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Need guidance on audio system


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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   legion1987

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Posted September 22 2013 - 01:55 PM

Hello everyone,

 

My first post here! Hope some of you can point me in the right direction! :)

 

So, I've had a little home theater setup for a little while here but it's just been from stuff patched together. The only things I have actually bought is the projector, ceiling mount for projector, and the screen. The audio system I've got right now came from relatives and is just an awful setup. I need to buy something completely new. As long as it's realistic I'd like to have a $600 budget for the entire audio setup.

 

I figured I'd give you guys a little info about the room I've got the setup in. It is 19' long, 15' wide and an 8' ceiling. I took a few pictures to give you an idea on my setup:

 

**I do plan on hiding cables and putting equipment on shelves once I get everything I need. I know it's a mess right now ;)

 

WP_20130922_001.jpg

 

WP_20130922_002.jpg

 

 

WP_20130922_003.jpg

 

WP_20130922_005.jpg

 

 

My current equipment is:

ViewSonic PJL7211

16:9 Powered roll up screen

HP Core2Duo computer loaded with XBMC (Outputs: VGA, HDMI, 1/8" audio)

POS analog audio receiver

Hand-me-down speakers that barely work

 

So there's the room and equipment. I think the first thing I need to decide is if I'm going to go for a 2.1 setup, sound bar, or surroud sound. I'm completely open to suggestions! I think surround sound would be cool, but hiding cables would be kind of a chore with this room. I'm really just looking for an audio system that gives awesome sound; mostly for movies but would be used for music as well.

 

After just a LITTLE looking around at surround audio equipment, I noticed a good looking speaker set: Energy SP-PK21BS and maybe a Harmon Kardon AVR 1565? Currently, my XBMC box has VGA going to the projector and is using the 1/8" audio jack to a RCA adapter into my old analog receiver. If I use an HDMI cable to go from the XBMC box to the receiver just for audio and the VGA cable still going to the projector, will I get audio/video delay?

 

Hopefully that wasn't too much! Thanks for reading!


Edited by legion1987, September 22 2013 - 01:57 PM.


#2 of 16 OFFLINE   legion1987

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Posted September 30 2013 - 03:03 PM

Hey there,

 

I've got a bunch of views and no replies. I read through my original post and noticed that I might have been vague on what kind of advice I'm looking for.

 

I'm very new to audio and video setups, so I'm really just looking for overall guidance. I'm not sure what specs to look for and what would be important for this room size. I'm just afraid if I go out and buy something (like the products I listed in original post) I'd find out later that I could have gotten something much better for my situation for the same price (or a little more).



#3 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted September 30 2013 - 03:06 PM

A bunch of us didn't realize you were asking questions.

 

As far as the XBMC bit. I'm certainly not the one to ask.



#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted September 30 2013 - 03:30 PM

Welcome to the forum Bruce.   :)

 

Ugh. The bad part is that door is right smack dab in the way of where your right speaker should go and the left speaker will need to be pretty close to the wall to clear that screen.   In my opinion your screen is just too big for that current location (and still allow for surround sound).   Location and spread for your front left and right is important, especially for music.  Any possibility you can flip your layout and put the couch where the screen is and the screen where the couch is?  It doesnt look like the couch will fit on the other end but then speakers on the left and right of your existing screen location isnt going to work very well either.  

 

That energy system looks good but in my opinion a $600 budget for a surround sound system that also sounds good for music is not realistic.  Starting with a higher budget and a good pair of tower speakers, even though it wont be surround sound will do better in a music application than that surround sound energy system.  For what it is, and what you spend,  its not a bad choice but you can likely do better if you have a good budget for towers and maybe slowly expand to surround sound over time.   Your only other option is a sound bar mounted on the wall below the screen and how well that will do for music I cant say (I wouldnt expect much). 


JVC DLA-RS60U3D & DaLite High Power 106"
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#5 of 16 OFFLINE   legion1987

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Posted September 30 2013 - 03:41 PM

About how big would the tower speakers be? Would it be possible to mount the right one above the light switch? Guess it might look kinda funny, but if it gives me the sound I want I might do it.

 

So the tower speaker setup you're recommending.. is it basically a 2.1 setup? I would plug the speakers into whatever AV receiver I choose and be good to go?

 

I might be willing to go above my $600 budget. It'll just be more time I'd have to wait before I can afford it. I'm not in a huge hurry, I'd rather have a great setup for years instead of buying a cheap solution now. The majority of what will go through the speakers is movies/tv shows, but I might want to throw on some music occasionally. However if I have to sacrafice surround sound to have good music I'd probably go that route. I've just never heard surround sound that was amazing.

 

BTW sorry for the confusing original post. My thoughts are scrambled a lot and it shows when I try to put them down on paper (or a text box). :) The XMBC question was more of a side thought. I'll be able to figure that out, and worst case scenario.. I'll have to continue using analog audio until I can afford a good projector with an HDMI input.



#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted September 30 2013 - 04:03 PM

No I dont think above the light switch is practical, remember that your distance from the screen will need to be consistent on both sides and, youre right, it would look funny.  

 

It sounds like your plans and long-term goals are exactly what they should be but sadly having the best plans and intentions don't help your room situation.  Your existing room, in my opinion,  just doesnt lend itself to surround sound and I just dont think you have the room for anything other than a small surround sound system.   I dont recommend Bose but this is what my Zone 2 used to look like  (those black cubes above the screen are speakers):

 

2006_01010013.jpg

 

Those are just Bose cubes.  It did OK for surround sound but it was pretty weak for music.  Towers were no more realistic in my old zone 2 than they are in your existing zone 1.  That door and the overall width of the room is killing you.  If you can give up using that door and move your screen to the right (centered over that whole stretch)  then towers might be a possibility.  Otherwise  I see small wall mounted speakers in your future, something like the Bose in the picture only something better than Bose. Small Energy speakers, Orbs or Omnisats perhaps???


