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M2 + scs8, without a doubt. It's just a better speaker than the 708. It will outperform it in every metric aside from size. Nobody will argue that.
There's a part of me that wants to say that the 708's are a good choice because of the room size, but the reality is that if you shrunk my room to that size, my M2's wouldn't go anywhere. ;)
 

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I think you'll have more options with placement with the 708's. The M2's will dominate that room with little flexibility for placement.

If I had that room and was starting from scratch, I would be giving thought to the SCL3 and 4's.

I think you already know what you want to do though.
 

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A returning quick newbie question incoming...

For a room that is roughly 15 ft long x 12 ft wide x 9.5 ft high, which of the following two setups would you prefer?

Option 1: 11 x 708i + 600 watt Crown amps

Option 2: 3 x M2 + iTech 5000HD + 8 x SCS 8 + 300 watt Crown amp

If I were absolutely sure that the 708i could put up with my very high SPL requirements (I sometimes go above reference level for demo sequences), I would most likely go with Option 1 as every speaker will be identical. However, Option 2 will be a very tight fit in my room due to room restrictions (mainly referring to the M2s). Spacing between each M2 will be about 15" and the entrance door to the room will not open fully due to it being on the side wall and adjacent to the left M2. I can live with the door issue as I will be pretty much the only one in the house using the setup but wonder about the sound coherence with M2s as LCR and SCS 8s as surrounds/ceilings. Based on what I've already read and been told, surrounds/ceilings do not need to match the LCR speakers but thought I would still reconfirm. Using the 708i as surrounds/ceilings with the M2 setup will put the setup out of budget (initially, as I could change out the SCS 8 speakers for the 708i later down the line if it would be worth it).
To ensure headroom for higher than reference level playback, I recommend the M2s.
Agreed there.

Option 2 is - for a room that size, and practically speaking - essentially without SPL limits. Can't say that for option 1.
 

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I've never been able to push past -10 on my anthem for high dynamic scenes in a much larger room. Sound will collect in that room quickly. Maybe you can handle the pain threshold, but it's so rare you could save money and have better placement. But, like I said, you've likely already talked yourself into M2's. Might as well pull the trigger
 

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@Kain - my two cents:

I would post some of your room specs and questions in the Synthesis thread, since we are talking about speakers other than the M2s here. The Synthesis thread includes all the speakers you are talking about. Big possible bonus - Dr. Toole is posting there regularly, so a decent chance he may offer you his own opinion. He can often clarify issues around listening levels, the audibility thresholds of certain kinds of distortion, etc.

Personally, I'm with @Jsin_N. We just did a full Synthesis cal and install of an SCL3 based system in Black Forest Colorado, and it will blow the walls down.

I think too many people in this thread have a death wish when it comes to their hearing ;)

FWIW, I've now had a 708 based system and an M2 based system in the same room, and I do prefer the M2s, especially for music. But it's not a night and day thing. For movies they both had visceral impact and slam.

While the M2s look ridiculously large in my theater room (they seriously do), I still plan on holding on to them :) My room is 15.5' x 22' x 8'. I would not cry at all, though, if I had to go back to the 708s.
 

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So it would not be advisable laying an M2 horizontal as a center channel under a fixed solid screen?
It's not perfect, but perfectly acceptable. Got the sign off from Dr. Toole AND Charles Sprinkle that an M2 on its side will work very well, and better than a vertical 708 for center duties. I'm using a sideways oriented M2 for center and have no issues (other than aesthetics - as I mentioned before it looks like a coffin sitting on the floor :)).
 

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Just a reminder about the perceived sound of loudspeakers.

It is primarily determined by the direct sound, and followed up by early reflections. Obviously, the best situation is to have all of the loudspeakers aimed at the listener - or at least the prime listening location. The problem with in- or on-wall/ceiling surround and immersive installations is that for some of the loudspeakers the direct sound can arrive from substantial angles off axis. Whatever the potential sound quality from that speaker might be, it cannot be realized in that situation. As ugly as it may look, the best situation from the sound quality perspective is to use high quality small loudspeakers and aim them at the prime listening location. This is what I intend to do. The more similar the performance of the L,C & R loudspeakers and the surround/immersive loudspeakers the better the listening experience will be. When it is done right, the experience of "seamless" enveloping space is impressive. The whiz-bang moving sound effects in many "immersive" movies are not critical - nobody knows what they should sound like.

