Please help me find speakers for movie dialogue clarity - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 55 Old 05-07-2013, 09:04 AM
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I don't think you can go wrong with either the Primus line, or the Andrew Jones line. In many cases a VERTICAL bookshelf speaker within the same line is recommended over a horizontal center channel speaker. Those with better technical knowledge than myself can explain better. As far as a sub is concerned, the Klipsch RW-12D is the best bang or your buck.
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post #32 of 55 Old 05-07-2013, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

You won't want the bookshelf speaker on it's side. It would be better to go with the c361 in this case. The p163 is made with the woofer intending to interact with the tweeter on a vertical plane, and if you place it on it's side, you will end up with lobing issues. I don't know how severe it would be though. Placing any speaker near the ceiling is a terrible idea, by the way, especially for dialogue coherence.
Mounting on the ceiling would be a really bad idea even if I can direct it at the listener? Is there maybe a safe distance that I could distance it from the ceiling (maybe 4-5") to offset the ill effect?

edit- although if I can't put the speaker horizontally, that is moot anyway. I guess I will try and see if I'll be able to fit something under the projector screen. This is all very frustrating, lol.
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post #33 of 55 Old 05-07-2013, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

Mounting on the ceiling would be a really bad idea even if I can direct it at the listener?
Mounting on the ceiling is fine so long as it's aimed directly at the listening position.

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post #34 of 55 Old 05-07-2013, 10:51 AM
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Hi, I'm not an expert as many here, so I can only talk about my limited experience and a lot of hours of research. My room (viewing area) is 13x15x9, in an open area, so i guess it is comparable to yours. Hope this helps.

Dialogue intelligibility
I have struggled with this ever since I had my Onkyo HT-3300 all in one (among other problems when you go with a cheap all-in-one). What I discovered, even though speakers and room acoustics enhances the experience a great deal, the problem lies in original Bluray movie source. (ex. TV source may not sound as good overall, but you can hear the dialog better). The original mix in the bluray disc is mixed to be heard at "reference levels" which depending on where you live or who you live with, it may be too loud. That's what makes some dialogues in movies difficult to hear, specially in lower end systems. That is why you see many receivers using "gimmicks" to improve dialogue intelligibility.

Also, THX has DSPs on THX certified receivers to improve this, as they recognize the original mix on high definition audio movies is not optimal for small home theater at practical levels of listening. With that said, upgrading 1) speakers 2)room acoustics 3)receiver in that order will take you a long way.

Speakers
My first upgrade was the speakers. Thanks to the help of many people here in AVS (and due to my tight budget) I ended buying the Pioneers BS22-LR for fronts and C22 for center. I kept my cheap onkyos speakers as surround and sub. The first impression was no more boominess, very clear and neutral sounding. Even with a wider dynamic range it let me increase listening sound level because of its clarity. (my cheap onkyos will actually make my room boomy, muddy and shaky) so it got unpleasant when increasing the volume. It improved dialogue intelligibility but I still had to apply a center gain to hear some. They are big (specially the center) and not the nicest looking one, but I am really happy with them.
Upgrade Cost: $200 for 3 speakers on Amazon.

Receiver
Even though my 5.1 Onkyo was feature packed for its price (like all Onkyo are) I was wondering if a better receiver will greatly increase my experience. Like you, I wasn't concerned in second room, or hdmi availability over 4, or wireless features, etc. All I wanted is an improved sound with some dialogue enhancement feature and 7.1 to future proof it and last but not least, automatic audio calibration. The winner, Yamaha RX-V673 for $369 on Amazon. I also bought it with a Yamaha sub because my existing sub was passive.

Once I set it up, the sound spectrum increased. I heard sounds in movies I haven't heard previously, so I knew now the receiver was complimenting my newer speakers. They say receiver doesn't improve sound that much, and it may be true within they tiers, but upgrading from a cheap sub to a midrange did wonders for me. I think the key is in the quality of the amplifier. Yamaha uses on the 5 series and above, discrete amps per channel which help drive the speakers better. My particular sub wasn't rated high on CNEt, etc because at the price, it lacks some features like # of HDMI, built in wireless etc, except when it comes to sound, they said is along the top. Since all I cared was sound as long as it had my minimal feature requirements, I was sold.

