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Discussion Starter #1
When I got my basement done in my old house in 2016, I had a home theater area made for which I got all the components with help from this forum.
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We are getting a new house built. I have a room designated as the home theater room and want your thoughts/feedback on the layout I have planned.

So, let me get started.

Initial design:
Originally, we though this wall with the bulkhead eating up a foot from the ceiling, was going to be the wall with the projected image, because we assumed (due to lack of a model house) that this was the only flat wall in the room. That wall is 21 feet wide and 9 feet high, but the bulk head eats a foot, so realistically 8 feet in height. The idea was that the center speaker will be close to the ceiling, so that it won't eat space on the bottom of the screen. Anyways, this idea is not what we ended up with.

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I even had the plan drawn for speakers, according to the following image in this orientation. Full disclosure, I got the images for the couch, speakers, etc. from dolby's website for a 7.1.4 layout.
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Final design:
Then when we visited a home under construction which was our model (all images are from that home), and we were able to get the full picture of the room's layout. This wall is opposite the one with the door. The speaker locations are as indicated in the image. The equipment rack will be in wall sitting in the mechanical room with access from the theater room. 22 feet wide and 9 feet high ceiling. With space used by the center speaker at the bottom, I probably have 8 feet of height for the projector image.
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The rear of the room will have the rest of the speakers. The location of the right surround speaker is not visible due to the angle of the photo. The four atmos speakers will all be in the bulkhead. We verified that if the projector is mounted on the bulkhead, that the edge of the bulkhead will not block the image from reaching the top of the screen wall. Worst case, I was going to mount the projector on a shelf built on the back wall of the room and have it sit on it. The rear right surround speaker will be hidden if the door is opened, but we plan to watch anything with the doors closed anyways. All speakers will be in wall/in-ceiling, except the subs which will be floor standing.

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Here is the updated speaker layout for the new orientation of the room. The area in the image with the dotted lines is the bulkhead area in the room. it takes of 7+ feet from the wall with the door.
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I will wire the room for a 7.2.4 setup, but will start with a single sub.
I am bringing all the equipment from the old house over to the new place. Although I had DI 5.5 LCR front heights in the old house I never used them, so I am repurposing them as surrounds this time and moving the Dr HSU HIW-1s from surrounds in my old house to rear surrounds in the new place.

Def Tech DI 5.5 LCR - Left and Right Fronts
Def Tech DI 6.5 LCR Center
Def Tech DI 5.5 LCR - Left and Right Surrounds
Dr HSU HIW-1 Left and Right Rear Surrounds
SVS PB 1000 Sub
RSL c34E - 4 Atmos speakers
Pioneer SC-95 receiver. This cannot support 7.2.4 directly, but can give pre-outs for 2 speakers.
Sony VPL-HW45ES Projector
No projector screen. Want to project onto the wall to get the biggest screen size possible. Will apply projector screen paint to wall.

I need help picking an amplifier for the 2 pre-outs. The SC-95 can allow Front Pre-outs or rear surround pre-outs. Not sure which set I will use it on.

The floor will be builder provided carpet. The builder will wire the room and leave blank wall plates where all the speakers will be, but not install my speakers. They are willing to install a builder provided Klipsch system though, and I passed on it since I had equipment already. We want to paint the walls, and ceiling a dark color since its a theater room. Getting the ceiling filled with fiber optic star ceiling panels or similar alternatives would be a plus. We are not planning to raise the floor or anything, just have one row of a 4 seater recliner set.

I told to my wife that I want to get floor standing speakers at least in the front. She didn't say no, but said I was going to ruin the look of the room with speakers just like my father-in-law did in his house and gave me that look that tells me I probably need to postpone that battle for the future. :D

I see some builds on this forum where people are using multiple amplifiers with a single receiver. I have a dumb/ignorant question. What are additional amps buying you, if your receiver has enough outputs to cover all the speakers that you have?

I need help picking the wall paint colors and the amplifier for the 2 pre-outs for now. Any help with researching floor standing speakers for LCR would be good too, but not sure when I will buy them :)

Any feedback on my layout is appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Wally
 

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First, great start and setup. It's hard to argue with hardly any of your plan.

Here my 2 cents.

