Need Recommendations for 5.1 System and Receiver - Small Room - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-13-2014, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Need Recommendations for 5.1 System and Receiver - Small Room

Edit: Budget has been increased (going with Sierra Towers), please see post #11

Hi, I recently just purchased an Epson 5030 UB projector and decided it's time to upgrade the audio system too.
I was hoping I could get some recommendations for the full system - Thanks!

Some Information, and system requirements are as follows:

Room Details:
Dimensions: 10 feet x 11 Feet
Volume: 1000 Cubic feet
Distance to screen: 11 feet
Screen Size: 100 inch diagonal (16:9)
All four walls are cement with drywall, therefore in-wall speakers are not possible
Floor is ceramic tile, but I will be putting down an area rug.

The couch is right against the rear wall therefore I have to go with a 5.1 system since there is no room for rear speakers.

Also due to the small room size, I don't want to get a system that's overkill. Instead, a set of excellent speakers matched to the room size.

Since the room is very small, is there any benefit to a 5.2 system, or would a single subwoofer be sufficient?

I am ok with using tower speakers or bookshelf speakers. Due to room limitations I won't be able to move them away from the wall more then a few inches though.

System Use
Primarily Movies

Receiver
Needs 3-4 HDMI inputs

Budget
Budget for speakers and receiver: Around 2000-2500

Other

Due the the small room size and the viewing position, I was wondering if it's worth looking into sound absorbers or bass traps to help with sound quality. I won't be able to cover the rear wall with sound absorbers though. Is there anything I should consider to improve the room dynamics?

I was wondering if it's feasible for me to calibrate the audio levels myself, and how I would go about customizing my systems EQ in order to match the rooms acoustics. Is this something that I could easily do myself or should I pay to have it done.

I do not have a brand preference.

Lastly, does anyone have any Blu-Ray player recommendations? Budget is a maximum of 500.
My current blu-ray player is a Denon dbp 1610 so I may not need to upgrade.

I'll be updating the thread as I do more research.

Current Equipment
Please note: I am ok with replacing all of it for a better system.
My current speakers are:
Definitive pro Centre 1000
PSB Alpha Sub Zero i
PSB The Amazing alpha Left and Right
Audio source LS eleven Surrounds

Last edited by Mitch Master T; 08-21-2014 at 06:31 PM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-13-2014, 06:21 PM
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For a speaker sub system, I would be looking at a Ascend/Rythmik system or a Hsu Hybrid package system. For an AVR, I would be looking at a Denon, Yamaha, or Pioneer, also maybe a Marantz. The one with the features you want. Don't pay attention to wattage, you will have all you need in a room like that, even on lowest end models, especially with the Hsu or Ascend systems. For a Blu ray player, I would get a middle of the road Samsung, unless you see some features on a higher end model which interest you. However, if your current blu ray player gives you no reason to replace it, don't bother. The Hsu subs may be beneficial, since you will be getting monster bass being seated against a wall in a small room. You do not need a powerful sub unless you want really hard hitting bass. The Hsu subwoofers have ways to temper the low end, as do the Rythmik subs. I would stick with a 12" woofer in anycase.

Room treatments may be beneficial, but you won't know unless you measure the room. You need to setup a system with Room Equalization Wizard or something like that to see the room acoustics. Don't just go buying room treatments haphazardly, that is a great way of throwing away money if you don't know what treatments you need or where to place them. I would consult one of the room treatments gurus on the forum for more info on that.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-13-2014, 06:53 PM
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At that sort of budget you could get the set up I like a lot and own.
Sony 1800 or 2800ES. The 2800 has a nice set of easy automation functionality.
The KEF e305. The speakers will give a nice consistent surround mix and fit well in the size of the room.
Depends if you want Something that will wake up the neighbors or something for more general movie watching. The dialog is great from those speakers.
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-14-2014, 01:31 AM
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I think the XTZ Cinema series might be a good choice. They can be wall mounted and because of the cabinet shape they still aim towards the center of the room, and they have great directivity so wall reflections are not a big problem. It's better to use them with the flush mount kit for wall mounting, it's a sturdier option. They have great separation and soundstage, and a wide sweet-spot.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-14-2014, 05:07 AM
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First of all, thanks for all the helpful information! It looks like you may have read the speaker FAQ sticky

You have a nice budget and in a small space can really get some great performance. I think your current Blu-Ray player is fine, unless you need some additional features.

