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New home theater speaker search...again

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Hey All,

Well, I know many followed the other thread, but for those that did not, my 9 channel setup that was being built has had the plug pulled. I just could not wait for my ED setup any longer.

I am now on the hunt, once again to find the "perfect" speaker for my application. I am going to be placing the setup in a 20x26 room with 12 ft ceilings that will be treated. Not a dedicated room, but a family room, that will be used most of the time for movies/tv. I have another "family room" type area with couches and wii etc. for the kids to "romp". I already have my display, which due to light factors and the amount of tv viewing, is a Sharp 80" led. I may add a pj with electric screen later on for night time movie watching. I am looking for a speaker setup that has the ability to knock you over with its dynamic ability, but maintains great finese. I love that feeling of getting punched in the chest by effects. I also need the setup to be somewhat of a "looker". Sound comes first, but I certainly don't want unfinished looking boxes in the middle of my family room, I have come to the conclusion that overly "forward" or "bright" are not charateristics that appeal to me, making it even tougher to find something with these dynamic capabilities. I like to listen loud, but also require great detail at lower leves, as I will watch with the kids a lot and don't want to push the limits of their hearing just yet:D. I will try to give some info on things I have heard, so to give you guys an idea of what i have liked so far.

Paradigm studio 100(the latest version) with 7channel surround, powered off of anthem gear. The dynamic capabilities seemed to be there, but there was a bit too much "sparkle" at the top end. I felt like I would not get to listen at loud volumes for too long before developing fatigue.

PSB Synch one seven channel setup...This seem to fit the bill with the finese end of things, but didn't have quite the impact that I was after. Now in all fairness to the PSB, I have no idea what kind and amount of power was being fead to the system.

Triad (not sure which model) 7 channel setup in a dedicated room runing on parasound power. Very good, clean sound, but the subs were lacking. This doesnt' matter a whole lot becasue I will more than likely buy a couple of caps ro subms. I didn't get to really push the system, so the jury out on the dynamic ability.

B&W CT series on Rotel power...boring

Legacy Focuse SE in 2 channel setup. These sounded fantastic, but I am concerned witht the ribbon tweeters for surrounds due to the height they will be placed. These tings seemed to have it all, efficiency, finese, dynamics, but I only heard them in 2channel mode and don't know how the surrounds will perform. They were powered and processed by Rotel.

Klipsch thx ultra 2 of parasound. Had plenty of dynamics, but tore my head of with the high end and had no finese at all.

Budget is not a huge concern. Obviously value is great, but if need be, I can spend $10-12k on lcr and surrounds alone.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to put as much info out there as possible. Thanks in advance to all for any help!
post #2 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopShop1 View Post

Thanks in advance to all for any help!

With that type of budget, I'll keep it simple as possible, the answer to the question is, a pair of 15" (or four) subs coupled with a 400w separate Pre/Pro and and Amp such is the case with at minimum, an Emotiva, XPR-5. Pick and choose among the speaker choices as you will as, based on your introduction, it's about power and the THX standard which with which the easily obtainable amplification, is an easily obtainable and desirable standard.

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Edited by BeeMan458 - 8/10/12 at 7:25am
post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

With that type of budget, I'll keep it simple as possible, the answer to the question is, a pair of 15" (or four) subs coupled with a 400w separate Pre/Pro and and Amp such is the case with at minimum, an Emotiva, XPR-5. Pick and choose among the speaker choices as you will as, based on your introduction, it's about power and the THX standard which with which the easily obtainable amplification, is an easily obtainable and desirable standard.
-

Thanks for the response. I guess my point with the speaker choices I have listed is not that those are my only options, but based on my findings of each, maybe some folks could point me in the direction of others that at least have the potential to fit based on my desired outcome. Power is easy, processing is a matter of $$, but the speaker choice seems toughest, and is the most important I think. The magic speaker, for my taste, seems to be evading me.
post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 
I got to hear some more today. went to anothr local shop and listented to PSB and Paradigm again. The paradigm sig series was far better than the studio to my ears. They were very open and imaged well, just a little sharp for me on some recordings still. The PSB, was nice, but felt a little less open and airy....Neutral, but less open. This was all in 2ch listening. I then listened to kind of a mis-match setup in the theater room. PSB t2 l&r, synchrony 1 center adn synchrony surrounds. The processor was the Mcintosh 121 and a mac mc8207 amp. The sound was very good, it didn't blow me away, but it sounded more natural than the studio 100s running on anthem in the same clip from 5th element. The open/airy sound of the Paradigms was great, but I think I will have issues with them after an hour near ref level. The psb could probably crank all day and not bother me one bit. The sam edealer sells Revel too. HE did not have any in the store, but suggested to me that the Revel(f32 or f52) would offer the smooth sound of the PSB with a litlle more of that "open/airy" sound. Has anyone had any experience with this??
post #5 of 39
For home theater

I would try to listen to some JTR speakers if you can

I really like the Triad Platinum and Gold series personally (Platinum is probably way over your budget)

I would also give a listen to the KEF reference series (I liked them better than Paradigm and PSB)

See if any local installers have RBH speakers to listen to (AVS carries them as well).

