Fireplace, doors and other things...

cybergambit

Active Member
Hi all,

My family spends most of our time in our kitchen/lounge and that’s where I have my daily viewing TV setup with TV, soundbar etc.

A separate front room (living room) was used for “chilling” out with an audio set up, record player, whiskey cabinet etc. but ended up being barely used. I wanted to make more use of the space and so initially thought of a dual use room by setting up a projector on one wall, a 130” motorised projector screen on the opposite wall (in front of window) and a 5.1/7.1 speaker setup (on stands so easily movable).

I have now decided to make it more of a theatre room but have a couple of things which I wanted an opinion on (please see drawing of room layout).

1. I have a large fireplace in the middle of the room - would this have a huge effect on the video/sound in the room and is there any suggestions on how to mitigate any issues? Would there be an alternative speaker placement to what I have I have in the drawing?
2. The room has a wooden floor but I’m considering putting a large wall to wall rug in to make it more “cosy” - does this also make a big difference to the video/sound in the room? Or not really?
3. I also have an awkward double door right in the middle of the side wall, which makes it difficult to position side surround speakers. What distance should I place seating from the 130” projector screen or should I position the sofa so that I can have directly side on speakers as a priority?

That’s my initial queries at the moment. Hoping I can get some great feedback/opinions and I plan to post some photos tomorrow to give a better idea. Thanks in advance all!

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Harkon321

Well-known Member
You could place seating about a metre off the back wall, to allow space for your rear surrounds. That puts your surrounds at roughly 90 deg. If you can't pull the sofa off the back wall by a metre then just lose the rear surrounds.

You will get some reflection from the fireplace cavity (at least I do, in the same situation) - first link in my sig. I've lived with it though, it's still fine, but I know it makes a difference.

Rug will help reflections and is a good call.

Sort your seating location first and then choose screen size, not the other way around.

Ideally sort seating and set up projector firing at the wall. Watch a few films and then decide what size you want, before you buy a screen.
 

cybergambit

Active Member
You could place seating about a metre off the back wall, to allow space for your rear surrounds. That puts your surrounds at roughly 90 deg. If you can't pull the sofa off the back wall by a metre then just lose the rear surrounds.

You will get some reflection from the fireplace cavity (at least I do, in the same situation) - first link in my sig. I've lived with it though, it's still fine, but I know it makes a difference.

Rug will help reflections and is a good call.

Sort your seating location first and then choose screen size, not the other way around.

Ideally sort seating and set up projector firing at the wall. Watch a few films and then decide what size you want, before you buy a screen.

Thanks for the reply @Harkon321 - yes, I’ll look at the softening of the fireplace area somehow and see what you have in your setup.

I’ve added a few images of the current set up as it stands.

Regarding the rear surrounds, I’m still in two minds (hence the dotted lines). I would have enough space behind the seating based on what I am expecting, but I’m not sure whether 7.1 with Dolby Pro Logic IIx upscaling is going to be a better experience than just the native 5.1 DD+ which is with most streaming service content (I have another post regarding this 7.1 vs 5.1 already).

Also, I fear I’m too late regarding seating position first and then screen size (as you can see)... I already have the retractable screen installed. I also have the temporary sofas placed to test out the system (excuse the load of electricals and TV screen on the back wall.. all a bit of a half way house).

You will also notice the centre speaker on a makeshift stand (aka. a speaker cable box) - I cant for the life of me decided where to place it... can it go on top of the projector screen???
 

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Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
What are your current thoughts on how this room will be used? When it's not being used for a film, what will it be used for, and how often?

Re fireplace: I think it'll be fine, don't worry too much about it

A rug will help with both the sound and (assuming it's a black rug) image.

You don't need the side surrounds at 90 degrees. Somewhere between 90 and 110 is the general recommendation. The position of your sofa should also take into account room nulls, which you can test for (I can add more detail on that later).
 

cybergambit

Active Member
What are your current thoughts on how this room will be used? When it's not being used for a film, what will it be used for, and how often?

Re fireplace: I think it'll be fine, don't worry too much about it

A rug will help with both the sound and (assuming it's a black rug) image.

