Dismiss Notice
Attention AVForums app / Tapatalk users
Sadly GDPR means that, from 25th, we can no longer offer access to AVForums via the branded app or Tapatalk.
Click here for more information.

Question Proposed loft conversation, advice on speaker set up

Discussion in 'What Speakers Should I Buy?' started by dollag, Dec 20, 2017.


    1. dollag

      dollag
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      May 30, 2015
      Messages:
      1,032
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      86
      Location:
      Kent
      Ratings:
      +445
      Hi All,

      Me and the other half have are planning on buying a new home in the very near future. we have been trying to budget for everything and she would like me to plan for a loft conversion strictly for a home cinema and yoga space. nothing other than electric supply will be installed in the loft space.

      We will have approx £37k for the conversion and all the kit. Realistically, I have approx £10 so spend on equipment.

      I have been researching on proposed set ups for the room which I would like to include;

      - fixed projector screen
      - projector
      - 7.2.4 atmos set up

      This will be mostly used for viewing everything by me :D inc Netflix, plex, sky, blue-ray 4k hdr material and also gaming on PS4 pro but depending on budget, would also consider it for music needs too, albeit not as a main priority.

      The main lounge will consist of a small sat/sub 5.1 for general use and will have a separate system for 2 channel music located somewhere else and will probably use my existing pro-ject/creek/kef r300 set up which is currently in my bedroom.

      so for this project, I am not looking for exact speaker models here as we have not got the property yet so do not have the dimensions to work with obviously; but am focusing on speaker layout/install. As this will be a blank canvas, the loft conversion will be built to accommodate the speaker layout as a priority so should not have any restrictions.

      My main goal is to establish what is best for that cinema experience. My first thought was to install a full kef in wall system consisting of;

      Kef Ci3160 x3 LCR
      Kef Ci200QL x4 S+R
      Kef Ci200RR x4 atmos
      xtz 12.17 x2

      Now to be honest, I have always viewed in-wall speakers as a way to save space and be more pleasing on the eye; however I do not have these constraints and feel I would be paying for the inwall design rather than sq. I have not heard a full in wall install so maybe is a bit ignorant of me to make that assumption.

      I was then looking at the xtz M series which pound for pound are very similar priced to the kef in walls.
      Mk do an on wall solution with their S series and again is similarly priced.

      Now my last option would be to utilise some of my existing kit and just build on that which would save a considerable amount of money.

      - keep my marantz sr7010 and add a power amplifier (for LCR)
      - keep my r500's and add r200 and r100's for surrounds. Alternatively, put my R300's along with a R600 for LCR and keep the r500's for music system.

      If i decided to go for the r300/r600 route, including two xtz subs, four r100's and a power amplifier, i'd be looking to spend approx £3500 which is pretty much half the price of the other set ups and leaves a considerable budget for projector, and screen

      So with all that explained here are my questions;

      1. Would the kef in-wall, xtz or mk sound be leagues above a full kef r series set up for home cinema? if so, what would you say is the better performer as all are similarly priced.

      2. subwoofers I have decided will be a dual set up but most likely the xtz 12.17 or bk mono+. have seen numerous discussions about subwoofers recently so pretty much made up my mind on this; however any input would be appreciated.
       
    2. PSM1

      PSM1
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Dec 20, 2008
      Messages:
      26,138
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +5,339
      For the loft conversion you are not adding any kind of dorma or windows into the design? Will it just having flooring down and then boarded at sides/ceiling?
      The issue I see is that a lot of modern lofts are not that high and/or have a lot of woodwork which will either give a very narrow space to work with and/or funny angles on the sides/ceiling which will not be conducive to getting the speakers in the right locations for an Atmos system and maybe not even a 7.1 system.
      Why the need for 2 subs? Most single subs are not working at max hence extra volume is often not needed so unless you have bass issues in the room you may be better putting the money to one even better sub instead.
       
