Speakers + Receiver for < $2000 (larger, weird shaped room)

Chris Wittry

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 23, 1999
Messages
130
Ok, so I'm finally remodeling my basement and am to the point where I need to start auditioning speakers, so I will know where to run my wiring. First off, I'm looking to spend about $2000 on my first round of HT gear. I'll be picking up one of the SVS subs at a later date, so the sub can be left out for now. What I need is a pair of fronts, a center, and a pair of surround speakers, plus an A/V receiver that can take care of the usual suspects (DD,DTS,etc).

To get a good idea of what the room will look like, please check out the following pics:
Overview
Looking at TV
Right of TV
Left of TV
Away from TV

Ok, so there's some obvious acoustical difficulties in this room, so I'll need some help on speaker placement for the sub and the surrounds. The fronts/center are labeled on the overview diagram. In case you couldn't tell from the pics, the television and fronts/center will be built into the wall. The speakers will be behind transparent fabric.

Some other misc details. I will be using the setup primarily for movie watching (call it 99% movies / 1% music). I have a drop ceiling, so running wires is very easy. Not sure what else you'd need to know, but just ask and I'll let you know.

Thanks for the help!
 

Frank_Ber

Agent
Joined
Mar 12, 2003
Messages
43
Somebody has a lot of time in their hands
Great remodeling on the basement. IMO, you can put the sub right by the wall close to F2 and mount the left surround left of the window and directed to the people sitting on the couch. Place the right surround on a stand on the right side of the couch.

By best advice is to try different setups till you find the sound that pleases your ear and others that will be watching.
 

Chris Wittry

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 23, 1999
Messages
130
Nobody else has any opinions? I really need ideas on whether to put the speakers on stands, mount them on a wall somehow, or put them in the ceiling. Thanks!
 

John A. Casler

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 29, 1999
Messages
475
Hey Chris,

I'd probably suggest wall mounted "BIPOLES", mounted on the walls behind the couch.

Your left side wall may need some treatment to in order to keep things balanced (since the right side is open)

What are you looking at for mains? I would suggest some floorstanders if you have can, but it looks like you are showing "built in" L&R.

SUB??? front left corner???

Regards
 

kevin_hart

Auditioning
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Messages
10
Dipoles are not going to work as they need to sit to directly on the left and right of the couch. I would suggest the rears be wall mounted at about 5.5' high about 1.5' in front of the window next to the pool table and directly opposite on the other wall. You may also want to consider 6.1, it will be difficult to set-up but, your room will benefit from it. Mount the center rear from the ceiling above the pool table. As far as brands go....Onkyo TXSR600 is a great choice ($500) you could use 3 pairs of NHTSB2 bookshelves @ $399/pr (fronts, rears, front and rear centers). Wall mount the front speakers about seven feet apart (from tweeter to tweeter and about 5' off the ground. Price wise this will put you in the $1700 range leaving money left over for either better front speakers and/or wall mounts.
 

John A. Casler

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 29, 1999
Messages
475
Hi Kevin,

You are correct about DIPOLEs but if you re-read, I said BIPOLES.

True BIPOLES have no null and have more of a 360 degree radiation pattern. That pattern would offer a couple advantages.

Placed behind the listener it would offer directional cues since one face would be more converged toward the listener. It would also launch significant ambient sonics in the space behind the seating area creating additional sonic envelopment.

Also for general music (as in party backround music) they would fill the Pool Table area nicely if one was to use say a 5 channel stereo mode.

The use of monopole speakers would only offer some directional cues and steering. Monopoles would also have to be mounted on 180 degree swivel mounts to offer even coverage for music in the pool table area, where the BIPOLES could be flat wall mounted.

Regards,
 

Frank Mowry

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Messages
57
Chris,
My basement is almost identical to yours. Long and more open ended where the TV sits. Only difference is I don't have a bar and I have a pingpong table in place of the pool table. I have steps where your bar is. Couch and TV are in the same place.

I just picked up Axiom Epic Grand Master but I'm building my own sub and I upgraded the center channel. I love the setup. I also picked up the HK525 refurb at Onecall and this setup sounds great even with my current small Polk sub. Total for receiver and speakers is under $2K. My M22s are on the stands that Axiom sells for them, though you could get similar at PE.

