Speakers for a new home theater

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Phil P, Jul 4, 2002.

  1. Phil P

    Phil P Agent

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    I am planning on building a new home theater in an unfinished part of my basement and have been looking for what speakers to put in the room. Looking to have a 7.1 system. Will do some listening to music too. Am willing to spend up to about 20K for the speakers. Any suggestions or opinions?
     
  2. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    I recommend the Dynaudio Contour series. 3.3's for mains, 2 pair of 1.3 SE's for surrounds, and the center. Will run about $16K new retail for that package, though you can problably bargain about a grand off that price. For the sub I'd get dual SVS Ultras. With an amp I think that's like $2K.
     
  3. Holger

    Holger Stunt Coordinator

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    phil,


    i can strongly recommend def tech loudspeakers. i'm too use a 7.1 configuration hooked to my lexicon mc-1 pre/pro. my current speaker configuration is as follows:

    BP2000TL for the fronts with build-in 500watts amp and 15" sub woofers

    CLR 3000 for center speaker with build-in 150watts amp and 10" subwoofer (IMO the best sounding center speaker i have heard to date)

    BPVX/P for side surrounds with build-in 125watts amp and dual 6,5" sub woofers

    BP2006TL for rear surrounds with build-in 250watts amp and 8" sub woofers


    so all together there are 7 active sub woofers in use and the bass trough out my room is stunning. the def techs are IMO one of the best double duty systems for music and film soundtracks, if not the best.
    once a guy from *widescreen review* wrote: the def tech system got all the muscles and the power for home theater one could ever ask for, but the heart and the soul of the system is musical.
    i couldn't say it any better.



    regards, holger
     
  4. Joseph_W

    Joseph_W Stunt Coordinator

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    Phil,
    Nice budget! I recommend B&W, they have speakers at all price ranges. Also look into M&K, they make excellent speakers for HT, in my opinion.

    I think how you place the speakers might effect what you get. Are you installing them into a theater, or are you leaving them out where they can be seen? Are the surrounds and rears mounted to the walls, or are they free standing?
    These details may help others when giving their advice.

    Most importantly, go out and listen to different speakers. I think speakers are like food, some people like oriental, some Italian, and some meat and potatoes. They are all good, but they are definitely different.

    Joe
     
  5. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    Phil, you are going to get many recommendations, most, if not all are probably going to be excellent at that. However, with all that said, this is a no brainer. Get the M&K S150p speaker set and the M&K MX350 subwoofer (or 2 of them, but that may be a little overkill. These speakers are self powered (yes, ALL of them, even the satellites and not just the sub), so then all you will need is a pre/pro and no power amps. Each satellite is internally biamped. In a conventional system, any amp has to deliver current to each speaker in the system for it's TRUE ( which is not necessaries always it's RATED) power for the whole bandwidth of the frequency response from 20 to 20k hz at all times. Well, this system can deliver it's full power to each speaker for only a particular given hz at any particular moment at any given speaker, thereby giving ALL of it's power to the best place it is needed ALL the time. In theory, this is the best possible way. Read the review of them on home theater magazine's website and it will be explained much better than I can. You are lucky, if I could afford to spend that much, this would be the system I'd get without even giving it a second thought. This complete system with 7 speakers and 2 subs could be had for probably about $15,000 give or take, and you would NOT have to buy any power amps to boot! You should definitely at least check this out.
     
  6. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    sorry to hijack.

    mark russ, does that mean each satellite speaker has its own power cable?
     
  7. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    Felix, to answer your question, yes, each individual speaker would have to be plugged into the wall. So, I guess one minor, very minor drawback would be room configuration as far as electrical outlets would have to be in close enough proximity to where each speaker is placed in the room, either on it's stand (which I believe comes with them if I'm not mistaken), or hung on the wall. Plus, you'd have to buy more than one surge protection system.
     
  8. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    Here's a better explanation of the benefits of this system than I could ever give:

    M&K S-150P THX Speaker, MX-350 THX Subwoofer

    By Clint Walker, March 2000

    M&K reaches new heights in audio engineering.
    It's not uncommon for a company to come along and make the claim that they've reinvented the wheel in audio or video. In fact, every year at the Consumer Electronics Show, I chuckle when some yahoo representing one of these companies comes up to me and begins to peddle their wares. Sure, there have been several advancements in audio engineering over the last few decades, but let's face it—no one has truly reinvented the wheel.



    The endless search for that perfect speaker to suit all my needs is what makes my job both boring and fun (depending on my mood). In wading through all the hype, I've come to believe that, if you make a claim, you'd better be able to back it up.

    Surprisingly, M&K's S-150P THX speaker came along relatively quietly. There was no Don King-type PR rep breathing down my neck, and M&K made no claims initially...yet, for a change, the speaker itself seems to warrant plenty of hype. Read on and discover how.

    For those of you who may not be familiar with the benefits of a self-amplified speaker, let me explain briefly. For years now, professional recording studios have used self-amplified speakers almost exclusively. This is due in part to the exceptional accuracy each individual speaker can propagate while working entirely independent of every other speaker—not only in the studio, but within its own enclosure. This is accomplished through the internal amplifier (or amplifiers), which has the luxury of only amplifying the sound or individual frequency being input into it. In other words, if a signal contained within the frequency bandwidth of, say, 17 kilohertz is input, the amplifier will only produce that signal for however brief the amount of time. On the other hand, a standard two-channel amplifier powering a pair of speakers would still need to deliver alternate or identical frequencies to the second speaker simultaneously. Apply this to a five-channel application, and you can imagine the kinds of problems that could occur.

