Home Cinema (£1500) budget, Any help Please?

Discussion in 'What Speakers Should I Buy?' started by M2T2B11, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. M2T2B11

    M2T2B11
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    I am about to put a surround system in my room, any help would be much appreciated as I dont know much about this.

    The room is 5.3m by 6m and 2.5 metres high.

    I will be using the system for a Sky, ps3 and DVD.

    I need - Wall mounted speakers (5.1 surround sound speakers), an AV reciever, blu-ray player and sub (I think?).

    I have a mate with a cinema room which has 2x JBL Everests and thats the sound I am looking for; but with my tight budget I understand a compromise is necessary so any help is much appreciated.

    I need more sound for less bucks!

    Thanks.
     
  2. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    So, this is the list of equipment you need to buy for £1500 -

    - AV Receiver
    - 5.1 set of speakers (this includes a Subwoofer) (prefer wall mounted speakers)
    - BluRay Player

    And for the record, the JBL Everest are £41,000 PER PAIR, and have twin 15" woofers -

    JBL DD6600 - EVEREST II Speakers

    You will never get that level of performance in your price range.

    So, let's work out your budget -

    - A basic BluRay player is going to run in the £100 to £200 range with quite a few to choose from in that range. That leaves £1300.

    - A reasonably good AV amp is going to be about £500. Though something in the £600 to £800 range would be better. That leaves £800 for speakers.

    - Probably the best, easiest, and most unobtrusive on-wall speakers are the Monitor Audio Radius HD line, though they are going to stretch you budget to the limit -

    R250HD = £250 each
    R225HD = £225 each
    R180HD = £175 each
    R90HD = £300/pr

    A good setup on a budget would be a pair of R225HD in the front (£450/pr), a single R180HD in the center (£175/ea), and a pair of preferably R180HD in the rear (£350/pr). That brings the total to about £975 with no subwoofer. Add to that about £200 for a Sub, and you are well over your budget -

    Monitor Audio - Hifix

    BK Electronics - Subwoofer

    Now, those aren't the only solutions, but to some extent it depend on the structure of your walls and how easily you can mount brackets to them.

    This might be a workable system -

    WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10 HCP HOME CINEMA SPEAKER SYSTEM - available from Superfi UK

    You could probably save enough to upgrade the fronts to Diamond 10.1, if you forgot the Diamond Sub (£299) and replaced it with at BK Electronics Gemini (£200). The Diamond 10.1 are about £200/pr, the Diamond 10.0 are about £129/pr. Rear and center are OK.

    As an alternative, this is a well regarded system -

    mordaunt short alumni - Google Product Search

    Another alternative in somewhat small speakers -

    Q Acoustics 2000 5.1 Home Cinema Speaker Package - All new design - Quantum Electronics (UK) Limited

    Q Acoustics 2020 5.1 Home Cinema Speaker Package - Quantum Electronics (UK) Limited

    I would recommend the 2020 package as it has slightly larger front speakers.

    Here is a Monitor Audi Bronze system on close-out at deep discounts. The BR1 is a very good speaker when used with a Sub -

    Quantum Electronics (UK) Limited Monitor Audio Bronze BR1 AV 5.0 - Quantum Electronics (UK) Limited

    You can easily add a £200 to £300 BK Electronics Subwoofer to this setup.

    What I would really like to suggest is something like this -

    Q Acoustics 2050 Floorstanding 5.1 Home Cinema Speaker Package - Quantum Electronics (UK) Limited

    But that is not what you asked for.

    This is a well regarded system, but the speakers are larger and more difficult to wall mount, though it certainly can be done -

    ACOUSTIC ENERGY AEGIS NEO 1 V2 HOME CINEMA SPEAKER SYSTEM - available from Superfi UK

    Pushing beyond your budget, but I'm told this is a pretty stunning system -

    QUAD L-ITE 2 5.1 SPEAKER SYSTEM - available from Superfi UK

    Very small speakers with a very small sub, but everyone who has experience with this system tells me it really kicks.


