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Theatre equipment setup - Paradigm - Nad- velodyne

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
* I just put together my 7.1 Theater set-up.


Paradigm monitor 11's- Full Towers-
Paradigm Center 3 - Center channel speaker
Paradigm Surround 1'- Rear Surrounds
Paradigm Surround 3- Main surrounds
Velodyne minivee's 8"- Subwoofer-midwoofers
DVDO Edge- 1080p- 36bit Scaler-de-interlacer
Elite 60" LED - Panel
NAD- T187 Pre-amp processor
NAD- T977- 7 channel Class A amplifier 7 X140watts
NAD- C446-Tuner-USB audio player (USB @ 44KHZ audio files)
Oppo-BDP- 103- Bluray- Analog outputs @ 7.1
Mac Mini(2010)- Plex Media Server - Seagate-Hybrid drive 700gb
Mini Stack(Newer Technology) Hard Drive storage @ 3TB
Audio Control-Bijou-Analog surround EQ
Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 tuner DAC
Panamax_SurgeX- Power Protection
Neptune Audio 7 Channel Digital EQ
Yamaha CD changer- Soon to be modded.
Technics Tuner
technics 100 Disc changer

After a year of putting together my equipment- I can say that the Paradigm Monitor 11 series towers and center channel, have viscerous impact capabilities, that can really punch and throw air when they are required to- The NAD T977 7 channel amp can push my center channel till it taps you on your face- the impact and consistent clarity (low audible distortion at high volumes) can be suspensfull for the 6" drivers the Monitors are equipped with...they really throw alot of air even from 9 feet back!.

The Nad T187- Preamp has a lot of decent features including dual Sub output- 7.1 Analog inputs_(connected to my oppo 103) Separate sub-surround and center adjustments make it that much more pleasant to listen to music when changing volume levels. This preamp is a simple Audio/movie processor- nothing more- it just delivers clear consistent sound. It has input naming capabilities so you can reference what inputs you are using. HD Bluray audio is just as fun to listen to through the T187. It's auto Eq function is great-but like the fact you can go back and tweak the settings onscreen.

The NAD-T977 7 Channel @ 140W RMS_ Is another suprise as to how clear and how much impact it can deliver through the Paradigm Towers and center channel_ it really allows them to punch the air-as I beleive they where designed to do> I can crank the volume to full +5-7 and the amp does not show distortion or clipping?!...not to mention the Paradigm's can go as far as the 977 without a drop in output consistency. Dramatic impact for compact towers. Highs from the amp are smooth and never get shrill or hyper- allowing the paradigms tweeters to perform as they where designed to do.

As you will see in the pics below- I have my Main surrounds placed beside my listening position> something I was concerned about at first-since mounting them on concrete walls was not much of an effort I intended to take. I found that setting the distance setting on the NAD T187 speakers settings to 21FT allows them to...disapear!...I play all my music via DolbyIIx surround--The music remarkably comes out in 3D-(front towers are set to 21FT as well) the end results is...stunning wide sound stage that envelopes you Naturally, natural ambient effects are subtle but believable that pluck and pull on your ears audible senses with a sometimes hipnotic imersivness that doesn't play back too well in standard stereo or other surround modes I've tried. Increasing the volume on the surrounds creates better near field impact dynamics for both left and right channels...by adding delay I've slowed the high freq's freq's arrival so they get to my ears after the low freq's do ...coinciding with music cue's that evidently have convincing impact-given their small 5.5" woofer design, this does not hinder their ability to output full bodied surround sound, that is never perceived as localized.- I would compare the surround effect to listening to a pair of headphones with surround capabilties...they're close to your ears...but the entire room's sound is coming from outside the 4 walls~ My surround rears(paradigms surround 1) also help with surround audio as well and they deliver a sharp and concise sound. I accidentaly dropped one surround and realized how well built they are.

I've found the NAD C446 Tuner is a great tuner to listen to 44khz audio files...despite it's limited capabilities to play Hi-Rez 96khz-192khz audio files> it's on board Dac does not disapoint...delivering an immersive sound-stage with separatiion and articulation that does not delve to much into finer details(as higher end dacs) The material I've enjoyed playing through it ~ 80's funk jazz and club tracks ~ have plenty of drums and instrumental keyboards and guitars...where they all blended together seamlessly in a lively manner- although not crisp and clear as glass- the natural organic sound helps create a more natural "live" vibe effect instead.