I have the QS4 surrounds mounted about a foot behind the couch and they sound great. I don't know how close your rear right wall is based on the drawing but it looks like you could mount it where I did and put the rear left between windows. I can send you pics if you email me.

Frank
 

kevin_hart

Auditioning
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Messages
10
Hi John,


My mistake bipoles, sorry but I still disagree, the room is not that large and the system will easily fill the whole room with out having to use the rear speakers to do it. Also I suggested that the rear speakers be wall mounted so you could easily reposition the speakers by using proper wall mounts if you so desired.
 

John A. Casler

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 29, 1999
Messages
475
Kevin,

You don't need to disagree with me, the original poster stated that he wanted "surrounds".

I suggested BIPOLES since in this type of application they would offer the most flexibilty and performance (without repositioning)

Most anyone who puts in a HT now days with a DVD player and 5.1 reciever uses at least 3 fronts and 2 surrounds for all the directional cues and ambience.

Do they do it differently in the "frozen north"?

I'm not sure what you are saying since in one sentence you say the system should be fine without surrounds, and in the next you mention how the surrounds should be mounted on the wall (which is what I already stated).

Seems to be an element of confusion here.

Regards,
 

Shawn_MM

Grip
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
15
Receiver try Onkyo 600 on ebay for 350.00$
or Pioneer Elite 41tx also ebay 400.00$
Nothing wrong with ebay I bought my Elite 45tx from Ebay on a smoking deal.

Now this leaves about 1600 for speakers.
I would look at some the paradigm system 6 without a sub should fit the bill. Also Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 400 is listed at 1700 so it should be lower. (I love Def Tech for HT)these speakers will rock you. I have the 2002tls with 2500 centre, and wow.
I think you have alot og options, but dont cheap out on speakers. A couple of extra bucks may provide a couple of more years of enjoyment later.
 

kevin_hart

Auditioning
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Messages
10
Hey John,

I was suggesting that he did not need to use the surrounds to fill the room for party music as you had suggested, he still needs surrounds.
I know that these forum posts should generally be taken with a grain of salt as there is a lot of mis-information but like you I am in the industry and have been for almost 12 years and have even written some reviews for a website. So I do have apretty good idea what I am doing.
 

John A. Casler

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 29, 1999
Messages
475
Kevin,

Maybe you have experience but it doesn't change the fact that your suggestion to use monopoles with "swing mounts" so that they have to be manually adjusted for various uses, might not be the most effective surround overall.

Although they may be hard to find, a good Bipole will be far superior in the overall application.

1) It provides HT ambience when the source calls for it, much better than a monopole.

2) It provides directional cues for 5.1 information, since one face actually fires directly at the listener

3) It provides a great backround speaker which will fill the pool table area for other occasional uses.

4) It can be mounted flush against the wall rather than on a 180 degree swivel mount as you seem to infer would work. A speaker on a swivel or swing mount of this type sits well out into the room and must be adjusted for the two primary uses. Kind of a pain.

That's just been my experience. YMMV.

Regards
 

kevin_hart

Auditioning
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
Messages
10
John,

Never in 11 years have I ever heard someone suggest bipoles for rears or have I ever read it in any trade journals or white papers so.....you will have to pardon my ignorance. As a matter of fact for the most part with the intro of 6.1 and 7.1 it has been found favourable to use direct radiating type speakers only. Also I suggested they could be mounted on swing mounts if he found it really neccasary to fill the room for party mode.


YMMV=What exactly
 

John A. Casler

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 29, 1999
Messages
475
Never in 11 years have I ever heard someone suggest bipoles for rears or have I ever read it in any trade journals or white papers so.....you will have to pardon my ignorance. As a matter of fact for the most part with the intro of 6.1 and 7.1 it has been found favourable to use direct radiating type speakers only.
 

Alex Prosak

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Messages
773
Chris,

My basement has some similarities to yours, you can check out some photos here: http://forum.av123.com/photopost/sho...at=500&thumb=1 It's still a work in progress but it may give you an idea or two.

Because of the overhang right over the seating area, I disagree with using bipoles or dipoles. I would suggest direct radiating speakers mounted on the walls as previously mentioned.

