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My new HT setup with Rs.2.5 Lakhs

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periyar

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As I mentioned in my other thread, I have budget of Rs.2.5 Lakhs for setting up new HT at my living room. Initially I had wrongly measured my living room size. The correct measurement is ' length - 16.5 ft x width - 13.5 ft x height - 9.5 ft '.

As I mentioned earlier, I've already got Sony Hifi bookshelfs (not sure if its 4" or 5" hydrid dual woofers) which I thought of using as surround speakers. Please correct me if I am wrong on this decision. So, I decided to have this budget of 2.5 Lakhs is for AVR + Floorstanders (2 nos) + Center + Subwoofer.

AVR: After reading so many reviews online and in our forum comments/posts, I have almost decided to go for Denon 2310 which might cost around 56K after discount at ProFX.

Speakers + Subwoofer: I couldn't come to any conclusion from the reviews/comments/posts. I really wanted to audition a few speakers and decide as suggested by our forum members.

Audition at ProFX: I had email communication with Mr Kritik and scheduled an appointment at ProFX, MG Road showroom at this Sunday. The staff at ProFx showroom were courteous and immediately took me to demo rooms in the first floor. There was a setup of Denon 1910 with Polk TSi series bundle. The staff played the Die Hard-4 scene (Its just before the climax in which Bruce Willis drives a big truck in a fly over and chased/attacked by F22 raptor) and its was ok. Then he took me to another demo room inside and its little bigger with very GOOD screen - 8ft x 6 ft with projector (Sanyo) and played (Source from a BD player) the same scene with Denon 3310 and RTi series (RTi A7 + CSi A6 + PSW Pro500 - 10" driver) bundle. It was loud and bass was fine. Simaltanously he played the same with KEF iQ series (iQ 90 + iQ 60c + PSW 2500 - 10" driver) setup. I played around a little bit by changing the speaker setup from Polk to KEF for quite sometime. I found Polk was louder during movie and more bass. Also played some audio songs using Stereo mode by shifting between Polk setup and KEF setup. Both the setup lacks bass without subwoofers. Also, I auditioned the Polk LSi 15 Floorstanders in stereo mode by playing audio songs. It surely lacks the bass/punch without subwoofer.They mentioned normal 10% discount on the MRP but requested me to contact Mr Kritin once I finalize the bundle (KEF or Polk) and work out the final price.

Audition at ARN Systems: I contacted Mr Ali at ARN systems through mail requesting for a demo. As they are renovating the showroom, he asked me to come to Coles park. From there its nearby Landmark of Santosh hospital, Nilgris - there's a corner house in the end of Promenade road. I met with Mr Sridhar (Yesterday night, I searched our forums and found that he goes by the name - Odyssey in our forums) in the demo room (hall?). It wasn't a typical demo room as opposed to what I saw at ProFx. I would say its full of mess with speakers and wires all around the room but carpeted and the windows are covered. I infact liked that setup since our real world room/hall would not be a ideal as it was in ProFX. In the corner, there were few Amps kept and connected to THE Usher BE-718 which is standing the demo position. I explained what I am looking for and also mentioned about my visit to ProFX. He explained a bit about frequencies, speakers in layman's term (It was really an eye opener for less mortal souls like me and helped me to understand few things about audio/speakers/AVRs) before he played the BE-718 with an Amplifier (I don't know the name but he mentioned that its the lowest model he has got) in stereo mode. I was little sceptical about the size of that speaker but once it started all my notion went upside down. He first played a bhajan from "Timeless bhajan Vol-2". In fact, I never listen to a bhajan till date and also not a fan of it. But, the sound/music came out of those speakers were simply AMAZING, Marvelous and there's no word to express it. I am not a audiopile and couldn't explain it in technical terms. But I surely can feel the clarity and sound field created using those speakers. I still couldn't believe its coming from those two monitor speakers and I even inquired him if he's connected any other speaker/subwoofer. The price is around 1 Lakh + VAT :eek:

