7.2 Setup on ~$3,000 Budget - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 12-05-2012, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I recently purchased a new home, and was trying to pick out the best 7.2 audio package that I can get on a budget of around $3000 for all the speakers. I've searched around on the forums here and there, but I figured it would be best to show what I was thinking to you guys who are a lot better versed with this information than I am.

The speakers I am going to buy will be hooked up to a Yamaha RX-V673, which I already own. After browsing around and reading some reviews, this was what I was planning on getting. Any input on whether these are good choices or not are greatly appreciated.

-Center: KEF Q600C
-Fronts: KEF Q300BL
-Subwoofers: Yamaha YST-SW315
-Surrounds: Two more pairs of Q300s?

Questions and comments about this:
-Do I need specific surround speakers or do I just want to go with two more pairs of bookshelfs for the remaining four speakers?
-All speakers have to come from Amazon, because I have gift card money there, so deals from Best Buy or eBay or other retailers don't really help me, unfortunately.
-Are all these speakers compatible and safe to use with each other?

Thanks in advance for any input you are able to give me.
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post #2 of 20 Old 12-05-2012, 11:15 AM
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I would get NHT Absolute Zero x 7 + NHT B12D subs x 2 = $2800.

Or

KEF Q100 x 8 (4 pairs) + KEF Q400 subs x 2 = $3600.
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post #3 of 20 Old 12-05-2012, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

I would get NHT Absolute Zero x 7 + NHT B12D subs x 2 = $2800.
Or
KEF Q100 x 8 (4 pairs) + KEF Q400 subs x 2 = $3600.

+1

And do not walk - however, run from that Yamaha subwoofer.

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post #4 of 20 Old 12-05-2012, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

I would get NHT Absolute Zero x 7 + NHT B12D subs x 2 = $2800.
Or
KEF Q100 x 8 (4 pairs) + KEF Q400 subs x 2 = $3600.
So is getting a specifically labeled center channel speaker not important? Would getting only one subwoofer work as a cost-cutting measure or will the audio not output correctly?

Thanks.
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post #5 of 20 Old 12-05-2012, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by andykeller View Post

So is getting a specifically labeled center channel speaker not important? Would getting only one subwoofer work as a cost-cutting measure or will the audio not output correctly?
Thanks.

The best centre channel is another speaker identical to your front left and right mains.

Specifically labelled ones are a compromise because most people can't put a third identical speaker in their setup.

Most people only have one subwoofer. Two subwoofers allows better smoothing og bass response throughout the room.

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post #6 of 20 Old 12-05-2012, 04:41 PM
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Here's my suggestion:

Two KEF iQ70 speakers ($600 total)

Four KEF iQ10 speakers ($600 total)

One KEF C6LCR center speaker ($269)

Two NHT B12D subwoofers ($1400 total)

That will be an excellent system for under $3000.

Great speakers all around. (prices shown are from KEF Direct).

Putting a 3rd identical speaker in the center is a terrible idea, in my opinion!

The center speaker should only operate from 120 Hz to 3000 hz; it does not need and should not have any bass driver. That has been my repeated experience, and I stand by it.

It should be doing a different job than the mains and so should be quite differently designed and constructed.

The NHT Absolute Zero is totally inappropriate for a front speaker; it is also inefficient and has poor sensitivity. NHT makes some very good speakers, such as the Classic 3, but low sensitivity is a concern with all of them.
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post #7 of 20 Old 12-05-2012, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Here's my suggestion:
Two KEF iQ70 speakers ($600 total)
Four KEF iQ10 speakers ($600 total)
One KEF C6LCR center speaker ($269)
Two NHT B12D subwoofers ($1400 total)
That will be an excellent system for under $3000.
Great speakers all around.
Putting a 3rd identical speaker in the center is crap, in my opinion!
Thanks for adding the "...in my opinion." rolleyes.gif
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The center speaker should only operate from 120 Hz to 3000 hz; it does not need and should not have any bass driver. That has been my repeated experience, and I stand by it.
It should be designed to do a different job than the mains and should be quite different.
The NHT Absolute Zero is totally inappropriate for a front speaker; it is also inefficient and has poor sensitivity.
That recommendation meets the euphemism you used above. The center channel speaker should absolutely be as similar as possible to the L/R's. This keeps effects that "pan" through the CC sounding the same as they move through the soundstage. For example if a truck is moving from left to right across the screen, and the sound is moving left to right through the soundstage, you don't want it to sound big and powerful on the left, small and tizzy in the middle and then big and powerful again on the right. That would be distracting and take the listener out of the movie. A well-matched and seamless front sound stage requires the use of similar sounding speakers. The best chance for that to happen comes when we use identical speakers.

More importantly, if bass management is used properly, a CC that is capable down to a non-localizable frequency, (80 Hz), can easily be integrated into the system. Have you ever set up a system that uses Dolby Digital or TrueHD? How about DTS or DTS MA? Do you have any idea how modern Bass Management systems work? From your history of posting this "crap", and your silly Bass Management suggestions, it's clear that you haven't and you don't.

