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New home theater setup help w/picture

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone-

I'm not making much progress on my wife allowing me to have the surround sound system upstairs in the family room because "I don't want a bunch of speakers and wires sitting around the room because I think it looks tacky." lol. I figure it's a losing battle. Anyhow, she stated, "I don't care what you do with the basement, put your crap down there, put speakers up and play your vids (xbox 360), put your dart board down there. I figure that can be your room. Have the guys go down there"

So, I have been given the green light to move on this project. The basement is not big by any means and there are only so many options due to the layout of the room. My hope is to put up a 5.1 system when we move in February to the new house.

Based on the pictures that you guys see, what do you recommend I do to make it sound the best and to accomodate furniture? I just don't know what layout I should go with.

When looking at the two pictures, imagine that the stairs leading down splits the pictures in half. So if you were to walk down straight, the picture with the TV is to the left, and the rest of the room (the other picture) is to the right. Thanks for the help!

post #2 of 20
Looks plenty big to have a lot of fun.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by baniels View Post

Looks plenty big to have a lot of fun.

You think so? For some reason I'm thinking I need this big open space so the surrounds can be well placed on the side of a couch. I feel like my options are really limited, which is why I'm posting on this site. What do happen to recommend?
post #4 of 20
You definitely have plenty of room for speakers. For us to recommend some good stuff to you we need to know what your budget is for everything. Also what components you need (do you already have a receiver, etc?)
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neuspeed94 View Post

You definitely have plenty of room for speakers. For us to recommend some good stuff to you we need to know what your budget is for everything. Also what components you need (do you already have a receiver, etc?)

Well it's a relief to know that this room is capable of having a system. In terms of equipment/speakers, I don't have anything because we haven't moved into the home yet (we are closing on Feb 5th). I wanted to wait it out to be sure what I could and should buy.

I have done extensive research and am leaning towards a few directions. In terms of a receiver, I was possibly going to get the Denon 1613 due to it's ethernet capability, airplay, etc, but more so for the Audyssey ability that can EQ the subwoofer. It's $345 on amazon at the moment, but I have $75 in gift cards at Best Buy and they would price match it. So, I could get that for $275. I have also toyed with getting the Yamaha V373 or V473 which I hear are great recievers, but I have to decide if I want to forgo airplay and ethernet, as well as taking YPAO over Audyssey (And I hear Audyssey leaves YPAO in the dust). Any thoughts on receivers would be great.

For speakers, I have been interested in the following sets:

1. The Jamo S 426 ($180) (and purchasing a sub)
2. The Energy Take 5.0 ($162) (and purchasing a separate sub)
3. Going with Polk speakers and getting a Polk CS10, a pair of Polk Monitor 30's for the front left and right, and maybe two more for the rear/surround (or using OWM3 On-Wall Speaker for the rear surround) (Around $310)
4. Going with Pioneer and getting the SP-C22, a pair of SP-BS41for front left and right, and then a pair of SP-BS21 for the rear/surround (Around $345)

For the subwoofer I was going between the Polk PSW10 ($85), Pioneer SW-8 ($70), or the BIC V-80 ($107). I'm willing to pay a little more for the sub if needed, but I just don't know how much power I will need with the size of my room. So, I guess one could say I'm in that $450 dollar range (excluding the receiver of course). I know I could get a better subwoofer if I pay another 50-100 dollars, but the question is if it would be worth it. I'm not opposed to floor standing speakers, it's just that they typically up the cost quite a bit. This is my first system as well.

So, whaddya guys think? Thanks!!!
post #6 of 20
The 1613 is a very good receiver choice. The PSW10 is a joke, and so are those other little puppies. Don't even think about it. The Enegy Take system is another worthless little toy that will end up in the trash can.

You do not have any good way to use rear speakers effectively. They have to be quite a ways behind the couch or they are not going to do anything worthwhile. You are not going to have a decent 5.1 setup in that room, so forget it.

You should put all of your money into a pair of decent front speakers and a subwoofer and you will have great sound from a 2.1 system.

I suggest a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers, and a Polk PSW505 subwoofer. That will be a damn nice system for about $550 total.

If the Wharfedale speakers are more than you want to spend, then get Polk Monitor 40 speakers instead. The Wharfedales are WAY better, but a budget is a budget.. That should run well under $400 and sound good.
Edited by commsysman - 1/12/13 at 12:54pm
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by butie120 View Post

Hey everyone-

I'm not making much progress on my wife allowing me to have the surround sound system upstairs in the family room because "I don't want a bunch of speakers and wires sitting around the room because I think it looks tacky." lol. I figure it's a losing battle. Anyhow, she stated, "I don't care what you do with the basement, put your crap down there, put speakers up and play your vids (xbox 360), put your dart board down there. I figure that can be your room. Have the guys go down there"

So, I have been given the green light to move on this project. The basement is not big by any means and there are only so many options due to the layout of the room. My hope is to put up a 5.1 system when we move in February to the new house.

