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Building a House and I get a home theater budget! Need input. (2 Viewers)

SmCaudata

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We are very early in the design phase for a new construction. I will have a home theater in the basement with budget around $20k. It won't be a totally closed of room, the back will have a 4' tall bar across most of it, with pillars on the edge of that bar. This would allow me to mount speakers on the pillars. I also could put in curtains or something if I needed it darker. My wife wants it to look nice too. This is what she had in mind.
1611157503986.png



Here is my planned basement layout including the theater.
1611157562437.png



The front of the theater will be fully underground. The back wall of the basement will be a look out that faces northwest, but there are a lot of trees so I don't expect a ton of light.

I'm currently trying to decide how to go. In the front left of the theater I will have a network and AV rack that has a glass door facing the theater but is accessible from the back for all the network cables and such. That room in the front of the house is cold storage under the patio. The oddly shaped room will be exercise.

Uses:
Regular television and movies.
Music (I'm not one that sits down to deliberately listen to stereo music (but I may start)
Video games

Dimensions of the room are about 15' by 20' (center to center measurements)

First question:
Would people recommend 5.2.4 or 7.2.4? I'm not sure if the sides and rears will be too close to be effective for the rear row. On the other hand, most of the time we will only be using the front row and I am building this for me, not guests. I'm leaning toward 7.2.4.

Second question:
Freestanding fronts versus in wall? I was originally planning to go with Goldenear Tritons with powered subs as an all in one solution and then use GoldenEar Center and in walls everywhere else. I was thinking of using a wall mount TV at the time.
Now however I am thinking I will go with a projector (that LG Cinebeam for $3k) and a big screen (maybe 135" or so). IF I go this route, I'd probably go in wall and an AT screen, however I think I could still use freestanders.

Third question:
Subs? Subs are big and take up space. If I went with the GoldenEar Tritons (2 or 1.r) I wouldn't need them. If I went in wall I was looking at in wall subs as well. Trouble is, without being in the room, I would have no idea where to put in wall subs. I could put one below each front speaker? One under center and one in the back?

I am sort of leaning toward the in wall with projector and AT screen right now with these models.
Wall treatments: Some sound absorbing panels. My wife likes the look of the Acoustimac Panels with the Castielle Suede covering.
Projector: LG Cinebeam
Screen: Some 135" AT screen
Receiver: Denon AVR-X6700H
Speakers:
Fronts and Center: Monitor Audio CP-IW460X
Subs: 2x Monitor Audio IWS-10 with back boxes and IWA-250 Amp
Surrounds: 4x Monitor CP-WT380
Height: 4x Monitor CP-CT260

So. Any suggestions on layout changes? Equipment options? Opinions on my questions above?

Thanks everyone!
 

SmCaudata

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Okay. After reading some other thread comments I see people really pushing separates.

Would I really get better performance with $1k in walls with separates?

If I did go with separates, I see I could get an Emotiva XPA-2 and go all the way to 9.2 6. That could be fun. Wouldn't be too big of a budget increase to do that and change speakers to Def Tech in walls that seem to review very well.

How big of a room do I need for 9.1.6 to be better than 7.1.4 or 5.1.4?
 

SmCaudata

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I haven't received any replies yet, but reading around here and elsewhere, I thought that maybe I would just go all in on making this a true theater and having a "regular" television elsewhere. I could then put in a false wall to hide real subs and 3 tower speakers (including the center). I'd push the back wall back and actually enclose it.

Overall dimensions of the room would then be about 15 x 24. I think I'd put the false wall about 3 feet up.

New Picutre.
1611766723789.png


I was thinking that I'd probably go with something a little less high end on speakers since cabinets are less important and I may set up a separate stereo space elsewhere.

So, for speakers I was thinking:
Option 1: Revel with F36 across the three fronts. Maybe 2 monoprice ultra subs. Revel in-wall/ceiling around.
Option 2: Paradigm Premier 900F across the front. Paradigm defiance subs and paradigm in-wall/ceiling around.
Option 3: Bowers and Wilkins 603 s2 across the front with mono subs and B&W in walls.
Option 4: Focal Chora 826 across the front. This would use the flax in-walls, would the mismatch drivers matter?

