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post #1 of 15 Old 02-26-2020, 05:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Advice on a new basement HT 7.2

Were finishing the basement within the next month and need to decide on our HT speakers soon (and locations!). This is the first time I will be purchasing HT speakers and am overwhelmed with the options available. Couple quick facts:

- We will mostly be watching Netflix/TV
- Room will be used to entertain a large number of guests
- Budget is approx $2k (for speakers only)
- Basement layout attached, wall opposite of couch is where the projector screen will go. Floor to ceiling is 7.5' however there is a horribly placed beam which runs the length of the room so actual usable floor to ceiling will be 6.5'
- Will use a Silver Ticket Acoustically Transparent Screen to accommodate the low ceiling
- Leaning towards 5050UB projector

Current Speaker Options:
Klipsch R-100SW x 2 (subs)
Polk 265 RT x 2 (in wall front left and right)
Polk 266 C-RT x 1 (in wall center)
Polk MC80 x 4 (in ceiling rear left/right) (possibly change 2 to in wall left and right?)
Speaker baffles for the in ceilings
Onkyo RZ720 7.2 (receiver - already own!)

Appreciate everyone's insight!
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-26-2020, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewhyatt View Post
Were finishing the basement within the next month and need to decide on our HT speakers soon (and locations!). This is the first time I will be purchasing HT speakers and am overwhelmed with the options available. Couple quick facts:

- We will mostly be watching Netflix/TV
- Room will be used to entertain a large number of guests
- Budget is approx $2k (for speakers only)
- Basement layout attached, wall opposite of couch is where the projector screen will go. Floor to ceiling is 7.5' however there is a horribly placed beam which runs the length of the room so actual usable floor to ceiling will be 6.5'
- Will use a Silver Ticket Acoustically Transparent Screen to accommodate the low ceiling
- Leaning towards 5050UB projector

Current Speaker Options:
Klipsch R-100SW x 2 (subs)
Polk 265 RT x 2 (in wall front left and right)
Polk 266 C-RT x 1 (in wall center)
Polk MC80 x 4 (in ceiling rear left/right) (possibly change 2 to in wall left and right?)
Speaker baffles for the in ceilings
Onkyo RZ720 7.2 (receiver - already own!)

Appreciate everyone's insight!
So you have not bought any of those speakers yet, correct?

Polk are a solid bet for in walls.

Rather than those $400 Klipsch subs which are 10" and have a 150 watt amp, consider this 10" with a 350 watt amp and lower extension.

Free returns if not happy.

$400 each new or less if you go with their outlet.

https://rslspeakers.com/speaker-outlet/

Geoff A. J., California
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-26-2020, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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To clarify - I have not purchased anything yet. Only thing I own in the setup so far is the receiver. Based on my budget and research this is what I had put together but wanted final input on if I should consider other brands etc!

Thanks for the sub suggestion, I will swap out the Klipsch for the Speedwoofer 10S!
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post #4 of 15 Old 02-26-2020, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewhyatt View Post
To clarify - I have not purchased anything yet. Only thing I own in the setup so far is the receiver. Based on my budget and research this is what I had put together but wanted final input on if I should consider other brands etc!

Thanks for the sub suggestion, I will swap out the Klipsch for the Speedwoofer 10S!
You can do way, way better than those Polks with a $2K budget...especially if you are willing to explore brands you've never heard of which are not sold at Best Buy.

~ 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 15 Old 02-26-2020, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I’m all ears, that’s actually the exact reason I wanted to post this. I’d rather listen to all of your recommendations and find the best value for the money vs just go with big box brands. I’d ideally like to keep it closer to $1.5k but will bump up to $2k if it’s a worthwhile step up for that $500 difference.

Any recommendations?
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-26-2020, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewhyatt View Post
I’m all ears, that’s actually the exact reason I wanted to post this. I’d rather listen to all of your recommendations and find the best value for the money vs just go with big box brands. I’d ideally like to keep it closer to $1.5k but will bump up to $2k if it’s a worthwhile step up for that $500 difference.

