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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have a house that is pre-wired for surround sound for 4 ceiling speakers. The "listening space" of the living room where I'm putting in surround sound is 11 1/2 wide by 15 1/2 deep. So I'm basically 15 1/2 ft away from the tv which is recessed into the wall. The system will mainly be used for watching tv/movies/video games. Maybe 10% of the time will be just music.

I have my eyes set on MartinLogan Helos 100's for the 4 ceiling speakers and a Motion 8 center with the Dynamo700 for sub all powered by either a Pioneer SC-61 or Denon 3312CI. My goal is to spend under 3000 for all the items buying online and will install myself.

Question #1 Am I going overboard with Helos 100's for this room size or would Helos 10's be fine or should I be looking at a different speaker all together for my setup?

Question #2 Is the Motion 8 a good center to pair with the Helos 100's?

Question #3 Is the Dynamo700 a good match with Helo's 100's and the Motion 8 or do I need the Dynamo1000?

Question #4 Which receiver is better for these speakers, the Pioneer SC-61 or Denon 3312CI or do you recommend something else? Also I do play call of duty so I can't have any signal lag issues.

Question #4 After installing everything, is it really difficult to calibrate? I know how to use a receiver on a basic level but I've never tried to calibrate or program one. I'm just wondering if it's absolutely necessary to be an expert or hire one in order to get it to sound good.

That's it for now. I appreciate any/all advice.

Thanks for your time.
 

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Welcome to HTS. :T

Looking over the specifications for those speakers I would be inclined to think they won't match too well. The in-ceilings use a dome tweeter and aluminum cone midrange, while the Motion 8 has a ribbon tweeter and paper based midranges. They're going to have a different sound signature. For the surrounds it probably wouldn't be a real issue -- because they don't provide much but ambience in a lot of instances -- but for the front three I suspect the lack of timbre match might be a bit more pronounced.

Something else that caught my eye... you mentioned the "listening space" is 11.5x15.5, but gave no indication of the ceiling height. That's a critical dimension to factor in when sizing speakers, especially considering you're thinking about putting them in the ceiling.

Is this part of a larger space by chance? If so, that's another thing to factor in, for the subwoofer in particular. With careful aiming you can often get away with speakers smaller then ideal, but you can't really get away with that when it comes to a subwoofer. That will "see" all the space you have, so it would need to be sized accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Jman,

Thank you for replying.

I'm surprised regarding the mismatch between the center and front's since they are all the same manufacturer. I'm guessing the expectation is that if you use ceilings speakers that the center would be a ceiling speaker as well? Either way I can't do that easily because the built in surround has the fronts/rears in the ceiling and the center is about halfway down the wall in the area where the tv goes.

My reasoning for knowing ML's but not sure how to pair them is because of a demo I heard at a professional place had me listen to Helos10's with a Motion 6 with a Dynamo700 which I thought sounded nice. Then I realized how bad I was getting ripped off when I noticed I could get Helos100's online for cheaper than what they wanted for Helos10's. So I naturally figured a step up to a Motion 8 would be good and wasn't sure if the Dynamo700 would still be sufficient.

The room is actually 15.5 deep x 19.5 wide. I said the listening area was only 11.5 wide because that's about 1 extra foot past each side of the left/right ceiling speakers. Also the other side of the room is past where the couch would be so that area is irrelevant. The ceiling is 9ft high. My couch has to be all the way back against the wall and the ceiling rears will unfortunately have to mounted directly above the couch instead of behind a bit. I'm hoping to maybe fire the rears back at the rear wall to reflect to the listening position.

I was hoping to order everything I wanted tonight to have this ready by superbowl time but now I'm starting to think that I need to pay an expert to come out if I want it done right.

I appreciate any other feedback you have.

thanks.
 

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I'm surprised regarding the mismatch between the center and front's since they are all the same manufacturer. I'm guessing the expectation is that if you use ceilings speakers that the center would be a ceiling speaker as well? Either way I can't do that easily because the built in surround has the fronts/rears in the ceiling and the center is about halfway down the wall in the area where the tv goes.
Martin Logan sells a lot of different speakers and subwoofers, so it's certainly possible some of them are not perfect matches. More then likely ML intended those products for different uses.

I've never heard of an in-ceiling center, so I'm not even certain such a thing exists. Few people use ceiling mount speakers in general, so that may ultimately be why there's no matching center. For surrounds that might work, but for mains it seems like a less than ideal solution.


