Alright, it got super late for me again yesterday and this follow up post became absolutely enormous! You'll find a TL;DR at the end though.
To go back to the choice of models within the Reference series, I actually did want to get 62s for the front three but, alas, budget ended up being a bit of an issue. My living room is not huge either and I don't really intent to crank my music up all the way to 11 that regularly.
When I first started this adventure, I was really only meant to get an AVR and floorstanders to begin with but obviously had to have a complex discussion with myself before hitting the trigger. It went more or less like this:
- PaulV, seriously, why don't you put a bit more cash in that bag and get a proper HT set. Or is it that you're scared?
- Listen PaulV, firstly, you don't talk to me like that; it's not like we grew up together or something so I demand some respect! Secondly, apart from rats, heights, my wife, the darkness of the sea when you're swimming and don't see your feet, llamas and losing my phone I'm not scared of anything!
- Oh yeah? Prove it.
- Ha! You'll see.
And that's how I ended up setting up a budget of about £1,000 ($1,500) to enjoy Vikings, Real Madrid games, Grand Theft Auto 5 or the White Album in their relatively full splendour. I guess I also had a silly point to prove to myself too, right?
As you can see below, I ended up spending "a bit more" than what I had originally budgeted so going with 62s for all my front speakers would have put me in some trouble. It took me several weeks already to find and negotiate the right deals for the set I had selected, and I must admit that I did pretty well considering that in the UK all that stuff is way more expensive than in the US (lucky you!). Check out that RRP vs what I ultimately paid for each of those items and let me know if something seems out of place though.
I could have waited a couple more months and saved enough to stretch to the 62s and maybe even get that second sub (third?). However, I was also thinking that since my place is not particularly huge and I don't intend to play my media at the loudest levels very often I didn't feel I'd need an even bigger upgrade. More power might always be better, granted, but all things considered I suppose I just wanted to start somewhere relatively soon. You'll see below a rough outline of how my living room is set up, which should hopefully give you a an idea.
GROUND FLOOR LAYOUT.bmp
The main issue with my living room is that it's an open plan with a third of the space under a tall glass roof ceiling, while the remaining two thirds have a low ceiling (2.2m <> 7.2 feet). As a result, I'm not sure the acoustics would be great for the higher models in the Reference series unless I start putting acoustic panels all over the place. Those things tend to be expensive and I suck at DIY, but since I don't need to fill a huge room full of sound I thought I'd keep it all relatively sensible.
I might still need to look into some kind of acoustic solution but will need to research on that a bit more. Incidentally, our company owns a few audio recording studios in Europe and the US so I can get a lot of advise from our guys directly, but to be honest we only use high-end acoustic treatment solutions which are way over any kind of sensible budget and probably a bit of an overkill for me anyway. I thought about getting a nice Persian rug in the living room to reduce reverberation (floor is all hardwood at the moment) but guess what: these are freaking expensive too!
Happy to know your thoughts on this in any case as I may just be overthinking this.
Regarding the back speakers, after hesitating a long while between surrounds of bookshelves I eventually settled for bookshelves to have the flexibility to recycle them for another purpose at a later stage. Setting them up in my (small) home office or using them in a 7.2 system would be a good example of the type of flexibility I'd initially be looking for, but this is definitely a "further down the line" scenario. Since I'd be using those bookshelves initially in in a 5.1 configuration I wanted something with a bit more power/versatility than actual surrounds, but I'm also aware that the speakers sitting at the back in a surround system are not necessarily the most important ones... hence the 41s. No-one here seemed to suggest I should do otherwise in my case so I guess I got that right.
Actually, is it just me and my noobility or do the RB-41s not take banana plugs?
I also wanted to pick your brains regarding a small set back for the speaker stands I got for the 41s.
In brief, I ordered a pair of Atacama Moseco 7, which are 715mm (28.1”) high excluding spikes, to ensure the speakers are roughly at ear level when sitting in couch. For reference, our ears' would be somewhere between 31" and 35" from the ground in most cases when watching TV/movies, playing games or listening to music while reading/surfing the web...
Problem is that the retailer doesn't actually have the Moseco 7s in stock and will need 10 days to get them to me! He did offer to send me the Moseco 6s instead, which he does have in stock right now. They are cheaper but also smaller: 615mm (24.2”) without the spikes.
Do you think I should just go ahead with the 6s or is it better to either wait for the 7s from this retailer or get them somewhere else for an extra fiver (£5)?
Lastly, I wanted to get your opinion on the AV receiver I have selected. I guess most people in this forum tend to prefer Onkyos, Marrantzs, Yamahas, Pioneers or Denons and that apart from the ES series Sony gets little love. I don't intend to argue that this or that brand is better as I'm quite brand-agnostic and have no experience with Hi-Fi or HT hardware/components. I'll therefore simply list what I'm looking for and see if you have any other recommendations that would fit my requirements:
Under £400 ($600). Reminder: I'm in the UK!
7.2 and no less
Must have Spotify Connect, AirPlay, TuneIn radio
Minimum 6 HDMI 2.0 inputs
4K upscaling and 3D/4K passthrough
Good user interface
Good audio calibration
Good musical performance
The STR-DN1050 seems to tick all those boxes and since I can get it for about £300 ($450) I think it represents the best value in the universe. What does your universe have to say about that?
All clear on the (future) surround speakers too... We'll see if I don't end up replacing food with audio gear by the time we get there. I'll soon be moving on to the Premiere suite anyway, right??
A big thanks to IbizaFlame, Scrappydue, wvu80, derrickdj1, K5SS, mattSER, Steven1963, eth2, dtel and BigStewMan for the warm welcome, advice and contributions!
Acoustics solutions for my living room. Is it an absolute must or will I be OK as is?
No banana plugs on the RB-41 IIs or am I just stoopid?
RB-41 II stands: do I wait get the taller ones or will I be OK with the smaller version?
Any specific recommendations for the AVR?
Thank you all for the warm welcome and the advice. You guys rock!