These are way under your budget but people do like the CHT SHO/PRO speakers for home theater.
post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

For home theater
I would try to listen to some JTR speakers if you can
I really like the Triad Platinum and Gold series personally (Platinum is probably way over your budget)
I would also give a listen to the KEF reference series (I liked them better than Paradigm and PSB)
See if any local installers have RBH speakers to listen to (AVS carries them as well).
These are way under your budget but people do like the CHT SHO/PRO speakers for home theater.

Hahahaha...thanks. The CHT certainly get good reviews, but don't really fit in the fam room. I have heard people say good things about the kef, but never heard them. I am really trying to find a way to audition the JTRs, as the offer performance and value. I am not going to make a purchase like last time, ED without hearing and wait forever for them.
post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopShop1 View Post

Power is easy, processing is a matter of $$, but the speaker choice seems toughest, and is the most important I think. The magic speaker, for my taste, seems to be evading me.

The magic is not evading you as we always do our best to evade the magic. Pick something and be happy. cool.gif

No matter how hard one tries, one will always find something better in the model one sees next door or next year. It's human nature. And no matter what I think or do, someone will always be in the wings telling me their speakers are better than mine.
post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

The magic is not evading you as we always do our best to evade the magic. Pick something and be happy. cool.gif
No matter how hard one tries, one will always find something better in the model one sees next door or next year. It's human nature. And no matter what I think or do, someone will always be in the wings telling me their speakers are better than mine.

I think you are right for the most part, but there is still some searching to be done. With the level of cash I am going to shell out, I just want to be sure what I buy suits my taste. If my speakers suit me, I could care less what is better, because for me, they will be just right. I just don't feel like I have found the "just right" yet. I feel like it would be foolish to just buy something.
post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopShop1 View Post

I feel like it would be foolish to just buy something.

Agreed but when one enters sensory overload, they can't choose anything as nothing is good enough. tongue.gif
post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopShop1 View Post

I feel like it would be foolish to just buy something.

I agree. I auditioned many speakers that were all better than each other. But they all sounded different and had things I liked and disliked. In the end, it came to the best compromise for my application. And those compromises were sorted out based on priority for the system. HT was #1, and music #2. Although I had a big gap in priority between HT and music (80/15/5% split movies/music/games), it didn't negate the qualities I wanted for music. Though music was a lower priority, that 15% still had to be really good.

Be patient and audition. Wait it out. I found what I wanted and still upgraded shortly after my purchase.

At your budget level, you'd be well-served to in-home audition the speakers you can't find locally (like JTR). Sure you have to pay return shipping, but it's a small cost at your price level.
post #11 of 39
Just re-read your posts, and here's a quick rundown of my auditioning experience -- running on a smaller budget:

B&Ws (don't remember all the models i auditioned) were just as you described. Boring. Horrible for music. I A/Bed these with various Definitive Technology speakers in the same room.

DefTechs were AWEsome for music. I could have bought the 8060s or 8080s on the spot if I was after music only. HT was OK. Better overall than the B&Ws, except the B&W center seemed to be clearer.

I auditioned Paradigm and Klipsch together at a mom-and-pop boutique.

Paradigms reminded me of the B&W, boring, but with a better sound. They weren't notable enough to remember the model numbers.

Klipsch Reference rounded out REALLY well, and better than I expected. They had excellent clarity and dynamics for movies, and music was really close to what I experienced with the DefTechs except for the imaging. They didn't unmistakably place the music in front of me.

I ended up getting the Klipsch RF-82 (not II) system. Fantastic choice. When I got them set up, I actually got a bit of the imaging they didn't have in the store. Still not as awe-striking as the DefTechs were with music, but good imaging nonetheless. Movies were amazing.


All this was over several weeks and I thought I did a good job being patient. Then I upgraded to RF-83s. Now, the only speakers I think I want more in my HT are JTRs. I got a pair of T12s for my music-only setup and am in love with them. The only problem is I don't have a good HT room to dedicate and upgrade to JTRs. Someday, if I sell this house and get one with a dedicated HT room, I'll go projection and full-on JTR. Until then, the RF-83s are the only speaker for me and my application.


