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New Home Theater Design (1 Viewer)

Jdsmoke

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I’m building a new house and the Mrs has approved some funds for a new home theater. Layout is attached. Looking for thoughts on both equipment and design. Budget is around $40k for equipment and acoustic treatment. Room is wired for a 7.2.4 speaker system, projection TV and screen. Anyone know of a good 7.2.4 speaker system, projector, or screen? I was thinking separates for the audio. Maybe Anthem. I have seating covered. Was looking at 2 rows of 4 or 5 seats. I’m thinking of a 120-160 inch screen. All input is welcome and thanks in advance for your input. Here is an output from Audio Advice on what I was thinking. This is my first dedicated room that I have designed.

https://www.audioadvice.com/my-theat...x=57906a4b0680
 

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DaveF

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You’ve got a big room and a fantastic basement layout! Having a separate room for the electronics and have a huge basement with space for the bar outside the theater is perfect! Side doors aren’t quite perfect, but everything else is so great it doesn’t matter.

Since you’re planning on a 2.4 screen you’ll want a projector with lens memory and motorized zoom at least to support that.

You’ve got an important choice whether to use in-wall speakers or freestanding speakers. This is especially so for the front LCR speakers, which informs if you’re getting an acoustically transparent (AT) screen.

Your mockup shows conventional speakers. But you also see you have no way to get into the room and into the rear seats without doing contortions. :)

I think I’d have the seating closer to the screen. But without doing the math I don’t know for sure.

Conventional speakers are cheaper and perform better dollar to dollar.
In-wall speakers can be much better functionally, aesthetically, and sometimes the room demands it.
Playing with the room decide in the CAD model, putting in human figures, understanding the entrance and path to seating will help you decide.
 

Bobofbone

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You have plenty of room. You could also consider putting a false wall in the front, using an acoustically transparent screen and placing the front speakers and center speakers behind the screen-that would put the speakers out of sight and directly behind the image. You also have enough space to consider some alternatives in seating, like sectional sofas with ottomans or tables in a second elevated row, with the front row closer to the screen, and low tables in front as well. Easier to clean up spilled popcorn that way.
 

JohnRice

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Just a few quick comments since I'm at work at the moment.

I'll leave the projection suggestions to others, since that's not my area. Still, I think the room might not be quite deep enough for an AT screen. It's something to consider, though.

I definitely would go with freestanding speakers, especially in the front. The overheads will most likely be recessed, but that's just fine.

I suggest moving the seating forward a few feet. Surround systems work the best when there is room behind the seating for rear speakers. Also the rear speakers should be closer to each other. Generally the same width as the L&R, which is also generally suggested width of the overhead ones. The Atmos ones should be IN the ceiling, overhead, not just high and to the sides. Those are specifically for overhead sounds. You have no limitations in wiring so might as well do it right. So, the rear surrounds should be on the rear wall at about the same width as the L&R, not on the side walls.

Don't skimp on the speakers. Especially in the front.

Definitely go for separates. Anthem is great for the processor, but I would look elsewhere for the amps. Emotiva, D-Sonic, Outlaw, but there are others. You'll get a lot more for your money with some of the amp brands.

Also, consider wiring both speaker wire and XLR for the front three channels. Your Anthem processor will have XLR outputs, which can be used for long runs, to run the line level signal to the front of the room, then you have your amp(s) for those channels near the speakers, resulting in a much shorter speaker level run. The front speakers require the most power, and shortening the speaker level wire run is a benefit. I'd have both speaker wire and XLR run from the equipment room, just for flexibility. I hope that makes sense.

Finally, another reason for moving the seating forward is so you can put one of your subs at the back of the room. You'll get by FAR the best and most even bass with two subs in opposing corners (ex: front left, rear right) than with both in the front. Don't skimp on the subs. I'd budget $5K for them, and I highly recommend good sealed ones like the SVS SB-16 Ultra, Seaton SubMersive HP+ or PowerSound S3012, for example. I'm well aware of the longstanding belief that ported subs are for movies and sealed are for music. That's a very old yarn from when sub designs were limited. Things have changed a lot, and with a top flight sealed sub you can get the best of all options.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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The 2nd diagram seems to suggest 3ft(?) between the 2 rows -- each of those line markers seem 3ft apart, except the extreme front/back end that are probably 2ft. I'd think 2ft between the rows should usually be enough, no? I wouldn't want too much spacing between rows... unless absolutely needed.

And w/ 2ft between rows, you'd fit all that seating inside the rear ~10ft of the room. That should probably give you at least 10-11ft from the first row to the AT screen wall that Bob suggested above and 4-5ft to fit the LCR speakers, subwoofer(s) and whatever else, eg. amps, etc, behind the AT screen wall. I would suggest allowing some breathing space for the LCR speakers (like maybe 2ft-plus away from all the real walls, if possible) behind the AT screen wall for best results...

For myself, I'd want the front row to be no more than ~10ft from that ballpark size screen, especially if you're doing 2.4:1 CIH, which is really more like ~12ft viewing distance -- I'm currently using just ~10ft viewing distance for 120" 16x9 screen and might've gone larger to 135", if I could in my smaller space...

I suspect ~10ft from 1st row to AT screen wall (and ~12ft viewing distance) would also be more optimal for audio performance than farther away in such a space -- you really don't want to be much farther away from either the screen or the LCR speakers, not to mention the subwoofer(s)...

Also, remember, this is meant to be a dedicated HT room, not your livingroom or the like. Don't need the space to feel more spacious, etc like a livingroom or the like.

