Apt budget newbie setup what do you think? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 22 Old 09-03-11, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Apt budget newbie setup what do you think?

I have asked questions on this forum about setups, and thanks to you guys i have bookshelf speakers in mind that i want to buy. Please keep in mind I live in an apartment building with neighbors, I will never have it at room shaking volume. Just normal volume to watch movies. Im tired of speakers when watching movies the dialogue is low, then when i put up the volume to hear what their saying, when music comes into the movie, its very loud so then I have to lower the volume again, then the constant cycle when dialogue comes back on.
for now i just want a 3.1 set up.

Pioneer S-31B-LR Bookshelf Speakers
http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-S-31B-...5073130&sr=1-1

sombody pointed out the review here
Copied from a Sept 2011 stereophile review
stereophile wrote:
One would expect the sound of a $149.99/pair bookshelf model to include some serious compromises and tradeoffs, but within its size limitations, the Pioneer SP-BS41-LR has none. It is a dynamic, coherent, and colorless reproducer of music, with quite convincing bass for its size. It should give lovers of all genres of music hours of convincing realism in the listening room, so long as those listeners keep their volume levels within reason and dont attempt to rewrite the laws of physics. Sure, spending two or three times as much can buy a number of speakers that will do one or more things better than the Pioneer. But Andrew Jones set himself a very high design goal with the SP-BS41-LR, and he has fully attained that goal-and without compromise. An impressive achievement indeed!


2 following questions. What is a center speaker recommendation? should I go within the same line
Pioneer S-31C Center Speaker
http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-S-31C-...5073130&sr=1-2

can I do with this subwoofer for $99
ESW-C8 Subwoofer System - Black Ash

http://www.wwstereo.com/website/ecom...product=ESW-C8
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-03-11, 01:26 PM
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Re: Apt budget newbie setup what do you think?

At the price Amazon shows I would seriously consider the SVS S Series. The 3 channels, left, right and center, will only cost $4 more than the price Amazon has on the Pioneers. Of course if you can find them for $150, that would be a different story.

http://www.svsound.com/products-spks-sbs01.cfm

As far as the sub goes, it really all depends on what you want and what you can currently afford and finding a happy medium. Everyone on this forum, for the most part, will tell you to spend the money now and get something more like dual Epik Legends, etc. and that's because everyone on this forum, including yours truly, has spend gobs and gobs of money upgrading from $99 subs...

Hope this helps and doesn't actually make things worse.

Regards,
Dale Rasco



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post #3 of 22 Old 09-03-11, 01:50 PM
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Re: Apt budget newbie setup what do you think?

Seems the pioneers might be hard to find for what stereophile quoted, Dale's recommendation might be better if you cant find them for that 150 price.

And having a identical center just like the left and right will work good also, its really your option...
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-03-11, 02:55 PM
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Re: Apt budget newbie setup what do you think?

Quote:
genjix wrote: View Post
Please keep in mind I live in an apartment building with neighbors, I will never have it at room shaking volume. Just normal volume to watch movies. Im tired of speakers when watching movies the dialogue is low, then when i put up the volume to hear what their saying, when music comes into the movie, its very loud so then I have to lower the volume again, then the constant cycle when dialogue comes back on.
What you're talking about, unfortunately for yourself, has nothing to do with the speakers themselves. It's the nature of movie mixing.

Movies, unlike, say, modern pop music or even most tv shows, have an extremely wide dynamic range.

This means, if the average volume level is ~70db, it is possible to have peaks as loud as 95db, and LFE/subwoofer peaks as loud as 105db.

In movie theaters, the reference levels suggest that the average dialogue levels be around 85db (but are generally mixed lower IE 80db), with peaks as loud as 105db, and LFE peaks as loud as 115db.

So that means that if you turn the volume up to around 75db, the recording itself has potential for much louder peaks. Your speakers can't just "compress" that dynamic range like that.

