An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers

Posted by: soadnathan

An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/20/11 04:41 PM

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
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/20/11 06:26 PM

Welcome.

Wow, your neighbors are going to HATE you!
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/20/11 06:40 PM

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.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/20/11 09:51 PM

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.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/20/11 10:50 PM

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.
Posted by: soadnathan

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/21/11 04:48 PM

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.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/21/11 06:29 PM

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.
Posted by: RickF

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/21/11 06:32 PM

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.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/21/11 07:32 PM

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.
Posted by: cb919

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/21/11 07:55 PM

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!
Posted by: JohnK

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/21/11 09:28 PM

Nathan, my personal experience with A4L was excellent, and their reputation in general is excellent. Understand that it's Onkyo itself that does the refurb and provides a one year warranty; A4L is their authorized re-seller.

It's been said that problems with refurbed units have been lower than with brand-new ones, and although I haven't seen statistics to confirm this, I'd be inclined to believe it. My personal experience with them has been uniformly good, and I now go this way for my own use and in making suggestions to others whenever possible. It would appear that correcting a problem that already occurred and/or thoroughly re-testing the unit would give a better prospect of less future trouble.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/21/11 10:38 PM

I don't think that refirb units are as "bad" as they were maybe 10 years ago. In fact, some people really swear by them... Lower price for something that (from a reputable manufacturer) has been 100% tested. Generally, they are tested more and any issues resolved because of the testing than new units. That is primarily since all refirb units are tested, where new production lines generally only have a small sample set tested, such as everyone 1 in 10 or more.

I would buy a factory refirb any day over a Best Buy "open box" item. Any issue that the purchaser experienced before returning it could be left untold and you could end up with a lemon.
Posted by: soadnathan

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/22/11 02:21 PM

Thinking about factory refurbished products in retrospect, it does make sense that the units undergo more extensive testing since there was already a known problem with the unit.

I also have another doozie of a question that I have done 0 research on.

I have been picturing my home theater without wires...

With a projector on one wall, I am assuming that I would want to position my device cabinet next to where the seating would be? I have no problem with running a bunch of cords around the room to achieve the best setup, but I am a computer person, so the wire management that I am used to is nothing compared to what a home theater would require. I guess my question is, how do you guys usually tackle that?

Also, back to the choice of receivers.
I am comparing the 609, 708, and 709 at ac4l trying to narrow down the differences.

I can see that only the 709 has Multi EQ XT, which from what I understand is how the receiver naturally equalizes the sound based on the depth of the room. I'll admit I don't know the technical different between that, regular Multi EQ and just Dynamic EQ. So with the 609 out of the question, between the 708 and the 709, what are the 3 biggest differences? It seems that they both have the same audio decoder capabilities, they both push 110 per channel, they have the same ports. I do notice that the 708 does not do 4k upscaling, but I wanted to ask what that is? I am familiar with the resolution, but where would the receiver get video like that from? I have been trying to read up on all of this terminology for the receivers but I don't feel like I'm making much progress!
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/22/11 02:53 PM

I can't help much with the wire management since I've been fortunate enough to build my last 3 theaters from scratch. My first one was "interesting" but it was a dedicated room... It had a TV though, so all electronics were in the front of the room and behind that wall was an open storage room, so I had access to everything. I just needed to run speaker wires, and I stashed them under the baseboard molding/trim just above the carpet. I then drilled holes in the walls and used fishtape to get to the bottom of the wall where I notched out (instead of putting a hole in it)the wall. I fed wires up, and then replaced the trim boards.

Of course, that is when I knew nothing, and I probably had something like 22ga speaker wire (j/k, it was bigger than that, but maybe only 18ga)...

I know nothing about the Onkyo line-up either..

Man I suck!
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/22/11 03:02 PM

I can't help you with wires. I am a mess, and have no experience with the projector part.

Dynamic EQ is NOT THE SAME THING as MultiEQ. Dynamic EQ (as I understand it) is sort of like an automatic "loudness" feature, where - based on your MultiEQ settings - it figures out how to tweak the sound dynamically to account for volume that is dissimilar from the measured/standard volume. The Audyssey site explains it better. I think that Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume (or Dolby Volume, if that's what the AVR manufacturer is licensing) would be pretty cool, but I don't have any first-hand experience with either.

MultiEQ XT is a "better" version of MultiEQ; it is a significant upgrade relative to the number of measurement points and the processing applied.

