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post #1 of 35 Old 07-03-2019, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Advice on audio setup and speaker locations

I’m looking for some guidance and advice on my planned living room audio setup. I have some room and furniture specific concerns I’d like to address.

Usage: Approximately 70% movies, TV, & video games and 30% music (broad genres)

Budget: I’m flexible, but I’d like to stay around $1,500.

Room: Open floor plan and the living room opens behind the sofa to the kitchen. The room measures 17’ x 27’ with 11’ ceilings and hard plank flooring (no carpet or rugs). The tv is on the 17’ wall.

Setup: I’m planning a 5.1 system. Speakers I’m considering based on research/budget/sizes/reviews:

Fronts:
Polk S15
Ascend CBM-170 SE
Sony Core SSCS5
JBL A130

Rears:
Polk S10
Ascend HTM-200 SE

Subs:
Polk HTS 12
Bic PL-200 II

(These are all just ideas and I’m 100% open to suggestions)

Concerns:
I have an entertainment center at the front of the room (17’ wall). I’ve been planning to put LR bookshelf speakers on the side shelves/cubbies at ear level and my center on the shelf/cubby below the TV (slightly angled up to the listening area). I never knew about the drawbacks of placing speakers on shelves/cubbies until I started reading here on AVS. Even after researching this, I still have questions about my specific setup.

My shelves are 16” deep and I can get the face of the speakers to completely clear the surrounding cabinet by about 1-1/2”. Also, the back of the unit sits 2” away from the wall AND has vertically spaced wooden slats creating gaps in 2” increments, making each shelf slightly open to the back wall. With most of the speakers listed above being about 10” deep, I should get about 6” rear clearance from the slats and 8” clearance from the wall.

Questions/concerns/advice:

1)
Is 6-8” clearance behind the speaker sufficient for the rear ported speakers above? Would a front ported/sealed speaker (e.g. HTD Level Two, Ascend HTM-200 SE) be any better suited to my setup? I was certainly planning to run a subwoofer and with the right crossover settings, will the shelf/cubby become a minimal issue?

2)
My EC is 118” long. While I’m not completely opposed to doing speaker stands to alleviate the shelf issue, I feel 10’+ would be way too much distance for LR speakers. Is this correct?

3)
Any subwoofer opinions would be appreciated. For the room size, I’m curious of what sizes and quantities (1 or 2) to figure.

4)
I know this has probably been discussed ad nauseum, but what are the thoughts on flush ceiling mount speakers vs room level speakers for surrounds? I know they’re supposed to be at the sides and ear level, but are ceiling speakers a tolerable trade off or just a complete no go? Open floor plans make floor speakers difficult to place while maintaining decor (wall mounts won’t work for me). I can do floor stands with smaller speakers, but it’s not ideal.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 35 Old 07-03-2019, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbt192 View Post
I’m looking for some guidance and advice on my planned living room audio setup. I have some room and furniture specific concerns I’d like to address.

Usage: Approximately 70% movies, TV, & video games and 30% music (broad genres)

Budget: I’m flexible, but I’d like to stay around $1,500.

Room: Open floor plan and the living room opens behind the sofa to the kitchen. The room measures 17’ x 27’ with 11’ ceilings and hard plank flooring (no carpet or rugs). The tv is on the 17’ wall.

Setup: I’m planning a 5.1 system. Speakers I’m considering based on research/budget/sizes/reviews:

Fronts:
Polk S15
Ascend CBM-170 SE
Sony Core SSCS5
JBL A130

Rears:
Polk S10
Ascend HTM-200 SE

Subs:
Polk HTS 12
Bic PL-200 II

(These are all just ideas and I’m 100% open to suggestions)

Concerns:
I have an entertainment center at the front of the room (17’ wall). I’ve been planning to put LR bookshelf speakers on the side shelves/cubbies at ear level and my center on the shelf/cubby below the TV (slightly angled up to the listening area). I never knew about the drawbacks of placing speakers on shelves/cubbies until I started reading here on AVS. Even after researching this, I still have questions about my specific setup.

My shelves are 16” deep and I can get the face of the speakers to completely clear the surrounding cabinet by about 1-1/2”. Also, the back of the unit sits 2” away from the wall AND has vertically spaced wooden slats creating gaps in 2” increments, making each shelf slightly open to the back wall. With most of the speakers listed above being about 10” deep, I should get about 6” rear clearance from the slats and 8” clearance from the wall.

