What I think I want to buy is...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom Moran, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. Tom Moran

    Tom Moran Agent

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    The following list of equipment for my first home theater:

    Mitsubishi 65" Platinum Plus RPTV- WS-65869, Denon 3803 Receiver, Pioneer DV47A DVD player, Definitive Technologies Speakers - BP2006TL Front, C/L/R 2002 Center, BPX surrounds and a ProSub 100TL Subwoofer.

    This setup fits into my equipment budget of 10-12K.

    My Home Theater will be one corner of my finished basement with a low ceiling (under 7') and a roughly 12' square area.

    I've read a lot of reviews and auditioned all of the above equipment and it seems to suit my needs which I would define as follows:

    I want a screen of at least 50" and don't see the need for a plasma display because I will be able to eliminate ambient light well and frankly I like the look of projection images on this TV and the pioneer Elite series the best of what I have seen. I have to rule out all of the Pioneers and all of the smaller Mitsubishi's though because the clearance on my basement stairs is only 45" and this is the only TV I have found that comes in two pieces and hence will fit down my stairs.

    On the audio side I have chosen the Denon receiver mainly because I like the sound and build quality of their equipment in general, it supports 7.1 sound, multi-room configurations and it has ample power for a space of this size.

    The Disc player was chosen because it supports all formats, including SACD and it seems to be able to handle audio CD better than some of the lower end players. I want to be able to enjoy both DVD Audio and SACD titles even though the bulk of my listening will be standard 2 channel audio and movies.

    I've chosen the Definitive Technologies speakers mainly for their rich sound quality and their amazingly wide sound stage. I'm hoping they will do a good job of creating an enveloping sound within my environment where traditional speakers would be likely to create a pretty small sweet spot due to limited options for speaker placement of the surround speakers. I especially like the integrated sub-woofers in the front stereo pair because I'd like to listen to my audio discs without the stand alone subwoofer turned on when I want to keep the levels low and/or stay true to the way the artists and engineers intended for the recording to be listened to.

    So any advice you would like to offer would be welcome. I'm especially interested in hearing from owners of any of this equipment or those with ideas for other items that might be better choices while still fitting my budget and general needs.

    Thanks in advance,

    Tom
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    (drool) Thats quite a nice list of equipment. You've done some homework.

    The only thing to remember is that those bipolar towers work best if you can pull them 2-3 feet into the room.

    I'm not up on how good the DefTec sub is, but you are over-buying with the built-in amps/subs in the towers and the external. Going with a non-powered tower would be a better/more cost effective choice.

    And if the sub is pushing about $750 - thats enough for a nice SVS PC series sub that has gotten lots of good reviews & fans here.

    (I have DefTech 2000tl's and the internal woofers are off in favor of my SVS.)

    Hit one of the custom cable sites for a good Canare component video cable and you are set.
     
  3. Tom Moran

    Tom Moran Agent

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    Thanks for the input. It made me realize that I have not really auditioned this setup without having the bass on the towers turned down so I could hear the sub. What if I were to do it the other way around and just leave out the seperate sub? I'm thinking this might be preferable to me for listening to music as I am a pretty critical listener and have always preferred a non-sub speaker setup for music as it seems to preserve the original recordings sound stage better.

    So I guess the question is do I really need a sub if I have these speakers for my front pair?

    Thanks again Bob,

    Tom
     
  4. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    Looks very nice!

    I would put some money aside to get the TV calibrated as well. And budget for cables as well. Also, how about and HDTV receiver? I'm sure there must be some OTA stations up and running there...

    Also, did you consider a FPTV? There are a lot of options within your budget that would give you a screen in excess of 100". They have their drawbacks too though, which is perhaps why you went with a RPTV instead?
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Well... the higher-end systems almost always use external subs. This has several advantages:

    - You can place the sub in a corner where the sounds can better use the adjacent walls. The sub-in-tower situation is optimized for the rest of the sounds, but not the lower frequency sounds.

    - You can now define all your speakers as SMALL so the receiver wont even waste power trying to send lower-frequency sounds to them. This tends to leave more power which improves the rest of the sound.

    I ran my DefTechs with the internal subs for several years. Then as a present to myself I bought the external SVS and added it in. I used an SPL meter to make the volume 10 db above the other speakers and sat down listen.

    The sound was impressive, but.. not smooth/blended well. Then I started turning down the built-in woofers on the towers. The sound stayed loud but sharpened up a bit. It was only after I turned the towers all the way off did I start to appreciate the SVS.

    After several days of getting used to the external sub, I listened for a while, then paused and re-configured to turn the internal tower subs back on. The sound was more boomy/less smooth with the dual-towers working.

    Note: the SVS subs are very smooth, but our ears are not used to this. In fact, sometimes people are used to their old speakers with a lot of boom/impact that disappear with the SVS.

    Advice: price out the un-powered BP30's and subtract the ProSub cost and add in a $750 SVS. See if you now have enough for 3 rear speakers (for Dolby EX) or even 2 sides and 3 rear speakers - this can take advantage of that 7.1 capability of the Dennon unit.

    Do a search on "SVS" in the Speakers and Subwoofer fourm and you will see tons of praise for this small, internet only company. (so much praise that we sometimes get complaints about all the gushing accolades for SVS.) SVS is Tom/Ron who used to advise people how to build their own subs then created a design and started to sell them. They are very responsive and are called the "Sub Humans".
     
