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post #1 of 10 Old 08-17-2017, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Finishing Basement - Media/Family Room - 7.1.2 side and rear speaker placement/wiring

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I'm finishing my basement and working on the insulation, drywall will be going up in a few weeks. I am about to run 12ga wire for all of the speakers and need help on placement. The area is one big room that will be open, with probably a bar-height table, foosball, arcade cabinet, darts, etc behind the theatre area. The theate area only takes up about 1/3 of the length of the room. I positioned it this way so that everyone in the back of the room could still see the screen if we are just hanging out. The entire room is 17' wide by 46' long, with the theatre area being about 17-18' of the length. There is a wet bar/beverage counter that starts around 12'9" from the side of the room where the projector screen will be that interferes with how far back I can place the side speaker. The ceilings are 9' high.

I have pre-wired cat6, coax, and an HDMI cable for an overhead projector. The current budget for electronics is around 5K. 2K or so for the projector, I'm thinking Sony HW45ES currently, and then around 3k for receiver + 10(7.1.2) speakers. I believe I have room for a 120" screen with the current configuration, I have the hdmi ran about 15.5' back from the wall. For seating I will probably do a U-shaped sectional as this will mostly be an entertaining area that we will mostly use for movies + games. Currently I plan on going with Polk Audio speakers as the seem to hit my price/performance target pretty well. Below I'm using links for Crutchfield, though I'm not sure yet where I will actually buy them since I'm still 4 months or so away from needing them.
Currently I only plan on getting a 9 channel amp, as going up to 11 channel usually doubles the price and I would rather not spend more than 6-700 for a receiver.

I would like to do in-wall speakers for the side speakers, and then 2 Atmos-height speakers in-ceiling in front of the primary seating area. I'm not quite sure what to do about the rear speakers. If you look at the attached floorplan I'm constrained by the location of the wet bar/beverage station for my side speakers, centered around 12'6" back, so that is where I plan on placing the middle of the seat on the sectional.

Questions:

1.) The in-wall side speakers will be at ear level, I've seen the dolby speaker setup guide, that says the side speakers should be at 90-110'. Will it have too much of a negative effect if the are at say, 80'?
2.) For my in-wall speakers I'm looking at something like the 65 RT. Anyone see any issues?
3.) The rear speakers I'm not sure if I should just go in-ceiling, like what I'll be using for the front Atmos-height speakers, something like these RC60i. Or if I should instead mount satellite's for the rear from the ceiling and direct them towards the seating position. A speaker like the Blackstone TL2, using mounts that angle down from the ceiling. Another alternative, though I'm not sure if I'm a fan is getting speaker stands and placing them behind the sectional. I would worry the would be knocked over easily by kids running around.
4.) For the front speakers, should I run wire to them through the wall, or not? I plan on just using a low profile cabinet that sits below the screen with the center channel on top and the receiver + equipment inside, so the front doesn't need to be super-clean as the cabinet will be in the way.
5.) I plan on using a banana jack binding plate for where the speaker wires all come back by the receiver Is there something similar, but not quite as big as a 1 gang box to use for the fronts and/or rears?
6.) I am having someone hang and finish the drywall. Do I just have them cut out all of the holes? Do I need to purchase speaker brackets for the in-wall and in-ceiling speakers?
7.) Currently I am putting mineral wool between the joists and between the walls that separate the internal rooms, do I need to worry about space or build a box for the in-ceiling and/or in-wall speakers?

Finally got to 5 posts. Here is the Layout.

Thanks for all your help/comments!

Last edited by InYourFace; 08-19-2017 at 02:00 PM. Reason: Added Layout
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-17-2017, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InYourFace View Post
I can't post images so I can't add an image of the layout. Let me know if there is a better way to link/add images. I'd rather not spam the forum just to get a 5 post count.
I have a few thoughts but would like to wait until I see the layout to make sure I have it right in my head. I'd suggest throwing your pictures on imgur and then posting them here.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-18-2017, 04:08 AM
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Questions:

1.) The in-wall side speakers will be at ear level, I've seen the dolby speaker setup guide, that says the side speakers should be at 90-110'. Will it have too much of a negative effect if the are at say, 80'?
Mine aren't set up perfect and I think it is just fine.

2.) For my in-wall speakers I'm looking at something like the 65 RT. Anyone see any issues?
I'm happy with my polk fronts, but don't have any experience with these.

3.) The rear speakers I'm not sure if I should just go in-ceiling, like what I'll be using for the front Atmos-height speakers, something like these RC60i. Or if I should instead mount satellite's for the rear from the ceiling and direct them towards the seating position. A speaker like the Blackstone TL2, using mounts that angle down from the ceiling. Another alternative, though I'm not sure if I'm a fan is getting speaker stands and placing them behind the sectional. I would worry the would be knocked over easily by kids running around.
Would help to see pics/layout first, but satellites are probably better than in-ceiling

4.) For the front speakers, should I run wire to them through the wall, or not? I plan on just using a low profile cabinet that sits below the screen with the center channel on top and the receiver + equipment inside, so the front doesn't need to be super-clean as the cabinet will be in the way.
I've always just let the LR speaker wire run along the floor. I will caution you that most here frown on putting equipment below these screen as the LEDs can be distracting during viewing. And run some conduit from your equipment to you projector place. You'll thank yourself in 10 years (or less).

