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post #1 of 20 Old 11-13-2019, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Getting close on budget 5.2.4... still need a little help

First, thanks for ya'lls patience! I've been asking a lot of questions lately and I really appreciate. I've finally got my front sound stage in and now I'm looking at adding my inwalls for surround and Atmos.

Fronts are 2x Polk LSiM 703's 1x 704c Wanting to go with 5.2.4 with possible move to 7.2.4 later if it is worth it and from what I've been reading, it sounds like the verdict is still out... Would 5.2.6 be a better upgrade when 6x Atmos becomes more mainstream?

Please see diagram (not to scale sorry!)...

Red = Prewired drops for Atmos (spec home) - Are these in decent places for atmos? Do I need to get speakers with pivoting tweeters/woofers or both? Before cutting drywall, should I consider moving the locations? (Cost/benefit?)

Blue is where I'm thinking I may need to have speakers placed.

A - Question: If I decide to go with 5.2.4 as my base, are these locations suitable?
B - This is the only back wall option I "may" have. There is 24" between wall and a window on each side. Is this a consideration for either 5 or 7 ch base?

Do I have other options to consider as far as inwall speaker placements?

Lastly, I know this is very subjective but... Options for Inwall at or under $125per? Ceilings to match or can I go with something lower? I keep seeing the Micca's being discussed but my brain cant comprehend the cost to performance? Monoprice has a speaker that can be adjusted and of course I keep seeing the RSL's mentioned as well. Would really like to spend less that $125 per on my ATMOS but will do best to convince the CFO (Wife) if really needed.
Thanks again!
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post #2 of 20 Old 11-13-2019, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by xray777 View Post
Would 5.2.6 be a better upgrade when 6x Atmos becomes more mainstream?
Atmos soundtracks have way more sound in the surround channels compared to the height layer. As such, it doesn't make sense to use only 2 speakers in the surround field but dedicate a full 6 speakers for height info. Most of the sound is going to come from the speakers around you, not the speakers above you.
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If I decide to go with 5.2.4 as my base, are these locations suitable?
IF you're going to do 2 Surrounds, then they will work better when placed at a compromise location between the Side and Rear locations (on the side walls, but rearward of the listeners). The locations in your diagram are fine if you're going to do 4 Surrounds (although I would move the Side speakers slightly forward of the listeners for better envelopment).
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This is the only back wall option I "may" have. There is 24" between wall and a window on each side. Is this a consideration for either 5 or 7 ch base?
Just on either side of the back wall window are good locations for Rear speakers for a 7.1 base layer.
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Do I have other options to consider as far as inwall speaker placements?
Try to get speaker that point towards the listeners (speakers typically sound best on-axis). Also, if you can move the seating slightly forward so that the listeners ears are at 2/3 room length, that will give you smoother frequency response (fewer/smaller peaks & dips).

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post #3 of 20 Old 11-13-2019, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
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Originally Posted by xray777 View Post
Would 5.2.6 be a better upgrade when 6x Atmos becomes more mainstream?
Atmos soundtracks have way more sound in the surround channels compared to the height layer. As such, it doesn't make sense to use only 2 speakers in the surround field but dedicate a full 6 speakers for height info. Most of the sound is going to come from the speakers around you, not the speakers above you.
Quote:
If I decide to go with 5.2.4 as my base, are these locations suitable?
IF you're going to do 2 Surrounds, then they will work better when placed at a compromise location between the Side and Rear locations (on the side walls, but rearward of the listeners). The locations in your diagram are fine if you're going to do 4 Surrounds (although I would move the Side speakers slightly forward of the listeners for better envelopment).
Quote:
This is the only back wall option I "may" have. There is 24" between wall and a window on each side. Is this a consideration for either 5 or 7 ch base?
Just on either side of the back wall window are good locations for Rear speakers for a 7.1 base layer.
Quote:
Do I have other options to consider as far as inwall speaker placements?
Try to get speaker that point towards the listeners (speakers typically sound best on-axis). Also, if you can move the seating slightly forward so that the listeners ears are at 2/3 room length, that will give you smoother frequency response (fewer/smaller peaks & dips).
Thank you for your response. I’m no expert but from what I’ve been reading on this forum, there are a lot of people who think the overhead effect is more emersive than adding the rear surrounds for 7ch base. I guess I’ll need to do more research.

