Question Advice and thoughts on equipment quoted?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by chownsie79, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    Hi,

    My project has taken longer than expected and I've recently been quote this;

    Screenshot_20190430_162732.jpg

    Can anyone advise on this equipment and if it is a good system please?
     
  2. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Most of the equipment is good, although in honesty I'm not a fan of Onkyo. I would not get the Dali sub and look at BK. You don't really need the Pearl HDMI, especially if the price is +£25.

    Have you actually listened to the Onkyo connected to KEF speakers. They do tend to sit better with Denon and Marantz receivers, but they are a good speaker. You really need to give the dimensions of your room with a diagram.

    Sub Woofers - Sub Bass - Subwoofer
     
  3. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    Thanks gibbsy,

    I've posted a few things here before; Question - Drop ceiling and pelmets?

    I planned to do the work myself slow time, but with a baby due I need to now get someone in to do it soonest - which I'm finding a challenge as tradesman don't tend to do pelmets etc as cinema rooms are not common. The quote for equipment is from a well known local AV supplier, they have also asked a tradesman to quote as follows;

    The materials cost comes to just under £1500, this is for the following:-

    Plasterboard for ceiling
    Plaster
    8 x Downlights
    4 x Wall lights
    4 x RGB colour changing strips
    Reko RMT500 dimmers x 4
    Reko RMC070 keypad and plate x 1
    Timber to construct light pelmet around perimeter of room
    Cable for electrics
    Sundries - screws, adhesives etc.

    The labour to fit the lights, plasterboard and plaster the ceiling, patch walls with plaster where required, construct and fit lighting pelmet, install lighting in ceiling/pelmet/walls.
    £1750

    Labour to fit screen, projector and AV equipment (if required) £525

    Please note that these figures are a ball park figure of the costs and are not a fixed price, a full site survey would be required before starting any works.
     
  4. Seriously Ltd

    Seriously Ltd
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    As above.

    Onkyo would not be our choice of AVR.
    I would try and get a demonstration of any proposed system.

    Don’t spend too much on speaker cable and interconnects.

    The labour cost is not unreasonable.

    Depending on where you are based try contacting a local Custom Installation company.

    [email protected]
     
  5. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    Thanks Rich,

    The equipment quote is from our local Richer Sounds, their senior installer visited us and then forwarded an email with his installers quote, who by trade (after an internet search) is a kitchen fitter.

    I've managed to find another local CI who is coming out tomorrow to take a look and it will give me a comparison.
     
  6. jamieu

    jamieu
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    Are you planning to put a TV on the same wall as the screen?

    If not, I might be tempted to put three identical in-wall speakers with the same orientation on that wall (or in a false wall built out in front of it) with the grills sprayed to match the wall and then either hang a fixed AT screen in front or install a pull-down AT screen in the pelmet that drops down over them (some good examples of this in the forums). Ditto, if you having builders in anyway and your walls will accommodate, you could get the builders to chisel out the back-boxes for in-wall surrounds.

    Obviously subjective, some people like their AV investment to be visible :) and might not be wholly practical if you plan to move. Although given your looking at installing ceiling speakers and a pelmet I assume your planning to stay for a while. But to me there is something sleek about walking into a room with no visible speakers and then hearing it filled with sound. It also means you can fit in a bigger/wider screen as all your speakers will be hidden/fit behind it. Which again to my mind, looks far sleeker and professional than having two speakers wall mounted either side of the screen and another sitting below it, esp. if they are a different colour to your walls.

    Sorry, that's more building work / options rather than less!
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  7. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    @jamieu thanks, that is some good advice.

    I'm hoping the installer tonight will give us a good quote, I've looked on their website and they seem to have options with regards to budget and how much/little they will do if you want to use other trades.

    I certainly like the idea of in walls, I'm not sure if we'd put a TV on that wall, I had run loads of cat6 (6 off) to the room with the idea of provisioning a plate on the wall in case we wanted to put something there. I think ideally we'd like it to look like a reading room or somewhere for our son to play by day, then when we want to watch films a screen appears and away we go!
     
  8. jamieu

    jamieu
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    Sounds like a great little space :)

    If your not going with a TV then I'd definitely consider going with three identical in-wall LCR speakers and an acoustic transparent screen, like this (but with the grills sprayed to match the wall and a screen sitting over the top of them all). Horizontal centre speakers are basically a compromise, designed for people with TV sets or non-AT screens.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  9. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    Very smart, what would you use for the rears? The same speaker? I do like the idea of in-wall, is there a significant price jump for these?

