AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. Thanks for all the insight on here. I am in the process of finish a basement home theater/entertainment room and need some input on speakers. For some background, I have KEF3005 with a Marantz SR6003 in my 13x21 living room. They are fine for that. I want higher level for my basement.

For reference, I have Mirage 7si and LF-150 sub and Marantz SR7200 in storage. I simply loved the sound of the Mirage (bought in 1992) for music. However, I never paired them with a good center or surrounds so they lacked in HT. Then again, they may not be a good choice for HT.

Where I need help....

1. The basement is kind of large. The theater section is only 13x24 but the game area is the same size and there are no walls separating. I don't want to close it off either. So effectively I have a 26x24 area. I am thinking this may require larger speakers and maybe two subs
2. I do want great sounding speakers for music and HT. I am not opposed to one set dedicated to music and the other to HT. However, if I can keep it to one set, all the better.
3. I will upgrade my receiver as well to something newer (another discussion).
4. In the old days I would visit numerous stores with my reference CD's and listen away. I believe my finalist last time were the Mirage and Magnopan (or something like it). I realize many will offer free 30/60/90 day returns. I just want to limit how many I try.

4. Budget. I am flexible and would much prefer if someone says "Hey, you can do just as good for less". However, if I need to increase a bit here or there to hit a great sweet spot, let me know
- I can spend 3-4k on music fronts (If I do indeed need separate speakers for this).
- If I buy the above music fronts and then need dedicated HT fronts I would put about $800 aside for a pair
- Sub(s). If only one is needed, I will spend about 1k. If I need 2, maybe around 1.5k for both.
- Center and surrounds. I guess the center is more dictated by the fronts. Anyway, let's say $1200 total for these 3.

Thanks again for your thoughts. If you all can narrow down some that I can try it would be appreciated. I mention the Mirage 7si's only because I loved the smooth/rich sound they had. I am not opposed to keeping them but after 23 years I figure I could treat myself if need be. I did manage to connect the Mirage, sub and amp last night and play some music. I didn't spend much time positioning them and I realize i need some DeOXIT to clean some connections. The trial did make me realize how sound can get lost in that huge space.

Z
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,541 Posts
When you audition - look for speakers from Monitor Audio Silver series, Wharfedale,
KEF, Focal Aria series, Golden Ear and JBL Studio series.

A good speaker can handle both Music and Movies/TV/Games well.

Some ID (internet) brands to look at are Ascend, SVS and HTD

One option to look at for 2 subs, is the Outlaw Ultra-X12 with free shipping
for a awhile
http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/ultra.html

Also other ID sub companies are HSU, SVS, Reaction Audio and Power Sound
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
When you audition - look for speakers from Monitor Audio Silver series, Wharfedale,
KEF, Focal Aria series, Golden Ear and JBL Studio series.

A good speaker can handle both Music and Movies/TV/Games well.

Some ID (internet) brands to look at are Ascend, SVS and HTD

One option to look at for 2 subs, is the Outlaw Ultra-X12 with free shipping
for a awhile
http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/ultra.html

Also other ID sub companies are HSU, SVS, Reaction Audio and Power Sound
Thanks for some ideas! I will put some more time in on these.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
When you audition - look for speakers from Monitor Audio Silver series, Wharfedale,
KEF, Focal Aria series, Golden Ear and JBL Studio series.

A good speaker can handle both Music and Movies/TV/Games well.

Some ID (internet) brands to look at are Ascend, SVS and HTD

One option to look at for 2 subs, is the Outlaw Ultra-X12 with free shipping
for a awhile
http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/ultra.html

Also other ID sub companies are HSU, SVS, Reaction Audio and Power Sound
Should I look at floor standing with subs or bookshelf with subs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,836 Posts
I don't normally recommend Magnepan unless one has a large enough room for these panels, and you do. I'd go to a Magnepan dealership and take a listen. I think you'll find nothing much as changed from the "old days", because Maggies sound like no other speaker (except for other panel speakers, like ML ESLs). Then go out and listen to conventional speakers around the same price range. I think Maggies make some of the most spectacular speakers for music, and many who have a multi-channel setup of all Maggies for HT tell me they are impossible to beat for the price. I know Magnepan has a 60-day home trial for some of their products (including the $600 / pair MMGs), but one usually has to go through a local dealership (if memory serves me). These are 4 Ohm speakers, but their impedance doesn't dip much throughout the frequency band.

There are a whole lot of speakers in your price range that will be pretty impressive as well. And nothing beats auditioning (especially in-home auditions). So audition as many speakers as practical.

