UPDATE: 11/14/2016, 01/07/2014
! I am adding the SEOS Pure 10, Yorkvilke U215, JBL MR-825, DIY JBL, 3731, and Behringer B215xl.
Now I am not sure if I should list the best system with sub integration or just best speaker because they are not the same due to my room. My DRs were my favorite and I knew they had a harder sound to them. I tried the JBL MR-825 and they sound very smooth with all the detail. I would have kept them but they had a little horn honk during certain movies and I did not like it. I wanted that smooth sound though and built my DIY JBL. We all preferred them over the DRs overall because of that smooth big sound. My friend received my DR-250s and he needed surrounds so I recommended the Behringer B212xl based on all the hype and he said he liked them better than the DR-250s at his house. I told him to bring them over because I knew he was just using YPAO to tame the DR-250s where I had full blown digital DSP. I compared the 212xls to the DIY JBL and we all liked the DIY better but not by much. Having heard them without any EQ doing so well I had to try the Behringer 215XL and they were better than the DIY JBL but more of a lateral move.
I still say the DR-250 is the best design being fully horn loaded and the most dynamic. I miss those speakers but they sound harder with the piezos as compared to something like the SEOS. Combine those and we have a winner! Not one speaker one every category but I stayed with the one that integrated best in my room.
1. Detail- all the speakers have great detail but the DRs being so sensitive seemed to be the easiest to hear. Not one speaker lacked detailed or was missing.
2. Midbass- JBL 4675/ yorkvilke U215(dual 15s!, enough said)
3. Sound stage of big sound-JBL 4675 and my DIY JBL
5. Smoothness or lack of fatigue- SEOS pure 10, Berry 215xl
6. Feel, M&K S-5000 and Berry 215, followed by DIY JBL.
My DIY JBL had the JBL 2447 CD, 2352 horn, and the JBL 2035 Woofer. I used my nanoavr to EQ them and they were awesome but the berries were so close with so much less effort, smaller, and much cheaper I decided to just screw it and use them and they impress every time I watch at reference because there is zero fatigue for my room. These and the SEOS are the only two I can play over reference without getting too overwhelming. This is why I kept them. They are not the best speaker but works so well in my room. I really believe if I had a competent person build a crossover for my DIY JBL a they would be best, the same goes for the DR with a CD and passive crossover. As far as subs go I changed my Fi Car audio IB with 12 SI-18s and they worked better in my enclosures. I then ported them for what I have now. I have two XXX drivers coming to build a ported 10hz monster and see what happens.
1/2. Behringer B215xl/DIY JBL- The berry was so cheap and easy to hook up and move(it required no EQ being passive)
4. JBL 4675
5. JBL 3622N
6. JTR 888LP
7/8. eD Cinema 12 upgraded/SEOS pure 10
9. CHT SHO-10
Again, each speaker were liked in different ways. The SEOS had the best top end of all(smoothness) but it lacked mid bass and a big sound stage in comparison. The eD cinema had better mid bass than the SEOS but lacked the smoothness. The JTR 888LP was smooth and dynamic but less mid bass than the eD. The Berry had the mid bass of the eD, smooth dynamics of the JTR and sound as big as the DIY JBL and why they win. Again, If I could design crossovers I would build a SEOS BA-750/15 combo in a heart beat!
I bet if I had a proper crossover for the DRs or DIY JBL they win. The 4675 were probably just too big for my small room but still sound great.
Here are the updated results so people can just find them on page one. Since this I have tried DR-200 and DR-250 arrays(dual stacks) with better low end and midbass than a single. This also makes it very important to tame the highs from 32 to 40 tweeters which can become overwhelming. They also have a huge coverage being dual stacked so now if you are sitting or standing it does not matter. I ahve also built an eD DIY sub system which has more low end naturally than the CHT system but less midbass naturally. With EQ I can make these sound nearly identical so I would chose which ever you can get cheaper but with eD no more go with DIY or CHT.
Ok guys since my shootout is over I just wanted to rank them from 1 on down and I will include some older speakers since I had them head to head against my 5000's before.
3. DR-250's($350) with subs(don't get much below 80hz)
4. DR-200's($300) with subs(don't get much below 120hz)
5. JBL 4675($2500)
6. JBL 3722N($750)
7. eD cinema 12 upgraded($850)
8/9. JTR triple 8 sealed($1200)
9/8. CHT SHO-10's($350)
10. JTR triple 8 originals($800)
11. M&K S-5000's($1299)
13. Triad in room LCR gold classics($1200)
Added: SEOS Fusion pure 10-
I would rank the highs 5 and the woofer with the SHO-10. So overall you can switch it out with either the 888LP, eD cinema, or SHO-10. If the SEOS had the 12 inch driver of the eD I would rank it 7! If it had the dual 2226's I would rank it 4! Yes, I like the SEOS WG and CD very much.
Now this is my preference for reference level movie watching where I value big dynamic sound with detail over everything else. Many of the speakers had better highs than the JBLs but their big dynamic sound was just hard to ignore! Now their lack luster highs do make them not as good for music and I will rate them for music now. I am talking 100 dBs for music because above that the triads would fall apart which means 112 dBs at the speaker.
