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#355135 - 09/20/11 04:41 PM An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers
soadnathan Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 09/20/11
Posts: 10
Loc: FL
Greetings all!

First post here, as I have been doing research on several components across several different websites, and I have heard too many good things about Axiom speakers and Axiom forum members to not at least post my plan here to get some more constructive criticism.

Moving into an apartment come November, and we are dedicating the master bedroom to being a man-cave for my roommate and I. Most of the time this room would be used for movies and or video games. The room is 18 feet long and about 12 feet wide, as seen in the layout here.
http://i52.tinypic.com/2qnxglg.jpg

Right now I have not purchased ANY hardware yet, but I can list the components that I am currently looking at or debating.

1. HD Projector. Probably going to go with the Epson 8350, though I may wait for one of their new 3D capable ones like the 3010. (200 more lumens, 10000 less contrast ration, though I know neither of those numbers should be taken at face value)

2. 7.1 Receiver. Currently homed in on a Marantz SR5005, still looking at Onkyo TX-NR709 as well as the Pioneer VSX 1020. I would like a 3D capable one that can do Multi EQ though I'm not really familiar with the other specs of a receiver I should be paying attention to. I am assuming that 110w per channel would be sufficient for the M60s even though they are rated at 250 per channel. Edit: One more important spec is network connectivity, and I don't know if video scaling applies differently when connected to a computer but it will sometimes be plugged into an HTPC/gaming PC.

3. Since I'm assuming Axiom has a great midrange sound with the M60s, and also assuming my setup will get a good use out of them, I am going to get a budget sub. I was originally considering a 12" Lava sub, but have heard from some that only a 10" would be necessary in certain situations. I have heard good things about Dayton subs as well.

4. Here is the relevant part. I am sticking with a 5.1 setup for now since I will only have maybe 2 or 3 feet behind the projector in the back of the room which from what I understand, does not warrant another 2 speakers. I am sold on floorstanding speakers since they will be placed to the left and right of a 100"+ screen. While I am clueless as far as what any of these speakers sound like, I am told that I should be looking at sensitivity and frequency range. I was originally considering the M50s but I was also told that the quality jump between the 50 and 60 is vastly larger than the jump between the 60 and 80. If I am going to have relatively nice video setup, I guess I would like the speakers to be equally awesome.

4b. As much of a noob as I am when it comes to speakers in general, I am even more clueless when it comes to choosing the rears. I have heard of people using bookshelf speakers which accomplish a different noise as opposed to the dedicated QS speakers, so I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on that as well.

Thanks in advance for any responses!

Edit: I do not have a fixed budget, but the more expensive it is the longer I have to wait smile D


Edited by soadnathan (09/20/11 04:52 PM)

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#355138 - 09/20/11 06:26 PM Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers [Re: soadnathan]
nickbuol Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 4415
Loc: Marion, IA
Welcome.

Wow, your neighbors are going to HATE you!
_________________________
http://ht.buol.us
M60s, VP180, VP150, QS8s, SVS 20-39PCi, HTPC, JVC RS45, Onkyo TX-NR709, Shakers

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#355139 - 09/20/11 06:40 PM Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers [Re: nickbuol]
nickbuol Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 4415
Loc: Marion, IA
Seriously though, it sounds like you've done some research and have a good feel for some things.


1) HD Projectors, a lot of great choices out there, 3D will cost you more for a really good picture as far as brightness (keep in mind with the shutter glasses, you effectively cut the lumens in half since only one shutter is open at a time, so a higher costing 3D projector will have considerably better 3d imagery vs. a lower cost one, however, there are some $1500 3D projectors coming out right now.

2) There are a lot of discussions around here about watts and what they really mean. 110W will be more than enough to really tick off your neighbors (see my other post) and still sound great.

3) An 18x12x8 room is just over 1700 cubic feet. A 12" sub would be nice, but since the low bass sounds are what will annoy your neighbors the most (see comment #2 above and my other post), a 10" may work just fine. Dayton subs are mainly used in DIY setups and there are a lot of people using their Reference woofers for good DIY subs.

4) 5.1 is still pretty awesome. I am finally making the jump to 7.1 now, but there are so many movies that can't natively support it anyway, that 5.1 is still more than great. Also the jump from the M50 to M60 IS a lot more noticeable than from the M60 to M80, but don't tell that to all of the guys that upgraded from the M60 to M80. The M80 is pure greatness, but mainly in being able to get a little deeper in the bass area, and being able to be driven louder (ehem, neighbors???)

4b) I've had direct radiating (bookshelf), di-pole, bi-pole, and quad-pole (like the QS series) surround speakers, and especially for movies, the QS speakers are the best. I have QS8s and really, REALLY, like them. I have been running my 5.1 setup for 7 years with QS8s and like them so much that just last Friday, my order for a second pair of QS8s came in. I could have picked direct radiating like some smaller M2 or M22s, but the QS surrounds are awesome. If you are more into music, then yes, definitely look into bookshelf speakers. Mulitchannel music is more designed for precision mixes coming from very distinct locations, but for movies, you want a wider sound field the the QS speakers give.