With the best designs there can be about a 30 deg window (the listening window) of tolerance for the direct sound, so in many rooms it is not a problem. The spinorama tells the tale. If the on axis and listening window curves separate significantly, be cautious.

Some in-wall speakers have tilted mid/high drivers to help with far off-axis listening situations, and in-phase bidirectional (bipole) loudspeakers are a sensible solution in some small room installations. It is important to deliver a high quality direct sound to as many listeners as possible.

Some of what I see earlier in this thread suggests that someone might have what I call a "deaf" wish. As I sit here serenaded by my tinnitus, I can only hope that moderation is exercised. It sneaks up on you.
 

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I've never been able to push past -10 on my anthem for high dynamic scenes in a much larger room. Sound will collect in that room quickly. Maybe you can handle the pain threshold, but it's so rare you could save money and have better placement. But, like I said, you've likely already talked yourself into M2's. Might as well pull the trigger
What speakers do you use? M2s or the 708s?

@Kain - my two cents:

I would post some of your room specs and questions in the Synthesis thread, since we are talking about speakers other than the M2s here. The Synthesis thread includes all the speakers you are talking about. Big possible bonus - Dr. Toole is posting there regularly, so a decent chance he may offer you his own opinion. He can often clarify issues around listening levels, the audibility thresholds of certain kinds of distortion, etc.

Personally, I'm with @Jsin_N. We just did a full Synthesis cal and install of an SCL3 based system in Black Forest Colorado, and it will blow the walls down.

I think too many people in this thread have a death wish when it comes to their hearing ;)

FWIW, I've now had a 708 based system and an M2 based system in the same room, and I do prefer the M2s, especially for music. But it's not a night and day thing. For movies they both had visceral impact and slam.

While the M2s look ridiculously large in my theater room (they seriously do), I still plan on holding on to them :) My room is 15.5' x 22' x 8'. I would not cry at all, though, if I had to go back to the 708s.
Thanks for the input. I'll cross post this in the Synthesis thread.

By the way, for everyone here, here is a very rough and not-to-scale drawing of my proposed setup with M2s as LCR:

 

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I've never been able to push past -10 on my anthem for high dynamic scenes in a much larger room. Sound will collect in that room quickly. Maybe you can handle the pain threshold, but it's so rare you could save money and have better placement. But, like I said, you've likely already talked yourself into M2's. Might as well pull the trigger
I don't know what "-10" means here. Is the Anthem set such that "0" is the theatrically calibrated reference level?
 

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I've never been able to push past -10 on my anthem for high dynamic scenes in a much larger room. Sound will collect in that room quickly. Maybe you can handle the pain threshold, but it's so rare you could save money and have better placement. But, like I said, you've likely already talked yourself into M2's. Might as well pull the trigger
I don't know what "-10" means here. Is the Anthem set such that "0" is the theatrically calibrated reference level?
No idea. But it's f'ing loud. I assume so, but could be wrong.
 

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Maybe one of the other Anthem M2 owners can chime in here. I would've experimented last night to see if it is in fact reference at 0 or looked for the anthem book, but I'm going on 24 hours of no electricity at home.
 

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Maybe one of the other Anthem M2 owners can chime in here. I would've experimented last night to see if it is in fact reference at 0 or looked for the anthem book, but I'm going on 24 hours of no electricity at home.
Zero is equivalent to 75 db (see below). My own system calibrated to 103 db and I can't get anywhere near zero without shaking loose the foundation of my house :) I got a warning saying that calibrating to the Anthem standard was not possible, though I assume that if I turned down the gain on all the Synthesis amps I could get there.

Found this on the Anthem FB page:

ARC sets level as closely to 75 dB as possible. Note that the 75 dB calibration method found in all AVRs was devised for use only through a narrow bandwidth, to ensure that the midrange is set correctly even when in-room speaker response is sub-par. Automatic EQ was not a factor at the time. ARC uses a full range sweep as a test signal instead of narrow-and noise, and sets level according to corrected response. Therefore small level differences may arise if ARC's results are compared to that of an SPL meter that's monitoring narrow-band noise without room correction. This is normal.