  6. Tom Moran

    Tom Moran Agent

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    Thanks Bill for reminding me about the calibration, cables etc...I guess that why I always tend to go a little over budget. [​IMG]
    As for the FPTV I did consider it but my ceiling is really low (6'10) so it would be a hazard for everyone other than my 5'1" wife. I've already budgeted for HDTV via Direct TV and an OTA antenna to replace my cable setup. The Hughes HD receivers are what my shop recommended. Any thoughts?
    Bob - I like the idea of going for the Def-Tec's without the powered subs and using the extra $ to install 7.1 right away. This brings up the questions of how far behind the listener these speakers can be and would the Def-Tec Studio Monitors work well here?
    The reason I'm asking is that due to the low ceiling and the fact that the area behind my HT will be my office it would be great to place these rear speakers on the back wall of this other area. However this would mean they are about 15' behind the seating area, although positioned perfectly otherwise, while the side surrounds would be just a few feet away.
    I know the Denon can be adjusted to accommodate for some variance in speaker placement but I'm wondering if this distance would be too much for these adjustments to account for? If I could get away with this type of setup it would be an ideal use of the 7.1 capability because this receiver also allows the two rear channels to function as a primary stereo pair that I could then use for quieter listening in my home office.
    I'm off to search for info on the SVS subs...Many thanks for all the help.
    Tom
     
  7. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    I would even recommend veering away from the Def Techs if you intend to buy a powered sub for this setup. The extra amount of cash that you will have is such that you might can contract Brian Bunge (maybe even Kyle) to make you a set of GR research speakers and maybe a sub of similar finish with a quality driver that is respected by the DIY speaker building community (I bet the GRs would sound better, might even be same price or even cheaper, and you would be able to pick a finish that should complement this room much better). Since you stated in your earlier post that the room is approximate 7' high by 12' by 12' (a little over a 1000 cubic feet) you can go with either two smaller subs for stereo (I bet you can maybe get a pair made similar to the ACI Force) or one larger sub (performance comproble to SVS though SVS still is awesome) and cross the Denon at 60 hz to match up to your system (maybe a Adire Shiva/Tempest, Blueprint 1201/1203/1503, Stryke's latest AV12/AV15, or some of the Daytons from Partsexpress that either Kyle or Brian can build for you). The Deftechs aren't bad, but I think that there are better choices imho that can be provided from exclusive online dealers that avoid the middleman.
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Well 15 feet away for the rear speakers is a lot. It's not the time-delay thats the issue, but the volume.
    The SPL meter allows you to add/subtract some offset volume to the rear speakers to compensate for distance so if a sound should be the same volume as it swirls around, it will be.
    While people love the BPX, your idea of the Studio Monitors (a direct radiator) might be better. With these, I would play with mounting them on stands about the same distance behind the listening position as the distance to the fronts. Then move them forward/back so it does not cut into the free space too badly. Some open shelving (open on front & back) could be a good room divider and act as shelves for the rear speakers.
    The free-standing direct radiators have more mounting flexability. Stands, ceiling, and even rear-wall mounting are all possible. Get them and .. play before you decide on a perminent mount.
    So lets run the numbers:
    (2) BP30 towers: $1400
    (1) CLR 2002: $499
    (3) Studio Monitors 450: $987
    (1) SVS 20-39pci sub: $599
    Total: $3485
    PS: You can sometimes get a 10% discount from your dealer for buying a whole set so ask about this.
    Note: I'm glad to see you picked the 2002 CLR center - this speaker is what convinced me to buy DefTech. I've even heard people who prefered this center to the more expensive 2000 model.
    Now for the wire & Misc:
    100 ft Sound King 12 ga speaker wire: $36
    (2) Component Video Cables: (aprox): $240
    (1) Video cable (for coaxial-digital): $20
    (5) Radio Shack dual-banana plugs: $30
    (5) Radio Shack single-banana plugs: $30
    (1) Radio Shack Analog SPL meter: $45
    (1) AVIA DVD setup disk: $45
    Total: $446
    SVS Subwoofers
    Sound King Speaker Wire
    The dual bananas have the part number xxx-308, the single ones are xxx-306. These are the MegaCable line and quite nice for the price. Highly recommended.
    The good component video cables can be had from the custom sites. Remember you need 2: one for the DVD player and one for the HD receiver. These guys can also usually provide you with a good 5-channel cable for SACD (I think you need 5 analog cables for SACD right now - someone with more knowledge want to jump in on this point?)
    www.bettercables.com
    www.catcables.com
    www.heartlandcables.com
    www.wickedcables.com
    www.bluejeanscables.com
    www.rhinocables.com
    www.ebay.com (search for "Canare")
     
  9. Tom Moran

    Tom Moran Agent

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    This is really helpful Bob - many thanks - BTW you were right on about the BP30 towers, I just listened to them today and I think they sound even better than comparably priced models with the powered subs. I appreciate you going to the trouble of pricing and organizing the other info as well.
    Robert - While I appreciate the advice, when it comes to going with something else I have enough reservations about buying a sub without listening to it first, buying the whole set that way would be more hassle than it was worth for me. Things like shipping, auditioning, warranties etc... are all factors where working through a retailer makes sense for someone like me who has very little free time to do the research, even less to deal with the extra work and my first kid on the way.
    Not that I don't agree there are probably better speakers out there and probably even for less money but all factors considered the ability to audition, listen, compare, and audition again with different setups such as the actual receiver and disc player I will use is worth what the middleman is getting in this case. Also, because I am buying the entire setup from one reseller I am getting a big enough discount across the board to offset any of the extra costs. In the end I'm not going to lose any sleep over what I might have missed out on but I may very well lose sleep if I have to deal with much more in the way of shopping around.[​IMG]
     

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