-

Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

Help needed - hardware suggestions for a dedicated theater room


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
6 replies to this topic

#1 of 7 Zachfitz

Zachfitz

    Auditioning

  • 3 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2012

Posted August 29 2012 - 05:33 PM

Forgive the admitted newbie-ism, and thanks for any expertise and experience shared, I truly appreciate it. I purchased a home that was previously owned by a total audiophile - everything is about sound in this house, and it excites me, but I am a bit overwhelmed at the initial learning curve. The owner didn't leave hardware, so I need help figuring out quality equipment to re-stock the theater room. Specs: Theater room is an enclosed dedicated 11x20 room with obvious care taken to everything from lighting to speaker placement and acoustics (soundproofed, etc.). The room is wired for multiple HDMI, 7 speakers and two 12" subwoofers and a mounted projector for a 10ft 16:9 screen. I have little idea at what type of power and umph I'll need in a home theater system to create good sound in the room... so to help guide me, what would YOU do with this room for the audio with a moderate budget? Let me know your thoughts, any guidance in the right direction is very appreciated.

#2 of 7 Zachfitz

Zachfitz

    Auditioning

  • 3 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2012

Posted August 29 2012 - 05:36 PM

To clarify a bit, I don't want to break the bank at first, but want quality sound. i.e. I don't necessarily care about blowing people's hair back when THX shows on the screen, but I want a clean, deep sound that will fill the room, keep crisp, and be impressionable at normal movie-watching decibel. I can see myself eventually dumping $10k+ into this room over time as my passion grows for sound, but at this point, I'm looking more for just getting the room functional at a smart budget, and upgrade over time from there. 1. What brands are known for good, quality sound? 2. I've read wattage can be misleading, so what kinds of specs are important to look for in a theater system (speakers/receiver/subwoofer), and what is recommended for a room with these specs?

#3 of 7 schan1269

schan1269

    Executive Producer

  • 13,609 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted August 29 2012 - 06:11 PM

Brand of AVR depends on your ultimate goal...but, if you buy anything that has an "original" MSRP of $1000+...everything is good. There are two "specs" that matter in speakers... OHM load Efficiency OHM load determines the resistance. Lower OHM, lower resistance...means more power....but............ Many AVR have problems with 4ohm. Good news is, the plethora of speakers you are likely to choose are 6 or greater. Efficiency determines how hard the amps have to work to produce sound in the room. (examples of good...and not so good...) BIC PL89 at 98db Mirage Nanosat at 87db I picked those two speakers to also showcase another "myth" perpetuated by the idiots at Worst Buy and other "big box clerk stores"... That myth being "large speakers need power"... The Mirage are tiny. The BIC are huge. To achieve 100db in your room 6 feet off your couch...here is the power they both need... BIC. Around 4 watts. Mirage. Around 32 watts. And if this is a DEDICATED movie/TV room with little to none in music, Klipsch and BIC Acoustech should be high on your radar. The only Klipsch not to bother with are the Synergy line. Basically, if you buy the Synergy, you deserve to get sledgehammered across the forehead for not buying the Acoustech.

#4 of 7 schan1269

schan1269

    Executive Producer

  • 13,609 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted August 29 2012 - 06:34 PM

Before we can steer you towards an AVR... Wii? VHS? Dual displays? Networking/NAS? Ipod/Iphone/Ipad/Droid? (yes this can be relevant) Laptop? Want a remote with macros, or plan on buying a universal anyway? Need/want 2nd/3rd zone?

#5 of 7 Zachfitz

Zachfitz

    Auditioning

  • 3 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 2012

Posted August 30 2012 - 03:06 PM

This is the information I am looking for and makes layman's sense to me. I definitely appreciate the guidance. This room will be primarily used for movies (Blu-ray/3d) and gaming, not so much music (if at all). Wii: yes. And other gaming devices. The room will be used for gaming as well as movies/sports events. Netflix streaming via Wii or elsewhere is important to me. VHS: not important to me Dual displays: not important to me Networking: networking capability is important to me. The previous owner used a NAS. If not right at first, I will eventually utilize a NAS. iPad/iPhone: yes, and communicating with the device via Apple products/via AirPlay etc. would be a plus if it isn't a huge price premium Laptop: yes Macros would be excellent, i'm a fan I don't need multiple zones What are the pros/cons of theater-in-a-box vs. speakers bought separately? If bought separately, I should stick to the same brand/family for all, correct?

