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post #1 of 22 Old 03-05-2012, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
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The construction has started on my new house with a dedicated media room. It will have pre-wiring for 7.1 surround sound.

It's almost 22 ft in length and 12.5 ft wide in the top half and 14 ft wide in the bottom half. The ceiling is 10 ft high and it has the elevation slope on the front wall and it starts at 8ft high. The back part of the room has more of those annoying elevations slope but it's at the far back and doesn't interfere with the seating.

I'm planning on putting the AV Rack on the side. Questions:

1.) Where should I place the speakers. I have to tell this to the builder pretty soon. I did look at the dolby and THX link but there is a door in the middle and that kinda messes things up so I need the experts to chime in.

2.) Should I have bookshelf, wall mount or Tower speakers? The height of the pre-wiring outlet in question 1 will be determined by the "type" of speakers..right?

3.) Where should I place the projector assuming I'm going with the Epson 8350 or the Epson 3D 3010. The ceiling is 10ft high, how far below does the projector need to be.

4.) Where should I put the seating. The room does not have a raised platform so I was thinking of having just a sectional.

The first 2 questions are more important for now since I need to tell the builder pretty soon about the pre-wiring height and speaker type (bookshelf/Tower/Wall Mount)

Thanks everyone as always.
LL
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post #2 of 22 Old 03-05-2012, 07:09 PM
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Depending on your seating distance or screen size will largely determine a lot of your variables. You want your surrounds about hear height from a seated position at neat 90 degrees or slightly behind you. Do you plan on doing an AT screen?

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post #3 of 22 Old 03-05-2012, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Not sure what AT Screen means but yes I'd like to have a projector screen on the front wall. The ceiling height is 10 ft but it has a 2 ft slope so that makes it 8 ft I guess.
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post #4 of 22 Old 03-05-2012, 07:30 PM
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AT is an audio transparent screen with the speakers behind the screen. I would figure out what screen size you want. That will give you a good idea about your projector's throw distance, you can figure out your optimal seating distance from this, and that will give you your speaker placement. Google projector calculator and the speaker placement. Have you decided what aspect ratio you want your screen to be? 2.35:1(most modern movies) or 16:9 (your average HD TV screen ratio)?

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post #5 of 22 Old 03-05-2012, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalidor82 View Post

AT is an audio transparent screen with the speakers behind the screen. I would figure out what screen size you want. That will give you a good idea about your projector's throw distance, you can figure out your optimal seating distance from this, and that will give you your speaker placement. Google projector calculator and the speaker placement. Have you decided what aspect ratio you want your screen to be? 2.35:1(most modern movies) or 16:9 (your average HD TV screen ratio)?

I want 120 inch to 135 inch. I would love to watch old and new movies. Is Shawshank Redemption available in 2.35 : 1? I would like to use it for both old and new...which one makes sense 16:9 or 2.35 : 1 ?

Is AT screen more expensive?
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post #6 of 22 Old 03-05-2012, 07:56 PM
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My bluray version of shawshank is in 2.40. Basically 16:9 will ne a bigger screen but 2.40 will get rid of the black bars on the top and bottom of the screen. Projectorcentral.com has a great article on the plus/minus of different aspect ratios. They also have a screen and projector throw calculator. I'm just starting to build my theater. There are a ton of people and threads with way more knowledge than me. I suggest you read a bunch of threads, articles, and such. Knowledge is power. Better to research and plan before you do and can't change or can't change cheaply.

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post #7 of 22 Old 03-06-2012, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks.

Guys - can you please guide me on the speaker placement for 7.1. See the pic in the first post. Thanks.

Also, I'm planning to buy either Epson 8350 or Epson 3010. As per projector central - with a 120" screen, the strow distance of:

Epson 8350: 16 ft
Epson 3010: 14 ft.

Does this mean that If I place the projector at 14ft, the maximum screen size I can get is 120" or vice versa.

What happens if I place the projector at 15 ft or 17 ft?
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post #8 of 22 Old 03-07-2012, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Any ideas on the speaker placement?
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post #9 of 22 Old 03-07-2012, 01:19 PM
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This will tell you where to place your speakers. They should be placed at ear height on the wall.

http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-ent...peaker-set-up/

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post #10 of 22 Old 03-07-2012, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalidor82 View Post

This will tell you where to place your speakers. They should be placed at ear height on the wall.

http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-ent...peaker-set-up/

thanks kalidor. The problem seems to be the door. I've read that the screen to seating distance has to be perfect so we don't see any lines in the screen.