    Keep in mind this system on close-out falls in your price range, and is a large and powerful speakers system, though again, that is not what you asked for -

    Monitor Audio Bronze BR5 AV Speaker Package - Quantum Electronics (UK) Limited

    For amps, certainly Yamaha, Pioneer, and Onkyo are worth considering, though there are others.

    In the suggested price range the Onkyo 608 is very popular, and has all the latest bells and whistles -

    ONKYO TXSR608 HOME CINEMA RECEIVER - available from Superfi UK

    Again, any amp in the roughly £500 to £600 price range should do the job for you.

    That should get you started considering the possibilities.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  3. M2T2B11

    M2T2B11
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    Hi Steve Thanks for the reply;

    With regards the the Amp/AV Reciever I have been looking at Pioneer but dont know which would be the best model? Possibly the VSX 920?

    The BluRay Player I was thinking again Pioneer but dont have a clue which one?

    The Speakers I like the idea of the Monitor Audio Speakers (R180 in the Centre and the rear, R250 in the front?) I might be able to stretch the budget slightly. The only problem is the speaker need to go in the top corners of the room (other than the centre speaker) and on the front these would have to go above a cuboard which leave the gap above at 560mm to the ceiling but the speakers are 760mm high (they could go horizontally I guess but it wouldnt look as good).
    If there are any other speakers of similar standard but a different shape then maybe they could be an option? They have to be wall mounted in the top corners of the room because thats where the speaker cables are.

    Thanks again and any more suggestions would be much appreciated.
     
  4. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I think it is simply a matter of letting your wallet be you guide, which I why I broke your total amount down into smaller component budgets.

    You are free to adjust any individual catagory up or down as you choose. And, it doesn't hurt to shop around for the best deals. You can sometimes get an £800 to £1000 AV amp for £500 or less on a special sale or a close-out deal.

    The Monitor Audio R180HD could be placed horizontally with no problems. You could even consider Monitor Audio R90HD in the rear. The much smaller R45HD might seem like a good deal, but these are very small and limited speakers, and I wouldn't recommend the R45HD.

    An alternative configuration is three R180 in the front, and two R90 in the rear. That is somewhat the beauty of this line of speakers, is that you can mix and match them in any reasonably configuration.


    While there is nothing wrong with the Monitor Audio Radius Subwoofer, I think you will get better value by skipping the MA Sub, and replacing it with a Sub from BK Electronics. The Gemini-II is only £200, and the XLS200 is about £300. Either would do a fine job for you. That should also save you about £100 to £200 over the price of the Monitor Audio Sub helping keep the overall cost more reasonable.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  5. Diet

    Diet
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    Silly question from a bit of a n00b, but if you have a PS3, why would you need a separate £100-£200 Blu-Ray player? The PS3 is certainly better than the ones at the bottom end of that range, and probably not so far away from the ones at the top that you'd notice any real difference? It can also bitstream HD audio, so you won't be lacking in the features either.

    Please feel free to correct me anyone if I've completely missed the point! :)
     
  6. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    From what I've heard, the PS3 makes a pretty decent BluRay player. Base on reviews I've read, and as you seem to have concluded, it doesn't equal the best BluRay, but it is ahead of the cheap BluRay players.

    So, I don't see a problem. Keep in mind, you are not forever locked into the decision you make. You can always add a better BluRay player at a later date, when the inclination and the money are available.

    Start from where you are at, and keep going until you get to where you need to be.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  7. M2T2B11

    M2T2B11
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    To be honest I didnt really think about using the PS3 as a BluRay Player, I will probably do that instead as it will leave me with more money for the speakers and AV/Reciever. This may be a stupid question but would the sound and video be going from the PS3 the the reciever via a HDMI cable and thats it?

    Thanks :smashin:
     
  8. Diet

    Diet
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    If you have a PS3 slim? Yes. Do you? I'm not sure the old one does
    Bitstreaming.
     
