What's wrong with this setup?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by DavidGriswold, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. DavidGriswold

    DavidGriswold Auditioning

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    Sometime in the next few months I will graduate college and move to a tiny apartment in New York City. If all goes according to plan, I will have a fellowship that would save my parents many thousands of dollars in education expenses, a savings I hope to parlay into about $2000-$2500 to spend on a home theater system for my tiny apartment space.

    I've spent a lot of time obsessing over what I might want. Based on the hundreds of reviews I've read, I think I've decided on the following system:

    Fronts: Axiom M2i's = $252
    Center: A third Axiom M2i = $126
    Surrounds: Axiom QS4s = $360
    Sub: Dayton 10"/100W = ~$150 after shipping
    Receiver: Pioneer 1014 = ~$400 after shipping
    TV: Samsung TXP2675WH 27" HDTV widescreen CRT w/ HDTV tuner = ~$630

    Total: About $2000 after mounting brackets, wire, etc.


    I want YOU to tear apart this system, tell me where I'm making a terrible mistake, and why.

    Here are some preliminary responses to some of what I think will be the most likely suggestions:

    1) "That's not loud enough - try the M22s" - I will be a teacher in NYC for the foreseeable future. I will likely spend a long time living in an apartment that has less floor area than many entertainment rooms. I think the M2is will be plenty loud enough.

    2) "Why not a VP100 for the center?" - it's $100 more. It's a bit louder than the M2i, a bit more focused on the midrange, and magnetically shielded. The first doesn't matter to me, because I hardly ever listen to anything loud anyway. The second is an argument that might make me spend an extra $50, but not an extra $100, since the M2is apparently have fantastic midrange anyway, and the third is not that important to me - I've read some reviews of M2is as center, and it seems that I'll be able to get it far enough from the TV so as not to cause major interference.

    3) "You'd be much better off with a better sub" - I agree. I originally specced an SVS-PB10 in there. Then I read some reviews of the Dayton and realized that a) I don't watch many action movies or listen to much R&B and b) I'll be in a tiny tiny apaprtment. I'm currently using a Klipsch Promedia 4.1 system in a room that's likely bigger than where I'll be living next year, and the subwoofer generally keeps me pretty happy - and that's with a frequency response down to only 35 Hz, so the Dayton is already a big step up. And $300 is a LOT of savings. If there's a sub out there that's significantly better than the Dayton and still less than $300 or so, let me know, and I'll consider it. Of course, the M2is have pretty crappy bass, so I'll be working with a crossover of 80-100, so if the Dayton sucks at those frequencies for some reason, I'd like to know.

    Of course, I'll try to make sure to give a similar system a listen before I order it, though the 30-day Axiom guarantee thing is a nice deal. Maybe somebody in the NYC area has a similar setup - it's NYC, after all - and I can try it out in a real audition.
     
  2. Jason Dalton

    Jason Dalton Stunt Coordinator

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    If your apartment is anything like my brother's (in NYC) those speakers will be plenty. In fact, they'll probably take up half the apartment[​IMG].

    My only issue is why the Pio 1014? It has 7 channels of power, 2 of which you'll probably never use in a small apartment and the power per channel is WAY more than you need. You could easily get silly volume levels with 50wpc.
     
  3. DavidGriswold

    DavidGriswold Auditioning

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    Hmm. Maybe I have no real justification for the 1014, now that you mention it. I do like the expansionality of it - I might move to house in Jersey or something someday, after all - and the MPACC thing seems really nice. Plus, I really like the idea of the receiver doing video upconversion, since, at least at first, my primary A/V source will be an modded Xbox with component outs, and I'm not sure how well the various Xbox programs work with HDTV resolutions. That, though, I could probably live without.

    Are there any other, lower-priced receivers out there, maybe with less power and only 6.1 (7.1 is probably silly, admittedly, but I might well add a rear center speaker someday) that have these features? I can calibrate manually if necessary, but since the SPL meter itself costs $40 I'd just as soon use a provided mic if it gives a reasonable facsimile of good calibration (Probably still buy the DVE disc, as would want to calibrate the video still, but could save the money on the meter...)

    The lower model Pioneers don't seem to do the video conversion, sadly, though some of them do appear to come with MCACC, at least manual MCACC.

    EDIT: On reading, it actually looks like the component upconversion thing is actually from composite/s-video->component, not from various component resolutions into other component resolutions (correct me if I'm wrong) - which is a feature I simply won't need. Probably. So maybe the 6.1 manual MCACC Pioneer will work fine for me... (the 814, I think).
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I'd at least step up to the M3s up front. Even they are a bit light on bass, and they are only $20 more/pr.

    Nothing wrong with the Dayton sub. Good choice.

