Speaker choices for dedicated very high end HT use

tfboy

Member
I'm hoping to soon embark on a project where I'd be building a home theatre from the ground up, well, given a very large room in which I can the do the necessary.

I'm waiting to find out the exact room dimensions, but I expect it to be on the large side with the ability to cater for around 10 people in two tiers of seating. I'm hoping to have a room that's about 10m wide by 20m deep by 3.5m tall.

We're planning to be future proof too, and even if we don't add the speaker hardware, I'm thinking of preparing the room for Auro / Atmos in something like a 16.1 configuration.

I have the option of going for acoustic screen material so the speakers won't necessarily need to be pretty to look at and can be hidden behind the screen and AT material to keep things clean. On the other hand, if they look nice, it's nice to have the option to show them off.

I'd say the room will be used 90% for movie watching, but I'd like and expect them to be pretty decent for stereo too. We'll be treating the room acoustically. Audio processor is likely to be a LS20i, depending on support for the 3D audio codecs in the coming few weeks or months.

There's the option of going active if necessary, or using passive speakers capable of high levels for the size of the room and have them powered locally or from a central AV rack - I plan to build my own amps for them.

I'm also undecided on subwoofer. I don't know whether I'll have the ability to go IB or not, but multi subs is definately on the cards.

What are people's thoughts? I'm up to speed and know how I plan to achieve stuff, I'm just out of date when it comes to HT high end speakers on the market today.
 

Nick1881

Well-known Member

tfboy

Member
Thanks Nick,

Do you know if they do several versions for the LCR? The photos look like they have symmetrical. Unless you're very close, I guess the low and high frequency driver seperation isn't an issue?

My current budget is around £20k for speakers and an extra £5k for subs, but that was just me putting some high figures together.

I could also opt for the S300T surrounds too.

Now do I go with the S300 passives and drive them with Hypex amps, or do I go down the MPS active route...

Also, it would be easy to stick with MK for the active subs, but maybe something better can be found or fabricated elsewhere?

As MK are 20mins away from me, I'll give them a call tomorrow and arrange a demo.
 

mattkhan

Distinguished Member
I would say you will need to go DIY to get enough high quality sub to fill that room. You will definitely want to distribute them around the room to minimise seat to seat variation across such a large seating area too. I would be thinking in terms of 4 sets of 2*18 subs at least. You may also want to look into some of the horn designs available (eg Data-Bass which will deliver prodigious output with not that much power or driver.

I would also investigate diy active mains personally. I don't think 20k is that big a budget for a room that big and the mk 300 series would chew through that before you got too far past 7 speakers.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The room at 10m x 20m is about 33 feet x 66 feet. That is certainly a big room. But with two tier seating for up to 10 people, I don't see you using that entire room. Generally the seating is about 2/3rd back from the front of the room. Though more likely it is 2/3rds back from the speakers. In your room, that would be about 40 feet back.

Actually it is 1/3rd back or 2/3rds back, but not 1/2 way back.

Next is budget, £5000, £50,000, £500,000???

Budget really frames everything and it is the primary restraining factor.

You say you will build you own amps? That calls for a few more details? Have you built amps before? Are you skilled in electronics? Are these from a Kit, or from a common amp design, and if so, specifically what amps are you building. Also keep in mind you are going to have to build between 3 and 5 Stereo amps. Though more than likely, you will have to have a Mono Amp to run the Center Channel, the other involved amps can be Stereo. As a hobbyist, trying to build 5 amps or even 3 amps into one chassis seems a bit daunting.

In a room that size, you will certainly want 7.1 minimum. Though there are other possibilities. For example, multiple Subs would certainly work well in your situation. Additional channel above 7.1 are synthesized. That is, they are created in the Amp, and are not part of the actual sound track.

For example, to the best of my limited knowledge, a 9.1 system has the addition of Front High-Wide speakers. These are additional Front Surround speakers that enhance the fullness of the experience. So, it is literally two additional speaker place High & Wide at the Front. These are typically smaller speakers.

Below is a photo of a 9.1 from this thread -

Taken the plunge - Canton Vento Speakers! | AVForums



Notice the speaker place in the upper corners by the ceiling (high and wide).

How much it is going to take to fill that space sort of depends on the space. If the entire space is not used for a listening area, then the speaker need not be quite so big.

