Help Request for Lg Rm Speaker Selection

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by brad_al, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. brad_al

    brad_al Auditioning

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    First post on this forum. Am impressed by the body of knowledge and opinion (mostly constructive and useful) that exists here. Thanks in advance for any of either.
    Here's my situation:
    Am moving into a new house which has a large - by my standards - family room (18' w x 16' d with 10' ceilings). Rear of room is partially open to breakfast area and kitchen. Have devoted a smaller room for music listening and will position my PSB towers in there, so my goal is to get a full sound for dvd movies as well as general background listening. Speaker prewiring in house was done prior to my contract on the house, and is useful, but perhaps somewhat limiting at the same time.
    Front speakers will be located on either side of a TV niche (which is over a gas fireplace and flanked by windows on either side. In-walls, or something mountable is all I can imagine here.
    Center channel is wired to fit into the niche with the TV.
    Rears are wired into the ceiling approximately 12' off the TV wall, so will likely end up above and right behind seating. Again, here in-ceilings, or something ceiling mountable here is what seems to have been planned.
    The installer can provide a variety of Sonance in-wall/in-ceiling arrangements . . . or "upgrade" me to Bose[​IMG]
    Receiver is Denon 3801 which I hope to configure for multi-room, multi-source for serious music listening in room mentioned above.
    BTW, cost is always a factor, but could likely go up to $1500 with a sub.
    Thoughts?
    Thanks again,
    Brad
     
  2. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    Not sure what your questions are? But here goes:

    Sub: build your own (DIY) with an Adire Tempest driver or get an SVS. For $1500 you can get all the DIY or SVS sub you need. That isn't really a big room. I'd look at Paradigm speakers for the fronts. Also for side-mounted dipoles if you can make them work with re-wiring.

    For in-walls, not sure, but I think B&W makes the best ones made but they are pricey (about $1,000 per pair). Sound wise, you can get better sound for much less $$ with standard speakers vs in-walls. In-walls are a bad choice unless asthetics and not acoustics rule the day.

    If there is anyway to go with wall mounted dipoles instead of in-ceiling speakers, then do so. It would be worth hiring an electrician to fish some wire for you if need be. You can always run wire under the carpet too, then make a small hole in the wall (could be under the base-plate), then up the inside of the wall to the correct hieght (1.5-3 feet above the ears). Or, if you have a basement or attic, then re-wiring correctly becomes easy. The rears should be at the sides of the listening area and not behind it if possible. Don't even think Bose!
     
  3. brad_al

    brad_al Auditioning

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    Scott,

    Thanks for your help. You inferred correctly based on your reply. Just looking for the best sounding speaker for the buck that will satisfy the cosmetics test of my wife.

    Am intrigued by the DIY sub you mention. I'm fairly handy, and after a visit to that section of the forum, it looks as though this is a good way to save some money on a terrific sub. Will likely dig through there some more, but opt for this avenue to maximize the budget on fronts, surrounds, and center.

    Additional detail along that vain... Here are some sets or models that have caught my attention for one reason or another. I'm leaning away from the wall/ceiling mount, as it seems that this improves both acoustics and value. Perhaps this is a more efficient way to gather feedback as well. Will maybe post under speaker section to get more going.

    -Paradigm Cinema 70/90

    -Paradigm Atoms/CC170

    -PSB Alpha Mini/Intro/Center

    -NHT SB1

    -JBL NSP1

    -Polk RM6200

    Thanks again,

    Brad
     
  4. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

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    Brad,
    Your decision to not use inwalls is a good one. I highly recommend Paradigm. I have about $3,000 worth of Vandersteens in the front, but choose $400 a pair Paradigm dipoles for my two surrounds and will add another pair for rear-centers soon. I'm very happy with them. If I did not love Vandersteens (and got a great deal on a perfect used pair), I would go Paradigm all the way around.
    I love my DIY sub. You can build a sub for about $350 (unpowered, so you have to buy or use something you have laying around like an old reciever), that will blow away anything commercially under $1,000 and will compare favorably with $3,000 subs.
    Consider strongly building with the Adire Tempest. The company offers free designs and free design software on their web site. The highest output with the lowest amp input (in otherwords the most effient) is the sonotube subs. Easy to build too. However, WAF is low because they are big. My sub is 12 cubic feet. A 24" diameter black cylinder that is almost 6 feet tall. Obviously somewhat imposing. And I'm adding a second one. Fortunatly my wife doesn't mind. They look very nice with a black piano high-gloss finish on the top and bottom and a nice black cloth covering on the sides. Sounds wonderful and shakes the whole house nicely. One is all you need. I'm only driving it with 150W into 4 ohms. With your budget you could buy a high-powered amp and it would really sing. It's optimal at about 500 to 750 watts, but only needs about 100W to produce good bass.
    My sub peaks at an incredible 14 hz and has considerable output at an astonising 10 hz. Try getting that with ANY commercial sub.
    However, there are many design choices available with different types of compromises. You can do a traditional wooden box if you are good with wood and have the tools. The Sonotubes are just very easy, very inert, inexpensive, and sound great. If you email me, I could provide my phone number for you; I'd be glad to talk to you about different designs and what I have learned about them.
    [email protected]
     

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