$60,000 Dedicated Home Theater Build - Requesting Advice - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 1442 Old 02-12-2016, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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$60,000 Dedicated Home Theater Build - Requesting Advice

Hello,

I hope this is the correct part of the forum to post in, if not apologies.

My family and I are excited to build a new dedicated theater in our existing home. Our original budget was $30,000, but after having looked at gear and prices, have recently agreed to double that to $60,000. We have a designer, a contractor and a home theater dealer to work with. The designer can draw up good plans and consult with the HT dealer for about $750. The contractor gave us a quote to build the room for about $16,000, which includes double walls and resilient channels. The room dimensions will be approximately 14' wide x 18' 8" length x 9' height, right around 260 square feet. We are leaning toward going with black leather Palliser "Stereo" model seating in two rows of eight chairs, the first row having a love seat in the middle. We want to maximize seating, so we are willing to have our row away from the entry only be 24", but the main aisle will be 30". Cost of seating is about $10,000.

That leaves us about $34,000 to spend on HT gear. The HT dealer has been in business for a long time and has recommended the following equipment to build a 7.2.4 (Atmos) system:

Speakers
Monitor Audio (MA) Silver 10s x 2
MA Silver FX x 4 for the rear and side surrounds.
MA CT-380 x 4 for the ceiling.
JL Audio E-Sub (E112) x 2

Power/Processing
Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Receiver/Amplifier
Marantz 7025 2 Channel Amplifier
The HT Dealer highly recommended a Marantz 7702 Pre/Pro with two Parasound Halo PRS-A51 Amps and One PRS-A21 Amp. While separate amplification is highly appealing, it pushes us $13k over budget.

Video
Sony VPLHW40ES
Screen Innovations 3 Series 133" Solar White Screen (SI-3TF-133-Solar)
We eventually will do 4k, but are waiting for now.

Control
Control4 EA-A Bundle
Control4 Wireless Adaptive Phase Dimmer
Furman Elite Series Power Conditioner 20A
Strong FS Series 27U Rack

Other Costs are for wiring, installation and not so fun things. The total cost for everything listed before this is right about $60,000 to include the room, design plans, seating and A/V equipment.

I currently have a Pioneer SC-85, Boston Acoustics VR-40s with matching VR-12 center and two Klipsch 12" Subwoofers (SW12-II). I have had the speakers and subs for over 20 years. All are still sound well and are in good shape with exception of one sub, which flutters some at lower frequencies and at times the amp will make clicking noises. I am thinking I need new subs. I felt if I got all new surround and height speakers, I should get matching towers and center. As for the Pioneer, it sounds good, but has problems switching HDMI inputs sometimes and its just annoying to us.

When I listened to the Monitor Audio Silver 10s, I was not blown away compared to my Bostons, but they did sound good. I was wondering if the MA Gold 300s with matching speakers would be a better choice?

The reason I am writing is because I have been reading AVS Forums for a while and know this is the best place to ask for advice before spending $60,000 very hard earned dollars. My family just LOVES movies, so it is important to us. It is even more important I make the right decisions when building the room and picking gear.

If you had $60,000 to build a room, get seating and your A/V gear, would the gear I have received recommendations for above be at the top of your list? Is this really good gear for the budget we have?

Any advice or comments are VERY appreciated!!!
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post #2 of 1442 Old 02-12-2016, 04:20 PM
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You are going to get 100 different opinions. Some would say JVC over the Sony. Some would have their preferred screen over the SI and others will recommend their favorite speakers. I think all in all that the suggestions are all "reasonable" and assuming you liked the Silver models, then yes, the Gold will sound better. Keep in mind the demands for HT are different than music. If you want to push the envelope then getting a pre/power setup might make more sense for you.

I hate when people second-guess my designs, so I wouldn't do that to you/them. Most important is the faith you have in the competence of the dealer and others working on the project. The installation and set up can (and often does) make more difference than the specific gear.

Enjoy it!

Brian
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post #3 of 1442 Old 02-12-2016, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply! I totally understand that point-of-view. We are new to the area and don't know the reputations of any of the vendors. This one seems good, but before spending $60,000, I want to make sure we are in the right ballpark with recommendations. I read in these forums somewhere, someone saying Marantz processors were not the right choice for Monitor Audio...but like you said, there will be 100 different opinions.