You don't need the side surrounds at 90 degrees. Somewhere between 90 and 110 is the general recommendation. The position of your sofa should also take into account room nulls, which you can test for (I can add more detail on that later).
Hi @Triggaaar

Originally, I wanted to keep the room as dual purpose: chillout, social room vs cinema room - hence the art, fireplace, whiskey cabinet + speakers on floor stands and retractable projector. But as I have added to the cinema aspect (and read more and more on this forum), I have edged more and more into the direction of cinema room, with the option of a social room only once in a while.

Yes, I’m getting a large wall to wall black rug in, which I think will change the cosy feel of the room as well as benefit the a/v as mentioned.

So side surrounds can go slightly further back and don’t need to be side on with seating? All the dolby, THX etc. websites always push for side on, so I just thought that’s what it needs to be? I assume that would then make the rear surrounds redundant? Which I guess I’m fine with as I’m not sure 7.1 gives any better an experience as 5.1 as mentioned.

So that leaves the centre speaker position - can I place above the projector screen or that’s not the done thing? Plus the sub is currently directly behind the sofa - is this ok or should it always be front left/right?

Will be great to hear your thoughts on sofa placement based on room nulls when you get the chance.

Thanks
 
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Harkon321

Well-known Member
90 deg is usually used when you run 7.1. If you are running 5.1 then, yes, a little behind is good.

Centre could maybe go above. It’s not ideal but might work.

Sub location depends on the room. Can work well in any of those locations. Get a long cable a try it in a few places.
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
Originally, I wanted to keep the room as dual purpose: chillout, social room vs cinema room - hence the art, fireplace, whiskey cabinet + speakers on floor stands and retractable projector. But as I have added to the cinema aspect (and read more and more on this forum), I have edged more and more into the direction of cinema room, with the option of a social room only once in a while.
I think the first thing you need to do is do your best to work out how dedicated a room it can be. It makes a huge difference to what you do with the room. When you/family are just chilling together, watching a bit of tv etc, where will you do it? For us, although we have a really nice Edwardian living room with fireplace etc, the reality is that we're always in the open plan kitchen (it's new, huge, and has everything we need).

So if you need the room to be a living space, that will dictate a hat-full of compromises. If not, and you're making it a dedicated space, you can treat the walls and ceiling for light and sound, and also have an acoustically transparent screen with the speakers behind it. I know you already have the screen, but if it was to be a dedicated room, I'd sell it.

If you're going with a compromise room that does both jobs, then your centre speaker goes under the screen.


So side surrounds can go slightly further back and don’t need to be side on with seating? All the dolby, THX etc. websites always push for side on, so I just thought that’s what it needs to be?
Dolby 7.1.x has the side surrounds at between 90 and 110 degrees: 7.1.4 Overhead Speaker Setup

I assume that would then make the rear surrounds redundant? Which I guess I’m fine with as I’m not sure 7.1 gives any better an experience as 5.1 as mentioned.
Rear surrounds are better almost straight behind you (165 degrees). That's not what Dolby says at the moment, but I think they'll change their recommendation.

So that leaves the centre speaker position - can I place above the projector screen or that’s not the done thing?
Place it behind an acoustically transparent screen :D Failing that, underneath. On top is too high.

Plus the sub is currently directly behind the sofa - is this ok or should it always be front left/right?
If you only have one sub, the best place for it is different in every room. Ideally, you'd have more than one subs, so they can be balanced to cancel out the nulls that you'll get in your room.

Will be great to hear your thoughts on sofa placement based on room nulls when you get the chance.
I'll post more when you've got more of a plan, but basically in a rectangular room you'll get a large null at half the length of the room (also at half the height, and width, but you're not going to be at half the height, and the width isn't as important and you don't have to sit dead centre). You also get nulls at 1/4 and 3/4 the length of the room:

When a soundwave is twice as long as a room, you get a null in the centre. When the wave is same length as room, you get nulls at 0.25 and 0.75 the length.
When you can fit 1.5 waves in a room, you get a null at 1/6, 3/6, 5/6 and when you can fit 2 waves in a room, you get a null at 1/8, 3/8, 5/8. 7/8

So avoid sitting at halfway, and assuming you're sitting further back than that, avoid 5/8th (0.625) and 3/4 (0.75).
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
I went further forward. Mine are just over 80deg I think. Aiming to close the gap from LCR to surrounds, without running wides. Also hoping it makes them even less localised.
 

cybergambit

Active Member
Thanks @Harkon321 @Triggaaar. Let me work through the feedback.

