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Speaker Suggestions for Living Room

ragera, modified 5 Years ago.

Speaker Suggestions for Living Room

Youngling Posts: 10 Join Date: 12/7/16 Recent Posts
Hi all,

I would like to get your opinion on speakers for a new 5.2 set up. Please see attached photos of my living room. I have currently Yamaha floor standing speakers run by AVR Yamaha RX-V775. Due to glass windows, I get lots of reflection causing ear tiredness. My interest is both movies (from blu ray & netflix) and music (youtube HD, Tidal).

I have listened to lot of hifi speakers in the shops but they sounded completely different when heard them in my living room.

I have read many forums (including Linkwitz) and came with the list below in the order of preference.
1. Pure audio project open Baffle speakers with ESS or Beyma run as active
2. Genelec 8351 or 8350 or 8260 for LCR and 8340 for rears
3. Neumann KH 310 or 420 for LCR and 120 for rears.
4. Fohhn Audio LX 60 ASX for LR, LX 10 for rears and AT10 for center (active)
5. XTZ Divine M6 for LCR and S5 for center.


Some of my friends say that for my set up only dipole or omni directional speakers will work and they claim none of the box speakers will work. Some say studio monitors with control directivity in combination with DSP and room correction will work. Some say column arrays with controlled beam like Fohhn audio will suit best. I am confused and not able to decide.

I did AB comparision of 8030 and KH120. Both are great. KH120 was bit harsh with better mids whereas 8030 was musically better but little compressed mids (KH had better mids). I heard XTZ in my living room and with Yamaha, did not sound well as in shop (probably should have tested with a better AVR like Anthem).

With my first preference Pure Audio Project which will best suit my living room, issue is WAF and no matching center available. So my second preference is Genelec due to GLM 2.0 and due to white color availability.

Could any of you please help me if you had been in a similar situation? Genelec are box speakers and how will they tackle reflections. But on the other hand, Genelec 8351 are considered to have constant controlled direcivity.

Can you please suggest which model will suit better 8351 Vs 8350 Vs 8260. My prefernce is 8350 but if the sound difference is huge, then I may not mind extending my budget to 8351.

Thanks in advance for your help!
alastair, modified 6 Years ago.

Re: Speaker Suggestions for Living Room

Youngling Posts: 8 Join Date: 11/4/16 Recent Posts
I demo'd the 8351A's in my living room for a short while. Lots of fun, and they sound amazing in the nearfield. Unfortunately for me, a lot of the transient detail from the speakers was lost due to the poor acoustics in my living room. Bear this is mind when you are looking at living room speakers. You may want to reserve some budget for room treatment. For me, right now I can't justify the cost of the 8351As, even though they sound amazing, since the room they would be going into sounds really poor, no matter what speaker you put in it.
ragera, modified 5 Years ago.

Re: Speaker Suggestions for Living Room

Youngling Posts: 10 Join Date: 12/7/16 Recent Posts
Hi Alastair,

Thanks dor your reply! I agree that probably sound will be remarkably improved by good room acoustics. To start with, I have ordered some curtains to tackle glass reflections. The next step will be to use some rugs/carpet to tackle floor reflections. But my wife is allergic and hence need to look for some anti-allergic carpets.

The floorstanders that I use has bass reflex ports and hence are not at all optimal to placed near walls. I need to place them atleast 60 cms away from the wall. This will occupy the moving space and due to kids my wife may not allow this placement. On the other hand, Genelecs also are rear ported but can be placed as close 5 cms from the wall. So how does Genelec tackle close wall placement compared to my floor standers? Is there a tweaking via GLM?

I guess I should go for 8250 instead of investing heavily in 8351 and not still get good sound due to limited room acoustics. How will GLM handle a poor room? Did you try GLM room correction with 8351a?

@ Ikka, others: Please help me with your input.

Best Regards,
Ram
nachjos, modified 5 Years ago.

Re: Speaker Suggestions for Living Room

Padawan Posts: 41 Join Date: 10/21/16 Recent Posts
The 8351 will work incredible good in limited room acoustics when using GLM! Believe me, they will do the best possible job under worst conditions. But for shure, they will sound even better in good room acoustics.
1038, modified 5 Years ago.

