Help building a new 5.1 setup? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 45 Old 01-31-2017, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Help building a new 5.1 setup?

1) Your Budget.
I've got about $1200 available to spend on this project without driving the wife over the edge. We just moved into a new home and part of the deal was that I get to outfit the TV room. I've already invested in a Samsung 65" KS8000 this past fall.

2) Your listening interests: movies/gaming/music--and whether or not any of those are your primary concern.
Gaming and movies are the primary interests. I'll be using an Xbox One S for UHD 4K discs in addition to games. I also run a PS4 and Steam Link on this display for gaming. There's a 3rd Gen Apple TV connected for Netflix and streaming options.

3) Your existing audio equipment (make/models) if any. Include comments about what you hope to improve upon.
I'm in need of an AVR and want to purchase two fronts, a center and a sub, if possible at my budget. The previous owner of the house we bought mounted two Yamaha NS-IC600 speakers in the ceiling that I plan to use as rear channels to create a 5.1 setup (for now).

4) The size of your room. Please also mention if there are adjacent open areas and how big they are (important for subwoofer choice).
The room is a 15'6" x 19'6" rectangle with a smaller alcove under a dormer on the long side wall. The KS8000 is wall mounted at the center of the short wall opposite the entry door. There's a sofa about 9' from the TV. The ceiling mounted IC600s are 16' from the TV (making them 5' behind the sofa, on the left and right rear)

5) Any placement restrictions.
Not really. There's a media console under the TV that could be used to house the fronts/center channels.

6) Any aesthetic or size concerns.
Not really. Probably want black fronts/center just to avoid too many clashing wood tones with existing shelving.

7) Any equipment you are already considering.
Considering the Denon X1300 as it seems to have the right number inputs and features (4k, HDR)
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post #2 of 45 Old 01-31-2017, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venkman781 View Post
1) Your Budget.
I've got about $1200 available to spend on this project without driving the wife over the edge. We just moved into a new home and part of the deal was that I get to outfit the TV room. I've already invested in a Samsung 65" KS8000 this past fall.

2) Your listening interests: movies/gaming/music--and whether or not any of those are your primary concern.
Gaming and movies are the primary interests. I'll be using an Xbox One S for UHD 4K discs in addition to games. I also run a PS4 and Steam Link on this display for gaming. There's a 3rd Gen Apple TV connected for Netflix and streaming options.

3) Your existing audio equipment (make/models) if any. Include comments about what you hope to improve upon.
I'm in need of an AVR and want to purchase two fronts, a center and a sub, if possible at my budget. The previous owner of the house we bought mounted two Yamaha NS-IC600 speakers in the ceiling that I plan to use as rear channels to create a 5.1 setup (for now).

4) The size of your room. Please also mention if there are adjacent open areas and how big they are (important for subwoofer choice).
The room is a 15'6" x 19'6" rectangle with a smaller alcove under a dormer on the long side wall. The KS8000 is wall mounted at the center of the short wall opposite the entry door. There's a sofa about 9' from the TV. The ceiling mounted IC600s are 16' from the TV (making them 5' behind the sofa, on the left and right rear)

5) Any placement restrictions.
Not really. There's a media console under the TV that could be used to house the fronts/center channels.

6) Any aesthetic or size concerns.
Not really. Probably want black fronts/center just to avoid too many clashing wood tones with existing shelving.

7) Any equipment you are already considering.
Considering the Denon X1300 as it seems to have the right number inputs and features (4k, HDR)
Maybe 3 more Yamaha's in the front in the ceiling to keep it matched and to help keep you in budget for a better sub to pick up the lows for your games.
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post #3 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TRD352 View Post
Maybe 3 more Yamaha's in the front in the ceiling to keep it matched and to help keep you in budget for a better sub to pick up the lows for your games.
I hadn't considered this approach yet. Thanks! I think i might opt to pickup some bookshelf size fronts for now. Not wanting to fuss with the ceiling mounts.
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post #4 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Help building a new 5.1 setup?