Questions/concerns/advice:

1)
Is 6-8” clearance behind the speaker sufficient for the rear ported speakers above? Would a front ported/sealed speaker (e.g. HTD Level Two, Ascend HTM-200 SE) be any better suited to my setup? I was certainly planning to run a subwoofer and with the right crossover settings, will the shelf/cubby become a minimal issue?

2)
My EC is 118” long. While I’m not completely opposed to doing speaker stands to alleviate the shelf issue, I feel 10’+ would be way too much distance for LR speakers. Is this correct?

3)
Any subwoofer opinions would be appreciated. For the room size, I’m curious of what sizes and quantities (1 or 2) to figure.

4)
I know this has probably been discussed ad nauseum, but what are the thoughts on flush ceiling mount speakers vs room level speakers for surrounds? I know they’re supposed to be at the sides and ear level, but are ceiling speakers a tolerable trade off or just a complete no go? Open floor plans make floor speakers difficult to place while maintaining decor (wall mounts won’t work for me). I can do floor stands with smaller speakers, but it’s not ideal.

Thanks in advance!
As far as the speakers in the shelving unit I would try to find front ported ported speakers. Being enclosed like that I think would interfere with the intended sound signature. As far as how wide apart the L/R should be is dependent where you sit. The two speakers and main listening should form a triangle. The angle at the main listening position to speaker should be between 40-60 degrees. I would also keep surrounds at ear level. Here is Dolby guidelines

https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/su...5-1-setup.html

As far as the subwoofers go, well is it just two of you that sit together or do you frequently have guests you will be entertaining? If just one or two of you that sit together in say a loveseat, then get the biggest baddest sub you can afford. Otherwise get two to generate the most even bass response across all seats.Save up and see if you can stretch your budget for an SVS, HSU, Monolith sub/s.

Budget $1500? Is that receiver, speakers, and sub/s or just speakers and sub/s? Are you located in the US or else where in the world?

TV: LG OLED 65B7A, Receiver: Marantz SR-6012, Blu-Ray Player: LG UBK90, Fronts: JBL S312, Center: JBL S-Center, Surrounds: JBL S38, Top: JBL S36 (4), Subwoofer: 2 PSA S3000i and one PSA XS-30se--- 5.3.4 setup
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post #3 of 35 Old 07-03-2019, 10:49 PM
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With your budget and assuming receiver needed with the fronts all on shelving on front entertainment center. Speakers and stands available in cherry.

Receiver
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...-w/heos/1.html

Center Channel
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_107CSI...-A4-Black.html

Other 4 speakers
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_107RTI...ck.html?tp=186

Stands for the surrounds
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_051NF2...k-lacquer.html

Subwoofer
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_...QaAvtbEALw_wcB

If you don't need the receiver, then one of these subs
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24457
or stretch a little (which I would do)
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-15hmk2.html

TV: LG OLED 65B7A, Receiver: Marantz SR-6012, Blu-Ray Player: LG UBK90, Fronts: JBL S312, Center: JBL S-Center, Surrounds: JBL S38, Top: JBL S36 (4), Subwoofer: 2 PSA S3000i and one PSA XS-30se--- 5.3.4 setup
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post #4 of 35 Old 07-03-2019, 11:13 PM
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I had a similar setup in my previous house and I went with in ceiling (3.2.4) instead of side and rear surrounds for aesthetic/form purposes. It's ok but it doesn't provide an accurate sound field to the director's intent, if you care about that. You'll have to prioritize aesthetics vs sound.

Assuming the budget is for the speakers only, some general recommendations are to invest as much as you can in the subwoofer, then LCRs, then surrounds.

1-You haven't mentioned how large the kitchen is off your theater room, and if the kitchen is open to other areas. I'm going to guess that you have a lot of space open to the listening area? If so, you'll need more output. Can you do floorstanding fronts? I'd suggest a pair of high efficiency Klipsch RF-4000s (510/pair) and the RP-400C ($255).
2-I wouldn't worry about the 10+ foot width, you can angle the speakers in if that's a concern. If you're determined to have the fronts on the shelf, I'd defer to others on a bookshelf recommendation but try to avoid a rear ported model.
3-If you go side surround, you could cover up the speaker wiring using a paintable raceway cover such as this:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/CordMate...C110/100024732

NHT Super Ones at $103 each are highly recommended.

