Bought 1st Home. Need help with upgrading old 5.1 apartment friendly to new 7.1 or 9.1 with large living room Photos - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-02-2013, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Guys,


I posted earlier and got a lot of feed back. With it I have come up with a few ideas and wanted to see what you think.

I have a new edited layout that looks like a 2nd graders homework in good old Microsoft paint edit but should make sense. Along with more photos of the room to get a better idea. of angles and for people who never saw my first thread discussing some of this.. My Wife is away for a week and I have everyday free to do the work. She isn't a fan of having the drywall ripped off the walls. and Chop/Table saws out to build the storage.. Running cables through walls from front all the way in back , attempting to install a large ceiling fan up there .... which unfortunately involves cutting a lot of drywall out and replacing after/ I want to put in some type of built it storage cabinets too , shelves and possibly some type of background Whether I keep the TV where it is or move it to the front wall where the grey painting is now.


The layout attached is what I THINK I want to do right but I'm sure there will be some feedback here that will switch it around.

Current list of everything I have in the setup already


Current Setup
Monster HDP 1800 High Definition Power Center
Pioneer Elite VSX-53 Plugged into 1 of 2 "Isolated High Current Audio Filter" on Monster PC
Klipsch Quintet SL 5 Speaker set I am updating now
Sony SAWM-40 SUBWOOFER Plugged into 2 of 2 "Isolated High Current Audio Filter" on Monster PC
Samsung 65 inch UN65EH6000 TV
Samsung Blu Ray (Elite has QDeo Marvell graphics card)
Apple TV
Time Warner Samsung's DVR SET.
LAN connected to all
Bose v25 ( a month old and replaced by the VSX 53) Sell at loss now.


I think I can use the pre outs on the 53 and plus those into the other pioneer and get extra surrounds run. Anyone know if that's possible. "

I'm trying to go up to 7.2 or 9.2 and trying to integrate the Quintets wherever possible into the new setup ,so they're not wasted. I realize some will the end up in the closet but the front are 3 surround worthy

The LCR Needed a significant upgrade to accommodate the large living room in my new house that I never had before. I haven't decided 100% on anything but I saw and heard a set of Polk LSi 25 Ebony towers and liked them a lot. 2 mids , a tweeter and 10 inch subwoofer built into each tower. If I go with those I would be accomplishing the feedback in my other thread that I need larger drivers period.
(http://www.avsforum.com/t/1468063/bought-both-bose-and-component-setup-side-by-side-cant-decide-advice-pics-of-difficult-room)

SOOOOOO on to the business at hand. :-}

Question #1:(See Photos) What you all think about the TV mounted where it is or move to the right. look at the layout diagram and where I sit as symmetry It would have to be mounted on the left side of that wall if I do move it making it look off center. Ill have to balance it by making the right side built in storage. One section will be glass with AV Equipment, . I was almost certain I had move the TV to be happy with AV Symmetry and the right sounds but the more I looked it over on the TV placement it seemed perfect to install everything and leave the TV where it is. with all the obstacles being considered , sliding door... difficult left wall for surround placement... and the wall behind me being 2x what the viewing distance which is a no-no from what I understand.


Question #2: Is what you all think about surrounds . (any speaker but LCR) .I would appreciate it if we kept the Feedback here to the design for now and logistics rather than specific brands /models .The optimal positioning ... direction of each speaker.... types of speakers ... and things like height of some of the hard speakers all generally apply the same to any set unless I Get nutty with speakers.


Happy to listen to suggestions of an exact model if you think it's something unique that I'm not going to come across in normal reading and trying to put the whole thing together. The reason I ask that is because I'VE NOT DECIDED YET which direction I want to go with this.