#6 of 7 schan1269

schan1269

    Executive Producer

  • 13,609 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted August 30 2012 - 03:44 PM

Good thing you aren't doing multi-zone and Airplay at the same time(lots of people on here will breathe a sigh of relief)... Onkyo is the last one "not" to do Airplay/(of the brands you are most likely to consider), Onkyo uses a USB that works with Ipod/Ipad/Iphone/Droid instead However, the networking that Onkyo has(they started it and have the most models with it....but "networking from receiver A to B is not the same thing") can make Airplay not necessary anyway. But, Yamaha probably has the best Apple integration(look at the APP controls. Nobody else is that advanced, but do you need that advancement in the same room?) What it will boil down to, realistically, will be the speakers you choose... If you do a "proper" HT, all 5 or 7 speakers will be identical. If you do that(and I mean IDENTICAL, not 4 "and a center"...I mean the SAME EXACT SPEAKER in all positions) YPAO is the best auto-set-up there is. Deviate from that and you'll wish you had Audyssey or EZSet. Pioneers MCACC is not bad, but YPAO wins the battle. If you have a laptop in the room, you technically don't need onboard networking in the AVR(whatever your networking does, your laptop will do better...but that goes out the window when the networking is also receiver control...which again, do you need that in the same room) Lastly, the Wii is component video(at least I hope you are using this...http://www.amazon.com/Nintendo-Component-Video-Stereo-Audio-Gold-Plated/dp/B000VY4R7M/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1346384404&sr=1-3&keywords=wii+component) unless you buy the "Wii to HDMI" adapter. That means you need HDMI upconversion. You are more than likely buying a receiver $600+. I don't think there is a receiver in that price range anymore that doesn't include it.

#7 of 7 Type A

Type A

    Supporting Actor

  • 794 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 07 2007
  • Real Name:Ty
  • LocationPortland Oregon

Posted August 30 2012 - 08:34 PM

Hi Zach and welcome to HTF :) Congrats on the great theater room, rare and awesome to come upon such a treasure. A couple of thoughts about the dimensions, 11x20 is close to acoustically perfect dimensions, a rectangle, so thats awesome. However 11 foot wide is kinda narrow and might limit how wide a screen you can go and still fit tower speakers. An acoustically transparent projector screen may be in your future so thought I would put the bug in your ear now... Based on a solid budget of $10k there are two schools of thought on where you should go from here. The first is my choice; buy to keep and then add on over time as you work towards that 10k system. Meaning you start with a quality 2 channel sound system to keep within that "modest" starting budget. This choice makes more sense than, say, a HTIB that would be installed, perform mediocre, and then have to be uninstalled and dealt with later. However buying less, but still within the range of your ultimate performance goal, from the beginning will give you a better home theater experience from the very beginning. Its also far less hassle then replacing components youve already purchased. I would forget using the wii for netflix streaming. An Xbox 360 or blu ray player will provide HD netflix. When dealing with a large screen every little bit of performance helps with your picture quality, and netflix does actually have HD programming. Don't cheat yourself on the big screen by streaming with a lower resolution wii. Heres some gear to start looking at... Im guessing roughly 4k for projector/screen and 6k for sound.... My favorite projector is here. Doesnt have a variable iris like all the DLP and LCD projectors on the market, and JVC makes some of the best projectors on the market today. I own the older RS1X but someday Ill upgrade to the 250. I think the going street price is around $2400. My favorite towers are Martin Logan towers, makes a good start towards that full system, basic info here. Heres a package review using those towers. Package price in the review is $5300 but I wouldnt be surprised if you could find that cheaper as well. It comes with a sub but maybe in the future you can add additional subs, more than one is always recommended.
JVC DLA-RS60U3D & DaLite High Power 106"
Paradigm Studio V.5 20 (5) & ADP590 (2)  
Hsu VTF-2 MK3 (2) & MBM-12 MK2 (2)

Yamaha RX-A3010 & Emotiva XPA5
Oppo BDP93 & Darbee DVP 5000

*My Home Theater Photo Journal*