Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests to win things like this Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

5.1 channel surround sound set up


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 of 18 anki

anki

    Auditioning

  • 6 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 02 2013
  • Real Name:Anki

Posted August 03 2013 - 09:21 AM

Hi guys,

I am new to the forum so please pardon any incorrect terminology/dumb questions.
I am building a new house and want to set up a nice 5.1 channel surround sound system, including a good receiver.

I will be mostly using it for watching movies and playing ps3.

I have a few questions -
1. Which speakers ( front channel, center and rear) should I buy?
2. Which sub woofer?
3. Which receiver ( should have bluetooth, multiple HDMI ports, 3d capability, etc.)
4. How should I set it up given open floor plan. Picture below -

 

 

Based on what I have read, seems like Polk, Klipsch and Kef are pretty good in speakers and subs, and Denon and some others in receivers. I am open to buying a mix of different brands for various things or all of one brand. I know its kind of open ended but any help would be appreciated. My budget is 1500-2000 for speakers and subs, and another 500-700 for receiver. I am a little flexible with budget if you think it would make sense to go up a little higher for much better quality.

 

Thanks in advance for all your help!

PS - For some reason I am unable to upload the picture. Will figure it out and do it shortly.



#2 of 18 schan1269

schan1269

    HTF Expert

  • 12,896 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted August 03 2013 - 10:18 AM

Choice of AVR comes down to, really...

 

1. What GUI you like/understand best. (GUI is the on-screen menu for settings)

2. Does it have  the features you need. (with your budget...pretty much every AVR is going to have the features you need...so revert back to the above point about the GUI)

3. Personal preference for "sound correction". Audyssey is the only "outside" type. The manufacturers "not using Audyssey" all have their own.

 

To help you decide further on part 3. There are two schools of thought...neither 100% correct nor 100% incorrect, they are personal choice. That "choice" is crossover. There are those, like me, who say let your speakers do all they can and set the crossovers accordingly. The other camp is "you set the crossover at 80hz* no matter what". Neither camp is right or wrong. But your choice here dictates, usually, what AVR/sound correction you purchase.

 

If, like me, you want tower fronts(I even have tower rears...but that is another discussion), you choose an AVR capable of letting your fronts play down to 40hz. That is any AVR that isn't a Yamaha or Pioneer/Elite(there are exceptions within brands...but your budget is high enough...there won't be any "single crossover Onkyo" you'd even be looking at).

 

If you want "5 matching speakers" like the Def Tech SM55(yes, you would purchase 5) and you actually have the room for a "non-center type" speaker...then you would set one crossover anyway.

 

So...pick the type of speaker you want...then decide on features...then decide on GUI.

 

As for speakers. Do you ever plan on listening to "pure 2.0" stereo sound...ever? If so, do you want large floor speakers that won't need subwoofer help?

 

*80hz is the basic crossover point where it is "assumed most people can't locate bass frequencies". IE, if you buy speakers capable of 80hz...then your subwoofer can be located in the room where it is best for it. Which you "can't do" if your main speakers can only reach 100hz or above...then where you put the sub becomes noticeable.



#3 of 18 Type A

Type A

    Supporting Actor

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

Posted August 03 2013 - 05:07 PM

Welcome to the forum Anki :)

 

Yes I think if you can swing it you could build a much better system for just a little more than your budget.

 

These recommendations are based on a medium sized room.

 

1. Refurb is the smartest way to buy speakers as it does get you the best prices, speaker prices drop drastically when used or refurb.  I would research and read reviews on the Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1 and PSB Imagine B, theyre both about $800 a pair.  I recommend five identical speakers if your surround channels can be located at least 6' from all seated positions and you can fit a vertical bookshelf speaker below your display.

 

Heres a good source for refurb PSBs

http://www.saturdaya.../psb_bstock.htm

 

2.  For subs I love Hsu and Outlaw.  SVS makes great subs but are more expensive.   I recommend you spend at least $500 on a sub with 20 Hz performance and a strong dynamic power rating.

