD T955 | Sony BDP-S360 | Belkin PureAV PF30 | AQ Blue Racer II ICs & AQ Type 4 wires | PS3

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOOdamnFRANK View Post
    I am new to the whole home audio game and would like some advice, input, and even some answers on what I need and what to expect with my current setup. This is the first time I have attempted to put together a home audio rig on my own and didn't just buy a $250 Home Theater In a Box setup from Best Buy. I bought all of my speakers through various online sales and waited for what I thought were good deal. All together I spent a grand total of $900 for all of them brand new, shipped to my door. I have some questions, but first let me provide all of you with some information on my setup and then follow it up with the questions.

    My Setup will be generally used as follows;
    Games 50% / Movies 25% / Music 25%

    Speakers;
    Polk Audio Monitor 70 - FRONT
    Polk Audio Monitor 60 - SIDE
    Polk Audio Monitor 50 - REAR
    Polk Audio CS2 - CENTER
    Polk Audio PSW505 - SUBWOOFER

    Audio / Video Sources

    PS3 Slim (250gb upgraded to 500)
    Custom Gaming Computer w/ dual BluRay Burners & Power DVD 10 Ultra 3d ($7,500)
    Onkyo 808 Receiver (not set in stone but my current choice)

    1) Does more sound information come through the side surround speakers or rear surround speakers when watching movies?

    1. Side surrounds - unless you're listening to DTS ES or Dolby Digital EX. The surround back speakers usually carry matrixed audio, not discrete. Some of the new lossless audio formats Dolby TrueHD, and DTS HD Master Audio do take advantage of the back surrounds.
    1b) Should I move my Monitor 60s to the rear and switch them with my Monitor 50s leave them as side surround speakers?

    1b. Leave them (60's) as side surrounds

    1c) Should I upgrade my rear speakers (Polk Audio Monitor 50) and replace them with another pair of Monitor 60s?


    Do they sound ok to you?

    2) Someone on another forum suggested that I not buy the Onkyo 808 as it would be overkill, and instead buy a better subwoofer, is there any merit behind this suggestion? [/B]AKA Is the Polk Audio PSW505 a decent sub or are there a lot better options for under $250??? (Please do not suggest some expensive $500 sub, something in my price range of $250 maximum.)

    I guess everbody has their own bias towards products. Buy what sounds good to you. The PSW505 received pretty good reviews at newegg:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290130

    3) Moving up from a $200 RCA Home Theater in a box, will this setup be sound a lot better or am I wasting my time and money at this point?

    Better, heck yeah. Waste of time and money? Not when your sitting down and listening to your new speakers...

    The people at the AVS forum have me very discouraged at this point with their harsh words and criticism. All because I don't want to buy $2000 speakers and a $600 subwoofer it seems my surround sound will sound like crap according to them, :(and I worry they might be right as i am a total home theater virgin noob. I just want a setup that will sound nice, rock my face off when i play my ps3 games and sound good when I'm watching movies in my apartment with my girl. I don't have $5000 to blow on my setup and i thought from the research I had done that I had a good setup, but now I'm worried I might not. I still haven't purchased my receiver so i don't know how i am going to like everything in my apartment, so could any of you with a similar setup or experience give me a heads up as to what to expect??? AKA Will I be happy with it and will my friends enjoy playing games and watching movies at my place rather than their dorm rooms or one bedroom apartments???
    Dude: You are in an apartment. Your setup is fine, and don't worry if you get dissed by someone at AVS. It will sound great. I would check on the return policy for your new stuff. Shipping and restocking fees can add up.
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/syst...?userid=114347
    polk monitor 70's
    center - polk monitor cs2
    surround - polk monitor 60's
    surround back - jbl e10
    sub - velodyne dps 12
    sub - polk psw110
    avr/pre-amp - onkyo tx-nr809
    amp - carver av405
    display - sharp lc70le847u
    internet devices - WD TV Live Hubs
    blu-ray - sony bdp s770
    blu-ray - pansonic dmp bdt 310
    hd dvd - toshiba hd xa2
    dvr - sony dhg hdd250
    control - logitech harmony one
    turntable - technics sl1500 mkII

  8. #8

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    should I keep the monitor 50s as rear-surround and monitor 60s as side-surround, or replace the rear monitor 50s with new monitor 60s???

