5.1 speaker system for small room + yamaha receiver

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Greg_sford, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. Greg_sford

    Greg_sford Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Central MD
    Real Name:
    Greg
    First post, so let me say first what an awesome site this is. I've learned much lurking!

    New finished basement HT room is 15'x11'w/9' ceilings, drywall all around. 48" Mitsubishi HD is on short wall. Left wall (facing tv) is open to hall. Back wall is a half-wall/bar which may get draped for viewing (to hide the sliding glass door behind.)

    I'm pretty much decided on a Yamaha rxv-1300/1400 receiver. Anticipate 65% movies (helicopters and Meryl Streep), 35% music (classical, jazz, musicals, ccm).

    Interested in collective wisdom on a good speaker match for this situation. Floor standing fronts is no problem, but one issue is narrowness of rooms has me concerned about using "large" surrounds (bookshelf size vs. sats). I have no problem "building" a system, doing front/center now, adding surrounds later; at this point I would do a sub last.

    We've auditioned Boston Acoustics (VR1s) vs. comparable Mirage and Sapphires (@ local tweeter), and prefer the BAs - very full & rich, esp. mids. Tried out B&Ws (601/2) and Definitive (350/450b) bookshelves at gramophone, preferring the Defs (though the B&W 603s were positively out of this world, and probably my price range!)

    I have had good experience with Infinity speakers in the past, but the circuit city experience is pretty laughable (when did they drop specialty shops?). I've read favorable comments on the Alpha line here, and they do sound great, as best I can tell.

    Finally, the Axioms mentioned here have peaked my interest. They look like they would be a nice match for the room, but I'm concerned with how they would mate with the Yamaha receiver, as both seem to be mentioned as warm/bright. Would the combination be disappointing?

    Looks like the speaker budget is around $1,200 sans sub.

    All thoughts and additional considerations more than welcome. Apologies for any newbie shortcomings. Thanks for sharing.
     
  2. Ernie Estrella

    Ernie Estrella Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Real Name:
    Ernie
    Have you looked at Paradigms? They're a little lower in price and are comparable to the Axioms or so people have mentioned here. I went with Paradigm mini-monitors and drive them with a little Yamaha. Very happy!
     
  3. Luitz

    Luitz Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    IMO go with B&W 603s U said it yerself (positively out of this world)
     
  4. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 1998
    Messages:
    2,917
    Likes Received:
    11
    I am a happy Paradigm speaker-set up owner with a Yamaha receiver. I would also recommend you look at the Monitor series. The Mini-Monitors are the lowest in price at around $400 per pair. I personally like the Monitor 7s for the fronts, but they cost around $700 per pair.

    In any case, give Paradigms a listen with the receiver you decide to buy.
     
  5. Greg_sford

    Greg_sford Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Central MD
    Real Name:
    Greg
    Thanks for all the input, though I was hoping to become *less* confused[​IMG] - I see a trip back to gramophone to sound out the paradigms. The Seven's look terrific, but I fear they (and the B&W 603's) are out of the price range - figuring on $1,200+ for the 5.0, will do the sub later.

    Any thoughts on the relative merits on floorstanding speakers in this relatively small room? and how much "smaller" surrounds could be than mains?

    Still also interested in opinions on match between Axiom speakers (which I can't demo) and Yamaha rxv 13/1400.

    Thanks to all
     
  6. Dan Halchak

    Dan Halchak Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would not get the B&Ws 603s...get the DM602s instead. You will be MUCH happier with them. Couple that with a sub, and you're going to have a better sounding system (IMHO). I think you will be happier with the bigger 7" driver on them and the sound stage and imaging is amazing.

    I have the complete B&W 600 line on my Yammy Rx-v1400 and it's amazing how they sound. I think you'll definitely like them, but just make sure you get what sounds great to you.
     
  7. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 1999
    Messages:
    689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Greg, with your budget I'd shy away from floorstanders. Getting good quality ones would take up most of your total budget IMO. Plus, then you have to make sure your receiver has the juice to drive them properly.

