Speaker brand and placement help needed (pic included)

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Richard_E, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Richard_E

    Richard_E Agent

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    Hey guys,

    I'm moving into a new home and need to try to figure out how to get my surround sound set up for the family room. The family room (called the Great Room on the floorplan) is VERY open and not ideal for your typical home theater setup. So I thought I'd come to you guys for some expert and creative advice.

    Things to note:
    - The 57" widescreen will be in a custom built cabinet to the side of the fireplace. It will be on a sliding swivel, so will pull out and angle toward the room when viewing.
    - The perimeter of the Great Room is surrounded by narrow pillars that go to the ceiling. There are 5 in all...4 at the back of the room at the corners of a carpeted area.
    - Behind the Great Room, is the kitchen, so there's lots of open space.

    I will be buying new speakers (2 fronts, 1 center, 2 surrounds, sub is optional as I already have one) to go in this room. The center will go above the TV. But I need suggestions on LF, RF placement, and which pillars would be ideal for RL, RR.

    Ideally I would mount bookshelf-sized or small surround speakers on the pillars for surround. But I don't know what to do about the fronts. Also, I would like to go bookcase for fronts if possible, but may be talked into standings. My other concern, beyond placement, is enough power for the very open space.

    I have $2500 to spend on the speakers and mounting. I'm open to speaker brand/type suggestions too! I prefer warm speakers, as opposed to bright, but not too boomy...more "tight", and I will be using them 75% of the time for DVD movies, and 25% for music.

    Here's my floorplan! THanks in advance!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Justin_D

    Justin_D Stunt Coordinator

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    It helps that you gave us all that info, and that means you will get better results [​IMG]
    What will you be amping them with?
     
  3. Richard_E

    Richard_E Agent

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    Thanks for the response. I have a Harman/Kardon AVR320 receiver I'll be using. My sub that I *can* use if I spend too much on just speakers is a Sony SAWM40 with the polyfill hack.

    Also, to add, I'm not an audiophile, or a HT fanatic like I'd like to be. [​IMG] So I think I'll be okay with assymetrical placement as long as I get decent front soundstage and balanced sound all around. But I do appreciate a nice setup and would like to put together something decent.
     
  4. Peter_D

    Peter_D Agent

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    Are you set on putting the TV in that spot ?
     
  5. Richard_E

    Richard_E Agent

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    Good question. Unfortunately, the answer is yes. [​IMG] It will be hidden away behind doors when not in use to preserve an elegant family room feel. I have a gameroom upstairs that will be more the typical HT setup where I'll put a flat-panel on the wall with perfectly symmetrical speaker placement. This will be a good getaway for more enclosed HT viewing as well as XBOX and GCube gaming.

    But I can't have a big screen in the family room without some decent surround sound going!

    I figured this would be kind of like a brain-teaser for HT Enthusiasts! [​IMG]
     
  6. Greg_sford

    Greg_sford Agent

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    yes, a nice brain teaser. My first thought was that it might be easier to "speaker" if the Tv were on the other side of the fireplace - looks like the right main would be stuck out in the middle of the room when the tv is stored. Might look at some of the narrow "mains" you see pictured with flat-panel screens. Hang em on the side of the tv, and they store with it. Then you need to invest in a sub...
     
  7. Richard_E

    Richard_E Agent

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    Yeah, that's a good thought.

    The other thing to note is that the outline of the Great Room on the drawing is where the carpeted area stops. On the outside of that line is woodfloored area, providing a "walk way" around the room.

    So here's what I was thinking. As you are looking at the TV from the center of the room, to the right is a little walkway leading to the bedroom, and on the other side of that is a set of windows to the outside. I was considering wall mounting one front-main between the windows, aimed in at the center of the room.

    I could wall-mount another main on the other side of the fireplace, making it about equidistant to the TV as the main by the windows. The center speaker would go on the TV. A sub would complement the low end. Then I would mount some rear surrounds on 2 of the pillars/columns near the back of the room.

    Thoughts?
     
  8. Greg_sford

    Greg_sford Agent

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    interesting to see what others say about a larger than usual distance between the mains. I would be concerned about the "fifth" pole being directly between the between-windows location and the main listening area. Another option would be to put the right main on that fifth pole (nearest the tv) and stay equidistant with the left.

    Are you concerned about the physical size of the mains? Will they be "furniture" or do you want them to be invisible? I saw another thread here about the benefit of having larger speakers to fill a larger area with decent sound.

    How do you like the H/K receiver? What speakers do you currently use? I'm looking at the 325 and am interested in opinions on good matching speakers.

    Good luck with the house, it looks terrific.
     
