Help a newbie setting up 5.2.4 HT in a small basement (210 sq ft)

Hey guys, first time poster here.

I'm getting my basement finished and dedicating one area of it to HT/sitting area. It's my first foray into a custom HT setup so I'm looking for some suggestions to help me get started:

  • Room area will be approx. 17' x 12.5' (so just over 210 sq ft), with one side open to rest of the basement. Ceiling height will be approx. 7.5'
  • Thinking about a 5.1.4/5.2.4 with speakers on the front wall, back wall and the ceilings
  • I will be soundproofing my basement but the flooring will be laminate with a carpet on top in the HT area
  • I would like in-wall and in-ceiling speakers for a clean look. I'm not sure if this would be possible for the subs
  • Alternatively, I am contemplating building a frame and shelving unit around the TV which can house the speakers instead of the wall itself, but would it make sense to put regular speakers in such an enclosure?
  • I was debating between a projector/~85" TV but given the viewing distance will be between 12'~15', I think I'll end up with the TV
  • My budget is around $20~$30K CAD for the HT all-in (TV, cables, receiver, etc) but less would be preferred
  • I'm looking for great, balanced sound but not overkill considering the room size. Splurging $$$ and not being able to increase the sound beyond 20% is useless to me
  • I consider myself to be a complete beginner in this world so I'm trying to learn as much as I can

I'm looking for ideas in terms of:

  • What speakers should I get? I was looking at KEF's (either 3160 THX's or other in-wall ones) but not sure if that's overkill/necessary
  • Is my setup idea okay? The room will be open on one side so I can't put any speakers on the side (don't want standing speakers), so it'll be front, back and the ceiling
  • Does it make sense to find a sub that can be built into the wall? Or should I just make an exception for that and keep them on the floor at the front?

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated :)

Thanks
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
If you go with in-wall speakers i would want projector and big AT-screen so you can mount the three identical LCR speakers behind screen in same orientation (vertically). With tv you would struggle to get the center channel in optimal position and let´s not kid ourself, you won´t get anywhere near similar experience with tv as with large screen. We just talked about this in other thread and fellow member uses 122" screen 4K from 2,8meters so with your 12-15feet watching distance you can go quite big.

Also you don´t need to go with in-wall speakers necessarily if you build the frame/shelving, see the two attachments below. That could open up lot more options and more speakers that are suited for real cinema rooms even the large ugly ones which would bring you that "cinematic" sound opposed to normal hifi speakers. See link below for another example:

Definitely large AT-screen (Acoustically Transparent) and 4K projector so you get the speakers optimally and cinema feeling. Big difference to tv. What´s the point throwing so much cash and then go with small tv (larger than 77" starts to cost so much). You might aswell re-do your living room then.

Stick with normal boxed subwoofers. However some carefull planning is required where they should go. If you go with duals, then there is high chances that diagonally front/rear works better than both at front especially if they would be close each other. If you want to see how that room looks today see the link below. All behind large 122" screen.



As for the 5.1.4 speaker placement by Dolby, see this link:
 

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kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Hey guys, first time poster here.

I'm getting my basement finished and dedicating one area of it to HT/sitting area. It's my first foray into a custom HT setup so I'm looking for some suggestions to help me get started:

  • Room area will be approx. 17' x 12.5' (so just over 210 sq ft), with one side open to rest of the basement. Ceiling height will be approx. 7.5'
  • Thinking about a 5.1.4/5.2.4 with speakers on the front wall, back wall and the ceilings
  • I will be soundproofing my basement but the flooring will be laminate with a carpet on top in the HT area
  • I would like in-wall and in-ceiling speakers for a clean look. I'm not sure if this would be possible for the subs
  • Alternatively, I am contemplating building a frame and shelving unit around the TV which can house the speakers instead of the wall itself, but would it make sense to put regular speakers in such an enclosure?
  • I was debating between a projector/~85" TV but given the viewing distance will be between 12'~15', I think I'll end up with the TV
  • My budget is around $20~$30K CAD for the HT all-in (TV, cables, receiver, etc) but less would be preferred
  • I'm looking for great, balanced sound but not overkill considering the room size. Splurging $$$ and not being able to increase the sound beyond 20% is useless to me
  • I consider myself to be a complete beginner in this world so I'm trying to learn as much as I can

I'm looking for ideas in terms of:

  • What speakers should I get? I was looking at KEF's (either 3160 THX's or other in-wall ones) but not sure if that's overkill/necessary
  • Is my setup idea okay? The room will be open on one side so I can't put any speakers on the side (don't want standing speakers), so it'll be front, back and the ceiling
  • Does it make sense to find a sub that can be built into the wall? Or should I just make an exception for that and keep them on the floor at the front?

