Help! For Home Theater Martin Logan ESL or Klipsch THX Ultra II? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 99 Old 10-07-2012, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Guys

I am upgrading my system and i am looking for speakers with warm depth sound and that don't have the same limits as B&W CM Series for example.
I was considering B&W CM9 (Front) CM5 (Back) CM Center and CM Sub. Now i've seen there are lots of much better speakers.

I am a Home Theater guy, not so much a music listener. My room has 20m2 and is like a square. I have 2 proposals:

- Klipsch THX Ultra II 5.2 set

and....

2 x Electromotion ESL
1 x Electromotion C2
2 x Electromotion FX2
1 x Dynamo 700W sub (Here in case i choose Martin Logan i will go for Dynamo 1000 instead of 700.

My Amplifer is a Pioneer SC-LX90 (Susano) and i don't want to change amplifier. I want to take all the juice out of it...

One of my concerns is that the ML ESL are 300watts speakers and the Susano delivers only 200/250Watts per channel (200watts announced, and 250watts when tested).
I am afraid to harm the speakers or the amp....

In terms of sound quality it's a dificult question because everyone has a diferent opinion, but i apreciatte a little help here. I have no way to test the Martin Logan and i've listened to the Klipsh and i like them.
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post #2 of 99 Old 10-07-2012, 01:32 PM
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Preface:  I'm predisposed to horn speakers so discount my thoughts accordingly

 

I once went to the Axpona show this past spring.  http://forums.klipsch.com/forums/p/160953/1706183.aspx#1706183

 

I don't think I listened to the specific speakers you are referring to AND, the ones I did listen to had a very very veryyyyyyyyyyyyyy nice, clear detailed sound about them however....  they absolutely flunked my horn type speakers when it came to dynamics.  I might add that you can get some horn setups far (far far as in very far) less expensive than some of these setups.

 

If you are primarily movies and (presuming) you like/prefer dynamics I'd suggest you give a listen to some used Klipsch LaScalas and buy a horn loaded sub to mate with them.  I've heard a 7.2 LaScala system in Indianapolis and with regard to dynamics, it walked all over this expensive system I heard.

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post #3 of 99 Old 10-07-2012, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MV_Cinema View Post

One of my concerns is that the ML ESL are 300watts speakers and the Susano delivers only 200/250Watts per channel (200watts announced, and 250watts when tested).
I am afraid to harm the speakers or the amp....
The power ratings on speakers are their maximum power handling ability before damage. They aren't like a light bulb where they demand their rated power. They take what you give them, which you control with the volume control. The figure to watch, related to power, is sensitivity or efficiency. Once you're above 90dB/watt/meter, you can easily play them at THX reference level with 140 watts per channel or less. Both the Klipsh and ML will be fine, no damage to amps or speakers unless you really crank your amp, which you won't.
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In terms of sound quality it's a dificult question because everyone has a diferent opinion, but i apreciatte a little help here. I have no way to test the Martin Logan and i've listened to the Klipsh and i like them.

Without talking about overall sonic character, the ML and Klipsch differ significantly in their ability to cover a wide seating area. The ML are a 30 degree speaker, that means anything outside about =/- 15 degrees from dead in front of the speaker isn't covered by the high end, probably some mid too. It's both their strong and weak point, great if you sit alone, not so good if you have a few friends with you. The coverage angles stated are also angles at which there is already a significant loss of SPL, so the true coverage is much narrower than that.

On the other hand, any THX Ultra 2 speaker must, by definition, have a wide horizontal coverage angle, but a narrower vertical angle. This means your seating area is covered but sound doesn't splash of ceilings and floors where you don't want it. To be a THX Ultra 2 speaker, this has to be true.

I avoid narrow horizontal coverage speakers when designing home theaters, though they can be nice in 2 channel audio-only rooms. Nothing beats the THX Ultra 2 spec in this area. When I audition speakers, I always "walk the coverage" to find out how they sound off axis. It's actually one of the most important aspects of speakers.
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post #4 of 99 Old 10-07-2012, 02:29 PM
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If you cannot hear the Martin Logan speakers I would go with the Klipsch. They are very different sounding speakers and if you like the Klipsch and have heard them that is the safer bet.

