Speaker layout vs floor plan...how does this look? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-27-2013, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Planning to installing 5.1 surround in the great room and then 6 additional zones for whole-home audio. This is what I've come up with, how does it look, any changes I should make?

You'll notice the master bedroom has no speakers and that is because it has a "drop ceiling" type of insulation which I believe will make it impossible, at least for me, to add speakers there, not big deal though.



Master bedroom ceiling.
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-27-2013, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Also quick question...any concern with the two speakers in the kitchen and all the lighting that is there? I believe there are 6 can lights in that area.
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-27-2013, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HX_Guy View Post

Planning to installing 5.1 surround in the great room and then 6 additional zones for whole-home audio. This is what I've come up with, how does it look, any changes I should make?

Do you intend to use in-ceiling speakers for the 5.1 system? Highly recommend you don't do that for the LCR's. Surrounds are fine.
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You'll notice the master bedroom has no speakers and that is because it has a "drop ceiling" type of insulation which I believe will make it impossible, at least for me, to add speakers there, not big deal though.

Can't be impossible. Talk to the builder / project manager (quickly!). Never seen that before so can't help you there, but geez don't let a little insulation prevent you from installing WHA zones - especially in a high-value area like the master suite.

Other comments:
  • Not sure about the two speakers in the master suite outside the bathroom - is that a sitting area or just a big hallway?
  • What I assume is the dining room - move the speakers to the middle axis of the room, so the speakers are over the table.
  • Patio - move the speakers in a foot or so to better divide the space (don't want them too close to the walls).
  • Foyer - I'd prioritize another area like the other bedrooms (study/office?) instead of this area, which will only be used at very low levels to greet guests. Better bang for buck elsewhere in the house - or the garage!


Jeff

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post #4 of 11 Old 03-27-2013, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Jeff. To answer some of your questions...

I do intend to use in-ceiling for the surround sound. I know it's not the best, but I don't like how wall speakers look...and my wife likes them even less. Is it that big of a difference? I'm not looking for movie theatre sounds, just something decent (for reference, I've been using a 2.1 Bose speaker set with a Onkyo receiver for the past 5 years in my current setup).

It's too late for the builder to install the speakers, so I have to do it myself either pre-drywall or after drywall...or after I move in, depending on how it goes. Preferably pre-dry wall.

That foyer area to the master suite is just that, a foyer and then a coffee area...speakers not really needed there but I figure since I won't have them in the master bedroom, that's pretty close.

The dining room unfortunately has the same problem as the master bedroom...the drop ceiling insulation, so can't put speakers there. Would have been nice.

Patio wise, the speakers were already pre-wired by the builder (we chose that option when we bought the house, but didn't chose any other areas)

Foyer...again not really needed but I figured why not, not really anywhere else I can put some. I don't want any in the bedrooms and the office area is all the way at the front of the house and unfortunately it doesn't even share the same attic space so I don't have a way to feed wire all the way there.


What is your thought on 7.1 vs 5.1 in the great room? I'm thinking overkill.
Great on idea on the garage too, didn't think of that one.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-28-2013, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HX_Guy View Post

I do intend to use in-ceiling for the surround sound. I know it's not the best, but I don't like how wall speakers look...and my wife likes them even less. Is it that big of a difference? I'm not looking for movie theatre sounds, just something decent (for reference, I've been using a 2.1 Bose speaker set with a Onkyo receiver for the past 5 years in my current setup).

IMO it's a big difference. You don't have to use in-wall speakers - some nice-looking, small bookshelf speakers and a matching center channel under the TV is the best-sounding solution. A 3-channel LCR speakerbar mounted under the TV would be the least obtrusive. This depends on what will be on that wall - is it a built-in entertainment center or a blank wall? The issue with in-ceiling LCRs, especially for TV/movies, is that dialog comes from 6 feet away from the screen.
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It's too late for the builder to install the speakers, so I have to do it myself either pre-drywall or after drywall...or after I move in, depending on how it goes. Preferably pre-dry wall.

I didn't mean ask him to do it - just ask him how to deal with the insulation as you run the wiring.
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Foyer...again not really needed but I figured why not, not really anywhere else I can put some. I don't want any in the bedrooms and the office area is all the way at the front of the house and unfortunately it doesn't even share the same attic space so I don't have a way to feed wire all the way there.

Sure there is. They got electricity there, didn't they? May not be as easy as throwing a wire over the joists, but you can absolutely find a path to the office. That's one of the areas I use most often,...
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What is your thought on 7.1 vs 5.1 in the great room? I'm thinking overkill.

Since you're using in-ceiling locations, it's easy enough to do, and if this is your primary viewing area, why not? The cost in additional speakers is minimal. In that case, you might want to bring the rears a bit closer together.

