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What should I do next with about a $2000 budget?

  • Add Rear Speakers for 7.1

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Add a Single Rear Speaker for 6.1

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Add Front Height Speakers for 5.1.2

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Add Rear Height Speakers for 5.1.2

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Add Front Height, Rear Height, & 9.2 Receiver for 5.1.4

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • Add a 2nd VTF 15H MK2

    Votes: 6 85.7%
  • Add Sound Dampening Somewhere

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Custom Build Out for Front Wall

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    7
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After getting some AWESOME advice from the fine members of AVS Forum on My Last Upgrade Thread I ended up getting a HSU VTF-15h MK2 that is killing it!

I finally found some Infinity Primus P362s on ebay and moved the bookshelf to side surrounds for 5.1. It's been a long time since I've had a full 5.1 and the sound feels so much more immersive and full now! It was a huge challenge getting the wires run for those ceiling/wall mounted surrounds since the floor joists run parallel to the screen, but now that I've done it, I think I could install ATOMS speakers in the ceiling if I wanted to.


My Equipment

Projector: Epson 5050ub
Screen: Dark Engergy Screens 59"x120" (Damaged)
Receiver: Yamaha RX-V685 7.2
L/R Speakers: 2x Infinity Primus p362 Tower
Center: Infinity Primus PC350
Subwoofer: HSU VTF-15h MK2
Side/Surrounds: 2x Infinity Primus p162 Bookshelf

Problems

- BEWARE OF DARK ENERGY SCREENS: I paid $2600 for a screen and detachable bezel from Dark Energy Screens in January. The first screen sent took about 4 months to make and then get here mangled to hell due to shipping damage. Refused at delivery. So they made me another one. That one got damaged before they even shipped it. So they made me another one. The last one arrived without any apparent damage in shipping, so I accepted it, but when I opened it up the bottom of the screen was banged up. Don't know if they shipped it damaged or if it was somehow damaged inside without any outside damage... They also didn't send the detachable bezel that ordered. I've emailed, texted, called and there has been no response for 6 weeks. So I'm trying to get my money back on all that.

- Getting my side surrounds mounted and out of the way was a huge accomplishment for me. However, the right surround ended up about 4-6" higher than the left surround. It was partially because of one being ceiling mounted and the other wall mounted, but also because of the door. Will this cause any issues you think?

- I feel like there's some sound gaps above and behind me and I'm not sure if I should go 7.1, 5.1.2, or 5.1.4

- Too Narrow for ATMOS? I was contemplating putting in FH and RH ceiling speakers, but due to the soffit on the left hand side of the viewing area, the speakers will be pretty close together unless I put one of the speakers in the soffit, which will make it about 1.5 feet lower than the right speaker.

- The screen is custom dimensions so that I can get the height of a 120" for TV and the width I want for scope. However, this requires me to zoom to lens 2 position for scope mode, which puts some subtle light bars above and below the screen. I'd like to figure out how to get rid of those. Is it possible to just put some black tape over the top and bottom of the lense to act as a mask? Or will that not be sharp enough?


What should I do next with about a $2000 budget?


OPTIONS

1. Add Rear Speakers for 7.1

2. Add a Single Rear Speaker for 6.1
I have one extra P162 laying around not doing anything. Not sure if 1 back speaker is feasible or not...

3. Add Front Height Speakers for 5.1.2

4. Add Rear Height Speakers for 5.1.2

5. Add Front Height, Rear Height, & 9.2 Receiver for 5.1.4
I've got a little window here where I could trade in my 7.2 receiver and get about $500 toward a 9.2 receiver

6. Add a 2nd VTF 15H MK2
To clarify this a bit, the reason I put a 2nd sub on the list is not because it's not packing enough punch or doesn't sound good. The only thing is that the base feels a little bit like it's coming from the right side of the room. So maybe a 2nd sub would balance that? Not sure exactly where I'd put it, but it's something to consider.

7. Add Sound Dampening Somewhere
I'm not really sure what I'm doing here or if it's totally necessary.

8. Custom Build Out for Front Wall
My wife and I have been talking about doing custom shelving/cabinetry for the front wall to hold the screen, speakers, components, etc








 

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if you think you may need another sub , then it's probably the answer .. i haven't heard atmos , but i can't believe it swings as mighty a bat as another sub...edit , customizing the screen area could be done at a small cost (imo) .. a little elbow grease goes a long way..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
if you think you may need another sub , then it's probably the answer .. i haven't heard atmos , but i can't believe at swings as mighty a bat as another sub...edit , customizing the screen area could be done at a small cost (imo) .. a little elbow grease goes a long way..
To clarify this a bit, the reason I put a 2nd sub on the list is not because it's not packing enough punch or doesn't sound good. The only thing is that the base feels a little bit like it's coming from the right side of the room. So maybe a 2nd sub would balance that?
 

