Which speakers for my living/entertaining room (mostly music, some gaming and movies)? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-08-2012, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I apologize for the long post. I am trying to give enough information for knowledgeable people to respond. The gist of my post though is: "I want to upgrade from tiny soundworks II movie speakers to something that will give me great musical sound into a 7.1 system in my living room; I don't have to buy everything at once."

I always listen to music at home. My source of music is iTunes using mp3s/mp4s. I would say that the majority of the bitrate on those is in the 200-something bps. Right now I am using a pair of Cambridge Soundworks MovieWorks II front speakers (http://reviews.cnet.com/surround-speaker-systems/cambridge-soundworks-movieworks-ii/4507-7868_7-31291870.html). I also have, but am not currently using, the matching 8" powered sub, their bipole/dipole surround speakers and their center channel plus (with five speakers instead of the 3 in the original set).

I haven't plugged the sub in in a few years but I remember that transition from the mains to the sub was very noticeable with music, and so I would only use mains (and sometimes center too) for music. The sub was a bit boomy.

I do not listen to music at very high volumes but I listen all the time. I also want something that gives the music more presence than it has with the small speakers I have right now. The music will be amplified by a modern AVR (Yamaha 3010 or 2010 or Denon 2112---whichever one I keep; I'll try them with the speakers I get and will keep the cheapest one that does what I want well if they sound the same---there is $400-$600 in savings going from one of the Yamahas down to the Denon). In addition to music listening, I watch shows or a movie maybe once or a couple times a week, and my kids play Xbox (a lot: they are kids). I want good sound for movies eventually, but can take my time, especially if I can reuse some of my Cambridge for starters for surrounds. Also when I am around, the kids switch to a headset for Xbox and we're back to music on the speakers.

I am putting photographs of the room below (taken as I was moving clockwise to show all sides), as well as the room dimension. Here are some of my considerations:
  • Money does matter but I am also fine investing for the future. At a time I was considering the Monoprice speakers for in wall, but I don't know if they'll give me what I want for music or I'll like the in-wall look on that wall (which may apply to more expensive in-walls like the Def Tech RLS series).
  • I actually like the look of towers, I just need to size them for my room so they're not obnoxious or in the way.
  • I do not know anything. Which is why for example I did not order the $399 Polk RTI A9 on Newegg.com this weekend (now out of stock in cherry and back to $749 for black)
  • Since I do not know anything I plan to go and try and audition speakers (Bellevue/Seattle area; any recommendations?)
  • I have a small house so I'd like things to not be obnoxiously big (hence my in-wall comment).
  • I might/could swap the little bench under the projection wall for the audio cabinet which is right now under the photograph. It would mean less wiring in walls for sure (though I bought what I needed already) and it might be better with towers. But this is the walking path so I am trying to not overload it.
  • I could mount the bipole/dipole I have for back surround (right under the ceiling by the wall) or install in-ceiling (and then do sides too for 7.1)... or do both at different times to budget?
  • I have not budgeted but up to $1,500 or so would probably be in the right range to start (fronts + a matching center if it's important to match from the start + decent subwoofer if mine is not reusable for now) . It may depend also on which receiver I keep too.

The ceilings are 8' high. The distance from the wall I am projecting on and the opposite wall (windows and fireplace) is a bit over 13'. Sitting is between 6'-8' (closest seats on the couch) to ~11' away from the front wall (chair and far seat of couch), or ~2-3' from the back wall. The long dimension of the room is 24' to the back wall and 14' to the white cabinets off the kitchen. The rail above the wainscoting is at 30" high.

From the couch our seating is low compared to the screen: ear level is level with the bottom of the screen. (Well that's because there is no screen and I am not projecting over the molding!). I also spend 90% of my time in the kitchen and the far black chair which is better for my back, so the speakers will not be facing me at those times; I may use the surrounds to get a bigger sound field (?).

Sorry for the long email. As I said I don't know anything and it's a bit overwhelming given the choices and price ranges. I need some direction smile.gif Thanks A LOT in advance!

- The wall I am projecting on (don't mind the big box full of Monoprice cables):

2n9fihx.jpg

- The hallway and wall to the right of the "screen:"

rs7vps.jpg

- Back wall, first half:

2zxrp14.jpg

- Back wall, second half:

10nxjco.jpg

- Right side wall (with couch in foreground); I do sit and listen to music from that far black rather than the couch most of the time.

35mp98k.jpg

- View along the screen back towards kitchen

2lv1lis.jpg
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-08-2012, 09:48 PM
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You have a nice big space to work with. In-walls would work but you could easily fit some tower speakers for fronts in there and a center below the screen. You should be able to audition a lot of different brands in Seatlle. Some brands to audition include KEF, Monitor,Focal, and B&W. There are some great internet direct brands as well such as Salk, Ascend Acoustics and HSU research.

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post #3 of 10 Old 10-11-2012, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes I think I would like some towers and a center there, and will probably do ceilings for the 2 or 4 rear channels. Does anybody recommend places to go audition in Bellevue/Seattle? I will start with a Best Buy home theater consultation (which I have as I bought my projector from them last year) but don't want to be tied to just what they have.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-26-2012, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Another question: given the short dimension of the room (14') and my sitting close to the windows and only doing ceiling speakers for the rears, is 7.1 going to be an improvement over 5.1? If I stay with 5.1 I can get a cheaper receiver to handle my multiple zones. I'll gladly do 7.1 if it makes a difference, but a HT consultation from Best Buy (whatever that's worth---it was free to me so why not?) yielded the advice that 5.1 was plenty.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-26-2012, 01:54 PM
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I would not be too concerned about 7.1 > 5.1 is enough. It is good to
go and audition. However, keep these in mind > they are good ones
for music, and can handle HT and games.
Focal at AC4L
http://www.accessories4less.com/index.php?page=brand&id=FOCAL

And Snell
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/SNELLOHT7/SNELL-OH-T7-Full-range-6.5-inch-coax-Direct-Power-waveguide-Each/1.html

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Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-26-2012, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Will the Snell be better than the Monoprice 4103(http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&cp_id=10837&cs_id=1083702&p_id=4103&seq=1&format=2) which is half the price and apparently well regarded here?
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-26-2012, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Crash View Post

Will the Snell be better than the Monoprice 4103(http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&cp_id=10837&cs_id=1083702&p_id=4103&seq=1&format=2) which is half the price and apparently well regarded here?

Monoprice does not draw my attention. The Snell use to sell/list for $600 a pair.
This is a good close out deal, from a good speaker company. >>>> I have not
heard anything bad, about their in-ceiling speakers. >>>> I do own some Snell
bookshelf speakers.

Your option and call

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-26-2012, 02:49 PM
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Be sure to take a listen to the Def Tech 8000 series super towers. Def Tech has a great deal on the 8060s right now. Comes with a free center and a pair of surrounds.

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post #9 of 10 Old 10-27-2012, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Be sure to take a listen to the Def Tech 8000 series super towers. Def Tech has a great deal on the 8060s right now. Comes with a free center and a pair of surrounds.

I did listen to them yesterday. I also listened to some B&W 863s and CM9s. And I found the 8060 not nearly as clean sounding as either of the B&W (including when turning the sub off on the 8060; the B&Ws were still much cleaner to my ears). Before I listened to them they seemed like a pretty nice deal with this promotion, especially with in-ceiling rears for me.
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-30-2012, 03:02 AM
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Dr Crash,

What a beautiful place you have - really love the way you have decorated - it looks very fresh & balanced! Good luck finding your speakers!

Suave!
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