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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm preparing to set up 5.1 surround for the first time in years. I have a few pre-setup questions. Please go easy on me because I am a total novice.


I've been reading here for weeks. Lots of my questions have been answered this way. Right now I just want to run a few things by the AVS braintrust so I don't make any stupid mistakes I could've avoided.


I have 5 older Paradigm speakers. They are certainly not high-end. But they still sound good. I will be looking to switch them out over the next 12 months. I'm currenlty only using the two fronts due to limitations of my old AVR, namely it is only 2.1 (and I have no sub yet).


My display is a Samsung LN52A750. I just ordered a Pio Elite SC-25 yesterday. I use HD Cable. Otherwise I rely on my PS3 for BD movies, Netflix, gaming, and occasionally streaming music over my network via Tversity.


1. Placing my fronts and center channel seems like a no-brainer (even for me). But I'm a little uneasy about the rears. The wall opposite my display is an external wall, almost certainly including insulation and firebreaks. The floor is carpeted. I have an attic crawlspace above. My thought is that my best choice in terms of cost and ease would be to ceiling-mount my rear speakers. Does this seem correct? Would this be a bad choice in terms of sound? What are my options?


2. I get the feeling I should invest in a surge protector/power conditioner. True? Are there minimum specs I should look for in such devices? Any recommendations here?


3. I want to add the sub right away. I'd like something that will sound good with my old speakers, but that won't need to be ditched as I replace the old speakers with new ones. Any recommendations on brands, dealers, general specs, etc? FYI, I know this is technically a sub question but I'm interested in what this forum thinks here from a longterm setup perspective. My gut tells me I'd be better off saving up for better front and surround speakers than investing too much in a sub. My gut has been known to be retarded.


4. I am planning to buy the ceiling mounts for the rears and all new wire for all the speakers. Any wiring recommendations as far as brands, design, etc? I'm very curious to know what wire terminations you would recommend. Any general advice here?


Anything else I should know or consider?
 

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(1) in a 5.1 setup, the surrounds are "sides", placed back "over the shoulder" and slightly above seated ear height. http://www.dolby.com/consumer/setup/...ide/index.html


(2) do you have frequent power outages, lights dim when other appliances turn on, frequent thunder storms with lightning, or live in a west coast state where rolling brown-outs are accepted policy to deal with inadequate utility generated power ?


(3) budget for the sub ? We can help with recommendations in just about any price range, but we need to know your tolerance for "budget pain".


(4) wire.... please read this excellent web article on speaker wire http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm and this is the table to use to size your wire http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm You can easily go back "up-site" to the home page and find out who Mr. Russell is and why he has some unique expertise in this highly debated "hot button" area. Any wire that will be run inside walls or ceilings needs to meet the National Electric Code (NEC) rating of CL2 and/or CL3 for in-wall use. It's a fire code issue and not related to wire size, but the type of insulation used on the wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so very much for your reply!


1. As indicated, I have very limited (unappealing) options for getting my rears ear level due to existing wall-to-wall carpet and my rear wall being external, which is why I'm looking at ceiling-mounting. Since I'm so inexperienced I thought someone here might know of an alternative.


2. I live in Texas and brownouts are not an issue. Thunderstorms are though and these occasionally cause power to flicker or go out.


3. Sub budget...can I get something decent that would work with my older speakers and higher-end speakers in the future if I keep it around 500?


4. I have already read the Russell article a few days ago. It was very helpful. FYI, there are lots of pertinent articles in the sticky area but some of them seem dated (not Russell's). I'm still wanting to know what the most current preferences are for speaker wire terminations.
 

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ceiling mounted will work for the surrounds, as will "in-wall" speakers. The in-walls will require locating the wall top plate and drilling a wiring access hole into the wall cavity between a pair of studs. You then cut a hole in the drywall between studs and the in-wall speakers will mount from the room side, using swivel locking brackets to draw up against the back side of the drywall, similar to an "old work" electrical box. Easier to do than describe.


