What should I look into in a room like this?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Jesse Sharrow, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    My room is a living room where I will have the theater system or maybe start with a 2 channel system. The lowest end speaker setup Im looking at is a Kef Q series 5.1 with denon avr-982. Towers up front and I dont know which surrounds.

    The highest end Im looking at is a krell 2ch integrated amp with B&W Nautilus 802's. OR kef reference towers.

    Now the room is 10'x 26' lets say. Thats kinda a guess. With vaulted ceilings. Now the one 10' wall is a wall to wall fireplace. So nothing there. Unless I do a wall mount LCD? The other 10' wall is open into the dining room with a wall that is cut for an open window and an open door way. The North wall has a window about halfway down. The east side is totally empty. I think Im gonna put the tv on the east side wall. No outside the east side wall is the garage, outside the west side wall is ... outside. Its also built on a slab.. but guessing from that heater vent I may be able to run wires under there.


    Any suggestions for a room like this? I may acctually just start with a new tv and do an lcd or plasma. But we will see. Im gonna give a link for some pics of it.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    **bump** [​IMG]
     
  3. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well since the fireplace is in the way and your room isn't incredibly huge I would say some nice bookshelves that will reach about 70-80Hz should be good with a subwoofer.

    Here is a quick setup for a 5.1 setup from Klipsch with there Reference series, there bookshelves will reach 80Hz.

    Klipsch RB-25 - $300
    Klipsch RC-25 - $200
    Klipsch RS-25 - $300
    Klipsch RW-8 - $260 (8" subwoofer)

    That is just a simple setup which will be about $1060 if you look around and will provide alot of sound for a room like yours, but of course there are lots of speakers to choose from.

    I like the Harman/Kardon recievers but of course to each his own and I stand strong by HK. I would go to a store and demo speakers/recievers and see which you like best. Klipsch are naturally brighter sounding speakers which brings out some more vocals which I personally like while it will still hit the lower notes very nicely.

    Just remember alot of people will post what speakers they might like such as Polk, Yamaha, Athena, the list simply goes on and on but you are the one who has to judge on what you like to hear. Do you like a neutral sound, a deeper sound say, or a brighter sound like Klipsch.

    Take a look around and demo everything and then make your final decision.
     
  4. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    Well Im very interested in Kef. XQ's or Reference. You think I dont need to do towers in a room like that? I just need bookshelves? That would be fine. I would rather bookshelves.
     
  5. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Jesse, for best acoustics I think you should use the fireplace wall for putting your speakers in front of.

    If this means you need to forego the purchase of some huge rear projection TV then so be it. Top of the line gear like Krell or others deserve better than a huge glass pane sitting between them. Get yourself a small front projector to fire onto a pulldown screen instead. You could install the front projector much the same as your ceiling fan, and the cost could be about the same as a rear projector set.

    Using the fireplace as the back wall will give the best symmetry. Also your ceiling seems to slope from that side of the room. This is actually a good thing to have for acoustics, just think of a concert hall's ceilings.

    Of course the fireplace being a large wall of hard brick, will be detrimental to the sound but you could work with it well enough, and the benefits will outweigh the negatives.

    Since your wife would probably be against some of the absorbtion options for the fireplace I would work on diffracting the sound behind the speakers. Plants would work really well as an attractive natural diffractor. Get some directly behind the speakers placement. You will also need something to be placed in front of the fireplace's glass doors for serious listening. I would suggest a set Argent Room Lenses and place one in front of those doors and split the difference between the speakers. The Room Lenses can be a little expensive, but they are easy to move and effective. A tall plant could also do the trick. But I don't know, too many plants and you could be turning your listening room into a forest instead.[​IMG]

    To continue the diffraction of the back wall another high WAF option would be to do book shelves above the firplace brick all the way up to the ceiling. Looks like you could fit two or three rows. Books are pretty good diffractors, just make sure you misalign them all on purpose.

    And finally I would get some Cornerbusters for those front two ceiling-wall joints to dial down the horn-loading effect.

    So all that would pretty much deal with the back wall. For the side walls, I would certainly put some type of sound absorbtion panel at the first reflection point of each speaker. Something like Echobusters that have a broad range of frequency absorbtion characteristics. Since you have all the sound at the front diffracted in all sorts of directions you might also want to experiment with more than just the one absorbtion panel at the first reflection point. Try one even with the speakers and one between those two points.

    These things should pretty much take care of you treatment-wise. I would doubt that you will need to worry about bass frequencies too much because of how large the back of the room is and how much open space it is connected to.

    Of course some other treatments to keep in mind is to get the window covered with some nice drapes, preferably something thick like velvet for both sound absorbtion and blocking out light. Also I can't tell how plush your carpet is, it kind of looks like the industrial grade thin stuff. If that is the case you might need to either re-examine carpet plushness or get a thick wool rug to put on the floor between the speakers and the listening position.

    Also with using the fireplace as the back wall, you will probably be forced to place your audio rack along a sidewall and then have to make the choice between either having long speaker cable runs or placing your amp on a amp stand between the speakers and using longer interconnects.

    Lastly with a room 26' long, get your speakers away from the backwall. I would suggest a starting position of about 5' away and about 1 to 2' from the sidewalls. The 5' will really help your sound, it will also leave a nice gap to place the audio rack between the fireplace wall and the speakerplane on either sidewall.
     