 

3.  Read up on Sam's advice above.  The biggest feature I look for in an AVR is room correction, research Audyssey room correction versions to know what will be in your price range.  The higher the Audyssey version the better it will calibrate your system and manage bass.  The only AVR manufacture Im not fond of is Onkyo.  Otherwise my favorites are Marantz and Yamaha for sound quality, reliability, longevity and usability.

 

I also recommend refurb AVRs if factory authorized.  A4L is likely the highest recommended refurb AVR reseller on the net and likely one of the largest also.

 

http://www.accessori...eceivers/1.html

 

4. Hope you get a pic up.


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*

#4 of 18 anki

anki

    Auditioning

  • 6 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 02 2013
  • Real Name:Anki

Posted September 17 2013 - 08:39 PM

Hi Experts,

 

Thanks for all your help so far. I have started my research based on above pointers but still have some more time to go before I buy them. The key thing I need help with right now is figuring out locations for speaker pre-wiring for my home which is under construction. Please find below the picture(s) of my family room where I want to place the speakers with a few options on my mind around speaker pre-wiring. It is an open floor plan so as much as I want floor standing speakers in front and back, doesn't seem like I can do that. Please look at the options below and advise if any of them will work better than other, or if you have another suggestion altogether. 

Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to attach a picture here itself (tried the attachment option but it says I have exceeded my limit even without attaching a file) so uploaded a doc to dropbox and sharing the link below. 

 

https://www.dropbox....er options.docx

 

Appreciate all your help.

 

Thanks!!



#5 of 18 Jason Charlton

Jason Charlton

    Screenwriter

  • 2,803 posts
  • Join Date: May 16 2002
  • Real Name:Jason Charlton
  • LocationBaltimore, MD

Posted September 18 2013 - 05:45 AM

Of those three options, #3 is definitely the best bet.

 

Putting your front three speakers near the ceiling (even with a somewhat high placement of the display) is just asking for trouble.

 

Generally, in-wall speakers are a better option than in-ceiling speakers, but judging from the windows/doors along the left wall, in-wall surrounds are probably out of the question, so your choice of in-ceiling for surrounds is probably the best bet.

 

Since you have the extra height in the room, you could consider pre-wiring for front high speakers - then you can shop for a 7.1 receiver that includes this option as another way to enhance the soundfield.  I have not personally experienced front highs, but several members here have and seem to like the effect they produce.

 

Good luck with the project!


Are you new to the Home Theater Forum? Stop by the New Member Introductions area and introduce yourself! See you there!


#6 of 18 RolandL

RolandL

    Screenwriter

  • 2,172 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 11 2001
  • LocationCromwell, CT

Posted September 18 2013 - 06:42 AM

I would suggest putting the rear speakers on your side walls, a foot or two above your ear listening level for 5.1. If you decide later you want to add two speakers for 7.1, put those on the ceiling behind you.

 

See this picture for an example.


Edited by RolandL, September 18 2013 - 06:46 AM.

Roland Lataille
Cinerama web site

 


#7 of 18 Dan Driscoll

Dan Driscoll

    Supporting Actor

  • 926 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 01 2000

Posted September 18 2013 - 08:21 AM

I assume the photos are of a model home and that your plan is to pre-wire inside the walls of the house you are having built for the speakers? Since you will be adding all new wiring anyway, I strongly suggest that you pre-wire for a 9.1 or even 9.2 configuration. That will give you the most flexibility for future upgrades. The in-wall speaker wiring should be a minimum of 12AWG and you should check your local building codes for any other requirements. Your contractor/builder should be able to do that for you.

 

The standard 5.1 configuration is Front Left+Right, Center, Surround L+R, & Subwoofer; the standard 7.1 adds Rear Surround L+R. The configuration Jason suggested is an alternative where the rear surrounds are replaced with Front Height L+R speakers. In a 9.1 configuration you have both front height and rear surrounds. X.2 just adds a 2nd subwoofer, which is useful for larger spaces.

 

As others have mentioned, option 3 would be the best configuration, IMO.

 

Several people have also mentioned buying refurbished equipment; I second that recommendation, especially for the receiver. For speakers, good quality used is also an option, although it may be a little difficult to put together a matching speaker system buying used. That is because you want them to all be not only from the same manufacturer, but also from the same model line (subwoofer excepted). There are lots of good, used subs available, just make sure it is suitable for your space.

