Going from 5.1 to Atmos
When I built my house 6 years ago I opted for a pretty standard 5.1 system in my family room. Had plans of finishing the basement and doing a dedicated theater room, and still do have those plans, but it's not happening any time soon, so I've decided to at least upgrade my family room's A/V setup to be better in the meanwhile. I have a 1080p Samsung and figured it was time to upgrade to 4k.
So, I purchased a Sony 77" A9G (arrived today and need to wall hang it to replace the old Samsung). I also just purchased a Denon AVH-X6500 (to replace a Denon X-4000) in plans of going with a 5.1.4 or 7.1.4 setup. I got the X6500H because I also have a speaker selector connected to the X4000, which is then connected to a few sets of speakers in other rooms of the house as a "Zone 2" (when we have a party we turn music on via the Denon).
I've never been crazy about the sound I've had in the room when watching movies or TV shows (we don't listen to much music in there), so I'm okay with replacing everything if there's a significantly better option.
My current speaker layout is as follows:
* 3 Proficient Audio C840 LCR 8" Speakers in-ceiling...I know in-ceiling speakers usually don't have as good sound, but I like the look of everything in wall.
Plus, I'd rather not have to patch up a bunch of existing speaker locations and rewire when it's already done for me. The family room is totally open to the kitchen, so I know I'm not going to get the great sound I had at my previous house that had a totally closed of media room (that I miss!)
* 2 Proficient Audio Speakers above the couch (not sure on model number...the company the home builder subcontracted to do this work was terrible - the installed told me (and invoiced that) he installed SpeakerCraft everywhere...I never thought to remove the speakers from the ceiling to check that he installed what I asked for during construction...being 6 years later I'm not going to bother with him. I know Proficient is the same company as SpeakerCraft, but I was upset a couple of days ago when after so many years I'm first finding out he did that).
* 1 in-wall SpeakerCraft 12" Cinema Subwoofer. I have a Emotiva UPA-200 amplifier to power the subwoofer.
I've attached a layout of my family room, along with the locations of the current speakers. The 5 blue circles are the in-ceiling speaker locations.
What I'm hoping to do is go with a Atmos-compatible setup. I'm totally open to installing wired in-wall speakers as surrounds, as I have an unfinished basement below this room. I'm just not sure what the best move is regarding the ceiling speakers. The current LCR speakers I have have a 15 degree angle so that they point towards the listening area. We only have people sitting on the couch that's perpendicular to the TV when we have guests over, so I'm most concerned with how the sound is for those sitting on the couch that's parallel with the TV.
I was thinking to make the two speakers above the couch and the two speakers that are currently in-ceiling L & R by the TV to instead be height speakers, but keep the center channel speaker as a center channel (probably replacing it though, to match whatever I go with for everything else)...I don't have room above or below the TV for a center channel speaker, so it unfortunately has to remain as an in-ceiling speaker.
But then again, I know that the location of the main couch we sit at isn't ideal vs. the location of what would be the 4 height speakers...but maybe it is what it is, as I really don't want to seal all the existing locations and moving them elsewhere.
Does anyone have any recommendations on:
- The setup: 5.1.4 vs 7.1.4, or something else?
- The type of speakers to use. I'd be okay spending up to $500 per speaker if it was a big upgrade vs. what I have, but don't want to spend more than I have to. I'd also be fine keeping my existing speakers if that's the best way to go...I figured upgrading them all would make the most sense though, especially if I'm adding in-wall speakers.
Denon AVR-X4000 | Oppo UDP-203 | Sony XBR77A9G | Emotiva UPA-200 | SpeakerCraft 5.1 Speaker Setup