If you were going to spend up to $60,000 on a dedicated theater, how would you spend it? Specifically, what gear would you buy? What are the most popular choices in our price range?
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post #4 of 1442 Old 02-12-2016, 05:15 PM
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Sounds great!! Just a rookie and buling my own theatre room as we speak will prob have invested $25000 all in..will post pics later but a suggestion look in the forums under mississippiMan and diy screens. Saved myself $4000 on a SI screen and it looks better. Took the family to Florida for a week


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Thank you for the reply! I totally understand that point-of-view. We are new to the area and don't know the reputations of any of the vendors. This one seems good, but before spending $60,000, I want to make sure we are in the right ballpark with recommendations. I read in these forums somewhere, someone saying Marantz processors were not the right choice for Monitor Audio...but like you said, there will be 100 different opinions.

If you were going to spend up to $60,000 on a dedicated theater, how would you spend it? Specifically, what gear would you buy? What are the most popular choices in our price range?
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post #5 of 1442 Old 02-12-2016, 05:26 PM
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It looks like you are overpaying for your seating.
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post #6 of 1442 Old 02-12-2016, 06:25 PM
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I agree with the dealer in that using a receiver for those large front main speakers is a significant compromise to your sound. Specifically in a home theater application where high spl dynamics are important.

As a dealer ourselves, I won't step on any toes and get into alternate brands. However, I do see a very fair budget compromise you can make that will eliminate most of your audio compromise with the same product. Your center speaker and front mains are what need the extra power most. If the Parasound is a bit too pricey, use a single 5 channel Marantz amp to drive your front 3 speakers. Bi-amp the two front channels and use the last for your bookshelf center (which I didn't see in your list). Use the receiver for your remaining surround channels. As time goes on and you have some more spending money, you can always add more separate amps for your surrounds and eventually have all separate amps. Even though using a receiver as your pre-pro isn't as good as the separate, you'll be addressing the biggest shortcoming of not having enough power for your main speakers. Something like the MM8077 for $2400 and you're done.

Others will chime in with many other products or models options. My suggestion is purely from a conceptual standpoint. An extra $2400 will get your most important speakers (center and mains) performing more optimally and you could add more amps down the road.
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post #7 of 1442 Old 02-12-2016, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Aareses View Post
If you were going to spend up to $60,000 on a dedicated theater, how would you spend it? Specifically, what gear would you buy? What are the most popular choices in our price range?
Welcome to the forums - may I humbly suggest that spend more energy thinking about your room than your gear. Obviously you have said that you are hiring a designer and a contractor - that's great. But if you don't educate yourself and you "outsource" the thinking about the room to a designer and a contractor you are risking things going south because they'll tell you things and you won't know whether they are correct or they are wrong. Start a thread in the dedicated build sub-forum ASAP.

But, at least from what your limited posts indicate so far, you are asking us for feedback about gear - and not for feedback about room dimensions, acoustic treatment plans, construction technique, etc. etc.

The *room* is going to make a larger difference in how your theater sounds than the gear will.

My advice would be to go immediately to the dedicated theater construction sub-forum, start your own build thread there, post the plans you have from your designer - and start educating yourself on acoustics. Then after that start worrying about gear.

Gear is fun and shiny and less mental work to think about than reflection/absorption/diffusion/standing waves/room dimension ratios etc. etc.

Forgive me if I have it wrong and you're spending just as much time studying the room side of the equation.

Do you already have a thread in the dedicated theater construction forum?
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"Don't forget that a significant contribution made by the use of high-end cabling is emotional. Knowing that you have the best available causes the listening and viewing to be that much more enjoyable. Observable improvements make it even better."

-From a post on the audio video improvements forum

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post #8 of 1442 Old 02-12-2016, 07:23 PM
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Also, OP - you do not need $13K worth of crazy amplifiers and separates. It is extremely unlikely that in a double blind test you, or any other self-professed "golden ear" audiophile could pick out the difference between a high quality modern receiver and a pre/pro with separate amps. As long as the receiver you choose is capable of amplifying your speakers to sufficient SPL's without distortion you are fine.

