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post #1 of 15 Old 10-25-2012, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I have a dedicated home theater room I'd like to get up and running. Room dimensions are 19'x14.5'. The screen would be mounted on the front wall (14'5" width). The ceiling slopes upwards from 8' at the exterior wall, to 10' in the middle towards the interior wall. The projector will be mounted approximately 15' from the front wall/screen. There is a 6' raised platform towards the rear of the room (6"). I've pre-wired the room for 9.2, with the pre-wiring being about 5'6" up except the center channel pre-wiring, which is towards the ceiling (center channel would be mounted above the screen). I realize this is above ear-level by a bit, but since I had multiple rows of seating planned, I thought this was the better compromise to ensure the front row of people didn't block the sound for the rear row. The 8th and 9th set of pre-wiring are located where I would place front-wide channels.

I'm wanting to do at least a 7.1 setup. I don't have a receiver that supports more than that currently, but may end up picking up a Denon 4520, so it is an option. My budget is no more than $4000 for the speakers/subwoofers. I'd prefer to spend less, of course! I'm looking for suggestions on what to purchase. I'd prefer to have the speakers wall-mounted, not sitting on stands, so that I didn't have wiring hanging all over the place.

I'm currently looking at the HSU Research Ultimate Package (7.2.1). 1 center (2x6.5 + tweeter/horn), 6 standard (1x6.5 + tweeter/horn), 2x15" subs good to 15Hz +- 1db supposedly, and 1x12" sub for the stuff between the real lows and the mids. I could pick up 2 more of the standard speakers if I went with front-wide channels.

Before I spend this amount of money, I'd prefer to have a few different options that I was looking at, instead of just purchasing the first thing that looked good to me. Any suggestions? This is primarily for movies/television, but there will be music and games from time to time, as well.

Also - regarding speaker mounting - how are people wall-mounting bookshelf-style speakers? Are there some kind of wall brackets or something of that nature? I'd want to be able to angle the speakers (like the center channel which will be a fair amount higher than the listening locations). Looking at the HSU speakers, in the product manual, it indicates it's ideal to mount them nearly 2 feet away from any wall. That seems nuts to me, you are removing a fair amount of seating area from the room by doing that. Will the sound quality truly be that much worse with them mounted closer to the walls?

The seating rows will be either 3 or 4 across (haven't picked out the chairs yet, so not sure), and two deep. First row at approximately 11' (head location) from the screen, second row at approximately 15'.

I appreciate any information/suggestions regarding speakers/subwoofers, as well as any information/suggestions regarding speaker mounting. Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-25-2012, 02:14 PM
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fwiw,7 chase home theater pro-10's and dual ss18.1 subs near top range of your budget

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-25-2012, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ormandj View Post

I'm wanting to do at least a 7.1 setup. I don't have a receiver that supports more than that currently, but may end up picking up a Denon 4520, so it is an option. My budget is no more than $4000 for the speakers/subwoofers. I'd prefer to spend less, of course!

Unless you specifically needed the additional features of the 4520, you might want to consider the less expensive 4311 (both have Audyssey XT32). They're becoming more scarce since the arrival of the 4520, but the $1000 savings could go into your speaker budget or your pocket.

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-25-2012, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both, I'll check out the Chase products as well as consider the 4311 vs. the 4520. Anyone else have any suggestions for my speaker setup?
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-25-2012, 05:15 PM
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I would also consider the Ascend speaker packages. With your budget I would consider these for the front left and right ($600 shipped):
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html

This for the center :
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340c/cmt340c.html

And two pairs of these for surrounds:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/htm200/htm200.html

You are around $1400 shipped. Then add this Rythmik subwoofer through Ascend:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/subs/fv15hp.html

With a good Denon receiver you are well within budget.

I would also do some local shopping and demo Klipsch, Paradigm, Kef, etc.
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-25-2012, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I would also consider the Ascend speaker packages. With your budget I would consider these for the front left and right ($600 shipped):
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html
This for the center :
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340c/cmt340c.html
And two pairs of these for surrounds:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/htm200/htm200.html
You are around $1400 shipped. Then add this Rythmik subwoofer through Ascend:
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/subs/fv15hp.html
With a good Denon receiver you are well within budget.
I would also do some local shopping and demo Klipsch, Paradigm, Kef, etc.

