Advice - New main speakers and system matching - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
View Poll Results: how should I complete my system?
Buy the ML 60XTi and enjoy a matched system and free sub! 2 20.00%
Get the Revel - system matching is over-rated 4 40.00%
Blow it all up and get Focals!! (or brand X) 3 30.00%
Wait... you really want Ohms, and nothing else will do! 1 10.00%
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post #1 of 40 Old 03-27-2020, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Advice - New main speakers and system matching

hi all,

Recently moved into a new home and have a serious itch to set up a great living room music and HT dual-purpose system. The purpose of this thread is to get some advice on how to think about my audio setup.

The house is very open concept, with nine foot ceilings and an area adjacent to the audio space having vaulted 18ft ceilings. the living open area is 27ft wide (the tv and main speakers will be along this wall), Couch is approximately 10ft from the TV, and then there is a kitchen and dining area that extends another 15ft behind the couch. so, rough total is 27x25, with more openings and hallways branching off this main space.

Because of its openness, I've already decided that my surround speakers will be in the ceiling. I have pre-wired these, as well as pre-wired for two Atmos ceiling speakers. I have also already purchased, but not installed, four Martin Logan 67i in-ceiling speakers to fulfill Atmos and surround duties. For the centre channel, I have already purchased a Martin Logan SLM XL on-wall unit. I bought it because the reviews were good, and I really like the fact that it's sleek and can be wall-mounted under, or even above, the TV.

Receiver will be a Denon x3600h which I have purchased but not yet received. Should be here in April. I am also interested in purchasing a separate amp for my mains, something like a Crown XLS1502 or a good quality used unit.

So, here's my question - how should I complete my system?

Options:

1) Buy a brand new pair of ML Motion 60XTi, which for two more days comes with a free Dynamo 600x subwoofer. Price is $3000CDN from a dealer I've purchased from before. I'm tempted by this as they would match my SLM XL centre channel. I've heard the 60's before and they sounded good, though not as impressive as electrostats.

2) Buy a brand new pair of Revel F36, which I am able to get for about $2200 CDN, minus $800 for a trade-in of my old speakers (Infinity Composition P-FR). So financial cost to me is only $1400 CDN. I've read a ton of online reviews about Revel's philosophy and it sounds right to me, but I have not yet heard them in person.

3) Trade/sell everything I've purchased to date and start with some new, cohesive system, brand X.

4) Wait, and keep saving, to buy the speakers I'm most interested in, which are Ohm Walsh 4000 and which are out of my budget at this time. This might take a couple years and I'm not sure I have the patience.

I guess as part of this, in your experience how important is it that my main speakers match the brand of the centre channel?

Any advice from this forum will be really appreciated.

Last edited by seekr613; 03-27-2020 at 09:10 AM.
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post #2 of 40 Old 03-27-2020, 07:57 AM
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I enjoyed the revel f206 alot more than f35's I heard couple weeks ago. but if already have ML, I would keep it all ML.
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post #3 of 40 Old 03-27-2020, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seekr613 View Post
Because of its openness, I've already decided that my surround speakers will be in the ceiling. I have pre-wired these, as well as pre-wired for two Atmos ceiling speakers. I have also already purchased, but not installed, four Marting Logan 67i in-ceiling speakers to fulfill Atmos and surround duties. For the centre channel, I have already purchased a Martin Logan SLM XL on-wall unit. I bought it because the reviews were good, and I really like the fact that it's sleek and can be wall-mounted under, or even above, the TV.
If you can't due to space restraints, you can't - but generally, you do not want to mix in-ceilings as mains/surround with Atmos. You really want that vertical separation to function as intended. Not that it cant work, but it probably won't produce the best results. You might want to pause and ponder the implementation. Be sure to visit the Dolby website, and study the info available about Atmos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seekr613 View Post
1) Buy a brand new pair of ML Motion 60XTi, which for two more days comes with a free Dynamo 600x subwoofer. Price is $3000CDN from a dealer I've purchased from before. I'm tempted by this as they would match my SLM XL centre channel. I've heard the 60's before and they sounded good, though not as impressive as electrostats.
The sub is insufficient for the space, so don't buy anything on account of getting that thrown in for free. I guess you could do that and sell the sub off. I'd recommend at least a pair of subs, think 12-13" at a minimum! Bigger if you can, especially for HT. That's a substantial space to fill.

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Originally Posted by seekr613 View Post
I've read a ton of online reviews about Revel's philosophy and it sounds right to me, but I have not yet heard them in person.
You have read correctly. Still, they are something you should hear if given the opportunity. IF I had to buy speakers and would never have a chance to ever audition anything and I could only by blind, I'd put a lot of attention on Revel for the reasons you've read.