I originally wanted Onkyo 616 because it was THX certified with THX DSPs, and many other features, but it seemed to have reliability issues. Also, I don't know if that series has improved HDMI input switch over my cheaper onkyo, the the Yamaha's is very fast and night and day with the Onkyo.

I won't go on since this is not a "receiver" review, but all I want to say is that overall, it improved dialogue intelligibility even though my center was automatic adjusted to -1db, which makes sense since it is a slightly greater distance and more powerful than the bookshelves. i have to say, I have set the dialogue enhancement feature to +2.

I initially used the dialogue lift, but it tends to echo in my fronts, so i didn't like it.

My last upgrade was 2 "presence" surrounds. I bough a $30 BIC America RTrv44-2; I haven't tried using dialogue lift with the presence yet. It helps with Yamaha's DSPs which I like for watching sports, etc.

Hope this helps.

Yamaha RX-V673 | HSU HC-1 MK2 | HSU HB-1 MK2 - LR | Pioneer SP-BS22-SLR | BIC RtR-V44-2 (Presence)
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post #35 of 55 Old 05-07-2013, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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hdnewbie21, perspectives are different, but I can't thank you enough for that post. You sound like you've been through something very similar to myself and have a very similar disposition to myself with a similar setup.

I'm very much starting to lean toward the Primus P163BK bookshelves as my 3 fronts with something similar as surrounds. I bought the RW-12d from newegg for $270 instead of the PS312. I'm leaning toward a receiver with THX select 2 plus and MultEQ XT32 that might help me with corrections and adjustments related to dialog. Which is kind of looking more and more like the Onkyo TX-NR818. Though I'll probably get the Pioneer SC-1522-K if I can find a Cosco that has it. I recon you can't go wrong with those receivers.

I figure if screw up along the ways, I can sell something and start over.

If somebody thinks I'm making a terrible mistake, let me know.
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post #36 of 55 Old 05-07-2013, 01:55 PM
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If money is not a concern, then I recommend p363 for front, p163 center, and p163 surrounds.

The p363 is huge bang for your buck. You should get them if you can manage the towers.
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post #37 of 55 Old 05-07-2013, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

If money is not a concern, then I recommend p363 for front, p163 center, and p163 surrounds.

The p363 is huge bang for your buck. You should get them if you can manage the towers.

+1 on P363s for vocal clarity. Currently on sale at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Primus-P363-Three-way-Floorstanding/dp/B0046A8R3M w/free shipping.

This is a true 3-way system with a very clear sounding dedicated midrange speaker. The matching center channel speaker uses the same midrange (x2) and is on sale for the same price.

The "famous designer" competition really has nothing to compare.
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post #38 of 55 Old 05-07-2013, 02:37 PM
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Acoustic treatments are another way to get improved dialogue intelligibility. Cheap too if you go the DIY route. Lots of info here at avs.

PSN ID: Seldom_Seen
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post #39 of 55 Old 05-07-2013, 11:39 PM
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I was in your exact shoes about 3 yrs ago. I divided my room and put in a weight room. What a waste. (For me anyway). First, if you divide the room you might think of putting up a dividing curtain that can be used when needed. This will help keep sound in the "theater" and not bleeding off. Since my first system I've upgraded my LCR and receiver. Dialog was most important to me also. I went with Onkyo TX-NR818 and Polk Monitor 75T for the fronts and 25C for center. My advice is the following: if you can't get what YOU want for your current budget, WAIT! Why, because every time you use it you'll be disappointed. Also depending on your luck you can lose your pants selling used gear.

If you can get what you want, AWESOME! But be patient. It takes time and trial and error to get it just perfect for your preferences. I was in another forum and a guy bought a new receiver and expected it to be perfect for him "out of the box". He spent 2hrs with it and gave up. 2HRS! Are you kidding me. So be patient and you'll be fine. You've gotten a lot of great advice. Now comes the hard parts, signing the checks and the install.biggrin.gif But I'm sure everyone here would agree that you need to have fun with it and enjoy the experience. smile.gif

