Speaker Advice for Loft with Concrete Floors - AVS Forum
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Speakers > Speaker Advice for Loft with Concrete Floors
mangothehuman's Avatar mangothehuman 08:33 AM 12-22-2013
Folks,

I'm looking for some suggestions for speakers for my living room. Currently, we are running sound out of the TV and it is driving me insane. I've been doing some research and was considering purchasing two floorstanders and a center channel. Possibly a sub as well depending on the speakers, but preferably without because of aesthetics.

Considering the room setup/layout, is it worth spending more on very good speakers or is the audio going to suck no matter what because of the acoustics of the room (concrete floors, very high ceilings, etc)?

Also, any suggestions on speakers? I'd like to pick up the two floorstanders for around $1200 or less. I have an Onkyo TX-SR707 receiver (still chugging away!). Here's where I'm at in no particular order and price per pair:
  1. Monitor Audio RX-6 ($1200)
  2. PSB Image T6 ($1200)
  3. Polk Audio LSI-15 or LSI25 (800-1200)
  4. Polk Audio RTI12 ($800)
  5. Emp Tek E55Ti (~$700)
  6. Definitive Technology BP-8040ST ($1000ish)

Any thoughts on this list?



DS-21's Avatar DS-21 08:50 AM 12-22-2013
Nice place!

As someone with a system in a loft with concrete floors
b33480b3_photo25201.jpeg
(see also system link below) some advice:

1) Get a thick real wool (not petrochemical) rug for between the speakers and sofa. And put a natural-fiber rug pad under it.

2) Ditch the coffee table. It's at least as problematic than the floor itself is. Possibly more so. Ideally, replace with plush ottoman upholstered in breathable cloth.

3a) Look for speakers with some vertical directivity control for the mids and treble, to keep floor-bounce away as much as possible. That means waveguides or concentric drivers, or at least an MTM driver layout. (A line array/CBT might work well in that room too, but any decent one would be way over budget.)

3b) However, the catch here is that because of the distance between your side-walls and the listening space, you also want a very broad horizontal pattern. Otherwise, while image focus will be very intense (unrealistically so, in my experience) there will be little spaciousness to the sound.

4) Keep the mids and tweets (or concentric mid/tweet) fairly high off the ground.

5) Add surround side and surround rear speakers placed well if you can, and listen to music in Dolby Pro Logic II to reclaim some of the ambience lost due to the far-away sidewalls.

Of the speakers you've listed, honestly I'm not fond of any of them.

I'm not familiar with any of the speakers you've listed, but keep in mind that Definitive's knockoffs of old Mirage speakers require quite a bit of space from the front wall due to their bipolar radiation.

IMO, something like the Gallo speaker with two balls between a short cylindrical tweeter, mounted on the wall, would work very well in your room, with subwoofers and "room correction" EQ to compensate for Gallo's incompetent crossover designs.
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar Bill Fitzmaurice 09:04 AM 12-22-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangothehuman View Post

is the audio going to suck no matter what because of the acoustics of the room (concrete floors, very high ceilings, etc)?
It is. The most important thing you can do is to fully carpet the floor in the living/dining area. Otherwise it doesn't matter what speakers you get, they'll all sound bad.
mangothehuman's Avatar mangothehuman 09:31 AM 12-22-2013
Awesome, thank you for the advice! I'll take a look at Gallos as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Nice place!

As someone with a system in a loft with concrete floors
b33480b3_photo25201.jpeg
(see also system link below) some advice:

1) Get a thick real wool (not petrochemical) rug for between the speakers and sofa. And put a natural-fiber rug pad under it.

2) Ditch the coffee table. It's at least as problematic than the floor itself is. Possibly more so. Ideally, replace with plush ottoman upholstered in breathable cloth.

3a) Look for speakers with some vertical directivity control for the mids and treble, to keep floor-bounce away as much as possible. That means waveguides or concentric drivers, or at least an MTM driver layout. (A line array/CBT might work well in that room too, but any decent one would be way over budget.)

3b) However, the catch here is that because of the distance between your side-walls and the listening space, you also want a very broad horizontal pattern. Otherwise, while image focus will be very intense (unrealistically so, in my experience) there will be little spaciousness to the sound.

4) Keep the mids and tweets (or concentric mid/tweet) fairly high off the ground.

5) Add surround side and surround rear speakers placed well if you can, and listen to music in Dolby Pro Logic II to reclaim some of the ambience lost due to the far-away sidewalls.

Of the speakers you've listed, honestly I'm not fond of any of them.

