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how well does a 3.0 HT work and sound?
#303038 04/23/10 10:25 PM
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Hi,
This is my first post on the forum and I am looking for help creating upgraded sound for a new 50" Samsung plasma. I am a real dolt in this area and have not had a decent system in 30 years. Just to give you an idea of this, I still have have my original Marantz 2220B receiver from which I blew the speakers that came with it. 20 years later a couple of smooth talking dudes sold me a pair of speakers from the back of their van. The speakers were so huge I felt I could never blow them and although I never did they sounded like shit. Now am back to square one - help!

The following is a post I made on another forum but since then I have been reading many posts here and am more confused than ever. Any thoughts????

Is a 3.0 system feasible and sound good?

I live in a high rise condo. Living room (TV) is app 11x20 and also open to a 9x9 solarium and 8x12 dining room. Just bought Samsung 50" plasma and the sound is not great at all.

Looking at a 1910 Denon receiver (or 790 which seems identical?) $600 to $650.

First speaker quote was Paradigm Millenia 20 trio $1150 with PDR8 sub $260. A package deal with receiver and looks nice and compact but over $2000 plus tax.

Same dealer also offered Paradigm Cinema 330 center $335, Atom L&R $300, stands $140 with same sub and receiver total $1560 + tax.

Have now looked at Axiom 2nds M22 L&R $424, 150v2 center $367, 125v2 sub $338, stands $186 total $1315 + need receiver.

So....... Axiom has a heavy duty M80 floor standing unit $1200/pair, with 150v2 center $367 total $1567 + receiver. My questions are - would this kind of system work in my condo with no sub, is the Denon sufficient to drive it and would one of the other systems be better?

System is 80% TV and 20% music unless sounds so good we will listen to more music. Any thoughts or should I just stick to HTIB and save $$$$.

Also, I live in the GTA in Ontario.

Re: how well does a 3.0 HT work and sound?
unclebob #303047 04/24/10 12:12 AM
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Welcome to the Forum! \:\)

The M80s and VP150 would make for an excellent 3.0 system and yes that Denon will drive them. I used an older 1804 to run my M80s, VP150 and 3 QS8s with no problems. The M80s do an excellent job on their own with movies/TV. It looks like you have enough space to not be worrying about the depth the M80s have. I would suggest looking to the Factory outlet to save a few bucks too. These speakers are slightly cosmetically blemished although I have yet to find any problems on my FO purchases.


Jason
M80 v2
VP160 v3
QS8 v2
PB13 Ultra
Denon 3808
Samsung 85" Q70
Re: how well does a 3.0 HT work and sound?
unclebob #303052 04/24/10 01:28 AM
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 Quote:
System is 80% TV and 20% music unless sounds so good we will listen to more music

You will be listening to more music. \:\)

When you write TV do you mean cable or movies?


Fred

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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!
Re: how well does a 3.0 HT work and sound?
fredk #303054 04/24/10 01:56 AM
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If you're looking at a 3.0 system due to budget concerns, you might also consider a phantom centre and with the money saved, pick up a couple of surround speakers. As Jay mentioned, you may want to go through the FO as well for some further savings(as I did).


Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.
Re: how well does a 3.0 HT work and sound?
Adrian #303142 04/24/10 07:37 PM
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The M80's will turn you into music lovers forsure. And when it comes to music, the 80's don't need a subwoofer.

However since you've said you are looking for something to watch TV (I'm assuming movies are also included in the realm of TV) with my advice would be to look at getting something along the lines of a pair of M22's, a VP100 center and QS4 surrounds. If you purchased all of these from the Factory Outlet (do not fear the FO, the quality of product that comes out of the FO will blow your mind, it did mine) you can save a total of 15% (10% from the FO and another 5% for purchasing 5 speakers at once). So you'd be looking at right around $1000 for all of that with tax, and then could shop around for a sub from SVS, HSU or somewhere like that which, IMO, will give you more bang for your buck if you're trying to stick to a pretty tight budget.

The M22's will give you great sound, and when partnered with a good subwoofer will give you an awesome movie experience. The M80's do alright with movies on their own, but for me a subwoofer brings an entirely new level of enjoyment to movie soundtracks (which is why I recommend M22's + a sub over M80's by themselves for movie watching). Keep in mind that you may not make a lot of friends in your condo, but you won't be able to hear them complaining when you have the music turned up either, so it all works out in the end. ;\)


My Stuff :

M80's
QS8's
VP150
EP800
Denon 4802
Emotiva XPA-3
Samsung BD-P3600
Sharp 65 Inch Aquos LCD
Re: how well does a 3.0 HT work and sound?
unclebob #303153 04/24/10 09:00 PM
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 Originally Posted By: unclebob

Is a 3.0 system feasible and sound good?


Yes it’s feasible but IMO having a center may not be worth it for TV and music with some exceptions.

 Quote:

System is 80% TV and 20% music unless sounds so good we will listen to more music. Any thoughts or should I just stick to HTIB and save $$$$.


What type of music do you plan on listening to?

Do you really plan on not watching any DVDs?

Are you skipping a subwoofer because of the LFE bothering neighbors or some other reason?

