lousy room layout - B&W decisions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EricT, Dec 7, 2001.

  1. EricT

    EricT Auditioning

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    Been hanging around here a lot (too much maybe) and have listened to many speakers I wouldn't have without you guys. Thanks. (I now know enough to just be dangerous.) I've narrowed my choice down to B&W CM4's ($1500.), B&W 804/805's ($3100/2000) and the JMLabs Cobalt 816 ($1700). Aesthetics are very important and so I’m leaning toward the 804.
    Here's a plan of the room. Speakers in yellow. Can't move the tv location. No great spot for a sub. Rear surrounds are DefTech monitor200's (for now).
    My question is: since the fronts will be so close, should I just go with a pair of 804’s and run in phantom mode with no center, no sub? Same money would get me the 805 bookshelf pair, the HTM1 center and maybe a sub. Use is 75% music/25% HT.
    Will eventually go with separates but for now I’ll pick up the Marantz 8200 6x120W ($1300-thought I’d spend the money on speakers first). Is the Marantz capable of driving the 804’s? Can I bi-amp 4 channels on the Marantz to the 804’s and use the remaining 2 for the rears? I would then add a ~5 channel amp down the road when I get the center.
    Am I way off base?
    Thanks again.
    -Eric
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Alan Kurland

    Alan Kurland Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's my advice/ opinion:

    1.Of the speaker choices, go with the 804s. They'll be better in the long run for music and movies. (I have them for fronts in my home theater, and they've been great. (802s for music in my 2 channel system.)

    2.I would always recommend a sub for home theater. It can go anywhere in the room.

    3.I would always recommend a center channel. Phantom may be ok, but you'll lose a lot without the center. I can go on top or bottom of TV.

    4.I think you'd have plenty of power with the Marantz unit you're looking at. You don't need to biwire the 804s with the extra channels.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    The current issue of Home Theater magazine has an article about a corner placement for TV that you might check out. On your front speakers, be sure they are far enough away from the TV so the magnets won't cause interference with the TV screen. I assume the front speakers aren't magnetically shielded. A dedicated center speaker will be so putting on top of the TV won't be a problem.
     
  4. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    The biggest issue for me is the 804s alone OR the 805 w/the sub & center. That's tough, as there is a significant difference between them. I wanna cry just thinking about having to make this decision. I guess it's a good problem to have.

    For 75% music, I'd probably go with the 804s IF you thought you could add a sub sometime down the road. Man, what a setup that would be!

    IF NOT

    You'll get immediate satisfaction from the 805s and a decent sub/center. Your bass extension will be much better and the few movies you do watch will really rock!
     
  5. Brian Vaughan

    Brian Vaughan Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd definitely go with the 804s. I had debated between these and the 805s and I have never been disappointed. If you want to save a little bit of money you can always go with the HTM2 center channel speaker. It sounds great and it's about $1000 less than the HTM1 and it fits in quite well with the 804s (you can see my setup in the link below). Plus, you might be able to use that extra cash to get a sub.

    Cheers, Brian
     
  6. EricT

    EricT Auditioning

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    Well, I guess that's it then. I'll start with the 804's and try it without a center for a while. I'm assuming I'll get more bang for the buck by upgrading in the following order:

    1. add the HTM 1-2 for a center

    2. sub (maybe I'll win an SVS)

    3. external amp

    4. 805's for surround to replace the DefTech's

    Thanks for the quick reply's, I appreciate the sanity check...

    It's going to be an expensive, albeit fun, weekend.
     
  7. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Eric,

    I have a similar setup with TV & mains in a corner. It's a difficult situation but you can still make the best of it. Four feet distance between the mains is too close I think especially with the seating distance 12' back or so. I also don't think you want the B&W too close to the wall where they won't sound their best.

    This is what I recommend.

    Pull the TV & mains out from the corner. Pull the Mains out from the TV a bit more to try to reduce sound reflections from the TV. This will get you more separation between the N804s. It should also give you enough space to fit a sonotube sub (Hsu TN, SVS, or DIY) behind the TV and in a corner of the room where you want it. The good news about the sonusub is that it only requires about 1 square foot of floorspace.

    I also agree with others. Don't go with the N805's. They are not that much different than the CDM1-NT. The N804's are nice and look gorgeous but I'm surprised you aren't considering the CDM9-NT since it has the same drivers as the N804 including the FST midrange driver for $1K less.

    Gil
     
  8. Jeffrey_Jones

    Jeffrey_Jones Second Unit

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    Eric,

    Your speaker configuration is not ideal for critical music listening and I can't imagine you will be doing justice to your 804s. Speaker placement is one of the biggest factors for the accurate reproduction of recorded music.

    My suggestion would be to go with the 805/center/sub combination and build a great HT that will also be very good for music. You will be missing a lot without a center channel speaker.

    If you really don't care much about the HT factor then I would consider building a music only system and rearranging the room.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  9. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    WOW, what a problem (j/k)

    I would go with the 804 and get either the cdm1NT or 601 for the rear. and a sub from SVS. and get the cheaper HTM center (since you are 75% music, also the more expensive center is basically a 804 on its side, while the cheaper one is basically a 805)

    I don't think you will beable to have ANY b&w speaker (that is not a center) that close to a direct view TV.

    I have the CDM7NT (poor mans 804), with the CDMCnt, and 601 rears (they work great), and a SVS sub. I love my system. If I won the lottery I would have opted for the 804 (my fav speaker), but I didn't and actually in stretched it just to get the 7s, my dad has the 9s and tehy are pretty good too.

    GOOD LUCK.
     
  10. JohnFR

    JohnFR Stunt Coordinator

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    I also have a corner placement. I was able to spread my fronts (B&W 602s) a little over six feet apart. I put my small Velo sub in between the TV and the right front speaker. As Gil suggested, getting the speakers forward of the TV to lessen reflections off the screen helps a lot.
    My mains are still to close to the wall for ideal sound, but this is an unresolvable problem with my set up because there is simply no room to pull them out further.
    I've done a lot of tweaking, and ultimately I think you just have to live with trade offs when using a corner placement. I'm offering my wife new furniture if she agrees to let me move things to where they're supposed to be. [​IMG]
    Good luck
    JR
     

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