* The Velodyne minivee's are more than capable of delivering low freq's bass extention that actually is quite airy and not as boomy as my Kilpch subs I have, but I've realized that they won't fill my room with enough low end without bottoming out ( they drop down to 25HZ-30HZ)...so I've chosen to run them in a bandpass config. crossing them out at 40HZ and then running them through my Digital EQ increasing their output 50-120hz.
This configuration now creates a heavier system response where as drum tracks appear coming from a giant drum set> where the Monitor towers alone would have appeared slightly lighter and thinner sounding ...adding the minivee's now add more presence and weight to all instrumental sounds, filling the entire sound-stage and blending the higher freq's more cohesively. ( although I still require 4 more minivee's to create the full effect> I chose the miivee 8" drivers because of the ability of an 8" driver to respond fast to mid-woofer freq's compared to a 10-12" driver. And feel that they have better articulation at they're playable freq's than a larger driver would be capable of reproducing as dynamically. As so...I still require a Subwoofer (dual) to fill in the low freq's below 50HZ. The minivee's can handle full volumes without major audible distortion, really impressive sound that stays consistently clear and taught , but at the same time stay nimble with differentianting tone on bass plucks that provides a live realism experience in terms of audible weight.


NAD T187 Pre-amp

Nad allows you to name each input for quick reference on it's large VFD display (I like the sharp contrast that VFD's have compared to led units.) HD audio never sounded so fun through the T187.

NAD C446 Tuner

Although this Tuner can't play High Rez files @ 96khz-192khz- It still is a decent tuner with a great sounding dac that doesn't fill unwanted detail to audio. Upsampled mp3 files converted to 16bit 44klhz come close to anything in CD out there without sounding like AM muffled radio. Music is wonderfully portrayed through the DAC. I got this piece for a really good deal @ $300 New> Notice the tiny USB stick on the front panel? it's 32GB from verbatim, and have transfer'd 50 44kkhz audio files onto it, still need to set-up it's wireless capabilities for Internet radio programing and such.

* Note my DAC sound listening tests are analogies of the original signal's characteristics run through the NAD's output dac's @ 7.1.
Edited by shingdaz - 1/6/13 at 7:52am
post #2 of 18
Originally Posted by shingdaz View Post

As you will see in the pics below...

No pics below lol.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Here's a side view of the Elite 60" LED set I have> Amazing black levels, with un-scrupious amounts of technology built into it.

* Before I purchased this set I was looking at the Samsung plasma 8000 model last year> I liked it's machined metal bezel and was one of the best TV's on the market at the time> I considered pulling the trigger on the set eventually to upgrade from my previous LCD (LG Scarlet set)...but fortunatley 2 weeks later the New Elite Set's where introduced into the market and greatfully went with that , despite the slight costs, The set is the best investment- especially for gaming-ps3 games lacked the lag and pixel blur that my previous set suffered from terribly- this set has solid/consistent gaming performance- with one of the best 3D capabilities out there. It's black levels are inky... picture is smooth and punchy, fine grainy elements are reduced and sharpened with it's precision color plus technology ( works great with 36bit video sent from my Dvdo edge.) Motion reduction actually reduces those noisy artifacts without incurring the soap opera effect so you get a sharp photo-realistic image from alot of good content, that looks filmic and fluid.

Edited by shingdaz - 1/6/13 at 7:54am
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
* Here are the Paradigm Monitor 11 series 7 Front towers.

These Towers have a lot of tight punch to them, they can throw their weight while still keeping their composure and clarity. 3- 6" woofers actually behave like midbass's when crossed over 50hz at the pre-amp. Tweeters are well balanced and the T977 provides a smooth and airy sound that fills the air. (although Nads audessy Dynamic EQ dsp helps acheive this effect more pronouncely)

Edited by shingdaz - 1/4/13 at 5:04pm
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Here's my Mac mini Media Server Running Plex with a Newer Technology matching unibody case @ 3TB (which soon will be only used for HD Music Files only)*ps.thats an alogolith flea hdmi version - I bought off a forum member on here.

* The piece on the bottom was supposed to be a Gaming console> I've put that project on hold till gaming cards come with liquid cooling built into them instead of the large tubing that come with most gaming systems. Coolit it systems had the designs I was looking for, but they where purchased by Corsair a few years back, and no longer support consumer products directly> I find it hard to believe that closed loop cooling systems are still scarce on the market.

Edited by shingdaz - 1/6/13 at 9:01am
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Here's the Oppo bdp 103 Bluray- New click buttons so you can control it in the dark-Though the 93's flush buttons where just as nice. Now planning on running Media server through 103's rear HDMI port for filtering movies through it. Although so far the 103 is not configured to startup at the chosen HDMI input instead reverts to Bluray instead> I think it would work better if you can program it to your prefered default setting on the main menu if you want, so you can instantly watch movies or cable through the player with out manually switching or having to toggle through the input menu's.

Also the front USB port now doesn't have a plastic cover that pulls out of the chassis itsself> and instead is conveniently located in the front middle of the chassis> I've run 5.1wav 24 bit 192khz files off my usb drive through the oppo-93 , and I can say it was impressive on how it sounded via it's analog outputs> smoother sounding than direct CD playback. I've yet to fully test the 103's file playback but will mostly be using 24bit flac 192khz for music listening ( I upsample all my mp3 files to 24bit 96khz-192khz stereo) and they sound convincing.

