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Room shape and dimensions (1 Viewer)

Dinkie

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I am building a new house and hope to learn from those on this forum how to design and build a home theater. The rough draft from the architect is nearing completion. Room size and placement is taking shape but I think I still have time to make some changes if you think any are needed.

I have attached a PDF of the basement showing the "Media Room" as the architect calls it. I've discussed a few things with the architect with regard to the theater room. I told him I'm shooting for a 1 to 1.6 to 2.6 ratio or there about. I am limited to 9' ceilings (arch says it will be more like 8'-10" finished). Width will be in the 16'-8" range and length is approx. 29' to the longest point.

My first question is: Would you tell me any tips and advice you have given my current drawing.

With a hex shape at one end, will that play to an advantage or disadvantage for my purpose? Should the screen go on the flat wall end or the hex end for the best speaker placement and sound?

Is there enough room for 2 rows of seats? A set of three in front and a set of 4 behind them?

Any advice for specific speaker placement for a 7.2.4 setup? Currently thinking 3 (LCR) of the same floor-standing model, in-ceiling style for the 4 atmos and very confused on what to use for the side and rear surrounds.

Have been thinking a 150" 2.40 : 1 screen but I need help making that decision as well. Should I get a transparent screen and try to hide the LCR? If the LCR speaker are in the 40" - 44" range, can I get by with having the screen above them?

That should be enough to get me started. Thanks!!
 

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Dave Upton

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I am building a new house and hope to learn from those on this forum how to design and build a home theater. The rough draft from the architect is nearing completion. Room size and placement is taking shape but I think I still have time to make some changes if you think any are needed.

I have attached a PDF of the basement showing the "Media Room" as the architect calls it. I've discussed a few things with the architect with regard to the theater room. I told him I'm shooting for a 1 to 1.6 to 2.6 ratio or there about. I am limited to 9' ceilings (arch says it will be more like 8'-10" finished). Width will be in the 16'-8" range and length is approx. 29' to the longest point.

My first question is: Would you tell me any tips and advice you have given my current drawing.

With a hex shape at one end, will that play to an advantage or disadvantage for my purpose? Should the screen go on the flat wall end or the hex end for the best speaker placement and sound?

Is there enough room for 2 rows of seats? A set of three in front and a set of 4 behind them?

Any advice for specific speaker placement for a 7.2.4 setup? Currently thinking 3 (LCR) of the same floor-standing model, in-ceiling style for the 4 atmos and very confused on what to use for the side and rear surrounds.

Have been thinking a 150" 2.40 : 1 screen but I need help making that decision as well. Should I get a transparent screen and try to hide the LCR? If the LCR speaker are in the 40" - 44" range, can I get by with having the screen above them?

That should be enough to get me started. Thanks!!

You definitely have a nice room to work with here.

In your case, I would aim to put in a transparent screen on the hex end for sure. You could put your LCR behind it for optimum effect. With your room's width, 150" should be just fine. You really don't need floorstanding speakers, so much as full range. Something like 3 of these: https://www.jtrspeakers.com/jtr-noesis-210ht

The hex shape will actually help with room modes, but it's going to come down to how you build the screen wall to determine whether you want to use that side or not.

For your surrounds, you'd typically install a pro-style in-soffit speaker about 2/3 of the way back, and at the back. For this reason the hex end being your screen wall probably makes the most sense.

2 rows of seating is very doable there, so nothing to worry about.

Atmos speakers should be approximately above the seating rows, and as long as you use a broad dispersion speaker (Dolby recommends 60 degrees) you should get good results.
 

Dinkie

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Thanks Dave, I kind of thought the hex end of the room would be the better choice. It certainly makes sense if I want to use a transparent screen and hide the audio behind the screen. Will the angled corners allow me to get by without bass traps?

JTR's are an interesting choice. I have looked at them online and read some reviews even before you mentioned them. I'm wondering how musical they are? This room may get used as much for 2-channel as it does movie viewing.

Would you care to throw out a few brands/models of Atmos and surround speakers, please.
 

JohnRice

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JTR's are an interesting choice. I have looked at them online and read some reviews even before you mentioned them. I'm wondering how musical they are? This room may get used as much for 2-channel as it does movie viewing.
In that case, my suspicion is a more traditional speaker might be preferable, but Dave certainly will have more experienced feedback.
 

Dave Upton

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In that case, my suspicion is a more traditional speaker might be preferable, but Dave certainly will have more experienced feedback.
If it's going to be equal parts music and movies, that does change things slightly.

