1st non-HTiB audio setup - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-30-2013, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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So i will be getting ready to begin buying the components of my 1st non-HTiB setup and i am looking for suggestions.

i want to do a 5.1 setup i have a blu-ray, xbox360, directv, and a 60" tv with 4 hdmi (not a smart tv)


I have also included the following attachment as a reference to the size and layout of my living room. This image is not to scale obviously and the missing link in it is that the tv is mounted above a fireplace mantle. Due to the layout of the doors, windows, and the ability to use the kinect with our xbox 360 there is really no option to move the furniture. livingroom.jpg 44k .jpg file

We play A LOT of video games, listen to a lot of music (via internet stream), and watch a lot of movies.

My goal is for strong bass but also clean crisp surround with proper staging. ( i will be building the sub enclosure myself)

I am a car audio guy normally but it is getting to be time to do the house as well.

Any suggestions for equipment, accessories, and placement would be greatly appreciated.

If this is in the wrong section i apologize.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-30-2013, 09:05 AM
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Hi Tim I'd love to help you out, but there are some more details that you need to give us.

What is the size of your room? Is it a sealed room or open to other parts of the house?

What is your budget?

Also if you are handy and really know what your doing by all means go for a DIY sub enclosure. You can get a better product for less money that way and can get it to be really loud and low. BUT make sure you research HOME AUDIO sub enclosure designs because home subs are totally different than car audio. And home subs sound a lot different too because they are normally made to sound accurate and have as flat a frequency response as possible.

Shawn
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-30-2013, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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if you hover the mouse over the attachment it shows the room to be 15x15 and yes the room is open to the dining room and kitchen. the house is 113 years old and the doorways to the dining room and kitchen are standard size doors but currently the actual doors are missing, i have located one original door and will be reinstalling it before this project begins so by the time everything is purchased and running there will only be one constant opening from the living room to the kitchen.

i have done some research and have fully prepared myself for the differences and caveats in building enclosures for HT vs CA. I actually had planned on doing a Voight (spelling?) at one point but my living room layout makes that bit difficult. i am definitely handy and will also be rebuilding my entertainment center to better accommodate the equipment as well as the plethora of xbox games we have.

Also the attachment in my OG post pretty accurately details what is in the room and where, to allow for the best possible speaker layout.

There is no specific budget at the moment but i am also not made of money haha, i will be buying in pieces over time in order to spend a little more on each piece.

My ONLY must have in my setup is AT LEAST 3 hdmi in and 1 out on the receiver.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-30-2013, 12:50 PM
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Ok thanks for clarifying things up a bit. I am glad that you have done your research on building a sub. I think DIY is great for those handy ppl, unfortunately I am not one of those handy ppl so I have a bought sub.

Receiver:
Even tho you only want to do 5.1, I would still recommend getting a good 7.2 AVR from Onkyo or Denon or any of the other major brands I have Onkyo so I am biased to them and I like the Audyssey room correction software, but I know I don't like Yamaha's YPAO room correction.

It really is hard to suggest speakers if I don't know a budget. Cuz to some ppl $500 is a lot of money and to others $5,000 is chump change. Also what kind of speakers do you want for your fronts: floorstanding towers, bookshelf speakers, or on-wall speakers???

As far as placement goes the front 3 speakers should ideally be placed with the tweeter at seated ear level. If that can't be done then the speakers should be angled towards your ear. The surrounds for 5.1 should be placed on the side walls between 90 and 110 degrees to the listener. Different ppl have different opinions of surround speaker height, some ppl like them at ear level, others say 2 to 3 feet above ear level, and ppl like myself who like their surround speakers only a few inches down from an 8' high ceiling.

I own BIC Acoustech speakers: 2 - PL-89s, 1 - PL-28, and 4 - PL-66s

http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/brand/index.cfm?bid=67

I also have 2 Outlaw Audio LFM-1 Plus Subwoofers

http://outlawaudio.com/products/lfm1plus.html

I have just under $1k into my 7 speakers and also just under $1k into my 2 subs and then about $560 for my receiver which is an Onkyo TX-NR808. I love my setup and don't think you can do better for the money. It sounds and looks great, is it the best out there of course not but I'm happy.

Shawn
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-30-2013, 11:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Reams View Post

I have also included the following attachment as a reference to the size and layout of my living room. This image is not to scale obviously and the missing link in it is that the tv is mounted above a fireplace mantle. Due to the layout of the doors, windows, and the ability to use the kinect with our xbox 360 there is really no option to move the furniture.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Reams View Post

Any suggestions for equipment, accessories, and placement would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Tim. A few suggestions for you...