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Originally Posted by seekr613 View Post
3) Trade/sell everything I've purchased to date and start with some new, cohesive system, brand X.
Always an option, but you've gotta get out and listen! There are several great brands out there, but I am not all that familiar with the Canadina market - though I love Canadian speakers, owning two Canadian brands myself....

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Originally Posted by seekr613 View Post
4) Wait, and keep saving, to buy the speakers I'm most interested in, which are Ohm Walsh 4000 and which are out of my budget at this time. This might take a couple years and I'm not sure I have the patience.
That's always a challenge - patience vs. time and money! Only you can be the judge for this.

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Originally Posted by seekr613 View Post
I guess as part of this, in your experience how important is it that my main speakers match the brand of the centre channel?
You'll get different answers from it doesn't matter at all/much, to it is the most important matching you can have in a system. I do believe it is important - but if it can't be done for whatever reason, look to speakers that are at least similar in design and performance characteristics. There are quite a few folks on this forum here that have mismatched centers and are plenty satisfied, but also quite a few that have indicated that when they switched from mismatched systems to fully matched ones, the difference (in a good way) was obvious. So, IF you can, match 'em is my philosophy - that said, I've got a mismatched system myself....but the L/C/R are matched.

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post #4 of 40 Old 03-27-2020, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seekr613 View Post
Recently moved into a new home and have a serious itch to set up a great living room music and HT dual-purpose system.

The house is very open concept, with nine foot ceilings and an area adjacent to the audio space having vaulted 18ft ceilings. the living open area is 27ft wide (the tv and main speakers will be along this wall), Couch is approximately 10ft from the TV, and then there is a kitchen and dining area that extends another 15ft behind the couch. so, rough total is 27x25, with more openings and hallways branching off this main space.

Because of its openness, I've already decided that my surround speakers will be in the ceiling. I have pre-wired these, as well as pre-wired for two Atmos ceiling speakers.

For the centre channel, I have already purchased a Martin Logan SLM XL on-wall unit. I bought it because the reviews were good, and I really like the fact that it's sleek and can be wall-mounted under, or even above, the TV.


Receiver will be a Denon x3600h which I have purchased but not yet received. Should be here in April. I am also interested in purchasing a separate amp for my mains, something like a Crown XLS1502 or a good quality used unit.

1) Buy a brand new pair of ML Motion 60XTi, which for two more days comes with a free Dynamo 600x subwoofer. Price is $3000CDN from a dealer I've purchased from before. I'm tempted by this as they would match my SLM XL centre channel. I've heard the 60's before and they sounded good, though not as impressive as electrostats.

2) Buy a brand new pair of Revel F36, which I am able to get for about $2200 CDN, minus $800 for a trade-in of my old speakers (Infinity Composition P-FR). So financial cost to me is only $1400 CDN. I've read a ton of online reviews about Revel's philosophy and it sounds right to me, but I have not yet heard them in person.

3) Trade/sell everything I've purchased to date and start with some new, cohesive system, brand X.

4) Wait, and keep saving, to buy the speakers I'm most interested in, which are Ohm Walsh 4000 and which are out of my budget at this time. This might take a couple years and I'm not sure I have the patience.

I guess as part of this, in your experience how important is it that my main speakers match the brand of the centre channel?
When you say "dual purpose," what % of your usage will be HT/TV and what % critical music listening (not casual/background music listening)? Ballpark estimate would be useful.

1. OPEN PLAN = adequate subwooferage will be absolutely crucial...do *NOT* cheap out on this essential. That free Martin Logan sub ain't gonna cut it, to put it kindly. It might be ok as a nearfield music sub, but for HT it's going to be useless in such a huge space. Unfortunately, in Canada your sub options are limited and overpriced. Best available and not-exorbitant option would be a pair of SVS PB1000 (the PB2000 would be better if budget allows)
https://www.electronicsforless.ca/sv...ofer-3884.html

2. The whole point of Atmos is defeated by having your rear surrounds be in-ceilings as well. I would either find a way to do in-wall or on-wall surrounds, or just forget about Atmos altogether---this will allow you to save money by buying a 7 channel rather than 9 or 11 channel receiver.

3. For neutrality and tonal balance which becomes especially important during critical music listening, I would lean towards the Revels over the Martin Logans. While I am ordinarily a "timbre matching" skeptic, the main reason I would not be crazy about the SLM XL is its puny 4" woofers---physics is physics, and small woofers for the critical center channel (which does 70-80% of HT output and 98% of dialogue) usually give you a dismal lack of tonal fullness resulting in male voices sounding androgynous (chipmunk-like). Instead I'd look at the Revel C205 at minimum (5.25" woofers) or ideally, the C208 (8" woofers and 3-way design). If necessary, I would even consider going with the much less expensive Revel M16 bookshelves if that is what would allow you to get the C208.
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post #5 of 40 Old 03-27-2020, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
When you say "dual purpose," what % of your usage will be HT/TV and what % critical music listening (not casual/background music listening)? Ballpark estimate would be useful.