5.) I plan on using a banana jack binding plate for where the speaker wires all come back by the receiver Is there something similar, but not quite as big as a 1 gang box to use for the fronts and/or rears?
A single gang box is a standard and likely the smallest thing you will find.

6.) I am having someone hang and finish the drywall. Do I just have them cut out all of the holes? Do I need to purchase speaker brackets for the in-wall and in-ceiling speakers?
I don't have speaker brackets for any of my speakers. Before my drywall went up, I measured where my holes should be and I cut them after the fact. I don't trust dry wallers to cut holes for anything that isn't already in place.

7.) Currently I am putting mineral wool between the joists and between the walls that separate the internal rooms, do I need to worry about space or build a box for the in-ceiling and/or in-wall speakers?
If you're going to put in backer boxes, do it now and have put the insulation around the box and have the dry wallers cut those out. Many in wall speakers are designed not to have backer boxes and using boxes could affect the properties of the speaker. I'd ask polk or research more online. I didn't use backer boxes and only have insulation and I don't have any complaints.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-19-2017, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberk View Post
Questions:

1.) The in-wall side speakers will be at ear level, I've seen the dolby speaker setup guide, that says the side speakers should be at 90-110'. Will it have too much of a negative effect if the are at say, 80'?
Mine aren't set up perfect and I think it is just fine.

2.) For my in-wall speakers I'm looking at something like the 65 RT. Anyone see any issues?
I'm happy with my polk fronts, but don't have any experience with these.

3.) The rear speakers I'm not sure if I should just go in-ceiling, like what I'll be using for the front Atmos-height speakers, something like these RC60i. Or if I should instead mount satellite's for the rear from the ceiling and direct them towards the seating position. A speaker like the Blackstone TL2, using mounts that angle down from the ceiling. Another alternative, though I'm not sure if I'm a fan is getting speaker stands and placing them behind the sectional. I would worry the would be knocked over easily by kids running around.
Would help to see pics/layout first, but satellites are probably better than in-ceiling

4.) For the front speakers, should I run wire to them through the wall, or not? I plan on just using a low profile cabinet that sits below the screen with the center channel on top and the receiver + equipment inside, so the front doesn't need to be super-clean as the cabinet will be in the way.
I've always just let the LR speaker wire run along the floor. I will caution you that most here frown on putting equipment below these screen as the LEDs can be distracting during viewing. And run some conduit from your equipment to you projector place. You'll thank yourself in 10 years (or less).

5.) I plan on using a banana jack binding plate for where the speaker wires all come back by the receiver Is there something similar, but not quite as big as a 1 gang box to use for the fronts and/or rears?
A single gang box is a standard and likely the smallest thing you will find.

6.) I am having someone hang and finish the drywall. Do I just have them cut out all of the holes? Do I need to purchase speaker brackets for the in-wall and in-ceiling speakers?
I don't have speaker brackets for any of my speakers. Before my drywall went up, I measured where my holes should be and I cut them after the fact. I don't trust dry wallers to cut holes for anything that isn't already in place.

7.) Currently I am putting mineral wool between the joists and between the walls that separate the internal rooms, do I need to worry about space or build a box for the in-ceiling and/or in-wall speakers?
If you're going to put in backer boxes, do it now and have put the insulation around the box and have the dry wallers cut those out. Many in wall speakers are designed not to have backer boxes and using boxes could affect the properties of the speaker. I'd ask polk or research more online. I didn't use backer boxes and only have insulation and I don't have any complaints.
What is the easiest way to cut out a circle in the drywall? Just trace it out and use a drywall saw? or is there a 6.5" hole saw?
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-19-2017, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InYourFace View Post
What is the easiest way to cut out a circle in the drywall? Just trace it out and use a drywall saw? or is there a 6.5" hole saw?
A keyhole saw punched through a plastic cup to catch the dust or a shop vac worked well when I've done it.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-20-2017, 02:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Added Layout in original post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodgieroo View Post
I have a few thoughts but would like to wait until I see the layout to make sure I have it right in my head. I'd suggest throwing your pictures on imgur and then posting them here.
Edited my first post and added the Layout.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-20-2017, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberk View Post
Questions:

1.) The in-wall side speakers will be at ear level, I've seen the dolby speaker setup guide, that says the side speakers should be at 90-110'. Will it have too much of a negative effect if the are at say, 80'?
Mine aren't set up perfect and I think it is just fine.

2.) For my in-wall speakers I'm looking at something like the 65 RT. Anyone see any issues?
I'm happy with my polk fronts, but don't have any experience with these.

