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I need some input before I lose my mind

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey folks, over the next 1-2 years I want to slowly replace all my audio video gear. I have pretty much decided on the following

JVC RS40 projector + SMX AT screen

Datasat AP-20

Where I start to lose my mind is on the endless options of speakers. Back in my audiophile days (before RC Helis took over my life) I had auditioned a lot of high end speakers and I really don't think they offer what I am really looking for. So I have composed 4 options here that I was able to narrow it down to, my budget is anything under $20k for a 7.0 speaker setup (don't worry about the sub for now). So unless I am way off track here (feel free to say so, i won't take it personal) please give me your impressions of the following.

Option 1: DIY it ! Using the active XO options of the AP-20 I can actively filter 7 2way speakers. The speakers would be based around a JBL 2226H and some compression driver+horn to be named at a later date. This would be somthing similar to a 4-Pi speaker but done actively. I would then buy some used Bryston amps, I figure the older Bryston ST amps with 125-150w range would work well. This will be the cheapest option, but also has the potential to go the most wrong.

Option 2: Seaton Catalyst for the LCR and the sparks for the rear and surrounds. This option is more of a turn-key setup. They already have built-in amps so a direct from from the AP-20 to the speakers would make for a very clean setup.

Option 3: Genelec 1032A * 7 ..... no explanation needed here.

Option 4: Danley speakers + Bryston amps. I cannot for the life of me find the prices of the Danley range. The SH-50 will be out of my price range, but something like the SH-69 looks like a better fit for home use anyways.

The problem is i will be unable to audition any of these options so I basically have to buy them blind
post #2 of 22
PHC has the most offerings and they are highly regarded. Seaton also has a good rep.

The use italian exotic horns and the built quality is terrific. Don't you be a fool and buy a genelec system in this age of uncompressed sountracks.

I blew six speakers in a single seating with the release the Craken scene...:O

These guys believe in high power and super efficient speakers. The middle sized speakers from them use the same 3" deep horn as in Mark Levinsons Daniel Hertz system.

Seen here in Dimitry Medvedev's office.



This guy has the same taste in music from when I was in my teens and early twenties. Deep Purple, Focus, Pink Floyd, Camel, Caravan, Soft Machine (Canterburry Rock as opposed to the the more popular in America Liverpool Rock).
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post




This guy has the same taste in music from when I was in my teens and early twenties. Camel...

Nice, I didn't think anyone else this side of the pond knew who these guys were. Did you also listen to Renaissance?
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

Nice, I didn't think anyone else this side of the pond knew who these guys were. Did you also listen to Renaissance?

IME, Camel is fairly well known "over here", Curt. Renaissance is one of the best prog rock bands ever, and Haslam's voice incredible.
post #5 of 22
I was lucky enough to see Renaissance in 197..6 I think. Grade 8, my first 'rock' concert. (Queen was my second!).

I was sad that Renaissance (Annie and one other original member) played in Toronto and Quebec last summer, but never made it out west. I was listening to 'Song for all Seasons' last week,and bought Camel's Greatest hits on double CD off eBay last year.

Here's a couple of clips, plus a third from another obscure European band called Kayak:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7esW...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwAPF...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM1vV72xU-U

Sorry to hijack, back as you were.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
After doing alittle more research I think I have narrowed it down to the Danleys or Seatons. The Danley range is rather large. What is the most appropriate size in their range for home use ? The SH-69 looks great but might be alittle large for home use. Any have a clue on the price of the passive SH-69 ?
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFGuy View Post

Hey folks, over the next 1-2 years I want to slowly replace all my audio video gear. I have pretty much decided on the following

JVC RS40 projector + SMX AT screen

Datasat AP-20

Where I start to lose my mind is on the endless options of speakers. Back in my audiophile days (before RC Helis took over my life) I had auditioned a lot of high end speakers and I really don't think they offer what I am really looking for. So I have composed 4 options here that I was able to narrow it down to, my budget is anything under $20k for a 7.0 speaker setup (don't worry about the sub for now). So unless I am way off track here (feel free to say so, i won't take it personal) please give me your impressions of the following.

Option 1: DIY it ! Using the active XO options of the AP-20 I can actively filter 7 2way speakers. The speakers would be based around a JBL 2226H and some compression driver+horn to be named at a later date. This would be somthing similar to a 4-Pi speaker but done actively. I would then buy some used Bryston amps, I figure the older Bryston ST amps with 125-150w range would work well. This will be the cheapest option, but also has the potential to go the most wrong.

