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  1. #1
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    Newbie needs some help with updating home theatre

    I am a newbie and need some help.

    I just bought a new TV and new console unit and now want to redo my home theatre.
    I currently have a Pioneer 1015 receiver, Infiniti CC-2 center channel, and Bose 301s as fronts. ..yes Bose.. : ) I have an 8" Acoustic Research S108PS sub. I also have a pair of inexpensive JA Audio cube speakers as my rears.

    Most everything but the receiver (2 years old) was bought 12+ years ago. It has served me OK since I am far from an audiophile, but I know I can do better. I have attached a link to show you what I currently have. Hopefully you can view the link.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lithnigh...uly2010Picasa#

    I have done tons of research and read hundreds of posts on this forum. I've learned a lot, but still need some help.

    Here are my requirements.
    A. I want a better sounding setup than I have but I don't want to spend more than $1500-$2000 or so. I will keep my receiver but all my speakers and sub are candidates for replacement.
    B. My wife does not want tower speakers (nor stands like the 301s sit on). Thus the front speakers need to sit next to the TV and the center channel will sit under the TV (where the current center is). There is 8" on each side of the TV. In one picture, the white paper is the size of the Def Tech Mythos Gem. This was to give my wife an idea of the size of them. She said she wouldn't mind bigger fronts than that as long as they aren't "too big".
    C. The rears can't be much bigger than what I have (7" tall, 4" wide, 4" deep) due to my wife and since I need to hang them on the wall. There is not enough room for stands.
    D. I use the speakers for 75% movie watching, 25% music.
    E. The size of the room is 14x20 but it's a vaulted ceiling (15 feet high at peak, 8 feet at low point) and about 3200 cubic feet.

    Thus far, I have researched the Definitive Technology line (Mythos Gem, Mythos Gem XL, Pro Monitor 1000) as well as SVS speakers/subs. I like the Def Tech line (e.g. was thinking Mythos Gem XL as front, Mythos 3 or 7 as center, Mythos Gem as rears). I also like the SVS SBS-02 series but the rears appear too big. I am open to pretty much any brand.

    So here are my questions...
    1. Can you suggest a lineup of fronts, center, sub, and rears based on my needs and budget?
    2. I am having trouble finding a 5.1 package because most of the rears included are too big for my needs. e.g. the SVS package. Is it just as OK to build speaker by speaker?
    3. Do my rears NEED to be the same brand as my fronts and center? I know it's ideal for fronts and centers to "match" but not sure about rears. I was thinking of just using the rears I have or maybe buying a pair of those small Bose cube speakers. I'm sure these aren't the best, but besides something like the Mythos Gem, it's hard to find small rears.
    4. Would I tell a huge difference by replacing my rears? It just seems that such a small amount of sound comes from them (and none when playing stereo). I know this sounds ignorant so feel free to tell me I'm crazy. I just want to make sure the expense of the rears is worth it.

    Sorry for the book but I wanted to paint a clear picture of my situation. Hopefully you all can help!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    This B&W setup sounds very good for it's size. I have heard all speakers except sub in an HT setup.

    http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/display.aspx?infid=1480



    also comes in a slightly smaller cheaper version MT-25

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lithnights
    I am a newbie and need some help.

    I just bought a new TV and new console unit and now want to redo my home theatre.
    I currently have a Pioneer 1015 receiver, Infiniti CC-2 center channel, and Bose 301s as fronts. ..yes Bose.. : ) I have an 8" Acoustic Research S108PS sub. I also have a pair of inexpensive JA Audio cube speakers as my rears.

    Most everything but the receiver (2 years old) was bought 12+ years ago. It has served me OK since I am far from an audiophile, but I know I can do better. I have attached a link to show you what I currently have. Hopefully you can view the link.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lithnigh...uly2010Picasa#

    I have done tons of research and read hundreds of posts on this forum. I've learned a lot, but still need some help.

    Here are my requirements.
    A. I want a better sounding setup than I have but I don't want to spend more than $1500-$2000 or so. I will keep my receiver but all my speakers and sub are candidates for replacement.
    B. My wife does not want tower speakers (nor stands like the 301s sit on). Thus the front speakers need to sit next to the TV and the center channel will sit under the TV (where the current center is). There is 8" on each side of the TV. In one picture, the white paper is the size of the Def Tech Mythos Gem. This was to give my wife an idea of the size of them. She said she wouldn't mind bigger fronts than that as long as they aren't "too big".
    C. The rears can't be much bigger than what I have (7" tall, 4" wide, 4" deep) due to my wife and since I need to hang them on the wall. There is not enough room for stands.
    D. I use the speakers for 75% movie watching, 25% music.
    E. The size of the room is 14x20 but it's a vaulted ceiling (15 feet high at peak, 8 feet at low point) and about 3200 cubic feet.

    Thus far, I have researched the Definitive Technology line (Mythos Gem, Mythos Gem XL, Pro Monitor 1000) as well as SVS speakers/subs. I like the Def Tech line (e.g. was thinking Mythos Gem XL as front, Mythos 3 or 7 as center, Mythos Gem as rears). I also like the SVS SBS-02 series but the rears appear too big. I am open to pretty much any brand.

    If you like the Def Tech give them a listen, that's a good option.

    So here are my questions...
    1. Can you suggest a lineup of fronts, center, sub, and rears based on my needs and budget?

