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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy all,


I've tried to sort though the forum but you guys are so over my head it's scary, I never knew there was so much to know about speakers. So sorry if this is a dumb question.


I have a new house and I would like some nice average priced speakers for Dolby Digital 5.1. I do alot of movie watching but I don't want the house to shake with noise. Especially since I have a baby who will be sleeping upstairs (not directly overhead at least).


I also like to listen to music alot so I want something that sounds good for music as well.


The room I plan to use has alot of windows and not alot of wall space however I'm having it prewired for 4 speakers in the corners and I assume I'll need a center speaker on the TV and a bass hidden somewhere.


Here is the kicker..I HATE huge black speakers. Sorry I just don't think speakers need to scream, "LOOK AT ME!" to be good. So I'd prefer something small and maybe white or silverish.


I thought boise would be good but since reading some of the posts in this forum I'm of the mind that I'd be throwing away my money.


Help?! Suggestions?


Additionally any suggestions on a good receiver? I currently have an old sony component system so thought I'd just get another sony for the dolby digital but I saw in another thread that sony isn't that great of a receiver.
 

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Beth,


It seems like you are 50/50 HT vs Music and that you value both. How much are you looking to spend? (average price is relative to the person doing the suggesting. :D ) About what size is the room you are talking about?


=====


Without knowing the above, here is what I can throw in:


I highly recommand going to several of your local super stores (BestBuy, etc) and HiFi stores and just listen to the selection. (Bring some CD's and DVD's that you are fimilar with. NOTE: I haven't tried this with the super stores). See if you can tell the differences in how they sound. Determine what kinda of sound you like. (FYI: In the past month or so, there was a good thread in this forum where people put definitions to commonly used words like 'bright', 'muddy', and 'warm' to name a few). Does the difference in prices for what sound you get from different speakers seem worth it?


Basically the most important things here is listen to a few selection of speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Since I need a new receiver as well the speakers would need to be 2Kish or less.


Room is pretty open unfortunately. I don't have exact measurements on my floor plan and the house isn't finished yet but you can take a peek at the floor plan if it would help.

http://www.jkbhomes.com/legends-turlock/p2250-2.jpg


The room is the family room and I'm having it prewired for 2 front and 2 back wall mounted speakers.


I've gone to some of those super stores like best buy or circuit city but honestly there is always so much going on I can't tell much difference in what I hear.


My #1 concern is that the sound stays in the room, so I don't wake the baby while watching a movie with my husband. The problem we have now is that we have to turn the volumn up just to understand the conversation and that makes the overall sound to loud.


I know a full HT room is the best solution but that's not an option in this house. :(
 

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 These are highly regarded around here. They are sold by this company. You can also get a very nice little Hsu subwoofer from them as well, and stay within your budget. And welcome to the Forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Russ,


I've looked at the Divas but I'm looking for wall mount speakers and hopefully something on the small side and well NOT black.


If I had seen these before going the prewiring route in my new house the larger floor speakers would have probably been great but I can't change the wiring now.


The more I read the more confusing it all gets. :confused:


I can probably sweet talk my husband into a larger speaker budget if needed if somone has a recommendation that closer fits my needs.
 

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Check out definitive technology pro cinema 80s. they are about $1,000. great reviews, micro speakers with a sub. great for movies and decent stereo sound. click on this to see specs and dealer locations around your area. For receivers check out denon avr 1802 which is about $400 (don't buy it at major chain stores they are more expensive) get them from smaller stores that are authorized dealers that gives discounts (they have lower overhead costs than major chains) and honor warranties. check the denon website for authorized dealers around your area. Check Onkyo receivers around this price level they are also good receivers. Good luck in finding what you need.


(To solve that problem about playing the sound loud in just to hear dialogues in a movie - either set the dvd player or the receiver

1) to night listening if it has this option

or

2) set dynamic compresion to off or the lowest possible option.)

* check the manual on how to do this since receivers vary
 

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axiom might do it for you- axiomaudio.com
 

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Since your budget is for $2K for 4 speakers, I'd recommend the Linn Kans or the Katans. A Linn dealer would be able to let you listen to them in a quiet, non "Best Buy" environment. They would probably carry other brands that you could listen to and determine which are best for you and your ears. Paradigm are also nice.

www.linn.co.uk to find a local distributor


Good luck


Mike


I forgot to mention they come in wood tones colors would look better than either black or white (sorry for injecting my opinions on that!)
 

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For the most visually appealing with acceptable acoustics try Gallo Acoustics, http://www.roundsound.com/. Five 4" spheres with a sub. You can mount them on stands, or wall mount. I'm not sure of price, but the whole system should be well less than 2K. I've seen used systems on Audiogon for $800. Good luck.
 

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A friend of mine just bought the Gallos on my suggestion and he is very happy with them. He bought the entire set new (5 speakers) without the sub for $800 (he already had the sub)... you really do need the sub with these though so plan on spending a few hundred more for the sub...
 

