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cwalk25
02-05-2009, 09:21 AM
Hello all, just recently joined the forum...

I am hopeful that someone can recommend a speaker configuration which would optimize the sound for our main living area in our house. The space that I am filling out is a rectangular shaped living and dining room, approx 30 feet in total length, split roughly evenly between dining and sunken living room. The dining room has standard 9 foot ceilings, while the living area opens up into a larger A-framed space with ceilings approaching 25 feet. A foyer with same height opens off the side of the living room, kitchen off the side of the dining area.

The listening area is via couches and chairs throughout the living room, standard dining room tables and chairs in the other room. In trying to fill the room with sound I am open to a 5.1 speaker configuration or 2 wall mounted bookshelves with a sub. I will be powering the setup with a Denon AVR 689 receiver. I recently returned a Bose Acoustimass system back to the store to put it mildly, just wasnt quite the same sound as I heard in their demo room.

The different ceiling heights, length of the room and trying to avoid a speaker blaring in your ears are the challenges I am facing in this space. So I guess Im looking for advice on:

1. 5.1 or 2+sub speaker setup. Considering an Energy Take Classic 5.1 system
2. Height and position of the wall mounted speakers esp in the living room. Should these be mounted at height level ie 6 ft or positioned higher on the wall 10-15 feet?
3. Where room opens to the larger ceiling height, position a speaker high on this wall back into the living space?

Finally, is there a better way to stream music from laptop / Airport Express than the RCA inputs, would an optical feed improve the sound quality?

Any suggestions would be very helpful. Thanks!

blackraven
02-05-2009, 11:24 AM
Thats a big space. If you want to go the Energy route, I would consider the Energy C-300 floor standers for the front channels and the C-100's or C-50's for the rear and the CC-100 for the center. I would also recommend a 10" sub like a the Energy or Mirage S10. This would sound better than the Take system and would be a very good budget system.

www.audioadvisor.com has a sale going on for the energy speakers. I would also look at their Boston speakers. The CS226 and the corresponding bookshelf and center speakers.

Kevio
02-05-2009, 11:45 AM
Is there video/home theater involved or is this just about music?

If you truly want to fill the space, the 80 W/channel Denon is probably not up to it.

The Denon does have the ability to drive a second zone. So you could set up a second set of speakers in the dining room. If you turn on all speakers at once it will sound like crap because the same signal arrives from multiple places at different times. On the other hand, the speakers in the living room are not going to sound great in the dining room because the sound will have bounced off a bunch of stuff before reaching you.

You do want to get the speakers at ear level to get more direct (as opposed to reflected) sound to listeners.

If you're just playing MP3 files from your computer, it is doubtful you would notice a difference between analog and digital connection. If you're files of higher quality, you might get some benefit from an outboard USB-connected DAC.

cwalk25
02-05-2009, 02:04 PM
thanks, this is purely a music play with no video required - at this point anyways. not necessarily committed to the AVR 689 either, if there's a comparable alternative in the sub $500 range

This Guy
02-05-2009, 02:51 PM
Hello all, just recently joined the forum...

I am hopeful that someone can recommend a speaker configuration which would optimize the sound for our main living area in our house. The space that I am filling out is a rectangular shaped living and dining room, approx 30 feet in total length, split roughly evenly between dining and sunken living room. The dining room has standard 9 foot ceilings, while the living area opens up into a larger A-framed space with ceilings approaching 25 feet. A foyer with same height opens off the side of the living room, kitchen off the side of the dining area.

The listening area is via couches and chairs throughout the living room, standard dining room tables and chairs in the other room. In trying to fill the room with sound I am open to a 5.1 speaker configuration or 2 wall mounted bookshelves with a sub. I will be powering the setup with a Denon AVR 689 receiver. I recently returned a Bose Acoustimass system back to the store to put it mildly, just wasnt quite the same sound as I heard in their demo room.

The different ceiling heights, length of the room and trying to avoid a speaker blaring in your ears are the challenges I am facing in this space. So I guess Im looking for advice on:

1. 5.1 or 2+sub speaker setup. Considering an Energy Take Classic 5.1 system
2. Height and position of the wall mounted speakers esp in the living room. Should these be mounted at height level ie 6 ft or positioned higher on the wall 10-15 feet?
3. Where room opens to the larger ceiling height, position a speaker high on this wall back into the living space?

