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Choosing suitable surround sound speakers?

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March 21, 2005 11:37:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks for everyone's help with listing different brands of speakers.
The problem is there are so many brands it would take me a long time
to cheek out each one.
Maybe if I describe the type of sound I'd like it would narrow the
field to a few brands of speakers or types of speakers.

At the moment I own BOSE acoustimass 7 speakers and a pair of Kef C25
bookshelf speakers.

The room is 5 meters by 3.8 meters. When sitting down the wall facing
me is 3.5 meters from me.
The left speaker is in the corner of the room and right speaker is
approx 2 meters from the left speaker. I keep the speakers near the TV
for surround sound.
The rear speakers are located at the sides of my head up near the
ceiling on each wall.

I'm looking for speakers (maybe satellite speakers due to the room
size) that are good at imaging so that the singer appears to be in
front of me. I like to be able to clearly hear every sound that was
recorded on the CD (such as voices before the singer starts singing).
If it's an old recording then I expect to hear some hiss (tape hiss).
I like a warm bass sound. For movies I like to feel a crash in action
movies with the bass speaker (sub woofer) sound making it feel real.
A bad sounding system makes me feel like wanting to take a break from
listening after about 10 minutes. In a good sounding system I can
reconise the different singers by their voice. I'm not a fan for loud
music with a loud thumbing bass sound.
I enjoy music I can relax to as well as popular foot taping music such
as rock music.
If the speakers have good imaging then the music should be spread out
in the room rather than sounding like the sound of somthing is coming
from a certain speaker.
I don't have lots of money to spend by I've noticed that speaker
prices have dropped over the years.

Any suggestions?
I'd welcome any advice.

I hope I've created a sort of idea of what I'm looking for.

Regards Brian
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 11:37:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I appreciate your asking specific questions, but why don't you just go out and
do some shopping of your own? Regardless of the advice anyone gives you, you're
going to have to listen for yourself and make your own decisions.
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 11:37:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Brian wrote:

> At the moment I own BOSE acoustimass 7 speakers and a pair of Kef C25
> bookshelf speakers.

There's your solution. The best mating of your current decent
speakers is to go with simmilar Kef speakers. A setup of C25s
and a subwoofer would be very competant by comparison.

Of course, these would be used. New?

http://www.kef.com/kefamerica/products/qseries/qseries2...
Something like this - a wall mountable surround speaker. Use
the c25s you have for the front. Very decor friendly.

Tannoy and others make simmilar surrounds as well. I find
Kef and Tannoy to be pretty compatable in the lower end
models as far as mixing them together, so something like
a set of Tannoy MxM surrounds(used) would also likely work.

> I like a warm bass sound. For movies I like to feel a crash in action
> movies with the bass speaker (sub woofer) sound making it feel real.
> A bad sounding system makes me feel like wanting to take a break from
> listening after about 10 minutes.

This is called "fatigue" - and comes from your brain having to
artificially EQ the sound in your head. Good speakers will
amaze you - you can listen for hours at a time.

If you have the money, or can get to an audio dealer, check
out a pair of Tannoy Saturns(or whatever they have in stock
with their dual-concentric drivers). Vocals sounds like vocals.
The speaker has no glaring problems and nearly zero fatigue.

My father heard these and gladly spent the money and found a way
to fit them into his living room. You might consider something
like this as well for the front speakers and use your existing
Kefs for the rear. Add a sub and a center channel and you're
done.
Related resources
Anonymous
March 21, 2005 11:37:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hsu makes a nice system that should work well in your room.
http://www.hsuresearch.com/
Not sure if they ship to or have a distibutor where you are.
March 22, 2005 2:04:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"William Sommerwerck" <williams@nwlink.com> wrote:

>I appreciate your asking specific questions, but why don't you just go out and
>do some shopping of your own? Regardless of the advice anyone gives you, you're
>going to have to listen for yourself and make your own decisions.