If you go in ceiling, try the RSL C34e ($125 each). They would give you the flexibility to be used as ATMOS speakers down the road if that interests you

4-Subwoofer HSU-VTF2-MK5 (540). Go with one for now and then add a 2nd down the road.
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post #5 of 35 Old 07-04-2019, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the quick responses. Let me try to address everything brought up.

Sorry about my room description; it was completely unclear (stupid open floor plans!). The total space is 27’ x 17’ with an 11’ flat ceiling; that is the living room and kitchen combined. If I were to break down the “rooms”, I’d say the living room is 17’ x 15’ and the kitchen is 17’ x 12’. Also, I probably should’ve included this before, but branching off the 12’ dimension of the kitchen is a small adjacent dining room (12’ x 9’). The whole area forms an open L shape.

As for my budget, that was $1,500 including a receiver. With all my focus on speakers, I forgot to even mention a receiver. Again, this is flexible and it’s more just a number I’ve had in my head (something I wouldn’t feel too guilty spending!). I do want a receiver that can do at least 7 channels for a 5.1.2 setup down the road.

The sitting area on my couch is about 11’ from the face of the EC where the TV and speakers will be. I did some measurements using Dolby’s 5.1 guide and using the shelves on the EC, I’m about 43 degrees to the listening area. If I were to do stands on the outside, I’m about 60 degrees. So pretty close to the recommendations. It’ll also be primarily 1-2 people in the room. My focus is on making it sound good at a central listening location.

I could do floorstanding fronts. However, I have a sectional sofa and the “L” shape would partly block the lower woofers on a right front tower speaker. The arm of my sofa is 27” high and the speaker would need to clear that. I would think bookshelf speakers on stands might be a better option considering this?

I am in the US. I’m gathering that the subwoofer is going to be an important piece for me and worth investing in something solid. Is that because of the room area, especially the ceiling height? And if my target is for setting up the system for a central listening area for 1-2 people, one badass sub is going to be superior to two smaller subs?

Thank you very much for the input - much appreciated.
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post #6 of 35 Old 07-04-2019, 08:54 PM
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Yes, if you two tend to sit together in one place, then one sub should be sufficient.

Sitting about 10 feet away allows you a lot of options for speakers. Given the layout (speakers sitting in cubby holes) you would be better served by using a front ported or sealed center channel speaker (and L&R).

BTW, what are the maximum dimensions of the center and bookshelf speakers?

Have you listened to any speakers yet? If so, what did you like and dislike? Why?

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #7 of 35 Old 07-04-2019, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbt192 View Post
Thank you for the quick responses. Let me try to address everything brought up.

Sorry about my room description; it was completely unclear (stupid open floor plans!). The total space is 27’ x 17’ with an 11’ flat ceiling; that is the living room and kitchen combined. If I were to break down the “rooms”, I’d say the living room is 17’ x 15’ and the kitchen is 17’ x 12’. Also, I probably should’ve included this before, but branching off the 12’ dimension of the kitchen is a small adjacent dining room (12’ x 9’). The whole area forms an open L shape.

As for my budget, that was $1,500 including a receiver. With all my focus on speakers, I forgot to even mention a receiver. Again, this is flexible and it’s more just a number I’ve had in my head (something I wouldn’t feel too guilty spending!). I do want a receiver that can do at least 7 channels for a 5.1.2 setup down the road.

The sitting area on my couch is about 11’ from the face of the EC where the TV and speakers will be. I did some measurements using Dolby’s 5.1 guide and using the shelves on the EC, I’m about 43 degrees to the listening area. If I were to do stands on the outside, I’m about 60 degrees. So pretty close to the recommendations. It’ll also be primarily 1-2 people in the room. My focus is on making it sound good at a central listening location.

I could do floorstanding fronts. However, I have a sectional sofa and the “L” shape would partly block the lower woofers on a right front tower speaker. The arm of my sofa is 27” high and the speaker would need to clear that. I would think bookshelf speakers on stands might be a better option considering this?

