Speaker selectin to go with my system

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Don_Ketchum, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. Don_Ketchum

    Don_Ketchum Auditioning

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    Hi,

    After reading these boards for some time, I finally signed up. I am pretty new to home theater and it's amazing how much this forum can help. I'm at the early stages of building a new home and this theater room is all I can think about. The room size is 14x26.

    Below is what I am planning (as of now) to purchase. I was hoping some of you could give me your opinion as to whether or not I am making good selections and that the equipment will work well together. I don't have any friends that are into audio equipment and I don't live near places where I can see demos of audio or video equipment, so I pretty much am going with opinions from forums. Thanks in advance for any input.

    Studio Experience Cinema 20HD projector
    Da-Lite or Stewart screen
    Harman Kardon AVR-525 receiver
    JBL S-Center
    JBL S38 fronts
    JBL N24 (4)surround
    SVS 25-31PCI sub
     
  2. Don_Ketchum

    Don_Ketchum Auditioning

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    Anyone?
     
  3. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    I think most of us don't have experience with front projection. Also most here would beef up the audio, speakers especially, to match the video set up you are looking at.

    It is kind of like you're are getting the Porsche and putting an old VW engine in it. The JBL's are nice speakers for the price. But, why not bring your audio up to match your video?

    You may get more help in the displays section. Many of us that hang around speakers/subs give more weight to the audio part of our setups than to our video.
     
  4. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Don, thats a pretty big room. I am not sure the JBL's will do the job though. To help us help you, can you just give us a budget for what you can spend on speakers and receiver together? The sub should be ok. It looks like you are budgeting about $1500 for the speakers, sub and receiver, is that about right?

    You can find some great bargains if you are willing to go used also. Check out audiogon.com for example. I personally am not wild about buying used (although I was able to buy 2 excellent sets of speakers locally), even from audiogon, but I would consider some of the dealer demos a little safer option.
     
  5. Don_Ketchum

    Don_Ketchum Auditioning

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    Chris / Charles, thanks for your input. This is exactly the kind of info. I was looking for before making any final decisions. I was looking around $1500 for the audio setup but not because I was strapped but because I thought it would get the job done. What you're saying does make sense and I am willing to put more money into the audio. Instead of me giving you a dollar amount for audio equipment, can you guys give me your suggestions on a setup for a room this size that would work really well? Obviously I don't want to have to take out a second mortgage on the house already but do want to be looking at equipment that will match the video quality I'll have. Not knowing much about audio, one of my biggest concerns was finding equipment that would work well together. That's the only reason I was looking at HK and JBL because I've read many times here that they are a good combo.
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Don, Welcome to HTF!

    Your first problem is that you say you cannot listen to any speakers. This is like buying 100 cases of beer/wine without ever sampling the brands. If you are going to be stuck with a 5 year supply, shouldnt you taste it first?

    (Yes, speakers have flavor. This does explain why there are conflicting suggestions about speaker A being better than speaker B. There is no real way to line them up from better to worse.)

    So lets get into it:

    Receiver: I'm not all that familar with HK. I do own/recommend Yamaha, and I would not hesitate to put a Dennon receiver into my rack.

    Subwoofer: You already picked one of the best values out there. Good job.

