New audio/theater setup help needed - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 01-06-2013, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I would greatly appreciate everyone's opinion. I am in the process of trying to construct my new home audio/theater setup. We just moved into our new home and I am trying to find the best setup. The location of the home audio equipment will be in the basement of our rambler. The basement has one very large room (approx. 750 sq ft). It currently is a finished basement that is roughly square in shape that leads into a hallway and a couple bedrooms.

I plan on using the space mainly for movie (action mostly) and music listening. I would mostly listen to classic rock and want something that will make me feel like i am in concert with the Eagles, Pink Floyd, etc, you name it! Anyway, my budget is around 2k-2.5k which will need to include a 5.1 setup and include the receiver. The setup I am thinking of mostly includes Polk speakers. Here is what I am thinking of

Receiver - Denon AVR-1913
Front L/R - Polk TSi500
Center - Polk CS20
Rear L/R - Polk OWM3
Sub - Polk PSW125

I really like how the reciever has networking capability and can link up to Spotify. That way I can listen to whatever I want, whenever I want. Based on what I want to use the home audio for, is my setup okay? Am I missing any key components? Any help is very much welcomed, please feel free to tear it apart or offer suggestions. Let me know if you have any questions or if I can offer pictures to help.
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post #2 of 28 Old 01-06-2013, 11:26 PM
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Are you planning on using the entire room for your theater or are you considering walling off dedicated space for you listening room/theater?
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post #3 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 12:54 AM
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Im going to recommend a different subwoofer. Check out the offerings from the ID companies like outlaw, hsu research, Rythmik, and Power Sound Audio.

Speaker wise, I've never heard those polks so can't comment.

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #4 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

Im going to recommend a different subwoofer. Check out the offerings from the ID companies like outlaw, hsu research, Rythmik, and Power Sound Audio.
Speaker wise, I've never heard those polks so can't comment.

Thank you for recommending these brands. I will look into them. Are they the same price point as the Polk? ($350). I also noticed a Klipsch RW-12d for $299 in a deals section on this website. I also have read good things about the BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer or the BIC Acoustech PL-200 . Amazon has the F12 for $200 at the moment, am i expecting too much from a sub at this price point?

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Originally Posted by someoledude View Post

Are you planning on using the entire room for your theater or are you considering walling off dedicated space for you listening room/theater?

No, that is the tough part. I plan to keep it as an open space to be able to utilize the wet bar and potentially put some type of game in one corner (pool table, darts, etc.). Does this mean I should accept the fact I wont ever be able to have "in concert" sounding music using a setup in this room?
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post #5 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 06:13 AM
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If at all possible, I'd suggest getting Denon's 2113 instead of the 1913. The version of Audyssey (2EQ) in the 1913 does not equalize the subwoofer.

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post #6 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNaudioguy View Post

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Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

Im going to recommend a different subwoofer. Check out the offerings from the ID companies like outlaw, hsu research, Rythmik, and Power Sound Audio.
Speaker wise, I've never heard those polks so can't comment.

Thank you for recommending these brands. I will look into them. Are they the same price point as the Polk? ($350). I also noticed a Klipsch RW-12d for $299 in a deals section on this website. I also have read good things about the BIC America F12 12-Inch 475-Watt Front Firing Powered Subwoofer or the BIC Acoustech PL-200 . Amazon has the F12 for $200 at the moment, am i expecting too much from a sub at this price point?

Your main speakers the Polk Tsi 500 s are at the upper end of bass competence as floor-standers and this is good. Not that they won't benefit from a good sub, but to really obtain a SQ advantage you need something more than an econo-sub which seems to be all you have mentioned so far. Spending as much on the sub as you spent on both fronts is far from being excessive. Basically, go with the earlier recommended manufacturers and plan on spending $500-1,000 or more.
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post #7 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

If at all possible, I'd suggest getting Denon's 2113 instead of the 1913. The version of Audyssey (2EQ) in the 1913 does not equalize the subwoofer.