- The screen seems really large. For some, there's no such thing, but to me this seems too big. I wonder if your picture will be bright enough being that large with the projector so far away - especially with a painted wall. 120" screen is pretty big, and you could buy a quality screen for that size picture. That said, you will want the size of your sound to match the size of your screen, read on...

- I think you will appreciate the quality of left, center, and right speakers that aren't built in to the wall. You have a zillion choices here, everyone has their own favorite, but I think almost certainly you will appreciate the improved quality of traditional speakers for your front three. You can also easily change them out at a later date.

- In-walls for the rest are fine and preferred since they don't handle the bulk of the sound.

- Traditional thinking has the subs on opposite walls to provide the best and most even sound. You should give yourself flexibility here.

I'm not a color guy so I can't make a recommendation here. My theater is dark blue with some gray tint. I like it. You'll want it to match your couch.

A separate amp can go one of two directions:
1 - For the best sound, get a decent two-channel amp to power your front two speakers. Better, a three channel amp to power your front three speakers.
2 - For the best price, get an old receiver and use that to power your rear surrounds. There is very little sound here and any old receiver should power them just fine. I use an old cheap Sony receiver to power my couch transducers and patio speakers.

Other recommendations if you can afford them: upgrade your subwoofer(s). Everyone has their favorite, Hsu and Rythmik seem to be the most popular of semi-affordable subs.

I made quite a few upgrades to my theater in the last few months. You may find this worth a read So What Matters when Improving your Home Theater?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First, great start and setup. It's hard to argue with hardly any of your plan.

Here my 2 cents.

- The screen seems really large. For some, there's no such thing, but to me this seems too big. I wonder if your picture will be bright enough being that large with the projector so far away - especially with a painted wall. 120" screen is pretty big, and you could buy a quality screen for that size picture. That said, you will want the size of your sound to match the size of your screen, read on...

- I think you will appreciate the quality of left, center, and right speakers that aren't built in to the wall. You have a zillion choices here, everyone has their own favorite, but I think almost certainly you will appreciate the improved quality of traditional speakers for your front three. You can also easily change them out at a later date.

- In-walls for the rest are fine and preferred since they don't handle the bulk of the sound.

- Traditional thinking has the subs on opposite walls to provide the best and most even sound. You should give yourself flexibility here.

I'm not a color guy so I can't make a recommendation here. My theater is dark blue with some gray tint. I like it. You'll want it to match your couch.

A separate amp can go one of two directions:
1 - For the best sound, get a decent two-channel amp to power your front two speakers. Better, a three channel amp to power your front three speakers.
2 - For the best price, get an old receiver and use that to power your rear surrounds. There is very little sound here and any old receiver should power them just fine. I use an old cheap Sony receiver to power my couch transducers and patio speakers.

Other recommendations if you can afford them: upgrade your subwoofer(s). Everyone has their favorite, Hsu and Rythmik seem to be the most popular of semi-affordable subs.

I made quite a few upgrades to my theater in the last few months. You may find this worth a read So What Matters when Improving your Home Theater?
Thanks for your feedback friendswithdave.

In our old house the screen size ended up being 160" and we loved it, May be to our untrained eyes it was awesome 😅 especially when the rest of the basement was dark, so we want to keep it big in the new place as well.
I will start looking at reviews for floor standing speakers.
In our old house all the walls of the basement were a shade of light-gray and it just worked for the screen, I didn't research screen paint or anything back then. This time I want to do better.
I do have a spare Denon AVR-S710W receiver that I used for a game room in the old house. I'll see if I can use that as the amp for the front three speakers, if not I will buy a three channel amp.

I'll check out your thread. Thanks again
 

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Painting the rest of your room a dark color will help keep your room dark and improve your contrast on screen.

The Denon receiver may not have much better sound quality than your Pioneer. Do this with the Denon:

I'm sure your old Denon will work to power 2 rear speakers:
1 - Connect the line-out from your current receiver rear surround to the CD input on the Denon
2 - Connect speaker cables from FL and FR of Denon to your rear surround speakers.
3 - Turn on Denon, set to CD, and stereo output.

If you want to go for quality, Outlaw makes a nice 5-channel amp for $800. You could use that to power your front three speakers and your current receiver can power the rear.

There are a million floor stander speakers. I got a $5,000 set of Polks for $1,000 used off Craigslist. Previous I had Ascend and I loved those as well. This is a rabbit hole, but you should come out with something great. If you spend a decent amount of money wisely, you can get some incredible sound.