Is the screen you are using acoustically transparent? Having an AT screen lets you go with three identical, vertical speakers across the front which gives you the best imaging and sound stage. It also would let you use a bigger screen because you wouldn't need space on either side for speakers. The price increase isn't much more, usually an extra $200 for the Elite screens.

I think the HSU recommendation is a good one, you get some good quality dynamic speakers, that will work well for movies. If you wanted to take it one step further and get some true theater speakers, the Chane Theater Ten would be an awesome choice. You would have even better dynamics and reference level sound if this is something you are after.

For subs, something from the likes of SVS, HSU, Rythmik, PSA, or Outlaw would be a great choice. I think one SVS PB-2000 would rock the house, but even something smaller like a PB-1000 or Rythmik LV12R would sound great in a small space like that.

Room treatments are good to add, but as Shady mentioned you should do some research to know where to put them. Here is a good guide: http://www.gikacoustics.com/acoustic-primer/

For a receiver, I would recommend the Denon AVR-X2000. It's last year's model and for $399 you get great value. It also comes with Audyssey MultEQ XT, which will configure and calibrate all your speakers. The Audyssey EQ can really improve SQ and account for some less than desirable acoustics. I would recommend getting an area rug because a tile floor will not sound good.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-14-2014, 09:01 AM
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If you are placing speakers against the wall - then look at HTD front ported speakers
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-three-speakers

Then look at the sub suggestions linked above

One option - HSU VTF-2
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-2mk4.html

Sony makes some nice Bluray players
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-4k-...&skuId=3413006

If you want to spend more then the Oppo 103
http://www.amazon.com/OPPO-BDP-103-U.../dp/B009LRR5AQ
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-14-2014, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great responses everyone!

I have decided to get the Oppo 103 Bluray player, as well as the Denon AVR-X2000 because the Audyssey MultEQ XT seems like a really great feature for setting up the speakers.

I haven't decided on the speakers yet though, because I am still researching my options.
Rhythmik subs look great, however getting one is problematic because I am located in Canada so I'll have to go with another option.
Regarding zieglj01 post, I can move the speakers a few inches away from the walls so I do not need front ported speakers.
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-14-2014, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Master T View Post
however getting one is problematic because I am located in Canada so I'll have to go with another option.
I can move the speakers a few inches away from the walls so I do not need front ported speakers.
You can get SVS subs in Canada
http://www.sonicboomaudio.com/box-su...334hlugbs9kvn2

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post #9 of 15 Old 08-14-2014, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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After doing some more research I am considering the Ascend Acoustics CMT 340 Se LR, the 340 centre and the CBM 170E surrounds. For a subwoofer, the Rythmik F12, F15 or the SVS PB 2000.

Do you think that this is a good choice for my room set up?

Which subwoofer would perform better for movies?

For the 340 centre, does anyone know if the NRT upgrade is worth it? Also, just wanted to verify that magnetic shielding for the center speaker isn't necessary with a projector set up.

Thanks

Last edited by Mitch Master T; 08-15-2014 at 07:21 AM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-15-2014, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Master T View Post
After doing some more research I am considering the Ascend Acoustics CMT 340 Se LR, the 340 centre and the CBM 170E surrounds. For a subwoofer, the Rythmik F12, F15 or the SVS PB 1000.

Do you think that this is a good choice for my room set up?

Which subwoofer would perform better for movies?

For the 340 centre, does anyone know if the NRT upgrade is worth it? Also, just wanted to verify that magnetic shielding for the center speaker isn't necessary with a projector set up.

