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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi guys!

Long time reader here but never posting. I am at a loss here regarding my existing setup and what I should improve to make the biggest impact. We recently moved and our new basement is a little bigger and laid out differently than in the old house. I feel like the sound is lacking a bit, as if it is just not filling the room.

I attached a sketch (not to scale) of my current setup. I have a little flexibility with placement of fronts and subs but surrounds are dictated by room layout and all that is in it.

My initial thought was to replace my side surrounds first and then my rears since they are the oldest, cheapest speakers in setup (followed by my Onkyo sub). Not sure how much good surrounds give you in sound quality and if I should be considering other things first.

Appreciate any and all input. I am an intermediate when it comes to this stuff but quickly falling in love with it.

Thanks for your time!!!!

- Stan
 

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Early happy birthday. I am curious are you playing music or watching movies when the "sound not filling the room" is most noticeable. Improvements are dictated by budget. Do you have a dvd player? To answer your question, for the purpose of upgrading, I would go receiver, front speakers, maybe 3 front as opposed to 2 plus center channel, and then side surrounds but try to match them with front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I watch mostly movies and game occasionally. I use my PS3 for blu Rays and it works great. I understand that the fronts are top priority for sure but I just bought some new Polk speakers last year (see specs) so don't intend on changing them out at this point. I'm more wondering if investing in better subs (how powerful?) or surrounds would make a noticeable difference. Budget is a little bit important but I can simply save longer if necessary.
 

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What’s your budget? Amp should be fine for your set up.


  1. SUBS! – makes a world of difference when watching movies
  2. Front 3
  3. Surrounds
  4. Acoustic treatments

However, make sure you have everything set up correctly first. Spend some time reading through the Yamaha threads for YPAO set up tips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your response! Pretty sure I have everything configured ideally but its a good idea to check out that thread.

Regarding subs, obviously you can spend any amount of money you can think of. Are there any good middle ground subs you can recommend that deliver great output compared to what I have but won't bankrupt me?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey guys. So a little bit of good news. Was over at my dads house when I spotted a Polk box (hoping for my birthday) of:

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Surround-Speakers-Black/dp/B000V2SEZA

These are the FXI A4s bipole/dipole surrounds I had asked for.

Question being with my existing 7.2 setup diagramed above, does it make more sense to use the A4s for side surrounds or read surrounds? Rear I have stands for them so it would be easy to do. Sides would require wall mounting of course. Just not sure which surround speakers (side or back) are now important.
 

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I watch mostly movies and game occasionally. I use my PS3 for blu Rays and it works great. I understand that the fronts are top priority for sure but I just bought some new Polk speakers last year (see specs) so don't intend on changing them out at this point. I'm more wondering if investing in better subs (how powerful?) or surrounds would make a noticeable difference. Budget is a little bit important but I can simply save longer if necessary.
I used to have some Polk Monitor 70s a few years ago and they were super hard to drive to really open them up. I got a used 3 channel Carver Amp 225 watts a channel. That really opened them up big time. They were a little tingy sort of speak with the treble but they sounded so much better with real power. Just a suggestion, clean power does make a huge difference in the front soundstage. Polk speakers are a little hard to drive anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I watch mostly movies and game occasionally. I use my PS3 for blu Rays and it works great. I understand that the fronts are top priority for sure but I just bought some new Polk speakers last year (see specs) so don't intend on changing them out at this point. I'm more wondering if investing in better subs (how powerful?) or surrounds would make a noticeable difference. Budget is a little bit important but I can simply save longer if necessary.
I used to have some Polk Monitor 70s a few years ago and they were super hard to drive to really open them up. I got a used 3 channel Carver Amp 225 watts a channel. That really opened them up big time. They were a little tingy sort of speak with the treble but they sounded so much better with real power. Just a suggestion, clean power does make a huge difference in the front soundstage. Polk speakers are a little hard to drive anyway.
I hear you. An amp would probably help somewhat since my yamaha is not all that many watts per channel. However I don't see a way to run an amp through my receiver so I assume that would require a better receiver (and more money) so it isn't an option at this point unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey guys. So a little bit of good news. Was over at my dads house when I spotted a Polk box (hoping for my birthday) of:

http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-Surround-Speakers-Black/dp/B000V2SEZA

These are the FXI A4s bipole/dipole surrounds I had asked for.

Question being with my existing 7.2 setup diagramed above, does it make more sense to use the A4s for side surrounds or read surrounds? Rear I have stands for them so it would be easy to do. Sides would require wall mounting of course. Just not sure which surround speakers (side or back) are now important.

Bump to this if anyone can share some input. Also wondering if I should be concerned that my surrounds are a good 6-8 ft from main seating position. Is this not ideal?

I also bought a Klipsch R12 I think it is, 400 watt sub. Amazing to say the list. My only concern is that I had to turn the volume to like just 1/3 in order to get YPAO to configure it. Even then the receiver set the output to -9db. Is this because the sub is too powerful for the front and center speakers I have? It sounds good but seemed odd to have to have the gain so low.

Also, I have it paired with a 100 watt Polk sub. Is it a bad idea to do this since they are so different in wattage? Would I get better sound with just a single sub ?

Thanks in advance for all your knowledge!!

Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The inevitable....

The inevitable happened last night - wife came storming downstairs yelling at me to turn the movie down. I am loving the sound since upgrading my subwoofer, but it has brought the ire of my wife.

So what am I to do? My theatre room is in my basement. Concrete slab floor with fairly thin carpet overtop. Walls are cinder block that were studded out and then dry wall overtop. Ceiling is the same, without the cinder block obviously. From what I have been reading, it sounds like the only way to really dampen vibration is through structural changes to the walls and ceiling, which isn't an option. Is there anything I can do, other than turning the bass way down to lessen the vibrations felt throughout the house?
 

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You either re-engineer the entire room or you turn the bass down. No other answer. Bass is extremely difficult to trap as can be proven simply by pulling up next to some guy playing hip hop in his car. It escapes through any weak spot. In your case, the biggest leak is probably the HVAC ducting. People go so far as to install a separate furnace for the theater
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You either re-engineer the entire room or you turn the bass down. No other answer. Bass is extremely difficult to trap as can be proven simply by pulling up next to some guy playing hip hop in his car. It escapes through any weak spot. In your case, the biggest leak is probably the HVAC ducting. People go so far as to install a separate furnace for the theater
That seems to be exactly what I am finding. I have relegated myself to watching movies at "moderate" volume when my wife is home and on the nights she is at work, crank it up. Thankfully my 5 year old can sleep through anything :)

Regarding the Polk csi A4s. Does anyone have a recommendation to replace my crappy surround speakers on the sides or rear? My only concern with the sides is having to mount them while the rears have tall shelves they can sit on.
 
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