Dedicated room 21x14 - need your help - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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After a few months of work the room is finally complete, complete as in painted, carpeted, acoustic wall panels, lighting and 90% of the equipment purchased.

The only items that now remain are building a riser (this week) and picking up speakers and subwoofer(s).

The room dimensions are 21x14x8.5.

I was looking at the offerings over at Ascend Acoustics perhaps the two towers and a center with the RAAL but want to see what else I should consider.

my budget for speakers/subwoofer is 4-5k max and the room will be used for 75% movies and 25% music.

Hoping to get some good advice, fwiw I've visited Bestbuy and there B&W are out of my price range

Many thanks!
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post #2 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 07:58 AM
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You have a lot of options at this price range, I would definitely look for something horn-loaded with a high sensitivity to give you reference levels at your back seating position.

What are you powering these speakers with?

Would you consider DIY?

Given the large space, I would plan on allocating about half that budget for a pair of subs at least. A pair of Power Sound Audio XV30s would be excellent. Again though, DIY here would give you the same if not better performance for a good deal less.

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post #3 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I should have added that initially :-) I have a Denon 4311 and would prefer something already built. Do you think I need an external amp?
I'll look into those subs today, how about speakers?

The Ascends have a wait list which is the only negative...
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post #4 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 08:18 AM
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I think with something like the Klipsch Reference series, you would be fine with that receiver. An external amp would give you a lot more headroom though if you like it loud. Emotiva makes some good affordable amps, but your Denon is no slouch.

You could go with 3 RB-81 II speakers for your LCR, and then 4 (assuming 7.1) RS-52 II speakers for surrounds and rears. This comes to $3000, leaving you $2000 for subs, maybe a pair of HSU VTF-15Hs or a pair of PSA XS-15. If you wanted to spend a little more, you could get a pair of Rythmik FV15HP, you have a lot of options.
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post #5 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 10:38 AM
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Perhaps check the Triad and JTR threads. They're both great speaker brands.

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post #6 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 11:19 AM
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Ascends with RAALs aren't really appropriate for a dedicated theater room anyway. I would go with something with big dynamic range for a dedicated home theater room. You might check out stuff like Pi Threes, JBL 3677s, or JTR Single 8s for the front stage. Any of those would be pretty nice. For subwoofers, I would get a couple of these Dayton Dual 12" kits. Yeah I know you don't want to put stuff together, but the assembly on these is very easy, all you need is a screwdriver and some glue, all the hard stuff is already done for you. It would probably only take an hour to put together, and I don't think there is anything close to $1k that could compete with it. For the surrounds, these JBL 8320s would work great and aren't too expensive. Altogether those surrounds, subs, and a front stage of any three of those heavy duty front stage speakers would put you a hair over $5k. You could save a few dollars by going with these Hsu bookshelf speakers for surrounds, mounted with these Videosecu Side-clamping speaker mounts.
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post #7 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 11:27 AM
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One day I may just figure out your logic, but that day is not today.
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Ascends with RAALs aren't really appropriate for a dedicated theater room anyway.

Why not?? BRB, gonna pop some popcorn.
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post #8 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

One day I may just figure out your logic, but that day is not today.
Why not?? BRB, gonna pop some popcorn.

They wouldn't sound terrible, but they are not exactly Reference level ready speakers, unless you are sitting three feet away from them. You are talking about speakers with 5" bass drivers. Most people who build dedicated theaters are looking for something that more resembles an Imax sound, not something that tried to extract every last detail from a jazz guitar string pluck.
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post #9 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses - was hoping for more specific models that I should consider.
The reason that I'm considering the Ascends is because of the budget and the overall clarity.

Sounds like two subwoofers (over the single) is the way to proceed?

I don't want in-wall are the Triads only in-wall?
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post #10 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 12:32 PM
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Once again, I find your advice to be of little value and rooted in even less experience. What, from the original post, indicates that "Reference level ready speakers" are called for?

More importantly, perhaps, is what caused you to change your mind in the span of a day and a half?
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Also check out Ascend Sierras with upgraded RAAL tweeters, those are purported to be terrific.

Shooting from the hip is good, as long as you use the same gun every time.
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post #11 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Once again, I find your advice to be of little value and rooted in even less experience. What, from the original post, indicates that "Reference level ready speakers" are called for?

More importantly, perhaps, is what caused you to change your mind in the span of a day and a half?
Shooting from the hip is good, as long as you use the same gun every time.