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Per @JohnRice, yeah, ideally, you'd probably also want more space for the rear and surround speakers than your diagram indicates, so maybe give them another foot (or maybe 2) I guess, if still trying AT screen... and just move the seating another foot (or 2) forward -- should probably still be ok w/ what I suggested about ~10ft from 1st row to AT screen wall (w/ ~4ft behind the AT screen wall).

I might even shrink the distance from 1st row to AT screen wall by a foot (down to 9ft) if need be -- I really don't think 11ft viewing distance is too close at all for 1st row... but you (or maybe your wife) might need some getting used to that distance at least at first...

Do note though moving the seating further away from the rear speakers will probably need those speakers proportionally higher up (and angled accordingly) for their sound to reach over the back row to the front row me thinks...

And ultimately, there will inevitably be some sweet spot for the audio (as well as visual) you'd likely have to settle on (whether it's in the front row or back) -- with my suggestion, you might prefer viewing from the back row at first before eventually gravitating toward the front row as you get used to the FOV and closeness to the screen (not to mention less obstruction and reflections/deflections of sound from the front LCR speakers and the potential benefits of more spacing away from rear speakers)...

_Man_
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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Hmmm... wondering if you'd be able to fit one of the new JVC NZ laser PJs into your $40K budget for A/V gear. That NZ8 looks enticing, if you can swing $16K+tax, but maybe the NZ7 at $11K+tax is more realistic (and probably still plenty awesome) if you want truly good audio to fit in that budget (and not worry about upgrading later)...

_Man_
 

Jdsmoke

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Thanks, for all the great comments. Sorry for the delay in responding, I have been speaking w 3 different local audio stores. It’s amazing the different in the feedback. 1 wanted the seats as far back as possible, the other was to place the step 8 ft off the back wall. So the first row of chairs would sit right before the step. As far as w equipment, every one recommended a Stewart screen and either JVC or Sony projector. All agreed the the Anthem processor was a good choice. One recommended adding a Lumagen video processor. 2 of the 3 recommended Paradigm speakers with in walls preferred. 1 suggests floor standing for the front 3 w Canton being good option. I have to go through all my notes but here are some of the equipment. 2 suggested putting the projector in the room and 1 suggested putting behind the back wall.

Screen (material, can get any size) https://www.stewartfilmscreen.com/en/screens/balon-series

Projector https://www.us.jvc.com/projectors/procision/dla_np5/

Ceiling speakers https://www.paradigm.com/en/in-ceiling-speakers/ci-elite-e80-r

In wall speakers https://www.paradigm.com/en/in-wall-speakers/ci-elite-e80-iw

Anthem AV receiver https://www.anthemav.com/products-current/type=av-receiver/model=mrx-1140/page=overview
 

JohnRice

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Just remember that stores and installers want to sell you something, and only what they sell.

Don’t go in-wall in the front.

Realize that any sub that retailers will have are probably poor performing and over priced. Internet direct brands are the way to go, though some retailers sell SVS. Same with amps
 

Jdsmoke

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I have a SVS in my current system and love it. Everyone has recommended JL for the subs. Doing 2. What’s everyone using for seating? 2 vendors recommended Fortress for the chairs however they look expensive. Like $3-4K a chair price point. I was hoping to be around $1-2K for a row of 4 and a row of 5.
 

Jdsmoke

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So I got a quote back from one of the vendors w recommendations. Here is what they suggested:
Marantz SR6015 Receiver
Marantz MM7055 amp
Sony VPLVW715ES projector
Stewart screen - 140 inch
Focal 100IWLCR5 for fronts
Focal 100IW6 for side/ rear
Focal 100ICW8 for ceiling
SVS sub

I like Focals but will likely go w free standing for the fronts. I have to compare these vs the Paradigms. They seam to be what everyone is carrying. I’m hoping to have speaker placement and some recommendations from the 3rd vendor later this week.
 

JohnRice

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Focal and Paradigm both make excellent speakers.

I expect they’ll say you “have” to choose ported subs, but I highly recommend dual SB4000s or SB16s instead. I can explain why if desired.
 

Jdsmoke

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Why ported. I have always used sealed as I perceived them to have a tighter bass response
 

JohnRice

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There’s an outdated belief that only ported subs are suitable for movies. In general I also prefer sealed.

The subs I recommended are both sealed.
 
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Wardog555

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Out of all the research I have done its always suggested and recommended to go with ported subwoofers for home theater purposes. The claim that one person suggests sealed over ported is very questionable
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Out of all the research I have done its always suggested and recommended to go with ported subwoofers for home theater purposes. The claim that one person suggests sealed over ported is very questionable

Actually, that's completely untrue that nobody else recommends sealed over ported.

Generally, those who care most about actual sound quality, instead of quantity (of compromised sub bass), especially for music playback (but not only), usually prefer sealed over ported... unless one absolutely cannot get enough "quantity" from the available choices of sealed subs due to other constraints -- same generally applies to porting of other speakers (to try to yield more bass effect) though those are generally more constrained to need more to compromise in that way...

In the (decades?) past, getting enough bass from sealed designs was significantly harder and more expensive (and largely left to boutique high-end/audiophile domain), so that may be why most just equate that as ported being better, but apparently not quite so true anymore...

_Man_
 
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Jdsmoke

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Well we are slowly making progress . Here is sketch do the design
 

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Jdsmoke

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Is anyone using a Kaleidescape? I’m trying to understand how practical they are. We usually watch DVDs or streaming.

 

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