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The wife has given me a $5-7k (she says no more than 5!) budget to update the home theater speakers/receiver in our being-remodeled great room. Her only requirement is no standing speakers despite my acoustical suggestions on the benefits of floor standing speakers. Though I think I've been able to make a case to keep the sub outside the walls.

I've previously had a 7.1 setup using a Denon 3805, 5 JBL THX bookshelf speakers (3 LCR and 2 dipole sides) and 2 Altec Lansing THX rears. Initially I'll probably keep the Definitive 15" sub and the current 60" Pioneer 1080p Plasma (though a later update would be to an 80" 4k TV. So in-wall LCR speakers will be placed with that size in mind).
Currently looking at the Onkyo TX-NR1030 (which is part of my budget). Second more expensive choice would be the Marantz SR7009
Main use is Tv, Movies, Music (classical, progressive, metal).

Attached a drawing of the new triple purpose great room. The ceilings are 8' with a 1' high box ceiling lift in the living room.

I doodled in green where I was thinking of placing the 3 in-wall LCR fronts (center under the tv) and 2 in-ceiling surrounds at the far back along with 4 atmos directed in-ceiling speakers within the 9' ceiling box. 5.1.4 setup. Is this a good setup for this room taking advantage of an atmos processor if all surrounds are stuck in the ceilings and using highly dispersive speakers? Is there a better way to arrange a ceiling surround setup? 7.1.2? Is 7.1.4 moreso needed with to make movies sound great with such an open room beyond the theater?

So far looking at Klipsch, B&W, Speakercraft, and Definitive as choices that have a large grouping of in-wall/in-ceiling paintable-grill speakers at varying price points with direction adjustable and some timbre-matched ceiling/wall speakers. Sadly atmos wise I've only been able to demo B&W and that was using up-bounce speakers into an acoustic-absorbing ceiling (Magnolia). I'm slightly leaning toward the Klipsch based on reviews but I've only been able to demo their floor standing speakers.

I tried contacting Speakercraft for information but zero email or phone calls back. Is Speakercraft (which seems to be one line under an umbrella company) dying off?
 

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The wife has given me a $5-7k (she says no more than 5!) budget to update the home theater speakers/receiver in our being-remodeled great room. Her only requirement is no standing speakers despite my acoustical suggestions on the benefits of floor standing speakers. Though I think I've been able to make a case to keep the sub outside the walls.

I've previously had a 7.1 setup using a Denon 3805, 5 JBL THX bookshelf speakers (3 LCR and 2 dipole sides) and 2 Altec Lansing THX rears. Initially I'll probably keep the Definitive 15" sub and the current 60" Pioneer 1080p Plasma (though a later update would be to an 80" 4k TV. So in-wall LCR speakers will be placed with that size in mind).
Currently looking at the Onkyo TX-NR1030 (which is part of my budget). Second more expensive choice would be the Marantz SR7009
Main use is Tv, Movies, Music (classical, progressive, metal).

Attached a drawing of the new triple purpose great room. The ceilings are 8' with a 1' high box ceiling lift in the living room.

I doodled in green where I was thinking of placing the 3 in-wall LCR fronts (center under the tv) and 2 in-ceiling surrounds at the far back along with 4 atmos directed in-ceiling speakers within the 9' ceiling box. 5.1.4 setup. Is this a good setup for this room taking advantage of an atmos processor if all surrounds are stuck in the ceilings and using highly dispersive speakers? Is there a better way to arrange a ceiling surround setup? 7.1.2? Is 7.1.4 moreso needed with to make movies sound great with such an open room beyond the theater?

So far looking at Klipsch, B&W, Speakercraft, and Definitive as choices that have a large grouping of in-wall/in-ceiling paintable-grill speakers at varying price points with direction adjustable and some timbre-matched ceiling/wall speakers. Sadly atmos wise I've only been able to demo B&W and that was using up-bounce speakers into an acoustic-absorbing ceiling (Magnolia). I'm slightly leaning toward the Klipsch based on reviews but I've only been able to demo their floor standing speakers.