You can go with massive Stereo speakers in front. Speaker with TWIN 8" or TWIN 10" bass drivers -

P-39F Floor Standing Speaker | High Quality Home Audio by Klipsch®

P-38F Floor Standing Speaker | High Quality Home Audio by Klipsch®

RF-7 II Reference Home Theater System | High Quality Audio by Klipsch®

R-28F Floorstanding Speaker | Klipsch

DALI HELICON 800Mk2 AV-LAND Floorstanding Loudspeakers

DALI EPICON 8 AV-LAND Floorstanding Speakers

Or you can go with speaker made specifically for Home Cinema, though not your typical Satellite speakers -

MK Speakers are using in my Movie Studios to mix the final sound track -

Ideal - AV ... MK S150 Passive Speakers

Ideal - AV ... MK Front Speakers

In the same vein, Dynaudio make some fantastic Home Cinema speakers -

AIR - A Complete and Networked Solution for Critical Monitoring

The AIR 20 uses a single 10" woofer. The AIR 25 uses TWO 10" Woofer. This would kick some serious butt, but they would also seriously kick your wallet -

AIR20

AIR25

Note, these are active speaker with built-in amps. The Dynaudio AIR 25 are roughly £2900 EACH.

Dynaudio AIR 25 Slave Monitor - Active Slave Monitor with TC Link input only

And if you really want to bring the Thunder and the Lightening, consider the Dynaudio M series which include external amps -

M Series - The Ultimate Main Monitors

M3VE

M3XE

Each speaker has TWO 12" bass drivers. It has been a while since I checked but I think these might be in the range of US$25,000 per pair. But you would have to check on that to be sure.

Again, you can see how budget is the restraining factor, we have speakers running as high as £12,000/pr to £15,000/pr.

Then depending again on budget, we can take the JBL Synthesis approach. Though I don't know if they make a Center speaker -

Count on paying a pretty penny for these -

Everest DD67000 Floorstanding Loudspeaker | JBL Synthesis

Everest DD65000 Floorstanding Loudspeaker | JBL Synthesis

S4700 Floorstanding Speaker | JBL Synthesis

S3900 Floorstanding Speaker | JBL Synthesis

The JBL Everest DD6700 are US$25,000 EACH!

Here is a very basic JBL 5.1 system complete with amps (US$184,000)-

JBL Synthesis Everest In-room Systems (black)(system) JBL Synthesis Everest In-room Systems (black)(system) - $183,755.00 : New Audio & Video, New Electronics at Lowest Prices!

You can see how important it is to get some sense of the budget.

As to AV Pre-Amp/Processor, we also have a range of prices.

Rotel RSP1572 3D Ready Surround Sound Processor - Superfi

Home Cinema Pre Amps Marantz AV8801 inc Pro Kit | hifix.co.uk

Home Cinema Pre Amps Yamaha CXA5000 | hifix.co.uk

Home Cinema Pre Amps Bryston SP3 | hifix.co.uk

As to Raw Power Amps, Arcam, Rotel, Anthem, Parasound, and many others make quality Power Amps with a variety of channel counts.

Parasound, in my view has an advantage because they make a 250w/ch THREE CHANNEL Power amp.

Parasound A31 Power Amplifier

That covers Front and Center, for the rest of the speakers, just keep buying the Parasound A21 250w/ch Stereo Power Amp until you have enough amps to cover the channels you need.

Parasound HALO A21 2 Channel Power Amplifier

If you feel that 250w/ch is a bit overkill for Surround Channels, the Parasound A23 is 125w/ch and considerably cheaper -

Parasound HALO A23

And they make multi-channel power amps as well -

Parasound HALO A52

Which of the assorted or similar components you choose, really hinges on how much money you want to spend. Give us a general budget range and we can give you some more specific suggestions.

That should get it started.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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tfboy

Member
Thanks Steve for such a comprehensive answer, I guess you were busy tapping away at the keyboard when I was adding more info :)

When I say budget is £20k, it's not really a limit. It could quite easily be double that, as long as it's justifiable. The more "exclusive" and awesome, the better if you get my drift.

I've built audio amplifiers before and have used Hypex. I have a longish thread in the power amps section if you want to read up on it.