    Have you listened to any NHT setups? You can get the SB1's, SB2's or SB3's from $300 a pair to $600 a pair. You could get the SB3's for the front, SB1's for the rear and an SC1 or SC2 center depending on mains.

    http://ww1.onecall.com/About_0000100...37_0_nht_0.htm

    http://ww2.onecall.com/About_0000100..._0_0_nht_0.htm

    Onecall also has great deals on the discontinued Superones/zeroes that you could get PLUS still afford a good SVS or HSU sub.
     
  8. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    0
    Greg, I'll give you this warning ahead of time. When you go to hear the Paradigms do NOT listen to the Studio line. If you hear the CC-470, you WILL NOT leave with anything less than Studios. If you just go in, listen to the performance line and the monitor line and like them...buy them. I SAY AGAIN, DO NOT meander into the Studio room. I'm serious, you think I'm kidding...but LOOK!!!
    http://www.ohchs.sad17.k12.me.us/~cb...nterSubWeb.jpg

    That's what happens when you meander. [​IMG]

    Try the Axioms, they have a 30 day return policy and most people said that they love them. I'd go with the M60Ti package and the VP150 center...but that may be a little out of your budget, unless you leave the surrounds and sub out of the equation. Good luck.
     
  9. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Messages:
    1,127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ascend Acoustics is another customer direct company you should look into. Ascend

    There is also a dedicated Ascend aficionado site at Ascend Forum
     
  10. Luitz

    Luitz Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
  11. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    0
    My personal opinion and its the same as most situations. Spend you $1200 budget on just a great pair of floorstanders. I only have a really good boston 2 ch setup and I couldnt be happier. I know one day I will afford the center and surrounds, but for now it is great. Most people think that they need to get the 5.1 or 5.0 NOW! I think the opposite. But also keep in mind that you are more into movies than music, but I still love my movies in just 2ch. I watched "Pearl Harbor" this morning, yes I have no sub, yes I have just 2 ch, but I got totally involved in the movie. Amazing. I also have an RXV-1400 with a pair of boston VR-950's and I love it! Next its a sub. Well thats my $.02
     
  12. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have Boston vr3's and love em'. The vr1's are great speakers....especialy for the money. They will be hard to beat. In that range the Monitor 7's are very nice as well. Listen to cabreau......I was with him. If you like the Monitors stick there. Axioms look like great speakers. The m60 look great as does the 150 center. If it is out of your price range and you do not mind bookshelves than the m22's look awesome.
     
  13. Lee M T

    Lee M T Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, you said you prefer the BA's, but I'll chime in for Mirage. I looked at just about ever option possible and ended up going with Mirage Omni 60's in front and the matching CC center. Have not bought the rears yet. I have to say, the opening sequence to the plant chapter in Metal Gear Solid 2 (on the PlayStation 2) sounds incredible. I'm speaking of the marine version of the Blackhawk helicopters seen in the scenes. They are very life-like and right in the room with you. I've been nothing but impressed. By the way, I have them running on a Yammie RX-V640. Anyhow, just my thoughts. Good luck on your decision and happy listening.
     
  14. BrianWH

    BrianWH Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've heard the VR1, 2, and 3 and I feel that they're some of the best loudspeakers ever produced. I am biased as I own only BA stuff throughout.

    Brian
     
  15. Greg_sford

    Greg_sford Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Central MD
    Real Name:
    Greg
    Wow - lots of great feedback! [​IMG]

    On the Mirage's: I agree they sounded great, it took quite awhile for (untrained) ears to discern any difference. Eventually, the Boston's seemed to be fuller in the mid-range for the music we were auditioning with. Tweeter guy said Mirage was designed more for movie sound, so I have no doubt these are great.

    BA's: did like their sound. They don't seem to have put as much effort into surrounds.

    Paradigms: looked at their site (and comments here) - an unbelieveably extensive line. I will have to go listen. Curious about the relative merits of Atoms vs. their adp surrounds. Also, how do Phantoms compare to 5s and 7s?

