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£8000 5.1 home cinema?

OnAMission

Novice Member
Hello Forum users,
We are currently in the process of building a cinema room and have stumbled when it comes to audio.
I like to think of myself as a bit of an "audio connoisseur" and on my last visit to richer sounds, I found that the £500 speaker packages and £400 amps are not doing it for me. I am very unfortuante you see as I have had a pair of amazing wilson speakers for the last 4 years and I haven't heard anything better. I am looking to spend in the region of £8000 and really just want some suggestions. It will be used for a whole host of film genres and the occasional playthrough of my fleetwood mac flacs (can you get recievers that take flacs?). The Miller & Kriesel range have come highly recommended but I am unsure whether they quite fit into my budget.

I would love it if anyone could suggest anything,

Dylan
 

Member 116841

Distinguished Member
It doesn't matter how much you spend on speakers if the electronics aren't doing their job. Do you still have the Wilsons? Will they or can they be part of the system?
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Have a look at the xtz cinema range speakers.

There's a distributor name jaq who frequents this forum and You can get a demo of them at his place.

XTZ Cinema Series.

You could also considers the anthem 7 series AVR. Noit much betters it out there
 

OnAMission

Novice Member
It doesn't matter how much you spend on speakers if the electronics aren't doing their job. Do you still have the Wilsons? Will they or can they be part of the system?
The Wilsons were subject to severe flood damage therefore they won't be part of the system :D
 

OnAMission

Novice Member
Have a look at the xtz cinema range speakers.

There's a distributor name jaq who frequents this forum and You can get a demo of them at his place.

XTZ Cinema Series.

You could also consider the anthem 7 series AVR. Noit much betters it out there
The Anthem AVR looks right up my street ;) Also the XTZ speakers look awesome so I'll definitelly check them out! Also, do you or anyone else know the sort of projector screen you need to have if you are having speakers behind it...?
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
They sound it too. Had the privilege of demo of them with a sumptuous bacon buttie to boot at Jag's place. Definitely a recommended listen.

No clue on the projector front but you could ask Jag as he had same or similar setup or have word in the Projector forum.
Projectors, Screens & Video Processors
 

Member 116841

Distinguished Member
The Wilsons were subject to severe flood damage therefore they won't be part of the system :D
Which model Wilsons were they? I'm not familiar with Wilson speakers myself, but it's going to be a case of hearing a few setups to find out what will be worthy of replacing the Wilsons, or at least finding something you can live with. I would be tempted to keep the system simple though, and not necessarily go for a full 5.1 setup, as this will allow you to spend more money where it counts - the thinner you spread the budget over more boxes, the lesser the quality you'll end up with. I'm currently only using a 3.0 speaker system, but it sounds equally stunning for both music and movies, but the cost of the processor and 5 channel amplifier is around £6,000. Most people would be tempted to put £10-20k of speakers on the end of it - and you can - but I'll be using a £2,500 5.1 package (in the next couple of weeks) which will sound well beyond its price range and size, basically because they're being fed with a top notch signal in the first place.
 

OnAMission

Novice Member
Which model Wilsons were they? I'm not familiar with Wilson speakers myself, but it's going to be a case of hearing a few setups to find out what will be worthy of replacing the Wilsons, or at least finding something you can live with. I would be tempted to keep the system simple though, and not necessarily go for a full 5.1 setup, as this will allow you to spend more money where it counts - the thinner you spread the budget over more boxes, the lesser the quality you'll end up with. I'm currently only using a 3.0 speaker system, but it sounds equally stunning for both music and movies, but the cost of the processor and 5 channel amplifier is around £6,000. Most people would be tempted to put £10-20k of speakers on the end of it - and you can - but I'll be using a £2,500 5.1 package (in the next couple of weeks) which will sound well beyond its price range and size, basically because they're being fed with a top notch signal in the first place.
I was lucky enough to be given a pair of Sophia 2's for my 21st birthday (in place of a car :D). As you said, it may well be a case of just going for quality over quantity, after all in my opinion the atmos fad that has arisen recently is garbage. Tell me, how do 3.0 systems work...? is it 3 at the front or 2 front and one back...?
 