A high grade surge surpressor would be a good idea, APC or Tripp-Lite. If you want to consider full line regulation, surge surpression, and battery back-up, an a/v UPS (with full sine wave AC voltage out) would work. I have a regular APC SmartUPS 1400 unit (it does provide full filtering and sine wave output, not square wave like cheap UPS units) on my a/v equipment because in our rural area, we lose power every other month and the battery backup allow an orderly shutdown of the equipment. http://www.tripplite.com/en/products...xtModelID=3151


subwoofers from HSU Research, Elemental Designs, and SVS are very good internet direct dealers
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/vtf-1.html
http://www.edesignaudio.com/index.php?cPath=2_41
http://www.svsound.com/products-sub-box-10nsd.cfm


wire terminations are your choice. simple bare copper wire clamped in the binding posts works extremely well. Banana plugs on the receiver end of the wiring helps with the tightly spaced terminals at the back of most receivers. Banana plugs at the much more accessible speaker end are usually not required and just project out behind the speakers. You can use the banana's here if you want, but it certainly is not required or even needed if the connections are not going to be connected/disconnected often.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palzon /forum/post/18285291


1. As indicated, I have very limited (unappealing) options for getting my rears ear level due to existing wall-to-wall carpet and my rear wall being external, which is why I'm looking at ceiling-mounting. Since I'm so inexperienced I thought someone here might know of an alternative.

You keep talking about the back wall opposite the tv. Do you not have side walls, which is where the surrounds should really go? A room layout drawing would be extremely useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky636 /forum/post/18286564


You keep talking about the back wall opposite the tv. Do you not have side walls, which is where the surrounds should really go? A room layout drawing would be extremely useful.

Yes, sir. Good idea.


The setup is the room labeled 'Great Room'. I don't have the optional fireplace. That's where my display is. The couch is directly across from it.


It's approximately 12 feet from my seated position on the couch to the display. From the kitchen wall to the porch wall is about 20 feet. The porch wall is, of course, another external wall. You'll also notice that the area where the display is placed is not equidistant from the side walls. Even if I could mount the speakers on the side walls, it seems that would put the surrounds rather far out to the left and right of the seating area relative to my F, CTR, Sub.


I am fully open to suggestion here. Here is the floor plan pic:

Attachment 169678
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by m_vanmeter /forum/post/18286227


A high grade surge surpressor would be a good idea, APC or Tripp-Lite. If you want to consider full line regulation, surge surpression, and battery back-up, an a/v UPS (with full sine wave AC voltage out) would work. I have a regular APC SmartUPS 1400 unit (it does provide full filtering and sine wave output, not square wave like cheap UPS units) on my a/v equipment because in our rural area, we lose power every other month and the battery backup allow an orderly shutdown of the equipment. http://www.tripplite.com/en/products...xtModelID=3151

So I was looking into the UPS you linked. One question I have about it is that it does not appear to have coax or rj-45 in/out. I am connecting cable via coax. I have a Ps3 connected via ethernet and could always add another line for the receiver itself if I wanted. Don't I need these in/out on the unit I get for surge protection? Thanks.


Also, the surge supression on that Smart1500 unit says 480 joules. Whereas I've seen other products that have many times that. However, these other units do not have battery backup. I must be missing something.


I'm very greatful for all the assistance.
 

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the "joules" rating is an overused marketing ploy. Most of your network grade surpressors and UPS units have other protection circuitry to cascade the overvoltage to ground.


this comment from APC:

HYPE: The Joule jive; Some surge suppressor manufacturers want you to believe that a superior surge product is based on its Joule rating. Joule ratings are considered invalid measures of performance by both the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Joule ratings do not always correlate to actual performance. In fact, some products have increased Joule ratings without any of the components changing.

LET-THROUGH: The truth. Two competitors' brands tested under the same criteria (using a 6000 volt electrical spike) let through an average of over 400V peak. Both of these competitors claimed Joule ratings of over 800 Joules. In comparison, an APC Pro7 model, rated at 320 Joules, allowed an average of 85V peak let-through. The APC unit has a lower Joule rating but does a better job at suppressing the surge. Don't be fooled by Joules!
As for surpressing spikes on other cables, the Tripp-lite unit does have a in-out filtered socket for an RJ45 network cable. Tripp apparently would rather you use separate filters for each of your coaxial cables. APC makes a similar unit, the S15 that does include all the innies and outies, but it is considerably more expensive, unless you can find it on a good internet sale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the help so far but there is still one thing I'm hoping to get more opinions on. That is the positioning problem of the surround speakers. The way I see it these are my best options:


1. Ceiling mount the rears. Simple, cheap, relatively easy, but sacrifices ideal positioning of the rears.


2. Pull up carpet and lay flat speaker wire underneath so I can use stands at ear level in the rear. Positions speakers where I want them but would be more costly, time consuming and logistically involved.


3. Run from the attic crawlspace outside the house and back in so I can position speakers at ear level on stands. Also costly, time consuming and logistically involved. This seems like the wrong way to go for sure.


Because there are open spaces (without baseboards) on both sides of the display area where the front, ctr, sub would go, running along or under a baseboard isn't an option. I'm sure others have had to solve this problem. What do you recommend?
 
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