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post #1 of 7 Old 11-25-2017, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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HT/Music Setup - Recommendations Please!

Hello all! I have been lurking on this forum for years, reading through different posts to get ideas for my home theater setup that I will also listen to music through (it will mostly be for movies/tv, but we do like to listen to music). I have drawn up a diagram of my living room, and the TV stand that I am considering building. The side and rear channel wiring was already done on the house before we bought it - the blue lines represent the side channels (which come out of the wall at approx 6 ft from the ground), and the rear channel wiring which comes out of the ceiling. The front channels/center/ and sub are not prewired, and would have to be run directly from the receiver. Realistically, I don't envision us changing the layout of our room, or rewiring the side/rear channels. I also have 2 kids under 3yo, so would prefer to be in the budget speaker range so that I don't want to cry if a front bookshelf speaker gets scratched.

I would like to keep my budget under $2,000 for everything. For a long time it seemed like EMP Tek bookshelf speakers were considered on this site to be one of the best bookshelf speakers for the money - I'm not sure if that is still the case or not. I noticed they discontinued the center channel that matches the bookshelves. I know a lot of people recommend just buying a third bookshelf and turning it sideways - I'm not sure that aesthetically that is what I want. As you can see from the diagram of the TV stand, I am planning on placing the center channel inside of the stand, under the TV, and the front channels will be on either side of the TV (up on the stand). I am also concerned about the side channels being slightly offset from each other, and one of them being in front of the love seat (where I sit mostly). Would dipole speakers be a good option for the side channels?

I also have a large screened in back porch that is prewired for 2 speakers, that I would also like to get setup sometime - the wires run to the same place behind the TV stand on the diagram. I could always set up my living room for 5.1, and then use the other 2 channels of the receiver to run the porch, or I would be open to getting a good 9.1 receiver, or a 7.1, and then getting a pre-amp later on to run the outside channels.

Right now I am leaning towards the Denon X2300W receiver ($450), but that is only due to the reviews on Amazon. I also noticed some good reviews on this site for Rythmic L12 ($510). Obviously I am open to any and all recommendations.

One last thing... I currently have my cable box/router/server/modem/ and a huge jumble of wires behind my current TV stand. I am considering turning a closet into a server room and moving all of the electronics (including whatever receiver I buy), and using IR repeaters. Has anyone done this? I'm worried it will be difficult to tell if the receiver is set to the right settings because I won't be able to read the front panel (it will be in the closet).

THANK YOU! I just read back through my post... sorry it is so long and rambling
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-25-2017, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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one other thing... should I be doing a Dolby Atmos setup?
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-26-2017, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Slade84 View Post

THANK YOU! I just read back through my post... sorry it is so long and rambling
Sounds like you actually need a 9.2 receiver to accomplish what you want; the cheapest current tech model I can find is this factory refurbished Marantz for $750.

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...r/1.html#!more

That will allow you to do 5.1.4 and your porch with an external amp later.

You'd blow your whole budget on an 11 channel amp if you wanted to do 7.1.4 and the porch.

For your large space at least one large ported subwoofer is what you'd need.

AVS FAVORITES: BOOKSHELF SPEAKER PAIRS WITH >4.9" MAIN DRIVER AND UNDER $500 MSRP, (**equals free returns)

NOTES: >note that most speakers do not actually reach within 10hz of their stated bass extension; check pro reviews

>CRUTCHFIELD carries many speakers that Best Buy does not listed below. Their return policy is very inexpensive and longer in time.
$10 per package, (not tower speakers), within 60days.

>check center speakr prices before choosing a pair for a surround system as some companies have VERY high prices for centers

MSRP PORT? H/W/D ROUNDED TO NEAREST INCH

$60 SEALED 12X7X7 2 way 6.5" [70hz] DAYTON AUDIO B652-AIR

$149 REAR 11X7X9 3 way 5" [53hz] SONY CORE SSCS5, often 50% off Best Buy**

$150 SEALED 14X7X5 2 way 5.5" [100hz] JBL ARENA 120/ARENA B15 (B15 often on sale)**

$170 REAR 9X6X9 2 way 5.25" [50hz] CAMBRIDGE AUDIO MINX XL Accessories4less pice

$175 REAR 10x7x11 2 way 5" [64hz] Q ACOUSTICS 2020i, often 10% off Q Acoustics website

$200 FRONT 14X8X11 2 way 6.5" [41hz] CAMBRIDGE AUDIO SX60 Accessories4less pice

$230 REAR 12x8x10 2 way 5.25" [50hz] POLK SIGNATURE 15, often 10% off Best Buy**

$219 FRONT 12X7X10 2 way 5.25" [60hz] HTD LEVEL TWO**

$225 REAR 15X9X11 2 way 7" [55hz] JBL ARENA 130**

$235 REAR 14X9X11 2 way 6.5" [48hz] PHILHARMONIC AUDIO AFFORDABLE ACCURACY MONITOR

$249 REAR 12x8x11 2 way 5" [48hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10.1, Music Direct Price

