amp for ascends in huge room

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by ericMM, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. ericMM

    ericMM Extra

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just recently got a pair of cbm-170's driven by an adcom gfa-535 60wpc for my dorm room, which I've been very pleased with. My friend's parents want a theater system (already have the TV) for their living room which they'd like to have up by the 2nd of november for a 50th anniversary party. The stated budget is 1500-1800 but I think that can be bumped slightly. The only problem is that their living room is enormous and opens up into the kitchen and a staircase. My order of magnitude calculations put it at over 6000 cu ft.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I was looking at the ascend cmt-340's, CMT-340 center, htm-200 rears, and the hsu vtf-2, plus stands for the mains and wallmounts for the htm-200s for about $1740 shipped. I would need to I'll assume that these speakers will be able to fill the room given enough amplification though I'm not so sure about the subwoofer (ascend site recommends stf3 or vtf3 for over 3000cu ft). I can get about 60% off harmon kardon via my father's employee discount, so I thought that would be a good option for a receiver. How many total watts would make sense for a room of this size? The surrounds will be fairly close to the listener but the mains and center will be about 3x further away. Something else to consider is that these folks have tin ears. However, my film major friend does not, so I do have some obligation to him I suppose (this will be his weekend treat when he comes home).

    I was looking at the AVR 7300 (115wpc) and the AVR 635 (75wpc). Given the enormity of this room, I am doubting that that 75wpc would be sufficient, but I really don't know a whole lot about it. Are there any other harmon kardon receivers (or any receivers from other brands) that would make sense? I would like to stick with HK for budgetary reason but I'm open to anything.
     
  2. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    0
    Funny, a 6000 cubic foot room with Ascend 340s across the front...sounds just like MY living room!!!

    Plus mine has 18 foot vaulted ceilings, an angled marble fireplace in one corner, French doors on two sides, zero draperies, wraps around into the breakfast/kitchen on one side and stairs going down on the other, AND worse of all, the speakers and sub are basically smack dab in the center of the room!

    I had a Marantz 5400, then NAD separates, and now a Panasonic sa-xr55 all-digital receiver (whopping $230, lol). Guess what? They all had no trouble filling the entire 6000 cubic feet with sound. Those 340s are very very efficient, you will have no problems at all.

    The only thing you MIGHT want to consider changing is the sub...in such a big room, the more powerful STF-3 might be a better choice than the VTF-2, and it's just an extra $100 bucks. I had the STF-2 on loan for a couple of days, it was good but not quite as strong as I would've preferred, though my positioning had a lot to do with it. Since you'll have yours in a corner, it might be sufficient.

    Now the truly surprising thing is that of those 3 power sources guess which one I most prefer for sheer sound quality AS WELL AS sheer power? The Panny, by a long shot.

    Here's my review of it including comparison with the NAD and Marantz:

    http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/1/160136.html

    Other mega threads on these breakthrough little marvels, including other folk who also preferred it over much more expensive analog gear (one of which was the HK7200 btw):

    http://forum.ascendacoustics.com/sho...1&page=1&pp=10

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=530504

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=417894
     
  3. ericMM

    ericMM Extra

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the response! I probably will settle on the panasonic receiver as that price is amazing given the purported performance. Not so sure about the sub though because the budget is being stretched, if it is insufficient we can buy another stf-2 or see if ascend/hsu will allow us to ship back and upgrade.
     
  4. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    0
    > I probably will settle on the panasonic receiver as that price is amazing given the purported performance.

    Heck with credit cards and CC's return policy you could buy both the Panny and a comparable analog receiver (say, the HK235) from them and return the one you like less. That way you'll know 100% whether you prefer digital or analog sound. Some people feel that LPs sound better than CDs, after all.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    Looks very similar to my room, except mine is 19x20 and the peak is at the center, no flat, and the fireplace is in the right corner on the opposite wall adjacent to the system location. My chair is to the left and my couch is aligned to the front stage.

    I have a SVS PB-10 in this room and it does a very decent job, though not quite as much impact as a larger sub would have. I previously had a VTF-2 in there and it struggled. Sub is behind the TV in my setup, so it is in the same corner as the mains.
     
  6. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    0
    > I have a SVS PB-10 in this room and it does a very decent job, though not quite as much impact as a larger sub would have. I previously had a VTF-2 in there and it struggled. Sub is behind the TV in my setup, so it is in the same corner as the mains.

    So the PB-10 goes deeper AND has more output? Wow, I didn't know that. How would you compare these two subs for music? I have always been told that the Hsu is faster and tighter.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    The VTF-2 struggled at the bottom only, and it was a version 1, not the current MKII with the new driver and amp. Output in the upper range is very similar, but at the bottom (below 25Hz) the PB-10 clearly had authority. It's not that the VTF-2 was running out of steam, just that when I threw really low stuff at it, I could hear where it just wasn't able to handle the lowest of lows.

    To be completely honest, I kind of preferred the VTF-2 for music. I guess you could say the VTF-2 was a bit more articulate, but the PB-10 is still very good in that regard, just a little different, "flatter" if you will. That flatness (which I believe could be considered a trademark of SVS) may be more accurate but also gives it less of an impact in the upper range in my room. Having lived with the PB-10 for about a year though, I have no complaints about it's musical capabilities at all.

    Despite the size of the room, the PB-10 is quite adequate for my current needs and I haven't had a single situation yet where it has failed to produce sufficient bass (or even sounded like it was breathing heavy for that matter). The one and only time I actually heard it limit itself was when I was setting the bass peak limit level on my receiver.

    The VTF-2 is an excellent sub, it just wasn't quite enough for my room, which is why I agree that a STF-3 or possibly even a PB-10 or PB-12 might be better suited to the current room in question.

    My main speakers are very similar to the 340. They are -3dB at 55Hz, 91.5dB sensitive and a D'Appolito MTM design, though they are 4 Ohm. They blend beautifully with the PB-10 with an 80Hz x-over.
     

Share This Page