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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,


I first posted about speakers in the HI-FI forum but I think this might be more of a HT topic.


I think I'm currently on the wrong track and really would appeciate some guideance. As you can probably tell I don't have alot of knowledge about HT and the sales people I've spoken too only seem to want to make a quick $ and give conflicting information.


I have a new house under construction and would like a decent HT setup. Unfortunately I don't have a dedicated room and the room I do have is petty open. http://www.jkbhomes.com/legends-turlock/p2250-2.jpg (family room)


I currently have a very old sony component system and big wall mounted boise speakers (gave the speakers away actually). I want to replace it all for the new house.


The room will be prewired for 4 wall mounted sat speakers in the four corners since I was told I only need 4 speakers plus the TV and bass which won't be hung. I will be going over the placement with the installer on Sat so if needed I can make changes then. I can't add more after construction easily due to insulation in the interior walls.


The system will be used 80HT/20Music (my husband wants to add an audiotron for mp3s). I need a setup that is good for movies considering a baby will be sleeping upstairs.


Budget for the speakers was set at 2K but that is totally negotiable, in otherwords, I will sweet talk the hubby if needed. :) I wasted 8K on my last system and hated it. Reciever budget is open.


How many speakers do I need? Do I need to have more prewired?

A friend is telling me THX is the way to go, but the contractor for the wiring said dolby digital 5.1. What is your thought?

What type of receiver do I need?
 

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Beth, first, welcome to the forum. Now the response:

Ooh. Kinda hard room to use and get everything done right. What type of display device are you going to use? Rear projection TV, Tube(Direct View) TV, Front Projector???

Based off of these choices, you may want to leave the speakers for the front out of the walls. Don't even bother having those pre-wired, although, it won't hurt for the wires to be there for a later date. In most cases, where you want the sound of the theater to take precidence over the location of speakers, you want to have the right and left speakers at or around the ear level in height and just to the sides of your screen. The center channel should be above the screen, pointed slightly down toward the listeners. The rear speakers can be ceiling or wall mounted, but this all depends on how the room will be layed out and if you are going to do 7 channel or 5 channel sound. Most people with a layout like yours would opt for 5 channel since the speakers can be in the way, unless mounted in the ceiling/walls since they don't want the floor clutter. Remember that most in-wall speakers will use the cavity behind the speaker as a box, and will resonate to some extent, allowing you to hear the speaker on the other side of the wall, in ceiling mount, this would be the floor above it.

Are you getting the three car garage? If so, this would give you the whole wall, except for the fire-place location to use for the screen, otherwise, I am not sure where it would go unless it is in the top, right corner in the picture.

Any more input on what you want out of the room, how you are you going to lay it out....?
 

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Beth,

Dolby Digital is a sound format (encoded onto a DVD), THX is a standard which includes proper room config and post-processing. You will want at least five speakers (left, center, right, left surround, & right surround) and a subwoofer. Some sound formats take advantage of up to 7 channels (add two rear channels). If you are prewiring, I'd run a connection for all 7 with 12 or 14 gauge wire (it's cheaper to run it now instead of later). If budget is a concern, at least run the connection for the rear & side channels (assuming your equipment is in the front of the room).


Sound is subjective so you'll want to listen to speakers prior to purchase. I'd suggest spending $700-1k on the subwoofer and the rest on some bookshelf sized speakers (5*$200). This will give you the best bang/buck (IMO). Do not skimp on the center channel or subwoofer... these are a crucial part of the HT experience. There are a lot of options in this price category (including some excellent internet-direct companies). HTD, Diva, Ascend Acoustics, Paradigm, PSB, Nohr, JBL, SVS, Hsu & Velodyne are some good companies to start looking at. This site has some good reviews of the mentioned equipment (along with receivers).
 

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Beth

That room doesn't look ideal for HT, what you want to consider is where will you be sitting? Where is the TV going to be?( it looks like there might be only one spot in the corner next to the fireplace).I don't know the dimensions of the room but to me it looks like speakers in the four corners are two far from the TV.


You might want to consider the B&W line of speakers. They have some in- wall speakers that match their bookshelf and floor standing speakers. This would eliminate or limit the amount of speakers standing out in the room (while maintaining a high quality of audio IMHO). Since your currently building think about some sound proofing for the baby upstairs.