The 85 dB method applies to full range noise with all speakers playing at once. This is normally used in studios.

Volume readout is in dB relative to reference level when Dolby Volume is off. Note that most people find 0 dB setting to be very loud and considerably lower volume settings are normal for typical use. Just use whichever volume setting is comfortable for your ears.


I also reached out to a friend in Anthem tech support for more detail.
 

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Zero is equivalent to 75 db (see below). My own system calibrated to 103 db and I can't get anywhere near zero without shaking loose the foundation of my house :) I got a warning saying that calibrating to the Anthem standard was not possible, though I assume that if I turned down the gain on all the Synthesis amps I could get there.

Found this on the Anthem FB page:

ARC sets level as closely to 75 dB as possible. Note that the 75 dB calibration method found in all AVRs was devised for use only through a narrow bandwidth, to ensure that the midrange is set correctly even when in-room speaker response is sub-par. Automatic EQ was not a factor at the time. ARC uses a full range sweep as a test signal instead of narrow-and noise, and sets level according to corrected response. Therefore small level differences may arise if ARC's results are compared to that of an SPL meter that's monitoring narrow-band noise without room correction. This is normal.

The 85 dB method applies to full range noise with all speakers playing at once. This is normally used in studios.

Volume readout is in dB relative to reference level when Dolby Volume is off. Note that most people find 0 dB setting to be very loud and considerably lower volume settings are normal for typical use. Just use whichever volume setting is comfortable for your ears.


I also reached out to a friend in Anthem tech support for more detail.
This is very helpful, I've gotten conflicting answers from tech support like this one:

"As for reference level, this can really vary due to the balancing of the speakers in ARC, it could be 75, 90 or 100 with the valances that ARC makes to your speakers."
 

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Zero is equivalent to 75 db (see below). My own system calibrated to 103 db and I can't get anywhere near zero without shaking loose the foundation of my house :) I got a warning saying that calibrating to the Anthem standard was not possible, though I assume that if I turned down the gain on all the Synthesis amps I could get there.

Found this on the Anthem FB page:

ARC sets level as closely to 75 dB as possible. Note that the 75 dB calibration method found in all AVRs was devised for use only through a narrow bandwidth, to ensure that the midrange is set correctly even when in-room speaker response is sub-par. Automatic EQ was not a factor at the time. ARC uses a full range sweep as a test signal instead of narrow-and noise, and sets level according to corrected response. Therefore small level differences may arise if ARC's results are compared to that of an SPL meter that's monitoring narrow-band noise without room correction. This is normal.

The 85 dB method applies to full range noise with all speakers playing at once. This is normally used in studios.

Volume readout is in dB relative to reference level when Dolby Volume is off. Note that most people find 0 dB setting to be very loud and considerably lower volume settings are normal for typical use. Just use whichever volume setting is comfortable for your ears.


I also reached out to a friend in Anthem tech support for more detail.
Yeah, my speakers also calibrated at 105 dB, so I'm assuming that -10 may actually be reference or close, because it is as loud as any IMAX I've been to and I quickly turn it down after about a couple minutes. It's not comfortable. I'm not the type to wear ear plugs at concerts either.
 

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Zero is equivalent to 75 db (see below). My own system calibrated to 103 db and I can't get anywhere near zero without shaking loose the foundation of my house :) I got a warning saying that calibrating to the Anthem standard was not possible, though I assume that if I turned down the gain on all the Synthesis amps I could get there.

Found this on the Anthem FB page:

ARC sets level as closely to 75 dB as possible. Note that the 75 dB calibration method found in all AVRs was devised for use only through a narrow bandwidth, to ensure that the midrange is set correctly even when in-room speaker response is sub-par. Automatic EQ was not a factor at the time. ARC uses a full range sweep as a test signal instead of narrow-and noise, and sets level according to corrected response. Therefore small level differences may arise if ARC's results are compared to that of an SPL meter that's monitoring narrow-band noise without room correction. This is normal.

