need help in a new home theater [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : need help in a new home theater

06-20-2004, 09:23 PM
hi all
i really need some help here. i am just building my new apt and need a new home theater. my room is about 400 sq feet and i need the entire works. front, center, surround, sub amp etc. now this room is also going to be an living room so the looks are also imp (but no Bose). Can someone suggest me what is the best option to get. I am not in the US so the best choices I have here are the B&w, Kef, Tannoy, Klipsch, defenetive technology. Dennon, marantz, Yamaha, NAD but if it is something great then I can always import it. Also what cables to use. I would like to mix the speakers of different brands as to get the best sound from the best speaker. Thanks a lot in advance.

06-20-2004, 10:18 PM
For the receiver it doesn't really matter what you select for a sound quality basis - while there may be some differences they won't be really noteworthy most likely - though NAD, Rotel and Arcam are likely a notch up musically - look for the features you need. I personally would like one that is cheap and has preouts so you can upgrade your receiver later with external power amps(Would be nice if it had power in jack to upgrade the preamp section as well - none i know of have these jacks.. -You may never do the upgrade but it's nice to have the option - and plenty of cheaper receivers have it - I chose the Marantz because in Canada it was cheaper had more features was the heavyest (likely due to a better power supply) all the features and the best warranty. Trade-off = awkward ergonomics and functionality - like having to select the amp button on the remote before the power switch. Quirky things like this are annoying.

As for speakers I personally prefer the B & W's - but what I prefer is irrelevant since you're the one listening and buying - Kef is popular lately. You want the front three speakers to be from the same brand IF their center channel is matched properly to the front speakers - the only way this is really done is if the center speaker is the exact same as the front speakers and positioned at the same height. Still some do a better job than others.

You could get away with another brand in the rear for movies though if money is tight...if money is fine then matching all around is nice. The Sub does not need to match - there are good ones from REL in Britain and B&W for that matter.

Just go listen to some set-ups - all the brands you list have good build and have their supporters - all get good reviews all have been around a long time. GO by what YOU hear not what reviewers me or anyone else tells you to buy. Lots of stuff that get lots of support I despise and so might you. No different than movies - not everyone has the same taste in music or movies or tv shows, plays, cars, clothes, women, pets etc - so don't treat audio gear differently - select what you like best - but audition fairly to what you can.

06-21-2004, 04:18 PM
Unless you have budget restrictions, why would you want to mix speaker brands? The thing about surround sound is that you want the tonal characteristics to be as consistent as possible as the sound circles from point to point. If you have speakers that sound significantly different, then it will disrupt the continuity of that surround effect.

With most movie soundtracks, you can get away with using mismatched surround speakers because you don't typically get identical sounds mixed into all five channels equally. Typically, the action is separated into the front and back soundfields, with the back soundfield more for ambient cues. But, as 5.1 gets more widely adopted, there are more soundtracks that have more aggressively mixed soundtracks that blend together the front and back soundfields more seamlessly. With those soundtracks, you will notice mismatches in the surrounds more readily.

And with multichannel music, you absolutely should go with matching surround speakers. With those soundtracks, the instruments and vocals get aggressively steered into the surround channels, and any significant deviations in the tonal characteristics will produce all kinds of imaging problems.