Help with receiver for crisp clean dialogue - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I'm rebuilding after hurricane Sandy and am doing a theater room from scratch. The dimensions for the viewing area is around 16' x 10' x 8'. That's the area where the speakers will be set up on walls and ceiling. The actual wall to wall dimensions is around 30' x 15' x 8' but part of that will be a dining area or workout area or whatever.

My #1 concern is clean, crisp and loud dialogue from movies and an all around good movie viewing experience. No muffled dialogue.

I have been looking at some popular receiver like the Yamaha RX-V673, 773, A720 and the comparable models from Onkyo, Pioneer, etc. Then you have some audiophiles scoff at all of these and recommend some receivers like the NAD T748 amongst others. And then of course I feel like I am then limiting any system I buy by my originally intended speaker setup. Something along the lines of the energy take classics or energy c50 series or ML mlt-2. Something with reasonable size and price. Then I started looking at FS52 floor speakers (compromising on keeping everything on the walls and ceiling) in hopes of achieving my goal. Invariably I have become really confused and depressed about life in general. :-p

As I said my #1 goal is perfectly crisp dialogue. #2 is overall theater sound quality. A distant 3rd is music. I would love to keep speakers small and on the walls and ceiling if possible. I don't care that much about multi zones. I don't care that much about apps (but it would be a nice bonus). I need 3D pass through with no degradation in video quality at all.

My budget is $600-$700 for receiver . Though keeping at as low as possible is preferable. I wouldn't pay $300 extra for some marginal improvement.
My speaker budget is also around $600. Granted I had originally hoped to spend $600-$700 for the entire system after bargain hunting.

Please help me. I am lost. Thank you.
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post #2 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 02:50 PM
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Most AVR's you by are going to consider offer you a lot features that you might not need , but thats just the way it is. smile.gif

A great deal out there presently is the $599 Pioneer SC 1522K at the Costco. (limited supllies)

The Onkyo TC-NR818 can also be had for a decent price. (discounted)

Denon has released new models so their older line of AVR-2113, 2213, 3313CI can be seen discounted. Best to find a online authorized dealer (not amazon) on the Denon's and get a low price quote over the phone as they don't show anything more then list on web pages.

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post #3 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 03:15 PM
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Clean crisp dialog is less a function of the avr, and more a function of your speakers. I'd spend more on speakers and less on the receiver.
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post #4 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 03:22 PM
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+1 on that.

And here for help with the AVR:

http://www.avsforum.com/f/122/great-found-deals


Downloadable FREE demo discs:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1475769/de...ently-authored 

Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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post #5 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 03:42 PM
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If you considered the fs52's why not get the whole Pioneer 5.1 or 5.0 setup? Since dialog is important, you want to get something that has a matching center channel. You also are most likely going to need a subwoofer to give you that home theater experience, especially if you decide on small speakers.
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post #6 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crn3371 View Post

Clean crisp dialog is less a function of the avr, and more a function of your speakers. I'd spend more on speakers and less on the receiver.
Can I achieve this with smaller speakers for my room size? Do I absolutely need floor speakers?

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Originally Posted by crn3371 View Post

If you considered the fs52's why not get the whole Pioneer 5.1 or 5.0 setup? Since dialog is important, you want to get something that has a matching center channel. You also are most likely going to need a subwoofer to give you that home theater experience, especially if you decide on small speakers.
Oh I didn't mean I was only going to get the floor standing speakers. I just meant I was beginning to compromise on my small size restriction. I will get the full 5.1 setup... and eventually extra 2 speakers.
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post #7 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 04:33 PM
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No, you don't necessarily need floor standers. You can go with bookshelfs but you're going to need to supplement them with a subwoofer if you want any punch.
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post #8 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 05:11 PM
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Good satelites might even be an option to consider. But then a really good sub is a must.


