Advice & suggestions needed for an ht set up

Wharfedale EVO4.4 Speaker

dinyaar

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Hi Guys,
I require inputs from u all on a Home theatre I have to set up in my cousins home.
Its a new apartment and everything will be done from scratch. The size of the room (the Den) is about 20 X 18 and height is 14ft. We have finalised on the layout of the room and the wall that will have the screen. The viewing distance is about 14/15 ft.
Problem is HT is not my area of interest and am totally out of whats in and good and whats not.
The Budget for the AVR + Blue ray + Speakers should not exceed 10L.
The Projector and screen is seperate.
Since I have a month i am still in information gathering mode only and will start with auditions soon.
I dont want to go the Processor + Multichannel power amp way if preferable. Speakers are 5.1 full range.FS for the fronts preferred as the room is large.

We will use Zone 2 to drive a pair of 'nice' speakers in the adjoining room for pure stereo.

Now the questions:-
1) Will the Arcam AVR 600 fit the bill? Reason this is my first choice is the stereo heritage of the Co. Is anyone aware of anything that this AVR lacks as compared to the better ones from Denon or Yamaha.There were some glitches earlierwith the Arcam but am told they are resolved now, any idea on that? I dont want an onkyo. If not Arcam i'll settle on the best Denon I can buy.
2) I believe Arcam has no Blue Ray player. So i thought i would buy the Marantz player (black) and match it to the Black Arcam AVR. Alternatively some Denon or Pioneer player.
3) For speakers the options i thought of at this initial stage was the MA Gold package entirely or the Gold rears and the front three from the Platinum. Can go for either of the subs depending on the pricing. Alternatively a Dali Helicon package.

What other options do u think i should look at for speakers for HT. I dont want anything from Dyna etc that can require a larger amp. Dont want a B&W as i saw the prices and the package that i would like is twice the budget.

Cabling is more or less settled.

Thanks in advance.
Rgds
 
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cmsajith

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I think, a very good proc-pre-power combination can be made using 5-6lakhs, 8lakhs max. Remaining can be used for a professional grade projectors like Runco (w/ higher resolution than Full HD) with motorised Anamorphic Lens which will give an exact feel of a movie theatre.
 

srikarkav

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Hi dinyaar,

Rs 10 lakh budget is way out of my league. But i can make one suggestion regarding the Bluray player. Since you are planning to go for a Zone 2 speakers for music you can go for the Oppo BDP-83.It can play SACD and DVD-Audio too.Even the CD audio is very decent thro the Oppos.Since you have sufficient budget you can get the hardware modded Oppo for all region play.Its black too:)

cheers,
sri
 

dinyaar

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I think, a very good proc-pre-power combination can be made using 5-6lakhs, 8lakhs max. Remaining can be used for a professional grade projectors like Runco (w/ higher resolution than Full HD) with motorised Anamorphic Lens which will give an exact feel of a movie theatre.

Projector I have yet to even start spade work on. Have n o idea.
Regarding Pro/Multichannel suggest me a good combo upto 5L that is sold officially.
CMSAJITH 10L includes the speaker package so if I use 6/8L on the amplification i will be left with nothing for the speakers.
Rgds
 

dinyaar

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Hi dinyaar,

Rs 10 lakh budget is way out of my league. But i can make one suggestion regarding the Bluray player. Since you are planning to go for a Zone 2 speakers for music you can go for the Oppo BDP-83.It can play SACD and DVD-Audio too.Even the CD audio is very decent thro the Oppos.Since you have sufficient budget you can get the hardware modded Oppo for all region play.Its black too:)

cheers,
sri

Thanks Sri.
Zone 2 is not a certainity. If opting for it depending on the 'class' of speakers chosen i could add a simple cdp for stereo. I know the Arcam AVR is reasonably competent in stereo.
By class of speaker i mean if they go for the Avalon Symbol (good sound+ snob value+ good looks) then its worth adding a CDP but if they go for a MA bookshelf then the marantz B Ray will suffice.
I will evaluate the Oppo option though.
Rgds
 

dinyaar

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Hi
Let me add that the people who will use the set up are no audiophiles thankfully. They are movie buffs though.
My initial suggestion was to not go over board and spend less than 5L on it.
The interior designer brought along a 'consultant' who just went over the top and was firing rubbish. Finally when he said u need to spend about 20L to 'really satisfy' I butted in and said i could definately get a more than satisfactory set up for half that amount and i believe i can!!!
Rgds
 

Abhishek

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Projector I have yet to even start spade work on. Have n o idea.
Regarding Pro/Multichannel suggest me a good combo upto 5L that is sold officially.
CMSAJITH 10L includes the speaker package so if I use 6/8L on the amplification i will be left with nothing for the speakers.
Rgds

hi dinyaar!