    Regarding a TV, would it matter if there was a TV there, or is positioning in a horizontal line important for the best sound - by that I mean, could you still put the central speaker a bit lower to provision for a TV if needed, or would this cause the sound to be compromised?
     
  10. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    @Seriously Ltd I note you're photograph on the link above, the M&K sound speakers are expensive for our budget, what would you say is the closest in wall speaker for the T301's? I see that Richer Sounds quoted a C1200CL speaker as well for the rears, I've no idea what is the difference between these and the KEF QS range.

    I'd like to know equivalents to use for the 3 fronts and two rears please?
     
  11. jamieu

    jamieu
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    If your walls are breeze-block or cavity then I'd go with in-wall surrounds as well.

    In an ideal world all your speakers would be the same make/model. But if cost is a consideration and when isn't it. I'd probably go for the same make/model, but one or two sizes down in the range for your surrounds. This thread/project is a nice example of in-wall surrounds disappearing into the room.

    As for cost, good in-walls tend to be slightly more expensive, as there's probably less demand for them, but not prohibitively so. All the regular suspects do in-well ranges B&W, Dali, Monitor Audio, KEF, MK so easy to compare.

    It's much better if all your speakers can line up horizontally behind the screen, that's how the soundtrack on your movie is mastered. Placing a speaker below the screen is a compromise. You want the dialog coming from the screen, not from somewhere below it. When was the last time you saw a speaker sitting below a screen in a cinema.

    If you have other places in the house you watch a TV or laptop for things like news, which admittedly looks bit odd projected, then I'd be inclined keep this space projector only. You could even weigh up going with a 2.35:1 (scope) screen vs a traditional 16:9 one if it's primarily movies you'll be watching in there.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  12. chownsie79

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    @jamieu thr rears will be mounted on an external wall, so I'm sure we have the depth to cut the block and install in walls. The fronts/central speakers will be into a wall that I believe it the old egg box style, if the same as upstairs, so there is a void there but I'm not sure if it is deep enough.

    Thanks for all the great go to links, makes life easy! If you look at the quote from Richer Sounds, the T301's and T301c was for the fronts/central speakers, so they must think from the survey that the rears can be in wall, KEF C1200CL.... What would you say is the equivalent in wall for the front/central ones? C1200CL as well?

    KEF or Monitor Audio? Or even BK?
     
  13. jamieu

    jamieu
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    Never heard KEF or Monitor Audio in-walls myself, but both have good reputations. Ditto, MK but that's a different price point. Have heard B&W in-walls and they sounded good. BK good for subs and fantastic value for money, but wouldn't buy in-wall/ceiling speakers from them.

    I have to say I have zero experience with KEF speakers, in-wall or not, so not really the best person to advise. The only thing to consider is the fact they don't have their own sealed back boxes built in, so you'll have to buy the matching rear enclosures or build your own to the specified dimensions. You're probably also going to be somewhat constrained by the depth of your walls, which might affect which models you can go for, so I'd double check that first.

    Here's a nice 3 step example of hiding speakers behind an AT screen stages 1, 2 and 3. In terms of AT screens, you'll probably notice there is a huge variation in cost, but I found that Elite make a pretty decent woven AT fabric that straddles quality vs cost which fits their most common frames if that helps.

    Just noticed your quote lists a 1M HDMI interconnect. Where were you placing your equipment in relation to the projector, I assume 1M won't be long enough? Also, as other have already said above, a CI pushing prohibitively expensive 'brand name' interconnects or cables would ring alarm bells for me, even if they are eventually 'thrown in for free' to close the deal. You just need cables with the appropriate thickness/shielding for your runs, which any decent CI will have bought drums of in bulk to make up cables to the right length as needed. That said HDMI cables tend to come made up to set lengths, but again you don't need anything fancy, a £10 Amazon basic HDMI cable will do fine unless there's a manufacturing fault (so do check the cable before running it).
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
  14. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    @jamieu Thanks again....

    So I've run cables, cat6 as I have a Bluestream HDBaseT Matrix in our utility room, which is around 8m away from where the projector will be placed.

    Yes this was an Atmos quote, but it then seems like there are speakers missing? The surrounds/rears are missing??

    On the subject of cable, will the van-damme 2.5 blue I've run be suitable for all speakers? I think it is fine for in wall but am starting to question it now!
     
