Need Help/Advice

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Rocky_V, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. Rocky_V

    Rocky_V Auditioning

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    OK, here's my situation.

    I've never really had any nice A/V equipment before. So I really don't know much about this stuff.

    We just moved to a new home and I've finally convinced my better half that we need a nice surround system for our living room.

    The room is ~20x15 w/ 12 ft. cathedral cielings.
    It has a half wall between it and the kitchen, w/ a large opening into our dining room. I had to put our TV in the corner because we have a fire place in the middle of the wall (where I think the TV should go for the best setup.)
    So basically I can't setup the speakers symmetrically w/ the TV being in the corner

    I was looking at getting a HTIB (onkyo LS-V955 5.1 & yamaha ???1500 6.1 systems)but just couldn't convince myself that the smaller speakers would satisfy me.

    I have now started looking at seperates. JBL Northridge series, Cerwin Vega V-600 series system, and an Athena FS2 system(never heard of this one before, but it sounded pretty good at my local BB) Also found Axiom on the web, but am hesitant to buy anything I can't listen to prior to forking over my hard earned $$$.

    I have not yet chosen a receiver(or even started looking really, I'm clueless)

    Any recommendations on equipment, or if I should even bother w/ my room situation would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh yeah, my budget is ~$1000 - $1500.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Rocky, welcome to the Forum!

    Yes, that's a pretty big room for a HTIB, especially if, as you said, you want a "nice" system. The separates route with JBLs or Vegas you're looking at are a much better option, along with a receiver and DVD player.

    Re the Axioms, most on-line direct companies offer a money back guarantee, so you'll only be out the shipping at most. However, if you post a request in a new thread, there may well be someone in your area willing to let you demo some. There are lots of nice folks here. [​IMG]

    The only problem I see with your plans is the corner TV thing. With a good home theater set up, the seating should directly face the TV. The speakers should be to the left and right of the TV. The corner arrangement is certainly doable, but most often people aren't willing to follow through and arrange the rest of the room at 45 degrees, to get the desired symmetrical speaker layout. What you usually end up with is all the L/R/rear speakers set up as if the TV were centered on one of the walls, and the TV and center set up next to one of them. And, often some of the speakers are real close to the seating, while others are way across the room. The result is a really disjointed sound.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. DeanGo

    DeanGo Auditioning

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    Personally, I wouldn't try and make a home theater room out of a sitting room. Make the place you go to watch movies it's own room, you'll enjoy it much more.
     
  4. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    I will have to disagree with DeanGo here. Not in a bad way so please dont take it that way Dean.

    I had a dedicated theater upstairs and my downstairs or main floor sounds alot like this orig. posters here.

    I'm married with two teenagers and have friends over only ocassionally.

    We wound up redoing everything to the big vaulted family room off the eating and Kitchen area which we have found we prefer together. Closer to Kitchen, Bath and front door when folks and the teens and their friends come and go. I bet its rare maybe twice a month does the family all sit down together to watch an entire movie. At least this way when my kids friends come over the are usually awed at my system in the family room and they will wind up staying alot. I would rather have any of my kids friends here at my house than others or running around.

    Anyway it has worked out better than predicted, can have it on most of the time if not a movie going then DSS with the news or other programming so it does it all. I have good lighting control except from the area coming from the kitchen area if things are going on there but it really does not effect a thing.

    Again it just depends what your needs are and where you want to spend most of the time in your house. I wanted more flexability to get to my office if a business call came, being closer to the action or folks in the kitchen especially around news time and dinner time. Anyway I will shut up now but this is just how it worked best for our family. I spent alot of needless money to find this out but oh well, life is a learning experience. I do agree for watching a movie there is nothing better than a dedicated HT. In our busy lives though it was almost impossible to deal with. BTW my wife helped me make the family room into the movie room with posters, sconces, and alot of things like the mini popcorn popper and plaques and stuff. Works well. Maybe when the kids are all gone off to college I could consider moving back to the dedicated room but I doubt it now.
     
  5. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    MikeLi I have to agree with every word in your post. I was going to highlight a few parts in my post but heck the entire post rings true with my experience. I know we all have our own situations but mine is very close to yours. I to would appreciate having a little system in the den just to be able to get away now and then but after setting it up and considering the cost to the way our family/teenage daughters function. I sold it.

    Maybe when the kids are all gone off to college I could consider moving back to the dedicated room but I doubt it now.

