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New home theater setup


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#1 of 17 OFFLINE   HT91

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Posted May 20 2010 - 08:47 AM

Hello everybody

I'm about to build a new home theater. Actually, My new house is under construction, and I have the choice between 13*11*8.5 feet or 13*20*8.5 feet for the size..I guess the bigger size would be better, but your opinions are welcome (the height is fixed at 8.5, another dimension is 13 feet...these cannot be modified, only the third dimension can)


when it comes to the speakers, I am thinking about adding a PA system to the speakers I already have...the PA system will be used as the front channels in the 7.1 system

as for the PA system itself, I'm thinking about 2*Mackie SRM 450V2 (12 inch 2 way speaker and 2*Mackie SRM 1801 (the 18 inch sub)


my questions are:

-what do you think of PA subs for HT? (I also have 2 pioneer champion series TS-W307d4 in 4 cu ft enclosures each, an xplod xs-l102p5 and a boschmann Z12SL that will all be hooked on the sub channel in my surround)

-another delicate question, is what should the power ratio between a front speaker, a surround speaker, a center speaker and a rear speaker be??





#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 20 2010 - 09:46 AM

PA speakers are not designed to play the lowest frequencies of the latest action movies.  You either add a subsonic filter to remove everything below 35hz or you attempt to play it and destroy your sub from over excursion.  Also, don't use 12v equipment in the house.  It is not designed for home use.


There are no recommendations for specific power levels.  I have 110w per channel to my 7 speakers (Pioneer receiver) and 2,400w (Behringer EP-2500) to my dual 15" subs.  What you want is timbre matched speakers.  That way the sound will be the same as the action pans from side to side.  Timbre matching the rears is less important but if you have the chance, do it.  After that, you set the levels so all of the speakers play at the same volume.  I use my receiver's built in mic and calibration software.  On my older receiver I used an SPL meter and calibration DVD.



#3 of 17 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted May 20 2010 - 11:12 AM

If you decide to go with PA speakers for your mains, you could find a better sounding speaker.  I've auditioned many models of Mackie speakers for PA systems and can never bring myself to buy them.  They look nice, their specs are good and the fact that they are powered is convenient, but they never sound as good as the other speakers I audition.  EAW makes fantastic PA speakers if you can swing them.


It would definitely not be an ideal solution for you though.  They will not match your center speaker which will make things sound a little off when watching a movie.  Also, you can do much better for subs when it comes to HT as Robert pointed out.



#4 of 17 OFFLINE   HT91

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Posted May 20 2010 - 04:33 PM

When it comes to the subsonic filter, it is built into the SRM 1801, and set to 35 Hz I think....it's a 24 dB/octave filter, so if the sub is at its max it would give me 105 dB at 17 Hz (it gives 125 dB anywhere else), so 108 at 17 Hz for 2 subs.

as for the frequencies lower than 35 Hz, my pioneers are tuned to 24 Hz, and go flat all the way from 23 Hz to 100 Hz without trouble (tested with winISD and an SPL meter for real life measuring) at around 115 dB...and there's a subsonic filter at 12 dB/octave filtering anything below 21 Hz


as for the 12 volt amplifiers, I don't really have a choice, because I already have them, but I have a power supply so no reliability problem.


I'll check out those EAW in a bit...however if we set a budget of about 1600 to 2000 dollars for 2 mains and 2 big subwoofers, keeping in mind that I want movies, but also big SPL and being able to use the mains for a party in a room 30*30*11 feet, what would you say I should get?


as for timber matching, I guess it's tuning the bass/treble balance of each speaker?



#5 of 17 OFFLINE   HT91

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Posted May 20 2010 - 04:36 PM

oh and I have another idea...if we say the budget is 1000 dollars for 2 subs and their amps...and that I'm willing to build the box myself,



#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 21 2010 - 01:17 AM



Originally Posted by HT91 
as for timber matching, I guess it's tuning the bass/treble balance of each speaker?


No.  Every speaker brand and model has a "sonic signature".  Klipsch are known for having a forward mid and high sound.  If you combine Klipsh main (left and right) speakers with a Paradigm center channel there will be a difference in sound when the action pans from side to side.  You want the transition between speakers to be seamless.