Re: Speaker Suggestions for Living Room

Jedi Master Posts: 340 Join Date: 4/6/09 Recent Posts
Hi Ram,

The floorstanders that I use has bass reflex ports and hence are not at all optimal to placed near walls. I need to place them atleast 60 cms away from the wall. This will occupy the moving space and due to kids my wife may not allow this placement. On the other hand, Genelecs also are rear ported but can be placed as close 5 cms from the wall. So how does Genelec tackle close wall placement compared to my floor standers? Is there a tweaking via GLM?

The reason you need to move your floorstanders away from the wall has nothing to do with where the port is, if you read Genelec's monitor guide they provide information on where best to place your speakers, in a nutshell, wherever you place your speaker in a room there will be compromises due to reflected energy negatively impacting your sound. When you have a speaker away from a wall, around 80cm plus, you will get a destructive cancellation from the wall behind the speaker, this creates a notch in the frequency response around 100Hz, as you move the speaker further out the cancellation simply moves to lower frequencies. If you place the speaker close to the wall, you immediately solve the cancellation from the front wall but now you have created another problem called boundary gain, the great thing about boundary gain is that it is free low frequency output, this means that when you calibrate, you will end up with a nice frequency response plot with extended lf performance and low distortion. Typically we measure around 20Db gain in the 30Hz - 50Hz region.

Spend the money on the 8351's, they are a very special speaker, yes your untreated room is not ideal, but GLM will make it sound as good as it can, we have sold many pairs of 8351 and 8260's into lounge rooms for music playback, and in all cases the clients have loved them. The one thing i would strongly recommend is to get them up on decent stands, at least 900mm tall.
alastair, modified 5 Years ago.

Re: Speaker Suggestions for Living Room

Youngling Posts: 8 Join Date: 11/4/16 Recent Posts
In my experience GLM fixed the frequency problems of my untreated room, but did not solve the reverb problems due to the amount of windows and hard surfaces. So transients were blurred in the time domain. This was easy to spot because sitting nearfield right up to the speakers made a massive difference.

I placed the speakers up against the back wall as far back as they could go, I guess there was a bout 5-7cm of space. They sounded great like that and GLM will EQ the fairly flat anyway. As others have said, follow the Genelec advice and push them back against the wall. And yes, they work great on stands at a higher height than the fairly low hi-fi stand height that seems popular.
ragera, modified 5 Years ago.

Re: Speaker Suggestions for Living Room

Youngling Posts: 10 Join Date: 12/7/16 Recent Posts
Hi all,

Wish you a very happy new year!

Sorry that I took some time to get back. @ Alastair, Steve and nachjos: Thanks for your thoughts and help!

I now have curtains in my living room and this has changed the acoustics. Not much echo anymore.

During the last days, I got an oppurtunity to listen and compare Neumann KH 310/ Genelec 8351 and 8050.

First Test 310 Vs 8351: Though I liked KH 310 for its dynamics and bass, the 8351 was absolutely stunning with more details. 8351 was more musical and the instruments were all well seperated. In KH 310, the music was bit congested and some details were less prominent. Whereas, 8351 won in all areas, bass, mids, treble, imaging, details etc :D . Both the speakers were easy to hear and not harsh or fatiguing. In fact, with 8351, I did not want to stop the music even after 1,5 hrs of listening. One could stand very close to 8351 even at 90 db SPL and enjoy the sound.

Second Test 8050 Vs 8351: Both had the same Genelec sound stamp. But the 8351 was a clear winner as it could produce more prominent midrange due to its 3 way characteristic. I did not compare KH 310 and 8050 due to time restrictions and moreover it was also not required as I was more convinced about 8351.

I would have loved to do comparision of 8351 Vs 8260 but the store did not have 8260.

As a next step , I started to get quotes for 8351. However a dealer (after seeing my living room photos) has recommended 2 * 8260 for front LR and 1 * 8351 for center and 2 * 8330 for rears. His reasoning was that for movies, 8260 has more dynamics. However for musice 8351 was better but only with 7370 subwoofers. On the other hand, I plan to retain my 2 SVS subwoofers SB 1000.

