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Thinking of Upgrading to B&W 800Ds - Page 2  

post #31 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber
Well, if you aren't putting the 802Ds in the cabinet as well, then it isn't as bad as I thought!
OK. So let's assume I'm stubbornly sticking to having a dumb ass (from SQ point of view) cabinet. From SQ point of view, do I need to get the 802s totally in front of the cabinet or can just the front part of the speakers be in front?
post #32 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
My speakers are already a bit in front of the cabinet(s) (I've got two equipment racks and the cabinet that the plasma sits on in between) but not fully. Hmmm I guess I could think on if I could stand to have the center sitting in front of the cabinet. I think it would look kind of ugly although if I could stand any center speaker just sitting there it would be one of the BWs from the 800 series. The HTM1D looks pretty cool to me. But then I'm afraid one's eyes end up being drawn to the speaker and away from the screen.

thx
If you can, upload a picture of your setup.

Watch the movie in a darkened room, then you wont be staring at the beautiful center :D

The dealer near me is very nice about tradeups. I get 100% of my money back towards equipment double the price within 1 year as long as they are in mint condition and have all original boxes. Additionally, I get a percentage discount on all items. This tradeup program is addictive as I have traded up 3 times and went from 1000$ setup to 7000$ setup in 2 years -
:D for me, :( for my wallet.
post #33 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
OK. So let's assume I'm stubbornly sticking to having a dumb ass (from SQ point of view) cabinet. From SQ point of view, do I need to get the 802s totally in front of the cabinet or can just the front part of the speakers be in front?
A lot would depend on your room dimensions and cabinet size, as well as abnormalities in the room itself.

Since you are willing to spend so much on the gear itself, why not consider getting a acoustical consultation. I used Rives Audio myself and recommend them. You can also get some free consultations online from companies selling treatments, of course with their treatments given as part of the solution (ASC was particularly good for a free consultation and there are others as well). ;)
post #34 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
OK. So let's assume I'm stubbornly sticking to having a dumb ass (from SQ point of view) cabinet. From SQ point of view, do I need to get the 802s totally in front of the cabinet or can just the front part of the speakers be in front?
The idea is that you dont want any early reflections to mess up to sound before it can even reach your ears. I would probably try to get the speakers at least 1' away from the cabinet's sides and most of the speaker in front of the cabinet's horizontal axis.

Also you dont want to put the speakers too close to any wall...

If you have a picture of your setup, it would help a bit.
post #35 of 353
The nice thing about hiring someone (or at least in my experience with Rives Audio) is that they show you the best possible layout soundwise. You then give them reasons why you can't do that layout, e.g. - "I want to keep the cabinet." They then come up with the next best layout. Slowly you both arrive at a design that works the best for what you desire in your room.
post #36 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega
If you can, upload a picture of your setup.

Watch the movie in a darkened room, then you wont be staring at the beautiful center :D

The dealer near me is very nice about tradeups. I get 100% of my money back towards equipment double the price within 1 year as long as they are in mint condition and have all original boxes. Additionally, I get a percentage discount on all items. This tradeup program is addictive as I have traded up 3 times and went from 1000$ setup to 7000$ setup in 2 years -
:D for me, :( for my wallet.
I've got a photo but it is over 3 MBs and so I am not allowed to post it here. Anyone know how I can get it to you guys? I've seen some people post a link to some other site. Don't know how to do it. Help?
post #37 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber
A lot would depend on your room dimensions and cabinet size, as well as abnormalities in the room itself.

Since you are willing to spend so much on the gear itself, why not consider getting a acoustical consultation. I used Rives Audio myself and recommend them. You can also get some free consultations online from companies selling treatments, of course with their treatments given as part of the solution (ASC was particularly good for a free consultation and there are others as well). ;)
Yeah I've got over twenty acoustic panels up and have been working with Ethan over at Real Traps, who, by the way, has been GREAT! Very generous with his time even before I purchased some of his panels. In fact I had already purchsed some panels from one of his competitors and he was extremely gracious about it and still gave me great advice. I hadn't, however, discussed speaker placement with him, only panel placement. BTW you can find cheaper panels than his but compared to the cheaper ones I bought at first his are clearly much better made and look better.
post #38 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
Know the MSRP of the HTM1D and HTM2D?
$8000 and $4000, respectively.

