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tamamontu

Help choosing speakers

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Hi All,

I am newbie to this forum and this is my first post. I am trying to develop this hobby and get my first setup.

I am based in Perth WA, Australia.

Trying to setup a home theater. I dont have a separate dedicated room for HT, will be using our living room as a media room/HT.

Room Dimensions (mm) 3550(width) X 5700 (depth) X 2800 (height). I am looking at the speakers for music aswell as movies. I do love bass, but at the same time dont want to go overboard with it. At present i have a home theater in the box. To start with I am looking at setting up 5.1 setup and eventually extend to 7.1. At present i am looking at Marantz SR6012 AV receiver. My budget is 5-6K to start with and i dont mind initially just buying L/R  with AV receiver and eventually remaining speakers.

I was looking Focal Aria 926 speakers. In Perth there is a very limited stock of stuff available in the shops. I was also looking at Denon AVR-X4300 as in US its going for sale at 799$ USD. In Ausi its still going for 2999$AUD, so started looking at Marantz SR6012. Local shop sales person was also suggesting B&W 683, and Sonus(more from cost point of view.)

As this is my first setup i wanted to make sure i am on the right track to get the best match for the AV receiver and speakers.

Local shops mainly sale B&W, Focal, KEF, Martin Logan, Krix, Polk, Paradigm Monitor.

Thank you so much for your time!

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Yesterday i got a chance to test some speakers at a local dealer. I was able to test Klpisch (RP-260F/ RP-250F) forgot the exact model, B&W 683, Focal 726, Focal Aria 926.

I felt the Klipsch had the treble overpowering as compared to mid range. Also not much bass. A subwoofer was attached to the setup. Could it be due to the setup? I am going to try them again.

B&W 683 were quiet clear and had well balanced mid range but not much treble and bass as compared to the focal.

Focal 726 was better than B&W683 in terms of clarify and details but was lacking high frequency details as compared to Aria 926. I went back and forth between 726 and 926. It was noticeable 926 had more details across the range as compared to 726.

Am I on the right track in terms of the difference which i noticed with these speakers. Any one had similar experience with these speakers.

I am planing to look at more speakers this weekend.

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24 minutes ago, tamamontu said:

In Perth there is a very limited stock of stuff available in the shops. 

 Yet there seems to be a lot of second hand gear available in WA! I had never considered second hand before but  thanks to peeps on here, am sold on the idea

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West coast hi-fi midland are doing a decent special on the arias, they stock most if the other brands you mentioned as well, if you haven't already been there you may want to

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The brands you mention sound good, I'd also check out Triangle speakers if you can. Also, see if there's a place you can audition speakers with Rel subwoofers. They're amazing in my opinion, make bass authentic but not boomy. They also seem to "take the strain" off your other speakers to improve midrange and treble - don't know how, in my audition they just improved the sound across the full spectrum. Good luck!

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Thanks all of you for your feedback. Today i was able to audition Aria 926 vs Harmonix mk2 at a local shop. It was driven by an vincent amp (dont know the exact detail of the amp) as was too focused on the speakers. Harmonix were amazing in all range, i was able to compare them with aria 926 and chorus. 

 

Harmonix had some more bass in them as compared to aria 926. Is this rigth or was this due to the amp.

 

I am looking at driving them from marantz 6012. Both the speakers were very close. The sales guy was saying go with focal as they can be driven as 2.1 and harmonix are more to be used in  suround sound setup. Is this the case guys. Initially i am planning to run them in 2.1 and will add other speakers gradually.

 

Harmonix specs 

Frequency Range
35Hz-40kHz in room response

Power Handling
50 – 250 Watts RMS recommended amplifier power

Sensitivity
90dB for 2.83 volts at 1 metre

Impedance
Nominally 6 Ohms (minimum 3.1 Ohms)

 

Focal aria 926.

