chicagodan

Novice Member
Input Requested for New HT Build

Hi all,
Currently in process of designing a new HT from scratch that will be going in under my garage. All walls and ceiling have poured concrete behind them so there will be no natural light and sound insulation should not be an issue. Use will be 50/50 mix of movies and sports (and occasionally karaoke). I am currently planning to have a bank of TVs behind the screen to allow for multiple games and more room light during all-day sports watching like march madness. Layout will be to walk-in on upper platform that has one row of theater seats and an bar with seats behind. Platform is 20" higher than lower level with 2nd row of theater seats.

To-date I have been working with a general contractor and low-voltage 'specialist' who the contractor uses to run cabling. I am not confident with the low-voltage specialist has design capabilities and don't want to introduce yet another contractor at this point if I can avoid it.

Planning to wire for 7.4.4. but only hook up 7.2.4. For budget I care about good quality (not top of the line) and value.

Projector: JVC NX5
Receiver: Denon AVS-4700H
Speakers: Input requested
Screen: TBD (will need to be powered and potentially AT depending on screen size). Given frequency of watching sports or other TV I was opting for 16x9 aspect ratio.

I've done my best to sketch it out and would appreciate your input on the following:
1. Recommended Screen size - given variety of seating locations trying to maximize the screen size while not making the front row too uncomfortable and realizing that 9' ceiling means screen will start to get low on the wall. I have mocked up 135" and a 159" options below. My pic cutoff the room height but for screen wall it is 9'1".
2. Speaker recommendations - I am not an audiophile and there are so many variations that I am finding it difficult to even narrow my options to a couple to compare plus I am not in a good location for accessing stores that would have demos. My specific questions are:
2a. Are in-wall speakers 'OK' for my surrounds or should I consider other options? I have some room to maneuver but trying to keep tripping and feeling of crowding to a minimum
2b. If I do in-wall speakers I don't think I am savvy enough to measure or create specific volume in the wall space behind the speaker. How much of a difference does this make? Is it work targeting in-walls that have enclosures?
2c. How much of a difference will it make to place one of the two subs in the back? Again trying to reduce tripping hazard but I think there is enough space in the corner opposite the door
2d. Given projector and receiver selections what is a comparable speaker budget? Any brand recommendations?
3. Screen considerations - viewing angle should not be as much of a concern but any input on material or considerations given my parameters would be recommended
4. Any other feedback on layout, placement of speakers or other considerations!

Thank you in advance, please let me know if you have questions.

Dan

HT Layout 1.JPG
HT Layout 2.JPG
HT Layout - Wall.JPG
 

MattyBB

Active Member
Cool plan 😃

Firstly, I would say that if you're planning to have freestanding speakers up against the front wall, you would be better off with in-wall speakers only, since they are designed to sound good against a surface (flush with it in fact), whereas freestanding speakers work best with around 3 feet of space behind them; the wall reflections have a negative impact on sound if not.

I'm going with in-wall Focal 300IWLCR6 for the base level of my (eventual) 5.2.2 setup in my lounge. Done lots of research too and you're right - it's a minefield of information and options, especially on the speaker side. But if you're tight on space, in-wall is the friendliest option space-wise, although you do pay a bit of a premium for the privilege.

In case there's anything helpful/interesting, my recent thread is this:


The Focal's are just shy of £800 each. Depending on your budget, you could easily spend more but you could also spend less and still get great sound and sufficient volume. Examples of spending less are the Monitor Audio in-wall line, particularly the W380 and CP-WT380 variants (around £400 each iirc), such as below:


Seeing as you're not too keen to be specific with building a backbox for in-walls with a specific volume, in your case I would advise you to use sealed in-wall units only, so you get consistency of sound regardless of installation method in each speaker location. The Monitor Audio CP range are a great example of such products and there are very affordable options, as well as premium options, if you wanted to splash out of your front 3 speakers for instance.

Lastly, ideally all of your front 3 speakers would be exactly the same speaker make and model. If that isn't possible, you should strive for the best similarity you can between them, so that as objects travel across the soundstage, the timbre matching is seamless.

