1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was. I'd like to keep you abreast of the improvements we've made over the past few days.
    @notification emails have been added, in response to user requests

    Attached images are now Full Size by default

    Users are now all allowed three (3) links in their signature files,

    SSL certification is now in place so you can all browse securely.

    The server has been reconfigured so that site speeds will improve.

    Notice: Right now the site is slow because we are fixing all the images from the past 4 months. Many of you noticed that these were missing, and we are fixing that problem now. Unfortunately, it is taking up a lot of resources and causing the site to be slow.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

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

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by pg600rr, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. pg600rr

    pg600rr Senior member

    Messages:
    1,935
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Location:
    land o the green
    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).
     
  2. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

    Messages:
    32,345
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    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.
     
  3. pg600rr

    pg600rr Senior member

    Messages:
    1,935
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Location:
    land o the green
    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?
     
  4. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

    Messages:
    32,345
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    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.
     
  5. pg600rr

    pg600rr Senior member

    Messages:
    1,935
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Location:
    land o the green
    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.
     
  6. akatsuki

    akatsuki Senior member

    Messages:
    2,648
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, SF, Tokyo
    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.
     
  7. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

    Messages:
    32,345
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    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.
     
  8. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

    Messages:
    14,658
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Purseforum
    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.
     
  9. Valence

    Valence Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    72
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    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.
     
  10. pg600rr

    pg600rr Senior member

    Messages:
    1,935
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Location:
    land o the green
    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.


    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]
     
  11. pg600rr

    pg600rr Senior member

    Messages:
    1,935
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Location:
    land o the green
    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.
     
  12. InsBrokerTX

    InsBrokerTX Senior member

    Messages:
    155
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    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.
     
  13. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

    Messages:
    32,345
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    This is the only place that I've seen such negativity towards Def Tech speakers.

    You need to get out more. [​IMG]
     
  14. thenanyu

    thenanyu Senior member

    Messages:
    2,380
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco
    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.
     
  15. afterglow

    afterglow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    57
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    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.
     
  16. pg600rr

    pg600rr Senior member

    Messages:
    1,935
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Location:
    land o the green
    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.


    The mantel is only 53" up so its not super high, TV will mount a few inches above that and I am using the low profile Sanus VT-25 which has the tilt feature, so TV will be angled down (can do about 15 degrees of tilt I believe. Hopefully this will work, and I am going plasma so the viewing angle should be better.

    For various reasons this is really the only place the TV can go in the room, one wall is totally open to kitchen area, back wall is almost totally open to foyer, other wall has three windows and a door to a porch taking up pretty much all of it, so that only leaves the fireplace wall.

    I would love to put the center beneath the TV, but that also is close to impossible the way things are set up. The in ceiling center I choose sounds really good for a inceiling imo. It is angled diagionally out, instead of straight down. When I listened to it, there was no way of telling it was in the ceiling, even though I knew that was where the sound was coming from, it was very strange.

    As for the Def. Techs, I have listened to them numerous times now, both against the ML's, the B&W's, and the Paradigm's, and thought they sounded better than all of the above. of course that was listening to the comparablly priced versions of those other brands. I am sure the next level ML's for instance would blow the Def Techs out of the water, but I am not looking to spend that kind of dough, especially as I do not consider myself an audiophile, but more as just a person who enjoys music everyday and entertaining.
     
  17. pg600rr

    pg600rr Senior member

    Messages:
    1,935
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Location:
    land o the green
    went and listened to the PSB Imagine T Towers today, they sounded pretty good, but I am finding the more I listen to speakers in my price range the more I cannot tell much of a difference, whether that be Def. Techs or whatever else....

    I did talk to the sales guy who has been in the biz 35+ years and we spoke in depth about ML's and B&W's, and about my specific room. He strongly suggested that while the ML's electrostatic's were wondeful speakers, they would not be a good choose for my room, where there is a need for wider dispersion, and the B&W's would be too 'bright'.

    I am interested in audtioning the numerous other suggestions from this thread but am having a hard time locating the products locally. This place had some of the mentioned brands but nothing near my price range... some of their speakers were $50k+ a piece, the PSB's were the only thing they carried anywhere near my price.
     
  18. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

    Messages:
    32,345
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    I have a suggestion. Pick out an album you know really well, ideally something more acoustic. Take that to the store and see which sounds more natural.

    PSB is a really great brand in this price range. I think you will find these better built and sounding than DefTechs over time.

    I'm not sure agree with the sales guy on the Martin Logans. The room dimensions you specified should be fine. In fact ML demoed them in a similar-sized room at CEDIA.
     
  19. A Y

    A Y Senior member

    Messages:
    5,592
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    MLs have poor dispersion. Besides bad listening for people who aren't sitting in the center (a bad idea for a home theater kind of setup), it also makes them sound bad in many rooms and seemingly room- and position-sensitive.

    Be patient with your auditions. Don't try to cram everything in one afternoon. Relax, take breaks, spread it out over several days.

    --Andre
     
  20. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

    Messages:
    32,345
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    MLs have poor dispersion. Besides bad listening for people who aren't sitting in the center (a bad idea for a home theater kind of setup), it also makes them sound bad in many rooms and seemingly room- and position-sensitive. Be patient with your auditions. Don't try to cram everything in one afternoon. Relax, take breaks, spread it out over several days. --Andre
    I don't the dispersion pattern limits the listening experience. I tested this by sitting in different area in the CEDIA demo room. I don't think its a big deal anymore. They also have fixed the panel-woofer integration. Martin-Logan considers the dispersion issue to be an advantage... *** What are some advantages of MartinLogan electrostatic speakers? [1] Because the electrostatic diaphragm is essentially massless, it is capable of responding to each individual sonic event with extraordinary speed-from the most subtle background passages to the most explosive transients. There is no lag time which can distort the music. Instead you hear everything as the performer and composer intended. [2] MartinLogan curvilinear line source electrostatic speakers output a more focused dispersion pattern, which maximizes the direct sound field and minimizes the reflected sound fields and room reverberation. This means that you experience more of the program as it was recorded. The sound stage is there, the original room acoustics are preserved and you are transported into the performance. For home theater it means that all of the final mix-effects, dialog and surround-are clearly and accurately reproduced.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by