Speaker Help/Advice for Family room 5.1 TV/Music set up - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-10-2014, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Speaker Advice/Suggestions - I could really use some suggestions on speakers for front L/R, Center, & Back L/R.

 

Listening Habits -  I want to set up a 5.1 surround sound environment for 75% TV/25% Music.

 

Room Area – I have a 14’W X 16’L X 14’H which was pre-wired for 5.1 sound. The front Left/Right speakers are prewired at 11’ and the back Left/Right speakers are 11.5’ feet off the ground.

The room is part of a very open floor plan to kitchen, dining room, and breakfast area.

 

Budget – I have a dedicated Media room already so I don’t need to go overboard on having the very best but something that is quality at a reasonable price. Hearing the voice parts on television/movies is quite important.

 I would like to keep things under $1,600 for the Front L/R, Rear L/R & Center speakers as I will still need to get a sub. (that isn’t in the $1,600 budget) If I could do it well under that and have great quality for hearing voices with movies, etc. I would be very pleased with it.

 

Appearance/Space Requirements - My wife wanted in-wall speakers, however the fronts can’t be lowered easily so I think those are out now given the height of the prewire locations. Is that true given the lack of directionality in-wall speakers typically lack? I was told that sound falls, so is that an issue?

 

I’m planning on putting the Center under the TV. Given that I would like to keep the Center under 12” in height. No depth limitation and 48” width in opening.

 

WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) here is high on keeping the footprint minimized in the living room of the Front L/R and Rear L/R speakers. However, I think she is prepared for externally mounted speakers now.

 

Should I consider a high end sound bar with a sub to keep this easy or will I be losing a lot?

 

Tower speakers are definitely NOT an option here.

 

Current Receiver - I have a Denon AVR-1912 Receiver. http://usa.denon.com/us/Product/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?PCatId=AVSolutions(DenonNA)&CatId=AVReceivers(DenonNA)&Pid=AVR1912(DenonNA) It puts out 90 W per channel and can handle 2 zones, airplay, etc..  Should I upgrade this or is this still workable?

 

Additional Question - To complicate this further – are there any suggestions for being able to supplement the other open areas with music via some type of wireless speakers? Should I be thinking about that while looking at speakers?

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post #2 of 20 Old 02-12-2014, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
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If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them as I'm not a big audiophile and trying to set this up right the first time.. Am I making this far too complex with too much info? smile.gif
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post #3 of 20 Old 02-12-2014, 05:53 PM
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Soundbar...better than TV speakers, but that is about it!
On wall speakers? EMPtek makes some pretty good on wall speakers in a couple sizes...of course, many other companies make on walls, which will often be a compromise over a deeper enclosure.
If you are thinking about flush mounting a speaker on the wall, make sure it is sealed or front ported!
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-12-2014, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidndallas View Post

If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them as I'm not a big audiophile and trying to set this up right the first time.. Am I making this far too complex with too much info? smile.gif

NHT Classic Two - 2 each
http://www.nhthifi.com/Two-Black?sc=12&category=3772

Classic Two center
http://www.nhthifi.com/Two-C?sc=12&category=3774

Absolute Zero - 2 each, for surrounds
http://www.nhthifi.com/Absolute-Zero-Black?sc=12&category=3772

They are having a 10% off sale
http://www.nhthifi.com/

Except for the center, the speakers will need to be angled down

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post #5 of 20 Old 02-12-2014, 08:15 PM
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If you can do just a tiny bit of assembly, check out some of these Dayton speaker kits. They will have very good sound quality and very high WAF, they just require you to do a little bit of put together to keep the cost down, but that is very easy, just watch the video on the product page. A set that looks nice and will sound great would be three of these curved gloss black MTMs for the front stage, and two of these curved gloss black bookshelf speakers for the surrounds. That comes out to just about 1500 shipped and will sound very nice. You might also check out a Rosewood Hsu HB-1/HC-1 speaker set. A speaker which look like it might be very good is the JBL Studio 530 with the 520 center, they are definitely worth considering if they pass the WAF.
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post #6 of 20 Old 02-13-2014, 12:03 AM
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Only $250 for each satellite. You can then spend some portion of the leftover $600 on a bigger center channel (they have a number of options in that line).

http://www.soundandvision.com/content/goldenear-supercinema-3-speaker-system
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-27-2014, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Pictures of Setup

Hi Folks - I'm still at ground zero.

Should I be using satellites, bookshelf speakers or ? My wife wants it looking clean, however I don't think in wall are an option given the height and tightness to the corners for the pre-wired spots.