BTW, what happens to Darth Vader's voice when you send it to one of those puny CC speakers with no response below 120 Hz? James Earl Jones' voice has a fundamental in the 80 Hz range. Does he sound like he was kicked below the belt when you play him back through a speaker cut off at 120 Hz? rolleyes.gif I can hear it now...

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Edit: I pulled your quote before you edited it. Gotcha!
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post #8 of 20 Old 12-05-2012, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Thanks for adding the "...in my opinion." rolleyes.gif
That recommendation meets the euphemism you used above. The center channel speaker should absolutely be as similar as possible to the L/R's. This keeps effects that "pan" through the CC sounding the same as they move through the soundstage. For example if a truck is moving from left to right across the screen, and the sound is moving left to right through the soundstage, you don't want it to sound big and powerful on the left, small and tizzy in the middle and then big and powerful again on the right. That would be distracting and take the listener out of the movie. A well-matched and seamless front sound stage requires the use of similar sounding speakers. The best chance for that to happen comes when we use identical speakers.
More importantly, if bass management is used properly, a CC that is capable down to a non-localizable frequency, (80 Hz), can easily be integrated into the system. Have you ever set up a system that uses Dolby Digital or TrueHD? How about DTS or DTS MA? Do you have any idea how modern Bass Management systems work? From your history of posting this "crap", and your silly Bass Management suggestions, it's clear that you haven't and you don't.
BTW, what happens to Darth Vader's voice when you send it to one of those puny CC speakers with no response below 120 Hz? James Earl Jones' voice has a fundamental in the 80 Hz range. Does he sound like he was kicked below the belt when you play him back through a speaker cut off at 120 Hz? rolleyes.gif I can hear it now...
"Luke, I am your father SISTER!" biggrin.gif
Craig
Edit: I pulled your quote before you edited it. Gotcha!

Lol...love your star wars quote Craig...and yes commsysman needs to do more research...my 8060 center by deftech has an 8 inch sub in it and I'd put it up aginst any center without one...wink.gif

Doing what I do best...LIVIN!
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post #9 of 20 Old 12-05-2012, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Have you ever set up a system that uses Dolby Digital or TrueHD? How about DTS or DTS MA? Do you have any idea how >>>>MODERN<<<<< Bass Management systems work? From your history of posting this "crap", and your silly Bass Management suggestions, it's clear that you haven't and you don't.
BTW, what happens to Darth Vader's voice when you send it to one of those puny CC speakers with no response below 120 Hz? James Earl Jones' voice has a fundamental in the 80 Hz range. Does he sound like he was kicked below the belt when you play him back through a speaker cut off at 120 Hz? rolleyes.gif I can hear it now...
"Luke, I am your father SISTER!" biggrin.gif
Craig
Edit: I pulled your quote before you edited it. Gotcha!

From all his posts I don't think he has any experience with any modern soundtracks, bass mgt, ect....

I guess from his opinon on center channel's role, I highly doubt he has ever heard a big blockbluster movie like alot of guys on here enjoy. For his listening perferences maybe a very puny limited CC works just fine, but thats not a prescription for everyone.
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post #10 of 20 Old 12-05-2012, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Putting a 3rd identical speaker in the center is a terrible idea, in my opinion!
The center speaker should only operate from 120 Hz to 3000 hz; it does not need and should not have any bass driver. That has been my repeated experience, and I stand by it.
It should be doing a different job than the mains and so should be quite differently designed and constructed.

Here we go again...

...me suggesting an identical speaker for perfect timbre match as sounds go across the screen

...you putting forward the ludicrous notion of putting a speaker incapable of producing all of the sounds the director intended you to hear from the centre channel rolleyes.gif

Please, tell me which movies have no content below 120Hz or above 3kHz in the centre! Any! It would have to be most, if not all, for your idea to make ANY sense at all.

Some low male voices register down around 100 Hz at times. It is your feeling that the centre should be crossed at 120Hz so that a conversation involving such a person would have some of the voice coming from the subwoofer (potentially in the back corner of the room), and being very localizable.

And you think that is a good HT experience eek.gif

Three identical is best - period cool.gif Anything else is a compromise, normally due to space constraints - or if you're comsysman, becuase of some bizarre, unfounded, ludicrous theory biggrin.gif

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post #11 of 20 Old 12-05-2012, 09:04 PM
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Three identical is best - period
Not necessarily. When the mains do kick in hard they get fed more power than the center, and more often than not lower frequency content than the center. For that reason my line array mains run eight midbasses and twelve tweeters each, the center only six midbasses and six tweeters. But the drivers used in the mains and center are identical. AFAIK that option isn't one found in commercial offerings, but it should be.