The room is actually 15.5 de
ep x 19.5 wide. I said the listening area was only 11.5 wide because that's about 1 extra foot past each side of the left/right ceiling speakers. Also the other side of the room is past where the couch would be so that area is irrelevant. The ceiling is 9ft high. My couch has to be all the way back against the wall and the ceiling rears will unfortunately have to mounted directly above the couch instead of behind a bit. I'm hoping to maybe fire the rears back at the rear wall to reflect to the listening position.
It may be irrelevant as far as you're concerned, but your sub will beg to differ. A subwoofer only acknowledges physical boundaries (walls, ceilings, etc) so it will "see" all that additional space. When sizing a subwoofer that needs to be accounted for, otherwise it will probably end up being insufficient for your needs.

If you aren't wed to in-ceiling speakers your options would be greater, but I understand esthetics might dictate what you can/can't do.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jman,

A lot of systems use in-ceiling centers when using in-ceiling speakers. Unfortunately this house wasn't designed that way as the center connection is half way up the wall where the tv goes. I would use an in-wall center if I can find a manufacturer that makes in-wall centers that perfectly pair with the in-ceiling surrounds. I think I will start a new post for that.

I just noticed on ML's website that they have a line of in-ceilings called ElectroMotion which seem to use the same materials as the Motion 8 center. This might be a perfect match.

Regarding the sub, it looks like I'm better off going big to accomodate the size of the entire room. I'm thinking the Dynamo1000 should be good then.

If this all works, I still need to figure out the receiver to power this.

thanks.
 

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Jman,

Just an FYI on my response from ML:

"All of our products, regardless of model or technology, are timbre matched.

You can successfully use the Helos 100s and Motion 8 and get a great result."
 

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I still have my reservations -- because the components seem just too disparate for timbre matching -- but I suppose stranger things have happened.
 

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Jman,

Just an FYI on my response from ML:

"All of our products, regardless of model or technology, are timbre matched.

You can successfully use the Helos 100s and Motion 8 and get a great result."
You're getting great info here. I just wanted do to drop in to support what theJman is saying. I called to different speaker manufacturers in the past for the same questions and their answer was the exact same as ML. I also have my reservation on this, espacially that the speakers I was inquiring about, the towers used a "ribbon" tweeter and the center a metal dome tweeter:scratch:

I certainly can't tell you what you can and can't do, and you may love the results if you go with the choices you've mentioned, but my guess is that when your ears are getting more experienced and you ear another proper matching system, you may go "awww shucks!!"

don't forget to post pics of your setup!!

cheers
 

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Jman,

First of all, please disregard my comments earlier about using in-ceiling centers. I later realized you were talking about a real center speaker that does the job of a center doesn't exist or isn't common and I was just talking about a regular surround sound being used a center. My bad but I'm learning fast :doh:

Now with that out of the way...

Yoda/Jman,

I hear both of you loud and clear about the fact that end of the day, the Motion center tweeter is different than the Helos tweeter so there is no way they can sound perfectly the same. I may notice or I may not or it may take a while. Either way, it's not the same. After some more research, it looks like the Helos are the old line and that's why some places are selling them half off. The new line is the ElectroMotion "EM-IC" for the in-ceiling speaker. They are $429 each and have the same folded tweeter as the Motion center does. Therefore it looks like this is the way to go for a proper match. However now the cost goes up significantly :spend:

I think it's time for me to explore other brands. It is just unfortunate to miss out on $249 Helos 100's though.

Thanks.
 

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I hear both of you loud and clear about the fact that end of the day, the Motion center tweeter is different than the Helos tweeter so there is no way they can sound perfectly the same. I may notice or I may not or it may take a while. Either way, it's not the same. After some more research, it looks like the Helos are the old line and that's why some places are selling them half off. The new line is the ElectroMotion "EM-IC" for the in-ceiling speaker. They are $429 each and have the same folded tweeter as the Motion center does. Therefore it looks like this is the way to go for a proper match. However now the cost goes up significantly :spend:
Those EM IC's look a lot closer to a match then the Helo's did; the midranges are still different but the tweeter is the same, so my guess is your ears probably wouldn't detect any significant variation. But that may be a moot point because they're not within your budget. Are in-ceiling speakers mandatory? I know of an inexpensive line of bookshelf speakers with amazing dynamics.

And I still think ML was handing you a bunch of baloney with the "oh sure, they'll match" line... :D
 

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Jman,

Yes, in-ceiling is mandatory mainly because of the wife. Also the house is already pre-wired for it and it wouldn't work out with shelf speakers because a huge fireplace is in the middle of the room.

Tomorrow I'm going to a Magnolia Design Center and I plan on listening to everything I possibly can to find something that works :)

thanks.
 
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