    I think this will be our direction also. I have to hand it to my wife. She has formalized our living-room in every way she can with all my gear cluttering it up. Over time she has really warmed up to the fact considering how the kids seem to drift over to our house allot. It gives us a good chance to size up their friends.
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Also, in a recent-model home with an open living area, I’ve found it’s easier to get good bass response. Plus all the normal furnishings – sofas, book cases, etc. - seem to work well for acoustics, as do cathedral ceilings.

    By contrast, enclosed rectangular dedicated rooms are very difficult to achieve good, evenly-dispersed bass response, even if you equalize. Not that it can’t be done, but it’s definitely a challenge.

    Okay, we’ve managed to hijack this thread. Perhaps we should get back to helping Rocky! [​IMG]

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. Rocky_V

    Rocky_V Auditioning

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    Not at all hijacking the thread. Any info helps. Keep the suggestions coming.

    You mention the rear speakers in your reply(I assume the L/R fronts are beside the TV) A buddy of mine suggested w/ going ahead and placing speakers in the four corners even w/ the TV in the corner. He also suggested putting the center channel actually on the fireplace, but I was under the impression the center needed to be located directly inline(above/below)the TV.

    I was really only open to having floorstanding fronts, but from what I have learned from this forum and a few others is a quality bookshelf on stands should suit me just as well as a mediocre(sp?) floorstander for about the same price. No?

    As for having a room dedicated to HT that's not an option for us. We only have the living room to work with.

    The setup needs to cater mainly to Movies/HDTV along w/ Xbox and a little music thrown in.

    Say I went w/ the ELT's or the Axioms, what kinda wattage/channel should I be looking for? I haven't given much consideration to the receiver. I've heard good things about Harmon Kardon, and mixed reviews from the likes of Yamaha, Pioneer, Onkyo.

    Are there recievers that I can run 5.1 today that will handle an upgrade to 6.1 or even 7.1 in the future? If I would choose to upgrade down the road. Keep in mind that the speakers are putting the squeaze on my budget.
     
  8. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Rocky,

    Not trying to be snide, but I’m guessing your buddy doesn’t know much about home theater?

    Yes, the center channel is supposed to be above or below the TV. That four-corner arrangement works best with the TV centered on a wall. Put the TV in the corner, and you’ll have the center and one front speaker within inches of each other, with the other front speaker all the way across the room.

    And, often with a corner arrangement the seating is not arranged in the center of the room. That means you’ll have one rear speaker really close to the seating, and the other, once again across the room.

    This is that “disjointed sound” thing I was talking about. Sure, you’ll have surround sound but it will be hopelessly unbalanced.

    I'm trying to pack to go out of town, so I'll let someone else answer your other questions.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  9. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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    Rocky,



    Any receiver capable of running 6.1 or 7.1 can run 5.1 today. I think you're doing the right thing putting most of your money into your speakers. They can make the single biggest impact in your audio setup, and will probably last the longest (there's always media formats and sound processing technologies, but they always play through your speakers).

    -Robb
     
  10. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    AV123 also is a Denon dealer but they can't advertise it. You can get a killer deal on the speaker when buying a receiver from them as well. I think the 3805 is what most people are buying right now. Not sure of the cost though. Im running some pretty big towers and a center with the 3803 and it does a great job so I can't imagine why a more powerful (i think it is anyway) 3805 would not do some great duty with the ELT's..... Good Luck and keep us posted.
     
  11. Rocky_V

    Rocky_V Auditioning

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    Ok, so I went to my local A/V shop(not big box) and demo'd Polk RTi series vs. Paradigm's Monitor series. I went into it w/ a bias toward Paradigms but when switching between, the Polks definately did a better job on the highs, the Paradigm's sounded great but just soft compared to the Polks.

    I negotiated the following for ~$1500 and some change.

    Fronts: Polk RTi8's
    Surrounds: Polk RTi4's
    Center: Polk CS1
    Sub: Paradigm PS1000 recommended by the salesman although there was no Polk sub setup to compare. He said the Paradigm is a much better sub.
    Reciever: Yamaha RV-X550 6.1 at 90W/channel
    DVD: taking recommendations for a cheap Fourudja(SP?) based unit

    I also may get one Polk FXi3 for the rear center(not included in price) Was thinking w/ the oddities of my room the bipole may even out the rears since I can't achieve optimal placment of the surrounds.

    Is this a fair price? Have any Pros/Cons?

    By the way, thanks for all the help, suggestions, and information.[​IMG]
     

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