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I'm a home theater noob. I currently have an LG65EF9500 TV and two Martin Logan Theos ESL floorstanding Speakers.

My room is relatively small, I'd say the first couch is around 6ft from the TV with the second on a platform directly behind it. The floor is rug and it is an enclosed room with one door.

I have the TV and speakers about a 1.5ft from the wall because of the Theos Speakers. I already have several Audioquest Chocolate HDMI Cables and Audioquest speakerwire so essentially the remaining pieces I need before I work on decor are:

Receiver
Subwoofer
Center Channel
Two more speakers to complete the 5.1

I have my PC connected to the TV for 4k gaming (SLI 980tis) and I use it as my bluray player as well. Once I figure out the parts I will tackle the seemingly impossible cable hiding that I'm going to have :)

I hope that painted a good enough picture for some recommendations. The reason I went with the Martin Logans is because my jaw dropped when I heard them for the first time and they're absolutely beautiful. I like the aesthetics of them almost as much as I like the sound. I love the signature they reproduce. My remaining budget is flexible. Anything up to around $10k is fine. I'm not planning on buying this all at once. I figured start with a baller 2.1 system and then slowly build into 5.1 and then 7.1. Priority would be receiver and sub.
 

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Nice speakers! I'm sure you are really enjoying them :)

For a receiver, I would recommend a higher model Denon or Marantz that has Audyssey XT32 SUB EQ HT. Using the included microphone, Audyssey will take measurements of the sound at the primary listening position and provide EQ filters to help smooth the response of the speakers and sub(s). SUB EQ HT can EQ two different subs separately (unlike most room EQ), which is a plus since subs often need more help than the speakers.

And I think you should go 5.2. When well placed, dual subs can provide a smoother frequency response through a wider seating area. If you have two couches, definitely worth doing if you have some different placement options to experiment with. Since you mentioned worry about running cables, if the 2nd sub sounds best along the back of the room or along the side in the back (and it often will), you can get a wireless transmitter: http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/OAW4.html. Audyssey would be able to compensate for the delay caused by the transmission.

To find out the best place for the subs, try doing the bass crawl for one: http://www.audioholics.com/subwoofer-setup/easy-subwoofer-placement. Then for the other. Or, if you want to be even more precise, you can get this USB mic and use REW software to take measurements: https://www.minidsp.com/products/acoustic-measurement/umik-1. Then, through experimenting with different positions, you'll be able to tell where dual subs measure the best.

For subs, I would suggest a couple of Rythmik sealed subs: http://www.rythmikaudio.com/F15HP.html. Rythmik uses direct servo technology in their drivers that provides really good SQ. But how big is your room including any adjacent open areas? Subs see the whole space. Could be 12" subs would work well. Could be you might need even more output than a 15" sealed.

For centers, generally it is best to find a matching center. See number 2: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/1628561-basic-speaker-setup-faq.html. You'll have to see if Martin Logan has one. If not, given the Theos are supposed to be very linear, I'd suggest trying the Sierra Horizon with RAAL tweeter: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/horizon/horizon.html.

Timbre matching is less critical for surrounds. But when putting together a good system like you are you should try to. See what ML has to offer. If they don't seem to have something that would work, maybe Ascend Sierrra 2s?

Good $1000 speakers well placed in a room with room treatments will typically sound better than $5000 speakers with poor placement and no treatments. Be sure to learn all you can about proper placement and consider using some room treatments. Even an area rug covering hardwood floors or tile floors can help a lot. Give these a read for more information: http://realtraps.com/art_room-setup.htm
http://realtraps.com/rfz.htm

Finally, not sure what the possibilities are for this, but a 5.2.2 (or 5.2.4) setup is definitely worth doing to enable Dolby Atmos and DTS:X/Neural:X. It will make your surround setup more 3D. Since Dolby Atmos Enabled modules are out for your MLs, and I'm guessing you might not want to put speakers in the ceiling (although this is the best option), you could do front heights to enable Atmos and DTS:X surround.
 

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A picture would help.

I'd call Martin Logan as to what center and surrounds they would recommend, to be honest as those Theos are quite unique.

