dctrombly's Living Room/HT Project - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 05-05-2012, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Reserved for finished product.
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post #2 of 31 Old 05-05-2012, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
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UPDATE
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9.2 (the original plan) didn't work out. It will be a 5.2 setup. Not overwhelmed with the results. I'm going to put the money I spent on speakers on a separate amp and processor and probably acoustic treatment in the not too distant future. Pretty pleased with this decision.

The revelation is at post 13 on 5/19/12 so just pretend everything before that didn't happen.

Here's the final list of gear...

TV............ Samsung PN59D6500
Power....... Panamax M5300-PM
Amp......... Emotiva UPA-500
Processor.. Emotiva UMC-1
Sub1......... Triad Silver DSP Sub
Sub2......... Emotiva Ultra 12
L, C, R....... Triad OnWall Bronze LCR
LS, RS....... Bowers & Wilkins M1 (will replace with Triad dipoles eventually)
Cables....... Blue Jeans Cable
Sources..... PS3 & Apple TV

Everything below was the original post.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Already off to a bad start. Remaking this thread in the correct sub-forum. :P

THIS IS A <~$5,000 SYSTEM!... just so everyone knows what to be expecting here. I'm a sophomore in college working at a grocery store so this is a HUGE upgrade for me.

So I've seen some people start threads to show progression of their $50,000 dedicated theater rooms and I wanted to feel a bit prestigious so I'm going to show the progress of my humble living room/HT setup.

Feel free to leave ANY kind of criticism or advice along the way!

This'll be a 9.2 setup using front wides, front heights, and side surrounds. The setup is completely made of second-hand Triad speakers so this may be a very drawn out thread if I can't find what I'm looking for.

The living room is about 18' x 12'. TV goes on the center of the wide wall. Living room is open to dining room and kitchen. Standard 8' ceilings.

Old setup was a 5.1 system with:
-(5) Bowers & Wilkins
-(1) Emotiva Ultra 12 Subwoofer
-Onkyo TX-NR508
-59" Plasma on low-profile immobile mount

New setup will be (eventually!), * denotes I have it ordered/in my possession:
*-59" plasma on articulating mount
*-Onkyo TX-NR3008
*-(2) Triad OnWall Bronze LCR, left & right
-(1) Triad InRoom Bronze or Silver LCR, center
*-(2) Triad InRoom Mini Satellite, front heights
*-(2) Triad InRoom Bronze Satellite, front wides
-(2) Triad OnWall Bronze Surround, side/rear surrounds
*-(1) Triad InRoom Silver Sub
(*?)-Current sub or new sub?

Until I get all the speakers, we're running with M1s as surrounds and as a center channel. Center channel is definitely the priority right now!

I thought to do this in the middle of mudding the old holes so that's where I'll start uploading pictures.

Here we go! I assure you the mess will clear up as we go along.
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post #3 of 31 Old 05-05-2012, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
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How do I post images to appear within the posts, rather than as attachments? I'd like to caption each picture.
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post #4 of 31 Old 05-06-2012, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Just discovered the iPhone app. May be going back to iPhone pics after all. Broke a drill bit and a knife already. Not bad.

I may be posting to myself all night. I wanna get this done!
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post #5 of 31 Old 05-06-2012, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
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So I accidentally just happened to plan all the front speakers right next to studs, which made fishing the wire a breeze. Already done thanks to my helper!

Organization isn't my strong suit. Hopefully I can change my habits.

Time to mud the pumpkin patches and sand what's dry.
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post #6 of 31 Old 05-06-2012, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Sanded. Corner holes are... Mmm... Terrible. Bought a drywall sheet to patch them properly.
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post #7 of 31 Old 05-07-2012, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I originally wanted to finish the red wall and do front wides later due to my lack of patience to see a finished product. Now wiring and patching front wides before I get out the paint.

Drew a semi rough sketch mostly to scale, mostly because I was curious how my angles match up to audyssey standards. Fronts soundstage is a bit narrow but I think well within an at least somewhat ideal range.

Couch is not to scale. Much too large on paper.

I'd answer any questions if only anyone was interested.
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post #8 of 31 Old 05-08-2012, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Final sand done. Ready for paint.

