Help with HT audio set up options (gear and layout)

S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ok, really appreciate your thoughts here. I'll try out the Klipsch RPs again. Any models you recommend for this space? For fronts and surrounds. Do ribbon tweeters (ex: Emotiva B1) disperse wide too? Also could I move speakers towards me past the walls on sides? Will that cause any acoustic issues apart from looking crowded.
Any of the RP models should be similarly voiced. I would go for ones with a 6.5" woofer, that should have slightly less dispersion from the woofer. The tweeters on the Emotiva speakers are AMT tweeters and not ribbons. They will have wide dispersion. Cheap AMTs can also have a erratic treble response that can make for a harsh high end too.

The further you can move up the speakers, the better. The less side wall there is next to them, the better it will be acoustically.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
@ara777
Shady has a really amazing understanding of speakers and acoustics. I agree completely with his advice. Moreover, not being a trained professional acoustician, even I can tell you that treating your space willy-nilly, without measurements and a deeper understanding of what makes a room sound good, is akin to trying to pick a lock with a fresh watermelon. Maybe you get lucky....
The reflections we hear are also a part of the audio experience, and without some reflection, even the best gear can be rendered lackluster and impotent. Your space does present some very unique problems, and I can think of several ways to utilize the basement overall to better effect. Since you have already indicated, though, that you are tied to this specific setup in your home, then all we can do is try to guide you a little to achieve the best sound possible.

That said, having your LP up against a wall is a recipe for bad acoustics. Treating that wall and keeping the same seating would do no better imo. Trapping your speakers inside those short walls will create other issues... same as if you treat the walls on the side and front of that space.

Using (for examples sake) the CCB-8s from Hsu, you could pull those forward just a little, toe them in so they are crossing in front of your LP (time-intensity trading) where they are said to image insanely well, and maximize your listening experience without having to throw everything you don't spend on speakers at acoustic treatments. ;)

Also to consider, perhaps, should be the JBL studio 5 series speakers... a favorite of many here. They go on sale for deep discounts quite regularly and you should be able to take advantage of that to build a high quality yet affordable system.

I know its hard to wait, once you get the urge to push ahead, but I think you need to take a little time and hopefully experiment with your choices, and get to audition some speakers before you buy.
 
A

ara777

Enthusiast
@ara777
Shady has a really amazing understanding of speakers and acoustics. I agree completely with his advice. Moreover, not being a trained professional acoustician, even I can tell you that treating your space willy-nilly, without measurements and a deeper understanding of what makes a room sound good, is akin to trying to pick a lock with a fresh watermelon. Maybe you get lucky....
The reflections we hear are also a part of the audio experience, and without some reflection, even the best gear can be rendered lackluster and impotent. Your space does present some very unique problems, and I can think of several ways to utilize the basement overall to better effect. Since you have already indicated, though, that you are tied to this specific setup in your home, then all we can do is try to guide you a little to achieve the best sound possible.

That said, having your LP up against a wall is a recipe for bad acoustics. Treating that wall and keeping the same seating would do no better imo. Trapping your speakers inside those short walls will create other issues... same as if you treat the walls on the side and front of that space.

Using (for examples sake) the CCB-8s from Hsu, you could pull those forward just a little, toe them in so they are crossing in front of your LP (time-intensity trading) where they are said to image insanely well, and maximize your listening experience without having to throw everything you don't spend on speakers at acoustic treatments. ;)

Also to consider, perhaps, should be the JBL studio 5 series speakers... a favorite of many here. They go on sale for deep discounts quite regularly and you should be able to take advantage of that to build a high quality yet affordable system.

I know its hard to wait, once you get the urge to push ahead, but I think you need to take a little time and hopefully experiment with your choices, and get to audition some speakers before you buy.
Oh huge props for u guys for the amazing recommendations given over the last 24 hours and it's been a phenomenal learning opportunity for me! So hats off you guys!

I'm gonna digest this and go check those speakers out. What's a good AVR beyond what I initially stated (Denon X3500H)? Is that overkill for this space? Can I go lower?
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Oh huge props for u guys for the amazing recommendations given over the last 24 hours and it's been a phenomenal learning opportunity for me! So hats off you guys!

I'm gonna digest this and go check those speakers out. What's a good AVR beyond what I initially stated (Denon X3500H)? Is that overkill for this space? Can I go lower?
For the sale prices on that model, It's one of the better buys I think you can make.
Overkill would be spending $8K+ on a new model AVP and Amps! No reason to do that.

Important to know because you were talking about using the cubbies...
Heat kills electronics. D&M/Sound United recommend 6-8" of open space ALL AROUND the equipment. These units can get warm.
I utilize a fan unit on top of mine which helps tremendously. If you cannot avoid the sin of putting baby in a cubby, then you should ventilate it. This is what I used when I had to put mine in a cabinet:
(I've seen my unit read 113º when I had the fans off and running Audyssey tests. With the Fans set to smart, I almost never go above 80º.)

