Paying someone else to configure your speaker setup - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-15-2015, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Paying someone else to configure your speaker setup

I am fully capable of connecting all of my speakers to a receiver, and have done so many times, however I don't know that I am getting the most out of my system (especially the back speakers). I am thinking that it might be better to have a professional do the installation, with the easiest choice being my local Best Buy. However, I don't want to get someone that will just connect speakers with no advanced knowledge of theater configuration. Will I likely get quality service from Best Buy? If not, how do I find someone that would bring out the most from my system?
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-15-2015, 08:27 AM
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Do you have a modern home theater receiver? Most of them come with an automatic room correction software, and it does all the work for you. You place the included mic where your ears will be, and then run the setup. It will play test tones and determine the speaker distances, crossover point, adjust your sub, and set everything up. It takes about 10 minutes and you will save yourself a few hundred dollars.

You can hire someone to do a more advanced version of this, but I don't know if the difference is worth the cost. Room correction is helpful, but it's not going to make a monumental difference. If you would still rather hire someone, don't use Best Buy. You need to find yourself an Audyssey Installer who will come and perform the setup.

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post #3 of 19 Old 10-15-2015, 08:30 AM
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Can you tell us about your system? No sense paying someone to optimize a $700 HTIB. On the other hand, if yours is a high end system, it might. In most cases, running the automatic correction built in to all modern AVR's is enough. That being said, the last place I'd be calling for system optimization would be BestBuy.
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-15-2015, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fryet
... I am thinking that it might be better to have a professional do the installation, with the easiest choice being my local Best Buy. However, I don't want to get someone that will just connect speakers with no advanced knowledge of theater configuration. Will I likely get quality service from Best Buy? If not, how do I find someone that would bring out the most from my system?
If you're lucky, you might get someone from BestBuy who is knowledgeable.

If your AVR has auto EQ, run it. If it doesn't, post a want ad here on AVS - maybe there's an experienced member who lives in or near your area who might be willing to help out in exchange for a few beers...
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-15-2015, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. My current receiver is pretty cheap - from Yamaha. That is my next planned upgrade. I have a 5.1 setup with 5 Klipsch speakers (2 front tower, large center, and 2 mid sized back). My sub-woofer was rated highly when I got it. It is from HSU research. Besides upgrading the receiver, the other reason to consider professional installation is that I am moving into a new home with a large, dedicated media room with sound-proofed walls. I combined 2 medium-sized bedrooms into a single home theater room (only windows are in the very back). So the room is as wide as a bedroom, but twice as long. Since I have such a space, I am tempted to go all out at some point with theater seating and any other improvements to the system that make sense.

Btw, primary purpose for the home theater is movie watching, and secondary purpose is gaming. The room is so long, I am making the space dual use with my home office in the back.

Btw, I live near Orlando, Florida.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-15-2015, 09:22 AM
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What model AVR is it? I started off throwing those little mics that came with AVRs or HTIB to they side and adjusting things to me liking manually. Boy was I WRONG. I can't come no where near close to what these auto-calibration thingies do! Your AVR probably came with such a mic and the ability to auto calibrate.

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post #7 of 19 Old 10-15-2015, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rontalley View Post
What model AVR is it? I started off throwing those little mics that came with AVRs or HTIB to they side and adjusting things to me liking manually. Boy was I WRONG. I can't come no where near close to what these auto-calibration thingies do! Your AVR probably came with such a mic and the ability to auto calibrate.
Not sure, but it was pre-HDMI days. As far as I know, it didn't come with a calibration mic.
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-15-2015, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fryet View Post
Not sure, but it was pre-HDMI days. As far as I know, it didn't come with a calibration mic.
Then I am willing to to bet the adjustment isn't going to be easy for even a "professional" I have a older pre-HDMI pioneer receiver in a house I rent the thing is next to impossible to calibrate properly. In fact I am frequently changing the settings mid movie as there is no way to dial it in

If you could get us the make and model number we might be able to help you.

Please give us the model numbers of all your speakers too. This will allow us to pretty much tell you what you should set to what. Except a few things you can easily do yourself.

Then I would just get a brand new receiver and use the auto calibration.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-15-2015, 12:04 PM
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Yeah take the money you would spend to have someone do it, and just get a new receiver.
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-15-2015, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fryet View Post
I am fully capable of connecting all of my speakers to a receiver, and have done so many times, however I don't know that I am getting the most out of my system (especially the back speakers).
Many people expect a lot from their surround speakers. The fact is that there is not a lot of information coming from your surrounds. They are lucky to get 5 to 10 percent of the audio information. And some movies don’t have a lot of surround activity. Movies like Lone Survivor (during the long fight sequences with the Taliban) have a lot of signal coming from the surrounds, but nothing considered high fidelity). Just the usual stuff (rocks falling, ricochets, distance sounds of yelling or explosions, etc.).

Any modern AVR is capable of setting up your system, and the more you use it, the better you'll be at it and knowing what needs to be boosted after the setup and what doesn't. Professional installers that have the proper equipment, can be an aid, especially for subwoofer integration. But honestly, anyone can come pretty close to what they can do.
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post #11 of 19 Old 10-15-2015, 02:57 PM
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It's not hard to calibrate an older receiver. You get an SPL meter ($30-$40, Amazon or Radio Shack) and a calibration disk (Amazon, $20).
Then you adjust each speakers level until they're all equal.
If you're going to get a new receiver, then great; but if yours is working for you, no need to upgrade for calibration.
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post #12 of 19 Old 10-15-2015, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fryet View Post
Thanks guys. My current receiver is pretty cheap - from Yamaha. That is my next planned upgrade. I have a 5.1 setup with 5 Klipsch speakers (2 front tower, large center, and 2 mid sized back). My sub-woofer was rated highly when I got it. It is from HSU research. Besides upgrading the receiver, the other reason to consider professional installation is that I am moving into a new home with a large, dedicated media room with sound-proofed walls. I combined 2 medium-sized bedrooms into a single home theater room (only windows are in the very back). So the room is as wide as a bedroom, but twice as long. Since I have such a space, I am tempted to go all out at some point with theater seating and any other improvements to the system that make sense.

