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L/C/R Soundbar with balls?

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
So my wife and I are considering building something contemporary in our living room. We don't know what yet, but since we have a TV there, I'm investigating speaker options. Looks-wise, a sound bar may work out quite well, however I can't find anything that has 'uncompromised' sound.

The problem is that our living room is HUGE so it requires larger speakers to get good SPL in the lower frequencies. So far, I found that the Boston Acoustics P400 has the biggest woofers at 4.5" compared to other sound bars and seems to go down to 80Hz (anechoic ). I'm curious whether there are any other solutions out there.

I've looked at over a dozen different soundbars and I just want something that's built to replace a traditional setup instead of giving a Bose-like sound. Admittedly, I've never heard one, but I'm assuming with small 2-4" drivers that's what I should expect? Another option includes buying 3 MTM's and placing them end-on end. But that wouldn't look as nice. I don't much care about the width as long as it's under 70" .

I can compensate for the size somewhat with a subwoofer, but at a certain point sound becomes localizable(sp? ) and I don't want to go that high. Ideally I want my sub to go no higher than 100-120Hz. However, I'm open to suggestions.

TIA!
post #2 of 52
Leon Speakers custom builds LCR speakers to the exact size and finish of any flat panel display. Even the Panasonic 103" shown below. Driver sizes up to 7" in the standard lines. Do you have a dealer that you're working with currently? Would be happy to point you in the direction of someone local.



post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
Joe,

I'm not working with anyone yet. We're still trying to figure out exactly what we want. I'm thinking Leon stuff will be out of my price range and I'm not exactly looking for custom matching to my TV, but PM me a dealer in my area please and I'll look into it. Never know.

------

BTW... if anyone else takes a look at this thread, hopefully, I'm also interested in something like this:

or this:


But I'd like it to be a full L/C/R package instead of just a center.

Doesn't have to hang on the wall, but can't be traditional L/R speakers as we don't have the space. Another alternative is just 3 bookshelves across the front, but again, that's not pretty. We need quality sound for me and WAF for the W .

I'm really concerned all the soundbar options I've seen will sound tinny. Isn't there something I haven't seen yet besides custom?
post #4 of 52
post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete C View Post

Here are your balls right here...

FS-5000
http://www.atlantictechnology.com/de...asp?NodeId=116

FS-4000
http://www.atlantictechnology.com/default.asp?NodeId=57

Pete,

Thanks, that looks a bit better than the Boston Acoustics. Is this the only one of its kind (without going custom?). I'm curious whether there's anything which has tweeters across the top as well.

3 of these (in a single package) would be ideal
post #6 of 52
http://www.roleaudio.com/sampan-bar.html

Specifications
Hybrid dual folded transmission lines and acoustic suspension design.
Suitable for front and rear loudspeakers in home theater systems and for use as two-channel stereo loudspeakers in nearfield, desktop, and on-wall systems.
Frequency Response: 35 Hz to 20,000 Hz +/- 3.5 dB
Dimensions: 42 X 4.5 X 5.25 (W X H X D) inches
Ideal for 42 inch TVs and up.
post #7 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvictorg View Post

http://www.roleaudio.com/sampan-bar.html

Specifications
Hybrid dual folded transmission lines and acoustic suspension design.
Suitable for front and rear loudspeakers in home theater systems and for use as two-channel stereo loudspeakers in nearfield, desktop, and on-wall systems.
Frequency Response: 35 Hz to 20,000 Hz +/- 3.5 dB
Dimensions: 42 X 4.5 X 5.25 (W X H X D) inches
Ideal for 42 inch TVs and up.

I'm no speaker engineer, but this sounds like BS or a joke???

Is that really possible? The lack of real specs on the website scare me and the ones I see don't seem realistic. What's the sensitivity of these speakers? I can't believe they can be anything near 90dB producing stated FR. Can someone with more knowledge clue me in? Is this all marketing or an engineering marvel? The "nearfield" is a little telling.
post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ///3oris View Post

I'm no speaker engineer, but this sounds like BS or a joke???