* I like that oppo has a Neo-6 music dsp I can use to create a better sound-stage than standard 2 channel stereo.
Edited by shingdaz - 1/4/13 at 5:41pm
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
* Here's my power protecion> Panamax (older model with auto input voltage sense trigger) and a SurgeX power filter- The Surgex surge supressor / mains filter is built like a tank- when it arrived(used off e-bay+ 10 year warranty from surgex)- I couldn't believe how much weight it had for such a slim chassis, it has a voltage + wattge reference guage. All Sub's are powered via the SurgeX.

Below those 2 pieces is my Neptune Room Correction EQ> First found it priced @ $4000- then after speaking with the owner of Neptune I was offered it New for $2200 ~ still considered buying it but decided to wait ~ then 1 year later Neptune went out of business> where I eventually found this EQ on E-bay! for $1000 ( Being sold off by Original Neptune Owner) > this is a 7.1 channel Digital EQ with room correction and mic etc> it outputs 24bit @ 96khz with 31 Bands of EQ per channel. I've tinkered with it, but never adjusted it accordingly, but will be using some of it's inputs to fine tune my center channel's peaky highs- and help enhance it's lower end impact so I can bring up certain freq's that dilute when they reach the listeners ear 9 feet away. I also plan on adjusting my surrounds with it as well.
Edited by shingdaz - 1/6/13 at 9:15am
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
* The Paradigm Center 3.

This Center channel exhibits robust and flank impact properties when listening to music, when turned up it get's heavy and gives a more deeper response than you can visually perceive from such a medium size center channel speaker- although it is quite large in itself.

It blends in seamlessly with the front's and actually enhances bottom octave audio- although it's high freq's can get peaky and directional at reference volumes.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
post #11 of 18
Hey that's more like it. Lookin' good. Like the tap deck. wink.gif Also, have you thought about just putting the tv on it's stand and in the hole instead of mounting it? Just seems far back from the pictures.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Paradigm surround 3

These surrounds are large and heavy, the magnetic grilles allow for easy removal if necessary.

I have them placed directly beside the listening area> this was something that concerned me at first in regards to how directional the sound could be, my walls are bare concrete and drilling or attempting to set them up would of required alot of mounting braces.

* Fortunatley The NAD pre-amp allows for manual distance settings> After adjusting the distance settings by ear, I've managed to make the surrounds virtually disappear ,and audibly they are transparent from almost any listening position> in terms of where the surrounds are physically located... they actually portray an immersive 3D surround field effect in the entire room, providing subtle surround cue's that appear out of the air instead of directly beside your ears, Music has a deeper natural presence, and lows from the surrounds blend with the front towers seamlessly, creating an effect I would describe much like listening to music on a pair of headphones (where the surround cue's are more connected with the front cues and not acoustically seperate as with standard surround modes) They get decently loud and provide a pronounced amount of timbre tone and ambiance to movies and music.

Paradigm surround 3 positioned on table- (surrounds happen to have the same paint profile as my table)

Edited by shingdaz - 1/5/13 at 2:11pm
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Paradigm surround 1

here are the Paradigm surround 1's that create the 7 of a 5.1 surround system.

They're small and are enough to provide those subtle cue's for a deeper surround effect.

Here's a wide angle view of the room.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by pcweber111 View Post

Hey that's more like it. Lookin' good. Like the tap deck. wink.gif Also, have you thought about just putting the tv on it's stand and in the hole instead of mounting it? Just seems far back from the pictures.

* LOL< it's funny you noticed...that's a Teac CD recorder-(although the model I have does not have the cd record function)-but will eventually upgrade to that model in the future.

I wall mounted it so I don't have to worry about the stand being faulty or defective, the articluating arms cost $500- and I can easily pull the TV out from the wall to create a more immersive viewing experience. I like watching content with the TV mounted farther back...it creates an optical effect that draws you to the TV more subtly than if it where directly in front of you.
post #15 of 18
Very nice!
post #16 of 18
Nice setup. Those Paradigm Monitors are nice sounding speakers, I think i've demo'd them about 4 or 5 times at a local dealer. If I didn't already have a setup those would have been my next choice. They're nicer looking without that fake phase plug the last versions had.
post #17 of 18

Quick question. I like your setup. Where did you get the cabinet? Looks sharp and I need one like it.

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yes. The Cabinet was purchased at a local store called Brault and Martineau. I don't remember the name of the company that makes it, but it's made in Canada. It came with all my tables in the pics as well...it gives that industrial look. The center channel shelf I threw together myself> it used to have curved glass doors which I don't use anymore.
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