I’ll also look to see if we can move MLP up some as well.
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post #4 of 20 Old 11-13-2019, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by xray777 View Post
Thank you for your response. I’m no expert but from what I’ve been reading on this forum, there are a lot of people who think the overhead effect is more emersive than adding the rear surrounds for 7ch base. I guess I’ll need to do more research.
And there are a few (like yours truly) who feel that Atmos itself is an overhyped snore designed only to squeeze more money out of consumers.

Go out and listen to an Atmos setup yourself. Bring along your favorite movie and have them play it first in normal surround, then in Atmos (upmixed). THEN decide if it's worth the trouble and expense for YOU.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #5 of 20 Old 11-13-2019, 07:20 PM
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And there are a few (like yours truly) who feel that Atmos itself is an overhyped snore designed only to squeeze more money out of consumers.

Go out and listen to an Atmos setup yourself. Bring along your favorite movie and have them play it first in normal surround, then in Atmos (upmixed). THEN decide if it's worth the trouble and expense for YOU.
Yes Xray777, go out and listen to an Atmos system to be sure it's worth your while. Also, be sure to take along your favorite movie... provided it has an actual Atmos soundtrack. Otherwise you'll just be listening to the upmixer, which can be less than amazing. If you can find one of the Atmos demo discs, that would be ideal as they have content Dolby recorded specifically for Atmos system demo, as well as Atmos content from some well-mixed movies. In an optimized Atmos system, they are the exact opposite of an "over-hyped snore."

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post #6 of 20 Old 11-13-2019, 07:55 PM
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take along your favorite movie... provided it has an actual Atmos soundtrack. Otherwise you'll just be listening to the upmixer, which can be less than amazing. If you can find one of the Atmos demo discs, that would be ideal as they have content Dolby recorded specifically for Atmos system demo, as well as Atmos content from some well-mixed movies.
@xray777 --- the above is true, but it neglects to mention the still-tiny % of movies that are available in native Atmos format (mainly the big budget thriller/action flicks that made the most money at the box office, great if Marvel comic book adaptations are your thing), and this is FIVE YEARS after the format was made available for home theater use.

Complete list of available titles here: https://www.dolby.com/us/en/experien...reaming/us.pdf

Also keep in mind the price jump for an Atmos BD vs non-Atmos BD, which can range from 50-150%.

The percentage of native-Atmos video content available from popular online streaming sources is similarly tiny:
https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-t...-atmos-movies/

So, guesstimate that unless you plan on forking out $20-35 for a large library of ONLY Atmos discs, you will probably be using the UPMIXER at last half of the time (a conservative estimate).

Just a public service announcement.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #7 of 20 Old 11-13-2019, 08:13 PM
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You have a good size room and should be able to do whatever you want to, be it a 5.1.4 setup, a 7.1.2 setup, or ideally, a 7.1.4 setup. 10 foot ceilings should be really good for atmos, as you will have no problems getting separation from the base layer and the top layer. I would do a bit of research on the atmos configuration before making the placement final. I believe the rule of thumb is 45 degrees in both directions, which would be determined quickly by taking the distance from your ears to the ceiling (which I am guesstimating is around 7 feet), then going that far forward and back of the MLP to determine proper placement. If you can't get it exact, that's ok, just as close as you are able. And yes, I would recommend getting atmos speakers that you can angle in toward the MLP, or at least tweeters that can be angled. The blue speaker positions for side surrounds look fine, but I don't think I would make the rear surrounds in-wall at the current position. You may want to do on-wall, bookshelf speakers on stands or floor standing speakers for the rear surrounds, which would let you angle them in toward the MLP better, or place closer together if desired. As for speaker selection for atmos, you have a lot of good choices and I think you are on the right path. If you want to match with your 703's, you may want to consider the Polk Blackstone TL3's.
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-13-2019, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
@xray777 --- the above is true, but it neglects to mention the still-tiny % of movies that are available in native Atmos format (mainly the big budget thriller/action flicks that made the most money at the box office, great if Marvel comic book adaptations are your thing), and this is FIVE YEARS after the format was made available for home theater use.