Then after I requested audition for THE Usher Dancer Mini - 1 which has got the same driver (7" mid-low wooofer and 1.25" beryllium dome tweeter). He played the same bhajan and there was little difference in bass.Then he played a drums performance through the same amp. It was ULTIMATE (clear)punch and the KEFs & Polks I auditioned at ProFX were nothing in front this dancer mini-1. I am not sure about whether this difference is because of the Stereo Amps. Oops the price is around 1.75 Lakhs + VAT :eek: But I would say it still worth it. It seems that separate subwoofer is not required to get the low bass and the Dancer mini itself is sufficient. I am totally hynoitized by these speakers and I wish I could go for Dance Mini - 1 :licklips:

Unfortunately, he doesn't have any AVR for demo at that time (They deal with Marantz and Denon. He also mentioned that they buy Denon from ProFX and told me to buy from ProFX So that I can get better pricing. I really appreciate this gesture and honesty). So I couldn't audition typical 5.1 setup and Sridhar suggested me to connect with Mr. Ali to arrange for 5.1 demo with Marantz AVR next week). Also, he agreed to send the detailed price list (with discounts :p) through email.

Now, I have gained little knowledge on audio/speakers but at the same time confused. Initially I thought of movies only but after listening to BE-718, I am inclining towards quality stereo music also. Sridhar clearly explained (Its also mentioned in our forum several times) on the requirements whether its for Movies or Music. If its for music, then the Amp would be the best bet. I totally agree with the point - "A decent amp would beat any hifi AVR in music listening through stereo mode of course with good speakers". Otherwise, he suggested me to go for normal AVR with AMP stereo setup for front speakers (Dancer Mini-1) if I like.

I have a few questions (Could be confusing as its clearly reflects currently whats going on my mind :D)

How to get good punch (low bass) from my front speakers. Which is the best floorstanders (for music as well as movies) I can get within my budget?

What if I go for Dancer Mini - 1 and what are my options for AVR/Amp?

I will surely listen to music (Still couldn't come out of BE-718 effect) as well as watch movies using the AVR I am planning to buy. So, do I need an stereo amp with AVR?

Will the KEF iQ 90s (or any other good floorstanders) will sound better if I use a stereo amp with Denon 2310? If so, which amp would you suggest and how much does it costs?

Any other good (balanced) AVR will manage music audio(stereo) well and movie audio?

Any other suggestions for my requirements

I am totally excited (especially after Usher Demo, am on high :) and apologize for this lonnnnnng post. Your valuable suggestions are welcome.

Thanks and Regards,
Periyar
 
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skumar

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Can't comment on the specific components that you mentioned, however would suggest the following:

a) Keep aside 5% for ICs, cables etc
b) Consider improving the room acoustics - may be around 15%, this might make a big difference to the end result
c) Spend the rest on AVR (+AMP) + Speakers. If you desire, go for a AVR+AMP where the AMP drives the fronts and AVR drives the rest.
 
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subhash

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sreedhars a great guy , hes more into stereo set ups and for sure his set up wud sound great

the ushers are great speakers
i understand by your post that u are for both movies and music
go ahead with the spkrs that u liked @ ARN
buy an AVR which has 7.1 preouts (this is important here)
add on a power amp to the front L/R (if not in budget u cud hook up @ a latter date / or u cud look out for a power block in the used section)

chk the performance for music , using the pre amp of the AVR if satisfied ,fine .orelse add on a pre to the power amp

i undestand u already have sorrounds , wundt recommend sony but its ok till u change them in some time , u need to get a center and sub (ali cud help u out here )

with this set up u shud be done with music and HT
 
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periyar

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sreedhars a great guy , hes more into stereo set ups and for sure his set up wud sound great

the ushers are great speakers
i understand by your post that u are for both movies and music
go ahead with the spkrs that u liked @ ARN
buy an AVR which has 7.1 preouts (this is important here)
add on a power amp to the front L/R (if not in budget u cud hook up @ a latter date / or u cud look out for a power block in the used section)

chk the performance for music , using the pre amp of the AVR if satisfied ,fine .orelse add on a pre to the power amp

i undestand u already have sorrounds , wundt recommend sony but its ok till u change them in some time , u need to get a center and sub (ali cud help u out here )

with this set up u shud be done with music and HT

Thank you so much.

