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Help with appropriate Speakers/Receiver to bring out clear voice sound in small bedroom home theater setup
76 replies to this topic
Posted November 02 2012 - 06:36 AM
I spent weeks researching the right audio setup and there are just too many options to make a choice without some input so I'm turning to the professionals, meaning those of you who have experience buying and listening to all kinds of different audio equipment. I need this to be the right purchase since it will likely be my last. Currently, I have a Panasonic 55" plasma with a bluray player, both 3D capable connected to a media PC that will be used almost solely for watching/streaming movies. Right now I'm using PC and TV speakers which is driving me crazy since I can't hear the voice dialog very well and have to constantly increase/lower the volume during commercials and loud background noise/music. I live in a small condo so I don't need anything powerful. I am open to just about any type of setup that you can recommend for my needs; i.e., receiver/speakers, self powered speakers (though my TV only has HDMI and one spdif connection), or soundbar. I just need the best option that is going to bring out the clearest voice sound and minimize background effects. It will never be turned up loud or require deep house rattling bass. It will be located in a small bedroom that is maybe 200 sq ft - if that. I'm older and have health issues so I spend alot of time in bed watching movies and just really want it to be enjoyable instead of frustrating. So far, the receivers I'm leaning towards are the Yamaha rxv671 or 673 and the Pioneer 1022 or 1122 though they're all overkill. Instead of listing all the pros and cons, I can just say that these receivers would be perfect and exactly what i want if they were 5.1 and they left out airplay, iphone connections, pandora, et al and multi zone. I just really need full on decoders (my TV won't play many of the sound files from the movies I've downloaded), upconversion (for my old vcr tapes), and auto calibration. Network connectivity, especially dlna certified is wanted but not required. I got as far as researching center channel speakers since I heard they were critical to voice dialog but then I got into reading about voice matching and if i have to do any more computer research my eyes are going to dry up and fall out. Also, I have an opportunity to buy a used Klipsch CS-1 center speaker for $100 with light use and almost new condition. It got a good review by someone who found it hard to hear voice dialog as well. This was supposed to be my first purchase and then my intent was to buy 2 shelf speakers after that when I heard about problems with mixing/matching. Your opinion/thoughts? I'd love to have your recommendations by the time Black Sunday sales start. Thanks SO much!
Posted November 02 2012 - 09:01 AM
I would jump all over that center speaker...in your case. I will however, steer you away from your choice of AVR and show you one more to your need... http://www.accessori...3D-ready/1.html Add a pair of these...(maybe two) http://www.amazon.co...klipsch synergy And you are good to go. Edit: Do you mean a Polk CS1 or a Klipsch C10?
Posted November 02 2012 - 09:24 AM
It's a Klipsch Synergy C-1. Also, I finally got a response from the guy who has my first choice - it's a JBLS-Center for $50. Both are supposed to give great voice clarity. Which one should I get? I'm not comfortable getting a refurbished receiver. Without knowing how much use it got or having a warranty and no money to replace it until many many months later if it craps out, it's a big risk. Do you have another suggestion? Edit: Never mind, just saw the warranty for the Marantz. It actually looks like a nice receiver and has everything that I need. Thanks for the suggestion. Just need to nail down the speakers then. Would really like to go with the JBL if someone can confirm this particular center speaker will work for me. Will then need a suggestion for a pair of bookshelf's to go with it.
Posted November 02 2012 - 10:02 AM
The JBL speaker is from a discontinued series. For "clarity of voice", Klipsch is hard to beat. I'd stick with the Klipsch simply because "you can still buy them..."
Posted November 02 2012 - 10:30 AM
Does the "S" series have to be paired together? Are there no other JBL speakers that will work well with the S-Center I'm considering? Also, if I found the right JBL speakers (used), it wouldn't matter whether they were still being made or purchased in the future. Lastly, I was just reading an article that mentioned JBL had very clear sound at low volume and Klipsch could be a bit "harsh" on some ears, whatever that means. This is very frustrating since I can't actually go out and spend the day listening to all the different speaker sounds. Since most people buy their sound system to crank up and vibrate the house, I want to be sure that my own special requirements are taken into consideration when making recommendations. Thanks much!!
Posted November 02 2012 - 11:33 AM
And...as an afterthought, is there any speaker package that would work? That would be the easiest way to do this...
