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#120945 - 12/16/05 04:30 PM Dorm Room System
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
Alright, so I'm crazy. I want to stuff an axiom system into a dorm room. Well, I guess to you guys, I'm not crazy. :-)

I was toying with the idea of getting an M60 setup, but obviously I have some serious space issues here. Since the room is...well...small, I knew that the M22ti's could easily do the job.

So currently, I'm looking at the Epic Grand Master 175 package, possibly just upping the sub to a 350.

My Dorm room is very long and skinny, but I already have a Kilpsch ProMedia 5.1 satalite system in there now set up at the desired locations for the listening area. About 8x12x8 (WxLxH). Small. The room itself is 20 feet long, but the farthest anyone sits back is about 12 feet. I am at the end of the dorm wing, so to the right of me there are no rooms, which is nice. there are people living above and below me though.

When I move home I move to my room, about 16x12x8. Essentially the same size.

Basically, I have two questions. For one, will the EP350 bother anyone more than the EP175? I mean, being able to shake a lamp off the table above me would be an entertaining idea, but for the sake of the people around me, I don't want to bother them too much. Do any of you have experience of how far the sound travels? The dorm rooms are separated by thick cinder blocks. I have been asked once to turn down my cheapo Klipsch ProMedia sub, but I really had the volume up then and the guy was in the room next to me.

Secondly, what kind of reciever would be the best bang for my buck? I don't want to spend any more than $500, period. Alot less would be nice.

I was looking at the Pioneer VSX-915-K or 815-K, which looked like they were almost as good as the VSX-1015TX without the THX rating. Some reviews led me to believe the 915 really wouldnt sound much different than the 1015TX.

Then I saw Yamaha. The RX-V567 really caught my eye as a great contender with some great reviews. I then looked at the RX-V557, only 5 watts less on each channel.

My question is to you guys, what receiver would I really need? Would I notice any difference between these models? Any recommendations for great budget receivers?

I am most likely going to keep these speakers for the rest of my life so...I hope it would be a good investment for a Freshman in college.

Thanks a bunch guys. Go axiom!

P.S. By the way, I don't know if it matters but I am going to run all music and DVD's from my computer. I'm just going to directly output the digital SPDIF signal from the good soundcard I have to the receiver. I was wondering if anyone else had good success with this and if it would effect the type of receiver I am getting. PowerDVD (DVD playing program) has the option of directly using SPDIF and not processing any DVD sound.


Edited by danmagicman7 (12/16/05 04:34 PM)
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#120946 - 12/16/05 06:44 PM Re: Dorm Room System
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8294
Loc: Tacoma
Hi Dan, welcome.

Well, I'll take a non-technical swing at it.

At your stage in life, you are going to be moving this stuff several more times. Consequently, I would counsel you against the M60's pretty strongly. Your room doesn't need them, and they're big and heavy. You're going to want to keep the factory boxes for whatever you get, and storing the M60 boxes is only going to exacerbate your already minimalist space problems. The M22's would be an excellent choice.

Regarding the sub, I don't think you'd find a lot of difference in inherent "annoyance level" between the two. Again, it's not a big room, so the EP175 should manage it quite nicely. The only thing the EP350 would give you is a bit of future-proofing for a few years down the line when you move into bigger space, but at a significant premium in both space and money (two things that are premium for you right now). You might want to also consider a SVS PB10-ISD or HSU STF-2; both are wonderful subs in the same price range. Again, on a purely lifestyle level, I liked the notion of a down-firing sub; the performance is just as good, but my kids/dog (or your roommates, etc.). have less grill cloth to mess up or speaker cones to push in.

In any case, you'll be in control of how annoying the sub is. Cinder block construction should isolate the noise better than other types.

Using the DACs in the receiver (rather than the ones in your computer) is a good idea, IMO.

I have a budget Denon and I like it very much, except that it does not have pre-amp outputs. I am greatly enamored of the HK receivers because you can set different crossover points for each speaker. People sometimes find good deals at harmanaudio, ecost and jandrmusic. Especially at that level, shop for features and price, not alleged differences in sound quality. I like the looks of the HK AVR 235-Z for $298. Any of those brands will have "enough" power for those speakers in those rooms, so you don't have to really consider the power ratings.

If you really spend that kind of money on these components, you will very likely have a system that is the envy of virtually all other students your age.

Good luck!
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#120947 - 12/16/05 06:58 PM Re: Dorm Room System
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
Thank you!

I also might like the idea of a down firing sub. One of the biggest things I would be concerned about is kicking the cone of the sub. However, I could also just put the sub sideways.

If anyone has any more receiver or sub recommondations (axiom or non axiom) and insight please let me know!

P.S. My friends think the Klipsch System I have is good (computer satelite system, small sub, 5.1). I can't imagine what they would think when I bring an axiom system in.
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#120948 - 12/16/05 08:24 PM Re: Dorm Room System
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8294
Loc: Tacoma
Dan, what is your budget and acquisition plan on this deal (i.e. are you buying everything at once or what)?

