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First home theater system advice and speaker placement needed please!

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Clintvass, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. Clintvass

    Clintvass Auditioning

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    I just bought a home with my wife and am renovating. Wehave an open floor concept and I bought a 70 inch TV a few days ago, and want a surround sound to add to the experience. I have an open attic to wire speakers, but have no clue what speakers to buy or where to mount the surrounds. My budget is around 500-800 for speakers so far, and I bought a Sony STRDN1080 7.2 Channel Dolby Atmos Home Theater AV Receiver yesterday for black friday. I took some pictures of the room, and am hopingsomeone can lend a hand in what speakers that would best suit my room situation and where to put the surround speakers.
     

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  2. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    It is going to be challenging with only two walls in the living room, even more so with your budget. Are you looking to do Atmos? If so, you will only be able to do Atmos 5.1.2 with that particular receiver, which you may find to be underpowered. And Atmos works best if you do NOT go with an all-ceiling installation.

    My suggestion would be Polk TL2 or TL3 bookshelves for your left front, right front, and surrounds. Wall mount the fronts on either side of the TV and drop your surrounds from the ceiling as low as you can go, pointing them downwards. I'd then go with the Polk TL3 center and place that either on the entertainment center or wall mount it, placed directly underneath the TV either way. Then a pair of Polk RC60i in-ceiling for your Atmos heights, placed either 1/3 from the front or 1/3 from the rear (you'll then tell the receiver if they are front or rear heights). You will also need a subwoofer - you may want to go with Polk PSW111 or PSW125. I recently installed TL2's as my surrounds in my new house as part of a 7.1 setup in my living room, and have been quite pleased, but they need to be paired with a good subwoofer. If you are on a tight budget, I'd go with the TL2's and spend a little more on the subwoofer, but definitely stick with the TL3 center. Rule of thumb is to not skimp on the center or subwoofer, as those can be the most crucial speakers in your setup.
     
  3. Clintvass

    Clintvass Auditioning

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    Thanks for your help! So total I would need 4 TL2s to do the side surrounds and fronts, a TL3 for center, the PSW125(preferably) and thr 2 atmos speakers, skipping rear surrounds? I'm totally in the dark about speakers so I don't know about atmos at all, but i trust your suggestion.
     
  4. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    The receiver can do either 7.1 (Front Left, Center, Front Right, Left Surround, Right Surround, Left Rear Surround, Right Rear Surround, and up to 2 Subwoofers) or Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 (Front Left, Center, Front Right, Left Surround, Right Surround, Left Front or Rear Height, Right Front or Rear Height, and up to 2 Subwoofers). Considering how the room is laid out, I'd opt for Atmos.
     
  5. Chris Strnad

    Chris Strnad Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I've got an open floor plan too. It doesn't work with side speakers, at all. but rears and ceiling speakers work well enough. Is it as good as having an enclosed shoe box? No, but it's waaaaaay better than not having surrounds at all! Of course, I can go into the basement for 7.1.4 when I want to. =) Maybe that's an alternative for you too? Down the road?
     
  8. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    That is why I had recommended a 5.1.2 setup, which is the max that Clint's receiver can do for Atmos.
     
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  9. Clintvass

    Clintvass Auditioning

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    Would left and right surrounds on floor stands next to couch be a good solution to limited walls?
     
  10. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    That would be another option.
     
