Newbie Looking for Audioholic recommendations

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Terri M, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. Terri M

    Terri M Agent

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    I'm brand new to the home theater/audio world and have been trying to come up with some selections for two rooms in my home. We are starting from scratch. Aesthetics is a factor in our great room but not the den.

    I've been trying different speakers in the major stores and I hate to say this but, the only speakers I seem to like are the Bose Lifestyles.I've read enough to know there are better speakers out there but I mention this because I like the sound. The booming sound of some systems doesn't appeal to me. I know the volume can be lowered on sub-woofers but why does the bass seem to overpower what I'm hearing? I don't think it's my hearing because I don't get bothered in the movie theater.

    Here are some particulars:

    Great Room: 20x24x16H (Open floor plan)
    wood floors, area rug
    Display: Samsung 50" Plasma

    Audio System[​IMG]$2000 - $2500)
    Bose Lifestyle 38,
    Ascend Acoustics,
    JBL Studio Series,
    Rocket ELT,
    Aperion 5.1,

    Receivers[​IMG]$300 -450)
    Pioneer VSX-1015,
    Dennon 2105,
    Harmon Kardon

    Den: 18x14x9
    Display: Samsung 50" RPDLP (1080P)

    HTIB: ($500 - $800 budget)
    Onkyo HTIB LS-V955
    Athena Micra 6
    Paradigm Cinema 110

    The rear speakers in the den need to be wall mounted.

    The den would probably better for the theater experience given the ceiling height, however this room doesn't seat many. The great room is where we gather for football games and movies with friends and family.

    Any thoughts for a total novice would be appreciated.

    Terri
     
  2. Greg-ST

    Greg-ST Stunt Coordinator

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    The reason you may be liking the Bose system better is because their setups in the store are designed specifically to sound their absolute best in that particular setting (and their best is typically well below even "budget" speakers). Don't be fooled by the smoke and mirrors. Spend your money wisely and get some robust speakers to try out in your home.

    Once you get a setup in your home it'll also have to be properly calibrated and the speakers placed properly (including the subwoofer). Speakers in large chain stores aren't placed or calibrated like they should be. They're just hooked up and that's pretty much it. It's no surprise bass is going to be boomy in there.

    As for speaker recommendations, it looks like you've picked out some nice ones as possibilities. Personally I'd check out JBL's newest Studio series.

    http://www.jbl.com/home/products/series.aspx?SerId=SLS
     
  3. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    For speakers go with the ELT's from Rocket (av123.com), also check the special they have right now on 750 packages you may also wish to pick up a discounted Denon receiver there but you need to discuss that on the phone as they are not allowed to post it on their sight. I have the 3803 and works great. Sounds like you have done most of your homework, now the hardest part is giving away your credit card number... but then you get very anxious and can't wait for stuff to arrive. I love my Rockets! Good Luck with what ever you get.
     
  4. Terri M

    Terri M Agent

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    Is there any truth to what a salesman said in which he said the Bose will automatically adjust (in some way that I can't recollect) so that I will be able to achieve good results in the great room that has these tall ceilings and open floorplan to a loft and kitchen area, and wood floors?

    Thanks,
    Terri
     
  5. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    You might also consider in wall speakers. These should offer a nice concealed look yet sound much better then most micro speakers as the little drivers in those often struggle.

    If you do want the small speakers I'd strongly suggest giving the Energy Take5 or Encores a listen. They're bose like in size but sound MUCH better. I believe there's a set for sale in the For Sale area if you wanted to save a little.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Out of your choices listed, I'd go with the Ascends or Rockets. With a room that big, NO small speaker pacakge is going to be able to adequately fill it though.

    Other small speakers:

    Anthony Gallo - www.roundsound.com

    Mordaunt Short Genies - www.mordauntshort.com

    HSU Research VT-12 - www.hsuresearch.com - there are some good package deals going on with them right now.

    Paradigm Cinema - www.paradigm.ca
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    OK, keeping it real here.


    You need power.. Big room. You need a monster sub, even though you hate boom, it is extremely important on video content in particular.

    I will suggest:

    Yamaha 5890 AVR
    Velodyn DLS5000R Sub
    JBL E30 speakers (3 pair for full 6.1) They mount on the wall very nicely even though they are not in-wall.

    I think you would a little taken back by the Bose system and the lack of power and headroom. Think about at least the size of the room you demo'd the Bose in compared to your room.

    The Bose system may have some sort of Auto EQ to help with rooms, but so does this Yamaha and the Bose lacks robust power big time.

