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  1. #1
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    Are Home Theatres any good for music??

    Hi
    I have a nice music stereo, a NAD amp and Mission Speakers. They are about 11years old now. The speakers are a bit big for the new home so i wish to buy something small that can be mounted on the wall but has big speaker sound. I have looked at Buying 2 small speakers and a sub but the cost is quite high for just basic speakers ..approx $500. So i am now considering buying a Sony Home Theater "STRDE598" or similar for $350. It comes with all the speakers, amp but no cd/dvd. I have those all ready.
    My concern is that it will not sound nice for music listening. That is what it will get for most of the time. Can they be adjusted to provide a balanced sound for music? As opposed to just shaking bass and all top end? In other words, is a basic Sony home theatre system any good for All home audio entertainment?

    Any thoughts ?

    cheers
    kev

  2. #2
    Forum Regular BinFrog's Avatar
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    Go listen to it in a store and see for yourself.

  3. #3
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Do you believe in fairy tales?

    If you really, really think that an all in one that includes five teeny tiny tinny speakers, a common bass box and a receiver can compete with old but fairly decent separates, then it would seem so.

    Let me just say that your concerns are well founded. As the other guy said. go have a listen for yourself.

  4. #4
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    Keep the big speakers, unless there is a real problem with them. Sound for sound, they are tough to beat. I would never have HT speakers that are not excellent for two-channel audio. In fact, many of the newer HT tracks are excellent recordings, a better pair of main speakers will shine. With good mains, you can go with a "virtual" center channel to good effect. I have a similar situation with a venerable pair of Vandersteens, the wife absolutely hates them. To replace them with something smaller (but comparable) would cost some bucks.

    I did not have a solution until I got involved in a couple of DIY projects. I'll end up spending something like $1000.00 for three monitors and two subs, but both the Lady and I are pleased. Other than DIY, no way I would afford the cost to do it.

    jocko

  5. #5
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    The "all in one" HT systems will not come close to your old NAD. But you can put together a nice HT system that will do a good job with music too. There are plenty of good receivers & bookself speakers out there.

    What is your budget?
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  6. #6
    Kam
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    filet - o - fish Kam's Avatar
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    one mini piece of general advice i can share is to go slow. (and if this is all stuff you already know, just ignore) if this is something you spend a lot of time doing, either listening to music or watching movies, then build your system over time. i had a two channel only system for quite a few years before slowly progressing up the food chain to a home theater. even with movies being my primary use, i stuck with two channel because it was all i could afford at the time and i knew exactly what i wanted. i just had to piece it together slowly. it's an expensive hobby, so there's nothing wrong with auditioning things over a long period of time, or at least till you are really comfortable. but, one big thing already mentioned is to audition and compare things and remember one key as well, if its a mass market place you are checking the system out at, the settings may not be truly optimal on that system. take audition material with you, cds or dvds that you are intimitately familiar with to test out the system. i have cds and dvds that i always take with me to check systems out, they dont have to be 'reference' discs, but discs that you know inside and out so you know what you are listening/looking for.
    if you hear that sony system and think it sounds great, still wait. if there's a high end store near you just go and check it out, try and listen to a ridiculously expensive system just to listen to it. if you are primarily a music person, than stick with two channels and pour your money into that. if you end up with a pair of Watt/puppys and some marc levinson/ proceed front ends, i'm pretty sure you'd be happy with its performance even on movies.
    and have fun in the process!

    peace
    k2
    /create

  7. #7
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    One other tidbit that Kam hinted at.

    When auditioning these sysstems, concentrate on their ability to do justice to your music. You'll find many, many posts complaining that their systems sound great on HT but suck for music. But, I can't seem to find any that say they sound great for music but suck for HT.

  8. #8
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    Thanks everybody, its all good advice. I will take more time to look around especially when i hear you say that some HT is not good for music. That is what i really want it for..and some movies. I like the advice of taking in my own cd to a store to listen too. I would never have thought of that. I live in a small mountain town, we do have one store that has mostly mid to hi end HT and the systems are out of my price range. But i shall go in with disc in hand and listen. Other than that i have to read specifications and make a decision form a catalogue. That’s hard to do. My budget is quite small. Approx $400us.
    I do like Sony stuff but what do you all think?

    cheers
    kev

  9. #9
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Sony doesn't get high marks here. In your price range I think that Pioneer will give you the most bang for the buck. A good HT receiver can give you fair to good sounding music also. It's the tiny speakers that you want to stay away from. Bookshelf speakers are ok if you get a powered sub to do the deep base for you.