A.)The more affordable .Have in here tonight, local pickup ,entry level stuff likely Klipsch to match but bigger mids and another 12 inch sub..Still ,wired in 7.2 or 9.2 in the walls with the wall plates . See how I like it and go from here. little effort or time needed on my part. Walk in , pick the starter reference series and walk out. Done.

or

B.) Higher end equipment route. Researching everything so I understand the "Synergy" of the whole system and the effects of each component(OCD thing I am working on.) then spending roughly $1000 on each F C L,($3000 for front stage) and $1000-2000 on a pair or 2 pairs of surrounds and a second subwoofer.(Would this need to match the one I have now or could I have


When people comments " try X Y and Z. I love and swear by them" or "don't buy this or that" I just end up putting it in Google, reading , and often end up second guessing whatever

If the Bose lifestyle V25 I bought last month but un-installed it shortly after . Throwing in 7 extra stands . I can throw that into the budget and go even higher. If it takes a little time I can add it a component.

Please keep in mind the photos were taken over the course of the last 9 months so you'll notice a table or mirror or painting is in one place in one shot and moved later. My first purchase so things went back and forth





My Future Placement
1



My First photos when I toured the house 6 mo ago
2 Before we bought it
3 Before also

4
5
6 Most recent
7


This is the wall the TV would be moved to. That Rack is setup as a 1 day temporary thing. Not that sloppy.
8
[
9 Open

10 half messy
11
12 tv to ceiling




12


14
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-02-2013, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Bump. 21 views no comments when I wake up this morning but no advice. Must be too much to read ?


I am doing all the building today so hopefully I can get some feedback soon
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-02-2013, 01:37 PM
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It may be because the room is so appallingly bad for anything more than 5.1. The acoustics are tough.

You really should concentrate on putting your money into some good 5.1 speakers and optimize that. The dipole speakers are just going to generate a lot of reflections off of the walls that will make the sound an absolute mess.

7.1 or 9,1 will be an acoustic nightmare IMO. Sometimes less is more.

This is a system that will sound VERY good;

Four Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers (around $700 total)...(check out the Stereophile review on them).

One Wharfedale Diamond 10CS speaker ($300)

One NHT B12D subwoofer ($700). I have one. It is the best.

Those are all excellent speakers at very good prices.

If you want floor speakers for the front, then use the Diamond 10.4 speakers for the front instead of the 10.1
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-02-2013, 03:01 PM
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With the limited options I would say your current plan would be best. If you were to move it to the wall to the right of the fireplace, you would limit the viewing area to those on the sofa opposite the TV. The people seated on the sofa adjacent the patio door would have a bad viewing angle. If you move the sofa to the opposite wall then you lose the view of the fireplace for those people next to it. The only other option is to move the TV to the wall to the right of the patio door. This would again, eliminate the view of the fireplace for the seats adjacent the fireplace. Not only that, but it would place the front wide right speaker standing in the middle of the room by itself unless you place a table there or something. It would stick out like a sore thumb.

As for question #2. If this is your permanent residence (for the foreseeable future at least) then I say do it right, do it once. Don't bother with a startup kit now to expand again in the future. Start with an affordable budget (to you) and work from there. Things you should keep in mind. Run at least 12AWG speaker wire if you can. Make sure it is real copper and not some of that copper clad cheap stuff. I'm not telling you to go out and buy super expensive stuff, just be wary of buying cheap wire that's not really copper. I get mine from either Parts-Express or Monoprice if I can't find anything cheaper on eBay/online.

Second suggestion is to sell the subwoofer along with the Bose system. It will be woefully under-powered in that space even if you get a second sub. Get yourself some real subs from ID companies like SVS, HSU, Outlaw, JTR, Seaton, or Epik. Better yet, it sounds like you are handy with tools so you can build yourself a pair of subs and amp for less than what you'd pay to buy a prebuilt sub. Since you are pre-wiring and building a cabinet for your equipment, you can buy a relatively cheap pro amp like the Behringer EP4000 to power your DIY subs. For ~$700 you can have a pair of potent 15" subs assuming your wife will allow it.