  11. Bob Bielski

    Bob Bielski Second Unit

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    Clintvass I think you are looking for a modest system considering your budget. Get some decent small speakers for your surrounds and get a decent sub. I would start out with 5.1 and then upgrade to Atmos. Behind the couch on stands will give you a good setup with flexibitity considering the open floor plan. I would suggest SVS speakers. Won't break the bank but at least you won't be disgusted. Budgets do suck. I started out as a stereo guy, and got into surround when Yamaha came out with the surround processor containing different soundfields in different auditoriums. It also had Dolby surround, Mono rear matrixed speakers. Then I progressed to Laser disc. Then DVD with the full bandwith discrete channels. Then Blu Ray Dolby HD and now all seperates with Atmos. I have 5 main speakers all the same. ADS L1290/2s the center channel I had to build since the factory no longer exists. I have an HSU sub that goes down to 16 hz and it only cost me $600. Using an Anthem P5 Statement to drive the large 1290/2s and refurbished an old Nikko Alpha 440 and picked up another Nikko Alpha 440 on craigslist and had it refurbished to drive the smaller ADS L300s for the Atmos height speakers. Using an Anthem AV60 for my preamp. I have an Oppo 3D Bluray player for movies and music and streaming off the internet.I got the P5 used for half price, Oppo new and AV60 new. I am remodeling my home right now and live on the second floor. I am almost done with the 1st floor then will move down to do the top floors. I will also have an open floor plan when I move back up and rent the 1st floor out. Will show you a few picks for my temporary set up just to give you some ideas. Your set up is similar. Took me 3 yrs to get done but alot of fun and killer sound. Power to spare and accuracy as well. Now working on soundproofing 1st floor with Roxul Safe and Sound. Good luck on your project and go slow and get good stuff as the money comes along.
     

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  12. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    In my opinion, NO. People often think that sounds like a good solution, but it doesn't function nearly as well as you convince yourself it does. Surrounds need to surround you and come from a distance, not sit next to you and draw your attention to them. No doubt someone will chime in about how great it is. Sorry, it isn't. In-ceiling surrounds, which I hate, are still a far better solution.
     
  13. Bob Bielski

    Bob Bielski Second Unit

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  14. Bob Bielski

    Bob Bielski Second Unit

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    John I have mine to the left and right of my couch and they are quite fine for surrounds. I have them positioned this way because the couch is up against the wall. Not set up the optimal way because the room is also a living room. I am building a dedicated Home Theater room in the near future and will have an optimal set up with the speakers a little bit farther back. I will be able to have the couch away from the back wall. I still think for a begginer system Clintvass will enjoy a system set up that way. As long as the front, center, and surrounds are at ear level and in the same plane he will not focus on the surrounds. All the same height for the tweeter and preferably ear level when seated. I posted this pic looking over my front left speaker just to show you the right surround position to the right of the couch. Trust me it will sound fine.
    107.
     
  15. Bob Bielski

    Bob Bielski Second Unit

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    Another thing John I notice you are using different speakers for the surrounds, mixing Thiel with Polk. I would imagine there is a significant difference in the two. That would bring my attention to the surrounds. When all speakers are similar they blend to help fool the brain. When they are different and sound different they stick out and draw attention. I used to use ADS and Boston Acoustics for surrounds and even with equalization I could not get them to match perfectly.
     
  16. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Lead Actor
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    My suggestion would be to have bookshelf speakers on ether side of the tv with the center on the shelf below. Then you can place bookshelf speakers on stands for the rear channel no matter if your going for 5.1 or 7.1. But I would use all the same brand speakers for timber matching to get the best sound from speaker to speaker. You should be able to get some nice Polk's in your budget. Your receiver is going to limit you a lot so your kinda stuck with what it comes with. If you have not un-boxed it you might want to consider returning it and waiting to get something a little nicer with more flexibility for the future that you can add on to, something that you will not outgrow to fast. If this model is fine for you just know your a little under powered and no way to run a separate amplifier down the road for any of your channels. I don't think I would try and run front towers with that especially if your going to run it in 5.1.2

    For example you can get a pair of Polk Audio bookshelf speakers for around $100 a pair, right now they are on sale for $70 a pair. So you can run a pair front and the 2nd pair in the back and get a matching center and a sub easily in your price range and it should work well with the receiver you have. You actually should be able to find something that will work for your height channels as well. You might want to go with some in wall speakers for Atmos but you will have to run some speaker wire. They do make a type of channel cover to go over wire that blends into the wall then as long as you have attic space just run the wire to where your over head speakers are. Again you should be able to do this within your budget.

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/polk-audio-5-1-4-bookshelf-speakers-pair-black/8828012.p?skuId=8828012
     

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