GO BLUE
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post #40 of 55 Old 05-08-2013, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice. So far I have gone with RW-12d ($270), and bought 3 primus p163 ($68 each) for LCR. I have two Design Acoustics ps 55 to use as rears for now. I am leaning toward the Onkyo TX-NR818. I figure if anything, I can easily insert 2 P363's if I can't configure things to my satisfaction. And I will do my absolute best to make this setup work. I'm really not very demanding at all. I'm in no way an audiophile. All I want is to sit down, at the first explosion say, "nice". And at no point have anybody say, "what did he say?"
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post #41 of 55 Old 05-08-2013, 09:44 AM
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I think you're off to a good start. The ability to add the p363's is nice should you feel the bookshelf's aren't giving you enough "oomph", as is the ability to add a 2nd sub. Good luck. Enjoy your new system.
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post #42 of 55 Old 05-08-2013, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

Thanks for all the advice. So far I have gone with RW-12d ($270), and bought 3 primus p163 ($68 each) for LCR. I have two Design Acoustics ps 55 to use as rears for now. I am leaning toward the Onkyo TX-NR818. I figure if anything, I can easily insert 2 P363's if I can't configure things to my satisfaction. And I will do my absolute best to make this setup work. I'm really not very demanding at all. I'm in no way an audiophile. All I want is to sit down, at the first explosion say, "nice". And at no point have anybody say, "what did he say?"

Correct me if I'm wrong, I think the premise of your post was "center speaker" and to build your setup around that. The case was made for PC351 so you can enjoy the two midranges drivers that the P163 lacks. Not that I heard p163 myself, but from reviews and specs, it looks like the "Famous Designer" speaker is a better center channel than the P163. The Pioneer has 2 woofers, 1' tweeter and allegedly a higher end crossover.and waveguide. Also, their bookshelves are really good.

As for the Onkyo receiver, I think overall it is a great bang for the buck. I thought you were budget constrained and that receiver alone is $800. I like that it is THX certified. The recent 2-3 generations of Onkyos have arrived with reliability issues, so we careful about that. Especially with the HDMI input switch. Mine wasn't defective but it was really slow (albeit a lower end Onkyo). My Yamaha's HDMI switch is much better. I would risk to say, at the $350 - $800 range, Onkyo >Yamaha for features per $$; Yamaha>Onkyo sound quality and overall quality.

Another important thing is to compare YPAO RSC multipoint (Yamaha) vs. MultiEQ Xt32 (Onkyo), I believe the Audyssey is better.

Yamaha RX-V673 | HSU HC-1 MK2 | HSU HB-1 MK2 - LR | Pioneer SP-BS22-SLR | BIC RtR-V44-2 (Presence)
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post #43 of 55 Old 05-08-2013, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coytee View Post

My understanding is Klipsch is currently one of the largest (if not the largest) supplier to theaters.....

Hard to beat the dynamics & clarity of horns

I tried the Klipsch RF series. Got a headache with the tweeers. I think its becuase of the horn tweeters. I have the Polk LSI 15 for Front and Polk LSI C for center. Way better than Klipsch for voice clarity and clean crisp sound imaging.

My Budget system:
Front: Polk LSI15
Center: Polk LSIC
Sub: PSA XV15
Surround: Polk LSI 7
AVR: Pioneer SC-1522
Amplifier: Parasound HCA 1200 ii
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post #44 of 55 Old 05-08-2013, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdnewbie21 View Post

Correct me if I'm wrong, I think the premise of your post was "center speaker" and to build your setup around that. The case was made for PC351 so you can enjoy the two midranges drivers that the P163 lacks. Not that I heard p163 myself, but from reviews and specs, it looks like the "Famous Designer" speaker is a better center channel than the P163. The Pioneer has 2 woofers, 1' tweeter and allegedly a higher end crossover.and waveguide. Also, their bookshelves are really good.

As for the Onkyo receiver, I think overall it is a great bang for the buck. I thought you were budget constrained and that receiver alone is $800. I like that it is THX certified. The recent 2-3 generations of Onkyos have arrived with reliability issues, so we careful about that. Especially with the HDMI input switch. Mine wasn't defective but it was really slow (albeit a lower end Onkyo). My Yamaha's HDMI switch is much better. I would risk to say, at the $350 - $800 range, Onkyo >Yamaha for features per $$; Yamaha>Onkyo sound quality and overall quality.

