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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm building a room in my basement which will serve as a theater / sanctuary. Yes, I'm a n00b, but at least I know where to come ask, right?
I've already decided on the TV (Samsung HL67A750 67" LED DLP) and the receiver (Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K). Although the room is relatively small (16' wide, 16-20' long, 8' high) I have gone ahead and run speaker wire for 7.1 surround.


I'm leaning towards the SVS PC12-NSD sub. I heard the previous generation of this sub at a friend's house and was impressed. I'd like feedback on whether this is a good option, is the PC12-Plus better enough to justify 2x the price?


My main issue is with the rest of the speakers. I'd like to shoot for something in the $1500-$2500 range for the speakers & sub. I'd like tower speakers for my main L/R, and hoping to mount the center channel on the wall directly above the TV (or below the TV in the as-yet-unpurchased-stand).


I've heard a friend's Elemental Design setup including the 6T6 towers, which sounded good, but seemed to lack just a little bit of pop or clarity.


I kind of like the look of the Axiom Audio speakers (non-black cabinets, yay!) and the multi-directional surround speakers seem like a good idea. Are the M60s and QS4s great? Are there other options I should be considering?


Thanks for your help and feedback!
 

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If you're getting a subwoofer, why do you want towers for your mains?


Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are you saying that towers would be overkill with an additional sub?
I guess my other option would be to mount bookshelf speakers on the wall; I have no place to put them aside from on the floor. If I can get some great, loud, wall-mountable bookshelf speakers, that would be fine too.
 

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I think towers would be a good starting point for the L-R fronts. Even with a sub handling the LFE channel, full spectrum towers give you a nice front soundfield with plenty of umph in the lower frequencies. Try to mount your center below the TV, unless it can be mounted very close to the top. Any real separation above the TV can make the very directional vocal audio seem to float "above" the actors on the screen.
 

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Yeah but look at the budget. I agree with Craig, if you're buying the SVS sub, spend the rest of the speaker budget on good quality satellites rather than towers for the mains, you'll get much better midrange and highs up front from a good quality pair of satellites on stands than an inexpensive pair of full range towers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The PC12-NSD is under $600 shipped to me. So I could get the Axiom M60s, 2 pair of QS4s, and VP100 Center for $2000 and that's close enough to budget. The question is, will I be happy with it... Is there anyone with an Axiom setup in Northern VA that wants to run a demo for me?


I'm definitely open to other options I should consider. People here tend to love or hate Axioms and I'm not sure which I'll be
 

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I would go with Klypsch speakrs... RF 82's, XB10's for side or Rear, Rc 52 for central, and RSW 10 for sub. They sound good, Shop around sometimes you can catch a deal. and they last a long time. Cant go wrong with them.

Hope this is a little help!!
 

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pmhesse -


I am with Craig John on this one. With a limited budget and a small to medium sized room, bookshelf speakers would probably net you more performance for the money. Of course, this is if you purchase a quality subwoofer, which it seems you will be doing if you go with SVS (they make great subs). Speaking of subwoofers, buy the best you can afford. The same rule applies for the front three speakers.


A tower speaker can give you a "bigger" sound, but usually only when not using a subwoofer and when in a larger room. They can fill a large room with less effort, but you don't have a large room. They also may provide a more seamless crossover to the subwoofer due to less phase reversal issues, but really, it's not worth paying for the extra cabinetry and lower tuning if you've got a quality subwoofer and a limited budget, unless you have no subwoofer at all (of course).


You mentioned going 7.1, which should work well in your room, however multi-directional speakers are not necessary in a room that small IMO. 7 direct radiating speakers should sound awesome in a room that size. Also, remember that when mixing music and movie soundtracks, direct radiating speakers are used almost 100% of the time. If you want to hear what the musician/director wants you to hear, go direct radiating.
Just my $0.02


As far as being happy with your purchase, only you can answer that. Internet Direct is unique because they offer a 30 day in-home trial period (which is very cool), though if you find the right B&M shop they will more than likely let you take speakers home for a weekend audition. The important thing here is to listen, listen listen! If you cannot accomplish this for reasons unbeknown to me, research like a madman and be sure the place you order/purchase from has a liberal return policy.


Onto brand recommendations.