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It's hard to see the extent of the screen damage and wish you luck dealing with Dark Energy. Now that you've experienced that screen, would you stick with a "black screen" if you got your money back and considering what a light cannon the 5050 is? Just curious about that...back to your upgrade question. Without a doubt the #1 upgrade I would make would be adding a second or more identical subwoofers. You WILL get increased gain and better smoother low end frequency response throughout the room. Since you are obviously going to do something with or about your screen, I would recommend you use that opportunity to reposition your L/C/R so that your center channel HF driver is on plane with the L/R HF driver. That will greatly improve your front soundstage depth and accuracy and you'll want to do that anyway before you start adding atmos or other channels.
Nice system and I love the rug!
 

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To clarify this a bit, the reason I put a 2nd sub on the list is not because it's not packing enough punch or doesn't sound good. The only thing is that the base feels a little bit like it's coming from the right side of the room. So maybe a 2nd sub would balance that?
i would think it would .. i haven't ever dealt with "large room" bass issues , but that is the theory i know of..that 2nd sub is supposed to "smooth out " the response ...crossover issues can contribute to localized low freq response .. try lowering the crossover if the sub output goes above 100 hz...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
if you think you may need another sub , then it's probably the answer .. i haven't heard atmos , but i can't believe at swings as mighty a bat as another sub...edit , customizing the screen area could be done at a small cost (imo) .. a little elbow grease goes a long way..
The looks of the setup could be seriously upgraded with some nice built in stuff. Know any design resources for this sort of thing? Maybe a company that can design this sort of thing and give specs on how to build it?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's hard to see the extent of the screen damage and wish you luck dealing with Dark Energy. Now that you've experienced that screen, would you stick with a "black screen" if you got your money back and considering what a light cannon the 5050 is? Just curious about that...back to your upgrade question. Without a doubt the #1 upgrade I would make would be adding a second or more identical subwoofers. You WILL get increased gain and better smoother low end frequency response throughout the room. Since you are obviously going to do something with or about your screen, I would recommend you use that opportunity to reposition your L/C/R so that your center channel HF driver is on plane with the L/R HF driver. That will greatly improve your front soundstage depth and accuracy and you'll want to do that anyway before you start adding atmos or other channels.
Nice system and I love the rug!
Just after posting this a refund came through on the paypal claim I made. I would have rather had the undamaged screen I ordered with the bezel, but now I have the damaged screen and my money back...

Overall I really like the performance of the dark grey screen. My only real complaint is that really bright scenes have this shimmering effect. I think it's because of the ALR material. Also, light control is still super important even though it's ALR. Now I need to decide if I'm going to just stick with the damaged screen for now or try to replace it. I could live with the damage for a bit, but if we did a custom build out for the screen and cabinets, I'm not sure if it would be a good idea to do it for this screen. This screen was made with custom dimensions, so the replacment screen would need to be as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
With a $2,000 budget you can afford to get both rear speakers for 7.1 and a second HSU VTF 15 h MK2.
Problem here is that I'm not sure the space will tolerate hanging 2 more p162s from the ceiling. There's just no place to put them. So unless 7.1 would sound ok with in ceiling speakers I was thinking I might as well go with ATMOS.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
EDIT: Just added one additional "problem"

- The screen is custom dimensions so that I can get the height of a 120" for TV and the width I want for scope. However, this requires me to zoom to lens 2 position for scope mode, which puts some subtle light bars above and below the screen. I'd like to figure out how to get rid of those. Is it possible to just put some black tape over the top and bottom of the lense to act as a mask? Or will that not be sharp enough?
 

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The looks of the setup could be seriously upgraded with some nice built in stuff. Know any design resources for this sort of thing? Maybe a company that can design this sort of thing and give specs on how to build it?
no ..i wish i could help out on that part .. i'm going by my past experience .. back in the day i knew some very good custom furniture builders , they could build most anything with just an outline from the customer .. i think some basic ideas and some research (way past anything i could be of help on) might be the ticket.. with pre fab (hi quality) furniture available i think anything is possible .. there are some other guys here that i'm sure could help.. maybe a new post could get their attention..
 
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With your surrounds mounted that high, you can rule out Atmos. You need a vertical separation between the two "layers" of speakers to produce that hemisphere of sound.
I would go with an additional sub, with the opportunity of making your own DIY screen. There are many who have made their custom-sized screens with two layers of spandex - with the added benefit of the screen being acoustically transparent so they can place their speakers behind the screen for the best audio quality.
 