Frequency response (+/- 3dB) 45Hz - 28kHz
Low frequency point - 6 dB 37Hz
Sensitivity (2.83V / 1m) 91.5dB
Nominal impedance 8 Ohms
Minimum impedance 2.9 Ohms
Recommended amplifier power 40 - 250W
Crossover frequency 290Hz / 2400Hz

 

Marantz sr 6012 

6 ohm, 1 kHz, 1%, 1ch Drive 185 W
6 ohm, 1 kHz. 0.7%, 2ch Drive 150 W
8 ohm, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.08%, 2ch Drive 110 W

 

The specs says 8ohm if i go with harmonix will that be a issue as they mention 6ohm impedance. Also do i need to go with a matching subwoofer for either of them?

 

 

 

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when you matching subwoofer... sub can be any brand. you dont mention your budget for a sub

 

as for 6ohm 8ohm any current avr should handle both easily.

 

normally adding extra speakers later is fine as long as you get the matching centre

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8 minutes ago, hopefullguy said:

when you matching subwoofer... sub can be any brand. you dont mention your budget for a sub

I meant to say from the same brand as the L&R speakers. Budget wise less than 1k 

 

My room is not very big plus i cannot keep lot of gap between the speaker and wall will that be an issue.

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Posted (edited)

Both speaker choices will be good. It will depend on how you like to listen and what type of music and type of sound interests you the most. With the Krix the tweeter is positioned under the midrange driver so depending on what height your head is at seated position that may be less desirable. Personally I don't like the sound of that type of ring radiator tweeter it is not very sweet sounding. So the focal would be my personal choice.

 

The other thing to consider is that with a sub a different combination such as two driver bookshelf speakers may also be good. The floorstanding speakers make more bass than bookshelf speakers but if there is a sub then floorstamding may be wasted. However the floor standing speaker is a 3 way speaker so the midrange details will be better than a two way bookshelf. The bookshelf speaker is cheaper and you will need to decide how to position them on stands or on the tv unit cabinet which looks much neater and takes up less floor space.

 

Used speakers in the gumtree will be about half the cost if you are willing to wait a few months. There is a pair of high quality Dynaudio 110 bookshelves at the moment in WA gumtree.

 

Also your room is quite narrow and the 5.1 setup may not work depending on where it is setup. You don't want speakers in corners, do some reading on ideal speaker room layout before purchase.

Edited by Al.M

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Thanks for your reply ALM, thats the next thing i will be trying to look at.in regards to setup the speakers will be on one side of the narrow end and siting positions on the other end. 

 

I have read a lot of good reviews about  svs pb1000 sub, but local retailer dont sell them and recomended REL T7 or Krix Seismix 3. I heard both of them, krix was more noticable where as REL was not that noticiable. Was told that later one is more fast in response hence comes in line with the speakers, were as the other one is bit delayed. Has any had experience with Pb1000 /REL T7/ Seismix 3.

 

Given that my room is narrow which option would sounder better?

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Posted (edited)

3.5m wide on narrow end of room is very limited but could getaway with 2m+ speaker seperation with 0.5m to corners. Smaller bookshelf speakers may be less affected. 

 

Havnt heard any any of the subs but the PB looks good, then Krix and last Rel. PB is larger dimensions and generally want it placed near the front speakers, difficult to say which will sound better but all are good choices and have adjustability to suit. 

 

Good luck with final choices.

Edited by Al.M

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So, I went down this surround sound path a while back with the Marantz SR6010 (the then equivalent to the 6012) and KEF Q series stuff, which is in the same league as what you're contemplating now. 

 

I learnt the following:

 

1) Marantz receivers and Samsung TVs really don't like each other (lots of failed handshakes and signals not detected). If you have a Samsung, avoid the Marantz.

 

2) Big, sharp bass sounds (the kind you want for HT and for punchy music) require more power than the cabinet suggests. Overhead. Keep that in mind when auditioning floorstanders for bass response with amps more powerful than the 110w receiver you're looking at. More power will make those speakers sound much better than the (still very good) Marantz is capable of. Whereever possible listen to the speakers you want with the amplification you want. 

