Discreet Atmos Set Up (5.1.4) - The slippery slope since finding AVForums

Harkon321

Well-known Member
This is my first Home Cinema build, having previously only owned All in one type systems and a Plasma TV. The existing living room of our new house was fairly bland and featureless. As I started planning out what we wanted, I started to ponder about a larger TV or Projector set up. I stumbled across AV Forums and it's been a slippery slope ever since.

Existing Living Room
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Harkon321

Well-known Member
Room emptied and stripped
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Fireplace

Our previous house had an original open fire (1930s) and we missed the feature. We wanted to recreate something similar but without losing too much space. We decided to cut in to the cavity, insulate and then build a fake chimney breast. In hindsight the chimney breast has then caused so many issues with speaker placement, but I do like the feature it creates. We looked at log burners, gas alternatives but in the end settled on a electric effect log burner. We don't need the heat and a traditional log burner wasn't ideal with two very young children. Cavity cut out, gas capped, cavity lined and fireplace created. Brick with Full oak lintel. It has also ended providing an excellent cable run.

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Harkon321

Well-known Member
Taking inspiration from Pelmet ideas I'd seen on here I got the builder who was doing the fireplace to build a pelmet to hide the projector and cabling. The coving was then continued straight across to make it look like it had always been there.
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Projector (TW6600) was purchased from Richer Sounds and trial fitted.
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Carpets and boards taken up in our bedroom above (much to my wife's annoyance) to run the cables.
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Following a demo from Allan @Ideal AV I decided that a REACT 3 screen would best suit my living room environment. It's a 2M wide, tab tensioned in a Draper Sesame case. Allan also included a 12v trigger which we wired to the projector whilst the boards were up.

Hated this bit!

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Ceiling light removed and nine downlighters ready to be fitted. Got my sparky mate to fit a switch, which means all nine are controlled by the ir dimmer, but I can turn off the centre three. It means you can have the outer lights on low, but the ones directly in front of the screen off.

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Harkon321

Well-known Member
So by the end of Summer 2015 I was finished (I genuinely thought this).

Kit was:

Denon 2100
Projector TW6600
Sony Bluray Player
Monitor Audio BX Centre, BX2, BXFX Surrounds and Dali E12F Sub
Plasma 42" TV

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Harkon321

Well-known Member
And then I read about Atmos. Got to be worth a look I thought.

The top rears, were pre cut in the pelmet MDF and then just plasterboarded over. These were left in case I ever wanted rear ceiling speakers and I had wires to these. I fitted Monitor Audio 265 fx here as they were very close to the seating and I didn't want the sound to be too localised. I'd used them as rear surrounds until I could afford to upgrade the amp. I then happened upon some MA IC80 for a bargain basement price, so these would be my Top Fronts.

Out came the hole saw; it's easier to apologise to the wife than ask for permission. Lots of measuring and remeasuring then went for it. Obviously the Denon 2100 couldn't support Atmos so it was upgraded to a Denon 4200.

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I fitted 'Fire Toppers' as an alternative to 'Hoodys' to maintain fire integrity. They are meant to offer the same level of audio insulation and fire protection, but they are cheaper.

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Harkon321

Well-known Member
We also painted the oak surround of the projector, which I prefer. While I was wiring the Atmos fronts, I also ran a new surround cable to further to the right. This new location gave much better separation. (The original surround location was where the picture is now handing).

See this photo (the sofa is pulled forward when the projector used used).

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I finally managed to get rid of the tired TV unit. It took ages to find something I wanted that would also fit my amp and all the other bits. I've also decided to move to Monitor Audio Apex speakers.

A picture here of it all fitted, including the additional cooling solutions. Thanks for the advice from @Plasma Dan . Twin 120mm fans for the PS4 and twin 120mm blower fans on top the the AVR. Power Amp is staying really cool, but may fit a blower on there as well.

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TV was also changed for a newer 43" Sony unit and fixed to an Omnimount full motion mount.
 
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Harkon321

Well-known Member
The part of this build that is probably different to most is that I've added switchable speaker locations. I've wired the front left and right outputs from the amp through a QED Speaker switch. I can then choose which speakers I used for the Left and Right speakers.

Either:

Radius HD either side of the TV.
Apex A40 Left and Right for the Projector.

The left A40 is sat behind the Centre A40 under the TV. When I use the projector I push the TV back against the wall, place the centre A40 on the MA Gold Stand in front of the fireplace and then pull the left A40 forward to the edge of the TV unit. It sounds a faff, but it takes less than a minute and means my audio is not compromised whether I'm watched TV or using the projector.

This gives an idea of locations (red being ceiling speakers for Atmos).

