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#327596 - 11/05/10 04:34 AM New guy, setting up first decent HT
Twiggz Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 10/30/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Bay area, CA
Hi guys, hope to get some input from you pros.

I need some suggestions setting up my home theater. It will be used mostly for movies and Xbox, very little music.

The room is roughly 13.5' wide by 22.5' long 8' high.
The TV will be against a 13' wall and I will be seated about 16' away from that wall.

I'm running an HSU STF-2 sub and will next upgrade the remaining speakers.
I have a Sony 5.1 (cant remember the model number) receiver that I will upgrade eventually as well. For now, it puts out 75W at 8ohms.

Other info,
I have a 1yo son who leaves a wake of destruction behind him. So speaker stands and floor standing speakers will not survive.
I opted for on wall versus in wall for ease of installation.
center channel and surround speakers will be wall mounted as well.

So far I've decided on picking up the Axiom M22 wall mounts to go on each side of my TV. I chose them because they have good reviews, are in my price range and I can mount them out of my sons reach.

For the center I've read mixed reviews. I was planning on getting the VP150 bookshelf, but heard some people say at longer distances it has issues.
I was thinking of going with a single M2 bookshelf mounted above my TV. Its cheaper then a VP100 and I've read it gives a seamless transition with the M22's. But not sure if this is true at that distance.
I figure with either speaker, I'd have to aim it down toward my seating location because of the distance.
I thought about a third M22 on wall for a center, but I think it would look odd having a vertical speaker above my TV.


So my main question is what would you guys suggest for my center?

Child proof question, How high do you suggest I mount the M22's, to keep them out of my sons reach and not degrade the sound?

Thanks in advance!

Dean

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#327601 - 11/05/10 09:31 AM Re: New guy, setting up first decent HT [Re: Twiggz]
Philippe Offline
local

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 282
For just a few more coins get a single M3 instead of M2 for center.
The M22 sould be place on each side of the TV's or ear level if possible.
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#327602 - 11/05/10 09:33 AM Re: New guy, setting up first decent HT [Re: Twiggz]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13571
Loc: Iowa
The VP150 should perform better than the VP100, not sure what your referring to when you say distance issues? It is the big brother of the 100, so it is designed for larger rooms and should have a wider left/right dispersion.

Some use an identical speaker for the center that matches the sides, however, you would not want to turn it sideways if that is what you are thinking? There is no reason to not consider the VP150....
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#327605 - 11/05/10 09:52 AM Re: New guy, setting up first decent HT [Re: SirQuack]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
I wouldn't use an M3 for center because of tonal differences with the M22. M2 would be a better match. Personally, I would go with the VP150, although there will be tonal differences there too.


Edited by CatBrat (11/05/10 09:54 AM)

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#327616 - 11/05/10 12:06 PM Re: New guy, setting up first decent HT [Re: CatBrat]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
Hi Dean, Welcome smile

Geez, there's been a rash of "I heard bad stuff about the VP150" lately. I probably shouldn't ask where this is coming from, but I do think it is overblown. A small number of malcontents with hidden agendas can make an awful lot of noise on teh interwebz. And - to be fair - this is the Axiom forum, so you're going to get even-handed but biased replies here.

Good call on the sub. You're set there, which gives you options.

You're seated a LONG way from the TV. I'm not sure if your TV is already mounted or whether you have some flexibility there. Personally, I think you'd be better off sonically to mount the center channel under the TV (but still out of reach) rather than "close to the ceiling". Even if you have to mount it above the TV, at that distance, I don't think you need to worry about aiming it.

An M2 would be fine if you like that look and it fits your budget. I typically recommend the VP100; I have one (although it is the traditional not the onwall version) and think it's wonderful and under-appreciated. If you have the coin, moving up to the VP150 would probably be an "improvement", and you shouldn't take too seriously these extreme or quasi-scientific negative user opinions you may have seen elsewhere. I've heard the VP150 in several different rooms and I think it sounds just great.

As to height, Philippe is correct. Sonically, you'd like to have the tweeter at about ear level when you are seated. However, that's going to be too low for childproofing. I wouldn't worry about it too much, because - again - the distance buys you a little wiggle room. I do not know how tall children are when they cease their destruction. My kids are only 13 and 16 years old, but I'll let you know when/if I learn anything definitive.

Re-use whatever you can find for surround speakers until you can afford the QS4's or QS8's. They are worth the money.

Enjoy the journey.
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#327628 - 11/05/10 12:58 PM Re: New guy, setting up first decent HT [Re: tomtuttle]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana


Hi Dean,

I’m one of those “small number of malcontents with hidden agendas. . .” who finds that the VP150 is the most problematic of all Axiom speakers I’ve owned (see my signature for the ones I still have). I have used the VP150 in 3 different room with both M80s and M22s and gotten different results each time. I also have IMO done more testing of these setups than anyone presently on these boards except for Axiom employees.