As Greg states sound is subjective so audition, audition, audition don't make the same mistake and be unhappy with your system.


good luck Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hiya SVonhof, Thanks for the info!


Ok here are some of the answers:


2 car garage and I live in CA so not an option unless I spend a ton on A/C to cool it and remarry because my hubby insists on the garage being used for a car..of all silly things. ;)


TV is a Sony 35inch Trinitron Tube - which weighs a ton I might add. It's only 2 yrs old so not likely to replace it anytime soon though I'd love a flat screen.


We didn't want inwall speakers so that we can change them out later if we prefer and take them with us when we move. We only plan to live in this house for a few years. So we decided to go with small sat wall mounted speakers. I can't run the wires under the floor as the house is on a slab foundation and it's a 2 story so no attic run wires.


I know the layout is horrible for HT but it's what I have to deal with. There isn't even a completed model of the house so I can't plan ahead but as you can see it's pretty open. I don't even have exact measurements of the room to work with. The image I posted isn't up todate but that's all they had on their web site.


Best I can come up with for layout right now is the couch floating in the room facing the fireplace and the TV in the corner between the fireplace and the windows on the next wall. I will have to turn it at an angle. :( Later I want to get an L couch which will float in the room. The only other furniture currently planned for the room is an end table and coffee table so not really of concern.


The current plan by the installer of the speaker wiring is to have the wires in the four corners (not exact corners but nearly). He said the bass could go anywhere we liked and the center on the TV.


I could save alot of $$ by not doing the prewiring but I have a 17 month old who would just love to rip out any wires he can get his exploring little fingers on. He already pushes all the buttons he can reach and steals any remote control he finds in reach. :confused:


The room will be fully insulated if that helps.


I don't know much about channels so I'll take any recommendations I can get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hiya Greg


Thanks for the info. Does the BASS have to be in a set spot? I thought I could place it near the receiver on the floor behind aplant or something so that I don't have to run wires for it during construction.


I can't run anything under the floor as there is no crawl space and I have never seen a wall mounted bass unit.


Hmm I don't even know what gauge wire they will use, though they said it is of the same value/type as monster wire. Does it matter that much for my setup?


Side Channels? Are those the front or rear speakers?



With the setup the contractor suggested I'd have 2 speakers to the front sides and 2 to the back sides plus a bass near the receiver and the center on the TV. Is this wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Greetings Mike,


Yes the room is rather bad for HT or for anything else for that matter. I'd LOVE to have a basement to convert but I don't think they make houses in CA with basements. (I've only lived here for 3.5 years and under protest)


How far from the TV should speakers be? And yes I agree only the corner seems to work for the TV. I'd love to lose the fireplace but it wasn't an option.


This isn't a custom house, they only allow a few tweaks like speaker wiring and networking which we are going to get so my husband can put a computer in every room, including the kitchen. I wish he knew 1/2 as much about HT as he does computers. :rolleyes: I can't do anymore soundproofing than full wall insulation.


However I think with my next house I'll just design the house around the HT room. :D
 

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Beth, is the wall to the left of the fireplace mostly windows out to the patio? How big is the family room anyway and how high are the ceilings? The living room looks workable for a HT set up but I bet that is out huh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The wall is mostly windows to the patio door. I don't know exactly how much wall space I'll have because there wasn't a model of the house we selected. We could only look at a model of a similar house.


Exact room sizes are also unknown, since they changed the layout slightly since the diagram was drawn. The kichen bar is turned 90degrees so the "bar" side is actually opposite from the fireplace now.


Ceilings are 8ft or 9ft I believe.


The living room is actually smaller and we had planned on using it for our son's play room downstairs. And we couldn't figure a good placement for furniture that didn't shine alot of light on the TV.


That's the problem with these new "open" floor plans. Not enough wall space for large items like TVs and A/V racks.


Though, I think with the correct speakers and receiver I can get a pretty good working HT though.
 

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Beth i think you should strongly consider a 7.1 system first of all. get out and listen to several speaker systems before you make a decision, because you need to buy what sounds best to you ,you may have to live with your choice a long time no matter what some one says or thinks,when you have figured out what you want, show the house plans to the people you buy from ,most will help you with the placement . i know this will sound crazy, but here goes don't buy a sub until you have your furniture in place . at this point put the sub in the place you will be setting most of the time, walk around the room until you find a place where the sub sounds best,THAT is where to place the sub,(around the walls of course).
 

