Apartment 5.1 Speaker Setup

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Heath T, Feb 2, 2003.

  1. Heath T

    Heath T Auditioning

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    I am looking for a great 5.1 surround setup for my apartment (will be in one for a couple more years). The room is approx. 17' x 21'. Display will be on a 17' wall. One of the 21' "walls" is 1/2 open into the kitchen/dining rooms.
    As I am sure you all know, there is concern about "entertaining" the neighbors! What I am looking for is a speaker system that will keep its great sound and bass extension at lower volumes. Great sound only at reference levels plus will be of virtually no use to me. The listening will be divided between music and movies equally. The speakers need to be relatively small. It definitely needs to be a bookshelf/sub or sat/sub system. I know I will probably not get strong 20hz with this system, but want as much as I can get! I have a $2500-$3000 budget for the speakers and sub.

    So, what do you think? Are there any combinations out there that fit my needs?
     
  2. Tim Morton

    Tim Morton Stunt Coordinator

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    One thing to consider is that 3grand is serious money and you will have these speakers long after you move out of the apartment...so maybe getting optimum apartment sound is not as important as buying the best you can afford and then grow with it. Paridigm and SVS seems to be the hot combo on this forum.
     
  3. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    you...could...get...a...Bose...

    it has a small enough bass unit that it won't annoy the neighbors. But you won't get much enjoyment out of it either.
     
  4. DavidBelis

    DavidBelis Agent

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    I was in a very similar situation, since I'm in an apartment, which the main room is about 17' by 11', plus it's connected to a tiny 'dining room'.


    Here's what I did:

    Code:
      
     ___________________________________
     | | ^
     | x T(x) x | |
     | D | |
     | x | |
     | C | 
     |__ ________ C | 1
     | C | 7
     | C | 
     |x x|_____ f
     K t
     | |
     _________________|_ _____________________ |
     | |
     |E |
     


    Okay, I have no idea if this little
    'picture' that I've drawn will come out, but assuming it does (hopefully), I'll explain.

    First, a legened


    D = Dining room table
    K = Kitchen
    The 3 C's = 3-cushioned couch/sofa
    C = reclining chair
    T = TV
    E = Entrance to apartment
    Then, all the X's represent the speakers. The 'x' right above the couch is the woofer [T(x) means my tv has a center speaker sitting on top of it]


    Anyways, I originally had a set of Bose Acoustimass 10s, and after hearing real speakers, I obviously returned them.

    Now, I have:

    2 front and 2 rears - Paradigm Titans
    Centre channel - Paradigm CC 170
    subwoofer - Paradigm PDR 10

    And all this cost me $1500 Canadian, after tax, bargaining, speaker wires, stands etc...


    Like many other people on this board, I highly recommend going for some Paradigms.
    You havea higher budget than I did, so naturally, you should probably go with a higher-level Paradigm.

    It seems to me that somethine like a 5.1 system with 2 Studio 40s, a studio CC center channel, Studio ADPs for the rear (or other Studio 20's/40's), and a good woofer (ie. a pw 2200) would be perfect for you and for your price range (at least according to the prices they give at Paradigm's website)


    *Edit*
    I just realized that this little illustration of my apartment won't work because when I post the message, all the extra spaces (which are neccessary here) get deleted. Is there anything I could do about that?
     
  5. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    To me, living in an apartment has no real bearing on what kind of equipment to buy. As long as it all fits, you simply just keep the volume level lower. As long as you aren't one of these freaks who constantly upgrades equipment (oops, probably just described 90% of the ppl who frequent these forums), then buy your equipment with the idea of keeping it long term, especially since you're dropping some serious cash on everything.

    fwiw, I live in an apartment with 4 small tower speakers+1 center and an SVS sub.
     
  6. Heath T

    Heath T Auditioning

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  7. Robert_Z

    Robert_Z Screenwriter

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  8. Brian Foley

    Brian Foley Agent

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    DavidBelis,

    To display your little diagram in a readable form, do this:

    1) On a new line, enter "[ CODE ]" with no spaces around CODE.
    2) Press Enter.
    3) Paste in your properly formatted diagram.
    4) Press Enter.
    5) Enter "[ /CODE ]" with no spaces.

    Code:
     +-----------------------+
     | IT WORKS, KIND OF |
     +-----------------------+
     

    As you can see, it wants to double space things, for some reason. I can't find any way to override that. Sorry.
     
  9. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Fixed!

    M.
     
  10. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    Robert,

    Believe it or not, I've never had a single complaint, nor even a comment. It's probably 'cuz I generally don't crank it all that often, and definitely not late at night. Or perhaps most likely I just have really tolerant neighbors. The last time I really cranked it was during LOTR, otherwise I probably don't watch movies as often as some of you guys.
     
  11. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    How about reserving some of that $$ for a pair of headphones? I find my cordless Sennheisers indispensable for late nights and the baby's nap. Especially, when the Rockets(everybody sing...Yao Ming, Yao Ming...) are playing out on the west coast and my wife wants to sleep.
     
  12. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    The low bass is what carries the most... so, another possibility is to get full range towers for the front mains and run them on large, without a sub. Yes, you'll miss some bass, but you may keep your neighbours from getting you evicted! That way, you can either put the sub funds into better speakers, or save some money until you eventually move.

    Martin.
     
  13. Heath T

    Heath T Auditioning

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    Full range main speakers may be a good idea. I could always add the sub later. What could I expect with a good tower? Would they give decent low bass response without having to crank them? Not having any type of bass control other than the boom knob on the front of the receiver concerns me a little. I know I don't want a tower with a powered sub built in. I've never seriously considered or listened to any towers.
     
  14. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    Hey,

    Non powered full range towers are not substitute for a sub. I don't want to mislead you that way. My speakers are pretty good, and are rated down to 39Hz at -2dB or some such, and they certainly can do that. Things drop off from there, though they supposedly can make some sort of pathetic cry at 25Hz [​IMG]. On the other hand, a sub will do much better at those frequencies. But that's sort of the point: you aren't producing the really low frequencies - hence keeping the neighbours happy.

    It's all a matter of taste. I run my speakers on small crossed over at 90Hz. There's still some benefit to be had even crossed over here, since the crossover isn't a brick wall.

    You might also run into some bass cancellation running two full range mains, which may or may not matter to you while in the apartment. The common wisdom seems to be that if you are going to attempt to get linear amplitude in the bass frequencies, you don't want to consider large mains.

    Good luck! Let us know what you decide.

    Martin.
     
  15. Mike_Gr

    Mike_Gr Stunt Coordinator

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    I wouldn't let the fact you live in an apartment be a factor in your decision making. My good friend and neighbor lives in an apartment and has a complete Paradigm Reference system (Studio 100) including a Servo 15 sub. He powers his system with 3 powerful Carver Research amps. He purchased the system around 2 years ago and is now looking at purchasing a home.

    During the past two years, he has enjoyed his system on a daily basis by watching TV, listening to music, watching movies, and even playing PC games. His system sounds fine at any volume level. Just keep in mind that there will be times when the neighbors will be away and you will be able to go as loud as you wish (I watched many movies at his place under those circumstances).

    Eventually, when you find your own home, you won't need to upgrade your system.
     

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