Marantz would be my AVR choice as well and as I like servo subs I'd look at Rhythmik though it's hard to go wrong with SVS/HSU/PSA IMHO.

Sounds like a relatively small room that you want to be aesthetically pleasing and for that sealed sub(s) might be the way to go due to their smaller footprint.
 

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According to ML's website, the Motif X is the matching centre for your Theos speakers: http://www.martinlogan.com/motifx/index.php

For surrounds, I would suggest a pair of Motion 15 bookshelf speakers. You don't really need to spend a tonne of money for surround speakers (the 35XT's are $400/pr more), and the EFX ESL-series surrounds would be total overkill at $4k that would be better spent on a pair of great subs, room treatments, and processing/amplification.

I agree that a Marantz receiver would be great, but, in your situation, a pair of separates may be the better option. Currently, the AV7702mkII seems to be the better fit for your theater, considering the fact that you haven't mentioned the need for 4 Atmos speakers (yet): http://www.us.marantz.com/us/Products/Pages/ProductDetails.aspx?CatId=AVSeparates&SubCatId=&ProductId=AV7702mkII
I would pair that with an Emotiva XPA Gen 3 7-channel amp for $1000MSRP: https://emotiva.com/products/amplifiers/xpa-gen3

No need for expensive interconnects, I can see that you got taken in by audiofool HDMI and speaker wire already. The rest of your budget should go into room treatments that will considerably improve your sound over $200/foot speaker wire...
 

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For surrounds, I would suggest a pair of Motion 15 bookshelf speakers. You don't really need to spend a tonne of money for surround speakers (the 35XT's are $400/pr more), and the EFX ESL-series surrounds would be total overkill at $4k that would be better spent on a pair of great subs, room treatments, and processing/amplification.
The nearly identical discontinued LX16's are still available at a much lower price than the Motion 15's.

I bought a pair and they are marvelous little speakers.

https://www.amazon.com/MartinLogan-LX16-Piano-Bookshelf-Speaker/dp/B0061LG5H4
 

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Awesome - I completely forgot about your speakers. Any comments about the rest of the post (since it's my first attempt at a "medium-high" theater reco...) :eek:
Ha ha.

Why would you remember that?

Still waiting to compare them to Q Acoustics who last week generously said he'd send Zorba and I a pair of their speakers to test out and see if the hype is justified.

Of course we'd have to return them.

Even Q Acoustics most expensive bookshelves are about 1/2 the MSRP of the LX16's when new so it would make for an interesting experiment.
 

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For surrounds, I would suggest a pair of Motion 15 bookshelf speakers. You don't really need to spend a tonne of money for surround speakers (the 35XT's are $400/pr more), and the EFX ESL-series surrounds would be total overkill at $4k that would be better spent on a pair of great subs, room treatments, and processing/amplification.
I'm not sure how you arrive at the "need" assessment. The 35XTs have larger bass drivers and a bit lower end than the Motion 15s that would suggest that they would be more midbass capable. Besides, it's a small percentage of the budget.
 

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I'm not sure how you arrive at the "need" assessment. The 35XTs have larger bass drivers and a bit lower end than the Motion 15s that would suggest that they would be more midbass capable. Besides, it's a small percentage of the budget.
The 35Xt are $720 over the price of the LX16's.

LX16:

frequency response: 60-25,000 Hz (±3dB)
sensitivity: 92 dB
impedance: 5 ohms

35xt:

frequency response: 50-25,000 Hz (±3dB)
sensitivity: 92 dB
impedance: 4 ohms
 

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The 35Xt are $720 over the price of the LX16's.

LX16:

frequency response: 60-25,000 Hz (±3dB)
sensitivity: 92 dB
impedance: 5 ohms

35xt:

frequency response: 50-25,000 Hz (±3dB)
sensitivity: 92 dB
impedance: 4 ohms
That's a good price.

