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QSC for Home Theater continued...

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
This is a continuation of my thread over in the speaker section http://www.avsforum.com/t/1452129/qsc-for-home-theater, since learning DIY is the propper area. I'll recap:

I'm looking at using QSC K or KW in a home theater enviroment. I'm guessing the Cinema line of speakers are out of my price range. My friend who is a DJ suggested the K12, which he has in his theater, but I have yet to hear. I have seen some of you have QSC K and KW theaters. For those of you that took the plunge, are you happy with your system? Is there anything you dislike about it? Do you wish you had gone with a different model QSC speaker? I was initally thinking the K12 or KW122, but the KW153 with the mid driver is very appealing. Is it worth the extra money?

Thanks!
post #2 of 86
Well, now that you're in DIY land, you can be all-but guaranteed that SPL and 103db efficiency will clandestinely (or not so clandestinely) rule the day.

The reality is most are not much more than 10-15' feet away (with the surrounds and rears usually being much closer) from their louspeakers and I've found that super high efficiency 135 db speakers are overkill. Especially when there are wonderfully inexpensive pro amplifiers that can provide plenty of clean power.

now, I believe "overkill" is just stupid as is "headroom". If you're simply going to spend more money to have output that you'll never use for the sake of saying you "can", go nuts. Modern quality gear should, can, and does play for decades within its design.

Why am I babbling about this? Because I believe a good number overspend on "professional" loudspeakers that simply do not sound as good as- gasp- speakers engineered for a home environment (which, make no mistake about it, MOST home theaters much more closely resemble than a cinema). But they can get F'n LOUD, to be sure.

Case in point: Seems your looking at/considering the KW 153 because the "mid driver is appealing". Do you mean the driver in and of itself is attractive to you, or the sound?

I've heard the KW speakers (and K's)...excellent by the way, for what they are. But I would tell you that they sound VERY similar, depending of course on the venue/use. I don't know what your room looks like, but if it's the typical HT here on AVS I would strongly consider the much less expensive K8 if you're absolutely set on powered PA speakers. I think any honest person would readily admit they sound VERY similar to the KW153's but with a much less macho driver array...and a much more equitable price tag for the performance they offer, IMO.

I'm busy at the moment but I think you'd spend north of $5,000 on a KW LCR array alone. Unless you're looking for truly oppressive (read dangerous) SPL's or have gigantic room, I think you could make a better choice at $1,500 a cabinet.

James
Edited by mastermaybe - 1/16/13 at 5:09pm
post #3 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
The reality is most are not much more than 10-15' feet away (with the surrounds and rears usually being much closer) from their louspeakers and I've found that super high efficiency 135 db speakers are overkill. Especially when there are wonderfully inexpensive pro amplifiers that can provide plenty of clean power.
You're right on that one. I'll be about 13' away.
Quote:
now, I believe "overkill" is just stupid as is "headroom". If you're simply going to spend more money to have output that you'll never use for the sake of saying you "can", go nuts. Modern quality gear should can and does play for decades within it's design.
No disagreement here. I'm not interested in throwing money for excess output that I will never use. I'm more interested in audio quality rather than excessive output.
Quote:
Why am I babbling about this? Because I believe a good number overspend on "professional" loudspeakers that simply do not sound as good as- gasp- speakers engineered for a home environment (which, make no mistake about it, MOST home theaters much more closely resemble than a cinema). But they can get F'n LOUD, to be sure.
I had never considered "pro audio" speakers until my fiance and I had dinner with a DJ friend and he said he has QSC in his theater and can get them at almost dealer cost. I have always thought of PA speakers as playing loud, bullet proof, but sounding terrible for home use. From what I've read QSC has put some serious engineering into making sure their speakers also sound good.
Quote:
Case in point: Seems your looking at/considering the KW 153 because the "mid driver is appealing". Do you mean the driver in and of itself is attractive to you, or the sound?
The idea of splitting up the duty makes more sense to me than having a 12" or 15" driver covering everything up to 1800 or so. Granted I'm no expert on speaker and have no clue about the capabilities of a compression driver and transducer.
Quote:
I've heard the KW speakers (and K's)...excellent by the way, for what they are. But I would tell you that they sound VERY similar, depending of course on the venue/use. I don't know what your room looks like, but if it's the typical HT here on AVS I would strongly consider the much less expensive K8 if you're absolutely set on powered PA speakers. I think any honest person would readily admit they sound VERY similar to the KW153's but with a much less macho driver array...and a much more equitable price tag for the performance they offer, IMO.
Here's what my room looks like. I'm thinking about doing an AT screen.