Finally, is there a better way to stream music from laptop / Airport Express than the RCA inputs, would an optical feed improve the sound quality?

Any suggestions would be very helpful. Thanks!

1. Well first, your room is Huge. That Energy system would be nice to a non audiophile in a small room, but it will be far from impressive in your room. I would say to keep the 5.1 receiver, and just buy a nice pair of speakers for now, since you're mostly listening to music, and buy the surround speakers later as money becomes available.

2. I would say 6ft. would be best. You want the tweeters as close to ear height as possible, so even 3-4 ft. would be better.

I'm just saying you're going to be very underwhelmed unless you can throw more money into this. Big rooms usually mean more money if you want a decent volume level. That Energy's 8" subwoofer will be next to useless in that big of an area. So my vote is to get a nice pair of speakers. Sensitive ones at that.

02audionoob
02-05-2009, 04:13 PM
I'm going to throw a seemingly lame idea out there but I really believe it might be the best way. I'm going to suggest two big, efficient floorstanding speakers. Efficient speakers will of course get loud without huge power. I'd position them on a living wall, maybe out a few feet, aimed toward the dining room. This is the only way I can see getting any level of stereo imaging. Maybe it will actually make sense for the sound to be louder in the living room. I'd space the two speakers a fairly long way apart -- at least half the length of the wall -- and maybe toed in to converge before they reach the dining room.

Kevio
02-05-2009, 05:08 PM
Noob, that doesn't sound lame. It is probably the best solution given the constraints.

blackraven
02-05-2009, 07:21 PM
If its strictly for audio, then forget 5.1 and go with some nice floor standers and a better amp or receiver.

What is your budget?

cwalk25
02-05-2009, 09:14 PM
budget is $1500 receiver and speakers in. the denon can be easily returned so am open to suggestions on a more suitable package. I am definitely warming to the idea of the floorstanding speakers rather than the 5.1 where surround sound is unlikely to be achieved. if this is the best option, would assume best position is at the end of the larger room in corner position?

02audionoob
02-05-2009, 09:42 PM
Whether or not to place the speakers in the corner will depend at least partially on the proportions of the room. I suggested along the wall, spaced apart at half the length of the wall, because I haven't had good results near the side walls. I've gotten reflections that I didn't care for. If you angle the speakers in 45 degrees, the side walls might not do that, but then you lose some of the control of where the sound converges. You can experiment, naturally. How long is the wall?

As for the Denon...sounds like you're taking it back? You probably get more for your money in a music system by going with a two-channel integrated amp or receiver. I guess one obvious example is NAD:

http://www.spearitsound.com/nad/C372.asp

Then for speakers...given that my choice of amps took $600 out of the $1,500 budget, even if I choose the refurb...I'm struggling a little. I'm gonna throw JBL out there, although I don't know for sure. They're usually efficient and can fill up a room, but I wouldn't say they're at NAD's level. I like them overall, but for serious listening I'm pickier than that.

http://www.harmanaudio.com/search_browse/product_detail.asp?urlMaterialNumber=L880CH-Z&status=

Luvin Da Blues
02-06-2009, 04:48 AM
Here's a great deal on a Cambridge 640A v2

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=CA640AV2

blackraven
02-06-2009, 08:04 AM
If you want a high powered receiver, take a look at the Harmon Kardon
3490. 120wpc of high current power. I personally like the 2ch HK receivers if you need a lot of power and are on a budget. The nice thing about them is they have preamp and sub out in case you want to use it as a preamp with a separate power amp.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00198F89A/ref=nosim/coffee0819_18638-20#

For speakers, I would consider the Monitor Audio RS6's, or the PSB Image T-65's. www.saturdayaudio.com has both onsale. Both would be more than adequate for your room size.

http://www.psbspeakers.com/products/Image-Series/Image-T65-Tower

http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/product.php?application=&range=2&product=4&area=2

blackraven
02-06-2009, 08:42 AM
Here's another option for a 2ch power amp http://emotiva.com/upa2.shtm

A few guys here own Emotiva amps and love them.

You will however need a separate preamp. www.spearitsound.com has some used Rotel preamps at a bargain price.