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*

#7 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted September 30 2013 - 04:10 PM

How far down the wall does the screen go?

 

http://www.amazon.co...BIC speaker bar



#8 of 16 OFFLINE   legion1987

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Posted September 30 2013 - 04:51 PM

Yeah, the room is plenty big but wasn't specifically designed for what I'm trying to do. :) I'll make do. I can't really block that door, it's the door to my garage lol.

 

Hmm, well if I could mount surround sound speakers to the ceiling it wouldn't be that hard to set up. I can hide speaker wire in my attic. I heard from a friend that it isn't good to mount speakers up high like that. Is that only the case with certain speakers?

 

 

The sound bar idea is interesting. I was curious on how they sound, it seems there are mixed reviews and a bunch to choose from. I took another picture to show my screen fully down. I aimed my projector to hit the screen when it is all the way down so I don't have to adjust it when I lower it. I could make it higher if need be. There is 17" from the floor to the bottom of the screen.

 

WP_20130930_001.jpg



#9 of 16 OFFLINE   mccambley

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Posted September 30 2013 - 05:01 PM

How about the screen in front of the window . The window will still be useful when screen is up. The wall seems large enough for towers or book shelf size speakers on stands. You will need to flexible with couch and surrounds but it will work.Start with a receiver and two speakers, then a sub next the center then finally surrounds. 



#10 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted September 30 2013 - 06:33 PM

The sound bar idea is interesting. I was curious on how they sound, it seems there are mixed reviews and a bunch to choose from.

Doesn't matter. You chose a room setup where you left no other choices. (unless you want to take that screen down and hang an AT screen)

 

I took another picture to show my screen fully down. I aimed my projector to hit the screen when it is all the way down so I don't have to adjust it when I lower it. I could make it higher if need be. There is 17" from the floor to the bottom of the screen.

That is enough room now. Tilt the speaker up a tad.

 

My idea with the BIC is twofold...

 

1. Its price allows you to buy an AVR and get 5.1-ish now...with minimal expenditure.

2. Eventually unhook the 4/5 from that soundbar and run to actual rear speakers.(side note, ceiling is not ideal...unless you have no other choice)

 

And lastly, not sure how it would work...but.

 

If you buy an AVR capable of "width" (Audyssey DSX or Pioneer/Elite with their proprietary) you could try running the wide out the "former surround part" of the soundbar.



#11 of 16 OFFLINE   legion1987

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Posted October 01 2013 - 03:46 PM

mccambley: Hey, thanks for the suggestion. My only concern with that idea though, is that there wouldn't be enough room between the couch and the screen. I'm afraid the back of the couch would prevent access to my kitchen.

 

 

I ordered the sound bar. I did some reserach, and I couldn't find many people saying anything bad about it. Also, there was only 1 more available on Amazon, so instead of messing around with another site I decided to just get it. I'm sure it'll be 100 times better than what I've got! :)

 

So now on to other parts of the system. I was looking around on Amazon some more, and this looks like a pretty good sub: http://www.amazon.co...pd_bxgy_e_img_y

 

If I get a sub, do I need a special cable? Like this: http://www.amazon.co...pd_bxgy_e_img_z

 

Was thinking about this receiver. Any opinions? http://www.amazon.co...kardon avr 2700

 

Lastly, I don't have cables or connectors. Is there a kit that I should look for? What guage would you recommend for this setup?

 

Now I have all the questions! :) Hope this isn't too much. I really appreciate all the help!!



#12 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted October 01 2013 - 04:16 PM

The F12 is the most recommended <$200 sub.

Any shielded coax works; digital coax, composite video and shielded subwoofer(all the cable).

You are a guinea pig on the HK.

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   legion1987

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Posted October 02 2013 - 04:05 PM

Do you have another AVR you would reccomend for about that price? Maybe give/take $50.

 

Is there a specific kind of speaker wire I should buy? I see people getting different guages, does that make a difference?



#14 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted October 02 2013 - 04:28 PM

You buy your AVR based on the features you need/want.

I typically buy 12awg lamp cord for speaker wire.

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted October 02 2013 - 07:12 PM

That link to the H/K showed the 1510 not the 2700 like I thought it would :blink: .

 

Man, they're getting cheap. Spring clips on the Center and Surrounds. Skip it.

 

As always, refurbs from ac4l.com is the best value.

 

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

 

If you're going to run the speaker wires in the walls or between floors you're supposed to get CL-2 or CL-3 speaker wire to satisfy most local fire codes.

 

http://www.monoprice...&seq=1&format=2


"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Type A

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Posted October 03 2013 - 02:41 AM

Based on 8 Ohm speakers distances up to 20' 16 gauge wire is recommended.  14 gauge up to 35'.  As long as its oxygen free (most is except for the really cheap crap wire, oxygen free prevents corrosion) your speaker wire doesnt need to be anything special,  Lowes or Home Depot is where I get mine.  Make sure your sub cable is long enough to allow you to experiment with placement as sometimes small changes in sub location can make a big difference.  

 

As Gene mentioned A4L will get you the best value in an AVR.  A refurb from them will allow for a much better AVR than something new.  Luckily I think that sound bar will be easy to drive and most anything will drive it.    


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*




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