Your theater room is not large by any stretch of the imagination - you're going to be sitting quite close to your speakers.

Even if you DO eventually go to separate amplification there is no way in hell you need a pre/pro and especially not some crazy snake oil $5,000 multi-channel amplifier.

Get a high quality, powerful receiver at first - see if it's adequate - then later if you really feel that your ears need to bleed then go for more.

If you were working with a six figure budget and literally wanted to burn money then it would be fine to listen to this dealer trying to sell you a five figure amplifier and pre/pro set-up.

Have you yet stumbled into the world of pro audio gear? IE MUCH MUCH less expensive digital amplifiers that run cool.

What you definitely could use is four subwoofers instead of two - in order to smooth out the bass response in your room.

"Don't forget that a significant contribution made by the use of high-end cabling is emotional. Knowing that you have the best available causes the listening and viewing to be that much more enjoyable. Observable improvements make it even better."

-From a post on the audio video improvements forum
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post #9 of 1442 Old 02-12-2016, 07:25 PM
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Lastly - who is doing the acoustic design of your room? For the $750 fee how much detail is the designer going into on your room?

"Don't forget that a significant contribution made by the use of high-end cabling is emotional. Knowing that you have the best available causes the listening and viewing to be that much more enjoyable. Observable improvements make it even better."

-From a post on the audio video improvements forum
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post #10 of 1442 Old 02-13-2016, 01:20 AM
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Can't wait to see it finished
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post #11 of 1442 Old 02-13-2016, 02:48 AM
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Wow a bit out of my price range for now but I will say this- If I did have 60k to spend on a dedicated theater setup it would be the best damn setup around! I would go pro theater speakers like klipsch or jbl or even diy. Spend big on your acoustics. Spend big on your subs. Pro theater gear is relatively cheap and will dominate for movies because well thats what they are made for. Get a good receiver, worry about amps later. I would spend half on the room and accoustics. 6 or 7 identical pro theater speakers with a rock solid receiver. I would spend the rest on diy subs and amps. This is of course my opinion and I am still a fair way off of having this much disposable income so for now my sub 10k system in the living room will have to suffice.

(2)RF-83 (1)RC-64ii (2)RF-82ii (2)RC-62ii
(2)Exodus audio tempest-x 15" subs in 200l sealed enclosures
Onkyo 705 pre/pro and rear surrounds
DSPeaker Antimode 8033 sub eq Behringer EP4000 subs
NAD C275BEE mains
AMC 2N100-3 surrounds and center
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post #12 of 1442 Old 02-13-2016, 05:15 AM
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Hm, I expected 60 grand to go farther than that.
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post #13 of 1442 Old 02-14-2016, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisreeves View Post
Also, OP - you do not need $13K worth of crazy amplifiers and separates. It is extremely unlikely that in a double blind test you, or any other self-professed "golden ear" audiophile could pick out the difference between a high quality modern receiver and a pre/pro with separate amps. As long as the receiver you choose is capable of amplifying your speakers to sufficient SPL's without distortion you are fine.

Your theater room is not large by any stretch of the imagination - you're going to be sitting quite close to your speakers.

Even if you DO eventually go to separate amplification there is no way in hell you need a pre/pro and especially not some crazy snake oil $5,000 multi-channel amplifier.

Get a high quality, powerful receiver at first - see if it's adequate - then later if you really feel that your ears need to bleed then go for more.

If you were working with a six figure budget and literally wanted to burn money then it would be fine to listen to this dealer trying to sell you a five figure amplifier and pre/pro set-up.

Have you yet stumbled into the world of pro audio gear? IE MUCH MUCH less expensive digital amplifiers that run cool.

What you definitely could use is four subwoofers instead of two - in order to smooth out the bass response in your room.
OP - Listen to this guy, the electronics being recommended here are overly extravagant for the Monitor Audio Silver line. OP - You would need a high-end receiver at best. You room isn't really any bigger than a living/family room where one might use the same speakers with a simple receiver.

Would be far better off throwing more money towards the speakers and way less money towards the electronics. I would consider the MA Silver on the low-end for a dedicated room. I realize it costs money to have the room built, but you should find a way to save in other areas to upgrade the speakers.

