Another speaker question

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Bernie_A, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. Bernie_A

    Bernie_A Stunt Coordinator

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    My living room area is 10'x13' (combo LR and Dining Room) with 12' ceilings. I already have a Velodyne CT100 that I like so I don't need a sub. I have no other speakers right now so I need fronts, center and rears.

    I am interested in Axiom, Polk Audio, Boston Accoustics and Paradigm. Why, because I have either had or have friends who have these brands. I have $1000 to spend. I like pretty looking stuff but I still want to be wow'd when watching a movie and durring the occasional music appreciation night. In other words, Bose not an option.

    I do want to reach as far as I can because I plan on upgrading my Pioneer VSX-D810S in the future or at least start adding amp/pre-amps, etc without the speakers holding me back. What would you recommend? What about Energy or Swans or others?
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I'd definitely reccomend the Swans Diva 2.1 bookshelfs all around and a C3 center (all in the black cherry finish). This would run you $1090 before shipping but the guys at www.theaudioinsider.com will work with you if you give them a call, usually knocking off atleast enough to cover shipping. This would be a great 5.1 setup that would give you the ability to upgrade to tower mains on down the road and have a perfect 7.1 setup. The Diva cabnetry is amazing, even on the faux Black Cherry which i preffer to the roesewood and still has the black laquer top and bottom peices. It's extremely tough to find ANY value close to the internet direct companies at a B&M store.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  3. Bernie_A

    Bernie_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Stephen,

    I have been doing A LOT of research on the internet which is actually kind of funny. Researching and reading about something you can't actually listen to at that time....anyway.....I am thoroughly intrigued by Swan and took your advice to contact them. I was also impressed by how people who actually work at Swan frequent their forum to answer questions about both their own line of speakers as well as competitors. Very impressive. I am waiting for a quote on a set of 2.1's, a C3 and (2)R3 (or R2....budget) and look forward to their response.

    Cheers
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    The R2s won't work for you because they're 4ohm speakers and the Pioneer receiver are notorious for not being able to handle 4ohm speakers. They're also a single full-range speaker with no crossover or seperate tweeter/mid-woofer which makes me question their ability to cover the frequency range effectivly, especially at higher volumes and in larger rooms.

    If ya can afford the R3s and like the dipole idea then go for it, but my personal tastes are for traditional monopoles all around. If ya need to wall mount then definitely go for the R3s. If you plan on putting them on stands then the 2.1s are the way to go. It can also be more imersive to have the same speakers all the way around and is reccomended for multichannel music (DVD-A and SACD). You may even inquire about a single 2.1 for the center or get 3 pairs for 6.1 (which your receiver will do, it was one of the first affordable receivers w/ 6.1 decoding). 5 or 6 of the exact same speaker would be amazingly immersive and would definitely be preffereable to the compromises that most center channels make just so they can sit on top of traditional TVs. The 6.1 also might make it worth the extra $50 to get 3 pairs of 2.1s vs. 2.1s and a C3.

    I'm currently running 4.1 mains, 2.1 surrounds, and a C3. Sometime in the not-so-distant future I hope to either upgrade my mains to 5.2s or 6.1s.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  5. Bernie_A

    Bernie_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow....that's interesting. I never thought to use a single 2.1 for a center. I just assumed that the C3 was required. Your setup is also something I am considering. I am debating the idea of towers in front instead of 2.1's on stands.

    Keep in mind, I am not in love with the Pioneer either. It's just a starting point and equipment that I currently have. I've got intentions of building the system as we go (an Outlaw, HK, Denon, ??? stack) so my main focus now is to get speakers that will grow with me. The Swans (among others,of coarse) certainly seem very capapble of that considering what I have had in the past.

    Movie watching is our primary focus with this setup. Would a 2.1 center be better that a C3? I can't imagine this to be true...but I am still just learning. Musically, I think I see your point but for movie watching, I think the C3 would be better for us...what do you think?

    Thanks for your help....I need a "mentor".....all this stuff is soooo confusing. Very fun....but overwhelming at the same time. Now I know why they call it a hobby.
     
  6. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Center channel speakers are by design a compromise. They're designed to match a traditional upright speaker yet sit nicely on top of a standard TV. This compromise give a less-than-optimal horizontal M-T-M arrangement that usually leads to dispersion and combing problems (certain frequencies being nulled or accentuated due to destructive or constructive interferrence). While there are some good center speakers out there (the C3 being one of them), a perfectly matched front soundstage is almost always (99%) optimal. Pans from left to center to right will blend perfectly (assuming near uniform height and distance from walls), the same from front to back if you use 2.1s in the back.

    If ya go w/ 6 2.1s and decide later to upgrade the mains you would still have a perfect 7.1 setup when you upgrade but you'd be left with one un-used 2.1. 4 2.1s and a C3 would cost less now and if you upgraded the mains leave you with no "left-over" speakers later on. Still, given your 6.1 capable receiver and the prospects of a perfectly matched matched system, the 2.1s all around is how I would go.

    Given it to do all over again I would have went with 2.1 mains over the 4.1s. The 4.1s sound great, slightly better than the 2.1s with deeper bass and a slightly richer sound. The reason I would have went with the 2.1s instead though is because the difference in bass isn't worth the $200 price difference because I have an amazing DIY AV12 sub and i do pretty much no 2ch music listening, and also because now I want the 6.1s or 5.2s for mains, so the 4.1s were just an un-neccesary intermediate step for me. At the time they seemes to be a great budget tower, but now their benefits over the 2.1s are proven to be minimal.

    If you're anywhere near Atlanta, GA i'll let ya have my 4 month old 4.1s for $450 [​IMG]
     
  7. Bernie_A

    Bernie_A Stunt Coordinator

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    Another question reguarding rears.....my room is 10' wide and 13' deep with 12' ceilings. I have a 51" Hitachi Ultravision RPTV and with the limited room depth, the couch is flat up against the opposing wall. However, on that back wall where the couch is up against, there is a high potshelf that I could put speakers on or hang and point down. Given this set up and the fact that I cannot get the rears behind me, would it make sense for me to go with bi-polar rears up high?
     
  8. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    This is probably a good case for bipolar surrounds. Monopoles to the side right at your ear line or slightly behind are still the first reccomended placement/speaker combination from www.dolby.com .
     
  9. Jon Lane

    Jon Lane Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Bernie,

    Thanks for the kind words -- when we jump in and offer comments we feel we're always treading the fine line between helpfulness and downright meddling. It makes us feel good that you and many others seem to find our efforts helpful. [​IMG]
     
  10. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Jon and everyone else at theaudioinsider are great. They helped me out alot in the pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase phases. They were easy to contact by both phone and email, helped in speaker selection without over-selling, helped with fitting the package i wanted into a budget i could live with, and helped tracking the shippments. I would reccomend them to anyone just for customer service, not to mention an amazing product!
     

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