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post #1 of 28 Old 09-09-2012, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I've just recently moved into a new home with a dedicated theater room. It's dimensions are 12'5" wide x 17'11" long with 10' ceilings. The only thing I know for sure is I plan on putting 6 seats in. Two rows of three. The second row is up 6" higher than the first row.

So, where does this leave me now? I have no idea how to pick the right speakers for this room. I have a budget of $15-$20k, though I would like to keep it closer to 15. All my current theater gear is staying in my living room, most of which was purchased based on previous budget and collected through the years.

I have an equipment list I've been building based on that budget, and have two different sets of speakers picked out, but have heard neither of them. They've primarily been picked because I'm pretty sure I can hear them at a local store, but honestly I don't even know if they're right for the room size. This setup will probably be used for 90% movies, 10% video games. Almost no music listening.

Here's the list so far:
Denon AVR-4520 will be the main power source at 150w / channel
Sony VPL-HW50ES projector with some kind of 120" screen

Here's my two sets of speaker choices so far:
B&W CM9 fronts
CM Center 2
CM5 for surrounds

alternatively for almost the same costs
Klipsch RF-7 II fronts
RC-64 II center
RS-62 II surrounds

Velodyne Optimum 12 sub with either selection. (picked because I currently have a Velodyne HGS-12 that I love)

Any comments, suggestions, help would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 28 Old 09-09-2012, 10:31 PM
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TOTALLY go with the Bowers and Wilkins. The CM9's are just outstanding speakers. Paired with the CM5's in the rears and the CM Center 2 is just going the make that room sound like a reference room in Abbey Road... well, the have the 800D's, but you know what I mean wink.gif
I demo these speakers all day long and have developed quite the love affair with them. The CM5's will be my first purchase, then when I get a little more money together I will be getting the CM9's and moving the CM5's to the rear positions. Then, granted a little more money comes in, the CM Center. You are looking at MY PERSONAL dream system. Keep this thread updated on what you do brother! smile.gif
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post #3 of 28 Old 09-09-2012, 10:38 PM
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Also, I demo those with a Pioneer SC-67 Elite receiver, Bi-amped. I am still a little on the fence about the MCACC calibration from Pioneer, but it sounds damn good. If you wanna go in there with some good 2.0 channel reference material, I would suggest .flac copies of Nine Inch Nails "Into the Void", "Derezzed" from the TRON-Reconfigured soundtrack, "Is Your Love Strong Enough" from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack, and "Wish You Were Here" Pink Floyd. See my post in the 15 great movie demos thread with my recommends on DTS 5.1 soundtracks to demo.
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post #4 of 28 Old 09-09-2012, 10:39 PM
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Also, I demo those with a Pioneer SC-67 Elite receiver, Bi-amped. I am still a little on the fence about the MCACC calibration from Pioneer, but it sounds damn good. If you wanna go in there with some good 2.0 channel reference material, I would suggest .flac copies of Nine Inch Nails "Into the Void", "Derezzed" from the TRON-Reconfigured soundtrack, "Is Your Love Strong Enough" from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack, Tool "The Pot", and "Wish You Were Here" Pink Floyd. See my post in the 15 great movie demos thread with my recommends on DTS 5.1 soundtracks to demo.
The reason you wanna do a 2.0 channel demo is you can really appreciate the soundstage and the imaging of the speakers when you reduce it down to only 2. Then, you can pair up the rest as needed. But you have a DYNAMITE setup as it is.
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post #5 of 28 Old 09-10-2012, 12:23 AM
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I would prefer the Klipsch speakers. The B&Ws are nice but they are naptime next to the Klipsch. For home theater it is no contest. Also, on that budget you really ought to get a better sub, the Velodynes aren't bad but there is a hell of a lot better out there for the same price. I would die if I had a Klipsch setup bottlenecked by a 12" Velodyne sub. For the same price as the Velodyne you could get a Rythmik FV15HP which would crush it in every single performance metric. Or get a pair of Hsu VTF3s for the same price, that system will roll over the Velodyne without contest. The Optimum 12 would be good for five or six hundred, but for 1500 it is a pretty sad subwoofer.
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post #6 of 28 Old 09-10-2012, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oven View Post

