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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well this is my first audio system. I decided to GO LARGE or GO HOME. I'm trying to keep within a 15k budget. On top of the components i'm doing a built-in for my nitch that's 9 feet wide by 24" deep. We are gonna add cup lighting and stuff that ties in with the remote :) OK, so here goes.


TV: either the 1080p Samsung 56" tv or a 50" plasma Pioneer Elite maybe depends on price.. around 5k


Receiver: Dennon AVR 3805 - quality and will control the rock speakers for the outside area next to the pool and hot tub.


Front speakers: The AV guy reccomended the Martin Logan Passage in-wall speakers. They are new to the market, but i'm hoping someone has them and can comment. I'm in love with martin logan products so it hard passing on some quality electrostatic floor standing ones. The passage's will be for the R, L, and center.


Rear speakers: not sure...i am going to put in some in-ceiling ones that have directional tweeters to keep the sound stage nice.


Sub: VELODYNE ACOUSTICS MINIVEE 8" 1000watt sub. The one i heard rocked and it's fully enclosed so i can hide it in the built-in.


DVD: Not sure, but prolly a Dennon 1920


Outside: some cool decent rock speakers..not sure yet.



Any feedback on the rig would be appreciated....like i said..i'm new at this and this is my first system i'm building.


Thanks!!
 

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If you're planning on using the system as a home theater (which I'm guessing you are with a plasma), forget the ceiling speakers (regardless of directional tweeters) for rear surrounds, as they will be very far from ideally placed. If you're worried about decor, use in-wall surrounds instead.


If your decor allows, I'd go bigger than that 8" sub as well. It may be tight and accurate, but its range will be limited.
 

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If you want BIG then why not go with a projector? For the same price as one of those tv's you listed you could have a real nice front projection system. It is at the very least worth looking into.


Good luck, I wish I had your budget!!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shepard_Merlin
TV: either the 1080p Samsung 56" tv or a 50" plasma Pioneer Elite maybe depends on price.. around 5k
Plasmas have too many problems (like burn-in and questionable lifespan), and cost too much. Look at an RPTV for less $$, or - if the light level allows it - a front projector/screen.

Quote:
Front speakers: The AV guy reccomended the Martin Logan Passage in-wall speakers. They are new to the market, but i'm hoping someone has them and can comment. I'm in love with martin logan products so it hard passing on some quality electrostatic floor standing ones. The passage's will be for the R, L, and center.
I like ML too, but in-walls? They will be more expensive than the equivalent floor-standers. Are you space-constrained? And since they're new, don't expect a review. If you need in-walls, consider Triad.

Quote:
Rear speakers: not sure...i am going to put in some in-ceiling ones that have directional tweeters to keep the sound stage nice.
Mistake. Tweeters don't cover the bulk of the information, which is in the mid-range. Go wall-mounted. ML?

Quote:
Sub: VELODYNE ACOUSTICS MINIVEE 8" 1000watt sub. The one i heard rocked and it's fully enclosed so i can hide it in the built-in.
One potential and one real mistake. An 8" sub won't cut it ("1000W" is bull; look at the RMS rating). Budget at least $600 for a sub, and don't use ML's. The other problem is setting the sub in an enclosure. That's like putting it in a can. Set it out in the room. And think twice about doing a built-in at all. They cause more problems then they fix.


Are you planning any acoustic treatments for the room? The room makes the single biggest difference in the sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMF
Plasmas have too many problems (like burn-in and questionable lifespan), and cost too much. Look at an RPTV for less $$, or - if the light level allows it - a front projector/screen.


I like ML too, but in-walls? They will be more expensive than the equivalent floor-standers. Are you space-constrained? And since they're new, don't expect a review. If you need in-walls, consider Triad.


Mistake. Tweeters don't cover the bulk of the information, which is in the mid-range. Go wall-mounted. ML?


One potential and one real mistake. An 8" sub won't cut it ("1000W" is bull; look at the RMS rating). Budget at least $600 for a sub, and don't use ML's. The other problem is setting the sub in an enclosure. That's like putting it in a can. Set it out in the room. And think twice about doing a built-in at all. They cause more problems then they fix.


Are you planning any acoustic treatments for the room? The room makes the single biggest difference in the sound.


I agree with the TV part. I'm leaning towards the DLP. Most reviews so far are really good on the Samsung.


The martin's are new, and the Passage series are only 775 a speaker. I only need 3 for the R, L, and C. The Electrostatic ones i had picked out were gonna be 3500 or so. I just dont have the room for them. I'm attaching a floorplan of my house to highlight the area I'm working with. It's not ideal but it is carpeted. The sub I have picked out is 775. I'm going back to look into it again. 1000 watts did seem kind of odd. Because it's in a "can" the sub is forward facing so it's made to be in an enclosure, but I do have the option to leave it out in the room. I just have to get it by the wife :) good call on the in-ceiling speakers...i'm not sure what to do with that scene.

http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/6...oorplan0nf.jpg
 

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For $600 or so you can get an excellent 12" sub from Hsu, Outlaw, or SVS. Because your room is open it is *huge* for subwoofing. You might need two.