What country are you located in?

If you are in the US, I would definitely consider Internet Direct for your subwoofers from companies like Hsu, SVS, Rythmik, Power Sound Audio, etc.
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post #5 of 99 Old 10-07-2012, 05:31 PM
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post #6 of 99 Old 10-08-2012, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Guys tank you so much for the Help

i definitely want HORN Speakers and now my only options are Klipsch THX Ultra II or TRIAD.

The TRIAD are not THX, but that doesn't mean they are worst right?
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post #7 of 99 Old 10-08-2012, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MV_Cinema View Post

Guys tank you so much for the Help
i definitely want HORN Speakers and now my only options are Klipsch THX Ultra II or TRIAD.
The TRIAD are not THX, but that doesn't mean they are worst right?

Which Triad models are they? Triad are excellent speakers, I actually prefer them to Klipsch myself, but again, this is a preference thing. Do you have any way of demoing them?
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post #8 of 99 Old 10-08-2012, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MV_Cinema View Post

Guys tank you so much for the Help
i definitely want HORN Speakers and now my only options are Klipsch THX Ultra II or TRIAD.
The TRIAD are not THX, but that doesn't mean they are worst right?
triads are great. The THX certification means little other than that the manufacturer paid more to have it tested to see if it met their specs. As a result you'll pay a premium for THX stuff. I would do the Triads over the Klipsch any day.

I wouldn't rule out the SHO-10's, they have gone up against some much more expensive speakers and come,out on top.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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Originally Posted by MV_Cinema View Post

I am a Home Theater guy, not so much a music listener.

Klipsch for Home Theater and Martin Logan ESL for music. No matter which speakers you go with, they need to be supported by, at minimum, a pair of 12" subwoofers.

Something to consider regarding availability. Klipsch can be found anywhere whereas Triad is much more limited. Klipsch wants to sell you their speakers where as Triad wants you to love their speakers.

http://www.triadspeakers.com/abouttriad_factorytour.html

Again, my recommendation is to buy what makes you all warm and fuzzy inside and if happy with the reproduced sound quality, don't look back. Our Home Theater speakers of choice is a full set of Klipsch speakers. Just recently upgraded our center channel to an RC-64 II. A series of speakers I can feel comfortable recommending.

FWIW, our current pair of subs are Klipsch subs but due to age (old technology), the subs are in need of being upgraded and we will go outside the Klipsch family to upgrade our subs.

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post #10 of 99 Old 10-08-2012, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi
I am considering the following package from Klipsch:

- Klipsch RF-7 II Home Theater System 5.0

But now i have to find the right Subs to make a good combination. I am thinking on 2 x KW-120THX Subs & KA-1000 sub amp. I will connect the subs to the sub amplifier and then to the Pioneer Amplifier SC-LX90 (Susano) . Like that i get to read all the LFE sounds that come from the subs.

I think i would make a better choice to go with the THX Ultra II Speakers, but my wife kills me if she sees those huge boxes in the living room. I think the RF-7 are more envoirment friendly. In terms of quality i don't know if i will loose any quality if i don't buy the THX ones.
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post #11 of 99 Old 10-08-2012, 02:16 PM
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What is your budget for subs?
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post #12 of 99 Old 10-08-2012, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I might know what you are thinking smile.gif REL?

I am willing to spend 2000 to 2500 Euros in Subs.
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post #13 of 99 Old 10-08-2012, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post

The THX certification means little other than that the manufacturer paid more to have it tested to see if it met their specs. As a result you'll pay a premium for THX stuff.

Yes, THX certification does mean the manufacturer paid extra to have it tested, and can't put the badge on if it doesn't meet THX specs. But it also means they paid extra to come up with a design that would meet the specs, because the THX specs are actually much harder to meet, and the vast majority of speakers made for home theaters do not come even close.

