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I’m currently building my first home theater and as I delve into it, I find that it’s much more involved than I could have imagined. I have my layout and plan laid out below. Would you please provide your feedback and suggestions? I hired a HT specialist and he has finished the framing and the electrical and just passed inspection. Next week is insulation and dry wall. What I seem to need the most help with is the speakers. I was going to go with Klipsch Reference Premier series due to word of mouth reviews from friends. My HT guy is a dealer for Klipsch and Episode and states that Episodes are far superior. The reviews are few and the pricing hard to get due to them being dealer only. From what I have found so far the Episodes seem like pretty good speakers but not top of the line, which is fine by me. I want the best quality sound I can get within a reasonable budget and for the purpose I will include in the description below.

Room Dimensions: 12’Wx23’Lx9’H
Configuration: 7.2.2
AVR: Marantz SR7013

Speakers:
Front: Episode 900 series tower with 6 1/2” woofers
Center: Episode 900 series center channel ES-HT900-IWLCR-6 with dual 6 1/2” woofers
Surrounds:Episode 700 series LCR
Ceiling surrounds: Episode 700 series LCR in-ceiling ES-HT700-ICLCR
Subwoofers: Episode Evolution Series Powered Sub 12” and an Episode Evolution sealed sub ES-SUB-EVO8-110 10”
*I’m not locked into these subs. I’m also interested in comparing them with SVS, HSU, or Rhythmik.

My HT use: Action and comedy movies and streaming shows. I’m not concerned with listening to music.

Display: 106” Dragonfly Fixed 16-9 Ultra White Projection Screen with high gain and texture free
Projector: Epson 4K ProCinema 6040UB OR also thinking about going JVC line, I’m not sure on this.

Automation: RTI XP3 Control System Processor
Extras: Sanus CFR2127-B1 27U mount rack with shelves/fans,
Panasonic DP-UB820 4K Ultra HD blu-ray player, dubbed the next Oppo by High Def Digest, Tech Radar and AV Hub
Ultra Roku
Dedicated breaker and ethernet/modem

Now the painful part. All of this is coming with a heafty price tag of 19k.

$7.6k on the Episode speakers and $1.1k for the two subs for a total of $8.7k for all speakers. This is also after I asked him to reduce the price, which he did.

Can I find better speakers for this amount or less? My HT guy says he would put the episode subs up against SVS when I asked him but I don’t really believe that. SVS seems to have great subs. Problem is that I don’t know much anything about speakers so I don’t even know where to begin but I don’t to be wasting money or wishing I did this differently a few months down the road. I know that ON wall speakers are better for sound than IN wall speakers, however I also like the clean look of the in walls and that they have backboxes. I also have 5 kids so I don’t want them getting ahold of and damaging anything expensive. Anything else about my set up that needs attention?

Any help would be great!
 

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Who said that on-wall speakers are better for sound than in-wall speakers? I would love to talk to talk to that person because they are dead wrong. In-wall speakers have come a long. If in-wall speakers are installed correctly and have back boxes that are sound proofed correctly they eliminate a some of the problem that cabinet raise like the elimination of wall refection, more gain, use of AT Screens for projectors and surround, surround back and Atmos speakers (in-ceiling) finally they take up less space and have a clean look.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Who said that on-wall speakers are better for sound than in-wall speakers? I would love to talk to talk to that person because they are dead wrong. In-wall speakers have come a long. If in-wall speakers are installed correctly and have back boxes that are sound proofed correctly they eliminate a some of the problem that cabinet raise like the elimination of wall refection, more gain, use of AT Screens for projectors and surround, surround back and Atmos speakers (in-ceiling) finally they take up less space and have a clean look.
That’s great to hear! I’m not afraid to admit that I don’t know much in this industry and am willing to learn. I simply regurgitated what I saw on this forum that stated on wall’s were better, but that is obviously not the standard. What’s your in wall speakers of choice?
 

