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post #1 of 13 Old 02-22-2015, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Redesign My Room (Formerly: Best upgrades for $1k)

I have a small 16' x 9' set up that is an evolving work in progress. Often time I question my sound quality and have a nagging urge to try to improve it by buying more stuff. However, I am not sure of how to achieve the most effective improvement, or if what I have is fine and needs to be fine tuned.

Thus I thought it might be interesting to provide a basis and see what kind of creative solutions the more knowledgeable folks of how to maximize a $1k or less budget for potential upgrades.

Here is the current set up:
Receiver: Onkyo TX-sr602
Center: Polk CS1
Front: Polk R30 (Have some R50s too, but not black and taller than I wanted)
Side: Polk R15
Rear: Polk RT25

I do have some speaker placement limitations. Rather than explaining, I figured pictures would be better.




Last edited by dhp78; 03-08-2015 at 03:16 PM. Reason: New Plans
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-22-2015, 06:49 AM
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I am far from an expert, and im sure the other guys will give much better tips and answers. From what i see i think the best option would be to flip the room. have your tv on the opposite wall. Currently your L/C/R are so close together you are not really getting a proper sound stage. With them on the back wall you can open it up and space your speakers further apart.
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-22-2015, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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The flip makes sense, but I don't think I will be able to do that. It would be a big job and expensive. All the wiring is in the walls and ceiling and come to the current location. Also, I will loose a couple feet in length which would really shorten the room.

I could possible cut a hole into the wall along the stairs and build in a recessed shelf to a smaller speaker. I would have to angle it slightly to point it in to the room. I am not sure if this would do more harm than good so feel free to expand on the concept.

Also, if the room is hopeless for any improvement, let me know. I guess i would rather save the cash instead of putting into a lost cause. It doesn't sound to bad to me now, so I can definitely live with it.
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-22-2015, 07:58 AM
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An alternative option would be a room flip with a two seat layout, with a 54x96" acoustically transparent screen and a projector.


This would shorten the room visually, and eliminate 3 seats, but the upside would be a much a larger screen, with a much improved speaker
layout. And all the front speakers would all be hidden. The room might look smaller, but it will actually feel bigger if you go with dark finishes.


As for wiring, a friend has speaker fabric cloth panelled walls, and these could hide some DIY acoustical treatments, and provide for new speaker
wiring runs.


And if the 602 has height channels, then maybe you could run the R50's as left and right mains, and the RT25 stay put as height channels. The current
front R30s become the rear surrounds. Or it's a potential future upgrade option.


The real question is how valuable that rear couch is?
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-23-2015, 04:22 PM
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$1000 doesn't leave a lot of room for contract labor AND equipment, so you might want to think bigger or be ready for some serious DIY. Looking at the TV nook, my instinct would be to try to unify everything onto one plane: Buy an articulated mount for the TV and pull it out further from the wall, even with the front face of the speakers.get your right and left fronts up even with the edge of the step or at least even with the front of your AV cabinet. Give them a better chance to disperse sound before reflecting off a side surface. You're kind of screwed on the left, but the right could be better. A different stand for the components up front that lets you have a little more flexibility for speaker placement, a second subwoofer, and acoustic panels behind the whole works inside that nook might make the $1000 target do-able, if you decide to put off the major re-do. I really like my old school LS90's but like most tower speakers,they need some space to sound their best. You might want to consider a more mid sized speaker of a sealed or front ported design that might do a better job of imaging, in the given location.
Have you tried pointing your front left towards your right hand seating position and vice-versa? Might help focus things a little, doesn't cost anything to find out. Be curious what, if anything, you do. Welcome to the forum!

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post #6 of 13 Old 02-23-2015, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
An alternative option would be a room flip with a two seat layout, with a 54x96" acoustically transparent screen and a projector.


This would shorten the room visually, and eliminate 3 seats, but the upside would be a much a larger screen, with a much improved speaker
layout. And all the front speakers would all be hidden. The room might look smaller, but it will actually feel bigger if you go with dark finishes.


As for wiring, a friend has speaker fabric cloth panelled walls, and these could hide some DIY acoustical treatments, and provide for new speaker
wiring runs.


And if the 602 has height channels, then maybe you could run the R50's as left and right mains, and the RT25 stay put as height channels. The current
front R30s become the rear surrounds. Or it's a potential future upgrade option.


The real question is how valuable that rear couch is?
I agree with Ted,I will be doing just this (he advised a similar solution for my build) on my next build if it's s dedicated room. I think you need to spred those mains out to get real sound improvements. With a false wall You will lose some space but more then make up for it in ability to change things up speaker wise.
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-23-2015, 04:48 PM
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I didn't see a subwoofer listed...if you don't have one, that's a serious upgrade. I'm looking for one now and I know it'll be a massive improvement. You can spend anywhere from $500 for something like an SVS PB1000 all the way to the full $1000.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-08-2015, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok.. You guys talked me into thinking about flipping my room. It will cost me way more that $1k though. I would like to keep it reasonable though. So here is what I was thinking of adding.

-5 new reclining seats.
-Projector.
-Projector screen.
-Projector Mounting.
-HTPC
-Cabinet built into wall to hold equipment.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, the sub is a Bic PL200.

I would like to only do this one more time so maybe you can help me get it right. Below is a sketch of my plan along with some questions.

-See any deficiencies or improvements that can be made?
-Been designing around the BenQ W1070. Right choice?
-How can i mount the projector and not have it hang down too far? Build a shelf or is there a good mount?
-The Elite Screen has several different styles. Which one?
Think the speaker locations will be ok?







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post #9 of 13 Old 03-08-2015, 05:35 PM
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The negatives:


Side surrounds are not properly positioned.


The riser isn't tall enough. Second row sightlines might be compromised, when you factor
in heads in the front row.


The screen is too close to the ceiling, and mounted too high. A result of the riser not being tall enough.


The front LR are buried in the corners.


The front row is very close to midpoint of the room.


The second row is right on the back wall, right on top of the rear surrounds, and the seats are
also in corners. Those tri-corners will be very bass heavy.


I do have to wonder if that short stair wall could be removed, and the riser built at two steps height, if
you absolutely need five seats.




I expect you'll end up with two seats that have decent audio. Which is why I went for an AT screen and a
single row of seats.
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-08-2015, 05:40 PM
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To me it seems you want to upgrade the equipment and not the room layout correct?

I would get a nice sub.

Who needs 4K?... just go see your optometrist.
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-09-2015, 08:04 PM
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A nice sub, or 4 couldn't hurt could it?
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-10-2015, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwell88 View Post
A nice sub, or 4 couldn't hurt could it?
Hmmm, I think I would rather have 1 $1k sub than 4 $250 subs
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-10-2015, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayn_j View Post
Hmmm, I think I would rather have 1 $1k sub than 4 $250 subs
Totally agree, I would too, I really just meant that he could up grade his sub and it wouldn't hurt to add a second. I bet if the OP wanted he could fit 2 DIY subs into his new budget and notice a big improvement.
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