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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so this thread I am starting is the primary reason for jointing HTS. I am building a house in Frankfort, Illinois. I am not an AV enthusiast or anything, but I intend to build a nice theater room in the basement. I will have the builder frame it out and go from there. I am pretty handy and have a father and father in law that are extremely handy. I am hoping my theater will at least be in the same ballpark aesthetically as Mario's (though that will be difficult). I've read all about treating the walls and soundproofing and I think I have a pretty good idea about that. The threads on here have given me some good ideas for the interior design. But when it comes to actually picking out the electronics, I am lost. The more I read, the more lost I get.

Basically, I am looking for a cinema experience in the room. I will be purchasing a 7.2 receiver, and will have a place for 7 speakers and 2 subs. I will probably just start out with five speakers and one sub to save on initial costs. So I need to figure out which three front and two surround speakers to purchase, and which sub to purchase. I intend to have an acoustically transparent screen and have the front three speakers behind the screen. So I guess that means I need towers??? The surrounds will be placed in pillars with acoustically transparent fabric.

You can't ask me what my speaker budget is, because I have no idea! My budget is whatever it takes to produce good, clean sound with crystal clear dialogue and a cinema effect that immerses you in the movie - without going crazy. Since I'm not an enthusiast, I am not going to notice the difference between great speakers and top of the line speakers. There has to be a price point where you start to pay more and more for minimal gains, gains the average person would not even be able to notice. I need to know what that price point is, and what the brand/model speakers will give me the best bang for my buck in that price point.

Lastly, I've been reading the forums so I know people are going to tell me I need to just go listen to different speakers - but quite honestly, speakers turned on in a store are all going to sound good to me. I need someone who has knowledge to just tell me what to buy. If there is a consensus among people with knowledge, then I am sold.

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would highly suggest setting a budget before getting started.
That's the point. I'm trying to set up a budget for the whole project. But how am I supposed to set a speaker budget when I have no clue? It really would just be a random number that I throw out there. I could say, ok my speaker budget is $300. Then I will probably get 50 responses about how I can never get anything worthwhile for that amount. I could say, ok my speaker budget is $10,000 and I will probably get 50 responses about all the top of the line stuff I could get that I most certainly don't need.

My budget is whatever it needs to be.

See why I'm so lost!

:crying:
 

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Mark,

I understand exactly how you feel - when I started my project, I was a complete novice. To drive that point home, I had a Bose Acoustimass 10 and thought I had a great surround sound system...... :coocoo::rolleyesno:

I decided to do what everyone was suggesting - I auditioned as many speakers as I could. Even if you believe you think they will all sound the same, I can tell you for certainty that they will not.

If I may, I would like to make a suggestion - being right in the Chicago area, you have close access to Saturday Audio which has quite a few different speakers. Take a few hours and give these a listen - last time I was there they had them all. Then, let us know which ones you preferred - it might help dial in a bit better what we think might sound better for you.

Goldenear Triton II
PSB Synchrony One
Sonus Faber Liuto
Totem Acoustic Hawks
PSB Image T2

My favorite of the bunch - the Synchrony Ones. You can read my impressions in the google doc in the 1st post of my speaker link. If you like those, I just saw someone selling the center and surrounds in a classified here - might save you a couple of bucks.
 

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We were all there at some point, luckily we had HTS! I would say a good estimate for speakers would be around $3K. For that you could look at some outstanding speakers that won't break the bank. There are some out there for half the price, but they don't really have the clarity. A projector will cost between $2-$3K and the screen can be had for around $500 depending on the size you are looking for. A 7.2 receiver that will drive your speakers without sacrificing power will cost between $1000 and $1500 depending on the manufacturer you go with.

I'll put a list of things that I would personally recommend, hopefully it will give you some ideas at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll put a list of things that I would personally recommend, hopefully it will give you some ideas at least.[/QUOTE]

That would be great! Thank you so much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ALMFamily said:
Mark,

I understand exactly how you feel - when I started my project, I was a complete novice. To drive that point home, I had a Bose Acoustimass 10 and thought I had a great surround sound system...... :coocoo::rolleyesno:

I decided to do what everyone was suggesting - I auditioned as many speakers as I could. Even if you believe you think they will all sound the same, I can tell you for certainty that they will not.

If I may, I would like to make a suggestion - being right in the Chicago area, you have close access to Saturday Audio which has quite a few different speakers. Take a few hours and give these a listen - last time I was there they had them all. Then, let us know which ones you preferred - it might help dial in a bit better what we think might sound better for you.