I am in the US. I’m gathering that the subwoofer is going to be an important piece for me and worth investing in something solid. Is that because of the room area, especially the ceiling height? And if my target is for setting up the system for a central listening area for 1-2 people, one badass sub is going to be superior to two smaller subs?

Thank you very much for the input - much appreciated.
At 60 degrees, that is probably too wide of a speaker placement. SVS recommends about 25-30 degrees in a 5.1 system. I would try to get as high efficiency as you can for bookshelves. Based on my experience with my previous open concept layout, your living room will lack the pressurization to obtain good volume levels with smaller bookshelf speakers. All the more reason to get a good sub(s) to help offload the output from the speakers. It's always beneficial to have two subs to balance the bass response in the room but if you have the central listening position as the priority, a 2nd sub is not as critical. Consider the HSU tunable sub mentioned earlier, as well as a Monoprice or the RSL Speedwoofer.

End of model year Denon AVRs are good and you can almost always find a good deal. 7.2 capability is pretty standard these days,even for entry level AVRs
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post #8 of 35 Old 07-05-2019, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by PlanetAVS View Post
At 60 degrees, that is probably too wide of a speaker placement. SVS recommends about 25-30 degrees in a 5.1 system. I would try to get as high efficiency as you can for bookshelves. Based on my experience with my previous open concept layout, your living room will lack the pressurization to obtain good volume levels with smaller bookshelf speakers. All the more reason to get a good sub(s) to help offload the output from the speakers. It's always beneficial to have two subs to balance the bass response in the room but if you have the central listening position as the priority, a 2nd sub is not as critical. Consider the HSU tunable sub mentioned earlier, as well as a Monoprice or the RSL Speedwoofer.

End of model year Denon AVRs are good and you can almost always find a good deal. 7.2 capability is pretty standard these days,even for entry level AVRs
Just to be clear the SVS recommendation is based off Center channel being 0 degrees and and angle to each speaker. My recommendation, and I believe the original poster understood, is the total angle of the arc at main listening position between left and right. Exact same degree max recommendation.
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post #9 of 35 Old 07-05-2019, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Joshua Chmiel View Post
Just to be clear the SVS recommendation is based off Center channel being 0 degrees and and angle to each speaker. My recommendation, and I believe the original poster understood, is the total angle of the arc at main listening position between left and right. Exact same degree max recommendation.
Ah that makes sense, and 60 degrees off axis for each speaker would be extreme now that you mention it. Good catch.

I still think that going book shelf (for aesthetic reasons) and then spending more on the sub might be better but the OP could go either way.
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post #10 of 35 Old 07-05-2019, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Maximum dimensions for FL speakers are 19" wide, 15" deep, and the height is flexible (shelves above are adjustable). For aesthetics and to keep my shelves where they are, 12-3/8" is max height. However, I could remove the shelf above the speaker and be able to go to 17" high, but then I'd be removing a shelf in my EC. If larger speakers would be benefit my room’s size, I’d consider this option.

Maximum dimensions for CC depend on if I go above or below the TV. Below TV: 24" wide, height is completely variable (adjustable shelf), and 11" deep. Above TV, 68" width, 9-1/2" height, 14" deep. I'd like to stay below the TV to try and keep all of my fronts as close to the same height as possible. The shelf above would put the speaker about 70" off the ground.

I haven't listened to any speakers yet. All I really have in my area is Bestbuy, which has a narrow speaker selection and a poor listening environment from my experience. I wish I could provide you guys some input on what I've liked, but I think I'm just going to need to try and narrow my options down and then try them out in my home.



To consolidate the feedback here and my own findings into my current product ideas:

Fronts:
Sealed: NHT SuperOne 2.1 & Ascend HTM-200 SE
Front Ported: Polk RTi A1, Elac B5.2, HTD Level Two
Larger Front Ported (removing the shelf above to make them fit): Polk RTi A3, Elac B6.2, HTD Level Three

My main decision now it seems is between front ported and sealed. Since I’ll be running a subwoofer, it seems like a sealed unit might be a better application considering the entertainment center?

Centers: I'd be looking at matching units for any of the above speakers.

Rears:
If I go with front-ported for my fronts, I’m considering rear-ported Polk S10's for rears primarily due to their compact size and aesthetic. From what I've researched, rears don't need to match fronts. Would this be okay, even with their small woofers relative to my fronts? Or if I do sealed speakers for my fronts, should I also opt for sealed speakers for my rears to match the sound?