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That’s great to hear! I’m not afraid to admit that I don’t know much in this industry and am willing to learn. I simply regurgitated what I saw on this forum that stated on wall’s were better, but that is obviously not the standard. What’s your in wall speakers of choice?
I personally have 5 Bowers & Wilkins CWM7.3 In-walls and 4 CCM682 in-ceiling and two JL Audio F112v2 subs for a 5.2.4 setup. I was by no means ridiculing you with my statement, I am sorry if it came off that way. I will that though that good in-wall speakers are not cheap and if on a tight budget cabinet speakers may be a better value in terms of price. Kef, JBL Synthesis, James Audio are others that I am familiar. There are many others that can be recommended but I will not comment on what I have not heard. triad which I know nothing about seems to be a forum favorite for in-walls as well. After having my in-walls for three years now I would hard pressed to go back to a cabinet speaker.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh no worries, I didn’t take any offense! I saw two floor standing B & W speakers at Best Buy half off for open box, which seemed like a great deal but still holding off for possible in walls. I’m looking trying to get all speakers for around 8k or less.
 

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Oh no worries, I didn’t take any offense! I saw two floor standing B & W speakers at Best Buy half off for open box, which seemed like a great deal but still holding off for possible in walls. I’m looking trying to get all speakers for around 8k or less.
If the 8k does not include subs you can get some excellent in-walls including B&W and Kef in-walls. Also when it comes to Atmos 5.1.4 will sound better than 7.1.2? 4 Atmos speaker sound better than 2. Where do you live?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If the 8k does not include subs you can get some excellent in-walls including B&W and Kef in-walls. Also when it comes to Atmos 5.1.4 will sound better than 7.1.2? 4 Atmos speaker sound better than 2. Where do you live?
It pretty much does include sub cost cause that’s already getting pretty expensive. I read here that in ceiling only adds very little to the overall experience which is why I had planned on just two. Do you think the difference is significant? I’m in Atlanta.
 

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It pretty much does include sub cost cause that’s already getting pretty expensive. I read here that in ceiling only adds very little to the overall experience which is why I had planned on just two. Do you think the difference is significant? I’m in Atlanta.
I was going to say if you lived in near Arlington VA. I could have hooked you up with my buddy who works at a Best Buy magnolia design center who could hook you up, in other words you would not be paying list price. Personally I started out with 2 atmos speakers than moved to 4 and it was big difference in my room. When I used the Audyessy app and took out the MRC (mid Range compensation) I noticed a huge difference in the atmos speakers. The receiver you are getting has the Audyessy App capabilities (Marantz SR7013) If you are set on doing 7.1.2 I recommend having your ceiling wired for 6 ceiling speakers so if you want to add two more atmos speakers you do not have to cut up your ceiling a second time. For example for 7.1.2 you want your atmos speakers at 90 degrees from the MLP which is lined up side to side with your MLP seating position. for 7.1.4 you would want your atmos speakers 45 degrees in front of the MLP and then 45 degrees behind the MLP. So if you were wire for 6 speakers all you have to do is cut the drywall on the ceiling for the 4 wires left in the ceiling capped off and then then have somebody take two of the circles cut our for the 4 speakers with the wire already in the ceiling patch up the two you will be closing up at 90 degrees position. Most will say that they wish when they had the ceiling open they had wired their ceiling for the extra ceiling speakers. It can get pricey having someone come out and run speaker wire through the ceiling if you can't do it yourself.
 

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Here is .02 cents -

Whatever speaker you decide on buying, you may want to consider how easy or hard it would be to resell them at a later date.

https://youtu.be/eKHikXjSxgo?t=73


After enjoying my first home theater for a few years, it made me more aware of what I personally like, and dislike in sound.

YMMV
 

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It's your money but I honestly believe you don't need too spend so much to get quality speakers. I'm no audiophile but everything ive researched points to the bulk of that money being profit and not actually being superior quality. There's a price to performance drop off... diminishing returns and it's up to you to test things before actually committing. Do you feel that you can be easily persuaded? I'd go out on my own and test for myself. You can save a lot of money as well if you're handy... especially on the subs. Even if you aren't to handy(as in to cut or have the tools to do so). You could purchase flat packs from John and buy your own drivers and save a ton. It's up to you and what you want to do but honestly I'd say build the sun's at least very few out there can touch DIY subs.
 