I'm definately not set on PA speakers. Before our friend suggested considering this route, I was going to go with Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower and Horizon.
Quote:
I'm busy at the moment but I think you'd spend north of $5,000 on a KW LCR array alone. Unless you're looking for truly oppressive (read dangerous) SPL's or have gigantic room, I think you could make a better choice at $1,500 a cabinet.

James
No, I'm not looking for oppressive SPL and as you can see the whole downstairs is open, but the theater area isn't massive by any means. Thanks for all of the input! If you have any suggestions I'm definately interested in them.

Mark
post #4 of 86
From what I heard QSC pa speakers make excellent fronts for HT. Even relatively inexpensive K8s are "overachievers"

You may want to read this post if you have not already

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1449890/need-new-l-r-seos-kit-or-yorkville-u15p#post_22794424

The good thing is they are easy to find, most pro audio stores carry them. You can buy a pair, try at home and return if not happy.
post #5 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeonicxpression View Post

You're right on that one. I'll be about 13' away.
No disagreement here. I'm not interested in throwing money for excess output that I will never use. I'm more interested in audio quality rather than excessive output.
I had never considered "pro audio" speakers until my fiance and I had dinner with a DJ friend and he said he has QSC in his theater and can get them at almost dealer cost. I have always thought of PA speakers as playing loud, bullet proof, but sounding terrible for home use. From what I've read QSC has put some serious engineering into making sure their speakers also sound good.
The idea of splitting up the duty makes more sense to me than having a 12" or 15" driver covering everything up to 1800 or so. Granted I'm no expert on speaker and have no clue about the capabilities of a compression driver and transducer.
Here's what my room looks like. I'm thinking about doing an AT screen.

I'm definately not set on PA speakers. Before our friend suggested considering this route, I was going to go with Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower and Horizon.
No, I'm not looking for oppressive SPL and as you can see the whole downstairs is open, but the theater area isn't massive by any means. Thanks for all of the input! If you have any suggestions I'm definately interested in them.

Mark

before I read another post on this thread I am relieved to learn a bit more about your perspective and why/how.

I'm not in the business of dismissing pro gear...I own, use, and LOVE much of it...I just think some of it can be misapplied or bettered by "consumer" choices that many simply dismiss from the jump.

James
post #6 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by zheka View Post

From what I heard QSC pa speakers make excellent fronts for HT. Even relatively inexpensive K8s are "overachievers"

You may want to read this post if you have not already

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1449890/need-new-l-r-seos-kit-or-yorkville-u15p#post_22794424

The good thing is they are easy to find, most pro audio stores carry them. You can buy a pair, try at home and return if not happy.

Agree 100%. I would highly suggest listening to the K8's. Great performers if not a bit, well, "professional" looking, but not the end of the world. And seeing you have a nice price avenue, all the more worthwhile.


James
post #7 of 86
Just noticed you were considering the Sierras.

I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts that 8 out of 10 people would prefer them over the KW 153's- at ROBUST spls- in the same room, level-matched.


Excellent choice, IMO.

James
post #8 of 86

Have you taken a look at the waveguide kits from diysoundgroup.com? 

post #9 of 86
I don't have any experience with the KW series from QSC but I did have a trio of HPR153i's and they were outstanding speakers. I initially wanted just the HPR152's but the 153's were being closeout and I jumped on an outstanding deal. I have to say that I wish I would have tried out the smaller 152's though as I eventually sold the 153's due to the size not working in my set-up but my first foray into pro speakers really made an impression and I would recommend them based on my experience.

