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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, the finance committee has given me the marching orders to fill up the media room. It's a small, completely enclosed window free space. Dimensions are 13.5' wide by 17' deep by 8' high. Total volume under 1900 cubic feet.


I'm looking at building the audio portion around a Denon X4000, which realistically should give me plenty of power for the small space when used with a couple of powered subs.


The room will be primarily for movies with some big TV events like football and maybe some gaming. No music planned for this one as I've already go a space for that.


My biggest limitation is going to be speaker size. The bottom of the monster screen is going to be about 24" off the floor, so towers are definitely out. I'm leaning towards a three horizontal center channel speaker arrangement for the LCR with a brand matched pair of surrounds and certainly one and possibly two subs.


My budget for speakers is in the $3000 to $5000 range. In doing some looking, one that has caught my attention is the HSU Ultra 15 setup

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/ultra15pkg.html


With that, I'd probably get the 3.1, get an additional sub and two more HC-1's. That would give me three HC-1's for the fronts, the two HB-1's for surround and the ULS-15's for bass.


I know using the centers in a horizontal arrangement isn't ideal, but I'm already going to have to cut a hole in the back wall and build a 2' deep cave to get the projector far enough back to fill the screen. So, trying to create an arrangement with the speakers behind the screen isn't a practical option for me.


Given these restrictions, how does the HSU setup look? That would run be a bit over $3000, which is on the low end of my budget. I'm willing to spend more if it will payoff in something I'll be able to hear - but I also don't want to just spend money for the sake of spending it, especially given the small space that I need to fill with sound.


So, what other compact speakers should I be considering?
 

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I personally would go with a smaller screen for the room so that you have better options for speaker placement (or, if there is room at the top, move it up higher to allow more space below for the speakers).  To me, the sound is too important to muck up just to have a bigger picture.

 

However, if you are going to do as you are planning, I would use bookshelf speakers for the front, on small stands such that the top of the bookshelf speaker is barely below the screen, and would block the screen if they were any higher.  And also have them angled up a bit.  Or alternatively, I would mount the bookshelf speakers above the screen (with the tweeter end down), aimed slightly down.  A problem with angling the speakers is that it is easy to get the angle wrong.  But unless you are sitting on the floor (or the ceiling, if you mount speakers above the screen), aimed straight out will necessarily be wrong, so you will be better off trying to aim the speakers at the ears of the main viewing position.

 

Neither option will be ideal; ideally, the speakers should be at about ear level.

 

 

By the way, I personally use identical bookshelf speakers all around for my system.  There is no need for tower speakers, because I use subwoofers for the deep bass anyway.  But I place them closer to ear level.
 

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Also keep in mind that the HSU speakers are rear ported so building them into a cubbies isn't the best idea.


Is that screen your got acoustically transparent? If it was then you can keep the speakers behind the screen, giving yourself great audio and a decent visual look.


When building a theater room you really should perfect the sound, mounting the speakers tweeters at seated ear level
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425  /t/1522664/looking-for-advice-for-speaker-setup-for-a-small-home-theater#post_24487264


Also keep in mind that the HSU speakers are rear ported so building them into a cubbies isn't the best idea.


Is that screen your got acoustically transparent? If it was then you can keep the speakers behind the screen, giving yourself great audio and a decent visual look.


When building a theater room you really should perfect the sound, mounting the speakers tweeters at seated ear level

It looks like he was talking about the building a cavity for the projector, not the speakers. As far as that goes, the reason why you wouldn't want to place speakers into an enclosed area is because of reflection, not porting. It is kind of like enlarging their front baffle which affects the axial response. Most speakers sound best with stand-off distances from nearby surfaces to prevent reflection. The sound produced by the ports are mostly the deepest part of the speaker's output, and isn't as affected by reflection since those deep frequencies are essentially omnidirectional in the same way a subwoofer is.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper  /t/1522664/looking-for-advice-for-speaker-setup-for-a-small-home-theater#post_24486377


By the way, I personally use identical bookshelf speakers all around for my system.  There is no need for tower speakers, because I use subwoofers for the deep bass anyway.  But I place them closer to ear level.

Agreed, what the OP described is not at all optimal for great sound quality. If a acoustically transparent screen can not be arranged, I would place the speakers next to the side of the screen to a point where the tweeters are levels with the audience ears. If the center has to be placed that low, so be it, it shouldn't be that bad, but I would use a regular bookshelf speaker instead of horizontal center. Jack ripper is right, the speaker should be as high off the floor as can be arranged and it should be angled at the audience ears. I would not mount the speakers near the ceiling if it can be helped, that has always produced the worst response from what I have read. The ULS-15 is a great sub, but I would swing for a VTF15h if you intend for loud volumes. If you compare the CEA scores on Hsu's product pages, you will see that the VTF15h can hit much higher SPLs than the ULS-15. The ULS gives up SPLs for a smaller size. The VTF15h is quite large, but it is cheaper than the ULS-15. I would recommend calling up Hsu and asking them for advice, they are friendly and should be very helpful.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper  /t/1522664/looking-for-advice-for-speaker-setup-for-a-small-home-theater#post_24486377


I personally would go with a smaller screen for the room so that you have better options for speaker placement (or, if there is room at the top, move it up higher to allow more space below for the speakers).  To me, the sound is too important to muck up just to have a bigger picture.

Right - I agree


Also, I would not spend $4000/5000 for an Audio system, that has been compromised by video priority.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimate_ed  /t/1522664/looking-for-advice-for-speaker-setup-for-a-small-home-theater#post_24486302


The bottom of the monster screen is going to be about 24" off the floor, so towers are definitely out.

based on your room size of 13*17*8 and your statement of your screen 24" from the floor the tallest your screen could be is 6'. using that (assuming standard 16/9 screen) you are looking at a 120" screen being 8' in width, leaving you with more than 2' from the edges of your screen to the side walls, more than enough room for towers
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I appreciate the feedback. I probably could squeeze the bookshelf HB-1's on each side of the screen to get them up higher and just have the center below the screen.


That's also interesting about going with the VTF-15 over the ULS-15. I'll have to dig into that one more. Truth be told, I'd rather have some cylinder subs that would take up less floor space and be taller. I though HSU used to make cylinders but I don't see them on their site anymore. Seems the only ones I still see with cylinders are SVS.


I will give the HSU folks a call and see what they have to say. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by olletsoc  /t/1522664/looking-for-advice-for-speaker-setup-for-a-small-home-theater#post_24487874


based on your room size of 13*17*8 and your statement of your screen 24" from the floor the tallest your screen could be is 6'. using that (assuming standard 16/9 screen) you are looking at a 120" screen being 8' in width, leaving you with more than 2' from the edges of your screen to the side walls, more than enough room for towers

That's probably what the 16:9 portion of the screen does cover. It's actually going to be a 160" scope screen. Displaywars says that would give a 127" 16:9 display.


I had initially been looking at a 136" scope screen, which would give a 108" 16:9 viewable area. That would be the biggest screen I could project given a 15' throw distance - the wife didn't think it was big enough, so that's lead me down this path.
 

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SVS makes great subwoofers, so if you want cylinder subwoofers, go ahead with SVS.  I use a couple of their old Ultra subwoofers, and never plan on upgrading.  The current ones are supposed to be much better than what I have.
 
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