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building a HT, need suggestions based on room size

329 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  TheDudeAbides
I am building a house and have pre-wired for 7.1 surround sound with all 14 guage CL-3 in wall rated Monster Wire. I will be going to Niles Coverplates at every speaker.

My Room is 16'2" x 20' with the TV in the center on the 16'2" side. I currently have a Sony HTIB 5.1 system that is a few years old now. I am definitely going to upgrade but for the size of my room I don't want to overkill.

I was thinking Polk RTi6's for my L/R fronts and L/R rear surrounds with FXi5 bi/dipole speakers as my L/R surrounds. For my center I am looking at the CSi5 or CSi3. Thinking about a Denon Universal DVD player or a Denon 1815 player, and last but not least a Pioneer Elite 52TX or 55tx which would depend if I buy retail (52) or online (55 or maybe better).

Now my questions:

1)I have the L/R surrounds placed just about even with where my seating will be. Should I get direct firing speakers for the side surrounds or the dipole?

2)Does this sound like a good setup to you? Is it overkill for my room, just right, or needs more oomph?

3)I really don't know what Sub would be best for that size room and with those speakers any suggestions here would be nice.

4)What order should I upgrade in so that I get the most out of my new additions to the HT until everything is in place?

Sorry for the long post, thanks for all the advice and help.

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Whew, I think you might be over the top imho. First off, I am not a big believer in the 7.1 thing. I have a big fan of the 5.1 standard. I think 7.1 is a bandaid in many ways. That being said...

Depending on your budget, I like Paradigm speakers. I personally use a pair of Titan's for my fronts, Atoms for my rears and a CC270 center. A HSU STF-2 sub provides the lowend. All of this cost just under $1000 US.

My room is 40x28, but the theater area is 13x25. (the room is not a perfect rectangle). This setup is powered by a Yamaha RX-V640. I use my setup for movie watching and that is about it.

I reviewed the Polks and they are decent, but I like the Paradigm's better and they cost less. I do not feel I need the L/R side surrounds. The sound just washes over the whole area and it is very full. You room is shorter, but a bit wider, so you might benefit from some dipole surrounds, but I don't think so.

As far as subs go, hands down the best sub for the cash (for your room) is the HSU STF-2. It is clean, powerful and unobtrusive. I am sure there are others that are equally great, but not for an MSRP of $399. Best money I ever spent.

On the DVD player, what kind of TV? Rear Projection? I would go with a front overhead projector for that room. It is a great size for a nice LCD or DLP unit. The Denon 2900 is an excellent Universal player and with the new 2910 and 3910 out, shops are discounting them big time. It produces excellent output with great de-interlacing.

Like most other guys, I started thinking small and as I gained knowledge, everything just grew until I was trying to spend 5k on speakers. Luckly I have a nice B&M store that brought me back to earth. The speakers you are looking at are about right for your room, but I think the Paradigm's would serve you better at a lower cost. I can't imagine a better soundstage than these provide and my room is deeper than yours. I think the soundstage would be even tighter and more full.

I would also take a look at the Yamaha receivers. I think they are about the best made and have great output. Even my little 640 really rocks my room and drive the Paradigm's (which are VERY easy to drive, much more so than the Polks) perfectly.

If you are looking to get a new TV, you should seriously consider a ceiling mounted front projector unit. You can have a beautiful 100" image on that 16 ft wall. I have a 92" and I will never go back to regular TV. Period. It don't cost that much either. PM me and we can talk about what I have into my complete system and I can tell you it is a bargain.

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Hi there. I would stick with 5.1, then upgrade to 7.1 if you are not fully satisfied. I considered the 7.1 also and from extensive research, have found that the effort and expense is likely not worth the difference.

Insofar as set-up is concerned...

Speakers: Ascend Acoustics 1 pair Ascend Acoustics 340m (front), 340c (center), and CBM 170's or 340m (surrounds), with a HSU VTF2/3 for subwoofer. BEWARE if you decide to go 7.1, it is recommended that you get the same speakers for the surrounds and rears (this can get expensive if you choose to purchase large surrounds). SVS also makes good subwoofers, but I have experience with the VTF-2 and it is lovely.

Receiver: Pioneer Elite, Denon, Harmon Kardon (can get this as a package on Ascend Acoustics website)... if you are trying to maintain a budget. Otherwise separates are always good, or you could go with Sunfire (very nice)

Speaker Wire: anything brand, just keep it around 12 gauge

Interconnects: bettercables, bluejeanscable, or Acoustic Research (budget)

DVD Player: check out Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity DVD shootouts!

Have fun!
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