I've just recently moved into a new home with a dedicated theater room. It's dimensions are 12'5" wide x 17'11" long with 10' ceilings. The only thing I know for sure is I plan on putting 6 seats in. Two rows of three. The second row is up 6" higher than the first row.
So, where does this leave me now? I have no idea how to pick the right speakers for this room. I have a budget of $15-$20k, though I would like to keep it closer to 15. All my current theater gear is staying in my living room, most of which was purchased based on previous budget and collected through the years.
I have an equipment list I've been building based on that budget, and have two different sets of speakers picked out, but have heard neither of them. They've primarily been picked because I'm pretty sure I can hear them at a local store, but honestly I don't even know if they're right for the room size. This setup will probably be used for 90% movies, 10% video games. Almost no music listening.
Here's the list so far:
Denon AVR-4520 will be the main power source at 150w / channel
Sony VPL-HW50ES projector with some kind of 120" screen
Here's my two sets of speaker choices so far:
B&W CM9 fronts
CM Center 2
CM5 for surrounds
alternatively for almost the same costs
Klipsch RF-7 II fronts
RC-64 II center
RS-62 II surrounds
Velodyne Optimum 12 sub with either selection. (picked because I currently have a Velodyne HGS-12 that I love)
Any comments, suggestions, help would be appreciated.

Interesting. Taking a purely technical viewpoint (for the purpose of discussion only), I come up with the following FR curve for the CR9 (purple line)



Compare this to a compettve benchmark speaker from a source that I use as a reference for price/performance (Infinity P360 now updated as the P363):



Finally, about as close to a tech review of a Klipsch RF7 as I can find is this review of the smaller Klipsch RB61 which may share technology with the RF 7's.



The first thing that leaps out at me is that rather pronounced upper mid-range suck out from 2 to 7 KHz in the CR9. OK, the eq of your receiver will fix this, but why favor a speaker that needs fixing right out of the box? I suspect that this dip is 100% intentional, and gives a more laid back sort of sonic presentation in the demo room.

In contrast the P360 and the RF7 are pretty much smooth and flat.

All three speakers have response down to at least 80 Hz so they are a good choice to use with subs, but the RB61 pretty well eats the lunch of the other 2 if you are looking at them as stand-alone speakers.

From a smoothness standpoint, the on axis response of the P360 is hard to beat.

Other than that, I think that with the sort of budget you're talking about, a 12" sub is on the weak side. I agree with the recommendations that you look at Hsu, but let me gently suggest you set your sights higher, even if it means trying to save a little money on the mains.

As far as the 120 inch projection system goes, I've let my freak flag show - I favor projectors in a box, AKA Mitsubishi DLP TV's. Their largest is 92 inches. I'm very happy with a 60" in a room that is significantly larger than yours. The smallest DLP TV you can get these days is a 73" and this is really a lot of picture.
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post #7 of 28 Old 09-10-2012, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Djyinn View Post

Also, I demo those with a Pioneer SC-67 Elite receiver, Bi-amped. I am still a little on the fence about the MCACC calibration from Pioneer, but it sounds damn good.

Thanks for the info. Good to hear from someone who listens to the B&W's on a regular basis. Initially I was poised to get the Pioneer SC-68, but then changed my mind when I started reading about the Denon. I've previously owned two Denon receivers, and really like the Audyssey set up, and also read the MCACC calibration wasn't as good.

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post #8 of 28 Old 09-10-2012, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

As far as the 120 inch projection system goes, I've let my freak flag show - I favor projectors in a box, AKA Mitsubishi DLP TV's. Their largest is 92 inches. I'm very happy with a 60" in a room that is significantly larger than yours. The smallest DLP TV you can get these days is a 73" and this is really a lot of picture.