Is that really possible? The lack of real specs on the website scare me and the ones I see don't seem realistic. What's the sensitivity of these speakers? I can't believe they can be anything near 90dB producing stated FR. Can someone with more knowledge clue me in? Is this all marketing or an engineering marvel? The "nearfield" is a little telling.

Why not e-mail the company with your questions?
post #9 of 52
http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/displa...fid=4118&sc=ht

Drive units 2x ø90mm (3.5 in) subwoofers
2x ø75mm (3.0 in) midrange
4x ø75mm (3.0 in) surround channels
1x ø25mm (1 in) metal dome tweeter
Frequency range -6dB at 36Hz and 50kHz
Amplifier power output 1x 50W (subwoofers)
5x 25W (center/ surround)
post #10 of 52
There are many options out there, they're just a little harder to find info on. I just went through this exact exercise a couple months ago. I auditioned the Atlantic Tech FS-4000 (the smaller of the two). It is VERY dynamic (e.g. has "big balls") and is the smaller of the two Atlantic soundbars. In my room, Audyssey crossed all 3 channels at 80Hz, so no worries about reaching low enough to cross with a sub with either the 4000 or its big brother, the 5000. If your main concern is filling a large room for a home theater, buy the FS-5000 and be done - nothing else at that price range will compete.

For me, while playing movies, I loved the 4000, but I wasn't quite satisfied with the sound with music (just personal preference, nothing bad at all). I also auditioned the Paradigm Millenia 20 Trio:

http://www.paradigm.com/products/par...llenia-20-trio

which was "just right". Not quite the extension of the AT 4000 (Audyssey crosses it over at 90Hz), but the difference is very small. But the sound it produces is simply beautiful - it really is. Plus, it delivers plenty of volume in my large basement home theater (room is 18 x 30 x 7).

Kipa
post #11 of 52
post #12 of 52
The Atlantic Technology sound very good and have extended natural bass. Best bass that I have heard from any soundbar was Definitive Technology. True 5-channel sound. SPL seems to depend on your amplification source. In two different installations, the units could play loud enough to drive you out of the room. And these were very big rooms. Bass seems to extend to around 60hz-80hz and is remains quick and strong at those frequencies. Add a decent sub (and a good amplifier) and you would have a world class system.
post #13 of 52
Thread Starter 
Kipa, thanks a lot for your review. It almost convinced me.

I went to listen to a few speakers yesterday to get an idea of what to expect and I realized there's no way I'll be happy with dual 4.5" woofers per speaker. It'll whoop Bose's ass, but it's not what I want. I listened to a few B&W speakers from the 6-series and CM-series and the only center that sounded the way I want mine to sound was the B&W CM Centre 2. It was the only center speaker to carry across voices the way I liked and I could hear sounds in people's voices that I didn't hear in others (due to size and amount of drivers). I don't want anything less than dual 6.5's. Basically a THX Ultra2 type system.

I talked to the wifey and she allowed me to drop the 'contemporary idea' and go with a traditional speaker setup. Thanks again everyone for all the information.
post #14 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drfreeman60 View Post

TBest bass that I have heard from any soundbar was Definitive Technology.

It's funny you mention this bar. I listened to it yesterday with a 7" DT sub (part of the set). It sounded very small and the sub was working overtime and distorting the whole time. The sales guy tried to turn the volume up which turned up the highs but not the lows. Sounded very "thin" and terrible. It hurt my ears; I begged him to turn it down. Very much what I describe when I talk about Bose (sorry to use them as an example, but I think everyone has heard them by now, so they work well for that).

Thanks for the feedback, this only reinforces my decision.
post #15 of 52
If pricing isn't much of a concern, look at the Artison Masterpiece LCR speakers and the Leon offerings. Both manufacturers are top-notch, but not cheap.

http://www.artisonusa.com/artison_005.htm

http://www.leonspeakers.com/hz.html
post #16 of 52
Very happy to hear you say that. Soundbars are a compromise. I wouldn't have gotten one if I had other options that would work for me. Enjoy shopping for a proper set of speakers!

Kipa


Quote:
Originally Posted by ///3oris View Post

Kipa, thanks a lot for your review. It almost convinced me.

