Looking for suggestions for HT Atmos setup - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-10-2019, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking for suggestions for HT Atmos setup

Howdy all,


I've been looking through the forums and at all of the brand threads and HT design threads and the number of speaker options out there is just staggering. I'm hoping for some suggestions on designing my Atmos setup as far as speaker models and design. I've been trying to read through some of the more technical post on how to choose a speaker setup, but a lot of it goes over my head. Here's what I'm trying to do, and any and all suggestions will be most welcome.


I currently have the Denon AVRX4400H and would like to do a 5.2.4 setup. I was planning on getting the RSL C34's for in ceiling as they seemed to be very well reviewed in the price/quality ratio. Now I'm trying to determine what I'm going to use for the main and surround setup. I plan on doing a 2.35:1 widescreen with an acoustically transparent screen so the 3 front channels can be hidden behind the screen. Screen size will be about 10-11 ft wide if that matters for placement considerations. HT room is currently an unfinished basement that I'm working on and the HT section dimensions will be 21'x13.5'x7'. I'll lose a couple feet in the front for the false wall, but the "back" of the room will be open and not hit a real wall for another 5-8ft. I know the ceiling height isn't ideal for Atmos, but I have to work with what I've got. I also plan on finishing the walls with fabric panels instead of drywall, with carpet on the floor, and drop ceiling above to minimize reflections, both acoustic and visual. This setup is geared completely for Movies/TV/Gaming and music playback is an afterthought.



What I'm really trying to understand is whether I should be using all matching speakers, like getting 5 of the same towers or bookshelves, or using a dedicated center channel up front instead of 3 matching speakers and maybe something a little smaller for the rears. I've had it suggested that 3 matching towers up front would be better than matching pair and matched center, but it seems there's so much subjectivity in all of the discussions. I've been told to get 5 towers, but that seems like a bit of overkill considering the subs will be doing all of the heavy lifting in the low range, so do I really need the additional range extension if it's going to get cut off with a crossover? Is it a good idea to have 3 towers up front so there's some lower range coming from the front since the sub(s) will be behind the seats? Should I get 5 matching mini-towers or large bookshelf style that excel at mid and high? There's just too many questions it makes my head spin, lol.



If anyone can offer some design recommendations and possibly some speaker options it would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying to do this within a reasonable price range and could put out as much as 4-5k for the speakers, but rather come in under that number. I'm mainly looking for a good quality to price ratio. Also, I have no concerns about the aesthetic appeal of speakers. I'm totally function over form. Also, I have a friend that works for Sound United (Polk, Boston Acoustics, and Definitive) and can get some heavy discounts in the range of 50-70% off, but I'm more interested in quality than getting expensive stuff cheap. I almost pulled the trigger a couple months ago and just bought 5 LSiM707's when Adorama was running a deep discount, but decided against it until I'd done some more research and solicited some community feedback.



Again, thanks in advance for any and all help!
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-10-2019, 03:49 PM
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Polk LSiM 705’s all around would be pretty awesome if you can get a discount on them. However, to get the best from them you may want an external amp, like an Outlaw Model 5000.
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-10-2019, 05:42 PM
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Three identical speakers across the front would be best. Depending on your budget look at powersoundaudio, klipsch and JBL for some good HT speakers. Also get a pair of the best subs you can afford.

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post #4 of 19 Old 06-11-2019, 08:59 AM
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if you are going to do an AT screen, take a look at DIYsoundgroup.com. they have some great speaker kits - you will get very high quality components, which will offer high efficiency and excellent sound quality. you can often get pre-assembled crossovers, so it is as simple as glue-and-screw to set them up. You will save a bundle and be very happy with the results.

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post #5 of 19 Old 06-11-2019, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Three identical speakers across the front would be best. Depending on your budget look at powersoundaudio, klipsch and JBL for some good HT speakers. Also get a pair of the best subs you can afford.



Forgot to mention this in my original post, but I'm thinking either dual Monolith 12's or dual VTF3.5. They're both around the same price, but the Hsu's seem more highly rated so I'm leaning towards them. That would still leave me around 2500-3000 towards the 5 surround speakers.


Been looking at Klipsch RP280-F's and JBL 590's. Power Sound Audio is a little out of my price range. Going with their 3 towers and 2 rear bookshelves. Still puts me over budget by 1.5-2k. It isn't completely out of the question, but There would have to be an extremely compelling argument as to where all that extra money is going.


