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New member, novice on this subject, simply don't know squat. Recently retired and have a 2nd floor pre-wired Home Theater/Entertainment room. It will be an ent. room as I have a 10 year old who will use it for XBox etc. with his friends. Therefore no front projection due to windows, ambient light, not wanting to play in the dark etc. Specifics:

- room is 15X17X 9.5 feet high - approximately 2500 cubic feet. Room tapers at the back and there is no back wall. One half of the open back steps down to an upstairs hallway leading to bedrooms, and the other half of the back wall has a railing overlooking the staircase and vaulted foyer. This half also angles slightly so that the back is not square. These "openings" will be curtained off once the project is complete. The room is carpeted.

- because of the " no back wall", in-ceiling rear speakers will be necessary. Rear L/R speakers on stands behind the seating area will not pass the WAF. Trust me on this.

- The TV will be be a Sony KDS R70 XBR2


Questions:

1. With the speakers that you might recommend, will I need amps/preamps, or will a receiver such as the Denon AVR-4806 THX Ultra2 Home Theater suffice? I simply don't have a clue when receivers no longer suffice and amps must take over.

2. Most good sub-woofers appear to have their own amp. Is this true?

3. TV will be sitting on a credenza designed for home theater components. Is the center shelf of a credenza a stable enough environment for a GOOD center channel speaker? Should I be concerned about vibration etc? If the center channel could be bracketed down to the wooden credenza would this decrease/eliminate vibration? (Putting a center channel in front of the credenza in not an option due to WAF)

4. Would a pre-processor be needed? Frankly - I hear this word a lot and have no idea what benefit it provides if you have a high quality DVD player.

5. I realize the L/C/R front speakers should be from the same manufacturer i.e. Vandersteen. Do the backs as well? If so, that appears to be a problem because I need in-ceiling rears and there appears to be only a few good manufacturers out there (TRIAD, Speakercraft, Niles) who make good in-ceiling speakers. Is this true?

6. What type of speaker wires need to go the speakers? Do I have to replace the standard pre-wired stuff with high-tech expensive cables? If so, do the rear ceiling speakers need this as well? What companies should I look at to provide quality cabling for a reasonable price? (I suppose I should get on the cabling forum area for this question).


Lastly - thank you in advance for any help/suggestions you may provide. I realize that speaker sound is very subjective and is truly in the ears of the beholder. There a so many options out there that the selection process is daunting. If I could get a list of 5 or 6 possibilities regarding L/C/R, Subwoofer, and rears then I would at least have somewhere to start. Right now, I keep on reading this amazing forum and continue to spin my wheels as the more I read, the more I don't know, and the more indecisive I become. At this rate, my son will be out of the house before I get this thing done.
 

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I recommend you start your list and your listening by going to all your local stores and seeing what you can hear and buy locally (should you choose to do so). Doing this not only saves us from wasting time, but allows you to learn a bit and we can find out what kind of sound you like.


For your questions...

1. Depends on the speakers you're after and the receiver..

2. A lot of them do.

3. Depends on your credenza, a lot of people do put their center channels in or on their credenzas or TV stands

4. Depends on your amp... I'm more of a 2-channel guy but the pre-processor would be necessary if you don't get a receiver AFAIK.

5. The surrounds don't have to be from the same manufacturer but I'd keep it that way if I were spending 10k. That's better for surround music listening.

6. You don't need anything fancy. Expensive cable is largely snake oil (and someone will feel the need to argue this). You should look for the proper gauge (I'd keep it to at least 12 gauge but 14 may be enough and this depends on the current your speakers need)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by czuponcic /forum/post/0


New member, novice on this subject, simply don't know squat. Recently retired and have a 2nd floor pre-wired Home Theater/Entertainment room. It will be an ent. room as I have a 10 year old who will use it for XBox etc. with his friends. Therefore no front projection due to windows, ambient light, not wanting to play in the dark etc. Specifics:

- room is 15X17X 9.5 feet high - approximately 2500 cubic feet. Room tapers at the back and there is no back wall. One half of the open back steps down to an upstairs hallway leading to bedrooms, and the other half of the back wall has a railing overlooking the staircase and vaulted foyer. This half also angles slightly so that the back is not square. These "openings" will be curtained off once the project is complete. The room is carpeted.

- because of the " no back wall", in-ceiling rear speakers will be necessary. Rear L/R speakers on stands behind the seating area will not pass the WAF. Trust me on this.

