7.1 Speaker recomendations 9k budget what would you pick

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by AggieRalph, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. AggieRalph Audiophyte

    AggieRalph
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    Looking for suggestions for HT speakers.
    1. 7.1 sound system
    2. Room is 15x18 with projector screen on 15' wall
    3. Screen size 120" diagonal
    4. I figure 11' separation between L&R and primary seating position 10' from screen
    5. Budget roughly 9k for speakers (I have some existing speakers and existing sub so have some room to play with budget a bit)

    I don't like the look of the center channel speaker above/below the screen and with large screen I am worried that it wont work as well as having the center channel as a standard vertical speaker positioned in middle behind the screen. The wall with the screen is an outside wall and I was planning on using a in wall speaker for the center channel then building a fixed frame for the screen to hold it out from the wall about 1ft so that it is roughly even with the front edge of the either floor standing or wall mounted L&R speakers. This would also give the speakers roughly the same distance from the viewing position of 10' each.

    As far as room position that would make it viewing position to speakers is 11' Viewing position to screen 10' Viewing position to rears 7' (I might play with those numbers a little once I get in the room with the speakers and furniture etc. but that is the rough idea)

    I like the clean look of in wall speakers for the rear surrounds but can do wall mount also. I also like the idea of the in wall for back surrounds because it allows a little more space between the speaker and listener.

    My plans for Power / devices currently is
    PS3 (Media server / Blu ray player)
    Uverse box (cable tv service)
    Emotiva XPA3 to power front speakers
    Emotiva XPA5 to power rear/surrounds
    Pre-amp/processor Emotiva UMC200

    Screen SeymourAV AT screen with side masking 105" width
    Projector Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 5020ub

    So looking for any advice or recommendations / what speakers would you select? for this situation? any other suggestions are welcome.
  2. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

    shadyJ
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    The speakers for the front stage I would be looking at in that price range are the JBL LSR6332, the JTR Noesis 228, and the Pi Four with upgraded drivers. These are all very powerful speakers made for pure performance with appearance not a big priority, so they are very high bang for the buck, and perfect for behind a screen. They will get you to a serious THX experience if you set them up right. The JBL LSRs are even certified as THX monitors, so they are used for making THX soundtracks. For the surrounds speakers, I would look at JTR slanted 8s or JBL 8340As. Your room isn't huge so you could use the 8320s just fine too, as those will be a lot easier on your budget. For the subs, I would be looking at a pair of Seaton Submersives or JTR Captivators. I would also look at the stuff from Funk Audio, a pair of 18.1s would be good, but I would try to make the stretch to the 18.0s if you want to spoil yourself.

    For the amplifiers, Emotivas are nice but I would swing for some beefier Crown or QSC amps, especially if these things are going in an equipment closet. I would also swing for a receiver that has Audyssey multiEQ XT32 as well, with the SubEQ. The higher end Denons, Onkyos, Marantz, and Integra receivers have this.

    If those speakers don't quite fit when you are trying to do, you could check out outfits like Triad, M&K, and Atlantic Technology, they can make things simpler for you by just getting you a complete package and having a dealer work with you, but I don't think you will be getting nearly as much bang for the buck as the other speakers (and subwoofers especially) I suggested.
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  3. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    My HT room is also 15' x 18' x 15' ceiling. I also have a 120" screen.

    You won't need LOUD speaker to fill up a relatively small room like this.

    I wouldn't worry about the placement of the Center speaker being below the screen too much. My center speaker is below the screen and I never even "notice", and neither does anyone who has a center speaker below their screen.

    There is nothing wrong with getting in-wall speakers behind the AT screen either.

    I have a friend who is a custom installer & authorized dealer. He could have any speaker brand and type in his own house. But his favorite is the BG Radia in-wall speakers for both movies & music. Phase Technology in-walls are also good.
  4. AggieRalph Audiophyte

    AggieRalph
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    I am not sure if it is just the visual thing with me or what but I just don't like the look of center channel above/below the screen.

    I also have read that in truth the center channel should be in horizontally alignment and optimally the same type speaker as the front L&R.

