Behind Screen Speaker Setup - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-31-2013, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I am in the process of designing a new theater for a new home (YAY). It will be a dedicated room, approximately 18x24, with the screen on the 18 wall.

I think the right screen size is 150x84 (16:9 - 171" Diag).

Here is where I need help. I have used for years a floor standing speaker setup in all my theaters, and now I would like to have the "Flat Wall" effect, with my speakers behind the screen. I will get a GREAT screen from Draper/Stewart to make this happen. Here is where I struggle:
* Speaker PLACEMENT -
1) Do you get monitors, and put them on stands to bring the LCR to the same height?
2) What about floor standing speakers, OK to use these, but get the C speaker on a stand so it is same tweeter height as the floor standing speakers?
3) Wall Mount Speakers - If I use a SEALED monitor, is it advisable to put them on shelves on the wall behind the screen at the same height?

* Speaker CHOICE - If you have speakers behind your screen,
1) what are they?
2) how do you have them mounted - arranged?

I hope to have a separate (2) Channel room in this new house, so I am not going to get crazy about critical listening, but really appreciate music in my theater.

Jeff in Detroit
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-31-2013, 02:55 PM
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Ok, I'll start.

Without knowing the final room layout I'll guess you have enough space to use tower speakers, and that's a completely valid choice, but you should consider using three identical speakers for the LCR channels instead of using the classic horizontal center channel.

I have inwalls because of a smaller room, so in my case it's a completely different situation.

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post #3 of 15 Old 07-31-2013, 03:37 PM
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First of all, that is a huge screen, I hope you have a projector with a ton of lumens. You are going to need all the brightness you can get. Secondly, for behind screen speakers, do not get conventional speakers like they sell at bestbuy. You will want speakers that resemble more commercial cinema speakers. Depending on your budget, I would look at JBL cinema speakers, JTR, Pi Fours, Danley Sound Labs, Klipsch THX, among others. You will want some powerful subs too, I wouldn't even look at regular home audio subs. I would be looking at subs from JTR, Danley, etc. If you can DIY a bit, there are some great subwoofer solutions out there which can save you a ton of money.
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-31-2013, 04:17 PM
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Agree with shadyJ, def look at quality commercial cinema speakers for a screen that large & fairly large room volume. A system designed for a small commercial cinema is what would be practical. The goal should be clear dialogue without distortion able to handle any upward dynamic swings (headroom) while sounding excellent with microdynamics. JBL, QSC are what I like. Many other high quality choices like mentioned above. Do it right the 1st time & really not that expensive considering performance you get.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-31-2013, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbryngelson View Post

I am in the process of designing a new theater for a new home (YAY). It will be a dedicated room, approximately 18x24, with the screen on the 18 wall.

I think the right screen size is 150x84 (16:9 - 171" Diag).

Here is where I need help. I have used for years a floor standing speaker setup in all my theaters, and now I would like to have the "Flat Wall" effect, with my speakers behind the screen. I will get a GREAT screen from Draper/Stewart to make this happen. Here is where I struggle:
* Speaker PLACEMENT -
1) Do you get monitors, and put them on stands to bring the LCR to the same height?
2) What about floor standing speakers, OK to use these, but get the C speaker on a stand so it is same tweeter height as the floor standing speakers?
3) Wall Mount Speakers - If I use a SEALED monitor, is it advisable to put them on shelves on the wall behind the screen at the same height?

* Speaker CHOICE - If you have speakers behind your screen,
1) what are they?
2) how do you have them mounted - arranged?

I hope to have a separate (2) Channel room in this new house, so I am not going to get crazy about critical listening, but really appreciate music in my theater.

Jeff in Detroit

What is your speaker and sub budget?
Are you wanting to use wall mounted surrounds or are you going to build columns for the surrounds?
How close will the seating be to the side walls?

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post #6 of 15 Old 08-01-2013, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the note. I have a NHT 2.9 LR and a NHT AudioCenter-2, that matches the upper half of the 2.9s. It served me well for nearly 14yrs. What has your experience been with in-wall speakers? I have avoided due to quality issues when compared to traditional monitors or full range speakers.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-01-2013, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

First of all, that is a huge screen, I hope you have a projector with a ton of lumens. You are going to need all the brightness you can get. Secondly, for behind screen speakers, do not get conventional speakers like they sell at bestbuy. You will want speakers that resemble more commercial cinema speakers. Depending on your budget, I would look at JBL cinema speakers, JTR, Pi Fours, Danley Sound Labs, Klipsch THX, among others. You will want some powerful subs too, I wouldn't even look at regular home audio subs. I would be looking at subs from JTR, Danley, etc. If you can DIY a bit, there are some great subwoofer solutions out there which can save you a ton of money.

Thanks for your note! Yes, the screen will be B I G G G G !! :-) I believe a completely light controlled room, with a newer JVC projector should serve me nicely for Video. I am looking to find the right speaker, regardless of where I can get it, but lets just say, I shop audiogon and AVS-Classifieds more than BB. Current setup is NHT (Legacy Ken Kantor speakers, not the Harmon stuff). It sounded great, but I am hesitant to put them behind the screen, as much of the speaker will be below the screen bottom. This is my opportunity to really get the HT Audio optimized for HT, and not a compromise of HT and Critical 2-CH Audio . I am aware of the benefits of the center speaker being at ear level, along with the Left and Right.

Have you mounted your speakers behind your screen? How? What speakers? What screen?

Thanks for the Input!