THX specifications were designed so that certain problems inherent with home theaters could be worked around my components that meet the specs. Ultra 2, which is actually the current version of the original Home THX spec set, is a set of specs for rooms larger than 3000 cu ft, but are appropriate in smaller rooms as well. One of the hardest things to do is to control the vertical dispersion angle, or limit how much sound goes up and down from the speaker, and make it work well with a wide horizontal angle. Not easy, not cheap to do, but makes a significant difference in home theaters, especially those without acoustic treatment. If the wife doesn't like big ugly speakers, she's probably not going to like acoustic panels either.

BTW, THX Select 2 is a spec set for smaller rooms, and does not include asymmetrical dispersion, the same maximum SPL, or power handling, though they are still very good and above the typical non-THX speakers in many cases.

There are other aspects to the specs as well, like efficiency, off-axis response, maximum SPL and power handling. The THX spec is not a guarantee that the speakers will sound good, that's still up to the manufacturer. It is a guarantee that they will work better in your room. And, it turns out, because it costs more to meet the specs, products that get THX certification are also better made.

It's absolutely possible to have excellent sounding speakers that are not THX certified. The challenge is that then you have to examine each specification to see if the speaker, as good as it sounds, will cover all your seats with flat response, has flat off-axis response, handles power and can provide adequate SPL. It can be done, but usually isn't. And horizontal and vertical dispersion figures are probably never mentioned, though Martin Logan does state them, and they have the coverage of a flashlight beam.

There are lots of other THX product out there, though, that aren't as large as the Klipsch. For example, the MK Sound S150 Mk II, which is also a film industry standard, is about half the size. No, it's not a horn speaker, but that doesn't seem to bother anyone actually mixing movies and music. In fact, you won't find even 1/10th as many Klipsch speakers in the industry. MK Sound also makes an in-wall version, the IW-150, same specs, so you can hide the speakers in your wall and paint the grill with the same color paint as your wall. How's that for THX and invisible? You still have your subs to hide, but that can be done too.

And that's just one example, there are many others.

I don't put as much weight on THX certified electronics, especially lately, but for speakers in a typical living-room-type home theater, I always suggest THX Ultra 2 speakers over anything else.

If I might ask, what's your affinity for horn speakers?
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post #14 of 99 Old 10-08-2012, 08:40 PM
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Nonsense. There are plenty of speakers out there that meet THX specs without having spent the extra for the certification. It is merely an easy way for people who don't want to put in the research that a certain speaker meets X criteria. It does not mean the speaker sounds good.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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post #15 of 99 Old 10-09-2012, 02:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post

Nonsense. There are plenty of speakers out there that meet THX specs without having spent the extra for the certification.

Care to mention any?
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post

It is merely an easy way for people who don't want to put in the research that a certain speaker meets X criteria.
Isn't that part of the problem? How many people know what specs mean and what's important to look for? On the other hand, there is an understanding that THX means a certain degree of quality, even if they don't understand specifically what that means.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post

It does not mean the speaker sounds good.

I never said it did, but I haven't heard a THX Ultra2 or Select2 speaker yet that sounded bad, or even average. A lot of what's in those specs force designers to certain things that end up sounding good. For example, it's pretty well understood that anyone can make a speaker sound good on axis, but off-axis response has more to do with how the speaker sounds in a room. Care to quote a non-THX home theater speaker that has a published polar plot? Pretty hard to find, aren't they. That's partly because very few consumers could understand a set of polar plots. But, if the speaker meets THX specs, that has already been done, confirmed, and doesn't need to be published as a set of incomprehensible plots for someone to understand that the design is there.

Look, I don't intend to get into a debate with a THX hater. But I wish people like you could understand that THX is on the side of the consumer. The entire purpose was to help insure that the consumer got sound reproduction in his living room home theater that matched that of a dub stage. And yes, that costs money. But all good high performance designs do. You can hate THX for what ever reason you dream up, but the goal was and is quality in the home. You can achieve quality in the home without THX, but you have to do a lot of homework, many specs are never published at all, and some things like the narrow vertical and wide horizontal coverage just aren't done. At least the THX badge lets the consumer know that a lot of extra engineering has gone into the product for it to pass certification. If you want to hate that, that's up to you.