1. OPEN PLAN = adequate subwooferage will be absolutely crucial...do *NOT* cheap out on this essential. That free Martin Logan sub ain't gonna cut it, to put it kindly. It might be ok as a nearfield music sub, but for HT it's going to be useless in such a huge space. Unfortunately, in Canada your sub options are limited and overpriced. Best available and not-exorbitant option would be a pair of SVS PB1000 (the PB2000 would be better if budget allows)
https://www.electronicsforless.ca/sv...ofer-3884.html

2. The whole point of Atmos is defeated by having your rear surrounds be in-ceilings as well. I would either find a way to do in-wall or on-wall surrounds, or just forget about Atmos altogether---this will allow you to save money by buying a 7 channel rather than 9 or 11 channel receiver.

3. For neutrality and tonal balance which becomes especially important during critical music listening, I would lean towards the Revels over the Martin Logans. While I am ordinarily a "timbre matching" skeptic, the main reason I would not be crazy about the SLM XL is its puny 4" woofers---physics is physics, and small woofers for the critical center channel (which does 70-80% of HT output and 98% of dialogue) usually give you a dismal lack of tonal fullness resulting in male voices sounding androgynous (chipmunk-like). Instead I'd look at the Revel C205 at minimum (5.25" woofers) or ideally, the C208 (8" woofers and 3-way design). If necessary, I would even consider going with the much less expensive Revel M16 bookshelves if that is what would allow you to get the C208.
Thanks for all the helpful comments so far, especially jonas and zorba.

1. Subwoofer - as I currently have none, I figured even the small ML would be better than nothing. but I take your point, I won't get amazing, body-moving bass. and you are both quite right that I should not allow the 'free sub' to make my decision on the speakers.

2. Atmos - Totally defeated? I really have no other place to put the rear surrounds. the next nearest wall is 15' back in the kitchen, and placement options there are extremely limited....and were also not pre-wired. So, it's either 5.1, or 5.1.2 in this space. Either way, the rear surrounds will be in the ceiling just behind the couch, and the Atmos, if implemented, would be in the ceiling between the TV and couch. I have reviewed the Dolby website and it is really informative. I guess I'm just not convinced that having 2 Atmos and 2 ceiling surrounds would suck. Sub-optimal? for sure. Would be interested in more views on whether I really should forgot about Atmos in this space.

3. Revel - I might consider that. One option I'm open to is picking up the pair of F36, seeing how they match with the ML centre for now. if not satisfied, can always sell or trade the ML centre as it seems to be in high demand and does function very well. So far, I've had no complaints with its tonal balance.

Zorba - critical listening - sometimes, but not very much. We constantly listen to music for fun while cooking, playing with the kids, socializing, reading, and dancing! I would say my dream is to have a system that sounds great at low and high volumes, from almost anywhere in the room (which is why Ohm's are attractive to me). HT is also important as we tend to watch TV or movies 3-4 times per week.

Music types are highly varied - we both love jazz, some classical, dance music (EDM for me, hip-hop and pop for my wife), blues, soul, classic rock, hindi music, and afro-beat (if you guys haven't checked out Ba Cissoko or El Rego, I highly recommend them both).
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I can only tell you what I would do and why...glean what you will. Big open living spaces are not conducive to good surround sound for almost too many reasons to list, starting with comparing that type of space to a dedicated theater or listening room where proper speaker placement and furnishings are one of the first priorities. Secondly, good or better surround sound is absolutely dependent on proper speaker placement in relation to listening position. It's science based on how humans hear and perceive....surround sound is engineered so that with properly placed speakers the sounds are aurally locatable and so is their perceived depth, width, and movement 360 degrees around you. Why say that? Simply because I've seen so many people spend huge bucks on really good speakers and then place them poorly out of compromise in a room that will never provide good surround sound.....yep, decent speakers will provide decent frequency response BUT that should never be confused with really good surround sound or a audiophile sound stage. Even the best speakers in the world, not properly placed will not provide an acceptable two channel or multi-channel soundstage.....so my advice would be to clearly define the specific sonic goals you want to achieve.

That being said, I'm betting you move around a lot in that open living space and also entertain there with plenty of people moving around too. If a large part of your goals are achieving really good high fidelity ambient sound with defined stereo separation throughout your space, the Ohms would be my hands-down weapon of choice ( or if you have a centered display between two open corners, a couple of big Klipsch corner speakers might be a great option)...and if the Ohms are sized properly you will not have to use subwoofers to get very satisfying bass response. Another option for implementing a decent surround system in a big open space is to select wall for a well placed display that allows proper placement of L/C/R in relation to a couple of perfectly placed seats and then use speakers on stands properly placed in relation to the seats you want to be your "serious listening positions"...but achieving satisfying HT low end is directly related to the entire cubic volume of your open space and how many, how big and proper placement of subs in a large open living space is yet another issue to wrestle with.

