speaker decision to make

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by nigel_jim, Jan 21, 2002.

  1. nigel_jim

    nigel_jim Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, This is my first post so I am looking forward to reading some replies!

    I am currently in the process of building my first home cinema (6 speakers, DVD and Receiver). I have pretty much decided on the DVD and Receiver (Marantz), but am unsure on the speakers. My question is this:

    Am i better buying a set of Wharfdale 8.1/8.2's (or the mission equivilent) and a sub woofer separately, or are the KEF KHT 2005's superior?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 1998
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    6
    This probably isn't the answer you're looking for, but I'll go ahead and say it anyway...

    All the brands of speakers you mentioned are reputable. Any of these manufacturers builds a good quality product. You've already avoided the most common mistake, which is considering/buying Bose.

    Which to buy? That depends entirely on your own personal tastes. Every speaker manufacturer has a different "sound" associated with their products. It is tough to recommend speakers because the sound characteristics I like may be ones you don't.

    So go out and listen to all the speakers offered in your price range. As you do that, you'll figure out what you do and do NOT like about the various setups. I recommend bringing a variety of music, as well as some movies. Test with a variety of source material to find out which speakers do what best.

    As you move into higher-end, higher-price stuff, "equipment matching" issues become more important. When you evaluate speakers, try to do so with your own receiver (take it to the stores, or request an in-home demonstration of speakers you're seriously considering buying). If you can't do that, have them demonstrate using other Marantz electronics, which will likely have similar sonic characteristics.

    Once you've surveyed all the options, only you can make the final decision. Again, all the brands you're considering are quality products, so trust your ears and you won't go wrong...
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nigel: Welcome to HTF!
    Some opinion on speakers: Music speakers are about accuracy, but home theater speakers are about impact.
    People want to lump speakers for both music and movies into the same catagory. But their jobs are very different.
    A Music speaker tries to be very detailed and accurate. With just 2 speakers you want to recreate an entire band/orchestra. You want to tell which musician is to the left/right of the other, and if the musician is female, what color nail polish she is wearing. (A little over-the-top, but you get the idea [​IMG]).
    You also use a music speaker very differently. Despite 100's of CD's, you probably have a set of 5-10 that you often play in rotation over and over and over again in several days. Small changes in your system become very noticible to you because of this.
    A Home Theater speaker is about Impact. Most of the sound is from the center speaker for dialog, and the L/R sometimes carry background music. Nearly all the special effects are fake & done on a computer. You DONT want accuracy when someone fires off a gun, crashes a car or has an outer-space dog fight. You want the impact.
    The soundtrack on a DVD is also highly compressed (they throw away 5/6's of the data compared to a CD).
    You also watch a favorite movie 1-2 times per month. Very different than your CD collection.
    This is why less accurate (and less expensive) speakers do a good job for Home Theater.
    So how much music vs HT do you plan for your system? If music is important, then plan to do your auditions with your favorite music cd's.
    In general, a good Music speaker does a fine job for HT, but not always the other way around.
    Mission vs Kef: I am assuming the KEF have built-in woofers vs the Mission being monitor/bookshelf style.
    Generally, monitor/bookshelf style speakers with a subwoofer work better. The reasons are:
    • You place the 5 speakers in optimal positions around the listener. This is not usually the best place for the woofer. Having the external sub lets you place it in the room where it will sound best.
    • The full-range towers tend to depend on the receiver to power everything. Using monitor style speakers with a self-powered sub lets you define them as SMALL and frees the receiver from having to drive the power-hungry woofers in the towers.
    • Flexability - You now have an upgrade path to change the sub in the future for more/better bass. You are kind of fixed with towers.
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. nigel_jim

    nigel_jim Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks very much for your words of wisdom Bob and Colin. Much appreciated. I will go and ponder for a while longer.
     

Share This Page