you may try the Cary Audio Cinema 7B or the 7.125 power amplifier with the Cinema 11A processor. They have won good reviews and awards. audition them at The Thump, Atria mall. You may consult rajesh or prasad patil @ 9322532349, 23800555/444/333.

regards,
abhishek
 

ashishkesarwani

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Arcam AVR 600 is a well laid out for both audio and video philes, but even after a couple of firmware upgrades it still has a lot of bugs. Another option could be Yamaha's Z7 or 11, or Denon AVC-A1HDA. If you wana go separates way then you could consider Marantz 8003 pre power combo. All these above setups specialises in something or the other. For speakers try auditioning your suggested packages with the AVR combo you decide on.
I have auditioned Monitor Audio Silver Series Speakers with the Denon combo and believe me here that individually they are best among themselves but paired together they mis-matched.
For Blu Ray its best if you go the Oppo way which after hard modding fulfill all the media related needs. Marantz is a great player but it would be region locked and its also way too expensive.
 

cmsajith

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Projector I have yet to even start spade work on. Have n o idea.
Regarding Pro/Multichannel suggest me a good combo upto 5L that is sold officially.
CMSAJITH 10L includes the speaker package so if I use 6/8L on the amplification i will be left with nothing for the speakers.
Rgds

6-8L including speakers.
One option is to get a good AVR from Onkyo (1007/3007/5007), 1007 is enough / a similar from Denon with pre outs and BurrBrown DACs and use Lexicon RX7 / Cary Audio poweramp and the rest for speakers. It should come below 5-6L. Also this will be future proof if the formats got changed, simply change the AVR.

Dont believe that consultant, this will help him in upgrading his home theater also. :)

Also if this is going to be in an apartment, a good investment need to done for sound proofing along with the acoustics.
 
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dinyaar

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6-8L including speakers. Dont believe that consultant, this will help him in upgrading his home theater also. :)

Also if this is going to be in an apartment, a good investment need to done for sound proofing along with the acoustics.

Thanks cmsajith.
See the budget is max 10L. Need not spend all of it.

Yes i have asked my cousin to kick that arrogant consultant.

Yes some sound proofing is going to be done for which my audio friends and me are doing some spade work.
Thanks again.

Ashish i too read of all the problems with the arcam Avr. Thought they should be teething problems. Arcam says they have corrected it in the current AVR thats being shipped but i cant take their word for it.
These speaker packages i have heard at different places with god knows what AVRs and they were good.
Rgds
 

venkatcr

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Will the Arcam AVR 600 fit the bill? Reason this is my first choice is the stereo heritage of the Co. Is anyone aware of anything that this AVR lacks as compared to the better ones from Denon or Yamaha.There were some glitches earlierwith the Arcam but am told they are resolved now, any idea on that? I dont want an onkyo. If not Arcam i'll settle on the best Denon I can buy.

The AVR 600 is an excellent amp. I have used and heard it over extended periods with various speakers (including your Dynas :)), and it drives all of them with authority and power. There certainly was a bug in screen management. Whenever you changed the source or a DVD, the screen used to go completely green. But, Arcam has released a software update that has solved this problem. I have not come across any other issue.

It terms of feature list, I can hardly think of anything that the AVR 600 lacks, unless you are looking for a Point 2 system or something like the 10.2 or 11.2 systems. For these you have to go the Reference Systems of Yamaha, Denon or Onkyo.The AVR 600 uses Analog Devices ADSP-21366 and ADSP-21367 DSPs for Dolby Digital and DTS decoding as well as Crystal Semiconductor 24bit 192kHz DACs. The system is very musical but does have large amounts of power to handle the requirements of a movie. Internally it uses a modular motherboard and slotted PCB concepts for separation and highly accurate results as well as expandability.

The Arcam has a soft corner for bass, and a good FS and a sub will give you chest thumping low frequency sounds.

I believe Arcam has no Blue Ray player. So i thought i would buy the Marantz player (black) and match it to the Black Arcam AVR. Alternatively some Denon or Pioneer player.

A player is a player. Today the best BR Players are made by Panasonic, Pioneer and Oppo. These three are far ahead of other players.

For speakers the options i thought of at this initial stage was the MA Gold package entirely or the Gold rears and the front three from the Platinum. Can go for either of the subs depending on the pricing. Alternatively a Dali Helicon package.

What other options do u think i should look at for speakers for HT. I dont want anything from Dyna etc that can require a larger amp. Dont want a B&W as i saw the prices and the package that i would like is twice the budget.

Why don't you get away from the usual suspects and look at diagrammatically different speaker sets.