You've posted this in the 'stereo' section which most people associate with 2 speakers. As you're looking at a 5.1 system would you like me to move it over there for you instead?

It may be also wise to add a little more information i.e

Room size...
What you actually want from the system - how will you be streaming the FLAC files etc.

Although £8000 is a lovely budget it'll soon get swallowed up if you want a projector / acoustic screen, 5 speakers, a sub, an amplifier, blu ray player, cables and a rack etc etc.
 

OnAMission

Novice Member
You've posted this in the 'stereo' section which most people associate with 2 speakers. As you're looking at a 5.1 system would you like me to move it over there for you instead?

It may be also wise to add a little more information i.e

Room size...
What you actually want from the system - how will you be streaming the FLAC files etc.

Although £8000 is a lovely budget it'll soon get swallowed up if you want a projector / acoustic screen, 5 speakers, a sub, an amplifier, blu ray player, cables and a rack etc etc.
That would be great :)
I already have the blu-ray player/projector/cables > you wouldn't happen to know what type of projector screen you need to have speakers behind it would you?
 

OnAMission

Novice Member
You've posted this in the 'stereo' section which most people associate with 2 speakers. As you're looking at a 5.1 system would you like me to move it over there for you instead?

It may be also wise to add a little more information i.e

Room size...
What you actually want from the system - how will you be streaming the FLAC files etc.

Although £8000 is a lovely budget it'll soon get swallowed up if you want a projector / acoustic screen, 5 speakers, a sub, an amplifier, blu ray player, cables and a rack etc etc.
Terribly sorry didn't read your response properly, it's an acoustic screen I need then...?
 
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BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
No way to salvage the Wilson speakers? Hopefully insurance covered the damages.

Next is the projected £8000 for just Speakers and AV Receiver? Or ... are other things included in that budget.

Generally, speakers are 2 to 5 times the cost of the amp. So, if the AV Receiver is £1000, then the speakers are £2000/set to £5000/set.

In your case, given the money you have, I would recommend a AV Receiver in the £2000 to £2500 range and a 5.1 speaker set at about £4000/set to £6000/set. That gives you an idea of the price ranges you should be looking in.

So the speaker tend to break down like this -

1x = Front
1x = Sub
0.5x = Center
0.5x = Surround

So, let's assume about £2000 for the Front speakers, and it now breaks down like this -

£2000/pr = Front
£2000/ea = Sub
£1000/ea = Center
£1000/ea = Surrounds
------------------------
£6000 = Total


This is not etched in stone, I'm simply trying to add some perspective to the budget. Likely £2000 would buy you two very good Sub. You can also cut back in some areas to focus on other areas.

Looking at those prices, at the absolute top of my list would be FOCAL Aria 900 speakers. Though they are not as common as many other speakers like B&W or Monitor Audio.

Based on my experience auditioning the Focal Chorus 800 series, the watchword of the Focal is Stunning Clarity. Though in all honesty, I can't say how they stack up to the Wilsons.

£2350/pr = Focal Aria 936 (3x6.5") Floorstanding
£_530/ea = Focal Aria CC 900 Center
£_800/pr = Focal Aria 906 Bookshelf speakers
----------------------
£3680 = TOTAL


As you can see, when it comes to looking at specific speakers, the actually prices don't necessarily hold up to the estimate.

More on Subwoofers later.

There is one large Focal Aria 900 speakers at £2960/pr with 2x8" (200mm) each. Roughly 3x6.5" is the equivalent of 2x8" but the Focal 948 goes a bit deeper, and obviously are a bit more expensive, but still well within your budget. The new total above would be £4290/set.

(Remember you need to add £1000 to £2000 more for Subwoofers)


Focal Aria 906 Speakers (Pair)

Focal Aria CC 900 Centre Speaker

Focal Aria 936 Speakers (Pair)

Focal Aria 948 Speakers (Pair)

The new Dali Rubicon Series would drive that budget up a bit, but most likely still within your presumed budget range.

