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post #1 of 9 Old 05-24-2020, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Building system to replace Sonos

I've been running a Playbar + Sub + Play:1 pair (surrounds) for a while but after moving into a new home with a very open and large floorplan for the living room, I'm looking to upgrade and the next logical step is probably a brand new system. The Sub in particular can't handle the room and I want something that hits deeper, both for movies and for music. The easy move would be upgrading to an Arc soundbar for Atmos, but that won't help the bass.

Room details: Approx 25'x25'x8', TV centered on wall, listening/watching area about 7' from screen. TV is a Samsung 75" Q8C, ARC but no eARC. The home was wired for front LCR and surrounds in the ceiling, but instead I'd like to use standard speakers (tower and center) for LCR and use the ceiling mounts for Atmos speakers. This would require that I use wireless surrounds; there is a kitchen island directly behind the listening position where I can mount rear surrounds that has power but no easy (or wife-friendly) way to run speaker wire.

I'll migrate the Sonos system upstairs and start from scratch here. From what I've read I may be limited to Yamaha for a receiver that supports rear surrounds - is that still the case in 2020? If so, any system recommendations would be appreciated. Budget is not as important as sound quality; this will be in the living room so aesthetics are more important than cost. For subs I've been considering SVS PC2000 towers since I can place them in the corners and they won't look bad in here. But LCR/surrounds/Atmos speakers I'm totally open.

The front Atmos speakers would be parallel with the LCR speakers but I assume I can offset that by angling them. Rear Atmos speakers will be directly above the listening spot in parallel but again I assume angling them would work.

I've attached a view of the room. Any recommendations that would blow away a Sonos Arc + Sub + Surrounds greatly appreciated! I've also circled the mounting points for the Atmos speakers, and attached a picture of the reverse view where the surrounds would be mounted (not ideal, but it is what it is). They are sitting on the counter now but would be mounted right below it ideally, with the left surround angled about 45 degrees to the left and the right surround facing straight forward.

EDIT: Budget is very flexible. Would like to build out the full system for under $5k including the subs, but also would like this to be a one-time "buy one cry once" situation so more is available if needed. I come from the world of live audio and the deeper it hits, the happier I am. My live audio rig is a flown Meyer Sound rig with 8x18 (4x 2x18 USW) subs that hit deep enough for renovation work so the closer I can get to that at normal volume levels, the better.
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-25-2020, 05:07 AM
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Big space for re subs to pressurize, but sure, try the PC2000s --. no risk with the return policy, and leaves you approximately $3400. Your seating distance is an advantage so you have many many options for the LCR. What's the usage HT vs music? If primarily HT then Klipsch RP series is a strong contender. What aesthetic is desired? Towers or stand mount? Choice of finish to compliment decor? What's the typical db level you want to listen?

In ceiling for Atmos just make sure you have aimable tweeters. Please remember Atmos content is a small small percentage of the typical audio content of a film (but it can be fun -- see Ready Player One or Gravity...). So you can save money there.

Same with surrounds. Don't overspend. Several wireless kits available these days but so don't limit your options to Yamaha. You've got room in your budget for a receiver with good room correction. Audyssey XT32 for dual sub EQ.

I don't like to recommend speakers because there are so many great ones and there are so many considerations involved with respect to each user and each room.

On that note your room looks pretty bare, and thus pretty bright. How about some thick rigs and some art and furnishings to soften it up a bit?

One last thing re: your comment about bass -- if svs doesn't cut it look at PSA.

Have fun!

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post #3 of 9 Old 05-25-2020, 05:46 AM
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As the previous poster mentioned, too many speaker options to say XYZ is best, but here's an interesting thread that will help ensure that, whichever speakers you purchase, they will be well designed and sound very good:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...nce-shows.html

Having said that, a few options that should fit well within your overall budget while providing the clean SPL you are looking for:

Revel F36 towers, C25 center
Focal Aria 926 towers..nice sale currently on accessories4less
KEF Q950 towers, Q650 center.
KEF R5, R7, R2C center(pricier but the R3 bookshelf posted *extremely* good measured performance, which is likely to transfer to the towers)

Tower speakers will give you multiple woofers and larger cabs for better capability and lower distortion above where you cross them to subs. Also, depending on taste, might look better and be sturdier than little bookshelves balanced precariously on little stands.

For some, narrowing the field down to a handful of well designed speakers(that you can determine based on the correct measurements) that meet your price and capability requirements, along with narrowing things down further based on aesthetics can often lead you to 1 or 2 solid choices.

I think the SVS subs you are considering are pretty good for their price...however there are a few other options that will give improved performance, specifically in the mid and upper bass:

-Hsu VTF-3 Mk5(VTF3.5 to make it a bit easier). Probably double the output up top of the SVS. Sounds like you will have high expectations for your subs so I wouldn't be too quick to give up headroom.

-Hsu VTF-15 Mk2...about the same as ^ above 30 Hz, but significant advantage below there.

-Rythmik FVX15 or FV15HP, although this may be pushing the budget at some point depending on speakers.

