Help with Front Sound Stage for Great Room - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-09-2012, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi -- Am moving into a new house, and need suggestions for the Front 3 and Subwoofer for the Great Room. I've attached a diagram that includes the size/shape/layout. Primary considerations:

- Existing reciever- Denon 2112ci
- Surround in ceiling speakers - Polk RC 60i (chose these for the smaller aesthetic, I like Polks in general, and they were $49 over xmas at Newegg. Have been playing them as a main speaker so far (until I get full system), and so far am happy -- they should be more than adequate as surrounds
- Debate between my wife and I on aesthetics of Tower vs. Bookshelf -- Bookshelf would be sat on the TV stand next to TV. My concern is given the size of the room, would they be sufficient.
- Usage is 70% music (Rock/Jazz), 30% TV/Home Theatre
- Budget, would like to keep under $1,000 for the 4 speakers (R/L/Ctr/Sub), but could go up to $1500 if necessary.
- Primary experience is with Polk (have an OLD set of 5jr+, and prior surround sound (in small condo) was Paradigm Cinema
Was considering the Rti A3 or other larger bookshelf
- Floors are marble -- will likely be a 12x9 rug in main listening area, but given the openness -- boominess of sound an issue?
- Would think if I end up with bookshelf, better (and larger) quality sub becomes very important, with towers could have a smaller sub.

Help advice greatly appreciated -- am not locked into Paradigm or Polk -- just brands I know and respect. Would be helpful to deal with brands that I can go demo locally (NJ or Florida)

 

Great Room - Audio.pdf 78.2626953125k . file
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-10-2012, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone? Advice please!
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-10-2012, 07:55 PM
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I use Polk Monitor70's and a CS2 center in a room of similar size to yours, and they do very well. My single Klipsch 12" sub is probably the weakest part of my setup and I need to add a second sub. The Monitor70 would be the "other side of the track" cousin of the RTiA series, somewhere between the A7 and the A9 (the missing A8 ???). If your interior decorator will allow towers, I would recommend the increase in cone area over a 2-way bookshelf unit for your room, along with the largest of the RTi A centers available. You should probably consider 2 subs, even if they are 12" units.

For the price of a pair of RTi A3 bookshelf speakers you could consider a pair of Monitor70 towers (functionaly equivelent to the TSi 500) from newegg.com the next time they are on sale.

Its a start to your solution to your much larger room fitup, so good luck with the search, it will be fun .
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-10-2012, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_vanmeter View Post

I use Polk Monitor70's and a CS2 center in a room of similar size to yours, and they do very well. My single Klipsch 12" sub is probably the weakest part of my setup and I need to add a second sub. The Monitor70 would be the "other side of the track" cousin of the RTiA series, somewhere between the A7 and the A9 (the missing A8 ???). If your interior decorator will allow towers, I would recommend the increase in cone area over a 2-way bookshelf unit for your room, along with the largest of the RTi A centers available. You should probably consider 2 subs, even if they are 12" units.

For the price of a pair of RTi A3 bookshelf speakers you could consider a pair of Monitor70 towers (functionaly equivelent to the TSi 500) from newegg.com the next time they are on sale.

Its a start to your solution to your much larger room fitup, so good luck with the search, it will be fun .

Thanks -- was watching Newegg on the Monitor 70s. Certainly $300 for the pair is a bargain, and see from reading hear that there are fans and haters of that, but no denying it is a good "bang for the buck". Wonder which would be better the Rti8 (less drivers, but better build quality/electronics) vs. the Monitors. The RtiA5s would drive to the top of the price range it seems.

Guessing in the 1000/1500 price point there should be some good choices outside Polk as well. Any advice on the split in terms of spending on Fronts/Center/Sub? Given that I'll be using more for Music then Movies thinking the Fronts are the most important for Music? And Center and Sub most important for movies? Seen advice here to always up the budget for the sub, so maybe 40% on the fronts, 35% on sub and 25% on the center?
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post #5 of 18 Old 01-10-2012, 08:58 PM
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Nothing wrong with the monitor 70s but honestly the RTi line is much better. Imaging is far superior and the speakers are much more revealing. Also the monitor 70 does not compete with the A7 on any level. It has less precise imaging, is less detailed, and has less bass extension. I dont see how it could be thought of as a serious competitor to the A5 let alone the A7 in any way. I would go for the RTi A3s and a good sub over the monitor 70...though that is a more expensive option. You might also want to look at the older Polk RTi speakers which are often on clearance these days...they use the same drivers as the newer RTiA series.

