Make the best of my pre-wire - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-15-2018, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Make the best of my pre-wire

Hello and thank you in advance,

I know there are countless 5.1.2 vs. 7.1 threads out there, so I'm not intending to start another one of those. But I am looking for some help as I plan out my entertainment room.

The wife and I are finally building a house and I delightfully opted for a pre-wire option in our great room. The contractor did not have any atmos setups, and I was a little ignorant of that when I made the decisions (I have been out of the game for several years in renter's purgatory). I went with a 7.1 option. The three front speakers are in-wall and I can place them at optimum heights. Wires are zig-zagging in between the studs so I have ultimate control over height. Surrounds and rears are, unfortunately, in the ceiling (approximately 10 feet high). The wall behind me is a sliding door, so there was no way to wall-mount the rears, and it is an open-floor plan so also no walls for the side speakers. Kids and aesthetics preclude speaker stands. The surrounds are placed in line with the front l/r, and the rears are positioned a foot or two back and in from the surrounds. I think (mixed-plane issues aside) it will be a pretty good 7.1 setup.

But now I'm thinking about future-proofing and potentially turning this into an atmos setup at some point. Unfortunately, I cannot get the contractor back in there to tweak my design, and he put the ceiling speakers in jack boxes so I can't change their position without leaving a cover plate over the boxes on my ceiling, which I don't want to do. If I were to go 5.1.2 instead of 7.1 with the existing speaker locations, I think the height speakers (rears) are not in an ideal place and so sticking with 7.1 might be best. But, if I could somehow add two ceiling speakers a foot or two forward of the surrounds and in line with the rears, then might I have the makings for a decent 5.1.4 setup (with high back and middle speakers, just behind and in front of the listening position)? Note that due to room size, I can't see myself ever expanding beyond 5.1.4. The room front to back is about 19' and open width, with one main couch/sectional for seating.

I hear people raving about how superior atmos is to traditional surround sound, is it really worth it? I currently don't have an atmos/dts:x capable receiver, or a 4k blu ray player, but I'm starting to purchase 4k and I'm thinking about the future here. I guess I don't want to install my speakers in a way that limits my growth in the future. My current plan is to treat it as 7.1 system until I can add the two additional height speakers and upgrade my hardware to be atmos-capable. Does that sound wise?

Last edited by Travillion; 08-15-2018 at 04:10 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-17-2018, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travillion View Post
Hello and thank you in advance,

I know there are countless 5.1.2 vs. 7.1 threads out there, so I'm not intending to start another one of those. But I am looking for some help as I plan out my entertainment room.

The wife and I are finally building a house and I delightfully opted for a pre-wire option in our great room. The contractor did not have any atmos setups, and I was a little ignorant of that when I made the decisions (I have been out of the game for several years in renter's purgatory). I went with a 7.1 option. The three front speakers are in-wall and I can place them at optimum heights. Wires are zig-zagging in between the studs so I have ultimate control over height. Surrounds and rears are, unfortunately, in the ceiling (approximately 10 feet high). The wall behind me is a sliding door, so there was no way to wall-mount the rears, and it is an open-floor plan so also no walls for the side speakers. Kids and aesthetics preclude speaker stands. The surrounds are placed in line with the front l/r, and the rears are positioned a foot or two back and in from the surrounds. I think (mixed-plane issues aside) it will be a pretty good 7.1 setup.

But now I'm thinking about future-proofing and potentially turning this into an atmos setup at some point. Unfortunately, I cannot get the contractor back in there to tweak my design, and he put the ceiling speakers in jack boxes so I can't change their position without leaving a cover plate over the boxes on my ceiling, which I don't want to do. If I were to go 5.1.2 instead of 7.1 with the existing speaker locations, I think the height speakers (rears) are not in an ideal place and so sticking with 7.1 might be best. But, if I could somehow add two ceiling speakers a foot or two forward of the surrounds and in line with the rears, then might I have the makings for a decent 5.1.4 setup (with high back and middle speakers, just behind and in front of the listening position)? Note that due to room size, I can't see myself ever expanding beyond 5.1.4. The room front to back is about 19' and open width, with one main couch/sectional for seating.

I hear people raving about how superior atmos is to traditional surround sound, is it really worth it? I currently don't have an atmos/dts:x capable receiver, or a 4k blu ray player, but I'm starting to purchase 4k and I'm thinking about the future here. I guess I don't want to install my speakers in a way that limits my growth in the future. My current plan is to treat it as 7.1 system until I can add the two additional height speakers and upgrade my hardware to be atmos-capable. Does that sound wise?
Atmos is definitely worth it. I have 5.1.4 and really glad I went with Atmos. I have to say I wired for 7.2.4, but never put in the two rear speakers or the sub and don't know if I ever will. I'm perfectly happy with 5.1.4. The equipment needed to run Atmos is relatively cheap so even in the spirit of future-proofing things I don't think it's a bad idea to invest.
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-18-2018, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travillion View Post
I hear people raving about how superior atmos is to traditional surround sound, is it really worth it? I currently don't have an atmos/dts:x capable receiver, or a 4k blu ray player, but I'm starting to purchase 4k and I'm thinking about the future here. I guess I don't want to install my speakers in a way that limits my growth in the future. My current plan is to treat it as 7.1 system until I can add the two additional height speakers and upgrade my hardware to be atmos-capable. Does that sound wise?

I'd recommend you study up on Atmos on the Dolby website. It will offer speaker placement advice, but it will also advise you that to really get the full and proper benefit of what Atmos is trying to do, you need to ensure a separation between the height channels and the other channels. Doesn't mean it can't work in your situation, but it is not the ideal. Like I mentioned, check out the Dolby site and digest the information they offer there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazzz View Post
Atmos is definitely worth it. I have 5.1.4 and really glad I went with Atmos. I have to say I wired for 7.2.4, but never put in the two rear speakers or the sub and don't know if I ever will. I'm perfectly happy with 5.1.4. The equipment needed to run Atmos is relatively cheap so even in the spirit of future-proofing things I don't think it's a bad idea to invest.

I'd say at least go with that 2nd sub......
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7.2.4 System: Display: Sony XBR-65X930D; Processing: Anthem AVM60
Mains:
Paradigm Prestige 85F and 55C; Side / Rear Surrounds: Totem Acoustic Tribe III / Tribe I; Amplification: D-Sonic M3a-2800-7 (7ch. x 400w)
ATMOS:
Definitive Technology DI8R; Amplification: Class D Audio SDS-470C (4ch. x 300w)
Subwoofers:
2 x SVS-SB13Ultras; Media: Oppo UDP-203, Pioneer CLD-59
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