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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


I am about to renovate my house and will be building a dedicated HT...


Now, over the years, I have used various home-theater speaker systems but I was never satisfied with their quality. They just somehow don't produce the same cinema quality. This is especially true for the center channel speakers. They don't produce the 'deep voice' that you hear in the cinemas.


Plus, the explosions are never really heart thumping (even with powered subs). Basically without being able to explain it more, i would say there's just not enough 'volume' or 'epic sound'.


So, I am thinking, why not use PA speakers, which are relatively much, much cheaper, plus that's what actual cinemas use anyways...


For example, $999 would buy me one of these:



Peavey SP 6 4-Way Dual 15" PA Speaker System

www. parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=248-8154


And if i got 3 of them, one for the center, and two for the left/right. I would also use smaller PA speakers for the surrounds..


Then Add a couple of, say HSU 15 inche powered subs (that goes down to 10 hz)...


Would I then have a great home theater speaker set up? Is there a reason why we use specially made hometheater speakers (which are more expensive, if you get the higher end ones, yet don't reproduce the cinema sound as we would want it)...


Basically, I want to know what I am missing here... thanks for you help guys.
 

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You're on the right track. Read up on some of the more active threads around here. I'm too much of a noob on this to offer specific advice but there are a bunch of very knowledgeable people here. If I get some time I'll link some interesting build threads with a decidedly Pro sound tilt.


Oh, almost forgot...Welcome to AVS.


Here is a master list of DIY speaker projects. Check out the pi builds. They are a well regarded and proven design that are similar to pro speakers.
 

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Welcome to AVS. You have found the forum where the majority understand what it takes to have high end HT performance. We have been pretty active with horn (waveguide) designs for several years now. These type of designs give you the dynamics and the controlled directive that gives you the best HT experience.


Quote:
For example, $999 would buy me one of these:



Peavey SP 6 4-Way Dual 15" PA Speaker System

www. parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=248-8154

I wouldn't buy that speaker when www.elementalDesigns.com has a new HT horn design and of course http://www.pispeakers.com/Prices.html has many higher quality options, superior to the Peavy choice.
 

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I think you are on a good path if you don't want to DIY. The downside to PA speakers is that they are big and ugly. If that doesn't matter to you, then it will work well. There is a ton of value packed into those speakers. There is real magic behind mass production.



I don't know much about the Peavey's. I'd probably suggest either the QSC K12 or KW122 (pretty much the same except the KW is wood and K is plastic). You give up the 3-way, but gain an active speaker with DSP. The QSCs are a bit more of a known quantity too. We know the drivers used and more about the horn profiles.


You should be able to go to a Guitar Center or Sam Ash and listen to the QSC's and maybe the Peavey's. I believe they have liberal return policies too.


The K12 is great value. The only downside is the plastic enclosure. If you wanted to mitigate the plastic's resonance you could strip the speaker of all parts and spray some sort of liquid dampener in it. I'm thinking something like this stuff: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=268-250


If you are willing to cut wood, you can certainly do some fun stuff on the subs. HSU's are nice but there is better bang for the buck with DIY IMO.
 

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Question A) How handy are you?

Question B) Would you be willing to work somewhat for your end goal? I.E. Take a proven design and build the cabinets (Pi builds,waveguides,etc)?


You definitely found the right place to research, I was stuck in consumer speaker land for way too long, wondering the same thing you are wondering right now: Where is that cinema sound?


The answer as penn already mentioned is Dynamics, and controlled directivity! These cinema type speakers that you will be researching are on a different plane completely than anything you have heard in a home setting before. with $1000 to spend per speaker you have a WHOLE lot of options. My suggestion, if you arent wanting to build, check out some of the JBL line cinema speakers, Wayne Parham's 4pi, and JTR speakers triple8 or triple12's. This was my natural progression through my personal research. There are plenty others out there, good used klipschorns or lascalas, even sho-10's. bang for the buck though, you cant go wrong with any of these setups, and they will all be more than youll ever need



You've got some good hours of research ahead of you, and I suspect once you start reading, you will really get itchin' to try more than one of these setups out
Once again welcome! You've finally found the right place to have these folks fill your half-full HT cup to overflowing!!!