Based on the pictures that you guys see, what do you recommend I do to make it sound the best and to accomodate furniture? I just don't know what layout I should go with.

When looking at the two pictures, imagine that the stairs leading down splits the pictures in half. So if you were to walk down straight, the picture with the TV is to the left, and the rest of the room (the other picture) is to the right. Thanks for the help!


Hi butie120, now that we have learned that you have a free hand to do as you wish in the basement, we can talk! smile.gif

So, if I were you I would definitely consider the followings. First of all a good HT system layout as regards acoustics always starts from symmetry (and ends there). Looking at your pic the problem is that on one side you have a wall while on the other side it is completely open.

Why not nominate the front wall for your screen (left wall from TV on your current picture). Then you could move the couch to a position where it will face the screen. You will be able to use nice tower speakers for Left & Right Mains that will have tweeters roughly at seated ear hight. The existing cabinet can easily be moved up front, accomidating your display, and as I see it also has place for a Center speaker. For appropriate subwoofer placement you will have plenty of opportunities to do a subwoofer crawl to find the best location for deep, smooth and even bass. As regards surrounds you may consider some speaker stands to place them on the two sides of the couch a bit above seated ear height.

Another brave idea would be to consider closing this space with a dry-wall (with a door). All this is said in the name of acoustics, while you would not disturb other family members even when cranking up the Master Volume for the enjoyment of your system.

As regards equipment, I would definitely recommend an AVR with Audyssey on board. The 1613 could be a good choise. On another note, for the sake of future-proofing your system when you later decide on a projector with a jumbo screen, you may want to look into possibilities how to install a motorized screen and an overhead projector. Should you want to have the TV and the screen together, you may look for an AVR with dual HDMI outputs (one for the TV, one for the Projector), and a so-called "acoustically transparent" screen for best performance of your Center speaker when screen is in use.
Edited by mogorf - 1/12/13 at 1:57pm
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The 1613 is a very good receiver choice. The PSW10 is a joke, and so are those other little puppies. Don't even think about it. The Enegy Take system is another worthless little toy that will end up in the trash can.

You do not have any good way to use rear speakers effectively. They have to be quite a ways behind the couch or they are not going to do anything worthwhile. You are not going to have a decent 5.1 setup in that room, so forget it.

You should put all of your money into a pair of decent front speakers and a subwoofer and you will have great sound from a 2.1 system.

I suggest a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers, and a Polk PSW505 subwoofer. That will be a damn nice system for about $550 total.

If the Wharfedale speakers are more than you want to spend, then get Polk Monitor 40 speakers instead. The Wharfedales are WAY better, but a budget is a budget.. That should run well under $400 and sound good.

I actually have heard some negative things about the PSW10. I'm only intrigued due to the price. The Wharefedale's look awfully nice. I will have to look into those.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Hi butie120, now that we have learned that you have a free hand to do as you wish in the basement, we can talk! smile.gif

So, if I were you I would definitely consider the followings. First of all a good HT system layout as regards acoustics always starts from symmetry (and ends there). Looking at your pic the problem is that on one side you have a wall while on the other side it is completely open.

Why not nominate the front wall for your screen (left wall from TV on your current picture). Then you could move the couch to a position where it will face the screen. You will be able to use nice tower speakers for Left & Right Mains that will have tweeters roughly at seated ear hight. The existing cabinet can easily be moved up front, accomidating your display, and as I see it also has place for a Center speaker. For appropriate subwoofer placement you will have plenty of opportunities to do a subwoofer crawl to find the best location for deep, smooth and even bass. As regards surrounds you may consider some speaker stands to place them on the two sides of the couch a bit above seated ear height.

Another brave idea would be to consider closing this space with a dry-wall (with a door). All this is said in the name of acoustics, while you would not disturb other family members even when cranking up the Master Volume for the enjoyment of your system.

As regards equipment, I would definitely recommend an AVR with Audyssey on board. The 1613 could be a good choise. On another note, for the sake of future-proofing your system when you later decide on a projector with a jumbo screen, you may want to look into possibilities how to install a motorized screen and an overhead projector. Should you want to have the TV and the screen together, you may look for an AVR with dual HDMI outputs (one for the TV, one for the Projector), and a so-called "acoustically transparent" screen for best performance of your Center speaker when screen is in use.