Internet Direct:


Salk Sound HTS series

Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1's or 340SE's

AV123 ELT's or Rocket's

Selah Audio (they offer kits as well)

The Audio Insider (lots of brands there)

Axiom Audio

Aperion Audio


B&M:


Monitor Audio

Kef

Paradigm

B&W

Polk Audio

Boston Acoustics

Energy


Do you think you could take a picture of your room and post it? It would help us make the proper recommendations. Also, you said you'd have no where to put bookshelf speakers, but you have the room for towers? You could just get stands for the bookshelf speakers and put them where you would have put the towers.
Of course, wall mounting is an option, as you already mentioned.


Finally, there is NO substitute for actually listening with your own ears, preferably in your own home. We are here to help, but when it comes to speakers we are chalked full of opinions, and nothing else. This hobby is too subjective to believe a bunch of forum monkeys like us, so please take our advice with a grain of salt and let your own ears make the decisions.


Happy hunting.
 

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pmhesse,

A little more detail on how you plan to use the system might help get more accurate speaker recommendations. Is this 80/20 HT use, or 50/50? What type of music do you listen to, do you prefer clarity & imaging or is the abililty to play really loud without distortion on the top of your priority list? Do you like warm, neutral, bright, lots of bass, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance /forum/post/15412944


Do you think you could take a picture of your room and post it? It would help us make the proper recommendations. Also, you said you'd have no where to put bookshelf speakers, but you have the room for towers? You could just get stands for the bookshelf speakers and put them where you would have put the towers.
Of course, wall mounting is an option, as you already mentioned.

Nuance thanks a lot for your thorough feedback!


The room is currently having the drywall finished, it is very much a construction area. It is essentially a 16' wide x 20' deep room, with a bit cut out on one rear side - a closet where the stairs come down. My goal is to have everything in place by the super bowl.


I said I didn't have anyplace to put bookshelves because, well, there aren't any shelves
The TV and stand have not been purchased yet. I didn't expect to get a stand large enough to put the speakers on, but now I'm considering building a bit of cabinetry to make it possible. I do have young kids and although I will try and keep them out of the room, I fear they might knock over speakers on stands.


Thanks for the feedback about the rear/surround speakers as well. Point taken! And, the fact that when it comes to speakers, everyone has a wildly varying opinion. Hopefully I can get someplace to listen to some speakers soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnickrand /forum/post/15413153


pmhesse,

A little more detail on how you plan to use the system might help get more accurate speaker recommendations. Is this 80/20 HT use, or 50/50? What type of music do you listen to, do you prefer clarity & imaging or is the abililty to play really loud without distortion on the top of your priority list? Do you like warm, neutral, bright, lots of bass, etc...

It will be probably 40% movies/tv, 30% sports, 30% music. Dynamic range is important because my tastes vary wildly rock to classical! I think I'm seeking clarity most of all, but also want to get a good sub to make the room shake when necessary. Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmhesse /forum/post/15412694


The PC12-NSD is under $600 shipped to me. So I could get the Axiom M60s, 2 pair of QS4s, and VP100 Center for $2000 and that's close enough to budget. The question is, will I be happy with it... Is there anyone with an Axiom setup in Northern VA that wants to run a demo for me?


I'm definitely open to other options I should consider. People here tend to love or hate Axioms and I'm not sure which I'll be

just my personal opinion, but it is shared by MANY others...Axiom speakers are dreadful. so sharp, harsh, and ear bleeding that they are intolerable after a couple of hours of listening. i had a full axiom m60/qs8/vp150 set up and i got rid of it all after only 3 weeks. be warned...you might really regret those if you like to listen to them loud. at low volumes they are good, but turn those puppies up..and watch out.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure-Evil /forum/post/15416214


just my personal opinion, but it is shared by MANY others...Axiom speakers are dreadful. so sharp, harsh, and ear bleeding that they are intolerable after a couple of hours of listening. i had a full axiom m60/qs8/vp150 set up and i got rid of it all after only 3 weeks. be warned...you might really regret those if you like to listen to them loud. at low volumes they are good, but turn those puppies up..and watch out.

Dreadful???? Wow, that's a serious overstatement. I spent several hours in the Axiom room at the Audioholics show last year. My ears didn't bleed at all, and Ian Colquhoun wasn't the least bit shy with the volume control. I would describe these speakers as detailed and neutral, not harsh or sharp, unless the recording is harsh or sharp.