Option 2: Seaton Catalyst for the LCR and the sparks for the rear and surrounds. This option is more of a turn-key setup. They already have built-in amps so a direct from from the AP-20 to the speakers would make for a very clean setup.

Option 3: Genelec 1032A * 7 ..... no explanation needed here.

Option 4: Danley speakers + Bryston amps. I cannot for the life of me find the prices of the Danley range. The SH-50 will be out of my price range, but something like the SH-69 looks like a better fit for home use anyways.

The problem is i will be unable to audition any of these options so I basically have to buy them blind

Hi HFGuy,

Might you give us some added information on your planned room size and possibly other systems you have heard and enjoyed? The serious consideration is appreciated.
post #8 of 22
It would be helpful to know how many cubic feet your room will be. Do you have any SPL goals in mind? What about placement?...LCRs behind, below, or above screen? Any reason why the back and surround speakers couldn't be powered inwalls? Is your $20K budget exclusive or inclusive of power? Will seating be on one level or are there risers? Do you expect to listen to both music and movies?
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hmmm thanks for keeping this thread on track Mark. I guess I should clarify what kind of sound I am looking for. I have always liked "BIG" sound, I have always been a fan of Logans and Quads (but not Magnepan go figure), but they just will not work for HT. What I really want is an unforced sound, i want the speakers to produce the sound with seaming ease. The closest I have heard to this sound from a hi-fi setup would be a Wilson Watt/Puppy driven by some Krell monoblocks.

From the reviews and comparison threads I have read about Seaton products your product range is exactly what I want. But my hesitation is what I have heard as being a laid back sound and the noise coming from the class-D amps.

What I like about the Danley speaker line is the ability to produce reference level sound with relative ease, I figure a Bryston 125w 5ch amp will easily be able to drive them (used Bryston amps grow on trees here in Canada). The ability to use the amps of my choice is desirable, maybe a left over from my audiophile days (my opinions aren't set in stone anymore).

As far as the room or environment the system is likely to be used in is difficult to spec. I am just finishing up my doctorate so the next few years for me are very up in the air. But being single the largest room in any place I rent will be dedicated to the audio rig, and acoustic treatments don't have to follow any WAF. I think one of my best options is to narrow my choices down to 2 brands (almost there anyways) and buy 1 surround speaker. Use the surround speaker as my center channel (which is in desperate need or replacement) and see which brand of voicing I prefer more. This limits my risk, if i like the voicing of the smaller speak there is a good chance I will be happy with their bigger brother. When I have made I have made my choice I will only be left with a single small surround speaker I can sell or use somewhere else in the house.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

It would be helpful to know how many cubic feet your room will be. Do you have any SPL goals in mind? What about placement?...LCRs behind, below, or above screen? Any reason why the back and surround speakers couldn't be powered inwalls? Is your $20K budget exclusive or inclusive of power? Will seating be on one level or are there risers? Do you expect to listen to both music and movies?


I will fill in the blanks that my previous post haven't covered.

- SPL Levels - Reference level is nice even if I listen alittle below that

- I plan to put the speakers behind the SMX AT screen

- Surrounds will have to be on stands or hung, I will be renting for the foreseeable future.

- The $20k budget is for speakers and their associated amplifiers, but not including a sub.

- I only plan one row of seats until I buy a place and do a full theater setup.

- This is a HT setup ONLY. I DIY my own gear for my 2ch rig (time for a shameless plug :P, here is my latest project).

post #11 of 22
If you want BIG effortless sound that's accurate -- for both music and movies -- I'd suggest you audition a Genelec system...not the 1035A, but something like 3 HT210B and 4 HT206B. If you have any doubts that these would pressurize your room (assuming we're talking about 5000 cu ft or less) and give you goosebumps, go to Genelec's US facility in Natick MA (outside Boston) and listen to what they can do. Of course, all their speakers are powered (each individual driver) and the crossovers are ahead of the amplifiers so nothing degrades with heat and time. They are all business, however, not furniture, so get em before you get married!

If you couldn't tell, I'm a big Genelec fan boy. Some day when I win the lottery, I'm going to buy 3 HT312B for the front and a couple pair of AIW26 for surround/back with two HTS4B for low end....$50K of my winnings well spent.
post #12 of 22
Can't go too wrong with all these suggestions. I would throw Procella in the mix. I started an owners thread here and Chuck the head of their US operations is hanging out in the thread. He can answer any technical questions you may have. They also have a great technical and installation guide here. It tells you which of their speakers will meet your needs based upon room size and desired spl. It is really cool.

