After looking through the forums I am still stuck on where to begin.
We have a dedicated HT room upstairs, so the living room is mostly used for TV. The room is prewired for 5 speakers all in the ceiling, and I believe an outlet for a subwoofer in the corner under the right front speaker. the dimensions of the room are 15'6"x19' with 8' ceiling. The back of the room opens into the kitchen - solid walls on 2 sides, front and right, left side is a half wall opening to the front hallway.
I still need to get a receiver, but may upgrade the one in the movie room (pioneer VSX-1021) and move it downstairs.
I originally thought about getting in-ceiling mounted speakers just for a clean look, but looking at reviews and forums, seems like I need to mount bookshelf speakers. Are in-ceiling an option, or does that just restrict the sound to a cone under the speaker?
So my thoughts are:
1. as unobtrusive (small/esthetic) as possible with good sound - got to keep the wife happy
2. about $100-200 per speaker, can go more if needed, let me know if that is not realistic.
3. any recommendations for receiver? should I upgrade the pioneer VSX-1021 for something more powerful in the movie room?
I have learned a bit with the theater upstairs (wish I would have posted here before I started that one, i'll have to post pictures later) but still feel like I am a beginner.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
It does not sounds like you want to put a whole lot of money into the down stairs set up witch is fine, you can always add more and bigger equipment to the upstairs HT room and phase that equipment to down stairs in the family room.
My suggestion is go with something that won’t break the bank and that is more (Wife Approval Factor) such as getting in wall speakers from Mono price, http://www.monoprice.com/Category?c_id=109&cp_id=10837 , you already have the wire in the ceiling so it should not be hard to cut a few holes and put in the new speakers. Or maybe buy some re-certified speakers from Orb outlet http://www.orbaudio.com/orboutlet1.aspx These look great and should be high WAF, this would still put you within your 100-200 range per speaker and can be upgraded if one speaker per channel is just not enough. I would also recommend getting a sub or 2 because of the size of the room and how it opens to the rest of the house.
Your VSX-1021 would work well for both of these types of speakers that I suggested above.
I’m also still leaning, but that is what makes all of this so fun to do. I hope that these suggestions can help you out.
A couple of recommendations: if you decide to go with in-ceiling look for amiable and sealed. If they are not sealed add backer boxes. An example of an amiable in- ceiling is the Speakercraft Aim series. Also in your price range. X2 on the sub recommendation especially with any in-wall type application and today's base heavy movies.
Thanks for the advice, slemmon,
I don't mind spending a bit on the living room, but if I can get a good sound for not too much that would be great. I had not checked out either of those suggestions, so thanks. Those Kevlar speakers from Monoprice seem like a great deal. Would the in-ceiling work for the front R and L as well as the rear surround? What about the center, does it sound good mounted up high, or do I need it directly in front of the TV?
Not sure if I can figure out how to convert any of the outlets to in wall rather than in ceiling
I'll have to take some pics of the theater room. I used Klipsch Icon speakers throughout - 2 floor standing towers, center and 4 ceiling mounted bookshelf speakers. sound is good, but I had to up the output on the surround speakers to actually hear them. I need to get a sub
Thanks, I like the speakercrafts, I think being able to focus the sound would be key. As with everything, the Aim series has a ton of options, Aim8 5, Aim7, etc, I guess the newer models will be slightly improved, but cost a little more? Just find one in my price range?
"If you have some distance between the LP and surrounds, in-ceilings will would still be an option."
LP? is that listening position? The couch is about 8 feet from the center outlet and 5 from one surround and 8 from the other.
BTW checked out your set up - very impressive. I don't know where I would put all that hardware. The speakers really blend in well. I will have to try that diluted paint trick. I wonder if I could just dilute the paint and apply with a brush.
One other question. If the receiver is turned off, can you watch TV "normally"? Just thinking my 4 yr old can watch her cartoons with normal TV sound and not run the receiver all day.
Surround distance from LP (yes listening position) I like at least 4' so you should be fine. That minimum distance helps prevent the distracting speaker pillow effect. So your distances should be fine. If you don't have it already, you may want to look for an AVR that has some kind of sound room correction capabilities.
Thanks for the compliments - I'm in the middle of adding a pj and screen as well as a new AVR. I highly recommend the inexpensive spay paint kit so that you can use your normal wall paint color. I hand painted the outer trip, but spray painted the grills with the kit from Home Depot. The 20 bucks for the sprayer was well worth it. I've heard of nightmares of trying to paint grills with a brush. You'll also need to can of compressed air to blow out excess paint filling any grill holes.
Regarding cable TV and set-up, I actually ran audio to the TV and to the AVR from the cable box. I ran a left and right RCA cables to the TV as well as video from the cable box. I then ran an optical cable from the cable box to the AVR for when I want to watch TV using the full surround sound system. I just have to mute the TV when I turn on the AVR. Doing this allows my wife to just turn on the TV regular if she wants without the hassle of the extended system.