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post #421 of 432 Old 09-17-2014, 12:29 PM
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Trying to decide which option would work best

large family room in the basement (27x24) very crude drawing

Option 1

Level 2 Towers
Level 2 center
Level 2 Surrounds

Option 2
Level 3 bookshelf
speaker stands
Level 3 center
HD-R80 in-ceiling for surround

Or any other options you can think of?
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post #422 of 432 Old 09-18-2014, 07:11 AM
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Tagging along Ragnrok23's question, what's the difference between buying a tower and bookshelf? I was originally in the marketplace for bookshelfs to save space, but adding in a stand, it'll take up approximately the same amount of space as a tower.
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post #423 of 432 Old 09-23-2014, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renji1337 View Post
How would 5 level 3 centers work in a 5.1 setup?
It would work very well.

If you look at the center channels they are very similar component wise to the towers. The main difference is the enclosure (smaller ports) and that the tweeter is offset in the center channel speakers. The center channel speaker will outperform the same level bookshelf given that it has 2 drivers instead of 1. It will not perform as well as the towers due to less port area.

I have HTD level 2 center channel speakers as my mains in the family room. Just make sure that you flip them over such that the tweeter is in the middle on both to direct the sound slightly in rather than slightly out.

In fact center channel speakers will sound better turned vertically on their side than in their normal horizontal position due to some complex issues with the typical center channel component arangement.

-Rich
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post #424 of 432 Old 09-23-2014, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragnrok23 View Post
Trying to decide which option would work best

large family room in the basement (27x24) very crude drawing

Option 1

Level 2 Towers
Level 2 center
Level 2 Surrounds

Option 2
Level 3 bookshelf
speaker stands
Level 3 center
HD-R80 in-ceiling for surround

Or any other options you can think of?
You are probably better off with the AIM angled speakers as surrounds if you put them in the ceiling.

The flat panel speakers actually work very well as a center (they tend to look better in some setups) and centers work well as mains if turned on their side vertically.

My other suggestion is to move the TV to a better position, putting it on the bottom wall, back wall or flat to any wall will give you much better options.

-Rich

Last edited by rfb6435; 09-24-2014 at 09:18 AM.
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post #425 of 432 Old 09-24-2014, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfb6435 View Post
It would work very well.

If you look at the center channels they are very similar component wise to the towers. The main difference is the enclosure (smaller ports) and that the tweeter is offset in the center channel speakers. The center channel speaker will outperform the same level bookshelf given that it has 2 drivers instead of 1. It will not perform as well as the towers due to less port area.

I have HTD level 2 center channel speakers as my mains in the family room. Just make sure that you flip them over such that the tweeter is in the middle on both to direct the sound slightly in rather than slightly out.

In fact center channel speakers will sound better turned vertically on their side than in their normal horizontal position due to some complex issues with the typical center channel component arangement.

-Rich
Quote:
Originally Posted by rfb6435 View Post
You are probably better off with the AIM angled speakers as surrounds if you put them in the ceiling.

The flat panel speakers actually work very well as a center (they tend to look better in some setups) and centers work well as mains if turned on their side vertically.

My other suggestion is to move the TV to a better position, putting it on the bottom wall, back wall or flat to any wall will give you much better options.

-Rich
Thank you both!! after re-measuring the room, it looks like the TV can go against the back wall, and I will look into buying 3 level 3 centers for LCR, and the AIM angled for surround
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post #426 of 432 Old 09-24-2014, 02:11 PM
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The Level 3 Center can not be used on its side do to the alignment of the ribbon tweeter. If it were possible to rotate it then yes it would be fantastic - but it can not be rotated so it can't be used in that way.

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post #427 of 432 Old 09-25-2014, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by TheLaw612 View Post
The Level 3 Center can not be used on its side do to the alignment of the ribbon tweeter. If it were possible to rotate it then yes it would be fantastic - but it can not be rotated so it can't be used in that way.
Thanks for the heads up!

so now I guess is a level 2 towers and center better than a level 3 bookshelf and center?
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post #428 of 432 Old 09-25-2014, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragnrok23 View Post
Thank you both!! after re-measuring the room, it looks like the TV can go against the back wall, and I will look into buying 3 level 3 centers for LCR, and the AIM angled for surround
If you are moving the TV you should also consider the rectangular hidef in wall speakers as surrounds. If you have a wall on each side that is actually a better solution than the ceiling speakers. Either 6.5 or 8" will work fine as surrounds. I had the 6.5s as side surrounds in my previous house.

Ceiling speakers aren't optimal height wise and while the angled ones are better than speakers that fire straight down but... Speakers in the walls at the correct height give better positioning. That being said my wife much prefers that I put holes/speakers in the ceilings (where nobody even notices them) over putting them in the walls...