Goldenear Triton II
PSB Synchrony One
Sonus Faber Liuto
Totem Acoustic Hawks
PSB Image T2

My favorite of the bunch - the Synchrony Ones. You can read my impressions in the google doc in the 1st post of my speaker link. If you like those, I just saw someone selling the center and surrounds in a classified here - might save you a couple of bucks.
I will go there. Thank you! (HTS is great by the way)
 

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Hello,
What 7 Channel AVR did you purchase? This could be an important issue if the AVR does not have Preamp Outputs. Moreover, while I too understand not knowing what your total budget is going to be, regardless what it is I would allocate the lions share towards speakers.

Joe provided a fantastic list of speakers to audition and you are indeed blessed in a place where you have plenty of stores to audition speakers.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Okay let's table budget for now. We do need some restrictions and boundaries from you.

Room size?
Flat TV or Projector?
In-wall/ceiling speakers or exposed floor or on-wall surrounds?
Will the equipment be hidden in closet or exposed in the room or in a rack in the corner?

I've seen and done all these configurations for customers and I'll tell you the better idea you have about how you want the end result to look the better results will be. Try not to change your mind midstream.

You found a great resource in HTS I know we'll all be happy to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
rab-byte said:
Okay let's table budget for now. We do need some restrictions and boundaries from you.

Room size?
Flat TV or Projector?
In-wall/ceiling speakers or exposed floor or on-wall surrounds?
Will the equipment be hidden in closet or exposed in the room or in a rack in the corner?

I've seen and done all these configurations for customers and I'll tell you the better idea you have about how you want the end result to look the better results will be. Try not to change your mind midstream.

You found a great resource in HTS I know we'll all be happy to help.
Room size not completely determined yet, but somewhere around 15 x 22. Projector. Front three speakers to go behind screen. Others to be inside a column behind AT fabric. Subs inside columns at the front of the room. Equipment will be hidden in a closet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Jungle Jack said:
Hello,
What 7 Channel AVR did you purchase? This could be an important issue if the AVR does not have Preamp Outputs. Moreover, while I too understand not knowing what your total budget is going to be, regardless what it is I would allocate the lions share towards speakers.

Joe provided a fantastic list of speakers to audition and you are indeed blessed in a place where you have plenty of stores to audition speakers.
Cheers,
JJ
Not purchased yet. Suggestions on that appreciated as well, but I think that will be a much easier decision for me. Although I would like any thoughts on what features to make sure it has.
 

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Gotcha. Must have misread it as I thought you had already purchased one.
 

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It sounds like you are more concerned with a nice looking theater than having the nicest equipment availabe.

I would highly suggest looking at the SVS speakers currently on sale. They have gotten very positive reviews & can be had at a good price right now.

SCS-02 (M) $249
SCS-02 (C) $ 99
SBS-02 (S) $149 (will need 2 sets for 7.1)
SBS-02 (S) $149
PC-12NSD $699

Total $1345

That will be a great start for your speaker set up. If that's not too much you could consider getting 2 of those subs.
 

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Room size not completely determined yet, but somewhere around 15 x 22. Projector. Front three speakers to go behind screen. Others to be inside a column behind AT fabric. Subs inside columns at the front of the room. Equipment will be hidden in a closet.
If you are looking for a cinema type experience, and you want it loud,
the Boston BT2 could be a nice option - they are made to go behind
the screen, in colums, in cabinets, or on stands. As usual something
like this will depend on budget.
http://soundapproach.com/bostonacousticsbt2highperformancelcrspeaker-p-2354.html

http://www.bostonacoustics.ca/BT2-P78.aspx

There is also a BT1
http://soundapproach.com/bostonacousticsbt1highperformancelcrspeaker-p-2355.html
 

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My take is to spend more on the three front speakers and, as much as possible on good subs. The surrounds,if possible should be of the same brand as the mains. Spend less on the electronics as speakers will have the major influence on the overall experience. I wouldn't go overboard on gobs of watts (I recommend powered subs), as most of the power will be used on the subs. Quality is better than quantity! It is an axiom that "sound quality is in the ears of the listener", so anytime you can hear speakers properly set up, it is an advantage. To that end, maybe you could find some HT Folks in your area willing to let you listen to their set up. Having had several speaker/electronic setups over the years, I have settled on my present system that I would contend rival most any reasonable system. You are doing the correct thing by reading our forum for insights into good sound equipment. Fortunately, there are many reasonably priced stuff out there that will meet your needs. Remember, knowledge is power. Keep us posted- we are here to help. Have fun. Dennis
 

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With no budget but wanting killer fronts behind a screen you'll be calling for quality in-walls. Martin Logan's stealth series in-wall speakers paired with their depth or decent subs would rattle your house down!

Pair with a Marantz AVR and you'll be in HiFi heaven.

A grey AT woven screen will allow audio to pass with almost no reduction in sound and will show you picture better then a micro-perf screen with respect to moire effect.

Are you looking to control lighting or temp as well or just the av stack?
 
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