Help me figure a few things out.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Nitro350Z, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. Nitro350Z

    Nitro350Z Auditioning

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    Alright, I'm not sure if this entirely the correct area to post, but here goes.

    I am a Complete noob when in comes to home audio and mostly audio in general, I know a few things and have been reading a lot but still most of it is new to me.

    I am setting up a home theater system(buying receiver, then all speakers separately). So far I have come up with this receiver - Yamaha RXV4600Ti (130W per channel, 7.1)

    but that's as far as I got for the sound system. I was considering getting yamaha speakers but from the specs they don't seem as good as I thought. If you know of a better receiver than this, thats not too overpriced, please tell me.

    I have no clue what speakers to get now. Can someone give me a link or mention companies that make great speakers.

    I was thinking of getting this kind of arrangement, what do you think? ( 1x center, 2x bookshelf front, 2x towers mid, 2x bookshelf rear)

    If anybody is wondering, the system will also include a 72" toshiba DLP, a HTPC, and possibly a ps3 or xbox 360 in the near future.

    Thanks in advance.

    Sorry if its a bit hard to understand.

    Also - can someone explain all the terms that are used when comparing speakers and other equipment, or provide a good link.
     
  2. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    Hi Paul - Around US$1,800, you have a lot of options for receivers! At this price point I'd recommend looking at Denon, Marantz or Pioneer Elite receivers for home theatre, instead of the Yamaha. Personally I would choose the Denon AVR-3806 or AVR-4306. These are phenominal receivers.

    But before selecting a receiver you will want to select your speakers.. What size room will these speakers be in? What percentage would these speakers be used for movies / CD listening. What is your speaker budget, including cabling? What are your listening preferences?

    For a 5.1 setup you will be looking at a center, 2 front towers or bookshelfs, 2 surround bookshelfs and a subwoofer. You may want to build this up over time to 7.1 by purchasing 2 rear bookshelfs. I think you're in Canada, so you may want to take a look at Paradigm speakers, both the Monitor Series and Studio Series.

    Also have you budgeted for an HD DVD Player or for a DVD player cable of HDMI Upconversion? Or are you planning on waiting for the PS3 to use as a Blu-Ray Player?
     
  3. Nitro350Z

    Nitro350Z Auditioning

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I will look into the Denon and Marantz receivers, but I have had bad experiences with pioneer equipment so I think I'll stay away.

    The room is rectangular in shape, ~24'+ long and 15'+ wide with one side open completely. Hard to explain, will post a pic later possibly.

    The speakers will be mostly used for movie viewing and ocassional listening to CDs. Most of the wiring is already installed into the walls. It's 18 gauge wire I believe, Is that good enough?

    My budget is pretty open right now, If it turns out a bit steep then I will buy the equipment progressively. Would kinda give a nice contrast to the regular speakers on the tv once it is setup fully[​IMG].

    I was planning on going 7.1 surround from the start

    Havent budgeted for an HD DVD player or BD(Blu-Ray Disc) player, but was planning on installing a HD DVD or BD Drive in the HTPC when they come out, Also some of the Dx10 cards supposedly support HDMI out, but until then a DVI to HDMI adapter should work, right?

    Again thanks for the advice.
     
  4. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    That's a very large room! You'll definately need capable speakers. I'd recommend posting on audioreview.com or on the speaker forum here in HTF with details of your room and what type of sound you are looking for, in order to get good speaker recommendations. Also, let us know what your budget is.

    But as a start, here are the Paradigm Monitor speakers I mentionned:

    http://www.paradigm.com/Website/Site...Monseries.html
    http://www.paradigm.com/Website/Site...e/systems.html

    The Monitor 7 and Monitor 11 are excellent speakers for home theatre and movies. Paradigm is one of the top Canadian speaker manufacturers. [​IMG]

    Also - I would usually recommend 12 AWG to 16 AWG speaker cabling, though 18 AWG should be acceptable as long as the cable runs aren't excessively long.
     
  5. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    AG is right, that's a big room. Big enough that you may want to reconsider getting a receiver and go with a separate processor and dedicated power amplifier, instead. You could also get an inexpensive receiver and use it to drive a separate power amp, which would help keep your costs down. Another way to economize, without cutting quality, is to buy high quality used gear. Power amps are an especially good choice for buying used, because good ones will last forever and still sound great.

    I would also recommend floorstanding front/main speakers, rather than bookshelf. For HT the Paradigm Monitor series AG mentioned is a good option. If your budget allows, you could also step up to the Paradigm Studio line, IMO it is well worth the price difference.
     