Use your existing Sony sub to determine best places for a sub and make sure you run an extra pair of speaker wires and possibly some quad shield RG6 cables terminated with RCA connectors for the subs. Place the sub on your sofa and play some bass heavy music or movie scenes and crawl around the room on your hands and knees. Wherever the bass sounds the best is where you should place the sub. Run wires to this location for the sub. You should place the second sub on the opposite wall to even out response. This is a general starting point and not every room will sound best this way. Only true measurements will tell you. This should get you in the ballpark though.

Put the rest into the best pair of front speakers you can get. Used will get you even better results. I would reuse the Klipsch towers as your wides or surrounds then make the little satellites your rear surrounds. Try using the front pair you decide to buy with a phantom center for movies, If this does not cut it, try adding the Klipsch center channel. Your front stage is where most everything is coming from for now. Things are slowly changing though. the surrounds and rears are beginning to see more and more use at higher levels from what I'm starting to experience in my setup. At this point though, it's still ok go cheap on them to put more money towards the front.

This is a big undertaking to do. Without careful planning, it's not really something you would want to do with just one recommendation. Especially when the recommendation is coming from me. wink.gif
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-03-2013, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Without addressing everything yet since i'm running out the door to Home Depot .... That was the type of feedback I was looking for. Not my finals answers but some opinion and experiences.


The more I read about the use of 5 . 7, and 9 .1 setups... The more I found the general idea was if you have a large room you can take advantage of the higher channel setups. So I started reading how to add, add ,add.. The thing that was confusing me was MY intended theatre size vs the ACTUAL room size and the impact it had on the setup . Its Large but Thin and long and god knows Its HIGH. It's not a big square room which would be better for a larger system. The measurements I just finished for the whole house and came to 16 wide X 29 long for a total. 464 sq feet. Not subtracting the fireplace.

However the measurements of the "living room" are 16 x16 for a total of 262 square feet measuring from the sofa table forward. Which isn't really that big a room.... Would you guys agree? So Maybe you're right about sticking to 5.1 or 5.2 is the optimal setup.

The only reason I suggested Bi-Poles was because the surrounds are very close to the ears as of now. Especially the Right one . My logic was that some bi-poles would send the surround channel around the room instead of directly in my ear and then the newly added rears would give me the original surround sound what's intended in the lossless formats but more subtle and further away now.

My sub is old and pretty cheap but it does make the room shake and cant be used with the level maxed out. . Would anyone be able to explain to me why I need more bass for that room. I agree based on home theatre 101 but i'm just hoping to get a better understanding of why. Sound quality?better low freq reproduction . Obviously there is some type of difference between a 300$ sony 12 inch and a $1000 10inch.

If I buy another sub that's higher quality. Would I be hooking both up to the Sub 1 and sub 2 pre outs ? just use the one new one?
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-03-2013, 06:10 AM
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The idea of getting a better sub is to get one with a cleaner, more linear output. It's not a quuestion of "more", but better. You want the bass drums and string basses to sound natural, not boomy.

Most of the cheaper subs have certain frequencies where they are resonant and "boomy", and others where the output is less.

If the one you have works well for you, then stick with it.

If you have two sub outputs, then you can run 2 cables to the line inputs on the sub (assuming IT has 2 inputs). For low bass, though, both channels tend to have about the same amount, so one is usually enough; it's not that big a difference.

I am partial the NHT sub because it is a sealed acoustic-suspension design, which gives it a very clean linear output. Ported designs are not usually as good.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-03-2013, 07:18 AM
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How long before someone reccomends Ascends and Rythmik to him?
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-03-2013, 08:17 AM
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The reasoning behind a better sub is also because subs, unlike your satellite speakers, have to pressurize the entire space. So even though your viewing area is small, the sub will see the entire space including the dining area and your upstairs area. Anything that is not blocked off by walls, doors or windows. Based on your pictures and the measurements you provided, you have at least 9000 ft3 of space the sub needs to pressurize.