    One of the things I really want is a good audio placement for the room so that you don't hear the sound from the speakers directly. (probably some technical term for this ...)

    Currently I have a 60" tv and have tried the center channel above and below the screen (just in a living room setup not HT room) and either way to me it brings the vocals up/down --- Now this could just be me and influenced more by the visual of the speaker then by the actual sound....


    (right now I am just trying to plan things out as much as possible and will later go to stores and listen to different speakers... However right now I am on a oil rig and can only listen to recommendations / read reviews.)

    The LSR6322 looks like such a small speaker. I know it is kinda lame but if the speakers are visible especially for the front L&R I want them to be a bit more visibly impressive.

    I started looking at the klipsch-thx-ultra2 using the center and rear channel in wall speakers but then the L&R speakers for that set are little boxes that don't look that great either... Other problem with Klipsch is the use of horn tweeters which I am not that familiar with but have read that for some people they just don't sound right.


    Also looking at going with polk audio (been using polk speakers since I was a kid) Was thinking of using IN wall 265ls for the front center and rear surrounds LSiM707 for the L&R and LSiM702F/X for L&R surrounds
    But the problem with the Polk setup is the center / rear surrounds is not from the same series as the other speakers...

    Other question/problem is .... Does using in-wall speakers seriously degrade the sound quality?

    Seems I can't find anything that makes me happy all around :)


    Thanks for the suggestions I am still looking into them... Hate how hard it is to find pricing on some of these speakers...


    For the amp / processor...

    I was really looking to go the seperate route and the emotiva seemed like an inexpensive way to get started... If that doesn't work out I figure it would be easier to then replace one component at a time later on. However... Now looking into the Onkyo PR-SC5509 and PA-MC5501 Of course those are twice the price of the emotiva but I would then be able to run a duplicate HDMI out to the neighboring game room so I could have a video display there also...ohhh and then I can use another basic receiver with double HDMI out and run another video feed to the bathroom for non stop watching... LOL more I look at stuff the more I want to spend..
  5. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

    shadyJ
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    The JBLs are NOT small, those are 12" woofers! Those or the Klipsch THX systems are far higher performing than the Polk in-walls you are thinking about. Using cheap in-walls for the front stage and pricey floor standing speakers for surrounds is pretty backward. Also, horn tweeters can sound great. Most THX certified commercial installations are using horns. It is not easy to get THX certification, it means your speakers have to perform above a very high standard. As a counter example, I am pretty sure there is no way those Polks could even get close to THX certification.

    It sounds like you are talking about the sound stage.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
  6. AggieRalph Audiophyte

    AggieRalph
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    yea didn't think about that... Picture doesn't do them justice....

    Thanks for the tips... got lot more to look into and think about... And some ear shopping to do when I get home.
  7. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

    shadyJ
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    Here is a picture of the JBLs in a room for some context to give you an idea of their size:
    54ae4b6a67214d503355f689434fd250.jpg
    Here is another pic of the surrounds and an explanation of the room.

    Keep in mind Harman, which owns JBL, has one of the most sophisticated R&D audio depts in the world, and this is their reference room. You need a really good speaker to drive the sound in the reference room of what may be the world's top audio technology company. It has to be objectively excellent to be a reference speaker for some of the best audio scientists, and also to be certified to create THX sound tracks by audio engineers. The Polk in-walls you considered earlier would sound hilariously sad next to these things.
  8. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    The KL650-THX-Ultra2 speaker (street price authorized dealer under $900 each) is the ONLY speaker below $3,000 each confirmed by TWO independent 3rd parties to have a listening window FR of +/-1dB! Because of this, I am in the process of buying a pair for myself. :D

    AFAIK the only other speaker is the KEF 201/2, but it is $3K each.

    You could get 3 of them and place behind a AT screen.

    Forget about hearsay of "horns" and all that. People will say all kinds of things.
  9. AggieRalph Audiophyte

    AggieRalph
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    Ok... Having the picture of the speakers in the room give me a better idea what they look like appreciate that.