If you keep the Def Teck LCR's, make sure the tweeters are pointed towards the listening position. Looks like they can pivot. If you really want to keep those, consider investing in a new sub. For $1,000 you can get something with a MUCH bigger foundation for your bass. Again, Hsu and Rythmik are likely your best choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Painting the rest of your room a dark color will help keep your room dark and improve your contrast on screen.

The Denon receiver may not have much better sound quality than your Pioneer. Do this with the Denon:

I'm sure your old Denon will work to power 2 rear speakers:
1 - Connect the line-out from your current receiver rear surround to the CD input on the Denon
2 - Connect speaker cables from FL and FR of Denon to your rear surround speakers.
3 - Turn on Denon, set to CD, and stereo output.

If you want to go for quality, Outlaw makes a nice 5-channel amp for $800. You could use that to power your front three speakers and your current receiver can power the rear.

There are a million floor stander speakers. I got a $5,000 set of Polks for $1,000 used off Craigslist. Previous I had Ascend and I loved those as well. This is a rabbit hole, but you should come out with something great. If you spend a decent amount of money wisely, you can get some incredible sound.

If you keep the Def Teck LCR's, make sure the tweeters are pointed towards the listening position. Looks like they can pivot. If you really want to keep those, consider investing in a new sub. For $1,000 you can get something with a MUCH bigger foundation for your bass. Again, Hsu and Rythmik are likely your best choices.
Thanks again. Looks like I gonna have fun researching speakers for a while. If I can spend $1000 or less for all three fronts combined, I think it will pass the WAF. I did point the Def Techs towards the listening position at the old place. I plan to do the same in the new home theater too.
 

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I had three of these for over 13 years and loved them. If I hadn't fallen into my Polk deal I would still have them. Great company and warranty. One of my kids poked something through a driver and they fixed it no cost.
 

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There are prefab screens at 165 inches and you can even buy screen material to stretch and mount yourself with any dimensions you want. You can boost the relatively low brightness with a higher gain screen or if you are happy with the brightness keep it at low gain. I usually suggest a screen because painting the wall may come at the cost of your sanity if you are detail-oriented.
 

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I had three of these for over 13 years and loved them. If I hadn't fallen into my Polk deal I would still have them. Great company and warranty. One of my kids poked something through a driver and they fixed it no cost.
I'll read about them, thanks.

There are prefab screens at 165 inches and you can even buy screen material to stretch and mount yourself with any dimensions you want. You can boost the relatively low brightness with a higher gain screen or if you are happy with the brightness keep it at low gain. I usually suggest a screen because painting the wall may come at the cost of your sanity if you are detail-oriented.
I understand what you mean about keeping my sanity with the quality of the paint job. :) When we got the original home theater done, the contractor was going over automatic screens that roll into the ceiling since I was concerned the kids and even the adults would have their hands all over it when we weren't watching something. But to me and the family, nothing could beat the 160" projected image against the bare wall. If any of the lights were on, then the image did feel dull, but we were very happy with the image quality in the dark for the VPL-HW45ES. The projector was definitely money well spent. I think I'll even be fine with the builder grade paint on the wall, but want to get a better picture quality and that's why I want to try the projector screen paint.
 

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I had three of these for over 13 years and loved them. If I hadn't fallen into my Polk deal I would still have them. Great company and warranty. One of my kids poked something through a driver and they fixed it no cost.
So, I started reading about this speaker and came across the below image on their site. It has separate woofer and tweeter inputs. Now lets say I use this as my left front speaker, my Pioneer SC-95 only has one set of red and black outputs to go to the left front. How do I connect one pair of wires to two pairs of inputs on this speaker, or for that matter any speaker that has two pairs of inputs similar to this one ?

Thanks in advance.

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While it's a long story as to what is possible with two sets of inputs, the short story is most people simply use one set and those metal doohickeys between them are jumpers that connect the two. Leave those in and you're fine with one set of red and black inputs. These aren't attractive but they sound fabulous.
 

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While it's a long story as to what is possible with two sets of inputs, the short story is most people simply use one set and those metal doohickeys between them are jumpers that connect the two. Leave those in and you're fine with one set of red and black inputs. These aren't attractive but they sound fabulous.
Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering if I need to upgrade my receiver to support something like this. Now I'm good.
 
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