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New HT Room Advice

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#1
I have recently moved and I am planning a new HT room. I will use it for both music and movies. The room is a dedicated enclosed media room about 16 x 10 x 8.5. I listen to classical, jazz, and rock/pop mostly. I have carpeting and enclosed cabinets if I want to use them. I would appreciate general advice about this room and my initial plans. I am planning a 7.2.4 Kef system of R11s, R2c center, LS50 surrounds, and Q350 back surrounds. I have 4 x Q50a for Dolby Atmos. Subs are SVS Dual SB16 ultra. I have Parasound A21+ amp, Monolith 7 x 200 amp, and A23 amp. I have Parasound P6 preamp and Denon 4700 Receiver. Do you have any comments or suggestions for this room? Is my room big enough to accommodate my R11s and SB16s?
 

sweetchaos

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#2
Hi,
Welcome to ASR! :)

Correct me if I'm wrong on the math, you're looking at (in USD):
- Kef R11 tower $5500/pair
- Kef R2c center $1200
- Kef LS50 surround $1300/pair
- Kef Q350 surround back $700/pair
- Kef Q50a atmos $600/pair *2 pairs =$1200
So your budget seems to be $9900, just for speakers.

I'm sure we can find something good for you! :D

Also, both Kef LS50 and Kef Q350 was reviewed by Amir, but with questionable performance.
Can you wait a bit for the new Kef LS50 Meta?
Here's a preview of their measurements, posted by napilopez.
It seems to have some worthwhile improvements.

Kef Q50a atmos speakers look questionable, see measurements (yellow line).

We also have measurements for R11 and R2C posted here, which of course, look excellent, so you can't go wrong with those 2 (other than the high price, of course).

Also, are you 100% set on Kefs or are still considering other options with your $10k budget?
 

sweetchaos

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#3
Regarding subs:
Your room is 1360 ft^3, which is considered a "small room", by Audioholics.
Using a powerful subwoofer like the SVS SB16-ULTRA ($2000/ea) is overkill for the room, ignoring the 2nd one for now.
I mean, sure it will have plenty of headroom, but completely uncessesary for the size of the room.
You can get away with 2 x SVS SB-1000 ($500/ea) in your room and still have SPL capable of hitting reference level from your subwoofer.

But if you just want that "wow" factor, which I totally get, in order to impress your friends, so why not?
But again, just gives you more headroom, that you simply won't hit, than anything else.

Also Rhythmik subwoofers are usually recommended around here, besides SVS.
 
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Thread Starter #4
I would like to go with Kefs. I was concerned that the subs might be overkill. I could go with a single SVS PB13 that I already own. Or I could use a Kef KF92 that I already have?
 

andreasmaaan

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#5
Overkilling it with the subs can't be a bad thing if they're set up correctly (same applies for subs of any size ofc). It's just that larger than necessary subs may be unnecessarily expensive in terms of $$$ and space. If you're fine with that, though, I see no reason not to go all out.

Whatever you do, though, go with two subs rather than one. Not particularly because two will produce more sound pressure, but rather because two well set-up subs will tend to give you a much smoother distribution of bass across the listening area.
 

sweetchaos

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#6
Or I could use a Kef KF92 that I already have?
We don't have CEA2010 data on Kef subwoofer, so we can't really judge it's performance....so I say sell it.
SVS is a better choice, since we have CEA2010 data on each of the models, so it's easy to judge performance.

Your PB13-ULTRA is capable of hitting reference level for "extreme sized" rooms.
Too bad it's not available for sale (even in SVS outlet store), otherwise you could have got a 2nd one, assuming you wanted to keep the 1st, to match the identical look.
 