Thanks for the great feedback! That is great to know. I will probably adjust my receiver based on that comment. My bigger concern now is the space I am trying to do all of this in too big and will the music get drown out or lose the "in concert" feeling.

I am a first time poster on this forum and VERY thankful for everyone's help. I am newer to the audio game
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post #8 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 07:21 AM
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I'm not sure what you mean by "losing the in-concert feeling."

The room equalization software available in most modern receivers is intended to make the sound you hear coming from your speakers much more accurate than it would be without the equalization. It tries to compensate for infelicities in your speakers and the listening room. Of course, you should still use the highest quality speakers you can afford and apply appropriate treatments to the room to eliminate sound reflections, low frequency modes and other sources of audio degradation.
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post #9 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 07:44 AM
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MN, you can certainly get to the sound you are looking for, though it will be challenging at your price point. You can definitely make a start with your first system. High efficiency speakers will make that an easier task. Perhaps some used Klipsch Heresy speakers with a strong sub will fill that room to your desired level. My other question was about keeping that sound contained, which easier in a dedicated room. Don,'t forget to think about your room insulation and sound blocks to keep sound away from the rest of the house. This makes your room much more usable.
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post #10 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

I'm not sure what you mean by "losing the in-concert feeling."
The room equalization software available in most modern receivers is intended to make the sound you hear coming from your speakers much more accurate than it would be without the equalization. It tries to compensate for infelicities in your speakers and the listening room. Of course, you should still use the highest quality speakers you can afford and apply appropriate treatments to the room to eliminate sound reflections, low frequency modes and other sources of audio degradation.

Sorry, I guess what I meant by that is I want to be able to get lost in the sound from the speakers as if i was actually at the concert myself. My concern was that trying to do something like this in such a large room would not be possible since the theatre setup and sectional couch would only take up 30-40% of the space. The couch itself would be sitting in the middle of the room for the most part. However, like you said, the speakers/AV equipment today attempts to compensate for that.

Outside of the sub and AV receiver comments. I have received, are there any other concerns with my setup? I will probably upgrade to the Denon 2113. Still not sure what sub to use and unless I hear otherwise, I am planning to use the other speaker configurations.

Does anyone have a recommendation on room treatments for a larger space that is still aesthetically pleasing? The room iteself is a walk out basement with drywall all around. One of the walls has a cement wall behind it, 2 of them have other rooms on the opposite side and the third is opening up to the stairs going upstairs. Let me know if a specific dimension/picture would be better.

Again, thank you all for your help. Just trying to land on the best configuration for my space.
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post #11 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 10:01 AM
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A quick sketch would be good. Is your floor carpeted?
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post #12 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by someoledude View Post

A quick sketch would be good. Is your floor carpeted?

Yes, it is carpeted. Also, I am attaching a few photos. The basement is a little different now and has an 8ft bar along the wall where you can see the rough in and the loveseat is replaced by a large sectional. I am looking to put the entertainment center in the corner where you see the small TV (will be upgraded when i get my audio equipment)

IMAG0003.jpg 1612k .jpg file
basement 3.jpg 1889k .jpg file
basement 1.jpg 1758k .jpg file
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File Type: jpg basement 1.jpg (1.72 MB, 17 views)
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post #13 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

If at all possible, I'd suggest getting Denon's 2113 instead of the 1913. The version of Audyssey (2EQ) in the 1913 does not equalize the subwoofer.

The 1913 has MultEQ, not 2EQ. Here.
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post #14 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 02:12 PM
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Sorry: my confusion. I remembered that the 1913 has a lower grade of Audyssey than does the 1713, but misremembered the level frown.gif the 1713 and 2113 both have MultEQ XT, while the 1913 has only MultEQ. In other words, it'll do an adequate job of EQing the sub, but the 2113 will do much better. (The 1713 is missing other features that the 1913 has. Apparently they had to go with a less expensive version of Audyssey in the 1913 in order to keep its price down.)