Then if you decide to go with a 7.1 setup in the future you can add the AIM speakers as your rear surrounds. The rear surrounds are actually less critical than the side surrounds (most content is 5.1 and uses side surrounds). I actually have this backwards in my room because it has 3 walls so I have level 2 bookshelf speakers on the rear wall with the AIM speakers for side speakers (but hey what can you do and it still works well).

HTD will also give you advise about this if you draw up and send them plans.

http://www.htd.com/Expert-Support/Send-Us-Your-Plans

I always get excellent support from them when I call. Sometime when I am in the Dallas area I will have to stop in and say hello to them.

I have 2 full sets of speakers from them including a 9.2 setup in the theater room with a combination of older style level 3 tower/mains (dome tweeters) and level 2 towers as wides with level 2 bookshelfs as rear surrounds and AIMs as side surrounds.

The living room is setup with smaller speakers has level 2 centers as mains, a flat panel as the center (which actually works VERY well), AIMs as surrounds. Then there are the outdoor speakers, etc. I am a little crazy with speakers.

-Rich

Last edited by rfb6435; 09-25-2014 at 10:37 AM.
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post #429 of 432 Old 09-26-2014, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfb6435 View Post
If you are moving the TV you should also consider the rectangular hidef in wall speakers as surrounds. If you have a wall on each side that is actually a better solution than the ceiling speakers. Either 6.5 or 8" will work fine as surrounds. I had the 6.5s as side surrounds in my previous house.

Ceiling speakers aren't optimal height wise and while the angled ones are better than speakers that fire straight down but... Speakers in the walls at the correct height give better positioning. That being said my wife much prefers that I put holes/speakers in the ceilings (where nobody even notices them) over putting them in the walls...

Then if you decide to go with a 7.1 setup in the future you can add the AIM speakers as your rear surrounds. The rear surrounds are actually less critical than the side surrounds (most content is 5.1 and uses side surrounds). I actually have this backwards in my room because it has 3 walls so I have level 2 bookshelf speakers on the rear wall with the AIM speakers for side speakers (but hey what can you do and it still works well).

HTD will also give you advise about this if you draw up and send them plans.

http://www.htd.com/Expert-Support/Send-Us-Your-Plans

I always get excellent support from them when I call. Sometime when I am in the Dallas area I will have to stop in and say hello to them.

I have 2 full sets of speakers from them including a 9.2 setup in the theater room with a combination of older style level 3 tower/mains (dome tweeters) and level 2 towers as wides with level 2 bookshelfs as rear surrounds and AIMs as side surrounds.

The living room is setup with smaller speakers has level 2 centers as mains, a flat panel as the center (which actually works VERY well), AIMs as surrounds. Then there are the outdoor speakers, etc. I am a little crazy with speakers.

-Rich

Thanks for the advice! unfortunetly, due to the new layout, I only have one wall to the left of the couch to put a speaker one, so I am stuck with ceilings

My main concern is the front 3

Level 3 with bookshelf for LR

Level 2 with towers

flat pannel for LCR

or some sort of mix
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post #430 of 432 Old 09-26-2014, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragnrok23 View Post
Thanks for the advice! unfortunetly, due to the new layout, I only have one wall to the left of the couch to put a speaker one, so I am stuck with ceilings

My main concern is the front 3

Level 3 with bookshelf for LR

Level 2 with towers

flat pannel for LCR

or some sort of mix
I wouldn't mix the level 2 and level 3's due to the timbre differences between the ribbon tweeter and the silk dome. You can mix surrounds without it being a huge issue unless you are very concerned about timbre matching when things pan from the LR to the surrounds (which I don't really notice) but I would keep the centers and mains the same.

It is a good point about the ribbon tweeter being sideways if you put the level 3 mains vertically I am using level 2 centers vertically as mains so it wasn't a concern with the silk dome tweeters. HTD actually states that you can place the level 3 mains vertically so it must not be a huge concern. They still have some dark cherry center channels discounted 24/102/245 when you buy 1/3/5 respectively in their discontinued page and they specifically say that they can be used vertically.

http://www.htd.com/Products/Discontinued

There are actually many people that refuse to use any MTW or WTW style center channel horizontally due to lobing so I wonder if the sound problems associated with turning the ribbon tweeter 90 degrees are worse or better than the reduced lobing problems when you turn the speaker vertically (it is harder to hear the lobing when they are vertical)... I did read somewhere about a different manufacturers horn tweeter not having a major impact when turned 90 degrees but I haven't actually done it with a HTD level 3. I would ask them.