What you need, is to find the "night mode" or "dynamic EQ" mode on your receiver. There are modern digital signal processing algorithms which compress dynamic range for low level listening and let you turn the volume up without peaks much louder. That is what you need.
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-03-11, 03:49 PM
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Re: Apt budget newbie setup what do you think?

Good point GranteedEV. I have found that better speakers and more power does seem to help with dialog definition and clarity. For me this allowed for overall lower listening volumes without as much loss of dialog.
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-03-11, 03:52 PM
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Re: Apt budget newbie setup what do you think?

Hello,
Given your Apartment situation, you really might want to consider a pair of Floorstanding Speakers capable of lower Bass and forgoing a Subwoofer. The Pioneer's are fantastic as they were Designed by Andrew Jones who is behind the TAD Speakers that cost more than many nice vehicles.

Another thing to look into is getting an AVR that offers Audyssey Dynami Volume as it works to to address exactly what you describe. Low dialogue unless you raise the Volume pretty high.

In the absence of DV, Tower Speakers would be a good compromise in that you will get a fuller sound without shaking the walls and getting complaints from your neighbors.
Cheers,
JJ

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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 #7 of 22 Old 09-03-11, 03:54 PM
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Re: Apt budget newbie setup what do you think?

Quote:
TypeA wrote: View Post
Good point GranteedEV. I have found that better speakers and more power does seem to help with dialog definition and clarity. For me this allowed for overall lower listening volumes without as much loss of dialog.
Yes, good speakers will have superior dialogue intelligibility at lower levels, especially if they have flat response +/-2db from 200hz to 8khz and a wide, smooth tapering off axis response. Toole's book, Sound Reproduction also suggests that the more we excite side wall reflections with very similar reflections to the on axis response, the more easy it is for use to have high dialogue clarity at lower listening levels, compared to narrow directivity or acoustically damped reflections.

But IMO the above, won't stop the dynamic musical peaks in movie mixes, from being "too loud for an apartment"

Quote:
Another thing to look into is getting an AVR that offers Audyssey Dynami Volume as it works to to address exactly what you describe. Low dialogue unless you raise the Volume pretty high.
I'm a bit confused regarding Audyssey Dynamic Volume. I've heard that the main thing it does is raise surround speaker levels at low volumes, and alter the frequency response to mimic equal loudness curves. Is this correct?
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-03-11, 07:38 PM
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Re: Apt budget newbie setup what do you think?

Hello,
DV is adjustable so that it can work like a more sophisticated Night Mode. While there definitely has been more Surround in the mix, I have not noticed a huge increase in Bass. However, at low Volumes, it definitely makes Dialogue more clear for me.

I only use this when I have Guests over and wake up before them as I tend to be an early riser. Otherwise, I do not use it. Just thinking of Apartment HT, where Neighbors can really make HT quite frustrating which is why I was throwing out there using Towers and not a Subwoofer.
Cheers,
JJ

HT
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)
Amplification: Aragon 8008bb, Parasound HCA-3500, Parasound HCA-2205 AT, Parasound HCA-1000a
AVR/SSP: Denon AVR-4520CI
Electronics: OPPO BDP-93
Gaming Consoles: Sony PS4, Xbox 360 S (250 gb)
Display: Panasonic TC-P65ZT60, Sony KDL-55EX500, Sony KD-34XBR910
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post #9 of 22 Old 09-03-11, 10:20 PM
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Re: Apt budget newbie setup what do you think?

Great options were already given i just want to say one thing , maybe you will be on a budget but even with a budget you can get better , regarding quality ( maybe this is one of the reasons that you think why your current system - this reading what you wrote till now ) the lack of quality maybe is affecting your listening . At amazon i would take the Wharfadale or at a Accessories4less i would take the KEF Iq 30 or the Q100/300 .

With these speakers you would improve the quality of your system and sound and keeping everything in a budget .
You also have Newegg


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post #10 of 22 Old 09-04-11, 10:56 AM
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Re: Apt budget newbie setup what do you think?

I wonder how similar the $99 pioneers at best buy are to the pair the stereophile review features: Model: SP-BS21-LR | SKU: 1148218
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