I also would like other suggestions for good mix of towers and in-walls. I'd like the speaker package to come in around $10k, leaving me some money for processor, amp, and projector. I think that I'll do a DIY screen with Seymour AV fabric.

I'd really like to hear from some here that have done this. I have too many options spinning in my head. :)
 

JohnRice

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I don't know why you haven't gotten any responses. I also don't know how I missed your thread up to now. I've just been extremely busy lately. I do have some feedback, but I'll come back when I have more time later. Hopefully some others will chime in as well.
 

Dgottli1

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I really have very little experience here. But first off, what an awesome budget/problem to have!

I haven’t heard any of the speakers you are considering, but I would perhaps consider magnepans. I have a pair of MMGs and a Rythmik L12 sub as part of my somewhat budget living room home theater (Denon AVR s750h, 1080p Epson projector, and 110” screen) and it’s awesome. I also have the MMGs hooked to my dedicated stereo tube amp for music/records/sonos. I really really love magnepans and I think if I had the budget and the space for bigger ones I would absolutely put them in a dedicated home theater (Maybe three identical ones for front L, C, R, behind an acoustically transparent screen. You’d have a ridiculous soundstage). Like I said I have no experience with the other speakers you have but you may consider trying to listen to maggie’s or similar non-cone speakers, since they are wonderful in my opinion.

Also at least 2 subs seems like a good idea regardless :)

Enjoy,
Dave
 

SmCaudata

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I was under the impression that Magnepans had a very small sweet spot. Is this not the case? I'm in MN so I should be able to find somewhere around here to audition them, probably paired with a BelCanto Amp or something.

TJ
 

JohnRice

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I was under the impression that Magnepans had a very small sweet spot. Is this not the case? I'm in MN so I should be able to find somewhere around here to audition them, probably paired with a BelCanto Amp or something.

TJ
Magnepans are awesome for music, but I really wouldn't suggest them for a home theater.

BTW, there's no need to match brands between the speakers and subs. I'd stick with a dedicated sub company for those. More for your money.
 

SmCaudata

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Magnepans are awesome for music, but I really wouldn't suggest them for a home theater.

BTW, there's no need to match brands between the speakers and subs. I'd stick with a dedicated sub company for those. More for your money.

Thanks for that.

After more extensive looking around, I think I may be leaning back to in walls all around. In particular the Focall 300 LCR6 speakers look really good. The focal data sheets give graphs of sound levels off of horizontal and vertical axis. It seems as though these in-wall focused speakers have bit better horizontal dispersion. I'd then make the wall more of a ballast wall with some openings in the bottom to shoot the front of the sub through, or maybe make the most of the bottom 20" open so I can slide the subs laterally.

I could do a full 7.2.4 setup with a new Anthem 1140 using the Focal 300 IWLCR6 for fronts, the IW6 for sides and rears and the ICW4 for Atmos (I picked the 4 because the 6 and 8s had very quick drop off when off axis, which doesn't seem desirable for multiseat atmos). I'd probably line up the tweeters at rear row ear height since all the speakers seem to have less drop off below the tweeter than above. It looks like Focal really did their design homework here. They don't really have a dedicated speaker that would do well for front wides as the ICLCR5 is 7.5 inches deep and I probably wouldn't have enough depth on the right side. For subs I was thinking HSU research sealed subs.

So in the end I could be all in with a DIY screen for a hair over $10k, meaning I could maybe get a budget for some stereo speakers for another section of the house down the road. ;)

How does this sound for a setup?
 

JohnRice

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Thanks for that.

