Planar Home Theater

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 18099 times.

SteveFord

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 5243
  • The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.
Planar Home Theater
« on: 27 Nov 2010, 11:12 am »
For those of you with better than movie theater sound in your homes, this would be the place to share your insights.
Many years ago I was running 4 MMGs and a sub off of a Carver C4000 preamp and I still remember the Yankee fans during the World Series provided some rather colorful commentary.

ajzepp

Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #1 on: 27 Nov 2010, 08:52 pm »
As excited as I get talking Maggies in general, what gets me going the most is Maggies for HT.  :thumb:

When I first read Jim Winey's comments on his website about HT, I honestly took a bit of a cynical approach. In the back of my mind I was thinking it was just marketing hype so as not to lose any market share due to the fact that Maggies weren't good for HT. Well, it didn't take me long to realize that I could not have been more wrong.

As much music is the driving force for how I spend my home audio dollar, I spend a greater percentage of my time with HT. That being said, there's simply no way I could ever live with a speaker that was great with music but average with movies. Thankfully, and ironically, I have the best of both worlds. Quite simply, Maggies bring movies to life. They are able to reproduce every-single-detail off of a film soundtrack. Vocals are AMAZING. I have become addicted to Maggies for HT because of the way it creates such an organic, visceral experience when you are watching a movie.

I remember two of the first few movies I watched on my former MMGs were Hidalgo and Sleepy Hollow (Johnny Depp version). I remember how real and precise the sound of the horses hooves were when they impacted the dirt in Hidalgo, and how incredibly detailed it was when the wooden wheels of the carriage were when they went rolling over the gravel-covered ground in Sleepy Hollow. There began a never-ending string of Maggie Magic moments with film that have stayed with me over the past five years. Maggies take ordinary, common, seemingly uninteresting sound effects and bring them to life. When that happens, you are brought INTO the movie, and that experience is truly addicting!

Even better, a Maggie HT set-up is extremely inexpensive compared to what you'd lay out with other options. I had MMGs in front, a pair of MMG-Ws in back, and a little 10" SVS subwoofer as my first Maggie system. That came in at a little over $1k, and I could have been MORE than happy with that little rig forever. The MMG-Ws are such amazing speakers for surrounds...they work with the mains to create a truly immersive soundfield, often times creating images that seem impossible. I had a weird room that caused the mains to be over 20' away from the surrounds, and yet I still would have times when effects were seemingly being placed on the side walls...I remember the time I was watching a movie with my mom, and a helicopter seemed like it was coming in from the side and above our seating position. The look she gave me was priceless!

As for dynamics, if you properly calibrate a subwoofer and have plenty of current on tap for those more demanding passages, you give up very little over box speakers in terms of dynamics, IMO. Last night I was watching The Expendables, and my ears needed to literally recover from certain scenes in that film. Anyone who needs MORE than that probably needs some Cerwin Vegas or some other speaker that just focuses on reproducing SPLs at the max level, and sound quality is not paramount. Heck, I'm not even running a subwoofer right now since I wanted to be merciful on my neighbors (recently moved into a 1450sf apartment), and my 3.6/cc3/MMG-W set-up still knocked me onto my butt!

I have some pics in the Planar Porn thread if anyone wants to get an idea of my set-up. I will take updated pics of the rear of the room now that I have my "Ws" up and running, as soon as I finish my tinkering.

VIVE LE MAGGIES!!!!!

PS: Steve makes a good point about the fans he heard during the World Series...if you want high def audio to go with your high def sports, give Maggies a shot when watching a game...talk about bringing the game to life! I remember watching the superbowl in my HT the first time a few years ago...that was back when I had my MMGs. It felt as if I were right there on the field with those guys...truly amazing!!

SteveFord

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 5243
  • The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.
Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #2 on: 14 Dec 2010, 02:01 am »
Here's where I need some help.
I hate remotes, I hate scrolling through menus just so I can listen to something and looking at the back of an A/V receiver makes me want to forget about the whole thing.
Having said that, I promised my better half a Maggie based home theater system someday and that day is fast approaching.
I think that I have the amps lined up, a subwoofer is no big deal, I'll be using an Oppo 83 or 93 and she will provide the flat screen.
Four Maggies would probably be better than five as the one provision from Lynda is "I don't want speakers everywhere"! 
I guess that she knows me pretty well.
So, what sort of a processor can I get that won't drive me insane and will sound halfway as good as my 2 channel systems?
My needs are pretty straightforward: simple to set up, simple to use and good sound.  I can always raise the cash if I want something bad enough but less expensive is better than more expensive in this case.
For FM, I'll be using a tubed unit from the 60s and I plan on running the Oppo through a tube buffer as well if that gives you any indication as to what sort of sound I'm after.
Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

ajzepp

Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #3 on: 14 Dec 2010, 05:53 am »
Steve: Have you considered a multi-channel analog preamp and just letting the Oppo do the processing? I spent a TON of time trying to find the right pre/pro for me a while back when I was ready to upgrade, when someone told me about these t hings. I ended up getting rid of my Outlaw pre/pro and picking up a preowned McCormack MAP-1. I absolutely love it.