Dali Rubicon 6, 2x6.5", [email protected] - £3000/pr -
Dali Rubicon 6 Speakers (Pair)

Dali Rubicon 8, 2x6.5", [email protected] - £4000/pr -

Dali Rubicon 8 Speakers (Pair)

Dali Rubicon 2 bookshelf, 1x6.5", [email protected] - £1600/pr -

Dali Rubicon 2 Speakers (Pair)

In the Dali Rubicon series, they also make an LCR speakers that can serve as Surround or Center.

Dali Rubicon LCR, 1x6.5", [email protected] - £875 each -

Dali Rubicon LCR (Centre Speaker)

You would have to make sure you have room to place it as a Center.

£3000/pr = Dali Rubicon 6 Floorstanding
£_875/ea = Dali Rubicon LCR Center
£1750/pr = Dali Rubicon LCR Surrounds
-------------------------
£5625 = Total


£6625 with the Dali Rubicon 8.

Other speakers in roughly the same price range -

Bowers Wilkins CM10-S2 Floorstanding, 3x6.5", [email protected] - £3000/pr -
Superfi - B&W CM10 S2 Floorstanding Speakers (Pair)

Bowers Wilkins CMC2 Center - £800 each -
Superfi - B&W CMC2 S2 Centre Speaker


Monitor Audio Gold 300, 2x6.5", 30hz - £3000/pr -
Monitor Audio Gold 300 Speakers

The Monitor Audio Gold have two options for a Center speakers, one fairly standard, and one considerably large -

Monitor Audio Gold C150 Center - £650 each -

Monitor Audio Gold C150 Centre Speaker

Monitor Audio Gold C350 Center - £1000 each -
Monitor Audio Gold C350 Centre Speaker

Of course both lines have bookshelf speaker that could be used for Surrounds. However, the Monitor Audio have speaker FX speakers specifically design for Surround Speakers.

Monitor Audio Gold FX Surround - $700 each -
Monitor Audio Gold FX Rear Speaker (Each)


Perhaps just a bit under budget, but the Wharfedale Jade 7 which were very highly reviewed, glowing reviews for both bookshelf and floorstanding, are certainly worth considering.

Wharfedale Jade 7 floorstanding, 2x8", [email protected] - £2700/pr in Gloss -
Wharfedale Jade 7 Floor Stander

Wharfedale Jade 7 floorstanding, standard finish - $2200/pr -
Wharfedale Jade 7

Also, two sizes of Center speakers -

Wharfedale Jade C1 Center - £600 each -

Wharfedale Jade C1

Wharfedale Jade C2 Center - £800 each -
Wharfedale Jade C2

While the JADE series does have a couple of very good Bookshelf speakers, they also make a speaker specifically for Surround duties.

Wharfedale Jade SR Surround - £550 each(?) -
Wharfedale Jade SR

For Subwoofer, one or two from the SVS Sound line. The link I'll use is to the USA, but SVS are available in the UK/EU. Just find the model number you like and search Google-UK-Shopping -

Best Sealed Box Subwoofer | Powered Home Theater Subs

Best Ported Box Subwoofer | Powered Home Theater Subs

Cylinder Subwoofers | Best Powered Home Theater Subs

Most will claim there is an advantage to using DUAL Subs -

SVS Dual Subwoofer Packages

Though it depends on the size of the room. In a large room, most certainly Dual Subs can give you more uniform coverage.

That only scratches the surface, and as you can see most of these options do knot consume your entire budget, leaving room for accessories like wire and cable.

As to AV Receivers, given your budget, you can have pretty much the top of the line model in any common brand. Generally, you should have not trouble finding a top quality AV Receiver in the £2000 to £3000 price range.

One other option, though considerably more expensive, would be to get a AV Pre-Amp/Processor and a combination of Power Amps.

