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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pro Audio (PA) Speakers for Home Theatre - EV ETX

Hi,

Planning on building a dedicated home theatre, and I'm looking for advice and ideas on whether it's a good idea to use 5x EV ETX 35p's and 2x EV ETX 18sp's for the speakers?

I've seen a few articles about cheap PA vs cheap home theatre speakers, but none on higher priced systems ($2000+ per speaker).

I can post more details if needed.

Any advice and thoughts are welcome.
Thanks in advance!
 

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At that price point most guys are going for the JBL Pro Cinema line straight out of the local cineplex. See White Oaks project for one example.

Sam Ash has your speaker for $1500. I just saved you $2500. They may sound very good in a HT.
 

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A fifteen loaded top that won't be used below 80Hz makes no sense, in either an HT or a pro-sound application. Tens and twelves have better midrange and all the output one can require with subs handling the low end. The LF cutoff of the 18SP is about an octave higher than high quality eighteen inch loaded HT subs. Pro sound subs are made to go loud, not low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks very much Jeff, respect your work by the way!

I already have the EV speakers for DJ/parties, I love supplying audio for friends. I would love those JBL's but have already spent $15,000 on my PA for other duties.

Do you, or any commenters, think I could get decent sound from my existing speakers with processing and adding 6 more ETX speakers and 2-4 more ETX subs? (At $1300 per cab for smaller 12" speakers, + $2000 per sub = another $15,000)
Or would it be better to spend that money on a whole separate set of dedicated HT speakers?

The pro is that I would use the extra ETX PA speakers for DJ/live sound work. The con is I would need to take down some or most of my HT setup a few times a year when I need the speakers.

And the question is whether these speakers will perform as well as $15,000 worth of a separate set of HT specific speakers? (Which I couldn't use for PA work)

But if specific speakers would sound better, I would take the hit of not having them for dual purpose.
Obviously the low frequencies, sub-35hz, would be an issue. I am welcome to suggestions for subwoofers and the option of combining 18sp's with custom HT subs if that would work.

Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A fifteen loaded top that won't be used below 80Hz makes no sense, in either an HT or a pro-sound application. Tens and twelves have better midrange and all the output one can require with subs handling the low end. The LF cutoff of the 18SP is about an octave higher than high quality eighteen inch loaded HT subs. Pro sound subs are made to go loud, not low.
Thanks Bill, you make a point!

To give more info:
I already have these speakers for sound reinforcement purposes (DJ, live sound). I got the 15" 3-way's for flexibility for that purpose, but I am wondering about the merits of using them for HT as I only using them a few times a year for that purpose.

Could I add a few more speakers and processing to make them sound decent for HT?
The subs are an issue of course below 35hz. What are my options for getting lower frequencies, ie combining quality custom HT subs?

I'm after a very dynamic Atmos system and could buy more 10"/12" ETX's which could do PA work as well, and more 18sp's would be helpful too for that. But if the money would be better spent on a set of dedicated HT speakers I would go that route. I have already spent $15,000 on my current speakers and am looking at a budget of another $15,000ish.

What would sound better, $30,000 of ETX's, or $15,00 of specific HT speakers?

(I am planning to build a dedicated HT room btw)

Thanks again, feedback from all commenters with knowledge or experience is welcome.
 

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What would sound better, $30,000 of ETX's, or $15,00 of specific HT speakers?
Probably the latter. You can still go with high sensitivity speakers, like those from JTR, to name one source.
 

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I think you could get a good sound from the speakers you own, but I have no hands on experience. As for subwoofers I think you can get more boom for the buck with a speaker line like the HSU subwoofers. Granted they are not intended to be moved from gig to gig but I suspect they will run circles around the ETX subs for HT duty.

Here is something I grabbed off the HSU site, the ETX subs have a rated range only down to 28HZ, much higher.

 

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Thanks very much Jeff, respect your work by the way!

I already have the EV speakers for DJ/parties, I love supplying audio for friends. I would love those JBL's but have already spent $15,000 on my PA for other duties.

Do you, or any commenters, think I could get decent sound from my existing speakers with processing and adding 6 more ETX speakers and 2-4 more ETX subs? (At $1300 per cab for smaller 12" speakers, + $2000 per sub = another $15,000)
Or would it be better to spend that money on a whole separate set of dedicated HT speakers?

The pro is that I would use the extra ETX PA speakers for DJ/live sound work. The con is I would need to take down some or most of my HT setup a few times a year when I need the speakers.