I am super happy with mine, and their customer service is second to none.

I am sure you will be happy with whatever you end up with.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
The Procella stuff seems to be higher than my budget.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

Nice, I didn't think anyone else this side of the pond knew who these guys were. Did you also listen to Renaissance?


Hi Curt, yes after putting on my thinking cap I remember a couple of lp's from them.

The biggest following for these bands nowadays is in Japan, where they have re-issues some in a special super version of SACD.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFGuy View Post

The Procella stuff seems to be higher than my budget.
- The $20k budget is for speakers and their associated amplifiers, but not including a sub.

Hi HFGuy, as per Mark's question, it would be good to know your room dimensions (LxWxH) and your seating distance from the screen. The Procella speakers that most likely will give you what you are after, for a medium sized room, are the Procella P8 as L/C/R and the P6 as surrounds, they are designed to have Identical Voices(TM) so you can do an audition with either. The P8 is MSRP $2,599 and the P6 is $1,599, USD, delivered. That adds up to $14,193. That leaves you almost $6K for the amps and those Brystons you are looking at will work very nice indeed with the P8 and P6! Add a P15 subwoofer at $5,999 and you are all set. The P8 is THX Approved for PM3 (Professional Music Mixing and Monitoring) and THX Cinema projects.

Now, for THX Reference Level Playback:

P6: Up to 2 meters (6½ feet)
P8: Up to 4 meters (13 feet)
P815: Up to 8 meters (26 feet)

For Standard Playback:
P6: Up to 3 meters (10 feet)
P8: 2 meters to 6 meters (6½ to 20 feet)
P815: 5 meters to 10 meters (16½ to 33 feet)

Check your room size and that will tell you what you need to achieve either THX reference level playback, or maybe a bit less (standard playback). Both the P8 and the P6 can be hung On-wall, so you wouldn't need stands or make holes in your rented walls.
post #16 of 22
HFGuy,

You probably will not go wrong with any of the 4 choices: Genelec, Procella, Danley, Seaton. I would imagine that Seaton would give you the best bang for the budget since his name does not carry the value of some of the other products (even though he is well respected. BTW, he worked with Danley early on his career). The Danley's are very nice speakers and are an intriguing design, but they are pricier than the Seatons. The Genelec and Procella have more recognizable names, which could help resale, but probably means they also cost more upfront for equivalent performance. You have to remember each of these also has a "house" sound based on design choices, so you should try and have a listen to an example of each design to help you decide. BTW, another very good brand to consider is the Geddes speaker, the Abbey model in particular. Again, different design choices. However, they all have in common the ability to play loud, cleanly, with decent metrics (although I'm not familiar with measurements of Seaton's speakers, of if he has posted any, from his posts and posts by others who have used his services, it would appear that good measurements matter to him).
post #17 of 22
Apart from above, let me add speakers from Gedlee -Link

Cheers,
Kishore
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies. After following the econowave thread, seeing the Earl's replies really put me off, and after seeing the construction photos of his speakers the final nail was put into the coffin.
post #19 of 22
You should try and ignore forums when evaluating designers, especially consider some of the stuff that was going on in some of those DIY forums. The Interwebs have a way of distorting how people are in real life. I agree with your take on his construction photos, but he has moved away from wood in his designs, and that should be a pretty decent plus. You might want to have a look at them again, just to make sure your decision is still an informed decision (it may very well be).
post #20 of 22
If you speak to Earl directly you may change your opinion

Linkwitz Orion, Geddes and VMPS are my top 3 based on what I heard.

$0.02

Cheers,
Kishore
post #21 of 22
Although the Orions are great speakers, I'm not sure they will serve the OP's needs (although it would be cool to play with the AP20 as a digital x-over and use Dirac Live to see how it changes Linkwitz's design parameters; i.e. frequency response).
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Very true, in real life I am a huge jerk

I have to admit I am not pretty enamored with the Seaton or Danley. I have no real sound reasons to pick these two as my final contenders other than my engineering gut instinct. I now just have to figure out what Danleys will work best for me, there is very large number of speakers to pick from. Everyone seems to love the SH-50 but that might be WAY too much speaker for home use. The SH-69 looks very interesting as well. But maybe the SH-100 or SH-100B would a better fit .... and then I have to figure out what to use as surrounds !
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