Help with first surround speaker system

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by William_K_F, Nov 16, 2002.

  1. William_K_F

    William_K_F Agent

    Feb 4, 2002
    Likes Received:

    I am planning on getting a surround speaker system and am feeling kind of overwhelmed by all the options so am hoping folks here can help out a bit.

    Here is my situation:

    Here is a diagram of the room which is 15'2" wide x 15'6" long x 8'2" tall and carpeted with flat paint on the walls (notice TV is a bit off center to the right due to door):
     Wood Wood
     | Amp etc. XXX |
     | Sub here |
     | |
     | |
     | |
     | |
     | |
     W D G
     i o l
     n |------------| o a
     d | | r s
     o | | | s
     w | Bed | |
     | | | |
     | | | |
     | | | |
     | | Heads here | |
     | -------------- |
    [/list]I currently have on order a Pioneer Elite 45tx and my screen is a Toshiba 34HF81 and the DVD is a Pioneer Elite DV-05 and a Dish PVR-501. I have an old Soundcraftsmen 250 watt amplifier that I am thinking could be used to drive a subwoofer. My old speakers are KEFs which are rather large and bulky that my wife does not like much.

    The new speakers should be relatively small so that they are acceptable to my wife. I am thinking bookshelf size speakers.

    So far I have auditioned:Paradigm Reference Studio 20s / center / surround ~$1,850 + sub to be added
    Paradigm Mini Monitors / CC370 / ADP170 ~$1,098 + sub to be added
    KEF KHT-2005 (no-dipole) ~$1,529 w/ sub
    Infinity Modulus System (no-dipole) ~$1,529 w/ sub
    KEF Q1s / Q9c / Q2ds ~$1,188 + sub to be added[/list]I was only able to do A/B comparison between the KEF KHT-2005 and the Infinity Modulus System. I preferred the KEF on the upper frequencies and the Infinity on the Bass. I think this is since the Infinity has a larger subwoofer. I don't like these systems though since the subwoofer is sold with the system and I think I want something like a Single SVS CS-Ultra ~$900 driven by my old Soundcraftsmen amp in bridged mode or alternatively a CS-Plus 20-39 ~$575. Or maybe a HSU TN-1220HO subwoofer $450.

    The rest have been heard independently so it is hard to compare but they all sounded reasonable. I did all my auditioning using movie soundtracks like LOTR. As I recall the Paradigm systems did not seem to vary too much but I had to switch rooms to compare so would probably opt for the lesser priced monitor series if I went with them.

    I will be using the system primarily for watching DVD movies (98% of time) and thought that ment I should get Di-pole speakers for the two surround units, but at one store they said that newer systems were no longer going Di-pole since that was bad for music and that you can aim the monopoles to the rear of the room to get a surround effect for movies. Not to sure about that though and KEF comes out with a new Dipole Q2ds in December.

    Bottom line is I want a system which:1) Has small bookshelf speakers.
    2) Has a subwoofer to make up for bookshelfs.
    3) Goes all the way down flat for LFEs.
    4) Appropriate for my room size and system.
    5) Costs less than $2,500 with good price performance ratio.
    6) Hopefully (not required) uses my old soundcraftsmen amp.[/list]
  2. Nick Cerretti

    Nick Cerretti Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 7, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Obviously pick the speaker system that sounds best to you. If I were you, I would pick up the mini/370/170dipole set up, but I'm a sucker for anything Paradigm. The studio 20s are awesome speakers, but are rather large bookshelfs, and they seem like overkill, which you've noted.

    Anything from SVS would blow you away. Enough said.

    The surround speakers are your biggest issue. Since you're using this mostly for HT, I would normally say use dipole. But you're right against the back wall. I have the same situation as you, with the back against the wall. I've talked to my Paradigm dealers and they both said that dipoles would be the way to go, even with your back against the wall. I have a hard time believeing that, but the dealers (and Paradigm for that matter) say dipole is the way to go.

    SO whats the solution to this mess? See if you can take dipoles and monopoles with you and see which one you like.
  3. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

    Jan 16, 1998
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    Real Name:
    Neil Joseph
    SVS is a very popular choice for a sub. For a speaker package, I can only recommend what I think is good.
    Front - PSB Image 2B
    Centre - PSB Image 8C
    Surrounds - PSB Image 2B
    PSB Image line
    PSB Speakers
  4. DanielN

    DanielN Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 4, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I'll tell you one thing. Any of those systems is gonna rock that bedroom! [​IMG]

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