I'm not familiar with any of the speakers you've listed, but keep in mind that Definitive's knockoffs of old Mirage speakers require quite a bit of space from the front wall due to their bipolar radiation.

IMO, something like the Gallo speaker with two balls between a short cylindrical tweeter, mounted on the wall, would work very well in your room, with subwoofers and "room correction" EQ to compensate for Gallo's incompetent crossover designs.

mangothehuman's Avatar mangothehuman 04:40 PM 12-23-2013
Any other suggestions for speakers?
zieglj01's Avatar zieglj01 04:59 PM 12-23-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangothehuman View Post

Any other suggestions for speakers?
If doing some treatment to your floor >>

Then Monitor Audio Silver

And Focal
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/brand/focal/results/1.html
DS-21's Avatar DS-21 05:57 PM 12-23-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangothehuman View Post

Any other suggestions for speakers?

Not new and I have no idea about used prices/availability, but anything from Snell's old "XA" line (ca. 2001) would be a perfect fit sound-wise. They combine very wide horizontal patterns with a narrower vertical pattern. And just very well engineered speakers all around, better than all but a small handful of current-production speakers. There were a lot of different models: a line or two of towers, some in-cabinet ones, and some in-wall ones. Look for an array with two small midranges flanking a tweeter on a bowtie-shaped "waveguide." They are one of the few speakers I've heard where the horizontal center doesn't stick out horribly. Previous - and subsequent - Snell speakers were not as good.

Alas, I don't know of anything new that is similar.

The NHT Classic Three/Classic Four is a very good current speaker with very wide horizontal dispersion. Not as good vertical, though. I think they're in your budget. (Only if you are doing 2-channel or can fit three of them across the front, though. The "matching" center is horrible. Two Fours with a Three in the middle would work fine.)

The Phase Technology PC3.5 is something else to look at, though I don't remember how much they cost. Again very wide horizontal pattern, and some pattern control down low due to the woofer spacing.

The KEF Q100, Q500, or Q900 might also be something to try out. Or R100. They may be a little too focused in your room, because of the relatively narrower horizontal pattern. The overall design can be improved, but they're still very good and that concentric driver is one of middle-priced audio's greatest wonders. (The Q300/Q700 are not as good as the others.) Again, avoid the "matching" center channels if you're doing 3-channel.
losservatore's Avatar losservatore 06:20 PM 12-23-2013
Sorry but your room is challenge, guys I think a more directional sound will help better than a speaker with lots of dispersion.
RN2013's Avatar RN2013 07:13 PM 12-23-2013
Yes, concrete floors and high ceilings can be tough...but there are exceptions to every "rule". I have a very very large open concept room with tile on concrete and a couple of area rugs. I'm running Tekton Lores and they have good imaging, strong bass and are very musical.

Maybe some loudspeakers won't do the job but I'm pretty sure the Lores will.
mangothehuman's Avatar mangothehuman 10:02 PM 12-23-2013
The XA line looks nice, but looks like it'll be hard to find. Not much on eBay.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Not new and I have no idea about used prices/availability, but anything from Snell's old "XA" line (ca. 2001) would be a perfect fit sound-wise. They combine very wide horizontal patterns with a narrower vertical pattern. And just very well engineered speakers all around, better than all but a small handful of current-production speakers. There were a lot of different models: a line or two of towers, some in-cabinet ones, and some in-wall ones. Look for an array with two small midranges flanking a tweeter on a bowtie-shaped "waveguide." They are one of the few speakers I've heard where the horizontal center doesn't stick out horribly. Previous - and subsequent - Snell speakers were not as good.

Alas, I don't know of anything new that is similar.

The NHT Classic Three/Classic Four is a very good current speaker with very wide horizontal dispersion. Not as good vertical, though. I think they're in your budget. (Only if you are doing 2-channel or can fit three of them across the front, though. The "matching" center is horrible. Two Fours with a Three in the middle would work fine.)

The Phase Technology PC3.5 is something else to look at, though I don't remember how much they cost. Again very wide horizontal pattern, and some pattern control down low due to the woofer spacing.

The KEF Q100, Q500, or Q900 might also be something to try out. Or R100. They may be a little too focused in your room, because of the relatively narrower horizontal pattern. The overall design can be improved, but they're still very good and that concentric driver is one of middle-priced audio's greatest wonders. (The Q300/Q700 are not as good as the others.) Again, avoid the "matching" center channels if you're doing 3-channel.