Main thing to get out of this......be patient and audition, audition, audition.
post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the Son View Post

Just re-read your posts, and here's a quick rundown of my auditioning experience -- running on a smaller budget:
B&Ws (don't remember all the models i auditioned) were just as you described. Boring. Horrible for music. I A/Bed these with various Definitive Technology speakers in the same room.
DefTechs were AWEsome for music. I could have bought the 8060s or 8080s on the spot if I was after music only. HT was OK. Better overall than the B&Ws, except the B&W center seemed to be clearer.
I auditioned Paradigm and Klipsch together at a mom-and-pop boutique.
Paradigms reminded me of the B&W, boring, but with a better sound. They weren't notable enough to remember the model numbers.
Klipsch Reference rounded out REALLY well, and better than I expected. They had excellent clarity and dynamics for movies, and music was really close to what I experienced with the DefTechs except for the imaging. They didn't unmistakably place the music in front of me.
I ended up getting the Klipsch RF-82 (not II) system. Fantastic choice. When I got them set up, I actually got a bit of the imaging they didn't have in the store. Still not as awe-striking as the DefTechs were with music, but good imaging nonetheless. Movies were amazing.
All this was over several weeks and I thought I did a good job being patient. Then I upgraded to RF-83s. Now, the only speakers I think I want more in my HT are JTRs. I got a pair of T12s for my music-only setup and am in love with them. The only problem is I don't have a good HT room to dedicate and upgrade to JTRs. Someday, if I sell this house and get one with a dedicated HT room, I'll go projection and full-on JTR. Until then, the RF-83s are the only speaker for me and my application.
Main thing to get out of this......be patient and audition, audition, audition.

Wow, our interpritations of these are pretty different. I found all of the Klipsch I have heard(including the thx ultra) to sound nasaly and way to bright. The paradigms had the effect, but a hair bright, certainly less boring than b&w for me. Just another good example of everyone having different taste. I would really love to love the JTR, and maybe I will order a pair of Q8s and test em at home. I would love to check out the Revel also. I am going to try to do lots of listening in the next couple of weeks.
post #13 of 39

Just to throw some ideas on the wall...  (because most of the threads I read tend to talk about the smaller offerings)... you might consider:

 

'JubeScala'  which is a LaScala bass bin mated with their large format (2" driver) K510 or the huge K402.  The K402 is actually taller/wider than the entire LaScala itself so it's a bit funny to look at however, it sounds killer.  The K510 could be built into its own top hat and look a bit more tidy however you are giving up some control of the sound with the smaller horn (note that it's not as small as some of the others)

 

This takes the LaScala to a 2-way speaker which itself is an improvement since you lose a crossover point.

 

Anyways...  like I said, just food for thought.  There are a handful of guys using these.

post #14 of 39
fwiw, take a look at the adam audio gtc77 home theater system or if you have some disposible cash laying around thier classic mk3 series. i've personally never heard them( just a bit out of my budget) but are getting some great pro reviews just a suggestion
post #15 of 39
Since this is for HT, I would stick along your original lines. Look at speakers that have the dynamic capability. Able to do reference levels cleanly.
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post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

Since this is for HT, I would stick along your original lines. Look at speakers that have the dynamic capability. Able to do reference levels cleanly.

How do you quantify "dynamic capability"?
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by a|F View Post

How do you quantify "dynamic capability"?

The speed at which a speaker can accurately react to changes in power and frequency demands put upon the speaker by the reproduced sound track; dynamic range.
post #18 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

Since this is for HT, I would stick along your original lines. Look at speakers that have the dynamic capability. Able to do reference levels cleanly.

I agree, but kind of feel like there has to be a speaker out there that can do clean reference and has "audiophile" grade sound. I was hoping to hear the JTR, as many have said they do this. I also just took a listen to some Wilson sophia's(not that I can afford them) and they sounded spectacular. Is it foolish to think that that level of sq can come with a speaker that has unbelievable dynamic capabilities??
post #19 of 39
A speaker that can play at low volume with clarity and definition and can also play louder than reference level (or the desired listening level) at the listening position without compression or distortion is considered to be a dynamic speaker. Efficiency also needs to be considered because in the home environment watts are not unlimited so efficiency is required to achieve high volume levels.
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopShop1 View Post

<<snip>>
Legacy Focuse SE in 2 channel setup. These sounded fantastic, but I am concerned witht the ribbon tweeters for surrounds due to the height they will be placed. These tings seemed to have it all, efficiency, finese, dynamics, but I only heard them in 2channel mode and don't know how the surrounds will perform. They were powered and processed by Rotel.
<<snip>>
I can spend $10-12k on lcr and surrounds alone.
Sorry for the long post, just wanted to put as much info out there as possible. Thanks in advance to all for any help!
If the surrounds are mounted overly high you are going to be faced with the same issues no matter which speakers you choose so I would pick the speakers I liked best and not worry about the surrounds, they can be pointed where you need them to be pointed with wall mount brackets.
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopShop1 View Post

Is it foolish to think that that level of sq can come with a speaker that has unbelievable dynamic capabilities??

