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HT Setup Suggestion with $3K Budget


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#1 of 6 xmagoo190

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Posted October 19 2011 - 09:40 AM

First off, thanks in advance to those that read my post and take the time to reply... I'm a newbie to the HT game. We're building a new home and have a 16' x 19' space and a $3000 - $3500 electronics budget to work with. This does not include the TV/screen. Our intended use is for 3D movies and some music. Mostly movies though (75/25 split). My current 3-yr old setup includes: (This system will be moved to the living room)
  • TH50PZ85U TV
  • VSX-1018AH-K Receiver
  • Energy Take Classic 5.1 Speakers
Here are the "knowns":
  • Speakers are more important than receivers
  • Studio Reference Speakers are for close proximity
  • I've decided on the Pani 65" VT30 Plasma
I would appreciate suggestions on:
  • Speakers (5.1)
  • Sub
  • Receiver
  • Amp
Here are some lingering questions:
  • A close friend swears by his Martin Logan ESL's. I've seen them as low as $750/ea, but are they appropriate considering my intended use and budget?
  • I've taken some time to go to BB/Magnolia to listen to B&W 638's tied, ESL's and the Motion 12's. The 12's sounded better for movies and they seem like a real steal at $279/each at Newegg. Are these appropriate for my front speakers considering my budget or should I use them as my rears? Any other suggestions?
  • Floor-standing or bookshelf? Is there a discernible difference in quality of sound?
  • Considering limiting receiver budget to $700 max.
  • I can get a SC-35 @ BB open box for $710. Is this a "no brainer" or should I consider the Marantz 6005 for $599 @ Amazon?
Again, any and all suggestions are appreciated. I'm on my way to Magnolia to listen to some Monitor Audios after work. But it seems like the more I sample, the larger my lists gets and I'm further away from having a detailed scope for my HT. I've attached a copy of my final basement HT plan. Cheers! http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/s

#2 of 6 Robert_J

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Posted October 20 2011 - 12:57 AM

I would appreciate suggestions on: Speakers (5.1) Sub Receiver Amp

I see you are already auditioning speakers so that is taken care of. How much space are you willing to sacrifice for a sub? What are your goals? Does that floor plan mean the entire room is the theater? What's wrong with your current receiver? Amp for what? 3 channel for LCR, 5 channel for 5.1 or a sub amp if you go with a passive sub?

#3 of 6 xmagoo190

xmagoo190

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Posted October 20 2011 - 04:41 AM

I would appreciate suggestions on: Speakers (5.1) Sub Receiver Amp

I see you are already auditioning speakers so that is taken care of. How much space are you willing to sacrifice for a sub? What are your goals? Does that floor plan mean the entire room is the theater? What's wrong with your current receiver? Amp for what? 3 channel for LCR, 5 channel for 5.1 or a sub amp if you go with a passive sub?

Thus far I'm leaning towards a ML setup. The tonal clarity on the ESL electrostats is amazing. Here's what I'm thinking: ESL in front and Motion 12's in rear. Just need to sample some centers. The ML's are too expensive ($2900). Maybe B&W? My current receiver isn't rated for 3D, plus I'd like to keep that in my living room upstairs. I'm considering the Marantz MM7055 to get an addtional 8dB out of the speakers. Is it necessary? I guess I don't understand amp/pre-amps that well.

#4 of 6 Jason Charlton

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Posted October 20 2011 - 06:32 AM


Originally Posted by xmagoo190 

Thus far I'm leaning towards a ML setup. The tonal clarity on the ESL electrostats is amazing. Here's what I'm thinking: ESL in front and Motion 12's in rear. Just need to sample some centers. The ML's are too expensive ($2900). Maybe B&W?
 


I'll be the first to admit that I'm not terribly familiar with the ML Electrostats product line (or any of their speakers for that matter) but generally speaking, it's a bad idea to mix and match product lines and (especially!) manufacturers across the front soundstage.  To me, it would be pretty silly to get such nice mains and surrounds, then "throw in" something totally different for what is arguably the most (if not most, then second-most) important speaker in a 5.1 system.


Get the center channel that's matched to your mains, especially if movies are going to make up a significant portion of your viewing/listening material.


If that means sacrificing on other speakers, then the surrounds should be the first to be downgraded.  Although theoretically, 5 identical speakers are ideal, it's rarely practical.  Step down from floorstanders to bookshelves for the surrounds.


You will realize a much greater improvement in your sound system with a well-matched center than you will with floorstanding surrounds.


Are you new to the Home Theater Forum? Stop by the New Member Introductions area and introduce yourself! See you there!


#5 of 6 Robert_J

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Posted October 20 2011 - 07:16 AM

I'm considering the Marantz MM7055 to get an addtional 8dB out of the speakers. Is it necessary? I guess I don't understand amp/pre-amps that well.

What if your current or new receiver is already capable of pushing the speakers to their limits. If the receiver does 100w, then it will take almost 1,000w to get 8db. Theoretically, it takes 10x power to double the output (10db) but with thermal compression, 10x power only gives you about 8db extra output.

#6 of 6 xmagoo190

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Posted October 20 2011 - 08:33 AM

What if your current or new receiver is already capable of pushing the speakers to their limits. If the receiver does 100w, then it will take almost 1,000w to get 8db. Theoretically, it takes 10x power to double the output (10db) but with thermal compression, 10x power only gives you about 8db extra output.

I think the receiver I'm looking at is adequate. No amp necessary. Another $800 I can put towards a matching center. That or look at another matched 5.1 set.