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  1. #1
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    Question Low Profile Center Speaker

    I am replacing my L&R speakers in my home theater, and have decide to go for an all around upgrade. My old JBL N26's are done, and those are the two that need immediate replacement. I was hoping to go with the EMP E5Bi's or their on wall equivalent the EW30. My problem is that the matching center speaker is too tall, at 7.25", to fit under my tv on the mantle. I understand that it is important for speakers to match, and since I have some funds, and am building a system to last years I want to start in the right direction, Getting the rest of the system when my budget allows it.

    I am looking for some recommendations for the three speakers that will fit in the space i have available.

    For the center the only real limit is the height, and I am stuck with about 4.5" available. Currently i have a pair of Orb's as my center.

    For the L&R I have options. I have a pair of shelves hanging to the left and right of my TV which the N26's rest on. The shelves are 8" deep, so that is my limit for bookshelf speakers, but I like the idea of wall hung speakers, and in that case there is no real limit.

    My budget is around $250/speaker. I will take a pic of my setup when i get home this evening and upload it tomorrow. I currently run an Onkyo TX-SR508 reciever pushing the JBL N26's, the Orb centers, and Bose 161 surrounds, with a Sony 10" powered sub. Mostly I use the system for movies, but have been know to rock some alice in chains at high volume late in the evening, so i need speakers that will be good for both situations.

    So there it is. Can anyone provide me with some recommendations of great speaker company's with affordable speakers that will perform in these conditions.

  2. #2
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Looking forward to seeing the photos.

    Have you considered in-ceiling speakers? Noble Fidelity has some great in-ceiling and in-wall speakers.

    Noble Fidelity L-82 In-wall Speakers Reviewed
    Noble Fidelity L-85 LCRS In-Ceiling Loudspeaker Reviewed

    These retail for about $350 each, so a little more than your stated budget.

  3. #3
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    I have considered in ceiling speakers but I was worried because my setup is directly below my youngest daughters room. My wife and I were concerned about too much sound being transferred into the ceiling/her floor. We have trained her to sleep through noise, but didn't want to be blatant about the sound in her room. Most of the wall is stone fireplace, so in-wall speakers probably aren't the answer. Ill look more into the ceiling scenario though, and read up on sound transfer.

  4. #4
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    Here are the images of my living room. After alot of looking around yesterday I only found one other speaker that will fit in the available space under the TV. Definitive Tech has a Mythos 7 that is about 4.25" tall. The only other option is to move the TV which wont happen for a couple years, when 4K and 3D are worth it.Name:  20131113_073639.jpg
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    So do I go with Def Tech now all around, or the EMP L&R and stick with the Orb centers until I replace the TV. Ideas? Thoughts?

  5. #5
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    I was going to recommend you look into the Focal Dome system, but I believe each Dome is a little taller than your Orb. I'm very pleased with their performance and they are extremely flexible in terms of installation as you can go with wall or stand mount.
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  6. #6
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Do you have other Orb speakers? If so, try them as your front left and right speakers. You might be surprised.

    The Focals that Jim is recommending, are very good. Similar to the Orb, in that they are a small form factor.

  7. #7
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    I have not tried the Orbs as L&R because of their size. I expect them to be great for watching movies, but don't see how a 3" speaker can produce enough sound to rock some of my alternative music at "high volume". I imagine that I would end up blowing them, and that makes me cautious. Is it really very likely that small speakers like these would belt out White Zombie, Nirvana, Primus without getting destroyed? I really don't want to ruin my orbs, but if you are confident they will survive, I will give them a try. (obviously not looking for any guarantee, just a confident recommendation.)

  8. #8
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    I have never owned Orb's speakers, but if you have them matched with a sub and properly crossed over, I don't see why it would be an issue.

    They show 125 watts max in the Orb site. Make sure you have clean power, no distortion or clipping.

    Now......will they fill a room like a pair of towers with multiple 6"-12" drivers? Most likely not. Proceed with caution.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Droidboardr View Post
    I have not tried the Orbs as L&R because of their size. I expect them to be great for watching movies, but don't see how a 3" speaker can produce enough sound to rock some of my alternative music at "high volume". I imagine that I would end up blowing them, and that makes me cautious. Is it really very likely that small speakers like these would belt out White Zombie, Nirvana, Primus without getting destroyed? I really don't want to ruin my orbs, but if you are confident they will survive, I will give them a try. (obviously not looking for any guarantee, just a confident recommendation.)

    Since you are using a sub I assume you are crossing the Orbs around 80Hz or so (not sure what Orb recommends)? If so, then you will not hurt the Orb's as long as your receiver doesn't clip. It's the clipping that typically damages the drivers (tweeter), not too much power unless you simply overheat the voice coil but by then your ears are probably bleeding anyway.

    I'd certainly give a full Orb setup a try and see what you think. The sub is going to be doing all of the heavy lifting. You should be fine.

  10. #10
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    I would most likely run the crossover at 120Hz, in your case. Check with Orb to be safe.

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