I went to listen to a few speakers yesterday to get an idea of what to expect and I realized there's no way I'll be happy with dual 4.5" woofers per speaker. It'll whoop Bose's ass, but it's not what I want. I listened to a few B&W speakers from the 6-series and CM-series and the only center that sounded the way I want mine to sound was the B&W CM Centre 2. It was the only center speaker to carry across voices the way I liked and I could hear sounds in people's voices that I didn't hear in others (due to size and amount of drivers). I don't want anything less than dual 6.5's. Basically a THX Ultra2 type system.

I talked to the wifey and she allowed me to drop the 'contemporary idea' and go with a traditional speaker setup. Thanks again everyone for all the information.
post #17 of 52
I think the Definitive SSA-42/SSA-50 or Polk Audio Surroundbar fit into your description.
And they can handle both movies and music with superb aplomb.
post #18 of 52
Please check out a good old-fashioned american company, Phase Technology. I have their PC-3.0 Teatro LCR passive soundbar,
http://www.phasetech.com/products.ht...TSB-PC3.0&to=1
in my bedroom - very impressive SQ along with beautiful cabinets & custom grill options to match any HDTV.
I tried it out in my much larger livingroom first (replacing my LCR separates) and was extremely impressed with it's ability to throw a wide soundstage using the 2 side-firing 1.5" soft dome midranges. The 3, 5 1/2" woofers worked beautifully with my Sub crossed over at 80Hz & the dynamics of an 11 speaker system in the front convinced me this bar could replace (and compete with) a lot of separate bookshelves.
Of course you would need an AVR to power it, but i couldn't stand the SQ of the toys-are-us self powered bars i heard, so now i have it running off an Onkyo SR608 with a few other Phase Tech's as surrounds.
Phase Technology seems to be a very underrated manufacturer with a bit of a cult following, especially with their Premier Collection Series, but very worthwhile investigating as a higher end ($1,000) alternative to the flood of cheese-ball soundbars out there.
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by munroe View Post

Please check out a good old-fashioned american company, Phase Technology. I have their PC-3.0 Teatro LCR passive soundbar,
http://www.phasetech.com/products.ht...TSB-PC3.0&to=1
in my bedroom - very impressive SQ along with beautiful cabinets & custom grill options to match any HDTV.
I tried it out in my much larger livingroom first (replacing my LCR separates) and was extremely impressed with it's ability to throw a wide soundstage using the 2 side-firing 1.5" soft dome midranges. The 3, 5 1/2" woofers worked beautifully with my Sub crossed over at 80Hz & the dynamics of an 11 speaker system in the front convinced me this bar could replace (and compete with) a lot of separate bookshelves.
Of course you would need an AVR to power it, but i couldn't stand the SQ of the toys-are-us self powered bars i heard, so now i have it running off an Onkyo SR608 with a few other Phase Tech's as surrounds.
Phase Technology seems to be a very underrated manufacturer with a bit of a cult following, especially with their Premier Collection Series, but very worthwhile investigating as a higher end ($1,000) alternative to the flood of cheese-ball soundbars out there.

The Phase Techs are both excellent suggestions that we have used in several projects. I would highly recommend the PC model. Phase Tech is probably my favorite speaker manufacturer out there right now. A great company!

Another alternative that I've found to be shockingly good is the TruAudio P-300. http://www.truaudio.com/products/ht-p-series.asp . This uses 5 1/4" woofers and is an absolute stunner for the price. MSRP is @ $900, but can be had lower. Other sound bars we have used: Triad, the upper end Atlantic Technology piece, and Jamo. The TruAudio P-300 outperformed them all by far. The room we 1st installed this in had HUGE cathedral ceilings w all hardwood floors that opened into the kitchen. This great room was enormous and spanned 40'x40. The home owner was blown away & so were we.

Good luck in your search!
post #20 of 52
A budget solution:
BIC America FH56-BAR

http://www.smarthome.com/82014/BIC-A...-System/p.aspx
post #21 of 52
Can anyone confirm if the BIC-FH56 Bar mentioned above can be used as a 3-channel LCR speaker? The description says "3-5" channel and then only talks about it doing the work of a 5 channel speaker system.

