New HT: Speakers, In-wall or a big mistake? Other ?? too...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andrew Hornfeck, Mar 18, 2001.

  1. Andrew Hornfeck

    Andrew Hornfeck Auditioning

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    I've been a HTF buff for years and am planning a real HT in the basement of a new home I'm seriously planning. I've racked my brain and have decided on a FIXED screen for a FPTV. I considered a roll-down and recessing my 7-year old 45" MITSU into the wall for off-DVD viewing; but reconsidered after realizing the additional screen cost alone would buy two replacement bulbs!
    The room could be up to 15x24 and I'm considering placing the front wall at 20' to allow for household storage in the 4' behind it. Yes? No? Acoustically, is there a problem with either? The ceiling is stated to be 9'. Should I stick w/steetrock or opt for acoustic tiles instead?
    I'm planning on using either the Sony 10ht or the JVC G11 with a 52x92 screen. I'd like a CLEAN installation withOUT the equipment showing. I may use a side wall-mounted eq rack but don't want the speakers standing right there. So I thought about in-wall units -- possibly NILES, Boston Acoustics or Phase Technology.
    A local installer suggested NOT using the in-wall variety in favor of an acoustic wall (basically speaker cloth) with the equipment located behind it! This allows the use of ANY speakers with the emphasis on future upgrades. I don't see myself doing much of that considering the cost of the house with HT room, equipment, pool, Jacuzzi, etc...
    I'd like opinions on IN-WALL speakers -- like? Dislike? Experience? If I don't do the in-walls then I'd most likely keep my current set of Radio-Shack specials until I found a MATCHED set I like for around $1200 - 1500 for the set of 5. I'd like to keep my Yamaha YST-160 & RXV-995 receiver.
    I've got questions on getting a HTPC instead of a DVDO Iscan to "process" the video. Thoughts on THAT?
    It was ALSO suggested to abandon the concrete floor and build it up w/2x4's and plywood to enhance the bass transmission. It would cost a couple o' hundred and having the contractor SINK the floor the 4.25" difference. Do it or pass? Opinions, please! H E L P !!
    Thanks
    Andrew
     
  2. andyg

    andyg Agent

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    (The short answer)
    During my pre-construction stages, I toyed with the idea of in-wall speakers. I thought it would give a nice finished look, instead of these boxes in front of you. After talking to several installers, I came to the conclusion to scrap the idea for several reasons. One and the biggest is the upgrade factor. If I ever wanted to change speakers or was not happy with the ones I purchased, changing them could pose a bit of a problem. The other is the acoustics. It was split between the people I spoke with if in-wall's could produce some strange echo's in the wall. Since I was going to do the construction myself I decided to go with what I know and use free standing speakers. I did use one set of in-wall speakers and that was for the side walls. I am using a Lexicon DC-2 to give me 7.1 and use dipole sides and direct radiators for the rears.
    ---Andy Garabedian
     
  3. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    The one thing I would do would b e a floating floor...
    Concrete does nottransmit bass at all. Even a frame based on 2/2 instead of 2/4s would transmit lots more bass.
    Consider the recessed look again. You could recess the TV as you said and build the screen into the wall...very clean...
    I'd never touch inwalls for the main speakers, for rears you could get away with them.
    This also means you caqn set the center on the RPTV and fire it through the screen. You'll also be able to recess the equipment on one side and use the other for storsge.
    Brent L
    ------------------
    Mar 1st....Toronto members interested in a possible tour of the Paradigm facility in Woodbridge please check the MEETS page......early June!!
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Andrew:
    The big-room sound of a concert hall or a movie theater can be reproduced in your room by pulling speakers away from the rear and side walls. The reflections from the back/sides cause distortion & delay which can fool your ears into thinking you are in a much larger space than you really are.
    You loose all of this ability if you use in-wall speakers.
    Although you dont want the speakers "Standing right there", pulling the L/R speakers forward gives you the superior sound.
    I like what your installer suggested: a fake wall with the speakers behind it. Can you make a floor-ceiling acoustic walls that angle into the room from the screen in a "V" shape with your screen in the center of the "V"? This will give you the best of both worlds: clean apperance and proper speaker placement.
    Speakers: Your quest for a serious HT room seems out of line with a $1500 budget for 5 speakers. There ARE a few sets for about that price, but in general the better sound comes from speakers that run about $500 ea.
    Floor: It sounds like a lot of $$$ and work to take out the concrete and install plywood. I'd suggest a good indoor/outdoor low-pile carpet (like the movie theaters use) and make the effort to firmly anchor the sheatrock to the sides and ceiling with extra screws and insulation all around. Having tight sheatrock will help the bass response and the insulation will help with the soundproofing.
    HTPC: Once again it looks like you are trying to go cheap with a HTPC instead of a dedicated progressive-scan DVD player. Sure, it can save you about $400 over a modest PS DVD player. But add to the mix the time you will need to spend configuring the card, loading drivers, playing with settings, etc., and it quickly becomes MORE expensive. And how are you going to "hide" the computer and use a remote to control the system? The answer: you wont. You will have to get up and type/click for every DVD, get up to pause/stop the movie, etc.
     
  5. Andrew Hornfeck

    Andrew Hornfeck Auditioning

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    Thanks for the replies! I'd like to say my SPEAKER budget was simply based on 5 in-walls @ 250/each. I was thinking this approach would kill 2 birds by being a clean install while keeping the $$ reasonable. I realize that much more $$ is required for quality free-standing speakers. Any suggestions?
    I was understanding the HTPC approach was the MORE expensive option -- over the IScan. I've been led to understand the HTPC is THE best solution for a FPTV due to its internal scaling capabilities. I don't want to spend $1,000+ for a quality Progressive DVD player and I've heard the $250 Pioneer 434 is not THAT good of a player. THAT being the case I thought (maybe) a 300-disc DVD changer, S-VHS VCR, RCA STB, and the IScan would provide an excellent setup if I don't go with HTPC.
    After all, I'm figurin' on 6K (projector) + 1.5K (speakers) + 1K (screen) + 900 (IScan) + 600 (Changer) + 700 (STB) + 300 (VCR) = $11,000 and I'd be RE-using my 1K receiver and a $300 Subwoofer. This doesn't buy a rack either!
    I don't want to quibble over the money or hear brief, undefined responses. I'm trying to get a nice system for my room.
    Thanks and keep replying!
    Andrew
     
  6. andyg

    andyg Agent

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    Andrew,
    Sounds like you have done your pricing homework. You should have a great setup with the price points you described. I spent about $18,000 for my equipment setup, which included your list plus a Lexicon DC-2 and Atlantic Technology speakers. I also was going to use the HTPC, but since my line of work is supporting a MS network, I did not want to come home and fight with my PC to watch a movie, so I opted for a Crystal Image scaler that does a great job from a Sony 7700 DVD player. Hopefully with some better driver support and the stability of Win 2K, HTPC's will become more user friendly. Anyway, I can always upgrade....
    --Andy Garabedian
     

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