Another important thing is to compare YPAO RSC multipoint (Yamaha) vs. MultiEQ Xt32 (Onkyo), I believe the Audyssey is better.

I am going to second the room correction point. I recently learned the hard way that my receiver was more to blame for muddy dialogue than my center. I would get a receiver with MultiEQ XT (at min) with dynamic eq, dynamic volume (and dolby volume if you see it). those features worked wonders on my setup (paradigm studio 60s, cc-590). In fact, had I bought the new receiver first, I may not have bought the cc-590 (though I have no intention of giving it up now biggrin.gif)
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post #45 of 55 Old 05-08-2013, 03:04 PM
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I own the rx-673 and its excellent. The yamaha has a crisper sound IMO compared to a pioneer or Onkyo. I got mine new from amazon for 357 shipped. Aside from a openbox/ refurbished reciever from accessories4less its the best deal I have found new.

If clear dialog is your goal you could look for a set of old B&w's ,Kef Q series kefs and Klipsch on the used market. I for one I love good deals and since klipsch is a populare speaker lots of people own and sell them, typically for half of what they cost originally. If you could find some klipsch rf-3 F,L,C set for around 5-600 that would sound excellent and clear. but you have a lot of good options to choose from. Def Tec book shelfs are pretty decent for smaller speakers ( not my personal favorite). In your price range I would stay away from new polks. Excellent for music, not that great for movies IMO.
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post #46 of 55 Old 05-08-2013, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

Which is kind of looking more and more like the Onkyo TX-NR818. Though I'll probably get the Pioneer SC-1522-K if I can find a Cosco that has it. I recon you can't go wrong with those receivers.

I figure if screw up along the ways, I can sell something and start over.

If somebody thinks I'm making a terrible mistake, let me know.

If you are really considering the SC-1522-k I would look into the lower SC-1222-K receiver. The 1522-k is massive overkill for the speakers you are looking for. The SC-1222-K should have more than enough power especially considering that both Pioneer's use class D3 amps. Class D3 amps are newer technology and can power 4ohm speakers with ease. It probably could power Polks LSI which is known to be a hard 4ohm load. It's $550 at newegg, close to half the price of the 1522-k I believe.

Here is a review of the SC-61. Nearly identical to the SC-1222-K. It also benches better than the Onkyo 818. Not sure how they compare with features though.
http://www.hometheater.com/content/pioneer-elite-sc-61-av-receiver

Two channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 127.2 watts
1% distortion at 150.3 watts

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 109.0 watts
1% distortion at 127.7 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 99.4 watts
1% distortion at 110.3 watts

Still I think most receivers between $300-400 should be more than enough for the Infinity, Pioneer's or Klipsch speakers I have heard people mention.
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post #47 of 55 Old 05-08-2013, 06:40 PM
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Speaker placement, room correction and room treatment are key to obtaining dialog clarity IMO.

Of course, having a capable center helps too.

The OP has the right idea on all 3 speakers the same but is wasting $800 on a receiver thats not needed.
If the budget allows for that, then I think less money be spent on a receiver and an upgrade on those front 3 should be considered.
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post #48 of 55 Old 05-09-2013, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdnewbie21 View Post

Correct me if I'm wrong, I think the premise of your post was "center speaker" and to build your setup around that. The case was made for PC351 so you can enjoy the two midranges drivers that the P163 lacks. Not that I heard p163 myself, but from reviews and specs, it looks like the "Famous Designer" speaker is a better center channel than the P163. The Pioneer has 2 woofers, 1' tweeter and allegedly a higher end crossover.and waveguide. Also, their bookshelves are really good.
I am fairly certain I will be adding the PC351's... maybe sooner rather than later. I don't think the $200 it's at right now on amazon is the lowest it will be. My gut tells me I will get them for $100 each. 200 bucks is 200 bucks. I have heard amazing things about the p163 as the LCR. Frankly, I haven't heard a single negative thing about them anywhere. Whether that holds true for dialogue, I'm will to test first hand... and will very soon as I have three on the way. If it sounds great, good for me. If I can't make out jack after tweaking, I'll make changes to a more traditional setup.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdnewbie21 View Post

As for the Onkyo receiver, I think overall it is a great bang for the buck. I thought you were budget constrained and that receiver alone is $800. I like that it is THX certified. The recent 2-3 generations of Onkyos have arrived with reliability issues, so we careful about that. Especially with the HDMI input switch. Mine wasn't defective but it was really slow (albeit a lower end Onkyo). My Yamaha's HDMI switch is much better. I would risk to say, at the $350 - $800 range, Onkyo >Yamaha for features per $$; Yamaha>Onkyo sound quality and overall quality.