Also, ditch the power conditioner. Another expensive electronic box you don't really need. You will have qualified electricians in your house. If you want surge protection they should be able to install anything you need at the service panel.
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post #14 of 1442 Old 02-14-2016, 09:16 PM
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Only piece of advice I can give is run away from that projector. Its crazy to look at any 1080P projector at this point. Especially on a screen that is not excessively large, where you would need much higher light output.

Buy a JVC RS400. This projector can be had for not much more that the Sony HW40. This projector will offer you a perfect bridge, until more 4K units come along. The JVC is Fake 4K, but it looks incredible! Way Way better that 1080P. It offers incredible contrast.

To give you an idea how good the JVC is, the JVC RS500, just one step up from the 400, has quite a few members replacing their $25K Sony WV1100ES 4K projector. I wont argue which is better, as I know that would bring on a heated argument, but just the fact that a projector around $5K is even remotely comparable to one thats $25K is impressive.

Its UHD Bluray and HDR ready, even though I would argue, no consumer projector is really bright enough yet to accurately display HDR content.

This could easily last you 2-3 years and maybe even longer. The Sony is dead the day you buy it.
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post #15 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisreeves View Post
Also, OP - you do not need $13K worth of crazy amplifiers and separates. It is extremely unlikely that in a double blind test you, or any other self-professed "golden ear" audiophile could pick out the difference between a high quality modern receiver and a pre/pro with separate amps.


I agree with you on this one, the bang-for-the-buck is overwhelmingly with the single receiver vs separates. The only reason I would go for separates is if the single receiver is not able to drive all the speakers at a decent level without distortion. When the receiver shuts down during a spirited listening session, that's when you know you've made the wrong choice.... Also, there is unfortunately only so much you can do with a single 110V/15A circuit, depending on the choice of speakers. However, OP seems to have chosen efficient speakers, so probably a moot point!
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post #16 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 12:02 PM
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Also, ditch the power conditioner. Another expensive electronic box you don't really need. You will have qualified electricians in your house. If you want surge protection they should be able to install anything you need at the service panel.
I tend to disagree on this one, the electrician supplied surge devices are junk in my unfortunate experience. But I wouldn't go for the expensive 20A furman, I would instead do a couple cheap 15A furmans on a couple separate circuits. Power conditioning is snake-oil for sure, and not needed, but protecting your equipment from spikes and surges is definitely advisable! We had a really bad lightning storm here last year, and everything that was not connected to a furman got fried, even with the whole house surge protection devices installed by the electricians when we renovated.
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post #17 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 12:25 PM
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Surge protectors are junk if they don't come with a good insurance policy. Other than that, no other feature is necessary from a surge protector. The insurance policy is what you pay for when buying a surge protector.
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post #18 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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It looks like you are overpaying for your seating.
Hi Thxman! The seating we are considering is Palliser, model name is Stereo in all black leather (leather grade 2000), powered seats, stainless steel cup holders. We can get them for about $1,200 per chair in all leather or $975 per chair in leather match (leather grade 2000). We have been told by many Palliser is a good model to consider. The prices we got I believe are some of the better prices we can get from a reputable dealer.

Can you elaborate on your recommendations for seating? What's the best way to get quality theater seating for the best price?
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post #19 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MovieTime View Post
I agree with the dealer in that using a receiver for those large front main speakers is a significant compromise to your sound. Specifically in a home theater application where high spl dynamics are important.

As a dealer ourselves, I won't step on any toes and get into alternate brands. However, I do see a very fair budget compromise you can make that will eliminate most of your audio compromise with the same product. Your center speaker and front mains are what need the extra power most. If the Parasound is a bit too pricey, use a single 5 channel Marantz amp to drive your front 3 speakers. Bi-amp the two front channels and use the last for your bookshelf center (which I didn't see in your list). Use the receiver for your remaining surround channels. As time goes on and you have some more spending money, you can always add more separate amps for your surrounds and eventually have all separate amps. Even though using a receiver as your pre-pro isn't as good as the separate, you'll be addressing the biggest shortcoming of not having enough power for your main speakers. Something like the MM8077 for $2400 and you're done.