In terms of room dimensions, the 10x20 was my initial "hope". I'm yet to see the place, but my guess is it's at least 6m wide and 12m long. I'm told the ceiling height is rather large so that gives room to play with.

I'm negotiating an on-site visit to do a feasibility study and from there, I'll know what I have to play with and have a better sense of what the overall budget could extend to. But given how good they want it to be, I'm pushing for pro gear and have used Sony SRX-515 projectors which would of course require a dedicated projection booth which would eat into the length of the room, decent mains and AC power, integration and automation with the TMS, etc.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
"My current budget is around £20k for speakers and an extra £5k for subs,..."

The M&K Speakers are expensive, but they are also highly regarded. But, given the size of the room, and not really knowing the lay out of the room, I have to wonder if a pair of MK S150 are enough. It might be possible to stack TWO on each side. That should beef things up a bit.

For MK Products, Idea-AV seems to be a reliable source and an active member of the forums -

Ideal - AV ... Home Cinema Speakers

Ideal - AV ... Home Cinema - Subwoofers

This isn't a style of speaker that appeals to me personally, I'm more of a Hi-Fi speaker guy. But there is no denying the quality of M&K speakers; the speaker of choice for many movie studio mixing rooms.

They also have JL Audio Sub, few can bring the Thunder like JL Audio, but don't expect them to be cheap.

The M&K 150 come in an assortment of free-standing, On-Wall, and In-Wall versions and there is the latest M&K S300 speaker -

Which I think I previously posted the MK S300 when I intended to post the MK S150 -

Ideal - AV ... MK S300

Ideal - AV ...MK S150

I'm not sure about the S300, but the S150 is available in Active or Passive.

Steve/bluewizard
 

sammy the squid

Distinguished Member
Hi,

I'm assuming you mean the Datasat LS10 In the opening post or RS20i? Just as a mention, I'd also recommend looking at the Datasat RS20i, Trinnov Altitude 32 and potentially the Storm Audio processors.

Speakers wise, I was aiming at something which ticked the same boxes as you are,this time last year. I opted for the Pro Audio Technology speakers. If your 20k budget is easily doubled, then I would definitely look at these as an option and contact the UK distributor Genesis Technologies, to see if you can get a demo. All active, biamplified speakers married to there own dedicated programmable amps.

Not sure if you've heard of Neil Davidson and Genesis Technologies, but Neil had one of the first rooms to be Auro 3D ready..I think the forums ran a piece on it, it was known as the ICE ROOM - and also ran the same speaker setup. Superb speakers, articulate, super dynamic and will go super loud without compression and distortion..your ears will give up before the speakers do! Definitely the best I've heard for home cinema and well worth a checkout.

Goodluck!

Asif
 

tfboy

Member
Thanks Asif
Your HC setup has inspired me a lot :)
I meant the rs20i. Happy to look at other processors of course. Atmos when used in a commercial theatre, uses a network connection in conjunction with LPCM audio as a fall back. so I'm curious how this will be managed for high end consumers where units like the rs20i where atmos support is imminent.

I'll check out your speaker suggestions, only thing to bear in mind is the install will be in AbuDhabi in the UAE, so need to check availability through distributors or whether I buy in UK and then export out there.

Will do some more reading and phoning around.

Thanks again [emoji1]
 
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sammy the squid

Distinguished Member
Thanks Asif
Your HC setup has inspired me a lot :)
I meant the rs20i. Happy to look at other processors of course. Atmos when used in a commercial theatre, uses a network connection in conjunction with LPCM audio as a fall back. so I'm curious how this will be managed for high end consumers where units like the rs20i where atmos support is imminent.

I'll check out your speaker suggestions, only thing to bear in mind is the install will be in AbuDhabi in the UAE, so need to check availability through distributors or whether I buy in UK and then export out there.

Will do some more reading and phoning around.

Thanks again [emoji1]
I'm humbled you say that..that's very kind of you, thankyou.

You won't go too far wrong with the Rs20i then...but it also depends on how many channels you'll be running in your room. You can go upto 32 channels with the Trinnov and double up on the Storm processors to 32 as well. There has been a suggestion of an expansion card for the Rs20i so it's not lacking, but it's currently at 16.

Auro implementation is anyday now and Atmos will be down the line..I've contacted Datasat but they're not making any official announcements as yet..they're under a NDA with Dolby.