  15. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Just to cover KEF speakers. They all use the KEF designed UniQ design, or a derivate of it. They are very good off axis and as such make KEF speakers very easy to place. I have KEF R Series speakers in a 5.1.2 configuration in my living room and absolutely love them. They are driven by two amps, a Rega Elicit-R for the front left and right with a Denon X6200 doing the processing and driving the centre, surrounds and Atmos modules.

    The KEF T Series is well respected as are the KEF bespoke in wall speakers. I think you would well served by KEF.
     
  16. jamieu

    jamieu
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    Yes, something def. wrong there, maybe the T310 'package' is the LR and the surrounds, but then I would have though it would have included the matching centre in the T series as well, rather than it being listed separately. Maybe the price/quantity for those lines makes it clearer.

    Looking again, it like both the CI200CL and CI200QL are perfectly suited to in-wall usage and not just ceiling usage. In fact, depending on the size of your room, you could probably get away with three CI200CL or CI200QL as your front LCR speakers and use the smaller CI160CL or Ci160QL for surrounds in a fully in-wall setup.

    I'd take @gibbsy advice re. KEF over anything I might say, sounds like he's had far more experience of using/listening to them than me ;-)

    More than good enough :)
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  17. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    Thanks gibbsy, I’ll see what the CI says but I’ll mention KEF tonight.
     
  18. chownsie79

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    @jamieu the room is 5.48m by 3.5m with window at one end, which will be behind the seating area and then the screen will be directly opposite on the length of the room. The door is in the corner at the screen (not on the same wall though).

    Apologies for the poor mock-up of the room I just did it on paint :)

    Edit: width is 3.5m not 4.17m
     

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    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  19. adam-burnley

    adam-burnley
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    How did it go with the CI?

    I've got Kef T301s for front LCR in a 5.1 setup, and they are very good considering how thin they are, but... I wouldn't have them in my cinema room. They are lifestyle speakers with decent performance, but not really good enough for high volume.

    Budget is always the deciding factor though, which is why I bought largely from these classifieds, saving quite a bit in the process.
     
  20. chownsie79

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    Hi @adam-burnley the CI was not what I was hoping for, an older dude who tried to sell us home security. He will send a quote, but I didn't get the feeling he'd quote sensibly or really for what I wanted.

    Budget is interesting, other above have suggested a AT screen, but that seems to be £1k+ straight away, AVR another £1kish for 5.1.4, then projector and speakers. I've no idea what people think is a good budget, but I may have to time it and save a bit as well...
     
  21. jamieu

    jamieu
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    Oh dear, that doesn't sound like a great start..

    Speakers / Room

    That's a fair size room to fill, I expect the T series would get lost in that space. As @adam-burnley says there really a ‘lifestyle’ speaker, designed to be discreet but limited because of that. I can imagine they'd be fantastic for TV viewing in an average living room, but for a projector setup in that size room I think they’d struggle, and you might end up disappointed.

    The in-wall CI200QL in an optimally sized back box are quoted at 90db which is extremely efficient for a speaker and based on that spec alone (and a back of a napkin calculation) suggests you could possibly get you commercial cinema SPL in your room. But a closer look at the specs (last graph) shows a sharp roll-off at 100hz and a fairly bumpy HF response, which will only become more prominent as you crank them up, suggesting you could only drive them to fraction of their full capacity. That’s not necessarily an issue, you wouldn’t really expect a traditional 8” bookshelf speaker to sound that great when driven hard either.

    There’s so many other factors at play (room size/height, seating distances, furnishings, unpublished speaker measurements) it’s hard to say what DB SPL (ie. the SPL where you're sitting) you could reach while still keeping the speakers in their comfort zone. But I expect a setup with 3 x CI200QL up front and the smaller CI160QL as surrounds would give you fairly impressive levels in a residential, mixed use lounge/cinema room. If you have adjoining neighbours and no soundproofing this is probably as loud as you’d want to go anyway for day to day viewing. Add in something like a BK Monolith for subwoofer duties and you'd have a pretty nice and very sleek setup.

    To reach the next level, where you can effortlessly reach commercial cinema/screening room SPL levels while keeping a near flat frequency response, you’re going to have to look at speakers with much more efficient drivers (which is why commercial cinemas tend to favour horns) or speakers with larger or multiple drivers, all of which increases size and cost. You'll probably also need larger amps to drive them and bigger subs to keep up with them and then soundproofing and acoustic room treatments to keep your neighbours happy. You're also going to need a substantially bigger budget!