But if the OP wants surrounds closer to the caliber of his Theos, based on Audioholics review of the LX16, probably best to look for something better:

"For the sake of comparison, I powered on my MartinLogan Theos to compare how the LX16s held up against Martin Logan’s own electrostat hybrids. There was quite a difference in overall fidelity, timbre, and bass response, which should be expected as the Theos cost six times more. The LX16s are certainly no replacement for the electrostats; although, the entire Motion series is supposed to be voiced to work in unison with MartinLogan’s electrostat speakers."

In building a setup of this caliber, I think I would at least demo some speakers higher than the $500/pair price range. There are enough people that feel better surrounds matter that it is worth exploring, vs. those that choose the economical approach of deciding it's a place to cost cost when building a much cheaper system.
 

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Congratulations on your speaker choice. While I haven’t auditioned the Theos, I did audition the Ethos (same exact panel size) and thought it to be quite wonderful.

I think you will be far better off by using one of Martin Logan’s ESL center channels. Panel speakers, be they ESL or Planar-magnetics don’t play well with conventional speakers. That may also be a concern for your surrounds, so I’d ask Martin Logan what they suggest.

Because you have your Theos so close to the wall, you are losing some of its preferred qualities, which is imaging/depth. However, I understand your plight, and bringing your speakers out more isn’t an option. Hopefully, @DonH50 will see this and respond. He knows as much about panel speakers as anyone and what wall treatment you could use behind your Theos. I refer to him as my resident expert on Maggies and panel speakers in general.

Also, @nalthien has the Theos setup in his home and can shed some light on the center channel and surrounds he has used. He is a great source of information.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No need for expensive interconnects, I can see that you got taken in by audiofool HDMI and speaker wire already. The rest of your budget should go into room treatments that will considerably improve your sound over $200/foot speaker wire...
I paid practically nothing for the audioquest cables. Can't give details but I get massive discounts on audio quest merchandise to the point where I don't ve to think twice about it.

Anyway thank you guys so much for the input. My favorite part about this new hobby is that I don't have to buy everything at once :). At first I was dazzled by how much this whole thing in my head was going to cost, but then if I spread it out over one-two years I can build up a really awesome system in no time and watch and listen as it gets better and better over time as I add more pieces.

I demoed the electrostatic ML Center Channel with the Theos yesterday so I think I'll go with that. It matches the signature pretty well. What are opinions on the ML 1000w subs? I definitely need at least one sub for now because I went with the Theos instead of the Ethos. My consideration though is that my floor is rug so I think the sub will be muffled substantially because of that?
 

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I assume you're thinking of that sub because it has wireless built in?

If so that's a good sub as there aren't many quality subs with that feature built in.

If wireless is not mandatory I'd get this sub for the same money; plays substantially lower and is gorgeous to boot.

I'm partial to servo subs which is why I'd choose this particular brand.

http://www.rythmikaudio.com/F12SE.html
 

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I paid practically nothing for the audioquest cables. Can't give details but I get massive discounts on audio quest merchandise to the point where I don't ve to think twice about it.

Anyway thank you guys so much for the input. My favorite part about this new hobby is that I don't have to buy everything at once :). At first I was dazzled by how much this whole thing in my head was going to cost, but then if I spread it out over one-two years I can build up a really awesome system in no time and watch and listen as it gets better and better over time as I add more pieces.

I demoed the electrostatic ML Center Channel with the Theos yesterday so I think I'll go with that. It matches the signature pretty well. What are opinions on the ML 1000w subs? I definitely need at least one sub for now because I went with the Theos instead of the Ethos. My consideration though is that my floor is rug so I think the sub will be muffled substantially because of that?
It’s simply smart to have an all ESL front stage. Excellent choice.

As far as a subwoofer is concerned, one doesn’t have to go with the same brand as your speakers. Matter-of-fact, it’s often wiser not to do this. That is a $1k sub retail (although I’ve seen prices range down to around $650, so if you can get it for that, it would be a decent purchase). However, I’d be looking at Rythmik, Hsu and PSA. They should be able to beat the ML sub on depth and accuracy, and excellent for music and powerful for movies.

A subwoofer doesn’t care if its on thick carpeting or not. The wavelengths are very long so it makes no difference. The most important aspect of a subwoofer is proper placement and integration.
 
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^^^And all that matters is if the OP likes the one he auditioned.
 
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