I did a bit more research last night. Started thinking I should cut back on the budget for the AVR and focus more on the speakers and sub. Here's where I landed:
AVR: Denon s720 (same basic perks as the x1300 for Accessories4Less)
FR-FL: Elac b6
Center: Elac c5
Sub: Bic PL200

This brings the cost to $1037, leaving me a little scratch for wiring, plugs, etc.

Is this a decent setup for the price? The focus is gaming and movies, not music.

Edit: think the PL might be a larger cabinet than I'd like.


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Last edited by venkman781; 02-01-2017 at 06:53 AM.
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post #5 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venkman781 View Post
I did a bit more research last night. Started thinking I should cut back on the budget for the AVR and focus more on the speakers and sub. Here's where I landed:
AVR: Denon s720 (same basic perks as the x1300 for Accessories4Less)
FR-FL: Elac b6
Center: Elac c5
Sub: Bic PL200

This brings the cost to $1037, leaving me a little scratch for wiring, plugs, etc.

Is this a decent setup for the price? The focus is gaming and movies, not music.

Edit: think the PL might be a larger cabinet than I'd like.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
You are wise to consider bookshelves for the front three rather than in ceilings.

Elac makes a great speaker, albeit one that might tax your receiver as they are 4 ohms, but good news is you can buy them at Best Buy and return them with ease if they are problematic in any way.

For your use I'd generally recommend a HSU front three but that would be around $600 delivered.

Give the Elacs a try and let us know what you think.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #6 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
You are wise to consider bookshelves for the front three rather than in ceilings.

Elac makes a great speaker, albeit one that might tax your receiver as they are 4 ohms, but good news is you can buy them at Best Buy and return them with ease if they are problematic in any way.

For your use I'd generally recommend a HSU front three but that would be around $600 delivered.

Give the Elacs a try and let us know what you think.
Thanks for the feedback. I'm leaning towards the Elacs for the value at that price point. Now that I look at the post, I meant to say I was considering the B5, not the B6. I also looked at going with the RBH R5Bi (x3) for the fronts, but kept coming back to the Elacs. Would the R5Bi be a better choice at 8 Ohm? I'm not quite sure of the math when it comes to power/resistance yet.
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post #7 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venkman781 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I'm leaning towards the Elacs for the value at that price point. Now that I look at the post, I meant to say I was considering the B5, not the B6. I also looked at going with the RBH R5Bi (x3) for the fronts, but kept coming back to the Elacs. Would the R5Bi be a better choice at 8 Ohm? I'm not quite sure of the math when it comes to power/resistance yet.
4 ohm speakers won't typically cause a problem with most AVRs "unless" you listen at very loud levels, then it can cause the AVR to overheat and shut down or worse.

The R5Bi by all accounts is a great speaker and the price is right.

As for a sub, if you find the PL200 too big maybe take a look at
https://rslspeakers.com/speedwoofer10s/

Won't have the output above 40hz that the Bic has but it's smaller and a better sub overall. It will give you a decent HT experience with good placement. The closer to your listening position the better as long as it works well in whatever spot you choose.

With the R5Bis everything will still be in budget.

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post #8 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venkman781 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I'm leaning towards the Elacs for the value at that price point. Now that I look at the post, I meant to say I was considering the B5, not the B6. I also looked at going with the RBH R5Bi (x3) for the fronts, but kept coming back to the Elacs. Would the R5Bi be a better choice at 8 Ohm? I'm not quite sure of the math when it comes to power/resistance yet.
The R5Bi's would be easier to drive with a less expensive AVR. The R5BI's are very well liked and often recommended in this forum. I've yet to see one person come back to complain about the sound or lack of performance. They are considered one of the best bang for buck speakers which is no surprise with the glowing reviews they receive.

Kef Q100 FL/FR,SL/SR, Kef Q200C, Bic F12 sub, Denon AVR-S710W, , Panasonic 50" Plasma, cable box, Xbox One, Toshiba laptop.
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post #9 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 12:49 PM
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I have both the Elac and EMP/RBH. I have a set of B5 and liked them enough to go to the UB5/UC5. The EMP are in the main theater with a lot of subs. I am partial to SVS for subs.
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post #10 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll take a 2nd look at the R5BIs.