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post #12 of 20 Old 12-05-2012, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Not necessarily. When the mains do kick in hard they get fed more power than the center, and more often than not lower frequency content than the center. For that reason my line array mains run eight midbasses and twelve tweeters each, the center only six midbasses and six tweeters. But the drivers used in the mains and center are identical. AFAIK that option isn't one found in commercial offerings, but it should be.
Bill, that has to be totally content dependent. I can believe "some" mixers mix that way, but certainly not all, and not all the time. Why would you design a system around the "lower" potential instead of the "most" potential? If I were to use your line arrays, I would 3 identical line arrays across the front. There is no possible downside to this, and significant potential upside.

Craig

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post #13 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Bill, that has to be totally content dependent. I can believe "some" mixers mix that way, but certainly not all, and not all the time. Why would you design a system around the "lower" potential instead of the "most" potential? If I were to use your line arrays, I would 3 identical line arrays across the front. There is no possible downside to this, and significant potential upside.
Craig
It is content dependent of course, and IME that's how most engineers mix it. My L-R-C have nearly identical response and are set up for identical sensitivity, so the difference in the content is very obvious. Of course most of the time the center has the highest level, but in action scenes the L-R are invariably louder, with more midbass content, than the center.

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post #14 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Putting a 3rd identical speaker in the center is a terrible idea, in my opinion!
The center speaker should only operate from 120 Hz to 3000 hz; it does not need and should not have any bass driver. That has been my repeated experience, and I stand by it.
It should be doing a different job than the mains and so should be quite differently designed and constructed.
The NHT Absolute Zero is totally inappropriate for a front speaker; it is also inefficient and has poor sensitivity.

Don't listen to commsysman because he is just wrong. biggrin.gif
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post #15 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by andykeller View Post

So is getting a specifically labeled center channel speaker not important? Would getting only one subwoofer work as a cost-cutting measure or will the audio not output correctly?
Thanks.

Think about it. How are most accurate best sounding speakers positioned? They are vertical.

As already mentioned, horizontal "center" speakers were made to physically fit limited spaces. Sure, they can still sound great. But horizontal speakers are the compromise, not vertical center speakers.

You may find that a single sub is adequate for you, especially if you can place the sub in the middle. If you put it on the right side, then the right side of the room may sound 3-6dB louder than the left side. biggrin.gif

You could also add another sub later.

2 or more identical subs would be ideal.

Don't listen to commsysman if he tells you having identical subs is a bad thing. biggrin.gif
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post #16 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

It is content dependent of course, and IME that's how most engineers mix it. My L-R-C have nearly identical response and are set up for identical sensitivity, so the difference in the content is very obvious. Of course most of the time the center has the highest level, but in action scenes the L-R are invariably louder, with more midbass content, than the center.

So, often the demands are greatest on the centre, but in periods of high SPL and dynamics typically the demands on L & R mains is higher.

Then wouldn't a generally true statement be: that three identical speakers is best (especially if you listen to multi-channel music as well as HT), but that a lesser capable (in terms of SPL) centre is adequate, so long as all speakers are capable of reproducing the entire FR range the content creators intended them to reproduce, and that the front 3 are all timbre matched.

EDIT: added the last phrase.

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post #17 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rick240 View Post

So, often the demands are greatest on the centre, but in periods of high SPL and dynamics typically the demands on L & R mains is higher.
Then wouldn't a generally true statement be: that three identical speakers is best (especially if you listen to multi-channel music as well as HT), but that a lesser capable (in terms of SPL) centre is adequate, so long as all speakers are capable of reproducing the entire FR range the content creators intended them to reproduce.
+1, but finding a center with the same response as the mains while not being identical is the tough part. It's a simple proposition with a line array, you just use fewer drivers in the center. With typical commercial designs it's not at all easy.

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post #18 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 07:19 PM
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So getting back to the op's question... I would try to sell the Amazon gift card for enough to cover these... smile.gif
http://hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid15pkg.html
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post #19 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

I would get NHT Absolute Zero x 7 + NHT B12D subs x 2 = $2800.
Or
KEF Q100 x 8 (4 pairs) + KEF Q400 subs x 2 = $3600.

+1 Though I would probably favor the KEF Q100's over the NHT Ab. Zero's, and, be open to other sub suggestions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rick240 View Post

So, often the demands are greatest on the centre, but in periods of high SPL and dynamics typically the demands on L & R mains is higher.
Then wouldn't a generally true statement be: that three identical speakers is best (especially if you listen to multi-channel music as well as HT), but that a lesser capable (in terms of SPL) centre is adequate, so long as all speakers are capable of reproducing the entire FR range the content creators intended them to reproduce.

The Q100 would meet this (very sensible) criteria and make for an excellent center speaker.

Also, accessoriesforless has the Q100's for a very good price.
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post #20 of 20 Old 12-07-2012, 11:02 AM
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+1 Though I would probably favor the KEF Q100's over the NHT Ab. Zero's, and, be open to other sub suggestions.
The Q100 would meet this (very sensible) criteria and make for an excellent center speaker.
Also, accessoriesforless has the Q100's for a very good price.

The OP's requirement is that EVERYTHING has to be bought from Amazon. Hence the limitation with speakers & subs, etc. biggrin.gif
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