Do you plan on putting together a full HT and are just planning on doing it piece by piece?

Do you plan on living in this condo for a long time or might you plan on moving to a stand-alone house and eventually upgrade with a subwoofer and full surround sound system?

I ask these questions because they would effect my speaker choice both for right now and to have an upgrade path in mind for later.

Based on what you’ve said so far I think you could really go either way in getting bookshelf speakers like the M22s or floor standing speakers like the M60s or M80s but w/o knowing more information it’s hard for me to recommend anything specific to meet your needs.

Cheers,
Dean


3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1
Re: how well does a 3.0 HT work and sound?
grunt #303257 04/25/10 08:25 PM
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Thanks to all who replied!

Some answers to your questions:

TV means mostly cable and some movies. We have Rogers on demand and also rent DVD's.
Budget means not overkill - around price of TV ($ 1800)incl receiver, also overkill means what wife will do to me if much more than that.
Music means easy listening, light classical - not hard rock, jazz
We are older so only home move would be closer to grandkids in ON but would still be a condo or smaller house, no vaulted ceilings or great rooms but good size TV room.

My original goal was to really improve the TV sound and as a bonus play music better than the sound on my Sony boom box.
The original price quote of $2000 for the Paradigm 1.1 made me reassess the whole thing.

A couple of my restraints are livng in the condo does not give us a whole lot of room so trying to keep the # of items down. Also a big sub may not go over well on the 14th floor. The other thing is all wall to wall carpets and wife does not want wires running across the floor, otherwise I would love surrounds which was also suggested on the CR forum.

Still looking for feedback. Thinking about M80/60's & no sub/center or M22's and sub but no center. Re sub's, I know Hsu, SVS, Aperion make good subs but not sure about cross border with these firms, freight/duty.

If there are any carpet lifters out there, let me know so I can buy the flat wire and hang QS's on the wall.

Thanks again for your time and expertise.

Re: how well does a 3.0 HT work and sound?
unclebob #303262 04/25/10 10:29 PM
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Hi Unk Bob, just to let you know, SVS has a Canadian dealer out of Markham, Ont. at Sonic Boom Audio . You might also consider a Paradigm DSP 3100 for sub duty from Audio Video Unltd. . This is a good quality, moderately priced sub, and AVU is no stranger to haggling on prices.

If I were in your situation, I would really try to work in some surrounds somehow. Hopefully you can run some wires along/under the baseboards or something, I think they'll really enhance your HT enjoyment. I would still be looking at M22s(and 'Qs' for surrounds) from the factory outlet as well *if you use a sub...if *not, consider a pair of M60s from the FO but with surrounds that may go overbudget.


Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.
Re: how well does a 3.0 HT work and sound?
Adrian #303266 04/25/10 10:54 PM
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Right now, I have a 3.0 HT. If it was bookcase M22's I'd be happy, but with the on-wall, it has to be 3.1. I'm not complaining. I'm happy with the on-wall M22, but a sub-woofer is necessary for music and movies. Although with some music I've been listening to lately that's not bass intensive, such as piano jazz and some horns, it sounds wonderful.

Re: how well does a 3.0 HT work and sound?
unclebob #303267 04/25/10 10:54 PM
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Well if you’re planning mostly easy listening and light classical and can either make or buy some inexpensive stands locally then I would get either the M22s or M3s. IMO the M22s are price for performance the best speaker Axiom makes and combined with a good subwoofer will get you to 95% of what the M80s sound like. You won’t get deep bass but based on your listening preferences I don’t think you’ll need it. The M3s on the other hand are designed to be used w/o a subwoofer (though they can be) having a bit of a hump in the bass to give the feel of deeper bass extension than they really have.

Since space is an issue you might also consider the new on-wall versions but I’m not sure how well they would do in the bass department if you don’t also have a subwoofer.

Even if you don’t plan on getting a subwoofer I would give the M22s or M3s a try. Should you decide that they don’t have enough bass then if you’re within the 30 day trial period you could upgrade to the M60s and Axiom will as far as I know pay for the return shipping. I certainly wouldn’t go as high as the M80s unless you plan to move to a much larger room and listen very loud.

Also by going with the M22 or M3 mains you could assuming you can work out your wiring issue put together a nice set of home theater speakers for under $900 USD by using the factory outlet. A pair of M22s for your mains, a M2 for the center and a pair of QS4s for $895 USD, or get 3 M3s for the front and 2 QS4s for $791 USD.

Play around with the factory outlet and put together other combinations to see what you might want. For example you could upgrade the center above from an M2 to an M22 and have 3 matching front speakers which is considered ideal though certainly not necessary. By going the factory outlet route you get 10% off and if you get 5 items an additional 5% off.

Unless making or getting some inexpensive stands locally isn’t possible or you plan on doing a lot of 2 channel music listening that need solid bass I would skip getting tower speakers. If you do go with tower speakers I would only go as high as the M60s.

Should you later find you want more of the home theater experience you can always add a subwoofer or even a Buttkicker (or other tactile transducer). They attach to your furniture and shake it directly so it doesn’t go through the walls/floor. I bought one for my apartment and it works great but I only use it for movies as I don’t find it was necessary for music.


3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1
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