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Novice Audio Setup Help for Large Room

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Ashley Haas, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Ashley Haas

    Ashley Haas Auditioning

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    (I also posted this earlier today on avsforum.com)

    Greetings, oh great and wizened audiophiles,


    I am but a lowly uneducated audio novice and I am trying to set up a home theater in my converted 2-car garage. The room is 24' wide, 23' deep, and 8' floor to ceiling with the primary seating 15' from the screen wall.

    I will not be playing video games, listening to music, or watching TV shows. The audio setup will be for dedicated family "Movie Nights" only.

    I'm desperately trying to ride the razor's edge between a budget and quality system - a system that won't break the bank, but will provide a rich, deep movie-theater experience (at least to my novice ears).

    After a bit of superficial online research I THINK I've found something that will fit the bill, but since I don't really know what the heck I'm doing I've come to get your blessing. Here's my setup:

    Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR828
    Center: Klipsch RC-62 II Reference Series
    Fronts: Klipsch RF-82 II Reference Series Floorstanding Loudspeaker
    Surrounds: Klipsch RS-62 II Reference Series Surround Speaker
    Rears: Klipsch RS-62 II Reference Series Surround Speaker
    Sub: Klipsch R-115SW 800W Powered 15" Subwoofer (with plans to add a second sub someday)

    Will this be enough to fill my big room? Is there anywhere I can cut corners? For example, can I replace the expensive RS-62 surrounds with RS-41 speakers? What if I only downgraded the rears?

    I beseech you. Help me, oh masters of sound, you're my only hope.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer,

    -Ash

    P.S. I can't afford to get all this stuff at once, so if you could only get a pair at a time, what order would you buy the stuff in - receiver, center, fronts, sub, surrounds, rears? Thank you.
     
  2. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I would suggest getting the receiver and the fronts first - the reason being, you can add the other speakers as you go, but be able to start your movie watching right away. The receiver should be able to downmix a 7.1 surround track to 2.0 stereo if you start off with just the two speakers, and then you can adjust your settings as your additional speakers arrive. So if I had to order piecemeal, I would go receiver and fronts first, then center, then surrounds and rears.


    The other thing about speakers (more of a general comment than specific advice, my apologies if you've already heard this one before) - I'm really not a speaker expert, though there are others here who know more than I'll ever have a chance to forget - is that a huge part of it comes down to what sounds good to your ears, it's a very personal choice. What sounds great to someone else might be disappointing to you, and vice versa. So the only speaker recommendation I have is to see if there's anyplace near you that might have a few different brands and sets, so you can get a sense of what you like and don't. If you've heard the Klipsch speakers in action and love them, that's great - but if you haven't heard them yourself, my recommendation is to try to see if there's a store in your area that has them and will let you demo them there. (I don't mean to sound negative about that choice or discourage you in any way.)
     
    LoveHT likes this.
  3. LoveHT

    LoveHT Agent

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    I agree on getting the receiver and the fronts first. BTW I use Energy speakers all the way around, and they work for me. There are many speaker choices in the range of the Klipsch you suggest getting in your post. If you have the chance demo them first. Through trial and error, I have found that preference over price or brand is the way to go. If you like the way a certain set of speakers sound, then they are for you. (of course, everyone will have an opinion, there is a lot of great people, posting great recommendations- research is they key, and demo demo demo)


    Good luck,

    Rocco
     
  4. Ashley Haas

    Ashley Haas Auditioning

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    Thank you both for your advice. I will be getting the receiver and fronts first then.

    On the topic of which speakers to get: I wasn't so much wondering if the Klipsch speakers are the right brand (I've listened to them and like how they sound). What I was trying to figure out is if these speakers are enough to fill my 23' x 24' x 8' room.

    So, if I've settled on the Klipsch brand, should I get the RF-82 front speakers or the RF-62s, RF-52s, or RF-42s? Or do I need to go even bigger than the RF-82s? I'm trying to find the cheapest speakers that will give me a good home theater sound in such a large room.