So starts my further questions:

1. Is the dealer correct? Do I need Genelec subwoofer if I decide for 8351 due to bass management with the help of GLM?
2. How big is the difference in dynamics for movies between 8260 and 8351?
3. Many people infact recommend 8351 and say it has an edge over 8260. IS it true that 8351 is more suited for music than movies. For me I see both movies (Netflix/blu ray) and listen to youtube/internet/mp3 music and the split is 50-50%.
4. If I follow the dealer, I will be using 8351 as center which will not be identical with 8260 as front LR's.
5. Concerning placement, the dealer said that I could place the 8260 vertically on the low board. My wife also does not want any stands. Rather the dealer says that I should ISO-PAD and tilt the speakers up so that the tweeter is angling towards the listening area.Will there be a big difference in sound if I dont use stands and place the 8260 on low board.
6. Related to point 5, If I decide to go for 3 * 8351 for LCR, I was thinking to place them horizontal on the low board to avoid side glass wall reflections . Is it still ok?
7. Currently I use Yamaha AVR RX-V775. Is it fine to continue using this AVR with RCA from Pre-outs going into Genelec.

Cheers,
Ram
ilkka-rissanen, modified 5 Years ago.

Re: Speaker Suggestions for Living Room

Yoda Posts: 2564 Join Date: 3/23/09 Recent Posts

1. Is the dealer correct? Do I need Genelec subwoofer if I decide for 8351 due to bass management with the help of GLM?

Hi,

I have not seen photos, dimensions or further information about your room, but for sure the dealer is being correct that 8260 will be able to provide more clean output in the bass region (let's say below 500 Hz) than the 8351. This will be needed if your listening space is large and you plan to listen at high output levels. A subwoofer will help both models because it will cut away the bass from the main speakers and help them to play louder and cleaner.


2. How big is the difference in dynamics for movies between 8260 and 8351?

It depends on the movie and its soundtrack but if there is a lot of strong low bass content like in your typical action movie, 8260 will be able to play approximately 6 dB louder which is not like a night vs day difference but still definitely noticeable. With a help of capable subwoofer the difference goes close to zero.


3. Many people infact recommend 8351 and say it has an edge over 8260. IS it true that 8351 is more suited for music than movies. For me I see both movies (Netflix/blu ray) and listen to youtube/internet/mp3 music and the split is 50-50%.

8351 and 8260 are more alike than different. The coax midrange and tweeter unit is exactly the same so I do not agree with the statement. Both models are well suited to music and movies.


4. If I follow the dealer, I will be using 8351 as center which will not be identical with 8260 as front LR's.

No problem at all. As said, they will sound quite identical apart from the more extended bass of the 8260.


5. Concerning placement, the dealer said that I could place the 8260 vertically on the low board. My wife also does not want any stands. Rather the dealer says that I should ISO-PAD and tilt the speakers up so that the tweeter is angling towards the listening area.Will there be a big difference in sound if I dont use stands and place the 8260 on low board.

Could I see photos of this "low board"? Typically we always recommend to place monitors on proper stands to bring them away from any reflective surfaces as well as have them at the ear level. Typically this will greatly improve the sound quality.

6. Related to point 5, If I decide to go for 3 * 8351 for LCR, I was thinking to place them horizontal on the low board to avoid side glass wall reflections . Is it still ok?

Please see the previous point.

7. Currently I use Yamaha AVR RX-V775. Is it fine to continue using this AVR with RCA from Pre-outs going into Genelec.

Technically it will work just fine. It is just a matter of personal taste/choice how much do you want to spend on the electronics.
ragera, modified 5 Years ago.

Re: Speaker Suggestions for Living Room

Youngling Posts: 10 Join Date: 12/7/16 Recent Posts
Hi Ilkka,

Thanks a lot for your explanations! It is helping me a lot to understand!

My room is around 40 m2. One part is the listening/sitting area and the other part is dinning. The listening area is approximately 20-25 m2. The seating distance from the screen is around 4 meters at the sweet spot. The right seat of the couch is 5 meters from the front left speaker. The front LR will be placed 4 meters wide from each other with center occupying the middle of the low board. So the triangle is 4 meters * 4 meters * 4 meters at the sweet spot. Please find the photos attached.

The low board is 25 cms high. I plan to remove the subwoofers from the low board and place the 8260 LR or 8351 LR in the subwoofer's position on the low board. Using the ISO-Pad, tilt the speakers upwards towards the listening height.

