I'm at the point of choosing the sound for my media room and I wanted to solicit some feedback from audioholics such as yourselves. I'll try to explain some of my choices in this post to give you an idea of where I'm coming from, which will hopefully save a few questions/replies. I still welcome criticism so I can learn from my faults (including would be faults if one of my suggestions is way off), but try not to take it to the point where I won't enjoy my setup as is or as it will be. The purpose of my media room is primarily for movies/sports, occasionally TV, and rarely for music.
I have a cookie cutter new single family (detached) home construction build with a 7.1 prewire dedicated media room including an HDMI/power prewire in the ceiling for a projector (the audio connection panel is off to the side, which would allow me to run an extra sub in that corner to make this a 7.2 setup if really necessary). I emphasize cookie cutter because I was limited in my audio/video options due to the A/V company's preselected catalog that was paired with the builder. I feel like I did the best I could to give myself the opportunity to build a decent media room with the limited options and time to research these options. I elected to go with the build out of the media room through the builder because I've seen too many friends/homes that never actually make it to building out the basement and the convenience of having the media room as close to turnkey as possible was the best decision for me given my procrastination and issues with follow through on personal projects.
See the attachment for a visual of my setup.
The room: 16' deep by 18' wide by 8' tall with a carpet flooring (cement underneath), no windows, and I plan to use a dark navy paint (flat). I will use a wall mounted screen on the front wall (18' wall of the room).
Seating: I will have an 'L' shaped sectional that follows the back wall and comes back up the side wall. At the end of the day I would like to have a room that's enjoyable for many as opposed to optimized for just me.
The receiver: Denon AVR-3313ci. I purchased this about 3.5 years ago for the primary reason that it allowed me to have independent HDMI inputs with dual independent HDMI outputs. Sports is a big component to my usage of my media room and this allowed me to play two feeds at once with audio switching. The secondary reason is that I thought it would be future proof as a 4k HDMI passthrough (limited to 1.4a) and 7.2 capable receiver pushing 125W to each channel. Unfortunately, I realize that Atmos is here and now, which my receiver doesn't support. My decision for this room was to stick with the traditional 7 speaker setup (or at least what I derived to be a suitable 7 speaker setup from various design sources including the Denon manual for this receiver and posts on this forum).
The projector: TBD between the Epson 5030UB and the Sony VPL-HW45ES (I can get either of these for $2,000 from a dealer, for the price I'm leaning towards the Sony since it's a 2016 model). I intend to ceiling mount the projector approximately 13' deep, which will provide roughly a 104" screen projection (both projectors were calculated to fit these dimensions using Projector Central). My last projector was the 5020UB and I loved it. I originally chose the 5020UB projector because of the side-by-side dual output capability (see my comment about my receiver selection). I've since discovered and purchased a piece of media equipment that allows me to take 4 HDMI inputs and combine them into a quad-view HDMI 1.4a output (including audio and on-the-fly switching capabilities), so I no longer have the split screen requirement. I need to figure out this selection as well, but for the purposes of this post I'd like to keep it to feedback on audio.
The audio prewire selections: center = 2.5' high (intended to be mounted on a stand), front L/R = floor height (intended to be floor standing speakers) positioned outside of the calculated screen width, side L/R = 5.5' high and 3.5' from the back wall, rear L/R = 5.5' high and 3.5' from the side wall, subwoofer 1 = front left to the outside of the front L speaker (with a power outlet). The panel will be in the front left corner on the side wall, which would allow me to run a subwoofer 2 to the front right, if necessary (power outlet already exists).
Now that I've provided the description of my setup I can move onto the topic at hand, what speaker selections should I use for my room? I've made it out to two studio rooms so far, each of which really only pushed a single selection in their setups. The first was a configuration from the Paradigm Prestige series; I thought these were the best sounding speakers I had ever heard at the time (this was also my first stop so I probably wasn't used to a proper setup with great sound), but they would be at the VERY top of my price range. The second was a configuration with Definitive Technology; I thought these were great sounding speakers, but I'm skeptical of the tower with the built in subwoofer concept; I heard these next to a B&W setup and thought the Def Tech sounded better. A third option I was considering based on a colleague's input (who is a well-versed audiophile from what I can tell) was to consider some internet direct companies, specifically Aperion and their Verus II Grand Tower.
Paradigm is currently running a promotion through the end of September where you get the accompanying center channel speaker free with the purchase of a pair of their Prestige towers.
I can currently get the Definitive Technology package for 20% off from a dealer.
My initial thought is to put most of my money into the LCR and sub(s) and buy-up on the surrounds later, if necessary. For aesthetics and space requirements I would prefer in-walls for my surround speakers if possible. I'm also under the assumption that I should at a minimum buy speakers from the same manufacturer for audio matching purposes (from what I've read), if not the same series. I'm comfortable with the pricing of the Definitive Technology configuration, but I'm trying to determine if the Paradigm or Aperion configuration will make a big enough difference to fork up the extra cash. Suggestions are welcome.
The configurations I've put together are the following:
Paradigm configuration: $5,520 + cost of sub
Front L&R: Prestige 85F tower $2,000 x (2) = $4,000 (I could bump this down to the 75Fs if the 85Fs are too big for my room and save $1,000 at the same time)
Center: Prestige 55C $1,700 x (1) = Free during September sale (this changes to the 45C with the purchase of the 75Fs)
Side L&R: CI Pro P65-IW in-wall $380 x (2) = $760 (note this is from the Pro series)
Rear L&R: CI Pro P65-IW in-wall $380 x (2) = $760 (note this is from the Pro series)
Aperion configuration: $4,350 + cost of sub
Front L&R: Verus II Grand tower $1,160 x (2) = $2,320
Center: Verus II Grand Center $650 x (1) = $650
Side L&R: Verus on-wall Surround Dipole Bipole $700/pair = $700
Rear L&R: Verus on-wall Surround Dipole Bipole $700/pair = $700
Definitive Technology configuration: $3,600 total
Front L&R: BP9060 tower discounted to $880 x (2) = $1,760
Center: CS9040 discounted to $400 x (1) = $400
Side L&R: DI 5.5BPS in-wall bipolar discounted to $360 x (2) = $720 (note this is from a different series)
Rear L&R: DI 5.5BPS in-wall bipolar discounted to $360 x (2) = $720 (note this is from a different series)
Subwoofer: 10" woofer included in each tower = $0
I'm open to suggestions for the subwoofer if I go with the Paradigm or Aperion configuration, my target range was ~$1,000. From what I've read this can be purchased independent of the speakers and it's often wise to do so. Since my room doesn't have the proper sound treatment I don't need it to blow me and the house away, but it's still a detached single family home so I don't have to worry about neighbors. My first inclination is to grab something from SVS.
I realize that this is a lot to digest so thanks in advance for those who decide to contribute to my post.