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post #1 of 2 Old 12-31-2012, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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So I am thinking about buying my first real sound system. For the last ten years I have been using a Logitech z-640, but 1.5 years ago I got a new job and moved into a much larger apartment. My family room is now 13x22 open to a 10x22 kitchen/dining area that is separated only by a counter height divider. ceilings are 11 feet. Rough not to scale diagram below:

The TV is on a stand on the fireplace. Also, we hope to upgrade to a townhome in 2 years, which (due to the wife's preferences) will likely have a slightly larger open family/dining/kitchen area for my acoustical displeasure. She also prefers the speakers to be pushed up against the walls.

The z-640 is way too boomy when turn it up enough to fill that space, and TV speakers are always bad. My total budget for speakers+receiver is $1,700.

So here are some things about my listening preferences
  1. I am not a big fan of boomy sound unless I'm having a dance party. When I bought the z-640's, I was at the age where every day was a dance party and my system was in the bedroom.
  2. I am not an audofile so I'm not trying to find faults, but I am an electrical engineer so I understand what everyone is talking about and I will continue bothering me when I notice that something is 'wrong'.
  3. This system will probably be used as 60% HT and 40% music, but I care more about the music and we don't watch a lot of action movies.
  4. I like a 'lively' mid range, opposed to a weak and relaxed mid range.
  5. I prefer 'immersive' sound over cranking the volume.

So here is what I'm thinking:
  1. I'm not too crazy about the surround sound experience. Add that to the difficulty that I will have 'aiming' the speakers correctly in this room, and I'm thinking that two cheap surrounds will be sufficient for now (Dayton B652). Then I can use those in a different room/computer if I ever want to upgrade.
  2. It would be difficult to mount a center. I can't put it on the mantle in front of the TV. Mounting from the ceiling pointing downward might be an option. A center would benefit those listening from the chairs, but the sound would probably be coming from a strange angle.
  3. $500 for a receiver. I'm fine with the Denon line.

Option 1:
$400 towers in front, $150 center (HTD Level 2?).
$100 rears (Dayton or slightly better?+stands).
$600 woofer (hsu VTF2 MK3).

I'm thinking that it would be difficult to get loud bass above 30hz without turning up the bass below 30hz, which is going to annoy the neighbors.

Option 2:
$800 towers in front, $150 center (HTD Level 3, Kef Q900?)
$100 rears (Dayton or slightly better?+stands).
Some kind of sub for 17hz-30hz? Maybe wait to get a hsu VTF2 MK3 later on? Maybe get a cheaper sub that could move to a different room with the cheap rears one day?

Does anyone have some better suggestions / improvements?

What do you think about mounting the center so high? If I point them toward the couch, then they are going to miss the chairs, but if I point them toward the chairs, then it seems like I would get echo/distortion at the couch.

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post #2 of 2 Old 12-31-2012, 05:58 PM
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IMHO, you should set a total budget, then make sure 60-75% of that budget is spent on speakers. For instance, find a budget av-r for 3-400 dollars, then budget 3x that amount for speakers/sub.
The htd are good speakers; also svs; hsu; EMPtek; Ascend acoustics; etc

Set up #1: EMP e5Ti, e5Ci, and EMP e5Bi surrounds, Outlaw LFM1 Plus sub, SVS NSD SB12 sub, Marantz Slimeline 1504 AV receiver
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and EMPtek10i10i sub, Denon 1910 AV receiver
Set up #3: Philharmonics- BMR in a 2.0 system, music only, Yamaha RXV-363 AV receiver
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