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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

Excited to get started here... I have always been a big fan of speakers, I had some near high end gear in my days(Klipsch, Velodyne) but never really got in too deep into the details. To get to it... I am finishing my basement right now and I'm getting close to drywall so I'm ready to get serious about my speaker setup.

The room will be 19 feet front to back. Wall on the right side. From the back forward 5 feet on the left it is 12 feet side to side. And the rest is open all the way to the rest of the basement (40 feet). Hopefully that makes sense. I was thinking going 5.1 since everyone I talk to with 7.1 says its overrated. I will also have 2 speakers not included in the 5.1 that will just be for music(in other areas of the basement such as bar and pool table), and I think they would do best being in the ceiling, but they don't have to be.

My budget is $4000-$6000 for all speakers, amps, processors, ect.(I have a PS3) So, if you were me... what would you build? I know this is a hard quesiton because you can go so many directions.... but that is what I need help with. I can tell you I have been reading reviews on Emotiva and the price point on their gear is very reasonable. I would to use them as a benchmark design and if I can do better, I certainly will!



Thanks for the help in advance!!

-Nate :help:
 

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Nate,
You will certainly be able to put together an excellent HT for that budget. I would start off with what speakers you want to get as it can/will have an impact on the AVR and or Amplification you might need. In addition, the speakers and the Room make the biggest impact on the sound of your HT.

I would go audition some speakers. B&W, Paradigm, Focal, PSB, Revel, MartinLogan, Thiel, Dynaudio, and Totem are some of my favorites.

Emotiva makes some very nice amplifiers. I am especially fond of the XPA-1 and XPA-2. I would definitely recommend some other SSP/AVR's than the UMC-1 however.

Also, how much Music listening do you plan to do? If a high priority, it really might make sense to allocate maximum resources to the Front or Mains and spend less on the Surrounds.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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While speaker preferences are highly subjective, I think it's worth doing some research on constant directivity speakers. After reading some of the research conducted by Floyd Toole on the importance of having speakers with uniform performance across a wide angle, and coming across www.gedlee.com, I believe you can narrow your options of quality speakers by knowing their measurements. Good measurements won't guarantee a speaker that's right for you, but bad measurements are almost certain to guarantee a speaker that doesn't satisfy you.

As Jungle Jack said, you'll probably want to consider your intended application to help figure out how best to allocate your budget.

Good luck in your search!
 

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I like cdn tiger's suggestion for controlled directivity. The advantages are countless IMO.

Excited to get started here... I have always been a big fan of speakers, I had some near high end gear in my days(Klipsch, Velodyne) but never really got in too deep into the details. To get to it... I am finishing my basement right now and I'm getting close to drywall so I'm ready to get serious about my speaker setup.
Before you put drywall in, I recommend heading on over to the acoustics / room board here at HTS. There might be things you can do that will allow you to maximize the room.

The room will be 19 feet front to back.
Not the deepest room in the world. It may be best to absorb any sound arriving from behind you.

And the rest is open all the way to the rest of the basement (40 feet)
Getting deep bass in such rooms can be problematic. My suggestion is to lay off on the subwoofers for the time being and focus your budget on Fronts + cheap surrounds. That way, you can really "prep up" for two, even four quality subwoofers that will do your setup justice.

Hopefully that makes sense. I was thinking going 5.1 since everyone I talk to with 7.1 says its overrated.
I actually prefer 7.1 over 5.1. My suggestion is not to spend a world on surrounds, but four cheapo surrounds like the KEF Q100:

http://www.accessories4less.com/mak...1/4-inch-Black-Bookshelf-Speakers-pair/1.html

should do the trick. It's up to you. 5.1 or 7.1, the main focus of the budget should be those two front speakers that anchor just about everything. There's instances where I even recommend skipping a center speaker if it means better mains.

I will also have 2 speakers not included in the 5.1 that will just be for music(in other areas of the basement such as bar and pool table), and I think they would do best being in the ceiling, but they don't have to be.
I would recommend in wall rather than in ceiling. Pioneer has some nice CST in-walls you might consider.

So, if you were me... what would you build?
Well, there's 100s of things you could choose to do. Go for clean dynamics and "attack" with three JTR Triple 8HT-LPs up front. Go for musical resolution and deep soundstage with a pair of Philharmonic 2s. Maybe a pair of the Funk Audio 8.2 monitors as well. Lots of choices.

For receivers I don't recommend spending a world, but I do at the same time recommend getting something with useful preamplifier outputs and reliable amplifier current reserves and output stages.