Would it be worth evaluating an AVR that would power the 4Ohm Elacs? Or would that toss my meager budget out the window?

Edit: Nevermind - I'm going to re-read the AVR FAQ before asking questions like this one again.

Last edited by venkman781; 02-01-2017 at 01:32 PM. Reason: New learning
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post #11 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 01:34 PM
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Would it be worth evaluating an AVR that would power the 4Ohm Elacs? Or would that toss my meager budget out the window?
In that case, start with 2.1 and get some Ascend Acoustics or HSU speakers and stick with the receiver you picked out (add the center later). Easier to drive than the EMP Teks and the Elacs, and should even get a little louder volumes with the same receiver power.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #12 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venkman781 View Post
I'll take a 2nd look at the R5BIs.

Would it be worth evaluating an AVR that would power the 4Ohm Elacs? Or would that toss my meager budget out the window?

Edit: Nevermind - I'm going to re-read the AVR FAQ before asking questions like this one again.
Hey- when you're starting out, there are no bad questions! I was pretty much in your exact situation a few months ago, I had roughly the same budget (I bought the same TV) and was looking for my 1st home theater 3.1 set up. While I haven't heard the R5Bs, they are often recommended on the forum. I was originally looking at the Elac Uni-Fi line, but had the same concerns about 4ohm (as silly as that concern may be- because its only an issue if you are really cranking it and I think even that is debatable). I ended up going with 2 Chane A5 towers and a Chane 2.4 center and have been very pleased with them for movies and music. Now with limited budget I did things in stages and as I've learned in this hobby, the rabbit hole gets wider and deeper by the day! For now I have a 3.0, but plan on adding a PSA V1500 in the near future.

Given your budget I'd recommend three Chane A2.4s across the front, with one acting as the center. That will get you to $807 before shipping, which isn't a huge cost.
https://www.chanemusiccinema.com/lou...e-loudspeakers

I like your choice in receiver with the Denon S720- it'll have plenty of channels and 4K pass through. I got my Marantz from Acccessories4less and people recommend that site here often. Looks like they have it for $300 + shipping.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...y/denon/1.html

That gets you to about $1107 + shipping costs, which should leave some headroom for some banana plugs & speaker wire (which is easily the most stomach-able purchase!). Then add a sub when budget permits.

Other speakers that are fan favorites around here:

The HSU 3.0 package and add VTF-1 MK3 sub.
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/speakerpkg.html

Given the sales right now, KEF is also attractive- a pair of Q300s and a Q200c center
https://www.kefdirect.com/specials/specials.html

Marantz SR5010, Chane A5s, Chane A2.4, UN65KS8000
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post #13 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venkman781 View Post
I'll take a 2nd look at the R5BIs.

Would it be worth evaluating an AVR that would power the 4Ohm Elacs? Or would that toss my meager budget out the window?

Edit: Nevermind - I'm going to re-read the AVR FAQ before asking questions like this one again.
Chances are that the AVR would be just fine with the Elacs and if they are not you can simply return them to Best Buy.

For the extra $50 I'd definitely go for the B6 over the B5s and I'd try the all Elac setup before going with the R5Bs as the returns are so easy.

B6 has a 6 1/2" driver which is a better choice for HT IMHO.

Now that I look at the Elacs I see they are actually 6ohm not 4ohm so no issues with the AVR I wouldn't think.

"With a minimum value of 6 ohms at 190Hz and an electrical phase angle that is high only when the impedance magnitude is also high, this will be a very easy load for the partnering amplifier to drive."

Read more at http://www.stereophile.com/content/e...68voX9mWBFg.99

Geoff A. J., California
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post #14 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Chances are that the AVR would be just fine with the Elacs and if they are not you can simply return them to Best Buy.

For the extra $50 I'd definitely go for the B6 over the B5s and I'd try the all Elac setup before going with the R5Bs as the returns are so easy.

