What to buy for best HT audio with 20k

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Doug_Z, Nov 25, 2002.

  1. Doug_Z

    Doug_Z Agent

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    I am trying to assemble an HT/TV only 7.1 system. After a fair amount of research I am close to buying one of two types of systems.I would like to get some advise from some knowlegable people since this is a very large expenditure for me.

    First the room is a little difficult. 16x16x8. Wall to wall carpet. An open kitchen to the left with only a low counter separating the 2 rooms.Cloth levelers covering an 8'sliding glass door and 3 other windows.

    I am trying to choose from the following :1)3-M&K 150 P's up front.The powered speakers would be connected to the balanced inputs of the Anthem AV20 OR the B&K 50. The 4 rear tripoles would be connected to a 4 channel B&K or Rotel Amp.The Sub would be the M&K 350. Any other suggestions for speakers or pre/pro/amp?

    My second choice was to go with the M&K 150's (non powered)up front.The same surrounds.I would power all the speakers with the B&K 50 and their new 7 channel amp or the B&K 507.I do want Ultra 2 processing for the receiver or the Pre/Pro.

    I know the 2nd choice is less expensive but my question is are most people going to notice the difference between the the 2 systems? I have heard parts of both systems but can't find a dealer who can hook up both systems for me to A/B.

    Finally is the first system worth the nearly 20k it would cost to assemble. I want the best system I can afford and would be interested in your suggestions.I do love movies/TV. Thank you for your time.
     
  2. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    I don't know if "most" people are going to notice the difference, but I can't think of many better ways to experience DVD than powered M&K speakers! I would go w/ option 1.

    Think about substituting an SVS PC-plus for the 350 sub. RAF on the forum added SVS to his 350 (an older model SVS) and he was thrilled.

    I think the pre/pro --> balanced connection to active fronts is a very elegant solution, and should also yield very dynamic, accurate sound for movie watching.

    Go for it!
     
  3. Doug_Z

    Doug_Z Agent

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    Thanks Richard: So you believe the SVS PC-plus is a beter Sub. Would it match the M&K's as well as the 350? Also any comments on which pre/pro/amp to go with? Thanks again. Doug[​IMG]
     
  4. with a 20K budget, I would ABSOLYTELY hit the DIY forum here and have someone build you your speakers/subs.
     
  5. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I'd save some of your budget for room treatments as I think that could help improve the sound with any setup. Bass control, sound diffusing, and absorbing could be something to look into.
    I think I'll add something different... Whenever I think of HT I think of THX. I suppose if you want all THX equiptment you could go with a package deal from a single companly like JBL. Then you'd get a THX amp, digital processor, equalizer, and interconnects which could make things a lot easier. I don't know if this would be good? Just trying to think of something different.
    Going DIY on the subwoofer could definitly give you some bang per buck. Two stereo Adire Tumults with 2 18" passive radiators each powered by 1k watts each should be close to $2,000. If a lot of TV stations you watch run stereo you may think about spending more on mains since you could also use them for music.
    As for the pre/pro amp combo, there are some cheaper popular alternatives: Rotel 1066 + Rotel 1095 or Outlaw 950 + Model 770. Or integrated: Denon 5803 or Pioneer Elite TX49
    You could even go monoblocks with that kind of budget.. With this much money, I'd perhaps allocate the funds into each category such as Pre/pro, speakers, sub, acoustic treatments, amp, cable, etc and then ask the appropriate forums for advice and do some reading. A start could be looking up all the products that are THX certified at thx.com if that's something you're into.
     