I do own nice speakers right now, Triad Gold LCR's in my theater and Von Schweikert VR-4's in my living room system for music and TV. I tried the QSC HPR153i's in both settings and for music after running a Audyssey Pro calibration I was surprised at how good they sounded. In my my theater the added mid-bass and effortless dynamics were addicting and I never listen at reference levels unless I am doing a demo.

In the end the size and pro look were too much to over come and I finally sold them, they made a lasting impression though. I have to emphasize that the Audyssey Pro calibration or at least the use of XT32 made the HPR153i's come to life for music, wasn't too impressed with them before the calibration.

I am now going to build the diysoundgroup.com Tempest or possibly the Zephyr to get back into the high efficiency wave guide speaker system again. At least if I DIY then I can finish them off the way I want them to look.

If you can build your own cabinets then the DIY option above might be something to think about, if not then if the other QSC speakers sound like the HPR1531's I owned there outstanding and I would not hesitate to recommend them.
post #10 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

Just noticed you were considering the Sierras.

I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts that 8 out of 10 people would prefer them over the KW 153's- at ROBUST spls- in the same room, level-matched.


Excellent choice, IMO.

James

For music possibly, for movies I doubt it.
post #11 of 86
I have not listened to Sierra towers but the original bookshelf version is not a good choice for performance HT IMHO.
I switched from Sierra-1 to CHT SHO-10. It was a step down in terms of refinement and resolution at lower volume levels but huge step up in sheer dynamic capabilities.
post #12 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjaudio View Post

For music possibly, for movies I doubt it.

Ahhhh, the old "music but not movies, movies but not music" thing. So movies that have great soundtracks must really throw your lot for a twist, huh? wink.gif

The Sierras offered some fantastically detailed, coherent, accurate, dynamic SOUND to my ears and the measurements I've seen them yield. Either are imperative to great music and movie reproduction. I'm confident that, blindly, level-matched, they'd be chosen over the QSCs by the majority in either discipline.

I can already feel some of the cringe-worthy unproven cliches creeping in here: "not dynamic and punchy enough for home theater" ..."too 'in your face' and 'upfront' for music but great for home theater".

I just look, I mean listen for speakers that recreate great, natural, accurate, SOUND...cymbals, human voice, bass guitar, car crash, laser beams, gun fire, etc. some people look for other things I suppose.


To each, their own.

James
Edited by mastermaybe - 1/16/13 at 6:47pm
post #13 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by zheka View Post

I have not listened to Sierra towers but the original bookshelf version is not a good choice for performance HT IMHO.
I switched from Sierra-1 to CHT SHO-10. It was a step down in terms of refinement and resolution at lower volume levels but huge step up in sheer dynamic capabilities.

In almost any room, probably not. They are relatively tiny bookshelf speakers that would not likely do what many HT gurus are looking for in most spaces.

The towers of course are a completely different kettle of fish.

James
post #14 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

Ahhhh, the old "music but not movies, movies but not music" thing. So movies that have great soundtracks must really throw your lot for a twist, huh? wink.gif

The Sierras offered some fantastically detailed, coherent, accurate, dynamic SOUND to my ears and the measurements I've seen them yield. Either are imperative to great music and movie reproduction. I'm confident that, blindly, level-matched, they'd be chosen over the QSCs by the majority in either discipline.

I can already feel some of the cringe-worthy unproven cliches creeping in here: "not dynamic and punchy enough for home theater" ..."too 'in your face' and 'upfront' for music but great for home theater".

I just look, I mean listen for speakers that recreate great, natural, accurate, SOUND...cymbals, human voice, bass guitar, car crash, laser beams, gun fire, etc. some people look for other things I suppose.


To each, their own.

James

I have owned a ton of speakers and am just giving my impression of what these high sensitivity QSC speakers did in my own home and in 2 different systems. You may look or listen but so do I and my experience is from owning the speakers in question, not from what I have been told or even what I heard in a demo, these were all comparisons in my own system.

