Total Newbie Seeking Some Sage Advice - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #11 of 28 Old 05-18-10, 09:10 AM
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Re: Total Newbie Seeking Some Sage Advice

Matching surrounds and fronts isn't necessary according to Floyd E Toole because they hit your ears at different angles. I'd just pick up 4 surrounds and set them to the sides and 2 behind you if you have the space back there. If you are sitting on the wall directly sometimes angling the surrounds back toward the wall in front of the couch gives a better experience. Surrounds aren't critical so I suggest you get something small and easy to place. I personally use KEF 2001.2s and they are amazing surrounds. Something like that would be just fine for surround duty.

A center isn't always necessary. Especially if you like the way your movies already sound. Though in your setup they could be helpful.
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post #12 of 28 Old 05-18-10, 09:23 AM
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Re: Total Newbie Seeking Some Sage Advice

I think what may be much more important is similar sensitivity and tonal character. I have installed and serviced hundreds of surround systems over the years and the best that I have experienced have always had matching speakers. Certainly there are other priorities in the cost of a system that might result in different decisions, but if it can be done, I would recommend it.

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post #13 of 28 Old 05-18-10, 10:09 AM
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Re: Total Newbie Seeking Some Sage Advice

I definitely agree with Leonard. That being said when doing Audio Triage with a limited budget, I definitely advocate making sure the Front and Center Channel (Frontstage) are done first.

I am a huge believer in having matching tweeters in all channels. Especially the main 5 channels. For instance, I am contemplating adding Martin Logan Motion Series for the Height Channel for DSX.

This is more an issue of size as Martin Logan ESL's are over 5 feet tall so adding matching Height Channels really could not be done in my Room or setup. However, the Front and Surround Speakers use the identical Panel and my Center Channel is Martin Logan's current Flagship. Again due to the size, unless using an FP Setup, there is simply no way to add a matching Vantage as my Center Channel as it would block the view of my TV!

In a sense, all ML CC's are a compromise in view of the ideal which is identical Speakers for all Channels. Nonetheless, the vast majority of people with HT's use a different CC than Mains.
That being said, in a recent Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, the Reviewer found the Martin Logan Stage to be the finest CC he had ever had in his HT. So clearly, Speaker Companies really work hard at getting the tonal characteristics as close to possible to the Front or Main Speakers.

Speakers: Martin Logan Vantage (Mains), Martin Logan Stage (Center), Martin Logan Vista (Surrounds), Martin Logan Montages (Surrounds) Hsu Research VTF-15h MK2, Martin Logan Descent i (Subwoofer)
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post #14 of 28 Old 05-19-10, 04:33 PM
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Re: Total Newbie Seeking Some Sage Advice

Jungle Jack wrote: View Post
I definitely agree that Paradigm makes wonderful Speakers. If your budget is not enough for Paradigm's,
DMC-Electronics and Saturday Audio have some amazing deals on the PSB Image Series.

For instance DMC is selling the Image T45 Towers for 479 (749 MSRP), C60 for 299 (449 MSRP), B25 for 319 (479 MSRP) I would actually do dual T45's Front and Surround if your budget can accommodate it.

I'd definitely recommend PSB Images as well. I had the t65s in my setup for a while and loved them. If you can go bigger do it!
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post #15 of 28 Old 05-19-10, 04:34 PM
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Re: Total Newbie Seeking Some Sage Advice

Also David at DMC Electronics was very helpful and would give you an honest opinion.
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post #16 of 28 Old 05-19-10, 05:49 PM
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Re: Total Newbie Seeking Some Sage Advice

I'm with generic on this one.

7.1, or better yet, 7.2 is fantastic... when you have the room. But when you dont, you dont. The couch is against the rear wall meaning youd have to set the rear surrounds directly over the listeners head (in THX configuration) and likely sending confusing reflections. Even in standard "corner" setup your rears would be where the sides should be and the sides somewhere inbetween those and the fronts, kind of like secondary fronts. Perhaps this setup could work with some in-walls (gasp!) but I agree, there is no shame in a really nice 3.1 (or 3.2 setup.

