Advice for 3.1.2 system on 4K budget - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 26 Old 02-25-2020, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Advice for 3.1.2 system on 4K budget

I have a large open floor plan where the kitchen, dining area flows into a entertainment TV/AV space that is 20x20 with 10ft ceilings throughout and would like feedback on what’s the best Home Theater Atmos AVR to buy , along with L|R front tower, center speakers, and single or dual sub setup in the 4K budgeted range (budget can be higher with 5k max). The TV is a LG C9 77” OLED wall mounted, where I currently stream movies via the built in apps.

Primary use will be mixed 60%movies and 40% music. I would like to be able to play music into other zones e.g. formal dining and my office room later.

For the moment I do not want to deal with a 5.1 or 7.2 full atmos speaker system due to having to deal with running speaker cables to the rear surrounds etc. (but that is open for consideration to upgrades later)

I like my movies and music loud, with clean vocals and room shaking bass.

I’ve been eyeing SVS speakers and I am unfamiliar as to which AVR to buy. While I don’t plan to blast my music everyday I want to have the power and juice to crank it up when mood dictates (have the extra power and not need, than don’t have enough juice when I like to crank it up per se).

Is SVS the unicorn in this budget range or are there other speaker systems which might outshine SVS for the same of less cost?

Any and all feedback is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 26 Old 02-25-2020, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Vg247 View Post

I like my movies and music loud, with clean vocals and room shaking bass.
If your definition of loud is reference Level, then forget SVS. Check out these two guys below.


https://www.powersoundaudio.com/


http://jtrspeakers.com/
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post #3 of 26 Old 02-25-2020, 09:55 PM
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Ascend Sierra towers + Ascend Horizon center + HSU ULS-15 MK2. Add a second ULS-15 MK2 when the finances allow or go for the dual drive ULS-15 MK2 package if you want to push your 5K budget.
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post #4 of 26 Old 02-25-2020, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vg247 View Post
Is SVS the unicorn in this budget range or are there other speaker systems which might outshine SVS for the same of less cost?
No, they are the opposite---compared to their internet direct competitors, they offer pretty lousy bang for the buck. Great service, though.

If I were you I'd do 2 x MT-110 with 210C, for about $2500:
https://www.powersoundaudio.com/prod...ant=1152313824

For the height speakers, you could use a pair of the SVS Elevations for $400---mainly for the sheer convenience of mounting them since they're pre-angled.

Throw in a Hsu VTF-15 sub for about $1K and you'll be set:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15hmk2.html

"Room shaking bass" will come from the sub(s) not the speakers...don't get suckered into buying towers thinking that they're a necessity for that.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #5 of 26 Old 02-25-2020, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vg247 View Post
I have a large open floor plan where the kitchen, dining area flows into a entertainment TV/AV space that is 20x20 with 10ft ceilings throughout and would like feedback on what’s the best Home Theater Atmos AVR to buy , along with L|R front tower, center speakers, and single or dual sub setup in the 4K budgeted range (budget can be higher with 5k max). The TV is a LG C9 77” OLED wall mounted, where I currently stream movies via the built in apps.

Primary use will be mixed 60%movies and 40% music. I would like to be able to play music into other zones e.g. formal dining and my office room later.

For the moment I do not want to deal with a 5.1 or 7.2 full atmos speaker system due to having to deal with running speaker cables to the rear surrounds etc. (but that is open for consideration to upgrades later)

I like my movies and music loud, with clean vocals and room shaking bass.

I’ve been eyeing SVS speakers and I am unfamiliar as to which AVR to buy. While I don’t plan to blast my music everyday I want to have the power and juice to crank it up when mood dictates (have the extra power and not need, than don’t have enough juice when I like to crank it up per se).

Is SVS the unicorn in this budget range or are there other speaker systems which might outshine SVS for the same of less cost?

Any and all feedback is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
HSU CCB8, Ascend CMT 340, Klipsch RP8000f these are all miles better than anything SVS Speaker division offers. My personal pick would be RP8000f.
Now, if you like to listen really really loud, you have to spend a quite a bit more. JTR and PSA both excel at that and if you calculate the parts involved in making these speakers you are getting an amazing value for money. PSA you can get away with a regular AVR for amplification, JTR you have to have a quality AVR, or quality external amplification would benefit the system.
SVS makes decent subwoofers, but their speakers are heavily marked up and i cant fathom who on earth can live with their terrible tweeters everyday.
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post #6 of 26 Old 02-26-2020, 02:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
No, they are the opposite---compared to their internet direct competitors, they offer pretty lousy bang for the buck. Great service, though.