Marantz AV8802 Pre-Amp/Processor - £2720 each -
Marantz AV8802 AV Processor

Marantz MM8077 7-Channel Power Amp 150w/ch - £1800 each -
Marantz MM8077 AV 7 Channel Power Amplifier Black

Myself, I would prefer to have the Parasound 2-channel amp driving the front speakers, and the Parasound 3-channel driving the Center and Surrounds, but again we are pushing the price up considerably.

Though for the Pre-amp/Processor front end, I would probably just go with the Marantz linked above.

Parasound A21 2-channel, 250w/ch Power Amp -£2525 each -
Parasound HALO A21 2 Channel Power Amplifier

Parasound A31 3-channel, 250w/ch Power Amp - £3575 each -
Parasound A31 Power Amplifier

Like I said, the Pre-Amp/Process and Power Amps drive the price up considerably, but this would be the best absolute top of the line option.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Member 116841

Distinguished Member
As you said, it may well be a case of just going for quality over quantity, after all in my opinion the atmos fad that has arisen recently is garbage. Tell me, how do 3.0 systems work...? is it 3 at the front or 2 front and one back...?
I wouldn't go as far as to say Atmos is "garbage" as it has its place (bigger, dedicated rooms), but I myself chose to improve my existing setup rather than going the Atmos route and just adding more speakers. My 3.0 is temporary (front left, right, and centre), as I sold my 5.2 speaker system to fund the processor upgrade. If I'd have sunk that money into more speakers, the quality of my system would've remained unchanged - I really wanted a processor that could vastly improve movies as much as it would the music, instead of the conventional approach of having a typical AV receiver and a high quality hi-fi amp for the front left/right speakers which is ok for music but does nothing at all for the quality of movies.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
If it's a fixed AT screen look at building your own it's quite easy, you can use filmex which is reasonably priced. Jag at Epic Home cinema sells it and he is the uk distributor for the XTZ speakers. He is near Slough and is having a forum demo day there Sunday 29th Nov and there will be a dozen or so avforum members attending to hear the range and see new product that are just becoming available. His demo facilities are second to none and a good day is usually had by all so if you want to come put your name down.

Epic Home Cinema- Forum meets - Sunday 29th November 2015

Epic Home Cinema - Home Cinema Retail and Installations
 
Have you considered looking at the classifieds on here and seeing what you could get for your money?

Someones selling a lovely set of PMC 22 speakers and matching centre for less than £2000.

Another member is selling some B&W CT7.3's which sound amazing and again under £2000 which would be your front end sorted! A huge saving on what they'd cost to buy new.

Speakers are pretty much risk free if they've been looked after IMO as they either work or they don't!
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
If you are just needing just audio for the £8000 budget I would consider the XTZ as being out there as one of the best options for movies that can also do music well at their price level.

As a 5.1 system you could get 3 x M6 for the front LCR and a pair of S5's for the surrounds for £2700 and add 1 or 2 1x12 subwoofers for £675 ea or if you have a large room and love prodigious bass in your movies a single 3x12 @ £1600. If you want a 7.1 system add an extra pair of S5's. So min price £3375 for 5.1 to £5200 for a 7.1 with a 3x12 sub.

That would leave enough left over for an avr such as the Denon X7200wa (£1800 on deals atm) and a 5 channel pa like a Rotel 1565 to make sure you have sufficient power to make the speakers really sing.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The XTZ speakers from Sweden are certainly worth a look. Nothing but positive reviews and positive feedback for buyers.

The highest affordable series in the Series 99, though these are well below your budget, expect good performance from them. Though ... considering you had Wilson speakers previously, what constitutes good performance relative to your frame of reference can be hard to determine.

XTS 99 Series -

Epic Home Cinema - XTZ 99 Series

The Top of the Line Divine, are pushing your budget to the extreme, but given 2x10" Bass drivers, I would expect devastating performance. Near Demolition capability.

XTZ Divine Series -


Epic Home Cinema - XTZ Divine Series

I would absolute love to build a Home Cinema system around the Divine 100.49 speakers, but I'll have to hold off on that until I win the Lottery.