Downloadable FREE demo discs:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1475769/de...ently-authored 

Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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post #9 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 05:24 PM
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Put the most money in your front 3 speakers, and if your budget still squeezes you, put even that mostly into your center channel. I picked up a Def Tech SM 65 recently for my center channel and it sounds clearer at lower volumes than my super expensive klipsh thx, especially for dialogue.

I love my Klipsch for movies, don't get me wrong, but I rarely listen at those volumes since I'm in a smaller place now, and find the clarity and detail at low-medium volumes very appreciated. Listen around, and do not spend a lot of money on a receiver!!

I bought my Marantz 5004 refurbished and it's had no issues whatsoever except that it won't pass through 3D, so I'd definitely recommend buying one refurbished (often they're fixed to be better than new)
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post #10 of 28 Old 05-02-2013, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Would a Martin Logan Fresco i be a good choice for center or is that overkill for my purposes?
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post #11 of 28 Old 05-03-2013, 07:34 AM
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We too watch a lot of TV shows and movies with our family room setup, where size of speakers are a consideration. And for most of what we watch, dialog and ambiance are far more important than wall and floor-shaking special effects. I am very happy with the Energy Take Classic with Klipsch sub, driven by a Denon 1613. I'd recommend the Denon 1713 for its MultEQ XT. With Audyssey calibration, and Dynamic EQ and Dynamic volume, this is a great al-purpose system for movies, TV, as well as music. Dialog sounds very clear to me.
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post #12 of 28 Old 05-03-2013, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shashchatter View Post

 I am very happy with the Energy Take Classic with Klipsch sub, driven by a Denon 1613.

Get the sub now:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780078


Downloadable FREE demo discs:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1475769/de...ently-authored 

Did you really need to quote that entire post in your reply?
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post #13 of 28 Old 05-03-2013, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

Would a Martin Logan Fresco i be a good choice for center or is that overkill for my purposes?

You will learn around here that there's no such thing as overkill.

wink.gif

However, as mentioned, it is important for the front three speakers to be as similar as possible. So three of these would be terrific. One plus a left and right of something else, not so good.


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http://www.avsforum.com/t/1475769/de...ently-authored 

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post #14 of 28 Old 05-03-2013, 08:54 AM
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You want your front soundstage to match. Same mfg, from the same series.
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post #15 of 28 Old 05-03-2013, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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That would make three speakers $900-1000... out of my budget unfortunately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashchatter View Post

We too watch a lot of TV shows and movies with our family room setup, where size of speakers are a consideration. And for most of what we watch, dialog and ambiance are far more important than wall and floor-shaking special effects. I am very happy with the Energy Take Classic with Klipsch sub, driven by a Denon 1613. I'd recommend the Denon 1713 for its MultEQ XT. With Audyssey calibration, and Dynamic EQ and Dynamic volume, this is a great al-purpose system for movies, TV, as well as music. Dialog sounds very clear to me.
How big is the room? I was really looking hard at the Energy Take Classics, MLT-2's, klipsch quintet, and some other small speakers and was worried they would be too small for my room... 1280 cu ft viewing are and 3600 cu ft wall to wall.

Thank for all the feedback
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post #18 of 28 Old 05-03-2013, 10:19 AM
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You had originally mentioned the Pioneer fs52's. Floor standers would certainly help filling that large a space, but aren't mandatory. You can stick with the Pioneer Andrew Jones line, but use all bookshelfs. Just make sure you go with their matching center channel speaker. If you don't go with a matching front soundstage you're asking for problems.
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post #19 of 28 Old 05-03-2013, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

That would make three speakers $900-1000... out of my budget unfortunately.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crn3371 View Post

You want your front soundstage to match. Same mfg, from the same series.
How big is the room? I was really looking hard at the Energy Take Classics, MLT-2's, klipsch quintet, and some other small speakers and was worried they would be too small for my room... 1280 cu ft viewing are and 3600 cu ft wall to wall.
Thank for all the feedback
You might want to take this discussion to the Speakers forum, epecially since your after crisp clean dialogue. Selecting a balanced and matching set of speakers (L+R+C) takes precedence over selecting a AVR for your limited budget. You should be asking in that forum what would be the best for your budget, then plan on your AVR as your second priority.