For subs, I'm considering HSU-VTF 2-MK5, Monolith 10" THX Select Certified 500 Watt Powered Subwoofer, SVS PB1000, or RSL Speedwoofer.
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post #11 of 35 Old 07-05-2019, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbt192 View Post
Maximum dimensions for FL speakers are 19" wide, 15" deep, and the height is flexible (shelves above are adjustable). For aesthetics and to keep my shelves where they are, 12-3/8" is max height. However, I could remove the shelf above the speaker and be able to go to 17" high, but then I'd be removing a shelf in my EC. If larger speakers would be benefit my room’s size, I’d consider this option.

Maximum dimensions for CC depend on if I go above or below the TV. Below TV: 24" wide, height is completely variable (adjustable shelf), and 11" deep. Above TV, 68" width, 9-1/2" height, 14" deep. I'd like to stay below the TV to try and keep all of my fronts as close to the same height as possible. The shelf above would put the speaker about 70" off the ground.

I haven't listened to any speakers yet. All I really have in my area is Bestbuy, which has a narrow speaker selection and a poor listening environment from my experience. I wish I could provide you guys some input on what I've liked, but I think I'm just going to need to try and narrow my options down and then try them out in my home.



To consolidate the feedback here and my own findings into my current product ideas:

Fronts:
Sealed: NHT SuperOne 2.1 & Ascend HTM-200 SE
Front Ported: Polk RTi A1, Elac B5.2, HTD Level Two
Larger Front Ported (removing the shelf above to make them fit): Polk RTi A3, Elac B6.2, HTD Level Three

My main decision now it seems is between front ported and sealed. Since I’ll be running a subwoofer, it seems like a sealed unit might be a better application considering the entertainment center?

Centers: I'd be looking at matching units for any of the above speakers.

Rears:
If I go with front-ported for my fronts, I’m considering rear-ported Polk S10's for rears primarily due to their compact size and aesthetic. From what I've researched, rears don't need to match fronts. Would this be okay, even with their small woofers relative to my fronts? Or if I do sealed speakers for my fronts, should I also opt for sealed speakers for my rears to match the sound?

For subs, I'm considering HSU-VTF 2-MK5, Monolith 10" THX Select Certified 500 Watt Powered Subwoofer, SVS PB1000, or RSL Speedwoofer.
Surrounds don't need to match the fronts. Some people prefer that the timber (tonal quality) match all the way around but many people don't think its important for the surrounds. Most would agree to keep the timber matching between your fronts and center though, so its good that you're already planning to match the LCRs. Since you're spending less on the speakers, you might even want to take it up a notch to the HSU VTF 3-MK5 sub
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post #12 of 35 Old 07-06-2019, 06:48 AM
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I'll second @PlanetAVS and say upgrade to the bigger more capable sub. As for final speaker choice I think you did a fine job of narrowing down your choices. Only real step next is to take advantage of the 30 day return policies and see which set you like best in your room to your ears.

Oh and save yourself money in the long run and just get the bigger better sub. Once you get a taste of a capable sub, it is like heroin and you just want more.
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post #13 of 35 Old 07-07-2019, 03:17 PM
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Good speaker list, just add front ported RSL CG 3/23, or 5/25 to the mix.
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It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #14 of 35 Old 07-11-2019, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody for the input. I've been mulling this over for several days now.

I'm really intrigued by the RSL CG3 series; I think the CG3 series just shot to the front of my list. For my setup, a horizontal speaker orientation would be ideal and I'm really liking the CG23 for LCR's. Plus for my room size, the dual 4" woofers seem like a good option vs single woofer setups. I know the Ascend HTM-200 SE is very similar in this regard, but the CG23 really tops it in aesthetic value IMO. I'm strongly considering RSL's CG23 5.1 bundle (3 ea. CG23, 2 ea. CG3, 1 ea. Speedwoofer) for $1,239.00. I'm just slightly unsure of the Speedwoofer for my room size vs a 12 inch from Monolith, SVS, or HSU. I can pretty much do a 5.2 setup with two Speedwoofers for the price of one of the other 12 inchers.

