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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone! Since you're checking out this thread, hopefully with the idea of offering me some advice, I want to say thank you in advance. Also, I know that offering subjective speaker recommendations over the internet is ... well, subjective.
But what I'm really looking for are suggestions about speakers setups that will fit my price range that I can hopefully go out and listen to.


I'm in the process of having a 20' x 15' dedicated home theater built in my home. We are still in the design phase, but I've reached that point where I need to start making some equipment choices because it will affect other decisions. As for my speaker setup preferences, I plan on using a 7.1 setup utilizing an acoustically transparent screen for the LCRs; and dipoles for surrounds in columns against the wall to maximize the sound isolation of the room. I'm not really concerned with the rear speakers or subwoofer(s) yet. I'm primarily interested in LCR and dipole surround speakers $5k ballpark.


One of the main reasons I'm coming to this forum looking for advice is that most of the stores in my area don't have a room set up to A/B different speakers. I hate to say it, but my local Magnolia/Best Buy seems to be the only retailer I've found so far that gets it right: one source, one amplifier, and every speaker they sell on tap to listen to. That being said, the best sounding speakers they had (to my ear) were the B&W CM8s. Nothing else came close while watching the final sinking scene of Titanic on Bluray. That was compared to Klipsch, DefTech, Energy and Martin Logan. The company building my theater added Paradigm and Revel to the mix, but no way of comparing the two equally in the same room. Of the two, I am partial to Paradigm because I have a set of Mini Monitors and a CC-370 in my den/living room. So the B&Ws and the Paradigms are my front runners right now, but I have no way to compare them side by side.


So what other speakers should I be looking at before I buy? My budget is around $5k for the left, right, center, and a pair of dipole surrounds.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PillPu$her  /t/1521291/7-1-speaker-suggestions-for-a-dedicated-20-x-15-home-theatre#post_24447297


Hi Everyone! Since you're checking out this thread, hopefully with the idea of offering me some advice, I want to say thank you in advance. Also, I know that offering subjective speaker recommendations over the internet is ... well, subjective.
But what I'm really looking for are suggestions about speakers setups that will fit my price range that I can hopefully go out and listen to.


I'm in the process of having a 20' x 15' dedicated home theater built in my home. We are still in the design phase, but I've reached that point where I need to start making some equipment choices because it will affect other decisions. As for my speaker setup preferences, I plan on using a 7.1 setup utilizing an acoustically transparent screen for the LCRs; and dipoles for surrounds in columns against the wall to maximize the sound isolation of the room. I'm not really concerned with the rear speakers or subwoofer(s) yet. I'm primarily interested in LCR and dipole surround speakers $5k ballpark.


One of the main reasons I'm coming to this forum looking for advice is that most of the stores in my area don't have a room set up to A/B different speakers. I hate to say it, but my local Magnolia/Best Buy seems to be the only retailer I've found so far that gets it right: one source, one amplifier, and every speaker they sell on tap to listen to. That being said, the best sounding speakers they had (to my ear) were the B&W CM8s. Nothing else came close while watching the final sinking scene of Titanic on Bluray. That was compared to Klipsch, DefTech, Energy and Martin Logan. The company building my theater added Paradigm and Revel to the mix, but no way of comparing the two equally in the same room. Of the two, I am partial to Paradigm because I have a set of Mini Monitors and a CC-370 in my den/living room. So the B&Ws and the Paradigms are my front runners right now, but I have no way to compare them side by side.


So what other speakers should I be looking at before I buy? My budget is around $5k for the left, right, center, and a pair of dipole surrounds.

If this is a space dedicated for movies, then I'm not in agreement with the majority of suggestions you've received. For a music centric space OK, but not dedicated HT.


For HT the ideal situation is high sensitivity, highly dynamic speakers that can effortlessly reproduce reference level. Highly sensitive speakers require less amplifier power to achieve the same volume and generally, as a result, can reproduce the signal with less distortion. The subjective result is an effortless presentation and "big" movie sound compared to the speaker lines you've listed. Within your budget the list of speakers with these qualities is relatively short, but my recommendation for LCR would be the JTR 228HT http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio/noesis-228ht/ which would outperform all the other lines you've listed. Note that the sensitivity ratings of the JTR's are accurate, whereas the Klipsch sensitivity ratings are over-rated.


As to the surrounds, I've owned Paradigm speakers and their dipole surrounds. I'm no fan and would not recommend dipoles, but that's your call. My suggestion is to go with all JTR's for your budget and get either the JTR single 8HT http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio/single-8ht-lp/ or the JTR slanted 8HT http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio/slanted-8/ ] http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio/slanted-8/[/URL ].