Lots of people here find it amusing to build systems using other people's money.

Likewise, remember the Axiom factory outlet; it is virtually impossible to find the alleged cosmetic flaw, and you save 10%.

If I were you...

M22/VP100/QS8 from factory outlet = $1062
Hsu STF-2 = $399
HK 235 = $298
Total $1759 plus some shipping from HK and Hsu

Plus some cables, perhaps stands.

You'd never have to replace any of that stuff; it would play well in a pretty large room for a long time.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#120949 - 12/16/05 08:37 PM Re: Dorm Room System
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
The package Tom just put together is perfect. Grab some cables from Blue Jeans Cable, perhaps some speaker stands from racksandstands.com and you'll be all set.


_________________________
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

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#120950 - 12/16/05 09:19 PM Re: Dorm Room System
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
That looks like a knock-out deal. I am looking to spend no more than $2000. $1800 sounds good to me.

I like the fact that the HSU sub is just black. I put my feet on my sub all the time as a footrest, and I woundn't feel bad about putting them on the HSU, since it really isn't meant to look good. Any scratch can just be fixed with some black spray paint. I'd be scared to do that on the EP models since they look so nice. And, no cone to kick out by anyone. I like that.

I have just a quick question about the HSU STF-2. How does it compare to the EP175/EP350? I imagine it would be about inbetween or closer to the EP175.

Another thing I was looking at was the wattage ratings on the Harmon Kardon. It seems HK has low wattage ratings across the board for all of their receivers. The HK 235 is only at 50 watts. Would most agree that the HK 235 is the best bet for the $300-$400 range? Does Yamaha, Pioneer or Denon come close? I've looked at some reviews and they say that HK really is efficient in driving speakers at low watts. Some other options and opinions would be nice.

You guys know I'm already sold on the speakers, no "options" needed there. :-) The sub looks really good to me, unless someone finds some really good model or some other good contender, I'm sold on the HSU. The receiver is the only thing I really would like to research a bit more with recommended options.

Thanks alot guys for all your help!

P.S. Before I left college I made spots for the bookshelf speakers. The QS8's will be mounted...um..."ghettoish" I think for now. If I go through with this, I'll put the mounting bracket that comes with the QS8's and put it on some plywood, then make some hooks to hang on my closet door when in use. When not in use it goes in the cabinet above. The other QS8 will probably be mounted to wood also, but suspended by zip ties and duct tape beneath the bed against the wall. (All three bunk beds are 4 feet off the ground on the wall). It might be the most...adaptive placement of QS8's ever. :-P


Edited by danmagicman7 (12/16/05 09:26 PM)
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#120951 - 12/16/05 09:32 PM Re: Dorm Room System
player8 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 521
Loc: PHX/Flagstaff, AZ
Tom recommended the system that I would recommend for a dorm room system. I have some experience here, seeing as how I still live in a dorm myself. My profile shows my setup. I absolutely love it and for the situation I'm in, I don't think I could ask for any more (except for some QS8's but more on that later). I will be moving into an apartment come May, so my current setup will last me for a few more years until I can start saving for a house.

Being in a dorm room, I don't want the hassle of having to mount the QS8's and remove them. This is why I still use my 10 yr old ultra small radio shack book shelves. I place them on make shift stands and they have been bounced around a few times (my M22's and TV setup never gets touched, I've already warned all incomers that touching my equipment results in beatings all around ). Inconsiderate roommates and guests don't have the same respect for quality components that we do. Thats just something I would consider for your surrounds situation. But if you can swing some QS8's in your room, awesome.

Your getting started in your quest into hi-fidelity about a yr before I started to. Congratualations.

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#120952 - 12/16/05 09:33 PM Re: Dorm Room System
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13341
Loc: Iowa
The HK's are very conservatively rated and are a hich current design, don't let the 50 watts worry you. The other brands are fine also. Axiom speakers are very easy to drive, unless you are getting the 4ohm m80's.

You may want to look at the weight on those Qs8's, they are very very heavy for surrounds and need good support.
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M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#120953 - 12/16/05 09:55 PM Re: Dorm Room System
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
I sounded like I was going to be rash in putting the surrounds up, but, really, I'm going to be sure to make sure they are stable. I may be even considering putting wood or metal "cages" around them made of poles to prevent a stray hand or person from directly hitting the speakers.

I am now considering just getting QS4's. $100 cheaper, smaller, more lightweight.

I doubt when I go home or move to a more dedicated "room" setup I'm going to say "Boy, I wish I got the QS8's".

Does that sound realistic to you guys?

And does anyone have any other receiver recommendations? I'd like to have at least a couple options to choose from and look at. I can scour the internet for reviews as well.
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#120954 - 12/16/05 09:56 PM Re: Dorm Room System
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10407
Dan, on the receiver power question, it deserves almost no concern since any of the units you've mentioned would have plenty for your use. Five or ten watts difference at those levels is almost meaningless(less than 1 dB in maximum output capacity)and your decision should be based on features and price.
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