Sounds as if you want the Ohms and already know why.

Good luck. Enjoy the hunt. Don't loose your patience. Think it though and know why you made the decisions you ultimately make.

Last edited by JonfromCB; 03-27-2020 at 11:24 AM.
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post #7 of 40 Old 03-27-2020, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seekr613 View Post
Thanks for all the helpful comments so far, especially jonas and zorba.

1. Subwoofer - as I currently have none, I figured even the small ML would be better than nothing. but I take your point, I won't get amazing, body-moving bass. and you are both quite right that I should not allow the 'free sub' to make my decision on the speakers.

2. Atmos - Totally defeated? I really have no other place to put the rear surrounds. the next nearest wall is 15' back in the kitchen, and placement options there are extremely limited....and were also not pre-wired. So, it's either 5.1, or 5.1.2 in this space. Either way, the rear surrounds will be in the ceiling just behind the couch, and the Atmos, if implemented, would be in the ceiling between the TV and couch. I have reviewed the Dolby website and it is really informative. I guess I'm just not convinced that having 2 Atmos and 2 ceiling surrounds would suck. Sub-optimal? for sure. Would be interested in more views on whether I really should forgot about Atmos in this space.

3. Revel - I might consider that. One option I'm open to is picking up the pair of F36, seeing how they match with the ML centre for now. if not satisfied, can always sell or trade the ML centre as it seems to be in high demand and does function very well. So far, I've had no complaints with its tonal balance.

Zorba - critical listening - sometimes, but not very much. We constantly listen to music for fun while cooking, playing with the kids, socializing, reading, and dancing! I would say my dream is to have a system that sounds great at low and high volumes, from almost anywhere in the room (which is why Ohm's are attractive to me). HT is also important as we tend to watch TV or movies 3-4 times per week.

Music types are highly varied - we both love jazz, some classical, dance music (EDM for me, hip-hop and pop for my wife), blues, soul, classic rock, hindi music, and afro-beat (if you guys haven't checked out Ba Cissoko or El Rego, I highly recommend them both).
1. With your space and usage, don't be surprised if you will need to spend as much on subs as on speakers...because they will make an equal if not greater difference.

2. The whole point of Atmos is to have sound effects coming from ABOVE you as a *contrast* in addition to the effects coming from AROUND you. That *contrast* is all but erased if your rear surrounds will also be in-ceiling. So really, in your situation I would just do 5.2 or at most, 7.2

And FWIW, when I heard a full-blown Atmos setup in a store, I found it pretty underwhelming, i.e. not much extra was gained over a non-Atmos system imo, so I seriously doubt you'd be missing anything by skipping Atmos. It's just another industry gimmick to force consumers to buy more speakers and newer/more expensive receivers, is my take. The savings of skipping Atmos can be much more profitably reinvested in a robust pair of subs for that enormous cubic footage (you have to include all CONTIGUOUS space, not just the actual listening area when calculating your subwoofer needs).

3. "Timbre matching" is only relevant if you are one to MICRO-LISTEN to your movies, as opposed to WATCHING them, like most people. As long as the L/R speakers are level-matched to the center in order to make up for differences in sensitivity and impedance, you should be fine. Just be sure to switch back to 2-channel stereo mode when doing music listening (stereo music upmixed into multi-channel sounds awful anyhow). So I think the F36 would be a no-brainer, especially with the considerable discount you're getting. And its 91db sensitivity means it likely won't require any external amplification, unless you are truly looking for ear-bleeding volumes.
bear123 likes this.

~ 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 #8 of 40 Old 03-27-2020, 10:56 AM
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PS. If you're ok with their futuristic styling, Emotiva speakers would be the best bang for your buck---they are based in the US but do ship to Canada via UPS Worldwide. Call or email them for a quote that includes customs/taxes shipped to Canada. Their speakers feature the same AMT tweeter as the Martin Logans (just different sized) but are slightly "warm" which might be a bonus if your house has a lot of hard reflective surfaces (e.g. uncarpeted floors and lots of windows).
https://emotiva.com/collections/loudspeakers

~ 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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I would do whatever I can to use a pair of bookshelf speakers on stands for your surround channels. I would sell ALL your current speakers and get the Revel system - including the centre speaker. You don't have to worry about matching your in-ceiling speakers, Visions has the Kef CI160ER 6.5' co-axial speaker at $241 off MSRP right now - that's a VERY good deal on good ceiling speakers with a broad soundstage.


You could look at PSB or Paradigm - the Premier series is within your budget, but Prestige isn't.