The whole floor plan is very open and quite huge with an open dining room to the left front and the entire back open to kitchen breakfast area.

I've attached some pictures as I thought that might help folks understand the space. 80% of the time will be TV viewing I think and the rest music. Any suggestions for filling the other areas with music, etc.? Would this be a wireless thing like Sonos to get to additional rooms for audio or ?

Any/all feedback is greatly appreciated!!!!
Thanks in advance and for those that have posted already thank you!

David
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-27-2014, 01:08 PM
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You have some distance between the listening positions and the speakers, so you will want bookshelf speakers if you mount speakers that high. Satellite speakers will not cut those kinds of distances. Since the room looks acoustically reflective, I would go for something that has good dispersion character. I hate to say it, but, under your placement restrictions in a room like that, I don't think you can get great sound. Particularly awkward is the placement of the center speaker with respect to the front left/right speakers. It will make for an odd front soundstage. That being the case, you may not want to spend a lot on speakers since you are unlikely to get an amazing sound no matter what you get. You might just get an Infinity Primus set, p163 fronts and surrounds and a c351 center. They are not expensive, they can get loud, and they have good performance metrics for the price. That set would cost you a tad over 500.

The aforementioned JBL studio 530s and Hsu HB-1s may do a bit better at mitigating the distance, but they cost a bit more with a 5 channel Hsu set for over 900 and a 5 channel JBL Studio set for over 1200. Hsu has excellent subwoofers, so it may be worth looking into a Hsu speaker/sub package if you are looking for a sub too. Klipsch might work in that setup, maybe, as their dispersion is tightly controlled. I would look into Klipsch RB bookshelf speakers, they are easy to demo as many stores carry them. Another speaker that might do OK in there is the KEF speakers with the Uni-Q drivers. These speakers have excellent vertical response, which may be very beneficial in that type of setup. But like I said before, no matter what, you can not avoid a weird front soundstage, so it may not be worth spending that much. Actually, and I am loath to say it, a sound bar may be in order here.

If you do decide on speakers, make sure to angle them to your listening position. A good bookshelf speaker mount which lets you angle your speakers is the Videosecu Side-clamping mounts, they can hold a fair amount of weight, 30 lbs as I recall/ They do not require you to drill in your speakers like many other mounts, however for the tightest and most secure grip, that can be done with them. That might be worth thinking about since you absolutely do not want a speaker falling from that height. Another reason not to buy expensive speakers- you may have to drill holes in them.
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-27-2014, 02:23 PM
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Your AVR isn't the problem, your rooms are. I've seen impossible rooms before, but your room(s) and the location of your TV places this right at the top. Normally, one would like the speakers to be on each side of your TV and the center channel under or above the TV. I would recommend that you place your TV above the fireplace and use the space underneath the TV for your center channel. Go out and audition good quality bookshelf speakers and center channels (place bookshelf speakers on stands on each side of the fireplace -- try to avoid placing them on bookshelves unless they are sealed or front ported). Mounting any front speakers where yours are located now, probably won't help you all that much. The rear speakers may be okay because they handle very little audio information.

If you cannot move the TV to above the fireplace and it will remain in that cubbyhole, then I think a platform speaker (not a sound bar) may provide the the most straight-forward solution. After all, you already have a dedicated media room. If that is the case, then a large platform speaker may work, but these are active speakers (meaning, they come with their own amplifier). Zvox is the originator and leader in platform speakers, but call them to see how to hook them up to your AVR, since your AVR doesn't come with preamplifier output ports. http://www.zvoxaudio.com/divinity-ca...ase.670/1.html
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-28-2014, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Center channel placement?

So I was planning on putting the center channel speaker originally under the television as I have a bit articulating tv mount .

Does that effect/improve the soundstage or not really since the right front speaker is right above it?

The wife just vetoed bookshelf speakers sticking out of the wall.

Does that leave me with soundbars as the last option? UGHHHH . . .
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post #11 of 20 Old 09-28-2014, 12:25 PM
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Don't take it too hard David, with your intended placement, bookshelf speakers would have been greatly compromised anyway. The center vs right front speaker placement wouldn't have sounded too good. Soundbars will probably make the most sense in this case.
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post #12 of 20 Old 09-29-2014, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post
Don't take it too hard David, with your intended placement, bookshelf speakers would have been greatly compromised anyway. The center vs right front speaker placement wouldn't have sounded too good. Soundbars will probably make the most sense in this case.
Second (or is it third) the soundbar recommendation. That room is not really conducive to good sound, and given the placement restrictions, well, a soundbar makes the most sense.
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-30-2014, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by davidndallas View Post
Hi Folks - I'm still at ground zero.

