New extension and a compromised home cinema - speaker advice

Charlie Brown

Active Member
Later this year i hope to be posting in the showcases section, however for now i'm looking for some input for equipment (mainly speakers) for a new extension, which will replace a large but rapidly falling apart and leaking conservatory. The extension will be less than ideal for a home cinema as will also be used as a large dining room (so will have bifold doors and a roof lantern, both with blinds, plus light color walls and tiled floor).

For background, I currently have two audio setups:
  • Lounge - 47" Panasonic LCD (flagship HD model, not 4K), Denon x4400, pair of SVS SB13 ultra subs, pair of Kef Q150 for LR, Kef Q250C for centre and Kef Eggs for (side) surrounds and front heights.
  • Office - Rega Brio amp, Denon Link HS2 streamer, Leema Acoustics Xone floorstanding speakers
We're fortunate to have a large lounge and separate small dining room, however the room layout of the lounge (mainly due being a long room, having a large fireplace and the window & door positions) means that the TV needs to go in the corner, restricting speaker placement and TV screen size. Therefore, although the new extension will be not be a dedicated cinema room, it will allow for better speaker placement and a larger TV screen. It will also disturb the kids less at night being a single story extension. Moreover, we plan to make the lounge more homely, so will be reducing the AV setup (probably to Kef Eggs all-round, and a small sub, with the existing TV and an old Yamaha AVR we have in another room currently).

We've completed the architect phase of the process and have the plans, meaning we will now start discussions with shortlisted builders. I'm keen to discuss the plans for the AV setup so that the builders do not object / bump up costs once we select one and work starts, hence want to plan the AV now. I have included a draft room layout below, including proposed speaker positions (0 = centre speaker, 1 = LR , 2 = surround, A & B = Atmos in-ceiling speakers).
House Extension AV Layout v0.1.jpg

Here's what's certain:
New 65" or 75% 4K TV (probably a Sony)
Re-use dual SVS SB13 Ultra subs
Re-use Denon x4400 AVR
In addition, would plan to add a power amp for the LCR speakers later.

However, i'm somewhat stuck on the speakers. Ideally we'd go for wall mounted speakers (i appreciate in-walls would be tidier, however i would like future flexibility), in white, and the surrounds as low profile as possible . My current thinking is therefore:

Option 1: Arendal 1961 setup (monitors for LCR, bookshelf for surrounds)
Option 2: M&K setup (MP950 for LCR, M40 for surround due to low profile)

Any feedback/ideas on the speaker placement and make/model would be much appreciated. Cheers, Chris.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Your speaker placement doesn't look too far off. I would take the front Atmos maybe a foot further away from the MLP. Rears look fine. The surrounds look to be in the right place for tripolar speakers although the distance between the two reflective walls (which is how they basically work) is a fairly log way. That's not an unusual problems with rooms like your design.

Like everything in a living room set up and not in a dedicated room there is always going to be a compromise and in your case it's the surrounds. I would get the position of those Atmos speakers correct as that involves holes in the ceiling and has to be spot on.

bipole-clr.gif
 

Charlie Brown

Active Member
Your speaker placement doesn't look too far off. I would take the front Atmos maybe a foot further away from the MLP. Rears look fine. The surrounds look to be in the right place for tripolar speakers although the distance between the two reflective walls (which is how they basically work) is a fairly log way. That's not an unusual problems with rooms like your design.

Like everything in a living room set up and not in a dedicated room there is always going to be a compromise and in your case it's the surrounds. I would get the position of those Atmos speakers correct as that involves holes in the ceiling and has to be spot on.

View attachment 1435027
Thanks for the feedback, i will adjust the front Atmos speaker placement as suggested.
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
Also have a look at the new MK 750 range along with M40t surrounds.

In walls would be a lot neater considering it’s a blank canvas. You could even built 4‘’ fake columns and have in wall surrounds as well.
 

Charlie Brown

Active Member
In walls would be a lot neater considering it’s a blank canvas. You could even built 4‘’ fake columns and have in wall surrounds as well.
Having done some 3d "walk-throughs" of the space i agree regarding the surrounds not sticking out as we will be walking through the gaps between the sofa and the walls. My only concern would be reducing the room size by creating "columns".
For the LCR, i think that low profile on wall speakers would look good and the mp950 would fit the bill. However i keep coming back to the Arendal 1961 monitors.
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
You need to consider the depths of the surrounds you are fitting. Some of the Arendal surrounds are 17.5cm deep I think. So a 100mm column with speaker inside makes it easier to get past.
My room is fairly small so I’ve ended up with all in wall speakers. The main reason was to get the maximum distance from my ears to all speakers.
If this isn’t built yet you might even get away without building columns. On the right of my room we removed the 100mm by cutting out a section of the block work. I made a plywood box to fit inside the cutout Then plasterboard over the top then cut speaker area out when you are plastered.