As far as your room volume, it is on the cusp between a large room and an extreme room for subwoofers (anything over 5,000 cu. ft. is considered extreme). Depending upon your seating arrangements, I'd be looking at the following subs that meet, or are close to, your budget (you need at least two if you have multiple seating over a fairly wide or deep area):

Hsu:

VTF-3 Mk5 HP (15-inch ported design) @ $799 ($89 shipping): http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk5HP.html
VTF-15H Mk2 (15-inch ported design) @ $899 ($109 shipping): http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15hmk2.html

Reaction Audio:

Gamma 15 (15-inch sealed design) @ $850 (includes shipping): http://reaction-audio.myshopify.com/collections/subwoofers/products/gamma-15

PSA:

XS15se (15-inch sealed design) @ $799 (includes shipping both ways): http://www.powersoundaudio.com/collections/subwoofers/products/xs15se

Outlaw Audio (two of these may be borderline for your needs, but the price is right):

Ultra-X12 (12-inch ported design) @ $639 (check on shipping): http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/ultra.html

There are more powerful subs from each manufacturer (except Hsu, those I listed are their top-tier subs), so take a look at each website and contact the owners. Also take a good look at Rythmik Audio (their FV15HP is considered one of the very best at that price). Check out the warranties, shipping charges (if any), specifications, sizes and weights.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
If you have a dealer close by you might want to listen to some Martin Logan panels as well, incredible sound quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,836 Posts
^ ML ESLs are great, but way out of his budget range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I don't normally recommend Magnepan unless one has a large enough room for these panels, and you do. I'd go to a Magnepan dealership and take a listen. I think you'll find nothing much as changed from the "old days", because Maggies sound like no other speaker (except for other panel speakers, like ML ESLs). Then go out and listen to conventional speakers around the same price range. I think Maggies make some of the most spectacular speakers for music, and many who have a multi-channel setup of all Maggies for HT tell me they are impossible to beat for the price. I know Magnepan has a 60-day home trial for some of their products (including the $600 / pair MMGs), but one usually has to go through a local dealership (if memory serves me). These are 4 Ohm speakers, but their impedance doesn't dip much throughout the frequency band.

There are a whole lot of speakers in your price range that will be pretty impressive as well. And nothing beats auditioning (especially in-home auditions). So audition as many speakers as practical.

As far as your room volume, it is on the cusp between a large room and an extreme room for subwoofers (anything over 5,000 cu. ft. is considered extreme). Depending upon your seating arrangements, I'd be looking at the following subs that meet, or are close to, your budget (you need at least two if you have multiple seating over a fairly wide or deep area):

Hsu:

VTF-3 Mk5 HP (15-inch ported design) @ $799 ($89 shipping): http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-3mk5HP.html
VTF-15H Mk2 (15-inch ported design) @ $899 ($109 shipping): http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15hmk2.html

Reaction Audio:

Gamma 15 (15-inch sealed design) @ $850 (includes shipping): http://reaction-audio.myshopify.com/collections/subwoofers/products/gamma-15

PSA:

XS15se (15-inch sealed design) @ $799 (includes shipping both ways): http://www.powersoundaudio.com/collections/subwoofers/products/xs15se

Outlaw Audio (two of these may be borderline for your needs, but the price is right):

Ultra-X12 (12-inch ported design) @ $639 (check on shipping): http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/ultra.html

There are more powerful subs from each manufacturer (except Hsu, those I listed are their top-tier subs), so take a look at each website and contact the owners. Also take a good look at Rythmik Audio (their FV15HP is considered one of the very best at that price). Check out the warranties, shipping charges (if any), specifications, sizes and weights.