The Focal's look like a great option and good price point for what they offer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

If doing some treatment to your floor >>

Then Monitor Audio Silver

And Focal
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/brand/focal/results/1.html

Those Lore's aren't the prettiest, so I'll have to make sure they're girlfriend approved, but seems like they offer a fantastic speaker for the price.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RN2013 View Post

Yes, concrete floors and high ceilings can be tough...but there are exceptions to every "rule". I have a very very large open concept room with tile on concrete and a couple of area rugs. I'm running Tekton Lores and they have good imaging, strong bass and are very musical.

Maybe some loudspeakers won't do the job but I'm pretty sure the Lores will.

mangothehuman's Avatar mangothehuman 10:17 PM 12-23-2013
Whats the general consensus on Polk's? They seem to be priced pretty well but I'm not seeing a lot of love?

Also, as far as floor treatments are concerned, we do have two large thick wool rugs that are in the living/dining room, so I think that will cut down on some of the sound issues. They have a small pad underneath, but I can spring to get a thicker one. I can't imagine we'll opt for more carpeting or rugs. Not sure if that changes any of the suggestions.
  1. Monitor Audio RX-6 ($1200)
  2. PSB Image T6 ($1200)
  3. Polk Audio LSI-15 or LSI25 (800-1200)
  4. Polk Audio RTI12 ($800)
  5. Emp Tek E55Ti (~$700)
  6. Snell XA (???)
  7. Emp Tek E55Ti (~$700)
  8. Focal 727V ($849)
  9. Tekton Lore ($1000)
  10. Definitive Technology BP-8040ST ($1000ish)

mangothehuman's Avatar mangothehuman 10:24 PM 12-23-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

If doing some treatment to your floor >>

Then Monitor Audio Silver

And Focal
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/brand/focal/results/1.html

Was there a particular Focal model that you recommend?
zieglj01's Avatar zieglj01 10:32 PM 12-23-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangothehuman View Post

Was there a particular Focal model that you recommend?

The 727V
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/FOCAL727VHVN/FOCAL-Chorus-727V-726v-Triple-6-1/2-Tower-Speaker-PAIR-Havana/1.html
DS-21's Avatar DS-21 09:26 AM 12-24-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangothehuman View Post

The Focal's look like a great option and good price point for what they offer.

I don't think any speaker with a tweeter on a flat baffle and a large midrange is a good option regardless of price point.
mangothehuman's Avatar mangothehuman 12:08 PM 12-24-2013
This is a little more than I want to spend, but the guys at Magnolia suggested the martin logan esls. Any thoughts on those?
RN2013's Avatar RN2013 06:24 PM 12-24-2013
I suspect that they don't have the volume capability or the low end to really shine in a room that large...also, are you able to place them 4-5 feet out into the room...
mangothehuman's Avatar mangothehuman 07:46 PM 12-24-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by RN2013 View Post

I suspect that they don't have the volume capability or the low end to really shine in a room that large...also, are you able to place them 4-5 feet out into the room...
ha, no way I can put those 4-5 feet out into the room!
RN2013's Avatar RN2013 08:10 PM 12-24-2013
I'd say you've reached the point where you pick any of the speakers on your list that you can return at no cost or low cost to you and see how they sound in the "big room". The psb's if purchased from crutch field would be $50 to return...which is pretty reasonable.

Have you considered a bookshelf/sub combo?
losservatore's Avatar losservatore 08:31 PM 12-24-2013
I think that a speaker with a horn or a waveguide have a more controlled directional sound than a ribbon or planar tweeter .
mangothehuman's Avatar mangothehuman 09:39 PM 12-24-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by RN2013 View Post

I'd say you've reached the point where you pick any of the speakers on your list that you can return at no cost or low cost to you and see how they sound in the "big room". The psb's if purchased from crutch field would be $50 to return...which is pretty reasonable.

Have you considered a bookshelf/sub combo?

Very true - I was hoping to eliminate a few first before I started buying/testing/returning.

I would definitely consider a bookshelf/sub combo. I was leaning towards a floorstander mostly because of the size of the room and because I really cannot get more than a 3.1 setup for that room. If you know of any that you think would be worthwhile looking at - I'd definitely consider them. Are there benefits to using bookshelf speakers over floorstanders?
Quote:
Originally Posted by losservatore View Post

I think that a speaker with a horn or a waveguide have a more controlled directional sound than a ribbon or planar tweeter .

Hmm..Noob here so I'm not entirely sure what the differences are, but I'm going to definitely take advice into consideration.
RN2013's Avatar RN2013 09:53 PM 12-24-2013
Have you considered HSU...great bookshelves, high power handling, controlled directivity, great pricing... and great subwoofers....and package deals...

Go to hsuresearch.com and check them out as an option.
flyng_fool's Avatar flyng_fool 03:57 AM 12-25-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangothehuman View Post

Very true - I was hoping to eliminate a few first before I started buying/testing/returning.