I was hoping to get some suggestions from others that are happy with
their speakers. From past experience when shopping the dealers try to
talk you into buying expensive speakers (even one's they are having
trouble selling). If I go shopping with some knowledge about speakers
then I won't be mislead.

Regards Brian
March 22, 2005 2:18:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Joseph Oberlander <josephoberlander@earthlink.net> wrote:

>
>
>Brian wrote:
>
>> At the moment I own BOSE acoustimass 7 speakers and a pair of Kef C25
>> bookshelf speakers.
>
>There's your solution. The best mating of your current decent
>speakers is to go with simmilar Kef speakers. A setup of C25s
>and a subwoofer would be very competant by comparison.
>
>Of course, these would be used. New?
>
>http://www.kef.com/kefamerica/products/qseries/qseries2...
>Something like this - a wall mountable surround speaker. Use
>the c25s you have for the front. Very decor friendly.
>
>Tannoy and others make simmilar surrounds as well. I find
>Kef and Tannoy to be pretty compatable in the lower end
>models as far as mixing them together, so something like
>a set of Tannoy MxM surrounds(used) would also likely work.
>
>> I like a warm bass sound. For movies I like to feel a crash in action
>> movies with the bass speaker (sub woofer) sound making it feel real.
>> A bad sounding system makes me feel like wanting to take a break from
>> listening after about 10 minutes.
>
>This is called "fatigue" - and comes from your brain having to
>artificially EQ the sound in your head. Good speakers will
>amaze you - you can listen for hours at a time.
>
>If you have the money, or can get to an audio dealer, check
>out a pair of Tannoy Saturns(or whatever they have in stock
>with their dual-concentric drivers). Vocals sounds like vocals.
>The speaker has no glaring problems and nearly zero fatigue.
>
>My father heard these and gladly spent the money and found a way
>to fit them into his living room. You might consider something
>like this as well for the front speakers and use your existing
>Kefs for the rear. Add a sub and a center channel and you're
>done.

Thanks for your advice Joseph.
Due to the other objects in the room I can't put the Kef C25 bookself
speakers at the back of the room. The speakers need to be half the
size of the Kef speakers for the rear of the room.
Yesterday I tried reconnecting the Kef C25 speakers and using a Sony
SAW250 sub woofer. I have'nt decided if I want to keep the sub woofer
yet. There was a lack of clearity and imaging at times. The sound
seems simular to playing back a MP3 file that had been recorded at a
sampling rate of 125K. Ther bass did help to give the singers voice
more body making it more realistic. The music seems to be more in the
background rather than jumping out of the speaker and grabbing your
attention when playing rock music.

I'll check on the speakers that you suggested thanks.

Regards Brian
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 2:18:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Thanks for your advice Joseph.
> Due to the other objects in the room I can't put the Kef C25 bookself
> speakers at the back of the room. The speakers need to be half the
> size of the Kef speakers for the rear of the room.
> Yesterday I tried reconnecting the Kef C25 speakers and using a Sony
> SAW250 sub woofer. I have'nt decided if I want to keep the sub woofer
> yet. There was a lack of clearity and imaging at times. The sound
> seems simular to playing back a MP3 file that had been recorded at a
> sampling rate of 125K. Ther bass did help to give the singers voice
> more body making it more realistic. The music seems to be more in the
> background rather than jumping out of the speaker and grabbing your
> attention when playing rock music.
>
> I'll check on the speakers that you suggested thanks.
>

Kef also makes a nice surround system with integrated mounts.
These are basically super-Bose speakers. Done right. They
sound quite good and due to their rounded shape, have very
little visual impact.

My favorite for thwe money, though, are the Tannoys. Their
surrounds are nice and small and it won't break the bank either.
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 2:18:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> KEF also makes a nice surround system with integrated mounts.
> These are basically super-Bose speakers. Done right. They
> sound quite good and due to their rounded shape, have very
> little visual impact.

> My favorite for the money, though, are the Tannoys. Their
> surrounds are nice and small and it won't break the bank either.

The gentleman who started this thread said he didn't have much money to spend.
Tannoy and KEF are not exactly "budget" products.