One other speaker that popped up in my research is the Q Acoustics Concept 20 bookshelf speakers. I know these are rear ported, but they do include port plugs. The "cabinet within a cabinet" design sounds really interesting for controlling resonance, especially for addressing the typical issues with bookshelf installation like mine. I know this is stretching out my budget at $500/pair, but I'd be willing to pay the premium if they could help address the drawbacks of my setup.
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post #15 of 35 Old 07-11-2019, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Just did some reading about the drawbacks of MTM (mid tweeter mid) speaker layouts for mains and why most speaker manufacturers do vertically oriented speakers. I’ll scrap my prior idea for CG23 as LR, but I’m still definitely interested in the CG3 for LR and surround duty.
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post #16 of 35 Old 07-11-2019, 09:23 PM
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Sounds like a good plan. You could go either way with 2 RSL subs or 1 larger sub. I would recommend the larger sub to start, as the immediate goal is to optimize bass for the main listening position. And since you have the adjoining open space, the larger sub will help pressurize the listening space. It will also give you more room for growth if you add a 2nd sub down the road.
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post #17 of 35 Old 07-13-2019, 01:46 PM
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Just did some reading about the drawbacks of MTM (mid tweeter mid) speaker layouts for mains and why most speaker manufacturers do vertically oriented speakers. I’ll scrap my prior idea for CG23 as LR, but I’m still definitely interested in the CG3 for LR and surround duty.
No downside to this choice. If you end up not liking them (unlikely) you can send them back for free.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #18 of 35 Old 07-20-2019, 08:21 AM
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Setup: I’m planning a 5.1 system. Speakers I’m considering based on research/budget/sizes/reviews:

Fronts:
Polk S15
Ascend CBM-170 SE
Sony Core SSCS5
JBL A130

Rears:
Polk S10
Ascend HTM-200 SE

1. Use identical speakers only.


2. REW has a room sim. Use it. Good sound is much less a matter of taste, than a matter of physical facts. You need to know what the characteristics of your room are to be able to decide about the compromises later.


3. A few tips:



Good sound is always the result of engineering. And engineering always starts with measuring. Consumer industry and mainstream will never tell customers about that: improvements in room acoustics are worth roughly ten (10!) times the amount spent on equipment like speakers and receivers. For example: only $500 in room treatment is worth more than spending $5000 (fivethousand) on equipment.
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post #19 of 35 Old 07-23-2019, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I ended up pulling the trigger on a RSL CG3 system comprised of three CG23 LCR's, two CG3 surrounds, and one Speedwoofer 10S. I was really intrigued by their compression guide technology (CGT) for controlling resonance within the speaker. It seems like a great concept and it, combined with these being front ported, seems like an excellent fit for my less than ideal application on a shelf/cabinet.

I realize most everybody here was recommending a larger subwoofer for my room. While I can fit a bigger subwoofer, realistically a 10" is a better fit for my room aesthetically and the Speedwoofer gets great reviews (super low frequency limitations aside). Joe at RSL also mentioned that one advantage to using a 10" sub with small woofer bookshelf speakers is that they blend better due to an inherently faster transient response, decreasing the effects of sub localization. At its price and size, two of these are always an option.

I also went back on my earlier post and I'm trying the three horizontal CG23's for my fronts. Joe at RSL advised that for my room size and speaker spacing, this should work fine but that I can also audition the CG3's for my fronts and see what I like better.


FWIW, RSL's customer service is absolutely stellar, and all from the owner nonetheless. Joe has quickly responded to all of my emails with in depth, thoughtful responses. After receiving my order, I called him and he spent 30+ minutes talking me through the setup and providing input/advice. Very impressive.


While I’m a novice (so take my thoughts for what they are), my first impressions of the system are really good. Joe mentioned the speakers need about 40 hours to properly break in; I think this is true because they seem to sound better as the hours tick by. The most striking thing so far is simply the overall clarity. While I have no way of knowing the true effects of RSL’s CGT, I find myself forgetting about the speaker’s locations within the room. I’m using foam speaker isolation pads (1.6” thick closed cell foam) and these made a huge difference with my setup. The CG23’s also seem to have a nice broad sound stage - I’m not even feeling a need to toe in my LR’s ATM.