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You have a long room but fairly narrow. Is this two rows of seating and how far back from screen to seating?
If you want inwall speakers I would advocate for a 125" screen that is acoustically transparent. The Silver Ticket screens are quite good and very affordable.

This would allow you to put the inwall speaker behind the screen and would allow optimal tweeter placement and allow you to buy three matching vertical speakers across your front three.

I would also advocate for 4 Atmos ceiling speakers. Episode speakers are good but this is one of those highly marked up speakers that only installers/limited dealer carry.

I have spent quite a bit of time listening to inwall speakers and two of my favorite are Totem Kin and Triad Silver/gold series. Kef are good too. Both the Totem and Trad in-wall series of speakers have built in backer boxes.

I would 100% buy dual subs from an internet direct company, such as PSA, HSu, Monolith, SVS, or Ryhtmik.

3 Totem Kin inwall mains along with 2 Kin surrounds (in wall) and four Kin inceiling speakers should come in around $5500 based on normal pricing. You might be able to get it under $5K. That leaves you plenty for dual subs from the aforementioned sub vendors. That would be a killer setup. Triad is withing budget too.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was going to say if you lived in near Arlington VA. I could have hooked you up with my buddy who works at a Best Buy magnolia design center who could hook you up, in other words you would not be paying list price. Personally I started out with 2 atmos speakers than moved to 4 and it was big difference in my room. When I used the Audyessy app and took out the MRC (mid Range compensation) I noticed a huge difference in the atmos speakers. The receiver you are getting has the Audyessy App capabilities (Marantz SR7013) If you are set on doing 7.1.2 I recommend having your ceiling wired for 6 ceiling speakers so if you want to add two more atmos speakers you do not have to cut up your ceiling a second time. For example for 7.1.2 you want your atmos speakers at 90 degrees from the MLP which is lined up side to side with your MLP seating position. for 7.1.4 you would want your atmos speakers 45 degrees in front of the MLP and then 45 degrees behind the MLP. So if you were wire for 6 speakers all you have to do is cut the drywall on the ceiling for the 4 wires left in the ceiling capped off and then then have somebody take two of the circles cut our for the 4 speakers with the wire already in the ceiling patch up the two you will be closing up at 90 degrees position. Most will say that they wish when they had the ceiling open they had wired their ceiling for the extra ceiling speakers. It can get pricey having someone come out and run speaker wire through the ceiling if you can't do it yourself.
Excellent advice. I will have him wire it now since it’s still in the beginning stages and no dry wall yet. Yeah too bad I’m pretty far away! Thanks for the help with positioning. I could go 7.2.4 set up but would that be worth it? I figure it’s much more inexpensive to do it all now while the building is ongoing rather than trying to change things up down the road.

Here is .02 cents -

Whatever speaker you decide on buying, you may want to consider how easy or hard it would be to resell them at a later date.



After enjoying my first home theater for a few years, it made me more aware of what I personally like, and dislike in sound.

YMMV
As this is my very first home theater and never buying speakers before, I am pretty unaware of what is good or what I would like. I’ve gone to the Magnolia centers to listen to different speakers and it has helped but think this will be refined as I increase my exposure.

You might look at Triad and Totem for in-wall options.
Will do thanks

It's your money but I honestly believe you don't need too spend so much to get quality speakers. I'm no audiophile but everything ive researched points to the bulk of that money being profit and not actually being superior quality. There's a price to performance drop off... diminishing returns and it's up to you to test things before actually committing. Do you feel that you can be easily persuaded? I'd go out on my own and test for myself. You can save a lot of money as well if you're handy... especially on the subs. Even if you aren't to handy(as in to cut or have the tools to do so). You could purchase flat packs from John and buy your own drivers and save a ton. It's up to you and what you want to do but honestly I'd say build the sun's at least very few out there can touch DIY subs.
Yes that’s what I’m looking to find, the good performing speakers before the rate of return on quality versus mark up costs make it more unappealing. Oh and I suck at any DIY home projects. I’ve never been very handy and really don’t have time to try and learn with 5 kids.