As I had mentioned before, I would build one or two DIY subs and get a pro amp like the Behringer EP4000. For the price of one good sub, you can have two even better subs. Two subs placed around the room will smooth out the frequency response and reduce the nulls in the room. If you decide to just buy one good sub then I would recommend just using the one sub for now. Your current sub will be your limiting factor by a long shot. Since you already have it, there is no loss other than time to try it though. If you decide to go that route I would recommend you place it as close to the seating position as possible as to not have to drive it too hard to keep up with the second sub.

As for going with 5.2, 7.2 or 9.2, since you're already running cables, might as well run them all now. I don't see any problems running 7.2 now. My room is only slightly bigger than yours at 18' x 16' x 8'. I have a 9.2 setup and it sounds great. Personally, if I only had 7.2 I would choose the rear surrounds over front wides. This is contradictory to most advice I have read on these boards, but if you think about it, the 7.1 spec includes the rear surrounds and not the wides. The wides are derived from information sent to the main front and surround channels and added by the receiver. Most will say humans are more front audio centric, but I still find the rear surrounds much more engaging when watching movies with true 7.1 audio tracks. There are many movies now with true 7.1 audio and more and more are being produced.
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-03-2013, 08:18 AM
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Oh, and get Ascends and Rythmik speakers. wink.gif
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-04-2013, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duc135 View Post

Oh, and get Ascends and Rythmik speakers. wink.gif

It seems like there could be a sticky post that says, if you are looking for speakers, research

Polk Tsi/Monitor or Rti
Infinity Primus
Pioneer Andrew Jones
Wharfedale Diamond
Ascend Acoustics CMT/CBM or Sierra
Kef Q series
Klipsch Reference
Arx
HTD
EMP Tek

That covers about 80% of the recommendation threads, doesn't it? biggrin.gif
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post #11 of 16 Old 05-07-2013, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

It seems like there could be a sticky post that says, if you are looking for speakers, research

Polk Tsi/Monitor or Rti
Infinity Primus
Pioneer Andrew Jones
Wharfedale Diamond
Ascend Acoustics CMT/CBM or Sierra
Kef Q series
Klipsch Reference
Arx
HTD
EMP Tek

That covers about 80% of the recommendation threads, doesn't it? biggrin.gif


Doesn't answer either of my questions AND is exactly what I asked NOT to get. I know brands

Well anyways... I went out and bought a new set. Had 1 hour to make the decision


2 Yamaha NS 777 Towers
2 Yamaha NS 333 Bookshelf Speakers
1 Yamaha NS 444 Center Channel
Stands for the Book shelf's
Came with an 8 Inch YST SW215 Subwoofer. Needless to say she doesn't help much and it not being used.
Also came with HTR 5650 Yamaha Receiver - also not going to be used.


Got them off a buddy who had to leave town right away for military. Sold the whole thing for $500....

Couldn't be happier. Add 1 more 12 inch sub maybe but sounds great soo far.


Right now I have them setup as 5.1 and BI amped the from towers. I noticed a HUGE difference between bi and non bi. With the VSX-53 I cant do any other surrounds If I Bi-amp.. So instead of adding more Surrounds I went Bi amp route on the front towers
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-07-2013, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BluRay Hoarder View Post

Doesn't answer either of my questions AND is exactly what I asked NOT to get. I know brands

That's why I didn't respond to your post, but quoted another wink.gif

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post #13 of 16 Old 05-07-2013, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluRay Hoarder View Post

Right now I have them setup as 5.1 and BI amped the from towers. I noticed a HUGE difference between bi and non bi. With the VSX-53 I cant do any other surrounds If I Bi-amp.. So instead of adding more Surrounds I went Bi amp route on the front towers

As many on this board will note, passive biamping won't provide any audible differences nor will it provide any benefits.
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post #14 of 16 Old 05-13-2013, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VicTorious1 View Post

As many on this board will note, passive biamping won't provide any audible differences nor will it provide any benefits.