3.) The rear speakers I'm not sure if I should just go in-ceiling, like what I'll be using for the front Atmos-height speakers, something like these RC60i. Or if I should instead mount satellite's for the rear from the ceiling and direct them towards the seating position. A speaker like the Blackstone TL2, using mounts that angle down from the ceiling. Another alternative, though I'm not sure if I'm a fan is getting speaker stands and placing them behind the sectional. I would worry the would be knocked over easily by kids running around.
Would help to see pics/layout first, but satellites are probably better than in-ceiling

4.) For the front speakers, should I run wire to them through the wall, or not? I plan on just using a low profile cabinet that sits below the screen with the center channel on top and the receiver + equipment inside, so the front doesn't need to be super-clean as the cabinet will be in the way.
I've always just let the LR speaker wire run along the floor. I will caution you that most here frown on putting equipment below these screen as the LEDs can be distracting during viewing. And run some conduit from your equipment to you projector place. You'll thank yourself in 10 years (or less).

5.) I plan on using a banana jack binding plate for where the speaker wires all come back by the receiver Is there something similar, but not quite as big as a 1 gang box to use for the fronts and/or rears?
A single gang box is a standard and likely the smallest thing you will find.

6.) I am having someone hang and finish the drywall. Do I just have them cut out all of the holes? Do I need to purchase speaker brackets for the in-wall and in-ceiling speakers?
I don't have speaker brackets for any of my speakers. Before my drywall went up, I measured where my holes should be and I cut them after the fact. I don't trust dry wallers to cut holes for anything that isn't already in place.

7.) Currently I am putting mineral wool between the joists and between the walls that separate the internal rooms, do I need to worry about space or build a box for the in-ceiling and/or in-wall speakers?
If you're going to put in backer boxes, do it now and have put the insulation around the box and have the dry wallers cut those out. Many in wall speakers are designed not to have backer boxes and using boxes could affect the properties of the speaker. I'd ask polk or research more online. I didn't use backer boxes and only have insulation and I don't have any complaints.
I currently have 1.5" pvc ran from the projector to the wall where the screen is. I can leave that in place and create another run straight over to the side and it would be right behind the sectional? Then run all of the speaker wires thereI have 4 cat6 and 1 coax ran up by the screen, but behind where the sectional will be I have 2 cat6 and 1 coax, so worse case I could put a little hub in there. If I put the cabinet back there, I will probably run wire for all 3 fronts.

What about something like this: Link, instead of 1 gang boxes? Just looking for something a little more discrete. I'm sure 1 gang data boxes won't take up too much space either though.

Here is what I'm looking at for the rear satellites, I want them to be pretty discrete so I'm looking for smaller ones. Link

Thanks for the feedback.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-20-2017, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InYourFace View Post
What is the easiest way to cut out a circle in the drywall? Just trace it out and use a drywall saw? or is there a 6.5" hole saw?
I have hole saws up to 4" and they can get pricey at that size.

I have used a drywall saw and Dremel to cut circular holes. the trim around the speaker will hide and irregularities provided you don't go too far off course.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-20-2017, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InYourFace View Post
I currently have 1.5" pvc ran from the projector to the wall where the screen is. I can leave that in place and create another run straight over to the side and it would be right behind the sectional? Then run all of the speaker wires thereI have 4 cat6 and 1 coax ran up by the screen, but behind where the sectional will be I have 2 cat6 and 1 coax, so worse case I could put a little hub in there. If I put the cabinet back there, I will probably run wire for all 3 fronts.

What about something like this: Link, instead of 1 gang boxes? Just looking for something a little more discrete. I'm sure 1 gang data boxes won't take up too much space either though.

Here is what I'm looking at for the rear satellites, I want them to be pretty discrete so I'm looking for smaller ones. Link

Thanks for the feedback.
What type of PVC did you run? plumbing PVC 90 degree turns will be VERY difficult to pull trough. Most here use electrical PVC or "smurf" tube.

You can get single gang plates that handle more than 2 wires (1 speaker). That will cut down on spacing significantly. Unless you're talking about using those plates AT the speaker.
https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-103...3248563&sr=1-7
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-20-2017, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aberk View Post
What type of PVC did you run? plumbing PVC 90 degree turns will be VERY difficult to pull trough. Most here use electrical PVC or "smurf" tube.

You can get single gang plates that handle more than 2 wires (1 speaker). That will cut down on spacing significantly. Unless you're talking about using those plates AT the speaker.
https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-103...3248563&sr=1-7
1.5" schedule 40. I used 90' long sweep like this. I had a 2" hole saw and cut through the joists. Didn't have any issues running an hdmi cable through it. The run to the side will go parallel to the joists and I shouldn't have any issues needing to cut through anything.

I am talking about at the speakers for the individual bindings. L/C/R, front sub, and 2 rear surrounds from the ceiling, unless anyone has any other ideas about rear surrounds based on my layout? I don't really have the wall space with the wet bar and door into my storage area to put anything on the wall. I'm just worried the rears will sound like they are coming from above and not from behind me. I do plan on using something like what you just posted for by the cabinet/receiver.

Another question, since I'm running a wire for the sub now since I'm moving the cabinet to behind the sectional, can I just use RG6 quad?

Last edited by InYourFace; 08-20-2017 at 11:27 AM. Reason: Added comment
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