1. Is this going to be a dedicated room: I also have an open plan kitchen/living space which is where my family and I spend a vast majority of our time (thats where my large screen TV, sky box and “Atmos” soundbar is. For this separate room, I wish it was a dedicated home theatre and I could go all out (I would push for 4k projector, acoustically transparent static screen, carpeted floors, Atmos receiver and speaker set up with full dark matt colour scheme/audio treatment suitable etc.) - however unfortunately my other half does not have the same opinion. This means a compromise somewhat whereby I have a much more entry level set up but can just as easily raise the projector screen and open the curtains if “someone is coming round”.
2. Having said the above, I am still looking to do all I can and so will be getting the black rug in, have optimal speaker/sub placement and seating type + arrangement to make it as much a cinema room as possible. This would also include whatever audio treatment I can get away with to make a difference - would it be worth it?
3. Again, based on above - the centre speaker is the once causing an issue. Its fine to have it below the screen when the room is in “cinema mode”. But when not, I raise the screen and open curtains and so have to move the speaker away from what would essentially be lying in the middle of the floor for no reason. This means wires can never be fully hidden and just a lot of fuss. I am still fine to do this if there is no other real option to keep a semi-permanent arrangement, but I was hoping someone else may have met with the same dilemma and has a better solution (if above the screen is as mentioned not going to work). To be honest, I was using Jamo A10s and have just replaced with some B&W M1s and I realise it’s not a huge jump up, but was expecting a tellable difference, ironically I feel that the dialogue in movies actually sounds more muffled and less clear with these. Is this speaker placement, seating positioning, speaker crossover settings or something else? (Or is it just the speakers themselves??).
4. So I can have the seating easily 1 meter away from the back wall (it’s currently 2 meters forward). So I’ll study the null advice and see how I can balance the positioning of the seating but is there a consideration required for also what is the ideal seating point with a 133” screen in place?
5. So I’m coming back to the 7.1 vs 5.1 - should I try and accommodate a 7 speaker set up or just stick to 5.1? If 9/10 things I watch are 5.1 native, is it going to be a considerably better experience to have the reciever upscale to pro logic ii and have rear surrounds or will it not make that much difference from just having 5.1 (or actually a better experience having 5.1 rather than 7.1).

A lot of questions I know, but as always really appreciate the help I’m getting, so thanks everyone.
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
1. Is this going to be a dedicated room: I also have an open plan kitchen/living space which is where my family and I spend a vast majority of our time (thats where my large screen TV, sky box and “Atmos” soundbar is.
Perfect. Dedicated cinema room, here we come!!! :D


For this separate room, I wish it was a dedicated home theatre and I could go all out (I would push for 4k projector, acoustically transparent static screen, carpeted floors, Atmos receiver and speaker set up with full dark matt colour scheme/audio treatment suitable etc.) - however unfortunately my other half does not have the same opinion. This means a compromise somewhat whereby I have a much more entry level set up but can just as easily raise the projector screen and open the curtains if “someone is coming round”.
Damn :laugh: My other half said I couldn't have our 3rd reception room as a dedicated cinema. I told her I was building it anyway. I wouldn't generally advise going against a partner's wishes, but she basically wanted it to store her vast collection of clothes/shoes, and the kids would rather have a cinema. Anyway, back to you: How long have you had your open plan kitchen/living space, and when 'someone is coming round' do you really go to the other living area? If so, then fair enough, it has to do both functions. If it's not clear yet that you'll use it for guests, I wonder if you could do as planned and make it double purpose room, but not do a tone of work (or spend a load of money) that'll be wasted should you make it a dedicated room in the future?


2. Having said the above, I am still looking to do all I can and so will be getting the black rug in, have optimal speaker/sub placement and seating type + arrangement to make it as much a cinema room as possible. This would also include whatever audio treatment I can get away with to make a difference - would it be worth it?
I think you can do speaker/sub placement pretty well. Audio treatment is not so easy without making a mess of a living room. For image quality, black curtains across the walls etc could work, but that would be wasted work if it later becomes a dedicated room (I understand you may already know it'll never be a dedicated room, I don't know). I think I'd just go for standard sofas, because cinema recliners etc will look out of place in a living room (IMO) and standard sofas are still fine even in a dedicated cinema.