And the question is whether these speakers will perform as well as $15,000 worth of a separate set of HT specific speakers? (Which I couldn't use for PA work)

But if specific speakers would sound better, I would take the hit of not having them for dual purpose.
Obviously the low frequencies, sub-35hz, would be an issue. I am welcome to suggestions for subwoofers and the option of combining 18sp's with custom HT subs if that would work.

Thanks again


I admire the 'pulling double duty' with speakers in a HT but in the long run I honestly believe this will prove much more of a pita then its worth. You will likely find it such a pain you will leave the speakers where in the theater and just end up getting more to do the other stuff; the idea of 'saving money' by pulling double duty will be overshadowed by destroying your theater ever time you need to use the PA for PA stuff.

Many people give 'PA' speakers a bad rap, mostly because there is a HUGE number of very low end PA systems out there *and horrible sounding live performances that would make anything sound bad. Good (as in not cheap) PA monitors can sound amazing. I heard a set of the JBL PXR (JBLs mid line) set with a nice sub and it was as good or better than many home stereos out there. This being said there is a HUGE difference between high end home audio setup in a proper listening room that sounds amazing and a nice sounding home stereo for everyday listening; in price and performance. Clearly the JBL monitors were not on par with ultra high end setups....but still very pleasant to listen to with a variety of program material.

One must ask if 'high end home stereo' quality is really needed for HT. Some I am sure will say it is, but nice PA gear IMO is VERY suited for HT use....but not cheap PA stuff.

I dont know if anyone is running active PA stuff for HT use. I would be interested to see if this is the case. This being said I dont think JBLs cinema line is the only option for PA products in a HT setup. THere are many other offerings that IMO are well suited to HT use.

~JH
 

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Ardon -- I am not knowledgeable like many here are, but I am using Mackie SA1232Z's, which are active tri-amplified DJ/PA speakers, for my front L/R. I really like the sound for both two channel audio (with a sub crossed at 80 hz) and for home theater, after calibrating with Audyssey XT32. FWIW I am very happy with these pro audio speakers. Mine have two 12's up to 700 hz, then a 6" mid driver up to 3000 hz, then a CD with waveguide. Big bastards in the living room is maybe the only downside I can think of. I got them used fairly cheap, just to put a toe in the water and intend to check out more modern implementations in the next couple years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies guys, and the personal experience Prmntgen.

I understand PA speakers are designed with different priorities, and the subs don't go as low as HT subs, but I struggle to understand why they are usually always given a bad wrap compared to HT speakers. I would have thought they could be eq'd to sound almost exactly as good as comparably priced HT speakers, with the added benefit of durable construction and higher power capabilities givin a more dynamic and visceral sound?

Pro Audio speakers seems closer to commercial cinema speakers than HT ones do.
For me, they serve as DJ/live sound, so dual purpose if used for a home theatre.

I am no expert which is why I am asking. I realise there are pro's and con's like size, they are active which be an advantage or disadvantage, but what about purely from a sound quality standpoint?
Would the experience they give in dynamic power outweigh the subtle nuance they may lack? And how much difference in detail/frequency response is there?

Thanks for your comments :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I admire the 'pulling double duty' with speakers in a HT but in the long run I honestly believe this will prove much more of a pita then its worth. You will likely find it such a pain you will leave the speakers where in the theater and just end up getting more to do the other stuff; the idea of 'saving money' by pulling double duty will be overshadowed by destroying your theater ever time you need to use the PA for PA stuff.

Many people give 'PA' speakers a bad rap, mostly because there is a HUGE number of very low end PA systems out there *and horrible sounding live performances that would make anything sound bad. Good (as in not cheap) PA monitors can sound amazing. I heard a set of the JBL PXR (JBLs mid line) set with a nice sub and it was as good or better than many home stereos out there. This being said there is a HUGE difference between high end home audio setup in a proper listening room that sounds amazing and a nice sounding home stereo for everyday listening; in price and performance. Clearly the JBL monitors were not on par with ultra high end setups....but still very pleasant to listen to with a variety of program material.

One must ask if 'high end home stereo' quality is really needed for HT. Some I am sure will say it is, but nice PA gear IMO is VERY suited for HT use....but not cheap PA stuff.

I dont know if anyone is running active PA stuff for HT use. I would be interested to see if this is the case. This being said I dont think JBLs cinema line is the only option for PA products in a HT setup. THere are many other offerings that IMO are well suited to HT use.

~JH
Thanks for the replies guys.

I will check out those HFU subs Jeff, they look good down to about 16hz.
I agree with you Jonny, I'm not sure why the comments I've read give PA speakers such a bad rap (besides cheap ones which makes sense).