You have a long room but fairly narrow. Is this two rows of seating and how far back from screen to seating?
If you want inwall speakers I would advocate for a 125" screen that is acoustically transparent. The Silver Ticket screens are quite good and very affordable.

This would allow you to put the inwall speaker behind the screen and would allow optimal tweeter placement and allow you to buy three matching vertical speakers across your front three.

I would also advocate for 4 Atmos ceiling speakers. Episode speakers are good but this is one of those highly marked up speakers that only installers/limited dealer carry.

I have spent quite a bit of time listening to inwall speakers and two of my favorite are Totem Kin and Triad Silver/gold series. Kef are good too. Both the Totem and Trad in-wall series of speakers have built in backer boxes.

I would 100% buy dual subs from an internet direct company, such as PSA, HSu, Monolith, SVS, or Ryhtmik.

3 Totem Kin inwall mains along with 2 Kin surrounds (in wall) and four Kin inceiling speakers should come in around $5500 based on normal pricing. You might be able to get it under $5K. That leaves you plenty for dual subs from the aforementioned sub vendors. That would be a killer setup. Triad is withing budget too.
Yes I will have two rows of 4 seats. Good to know on the Silver Ticket. I have 2k budgeted for a screen and will look at them. I will look into added two more Atmos ceiling speakers. I’d rather get it right the first time then live to regret it a couple months later! What Atmos in ceiling speakers do you prefer? I will check out those brands you mentioned and put together a price comparison package. What subs would you go with in a room this size? First row of seat will be approximately 12’ from the screen and then the second row will be on the riser about 18’ away.
 

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8700 on HT speakers...........fine if you got the money to blow and could care less. Never audition Episode speakers but know they are more of dealer only company. Anytime companies do that it usually turns out to be a decent product but hugely inflated. In the audio world consumers are already dealing with massive inflation of prices. For example, many years ago I sold audio equipment and as an employee I could buy at cost and almost every speaker was minimum 50% mark up. I could buy two for the price of one the consumer was buying all day long if not better. Also the reps for the companies would offer deals to employees. Many times those deals were another 10 to 25% off of what my employee cost was. For HT use I think spending over 8K on speakers and subs is just overkill unless your very anal about your sounds. I bet you a 3k to 3.5K setup with about half of that going to subs will sound just as good in HT use. I think most would have hard time telling the two apart if they walked in blindly into a room.


Solid receiver you got picked out and nothing wrong with it. Might save some money if they have a 7012 still there (FYI you can pick it up off accessories4less for $949 ). Basically same unit as the 7013.


Personally, for HT use primarily I would focus on very good quality subs like HSU, Ryhtmik, PSA, SVS. Make sure you look at ported subs for HT as they usually dig deeper. I would look at two 12" or 15" subs for that room. I feel quite confident those company's equivalent subs will out perform the Episode subs and chances are with ease. This is one area of HT that cheaper is rarely better. Anything below $400 a sub is not going to sound better than one of those companies above $800 sub.

Next is focus in your center channel. It's either one or number two most important part of it all. Get out and listen to a bunch and build it around that. I can not stress it enough that price and sound quality in the speaker world rarely go hand in hand. There is $300 speakers that will give $1200 speakers a run for there money and in HT use both will sound great. Getting into the more musical side is where $1200 speaker is going to pull away.


JVC projector is the way to go with your budget and dedicated HT room or the Sony’s VPL-VW295ES (true native 4K for just under 5K). Spend more here and save on that speaker package they are trying to sell you. Also very soon the replacement for that Epson will be coming out. The Epson is a great projector by the way.