  9. M2T2B11

    M2T2B11
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    Yes, I recently upgraded to the PS3 Slim from the old model so thats ok.
     
  10. soupdragon

    soupdragon
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    I recently bought 5 of these:

    Linn Komponent 106

    Based on your positional constraints, these would fit the bill nicely I think.

    These are called center speakers, so buying 5 center speakers may seem a bit odd but, taking the word center out of the way, a speaker is a speaker regardless of what its called. There are many benefits of having 5 identical speakers in your 5.1 set-up, especially the fact that there will be no varying sound characteristics between different shapes/sizes of speaker.

    I have mine all wall mounted, my front three are all above my screen, pointed down toward the listening position (via the supplied swivel brackets) and they sound great. Seems like this could be an ideal solution for you?

    Add in the fact that these once cost over £2k for 5, now on discount you can get 5 for £525:eek:
    I've had the Monitor Audio Radius myself (non hd version, 180's and 250's) and they're great speakers, especially if your mounting them beside a tv, they look great as well. In terms of sound quality, the Linns I've linked to above are in a different league though - truely wonderful and I've been through a fair few speakers over the last few years.

    For a sub, in that large room, consider a BK monolith - £430

    Sub Woofers

    Anything smaller than the monolith or xxls400 may struggle to get the full effect.

    That would still leave over £500 for an amp:thumbsup:
     
  11. Diet

    Diet
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    Again, I'm far from an expert (sort of the opposite), but I recently bought a Sony STR-DA2400ES, which was £550 new two years ago, and now costs £250 from Amazon. Not saying you should necessarily get the same one, but two years isn't *that* long a time in the world of AVRs. Some bargains to be had if you're happy not to have the newest, shiniest kit, while still getting the quality. This would also leave you with well over a grand to spend on speakers, cables and stands :)
     
  12. M2T2B11

    M2T2B11
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    The Linn Komponant 106 speakers would have to be wall mounted up in the top four corners of the room but they would probably be a better fit as they slightly smaller, also the swivel bracket would mean I (like you said) could point them to the listening position.

    As I mostly watch Action movies and play shotting and driving games, are these speakers the better option for this or does it really not matter?

    Where is the best place for the sub or does it not matter?

    I have been looking at some old and new amps pioneer, sony etc and the Sony STR-DA2400ES seems to be a very popular choice on amazon so possibly that one if not somthing similar.

    Thanks
     
  13. soupdragon

    soupdragon
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    A sketch/diagram of your room would help - for positioning of the subwoofer, take a look in the subwoofer forum, you will learn a few things there with a few simple searches.

    For your movies, gaming (which is what I use mine for along with sky tv) these sound great. For music, bigger speakers would be more ideal but all things weighed up for you personally, the Linns would be hard to beat:thumbsup:
     
  14. M2T2B11

    M2T2B11
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    Ok heres a diagram of the room with where the speakers would need to go, I think the Linns would fit nicely (just). With regards to subs it depends on where it would go to which model I would get but possibly the monolith.

    If you can't see the pictures then just reply and Ill try again.

    Thanks
     

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  15. soupdragon

    soupdragon
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    Great Diagram's there!

    The idea of having the center above the TV is a good idea - the front 3 speakers being on the same horizontal plane will help the front soundstage, as I mentioned, I have my 3 above my screen all on the same plane, poiting towards the listening position and it works great - yes, you can notice from time to time that the sound is coming from above the screen but when I had the center below the screen, this also happened so getting them all on the one vertical plane certainly helps.

    If you click the link in my signature, the last few posts shows my pictures of the Linns - you may not need to wall mount the FL and FR speakers, you could leave them on top of the units as they come with a stand as shown in my pics. I would be wary of wall mounting the front L&R and being too far back compared to how far the cupboards protrude - this could have a negative impact on the sound being reflected.

    Just to make you aware, the Monitor Audio radius can be mounted vertical or horizontal so they are still an option for you if you desire them.

