Need help designing HT
Hi Experts -
A quick little background, my wife and I built our dream house about 6 years ago and are getting close to the drywall stage in the basement. My home theater room has changed a few times, but we have finally settled on a room and I would like some wisdom on how finishing recommendations. I am not looking for a $50K home theater, but am okay dropping some money into it.
I have put a picture of the basement floor plan, and the room label "kids room" ended up being picked for the home theater. The back wall has been closed off, and I will have five home theater seats in an slight arch in front of the back wall. At the bottom of the stairs there will be a 52" solid pocket door that will close off the room when appropriate. The front of the room is a bay shape and the TV will be centered on the front wall. Depending on the prices of the larger screens in 6-12 months, it will either be a 75" or 82" screen. Underneath the screen, I will have a cabinet built out deep enough to handle my components and center channel. The room is 14'5" wide and 16'10" from front to back, and the room as an 8'6" ceiling.
So here are some of the questions I have been thinking about. I would prefer somewhat of an invisible system with quality in-wall speakers (although I know there are some who would argue such a thing does not exist).
- Unless someone can give me a really good reason, do I need anything beyond 5.1?
- For the rears, would you place them in the back wall? or the side wall towards the back of the room? At what height? Once again, these are almost certain to be in-wall.
- For the front left and right channels, I could in theory build them into the outer edges of the build-out, but would not be able to get them quite as wide as if I put in-wall speakers. If I did in wall speakers, should i create a build out so they are not pointed on a 45 degree angle? would a large bookshelf speaker truly offer remarkably better sound?
- The center channel will be in the cabinet design, and installed probably 20" off the floor.
- Where would you recommend a subwoofer? Is there any value in two subwoofers? Depending on the angle of the home theater chairs I purchase, its possible a subwoofer could be tucked in each back corner.
As far as budget... For the receiver and speakers, I probably don't want to go much over $3,000 - and my wife would probably like it if it came in a bit less. By the time we have the chairs, television and other components, I am guessing we will be pushing $10K for the room. Flooring will be carpet. Any suggestions are appreciated, included specific brands/models if you recommend a specific piece of the puzzle. Please feel free to ask any questions that either clarify or provide information I have overlooked providing.
It sounds like in-wall speakers offer many advantages for you. If that is the direction you are leaning, I would go with DIY Sound Group Volt-10 Version 2 for all of your speakers. If you are not comfortable soldering the crossover components, there are people who will do that for you for a minimal charge. I would go with a full 7.2 system. 7 of the Volt-10s will set you back ~$1200 but you will have an extremely capable base layer. You can make grilles from thin hardboard with grille cloth to match or accent your room decor.
Add in a pair of DIY Value Buster Subwoofer Systems (VBSS) for <$150 each, and now you have some pretty kick a$$ bass to match your Volts. If you don't want to mess with cutting panels and speaker cutouts, and are willing to give up some low bass extension, Parts Express has a flat pack that will fit the Value Buster Subwoofer for <$200. You still have to glue the panels together, but all the measuring and cutting is already done for you.
Either way, you will have a very potent speaker system for less than $1500-$1800, which leaves plenty $$$$ for a decent receiver and separate amp to power the subwoofers.
A pretty good reason to think beyond 5.1 and a 75" screen, is that excavated space! :)
I plan on this sort of layout, for my next room.
Do you have any of your gear yet?
Subscribed. I'll be interested to see where you land on this. To my mind I think DIY Sound Group offers the best bang for your buck. And being a Denon guy that's the direction I'd head. I'm sure many people will mention this but make provisions for wiring of Atmos channels - you WILL eventually want them. And if you go with the recommendation above of Volt 10s it would be easy to add four more Volts of some size as Atmos speakers down the line. I would get the Denon X4400 which can be had for around $800. It's a great sounding receiver and would push the DIYSG speakers easily.
Edit: Actually, I'm seeing that Fry's has a deal on the newer X4500 model for $899 right now...
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