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post #1 of 15 Old 07-15-2014, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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B&W and Emotiva - need help

After years of browsing this forum I'm finally beginning my home theater build. The theater has now been framed and now I will need to make a few decisions soon.

Here is the equipment I'm most likely going with:

LR - B&W CM10
C - B&W CM Centre 2
LS and RS - B&W CWM663
LB and RB - B&W CCM663
Sub - JL F112
Receiver - Marantz SR7009
Projector - Epson 6030ub
Screen - TBD, $2k budget

I want to use a separate amp for the CM10s and possibly the Centre 2 as well. After a lot of research I've settled on Emotiva which seems to provide the right balance of performance and value. Here are a few questions I'm hoping you guys can help me with.

1. The CM10s are rated at 300W max. How much power should I actually pump into the speakers? How much can they handle? I've read that they are power hungry. There are a number of amps from Emotiva that I can chose and the XPA-2 seems to be the perfect option if I want exactly 300W. Or should I go with the XPA-3 which puts out 200W and also amp my center?

2. I love the way the CM10s sounds (a big step from the CM9s IMO), but I've never heard the 663s. I picked them because they fit the budget as I decided to spend more money on the CM10s + amp over the CM9s. Has anyone had experience? Will they match well with the rest of the system?

3. Any other feedback or comments? What am I missing? Any screen recommendations while we are at it (sub $2k). No windows, dedicated theater space.

Thanks in advance for your help!!!
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 06:54 AM
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Because your speakers are rated to handle 300w doesnt mean you need 300w. If I wanted a speaker to play 300w I would start with a speaker rated at 500 and an amplifier rated at 600, head room is important, with some equipment when you start closing on its limits your distortion gets much higher and that is where things like tweeters get destroyed...

First if I were you I would figure out how much power you need... This is pretty easy using this tool http://www.crownaudio.com/elect-pwr-req.htm , how this works is your speakers will have a sens rating, generally this is how the efficiency of a speaker is measured, so the higher the number the less power {wattage} you need to get a higher output {db spl}..

So take my HT setup for example
Ascend 340se is rated at 90db sens. so my listening position is 9ft {=3m} from my speaker and the loudest I will ever watch a movie at is 98db, for headroom 3db {approx double volume} is plenty to keep everything far from its limits... So using the calculator that means I need 113 watts of power, I use an xpa5 because I got a great deal on it so 200w is plenty...

Now with your speakers cm10s they are also rated at 90db sensitivity so you will need to figure out your seating position distance, then how loud you want it and use the calculator to figure out how much power you need}. I would say the XPA3 would be a great choice and let the marantz handle powering the surrounds, another good option is the outlaw 2200's they may have some in bstock but you need to call them for availablity and they will give you a deal on buying 3 of them, it will come out to about the same price as the emo but it will be mono blocks {I like them because if one breaks you dont lose the entire system}...

I am curoius as to how you cam up with the list of equipment the jl sub is awesome buy expensive the cm10s are nice but for the money I have heard better, did you demo this stuff yet?

HT-Emotiva UMC200 and XPA5, Ascend 340se front stage, 200se surrounds, Dual HSU VTF2's
Bedroom music-jolida 202 integrated & Tekton Lores
Formal parlor music- XPA2 & XDA2, Wharfedale Evo2-40's, dual WD sw subs, pure i20
Guest parlor-Parasound 2100 outlaw 2200 monos, csb1 bookshelfs, dual SVS sb12nsd subs
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 07:04 AM
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If you are going CM10s and Emotiva then highly suggest the XPA2 over the XPA-3/5. If you are still open to auditioning others I would recommend listening to Kef R700s and Revel F206/8s. Then pick what YOU like best. On the amp front look at the Parasound Halo A21, check with JD Smoothie or Mike at AVS sales for price.
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 07:19 AM
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I'd look to put money into isolating your media room...

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
I'd look to put money into isolating your media room...
+1. Isolation, bass trapping, etc. Call Bryan at Gik and Ted at the soundproofing company. They will both give you advice to get you where you need to be. Much bigger bang for your buck than adding an amp. You can always do that later. Of course if budget isnt a big deal, do both.