If I go with Dancer Mini - 1 (Costs around 1.75 Lakhs + VAT and I am yet receive the final price details from Sridhar), it might eat up my whole budget with little left for AVR/Amp. Will that be right decision? Please suggest

Also, could you please suggest a few AVRs (Does Denon 2310 has 7.1 pre-outs?) which has got required pre-outs and also a few decent Power Amps to match with?

I do agree with your comment on surrounds but its temporary setup and I can replace with appropriate speakers later.
 
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Asit

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Hi Periyar,

Thanks for your very well written impressions on your auditions so far.

Let me just confess at the outset that I have NO knowledge in multichannel systems. But I certainly have heard AVRs and they are good for movies.

From your write-up, I gather that you really care about good sound and you are also a music lover. Given that, you will never be perfectly happy with an AVR and a pair of so-so speakers, even a modest 2-channel amp will easily beat many AVRs when it comes to music, as you have also found out.

I'd actually suggest an extreme, hopefully you and all other movie-lovers would not beat me up for this . Get a decent 2-channel system going with a decent amp and speakers of your choice. Music would be great on that system. You can even watch movies in that, obviously you do not get the surround. I watch movies like that and I am happy. I have an upscaling DVDP that is connected to an LCD TV by a HDMI cable (for video) and a digital coaxial cable to a DAC (for downmixed 2-channel audio). The DAC is then connected to my 2-channel amp by usual analog stereo interconnects. One can also connect the DVDP (for 2-channel audio) directly with analog cables to the amp if the DVDP has a fairly decent audio quality. I can imagine many would not like to watch movies like I do, for them it is a serious compromise. Of course I know everybody does not have to be like me and it is perfectly alright. But I am happy with what I do.

Then later, add an AVR and the surround speakers as and when the budget allows. This is the mode (c) of skumar's suggestion. Since I do not know much about AVRs, I would not comment much about it, but since skumar has suggested it, I'd hope this is easily implementable in practice (that is, driving the front 2 speakers with a 2-channel amp and the surround and center speakers by your AVR).

Regards.
 
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aneelr

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...

AVR: After reading so many reviews online and in our forum comments/posts, I have almost decided to go for Denon 2310 which might cost around 56K after discount at ProFX.

......

Hi,

Just try your luck for Denon at Music Ranch, I got mine for 53K. May be you will also get at the same price.



cheers.
 
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periyar

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Hi Periyar,

Thanks for your very well written impressions on your auditions so far.

Let me just confess at the outset that I have NO knowledge in multichannel systems. But I certainly have heard AVRs and they are good for movies.

From your write-up, I gather that you really care about good sound and you are also a music lover. Given that, you will never be perfectly happy with an AVR and a pair of so-so speakers, even a modest 2-channel amp will easily beat many AVRs when it comes to music, as you have also found out.

I'd actually suggest an extreme, hopefully you and all other movie-lovers would not beat me up for this . Get a decent 2-channel system going with a decent amp and speakers of your choice. Music would be great on that system. You can even watch movies in that, obviously you do not get the surround. I watch movies like that and I am happy. I have an upscaling DVDP that is connected to an LCD TV by a HDMI cable (for video) and a digital coaxial cable to a DAC (for downmixed 2-channel audio). The DAC is then connected to my 2-channel amp by usual analog stereo interconnects. One can also connect the DVDP (for 2-channel audio) directly with analog cables to the amp if the DVDP has a fairly decent audio quality. I can imagine many would not like to watch movies like I do, for them it is a serious compromise. Of course I know everybody does not have to be like me and it is perfectly alright. But I am happy with what I do.

Then later, add an AVR and the surround speakers as and when the budget allows. This is the mode (c) of skumar's suggestion. Since I do not know much about AVRs, I would not comment much about it, but since skumar has suggested it, I'd hope this is easily implementable in practice (that is, driving the front 2 speakers with a 2-channel amp and the surround and center speakers by your AVR).

Regards.

This is also good angle and I agree with you on the valid points.