The $4000 was for speakers alone, so I'd be way under budget with the equipment you suggested. Thanks, going to do a lot of research on these speakers as well!

Any clue how I would go about mounting speakers like these to the wall?
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-25-2012, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ormandj View Post

The $4000 was for speakers alone, so I'd be way under budget with the equipment you suggested. Thanks, going to do a lot of research on these speakers as well!
Any clue how I would go about mounting speakers like these to the wall?

You are looking for on-wall speakers? Have you considered an accostically transparent screen with in-wall speakers behind them? That is what I am doing, and you get excellent imaging a you can buy a matching vertical speaker and ensure speakers are at the proper height.
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-25-2012, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

You are looking for on-wall speakers? Have you considered an accostically transparent screen with in-wall speakers behind them? That is what I am doing, and you get excellent imaging a you can buy a matching vertical speaker and ensure speakers are at the proper height.

I'm open to in-wall speakers, but I've heard they don't sound as good as enclosed speakers do. I haven't done a lot of research on them, to be honest. I'll have to read up on them.

I'm not likely to go with an AT screen, I've dealt with them before, and I don't like the image quality degradation. I've heard some of the newer AT materials are a lot better in this regard, but I'm still wary of going this route. If I did in-wall speakers, they would be off to the sides of the screen unless I ran across an AT screen that absolutely amazed me. I also wouldn't be very happy in that I'd have to rip up my wall to re-do the pre-wiring. It sure would make center channel placement a lot more ideal, though. Do AT screens still negatively impact the sound, as well?
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-25-2012, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ormandj View Post

Any clue how I would go about mounting speakers like these to the wall?

I have my Ascend surrounds (Sierra-1s) mounted with Pinpoint AM-40 mounts.

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-26-2012, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ormandj View Post

I'm open to in-wall speakers, but I've heard they don't sound as good as enclosed speakers do. I haven't done a lot of research on them, to be honest. I'll have to read up on them.
I'm not likely to go with an AT screen, I've dealt with them before, and I don't like the image quality degradation. I've heard some of the newer AT materials are a lot better in this regard, but I'm still wary of going this route. If I did in-wall speakers, they would be off to the sides of the screen unless I ran across an AT screen that absolutely amazed me. I also wouldn't be very happy in that I'd have to rip up my wall to re-do the pre-wiring. It sure would make center channel placement a lot more ideal, though. Do AT screens still negatively impact the sound, as well?

In-wall speakers can sound every bit as good as in-room speakers, with the caveat that they typically cost a little more. You have a couple of options here if you decide to go the AT route. You can build a false wall and then use in-room speakers behind the false wall. Like this:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/837848/minimalist-approach-to-screen-wall

I recommended in-wall to you since your room is not exceptionally large and thought you may not want to lose 24" or so of wall space for the speakers.

As for AT screens, yes the material is significantly improved. Depending on the size of your screen you should not notice any degradation in screen quality (moire) if the material is cut at an angle, and you are not sitting ridiculously too close. As for audio, they only loss in sound quality would be the need to increase your volume 2-3db. What you gain, IMHO, is huge. First, you are able to properly place your left, right, and center channels for optimal placement. Second, you can go with a true vertical speaker which typically provides better off-axis response, and can be cheaper too. Third, you get a clean look with speakers that are not sticking out in the room. Usually keeps the wife happy and the kids away from the speakers.

For material, I would recommend the SeymourAV Centerstage XD:
More info here:
http://seymourav.com/screens.asp

I ordered my screen and frame from here:
http://www.jamestownhometheaterscreen.com/

He uses SeymourAV XD material with max tilt cut to reduce moire. A 125" screen and frame cost me about $575 shipped I believe. But there is other material out there that is excellent including material from SMX:
http://www.smxscreen.com/

Which the AVS store will sell you. It will cost more, but is highly regarded. If you look around the dedicated theater subforum at AVS, you will see that even the pro designers are using AT screens these days since the material has drastically improved with no noticeable PQ/AQ degradation.