3. Again, based on above - the centre speaker is the once causing an issue. Its fine to have it below the screen when the room is in “cinema mode”. But when not, I raise the screen and open curtains and so have to move the speaker away from what would essentially be lying in the middle of the floor for no reason. This means wires can never be fully hidden and just a lot of fuss. I am still fine to do this if there is no other real option to keep a semi-permanent arrangement, but I was hoping someone else may have met with the same dilemma and has a better solution (if above the screen is as mentioned not going to work).
Is the screen (and speaker) on the opposite wall an option? Could you post an image of the layout of the room, with windows, door, dimensions etc?
EDIT - sorry, I see you'd already done that, my bad.


To be honest, I was using Jamo A10s and have just replaced with some B&W M1s and I realise it’s not a huge jump up, but was expecting a tellable difference, ironically I feel that the dialogue in movies actually sounds more muffled and less clear with these. Is this speaker placement, seating positioning, speaker crossover settings or something else? (Or is it just the speakers themselves??).
Muffled dialogue is usually due to room acoustics (those nulls I was talking about, and unwanted reflections). It's not likely to be the speaker itself.


4. So I can have the seating easily 1 meter away from the back wall (it’s currently 2 meters forward). So I’ll study the null advice and see how I can balance the positioning of the seating but is there a consideration required for also what is the ideal seating point with a 133” screen in place?
Some people like sitting close to a big screen, others like sitting further away. People do think of this like where would you sit in a cinema - front, middle, back - but I don't think that works well, because in a cinema we also have to think about how high we sit. I don't sit in the front, because it required looking up at the screen. Anyway - a 133" screen (16:9, diagonal) is 9'8" (2.94m) wide. I'd be happy from 9'6" to 10'6" away (mostly for 2.35 content, and I'd usually project 16:9 content smaller if I was close). Some on here prefer to sit further away. They're mad.

5. So I’m coming back to the 7.1 vs 5.1 - should I try and accommodate a 7 speaker set up or just stick to 5.1?
It depends on the room, and how easy it is to organise. In a dedicated room, I'd go 7.1.4 and make it work. But in a living room, I'd see what fits the room best.
 
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cybergambit

Active Member
Perfect. Dedicated cinema room, here we come!!! :D



Damn :laugh: My other half said I couldn't have our 3rd reception room as a dedicated cinema. I told her I was building it anyway. I wouldn't generally advise going against a partner's wishes, but she basically wanted it to store her vast collection of clothes/shoes, and the kids would rather have a cinema. Anyway, back to you: How long have you had your open plan kitchen/living space, and when 'someone is coming round' do you really go to the other living area? If so, then fair enough, it has to do both functions. If it's not clear yet that you'll use it for guests, I wonder if you could do as planned and make it double purpose room, but not do a tone of work (or spend a load of money) that'll be wasted should you make it a dedicated room in the future?



I think you can do speaker/sub placement pretty well. Audio treatment is not so easy without making a mess of a living room. For image quality, black curtains across the walls etc could work, but that would be wasted work if it later becomes a dedicated room (I understand you may already know it'll never be a dedicated room, I don't know). I think I'd just go for standard sofas, because cinema recliners etc will look out of place in a living room (IMO) and standard sofas are still fine even in a dedicated cinema.


Is the screen (and speaker) on the opposite wall an option? Could you post an image of the layout of the room, with windows, door, dimensions etc?



Muffled dialogue is usually due to room acoustics (those nulls I was talking about, and unwanted reflections). It's not likely to be the speaker itself.



Some people like sitting close to a big screen, others like sitting further away. People do think of this like where would you sit in a cinema - front, middle, back - but I don't think that works well, because in a cinema we also have to think about how high we sit. I don't sit in the front, because it required looking up at the screen. Anyway - a 133" screen (16:9, diagonal) is 9'8" (2.94m) wide. I'd be happy from 9'6" to 10'6" away (mostly for 2.35 content, and I'd usually project 16:9 content smaller if I was close). Some on here prefer to sit further away. They're mad.


