Need help choosing speakers & receiver for family room - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 08-10-2010, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
nlm2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hello Everyone

I would like some recommendations for a HT setup (receiver + speakers) for the family room in our new home. IIRC, the room is 17'x16'. It has been pre-wired. The room layout: center fireplace with bookshelf niches flanking each side. So we will be putting the TV above the fireplace mantle. The speaker setup is: R & L front speakers will be on the R & L bookshelf. Center will need to be in the ceiling and has been pre-wired about a foot or so out from the fireplace. The rear surrounds are pre-wired for the ceiling as well. The room is actually wired for 7.1 but I plan on doing the side surrounds later.

Would like the bookshelf speakers to be no taller than 12 inches. Was thinking of 6.5 ceiling mount speakers w/aimable tweeters for the center & rear surrounds. I will be using my existing sub for now. I currently have a Yamaha RXV630 receiver that has served me well for about 8 years but I want to upgrade to 7.1 with HDMI. I will consider any brand of receiver or speakers.

I've listened to a number of bookshelf speakers recently - KEF, Polk, Monitor Audio, PSB, Definitive Technology. The PSB Alpha B1 & Definitive 1000's are probably my favorite so far. I have no idea yet about the in-the-ceiling speakers. For the receiver I was thinking about Pioneer VSX920K or 1020K. Cnet seems to give good reviews for the newer Pioneers. But again, I'm open to any brand.

Also, our usage for the setup will probably be about 70% tv/movies and 30% music.

My budget is $1200 max for the 5 speakers & receiver.

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!
nlm2 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 5 Old 08-11-2010, 12:41 AM
AVS Special Member
 
sholling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Hemet California
Posts: 1,515
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I see three challenges. First is bookshelf speakers in niches. Most bookshelf speakers are rear ported and need a good 18-24" behind them and some room to the sides to get the full effect of the bass port. That leaves you looking for front ported or sealed speakers.

The second challenge will be the center. One of the things that you want to avoid like a plague is a timbre mismatch between the L&R fronts and the center. You want a seamless transition between the mains and the center and back. I just don't know of any ceiling speakers that are timbre matched to front ported bookshelves. Maybe somebody else will have an idea but my recommendation is that you rethink the center.

The third challenge is price. When dealing with a tight budget I usually recommend splurging on the front 3 and then adding the surrounds later.

Speakers are very subjective but I'll toss out some ideas to audition. I'm not a huge Klipsch fan but if you want a rock/party/movie speaker that's front ported and will fill a large room then I'd try to audition a pair of Klipsch RB-61 bookshelves ($500/pr). Some find them a bit fatiguing after long loud sessions while others are head over heels in love with the sound. The correct center to match these is the RC-62.

I run a pair of Usher S-520 bookshelves (~$400/pr) in my master bedroom. These are more of an audiophile speaker. They sound bloody awesome for their price - as long as you can live with their limitations. As a really small speaker they can't be expect to blow the windows out of a huge room and they need a sub to deal with everything below 80hz. If you don't provide a sub you'll bottom the woofer at high volume and damage the speaker. They do a great job with both movies and music in my 18x12x11' room. The matched center is the S-525 and that's the second limitation. The center is 4ohm and needs a 4ohm rated receiver.

A step down in price and sound are Infinity's Primus P162. A decent front ported bookshelf for less than $200/pr. These are common enough that you should be able to find a pair to audition. The matched center is the PC350 for around $200. Alternately you could go with the P362 towers for the front L&R and avoid the niche issues and have (2x P362, 1x PC350, 2x P152) for about $750. I'd run these with a 4ohm capable receiver even though they are rated at 8ohms.

You might also look into Emotiva reference speakers. I haven't personally heard these and so can't vouch for them but reviews of their bookshelves have been good. The reason that I bring them up is that they also make ceiling speakers and may have a match for their sealed bookshelf speakers. The downside is that you'll need a 4ohm rated receiver.

Receivers: I'd look at Onkyo's TX-NR708. It's a good quality receiver with a ton of features and if memory serves is rated down to 4ohms. If you stick with 8ohm speakers then the TX-SR608 is a great choice. If you're in the US you can often find these refurbished.
sholling is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 08-11-2010, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
nlm2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
The niches are 28" wide by 28" deep. Depending on what kind of cabinetry we end up with - I may have enough space behind for a rear-ported speaker. Or like you said I could look at front-ported or non-ported speakers if our cabinetry ends up being shallow.

I don't think I have a choice for center channel location. The wife has already nixed the idea of placing a speaker on the mantle - so it will need to be an in-ceiling speaker. I see that psb has a 6.5" in-ceiling speaker that may match well with their Alpha B1 bookshelfs. I'll have to look into the other speakers you mention as well to see if they offer any ceiling mount.

Thanks for the feedback.
nlm2 is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 08-12-2010, 07:50 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Knucklehead90's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: State of Confusion - 98823
Posts: 7,354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Liked: 101
Let me see if I got this right - you are mounting a flat panel of what? 50" or so above the fireplace but can't put a center channel on the mantle? A center channel in the ceiling reflecting off the tv panel and a fireplace? And all that dialog coming from above?

Lousy idea IMO.

When all else fails - RTFM!

♫♫♫ Two Channel Rules! ♫♫♫

GO SEAHAWKS!!!
Knucklehead90 is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 08-12-2010, 11:56 AM
AVS Special Member
 
sholling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Hemet California
Posts: 1,515
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nlm2 View Post

The niches are 28" wide by 28" deep. Depending on what kind of cabinetry we end up with - I may have enough space behind for a rear-ported speaker.

I would almost be afraid that you'll wind up with a megaphone like effect with a rear bass port.
sholling is offline  
Reply Speakers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off