I would definitely consider a bookshelf/sub combo. I was leaning towards a floorstander mostly because of the size of the room and because I really cannot get more than a 3.1 setup for that room. If you know of any that you think would be worthwhile looking at - I'd definitely consider them. Are there benefits to using bookshelf speakers over floorstanders?
Hmm..Noob here so I'm not entirely sure what the differences are, but I'm going to definitely take advice into consideration.
a horn is better able to direct the sound towards you as opposed to spreading out and bouncing off the floor and walls.
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar Bill Fitzmaurice 07:07 AM 12-25-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyng_fool View Post

a horn is better able to direct the sound towards you as opposed to spreading out and bouncing off the floor and walls.
To some extent, but nowhere near as well as a line array. In any event I assume that you mean a horn loaded tweeter, not a horn loaded speaker, and a horn loaded tweeter does nothing for vertical pattern control in the midbass and midrange. Where the OP is concerned an MTM like the Hsu HC1, configured for vertical use, would probably work well.
Quote:
Are there benefits to using bookshelf speakers over floorstanders?
They don't take up floor space, and dollar for dollar perform better than floor standers, unless you don't have subs, which tends to be a bad idea for HT.
defmoot's Avatar defmoot 06:02 PM 12-25-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

The NHT Classic Three/Classic Four is a very good current speaker with very wide horizontal dispersion. Not as good vertical, though. I think they're in your budget. (Only if you are doing 2-channel or can fit three of them across the front, though. The "matching" center is horrible. Two Fours with a Three in the middle would work fine.)

Could you expand on this a bit? What is it that you find objectionable? Which model(s) do you have experience with?

I run Classic Threes in phantom center mode with an Outlaw EX sub and was considering adding a ThreeC or TwoC center. I really like the Threes and assumed the WTMW configuration of the centers would provide decent quality sound, up to the level of their other speakers (horizontal layout notwithstanding).

Thanks.
losservatore's Avatar losservatore 06:54 PM 12-25-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

They don't take up floor space, and dollar for dollar perform better than floor standers, unless you don't have subs, which tends to be a bad idea for HT.

Off topic question....



Are you against floorstander speakers?I haven't see a single post of you recommending floor standing.
DS-21's Avatar DS-21 08:15 PM 12-25-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by defmoot View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

The NHT Classic Three/Classic Four is a very good current speaker with very wide horizontal dispersion. Not as good vertical, though. I think they're in your budget. (Only if you are doing 2-channel or can fit three of them across the front, though. The "matching" center is horrible. Two Fours with a Three in the middle would work fine.)

Could you expand on this a bit? What is it that you find objectionable? Which model(s) do you have experience with?

I run Classic Threes in phantom center mode with an Outlaw EX sub and was considering adding a ThreeC or TwoC center. I really like the Threes and assumed the WTMW configuration of the centers would provide decent quality sound, up to the level of their other speakers (horizontal layout notwithstanding).

The one with the dome mid-tweeter flanked by two woofers. It's marginally better than a standard toppled-MTM, but not much better. Same issues, just a little lower in frequency. The dome mid just doesn't go low enough to work in the configuration.
defmoot's Avatar defmoot 08:44 PM 12-25-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

The dome mid just doesn't go low enough to work in the configuration.

Thank you for the response.

The crossover points for both the Classic Three bookshelf and the ThreeC center are 800Hz (2nd order) and 3.2kHz (3rd order). Why would the Three bookshelf be better as a center, crossover-wise, if the points are the same?
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar Bill Fitzmaurice 08:58 PM 12-25-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by losservatore View Post

Off topic question....Are you against floorstander speakers?I haven't see a single post of you recommending floor standing.
I recommend them when they're the best choice for the intended application. IMO that's very seldom the case.
flyng_fool's Avatar flyng_fool 02:12 AM 12-26-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

To some extent, but nowhere near as well as a line array. In any event I assume that you mean a horn loaded tweeter, not a horn loaded speaker, and a horn loaded tweeter does nothing for vertical pattern control in the midbass and midrange. Where the OP is concerned an MTM like the Hsu HC1, configured for vertical use, would probably work well.
They don't take up floor space, and dollar for dollar perform better than floor standers, unless you don't have subs, which tends to be a bad idea for HT.

Yes, I was referring to a horn loaded tweeter. Question, isn't it the higher freqs anyway that are the most energetic and suffer more from reflections?
losservatore's Avatar losservatore 03:03 AM 12-26-2013
Bill Fitzmaurice I think that we are more concerned about the high frequencies.smile.gif
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