It depends on the room, and how easy it is to organise. In a dedicated room, I'd go 7.1.4 and make it work. But in a living room, I'd see what fits the room best.
😂 yes, the other half usually doesn’t get her way, but on this occasion I’m inclined to find a compromise purely because this is the first reception room as you walk through the front doors and has double glass doors and so (she believes) needs to remain somewhat presentable. But anyway, I’m going to do all I can and hoping that once she sees the value and we start using the cinema room more, I can make the full change. My motto: “It’s sometimes easier to ask forgiveness than permission”!

I have attached a layout here again and have some photos in the previous posts. The window is at the top wall with the retractable screen (yellow box) directly in front. The projector is the red box on the back wall (the receiver and sub are currently placed directly below as can be seen from the photos). On the left the big box is the fireplace and the current speaker placement is indicated. The double doors are on the right.

I did initially try out a pop up screen on the other wall, but a couple of issues I found was that the sofas would then be directly infront of the window which makes it difficult to access (plus daytime viewing was much brighter, but with the screen infront, most of the light is cut out). Also projector placement on the window side was difficult too unless I removed the ceiling light and ceiling mounted or placed on a table infront of the sofa.

Regarding the 7.1 or 5.1 dilemma - I feel like the room layout will take either options fine, it’s a question of which will actually sound better for general 5.1 native content.
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Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
😂 yes, the other half usually doesn’t get her way, but on this occasion I’m inclined to find a compromise purely because this is the first reception room as you walk through the front doors and has double glass doors and so (she believes) needs to remain somewhat presentable.
Change the ***** doors.

But anyway, I’m going to do all I can and hoping that once she sees the value and we start using the cinema room more, I can make the full change. My motto: “It’s sometimes easier to ask forgiveness than permission”!
Despite having ignored the boss's instructions myself, I'm definitely on the side of keeping a happy marriage. But if you think it's possible it will go dedicated room in the future, I'd suggest building it with that in mind, so not spending money on things that won't be relevant if you do change it.

I have attached a layout here again and have some photos in the previous posts.
I'm really sorry, I was being stupid, and briefly forgot I'd seen your earlier diagram and images. So the screen is already in place - it already looks like a nice room to enjoy films, it just needs to tweaking.

When the screen is up, you have a window. If that doesn't meet the floor, could you have a simple little cabinet there that looks nice, and doubles as a place for your speaker?

You've already got a rug coming, which will help.

Deep canvas pictures (you can buy some pictures and make the frames deeper) filled with insulation or old towels would help the sound. These can be at first reflection points (if you were sat down, and your walls were mirrors, the first reflections points are where you can see your speakers - particularly the front ones).

Try and have 2 subs (or 4). You could try the front two corners. These would need equalising with something like a mini-dsp.

Sorry if I've missed it - what are the options on amp and speakers? Are you sticking with what you've got, or getting new?

Regarding the 7.1 or 5.1 dilemma - I feel like the room layout will take either options fine, it’s a question of which will actually sound better for general 5.1 native content.
So should I assume you're buying new things?
What do you like to watch - why is it limited to 5.1 native?
If you're buying new, I'd certainly make sure it's capable of more, in case you later upgrade. What are you considering buying, or have you not got that far?
 

cybergambit

Active Member
Change the ***** doors.


Despite having ignored the boss's instructions myself, I'm definitely on the side of keeping a happy marriage. But if you think it's possible it will go dedicated room in the future, I'd suggest building it with that in mind, so not spending money on things that won't be relevant if you do change it.


I'm really sorry, I was being stupid, and briefly forgot I'd seen your earlier diagram and images. So the screen is already in place - it already looks like a nice room to enjoy films, it just needs to tweaking.

When the screen is up, you have a window. If that doesn't meet the floor, could you have a simple little cabinet there that looks nice, and doubles as a place for your speaker?

You've already got a rug coming, which will help.

Deep canvas pictures (you can buy some pictures and make the frames deeper) filled with insulation or old towels would help the sound. These can be at first reflection points (if you were sat down, and your walls were mirrors, the first reflections points are where you can see your speakers - particularly the front ones).

Try and have 2 subs (or 4). You could try the front two corners. These would need equalising with something like a mini-dsp.

