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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


Just got a brand new house (i.e. house is being built) and the builder is giving us the option to prewire 5.1 or 7.1 speakers in the ceiling. I have very little knowledge about surround sound systems and wanted to get your opinions.


Here is the setup of our living room. As you can see, it's pretty open and the sofa will be against the wall.



Would it be a bad idea to go with a 7.1 setup since the speakers won't be a couple feet behind the sofa?


I also read that it's not a good idea to put the front speakers in the ceiling, so is getting a prewire installed a bad idea all together? Can someone suggest a good alternative that's easy to install/setup if I choose not to do the prewire upgrade?


Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartyMcFry /forum/post/18120535


Would it be a bad idea to go with a 7.1 setup since the speakers won't be a couple feet behind the sofa?

With the couch against the back wall, I would do a 5.1-speaker set-up, since you'd get no meaningful separation between the side and rear speakers of a 7.1 layout. If you're going to do in-ceiling surrounds, I would spread them out as far apart as symmetrically possible (will make it sound like they're high up on the side wall rather than overhead).
Quote:
I also read that it's not a good idea to put the front speakers in the ceiling, so is getting a prewire installed a bad idea all together?

Ideally, all three front speakers should be at ear height. Can you pre-wire for in-ceiling surrounds and in-wall fronts?
 

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how much is this proposed pre-wire going to cost you? what are your intentions for the TV? wall mount? a stand? what is under the great room? if it is an open basement ceiling then you could easily run the wires yourself to a location just above the baseboard and run bookshelf speakers on either side of the couch meanwhile having a conventional TV on a stand with a center with 2 floor-standers or bookshelf speakers. In any situation i would not attempt a 7.1 system.
 

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I would not trust a "builder" to have any clue as to where to properly place the speakers unless the homeowner or some other knowledgable person tells them where to put the speakers. There have been numerous posts in this forum by people whose "builders" prewired and maybe installed "surround speakers" in completely useless locations. Figure out what you want and where the speakers should be placed based on the advice you get here and tell the builder where you want things placed.
 

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+1 try to get "in-wall" speakers for the front 3 (left - center - right) You will need to know what size TV you are going to have and whether it is furniture mounted or on-wall mounted. If on-wall, you will need power on the wall behind the mount and a way to run interconnect cables to the TV, exiting the wall behind the mount.


baffle mount in-ceiling or pivoting tweeter in-ceiling for the "sides" in a 5.1 setup, you do not have the room for a 7.1 setup.
http://www.dolby.com/consumer/setup/...ide/index.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice. I guess the general consensus is to stay away from the builder's install if I can't change where I put the speakers, and just do a 5.1 because of the room configuration.


I'm still leaning a little towards the in-ceiling speakers because of the aesthetics, but I should ask if the sound coming from the ceiling something one gets used to. If not, then I guess I'll have to go with the front in-wall speakers.


And FYI, the builder is charging $1070 to do the 5.1 prewire. For an additional $1480 the building will install these OnQ evoQ speakers (no idea if those are good or not). The tv will be wall mounted but the builder is providing a little hole in the wall to pass the cables to and from the TV. It's a 2 level home with no basement.


Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartyMcFry /forum/post/18124212


I'm still leaning a little towards the in-ceiling speakers because of the aesthetics, but I should ask if the sound coming from the ceiling something one gets used to. If not, then I guess I'll have to go with the front in-wall speakers.

Do not put the front three speakers in the ceiling. Not unless you enjoy hearing voices coming from above you while the picture is in front of you.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartyMcFry /forum/post/18124212


...if the sound coming from the ceiling something one gets used to....

That's not something that you would want to get "accustomed" to! Don't worry about the builder finding the correct place...you tell them where you want the speakers. As for the fronts, as stated above, you need to determine also how large a panel you will have, where it is located for its center point, and whether it will be mounted or on a stand. You can go with in-walls, but that needs planning also. I'll third or fourth the 5.1 system with your layout!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Aside from doing in-ceiling rear speakers, what do you guys think about doing the prewire in the rear wall close to the floor and just use something like this to connect to tower speakers?



Does it really matter if the rear speakers are above the ceiling or at ear level as well?


Thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartyMcFry /forum/post/18124852


Aside from doing in-ceiling rear speakers, what do you guys think about doing the prewire in the rear wall close to the floor and just use something like this to connect to tower speakers?



Does it really matter if the rear speakers are above the ceiling or at ear level as well?


Thanks

Please. Use something better with banana jacks.


Surround speakers should be placed a couple of feet above seated ear level for movie playback. Also surround speakers in a 5.1 setup are mounted to the side walls, not back wall, hence Sanjay's comment in the first post responding to your question.
 

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you really do need to tell us the proposed equipment in that room. Here is what I would do:
Viable Expensive Option 1

-Wall mount TV, 50-60ish inches based on your seating distance with the bottom of the tv being above at eye level while sitting and below eye level when standing.

-Front In wall speakers of a recommended brand discussed on this site placed in a row under the TV

-Surround In ceiling speakers of a recommended brand discussed on this site placed in the ceiling roughly above and away from the armrests but not too close to the walls on either the back or side

-equipment rack placed in a closet nearby
Viable Reasonable Option 2
-TV stand

-50-60ish inch flat panel

-well discussed series of speakers from this site, might I suggest this AV123 ELT package


With option 2 I would use wall plates for the surrounds that are wired by yourself at the same level as the rest of the outlets using these wallplates


Do not let your builder scam you with overpriced wiring options that probably consist of 18 gauge wire or thinner. Troll this site to learn how to do stuff on your own to take more pride in your entertainment system. Also use monoprice for all of your cabling needs even including HDMI cables.


Good Luck
 
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