- The TV will be be a Sony KDS R70 XBR2


Questions:

1. With the speakers that you might recommend, will I need amps/preamps, or will a receiver such as the Denon AVR-4806 THX Ultra2 Home Theater suffice? I simply don't have a clue when receivers no longer suffice and amps must take over.

2. Most good sub-woofers appear to have their own amp. Is this true?

3. TV will be sitting on a credenza designed for home theater components. Is the center shelf of a credenza a stable enough environment for a GOOD center channel speaker? Should I be concerned about vibration etc? If the center channel could be bracketed down to the wooden credenza would this decrease/eliminate vibration? (Putting a center channel in front of the credenza in not an option due to WAF)

4. Would a pre-processor be needed? Frankly - I hear this word a lot and have no idea what benefit it provides if you have a high quality DVD player.

5. I realize the L/C/R front speakers should be from the same manufacturer i.e. Vandersteen. Do the backs as well? If so, that appears to be a problem because I need in-ceiling rears and there appears to be only a few good manufacturers out there (TRIAD, Speakercraft, Niles) who make good in-ceiling speakers. Is this true?

6. What type of speaker wires need to go the speakers? Do I have to replace the standard pre-wired stuff with high-tech expensive cables? If so, do the rear ceiling speakers need this as well? What companies should I look at to provide quality cabling for a reasonable price? (I suppose I should get on the cabling forum area for this question).


Lastly - thank you in advance for any help/suggestions you may provide. I realize that speaker sound is very subjective and is truly in the ears of the beholder. There a so many options out there that the selection process is daunting. If I could get a list of 5 or 6 possibilities regarding L/C/R, Subwoofer, and rears then I would at least have somewhere to start. Right now, I keep on reading this amazing forum and continue to spin my wheels as the more I read, the more I don't know, and the more indecisive I become. At this rate, my son will be out of the house before I get this thing done.

I heard the NAD master series combined with the dali helicon series the other day... just absolutely amazing surround experience. A bit more pricey than 10k though. Other option would be a total dynaudio focus surround set with arcam 350 surround receiver and dv137 dvd-player and a (velodyne?) subwoofer.
 

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Speakers- Speakercraft Starlet for front and Aim series for the back. On Ebay at great prices.


Receiver- Denon 4306 . If you think you need to have seperate amp, just use the Denon as a processor.


Sub- SVS or Velodyne. Both come amplified.


And just use 12 or 14 gauge copper speaker wire from Home Depot.


And you will still have some money left over to buy more toys.
 

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You would be a good candidate to find someone in your area that installs professionally to come by and walk you thru all this. There is nothing wrong with seeking advice here but to have an in home person work with you on this project especially considering your expertise in this area might be the way to go.


I'm not talking about having someone charge you an arm and a leg to install it for you but just to help you with your options. My 2 cents.
 

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i would audition the speakers first and find the sound that you like

taking a disc of the music you like with you and then buy the electronics

to go with it as far as subs the velodyne ,svs and servo -15 are some good

choices and like one poster said 12awg speaker will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thank you all for your input. There seem to be so many options and possibilities to get it right, but also to screw it up. To those of you have have lived this passion for years, I'm sure it is as simple as waking up in the morning. To those of us who have just had a sudden immersion in this over the last 2 weeks, the feeling is more like "Holy S---T!!, where do I start. The last thing I want to do is spend good money and end up with something that is mediocre at best. Thanks again.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by czuponcic /forum/post/0


I thank you all for your input. There seem to be so many options and possibilities to get it right, but also to screw it up. To those of you have have lived this passion for years, I'm sure it is as simple as waking up in the morning. To those of us who have just had a sudden immersion in this over the last 2 weeks, the feeling is more like "Holy S---T!!, where do I start. The last thing I want to do is spend good money and end up with something that is mediocre at best. Thanks again.

Just remember to invest a bit in equipment as well, with 10k i would spend around 500 on cables, around 4000 on equipment and around 5500 on speakers. Speakers are the most important part of your system and should match your personal taste the most, no cable or equipment can change or hide something you really dislike in a speaker.


Good luck and start by dropping by some shops and listen to a few setups...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by czuponcic /forum/post/0


Rear L/R speakers on stands behind the seating area will not pass the WAF. Trust me on this.

Entertainment rooms are supposed to be exempt from the WAF! That's why they're entertainment rooms and not living rooms or bedrooms! Your wife didn't get the memo?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekdo /forum/post/0


Speakers- Speakercraft Starlet for front and Aim series for the back. On Ebay at great prices.