Any recommendations?
If you're hell bent on in-walls, I'd look at the Hsu HIW-1 which are roughly $150 apiece, with a pair of their excellent VTF-2 subs which would be about $1100---they'll give you a bundle discount for ordering speakers and subs together. I'd just stick to 5 rather than 7 speakers since most HT content is still natively in 5 channels anyway, you don't really gain anything by adding the extra 2 channels.

If it were me, I'd use in-walls for the surrounds only, and build a false wall in order to put normal boxed speakers BEHIND the screen (dual woofer bookshelves or towers), so that you'd have 3 identical vertically-configured speakers---this is actually the acoustic ideal.
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~ 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 15 Old 02-27-2020, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewhyatt View Post
Were finishing the basement within the next month and need to decide on our HT speakers soon (and locations!). This is the first time I will be purchasing HT speakers and am overwhelmed with the options available. Couple quick facts:

- We will mostly be watching Netflix/TV
- Room will be used to entertain a large number of guests
- Budget is approx $2k (for speakers only)
- Basement layout attached, wall opposite of couch is where the projector screen will go. Floor to ceiling is 7.5' however there is a horribly placed beam which runs the length of the room so actual usable floor to ceiling will be 6.5'
- Will use a Silver Ticket Acoustically Transparent Screen to accommodate the low ceiling
- Leaning towards 5050UB projector

Current Speaker Options:
Klipsch R-100SW x 2 (subs)
Polk 265 RT x 2 (in wall front left and right)
Polk 266 C-RT x 1 (in wall center)
Polk MC80 x 4 (in ceiling rear left/right) (possibly change 2 to in wall left and right?)
Speaker baffles for the in ceilings
Onkyo RZ720 7.2 (receiver - already own!)

Appreciate everyone's insight!
BTW, as you are using an Acoustically Transparent screen, best to go with three identical in walls for the front oriented vertically.

Use of a horizontal center is a compromise that it seems you can avoid.

You Polk choice still seems like a solid one considering the 265RTs have dual 6.5" drivers, (the HSU has one), plus they have EQ controls to tailor the sound better to your room.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #8 of 15 Old 02-27-2020, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewhyatt View Post
I’m all ears, that’s actually the exact reason I wanted to post this. I’d rather listen to all of your recommendations and find the best value for the money vs just go with big box brands. I’d ideally like to keep it closer to $1.5k but will bump up to $2k if it’s a worthwhile step up for that $500 difference.

Any recommendations?
The previously mentioned HSU VTF-2 are a very worthwhile upgrades for the extra money over $400 range subs. They have solid <20hz extension which provides good benefit for bass effects in movies. Subs like the RSL Speedwoofer 10S have little output below 30hz. The VTF-2 have many tuning options which other subs in your budget range do not have, a feature that lets you better configure the bass output to your tastes.
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-27-2020, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
BTW, as you are using an Acoustically Transparent screen, best to go with three identical in walls for the front oriented vertically.

Use of a horizontal center is a compromise that it seems you can avoid.

You Polk choice still seems like a solid one considering the 265RTs have dual 6.5" drivers, (the HSU has one), plus they have EQ controls to tailor the sound better to your room.
Okay, so here are my take aways so far:

Sub: 2 x VTF-2 MK5 Subwoofer
Front Speakers: 3 x 265RT (orient drivers upright, however still have them go Left/Center/Right on the wall)
Rear Speakers: 2x Polk MC80

Couple questions:
- Should I upgrade the rear speakers?
- Is there optimal placement for subs in the front per Zorba922 picture
- I do like the idea for a false wall for the front speakers, the rears will need to remain in ceiling. I'll discuss with the contractor, but if we did do a false wall what is the recommended speakers so I can figure out sizing of the wall?
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-27-2020, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewhyatt View Post
Okay, so here are my take aways so far:

Sub: 2 x VTF-2 MK5 Subwoofer
Front Speakers: 3 x 265RT (orient drivers upright, however still have them go Left/Center/Right on the wall)
Rear Speakers: 2x Polk MC80

