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Home Theater Audio Advice.


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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 eGeeked

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Posted June 08 2012 - 02:34 AM

I am in the planning stages of my new home theater. This will be a dedicated room 17' x 24'. I have decided on everything except for audio. I am completely dumb in this area and I am unsure what exactly I need. I have chosen a Epson 8350 Projector and Favi 150" screen. I am looking to spend around 1k for the receiver and speakers to form a 7.1 possibly 7.2 surround. I was debating the following setup but I think this would have too many speakers with low sounds in them. Center: Sony SS-CN5000 - $70 on Amazon Front: Sony SSF-5000 - $150/pr on Amazon Side & Rear: Sony SS-B3000 - $100/pr on Amazon Subs: Sony SA-W3000 - $150/ea on Amazon Receiver: Sony STRDH820 7.2 Channel 3D AV Receiver - $290 on Amazon Bringing me in just over $1,000. But if the sound quality isn't there for a theater setup I would rather put the money elsewhere. Thoughts? Suggestions? Anything will help me at this point. Thank you in advance.

#2 of 14 David Willow

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Posted June 08 2012 - 05:50 AM

Skip the Sony.  The speakers aren't great, the subs are not up to par, and the receivers at this price range are not well liked.


Also, I would go for better speakers and a 5.1 setup over cheaper speakers for 7.1.  Same thing for the sub.  Get one good sub over 2 crappy subs.


If it was my setup, here's what I would get for $1000.


$270 - Fluance AVHTB+ Surround Sound Home Theater 5 Speaker System

$370 - Onkyo TX - NR609 

$340 - Lava LSP12 Subwoofer


I used to have the Fluance speakers I linked to.  They are very nice (for the price).

The Onkyo receiver is sufficient for your needs.  Also look at similar receivers from Denon, Yamaha and Pioneer in this price range (they will all be about the same - download the manuals and pick the one you like best).


The Lava sub is a GIANT step up from the Sony you mentioned.  These subs are very popular around here recently.  I have no direct experience with them but the specs are good and the price is right.


If you need cables get them from monoprice.com.  Your cable budget should be very low (don't waste money on expensive cables).



#3 of 14 eGeeked

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Posted June 08 2012 - 06:16 AM

David, Thank you I appreciate the post. It is exactly what I was looking for. I figured Sony makes quality stuff, this is the way to go. I am moving all of your suggestions into my budget sheet with one exception - I added 2 more Fluance surround speakers putting me at $1060. I just cleared up 200 on my screen budget so 60 of it can be used here. Thanks again.

#4 of 14 Robert_J

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Posted June 08 2012 - 08:12 AM

I just cleared up 200 on my screen budget so 60 of it can be used here.

Any reason you aren't going with a fixed screen? That saves some money. If you DIY it, you can get it down to about $100 or so.

#5 of 14 eGeeked

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Posted June 08 2012 - 08:19 AM

Actually when I cleared up the money that was with me building a fixed screen. I figured I mind as well since I am finishing the basement myself, what is one more project down there.

#6 of 14 eGeeked

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Posted June 08 2012 - 08:19 AM

I am trying to find a good set of plans though.

#7 of 14 Robert_J

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Posted June 08 2012 - 09:28 AM

http://www.projector.../diy_screen.htm has instructions. I used something like that as a guideline and just winged it. In these two pictures, you will see how I built the border. In fact, I worked backwards building the border first from fluted door casing and those decorative corners. The inside dimensions of the border ended up being the size of my screen (103"). I cut strips of masonite/hardboard (1/8" thickness) that were as wide as the casing. I glued them to the back of the casing to hold the top/bottom/sides/corner pieces together. Measure from the inside 1" and put a little piece of wood to align the boarder with the actual frame. I put one on top and one on each side. I left that in the garage overnight to dry. The next day I flipped it over and painted it satin black. http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ Here I am in front of my screen. The 4 sides are held together with metal L shaped connectors (I can't remember the name) that you screw to the backs of the boards. The braces are held with similar connectors but I didn't want them touching the screen material. So the connector is flush with the back of the braces but I used some tiny washers to lift the connector about 2mm from the side pieces. That way there is no chance the brace will touch the screen material and show through. It is held to the wall with a cleat that allowed me to slid it back and forth for proper positioning. The frame is 1" larger all around than the open of my border. Once I got the fabric stapled on the frame and the frame hung on the wall, I put the border on. It was placed over the hanging screen using those 3 alignment blocks mentioned earlier. I then used about 4 or 5 finishing nails with my air nailer to tack it on. http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#8 of 14 Martino

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Posted June 08 2012 - 09:29 AM

There are many sites on how to make a good screen....here is another one..... http://www.instructa...en-in-10-Steps/

#9 of 14 Jim Mcc

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Posted June 08 2012 - 09:50 AM

Jordan, what gain screen are you going to use? Because the only way the 8350 will work is if you buy a high gain screen. It just isn't bright enough for a 150" diagonal screen. Did you check the Calculator Pro at Projectorcentral.com?

#10 of 14 eGeeked

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Posted June 10 2012 - 09:21 AM

I am still in the planning process of the screen build also. I was maxing out the screen size based on my space. The area has no windows so will only have what light I provide in the room. After looking at the calculator pro I think the biggest I would go is 130" . I want to ensure I fill as much of the wall up while still having enough room under the screen for storage under it. I am currently on the look for high gain screen material. I will post what I find for those interested.

#11 of 14 Robert_J

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Posted June 10 2012 - 10:35 AM

I want to ensure I fill as much of the wall up

Actually you don't. Screen size should be based on seating distance. Based on the viewing distance calculator, you should be sitting about 17.5 feet from your 130" screen. http://myhometheater...calculator.html Based on the distance my eyes in the front row (I used my wife holding a tape measure in front of her eyes) to the screen (11.5 feet) and the calculator above, I ended up getting a THX recommended screen size of 102.9". I round up when talking about this to 103".

#12 of 14 eGeeked

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Posted June 10 2012 - 11:09 AM

I am currently looking into rear projection. The total size of the room is 17 by 46 I am trying to find a guide to the throw distance needed for rear projection I am hoping I could get away with using the 8350 in this type of space if it is rear projected.

#13 of 14 Robert_J

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Posted June 10 2012 - 02:31 PM

Rear projection or front projection, throw distance is exactly the same. Rear projection is rare. I've never seen a DIY rear projection screen. I have no clue where you could get a translucent material to make it.

#14 of 14 eGeeked

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Posted June 11 2012 - 12:02 AM

I calculated and found I don't want to waste roughly 10 ft behind the screen (using the mirror method), I also found the translucent rear projection screen from a supplier called carls place? or something like that. I am going to build up the room within Google SketchUp and play with the space, figure out how I want to lay it out.