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Sanity check for new speaker purchase

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Hi all, lurked for awhile and have been educating myself on the science and sort of overall process here.

My (very old and trash) towers just died and I'll be looking to replace them soon. I used them as fronts in my living room in a 7.1 setup where I also do a lot of 2.1 music listening. Big open space , 20 foot ceilings, rug in front of the couch. Using a Denon 3600 with Audyssey multeq xt32 (which I have the "Pro" app for that comes with the curve editor). PSA TV2112 subwoofer covers me below 80 Hz.

If I understand things correctly, I should be looking for speakers with 1) as wide a dispersion field as possible 2) flat predicted in-room response and 3) low distortion. I can eq any slight FR bugaboos with Audyssey but the above 3 are more less the best data I can use to guide purchasing decisions.

Plan now is to save for Revel bookshelves but I wanted to make sure I was on the right track here. Lots of (excellent) information to read and parse through so making sure I'm not wildly off base.
 

abdo123

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you forgot something very important, Distortion, it should be your no 1 priority as it determines how loud your system can realistically go.

For such a large space I would never buy bookshelves for home cinema use.

What is your budget?
 

TLEDDY

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abdo123

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1) is a preference. It should be controlled dispersion, but whether it's wide or narrower is your choice. Personally, I prefer a rather narrow dispersion.

it depends on the room's decay times, and how good is the Speakers off-axis response. Both are not as problematic with narrow dispersion speakers.

Nevertheless, the majority of people indeed like wide dispersion, it's the reason why coaxial speakers haven't really picked up that much although they deal very well with fundamental issues in Speaker design.
 
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Abdo123 said:
you forgot something very important, Distortion,

I mean I did have it 3rd in my list of sought after qualities but those weren't necessarily in priority order, just generally. Should have been more specific though.

digitalfrost said:
1) is a preference. It should be controlled dispersion, but whether it's wide or narrower is your choice

Sorry I was super ambiguous here as well. I did just mean smooth/even horizontal dispersion of about +/- 50 degrees without any weird jagged edges.

My budget is pretty flexible. I have some (even oldier/trashier) horrorboxes that will get me by for now. I'd rather save awhile and buy once than fill a gap for a short time before upgrading. My justification for bookshelves was that I don't them to dig deep with the subwoofer I have and most listening I do is sub-reference level volumes. I do prefer towers aesthetically though, just figured I could save for nicer bookshelves than I could get for equivalently priced towers.
 

Blumlein 88

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I think you'll run into a problem I had setting up rooms that are large. Lots of what has scored well on the testing are bookshelf or monitor speakers. Amir gets fewer larger speakers to review.

For a larger room like yours you can go read all about how good the speaker is, but do look at the distortion data. Lots of them aren't happy at all at elevated levels. Even with a sub, lots of these speakers aren't going to be up to duty in a room the size you describe. Floorstanders used with a sub are probably a good choice in your room, but due to shipping and other considerations Amir has fewer reviews of those.
 
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Blumlein 88 said:
Even with a sub, lots of these speakers aren't going to be up to duty in a room the size you describe.

Thanks a ton for the perspective and clarification; I'm glad I double checked before moving forward. The F208s may be a little far off in terms of budget practicality but it gives me something to aim for in the next few years.

I know this is going against my own advice from above, but would the Emotiva T0+ towers be worth a consideration for now? I know the B0+ bookshelf seems more than capable per the ASR review but I wasn't sure if that would directly transfer to the floor stander.

Thanks again to the community for all of the help and advice.
 

phoenixdogfan

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If you can stretch your budget to $10k, either Dutch and Dutch 8C Studios, or Kef Reference 1's and an SVS Sb3000 sub would really be superb. The Revel 208's are well thought of and justifably so, but they will not reach down into the bottom octave.
 

Ken1951

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When we moved into our current house we bought a new system for our Great Room, which is pretty large, open on two sides, and has about an 18' ceiling as well. We bought Focal 707S bookshelves with a matching center and Sub. The mains were run off of an Adcom GFA555 and the center and everything else was off a NAD AVR. Sounded okay, but did not deal with the size of the room at all. When we switched to towers, a larger center, and a better Sub it made all the difference in the world. With that size room, based on my experience, bookshelf-sized speakers just won't cut it.
 

digitalfrost

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I know this is going against my own advice from above, but would the Emotiva T0+ towers be worth a consideration for now?
Can't speak for the Emotivas, but if that is your budget (~800USD/pair) what about the Elac Debut 2.0 line? You can get the F6.2 Floorstander for ~350$/piece. They were not tested here, but the bookshelves were.

From the review "And importantly, it can play loud, very loud! It is most impressive speaker in that regard. Even playing one speaker I could get it to nearly ear bleeding levels with almost no distortion!"

Could be a good fit for your big room.
 

stevenswall

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Nevertheless, the majority of people indeed like wide dispersion, it's the reason why coaxial speakers haven't really picked up that much although they deal very well with fundamental issues in Speaker design.

Coaxial speakers are often somewhat narrow dispersion wise, but that isn't inherent to being a coaxial. There is a passive coaxial, might be a Pioneer, can't remember the name but it has a flat midbass driver that shouldn't focus the sound as much, and the Genelec 8260 has notably wider dispersion that the other coaxial Genelecs.

If the OP is using a sub or gets another one, does a floor standing Revel have an advantage? I thought most of the advantage was bass extension, not mid and high frequency SPL since boolshelves often have the same tweeter and midrange as their larger counterparts.
 
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I think what I need to do is get the old Pioneer boxes (that I paid a cool $50 for like 10 years ago as a broke college student) hooked up and EQ'd. If I can stand that, then it's save up for the foreseeable future. If not...well maybe that $500-$1000 USD per pair may be where I'm looking.

I do also have a pair of Maggie MG-IIs that I need to completely rewire but finding the time to do so has been an exercise in futility thus far...

(I have a pair of Carver M500t's that I would use as monoblocks for the Maggie's; well aware the standard AVR would struggle with them)
 

stevenswall

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big open space , 20 foot ceilings, rug in front of the couch.

Listening distance will dictate if you need high SPL speakers. Nice to avoid ceiling reflections though for most speakers.

Total room size is more a factor with bass or if it's affecting what you want to accomplish with listening distance or diffusing wide dispersion reflections.
 

TimW

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PSA TV2112 subwoofer covers me below 80 Hz.
That's one badass looking subwoofer!

I will echo the recommendation for tower speakers, and if you're looking for something more affordable I would consider the JBL Studio 590 towers. They often go on sale for $500 each or less. I expect very good low distortion performance from them considering their JBL's from the same lineup as the Studio 530. Also the narrower dispersion may work better for your space.
 
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TimW said:
That's one badass looking subwoofer!

I would recommend Power Sound Audio to anyone looking for a subgrade. I think Tom is doing great work over there to push the limits of extension with minimal distortion and the customer service is unrivaled. I ended up with this monster after also getting advice on forums that big spaces are challenging, so it tracks that I should probably avoid bookshelves for similar reasons.

Thanks for these recommendations as well, I'll definitely check out the JBLs as well.
 

BrianP

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Just to toss out another idea, something in the GoldenEar Triton series of floorstanders might work for you. All but the smallest model incorporate built-in subwoofers with digital amps. All feature AMT tweeters, noted for sweetness and delicacy up top. They apparently measure quite nicely on and off axis, and are low in distortion. The further up the line you move, the louder they will play clean. And they're sanely priced.
 
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