    AT screen

    As for the AT screen, the 3m ‘Elite Sable frame screen’ with the ‘AcosuticPro 10803P’ (acoustic transparent) fabric comes out at £897. If you watch a lot of ‘letterboxed’ widescreen/scope films you might want to consider the 21:9 / 2.37:1 frames, which also might be a better fit/ratio for that wall. But first check your ceiling height and viewing distances and that any projector you purchase can project an image that wide.

    Expectations / Budget

    In the end it all comes down to your requirements, expectations, budget and how much of the research, planning and work you can do yourself. Also whether you are prepared to buy second hand, which can be a major cost saver, although that might not be an option if you want someone else to handle the whole project for you.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
  22. chownsie79

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    @jamieu agreed, I don't think the T series is going to be the right speaker and I'm very much leaning toward monitor audio's. Incidentally (attached) I spoke again to Richer Sounds and they came back with a different quote. I can get a Marantz 7012 from Peter Tyson for less than £900 and after telling Richer Sounds this, they quoted the 7013 model for £1,799!!

    So room height is 2.3m, seating will be 3.5mish from the screen, we will keep furniture at a minimum, so a sofa for viewing and maybe a small table for drinks. We are detached so fortunately won't be upsetting people - I'm looking to put a rockwall into the void between the cinema room/lounge and the bedroom above as well - do you have any thoughts on cables with rockwall? I'll look at the BK sub rather than the Richer Sounds Dali one!
    Yes budget is maybe £8-10k realistically for everything, so as you say, I have to do the best I can within that budget. Maybe I can build a better system over time when I can save and change things a bit.

    I'd like to do work myself, I think with things like the pelmet etc, it comes down to confidence, even lighting positions and speaker positions I'm not sure about. I just wouldn't want to mess something up!
     
  23. chownsie79

    chownsie79
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    Attachment...........
     

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  24. adam-burnley

    adam-burnley
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    Use conduit for cables, keep av and electrical cable in separate runs
     
  25. jamieu

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    Quick thought, maybe you've gone back to the idea of a TV on that wall as well, but if not.

    The CP-WT380 look fine, they also have the added bonus of built in back boxes. I'd expect they're roughly inline with the 8" KEFs above. What would would concern me (unless you specifically asked for an under TV speaker) is the CP-WT240LCR centre speaker. That speaker is going to be providing 85% of the dialog in your movies, it's probably the most important speaker in your whole setup and yet they've proposed a model marketed as a 'satellite speaker'.

    Maybe RS are just so used to installing 5.1 systems along with TV sets that this is just habit. But if you're not putting a TV set on that wall you don't want to be using a small, compromised speaker designed to sit under a TV set, especially one with lower power output than the left and right speakers. You want to be using a 3rd speaker exactly the same as the left and right, in the same orientation, with the tweeters all aligned horizontally. That way the sound will pan correctly when moving from left to right.

    Also, if you're not going with a TV consider getting a fixed screen rather than a pulldown, not only are they cheaper but they also have a much flatter surface as the fabric is always pulled taught to the frame, this is especially important on large 2m+ screens.
     
  26. chownsie79

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    Interesting you say that @adam-burnley.

    When we had our extension done, we closed off a doorway to the lounge and moved it, this then required moving some of the light switches and this is what we were left with. I complained to the builder but he said it was within regulation....

    Added a few more pics for room layout etc.

    I started to run a few cables around today and tack them temporarily before I decide how to build a pelmet and sort out these electrical cables!!
     

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  27. chownsie79

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    @jamieu no I specifically said I wanted a projector and screen and have all along, the only changes is in-wall from on wall speakers where they would maybe have had a lower central speaker. I'm not entirely confident in RS at the moment, the kitchen fitter they have recommended to do the install - all I can find about him online - is coming over next week, so we will see from that what exactly it is we are likely to get from them.

    I think I will certainly look strongly at your recommendations as it seems inline with what others have said as well, as you can see from that quote, it's £10k and I'm about to save £800 of that getting the Marantz 7012, they didn't really listen to me when I said I could get it for £849!!

    I definitely have the appetite to try and do as much as I can myself, but 7 weeks out from baby number 2 is certainly in the back of my mind and why I am thinking about lining people up - shame the CI just seemed a big meh...

