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Compromise Atmos Living Room

MacReady

Well-known Member
We moved home earlier this Year into a new build and one of the things my OH insisted on was that she was not having a living room like the last one....black and grey walls with lots of big black boxes everywhere that looked like this!

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We agreed that the new living room would have a very discrete 3.1 system in and that I would finally be able to fulfil a dream I have had for many Years...to do a proper home cinema garage conversion! It would be a bit of work as there was no internal access to the garage and a large wall boiler was in there that would need moving, but I started to get quotes and plan the work.
So, we moved in and I got the living room set up looking like this...it wasn't anything amazing but it sounded pretty decent and I knew it would do until I started on the garage.

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However, a couple of Months ago some delightful individuals decided that they had more rights to the items in our home and stole pretty much every electronic item we owned.....this left us both feeling unsafe and a bit vulnerable and we needed to increase the security we had just to feel we could leave the house.

This unfortunately meant the garage conversion had to be put off for at least a couple of Years. My OH knows how much I really missed my old living room set up...and she felt a bit guilty as we had paid a lot to get the back garden landscaped for her as she missed her old garden...so I also had a bot of leverage;)

So, she agreed I could do a bit of an upgrade. I knew I wanted to go back to an immersive audio set up but it would have to be using up-firing speakers rather than wall or ceiling models. The living room is quite small so it was always going to be a bit cramped and limited in it's ability to properly create a height layer but I looked at a few manufacturers that offered such speakers and narrowed the list to Dali and Kef (as both passed the looks test). I popped into the Leeds Richer Sounds one lunchtime and they were kind enough to do a great demo of the Kef's and Dali's.....and I left an hour later having ordered the Dali Opticon 6's, Dali Opticon Vokal and Dali Alteco C1's......as well as a 65" LG OLEDB7 that was on offer that week and I couldn't resist it.......

......and an OPPO UDP203....because they only had two left and I REALLY wanted one so I could make the most of DV discs:rotfl:

The living room is now a pretty good compromise as far s I am concerned! I have set the new kit up along with a pair of Monitor Audio Radius 45's for rear duties that I already had (and are quite discreet so have also had approval;)),an Xbox One X and a BK Elec P12-300SB subwoofer which, after three Years of owning, still amazes me as to how low and precise it can be!

I am more than happy with how it looks and sounds and it will make the wait to start the garage conversion a lot more bearable:thumbsup:

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Killbill118

Active Member
Looks gorgeous! How are you finding the TV? And the upfiring atmos?
Sorry to hear about the break in! Hope they break a leg next time they try to rob someone!
 

MacReady

Well-known Member
Looks gorgeous! How are you finding the TV? And the upfiring atmos?
Sorry to hear about the break in! Hope they break a leg next time they try to rob someone!
Really starting to appreciate the TV now. After coming from a Panasonic 65" DX902b, which is a stunning FALD LED LCD, I was worried that I would be disappointed with OLED due to the peak brightness not being close...but the sharpness of the image and contrast is just amazing to be honest.

The up firing modules are actually very good and create a great, diffuse, height layer. I tried the Dolby Atmos demo disc once I had it all set up and, compared to some front height ceiling speakers I had in my last set up, I was surprised at how different but just as effective this was. It's definitely different though...as I say, the sound is more diffuse and gives a greater sense of space and of having sound all around you rather than bingo directional from precise locations above.

For a small living room though, it looks and sounds pretty good:D
 

MacReady

Well-known Member
Been playing around with the position of the Alteco's a bit lately and, after changing the angle a few times, found that the biggest difference was made by moving the Opticons, that they are sat on, out by a few more inch either side of the cabinet. Object based soundtracks now seem to fill the room more and the soundstage appears to be much bigger than the physical speakers positions.

We watched The Equaliser the other night and some of the more ambient and atmospheric sounds were amazing...it really did sound like there was background noises coming from the side of the me and above me but without being able to directly identify the exact spot they were coming from...and they also sounded like they were much further away than the actual walls of the room!