You have read my mind. I should mention that the picture is off a realty website and is not our "stuff", but I too was thinking of maybe switching the layout of the furniture around and having the other wall be where the TV could go. My only concern there is I then will be limiting the amount of potential furniture since the width be shortened if I utilize the other wall. Lol, I'm not even thinking about a jumbo screen or a projector at the moment as this is my first system, but thank you for the thought. To stay within a reasonable budget, do you happen to reccomend certain tower speakers for this size room? Or, even bookshelf speakers if you think they could handle the job? Would you stay away from the Polks or Pioneers I mentioned? Thanks again for everyones thoughts! I am determined to make this happen!
post #9 of 20
You haven't said what your present budget is or how much per month you can budget for your room? You can plan it in stages to get the best bang for the buck or waste money because you want something right now.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsoko2 View Post

You haven't said what your present budget is or how much per month you can budget for your room? You can plan it in stages to get the best bang for the buck or waste money because you want something right now.

Sorry about that. I probably will buy some items over the course of a few months but I'm not sitting in a situation where I can spend over $1,000 collectively on audio equipment. There's just too many other things I need the cash for. Based on what I've seen, I can get a receiver as they go on sale for about $225-250 after the use of my gift cards. At this point it seems the MultiEQ Audyssey calibration system is a must for me, so I would like to get one with that.

For the speakers, I'm sitting in that $250-400 dollar range. To be honest though, I myself aren't sure what I should get based upon my room size. Some say not to get anything too big to start off with because you don't want them to be overpowering. Secondly, this is my first system, so I could gradually upgrade years down the road if need be. That's why I offered suggestions on the types of speakers I've been looking into because I don't know what's necessary or unnecessary in this type of room.

I have no experience with a 5.1 surround system and thus am looking for some guidance from others based around my rough budget. I'm no audiophile so I don't need the best thing on the block. I want something that will rock the walls a little bit for music, gaming, and movies, but again, I need to keep the finances in check to a degree.

I'm still looking for other's thoughts on the Jamo S 426, the Polks (which one has mentioned), or the Pioneers. It looks like the Energy Take Five is rather wimpy to some.

Anyone?
post #11 of 20
^ ^ ^ Check on Craigs list (under Electronics, speakers) as you can get some good deals on used as well as eBay. Some people sell off a system when they upgrade so you might snag a decent system. Aslo, go to http://www.avsforum.com/t/824554/setting-up-your-home-theater-101 for tips and info on setting up a system.
post #12 of 20
Let me ask you this....How important is full 5.1 surround sound to you? Do you consider it a novelty or do you consider it a must have for your new setup? I ask this because if you are like me and don't care about hearing sounds behind you in a movie), then you will be able to get higher level of speakers for your front stage than if you had to spread the money across 5 speakers.

For the receiver, get the Denon. I absolutely love mine and would never get any other brand. Good stuff.

For speaker recommendations, Always, always get bigger speakers over smaller speakers (assuming they are of the same sound quality level). The larger speakers (polk monitor 30s vs Take 5 for example) will sound fuller, will have more midbass, and will have more impact. Small speakers sound small.

If you want to go with a 2.1 setup, here would be a good setup:
Sub - BIC F-12 $198: http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-F12-475-Watt-Subwoofer/dp/B0015A8Y5M

Front speakers - JBL Studio 130's $149: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882665156
or
Polk Monitor 45B's $170(use promo code EMCNJJF52): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290269

OR you could raise your budget by $100 to $500 and get these JBL Studio 180 towers: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882665155
I am a really big fan of JBL for budget minded setups as they deliver a very high performance to value ratio.


If you wanted to go full 5.1:
Front speakers and surrounds - JBL Studio 130's $300: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882665156

Center Channel - JBL Studio 120C $90: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882665158

Then save up for a BIC F-12 or find a used sub on craigslist for less money.


These setups should keep you very happy for a long time especially since you are a newbie to home theater audio and have not dabbled in or listened to any of the high end stuff. I would not go with anything below the level or price of the stuff I just recommended no matter what because if you do, you will probably not be fully satisfied with the results and would upgrade not too far into the future. I would personally recommend the towers and sub setup more than anything out of these. I have a front tower and sub setup and I love the fullness that it provides.
Edited by neuspeed94 - 1/13/13 at 12:37am
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neuspeed94 View Post

Let me ask you this....How important is full 5.1 surround sound to you? Do you consider it a novelty or do you consider it a must have for your new setup? I ask this because if you are like me and don't care about hearing sounds behind you in a movie), then you will be able to get higher level of speakers for your front stage than if you had to spread the money across 5 speakers.

