7.1 or 10.2 ??? Which should I wire for? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

I am in the process of building a home theater and want to make it as future proof as I can. Do not want to have to run extra speaker wire later. Already have a 7.1 system which sounds excellent, but do you think 10.2 will become a reality? Should I wire up the room to have the 2 extra high fronts, 1 rear center and extra sub?

Just want everyones honest opinion as to whether home theater will go 10.2 one day or is 7.1 the most it will ever be. Realistically speaking can movies do 10.2 and is there any benefit in a room 12' x 20'?
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post #2 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 07:38 AM
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Why not? Its only money.
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post #3 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 07:46 AM
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Wire is cheap and it's a lot easier to run wires that you enver use than it is to wish you had wires that you don't have.

Besides, even with 7.1, you might want to experiment with sub placement (or dual subs) so having extra wiring run for the sub can be a good thing.
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post #4 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 08:19 AM
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I set mine up for a 8.6 speaker system.

I have wires run for 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1. Then I have 6 sub locations run... You know "just incase". Wire is cheap, so I planned ahead. Although, right now I am just using 5.1 and I may never switch over to 7.1 even though my receiver can handle it. But at least I know its there for the future.

My rule when I was running wires was this: If I thought at some point I might want something somewhere, it got wires run to it. No sence in ripping drywall down over a few dollars worth of wire. This was especially true with a/c outlets. I have 26 outlets in the finished side of my basement, which is only about 750 sqft.
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post #5 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 09:15 AM
 
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What will the wife think?
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post #6 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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But there are already walls in place, so wiring up the extra 4 speakers will mean significant work and fishing wire. Therefore I am more interested in knowing if 10.2 is at all a potential reality or a pipe dream. Will the movie makers ever put these sort of tracks to disc.

I honestly don't need a second sub or the extra speakers, but if they ever have discs with 10.2 sound I will have regretted not wiring it up to test it out.

Also, more importantly, would 10.2 sound good in a room that is 12' x 20' or is 7.1 more than enough sound. I wouldn't want to invest in something that would be useless to me.
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post #7 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 09:41 AM
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It will all eventually get here, we are creeping towards it one baby step at a time, Onkyo's newest receivers now have Pro Logic IIz. Rephrasing your question, will I be on theater remodel #2 by the time I get around to upgrading my receiver, speakers, subs, surround processor, purpl ray player (next color after blu), HDMI 1.9a compliant matirx switch, ....?
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post #8 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdputnam View Post

It will all eventually get here, we are creeping towards it one baby step at a time, Onkyo's newest receivers now have Pro Logic IIz. Rephrasing your question, will I be on theater remodel #2 by the time I get around to upgrading my receiver, speakers, subs, surround processor, purpl ray player (next color after blu), HDMI 1.9a compliant matirx switch, ....?

Thats a 9.2 system correct? Wonder why they didn't just do the whole 10.2. But there are 10.2 Matrixing systems already out correct? Thats also what the Onkyo will do right?

Equipment has never been a big deal for me to swap out, but speaker wiring would be, as well as HDMI to my projector. Since HDMI cable and speaker wiring has remained pretty much the same, and probably won't change significantly, this is an investment I am planning to do only once.
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post #9 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 10:21 AM
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Are you running conduit to the PJ? Where will your rack be? I'd probably recomend running conduit to the front of the room too. 2" or greater.
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post #10 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 10:24 AM
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I use and recommend 2" conduit to the projector and any other display. HDMI is the hot thing now but DisplayPort is just on the horizon. Remember only DisplayPort IV compatiable hardware will be able to do true holographic 3D movies If you like to keep on the bleeding edge, then save a few drops of blood and install the 10.2. But, keep in mind that 10.2iX will require oxygen-free gold-filled super-conducting audio cables.... I'll go back to watching my laser disk now.

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post #11 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 10:39 AM
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I can't imagine there will be any benefit in a 10.2 set-up in a 20x12 room.
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post #12 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_pilgrim View Post

Are you running conduit to the PJ? Where will your rack be? I'd probably recomend running conduit to the front of the room too. 2" or greater.