And no, I don't work for THX.
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I'm not a THX hater, I just don't think it's a particularly useful criterion for accepting X speaker as good because it wears a THX label, and rejecting Y speaker because it doesn't. The CHT line of speakers exceed THX specs without the label, as does Seaton, JTR, Danley etc. And while we're at it, controlled directivity type speakers are better for movie listening and having a very large polar plot where it doesn't drop off sharply off axis encourages more room interaction and therefore more muddying and smearing of the sound.(Which is a THX criterion BTW).

There are quite a few THX labeled merchandise out there that flat out made me laugh. Take a look at some of these products that have the THX cert:

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=thx+speakers&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=3280695841&hvpos=1o2&hvexid=503761&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1778959907583645908&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&ref=pd_sl_198g3ifcu2_b

To me it places in doubt the actual value of the certification because it is clear that many of those products flat out stink.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by has7738 View Post

Care to mention any?

We're currently using a set; Klipsch, Epic, CF-3's for mains, Klipsch's RC-64 II for a center channel and a pair of Klipsch, KSP-S6's for rear surrounds. Based on research, at listening position, I've assigned the speaker sensitivity at the real world listening position of 86dB/1w/4m vs Klipsch's stated sensitivities of 100dB/99dB/94db 1w/1m. We're set up using an asymmetrical speaker dispersion pattern which reflects real world sound, based on personal experience; went to dress rehearsals and did sound checks in different seating locations within the performing arts venue. With our current setup, using a digital sound meter for verification purposes, after using Audyssey, MultEQ XT for room analysis, taking measurements at various seating positions in our lvrm/home theater venue, with the exception of the subwoofer section, reaching THX reference mixing standards at both seating positions, is no trouble. Sonically, we're terribly evil people.

mooohahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

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Quote:
Isn't that part of the problem? How many people know what specs mean and what's important to look for?

This is a valid point as some eighteen years ago, when we bought our main speakers (the RC-64 II is newly acquired and to better match the timbre of the CF-3's, about 1998, a pair of KSP-S6's was added as an upgrade to the existing surrounds), the THX standard was in the process of being introduced to the consumer market so there was no certification at the time we purchased our main speakers and shortly thereafter, the THX standard for the "consumer market" was introduced. I emphasize consumer vs commercial market as yes, the THX mixing standard had been out many years prior. Despite not being THX certified, coincidentally, our speakers have the necessary build and specs to meet these requirements and were purchased with the newly emerging THX standard in mind. In truth, at the time, I didn't have a clue what it was but I was told these speakers, although without certification, would qualify for this emerging standard. Let's face it, in truth, considering the day and age, 1994-1996, we got lucky for at the consumer level, knowledge of the THX standard, was at best, very murky. cool.gif

For spec info, Klipsch's web site.


t450_4e341ede3f7efc9f663ef26f80c53ba0.jpg?1349736617

t450_3c25d299c8c1f3b430b7e38cf0d31c5b.jpg?1349736617

t450_b9eee574d0129867554e0f73791a18c5.jpg?1349736617

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post #18 of 99 Old 10-09-2012, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post

I'm not a THX hater, I just don't think it's a particularly useful criterion for accepting X speaker as good because it wears a THX label, and rejecting Y speaker because it doesn't.
I would agree in general, but in the specific application of a practical home theater, the THX product is designed to be optimized for that situation. Many other speakers ignore the situation completely. The Martin Logan speakers the OP referenced for example. They may be a fine speaker, but only one seat will have the full frequency response. Any THX Ultra2 product would do much better in that aspect. And while the Martin Logan is an indisputable extreme example, if you walk the coverage of any speaker in a demo, you'll find that in general the full-bandwidth coverage is a 30 degree cone. If it's really a wide-angle speaker, it's probably wide in both axis.