Full Specs here - 100.49 Floorstanding -

Divine 100.49

Note the Divine 100.49 have incredibly deep bass response, deep enough that one would not necessarily need a Subwoofer -

Frequency Range: 25 (20) - 25.000 (25.000) Hz - Anechoic (typical room)


New to the XTZ speaker line is the CINEMA Series. Very high performance in a very small package -

XTZ Cinema Series -

Epic Home Cinema - XTZ Cinema Series

Note these speakers come in definite Left Hand and Right Hand models.

In Subwoofer, while XTZ makes standard high quality Subs, they also make a KILLER SUB with 3x12" bass drivers and 2700w of power (3x900w) -

XTZ Subwoofers -


Epic Home Cinema - 3 x 12 Subwoofer

Epic Home Cinema -1 x 12 Suboofer

I feel, though I'm not paying the bills, that the XTZ Series 99 are a bit beneath your stated budget, and the XTZ Divine series are just a bit above your budget.

Though you could make a very nice system just using the Divine100.33 Bookshelf speakers -

Epic Home Cinema - Divine 100.33 Stand Mount

These are no pixie speakers with 2x7" Bass Drivers, they are substantial and they would make for a very serious Home Cinema. I believe they are £1220 EACH putting them pretty close to your budget requirements.

Here are full specs - 100.33 Stand Mounted -

Divine 100.33

The Main XTZ Website can be fond here.

XTZ Sound In Balance - High-End Speakers & Electronics

On the Upper right you can select Language of Choice. XTZ has distribution in the UK, EU, Scandinavia, and in the USA.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Jag of the Bailey

Distinguished Member
Hello Forum users,
We are currently in the process of building a cinema room and have stumbled when it comes to audio.
I like to think of myself as a bit of an "audio connoisseur" and on my last visit to richer sounds, I found that the £500 speaker packages and £400 amps are not doing it for me. I am very unfortuante you see as I have had a pair of amazing wilson speakers for the last 4 years and I haven't heard anything better. I am looking to spend in the region of £8000 and really just want some suggestions. It will be used for a whole host of film genres and the occasional playthrough of my fleetwood mac flacs (can you get recievers that take flacs?). The Miller & Kriesel range have come highly recommended but I am unsure whether they quite fit into my budget.

I would love it if anyone could suggest anything,

Dylan


Hi Dylan,

Bristol isn't particularly far from me. I'd happily bounce a few ideas with you for your proposed cinema system. A real number of options. For ultimate cinema, acoustically transparent screens are the way to go and it needn't be an expensive option. Not any more. In terms of speakers, a few have mentioned the XTZ Cinema series. Well worth a demo. Combine these with a good sub and you'll be in for an adrenaline filled ride. Do get in touch for a blast. You'll also probably have change left over.

I think I may be able to convert you to Atmos too. Done properly it really does accentuate the experience.

Last week I trekked down to Westfield to watch Spectre on a proclaimed 'Super screen' in the Vue cinema at Westfield shopping complex. The sound and image were awful. Absolutely awful in comparison to what can now be achieved in the home through a good set of speakers that have been well eq'd and a projection system that has had a little careful configuration. Even out of the box most projectors these days outperform what you see in the cinema.
 

kalimon

Well-known Member
If you are just needing just audio for the £8000 budget I would consider the XTZ as being out there as one of the best options for movies that can also do music well at their price level.

As a 5.1 system you could get 3 x M6 for the front LCR and a pair of S5's for the surrounds for £2700 and add 1 or 2 1x12 subwoofers for £675 ea or if you have a large room and love prodigious bass in your movies a single 3x12 @ £1600. If you want a 7.1 system add an extra pair of S5's. So min price £3375 for 5.1 to £5200 for a 7.1 with a 3x12 sub.

That would leave enough left over for an avr such as the Denon X7200wa (£1800 on deals atm) and a 5 channel pa like a Rotel 1565 to make sure you have sufficient power to make the speakers really sing.
I don't own the XTZ speakers but if I was starting with a blank canvas with an £8000 budget, I would take kbfern's advice.
You really can't go wrong with the system he recommended.
 