A conduit is really NOT an option for me. Finished walls and ceiling. Not willing to rip them down. Will fish the wire, and run along baseboards. So swaping out the wiring later would be a big problem for me. The rack I will be setting up in the back right hand side of the room. Which should be close to the rear and side speakers. As well as the projector. Running a new wire to the projector is probably going to be the hardest thing.
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post #13 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathan View Post

I can't imagine there will be any benefit in a 10.2 set-up in a 20x12 room.

So what types of rooms is it ideal for? Are you sure there would be NO benefit. What about the improvements to the front and rear soundstage?

For the rear soundstage maybe not, but what about the front L & R upper areas? Lets say a chopper is landing down from the front soundstage, wouldn't that give us a more 3D feel that its coming from above and in front? But then again, maybe there is only so much the human ear can discern. In this case it would be a waste. Especially for a smaller room.

I guess no one here has setup and heard a matrixed 10.2 system?
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post #14 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilallr1 View Post

Already have a 7.1 system which sounds excellent, but do you think 10.2 will become a reality?

It may become a reality, but currently there's no agreed-upon standard for where the additional speakers will go.

For example: should you wire for height speakers right above the mains OR higher & wider than the mains OR above the listeners? Since Tom Holman came up with 10.2, should you wire for his 10.2 layout (7 front + 3 surrounds)? Or should you wire 10.2 based on the current 7.1 layout (3 front + 4 surrounds) plus 3 additional speakers?

Even though wire is cheap, there's no point wiring for additional speakers when you don't know where the additional speakers are going to go.
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post #15 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 01:07 PM
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Good grief...5.1,6.1,7.1...10.2?...Comeon!...When does it stop? Most people...... im willing to bet "99%" of the worlds population dont even have 5.1 set up in their homes..lol...Why bother with the 1% that will keep up?

I just dont get things sometimes??
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post #16 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 01:34 PM
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I would personally wire for 7.2 (front and rear subwoofer) with duplicate sets of wire for each run.

This allows you:
  • increase overall wire gauge for single speaker set (connect both pairs)
  • to bi-wire/bi-amp at a later time
  • 10 second fix (swap) if a wire is damaged by a nail
  • add additional speakers in proximity to existing speakers

In addition to the above, you might consider pulling extra pairs to location where your seating arrangements are going to be. This allows you to add bass shakers with little fuss.

With proper speaker placement and room calibration a 7.2 system should be all you'd ever need for a 12'x20' room.

10.2? Not a common standard (yet) so pulling extra wire to specific locations is just a guess.
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post #17 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilallr1 View Post

Will fish the wire, and run along baseboards. So swaping out the wiring later would be a big problem for me.

If you're fishing wire through existing walls, then does it matter whether you do 10.2 now or fish the extra 4 wires later? It's going to be approximately the same amount of work just different time lines. I mean in 3-4 years you're going to be tired of that oh-so dated wall color and rug, come to think of it my lime green shag carpet needs raking again.
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post #18 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdputnam View Post

I use and recommend 2" conduit to the projector and any other display. HDMI is the hot thing now but DisplayPort is just on the horizon. Remember only DisplayPort IV compatiable hardware will be able to do true holographic 3D movies If you like to keep on the bleeding edge, then save a few drops of blood and install the 10.2. But, keep in mind that 10.2iX will require oxygen-free gold-filled super-conducting audio cables.... I'll go back to watching my laser disk now.

By that time (2015 or 2018) PJ's will be obsolete and we'll all have upgraded our HT to version 4.0 or 5.0 with full wall printed OLED's.

Yea, I'm a futurist and a dreamer.

fwiw, I voted 10.2, my HT is pre-wired for ..... 9.4

traditional 7.1 + 2 "extra" rear channels + 3 extra sub runs

(I had the extra wiring leftover so used it, the recent IIz upper front RH/LH was off my radar back in Dec-07)
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post #19 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

By that time (2015 or 2018) PJ's will be obsolete and we'll all have upgraded our HT to version 4.0 or 5.0 with full wall printed OLED's.