Thanks for the speaker info, I honestly hadn't considered professional reviews. I tend to get in here and read the opinions of this forum, and typically people seem to lean towards liking whatever they purchased, so it's hard for them to be too objective.

As for the screen, I currently have a 55" in our living room and have gone to the store and looked at an 80" Sharp. I really want something significantly bigger, and the really large LCD/DLP type screens (like the Sharp) tend to have really bad screen door effect at that size. Having looked at the projectors, because they're optically scaled onto the screen, the screen door effect doesn't seem as pronounced. I really like the clarity and look of them.

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post #9 of 28 Old 09-10-2012, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Also, on that budget you really ought to get a better sub, the Velodynes aren't bad but there is a hell of a lot better out there for the same price. I would die if I had a Klipsch setup bottlenecked by a 12" Velodyne sub. For the same price as the Velodyne you could get a Rythmik FV15HP which would crush it in every single performance metric. Or get a pair of Hsu VTF3s for the same price, that system will roll over the Velodyne without contest. The Optimum 12 would be good for five or six hundred, but for 1500 it is a pretty sad subwoofer.

+1

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post #10 of 28 Old 09-10-2012, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Good to know about the sub. I love my HGS-12, but have nothing to compare it to as it's the only sub I've ever had or listened to. I just assumed another Velodyne was the way to go.

I read a review of the JL Audio Fathom F112, and it sounds amazing. Anyone have any thoughts on this thing?

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post #11 of 28 Old 09-10-2012, 03:24 PM
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let's throw something else into the mix... smile.gif

3 seaton cat 8's for lcr - $7500
4 seaton sparks for surrounds - $5600
2 seaton submersive hp's - $4400

add in shipping, and that comes in under the $20k number...

then there's jtr's as well... and some others... personally, i wouldn't even consider the b&w's, there are many "better" options...

fwiw, i'd go with a front projector too... smile.gif although to put a 120" screen in there, you'll likely need to go acoustically transparent with a false wall...

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post #12 of 28 Old 09-10-2012, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Oven View Post

Good to know about the sub. I love my HGS-12, but have nothing to compare it to as it's the only sub I've ever had or listened to. I just assumed another Velodyne was the way to go.
I read a review of the JL Audio Fathom F112, and it sounds amazing. Anyone have any thoughts on this thing?

JL Audio is like Velodyne, good subwoofer but poor value. Some higher value subwoofers with great performance is Hsu, Rythmik, Seaton, JTR, Funk Audio, Danley Sound Labs, SVS, Outlaw Audio, and Chase. If you are into reference level sound, I would get a couple JTR Captivators. If you want high output at seriously deep frequencies, I would go for a couple Funk Audio 18.3 subs, or a bunch of Hsu ULS-15 subs. A couple of the above-mentioned Seaton Submersives would be a great system too.
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post #13 of 28 Old 09-10-2012, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

let's throw something else into the mix... smile.gif
3 seaton cat 8's for lcr - $7500
4 seaton sparks for surrounds - $5600
2 seaton submersive hp's - $4400
add in shipping, and that comes in under the $20k number...
then there's jtr's as well... and some others... personally, i wouldn't even consider the b&w's, there are many "better" options...
fwiw, i'd go with a front projector too... smile.gif although to put a 120" screen in there, you'll likely need to go acoustically transparent with a false wall...

My budget's got to include all the gear. smile.gif Wishful thinking though.

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post #14 of 28 Old 09-10-2012, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I would prefer the Klipsch speakers. The B&Ws are nice but they are naptime next to the Klipsch. For home theater it is no contest. Also, on that budget you really ought to get a better sub, the Velodynes aren't bad but there is a hell of a lot better out there for the same price. I would die if I had a Klipsch setup bottlenecked by a 12" Velodyne sub. For the same price as the Velodyne you could get a Rythmik FV15HP which would crush it in every single performance metric. Or get a pair of Hsu VTF3s for the same price, that system will roll over the Velodyne without contest. The Optimum 12 would be good for five or six hundred, but for 1500 it is a pretty sad subwoofer.