Sorry if I've missed it - what are the options on amp and speakers? Are you sticking with what you've got, or getting new?


So should I assume you're buying new things?
What do you like to watch - why is it limited to 5.1 native?
If you're buying new, I'd certainly make sure it's capable of more, in case you later upgrade. What are you considering buying, or have you not got that far?

Yes I am already in the process of changing the doors! Unfortunately my wife negotiates like Daniel Levy and so I’ll have to be at the top of my game. Watch this space.

The windows are not down to the floor, but unfortunately the curtains are... and those are not replacing! (Yet). But I guess a cabinet which I push back when curtains are open and pull forward when in “cinema mode” is easy enough (although not ideal).

Deep canvas pics is a great idea - I’ll look into that and see what I can get.

Ok so now 2 subs is also on my list of things to!

Amp: I have two at the moment, a Pioneer VSX-421 (5.1) and a Harman AVR171 which is the one I’m using - it’s 7.1. Obviously if I go 7.1 p, it will have to be the HK, and if I go 5.1 instead - I’ve been told the HK is better than the Pioneer, so I’ll still stick to it.

Speakers: I had a set of Jamo A10s with Sub200 but just last week picked up some B&W M1s on the cheap (I think!.. £200 for 5 with B&W floor stands) and will continue to use the Jamo Sub200. If I go 7.1, then I will use some spare speakers for the rear surrounds to go with the B&W 5.

So seeing as the HK is 7.1, I’m not technically limited to 5.1 - but the majority viewing at the moment is streaming services (Disney+, Netflix, Prime etc.) which either have movies/shows in 5.1 or in Atmos (which is 5.1.4 if I’m not mistaken?) - which doesn’t really help native 7.1 sound I assume and so I just use 5.1 audio outputs - or is there a way of getting actual native 7.1 audio from this content rather than upscale 5.1 via Pro Logic ii on the amp??

As you can see, I have loads of random equipment that I can lego together into a competent (all be it very basic) surround system, without spending anything more (except for that extra sub). Especially in this transition period before I convert the wife to go all in... at which point I’ll be on the train to upgrading everything. But first, I need this to work the best it can so that she (and in some ways I) can be suitably convinced to invest in a permanent home theatre room.
 

cybergambit

Active Member
Some people like sitting close to a big screen, others like sitting further away. People do think of this like where would you sit in a cinema - front, middle, back - but I don't think that works well, because in a cinema we also have to think about how high we sit. I don't sit in the front, because it required looking up at the screen. Anyway - a 133" screen (16:9, diagonal) is 9'8" (2.94m) wide. I'd be happy from 9'6" to 10'6" away (mostly for 2.35 content, and I'd usually project 16:9 content smaller if I was close). Some on here prefer to sit further away. They're mad.

Just coming back to your previous comment. I’ve now measured out and pushed the sofa to between 2.90m and 3.10m as suggested. The issue is the doors whic I had mentioned as being in an awkward point in the room. From the attached diagram, you can see the sofa now sits in the middle of the doors - this looks very odd when entering and also blocks one of the doors opening fully. This also leaves a space of over 2m behind the sofa now. Pushing the sofa a meter back would be perfect, but then be 4metres from the 133” screen. Help! I think I have an issue wih screen size vs sofa positioning now...

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Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
Yes I am already in the process of changing the doors! Unfortunately my wife negotiates like Daniel Levy and so I’ll have to be at the top of my game. Watch this space.
You can take it easy to start with, be accommodating for her wishes, whilst secretly doing your best to make your other living space so nice, that you don't ever use the living room. Then, in some time, if you only use if for films, you might as well change it to a dedicated room - but she doesn't need to know that now.

The windows are not down to the floor, but unfortunately the curtains are... and those are not replacing! (Yet). But I guess a cabinet which I push back when curtains are open and pull forward when in “cinema mode” is easy enough (although not ideal).
You're not going to get ideal. Pulling a small cabinet forward a couple of inches seems a decent option.

Amp: I have two at the moment, a Pioneer VSX-421 (5.1) and a Harman AVR171 which is the one I’m using - it’s 7.1. Obviously if I go 7.1 p, it will have to be the HK, and if I go 5.1 instead - I’ve been told the HK is better than the Pioneer, so I’ll still stick to it.
Ok, just try them both and use the one you prefer. If you go dedicated room later, I'd change it for an amp that also does Atmos.