I would seriously consider a pair of SVS PB2000 subwoofers, placed on either side of your MLP, since even they won't pressurize that room sufficiently. Two of them will even out the bass response at your MLP.
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post #10 of 40 Old 03-27-2020, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seekr613 View Post

Any advice from this forum will be really appreciated.
The Martin Logan 60XTis measured very well and Martin Logan makes good subs but somewhat overpriced but if its free, then you may end up buying a second down the road but maybe not.

You can ignore the measurements below 100hz as they are not as accurate as those above 100hz.

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/in...nts&Itemid=153

Review here:

https://www.soundstageaccess.com/ind...i-loudspeakers

As mentioned, forget Atmos, just go 5.1 due to your room constraints.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #11 of 40 Old 03-27-2020, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
PS. If you're ok with their futuristic styling, Emotiva speakers would be the best bang for your buck---they are based in the US but do ship to Canada via UPS Worldwide. Call or email them for a quote that includes customs/taxes shipped to Canada. Their speakers feature the same AMT tweeter as the Martin Logans (just different sized) but are slightly "warm" which might be a bonus if your house has a lot of hard reflective surfaces (e.g. uncarpeted floors and lots of windows).
https://emotiva.com/collections/loudspeakers
Thanks zorba. I thought about emotiva but for the living room, aesthetics are important.

And yes, it's a lot of glass and hardwood around the living room.
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post #12 of 40 Old 03-27-2020, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Zorba922;59417638]
Quote:
Originally Posted by seekr613 View Post

1. With your space and usage, don't be surprised if you will need to spend as much on subs as on speakers...because they will make an equal if not greater difference.

2. The whole point of Atmos is to have sound effects coming from ABOVE you as a *contrast* in addition to the effects coming from AROUND you. That *contrast* is all but erased if your rear surrounds will also be in-ceiling. So really, in your situation I would just do 5.2 or at most, 7.2

And FWIW, when I heard a full-blown Atmos setup in a store, I found it pretty underwhelming, i.e. not much extra was gained over a non-Atmos system imo, so I seriously doubt you'd be missing anything by skipping Atmos. It's just another industry gimmick to force consumers to buy more speakers and newer/more expensive receivers, is my take. The savings of skipping Atmos can be much more profitably reinvested in a robust pair of subs for that enormous cubic footage (you have to include all CONTIGUOUS space, not just the actual listening area when calculating your subwoofer needs).

3. "Timbre matching" is only relevant if you are one to MICRO-LISTEN to your movies, as opposed to WATCHING them, like most people. As long as the L/R speakers are level-matched to the center in order to make up for differences in sensitivity and impedance, you should be fine. Just be sure to switch back to 2-channel stereo mode when doing music listening (stereo music upmixed into multi-channel sounds awful anyhow). So I think the F36 would be a no-brainer, especially with the considerable discount you're getting. And its 91db sensitivity means it likely won't require any external amplification, unless you are truly looking for ear-bleeding volumes.
Thanks again zorba. Sounds like good advice. I'm rethinking the Atmos speakers based on your input.

And you're right, the deal available on the revels is pretty great with the trade in on my old speakers.

Interesting that you don't think I need a separate amp, but I do need two subs. I would have thought giving more power to the mains would be helpful, especially if they present a tougher load, in the 4ohm range.
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post #13 of 40 Old 03-27-2020, 05:15 PM
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[quote=seekr613;59419000]
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post

Thanks again zorba. Sounds like good advice. I'm rethinking the Atmos speakers based on your input.

And you're right, the deal available on the revels is pretty great with the trade in on my old speakers.

Interesting that you don't think I need a separate amp, but I do need two subs. I would have thought giving more power to the mains would be helpful, especially if they present a tougher load, in the 4ohm range.
The F36 are actually 6ohms, so I think you'd be fine with a normal receiver:
https://www.revelspeakers.com/produc...te-USA-Current

Besides, when you cross them over to the subs, the power load on the receiver will be much reduced since it's the lowest frequencies that require the most power and your subs will be doing all that heavy lifting not the Revels.

~ 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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[quote=seekr613;59419000]
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post

Thanks again zorba. Sounds like good advice. I'm rethinking the Atmos speakers based on your input.

And you're right, the deal available on the revels is pretty great with the trade in on my old speakers.

Interesting that you don't think I need a separate amp, but I do need two subs. I would have thought giving more power to the mains would be helpful, especially if they present a tougher load, in the 4ohm range.
I checked out your current speakers, they look pretty [email protected] What don't you like about them? IMO I would keep your current speakers and get a pair of good subs. That will be a far bigger improvement than changing out the mains. Then keep saving for your dream speakers.

