Which is better? Piece together system, or package system?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Hogger, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. Hogger

    Hogger Auditioning

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    Right now I have a movie room/play room with a Panasonic system I got from Costco a few years ago. It sounds pretty good for what we use it for.
    Now we are having a house built, and I am going to have a dedicated theater room. Not going to be huge, but it should be perfect for 4-6 people. The room will be 12' wide, and 17' long, and 9' ceiling without any windows.
    It will be used primarily for movies and some TV, very little music.
    I'm wondering if piecing together a system will give better results than buying a 5.1 package system?
    I understand that a lot depends on brand and quality.
     
  2. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    For speakers, I'd buy a packaged system, because they will timbre match, and that's very important. This is the one place you don't want to skimp.

    For the rest of the system, I'd piece it together. The different pieces have their strong points, and most of the time, the brand won't match up with other pieces. I definitely wouldn't buy an HTIB (home theater in a box), for a dedicated home theater room.
     
  3. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    I think Ed is meaning a packed speaker system like the kind SVS or Elemental Designs sells. It guarantees timbre matching and you can't beat the service from either company. Other companies have packaged speaker systems as well but I'd stick with something from these if you aren't sure what you want.

    Your other option is to buy locally and listen for yourself. I think some people are hesitant because they haven't heard a quality system so they don't know what they are listening for.
     
  4. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Yes, that's exactly what I was talking about. I specifically had SVS in mind.
    But, even if you buy from Best Buy, you need to get all the speakers from the same brand and series, for timbre matching. Don't even think about Bose!
     
  5. Hogger

    Hogger Auditioning

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    O.K. Good, that's what I was hoping for. I guess I need to do a little research on "timbre matching" and look into SVS and Elemental Designs.
    Thanks.
     
  6. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    Timbre matching is most critical across the front soundstage (the most frequent place for sounds to pan), less so with the surround speakers, and really not much of an issue with subwoofer.

    So if you have a hard time finding a full 5.1 set that you like, you can get the "5" separate from the ".1" and still be OK.
     
  7. Boogamite

    Boogamite Auditioning

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    First, you need to decide if you're going with a 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 system. My personal preference is to go with a 5.1, and putting the money saved from the extra surrounds into the other speakers. But if you're mainly into movies, you might want the extra surround speakers for effects. Second, you need to consider the WAF. Is the room dedicated to movies? Is it a designated man-cave? If so, you might get away with some sizable boxes. If the room does double duty, or the wife doesn't like the look of large boxes, you might need to go small. Do you have kids or pets? If so, towers or floorstands might not be as good a choice as wall mounts. Personally, I don't like them, but the ultimate wife/kid/pet friendly speakers are in-wall mounted. Third, you need to consider your budget. You don't want to spend all your money on speakers, and not have enough left over for decent electronics (however, your speakers are the most important component of your system, and will probably be the largest expenditure). There are a lot of choices available, and you can put together a better system than a HTIB, but it doesn't do any good to look at Wilson speakers if your budget is $2000 (it doesn't do any good to look at Wilson speakers even if your budget is $20,000). Anyway, if you've got a pile of money, its easy to put together a great sounding system. Putting one together on a realistic budget isn't as easy, but it can be done. Going with separate components (not in the amp - pre-amp - DAC - etc. type of separates, but separate as in individual speaker / sub-woofer / electronics / source) is that you can use what you have, buy a better component now, and upgrade the rest later as your budget allows. Look for sales - close outs can do wonders for your budget, or allow you to step up in quality without blowing the budget.
    You said you're having a house built - you're having this room pre-wired for sound, I suspect? Its a lot easier to run wires through walls during construction, and the results look a lot neater. You might want to go ahead and wire it for 7.1 (or even 7.2) sound now - you don't have to use the extra connections, but you'll be glad you have them if you ever do.
     

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