I was hoping to find the distance at which the speakers should be placed.
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post #11 of 22 Old 03-07-2012, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalidor82 View Post

This will tell you where to place your speakers. They should be placed at ear height on the wall.

http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-ent...peaker-set-up/


Be sure to look at the speaker setup for Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master 7.1 soundtracks.

However, many recommend a setup with side surrounds at 90 degrees to the primary viewing location and back surrounds at 150 degrees. Front L/R at about 30, if you can swing it. Center at 0.

Tweeters on the surrounds should be at 2-3 feet above your ears while seated. Front L/C/R should have tweeters at ear level while seated. That's the ideal, but sometimes you have to adjust a little depending on your individual room situation and how many rows of seating you have.

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post #12 of 22 Old 03-07-2012, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smuggymba View Post

Thanks.

Guys - can you please guide me on the speaker placement for 7.1. See the pic in the first post. Thanks.

Also, I'm planning to buy either Epson 8350 or Epson 3010. As per projector central - with a 120" screen, the strow distance of:

Epson 8350: 16 ft
Epson 3010: 14 ft.

Does this mean that If I place the projector at 14ft, the maximum screen size I can get is 120" or vice versa.

What happens if I place the projector at 15 ft or 17 ft?

If you absolutely must have 3D capabilities and your budget is limited, you might want to consider the Optoma HD33 DLP projector. DLP has far fewer 3D related artifacts (like image ghosting and L/R crosstalk) than some of the cheaper LCD projectors (like the Epson 3010) due to a faster chip response time.

Also, be sure to look at some of the recommended screen materials for 3D video and large screens since the projected image while wearing your glasses will be significantly dimmer.

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post #13 of 22 Old 03-07-2012, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smuggymba View Post

I want 120 inch to 135 inch. I would love to watch old and new movies. Is Shawshank Redemption available in 2.35 : 1? I would like to use it for both old and new...which one makes sense 16:9 or 2.35 : 1 ?

Is AT screen more expensive?

An AT screen is more expensive. Many use SeymourAV AT screens due to a lower overall cost than some of the competitors. However, the benefits are amazing.

Shawshank Redemption is 1.85:1 and the Blu-ray is opened a bit to 1.78:1. I don't know where the idea came from that the film was 2.35:1.

If you don't want to add the cost of an anamorphic lens to your budget (can be a bit pricey) in order to have a 2.35:1 screen and razor sharp and brighter scope ratio images (since you're using the entire chip, rather than just a portion of it), you may want to look at projectors that allow for easy electronic zooming memory functions like some of the Panasonic LCD projectors. Look in the scope/2.35:1 thread for more details on the zooming (poor man's 2.35:1) option.

I'd do a scope screen if I was in the market.

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post #14 of 22 Old 03-07-2012, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

Be sure to look at the speaker setup for Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master 7.1 soundtracks.

However, many recommend a setup with side surrounds at 90 degrees to the primary viewing location and back surrounds at 150 degrees. Front L/R at about 30, if you can swing it. Center at 0.

Tweeters on the surrounds should be at 2-3 feet above your ears while seated. Front L/C/R should have tweeters at ear level while seated. That's the ideal, but sometimes you have to adjust a little depending on your individual room situation and how many rows of seating you have.

Thanks for the info Dan. I now understand the Dolby, THX setup but they talk about height and angles.

What about the spacing between 2 speakers. The front speakers will of course be on the front wall. I'm planning on bookshelf speakers.

The back speakers will be on the back wall. At what place should the side speakers be placed? Is there a recommended distance between the front and side speakers? My room is 22 ft long and there is some slope/elevation on the back wall.

Should I go for bookshelf or Tower speakers?
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post #15 of 22 Old 03-08-2012, 11:54 AM
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The side speakers should be placed in relative terms to how far your primary seating location is from the screen. That is determined by the viewing angle you're comfortable with and the size and ratio of the screen you want.

Determining screen size vs. seating distance for scope screens is a little different than 1.78:1 (HDTV ratio) screens. The usual rule of thumb is placing your eyeballs about 2x to 3x the screen height. However, you might want to consider where you like to sit in a commercial theater to view a movie in the 2.35:1 ratio. Calculators are a good starting point, but not the end all, be all.