Hope this helps 👍
 

chicagodan

Novice Member
Cool plan 😃

Firstly, I would say that if you're planning to have freestanding speakers up against the front wall, you would be better off with in-wall speakers only, since they are designed to sound good against a surface (flush with it in fact), whereas freestanding speakers work best with around 3 feet of space behind them; the wall reflections have a negative impact on sound if not.

I'm going with in-wall Focal 300IWLCR6 for the base level of my (eventual) 5.2.2 setup in my lounge. Done lots of research too and you're right - it's a minefield of information and options, especially on the speaker side. But if you're tight on space, in-wall is the friendliest option space-wise, although you do pay a bit of a premium for the privilege.

In case there's anything helpful/interesting, my recent thread is this:


The Focal's are just shy of £800 each. Depending on your budget, you could easily spend more but you could also spend less and still get great sound and sufficient volume. Examples of spending less are the Monitor Audio in-wall line, particularly the W380 and CP-WT380 variants (around £400 each iirc), such as below:


Seeing as you're not too keen to be specific with building a backbox for in-walls with a specific volume, in your case I would advise you to use sealed in-wall units only, so you get consistency of sound regardless of installation method in each speaker location. The Monitor Audio CP range are a great example of such products and there are very affordable options, as well as premium options, if you wanted to splash out of your front 3 speakers for instance.

Lastly, ideally all of your front 3 speakers would be exactly the same speaker make and model. If that isn't possible, you should strive for the best similarity you can between them, so that as objects travel across the soundstage, the timbre matching is seamless.

Hope this helps 👍
Thanks MattyBB,
I really appreciate the info. Makes total sense to match the front three for the soundstage.

I have the space to bring the floors forward 3 feet. Given that I am leaning towards in-walls for surrounds would you stick to in-walls for the LCR or would you go freestanding? I agree it seems to be a bit of a premium for comparable sound on an in-wall so trying to balance overall cost with quality and consistency.
 

MattyBB

Active Member
If you have the space at the front for freestanding speakers, you get more bang for your buck, so that's probably the way forward, with sealed in-walls or in-ceilings for the rest.

Subs go right in the corners though, so you get the low-end (boundary?) gain, ideally 4 subs, 1 in each corner but you can build up to that over time if need be. Go with SVS or a proper sub manufacturer, rather than the likes of MA, Klipch etc.
 

diverdog

Active Member
Pretty big room so you will need some horsepower for movies. In walls can work. For cost effectiveness the Monoprice Monolith LCR's are hard to beat. THX Ultra certified and $379 with free shipping. Side and rear should be surface mount di or bi poles. Those sound fields are supposed to be diffuse. Atmos front rows should be 45 degrees in front of the seats. In ceilings with slanted driver work great. Rear Atmos 45 degrees in back of seats. With two subs one on center line front and back, or center line side to side.

Center channel mounted that low will be very bad in the second row of seats. Have you thought about a multiplexer to project multiple video sources on the screen?

Although concrete walls are great for noise isolation, they are terrible for creating sharp peaks and nulls in the room. Standing the studs off the concrete and perhaps on 24" centers since they are not structural will allow a single layer of drywall to flex more and absorb some additional bass energy
 
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MattyBB

Active Member
For cost effectiveness the Monoprice Monolith LCR's are hard to beat. THX Ultra certified and $379 with free shipping.
Great shout. The UK site doesn't offer them but the US site does ship to UK. Still the most cost-effective option, so long as your amp can provide enough juice, as they are not the most sensitive speakers available.

Side and rear should be surface mount di or bi poles. Those sound fields are supposed to be diffuse.
Di poles are definitely not recommended for Atmos use. Bi poles can work but Mono poles are what Atmos was designed for.

With two subs one on center line front and back, or center line side to side.
This certainly is an option but there are several other configurations that also provide equal bass dispersion, all of which rely on mirroring the second subwoofer position from the first.

Having subs in diagonally opposite corners provides equal dispersion but also provides boundary gain. In many situations this is a desirable factor, since it gives you more bass 'for free' but may not be necessary for all.
 

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