Kal
post #39 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
My speakers are already a bit in front of the cabinet(s) (I've got two equipment racks and the cabinet that the plasma sits on in between) but not fully. Hmmm I guess I could think on if I could stand to have the center sitting in front of the cabinet. I think it would look kind of ugly although if I could stand any center speaker just sitting there it would be one of the BWs from the 800 series. The HTM1D looks pretty cool to me. But then I'm afraid one's eyes end up being drawn to the speaker and away from the screen.thx
Not a problem for me since the only screen in the 3x802D/2x804S system is a small LCD monitor that sits on the equipment behind me and serves for menu access. There is no video in that system. End of confession.

OTOH, my other(!) system has the plasma on the wall, mounted just high enough to clear the 3 Paradigm floor-standers in front. In both cases, the equipment racks are open-frame and outside of the main arena.

Kal
post #40 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
Not a problem for me since the only screen in the 3x802D/2x804S system is a small LCD monitor that sits on the equipment behind me and serves for menu access. There is no video in that system. End of confession.

OTOH, my other(!) system has the plasma on the wall, mounted just high enough to clear the 3 Paradigm floor-standers in front. In both cases, the equipment racks are open-frame and outside of the main arena.

Kal
Yeah part of my problem is that I'm trying to do an all-in-one solution that also doubles as my living room. Not the best way to go about it but that's reality for me at this moment. When I buy a place I'll surely take into cosinderation the optimal set up for my HT (and how to get rid of the cabinets! :D).
post #41 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
..............(and how to get rid of the cabinets! :D).
That's what the fireplace is for. :rolleyes:

Kal
post #42 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
That's what the fireplace is for. :rolleyes:

Kal
Nice one! :D
post #43 of 353
Thread Starter 
Here are photos of my current set up. What do you think about speaker placement and those terrible cabinets?! :D

http://new.photos.yahoo.com/jackdand...803016460328/0

If you can't access the address please let me know. First time I've posted photos like this.
post #44 of 353
Whoa, nice on the acoustical treatments. I wish I could afford that many.

Hmm, nice cabinets btw :p

I would bring the speakers a few inches forward and call it a day.

It would be nice if you could put the center channel where the TV is and have it sticking out a couple inches from the front edge of the cabinet. Perhaps wall mount the plasma above the center?
post #45 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega
It would be nice if you could put the center channel where the TV is and have it sticking out a couple inches from the front edge of the cabinet. Perhaps wall mount the plasma above the center?
I agree - put the center on the cabinet and wall mount the plasma.

I've been using the HTM7 center with my 804S for about 5 months now. I finally ordered the HTM3S yesterday. I can definitely hear the non-FST driver of the HTM7 when matched with the FST in the 804S.

I'd go for at least the HTM3S for the FST and highly recommend the HTM2D or HTM1D for matching the diamond tweeters.
post #46 of 353
Yeah, yeah, I agree with the other guys about the center but, frankly, those two hulking side cabinets are the 800lb. gorillas in that room. Having them between the center and sides will make any of your center decisions moot. Too much stuff with large, hard surfaces.

Putting 800Ds in that crowd would be a poor use of resources.

Kal
post #47 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
Yeah, yeah, I agree with the other guys about the center but, frankly, those two hulking side cabinets are the 800lb. gorillas in that room. Having them between the center and sides will make any of your center decisions moot. Too much stuff with large, hard surfaces.

Putting 800Ds in that crowd would be a poor use of resourses.

Kal
Yeah, perhaps those side cabinets can be moved to the side walls? or into corners?
post #48 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
Yeah I've got over twenty acoustic panels up and have been working with Ethan over at Real Traps, who, by the way, has been GREAT! Very generous with his time even before I purchased some of his panels. In fact I had already purchsed some panels from one of his competitors and he was extremely gracious about it and still gave me great advice. I hadn't, however, discussed speaker placement with him, only panel placement. BTW you can find cheaper panels than his but compared to the cheaper ones I bought at first his are clearly much better made and look better.
Yeah, I made my own wooden frames and put Owens Corning 703 in it. I'll eventually cover them with cloth when the room colors are decided on so I can match the fabric to the wall color.
post #49 of 353
I would definitely ditch the cabinet/cabinets, etc... It isn't even like any of it is semi transparent (like salamander gear is without any of the extras added on), it is all solid wood as far as I can tell from the pictures.
post #50 of 353
Thread Starter 
Aw man! You guys are killing me! I think you are enjoying this! :D I like those cabinets! What's so aweful about them from an acoustic point of view?