    Speakers: Here are some rough suggestions:
    • Definitive Technologies - I own these fantastic bipolar speakers. They give a great movie experience. But to use them right, they need to be pulled into the room about 3 feet. The rear-fire sound needs some delay to give you that big-room effect. Buy the towers without subwoofers since you have that SVS.
    • Paradigm - A lot of people love these speakers. I've sent friends into a local dealer just to demo them, and they walk out with an entire set. The Canadian speaker companies all seemed to take a jump in quality about 7 years ago.
    • Magnapan - These are a panel speaker so they are a bit exotic. But audiophiles who go to panel speakers tend to never go back. These things have a huge radiating surface which translates to lots of accuracy & detail. Magnapan did have a 60 day trial where they would send you 2 speakers for $550 through the mail. Three of these sets would look great in your room (frame your screen with 3 of them). It would really complement your system and at a $225/speaker price - it almost qualifies as a budget speaker. Panel speakers suffer from a lack of bass, but you have that SVS remember? The only other trick to panel speakers is they are a bit power-hungry compared to traditional speakers. So just make sure your receiver has line-level outputs so you can add external amplification later.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    A few other thoughts:
    • Light Control: Front projectors need a very dark room to work best. Make sure you plan for blackout-drapes to give you total light control in your room. This could include finding a receiver that allows you to dim the front-panel display if you were planning to put the equipment up front.
    • Identical Speakers: Many companies sell sets of speakers for home theater. But it has been argued that 5-6 identical speakers create a superior sound field for movies. Dont be afraid to consider this. (The Magnapan idea from my post above works for this.)
    • Six Speakers: Yes, having a rear-center speaker is becoming quite common for DolbyEX movies. Plan for it by buying 6 speakers.
    • Subwoofer Control[/b]: That room has nearly a 1:2 ratio which could be very bad. You get a lot of subwoofer sound by reflection and equal-sized or rooms with similar ratios will reflect some frequencies better than others. You can tame some of the peaks by moving the subwoofer along the wall to a 3/5 or 1/3 position, but this does not always work. Budget $125 for a Behring Feedback Destroyer. This goes between your receiver and subwoofer and you use it to smooth out the peaks. Search this fourm for "Behring" or "House Curve" for lots of posts on how it works. SVS will also sell you an ART ?? equalizer that performs a similar function.

    We also have a HT Construction and Interiors fourm that might be useful to you.

    Good Luck.
     
  8. Chad A

    Chad A Stunt Coordinator

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    Don,
    I'm gonna chime in with my two cents.
    The HK 525 is a good choice but I'll give you a few more recievers of equal feature and price range.

    Onkyo SR800 which is THX certified
    Denon 1082 with 110 watts per channel
    Pioneer Elite 43TX

    As for speakers.... the choices are endless.
    I'd recommend you look at Paradigm, Dahlquist, and Wharfedale Diamond series.
    These all get alot of priase on this site.
    Good luck.
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  10. Don_Ketchum

    Don_Ketchum Auditioning

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    John - This is all for movies and none for music.

    Thanks for all the responses...I have a lot more homework to do.
     
  11. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Supporting Actor

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    M & K
     
  12. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Don-I'm a big Ascend fan and owner. There are many good suggestions for speakers given. If places to listen are an issue maybe narrow it down to a couple of the Internet direct companies and try them in your own home. Most Internet directs have 30 day in your home trials. You'd only be out the shipping charges for the ones you don't keep. Some of the Internet directs are Aperion, Ascend, Axiom, HTD, Norh, Rockets. Cheaphometheater.com is a good resource for you to look at. Your should be able to find a quite nice speaker package under $1500.
     
  13. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Don, face it, you need a road trip. Hopefully you have a decent sized city within a couple of hours drive. It would be well worth the trip to demo some different speaker brands. Even stores like Best Buy and Circuit City would be better than none at all.

    If you simply can't do the demo's most everyone will recommend what they have. It is only natural since we all (well a lot of us)put a lot of time in the buy.

    You can get 30 day trial periods from several e-tailers but shipping speakers back and forth can still get pretty expensive. JandR.com is one of the better sites with 30 day trials. I noticed they had the JBL's you listed but what really got my interest were these....
    http://www.jandr.com/JRProductPage.p...e,Product_Name

    Yeah, I like NHT but I only showed these because I think the HK receiver is one of the few that (in the price range) will actually drive these somewhat hard speakers to drive. A set of these (about $700) and tracking down some NHT superones (onecall.com but not returnable) would make a very nice setup. You could get 3 superones for about $300 (or skip the VT1.4 and just get 5 superones for less than $500). I think with the VT1.4's plus the sub you listed, you won't need any more air moving capability. [​IMG]
    If you opt for the small superones all around, you may want 2 subs eventually. Five superones plus the sub you listed would be an excellent setup (with your big room the VT1.4's could be well worth the money or another sub).

    Then again, you could ignore all these posters and just buy what you listed and be happy as a lark. [​IMG] Everyone is absolutely sold on the speakers we chose....for the most part. :b
     

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