$290 REAR 10x7x9 2 way 5" [64hz] Q ACOUSTICS 3020i, often 10% off Q Acoustics website

$299 REAR 11X7X8 2 way 5.25" [48hz] EMOTIVA AIRMOTIV B1

$299 REAR 14x9x12 2 way 6.5" [40hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10.2, Music Direct Price

$300 REAR 12X7X10 2 way 6" [33hz] CANTON GLS 2 Accessories4less pice

$300 REAR 15X9X14 2 way 6.5" [39hz] POLK SIGNATURE 20, often 10% off Best Buy**

$300 DOWN 13X7X10 2 way 5.125" [56hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 220, often 10% off Best Buy**

$300 FRONT 12X7X1 2 way 5.25" [49hz] KEF Q100 limited time closeout price

$300 REAR 12X7X10 2 way 5.25" [65hz] PSB ALPHA B1

$319 FRONT 16X9X12 2 way 6.5" [47hz] HTD LEVEL THREE**

$322 SEALED 11X7X6 2 way 2 X 4" [74hz] ASCEND ACOUSTICS HTM 200 SE

$330 REAR 12X9X10 2 way 6.5" [58hz] ASCEND ACOUSTICS CBM 170 SE

$330 REAR 13X7X10 2 way 5.3" [50hz] CHANE A 1.4

$349 REAR 12X7X8 2 way 5.25" [75hz] APERION INTIMUS 5B**

$350 SEALED 11X7X8 2 way 6.5" [56hz] NHT SUPERONE 2.1

$376 REAR 15X8X9 2 way 6.5" [60hz] HSU HB1

$399 FRONT 12X8X9 2 way 5" [65hz] FOCALCHORUS 705 Music Direct Price

$400 FRONT 12X8X9 2 way 5.5" [65hz] FOCAL CHORUS 605 2 Accessories4less pice

$400 FRONT 6X16X6 2 way 2 X 4" [85hz] RSL CG 23**

$400 REAR 10X7X8 2 way 5.5" [55hz] MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE 1

$400 REAR 15X9X11 2 way 6.5" [52hz] JBL STUDIO 230**

$400 REAR 12x7x12 2 way 5.25" [35hz] DEFINITIVE TECHNOLOGY SM45, often 10% off at Crutchfield

$420 REAR 15x8x11 2 way 5.25" [48hz] KLIPSCH RP 150M, often 10% off Best Buy, Crutchfield

$450 DOWN 14X7X12 2 way 6.5" [45hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 225, often 10% off Best Buy**

$480 REAR 11x7x10 2 way 5.25" [60hz] MARTIN LOGAN LX16 Crutchfield limited time price

$499 REAR 13X8X11 2 way 5" [40hz] WHARFEDALE DENTON Music Direct Price

$500 FRONT 14X8X10 2 way 6.5" [42hz] MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE 2

$500 REAR 12X7X11 2 way 5.25" [55hz] PSB IMAGE XB

$500 FRONT 13X8X10 2 way 5" [60hz] FOCAL ARIA 905 2 Accessories4less pice

$500 SEALED 10X6X8 2 way 5.25 [70hz] NHT C1

$500 REAR 13X8X10 2 way 6.5" [48hz] SVS PRIME BOOKSHELF**

$500 REAR 10x7x11 2 way 5" [64hz] Q ACOUSTICS CONCEPT 20i, often 10% off Q Acoustics website

$500 REAR 13X8X11 3 way 5.25" [46hz] ELAC UNIFI UB5, often 10% off Best Buy**

PORTED SUBWOOFERS $600 AND BELOW, DELIVERED

NOTE: IF LOOKING AT LARGER/MORE EXPENSIVE SUBWOOFERS ADD PSA TO THE LIST OF BRANDS

ALSO, IF YOU ARE NOT AN ACTION MOVIE FAN A SUBWOOFER WITH 22-30HZ EXTENSION WOULD BE FINE

Specs are from the manufacturer unless noted otherwise.