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post #15 of 40 Old 03-27-2020, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I checked out your current speakers, they look pretty [email protected] What don't you like about them? IMO I would keep your current speakers and get a pair of good subs. That will be a far bigger improvement than changing out the mains. Then keep saving for your dream speakers.
Yeah they are pretty great! I guess I'm just getting tired of them and ready for a change. One thing I've noticed is that they may not be as fast in terms of bass response as I might want. The midrange openness is incredible though, and with dual powered woofers they play deep, and really musical at low frequencies.

Ha! Making me appreciate them again.
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Yeah they are pretty great! I guess I'm just getting tired of them and ready for a change. One thing I've noticed is that they may not be as fast in terms of bass response as I might want. The midrange openness is incredible though, and with dual powered woofers they play deep, and really musical at low frequencies.
If faster bass is your only complaint about your Infinitys, have you ever considered simply running them unplugged and adding a pair of good quality sealed subwoofers?

Perhaps:
https://www.electronicsforless.ca/sv...-ash-9978.html

Or, if you can find a way to get this to Canada:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/uls-15mk2.html
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/F25.html

~ 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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Ohm has an excellent return policy, so you might inquire and give them a tryout. Also, they have some beautiful finishes available if WAF is a factor.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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Ohm has an excellent return policy, so you might inquire and give them a tryout. Also, they have some beautiful finishes available if WAF is a factor.
Indeed, a great return policy and, by all accounts, excellent customer service and care all around. There are so many things going for ohm.

But, for my room, I would need one of their largest speakers. Either the ohm 5000, or the ohm super sound cylinder or 4000. In an ideal world I would get the super sound cylinder - I think that shape offers space efficiencies for the output you get.

But - cost on those babies is pretty significant, at least for me. As much as I want a great music listening experience, I have a really hard time justifying the cost against my current budget. I think expenditure in the 3000cdn range is doable. But ohm sound cylinders work out to 7000cdn. Ouch.
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Indeed, a great return policy and, by all accounts, excellent customer service and care all around. There are so many things going for ohm.

But, for my room, I would need one of their largest speakers. Either the ohm 5000, or the ohm super sound cylinder or 4000. In an ideal world I would get the super sound cylinder - I think that shape offers space efficiencies for the output you get.

But - cost on those babies is pretty significant, at least for me. As much as I want a great music listening experience, I have a really hard time justifying the cost against my current budget. I think expenditure in the 3000cdn range is doable. But ohm sound cylinders work out to 7000cdn. Ouch.
Given your cost restriction, I'm thinking that the prior suggestion of a pair of sealed subs might be your best way forward. You'll need to research the crossover characteristics of your current powered bass modules (especially the slope), if turning them off is the right approach. The new subs may need to completely replace those frequencies (TBD).

One other thought. It would be an interesting test if you removed the lower bass frequencies from the speakers. Just set the speakers to small and the crossover to 20 Hz. Does that remove the "flabby" bass character you describe? Now 30Hz, then 40, 50, 60 .... etc, until that flabby character is removed. Report your results, as that may give us a clue as to the best way forward.

In Canada, your choices are limited, due to the magnitude of the cross-the-border fees. Before we can recommend anything, we need to understand the upper-bass frequency requirements ...

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

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But, for my room, I would need one of their largest speakers.
Not if you get a pair of robust subs.

Room size = all CONTIGUOUS space = determines SUBWOOFER needs.

Listening Distance + preferred Loudness levels = determines SPEAKER needs.
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Not if you get a pair of robust subs.

Room size = all CONTIGUOUS space = determines SUBWOOFER needs.

Listening Distance + preferred Loudness levels = determines SPEAKER needs.
This is a really interesting thought - save $$ by buying smaller Ohm's, and then spend some part of those savings towards good quality subwoofers. Thanks again, Zorba.
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post #22 of 40 Old 03-28-2020, 01:32 PM
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Indeed, a great return policy and, by all accounts, excellent customer service and care all around. There are so many things going for ohm.

But, for my room, I would need one of their largest speakers. Either the ohm 5000, or the ohm super sound cylinder or 4000. In an ideal world I would get the super sound cylinder - I think that shape offers space efficiencies for the output you get.

But - cost on those babies is pretty significant, at least for me. As much as I want a great music listening experience, I have a really hard time justifying the cost against my current budget. I think expenditure in the 3000cdn range is doable. But ohm sound cylinders work out to 7000cdn. Ouch.
Some food for thought...

Ohm speakers are "omni-directional". They are designed to be placed near walls to take advantage of the early reflections of sound off those walls. The benefit of this is a wider, broader soundstage that is more spacious and immersive. The detriment of this is less precise sound localization. The reflected sound, which comes from the boundaries around the speaker, combines with the direct sound and makes the directional cues more imprecise. Sonic imaging is predicated on precise localization of sound sources. Therefore imaging suffers when lots of early, high intensity reflections are added to the direct sound. "Phantom imaging" (which is placement of sounds between speakers), can be quite detrimentally impacted by reflected soundwaves, especially if the reflections cause timbrel shifts.

