Full range speakers for Homecinema purpose
I'm wondering if Full Range speakers are good or not for a HomeCinema installation?
Is it a good idea or "standard multi speakers" are better for Homecenima.
My need is 80% HC, 20% HIFI,
the sub would be a Rythmic Audio 15"
the front speakers must be 50-60cm tall max, depth 40-50cm max
thank you for your help
I absolutely love wideband (a.k.a. full range, single driver) speakers for home theater. I've tried many different models which worked (within a limited dynamic range, of course).
My primary system is similar to yours: about 80% home theater, 20% music and I'm also using a sub. So does your height requirement imply these are going to be mounted to the wall, on a shelf, or stand-mounted?
The speakers will be put in my homecinema ikea structure as the one below, that the reason why i would like to have them not too tall,
which model would you recommend me for the center, fronts, and rear channels?
and which build for each of them?
knowing that when i listen music i'm using the Stereo Mode (front +sub) but i would like to use the Pure mode (it should sound better based on the amplifier description sheet): only the Fronts and not the sub.
Another question: Shall the fronts & the center still be single speaker or being composed of a fostex tweeter & a full range speaker or only a single full range speaker?
in term of speaker price, i would maybe pay up to:
Fronts: 150-200€ (each)
rear:100-150€ (each) (what about model FE103E)
or even lower depending of your recommendations
Mark Audio products have a longer throw (X-max) and are better suited to HT. Small Fostex drivers have very limited cone travel (fraction of a mm vs 5 plus mm of MA drivers).
FR speakers have by definition a small sweet spot, this because of beaming. I don't think that is good for HC.
This subject has been discussed at great length during the past couple of years, and the short answer is "yes" - but as with all things audio, and more specifically when discussing "full-range" aka wide band drivers, subject to the standard caveat of "depends on...."
- room size / listening distances
- my favorite hobby-horse - anticipated listening levels - the "THX standard" levels are so far beyond what I find enjoyable or even endurable, that I personally consider them meaningless for a home environment
'Cause I like to expound, a personal anecdote - I recently spent 15hrs traveling time on a 3 leg return flight from Ft Lauderdale Florida to Victoria BC, during which there's not a frack of a lot to do but maybe watch a couple of movies on the personal inflight entertainment system (you try to sleep or get up and stretch your legs on a Airbus 300 or Boeing 767) . With a pair of cheap Sony "noise muffling" headphones (nothing really cancels all the noise in rows 19-20 on those planes) , I thoroughly enjoyed Spielberg's "Lincoln", Pixar's "Brave", and Joss Whedon's "Avengers". Three widely disparate films, but all which I can only assume would have blockbuster soundtracks. The stories were captivating or extravagantly escapist enough ( Avengers) that even on the dinky little screen and missing probably 80% of the sound engineers "magic", I didn't feel cheated. As my wife might attest, while less is not always more, sometimes it's enough.
As has been elaborated upon elsewhere, even the entry level of current HT surround receivers have more than sufficient bass management / EQ & XO flexibility to allow use of FR drivers.
For a modest size room and "sane" listening levels ( below average of 90dB in my case), the Mark Audio Alpair10 (soon to be .3) would be near the top of my short list.
Generally I'd say that multiway makes more sense for HT, where high peak SPL rules the day and you're more likely to have multiple viewers so beaming is less acceptable. I'm a big fan of fullrangers done right, with certain onerous limitations from most of them. Usually I add a supertweeter AND a sub, so they're really just 3 ways with wideband mids.
With a supertweeter, the Pass BOFU TLs are great HT speakers though, with a medium Xmax 8" and an enclosure that can do "kaboom". Unfortunately the Bofu went out of production...
As Chris mentioned, this is really application dependant. Which is pretty much everything audio. 5.2 audio for $750 with modest SPL requirements and high WAF requirements. Ya, full range is an excellent way to go. Dedicated 30 x 20' space with 2 rows of seating, reference SPL requirements, flat to DC bass, and an unlimited budget, head over to the multi-way forum.
The truth is, 5 decent full range speakers make for a very good very cost effective very easy to build home theater. Spend about half your budget on subs and half on the full range drivers. Assuming you already have the receiver. You'll get quality sound that is matched at all 5 locations and has a uniform off axis response. It'll kill any kind of HTIB or even a quintet of cheap bookshelf speakers from Best Buy.
Tip to save some money on subs. Buy a couple cheap used subs on craigslist. Something decent, but discounted a fair bit. Rebuild the enclosure sealed and well braced. Reuse the plate amp and driver. Bam, crappy sub is now a nice sub. That's what I did with my living room sub and I'm really impressed. Commercial subs are usually tuned funny and are a big mess. Seal them up and they're pretty good.
thanks a lot for your inputs,
here are some additional information:
the living room is 36 m² http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/5273/photonct.jpg, and the "listening zone" is half of the room, the sofa is at 3m from the screen (for you to evaluate the size, the LCD is a 47")
My actual speakers are Focal Sib & Cub, the Amp an ONKYO 875 and the Music a Squeezebox Touch (the Subbu DAC will come in the party when it will be available from the Groub buy).
Listening level is let say normal, even if normal is never the same for each of us, but it's not low, and not louder as to prevent the children to sleep ;-)
based on my configuration, what kind of driver should i select? some of the Mark Audio Alpair models? the same for the 5 speakers? or bigger/better for the Fronts?
fronts that must be bookshelves as you can see on the picture, they will either be put on the glass shelves on directly on the base cabinet as the center channel.
For HT I wd choose Mark Audio CHR 70s
5 litres sealed f3 of around 80hz
price/performance/looks ratio can't be beaten imo
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