Complete list of available titles here: https://www.dolby.com/us/en/experien...reaming/us.pdf

Also keep in mind the price jump for an Atmos BD vs non-Atmos BD, which can range from 50-150%.

The percentage of native-Atmos video content available from popular online streaming sources is similarly tiny:
https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-t...-atmos-movies/

So, guesstimate that unless you plan on forking out $20-35 for a large library of ONLY Atmos discs, you will probably be using the UPMIXER at last half of the time (a conservative estimate).

Just a public service announcement.
This may be an unwelcome clarification: a number of makers are making Atmos (or DTS:X) available only on the UHD BD versions. The $20-35 (US) prices apply to the UHD disks. Plain old BDs are less expensive, and older movies can be found in bargain bins at some of your big-box retailers. I haven't seen any bins for UHD disks, but there are a few titles I picked up on sale for $10.

Not all UHD disks have immersive tracks. Christopher Nolan movies seem to never have an Atmos or DTS:X track, by design.

That said, if you prefer UHD disks (mainly for the HDR, I'd think), the immersive audio can be regarded as a bonus.

I'm not a format snob. I have a number of DVDs, but I won't be buying many new ones.

Last edited by bobknavs; 11-13-2019 at 08:40 PM.
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post #9 of 20 Old 11-13-2019, 08:46 PM
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The $20-35 (US) prices apply to the UHD disks. Plain old BDs are less expensive, and older movies can be found in bargain bins at some of your big-box retailers.
Are you saying that ALL Blu Ray discs are native Atmos by default???

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-13-2019, 10:23 PM
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Are you saying that ALL Blu Ray discs are native Atmos by default???
I'm struggling to imagine how you could interpret what I posted that way. Even if you meant that I claimed that all UHD disks have immersive audio. (Your post reads as if you are unaware of the difference between UHD BD and HD BD, but I can't believe that.)

Not all UHD BDs come with Atmos or DTS:X tracks. However, when disks are released in UHD and HD formats, some makers have provided immersive tracks only on the UHD disk. Presumably that provides an extra incentive to buy the UHD version. (For those who want Atmos or DTS:X.)

For those of us who buy the UHD version for the (slightly?) superior video, the immersive audio can be a plus, when it is present. If it's on the UHD disk, it may not be on the HD disk. (It's not a technical limit. Pure marketing. I own at least one HD BD with an Amos track.)

Last edited by bobknavs; 11-13-2019 at 10:32 PM.
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post #11 of 20 Old 11-13-2019, 11:05 PM
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I'm struggling to imagine how you could interpret what I posted that way. Even if you meant that I claimed that all UHD disks have immersive audio. (Your post reads as if you are unaware of the difference between UHD BD and HD BD, but I can't believe that.)
No, I was honestly confused, and it wasn't due to any communicative shortcomings on your part, but mainly because I haven't shopped for a BD or DVD in ages so am not well versed on all the new formats which I don't have much interest in to begin with.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #12 of 20 Old 11-14-2019, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
@xray777 --- the above is true, but it neglects to mention the still-tiny % of movies that are available in native Atmos format (mainly the big budget thriller/action flicks that made the most money at the box office, great if Marvel comic book adaptations are your thing), and this is FIVE YEARS after the format was made available for home theater use.

Complete list of available titles here: https://www.dolby.com/us/en/experien...reaming/us.pdf

Also keep in mind the price jump for an Atmos BD vs non-Atmos BD, which can range from 50-150%.

The percentage of native-Atmos video content available from popular online streaming sources is similarly tiny:
https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-t...-atmos-movies/

So, guesstimate that unless you plan on forking out $20-35 for a large library of ONLY Atmos discs, you will probably be using the UPMIXER at last half of the time (a conservative estimate).

