Need advice on balancing surround sound speakers and choosing receiver. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-15-2013, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I have a house that is pre-wired for surround sound for 4 ceiling speakers. The "listening space" of the living room where I'm putting in surround sound is 11 1/2 wide by 15 1/2 deep. So I'm basically 15 1/2 ft away from the tv which is recessed into the wall. The system will mainly be used for watching tv/movies/video games. Maybe 10% of the time will be just music.

I have my eyes set on MartinLogan Helos 100's for the 4 ceiling speakers and a Motion 8 center with the Dynamo700 for sub all powered by either a Pioneer SC-61 or Denon 3312CI. My goal is to spend under 3000 for all the items buying online and will install myself.

Question #1 Am I going overboard with Helos 100's for this room size or would Helos 10's be fine or should I be looking at a different speaker all together for my setup?

Question #2 Is the Motion 8 a good center to pair with the Helos 100's?

Question #3 Is the Dynamo700 a good match with Helo's 100's and the Motion 8 or do I need the Dynamo1000?

Question #4 Which receiver is better for these speakers, the Pioneer SC-61 or Denon 3312CI or do you recommend something else? Also I do play call of duty so I can't have any signal lag issues.

Question #4 After installing everything, is it really difficult to calibrate? I know how to use a receiver on a basic level but I've never tried to calibrate or program one. I'm just wondering if it's absolutely necessary to be an expert or hire one in order to get it to sound good.

That's it for now. I appreciate any/all advice.

Thanks for your time.
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-16-2013, 01:20 PM
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I can't speak to the speaker choices as I tend to DIY, but...

If the room is 11x15, you want to sit 5' from the nearest wall, not against the wall. If this isn't audible to you, your speaker choices may all sound equally good.

Modern AVRs have automated room set-up. the hard part about calilbration is staying very quiet while the mic's active. These routines will get the audio very close. Video usually benefits more from professional help, as few folks have radiometers and colorimeters, and workarounds require a bit of skill. Video/audio synch issues are dealt with by delays in the AVR, but I've never needed to use it.

Have fun,
Frank
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-16-2013, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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The room is actually 15.5 deep x 19.5 wide. I said the listening area was only 11.5 wide because that's about 1 extra foot past each side of the left/right ceiling speakers. Also the other side of the room is past where the couch would be so that area is irrelevant. The ceiling is 9ft high. My couch has to be all the way back against the wall and the ceiling rears will unfortunately have to mounted directly above the couch instead of behind a bit. I'm hoping to maybe fire the rears back at the rear wall to reflect to the listening position.

I've done the mic callibration with a Bose system. Is this basically just as simple?

I was hoping to order everything I wanted tonight to have this ready by superbowl time but now I'm starting to think that I need to pay an expert to come out if I want it done right.

thanks.
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-16-2013, 04:32 PM
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I suggest that you look at the PSB speakers, for example the CW363 speaker.

IMO these are some of the best-sounding inwall speakers you can buy, and they are within your budget.

The Cambridge 551R is an excellent receiver as is the Denon 3312.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-16-2013, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Commsysman,

Thanks for the reply. I can't use the speakers you mentioned because they are in-wall speakers and I'm looking for in-ceiling speakers.

I am taking a liking to the Denon receivers the more I research.

thanks.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-16-2013, 04:44 PM
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Those speakers can be mounted in the ceiling as well.

Most inwall speakers can ("wall", in this case, is a generic term which is meant to include ceilings).

The only issue is their directional characteristics, and the PSB speakers have adjustable directivity, which gives you maximum flexibility.

They can be adjusted as much as 60 degrees once installed in the ceiling to focus the sound at the desired listening area.
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