I have not personally owned Ascend Acoustics speakers but I have owned Aerial Acoustic Model 9's, Von Schweikert VR-4 MKII, Triad Gold LCR's, Linn AV series speakers, The old Klipsch Heritage line Chorus II and Forte II, NHT XD speaker's and probably about 5 or more other high end speakers I can't recall right now. In my first experience with high efficiency pro speakers like the QSC HPR153i it was easy to hear why there preferred for movies over the high end audiophile speakers I have.

I am not going to throw out any cliches so you can just dismiss them, that is my personal experience so you can take my comments any way you like.
post #15 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjaudio View Post

I have owned a ton of speakers and am just giving my impression of what these high sensitivity QSC speakers did in my own home and in 2 different systems. You may look or listen but so do I and my experience is from owning the speakers in question, not from what I have been told or even what I heard in a demo, these were all comparisons in my own system.

I have not personally owned Ascend Acoustics speakers but I have owned Aerial Acoustic Model 9's, Von Schweikert VR-4 MKII, Triad Gold LCR's, Linn AV series speakers, The old Klipsch Heritage line Chorus II and Forte II, NHT XD speaker's and probably about 5 or more other high end speakers I can't recall right now. In my first experience with high efficiency pro speakers like the QSC HPR153i it was easy to hear why there preferred for movies over the high end audiophile speakers I have.

I am not going to throw out any cliches so you can just dismiss them, that is my personal experience so you can take my comments any way you like.

How would you compare the Triad Gold LCR to the QSC? I'm still leaning towards the QSC's, but maybe just scaling back to something more reasonable like the KW122 or even the K series. For some reason the idea of the speaker cabinet being made from ABS plastic bothers me. I'm sure it's fine, but it seems like the birch of the KW would be better. For home theater use, is it better to have the wider coverage like the K8 or narrower like the K12 or does it even really matter?
post #16 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeonicxpression View Post

How would you compare the Triad Gold LCR to the QSC? I'm still leaning towards the QSC's, but maybe just scaling back to something more reasonable like the KW122 or even the K series. For some reason the idea of the speaker cabinet being made from ABS plastic bothers me. I'm sure it's fine, but it seems like the birch of the KW would be better. For home theater use, is it better to have the wider coverage like the K8 or narrower like the K12 or does it even really matter?

The Triads are excellent speakers and better musically but they do lose out to the dynamics and mid-bass punch of the QSC's. The mid-bass punch is what I miss the most as I don't listen at reference levels but even at -15 below reference the QSC's had more of a jump factor than the Triads when called for. I really don't think you will regret going with the Triads though and musically they are an upgrade over the QSC's as they are a lot smoother sounding.

One of the reasons I chose the HPR 153i's besides the killer price I got on them is that they use the same mids and highs as the QSC SC-2150 Pro digital cinema speakers. I figured the dispersion pattern of the horn would best and I did ask someone at QSC and they figured the same thing. I also liked that it was made of plywood but the top and bottom are molded plastic or something like that.
post #17 of 86
I run the QSC KW122 's as my front three and will be doing k8 's as my surrounds and rears. I'm sure you already saw my thread on AVS. I love the kw's!!!
post #18 of 86
what do you guys think about the passives from QSC?
e.g.
http://www.qscaudio.com/products/speakers/isis/i282h/i282h.htm

the horn on these can be rotated 90 degrees for horizontal/floor monitor orientation. normally, this is a big no because crossover cannot be optimized for both. But these speakers can be run with active crossover, so, at least in theory, one can tailor the set up for whatever the intended use is.

I'd like to try them for surrounds, mounted horizontally by the ceiling, firing down.
slightly over 10" wide, they can be hidden in soffit if needed.
post #19 of 86
I have a pair of QSC AD S-82H that I used as rears in a large living room (about 10m by 8m).