Just a public service announcement.
In the same vein of a "public service announcement," last weekend my wife and I binge-watched an "original" series on Amazon Prime. It had a full blown Atmos soundtrack, (as well as 4K HDR video.) No extra charge. Netflix, AppleTV, and Vudu all offer Atmos soundtracks as well as 4K HDR video content. Much of the newer content being released on streaming sites will have Atmos available if it was included in the original soundtrack. This includes movies as well as original content. Disney+ just went on-line, and MUCH of their content will include Atmos. So for the price of a subscription, there is quite a bit of Atmos content available, and more is becoming available every day.

As Bob K said, 4K HDR BluRay's very often have Atmos tracks associated with them. It's not clear if the OP has a 4K HDR setup, but if he does, the Atmos content is a bonus. These soundtracks represent the best that today's movie experience has to offer. If the OP is not interested in the *best* AV experience then Atmos is clearly not for him. Having said that, I'm betting that, since he's on here asking questions, he is likely interested in *optimizing* the experience. Therefore, Atmos is well worth pursuing, if not just for the current content that is available, then for all the *future* content that will be released.

Craig


Edit: I forgot to mention that Atmos Music has become available: https://www.whathifi.com/us/advice/d...u-need-to-know From my understanding, there will soon be thousands of Atmos Music tracks released. That's a whole new breath of fresh air for Atmos.

Lombardi said it:
"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

My System

Last edited by craig john; 11-14-2019 at 05:27 AM.
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post #13 of 20 Old 11-14-2019, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the engagement and advise! I truly appreciate it. FWIW - To Craig John's point, I currently do not have a UHD 4k setup for this media room. I have UHD in all other rooms but I'm using my previous Epson home cinema (1080p) projector but I'm planning on upgrading at some point in the near future (as budget allows). I do love the audio portion of home cinema though personally feel that emersive audio is more impressive than ultra clean video (if I were forced to pick). I've always felt that 4k is the next 720p bridge to 8k becoming a 1080p like standard for a long time. Thats a long time from now (or maybe not) so I might look into the newer Epsons that pixel shift for 4k resolutions.



I'm almost certain that the WAF will not allow for rear bookshelves but I'll start laying the breadcrumbs out to see if I get her to bite.
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post #14 of 20 Old 11-14-2019, 08:45 AM
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Thanks everyone for the engagement and advise! I truly appreciate it. FWIW - To Craig John's point, I currently do not have a UHD 4k setup for this media room. I have UHD in all other rooms but I'm using my previous Epson home cinema (1080p) projector but I'm planning on upgrading at some point in the near future (as budget allows). I do love the audio portion of home cinema though personally feel that emersive audio is more impressive than ultra clean video (if I were forced to pick). I've always felt that 4k is the next 720p bridge to 8k becoming a 1080p like standard for a long time. Thats a long time from now (or maybe not) so I might look into the newer Epsons that pixel shift for 4k resolutions.



I'm almost certain that the WAF will not allow for rear bookshelves but I'll start laying the breadcrumbs out to see if I get her to bite.
I recently upgraded from a pixel-shifting JVC projector to a native-4K HDR projector. The difference was huge. Not only was the resolution improved, but the color saturation, brightnees and blacks levels were greatly improved as well.



I think 8K becoming a broadcast and "shiny disk" standard is a lot further out than 4K. Heck, most broadcasters today are still broadcasting 720p! This all pure speculation, but I think 4K with HDR has a much higher chance of becoming a standard than does 8K, merely because of the fact that 8K requires HUGE bandwidth upgrades for broadcasters, and the visual impact of going from 4K to 8K is trivial until really large screens, (>120"), become the norm. Just sayin'


Craig

Lombardi said it:
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post #15 of 20 Old 11-14-2019, 08:53 AM
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BTW, my Atmos ceiling speakers are RSL C34E's, which are in-ceiling, angled and aimable: https://rslspeakers.com/c34e-ceiling-speaker/ I built back-boxes for them based on the manufacturers recommendation of 1 cubic foot internal volume and sealed. They turn out to be an excellent timbre-match to my other speakers. Even more surprising, they have enough output capability to keep up with my other speakers. And they're only $125 each!



Craig
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post #16 of 20 Old 11-14-2019, 09:13 AM
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I’ll also look to see if we can move MLP up some as well.
Don't have to move your current location much to get the listeners' ears at the 2/3 point of room length. You're almost there already.