I tried contacting Speakercraft for information but zero email or phone calls back. Is Speakercraft (which seems to be one line under an umbrella company) dying off?
Since you have yet to buy a receiver, I would most definitely hold out a little longer and get something with DTS:X built-in along with Dolby Atmos. Just a few more months for gear. DTS's official X announcement is April 9th.

The other problem with your design... in order to take advantage of Atmos and X formats, you need surrounds at just above ear level with overheads for the height information to get separation between the layers. Otherwise, you won't get the 3D sound field necessary for object based audio mixing. The in-ceiling surrounds coupled to the Atmos/X designated height speakers will do you no good. Your wife is going to need to allow you to place side surrounds on stands near the couch. It just won't work otherwise...

If she will not budge no matter how much you beg and give in to her Honey-Do list then Atmos and X are out of the cards for you in that particular room.

I would look at Triad Bronze speakers to start. They blow Speaker Craft out of the water. Their in-wall's/in-ceiling's are just as good as their in-room's. I'd go with Bronze LCR in-wall's for the front three, Bronze LCR in-ceiling's for Atmos/X overheads, and Bronze LCR in-room's for the sides in a 5.1.4 configuration. You will not regret it. Dolby and DTS use them in their consumer 3D demos.
 

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The wife has given me a $5-7k (she says no more than 5!) budget to update the home theater speakers/receiver in our being-remodeled great room. Her only requirement is no standing speakers despite my acoustical suggestions on the benefits of floor standing speakers. Though I think I've been able to make a case to keep the sub outside the walls.

I've previously had a 7.1 setup using a Denon 3805, 5 JBL THX bookshelf speakers (3 LCR and 2 dipole sides) and 2 Altec Lansing THX rears. Initially I'll probably keep the Definitive 15" sub and the current 60" Pioneer 1080p Plasma (though a later update would be to an 80" 4k TV. So in-wall LCR speakers will be placed with that size in mind).
Currently looking at the Onkyo TX-NR1030 (which is part of my budget). Second more expensive choice would be the Marantz SR7009
Main use is Tv, Movies, Music (classical, progressive, metal).

Attached a drawing of the new triple purpose great room. The ceilings are 8' with a 1' high box ceiling lift in the living room.

I doodled in green where I was thinking of placing the 3 in-wall LCR fronts (center under the tv) and 2 in-ceiling surrounds at the far back along with 4 atmos directed in-ceiling speakers within the 9' ceiling box. 5.1.4 setup. Is this a good setup for this room taking advantage of an atmos processor if all surrounds are stuck in the ceilings and using highly dispersive speakers? Is there a better way to arrange a ceiling surround setup? 7.1.2? Is 7.1.4 moreso needed with to make movies sound great with such an open room beyond the theater?

So far looking at Klipsch, B&W, Speakercraft, and Definitive as choices that have a large grouping of in-wall/in-ceiling paintable-grill speakers at varying price points with direction adjustable and some timbre-matched ceiling/wall speakers. Sadly atmos wise I've only been able to demo B&W and that was using up-bounce speakers into an acoustic-absorbing ceiling (Magnolia). I'm slightly leaning toward the Klipsch based on reviews but I've only been able to demo their floor standing speakers.

I tried contacting Speakercraft for information but zero email or phone calls back. Is Speakercraft (which seems to be one line under an umbrella company) dying off?
Sent you a PM. :)
 

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Thanks for the information all. Looks like I need to read up on Triad speakers and figure out how to get surrounds more towards head level. Also while I need to purchase/install speakers before they drywall in a ~month, I can wait for DTS:X announcement and see if any current receivers can upgrade to it or how long the wait for new receivers will be.

Would the atmos/surround 3d effect still be lost if the surrounds were place in the ceiling further back - say 10 feet behind the listener and then rotated-drop-down from the ceiling and pointed at the back of the listener's head? That would put the surround sound angle at roughly 20 degrees off horizontal. (8 ft ceiling, 3.9 ft listening postion, center of speaker drops down slightly, invTan(.4)). Also fun with switched motors. Or even placing the rears just above head height but on the wall on either side of the bookshelves. Or are you still losing the main surround element of the sides with the speakers so far behind the listening position?
 

