1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Small & discrete centre/surrounds

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Chester, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. Chester

    Chester
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,637
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Peterborough, Cambs, UK
    Ratings:
    +256
    Hello!

    I was wondering if anyone had any advice on any small and discrete AV speakers to choose for a small/occasional use HTPC setup. Room size is 9'sq, is mostly used as an office/music room, but also looking to expand that usage to surround sound. I already have a pair of stand-mounts (Acoustic Energy AE100), and plan to get something like a REL Quake to handle the bottom, although this might not be adequate enough, not sure.

    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Messages:
    11,024
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Harrow, NW London
    Ratings:
    +599
    Monitor Audio Radius 45's (£80 each, so £400 for 5)

    cute little buggers, small cubes, hefty tho so they well made, not bad for fidelity, however mostly useful as they are easily mountable and give a decent bang for buck sound.......what you could do is buy 5 of them for surround duties and keep the AE's for hifi duties.....you can connect the quake sub by low level to the amp for surround and by hi level to a stereo amp to support the AE's....(if u dont mind having a surround amp and stereo amp....)

    in the room you are in, a Quake will actually work quite nicely, it goes deep, it can go pretty loud, its quite agile too.....i own one and i use it in a smallish room myself, its fine, anything bigger and tbh you will probably find it booming too much.....i love my REL Strata 5, but its used in a room a good many feet bigger so altho i could recommend it from the point of view it can shift more earth and its more musical, its also twice the price and 4 times the size......lol....
     
  3. Chester

    Chester
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,637
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Peterborough, Cambs, UK
    Ratings:
    +256
    Thanks for that Knyght. So you think that a Radius 45 would be plenty good enough as a centre?

    I'm going to have trouble getting just one amp passed the Mrs (especially as it's for a second room) and therefore will be stuck with a 5.1 amp only. Therefore the AE's will definitely get the job of performing front speaker duties.

    Thanks again :D
     
  4. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Messages:
    11,024
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Harrow, NW London
    Ratings:
    +599
    if you can stretch your budget, go for a 7.1 amp that has multiroom/zone facility, it enables you to take the rear channels and feed them a different source and have the AE's hooked up to the same amp....(in other words its as if the speakers were going to be put in another room so you can listen to 5.1 and someone else can have stereo, except in this instance its all in the same room, but works the same way, you just assign the power amps using the amps menu system)

    as for the R45 being useful as a centre, well, it will work ok, unless you are planning on driving it at neighbour/wife unfriendly volume levels...lol...then tbh u want to upgrade all the speakers to the R90's......best thing is to get to your local dealer, if you have a sevenoaks nearby they should have them available and demo them with different setups, try all R45s, then all R90s, then try R45s with an R90 centre or even the R180 etc....see what sounds like it will fit best...

    there are plenty of other makes of small surround speakers around, but the R45's are by far the most simple, unobtrusive yet well made ones i've seen or heard....and if i remember right they are available in a range of different finishes, so the wife can choose which she prefers...heh
     
  5. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Messages:
    11,024
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Harrow, NW London
    Ratings:
    +599
    im at work and not sure if i made clear what i was suggesting as i got interrupted a couple times by phone calls lol.....

    basically, you get a 7.1 surround amp that says it allows you to use the rear centre channels as a stereo amp for a second room/zone....

    then what you do is hook 5 MA speakers up for your 5.1, thereby having the same tone across the speakers, if you have R45 fronts they can be wall mounted in the corners....
    then you wire the AE's in to the 6th and 7th channels on the amp (usually labelled Rear Surround) but have them in a normal stereo position in the room.....
    then you turn on the amp, switch on the 2nd zone/room, sometimes you need to go in to sub menus and reassign the power amp sections to zone/room 2 for the rear channels,
    then you can have your zone 1 5.1 sound fed by the coaxial/optical output of your DVD player/computer and the zone 2 fed sound from the stereo output of the player/computer, simples :)
     
  6. Chester

    Chester
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,637
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Peterborough, Cambs, UK
    Ratings:
    +256
    Mmm, definitely think I'll stick to a simple setup with just 5.1 and the AE's as the fronts. Most SS amps are happy to run in stereo when required. We've got a Sevenoaks in Peterborough, in fact I'm pretty chummy with the guys in there so I'll go and have a gander at these petite boxes.