1. Dual stacked DR-250's
2. Dual stacked DR-200's
5. CHT SHO-10
7. JTR sealed triple 8's
8. eD cinema 12 upgraded
9. M&K S-5000
10. JTR original triple 8
11. JBL 4675
12. JBL 3722n
13. Klipsch KL-650
I am now focusing my energy on subs again and will be trying out a couple different subs to dethrone my current system. My current system is my favorite and having EQ and much better measuring gear helped get a proper response and much more low end so I did not have the chance to compare my eD system using the same. As of right now I will rank my favorite sub systems I have owned but know that my most recent setup has the flattest response, deepest, with the most power. I could have changed my mine with the same equipment on my older subs and why I will try some other stuff out. Anyways here we go.
1. Added new
, 8x18 ficar audio IB for the easy win!
1. eD 12x12 sealed system(LT engaged)($4200)
2. 8x18 sealed CHT(LT engaged)($2800)
3. Dual Danley DTS-10's($2000)
4. 8x18 eD sealed($2000)
5. 4 Cinema F-20's($1200)
6. 4 eD LLT sonos($1000)
7. Dual folded horn 18 pro subs($700)
8. Dual double 18 vented pro subs($1000)
9. SVS 16-46 CS plus subs($3600)
10. Klipsch THX ultra 2 subs($3000)
11. SVS PB2plus($1200)
12. M&K MX-5000's($4999)
I know I could have done more with the eD sealed system with my EQ and such so now I have different subs coming to try out! BTW, it will be sealed from now on as I get the widest bandwidth as I am flat from 7-200hz with my system now so I won't chance losing the bandwidth. The Danley's did some awesome bass waves that none ever did until last night when I boosted my 10-20hz region and now I get the same effect. If the eD system did the same thing it would have been ranked higher because it did more tactile and visceral effects than the DTS-10's but not that pulse which was very cool and shocking. They were the only subs to ever do it until I figured out where it was happening so I am sure I could do it with the eD system. BTW the top 5 systems I ranked are much better than the bottom, not even close!Hey guys, I am testing 5-6 different pairs or sets of 3 speakers to see which one works best in my theater. My room is 21 x 15 x 7, sealed, 4 concrete walls and floor, and the room is well treated. To give one an idea that thinks it is an easy room for subs due to the size I lose 12 db's at my LP from the speakers. Baiscally I need 117 db's of clean spl at the speakers for me to hit reference levels at my LP. I already started to talk about this in the DIY forum in my F-20 thread. I am buying mostly used and some new speakers to compete and nothing too expensive or it defeats the purpose. The speakers I am going to test are:
1. Triads In room Golds- these are the smaller, older versions
2. M&K S-5000's
3. BFM DR-200's
4. JTR Triple 8(not sure on sealed or vented as I have not ordered them yet)
5. CHT Sho-10's
I will measure each response without EQ and give my impressions and then I will EQ them within +/- 3-5 db's and then listen to them. They will all be level matched and run with my 4 F-20's at a flat calibration. I will take pics as well. I have been listening to the M&K's and Triads for a week now. I wanted to test just how sensitive the speakers are when playing music and here is what I have done so far. I calibrated each speaker to 75 db's including the sub. I played a song and turned it up until it hit 100 db's peaks at the most. I used my RS digital meter set to fast, A weighting, and Max. The Triads needed 0 db's on the Master volume to hit 100 db's. The M&K's needed -5 db's on the MV, and the DR's needed -21dbs to hit 100 db's. The Triads sensitvity rating is 90 db's, the M&K's are 93dbs, and the DR's are 104 db's. You can see during music playback the DR's are even more sensitive.
I listened to the first 3 speakers with no EQ and the DR's need to break in. I don't expect the DRs's to sound great compared to the others as it needs more EQ to sound good. Well, The M&K's and Triads sound really close. The M&K's vocals are more forward and slightly rougher than the Triads. The Triads had a smoother sound and more feeling. The M&K's are more dynamic and can play louder. This is a preference for people as they are close. Again, this is without EQ, so I will see which I like better once I put them on the same playing field. As for the DR's, well, I had them built for me and they are OK looking. The guy was sloppy on gluing the tweeter array and the paint is thin in some places. I would send them back for the money based on finish. The Triads are the best built speakers so far as finish and solid feel goes. The DR's have some much potential that I hope EQing and break in makes them sound better. They sound huge, play louder than anyone can stand, and have tons of palpability or feeling. The problem with them for now is that they sound rough on the vocals. Put it this way, if I can get them remotely close to the M&K's or Triads they will blow them all away, including the JBL's. They are so dynamic and effortless but like I said, to rough for now. This is just the beginning. Here are some Pics and graphs.
The front stage. These are the M&K's. I have not taken a picture of the others in place yet.
Their unEQ'd response
The Triads look like this
I don't have pics yet of the DR's but I will
You can see why 3 out of 3 people picked the M&K's so far, the Triads are very close and I like their feeling and smoothness better, I mean they sound softer. The DR's sound the roughest or hardest, like their is and edge to a piano. Here are more random pics
M&K's without grill(how they are behind the screen)
M&K vs Triad
DR's almost completed
I have much more to come. These are replacing my JBL's which were my reference standard. I like the sound from the M&K's and Triads better but the JBL's midbass and big sound was better. I am hoping to combine both with the DR's.