If the OP is building a dedicated room, he is likely to be looking for a theatrical sound. The speakers I recommended can do that for him, but Ascends not nearly as much. Anyway, anyone who reads that post which you linked to can plainly see I am not contradicting myself. I am not trying to bash Ascend speakers, on the contrary I think they are probably very good, I just don't think they are the best tool for this kind of job. Anyway, let's not talk about me, the subject is the OP's theater. If you disagree with my suggestions, explain to the OP why I'm wrong, we can have a civil reasoned debate, and the OP will come away from this much better informed.
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post #12 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 01:23 PM
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Congrats on finishing your new HT room! I recall you said "75% movies and 25% music" ...

For towers with a good (above average) matching center the Ascends are a very good HT choice. If you're interested in a slightly less expensive option you might also check out the KEF Q900 towers with the Q600c center (http://www.accessories4less.com/ has excellent prices on these).

It's worth noting that with HT/surround the sub-crossover is typically at 80hz, so strong bookshelf speakers will also work well and you often can get more for your money.

I mention these "less expensive" speaker options because I think getting more than one sub would be a good idea for your situation, particularly for HT (the goal of dual/multi subs isn't more bass, but a smoother transition in the mid/upper bass all around the room, particularly useful in a larger room).

If you're interested in bookshelf /dual-sub solutions I, and others, can offer specific brand/model options wink.gif

(If listening to 2-channel stereo music is a high priority then sticking with towers for LR mains might be a good idea.)
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post #13 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Sdg4vfx - thanks for staying on topic :-)
My top priority is movies in this closed off room. I'm now seriously considering two subwoofers, perhaps one in the front and one in the back corner.

Please fire away specific model/brand options. Would bookshelf fronts be powerful enough to fill a room this size without any issues? I'm guessing I would need a "very" good center channel, similar to the new Ascend center.

Many many thanks to all.
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post #14 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exlondoner View Post

Thanks for the responses - was hoping for more specific models that I should consider.
The reason that I'm considering the Ascends is because of the budget and the overall clarity.

Sounds like two subwoofers (over the single) is the way to proceed?

I don't want in-wall are the Triads only in-wall?

Triad speakers are available as standard in-room boxed speakers, in-wall and on-wall models. Fantastic sound! Perhaps check out the Silver line. JTR Noesis 228HT monitor speakers up front and Slanted 8HT or 8HT-LP's for surrounds might be in your target range. Add the sub a little later or bump your budget up a hair.

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post #15 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 04:08 PM
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Will you be doing an acoustically transparent screen? How far is your seating going to be from the screen? Also, how far is the seating going to be from the speakers? How much freedom do you have in regards to subwoofer placement?
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post #16 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 04:44 PM
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Dual subs is a great idea. As sdg4vfx pointed out, you can get a smoother frequency response through a wider seating area. You'll want to try them in various locations to see what gives the best sound. Also great that you have the Denon 4311. If I'm not mistaken, that's one of the few receivers that actually measures and adjusts each sub separately; many receivers that have dual subwoofers out treat them as one with the room correction software.

I also agree with sdg4vfx. The Kef Q series could be a good choice to give you more money toward your subs. The Kef Q series also has matching dipoles which could be a good option for going for a 7.2 setup, if you want.

Also, if you haven't figured this in your budget, you'll want some room t reatments to calm reflections and probably some bass traps to help with the sub frequency response.

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post #17 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Will you be doing an acoustically transparent screen? How far is your seating going to be from the screen? Also, how far is the seating going to be from the speakers? How much freedom do you have in regards to subwoofer placement?

+1 good pre-recommendations questions smile.gif
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post #18 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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To answer a few of your question which should help!

Will you be doing an acoustically transparent screen? No

How far is your seating going to be from the screen? Front row will be approx 12'-13'. back row approx 20'.

How far is the seating going to be from the speakers? 11' - 12'

How much freedom do you have in regards to subwoofer placement? 75%

Room treatments are done, the entire room is carpeted and I've put up acoustic panels.
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post #19 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 07:23 PM
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With 20' to your back row, I would get some high powered speakers like the types I previously suggested. Regular home audio speakers will get pushed very hard trying to fill that space, they will produce more distortion, more compression, and it will put a much greater strain on your amplifier too. High sensitivity speakers will remedy those problems. They tend to be large speakers though, which might make for an awkward fit underneath the screen for a center speaker, depending on how large the screen is. One high sensitivity speaker which isn't that tall is the Klipsch KL 525 THX. Don't let the MSRP scare you, the street prices are a lot lower than that, just throws some numbers back and forth with a dealer. Consider those for a front stage of those if the other speakers I recommended won't fit. I would skip the Klipsch THX surround speakers though, those will bust your budget. I am sticking by my previous suggestions of surrounds and subwoofers, the JBLs and Dayton kits.

