file L+R+C SuperSat 60s vs L+R+C Invisa in-wall vs (One) SuperCinema 3D Array XL

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DelsFan Posted 4 months 2 weeks ago
Last edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by DelsFan. info_outline
#27670
I am trying to install a "stealth" home theater listening system to go with my 65" OLED television, in a Family Room not at all conducive to audiophile listening. BUT, I at least want a system that sounds "great" for musicals and the rare television television show with well-recorded scores (some of the Netflix shows from Australia and Iceland have great sound).
The room is 20 feet wide and the television wall-mounted, slightly left of the center of the room. To the right is a 6' wide cased opening. To the left is a fireplace at a 45 degree angle (and then another 6' wide cased opening). There is (only) 12" on each side of the television to mount speakers - which is plenty of room for wall-mounted speakers but only gives 6 feet between the L+R speakers. And my viewing distance is 10' or 11', no equilateral triangle here...

My current plan (which could change) is to use the least expensive (so, still expensive!) Anthem A/V receiver with their quite good ARC room correction (which will not work well, or at all, with the SuperCinema 3D Array XL soundbar).

The advantage of using the SuperCinema 3D XL passive soundbar is, with the "Array" technology the soundstage will be made wider (artificially, but from what I read, without a degradation of sound quality) than the mere 4' between the two L and R ribbon tweeters.
The disadvantage is, I cannot use Room Correction with the passive soundbar, and Room Correction would be really handy with my odd/poorly-shaped-for-audiophile-sound room layout.

The advantage of the SuperSat 60 speakers is, the sound quality might be marginally better with three separate speakers, and with them the ARC room correction should work well. The disadvantage is, the soundstage wouldn't be as wide.

So, between these two, wide soundstage without room correction vs narrower soundstage with room correction.

As for the Invisa in-wall speakers, these cost a fair bit more and I assume wouldn't provide a wide soundstage either, but would accept room correction (presumably) well. Are these more expensive because they are a lot better than the SuperSat 60s, or is it because it just costs more to build an in-wall speaker.
The Invisa speakers use the same 5-1/4" mid-range speakers as the Tritons, and the same Ribbon Tweeters as the Reference speakers. No mention is made as to whether or not the 4-1/2" mid-range speakers and the Ribbon Tweeters in the SuperSat 60s are similar to or the same as those found in the Tritons and Reference speakers.

I am looking for a REALLY transparent L+R+C speaker system (with one or two subs) that disappears when watching movies or television shows with superior quality sound. But because of my room layout I must use in-wall or wall-mounted speakers (goodbye Magnapans!).

Is there a big leap in sound quality with the Invisas over the SuperSat 60s?
OR
With superior amplification, will I be just as happy with the SuperCinema passive soundbar (but without room correction)? With good musicals, will the sound quality of the passive sound bar be almost as good as with the (double the price) Invisas, but with a wider soundstage?

I've subscribed to The Absolute Sound since the late 70s, when issues came out quarterly (or whenever HP rounded up the funds to pay the printer!). You guys seem to make superior speakers, and I'm quite interested in having a great, transparent sound system.
Otherwise I'd buy Martin-Logan's all-in-one active soundbar and call it a day! While a reputable manufacturer, and I'd assume their active soundbar is one of the best in that category, it seems a really good passive soundbar would be at least 50 times better than an active soundbar which by definition must also include a (cheap) DAC, (cheap) surround processor, and (cheap) Class-D amplifiers.

Your advice will be much appreciated!


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Moderator Posted 4 months 2 weeks ago
#27683
It sounds like you want to lean toward the SS60 or Invisa SPS. The SPS does sound better than the SS60 and if you can (and want) to mount in-wall speakers they're a great choice. Your ARC system will work well with them, too. The drivers and tweeter in the SPS are of the newer Reference level design. While each driver is different than what's in the Triton One.R or Triton Reference they do share technologies and performance features. And compared to the T1.R, the SPS drivers are a similar size but they're specifially designed for the SPS and its needs. The SPS also has a Reference level tweeter.

