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Bought new house; need recommendations for new speakers (considering KEF t Series or ML SLM series)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So, I'll be moving into a new house in mid-June. My current setup includes Polk Rti4 bookshelfs, csi40 center, FX500I surrounds, an Infinity IL120s sub, with an older Onkyo beast of a receiver.
There's brick accent along the floor (see photos) where I will put my TV in the new house, so my old CRT RPTV will look ridiculous on top of it and my subwoofer would be too crammed on it as well. (brick is 22" deep, 12" off floor high). And, the spacing above the door/window and the opening to the kitchen will not fit my FX500i's where I'd like to have my surrounds on the sides. So, I've decided to upgrade my entire system. I've included some photos of the house with the current owners setup and a crude 3D floorplan of how we imagine setting our furniture in there instead. (room is 25 x 20, plus opens to the kitchen).
(Note: All components will go in a custom-hidden closet I will build behind the wall the TV will hang on; ignore the shelving shown below the TV in the model)

I'm going to most likely end up with a Panny plasma (probably 60-65"). I want something that looks great along with it, since we have a lot of people over for business. At this time in my life, I'm willing to sacrifice a little sound for aesthetics, since this will be in the main living area of the house where we'll entertain.

My usage will be 80% movies, 15% gaming, 5% back ground music. (I do not do any serious music listening any longer). I have budgeted myself $2000, although if I can spend less that will give me funds to replace my receiver sooner rather than later. I do not mind buying used gear, either.

Technology has changed drastically since I last seriously looked for speakers, and I'm out of touch. Yesterday I had the chance to check out the KEF T series and Martin Logan SLM thin-line speakers and was amazed at the sound of both. Couldn't really do comparison between the two since they were on different TVs, different movies, and I was trying to keep my 3 year old in-check smile.gif

I'm not married to the idea of flat speakers like those, but want something unobtrusive. But just based on those two examples, my initial thoughts were:

Buy the KEF T series set and either replace or augment the KEF sub with a SVS SB12-NSD (now or down the road)
MartinLogan SRM for front/Center and something else for the rears, with a SVS SB12-NSD

How do you think that would work? And what other options would you recommend I look at, considering my needs?





post #2 of 5
The wall opposite the kitchen (to the left of the fireplace) appears to be longer than the wall to the right (where you want to mount the TV). Is this correct? If yes, I would consider mounting the TV on this longer wall. Possible advantages:

1. You will have ample room for the TV and the front speakers, and get good separation between the left and right speakers. If the TV is on the shorter wall, you will be forced to place the speakers very close to the TV and compromise the sound. And, it may not look very good in a 'living space'.

2. When you entertain, guests in the kitchen, the counter/bar and the living room will be able to view the TV. If the TV is on the shorter wall, people in the kitchen will not be able to view the TV comfortably.

3. Subwoofer placement - You will be free of the restriction imposed on you by the fireplace, and can place the subwoofer anywhere along the front wall.

4. Surround speaker placement - You have two good walls to mount them on. Since you have a tray ceiling, it will be easy for you run the wires for the surround speakers behind the drywall. You may even be able to use the surrounds you have now.

If you cannot change the location of the TV, I would consider in-wall speakers. Good in-walls perform much better than 'lifestyle' speakers and can be painted to match the wall for a 'disappearing act'.

I have had very good luck with Paradigm speakers. They make good in-wall and lifestyle speakers. If you cannot do in-walls, I would recommend looking at the Mythos STS from DefTech for the fronts as they look great, have built-in subs and sound incredible.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spock1234 View Post

The wall opposite the kitchen (to the left of the fireplace) appears to be longer than the wall to the right (where you want to mount the TV). Is this correct? If yes, I would consider mounting the TV on this longer wall. Possible advantages:

1. You will have ample room for the TV and the front speakers, and get good separation between the left and right speakers. If the TV is on the shorter wall, you will be forced to place the speakers very close to the TV and compromise the sound. And, it may not look very good in a 'living space'.

2. When you entertain, guests in the kitchen, the counter/bar and the living room will be able to view the TV. If the TV is on the shorter wall, people in the kitchen will not be able to view the TV comfortably.

3. Subwoofer placement - You will be free of the restriction imposed on you by the fireplace, and can place the subwoofer anywhere along the front wall.

4. Surround speaker placement - You have two good walls to mount them on. Since you have a tray ceiling, it will be easy for you run the wires for the surround speakers behind the drywall. You may even be able to use the surrounds you have now.

If you cannot change the location of the TV, I would consider in-wall speakers. Good in-walls perform much better than 'lifestyle' speakers and can be painted to match the wall for a 'disappearing act'.

I have had very good luck with Paradigm speakers. They make good in-wall and lifestyle speakers. If you cannot do in-walls, I would recommend looking at the Mythos STS from DefTech for the fronts as they look great, have built-in subs and sound incredible.

Thanks for the feedback Spock. The wall directly to the left of the fireplace is shorter than the wall to the right of the fireplace. If you are talking about to the left of the door and in the corner without the fireplace, we did consider it originally. But we couldn't find a way to manage a good flow of the room in that spot, due to the fact that the door on the left side of the 3d model (bedroom) is actually a few feet closer to the wall that the outside door is on (top of 3d) as opposed to the door on the right side of the model (to the garage). This few feet really restricted the placement of the seating. So, I think I'm stuck with this location.

I don't want to go with floorstanders at all, as I have three rowdy boys, and they'd have to be placed on the brick. But I'm open to in-walls if that ends up being my best option, as long as I can get proper placement between studs for them.

If I were to go with in-walls, are there any specifics you would recommend?

Also, I'm ok with the idea of something that comes out a little more from the wall than the super-thin speakers. ie . - the Mythos Six/Seven, etc, if those would be a good option. Those are a far cry from the bulky-protruding standard bookshelfs that I was running before, and would still look good IMO.
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shepx13 View Post

Thanks for the feedback Spock. But I'm open to in-walls if that ends up being my best option, as long as I can get proper placement between studs for them. If I were to go with in-walls, are there any specifics you would recommend?

I would recommend the Paradigm SA-35 or SA-LCR from Paradigm. They both sound great if installed properly. Your budget would determine which one you go with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shepx13 View Post

Also, I'm ok with the idea of something that comes out a little more from the wall than the super-thin speakers. ie . - the Mythos Six/Seven, etc, if those would be a good option. Those are a far cry from the bulky-protruding standard bookshelfs that I was running before, and would still look good IMO.

Based on my personal experience, I would recommend the DefTech Mythos Nine or Ten. My local Best Buy Magnolia store sold me the Nine for $699 (list price $799 ea.). If you have a Magnolia store in your Best Buy, you may be able to get the same deal. The Ten is $100 more. The black aluminum look of the Mythos Nine matched my Panasonic plasma very well, and if you leave the DefTech logo off the grill, it blends well with the TV and has a 'stealth' look. Here is link to a review of the Mythos Nine.

Another on-wall speaker to consider is the Paradigm Espirit, which comes in L/R & C versions. The Espirit has been discontinued by Paradigm, but you may be able to find some old stock at your Paradigm dealer or on eBay. They should fit your budget and look good on your wall.
Edited by Spock1234 - 5/27/13 at 3:09pm
post #5 of 5
Look at this listing on eBay for a Paradigm In-wall SA-LCR speaker. Perhaps he has three to sell.

For the same money as a Mythos Nine or Ten, you get in-walls that will sound and look much better.
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