First HT Setup! Little help - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-20-2013, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All!

First post here and looking for a little help. I am in the process of building up my first ht setup. I just purchased a Denon AVR-3313ci an it is on its way so head unit is taken care of. I am no expert or an audiophile; however, I truly enjoy good sounding music and movies.

Due to my current living room I am looking at bookshelves which I will wall/ceiling mount with brackets(no room and small children). So far I have listened to Paradigm Studio 20's and 10's. I like both, prefer the 20 though. Through research I have found that the Ascend Sierra 1's are very comparable at a lower price point. Even though I haven't heard them I trust what everyone has said in all of the reviews I have read. I will go with the NrT upgrade as well if I go with those.

Price range for me is roughly $1000 per pair. This is why I have decided against the Paradigm's. I will start with fronts, then add sub, and then rears and a center. I have decided to go with a HSU vtf-15h due to the great reviews and price point.

My room is a bit difficult as far as setup. I will post a pic when I figure it out. Dimensions are as follows.

16' wide, 19' deep, 9' ceiling. TV is wall mounted between a slider on the right and fireplace on the left. The fireplace is at a 45 degree angle. The TV almost touches the trim for slider and fireplace wall. There is not any room for floor standing speakers. The right wall had 2 large windows, rear wall is solid, sectional couch is against rear wall. Left side is open to dining room and then kitchen. Living room is carpet floors. Viewing distance is about 17-18', I know it's pretty far.

The couple questions I have are,

Are the Sierra 1's going to do well in the amount of space I have and will the SHU mesh well?

Should I go with Sierra 1's all the way around?

What is an ideal space between fronts and will they sound ok mounted at ceiling height if they are angled?

Will the HSU be enough for my room?

I am really a movie guy with minimal music. I will listen to music more if I have the system but it is mainly for ht. depending on house situation I want to take my stuff with me so in wall isn't an option for me. And I may swap the equipment to a more square room with room behind the couch if we stay in our current home.

Thanks for any help and sorry for the lengthy first post!
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-20-2013, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok sorry for the bad pic but it might help a little.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-20-2013, 11:27 PM
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17' to 18' is pretty far with those speakers. It might be good if you don't need it loud. Also they would be overdoing it for surround speakers, I wouldn't spend a whole lot on the surround speakers. The sub is a good one. I would move the speakers closer to the listening position or the listening position closer to the speakers. If you can't do that, I would get more powerful speakers. Klipsch Reference speakers do pretty good with these sort of setups. Klipsch THX speakers would be better.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-21-2013, 02:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Shady- my system is going in my current room but we might move soon or I will be putting it in a differ room at our current house. I also will eventually do a 7.1 or 7.2 setup with a projector someday.

If I move the speakers closer to my seating position will it sound weird being in front of the tv 5' or so? And is 14' apart too far? I have not listened to them but I have read that Klipsch can be a little harsh. I have read a ton of great reviews on the ascends, just confirming the listening distance was the concern with them?
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-21-2013, 11:24 AM
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Klipsch do tend to run their tweeters a bit hot, so they can be harsh to some people. Their advantage is they don't lose as much energy outside the flare of the horn's angle, which could be beneficial at a 18' listening distance. The Klipsch THX look to be voiced very neutrally though, however they are a bit more expensive than the Ascends. You would want to work a deal with those with a seller, there is room for bargaining on those. One aspect in your listening position that will serve as relief to the distance is it looks like you are seated against the wall. This would help boost the output of any speaker you get due to the first reflections behind you, but this may not be a good thing. you might want to place some kind of acoustic damping behind you. Anyway, the Ascends look to be terrific speakers, and if you are accustomed to lower listening levels, they might work fine for you.

One thing I just noticed is that you intend to mount the speakers close to the ceiling. I must have missed that before. This is going to cause a lot of havoc with the frequency response. I think this is an even greater argument for Klipsch or other horn loaded speakers as they will not be as susceptible to acoustic reflections as other flat baffle speakers. Here is one idea for you: the JBL 8320s. They are made for those conditions. They are powerful, made for the ceiling/wall angle, easy to mount, and best of all, inexpensive. Plus, when you move and gain more ideal conditions for front stage speakers, you can simply move those speakers to the rear and use them as surround speakers, a role for which they are ideal. You can also kick it up a notch with that line and get the JBL 8340 or 8350, both are about $1k a pair. They will be quite a bit more powerful then the 8320 and have absolutely no problem tackling that listening distance. Any of these 83xx lines from JBL are THX certified, so they will be very neutral and have a very good response.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-21-2013, 01:03 PM
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With your room setup that way, your only options are having all three fronts inside the edges of the TV (too close) or in-ceiling / ceiling mounted speakers. It is OK (with the significant other) to mount three black speakers on the ceiling?

What about flipping the room so sectional is in the middle of the room, the TV is on the wall with no windows and you can place the front speakers on stands next to the TV. Then you could use in-ceiling speakers to the sides (5.1) and behind the sectional for the backs (7.1). Then you would be much closer to the TV and the front speakers and have space behind you which is much better for the surrounds / backs as well.

You could use the room behind your sectional for a sitting room / reading room / something else with the fireplace as the focal point. Just a thought.

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-21-2013, 05:07 PM
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I looked at the Ascend Acoustics site and a couple of reviews - interesting, but I couldn't find anything about their center channel speakers. The centers don't look that good as they are M-T-M on their side which have problems with vocals. Most modern high end center speakers have vertical arrays for the critical tweeter / mid which prevents lobing and poor intelligibility.

Reconsider the Paradigm Studio 20 speakers - these are amazing and the matching center channel speakers are even more so. If budget is the main concern you could look for used ones. There are lots of v.4 and v.5 Studio 20s in your price range. I bought my center channel Paradigm Studio CC-590 v.4 used for about $400 on eBay plus $70 for a new grille and I could not be happier with it - an amazing center channel speaker. I have Paradigm Studio 40's but I have heard the Studio 20's and they are nearly the same - maybe even better imaging with a little less bass.

If budget is the crux and you really want new speakers, consider the Polk RTi series like the RTiA3. For a truly high end center channel you would need to go to the LSiM704c which is matched to the LSiM703 which are at $1500 / pr - same as the Paradigm Studio 20s. Regardless of where you go, think about starting with a center channel speaker one level up from your main (front L/R) - those could move to the rear (or back surround for 7.1) later and you could upgrade the front mains to match the center at your first upgrade.

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-21-2013, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys thanks for the responses. Ill look at some other speakers. My dilemma is that this room is most likely temporary for this setup. I will probably be moving in the near future or just moving it all to a room that is square with a solid viewing wall. Just have to save up to furnish it so I can move it all. I still have a month or so before I purchase speakers so ill just keep researching.

Also, I don't rethink my wife really cares if I wall or ceiling mount. I might just look harder into swapping rooms.
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