http://www.audioreview.com/cat/amplification/a-v-preamplifier/mccormack/map-1/PRD_133684_2719crx.aspx

http://www.stereophile.com/content/music-round-2

SteveFord

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 5243
  • The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.
Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #4 on: 14 Dec 2010, 11:15 am »
That looks like exactly what I want - thanks.

ajzepp

Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #5 on: 15 Dec 2010, 07:34 am »
I haven't heard the other products that are in this category, but the MAP is built like a tank, gives me a much broader and more cohesive sound stage than my Outlaw pre/pro did, and it mates tremendously well with the Maggies. I typically research the ever lovin' bejeezus out of things, and I went so far as to actually track down Steve McCormack himself to talk about this piece before I bought it. He sold McCormack audio to Conrad Johnson a while ago, but he designed this piece and I wanted to get his input before I purchased a preowned one. He was a really cool guy to talk to, and even though he had nothing to gain from me buying this piece, he was gracious enough to talk to me about the design and my system goals. The 2-channel preamp that the MAP is based on (RLD something or other) was very highly regarded at its price point, and the MAP-1 basically two of those in the same chassis. The build quality is ridiculous, and this thing will be the foundation of my HT for at least the next five years.

When you consider what a company like Oppo is doing with their BD/universal players, it makes a piece like this all the more exciting. The new Oppo player coming out in the spring is going to be a dream match for a MC analog preamp. The internal DACs they are using in that player are supposed to be fantastic, and from what I've heard they're even going to have greater flexibility with bass mgmt on board. I'll hook that baby up to the MAP and be in HT bliss for the foreseeable future

They come up on Audiogon from time to time...this one seems to be in excellent condition:
http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?preatran&1296749542&/McCormack-Map-1-Six-Channel-Pr

EDIT: Here is the preamp the MAP was based on, if it's of any interest to ya:
http://www.audioreview.com/mfr/mccormack/preamplifiers/rld-1/PRD_125280_1591crx.aspx
http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/mccormack_rld1.htm


TitaniumTroy

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 69
Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #6 on: 25 Jan 2011, 06:03 pm »
Glad to be aboard, I own Magnepan 3.6's upfront, 10.1's for surround duty. Tweaks and mods are only two, Mye stands and wings for the 3.6's. I live in Mishawka IN 90 miles east of Chicago. I also hang out at the MUG and The Audio Annex Forum.

Troy

krikor

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 660
  • Initiative comes to those who wait.
    • AudioSnoop.com
Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #7 on: 25 Jan 2011, 07:36 pm »
I started off with 10.1s (modded with Obligatto caps, Alphacore inductors and Kimber wire) in a two-channel setup (with a Vandersteen 2WQ sub) and moved up to the 1.6s with the intention of using the 10.1s for rear channel duty. Got all the goods for four-channel plus subs (sold the Vandy and moved to a pair of ACI Force), but only played multi-channel a bit at first and as of now it hasn't even been hooked up for the past year or two (the 10.1s are just decoration behind the sofa).

MC setup includes:
- Denon DVD-2900 universal player
- Audio Refinement Pre2DSP pre-pro
- W4S 200S for rear channels (good match for the PS Audio GCC-100 up front)

Maggies are impressive for HT, but for whatever reason going multi-channel has never really floated my boat with any speaker system. Too many settings and variables to get right, room issues, etc. - oh, and I don't have a large display. That said, I keep telling myself I'll get it setup again soon to give it another try.

Robin Hood

Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #8 on: 5 Nov 2011, 07:03 am »
Using floor standing Maggies, how small a room is too small for a 5.1 home theater setup?

Assuming the edge of each Maggie should be 3 feet away from any wall, doesn't that dictate that you will lose 6 feet from the length and width of any room? Is there a minimum recommended distance between the front L+R speakers and the front and rear speakers?

josh358

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #9 on: 5 Nov 2011, 03:41 pm »
Using floor standing Maggies, how small a room is too small for a 5.1 home theater setup?

Assuming the edge of each Maggie should be 3 feet away from any wall, doesn't that dictate that you will lose 6 feet from the length and width of any room? Is there a minimum recommended distance between the front L+R speakers and the front and rear speakers?

Modern A/V receivers automatically correct for timing, so angle matters more than distance, look on the Dolby site if you want to see the specs. For a room of limited size, check out the on-wall speakers, they're really very good, I've been told that people like them as much as the floorstanders in blind tests. I'd use the on-walls for surrounds and then you can put a pair of floorstanders in front, and a center channel if you want it, though that's really only necessary if you're doing theater style seating -- the center image will be just fine if you're sitting in the sweet spot.

josh358

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #10 on: 5 Nov 2011, 04:07 pm »
For those of you with better than movie theater sound in your homes, this would be the place to share your insights.