    Do the listening for yourself. Plenty of good choices available. Find what you like.

    Another thing to consider is to get a receiver and just two speakers at first. This way you can get better speakers up front and pick up the others when you have more money available.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  10. #10
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    Ok

    So what speakers would you recomend? I love the missions but they are too big. I wish to wall mount the speakers idealy. Im not heart set on a sub but i thought it would creat a big speaker sound. If i were to just buy the speakers then perhaps i am better stickign withthe NAD amp and just buying new speakers. Whet speaker brands should i be looking for. ?

    cheers
    kev

  11. #11
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    What Mission's do you have? I'm listening to 780a's as I type this. If you like their sound and want to stay in that realm, I might have a few ideas.

  12. #12
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    I don't think anybody has come right out and said it, but your getting ready to take a quantum step backwards. Your plan, IMO just isn't going to do music justice. Speakers on the wall for 400.00 is never going to come close to what you have now. Of course that's just my nonprofessional opinion.

    You are at the crossroads and have a simple decision to make because good music, speakers on the wall and 400 dollars is a lousy combination. There's nothing wrong with making choices based on aesthetics, budget, or space considerations. There's a reason Bose still sells a million of those little cube speakers each year, it's what a large percentage of Americans want to fit in their room. Sonically, they don't know any better and are blissfully happy and far be it from me to burst their little bubble since that's what they needed/wanted. Your problem is going to be that you already know what good music is supposed to sound like. Whatever compromises you make are strictly in your hands. Good luck to you, I hope you find what you need.

    Regards,
    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  13. #13
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    Im not sure what missions they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    What Mission's do you have? I'm listening to 780a's as I type this. If you like their sound and want to stay in that realm, I might have a few ideas.

    Im not sure what missions they are. They are about 24inch high and black!! (sorry). So i am now thinking that $400 on an home theater system (amp and speakers) will probably be disapointing. So perhaps i should jst buy a sub and 2 bookshelf speakers for the same price?

    What brands are generaly a good quality brand?

    What about Polk book shelf speakers and an 8"Quest Sub?

    Kev

  14. #14
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevan
    Im not sure what missions they are. They are about 24inch high and black!! (sorry). So i am now thinking that $400 on an home theater system (amp and speakers) will probably be disapointing. So perhaps i should jst buy a sub and 2 bookshelf speakers for the same price?

    What brands are generaly a good quality brand?

    What about Polk book shelf speakers and an 8"Quest Sub?

    Kev
    Jim has it right. For $400, you're going backwards. Over the years, Mission earned an enviable reputation for providing very good bang for the buck speakers. Those speakers will likely smoke anything you can get for your budget. The truth is, a decent sub will alone run you more than your entire budget.

    If you absolutely must relegate the Missions to the garage, you need to either wait until you can increase your budget and/or start thinking about DIY projects. Kexodusc builds a lot of his own speakers and Ed Frias of EFE Tech is a member here. You might try PM'ing them or hang out in the AR DIY forum. Your money goes a lot farther when you turn the screws yourself.

    That said, if your better half is turning the screws on you to get rid of the floorstanders, you might check out Wharfedale's Diamond 9.1's which are on clearance at audioadvisor.com for $349. Wharfie's sound a lot like Missions, but with a bit more midrange and aren't as tipped up at the top end. After you've saved a little more cash, pick up a sub from HSU, SVS, or build a Dayton sub from partsexpress.com.

    Hope this helps.

  15. #15
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    You can build a sub for dirt cheap to go with your missions....do you have any woodworking tools? Could you build a box out of MDF and cut two holes? If so, subs are super easy (and fun)...
    If you're interested I could give you links to a few great, inexpensive designs...just need to know your budget...
    Same goes for speakers...with speakers you can even by kit with pre-fab cabinets...$140 -$150 a pair for Parts Express BR-1's. That's an excellent kit for not much money that I like better than some $400 speakers I've owned. Not the prettiest, but they'd do the job and sound great. Ya might even be able to build 5 and a sub for under $400...