I'd suggest Onix Rocket Package #4 from av123 but that wouldn't leave you with much a budget for a receiver. I don't know what your aural preferences are but you could go with a Paradigm system (Monitor 7s, CC-370, and Mini Monitors) for ~$1400 and use the remaining $600 for a decent receiver (Denon 1803, Marantz SR-5300).

What will be your HT/music ratio? What are your musical preferences? What speakers have you auditioned and which have you liked?

Good luck!
 

John A. Casler

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 29, 1999
Messages
475
Because of the overhang right over the seating area, I disagree with using bipoles or dipoles. I would suggest direct radiating speakers mounted on the walls as previously mentioned.
Hi Alex,

Would you mind being more specific, as to why you think a monopole would be better?

While the 6'8" height of the Chris's ceiling is not ideal, a dipole does not require, that it be high over head.

A monopole would also require a similar mounting height.

And to be more clear, they should be mounted on the left just in front of the rear window, and on the right wall the exact same spot. This will allow the wall to "direct" the forward wave, and directional cues, and balance the surround info rather than losing it to the open space when the right wall stops.

I think what might be missing here is the understanding that a BIPOLE can act as a direct radiator and an ambience producing surround, depending on the placement and room boundaries.

After veiwing your HT I can see why you may not suggest Dipoles (you would have been better off with direct radiating angled corner mounted speakers) It also appears that your seating arrangement is not in the "null", and you have one speaker "beam" mounted and one "wall" mounted causing an imbalance in the reflected ambient sound. They are also mounted too high, but with the beam you had no choice.

A good speaker for your side surrounds would be the Boston Bravo. The rear of the cabinet is v-shaped which allows it to be mounted horizontally at the ceiling corner.

http://www.bostonacoustics.com/Produ...=1&SeriesID=50

Or if you are looking for more ambience, you too could have used a "bipole". It offers a 180 degree radiation pattern without a null to be concerned with.

The interesting thing is that it also offers substantial directional cues, which with 5.1 and 7.1 sources can be valuable.

Regards
 

Alex Prosak

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Messages
773
John,

I've always read and been told that I bipole or dipole should be installed at the "null" location. I don't see how Chris would be able to do that in his room. He doesn't have a wall to mount the right surround speaker to at the null, the only other option for the null would be mounting one similar to my surrounds at the beam or overhang. The problem with his overhang is that it is dirctly over some of the seating.

Alex
 

John A. Casler

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 29, 1999
Messages
475
Hi Alex,

I kinda thought you were under that impression. No, only "dipoles" have nulls. Bipoles have a much different radiation pattern and much more lattitude with placement.

A bipole actually has more of a 360 degree radiation pattern(especially in the lower frequencies)except when place on a wall which then limits it to 180.

In Chris' room the Bipoles would be "on the side walls" and behind the listener.

This type of placement would have one face of the speaker with a more direct (closer to on axis) path. The rear facing speaker bank would then add ambience, with the front offering directional cues. It is truly the best of both worlds.

They could be mounted basically at any height, at or above ear level to the listening position.

As I suggested the left rear should be mounted just in front of the rear window and the right directly across the room on the right wall.

It seems there is substantial confusion regarding dipolar and bipolar radiation patterns and how and when to use them.

As the needs for multi-polar radiation patterns increases, due to the various processing modes and multi-channel music applications, we will see more and more variations.

Hope that offers some insight.

Regards,
 

Alex Prosak

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Messages
773
John,

Thanks for the clarification. My system certainly isn't set up ideally but I did what I could with the area I had. I wanted to install it in a different room that would be much more optimal but I couldn't get the WAF. While my dipoles are mounted too high, I am basically at the null (at least as close as I could get, ~1' - 1 1/2')and I've actually been very happy with them. They provide a very diffuse soundfield which I really like.

Alex
 

John A. Casler

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 29, 1999
Messages
475
Hi Alex,

Yes there are always compromises even in dedicated theaters, concessions must be made.

Another thing about "dipoles" that many do not know is that they can be used "off the wall". That is, they do not have to be mounted on a surface to work.

I have mine stacked on top of a floor standing speaker and run them both at the same time (for a "tripole" effect) and they sit over 5 feet away from any wall or room boundary.

They have to be run a bit louder but overall the effect is less "constricted" than wall mounted.

Anyhow that is off the subject (a little).

Enjoy your system,
 

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