My "Tight Space" A/V Setup - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 07-16-2012, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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This is a look into the limited space den of my current apartment rental. Getting big sound (5.2 channel set-up) in a small area can be more challenging than having an ample area to work with. The apartment has two living areas, a living room and a den; I set up my AV equipment in the smaller den. Welcoming and looking forward to reading your comments, questions or contributions. Thanks for taking the time to peek at my small world!

682

Presently I'm using using Energy CB5s as surrounds; planning on adding a pair of Energy CB10s to perform the surround duties and moving the CB5s to work as surround rears.

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post #2 of 40 Old 01-11-2013, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I relocated from my old apartment to a small rental house in San Diego during the first week of December, 2012. The new place offers me more space to set up my speakers into a 7.2 channel speaker configuration. The new room space is 15' 6" x 11'6". Unfortunately, I do not have all of the real estate I would prefer to place the speakers in the suggested Dolby 7.1 channel positions so I had to make some compromises due to the lack of space. I am currently using a pair Polk M3s (purchased in 1993) for my surround backs; this is a temporary solution until I purchase a pair of Energy CB10s to take over the surround duty for my CB5s. The CB5s will replace the Polks for surround backs at that time. But given that the stands that the Polks are sitting on (28" Sanus Euro Foundations) are short I find myself liking the Polks because they can be aimed upward. I thought I would share some images of my new setup.

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post #3 of 40 Old 02-12-2013, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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A tighter view of the semi-nude Polk M3 loudspeakers serving as my current surround back speakers in my 7-channel setup. [Also: notice my second M&K Sound MX-70 in lower left corner of photo.]





I decided to relocate my second sub directly behind the couch. The previous corner-loaded spot was too boomy. The new location provides an improved blend of bass for my rear stage speakers as well as a visceral thump to the backside when watching movies or loud multichannel music. Here is a wider view of the newly reconfigured rear stage setup.



Opposite view:


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post #4 of 40 Old 07-11-2013, 06:41 AM
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Great looking setup! You have done well smile.gif
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post #5 of 40 Old 07-11-2013, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate your compliment, comfynumb; thanks for stopping by!

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post #6 of 40 Old 07-11-2013, 09:51 AM
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No problem, I always like to look at nice gear.
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post #7 of 40 Old 07-11-2013, 10:14 AM
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Nice setup(s). In the original post, what is the equipment rack? Is it the Techline in the picture? I like how it looks smile.gif
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post #8 of 40 Old 07-11-2013, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post

Nice setup(s). In the original post, what is the equipment rack? Is it the Techline in the picture? I like how it looks smile.gif

I purchased the equipment shelf back in 1993 at an AV store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The brand and model is Avia MR 53. The Avia product line was manufactured by The Chicago Audio Group. I have made recent attempts to contact them but it appears the business is now defunct. I still have the original brochure that I collected in the store during the time of my purchase.

I wanted to purchase more of their high-quality steel products. The shelving is adjustable, very durable and offers great airflow, I am glad that you like it as well, NickTheGreat; I only wish I could order another of one of the two smaller units Avia offered.

My long-range plan is to design and have a custom tv console made to match the equipment shelf. It would be similar to my current tv stand in that it would be wide enough to house my collection of laserdiscs as well as my LPs.

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post #9 of 40 Old 07-11-2013, 03:34 PM
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Well too bad about that. mad.gif

I'm just too cheap to buy a rack. I'll find a deal on Craigslist someday . . .wink.gif
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post #10 of 40 Old 07-24-2013, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by erhurd View Post



Assuming it is all working properly, you have well above average gear which should work about as well as one can expect, short of building a dedicated new room, just for your home theater. As a retired audio system designer for over 20 years, I do however spot an issue I would advise fixing, and the good news is it is totally free to do so! The left speaker should be equidistant from the center TV screen, compared to the right, and based on the 2nd picture you show, above, it does not appear to be. [The goal is bi-lateral symmetry with the center of the TV on the same axis.] The main audio rack and the left speaker should therefor swap positions to correct this.
 
This may place the L and R speakers slightly closer to each other than you are used to,  but that is far less objectionable than the first fault and actually may improve the tightness of imaging (localization) at the expense of a slightly narrower sound stage. Give it a go and see what you think. You can easily switch back if you don't like it.
 