B6 has a 6 1/2" driver which is a better choice for HT IMHO.

Now that I look at the Elacs I see they are actually 6ohm not 4ohm so no issues with the AVR I wouldn't think.
This was super helpful. Thanks! I was looking at the Spec sheet for the s720w and found this little tidbit:

"For compatibility with the widest range of loudspeakers the AVRS720W is equipped with low impedance drive capability that provides operational stability with 4 ohm speakers."
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post #15 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Update

Decided to pull the trigger on the s720w from A4L and went with the Elac B6/C5 combo for the fronts. I'm still in decent shape budget wise with about $350 left. I'm debating just pulling the BIC F12, as it's pretty widely regarded as one of the best value subs around here from what my searching turns up. Any potential pitfalls I should consider?
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post #16 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 04:48 PM
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The Bic F12 is a good sub for the price, the PL-200 even better. You might want to upgrade either one of them one day, as there are subs with a lot better low end extension and better SQ.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #17 of 45 Old 02-01-2017, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I decided to go with the RSL Speedwoofer 10s for a sub. They had some in the outlet for $379 in like new condition with the same warranty/return policy. I thought I'd give it a try and if it's not for me, I'll wait and go for something with a little more budget (e.g. an SVS).
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post #18 of 45 Old 02-02-2017, 02:18 AM
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I decided to go with the RSL Speedwoofer 10s for a sub. They had some in the outlet for $379 in like new condition with the same warranty/return policy. I thought I'd give it a try and if it's not for me, I'll wait and go for something with a little more budget (e.g. an SVS).
I haven't heard them, but from all the user comments and reviews they seem to play well about their class. Best of luck on your new system. Just take some time when setting everything up (front speakers first so they are playing their best, then integrating the sub, then the center & surrounds). Please come back and let us know what you think once everything is up and running.

Music area: Magnepan 3.6, McIntosh MC2205 amp & C48 preamp, SVS SB13-Ultra, Oppo BDP 95, dbx 3BX, and assorted equipment.
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post #19 of 45 Old 02-02-2017, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I haven't heard them, but from all the user comments and reviews they seem to play well about their class. Best of luck on your new system. Just take some time when setting everything up (front speakers first so they are playing their best, then integrating the sub, then the center & surrounds). Please come back and let us know what you think once everything is up and running.


Thanks! I'm really excited to dive in, but don't want to rush the setup process either. Now, the wait begins!


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post #20 of 45 Old 02-02-2017, 10:21 AM
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Thanks! I'm really excited to dive in, but don't want to rush the setup process either. Now, the wait begins!


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Please come back and give us your impressions.

That seems to be a very nice setup.
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post #21 of 45 Old 02-02-2017, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Please come back and give us your impressions.

That seems to be a very nice setup.
Will do! I've got a fair amount of reading on the forums ahead of me to prep for setup. Attached a photo of the space I'm building out. The sofa is about 9 feet out from the TV and there's plenty of space for the mains, center, and sub up there.

I'll likely avoid adding in the ceiling mounted Yamaha "rears" until a later time, as they are about an additional 4-5' behind the back of the couch. Thankfully, the previous owner of the home wired in an outlet with the left and right posts on the left wall near the TV, so testing them would be a snap. I could conceivably use the ceiling mounted speakers for an Atmos setup down the road, but might need to adjust overall placement to make that happen. Don't want to get ahead of myself, but lots of options!

Here's the final build:
TV: Samsung UN65KS8000 (owned)
AVR: Denon S720w - $314, A4L.com
L-R: Elac B6 - $280, Amazon
C: Elac C5 - $180, Amazon
Sub: RLS Speedwoofer 10s - $379, RSL Outlet
RL-RR: Yamaha NS-IC600 (owned)

Total spend: $1,153.00

Edit: added TV size
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post #22 of 45 Old 02-02-2017, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by venkman781 View Post
Will do! I've got a fair amount of reading on the forums ahead of me to prep for setup. Attached a photo of the space I'm building out. The sofa is about 9 feet out from the TV and there's plenty of space for the mains, center, and sub up there.