Maybe it was a placebo effect. It didn't seem "louder" but the highs seemed to be more clear .The more I read about it though the more confused I got. I didn't understand a lot of the technical explanation's but I got the conclusions that were just as you said. Not any benefit.


I played around and hooked up Front Highs and back rears for a 9.1 setup. I think the Elite is 7.1 rated so i'm assuming the front highs are just the same channel as the front towers are on. It sounded pretty sweet cool though with some lossless Blu Rays tracks. Sound was coming from all over the place on Transformers disc. However ,The Yamaha's are 6 ohm and klipsch are 8ohm so I didn't want to screw anything up by running both at the same time for long so after playing with 9.1 for a few scenes I took the Klipsch out. I didn't know if it was a big deal or not but I didn't want to find out the hard way . I set the receiver to 6 ohm and just used the new set with 5 channels. I am going to get some good in wall speakers for the rears and make it 7.1 later on. I am wiring the house now and I have to say I wish I called in a pro. I know how to do dry wall and some basic handy man skills but this is just hell. 2nd guessing everything before I seal anything back up. Reading all the building code and wiring dos and don'ts's on adding power outlets and all the low voltage stuff without messing it all up. Getting the right cables...

I should be done with the install in a day or so and will post some photos.

My Monster HDP 1800 broke this week also. Read abnormal voltage no matter what was being fed to it. I got out my meter and measured 120 V in every outlet . Checked grounds and everything was great. If I plug in the power center and read the outlets on the backI would get 40V or so on the hIgh current section and zero on the others. I contacted Monster to get it fixed and waiting to hear back.


Question though: The subwoofer that came with it was 8 inches.... not sure why so small but I plugged it into the sub 2 pre out and set on the opposite side of the room. Would you guys do the same or just run one. I ask because I have a lot left in the budget and have been thinking about doing subwoofers over. I can't figure out if I should but ONE really expensive one($1500-2000) and add the 12 inch Sony to the back of the room just as a bonus ( or leave it out all together ) or buy two exact same subwoofer of decent quality( $500 -1000 each. )

Your thoughts.. ?
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-13-2013, 02:05 AM
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2 subs is nearly always better than 1. Especially with that wide open of a space and the tall ceilings. If you have the room, you could buy 2 ~$750 and still use the Sony 12" as a bonus. You would just need a splitter at the avr end.
You could put the Sony 12" in the corner near the kitchen pantry just to help fill any gaps on the far side of the room from the tv.
2 subs will also give you more placement options. You may find it difficult to find an ideal place for 1.

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post #16 of 16 Old 05-13-2013, 08:21 AM
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See my previous post. Since you are doing all this work yourself, you should consider DIY. Depending on your size limitations, $2000 can get you monstrous bass if you go the DIY route.

Option 1:

2 - Dayton Audio RSS460HO-4 18" Reference HO Subwoofer - $500 shipped
1 - Behringer EP4000 - $300
2 - 3/4" sheets MDF - $100
Various finishing accessories - <$20.

Build a couple of sealed 4ft3 boxes and put one driver in each. Total cost ~$900

Option 2:

4 - Dayton Audio UM15-22 15" Ultimax DVC Subwoofer - $800
1 - Behringer EP4000 - $300
2 - 3/4" sheets MDF - $100
Various finishing accessories - <$20.

Build a couple of sealed 4ft3 boxes and put two drivers in each. Total cost ~$1200

Those are just two examples of smallish sealed boxes. The options are limitless as your size requirements are reduced. Heck, if you can fit a refrigerator sized sub you can get extreme bass for less than $500. There are also other driver options for 18" and 15" depending on your needs and budget. Stereo Integrity, TC Sounds, Alpine (Type R) to name a few. With decent woodworking and finishing skills you can make them look like furniture instead of speaker boxes. There are many here who have made end tables, ottomans, etc. Just a few thoughts I think you should consider. You should head on over to the DIY forums and read around a bit to get some ideas.
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