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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is my search in vain, or do speakers like this exist in the ~$500 price range?


I'm continually disappointed with clarity, detail and most importantly big dynamics in my search for HT speakers that will keep me satisfied for at least a couple of years. I find that most sound good or great with music, but fall down with movies.


Any suggestions before I give up? Right now I'm running a Pioneer 1018 with Wharfedale Diamond 9.6 mains and 9.1's as center and surround, and Paradigm PW2200 sub in a 10x10 room. These are fantastic speakers for music, but again I find myself disappointed with HT. I'm considering throwing more power at these with an Onkyo 875 (pre-amps are outrageously expensive in Canada) but I don't know if that'll do it.


I was really impressed with an M&K S-125 system but don't have the means to power 4ohm speakers. I also really liked Energy RC-10's but I heard them with music and they may disappoint me with HT.


What's my best bet to get big cinema like sound in my home theater on a regular guy's budget? Klipsch? Something I haven't considered?


Please help!
 

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If it's clarity you're looking for, Klipsch would be my first stop... maybe a bookshelf from the reference line. I would also look at Axiom and the HSU HB-1 MK2 as far as ID brands go. The HSU HB-1 MK2 in particular is a high-sensitivity horn design that still gets rave reviews for music as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Axiom and Klipsch are options in Canada, but HSU is not. I emailed them previously and shipping alone was around $80 PER speaker.


I found some Klipsch RB-61's in cherry for $330/pr for demo's - seems like a good deal.


What else is out there, or should I consider?


I just want movies to sound like they're supposed to, not a version of it if you know what I mean. Maybe I should consider reference type speakers like Paradigm Studio 20's or Energy RC-10's?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mslbebiz /forum/post/15534676


Is ...I find that most sound good or great with music, but fall down with movies...

Funny, but I have found the exact opposite. Getting music right is, in my opinion, MUCH harder than getting HT right. Everytime I have set up a multi-channel music system it has sounded great with movies. I believe that most, if not all, would agree. If the speakers you own sound fine for music then what, exactly, do you find that they do with music that they do not do with movies? Is it pure volume you are looking for? Is it that "slam" that is in the 40Hz range and below that is missing? What, exactly????
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll use my Wharfedale's as an example...


Beautiful, smooth sounding speaker with delicate if restrained highs and fairly neutral sound with some warmth to them. They sound amazing with music as long as you don't pair them with a laid back or warm sounding receiver like HK. That was a recipe for disaster.


Now, many including myself would absolutely love the sound of these speakers with music. You can listen to them for hours as they sooth you with their warm midrange and sweet highs. But with movies, you don't want the sound to be laid back at all (this = boring), or colored in any way IMO. I prefer it to sound like I'm really at the movies - very clear and detailed at all times, even when the scene is quiet with BIG dynamics and remaining crystal clear in the loud scenes.


Hope that explains it some, it's hard to put into words sometimes. But I've yet to hear a home system that comes anywhere near a good cinema system. I know many have, and many own set-ups that sound as good or better, but I think most of those people own certain types of speakers like pro audio gear.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mslbebiz /forum/post/15535948


I'll use my Wharfedale's as an example...


Beautiful, smooth sounding speaker with delicate if restrained highs and fairly neutral sound with some warmth to them. They sound amazing with music as long as you don't pair them with a laid back or warm sounding receiver like HK. That was a recipe for disaster.


Now, many including myself would absolutely love the sound of these speakers with music. You can listen to them for hours as they sooth you with their warm midrange and sweet highs. But with movies, you don't want the sound to be laid back at all (this = boring), or colored in any way IMO. I prefer it to sound like I'm really at the movies - very clear and detailed at all times, even when the scene is quiet with BIG dynamics and remaining crystal clear in the loud scenes.


Hope that explains it some, it's hard to put into words sometimes. But I've yet to hear a home system that comes anywhere near a good cinema system. I know many have, and many own set-ups that sound as good or better, but I think most of those people own certain types of speakers like pro audio gear.


I know exactly what you are talking about. A cinema(just like a home) has to be calibrated and setup correctly to sound its best. When it is done right, it is awesome. I did the same thing you did. Unfortunately the price for admission was higher. This is for performance to equal or exceed the theater. Small bookshelves won't give you that huge sound of the theater. People told me is was because of the room but it was not. It is the speaker and equipment. The room is very important(2nd most important) for sounding good but not for the big sound of the theater(in my room anyway.)
 