In my case I found that the VP150 in any room did not work very well in keeping up with the M80s. I’ve taken a lot of flack over posting those comments but then low and behold when the VP180 came out a number of people upgraded claiming to notice a significant improvement in using the VP180 over the VP150 with their M80s.

Trying my VP150 in my present room which is 21x13x8-12vaulted I found it had extremely poor off axis performance. In this room the VP150 exhibited a “beaming effect” causing it to sound like the speaker was deep at the end of a tunnel when sitting in the side seats. There was also a noticeable and uncomfortable lobbing effect where the SPL varied so much when moving laterally that I could end up with different SPLs at each ear causing a feeling of disorientation.

In fairness when I used the VP150 in a bedroom with my M22s sitting very close with the side walls far away it blended perfectly with them.

Though my experience with substandard performance does not ensure you or anyone else will share the same experience neither does the strictly positive performance of others neccessaraly carry validity for everyone else.

As noted by many hear I am not the only one to note potential performance problems with the VP150, which IMO are simply a subset of similar problems I and others have experienced with every horizontal speaker used. There is a reason that most speakers stand up vertically, it’s simply a better design for off axis horizontal performance.

That out of the way in a room your size/shape which is nearly the same as mine right now I would not go any smaller than M22s as mains and if possible would use another M22 or M2 as a center. The vertical center could go above or below you display if you need to keep it out of reach. Another option is to use dual M2 speakers above and below your display. IMO this can look better aesthetically and sound better as it centers the center speaker channel in the middle of the screen. Not only is the M2 cheaper but IMO it sounds exactly like an M22 when crossed over to my sub at 80Hz.
If you are worried about how various arrangements will look get some cardboard (Walmart sells coloured stuff) and cut out the sizes of the various speakers you’re interested I and tape them to the wall to have a look.

As for mounting your speakers you could get on wall speakers which have the advantage of being designed for near wall placement but may have more limited use should you want to re-task them later should you eventually upgrade to tower speakers. IMO the best way to go might be to build some shelves on either side and above your display. As long as you have a few inches behind the speaker for the port you should be ok plus it gives you the advantage of being able to tweak their placement more easily to get the best front soundstage. Also, regular bookshelf speakers are usually easier to re-task to other duties should you ever decide to upgrade your front speakers.

To reiterate about your center channel. The ideal center speaker is one that is identical to your main. Next is a sonicly similar smaller vertical speaker. All (not just the VP150) horizontal speakers are a design compromise for those who can’t or don’t want to use a vertical center speaker. This is not based on theory but practicality. While the difference in performance between similar horizontal and vertical speakers may not be obvious to everyone or even anyone all the time it’s noticeable enough to some people enough of the time to be a potential issue.

Thanks for your patience.

Cheers,
Dean
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#327630 - 11/05/10 01:31 PM Re: New guy, setting up first decent HT [Re: grunt]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Very good. One more thing I would like to add to this is if you ever go with 2 speaker boxes (whatever type), always align them vertically (such as one above the screen and one below the screen). Don't put them side by side because it'll cause unwanted sound issues. I know because I tried this once using 2 sets of M22's as mains, side by side and vertically aligned.

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#327641 - 11/05/10 03:32 PM Re: New guy, setting up first decent HT [Re: CatBrat]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
Dean, I meant no offense and was not referring to any member of this forum. There has been quite a bit of vitriol spewed at other sites over the years about the VP150 by people that lack both your experience and approach. It was the OP's first post, so I was just trying to keep it fun and light. I should have stuck to MY experience, and I apologize for my comments.
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#327647 - 11/05/10 04:53 PM Re: New guy, setting up first decent HT [Re: tomtuttle]
a401classic Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 1328
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
I've got M80's with a VP150 center, and although thre is a timbre mis-match, I'm not unhappy with it. I did have the opportunity to run my in-wall M2's with the VP150 in my HT and there was little to no timbre difference - much more seamless across the front, and with the sub sounded great at moderate to high volume levels. At very high volume the M2's just couldn't replace the M80's. But then again, they're not supposed to be able to. From an aesthetic point of view, I'd think that M22's as L/R and VP150 for a center would be nice to look at.
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My HT

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#327649 - 11/05/10 05:35 PM Re: New guy, setting up first decent HT [Re: a401classic]
Joe_in_SC Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 309
Loc: Charleston, SC
My first impression, as TomTuttle said, is that 16 ft. is a LONG way from the TV. How big a screen do you have? You might have more of a video issue than an audio issue.

My room is slightly smaller than yours at 16 x 20. I found the M22/VP100 combination to be more than adequate at normal listening levels. Unfortunately, I contracted a case of upgradeitis and now have M60s. They fill the room quite a bit better than the M22s, but you definitely won't be disappointed with your choice.
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