Cheers!
 
A

ara777

Enthusiast
For the sale prices on that model, It's one of the better buys I think you can make.
Overkill would be spending $8K+ on a new model AVP and Amps! No reason to do that.

Important to know because you were talking about using the cubbies...
Heat kills electronics. D&M/Sound United recommend 6-8" of open space ALL AROUND the equipment. These units can get warm.
I utilize a fan unit on top of mine which helps tremendously. If you cannot avoid the sin of putting baby in a cubby, then you should ventilate it. This is what I used when I had to put mine in a cabinet:
(I've seen my unit read 113º when I had the fans off and running Audyssey tests. With the Fans set to smart, I almost never go above 80º.)

Cheers!
Yes, I was planning to set up some sot of active ventilation. Your suggestion is super interesting,

I just walked over to the space n I was like .. "hmm.. why don't I turn the setup around?!". I have the large wall where the couch is. I could potentially put the TV there and move seating to the enclosed space too. That might be better for acoustics, right (ignoring how it may mess up the look of the overall basement)? WDYT?
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
Might consider SVS speakers and subs, too....and they have an excellent in-home trial/satisfaction guarantee deal. RSL might be another to consider (and also have a killer in-home trial/satisfaction guarantee deal). Getting out and listening to speakers can be hard I know....I've taken my chances on the internet a few times and been happy with the results....haven't returned anything and beats a 4-5 hour drive to an area that I could do some listening at a few stores.
HD knows I love my SVS speakers! I would have loved to match subs but man... SVS just doesn't have an option for me in a price range I can afford for a pair of subs so I went with Hsu there. Hsu Research is hard to beat, bang for buck even with paying the shipping.

SVS' Ultra speakers are legit great speakers and an even better value if you can grab 'em from their outlet page. I'm using Ultra towers for mains but used the bookshelves for a stretch also before I got the towers. They easily do the job as main speakers as well with a good sub or 2. The new Prime Pinnacle towers reviewed very well with Shady also. I really wanna give those a listen.
 
A

ara777

Enthusiast
For the sale prices on that model, It's one of the better buys I think you can make.
Overkill would be spending $8K+ on a new model AVP and Amps! No reason to do that.

Important to know because you were talking about using the cubbies...
Heat kills electronics. D&M/Sound United recommend 6-8" of open space ALL AROUND the equipment. These units can get warm.
I utilize a fan unit on top of mine which helps tremendously. If you cannot avoid the sin of putting baby in a cubby, then you should ventilate it. This is what I used when I had to put mine in a cabinet:
(I've seen my unit read 113º when I had the fans off and running Audyssey tests. With the Fans set to smart, I almost never go above 80º.)

Cheers!
How does the yamaha tsr-7850 compare to the Denon X3500H? Costco has it for $389 and yet the features seem quite similar. Of course I may be looking over some details being the noob I am. But really, how significant are the differences?
 
A

ara777

Enthusiast
Ok so I've been doing a bunch more reading on this based on ur fantastic inputs and have these options considered the nature of my space. @shadyJ @ryanosaur your inputs would be awesome here.

1. HSU CCB-8 x 2 for L/R (phantom center) , HSU VTF-2 MK5, Polk OWM3 x 2 rear surrounds mounted way up pointed down,toed in.

2. HSU CCB-8 x 3 for LCR , HSU VTF-2 MK5, Polk OWM3 x 2 rear surrounds mounted way up pointed down,toed in. (Wondering if thats too much front stage for this space)

3. Klipsch rp-160m x 2 for L/R , Klipsch rp-400c for C, HSU VTF-2 MK5, Polk OWM3 x 2 rear surrounds mounted way up pointed down,toed in.

4. Klipsch rp-600m x 2 for L/R , Klipsch rp-400c for C, HSU VTF-2 MK5, Polk OWM3 x 2 rear surrounds mounted way up pointed down,toed in.

5. Any of these with sub replaced with 2 x HSU VTF-1 MK3

Questions:

1. Are these good combinations for my space?
2. Is there a thinner smaller C I could use along with CCB-8 LR?
3. Are the OWM3s good rear surrounds for this set up? I could wall.mount and play with their orientation.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
How does the yamaha tsr-7850 compare to the Denon X3500H? Costco has it for $389 and yet the features seem quite similar. Of course I may be looking over some details being the noob I am. But really, how significant are the differences?
I think you would be fine with the Yamaha. The Denon has a modest power advantage in the amplifier, but it wouldn't even translate into a single decibel of headroom. Denon does have the Audyssey MultiEQ Editor app which relegates room correction to just the bass region only, which is what room correction should be doing: low frequencies only.
Ok so I've been doing a bunch more reading on this based on ur fantastic inputs and have these options considered the nature of my space. @shadyJ @ryanosaur your inputs would be awesome here.