As a less important refinement I would also advise placing the three front speakers at a more similar tweeter height. That would mean having to buy new stands, but in the interim you could at least attempt to improve matters by moving the tweeters a few inches downward, simply by flipping the L and R speakers upside down. [This should make lateral panning of sounds across the front sound stage better and not seem to dip downward in the center, yet peak upward when at the sides, making a "smiley face".] Again, free of charge to try out and you can always switch back if you don't like it. [There's no rule tweeters must be on top, it is simply a design trend, and if you don't mind the looks you can simply leave it that way].
Obviously if you make any of these alterations it also means having to re-run Audyssey calibration. Don't even think about making these changes and attempting to listen to the results without re-running the calibration first.
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In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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post #11 of 40 Old 07-24-2013, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Zilch; I very much appreciate your comments/advice. I have actually incorporated one of the suggestions you offered shortly after these photos were made. I did, in fact tighten the positions of my front left and right loudspeakers and I felt that the repositioning resulted in an improved imaging environment in that room.

I had not considered flipping the speakers "upside-down"; I may have to do some experimenting.

Thanks again for thinking of me, Zilch!

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post #12 of 40 Old 07-24-2013, 10:14 PM
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How did you get away with a 2 speaker setup in apartment? I have a single sub but it's pretty much a waste because I have to turn it so low for fear of annoying my neighbors.
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post #13 of 40 Old 07-25-2013, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Location and very tolerant downstairs neighbors.

At this point I really don't worry about neighbors and extraneous noise in the same sense that apartment dwellers must since I left the apartment and moved into a house. I have tons more flexibility and freedom.

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post #14 of 40 Old 10-07-2013, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post

Nice setup(s). In the original post, what is the equipment rack? Is it the Techline in the picture? I like how it looks smile.gif

Here is an item that is similar to my equipment shelf that is offered by Music Direct; you may find it to be attractive, as well:

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-7543-solidsteel-54-stand-black.aspx

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post #15 of 40 Old 10-11-2013, 09:45 PM
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Being in a typically-sized downtown San Diego condo myself, I run 2.0 out of lack of space for proper surround and not wanting to bother the neighbors. I can't imagine going 7.1 is a small space, but if I had a bit different layout and no neighbors, 5.1 would be nice.
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post #16 of 40 Old 10-11-2013, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for taking the time to take a look and make a response, Lespurgeon. I know how small the local downtown condos can be, and I'm sure you've made the best choices regarding your space management given your current situation. My current house rental affords me more square footage and freedom from sharing walls (floors and ceilings) with neighbors. I am actually looking forward to upgrading my bookshelf main speakers to a nice pair of Energy (CF70) floorstanders in the near-future. Best wishes to you; look to east San Diego county for more square footage at a more affordable price.

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post #17 of 40 Old 10-12-2013, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erhurd View Post

Thanks for taking the time to take a look and make a response, Lespurgeon. I know how small the local downtown condos can be, and I'm sure you've made the best choices regarding your space management given your current situation. My current house rental affords me more square footage and freedom from sharing walls (floors and ceilings) with neighbors. I am actually looking forward to upgrading my bookshelf main speakers to a nice pair of Energy (CF70) floorstanders in the near-future. Best wishes to you; look to east county San Diego county for more square footage at a more affordable price.



Those Energy's look pretty hard to beat for the price. Are they $500 a pair or apiece?
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post #18 of 40 Old 10-12-2013, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Magnolia has them available for $549.99 each. I have read in the Energy Owners' Thread some accounts where people have purchased them for less than that MSRP Magnolia is very fond of, Comfy. BTW I just noticed your new avatar; I like it!

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post #19 of 40 Old 10-12-2013, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for taking the time to take a look and make a response, Lespurgeon. I know how small the local downtown condos can be, and I'm sure you've made the best choices regarding your space management given your current situation. My current house rental affords me more square footage and freedom from sharing walls (floors and ceilings) with neighbors. I am actually looking forward to upgrading my bookshelf main speakers to a nice pair of Energy (CF70) floorstanders in the near-future. Best wishes to you; look to east San Diego county for more square footage at a more affordable price.

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post #20 of 40 Old 10-12-2013, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erhurd View Post

Magnolia has them available for $549.99 each. I have read in the Energy Owners' Thread some accounts where people have purchased them for less than that MSRP Magnolia is very fond of, Comfy. BTW I just noticed your new avatar; I like it!



I doubt you could do much better at that price, and I thought I saw them on Amazon for $500. I'm a fan of tower speakers, I like the midrange and upper bass they produce with their multiple drivers, and will always have them as sort of my setup. Thanks! I've been comfynumb on quite a few online sites, and came across this and it just fit smile.gif
Please update your thread if you change anything, and it looks really great.
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post #21 of 40 Old 10-12-2013, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I looking forward to doing just that! Especially when I can get around to finally purchasing A Marantz AV8801 pre-pro. My eyes get red just thinking about it!!!

