Newbie on a Budget

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Kenny Li, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. Kenny Li

    Kenny Li Agent

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    Hello all,

    I'm new to this home theater thing. I'm currently looking at speakers for a 350 sq. ft. irregular shaped room. It is an open room which includes the living room and the dining room. Don't have an amp picked out yet, but I am looking to set up a system for both movies and music. I really don't need anything overwhelming cause I won't have the system cranked up too loud since I live in an apartment.

    I really like the B&W speakers, mainly for their looks (yes, I am an idiot newbie who's interested in aesthetics). Was looking at the bookshelf 705s. Any comments on this? If not, alternative suggestions?

    Next, would you suggest that I use the B&W center speakers and subwoofer from the same line? Or another brand? I can mix and match right?

    Finally, any suggestions on the surround speakers? I'm looking to set up a 5.1 system. Given that I don't have a straight wall behind me, I think the only options that I have are ceiling mounting and floor standing. Is there anyway I can get by with small speakers (the size of the Bose cubes) so that they don't stick out in my living room? Any suggestions?

    Thank you for your help. I have no idea what I am doing.

    Kenny
     
  2. Kenny Li

    Kenny Li Agent

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    By the way, how would you rank speakers in terms of importance?

    I was told:

    1. Center
    2. Mains
    3. Subwoofer
    4. Surround

    Thanks,
    Kenny
     
  3. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Whatever brand of speaker you choose, stick with the center channel speaker from the same series. And if possible, same goes for the surround speakers as well. One thing I remember when surfing Hong Kong audiophile/home theater websites like review33.com was that the center channel speaker is almost seen as an afterthought. In a HT, the center is probably the most important speaker. So match it to the other speakers to ensure you have the same tonal timbre in your system.
     
  4. Kenny Li

    Kenny Li Agent

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    Thanks Danny. That's good advice.

    Now I've been looking around and back to my question on rear surround speakers. Am I kidding myself using small ceiling mounted speakers? I have yet to see someone offer speakers of that size. Even the ceiling mounted ones I see are pretty huge - nothing I want dangling in the middle of my living room. Now does that mean that I need to get at least bookshelf sized speakers on floor stands as my surround?

    Also, what do you all think? I'm looking at B&W speakers. Should I go with expensive mains and center and cheaper rears and sub woofer or go with a cheaper line and have all 5 speakers/sub woofer of similar prices? I really like the look of the 705s, but it seems like it'll make too big of a dent in my budget to but the entire set of 5.

    Finally, for half music and half movies, would you suggest less expensive floor standing speakers or more expensive bookshelves? Also, floor standing for the rears or are bookshelves enough?

    Sorry for all the questions. You guys have been a great help.
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    I prefer to exactly match my speakers all the way around.

    Kind of old school, but I find in general, I hate the sound of most center channel specific models, from nearly every manufacturer.

    Good luck on your purchase....
     
  6. Eric C D

    Eric C D Second Unit

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  7. Kenny Li

    Kenny Li Agent

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    Thanks John, thanks Eric.

    That helps clarify things, but that also means that I shouldn't slack too much on the surrounds which was my plan.

    So, it's back to the old drawing board, but at least this time, I have a much clearer picture of what I need.

    Thank you.

    Kenny
     
  8. DarrenAlan

    DarrenAlan Stunt Coordinator

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    If you like B&W, check out their "Rock Solid" speakers for surrounds. They're fairly small, come in white with integral brackets for mounting on walls or ceilings, and by most estimates sound pretty darn good.

    They're no longer available new but you'll see pairs come up on eBay every so often. That should keep you in the B&W "family."

    Good luck and happy hunting!
     
  9. Kenny Li

    Kenny Li Agent

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    Thanks Darren. Unfortunately, it's a little difficult to get stuff from eBay here in Hong Kong. I have been looking at the B&W DM600 S3s for my surrounds. That way, I'll be able to keep it in the family.

    Thanks!
     
  10. Eric C D

    Eric C D Second Unit

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    You might want to check with someone who knows B&W speakers to see if those surrounds are an audio match to the 705s. Sometimes speakers in different lines from the same mfr don't go well together.

    good luck,
     

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