    Last thing, for the front 2, I wouldn't have them at the extreme left and right of the room - bring them in from the edge a few feet on each side, closer to the center speaker.
     
  16. M2T2B11

    M2T2B11
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    It may just be me being a muppet but I cant see where you mean to see the pictures of your Linn speakers?

    Ok so the speakers could be mounted at an angle on the wall and then use the swivel bracket down toward the listening position. (its easier to see in the pictures below and the speakers are to the same proportion to the cuboard so that is the size and what they would look like when up).

    I dont realy know much about speakers really so between the Linn and the Monitor audio HD range I would know which would be the the ones?

    Also do you have an idea on the positioning of the sub in the room?

    Thanks
     

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  17. soupdragon

    soupdragon
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    See the bit down below my post where it says in red: "My 2nd home theater attempt" - click that and go to the bottom of page 2 to see the pics.

    With the scale of your drawing, I would recommend putting the front left and front right speakers on the provided stands and moving them to the front of your wardrobes so that the speakers are relatively free from boundaries. I wouldn't put them right into the corners either, but bring them in maybe 2ft from the wall.

    If it was me, I would go for the Linns as they are cracking speakers - the Monitor Audio are great too but the Linns win for me in my opinion.

    For the sub, you could try beside the sofa, or maybe beside the window or under the table - its virtually impossible to determine the best position by looking at the pics - trial and error when you get it home is your best bet:thumbsup:
     
  18. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    RE: Linn Komponant 106

    While Center speakers are normally mounted horizontally, they actually perform better when placed vertically. Now, it is extremely rare that one can place an actual Center vertically, so that almost has to be placed that way. However, you could and should place the Left/Right speakers vertically for best results.

    I would not place the Left/Right speakers directly into the corners. Set in a ways will preform better.

    Perhaps you could not mount them to start with and experiment a bit with placement until you find which works best for you.

    Edited:

    Sorry, I just looked at your room diagrams. Likely you will have to place the Left/Right on the tall Cabinets at the end of the room with the TV. In that case, horizonatal is probably a more practical option. However, you want the speaker right up to the front edge of the cabinets, or if possible protruding just a trace over the edge. Maybe just the grill cloth protruding over the edge.

    If you mount the swivel brackets to the top of the cabinets, that would allow you to tilt the speakers down more toward the actually listening position. But you want them far enough forward so there is no chance of interference between the cabinet top and the sound exiting the speaker.

    You might also want to take a look at something like this -

    http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/moreinfo.cfm/Product_ID/6229

    This is actually pretty cheap right now, I think it originally sold for over £500. The Sound Bar has three independent left, right, and center speakers. The rear speakers are very unobtrusive as is the Subwoofer.

    This is not quite the quality of the other speaker we've discussed, but it is considered a pretty good system. Considering this might allow you to upgrade to one of the Network Capable amps.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  19. M2T2B11

    M2T2B11
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    Sorry I didnt realize that there was a page 2:facepalm:
    The speakers look great and as they are smaller they are probably a better idea. can I ask where you got them from as i would probably get them in graphite colour rather than the silver?

    Also what are Definative Technology like, I have been looking at their SuperCube II or III as a possible sub?

    I may be getting a bit ahead of my self here but how much would a Screen and projector start to cost? Because that would be the best cinematic experience?
     
  20. M2T2B11

    M2T2B11
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    OK how about this (pics below), I have put the speakers on the edges of the wardrobes and tilted them to the listening position,this should lose any interferance from the wardrobe, the centre speaker is now vertical and so are the rear speakers or would they be better horizontal like the fronts?

    I think Im moving toward the Linn speaker now as a definate possibility.
     

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  21. soupdragon

    soupdragon
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    +1, thats pretty much what I was getting at too, this is the best solution when you factor in the compromises which need to be made.