I hope that this helps.
_________________________
http://ht.buol.us
M60s, VP180, VP150, QS8s, SVS 20-39PCi, HTPC, JVC RS45, Onkyo TX-NR709, Shakers

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#355157 - 09/20/11 09:51 PM Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers [Re: soadnathan]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Nathan, welcome. I'll comment on some of your points: 2. The receivers you mention can be considered as essentially equal as to basic power amplification. Yes, your receiver should have MultEQ, but even better, should have the more advanced MultEQ XT, which the 709 does and the 5005 doesn't. A very good buy on the 709 factory refurb(which should be at least as reliable as a brand-new unit)is available for about $530 from Accessories4less .

3. Other factors being equal, a larger driver in a sub results in a lower bass extension and the ability to play louder, but other factors often aren't equal, and some 10" subs outperform some 12" models. In the price range you're looking at with the Lava(about $350)I'd suggest that you consider the excellent Hsu STF-2.

4. The position of the projector isn't relevant to the 5.1 vs 7.1 question. It's if you have enough room behind your listening position(say at least 4') for a rear sound-field to be formed by back surround speakers.

4b. As to the side surrounds(not "rears")in a 5.1 setup, which should be far to the sides and maybe 2' farther back than the listening position, the use of the very broad dispersion QSs is strongly suggested to give the best surround sound experience for both music and movies.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#355163 - 09/20/11 10:50 PM Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers [Re: JohnK]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Welcome!

I think my friends Nick and John have already advised you well, but I want to underscore a couple things.

First off, I have had great luck with a refurb Onkyo 805 that I bought. If I were in your situation, my experience would lead me to the 709 that John linked. I don't think you can do better for the money.

I very strongly urge you to just go 5.1 and use the QS8's for surround. When I went from 5.1 to 7.1 (QS8's both surround and rear) I did not experience the sort of quantum-leap in sound field I hoped for. The QS speakers are so good that a 5.1 system with them is very enveloping.

I've had M60's for ~7 years and I love them. No regrets. Great choice.

I can't help with the projector, sorry.

You didn't really talk about the center channel, but I would consider just getting the VP180 and be done with it. Yes, it's huge, but you'll never wonder "what if". By all accounts, it is significantly "better" than the VP150, so if you have the space, just do it.

As to the sub, I think all of the internet-direct companies provide really good value. +1 on John's suggestion for the Hsu at that price point. I have an older SVS, and it is terrific. Our friend Wid raves about his Elemental Designs model.

Good luck. Have fun. Enjoy the journey.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#355228 - 09/21/11 04:48 PM Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers [Re: tomtuttle]
soadnathan Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 09/20/11
Posts: 10
Loc: FL
Wow, they really weren't kidding when they said the people here were extremely helpful, thats 3 comprehensive responses in a matter of hours.

So first and foremost, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
I feel like each of you deserve one because there was invaluable information in each of your responses. Unfortunately though, this prompts another wave of questions so I will quote the points I am still unsure about.

Originally Posted By: nickbuol

1) HD Projectors, a lot of great choices out there, 3D will cost you more for a really good picture as far as brightness (keep in mind with the shutter glasses, you effectively cut the lumens in half since only one shutter is open at a time, so a higher costing 3D projector will have considerably better 3d imagery vs. a lower cost one, however, there are some $1500 3D projectors coming out right now.

3) An 18x12x8 room is just over 1700 cubic feet. A 12" sub would be nice, but since the low bass sounds are what will annoy your neighbors the most (see comment #2 above and my other post), a 10" may work just fine.

4b) I've had direct radiating (bookshelf), di-pole, bi-pole, and quad-pole (like the QS series) surround speakers, and especially for movies, the QS speakers are the best. Mulitchannel music is more designed for precision mixes coming from very distinct locations, but for movies, you want a wider sound field the the QS speakers give.


It kind of sounds like you are leaning towards the 8350 since true, high quality 3D projectors are going to be in a completely different price bracket. I have no problem with sticking with the 8350, especially since I don't know how many of my connecting devices would even support 3D. The only reason I entertained the idea of buying one of the new 3010s is simply because it is brighter and in my experience with buying monitors, the brightness is what I primarily care about. (Assuming of course the color depth isnt bad)

While I don't want to upset my neighbor (I only have once since were on an end apartment), I also don't want the subwoofer to be sub-par when it comes to the rest of the system. If I get M60s, QS8s, and the VP180, I wouldn't be insulting the speakers by getting a 10" would I?

Also, thanks for the info on the surround speakers, I did a little research on what the di-pole and bi-pole terms meant and it makes much more sense now.


Originally Posted By: JohnK

2. The receivers you mention can be considered as essentially equal as to basic power amplification. Yes, your receiver should have MultEQ, but even better, should have the more advanced MultEQ XT, which the 709 does and the 5005 doesn't. A very good buy on the 709 factory refurb(which should be at least as reliable as a brand-new unit)is available for about $530 from Accessories4less .

