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Discussion Starter #21
Essentially you can build a frame, then staple a layer of white spandex over a layer of black spandex to the frame.
Thanks sigpig. Your directions are clear. So, dumb question 馃槄, how far do you place the screen from the wall, so you have enough space to walk behind it when needed ? like to change the speakers etc ? I'm also wondering how do I stop kids from running behind the screen. I know, that's a problem I need to deal with from time to time.

I'm guessing the distance from the screen to the wall depend on if I am using any in-wall speakers or all floor standing ones. Correct?
 

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I've done the Spandex AT screen before. Do understand, it's a comparatively low-gain screen... somewhere between 0.6-0.7. I was quite happy when I went from the Spandex back to a vinyl screen (improved color saturation/pop, brightness, blacks, everything)... and then felt I didn't lose any of that moving to a commercial AT screen. If you're going to DIY a screen, I would at least try to use purpose-made screen material for best results. There are options that, while not quite as cheap as spandex, are still extremely affordable.
 
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I'm with you on the biggest/best center. So, given my budget of $500-600 per speaker, if I can convince my wife to let me get a speaker the size of the Emotiva C2+ (32" x 11" x 14"), what should I go for? Still the C2+ ? I'll stick with the Monolith 365IW for the LRs
The C2+ may well be the best center for under $1K, imo.

If you want something front ported and in a nicer bamboo cabinet, there's the Ascend Sierra Horizon at $1K (skip the RAAL upgrade).
 

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Discussion Starter #24
The C2+ may well be the best center for under $1K, imo.

If you want something front ported and in a nicer bamboo cabinet, there's the Ascend Sierra Horizon at $1K (skip the RAAL upgrade).
I'll happily go with the C2+. Don't want to spend double the money for the Horizon.

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Discussion Starter #25
I have the Monoprice THX-LCR (3x behind a 2.35:1 AT Screen) and they are phenomenal in terms of sound quality (very neutral), output (they handle as much as you can throw at them), and build quality (extremely solid). My big gripes that would point me towards recommending the THX-365IW instead are their width and dog-ear location/orientation. They take up absolutely every millimeter of space between a standard 16" OC stud cavity, meaning you're completely at the mercy of your stud locations in terms of mounting. They also don't allow the side-facing dog-ears to completely extend and grab sheetrock, leaving you with 2-4 dog-ears fully-engaged with sheetrock and the rest simply wedging into the studs. The front baffle is extremely rigid and, in practice, this hasn't been an issue in my installation but it is a poorly thought-out design. For a speaker this wide that takes up every bit of a stud cavity, they really should have used vertically-oriented rail-style mounts on the sides and regular dog-ears in the middle. Also, it's good you're already planning for proper amplification since they're 4ohm nominal and 3.2ohm min speakers... my Marantz SR6011 got hotter than normal (and it already gets pretty hot) driving them even in 4ohm mode, but the Emotiva XPA-3 I picked up for them doesn't even flinch.

While I don't think that placement would be ideal for a center speaker, I don't think it would be totally detrimental either... but I do think Zorba's recommendation of a free-standing THX-365C with some aiming towards the listening position would offer some flexibility and overall improvement. Depending on the width of your seating, you could also experiment with running a phantom center before taking the plunge on either another 365IW or a 365C. We decided to so in my brother's theater which is a similar layout and, given a fairly wide speaker placement and fairly narrow seating area (a 3-seat couch in front and 2-seat cup-holder love-seat on the second row), it worked surprisingly well. I'm not a timbre-matching fanatic as fas as center-speakers go, but I'm not a disbeliever either... from an output standpoint, I don't think the 365C will have any issue keeping up with the matching in-walls, but I don't think you can go wrong with the C2+ either.

I'd also agree with Zorba on skipping the rear surrounds due to proximity to the listening position and the potential for lobbing, as well as lowering the side surrounds... if you can't lower them enough to get the tweeter just-above ear-level, flip them upside down to get it there if you can). I'd also say that, if your image implies you're planning on going .4 Atmos with the indicated speaker locations, it's completely sub-optimal. Your front Atmos channels need to be WAY further towards the front (check the Dolby layout guides) and your rear Atmos channels should probably be closer to where the front two are indicated in your image. If you can't budge on those locations, I'd simply do .2 with the Atmos channels as far forward on the soffit as you can get them.
Stephen, Sorry, I forgot you had feedback on the atmos speaker locations too. If I move the front 2 atmos speakers off of the bulkhead on the the higher ceiling, I thought there would be sound reflections due to the sound hitting the bulkhead before it reaches the listening position. Then I realized that won't happen since the speakers won't be that high angled. Looking at the following image on Dolby's website, looking at the 45 degree angle, since the average distance from our heads to the ceiling is 5' (9' ceiling) , then the speakers need to be placed 5 feet forwards and behind from our position. Since the bulkhead isn't 10' wide, that places the front speakers at least 3-4 feet off from the bulkhead.

3047605
 

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If you CAN get them off the bulkhead and get them near/at the Dolby-recommended angles, do so. If there's something keeping you from getting them in front of you (wiring access, etc.), then I would fall back to 5.1.2 and simply have the two speakers overhead as such:

 

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Discussion Starter #27
If you CAN get them off the bulkhead and get them near/at the Dolby-recommended angles, do so. If there's something keeping you from getting them in front of you (wiring access, etc.), then I would fall back to 5.1.2 and simply have the two speakers overhead as such:

I believe I can get the front 2 atmos speakers off the bulk head. The builder said we can still change the final speaker positions prior to the drywall being put up. If not, I'll go with your suggestion of just 2 atmos speakers. I'm hoping that Pioneer's MCACC will set the volume levels correctly since the front two atmos speakers will be at 9' height and the rear two at 8' height (due to bulk head). I'm still gonna let the builder wire in the rear surrounds, but forgo putting in actual speakers since folks here said they are too close to the MLP and not ideal.

Thanks again.
 

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All of the above sounds like a logical path. I don't think MCACC will have any issue with the height differences (since it has no issue with disparate distances of bed-level speakers). Depending on your seating location, I would get the rear Atmos speaker as far forward off the rear wall while still staying in/near the Dolby guidelines, just to prevent as much reflection from the rear wall as possible. If you can't some sound-absorbing panels on that rear wall that go to/near the ceiling would likely help in that regard as well as with first reflections from your other speakers as well (if room treatments are on your radar anyway).
 
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Discussion Starter #29
All of the above sounds like a logical path. I don't think MCACC will have any issue with the height differences (since it has no issue with disparate distances of bed-level speakers). Depending on your seating location, I would get the rear Atmos speaker as far forward off the rear wall while still staying in/near the Dolby guidelines, just to prevent as much reflection from the rear wall as possible. If you can't some sound-absorbing panels on that rear wall that go to/near the ceiling would likely help in that regard as well as with first reflections from your other speakers as well (if room treatments are on your radar anyway).
I'll work with the builder to move the rear speakers then. I'm hoping since I'm using RSL c34e's that there will be les reflection off the backwall. The speakers have an aimable tweeter and the woofers are already angled. I just need to make sure they are placed in the ceiling with the woofers pointing towards the MLP.

I don't have any plans for room treatments as of yet, but we'll see....

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The RSLs will indeed help limit rear wall reflections, but may (or may not) also make the Dolby placement guidelines less exact since they relate to in-ceiling speakers with wide dispersion firing downward. How to quantify the best way to adapt the placement guidelines is something I can't speak to, but I'm sure those that have successfully used the RSLs in this application (which is plenty of folks) will be able to.
 
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