  9. #9

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    Better yet should I just replace my rear monitor 50s with another pair of Monitor 70s?

    Making my system now M70 fronts / M60 sides / M70 rear or M70 fronts/ M70 sides / M60 rear???

    Would this extra low frequency response (40hz on the M70 vs 57hz on the M50) add more depth to my mid bass or just be a waste on the side and rear channels and a waste of money?

  10. #10

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    Frank -

    I think your setup will sound FANTASTIC! Regarding the 60's and 50's, you may want to experiment. The center and front two (Monitor 70's and CS2 for you) are the most important. The others usually offer ambiance and random sounds. If you didn't already buy them, you may want to downgrade to Monitor 40's for the surrounds and sides, and use the saved money and put toward a sub.

    Welcome to club polk!

    James
    2 Channel/HT:
    Sony SS-M9 P's (ES version)
    Sony SS-M1CN Center Channel
    Polk RT800 Surround Speakers
    Odyssey Stratos Dual Mono Amplifiers
    TAD 150 Signature Tube Preamp
    Harman Kardon HK354
    Sony SACD Player

  11. #11

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Pycroft View Post
    Frank -

    If you didn't already buy them, you may want to downgrade to Monitor 40's for the surrounds and sides, and use the saved money and put toward a sub.

    Welcome to club polk!

    James
    Fortunately for me or unfortunately for my girl, I already purchased them. I got the M50s for 80 a piece with shipping from newegg, I figured it would be cheaper than buying M40s and then stands to level it all out. And from what I saw the monitor 50s appear to be similar to the 40s if not the same aside from the cabinet, but I easily could be wrong as I am new to this whole home audio thing. Is there some unwritten rule that surround speakers should all match for better sound? I just want to be sure that I am not making the wrong choice using both monitor 50s and monitor 60s as surrounds (M50 rear / M60 sides)... Also I was trying to add a little extra mid to the setup by upgrading my 50 rears to monitor 60s or 70s. Would this be worth my time or a total waste? Keep in mind I haven't even hooked everything up yet as this setup is for a new apartment that my girl and I will be moving to in 6 months, so I dont really know if it needs more bass or mids, I just feel that if I could give it a little something extra, why not do it instead of regretting it later on.

  12. #12

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    Default monitor 60's as surrounds...

    Quote Originally Posted by TOOdamnFRANK View Post
    Fortunately for me or unfortunately for my girl, I already purchased them. I got the M50s for 80 a piece with shipping from newegg, I figured it would be cheaper than buying M40s and then stands to level it all out. And from what I saw the monitor 50s appear to be similar to the 40s if not the same aside from the cabinet, but I easily could be wrong as I am new to this whole home audio thing. Is there some unwritten rule that surround speakers should all match for better sound? I just want to be sure that I am not making the wrong choice using both monitor 50s and monitor 60s as surrounds (M50 rear / M60 sides)... Also I was trying to add a little extra mid to the setup by upgrading my 50 rears to monitor 60s or 70s. Would this be worth my time or a total waste? Keep in mind I haven't even hooked everything up yet as this setup is for a new apartment that my girl and I will be moving to in 6 months, so I dont really know if it needs more bass or mids, I just feel that if I could give it a little something extra, why not do it instead of regretting it later on.
    Hi Frank:
    I currently run the 60's as surround speakers in a 7.1 system. Monitor 70's and a CS2 are in the front. The 60's upgraded a set of bookshelf JBL E20 speakers. I hear a lot more detail when listening to dvd audio discs. There is also a better rear image with a larger tower speaker. It helps if you have lotsa watts - the Polks play loud, but very clean. Plus my lovely spouse gave them a high WAF. Ideally, it does help if all your speakers are voice matched, but the rear surrounds in most applications are not that critical. I prefer the look and sound of coordinated audio equipment.