Cheers,
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post #6 of 18 Old 01-10-2012, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nm4710 View Post

Nothing wrong with the monitor 70s but honestly the RTi line is much better. Imaging is far superior and the speakers are much more revealing. Also the monitor 70 does not compete with the A7 on any level. It has less precise imaging, is less detailed, and has less bass extension. I dont see how it could be thought of as a serious competitor to the A5 let alone the A7 in any way. I would go for the RTi A3s and a good sub over the monitor 70...though that is a more expensive option. You might also want to look at the older Polk RTi speakers which are often on clearance these days...they use the same drivers as the newer RTiA series.

Cheers,
NM

I do have some flexibility from a budget perspective, so the higher price point of the A3 with a solid center and sub doesn't worry me -- but the sound not being sufficient in a room of that size is a concern. On the other hand, think the smaller speakers might do better to eliminate "boominess" since there is a lot of solid surface and open air -- am not an acoustical engineer by any extent -- just hypothesizing.

I would gain points with the wife for using bookshelves -- will be easier to work into the entertainment center design -- I can easily work them into be at the proper level and appropriately spaced -- towers may have to end up going further apart than I'd like...
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-10-2012, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_vanmeter View Post

I use Polk Monitor70's and a CS2 center...If your interior decorator will allow towers, I would recommend.....

Lol I like that, very well said

Quote:
Originally Posted by nm4710 View Post

Nothing wrong with the monitor 70s but honestly the RTi line is much better. Imaging is far superior and the speakers are much more revealing. Also the monitor 70 does not compete with the A7 on any level. It has less precise imaging, is less detailed, and has less bass extension. I dont see how it could be thought of as a serious competitor to the A5 let alone the A7 in any way. NM

I haven't as of yet had the privilege of a comparison to the RTi line but the 70's are in no way slouches.

In 2ch mode, I can set them to full band with the sub taken out and get a pretty decent thump, I do have an amp connected mind you, but even at 40hz with the sub brought back in, I have great detail in a room that's 15.5 x 26. At the low price these things can be had, this speaker is pretty awesome, IMHO of course

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post #8 of 18 Old 01-10-2012, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_vanmeter View Post

I If your interior decorator will allow towers, I would recommend ...

Still under negotiations!
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post #9 of 18 Old 03-07-2012, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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UPDATE: I am going forward with towers -- increased the budget to around $2K for F/C/L and Sub. (you can see from above, using Denon 2112, and Polk RC60i for surrounds). Narrowing down to:

PSB:
Image T6: $1300
C5 Center: $400

this would leave a smaller budget for Sub, however, not sure how much sub I really need, as majority of listening is 2 ch music, and likely any of these towers will perform nicely at full band?

Energy: RC-70 ($800-$1000 -- was just on sale -- likely will be again)
RC L/C/R $280

Much more $$ room to spend on subwoofer

Polk: RTi10 (if they come back onto the Polk ebay site) $600 -- am assuming these are comparable to the RtiA9
CSiA6 - $292 (Polk ebay store) -- assuming this is timbre matched still with the RTi series -- couldn't find the "plain" CSi (non-A) version

Aperion - Intimus 5 vs Versus Forte -- not sure which one would be better for music (vs. HT) prices are around the same ($1000-1100 for the mains) and 350 for the centers.

I have not heard the Aperions or PSBs yet -- but from reading they both seem that I would like. I've heard the Energy's and RtiA versions of the Polk's which both sound great -- but have not been able to here them side/side.

Any comments on these or others I should be considering, and the importance of a sub with these, considering the majority of the listening in 2 -ch rock/jazz music???
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post #10 of 18 Old 03-07-2012, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Bump for the evening crowd -- thoughts please???
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post #11 of 18 Old 03-07-2012, 06:56 PM
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My thoughts would be the PSB T6, skip the center and put $700 towards the sub.