Should I be using satellites, bookshelf speakers or ? My wife wants it looking clean, however I don't think in wall are an option given the height and tightness to the corners for the pre-wired spots.

The whole floor plan is very open and quite huge with an open dining room to the left front and the entire back open to kitchen breakfast area.

I've attached some pictures as I thought that might help folks understand the space. 80% of the time will be TV viewing I think and the rest music. Any suggestions for filling the other areas with music, etc.? Would this be a wireless thing like Sonos to get to additional rooms for audio or ?

Any/all feedback is greatly appreciated!!!!
Thanks in advance and for those that have posted already thank you!

David
Hi David,

The pictures are useful - thanks. A floor plan showing the seating arrangement, TV location and the pre-wired location with distances would also help.

As others have said, the current location of the TV and where you plan to be sitting (the Main Listening Position) means placement of the speakers is a problem. The surround can go behind the Main Listening Position (MLP) and your receiver has Audyssey which will set the correct levels and distances for them.

If the MLP is between 9' to 11' from the speakers, then medium sensitivity of 86dB/W/m satellites would get you to reference levels. The following speakers have a better WAF than most.

With the TV in its current location, the sound stage would be short and there would not be much separation in the stereo imaging and hence the center speaker becomes critical.

My apartment audio setup is also a challenge, but with some perseverance - it is much better than the TV speakers that was used previously. The journal and tales of woe are chronicled in the following thread: KEF E305/E301 satellite + sub speaker package thread

If you can relocate the TV to over the fireplace (as suggested by other AVS members) it would help with improving the sound stage. If this is not possible, then separate satellites with the tweeters aimed to the MLP is the next best option.
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post #14 of 20 Old 10-12-2014, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Folks,
Thanks for all of the input so far.

I'm now at the point of deciding on a sound bar and subwoofer for this room. At this point I'm really leaning towards 1. the Goldenear 3D array soundbar $1,000 MSRP (plus subwoofer) or 2. the Sony HT-ST7 sound bar with wireless subwoofer, $1,300.

I have a Dennon AVR 1912 (with airplay) just sitting that I can use with the goldenear as it is passive. However from what I have read - most folks are NOT impressed by the goldenear's specs on their small subwoofers. So I would probably look elsewhere for a sub.

Given the room size and that the majority of listening will be television/movies 80% and 20% music, does anyone have any feedback?

I have heard reviews both positive on both, listened to them in person, etc. However I'm wondering which might be able to actually fill the room better - especially with TV dialogue.

Any thoughts/feedback on soundbars or some that I should listen to would be appreciated.
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post #15 of 20 Old 10-12-2014, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Subwoofer help with soundbar for this giant room?

I probably won't be able to pressurize this room without two (wife won't go for that I'm sure) and she won't want a big giant subwoofer either.

Would a simple subwoofer like a SVS PC-2000 suffice for what I need or ?

Thanks in advance,
David

Last edited by davidndallas; 10-12-2014 at 03:40 PM. Reason: quote formattting is messed up
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post #16 of 20 Old 10-12-2014, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidndallas View Post
I probably won't be able to pressurize this room without two (wife won't go for that I'm sure) and she won't want a big giant subwoofer either.

Would a simple subwoofer like a SVS PC-2000 suffice for what I need or ?

Thanks in advance,
David
David,

Subs are dependent on room volume and since your space is odd shaped and cavernous, you'll need multiple subs to address bass issues. The SVS PC-2000 is a 12' sub with good specs, it should be easy to integrate with the your goldenear soundbar with a little higher than expected crossover frequency. I'd stay away from the Sony soundbar.

Placement of the sub becomes critical and since both your listening position and soundbar are fixed, you'll need to experiment the best location.

Your receiver has a single sub output, simply get a Y-adapter to split the signal to a 2nd sub when required. The MiniDSP unbalanced 2x4 is another good option if you're interested in dialing in the sub frequencies.
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post #17 of 20 Old 10-13-2014, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidndallas View Post
I probably won't be able to pressurize this room without two (wife won't go for that I'm sure) and she won't want a big giant subwoofer either.

Would a simple subwoofer like a SVS PC-2000 suffice for what I need or ?

Thanks in advance,
David
One other option is to place the sub "near field", meaning right next to your seating position. As an endtable, perhaps? WAF is an issue, but this is one approach to getting the most bass out of a situation where the room is way too big for the sub. Look at HSU, SVS, and Rhythmic for quality subs. Also, you'll find some near field info on the HSU site - look at their mid-bass sub for details.
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post #18 of 20 Old 10-13-2014, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for feedback on subs folks!