  6. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    Studio series blows the Monitor series away, just awesome speakers.
     
  7. Nitro350Z

    Nitro350Z Auditioning

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    Again thanks for the replies.

    I looked at some of the speakers from Paradigm, and I am impressed. I think I will go with some of the offerings from the studio series. I don't think I can afford to buy all of them at once, but I prefer to get better equipment later than lower quality equipment sooner.

    As for the bookshelf vs floorstanding for front, I would have liked to have gone with floorstanding speakers, but there are shelves built around where the tv is going to be(housing receiver, htpc,gaming console, ect.) so I'm kinda forced to use bookshelf speakers, I was thinking of getting the studio 40's for the front, as there are fairly close spec wise to the studio 60's.

    as for the rear speakers, what exactly are the surround speakers? (Studio ADP-470) I am not exactly sure how they work(how many inputs) and what they are.

    Again thanks for the tips.
     
  8. Nitro350Z

    Nitro350Z Auditioning

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    Alright, this is what I have decided on getting so far.

    TV: Toshiba 72MX196

    Receiver: Marantz SR9600

    Speakers: Center: Studio CC-470
    Front: 2x Studio 40 or Studio 60
    Mid: 2x Studio 100
    Rear: 2x Studio ADP-470
    Sub: Seismic 12

    As for the DVD Player, ect. I will be using a HTPC(havent decided on components yet) instead.

    How does this look? I know I went a bit over the top with the budget, but I can wait a few paychecks and then buy it.

    Again Thanks for all the help and insight.
     
  9. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Nitro

    The ADP-470 is a dipole surround. That means the identical 7 inch woof, and 1 inch tweet, on the front side and back side, are wired out of phase. That gives a very spacious effect. You would wire them up like an ordinary pair of speakers. The real issue is placement. Ideally they should be placed 6 feet off the floor and directly to the sides of the listening position, however, other variations are viable, including back walls and corners.

    I just googled Paradigm and looked around a bit till I found the Studio Series, and looked up reviews. Click on Reviews, and bring up the review by The Perfect Vision. Should make for good reading [​IMG]
     
  10. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    For 7.1, most people put dipoles (ADP 470) for the surrounds, and direct speakers (Studio 20) for the rears. Some prefer dipoles (ADP 470) for the rears. But I certainly wouldn't recommend Studio 100's for your surrounds in the system you selected. Here are several systems to consider:

    Front: Studio 40
    Centre: CC-470 or CC-570
    Surround: ADP-470
    Rear: Studio 20
    Subwoofer: Seismic 10 or Seismic 12

    Front: Studio 60
    Centre: CC-470 or CC-570
    Surround: ADP-470
    Rear: Studio 20
    Subwoofer: Siesmic 12 or Servo-15

    Front: Studio 100
    Centre: CC-570
    Surround: ADP-470
    Rear: Studio 20
    Subwoofer: Servo-15

    Also, you don't need to purchase a Paradigm subwoofer (though they are very good) - I'm sure other board members can recommend an excellent sub for you, but I would typically look at SVS, Hsu, Velodyne, REL, etc. [​IMG]
     
  11. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Question for anybody: it is a good thing to mix dipolar speakers (side surrounds) with direct-radiators (back surrounds)?

    It seems like when sounds move past you, you'll hear the "blurriness" of the dipoles.......then the much more literal/direct sound from the back surrounds. Not good IMO.

    Speakers: if this isn't going to be used much for music, you might want to check out Klipsch's Reference Series bookshelfs. While many consider them to sound "bright" i.e. their higher frequencies are stronger than most other brands, for movies they are a good choice IMO since movie soundtracks aren't continuous like a CD's. So instead of (eventually) being fatiguing, that extra brightness will be noticed more as just extra clarity and voices will be clearer and sound effects will have more impact. Klipsch speakers usually have more punchy bass to & this will still be evident even if they are crossed over at 80Hz, 100Hz, whatever.

    Or if you want sound with a more subtle approach but still has a good amount of punch & an overall richer sound, check out the brand of speaker I use (well, one of them anyway*): Boston Acoustics bookshelfs. Many audiophiles don't like them for some reason (I can never get them to tell me why) but I figure it's because they've always offered very good sound/build quality for a lower price. Boston usually ignores trendy technologies and exotic wood trim & instead puts that money into the sound reproduction devices themselves. If you do a search here you'll see a lot of members own them - we're just not that vocal about it.

