Help with speaker selection and location (New Home Build) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-20-2013, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All~ I have my low voltage walk through soon and I need some help with speaker selection. I'm having the LV guys wire in a 7.1 (or 7.2) surround sound in my basement. Basement is sort of L shaped. 18'/24' x 26' x 9'. I started my questions about my surround sound in this thread. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1471026/another-5-1-or-7-1-speaker-placement

I've spent the last few weeks reading the speaker forums and have learned a lot but I still don't know which is going to work best for me so I'd like some suggestions. I currently have an old Yamaha HTIB receiver and a pair of Polk M20's. Neither of these are going into my new HT. They will be going into the garage. My budget is around $2k.

The 52" Samsung LCD is going to be mounted over a fire place (yes, I know) so should I use in-wall speakers or on-wall speakers placed between the fireplace and windows or mount them on the fireplace it self?
Floor standing speakers is not really an option because of the spousal unit. The center channel is going to be a big issue. Placing the Center right above the mantel is going to push the TV even higher. The fireplace box does stick out about 2ft from the wall.

The AV contractor said he recommends placing the sub under the stairs. Sounded like a good idea at the time but after reading many forums, the placement for the sub isn't really know until you try it out. So I can have them run cables anywhere. I might place one near the right front corner (by the stairs) and another on the left side of the fireplace. Right now I need to be able to tell the LV where to terminate the speaker wires. Thoughts?

The BIG question. I need 4 in-ceiling speakers, LCR speakers, Sub, and AVR. The most important part to me is the LCR speakers and sub. The 2k isn't a hard cap but I'd like to stay around that cost. Do I need 2 subs for an area this big?

I will have an AV rack in the mechanical room so I'm also having the LV guy run cable pulls to the TV area too.

Here is a slightly updated speaker location from the previous thread. I moved the two rears back further based on Sanjay's recommendation.



Thanks in advance for any recommendations. I need to be spoon fed.
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-20-2013, 01:04 PM
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Your best bet is to use a projector and drop down acoustically transparent screen (the price of these has come down considerably as long as you don't go with Stewart Filmscreen). The center speaker (at least) can fire through the screen and placement won't be as bad.

Check out Definitive Technology's UIW line of in-wall speakers (on E-bay using the more highly rated sellers). They have matching bipolar in-ceiling UIW surrounds that can aim the sound towards the listening positions better considering in-ceiling surrounds really are not the best location (until newer object-oriented soundtracks get released with 4k media, that is). These Def Tech designs make the best of a bad situation. The larger rls and rss UIW models have backer boxes included, so it's closer to mounting in-room speakers in the wall than the lesser open-backed options (that can lose a lot of bass response and muddy the sound by being open-baffle between the studs).

I'd place the left and right fronts between the fireplace and the windows. Since these would be placed within an outside wall, you'll need to check to see if there are added insulation steps that would be necessary.

May help keep the speakers (not including the subs) within a more reasonable price range unless you really go for it and get Triad speakers... some of the best in-wall's you can get (they make really great speakers anyway), even in their lower Bronze level. Though, you'd probably need the Silver or Gold in-wall models for that size of room.

I'd go with two subs (Rythmik 600 watt High Power, HSU Research VTF-15h, SVS PB12-Plus, etc.) flanking your left and right fronts. You don't have to get them both at the same time, since you'll be taking a budgetary hit. Do not place them under the stairs as you've read.

For 7.2 surround, you want your sides at 90 degrees to your primary listening position and the rears at about 150 degrees.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-20-2013, 01:39 PM
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Dan, has some great advice. I would actually recommend rotating the couch and then getting a big screen against that wall next to the sliding door. Much bigger wall, then you can do a projector, acoustically transparent screen, etc. You can shift the wet bar to where your sub is now by the stairs, and then you have room for something like a pool table and you can mount your flat screen either above the fireplace or over in the wet bar area.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-20-2013, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Dan, has some great advice. I would actually recommend rotating the couch and then getting a big screen against that wall next to the sliding door. Much bigger wall, then you can do a projector, acoustically transparent screen, etc. You can shift the wet bar to where your sub is now by the stairs, and then you have room for something like a pool table and you can mount your flat screen either above the fireplace or over in the wet bar area.

Might be a great alternate room configuration, especially if the house plans are still in the planning stages.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-21-2013, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments. The wet bar is plumed so it's not moving. I like the idea of the projector but that will have to be a future investment. There are two bedrooms downstairs that are empty. Maybe one of those could be a candidate for a "Theater Room" For now I'm going to make best for what I have.

Every post I've seen what wants recommendation for in-wall/ceiling speakers the DT's are always given. I will definitely keeps those high on my list. Are there any other speakers I should research?

The reason I was asking about in-wall vs on-wall I was worried about the fireplace mantle blocking the sound if listener are either far left or right of center. Maybe I'm over thinking this.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-21-2013, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripperclip View Post

Thanks for the comments. The wet bar is plumed so it's not moving. I like the idea of the projector but that will have to be a future investment. There are two bedrooms downstairs that are empty. Maybe one of those could be a candidate for a "Theater Room" For now I'm going to make best for what I have.

Every post I've seen what wants recommendation for in-wall/ceiling speakers the DT's are always given. I will definitely keeps those high on my list. Are there any other speakers I should research?

The reason I was asking about in-wall vs on-wall I was worried about the fireplace mantle blocking the sound if listener are either far left or right of center. Maybe I'm over thinking this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripperclip View Post

Thanks for the comments. The wet bar is plumed so it's not moving. I like the idea of the projector but that will have to be a future investment. There are two bedrooms downstairs that are empty. Maybe one of those could be a candidate for a "Theater Room" For now I'm going to make best for what I have.