No, THX isn't a sound quality spec, it's an application spec. It isn't the only criterion for accepting a speaker. But it turns out that largely THX product also sounds very good, where Y speakers may or may not.
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The CHT line of speakers exceed THX specs without the label, as does Seaton, JTR, Danley etc.

If you'd care to cite specific models, I'll have a look to see if your claims are valid by examining the individual specs. Many manufacturers that do make THX product also make product that is not certified. This petty arguement isn't worth my time digging through an entire manufacturers line looking for something that may not be there. Specifics will verify your claim,.
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Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post

And while we're at it, controlled directivity type speakers are better for movie listening and having a very large polar plot where it doesn't drop off sharply off axis encourages more room interaction and therefore more muddying and smearing of the sound.(Which is a THX criterion BTW).
No, you don't understand the THX spec. The horizontal angle isn't just a "very wide polar plot", it's specific, and does trop of outside of that angle. The tightly controlled vertical is specifically to avoid room interaction. A THX Ultra2 speaker isn't just a wide angle speaker, it's a specifically controlled angle that would cover seats for a similarly normal viewing angle. The entire concept exists specifically to limit room interaction.
Quote:
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There are quite a few THX labeled merchandise out there that flat out made me laugh. Take a look at some of these products that have the THX cert:
http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=thx+speakers&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=3280695841&hvpos=1o2&hvexid=503761&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1778959907583645908&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&ref=pd_sl_198g3ifcu2_b
To me it places in doubt the actual value of the certification because it is clear that many of those products flat out stink.

Once again, you don't understand the THX specs...probably at all. The speakers you cite are THX certified for a specific purpose: One person gaming on a computer. They would never hit the Ultra2 spec or even the Select2 spec for home theaters. THX also has spec'd and certified a USB microphone, but that doesn't mean you'd use it for recording a concert, it's application-specific. There is even a THX Certified dry-wall! But you wouldn't use it all over your house.

You need to understand the purpose behind the specs. There are now many different products certified, but they have different purposes. It's not that a THX badge means "best of the best", it means it's designed to be optimized for it's purpose. Not sure why that's so hard to understand, but the fault is actually that of THX. Once upon a time, THX meant one thing: "excellent theater sound". Now the badge is on all sorts of items. They've created market confusion, and then amplified it themselves with trailers that say things like "Let's see it in THX!", as if THX were a format. It's not a format, it's not a sound system, it's not even specific hardware, it's a set of specifications designed to optimize performance for a given application. You can choose to mis-apply the product, or misunderstand the specifications, then say that THX is nonsense, or you can understand the goal and recognize the benefit, and let the THX badge do what it's designed to: help consumers choose products that will perform optimally for their application. Within that specific goal for speakers is a lot of room for variance in sound character. You still have to pick the ones you like. But if you don't understand specifications, it's a good, reliable, safe way to insure the product you are buying was designed for your purpose.

Now, I again invite you to share with us all those speakers that meet or exceed THX Ultra2 specs, but are not certified. I'm not saying there may not be a few, but I would like to see all those many you refer to, and so would everyone else. And then we can talk about how much consumer research it took to find them.
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This is what we're trying to duplicate in our homes.

See, "About Skywalker Sound" > "Technical Bldg. Tour." Check out the Akira Kurosawa Stage.

.......................rolleyes.gif

We have no hope but with a proper dose of delusional optimism, we keep trying.