If you want to use an AT screen, large bookshelf monitors on stands (DIY is usually the best so you can precisely place the tweeters at the correct height) or tower speakers (flat black finish preferable) are usually used. However, if space is at a premium, some will use backer boxed model in-wall's on stands (and/or bolt them to the wall) because of their thin profile and their ability to sit right up against a wall without sounding muddy (though, they are usually taller than a normal in-wall). Backer boxed in-wall's are designed so they sound exactly like their in-room model counterparts. You will have to place your subs elsewhere, in this situation since you won't have as much room behind the false screen wall. Also, search for the term "baffle wall."

If you're trying to cut down on sound transference from the theater to the rest of the house, then cutting holes in the drywall for in-wall's is frowned upon. That's why they're often placed inside columns that are inside the perimeter of the room or backer-boxed in-wall's and mounted like regular speakers (but are hidden by fabric, placed inside columns, or behind AT screens).

Triad speakers are very good in these situations since they make a wide assortment of makes/models for these kinds of home theater situations. You get what you paid for.

You also want to use three identical, vertically aligned speakers for the left/center/right array as used in commercial theaters in this situation.

The side and back surround speakers can be on-wall mountable or in-wall (depending on how much space you have and the kind of room aesthetics you're going for) as long as they're timbre matched to the fronts. If you're building columns in your theater room, sometimes people will use in-walls and place them inside the columns. You'll need to start looking at some of the many dedicated theaters featured on this forum. There are many ways to do this.

Some will hide their front stage subwoofers behind the false wall of a AT screen if they have enough room to do so. You don't want them so close the screen that the material shakes when you're blasting out a movie soundtrack. The black cloth around the screen itself must be acoustically transparent (due to acoustic treatments placed behind the screen, besides any speakers). Guilford of Maine black transparent fabric is normally used.

Since you're not going for a second row riser, another option for overflow seating is to build a small, free-standing bar counter with bar stools placed behind your primary front row of seating.

Of course, all of your choices come down to the budget and whether you want to do an acoustically transparent screen and the ratio of said screen. I think it's well worth the extra trouble, because you can optimally lock the sound with the visuals and recreate the experience of a "real" theater.

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post #16 of 22 Old 03-08-2012, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again Dan; it will take me some tome to process all the info.

1.) How will a 2.35:1 look on a 16:9 screen and vice versa.

Are there screens that will work for both 16:9 and 2.35:1? I just want to watch all movies on netflix irrespective of which ratio they fall under.

2.) While calculating the projector placement, should I place the projector based on zero zoom or max zoom?

e.g. The throw distance of Optoma HD 33 is 13.2' to 15.9' for a 120 inch diagonal screen. Can I place the projector anywhere between 13.3-15.9 or is there a "sweet" spot where it should be placed?

The epson 8350 throw distance for a 120 inch acreen is 11.9' to 19.8'.

Should I place my projector at say 15ft so that it covers mnay models that I might buy future. What role does "zoom" play in throw distance?

thanks.
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post #17 of 22 Old 03-08-2012, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smuggymba View Post

Thanks again Dan; it will take me some tome to process all the info.

1.) How will a 2.35:1 look on a 16:9 screen and vice versa.

Are there screens that will work for both 16:9 and 2.35:1? I just want to watch all movies on netflix irrespective of which ratio they fall under.

2.) While calculating the projector placement, should I place the projector based on zero zoom or max zoom?

e.g. The throw distance of Optoma HD 33 is 13.2' to 15.9' for a 120 inch diagonal screen. Can I place the projector anywhere between 13.3-15.9 or is there a "sweet" spot where it should be placed?

The epson 8350 throw distance for a 120 inch acreen is 11.9' to 19.8'.

Should I place my projector at say 15ft so that it covers mnay models that I might buy future. What role does "zoom" play in throw distance?

thanks.

1) 1.78:1 & 1.85:1 material look best on a 2.35:1 screen because you aren't really changing the height of the image of any of the commonly used Academy ratios over the years (from 1.33:1 to 2.35:1/2.39:1), just the width. That's why they call this a "constant height" approach like at the better commercial theaters. The larger the ratio, the wider and more "grand" the picture gets.