    What do you think?

    Thanks again,

    -Ash
     
  5. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I don't think the 62 will have a problem. The 82 is "just more".

    Some of us like "just more".

    That is a big room. I actually suggest towers in every spot(except center). I have tower speakers in my main theatre, living room and office(have a total six 5.1 to 9.1 systems).
     
  6. ArmSC

    ArmSC Supporting Actor

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    Everyone has given you solid advice that I agree with. When it comes to Klipsch my only recommendation is to go listen to them. The horn tweeter will either be harsh or clear to you. Most people either love or hate it and you don't want to be in the hate it camp after you just payed a bunch of money for them.


    I don't know that I can give you specific recommendations on cutting your costs without a target budget to work with. You certainly don't need to spend a ton on a AVR as long as it has the features that you're looking for. New technology comes out all the time and the fact is you'll probably upgrade an AVR within a few years. I would also consider a refurb unit with an extended warranty that would probably cost half of what a newer unit would cost. Another way to save some money would be to get smaller speakers for the surrounds. I know that a lot of folks will say get as big of speakers as you can for all the locations but if you have to sacrifice on size, quality it would be in the surrounds for sure.


    I would also consider a different sub if I were you. There's nothing wrong with the Klipsch but I feel that for the money you could probably get something of better performance. You don't have to match the sub to your other speakers unless you just want to be matchy-matchy. For the $900 that you're spending on that guy you could get something from like the PSA XV15SE. There are others too this is just an example.
     
  7. Ashley Haas

    Ashley Haas Auditioning

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    Thanks to you both, ArmSC and Schan1269,

    I've had replies on other forums also warning me to steer away from the Klipsch for the subwoofer. They've also brought up some other concerns:

    1) Onkyo AVRs: I'm being told that recent models have had reliability issues, and that I should look elsewhere for my AVR.

    2) Tower vs. Bookshelf Speakers: Schan1269 recommended towers if at all possible in the reply above, but in another forum "they" have made a case for bookshelf speakers and a subwoofer being just as good.

    3) Dipole/Bipole vs. Monopole: "They" also say that dipole surrounds will be muddled if I don't get bookshelves for the surrounds. The bookshelves would be much cheaper, but I worry that the uni-directional speakers will make the ideal viewing spot very small (where only the guy sitting on the middle couch cushion will get the perfect performance). I was hoping that I could expand the ideal viewing spot to encompass an entire couch (elevated on a platform) and a few seats in front of that on ground level.

    What do you think about all of this?

    Thank you all very much for your help with this so far.

    -Ash
     
  8. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Your AVR will have a warranty. If worried, buy an extended. I tend to recommend a total of 3 years...as 3-5 years is when new tech shows up to make a change worthwhile.

    Tower speakers are more efficient than littler siblings. You want as much volume per watt as you can get.

    Di/bipole is personal preference. Nothing more, nothing less. I prefer all speakers be the same style(direct, omni-directional etc...)
     
  9. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    While the Power Sound sub is an upgrade over the Klipsch for the same price, it is still a very large room to fill up with bass. Do you have a drill and a pair of opposable thumbs? You can build a DIY sub from a kit that will be another upgrade without impacting your budget.


    18" sub - http://stereointegrity.com/product/ht18-18-subwoofer/ - $174

    flat pack box - http://www.diysoundgroup.com/ported-subwoofers-1/18-stonehenge.html - $177

    amp - Behringer NU3000DSP (search for the best price of the day) - $280

    connectors, cables, etc - $100


    Finish is up to you. I've seen DIY subs covered in everything from rattle can spray paint to exotic hardwood veneers. Once the lights are off, you can't see them anyway. And if you can cut your own wood, you can save about $100.


    This sub is better than any sub on the retail market that is discussed regularly on this forum and AVS. That's why guys at the DIY section of AVS are building 2, 4, 6 of them at a time.
     
  10. Ashley Haas

    Ashley Haas Auditioning

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    Thank you all for the help & advice.

    -Ash
     

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