 

3) Surround sound is, for everything but the best TV and cinema, a bit gimmicky. You have to ask yourself if that cricket chirping behind your head is worth the hassle. In addition, files that... fell off the back of the digital truck, as it were, are often poorly coded for surround (surround back and surround mixed up, etc.).

 

In the end I went back to 2.1 - keeping the Q700 floorstanders and sub and powering the speakers with the best integrated stereo amp I could afford. I'm much happier. If you plan to spend more than 20% of your time listening to music, I'd strongly suggest you do the same. If I had figured this out at the beginning, I could have had much nicer speakers, or just saved myself a tonne of money. :/

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IThanks for the reply i was able to audition harmonix in the setups one driven by a mono amp for each speaker and one driven by denon x4300. There was some difference but not that huge atleast at the volume i tried them on. Given this is my first system and budget i went down this path. 

In regards to Marantz and Samsung i did some forum and some were mentioning due to samsung hdmi port some said due to marantz hdmi software. What kind of problems you had with this combo.

 

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Thanks Twofires, you mentioned you added integrated amp. Could you please explain bit more about ur setup in terms of connections.

 

I have finally decided to go ahead with Krix harmonix as the price diff was anrnd 1k with Aria 926 in satin finish along with svs pb1000, vortex center and marantz sr6012. I am trying to read about setting up the av receiver. I have read that the receiver comes with automatic setup option or you could set manually. This being my first receiver i dont know much about setup/connections. Can some pls share some info on setting up the system. Also i read that the receiver needs decent air flow. In my tv unit there are 2 compartments on either side and they are barely wide enough to fit the receiver. So not much space on the sides. I was thinking of put some cpu fans for cooling.

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Before worrying about the airflow consider the flow direction within the amp. If there is no air intakes or exhausts on the sides of the amp then space there is not a concern. Airflow will likely be designed to flow vertically so ensure enough room above the amp and you'll be sweet. Otherwise, try it, see how warm it gets then add fans if needed.

 

I installed quiet computer fans to mine by throwing together by a wall wart 12v power supply and a simple relay circuit that kicks them on when the 12v remote trigger is detected.

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If not using fans normally you would need about 50-75mm space at the top and bottom inflow entry and top outlet gaps or holes. It will depend on how hot the receiver gets so subjectively feel with hands after a few hours operation and refer to the manual on installation.

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I use one of theses. Works well.

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/i/252356033602

 

Im glad you went with the speakers that sounded the best to your ears. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that more expensive means they sound better.

Should be a very nice sounding system. Congrats, don’t forget the pics. :)

Edited by Pops110

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13 hours ago, Pops110 said:

I use one of theses. Works well.

 

https://www.ebay.com.au/i/252356033602

 

Im glad you went with the speakers that sounded the best to your ears. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that more expensive means they sound better.

Should be a very nice sounding system. Congrats, don’t forget the pics. :)

Thanks for the link, I am glad i posted to this forum as i was didnt knew about Krix speakers before, Sure I will post the pics once i get the system. It seems that It will be arrive by the end of this month due to stuff being on back order.

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Thanks ALM for sharing the info. Once i hook up the system i will see how hot it gets. At present i am trying to see how to modify the tv unit for the center  speaker and av receiver.

 

As mentioned earlier my tv unit got two compartments on either sides but they are 440mm wide so i dont think the av receiver will go in there. Are you guys aware of any carpentry place  which will help with modifying existing tv unit. I also dont want to put the stuff about the tv unit as i got two young kids.

 

I am thinking of removing the middle shelve to increase the height and then remove the drawers and use that space as another shelve.

Untitled_zpsk4kyjeq2.jpg

 

Edited by tamamontu

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On 10/10/2017 at 2:07 PM, tamamontu said:

In regards to Marantz and Samsung i did some forum and some were mentioning due to samsung hdmi port some said due to marantz hdmi software. What kind of problems you had with this combo.