If I go with any of the above, would I also need an external amp like was suggested if I go 5 Polk towers? Both the Klipsch and JBL's would put me under budget and I'm waiting to hear back from my friend on what 705's or 707's would run me. A lot of this really feels like overkill, but at the same time I know if I do this right the first time those moments when I can really unleash the theater will be mind blowing!
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post #6 of 19 Old 06-11-2019, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smithsabom View Post
if you are going to do an AT screen, take a look at DIYsoundgroup.com. they have some great speaker kits - you will get very high quality components, which will offer high efficiency and excellent sound quality. you can often get pre-assembled crossovers, so it is as simple as glue-and-screw to set them up. You will save a bundle and be very happy with the results.



I looked through the DIY forum, and in all honesty I would be really comfortable building them. I used to build sub enclosures and custom car audio stuff back in the day as a hobby, and still have friends with all of the tools and experience for backup. I just don't understand how to evaluate the different builds against each other to determine which is right for me. Any suggestions on tower designs that would be equivalent to the OEM models listed above? I'm guessing building something like the Power Sound Audio towers would be pretty straight forward since they are more function over form but damned if I know how to figure out which build would be a match.
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-11-2019, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankRyzzO View Post
Forgot to mention this in my original post, but I'm thinking either dual Monolith 12's or dual VTF3.5. They're both around the same price, but the Hsu's seem more highly rated so I'm leaning towards them. That would still leave me around 2500-3000 towards the 5 surround speakers.


Been looking at Klipsch RP280-F's and JBL 590's. Power Sound Audio is a little out of my price range. Going with their 3 towers and 2 rear bookshelves. Still puts me over budget by 1.5-2k. It isn't completely out of the question, but There would have to be an extremely compelling argument as to where all that extra money is going.


If I go with any of the above, would I also need an external amp like was suggested if I go 5 Polk towers? Both the Klipsch and JBL's would put me under budget and I'm waiting to hear back from my friend on what 705's or 707's would run me. A lot of this really feels like overkill, but at the same time I know if I do this right the first time those moments when I can really unleash the theater will be mind blowing!
Three Kef Q700 up front
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...specifications
A pair of Q150.s for surround
https://www.amazon.com/KEF-Q150-Book...s%2C142&sr=8-2
Add atmos later.
You'll have a very nice setup and be within budget.
For purely HT, I'd go with dual 15" HSU subs.

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post #8 of 19 Old 06-11-2019, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by FrankRyzzO View Post
Forgot to mention this in my original post, but I'm thinking either dual Monolith 12's or dual VTF3.5. They're both around the same price, but the Hsu's seem more highly rated so I'm leaning towards them. That would still leave me around 2500-3000 towards the 5 surround speakers.


Been looking at Klipsch RP280-F's and JBL 590's. Power Sound Audio is a little out of my price range. Going with their 3 towers and 2 rear bookshelves. Still puts me over budget by 1.5-2k. It isn't completely out of the question, but There would have to be an extremely compelling argument as to where all that extra money is going.


If I go with any of the above, would I also need an external amp like was suggested if I go 5 Polk towers? Both the Klipsch and JBL's would put me under budget and I'm waiting to hear back from my friend on what 705's or 707's would run me. A lot of this really feels like overkill, but at the same time I know if I do this right the first time those moments when I can really unleash the theater will be mind blowing!

If you can still get the JBL590s for under $500 that's the route I would go. I never heard any of the DIY speakers and don't know what you can get for $500/per but the 590s are a really good speaker. And it would be super easy, just order and put in place.

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post #9 of 19 Old 06-11-2019, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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If you can still get the JBL590s for under $500 that's the route I would go. I never heard any of the DIY speakers and don't know what you can get for $500/per but the 590s are a really good speaker. And it would be super easy, just order and put in place.

I don't disagree with this sentiment. If I can get a 2k system for 1k and some manual labor, I'd probably just skip the carpentry, but if I can build a 10k system for 1k and some labor, now you have my attention. It's all about the value proposition for my time, and that's what I can't figure out how to rate the DIY projects when looking through the forums. Basically I'm willing to consider it, but need some more info before I could make an informed decision.


I've never heard the 590's. Any idea how they stack up against the Polk 705's?
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-11-2019, 04:15 PM
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If you're comfortable as you say you are with DIY, I would strongly consider DIYSG, lots of options there. I have their HTM-10 LCR behind an AT screen and they are fantastic. If I remember right, after all said and done, they cost me ~$350 per speaker which includes main components, flat-pack, crossover (bought boards and soldered myself), shipping and duratex coating.