    3. dollag

      dollag
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      May 30, 2015
      Messages:
      1,032
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      86
      Location:
      Kent
      Ratings:
      +445
      A dorma will be added, along with windows but as I am sure you can appreciate, I cannot focus on design until I know what space constraints I have. The properties we are looking are generally detached with fairly large loft spaces so I am hoping space will not be an issue; however finances will.

      I am well aware that I may not be able to achieve my optimum goal here but what i was trying to ascertain if under the right conditions, where would the budget be better spent, and is the gains worth it?

      The reason for dual subwoofers is simple, It's not about power, it's about frequency response.
       
    4. gibbsy

      gibbsy
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      May 17, 2007
      Messages:
      9,926
      Products Owned:
      2
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      Cwm Cynon, De Cymru
      Ratings:
      +5,075
      You've already got some very good speakers as mains with the KEF Rs which makes building on very easy. Atmos will depend a lot on the height and shape of the ceiling. If it is vaulted then fixed direction speakers like the Cambridge Minx could work better than in ceiling. I would imagine, in the first instance, that would be easie to plan for the wiring than the actual speakers until there is a defined shape to the room.
       
    5. dollag

      dollag
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      May 30, 2015
      Messages:
      1,032
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      86
      Location:
      Kent
      Ratings:
      +445

      I totally agree regarding atmos speakers. I do not feel the need to focus too much on them at the moment for the reasons you mentioned, there are way to many variables that cannot be answered until the space is determined . At this stage, I am mainly seeking advice on the base 7.2 layer.

      The main objective here is to get a ball park figure for our budget so maybe i need to re-phrase the question.

      So in an ideal space, would the R series hold any sort of candle to the Kef Ci's, xtz m6's, or the mk's
       
    6. Steven1210

      Steven1210
      Banned

      Joined:
      Apr 17, 2012
      Messages:
      3,833
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +2,342
      For a dedicated cinema speaker my money would be on the XTZ Cinema M6 for LCR and S5 for surround duties in a 7.1 They are not massive speakers, and are very well reviewed, and will be a nice set up along with the 12.17's.
       
    7. dollag

      dollag
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      May 30, 2015
      Messages:
      1,032
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      86
      Location:
      Kent
      Ratings:
      +445
      I was leaning this way also; just wanted to know if they would be a significant upgrade from the Kef R range
       
    8. Steven1210

      Steven1210
      Banned

      Joined:
      Apr 17, 2012
      Messages:
      3,833
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +2,342
      In terms of cinema, yes a big step up. For music I personally found them to perform short of my old floorstanders, but as they were bought to do a cinema system they certainly excelled in that department.
       
    9. gibbsy

      gibbsy
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      May 17, 2007
      Messages:
      9,926
      Products Owned:
      2
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Location:
      Cwm Cynon, De Cymru
      Ratings:
      +5,075
      I don't know much about the XTCs, but I'll refrain from calling them ugly.;)

      How they perform against the KEFs can only be determined by you, hopefully with a good audition. Their size is attractive if space is restrictive but the R300s are stella performers and so easy to position.......quite handsome too. I think it always best to keep the whole set up from the same manufacturer and the XTC package certainly has that covered. If you do go down that route it will certainly be interesting to get your thoughts.:smashin:
       
    10. PSM1

      PSM1
      Distinguished Member

      Joined:
      Dec 20, 2008
      Messages:
      26,138
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      166
      Ratings:
      +5,339
      What do you mean by frequency response for the 2 subs. Having 2 identical subs give you more volume but not any lower frequency response. If you want a lower response then buy one bigger and better sub. 2 subs are really more about evening out the bass in a room if there are issues. If there are no bass issues in the room then there are no gains from having 2 subs. Given that 2 subs can also create issues if not set up well you may want to consider if 2 are really needed.
      As a general guide you can spend up to 2 to 3 times the price of the AVR on a 5.1 speaker set to get the most from the avr. If looking at a 7.2.4 system them this could mean substantially more. So this would mean a good amount of your budget would be wisely invested in the speakers.
      Inwall speakers have a significant premium attached to them due to their niche market nature. Hence would probably need to spend even more than the ratios mentioned above for a well balanced system.
      As said above the type and make if speakers will depend so much on the space you have that it would be best to wait until these are sorted first before progressing.
      27k does not sound a lot for a full loft conversion with dorma etc. So are you sure this is costed correctly? You will also have plenty of time to decide on speakers etc as you wait for planning etc.
       