That system is on budget and would smoke anything you've listed by a longshot, all powered by a decently powered AVR.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc  /t/1521291/7-1-speaker-suggestions-for-a-dedicated-20-x-15-home-theatre#post_24447406


If this is a space dedicated for movies, then I'm not in agreement with the majority of suggestions you've received. For a music centric space OK, but not dedicated HT.


For HT the ideal situation is high sensitivity, highly dynamic speakers that can effortlessly reproduce reference level. Highly sensitive speakers require less amplifier power to achieve the same volume and generally, as a result, can reproduce the signal with less distortion. The subjective result is an effortless presentation and "big" movie sound compared to the speaker lines you've listed. Within your budget the list of speakers with these qualities is relatively short, but my recommendation for LCR would be the JTR 228HT http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio/noesis-228ht/ which would outperform all the other lines you've listed. Note that the sensitivity ratings of the JTR's are accurate, whereas the Klipsch sensitivity ratings are over-rated.


As to the surrounds, I've owned Paradigm speakers and their dipole surrounds. I'm no fan and would not recommend dipoles, but that's your call. My suggestion is to go with all JTR's for your budget and get either the JTR single 8HT http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio/single-8ht-lp/ or the JTR slanted 8HT http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio/slanted-8/ ] http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio/slanted-8/[/URL ].


That system is on budget and would smoke anything you've listed by a longshot, all powered by a decently powered AVR.

A big +1, these speakers are a whole new league compared to the ones you have listened to, in terms of dynamics and sound stage. Three 228s across the front would sound excellent, and I would recommend the slanted 8s, or JBL 8320 for surrounds.


You won't need external amplification with these, but you will need some serious sub woofer horsepower. I would be looking at $3k+ to keep up with these JTRs in a good size space.
 

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Just a quick question what is the price of the JTR Noesis 228HT's? On the webpage they say they are $1299 each. This guy's budget is only $5000 for LCR and surrounds. Aren't they out of his budget by a long shot? (3x 1299) + (4x 999) = $7893, Than add in a pre-amp and external amplifer at least for the front 3. Not to mention the subwoofers he would end up being $10,000 into his home theater audio. I am sure its worth it judging everything I read but is seems like you might be blowing his budget up with a nuke.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PillPu$her  /t/1521291/7-1-speaker-suggestions-for-a-dedicated-20-x-15-home-theatre#post_24447297


My budget is around $5k for the left, right, center, and a pair of dipole surrounds.

He was asking for LCR and a pair of surrounds.


1299 × 3=3600

999 ×2 = 2000


Total: 5600


His parameter was "around" 5 grand.


Also, the JTR's can be run to reference with a decent AVR. No amp is necessary. I recommend one, but definitely not necessary.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc  /t/1521291/7-1-speaker-suggestions-for-a-dedicated-20-x-15-home-theatre#post_24447584


He was asking for LCR and a pair of surrounds.


1299 × 3=3600

999 ×2 = 2000


Total: 5600


His parameter was "around" 5 grand.


Also, the JTR's can be run to reference with a decent AVR. No amp is necessary. I recommend one, but definitely not necessary.
Oh the title of the thread says 7.1 and in the bolded section he didn't say 'a pair' so I assume he wanted a 7.0 speaker sepakers.


Also the JTR Noesis 228HT's are 4ohm speakers not 8ohm like the suggested surrounds. Definitely need a beastly AVR for driving them at reference volume as you are running 3 4ohm speakers up front where majority of sound comes from. Am I wrong there to assume an amp would be necessary or be a close after thought given that they are 4ohm speakers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc  /t/1521291/7-1-speaker-suggestions-for-a-dedicated-20-x-15-home-theatre#post_24447406


If this is a space dedicated for movies, then I'm not in agreement with the majority of suggestions you've received. For a music centric space OK, but not dedicated HT.


For HT the ideal situation is high sensitivity, highly dynamic speakers that can effortlessly reproduce reference level. Highly sensitive speakers require less amplifier power to achieve the same volume and generally, as a result, can reproduce the signal with less distortion. The subjective result is an effortless presentation and "big" movie sound compared to the speaker lines you've listed. Within your budget the list of speakers with these qualities is relatively short, but my recommendation for LCR would be the JTR 228HT

I'll admit I've never heard of JTR. However, my goal is to get some ideas for speakers that I can go listen to. I'm really not interested in buying anything that I can't go hear first. Though I have to say that I'm impressed with how highly these speakers are recommended online after doing a quick Google search.