Before I stuck them in their final homes, I had a real good listen to them in stereo. If I was on a budget and doing a room today I'd buy 7 of them and be real happy. Superb speaker and cheap as chips. Check out the response:

post #20 of 86
Thread Starter 
Is the only difference between the KW122 and the K12 that the 122 has a slightly larger cabinet and is made of birch instead of ABS? Does the 122 being birch reduce resonance or is it something you can't even notice?
post #21 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeonicxpression View Post

Is the only difference between the KW122 and the K12 that the 122 has a slightly larger cabinet and is made of birch instead of ABS? Does the 122 being birch reduce resonance or is it something you can't even notice?
I can't say with 100% certainty that I could hear the plastic resonance, but by going with the KW I know it would rule out that possible issue 100%.
post #22 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elill View Post

I have a pair of QSC AD S-82H that I used as rears in a large living room (about 10m by 8m).

Before I stuck them in their final homes, I had a real good listen to them in stereo. If I was on a budget and doing a room today I'd buy 7 of them and be real happy. Superb speaker and cheap as chips. Check out the response:


I might just give it a try. it's remarkable how much is offered for such modest cost - all the mounting options, bi-amp capabilities, horn/slot module rotation. And the "paint-able" finish option may be attractive for those who want to make the speakers blend well with the room.
post #23 of 86
I have mine in wall cavities stuffed with insulation and aligned to make a semi-baffle. It works well.....and they are just so darn cheap its not funny....better if you're using an AT screen so you can hide them. I'd think the smaller 5" model would make a good rear in a "normal" sized room. As you said, buy them in white and paint.
post #24 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by superedge88 View Post

I run the QSC KW122 's as my front three and will be doing k8 's as my surrounds and rears. I'm sure you already saw my thread on AVS. I love the kw's!!!

Is there much airflow that comes out of those front ports? I'm putting this behind an AT screen so I want to make sure I won't have any vibrations from them. Also, at what point do you cross to your sub?
post #25 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeonicxpression View Post

Is there much airflow that comes out of those front ports? I'm putting this behind an AT screen so I want to make sure I won't have any vibrations from them. Also, at what point do you cross to your sub?
l'll check on air velocity over the weekend with some dubstep and get back to you on that.
post #26 of 86
Thread Starter 
Here's maybe a dumb question, but what kind of in ceiling surrounds would integrate well with these? I was looking at Definitive Technology UIW RSS III or DI 5.5PBS, before deciding to go the pro audio route. Does it really even matter that much?
post #27 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by superedge88 View Post

l'll check on air velocity over the weekend with some dubstep and get back to you on that.

Thanks, I'm curious to see what you find.
post #28 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeonicxpression View Post

Thanks, I'm curious to see what you find.

If they're merely coverering the typical LCR range, it should't be an issue. Those big, sensitive cones are just not moving hardly at all. I've got four K8s (for surround use), when I utilized them up front, the ports don't pump that much ... in use ... in a bass managed, high passed config. But again, that's the K8.

Good luck
post #29 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeonicxpression View Post

Here's maybe a dumb question, but what kind of in ceiling surrounds would integrate well with these? I was looking at Definitive Technology UIW RSS III or DI 5.5PBS, before deciding to go the pro audio route. Does it really even matter that much?

I think it matters that you either match the sensitivity of the LCRs or have enough gain to get all the speakers on an even SPL. The in ceiling speakers have a sensitivity of 90dB and pro audio LCRs would be 100dB so without adjustment the surrounds are half the volume.
post #30 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antripodean View Post

I think it matters that you either match the sensitivity of the LCRs or have enough gain to get all the speakers on an even SPL. The in ceiling speakers have a sensitivity of 90dB and pro audio LCRs would be 100dB so without adjustment the surrounds are half the volume.

Where do I find the sensitivity of the KW122? I looked on the website and don't see a sensitivity number. Wouldn't it be pretty easy to get the two in line? Wouldn't it just take setting the preamp to a -5db on the LCR and a +5db on the surrounds to get everything balanced or am I over simplifying things?
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