Others will chime in with many other products or models options. My suggestion is purely from a conceptual standpoint. An extra $2400 will get your most important speakers (center and mains) performing more optimally and you could add more amps down the road.
Hello MovieTime. I did omit the center channel by accident on my original list. I agree, the Parasound were too pricey for us. You made a great suggestion and I talked to the dealer about this. He is recommending we stay with separates. He came up with an alternate option of going with ATI (AT4007 and AT4005). Instead of buying three Parasound amps, it allows us to buy two ATI amps for our 11 channels. It gives us 200WPC and costs about 40% less than the Parasound amp solution. On another note, I am considering the Monitor Audio Gold 300 towers, Gold C350 center, Gold FX surrounds and Gold W-15 subs over the silvers. The dealer says he will have some in a week to demo.

MovieTime, do you believe our system would be much better with a separate processor and amps over the receiver and amps? Would we be able to tell a big difference? What do you think of the ATI amps and that solution?

What do you think of that solution?
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post #20 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chrisreeves View Post
Welcome to the forums - may I humbly suggest that spend more energy thinking about your room than your gear. Obviously you have said that you are hiring a designer and a contractor - that's great. But if you don't educate yourself and you "outsource" the thinking about the room to a designer and a contractor you are risking things going south because they'll tell you things and you won't know whether they are correct or they are wrong. Start a thread in the dedicated build sub-forum ASAP.

But, at least from what your limited posts indicate so far, you are asking us for feedback about gear - and not for feedback about room dimensions, acoustic treatment plans, construction technique, etc. etc.

The *room* is going to make a larger difference in how your theater sounds than the gear will.

My advice would be to go immediately to the dedicated theater construction sub-forum, start your own build thread there, post the plans you have from your designer - and start educating yourself on acoustics. Then after that start worrying about gear.

Gear is fun and shiny and less mental work to think about than reflection/absorption/diffusion/standing waves/room dimension ratios etc. etc.

Forgive me if I have it wrong and you're spending just as much time studying the room side of the equation.

Do you already have a thread in the dedicated theater construction forum?
ChrisReeves! I too believe the room is very important. The AV Dealer is experienced in building rooms and is using his experienced contractor to build it based on his designs. The designer will be responsible for the "creative" looks in the area and using the AV dealer's construction methodology when committing the concepts to plans. I thought I was covered there, but perhaps I am not?! I don't have the plans from the designer yet, but I am hoping to get them within a week or so. It sounds like it would be a good idea to post them in the dedicated theater construction forum once I do. Before the initial plans have been drawn up, do you have any specific advice for building the room itself? I will mention 2.5 of the walls are foundation, pure concrete, as-is the floor.
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post #21 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisreeves View Post
Lastly - who is doing the acoustic design of your room? For the $750 fee how much detail is the designer going into on your room?
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisreeves View Post
Also, OP - you do not need $13K worth of crazy amplifiers and separates. It is extremely unlikely that in a double blind test you, or any other self-professed "golden ear" audiophile could pick out the difference between a high quality modern receiver and a pre/pro with separate amps. As long as the receiver you choose is capable of amplifying your speakers to sufficient SPL's without distortion you are fine.

Your theater room is not large by any stretch of the imagination - you're going to be sitting quite close to your speakers.

Even if you DO eventually go to separate amplification there is no way in hell you need a pre/pro and especially not some crazy snake oil $5,000 multi-channel amplifier.

Get a high quality, powerful receiver at first - see if it's adequate - then later if you really feel that your ears need to bleed then go for more.

If you were working with a six figure budget and literally wanted to burn money then it would be fine to listen to this dealer trying to sell you a five figure amplifier and pre/pro set-up.

Have you yet stumbled into the world of pro audio gear? IE MUCH MUCH less expensive digital amplifiers that run cool.