If I were you I'd do 2 x MT-110 with 210C, for about $2500:
https://www.powersoundaudio.com/prod...ant=1152313824

For the height speakers, you could use a pair of the SVS Elevations for $400---mainly for the sheer convenience of mounting them since they're pre-angled.

Throw in a Hsu VTF-15 sub for about $1K and you'll be set:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15hmk2.html

"Room shaking bass" will come from the sub(s) not the speakers...don't get suckered into buying towers thinking that they're a necessity for that.
Thank you and everyone for the solid feedback - for the above setup, what AV receiver would you suggest that might have future proof features?

ETA: the foot print on the Hsu VTF-15 sub is quite large at 24" H x 18" W x 26" D any other options with a slimmer Depth and Height measurement?

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post #7 of 26 Old 02-26-2020, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Vg247 View Post
Thank you and everyone for the solid feedback - for the above setup, what AV receiver would you suggest that might have future proof features?

HDMI 2.1 is inevitable and it will be included in 2021 high end tvs, projectors, ps5, next xbox and avrs. So, the best choice would be to grab a refurbished unit from A4L and then upgrade couple of years later when hdmi 2.1 avrs matures.

Yamaha RXA2060, 3060 & Denon 4500h, 6500h are excellent choices, going for around $1k-1.5k
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post #8 of 26 Old 02-26-2020, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vg247 View Post
Thank you and everyone for the solid feedback - for the above setup, what AV receiver would you suggest that might have future proof features?

ETA: the foot print on the Hsu VTF-15 sub is quite large at 24" H x 18" W x 26" D any other options with a slimmer Depth and Height measurement?
There is no such thing as "future proofing" --- for the simple reason that the industry loves to pull new "must-have game-changer" formats and bells&whistles (a.k.a. GIMMICKS) out of its backside every few years. They WANT you to be on a perpetual upgrade cycle. They WANT you to buy more and more speakers, bigger and costlier receivers, for the simple reason of putting more of YOUR hard earned money into THEIR already-bulging pockets. So take all the breathless hype you run into here and in the payola-driven audio press (including online review sites) with a truckload of salt.

Me personally, I plan to upgrade electronics once a decade at most. So when I do buy a receiver, I could care less about bells and whistles and am mainly thinking sound quality and longevity. This is what drove me to get a Pioneer LX502, because it has Class D3 amps that use very little electricity and produce almost no heat compared to a typical Class AB amp receiver. Pioneer now offers D3 only on its two higher up models, the 700 and 800 series.
https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/D3

Regarding the sub, if you want "room shaking bass" you aren't going to get it with some small pretty sub no matter how much it costs...physics is physics. Just hide the VTF-15 in a corner, disguised as a plant and/or lamp stand. Or, go with TWO smaller subs, but not smaller than VTF-2. SVS does make cylindrical subs if that is more aesthetically appealing for you, the PC2000 and PC4000.
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~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #9 of 26 Old 02-26-2020, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vg247 View Post
Thank you and everyone for the solid feedback - for the above setup, what AV receiver would you suggest that might have future proof features?

ETA: the foot print on the Hsu VTF-15 sub is quite large at 24" H x 18" W x 26" D any other options with a slimmer Depth and Height measurement?
IMHO no such thing as future proofing.

Here is a great AVR that allows for expansion. https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...-w/heos/1.html

IMO " Room shaking bass" requires a lot of SPL and infrasonic frequencies. You cant fight physics. The HSU VTF-15 is the bare minimum sub I would get... I wouldn't get anything smaller.

I would get the biggest sub I could afford and get a 2nd one later down the road once your budget permits. I would strongly recommend the PSA TV3612, best of both worlds, mid-bass & ULF. you can place it on its side for more placement options.

check out the JTR http://jtrspeakers.com/captivator-2400.html
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post #10 of 26 Old 02-26-2020, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vg247 View Post
Thank you and everyone for the solid feedback - for the above setup, what AV receiver would you suggest that might have future proof features?

ETA: the foot print on the Hsu VTF-15 sub is quite large at 24" H x 18" W x 26" D any other options with a slimmer Depth and Height measurement?
I'd start with SVS Pinnacles with their free returns; so far AVS member feedback has been quite positive.

As you are using the subs for a lot of music and want a more "compact" cabinet I'd look at Rhythmik sealed servo subs that incorporate two woofers per cabinet.

Two L22s.

The L22 has as much output as their 400 watt 12" ported sub.