 

1) a failure to reliably detect an input signal, suggesting the HDMI handshake was failing at some point (this sometimes could not be overcome without unplugging, discharging, and then re-plugging and restarting the TV)

 

2) a failure to recognise the Marantz On Screen Display (OSD), especially when no other signal is active (i.e. getting the Marantz menu to show up on the TV to actually see what was going on was almost completely random)

 

3) CEC commands have to be on for ARC to work, but you can only enable certain types of CEC commands on the Marantz for the picture to show up reliably and to avoid frustrating input changes when you don't want them

 

Note these experiences are with a 4k Samsung TV - you may have better luck if you stick to 1080p only.

 

I believe that these issues are due to 4k (and HDMI 2,.0) still being a relatively young technology, and due to differences in implementations of CEC caused by companies wanting to put their mark on things, resulting in interoperability issues. Basically, the two devices are speaking the same language, in different dialects.

 

On 10/10/2017 at 2:11 PM, tamamontu said:

Thanks Twofires, you mentioned you added integrated amp. Could you please explain bit more about ur setup in terms of connections.

 

Basically I removed the Marantz completely, and replaced it with a Rotel stereo receiver. I connected my HTPC via the USB DAC input on the Rotel, and the TV via optical. Because I am only using 2 channels, this means I can use optical for an uncompressed signal (whereas it would be compressed and lossy if I used it for 5.1). I also connected my blu-ray player via digital coax (only because I didn't have a second optical cable).

 

Because the Rotel does not touch video signals at all, I have experienced no further issues. It's not as feature-packed or flexible as the Marantz I had, but it does exactly what I need it to without issue.

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On 11/10/2017 at 10:59 AM, tamamontu said:

Thanks ALM for sharing the info. Once i hook up the system i will see how hot it gets. At present i am trying to see how to modify the tv unit for the center  speaker and av receiver.

 

As mentioned earlier my tv unit got two compartments on either sides but they are 440mm wide so i dont think the av receiver will go in there. Are you guys aware of any carpentry place  which will help with modifying existing tv unit. I also dont want to put the stuff about the tv unit as i got two young kids.

 

I am thinking of removing the middle shelve to increase the height and then remove the drawers and use that space as another shelve.

Untitled_zpsk4kyjeq2.jpg

 

It would be best to remove the middle shelf, use natural ventilation and not rely on separate fans that one may forget to turn on and is a nuisance to install and manage every time.

 

A cabinet or wood working shop may help and cost a few hundred dollars, but you can simply do it yourself by going to Bunnings or a hire shop and find a 90 degree angle cutter of some kind. One cut in the middle and a crow bar and some karate moves will get it done and paint over the remaining nail holes. The shelf may also simply adjust with out cutting so check it properly.

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Thanks for your reply guys, I have removed all the screws for the middle shelve and i can see it moving havent tried removing it completely.  As you suggested i might need to cut the front bar of wood as it seems thats glued. I will have a look at the angle cutter.

 

In regards to fans, lot of people have put them on and used some sort of trigger mechanism from the receiver. So thought of checking them out. My equipment wont arrive for another 2 weeks i think so will have to wait. Once arrived plan to hook it up and see how hot it gets.

 

 

 

 

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The middle shelf is naturally ventilated enough and shouldnt need a fan. Also, look around opposite side of where shelf is attached to see if there are hidden screws under plugs or wood putty. 

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Thanks ALM, i havent yet tried removing the shelve, was waiting for the receiver to arrive. Just found out that my equipment is delayed by 2 weeks due to some supply shortage. Not very exciting.

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On 09/10/2017 at 2:35 AM, tamamontu said:

Has any had experience with Pb1000 /REL T7/ Seismix 3.

I ordered two REL T9i's but I'm waiting for them to come in.

 

I was worried they wouldn't be 'noticeable' for movies, so I went to listen to the shop's REL T5i last night. It was more than loud enough.

 

You can turn up the volume easily if you want. I was then thinking that two T9i's might be overkill!

 

A REL T7i might be out of your price range?

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