    The S-150P THX speaker incorporates a 180-watt amplifier with a frequency response of 80 hertz to 20 kHz (since those are the only frequencies required of the speaker in a THX application). It actually integrates two identical internal amplifiers, which is an optimum application because it allows one amplifier to drive the tweeters while the other drives the woofers. This design enables the output of the amplifier to match the full rating of the drivers. The amp will deliver its full 180 watts to the woofers, as long as no high frequencies exist. In theory, the result is a pure, untainted sound that doesn't compromise details—this is due to the lower distortion and higher damping factor (the amplifier's ability to control the cone movement).

    You can read the rest of it at hometheatermag.com

    There is also a non powered version of this system available, but with Phil's budget, this is the way to go for sure!
     
  9. Phil P

    Phil P Agent

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    I am probably going to have the speakers out rather than built into the wall. Will wall mount the surrounds. Also looking at separate amplifiers rather than self powered speakers. Have listened to the B&W 802's and the aerial acoustics 10T's, both of which I really liked.
     
  10. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Yes, that is a very nice budget, but do any of you guys think that he can achieve 95% of the performance of $20,000.00 speakers for just a fraction of that? DT's, Maggies, Vienna Acoustic, B&W CDM NT's, Paradigm's, VMPS, Onix Rocket's, NHT all come to mind. I'd take a look at the newly announced Rockets. That leaves you enough left over for the kid's first year of college. [​IMG]
     
  11. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Oh, and BTW, I was listening to a pair pair of N802's briefly in the show room in San Antonio recently, and they are running a great sale . Buy one full price and get the second one half off.
     
  12. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    How important is "musical" performance, soundstage and imaging?
    What % ratio music to HT
    Also what are your room dimensions?
    Have you selected your "front end" components?
    Can't spend your $20,000 without knowing what we are dealing with here. [​IMG]
    John Casler
     
  13. Phil P

    Phil P Agent

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    Am looking at probably 60% HT and 40% music. My room is not built yet but my limitations are a 7'5" ceiling and 12' width. It is possible to make the length as long as needed.
    Amplifiers- Levinson 334 and 436 for the fronts and center and Proceed HPAs for the back. Probably Proceed AVP2 processor.
     
  14. John A. Casler

    John A. Casler Second Unit

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    Phil,
    Since you have such a low ceiling you will need a speaker system with "limited vertical dispersion" or else you will receive "early reflections" from the ceiling.
    Maggies come to mind but they are finicky to place and probably would have too much horizontal dispersion
    for your room width.
    As much as I would like to reccomend the RM40s, you would be best served with the RM1 or RM2 Ribbon Monitors by VMPS. They have a slightly limited vertical dispersion.
    http://www.ozonik.com/vmps/e/p-rm.htm
    The center would be the LRC (Large Ribbon Center) and the surrounds would be the QSO 626R monitors.
    http://www.vmpsaudio.com/qso626p.htm
    Then you would need a pair of LARGER Subs and a CinePro or 300 wpc amp of your choice.
    If you had to go with the RM40 for the fronts you would have to add some signifcant ceiling "treatment"
    http://www.vmpsaudio.com/rm40Pic.htm
    I think this would offer a very "high performance" and flexible system that would provide the mix 60/40 you are looking for.
    Even with all the "options" and the amp we are well below $20,000. With that room size, the rest could be better used to treat the room and pick up super high quality speaker cabling and connectors.
    If you haven't heard the Ribbon Monitors you should before you make the investment.
    http://www.techtv.com/freshgear/best...367989,00.html
    John Casler
     
  15. Joseph_W

    Joseph_W Stunt Coordinator

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    Phil,
    Since you mentioned the B&W 802's and a wall mounted speaker, I'd recommend the HTM1 (or 2) center and SCM1 wall mounted speakers. And for music, I would only use the 802's. The SCM1's will be great for HT surround, their sound will be timbre matched with the front soundstage. That would put most of your money up front, which is where I think it belongs. I have a similar set-up with the CDM series and am very happy.

    Most importantly, though. Get out there and listen to all types of speakers until you find what's best for you.

    Have fun,
    Joe
     
  16. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    My suggestions in that price range would be Martin Logan, Totem or the Energy Veritas series.
     
  17. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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  18. Brandon Blair

    Brandon Blair Stunt Coordinator

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    You really need to check out JM Labs, both their Utopia and Electra lines. They have some really good wall mounted speakers and you would have a ton of option on different speakers you could use for seven channel in that price range.
    Check out their web page here www.focal-jmlab.fr
    Good Luck,
    Brandon
     
  19. Jeffrey Chin

    Jeffrey Chin Second Unit

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    planars all the way
    look into magnepan or bg radia series
     
  20. RandyKudor

    RandyKudor Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Phil,

    With that budget, I would recommend, for a pure HT system, the M&K S-150p (active monitors).

    Professional speakers for the home.
     

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