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post #20 of 28 Old 05-03-2013, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by crn3371 View Post

Clean crisp dialog is less a function of the avr, and more a function of your speakers. I'd spend more on speakers and less on the receiver.

Can I achieve this with smaller speakers for my room size? Do I absolutely need floor speakers?

Intelligibility of dialog is a joint function of the speakers and the room. Rooms add reverberation (echoes) to sound in them. Some reverberation is less damaging to sound intelligibility than other kinds of reverberation.

Beyond a certain point, the more reverberation, the less the intelligibility.

If you have a room that adds less damaging reverberation, then you have more flexibility in terms of which speakers will give you adequate intelligibility.

Generally speakers that are small or have drivers with small diaphragms tend to be more susceptible to having their intelligibility degraded by reflections in the room.
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post #21 of 28 Old 05-04-2013, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

That would make three speakers $900-1000... out of my budget unfortunately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashchatter View Post

We too watch a lot of TV shows and movies with our family room setup, where size of speakers are a consideration. And for most of what we watch, dialog and ambiance are far more important than wall and floor-shaking special effects. I am very happy with the Energy Take Classic with Klipsch sub, driven by a Denon 1613. I'd recommend the Denon Furr's Family Dining
350 S Plano Rd, Richardson, TX 75081
http://*******/maps/nHZpI How big is the room? I was really looking hard at the Energy Take Classics, MLT-2's, klipsch quintet, and some other small speakers and was worried they would be too small for my room... 1280 cu ft viewing are and 3600 cu ft wall to wall.
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post #22 of 28 Old 05-04-2013, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

How big is the room? I was really looking hard at the Energy Take Classics, MLT-2's, klipsch quintet, and some other small speakers and was worried they would be too small for my room... 1280 cu ft viewing are and 3600 cu ft wall to wall.

The room is roughly 26x20x10 cu. ft. The back half of right wall opens up to foyer, the left half of rear wall is open to large kitchen and dining, wood floors, speakers are mounted on ceiling. Room EQ is a must :-).
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post #23 of 28 Old 05-04-2013, 12:36 PM
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Hi kovyvok,

You have received a lot of good advice from members here, meantime please allow me to highlight another aspect of dialog intelligibility being your key concern at the moment.

It is always very important to place all the speakers and sub(s) properly in you room, but let's only speak about the center placement for the time being.

Depending on you layout, you may place the center above or below your TV screen, right? (No way out, eh?) smile.gif

Whatever you choose in order to get the best quality dialog you should always pay attention to the followings:

1. Center speakers shall always face seated ear height, no matter what. Should it be below, then you need to tilt it upward, should it be above, you need to tilt it downward. Speakers always have their widest frequency response and highest SPL (Sound Pressure Level) when on-axis to our ears.

2. Should the center be in a cabinet below the screen or on a shelf above, the phenomenon of early reflections kicks-in. This means a repeated sound immediately follows the main signal, adds itself and causes something called "smearing". In order to tame this it is always advisable to nudge the center speaker by and inch or so outward. For reference photos you may visit my setup. (Link in my sig.)

Hope this helps you out with proper setup of your center channel speaker. smile.gif.
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post #24 of 28 Old 05-04-2013, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great advice. I appreciate it.
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post #25 of 28 Old 05-04-2013, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovyvok View Post

Thanks for all the great advice. I appreciate it.

Not at all. Come back with the results please.cool.gifsmile.gif
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post #26 of 28 Old 05-04-2013, 05:34 PM
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Get a good center channel.
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post #27 of 28 Old 05-04-2013, 10:44 PM
 
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Also, be very careful about reflections from behind you. If you can put something on the wall to soften it, to help absorb any reflections, that will help.
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post #28 of 28 Old 05-05-2013, 03:28 AM
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If you don't have a Costco nearby, newegg has the 1222-K (same amp) for $550.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117412
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