Now we're back to my original axiom of; sound tracks are mixed for music or THX theater; television mix does fine with either. Speakers are not qualified to be end all. In the final, one has to choose, music or THX but you can't equally have both. Once past the conflict this angst creates (music vs HT), the final selection process is easy; which do you want, music or HT? My bet, it's HT. If my bet is correct, then put together a killer home theater sound reproduction system and the music will do just fine.

Stating the obvious, with HT, one wants punch where as with music, one wants finesse. In reality, what's your angst?
post #22 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Now we're back to my original axiom of; sound tracks are mixed for music or THX theater; television mix does fine with either. Speakers are not qualified to be end all. In the final, one has to choose, music or THX but you can't equally have both. Once past the conflict this angst creates (music vs HT), the final selection process is easy; which do you want, music or HT? My bet, it's HT. If my bet is correct, then put together a killer home theater sound reproduction system and the music will do just fine.
Stating the obvious, with HT, one wants punch where as with music, one wants finesse. In reality, what's your angst?

Good example I think would be my assesment of the Pardigm sig8s. The were so open soudning and created a better stage, imho, than the psb synch 1. The problem is that even after just a few minutes, I could tell that I would eventually get fatigued listening to them at high volumes. It makes me think that any speaker with the "softness" that I enjoy, will not have that open and airy feel. When I compared the studio 100s vs the psb in Ht demo, the psb, to me sounded more natural, but didn't quite have that "boom". The Paradigm sounded exageraed in the high end to me.
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopShop1 View Post

The problem is that even after just a few minutes, I could tell that I would eventually get fatigued listening to them at high volumes. It makes me think that any speaker with the "softness" that I enjoy, will not have that open and airy feel.

I made a discovery that ruined my life forever, toeing speakers out as opposed to toeing speakers in. I did a sound study in a music hall and when I went home with the intent of reproducing the airy quality heard in the music hall, I looked at my focused speakers and toed them out an inch. eek.gif And no, contrary to popular lore, I was not struck by lightening. tongue.gif

In doing this, I gained the light airy feel you desirously post about, widened the sound stage to about forty or more feet and completely changed my listening life.......forever. Try it. Get rid of the focused sound stage we've all been told must exist. Toe each main speaker an inch out of the speakers being parallel to each other (ninety degree axis) when your body (ears) is centered on the two speakers. I'll await your response.
post #24 of 39
post #25 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

I made a discovery that ruined my life forever, toeing speakers out as opposed to toeing speakers in. I did a sound study in a music hall and when I went home with the intent of reproducing the airy quality heard in the music hall, I looked at my focused speakers and toed them out an inch. eek.gif And no, contrary to popular lore, I was not struck by lightening. tongue.gif
In doing this, I gained the light airy feel you desirously post about, widened the sound stage to about forty or more feet and completely changed my listening life.......forever. Try it. Get rid of the focused sound stage we've all been told must exist. Toe each main speaker an inch out of the speakers being parallel to each other (ninety degree axis) when your body (ears) is centered on the two speakers. I'll await your response.

I will try this on my next audition...thanks for the tip. I look forward to it. I also jsut found the new line of Revel, that by Sept should be available. They look much nicer than the old Revel. I will hopefully be able to hear them before makng a decision.
post #26 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

You should try and check out the Atlantic Tech 8200 setup for a traditional system capable of good dynamics
http://shop.avscience.com/Atlantic-Technology-8200e-LR-Gloss-Blackeach_p_47.html
http://shop.avscience.com/Atlantic-Technology-8200e-Center-Channel-Blackeach_p_34.html

Ya know, I have been told before that the AT are great HT speakers. I have never found somewhere that has them locally, I believe they are ID..??
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopShop1 View Post

Ya know, I have been told before that the AT are great HT speakers. I have never found somewhere that has them locally, I believe they are ID..??

I believe they have some, but you will have to contact them as they only list their online dealers

http://www.atlantictechnology.com/default.asp?IsDev=False&NodeId=31
post #28 of 39
Have you checked out James loudspeakers. We just put inwalls in our main living with EMB1000. They are awesome...
post #29 of 39
Thread Starter 
Those James in-walls certainly look interesting. Out of curiousity, what have you had prior to this for equip??
post #30 of 39
Yeah, and when you get them home they sound different and then you think you made a mistake. The search is never ending BUT you need to have fun while searching. I have been thru so many setups but I have always had a working theater in the process. I am going to audition another set soon even though I love my current system. So you want a laid back dynamic speaker capable of reference levels? The problem with most laid back or even audiophile type speakers are their lack of spl capabilities. This is where type of room and distance to the speakers matter so much and can the speaker even take the power needed to get loud. I know the Maggies I had could take lots of power but they would just compress and not get any louder. They sound loud and clear but not dynamic once compressing. At low levels they were dynamic
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