  16. #16
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    Speakers

    After this discussion i am now leaning toward keeping the NAD amp and buying some mid to good quality book shelf speakers with a sub. I should probably leave buying a new surround sound system until i have a budget that will allow me to get something decent.

    Question.

    What are KLH speaker like? radio shack in town has a big sub for $300 and 2 bookshelf 2 way speakers for $100 the pair. It is a BIG sub.

    kev

  17. #17
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    Thumbs down Burn the Heretic

    No!!!!!!. They are satans little helpers

    You have not been charged for this information.

    Cheers Ta
    "Thats a negative Lyn and right now I need two positiundefinedundefinedves"

  18. #18
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    If they sound like crap for one{music/movies},they'll sound like crap for everything.Good speaker is a good speaker. I'm not big on a musical sub or speakers are better for music then HT or the other way around. Good is good and bad is bad.
    Look & Listen

  19. #19
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Don't do it

    Kevan,
    I am also a recent arrival on AR so I don't have any magic solutions but I can tell you what not to do. I recently posted "Learn from my mistakes" somewhere around here--short version: Don't buy th Sony HTS!!!You'll regret it.The juice isn't worth the squeeze.
    I suspect the best advice has already been given. Plan what you want an dinvest over time,piece by piece. I went from one HTIB straight into another, essentially absurdly awful(Sony) to just bad(Onkyo). I'm still using the Onkyo receiver for now despite the fact that everything else that came in the box has gone to audio heaven. Be patient with it and get it right gradually,perhaps sacrificing minimal but immediate gratification for overall performance. Perhaps you could invest in a good receiver now and save for quality standmounts and sub over time?
    Good luck and have fun,
    Bobsticks
    P.S. got to audition some maggies at a "real" audio store on Thursday; what a day...

  20. #20
    His and Her Room! westcott's Avatar
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    Cool

    The advice on patience and auditioning is very sound.

    I think it was alluded to but was not made real clear is that you have to have a plan to maximize your spending dollars and not have to back track.

    When adding speakers, we strongly recommend that you stay with the same mfg, and if possible, the same series of speakers for best timbre\sensitivity matching.

    This is just as critical as speaker placement and room acoustics. If you can dig up some model numbers, I think someone here can point you toward a quality center channel to match your mission speakers.

    A sub would be my second acquisition, on the road to home theater. Lastly, the rear surrounds.

    Happy Holidays!

  21. #21
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    I use my system 50/50 music and HT. I auditioned several brands and IMO, found Monitor Audio to be one of the best musically. They are HT speakers, but for their size and price, they perform well. I'm not a bass-aholic, and I found a sub was not necessary with the range of the mains. I get plenty of bass, ask my neighbor above me!
    Just a recommendation of a brand to go and hear.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    If they sound like crap for one{music/movies},they'll sound like crap for everything.Good speaker is a good speaker. I'm not big on a musical sub or speakers are better for music then HT or the other way around. Good is good and bad is bad.
    Just for the sake of argument... what is the ideal sound dispersion of a speaker for Home Theater use? What is the ideal sound dispersion of a speaker for Stereo music listening? Are they the same?

    What are the optimal acoustic properties of "the room" for Home Theater applications? What are the optimal acoustic properties of "the room" for Stereo Music listening? Are they the same?

    How important is placement of speakers for Home Theater applications?
    How important is placement of speakers for Stereo Music listening? Are they equally important? Etc...

    From my point of view, it isn't just a matter of whether a speaker or component is "good" or "bad" per se. It is more a matter of whether the equipment's properties lend themselves to meeting the needs of the particular application at hand. If one accepts the premise that there is no difference in the requirements for creating optimal sound for either format (HT or Stereo) then the equipment will work equally well for either format. However, if one does not accept this premise (and I do not), then it becomes appropriate to ask what properties are best suited to each format and then what equipment possesses those desired properties.

    I most cases, it is easy to find equipment which does a reasonably good job with both formats. It is only when one looks at really optimizing the sound of either format that the disparity between the formats and the needs of the equipment becomes obvious.

    Just another point of view thrown in to stir the pot a bit.

    Q

  23. #23
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quagmire
    Just for the sake of argument... what is the ideal sound dispersion of a speaker for Home Theater use? What is the ideal sound dispersion of a speaker for Stereo music listening? Are they the same?