For the receiver, get the Denon. I absolutely love mine and would never get any other brand. Good stuff.

For speaker recommendations, Always, always get bigger speakers over smaller speakers (assuming they are of the same sound quality level). The larger speakers (polk monitor 30s vs Take 5 for example) will sound fuller, will have more midbass, and will have more impact. Small speakers sound small.

If you want to go with a 2.1 setup, here would be a good setup:
Sub - BIC F-12 $198: http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-F12-475-Watt-Subwoofer/dp/B0015A8Y5M

Front speakers - JBL Studio 130's $149: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882665156
or
Polk Monitor 45B's $170(use promo code EMCNJJF52): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290269

OR you could raise your budget by $100 to $500 and get these JBL Studio 180 towers: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882665155
I am a really big fan of JBL for budget minded setups as they deliver a very high performance to value ratio.


If you wanted to go full 5.1:
Front speakers and surrounds - JBL Studio 130's $300: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882665156

Center Channel - JBL Studio 120C $90: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882665158

Then save up for a BIC F-12 or find a used sub on craigslist for less money.


These setups should keep you very happy for a long time especially since you are a newbie to home theater audio and have not dabbled in or listened to any of the high end stuff. I would not go with anything below the level or price of the stuff I just recommended no matter what because if you do, you will probably not be fully satisfied with the results and would upgrade not too far into the future. I would personally recommend the towers and sub setup more than anything out of these. I have a front tower and sub setup and I love the fullness that it provides.

Thanks for the links and feedback. I greatly appreciate it. I guess I never really thought of going 2.1. I guess I simply thought that 5.1 would be far better than 2.1. I've never owned high end speakers in my life and have never even had a 2.1 setup before. If I did choose to do a 2.1 for the time being, do you think it would diminish the experience without having rears/surrounds in the basement? And is it possible to go 3.1, meaning the two fronts, the center channel, and the sub, or would this not be the right way to go?

I think I'm debating between the Polk Monitor 40's for up front or the JBL Studio 130's. Anyone have experience with these?
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Anyone?
post #15 of 20
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsoko2 View Post

Here is a good system for 550 http://www.avsforum.com/t/1430293/bic-acoustech-pl-89-5-0-system

Thanks, but I would rather purchase something from a more reputable source.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

The 1613 is a very good receiver choice. The PSW10 is a joke, and so are those other little puppies. Don't even think about it. The Enegy Take system is another worthless little toy that will end up in the trash can.

You do not have any good way to use rear speakers effectively. They have to be quite a ways behind the couch or they are not going to do anything worthwhile. You are not going to have a decent 5.1 setup in that room, so forget it.

You should put all of your money into a pair of decent front speakers and a subwoofer and you will have great sound from a 2.1 system.

I agree with all of the above.

For a econo subwoofer, look at the Polk PSW 120, and for econo fronts, the Infinity Primis 163s. I agree with the idea of just doing a better quality 2.1 system right now, as opposed to speading too few bucks over too many speakers.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I agree with all of the above.

For a econo subwoofer, look at the Polk PSW 120, and for econo fronts, the Infinity Primis 163s. I agree with the idea of just doing a better quality 2.1 system right now, as opposed to speading too few bucks over too many speakers.

I think that's the route I will be heading. I'm going to get the Denon 1613 and just start with a 2.1 system. I figure that will save me some money in the present and I can pick up some other speakers later down the road to get to a 5.1 system.

For your recommendations, I can't find the PSW 120 on Amazon. Do you happen to mean the PSW 505? I have never looked into the Infinity Primis 163. If I did go with these, would it be best to stick with this brand down the road for the center speaker and rears? Also, how would you compare the Infinity Primis 163 to the Polk Monitor 40's? I think it may be down to these perhaps. Anyone have recommendations between the two?

Lastly, I was leaning towards the BIC F12 for the sub because it's priced a little better and I've heard great things about it. Thoughts?
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by butie120 View Post

Thanks, but I would rather purchase something from a more reputable source.

Let's hope that someday the item you are trying to sell doesn't get the same rejection. I have bought and sold alot of HT gear from the AVS classifieds and haven't been burned yet.
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsoko2 View Post

Let's hope that someday the item you are trying to sell doesn't get the same rejection. I have bought and sold alot of HT gear from the AVS classifieds and haven't been burned yet.

I'm not denying that it's not a good offer. But for my first speaker equipment and speakers, I think I would like something with a warranty.
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