Posted November 02 2012 - 02:24 PM
You want "clear voices". Most people who consider Klipsch "harsh" are using them to listen to music. Since you aren't listening to music, you won't have that problem. If you do listen to music, and you just didn't mention it, then by all means find S series JBL instead. They won't be as forward sounding(which the "forward sound" that some people consider "harsh" is what you asked for).
Posted November 02 2012 - 07:14 PM
I did a pretty extensive in-home comparison between the Yamaha 671 and the Marantz 1602. They were both great receivers. Believe it or not, the Yamaha sounded slightly better with music. I say believe it or not because I wasn't expecting a receiver to make that much difference. Also, surprising to me was how much I noticed the power difference. I was testing for a 12x14 room, so fairly small, and I was up to -10 for normal "rock" level listening. I was using Axiom speakers, I think the Klipsch are more efficient, so probably not a discriminator for you. In the end it was the networking that swayed me, as the Marantz wasn't working well with my NAS (it sounds like it would have been an easy choice, but I really liked the Marantz). Since networking isn't in play for you, I think you'd be doing well with the 673 or the 1402. Since you were asking about dialog, I did notice that the 673 has a dialog boost feature (it probably boosts the center channel mid-range).
Posted November 03 2012 - 03:27 AM
Wow...now that is great info about the Klipsch. And no, music is not the priority here though I have a good collection I just don't listen to it very often. So okay, JBL is out and Klipsch is in. Unless there is a good reason not to go with these? http://www.amazon.co...m/dp/B001GOK9GE And about the receiver - I also have a NAS with about 500 movies stored on it so it sounds like networking is going to be an important part of this decision. I LOVE the idea of the dialog boost feature too. In all the reviews I read (scores and scores of them), not one mentioned this feature unless it's called something else and I didn't recognize it for what it is. Is there a receiver with both capabilities that y'all can recommend? EDIT: The Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000 is supposed to be another great center channel to suit my needs but I didn't want to spend that much on just one speaker. Again, I do have some flexibility if someone recommends a speaker/receiver that truly makes that much difference when it comes to hearing voice dialog but ideally I'd like to stay around $500 for both if possible. I'm hoping to hold out for the Black Friday deals and something higher end for a good price. So if your recommendations aren't within my budget, please send them anyway. I don't have much cash, just good credit. Also, could you explain more about "forward sound"?
Posted November 03 2012 - 04:24 AM
With a special coupon code, this is on sale for $249 until Sunday. It seems to have everything but Sirius and wifi. What do you think? You previously steered me away from this one and was wondering why? http://www.newegg.co..._-82117410-L02C If I could get the green light on the Pioneer receiver and the Definitive Tech speaker system, I might be able to finally watch a movie without turning it off within the first 10 minutes out of frustration. I have so many great movies and my TV speakers are ruining them! EDIT yet again: Schan, I was just reading one of your other posts and now I'm wondering if I should just go with the better center (like the pro 1000) and cheaper l/r speakers? I can't really do surround since proper placement is impossible and I'm literally 8 feet away from eyeball to everything (TV, speakers, receiver-)
Posted November 03 2012 - 11:05 AM
Well, I took the plunge. Halfway. I will drive myself crazy making a decision since one of my biggest personality flaws is worrying that I will miss something better once I commit. I just bought the Yamaha RX V473 at Newegg for $399 no tax, free shipping and a $100 gift card. After reading what Al Anderson had to say, I went back and paid more attention to the details of all the receivers I previously looked at and this one should work. It locks me into buying speakers there and it looks like the Procinema 60's are on their way out. I was thinking I would buy the speaker set and maybe upgrade the center speaker later on. The Pro 1000 center is on it's way out too so maybe the 2000 in a few months? Is that going to still be compatible with the ProCinema 60? This may be an ignorant question but there is a Mythos 8 center I was looking at which is pretty expensive but is it possible to use a 3 way center speaker by itself? If so, what else would be required for a proper connection? I was reading an old folks column for the hard of hearing and someone posted that a center speaker by itself would be ideal but I couldn't determine if that was a literal comment. I was also wondering if a sub is even necessary given all the details you have of my room setup? I guess whatever input you provide from here on will help me decide which way to go for speakers.