 

For receivers, I am a fan of Yamaha and Marantz. Both have their strong points, but the Marantz may be a little easier to set-up and has Audessy room correction, while Yamaha uses a proprietary system. Yamaha may offer more flexibility and maybe a little more 'real power', but might be more complicated for inexperienced users. FYI, Marantz and Denon are owned by the same company, but IMO and IME Marantz is still the better product.


Dan

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
--Benjamin Franklin

#8 of 18 schan1269

schan1269

    HTF Expert

  • 12,896 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted September 18 2013 - 08:45 AM

Yes you can put rear floor standers in. That is the most economical proposition anyway.

 

You already have a rug down. Run the speaker wire under it...

http://www.amazon.co...pe speaker wire (if you'd rather not "tape it to the floor" you can buy non-adhesive)

 

On the rear speakers(which my large room theater is set up in a 40x40 room with the 5.1+ width in 12x15 of it) you have a choice of floor standers where the tables are...or bookshelves sitting on the tables. The main reason to do that?

 

if you choose to host a party and you want low level music all over the room, you could then move the speakers to the walls and run the AVR in "all channel stereo"(whatever your AVR calls that). Then move your speakers back to the original surround spots. Somewhere on here there is a picture of my living room surround speakers sitting in the middle of the floor(near stuff...not by themselves).

 

What is your budget? As my favorite speaker for a room of this configuration is the Totem Arro(Totem are not inexpensive though)

http://totemacoustic...i/columns/arro/ (notice the 8 colors it is available in, which in your room...Mahogany would look very nice)



#9 of 18 anki

anki

    Auditioning

  • 6 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 02 2013
  • Real Name:Anki

Posted September 18 2013 - 10:55 AM

Thanks for all the great suggestions.

Here is some additional information -

As Dan mentioned, it is the picutre of a model home and mine is being built. I dont have the option to change the number of pre-wire (7.1 or 9.1) as it is already in the contract.

The back of the room is open to kitchen and leaves me little to no space to put floor standing speakers in a safe place where people dont stumble over it. On top of that, there is no wall on the right so I can't even put them in-wall. Please see the panormic picture in the word doc for a better understanding of the room.

 

Based on the above suggestions, it looks like option 3 is the winner. Do you think it would be a good idea to get pre-wiring in the front left and right in front wall/ceiling above the TV (its slanted ceiling on the edge where the speakers would go) as I could therotically run a wire from the receiver to the floor standing speakers in the front as they would be pretty close to the entertainment center anyways. This could give me the 7.1 set up. Lets consider this as option 3a.

 

1. What would you now recommend - 3 or 3a?

 

2. Is the place I have highlighted in the picture the right place for center channel or having it somewhere else would be a better idea?

 

3. What kind of in-ceiling spreakers would you recommend - the round ones that fit in the ceiling or bookshelf speakers hanging on a mount of tilt?

 

Thanks!



#10 of 18 schan1269

schan1269

    HTF Expert

  • 12,896 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted September 18 2013 - 11:51 AM

I still don't understand why floorstanding or "bookshelves sitting on a table" won't work.

 

Are you not going to have anywhere to sit? Nor anywhere to sit a glass of wine/beer?

 

Contracts can be changed on the fly. I design theatres for a living with a home builder/remodeler. It is amazing the "changes according to original plan" occur when a customer starts to realize what they can have...if they had asked at the beginning. 

 

Do you already have your furniture for this room? If you do, you can run speaker wire under the floor to individual spots.

 

Are you running any electrical outlets in the floor so that lamps sitting in the middle of the floor don't have to run all the way over to the wall?



#11 of 18 anki

anki

    Auditioning

  • 6 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 02 2013
  • Real Name:Anki

Posted September 18 2013 - 01:10 PM

Well the reason I thought it wont work is that I plan to have wooden flooring and couldn't figure out how to run the wiring under the flooring in that case. Also currently I have not asked for any elecrical outlets on the floor for lamps etc. Even if I were to get the contract changed and asked for electrical outlet on the floor, how would it solve the speaker pre-wiring problem? There are plenty of outlets on the wall but not on the floor. I dont have any furniture yet.