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post #15 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

Sorry: my confusion. I remembered that the 1913 has a lower grade of Audyssey than does the 1713, but misremembered the level frown.gif the 1713 and 2113 both have MultEQ XT, while the 1913 has only MultEQ. In other words, it'll do an adequate job of EQing the sub, but the 2113 will do much better. (The 1713 is missing other features that the 1913 has. Apparently they had to go with a less expensive version of Audyssey in the 1913 in order to keep its price down.)

No problem. smile.gif

But, to make matters clear Audyssey's MultEQ and MultEQ XT have the same filter resolution in the subwoofer channel (128x), while the difference is in the satellite channels (MultEQ = 2x, MultEQ XT = 16x).

Here's the comparision chart:



Hope this helps you as well as the OP. smile.gif
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post #16 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

No problem. smile.gif
But, to make matters clear Audyssey's MultEQ and MultEQ XT have the same filter resolution in the subwoofer channel (128x), while the difference is in the satellite channels (MultEQ = 2x, MultEQ XT = 16x).
Here's the comparision chart:

Hope this helps you as well as the OP. smile.gif

This is all very helpful! Thank you! I am tempted to go with the upgraded receiver unless someone thinks the difference will be marginal in the system I am building. So are their or what are the concerns with the room setup? Let me know if I can provide more specific dimensions or specs

Also, as much as I would love to spend close to 1k on a sub, I am not sure it is in my budget, again, unless the difference will be night and day. But I am secretly hoping it isn't when comparing to some of the subs I am looking at. Again, thank you all! As you can see I am a newbie will all of this so feedback is a gift!
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post #17 of 28 Old 01-08-2013, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Is everyone working hard today or helping others? haha. I am just curious about my room dimentions and audio choices and hopefully I am going down the right path. I did notice some Polk RTi12s on Polk eBay for $375 a piece and they seem like great speakers and could fill a larger room, however, it then would seem like I would need to invest in an amp to run those bad boys. Which turns out to be more money out of my pocket. Wow this stuff can get expensive.
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post #18 of 28 Old 01-08-2013, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by MNaudioguy View Post

Is everyone working hard today or helping others? haha. I am just curious about my room dimentions and audio choices and hopefully I am going down the right path. I did notice some Polk RTi12s on Polk eBay for $375 a piece and they seem like great speakers and could fill a larger room, however, it then would seem like I would need to invest in an amp to run those bad boys. Which turns out to be more money out of my pocket. Wow this stuff can get expensive.

Hi, let's take another look at this picture:



1. Do you really need that fireplace in the basement? That central place could be ideal for a big size display with a center channel speaker under it.

2. Tower speakers could be properly placed left and right of the screen for best sound stage imaging.

3. And if it were me I would definitely consider to put up a dry-wall (with a door) behind the couch in order to close the space acoustically, making it a kinda "dedicated HT room" separated from the rest of the basement area.

Whaddaya think? smile.gif
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post #19 of 28 Old 01-08-2013, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, let's take another look at this picture:

1. Do you really need that fireplace in the basement? That central place could be ideal for a big size display with a center channel speaker under it.
2. Tower speakers could be properly placed left and right of the screen for best sound stage imaging.
3. And if it were me I would definitely consider to put up a dry-wall (with a door) behind the couch in order to close the space acoustically, making it a kinda "dedicated HT room" separated from the rest of the basement area.
Whaddaya think? smile.gif


I appreciate and agree your options would make it a much better area for acoustics, however, I think my wife would have me sleeping on the couch smile.gif I really want to put a Home Theater in this room so I can entertain, listen to music/watch movies. I am wondering if I am trying to do too much with this space and if i should pick the back bedroom that isn't being used for the setup. I dont have as good of a chance getting the wife to buy into that though, haha.
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post #20 of 28 Old 01-09-2013, 12:09 AM
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MN,

I see what you want to do with your space and don't think you should opt for one of the other rooms. You need this larger space to make this a real entertaining area.