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Thanks for the information all. Looks like I need to read up on Triad speakers and figure out how to get surrounds more towards head level. Also while I need to purchase/install speakers before they drywall in a ~month, I can wait for DTS:X announcement and see if any current receivers can upgrade to it or how long the wait for new receivers will be.

Would the atmos/surround 3d effect still be lost if the surrounds were place in the ceiling further back - say 10 feet behind the listener and then rotated-drop-down from the ceiling and pointed at the back of the listener's head? That would put the surround sound angle at roughly 20 degrees off horizontal. (8 ft ceiling, 3.9 ft listening postion, center of speaker drops down slightly, invTan(.4)). Also fun with switched motors. Or even placing the rears just above head height but on the wall on either side of the bookshelves. Or are you still losing the main surround element of the sides with the speakers so far behind the listening position?
For these new surround sound formats, you need an upper and lower layer of speakers. DTS-X has already stated that their system will work fine with Atmos setup. With that being the case and wanting to be able to do Atmos and DTS-X, I would say, speaker locations are already worked out. Now if you don't care about Atmos and only interested in DTS-X, then I could see waiting. If drywall is only a month off, you had better be deciding soon.
 

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Thanks for the information all. Looks like I need to read up on Triad speakers and figure out how to get surrounds more towards head level. Also while I need to purchase/install speakers before they drywall in a ~month, I can wait for DTS:X announcement and see if any current receivers can upgrade to it or how long the wait for new receivers will be.

Would the atmos/surround 3d effect still be lost if the surrounds were place in the ceiling further back - say 10 feet behind the listener and then rotated-drop-down from the ceiling and pointed at the back of the listener's head? That would put the surround sound angle at roughly 20 degrees off horizontal. (8 ft ceiling, 3.9 ft listening postion, center of speaker drops down slightly, invTan(.4)). Also fun with switched motors. Or even placing the rears just above head height but on the wall on either side of the bookshelves. Or are you still losing the main surround element of the sides with the speakers so far behind the listening position?
The best idea, because of your open room plan, is to use matching in-room side surround bookshelf monitors near the couch secured to stands (about the 100-110 degree position) to keep them near ear level. The Triad Bronze series is great quality for the money and the LCR in-wall's (all three vertically aligned) will sonically match the in-room LCR's and the in-ceiling angled versions (front left and rights also with tweeter at or very near ear level). This will probably be the most seamless theater system you've ever owned. You just need to figure where the couch (the main listening position) is going to sit in the room (also determined by screen size) in order to make sure the Bronze in-ceiling's are positioned and mounted correctly for front and rear Atmos and DTS:X overhead surrounds.

It would make absolutely zero sense not to wait until the normal late summer/early fall rollout of brand new 2015 gear that includes both Atmos and X formats (you need something that at least allows for 5.1.4) in order to not miss out on Blu-ray's encoded in either 3D format going forward (it will be much the same as Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio used by various studios... usually not both at the same time).
 

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For these new surround sound formats, you need an upper and lower layer of speakers. DTS-X has already stated that their system will work fine with Atmos setup. With that being the case and wanting to be able to do Atmos and DTS-X, I would say, speaker locations are already worked out. Now if you don't care about Atmos and only interested in DTS-X, then I could see waiting. If drywall is only a month off, you had better be deciding soon.
I have read nothing to indicate speaker layout that is optimum for atmos will be the same for dts-x. I would love to know where this information came from as I would love to finish my room but I am waiting for April 9th to hear what dts has to say.
 

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I have read nothing to indicate speaker layout that is optimum for atmos will be the same for dts-x. I would love to know where this information came from as I would love to finish my room but I am waiting for April 9th to hear what dts has to say.
DTS's CEO has repeatedly stated at various A/V expos, and has been reported in the trade news, that DTS:X will map to Dolby Atmos speaker positions. No if's, and's, or but's. They want no marketplace confusion.
 