  6. Kevin_R_H

    Kevin_R_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Doug, you haven't been paying attention in class! [​IMG] Fortunately for you there wasn't a quiz. [​IMG]
    For that kind of cash, you might as well go all out:
    $5,800 VMPS RM40 (Mains)
    2,800 VMPS 626 Ribbons (4 Rears)
    1,000 VMPS LRC (Center)
    700 VMPS Large (Subwoofer)
    ------
    $10,300 Total
    You would need to allocate extra cash for the Subwoofer, as it is unpowered, and the rear speakers would need stands. You will also need pretty high quality electronics to drive these speakers, which could run into some considerable money.
    However two points in your favor:
    1) Their dealers discount
    2) In case you are into DIY, they can be purchased as a kit (at a savings)
    Look around - there's wonderful systems out there. It's just up to you to do the research. Don't get your mind too focused in on just one system. The M&K system may very well be what you will like the best. But select it from a position of knowledge - then you'll never have to second-guess yourself.
    Kevin
     
  7. Tim Ranger

    Tim Ranger Stunt Coordinator

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    If it was me, the speakers I'd go for would be the Veritas series from ACI. They are a semi-powered design (the bass is active). Two bands of parametric EQ is available to adjust the bass to your placement. I've owned some other ACI speakers for over a year and continue to be blown away by the sonic quality and value. They also have announced a soon to be released larger, more powerful sub.
    www.audioc.com
     
  8. Doug_Z

    Doug_Z Agent

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    Kevin: I appreciate your insights. However,I am wondering what led you to believe I wasn't paying attention in class. I may have missed a class or two but I usually sit in the front row. I have been reading and asking questions about this potential HT system for more than a few months.I have not yet purchased any part of the system.

    If you can tell from my original question that I am missing something because I haven't been paying attention I would like to know what bit(s)of information I am missing. I'm serious and hope you or someone else responds. The more I can learn before I buy a very expensive system the better. So let me know what I missed in class, but be nice. :b
     
  9. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    How many different speaker set-ups have you listened to?

    And out of all those listened to are the M&K's your favorite or are you going on suggestions only here?

    Seriously you have already gotten the VMPS, Outlaw, DIY, ACI, Rotel, SVS recomendations out of the way. Soon will follow the Rocket, Klipsch, B&W, GR Research, etc. recommendations.

    Do yourself a favor and go out and listen to as much as possible, using your own ears to decide what you like best. Then perhaps after forming your own conclusions, come back with a broader list of speakers you are considering and ask for peoples opinions on those speakers only. More than likely you still would not get very good advice at that point and you would come to the conclusion that it is my money and it is my listening tastes that matter.

    Of course if you have already down a lot of listening and decided that M&K are your favorites great, ignore the above.

    Some other thoughts I would throw out:
    Are you renting or is this a puchased house this is going into?
    Well actually either way I would not buy a 7.1 system for this size of a room that has that much space taken up by 3 windows, a sliding door, and pass-through window. That is a lot of speakers and wiring to fit into the 16x16 space, especially one that is not completely dedicated to home theater use.
    What about the video side of things what are you going to be using?
    I could ask many more, but I think you would still be better served by developing a relationship with a local dealer. Then come back for advice on finer details, but seriously I don't think you have given a 20K purchase enough thought. And if you don't want to give it anymore thought, then again develop a relationship with a local dealer that you like, and let him/her think it out in more detail for you.

    Sorry this probably not the answer you were looking for, but it is a type of answer that should be given more often on this forum.
     
  10. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    One issue with the VMPS RM40s is that they are huge. This may be a problem with some people. If you like the M&Ks (an excellent speaker), I'd go with the powered version because the amp and active crossover are specifically designed for the drivers and enclosure. The only problem I see is ensuring that you can run power to each speaker (for the internal amps). The dispersion patterns on the M&K (and other THX speakers) are optimized for multi channel listening (vs. most other which cater to 2 ch music) so I think they are ideal for your intended use.

    One suggestion would be to consider other subwoofers which have greater output and extension. M&K makes a good sub but (IMO) they lack a bit in the low end for the price paid. The custom option (Acoustic visions, etc.) will give you the best bang/buck. You'll need to call these companies and discuss performance and finish options (website only lists basic models). BTW, we're talking performance equivalent to cost-no-object commercial offerings.
     

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