Silver ticket screens are solid also and priced good. Many times a $350 screen compared to a 3K screen is really getting nit picky in picture quality and many would never notice a single difference.


Have fun with it all just remember take price out of the picture when listening to speakers. Maybe check out some internet direct speaker companies like Emotiva that are praised up and down by many on the forums.
 

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Excellent advice. I will have him wire it now since it’s still in the beginning stages and no dry wall yet. Yeah too bad I’m pretty far away! Thanks for the help with positioning. I could go 7.2.4 set up but would that be worth it? I figure it’s much more inexpensive to do it all now while the building is ongoing rather than trying to change things up down the road.



As this is my very first home theater and never buying speakers before, I am pretty unaware of what is good or what I would like. I’ve gone to the Magnolia centers to listen to different speakers and it has helped but think this will be refined as I increase my exposure.



Will do thanks



Yes that’s what I’m looking to find, the good performing speakers before the rate of return on quality versus mark up costs make it more unappealing. Oh and I suck at any DIY home projects. I’ve never been very handy and really don’t have time to try and learn with 5 kids.



Yes I will have two rows of 4 seats. Good to know on the Silver Ticket. I have 2k budgeted for a screen and will look at them. I will look into added two more Atmos ceiling speakers. I’d rather get it right the first time then live to regret it a couple months later! What Atmos in ceiling speakers do you prefer? I will check out those brands you mentioned and put together a price comparison package. What subs would you go with in a room this size? First row of seat will be approximately 12’ from the screen and then the second row will be on the riser about 18’ away.
That's a good budget for your screen I would also look at the V6 line of AT screens that AVS sells. I would also advocate getting the new 4K JVC projector or the RS540 over that Epson. I've owned them all (Epson, BenQ, Optoma, JVC) and the JVC projectors really shine in a dedicated room. Talk to a Mike Garret here at AVSforum sales he can talk to you about screens and projectors.

I don't own the Totem Kins but I will say this. I demoed them in a very expensive demo room and even against more expensive inwalls I thought the Kins were the best sounding. And that was against some speakers that cost more than double.

For subs I would go with dual 15 ported subs or perhaps dual PSA V1811. Our rooms are very similar and I am running dual Monolith 15 subs and love them. They pressurize the room and provide plenty of tactile response, but they have a very tight sound. Audioholics has a good review on them with measurements. They are a very low distortion sub with a tight accurate sound. No distorted boomy bass. I have one up front (center wall) and one behind my seats on the back riser (center wall). They are not small.. But you have lots of options here. Ryhtmik also makes some gerat subs for clean accurate bass.


For Atmos inceiling you can go with the matching Kin's but I am a huge fan of the RSL in ceiling speakers designed for Atmos. You want wide dispersion for Atmos and the RSL have amiable woofer and tweeter. Lots of us here use them and they are very inexpensive which allow you to put more money towards your projector or other gear.

One more thing. I would wire from your rack to your seating area (just standard speaker wire) for bass shakers for your chairs. That was my latest upgrade for my theater room and they are a blast!
 

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One more option to let you think about. Many of us in the dedicated theater room forum have built "false walls" using AT screens with floor standing or bookshelf speakers behind them. You lose about 2' but this opens up tons of speaker options.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
8700 on HT speakers...........fine if you got the money to blow and could care less. Never audition Episode speakers but know they are more of dealer only company. Anytime companies do that it usually turns out to be a decent product but hugely inflated. In the audio world consumers are already dealing with massive inflation of prices. For example, many years ago I sold audio equipment and as an employee I could buy at cost and almost every speaker was minimum 50% mark up. I could buy two for the price of one the consumer was buying all day long if not better. Also the reps for the companies would offer deals to employees. Many times those deals were another 10 to 25% off of what my employee cost was. For HT use I think spending over 8K on speakers and subs is just overkill unless your very anal about your sounds. I bet you a 3k to 3.5K setup with about half of that going to subs will sound just as good in HT use. I think most would have hard time telling the two apart if they walked in blindly into a room.