In a music-oriented system, a large, broad, open soundstage is beneficial for certain types of music, like large orchestral music, large venue rock concert music, etc., where precise imaging is found less in the recording. However, for other types of music, like small acoustic venues, or studio recordings, precise localization of instruments and voices within a soundstage are a higher priority.

In a Home Theater environment, precise sonic imaging allows sounds to be "heard" as correlated to the on-screen visual images. A "large, broad, open soundstage" is not always beneficial to that precise imaging. A system that prioritizes direct sound while minimizing early reflections will provide the best opportunity for precise sonic imaging, which enhances the correlation of what you see to what you hear. The soundstage can then be broadened by adding additional speakers, as in a multi-channel system.

My own system, which you can see in the link in my signature, prioritizes direct sound, by virtually eliminating early reflections. All the walls around my front soundstage are heavily treated with acoustic absorption. Behind the red drapes is 2" to 4" of acoustic absorption, with 10" thick bass taps straddling the corners. The ceiling uses 1" thick fiberglass ceiling tiles suspended 5" below the joists, which are filled with pink, fluffy fiberglass, making the entire ceiling a large broadband absorber. In addition, my speakers use "dispersion lens" technology to control the amount of sound sent to the side walls and the ceiling/floor. Basically, what emanates from my front soundstage is the direct sound from my speakers... and very little else.

The net effect of this is that all the imaging cues contained in the recording come through completely unadulterated by the room. Sonic images are precisely located in space and directly correlate with on-screen visual images. The CC is paced behind an acoustically transparent screen, which places dialogue and other centrally imaged sounds, (music, special effects, etc.), precisely where they need to be. To widen and broaden the soundstage, I have added Wides, Surrounds and Heights to provide a "large, broad, open soundstage."

Now, I'm not saying you should go to the lengths to which I have gone. It would not be practical or even doable in your situation. Nonetheless, (I think) it would be better to start with more tightly controlled, directional speakers, (i.e., monopoles), instead of "omni-directional" speakers, especially if Home Theater is a significant part of your intended use of the system. Monopoles will provide more precise imaging, and retain the important phantom images that less directional speakers do not provide. Reserve the Walsh's for a 2 channel system in another location if you find that the more directional, multi-channel system doesn't do what you want for stereo music reproduction.

One other factor to consider...

Quote:
I guess as part of this, in your experience how important is it that my main speakers match the brand of the centre channel?
Some more food for thought:

Some on this forum will tell you it is not important to timbre-match your front soundstage. I disagree with that logic for a number of reasons. While it's true that the vast majority of dialogue comes exclusively from the CC, and therefore doesn't *need* to timbre-match, because it doesn't come out of any other speakers anyway, the fact is that other sounds besides dialogue also emanate from that location. Music in movies is often recorded in multi-channel with the CC included. Special effects often occur in, and/or pan through, the CC. When those sounds don't match their tonal characteristics with the L/R speakers, things can sound "off." Now, some will tell you that only "OCD" listeners will notice this, or that one needs to "micro-listen" to notice it. If you are one of those inattentive listeners who doesn't notice, then by all means mis-match your CC. However, if you're at all like me, and things that don't sound "right" draw your attention... and take you out of the movie or music, then timbre-matching will be an essential part of your design criteria.

Good luck.

Craig
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post #23 of 40 Old 03-28-2020, 01:51 PM
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Good post by Craig, I have to agree.

My father in law had Ohms back in the day and they were very nice for casual listening and very nice for ochestral music but I think for mostly home theater they may not work as well as monopoles for the reasons described.

Have to agree with his thoughts on center channel matching as well.
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.....

Some more food for thought:

Some on this forum will tell you it is not important to timbre-match your front soundstage. I disagree with that logic for a number of reasons. While it's true that the vast majority of dialogue comes exclusively from the CC, and therefore doesn't *need* to timbre-match, because it doesn't come out of any other speakers anyway, the fact is that other sounds besides dialogue also emanate from that location. Music in movies is often recorded in multi-channel with the CC included. Special effects often occur in, and/or pan through, the CC. When those sounds don't match their tonal characteristics with the L/R speakers, things can sound "off." Now, some will tell you that only "OCD" listeners will notice this, or that one needs to "micro-listen" to notice it. If you are one of those inattentive listeners who doesn't notice, then by all means mis-match your CC. However, if you're at all like me, and things that don't sound "right" draw your attention... and take you out of the movie or music, then timbre-matching will be an essential part of your design criteria.

Good luck.