So seeing as the HK is 7.1, I’m not technically limited to 5.1 - but the majority viewing at the moment is streaming services (Disney+, Netflix, Prime etc.) which either have movies/shows in 5.1 or in Atmos (which is 5.1.4 if I’m not mistaken?) - which doesn’t really help native 7.1 sound I assume and so I just use 5.1 audio outputs - or is there a way of getting actual native 7.1 audio from this content rather than upscale 5.1 via Pro Logic ii on the amp??
If you're on streaming services, 5.1 will probably do you. If you go dedicated room, I'd try and get better quality content (discs, or mkv files) to go with it. But that doesn't matter for now, I'd just pick your favourite amp of what you have.

As you can see, I have loads of random equipment that I can lego together into a competent (all be it very basic) surround system, without spending anything more (except for that extra sub). Especially in this transition period before I convert the wife to go all in... at which point I’ll be on the train to upgrading everything. But first, I need this to work the best it can so that she (and in some ways I) can be suitably convinced to invest in a permanent home theatre room.
Agreed. I'd stick with the equipment you have (although it looks like your sofas need a rejig). You can make big improvements by treating the walls (large, cool canvasses with insulation inside - possibly even make them reversable, so the room can be darker when it's movie time). The rug will also help.

If your partner is a tough negotiator, maybe don't push too hard on your ideas, and see if she recommends improving anything, or gently lead her to the conclusion that she does.
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
Just coming back to your previous comment. I’ve now measured out and pushed the sofa to between 2.90m and 3.10m as suggested. The issue is the doors whic I had mentioned as being in an awkward point in the room. From the attached diagram, you can see the sofa now sits in the middle of the doors - this looks very odd when entering and also blocks one of the doors opening fully. This also leaves a space of over 2m behind the sofa now. Pushing the sofa a meter back would be perfect, but then be 4metres from the 133” screen. Help! I think I have an issue wih screen size vs sofa positioning now...

Try pushing the sofa back until it's ok for the doors, and watch a film. Personally I like to be a bit closer than say 3.9m with a 133" screen (when watching 2.39 content), but it's still pretty immersive and you might love it like that (and with 16:9, it'll still be big).

If it's just too small for you, you either have the sofa in front of the doors a bit, or you push them forward each time you watch a film. Not a big deal, I think you can work out the best option for you. Bearing in mind you want to keep the Mrs happy, I'm thinking push the sofa back a bit. A screen that size takes some getting used to anyway, and she'd probably think it's too big if you sat at 3m.
 

cybergambit

Active Member
After much chopping and changing, I’m back with an update.Thanks @Triggaaar for your previous posts, I‘ve tried to take on as much as possible (including especially the marriage advice!).

So since the, I have got rid of the old sofas and got some new ones in (as well as a Big Bertha bean bag). I‘ve put a huge rug in to cover the floor (comfort, video and sound). Here are some pics from start to current position.

0ED77974-AB8E-4959-BC75-20DC2F9D43C4.jpeg


A501D6DB-D4B3-4FA3-BD1C-AB1E4B534B73.jpeg

5DFDBF0D-F8FC-4FA9-AD38-BB142F9AC04F.jpeg


AD796C33-826C-42FE-A396-C1369FFFF68F.jpeg


I am in the process of changing the doors to solid (rather than the current glass) and changing the ceiling lights. Post this I will move onto some unnoticeable audio treatment for the walls.

I’ve also got myself a Velodyne EQ Max 8 sub 2nd hand (although theres no remote, so I can’t reset to default... if anyone know of a universal remote that works, please advise). I’m working out whether I can use both this and my current Jamo Sub200 as dual subs, or just get rid of the Jamo.

Any further advice regarding the room, seating, speaker placement, subs or audio treatment would be greatly appreciated,
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
After much chopping and changing, I’m back with an update.Thanks @Triggaaar for your previous posts
You're very welcome.


I am in the process of changing the doors to solid (rather than the current glass) and changing the ceiling lights. Post this I will move onto some unnoticeable audio treatment for the walls.
Sounds good.