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The best idea, because of your open room plan, is to use matching in-room side surround bookshelf monitors near the couch secured to stands (about the 100-110 degree position) to keep them near ear level. The Triad Bronze series is great quality for the money and the LCR in-wall's (all three vertically aligned) will sonically match the in-room LCR's and the in-ceiling angled versions (front left and rights also with tweeter at or very near ear level). This will probably be the most seamless theater system you've ever owned. You just need to figure where the couch (the main listening position) is going to sit in the room (also determined by screen size) in order to make sure the Bronze in-ceiling's are positioned and mounted correctly for front and rear Atmos and DTS:X overhead surrounds.

It would make absolutely zero sense not to wait until the normal late summer/early fall rollout of brand new 2015 gear that includes both Atmos and X formats (you need something that at least allows for 5.1.4) in order to not miss out on Blu-ray's encoded in either 3D format going forward (it will be much the same as Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio used by various studios... usually not both at the same time).
Everything he said.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Apparently I can't reply to PM's until I've posted 15 messages.

The Triad Bronze LCR appear to be $650 each regardless of (in-ceiling/in-wall/on-wall/bookshelf) configuration. So for a 9 speaker 5.1.4 setup I'm looking at $5850. Then assuming there's an Onkyo or Denon level ~$1500 DTS:X capable 9-channel receiver I'm already pushing the $5(to7)k budget quite a bit. Should I be looking at a lower speaker tier to fit this budget or there's nothing comparable unless I'm dropping way down in quality?

Most people don't appear to think DTS:X will be possible as a software upgrade in all but the most expensive pre-processor/receiver setups. Does that most likely mean large price bumps on receivers capable of that format or is the signal processing component of a receiver is only a small part and the biggest price bump will be while things are "new and wanted".

I guess at this point I'm subscribed to either put speaker stands on either side (and back a bit) of the couch for the surrounds *OR* mount an on-wall LCR on the left wall and re-purpose a 4 foot TV lowering arm to lower down a surround from the ceiling via remote for the right surround. In theory there's a giant 20"x8" beam holding up the roof running near that area so there'd be a strong attachment location. Sorry... tv mad scientist moment.
 

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Apparently I can't reply to PM's until I've posted 15 messages.

The Triad Bronze LCR appear to be $650 each regardless of (in-ceiling/in-wall/on-wall/bookshelf) configuration. So for a 9 speaker 5.1.4 setup I'm looking at $5850. Then assuming there's an Onkyo or Denon level ~$1500 DTS:X capable 9-channel receiver I'm already pushing the $5(to7)k budget quite a bit. Should I be looking at a lower speaker tier to fit this budget or there's nothing comparable unless I'm dropping way down in quality?

Most people don't appear to think DTS:X will be possible as a software upgrade in all but the most expensive pre-processor/receiver setups. Does that most likely mean large price bumps on receivers capable of that format or is the signal processing component of a receiver is only a small part and the biggest price bump will be while things are "new and wanted".

I guess at this point I'm subscribed to either put speaker stands on either side (and back a bit) of the couch for the surrounds *OR* mount an on-wall LCR on the left wall and re-purpose a 4 foot TV lowering arm to lower down a surround from the ceiling via remote for the right surround. In theory there's a giant 20"x8" beam holding up the roof running near that area so there'd be a strong attachment location. Sorry... tv mad scientist moment.
You would be hard pressed to find a better "lower mid level" speaker than the Bronze's from Triad that have equal quality for all varieties (most skimp on the in-wall versions). You'd have a really sweet set up for both movies and music. That's what floors me about Triad speakers - they have oomph and sound staging aplenty for movies, but their musicality is still fantastic. Great driver choices and well designed cross over networks are key.

DTS's announcement is just a week away. We should have a better idea of what will and will not get an upgrade. However, 2nd generation (2015) 3D audio capable units may have better features included - plus they'll have UHD (4k) Blu-ray friendlier HDMI chipsets that last year's products will not (except the costliest models).