Posted November 03 2012 - 11:08 AM
I recommended the Marantz slim line because it isn't over burdened with networking you said you didn't need...nor was it 7.1. The movies on your NAS won't do anything with a networked AVR at all. Your music on the NAS, sure. So basing the "need of networking" for your movies...is pointless. So, I will still recommend the NR1402 over the Pio 1022 or the Yamaha. You also won't need dialog lift with Klipsch. You probably won't need it with the Def Tec Pro either. The Klipsch vs Def Tech comes down to personal choice. But...I "always" choose the larger speaker. In this case the Klipsch are much larger and are more efficient. Put it this way. This Klipsch you can buy for $100...it would kick the ProCenter 1000 to the curb...tattered and bruised.
Posted November 03 2012 - 11:13 AM
By the way, basing the Klipsch C1, using the C10... It is 93.5db vs 90db for the Def Tech Pro1000... What does that mean? The Klipsch will be twice as loud at every volume point...over the def tech...meaning your AVR won't have to work so hard.
Posted November 03 2012 - 11:49 AM
Okay. I cancelled the order. GAWD, how frustrating. So I can get the Marantz new at Amazon for $329 or the Yamaha 373 (as opposed to the 473) at Newegg for $249. Is the Marantz worth the extra $80? If you think so, then I'll buy it. So lets go back to the Klipsch. Can I get away with a center and left/right speakers without a sub?
Posted November 03 2012 - 12:48 PM
Yes the Marantz is worth the extra 80...and here is why... The Klipsch C1 is a small center. It should be crossed over at 100hz. The Marantz gives you independent crossover RL and center...Yamaha does not. If you want to forgo a sub... http://www.amazon.co...lipsch synergy' As you "go bigger" their bass gets better, but those achieve a respectable 39hz. http://www.amazon.co... synergy f(more efficient...95 vs 93.5 of the 10) http://www.amazon.co...ipsch synergy f (more efficient still at 97)
Posted November 03 2012 - 01:09 PM
Okay I'll get the Marantz. I don't know if I need a sub or not - you need to tell me. Do I really need those huge speakers??? Remember, I'm in a small bedroom and 8 feet from every electronic I own - including the new speakers. I don't care about the "feeling" of being in a theater, I don't care about hearing raindrops fall, I just want to hear what everybody is saying without all the background effects. If I need big speakers and a sub, so be it. I just need to know what components I need to make that happen.
Posted November 03 2012 - 03:02 PM
What are your thoughts on this Klipsch speaker system? http://compare.ebay....var=lv&var=sbar EDIT: and these get consistent 5 star ratings. Could they be mix and matched with different model center speakers as long as they were from the same Manufacturer? I've been reading about impedence, tweeter and driver sizes and I'm back to pulling my hair out. http://www.amazon.co.../ref=pd_sim_e_1 http://www.amazon.co...O/ref=pd_cp_e_0
Posted November 03 2012 - 04:08 PM
The 1402 doesn't do video up-conversion for your analog vcr. The 1602 does but doesn't have s-video connections which are quickly disappearing. Consider the Denon 591 factory refurbished model from ac4l.com ($170 + sh). Video conversion, Dynamic Volume and Eq and only 5.1 so you're not paying for things you don't need. A 3 year extended warranty is only $35. 5 years - $50. http://www.accessori...Receiver/1.html Virtually any center speaker and matching surround speakers will be a huge improvement over the speakers in the tv. And most newer receivers have Audyssey Dynamic Eq and Dynamic volume or Dolby Volume which will automatically balance out the volume of those anoting infomercials. My guess is a mid-size bookshelf would be O.K. for you when properly setup. You won't get the really deep bass of a subwoofer or even a tower speaker but it will still be enjoyable. The HD 500 is a popular choice but the center channel speaker is kind of small (but still better than the tv's speakers) and it comes with a small sub to fill in the bottom end. $100 is a good price for the Synergy C1 but the matching bookshelves seem to be somewhat expensive. I'd look at the Polk Monitors from newegg.com. A pair (or two) of the Monitor 30's and a CS1 center speaker will be much better than those tv speakers. If you find the lack of deep bass troublesome you can always a small subwoofer later on. http://www.newegg.co...N82E16882290201 ($100 /pr shipped) http://www.newegg.co...N82E16882290211 ($70 shipped)
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.
"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
Also have MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
Posted November 03 2012 - 04:38 PM
Where does he say there is a VCR involved...??? If there is a VCR, then yes...the 591. The Klipsch bookshelf speakers would work as well. Size of those depends on what you want to spend. Regarding the Polk NewEgg specials. I still lean in favor of the Klipsch...cause again, you want CLARITY OF VOICE. That means horn.
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