BTW I just realized that only one photo uploaded. I got the rest up now.

http://new.photos.yahoo.com/jackdand...803016460328/0

Check out the back wall. Those are the RealTraps. I think they are really cool looking. Then again, I like the towers too and you guys are puking!

Seriously, you think I'm an idiot to get the 802Ds and keep the monstrous, hulking towers there? It looks so good! :o
post #51 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber
Yeah, I made my own wooden frames and put Owens Corning 703 in it. I'll eventually cover them with cloth when the room colors are decided on so I can match the fabric to the wall color.
Well I guess your way works just as well. It's just I'm lazy and I pissed out the money instead.
post #52 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega
Yeah, perhaps those side cabinets can be moved to the side walls? or into corners?
I'll have to process that.......
post #53 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
Yeah, yeah, I agree with the other guys about the center but, frankly, those two hulking side cabinets are the 800lb. gorillas in that room. Having them between the center and sides will make any of your center decisions moot. Too much stuff with large, hard surfaces.

Putting 800Ds in that crowd would be a poor use of resources.

Kal
Kal,
Ok Ok. You know more than I do about acoustics but really....If I have the ability to get the 802Ds even with my terrible setup don't you think it's going to be better than with the 703s up front?
post #54 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wb2fcr
I agree - put the center on the cabinet and wall mount the plasma.

I've been using the HTM7 center with my 804S for about 5 months now. I finally ordered the HTM3S yesterday. I can definitely hear the non-FST driver of the HTM7 when matched with the FST in the 804S.

I'd go for at least the HTM3S for the FST and highly recommend the HTM2D or HTM1D for matching the diamond tweeters.
A few problems in mind about mounting the plasma on the wall and putting the center speaker on that repugnant cabinet: 1. Then it's too far away from the seating area. I like immersion; 2. I think it would look butt fu..ck ugly..... :o

Well I've got a lot to think on.

thanks for your views. Really! :D
post #55 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wb2fcr
I agree - put the center on the cabinet and wall mount the plasma.

I've been using the HTM7 center with my 804S for about 5 months now. I finally ordered the HTM3S yesterday. I can definitely hear the non-FST driver of the HTM7 when matched with the FST in the 804S.

I'd go for at least the HTM3S for the FST and highly recommend the HTM2D or HTM1D for matching the diamond tweeters.
Well I could fit the HTM2D into the cabinent if I do some sawing of the internal vertical dividers. If I went with the HTM1D I'd have to get a new cabinet or do what you guys are suggesting (i.e., put it on top of the cabinet). I guess if I'm going with the 802Ds I should find a way to get one of the HTMnDs in there.

How do you like the 804Ss? What sort of SW do you have them matched with?
post #56 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega
Whoa, nice on the acoustical treatments. I wish I could afford that many.

Hmm, nice cabinets btw :p

I would bring the speakers a few inches forward and call it a day.

It would be nice if you could put the center channel where the TV is and have it sticking out a couple inches from the front edge of the cabinet. Perhaps wall mount the plasma above the center?
Yeah man, the acoustic treatments have made a huge difference in the SQ!! Well worth the hassle. I'd heard it before but until I actually bit the bullet and installed all those panels (a big f'ing hassle to do by one's self BTW!) I didn't really get how important the room treatment is.
post #57 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
Kal,
Ok Ok. You know more than I do about acoustics but really....If I have the ability to get the 802Ds even with my terrible setup don't you think it's going to be better than with the 703s up front?
You don't want to hear what I am going to say:

1. The 802Ds are better speakers but you may only realize a marginal improvement, IF ANY, in your present room/furniture arrangement.

2. Putting the HTM2D in the cabinet will require a space with at least twice the height of the speaker in order that the D-Tweeter that you paid for can operate in free space. In fact, if I had to choose between putting the HTM7 in a big space and the HTM2D in small one, I'd go for the former.

3. This is a personal assessment: Once you have reached a reasonably high level of performance quality potential in your setup, further improvement is only incremental regardless of expenditure. IMHO, you are already at that level in terms of your equipment. However, you are no where near that point in terms of room acoustics, regardless of how many RealTraps you have.

4. The most conservative suggestion is to ditch the vertical cabinets, mount the plasma on the wall and put the center speaker on top of the horizontal cabinet. Use the money you saved by not buying the HTM2D (yet) to pay for running whatever wires and controls you need from the things that had to move with those vertical cabinets.

