More speaker questions for my new HT area

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tim Kline, Dec 5, 2001.

  1. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    I am going to be redesigning my HT area, tearing out my garage to use for more important things, like surround sound.
    Here is a basic diagram of how I am planning the room to be set up:
    [​IMG]
    My main question is, with those back speakers against the back wall like that, facing each other.. will that mess up the sound? Like, do the speakers need space on the left and right like all of the diagrams I've seen? My room is going to be long, and I would like to have places to sit on the side instead of directly in front.
    And also, is the sub going to be OK sitting in that corner there or is it better off near the tv?
    And I was also thinking of spending way too much money and getting a plasma tv to hang on the wall.. if I did that, would it be good to have in-wall speakers built into the wall next to the screen, and then a center one above it? I carpenter cousin would most likely be building a nice cabinet/wall unit thingy for everything...
    Well, any thoughts? [​IMG]
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Tim. Nice diagram. Let me give you my thoughts (which are the views of the poster and not universally accepted as "facts" [​IMG])
    Rear Speakers: Facing each other is acceptiable. With the rear couch against the wall, it's about your only option.
    I might suggest getting/making some cheap stands and try the facing-each-other and fire-forward positions and decide which sounds better to you. Disconnect the front 3 speakers during your tests to focus on just the rear sounds.
    Sub: That corner between 2 long walls is just about perfect. There ARE 2 theories on sub placment:
    - Corner loading - This gives the long-strech of walls the ability to reflect the lowest-possible frequency for the most gut-wrenching impact. This tends to be prefered for HT.
    - 2/3 or 2/5 position - This places the sub not exactly in the corner, but 2/3 or 2/5 along the wall. Now the wall is reflecting not the lowest-possible frequency, but several higher frequencies to give a smoother sound. This tends to be prefered for more accurate music listening.
    You just have to play with the positions and decide what you like best.
    In Wall Speakers: From an astetic and spousal-acceptance standpoint, building speakers into a wall or cabinent looks nice. But its not great for the sound.
    Speakers tend to sound best pulled 2 feet into the room from any rear/side walls. So you have to decide if looks or sound is more important to you.
    TV: I have not been impressed with the quality of the picture of the Plasma TV's. They run hot, look grainy, and just dont cut it for me. If I was talking about that much money, I'd go with either a Pioneer Elite 710 RPTV or a projector system. Hang the projector from the ceiling to fire against a nice screen and you have a great HT system for less than the $13,000 a plasma unit would run (And you could get a 60-100" view space). There is a seperate PROJECTOR fourm you could post on to get brands/suggestions.
    A note on projectors: you need absolute light control to make them look their best, but since you have a dedicated room, you can do this.
    Here are some suggestions to think about:
    - Get your carpenter cousin to fill in that big open wall with sheatrock. Leave a small door at the back for entry/exit. But you want that right-wall to look acoustically like the left to balance the room sounds.
    - Dont build a custom cabinent. Instead, pull the speakers into the room and hang black curtins/cloth across the entire front. Use the cloth to mask off the TV/screen so everything is black around it. For in-front of the speakers, use some of that black, acoustically transparent "speaker-grill" cloth from places like www.partsexpress.com. This will make the room look like a theater.
    - Those couches. Only the central couch will sound good, the others will be off-axis. Try building a platform and put the couches in front of each other with the rear couch a foot or so higher than the front. Paint the platform black or cover it with carpet. You can also hit eBay and look for a guy who sells movie-theater seats for about $200 for a row of 4-5 seats.
    Good luck.
     
  3. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the reply [​IMG] I also posted in the HT building forum, and someone else suggested a projector..
    I didn't really want to go with a rear projector, this isn't just gonna be a movie room, I will be watching regular tv here, and I'll have my PS2 and Xbox set up for games too .. the game room on the side there will house a pool table and a few classic arcade games I've been wanting [​IMG] Planning for the whole area to just be a cool entertainment area for the whole family.
    I've been looking at some projection tvs around 60", but the most important thing to me is that the tv I get will be an HDTV, if I'm spending all this money on it I want to make sure it will last and not be obsolete in a year or 2. The plasma screen is just kind of a dream thing, I know it's something I couldn't afford if I ever want this project done [​IMG] I did see the Marantz plasma in action and I thought it blew away any of the others I've seen so far. I know I've been a good boy this year but I still doubt santa will give me one [​IMG]
    If I do get a big projection tv, I will most likely build a wall around it, so that it looks flush with the wall and doesn't stick out. What if I didn't use in-wall speakers but just built little alcoves into the wall to hold them? I already know I will be building shelves into this wall for all of the other components, if we decide to do it that way.
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Go to your favorite magazine stand and pick up some copies of Audio Video Interiors. This magazine tends to showcase some very nice HT systems. It can give you a lot of good ideas.

    One of my favorite layouts I saw looks like they took a row of 5 bottom kitchen cabinents from Home Depot and used a matte-black formica countertop. The RPTV sat on this and sheatrock was mounted around the TV to give it a built-in appearance. The paint was a dark grey.

    But the cabinents: where the top drawer usually goes was cut out and the electronics were mounted in its place. They spread in a horizontal row under the countertop. Thin pieces of plywood were custom-cut around each box to give it a built-in look. Under the electronics were rows of drawers to hold CD/VHS/DVD's, and the center was a 2-door cabinent with pull-out shelves to hold pots & pans. This is where the video game system and board games were stored.

    Very nice looking and fairly inexpensive depending upon the quality level of cabinents from Home Depot.

    Good Luck.
     

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