I'm about to pull the trigger on a 50/50 system. Right now, planning on Arcam AVR300 and Arcam DV79. Big question is speakers. Room is 60' x 35' loft-type space w/ 13' ceilings. 5.1 set up, all same manufacturer:
1. Audio Physic Tempo (really liked in showroom, but it was a tight space) 2. B&W. Tried the 804s but in a busy store w/ lots of other stuff going on. Recommendations for these versus the 703s? 3. Anthony Gallo Reference 3 and Dues. Realize a different price range - liked the others more but not 2x more, and if they are particularly good or bad for open rooms, it would sway the decision 4. Other recommendations? Heard good things about the Focal-JmLab Cobalt-S, Magnepan, Quad, Mission Elegante e 82
Anxious to pull the trigger given the one month wait for installs. Help appreciated - thanks!
That is one BIG room. Do you want to use all of it or are you going to subsection it it into logically separate areas? What I mean is a 60ft room is the size of a real cinema. You'd need something much more capable than what you've chosen to fill it as a dedicated home theatre room. On the other hand, if you're looking to use just a third of it for the HT, then that's a different scenario and the stuff you're looking at is on the money.
I only know the B&Ws in your list. The 703s are way superior to the 704s, partly because they've got a fantastic midrange drive unit, and partly because they have much better defined and tuneful bass. If you can spare the extra, go for the 703s, and biamp them with the extra set of power amp outputs (zone 2) on the AVR300. The B&Ws are good value for money too in my opinion, given the quality of the sound they produce. The B&W subs are no great shakes. Look at REL Strata 5 (possibly stereo'd up) or Velodyne DD10 which will also give you room equalisation to die for.
Joe, I think you have numerous good speakers on your list. As to which is better is probably a personal decision so you have to go out and listen. The only thing else I will add is that I have seen this Hyperion speaker reviewed quite favorably numerous times. I don't know if it is in your price range but might be worth checking out:
I heard the New Tempo and the 804 and I think the New Tempo was a better speaker, at least for music. For HT the 804 + HTM1 would probably be better than Audio Physic because the New Tempo doesn't have a maching center. If you can have 3 New Tempo's on the front then it's a no brainer.
Just to be clear: yes -- the space is the whole non-bedroom area. Only the first third of which is "living room" although I would like that single set up to deliver good sound while in the "dining room" or "kitchen" (the other 2/3s).
Frank: sorry, I was actually thinking about the 703s versus the Nautilus 804s. Does this change your opinion?
Very much so. The Nautilus speakers are quite a bit more difficult to drive. This, combined with the first answer that most of the room would be the home theatre room, makes me think that you will need a more powerful solution in terms of the amplifier. The problem is that the Arcam is definitely one of the hot products of the moment given its exemplary musical performance and natural steering. The model up from the AVR300 is the AV8/P7 combination. This is appreciably more expensive and similarly more capable. If this is too rich for your blood, you should at least consider using an external stereo power amp (I suggest Arcam's FMJ P35 or even better the P1 monoblocks) to let the AVR300 breathe a little better. In that size room, you should really use large surround speakers too if you can, and if possible, go with 7.1. I almost never suggest 7.1 but in your room, the distance between channels in 5.1 needs to be filled by side speakers in my view. Certainly check with your dealer on this.