What you definitely could use is four subwoofers instead of two - in order to smooth out the bass response in your room.
Hello again, ChrisReeves! Sorry, but I do not yet have "multiquote" privileges on the forum so I am replying to each post individually. The dealer is fine with me using a receiver + amp VS processor + separates, but he said I would be happier with the latter. I used to compete in car stereo competitions in the early 90s and actually got a 2nd at the IASCA finals, Tulsa, OK in 1992. I built my car with separates and 32 speakers. I hit 145.7db back then in a medium sized car...not a lot of room. He knows I want to listen to music and have a few "meltdowns" here and there, but I've been out of the audio game for a long while and have never built a theater before. I'm sorry that I did not detail that earlier. The main purpose of the room is theater and it will be 95% used for that, but I do want to burn it occasionally! I do agree, the $13k worth of amps and separates was far overkill for the MA Silvers I was originally thinking about. Now I'm thinking Monitor Audio Gold series, a little step up.

Having said that, do you believe I would still be as happy with a the receiver and the 2 channel amp (for the last two speakers above) or would I notice a big difference with the separates? Do you have recommendations on a receiver/amp or processor/amps solution that would work well for the room size and my goals? I do like it LOUD!

I have not stumbled into the world of pro audio gear yet, but I am open ears for advice.

Lastly the acoustic design of my room is being done in concert by the AV dealer (they build rooms) chiefly, then his contractor and my designer. My understanding is they are blending construction techniques and some items like resilient channeling (to name one).
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post #22 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow a bit out of my price range for now but I will say this- If I did have 60k to spend on a dedicated theater setup it would be the best damn setup around! I would go pro theater speakers like klipsch or jbl or even diy. Spend big on your acoustics. Spend big on your subs. Pro theater gear is relatively cheap and will dominate for movies because well thats what they are made for. Get a good receiver, worry about amps later. I would spend half on the room and accoustics. 6 or 7 identical pro theater speakers with a rock solid receiver. I would spend the rest on diy subs and amps. This is of course my opinion and I am still a fair way off of having this much disposable income so for now my sub 10k system in the living room will have to suffice.
Hi Robbiey60. What gear and choices would you make if you did have $60k? What would make it the best damn setup around? I do want to learn before I spend the money. I would like to know what will make my theater the second best setup around...next to yours (I know you want tell me all your secrets).
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post #23 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Hm, I expected 60 grand to go farther than that.
Hello Ronny31. I did too! Originally we were thinking of a $30k budget, but wow it did start adding up VERY quickly!!! Do you have any suggestions on how to make 60 grand go further than what is listed here? That's precisely what I'm looking for by posting here.
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post #24 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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OP - Listen to this guy, the electronics being recommended here are overly extravagant for the Monitor Audio Silver line. OP - You would need a high-end receiver at best. You room isn't really any bigger than a living/family room where one might use the same speakers with a simple receiver.

Would be far better off throwing more money towards the speakers and way less money towards the electronics. I would consider the MA Silver on the low-end for a dedicated room. I realize it costs money to have the room built, but you should find a way to save in other areas to upgrade the speakers.

Also, ditch the power conditioner. Another expensive electronic box you don't really need. You will have qualified electricians in your house. If you want surge protection they should be able to install anything you need at the service panel.
Hey there Tank_PD. I just posted a response to MovieTime and another to ChrisReeves above about the receiver+amp VS. processor+separates, with some additional information about a possible ATI amps and Monitor Audio Gold speaker setup instead of what was in the OP. Based on the new information I gave, what are your thoughts for the best gear for my setup now?
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post #25 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Only piece of advice I can give is run away from that projector. Its crazy to look at any 1080P projector at this point. Especially on a screen that is not excessively large, where you would need much higher light output.

Buy a JVC RS400. This projector can be had for not much more that the Sony HW40. This projector will offer you a perfect bridge, until more 4K units come along. The JVC is Fake 4K, but it looks incredible! Way Way better that 1080P. It offers incredible contrast.

To give you an idea how good the JVC is, the JVC RS500, just one step up from the 400, has quite a few members replacing their $25K Sony WV1100ES 4K projector. I wont argue which is better, as I know that would bring on a heated argument, but just the fact that a projector around $5K is even remotely comparable to one thats $25K is impressive.

Its UHD Bluray and HDR ready, even though I would argue, no consumer projector is really bright enough yet to accurately display HDR content.