    If I had the extra cash, I'd spring for another pair of cherry 70's for the rear...
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    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/syst...?userid=114347
    polk monitor 70's
    center - polk monitor cs2
    surround - polk monitor 60's
    surround back - jbl e10
    sub - velodyne dps 12
    sub - polk psw110
    avr/pre-amp - onkyo tx-nr809
    amp - carver av405
    display - sharp lc70le847u
    internet devices - WD TV Live Hubs
    blu-ray - sony bdp s770
    blu-ray - pansonic dmp bdt 310
    hd dvd - toshiba hd xa2
    dvr - sony dhg hdd250
    control - logitech harmony one
    turntable - technics sl1500 mkII

  13. #13

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    Spock, sweet room. Are you running two subs? ANOTHER pair of 70's in that room? You sir are going to need a shoehorn to squuez them in to that space! If it sounds half as good as it looks you have a room to be proud of!
    Polk Audio RTA 12c's, Monitor 7c, Monitor 5JR+, SDA CRS+

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    Is the CS2 in your pic mounted upside down on purpose? Interesting approach if it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tx_polkhead View Post
    Spock, sweet room. Are you running two subs? ANOTHER pair of 70's in that room? You sir are going to need a shoehorn to squuez them in to that space! If it sounds half as good as it looks you have a room to be proud of!
    Thanks - I recently moved the velodyne to the rear of my room and the infinity sub to the front. They really kick. If the cherry 70's drop to $149 again, I would exchange the 60's. No shoehorn needed - the depth difference is only a few inches, but my wife would probably put me out on the street...:(
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/syst...?userid=114347
    polk monitor 70's
    center - polk monitor cs2
    surround - polk monitor 60's
    surround back - jbl e10
    sub - velodyne dps 12
    sub - polk psw110
    avr/pre-amp - onkyo tx-nr809
    amp - carver av405
    display - sharp lc70le847u
    internet devices - WD TV Live Hubs
    blu-ray - sony bdp s770
    blu-ray - pansonic dmp bdt 310
    hd dvd - toshiba hd xa2
    dvr - sony dhg hdd250
    control - logitech harmony one
    turntable - technics sl1500 mkII

  16. #16

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    That's a beautiful room! Congrats on the nice setup!

    James
    2 Channel/HT:
    Sony SS-M9 P's (ES version)
    Sony SS-M1CN Center Channel
    Polk RT800 Surround Speakers
    Odyssey Stratos Dual Mono Amplifiers
    TAD 150 Signature Tube Preamp
    Harman Kardon HK354
    Sony SACD Player

  17. #17

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    Default CS2 Tilt or no tilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by latinskllz View Post
    Is the CS2 in your pic mounted upside down on purpose? Interesting approach if it is.
    Yes it is. After some more fine tuning, my ears told me the CS2 sounds better tilted up. Rotate the speaker, remove the grill cover, rotate and re-attach the grill. Tilt. It is rather large. Allow at least 10 inches of rack clearance if you have a shelving unit similar to mine.
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    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/syst...?userid=114347
    polk monitor 70's
    center - polk monitor cs2
    surround - polk monitor 60's
    surround back - jbl e10
    sub - velodyne dps 12
    sub - polk psw110
    avr/pre-amp - onkyo tx-nr809
    amp - carver av405
    display - sharp lc70le847u
    internet devices - WD TV Live Hubs
    blu-ray - sony bdp s770
    blu-ray - pansonic dmp bdt 310
    hd dvd - toshiba hd xa2
    dvr - sony dhg hdd250
    control - logitech harmony one
    turntable - technics sl1500 mkII

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by spock 2054 View Post
    Yes it is. After some more fine tuning, my ears told me the CS2 sounds better tilted up. Rotate the speaker, remove the grill cover, rotate and re-attach the grill. Tilt. It is rather large. Allow at least 10 inches of rack clearance if you have a shelving unit similar to mine.
    i'm assuming tilted up as a result of the speaker being lower than ear height correct?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by latinskllz View Post
    i'm assuming tilted up as a result of the speaker being lower than ear height correct?
    You are correct sir. One option was to mount in on top of the tv using a center channel speaker stand. Too big and imposing, and my wife nixed the idea.
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/syst...?userid=114347
    polk monitor 70's
    center - polk monitor cs2
    surround - polk monitor 60's
    surround back - jbl e10
    sub - velodyne dps 12
    sub - polk psw110
    avr/pre-amp - onkyo tx-nr809
    amp - carver av405
    display - sharp lc70le847u
    internet devices - WD TV Live Hubs
    blu-ray - sony bdp s770
    blu-ray - pansonic dmp bdt 310
    hd dvd - toshiba hd xa2
    dvr - sony dhg hdd250
    control - logitech harmony one
    turntable - technics sl1500 mkII

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