    Think the JBL and Kilpsch or the ones I am going to focus on getting a ear on.
    For the Kilpsch system How are the in-wall speakers. Are they just generally a thing to be avoided (for the center and surround back) or should I be fine with them? If I use the Kilpsch in wall for center and the 650s L&R will the in wall be overpowered and just need to give up on that idea?

    Anyone have opinions of either over the other system or both would be good?

    Going to go by some AV stores and listen to what is out there but want to have a good idea of what I am shooting for first.
  10. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    I think as long as you are using the Klipsch THX Ultra2 in-wall (like the 7800-THX-Ultra2), it should be great.

    KS - 7800 - THX In - Wall Speaker | Klipsch

    http://www.klipsch.com/kl-7800-thx-in-wall-speaker
  11. Rippyman Audioholic

    Rippyman
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    Another vote for the Klipsch THX Ultra 2 system. I have the RF-7 II Reference 7.1 setup and its amazing, I've heard that the THX Ultra 2 system is even better.

    THX Ultra - THX Ultra 2 | Klipsch

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  12. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    ShadyJ's JTR, Pi, and JBL suggestions are going to be more impressive than what you seem to be looking at. I'm not trying to knock klipsch FWIW.
  13. Rippyman Audioholic

    Rippyman
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    I strongly disagree, I listened to a $90,000.00 JBL Synthesis system and a THX Ultra 2 System, and the THX sounded just as good.
  14. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
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    I'm not sure how that's a basis for disagreement, never mind "strongly". It's a totally valid opinion, but the pricy Synthesis stuff has nothing in common with the aformentioned LSR6332. Different engineering team, different price point, different design, different intended customer. Even if the Synthesis system were awful, it has no bearing on the LSR system's performance.
  15. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
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    OTOH I'm curious how much difference you could reasonably expect between a THX pm3 approved monitor and a THX Ultra 2 certified satellite speaker. Being used for their intended purposes, I'd expect them to sound rather similar.
  16. Rippyman Audioholic

    Rippyman
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    You stated that the TR, Pi, and JBL would be more impressive then the Klipsch setup, and I'm saying I strongly disagree, its a valid opinion ;)

    I've listened to both, have you?
  17. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    All I can say is, only the Klipsch KL650-THX-Ultra2 has been confirmed by 2 independent sources to have a Listening Window Response of +/-1.0dB.

    The JTR has absolutely no measurements, not even from it's own manufacturer. Sure, JTR fans will rave. But one AVS member (yes, one) bought some Triple8 and said they sounded like "cats screaming all day long" to him. :D

    Opinions are just opinions. No use arguing with opinions. They're just opinions. Good and bad.

    The Pi and JBL LSR6332 have their own manufacturers' measurements, but not even a single 3rd party measurement.

    Those are the facts AFAIK.

    The interpretation of these facts may vary. And they are just opinions. :D
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  18. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

    shadyJ
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    The JBLs are THX pm3 certified, so there is no question they will measure well. Given what's known about the Pi drivers, many of which measure well individually, they should to measure well, but that isn't quite as good as third party verification. I would be surprised if they didn't measure well. Same with the JTRs.
  19. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    That's just another opinion, isn't it? I mean that's cool, but it's not fact.

    There's no proof via confirmed 3rd party measurements, especially TWO INDEPENDENT 3rd party measurements.

    Does THX certification guarantee that it's listening window response will measure +/-1dB?

    I thought it just guarantees the speakers can output a certain SPL level cleaning?

    "The KL-525-THX's three-face averaged response measures +3.79/–2.55 dB from 200 Hz to 10 kHz."

    Unless there is at least some kind of measurement (manufacturer or 3rd party), anything else is pure speculation. One 3rd party measurement is nice. Two would be fantastic. :D
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  20. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

    shadyJ
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    For as much as you have been talking up those Klipsch speakers, you had better have a pair on the way! As for the THX pm3 spec, I am not sure what all the requirements are exactly, but a frequency response of +/- 3 dB is needed. I haven't found any other standards, like off-axis response and distortion limits. The list of speakers that get pm3 certification is pretty small though. Anyway, if the JBL's measured poorly in any respect, Harman would not be using them as reference speakers.

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