If you fitted something like MKIW85 or IW95 they are fairly small but will timbre match the fronts and have a much smaller footprint.
If you do this (or similar) make the cut out in the block work slightly bigger than the speaker so that the dog toggle clamps can open to ‘grab’ the plasterboard.
 

Charlie Brown

Active Member
You need to consider the depths of the surrounds you are fitting. Some of the Arendal surrounds are 17.5cm deep I think. So a 100mm column with speaker inside makes it easier to get past.
My room is fairly small so I’ve ended up with all in wall speakers. The main reason was to get the maximum distance from my ears to all speakers.
If this isn’t built yet you might even get away without building columns. On the right of my room we removed the 100mm by cutting out a section of the block work. I made a plywood box to fit inside the cutout Then plasterboard over the top then cut speaker area out when you are plastered.

If you fitted something like MKIW85 or IW95 they are fairly small but will timbre match the fronts and have a much smaller footprint.
If you do this (or similar) make the cut out in the block work slightly bigger than the speaker so that the dog toggle clamps can open to ‘grab’ the plasterboard.
Great advice, thank you.

Looking at this again, although well positioned for side surrounds, i wonder if trying to put speakers next to the sofa is more hassle than it's worth; on one side in particular it's a relatively small "pillar" which will be supporting the steel frame of the room (given the bifold doors and the roof lantern). I really don't want to compromise that wall, plus I don't want to reduce the width of the room (as already only just wide enough to allow space for a "compact" 4 seater sofa and room to walkaround.
I'm therefore thinking that it may be best to forgo side surrounds (position #2) and instead have surrounds in position #3. If I did this then I'd likely either have MP950 (if going MK) or bookshelf (if going Arendal 1961). In position #3, although some distance from the sofa, the sound should flow down the side walls nicely. Also, by having "full" speakers are the rear it would give good sound when listening to music (in multi channel) and sitting at the dining table.
House Extension AV Layout v0.2.jpg
 

craigd

Active Member
I doubt you’ll go wrong with either MK or Arendal.

Your extension is similar dimensions and layout to my room. I have surrounds at position 2 and back surrounds at position 3 otherwise you hear a gap behind you. I would not have only rear surrounds or only side surrounds - I think that’s a bad move. The M40T are so discreet anyway and you can mount say .5 -1m above head height seated.

Once you have your power amp you can do 11.2 with the Denon right? So plan now and get the speaker in for when that happens maybe?

Have you worked out SUB placement? That could make or break it. Best test it with an empty room before the wires are laid I guess. Not a luxury I had!
 

Harkon321

Well-known Member
I reckon position 3 could work. Having sides would be ideal but I agree about the steel. At the risk of playing devils advocate, you‘ve marked 3.6m internal and 4m external. Unless it’s not a normal brick/block cavity wall you’ve specked it’ll be 30cm thick, not 40cm. So I’ve just gained you a 10cm column.

Sub placement. Wire for all four corners. You don’t really know where will sound right at this point. REW sim can help though.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Glide curtain rail all around the room. MVEL curtains. When it comes close to film time, draw the MEVEL curtains so blockout the light from everywhere.

Wall mount a good electronic projector screen 110''ish, ceiling recess it since you are building from scratch or wall mount it and then disguise it with coving or whatever they call that pretty stuff on the corners of walls.

route cables for 4x atmos speakers into the ceiling.

wire for subwoofers wherever you want them (I'd have one in the corner and one nearfield subwoofer).

also wire for a hoverBOSS just incase you decide to go down that epic route.

wire for HDMI running through ceiling for projector.

as its a mixed room, on the walls i'd use arendal 1723S surrounds a sthey aren't too deep and they look pretty.

make sure you have wired ethernet just incase u want to one day build a media server

i wouldn't sweat speaker positions. they go when you've proposed to place them, jsut follow dolby's standards as best you can.





those are the things I'd do if designing a room from scratch as a bare minimum. They'll allow you to continuously upgrade without thinking 'what if'.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Any chance of a curtain our folding wall between the Lounge and Dining room?

Joe
 

Charlie Brown

Active Member
I'm afraid that curtains and internal walls are out of the question. We're intentionally keeping the room minimalist and the sofa will be moved to allow us to use the whole room as a dining room (our falling apart conservatory allows us to have a table that doubles in length to seat 12 and we want to retain that).
The dual subs will be under the TV at the front, I'm hoping that dual subs and the Denon amp's sub correction will deal with any major nulls or peaks.
My options really are limited to the selection and placement of the surround speakers.
 

Charlie Brown

Active Member
On the surround speakers, another thought is that if i went with the Arendal 1961 setup, i could use two sets of the height speakers for the surround sides and rears, but mount at the top of the wall, angled down to the seating area. This would mean they would not obstruct when walking past the sofa, as above standed head height.
I keep coming back to the Arendal speakers as there is something about them in terms of quality and finish.
 

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