I had to play with the sub placement a bit, but I’m currently running a 100hz crossover all around and localization doesn’t seem to be an issue. The Speedwoofer seems to pack a punch; I’m finding myself settling around 11:00 on the volume knob. While it may not technically dig as deep as other subs, it is satisfying my LFE desires thus far but we’ll see as I keep testing.

I’ll report back some more after I spend more time with everything.
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Sounds like you're off to a great start. RSL really does have excellent service, I use their C34e x4 in the ceiling for ATMOS and they were extremely helpful.

What did you end up doing for the AVR?
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No measuments, no acoustic optimization, ignorance of very important tips but "Joe mentioned the speakers need about 40 hours to properly break in".


"Sounds like you're off to a great start. RSL really does have excellent service, I use their C34e x4 in the ceiling for ATMOS and they were extremely helpful."


Is this a marketing platform or a self-help forum?

Good sound is always the result of engineering. And engineering always starts with measuring. Consumer industry and mainstream will never tell customers about that: improvements in room acoustics are worth roughly ten (10!) times the amount spent on equipment like speakers and receivers. For example: only $500 in room treatment is worth more than spending $5000 (fivethousand) on equipment.
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Originally Posted by Skinfax1 View Post
No measuments, no acoustic optimization, ignorance of very important tips but "Joe mentioned the speakers need about 40 hours to properly break in".


"Sounds like you're off to a great start. RSL really does have excellent service, I use their C34e x4 in the ceiling for ATMOS and they were extremely helpful."


Is this a marketing platform or a self-help forum?
If you’re saying I ignored your tips, that’s not the case at all. I pulled the trigger on my order about a week ago before I had even seen your post on here. While I will definitely check out the video that you linked above, I am setting up an open floor plan main living room with obvious limitations as far as what I can do for acoustical optimizations. I know I have a less than ideal setting and my system will never sound as good as it could in a better, more optimized environment. I came here looking for some basic advice to help work with what I have and I directly followed a tip provided here (RayGuy) in my purchase decision. I’m simply sharing my experience as a novice and that I appreciated the help that I received.
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post #23 of 35 Old 07-23-2019, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Skinfax1 View Post
No measuments, no acoustic optimization, ignorance of very important tips but "Joe mentioned the speakers need about 40 hours to properly break in".


"Sounds like you're off to a great start. RSL really does have excellent service, I use their C34e x4 in the ceiling for ATMOS and they were extremely helpful."


Is this a marketing platform or a self-help forum?
Are you calling me a shill?
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post #24 of 35 Old 07-23-2019, 09:51 AM
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Are you calling me a shill?

Are you distracting from the really important acoustic factors by intention or because you don't know better?

Good sound is always the result of engineering. And engineering always starts with measuring. Consumer industry and mainstream will never tell customers about that: improvements in room acoustics are worth roughly ten (10!) times the amount spent on equipment like speakers and receivers. For example: only $500 in room treatment is worth more than spending $5000 (fivethousand) on equipment.
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post #25 of 35 Old 07-23-2019, 09:54 AM
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Are you distracting from the really important acoustic factors by intention or because you don't know better?
Your opinion troll.
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post #26 of 35 Old 07-23-2019, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Sounds like you're off to a great start. RSL really does have excellent service, I use their C34e x4 in the ceiling for ATMOS and they were extremely helpful.

What did you end up doing for the AVR?
I’m currently using an older Onkyo TX-NR747 that I actually just got from a friend. He needed to upgrade to a higher end model with some additional features and his Onkyo is still in great shape.

That’s good to know about the ceiling speakers. I’m currently still trying to figure out one of my original questions (doing room level surrounds vs in ceilings) for décor purposes. While I really do like them being at room level and the immersion it provides, the ceilings would certainly look better. I know you mentioned you went with a 3.2.4 setup in your previous home. Did you ever experiment with doing a 5.2.2 setup instead with the rear most speakers acting as surrounds? That way you’re not missing the surround track but also benefiting from a pair of heights? I have no experience with this so maybe this wouldn’t work well.
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post #27 of 35 Old 07-23-2019, 10:22 AM
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I’m currently using an older Onkyo TX-NR747 that I actually just got from a friend. He needed to upgrade to a higher end model with some additional features and his Onkyo is still in great shape.