Obviously this is a big decision, but placing your center speaker almost at ceiling height is also a tough compromise. As well as potentially having your left and right main speakers too far apart (potentially). Especially once you start talking about mounting cabinet speakers to the wall. When you go down that path you really want to ensure you buy a sealed or front ported speaker, as a rear ported speaker can sound muddy placed too close to the wall. Most speakers need a good 12-18" from the wall to sound their best, but this can vary from speaker to speaker and some speakers may be just fine with 2-6" placement near the wall.

Hope this helps. For what it is worth, I went from expensive floorstanding speakers to in-wall speakers and am very happy. Center channel dialogue is drastically improved as well as the soundstage. And I have three little ones that used to stress me out when they would play near the speakers.



If you look around in the dedicated
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post #11 of 15 Old 10-26-2012, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

In-wall speakers can sound every bit as good as in-room speakers, with the caveat that they typically cost a little more. You have a couple of options here if you decide to go the AT route. You can build a false wall and then use in-room speakers behind the false wall. Like this:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/837848/minimalist-approach-to-screen-wall
I recommended in-wall to you since your room is not exceptionally large and thought you may not want to lose 24" or so of wall space for the speakers.
As for AT screens, yes the material is significantly improved. Depending on the size of your screen you should not notice any degradation in screen quality (moire) if the material is cut at an angle, and you are not sitting ridiculously too close. As for audio, they only loss in sound quality would be the need to increase your volume 2-3db. What you gain, IMHO, is huge. First, you are able to properly place your left, right, and center channels for optimal placement. Second, you can go with a true vertical speaker which typically provides better off-axis response, and can be cheaper too. Third, you get a clean look with speakers that are not sticking out in the room. Usually keeps the wife happy and the kids away from the speakers.
For material, I would recommend the SeymourAV Centerstage XD:
More info here:
http://seymourav.com/screens.asp
I ordered my screen and frame from here:
http://www.jamestownhometheaterscreen.com/
He uses SeymourAV XD material with max tilt cut to reduce moire. A 125" screen and frame cost me about $575 shipped I believe. But there is other material out there that is excellent including material from SMX:
http://www.smxscreen.com/
Which the AVS store will sell you. It will cost more, but is highly regarded. If you look around the dedicated theater subforum at AVS, you will see that even the pro designers are using AT screens these days since the material has drastically improved with no noticeable PQ/AQ degradation.
Obviously this is a big decision, but placing your center speaker almost at ceiling height is also a tough compromise. As well as potentially having your left and right main speakers too far apart (potentially). Especially once you start talking about mounting cabinet speakers to the wall. When you go down that path you really want to ensure you buy a sealed or front ported speaker, as a rear ported speaker can sound muddy placed too close to the wall. Most speakers need a good 12-18" from the wall to sound their best, but this can vary from speaker to speaker and some speakers may be just fine with 2-6" placement near the wall.
Hope this helps. For what it is worth, I went from expensive floorstanding speakers to in-wall speakers and am very happy. Center channel dialogue is drastically improved as well as the soundstage. And I have three little ones that used to stress me out when they would play near the speakers.
If you look around in the dedicated

Thank you, definitely going to look into this. Really didn't want to have to tear into drywall on my brand new home to re-wire, but if that's necessary, I suppose I can. One point of clarification, I have the pre-wiring for the center channel near the ceiling, but the center channel would only need to be high enough to clear the screen (assuming non-AT screen material) - I haven't selected a screen yet so haven't quite figured out exactly where that would be, but it's certainly not going to be a center channel 10' in the air.