Every post I've seen what wants recommendation for in-wall/ceiling speakers the DT's are always given. I will definitely keeps those high on my list. Are there any other speakers I should research?

The reason I was asking about in-wall vs on-wall I was worried about the fireplace mantle blocking the sound if listener are either far left or right of center. Maybe I'm over thinking this.

The Deftech's are often recommended because for in-ceiling speakers for your mains you are looking for:
- 45 degree angle for the woofer/tweeter design. Most in-ceiling speakers are 20 degrees or less. This means the sound is pretty much being directed to the floor in front of you, and not the seating position. With a properly designed in-ceiling speaker, the sound from the main seating position can sound like it is coming from right in front of you, they way that an in-room speaker or in-wall speaker can be configured.
- Enclosure. I would highly recommend an enclosure for a number of reasons. One, there is speaker loss that occurs with open baffle designs. Two, the sound easily bleeds through to adjoining rooms. Third, you don't always know what is behind your walls and how it will affect the sound.

There are other companies that meet the above. To name a few that I would recommend are Triad, BG Radia, and Episode. B&W also makes some speakers as well that meet the criteria (although not cheaply).

If you go in-ceiling make sure you get speakers that are properly angled like the Deftech RCS II's or III's:



I would not match in-wall with in-ceiling for your front mains. If you can make in-wall speakers work for the front three, that is a good option and probably favorable to in-ceiling if you can make it work.

I would not put the sub under the stairs. I would wire one subwoofer in the front right corner if you are facing the screen, and another one on the backwall behind the couch in your pic.
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-22-2013, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the post.
I will try and get the LCR speakers on the wall around the TV but I believe the center is going to give me a problem. You think deftech's UIW RLS III would be a good candidate for the in-walls? My back up plan with be RCS's in the ceiling. I will also check out the other speakers you recommended.

Thanks for the help.
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-22-2013, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripperclip View Post

Thanks again for the post.
I will try and get the LCR speakers on the wall around the TV but I believe the center is going to give me a problem. You think deftech's UIW RLS III would be a good candidate for the in-walls? My back up plan with be RCS's in the ceiling. I will also check out the other speakers you recommended.

Thanks for the help.

I have the UIW RLS II's and am quite happy with them. The Triad's were a step up in terms of sound quality but were significantly more expensive.
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-22-2013, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripperclip View Post

Thanks again for the post.
I will try and get the LCR speakers on the wall around the TV but I believe the center is going to give me a problem. You think deftech's UIW RLS III would be a good candidate for the in-walls? My back up plan with be RCS's in the ceiling. I will also check out the other speakers you recommended.

Thanks for the help.

I would think the RLS ii's would be better for the size of room you have. If you can't do in-wall surrounds, the RCS ii's for side and rears would be the next best option. Yes, Triads are better, but prepare to shell out more. If you have the coins, the Triads are awesome.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-04-2013, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I have the UIW RLS II's and am quite happy with them. The Triad's were a step up in terms of sound quality but were significantly more expensive.

I finished my low voltage walk through and ended up with 5.1 system. The HVAC in the ceiling didn' allow for the side speakers so I have two rears. I also had the builder move 2x4 stud to accommodate the front right speaker. The center channel is going to be mounted (sitting) on the fireplace mantle. I contacted Deftech to see which stand alone speaker would match RLS II/III and they recommended the CS-8040HD. I still don't know if I'm going to use the RLS II or III for my fronts.

I only paid the low voltage contractor to wire in for 5.1 (actually 5.2) I'm on my own for installing the speakers. Reading the UIW RSS manual says you have to secure the speaker with 2 screws for ceiling installs. I would have to add the supports after drywall. I have an idea but could be tricky. How did you brace your UIW RSS?

I went to a local dealer ( Listen Up) for a Deftech demo but they only had floor standing and bookshelf speakers. The sales guy showed me some Goldenear on wall speakers which sounded okay.

They also had a dedicated HT room with decked out Mcintosh, B&W, projector and screen. All of which I wanted very badly.
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 08:58 PM
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Curious what you ended up doing, as now I am deciding between the Def Tech UIW RLS III and the GoldenEar Supersat 50s on wall.
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post #12 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I haven't done anything yet. My house won't be finished for a couple more months. I at least have a plan now. I had my low voltage contractor install the 5.2 wiring with pre-wiring brackets.
After reading a different post where ack_bk recommended not installing brackets I had the contractor remove the in-ceiling brackets. I've read a lot of posts where ack_bk has had some excellent comments. I find his inputs very informative.
Right now I'm planning on deftech UIW RSS II for the left and right and the CS-8040HD for the center. Surrounds will be UIW RLS III. Recently I've been reseaching subs. I'm going to start with a PA-150 based on what I've read around it.
I still have time so I might go demo the Goldenear speakers again. Do you have a chance to listen to them?
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post #13 of 13 Old 06-10-2013, 09:58 PM
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Mine won't be finished for a couple more months, but I have to decide on which speakers because they will dictate, in part, which installer I am using. I have listened to the GoldenEar Supersat 50's for music only, in a non-wall-mounted position. I found the sound to be quite natural, with surprising imaging given the diminutive size and a clarity in the highs and mids that I really enjoyed. That said, when listening to a bit of piano, they didn't sound like the piano was right there, but very few speakers do. I didn't love the transition between them and the forcefield sub, but the room and setup could have contributed to it.

I am deciding between these and the RLS III, not the RLS II.
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