One suggestion: if you are going to go the DIY route, definitely look into DIY for the subwoofer area, simply put, there are designs and even kits around that will make the HSU's sound like a glorified oil drum.
 

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If your CE systems have never given you sonic satisfaction, then you have never owned a quality system IMO ..


I have a long background in pro sound .. PA speakers are inherently designed to play loud .. for sound reinforcement / bands / crowds / etc .. they reach their best quality loud .. and their best quality is far from a good CE speaker when it comes to balanced sound .. mid range is generally lacking in any PA speaker ..


If you like the sound of a horn loaded enclosure, if you like to really crank it up, if you don't mind doing some DIY on units that have a 1/4" phone plug input, if you don't mind the look of the speaker, if you could care less about the nuances in music and film content sound, if your ears don't get tired after listening for a couple hours to a PA speaker, if you want them to do double duty as a wedding DJ on the side, if your electronics will drive a 4 ohm load (which I think the Peaveys are) ..


Then by all means ..
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn /forum/post/20896936


If your CE systems have never given you sonic satisfaction, then you have never owned a quality system IMO ..


I have a long background in pro sound .. PA speakers are inherently designed to play loud .. for sound reinforcement / bands / crowds / etc .. they reach their best quality loud .. and their best quality is far from a good CE speaker when it comes to balanced sound .. mid range is generally lacking in any PA speaker ..


If you like the sound of a horn loaded enclosure, if you like to really crank it up, if you don't mind doing some DIY on units that have a 1/4" phone plug input, if you don't mind the look of the speaker, if you could care less about the nuances in music and film content sound, if your ears don't get tired after listening for a couple hours to a PA speaker, if you want them to do double duty as a wedding DJ on the side, if your electronics will drive a 4 ohm load (which I think the Peaveys are) ..


Then by all means ..

I think that this is a bit of a blanket statement that doesn't hold water. I wouldn't put any old PA speaker in a home, but there are gems out there. I'm mainly familiar with the QSC's and JBL's but there might be others.


Could you enlighten us as to how "midrange is lacking" on PA speakers? Is this something we should be able see in a measurement?


I suggest you take a look at the QSC K and KW series. They even provide full EASE data.


Of course they are big and ugly, but if they are behind a screen, who cares? 1/4" plug? Oh no! Most are 8 ohm nominal. Sure, the OP posted a 4ohm speaker but there are many home speakers that are 4 ohm, but with no sensitivity, a double whammy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by coctostan /forum/post/20897055


I think that this is a bit of a blanket statement that doesn't hold water. I wouldn't put any old PA speaker in a home, but there are gems out there. I'm mainly familiar with the QSC's and JBL's but there might be others.


Could you enlighten us as to how "midrange is lacking" on PA speakers? Is this something we should be able see in a measurement?


I suggest you take a look at the QSC K and KW series. They even provide full EASE data.


Of course they are big and ugly, but if they are behind a screen, who cares? 1/4" plug? Oh no! Most are 8 ohm nominal. Sure, the OP posted a 4ohm speaker but there are many home speakers that are 4 ohm, but with no sensitivity, a double whammy.

I'm simply offering the OP a different perspective .. which is why he asked the question in the first place .. I'm not here to write a paper on the issue .. and, I've been involved with pro sound for 35 years so I actually have a background as opposed to others ..


Take it for what it is, a different perspective .. no need to get your panties in a twist ..
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn /forum/post/20896936


If your CE systems have never given you sonic satisfaction, then you have never owned a quality system IMO ..


I have a long background in pro sound .. PA speakers are inherently designed to play loud .. for sound reinforcement / bands / crowds / etc .. they reach their best quality loud .. and their best quality is far from a good CE speaker when it comes to balanced sound .. mid range is generally lacking in any PA speaker ..