    11. dollag

      dollag
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      May 30, 2015
      Messages:
      1,032
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      86
      Location:
      Kent
      Ratings:
      +445
      I was referring to bass response in general and having a smoother response for the room rather than a lower one.

      As you pointed out I do not want to invest all this and have issues with bass response; however you do have a point as if this is the case I can always add an additional subwoofer later on.

      I have already invested in your avr/ speaker ratio as you can probably see in my sig; however have had to make comprises due to room constraints. I've also been plagued with sub placement issues. I guess all the lessons i've learned I will try to incorporate into this new build and is the reason for this post.

      As I also stated above, the points you have made along with others, I did rephrase the question as you have rightly pointed out, there just too many unknowns.

      So in an ideal space, would the R series hold any sort of candle to the Kef Ci's, xtz m6's, or the mk's

      In my ideal world, I would love to just carry on with what i already have and just add. I just want to do it once and the right way.

      Also I think your right about the loft the whole budget will likely need to be just for that
       
      Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
    12. dollag

      dollag
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      May 30, 2015
      Messages:
      1,032
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      86
      Location:
      Kent
      Ratings:
      +445
      Your spot on but the reality is I will not be in a position to do that as the loft will be built in line with the choice of speaker i'll be going for.

      I am not too fussed on looks if I am honest as it's a dedicated cinema room but I actually like the looks of the xtz's.

      There is no way the other half would allow them in the lounge :laugh: but she likes the r500's so they will stay for 2 channel duty (or the R300 depending on what route i take)
       
    13. John Woodcock

      John Woodcock
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Feb 7, 2007
      Messages:
      78
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      11
      Location:
      Bolton
      Ratings:
      +12
      I would go with pro audio speakers JBL3677, main 8340 surround and 18" subwoofer with seperate power amplifier i would build baffle wall up front diy screen micro perf, wire in for additional speakers to be fitted at later date. check out dreamer on the build site or go down the route of DIY speakers i have had lounge set ups and now have had dedicated rooms in the last 3 houses been messing with home cinema stuff for 27 years, my advice would be to go for DIY speakers or pro audio and spend the money in getting the room right i.e plenty insulation, soundbloc plaster board. I have had better sound with pro audio stuff they appear to give more information through the speakers.
       
    14. mb3195

      mb3195
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Dec 27, 2007
      Messages:
      1,116
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      2
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Location:
      Deeping Gate, Peterborough
      Ratings:
      +998
      Where are you based mate? A lot of guys on here would be happy to offer demos of their kit I’m sure.

      I’ve got a full 7.2.4 xtz setup that you’re more than welcome to come and have a listen to.
       
    15. dollag

      dollag
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      May 30, 2015
      Messages:
      1,032
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      86
      Location:
      Kent
      Ratings:
      +445

      I am based in the south east, Kent area.

      That would be appreciated!!
       
    16. mb3195

      mb3195
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      Dec 27, 2007
      Messages:
      1,116
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      2
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Location:
      Deeping Gate, Peterborough
      Ratings:
      +998
      I’m in Peterborough, but I believe Jag from Epic Home Cinema is based near you. He is the UK distributor of XTZ speakers and has a full demo room setup.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
      • List
    17. Tony 3D

      Tony 3D
      Active Member

      Joined:
      Nov 27, 2013
      Messages:
      90
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      21
      Location:
      Chesterfield
      Ratings:
      +64
      Hi. I converted my loft into a dedicated cinema and i got some of the best advice i could have had from Rob at Gecko. From the build to the equipment. Thread is on here (under loft conversion and office) of what i did and i would suggest if you can get to ear as many setups as you can. also try to listen to the same scenes too. I'm up north in Chesterfield just off M1 and you are welcome to call in and take a look and listen. If you are up north give me a shout. Good luck
       
    18. the little audio company

      the little audio company
      Previously davidf AVForums Sponsor

      Joined:
      Nov 2, 2016
      Messages:
      1,176
      Products Owned:
      1
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      116
      Location:
      birmingham
      Ratings:
      +594
      They'll be different. All speakers will present their own spin on things depending on the design brief. Dedicated AV speakers aside, I’ve found that KEF, Amphion, and PMC offer some of the best sounding hi-fi speakers for home theatre use - some of them may not go as loud as dedicated AV speakers, but that’s only really an issue of you watch at Reference Level - normal listening levels it’s a null and void requirement.