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post #17 of 20 Old 11-14-2019, 10:30 AM
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I'm almost certain that the WAF will not allow for rear bookshelves but I'll start laying the breadcrumbs out to see if I get her to bite.
The rears are the least-used channel, so consider an alternative if a bookshelf is too much. In-wall? on-wall hidden behind fabric?
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post #18 of 20 Old 11-14-2019, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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BTW, my Atmos ceiling speakers are RSL C34E's, which are in-ceiling, angled and aimable: https://rslspeakers.com/c34e-ceiling-speaker/ I built back-boxes for them based on the manufacturers recommendation of 1 cubic foot internal volume and sealed. They turn out to be an excellent timbre-match to my other speakers. Even more surprising, they have enough output capability to keep up with my other speakers. And they're only $125 each!

Those are the ones I was pointed towards as well. Then I see they need a large cut out AND others saying that I can "get by" with cheaper alternatives like these https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=13687 or 8" MICCA's or 8" Polks.



I'm leaning towards the RSL's simply because I dont want the "what if" syndrome to hit me.


Craig
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I recently upgraded from a pixel-shifting JVC projector to a native-4K HDR projector. The difference was huge. Not only was the resolution improved, but the color saturation, brightnees and blacks levels were greatly improved as well.


No funds for a native 4k at this point. Heck, I had to convince my wife that I needed to keep the projector from last media room instead of going with an 85" 4k TV. Again, my thinking is "bigger is better" and I'd rather invest in the audio at this point. Plus, I know she likes video quality better so its an easier sale down the road...haha



I think 8K becoming a broadcast and "shiny disk" standard is a lot further out than 4K. Heck, most broadcasters today are still broadcasting 720p! This all pure speculation, but I think 4K with HDR has a much higher chance of becoming a standard than does 8K, merely because of the fact that 8K requires HUGE bandwidth upgrades for broadcasters, and the visual impact of going from 4K to 8K is trivial until really large screens, (>120"), become the norm. Just sayin'

My thinking is that broadcasters will skip 4k and invest in 8k. Japan is already doing it. I think the 2020 Olympics will be broadcast in 8k for some markets as well. Who knows though... its a crap shoot either way.


SO... big jump from 1080p to pixel shift 4k? Even bigger jump to native?? Skip pixel shift and wait until native is affordable?



Craig
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The rears are the least-used channel, so consider an alternative if a bookshelf is too much. In-wall? on-wall hidden behind fabric?

The more I think about it, I will prob be putting a blackout curtain on the back wall due to the windows. Dont think, they make them acoustically transparent. Would F/X type speakers be better? Like the FXiA4's to go with my LSiM's or some think like an S10 or S20? Or something different? Not knowledgeable about F/X speakers.
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post #19 of 20 Old 11-14-2019, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by xray777 View Post
Would F/X type speakers be better? Like the FXiA4's to go with my LSiM's or some think like an S10 or S20? Or something different? Not knowledgeable about F/X speakers.
If you go with the Polk FX speaker, the A6 are the same price as the A4 so you might as well go that route to get the bigger woofer.
https://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Su...dp/B000V2SEZU/

If you want an option that has a slimmer profile, these may be worth considering although they do cost $120 more:
https://emotiva.com/collections/loud...ts/airmotiv-e2

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #20 of 20 Old 11-14-2019, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by xray777 View Post
The more I think about it, I will prob be putting a blackout curtain on the back wall due to the windows. Dont think, they make them acoustically transparent. Would F/X type speakers be better? Like the FXiA4's to go with my LSiM's or some think like an S10 or S20? Or something different? Not knowledgeable about F/X speakers.
Two thoughts: 1) Atmos is designed for directly focused speakers, not diffused bipole or dipole designs; 2) you have plenty of space between your window and side walls to place a speaker on the rear wall, or on a mount, without having to interact with the curtains.



Edit third thought: that rear wall position is only relevant if you will have a system that can support 7.x.4. Otherwise Sanjay stated your best positioning for 5.x.4 in the second post.

Last edited by ScottAvery; 11-14-2019 at 03:04 PM.
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