300watts =17w18h18d= 49 lbs 12" [22hz] $399 EMOTIVA BASX S12, (extension from Brent Butterworth measurement)


250watts =15w19h17d= 42 lbs 10" [22hz] $433 HSU VTF 1 MK3

200 watts =16w19h17d= 52 lbs 12" [22hz] $439 HTD LEVEL THREE

400watts =21w17hx22d= 66 lbs 12" [19hz] $500 SVS PB12 NSD, (extension from Sound & Vision Review)
THE ABOVE SVS OFFER IS FOR A VERY LIMITED TIME ONLY

300watts =15w19h20d= 46 lbs 10" [18hz] $499 SVS PB1000, (extension from Sound & Vision Review)

500watts =15w19h20d= 72 lbs 10" [20hz] $500 MONOPRICE MONOLITH THX 10" (coming 12/10/17)

300watts =16w22h21d= 69 lbs* 12" [19hz] $549 RHYTHMIK LV12R

350watts =15w21h22d= 62 lbs 12" [18hz] $604 HSU VTF2 MK5, (verified by Audioholics review)

* = shipping weight

Geoff A. J., California
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-26-2017, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Sounds like you actually need a 9.2 receiver to accomplish what you want; the cheapest current tech model I can find is this factory refurbished Marantz for $750.

That will allow you to do 5.1.4 and your porch with an external amp later.

You'd blow your whole budget on an 11 channel amp if you wanted to do 7.1.4 and the porch.

For your large space at least one large ported subwoofer is what you'd need.
gajCA thank you for the advice! Are you saying that I would need a 9 channel receiver in order to do Dolby Atmos? (that's what the 5.1.4 means right?). And in that case the 4 in the 5.1.4 stands for 4 speakers that are ceiling mounted? Right now I just have wires coming out of the ceiling behind the love seat. In order to do Atmos I am assuming I would need to cut 4 holes in my ceiling, run 2 more sets of wires, and then mount the speakers in the ceiling? I don't know how confident I am in doing all of that myself. Is the difference between 5.1.4 and 7.1 that much better that it would justify hiring someone to set all of that up? (it sounds like I'll need some drywall repairs and paint touchup also).
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-26-2017, 06:39 PM
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BTW, I've been a 5.1 guy my whole life and will only change when my AVR dies and then I'll be able to try 5.1.2.

Not going beyond that.

I use the last two channels on my 7.1 AVR currently for Zone 2 outside.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-26-2017, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
BTW, I've been a 5.1 guy my whole life and will only change when my AVR dies and then I'll be able to try 5.1.2.

Not going beyond that.

I use the last two channels on my 7.1 AVR currently for Zone 2 outside.
Thank you for the reply gajCA! So when you were talking about needing a 9 channel receiver, that would only be necessary if I wanted to do Dolby Atmos right? That is what the 5.1.4 means... 4 speakers in the ceiling? Since I currently have 2 wire outputs on the walls to the side of the couches, and 2 wire outputs in the ceiling behind the couch, I'm assuming I would need to add another set of wires and cut 4 holes in the ceiling to mount the 4 speakers in the ceiling? That may be a tough sell to the wife . Since I read your post I have looked into some of the Atmos setups that guys have posted on this forum, and I'm not sure it will work for my space without sacrificing aesthetics too much. I do like the idea of immersive sound for movies, but I don't have a good way of getting rear channels that are ear level (bookshelf speakers on floor mounts behind the couch is not an option - 1 year old and 3 year old would knock them down the first day). Realistically any rear channels will need to be ceiling mounted with my current room.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-27-2017, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Slade84 View Post
Thank you for the reply gajCA! So when you were talking about needing a 9 channel receiver, that would only be necessary if I wanted to do Dolby Atmos right? That is what the 5.1.4 means... 4 speakers in the ceiling? Since I currently have 2 wire outputs on the walls to the side of the couches, and 2 wire outputs in the ceiling behind the couch, I'm assuming I would need to add another set of wires and cut 4 holes in the ceiling to mount the 4 speakers in the ceiling? That may be a tough sell to the wife . Since I read your post I have looked into some of the Atmos setups that guys have posted on this forum, and I'm not sure it will work for my space without sacrificing aesthetics too much. I do like the idea of immersive sound for movies, but I don't have a good way of getting rear channels that are ear level (bookshelf speakers on floor mounts behind the couch is not an option - 1 year old and 3 year old would knock them down the first day). Realistically any rear channels will need to be ceiling mounted with my current room.
I'm no Atmos expert but I know that in the simplest 5.1.2 setup, (the center number is the sub(s) and the last number is the Atmos speakers), the rears need to be low, around ear height, and the Atmos need to be higher but if in the ceiling need to be just in front and outboard of the couch so it might not work for you at all unless you get some front speakers with built in upward firing modules like NHT, Pioneer Elite and some others offer.

In my 5.1 setup my rears are at an unusual height of about ear height when standing, outboard of the couch on flat shelves facing the TV and it works great with a sense of height.

When I get an Atmos capable receiver I will buy some Atmos modules, (probably NHT), and put them on top of my front towers I think. Or something like that as I'm not going through the trouble and expense of ceiling speakers when I'm quite satisfied with "basic" 5.1.

Geoff A. J., California
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