Good luck.
Thanks dsrussel. My room is just over 600 sq ft. I have always been attracted to the Mags. I believe I went with Mirage due to my musical tastes fitting them better (rock, adult rock, trance, Afro Celt Sound System type music). i see I can get a Mag sub as well but it sounds like I am better of going with a 3rd party sub?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,836 Posts
Thanks dsrussel. My room is just over 600 sq ft. I have always been attracted to the Mags. I believe I went with Mirage due to my musical tastes fitting them better (rock, adult rock, trance, Afro Celt Sound System type music). i see I can get a Mag sub as well but it sounds like I am better of going with a 3rd party sub?
You'll be much better off with any of the subs I've listed. No contest. The important thing about any speaker is to give them an audition with the music you love. Everyone has their own sonic preferences and musical tastes. And it's a good idea to audition speakers more than once. I auditioned the Magnepan 3.6s vs. the Martin Logan Summits and Vantage on three different occasions before making my decision. What was interesting is that I didn't think much of the Vantage on first audition, but began appreciating them more on subsequent auditions. The Summits were a no brainer (simply fantastic), but I actually preferred the Maggies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
^ ML ESLs are great, but way out of his budget range.
Yeah, the ML's are gorgeous and pricey. One thing I am concerned with is placement. Here is the room nearing completion. The fireplace is awaiting mantel and TV. You can see there is a small area on each side of fireplace that these speakers would probably sound terrible in. Close to the halaogen light is a lally column. I am standing about 12 ft from fireplace and this is where HT seating will go. Do I really have the layout to use mags, bipolor, etc?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
You'll be much better off with any of the subs I've listed. No contest. The important thing about any speaker is to give them an audition with the music you love. Everyone has their own sonic preferences and musical tastes. And it's a good idea to audition speakers more than once. I auditioned the Magnepan 3.6s vs. the Martin Logan Summits and Vantage on three different occasions before making my decision. What was interesting is that I didn't think much of the Vantage on first audition, but began appreciating them more on subsequent auditions. The Summits were a no brainer (simply fantastic), but I actually preferred the Maggies.

Great idea. Reminds me of all my trips to my local stereophile store when I graduated college. I finally settled on the Mirage. Believe it or not they are still in business but much different business model today. They are more about design and install and not so much with any on site demos. I called two other places that also managed to stay in business a while and sadly they are both gone now as well. I expect to have ceiling, floor and HT seating done within 3 weeks (I need a break). At that point I will start bringing a bunch in to test. I really appreciate the suggestions.. and looks do matter to some degree as well. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
btw. the Magnepan 1.7 looks great too, but i may have a positioning problem. Based on my room pic above do you think I should steer clear of these?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,541 Posts
btw. the Magnepan 1.7 looks great too, but i may have a positioning problem. Based on my room pic above do you think I should steer clear of these?
What are you planning to do - have you decided to go to 2 different sets?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
What are you planning to do - have you decided to go to 2 different sets?
If I could stay with one set of fronts that are great for music and HT, I would go that route.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,876 Posts
Aw jeez zoepup,..too bad you're not in so ca I have an immaculent Kef Reference 202c in rosewood center channel that is just way too massive for my rather small room be perfect for your situation.

I also have a pair of Referende THX TDM23 also too massive that I have let go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,836 Posts
Yeah, the ML's are gorgeous and pricey. One thing I am concerned with is placement. Here is the room nearing completion. The fireplace is awaiting mantel and TV. You can see there is a small area on each side of fireplace that these speakers would probably sound terrible in. Close to the halaogen light is a lally column. I am standing about 12 ft from fireplace and this is where HT seating will go. Do I really have the layout to use mags, bipolor, etc?
The 1.7s are fantastic, but are $2,000 for the pair. They would be great for your fronts, while you can use the smaller panels for your sides or rears. One spaces Maggies at around 3 feet from the wall (and need some clearance at the side walls). The more rear space the better (some place them 5 feet or more from the wall). You need to decide if this is feasible. Maggies are pretty wide, so take a look at their dimensions. All panel speakers are dipole and need the space behind the speaker to showcase the soundstage (imaging and depth). Those that have panels closer to the wall will often use wall treatments (rug art is a good way to go). That's not saying they still won't sound great if you can't place them in an ideal location. But only a home demo will let you know how they will sound in your home.

And yes, the quantity and quality of audio stores have steadily declined over the years. Go back to the 70s and 80s and it was audio heaven ;). That is why we are seeing companies like Magnepan offering home trials, plus the Internet-Direct companies model their business on home trials.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,541 Posts
If I could stay with one set of fronts that are great for music and HT, I would go that route.
Then make sure to audition different type speakers - and not focus in on one type.
A lot of us use the same speakers for music and HT - at least for me, they have to
handle both - plus, there seems to be a lot of music in Movies and TV.

A good speaker tends to be an all around good speaker - if you can, when you go out
and audition speakers, test them with both music and movies.

However in the end, it is all about preference - enjoy the adventure search.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,836 Posts
I agree with Zieglj01. It's a great idea to audition different speakers. And since you will be getting a sub or two, also look at quality bookshelf speakers (place them on stands). There are a lot of impressive bookshelf speakers on the market. The JBL-Studio 530s are highly regarded, as are the Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1s and 2s. The Def Tech Studio Monitors (SM-45, SM-55 and SM-65) one can audition at a Best Buy Magnolia store.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top