I completely agree with mogorf in his thinking on the back wall. I have built theater/listening rooms in two different homes by taking space out of larger basement space. Not only does it improve the acoustics in the room but it also isolates it from the rest of the house so it does not disturb others (especially wife) while you are enjoying it. It also creates a room with a wow factor (if done correctly) and adds value to your house. The house with my first room sold in one day earlier this year and the new owner specifically required that the media room gear and treatments be part of the sale. No problem I already factored it in to the price of the house. And the good news is that you don't have to change anything right away. You can set up your room right now with the gear you decide to buy without needing the back wall.

When you can, I see putting in a single wall to tie the outer wall with the end of the room to the right. You could put the TV above the fireplace for now and enjoy video content or put on the fire for music only. Lots of fun! Your 5.1 could set up symmetrically around the room's center. Down the line, you could add a projector and put a motorized drop down screen to come down over the fireplace/mantle for a big screen solution when you want it.. With your wet bar, this will be a big wow room.

Good luck working out your design and details.
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post #21 of 28 Old 01-09-2013, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by MNaudioguy View Post

Is everyone working hard today or helping others? haha. I am just curious about my room dimentions and audio choices and hopefully I am going down the right path. I did notice some Polk RTi12s on Polk eBay for $375 a piece and they seem like great speakers and could fill a larger room, however, it then would seem like I would need to invest in an amp to run those bad boys. Which turns out to be more money out of my pocket. Wow this stuff can get expensive.

Hi, let's take another look at this picture:



1. Do you really need that fireplace in the basement? That central place could be ideal for a big size display with a center channel speaker under it.

2. Tower speakers could be properly placed left and right of the screen for best sound stage imaging.

3. And if it were me I would definitely consider to put up a dry-wall (with a door) behind the couch in order to close the space acoustically, making it a kinda "dedicated HT room" separated from the rest of the basement area.

Whaddaya think? smile.gif

+1.

I have to admit that I was biting my tongue due to laziness while typing my earlier post because I did not want to tackle the larger problem, which was the horrible acoustical and practical nature of the basic space.

For entertaining, it would be far better to wall off the listening room and build a food and drink bar outside. That eliminates wars between people who want to listen to music (usually a minority) and those who want to talk and snack (the vast majority).

If there is a wife who prefers what we see, she must be a young lady who does not watch what people do at parties when given some choices.
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post #22 of 28 Old 01-09-2013, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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+1.
I have to admit that I was biting my tongue due to laziness while typing my earlier post because I did not want to tackle the larger problem, which was the horrible acoustical and practical nature of the basic space.
For entertaining, it would be far better to wall off the listening room and build a food and drink bar outside. That eliminates wars between people who want to listen to music (usually a minority) and those who want to talk and snack (the vast majority).
If there is a wife who prefers what we see, she must be a young lady who does not watch what people do at parties when given some choices.

Yeah, I do agree the room itself does not lend for good acoustics. The picture I submitted was dated and that space now has a wet bar and a large sectional in the middle of the room. I will attach a newer photo when i get home from work. I just dont think partioning off will work. My wife also loves the fireplace down there so that would be a tough sell. I am just happy she isnt complaining about me wanting to spend a couple thousand dollars on the HT setup so I dont want to press the issue too much, haha.

Again, I am very appreciative of everyone's comments. I will get a picture up tonight. I would like to do as much as i can to accomodate for the crappy acoustics of the room and do realize i might have to sacrifice a little on the listening experience. I just dont want to waste a lot of money if that wont help me much anyway because of the room config. I hope that isnt the case though
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post #23 of 28 Old 01-09-2013, 03:11 PM
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Could you move the TV to the center of the room to the left of the glass door in the "basement3" picture? Then you could place the sectional facing that direction. That would give you a better, more centered setup for your speakers.

For the sub, I agree with the others in this thread about internet direct companies. I like HSU and SVS personally.