Just that my 1-D's made the best theater sound ever! I was working in the movie industry when I got them and even with the damnable buzz the movie sound I heard at the mixing desk didn't hold a candle to what I heard at home off VHS hi fi. As ajzepp mentioned, the transparency and verisimilitude of the Maggies adds immeasurably to the film experience and the slam, bass extension, and image size of the Tympanis made the experience overwhelming.

Last time I mentioned this online, Wendell emailed to point out that the larger speakers in their current lineup could do the same thing so I guess I should add that I mentioned the 1-D's merely because that's where my experience lies.

SteveFord

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 5243
  • The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.
Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #11 on: 16 Nov 2011, 01:04 am »
Can someone be good enough to answer this one?

My question is about single center channel speaker placement (CC5 or CCR if budget permits):  I planned to put the main speakers (MG3.7 on Mye stands) about 1.70m (5.58ft) from the front wall.  Since I'm more serious with 2-channel than HT, I've been advised to install the center speaker (about 1.07m or 3.5ft above the top edge of my plasma screen) on the soffit/coffering with 3.15m (10.33ft) height and about 1.1m (3.61ft) into the room.  Therefore, the center speaker will be about 60cm or 2 feet behind the main spakers, and about 1.3m (4.27ft) above top edge of the 3.7's.  Is the placement too high / too far from both tv screen and main speakers for believable dialogue?  Or it's quite ok to adjust the angle of the center speaker for acceptable result with this setup?

The new room I'm about to build has planned dimensions of 5.95m (19.52ft) wide; 8.40m (27.56ft) long; 3.65m (11.97ft) high. I'll be sitting about 3.9m (12.8ft) from the main speakers.

Tubo

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 101
Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #12 on: 16 Nov 2011, 01:45 am »
Steve,

I have the bottom of my MMGC aligned with the top of my plasma screen as seen from the seating position. It is about two feet away from the wall (Magnepan says a foot is the minimum) and tilted down towards the viewers. By itself, the MMGC sometimes does not provide the illusion of sound coming from the center of the screen. Based on my experience, I would say that placing the center channel 3.5 feet above the top of your plasma is not a good idea. You can't hang it close to the top edge of your plasma? I use one of those TV mounts with a folding arm. They can support a lot of weight and they can extend out to 3 feet, perhaps more if you shop around.

A few months ago I added a DWM woofer to my center channel. It is located below my plasma, about 9 inches off the floor and tilted up towards the viewers. The illusion of sound coming from the center of the TV is much better! I highly recommend you use your DWM woofer for this purpose (I know you have one!).

rw@cn

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 336
Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #13 on: 16 Nov 2011, 01:27 pm »
Steve,

If you have patience and are very careful setting them up, you can do it. Some of the problems will be time delays and getting the correct angles of the center speakers (as you stated). I am assuming that your equipment will allow you to compensate for time delay. You will need assistance to get the centers angled correctly. I have seen something similar and the owner stated that the "professionals" took almost eight hours to get it right.

klao

Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #14 on: 16 Nov 2011, 06:51 pm »
Thanks, guys.  The question actually came from me.  I posted the question for Wendell, but Steve is so kind to put here in HT section so that the members can help while Wendell is not available.  Input from all of you is very much appreciated.  :thumb:

BTW, I plan to hang plasma on the front wall.  The center speaker, if installed on the soffit, will also be 3.6 feet in front of (and 3.5 feet above) the TV screen , while 2 feet behind the main speakers.

Can someone be good enough to answer this one?

My question is about single center channel speaker placement (CC5 or CCR if budget permits):  I planned to put the main speakers (MG3.7 on Mye stands) about 1.70m (5.58ft) from the front wall.  Since I'm more serious with 2-channel than HT, I've been advised to install the center speaker (about 1.07m or 3.5ft above the top edge of my plasma screen) on the soffit/coffering with 3.15m (10.33ft) height and about 1.1m (3.61ft) into the room.  Therefore, the center speaker will be about 60cm or 2 feet behind the main spakers, and about 1.3m (4.27ft) above top edge of the 3.7's.  Is the placement too high / too far from both tv screen and main speakers for believable dialogue?  Or it's quite ok to adjust the angle of the center speaker for acceptable result with this setup?

The new room I'm about to build has planned dimensions of 5.95m (19.52ft) wide; 8.40m (27.56ft) long; 3.65m (11.97ft) high. I'll be sitting about 3.9m (12.8ft) from the main speakers.