1. HSU CCB-8 x 2 for L/R (phantom center) , HSU VTF-2 MK5, Polk OWM3 x 2 rear surrounds mounted way up pointed down,toed in.

2. HSU CCB-8 x 3 for LCR , HSU VTF-2 MK5, Polk OWM3 x 2 rear surrounds mounted way up pointed down,toed in. (Wondering if thats too much front stage for this space)

3. Klipsch rp-160m x 2 for L/R , Klipsch rp-400c for C, HSU VTF-2 MK5, Polk OWM3 x 2 rear surrounds mounted way up pointed down,toed in.

4. Klipsch rp-600m x 2 for L/R , Klipsch rp-400c for C, HSU VTF-2 MK5, Polk OWM3 x 2 rear surrounds mounted way up pointed down,toed in.

5. Any of these with sub replaced with 2 x HSU VTF-1 MK3

Questions:

1. Are these good combinations for my space?
2. Is there a thinner smaller C I could use along with CCB-8 LR?
3. Are the OWM3s good rear surrounds for this set up? I could wall.mount and play with their orientation.
I'm not a huge fan of MTM center speakers like the Klipsch center speaker that you listed. It can make for an uneven off-axis response. I think the Klipsch bookshelf speakers are fine though. Their hybrid tractrix waveguide is probably a fair bit more sophisticated than the waveguide in the Hsu speaker, so it should have less horn diffraction effects in high frequencies. On the other hand, we don't even see diffraction effects in the Hsu speaker until above 10 kHz where it hardly matters. The Hsu speaker will have a narrower dispersion which would be an advantage in your case. It will also be more powerful. It's imaging abilities are outstanding. What I would do is go with a two CCB-8 speakers and see how well that does in creating a phantom center. Make sure you follow the outlined toe-in described in the user manual and in more depth in this review. That can create a center image over a wider area than just one listening position. That isn't a trick that can be accomplished with wide dispersion loudspeakers. You can always add a real center speaker later to see the difference.

If you want to save some money, there are some CCB-8s in Hsu's clearance center at the moment. And well lookee here, a B-stock VTF-3 too; that would be a hell of an upgrade over a VTF-2 for not a lot more money (btw, the VTF-1 mk3 has been discontinued, so it's not available anymore, which is a shame).

The Polk speakers are probably fine for surround speakers, just don't expect fireworks there, but you don't really have a good arrangement for surround speakers, and they are better than nothing if they are properly positioned.
 
A

ara777

Enthusiast
Thank you! Is there any center that will match up well with the ccb-8s if I ever start needing a dedicated center? (If not another ccb-8)
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
The best center for a pair of CCB-8s is, of course, another CCB-8. it is engineered for full front stage channel duty. If you need a slimmer center speaker, the Hsu HC-1 will have somewhat similar tonality on-axis.
 
A

ara777

Enthusiast
The best center for a pair of CCB-8s is, of course, another CCB-8. it is engineered for full front stage channel duty. If you need a slimmer center speaker, the Hsu HC-1 will have somewhat similar tonality on-axis.
Ok, I would really like to get 3 ccb-8s and that's what I am going to shoot for.

So the polks OWM3s were picked for the rear surround just for the versatility and I needed something simple to just give some additional ambiance given my room constraints. Is there anything else you would recommend I used here instead the polks?
 
A

ara777

Enthusiast
Oh, I forgot. The JBL studio 530 and center are also in my radar coupled with the the Hsu sub as another option.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
In general, I would say you don't need to focus so hard on the surrounds right now... it's generally accepted that they don't need to match your front 3 as closely as the center to the L/R Speakers. Unless you are going to deep dive into multi-channel music (5.1 programming, not multi-ch.stereo), then I would sit on your polks and consider that for a future upgrade. Sure you can do better, but will it have as significant impact on your experience as getting the best front 3 plus good subs? No. ;)
Just my 2¢.
 
A

ara777

Enthusiast
In general, I would say you don't need to focus so hard on the surrounds right now... it's generally accepted that they don't need to match your front 3 as closely as the center to the L/R Speakers. Unless you are going to deep dive into multi-channel music (5.1 programming, not multi-ch.stereo), then I would sit on your polks and consider that for a future upgrade. Sure you can do better, but will it have as significant impact on your experience as getting the best front 3 plus good subs? No. ;)
Just my 2¢.
Yeah the surrounds is something I may do later. But wanted to have the research done. It's just for movies. For music the front stage that we have locked in right now seems perfect.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ok, I would really like to get 3 ccb-8s and that's what I am going to shoot for.

So the polks OWM3s were picked for the rear surround just for the versatility and I needed something simple to just give some additional ambiance given my room constraints. Is there anything else you would recommend I used here instead the polks?
The Polks will probably be just fine. There are also the SVS Elavation speakers, but they are more expensive, and considering the kind of system they are going in, there is not much sense in splurging on the surrounds. You are right to put emphasis on the front stage.
 

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