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Small room set up advice

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for some audio advice for my "mini" home theater. I have a home office/viewing room that I would like to upgrade to enhance the "theater" part. I recently purchased a Panasonic TC-P55GT50 that I love, but now it's time to focus on audio. I currently have a Vizio VSB210WS-B soundbar/subwoofer, but I am thinking of upgrading to a 5.1 surround sound.

My room is approximately 11 x 13.5' but half of it is taken up with my desk, computer, etc. I have a loveseat in the middle of the room facing the back wall, approximately 60inches away from my tv, which is the optimal viewing distance given THX measurements (based on my 55" screen). Windows make up one side of the room, and the door is in back. I have bookcases on either side of my tv, but there is room to slide smaller monitors on each side of the tv (if I put them on a tabletop stand that will sit on my entertainment center. I've also got room to put speakers on either side of the couch (on stands). You can see a diagram attached of the basic layout of the room (speaker placement is in red).

Anyway, like I said it's a small room and I just want to upgrade the audio for a more theatrical-like experience. Budget isn't as much of a concern as usage is. I only watch movies on this tv, and typically not at booming volume since I usually watch them later at night when my wife and children are asleep upstairs. So, I'm not looking to shake the house, but rather have decent range and clear dialogue at low-mid volume levels. Sure, when no one is in the house, I'd like to crank it a bit - but typical usage will be at normal levels.

That said, I am currently torn between the Energy Take Classic 5.1 and Definitive Technology Procinema 800 speakers. The Procinema 800s get better reviews, but since I won't be listening at louder volumes, will the extra cost over the Energy's be worth it? Or should I piecemeal different speakers (Procinema center, Energy sats?). As for sub, I was wondering if the Energy would be decent enough for my set up.

For receivers, I was thinking the Sony STRDN1030 for its value and AirPlay option as I may use this for about 20% music (at most). I am, however, up for opinions on that as well.

Again, I'm looking for something that will be appropriate for my current set up. I know I could go crazy on components, but I also don't want to buy a Ferrari to go pick up a few groceries, you know?

Thanks in advance!


post #2 of 17
I was so glad to see you mention Def Tech's...m wife and I have done the same thing as you, basically turning a small bedroom into a "mini theater"...I put in a set of Def Tech 60.6 in there (crazy cheap these days because they are discontinued) and they ABSOLUTELY did the job well!!! I also own a set of 800's that I have in our living room so I stole 2 of them and masse them the front stage and it helps.

So, if money is not an option, I would say you would be more than happy with the 800's, if you want to save a lot of money and still be happy...check out the 60.6's. I am a huge fan of Denon AVR's but I also have a pioneer Elite that is awesome too...I think you would be better served with one of them brands over the Sony.

Good luck!
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply! I guess my fear with the Procinema 800s is that they are ore speaker than my space/needs allow. That said, I don't mind paying for more if the performance is better - even at potentially lower volumes.

I'll also be looking into other AVRs as well.
post #4 of 17
Avoid the Sony receiver, get a Denon that has Audyssey. As for speakers, for $1k, you can do alot better than the Definitive Technology speakers.
For $772 shipped you could get an Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 package and have $228 left over for a BIC F-12 subwoofer.

That setup would be on a whole other level than the two you mentioned.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestion! My only fear with the CBM-170s is their size. My tv only allows about 4.5" on both sides between the bookshelves. If I put them on tabletop stands (to raise them up to the middle of the tv) I may have room in front of the tv but I don't want to obscure any of the view.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Any thoughts on the Polk Audio Blackstone TL350?
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bscriv77 View Post

Thanks for the suggestion! My only fear with the CBM-170s is their size. My tv only allows about 4.5" on both sides between the bookshelves. If I put them on tabletop stands (to raise them up to the middle of the tv) I may have room in front of the tv but I don't want to obscure any of the view.

Could you clear off one of the shelves on each side that are TV screen level and put the speakers there?
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neuspeed94 View Post

Could you clear off one of the shelves on each side that are TV screen level and put the speakers there?