    Thanks for all your input...
     
  7. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Messages:
    11,024
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Harrow, NW London
    Ratings:
    +599
    hmm....if you want to keep the AE's as fronts, then it might be worth getting an AE centre speaker to match them, the tonality across the front three speakers is very important in surround sound if its to be effective and not distractive......then use a pair of R45's as rears.....

    btw, SS amp?
     
  8. clarkyb

    clarkyb
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Messages:
    264
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +58
    i am an av n00b but my amp has a speaker a and a speaker b output, so you could just plug the 5.1's in socket A, your AE's in socket B and the sub into both i presume- you can then select which speakers you want to use from the remote (a or b or even both) but i dont really know ;)
     
  9. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Messages:
    11,024
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Harrow, NW London
    Ratings:
    +599
    clarky, i think you may be right on the noob part concerning a/v...lol

    it sounds like you are talking about a stereo amp that can drive two pairs of stereo speakers or biamp one pair of stereo speakers......it cant drive 5 speakers for surround sound and i doubt it will have an LFE output for the .1 channel......so it is not possible for chester to use this advice......

    however, some surround amps (my denon 3803 included) have the option to wire up 9 speakers despite only having the ability to drive 7 speakers, it can wire up 2 fronts, 1 front centre, 2 side surrounds, 2 alternative side surrounds, 2 rears........basically when you watch movies, it can be good to have bipolar speakers for your side surrounds, these spread the sound more and make it diffuse so its spacious and less focused, supposed to imitate the fact that in a cinema you have multiple side speakers outputting the same sound to spread it.....but when you listen to multichannel music on DVD-A or SACD discs, you are better off with normal standmounted/bookshelf/floorstanding speakers that fire at the listener directly, so you can have these wired up to their own terminals so you dont stress the amp, and you switch using menus.....
     
  10. Chester

    Chester
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,637
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Peterborough, Cambs, UK
    Ratings:
    +256
    I think Clarky was referring to the A/B front speaker selection switches that do appear on some surround sound (SS) amps, in particular Yamaha. Note: not all SS amps are AV amps per se (as in do not have the ability to switch between video sources), hence that's why I use that expression.

    Two of the main objectives were a) keep the price down because I'm also building a new PC and saving up for a new bike (possibly a 2004/05 Aprillia Tuono 1000 R Factory, not sure yet!). I may even go for Apple's 20" DVI monitor which looks spectacular, and I can't justify spending lots of money in the office since I already have my lounge kitted out with proper AV equipment. b) Keep it simple; I don't really have the room for multiple speakers anyway, and any emphasis on sound quality only needs to be concentrated on the front pair.

    I did consider going for dipolar rears but unfortunately the boiler cupboard intrudes into the room, so something like Monitor Audio's Radius 90 speaker would be perfect as rears.

    It's a good point about the centre. Thing is an AE centre speaker is going to look ridiculous on my desk, not to mention taking up a fair amount of desktop realestate. Using another AE100 would be fine except that they're not shielded. That may have a negative impact on my LCD screen, not sure, but likely will interfere with other electronic gadgets on my desk. Radius is shielded, so although the front timbre would be a little odd as sounds pass through the front sound stage, it would otherwise be OK.

    Any other suggestions for a petite centre? I know this goes against the grain but it's aesthetics over function this time!

    Thanks for all of your input thus far. Things are really shaping up now.
     
  11. clarkyb

    clarkyb
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Messages:
    264
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +58
    just to let you know my amp
    HTML:
    http://www.yamaha-uk.com/discontinued_products/product.cfm?product_id=16&CategoryID=5
    yamaha 640 was only about £350 new and i saw one on the forum go for £200 not long ago so its a fairly cheap amp
     
  12. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Messages:
    11,024
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Harrow, NW London
    Ratings:
    +599
    i didnt realise there was some surround amps that A+B the front speakers, sorry, i've only ever come across ones that A+B rear surrounds for switching between movie and music placement, my bad :-(

    ss= surround sound....doh...lol....shoulda guessed that...
     

Share This Page

Loading...