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A
[/B]
Projector: Epson 5050ub
Screen: Dark Engergy Screens 59"x120" (Damaged)
Receiver: Yamaha RX-V685 7.2
L/R Speakers: 2x Infinity Primus p362 Tower
Center: Infinity Primus PC350
Subwoofer: HSU VTF-15h MK2
Side/Surrounds: 2x Infinity Primus p162 Bookshelf

- I feel like there's some sound gaps above and behind me and I'm not sure if I should go 7.1, 5.1.2, or 5.1.4

- Too Narrow for ATMOS? I was contemplating putting in FH and RH ceiling speakers, but due to the soffit on the left hand side of the viewing area, the speakers will be pretty close together unless I put one of the speakers in the s

6. Add a 2nd VTF 15H MK2
To clarify this a bit, the reason I put a 2nd sub on the list is not because it's not packing enough punch or doesn't sound good. The only thing is that the base feels a little bit like it's coming from the right side of the room. So maybe a 2nd sub would balance that? Not sure exactly where I'd put it, but it's something to consider.

7. Add Sound Dampening Somewhere
I'm not really sure what I'm doing here or if it's totally necessary.

8. Custom Build Out for Front Wall
My wife and I have been talking about doing custom shelving/cabinetry for the front wall to hold the screen, speakers, components, etc
#8 would be my first choice if it allows you to do 3 identical towers up front. JBL's Studio 590s when they go on sale for $500 apiece would be my recommendation.

#7 can be done on the cheap with the pre-cut Trippevals blackout shades from Ikea. Just use a pair of 36 x 72" ones outside mounted to cover the blinds over your window, and a 24" one to cover the glass on your door. Less than $150 all in. Or you can use blackout curtains for the window, about $30-40. This would have the additional bonus of improving your PJ's image quality when watching during daylight hours.

I agree with the previous poster to skip Atmos due to your surrounds already being so high up. I would consider replacing your P162s with more immersive, wider-dispersion surround speakers, maybe the JBL A120 (free return shipping). Might want to start a separate thread to elicit suggestions for that.

If #8 proves unfeasible, I'd still upgrade your front 3. A pair of Studio 590 on sale, plus a good mismatched center like an Emotiva C2 or HTD Level 3 would be my pick.
 

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6. Add a 2nd VTF 15H MK2
To clarify this a bit, the reason I put a 2nd sub on the list is not because it's not packing enough punch or doesn't sound good. The only thing is that the base feels a little bit like it's coming from the right side of the room. So maybe a 2nd sub would balance that? Not sure exactly where I'd put it, but it's something to consider.
Dual subwoofers, when well placed, can provide a smoother frequency response through a wider seating area. So you can get better/more even bass throughout the room.
 

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Just after posting this a refund came through on the paypal claim I made. I would have rather had the undamaged screen I ordered with the bezel, but now I have the damaged screen and my money back...

Overall I really like the performance of the dark grey screen. My only real complaint is that really bright scenes have this shimmering effect. I think it's because of the ALR material. Also, light control is still super important even though it's ALR. Now I need to decide if I'm going to just stick with the damaged screen for now or try to replace it. I could live with the damage for a bit, but if we did a custom build out for the screen and cabinets, I'm not sure if it would be a good idea to do it for this screen. This screen was made with custom dimensions, so the replacment screen would need to be as well.
Glad to hear your claim came through. I agree with sigpigs post, as I have a hard learned understanding that the best possible most immersive surround system requires proper placement and adding speakers and channels to already compromised positions only muddies surround sound accuracy and cohesiveness. If you can't put speakers where the sounds are supposed to come from, within the width, distance and height parameters Dolby prescribes, then why add them?

I do have another possibility for you. Since you got your screen money back and you're looking to do something across your front why not get your second sub and use what's left from your $2000 budget and your screen refund to do a cantilever or electric drop screen? This would allow you to do your shelves in the front as well as getting your L/C/R on plane and then just drop your cool trick AT screen down when you use the PJ? Compromised center speaker positioning is so common that it's almost become completely acceptable and not a problem worth correcting. It absolutely is worth correcting ...if you can get those front tweets on plane it WILL improve frontaccuracty of the front soundstage which is the aural anchor of any surround system. Sound placement accuracy across the front for the best possible aural/visual association adds a whole new level of immersion with a big wide screen.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Glad to hear your claim came through. I agree with sigpigs post, as I have a hard learned understanding that the best possible most immersive surround system requires proper placement and adding speakers and channels to already compromised positions only muddies surround sound accuracy and cohesiveness. If you can't put speakers where the sounds are supposed to come from, within the width, distance and height parameters Dolby prescribes, then why add them?