I would suggest the original poster go to Best Buy and listen to some of the KLH
Audio speakers.
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 2:18:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

William Sommerwerck <williams@nwlink.com> wrote:
>> KEF also makes a nice surround system with integrated mounts.
>> These are basically super-Bose speakers. Done right. They
>> sound quite good and due to their rounded shape, have very
>> little visual impact.
>
>> My favorite for the money, though, are the Tannoys. Their
>> surrounds are nice and small and it won't break the bank either.
>
>The gentleman who started this thread said he didn't have much money to spend.
>Tannoy and KEF are not exactly "budget" products.

Actually, Tannoy has some pretty nice budget gear, including the Proto-J
and the passive Reveals.

Their ICT-based installed sound speakers like the i5 can be had for something
like a hundred bucks each and make great surround speakers.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 8:50:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Brian wrote:
>
> "William Sommerwerck" <williams@nwlink.com> wrote:
>
> >I appreciate your asking specific questions, but why don't you just go out and
> >do some shopping of your own? Regardless of the advice anyone gives you, you're
> >going to have to listen for yourself and make your own decisions.
>
> I was hoping to get some suggestions from others that are happy with
> their speakers. From past experience when shopping the dealers try to
> talk you into buying expensive speakers (even one's they are having
> trouble selling). If I go shopping with some knowledge about speakers
> then I won't be mislead.
>
> Regards Brian

I published a book back in 1997, entitled The Home Theater
Companion (Schirmer Books). While much of what it contains
is out of date (like the chapter on laserdiscs and the VCR)
and the book does not deal at all with some of the latest
technologies (even the DVD was just getting started when I
published the book), it does have a good section on speakers
and speaker/room interactions. After all, the laws of
acoustical physics have not changed. The section on amps and
receivers should also still be helpful.

Amazon may still have used copies for sale, and you can also
check a web site called AddAll that deals with books that
are out of print. The price is cheap, compared to what you
might save when shopping for speakers.

Howard Ferstler
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 9:09:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

William Sommerwerck wrote:

>>KEF also makes a nice surround system with integrated mounts.
>>These are basically super-Bose speakers. Done right. They
>>sound quite good and due to their rounded shape, have very
>>little visual impact.
>
>
>>My favorite for the money, though, are the Tannoys. Their
>>surrounds are nice and small and it won't break the bank either.
>
>
> The gentleman who started this thread said he didn't have much money to spend.
> Tannoy and KEF are not exactly "budget" products.

Considering has a sub already, all he really needs is
the surrounds. Selling his Bose speakers should go a
good ways towards getting him the $1000 he needs
for a proper setup. The budget Tannoys are very
good deals.

http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrfull&1116559...
This is a typical example. If he's on a budget, used
Kef or Tannoys won't cost him more than a few hundred more
than a budget system at Best Buy or simmilar no-fi stores.
$350 takes care of the fronts.

http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrfull&1114635...
Hers's Tannoy's version of the Bose system. It sounds a
lot better, though it also has a typical microsystem
"hole" in the lower end. $350 with the sub. It isn't
that Bose is bad so much as it should cost about $400 for
a complete setup. Still, people buy $2000 shirts at Gucci,
made in the same factories overseas as the $100 shirt you
see at Nordstroms, which is sold under a different label
for $35 on sale at Macy's. Their choice, I guess.

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/
This company also makes excellent systems - among the
best small speakers that I have heard. Not a full setup
with towers, but the CBM-170 is a good choice if you
are on a tight budget. The HTM-200 is $299 a pair,
which is a great deal, but the bass is lacking and
it's only $30 more for the 170s.

Note the measurements and specs. They actually don't
fool around. They'll tell you anything you want to
know about the technical aspects or construction.
If you look, they used to claim worse bass response
but +/- 2db. They changed the claims to a more normal
+/- 3db, like everyone else, to extend the bass a bit
on paper. Nothing changed, though. The midrange is
really studio monitor ruler-flat on the 170s.