That’s good to know about the ceiling speakers. I’m currently still trying to figure out one of my original questions (doing room level surrounds vs in ceilings) for décor purposes. While I really do like them being at room level and the immersion it provides, the ceilings would certainly look better. I know you mentioned you went with a 3.2.4 setup in your previous home. Did you ever experiment with doing a 5.2.2 setup instead with the rear most speakers acting as surrounds? That way you’re not missing the surround track but also benefiting from a pair of heights? I have no experience with this so maybe this wouldn’t work well.
That's actually what I did from an AVR speaker config perspective (5.2.2). I assigned the rear ceilings as the surrounds, and assigned the ATMOS to the front ceiling pair. I didn't have a feasible place to put the floor level surrounds. It doesn't give the same immersive experience and doesn't match the director's intent either.

Have you considered the paintable railway covers that I mentioned earlier, to hide the surround wiring?
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post #28 of 35 Old 07-23-2019, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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That's actually what I did from an AVR speaker config perspective (5.2.2). I assigned the rear ceilings as the surrounds, and assigned the ATMOS to the front ceiling pair. I didn't have a feasible place to put the floor level surrounds. It doesn't give the same immersive experience and doesn't match the director's intent either.

Have you considered the paintable railway covers that I mentioned earlier, to hide the surround wiring?
Yeah I realize the ceiling speakers would definitely involve some compromises. I’m going to spend some time with the floor level surrounds and see if I adapt to their presence in the room. And yes, I will definitely be buying those paintable railway covers if I stick with the surrounds – those should work perfectly.
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post #29 of 35 Old 07-26-2019, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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That's actually what I did from an AVR speaker config perspective (5.2.2). I assigned the rear ceilings as the surrounds, and assigned the ATMOS to the front ceiling pair. I didn't have a feasible place to put the floor level surrounds. It doesn't give the same immersive experience and doesn't match the director's intent either.

Have you considered the paintable railway covers that I mentioned earlier, to hide the surround wiring?
I’m thinking I’ll need to do ceiling speakers in lieu of my floor standing surrounds. With my room and sofa layout, the floor standers aren't really working. They work good from one central seating position, but that's about it. To make it usable in multiple seating locations around my sofa without blowing out eardrums, I'm having to drastically turn down the surround channel volume. It's also only a matter of time until one gets knocked over. I think I"ll get more enjoyment out of doing ceilings and being able to sit anywhere in the room.

I’m now debating on 5.1 (two ceiling speakers) or 7.1/5.1.2 (four ceiling speakers). Did you play with these various arrangements with your system? I'm thinking mixing Atmos speakers with ceiling mounted surrounds could cause a clash in sounds and that simply doing 5.1 (or 7.1) might be preferred. Price isn't really a factor on choosing between two and four speakers - if I'm already going into the attic to pull wire and cut holes for two, doing four is no big deal.
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post #30 of 35 Old 07-26-2019, 04:18 PM
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I’m thinking I’ll need to do ceiling speakers in lieu of my floor standing surrounds. With my room and sofa layout, the floor standers aren't really working. They work good from one central seating position, but that's about it. To make it usable in multiple seating locations around my sofa without blowing out eardrums, I'm having to drastically turn down the surround channel volume. It's also only a matter of time until one gets knocked over. I think I"ll get more enjoyment out of doing ceilings and being able to sit anywhere in the room.

I’m now debating on 5.1 (two ceiling speakers) or 7.1/5.1.2 (four ceiling speakers). Did you play with these various arrangements with your system? I'm thinking mixing Atmos speakers with ceiling mounted surrounds could cause a clash in sounds and that simply doing 5.1 (or 7.1) might be preferred. Price isn't really a factor on choosing between two and four speakers - if I'm already going into the attic to pull wire and cut holes for two, doing four is no big deal.
Have you considered an on-wall mount or in wall mounted speaker for the surrounds? If you have run room correction with your AVR, the surrounds wouldn't be too loud for the seating area as the levels will already have been adjusted to take into account the seating position.

If you still want to go ceilings only, you could try 5.1 or 7.1 or 5.1.2 or even 3.1.4 if your AVR can support it. I would play around with those and see what you like best. 3.1.4 might be the closest config to what you actually have physically installed.
I didn't try more than the one AVR speaker config I mentioned earlier (5.1.2 with 4 ceiling speakers).
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