This could easily last you 2-3 years and maybe even longer. The Sony is dead the day you buy it.
Hello ccool96. I will look into that. Is the JVC RS400 a better choice than the Sony HW40 to most in here as well? We don't plan to have it too long, but I do want to make the best choice until 4K projectors and especially content are more readily available.
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post #26 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I agree with you on this one, the bang-for-the-buck is overwhelmingly with the single receiver vs separates. The only reason I would go for separates is if the single receiver is not able to drive all the speakers at a decent level without distortion. When the receiver shuts down during a spirited listening session, that's when you know you've made the wrong choice.... Also, there is unfortunately only so much you can do with a single 110V/15A circuit, depending on the choice of speakers. However, OP seems to have chosen efficient speakers, so probably a moot point!
Hi there Unherdable. I mentioned above in two replies to MovieTime and ChrisReeves about possibly moving to ATI amplifiers with the Marantz Processor vs. going with the Marantz Receiver and 2 channel amp. I am also considering bumping up to the Monitor Audio Gold 300s, matching center, surrounds and MA Subs. I gave a little more background information on what I have done with audio in the past and what my goals are for the room. Based on this new information, what do you think of the ATI and MA Golds for my setup? I would love to hear specific recommendations on the best gear to buy within my budget!!!

On the power conditioning note, to both you and Ronny31, are you both suggesting just getting a simple surge protector and plugging the gear into that?
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Not sure if it would define as "reaching farther" with the same cash, but I'd definitely want to hear a simpler 5.1 system, or 5.1 with shakers, using some proper cinema passive speakers. For example JBL 4722 x3 with something random rears, and two really big diameter woofers with DIY low tune enclosure for the bit under 40hz (just copy proven designs). With that you could do with a rather cheap receiver since 1 watt goes a LOONG way on those speakers. You'd really feel like you're getting shot at in that scene of Saving Private Ryan when they land on D-Day.
Then a cheap sofa or two that's placed on rubber-separated platform so that a pair of shakers can shake the platform. Then a cheap projector (you're upgrading to 4k at some point anyway, maybe even find a used decent 1080p one) and acoustically transparent screen so you don't have to gawk at the LCR's. Then the rest on DIY acoustic treatment (thick rug, coat the walls and some parts of the ceiling with mattress foam or rockwool covered in black or another color dark fabric). Throw in surge protection that has a very lucrative insurance policy associated with it if it fails to protect the equipment.
This would be max future-proof, I'd argue. You can always get a good 4k projector later without losing lots of sunk cost on whatever you get this time around. And you will be able to get a 4k receiver without having sunk lots of cost into this one, since you don't need tons of wattage on such speakers to play louder than anything you've ever heard. And you'll have shaking seats and block-rocking volume from crystal-clear horns, which is what people want from a home theater.

Yes, maybe it will be a better experience if we did an ideal 7 or 9 channel ultra-new type of surround sound system, but chances are it won't be ideal given the space limitations and monetary limitations. Particularly given the difficulty of placing the rear and side speakers properly without simply having a single lone seat in the room.
Whereas a 4722N 5.1 system is the epitome of good 5 channel systems. And its not too difficult to place them right due to very decent horns (and there only being three of them to place well). Not even sure I'd bother with rears, not really a lot of information on rear channel. Given the chance to really fill half the room with seats and absorption, or leaving room between seats and rear+side speakers... My fear is that the rears won't sound right in any seat if they're too close to the rears. Just the occasional sound from disassociated speakers at the back. Heads and seats in the way, and having different distance to every single rear speaker in every seat, further worsens the problem. And unlike the 4722N's the speakers you'll fit at the back won't have very even dispersion from huge horns, so tiny differences in rear speaker angles from seat to seat will change the volume drastically, in addition to the changes in volume due to distance.

