Recommended speakers for a bright room

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Brian_S, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. Brian_S

    Brian_S Auditioning

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    Been reading this forum for about a year now. I must say it’s great!

    Last year I purchased the H/K 525 receiver based largely off all the great feedback from this site. Now I’m ready to complete the system with some speakers.

    First let me tell you about the room. It’s about 19’ W by 22.5’ L, 9 foot ceilings. The floor is all tile and the back wall is all windows. Yes, it’s a “bright” room. It doesn’t echo when you clap your hands, but there is a good amount of reverberation. I plan to put down a large area rug in front of the HT setup as well as heavy draperies for the windows. The seating is in the middle of the room.

    Right now I’m looking for 5.1 but I have the option to upgrade to 7.1 later. My budget is some where around $2-3K for the 5.1 setup. My listening is about 60% music, 40% movies.

    I’m considering JBL Northridge, Axioms, Rockets, maybe even Swans.

    I auditioned some Paradigm Studio 60’s versus B&W 604’s. At first, the dealer was using his $20K MacIntosh setup. I did not like the sound of the B&W at all. The midrange sounded weak. The Paradigm was much clearer in the midrange and the soundstage seemed much fuller. We then switched to a Pioneer Elite receiver. What a difference, the B&W really opened up. When it was all over, I preferred the sound of the Studio 60’s to the 604’s. The Digm’s did seem brighter and had a slightly better low end. The 604’s were still great don’t get me wrong.

    I really liked the sound of both the Paradigms and B&W. However, I really believe that the Internet direct companies represent much better value.

    Would Axiom or Rockets be closer to the “Paradigm” sound? I’ve heard many people say the Axioms are brighter and the Rockets are a little softer. Given my room acoustics, would the Axioms be too bright? Can this be fixed by simply turning down the treble? I think the H/K is considered a warm sounding receiver where as the Pioneer Elite is bright?

    Where do the Swan’s fit into the spectrum? Closer to B&W or Paradigm?

    I’ll be going with surrounds in the ceiling and I realize none of the mentioned direct companies offer a matching in wall….yet. Can you recommend some good pairings in this area with either the Rockets, Axioms, or Swans?

    As far as subwoofers, would you recommend a front firing or downward firing for tile floors? I’d probably go SVS or HSU depending on the recommendation.

    Finally, let me add in the WAF. The mains have to be towers. [​IMG]
     
  2. Eddie Horton

    Eddie Horton Stunt Coordinator

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    Towers for mains? What a cool wife. Let me say first off that I own Ascend Acoustics speakers and have never heard Axioms or Rockets in person. That being said, from what I've read the Axioms will be brighter, the Rockets warmer, and the Digms somewhere in between. I'd go for whatever sound I liked the best with the speakers, and then treat the room accordingly. You may move someday, or build a dedicated HT room and find that the speakers you thought you liked don't sound the same anymore. The room will have more of an impact on sound that anything else in the equation. That's just my .02, others may have some different ideas.
     
  3. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    One word... Vandersteen!
     
  4. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Paradigms would be between Rockets and Axiom. Ascend Acoustics may be a better comparision to Paradigms. With the Ascend 340s and a good sub you aren't giving anything away to Paradigm Studio 100 but half the cost.

    I like the Vandys too but you need to be able to keep about three feet of clear space all the way around them for them to be at their best.
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Brian,

    Since you’re going to put up heavy draperies and a rug for the floor, that will tone down or even eliminate much of the reverberation you’re experiencing now. Therefore it seems imprudent to be choosing your speakers based on what your acoustics are now.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Huh? My friend's loft is about 50x25x20, completely concrete, and it echos like crazy. I told him treatments and careful placement would be his only hope.

    Auditoriums are designed to NOT echo.

    I completely agree with Wayne about not selecting based on your room without the rug & drapes and other furniture. It might be best to see what the room sounds like with all that stuff, then see how bright it is. Otherwise, just go with the speaker you like best and use treatments to adjust the sound to your liking.
     
  7. Derek*C

    Derek*C Auditioning

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    May be more than you want to spend, but look at VMPS entry level stuff. They are user adjustable to compensate for room changes. They sound incredible IMO. Dealers can work with you on pricing. Depending on your location, there's a list of owners who volunteered to let folks listen at their homes. Real world is always better than showrooms.
     
  8. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    John,

    Since the description you give is “echoes like crazy” that tells me what you’re hearing is reverberation, not echo. An echo is a clear and distinct after-the-fact duplication of the original sound. In order for it to be distinct, some delay is inherent. It takes a very large room for the delay, traveling to a boundary and back to your ears again, to be long enough qualify as an echo. That’s why you typically don’t hear echoes in smallish residential settings.

    From Rane’s on-line Pro Audio Reference Dictionary:

    "echo 1. Acoustics A discrete sound reflection arriving at least 50 milliseconds after the direct sound, and significantly louder than the background reverberant sound field. 2. Psychoacoustics A perceptually distinct copy of the original sound; a delayed duplicate."

    "reverbation is all sound remaining after the source stops. The time it takes for this sound to decay is called the reverberation time, and it is quantified by measuring how long it takes the sound pressure level to decay to one-millionth of its original value."
    Yes, auditoriums designed and built specifically for “the arts” performances usually are. I was thinking more along the lines of all those places where they routinely install sound systems, but are built with absolutely no attention to acoustics - school cafetoriums, churches, civic centers, sports arenas, etc. *cringe*

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  9. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    Bose. They would sound 'dull' in a blimp hanger.
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Totally OT: I picked up a book called "Sound System Engineering", which I thought would be useful for HT, and some of it is, but it is more geared towards PA systems in auditoriums, churches and concert type venues, as well as recording studio design. It turned out to basically be a math book :p It has a very interesting section on how the brain actually percieves sound, but what I found the most interesting was just how complex auditorium design really is.

    So echo is essentially a really long reverb or reverb is a very short echo. You learn something new...

    Bose sound dull regardless [​IMG]
     
  11. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    I'll argue with you Wayne on the point that churches are often built with an acoustician's consultation, but at the same time I know of many situations where this has not been the case...disastrous result.

    TO the original poster, you obviously have to do some experimentation with different speakers in your room. Find a dealer who will let you do an in-home demo.

    And remember that you can always buy used and save mucho $$ off retail.
     

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