I committed a mortal sin; I bought a Soundbar. And I REALLY like it........

Discussion in 'Home Theater and Stereo' started by Zak, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. Zak

    Zak Well-Known Member

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    We have been renovating the basement, finally finishing it. Moving the shop out, and making more room for activities. We are putting in a small gym (my wife works out every day down there now) a game room (ping pong now and getting air hockey & a dart board) and a large space is being setup for a TV & huge couch. The wall we are putting the TV on is on the smaller side as an interior wall between 2 closely spaced columns. With the size of the wall we could fit a 75 or 82" TV but opted for the 75. But with these two we would barely have any room on the sides of the TV for on wall/inwall speakers and towers were rulled out by the architectural commitee (IE my architect wife).

    So off to a few higher end audio stores. Local hi fi shop kept trying to sell us towers and didn't really want to listen to what we really wanted. Ok, that's cool.
    Next stop was the dreaded Best Buy. At least this one had the Magnolia store inside. Thought maybe some good Martin Logan on walls, or KEF's etc. Talked with the sales rep (they are on commission in that part of the store and some really know that stuff). After a lot of auditioning I hate to say it but chose a soundbar. the small KEF's sounded AMAZING but was going to be insanely expensive. I was planning on buying another Marantz from Accessoriesforless.com but after adding up the cost it was a bit high. Then the sales rep talked us into listening to some sound bars. And the best one in our opinion was the Samsung.

    Picked up a 75" Q80 tv & Q80 5.1.2 soundbar. They had a massive sale on the TV & soundbar. Picked them both up for about $1300 less than the current price. Took a few weeks to come in, and we chose to have them shipped to a store in Delaware to save almost $200 on taxes.
    They came in last night. Basement is not ready for the TV/Sound bar yet, so I hooked up the soundbar to my Sony 75" in the living room via HDMI arc. Without any setup, literally just plug and play the thing sounds incredible. Not quite full surround sound, but the atomos speakers in this thing are amazing. The depth of sound & insane detail was eye opening. We watched/listened to a bunch of movies we have seen before/heard to test the setup. Kept switching between the Marantz/Totem combo and soundbar. Everyone, and it took me a bit to admit, that the soundbar sounds better. Well better for movies/tv. Music I like the marantz/totem setup. Very very warm sound. Though I think I need a seperate amp for the center channel as that thing is a beast and needs a shit load of power.

    Thor Ragnarock opening scene, heard details I had not in the past. I've watched that movie at least 10 times and sounded soooo good. Little wireless sub could use a little more balls. (Maybe disect that thing some day and get it to work with one of my monster DIY subs) but damn the details are ear opening.

    We then switched to The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, some Rogue One. Every movie we all felt the soundbar sounded better. Thing gets so loud that you can clearly hear it throughout the house and even outside the house. (one daughter was coming home late and heard it in the driveway). I like it so much, I might buy another soundbar and keep it in the living room for movies/TV and just use the marantz for music and second zone.

    This weekend hoping to build the accent wall the TV in the basement will be mounted to and test mount the TV/Sound bar and see how it looks/sounds down there.
     
  2. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Well-Known Member

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    Glad you like it. We may need to talk about your existing setup...
     
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  3. pillatier

    pillatier Well-Known Member

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    Tsk, tsk, Zak you must do serious penance and seek forgiveness How? Must drink a six pack while binging on movies with the Soundbar. :grin:

    I read good reviews of the soundbar I think on RTings.
     
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  4. Zak

    Zak Well-Known Member

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    drink a six pack? Sounds like a normal Friday/Saturday/Sunday. :) Or my favorite vodka with diet lemonade & a spash of diet OJ. Mmmmmmmm

    The right side surround is a little weak as that side of the room is open to the kitchen so not much for that sound to bounce off of, but you still get adecent envelope feeling. Matrix bank scene was pretty amazing. Had it cranked to 11 on that scene.
     
  5. Zak

    Zak Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah???? What would you like to know/discuss?????
     
  6. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Well-Known Member

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    Same things you would have been thinking along the lines of “how is my sweet dedicated speaker setup getting smoked by this soundbar”. Making us audiophiles look bad up in here. You need to get in line to maintain appearances for us all.
     
  7. Zak

    Zak Well-Known Member

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    I figured it sounded good in the store as they had the display tweaked. Shocked how it sounded. The sub is also between the living room and kitchen. it was the easiest outlet I could find so just plugged it in over there. Oh and the off axis sound is soooo good. damn these computer programmers and their fancy sound reproduction.

    But don't worry, outside of this forum I'll keep bashing sound bars.

    I am going to Quebec City in 2 weeks and hoping to find an audio shop up there that sells Totem. Might be able to pick up a new center channel for cheap with the canadian dollar being a bit low vs us. Yeah that will make my living room system better than this pathetic magical bar of sound.
     
  8. pillatier

    pillatier Well-Known Member

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    My apologies for underestimating your alcohol abilities. :grin:. I have to give your vodka mix a try. I do like citrus vodka with diet tonic or lemon-lime soda.

    Try turning up the right side volume a little it may help. I have a similar situation on the left in my stereo speaker set up. The Audessy compensates for it by turning up the volume, along with slight changes in certain frequencies.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
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  9. Zak

    Zak Well-Known Member

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    Last night I ran out of OJ, and poured a little Mango Smoothie the kids like to have with breakfast. Damn that was a tasty beverage. Big 30oz yeti, healthy pour of 360 Vodka, diet strawberry/watermelon juice (walmart Crystal Light knockoff), little mango smoothie and ice. Soooooo good. Sat in the hot tub sipping it for an hour or so.

    The soundbar I didn't want to play around with it to much as it will be going in the basement in a week or so hopefully. Electrician is coming next week as I finished the framing this past week. Then the fun part of hanging drywall. I might pay someone as I HATE spackeling, well and I suck at it. Going with a semi industrial look in the basement. Should be pretty slick.

    here is the wall the TV is getting mounted on. It's hard to see but it will be mounted on the full height wall between the MDF column surrounds I build. The lower part of the wall will be a mini bar with a few bar stools as it looks into the game room. IMG-5767.jpg IMG-5768.jpg
     
  10. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    I'm using a Visio 36" 2.1 soundbar under the 43 inch monitor in my office. Works well, sounds good and looks good. It doesn't sound as good as the those DIY Tangbands in the PVC pipes on the tube amp but it's a lot cleaner and takes up less space and a shit load less wires. And it's just a $150 cheapie, so I can imagine what a good one could do.
     
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  11. Barry_NJ

    Barry_NJ Well-Known Member

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  12. Jack Keck

    Jack Keck Active Member

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    AFIC, nobody needs to apologize for using sound bars. I love mine.
     
  13. Mikael Soderholm

    Mikael Soderholm Active Member Donor

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    Whatever floats your boat, man, glad you like it.
    While I would never buy one myself, I also would never critizise anyone who does, I expect everyone buys what fits their needs.
    I could argue pros and cons, if asked, but not otherwise. There are always many considerations when you make you music/movie setup.
     
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  14. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    Forget audio stores...QC is my favorite city in Canada....such amazing food, beer and scenery inside the old city walls. Make sure you visit the medieval store...as a movie buff it's pretty cool and I never expected to travel home with an Excalibur broad sword.
     
  15. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    Quebec City is great.
    Totem speakers are great.
    I love my sound bar.

    You are doing well.
     
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  16. Max Yokell

    Max Yokell Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    I have a Samsung sound plus bar in my bedroom that doesn’t have a sub and works great. They offer a wireless sub and surrounds for it but has a bedroom duty deal it is fine without them.

    love it.
     
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