Last edited by bear123; 05-25-2020 at 05:50 AM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-25-2020, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeromus-X View Post
I've been running a Playbar + Sub + Play:1 pair (surrounds) for a while but after moving into a new home with a very open and large floorplan for the living room, I'm looking to upgrade and the next logical step is probably a brand new system. The Sub in particular can't handle the room and I want something that hits deeper, both for movies and for music. The easy move would be upgrading to an Arc soundbar for Atmos, but that won't help the bass.

Room details: Approx 25'x25'x8', TV centered on wall, listening/watching area about 7' from screen. TV is a Samsung 75" Q8C, ARC but no eARC. The home was wired for front LCR and surrounds in the ceiling, but instead I'd like to use standard speakers (tower and center) for LCR and use the ceiling mounts for Atmos speakers. This would require that I use wireless surrounds; there is a kitchen island directly behind the listening position where I can mount rear surrounds that has power but no easy (or wife-friendly) way to run speaker wire.

I'll migrate the Sonos system upstairs and start from scratch here. From what I've read I may be limited to Yamaha for a receiver that supports rear surrounds - is that still the case in 2020? If so, any system recommendations would be appreciated. Budget is not as important as sound quality; this will be in the living room so aesthetics are more important than cost. For subs I've been considering SVS PC2000 towers since I can place them in the corners and they won't look bad in here. But LCR/surrounds/Atmos speakers I'm totally open.

The front Atmos speakers would be parallel with the LCR speakers but I assume I can offset that by angling them. Rear Atmos speakers will be directly above the listening spot in parallel but again I assume angling them would work.

I've attached a view of the room. Any recommendations that would blow away a Sonos Arc + Sub + Surrounds greatly appreciated! I've also circled the mounting points for the Atmos speakers, and attached a picture of the reverse view where the surrounds would be mounted (not ideal, but it is what it is). They are sitting on the counter now but would be mounted right below it ideally, with the left surround angled about 45 degrees to the left and the right surround facing straight forward.

EDIT: Budget is very flexible. Would like to build out the full system for under $5k including the subs, but also would like this to be a one-time "buy one cry once" situation so more is available if needed. I come from the world of live audio and the deeper it hits, the happier I am. My live audio rig is a flown Meyer Sound rig with 8x18 (4x 2x18 USW) subs that hit deep enough for renovation work so the closer I can get to that at normal volume levels, the better.
For an AV receiver, take a long hard look at Denon x3600h as your 1st, 2nd and 3rd option. It’s great as a stand alone receiver but has Pre outs in case you want to get a separate amplifier to quench the upgraditis bug. Also has eARC, Audyssey XT32 room correction and a lot of other bells and whistles. Will most likely last you a very long time and be somewhat future proof at a reasonable price

Next take a long hard look at HSU subs. Might be the best bang for your buck price for subs priced below $1,000.00. VTF 15H or VTF 3, but if the WAF is a major factor and you don’t care about extension below 20hz, consider their smaller sealed ULS 15 and is well received. Strongly recommend dual subs but you can always get a second later

Between the receiver and a single sub that’s about 2K. Leaves you with 3k for the other speakers which there are many options. I’d spend the bulk of that on your floor level speakers and go with economical options for your heights from something like HTD or Monoprice but there are others. I’d let others weigh in on speaker options, but to give you an idea look at KEF Q series, Ascend
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-25-2020, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses so far. I'm not looking for too much when it comes to models/brands of LCR, since that's such a personal thing -- though recommendations are always appreciated. Really my big concern is getting a setup that is functional both with 4-channel Atmos and powered rears, which has been my stumbling block. I see solutions that involve third party receivers and such and it makes me worry about bandwidth/sound quality/cutting out/etc.

A couple quick replies:

@Dargent0628 : Thanks for the note on aimable tweeters. I figured I'd just need to position the ceilings at a potential weird angle so it's good to know that might not be the case. We just moved in so everything's still pretty bare, bookshelves/art/etc incoming. We probably won't have any sound panels on the wall or anything since this is primarily the living room and not a HT room, but I have to imagine a few bookshelves full of paper would do well to absorb.

@bear123 : Someone else recommended those Rythmik subs as well, honestly my big problem with them and others like them are WAF, specifically the depth of the boxes. If I can keep the depth to less than 16" I can keep them mostly out of sight. That's why I was focused on the PC2000, a pair of them fits in the budget easily and they have a footprint of almost exactly 16". Any more than that, the subs will stick out relative to the rest of the furniture and I have been "recommended" to avoid that.

@Jointfx : Receiver recommendation noted. I actually had the Denon AVR-X3500H as my planned go-to receiver, so I'll need to take a look at the 3600 and see what the difference is.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-25-2020, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeromus-X View Post
I want something that hits deeper, both for movies and for music. The easy move would be upgrading to an Arc soundbar for Atmos, but that won't help the bass.

