speaker/sound advice for a newb...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by don burns, Sep 18, 2002.

  1. don burns

    don burns Auditioning

    Sep 16, 2002
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    My second post in a new forum. *grins*
    THE ROOM: Okay, I probably have the worst room for home theater ever conceived. Here's the deal: 12' flat ceilings, about 20 feet wide by 30 feet long, with a wall of huge (mostly 4x8') windows across the back of the family room/kitchen and down the east side. The TV sits on the south wall, with windows to the left of the TV (if you are facing it) and behind you (the back wall of windows on the north side of the house). The windows are covered with wood shutters and can be closed during the day for movie watching. No carpet, and has 16 inch travertine flooring (travertine=marble, like stone tile). Needless to say, this is going to be a boomy environment with no drapes or fabric to absorb the sound. Here's a couple of pics to convey the room:
    1. Should I purchase an area rug to cover the floor area in the sitting area in front of the TV?
    SPEAKER PLACEMENT: Hyacinth (my significant other, and if you've seen the British show "Keeping Up Appearances," you will understand the reference well) refuses to allow any exposed speakers anywhere. Everything has to be recessed in the ceiling or tucked inside the entertainment center where the TV sits. Here's pics:
    The fronts: I have two moderately expensive front speakers. I do not remember the brand, but they have an "A" on the front of them (the A does not look like Acoustic Research, Atlantic Tech. or any other manufacturer that I can find logos of today--see pic below), and when I purchased them several years ago, I researched them on the net and they were about $1,100 per pair or more. They are not very large (20" tall by 8" wide). They currently sit on open shelves on either side of the entertainment center, about two feet away from the TV, although they are partially obscured by the TV doors of the center when they are open (as necessary for watching TV). They sit about three feet up from the floor. Here's a closeup of the A:
    2. Does anyone know what brand of speaker this is? If so, are they marginal and thus should be replaced?
    3. Should I have the speakers installed into the wall on either side of the entertainment center, or leave them as they are? If they stay, I am going to try to find someone that could fix the doors so they slide in, and not block the speakers if I open them wide as is the case now.
    The center: Just picked up a Polk CSi30 black center channel speaker. Seems decent in terms of sound quality (at least I can hear dialogue much better now) and rests directly on top of the TV.
    4. Should I leave the center where it is, or put it on the shelf underneath the TV, next to the DVD player?
    The sub: Just picked up a Polk PSW350i black subwoofer with dual rear-firing ports. It is light-years ahead of the old Cambridge Soundworks sub I was using. My first choice would have been to put it in the corner, behind the plant, but Hyacinth nixed that, and it now sits in the lower left hand portion of the entertainment center, on the lowest level. See the pic.
    5. Any better place to put the sub than where it is now?
    The rears: Have not been acquired yet, although I have been told that they are the least important part of the home theater system, and I was told they should be mounted in the ceiling over or just behind the sofa. Hyacinth will not permit floor speakers whatsover, unless I could bury them in the sofa or in the floor (unlikely [​IMG].
    6. Any suggestions on rear speaker types and placement? Budget for the rears is in the $200-400 range.
    For the record, here's the rest of the system:
    Television: 34" Panasonic flat-screen direct-view (tube) HDTV, 16x9 widescreen format, model CT34WX50 (fabulous picture, great set, wish they made 55" tubes [​IMG]
    Receiver: Denon AVR 2802 (great receiver, real happy with it, now if I just knew how to operate it [​IMG]
    HDTV Tuner: Panasonic TU-HDS20 HDTV Direct TV-compatible tuner (good picture quality but very slow in response to remote control inputs)
    DVD Player: Sony progressive scan DVD player (great inexpensive player - no complaints here)
    Everything is wired together with 14 gauge wiring and monster cables where appropriate.
    Thanks for your comments and reading this in advance.
  2. Eric C D

    Eric C D Second Unit

    Mar 14, 2001
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    1. Yes, I like the rug idea.
    2. I don't know what make the A represents. If you like the sound, then you might just want to stay with them.
    3. Given your constraints (hidden or in-ceiling), you've got some challanges. I think the fronts stay where they are. If you want replacements, you will definitely need sealed or front-ported speakers.
    4. Best where it is - as close to the TV as possible.
    5. Unless you want to build an infinite baffle design, I don't know a good in-wall. Best placement is usually in a corner (behind the plant?). Mayhaps in time you can talk her into something with a furniture finish - that can double as a coffee table.
    6. For the rears, I really like something from the same manufacturer for timbre matching.
    I don't know your budget, so have fun shopping. If you want to look at something online to get you thinking, you might check out www.hometheaterdirect.com (they meet the front port requirement, and have in-wall and in-ceiling speakers as well).
    Good luck,
  3. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

    Dec 18, 2000
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    1. Rug is definately needed along with some acoustic paneling.
    2. No clue.
    3. In walls, Magnepans, or in ceiling. In either case, consult an expert.
    4. Agreed.
    5. Build a coffee table design sub. She gets a coffee table and you get a sub in a much better location.
    6. Agreed.
    Perhaps she just has problem with the way the speakers look. Show her different designs. For example, Magnepan's are flat panal. Rocket or Diva speakers look like fine furnature. nOrh look like art (IMO), coming in either wood, marble [​IMG], synthetic marble, or ceramic with no two completely identical.

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