Yea, I'm a futurist and a dreamer.

fwiw, I voted 10.2, my HT is pre-wired for ..... 9.4

traditional 7.1 + 2 "extra" rear channels + 3 extra sub runs

(I had the extra wiring leftover so used it, the recent IIz upper front RH/LH was off my radar back in Dec-07)

Mike - you have a massive IB. What could having additional rear subs do for you except hurt the bank account?
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post #20 of 30 Old 03-24-2009, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathan View Post

Mike - you have a massive IB. What could having additional rear subs do for you except hurt the bank account?

Mike;
Blame it on those guys at Harmon, http://www.harman.com/about_harman/t...eadership.aspx

Back in 2007 while doing research came across their Multi subs in their "White Papers" section.
Quote:
10.30.2002
Subwoofers: Optimum Number and Locations
By Todd Welti, Research Acoustician, Harman International Industries, Inc.
Intuition tells us that putting a large number of subwoofers at different locations in a room is likely to excite room modes in a more "balanced" manner, as compared to a single subwoofer. This idea has potential where there is not a single listening location, but rather a listening area. In this case, we look for consistency of acoustical response within this area. One way to approach this problem is to excite all modes evenly. Another approach is to excite as few modes as possible. Using simulations and measurements, we have made an investigation to determine whether using a large number of subwoofers is advantageous, and in particular what configurations give the best results. Several interesting and surprising results were uncovered along the way.

Was not sure where my DIY sub thinking was going at the time, so this was back-up, 4 drops for possible 2 or 4 box subs. Get it all in before the drywall goes up mentality-itus.

Now? I might use them for a mini subwoofer "shoot out" someday in the future, IB line array vs ??, though not on the scale of warpdrv's recent one SE WI Sub shootout....
(btw a great thread to read for learning about subs)
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post #21 of 30 Old 03-25-2009, 04:26 AM
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Why not 11.2? The Yamaha RX-Z11 will give you the sound you are seeking.




I thought I had seen a 13.2 system somewhere whch had speakers between the fronts and side surrounds as well.
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post #22 of 30 Old 03-25-2009, 05:00 AM
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A few things to consider.
  • The "longer" a room is down from the Screen wall and as opposed to width, the more essential additional surrounds and rear subs become
  • 9.1 systems are based primarily of Rooms requiring additional Sound Staging across the width of the Screen wall. Yamaha pioneered this kind of "Consumer-oriented" planning with 7.1, employing the extra "effects" channels between the Center & R & L mains or to each side of the mains. They continue on to this day with 9.1 & 11.1 systems designed along that same premise.
  • Despite conventionally held beliefs, a longer room is really not an ideal choice...just status quo. Deep rooms are "people Palaces" allowing mutli row-multi level seating, but they ARE NOT rooms engineered for accurate staging of multi-channel sound. Look to a wider, rectangular shape for the best effect.
  • Increased distances between speakers require the patterning of dispersion so as to effectively blend the sound image seamlessly and reduce the need for Delay to offset adverse characteristics created by increased distance between Drivers.
  • If you possess or obtain Dipole or Tripole design Surrounds, the additional 'multi-directional' drivers are specifically designed to disperse the directional nature of the sound and create a larger, more expansive sound stage. With less "holes"
  • As previously stated in a post above, additional Subs are a cause to an effect; that is to produce a more evenly distributed Low Frequency wave throughout the room, one that saturates at controlled levels that blend with ALL other content.
  • Such a "Sub-Bass Blending" reduces (does not eliminate) acoustical concerns, as does correct speaker placement/design.
  • Multiple Channel design is intended to address the last point more than anything else, simply because muti-channel sound stage imaging depends upon a smooth transition of effects between the various sound sources.
  • Design a room, (or have to deal with a room) that is "deep" and it becomes difficult to balance. Harder to get a expansive Front Sound Stage across a narrow point of presentation. Harder to fill the room with equalized Bass from a "forward" only location. Harder to correct for "imaging holes' by using delay.
  • Basically, what is being done is a drive toward saturating a room with many drivers, all intended in improving distribution of sound across a larger area.
  • 9.1 on up systems will still depend upon "matrixed" not discreet content when they go beyond the number of channels "mixed" at the Engineer's console. Just as it was and still is with 7.1, there is always a minimum of a 2.0 gap between current "mixing" technology and Consumer oriented equipment.
  • As more and more "Normals' opt for a true Theater Design, acceptance of such "many multi-speaker" designs become more easy to swallow.