Watching a 2.35:1 ratio movie on a 1.78:1 screen will cause the more "epic" of the two ratios to be reproduced on a much smaller scale, and you'll have black bars on the top and bottom of the screen. This is called a "constant width" approach. It's really the opposite of what should be happening, but is the most common way to watch home videos (and is used at most small m multiplexes to cram in as many auditoriums as possible).

2) While not a hard 'n' fast rule, you normally want to mount your projector so you're in the lower 10% of the throw range listed as you'll have a brighter overall picture over a longer period of time (the projector lens is physically closer to the screen). This will come in handy as the bulb ages and dims and for 3D movies (because the shutter glasses make the image seem dimmer anyway).

However, if you use a scope screen and either use the zooming method for 2.35:1 movies or use an anamorphic lens then there are other issues with projector mounting distances to consider. Some of it has to do with the specs. of the projector and/or the optical characteristics of any separate anamorphic lens system you may or may not be using.

The projector calculator for each projector model on Projector Central's website usually has a 2.35:1 ratio option to see what the throw ratio becomes if you're using the zooming technique for scope movies with a scope screen. Double check with the manufacturer before purchasing. It's a general guide only.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/proj...ulator-pro.cfm

For the uninitiated, the term "scope" refers to the wide screen glory days of CinemaScope and now mostly used as a catch-all term for 2.35:1/2.39:1 movies and screens.

The HD33 is usually rated better for 3D than the Epson 3010, if 3D is important to you. The Acer H9599BD is also another DLP unit with 3D and has fewer crosstalk artifacts in 3D mode than the Optoma HD33. However, the HD33 has a more natural color palette and deeper blacks. You can investigate both to see the pluses and minuses of each.

Again, I'll reiterate that if you are going to use a scope screen and zoom rather than use a lens, you might want move up to the Panasonic PTAE7000U LCD Full-3D model due to their motorized zoom lens and memory feature for scope screens... makes it virtually hands-free to watch a 2.35:1 movie with no black bars on a scope screen than having to fine adjust the zoom setting manually every time you watch a scope movie (getting up on a ladder, more than likely).

As far as price and considering scope screens and 3D, if you want both you will definitely need to look at more expensive models. If 3D is not as important to you as getting a scope screen for that "epic" movie look, then you could look at the Panasonic PTAE4000U 2D-only model (there's a $250 rebate through the end of March). It's not much more than the Optoma or Acer, but it does include the auto scope movie zoom feature for scope screens.

All of these models are 1080p resolution.

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post #18 of 22 Old 03-08-2012, 06:05 PM
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By the way... what kind of budget do you have in mind for speakers, receiver, screen, projector, Blu-ray player, etc.?

Some of what I've been going on about may be moot or may need to be adjusted if your budget is tight.

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post #19 of 22 Old 03-08-2012, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

By the way... what kind of budget do you have in mind for speakers, receiver, screen, projector, Blu-ray player, etc.?

Some of what I've been going on about may be moot or may need to be adjusted if your budget is tight.

I really don't have a fixed budget but I'm can't spend 20,000.

I like to buy good stuff with great quality but also look at my pocket. I'm thinking:

$1500 screen
$2000-$3000 projector
$3000 for speakers
$600-$1000 receiver


I have a LG blu ray player and a 42" LED TV. I'd use the TV in the media room until I get the projector screen.

If something is expensive, I'll wait and save and then buy it but I won't settle for cheap stuff. I want a great sounding media room for my budget. My goal right now is to get the pre-wiring locations done so everything is ready to go when I buy the speakers and the subwoofer.

If I get a regular (not AT) screen, can I put the speaker and sub under it? At what height should I have the pre-wiring for the front tower speakers?
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post #20 of 22 Old 03-11-2012, 03:07 PM
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Well, if you want to get an acoustically transparent screen... you'll want to consider upgrading to the Seymour Screen Excellence Enlightor 4k material with a much tighter, smoother weave. Yes, it costs more, but it's much less than the competition and the reviews are so-far encouraging.

Remember, true 4k resolution projectors for somewhat mere mortals are just around the corner and there are some hints that there may be a 4k Blu-ray format starting in 2013. I understand that GE plastics has come up with a holographic storage media disc at fairly high production yields that could fit the bill nicely (if the Blu-ray Disc Association will adopt it).

