or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto › designing home A/V set up, more about music than home theater
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

designing home A/V set up, more about music than home theater

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
I have been doing research over the past 3 months on a 3 zone music/home theater set up for my house. It has been dropped now to 2 zones because of the openness between the family/living room and the kitchen. This post is more about AV speaker options:

For the AV reciever I am going with either the Yamaha A1000 or Pioneer Elite VSX 33.

Here are the various speaker brands I have been looking at:
-Triad
-Speakercraft
-Sonance
-Martin Logan
-Proficient
-Definitive Tech
-B&W

Anyone have experience with any of these and if so how would you rate this list, i.e., which would be the top two best options?

I personally am leaning toward a Def Tech set-up.

The family room is going to have the center in the ceiling (directly over the wall mounted TV, it is one of those that is actually angled out toward the room), 2 floors for the L&R, and two ceiling mounted speakers for the rears (with pivoting directional tweeters).
post #2 of 56
What is your total budget? On that list the Martin-Logan speakers are the best in my experience. I would listen to them first and see if you can audition with the same receiver you plan to use. I'm not a huge fan of receivers as I think the sound quality suffers. Personally I would get a good "soundbar" for HT viewing like a ZVOX and build a real nice two channel audio system. That would maximize your music enjoyment. Also, in my opinion surround sound is highly over-rated. Getting the timbre and brand identical across Left - Center - Right is the most important. The Oppo players have a nice combination of great sound and video quality. I would look closely at them as a reasonably priced source.
post #3 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
What is your total budget?

On that list the Martin-Logan speakers are the best in my experience. I would listen to them first and see if you can audition with the same receiver you plan to use.

I'm not a huge fan of receivers as I think the sound quality suffers. Personally I would get a good "soundbar" for HT viewing like a ZVOX and build a real nice two channel audio system. That would maximize your music enjoyment.

Also, in my opinion surround sound is highly over-rated. Getting the timbre and brand identical across Left - Center - Right is the most important.

The Oppo players have a nice combination of great sound and video quality. I would look closely at them as a reasonably priced source.

For budget for the, family room and deck, I would like to be around $6k (including all speaker wires, line conditioner(s), univeral remote, speakers, A/V reciever, TV [prob. going with either the 58" Panny VT or 58" Sam 8000 series], mounts, 2 deck speakers, and Sonos system)

I did listen to the Martin Logan, they sounded great, but my fear is that they are far to focused/directional for the room. It is about 19x19, with 9ft. ceilings. One wall is completley open to the kitchen and the other wall is 1/2 open to the foyer. Fo rthat reasons I was really considering the Def Tech 8040 bipolar speakers: http://www.definitivetech.com/produc...ctid=BP-8040ST

They are really suppose to be good at filling open rooms, as far as wall mounting or having a sound bar, its not really an option, the TV is going above a fireplace, with a very slim mantel, and I really dont want anything mounted on the wall beneath the TV (both for cosmetic reasons and it would bump the TV up to a weird height and uncomfortable viewing angle).

I am def. going to stick with the same brand throughout the set up to ensure the timbre matching (this is how that is achieved correct?) i.e., here is the set up I was considering:
(2 of these)
http://www.definitivetech.com/produc...ctid=BP-8040ST
(2 of these for rears)
http://www.definitivetech.com/produc...all/In-Ceiling Speakers&productid=DI 6.5S
(1 of these for center)
http://www.definitivetech.com/produc...px?path=Center Channel Speakers&productid=UIW RCS III

What is the Oppo player?
post #4 of 56
You seem wedded to the DefTechs but I think they are not a great value or sound. Since you are mounting a TV above the fireplace I would just go with two front speakers. My brother did this with Maggie 1.6s which has worked well. It is not as good on dialogue in some ways (slight loss perhaps) but the benefit in money saved allowing for a nicer speaker and amp is well worth it. Plus you said you were more interested in music than movies. The new Martin Logans I heard at the CEDIA home theater show we have in Atlanta. They sound fantastic. I might also look at the Usher Audio line and that of Sonus Faber if you want a finely crafted two way monitor approach.
post #5 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
You seem wedded to the DefTechs but I think they are not a great value or sound. Since you are mounting a TV above the fireplace I would just go with two front speakers. My brother did this with Maggie 1.6s which has worked well. It is not as good on dialogue in some ways (slight loss perhaps) but the benefit in money saved allowing for a nicer speaker and amp is well worth it. Plus you said you were more interested in music than movies.

The new Martin Logans I heard at the CEDIA home theater show we have in Atlanta. They sound fantastic. I might also look at the Usher Audio line and that of Sonus Faber if you want a finely crafted two way monitor approach.

Thanks for the input, I will def. look into those. I can get the def. tech whole line for 20% off, so that drops the price a little. The only other speakers I have listened to were B&W, Martin Logan and Paradigm.
post #6 of 56
I'd just go with Emotiva for electronics and maybe speakers too. Nothing wrong with receivers that can manage real power output. Rotel is also pretty good. I am not a huge fan of spending a ton on your front end, since a) nobody can tell the difference double-blind and b) technology changes and why blow a ton on a 5.1/7.1 setup that will then be superseded in a couple of years, better to spend less now and replace as things develop.

I'll agree with ArtisanFan on surrounds - buy cheap ones, they just don't matter all that much unless you are always watching movies with jets flying from back to front or something.

For speakers, it is ridiculously personal to the room they are in. A good shop should let you trial the speakers in your house, but that seems to be rare nowadays. I am partial to ProAcs personally, but they are too expensive if you are thinking surround and multiple rooms.