Also, my take on home theater speakers is a little different. I bias my listening preference towards music, even though this will not be a music listening room, because so much of movie sound is the score. At the lower end that I was able to A/B at Best Buy, the B&W's sounded better at everything. I honestly don't know anything about how dynamic they are or they're sensitivities, but they just sounded better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425  /t/1521291/7-1-speaker-suggestions-for-a-dedicated-20-x-15-home-theatre#post_24447530


Just a quick question what is the price of the JTR Noesis 228HT's? On the webpage they say they are $1299 each. This guy's budget is only $5000 for LCR and surrounds. Aren't they out of his budget by a long shot? (3x 1299) + (4x 999) = $7893, Than add in a pre-amp and external amplifer at least for the front 3. Not to mention the subwoofers he would end up being $10,000 into his home theater audio. I am sure its worth it judging everything I read but is seems like you might be blowing his budget up with a nuke.

The price of the those speakers don't really bother me too much. But the point about them relying heavily on a very expensive sub would probably tip them over the budget.


Also, I can comfortably say that I won't be running any speakers at reference volume very often. I know, I must be getting old...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425  /t/1521291/7-1-speaker-suggestions-for-a-dedicated-20-x-15-home-theatre#post_24447718


Oh the title of the thread says 7.1 and in the bolded section he didn't say 'a pair' so I assume he wanted a 7.0 speaker sepakers.


Also the JTR Noesis 228HT's are 4ohm speakers not 8ohm like the suggested surrounds. Definitely need a beastly AVR for driving them at reference volume as you are running 3 4ohm speakers up front where majority of sound comes from. Am I wrong there to assume an amp would be necessary or be a close after thought given that they are 4ohm speakers?

Yea, no worries. I could see that assumption, but plenty of guys are running similar setups, even 7.x, with various AVR's with no problems and are very happy. Granted, "beastly" can mean different things to different people, but something like a Denon 4311 will do the job without any issue. I don't consider that beastly, but competent for an AVR.


A true 98 dB sensitivity is the key here. Easy load.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PillPu$her  /t/1521291/7-1-speaker-suggestions-for-a-dedicated-20-x-15-home-theatre#post_24447734


But the point about them relying heavily on a very expensive sub would probably tip them over the budget.
i am not talking about them relying on a subwoofer its just my personal opinion it would suck for me personally to get great 5.0 speaker set and only to have $200 left in my budget to get a subwoofer. I'd want a subwoofer with equal performance to my speakers. I would assume with the JTR's they would recommend a subwoofer in the price range above $1000. If that iis in your budget go for it but its an interesting thing to keep in mind
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc  /t/1521291/7-1-speaker-suggestions-for-a-dedicated-20-x-15-home-theatre#post_24447772


Yea, no worries. I could see that assumption, but plenty of guys are running similar setups, even 7.x, with various AVR's with no problems and are very happy. Granted, "beastly" can mean different things to different people, but something like a Denon 4311 will do the job without any issue. I don't consider that beastly, but competent for an AVR.


A true 98 dB sensitivity is the key here. Easy load.
Thanks yeah I am out of my budget class in this thread just wanted clarrification. . I think $500-600 for a receiver is a good amount to spend at least the top I am willing to spend myself
 

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You need subs that can keep up with the JTRs. Going this route is a definite investment, but the end result is IMAX sound. Check and see if you have any dealers that carry Triad/Procella/JBL, these companies all make high end theater speakers, and would be a good way to gauge your interest in this path. Also, a lot of the AVS members on here are more than happy to demo their system for people, so you could post in the owner's threads to see if anyone lives nearby.


Pi Speakers makes high efficiency speakers and has some more affordable offerings, and JBL is another great choice.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PillPu$her  /t/1521291/7-1-speaker-suggestions-for-a-dedicated-20-x-15-home-theatre#post_24447734


I'll admit I've never heard of JTR. However, my goal is to get some ideas for speakers that I can go listen to. I'm really not interested in buying anything that I can't go hear first. Though I have to say that I'm impressed with how highly these speakers are recommended online after doing a quick Google search.


Also, my take on home theater speakers is a little different. I bias my listening preference towards music, even though this will not be a music listening room, because so much of movie sound is the score. At the lower end that I was able to A/B at Best Buy, the B&W's sounded better at everything. I honestly don't know anything about how dynamic they are or they're sensitivities, but they just sounded better.

The JTR's are not just good for HT, nor will the other speakers you're referring to make the "music score" on the soundtrack sound better. Quite the opposite. The JTR system is superior from every angle. I know you want to listen to them and all that, but I can tell you most JTR owners came from speakers like the B&W's and in your price range I am confident in saying you will not get a better sounding system in your budget than the JTR's for HT, from any angle you want to look at it.