Thanks
I would recommend a ported sub for movies, the F12 is a great sub but more geared for a smaller room or music. I would instead get a SVS PB-2000, or if you want get a pair of Rythmik LV12R subs. You get a discount for buying two subs, and you get a discount for buying Rythmik subs and Ascend speakers, so you can knock 15% off the price and have much better quality bass.

The NRT upgrade is only for the Sierra speakers. You do not need magnetic shielding unless you are using an old CRT TV.

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post #11 of 15 Old 08-21-2014, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the responses.

Budget has been increased so I am now considering the following 5.1 system from Ascend Acoustics.

- Sierra Tower with RAAL upgrade
- Sierra Horizon centre with RAAL upgrade
- Serra 2 surrounds
- Rythmik FV15 Sub
Which works out to around 6700.

Just wanted to verify that this isn't crazy for a small room... and if you guys had any alternate suggestions

Also, I am looking for some more AVR Recommendations
- I do not have a brand preference.
- I do not want to purchase an external amp
- i decided to go with the Oppo 103 blue ray player.

I am interested in room set up software such as Audyssey XT32, or the systems that other companies such as Yamaha, or Anthem use. However, my research indicates that these do not do a lot to correct poor room acoustics (i.e. lots of reflections). In some cases, I have heard that they actually make the sound worse by cutting out certain frequencies in order to try and correct for the room. Therefore I am not sure if they are worth the investment for my situation.

Last edited by Mitch Master T; 08-21-2014 at 06:58 PM.
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-21-2014, 04:51 PM
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Nice looking system. One thing I would do is double up on the subs, and get an AVR that can EQ dual subs, like the Denon X4000. Also I think Sierra 2s would be overkill for surrounds. You could use regular Sierras or CBM-170s for the surrounds and probably not lose a thing. Use the money saved for a dual sub setup, where the difference will be far more noticeable. If the room is small and there are not openings, you might swing for a pair of F15 or E15 or F15HPs. Also, if you do not intend to listen real loud, you might just go with Sierra 2s for the front stage.
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-21-2014, 05:28 PM
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I agree with "shadyJ"...Sierra2 for surround is major
Overkill. I would suggest The cbm-170 for surround.

I have expensive surrounds and they laugh at me!
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-22-2014, 04:59 AM
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In a room that size, I think the Sierra-2 would be perfect up front. Since you will be getting a fantastic sub (or two) you aren't going to lose anything by not having towers. I also agree the Sierra-2 are a bit much for surrounds, just some regular Sierra-1 would be fine if you want to match the finish. A pair of FV15HP is overkill in that size room in my opinion, as Shady mentioned, a pair of sealed subs would work very well, like the F15HP.

That is going to sound incredible though!

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post #15 of 15 Old 08-22-2014, 10:24 AM
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Small rooms are sometimes far more difficult to get a smooth frequency response (at least it was in mine), especially if the seating position is at the wall and fairly near the corners, so two small subs is probably the right choice. However, as much as I'm trying to envision two F15s in that small of a room, especially when you really won't know where to place them until you get them and do a subwoofer crawl, could be problematic. I think if I were you, I'd buy one sub first, place it where it tells you to in order to get the best sound at the listening position, then go from there. I'd also suggest cutting and taping up some cardboard to the size of the actually dimensions of the sub so you can get a clear visual of what you will be dealing with. There is also the problem that two subwoofers may be far more difficult to integrate than one. I see it all the time. One sub, then two, then three, then ….

The sub suggestions are terrific and sealed designs will easily work and provide a lot of thunder in your small space. So are the speakers mentioned. All great suggestions. However, for speakers you really need to go out and audition several to get a good idea what's right for you. While having speakers for movies only is a lot different than for music only, it's still a good idea to go out and audition. I'd never purchase any speaker without auditioning them (and others) first. So treat suggestions as just that, and whichever you choose, make sure you can return them without penalty (other than shipping) within a certain time period.

I'll soon be auditioning some speakers in my home. As much research as I've done (and I take months -- which would drive most people nuts), I always assume I will be sending them back before the trial period ends and auditioning others. The return shipping may be an extra expense, but I feel it's the price of satisfaction.
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