Unfortunately, no. The shelf on the left is for DVDs, and the one on the right is for books (both different sizes). Plus, they are both pretty full. I'm currently looking at The Polk Audio Blackstone TL-350 set up as they seem to get good reviews and the speakers are small enough to squeeze between my tv and shelves. Given that my entire room size is 11x13.5' and only half is the viewing area, that should be enough, right?
post #9 of 17
Just be aware that small speakers will sound small. Granted they will sound much better and fuller than the TV speakers, they also won't sound like a movie theater. Would Ascend's HTM200 speakers fit? http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/htm200/htm200.html
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Those might work...though 6.5" wide may interfere with the screen a little bit since they will have to be in front of the screen. I completely understand that smaller speakers will sound small, but I'm also trying to take into consideration my needs and listening/viewing habits. I currently have a VIZIO VSB210WS which sounds pretty nice, though I wonder if a true 5.1 surround sound will be better for a more "immersive" sound - even if I'm playing it at low volume at night.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bscriv77 View Post

Those might work...though 6.5" wide may interfere with the screen a little bit since they will have to be in front of the screen. I completely understand that smaller speakers will sound small, but I'm also trying to take into consideration my needs and listening/viewing habits. I currently have a VIZIO VSB210WS which sounds pretty nice, though I wonder if a true 5.1 surround sound will be better for a more "immersive" sound - even if I'm playing it at low volume at night.
Definitely a true 5.1 setup will be better. The Blackstone TL350 set will be worlds better than the Vizio sound bar as well. If space limitations keep you from being able to go with bigger bookshelves, then you should get those Polks.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neuspeed94 View Post

Definitely a true 5.1 setup will be better. The Blackstone TL350 set will be worlds better than the Vizio sound bar as well. If space limitations keep you from being able to go with bigger bookshelves, then you should get those Polks.

Thanks! Yeah, I'm leaning towards those right now...and pairing it with either a Polk DSW PRO 440 WI or Polk DSW PRO 550 WI Subwoofer and a Denon AVR-1613 receiver.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bscriv77 View Post

Thanks! Yeah, I'm leaning towards those right now...and pairing it with either a Polk DSW PRO 440 WI or Polk DSW PRO 550 WI Subwoofer and a Denon AVR-1613 receiver.

Definitely go with the 550 if having a wireless subwoofer is a must for you. You will appreciate the larger driver. 8" subwoofers are just too small for home theater in my opinion. But, if the subwoofer being wireless doesn't matter to you, then this sub will sound better than the Polk in every way: http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neuspeed94 View Post

Definitely go with the 550 if having a wireless subwoofer is a must for you. You will appreciate the larger driver. 8" subwoofers are just too small for home theater in my opinion. But, if the subwoofer being wireless doesn't matter to you, then this sub will sound better than the Polk in every way: http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/stf-2.html

Great, thanks! I have heard good things about the STF-2s. Is the Denon AVR-1613 a good choice for a receiver? I like the AirPlay functionality.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bscriv77 View Post

Great, thanks! I have heard good things about the STF-2s. Is the Denon AVR-1613 a good choice for a receiver? I like the AirPlay functionality.

Yes, Denon receivers are great.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Now it's just a matter of pulling the trigger!
post #17 of 17
I'm somewhat in the same boat. Looking at the following

- Polk Blackstone TL3s for front left and right
- Polk Blackstone TL3 center
- Polk RC60is rear left and right
- Polk PSW111 compact subwoofer

Polk's running a deal right now on their subwoofers. Spend $499 or more on Polk speakers, and they kick in a PSW111 or its equivalent value ($300) toward a Polk sub. I figured the small PSW111 would suit my needs since I'm space limited and I can fit it inside a cabinet. With the deal, I can pick up the TL3s (LCR) and the sub for $499. The RC60is are on special at Newegg for $69.99 a pair. So the whole set up would run me $569. Meets my budget, but I have no idea how those pieces will play together. The TL3s will be fine, but what about the sub and the in-ceiling RC60is in the rear?

I'm planning on powering this with a refurbished Denon AVR-1613 which I saw on sale for $269. I'm not crazy about buying refurbished AV equipment (never done it before), but it is factory refurbished by Denon, sold by an authorized dealer, and warrantied for 1 year. Mistake? What do you think?

Thanks for any help or advise you can give.
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