    What are the optimal acoustic properties of "the room" for Home Theater applications? What are the optimal acoustic properties of "the room" for Stereo Music listening? Are they the same?

    How important is placement of speakers for Home Theater applications?
    How important is placement of speakers for Stereo Music listening? Are they equally important? Etc...

    From my point of view, it isn't just a matter of whether a speaker or component is "good" or "bad" per se. It is more a matter of whether the equipment's properties lend themselves to meeting the needs of the particular application at hand. If one accepts the premise that there is no difference in the requirements for creating optimal sound for either format (HT or Stereo) then the equipment will work equally well for either format. However, if one does not accept this premise (and I do not), then it becomes appropriate to ask what properties are best suited to each format and then what equipment possesses those desired properties.

    I most cases, it is easy to find equipment which does a reasonably good job with both formats. It is only when one looks at really optimizing the sound of either format that the disparity between the formats and the needs of the equipment becomes obvious.

    Just another point of view thrown in to stir the pot a bit.

    Q
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  24. #24
    His and Her Room! westcott's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Quagmire
    Just for the sake of argument... what is the ideal sound dispersion of a speaker for Home Theater use? What is the ideal sound dispersion of a speaker for Stereo music listening? Are they the same?

    What are the optimal acoustic properties of "the room" for Home Theater applications? What are the optimal acoustic properties of "the room" for Stereo Music listening? Are they the same?

    How important is placement of speakers for Home Theater applications?
    How important is placement of speakers for Stereo Music listening? Are they equally important? Etc...

    From my point of view, it isn't just a matter of whether a speaker or component is "good" or "bad" per se. It is more a matter of whether the equipment's properties lend themselves to meeting the needs of the particular application at hand. If one accepts the premise that there is no difference in the requirements for creating optimal sound for either format (HT or Stereo) then the equipment will work equally well for either format. However, if one does not accept this premise (and I do not), then it becomes appropriate to ask what properties are best suited to each format and then what equipment possesses those desired properties.

    I most cases, it is easy to find equipment which does a reasonably good job with both formats. It is only when one looks at really optimizing the sound of either format that the disparity between the formats and the needs of the equipment becomes obvious.

    Just another point of view thrown in to stir the pot a bit.

    Q
    I am glad you brought this up. A dedicated audio room has one primary listening position, a home theater does not unless you are a hermit\bachelor. So, speaker placement and toe in can be completely different. The main reason I bought Klipsch speakers for my home theater was because the horn design has been used in theaters since their inception. They are very directional compared to other speaker designs but this is not an issue if you place enough of these speakers in a room to overcome the problems of imaging and sound stage. Is this ideal? It may be for a home theater with multiple seating positions but would not suit the audiophile and his primary listening position.

    Would I ever go back to two channel systems? I have both and I have to tell you, 6 or more speakers against two is rarely a fair match when using comparable components.

    Am I happy with the sound in my home theater? I am very happy even though I had to make some compromises. I can still move the speakers for better audio in a primary listening position If need be.

    So, yes a home theater can sound as good as a dedicated two channel room but most of the time some compromises are going to have to made for the former.

    Happy Holidays!

  25. #25
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westcott
    I am glad you brought this up. A dedicated audio room has one primary listening position, a home theater does not unless you are a hermit\bachelor. So, speaker placement and toe in can be completely different. The main reason I bought Klipsch speakers for my home theater was because the horn design has been used in theaters since their inception. They are very directional compared to other speaker designs but this is not an issue if you place enough of these speakers in a room to overcome the problems of imaging and sound stage. Is this ideal? It may be for a home theater with multiple seating positions but would not suit the audiophile and his primary listening position.

    Would I ever go back to two channel systems? I have both and I have to tell you, 6 or more speakers against two is rarely a fair match when using comparable components.

    Am I happy with the sound in my home theater? I am very happy even though I had to make some compromises. I can still move the speakers for better audio in a primary listening position If need be.

    So, yes a home theater can sound as good as a dedicated two channel room but most of the time some compromises are going to have to made for the former.

    Happy Holidays!
    Good points.

    But let me throw this in. Sometimes I listen to music when I can not be in the room, let alone the sweet spot. If I have work to do that has me running from room to room, a movie just aint gonna cut it. So I turn on the music.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

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