Help setting up audio in a tightly cramped space - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-09-2013, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I just upgraded from an oldish Panasonic 42px77u plasma to a 50" ST50, and though the video quality is a big boost, the audio quality really suffers with the 1" bezel and total lack of room for anything speaker-related.

I've always wanted a decent set of stereo speakers for my home system, the problem is I live in a pretty tight NYC apartment and there has been simply no room to get a nice pair of floor standers + sub. The overall awfulness of the ST50 audio has me trying to figure out how I can get something decent going.

I don't really care for surround sound, I'm more than happy with a good set of stereo or 2.1 speakers.

Here's a shot of what I'm working with:



(high rez: http://i.imgur.com/CDlJV.jpg)


Obviously, floor standing speakers are out of the question, as that standing cabinet on the right side must stay. Lateral space is pretty lackluster as well.

Is there any setup of wall mount or TV mount speakers that could give me decent quality in this room? Where should I mount? In terms of options, I could clear out space *under* the TV, or clear a unit from that right side cabinet, but not much else, and I can't imagine that hollow space will sound very good.

Vocal quality (for tv/movies) is my primary concern here, as I don't play much music in this room. I'm a bit of a bass junkie, but I'm not sure a sub is even possible to fit in here, nor do I know if I'd even want one as it'd probably disturb my downstairs neighbor (sigh). I guess I would need some sort of receiver/amp combo so I could feed the optical audio out to the speakers?

Target budget is around $500, though less would be great.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-10-2013, 09:04 AM
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Since you're considering a wall mount anyway, how about mounting the TV on the wall and then putting some bookshelf speakers (either powered or with a small amp) on the stand? They may not be as far from each other as would be ideal, but you'd certainly have better sound than you do from the TV speakers.

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post #3 of 9 Old 01-10-2013, 09:45 AM
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you could get a 3.1 soundbar with subwoofer dont get samsung get either lg, sony, or boston id recoomend sony since it has the most inputs and features.

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post #4 of 9 Old 01-10-2013, 10:07 AM
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Hi Puzzl,
50inch screen in a small space...kind of a nice problem to have ;-)

I would stay away from sound bars I think the improvements in sound is minor and the processed simulated surround is horrible. Since you don't care for surround getting a good pair of stereo speakers in your small space would be the best solution. I was thinking the Audio Engine 5+ (starts at $399), it's powered so you don't have to find space for an amp in your compact space. Properly set up with a bit of toe in you can get a nicely centered sound stage. These would be great for music too. I'm also a bass junkie but unless you want to keep the peace with the neighbors I would stay away from subwoofers in an apartment.

Good luck.
Jay
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-10-2013, 10:13 AM
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I would get a pair of Audioengine 2 speakers, which are compact and excellent and only $200. I use them with my desktop PC system, along with a small Sony subwoofer. I think the sound quality of the 2 is better than the 5, actually.

For your place however, the Polk PSW505 subwoofer would be a better choice, and you can get it for around $200. You can pretty much put the subwoofer a lot of places in a small room, so that should not be much of a problem. You can always switch off the sub or turn its gain down at listening times when the low bass could be annoying.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-10-2013, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I would get a pair of Audioengine 2 speakers, which are compact and excellent and only $200. I use them with my desktop PC system, along with a small Sony subwoofer. I think the sound quality of the 2 is better than the 5, actually.

For your place however, the Polk PSW505 subwoofer would be a better choice, and you can get it for around $200. You can pretty much put the subwoofer a lot of places in a small room, so that should not be much of a problem. You can always switch off the sub or turn its gain down at listening times when the low bass could be annoying.

I think this is really pretty good advice including the choice of subwoofer.

For a little more money you can get the far more robust Behringer B2031A powered monitors, but the sub would probably still be a good idea, though less manditory.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-10-2013, 02:50 PM
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Like a few said earlier, wall mount the TV, then use the top of the tv stand for the speakers. I recommend not going with monitors. They have a very narrow sweet spot and are meant to reveal the true sound of the audio signal they receive, including imperfections (this is why I, as a music producer and engineer, use them in my studio). Home theater speakers, on the other hand, are designed to make the audio signal they receive sound great through their component properties (enhance bass etc.). I recommend getting a proper receiver and two bookshelf speakers. You can put the receiver in the middle of the TV stand and one speaker on each side of it and achieve a pretty good soundstage if you aren't going to be sitting but 4 or 5 feet away. Below are my recommendations for a good 2.0 setup within your budget.

Receiver: Denon 1513
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1CZ0EA6096&Tpk=Denon%20AVR-1513
OR
Pioneer VSX-522-K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117408

Bookshelf Speakers: All of these will be good.

Polk Audio RTi A1:
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_107RTIA1B/Polk-Audio-RTi-A1-Black.html?tp=186

Polk Audio New Monitor 45B:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290269

PSB Alpha B1:
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_760ALPB1B/PSB-Alpha-B1.html?tp=186

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post #8 of 9 Old 01-10-2013, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MindNoise View Post

Hi Puzzl,
50inch screen in a small space...kind of a nice problem to have ;-)

I would stay away from sound bars I think the improvements in sound is minor and the processed simulated surround is horrible. Since you don't care for surround getting a good pair of stereo speakers in your small space would be the best solution. I was thinking the Audio Engine 5+ (starts at $399), it's powered so you don't have to find space for an amp in your compact space. Properly set up with a bit of toe in you can get a nicely centered sound stage. These would be great for music too. I'm also a bass junkie but unless you want to keep the peace with the neighbors I would stay away from subwoofers in an apartment.

Good luck.
Jay

If I mounted the speakers, would it be OK to do so above the TV? They'd be pretty much at the corners; I don't really have room to the left/right.

As for wall mounting the tv, I really can't put much weight on there, there are almost no studs back there and the apartment is overall a piece of junk, I'd never feel comfortable with the TV hanging off of it. I prefer the TV at eye-level anyway; if I wall mounted I'd have to mount up another foot or two and lean it down.

If I went with a soundbar, which I know everyone here hates, does anyone have a specific recommendation?
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-11-2013, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzl View Post

As for wall mounting the tv, I really can't put much weight on there, there are almost no studs back there and the apartment is overall a piece of junk, I'd never feel comfortable with the TV hanging off of it. I prefer the TV at eye-level anyway; if I wall mounted I'd have to mount up another foot or two and lean it down.

Puzzl,
OK...that's a no for mounting the TV. How about leaving the TV on the stand, getting another one of the tall tower shelves for the left side of the room. Reorganize your books and stuff so you can leave a spot on each shelf at the sweet spot for the speakers. Then get rid of all the other stuff on the wall and you have a nice symmetrical looking room with TV at the center. I would still recommend a pair of powered speakers for the small space before a sound bar or more gear. And a good pair of monitors would offer you enough bass in such a small space that you wouldn't even need a sub.

Besides the AudioEngine, you can look into some of the models by PSB. They recently put out a nice powered speaker. I haven't heard them but I do remember the little Alphas (not powered) being very musical.
Good luck.
Jay
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