SteveFord

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 5243
  • The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.
Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #15 on: 17 Nov 2011, 12:19 am »
And the woofer was a loaner which is going back to whence it came.
They wanted me to see what I thought and I think that it works best for oddly shaped rooms (like the upstairs here which is a converted attic) where it helps ameliorate some bass weirdness and I'm sure that it would work great as the lower section of a center channel.
It certainly produced good results when plunked down (up in the air, actually) with a set of MMGs flanking it. 
I'll have to run down to my local dealer's and see how it works as part of a Mini Maggie system.

I should mention that people talk about subs being "musical".  While the DMW isn't a subwoofer, "musical" is a good description for it.  I went back to using an NHT sub which has roughly the same specs as the DMW and that thing just thumps along and sounds like a ridiculous piece of junk when compared to the DMW. 
« Last Edit: 17 Nov 2011, 02:12 am by SteveFord »

jarcher

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 1938
  • It Just Sounds Right
Re: Planar Home Theater - Amp Recommendation
« Reply #16 on: 5 Jan 2013, 10:21 pm »
Hey folks - getting a bit fatigued w/ the Krell Showcase 7 amp I'm using to power Magnepan 1.7's w/ MMG-C, regular MMGs for side surrounds + MMG-W's for rear surrounds.  The Krell is just a bit too bright / brittle / "Hi-Fi" in the negative sense.  Using a Marantz AV7005 processor that I got a few months back - so don't want to trade that in.  Currently listening is 80% home theater, 20% music.  But hoping with the right amp that ratio could change to more music.

Considering a Parasound Halo A52 5 channel amp (maybe w/ an A21 added for front two channels if A52 is insufficient). Local dealer has a decent deal on traded-in A52.

If any of you folks run maggies for HT - or have experience w/ such - amp recommendations would be appreciated, particularly multi-channel solid state.  I've got an old Conrad Johnson MV75A1 to mess around with for 2 channel audio for MG 1.7's, so really looking for something solid state for home theater with some guts & detail, but more smoothness / warmth etc than Krell.  Also considering Anthem (used).

Thanks!
« Last Edit: 6 Jan 2013, 12:05 am by jarcher »

josh358

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Planar Home Theater - Amp Recommendation
« Reply #17 on: 5 Jan 2013, 10:50 pm »
Hey folks - getting a bit fatigued w/ the Krell Showcase 7 amp I'm using to power Magnepan 1.7's w/ MMG-C, regular MMGs for side surrounds + MMG-W's for rear surrounds.  The Krell is just a bit too bright / brittle / "Hi-Fi" in the negative sense.  Using a Marantz AV7005 processor that I got a few months back - so don't want to trade that in.  Currently listening is 80% home theater, 20% music.  But hoping with the right amp that ratio could change to more music.

Considering a Parasound Halo A52 5 channel amp (maybe w/ an A21 added for front two channels if A52 is insufficient). Local deal has a decent deal on traded-in A52.

If any of you folks run maggies for HT - or have experience w/ such - amp recommendations would be appreciated, particularly multi-channel solid state.  I've got an old Conrad Johnson MV75A1 to mess around with for 2 channel audio for MG 1.7's, so really looking for something solid state for home theater with some guts & detail, but more smoothness / warmth etc than Krell.  Also considering Anthem (used).

Thanks!
I don't know specifically about the A51, but several guys on the Asylum use the A21 with Maggies and speak very highly of the combination. With John Curl, how can you go wrong? Not to mention FET's.

rw@cn

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 336
Re: Planar Home Theater - Amp Recommendation
« Reply #18 on: 6 Jan 2013, 03:02 pm »
Hey folks - getting a bit fatigued w/ the Krell Showcase 7 amp I'm using to power Magnepan 1.7's w/ MMG-C, regular MMGs for side surrounds + MMG-W's for rear surrounds.  The Krell is just a bit too bright / brittle / "Hi-Fi" in the negative sense.  Using a Marantz AV7005 processor that I got a few months back - so don't want to trade that in.  Currently listening is 80% home theater, 20% music.  But hoping with the right amp that ratio could change to more music.

Considering a Parasound Halo A52 5 channel amp (maybe w/ an A21 added for front two channels if A52 is insufficient). Local dealer has a decent deal on traded-in A52.

If any of you folks run maggies for HT - or have experience w/ such - amp recommendations would be appreciated, particularly multi-channel solid state.  I've got an old Conrad Johnson MV75A1 to mess around with for 2 channel audio for MG 1.7's, so really looking for something solid state for home theater with some guts & detail, but more smoothness / warmth etc than Krell.  Also considering Anthem (used).

Thanks!

I am happy with the NewClear NC 1000 and the 1.7s (3.7s as well when I had them)

Mart

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Re: Planar Home Theater
« Reply #19 on: 23 Jun 2013, 03:46 am »
Maggie HT
MG2.7s front
horizontal MGLR1s rear
stacked MGCC1s center

Velodne subs