Not sure I can be useful on the 4K thing, but I understood that there aren't even any consumer-level projection devices capable of that resolution yet.
Posted by: Murph

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/22/11 03:19 PM

Saddly, I have yet to hear a wireless speaker setup that actually sounds good. I'm not even talking about being picky and demanding audiophile sound here, I'm talking that they all seem to sound BAD.

Sending digital signals wirelessly from a source like a PC to a reciever or another device to be decoded and sent out speaker wires is another matter. That can happen seamlessly and sound as good as a wired connection if done correctly. Streaming is less perfect as it often involves compression but can produce good results.

Connections between the amp and the speakers though still seem to work the best on good old fashioned copper. At least until they invent something greatly improved than what I have heard so far.
Posted by: soadnathan

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/22/11 03:59 PM

Yeah wireless sound has been an unpleasant experience for me in general, I'm just wondering what everyones solutions are when it comes to running wires to 5 different speakers in a mid to large sized room.

Also, anyone with QS4s or 8s, do you usually mount to the wall or use a stand? The wall-mount seems most practical, im just thinking about how im going to organize all of this.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/22/11 04:28 PM

Wall mounts are the way to go, IMO.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/22/11 05:00 PM

Wall mount for me. SirQuack (Randy) has his mounted to his ceiling using L brackets... Or at least he DID. He is reworking his theater right now, so I don't know what he is planning...
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/22/11 08:06 PM

Wall mount all the way, but DON'T USE FOAM TAPE to put the wires up. Good lord, that stuff is IMPOSSIBLE to remove.

Not sure how I'm going to wire them in the new house, but it ain't gonna be that.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/22/11 08:15 PM

Wall mount to lend a helping hand to the low end.
Posted by: soadnathan

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/22/11 11:16 PM

*edited post*

Thanks John, I didn't even look at the size. I really don't know what I was thinking. That does lead me to the question of sub placement. I know some people put it to their front left, but I was wondering whether it would be better for movies and games and such if it were closer to the surround left? I am completely clueless on this.

As of right now, the receiver is solid. I'm still looking at the differences between the Onkyo 708 and 709 considering the price gap. Gonna do a little more research on Audyessey's website.


Thanks again for all the responses, I'm continuing to learn a lot.


Posted by: JohnK

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/22/11 11:22 PM

Nathan, the STF-2 IS a "smoother, high-quality 10"; that's why I suggested it.

Posted by: JohnK

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/22/11 11:42 PM

The frequencies handled by subs(generally under 100Hz)are essentially omni-directional and the location of a sub playing at a loudness level that isn't excessive shouldn't be apparent. So, left/right, front/back shouldn't be of crucial significance. Typically, in a room that isn't square, the best location for a single sub is in a corner farthest from a large opening.
Posted by: soadnathan

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/23/11 12:12 AM

After reading a little bit more about Multi EQ XT, I realize that its only really good in loud situations where it has to equalize in an odd-shaped room. Some posts on their forums suggest that the Dynamic EQ is more practical in its noise level.

I don't know how much noise it would all make anyways. It would be facing away from the wall that they were behind, but I'm wondering if we should soundproof the walls with something. hah

Also still having trouble with the placement of my receiver. I can't really put it on the wall with the screen, and I really like people's setups where it is neatly stacked on a shelf in a cabinet or on a rack of the PERFECT height. I could always put a rack along the left wall maybe?

Had a suggestion for these
http://www.sanus.com/us/en/products/av-racks/av-euro/

Any other reasonable storage options for A/V devices?
Posted by: jakewash

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/23/11 12:17 AM

Head to here and look around.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/23/11 12:29 AM

I don't think that you've read accurate commentary from what you mention in your first paragraph. The basic function of MultEQ is to correct for sound variations which are caused by all listening rooms. The loudness level isn't a factor. Dynamic EQ is a separate function available with Audyssey which compensates for the lower sensitivity of our ears to bass and treble at low sound levels by increasing the relative level of bass and treble as the loudness level drops. These aren't competing functions; they address different problems.
Posted by: soadnathan

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/23/11 10:28 AM

Jake, thanks a ton for the link, I'm looking through their Open Shelving TV Stands now. Makes me wonder how many devices I should plan for. Does anyone have any input on devices that you purchased AFTER you finished the setup? As of right now I only really have the receiver, 360, PS3, and HTPC. Some of the racks of 15 shelves?? Really?!?! I know some people need an amp and a separate processor etc, but 15 thingamajigs is a lot. I also was curious as to why some people have dedicated blu-ray players with a PS3. I've never had a problem with blu-rays on the PS3, am I missing something?

