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Old 12-07-2017, 10:56 AM
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Default Timbre Matching 101 for an amateur

For many reasons (mostly financial), I've been slow-rolling finishing the HT in my new home. I feel like 2018 is the time to stand this up and I am finding I have more questions than I know how to handle. I am also finding that the answer to most AV system challenges is simply "throw money at it"... and if that was really an option on the table for me, I would be well on my way to helping MasterLu christen his new yacht.

Unfortunately, I have limited finances and must make quite a few compromises in component selection... at least for now. Given I can't do the "dream system" day one, I'd like to budget and plan upgrades over time via swap-outs. Not ideal, but it's that or shelf this project a couple more years.

I'm sure this can be argued as completely subjective and there are probably a wide variance of opinions, but I'd like to hear YOUR thoughts on the importance of timber matching in the context of home cinema. Will I listen to music in the room? Yes. Is that the primary function of the room? No.

I would like to use in-wall and in-ceiling surrounds and it would be nice to select something that I can install and not really focus on having to upgrade if I upgrade the front mains/center in a couple years. A good friend suggested that the most important thing (on this subject) was that the "big three" in the front match (same brand and preferably same line) and the surrounds matching were less important. I like this approach because it fits more easily into my budget/timeline. For me, today, that is SF Venere 3.0's. I'm not opposed to selling and buying something new, but this sets back my budget for other holes in the build. I was looking at purchasing Bowers and Wilkins in-wall and in-ceiling speakers for side, rear, and up top. AFAIK, SF only makes surface mount surround speakers... which I'd like to avoid (just a personal aesthetic preference). Any thoughts on how that combination might jive together?

Just fishing for thoughts and opinions. Working through how to approach this without spend spiraling out of control is proving to be challenging.

Thanks!
Clayton
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:07 PM
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Hi Clayton,
Getting the timbre to be the same is really important for L, C, R. Not so much for the surrounds, although you should try to get close. So if you don't yet have a center channel speaker already, getting one to match the Venere 3.0's would be the first order of business. I would listen to the Venere and Olympica center channel speakers to see which one comes closest to matching your mains.

For the surrounds, you should consider speakers that have silk dome tweeters and polypropylene (or composite) mid-range drivers that are sized similar to the mid-range drivers in your Venere 3.0.

You can tell immediately if you are matched using broadband white noise or pink noise as a source.

Tom
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Three MC2301's for L,C,R
MC 602 for the rears
C 1100, MX 151, MCD 1100, MR 80
Nottingham Dais with Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation
SurfacePro 3, JRiver, WW Starlight Platinum USB, Schiit Yggdrasil, Benchmark DAC3 HGC

MX 151, OppO BDP-95, JVC RS-500 DILA projector, 106" diagonal Stewart Luxus Screenwall Deluxe with Studiotek 130 G3 material.

Lake House:
Ohm F, MC 275V, C2300, MR 77, Rega P3

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Old 12-07-2017, 08:00 PM
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Tom,

Thanks for the response and good advice. I was probably just going to pick up the matching Venere center for now. Briweed suggested I move the L, C, R up to Olympica now (nice upgrade plus significantly better center positioning with the stand), but it's just not in my budget at the moment. I found another post (and have since lost it) that suggested the Bowers and Wilkins in-walls were sampled with SF mains (higher end models than Venere, but still) and the timbre match was "acceptable".

I was considering these for the side and rear surround and these for the ceiling. I'm certainly wide open for suggestions. I am trying to stay in the $500-ish range per unit as a ballpark. I can plan accordingly if there needs to be a little upward wiggle... just may take a little more time.

/clayton

ps. the space limiting factor is width, not heigh for side surround... so I could go with taller units, but need to stay under the 8" driver or so range in width. The columns are 17.5" wide and framed with double 2x4's on either side, so that only gives me about a foot of width for a side surround insert.
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Last edited by KapHn8d; 12-07-2017 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:16 AM
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I think your choices for the ceiling and surround speakers are really good - should match reasonably well with the Venere 3.0 mains.

The Olympica 3's are really excellent, so if you like the SF sound they will be a good upgrade when the time comes. I have set up a few pair for friends and they can really sing.

If you can, see if the Olympica center matches your mains - if it does, I would go with it because it is a better design than the one that SF is marketing with the Venere series.

Happy hunting!

Tom
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Main System:
Amati Futura Mains
Amati Homage VOX Center,
Proac Response 1sc Rears,
Three MC2301's for L,C,R
MC 602 for the rears
C 1100, MX 151, MCD 1100, MR 80
Nottingham Dais with Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation
SurfacePro 3, JRiver, WW Starlight Platinum USB, Schiit Yggdrasil, Benchmark DAC3 HGC

MX 151, OppO BDP-95, JVC RS-500 DILA projector, 106" diagonal Stewart Luxus Screenwall Deluxe with Studiotek 130 G3 material.

Lake House:
Ohm F, MC 275V, C2300, MR 77, Rega P3

OnDeck:
McIntosh MAC 4300v
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  #5  
Old 12-22-2017, 02:25 AM
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Just a quick update here...

I am sticking with my SF Venere 3.0's and matching Venere center for the front mains. I purchased 6x B&W CWM7.3's for the side and rear surrounds and 4x B&W CCM7.3's for the ceiling/height surrounds. I also purchased 2x JLA Fathom f112v2's for the subs.

The figure I'll want to upgrade the Veneres at some point, but the surrounds and subs were purchased with the intent to stay a while. I'm really looking forward to hearing this room once everything is stood up and dialed in.

/c
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Old 12-22-2017, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
Hi Clayton,
Getting the timbre to be the same is really important for L, C, R. Not so much for the surrounds, although you should try to get close.


+1

Ideally the center channel speaker should be the same model as the L & R channel speakers. Unfortunately it’s usually not practical.
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Old 12-22-2017, 07:51 AM
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Clayton - congrats, you've made some fine choices, I'm sure the end result will sound terrific!
__________________
Main System:
Amati Futura Mains
Amati Homage VOX Center,
Proac Response 1sc Rears,
Three MC2301's for L,C,R
MC 602 for the rears
C 1100, MX 151, MCD 1100, MR 80
Nottingham Dais with Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation
SurfacePro 3, JRiver, WW Starlight Platinum USB, Schiit Yggdrasil, Benchmark DAC3 HGC

MX 151, OppO BDP-95, JVC RS-500 DILA projector, 106" diagonal Stewart Luxus Screenwall Deluxe with Studiotek 130 G3 material.

Lake House:
Ohm F, MC 275V, C2300, MR 77, Rega P3

OnDeck:
McIntosh MAC 4300v
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2018, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
Clayton - congrats, you've made some fine choices, I'm sure the end result will sound terrific!
Brown-truck Santa made a nice delivery this afternoon...

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Old 01-02-2018, 10:56 PM
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Impressive!
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