I'm considering those or even an F12 for my room which is a bit smaller than yours and with an opening at the right rear into an even larger kitchen space.

I have an excellent single 1250 watt 15" sealed servo DD15 but even at just an 18" cube its too damned big visually.

I'd look at the best Denon/Marantz in your budget as they have EQ for dual subs.
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post #11 of 26 Old 02-26-2020, 05:07 PM
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I'd personally regroup and think this through. You're not going to get any real benefit out of Atmos without having surround speakers, it's just not how it works.

So I would put more thought into how to incorporate a 5.1.2 setup into your room. A diagram or pics of your room would be beneficial.

Once you have that figured out, focus on the LCR, sub, and AVR. The surround and Atmos speakers can be less quality, and always upgraded down the line (the same can be said for the AVR as well).
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post #12 of 26 Old 02-26-2020, 05:35 PM
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I'd personally regroup and think this through. You're not going to get any real benefit out of Atmos without having surround speakers, it's just not how it works.
%1000 truth!

OP should just start with a 3.1
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post #13 of 26 Old 02-26-2020, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vg247 View Post
Thank you and everyone for the solid feedback - for the above setup, what AV receiver would you suggest that might have future proof features?

ETA: the foot print on the Hsu VTF-15 sub is quite large at 24" H x 18" W x 26" D any other options with a slimmer Depth and Height measurement?
If you want to go smaller than the VTF15.2, just decide how much less performance you are willing to live with in order to get smaller cabs. Drop down to the VTF3.5 for the closest performance, and drop down to the VTF2.5 for yet another drop in performance to go a little smaller yet. As Zorba said, this is the smallest one I'd consider.

I also like the suggestion for PSA speakers for spirited home theater playback....there literally just aren't better speakers available for the price for reference level capability.

For AVR, I'd look at the Denon X3500 or X3600. In your case with loud multi channel use, I think the 3600 would be worthwhile for its substantially better cooling(drastically upgraded heatsinks and cooling fans). Same heatsinks as 4500+ levels, which would also be a good choice. These AVR's give you the "best bang for the buck" room correction with Audyssey XT32 and the excellent Sub Eq HT which does a great job setting up dual subs. The Audyssey app allows you to limit eq below Schroeder which is optimal for well designed speakers.

Some claim Dirac Live is better but it is only available in higher priced boutique brands that are plagued with countless and seemingly endless bugs and issues, and performance from the amps and DAC's that are notably worse than Denon.
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With so many dimensions multiples of one another, you will require two subs to have any hope of even frequency response in the bass region. In that large space, you will need a lot of sub. If music is important to you, sealed subs may be the better approach.
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It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

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post #15 of 26 Old 02-27-2020, 08:51 AM
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Any and all feedback is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Here is an AVS review of a "non traditional" Atmos setup similar to what you are contemplating and impressions.

Unlike what others have said this concludes that your plan might yield very good results.

https://www.avsforum.com/i-used-dolb...what-happened/
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post #16 of 26 Old 02-27-2020, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is an AVS review of a "non traditional" Atmos setup similar to what you are contemplating and impressions.

Unlike what others have said this concludes that your plan might yield very good results.

https://www.avsforum.com/i-used-dolb...what-happened/
Thanks very much, GEOFF and everyone for the great feedback and link above here.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Here is an AVS review of a "non traditional" Atmos setup similar to what you are contemplating and impressions.

Unlike what others have said this concludes that your plan might yield very good results.

https://www.avsforum.com/i-used-dolb...what-happened/
To the OP, I'd still think about how to run wire for a 5.1.2 setup. Using Dolby Surround on non-Atmos material on a nearly $10k setup might sound good, I wouldn't bet on it for most.
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post #18 of 26 Old 02-28-2020, 08:20 AM
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Thanks very much, GEOFF and everyone for the great feedback and link above here.
Very very few of us have setups that perfectly reflect Dolby recommendations.

Funny thing is, they generally produce very satisfactory results.

I have 5.1 in my main room with towers that are too close together due to room constraints and rears that are "too high" and poorly placed on the back wall but the immersive surround is excellent.

In my secondary room I have 3.2 and it sound very good as well.

From wiki:

Perfect is the enemy of good, or more literally the best is the enemy of the good, is an aphorism which is commonly attributed to Voltaire, who quoted an Italian proverb in his Dictionnaire philosophique in 1770: "Il meglio è l'inimico del bene".[2] It subsequently appeared in his moral poem La Bégueule, which starts[3]
Dans ses écrits, un sage Italien
Dit que le mieux est l'ennemi du bien.