    Axioms: still hoping to hear from someone who has paired these with a Yamaha receiver.
     
  16. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're right Greg, Boston currently has no new Vr surrounds. However I sent an e-mail to Boston about this and the guy wrote back a well detailed e-mail back how and of the surrounds in the Boston line-up with the aluminum dome tweeter will be just fine. I have a pair of Micro 90II that work great. Bravo's are very good as well. You could also move up to the Vr-m line but they are much more money.
     
  17. Dan Mastro

    Dan Mastro Agent

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    i have a yammi rxv1300 running 2 m60's, vp150, 2 qs8's and axiom's ep350 sub. because of the furnishings in it's location, it's anything but bright. i would love to move a couch and love seat to get more of a crisper sound. you will notice any loudspeaker's sound will change according to it's placement and furnishings in the room. also, poorly recorded music will sound as it was produced. axiom does list members' locations, so check that out at their site.
    dan
     
  18. Greg_sford

    Greg_sford Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Central MD
    Real Name:
    Greg
    Thanks to all for the input, greatly appreciated. I will look into local Axiom owners, and report back on a hoped for B&W / Pardigm demo.
     
  19. Dan Halchak

    Dan Halchak Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're best combo for B&W would be
    DM602s - Main ($500)
    LCR600 - Center ($400)
    DM601s - Rear ($350-400)
    That should be with tax prices...

    That would put you right around your $1200 range and give you a great sounding HT setup as well as great 2/multi-ch music setup! It would also allow you to be flexible with buying either the DM602s for surround as well (recommended by me) or switch the Center from the LCR600 to the LCR60 (both sound almost identical).

    I think Yamaha & B&W go together almost as well as Rotel & B&W. I love the sound that comes out of my modest (compared to some) setup. I also thought that the Paradigms (which I actually liked BETTER) didn't sound as good when matched with a Yamaha reciever...which is why I went B&W -- though honestly...not like it's a downgrade, more of a lateral move in my opinion.

    Go see what you like sound wise, just make sure to have them hooked up to the AMP you are going to be using (that's what I did).
     
  20. Paul Rosen

    Paul Rosen Auditioning

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have to second Dan from PA.

    Just over a month ago, I was also auditioning speakers from a serious upgrade from my older and inadequate system. I listened to a host of speakers, but narrowed it down to B&W, Paradigm and Klipsch. In the end, I went with simply what sounded the best to me (and you must do the same).

    I got the LCR60 for center, and then 601's all around for the mains and surrounds. If you are going to go with the bookself speakers instead of towers, I would highly recommend getting a sub (eventually). I really noticed the lack of bass with movies (which is about 99% of my listening time), less so with the music. This is even true when I auditioned the 602's with and without a sub. Since I already had a sub (Velodyne CT-150) this wasn't an issue.

    If you want to save a little money, like Dan said, go with the LCR60 for the center instead of the LCR600. I did not notice enough of a difference to justify the expense when auditioning these paired with the bookshelf speakers. Howevever, when listening to the center channel speakers paired with the floorstanding B&W's, the LCR600 seemed to match and compliment the sound better.

    Even though I went with the 601's for my mains, once I got home and hooked them up to my H/K, it didn't quite get the job done for me (my room is much larger than the B&W auditioning room). So, I think the 602's would have done better for me, and maybe for you, as far as bookselves go. The closer you can replicate the auditioning environment to your own home theater area, the better feel you will get for what works well for you. Some dealers even allow you to "borrow" speakers to audition them in your own home. Based upon my personal experience, I would certainly advise you to take advantage of this opportunity if you have it.

    WARNING: THIS HOBBY IS ADDICTING. After only two weeks, I immediately upgraded my mains from 601's to 604 S3 floorstanders . . . and they are absolutely incredible to me. Of course, now I'm thinking of upgrading from my LCR60 to a LCR600.

    Paul
     

Share This Page