After more extensive looking around, I think I may be leaning back to in walls all around. In particular the Focall 300 LCR6 speakers look really good. The focal data sheets give graphs of sound levels off of horizontal and vertical axis. It seems as though these in-wall focused speakers have bit better horizontal dispersion. I'd then make the wall more of a ballast wall with some openings in the bottom to shoot the front of the sub through, or maybe make the most of the bottom 20" open so I can slide the subs laterally.

I could do a full 7.2.4 setup with a new Anthem 1140 using the Focal 300 IWLCR6 for fronts, the IW6 for sides and rears and the ICW4 for Atmos (I picked the 4 because the 6 and 8s had very quick drop off when off axis, which doesn't seem desirable for multiseat atmos). I'd probably line up the tweeters at rear row ear height since all the speakers seem to have less drop off below the tweeter than above. It looks like Focal really did their design homework here. They don't really have a dedicated speaker that would do well for front wides as the ICLCR5 is 7.5 inches deep and I probably wouldn't have enough depth on the right side. For subs I was thinking HSU research sealed subs.

So in the end I could be all in with a DIY screen for a hair over $10k, meaning I could maybe get a budget for some stereo speakers for another section of the house down the road. ;)

How does this sound for a setup?
I can't know every speaker, but Focal is certainly one of the better brands out there. If you can go bigger for the LCR, I would recommend that, but lacking that ability...

I'm not clear what you are planning for the sub(s), but if you get sealed or front ported models and put them with the fronts unrestricted, that would be good. Having a "slot" where you can find the optimal placement along the front wall is a good thing to do.
 

John Sparks

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I'll say a few things, go for the largest screen (scope/16x9) your space can accommodate and 4 Atmos ceiling speakers..
 

SmCaudata

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I can't know every speaker, but Focal is certainly one of the better brands out there. If you can go bigger for the LCR, I would recommend that, but lacking that ability...

I'm not clear what you are planning for the sub(s), but if you get sealed or front ported models and put them with the fronts unrestricted, that would be good. Having a "slot" where you can find the optimal placement along the front wall is a good thing to do.

Any advice for auditioning in-walls for size purposes. The places around here only really have the free standing setups. Here is the second page of the data sheet from the Focal site.
1612211549828.png


For my listening distance of around 4 m I'd guess about 95-96 dB at 20W. That seems reasonably loud with 3 of them going. They don't drop off too much at 30 deg either way. As to sound quality at that level, I can't say. They have 2 6.5" woofers and 1 4" mid, which is fairly comparable to some towers out there.

I'll give my local dealer a call and see what he thinks about volume. They aren't a dedicated HT designer, but they do have some in home services and may be able to steer me. They also sell paradigm, KEF, ML, GoldenEar and Tannoy.

Thanks for all the input guys. I'm sure I'll be back as things progress.
 

JohnRice

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Any advice for auditioning in-walls for size purposes. The places around here only really have the free standing setups. Here is the second page of the data sheet from the Focal site.
View attachment 87592

For my listening distance of around 4 m I'd guess about 95-96 dB at 20W. That seems reasonably loud with 3 of them going. They don't drop off too much at 30 deg either way. As to sound quality at that level, I can't say. They have 2 6.5" woofers and 1 4" mid, which is fairly comparable to some towers out there.

I'll give my local dealer a call and see what he thinks about volume. They aren't a dedicated HT designer, but they do have some in home services and may be able to steer me. They also sell paradigm, KEF, ML, GoldenEar and Tannoy.

Thanks for all the input guys. I'm sure I'll be back as things progress.
Paradigm also has a wide variety of models and is known for generally excellent quality.
 

Dgottli1

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I was under the impression that Magnepans had a very small sweet spot. Is this not the case? I'm in MN so I should be able to find somewhere around here to audition them, probably paired with a BelCanto Amp or something.

TJ
I dunno. I find they have a really open presence regardless of where I am sitting. They seem to disappear entirely, actually (unless I sit unnaturally close, of course). To my ears (and my wife’s) if I am sitting on one of the far edges of my couch it doesn’t sound like the music nor dialog is coming from one speaker but rather from the middle of the screen. YMMV :)
 

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