The layout dictates that you'll have several problems. With an 8' ceiling a projector will sit low in the main accessway. And light control will be very difficult, i.e. no lights in the kitchen while you're using the theater? That won't fly. And sound isolation will be non-existent. Got kids?


Then you have the problem of mounting the speakers. In-ceilings might work for the rears. Sides will be an issue. Maybe use ceiling mounts?


What about converting Garage 2 to a theater?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Garage 2 as a theatre would be ideal.....the wife would have a ****-fit. hehe. She wants it as an office for my side business. The sides are also going to be a problem because one wall is a sliding glass door to the patio. my l, r, and center speakers will all be on that furthermost wall framing the DLP it looks like. It's probably not ideal, but I think that's about my only option. I'm going out today to really beat on those martin logans out at the store to see how they sound. it's just hard for me to judge cuz the show rooms at the store are always so "ideal". They could sound totally hollow in my house....eesh, this is gonna be a tough call.
 

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DMF, I don't think he's going for the dedicated HT concept quite yet.. :) I think this thread has progressed to where it might warrant suggestion, but his original question was a look at his components in the space he wants to use. (Granted, if using Garage 2 is an option, that'd be ideal -- I know I'd rather have a 3-car garage than a 2-car garage and dedicated room though.. blasphemy!)


Anyway, depending on the projector, he could mount it near the left wall of the breakfast nook if it has horizontal offset. Even if it doesn't, you can use a DIY mount to put the PJ within a few inches of the ceiling.


Another option would be putting the screen on the right wall of the FR, and the PJ above the patio doors. Then you'd be able to view the screen from the patio, and possibly some areas of the dining room/living room.


I completely agree with your recommendation of a sub. An SVS PB12-ISD would fill that space nicely (mine space is larger and it works fine).


Edit: Shepherd_Merlin, as DMF has already mentioned, the possible hollow sound is almost always caused by the acoustics in the room. No amount of auditioning or spending will make it sound much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update: Purchased the TV today. Out of the blue I changed my mind after speaking with the sales guy.


Purchased: 50" Pioneer Elite 1010HD for 4900 bucks. It looked beautiful, and couldn't argue with the quality improvement over the DLP.


Also, I sat in a studio with 3 of the Martin Logan In-Wall Passages as the L, R, and Center. I was absolutely blown away. I listened to audio, and watched a DVD. I then compared the same stuff to higher priced speakers. I STILL prefer the new Passage speakers from Martin Logan. For 775 a piece I feel like they are the best bang for the buck. The soundstage was completely seamless. Even on 2 channel audio on CD's...I shut my eyes and was immersed in sound. I cant wait to get them installed.
 

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Hi,



My suggestions are:


1) Front Projector (unless light control is not an issue - for the $5K you can get a real kick-ass projector with a good 100" or more screen). A Sony VPL-HS51 will set you back about $2500-2700 and a very good screen is under $1000 (unless it is a Stewart which can go more than $1500). Money you save here can go into professional setup and acoustic treatments. Other projector option - Benq PE7700 - about the same pricing. Can you separate off the room from the breakfast nook? That would be good - put the projector screen on the wall abutting the patio. The surround sound will lose quite a bit of its performance with that large opening and the opening to the dining room. Not to mention the the kitchen and breakfast nook will be factored in with the the area the sub has to cover and handle.


2) I wouldn't suggest that sub - $800 online for 28hz performance. For that price or less:


a) HSU VTF-3 MK 2 $699 goes down to 18-20hz and much more db's ( www.hsuresearch.com )

b) Outlaw Audio LFM-1 $599 goes down to low to mid 20's (capable of 115 db - www.outlawaudio.com )

c) SVS PB12-ISD $599 (goes down to 20hz) www.svsubwoofers.com

d) SVS PB12-ISD/V $699 (goes down to 16hz or below)


All of the above will give better performance and save more money.


3) I would not mix and match the rears with the Martin Logans which are usually excellent. A surround setup with quality stuff like you are talking can easily be downgraded if when things in the movies move to different speakers it sounds different - distracts from the movie and calls attention to the speakers. A matched lower end setup is better than very nice fronts matched with different sounding rears IMO.





Enjoy!


Dennis
 

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And in case we haven't said it, you are spending a considerable amount of $$ on the audio side of this setup. The room will have a much bigger influence on the sound than any piece of gear that you buy - speakers included. You really should do whatever acoustic treatments that you can. Glass is really bad for reflectivity (muddiness, especially of dialog) and bass absorption (it flexes). Heavy curtains will help with the glass, and fiberglass panels will help with the drywall, which is nearly as reflective. Give this some thought.
 

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DMF is right on the money in terms of sub, sub placement, wall surrounds instead of ceilings, and room treatments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well the total build-out is coming in at 13k for all the stuff. The place i'm using is recommending the Orion remote...I still think i need to price shop before pulling the trigger on their stuff.
 
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