Also, about the Atmos, I know you had your eye set on the RSLs...but I would strongly recommend taking a look at Micca M-8Cs. I have RSL's in my living room setup and they do a great job. However, for my dedicated theater, I decided to try out the Micca's and boy am I glad I did. At $40 a pop on Amazon, I bought 4 Micca's for just over what I paid for ONE RSL C34E. Not going to lie, I had my doubts that a $40 speaker would even remotely compare to one that's over 3X the price; however, those doubts vanished as soon as I heard those puppies go. I honestly can't tell a difference between the $40 Micca's and the $125 RSL. Take the money saved and put them towards your LCR's.

~cheers

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post #11 of 19 Old 06-11-2019, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankRyzzO View Post
I looked through the DIY forum, and in all honesty I would be really comfortable building them. I used to build sub enclosures and custom car audio stuff back in the day as a hobby, and still have friends with all of the tools and experience for backup. I just don't understand how to evaluate the different builds against each other to determine which is right for me. Any suggestions on tower designs that would be equivalent to the OEM models listed above? I'm guessing building something like the Power Sound Audio towers would be pretty straight forward since they are more function over form but damned if I know how to figure out which build would be a match.
looks like the selection is somewhat limited at the moment. HT 10 or HT 12 is about all that is in stock. I recommend a call to Eric to see what if anything else will be in stock soon. But reading the specs on the HTs, you are going to get a lot of bang for your buck.

Good luck.

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post #12 of 19 Old 06-11-2019, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankRyzzO View Post
It's all about the value proposition for my time, and that's what I can't figure out how to rate the DIY projects when looking through the forums.
My take on it is in general the bigger you plan to go, the more money you'll save. For a given line of speakers with a given quality of drivers, a larger woofer and more wood doesn't add much to the cost. But the same in commercial speakers usually results in a very large price increase. There are a lot of really good sounding commercial bookshelves available really cheap these days for the super budget conscious. You still do save with smaller models though for a given level of quality--especially if you have specific parameters you want the speaker to meet (form factor, sensitivity, directivity, etc).



Using my own example, the HTM-8's I'm currently using for left and right (will be surrounds when we get the new house built) are only 7.5" deep and front ported, making them perfect for on/in wall mounting. That shape is pretty uncommon in commercial speakers. While they do sound fantastic and virtually identical at every seat (controlled directivity), they can also touch 110 db at the listening position from mere AVR power and have the power handling capability to blow that away with a real amp. For filling a large room, sensitivity and power handling become pretty important--that's an area many of the better sounding "affordable" small (and many pretty large ones as well) commercial speakers really fall behind.


So if you go looking for a commercial speaker that checks all those boxes, you can find them, they do exist. But the ones that meet all those requirements the best are well into "if you have to ask...." price ranges.


That's just one example of getting something that doesn't really exist in the commercial market at reasonable prices through DIY. Your list of things that are important to you for your speakers may be completely different and there may be commercial products available that aren't a bad value. I'd suggest spending a lot of time thinking about what "boxes you want the speakers to check" separately for LCR and surrounds, seeing what's available for each, seeing if there's one line or similar/related line of speakers that might match pretty well that satisfies the requirements for both applications the best for commercially available and DIY solutions and compare the prices of the entire systems. A modest savings per speaker adds up for a 11, 13, 15, etc speaker system.
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post #13 of 19 Old 06-12-2019, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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looks like the selection is somewhat limited at the moment. HT 10 or HT 12 is about all that is in stock. I recommend a call to Eric to see what if anything else will be in stock soon. But reading the specs on the HTs, you are going to get a lot of bang for your buck.

Good luck.
Thanks for the suggestion. I don't really know how to evaluate the specs for comparison. Is there a normally recommended model that you would say these are comparable to as far as range and lack of bias?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Shape of Gray
Also, about the Atmos, I know you had your eye set on the RSLs...but I would strongly recommend taking a look at Micca M-8Cs.
Thanks for this as well! I'd never heard of Micca and thought the RSL's were the best value/quality deal for the in-ceiling market based on other threads I'd read here. I'll check them out.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon AA
My take on it...

I agree with this. I have a lot of demand on my time. I work full-time, I am caretaker for an elderly relative, I'm enrolled in a graduate program for my second Master's degree, I'm also working on some remodeling hence the new HT, and I still have to fit in some downtime to not go crazy. While I enjoy a good DIY project and the satisfaction of knowing I did it myself, the value has to be significant for me to eat up the small amount of downtime I currently have. I have access to the tools and can get help and supervision from friends that design and fabricate for a living, and I'm good at following directions even if I don't understand why the design works. I'm not in an immediate hurry to buy, but I'm getting the itch to start upgrading. I'll take a look again at some of the DIY projects, but what I really need is a review that says something like "this build exceeds the popular model x in very way and comes in at a fraction of the price!" This I understand how to evaluate, but tech spec sheets and spinorama results are all another language to me, lol.
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post #14 of 19 Old 06-12-2019, 11:06 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion. I don't really know how to evaluate the specs for comparison. Is there a normally recommended model that you would say these are comparable to as far as range and lack of bias?
Sorry, no, I do not have a specific recommendation. From reading through the DIY forum, looks like all models get good reviews.