@Dinkie - do you have a speaker budget in mind?

You should be fine without bass traps in the corners, as long as you're willing to cover that surface/wall in an absorptive material, something like OC 703 or ultratouch denim would be fine.
 

Dinkie

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Dave, that should be a real simple question but it isn't for me. I'll keep my explanation as short as possible but it will still be a book. :lol:

When I was a teenager we had a music store nearby called CMC music. There was the most beautiful girl working there you have ever seen. Shaped to kill, beautiful eyes, perfect dark hair, semi-raspy voice...she could have sold me a cardboard box with deteriorated foam surround speakers. She sold me a pair of Jensen 3-ways. 15" woofer, 2-3.5" mids and a 1" soft dome tweeter and these were sealed boxes. They sounded better than anything else in the store. I listened to those suckers for countless hours. Still have them but the drivers need to be replaced.

Sealed speakers weren't very popular. Everyone wanted the ported ones with massive excursion. My friend bought just such a pair. They were nice. They played loud but they never had that "SOUND" that mine did. My 15" woofers barely moved but it had much more solidity to it than his woofers moving a crazy amount. That experience has stuck with me for almost 40 years. I know things have improved since then but my heart still goes out to sealed speakers. Given the options available today, I probably won't be able to take my own advice. All of that blather is irrelevant in my plight here but it may help shape what you recommend.

I'd plop down three Focal Sopra 3's if I could for LCR (that's figuratively speaking, I've never heard them in person). Instead, I'll have to settle for an entry level speaker like a Focal Chora 826 or B&W 603 S2 or NHT C4 (sealed :rolleyes:) or the like. Now, if you and/or others chimed in and said, "But Jeff, you can get something 5 times better than any of those choices if your willing to spend twice that amount." I'd spend it in a heartbeat. I want to make sure I buy something satisfactory for the LCR and subs. Side, back and Atmos...eh, can I get something decent for $350 each that will mate well with the fronts? $500 each if I have to. BTW, I'm not a Klipsch fan but I could be talked into it if the schpiel was right.

Thanks again for your help!
 

JohnRice

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BTW, I'm not a Klipsch fan but I could be talked into it if the schpiel was right.

Thanks again for your help!
1) That's good to hear, and 2) don't even consider it. Just... Walk... Away...

Yeah, I bet those Sopra 3s are awesome, but I bet they are at least matched by Dave's favorite Legacy Focus SEs for less than half the price.

So, to continue on that theme, I don't know about something for the same price that's better than the other models you listed, but I suspect the ELAC UniFi v2 are as good for about 40% less. And you can get matching bookshelf models for surrounds.
 

Dave Upton

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1) That's good to hear, and 2) don't even consider it. Just... Walk... Away...

Yeah, I bet those Sopra 3s are awesome, but I bet they are at least matched by Dave's favorite Legacy Focus SEs for less than half the price.

So, to continue on that theme, I don't know about something for the same price that's better than the other models you listed, but I suspect the ELAC UniFi v2 are as good for about 40% less. And you can get matching bookshelf models for surrounds.

Yeah, though they're ported like most good full range towers.

The unfortunate truth is that it’s near physically impossible to get a good bass response out of a full range speaker without a port. The Sopra has a down facing port/vent - so it's not sealed.

@Dinkie - if you can identify an approximate budget and goals, I can steer you to a few options. For any system that will do both theater and music, I tend to recommend Legacy Audio, because their stuff is just fantastic. They make some more affordable speakers also that are quite excellent.

If you can give me a very rough $ range to work with, I can make some suggestions on what punches above its weight.

Here are the speakers I have enjoyed the most in the past few years of reviews/shows:

Legacy Audio Focus SE (my current speakers)
Focal Kanta No2 - lovely sounding.
Revel PerformaBe - truly impressive
 

Dinkie

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1) That's good to hear, and 2) don't even consider it. Just... Walk... Away...

Yeah, I bet those Sopra 3s are awesome, but I bet they are at least matched by Dave's favorite Legacy Focus SEs for less than half the price.

So, to continue on that theme, I don't know about something for the same price that's better than the other models you listed, but I suspect the ELAC UniFi v2 are as good for about 40% less. And you can get matching bookshelf models for surrounds.
Thanks John, with the popularity of Klipsch and their following, I feel like I make myself an immediate outcast if I have any negative words about them but they just don't grab me.

I'll spend some time looking at the Elac line.
 

Dinkie

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Yeah, though they're ported like most good full range towers.