What in-wall speakers did you go with? I see HSU makes a version of their bookshelf for in-wall use.
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post #12 of 15 Old 10-26-2012, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ormandj View Post

Thank you, definitely going to look into this. Really didn't want to have to tear into drywall on my brand new home to re-wire, but if that's necessary, I suppose I can. One point of clarification, I have the pre-wiring for the center channel near the ceiling, but the center channel would only need to be high enough to clear the screen (assuming non-AT screen material) - I haven't selected a screen yet so haven't quite figured out exactly where that would be, but it's certainly not going to be a center channel 10' in the air.
What in-wall speakers did you go with? I see HSU makes a version of their bookshelf for in-wall use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ormandj View Post

Thank you, definitely going to look into this. Really didn't want to have to tear into drywall on my brand new home to re-wire, but if that's necessary, I suppose I can. One point of clarification, I have the pre-wiring for the center channel near the ceiling, but the center channel would only need to be high enough to clear the screen (assuming non-AT screen material) - I haven't selected a screen yet so haven't quite figured out exactly where that would be, but it's certainly not going to be a center channel 10' in the air.
What in-wall speakers did you go with? I see HSU makes a version of their bookshelf for in-wall use.

Did not realize you had 10' ceilings, but at any rate, depending on the size of your screen, your center channel would still be at the top of the screen which is not ideal, depending on where your sit for your main seating. One thing you may want to consider is this service:
http://shop.avscience.com/Pro-Theater-Layout_p_44.html

This service is perfomed by these guys:
http://www.erskine-group.com/

Highly regarded. It might be something to consider before you move forward.

I do recommend in-wall speakers that either have engineered enclosures, or have have backer boxes you can add later:
http://www.cepro.com/article/how_to_prevent_audio_loss_with_in_wall_speaker_systems/

I have done my own testing at my house with open baffle speakers vs speakers that are enclosed, and the above is a very truthful article.

As for speakers, I would look into Episode speakers and Definitive Technology in your price range. I am using these for my mains:
http://www.definitivetech.com/products/uiw-rls-ii

And you have lots of options for surround sound. Subwoofer, I would budget $750-1000. That leaves $3K for speakers. Triad speakers, IMHO, makes some of the nicest in-wall speakers for the money, but they may be out of your budget. Klipsch THX in-wall with backer boxes is another option, as well as Atlantic Technology.

Would be happy to help any way I can, as far as moving your speaker cable, I suspect this would be a minimal charge.
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post #13 of 15 Old 10-26-2012, 09:00 AM
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ormandj,

It sounds like you've got the makings a really nice room - congrats! Can I assume that since you mentioned this will be a dedicated theater that you won't be listening to music on this system? At least not critically or often?

One more question: will you be watching/listening to movies at reference level? The reason I ask is because speaker design is all about trade-offs, and some speakers are designed for the demands of HT dynamics while others are meant to be for Hi Fidelity and listened to at non-reference levels. The latter design will not play nicely if you push them to reference levels; they simply were not designed for it. So, if you do plan to listening at reference level I recommend going with a high sensitivity design, such as something from Chase Home Theater, Seaton Sound, Kipsch or JTR.

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post #14 of 15 Old 10-27-2012, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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ormandj,
It sounds like you've got the makings a really nice room - congrats! Can I assume that since you mentioned this will be a dedicated theater that you won't be listening to music on this system? At least not critically or often?
One more question: will you be watching/listening to movies at reference level? The reason I ask is because speaker design is all about trade-offs, and some speakers are designed for the demands of HT dynamics while others are meant to be for Hi Fidelity and listened to at non-reference levels. The latter design will not play nicely if you push them to reference levels; they simply were not designed for it. So, if you do plan to listening at reference level I recommend going with a high sensitivity design, such as something from Chase Home Theater, Seaton Sound, Kipsch or JTR.

Reference level is often too loud for me. It physically hurts my ears. I like my movies loud, but not hearing-damage loud. This will be primarily a HT room, but I do love to listen to music.
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post #15 of 15 Old 10-27-2012, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ormandj View Post

Reference level is often too loud for me. It physically hurts my ears. I like my movies loud, but not hearing-damage loud. This will be primarily a HT room, but I do love to listen to music.

In that case, I would recommend considering Rythmik for your subs over HSU. They are known for being some of the best for music because of their direct servo technology, and two of their 15" subs would work fine for your room for HT usage if you are not trying to push reference volumes.

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