The problem (or advantage, depending on how you look at it) with Klipsch is that they are horn loaded. You put a horn loaded speaker next to a natural curved speaker (like the B&W's) there is no contest. If you want something that is just going to be balls loud then absolutely go Klipsch, if you want to authentically reproduce your source material, Klipsch can't hold up to the B&w's. The cereameallic COATING of those speakers may be impressive, but why coat a speaker? You change the and morph the capability and the sonic response when you coat a speaker. When you have the naked Kevlar on the B&w's you get outstanding, quality, natural performance and reproduction.

I am by no means saying Klipsch is a bad brand... what I am saying is if there was a perfect speaker, companies would only sell one. What may be important to you (overall loudness from the sound of it) may be completely inept to someone like me (looking for authenticity in my audition and reproduction).

Hey Oven, have you auditioned any of these great suggestions yet?? Also, what part of the country are you in? if you're close by, come see me man. I live to do demo's all day long, and I will let the products speak for themselves.
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post #15 of 28 Old 09-11-2012, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Djyinn View Post

The problem (or advantage, depending on how you look at it) with Klipsch is that they are horn loaded. You put a horn loaded speaker next to a natural curved speaker (like the B&W's) there is no contest. If you want something that is just going to be balls loud then absolutely go Klipsch, if you want to authentically reproduce your source material, Klipsch can't hold up to the B&w's. The cereameallic COATING of those speakers may be impressive, but why coat a speaker? You change the and morph the capability and the sonic response when you coat a speaker. When you have the naked Kevlar on the B&w's you get outstanding, quality, natural performance and reproduction.
I am by no means saying Klipsch is a bad brand... what I am saying is if there was a perfect speaker, companies would only sell one. What may be important to you (overall loudness from the sound of it) may be completely inept to someone like me (looking for authenticity in my audition and reproduction).
Hey Oven, have you auditioned any of these great suggestions yet?? Also, what part of the country are you in? if you're close by, come see me man. I live to do demo's all day long, and I will let the products speak for themselves.

Dynamics are a part of authentically reproducing source material, and Klipsch certainly bests B&W in this sense. Neither are the most accurate measuring loudspeaker in either case. If I want total accuracy I will go for some of JBL's higher end studio monitors over Klipsch or B&W anyway.
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post #16 of 28 Old 09-11-2012, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Oven View Post

Thanks for the speaker info, I honestly hadn't considered professional reviews. I tend to get in here and read the opinions of this forum, and typically people seem to lean towards liking whatever they purchased, so it's hard for them to be too objective.
As for the screen, I currently have a 55" in our living room and have gone to the store and looked at an 80" Sharp. I really want something significantly bigger, and the really large LCD/DLP type screens (like the Sharp) tend to have really bad screen door effect at that size. Having looked at the projectors, because they're optically scaled onto the screen, the screen door effect doesn't seem as pronounced. I really like the clarity and look of them.

Before dismissing DLP all together, I think you need to look at the current Mitsubishi's. IME Sharp isn't in the same league any more.
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post #17 of 28 Old 09-11-2012, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Djyinn View Post

The problem (or advantage, depending on how you look at it) with Klipsch is that they are horn loaded. You put a horn loaded speaker next to a natural curved speaker (like the B&W's) there is no contest.

I see some stereotypes being bandied about. A well-made so-called horn loaded system need not sound any more or less natural than a conventional direct radiator (e.g. dome). I think that Earl Geddes' Summa speakers make this point in the real world.

The inherent difference between horns and domes is that the domes tend to be hemispherical radiators, and modern horn or wave guide speakers tend to have narrower dispersion. The narrow dispersion of wave guides tends to make room acoustics somewhat less critical. In theory it also narrows the sweet spot, but usually the width of the sweet spot is controlled by other factors.

Just to blur the differences, people like JBL, Mackie and Behringer are putting dome direct radiators at the base of shallow waveguides (mostly in pro speakers) because within reason, controlled dispersion can be a very good thing.