One such is Meridian. At the affordable level, their DSP5200 active speakers have DAC and amplifiers built in to deliver some unbelievable 110dB at each speaker. Of course, these don't need any AVR but just a sound processor, and the transmission up to the speakers are all digital. Slightly lower, their DSP 3100 delivers the same sound from a slightly smaller package. These speakers has independent 75 watts amplifier for each driver. They also have the M3100 active analogue speakers that would need external DAC processing.

Another speaker set I fell in love with are the Schoenberg, Mahler, Klimt, and Concert Grand series from Vienna Acoustics. The Schoenberg are radically different design that uses narrow depths (nearly flat) to deliver superb sound. The Klimt and Concert Grand are regular designs that again deliver great sound.

Though you did mention FS, take a look at the in-wall speakers from ARTCoustics. These speakers can be completely hidden behind the screen as well on the walls for surround sound tasks. Their subs can down to 15Hz.

In addition to these I would also suggest that you look at a media server that can play 1080P such as those from Sooloos and Vidabox. Of course there are other products available in the market.

Cheers
 

dinyaar

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Thanks for taking the time Venkat.

I know meridian is distributed by Sound of Music Delhi so will probably take a quote on a few options. Do u have an idea on pricing of the two u suggested?
Have heard Vienna Acoustics as they have dealers in bbay.
What I listed out are just the first two that came to mind. Naturally am open to look at other options!!!!

Regarding the Arcam now. Well my uncle in UK bought it as it was launched and curses his choice till date. Loads of guys on Forums are cursing the 'work in progress' amp too and hence i voiced my concerns. I have heard this amp a few times too(last time was two days ago) and I DO LIKE the way the amp does both HT & Stereo and is hence a strong contender if the initial problems are solved.

Would have bought an Arcam Blu ray if there was one as there is an element of cosmetics. Plus the fact that Arcam carries a 5 year warranty and the people in UK are very helpful in solving whatever problems u may have. Small Cos like Arcam, Bryston, rega etc etc are easier to deal with when compared to a denon or a Yamaha.
' A player is a player' well yes but there is always a choice and that is different from person to person.
As i mentioned earlier am in information gathering mode and the more suggestions I get the better.
Tks.
 

suri

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A player is a player. Today the best BR Players are made by Panasonic, Pioneer and Oppo. These three are far ahead of other players.

IMHO the pioneer is "THE ONE":)

and not just because there is not something better that money can buy - right now, it is "THE ONE"
 
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subhash

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kindly go the processor / power combo

chk out the marantz AV8003 processor with the MM8002 poweramp
PR556 /558 from onkyo
dennon
UMC-1 from emotiva with thier 7 channel power block

projector u cud consider panasonic PTAE4000U
epson 1800
mitsubishi 6800
sanyo plv z700 all these are 1080p lcd

optoma hd80/20
mitsubhishi3800
benq W5000 / 1000 these are dlp 1080p

for sub u cud consider from
def tech
velodyne
sunfire
rel
hsu

speaker pack --consider any pack @ about 3, they shud sound incredibly good for ht , u cud choose from any reputed brand

bdp as venkat suggested go for --pioneer , pana , oppo

for your budget u shud have a rocking HT
 

sidvee

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Dinyaar - my 2 paisa - more of a summary though and less brand specific -
I have noticed that the best sound can be had from a pre-power combo - but unfortunately latest processing codecs are not always quickly adopted by HT preamps, so a AV rcvr. becomes a better option. That being said any of the high ends denons, yamahas, onkyos, pioneers, marantz etc can fill the slot - my personal preference being the denons - as their sound seems the best (at-least to my ears for music), I am wary of a two channel company trying to do HT (read arcam, or cary or krell or what have u ). Regarding speakers - my advice is to stick to stand mounters with at-least 6-7" woofers and avoid floor standers entirely. Reason being with a sub-woofer or sub-woofers - I would recommend 2 (velodynes or svs being my favorite) - the low frequency cut off can be set at 80hz (and should be set at that thx recommended level) absolving the main speakers of any serious bass, and thus reducing the cash outlay of what one would spend on floor standers. For side surround I would recommend dipolar or bipolar and for rear surround direct firing book shelves. Oppo BPD83 is a superb player and should be on your must audition list for DVD players (I believe it is a Stereophile class a+ component now) - I spent 2 days with one along with and a panny ae4000 a few weeks ago in my friends place in Detroit. As far as a projector goes, the new crop of 1080p's from panasonic, sony, sanyo etc are pretty good each having their merits - I am partial to the panasonic pt ae4000 though. Finally the most important component is the room it-self - Acoustic treatment is a must - bass traps, acoustic panels, diffusers etc to get the best sound both movies and music - I think anutone has some good products. It is a big task - setting up a HT that is - so good luck and all the best :) - Cheers Sid
 
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