So in all this one can conclude that if you have a room that is 2x deeper than it is wide, additional surrounds / Subs are not just desirable...they become essential of create acceptable Surround Sound imagery. Not much however can compensate for smaller "Visual' imagery if one gets to the Show late and must sit in a recessive rear seating location if the screen size is likewise restrained in size. Nor will a truly epic sweep of sound occur in the transition of mixed effects if there no distance between the Center and R & Left mains.

The last posted example just above this Post validates that viewpoint, where it is seen how the "effects" speakers serve to fill in a gaps between the actual "imaging Drivers' with additional ambient matrix-ed produced "fill'. That sound is NOT however "discreet' programming. Personally speaking, that diagram is simply a illustration, and most assuredly NOT a well thought out room designed for optimal performance. (note the "plasma-sized" screen ) I don't think I've ever seen a diagram that was such...from any Mfg. All are horribly outdated and represent anciently held conventional design.

It's humorous to note that in the 90's when far fewer people considered owning a Home Theater and had to deal with using wider Family rooms, 7.1 systems (matrix induced effects oriented) came about to lessen the "gap" between anemic R & L mains and the ever present center. Now with a lot (too many unfortunately) of willing converts being led by the nose into employing 80 year old Theater design because it "seems" to be what everyone has always done, an ever increasing number of channels is becoming more acceptable....and necessary.

I installed my first 3.0 Dolby system in 1979 (Stereo w/Dual matrix-ed "Mono Rears") while using the TV speaker as "Center" and a Under Floor mounted Bass Tactile system (for a Sensurround effect) I just knew instinctively that Star Wars and Alien would be coming "Home" to us all soon and Stereo alone would not suffice.

Today I've progressed to 7.6

Center - R & L mains - R & L Side Surrounds - R & L Center Surrounds - Twin Subs Forward for LFE (.2) - Twin Dual Voice Coil / Dual Amp Subs for reproduction of Bass from Side Surrounds and Center Rear Surrounds (.2) and In Floor-In Platform Tactile Bass Transducers for additional LFE supportive effects. (.2)

7000 watts total in a 24' wide by 21' deep room is my current "maxed out system. 122" diagonal screen, w/seating for 12 in two rows.



Conventional wisdom can be terribly myopic, and Promotion oriented "advances' terribly misleading. Consider everything you think you "know' and then consider that insufficient and outdated. Then you'll be open to what can be really accomplished. Exorbitant amounts of cash has never been the real need...just effective design from start to finish. Cash simply helps accommodates poor design. Or the Ego.
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post #23 of 30 Old 03-25-2009, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicTK View Post

Why not 11.2? The Yamaha RX-Z11 will give you the sound you are seeking.




I thought I had seen a 13.2 system somewhere whch had speakers between the fronts and side surrounds as well.


I know that receiver/speaker makers would love for you to keep pushing the limits (or cheque book). But from what I have read Blu-ray is done in terms of channels. Meaning 7.1 is it. I know I am sucker for the next best thing, but the truth is I don't see that being a reality anytime soon. Might be something along the lines of 10 years before we see a replacement for blu-ray. I think by then I could always rewire for that.

I guess my vote will be to wire for 7.1 and be happy with that.

Thanks for all you help.

Right now I will play with the idea of another sub. But since they cost alot more than speakers, I doubt that would happen for me.
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post #24 of 30 Old 03-25-2009, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

......................

Today I've progressed to 7.6

Center - R & L mains - R & L Side Surrounds - R & L Center Surrounds - Twin Subs Forward for LFE (.2) - Twin Dual Voice Coil / Dual Amp Subs for reproduction of Bass from Side Surrounds and Center Rear Surrounds (.2) and In Floor-In Platform Tactile Bass Transducers for additional LFE supportive effects. (.2)

7000 watts total in a 24' wide by 21' deep room is my current "maxed out system. 122" diagonal screen, w/seating for 12 in two rows.



Conventional wisdom can be terribly myopic, and Promotion oriented "advances' terribly misleading. Consider everything you think you "know' and then consider that insufficient and outdated. Then you'll be open to what can be really accomplished. Exorbitant amounts of cash has never been the real need...just effective design from start to finish. Cash simply helps accommodates poor design. Or the Ego.