    Do you think CP-WT380 x 3 fronts and then the other one for the rears? Or the WSS230 for the rears? Thoughts on the in-ceiling atmos speakers? Thanks
     
  28. chownsie79

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    On the subject of cables and TV's on the wall. When I considered a TV a long while ago, I ran 6 x cat6 to the room. Where would it be best to utilize those cat6 cables?
     
  29. Seriously Ltd

    Seriously Ltd
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    Apologies for the late reply. We’ve been busy building our new showroom and finishing an installation.

    The MK loudspeakers do come in at a higher price point. We have installed several KEF 5160RL in wall systems which have sounded great but again way above budget. The KEF in walls are good. Also consider Dynaudio loudspeakers as they can be specified in various combinations of drivers that can be added to.

    If you can source a Marantz 7012 go for it as it’s a good AVR especially at that price.

    Not familiar with the MA speakers so can’t advise.

    More than happy to give advice if you drop me an email.

    Richer Sounds have their place and use external companies to carry out installations. We were once asked to become an installer for them.

    Regards

    [email protected]
     
  30. jamieu

    jamieu
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    This is what I’d probably do :)

    Projector

    JVC/Epson (2-3 years old in the classifieds forum) : ~£1500

    Unless you desperately need real 4K, which you probably can live without. Save your pennies and look out for a hi-end JVC with fake-4K or a top end Epson in the classified which would have retailed for £5-6k a few years back. These higher-end models will also give you electronic zoom/focus/shift which will make setup of a large screen easier and zoom memory, which will enable you to switch between 16:9 to 2.35:1 ratios if you decided to go with a 2.35:1 ‘scope’ screen (like you have in the cinema).

    Speakers

    Note: I am basing this solely on your current choices. There are so many options out there at every price point. Although given your budget any 8” LCR (with surrounds a model down) from a known vendor like KEF/B&W/Monitor Audio is likely to offer a similar price / performance level.

    LCR: 3 x CP-WT380 IDC : £420 x 3 : £1260
    SR/SL/RR/RR : 4 x CP-WT260: £200 x 4 : £800 [see comment below]
    Atmos: CT265 IDC : £230 x 4 : £920

    £2,980

    These won’t offer reference level SPL, but to step up to that level would require significantly more budget.

    AVR

    ??? £850 (via a good deal on one of last last year’s upper-mid-range model)

    I wouldn’t go overboard here to start. It’s probably the first major bit of kit you’ll end up upgrading. I think with AVRs/Processors you need to live with one for a bit to work out what features are important to you, what you can live without and what annoys you. btw. if you go for an AVR with 7.1 pre-outs you can always add in a power-amp later for your main channels, which might be one upgrade route to consider.

    The Marantz SR7012 looks fine. But I notice (double check I could be wrong) it only supports 2 Atmos channels out of the box (without an external power amp). Yet the RS quote lists 4 overhead ‘Atmos’ speakers and has no mention of an external power amp? I’d widen the search for an AVR that handles a full 7.1.4 setup out of the box or loose two of the overhead Atmos channels. I'd also question RS's ability to quote for, let alone install, a decent system ;-) I don't have Atmos so can't really help here, have a look in the relevant section of the forum for recommendations / what others are using.

    Screen

    Fixed AT screen : £900

    The 3m ‘Elite Sable frame screen’ with the ‘AcosticPro 10803P’ fabric comes is £897. If you watch a lot of ‘letterboxed’ widescreen/scope films you might also want to also consider the 21:9 / 2.37:1 EZFrame with the 'AK4 Acoustic' fabric.

    These are 'budget' frames, but the Acoustic fabric is properly woven AT fabric with an even weave and white finish, unlike the really budget AT screens which are made of vinyl with small holes punched into it, which you should avoid like the plague.

    Subwoofer

    BK Monolith+ :£600

    This will get you far more bang for buck than the Dali and given the size of your room you’ll be needing a decent sized subwoofer, which this is. You could even get two if your feeling flush :)

    Projector mount

    Peerless PRGS-UNV : £100

    Cables

    Sounds like you already have these sorted. No need to spend a fortune here, Amazon Basic HDMI cables are fine, but do test you don't have a faulty cable before running long cables though walls/conduit.

    Total: ~£6,930

    Note this is a total, fag-packet estimate based on your existing choice of speakers, but does show you can build a perfectly good system for under £7k and where you can save a few pennies. To step up a significant level I'd expect you'd need half that budget again or more. But with all the things, only you can ultimately decide where to best spend your money.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019

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