Solid receiver you got picked out and nothing wrong with it. Might save some money if they have a 7012 still there (FYI you can pick it up off accessories4less for $949 ). Basically same unit as the 7013.


Personally, for HT use primarily I would focus on very good quality subs like HSU, Ryhtmik, PSA, SVS. Make sure you look at ported subs for HT as they usually dig deeper. I would look at two 12" or 15" subs for that room. I feel quite confident those company's equivalent subs will out perform the Episode subs and chances are with ease. This is one area of HT that cheaper is rarely better. Anything below $400 a sub is not going to sound better than one of those companies above $800 sub.

Next is focus in your center channel. It's either one or number two most important part of it all. Get out and listen to a bunch and build it around that. I can not stress it enough that price and sound quality in the speaker world rarely go hand in hand. There is $300 speakers that will give $1200 speakers a run for there money and in HT use both will sound great. Getting into the more musical side is where $1200 speaker is going to pull away.


JVC projector is the way to go with your budget and dedicated HT room or the Sony’s VPL-VW295ES (true native 4K for just under 5K). Spend more here and save on that speaker package they are trying to sell you. Also very soon the replacement for that Epson will be coming out. The Epson is a great projector by the way.

Silver ticket screens are solid also and priced good. Many times a $350 screen compared to a 3K screen is really getting nit picky in picture quality and many would never notice a single difference.


Have fun with it all just remember take price out of the picture when listening to speakers. Maybe check out some internet direct speaker companies like Emotiva that are praised up and down by many on the forums.
I’d rather not blow money just for a pricier speaker but get a better performing speaker as you mentioned. I was originally going to go with the 7012 and that price you mentioned makes it very appealing. Looks like I got some more homework to do to find a better center channel and screen. Appreciate the input!

That's a good budget for your screen I would also look at the V6 line of AT screens that AVS sells. I would also advocate getting the new 4K JVC projector or the RS540 over that Epson. I've owned them all (Epson, BenQ, Optoma, JVC) and the JVC projectors really shine in a dedicated room. Talk to a Mike Garret here at AVSforum sales he can talk to you about screens and projectors.

I don't own the Totem Kins but I will say this. I demoed them in a very expensive demo room and even against more expensive inwalls I thought the Kins were the best sounding. And that was against some speakers that cost more than double.

For subs I would go with dual 15 ported subs or perhaps dual PSA V1811. Our rooms are very similar and I am running dual Monolith 15 subs and love them. They pressurize the room and provide plenty of tactile response, but they have a very tight sound. Audioholics has a good review on them with measurements. They are a very low distortion sub with a tight accurate sound. No distorted boomy bass. I have one up front (center wall) and one behind my seats on the back riser (center wall). They are not small.. But you have lots of options here. Ryhtmik also makes some gerat subs for clean accurate bass.


For Atmos inceiling you can go with the matching Kin's but I am a huge fan of the RSL in ceiling speakers designed for Atmos. You want wide dispersion for Atmos and the RSL have amiable woofer and tweeter. Lots of us here use them and they are very inexpensive which allow you to put more money towards your projector or other gear.

One more thing. I would wire from your rack to your seating area (just standard speaker wire) for bass shakers for your chairs. That was my latest upgrade for my theater room and they are a blast!
yes I love the tight bass instead of the bass all the time unnecessary rattle! I will check those subs out. I was thinking of doing two different sized subs for the different ranges. Thoughts on that? Should both be ported? I was going to do one ported and one not. I’m going to look at the RSL’s. I like that idea. What model do you suggest? Tell me more about the bass shakers, that sounds fun. Is that select seating or an add on item? I’m going to check out those totem kins, emotive and a couple others people have suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
One more option to let you think about. Many of us in the dedicated theater room forum have built "false walls" using AT screens with floor standing or bookshelf speakers behind them. You lose about 2' but this opens up tons of speaker options.
This sounds interesting. Can you tell me more about this please? I apologize for my ignorance.
 
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