Definitely worth giving Andy Bone (who posts on here as Abone) a call, Dan at the Movie Rooms and perhaps Neil to . You've nothing to lose. Sounds like it's going to be a stunning setup once done :thumbsup:
 
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tfboy

Member
Thanks, I just hope I end up doing it! I'm only at a proposal stage at the moment...

It would be a great job, particularly with the PJ I'm trying to put in. My only concern at this point is what transport mechanism is used for the 3D codecs. I need to check, but I'm not aware of any BD titles that come with this although I think I did see an "Auro 11.1" track on a title or two. I guess this will all go over HDMI and then the processor will decode it, providing it has the capability to do it. For an object-based format like Atmos, I suppose there will be a new set of setups to do in the processor which will be made available following a firmware update...

But should we ever use DCPs with 3D sound, then I don't think any "prosumer" unit like the RS20i or others will manage as it'll have to be pro cinema gear like CP850s, etc. Mind you, the chances of getting DCPs we can use is slim I guess, but anyway, I digress.
 

sammy the squid

Distinguished Member
Thanks, I just hope I end up doing it! I'm only at a proposal stage at the moment...

It would be a great job, particularly with the PJ I'm trying to put in. My only concern at this point is what transport mechanism is used for the 3D codecs. I need to check, but I'm not aware of any BD titles that come with this although I think I did see an "Auro 11.1" track on a title or two. I guess this will all go over HDMI and then the processor will decode it, providing it has the capability to do it. For an object-based format like Atmos, I suppose there will be a new set of setups to do in the processor which will be made available following a firmware update...

But should we ever use DCPs with 3D sound, then I don't think any "prosumer" unit like the RS20i or others will manage as it'll have to be pro cinema gear like CP850s, etc. Mind you, the chances of getting DCPs we can use is slim I guess, but anyway, I digress.
Well the proposal sounds pretty good!

Atmos native material in the domestic market is over hdmi..and it's basically extensions to the a True Hd audio tracks. The Auro proposal is them same as well, all the info is in the bitstream and unzipped in the processor. But there's no firm information on any native releases as far as films are concerned.

What pj are you thinking of?
 

tfboy

Member
It will either be the VW1100ES or going pro and getting the SRX-515. The latter is of course a commercial projector, but I've used it loads (I used to work at Sony) and have had fun making 3D DCPs for it. The picture quality it can produce both in 4K and in passive 3D is just breathtaking. Having said that, I'm yet to see the VW1000 or VW1100 in action, and I know they're very very good (they must be if you have one :p).

I put together a workflow converting 3D Blu-ray to 3D DCPs and having looked at some of the better quality BD releases, they're just sublimely gorgeous to look at. Unfortunately, despite selling a load of the bigger brother PJs (the SRX-320) to the cinema chains, they're not always optimally setup :(
 

sammy the squid

Distinguished Member
It will either be the VW1100ES or going pro and getting the SRX-515. The latter is of course a commercial projector, but I've used it loads (I used to work at Sony) and have had fun making 3D DCPs for it. The picture quality it can produce both in 4K and in passive 3D is just breathtaking. Having said that, I'm yet to see the VW1000 or VW1100 in action, and I know they're very very good (they must be if you have one :p).

I put together a workflow converting 3D Blu-ray to 3D DCPs and having looked at some of the better quality BD releases, they're just sublimely gorgeous to look at. Unfortunately, despite selling a load of the bigger brother PJs (the SRX-320) to the cinema chains, they're not always optimally setup :(
The 515 looks the business..I remember when it was announced and there was a discussion over on Avs. The Vw1000Es is a decent piece. When I got it, it was either that or a Sim2 3Ds. I went with the Sony. Unless you're getting an absolutely monster sized screen, it's fine for brightness in 2d and possibly 3d dependant on ones taste. The 515 will have both bases covered though as far as brightness is concerned. And with your potential setup, you beable to accommodate a monster + screen size :clap:
I was guessing you maybe going for something like a 4k Barco!

My Sony was in the classifieds not so long back, I'm looking to move so a few bits and pieces may have to go for now, or more likely staying by the looks of things!

It's nice to hear from someone that actually works/or has worked in the commercial side of things:thumbsup:
 

tfboy

Member
The 515 looks the business..I remember when it was announced and there was a discussion over on Avs. The Vw1000Es is a decent piece. When I got it, it was either that or a Sim2 3Ds. I went with the Sony. Unless you're getting an absolutely monster sized screen, it's fine for brightness in 2d and possibly 3d dependant on ones taste. The 515 will have both bases covered though as far as brightness is concerned. And with your potential setup, you beable to accommodate a monster + screen size :clap:
I was guessing you maybe going for something like a 4k Barco!

My Sony was in the classifieds not so long back, I'm looking to move so a few bits and pieces may have to go for now, or more likely staying by the looks of things!

It's nice to hear from someone that actually works/or has worked in the commercial side of things:thumbsup:
Well, my first foray into full hd was the VW-50 I bought about 7 or 8 years ago when they came out 1st gen and I still have it. Sure it's still on its original bulb which is ageing a bit and convergence isn't that good, but I have to say, I'm a sucker for the smooth filmic picture SXRD delivers, and prefer it way over what DLP does (although I haven't seen any real high-end DLP). But the last cheap DLP I used was the Infocus X9 and it was very sharp, but almost too digital for my liking. The 515 has immense power (for a private HT room) and contrast ratio to die for. Also, the SXRD is just majestic in producing film-like images.

Another consideration of course with the 515 is that IF 3D is required, then I have to go for a silver screen. I've been in touch with a few cinema screen manufacturers so all's looking good on that front.

Another update: spend quite a few hours at Rob's today listening to various setups. We started with the "budget" MK in a typical lounge setup. After that, we moved up to the 7 channel MK S300/S300T setup in a different, dedicated HT room (bat cave with treatment) driven by an Integra pre/pro combo. And it was quite a lot better.
We finally finished with the intermediate Steinway system back at the other end of the lounge which is more proper HT setup and blacked-out, but not a bat cave - side walls were normal curtains, but there was 100% light control and I finally had the pleasure of seeing the VW1000 on a 5m wide screen. OMG, it was gorgeous.
As for the sound (that's why I was there), the Steinway setup was very very good. It was also interesting to see how well it works in a room where there has been 0 effort in acoustics. Their room EQ works very well and you were really in the middle of the action with the in-ceiling surrounds giving out a superb, enveloping sound. It's a more expensive system to buy, but as you're not spending anything pretty much in acoustics, the overall budget isn't that much more. Definately a top choice for lifestyle where you want good looks and unbelievable performance from such small cabinets. Also, the LCR were behind the acoustic screen so you're going to lose a bit there too, but it was most listenable to :)

We also had a quick listen to the Steinway Model D system which isn't originally designed for HT, but more for stereophile renderings, and I have to admit, the imagery and soundstage was the best I've heard, particularly for classical and jazz. It really was as if I was there... :)

A room that is 10m by 20m can easily accommodate more than 10 people - you may want to go smaller or have more seats.
My room seats 8 and still has room for a bar and games area, and is about 5m x 12m:
Cinema/bar/games room | AVForums
Thanks, the room dimensions are still just tentative. Apparently there are several potential rooms available, but I don't have the dimensions of any of them. All I know is that they'll only want 8 to 10 seats...
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
As to the floorplan relative to room dimensions, I have a hard time seeing that entire space dedicated solely to home theater.

As G_Monkey illustrated in his photo, he has make the back of the large room something of a lounge, bar, game room. This is the same thought I had for my win the lottery fantasy Home Cinema. Lounge/Bar at the back, perhaps with some Cafe style seating, and the rest Home Cinema.

I think these two photos best illustrate how G_Monkey was able to VERY comfortable accommodate 8 people with room left over -





I suspect G-Monkey doesn't limit this room to pure movies. Likely he hangs out with friends, parties, listens to music, in what could more accurately be called a Man Cave. You seem to potentially have more room than he has.

Here is another thought. Perhaps another smaller LCD/LED TV in the Lounge/Bar area showing the same content as the large screen. On the big screen you are somewhat limited to sitting in the Home Theater area. The LCD/LED would make for more casual watching.

Only because I happened to stumble across them by chance, here is Klipsch version of Pro Level Home Cinema. If nothing else, the look cool -

THX Ultra2 Home Theater System | Klipsch®

THX Ultra2 Home Theater System | Klipsch®

THX Ultra2 Bookshelf Speakers | High Quality Home Audio by Klipsch®

KL-650-THX Bookshelf Speaker | High Quality Home Audio by Klipsch®

KS-525-THX Surround Speakers (Pair) | High Quality Audio by Klipsch®

And if you want to go crazy expensive -

Behind the Screen Speakers - Professional Cinema | Klipsch®

Just a few thoughts.

PS: G_Monkey, hope you don't mind me posting your photos here.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I would say def get a listen to the MK S300's and S300T's. Amazing speakers. They will play as loud as you like and will easily fill your room. You can also double/stack them if you require even more output. At a rating of nearly 94db they play loud.
They easily outperform the current MK actives. I'm running the S300T's on the rear and they are mental. I'm waiting on the first run of MPS300's to arrive in the UK to replace my MP150mk2's.

They are as good with music too.

I know that MK are working on dedicated Atmos ceiling speakers etc.
THX now use them as their reference system.
EDIT: just read your post about spending the day at Robs. The rives room with the 300's sounds fantastic, but as I have discussed with Rob before, the Integra amplification is the weak link in the system. Hook up some Anthem amps etc and the system will be much more refined.
 
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tfboy

Member
Thanks Steve, it gives ideas for using any dead space for something else. Although, potentially, there are several available rooms and they initially liked the idea of having one dedicated for HT. Another room would be used for a chillout / pre-movie place. Nice photos though - I missed G monkey's build thread, must have a look at that at some point :)

I would say def get a listen to the MK S300's and S300T's. Amazing speakers. They will play as loud as you like and will easily fill your room. You can also double/stack them if you require even more output. At a rating of nearly 94db they play loud.
They easily outperform the current MK actives. I'm running the S300T's on the rear and they are mental. I'm waiting on the first run of MPS300's to arrive in the UK to replace my MP150mk2's.

They are as good with music too.

I know that MK are working on dedicated Atmos ceiling speakers etc.
THX now use them as their reference system.
EDIT: just read your post about spending the day at Robs. The rives room with the 300's sounds fantastic, but as I have discussed with Rob before, the Integra amplification is the weak link in the system. Hook up some Anthem amps etc and the system will be much more refined.
Thanks Rich.
I agree, and although I had never heard the S300, whilst they certainly sounded good, I felt a tad underwhelmed. It was loud, but still felt a little stressed at times, and the louder dynamic parts sounded a little harsh (we were using one of the charge scenes from War Horse), but the bass was fine, so it would suggest the Integra was being pushed a bit.
I did discuss this with Rob and wondered whether some beefier power amplification wouldn't be better, and we both agreed that the Integra is probably reaching its limits and the MKs could give a lot more with proper power, but at the same time I appreciate that he was thinking of "packages" and "price points", and you have to draw the line somewhere... We're going to see if I can come round some other time and try the S300 with my power amps - I have a feeling it could be a bit more special :)
 

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Thanks Steve, it gives ideas for using any dead space for something else. Although, potentially, there are several available rooms and they initially liked the idea of having one dedicated for HT. Another room would be used for a chillout / pre-movie place. Nice photos though - I missed G monkey's build thread, must have a look at that at some point :)


Thanks Rich.
I agree, and although I had never heard the S300, whilst they certainly sounded good, I felt a tad underwhelmed. It was loud, but still felt a little stressed at times, and the louder dynamic parts sounded a little harsh (we were using one of the charge scenes from War Horse), but the bass was fine, so it would suggest the Integra was being pushed a bit.
I did discuss this with Rob and wondered whether some beefier power amplification wouldn't be better, and we both agreed that the Integra is probably reaching its limits and the MKs could give a lot more with proper power, but at the same time I appreciate that he was thinking of "packages" and "price points", and you have to draw the line somewhere... We're going to see if I can come round some other time and try the S300 with my power amps - I have a feeling it could be a bit more special :)
It is def the Integra becoming harsh under heavy use, not the 300's. Rob has them on the end of the Integra as you say to offer a great package. I found exactly the same as you.

My 300's should all be in situ by Sept all being well. If you still haven't decided feel free to come over to mine and have a listen. They will be powered by an Anthem A5. My room is a sitting room though so nothing like yours, but it still may give you an insight into the quality of the 300's.
I'm in St Albans.
 

g monkey

Active Member
PS: G_Monkey, hope you don't mind me posting your photos here.
Steve/bluewizard
No problem, that is why I put the link in there.

I did discuss this with Rob and wondered whether some beefier power amplification wouldn't be better, and we both agreed that the Integra is probably reaching its limits and the MKs could give a lot more with proper power, but at the same time I appreciate that he was thinking of "packages" and "price points", and you have to draw the line somewhere... We're going to see if I can come round some other time and try the S300 with my power amps - I have a feeling it could be a bit more special :)
I'm using Parasound Halo amps with my MP150s and they sound great, with headroom to spare. If the client goes for a 10x20m room though, you will need quite a lot to fill it - speakers, amps and subs. That is a large volume to get good bass.
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
I did discuss this with Rob and wondered whether some beefier power amplification wouldn't be better, and we both agreed that the Integra is probably reaching its limits and the MKs could give a lot more with proper power, but at the same time I appreciate that he was thinking of "packages" and "price points", and you have to draw the line somewhere... We're going to see if I can come round some other time and try the S300 with my power amps - I have a feeling it could be a bit more special :)

When I bought my MP150s Rob demo'd them with an Integra receiver and initially I used them with an Onkyo 818 receiver at home. However, once I managed to locate a good secondhand Arcam P7 power amp they sounded much better. Even though I don't listen quite as loud as at Rob's place the P7 just makes them sound effortless. I'm sure '300s in a bigger space would also benefit from decent power amps.

Whatever it looks like it'll be a fantastic room once it's all installed. :)
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
In a system like this, it would be unwise to use a Multi-Channel AV Receiver. I think we all assumed with this kind of money that you would be using a AV Pre-Amp/Process or and gangs of Power Amps.

The problem is not the Power Amps themselves, but the Power Supplies feeding them. In a single box with 5 or 7 channels, they are all fed by the same power supply. But with Stereo amps, every 2-channels have their own dedicated power supply. Trust me, in a single box, feeding 5 or 7 channels to full power would require a massive power supply. Even if it were a highly efficient Digital Switching Power supply, to full feed that many watts, it would have to be huge.

Though there are exceptions, I believe ARCAM rates their AV Receivers with All-Channels Driven. If you see all channels driven and the rated power is still high, then you can be sure they have a very substantial Power Supply in them.

Example - Arcam AVR750 -

2 channels driven, 20Hz ‑ 20kHz, <0.02% THD - 120W
7 channels driven, 1kHz, 0.2% THD - 100W

If is very common on Consumer AV Receivers to under-build the power supply. If you have SEVEN 100w channels, then likely you only have a 500w power supply on the assumption that you will never drive all 7 channel equally or to full power at the same time. And that does make sense. However, you seem interest in, within limits, a no compromise system. And as I have said, to me that means Separate Dedicated Power Amps.

I do like Parasound equipment, but the only AV Processor they have, from what I can tell, is pure analog; analog in and analog out. So, you would need a Pre-Amp/Processor from another brand.

Parasound makes a 2-channel 250w/ch Power amps and quite conveniently they make a 3-channel 250w/ch power amp -

Product Lines > Halo > A 21 Two Channel Power Amplifier

Product Lines > Halo > A 31 Three Channel Power Amplifier

The Parasound A31 3-channel covers the Center and they you just add A21 Stereo Power Amps to cover however many channels you have.

If you feel that 250w is a bit much for the surround channels, Parasound makes a 125w/ch Stereo Power Amp, the Parasound A23 -

Product Lines > Halo > A 23 Two Channel Power Amplifier

Prices are going to run like this -

Parasound A31 Power Amplifier

Parasound HALO A21 2 Channel Power Amplifier

Parasound HALO A23

Are there better products than Parasound ... Yes. But I would venture a guess that you will not find better for the money. The Parasound amps have been favorably compared to amps costing US$10,000.

Plus the 3-channel amp is a real bonus, in my opinion.

If by chance you are interest in Stereo, Parasound makes a very good Stereo Pre-Amp with Electronic Subwoofer Control, built-in DAC, and Digital Inputs -

Product Lines > Halo > P 5 2.1 Channel Stereo Preamplifier

Parasound P5 Preamplifier

As a second choice, though no 3-channel, might be Rotel Power Amps. Rotel makes both Digital (Class-D) and Linear Analog amps (Class-A/B) -

Home Theater System Surround Sound Amplifier DVD Player - Rotel PRODUCTS

Home Theater System Surround Sound Amplifier DVD Player - Rotel PRODUCTS

And of course there are many others.

In AV Pre-Amp/Processors -

Home Theater System Surround Sound Amplifier DVD Player - Rotel PRODUCTS

Rotel RSP-1572 7.1 Surround Processor | Surround Sound Pre-amplifier | Hifi Gear

Marantz AV7701 AV pre-amplifier | from Hifi Gear

Marantz AV7005 7.2 Channel Network AV Pre-Amplifier in a black finish, with free UK delivery from Hifi Gear

Marantz AV8801 AV Pre-amplifier | from Hifi Gear

Home Cinema Pre Amps Yamaha CXA5000 | hifix.co.uk

Audiolab 8200AP processor/ pre-amplifier available in black or silver from Hifi Gear

If you are intent on a AV Receiver, I would recommend Arcam or Anthem -

Arcam AVR600 networking home cinema receiver in black or silver finish from Hifi Gear

Arcam AVR750 AV Receiver | from Hifi Gear

Anthem MRX710

Possibly Rotel -

Rotel RSX-1562 AV Receiver available from Hifi Gear

Others may have other suggestions.

In my personal opinion, if I were building a system of the caliber you seem to be building, I would NOT consider 5-channel or 7-channel amps. It would be a gang of stereo amps. Again Parasound has a 3-channel amp that solves the problem of feeding the Center Speaker with a single amp.

Bare minimum, the Front Channels would have their own Stereo Power amp. As an example of a 7.1 channel system, a stereo amp on the Front 2-channels and a 5-channel amp for the rest.

I'm curious about the uncertainty surrounding the rooms. Are you planning to build a room from scratch, or are you looking at several houses with a focus on a room you can convert to a Home Cinema?

As mentioned before, you do not want the seating area in the Center of the room. The standard is for the general seating area to be either 1/3 of the room distance from the front of the room, or 2/3rds of the room distance from the front of the room.

In a very large long room, you have to consider how close you are at 1/3rd and how far you are at 2/3rds and what that means relative to viewing the screen. In some cases, it is better to be closer to a smaller screen than farther from a larger screen. The projector only has just so much light to project, so if you spread that light on too large a screen, the screen becomes a bit dimmer.

Just a few thoughts, while fully acknowledging that they are far more knowledgeable people on Home Cinemas than myself.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
One last point, if you are building or remodeling a room purely for Home Cinema, then you DO NOT WANT you amplifier electrical circuits on a Ring with any thing else. You want a direct dedicated power line that serves nothing but the Processor and Power amps with over built capacity if possible. This does NOT mean Spur off the existing Ring, but a single purpose dedicated line.

That is a direct direct electrical line with no splices or junctions until it reaches the area where the Amplfier electrical outlets are.

As long as you are at it, you might as well add TWO direct dedicated electrical lines; one for power electronics (power amps, of which there are many) and one for non-power electronics (BluRay, Processor, etc...).

Just a suggestion, though I'm sure others will back my up on this.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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lokyc

Well-known Member
BW, you made a good point about power supply. the room needs a dedicated spur for starters!

Stereo amps are a good idea. But only fro those which are art of a multichannel range.

The Anthem P2 for example is from what I can gather a 2 channel version of the P5. Or perhaps one should view the P5 as a 5-channel version of the P2. Its made with power in mind. Comes with 2 transformers such that in 2 channel config, ie the P2, its effectively a dual monoblock.

Over in UK, hefty power amps are not as much in fashion; although I think we see the virtues of them even for low volume listening.

Arcam seem to have dropped out of the power amp game for a bit.

Other leftfield options include ATI with their fully balanced signatire 6000 series that will hopefully hit our shores next month.

My new favourite make, SimAudio Moon also do some fantastic, fully balanced power amps such as the entry level Moon Neo 400M monoblocks which they helpfully bundle them as a pair for a bargain £6600. These are some of the most compact Class A/B monos on the market for their output and Moon amps do run cool.
 

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