If you like the sound of a horn loaded enclosure, if you like to really crank it up, if you don't mind doing some DIY on units that have a 1/4" phone plug input, if you don't mind the look of the speaker, if you could care less about the nuances in music and film content sound, if your ears don't get tired after listening for a couple hours to a PA speaker, if you want them to do double duty as a wedding DJ on the side, if your electronics will drive a 4 ohm load (which I think the Peaveys are) ..


Then by all means ..

If you're looking for a amazing CINEMATIC experience, there is extremely little to choose from in the CE market. In my opinion, the suggestions listed by others for the OP to check out offer far better midrange reproduction than 99% of the CE speakers available. Not to mention the amount of distortion most every CE speaker comes with when pushed close to reference levels.


I would suggest the OP check out Bill Fitzmaurice's product line as well, after seeing what MKTheater has had to say about them.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbuudo07 /forum/post/20897151


If you're looking for a amazing CINEMATIC experience, there is extremely little to choose from in the CE market. In my opinion, the suggestions listed by others for the OP to check out offer far better midrange reproduction than 99% of the CE speakers available. Not to mention the amount of distortion most every CE speaker comes with when pushed close to reference levels.


I would suggest the OP check out Bill Fitzmaurice's product line as well, after seeing what MKTheater has had to say about them.

Read the OP's post, read my reply .. my reply is based on his questions .. that's it .. and, I'm right ..


He can do what he wants to do .. I run a set of Cornwalls so I like big sound, obviously ..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
First of all, thanks for the great welcome on this forum... especially for a newbie like myself who's probably not asking the right questions...



I can't seem to reply without having 3 posts.. because when i reply, there are links in them and this forum won't allow me to post.. so i am going to make another post before the actual reply...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Alrite, here's my actual reply:

Quote:
Originally Posted by petew /forum/post/20896585



Here is a master list of DIY speaker projects. Check out the pi builds. They are a well regarded and proven design that are similar to pro speakers.

Thanks, I'll go thru them.. will take me awhile though... I am not much on 'build your own'... since I don't have the aptitude or the time and money to experiment... I just want to buy fully made speakers and set them up correctly... thus, doing some research here to see what kind of speakers would give me true 'cinema quality sound'...

Quote:
Originally Posted by coctostan /forum/post/20896835


I think you are on a good path if you don't want to DIY. The downside to PA speakers is that they are big and ugly. If that doesn't matter to you, then it will work well. There is a ton of value packed into those speakers. There is real magic behind mass production.

I don't mind the ugly speakers because since i am building my HT from scratch, i can build large cabinets to house them inside (unseen), sort of like a real cinema. All the electronics, amps, etc, will be behind the scene... you won't even know the speakers are there... so, looks are not important.. what's important is sound quality, ease of setup, and price...

Quote:
I don't know much about the Peavey's. I'd probably suggest either the QSC K12 or KW122 (pretty much the same except the KW is wood and K is plastic).

Their site seem to be down now...

Quote:
If you are willing to cut wood, you can certainly do some fun stuff on the subs. HSU's are nice but there is better bang for the buck with DIY IMO.

I definitely don't have the know how to make my own speakers... I have read around about 'phases, crossovers, box design, precise porting, amplifiers, etc, etc' and it's just too confusing... I rather buy a fully made one.. Even if i bought a great driver, i'll likely build a crappy sounding sub... So, far, I came up with HSU which had great review for a 15 incher that goes down to 10 hz... if you guys have other recommendations that are fully build sub, similar pricing and better than the HSU, please recommend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray /forum/post/20896729


I wouldn't buy that speaker when www.elementalDesigns.com has a new HT horn design and of course http://www.pispeakers.com/Prices.html has many higher quality options, superior to the Peavy choice.

Thanks, will check it out

Quote:
Originally Posted by beastaudio /forum/post/20896914


Question A) How handy are you?

Question B) Would you be willing to work somewhat for your end goal? I.E. Take a proven design and build the cabinets (Pi builds,waveguides,etc)?

Unfortunately not very handy at all..

Quote:
You definitely found the right place to research, I was stuck in consumer speaker land for way too long, wondering the same thing you are wondering right now: Where is that cinema sound?