    Interesting about the boom you hate, because most people list the bass on the Bose system as non-existant. [​IMG]
     
  8. Terri M

    Terri M Agent

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    Thanks everyone for taking time out to help. I really appreciate the knowledge found here. Much better than consumer reports.

    Andrew said: You might cosider wall speakers.

    Yes, I would but is there a manufacturer out there that has something decent?

    Could I use built-in wall speakers for the front and back and fill in with the center and subw? Or, find an entire 6.1 system that installs in the wall.

    Can you get decent quality in wall speakers for $200 - $300
    a piece?

    I will research further some of the other speakers mentioned as suggested by some of you.

    Terri M
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    You can do surrounds in-wall, but I would not use them for the front 3 speakers unless you have someone who really knows what they are doing install them. Yes, there should be no problem finding decent in-wall speakers at all at that price. You're going to need some relatively sensitive and/or capable of plenty of volume to fill a room that size. My room is 19x20, but is also open to the kitchen, so it is actually a bit larger than yours and a mid-level receiver was pushing it to fill it adequately.
     
  10. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    I'll echo what the Johns have said about room size. When I first moved into my house a few years ago, the listening room was very open with high ceilings. My Paradigm Monitor 5 speakers (larger bookshelf type) and Outlaw 1050 receiver were completely swallowed whole by all the space. Surprisingly, my SVS PCi20-39 actually held up pretty well, but we eventually went to a larger SVS, Monitor 11 floorstanding speakers, and a Parasound HCA-855 amp. It was a significant difference to say the least.

    It sounds like you've been infected with the Bose virus at least to some degree....Now that you've come to a site such as this, it would be an absolute tragedy if you ended up putting Bose in your room [​IMG] You can get a very nice speaker system for the money you are willing to lay out, so hopefully with enough support from the members on here you'll make a better choice than the Bose stuff.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Jeff Aguilar

    Jeff Aguilar Stunt Coordinator

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    In my setup, I have the rear 4 speakers as in-walls and the front two are floorstanding and the center is a conventional speaker. My inwalls are a different brand of speaker than my mains, but they sound fantastic together. I only use the rear speakers for home theater, not for music listening. I am more of a 2 channel guy for music.

    I have followed the same progression as some have suggested here in this thread. I started out with the Energy Take 5's and really enjoyed the sound they put out. Our home at the time was an open concept house, so they had to fill in a really big space. I noticed a big improvement in sound, especially music, when I went to larger speakers. I next chose a good bookshelf with dual SVS subs and eventually went to floor standing speakers. Each time, the difference in sound was quite amazing.

    For inwalls, I have used the Home Theater Directs, and they sound very good and are under $200 a pair. I am now using Kef inwalls, they are a bit more but sound REALLY good. I believe the ones I have are $500 a pair, but they replaced my Energy Veritas dipole surround speakers and there was not much of a noticable difference in sound.

    Jeff Aguilar
     
  12. Terri M

    Terri M Agent

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    Question for Jeff or anyone with In-wall set up.

    Where can I go to find out the best way to lay out the in- wall speakers?

    I think my wall space is less than optimum but I'm only guessing at this point.

    The two long walls (24') are exactly the same as far as window placement spacing goes. I planned on placing the tv in the center of one of these walls.

    The screen is large so that doesn't leave much space for flanking the in-wall speakers on either side of the screen.
    Which means I have to locate them at least
    9'6" from center of tv because of windows.
    Am I making sense?

    It basically means that in-wall front speakers and rear will have to be in almost exact opposite locations in the room. Is this good or bad? Another way to describe it would be that they are practically in the 4 corners of the room.

    With this location set up, I could use standing rear speakers that won't clash with the decor. But would that even be necessary? This room just won't look right with sleek modern speakers. There's an old world tuscany feel to the room.

    I'm thinking (remember I know nothing!) the in wall speakers in the four corners, a freestanding subwoofer, and free standing center speaker might do the trick.

    I will look into the "Kef" speakers but I'm reviewing the following:

    BIC Acoustic
    Elan
    Parasound
    Polk

    Always appreciative of replies,
    Terri
     
  13. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    For placement there's really no difference between the position of inwalls vs traditional speakers and many companies make voice matched inwall and traditonal box speakers so you could mix and match if required. I've got inwalls upstairs in the livingroom serving up zone two music and two pairs of inwalls in the HT for surround duty. The upstairs speakers are Bic and they're good enough for what I'm using them for (ambience) but I wouldn't recomend them for what you're doing. Try Paradigm, PSB, Kef, Dynaudio etc for better lines. There are inwall subwoofers as well but really if you've got the space I'd say skip them and go with an SVS unit or somethiing similar. If you like send me an email and I'll see what I can do regarding pricing on some of these lines.
     

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