I do have another possibility for you. Since you got your screen money back and you're looking to do something across your front why not get your second sub and use what's left from your $2000 budget and your screen refund to do a cantilever or electric drop screen? This would allow you to do your shelves in the front as well as getting your L/C/R on plane and then just drop your cool trick AT screen down when you use the PJ? Compromised center speaker positioning is so common that it's almost become completely acceptable and not a problem worth correcting. It absolutely is worth correcting ...if you can get those front tweets on plane it WILL improve frontaccuracty of the front soundstage which is the aural anchor of any surround system. Sound placement accuracy across the front for the best possible aural/visual association adds a whole new level of immersion with a big wide screen.
Thanks for your thoughts! I have a couple questions.

1. When placing my surround speakers, I figured the 90* to 120* placement was the most important. I thought that if the tweeters were aimed toward the ear then height (within reason didn't make THAT much of a difference). I could be totally wrong about this, but it still feels like sounds is missing from above me. Feels like a dead zone in the FH position. But you're saying that the addition of FH speakers may degrade the sound quality?

2. I've never been a huge fan of the electric drop down screens. Always kinda preferred fixed screen. But I'm not familiar with cantilever. A quick google search didn't shed much light. What's the difference? The in laws have a 90" 4k LED that they asked about swapping for my damaged DES screen and help setting up a projector. It sounds like maybe you're suggesting a flat panel in the built in with a drop down screen to cover the flat panel when switching to PJ mode?

3. In my current setup, it looks like in order to have the tweeters in line with each other on L/C/R, then the center would have to be moved up into the screen? Is that correct? Or I suppose raise the screen and the the center channel (not ideal).

4. I always thought that acoustically transparent screens sacrificed picture quality. Is that not the case?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Dual subwoofers, when well placed, can provide a smoother frequency response through a wider seating area. So you can get better/more even bass throughout the room.
I'm pretty surprised to see the number of people voting for a seconds sub over all the other choices. I wish there was a way to hear what the difference would be before purchasing. I'm a little scared to drop another $1k on a sub with marginal improvement. But I have no idea what a second sub would do for me.

I do know that...

1. It might have a hard time passing wife approval.
2. It might be tough to find a spot to put it (especially a proper acoustic spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
#8 would be my first choice if it allows you to do 3 identical towers up front. JBL's Studio 590s when they go on sale for $500 apiece would be my recommendation.

#7 can be done on the cheap with the pre-cut Trippevals blackout shades from Ikea. Just use a pair of 36 x 72" ones outside mounted to cover the blinds over your window, and a 24" one to cover the glass on your door. Less than $150 all in. Or you can use blackout curtains for the window, about $30-40. This would have the additional bonus of improving your PJ's image quality when watching during daylight hours.

I agree with the previous poster to skip Atmos due to your surrounds already being so high up. I would consider replacing your P162s with more immersive, wider-dispersion surround speakers, maybe the JBL A120 (free return shipping). Might want to start a separate thread to elicit suggestions for that.

If #8 proves unfeasible, I'd still upgrade your front 3. A pair of Studio 590 on sale, plus a good mismatched center like an Emotiva C2 or HTD Level 3 would be my pick.
Wouldn't putting three towers up front put the screen placement way high?

I'm definitely going to checkout the blackout shades/dampening. I'm also considering putting velvet curtains all the way around the window side of the room and possibly front left side to dampen and darkent even more with style!

The reason I decided to go with the p162s in the sides was for 2 reasons 1) I heard that directional speakers were best for ATMOS and I had planned to upgrade to an ATOMS layout and 2) I had extras since I added the p362 towers. Would you say that directional is best for ATOMOS and dispersion speakers are best for 5.1 and 7.1?
 

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I'm pretty surprised to see the number of people voting for a seconds sub over all the other choices. I wish there was a way to hear what the difference would be before purchasing. I'm a little scared to drop another $1k on a sub with marginal improvement. But I have no idea what a second sub would do for me.

I do know that...

1. It might have a hard time passing wife approval.
2. It might be tough to find a spot to put it (especially a proper acoustic spot.
both my set ups are in small rooms , but everything i have been told leads me to believe that the 2nd sub makes a huge difference in a set up like yours...i dropped a 2nd sub in one of my set ups and it did make a small difference (it's only a 12 x12 room)... try lowering the crossover point to about 60 hz on the receiver settings and see if that localization problem goes away.. low freq is supposed to be uniform in a room, higher crossover sometimes compromises this...
 
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Wouldn't putting three towers up front put the screen placement way high?
Oh I thought you meant you were going to do an AT screen with a PJ with the false wall, not a TV. Never mind then.

As long as your rear surrounds have to be mounted that high, there is no point in doing Atmos. Spend that money on a second sub instead.

What you can do right now is angle up your center speaker so that the tweeter points at ear level where you sit. In the current photo it looks to be too low, aimed at the knees or belly level. Personally I'd try out the Infinity RC263 from Amazon with free returns. The center does 70-80% of the HT output so that's the first upgrade I'd do.
 
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