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So it looks like the decision has been made for me. My Polkie friend got back to me and the discount is ridiculous! I could get either 5 705's or 707's and an amp to drive them and still come out under budget. I guess the only question now is should I save a little and get the 705's or will the 707's be such a dramatic upgrade to just go for it?
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post #16 of 19 Old 06-18-2019, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Shape of Grey View Post
If you're comfortable as you say you are with DIY, I would strongly consider DIYSG, lots of options there. I have their HTM-10 LCR behind an AT screen and they are fantastic. If I remember right, after all said and done, they cost me ~$350 per speaker which includes main components, flat-pack, crossover (bought boards and soldered myself), shipping and duratex coating.

Also, about the Atmos, I know you had your eye set on the RSLs...but I would strongly recommend taking a look at Micca M-8Cs. I have RSL's in my living room setup and they do a great job. However, for my dedicated theater, I decided to try out the Micca's and boy am I glad I did. At $40 a pop on Amazon, I bought 4 Micca's for just over what I paid for ONE RSL C34E. Not going to lie, I had my doubts that a $40 speaker would even remotely compare to one that's over 3X the price; however, those doubts vanished as soon as I heard those puppies go. I honestly can't tell a difference between the $40 Micca's and the $125 RSL. Take the money saved and put them towards your LCR's.

~cheers

I'm on the fence about how much to spend on ceiling speakers. I plan to do a .4 setup and am leaning towards the highly recommended c34e's, but after reading your post you're pretty confident its probably just a waste of money when a sub $50 speaker will do just as well? I don't have a high-end (expensive) setup as it is that I'm trying to timbre match or anything.

How is the dispersion and directivity of the micca's vs the angled c34e's? That is one of my reasons for "thinking" the c34e's should be the way to go...


I see Micca has a newer line of ceiling speakers called the R-8c now that is $60/ea...wonder how much of a step up they are from the m-8c (if any)...

link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...k_ql_qh_dp_hza


Thanks

--------------------------------------------------
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post #17 of 19 Old 06-20-2019, 06:20 PM
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How is the dispersion and directivity of the micca's vs the angled c34e's? That is one of my reasons for "thinking" the c34e's should be the way to go...
Take a look through the Atmos thread here on AVS, there are quite a few people out there running Micca's for their Atmos speaker and are pleased with their results. As for directionality/dispersion...with the aimable tweeter I have no problems directing them at my MLP and like I said, I can't tell the difference between Miccas and the RSLs (in my albeit small HT room). That being said, I have not done any measurement, everything is per my ears...for what's it worth haha.

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post #18 of 19 Old 06-20-2019, 06:37 PM
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Take a look through the Atmos thread here on AVS, there are quite a few people out there running Micca's for their Atmos speaker and are pleased with their results. As for directionality/dispersion...with the aimable tweeter I have no problems directing them at my MLP and like I said, I can't tell the difference between Miccas and the RSLs (in my albeit small HT room). That being said, I have not done any measurement, everything is per my ears...for what's it worth haha.
Thanks.

I got two in to play around with.

I guess I'll have to try them both and see if the c34e is worth 2x the money over the Micca R-8c.

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--------------------------------------------------
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post #19 of 19 Old 06-21-2019, 03:48 AM
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Thanks.

I got two in to play around with.

I guess I'll have to try them both and see if the c34e is worth 2x the money over the Micca R-8c.

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I'd be curious how the reference series compares to the standard series.
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Living Room-Sony 65" XBR900E, Denon X3300W, Nvidia SHIELD. 5.1.2-Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SE L/R, CMT-340Center, HTM-200SE Surround, RSL C34E Atmos, Sealed UM18-22 Sub.
"Micro Theater"-Optoma UHD51A, DIY 120" Spandex AT Screen, Denon X4400H, Sony UBP-800X, Nvidia SHIELD. 7.2.4 - DIYSG HTM-10 LCR, RSL CG3 Surround, Micca M-8C Atmos , 2 4cuf Sealed 18-22 Ultimax.
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