    I have not looked at all dimensions for you but check out Paradigm, Energy, Mirage or Epos for some options. Since your room is so large you might even take a look at Klipsch but it's highly advised you listen to them first to make sure you like their sound. Klipsch is what is used in many movie theaters or similar speakers with the horn technology. They will play loud without a lot of power so should do better at filling your space. However, some find the horns too lively. If you like your Infinity center, have you looked at whether there are matching mains that would work?

    2. I am having trouble finding a 5.1 package because most of the rears included are too big for my needs. e.g. the SVS package. Is it just as OK to build speaker by speaker?

    For optimum five channel playback the speakers should all match, at least in timbre.

    3. Do my rears NEED to be the same brand as my fronts and center? I know it's ideal for fronts and centers to "match" but not sure about rears. I was thinking of just using the rears I have or maybe buying a pair of those small Bose cube speakers. I'm sure these aren't the best, but besides something like the Mythos Gem, it's hard to find small rears.

    See above answer, but if something has to be compromised the rears are the least important. Have you considered In-wall?

    4. Would I tell a huge difference by replacing my rears? It just seems that such a small amount of sound comes from them (and none when playing stereo). I know this sounds ignorant so feel free to tell me I'm crazy. I just want to make sure the expense of the rears is worth it.

    How much difference you will notice is a hard thing to gauge but consider the rears do carry a full frequency response just like the other 3 channels they just aren't used as much. There is also front to back panning of sound the same as left to right, for an all enveloping sound with seamless movement from speaker to speaker it's best to have all timbre match. It also will depend on how picky you are, how much attention you pay to detail, like if it was raining in a scene, would it bother you for the rain to sound different from behind than the rest of the sound field? Stereo music will make no difference the rears shouldn't have anything through them but 5 channel music you may notice if the rears don't match.

    FWIW, the SVS subs are excellent. I have not heard the full range speakers.
    Sorry for the book but I wanted to paint a clear picture of my situation. Hopefully you all can help!

    Thanks in advance!
    ,.>>>>>

  4. #4
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    Before I sneaked the " Tall and thin Final Sound Electrostatic speakers " past my wife, the same problem was resolved with some good looking Bookshelf speakers and a center channel to match, I went with the looks of the SONY SSLA500ED with a different brand subwoofer and rears. I chose the same series Sony center channel AND kept my Sansui receiver too!!
    Look, I am not in the business of selling speakers, so for my rears, I started out with flat panels then went on to small box speakers. The way I see things is, as long as the receiver allows for volume control of the rears, I could adjust things to each movie. Others who have the same series 5,1 setup may chime in, after all its opinions we want!!!
    Have you shown the wife some pics of the Magnepans or the Martin Logans smaller price range speakers? In my case the 3 ( now 2 ) furniture destroying cats that let me share their humble dwellings would certainly appreciate the maggies for scratching posts. I adore the maggies but could not risk them being reduced to ribbons!!!

  5. #5
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    I should post the same thread in the speakers section where we have a large untapped knowledge base!!!
    Now, to be honest, in order to get satisfactory audiophile sound, a choice of good speakers and their correct placement is called for. Have you the time and effort needed for this ?
    Otherwise go with what your better half can pick from a list of speakers that the audioreview regulars suggest....

  6. #6
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    http://www.martinlogan.com/products/encoretf

    These may be out of the budget but how do they look?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    This B&W setup sounds very good for it's size. I have heard all speakers except sub in an HT setup.

    http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/display.aspx?infid=1480



    also comes in a slightly smaller cheaper version MT-25
    Thanks. I showed the wife and she wasn't crazy about them.. too modern I guess.

  8. #8
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    So, the lady likes traditional looks when it comes to speakers!!!
    Donīt worry, as long as she likes YOU, that's more than half the battle won!!!
    I donīt know if you posted the same thread in the speakers section, that's where the action is regarding your dilemma, should I be brave enough to suggest the following bookshellf speakers and maybe still keep your sub until later on :
    in NO particular order:
    KEF Q series
    Mordaunt Short Avant series
    Monitor Audio Bronze series
    Jamo bookshelf speakers
    Tannoy bookshelf speakers
    Infinity bookshelf...... and the list goes on but my personal favorites entry levels, and check out their site.... are.....Magnepan MMG W factory direct for USD 325 worth looking up on their site, but they are tall and thin and you may either hang them or pull them out a little away from the wall, my lady kind of liked them, but by the time the customs add on their charges for Portugal, their price becomes less pocket friendly - comes to 3 times their original price!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nasir
    I should post the same thread in the speakers section where we have a large untapped knowledge base!!!
    Now, to be honest, in order to get satisfactory audiophile sound, a choice of good speakers and their correct placement is called for. Have you the time and effort needed for this ?
    Otherwise go with what your better half can pick from a list of speakers that the audioreview regulars suggest....
    Maybe I will place the same thread in the speakers forum. I just didn't know if it was bad forum etiquette to post twice. Do I have the time and effort? Likely. It's not like I have to make this decision in the next couple days or so.

    Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    http://www.martinlogan.com/products/encoretf

    These may be out of the budget but how do they look?
    They look cool.. to me. Again, the wife thought they were a bit too modern. oh well. And the price hurts! I guess I'm afraid to spend $1000 just on the fronts.

    Thanks,

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