From THX labs regarding certification.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

We're currently using a set; Klipsch, Epic, CF-3's for mains, Klipsch's RC-64 II for a center channel and a pair of Klipsch, KSP-S6's for rear surrounds. Based on research, at listening position, I've assigned the speaker sensitivity at the real world listening position of 86dB/1w/4m vs Klipsch's stated sensitivities of 100dB/99dB/94db 1w/1m. We're set up using an asymmetrical speaker dispersion pattern which reflects real world sound, based on personal experience; went to dress rehearsals and did sound checks in different seating locations within the performing arts venue. With our current setup, using a digital sound meter for verification purposes, after using Audyssey, MultEQ XT for room analysis, taking measurements at various seating positions in our lvrm/home theater venue, with the exception of the subwoofer section, reaching THX reference mixing standards at both seating positions, is no trouble. Sonically, we're terribly evil people.
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This is a valid point as some eighteen years ago, when we bought our main speakers (the RC-64 II is newly acquired and to better match the timbre of the CF-3's, about 1998, a pair of KSP-S6's was added as an upgrade to the existing surrounds), the THX standard was in the process of being introduced to the consumer market so there was no certification at the time we purchased our main speakers and shortly thereafter, the THX standard for the "consumer market" was introduced. I emphasize consumer vs commercial market as yes, the THX mixing standard had been out many years prior. Despite not being THX certified, coincidentally, our speakers have the necessary build and specs to meet these requirements and were purchased with the newly emerging THX standard in mind. In truth, at the time, I didn't have a clue what it was but I was told these speakers, although without certification, would qualify for this emerging standard. Let's face it, in truth, considering the day and age, 1994-1996, we got lucky for at the consumer level, knowledge of the THX standard, was at best, very murky. cool.gif
For spec info, Klipsch's web site.

Your post has highlighted a flaw in my logic. It's pretty much impossible to match non-THX speaker specifications to the THX spec because much of the data is missing. It would appear the Klipsch hit many of the specs, but I'm in doubt that the RC-64 II would certify, and we have no data on off-axis response at all.

The other aspect is, the THX specs are unpublished. So, even if I found a non-certified speaker with enough data and measurements, what good is it if there's nothing to compare to?

My apologies to all, this is a pointless discussion. And I do point my finger at THX as at fault for the confusion, then perpetuating it by not publishing the specs. I'll still say the THX certification is good for the consumer as it helps them pick product that is optimized for their application.

BTW, Home THX began in the early 1990, with product from manufacturers like Lexicon and M&K speakers.

My home theater is an exact sonic replica of Skywalker Sound....in my dreams.
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post #21 of 99 Old 10-09-2012, 09:21 AM
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No, THX isn't a sound quality spec, it's an application spec. It isn't the only criterion for accepting a speaker. But it turns out that largely THX product also sounds very good, where Y speakers may or may not.


Sound quality isn't a spec? Really? You're talking out of both sides of your mouth. A THX certified product is either a superior product or it is merely a marketing tool.


Straight from the THX website:

Quote:
A deep understanding of the filmmaking process and surround sound is at the very heart of every THX Certified 2.1, 5.1 and 7.1 speaker system. Engineered with design characteristics of professional studio speakers, THX recreates the tonal balance of the filmmaker’s final mix in your living room. The result? Action sequences are impactful, and dialogue-driven moments are natural and engaging.
Benefits Of THX Certified Speakers
Crisp, clear sound fills your room: THX Ultra 2, Select2 and Multimedia speaker certification categories deliver amazing performances based on your room size.
Intelligible dialogue and ambient sounds: THX Certified Front Speakers feature Controlled Directivity, both vertically and horizontally for the best audio experience wherever you sit.
Smooth panning from your TV: THX Certified Surround Speakers feature THX Technologies to ensure the best possible playback experience.
Powerful studio volume: THX Reference Level delivers studio volume and fidelity with low distortion and noise.
Easily mix and match brands: With a single standardized bass configuration, you can easily and confidently use any THX Certified product together.

http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entertainment/audio/thx-certified-speakers/

Mix and match brands? Really? Plus, only if his room is larger than 3000 cu ft does he need something that's Ultra2 certified to meet the criteria.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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My apologies to all, this is a pointless discussion.