I can list specific products all day long but I guess I need to first hear more from yourself.. goals... preferences.. etc. :T

I can tell you I have been reading reviews on Emotiva and the price point on their gear is very reasonable. I would to use them as a benchmark design and if I can do better, I certainly will!
I have not heard the most positive things regarding Emotiva's speakers, nor is their performance in any way supported by measurement. Their amps are fantastic though.



Thanks for the help in advance!!

-Nate :help:[/QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow I knew this would be complicated but I didn't think I would have so many things to consider. I went to the site and read a little on the constant directivity. I didn't read his white paper yet, but I'm a little confused still. Are you saying I can achive this with buying his speakers or any speakers? His seem like they are out of my budget.

More info on what I'm looking for....
I will probably be listening to music a third of the time and two thirds will be watching movies. So a versatile speaker that can handle both rather well would be better than a set that is geared for one or the other.
I also want these babies to he able to slam if called upon to do so. :bigsmile:
I maybe asking too much in my budget range but that's the goal. Btw, my theatre will be set up stadium seating style. With the back couch up about 12inches.

I will be checking out speakers this weekend to see which ones speak to me. I'll post some brands I like and dislike after.

Thanks for all the help. I'll be reading a lot of posts this weekend!
 

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Hello,
This really should be fun so do not get too caught up in the tech. Simply, go out and listen to some Speakers and ideally take notes on the ones that stand out to you. From there, weigh to pros and cons of the contenders.

While I could easily put together a 5.1 HT for your budget with gear I am fond of, I do think it best for you to find speakers that appeal to you. Problem is, with the wide range in speaker pricing, it is not possible to know what the remaining funds will be after finding the speakers you want. And again, Speakers and the actual Room they will be setup make the largest impact on the Sound Quality.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Although a room thats open to other parts is hard to fill with sound forgoing a subwoofer is not going to help make movies sound fulfilling.
For speakers and a sub packages have a look at SVS. I have one of their subs and could not be happier. Although you cant listen to them first I can without hesitation recommend them highly. They only sell on line saving you as much as half the cost over Brick and Mortar store fronts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's just audio for the budget of $6000.

I went to a couple stores today and heard lots of big name brands. I can tell you that I fell in love with B&W... amazing sound. I would have to say that I like the Martin Logans better in the sweet spot but that's not how I will be listening to my music. I'm actually considering moving in a different direction now. I realize that I will be spending most of my time listening to music while playing pool or at the bar, ect... than listening to music in my theatre room. I'm thinking of getting a great pair of tower speakers for the main part of my basement and then possibly using my Klipsch RP-3s in my theatre(and buying matching surround and center channel).

I listened to the 684s and 683s. I feel like the 684s sounded better for some reason even though they did not have the range the 683s had. Anyone else have the same thoughts? Maybe it was the amp, I know they were only getting about 80 watts each from the receiver that was powering them. Could that be it?
 

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I can tell you that I fell in love with B&W... amazing sound. I would have to say that I like the Martin Logans better in the sweet spot but that's not how I will be listening to my music.
Gotcha. What you need is a speaker with a good, but a wide sweet spot. I would be looking into the Philharmonic Audio 2s:

http://philharmonicaudio.com/philharmonic2.html

These will have top notch resolution, a wide sweet spot, very room-friendly, and the open back midrange should give you some of that depth that the martin logans offer. Try to audition a dennis murphy design if you can... get in touch with owners of Salk speakers for example.

As for something you can audition where you live, look into the Pioneer S-3EX. Amazing speakers with a very resolving coaxial tweeter/woofer.

See also: the JBL Professional LSR 6332 . A local guitar shop somewhere near you really should have these or at least their siblings large studio monitors up for an audition.

The Gedlee Nathan speakers you were looking at earlier are actually a great choice as well. They expect you to implement a multiple sub approach.