I understand they are built with slightly different priorities, but they are both built to sound good. In some ways I thought the extra dynamic power would make PA type speakers deliver a more intense experience, and be close to HT speakers accuracy?

You do make a good point about set up and tear down being annoying. Thankfully I only use them a few times a year, and I guess I have to decide whether it's worth the few thousand dollars for the extra work. In my situation, if used for dual purpose, it may make sense to use PA cost-wise, while for others doing single duty a Pro Cinema setup might perform a little better in HT. So individuals situation may contribute to their choice, but I would love to hear more from a purely sound quality point of view!

If anyone is using PA for HT, please lend me your experiences, how does it perform for you?
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Why does PA typically get such a bad rap, are the differences really as extreme as people suggest? I haven't seen any explanation as to why, yet.

Thanks for your comments, I'd love to hear from any with experience or knowledge of sound.
 

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I'm a little biased, I'm using QSC active speakers in my home theater, but I'll give you my two cents.
If you're after dynamics, low distortion, and high efficiency, then PA speakers are the answer.
My solution for subwoofers to compliment the PA speakers and reach lower frequencies is to build some of the wrecker tapped horn subs that lilmike has designed.
I also own a Tuba HT that Bill FitzMaurice designed.
 

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I struggle to understand why they are usually always given a bad wrap compared to HT speakers.
That's because the PA market is dominated by cheap junk. High quality PA gear sounds just as good as high quality consumer grade speakers, but the typical $299 powered PA speaker isn't high quality.
 

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That's because the PA market is dominated by cheap junk. High quality PA gear sounds just as good as high quality consumer grade speakers, but the typical $299 powered PA speaker isn't high quality.
Pyle Pro is cheap junk? Say it isn't so...:)
 

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A while back our resident AVS staff reviewer Mark Henninger (Imagic) did a review of a pair of Behringer low priced active PA speakers in his home setup and was favorably impressed comparing them to typical home theater fare. I looked but couldn't find the thread.
 

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I've owned JBL cinema 3677, 8340a, 8330a, QSC 2150 and I'm currently back to the 3677 for the 2nd time as well as many consumer and DIY designs. The Pro Cinema mains are every bit as "audiophile as Paradigm, Def tech etc which i've also owned and IMO squash them in almost every way that matters. The surrounds IMO are part of the group that gives pro gear a bad rap.. so I'd recommend Volt 10lx for surrounds. If you feel you're missing something don't use them. If they're even the slightest bit harsh I wouldn't even consider them. There's better pro stuff out there.

Some reading and watching!:D

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/1280211-jbl-pro-3677-have-arrived.html


 

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Pyle Pro is cheap junk? Say it isn't so...:)

The sad thing is that Pyle was at one time was a small family owned company that made some VERY high quality drivers and has been around since the 60s.

Shame what they have become.


On the PA note, for years 'PA' was designed with a hand grenade mentality, meaning as loud as possible with wide dispersion to cover the largest area. The only way you could get R-L separation was to have the drivers physically separated by +30'!
This being said IMO many of the modern small PA stuff has really tried to shift to more fidelity vs just loud.

However....

PA stuff is STILL designed for PA needs. It is important to choose a device that would be suited for HT use. The industry still makes loud, wide dispersion type concert speakers that would not work well in a HT application. Things like stage/studio monitors and music reproduction speakers could work well where a commercial sound reinforcement setup wouldnt (*unless you have a really big HT!)....but its all technically 'PA'.

~JH
 

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A while back our resident AVS staff reviewer Mark Henninger (Imagic) did a review of a pair of Behringer low priced active PA speakers in his home setup and was favorably impressed comparing them to typical home theater fare. I looked but couldn't find the thread.
About one min in the video you will see the Pa speakers behind my Falcon Screen. I followed that thread that Mark Henninger did about the Behringer Pa speakers and bought them. They play really loud and don't sound bad. We did a A/B comparison at my GTG meet between the DIYSG Fusion 15's and the 15" Pa speakers and had mixed reviews. The fusion 15's beat these IMO by far but other guys liked the Pa speakers. There not bad 219 $ each. They keep up with all my subs and there clear.
 

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I use JBL Pro Cinema speakers in my HT with an AT screen and I love the results. Huge, clean, dynamic sound like at commercial cinemas. You can find some great deals on used equipment from cinemas going out of business and the like. Drivers can be easily replaced if blown on the cheap. It's definitely a good pathway to choose. JBL, Klipsch, Electro-Voice, QSC can all be found used and sometimes at great bargains. As said DIY is another great route.
 
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