Originally Posted by jklick
- I've got a fairly large room (23' x 27' x 9.5' = ~5500 cu. ft.)
- The purpose is 100% movies/TV - i.e. I'm not interested in the perfect reproduction of orchestral music.
- Ballpark budget for LCR and surrounds is $2K to $3K for LCR
- Ballpark budget for sub(s) is $1K to $1.5K - not sure if I should be targeting a single large sub or multiple medium/small subs.
- The room has hardwood floors throughout
- I'm expecting to purchase either a Denon x3000 or x4000 for the setup (still deciding)
I agree that your room size is up there.
A good system is a good system. If you want the best reproduction of movies, you will get the best reproduction of music, and vice versa.
I agree that speakers with horn drivers maximize efficiency and if well designed they can provide the most ideal control over directivity. However they can be costly and can be sometimes be surprisingly approached by conventional drivers at a far lower cost. In your price category, you may want to avoid horns. I think you are better off with well-designed domes and cones than with cheap horns.
I have been experimenting with various approaches and am currently using 3 each Infinity Primius P351 center chanel speakers and a Paradigm center channel speaker. The L/C/R speakers are on a shelf just above the 60" TV set. I also have a pair of Primus P363 tower speakers that I have been mixing and matching with them.
I find that center channel speakers can be effective L & R speakers when used with a subwoofer. They don't need to have response below 80 Hz because that is the subwoofer's job anyway. Having all 3 speakers across the front be identical goes a long way towards timbre matching since they are all the same speaker. I think it is better to use speakers that are designed to be used when laid on their side when that is how they are installed. The P351s seem to be very robust speakers with 2 midranges and 2 woofers. Again they don't have a lot of response below 80 Hz but they don't need to. They actually look pretty cool. While there are no complete technical tests on them they should be somewhat directional in the horizontal direction which is usually a good thing.
If you bought 3 P351's, you would have another $800-900 for a good subwoofer which is a reasonable budget for a starter system.
I also have a listening room with hardwood floors. My room has a lot of diffusion - it is an irregular shape and has a lot of large trim elements. I've realized that there is a lot of symmetry between the ceiling and the floor. While you can only practically put a so much absorptive material on the floor, there is far less of such a limitation on the ceiling. Many things are possible such as mixing and matching absorptive and reflective areas as well as 3D effects, etc.
I like Denon receivers, but if I was going to buy one I'd look at refurb and closeout models, such as those sold by www.accesories4less