Speakers & set up for a BARN. Help!

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by RickRichardson, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. RickRichardson

    RickRichardson Auditioning

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    I have a friend who has asked me to help him figure out how to set up a HT system the dream house he is now building, which is based on a Barn. Yes, a barn. He bought all the lumber from an old barn and is using it to build his house. The HT is going to go into his Great Room which is about 36' X 40' with the ceiling ranging from 14' to 27'. I calculate the volume at about 25,000 cubic feet. There are rafters crossing in 27' peak area that will be at about 17' (possible locations for side surround speakers). He wants to put the TV in one corner and have a main viewing area about 15' away, which is about a third of the distance to the opposite corner.

    So obviously he needs the biggest sceen size he can get, but cannot use front projection because of the large window areas which will not be coverable. So a 65" or 70" rear screen unit. He wants also to play music as well as DVD's & TV. He would like to use a 7.1 speaker set up. I am thinking a Denon 5803 for his receiver.

    So here are the questions I would like some help on:

    1. Suggestions for brands/models of speakers.

    2. The location of the L,C & R speakers is pretty easy, but the surrounds are not. He doesn't want speakers in or around the main viewing couch. I was thinking Rear speakers on the back walls and side surrounds on the rafters(which can be located fairly symetrically from the listing area). The side surrounds would then not be close to a wall or ceiling, but rather 17' up and to the side of the main viewing area. Should these be Dipole or Bipole speakers or should they be regular direct dispersion speakers?

    3. Subwoofers - I assume two subs but I cannot yet convince him to have at least one of them close to the main listening couch. Any suggestions on which subs to use and/or some way of concealing one near the couch. The couch is going to be out by itself in the middle of the room, no walls close by.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas you would be willing to share.
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Rick,

    Assuming the roof peaks at 27’ and slopes down to 17’, I calculate about 31,600 cubic feet.

    But any way you cut it this is a huge space, and IMO your friend has his work cut out for him - unless his expectations are very low. Large spaces require serious sound systems. For instance, ever notice the size of a sound system in a concert venue that seats several thousand people vs. one in say, an intimate jazz club?

    Unless he’s using extremely efficient speakers - like Klipsch, for instance - your friend will not be able to get anywhere near reference levels without powerful outboard amplifiers. Then there’s the problem that if you’re using high-powered amps, you must have speakers that can handle high power – and those are tpyically large and expensive.

    As noted, the only way around this obstacle is to use highly efficient speakers. However, this will narrow the field of choice considerably.

    Regarding subs, your friend will probably find that regular home theater fare - even subs in the $1000-1500 range - to be wholly inadequate, no matter where he puts it. It’s going to take something monstrous to fill that much space with near-reference-level bass, and even then it’s questionable if he’ll get any appreciable response below 30Hz. I don’t even know if something like a single SVS B4 would be enough for this room.

    But - again, much of this depends on your friend’s expectations. If he’s a HTIB-type, then obviously it won’t be nearly so hard or expensive to get him set up with something he’ll be happy with.

    Regarding surrounds, with the distance they will be from the viewing seats, you definitely want direct radiators. They will disperse plenty by the sound reaches the seats!

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Adam_Reiter

    Adam_Reiter Second Unit

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    Can we get an idea of a budget? I am thinking big time budget to do this right. I wouldn't even bother with recievers, I would do Outlaw combo at the least. B4+ sub is a MUST, maybe even 2.

    BTW, I have a 3200 watt JBL amp ($2400 new)that would work perfect for the B4+ (or any LARGE passive sub). I was looking to trade, but I can sell if needed. Lemme know.

    We definately need a budget and expectations to help better.
     
  4. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well it seems like a pretty big room. If he definantly needs a big rear-projection look at the Mitsubishi, they make something like a 73" I believe... although it is probably hard to find but it is out there.

    For a room that size also your going to need some very powerful speakers. I guess he is looking at a normal budget and not looking to go into commercial. I would simply tell him to take a look at everything that is out there and LISTEN to them, not decide by name or price, more money is not always better! Some recommendations: Polk, Klipsch, JBL, and Athena.

    I tell most of the people that I am a Klipsch finatic and love them. Klipsch is a little bit of a more bright sounding speaker which is something I really like, I think it brings out vocals more and sounds better, and it even keeps that good amount of mids and bass. As well as how easy they are to drive with such little power.

    As for a Receiever. If he wanted to use just a reciever and not an amp pre-amp then I would tell you to look at some very high end recievers as you are going to want to be pushing alot of power for a room of that size. I would have to say make sure you get something with a strong amp in it, the Harman Kardon AVR-7200 is a nice deal with 100W x 7 and is probably a little under-rated so it will push a little more.