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Harkon321

Well-known Member
I need to still buy one A40 for the righthand speaker (currently using one BX2 which isn't ideal).

Future plans are upgrading the projectors, probably to a TW7200. I'd especially like the idea of lense memory.

Surrounds will need upgrading to either RXFX or Apex A10s. Need to make a decision there.

And then I'll be done...

Current Kit list:

React3 92" Rectractable screen
Epson 6600
Sony Bravia 43" 751
Denon x4200
Monitor Audio Apex A40s LCR
BXFX Surrounds
MA Pro IC80 (Atmos front) and MA CT265-Fx (Atmos Rear)
Dali E12-F Sub.
 
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Harkon321

Well-known Member
New addition. I wanted a way for my Power Amp to come on automatically with the Denon 4200. The Denon has a 12v trigger out but the PowerAmp does not have a trigger in. Having looked and failed to find a product for anything close to reasonable money I went the DIY route. Or more accurately my friend who is a sparky made this for me.

 
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purextc69

Active Member
Nice room Harkon. Really good job...

Could I ask what you think about the 265 FX's? I am considering changing my 265-IDC's for them to create a wider more diffused sound stage for the rears in my setup (have to be in ceilings you see...)

thanks!
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
The diffused effect works really well. When I'm not watching films, and the sofa isn't pulled forward, they are almost directly above me and I don't find them over powering. The IDCs are meant to be the better speaker but if they are close to your MLP the 265fx might be worth a look.
 

purextc69

Active Member
Ok cool. I can reuse the IDC's in my dining area as I have cables pre installed for a couple of speakers over there for my zone 2 so that's a plus. Just struggling to pull the trigger on them to be disappointed that the difference isn't quite what I expect.
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
Yea that's fair enough. I haven't heard them back to back so difficult to say. Maybe someone else will have had both and can compare. If you manage to pick some up 2nd hand you don't lose anything if you have to move them on afterwards.
 

walls

Member
Excellent job, I've just installed a similar setup - and the final bit is the ceiling speakers - I've a Denon x3300 so will only be putting two up.

Great to see the progress, now interested in the CT265's after following your installation.

PS - Nice VXR220.
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
Another A40 picked up today so finally have a matching front 3 again.

Will get it hooked up this week and get a picture. Now looking for some RX fx surrounds...
 

Hooblue

Well-known Member
Nice job Harkon. :smashin: Similar style lounge to mine in fact with the wood furniture. I agree, it took me ages to find a nice oak TV unit that fitted all my gear into it!

Can I ask where you got your fans from for the unit? Are they mains powered? I think I also need to get some for my PS4 and Denon amp.
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
Nice job Harkon. :smashin: Similar style lounge to mine in fact with the wood furniture. I agree, it took me ages to find a nice oak TV unit that fitted all my gear into it!

Can I ask where you got your fans from for the unit? Are they mains powered? I think I also need to get some for my PS4 and Denon amp.

All from AC Infinity from their shop on Amazon. All are USB powered and come with a 240V plug with USB connector. They also piggy back off each other, so I have 2 x double fans plugged in to the USB port on my PS4.

I fitted two more fans at the weekend but didn't take pictures. All the doors can now stay closed when viewing a film etc. I've fitted an additional one to the left of the PS4 as an intake and then a double fan in the cupboard on the right (1 fan in /1 fan out) to circulate air over the power amp, though to be fair that rarely gets warm as it only powers two Atmos speakers.
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
Welcome thoughts on what is the next sensible upgrade?

Upgrade the BXFX to RXFX/Silver FX - cost to change around £250-£450
Upgrade the projector from the TW 6600 to the Epson TW7300 - £1500 I guess
Upgrade the Sub - Currently a Dali E12F - Cost ??


My gut says do the surrounds and then I can leave the speakers alone for a long time. I think the projector needs to wait a bit as it's a big outlay. Sub? Welcome to thoughts on that.
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
Couple of recent pictures.

Now have BK Mono+ sub and RXFX surrounds.

Still a switcheable set up from TV to projector. So Centre A40 remains the same and is moved to the speaker stand in the middle. The Apex A10 to left and right TV Duties but these switch to the A40s left and right for the projector.

TV
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Projector (Hue lights on)
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discodunc

Active Member
Hi,

What is the spacing you have between your atmos speakers? I think i may have put mine a little too close to each other but its hard to judge the distance from just an image.

Thanks
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
I used the Dolby recommendations as much as I could.

So fronts are in line with left and right front speakers and whatever the recommended angle is. Rears are just about in this recommended angle but closer together due to constraints of the room.
 

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