    Lastly: don't know you're budget but Infinity's new Cascade Series is very good gear (and pricey) and they look beautiful, probably one of the best looking speakers around right now. Even their matching 100lb slim-line subwoofer looks nice. Here's a photo of it without its grill.

    FYI: do NOT buy speakers based solely on their numbered specifications (bookshelves or subwoofers) - this is a great way to be disappointed most of the time.

    BTW: in that size of room, and especially with such a powerful receiver, I really would not recommend a speaker equipped with anything less than a 6.5" woofer. This is based partly on sound quality but in this particular case mostly for power handling capability (from a sound quality p.o.v. even for small living rooms/$200 receivers, I like using 6.5 woofer models or a *good* 5.25" equipped model).

    * I also use Infinity speakers.
     
  12. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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  13. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Thanks Alon. [​IMG]
     
  14. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Could you please elaborate on what you mean by "mid" speakers? Your proper 7.1 set-up has a center channel (which you'll probably put on top of your TV, then angle the drivers towards the seats), a pair of front main speakers (ie. the left & right stereo pair positioned right beside the TV). Then you have 2 or 4 "surround" speakers. These are smaller, wallmounted speakers that first go directly to the sides of your couch (the drivers face the side of your head), making a 5.1 system. A 7.1 system keeps the first 5 speakers, but puts 2 more directly behind you (drivers facing the back of your head). You can really only use 7.1 fully if your seating is a few feat away from a back wall (ie. if the back ofg your HT opens into a kitchen you're liekly stuck with 5.1).

    I can't image why you'd want Studio 100s for surround speakers and Studio 40s for the main speakers (your front L/R speakers handle the majority of music & on-screen FX).

    BTW: Nice choice for Tv & AVR
     
  15. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    I realize that specs can be misleading sometimes but the Cascade sub doesn't really get a standing applause with a mere 32-150 Hz frequency responce and the price tag, $1499.95, that is a pocket book murderer right there. I have become less and less impressed with Infinity as of late. Not to say I don't like them, I love the Interlude series speakers.

    The Paradigm Studios sound better than they look on paper, so I could be mistaken on the Infinity Cascades. It is just the salty price for what seems to be lacking in function that disturbs me.
     
  16. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Check out the photos of it - this sub will fit where most subs will not and look good doing it (having a huge fat cube lurking in their living room doesn't appeal to many people). So there's a good chance Infinity's marketing people wanted something that would appeal to someone that is attracted to Bose's gear. And despite its lack of extension relative to similarly-priced subs, I'll bet it still *sounds* good anyway......and not all parts of an LFE signal on every movie soundtrack is made of frequencies 20Hz and lower.
     
  17. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    True, but more & more films are using some serious LFE, not just action & sci-fi films anymore. You could probably pick any new release up and it will have LFE under 30Hz.
     
  18. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Here's the last of my shill-ing for this sub [​IMG]. Since its an acoustic suspension design, unlike most bass-reflex enclosures its output doesn't nearly slam to a stop immediately under its stated low-end limit; rather, it trails off slowly and can still provide useful output at lower frequencies* (though for all I know Infinity included a filter to prevent overexcursion at very low frequencies like many other subs include). And since it includes the R.A.B.O.S. bass smoothing system that also increases the price. Did I mention despite using aluminum in its construction it still weighs 98lbs? [​IMG]

    end of nauseating fan-boy post!

    * back in the mid 80s, Stereo Review tested the new-for-1984 Advent "Baby", a 2-way with a 6.5" acoustic-suspension woofer, and found it had "useful" output to 45hz. I owned these exact speakers for 14 years and can confirm that (these speakers' low efficiency rating of 86dB + the woofer's thick/heavy/high excursion cone is a major clue to their bass extension capabilities). They consistantly surprised me and others with how much bass they had. At the time my Pioneer SX-6 receiver with 45/watts @.01%THD channel was used with them - except for large living rooms this combination provided plenty of volume.
     
  19. Nitro350Z

    Nitro350Z Auditioning

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    What I meant by "mid" is surround speakers, the ones that go beside the seating area.

    Thanks for all the info. Havent had time to finish reading all of it yet, but I will soon. Again thanks

    Also, what subs whould you guys recomend, other than the infinity ones, they look nice, but I have a place where to put the box shapped sub and not the long infinity one. I also kinda like the box shapped subs, dont know why tho.
     
  20. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    Well there are some subs out there that are bold and beautiful at the same time like the Definitive Tech super cubes. Those things are tiny, but pack a punch, and look good doing it too with the piano gloss and small footprint. The Seismics aren't to hard on space or the eyes either.
     

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