    1 subwoofer can always do the job but of course the bigger the room the bigger the subwoofer. If you want you might prefer one in front and one in the back (both the same), something like 2 SVS's should definantly get the job done.

    Of course positioning the speakers is all up to you and your friends, nobody can decide that but I think the idea you have is pretty good, from what I understand.
     
  5. RickRichardson

    RickRichardson Auditioning

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    Here is a little additional info on the Barn Project:

    The shape of the Barn is really a shed barn, which has a high peaked section(17'at the sides and 27' at the peak) and then a shed section that goes from 17' to 14'. It is a typical barn shape used in the California and Nevada area. The TV will be in a corner of the high peaked area. My estimate of 25,000 cubic feet is based on the drawings of the plans. In any event, it is a huge volume with several different angles of roof to give reflections of sound waves. Perhaps the only good news is these surfaces are pretty far from the main listening area and will be reaching them long after the primary speakers sound.

    As far as budget is concerned, I believe he will have to spend 20K or more to get good video and good sound.
     
  6. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Video is an easy 10k for what you are looking for with the TV running you about $7000 or a little more if you go for that Mitsubishi. Now that I think about it something like Tweeter sells that but I don't know if there is a Tweeter anywhere out there, that is including DVD player and anything else like cables.

    The audio section is another 10k easy, the speakers probably running about $5000 and then another $500-1000 for the amount of cables that will need to be ran easy. I would estimate maybe $4000 left to spend on a reciever or an amp and such if you go that route.

    It's like Wayne said, unless you are going with a very efficient speaker like Klipsch using a reciever and getting the reference level from the speaker in a room that large will be difficult. But if he likes Klipsch then it might save him a few bucks if he just wants a simple reciever and nothing fancy.
     
  7. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    I'll give the moral of the story first: Large spaces can be uniquely satisfying at less than reference level volume(and truth be told, we all hardly ever listen at reference level anyway).

    2 weeks ago I set up a front projector and speaker system for an outdoor party. No one was closer than 50' from the speakers. We used 2 two channel amps-
    250 watts per channel each, and some large consumer speakers(one by SEAS, one homebuilt). NO subwoofer, and no surrounds-strictly 2 channel. It sounded great. There was even decent bass output.

    The one issue we had was one amp cutting out occasionally if things got too loud. A notch or two down on the volume control solved that. So, I would imagine that even a
    Denon 5803 would not have sufficient power. He's better off with high-powered separates. They're not all prohibitively expensive(think Adcom, Rotel, NAD). The suggestion for horn speakers is a good one. They'll play loudly and with efficiency.

    As long as he keeps the sub(s) somewhere near the seats, he'll even get some decent bass. The barn probably has wooden floors- great for bass tactile transmission. I'm sure he could tuck some box-type subs under some tables near the couch- 4 or 5 of the Velodyne CHT-15's at about $550 each might do nicely. They were recently measured by Tom Nousaine and did quite well.

    Lastly, I can't help but think that if money is at all a factor, he's better off with 5 properly amped, woofed, and speakered channels than 7 mediocre ones.
     
  8. Yousaf

    Yousaf Second Unit

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    Speakers for a barn, huh? Well, it all depends...do you plan on holding shindigs or hodowns? [​IMG] [​IMG]


    In all seriousness, and I don't know if this would work, but you might consider using some line source speakers (I understand they might not be true line sources in a barn because they don't go from floor to ceiling). I know there are several kits out there, and the first that comes to mind is GR-Research's Alpha LS. The sensitivity is pretty high to begin with, and if they retain any of their line source properties the volume won't drop as much as you get farther away from them. If you or your friend can't put any work into them then they might be kinda pricey at $4900/pair, but building even some of it would help keep the cost down.
     
  9. jeff_coil

    jeff_coil Stunt Coordinator

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    You my think I am nuts but I would recommend JBLPro's. I just outfitted my Sports bar with these and Crown amps and it actually sounds pretty damn good in the huge space it is in. Kind of spendy but it defintely puts out....but hell it was write off too
     
  10. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    For the speakers, I would visit some dance clubs or other large venues in the area and see what they use. You'll find that the good ones usually use JBL Pro with a lot of power......
     
  11. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    There's always the LABHorns for subwoofage...

    Just stick one in the corner, or give him two (one up front on either side). He will never be wanting for bass.
     
  12. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    Check out JBL Pro CINEMA. Don't go with touring stuff, don't pay for cabinets that are designed to be smashed and bashed.

    The 3000 Series might be really good, as you can get a lot of speaker for your money. The 4000 Series is way too expensive. The 5000 Series, well, the biggest one is $6,000 EACH, IIRC.
     

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