Placement: Would I be right in assuming the 60" TV is mounted higher than optimal because it's above the fireplace? My suggestion is a little unorthodox - can you position the TV diagonally across the lower left corner of the room? The main viewing axis would then be a line from botton left to upper right of the room. Then swing the couch around 180 degrees, but keep it away from the walls and maintain a clear passageway between the top and bottom doors. Something like this, except sub behind TV and surrounds closer to top left and bottom right of your room:



This sort of layout offers a number sonic benefits IMHO, especially in an untreated room: no strong sidewall reflections from the front speakers; no "slap" echo from the back wall; surround speakers can be direct radiators (not multi-pole) and still create a spacious surround sound (because they're positioned further away near opposite corners); subwoofer output will get a boost from corner loading (behind the TV) but still be "front & centre" to integrate with all three main speakers; there's probably others... (Having said all that, I don't know where your windows are located so it may all be impossble. wink.gif) In either case, I strongly recommend you loose the coffee table. Having a large, acoustically reflective surface directly between the listeners and the front speakers will play havoc with the sound.

Equipment: It's difficult to make recommendations without a budget from you Tim, but I can understand you not really wanting to limit yourself when you don't know exactly what's available. To give you an idea, have a look at these recommended systems to see what your money will get you, and get back to us with what sort of range of $ you feel comfortable with. Personally, the EMPTek E55Ti/E56Ci/E5Bi system looks very tough to beat for the money (or a lot more). You could also look to Aperion Audio and SVS. My recommendation for a DIY subwoofers is two of the best Rythmik Audio kits you can afford - perhaps one now and the other later on. The direct-servo tech is claimed to work well with various box volumes and the range of adjustments available on the plate amps is pretty comprehensive. I believe the kits include everything but the wood and feet (optional).

Oh, you mention your house is 113 years old. Does that mean it has high ceilings in your part of the world? Even more of an argument for 2 subs to even out the bass response that square room and fill the volume with satisfying bass.

Accessories: You can see various bits and pieces in the buyers guides linked above. One note on that stuff: I'm not convinced at all of the need for $400 surge protectors/power conditioners. rolleyes.gif Others may chime in though.

Hope that helps a bit...
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-01-2013, 12:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

Receiver:
Even tho you only want to do 5.1, I would still recommend getting a good 7.2 AVR from Onkyo or Denon or any of the other major brands I have Onkyo so I am biased to them and I like the Audyssey room correction software, but I know I don't like Yamaha's YPAO room correction.

100% agree with that. smile.gif

I think the Onkyo TX-NR818 and Denon AVR-3313CI are currently the cheapest AVR's with top-of-the-line Audyssey MultEQ XT32 (BICBW - things move on quickly). Both also have a full set of pre-outs in the (unlikely) event that power amps are required. Both will be superseded soon (now?), so there might be bargains around.
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-01-2013, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Reams View Post

So i will be getting ready to begin buying the components of my 1st non-HTiB setup and i am looking for suggestions.
...My goal is for strong bass but also clean crisp surround with proper staging. ....
I'm seeing doors and a closet in the corner, but no windows... but you've clarified that it's an old house, main level, with openings to other rooms - you have an acoustically leaky room, which is far easier to optimize than a soundproofed room made of cinderblocks!

There are two sides the your question, and you're only asking about one. "Loudspeakers and Room" is the subtitle of Floyd Toole's book, summarizing 40 years as a PhD researcher in audio. You never have a speaker without a room, and both have equal say in your listening experience. Speaker design and placement will be a major factor in room audio quality, as will listener placement.

The first recommendation is cheap and has no alternative. Move the sectional at least 1 foot out from both walls. Bass is ALWAYS BAD close to walls, so there will be no good seats on the couch until you do, no matter the subwoofage installed.

The room shape is a disadvantage, especially if you have normal 7.5-8' ceilings, as that's 1/2 of the 15' room dimension. As a result, all your room modes coincide, so you'll have strong peaks at multiples of 37Hz. (speed of sound, 1130 ft/sec., divided by room dimension, 15', then divided by 2 gives the lowest frequency standing wave) Subwoofer placement can address this to some extent, and very inexpensively as well, simply by avoiding corner and mid-wall placement. Corners excite all room modes, and explaining any more gets complicated. Regardless, the idea is that careful sub placement allows you to minimize the energy you put into the room modes, leading to more uniform bass.

From there, bass quality will depend on room details I can only speculate. Room modes require reflected energy, and my room is good because it leaks. The doorway(s) will leak bass, and you'll have a secondary resonance well below room modes as a result. Windows leak bass, and fabric upholstery on the sectional will have substantial acoustic affect (leather/vinyl have no affect). Just being an older building and above grade help a lot.

By way of gear, I build speakers so can't recommend specific commercial speakers. Do buld you own subwoofer, perhaps as end tables. Get an AVR with the HDMI connections you want, but also with some sort of room correction routine like Audyssey or a proprietary one (Yamaha's YPAO, Pioneer's MCACC, etc.). Also consider spending a bit on a 7.1 capability (or at least a line level output), so you can add front wide or rear speakers to your 5.1 layout. I use front wides in a 22x15 room because the TV is on the long wall. You might use them in the front corners, as I expect the closet will keep your LR mains close to the screen.

And keep asking...

HAve fun,
Frank
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