Receiver- Denon 4306 . If you think you need to have seperate amp, just use the Denon as a processor.


Sub- SVS or Velodyne. Both come amplified.


And just use 12 or 14 gauge copper speaker wire from Home Depot.


And you will still have some money left over to buy more toys.


Are you recommending no center channel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Llanowar /forum/post/0


Just remember to invest a bit in equipment as well, with 10k i would spend around 500 on cables, around 4000 on equipment and around 5500 on speakers. Speakers are the most important part of your system and should match your personal taste the most, no cable or equipment can change or hide something you really dislike in a speaker.


Good luck and start by dropping by some shops and listen to a few setups...

Actually, the $10k was for the 5:1 speakers alone. I've got another $7k or so for the equipment. After reading numerous posts on this site, I was thinking about the Denon 4806ci receiver and thus forego amps and pre/pros. There appears to be a number of people on this site who feel that that receiver will be more than adequate to push pretty much any combination of speakers in my price range. Am I being naive?? Will also need a DVD player as well (obviously) TBD later. Maybe the one coming out in February that plays both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD??


I'm actually going to go out today and start hitting some shops and listening to some speakers. I wouldn't buy a car without driving it first, so I don't know why I ever thought I could/would buy speakers without listening to them first. I guess my rationale has been 'I can't possibly test-drive every make and every model of every car. Therefore, if my span of search can be narrowed due to input from experts (you guys), I can more easily audition 10 recommended versus 100 unknowns. Does that make sense to anybody other than myself?
 

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5.1 System

Fronts: Vandersteen Quattro's $7000.

Center: Vandersteen VCC-5 $2000

Sides: Vandersteen VSM-1 "wall mount" $950 or Vandersteen 1C "floor standing" $850

Sub: Vandersteen V2W $1300

Ok I broke the bank a little.


With these speakers, get seperate electronics instead of a receiver.
 

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What I am planning for a room with similar shape characteristics:


Front L/C/R and Rear L/C/R: Genelec 8040A (powered); you can get ceiling mounts for these, but they are not in-ceiling. $1050 each at Sweetwater.com. You can also get them in white, to make them less visible.

Sub: Genelec 7070A (powered, does bass management); $2600 or thereabouts.

Because all these speakers are powered, you only need a receiver as decoder/processor/pre-amp; no separate amp needed.

Price with shipping and cabling will be just about $10k, so it'll fit your budget.


If you've never heard Genelecs, it might be hard to take it on faith. You'd have to go to a high-end music instrument/gear store to hear them, as they're not sold at your typical HiFi store. However, a lot of people will never want to go back, once they've heard them (myself included).


With this system in that room, you will get to 115 dB SPL while keeping the program material clear and transparent; this is the level that real movie theaters are specced at. You don't want to play all material at that level, or you'll go deaf in a year, though :)
 

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5.1 system

Front = Dynaudio Focus 220 - 3K

Center = Dynaudio Focus 200C - 1K

Rear = Dynaudio Focus 140 - 1.8K

Subwoofer = Velodyne SPL1200R - 1.5K

With these speakers you will want clean power to drive them. I would recommend a McIntosh amplifier. They recently announced the MC205 - 5 channel x 200 watts per channel. I'm not sure of the price but I would guess somewhere between 6k - 7k. You could probably pick up a used McIntosh amp for a cheaper price and use the money to buy a McIntosh pre-amp.
 

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Quote:
Actually, the $10k was for the 5:1 speakers alone. I've got another $7k or so for the equipment. After reading numerous posts on this site, I was thinking about the Denon 4806ci receiver and thus forego amps and pre/pros. There appears to be a number of people on this site who feel that that receiver will be more than adequate to push pretty much any combination of speakers in my price range. Am I being naive?? Will also need a DVD player as well (obviously) TBD later. Maybe the one coming out in February that plays both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD??

I would choose separates at your budget.

Quote:
I'm actually going to go out today and start hitting some shops and listening to some speakers. I wouldn't buy a car without driving it first, so I don't know why I ever thought I could/would buy speakers without listening to them first. I guess my rationale has been 'I can't possibly test-drive every make and every model of every car. Therefore, if my span of search can be narrowed due to input from experts (you guys), I can more easily audition 10 recommended versus 100 unknowns. Does that make sense to anybody other than myself?