One thing I would suggest is try different placements with the subwoofers when you get them. Get an SPL meter and see which combination of placements gets you the frequency response best results. This makes a big difference in the quality and output of your bass. What's nice is your receiver can independently equalize two subwoofers, that is a very nice feature and is very helpful. All you have to do is find the best place for the subs, and it does a lot of the calibration itself.
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post #20 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Shady if I do end up going this route will there be any issue with matching up the fronts and surrounds as they are different brands?
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post #21 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 08:08 PM
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There won't be any issues with non matching front and surround speakers, as long as they are vaguely alike. What you do not want to do is have non matching center and front left/right speakers. Keep the front stage matching whatever you do.
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post #22 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

There won't be any issues with non matching front and surround speakers, as long as they are vaguely alike. What you do not want to do is have non matching center and front left/right speakers. Keep the front stage matching whatever you do.

That's not accurate. Since you said you would imagine using your system for 25% music use, if you are interested in watching blu-ray concerts or listening to other surround sound audio, matching the rear speakers can be worthwhile, although certainly not as critical as the front three.

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post #23 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 09:00 PM
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That's not accurate. Since you said you would imagine using your system for 25% music use, if you are interested in watching blu-ray concerts or listening to other surround sound audio, matching the rear speakers can be worthwhile, although certainly not as critical as the front three.

Even in blu ray concerts I don't think it would be an issue at all, since most surround content in concerts is just audience noises and reverb.
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post #24 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 09:31 PM
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Depends on the Blu-ray ... a growing trend in live concert movies is to mix the music in surround (along with the audience/ambient sounds). You even occasionally hear surround mixes at live concerts sometimes now.

NTM surround versions of studio recordings are growing. I tend to think of it as the record industry's version of "3D" movies, anything to boost sales wink.gif
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post #25 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 09:45 PM
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Plus, you should be considering the next phase in audio reproduction: multi-positional, object oriented surround like Dolby Atmos and DTS MDA. Matching surrounds will be much more important... as well as those that are more robust and can handle more intense sound effects and music reproduction.
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post #26 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exlondoner View Post

... Room treatments are done, the entire room is carpeted and I've put up acoustic panels.

Again congrats.

Do you have room for a vertical center speaker under your screen? If so then 3 identical speakers Left/Center/Right across the front would be ideal for HT, and would give you an exceptional front sound stage.

The Klipsch KL 525 THX (if you can find a good street price) of course would fit this bill. I appreciate that the Klipsch have robust dynamics (a desirable thing for HT), however some people find horn loaded speakers fatiguing. At your budget you definitely want to "audition" whatever speakers you buy in your space. I would suggest auditioning your two top choices.

You don't have to audition a full surround setup, just a pair of L/R mains. Listening to them for a few days (both movies and music) will either reveal you're not crazy about them, or, give you extra confidence in your purchase wink.gif

Knowing if a vertical center vs a horizontal center works best for you will help narrow down additional suggestions.

Edit > In your opening post you mentioned B&W speakers. Have you heard them and like their sound?
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post #27 of 50 Old 07-23-2013, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

Plus, you should be considering the next phase in audio reproduction: multi-positional, object oriented surround like Dolby Atmos and DTS MDA. Matching surrounds will be much more important... as well as those that are more robust and can handle more intense sound effects and music reproduction.

Good point ... esp. for a dedicated HT room!
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post #28 of 50 Old 07-24-2013, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I did hear the B&W speakers at the Magnolia but they were around $6k for just the front two lol, but they sounded fantastic.
I won't have room for a vertical center only a horizontal (another thing that attracted me to the new Ascend center).

I heard Klipsch a long time ago and they were very high pitched - really fatiguing but that could be due to them being the cheap home theater versions that a friend had.

Would it not be more cost effective to go with an Internet only brand - obviously the only downside there is not being able to listen pre-purchase?

So to summarize:

Has to be a horizontal center
Loved the top of the line B&W and also loved the sound of The Totem Tribe V but they are wall mount.

For subs I'm seriously thinking dual HSUs

From our previous house I had some Mirage Omnisats, would it be safe to use two on the back wall or should I be opting for the same four surrounds to match the front?
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post #29 of 50 Old 07-24-2013, 07:18 AM
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Dual HSU VTF-15Hs would be excellent for your setup smile.gif

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post #30 of 50 Old 07-24-2013, 07:31 AM
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I would get monitors and 2 - 4 subs. You can even place the monitors on stands atop the subs and it would be like big towers (tweeter above midrange above woofers), except much better. biggrin.gif

I would not buy towers because the bass is wasted here IMO. The money could go towards more subs. biggrin.gif
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