The best 5.1 setup?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Brandon:W, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. Brandon:W

    Brandon:W Stunt Coordinator

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    First I wanted to thank everyone for this forum. What
    a great place to get and share information about
    our passion.


    I apologize in advance if this post is a bit long.
    I was hoping you could provide some help.


    We just moved into a new house and I wanted to setup our
    current speaker system in our living room. I have a pair
    of 10 year old Phase Technology PC 40 Mark IIs I bought for
    about $250. I also have a 10 year old Yamaha subwoofer.
    I can't remember the model, but it was pretty cheap (about $100).
    It's a nice bookshelf system that has worked well for me.

    What I want to do is set up a 5.1 surround system to watch
    TV and movies, as well as listen to music. I have a Yamaha
    HTR-5760 AV Receiver.

    Rough room diagram (about 16' x 18'):


    .___________|.....|
    |..../..TV S|.....|
    |../..............|__
    |/................|
    |S................| Kitchen
    |.................|
    |..................
    |...................___
    |SW..................
    .--S---------S----....
    ......................

    The living room has a challenging setup. I have an image
    of the setup, but I can't post it. The room came pre-wired
    for surround with the wires terminating at the floor, but the
    wires also go up the wall in case I wanted to mount speakers
    up the wall. The ceiling is about 10' tall. In the rough
    drawing the pre-wired speaker locations are marked with an
    S and the pre-wired sub with an SW. There is a big window
    on the left, and the right area is open to the kitchen with
    entries in the top right and bottom right. The seating
    will probably be on the bottom wall. The top left corner
    is a fireplace.

    So the questions I have are:

    1) What speakers should I get?

    - I want to keep the PTs and sub I have.
    - I only have about $400 to spend.
    - I want them to be as invisible as possible (my wife doesn't
    want to see them).

    Should I stick with Phase Techs for the surrounds and center?
    How would in-ceiling speakers be for the back surrounds? Or
    should I get some kind of wall-mounted surrounds (at a 90 deg
    angle from the sweet-spot?)


    2) Where should I place the speakers?

    The pre-wire setup isn't that great for the front speakers.
    But with that room setup, what would be better?
    Keep everything where it is but put the front right speaker
    on the right wall under the counter (which is about 4' tall)?
    I'd have to try and run the wire under the carpet, since that
    is in a walkway.

    Should I put them on the walls up high (more invisible)
    or place them on stands?



    Any ideas or comments would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!


    Brandon
     
  2. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    I use Polk Audio in-walls. They have aimable tweeters and can be painted. Great WAF.
     
  3. Brandon:W

    Brandon:W Stunt Coordinator

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    Rick

    How do you find in-wall for the surrounds? Since the sitting spot would be against the wall that the speakers would be in, wouldn't the speakers project the sound forward and not toward the listenter?

    Do you think Polk would be better than trying to get some Phase Tech in-walls? I don't know if having the surrounds (and center, for that matter) match my current PT speakers would be the right decision.

    I'm also thinking of in-ceiling speakers. But up 10'... too high?

    Brandon

    (and yes, WAF is very important)
     
  4. greg baker

    greg baker Stunt Coordinator

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    Brandon,

    I think as long as the tweeter could be aimed at the listening area you should be fine. The bass isn't particularly directional so it wouldn't matter if the woofer is directly facing you. I would go with in-walls over in ceilings. I think you get better imaging. Polk makes good in-walls. I don't know about phase tech for in-walls but they are a good speaker line
     
  5. Brandon:W

    Brandon:W Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Greg

    I have not heard a lot of reference to Phase Techs in this forum. Although, those that have spoken up, have said nice things about them. And no one has mentioned the in-wall line that PT has.

    There is a shop in town that carries the PT line, I'll have to check and see if they have any of the in-wall models.

    PT also has some bipolar surrounds that may be worth a listen. But they would be more visible than in-walls. Then again, if I ever move - I can take them with me [​IMG]

    Brandon
     
  6. Brandon:W

    Brandon:W Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, this weekend I went by the only audio specialty shop in town (Austin) that is listed as carrying the Phase Tech line - and they were closed - with a big pad-lock on the door and a note from the landlord about past-due rent.

    I guess the economy is hurting everyone these days.


    So....


    Does anyone have any suggestions for alternative speakers than the PTs? The Swan 2.1 speakers look like a good price/performance point - with a small package for a good WAF.


    Does anyone have any comments on speaker placement with the room setup I've shown?



    I guess I should have broken the long post into smaller, more bite-size chunks...

    Brandon
     
  7. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    One thing you could do, at least initially, is look into a B-stock Rocket Tyke package. That goes for $249 plus shipping. Next, save up money to upgrade the sub. Afterwards, upgrade the speakers.
     
  8. Steven_Jobe

    Steven_Jobe Stunt Coordinator

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    Seems you've dismissed the notion of getting Polk in walls however if I were you I'd check them out. I have the in walls for my back surrounds, in ceilings for my side surrounds and RTi8 towers for mains. The in walls and in ceilings have aimable tweeters and sound great. I have the couch back against the wall that the backs are installed into and it still images pretty well because of that aimable tweeter. Give them a chance, they sound great.
     
  9. Brandon:W

    Brandon:W Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the reply, Steven (and Bryan)

    I havn't dismissed the Polks, I just was thinking I would go with the Phase Technology in-walls to match my PT fronts. But when I found I couldn't demo them I was considering the Swans bookshelf models for the backs.

    The Polk in-walls look pretty nice - especially the aimable tweeter. What model do you have? The RC65I looks like a good price point for me. (found online for $200/pair)

    I just got an e-mail from a Phase Tech rep that said the PT in-wall CI-60VI would match well with my PC40's. And the good news is that Circuit City is now carrying them. The bad news is that they are $600 a pair.

    I think Circuit City also carries the Polks, so I will go by there and audition them both. For $600, those PTs would be about twice the cost of my fronts. Then again, that was 10 years ago that I got them for $300.

    To save my budget, if I like the Polk's, I may just get the PT PC33.1 center ($300) and the Polk RC65I ($200) or the Polk RC85I ($250).
     

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