Btw, primary purpose for the home theater is movie watching, and secondary purpose is gaming. The room is so long, I am making the space dual use with my home office in the back.

Btw, I live near Orlando, Florida.
Hi,

Let me add a couple of more thoughts on this. First, based on your description, I would prefer a new receiver, preferably one with Audyssey XT-32, to paying someone to come in and try to tweak my audio in the new space. A new AVR with features such as DynamicEQ, which incidentally does boost the surrounds (that may or may not be a positive depending on the movie, etc), could seem like quite an upgrade. Learning to use the room EQ yourself would also teach you a lot about both audio and your specific preferences, which hiring someone else won't do.

As you move into your new space, which sounds exciting by the way, you might also want to start learning something about room treatment. You did mention sound proofing, so you may already be on top of this one. I would probably start with some good (ie not foam) bass traps in a couple of corners and listen to the difference. I think you will be surprised at how much difference that sort of thing can make. The more you study this stuff, and experiment with things in your system, and in your room, the more you will be able to move the sound quality in the particular direction you prefer. I hope you don't mind the little editorial there.

Regards,
Mike

GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES

* The Guide linked above is a comprehensive guide to Audio & HT systems, including:
Speaker placements & Room treatments; HT calibration & Room EQ; Room gain; Bass
Preferences; Subwoofer Buyer's Guide: Sealed/ported; ID subs; Subwoofer placement.
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post #13 of 19 Old 10-16-2015, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I am not in my new house yet, so no need to try and get everything equalized in my current home. Based on the above feedback, my plan is to get a new receiver (I wanted one anyway), and use its microphone/setup routine to configure the sound in my new house.
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post #14 of 19 Old 10-16-2015, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fryet View Post
I am fully capable of connecting all of my speakers to a receiver, and have done so many times, however I don't know that I am getting the most out of my system (especially the back speakers). I am thinking that it might be better to have a professional do the installation, with the easiest choice being my local Best Buy. However, I don't want to get someone that will just connect speakers with no advanced knowledge of theater configuration. Will I likely get quality service from Best Buy? If not, how do I find someone that would bring out the most from my system?
Don't. Just don't. Save the money for professional screen calibration. Or a new receiver. Or popcorn. Or needy children.
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-16-2015, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Btw, as a novice user, when I see instructions to listen to the sound to determine the best setting, I am intimidated. I don't know how things are supposed to sound, so that is why I was gravitating towards a professional installer. An automated system is probably just as good, and I appreciate everyone who pointed that out as an option.
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post #16 of 19 Old 10-16-2015, 01:34 PM
 
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I'll set your system up. £1 million.
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post #17 of 19 Old 10-16-2015, 01:47 PM
 
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I accept paypal. Once I receive £1 million I will post links on how to setup a home theatre, and videos on how to run AVR calibration.

I await your payment.
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post #18 of 19 Old 10-16-2015, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fryet View Post
Btw, as a novice user, when I see instructions to listen to the sound to determine the best setting, I am intimidated. I don't know how things are supposed to sound, so that is why I was gravitating towards a professional installer. An automated system is probably just as good, and I appreciate everyone who pointed that out as an option.
It's not so much about what it's supposed to sound like (to a degree), but what sounds best to you.

If you really want to go down the rabbit hole - you can tell if your system is sounding the way it "should" by actually measuring the frequency response...see the REW link in my sig.
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post #19 of 19 Old 10-16-2015, 04:06 PM
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A Professional AV installer isn't going to (or shouldn't) focus on wiring your speakers. He should make an analysis of the best sized screen, appropriate speakers for the environment, room acoustics, as well as video calibration.

He should test the room acoustics and point out where the problem areas are, and suggests acoustic treatment to minimize those problems.

But before anyone says yes to such an endeavor, we would need a complete run down of the circumstance.

The size and shape of the room? (dimensions)

We need general visual assessment of the room acoustics, and how the room is laid out and constructed.

A list of the equipment that will be in the room?

Is the Room a Dedicated Home Theater, or is it a multi-purpose room? If multi-purpose ... what purpose?

I would say if you have many thousands into the room and you can find a competent installer, then that installer might be of some value.

However, if you have a typical $500 AVR and $1500 in speakers, in a converted bedroom or basement. Then I don't think you are going to be able to justify the cost. Just apply some common sense and understand your objectives, and you should be able to work it out on your own, or with the help of the forum.

Most people compromise there Surround Speakers simply because circumstance force their hand. You have to do what can be done in your room. In a very larger deep room, you could use floorstanding speakers as surrounds, but in a small room that is impossible unless you are always in the room alone.

I think I would only hire a professional if the cost of my equipment was high enough to justify the cost.

If you post some photos of the room in question, with a list of equipment, then I think many members of the forum would be willing to make helpful suggestions.

By the way ... REW... is Room Equalization Wizard. It is free software that can analyze your room, and graphically show you where the problem areas are. It does require some additional hardware as well as a computer, but many people find the overall price very modest.

http://www.roomeqwizard.com/

You can also search YouTube and find videos about REW including Videos on how to set it up.

A good new AV Receiver is going to have built-in Room-EQ. But while Room-EQ can make a good room better, it simply can not make a bad room good.

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 10-16-2015 at 04:11 PM.
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