It is true that horn loaded speakers can be more efficient at the extremes, but direct radiators can be nearly as efficient, and we don't see a lot of extremely efficient speakers in this market segment regardless (well, other than Geddes).

However, we can easily overcome efficiency with more powerful amplifiers, which is routinely done quite effectively. There can be some concerns with less efficient speakers and issues like power compression, but at the SPLs typically used in HT, that need not be an issue.

In the B&Ws I see a rather obvious attempt to produce a speaker that is colored to sound more laid back. Fire up Audessy, YPAO or MCACC and it mostly goes away.
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post #18 of 28 Old 09-11-2012, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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So back to my original post. My real question was how do I go about picking the right speakers for the room, and my primary application (movies). Is it really just subjective? Is there a theory you want to follow for room size, speaker placement and type and size of speaker, wattage, performance curve, etc.

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post #19 of 28 Old 09-11-2012, 10:32 AM
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It boils down to your own preference.  That is why it is better to listen to speakers before you buy them.  And of course, depending on your price range.

 

The only rule that I know of, is that 1/2 to 3/4 of your total budget should be for speakers.

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post #20 of 28 Old 09-11-2012, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I see some stereotypes being bandied about. A well-made so-called horn loaded system need not sound any more or less natural than a conventional direct radiator (e.g. dome). I think that Earl Geddes' Summa speakers make this point in the real world.
The inherent difference between horns and domes is that the domes tend to be hemispherical radiators, and modern horn or wave guide speakers tend to have narrower dispersion. The narrow dispersion of wave guides tends to make room acoustics somewhat less critical. In theory it also narrows the sweet spot, but usually the width of the sweet spot is controlled by other factors.
Just to blur the differences, people like JBL, Mackie and Behringer are putting dome direct radiators at the base of shallow waveguides (mostly in pro speakers) because within reason, controlled dispersion can be a very good thing.
It is true that horn loaded speakers can be more efficient at the extremes, but direct radiators can be nearly as efficient, and we don't see a lot of extremely efficient speakers in this market segment regardless (well, other than Geddes).
However, we can easily overcome efficiency with more powerful amplifiers, which is routinely done quite effectively. There can be some concerns with less efficient speakers and issues like power compression, but at the SPLs typically used in HT, that need not be an issue.
In the B&Ws I see a rather obvious attempt to produce a speaker that is colored to sound more laid back. Fire up Audessy, YPAO or MCACC and it mostly goes away.

You have very good counterpoints in your post and you seem to have a very unbiased opinion, which is greatly appreciated by someone like me. I wasn't trying to further any stereotypes, and you are correct. If implemented correctly, the hornloading can be a very desirable soundscape, specially if the room has not been acoustically treated in anyway. I currently own the Klipsch Quintet and the SW350 Sub (yes I know... It's nothing INCREDIBLE, but for the budget I had at the time it was the best performance I could get for the cash), so I am intimately familiar with the capabilities of Klipsch. Every time I go to work I am just sublimely taken back by the performance of the B&W's and they have quickly become my favorite speakers in our studio spaces. Outstanding performance at a fairly aggressive price point.
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post #21 of 28 Old 09-11-2012, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by underminded999 View Post

It boils down to your own preference.  That is why it is better to listen to speakers before you buy them.  And of course, depending on your price range.

The only rule that I know of, is that 1/2 to 3/4 of your total budget should be for speakers.
+1! I agree 100%! Always audition everything and put to your own taste! No one can hear/listen to them for you smile.gif
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post #22 of 28 Old 09-18-2012, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oven View Post

Here's the list so far:
Here's my two sets of speaker choices so far:
B&W CM9 fronts
CM Center 2
CM5 for surrounds

alternatively for almost the same costs
Klipsch RF-7 II fronts
RC-64 II center
RS-62 II surrounds
 

Two very different speaker sets.  Curious how did you come to the decision that these were what you wanted?


Don't waste time reading signatures.....
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post #23 of 28 Old 09-18-2012, 06:39 PM
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How loud do you like to listen to movies? If you enjoy cranking it up and high impact home theater then the Klipsch setup you mentioned would totally be the ticket. If you rarely ever listen past -15 than the B&Ws would suit you fine.