Look at Falcon screens. There is a thread here on AVS.


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post #6 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 07:33 AM
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Note isolation and room treatment are two very different things. Isolation you can do in the build process, using floating walls (I used Kinetics IsoClips) and special building techniques. It is also a chance to isolate the room from the rest of the house's HVAC system, a primary sound path. It is almost impossible to increase isolation after the build. I made a few pages of simple diagrams to give my builder and have a media room that is pretty well isolated from the rest of the house. (My only failure was not completely floating the ceiling; suspending it on isolation clips still lets heavy footfalls from above be heard, though almost nothing from the room gets upstairs).

You should also make sure the raised platform is heavily braced and filled to prevent booming sounds every time someone steps on and off.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 07:34 AM
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What will your listening habits in the room be? If you're 100% movies/games/tv, then B&W is not the right speaker setup. I had a theater of CM9 + CMC2 etc powered by emotiva amps, and while it was great for music when I listened to a concert, for movies it left something to be desired.
In my new construction theater, I've chosen to go with JBL Pro speakers as I will only use the room for movies and games. If music is a big factor, something like JTR Noesis 228 would be a good balance. The big plus with horn based high sensitivity speakers is that you don't need a large amp to power them - something simple like a higher end receiver (denon 4520ci or the like) will give you clean reference level playback on these 98+db speakers.

I would also rethink your choice of subwoofer in a HT. A seaton submersive or JTR captivator S1 would be far superior in output while also not looking completely ugly (and costing the same or less).

Screen wise I'm a fan of seymour av for good price/performance.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 07:49 AM
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That room looks fairly small. I dont think you will have too many issues hitting reference levels. Room modes and one note bass, however, likely will be a big issue without treatment, eq, and multiple subs. You have a nice high pedigree sub, and while I am a big Seaton fan, for that size room your budget would be better spent on multiple cheaper value subs than a larger output one like a Seaton. But again, you didnt specify budget. if you have a $2k screen budget, you may very well have a pretty high budget for other items. But in any case, if you want the sound to be the best it can be, pay a LOT of attention to getting the bass right with the methods I mentioned... treatment, multiple subs, then EQ.


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post #9 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdu3 View Post

1. The CM10s are rated at 300W max. How much power should I actually pump into the speakers?

I would think 10 to 20 watts should handle things without getting uncomfortably loud.


Quote:
How much can they handle?

300 watts


Quote:
I've read that they are power hungry.

Audiophiles say the silliest things.


Quote:
There are a number of amps from Emotiva that I can chose and the XPA-2 seems to be the perfect option if I want exactly 300W. Or should I go with the XPA-3 which puts out 200W and also amp my center?

Doesn't make any difference at all. The receiver amplification is fine. If you want an amp, choose one that looks nice to you.

Quote:
2. I love the way the CM10s sounds (a big step from the CM9s IMO), but I've never heard the 663s. I picked them because they fit the budget as I decided to spend more money on the CM10s + amp over the CM9s. Has anyone had experience? Will they match well with the rest of the system?

If you heard them and liked them, then you did fine. If you refer to sound quality, that is all in the speakers and room acoustics. The rest of the stuff isn't that important. If you refer to video quality then you are over my head. My experience is only with LCD flat screen TV's.

[QUOTE]
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback so far. Here is some more info. The room will be used for 60% movies and 40% music. The budget is pretty much maxed out. If I need to add something, something else has to be removed or reduced in scope.

I only know enough to get me in trouble and most of my experience has been on the wire and cable side of the AV industry. The equipment has been selected based on budget/wife factor and the availability and access to demo the speakers. Long story short, we spent a ton of time in a showroom listening to speakers most of which were B&W. Out of the bunch the CM10s sounded the best within our budget. I need to see if I can get my hands on other speakers you guys recommended. The other stuff was selected based on sales person advice/research.