(In his writings, a wise Italian
says that the best is the enemy of the good)

Aristotle, Confucius, and other classical philosophers propounded the principle of the golden mean, which counsels against extremism in general.[4] The Pareto principle or 80–20 rule explains this numerically. For example, it commonly takes 20% of the full time to complete 80% of a task while to complete the last 20% of a task takes 80% of the effort.[5] Achieving absolute perfection may be impossible and so, as increasing effort results in diminishing returns, further activity becomes increasingly inefficient.

Robert Watson-Watt, who developed early warning radar in Britain to counter the rapid growth of the Luftwaffe, propounded a "cult of the imperfect", which he stated as "Give them the third best to go on with; the second best comes too late, the best never comes."[6]
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post #19 of 26 Old 02-28-2020, 05:09 PM
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Very very few of us have setups that perfectly reflect Dolby recommendations.

Funny thing is, they generally produce very satisfactory results.
Totally agree with you on that.

And some people, I'd gather a lot of people, prefer a certain sound.

Fred Sanford: "One man's garbage is another man's treasure." (Yes, I know, no need to correct, just having fun!)
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post #20 of 26 Old 02-29-2020, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I’m looking at the Denon 3500H ($550) as my AVR for this 3.1.2 setup. Any reason not to get this one?

Looks like it gives out 105 watts rms per channel- given I will only be running the front L, front R, and center channels; is there a way to maximize power output to these speaker channels, or will they always be fixed at 105watts to each channel?

Thanks experts ;-)
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post #21 of 26 Old 02-29-2020, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Vg247 View Post
I’m looking at the Denon 3500H ($550) as my AVR for this 3.1.2 setup. Any reason not to get this one?

Looks like it gives out 105 watts rms per channel- given I will only be running the front L, front R, and center channels; is there a way to maximize power output to these speaker channels, or will they always be fixed at 105watts to each channel?

Thanks experts ;-)
No reason not to get the X3500H. It's 105 watts @ 8ohm into 2ch driven. The more channels driven, it's less watts per channel.

The only real way would be to run the L/R speakers on a separate amp, but that won't really be necessary if you're only doing 3.1.2.
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post #22 of 26 Old 02-29-2020, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Vg247 View Post
I’m looking at the Denon 3500H ($550) as my AVR for this 3.1.2 setup. Any reason not to get this one?
Aside from the RMS difference (which will not make much difference unless you're a volume freak and/or plan on buying some low sensitivity/impedance speakers) are there any specific must-have features for YOU which the x3500 has that the X1500 and X2500 lack? Those 2 are $300 and $350 respectively on Amazon at the moment.
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post #23 of 26 Old 02-29-2020, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Aside from the RMS difference (which will not make much difference unless you're a volume freak and/or plan on buying some low sensitivity/impedance speakers) are there any specific must-have features for YOU which the x3500 has that the X1500 and X2500 lack? Those 2 are $300 and $350 respectively on Amazon at the moment.
I was thinking more along the price range of $500-700 for an AVR , hence was looking at the x3500 at $550. It has all the features I felt would be nice to have: Dual sub controls, multi room expandable, atmos 7.2 channels in case I add rears later, etc.

Thanks so much everyone.
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post #24 of 26 Old 03-01-2020, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vg247 View Post
I was thinking more along the price range of $500-700 for an AVR , hence was looking at the x3500 at $550. It has all the features I felt would be nice to have: Dual sub controls, multi room expandable, atmos 7.2 channels in case I add rears later, etc.

Thanks so much everyone.
The X3500 is well worth the money IMO. Audyssey XT32 and dual sub eq are very good tools to have.
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post #25 of 26 Old 03-01-2020, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Vg247 View Post
I was thinking more along the price range of $500-700 for an AVR , hence was looking at the x3500 at $550. It has all the features I felt would be nice to have: Dual sub controls, multi room expandable, atmos 7.2 channels in case I add rears later, etc.

Thanks so much everyone.
I have X3500. I like it. It's intuitive, sounds great, inexpensive, and at some vendors has a 3-year warranty. A4L is a little cheaper but only a 1-year warranty.
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post #26 of 26 Old 03-01-2020, 08:52 AM
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I've been using the X4500H for a couple of weeks and am happy with it. It's easy to configure and I have not encountered any bugs or glitches. You will also have access to the MultiEq app with the X3500H, so you will be able to make a number of adjustments in Audyssey that are not possible when running Audyssey on the AVR. The one downside of Denon AVRs is that they run quite warm, but I have mitigated that problem with an AC Infinity cooling solution.
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