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your room is small and square which is the worst for acoustics. have you considered maybe it's not the speakers that are problematic? have your run MCACC?


as to throwing power at it, how much power could you possibly need for a 10x10 room? all the speakers you have discussed are plenty efficient to produce ear-splitting volume in a room that size.


also, perhaps it's the sub that needs upgrading for better HT impact.


the RC-10's and Studio 20's are awesome speakers, so you certainly couldn't go wrong with them, especially for a room that size. but if you're looking for that high-impact HT sound the suggestion of klipsch may work better as some really like the horn tweeters for HT. maybe find a killer pair of used klipsch towers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
MKtheater, I think I read elsewhere you have JBL's now and had M&K's and JTR 8's in the past. Have you heard anything you can recommend in a lower price range that still impresses in this respect. You seem to get where I'm coming from.


My room currently is small (using a spare bedroom) but will moving to a basement theater area around 12 x 15-16 soon. Also, my speakers are 6 ohm and low sensitivity. With everything I've heard about pre-amps and more power bringing out clarity and details never heard before, wider soundstages and big dynamics I was considering trying to throw more power at my current set-up.


I don't think the problem is with my sub, it's not an SVS or HSU but it holds it's own. Yes, MCACC has been run and everything calibrated.


So far it looks like Klipsch is recommended. Anything else? Is it true about adding more power to speakers as I said above, or BS?
 

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Yeah you want Klipsch. That kind of sound is their forte.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mslbebiz /forum/post/15535948


I'll use my Wharfedale's as an example...


Beautiful, smooth sounding speaker with delicate if restrained highs and fairly neutral sound with some warmth to them. They sound amazing with music as long as you don't pair them with a laid back or warm sounding receiver like HK. That was a recipe for disaster.


Now, many including myself would absolutely love the sound of these speakers with music. You can listen to them for hours as they sooth you with their warm midrange and sweet highs. But with movies, you don't want the sound to be laid back at all (this = boring), or colored in any way IMO. I prefer it to sound like I'm really at the movies - very clear and detailed at all times, even when the scene is quiet with BIG dynamics and remaining crystal clear in the loud scenes.


Hope that explains it some, it's hard to put into words sometimes. But I've yet to hear a home system that comes anywhere near a good cinema system. I know many have, and many own set-ups that sound as good or better, but I think most of those people own certain types of speakers like pro audio gear.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mslbebiz /forum/post/15534676


What's my best bet to get big cinema like sound in my home theater on a regular guy's budget? Klipsch? Something I haven't considered?


Please help!

For over a year I have had very good experience with PSB T45, they do good for music and HT. Very efficient with 93dB sensitivity. Nice tight bass, but don't expect monster bass, leave this to your sub. Detailed and clear, not fatiguing, somewhat forward, which I like when watching movies, as it brings the action closer. You can find them new for $499.00 (maple only), or $515.00 (black). PM me and I will tell you where I bought them.


Not a fan of Klipsch, as I find them fatiguing when playing music.But, for movies I've found the RF series to be very good. If most of your time is spent watching movies, this is a must audition. You might want to audition the RF-35, which can be had new A-Stock for $499.00 pair. This speaker was built until 2006, and was the replacement for the RF-3, which was the #1 selling speaker in North America.


Those two, are a must audition.


Be advised that my suggestions are based solely on movie performance, and do not take into account your room conditions. For your room size I would seriously consider something smaller, like Klipsch RB-51, PSB B25, or HSU HB-1. I prefer the PSB, because it is front ported, and can be placed closer to the wall than the Klipsch or HSU. Add one of HSU excellent subs, like the STF-1, and your 10 x 10 room will become a great movie room. If the room is not carpeted, add an area rug, and install a couple of sound deadening devices in your walls and sound will improve.


If you want to really feel the movie and be deaf later in life, go for the RF-35; they will not dissapoint you. If planning to hear music every now and then, go for the T45's. Again take in consideration port location, as you have a very small room, and might not want to place the front speakers more than 6" to 12" from the wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, after my last post I started digging into pro audio monitors and PA speakers, passive and active.


Why don't more people use these speakers in HT set-ups? With active speakers for instance you don't have to worry about having hugely powerful amps for your speakers because they're already built-in.