It sounds like you want more of a combination theater / party system.  If it were me, I'd go with two complete systems.  I want the absolute best sound for my budget for my movie and TV watching.  But you have to figure out your goals and clearly state them so that we can provide any type of help.


Subs are easy to build.  But then again, it comes down to goals as well as how much room you are willing to sacrifice.  I can help you with anything from the size of a shoe box to the size of a commercial refrigerator.   That's a great budget so we can easily do something if you can give me some direction.



#7 of 17 OFFLINE   HT91

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Posted May 21 2010 - 05:19 AM

ok then let's say that I can give you a few more things for the subs:

-1000 dollars budget (amps included)

-space doesn't matter I've got all the space I need

-I'm willing to build a box

-The ideal subs for me would give a flat response all the way from 20 Hz to 90 Hz....or at least being able to give over 115 dB in the 25 Hz to 100 Hz range..;that would make great party speakers, and fairly good home theater subwoofers

-as for the amp and sub brands, I dont care, the only preference is big subs 18 inches or more, an amp that would be a good match, within my budget if that's possible



#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 22 2010 - 04:09 AM

The easiest thing to do is build a sealed, 5 to 7 cubic foot box and install a 19ov.2 (18") from Elemental Designs.  Two boxes powered by a Behringer EP-4000 amp.  I'd get a Behringer Feedback Destroyer as an EQ.  Set two different response curves.  One flat so that you will have low bass for movies.  Another curve that boosts mid bass for parties.



#9 of 17 OFFLINE   HT91

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Posted May 22 2010 - 08:41 AM

Seems like a great deal

however, wouldn't the behringer EP 2500 work just fine?? It's capable of giving 1200 watts per channel at 2 ohms, s wouldn't it work just fine with one of these subs at 2 ohms on each channel?


one more questions....when it comes to the two response curves, do you mean I should have one of the boxes for the flat response, and the other with the midbass peak??


and one last questions..being a huge fan of ported boxes, I'm wondering if it would perform any better than the sealed box



#10 of 17 OFFLINE   HT91

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Posted May 22 2010 - 08:44 AM

I mean I know the EP 4000 would give more headroom, but would it be worth the extra money?



#11 of 17 OFFLINE   HT91

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Posted May 22 2010 - 08:50 AM

Ohand one last thing, they recommend a maximum volume of 3 cubic feet on the sub's website...but I'll build them to the size you suggested, since your advice seems to come from experience

I might run it through winISD...I'll tell you what I find



#12 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 22 2010 - 11:24 AM

The 2500 and 4000 are the exact same amp.  The specs of the 4000 now have peak power ratings which are totally worthless.  The RMS power @ 20hz is 800 @ 2 ohms per independent tests.  If you can get the 2500 cheaper, then do it.


You can't run the amp at 2 ohms since each driver is a dual 2 ohm sub.  You either get 4 ohms or 1 ohm and the amp won't drive 1 ohm.


The EQ determines the response curve.  Build identical boxes and then use the EQ to shape the curve you want.


Ported boxes give you more low end response but you will need to add a subsonic filter Behringer doesn't have one.  The boxes will be about 3 times the size of the sealed sub.  You will also loose out on the mid-bass punch.


Finally, the recommended size is for car audio not home audio.  I haven't run the simulations but I shoot for a design that has a .500 qts.  I think my dual 15" setup is around .477 qts and it sounds great.  Flat response down to 17hz.



#13 of 17 OFFLINE   HT91

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Posted May 22 2010 - 09:35 PM

Ran it through winISD

I compared a 9.4 cubic foot vented box tuned to 26 Hz and a 9.4 cubic foot sealed box (anything below that with a sealed box would cause spl loss according to winISD


they're both practically equal when it comes to spl over 70 Hz

however, in the 15 to 70 Hz range, the vented box has a clear advantage

below 15 Hz, the sealed box gives higher spl


excursion wise, the subwoofer would bottom out at 14 Hz with the sealed box (it would reach 23 mm of excursion while its max is 22 mm)

while it would bottom out at 19 Hz with the vented box...however a 15 Hz subsonic filter solves the bottoming out problem with the vented box




what do you think about the box sizes??because from what I noticed, that size would be ideal for both types of enclosures...plus if I build a vented box I could always close the port to make it a sealed one if the sizes are the same


as for the midbass peak (in the sealed box) you talked about, I was expecting it but didn't notice it at all with winISD


so now comes the big question....is the 7 dB gain I get with the vented box worth going with that design??

and one last thing,



#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 23 2010 - 12:30 AM

The T/S specs from eD don't include inductance which will give you a peak in your response around 55hz.  The sub isn't considered a high inductance sub but it still has a 3" voice coil and they don't do much in the motor structure to tame it.  How do I know this?  I use TC Sounds TC-3000 subs as my subs.  The have a 3" voice coil with 60mm windings which gives them very high inductance.