Attachment 245886

Attachment 245887

Enjoying the clean up.
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post #9 of 31 Old 05-08-2012, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Very happy with the finished wall. I've finally honed my painting and sanding skills after doing the entire house with dissatisfaction.

We'll see if I need a second coat when it's dry. Front wall speakers definitely going up tomorrow!... despite me not having a receiver (yet) to use then with.
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post #10 of 31 Old 05-09-2012, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Receiver surprisingly arrived! This thing is absolutely massive. Wondering of my Ikea stand will even hold the 50 lb behemoth.
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post #11 of 31 Old 05-11-2012, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Ha some complications with installation.

Missing the mounting hardware for the left speaker.

Silver sub came.

Putting up the heights right now.

Attachment 246334



Attachment 246335



Attachment 246336



Attachment 246337

Very happy with the separation I ended up getting as far as far as vertical distance.
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post #12 of 31 Old 05-14-2012, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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So the 3008 shuts off near -15 db. Very unhappy and frustrated with the whole process so far. Starting to feel some remorse with the whole urge to upgrade.

I must say that the 2 subs balance the bass in the room very well though.

Attachment 246577

Most speakers are up.
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post #13 of 31 Old 05-19-2012, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
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So this is where my story takes an unexpected twist.

I'm not overwhelmingly pleased with the results I've gotten with the effort it took to add the 4 speakers. The difference was definitely there, but too subtle. The heights weren't nearly as noticeable as the wides, and even those were noticeable only on wide on-screen pans.

I will be going back to a 5.x system. I want to simplify my system with more impactful upgrades, rather than just adding speakers everywhere.

The upgraded mains make a huge difference. The best upgrade was the second sub though. Bass is seemingly stronger, and much, much more even throughout the main listening area and into the open adjacent kitchen.

I guess I'll keep updating the thread though. Perhaps I'll try out the traditional 7.x system with rear surrounds?

CONCLUSION: I can see why 5.x is the stopping point for most people. It has the most impact without more speaker than you really need in surround sound setups. After this debacle, I'm now a 5.2 fanatic. Can't stress enough how awesome the second sub really was, and how unnecessary anything beyond 5.x really is.
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post #14 of 31 Old 05-25-2012, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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What are the advantages of using wall plates for cables? I have no experience with professional installation. I want this to be a mostly clean install. All the speaker wires are coming up through an existing hole in the floor behind/under the shelf at the moment.
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post #15 of 31 Old 05-25-2012, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dctrombly View Post

What are the advantages of using wall plates for cables? I have no experience with professional installation. I want this to be a mostly clean install. All the speaker wires are coming up through an existing hole in the floor behind/under the shelf at the moment.

You nailed it; for aesthetic purposes. Also, if you for some reason plan on moving things around a lot, it's less wear on the "main" runs to the devices, and you'd just have to replace a short jumper if something broke/wore down.

Did you resolve the issue of the Onkyo shutting off? Wonder if for some reason your impedance was too low from the speakers? Nicked/cut speaker wire?

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post #16 of 31 Old 05-26-2012, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
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You nailed it; for aesthetic purposes. Also, if you for some reason plan on moving things around a lot, it's less wear on the "main" runs to the devices, and you'd just have to replace a short jumper if something broke/wore down.

Did you resolve the issue of the Onkyo shutting off? Wonder if for some reason your impedance was too low from the speakers? Nicked/cut speaker wire?

Where can I get a wide variety of wall plates besides monoprice? I don't like the labels on those plates but I may just settle. I'm just looking to make this look good the first time around. I'm also thinking of running PVC in the wall down to the crawl. Any inspiration would be helpful.

It was power issues with the Onkyo. I could run 5 channels at high levels but once the plugs for the wides touched the terminals it shut off. Between that and the lackluster results it wasn't worth keeping.

I'm using an Emotiva UPA-500 amp and UMC-1 processor now and getting excellent sound. I'm thinking I can take the money I would've spent on speakers and get some acoustic treatment. I'm much happier with the prospect of having an outstanding 5.2 system rather than just an acceptable 9.2 setup.
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post #17 of 31 Old 05-26-2012, 03:10 AM
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Your room is looking nice. Too bad about the height and width speakers. I was curious to see the final.