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On the power conditioning note, to both you and Ronny31, are you both suggesting just getting a simple surge protector and plugging the gear into that?
Yes. The power quality is good all over the US, there's tougher regulations and control on your power and water than your banks.
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post #28 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 04:11 PM
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Hi Robbiey60. What gear and choices would you make if you did have $60k? What would make it the best damn setup around? I do want to learn before I spend the money. I would like to know what will make my theater the second best setup around...next to yours (I know you want tell me all your secrets).
Thank you for considering my post. I am at work so will make this brief, will try and elaborate when I get home. In a home theater the most important thing is the room. Then comes speakers but the most important of them are subs and center. To get a seamless front soundstage you want matching LCR. No center specific speakers that I know of period can keep up with a pro cinema speaker. 3 big horn loaded pro speakers as LCR will take care of the front soundstage unlike anything available in the shops. Subs are equally important if not more so, multiple sealed(4 or more) diy monsters will provide you with all the quality bass you would ever need. If you had to buy ready to go subs you would still want multiples for solid performance and many id companies can provide this. I must go now but will try reference some specific models and brands later.
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post #29 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 04:19 PM
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Hey there Tank_PD. I just posted a response to MovieTime and another to ChrisReeves above about the receiver+amp VS. processor+separates, with some additional information about a possible ATI amps and Monitor Audio Gold speaker setup instead of what was in the OP. Based on the new information I gave, what are your thoughts for the best gear for my setup now?
I agree on stepping up to the MA Golds. Depending on the ATI model you still might be over doing it. What model / power level are you looking at? The MA Gold 300 can handle 200RMS. The amp I recommend below is in line with that.

If you are looking for accessible separates I would check out the new Anthem AVM60 and Anthem MCA 525 amp. It is possible your designer is not a dealer for them, but the amps should be cheaper than Parasound Halo and run much cooler. The AVM60 retail is $3K and the MCA 525 retail is $3.5K. You should be able to find them less than full retail. This should give you some confidence you didn't spend too much or too little in this area.

If you focus on 5-7 great channels to start with you might be able to save some additional case. Have the ceiling/walls pre-wired for future Atmos channels, but hold off on buying the speakers for later. There are but a handful of titles that have Atmos tracks right now. You would be spending $1000s for the additional speaker channels and amplification.

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Hi there Unherdable. I mentioned above in two replies to MovieTime and ChrisReeves about possibly moving to ATI amplifiers with the Marantz Processor vs. going with the Marantz Receiver and 2 channel amp. I am also considering bumping up to the Monitor Audio Gold 300s, matching center, surrounds and MA Subs. I gave a little more background information on what I have done with audio in the past and what my goals are for the room. Based on this new information, what do you think of the ATI and MA Golds for my setup? I would love to hear specific recommendations on the best gear to buy within my budget!!!

On the power conditioning note, to both you and Ronny31, are you both suggesting just getting a simple surge protector and plugging the gear into that?
I am not suggesting a simple plug-in surge protector. It sounds like you will have an electrician working on the house. He should be able to install a whole home surge protection or surge protection just for the theater circuits. For example if the unit has 80A of coverage it should cover 4 20A circuits or enough for all your theater equipment. This is far more cost effective when the guys are already working on your room. Especially more cost effective than the stand alone power conditioners that run into the 1000s.
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post #30 of 1442 Old 02-15-2016, 04:41 PM
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I tend to disagree on this one, the electrician supplied surge devices are junk in my unfortunate experience. But I wouldn't go for the expensive 20A furman, I would instead do a couple cheap 15A furmans on a couple separate circuits. Power conditioning is snake-oil for sure, and not needed, but protecting your equipment from spikes and surges is definitely advisable! We had a really bad lightning storm here last year, and everything that was not connected to a furman got fried, even with the whole house surge protection devices installed by the electricians when we renovated.
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Surge protectors are junk if they don't come with a good insurance policy. Other than that, no other feature is necessary from a surge protector. The insurance policy is what you pay for when buying a surge protector.
I agree that the guarantees on the packaging of UPS/surge protection devices are somewhat misleading when it comes to lightning protection. You are really in it for the insurance claim.

Common surge protection will stop voltage spikes and surges, but generally not lightning strikes. If there was a burst of current from a close lightning strike the current was likely too big to protect. This is especially true with small power strip units and most UPS devices may not even have surge protection. When experiencing near or direct lightning strikes you would also need a lightning protection system. Even this does not guarantee all of the side-flashes, etc. are conducted safely away. You can still end up with surges that are too large for most protection to stop.

You could try a premium company like SurgeX, but then you are starting to get up there in price:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...liminator.html
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