When listening to music with no EQ the music sounds like a car stereo with that great 'in you chest' thump.  On the other hand, home theater was a boomy mess.  That's were the Behringer EQ comes into play.  I was able to tame that peak in the response and restore the low bass down to 17hz.  The EQ has 10 or 12 (I haven't read the instructions in years) memory banks.  You can set a response curve for home theater that gives you the extreme low end.  You can set a response curve in memory 2 for parties that will sound great with dance music.  You can set a response curve in memory 3 for rock music for you favorite concert DVDs.


I rarely get to help people who know how to use WinISD much less know what it is.  I was giving you recommendations thinking you are a complete noob.  I'm changing that now.  I like your idea of the ported design and sealing the ports when needed.  You are getting the best of both worlds.  Since you need an SSF you need to look at the crossover/eq/SSF from Reckhorn.  It may be all you need since it does offer 1 band of parametric EQ.


If you really want to do something interesting, look at the Exodus Audio 21" sub.  With the extra size and excursion capabilities, it may match up with a pair of eD subs.  You will also bridge the amp into a single sub for 1,600w of power at 20hz.


#15 of 17 OFFLINE   HT91

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Posted May 26 2010 - 11:22 AM

I just ran what I like to call "the beast" through winISD

I'm gonna go with a 37 cu ft slot ported box, tuned to 10 Hz. When used as a ported box, it would give 117 dB at 23 Hz, 115.5 dB at 20 Hz, and 108 dB at 10 Hz (powered with 1000 watts, with a 12 dB/octave HPF at 10 Hz)

again I would be able to use it as a sealed sub by clogging the port, which would give me a slightly bigger peak at 35 Hz and eliminate the need for a SSF

so basically its only advantage when comparing it with a single 19 OV.2 powered with only 650 watts, is what happens below 25 Hz...when it comes to over 28 Hz, a single 19 OV.2 can beat the exodus sub


now the big question is

should I go with the huge very impressive but not efficient at all exodus sub, to get the lowest lows

or should I go with the 19 OV.2, a dual setup, to get lows that wouldn't be so low, but a more efficient and louder setup at higher frequencies

or, last but not least, should I just stick with a pair of professional powered pa subs (some mackie 1801) very efficient, over 130 dB outdoors which is spl none of the other subs can reach


add to the equation that I'm gonna use pa speakers capable of over 126 dB of output as front channels...so even the exodus wouldn't be able to keep up with these at 50 Hz, only a pro sub would...am I right?



#16 of 17 OFFLINE   HT91

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Posted May 26 2010 - 11:30 AM

I need  to add that

-the exodus sub has 89.5 dB/1W/1m of output

-the 19 OV.2 have around 91 dB/1W/1m

-any pro pa sub is over 95 dB/1W/1m

so basically I would need to power the exodus sub with 4 times as much as the pro sub to get the same output at the higher frequencies...only the pro sub can handle almost as much as the exodus 21 inch can..


basically if I need the subs for HT I should go with the exodus/or the dual 19 OV.2

and if I need them for music mainly, then I should go with the pro sub


am I right??


oh and we can add another factor to the equation

I have 2 pioneer champion series TS-W307 d4, 2 boschmann 2 12 SL and a sony xplod xs-l102p5...I could use these for anything over 30 Hz and get the exodus to do the rest, which would give me a nice middle solution

what do you think??

do you think the exodus 21 inch will keep up with pretty much 4 mackie SRM 450v2??



#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted May 26 2010 - 12:40 PM

If you want to go pro audio, then look at the Tuba HT or the Titan 48 from http://www.billfitzmaurice.com/ .  Build 4 and power them with a Behringer amp and you will get insane bass.


And don't believe the sensitvity rating on any eD sub.  Their specs never match real life physics.