The unfortunate truth is that it’s near physically impossible to get a good bass response out of a full range speaker without a port. The Sopra has a down facing port/vent - so it's not sealed.

@Dinkie - if you can identify an approximate budget and goals, I can steer you to a few options. For any system that will do both theater and music, I tend to recommend Legacy Audio, because their stuff is just fantastic. They make some more affordable speakers also that are quite excellent.

If you can give me a very rough $ range to work with, I can make some suggestions on what punches above its weight.

Here are the speakers I have enjoyed the most in the past few years of reviews/shows:

Legacy Audio Focus SE (my current speakers)
Focal Kanta No2 - lovely sounding.
Revel PerformaBe - truly impressive
Dave, I'd have to say $2000 each for the LCR is the most I should spend. Your piggy bank is bigger than mine. LOL
Throne.png


On looks alone, I'd buy those big Legacy round tops. They remind me of a gradfather clock! Beautiful!!!
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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IF you're willing to treat this (ie. the shopping/bargain-hunting and occasional upgrades) as part of the hobby, then I'd seriously consider going used if I were you.

I recently picked up a pair of (albeit 20-yo) Thiel CS 5i's in good condition for $2.4K plus delivery costs -- it was a local NYC purchase, and I did get to audition them 2x w/ some good, $$$ audiophile gear, but I still ended up hiring some movers for them because they were too difficult (for my brother and I) to move, especially w/out original shipping crates. They seem to go for anywhere between $2-4K depending on their condition and owner/sales context at the rare times they appear on the used market. They're also some of the most difficult to drive speakers, but that seems par for the course for most such highly regarded, (former) flagship speaker models.

IF you actually like the idea of Thiels, there seem to be a few potential options on the used market right now, including what look like some excellent condition CS 3.7s, a rare, apparently excellent pair of CS 7.2s (formerly owned by a longtime TAS reviewer), if you're located close enough to the SF Bay area, and the perennial, 20-to-25-yo CS 3.6s that (@JohnRice owns and loves and) can be had for significantly less than 1/2 your budget, etc. They are all fairly difficult to drive as usual for Thiels, and most of them are somewhat north of your stated $2K/speaker budget, but a matching center (for HT purposes) should cost less to compensate. For center, you'd probably want to get an excellent condition MCS1 (and there are currently 3 from same new-ish seller on eBay, which you could even consider for LCR, if you don't actually need full range for the LR mains... though that seller's asking too much) or maybe a SCS3 or SCS4 -- I haven't noticed any SCS4s for sale in the past year. Yeah, all those Thiel centers are ported, but the (near) full range towers are not -- well, some of them do use passive radiators instead, which are generally better than ports. They won't go quite as low as say the Legacy Focus SEs (that Dave and @John Dirk own) and don't have the ribbon tweeter sound (that many seem to love), but they're also available for very substantially less.

Actually, if you're very interested in Legacy speakers, somebody in TX just recently sold a 7-yo pair of Focus SEs for ~$4K (plus whatever shipping costs, if any) on Audiogon -- I spotted it when it first went on sale (for maybe $5.5K?) a month or so ago. Maybe you could keep an eye out for another pair at some point, if all that interested...

There are other interesting options in the used market like Vandersteen 3A Sigs (usually for $2-3K per pair) and up that show up pretty often -- I had originally considered going mostly Vandies myself, except the subs and ceiling channels, and (still) have a very old pair of 2Ci's that have served me very well for nearly 25 years and will probably continue as glorified surrounds for my new setup. IF I have the space (and a bigger enough budget), I might just go mostly Vandies for HT and use the Thiel CS 5i's only for stereo music in a separate setup, but space is definitely a huge premium here in NYC area, even in Brooklyn...

Not actually suggesting you mainly/only go looking for these specific speakers (plus a center to match well enough), but just pointing out some good alternatives out there on the used market which can fall close enough into your budget...

Something similar can also be said for your choice of prepros, which hasn't been discussed yet -- I recently went w/ an excellent condition, used Anthem AVM-60 myself for ~1/2 the cost of a new (and somewhat-buggy-for-now) AVM-70...

Cheers!

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Thiel? Who would want Thiel? :D

Remember that former coworker I mentioned over in your dedicated amp thread? I just mentioned going w/ these Thiels (as part of my HT upgrade) to the other former coworker, odd couple buddy of his (kidding about how it'd make him proud despite no $$$ Krells, exotic cables nor snake oils), and he tells me that buddy is apparently just listening to music on his phone nowadays and only fires up his old, $$$ stereo system for curious visitors, LOL... :laugh:

_Man_
 

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