Another important thing is to compare YPAO RSC multipoint (Yamaha) vs. MultiEQ Xt32 (Onkyo), I believe the Audyssey is better.
I bought the Pioneer SC-1522-K for $600 at Costco today. I feel this will future proof me as I hope to upgrade to a more proper dedicated theater room in the not too distant future. And for me a receiver should last at least a decade. I have read so much about MCACC vs Audyssey. Pros and cons. Good stuff, bad stuff. Using them first hand is the only way I can believe anything at this point. A lot of very knowledgeable... and very opposing opinions on these forums. I got a lot of great advice but also realize I will have no choice but to trial and error a bit for myself.
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post #49 of 55 Old 05-09-2013, 08:25 PM
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Take it from someone who has owned both pc350 center and now p163 as center. Bookshelf center is the way to go, no doubt in my mind. Both on axis and off axis is better. But the star of the primus lineup is the p363's. Go get them and complete your setup.
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post #50 of 55 Old 05-09-2013, 08:36 PM
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Pioneer budget speakers do not even compare to the primus series. I bought into the hype, even fooled myself a bit as it has been a long time since I listened to the primus series. Infinity primus are still budget king, IMO.



Man, the lord of the rings two towers, Ent tree people talking, sounds so good with the p163 center.

I may eventually change my tv stand and put a real speaker stand for the p163, but as it is now, it sounds fantastic. Just need to add a subwoofer or two.

Sure in the pic, the MTM pioneer center tweeter is a little lower compared to the p163 tweeter, but I tested it higher. Still don't matter. Still not as dynamic. Still worse on and off axis. I was told you can't tell the difference on axis with MTM. I don't think so. Don't believe, go try yourself, it's the best way to find out.
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post #51 of 55 Old 05-09-2013, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
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What books are those? lol
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post #52 of 55 Old 05-09-2013, 09:57 PM
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These are the layers for me to get the perfect height I was looking for with my current tv stand, just below the tv, the highest the tweeter could go. Perfection.

Layer 1 - piece of cardboard
Layer 2 - box for an ocz computer power supply
Layer 3 - random korean language learning books
Layer 4 - old yamaha bookshelf speaker

Result, best center speaker dialogue I have ever heard, LOL.

When I see people spending big bucks on horizontal speakers and then complain about dialogue, I'm just laughing in my head as I enjoy my cheapo p163 with my outstanding dialogue.
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post #53 of 55 Old 05-10-2013, 12:45 AM
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My only concern here is the size of the room. That's a lot of space for those little Infinitys to fill. With an efficiency of 90db, they should be able to get moderately loud, but will it be enough?

Also, You are probably going to need 2 subwoofers for that amount of space. No worries there though. You can always get another RW-12D later if a single sub proves to be inadequate.

Also, don't freak out about this kinda stuff. There's a butt-ton of information to sift through in the Home Theater hobby. Just take your time and make sure you get something you are happy with. Sometimes that takes a little bit of experimentation to figure out.

Stand tall and shake the heavens...
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post #54 of 55 Old 05-10-2013, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

These are the layers for me to get the perfect height I was looking for with my current tv stand, just below the tv, the highest the tweeter could go. Perfection.

Layer 1 - piece of cardboard
Layer 2 - box for an ocz computer power supply
Layer 3 - random korean language learning books
Layer 4 - old yamaha bookshelf speaker

Result, best center speaker dialogue I have ever heard, LOL.

It looks like you took them a little too seriously when they called it a bookshelf speaker, lol.
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post #55 of 55 Old 05-10-2013, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

It looks like you took them a little too seriously when they called it a bookshelf speaker, lol.

I know huh, adding the books to the speaker, didn't think what I was doing at the time. smile.gif Most people's logic goes like this, I can't get this speaker because it won't fit into my tv stand. But for me, I make the tv stand fit my speaker, biggrin.gif
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