And John, the only real reason I made that statement is because the people who really rave are the ones that get Multi EQ XT32. I read it on the avsforums here http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1053572

It just says that the nicer resolution of the correction would not be enjoyable unless the speakers were turned up. Its even said that the resolution is identical for the subwoofer and only noticeable difference comes from higher frequencies. It does say that the XT has more measuring positions which is whats important, I did read somewhere that it would have to be at perfect 90 degree angles for the best measurement? That would be tough for the surrounds and center.

Anyways, thanks again!
Posted by: JohnK

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/23/11 09:47 PM

Okay, I just read the linked AVS thread, which contains an appalling amount of misinformation. Now I see where you got the ideas that I previously commented on. The original poster there somehow had a belief that he could have MultEq plus Dynamic EQ or MultEQ XT without DEQ. This is totally incorrect since DEQ is available with both. Unfortunately none of the replies really corrected this, including those from generally very knowledgeable posters Sanjay Durani and Dr. Rubinson(who may not have been completely familiar with DEQ three years ago). Therefore, as I replied above, the benefits of DEQ at lower volumes are certainly also available with the more advanced XT and aren't "sacrificed" as one of the uninformed replies there claimed.

It's correct that the resolution for the subwoofer channel is identical for both flavors; the higher XT resolution applies to the speakers, and for example with the common 80Hz crossover would affect frequencies from 80Hz to 20,000Hz.

Whatever you read about a "90 degree" measurement angle also appears to make no sense. The measurements are to be taken in a tight cluster at all angles around the main listening spot.

Beware, since although the internet can provide valuable audio information, some threads can become quagmires of misinformation.
Posted by: soadnathan

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/26/11 03:24 PM

Alright, I am finalizing everything after finally deciding that I would rather invest the money in higher-end components should the need arise in the future. Thoughts are still welcome.

1. Epson Home Cinema 8350 (i'll figure the screen out later)
2. Onkyo TX-NR709
3. M60 fronts
4. QS8 surrounds
5. VP150 center
6. HSU STF-2 subwoofer

So I am assuming there will be a good bit of speaker wire involved, so I was going to see if someone could point me in the right direction. I won't have an elaborate tool set after moving out, but there won't be anything out of the ordinary required will there?
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/26/11 05:00 PM

I bought my wire from monoprice.com
GREAT cables/wiring for GREAT prices.

Some will say that you need to run 12ga wire, but 14ga is plenty for what your space is.

Also, many people are just as happy buying wire from their local home improvement store. Simple "lamp wire" is fine, but you should look for oxygen free, in my opinion, to reduce discoloring of the wires.

I went with in-wall rated, but you don't need to.
MonoPrice Speaker Wires

Of course, Axiom sells speaker wire! They are pretty spiffy too...
Axiom Speaker Wire
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/26/11 05:06 PM

Epic win.

Just get 12-gauge stranded copper from Monoprice (or someplace local if you can). Copper is copper. If you need interconnects (HDMI, etc) get those at Monoprice, too.

I'd also get some banana plugs from Monoprice. While bare wire is acoustically just fine, trying to tighten down the nuts on the back of the receiver onto bare wire can be pretty frustrating. I use banana plugs at the receiver end and (mostly) bare wire at the speaker end. You can use plugs there, too, of course but it won't make anything sound better.

Edit: Dammit! Nick beat me to it.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/26/11 05:10 PM

Oh, and the projector is pretty nice. A 2010 Editor's Choice at ProjectorCentral.com and real nice for $1300...

The Onkyo is probably more than you "need", but I too like to buy more than I need for receivers too since they can be so easily outdated and that extra cash now should yield a couple of additional years of enjoyment before wanting (or needing) to update later. Plus, it has Audyssey MultEQ XT....

The speaker choices I love, obviously, since that is what I've had for a while now. You will be very happy with that setup.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/26/11 05:19 PM

Tom, nice catch on the banana plugs. I was anti-banana for a number of years, but once I bought some, I decided that I would never NOT have banana plugs unless there was some odd limitation (like the plugs I have not working with the "V2" QS8s... The current QS8s have the built in wall bracket/wire connector thingy, so banana plugs for all speaker (not sub) wires coming to the receiver, plus banana plugs for the front 3 speakers (again, QS8s won't need them).

Depending on how much wire you need (you always need more than you think once you snake it around the room), 12ga is only $10 more than 14ga if you buy 300 feet of it.

