Real Newbie Q's re: mid-range HT speakers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by CodyL, Jul 25, 2002.

  1. CodyL

    CodyL Extra

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    OK. Just moved and bought a house with a "bonus room" built over the garage. So I have a 17 X 22 room pre-wired with all kinds of stuff I know nothing about, but I have 16 guage speaker wire run to 6 locations (front, back, sides). At first, I was going to make this into an exercise room. Then, I saw a "media room" in a model home when my wife drug me out to look for decorating ideas (there's a fun afternoon). Anyway, this media room had a Sharp DLP projector, and I decided I gotta have something like that!

    I need to make some speaker choices becuase I am planning to recess the front speakers into the custom cabinets I will build, so I need dimensions. I am thinking Infinity IL series because they seem like relatively good speakers for a novice like me and they are being discontinued so I think I will be able to get them for good prices when I am ready for the equipment in late fall/early winter. I am thinking today IL10's or 40's for front, IL25 center, a good 10" sub, and IL10 rears. Now, I have prewiring for another set of sides? Do I want my rears on the side like the infinity manual depicts, or do I want to add another set? Seems like I need a pretty good receiver (is 7.1 the right term) to run sides as well, true? As for receiver, I am currently thinking Denon 2802 or 1803, or maybe a Yamaha 5560. Went to CC and looked at the Onkyo 600 and liked the backlit remote, but the power issue for my large room may be a factor I would think? Listened to the IL speakers and the CC didn't have them in any configuration that made it meaningful listening at all. Anything else I should be considering in an intermediate price range?

    My finished goal is to have a very nice looking HT with good intermediate level equipment (probably the Boxlight 12sf projector) that will be 90% HT (a lot of cartoon videos and maybe a couple of DVD's a week) that sounds clean if we rent the Diana Krall DVD and has the appropriate effect if we watch a Star Wars DVD, and can cleanly handle a David Sanborn CD. My goal is not to have the envy of the local Tweeter crowd or to spend more than my 401k is currently worth - which ain't a lot.

    I know I am asking a lot of questions here, but any thoughts?
     
  2. Aaron Smithski

    Aaron Smithski Stunt Coordinator

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    Cody,
    I have a room (and situation) very similar to yours. It is a bonus room over the garage and measures 15 x 24. The room will incorporate our home theater, a weight rack/excercise area, AND serve as the ultimate guest room retreat for our vacationing friends due to the theaters' queen sleeper sofa.
    Due to a placement issues (a wall of windows on one wall, door placement on the other, and having a cathedral ceiling to boot) I ruled out a front projector and decided to go with a 55" widescreen and situate the theater so that the screen and front speakers are recessed into a dormer along one of the long 24' walls. There will be a sleeper sofa front row and a row of 6 authentic 1950's refinished movie theater seats to be positioned on an 8" high riser behind them. This way we still get our weight/excercise area in front of the wall of windows without taking up the whole room for the theater. Since yours is pre-wired you may have less options in placement.
    "I am thinking Infinity IL series because they seem like relatively good speakers for a novice like me and they are being discontinued so I think I will be able to get them for good prices when I am ready for the equipment in late fall/early winter."
    This is an excellent choice. I resell Infinity IL's on Ebay and yes, there are some great deals right now. I have the same package that you are interested in, the IL40 - IL10 - IL25, for $699 on there right now. This is not a sales pitch but just to let you know how far the prices have fallen. It is a much lower price than I originally thought I could sell them for.[​IMG] They really are a great speaker for movies and sound good with music too.
    "Do I want my rears on the side like the infinity manual depicts, or do I want to add another set?"
    I would play around a little here as your preference may be much different than others'. The IL10's are direct radiating so in a 5.1 setup I would put them a little behind you and crossfire them but the 6.1 or 7.1 option changes that. Then you would probably want a pair to the sides and a pair (or single one) on the back wall firing directly forward. It really comes down to personal preference and experimentation as there really is not a hard fast placement rule. I just finished setting up a friend with bipolar surrounds in what I would consider a perfect position. They are 7' high on the wall and positioned just slightly behind his listening position. We got them adjusted and I feel it is just about spot-on to what the desired effect is (localizable when needed but also diffuse when needed), but he says "he can't hear them." I turned them off during a demo and asked him if he could tell when they were muted. He said yes. I told him that they were doing their job perfectly and that was the "desired effect." He said he did not care if that was the more acceptable method as he wanted to "hear them more." We have since replaced them with a set of direct radiators and he is happy as a clam!
    "As for receiver, I am currently thinking Denon 2802 or 1803, or maybe a Yamaha 5560."
    I own a Denon 3802 for the theater room and a Yamaha for the family room system. Both are good brands and sound quite good too. I did like the extra channel on the 3802 to spread out the rear surround channels and considered it a worthwhile upgrade to the 2802. Another choice is the Harman Kardon AVR-320 if you end up going with external amps. This has built-in amps for 5 channels but inputs for 7 channels and can be had for $400 if you look; possibly even less.
    "I need to make some speaker choices becuase I am planning to recess the front speakers into the custom cabinets I will build, so I need dimensions."
    This is EXACTLY what I will be doing also. The dormer will have modular cabinetry built which will house the screen and the speakers. I will caution you on the Interludes when it comes to cabinet placement. They are rear-ported and thus are sensitive to placement too close to a back wall or cabinet wall. I will have open-back shelves to avoid this issue. Also the surrounds may be tricky too, I would try to get them at least a foot out away from the walls. I actually ended up going with a sealed surround speaker to fix this but you could try stuffing the ports since there is not much material below 100HZ in the surround channels and you would most likely not notice too big of a difference. There are people out there that will disagree (actually running subwoofers in the surround channels!) but I think it would work out fine. I cannot comment though how it would affect the midrange with the port stuffed.
    "My goal is not to have the envy of the local Tweeter crowd or to spend more than my 401k is currently worth - which ain't a lot."
    This too is how mine started! It was going to be a simple 5.1 setup using existing components and quality, but budget oriented, speakers. This is what I sold the wife on anyway.[​IMG] Now there are 7 channels, 5 external amps driving the main/surround speakers, 2 sets of dipole/bipole surrounds, and 4 - 15" subwoofers in an infinite baffle powered by a 2400-watt pro amp! And real theater seats! All I have to say is be careful!!![​IMG]
    Aaron
     
  3. Steve Zimmerman

    Steve Zimmerman Second Unit

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  4. Aaron Smithski

    Aaron Smithski Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve, not sure if you have been watching the auctions on uBid like I have the last month but these are the going rates:

    IL40's - $380-$420 shipped (they are getting rare the last few weeks)
    Il10's - $180-$220 shipped
    Il25 - $140-$170 shipped

    So as you can see I am not too far off. If you watch for the IL40's you can find prices on Ebay actually LOWER than uBid's. Strange but true.

    I concede the credit card thing (although PayPal is quite handy) and that there are probably a few questionable sellers on Ebay.

    I have had luck with people getting valid warrantys by simply filling out the warranty cards and saying they lost the receipt. I do not proclaim the warranty to be valid but this has worked. Please note that I do not oppose your warranty viewpoint.

    Anyway, my target market is not the HTF members; hence the "not a sales pitch" disclaimer. I was just trying to give a good example of what is out there currently.

    Aaron
     

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