I know that ceiling speakers can give you a more directional sound and make the overheads more distinct, but I think I quite like how this effect sounds now with the up firing speakers as it is more natural...if that makes sense?

The only problem is that the right soundstage doesn't sound quite as wide as the left and I think that may be because of the bay window. Going to try closing the curtains next time we watch a movie and see if that helps as they are quite thick and heavy.

Thought I would add a few more photos as well. Never put any of the kit in the AV unit (only one side is used..the other two are for my Simple Minds record collection and remotes/headphones and a few select SACD's and DVD-A's). Also put a pic of my sub...which is not in the greatest place and definitely sounds better when placed in other locations (I have tried it) but the OH has said she hates that it is just a large black cube so wants it out of the way. I should be grateful as she has now complained about the small assortment of movie related figures I have in the living room...she did say no to the MCU 10th Anniversary IMAX framed poster going up in there though:(

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MacReady

Well-known Member
They stole your DX902? Surprised they could lift it.

Looks a great setup mate. :)
Ha ha, no, they tried to and ended up slightly damaging it.....four pixels 'killed' down in the bottom centre of the screen.
I think they were probably a little surprised by the weight when trying to take it off the wall mount and decided to give in and just take the Xbox One X instead :rotfl:
 

BriD

Well-known Member
Ha ha, no, they tried to and ended up slightly damaging it.....four pixels 'killed' down in the bottom centre of the screen.
I think they were probably a little surprised by the weight when trying to take it off the wall mount and decided to give in and just take the Xbox One X instead :rotfl:
I've got to remove mine for decorating and the thought of it is already stressnig me out ;)
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Just as an aside - I notice that you've gone for the black/dark wood finish across your kit, but BK do a number of different wood finishes on their subs and you could've chosen a lighter finish on that, make it look more like a piece of furniture instead of a black blob.

But maybe that wouldn't have fitted the aesthetic you were looking for?
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Oh, and this is probably a completely different Thread, but I once had a girlfriend and she said we could live together if I got rid of my music collection. I just thought, "you don't really know me and that's never going to happen", so that died a death, thank christ.

No swipe at your partner or anybody else's, but I would never be with anyone who restricted my passion. Which is probably why I am single and all womanhood have had a lucky escape!
 

MacReady

Well-known Member
Just as an aside - I notice that you've gone for the black/dark wood finish across your kit, but BK do a number of different wood finishes on their subs and you could've chosen a lighter finish on that, make it look more like a piece of furniture instead of a black blob.

But maybe that wouldn't have fitted the aesthetic you were looking for?
I originally had all the black ash MA speakers (as in the first pic) but they were replaced by walnut ones (as in the second pic) as my OH and I both thought walnut would work better in the new living room. When it came to replacing the MA Bronze speakers I showed her the KEF and Dali speakers in all the finishes expecting her to say that she would prefer the white...but she actually liked the look of the black and walnut Dali's as she said (and I agree with this) they had a bit of a 70's retro look to them that she really liked.

Oh, and this is probably a completely different Thread, but I once had a girlfriend and she said we could live together if I got rid of my music collection. I just thought, "you don't really know me and that's never going to happen", so that died a death, thank christ.

No swipe at your partner or anybody else's, but I would never be with anyone who restricted my passion. Which is probably why I am single and all womanhood have had a lucky escape!
I am actually pretty lucky as she puts up with a lot from me when it comes to AV kit and general movie, music and geeky stuff as my hobbies. Each Month I spend a fair amount on UHD-BD's (many steelbooks that she doesn't see the point of), vinyl, comics and graphic novels and other such items. She enjoys watching movies as well and can see the benefit of all the kit we have...she just never liked the old living room as she said it was too dark and uninviting and didn't want this one to feel the same.

As I mentioned, she was the one who actually said I should convert the garage as she knows how much I want a dedicated cinema and, if it had not been for the little scroates breaking into our house, I would have been well on the way with that now.
 

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