The 85 dB method applies to full range noise with all speakers playing at once. This is normally used in studios.

Volume readout is in dB relative to reference level when Dolby Volume is off. Note that most people find 0 dB setting to be very loud and considerably lower volume settings are normal for typical use. Just use whichever volume setting is comfortable for your ears. Such demonstrations can quickly become unpleasant!


I also reached out to a friend in Anthem tech support for more detail.
The tech has provided an explanation that may not be clear. Here is another shot, however I don't have 100% confidence in this explanation since I've seen other explanations that are similar, but not exactly the same. It would be nice someone that really understands the situation, such as Dr. Toole, would review this and correct as required. It would be really nice to have a definitive explanation available since questions and issues surrounding this subject frequently arise.

Home theater systems are calibrated such that the SPL at a zero setting on the volume control of the AVR or AVP will average 85dB from each speaker at the listening position when the system is in use with peaks hitting 105dB from each speaker (115dB for the subwoofer). This means there is a 20dB crest factor for each speaker. This should match the settings that are used to master the material. The fact that this is the output from each speaker means that the system in use can be really loud if each speaker puts out anything close to 105dB. If the peaks from four speakers were in phase at 105dB each at the listening position the peak could be 12dB higher at 117dB for that moment of time. Even four channels of uncorrelated material would put out 91dB average at 85dB per channel.

During calibration in the home each speaker is typically run at 75dB (which is -10dB) because 85dB is annoying loud. The AV system adjusts the 75dB readings to 85dB for use.

Since 85dB, 105dB peak from each speaker is a really high SPL, typical listening levels are likely less. For example, a -12 setting gives 73dB average, 93dB peak SPL per speaker. This would still give a 105dB momentary peak for the four speakers in the example above.

Demonstrations of an AV system at say settings of +5dB to +10dB on the volume control result in some really high SPL's with resultant strain on the listeners and the equipment. Clipping of amplifiers during these demonstrations may slight reduce the magnitude of the peaks, but extend their duration such that peaks from separate channels are more likely to overlap. All of this may be why visitors often don't ask for a second or extended demonstration!
 

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This is really simple, I'll try to clarify it and keep it short.

A full scale signal on one speaker channel at 0db on the master volume should result in 105dbspl at the listening position.

Most AVRs calibrate at -30db, so it's 75db at the listening position. This is to preserve your hearing and not damage speakers.

Add 10db for the LFE channel.
 

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Interesting the usual comments about the M2 vs. the LSR708. I've got three M2s coming my way that we got a tremendous deal on as part of Harman helping us out with the costs of our home theater seminar. As always, I'm torn as to whether or not I should keep them. I'd put them up in my theater in a heartbeat, BUT that would really necessitate moving to an acoustically transparent screen. I am STILL waiting for one that gives an image I like. The best I've seen so far is the perfed Stewart StudioTek, BUT I am at about 12 ft. seating distance, which is right at the threshold where the perfs start to become visible. After experiencing the razor sharp image of the JVC RS4500 on my non-perfed StudioTek, I am loathe to give up anything in the way of picture quality.

After calibrating a few JVC projectors on woven screens, I am just discouraged at how the materials diffuse the image to the point where it appears blurry (compared to my StudioTek).

So, the M2s may only be here for a short while. As good of a deal as I got on them, I hesitate to sell them off, but I'm sure someone else would be happy to have them :)

I may just wait for the SCL2s to show up and go with an in-wall solution, then put a pair of Salon2s as my floor standing speakers.
This is so very close to my quandry. My room is 18 x 18 with a solid 100 stewart 2.0 aspect 4 way masking. I will be upgarding my speaker/amp setup and I just don't have the depth in the room to place the M2's behind a Perf 100 screen. I do not want to give up the video portion of my setup. So it seems my only choice is 3 M2's and to place the Center M2 diagonal under the screen. I know you are currently set up this way, how is this working out for you? Do you have the Center channel raised off the floor? I only have 21 inch clearance below screen. Thanks. I love this thread its answered so many of my questions. I think I will be going 3 M2's and 708i's for surround and cielings.
 
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