Side surround speakers on stands would be superior to having some sort of transforming mechanism that drops speakers from the ceiling - and a lot cheaper too!!
 

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You would be hard pressed to find a better "lower mid level" speaker than the Bronze's from Triad that have equal quality for all varieties (most skimp on the in-wall versions). You'd have a really sweet set up for both movies and music. That's what floors me about Triad speakers - they have oomph and sound staging aplenty for movies, but their musicality is still fantastic. Great driver choices and well designed cross over networks are key.

DTS's announcement is just a week away. We should have a better idea of what will and will not get an upgrade. However, 2nd generation (2015) 3D audio capable units may have better features included - plus they'll have UHD (4k) Blu-ray friendlier HDMI chipsets that last year's products will not (except the costliest models).

Side surround speakers on stands would be superior to having some sort of transforming mechanism that drops speakers from the ceiling - and a lot cheaper too!!
I wanted to thank everyone for their ideas. I've placed on order for this 5.1.4 setup and ended up breaking my budget (of course)...

  • 3x InWall Silver/4 LCR for 3 front vertical speakers around the TV
  • 4x InCeiling Silver/6 Satellites for 4 height speakers ( 2 in front of and 2 behind the listening position - I'm guessing at 45 deg angles to match the speaker 45 degree baffling)
  • 2x OnWall Silver Surround (bipole configuration) for positioning on stands on the corners of the couches just above head height (though I might have preferred LCR for side/rear, with my layout, there was no real way to get the right side sound just above ear height and far enough away from the sitting position so for the extended room; the surrounds made the most sense).

Now I need to figure out the rest of the architectural setup including cable runs, connectors, wall plates, possibly conduit, and how to feed the two surrounds around the couch without having wires laying on the floor (coverable floor recessed binding posts?)

For the amp, I'll have to delay, save up and right now it looks like going with the Denon AVR X7200W (or maybe wait for the "WA" version) as the lowest cost DTS:X upgradable 9-channel receiver - unless I want to wait for the fall. So if that's another $2k with all the other cabling/architectural setup I've probably hit closer to $8k total budget. I haven't bought home theater speakers in 20 years, hopefully this setup blows my wife away so she doesn't notice the over-budget too much... even though we've constrained it with so many architectural speakers.
 

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I wanted to thank everyone for their ideas. I've placed on order for this 5.1.4 setup and ended up breaking my budget (of course)...

  • 3x InWall Silver/4 LCR for 3 front vertical speakers around the TV
  • 4x InCeiling Silver/6 Satellites for 4 height speakers ( 2 in front of and 2 behind the listening position - I'm guessing at 45 deg angles to match the speaker 45 degree baffling)
  • 2x OnWall Silver Surround (bipole configuration) for positioning on stands on the corners of the couches just above head height (though I might have preferred LCR for side/rear, with my layout, there was no real way to get the right side sound just above ear height and far enough away from the sitting position so for the extended room; the surrounds made the most sense).

Now I need to figure out the rest of the architectural setup including cable runs, connectors, wall plates, possibly conduit, and how to feed the two surrounds around the couch without having wires laying on the floor (coverable floor recessed binding posts?)

For the amp, I'll have to delay, save up and right now it looks like going with the Denon AVR X7200W (or maybe wait for the "WA" version) as the lowest cost DTS:X upgradable 9-channel receiver - unless I want to wait for the fall. So if that's another $2k with all the other cabling/architectural setup I've probably hit closer to $8k total budget. I haven't bought home theater speakers in 20 years, hopefully this setup blows my wife away so she doesn't notice the over-budget too much... even though we've constrained it with so many architectural speakers.
Fantastic choice! I'd probably wait for the 7200WA version if you don't want to screw around with shipping it off to Denon for a DTS:X upgrade and the HDMI board swap. If you can run wire through the floor to under the couch, be sure to use in-wall CL rated cable. Belden speaker wire from BluejeansCable.com is quality stuff. Perhaps talk to Triad directly about wiring ideas. They're usually super helpful.
 
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