But you know what I started with just to add a subwoofer to my existing Sony Hifi systems then convinced to go for AVR with full HT setup then got totally mesmerized by the quality of audio from that Ushers :licklips:

That's why I am little confused right now. Also, now I started understanding why most of our forum (serious)members have got Amp in their signatures. Maybe thats the way :thumbsup:.

As it happens to (almost)everyone who starts with some budget but end up stretching once they get to see the real thing :lol:. Me too got that bug now and seriously thinking to stretch my budget a little to accomodate that Amp to my HT setup.

AVR + Amp + Very Good Floorstanders/Fronts + Center (add a Sub if required. Because, in the case of good floorstanders like Usher Dancer Mini-1, I felt that subwoofer is not at all required with the Amp)

I am open to suggestions/comments on this idea as suggested by you as well as by others including Sridhar at ARN.

Thanks,
Periyar
 
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Asit

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Also, now I started understanding why most of our forum (serious)members have got Amp in their signatures.

I have no doubt that everybody is serious, just that people's preferences (and also tastes) differ. It's not easy to say that one particular preference or taste is better than a different one.

I am not ready to sacrifice even an iota (of course within my budget) when it comes to music listening. For many, the preference is more on movies. Most people (even the hardcore movie lovers) generally are fond of some genre of music. Obviously everybody ideally would like to have the best system to watch movies and the best for listening to music. But for budgetary and practical reasons, most compromise with preference to one or the other.

You have to make your decisions that you can live with for some length of time. (This is important, because changing your gear too often actually makes you lose a lot of money completely unnecessarily). But I'd suggest: stay more or less within your budget. 2.5L is a lot of money and either way you go, you should be able to assemble a system that is very decent for your preference (movie or music) and so-so for the other (music or movie).

Regards.
 
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iaudio

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Periyar,

Good that Sridhar has really opened your eyes!:)

But if you are going the AVR route, may I suggest that you audition the Usher S520s with a sub/ bass modules along with the avr(denon/marantz) of your choice. Anyway you will be going to ARN again right?
Also listen to it with the same stereo amp Sridhar used with the tiny dancers.
 
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periyar

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I have no doubt that everybody is serious, just that people's preferences (and also tastes) differ. It's not easy to say that one particular preference or taste is better than a different one.

I am not ready to sacrifice even an iota (of course within my budget) when it comes to music listening. For many, the preference is more on movies. Most people (even the hardcore movie lovers) generally are fond of some genre of music. Obviously everybody ideally would like to have the best system to watch movies and the best for listening to music. But for budgetary and practical reasons, most compromise with preference to one or the other.

You have to make your decisions that you can live with for some length of time. (This is important, because changing your gear too often actually makes you lose a lot of money completely unnecessarily). But I'd suggest: stay more or less within your budget. 2.5L is a lot of money and either way you go, you should be able to assemble a system that is very decent for your preference (movie or music) and so-so for the other (music or movie).

Regards.

I didn't mean to offend anybody. I apologize if I'd have hurt any one. I mentioned that just to emphasize their interests.

I agree with your points and that's why I am trying to find a balanced setup to meet my movie and music requirements. I am thankful to you all for having this wonderful forum to discuss/share ideas and provide suggestions from expertise/experiences.

Regards,
Periyar
 
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periyar

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Periyar,

Good that Sridhar has really opened your eyes!:)

But if you are going the AVR route, may I suggest that you audition the Usher S520s with a sub/ bass modules along with the avr(denon/marantz) of your choice. Anyway you will be going to ARN again right?
Also listen to it with the same stereo amp Sridhar used with the tiny dancers.

Yes I am planning to go to ARN this Sunday again. Sure I would audition S520 with a Sub/bass modules along with the Stereo amp.

Thanks.
 
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superbhikari

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For speakers, just audition American Acoustic Design (AAD) 860 or 730 model. They are FS speakers and mind you, you won't need a sub for sure after hearing them. Cost 75k.
 
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periyar

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For speakers, just audition American Acoustic Design (AAD) 860 or 730 model. They are FS speakers and mind you, you won't need a sub for sure after hearing them. Cost 75k.