The HTM-200s are made to be the surrounds as they
have no ports on them(sealed design). Mounting them
on the wall is possible. Yes, they come in off-white
to match your walls.(or unfinished if you want) :) 

The center channel and "towers"(340 series) aren't as
clean sounding(bit treble-heavy at the top end), so
just get a 170 for the center channel.

From their website:
CBM-170 front pr + CBM-170 center + HTM-200 surround pr
$698.00
$44.00(shipping)

This is as good as it gets for this price, other than
finding a steal on something used. They will even
sell speakers individually, so the same thing in 6.1:
CBM-170 front pr + CBM-170 center + HTM-200 surround pr
+ HTM-200 back center
$798.00(special package discount)
$56.00

I like the HSU subs myself, though Energy/Mirage makes
a nice basic sub as well. Velodyne are great at the
top end, but overpriced and chuffy at the enrty level,
so I'd pass on them for a budget system.
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 8:00:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Howard Ferstler <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote in news:4240A138.3D9DD244
@attglobal.net:

> Amazon may still have used copies for sale, and you can also
> check a web site called AddAll that deals with books that
> are out of print.

Also check Powell's Books <http://www.powells.com&gt; which is the actual source
of many of the books that Amazon sells.

--
Email, Smarthosting, Web hosting for individuals and business:
Come to http://www.spamblocked.com
"I ran the Malicious Software Removal Tool, and now all my MS ware is gone!"
March 24, 2005 10:09:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Brian <bclark@es.co.nz> wrote:

>Thanks for everyone's help with listing different brands of speakers.
>The problem is there are so many brands it would take me a long time
>to cheek out each one.
>Maybe if I describe the type of sound I'd like it would narrow the
>field to a few brands of speakers or types of speakers.
>
>At the moment I own BOSE acoustimass 7 speakers and a pair of Kef C25
>bookshelf speakers.
>

>Regards Brian

Thanks for everyone's help.
I checked with some dealers and found almost all surround sound
speaker systems, apart from Sony (less the amplifier and dvd player)
to be over $2000.
One dealer suggested the Mission M30 speakers which had a good rating
in a HiFi magazine.
Another dealer suggested that I leave the current BOSE speakers for
listening to movies and add a pair of bookshelf speakers for listening
to music. On my amplifier I can have another set of speakers and can
switch between each set of speakers by a switch on the amplifier.
I would use a sub woofer with either set of speakers.

Options are welcome

Regards Brian
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 10:09:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech,rec.audio.misc,rec.audio.opinion,rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Brian wrote:

> Thanks for everyone's help.
> I checked with some dealers and found almost all surround sound
> speaker systems, apart from Sony (less the amplifier and dvd player)
> to be over $2000.
> One dealer suggested the Mission M30 speakers which had a good rating
> in a HiFi magazine.
> Another dealer suggested that I leave the current BOSE speakers for
> listening to movies and add a pair of bookshelf speakers for listening
> to music. On my amplifier I can have another set of speakers and can
> switch between each set of speakers by a switch on the amplifier.
> I would use a sub woofer with either set of speakers.
>
> Options are welcome
>
> Regards Brian

Where are you shopping? Just curious. Energy, Klipsch,
Mirage, Tannoy, and many others have systems in the $1000-$1200
range. Used, they sell for even less.

My own JBL Pro setup is a whopping $1500-$1700 new, depending
on where you shop and how you haggle. This is big, powerful
old school overkill, though. Studio monitor accurate and
with my 10 inchers in front, I don't need subwoofer at all.

Me? I'd suggest the Ascends or the basic Tannoys.

http://www.usspeaker.com/Tannoy%20Fusion-1.htm
I get $1028 for a setup of the Fusion 3 towers in front,
the 1s in the rear(front ported is a must for wall mounting),
and a center channel. These are the replacement for the
older MXm series. A far cry from $2000, and you could easily
haggle the person down 10-20% on a system of five speakers.
About $1000, including shipping, give or take, would be a
fair price, IMO.
!