Exactly.. i have owned a few HT speakers and always find they lack something.. can't describe it, but they just don't sound like the cinema... and have also checked out very expensive ones at showrooms and even they don't sound like cinemas... i can't describe it, but i think it's got to do with that extra 'oomph', best i can say it... so, recently it came to me, why not use the exact same speakers that the cinemas and live band uses?? they are big and ugly, but then i am not worried about size and looks... as long as they sound great!


Quote:
The answer as penn already mentioned is Dynamics, and controlled directivity! These cinema type speakers that you will be researching are on a different plane completely than anything you have heard in a home setting before. with $1000 to spend per speaker you have a WHOLE lot of options. My suggestion, if you arent wanting to build, check out some of the JBL line cinema speakers, Wayne Parham's 4pi, and JTR speakers triple8 or triple12's. This was my natural progression through my personal research. There are plenty others out there, good used klipschorns or lascalas, even sho-10's. bang for the buck though, you cant go wrong with any of these setups, and they will all be more than youll ever need

I am thinking of checking out JBLs.. i think a lot of bands/cinemas have them.. as for the 4pi, i checked out the site... seem a bit technical for me... i wouldn't know where to start...

Quote:
One suggestion: if you are going to go the DIY route, definitely look into DIY for the subwoofer area, simply put, there are designs and even kits around that will make the HSU's sound like a glorified oil drum.

Anything you have in mind? Already built ones?? or an easy to put together one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn /forum/post/20896936


If your CE systems have never given you sonic satisfaction, then you have never owned a quality system IMO ..

You may be right.. i have only owned a few so far, but i have checked around showrooms for more expensive sets as well, and they still lacked something... but then i haven't heard it all...


Quote:
I have a long background in pro sound .. PA speakers are inherently designed to play loud .. for sound reinforcement / bands / crowds / etc .. they reach their best quality loud .. and their best quality is far from a good CE speaker when it comes to balanced sound .. mid range is generally lacking in any PA speaker ..

Thanks for the input.. when i posted the original question, i feared there were somthing lacking in PA speakers and that's why ppl don't use them.. perhaps this is why...

Quote:
If you like the sound of a horn loaded enclosure, if you like to really crank it up, if you don't mind doing some DIY on units that have a 1/4" phone plug input, if you don't mind the look of the speaker, if you could care less about the nuances in music and film content sound, if your ears don't get tired after listening for a couple hours to a PA speaker, if you want them to do double duty as a wedding DJ on the side, if your electronics will drive a 4 ohm load (which I think the Peaveys are) ..


Then by all means ..

I don't care about looks or size, only sound quality... The peavy one was an example i came across... perhaps there are others 8 ohms? But you do have a point on the SQ.. I need to listen to more PA speakers to see if any suits my needs..
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn /forum/post/20897165


Read the OP's post, read my reply .. my reply is based on his questions .. that's it .. and, I'm right ..


He can do what he wants to do .. I run a set of Cornwalls so I like big sound, obviously ..

I find it humorous that you own a speaker that more similar than dissimilar to a PA speaker like the KW153 or Peavey SP3. Of course, the Klipsch's have a nicely finished cabinet. It is basically the same configuration as the PA speakers with a horn for HF and mid along with 15" woofer.


The difference between the Cornwall and a KW153 is not huge. Of course that is discounting the looks which are moot in this case. If you need something for your living room and you aren't living in a frat house, the PA speakers won't fly and the extra cost for veneers is worth it.


The OP didn't ask if ALL PA speakers would work well. He asked if a set of PA speakers would work well and there are some that do work very well and offer tremendous value. They shore of the shortcomings of typically meek home speakers while not "lacking midrange".
 

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I am thinking of checking out JBLs.. i think a lot of bands/cinemas have them.. as for the 4pi, i checked out the site... seem a bit technical for me... i wouldn't know where to start...


The 4pi's arent technical at all if you just buy them from wayne already assembled. simply put, he gives you the options of upgrading the actual components, which is highly suggested since you seem to have the budget to do so. Give him a call, he will help answer any questions you may have pertaining to the speakers..Great guy too!