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated :)

Thanks
With your dimensions, I'd be going PJ. Massive screen potential.
 

bealios77

Novice Member
I’m planning an almost identical project. I’ve already decided to go for TV rather than PJ, but that’s personal preference and will likely go for 77inch or 83 inch OLED.

Speaker wise, Dali Phantom S in walls seem very highly recommended, and there is a new range of Phantom M’s which sit below them although I cannot see a review anywhere. There’s a thread on here somewhere I enjoyed where someone showed a build over. Period of time which looked great.

Wouldn’t claim to be an expert though, and won’t even have the system set up for 6 months, so interested in other replies to your question.

One thing I’m unsure of is the amp. Denon 6700 planned so far, but concerned it won’t be as good for stereo music, which will be a secondary use. I do have a Cambridge Audio 851a I was going to sell, but any thoughts on whether using that as a separate amp for L and R would be a significant improvement over just using the Denon for music as well?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
One thing I’m unsure of is the amp. Denon 6700 planned so far, but concerned it won’t be as good for stereo music, which will be a secondary use. I do have a Cambridge Audio 851a I was going to sell, but any thoughts on whether using that as a separate amp for L and R would be a significant improvement over just using the Denon for music as well?
The 6700 is not a bad amp for stereo music, neither would I call that tier exciting either. I own the 6500 and although it was certainly an improvement over my previous 6200, mainly down to the excellent AL32 processor over the previous AL24 I'm in no hurry to ditch my Rega stereo amp for music duties. It may not be the chasm that it once was but is no match for a quality stereo amp.

For much multi channel music, SACD, DVD-A or blu ray it is a very fine amp and I'm more than happy with it's cinematic virtues. Running a stereo amp with HT by-pass is extremely easy.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
I’m planning an almost identical project. I’ve already decided to go for TV rather than PJ, but that’s personal preference and will likely go for 77inch or 83 inch OLED.

Speaker wise, Dali Phantom S in walls seem very highly recommended, and there is a new range of Phantom M’s which sit below them although I cannot see a review anywhere. There’s a thread on here somewhere I enjoyed where someone showed a build over. Period of time which looked great.

Wouldn’t claim to be an expert though, and won’t even have the system set up for 6 months, so interested in other replies to your question.

One thing I’m unsure of is the amp. Denon 6700 planned so far, but concerned it won’t be as good for stereo music, which will be a secondary use. I do have a Cambridge Audio 851a I was going to sell, but any thoughts on whether using that as a separate amp for L and R would be a significant improvement over just using the Denon for music as well?
I’d throw budget to a cheap projector and compare it mate.

I went 77 inch OlED then after seeing a 100 inch projector couldn’t go back.


If you have similar dimensions to OP you’re talking about a massive sized image 140+
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
I’d throw budget to a cheap projector and compare it mate.

I went 77 inch OlED then after seeing a 100 inch projector couldn’t go back.


If you have similar dimensions to OP you’re talking about a massive sized image 140+
Off topic... just to let you know you're at your maximum inbox limit for PM.
 

Yorkshire AV

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
One thing I’m unsure of is the amp. Denon 6700 planned so far, but concerned it won’t be as good for stereo music, which will be a secondary use. I do have a Cambridge Audio 851a I was going to sell, but any thoughts on whether using that as a separate amp for L and R would be a significant improvement over just using the Denon for music as well?
If you're going S series - you may consider a power amp for the front 3.
I know of a couple of customers who went down the route of a powerful integrated amp and ran HT bypass for their music listening experience.

Primare i35 with the DALI Phantom M and S series is a very good match from experience :)
 

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