Kaboom.
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post #18 of 31 Old 05-27-2012, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wingnut4772 View Post

Your room is looking nice. Too bad about the height and width speakers. I was curious to see the final.

I think I can safely say I'll get better results with acoustic treatment and the component upgrades.

Besides the only subtle differences, the room felt cluttered, which is a problem since it's an all purpose room.
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post #19 of 31 Old 05-28-2012, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dctrombly View Post


I think I can safely say I'll get better results with acoustic treatment and the component upgrades.

Besides the only subtle differences, the room felt cluttered, which is a problem since it's an all purpose room.

Yes. Mine is a multipurpose room also so I understand.

Kaboom.
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post #20 of 31 Old 05-28-2012, 12:51 PM
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Reserved for finished product.

Ugh... I just started a new thread on my living room upgrade. I should have posted one of these first comments for the finished product, too! Ah, next upgrade I guess...
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post #21 of 31 Old 05-28-2012, 12:55 PM
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Did you look into using multichannel soundbars? Like Polk's? If your room is cluttered, then a soundbar might clean it up.
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post #22 of 31 Old 05-29-2012, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vivatech View Post

Did you look into using multichannel soundbars? Like Polk's? If your room is cluttered, then a soundbar might clean it up.

I meant it was cluttered with the 9 speakers. The 3 main fronts are OnWalls so it'll be a clean setup. The extra 4 were bookshelves on mount brackets so they stuck out a substantial amount.
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post #23 of 31 Old 05-29-2012, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Spackle and sand: take 2.

I never wanna touch this wall again so I figured I'd touch up even the most minor imperfections. Going with flat enamel rather than eggshell, and shorter roller cover to give it a less shiny and smoother look.

FYI, Behr paints tend to have a greater sheen so their eggshell is shinier than a traditional eggshell finish.

Attachment 247940
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post #24 of 31 Old 05-30-2012, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
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It's too late to do anything about it, but I figured I'd ask.

The left and right speakers are Triad OnWalls. I actually moved them out further to get an exact 30 degree angle from the main listening position to each speaker. Since they're flat to the wall they face straight out slightly to the sides of the seating. Should I have narrowed the front soundstage since I can't toe them in?
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post #25 of 31 Old 06-01-2012, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Wall is painted again. Nothing too new to see there. I can put the speakers up tonight but not the tv and mount. No one will be home to assist before I have to go to work.

I ended up getting a third OnWall LCR as a center channel. It angles slightly upward when sitting on its side so it should face directly at listeners' ears!
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post #26 of 31 Old 06-01-2012, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Tomorrow is a clean up setup day. Still need to pair the rest of the kitchen/dining room a lighter green but everything on the red wall can be cleaned up and setup.

Attachment 248238

The speaker brackets to be installed flush with the wall. Hole in the middle is for the banana plugs to be recessed inside.

Attachment 248239
Attachment 248240

For once I was unhappy with monoprice cables. The coax plugs made very unsecure connections. Ordered some hdmi, coax, and subwoofer cables from blue jeans cable to upgrade everything; very happy with the cables. They look fantastic and feel durable and secure. Subwoofer cables arrived today. Coax and hdmi will be here tomorrow.

Attachment 248241
Attachment 248242

Left and right OnWall LCRs. MLP is 10 feet from the wall. Speakers are about 9' 8" apart.

Can't wait to get this straightened up and do some research on how to EQ it all.
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post #27 of 31 Old 06-02-2012, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Pictures make the speakers look much farther apart then they are. It's not that big of a room anyway (red wall is 17' 8"). TV helps put it in perspective some more, but even the TV looks small not in person.
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post #28 of 31 Old 06-02-2012, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Loving the polished look! Gonna hook up everything and the subs later.
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post #29 of 31 Old 06-02-2012, 12:27 PM
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Loving the polished look! Gonna hook up everything and the subs later.

Me likee.

Kaboom.
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post #30 of 31 Old 06-10-2012, 03:58 PM
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Looks clean! Where did you get the media cabinet?
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