I'll likely avoid adding in the ceiling mounted Yamaha "rears" until a later time, as they are about an additional 4-5' behind the back of the couch. Thankfully, the previous owner of the home wired in an outlet with the left and right posts on the left wall near the TV, so testing them would be a snap. I could conceivably use the ceiling mounted speakers for an Atmos setup down the road, but might need to adjust overall placement to make that happen. Don't want to get ahead of myself, but lots of options!

Here's the final build:
TV: Samsung UN65KS8000 (owned)
AVR: Denon S720w - $314, A4L.com
L-R: Elac B6 - $280, Amazon
C: Elac C5 - $180, Amazon
Sub: RLS Speedwoofer 10s - $379, RSL Outlet
RL-RR: Yamaha NS-IC600 (owned)

Total spend: $1,153.00

Edit: added TV size
Nice room! That will looks sad being so empty , let us know your impressions when its all set up!

Marantz SR5010, Chane A5s, Chane A2.4, UN65KS8000
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post #23 of 45 Old 02-10-2017, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Help building a new 5.1 setup?

Yesterday was the big day! Everything had been delivered and I got to work on the setup.

I decided on using 12 AWG cable and banana plugs from Monoprice, so I spent most of the morning assembling those. Love the convenience of the banana plugs. Next, I assembled the stands, they are the Pangea 28" steel stands purchased from Amazon. I had to remove the banana plugs from one end on each of the cables for the mains to feed the line through the legs (valuable lesson learned - scope the cable runs first before assembling). All in all, I'm really happy with the build quality of the Pangea stands. For $115 they offer decent weight and the carpet spikes keep wobbles under control.

I got the S720 hooked up and within minutes I was in business. I ran Audyssey on the just the mains first, then played around with the available Internet radio options and found a station to test general sound quality. The Elac B6s really have a nice full sound and I was immediately impressed by the depth at higher volume. For now, the mains are positioned about 8' apart and the main listening position is about 8-9' away from the TV.

Setting up the inputs was a snap. I decided to use the KS8000 ARC port and ran the PS4, XBox One S, AppleTV and Steam Link all to the AVR. With the exception of the XB1S (which displays at 4K and wouldn't display the AVR GUI overlay), navigating through the setup was easily done in a few minutes. I had to hit enter on the remote when the XB signal came through and changethe the Denon to another input before the GUI reappeared.

I then added in the center and the sub, reran Audyssey and did some more testing. Finally, I added the two rear ceiling mounted Yamaha speakers in to make 5.1 happen. Reran Audyssey and then started more testing.

The Speedwoofer sounds deep and punchy, but I noticed it would switch off if it didn't get a signal for a while. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing that's causing it. I think at least once I had been sitting on the pause screen with the AVR fully muted. It may also have to do with the sound settings I was trying out with the Steam Link. I believe it only passes 6-channel PCM and I was fiddling with the sound modes at the time. I'm going to try a bass crawl today to see if I need to adjust the position of the sub.

The Yamaha "rears" are decent and I noticed that they needed about a +1.5db adjustment on the Steam Link during gaming. They are almost 8' behind the couch and face down from the ceiling, so I'm not surprised. They're not an ideal rear surround but they'll have to do for now until I get more dough to throw at another set of bookshelves.

I did watch a few trailers via the AppleTV and was blown away by the sound stage when using 5.1 with this new setup. I've attached a picture of the current layout. I've got some cable management to do and some more testing, but all in all, super happy with my choices. Thanks again for helping me pick out the gear!










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post #24 of 45 Old 02-10-2017, 09:51 AM
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Yesterday was the big day! Everything had been delivered and I got to work on the setup.

I did watch a few trailers via the AppleTV and was blown away by the sound stage when using 5.1 with this new setup. I've attached a picture of the current layout. I've got some cable management to do and some more testing, but all in all, super happy with my choices. Thanks again for helping me pick out the gear!
Excellent; you have a very nice system there.