If you are setting them up on one end of a large room where you will be getting reflections off of one side and it is open on the other - you should consider room treatments or how sound will move around your apartment - people often overlook this and the room is probably 50%+ of the sound quality you are going to get. You can make your own sound diffusers, etc, to get rid of standing waves, etc., but it is definitely a bit of an art and science both.

Also, I would probably skip Sonos and just get an iPod Touch and a couple of Airport Expresses for multi-zone music.
post #7 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by akatsuki View Post
I am not a huge fan of spending a ton on your front end, since a) nobody can tell the difference double-blind and b) technology changes and why blow a ton on a 5.1/7.1 setup that will then be superseded in a couple of years, better to spend less now and replace as things develop.

I don't agree with this. Source make a difference in sound quality.
post #8 of 56
Def Tech is pretty horrid. I'd strongly encourage you to listen closer before you settle on them. I like B&W but I know they're not for everyone. It's been a while since I was in the game, but Paradigm used to be one of the kings of value, sounded fantastic, and was competent enough in the bass department to do home-theater double-duty. I also love love love M-Ls but they are finicky about placement and associated equipment, and also, apparently since I love them, I'm a philistine.
post #9 of 56
If you have a decent room acoustically, magnepan 1.6s with a good separate pre-amp/amp combo will sound better than anything else at that price point. You might lose a little bit on the low end however, and it is difficult to match a sub to planar speakers.
Def tech is really a poor choice, especially if music is your primary objective. What's your budget?

Finally, surround is horribly overrated if you care about audio quality. A good 2.0 or 2.1 system will provide infinitely more bang for your buck.
post #10 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
Def Tech is pretty horrid. I'd strongly encourage you to listen closer before you settle on them.

I like B&W but I know they're not for everyone. It's been a while since I was in the game, but Paradigm used to be one of the kings of value, sounded fantastic, and was competent enough in the bass department to do home-theater double-duty.

I also love love love M-Ls but they are finicky about placement and associated equipment, and also, apparently since I love them, I'm a philistine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valence View Post
If you have a decent room acoustically, magnepan 1.6s with a good separate pre-amp/amp combo will sound better than anything else at that price point. You might lose a little bit on the low end however, and it is difficult to match a sub to planar speakers.
Def tech is really a poor choice, especially if music is your primary objective. What's your budget?

Finally, surround is horribly overrated if you care about audio quality. A good 2.0 or 2.1 system will provide infinitely more bang for your buck.

Could either or both elborate on Def Tech being a 'poor choice' and 'pretty horrid'?

In my time travelling to various high-end AV stores (i.e., not Bestbuy, etc.) and speaking to numerous installers and salespeople, Def Tech came VERY highly reccomended for the set up I am looking to do in my pricepoint. This was even so from places that didnt carry Def Tech.

It seems they have won numerous AV related industry awards, and after comparing them to the ML's (which as mentioned, sounded good but too focused for my room) and the B&W's (sounded far too bright for my liking) the DT's sounded just as good if not better.

Futhermore, on the various audiophile boards/review sites, DT's get nothing but high praise all around....

Just trying to get an idea what these statements are based on before following them? is it personal experience?

And as far as going 2.1, I did say 'more about music' in the title but I should have been more clear... watching blu-ray, sporting events etc. is a VERY large part of this set up. if I had to put percentages on my interests with this system, it would be prob. 60/40 [music/video]
post #11 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pg600rr View Post
Could either or both elborate on Def Tech being a 'poor choice' and 'pretty horrid'?

In my time travelling to various high-end AV stores (i.e., not Bestbuy, etc.) and speaking to numerous installers and salespeople, Def Tech came VERY highly reccomended for the set up I am looking to do in my pricepoint. This was even so from places that didnt carry Def Tech.

It seems they have won numerous AV related industry awards, and after comparing them to the ML's (which as mentioned, sounded good but too focused for my room) and the B&W's (sounded far too bright for my liking) the DT's sounded just as good if not better.

Futhermore, on the various audiophile boards/review sites, DT's get nothing but high praise all around....

Just trying to get an idea what these statements are based on before following them? is it personal experience?

And as far as going 2.1, I did say 'more about music' in the title but I should have been more clear... watching blu-ray, sporting events etc. is a VERY large part of this set up. if I had to put percentages on my interests with this system, it would be prob. 60/40 [music/video]

One last thing, pertaining to surround being over rated for audio quality, this is pretty obvious as I wouldn't be utilizing it when listening to music on my system, but it will be quite nice when watching movies, sporting, etc. so it really is a necessity for me.
post #12 of 56
This is the only place that I've seen such negativity towards Def Tech speakers. I went with them and absolutely love them. I too have a large cavernous room such as yours and the sound is very good. Once I get some accoustical panels up, it will sound super.
post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsBrokerTX View Post
This is the only place that I've seen such negativity towards Def Tech speakers.

You need to get out more.
post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsBrokerTX View Post
This is the only place that I've seen such negativity towards Def Tech speakers. I went with them and absolutely love them. I too have a large cavernous room such as yours and the sound is very good.

Once I get some accoustical panels up, it will sound super.

Have you listened to the damn things? For the price a resounding meh.
post #15 of 56
Is there any way for you to mount the TV at a watchable height?? The TV over the fireplace "looks" nice from a designer's point of view but makes for lousy viewing. And you're better off wall mounting the center channel than mounting it in the ceiling.

And if you've heard DefTech and love it, then go for it. But if you're basing the love off of reviews and recommendations, better go audition before making up your mind.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto › designing home A/V set up, more about music than home theater