For the receiver, as long as you go with a Denon that has Audyssey you will be in great shape. But if you can afford it, why not get the better version of Audyssey.

For the speakers, unless someone knows of some really good ID speakers that beat those polks for the same price (can't seem to think of any at the moment), then go ahead and get the Polks.

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post #24 of 28 Old 01-09-2013, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Could you move the TV to the center of the room to the left of the glass door in the "basement3" picture? Then you could place the sectional facing that direction. That would give you a better, more centered setup for your speakers.

For the sub, I agree with the others in this thread about internet direct companies. I like HSU and SVS personally.

For the receiver, as long as you go with a Denon that has Audyssey you will be in great shape. But if you can afford it, why not get the better version of Audyssey.

For the speakers, unless someone knows of some really good ID speakers that beat those polks for the same price (can't seem to think of any at the moment), then go ahead and get the Polks.

Its possible, let me attached the updated photos to give everyone a better view of the basement now with the sectional/wet bar. Let me know if I am being stubborn about wanting to have the HT setup in the corner where the current TV is. If so, i could see flipping the sectoinal around. Do i still need to do a lot of room treatments to assist?

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post #25 of 28 Old 01-09-2013, 05:19 PM
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Its possible, let me attached the updated photos to give everyone a better view of the basement now with the sectional/wet bar. Let me know if I am being stubborn about wanting to have the HT setup in the corner where the current TV is. If so, i could see flipping the sectoinal around. Do i still need to do a lot of room treatments to assist?

Hmmm, did you say you have a spare bedroom? eek.gifcool.gifwink.gifwink.gifwink.gif
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post #26 of 28 Old 01-09-2013, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm, did you say you have a spare bedroom? eek.gifcool.gifwink.gifwink.gifwink.gif

Yes, I do smile.gif I was just hoping I wouldn't have to use that as my HT setup space. If I have to I will. I just want to make sure I exhaust all options of the larger room before I consider the spare room since this is my 2nd choice and a distant 2nd at that, haha
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post #27 of 28 Old 01-11-2013, 03:10 PM
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Yes, I do smile.gif I was just hoping I wouldn't have to use that as my HT setup space. If I have to I will. I just want to make sure I exhaust all options of the larger room before I consider the spare room since this is my 2nd choice and a distant 2nd at that, haha

I can see why you have it set up the way you do in the new pics. That is the best obvious layout for a hangout/party room for sure. I don't think it will sound that bad setup how it currently is, but you just need to decide which is more important to you, a great room layout for hanging out with freinds and family or the best possible acoustical layout. I mean, even the hardcore guys on this forum have to admit that a nice pair of tower speakers and a good sub will sound good even in this arrangement to the average person. Put up some heavy cloth curtains on that sliding door, that should help a little as well.

You just need to choose which is the top priority to you.

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post #28 of 28 Old 01-11-2013, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neuspeed94 View Post

I can see why you have it set up the way you do in the new pics. That is the best obvious layout for a hangout/party room for sure. I don't think it will sound that bad setup how it currently is, but you just need to decide which is more important to you, a great room layout for hanging out with freinds and family or the best possible acoustical layout. I mean, even the hardcore guys on this forum have to admit that a nice pair of tower speakers and a good sub will sound good even in this arrangement to the average person. Put up some heavy cloth curtains on that sliding door, that should help a little as well.

You just need to choose which is the top priority to you.

Thanks for the feedback or confirmation of my space being able to work! That is good to hear. I like the curtain idea. Regarding this room specifically, I want it to be more acoustically friendly. Given that it is in the basement, we can use the upstairs living room for the more formal great room/friends area.

Now I just need to land on the setup. Now I just need to land on the speakers. I am trying to decide if I should go for the refurb RTi12s wiith an amp (assuming I need one) or the LSi500s w/o the amp. I am convinced after reading up on things more I should pony up for the better sub and will look into some of the brands recommended earlier in the thread. For the price point, which speakers should I go with or am I not even looking at the right brand/model for the range I am in?
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