I bought 450 feet for my 7.2 setup so that I have plenty. My longest run is right at 40 feet from wall plate to wall plate. Add a couple of feet for "patch" wires between the wall plates and the speakers, and the wall plate and the receiver and it adds up. (I also needed some wire for bass shakers and other things too.)
Posted by: JohnK

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/26/11 10:05 PM

Nathan, I do have one suggestion for the excellent setup you'll be getting: since you'll be using a screen with a significant amount of clear space beneath it, a better choice for the center would be a vertical M22(they're sold singly), as Tom mentioned previously. This should give a wider and smoother horizontal dispersion. If you're ready to buy now, note that a price increase occurs on Oct. 1st.

As to speaker wire, an excellent explanation by a veteran audio professional found here should be studied to help you avoid some of the high-priced "magic wire" nonsense which pollutes the audio scene. As mentioned, regular electrical wire from local sources such as Home Depot or Lowes, or a low-cost online source such as MonoPrice does this very simple function as well as it can be done.
Posted by: Argon

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/27/11 08:05 AM

Has anyone tried these banana plugs?

http://www.speakerrepair.com/mm5/merchan...Code=AHH_Banana
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/27/11 12:17 PM

I remember those getting good reviews YEARS ago. I've stuck with the Monoprice and/or PE ones, which seem to be of good quality and are often even less expensive.
Posted by: Argon

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/27/11 12:19 PM

Yeah, but the GLS ones "look" cool.
Posted by: soadnathan

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/27/11 01:05 PM

Originally Posted By: JohnK
Nathan, I do have one suggestion for the excellent setup you'll be getting: since you'll be using a screen with a significant amount of clear space beneath it, a better choice for the center would be a vertical M22(they're sold singly), as Tom mentioned previously. This should give a wider and smoother horizontal dispersion. If you're ready to buy now, note that a price increase occurs on Oct. 1st.


Wow, I've heard too many people swear up and down that the VP180 was the only way to go for a center. Even with the 150 though, wouldn't the extra tweeter and 2 woofers be nice for a media experience? I was under the impression that the bookshelfs were the way to go for a center if music-listening was going to be the primary use?

Also, does the price increase affect all items? How significant of a price increase is it?
Posted by: cb919

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/27/11 03:22 PM

Nathan, regarding the center channel - the best SQ option is to have 3 identical LCR speakers. In your case that would be 3 M60's. However most people cannot accommodate a large vertical center like that, so we have horizontal centers which most people can fit. While I have no doubts that the VP180 is an awesome center channel beast from all reports, the best matching option is still 3 identical speakers across the front.

If I could do 3 M80's across the front vs. L&R M80's with VP180 center, i would go 3 M80's. Again that's just not possible for most people thus the development of the VP180 and now the soon to be VP160.

IMO I would absolutely go with a vertical M22 or VP180 before going with the VP150. I have a VP150 unused right now after I discovered for my setup in my room an M2 outperformed my VP150.

Hope that helps.
Posted by: bdpf

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/27/11 04:43 PM

Very good advice has been given. Like the others my first choice would be 3xM60s for the front which is not possible for most of us. Then M22 or VP180, M22 is cheaper will give you a better off-axis response and will compliment your M60s very well while the VP180 will give you a fuller sound as it's a full range speaker but will not give you as good off-axis response (although the VP180 does pretty well IMO for a horizontal array). The other option would be to wait for the VP160 that in theory should give you the best of both worlds http://www.axiomaudio.com/boards/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=355530&page=1

As for the price increase, it will affect all items and will be in average 2.8% according to the Axiom newsletter.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/27/11 05:40 PM

I still remember, way way waaaay back, before the VP180 when the VP150 was the "flagship" center, and people commented on getting the VP150 or M22 center. Although we all make certain compromises. Like I bought a VP180 for a new center when I could have gone M60 for a center to match, but "just in case" my plans changed, or if I ever (don't want to think about it) moved again, I would have more options with a horizontal center vs. another vertical, but then again, the M60 is smaller than the VP180.

Lots of sound advice. I was very happy with my setup, but went with the VP180 as part of my whole home theater sound upgrade since I am having a much larger room than before (more than double the cu.ft.) and I saw more bang for my buck with a bigger center than going from M60s to M80s.

Good luck. It is always a hard decision, but you are getting a great product any way you go from a great company.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: An epic man-cave, requiring epic speakers - 09/27/11 06:16 PM

I like what Nick, Bruno and Dan have said.

It's entirely appropriate to base part of your decision on aesthetics; a vertical center has a tendency to just "look funny" to some people. If that's you, just get the VP100, VP150 or VP180 and you'll be very happy. If you think you can wrap your brain around a vertical center, get another M60 or an M22. I don't think there is much debate left relative to the sonic merits of a vertically-oriented center channel.