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post #24 of 28 Old 09-21-2012, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Two very different speaker sets.  Curious how did you come to the decision that these were what you wanted?

These were two speakers sets that fell into my price range, that I knew I could probably listen to at local stores. I'm not necessarily looking to buy them, and per my original post, wanted to know how to go about picking the right speakers for the space.

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post #25 of 28 Old 09-21-2012, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Oven View Post

These were two speakers sets that fell into my price range, that I knew I could probably listen to at local stores. I'm not necessarily looking to buy them, and per my original post, wanted to know how to go about picking the right speakers for the space.

You sorta showed up with a Chrysler Viper and a Cadillac Escalade and asked us to compare and contrast them...

To help you along with your search for the right speakers, do you see why I picked the cars I did, and which speakers go with which car?
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post #26 of 28 Old 09-23-2012, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

You sorta showed up with a Chrysler Viper and a Cadillac Escalade and asked us to compare and contrast them...
To help you along with your search for the right speakers, do you see why I picked the cars I did, and which speakers go with which car?

Forget I even mentioned any speakers. What I listed was a starting point for me, and I don't necessarily intend to buy them. I'm looking for something in my price range...anything, suitable for the room size, and what I want to watch, which is mostly movies.

Some posters have offered other suggestions for subs, and I'm exploring the options, checking out reviews etc. I'm still a few weeks out from purchase as I'm waiting on the arrival of the Denon receiver and Sony projector, which are coming to market in October.

I don't follow the forums that often, and haven't posted much outside of this thread. I'm looking for advice that fits within my budget and room considerations.

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post #27 of 28 Old 09-24-2012, 04:40 AM
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A few more questions which will help anyone suggesting speakers:

 

  • What is your actual budget for speakers only?  Since you already have your projector and AVR picked out, that should narrow down your budget constraints.
  • Define your spl requirements, listening distance, and power available for speakers.
  • Also, I would encourage you to read a bunch in the speaker forums as there are lots of Internet Direct companies which should fall into your pricepoint(whatever that is).
  • Your room is not so large as to marry you to uber high sensitivity speakers so your gonna have some flexiblity when it comes to your speaker choices.
  • How much real estate do you have available for speakers/subs?  Is WAF a factor?  What finish options do you require?
  • Are you going A.T. on the screen?  Identical LCRs? 

 

Speaker/Sub recommendations are kinda funny, everyone has their pet.  Take any recommendation with a grain of salt, especially if I recommend speaker company "A" and I have speaker company "A" for my own system, that just means I like speaker company "A."

 

However, if you average the consensus of feedback here, you'll prob not go awfully wrong.


Don't waste time reading signatures.....
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post #28 of 28 Old 09-24-2012, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NicksHitachi View Post

A few more questions which will help anyone suggesting speakers:
  • What is your actual budget for speakers only?  Since you already have your projector and AVR picked out, that should narrow down your budget constraints.
  • Define your spl requirements, listening distance, and power available for speakers.
  • Also, I would encourage you to read a bunch in the speaker forums as there are lots of Internet Direct companies which should fall into your pricepoint(whatever that is).
  • Your room is not so large as to marry you to uber high sensitivity speakers so your gonna have some flexiblity when it comes to your speaker choices.
  • How much real estate do you have available for speakers/subs?  Is WAF a factor?  What finish options do you require?
  • Are you going A.T. on the screen?  Identical LCRs? 

Speaker/Sub recommendations are kinda funny, everyone has their pet.  Take any recommendation with a grain of salt, especially if I recommend speaker company "A" and I have speaker company "A" for my own system, that just means I like speaker company "A."

However, if you average the consensus of feedback here, you'll prob not go awfully wrong.

I don't know the answers to all your questions, but I've started a new thread in the dedicated media room area with photos of the room and layout with dimensions. My speaker budget is around 9k including the sub. Feel free to reply in the new forum post here.

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