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Beth, looking at the link for the picture, it looks like you are buying in Turlock. I am in Manteca, so, about 1/2 hour from you.

Since you will be putting the TV in that top right corner, I would not reccomend that you have the wiring guy pre-wire into all the corners, or even close to them. If the TV is in the corner, then what good are the left and right channels in the side corners from there?


I have a really crappy image editing program at work, so I attached a really crude version of your floorplan where I placed little dots where I would reccomend speakers. The top left speaker would be if you decide to go with 7.1, as well as the bottom right speaker. I wish I had Photoshop at work!


Just out of curiosity, your sub-contractor that you are dealing with for the pre-wire stuff is not from Hyatt Alarm is he? I hope not. If so, we need to talk!
 

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Scott


I like your speaker placement plan. It turnes a room that I thought wasn't that great for HT, into a nice looking HT room IMO. You have my vote for the 7.1. Even if Beth changed the couch placement( L shaped) that would work well .

Mike
 

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Beth, you might start reading up on the Pioneer Elite 49TX receiver. It has an automatic calibration system that would adjust for your room situation.

http://pub106.ezboard.com/faussiedvdandhtforumfrm24


What speaker lines are available for you to listen to in your area?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
SVonhof,


Thanks again for your feedback.


I do like that placement and I'll check into 7.1. JBK Homes is the builder as you can see from the url I posted and they contract with All Scan Alarms. I've not been to impressed thus far.


The first person they assigned to work with us met with us and walked though a model similar to our home to take notes on what we wanted. He recommended 5.1 over 7.1. He was suppose to submit a bid to JKB for the HT wiring but only did so after several requests. Then All Scan apparently replaced him (fired, or whatever I don't know, I was told he no longer works there). Now we have to meet with a new guy for an all new quote. Which I'm sure will also be more expensive.


If it wasn't for the full house insulation I'd skip the prewiring and just do the wiring after we've moved in.


BTW I love your home theater setup on your site. A bit over kill for what I want now with an expensive baby on my hands but someday! Ok in all honestly, he's not that expensive but I spoil him rotten. ;) I see you took pictures as your house was being built. We are doing that as well. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
bburgoyne26,


Thanks for the info but I saw the Pioneer Elite 49TX receiver lists for over 4K and that's abit much for me right now. I need to get speakers and receivers for around that price.


I can't go overboard if I'm gonna try to sweet talk my hubby into a new pool once we move into our new house as well. ;) Then of course there are the outdoor speakers to consider and the master bedroom HT suite and.... Oh this forum is to addictive!
 

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Scott-Great site. I thought my laptop was going to blow!!!

Beth- Check out M&K 85s or their smaller k series.

B&K,Yahmaha,Denon .Parasound,all should make a receiver for you.


Since Scott is only 30 minutes from you...I vote him to help you. Get the beer out!!! It sounds like your builder has no idea what you need!!


Good Luck.


Larry Kosova
 

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Beth,


btw get the remote from your son . When My son(now 3) was 2 he took my Hometheater Master900 and wiped out all my codes with pushing two buttons in a certain sequence. It took me hours to reprogram it!!!


Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ouch! 2 hours..no fun. He thinks it's fun to steal the TIVO remote so he can make it go "beep".


1 of the 2 we had fried and we can't get a replacement so I gave him the old remote (no batteries) as his own. He can tell the difference but still tries to grab the good one at times.


I 2nd that vote! Just let me know what kind of beer to buy. ;)
 

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You know Beth, I have tried to convince my friend who lives in Ripon, slightly closer to you than I am, and commutes into the Bay Area (70 miles) every day to actually start his own business. He installs and configures alarms now in commercial applications, but I tried to convince him to start quoting the builders. The guy we had that I was talking about was so clue-less that not one of our neighbors was happy with him, and he ended up getting fired. The new guy that they have now doesn't even pre-wire the alarm for the man-door that goes outside from the garage. So, um, hello, don't most people store stuff in their garage? Some people have expensive stuff in there! Anyway, I told him to start quoting the builders since he knows alarms and costs and then when it gets down to the A/V stuff, I would help him until he knows what he is doing on his own. I tried! I know he would have much better customer service than any of the people I have heard of!

As far as me helping, I would love to, except the builder would not allow me in there to do anything, since I am not licenced. We tried that in our house.
 
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