Check out the Screen subforum for more info. Some people are saying that a distance of 2-3" from an AT screen to the front speakers should work just fine.

In the meantime, you could go with a 3D projector with manual zoom or 2D with auto zoom around the $1,600 - $2,000 range so you can justify the uptick in price for the screen and start saving up for the switch to 4k media.

Receiver: Onkyo 709 with full pre-amp outputs for an external, beefy power amp. Around $500 now.

Speakers: Forum member MysticalJet's acoustically transparent screen theater build has roughly the same dimensions as yours (though his has angled ceilings) and he went with three Aperion Audio Intimus 5T towers for the front with Intimus 4BP bipolar surrounds, and thinks they fill out the room nicely with good sound quality for the money. The front ports on the 5T's don't disturb his screen material.



Aperion Audio Intimus 5T Towers - Three
Aperion Audio Intimus 4BP Surrounds - Four
HSU VTF-15h 15" subwoofer - One (to start)

Total = $3,143 (shipping included)

Onkyo TX-NR709 @ Amazon

Total = $535

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post #21 of 22 Old 03-11-2012, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Dan,
Thanks for the info.

I was reading other threads and looks like there are screens that work with both 16:9 and 2.35:1 with automatic masking with "constant height" or "constant width".

Since I'll watch both TV and Movies, can you suggest some brand model names that work with 16:9 and 2.35:1?
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post #22 of 22 Old 03-12-2012, 01:26 PM
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SeymourAV has their own automated masking system, as does Carada (called the Masquerade; though, that screen company doesn't yet market an AT screen material), and SMX Screens (also in the 4k material business).

I'm not sure about Elite Screens (they do make a 4k friendly screen material as well), but some of these masking systems can also fit other screen brands.

They're for either 16:9 (constant width) and 2.35:1 screens (constant height). Their purpose is mopping up stray light and creating a nice, sharp, inky black edge on either the sides or the top and bottom of the screen depending on the ratio of the movie you're watching.

It's important that the black masking fabric is also acoustically transparent for 2.35:1 AT screens if all three speakers are firing through the screen material. Depending on where the speakers are located and how big they are, it may be appropriate for 16:9 screen masks as well. Most companies let you choose either way.

These automated masking systems do cost around $2,000 and up on top of the cost of a screen and frame. Stewart Filmscreen and Da-Lite products can be much higher priced than some of these smaller companies.

Masking systems can also be triggered by remote automation commands.

-----

Since I mentioned the Onkyo 709 due to its current cost and full set of handy RCA pre-amp outputs, I would highly recommend that you consider an outboard amplifier and use these kinds of mid-priced receivers as surround pre-amp/processors only.

The somewhat wimpy built-in amps in any receiver will really limit what kinds of speakers you can buy and how loudly and cleanly you can play them without damaging clipping and distortion popping up.

In most regular sized home theaters and with most speakers of some kind of quality, 200-250 watts/channel (numbers are based on an 8 ohm load) is a good average amplifier power rating range with 4 ohm and lower stability.

A few good bang for the buck power amp manufacturers I recommend are Parasound (NewClassic V.2, 250 watts/channel models, to be specific), Outlaw Audio (their 200-300 watts/channel models-- amps are built by ATI), Anthem (MCA line), and Emotiva (their 200 watts/channel and up models).

There are others like Bryston, Earthquake, Parasound's Halo line, Theta, and Mark Levinson, etc. All wonderful sounding, tough-as-nails amps, but more suited to upper tier speakers and surround electronics.

For full disclosure, Emotiva is the cheapest of among those brands I mentioned, and some absolutely swear by them for their overall build and sound quality vs. their bargain prices. They're also the newest internet-direct kid on the block, so their long term reliability and reputation have less of a track record (and they are probably built in China) compared to these other manufacturers that have been around for a very long time. They may be ideal for the first time home theater enthusiast, however, due to the cost factor. One thing is for certain; they are better than the amps inside most boxed store receivers.

You can read some quality reviews of some of these amps, including Emotiva (and other electronics), at:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/power-amplifiers.html

Secrets does fully benchmark their review samples and are some of the toughest reviewers of Blu-ray players and TV's. A couple of their reviewers put out the much touted Spears and Munsil Blu-ray video calibration and player torture test disc.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
Dan Hitchman is online now  
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