    In terms of subwoofer, hard to get better value than a BK subwoofer here:

    Sub Woofers

    The xxl400 and monolith are pick of the bunch there, although the monolith is very large, 60cm 40cm, 52 cm roughly. I just got a monolith today so I'm selling me REL Q400e subwoofer, 12" driver, 400w - not got up for sale yet but let me know if your interested - its very similar in performance and size to the xxl400, but 2nd hand price will be cheaper:thumbsup:

    For projector, you can pick up a 720p one used for less than £300 these days (I sold mine for £275) or alternatively, you can get a new one for circa £500. The 3d ready optoma may be of interest to you, £500ish and can be upgraded later to 3d - check out the 3d xl adapter thread here:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/projectors/1329118-optoma-3d-x-3d-adapter-720p-projectors.html

    Cheap screens can be had for less than £100, or, like my 1st screen, 2m ikea blackout blind for £20 and some diy black masking for the edges for what is basically the same quality as a budget screen.

    Lastly, no more graphite left I'm afraid - these are now discontinued Linns so get them while you can:thumbsup:
     
  22. soupdragon

    soupdragon
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    I would say the rears look ok there, bring them as low down as is practical (obviously can't go lower than the door of course!)

    For front, I wouldn't mount the center like that, keep it the same as the fronts, horizontal. What Steve is alluding to is correct for putting them vertical but he also pointed out this is impractical in your room. Don't get too hung up on what is perfect position as in most rooms this is not going to happen. The perfect position for the center speaker is in the middle of the screen but how many people have acoustically transparent cinema screens!

    Another thing is too keep speakers away from side walls so this would mean your rears shouldn't be in the corner - but your rears should also be kept away from close to the listening position to achieve the best surround field, which means you can't achieve both - inevitably you find the best compromise which is probably in the corners.
     
  23. soupdragon

    soupdragon
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    Went and took some pics of my room - they're in my thread in my sig to give you an idea of the constraints I had to work with when positioning my speakers. Not perfect, but when I sit down, fire up a movie and crack open a bottle of beer - it sounds tremendous - I've had so many speakers in my room in so many different positions, flirted with 7.1 for a while but overall - these Linns in a 5.1 set-up would be extremely hard to beat.

    One further point, these speakers are a reassuring 10kg each (which is as heavy as some floorstanding speakers made by reputable companies like B&W, Monitor Audio)

    The engineering and finish on these is great, that heavy aluminium chassis with single piece structure with no joins is designed to minimise cabinet vibrations and discolouration of sound - sounds very technical but they certainly do the business. Only problem is that at 10kg each, you've got to make sure your DIY skills are up to scratch;)
     
  24. ollie007

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    If you don't include the blu ray player that could be replaced using your ps3s blu ray, how about something like the Kef 3005se 5.1. Small, compact and great quality, if you like the look of them. I would recommend swapping the sub for another, something like the BK XLS-300/PR for about £400, which would give you around £600 to spend. Pioneer would be good bet, but I would also take into consideration, Onkyo, Denon, or Harman Kardon. Maybe Onkyo TXNR708 would be good. I would recommend Harman Kardon or Denon slightly more though, as they have a more extensive range in your price. Denon, look at something like the AVR-2311, or the AVR-911. Harman Kardon always look good but they also sound great, and are a slightly more bespoke company if you want to show off. Maybe the Harman Kardon AVR-460 would be a good bet. Looks clean and good, sounds good with the speakers, as I have auditioned them for myself, and have enough power adn functionality for all your needs. Just food for thought.
     
  25. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Regarding the speakers placement, do you already have the TV and it is mounted on the wall as shown???

    I would say, the best configurations is to mount the speakers on the cabinets as you have shown in your most recent diagram, or actually mount them on the ceiling. Though in giving this advice, we are assuming the Linn Komponant 106. The nice things about these is that they seem to come with a very convenient mounting bracket. But there are plenty of the speakers that can be bracket mounted, or simply set on top of your cabinets. Linn certainly makes good speakers, but there are plenty of other options.