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post #22 of 40 Old 10-12-2013, 07:05 PM
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I looking forward to doing just that! Especially when I can get around to finally purchasing A Marantz AV8801 pre-pro. My eyes get red just thinking about it!!!



You will love the 8801! I have mine over 9 months and it continues to impress me all the time. DTS MA on blu ray is nothing short breath taking and music is equally spectacular. If your in the market I've seen a couple of used ones on AVS and I wouldn't hesitate for the right price. I still have a Sunfire 200~7 I bought used off of Audiogon 8 years ago. Just a thought.
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post #23 of 40 Old 10-14-2013, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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No need to "sell" me here, Comfy; many of your enthusiastic comments in the AV8801 Owner's Thread have fueled my interest in the Marantz pre-pro! I cannot afford to be an "early adopter". Hopefully price drops next year will buy me a ticket to the dance…

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No need to "sell" me here, Comfy; many of your enthusiastic comments in the AV8801 Owner's Thread have fueled my interest in the Marantz pre-pro! I cannot afford to be an "early adopter". Hopefully price drops next year will buy me a ticket to the dance…



Great!
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post #25 of 40 Old 02-12-2014, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Some front stage details: Energy CC-10 center channel speaker partnering with freshly-reconed M&K Sound MX70 subwoofer(s) and a pair of Energy CB-20 bookshelf loudspeakers on the front flanks sit on 28" Sanus Steel Foundations speaker stands. A little more than 70 laserdiscs are housed in the cabinet; wishing the cabinet was wide enough to also store my collection of LPs as well. Many of the items in my system are not new; a reflection of my taste for things retro as well as things borne of new technology.


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post #26 of 40 Old 03-25-2014, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I finally have gotten around to upgrading my speaker setup to the configuration I had mentioned earlier: replacing the Energy CB-20s as mains for CF-70s. Moving the CB-20s into the surround positions and adding CB-10s to fill the surround rear spots. The CB-5s (formerly the surrounds and Polk M3s, used for surround rears) will be spending time in the closet for an undetermined amount of time…





I've not yet recalibrated the new setup with Audyssey just yet. The Energy owners manual suggests a 100-hour break-in prior to calibration. The new speakers all sound pretty good so far out of the box, connected with bannana plugs, utilizing the settings from last calibration and tweaks. I will more than likely follow the manufacturer's instructions and calibrate the new setup by the end of the this week (as everything arrived and was set up last week). I started using multi-channel stereo during this break-in period to allow my surround rears to "loosen up" faster than my usual, favorite surround modes would allow.




Right now, I'm just enjoying getting used to the new sound of my matching and improved Energy Connoisseur loudspeaker system.

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post #27 of 40 Old 03-25-2014, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Shortly after unboxing my new Connoisseur CF-70 tower I had to immediately place it for a comparison with my bookshelf CB-20 on Sanus Steel Foundations stand. It would take until the next day for UPS to deliver the remaining tower. Change is in the air…



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post #28 of 40 Old 03-25-2014, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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My sound system fully clothed (speaker grills attached). I like the looks of the speakers but all of those shiny drivers in the front stage can be a bit distracting when I'm watching television or a movie on blu-ray. Its been nearly two years since my last speaker upgrade and my timing could not have been better; I benefitted on pricing [$349.86 each] as the CF-70s are just about to be retired by the manufacturer. I think I am satisfied with my speaker setup (for the time being).

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post #29 of 40 Old 03-26-2014, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I am particularly liking that every speaker in the setup now shares the same one-inch tweeter design and all of the woofers (be they 5.5 or 6.5 inches) also share the same design as well. The soundstage sounds so much more immersive than before the upgrades were installed. The midrange and upper bass have a much more enhanced presence. You may suggest the "Placebo Effect" is in play here; I may have to agree. But I am very happy with my setup. The upgrade has more than exceeded my expectations for improvement!





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post #30 of 40 Old 03-27-2014, 08:26 PM
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In my order of preference :

1. All 5 (7) speakers are the same

2. The front three are the same

3. All 5/7 use the same tweeter and ,midrange

4. The front three use the same tweet and mid

5. All use the same tweet

6. The front three use the same tweet

7. All speakers are from the same designer

 

The things is, now that we have very sophisticated computer controlled, individualized EQ per speaker (based on Audyssey measurements and such) all of these needs are . much less important than they were a decade ago. Still it can't hurt.

 

I like Energy. They had a model once called the 22 (I think) which was responsible for defeating a proposed copy prohibit scheme which put a sharp notch at about 3838Hz. This watermark was claimed to be inaudible, but testing using the 22s proved it was audible so this form of copy guard never came to be.


In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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