So on sub placement, as it effects what I will purchase. If I have an entertainment built-in cabinet, would I have issues if I place it in there under the television or do you think I will get way too much rattle? Things seem pretty solid in there and it has room for various subs.

I know every room is different for placement, however I'm working with the wife on compromise. We would have the soundbar above the sub and the tv wall mounted above that.

Otherwise, I think my wife would let me get by with one sub (cylinder type) for this big room. I would place that to the far right of the listening area in front of the couch or behind the couch if needed.

I'm thinking under $1,000 for budget in this same room with pictures posted way above.

Thanks!
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post #19 of 20 Old 10-13-2014, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by davidndallas View Post
Thanks for feedback on subs folks!

So on sub placement, as it effects what I will purchase. If I have an entertainment built-in cabinet, would I have issues if I place it in there under the television or do you think I will get way too much rattle? Things seem pretty solid in there and it has room for various subs.

I know every room is different for placement, however I'm working with the wife on compromise. We would have the soundbar above the sub and the tv wall mounted above that.

Otherwise, I think my wife would let me get by with one sub (cylinder type) for this big room. I would place that to the far right of the listening area in front of the couch or behind the couch if needed.

I'm thinking under $1,000 for budget in this same room with pictures posted way above.

Thanks!
Assuming anything about sub placement before you have it in the room and can hear it is a BIG mistake. The positioning of the sub within the room can have major implications on the listening experience at your seat. So many folks do just that, then wonder why their expensive sub does not perform like they expected. There should be multiple options in placement for you to be assured of the best possible performance from your sub investment.

If you are going for a cylinder sub, you could save some cash by looking for an older used HSU or SVS cylinder sub. It would also afford you (uh, the wife) the possibility of re-wrapping the cylinder in a fabric of her choice! Spray painting the grille? Oh, the possibilities!

Lastly, putting a sub in a cabinet is usually a bad idea. There are always exceptions, but they are few and far between the failures. Look for multiple (three or more) possible acceptable spots for the sub. You two may need to use some imagination, and do not feel restricted to the front of the room. Sides and back are also possible, assuming you can cross over at 80 or lower. You can also lay a cylinder sub down on it's side (usually behind a couch).

Keep NEGOTIATING. Don't let WAF be the death of your sound quality.
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post #20 of 20 Old 10-13-2014, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidndallas View Post
Thanks for feedback on subs folks!

So on sub placement, as it effects what I will purchase. If I have an entertainment built-in cabinet, would I have issues if I place it in there under the television or do you think I will get way too much rattle? Things seem pretty solid in there and it has room for various subs.

I know every room is different for placement, however I'm working with the wife on compromise. We would have the soundbar above the sub and the tv wall mounted above that.

Otherwise, I think my wife would let me get by with one sub (cylinder type) for this big room. I would place that to the far right of the listening area in front of the couch or behind the couch if needed.

I'm thinking under $1,000 for budget in this same room with pictures posted way above.

Thanks!
David,

Murphy's law says that it's going to work against you on the best laid out plans. Afraid RayGuy is correct in that placing the sub in a built-in cabinet will seldom pleasing results.

For your odd shaped cavernous room, you might want to consider a 2 sub setup. The benefits of multiple subs approach is several fold.

(1) It will even out the bass response. Not just at the Main Listening Position (MLP) but other seats as well. This will minimize the seat to seat variance. It has the benefit of dealing with room modes better.
(2) You'll be able to have a higher crossover setting on the AVR to integrate with the soundbar by Goldenears. A single sub may produce localization issues with high crossovers. I.e. you'll hear certain sound coming from both the sub and the soundbar at the same time in certain frequencies. This may/may not bother some. Multiple subs will help alleviate the localization issue.
(3) More headroom available for the AVR. With bass management implemented on the Denon AVR 1912, the current sapping/light dimming/power consuming low frequencies of the soundtrack are diverted to the more capable subs instead of the soundbar speakers. This allows the AVR to drive the mid and high frequencies which puts lets strain on amp.
(4) Multiple subs provide about an additional 3 to 6 dB of sound output providing some additional headroom. A 3dB increase in sound output results in doubling the amp power requirements. 6dB is four times the power requirement. By having multiple subs, the system would be able to ride out larger transients in the soundtrack. Think of a scene with a quiet whisper with a sudden change to a explosion. A single sub may struggle with this in a large room.

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