    You could probably save a few bucks by going with a lower receiver, but at least with the 1014 you won't be upgrading soon. I think it's a good choice too. Others might be the Onkyo 602, Marantz 4500, or one of the new H/Ks.

    note that Axiom prices have gone up slightly.

    Video upconversion will never change the signal quality, only the connection type.
     
  5. Jason Dalton

    Jason Dalton Stunt Coordinator

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    If it was me, I'd rather go with the 814 and put the money I saved into a subwoofer that will get better extension (i.e. PB10). Not that the Dayton is bad, but IMO you get more performance for your money with a 814/PB10 than a 1014/Dayton. Granted you'll pay more for the PB10 but I think the extension is worth it. Even if you don't listen at reference levels.
     
  6. VinhT

    VinhT Second Unit

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    There isn't much to tear into. It's clear you've done your research and all of your choices are solid. The only thing I can think of is that if the apartment is really small, then a more diffuse sound may improve the experience, something like Mirage's Nanosat system ($800).
     
  7. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Auditioning

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    I've had pretty good luck with my Onkyo TX-SR502. It should fit in that system just fine. You can get it new for $250 or refurbed for $150. I would use the savings to get M3's and the VP100. I wouldn't take the change with an unshielded center channel on a direct view. Better performance and safer!

    Good luck!
     
  8. DavidGriswold

    DavidGriswold Auditioning

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    Where do you see a price of $150 for the 502? The lowest I'm finding is $190.

    I've taken a bunch of advice, both from here and the axiom forums, and my updated system now consists of:

    Fronts: Axiom M3Ti's (it was pointed out to me that for TV and pop music, the slightly softer midrange will cause less fatigue)
    Center: Axiom VP100 (the point about shielding is well taken - I can afford it)
    Sub: Dayton 10"
    Receiver: Pioneer VSX-d814 ($220 at etronics - any opinions on this receiver?)
    TV: Still the Samsung
     
  9. Mike_Gr

    Mike_Gr Stunt Coordinator

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    I say take the plunge. If you don't like the Axioms, the return process is hassle-free...and I know from first-hand experience. I returned an Axiom system and it took 3 days delivery time to Buffalo, NY. They issued a credit to my card the same day and it took 2 days before the funds were available on my card. Not bad, IMO.

    You will be amazed by the Axiom surrounds.
     
  10. MikeNg

    MikeNg Second Unit

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    Looks like a pretty solid system David. Personally I'm an H/K fan, so I'd opt to get an HK instead of a Pioneer AVR.

    The audioreview reviews on the Pioneer werer mixed. One person commented that it was bright and harsh. Two others commented that it ran hot. Something to consider. Check out the HK AVR130 on audioreview. Seems to have a solid review.

    So if it were me, I'd get a refurb'd HK AVR130 for $231 from harmanaudio.com. Just so you know, HK's run hot too.

    Mike
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Hate to say it, but audioreview is almost a waste of time. Many of the reviewers are clearly not experienced with audio/video gear and don't include key info that can affect their results greatly such as source, speakers, connection types, room size, etc... So every review on there has to be taken with a grain of salt.
     
  12. DavidGriswold

    DavidGriswold Auditioning

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    Well, I've given up on deciding on a receiver for now. Who knows, the 1014 may come down in price by $50-$100 by June (the earliest I could possibly order all of this), in which case there will be absolutely nothing stopping me from simply going for it.
     
  13. AlbertD

    AlbertD Stunt Coordinator

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    David:

    Go back to your original thought and buy three exact same speakers for the front, not the VP-100. You will get a MUCH better timber match with three exact speakers and the sound will be noticably better. Ask Ian at the Axiom board, he will agree with this.
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I'd get 3 M3s if you want to keep them the same. That will still be less than a VP100.

    Not sure the 1014 will still be around in a few months (new), since the 1015 is coming out (out already?).
     
  15. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    I'd never move from the 1014 down to the 814. Never. The EQ on the 1014/1015 will be most essential in correctly setting up the system in that new apartment.
     
  16. ChrisCan

    ChrisCan Agent

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    The 1014 is a bargain It's a $1000 Pioneer Elite grade receiver for $400. Get it! I would rather have the power and features and not need all of them than want them and not have them.
    Don't be surprised if you want better gear soon after you buy anyway. The pioneer will still be able to handle it.
     
  17. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    David, you say your moving into an apartment, so some consideration has to go into not disturbing the neighbours. A sub will be a large anoyance and you won't be able to crank it to levels you want. An option you may want to look into is too take the money for the sub and add a little extra, and move upto the M50ti floorstanding speakers. You should get more than enough bass for your apartment. Down the road when you get into a larger place you could add a sub.

    Kevin
     
  18. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Are you sure you're going to have the proper layout for Axioms quadropolar QS4's? You may want to consider using M2's for surrounds.
     

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