Thanks. May I know where can I audition it in Bangalore? Also, I'd appreciate if you could share any links to review for these speakers.

Regards,
Periyar
 
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superbhikari

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Thanks. May I know where can I audition it in Bangalore? Also, I'd appreciate if you could share any links to review for these speakers.

Regards,
Periyar

Contact :
VECTOR SYSTEMS PVT. LTD. (for Wharfedale, Vanguard, AAD, DAC, Byford Audio)
# 97, Sai Brigades, Brigade Road, (After St.Joseph College Of Commerce), Next to Brigade Prince Bar, Bangalore - 25.
Tel: 25543287, 9341717966

TOTAL SOUND (for Wharfedale, AAD, Quad, DAC)
# 2, Lakshmi Towers, # 200, R.V. Road,
South End Circle, Bangalore - 4.
Tel: 9845522937
 
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periyar

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Contact :
VECTOR SYSTEMS PVT. LTD. (for Wharfedale, Vanguard, AAD, DAC, Byford Audio)
# 97, Sai Brigades, Brigade Road, (After St.Joseph College Of Commerce), Next to Brigade Prince Bar, Bangalore - 25.
Tel: 25543287, 9341717966

TOTAL SOUND (for Wharfedale, AAD, Quad, DAC)
# 2, Lakshmi Towers, # 200, R.V. Road,
South End Circle, Bangalore - 4.
Tel: 9845522937

Thanks for the info. I will surely check it out.
 
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Asit

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I didn't mean to offend anybody. I apologize if I'd have hurt any one. I mentioned that just to emphasize their interests.

Do not worry at all :), and no need to apologize. It is very clear that you have no intensions of offending anybody.

Let me reemphasize. You have to first find out your own preferences, and things you are ready to compromise with to various extents. At the same time, be informed, most preferably, by auditioning. As you have already found out, the above two processes are inter-dependent. Some people make the mistake of choosing a preference well before the above two mutually complementary processes start. I actually know a few people who have bought reasonably expensive HT systems when they really wanted to buy a system more for music than movies. They became unhappy when they figured out that much better solution in terms of a 2-channel system was available. The interesting thing is: this realization of what you really want does not actually take place without you being exposed to quality sound (of both 2.0 and 5.1 variety). It is always a good idea to audition high quality stuff at least to get an idea and then buy the closest approximation within one's budget.

Regards.
 
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periyar

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Do not worry at all :), and no need to apologize. It is very clear that you have no intensions of offending anybody.

Let me reemphasize. You have to first find out your own preferences, and things you are ready to compromise with to various extents. At the same time, be informed, most preferably, by auditioning. As you have already found out, the above two processes are inter-dependent. Some people make the mistake of choosing a preference well before the above two mutually complementary processes start. I actually know a few people who have bought reasonably expensive HT systems when they really wanted to buy a system more for music than movies. They became unhappy when they figured out that much better solution in terms of a 2-channel system was available. The interesting thing is: this realization of what you really want does not actually take place without you being exposed to quality sound (of both 2.0 and 5.1 variety). It is always a good idea to audition high quality stuff at least to get an idea and then buy the closest approximation within one's budget.

Regards.

That was well said and I totally agree with you. Though I started looking for HT, I am open to check out various options. Its also good that I can get to audition some high quality stuff before I make any decision. As you said, be informed about the options available though some of them really not fit into my current budget. It surely change my perception as well as enable me to choose the best out of it.

Regards
 
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rikhav

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Hi Periyar
Only thing i would like to add to what all others have suggested you is that incase you are going for Mini dancer - 1 or even the BE718 the AVR wont do justice to the speakers. You will need to add a power amp to take out the full potential. I know you have a budget in mind and that much money wont be enough for a AVR + power amp + Ushers
Now in that budget you can for sure get the Be-718 with a capable 2 channel amp and a cd player.
But then for that you will have to compromise your movie viewing and listen to the sound in 2.0 mode while watching movies
So first you have to make your mind, what setup you want a 2 channel or a 5.1
Best of luck with your auditions
 
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