Jeff

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post #6 of 11 Old 03-28-2013, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

IMO it's a big difference. You don't have to use in-wall speakers - some nice-looking, small bookshelf speakers and a matching center channel under the TV is the best-sounding solution. A 3-channel LCR speakerbar mounted under the TV would be the least obtrusive. This depends on what will be on that wall - is it a built-in entertainment center or a blank wall? The issue with in-ceiling LCRs, especially for TV/movies, is that dialog comes from 6 feet away from the screen.

I will look into this further, that is a good point about the sound coming from the ceiling when the TV is in front of you, not up top. Maybe I should just do the rear surrounds in the ceiling and use regular speakers as you said for the fronts and center, I could continue using the 2 small Bose speakers probably and add a third speaker. The wall is blank, no built in niche/entertainment center.
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I didn't mean ask him to do it - just ask him how to deal with the insulation as you run the wiring.

I was actually going to see about doing this on the down low, was going to see if I can get in there before the drywall goes up but after the electrical inspection. I don't know their policy on allowing you to do your own work but my feeling is that they don't allow it.
I am thinking of asking now though, so it can be done right and to all the rooms I need to. If they say no, then I have a company I've worked with in the past that can get up there and do it right after I close on the house. I
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-28-2013, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HX_Guy View Post

I will look into this further, that is a good point about the sound coming from the ceiling when the TV is in front of you, not up top. Maybe I should just do the rear surrounds in the ceiling and use regular speakers as you said for the fronts and center, I could continue using the 2 small Bose speakers probably and add a third speaker. The wall is blank, no built in niche/entertainment center.

Can't believe I'm saying this... Using the Bose system is a better solution than in-ceiling LCRs. eek.gif
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I was actually going to see about doing this on the down low, was going to see if I can get in there before the drywall goes up but after the electrical inspection. I don't know their policy on allowing you to do your own work but my feeling is that they don't allow it.
I am thinking of asking now though, so it can be done right and to all the rooms I need to. If they say no, then I have a company I've worked with in the past that can get up there and do it right after I close on the house. I

Talk to the project manager, not the sales staff. Doing anything visible without permission runs a risk of them yanking it out. Make sure you talk only about low-voltage stuff, not "electrical". Touching anything that could affect inspections or warranty will be verboten...

Jeff

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post #8 of 11 Old 03-28-2013, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I ended up calling the project manager and was told what I expected, no.

He said that an outside company can't come in to do the work and I can't do it myself either because of the liability. If anything is damaged etc then it could cause delays or expenses and such. Makes sense.
I called the audio/video company I've worked with before and they advised that I just take as many pictures as possible to help them with the install later. Probably better this way anyway, I was stressing myself out trying to figure out how and when I'd sneak in to do the wiring.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-28-2013, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HX_Guy View Post

I ended up calling the project manager and was told what I expected, no.

He said that an outside company can't come in to do the work and I can't do it myself either because of the liability. If anything is damaged etc then it could cause delays or expenses and such. Makes sense.
I called the audio/video company I've worked with before and they advised that I just take as many pictures as possible to help them with the install later. Probably better this way anyway, I was stressing myself out trying to figure out how and when I'd sneak in to do the wiring.

Given the short timeframe you have to work with, and the (expected) response from the PM, take lots and lots of pictures. Make sure you have landmarks that will be visible after the drywall is up in every shot (corners, vents, outlets, etc.). Putting a yardstick in the picture can help, too. Focus on documenting the pathways wire(s) would need to take to move from room to room. Which means all the walls and most of the ceilings especially at room/hallway junctions. Spend some time in the house up on a ladder looking at the attic construction so you can get a feel for where you'll be able to get to later. Leaving some inconspicuous pull strings can be a good compromise to get from one area to another later.

Good luck!

Jeff

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post #10 of 11 Old 03-28-2013, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Great info, thank you. Will get in there this weekend and take photos and also use a 360º app on the iPad that photographs the whole room and you can later pan around.

Back to the 5.1 vs 7.1 system. If running 7.1, should the current 5.1 rear speakers then be above your head and the rear-rear speakers (in the 7.1 system) be behind you, as the 5.1 ones are now? The couch will be just slightly in front of where I have the rear channels speakers placed in the original floorplan.
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-28-2013, 04:06 PM
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There's plenty of speaker placement diagrams around if you do some searches, or check any of the user manuals for the 7.1 AVRs. But in general, the "rears" (the 5.1 channels) would be slightly behind the seating area, but would be placed a bit closer together than your diagram shows.

The additional 2 channels for 7.1 are then placed above the seating out on the sides (further apart than the rears). See this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1006148/where-to-place-rear-speakers-for-going-to-a-7-1-configuration

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