I would suggest you post on the JTR thread and see if any owners are in your area. Most all are more than eager to demo their systems
. I think it's a big mistake to spend all that money on the speakers and limit your selection only to stuff you can listen to in box stores. For your purposes, all the speakers you're listening to are just not in the same league as the JTR's for any aspect of HT. I know a statement like that might ruffle some feathers, but I have never read of anyone making the statement that something like the B&W's were even close to the JTR's in a listening test. But I've read hundreds of testamonials from those moving to JTR's from similar speakers and the impressions are almost universally positive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PillPu$her  /t/1521291/7-1-speaker-suggestions-for-a-dedicated-20-x-15-home-theatre#post_24447734


The price of the those speakers don't really bother me too much. But the point about them relying heavily on a very expensive sub would probably tip them over the budget.

They don't rely on subs anymore than any other speaker that don't have significant extension below 40 Hz., for example any other speaker in your budget. The B&W's you're looking at have nothing below 45 Hz and will require every bit as much sub as the JTR's. If your thought process is that you would rather have lesser speakers to match a lesser sub, then I don't understand that logic. It'll suck just that much worse. Also, the B&W's are 88 dB sensitive, which means you need 10x the amp wattage to drive those speakers to the same volume as the JTR's. In other words, a 100 watt amp driving the JTR's is equivalent to a 1000 watt amp driving the B&W's. No AVR will drive those B&W's even close to reference without significant distortion. Yes, it'll sound loud, because that's what distortion does to the listening experience. Makes it painful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PillPu$her  /t/1521291/7-1-speaker-suggestions-for-a-dedicated-20-x-15-home-theatre#post_24447734


Also, I can comfortably say that I won't be running any speakers at reference volume very often. I know, I must be getting old...

I would guess that you've never experienced a speaker like the JTR's in your home. Although you may not listen at reference even with the JTR's, I can say with confidence you will listen louder with the JTR's than the other speakers since they play so much cleaner and the perception is they are not as loud at similar SPL's. That is nearly a universal experience when going to high efficiency, highly dynamic speakers. At reference or below, the JTR's will give you a better experience. Bottom line.


I know this sounds like a JTR commercial, but it's just my impressions after listening extensively to many different systems. Take it or leave it, no worries here. You will get other opinions to help you out. Unless you have any specific questions for me I'll bow out of this one as I don't think I have anything further to contribute. Good luck with your decision.
 

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I would go for a Pi Three front stage, with upgraded woofers. They will have JTR level dynamics, but, unlike JTRs, the really are an easy load as can be seen by this impedance graph . The JTRs are 4 ohm speakers which is a lot to ask for any receiver within the OP's budget range. Pi Threes with upgraded woofers would be maybe $1100 shipped each, depending on shipping costs and finish options. The Pi speakers have very good measurements , the on and off axis response performance is excellent. For surrounds, I would get some JBL 8320 s. They are high sensitivity, 8 ohm, and THX certified. They are also easy to mount and inexpensive, you can get four for $1k shipped. That gives you a very nice 7 channel system for les than $5k. If you really want grand dynamics, check out the Pi Fours , as with the Threes they have very good performance metrics , but with a 15" mid woofer, they will have tremendous dynamic range, especially if you get the upgraded JBL 2226 woofer, one of the very best if not the very best midwoofer available. The dynamics on that speaker would be astounding, and it can blow you away even if run on a entry level AVR.
 

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^^^^+1. Good suggestion. Haven't heard them but well designed and I've heard nothing but positive impressions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions. You have opened up some new options for me to explore. I will definitely try to meet up with some local members to hear their systems. I also found a PSB dealer in my area. I'll let you know my thoughts once I've had a chance to hear some of them.


Also, what about SVS or GoldenEar? Both were listed as top picks by Sound & Vision for 2013.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hello again. Well, I've been listening to speakers as much as possible, wherever possible. I got to listen to some Triad Silvers, some PSBs, Monitor Audio, Paradigm, Revel, Kef, Goldenear, and Focal. I still haven't been able to listen to the JTRs.


So far, I like the Paradigm Studio 60s, KEF Q and R Series, Focal Chorus 716s. I also liked the Triads, which I got to hear in someone's home theater. They were good, too, but I just wasn't blown away. I'm finding that I want a really accurate speaker where none of the detail is missed. The Revels were too expensive (at least the ones I heard), and I just couldn't warm up to the Goldenears or the PSBs.


So I have a question about some other brands to compare with the JTRs: MK Sound 150s, B&W CT700s, JBL Synthesis, and Klipsch THX Ultra 2s. I have no idea what configuration I would need in the JBLs (or the corresponding price). The Klipsch look way over my price range, too. But the MK Sound 150s (7 channel) can be had for about $6.5k. That's less than the JTRs. Has anybody heard both for a comparison?
 
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