5. I try but I rarely make decisions on purely esthetic grounds, just on acoustic ones. I have a wife for the former.

6. Don't take this personally. Life is full of compromises and we each must choose the ones we prefer over the others. Choose wisely.

Kal
post #58 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
You don't want to hear what I am going to say:

1. The 802Ds are better speakers but you may only realize a marginal improvement, IF ANY, in your present room/furniture arrangement.

2. Putting the HTM2D in the cabinet will require a space with at least twice the height of the speaker in order that the D-Tweeter that you paid for can operate in free space. In fact, if I had to choose between putting the HTM7 in a big space and the HTM2D in small one, I'd go for the former.

3. This is a personal assessment: Once you have reached a reasonably high level of performance quality potential in your setup, further improvement is only incremental regardless of expenditure. IMHO, you are already at that level in terms of your equipment. However, you are no where near that point in terms of room acoustics, regardless of how many RealTraps you have.

4. The most conservative suggestion is to ditch the vertical cabinets, mount the plasma on the wall and put the center speaker on top of the horizontal cabinet. Use the money you saved by not buying the HTM2D (yet) to pay for running whatever wires and controls you need from the things that had to move with those vertical cabinets.

5. I try but I rarely make decisions on purely esthetic grounds, just on acoustic ones. I have a wife for the former.

6. Don't take this personally. Life is full of compromises and we each must choose the ones we prefer over the others. Choose wisely.

Kal
I don't take it personally. I appreciate the conversation.

Wow! I have to think on this. Get rid of the towers? Where the hell am I going to put all my equipment?!!! I still think if I have the means to upgrade the speakers I should do it and then figure out how to work around that but I really have to digest what you are saying.

What if I just left the furnite as is and pushed the speakers fully in front of the cabinets and put the HTM1 or 2 D on the floor in front of the cabinet?
post #59 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
Wow! I have to think on this. Get rid of the towers? Where the hell am I going to put all my equipment?!!! I still think if I have the means to upgrade the speakers I should do it and then figure out how to work around that but I really have to digest what you are saying.

What if I just left the furnite as is and pushed the speakers fully in front of the cabinets and put the HTM1 or 2 D on the floor in front of the cabinet?
I'm actually getting rid of my Salamander cabinet and moving all my equipment into a closet in the back of the room, and my Salamander unit isn't as constricting of airflow as your cabinet unit appears to be (i.e. there are no enclosures of any kinds on it, just shelves... there are no back, sides or fronts on it so the unit allows the sound waves to flow as freely as possible through it.)

I would highly recommend that you hire an acoustical engineer to design your room. Like I mentioned, Rives has consultation levels that range from cheap to expensive... If you are going to spend the money you are spending on speakers and gear (especially the 802D which has a natural peak in the low bass region) it really is crazy not to spend a little on a good consultation (their cheapest is $1000 I believe).

I tried on my own to find the best speaker position in my room and wasn't confident enough in my abilities, but I was surprised to find that the WASP (Wilson Audio) method worked the best out of all the methods I tried. It came the closest to the positions the acoustical engineer found using programs (for all I know they might be the eventual position once the room is built and we do actual ETF measurements). I had previously tried most of the popular ones online, e.g. Winer's 38% (or whatever it was), the Golden Ratio (Cardas), 1/3 - 1/5 - 1/7 methods, etc. The problem I ran into with most of them is that they have you listening in the near field. The WASP method and Rives both put the speakers in a position where the whole room becomes a part of the listening experience, which has been an exponentially more satisfying listening experience. The engineer then sets up the different places for treatments, the different kinds of treatments (My ceiling is going to have a lot of RPG high profile Skylines on it, my walls have the 703 fiber panels I built all over the room, I'm installing a hard ceiling and installing a recessed projection screen.)

I would say that with the room you have there, you need to hire someone who can evaluate your space and when finished draw up schematics of your space with the best possible acoustical treatments and alterations. If you are going to spend as much as you are on the speakers it is silly not to IMO. If you don't go the extra steps in improving your listening environment I think you should just stick with the 703s, because the 802Ds would be crazy in that space the way it is set up now IMO. You could also go the route of a parametric equalizer, but I would still do a consultation, and not just the kind where you put a bandaid on already compromised speaker positioning.