Room details: Approx 25'x25'x8', TV centered on wall, listening/watching area about 7' from screen. TV is a Samsung 75" Q8C, ARC but no eARC. The home was wired for front LCR and surrounds in the ceiling, but instead I'd like to use standard speakers (tower and center) for LCR and use the ceiling mounts for Atmos speakers.

The front Atmos speakers would be parallel with the LCR speakers but I assume I can offset that by angling them. Rear Atmos speakers will be directly above the listening spot in parallel but again I assume angling them would work.

Any recommendations that would blow away a Sonos Arc + Sub + Surrounds greatly appreciated!

EDIT: Budget is very flexible. Would like to build out the full system for under $5k including the subs, but also would like this to be a one-time "buy one cry once" situation so more is available if needed.
It won't be difficult to "blow away" the Sonos setup...especially with a nice $5K budget.

1. If you want to keep the subs' depth to around 16" I would look at these Rythmik dual woofer subs in addition to the SVS PC2000:
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/FM8.html
http://www.rythmikaudio.com/L22.html

The Rythmiks are sealed and with their DC Servo design may be a better choice for music; the SVS is ported and may have an edge in output. You'd have to post in the Subwoofers forum to see if anyone's done comparisons.

2. Your rear surrounds are going to be awkwardly placed even with a wireless setup. For that reason, I'd suggest using the rear in-ceiling pair as your surrounds, and restricting Atmos to your front in-ceiling pair, using angled in-ceilings such as the RSL C34e.

3. At 7ft listening distance you don't really require towers (esp. not with a pair of robust subs) unless you simply prefer how they LOOK. So really, you have tons of solid options there.

4. If you wish to decrease "brightness" risk due to the room's acoustic conditions, I'd take a close look at Chane, Emotiva, and Wharfedale Evo. The 3rd option is particularly high WAF but still reasonably priced, and you get Crutchfield's nice $10 (bookshelves) / $75 (towers) flat rate return shipping policy to safely try out at home.

~ 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 #7 of 9 Old 05-25-2020, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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@Zorba922 : I hadn't thought about using the rear ceilings as surrounds just because they're so high up, I figured it would interfere with the sound stage of the Atmos speakers. I thought about using poles to lower them down but not sure it would work out aesthetically. But it would be nice to not have them sitting under the island, too.

I guess my only worry is that I won't see much better of an Atmos setup with fronts-only than I would going with a Sonos Arc. That obviously doesn't solve the bass issue but it sure is easier
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-25-2020, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeromus-X View Post
@Zorba922 : I hadn't thought about using the rear ceilings as surrounds just because they're so high up, I figured it would interfere with the sound stage of the Atmos speakers. I thought about using poles to lower them down but not sure it would work out aesthetically. But it would be nice to not have them sitting under the island, too.

I guess my only worry is that I won't see much better of an Atmos setup with fronts-only than I would going with a Sonos Arc. That obviously doesn't solve the bass issue but it sure is easier
Well, you could aslo use ceiling mounts for compact bookshelves like an Ascend 200SE, NHT SuperZero, RSL CG3, etc. for your rear surrounds, these would be better and also interfere less with the front Atmos in-ceilings.

Personally, I'd skip Atmos altogether---heard a full setup at a dealer's once and my reaction was, "So what???" A lot of fuss and expense for very little, imo. It's just the latest industry gimmick to squeeze more money out of consumers, keeping them on a perpetual upgrade treadmill.
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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 9 Old 05-25-2020, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeromus-X View Post
Thanks for the responses so far. I'm not looking for too much when it comes to models/brands of LCR, since that's such a personal thing -- though recommendations are always appreciated. Really my big concern is getting a setup that is functional both with 4-channel Atmos and powered rears, which has been my stumbling block. I see solutions that involve third party receivers and such and it makes me worry about bandwidth/sound quality/cutting out/etc.

A couple quick replies:

@Dargent0628 : Thanks for the note on aimable tweeters. I figured I'd just need to position the ceilings at a potential weird angle so it's good to know that might not be the case. We just moved in so everything's still pretty bare, bookshelves/art/etc incoming. We probably won't have any sound panels on the wall or anything since this is primarily the living room and not a HT room, but I have to imagine a few bookshelves full of paper would do well to absorb.

@bear123 : Someone else recommended those Rythmik subs as well, honestly my big problem with them and others like them are WAF, specifically the depth of the boxes. If I can keep the depth to less than 16" I can keep them mostly out of sight. That's why I was focused on the PC2000, a pair of them fits in the budget easily and they have a footprint of almost exactly 16". Any more than that, the subs will stick out relative to the rest of the furniture and I have been "recommended" to avoid that.

@Jointfx : Receiver recommendation noted. I actually had the Denon AVR-X3500H as my planned go-to receiver, so I'll need to take a look at the 3600 and see what the difference is.

Go for the PC2000 Pro if it follows suite like the 3000 series it should have a fair amount more output above 25hz than the previous version. Depending on how much you spend for speakers a pair of PC4000s would give you a major ULF boost, but they're quite expensive. Bummer that SVS didn't see fit to make a PC3000.

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