  9. Richard_E

    Richard_E Agent

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    Thanks, Greg, for your comments. Your concern is one I share, so that's why I thought I'd post here to get other ideas before I tried something.

    Ideally, they would not be "furniture" but smaller bookshelves or satellites. The only time I'll use the system for music is background music for entertaining, etc. which will only be about 10-15% of the time now that I think about it. The rest of the time it'll be used for movies. So I was thinking of some type of smaller speaker set paired with an SVS.

    BUT...do to the layout of the room, it may be beneficial to get floorstanding or bookshelves on stands for the fronts, just so I can move them around if needed. I don't know.

    Thanks about the house - we are really exciting. Besides this drawback of not having an HT-conducive living area, the rest of the house is awesome! [​IMG]
     
  10. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    Richard,

    Looks like we're neighbors [​IMG] Are you staying in the Frisco area with the new home? Looks like quite a difficult configuration to place a HT system. My master bedroom setup is somewhat similar, so placement is rather difficult, but I only have a 27" TV to deal with and very small speakers at the moment (a pair of Gallos and 1 HTD Level II center).

    I have a set of Rockets in the living room HT. I was going to try and get the guys at HTD to lend me a pair of their Level 4 towers to do a comparison with my Rockets in a couple of weekend's time. You're more than welcome to come and checkout my setup or join us for the comparison, if you'd like. I gotta call the HTD guys first thing Monday to make sure they're willing to lend me the pair for the weekend.
     
  11. Richard_E

    Richard_E Agent

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    Hey Nhan. Yes, we are definitely staying in Frisco! That would be cool to listen to your system! I have an email into AV123 as well, looking for suggestions with a Rocket configuration. I really like the looks and reviews of their speakers, though I haven't heard them yet. I was thinking that I might go with some small rockets in the living room. I realize it may not be the amazing HT "blow away your friends" set up, but then again, it's a family room, not a HT room, so aesthetics are key. So we'll see.

    Keep me posted on your comparison test - I'd love to join to heear both!
     
  12. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    That's cool, Richard. Can you pm me with your email, so that I may contact you for the listening sessions?

    Thanks,

    --Nhan
     
  13. Jason Kolczak

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    Just moved to Frisco myself a few months ago (apartment, not house). Anyway, it looks like you may have a hard time with setting up "traditional" speakers, so you may want to take a look at the Mirage Omnisats.

    As far as placement, I'd try one front above the middle of the fireplace, if possible, and the other one on the first pillar to the right of the TV.
    As far as surrounds, I'd try pillars 3 and 5. 3 meaning 3rd from the TV, etc.
     
  14. Mike Mitrook

    Mike Mitrook Agent

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    Richard,
    Nice floor plan! If you're looking for a speaker that is small but can handle a fair amount of power and put out room filling sound you might want to consider something from M&K. I remember seeing some theater pix in the HT design section where the surrounds were mounted in the columns around the room. I think he used M&K K4s or K5s. You could go with something slightly larger from them for the fronts (while staying with a bookshelf design). I've listen to some other small designs but they didn't quite do it for me in a larger space. Some of the smaller designs by Paradigm and PSB sound nice but are influenced more by placement, esp. those with rear ports.

    Good luck,
    Mike
     
  15. Greg_sford

    Greg_sford Agent

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    I second jason's suggestion. Haven't heard the omnisats, but I've been impressed by the Mirage products I've heard. With an svs sub, a "hidden" satelitte system ought to sound great and will save you from moving speakers around.

    Sorry I can't make the Frisco Demo Party, too far from the Pennsylvania Avenue Ranch...[​IMG]
     
  16. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    No problem, Greg. Do drop by if you're in the neighborhood [​IMG]
     
  17. Richard_E

    Richard_E Agent

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    Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think a somewhat "hidden" satellite system would be best. I will be using my gameroom to show off some flashy speakers and sound, so for this family room, I just need something that will broadcast decent surround sound when watching movies, but is otherwise pretty unobtrusive.

    So besides M&K and Mirage, what are other small-ish satellite setups I should consider?

    Thanks again!
     
  18. Nhan_H

    Nhan_H Second Unit

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    Some of the Anthony Acoustic Gallo stuff might suit your needs. I'd say at least the Dues, don't get the micros, as they'll suffer in a room that size. I think they're relatively expensive, so you might be better off with the Mirage Omnis (or micros...forgot what they were called). You might want to drop by the Tweeter's off of Preston and 121, as they have them there. You might want to bring your own CDs/DVDs to listen to, as well, since the last time I was there, they were running music off of some music server and only had MP3s.
     

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