I'm actually considering moving in a different direction now. I realize that I will be spending most of my time listening to music while playing pool or at the bar, ect... than listening to music in my theatre room. I'm thinking of getting a great pair of tower speakers for the main part of my basement and then possibly using my Klipsch RP-3s in my theatre(and buying matching surround and center channel).
My only issue is that "moving around" is not a time where you even listen all that critically to "stereo". At the very least, think it over financially. You might want more even response and more output, rather than the speakers that wow you in the audition. I'd consider a pair of Infinity Primus P363 for this role thanks to its wide and even dispersion and great drivers... and still spend big money on some cool HT speakers :bigsmile:

I listened to the 684s and 683s. I feel like the 684s sounded better for some reason even though they did not have the range the 683s had. Anyone else have the same thoughts? Maybe it was the amp, I know they were only getting about 80 watts each from the receiver that was powering them. Could that be it?
Potentially... B&W speakers are known to be taxing loads. My guess would be that the 2.5 way had smoother driver integration than the 3-way with dual woofers. It's possible you were too close to the latter where it might need more distance for the drivers to properly integrate together. I'm not the biggest fan of these speakers so I can't really comment on them to a great extent.
 

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Hello,
If your Room can fit them, a pair of used Dunlavy SC-IV's would be utterly fantastic if wanting to setup one pair of Speakers. They are not always easy to find, but if there are any available on Audiogon that are nearby, there are amazing. They are literally about 6 feet tall, but are surprisingly easy to drive.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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A thought that you might consider since you haven't put up drywall yet, installing some IB subwoofers if you have the ability.

Just an idea...
That is a cool idea, although the IB construction will need to be well done to avoid vibration. Fi Q18s are a wicked driver for infinite baffle installations.
 

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Yeah, there are a few issues that need to be addressed if an IB is the right route, but if you can get one installed properly, I think that would end up being the best solution for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great advice people! I really appreciate it.

I am now really leaning towards closing off the theatre somewhat with an entry way (no door) instead of leaving it open. I think this will trap the bass and create a better soundstage.

I looked for a pair of Dunlavys near Cincinnati but could not locate them. They sound amazing, but they are like 20 years old. Are you telling me for $2500 I can't find a pair better for filling a large room with sound? I really like the quality and sound from the b&ws, I have a hard time imagining that a twenty year old speaker could sound as good. But you guys tell me I'm not the expert.:dontknow:

Thanks
Nate
 

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For $2500, the new Golden Ear Triton Two has been getting rave reviews. These are new speakers designed by Sandy Gross, who was largely responsible for both Polk Audio and Definitive Technology. Not too bad a pedigree. The company built its own anechoic chamber, which is promising. But it seems odd that I haven't come across any speaker measurements from them. :dontknow:

And if you're hoping for even newer speakers, I just read somewhere that Revel will be introducing the Performa 3 series of speakers soon. I'd love to be able to hear these at some point...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
CdnTiger,
I acutally ended up purchasing a pair of the Golden Ear Triton Twos.:bigsmile: Their price goes up on Feb. 1st to $3000. I actually got a deal from a local authorized deal for the pair at $2000! I think these babies will have plenty of bass to fill my basement with 1200 watt amps in each tower. Although I was more impressed with the highs and midrange of these speakers. These two speakers will be in my main bar/pool table area.

As for the theater...

I ended up using my Klipsch RP-3s and matched them with the RC-7 and RS-7s that I found online for a good price. I took this set up over to my friends theater who has the Klipsch THX Ultra 2s and two subs. We watched some good movie clips and then replaced his speakers with mine. Mine actually sounded just as good if not better! The surrounds sounded fuller(is that a word?). There was MORE bass and we had my RP-3s dialed in flat, no sub. Granted they did not go as deep as his subs but I actually liked the sound of the RP-3s 10inch subs better than the two 12" subs he had. Although I may use a 15" sub to help get those extra lows.

Now to more questions...

Amp, Reciever, preamp, processor... what to do what to do...
I have tossed around the idea of an Integra Reciever (maybe 70.3). That could power everything. Or waiting for the new Emotiva processor(January sometime) and then buy Emotiva amps to match. Or getting a 40.3 and then using the preouts for another amp to run just the Golden Ears... Not sure yet. I still have lots of time.
Please help me with your imput. I would like to keep this part below $2000 but I'm not set at that price. I'll move up to $3000 but it would really have to be worth it.

-Nate
 

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Nate,
Congrats amigo on some fantastic Speakers. May they bring you decades of sonic bliss. In spite of the SC-IV's age, their Resale Value and the usual sold as soon as they are listed desirability is legion. They are truly the size of the $150,000 Speakers like the Focal flagship Utopia's and the Wilson Audio Alexandria's, put out astonishingly high amounts of quality sound, and are even a relatively benign Amplifier Load.

There is also still solid post sale support for them from some 3rd Party Companies. I really think they really might become highly collectible in the future. You do need a large room as they will literally dominate a standard living room.
Cheers,
JJ
 
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