Muddy Funker

Active Member
I've got nowhere near the credentials of some of the people that post here but if you're not fussed about buying second hand I'd definitely consider going down that route.

I think in general people into home cinema/audio tend to look after the gear they buy and as such you can make that healthy budget go miles further, excellent sounding speakers and amps from a good few years ago remain so today.

The choice as to which though can be pretty mind blowing, good luck and enjoy.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
£2440/pr = XTZ Divine 100.33 Bookshelf (2x7")
£1220/ea = XTZ Divine 100.33 Center
£_900/pr = XTZ Cinema S5 Surrounds
£1350/pr = XTZ 1x12 Subwoofer (pair)
-------------------------------
£5910 = Total


That would leave £2000 for an amp.

Though remember the Front/Center speakers are probably going to need stands.

All the speakers I listed are good clear detailed speaker (B&W CM, Monitor Audio Gold, Dali Rubicon, Wharfedale Jade, etc...). So, no one is offering you a bad choice. No matter what you pick, the result will be a good system.

If we bump the above system to the very very Substantial Divine 100.49, we jump over your budget considerably. But on weekends, you could always rent the speakers out for building demolition. (kidding).

£4400/pr = XTZ Divine 100.49 Bookshelf (2x10")
£1220/ea = XTZ Divine 100.33 Center
£_900/pr = XTZ Cinema S5 Surrounds
£1350/pr = XTZ 1x12 Subwoofer (pair)
-------------------------------
£7870 = Total


All that said, if you want high end at a bargain price, really do consider the Wharfedale Jade 7 speakers. Very highly rated at a very attractive price.

Stereophile Review - Wharfedale Jade 7 - Recommended Components/Editor's Choice -

Wharfedale Jade 7 loudspeaker

The Wharfedale Jade 3 bookshelf (1x7") also got a very positive review indicating that the sound quality is consistent across the speaker series -

Stereophile Review - Wharfedale Jade 3 -


Wharfedale Jade 3 loudspeaker

Here is a Sound and Vision review of a complete Jade 7 5.1 package -

Sound & Vision Review - Wharfedale Jade 7 -


Wharfedale Jade 7 Speaker System

These are probably the best value for the money. These are not cheap, but relative to all the other suggestions low cost, and would allow you to dump considerably more into the amp and inevitable accessories.

$2200/pr = Wharfedale Jade 7 Floorstanding
£_800/ea = Wharfedale Jade C2 Center (larger)
£_550/pr = Wharfedale Jade SR Surrounds
------------------------------
£3550 = Total

Plus £1000 to £2000 for Subwoofers for a total of £4550 to £5550,
though in reality you can probably find Subs for less.

As an alternate to the Jade SR, you could use the Bookshelf Jade 1 speakers at about £600/pair.

However, every speaker listed by myself or anyone else is a good speaker. They all sound good, they all sound clear, they all sound detailed, it is just a matter of determining which one you personally like.

I would thank my lucky stars to have any of these speakers.

I would speculate that it would take a sizable room to contain the XTZ 100.40 2x10" Floorstanding speakers. But the XTZ Divine 100.33 bookshelf (2x7") would do a fine job and right at the top of your budget.

What you really need to do is get out and hear some of the suggested speakers, to see if you have a preference.

But there is no wrong choice here.

Though we would need to take into consideration the actual size of the room, most critically how much space you have to place the Surround speakers. The Monitor Audio have the advantage of the Gold FX being easily able to be placed on the wall. However, if you can place bookshelf appropriately, then that opens the possibilities.

Room size also effect the size of the Subs and how many you can accommodate.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
My 2pence worth.
If you have £8k to spend on the audio side of things I would seriously consider a sub sat system from the likes of XTZ, MK etc.

Get the basis of the system right with good quality speakers.

Atmos and upcoming DTS:X are fantastic, even in a small room.
They bring a whole new dimension to the experience.

Get the 5.1 right and pre wire for object based audio formats as you will want them if you decide not to embrace initially.
 
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