I'm a big JL fan and know the subs are amazing. I was torn between two F110 vs one F112. If I went the F110 it would be one now and one later. The difference in cost for me between the F112 and the F110 is around $700 after discount. If I was going to get two subs what should they be? Is JL F110 a bad choice or just expensive?


RE: Room isolation and treatment. Currently the plan is to use soundproofing insulation only. I know almost nothing about this subject and just going off of the advice of my contractor. Is this enough? How much do I need to spend to get something better? As far as treatment goes - I figure once the room is setup I can see what it needs. I can always add treatment later and we are already way over budget on the whole project as it is. In other words if I spend a ton on money on treatment now I probable won't have anything to listen to in that room anyway.
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 10:44 AM
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Go with the F112. The 12" version is much better for HT. You can always add a second down the road.
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 11:09 AM
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I recently purchased the CM10s and I am very happy with them for home theater. I also have the CMC 2 and CM1s for surround and some CWM model I can't remember in the ceiling for surround backs. I have a Yamaha 1020 running the suuround backs and an Emotiva XPA-5 (200 WPC) running everything else along with an SVS SB12-Plus. I am pretty happy with the theater sound and also use the room for listening to music. The room is treated with acoustic panels I made myself and I think it came out pretty good. I will eventually add another sub but since my room is freakin tiny 11' X 10' I need to make an equipment / tv console change so I can add more gear.

My future plan was to buy another two channel or two monoblocks for two channel listening. The newer McIntosh MC452 looks very sweet and at 450 WPC would really rock the CM10s or there are several MC501s out there that look tempting too. Of course buying said amp would lead me to further upgrades down the road. It never ends.

To summarize I thing the CM10s are an amazing speaker and sound very very good. But like you, and currently only giving them 200 WPC has left me thinking......hmmmmm. What if I give them some serious wattage? I want I want. Tommy likey.
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 11:35 AM
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Kinetics Noise Control makes a clip-and-rail system (IsoMax clips) that is very easy for contractors to install and will provide much higher isolation than insulation alone for minimal cost. You essentially create a "room-within-a-room" by suspending the walls and ceiling (it looks like the floor is ground level concrete?) Hang the wallboard on the rails attached to the clips instead of to the framing studs. Seal all the seams with caulk. Use an exterior (solid) door with threshold and full weather-sealing to limit sound leakage through it. If you have outside access look into installing a mini-split HVAC unit so there is no ducting from the rest of the house into the media room.

The investment you make in the room will pay off in being able to listen without disturbing the rest of the house (or neighbors). Or vice versa. You can always upgrade components later, but once the room is done it is very expensive to rip up and rebuild.

I probably still have a sheet or two of diagrams I gave my contractor if you are interested (drop me your email address).

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 11:50 AM
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Is the in room portion of a mini split system unobtrusive and quiet enough for a theater? I assume so since I see people recommend them from time to time, but they seem quite big and I would think they would make a decent bit of noise. Arent most of them about as wide or wider than a window ac unit, just not as deep or tall?


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post #15 of 15 Old 07-16-2014, 12:00 PM
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I'd have to measure mine, or go look them up on the Fujtisu or Mitsubishi sites. I think it is 30" - 36" wide and maybe 12" tall, and sticks out maybe 8" - 10" into the room. Mine is up high and I have a duct soffit on the other side so it is not that intrusive to me. It is very quiet in its "quiet" mode and has several other operating modes. The loudest is much quieter than any window AC unit I've heard, about like a window fan on low speed (at least the one I have in our bedroom window, a cheap box fan). These units also heat as well as cool, and have a fan setting to just circulate air. The noisy part is located outside.

I do have inlet and outlet ducts to the outside. They were required per code. I did not like having them but, as the room is tightly sealed it can get stuffy, so have come to really appreciate them. The outlet has a fan that is rated for low noise and in my case is above a ceiling absorber so you can't really hear it unless everything is turned off. Ditto the mini split.

Way less noise into and out of the room than via normal house ducts.

Someplace in the Maggie thread (I think) there are pictures of my room.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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