Try putting some rubber bumpers or foam under the front of the center channel so it is aiming at your ear level and pull it forward so it slightly overhangs the shelf.

Do you have the crossover bypassed on the back of the sub?

Do you have the gain on the sub about halfway and the sub plugged into the top left LFE RCA in?

If a source has no content below the crossover setting the sub will auto shut off which is normal.

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post #25 of 45 Old 02-10-2017, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Excellent; you have a very nice system there.



Try putting some rubber bumpers or foam under the front of the center channel so it is aiming at your ear level and pull it forward so it slightly overhangs the shelf.



Do you have the crossover bypassed on the back of the sub?



Do you have the gain on the sub about halfway and the sub plugged into the top left LFE RCA in?



If a source has no content below the crossover setting the sub will auto shut off which is normal.

Thanks! I'm enjoying it so far!

I'm going to try the bumper tip with a few rubber doorstops. Saw that on Audioholics, I think.

I do have the LFE cable in the top left LFE jack. Bypass switch is set to Crossover Bypass. Volume on the sub is at 12:00/50%.

However, on the Denon GUI menu, under Crossovers - it is currently set to:

Speaker select - Individual
All - 80Hz (greyed out when Speaker Select is set to Individual)
Front - Full Band
Center - 40Hz
Surround - 60Hz

Is it generally better to have the Crossovers set to 80Hz for all speakers?




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I've attached a picture of the current layout.

Attachment 1956393
You might want to try the sub at various spots along the wall. Sometimes, just moving a sub a foot can make a difference in performance. Just turn off Audyssey when making the comparisons, and then rerun it if you do move it.

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post #27 of 45 Old 02-10-2017, 10:25 AM
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Thanks! I'm enjoying it so far!

I'm going to try the bumper tip with a few rubber doorstops. Saw that on Audioholics, I think.

I do have the LFE cable in the top left LFE jack. Bypass switch is set to Crossover Bypass. Volume on the sub is at 12:00/50%.

However, on the Denon GUI menu, under Crossovers - it is currently set to:

Speaker select - Individual
All - 80Hz (greyed out when Speaker Select is set to Individual)
Front - Full Band
Center - 40Hz
Surround - 60Hz

Is it generally better to have the Crossovers set to 80Hz for all speakers?




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Yes, the sub is set correctly but your AVR settings for the speakers are way off IMHO.

You center plays down to 48hz, your fronts to 44hz and your surrounds to 65hz.

I'd have all the speakers set to small, sub set to "on," the fronts and center crossed over at 80hz and the rears at 90hz or 100hz.

Your crossovers were set in such a way that they are below the extension of the speakers so you have holes in your frequency response and hardly any bass is being sent to the sub which goes a long way to explaining why it rarely turns on.

Let us know how that works out for you.

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post #28 of 45 Old 02-10-2017, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Woah! Noticeable difference. I changed the front/center speakers to small, then adjusted the crossover to 80Hz for the fronts/center and 90Hz for the rear. Now I'm getting much more out of the sub!


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post #29 of 45 Old 02-10-2017, 10:46 AM
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Woah! Noticeable difference. I changed the front/center speakers to small, then adjusted the crossover to 80Hz for the fronts/center and 90Hz for the rear. Now I'm getting much more out of the sub!


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Excellent; don't be afraid to play around with the crossovers but don't put them lower than 50hz for the fronts or 70hz for the rears.

80hz is the THX standard based on the idea that frequencies below 80hz are almost impossible to localize.

Some AVS members love their 120hz crossovers but I certainly wouldn't recomend that.
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post #30 of 45 Old 02-10-2017, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Excellent; don't be afraid to play around with the crossovers but don't put them lower than 50hz for the fronts or 70hz for the rears.



80hz is the THX standard based on the idea that frequencies below 80hz are almost impossible to localize.



Some AVS members love their 120hz crossovers but I certainly wouldn't recomend that.

Super helpful. The difference is night and day. No wonder the sub was going to sleep! It wasn't even busy!



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