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post #12 of 18 Old 03-08-2012, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

My thoughts would be the PSB T6, skip the center and put $700 towards the sub.

So you're feeling in the PSBs are much better musically than the others? I believe in the specs they go down to about 34 Hz -- in which case would I be using a sub in the mix for music, or be better off setting the Fronts to handle the full range in music? Or does this depend on the quality of sub I end up with?

With full range towers such as these, is the sub mostly for the Movies part of the equation?
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post #13 of 18 Old 03-08-2012, 10:49 AM
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IMO the PSB speakers are quite good for music, but I can only compare them to the Polks. Polk LSi series is the cheapest in their lineup that I would consider for music only, but again this is my opinion. Aperion and Energy both have favorable user sentiment though.

I'm personally not nuts about using a subwoofer with pure 2-channel listening unless it's a very high end model - just too much boom typically for my taste. For HT, it really depends on the speaker but most configurations with sub would keep fronts set to Small and use receiver to manage cutover (typically 80hz).

Your last statement, again my personal preference, is a big yes.

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post #14 of 18 Old 03-08-2012, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Nethawk -- The LSi's are 4-ohms, which is something I figured I'd wanted to avoid, since I'm not planning on using a separate amp (Denon 2112 ci receiver). So based on my usage for mostly music, may be best going with the PSBs, setting them for full band when playing music, and then getting a decent ($300-$500) Internet sub (e.g. entry level Hsu) for movies. While it's a big room, likely won't be cranked -- more interested in accuracy then blowing out the walls...
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-08-2012, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon777 View Post

So you're feeling in the PSBs are much better musically than the others? I believe in the specs they go down to about 34 Hz -- in which case would I be using a sub in the mix for music, or be better off setting the Fronts to handle the full range in music? Or does this depend on the quality of sub I end up with?

With full range towers such as these, is the sub mostly for the Movies part of the equation?

Up to you whether to use a sub for music or not. Depends on YOUR preference for bass and what type of music you're listening to.

A quality sub, for example the sealed Rythmik F12 certainly wouldn't hurt the sound for music and would likely help a LOT.

You could set your speakers to small with a crossover of 60 or even 40 to take some of the load off your AVR and let the sub fill in the hard stuff.

Lots of options.

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post #16 of 18 Old 03-08-2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon777 View Post

Thanks Nethawk -- The LSi's are 4-ohms, which is something I figured I'd wanted to avoid, since I'm not planning on using a separate amp (Denon 2112 ci receiver). So based on my usage for mostly music, may be best going with the PSBs, setting them for full band when playing music, and then getting a decent ($300-$500) Internet sub (e.g. entry level Hsu) for movies. While it's a big room, likely won't be cranked -- more interested in accuracy then blowing out the walls...

I think you got it - I was not suggesting the Polk LSi9, but rather my opinion which in the Polk line is the more musical speaker. Of your choices and my limited experience the PSBs would be preferred.

If I might offer a suggestion, skip the sub for now and expand your budget a bit. I have a big room and compromised with my current system and was never happy. It seemed like a good idea at the time, now I wish I had saved $500. It won't kill your experience to set fronts to large for awhile until you can afford better.

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post #17 of 18 Old 03-08-2012, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kini62 View Post

up to you whether to use a sub for music or not. Depends on your preference for bass and what type of music you're listening to.

A quality sub, for example the sealed rythmik f12 certainly wouldn't hurt the sound for music and would likely help a lot.

You could set your speakers to small with a crossover of 60 or even 40 to take some of the load off your avr and let the sub fill in the hard stuff.

Lots of options.

+1

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post #18 of 18 Old 03-08-2012, 05:48 PM
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I agree on the PSBs, fantastic value for money and this is coming from an owner of Polk RTi A7s which I really like. I also agree that you can skip the center and you will barely even notice, I know a guy whose center channel stopped working and I told him he could just set tell his receiver that he didn't have a center and it would create a phantom center using the L/R speakers...that was over a year ago and he still hasn't found it necessary to get a new center channel.

Spending more on a nicer subwoofer is more important.
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