I see it as having merit in that openly discussing questions surrounding the THX standard, for all of our better understanding, is a good thing. With a better understanding of the THX standard, as mere sound mortals, with our available monies, we're better able to cobble together an acceptable sound reproduction system in which to mirror the THX standard. I have need to upgrade our subs and to add an outboard Amp and once done, I would not hesitate to humbly demo our system to George Lucas himself. Yes, I know he's the King of movie sound and yes, by comparison, I know I'm a lowly, unbathed sound peasant. What's being demo'd is a sincere effort to create quality sound in our acoustically impoverished (challenged) home theater venue. With better understanding of the THX standard, despite the short comings of our wallet or home theater environment, all of us have a chance at decent movie sound quality.

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BTW, Home THX began in the early 1990, with product from manufacturers like Lexicon and M&K speakers.

Agreeing with you, in my many edits, I made note of THX history so as to make sure and cover your above point. At the retail level, in the early to mid 1990's, THX was new and was still being implemented as there was little in the form of THX AVR's. At that time, despite being in Silicon Valley, THX was admittedly new and at the retail level, was more enigmatic then well understood. At the time, THX was more of a "What's that?" kind of understanding. And the answer at the retail level was a muddy response of a new recording standard which was not as well understood as it is today.

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My home theater is an exact sonic replica of Skywalker Sound....in my dreams.

Pleasant dreams.
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I have need to upgrade our subs and to add an outboard Amp and once done, I would not hesitate to humbly demo our system to George Lucas himself. Yes, I know he's the King of movie sound and yes, by comparison, I know I'm a lowly, unbathed sound peasant. What's being demo'd is a sincere effort to create quality sound in our acoustically impoverished (challenged) home theater venue.
Doubtful George would be the best judge. The guy you want is the inventor, Tom Holman. You'll have to pry him out of Apple, though...
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With better understanding of the THX standard, despite the short comings of our wallet or home theater environment, all of us have a chance at decent movie sound quality.
Agreeing with you, in my many edits, I made note of THX history so as to make sure and cover your above point. At the retail level, in the early to mid 1990's, THX was new and was still being implemented as there was little in the form of THX AVR's. At that time, despite being in Silicon Valley, THX was admittedly new and at the retail level, was more enigmatic then well understood. At the time, THX was more of a "What's that?" kind of understanding. And the answer at the retail level was a muddy response of a new recording standard which was not as well understood as it is today.
Agreed, and still not well understood. People still don't know what it is, and THX hasn't helped a bit. As an example, it's not a recording standard, never was. And the fact that there's a THX mode or three on AVRs, but also THX badges on discs doesn't help. It's a mess, I've talked to them about it, there's no solution at this point. It's a case of good intentions forced to diversity and confusion by the need to remain solvent. Imagine working for a company that is funded only by licensing fees from companies that really don't want to pay them, and the "product" is a nebulous logo that consumers don't understand. The costs of operation include facilities to accurately measure speakers, displays, electronic products, etc. That's not just the test gear, it's special rooms too, big, dark, quiet ones. I toured one of their former facilities a few years back, it was quite complete, but not exactly working to full capacity either. It takes a huge amount of time to fully test an AVR, for example, as every signal path must be evaluated, and the unit must be thoroughly stressed. If a unit fails, it goes back to the manufacturer and they get to do it all over again.

Talk about a noble cause and an uphill battle.
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As an example, it's not a recording standard, never was.

I should have posted, "a mixing or playback standard" as opposed to being "a recording standard."
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I agree that the basic premise of the THX standard is a worthy target to shoot for. I'm just stating that one shouldn't assume that all THX certified gear is necessarily anywhere near the best, nor should one assume that gear that lacks the THX badge is substandard. And that a person shouldn't automatically throw out consideration of some speakers because the manufacturer opted not to spend the extra money for the certification. Many manufacturers don't want to increase the cost of their product and give a better value to their customer.

Dumb enough to spend lots of cash on this junk!
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I agree that the basic premise of the THX standard is a worthy target to shoot for. I'm just stating that one shouldn't assume that all THX certified gear is necessarily anywhere near the best, nor should one assume that gear that lacks the THX badge is substandard. And that a person shouldn't automatically throw out consideration of some speakers because the manufacturer opted not to spend the extra money for the certification. Many manufacturers don't want to increase the cost of their product and give a better value to their customer.