Couple questions:
- Should I upgrade the rear speakers?
- Is there optimal placement for subs in the front per Zorba922 picture
- I do like the idea for a false wall for the front speakers, the rears will need to remain in ceiling. I'll discuss with the contractor, but if we did do a false wall what is the recommended speakers so I can figure out sizing of the wall?
From SVS:

Recommended Placement Locations for Dual Subwoofers
Based on our own extensive testing, and research done by the professional audio community, we recommend the following placement options for dual subwoofer:

opposite diagonal front/rear corners
at the mid-points of the side walls
front stage in the corners
front stage flanking the center channel to the inside of the main speakers
While the first two options are proven performers with typically excellent results, they are often difficult to implement in a living/family room environment. All rooms are different, so we recommend staying flexible and trying all possible placement options for the best results.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #11 of 15 Old 02-27-2020, 01:00 PM
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Is there any compelling reason to keep the half-wall? Seems like you'd have alot more room to spread out. I also have a finished basement with a six inch beam running across the ceiling and I will say the placement of the PJ was tricky, but do-able.
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post #12 of 15 Old 02-27-2020, 01:04 PM
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I have 3 KEF Q650c which is billed as a 'center channel' speaker, standing vertical as my L C R and couldn't be happier.
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post #13 of 15 Old 02-27-2020, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by surroundsound99 View Post
Is there any compelling reason to keep the half-wall? Seems like you'd have alot more room to spread out. I also have a finished basement with a six inch beam running across the ceiling and I will say the placement of the PJ was tricky, but do-able.
We went with the half wall because there is a pole at the end of the half wall (at the center of the room). So we’re not really able to orient the room any other way &#x1f615; that’s the furthest back we can put the couch.
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post #14 of 15 Old 02-27-2020, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there any compelling reason to keep the half-wall? Seems like you'd have alot more room to spread out. I also have a finished basement with a six inch beam running across the ceiling and I will say the placement of the PJ was tricky, but do-able.
Where did you place your projector? I’m going to have to put it to the left or right of the beam and see if I can lens shift?
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post #15 of 15 Old 02-28-2020, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mikewhyatt View Post
Where did you place your projector? I’m going to have to put it to the left or right of the beam and see if I can lens shift?
If you're looking at the screen, standing in the back half of the room so you can see your ceiling beam a few feet in front and above you, and the post is several feet in front of you at let's say 11:00 o'clock, the projector is ceiling-mounted off-center to the right of the post by about 2 to 2.5 from center, about 3.5 to 4 feet from the right wall, and about four feet out from the back wall. It's about 20' from the screen. My post is off-center to the left by about eight inches so that's why I put the PJ to the right. The PJ light beam therefore sneaks by to the right of the post, and it drops down below the beam, no problem.

It was risky, I put the PJ on top of a tower of boxes and spent alot of time experimenting, sliding the PJ around until I found a good spot. My wife thought I was nuts to put such an expensive toy on top of boxes but they were all heavy-duty boxes like my subwoofer box, the PJ box, my receiver box and my 4K player box. They were stacked largest on the bottom to smaller on top. I put the PJ on top and I "fine-tuned" the height of the PJ with magazines underneath until I got it to match the exact height I wanted. Risky, but it worked. I was VERY careful sliding the tower around!

The center of the PJ lens I would say is about 6 inches down from the drop-ceiling. The beam is also about 6 inches down from the ceiling. The top of the screen is about I would say 14 to 16 inches below the ceiling, therefore the light beam from the PJ is angled downward slightly and it sneaks by the ceiling beam with an inch or two to spare.

It was all experimentation, moving the tower of boxes around. I did consult the tool on ProjectorCentral, and it did confirm that I was in the right range to have the PJ about 20' away.

To complicate matters further, I'm getting a 2nd screen, a drop-down screen, in front of the front speakers. The PJ beam will just BARELY sneak by the pole for that screen because the screen will be 2.35 and therefore wider.

It was fun to experiment with the PJ of my dreams that I've been saving for, for so many years. Have fun!

Last edited by surroundsound99; 02-28-2020 at 06:25 AM.
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