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Thread Starter #7
Yes I tried to get a second PB13 from SVS but they are no longer available.
 

sweetchaos

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#8
I would like to go with Kefs.
Then my recommendation is to upgrade your surrounds to either:
- Kef R3. Measured by Amir and he liked it. That's an worthwhile upgrade to the LS50's (that you considered).
- Kef LS50 Meta, but until we have full measurements (CEA2034 graphs, distortion and directivity graphs), we can't say for sure. The initial frequency response does look like an improvement over the original LS50, so these might be worthwhile waiting for. I know napilopez will be getting a set for review, but don't know when exactly. Someone might send Amir a unit as well, *fingers crossed*. :D

Surround backs is not that critical (since our ability to hear clearly from the back of our head is greatly reduced), so you can probably get away with either Kef LS50 or Q350, depending on your decor/style/etc. Maybe look at both to see which is better for distortion (assuming you push the playback to high SPL, then it will matter) and directivity control. So for the surround backs, you have some flexibility in choice.
 

sweetchaos

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#10
Thank you for your replies!
You're welcome.

I'll add this...
For Atmos, I don't like when *bouncy house* speakers (meaning upward firing modules) are placed on top of speakers, since there's really no way to guarantee that sound will bounce back at the correct angles to give you the best experience.
I always prefer ceiling mounted speakers.

Instead, what I would do, is mount those Q50a as if they're on the ceiling pointing towards your seating position.
That's a much better recipe for success, as sound is directly hitting you from above, and guarantees a better experience.

For Atmos, I can overlook the questionable measurements of Q50a (not fully flat measuring), since there's much less content there in the soundtrack. Meaning, these Q50a modules are probably good enough for the application, so I'll be happy with them anyway. :D
 

andreasmaaan

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#11
I'll add this...
For Atmos, I don't like when *bouncy house* speakers (meaning upward firing modules) are placed on top of speakers, since there's really no way to guarantee that sound will bounce back at the correct angles to give you the best experience.
I always prefer ceiling mounted speakers.
+1

Another reason not to do this is that neither the Atmos speakers nor the speakers they are sitting on are going to be so directional that the sound from each doesn't combine and create interference. This kind of interference is very different from the interference that occurs when sound reflects off surfaces in the room and recombines, because it happens before the direct sound from either speaker even reaches you.
 

raistlin65

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#12
Regarding subs:
Your room is 1360 ft^3, which is considered a "small room", by Audioholics.
Using a powerful subwoofer like the SVS SB16-ULTRA ($2000/ea) is overkill for the room, ignoring the 2nd one for now.
Not necessarily. Powerful sealed subs in such a small room can take advantage of the room gain to boost the low end. And with EQ, it could be possible to get more useable low end extension than one can out of a ported sub. It depends on how the sub rolls off.
 
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Thread Starter #13
I really want dual SB16. I am willing to learn to use REW if this can give me great sound.
 
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#15
Don't forget your room is just as important as the speakers, especially at that size. A $6000 system with $3000 in treatment will sound better than a $9000 system with $0 in treatment. And treatment is the only way to get the most out of digital room EQ.
 

sweetchaos

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#16
Don't forget your room is just as important as the speakers, especially at that size. A $6000 system with $3000 in treatment will sound better than a $9000 system with $0 in treatment. And treatment is the only way to get the most out of digital room EQ.
If his main speakers are the Kef R11, I don't see them having much issues with early reflections.
Here's the computed early reflections graph from Kef R3:
2020-10-27 22_57_55-KEF R3 Preference Rating - Google Drive.png

Now, let's assume that the Kef R11 towers are better than the measured Kef R3 bookshelfs, so we can use this graph as a prediction for the towers.
So overall, there isn't many issues with these speakers that you need to correct for (things like adding a rug, or using in room with a tall ceiling, etc).
Instead, treat it only if you think the room is too live. This is hard for us to know, since we don't know the amount of furniture in the room, but you can get a feel once you put the speakers in and listen to some content.

For comparison, here's early reflections graph from Genelec 8341:
1603865500206.png

Notice how close the reflections are to the main green line, so you won't have any problems with reflections for this speaker.
 
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