Originally Posted by Aareses
Everyone of course is different. We all have our different tastes and make different decisions. I don't know your tastes at all, except your room will be more for watching TV than movies. Looking at your information, here are a few observations:
- Your budget is approaching $80,000, just like mine! Ouch. That was my cold hard reality also.
- Your budget for acoustic treatments seems very low.
- Your budget for equipment does not match the budget for your room. As a general rule, room and equipment are about the same cost. Although you may have categorized things differently. If you categorize correctly, if room costs $30,000, your equipment should match at $30,000. Based on a $50,000 budget, some of your equipment choices make more sense, but then your room cost should be much lower. The key is more balance between the two.
- While SVS subs can be good, my research has found that for that type of performance HSU is a better choice for value in what I would call the 2nd tier subs (which SVS is in). Of the top tier subs, I personally think Deep Sea Sound is the best value. The owner, David Gage is incredible to work with. Like really incredible.
- For $23,000, I personally think you can do better for your equipment. You can get better performance for the same cost than the equipment you list. I believe you should go one of two ways here. If you are watching mostly TV, why spend even $23k on equipment? TV is not that high quality of a source. If your source is not of the highest quality, then spending a ton of money on gear to me is somewhat overkill. If you are getting the higher end equipment for the limited movie watching you do, then I can understand why you want to spend your money on the higher end equipment. As I've said though, if that is the route you are going, then you can get better performance for the money you are spending. I started out looking at Monitor Audio also. It is good stuff, no doubt. But for that movie performance, it paled in comparison with direct listening tests to other systems, which were meant for movie performance. There was a huge discussion about this on my thread early on. I encourage you to read those posts about pro cinema speakers compared to say Monitor Audio, which I started out thinking I would get. After many demos, I'm glad I didn't.
Based on a $75,000 room...
In other words, if you are building your room for an entertaining space for games, bar activities and TV, you would be better served to save your money. You can get a really nice room and equipment to meet those goals for FAR less than you are proposing here. If those activities compromise 90% or more of what you do, save your money.
If you are building your space for performance from high quality sources (CDs, Blu-rays, UHD, etc.) to listen to music or watch movies, then build the room, get it professionally designed, better acoustic treatments and higher performing gear for the money.
I'm going to reverse your critique to express it as my concern: My gear budget is about right but my room construction costs are too high.
I've got a ~$25k gear estimate, paying full MSRP. I could pay less for the same gear with price shopping. My worry is I've got a $43k proposal to: build a bar, fourth wall, large riser, equipment closet, and do the screen and all treatments and aesthetics. I'm not really sure that's a $43k job; it might be a $25k job at home-theater installer prices. I'm looking for a competitive bid to get ground truth on this.
As for categorization, I'm always interested in taxonomies, so how do you prefer to categorize budget items?
(Anything producing acoustic or light waves is gear. Anything requiring a hammer is room. If it's about where your butt goes, it's seating.
Regarding the quality of the gear: At full MSRP there are better options than Marantz amps (e.g. Outlaw or perhaps Emotiva). I'm budgeting full MSRP assuming a baseline approach of paying MSRP through an installer. If I piecemeal it, I'll pay less than MSRP on such gear or I'll go to internet-direct brands like Outlaw for amps and so on.
The biggest price challenge is in-wall speakers. Remind which speakers you've settled on?
I like Paradigm a lot, but they don't have in-ceiling speakers with backer boxes. Def Tech is appealing for price reasons, but I can't get handle on their relative to quality to what installers want to sell (e.g. Triad); But they're no where to be found for demos; and their in-ceiling are dipoles / bipoles which I'm unsure about. Triad is used by all the area installers, and clearly targets custom install options with their in-wall and in-ceiling designs. They might be overpriced, but they continue to seem like a decent choice.
Subs. Subs are a religious matter on the internet, I think
I am partial to SVS for sundry reasons; once upon a time they were the arguable price/performance king. HSU is an excellent brand, but I've never owned them. I'll have to take a second look at HSU.
Deep Sea Sounds: With no slight to the brand or Mr. David Gage, with whom I'm currently talking speakers...I don't think they fit my goals. At $2600 for an 18" sub, I can buy three SVS PB2000 12" subs, have 33% more driver area and $200 left in my wallet. And I can get better room balance by positioning multiple subs. The negative is 1500W vs 3000W. My experience suggests that two subs is more than sufficient for my tastes. But this suggests a test to try with my current SVS cylinder in my living room (when my wife is out of the house
As for source material: I'm designing to suit the highest-quality material I might watch. TV doesn't do Atmos, but I want that option for movies. And I used to watch movies more than TV; I might swing back that way if this current golden age of TV ends. But while "TV" doesn't have the dynamic range of a blu-ray, modern "TV" has full-range audio and benefits from a competent system. Moreover, "TV" includes e.g. Netflix products which are going 4k and presumably higher quality audio. Likewise, I'm hoping video games will embrace Atmos in the next generation. I'm skating to where the puck will be (or might hopefully be), as it were.
Which, I'm self aware enough to know, is all self-justification. There's no excuse to spend $50k on even a blu-ray room, when that would pay for going out to the movies weekly for the next 20 years. We buy these ridiculous things because we want to.