I’m working out whether I can use both this and my current Jamo Sub200 as dual subs, or just get rid of the Jamo.
I don't know anything about the Jamo, but I don't see why you wouldn't be able to use them together. Although I think you'd need a mini dsp to get them to work their best as a pair.

Any further advice regarding the room, seating, speaker placement, subs or audio treatment would be greatly appreciated,
Sub placement:
If you're just using 1 sub, put it on a dolly with wheels, and try it in a few places. Play a tone sweep, and either record in REW or just listen to it from your seating position. Then choose the location where it works best.
If you're using 2 subs, maybe try setting REW up to match your room, and then put the subs in all the possible locations you can think of (in the software, not for real), and see how the results look on REW. That may give you a good idea of what would work well.

Have you tested everything as currently setup, and if so, how is it?
 

cybergambit

Active Member
You're very welcome.



Sounds good.



I don't know anything about the Jamo, but I don't see why you wouldn't be able to use them together. Although I think you'd need a mini dsp to get them to work their best as a pair.


Sub placement:
If you're just using 1 sub, put it on a dolly with wheels, and try it in a few places. Play a tone sweep, and either record in REW or just listen to it from your seating position. Then choose the location where it works best.
If you're using 2 subs, maybe try setting REW up to match your room, and then put the subs in all the possible locations you can think of (in the software, not for real), and see how the results look on REW. That may give you a good idea of what would work well.

Have you tested everything as currently setup, and if so, how is it?
Thanks for the feedback.

Yes so I did briefly try both subs together but there was a lot of random “thumping” coming from the Velodyne and the Jamo didn’t even work in auto-mode so I had to put it in “always on”.

My AVR has 2x sub outputs - so do I still need to use a minidsp to get them working together?

I think the issue is that the 2nd hand Velodyne has a bunch of settings by previous owner which I can’t change without a remote control (eg. Phase, gain and preset modes). I can’t seem to find anything that lets me reset to factory without the remote either.

I will use REW to get the speakers placed as I haven’t done any of the final wiring (still using old wiring) and positioning or the AVR EQ. Everytime I do it, it keeps putting the speakers as 90Hz, even though I’ve read everywhere that these B&W M1s should be set to 110Hz. But initial listening straight after putting the rug in is the “muffled” centre speaker dialogue has almost gone completely and much crisper. Also the brightness on the screen is definitely improved.
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
My AVR has 2x sub outputs - so do I still need to use a minidsp to get them working together?
Well it's about budget and how good you want it. An AVR's sub outputs (if they're genuinely 2, rather than a simple Y adapter inside) can individually adjust the delay and gain to 2 subs individually, which is good, but it's not the same as a mini dsp which can properly EQ each sub to work really well together. So where one sub causes a bit of a null at certain frequencies (and in certain locations, because we usually have more than one seat), the mini dsp can use the other sub (if placed well) to step in, and vice versa. Similarly, when one sub is producing a peak at certain frequencies, the mini dsp can turn it down without also turning down the sub that is performing better at that frequency.

Here, check out this video:

I think the issue is that the 2nd hand Velodyne has a bunch of settings by previous owner which I can’t change without a remote control (eg. Phase, gain and preset modes). I can’t seem to find anything that lets me reset to factory without the remote either.
Some version of a Harmony remote should be able to do it?
 

cybergambit

Active Member
Well it's about budget and how good you want it. An AVR's sub outputs (if they're genuinely 2, rather than a simple Y adapter inside) can individually adjust the delay and gain to 2 subs individually, which is good, but it's not the same as a mini dsp which can properly EQ each sub to work really well together. So where one sub causes a bit of a null at certain frequencies (and in certain locations, because we usually have more than one seat), the mini dsp can use the other sub (if placed well) to step in, and vice versa. Similarly, when one sub is producing a peak at certain frequencies, the mini dsp can turn it down without also turning down the sub that is performing better at that frequency.

Here, check out this video:


Some version of a Harmony remote should be able to do it?
@Triggaaar thanks, I missed replying back on this. I took your advice and got a Harmony which works perfectly with the Velodyne. Have reset the settings and actually found that the sub is more than enough for me in the current arrangement and I don’t need a dual sub set-up for the time being.
 

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