In any event, they have a 30-day return policy and the return shipping costs are closely estimated in advance, so the buyer knows the risks:
http://www.axiomaudio.com/guarantee.html


To get back to my original point about floorstanders with a subwoofer, as others have said, there is little benefit to using a speaker with deep, but not "full-range", extension along with a sub. If you *don't* use Bass Management with those speakers, you'll be discarding the bass that they are incapable of reproducing, (the bass below their -3 dB point.) If you *do* use Bass Management to re-direct the deepest bass to the subwoofer, (which is the advised way of doing it), you'll be paying for bass extension you won't be using.


IMO, it is better to take the money you would have spent on floorstanders and either, 1) buy better bookshelf speakers, or 2) buy a better subwoofer. Either way, you end up with a better overall system.


There are multiple other benefits to using Bass Management and I can explain them if you like. Of course, if bookshelf speakers don't work in your situation for practical reasons, then floorstanders may be your only option. However, Bass Management is still beneficial, even with floorstanders.


Craig
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john /forum/post/15418984


To get back to my original point about floorstanders with a subwoofer, as others have said, there is little benefit to using a speaker with deep, but not "full-range", extension along with a sub. If you *don't* use Bass Management with those speakers, you'll be discarding the bass that they are incapable of reproducing, (the bass below their -3 dB point.) If you *do* use Bass Management to re-direct the deepest bass to the subwoofer, (which is the advised way of doing it), you'll be paying for bass extension you won't be using.

The benefits would be aesthetics & output at around the crossover point (typically 80db) and slightly above, i.e. midbass slam. These things may or may not matter at all to some, but for some of us they are big benefits.


But in general, I agree that you don't need "full range" speakers when running a subwoofer.
 

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The point to some of these responses here=you must try to audition before purchase. There are plusses to ID and there are minuses.


I can tell you that I am not fond at all of the particular ID brand that was mentioned here. In fact, after a few months I couldn't stand them. It was my first HT set-up at the time and I tried to talk myself into love because it was new and exciting but the truth is there really never was love there at all. I missed the 30 day return window.



All this means is we have different tastes and you really need to make sure you take the time to try to audition what you are buying. Yes, ID gives this to you in your home but I can tell you it can be a pain in the arse to box up and return speakers but should not be a negative just an inconvienence.


I agree about the monitors verses towers. I moved from one level of tower speaker to a monitor at the next level and it was a huge upgrade for me. The monitors and center at the next family level was in a different league than the towers and center from the family below. I can't stress how important the better center made my HT experience. It was one of the best moves ever for me.


Don't be afraid to start 3.1 to buy better speakers or 5.1 if it works out. Work up to your 7.1 dream if this is what you want. I would rather have the best I could buy in 3.1 and add the rears as budget permits. But that is just me. Once 3.1 is set, the rest is easy.


Oh and you mention no room for bookshelves(no shelves). They go on speaker stands



Good Luck

Rick
 

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Pmhesse, just to reiterate what craig john and Nuance are saying I think you would get much more bang for your buck by getting bookshelf speakers. I own both Axiom M22 bookshelf speakers and M80 floorstanding speakers (no bleeding here) and did a direct A/B comparison between the M22+EP500 and M80+EP500 and could barely tell the difference in a 12x20 listening area. As Nuance said the towers had a more impact but if I hadn't been switching back and forth I don't think I would have noticed.


Whatever brand you choose if you do get bookshelf speakers for mains consider also getting an identical bookshelf speaker as a center if you can fit one above or below your TV. For that matter if you like 5.1 music then getting identical bookshelf speakers all the way around matched up with the subwoofer you're looking at an ideal setup for multi channel music.


Personally prefer multi-channel surrounds in smaller rooms as they diffuse the sound more over a shorter distance which I think works better if people on the sides are sitting closer to them. However, I prefer direct radiating speakers in larger rooms because they maintain their directionality better over longer distances. Really a personal preference which just comes down to listen both in the same room. If there are any local shops which have both types in the same room you could get a feel for which you prefer.


If you do end up getting multi-polar surround speakers consider trying the ERD-1 from Emotiva. I haven't heard them but some people have compared them favorably to the Axiom QS speakers. For that matter you might even consider a full system from Emotiva.


Many internet brands have forums where you can look for people in your area who are willing to demo their speakers. If you live near someone you could have a listen before ordering to demo in your own room.


Also Aperion Audio, mentioned by Nuance above, offers free shipping both ways so the only thing you are out trying them is time.
 
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