MM;

Your detailed posts in many of the forums here always exhibit the best in sharing knowledge, wisdom, advice, and humor.

Finally I get to see your own HT, awesome.
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post #25 of 30 Old 03-25-2009, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_Wadsworth View Post

Wire is cheap and it's a lot easier to run wires that you enver use than it is to wish you had wires that you don't have.

Besides, even with 7.1, you might want to experiment with sub placement (or dual subs) so having extra wiring run for the sub can be a good thing.

Why would I want to move the sub around? Does it really matter where the sub is situated?
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post #26 of 30 Old 03-25-2009, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilallr1 View Post

Why would I want to move the sub around? Does it really matter where the sub is situated?

Yes. The sub location(s) is critical to having smooth base (without spikes and nulls) from each listening seat. Common positions are in the center of the front and back wall, but having the freedom to move a sub around the room allows tuning which could then be further improved with a parametric equalizer.
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post #27 of 30 Old 03-26-2009, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilallr1 View Post

So what types of rooms is it ideal for? Are you sure there would be NO benefit. What about the improvements to the front and rear soundstage?

For the rear soundstage maybe not, but what about the front L & R upper areas? Lets say a chopper is landing down from the front soundstage, wouldn't that give us a more 3D feel that its coming from above and in front? But then again, maybe there is only so much the human ear can discern. In this case it would be a waste. Especially for a smaller room.

I guess no one here has setup and heard a matrixed 10.2 system?

I wired for 9.2, so i could run an extra pair of L & R in the front for an second stereo tube-based analog system. I don't see any benefit of going higher than 7.2 in a home theater that is 20x14 (like mine).
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post #28 of 30 Old 03-27-2009, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aluminumangel View Post

I don't see any benefit of going higher than 7.2 in a home theater that is 20x14 (like mine).

The benefit would be to get stable height imaging. The easiest way to do that is to place speakers high up. Room size has nothing to do with it.
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post #29 of 30 Old 09-08-2013, 06:44 AM
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Well done sir, great minds think alike, when building my second garage out back (double car) mancave I placed 32 outlets, half at 12" low and half 4' up. the neighbor thought I was nuts, 6mo after completion I can see 6. neighbors shut their mouth.
Now on to the future wiring for, well the future, parts express is where I buy 90% of my goodies, 300' of #10 is $197.00, never run less than #10 to anything.
This price is cheap compared to replacing existing speaker wire you have already run. Do it one time and do it right.
Here is why: We are guy's, we ran #12 maybe #14 or even #16 stranded throughout the years. and being guy's what do we do when everything is up and working ?
We do what is easy and simple upgrades, most of the time that would be speakers you have found some killer deal on somewhere.
Well in the world of Audiophile of witch iv become, you run #10 and you never need worry about upgrading amps and or speakers.

Just my thoughts hope my 40 years experience helps someone.
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post #30 of 30 Old 09-08-2013, 07:14 AM
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When building my second garage out back (double car) mancave I placed 32 outlets, half at 12" low and half 4' up. the neighbor(s) thought I was nuts, 6mo after completion I can see 6 outlets. neighbors shut their mouth.
Now on to the future wiring for, well the future, parts express is where I buy 90% of my goodies, 300' of #10 is $197.00, never run less than #10 to anything.
This price is cheap compared to replacing existing speaker wire you have already run. Do it one time and do it right.
Here is why: We are guy's, we ran #12 maybe #14 or even #16 stranded throughout the years. and being guy's what do we do when everything is up and working ?
We do what is easy and simple upgrades, most of the time that would be speakers you have found some killer deal on somewhere.
Well in the world of Audiophile of witch iv become, you run #10 and you never need worry about upgrading amps and or speakers.
One of my pocketbook saving ideas has come from years of drilling holes and ropin wire, after you think you have things all figured out and know what you wish to buy, Grab a beer, sit down and rethink it through for an hour, do that a couple of times and suddenly you screw up less and you really do know what your doing !

Just my thoughts hope my 40 years experience helps someone.
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