Makes perfect sense to me. Sadly in my area it is very difficult to hear many B&M brands at all. I wish you well.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by czuponcic /forum/post/0


Actually, the $10k was for the 5:1 speakers alone. I've got another $7k or so for the equipment. After reading numerous posts on this site, I was thinking about the Denon 4806ci receiver and thus forego amps and pre/pros. There appears to be a number of people on this site who feel that that receiver will be more than adequate to push pretty much any combination of speakers in my price range. Am I being naive?? Will also need a DVD player as well (obviously) TBD later. Maybe the one coming out in February that plays both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD??

I debated the same thing a few years back and there is another reason to go separates then just power. I have a Denon 5803 which has plenty of power but only DPLII and not DPLIIx. Now I can get it upgraded by sending it to a Denon service center for a few weeks and incur the charges of shipping but I've been a bit reluctant to do so.


You could go the Denon 28xx or 38xx series and get a separate amplifier. This way if the processors/sound formats continue to change it is an easier and cheaper upgrade.
 

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I come from a 2-channel music background, so take this with a grain of salt.


First off, you said $10K for speakers and $7K for equipment. I strongly recommend being open to moving some of the equipment budget over to the speaker side. The distortion generated by even the best speakers dwarfs the relatively tiny amount of distortion in any half-decent mid-fi receiver (assuming its power and impedance are matched to the speakers). If you find a $15K set of speakers that you think blows away the best $10K set you've heard, you will not regret reducing your equipment budget to $2K. It's not the common wisdom perpetuated by audio manufacturers who want to sell lots of equipment upgrades, but it is true. Also, don't buy expensive speaker cable. There's a good audioholics article on this.


Secondly, the difference between, say, a good $5K pair of speakers and a good $10K pair of speakers is tremendous. For this reason, I'd avoid spreading too much on the rears. But again, I'm a 2-channel music guy, so take this with a grain of salt.


Dynaudio makes in-wall speakers, and their regular speakers will wipe the floor with Triad, Speakercraft, Niles, and (frankly) most of the other competitors. If you shop carefully, you should be able to get a Confidence C2 pair, Confidence Center, two in-walls, a decent sub, and an excellent receiver within your $17K budget. This would be way way way better than their Focus line. I've heard them. It's possible they'd overwhelm your room, so be careful.


There are other good brands, too, of course.


One last thing. If I were you I would definitely think about DSP room correction. Room acoustics are hugely important -- way more important than whatever amp you pick. Tact has a good solution, but it's too expensive. (I'm awaiting shipment of my two-channel Tact system.) Probably the best bargain is to get a Denon receiver with built-in Audyssey MultiXT. I haven't heard the Audyssey myself, but it's a sophisticated system that some claim is better than Tact's. Being able to get that in a sub-$1K receiver is a bargain that wouldn't have been possible a couple years ago.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ephemere /forum/post/0


I come from a 2-channel music background, so take this with a grain of salt.


First off, you said $10K for speakers and $7K for equipment. I strongly recommend being open to moving some of the equipment budget over to the speaker side. The distortion generated by even the best speakers dwarfs the relatively tiny amount of distortion in any half-decent mid-fi receiver (assuming its power and impedance are matched to the speakers). If you find a $15K set of speakers that you think blows away the best $10K set you've heard, you will not regret reducing your equipment budget to $2K. It's not the common wisdom perpetuated by audio manufacturers who want to sell lots of equipment upgrades, but it is true. Also, don't buy expensive speaker cable. There's a good audioholics article on this.


Secondly, the difference between, say, a good $5K pair of speakers and a good $10K pair of speakers is tremendous. For this reason, I'd avoid spreading too much on the rears. But again, I'm a 2-channel music guy, so take this with a grain of salt.


Dynaudio makes in-wall speakers, and their regular speakers will wipe the floor with Triad, Speakercraft, Niles, and (frankly) most of the other competitors. If you shop carefully, you should be able to get a Confidence C2 pair, Confidence Center, two in-walls, a decent sub, and an excellent receiver within your $17K budget. This would be way way way better than their Focus line. I've heard them. It's possible they'd overwhelm your room, so be careful.


There are other good brands, too, of course.


One last thing. If I were you I would definitely think about DSP room correction. Room acoustics are hugely important -- way more important than whatever amp you pick. Tact has a good solution, but it's too expensive. (I'm awaiting shipment of my two-channel Tact system.) Probably the best bargain is to get a Denon receiver with built-in Audyssey MultiXT. I haven't heard the Audyssey myself, but it's a sophisticated system that some claim is better than Tact's. Being able to get that in a sub-$1K receiver is a bargain that wouldn't have been possible a couple years ago.

Being more of a 2 channel guy myself, I agree a lot with this.
 
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