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Beth,


Have you considered in wall speakers. Most will tell you that you give up some sound fidelity with in walls, but from a room aesthetics perspective, it's hard to beat them. I have them in my walls in three rooms and they just blend into the room wonderfully and most guests never realize that they are there. When I play 5.1 through them in the family room, guests are always pleasantly surprised by how fully the sound envelops the whole room and initially will look all over the room to see where the sound is coming from. They are also great for setting the atmosphere when you are entertaining large groups of people. I have wall mounted and tower speakers in my dedicated home theater for when I want the serious HT sound, but the family room in walls do a very good job when we just want to kick back and relax with a movie or music. I'm not sure what the current state of the art is in wall speakers these days as I installed mine several years ago, but I'm sure that some of our associates here could give you some good in-wall recommendations if you are interested.


Good Luck,


Mark
 

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Beth


I think you should look at the JBL system,model #nsp-1, this is a stylish good sounding system that easily blends in .It can be had for about 250.00 bucks at just about anywhere that carries JBL.If in the future you decide to get a sub ,several inexpensive subwoofers will work well with this system.


the JBL,the Sony, and the Hsu come to mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
First of all,


A big thank you to everyone who took the time to reply!


I'll check into all of those suggested.


I do plan to get a woofer but that can easily sit on the floor so doesn't need to be wired ahead of time. I thought there was also a speaker that sits on the TV?? My old system was 7 speakers since that's what the sales person said I needed. 2 front, 2 back, 2 side and 1 on the TV


I'm getting the room prewired for the 4 wall speakers because I opted for full house wall insulation and wiring afterwards would have been a bear. Since it's a 2 story house attic wiring isn't an option and there is no crawlspace under the house so no wiring that way either.


I considered inwall speakers but have heard alot of negative feedback on them and my husband wants something we can upgrade over time or take with us if we choose to buy another house in a couple of years.


chameleon, thanks for the info about night setting and dynamic compression, my old receiver doesn't have anything like that so I'll be sure to look for when I buy the new one. That'll teach me to buy only sony just so I only have 1 remote that will work for all the components and TVs in the house .
 

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The 'compression' or 'night mode' is exactly what you need and why it is included. I would also second the recommendation for Gallo for small, unobtrusive, reasonably priced speakers. Yes, there are better out there but these offer a great mix of performance and style for the buck.


Good luck and welcome to the forum.
 

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Beth,


Yes, you do need a speaker that sits on the TV: that's called the center channel speaker. That's the speaker that gets most of the dialog, so it needs to be good.


Most receivers include separate internal volume level adjustments for each speaker. It may be that your current setup has the center channel set too low. While you can adjust them "by ear", it's best to get a sound level meter from Radio Shack to set them accurately. Subwoofers are especially hard to get right.


Many modern receivers can drive 7 separate speakers plus the subwoofer. Most speaker sets still only include 5 speakers plus subwoofer, however, so you need to take that into consideration when pricing and ordering them.


I hope this helps a little.
 

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A good center will do wonders for a system. If you do a lot of HT, a good center is a must.


I was surprised at how well the Diva C3 does it's job. It really does add that extra omph to the HT experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I want a setup for dolby digital 5.1. So how many speakers do I need?


5, 6 or 7?


My thought was 2 front, 2 back, 1 bass and 1 on tv. Or does the back 2 handle the bass? And if I use Sat speakers for the 4 font and back do I also need side surround sound speakers?


The more "sales" people I talk to the more confusing it gets since they each tell me something different.


Also I am looking for a dolby digital 5.1 setup since I was "told" 7.1 isn't worth it. Is this true?


Anyone have a speakers guide for newbies? :confused: :rolleyes:
 

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5.1 set up requires 6 speakers:

2 front

2 surrond

1 center (between the two fronts, basically)

1 subwoofer (not a full frequancy speaker, just lows therefore it is the .1 in 5.1. It is also know as LFE, Low Frequency Effects).


To save money and "quite down" the system you could just go with 5 speakers (drop the sub for now). But when you want to really rock the house, a sub is a big plus.
 

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Beth,


Whether or not 7.1 is appropriate depends on your room and on your preferences. The rear center speaker(s) need to be several feet behind the listeners. While only a few movies have been released in DD-EX and DTS-ES formats, modern 7.1 channel receivers will expand 5.1 channels into the rear channels quite effectively.


The bass management in the receiver is intended to compensate for speakers that can't go very low. Very few speakers, even floor standing ones, can reach as low a frequency as a subwoofer. The receiver can be configured to redirect the low frequencies from speakers that don't go very low to the front speakers (if they're full range) or to the subwoofer.


You should consider purchasing or renting a copy of one of the home theater calibration DVDs -- "Avia Guide to Home Theater" or "Video Essentials". They carefully describe how to get the best sound (and video) from 5.1 systems. They were produced before 7.1 became popular. Hopefully both companies will be coming out with new versions soon.


Marc Rochkind has written a book titled "Home Theater Explained" which is available in hard copy or online at http://www.htexplained.com/marc/


I hope this helps.
 
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