Check out this link describing how this is achieved with the highly acclaimed DCM time window Surroundscape:

Unfortunately these speakers are super rare, and even harder to pry someones hands from them.

Regardless, this is just to illustrate that achieving a great theater sound doesnt need to have a bunch of speakers around you. But if you really want surrond speakers, a 5.1 system like nova describes seems like the best option.

As a side note, Those B&W's seem pretty close together. I'd try getting em out around 8' apart and play with the toe angle. I like the 601's with a little toe-out, but if your amp is a bit more laid-back i'd trie them starting out at toed-in around 5
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post #17 of 28 Old 05-19-10, 06:14 PM
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Re: Total Newbie Seeking Some Sage Advice

oh and one more thing, for 3 grand you could get a killer 3.1 setup for 3 grand on the 2nd hand market with a little digging and research.

a conservative budget -
receiver 600
amp 400 (3 channel x 200W)
front speakers 800 (floor-standers with serious cabinet space)
center 300 (made by same company that has same compliment of drivers)
sub 600 (can easily find a second had hsu thatll rock your world)

A great setup would be NHT. Like the NHT Evolution P5 for fronts with a threeC center. You could go with an NHT, Velodyne or Hsu sub and have a system thatll p off the neighborhood

Last edited by newrival; 05-22-10 at 11:59 AM.
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post #18 of 28 Old 05-22-10, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Total Newbie Seeking Some Sage Advice

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the great feedback and sorry for the delayed response, but that nasty thing called WORK got in the way. I can see I've got a bit of reading and thinking to do. Still pretty confusing to the untrained, uneducated, wanna-be like me, I'll be researching all your recommendations and coming here before making any purchases.

I did manage to stop by the stereo shop where I picked up the set of B&W 601-S3's that I have and talked with them about building out a budget B&W surround sound system and here's what they recommended. I've also come to the realization/understanding that given my room dimensions that a good 5.1 system is really about the best option. Anything beyond that for my situation I think would be overkill.

The Stereo Shop Recommendations:

* 5.1 Surround Sound System
* Two AVR Options; 1) Integra DTR-40.1 $1000, or 2) Integra DTR-50.1 $1400
Both where THX Cert, however, the higher end unit had ISF flatpanel calibration capabilities -- which the seem to be pushing.
* Fronts: B&W 601s ( I have these already)
* Center: B&W HTM62 $425
* Rears: B&W DS3 (Dipoles) $825/pair
* Sub: B&W ASW620 $650/pair

Fortunately, they had all these components setup in one of their HT Showrooms, so i was able to sit and listen, and I must say, they did sound good, but then again, for the $$$ and from my limited experience, what the hell do I know! lol

I also asked about the B&W 684 HT Kit (Fronts:684's, Center:HTM62, Rears:686's, and Sub:AS610) which went for $2350.


Btw, a couple last questions, what/where is the best place to shop/price/buy B&W equipment and how do people feel about purchasing used or refurb products?

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post #19 of 28 Old 05-22-10, 11:56 AM
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Re: Total Newbie Seeking Some Sage Advice

nothing wrong with used equipment (as i mentioned earlier) it saves you money for the upgrades! and there are ALWAYS be upgrades :
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post #20 of 28 Old 05-22-10, 12:07 PM
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Re: Total Newbie Seeking Some Sage Advice

I've bought used before, but it came with a warranty. You can buy used from a private owner, BUT if it breaks in a day or a year, you are on your own. Some people might have great luck. Not sure.

I think floor demo units or refurbished units with a warranty are a much better way to go and open box items that people returned, but if you want to gamble and go for the huge saving, buy used from private owners.

Last edited by Generic; 05-22-10 at 12:07 PM. Reason: added open box items.


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