What am I missing here, these look like great buys and seem to be everything I'm looking for in a HT speaker. Ability to play unrestraind dynamics, clarity, detail, wide soundstage, etc, etc.


Is there more info on these somewhere I can be pointed to do some reading? I've seen quite a few people using pro audio speakers from Genelec, Mackie, Danley Labs, JTR, JBL, Klipsch, etc but don't know a whole lot about how to make these work.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mslbebiz /forum/post/15538485


How would something like Yamaha's Concert series PA speakers fare?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Dual_15_.html


I found a good price on a couple of used ones I could build around. 99db sensitivity, dual 15" woofers, 132db max SPL rating.

Great for DJ's, auditoriums, and institutional use. Can play loud, just like Cerwin Vega, EV, Peavey, etc. Not the best sound quality. If you want to party hard, good speakers to have. When in college ('87 - '92) had a a pair of Peavey's in my college dorm room (from my High School DJ days), with a pair of Peavey CS800 amps, Technics 1200's and a DJ console and what a party.
 

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It is not about just playing loud. I would think the size of your sound should be dependent on the size of your screen(for movies). I want my dialog to sound like it is coming from the screen and not a speaker. When a musical score hits a loud note it has to be loud and fill the whole room with hair standing music. Not all great speakers do this. Many do one thing but not both and the ones that do both do it to a certain degree. It also depends on the equipment you have. If you have neutral to bright speakers and use neutral to bright equipment the sound at high levels will become too much and lose detail. I really believe in system synergy. I used Klipsch THX ultra 2 speakers and it was OK with Ada equipment. I then switched to McIntosh and the Klipsch came alive and were breath taken(I did mention this is for movies). I then put in M&K speakers(S-5000THX) and it was not quite as good until I matched them with Ada equipment. The JTR's loved the Ada equipment as well. My JBL's are huge sounding speakers but lack what I am looking for with my Ada(just a little less detail) but once again I am buying McIntosh since they matched well with horns before. I will see. I love horns for theater and when matched with the right equipment can sound great with music(I like planars the best for music). I like the idea of the HSU horn speakers for a cheaper way to get into horns. I have not heard them but you can always return them. If the HSU's are not what you are looking for I would say M&K's are great(oh wait, they are impossible to find now, that sucks). What horns do is make speakers sound much bigger than they are and makes that big presentation for film. You just need to find the right sound with them and your gear. The JTR's use a coaxial design and rather than a horn it uses a midrange woofer to get the same kind of effect. They are probably the best speaker I have heard for both theater and music so far. My goal is the ultimate theater so that is my bias.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Any more PA suggestions, within a decent price range? The JTR's are quite expensive, as are pretty much all of the theater specific PA speakers I've seen.


So the DJ type PA speakers are good for SPL's, but not so much for sound quality? Are the studio monitors the ones I want to be looking at then?


A store near me has Mackie, Tascam, KRK, Tapco, M Audio, Alesis, Event, Samson, Behringer, Edirol, and a couple other brands. I've heard good things about the Mackie HR's (they also have the MR8 which looks interesting and more affordable http://www.axemusic.com/product.asp?...7684&PT_ID=239 ), as well as the Behringer Truth monitors and KRK's but don't remember a specific model.


Any of these stand out besides the ones I highlighted?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
MKtheater, a local dealer has a used M&K S-125 5.1 system with some slight blemishes for sale for $1,050. This is one option I've been considering as the system sounded the best of all I've heard so far but it would require a definite power upgrade in my front end. Onkyo 875 maybe as I found a good deal on a demo. Plus I'd be hooped if something ever breaks or I need to replace a speaker or buy 2 more for 7.1, etc.


MK, do you have any thoughts on the PA speakers I've been alluding to the last few posts?
 

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That M&K S-125 system is incredible. Not only great for music but great for theater. I love M&K speakers and the S-5000 system is still in my top 3. I have a feeling once I get my mac equipment the JBL's will run away in a land slide for theater. Go audition those M&K's and see if they can give you what you need? If not, good luck. That system was $600 for one speaker and the S-85's surrounds were $400 each. Add an used amp from Ada for $300-$500 and will be in heaven. I have heard M&K on a reciever and it was still quite good.
 

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I really only like certain PA speakers. I have loved the sound of my local cinema and that is how I discovered the screenarrays. I am not familiar with the sound of receivers but get one that is neutral with M&K's. Everyone says their gear is neutral, not true, listen for yourself.
 
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