I guess I am wondering if you could hook the front LCR to the Bic-FH56 Bar and the rear L and R surrounds to traditional speakers and get proper sound distribution.

Also, no one mentioned the Canton CD 90 SB, which is around $600 and I have always been impressed with Canton. Have not heard this one in particular though.

I realize the original poster went the traditional route, but this is a great thread for others like myself who are stuck with a soundbar setup but want a receiver, soundbar with "balls" and real surround speakers.
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Formula51 View Post

Can anyone confirm if the BIC-FH56 Bar mentioned above can be used as a 3-channel LCR speaker? The description says "3-5" channel and then only talks about it doing the work of a 5 channel speaker system.

I guess I am wondering if you could hook the front LCR to the Bic-FH56 Bar and the rear L and R surrounds to traditional speakers and get proper sound distribution.

Yes it can. The Bar's "rear" speakers are on the left and right sides of the cabinet, and there are hookups for all 5 channels. So, you just take the LCR output of your receiver and hook it up to the Bar, then hook up your rear speakers seperately; not a problem at all.
post #23 of 52
If aesthetics are a big part of the decision and you are looking at an LCR setup that's going to need a receiver than why not just do in-walls?
post #24 of 52
Thought I'd share my compiled list for this

Dealing with the exact same situation in two rooms - 1st in an awkward bedroom layout where i think i'll go with the pinnacle and match it to B&W ceilings for surrounds and 2nd in a really big family room where I need to mount the TV over the fireplace where I think i'll go with the Atlantic b/c it's a big room - probably pair with the Atlantic surrounds

Canton - http://www.canton.de/en/hifi/cdserie/produkt/cd90sb.htm
Monitor - http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/produ...d/your-speaker -$650
Boston Acoustic - http://www.bostonacoustics.com/P400-...aker-P113.aspx - $899
Pinnacle - http://www.pinnaclespeakers.com/quantumplasma9.html - $900
Role Audio - http://www.roleaudio.com/sampan-bar.html - $1,195
Paradigm - http://www.paradigm.com/products/par...llenia-20-trio - $1,199
Phase Technology - http://www.phasetech.com/products.ht...TSB-PC3.0&to=1 - $1,438
Atlantic Technology - http://www.atlantictechnology.com/de...asp?NodeId=116 - $1,499

Anyone have any advice on whether or not you can mount these below the tvs on a motorized stand? I'm thinking I'll have to construct some sort of bracket for this.
post #25 of 52
Thanks to the last poster for compiling the list of websites. I am looking for a passive three speaker soundbar to sit on the table top in front of my TV. I will be using separate speakers for the rear. I've compiled the following list of likely candidates, some of which have not been mentioned on this forum. I'd appreciate any further advice.
Thanks

Monitor Audio Radius One HD
Atlantic Technology FS 4000
Tru- Audio P 300
Canton CD 90 SB
Paradigm Millenia 20 Trio
Triad Mini LCR 3.0 SF
Mirage Uni theater
Phase Technology TSB-PC 3.0
Role Audio Sampan Bar
post #26 of 52
I want to bump this too. Looking for some input, and I want an LCR, and NOT a DSP. I will say, atm I'm leaning heavily towards the Paradign Millenia 20 Trio or Pinnacle QP9. My company has a home solutions division, so we're a dealer for both of those, plus Artison and Canton.

BTW, it wasn't mentioned, the the Pinnacle QP9 and QP15 are LCR only bars that get good reviews. The only reason I'm not considering the QP15 is it's 57.75 inches wide, and my TV is only 54, and wall only 50.
post #27 of 52
Atlantic Technology FS-5000

I would consider that a L/C/R with balls. Unfortunately it's expensive at $1600.
post #28 of 52
Bum deal, 'cos that's what I'd like. But when I can get the Paradigm for $1000 less, I'll have to go that way.
post #29 of 52
Just a bump... Looking to see anything new out. I need a front 3 and this tread is great... leaning towards the Paradigm Millenia 20 Trio at this point... I like the Atlantic Technology as well so far
post #30 of 52
Has anyone experience with this TV, which comes with its own soundbar?
Thank you
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