The reason I recommend Rives is because their process was phenomenal. Here is a brief description of the level 2 process I recently went through (though I'm not finished yet... This is what I have done so far.) First you measure the whole room and describe all the contents that will stay in the room. Then you get ergonomic sketches of the best speaker and listening positions (depending on whether you want 5.1 or 2 channel it can be significantly different.) After a few rounds of this and finding what works best for you then you begin a concept phase, which is where you start to see the treatment layouts in the room as well as extra speakers, in my case there is a 10.5' oak veneer resonator that will eventually be built in the front of the room, etc. After the concept phase is finished you receive schematics via e-mail and through snail mail as well. For me it has been a great experience... Now if only I could build it before May next year. :( Message me if you have any interest in seeing some of the concept drawings, etc. I'm more than happy to share my experience.
post #60 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber
I'm actually getting rid of my Salamander cabinet and moving all my equipment into a closet in the back of the room, and my Salamander unit isn't as constricting of airflow as your cabinet unit appears to be (i.e. there are no enclosures of any kinds on it, just shelves... there are no back, sides or fronts on it so the unit allows the sound waves to flow as freely as possible through it.)

I would highly recommend that you hire an acoustical engineer to design your room. Like I mentioned, Rives has consultation levels that range from cheap to expensive... If you are going to spend the money you are spending on speakers and gear (especially the 802D which has a natural peak in the low bass region) it really is crazy not to spend a little on a good consultation (their cheapest is $1000 I believe).

I tried on my own to find the best speaker position in my room and wasn't confident enough in my abilities, but I was surprised to find that the WASP (Wilson Audio) method worked the best out of all the methods I tried. It came the closest to the positions the acoustical engineer found using programs (for all I know they might be the eventual position once the room is built and we do actual ETF measurements). I had previously tried most of the popular ones online, e.g. Winer's 38% (or whatever it was), the Golden Ratio (Cardas), 1/3 - 1/5 - 1/7 methods, etc. The problem I ran into with most of them is that they have you listening in the near field. The WASP method and Rives both put the speakers in a position where the whole room becomes a part of the listening experience, which has been an exponentially more satisfying listening experience. The engineer then sets up the different places for treatments, the different kinds of treatments (My ceiling is going to have a lot of RPG high profile Skylines on it, my walls have the 703 fiber panels I built all over the room, I'm installing a hard ceiling and installing a recessed projection screen.)

I would say that with the room you have there, you need to hire someone who can evaluate your space and when finished draw up schematics of your space with the best possible acoustical treatments and alterations. If you are going to spend as much as you are on the speakers it is silly not to IMO. If you don't go the extra steps in improving your listening environment I think you should just stick with the 703s, because the 802Ds would be crazy in that space the way it is set up now IMO. You could also go the route of a parametric equalizer, but I would still do a consultation, and not just the kind where you put a bandaid on already compromised speaker positioning.

The reason I recommend Rives is because their process was phenomenal. Here is a brief description of the level 2 process I recently went through (though I'm not finished yet... This is what I have done so far.) First you measure the whole room and describe all the contents that will stay in the room. Then you get ergonomic sketches of the best speaker and listening positions (depending on whether you want 5.1 or 2 channel it can be significantly different.) After a few rounds of this and finding what works best for you then you begin a concept phase, which is where you start to see the treatment layouts in the room as well as extra speakers, in my case there is a 10.5' oak veneer resonator that will eventually be built in the front of the room, etc. After the concept phase is finished you receive schematics via e-mail and through snail mail as well. For me it has been a great experience... Now if only I could build it before May next year. :( Message me if you have any interest in seeing some of the concept drawings, etc. I'm more than happy to share my experience.
This sounds interesting. The thing is I'm in a transitional phase at the moment and am only renting for a year or so. I don't think it makes sense for me to invest too much more on stuff I can't take with me (e.g., consultation about this specific room). Since I'm liquid, I'm still leaning toward getting the 802s now which I think would be a good investment for the future even if I don't get as big a bang right now for the reasons you guys have mentioned. Also I need to do the upgrade relatively soon to take advantage of my BW dealer's upgrade program which is 100% trade in on the 700s.

In any case, this thread has given me a lot of new input to consider. I think I could probably find a way to move the towers to some other part of the room that is not between the speakers. The trickiest thing for me now is I'm not sure how to deal with the center speaker issue.

many thanks for your feedback.
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