 

Thanks!



#12 of 18 schan1269

schan1269

    HTF Expert

  • 12,896 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted September 18 2013 - 01:21 PM

If you can come up with a room plan, including the furniture, you can run a pre-wire in the floor(using flat wire linked above) that ends in covered blocks in the floor.

 

The same kind of covering you would use for a standard outlet or a built in vacuum.

 

Is this a slab or crawlspace/basement?



#13 of 18 anki

anki

    Auditioning

  • 6 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 02 2013
  • Real Name:Anki

Posted September 18 2013 - 01:38 PM

The room set up would be fairly similar to the one you see in the picture. If I understand correctly, what you are suggesting is I identify the spots where I want my rear speaker wires and when the flooring company comes to lay down the hard wood floor (my house will come default with carpet and I will upgrade it to hardwood asap), I run the wire myself to the relevant point, taking it out from the wodden floor and cover with a covering?  

I am not certain about your question about the slab but it is a one story house with no basement and concrete floor.

 

If my above understanding is correct, can I rahter not ask the builder to run the wire under the floor the same way, or they wouldn't do it?

 

Pardon my ignorance...still trying to learn the terminology and how things work.

 

Thanks again!



#14 of 18 anki

anki

    Auditioning

  • 6 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 02 2013
  • Real Name:Anki

Posted September 18 2013 - 01:41 PM

Could you also help with my question in the previous post atleast for the speakers in the front?

 

1. What would you now recommend - 3 or 3a?

 

2. Is the place I have highlighted in the picture the right place for center channel or having it somewhere else would be a better idea?



#15 of 18 schan1269

schan1269

    HTF Expert

  • 12,896 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted September 18 2013 - 01:48 PM

Wait.

 

Your builder won't put in hardwood from the beginning?

 

But yes. The "spots" where you want your rear speakers, you add a speaker binding post to the floor.

 

This is overkill, but the general idea...

http://www.legrand.u...nt/.UjofisZwqSo



#16 of 18 schan1269

schan1269

    HTF Expert

  • 12,896 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted September 18 2013 - 01:55 PM

Could you also help with my question in the previous post atleast for the speakers in the front?

 

1. What would you now recommend - 3 or 3a?

 

2. Is the place I have highlighted in the picture the right place for center channel or having it somewhere else would be a better idea?

 

I would go with 3, yes. Are you going to have the same built-in?

 

The center speaker goes with the TV, no matter where the TV is.

 

That box I linked before(or one like it) could be set under where you are sitting the couch, then run wires to the speakers themselves. Which if you have tables and want lamps on these tables, you could have electrical and 4/5 wire(even 6/7) ran for audio. I design rooms incorporating those all the time.

 

Slab floors are the hardest to design, cause they need to know these things BEFORE they pour the slab.

 

Edit:

"slab but it is a one story house with no basement and concrete floor."

 

Slab is no basement or crawlspace.



#17 of 18 schan1269

schan1269

    HTF Expert

  • 12,896 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted September 18 2013 - 02:00 PM

Basically what happens...

 

Your builder puts in a piece of "concrete conduit" from where the wall will be(their design, they should know where the wall is) to "where you decide" to put the floor junction box.

 

Once they put in the concrete conduit and junction box, with the junction for the wall, they then pour the slab. You could(depending how deep this is going to be) have them add in a floor HVAC vent in the same area...if you choose to have one there. But that also depends on how the rest of the HVAC is being done in the house.



#18 of 18 Dan Driscoll

Dan Driscoll

    Supporting Actor

  • 926 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 01 2000

Posted September 19 2013 - 07:50 AM

I would recommend 3a, simply because it offers the most flexibility. Anything you can pre-wire for you should pre-wire for, IMO.

 

As Sam said, the center speaker in a home theater set-up goes with the TV, regardless of where it's located. It can be over or under, but under is the most common and is typically much easier to set-up, since it can usually sit on the top shelf of the TV stand, just below the TV.

 

As others have said, check with your builder, changes can be made. However, there is almost always added cost and possibly time when changes are made.


Dan

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
--Benjamin Franklin




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users