3. Other factors being equal, a larger driver in a sub results in a lower bass extension and the ability to play louder, but other factors often aren't equal, and some 10" subs outperform some 12" models. In the price range you're looking at with the Lava(about $350)I'd suggest that you consider the excellent Hsu STF-2.


If you guys can swear by the refurb quality from that provider, then I will trust it, but after having worked in retail, that was something I was always told to stay away from. Would the unit still come with a warranty or would it be through the distributor?

I have heard some great things from HSU as well, but I was under the impression that they were more expensive, I will definitely look into this.

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle

First off, I have had great luck with a refurb Onkyo 805 that I bought. If I were in your situation, my experience would lead me to the 709 that John linked. I don't think you can do better for the money.

I very strongly urge you to just go 5.1 and use the QS8's for surround. When I went from 5.1 to 7.1 (QS8's both surround and rear) I did not experience the sort of quantum-leap in sound field I hoped for. The QS speakers are so good that a 5.1 system with them is very enveloping.

You didn't really talk about the center channel, but I would consider just getting the VP180 and be done with it. Yes, it's huge, but you'll never wonder "what if". By all accounts, it is significantly "better" than the VP150, so if you have the space, just do it.


Thanks for reassuring me about the refurb part, after having worked in retail, I realize I was just taught to be paranoid I guess. Would there be any warranty still available if I do purchase a refurb from them? How does the warranty through ac4l.com work?

I am sold on the QS8s per the unanimous preference for them.

I didn't talk about the center channel because I assumed that if I choose the M60s, then the appropriate center channel would be the VP150. Now you guys are suggesting the 180 and the Axiom rep actually suggested the 100. I was ok with the 100 or 150, but over $700 is a lot for one speaker. I don't know the significance of the center speaker though, I thought it just needed to match your front left and right.

Thanks again Nick, John, and Tom for the responses. You three have already given me a heck of a lot more to research.

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#355240 - 09/21/11 06:29 PM Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers [Re: soadnathan]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Happy to help. smile

You might also check at shoponkyo.com - that's where I got mine, but the warranty part never came into play. My recollection is that there is a shorter warranty on the refurbs (1 year instead of 3 maybe?). But - seriously - my 805 gets abused (it's on probably 8-10 hours a day in a semi-closed cabinet) and it's been humming along without a glitch for years. A dear friend bought the same model as me at about the same time and had the same experience. Sometimes, you can get good deals through Amazon, too.

The VP180 is gigantic. I probably recommended it because I want one. I have a VP100 in a VERY large room, and it actually works just fine. I guess it depends on how you'll use the system, and what the configuration of the room is. The VP180 is probably way overkill, but a little overkill can be nice sometimes. Any of the Axiom center channels would be a fine match for the M60. Movies and TV rely VERY heavily on the center channel, so getting a good one will make you happier in the long run.

Lots of folks have had excellent experience using a vertical center channel; dispersion of horizontal speakers just isn't all that great. They are made that way because they "look right" in people's homes, not because it is the optimal design for a loudspeaker. In a perfect world, you'd just have 3 M60's across the front, but that is pretty hard to arrange. If you can swing (and tolerate) a vertically-oriented M22 for the center, that would be an excellent choice.

The Hsu STF-2 is $349 plus $43 shipping. I don't think you can go wrong, but there are lots of other good options out there too. I have never heard a Lava sub, but I have heard other Hsu models and thought they were wonderful.

Have fun.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#355241 - 09/21/11 06:32 PM Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers [Re: soadnathan]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
Welcome fellow Floridian!

Nothing to add that these other fine gents haven't already touched upon but the advice regarding the refurbed Onkyos must be solid stuff, I don't recall ever hearing anybody having problems with their refurbished Onkyos from Accessories4less.

I've been holding on to my old trusty and outdated H/K AVR635 for too long and have been eyeing those Onkyos also.
_________________________
Rick
Our Room

smile

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#355250 - 09/21/11 07:32 PM Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers [Re: RickF]
nickbuol Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 4415
Loc: Marion, IA
Check out my pictures in my thread....

VP180 unboxed.

I just got my VP180 today. It is very huge! I am working on finishing my basement, and I will have a decent sized home theater room, so now was a good time to plan for it. Then one came up on the action site here (I had some inside help from Axiom to make sure it happened) so I got it.
_________________________
http://ht.buol.us
M60s, VP180, VP150, QS8s, SVS 20-39PCi, HTPC, JVC RS45, Onkyo TX-NR709, Shakers

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#355253 - 09/21/11 07:55 PM Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers [Re: tomtuttle]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
...

Lots of folks have had excellent experience using a vertical center channel; dispersion of horizontal speakers just isn't all that great. They are made that way because they "look right" in people's homes, not because it is the optimal design for a loudspeaker. In a perfect world, you'd just have 3 M60's across the front, but that is pretty hard to arrange. If you can swing (and tolerate) a vertically-oriented M22 for the center, that would be an excellent choice.

...


I completely second what good sir Tom says on the center channel. This is so critical for a good movie watching experience. Definitely suggest going with a vertical center channel or go big on a horizontal one.

And the QS8's cannot be beat as surround speakers IMO.

Good luck!
_________________________
Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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