With the 3D Arrays, it is not correct to say the technology offering wider soundstage is artificial. Here is an overly simple description of the problem and a solution: When speakers are too close together your left and right ears hear sound from both channels and the soundstage sounds smaller. This is because the arrival times to the opposite ears are very close together. When speakers are placed further apart it's usually not a problem. The 3D Arrays simply cancel that crosstalk (left channel heard in right ear and right channel heard in left) by providing an out-of-phase crosstalk signal so you're left with L & R only with no crosstalk. What that means is if something is mixed way off to the side, the 3D Arrays reproduce that position quite faithfully. If the recording is mono, you'll hear it that way. This is done purely acoustically with nothing artificial. Read more here: www.goldenear.com/products/supercinema3d
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DelsFan Posted 4 months 1 week ago
Last edit: 4 months 1 week ago by DelsFan. info_outline
#27731
Thank you very much for your detailed response. And thank you for reminding me the "method" used with the SuperCinema Passive Soundbars to create a wider soundstage is done acoustically (so, without degrading the sound quality) and not by running the sound through some "artificial" processor.

In the short term, it turns out it will be really good for me to start with the SuperCinema 3D Array XL. The "one-box" soundbar solves a lot of my problems (space wise, and with the WAF, and truthfully, time-for-installation wise), and I know your passive soundbar (paired with an Arcam or Anthem A/V receiver) will sound fifty times better than any active soundbar at any price.

The question:
I've heard the improvement ARC can make with rooms ill-suited for music, or movie sound - and my present Family Room certainly falls into that category. And note, both Arcam and Anthem use the Dirac form of Room Correction.
Is it at all sensible to try the room correction feature with the SuperCinema 3D Array soundbar, BUT, when doing the calibration cover up the two outside L and R speakers? Is this an idea that would allow the Room Correction software to work (more or somewhat or completely) correctly, or maybe one would just have to try it and see? OR, maybe it is just the dumbest idea ever? I'm sold on your soundbar and I'm sold on Room Correction for my awful room - so I'll be glad to hear your thoughts!

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smihlon@hotmail.com Posted 1 week 3 days ago
#28505
Some folks run room correction with the 3d array and just use the L/R bypass mode that removes frequency correction on the l/R channels, but keeps relative volume leveling between subs, center and sides the same. I’m speaking from an audyssey perspective - not sure if ARC has that option. Frequency correction occurs on center an sub still, so you get half the effect.

I run the 3D array xl in a similarly and can confirm its soundstage is awesomely wide.

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DelsFan Posted 1 week 2 days ago
Last edit: 1 week 2 days ago by DelsFan. info_outline
#28508
Thanks very much for your reply. In the near future I'm going to get started on this project. My thinking has graduated to what REL calls a "3D" arrangement (not that "3D is overused or anything). Part of REL's recommendation for a "best" system is to utilize one sub as a dedicated center-channel sub - which includes hooking it up to the high level speaker terminals but not the LFE output on my A/V receiver (there is no need to "confuse" a sub helping with dialogue with a bunch of (sometimes) booming LFE channel information). As such, this sub doesn't need to be very large then, either.

One thing I'll try is covering the two "array" speakers (one L and one R) and then running the ARC room correction software - MAYBE this is a dumb idea but maybe doing this will allow the room correction software to work just fine, since conventional thought says the confusion of the room-correction software is caused by the (otherwise genius) array speakers.

If I can just get the room correction to provide a major improvement rather than a perfect correction, I'll be happy - the room is not what anyone would build with home theater in mind. In addition, and I don't know if I'm up to it, REL suggests the prudent listener should be able to do their own room correction without utilizing software. And do a better job. I don't know - but maybe ARC can get it close and I can uncover the array speakers and do some final tweaking.

We'll see; I'll report back if I get some real good (or poor) results.

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