Anything you have in mind? Already built ones?? or an easy to put together one?


You may be able to find some already built subs from members that might be near you. The dig danley DTS-10 or lilmike's f-20 are HUGE subs, that require building. The Danley comes as a "kit" where the wood is already cut, you just assemble the panels and mount the speaker inside. LilMike's f-20 requires building from the ground up. Neither take more than a saturday to put together once you have all the parts, and perhaps a member near you might help you out, I take payment in miller lite for such projects...


The "horn type" enclosures for subs are going to give you the most "bang for the buck" especially the f-20. it all depends on whether you want to compromise, my two f-20's will more than likely perform the same as 4 HSU 15's, but at 1/10th the cost



Once again, if you have the budget, most will say go with 6-8 sealed subs placed all around the room to even response, but this requires a LOT of power and $$$. This is the no compromise route IMO. Bottom Line, this is the DIY section, so most of use build our own stuff
I have a modest handle on woodworking and I did the f-20's with no problems, once again, with a payment of beer or food, most guys around here would probably assist you if they are close by
 

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if you're in a position to spend 3 grand on your front stage as you mentioned in your original post you have some excellent choices.


These are a smidgen over your stated price but very highly regarded

http://jtrspeakers.com/home-audio/triple-12ht/


these are very reasonable considering what you're willing to invest in LCR

If you wait a bit the newer versions will be out soon (slightly larger waveguide)

http://www.chasehometheater.com/inde...art&Itemid=122


Of course someone mentioned the ed cinema speakers already, they look to be the business as well.


continue your research and good luck to you.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn /forum/post/20897165


Read the OP's post, read my reply .. my reply is based on his questions .. that's it .. and, I'm right ..


He can do what he wants to do .. I run a set of Cornwalls so I like big sound, obviously ..

No one is right, its all about priorities and choosing what compromises you can accept. IMO, CE products simply lack the proper design for proper HT performance.


This is not even a subjective discussion. The numbers and measurements match my opinon.


I think you did generalize about PA....Its not crap PA just because a speaker uses is horn/waveguide, has high sensitivity using Compression tweeters and pro audio woofers. There are many high QS designs out there. Now, I think that Peavy he linked probably doesnt sound too good so I agree based on that one example but there are a lot of info on how designs can sound great and still have dynamics.


Remember the truely important priority in HT is directivity and dynamics. Without them there is very little excitement. HT is about exciting experiences, WOW!! Matters to the majority.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolgeek /forum/post/20897194


I am thinking of checking out JBLs.. i think a lot of bands/cinemas have them.. as for the 4pi, i checked out the site... seem a bit technical for me... i wouldn't know where to start...


..

You simply order the 4Pis from wayne...they come built if you want them that way. You thought about buying a Peavy from the link you posted but you wouldn't buy a Pi speaker??


Although, I wouldn't buy the 4Pi completely built. I would buy JTR Triple 8s instead because you have moved away from DIY anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow.. you guys are great.. so many great suggestions.. i am not clicking here and there looking at all the suggestions...


The Seatons seems highly regarded, but i think at $3k/speaker, and i would need 3, that would be out of my budget... most i think i'll spend on LCR is $1500/piece...

Quote:
Penngray - Remember the truely important priority in HT is directivity and dynamics. Without them there is very little excitement. HT is about exciting experiences,

I think you just communicated what I wastn't able to... all i can say is the regular home theater speakers (regardless of price), just don't have the oomph!..
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray /forum/post/20897411


You simply order the 4Pis from wayne...they come built if you want them that way. You thought about buying a Peavy from the link you posted but you wouldn't buy a Pi speaker??


Although, I wouldn't buy the 4Pi completely built. I would buy JTR Triple 8s instead because you have moved away from DIY anyways.

Ok, you convinced me to at least consider the Pis... (I could probably get a friend who's more DIY like to help me put them together if I had to).


But which would sound better.. the 4Pis or the JTR 12s? And how does the 12 compare to the 8s..? I don't have to have to upgrade..
 
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