Craig[/QUOTE]


I agree with you especially if one has very good, well trained, and/or sensitive hearing. Timbre matching is simply going to be more important to those who hear well, can detect the differences and who are or over time become bothered by the differences you describe. I would suggest that happens quite often as evidenced by the repeated threads from folks wanting to upgrading their center channel. Regardless. it's easy to explain the physics of timbre matching to even the most novice consumer. In the most general terms three identical front speakers will always offer the most sonically seamless front soundstage and that makes sense to most people. If that's not possible, it's common sense combined with some knowledge of physics that a center speaker of "similar design", meaning constructed of the same materials....drivers, crossover parts, outer box material, design type (ported, sealed, line transmission, etc), designed by the same designer as the mains, and voiced by the same designer will have infinitely more sonic similarities than a center from a different manufacturer.
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Timbre matching is simply going to be more important to those who hear well, can detect the differences and who are or over time become bothered by the differences you describe. I would suggest that happens quite often as evidenced by the repeated threads from folks wanting to upgrading their center channel.
Actually no, almost all of the folks coming to AVS asking for advice on upgrading their center channel speaker are in the exact same boat as the OP ( @seekr613 ) : they DO have the religiously recommended "matching" center, only to find that it SUCKS --- producing garbled and muffled dialogue. That's because a poorly designed center speaker is a poorly designed center speaker, PERIOD. "Timbre" has zero to do with it.

The ones who dare to defy the prevailing "timbre matching" orthodoxy and buy a proven performer center channel are almost always very happy with it. HOWEVER, these folks usually do not hang out on this forum, so you don't hear about them as much as the long-term regular posters like myself, who are often a lot more fussy in comparison.

~ 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 #26 of 40 Old 03-29-2020, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Actually no, almost all of the folks coming to AVS asking for advice on upgrading their center channel speaker are in the exact same boat as the OP ( @seekr613 ) : they DO have the religiously recommended "matching" center, only to find that it SUCKS --- producing garbled and muffled dialogue. That's because a poorly designed center speaker is a poorly designed center speaker, PERIOD. "Timbre" has zero to do with it.

The ones who dare to defy the prevailing "timbre matching" orthodoxy and buy a proven performer center channel are almost always very happy with it. HOWEVER, these folks usually do not hang out on this forum, so you don't hear about them as much as the long-term regular posters like myself, who are often a lot more fussy in comparison.

Sure you can just upgrade the center, but in my opinion a good center with good timbre matched left and right is superior sounding. I’ve tried my EMP E56Ci with other mismatched fronts and the disconnect in timbre is quite evident to me.

That said for most people, you’re right, a better center makes a huge difference and will satisfy them, but if they can take it a step farther and match all 3, I think it is worthwhile.
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Actually no, almost all of the folks coming to AVS asking for advice on upgrading their center channel speaker are in the exact same boat as the OP ( @seekr613 ) : they DO have the religiously recommended "matching" center, only to find that it SUCKS --- producing garbled and muffled dialogue. That's because a poorly designed center speaker is a poorly designed center speaker, PERIOD. "Timbre" has zero to do with it.

The ones who dare to defy the prevailing "timbre matching" orthodoxy and buy a proven performer center channel are almost always very happy with it. HOWEVER, these folks usually do not hang out on this forum, so you don't hear about them as much as the long-term regular posters like myself, who are often a lot more fussy in comparison.
OK, I'll agree that happens too, especially with lower end poorly designed center channels. I understand you don't agree with me, but that doesn't make my suggestion, observation, or presented logic wrong, misrepresented or forgive the pun...unsound. lol Physics is physics and the combined sum of similar parts will always have more similar sound than a third speaker made of entirely different components. I do agree that all to often many manufacturers "pair" underdesigned and/or lesser component center speakers with their mains. Besides often using very different drivers and or designs the second set of red flags to consumers can often be as simple as cost and size.
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OK, I'll agree that happens too, and understand you don't agree with me, but that doesn't make my suggestion, observation, or presented logic wrong, misrepresented or forgive the pun...unsound. lol
Ok, I'll concede that SOME people do mind a mismatched center...now, whether that's due to genuinely discriminating ears or simply placebo effect (driven in part by visual non-uniformity) god only knows.

But I just wanted to point out that people complaining about their centers' poor dialogue clarity are usually using the "matching" center already, like the OP.

~ 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 #29 of 40 Old 03-29-2020, 10:14 AM
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I’ve tried my EMP E56Ci with other mismatched fronts and the disconnect in timbre is quite evident to me.
That may be due to the E56Ci having a similarly "soft" or "warm" character as the 55Ti towers, though (that's how some people described both speakers back during the RBH/EMPTek peak popularity a few years ago)...those characteristics can be delightful for music but not so ideal for HT.

I'd be curious whether you would hear a similar timbre disconnect if you experimented with a more neutral center speaker with mismatched fronts.

~ 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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1st time you hear your matched, ML system, you'll know it isn't being overblown. I went through this years ago. I'm still not regretting, or looking for, a better system. Yes, I AM prejudiced in my vote.

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