When I ordered the level 2 centers to be used vertically as mains (they were able to hook me up with grills that had no logos). I then used a flat panel as the center. The flat panel as a center sounds great and actually looks MUCH better wall mounted below the TV than a center would. The flat panels are really nice especially as a center when you can have the larger mains cover some of the low frequencies. Overall I think the flat panel sounds better than a level 2 bookshelf (as it should for its higher cost).

I would seriously suggest calling HTD about your options. 10 minutes on the phone with them would probably answer most of your questions.

HTD's phone number is: 866-483-2834

-Rich

Last edited by rfb6435; 09-26-2014 at 03:32 PM.
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post #431 of 432 Old 09-29-2014, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by rfb6435 View Post
I wouldn't mix the level 2 and level 3's due to the timbre differences between the ribbon tweeter and the silk dome. You can mix surrounds without it being a huge issue unless you are very concerned about timbre matching when things pan from the LR to the surrounds (which I don't really notice) but I would keep the centers and mains the same.

It is a good point about the ribbon tweeter being sideways if you put the level 3 mains vertically I am using level 2 centers vertically as mains so it wasn't a concern with the silk dome tweeters. HTD actually states that you can place the level 3 mains vertically so it must not be a huge concern. They still have some dark cherry center channels discounted 24/102/245 when you buy 1/3/5 respectively in their discontinued page and they specifically say that they can be used vertically.

http://www.htd.com/Products/Discontinued

There are actually many people that refuse to use any MTW or WTW style center channel horizontally due to lobing so I wonder if the sound problems associated with turning the ribbon tweeter 90 degrees are worse or better than the reduced lobing problems when you turn the speaker vertically (it is harder to hear the lobing when they are vertical)... I did read somewhere about a different manufacturers horn tweeter not having a major impact when turned 90 degrees but I haven't actually done it with a HTD level 3. I would ask them.

When I ordered the level 2 centers to be used vertically as mains (they were able to hook me up with grills that had no logos). I then used a flat panel as the center. The flat panel as a center sounds great and actually looks MUCH better wall mounted below the TV than a center would. The flat panels are really nice especially as a center when you can have the larger mains cover some of the low frequencies. Overall I think the flat panel sounds better than a level 2 bookshelf (as it should for its higher cost).

I would seriously suggest calling HTD about your options. 10 minutes on the phone with them would probably answer most of your questions.

HTD's phone number is: 866-483-2834

-Rich
I called them on Friday and they pretty much told me to go with a level 2 towers and center. I did think it was odd the person I spoke with told me the don't reccomend wall mounting the bookshelfs or center
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post #432 of 432 Old 09-29-2014, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Ragnrok23 View Post
I called them on Friday and they pretty much told me to go with a level 2 towers and center. I did think it was odd the person I spoke with told me the don't reccomend wall mounting the bookshelfs or center
I usually have the center on the top of a small AV rack/furniture cabinet/etc under the TV. Even with my 106" projector I have the center on a 18" high shelf just under the screen. If you were to wall mount it then it would stick out a few inches so I usually set it on something.

Towers are worlds better than wall mounted bookshelfs for the fronts. I have level 2 bookshelf speakers wall mounted in the rear surrounds but they don't need as much volume there. This may be why he didn't recommend wall mounting them as mains.

The towers and center channel speakers are a lot better than the bookshelf speakers. For instance the sensitivity of the level 2 towers is 90db where the bookshelf speakers are 87 and the centers are 89. That means you need to drive twice the power through the bookshelf to get the same volume level. eg: 1 watt will get you 90db from the tower and only 87db from the bookshelf and you will need 2 watts to get 90db from the bookshelf. This then continues all the way up your power levels so eventually 50 watts of power on the towers is the same volume as 100 watts on the bookshelf (which is its max power rating). Surrounds need much less volume so level 2 bookshelf speakers work well there as it doesn't matter as much for them (unless you also have a weaker amplifier on those channels).

The level 2 centers are 89db so that is another reason that they are better than the bookshelf speakers if you don't go with towers.

The flat panel is between the level 2 main and bookshelf sensitivity wise at 88db and as I have mentioned it works well as a center channel. It might be a little weak on the low end if you used them as mains and center but as long as you have a decent subwoofer they would also be okay and those wall mount well (and even come with brackets).

If you have less space or need to hide the speakers then it starts to be a compromise. In general: Level 2 Towers > Level 2 center > flat panel > bookshelf.

Level 3s should be better but the level 3 center vs level 2 tower might be close. I haven't actually auditioned the level 3s with the ribbon tweeters but spec wise I would take a level 2 tower over a level 3 bookshelf.

Basically if you go level 3 you need to have level 3's for your mains and centers.

-Rich

Last edited by rfb6435; 09-29-2014 at 11:20 AM.
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