    Now to the central point, if you mount you speakers on the cabinets as shown in your latest diagram, then mount the Center in front of the TV at the edge of the low section of the cabinet. To do this, if you can take the diagram literally, you will have to mount your TV slightly higher so the Center speakers doesn't block the view.

    Putting all you speakers in the same vertical plain assures that they will be time aligned. That is, at the speed of sound, the distance, and therefore time, from each speaker to the listen is relatively the same. I think the typical AV amp might be able to make some slight compensations for this.

    To get perfect 'time alignment', the speakers should be placed in an arc with the listener at the center of the arc. Few of us are able to do that in our room though. But if you look at the diagrams of the absolute ideal layout for 5.1 posted by THX or Dolby, the listener is at the center of a circle with the speakers placed along the circumference. Again, nice if you have the prefect room, but I've yet to see anyone who does.

    I'm not sure about the nature of the brackets on the Linn Komponant 106 or how strong they are, but you could consider mounting all three front speakers on the ceiling on the assumption that the bracket lets you tilt the speakers down toward the prime listening position.

    We are making a lot of assumptions about these brackets, we should verify that they will do the job you indent them for before leaping in and buying them.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  26. soupdragon

    soupdragon
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    I've new pics in my sig which shows the mounting - you can see mine are mounted on the ceiling, albeit a sloping ceiling but I think that you can get a 45 degree swing maximum, so this ceiling mounting mightn't work for the OP, might just be to much pointed towards the floor even at full tilting. The other suggestions would work no problem though, as Steve mentions, going back to the diagram with the speakers on top of the wardrobes would work, tilting down to the listening position.
     
  27. M2T2B11

    M2T2B11
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    The diagrams that I have made are of the room as it is now. The TV is already mounted on the wall and it is approx 400mm out from the wall on a swivel bracket, so the speaker could go horizontally just above the TV on the wall on the same plain. Although this may echo between the tv and the wall though. (Picture 1 Below)

    The possibility of the speakers going on the ceiling is definately an option, are you saying theshould stay where they are on the wardrobe just up on the ceiling (if that makes scense)?

    To make it easier to understand what im on about there are pictures below.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  28. BlueWizard

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    SoupDragon,

    Hopefully you won't mind me referencing a couple of your images.

    Here is a pretty good photo of the speaker and bracket -

    [​IMG]

    Looks like a pretty substantial bracket and mounting plate.

    Here are the speaker mounted on a Vaulted Ceiling -

    [​IMG]

    Seems to do an impressive job.

    In this thread by SoupDragon, you can see several more photos -

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/memb...tre-attempt-no2-132-cinemascope-screen-2.html

    Well worth a look. SoupDragon seems to be on hit third set of speaker in this room, and the currents set seem pretty impressive.


    As to the latest room diagrams for the Original Poster, we seem to be getting it narrowed down. I'm liking what I see, unfortunately since I'm writing this post, I can't actually see the images, but I glanced at them before.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  29. M2T2B11

    M2T2B11
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    Yes i think we're pretty close now, these Linns look really good up and tick the boxes.

    I think I will mount then on the ceiling as i would look a bit neater.

    Thanks :thumbsup:
     
  30. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    If you can, estimate where you would like to place the center.

    Then using a tack, a string, and a pencil, scribe an arc on the ceiling with your prime listening location as the center of the arc, and your Center speaker as the farthest location on the arc (the radius).

    Scribe the arc out to the left and right of the location of the center, and see how locating the fronts on that arc appeals to you?

    I would expect this to be a very shallow arc, but it would put your speakers in the ideal location.

    I also suggest that you don't angle the speakers directly toward the prime seating location. That focuses all the sound on that one small point. Rather point the speaker in a wide area, to make a wider prime seating area.

    In your case, since this is a bedroom with the bed as the prime seating location, this should be pretty easy.

    Again, the speaker are likely to be turned in slightly in any case, just don't get too carried away.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

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