Jeff in Detroit
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-01-2013, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genelec Man View Post

Agree with shadyJ, def look at quality commercial cinema speakers for a screen that large & fairly large room volume. A system designed for a small commercial cinema is what would be practical. The goal should be clear dialogue without distortion able to handle any upward dynamic swings (headroom) while sounding excellent with microdynamics. JBL, QSC are what I like. Many other high quality choices like mentioned above. Do it right the 1st time & really not that expensive considering performance you get.

Thanks Genelec! I will look at these speakers. Do you have a setup using these? Behind the screen?

I am thinking about the ZU Omen monitors and center as possible speakers for my application, but worry about their ability to fill the room.

Current Speakers are NHT 2.9s and AudioCenter-2, which more than filled my 20x16 room at the old man cave. They were powered by a nice trio of Tube based mono block amps, that really were nicely musical, and really helped with dialog. Only down side was huge impact effects, where they fell apart a bit (I noticed, but no one else). When the system was powered by a Parasound 2205 (225w/ch of John Curl designed WATTS), they were "Vailed" but handled effects like nobodies business. Classic Tube vs SS issues.

I will have to decide on Amps, to match the speakers once I have decided which way to go on them... Speakers first, then the right amp to drive them.

Jeff in Detroit
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-01-2013, 11:41 AM
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Really need a budget ... ?

For behind the screen LCRs for a room your size, I'd without hesitation go with Seaton's Catalyst12C, it's peerless at it's price.

I'd second the pro approach, ie., JBL etc, also the QSC KW122, or the lesser priced yet highly capable K12, I own the QSC K8s and they're remarkable.


Good luck

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post #10 of 15 Old 08-01-2013, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbryngelson View Post

Thanks for your note! Yes, the screen will be B I G G G G !! :-) I believe a completely light controlled room, with a newer JVC projector should serve me nicely for Video. I am looking to find the right speaker, regardless of where I can get it, but lets just say, I shop audiogon and AVS-Classifieds more than BB. Current setup is NHT (Legacy Ken Kantor speakers, not the Harmon stuff). It sounded great, but I am hesitant to put them behind the screen, as much of the speaker will be below the screen bottom. This is my opportunity to really get the HT Audio optimized for HT, and not a compromise of HT and Critical 2-CH Audio . I am aware of the benefits of the center speaker being at ear level, along with the Left and Right.

Have you mounted your speakers behind your screen? How? What speakers? What screen?

Thanks for the Input!

Jeff in Detroit

Unless you are getting a very powerful and expensive projector, you may end up being disappointed in the picture. I would be looking at 4k+ lumen projectors for a screen like that. In any case, if you haven't done so, you should go into the projector forum and ask for advice about running a screen that large, it might not be as simple as you imagine. Also, NHT speakers or any speaker like them will sound pretty sorry behind a 170" screen. You might look around for used pro cinema speakers on ebay and whatnot. Audiogon and AVS don't typically have the kind of speakers I would want in a setup like that, and I definitely would not want a tube amp for that kind of sound system. If you are on a tight budget, you might want to look at the QSC K or KW series speakers, they are live sound speakers but sound good enough for home audio. Also look at the JBL Cinema 3000 series.
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post #11 of 15 Old 08-01-2013, 12:48 PM
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+1

Behind the screen, you don't care how speakers look, only how they sound. Three used Klipsch La Scala would work great and cost little, but you'd need 2 feet of depth space for them.

A member's setup:

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post #12 of 15 Old 08-01-2013, 12:58 PM
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La Scalas would be good, Cornwalls, Belles as well, if you can get some. Along those lines, Pi Fours and GedLee Abbeys would be great as well.
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-01-2013, 02:28 PM
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Double post.

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post #14 of 15 Old 08-01-2013, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbryngelson View Post

Thanks for the note. I have a NHT 2.9 LR and a NHT AudioCenter-2, that matches the upper half of the 2.9s. It served me well for nearly 14yrs. What has your experience been with in-wall speakers? I have avoided due to quality issues when compared to traditional monitors or full range speakers.

A lot of this depends on your goals and budget. A high sensitivity speaker behind an AT screen with multiple subwoofers would be a nice way to go, but until we know what you are looking for in a system, it is hard to recommend. For many people the NHT speakers that you have would not cut it for a dedicated room using an AT screen. If you are looking for the dynamics of reference level theater, then high sensitivity speakers and multiple subs are the way to go. Without knowing a budget, I don't know where to begin. I will tell you this, a 171" 16:9 Stewart micoperf AT screen has an MSRP of $10,974 and it is going to take a bright projector to light it up.

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post #15 of 15 Old 08-01-2013, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbryngelson View Post

Thanks for the note. I have a NHT 2.9 LR and a NHT AudioCenter-2, that matches the upper half of the 2.9s. It served me well for nearly 14yrs. What has your experience been with in-wall speakers? I have avoided due to quality issues when compared to traditional monitors or full range speakers.

I'd say good enough in my case. I don't have the space, budget and skill yet to get some of the spectacular results you can find here at AVS but I guess going from tv speakers to headphones to a receiver with polk monitors in the living room to polk towers to a dedicated 12x17 space with inwalls behind an 110" AT Screen has been a lot of progress.

Inwalls are just one of the compromises I have accepted for a room my family and friends are just beginning to really enjoy but I wouldn't recommend going that way if using "conventional" speakers is an option.

JBL's always come up as suggested options for HT's looking for that cinematic sound experience.

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