  6. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Jesse it is not necessary to get Floorstandings if you don't want them. I mean they are always a great option and your room should be able to accomodate decent sized bookshelves and give some nice sound I think.

    As Scott said a pulldown is always another suggestion to avoid the fireplace and whenever you want to watch TV just pull it down although it could be a pain sometimes.

    Also Jesse remember that each person has his/her own taste in how a speaker sounds which is why everyone buys something different. I like Klipsch for 3 reasons:

    1.Very nice look
    2.Great build quality
    3.Very little power needed to drive them

    and of course Klipsch is naturally a bright speaker which some people like or dislike.

    I would recommend listening to everything your considering and some others just to see what is out there but I think a decent sized bookshelves with at least a 6" woofer should be able to do the job very nicely.
     
  7. dajaga

    dajaga Stunt Coordinator

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    hey you should look in to the paradigm family
     
  8. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Jesse,

    Scott's on the right track. I would first focus on what you're going to do with the room. His recommendations on the fireplace wall being the best spot are pretty "sound" hehe [​IMG]

    Looks like you're lucky and can put some surrounds directly to the left and right of your listening position. If need be you could even mess with rear surrounds on the back wall.

    Your biggest challenge might be that window. Some shades or drapes to cover it would work in a pinch.

    So you've got rough speaker placement covered.

    Now you can listen to some speakers you like. We can't really tell you what speakers to get because that's your ear making the decision. I think either the kefs or B&Ws would be fine.

    I prefer a little fuller front stage and would recommend speakers that go down to 40hz for the center and mains. M&K, polk LSI, paradigm reference, rockets all make fine speakers as well. So a good monitor would fit as long as they can go relatively deep. Choose surrounds from the same model line and get ready to enjoy.

    I also like impact which means some kind of a 200 watt amplifier in there and a pre-amp/processor.

    I'd stay away from rear-projection, maybe focus on front-projection.

    If you're looking at two channel only then that changes everything. [​IMG] Then we're talking full range speakers, quality source gear and pre-amp/amp. You've got a nice room and can do just about anything you want with the exception of your choice of displays.

    I also like the krell integrated amp - 300il I think it is. Lots of sound for not too much dough, look on the used market if you need to.

    What I'm trying to say is - HAVE FUN!
     
  9. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    Damn! I guess I wasnt expecting this many of the same answer. I was thinking more along the lines of rotate everything 90 degrees to the left. But when it comes time maybe I will bring up the idea of a front projector or maybe just an lcd or plasma over the fireplace.
     
  10. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well Jesse a nice LCD or Plasma would be great but unfortunatly the Plasma's for something like 50" will run you something like $10,000 and don't forget that it still needs a bunch of extra's which is again another $1000 so if you think about it, it isn't really all that worth it unless you got money to spend. Now on the other hand what you could do is what I have done with my own system.

    Ignore the fireplace totally, put the TV on the wall where the door is, then put the couch against the other wall which will allow you to bring in a rear-projection and will also give you alot more fuller sound because you are projecting it into that smaller area. (I don't know if you were getting to that or not but I think that is the best idea)

    That would be my suggestion, and also an entertainment center could be added around the TV to add things such as reciever, DVD player, CD Player, MiniDisc Player, Xbox, and such.

    Some nice TV's are Mitsubishi's which I really like.

    Once you get that situated speakers are you next worry.. like I said I like Klipsch and they require very little power to run (smaller amp needed for same volume level as most speakers) and are incredibly effecient but in the end it comes down to what kind of sound you like. Audition lots of speakers and recievers and keep on going even if the salesman gets annoyed because you will probably be spending alot of money there.

    Hope this helps you somewhat.
     
  11. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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    Here's what could be an expensive but worthwhile idea. The room is very difficult to do much with because it is so long right now and so narrow. You could find a good drywall crew to construct a 6 to 8 foot high wall to create a new hallway between the big room and the entry/dining room area. Leave room to walk into the large room on one side of course. That way, you could place a normal TV set in front of the new wall facing the fireplace with space for floorstanding speakers or bookshelf speakers flanking the TV. Place an audio rack in the left corner of the new space. Surround speakers could be placed or mounted flanking the fireplace. In the long run you'll have more home theater flexibility this way and a much better soundstage for home theater uses. You won't affect the heating and cooling in the room because you wouldn't be enclosing the whole area, and you would no longer have to be concerned about trying to fill the huge gaps in the listening area caused by the current open floor plan.
     
  12. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    Well the first thing I should say is that I am a salesman. I work at soundtrack in car audio. So I can get everything you just mentioned at cost. I may look into a front projector or a plasma. But if not Im just gonna do it the easy way and deal with the fact that I wont have Awsome sound.
     
  13. ChrisLazarko

    ChrisLazarko Supporting Actor

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    Well it is the type of speakers that will determine the sound you want. If you get a pair of 5W computer speakers and hook them up of course it will sound like a pile of garbage but if you throw something better in like Athena, Klipsch, JBL, etc. then you will of course get nice sound. Bookshelves aren't a bad choice but usually floorstanding speakers create bigger sound and that is for some obvious reasons.

    Although I think for the room maybe just put a 60" widescreen up against where the door is and then put an entertainment center around and then position your speakers you would be just as well off. You would be sitting close which of course it is a bigger picture then and it will make the spots to put the speakers alot easier. And you should still get great sound even if you set it up that way.
     

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