      One of the best sounding home theatre packages I ever heard was the Twenty Series From PMC. And when I say best, I’m not talking measured specs, I’m talking about effortless dynamics and detail, cohesive soundfield where the speakers gelled extremely well (unlike some systems where it sounds like you’re listening to five speakers). The new Twenty5 Series have greatly improved on the Twenty Series, so expect good things.

      Amphion loudspeakers use a lower crossover point than most hi-fi speakers (1600Hz), which firstly projects more of the directional frequencies from a single point than most other speaker designs (that figure is usually between 2.5 and 4kHz), which in turn means everything from 1600Hz upwards utilises the purposely designed waveguide for the HF unit, controlling the dispersion for best results. Amphions work great in reflective rooms - where most speakers sound bright because of reflections, Amphions don’t, so whichever room EQ you’ll be using, it won’t need to be drastically altering the HF response. Amphion speakers are used in many worldwide recording studios (especially Europe, as they’re based in Norway).

      If anyone visited the Indulgence Show in London this year, they’d have heard what KEF speakers are capable of doing just based on their entry level Q Series, as well as showing just how important the accompanying electronics are in reproducing a top notch end result (Arcam in this case). I’m guessing this same system may be shown at the upcoming Bristol Show in February. The 7.2.4 Atmos system sounded stunning, and is one of the best AV systems I’ve ever heard at a show. Like the aforementioned PMC system, all the speakers gelled together perfectly, you weren’t aware of any single speaker standing out from the 11, it was just like waves of sound travelling around the room. This is mainly because of KEF’s UniQ driver (which all 11 speakers used), which use a higher crossover point between HF and bass drivers, but because the HF unit is embedded in the centre of the bass driver, it means virtually all of the frequencies you’re hearing are coming from a single point. Like the Amphions, this ‘point source’ approach reduces a lot of the issues and problems associated with conventional loudspeakers, and they mimick the sort of presentation you get from single driver loudspeakers like Eclipse. Once you really hear this effect and are able to appreciate it, it’s hard to ignore it, particularly when it highlights issues in many other loudspeakers! In comparison, some speakers just lack cohesion, which was the case with my old MK Sound S150s, which were replaced with the old KEF Q Series back around 2011. Of course, R Series are much better built, with more advanced tech than the Q Series, and offer a fair jump in performance over Q Series (although the new Q Series has closed that gap somewhat). Like Amphion, KEF speakers tend to perform better than many other speakers do in reflective rooms. My choice of loudspeakers I offer at the little audio company are quite heavily biased by KEFs UniQ, with most of my speaker ranges either being dual concentric in design, or producing a more ‘point source’ type sound, which I feel have a major effect on the listening experience.

      I don’t want to imply that subwoofers are secondary in any way, but the most important thing is to get your speaker choice right. Your choice of subs might be different if you go for a smaller sub/sat type speaker system, or larger, more full range loudspeakers, so get the speakers right first (as let’s face it, these are reproducing the majority of what you’re going to hear), then look at sub options.
       
    19. dollag

      dollag
      Well-known Member

      Joined:
      May 30, 2015
      Messages:
      1,032
      Products Owned:
      0
      Products Wanted:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      86
      Location:
      Kent
      Ratings:
      +445
      @the little audio company that was very informative. Many thanks for your input. You have given me a lot to think about.

      I do understand what you mean regarding kefs uniq and the way it disperses sound, my current system really immerses me and do not hear a single speaker.
       

    Share This Page

    Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice