VERY Small room and a 5.1 sound system - HELP!

theprestige

Well-known Member
Alright guys.

I am still a proud owner of the all in one 5.1 Digitheatre by Pure (formally Videologic) and find them to be great for my room. However, I think i've been living in the past. I have been led to believe that the sound of the Digitheatre is well and truly outdated (and they didn't just mean because it can't decode lossless formats) and that I need a change. Well, as much as I like the Digitheatre, I do feel as though I need to upgrade to a proper sound system.

I will looking to buy what you people call a 'receiver' in August, and the month after that, I will be buying a speaker set of Wharedales DX-1. The receiver in question is the Sony STR-D1040. I will be hooking it up to my PS3 as that's the device of which I use EVERYTHING on, but mostly use it for blu rays and music.

Anyways...long story short, I have been led to believe that my room size may play a factor in 5.1 i.e. that because my room is soo small, I may not get much sound improvements with this supposedly significant upgrade.

My room is 10x8, i've got my 40 inch TV and a double bed that takes up the majority of the space. Theres some furniture I can get rid of the give me some extra room, but my main concern is SOUND. My room is almost square shaped. I know that my room is definitely too small to take advantage of 7.1, but I really want to know if it's actually worth upgrading since I can ONLY put it in my bedroom due to the fact that I have a flatmate and no living room.

Should I upgrade or is the size of my small room going to give it too many limitations to justify the upgrade??


Sincerely,

The Prestige.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Your room should be fine for 5.1 and I feel you will still benefit from the improved clarity and sound quality. The Sony 1040 really deserves better speakers than the Wharfedales to get the best from it. What is your overall budget for the system?
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
Your room should be fine for 5.1 and I feel you will still benefit from the improved clarity and sound quality. The Sony 1040 really deserves better speakers than the Wharfedales to get the best from it. What is your overall budget for the system?
Your room should be fine for 5.1 and I feel you will still benefit from the improved clarity and sound quality. The Sony 1040 really deserves better speakers than the Wharfedales to get the best from it. What is your overall budget for the system?


PSM1!! Still the quickest responding and most helpful member on this board :)

Your comment has reassured me as you seem to know your techcy stuff.

I must say, though, i'm a bit taken aback by your comment regarding the Wharedales DX 1. I've read a lot of online reviews on them and they've been nothing but positive. Surely they'd be decent for a bedroom with a receiver as highly regarded as the Sony?? The Wharedales are about £300 -£360 with a warranty. So I don't really want to spend more than £350 on speakers for a bedroom, 5 year warranty not included. I can't imagine not finding a pair of good speakers for that price, come on?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The DX1 package is what it is and that is a £300 - 360 speaker package. Its ratings are in relation to its price and the package is still a sub sat package less capable than packages less reliant upon their subwoofers. You'd expect to pay at least double if not treble the cost of the AV receiver on the 5.1 speaker package to go with it in order to end up with a well balanced setup. Buy the STRDN1040 plus the DX1 speaker package and the speakers will be the weak link. The receiver will portray itself better with better speakers costing up to £1,500, but not everyone sees the logic in this and this is why most receiver costing under £500 get lumbered with powering speakers costing less than the receiver and unable to do that receiver justice. Too many assume the receiver to be the more expensive item when it should be the 5.1 speaker package that costs the most.

Why are you buying an STRDN1040 for a bedroom?
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
They are OK speakers but to get the best from the 1040 you would need better speakers. £300-360 is hardly an expensive set of speakers as it is only around £50 per speaker and the sub will take a bigger chunk of this meaning the other speakers are even less than this. Now if you used the same budget on just a pair of speakers you start to get much better quality kit.
As a general guide you can spend 2 to 3 times the price of the receiver on the speakers to get the most from the receiver. You will be spending less on the speakers compared to the receiver which is far from ideal IMHO.
Size of room has nothing to do with the quality of speaker required to sound good. Just because you have a small room does not mean you will not get the benefit of better speakers. Better speakers is not about going louder etc. but better sound separation and clarity. Whether you are in a big or small room you will benefit from these gains with better speakers.
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
The DX1 package is what it is and that is a £300 - 360 speaker package. Its ratings are in relation to its price and the package is still a sub sat package less capable than packages less reliant upon their subwoofers. You'd expect to pay at least double if not treble the cost of the AV receiver on the 5.1 speaker package to go with it in order to end up with a well balanced setup.

Surely there are cheaper speakers that are as good as higher costing ones, which is what the reviews have led me to believe about the Wharedales..?? I thought the point of them was that there were a cheaper alternative but good enough that they could compete to the higher ups.

'Why are you buying an STRDN1040 for a bedroom?'

Because I don't have any other alternative. I live in a two bedroom flat with my flatmate and we don't having a living room space, just separate bedrooms and I have no choice but to either put the STRDN1040 in mine or his.

Something peculiar with me buying the STRDN1040 for the bedroom?

They are OK speakers but to get the best from the 1040 you would need better speakers. £300-360 is hardly an expensive set of speakers as it is only around £50 per speaker and the sub will take a bigger chunk of this meaning the other speakers are even less than this. Now if you used the same budget on just a pair of speakers you start to get much better quality kit.
As a general guide you can spend 2 to 3 times the price of the receiver on the speakers to get the most from the receiver. You will be spending less on the speakers compared to the receiver which is far from ideal IMHO.
Size of room has nothing to do with the quality of speaker required to sound good. Just because you have a small room does not mean you will not get the benefit of better speakers. Better speakers is not about going louder etc. but better sound separation and clarity. Whether you are in a big or small room you will benefit from these gains with better speakers.

It sounds like are saying that theres now way to get decent quality speakers for a receiver like the SONY 1040 unless I spend up to £800. But maybe i'll do it bit by bit. I'll see.

Could you recommend me some speakers to go with this then? I remember you raved about Monitor Audio Vectors at some point to me.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The Monitor Audio Vectors are currently at a good price as they used to sell for close to £800 but now are £300. However, they may not pair well with the Sony receiver since both are considered bright sounding. That said a lot will depend on personal preference so they may work for you.
There are many poor performing speakers out there that cost more than their performance justifies but speakers that perform a lot better than their price (ignoring big discounts or direct selling manufacturers) do not really happen in my experience. You may get something that performs well for its price but a higher level set of speakers that performs well for its higher price will sound better. So you could buy a pair of £800 speakers that will perform the same as the DX1s but this is not because the DX1s are performing like a £800 set of speakers but because the £800 speakers are performing like a set of £300 speakers.
What is your budget for the speakers? What is your overall budget for the entire system?
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
The Monitor Audio Vectors are currently at a good price as they used to sell for close to £800 but now are £300. However, they may not pair well with the Sony receiver since both are considered bright sounding. That said a lot will depend on personal preference so they may work for you.
There are many poor performing speakers out there that cost more than their performance justifies but speakers that perform a lot better than their price (ignoring big discounts or direct selling manufacturers) do not really happen in my experience. You may get something that performs well for its price but a higher level set of speakers that performs well for its higher price will sound better. So you could buy a pair of £800 speakers that will perform the same as the DX1s but this is not because the DX1s are performing like a £800 set of speakers but because the £800 speakers are performing like a set of £300 speakers.
What is your budget for the speakers? What is your overall budget for the entire system?

I see. I'm inclined to believe you as you do not seem like a salesman type who has anything to gain from saying such things. I guess I will have to build it step by step as I want an immersive sound experience for my room with blu ray DTS HD and all that.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'bright' sounding, but I can tell you that I want CLARITY and an immersive sound experience more than anything. If i'm watching a film, I want the sound to be crystal clear and have great detail even at low volumes (i have very close neighbours).

I've heard that the ZENSOR are supposed to be good. I can't give you an overall budget as you have convinced me that I need to get things bit by bit, but I don't really want to pay no more than, say, £200 for a pair of good quality front speakers and the same the rears. The centre and sub i'll have to get to match the fronts and rears anywhere so price is not of too much concern there. That said, I can't imagine paying more than £150 each for those.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Because I don't have any other alternative. I live in a two bedroom flat with my flatmate and we don't having a living room space, just separate bedrooms and I have no choice but to either put the STRDN1040 in mine or his.

Something peculiar with me buying the STRDN1040 for the bedroom?


You yourself are the one who recites "it's only a bedroom" as reason enough not to buy more expensive speakers so if this is the case then why buy an AV receiver that would be better served by better speakers and that is more frequently used in a loungs as opposed to someones bedroom?

Surely there are cheaper speakers that are as good as higher costing ones, which is what the reviews have led me to believe about the Wharedales..?? I thought the point of them was that there were a cheaper alternative but good enough that they could compete to the higher ups.

The reviews compare like priced products and they do not rate products in relation to or superior to more expensive alternatives. A mini may get rave reviews, but a 4 star Ferrari is still going to be the more desirable car even if the mini gets 5 stars and an outstanding review. If you've only got £350 to spend on the speakers then yes, the DX1 package is okay, but this isn't to say it will be better than other packages that cost more.

What is it that attracts you to the DX1 speakers? Is it simply the price and the reviews or is it their diminutive form factor? How much space is there to locate the speakers in your room and how are you planning on locating them? How much can you afford to spend on the speakers?

I should also mention that you may have difficulty sourcing an STRDN1040 in August given that they are to be replaced by the STRDN1050 in the next few months. The replacement will in probability not be sold at the same discounted price you can currently buy the STRDN1040 for.
 
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theprestige

Well-known Member
You yourself are the one who recites "it's only a bedroom" as reason enough not to buy more expensive speakers so if this is the case then why buy an AV receiver that would be better served by better speakers and that is more frequently used in a loungs as opposed to someones bedroom?

The reviews compare like priced products and they do not rate products in relation to or superior to more expensive alternatives. A mini may get rave reviews, but a 4 star Ferrari is still going to be the more desirable car even if the mini gets 5 stars and an outstanding review. If you've only got £350 to spend on the speakers then yes, the DX1 package is okay, but this isn't to say it will be better than other packages that cost more.

What is it that attracts you to the DX1 speakers? Is it simply the price and the reviews or is it their diminutive form factor? How much space is there to locate the speakers in your room and how are you planning on locating them? How much can you afford to spend on the speakers?

I should also mention that you may have difficulty sourcing an STRDN1040 in August given that they are to be replaced by the STRDN1050 in the next few months. The replacement will in probability not be sold at the same discounted price you can currently buy the STRDN1040 for.

Well I did figure that my small room would compromise the sound quality, but PSM1 has told me it shouldn't, at least not to the extent where I shouldn't upgrade. I literally have no choice but to get the receiver and put in my room as there is nowhere else to put it. Do you have any other alternatives?? Should I get a less powerful system or something?

The thing I found most attractive about the DX1 was the reviews, obviously. They were overwhelmingly positive and I think some people said it went well with Sony receivers. What do you mean by 'locating speakers'? You mean speaker placement? As I said, my room is VERY small, like 10x8, but I can properly position speakers if I get rid of my wardrobe. The rears won't be a problem as I use a mattress behind my bed as a sort of shelf.

£200 per pair of satellites speakers is what i'm looking to do. £150 for the centre and the same for the sub.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Building the system over time is a good idea and the Dali speakers are a good buy at the moment. Your budget split seems pretty reasonable except for the sub. You are looking at spending at least £200 for something reasonable like the BK Electronics Gemini II although the Wharfedale SW150 used to sell for around £180 so you can pick some up a little lower.
As for speaker placement it is not so much the position but where and how you position them. Speakers are not going to sound their best on or in a cabinet and certainly not on a matress on its side. Really you should look at getting some proper speaker stands or wall mount them using speaker brackets.
The Sony 1040 with the sort of speakers you are looking to buy would be good match in terms of quality.
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
Building the system over time is a good idea and the Dali speakers are a good buy at the moment. Your budget split seems pretty reasonable except for the sub. You are looking at spending at least £200 for something reasonable like the BK Electronics Gemini II although the Wharfedale SW150 used to sell for around £180 so you can pick some up a little lower.
As for speaker placement it is not so much the position but where and how you position them. Speakers are not going to sound their best on or in a cabinet and certainly not on a matress on its side. Really you should look at getting some proper speaker stands or wall mount them using speaker brackets.
The Sony 1040 with the sort of speakers you are looking to buy would be good match in terms of quality.

The fronts I am definitely going to get a speaker stand of some sort for, but the rears I think will be OK with just my mattress. I don't think I will have the space for speaker stands for the rear, though I MIGHT be able to build a bookshelf or something for them, i'll have to see.

Glad to see you've finally approved my suggestions, though! :D
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
If going with the option of the Dali Zensors as opposed to the DX1 package then I'd also suggest you look at using the Denon AVRX2000 AV receiver. This receiver will cost you slighly less than the Sony and also be a better partner sonically for the Zensors. Maybe even consider the cheaper AVRX1000 if you've no need for 7.1? Another similar speaker option would be that of Monitor Audio's BX speakers. The BX range includes the BXFX dipole/bipole speakers which mount flat to a wall. The Q Acoustics 2000i or the 7000i speaker packages are probably not quite as accomplished as either the Dali or Monitor Audio options, but offer you a cheaper option that will be superior to the DX1 package. The Q Acoustics 2000i package is very good value for money although more than you'd be paying for the DX1 package. You can currently get the full 2000i 5.1 package for about £650 and this is more like the level of speakers you'd really want to have for use with the STRDN1040.
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
If going with the option of the Dali Zensors as opposed to the DX1 package then I'd also suggest you look at using the Denon AVRX2000 AV receiver. This receiver will cost you slighly less than the Sony and also be a better partner sonically for the Zensors. Maybe even consider the cheaper AVRX1000 if you've no need for 7.1? Another similar speaker option would be that of Monitor Audio's BX speakers. The BX range includes the BXFX dipole/bipole speakers which mount flat to a wall. The Q Acoustics 2000i or the 7000i speaker packages are probably not quite as accomplished as either the Dali or Monitor Audio options, but offer you a cheaper option that will be superior to the DX1 package. The Q Acoustics 2000i package is very good value for money although more than you'd be paying for the DX1 package. You can currently get the full 2000i 5.1 package for about £650 and this is more like the level of speakers you'd really want to have for use with the STRDN1040.

Really? All this matching amplifiers with certain speakers to get a balanced sound is very new to me, and obviously technically complex, which is why i'm thankful to yourself and PSM1 for having the answers as you guys clearly have the experience and technically expertise. It's all getting me excited just talking about it.

I am going to seriously consider this Denon AVRX2000 if PSM1 agrees with you. I want the best quality sound and if the speakers match up better to the Denon, then i'll buy the Denon. I'm open to all options, I just want high quality warm sound with great detail and good bass. :) For a good price, too. :D

So the Denon AVR1000 is sonically as good as the 2000, right? Just not 7.1??? I definitely won't need 7.1 for the time being as I don't plan to leave my flat for at least a few years.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
The AVRX2000 is slightly more powerful than the AVRX1000, but given your room's size I doubt you'd notice a difference. There's also no video upscaling or 4K passthrough with the AVRX1000
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
The AVRX2000 is slightly more powerful than the AVRX1000, but given your room's size I doubt you'd notice a difference. There's also no video upscaling or 4K passthrough with the AVRX1000

I don't have a 4K TV and I can't see myself buying that too. I've got a good 40inch FULL HD 1080p Sony Bravia from 2006/2007 that's still going strong today, though I may upgrade to the latest Bravia in a year. I'm using this system with my PS3 100%, so does no video upscaling imply that I won't be able to get a 1080p signal with this?? I'm not sure about such terminologies, I apologise.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Your PS3 outputs HD video natively via HDMI so video connversion and processing wouldn't be required. It only really comes into its own when dealing with older analogue video sources whereby the analogue video is converted by the receiver so it can then be output via HDMI.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The denon receivers mentioned would be a good alternative to the Sony and match the dali speakers well. I would second Dante's comments.
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
Your PS3 outputs HD video natively via HDMI so video connversion and processing wouldn't be required. It only really comes into its own when dealing with older analogue video sources whereby the analogue video is converted by the receiver so it can then be output via HDMI.


Oh ok, that makes sense. I think I may get the Denon 2000 just to be on the safe side though, as it's not exactly expensive for what's supposedly a high quality AV, unless I can get the 1000 from somewhere for significantly cheaper?? I'm really leaning towards the Zensors, but i'm also researching these Monitor Audios so i'll keep those in mind too.
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
The denon receivers mentioned would be a good alternative to the Sony and match the dali speakers well. I would second Dante's comments.

Think it's going to be the Denon for me then. I'll probably be able to get that in July since it's so much cheaper. Awesome advice guys, thanks.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The AVRX2000 is currently about £50 more than the AVRX1000 and the AVRX2000 is selling for about £250.

This is the cheapest I've seen the AVRX2000 selling for:
Denon AVR-X2000 AV Receiver

Try to buy sooner rather than later. These prices are discount prices intended to clear stock and make way for this year's replacement models. You run the risk of stocks of the older models being exhausted if you leave it too late!
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
The AVRX2000 is currently about £50 more than the AVRX1000 and the AVRX2000 is selling for about £250.

This is the cheapest I've seen the AVRX2000 selling for:
Denon AVR-X2000 AV Receiver

Try to buy sooner rather than later. These prices are discount prices intended to clear stock and make way for this year's replacement models. You run the risk of stocks of the older models being exhausted if you leave it too late!

Thanks mate, but July/August is the best I can do! It's when I get paid. Hopefully they'll still have these AVR's at decent prices. The speaker separates will take me until towards the end of the year to complete. Worse comes to worse i'll either buy the new versions of these models and spend £100 extra or whatever or i'll ebay one, which I don't really want to do.

I'm sure i'll grab a denon 2000 in July/August. :)
 

theprestige

Well-known Member
Well I can't imagine Richer Sounds not having a 2000 by July/August. I mean, if the 1000 is still available then the 2000 should still be available in July. Worst comes to worst i'll ebay it and make sure I have a warranty.
 

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