I have not used REW. There's no treatments either. Actually the room (and house) are pretty bad for audio at the moment. No windows treatments on the main floor. Hardwood floors. Lots of flat/hard surfaces. We have a lot of general decorating to do, which is happening slowly.
I'd say in terms of my goals, there's 2 levels to quality. One is surely just good sound over bad sound. The other is improving the logistics of the sound, such as bringing it to ear level and focusing it better to the listening position. Basic stuff first, then can really focus on the space and maximizing quality.
I'm trying to simplify a number of things in my life and this goes along the same lines. I've sold off of some collectible stuff I don't need. Reduced my gaming from costly, harder to manage PCs serving the living room down to just consoles. Focus on lesser things in my life and get more out of what I keep as part of it.
WAF matters for sure.
When we built the house, we considered a dedicated HT room. I should have stuck with that idea. We had competing priorities for budget and use of space though that left integrating the HT stuff into the living room. I've fought that decision now on various levels for the few years we've been here. For example, getting reliable 18 Gbps HDMI across 40'. Despite allocating HT to the living room, I tried to do too much in retrospect instead of focusing on less quantity and more quality.
There's other aspects to it as well. We've actually considered moving a couple times since building the house. I realize now I put $10k+ into stuff that's stuck in the walls. If we move, you can't take it and won't get 100% of that value back. Buying in-room equipment is a better use of money that keeps 100% of it's value to you.
That said, the cleanliness of everything in-wall is nice at times. It served me well for the last years as my kids aged a bit. I also do like consuming HT content in the living room. At least I'm in the same space with my wife when I play a game or watch a movie she's not interested in. while she's lounging on the same couch. If I had media room downstairs, it would be less desirable to be down there while she's upstairs.
This pull of trying to do everything, get immersive audio and all that was a big draw. I'm a consummate impatient early technology adopter/tinkerer as well. With regards to the room, it will get treated better (window treatments, rugs, more furniture, ability to treat the ceiling) in short order. I do have some flexibility moving floor-standers around that front wall. Just won't be able to bring them too far out into the room itself.
Yes and yes. I did this design talking with technical reps from Triad. They recommended doing the in-wall LCRs high and in a direct row on the angled section of wall. I will say those LCRs do often sound they like are coming from the screen. I did the trigonometry to have the centered tweeters fire right to the couch. But it's not 100% and a lot of the sound in the room is higher up in its presence. The angled baffle surrounds really don't bring the sound down like I'd hoped.
In terms of speaker selection, I was initially thinking if I could get away with just deep LRs that can get down low enough, that might be good enough. Again, save on equipment costs and less things in the room. But it seems you have to spend a fortune to get big floor standers that go low and even then you're only into the 20s on most. Unless you go Goldenear or whatnot.
So a sub or two in room is likely in order, and yes, that affords the opportunity to pump some lower bass than I have now. In the other $10k thread, the GE Triton References were eliminated as his contenders though. I have some other feedback in the B&W thread that even an 803 or 802 works much better with a sub.