The THX logo may instill some degree of quality, and it looks good on the gear .. however, it is not the end all be all ..

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Sound quality isn't a spec? Really? You're talking out of both sides of your mouth.
Perhaps I misspoke or spoke poorly. By "sound quality" I was referring to the subjective tonality or character of a speaker. THX specs allow for that, and thus, the specs don't dictate a "sonic signature".
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A THX certified product is either a superior product or it is merely a marketing tool.
Straight from the THX website:

So, after reading that clip, what would you say? Superior product or marketing tool?

Here's something you won't see quoted on the THX site: THX Certified products are consistently out-sold by non-certified products by a significant ratio! If it's marketing only, it's failing miserably.
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Mix and match brands? Really?
Yea, really. It lets the consumer pick and choose without going outside of the certification spec. Sorry if that spins your head, but it works.
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Plus, only if his room is larger than 3000 cu ft does he need something that's Ultra2 certified to meet the criteria.

If you'd allow me to restate that: Especially if his room is larger than 3000 cu ft does he need Ultra2. But try to understand that the point is that the Ultra2 speaker product specs help it to work better in a non-dedicated room with only modest acoustic treatment. Though applicable to 3000 cu ft and up especially, they are no less successful in smaller rooms. The Select2 spec is there to make THX product more affordable for smaller, less critical rooms. My own feeling about Select2 product is that it confuses the selection process, not clarifies it, and that because the specs are looser may not mean nearly as much to anyone as Ultra2. But that's an opinion, folks, not a fact, a delineation we seem to have trouble with in our discussion.

But again, in general, it's possible to build a good sounding HT without THX product, it's just that the research is much more difficult, and in many if not most cases, impossible. So, you pays your money and takes your choice, and you can still win.
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I agree that the basic premise of the THX standard is a worthy target to shoot for. I'm just stating that one shouldn't assume that all THX certified gear is necessarily anywhere near the best, nor should one assume that gear that lacks the THX badge is substandard. And that a person shouldn't automatically throw out consideration of some speakers because the manufacturer opted not to spend the extra money for the certification. Many manufacturers don't want to increase the cost of their product and give a better value to their customer.

Exactly, precisely, and I agree completely. l would add that for those seeking a certain performance level without the benefit of technical knowledge or unbiased guidance, the Ultra2 badge helps them to make a better decision with far less research, and in doing so lets them pick a product that stands more chance of serving them better than one chosen without the benefit of analysis or certification.
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But again, in general, it's possible to build a good sounding HT without THX product, it's just that the research is much more difficult, and in many if not most cases, impossible. So, you pays your money and takes your choice, and you can still win.

THX themselves stress the fact that even with any degree of certification .... room treatment / speaker placement / calibration is as important if not more so than the gear .. I don't think selecting a system is difficult at all without THX cert .. this is one of the reasons AVS came into being ..

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post #30 of 99 Old 10-10-2012, 07:31 AM
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First off let me say that I love my THX products. Every single speaker I have used that was THX Ultra or Ultra 2 certified sound excvellent for movies. However, just because it says THX Ultra 2 does not mean it will hit the specs of THX reference levels in every 3000 cubic foot room or bigger with a THX ultra 2 AVR. I can buy a full set of M&K S-150's with a Denon 4311 and never reach THX reference at my seats. There just is not enough power to do so. Don't think that any THX ultra 2 product will do it, you still need to research and figure things out. My THX Ultra gear would do it. I love the fact THX has a certification process and I too believe it is good stuff. I used to have a full THX processor, amps, speakers and subs. It sound great, the best of the bunch(for my room) were the M&K S-5000's and the JBL 4675C's(3622N's to) which are THX cinema certified! Right now I have the THX gear but my speakers and subs are DIY and I can better both for much less money. The dialog clarity is better than ever and the dynamics are off the charts!
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