The room currently has curtains and so the acoustics has improved a lot. Not much echo anymore. There are still some side wall reflections though.

Point 1: >>> Ram: Please see the photos attached and dimensions are listed above. The confusion is that which ones should I opt for 8260 or 8351. The benefits I see with 8260 is that it goes low and good for bigger rooms. Do you think my room is big enough that 8260 is justified and suits better than 8351? But I do not intend to listen to high output levels as our bedroom is directly behind the wall. I do not want a loud boomy bass. I listen to music (mostly youtube) at low volumes (~ 70 db) and series/films (mostly netflix) at max 75 db. However I need a fuller and clear sound at these low volumes. So could you please suggest me which now suits better 8260 or 8351?

Point 2: >>> Ram: >>> Ram: How easy is to integrate my current SVS Subwoofers to 8351? For sure, I cant use GLM for this bass integration and I have to rely on my Yamaha AVR or I have to buy Anti mode for subwoofer correction. Can 8351 still be good with SVS subwoofer or do I have to definitely go for Genelec subs for 8351. With 8260 for music, I do not need SVS whereas for movies with 8260 then I need the SVS only for LFE. If it is a LFE, then room correction is not critical. But then my next question is that 8330 (surrounds) are not full range. In that case, I have to use crossover to sub for low freqencies for the surrounds. So it is getting bit more difficult for me to decide.

Point 5: >>> Ram: Photos of the low board are attached. How much sound quality will be lost if not placed on stands? Will it be noticeable. My wife is against stands. I have two options as a compromise.

Option1: I can place the subs on the floor and place the 8260 0r 8351 on top of the subs. The height of the low board is 25 cms and the subwoofers height is 36 cms. So the lower part of the speaker will be 61 cms from the floor and use isopad to tilt upwards. Do you think is that sufficient to avoid reflections from floor? In this case. tweeter will be approximately 75-80 cms from the floor. The couch height is 84 cms. The disadvatnage with the option is the right subwoofer will be close to the right wall and so I am concerned about early wall reflections.

Option 2: The low board can take a max weight of 35 kgs per meter. The sub is 12 kgs and the 8351 is 19 Kgs So if I decide to go for 8351, then I can keep the subs on the low board and place the 8351 on top of the subwoofer.

I also read in the forum, that it is better to place 8351 horizontally as LR speakers and this horizontal placement causes less side wall reflections. Not sure how far is this true.

Kind Regards,
Ram
ilkka-rissanen, modified 5 Years ago.

Re: Speaker Suggestions for Living Room

Yoda Posts: 2564 Join Date: 3/23/09 Recent Posts
Hi Ram,

Thanks for the pictures and further information. 75 dB is quite low SPL requirement for either 8351 or 8260, so in this case it would be cost efficient to choose the smaller model. I would choose 8351 for LCR and 8330 for surround channels. I would not recommend placing the LCR directly on the low board because they will sit too low (even when tilted) which will cause low stereo image placement and strong reflections from the floor. Placing the LR on top on the subwoofers is a good idea. For the center speaker you should get a small stand. We will soon have an L shaped table stand for 8351 which would fit under the TV. You can have all three in horizontal configuration.

You can still have your SVS subwoofers in the system. In that case you need to use Yamaha for bass management. You would first run the GLM normally for the monitors and then set them small via Yamaha's menu and set the crossover at ~60 - 80 Hz.
ragera, modified 5 Years ago.

Re: Speaker Suggestions for Living Room

Youngling Posts: 10 Join Date: 12/7/16 Recent Posts
Hi Ilkka,

Thanks again for answering my questions.

1. What would you propose for surrounds considering my couch is 50 cms from the rear wall - should 8330 be sufficient or should I go down only one level below to 8340?
2. Though I will retain my SVS subs. But in the future, if I want to go for GLM based subs which one would you suggest 7250 or 7260 or 8370?

Kind Regards,
Ram
ilkka-rissanen, modified 5 Years ago.

Re: Speaker Suggestions for Living Room

Yoda Posts: 2564 Join Date: 3/23/09 Recent Posts
1. 8330 is large enough for surround channels.
2. 7370 is the suitable subwoofer model.