Do I need "great" speakers for Home Theater only? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-26-2012, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I am in the process of laying out a home theater, and stuck when it comes to speakers, The theater space will be roughly 15x23, and will be used for movies exclusively. Since I am not planning to listen to music, wonder how much I should realistically spend.

I am targeting a 7.2 setup for the room, and have an interest in various combinations. I currently have a set of Usher Audio Dancer Mini Two's in our rec room, so I could get the matching center, but would end up with surrounds from another brand (which I would dislike). I am also checking out the Monitor Gold series, but wondering if that would be more than I need if I'm never listening to music. I have been reading alot about the Aperion Verus Grand speakers, and they seem like a good value for the dollar.

So, curious to get your thoughts on "how good" the speakers have to be if for movies only.
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-26-2012, 07:44 PM
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I think there should be no qualitative performance differences for a sound system meant for home theater and a sound system meant for music. After all, look how much of a movie's sound mix is composed of music. Accuracy is accuracy, and if you want your sound system to be accurate, whether it be for movies or music or anything else, the speakers need to meet the same performance metrics either way. There are those who only care for clear dialogue and big booms (ie most people), and if that what you want, you don't need to be spending on Monitor or Aperion speakers, you could get that from a much less expensive system.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-26-2012, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I thin there should be no qualitative performance differences for a sound system meant for home theater and a sound system meant for music. After all, look how much of a movie's sound mix is composed of music. Accuracy is accuracy, and if you want your sound system to be accurate, whether it be for movies or music or anything else, the speakers need to meet the same performance metrics either way. There are those who only care for clear dialogue and big booms (ie most people), and if that what you want, you don't need to be spending on Monitor or Aperion speakers, you could get that from a much less expensive system.

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post #4 of 6 Old 10-27-2012, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I think there should be no qualitative performance differences for a sound system meant for home theater and a sound system meant for music. After all, look how much of a movie's sound mix is composed of music. Accuracy is accuracy, and if you want your sound system to be accurate, whether it be for movies or music or anything else, the speakers need to meet the same performance metrics either way. There are those who only care for clear dialogue and big booms (ie most people), and if that what you want, you don't need to be spending on Monitor or Aperion speakers, you could get that from a much less expensive system.

This is a great reply - I appreciate your thoughts. Maybe I should have been a little bit more clear with my question as I would like to ensure the inquiry comes across in the right way.

I would put myself into a category of a person that cares about sonic performance. However, many factors come into play in terms of the quality of sound: source, amplification, speakers, room, etc etc. It seemly likely that for a person who actually cares about the overall sound, a $500 HTIB system isn't going to cut it. But - what is the average amount one should look to spend to get 90% of the way there? How much additional performance (if any) should one expect from a $10,000 set of Monitor Golds vs a $4000 set of Aperions or Golden Ears? What percentage of the difference in price is due more to aesthetics than drastic improvements in sound quality? These are the things I am wondering, b/c I would prefer not to overspend. If $5000 is that sweet spot, great. If the difference between $5K and $10K is significant, great I'll spend $10K, etc.

My broader view on Movies vs Music is that it seems intuitive to think that the music experience is 100% about the audio and typically dependent on only 2 of the channels, whereas a movie is about Visual/Dialogue/Music and Special Effects over 5/7 channels. If the difference between a set of Paradigm Studio 100s and the Signature S8s shows itself most dramatically on music but not movies, then it wouldn't make sense for me to spend the additional money.

Hopefully this makes sense. I don't post much and want to ensure I am getting top value for dollar spent.

I appreciate your help.
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-27-2012, 09:49 PM
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I get what you are saying, and I agree that a great sound system isn't as crucial to enjoying movies as it is to enjoying music. I say that as both a music lover and a lover of older movies where the soundtrack is either in poor shape or the movie predates soundtracks (ie silent movies). Anyway, I think you should be set on hitting certain performance metrics and after that you get seriously diminishing returns (unless you factor in aesthetics). I think this can happen at a lower price point than you are imagining. I would not be looking at any of the brands you mentioned for that.

For high bang-for-the-buck, I would start by looking at high quality bookshelf speakers. There is no sense in paying for the lower bass extension of tower speakers when you are going to hand all that bass playback to subwoofers anyway. Some bookshelf speakers I would be looking at are the NHT Classic Threes with it's matching center channel. If you have a larger room, I would also give some Klipsch Reference speakers a look. One speaker that has my attention is the Soundfield Audio Monitor 1 which have built in subs, but I would still be after some separate subs even with those, and let their 8" woofers handle the mid bass and upper bass region. A high efficiency speaker to look at is the Chase Pro-10, another choice appropriate for a larger room. For subwoofers, you definitely want to stay away from the brands you mentioned, they are very poor values when you factor in performance. Some good subs for $/performance are the Hsu VTF15h and VTF3, Rythmik FV15 and FV15HP, SVS PB12 Plus and PC12 Plus, the subs from Chase (if appearance isn't a big concern), and the subs from Funk Audio (which look sweet and will have great performance as well).

By the way, if your budget is for speakers, receiver, source, and subs, I would get speakers that can be easily driven, so you don't have to spend money on a separate amplifier. Any of the speaker mentioned above will be just fine on any AVR's amplifier. Also don't buy into the notion that amplifiers can somehow make a speaker sound better- they don't. They can only make a speaker sound louder. Also I wouldn't spend a lot on a source, I would just get a decent blu-ray player with the features you want, and not get any fancy esoteric brand, that is a waste of money. And whatever you do, do not spend a lot on cables, just get some nice thick gauge cables from monoprice.com, or blue jeans cables if you want nice looking ones. You could also just go to Home Depot and get a 100 ft roll of 14 AWG cable for $20, it is all just copper and even the most expensive $2000/ft cables won't sound any better.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-28-2012, 08:20 AM
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For movies, one can get away with a lot less than is required for music. Much of the disappearing act great speakers do is simply unnecessary with movies. Perceptually, the screen creates the focal point, and the speakers can be quite deficient without ruining the image. There's not much point in superior loudspeakers for just movies.

For movies, one basically needs three things: dialog clarity (maybe bumped up midrange?), ability to handle wide dynamic swings, and (if one likes action movies) big bass.

If I were doing a movies-only room, I would likely just put efficient "full range" drivers in the front wall (Eminence Beta12LT, Dayton PS220, etc., depending on the size of the space), use whatever for surrounds, and tie it all together with decent room correction. That would give you midrange, dynamics, and allow you to add subs for bass.

The exception is by "movies" one really means "Blu-Ray concert recordings."

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