Building new HT - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 5 Old 09-21-09, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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Building new HT

Hi All,

New to the forums and the whole Home Theater setup.

I am renovating the lower half of my house and have set aside a nice area for a HT setup, a 17' X 12.5' area. It's not totally closed off as it has an open door way (no door) and there is an opening in the wall where there is a counter top that leads into a small kitchen area. There is a door going up to the first floor.

My equipment will be

- Sony 6.1 Surround sound system (sorry, I don't have the exact model of it, I'm at work)
- Panasonic 42' 720p Plasma Screen
- Sony PS3 and a various other game systems.

The speakers (5 in total) I have are the Sony speakers that came with an old Sony 5.1 system that came with the Surround amp, power sub woofer; they are the ~6" X 4" speaker, the Sony power subwoofer that came with the old 5.1 system and and a Yamaha center speaker.

- The seating area (one row) will be towards the back of the room.

- All components will be hidden and controlled VIA a hotlink system I purchased.

What would be the ideal 6.1 setup for this room? I know that the center Yamaha center speaker bar will go centered just below the Plasma but where should I ideally place the FR/FL, RR/RL and the Rear center?

If you have any other advice to add, please feel free to add! All walls and ceiling have been torn out to the studs.

Thanks for any advice.

EDIT: I would also like to add that if you have any recommendations for speakers please let me know, so far the Sony's sound pretty good in their current setting which is in a huge open room with a cathedral ceiling. I would like to try and keep all of the speakers wall mounted. I'm not looking to spend a ton of dough.

Last edited by dmcman73; 09-21-09 at 12:12 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-21-09, 02:51 PM
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Re: Building new HT

Welcome to the Shack!

A couple quick opinions here (we're full of them)...
- have fun reading through others project threads. You will glean so much information that your head will spin! Sometimes the smallest post will trigger some great thoughts.

- ideal speaker placement is tough... depends on your room and your speakers. Generally speaking, you want your front L/R to be equidistant from your display with the center smack dab in the middle. Assuming you can't do that (plasma set), put it immediately above/below and point it up/down to your seating area. Your front 3 speakers should be mounted at ear level if possible.

- surround speakers should be on the sides of the listening area, with the speakers not radiating directly at the listener (dipole/bipole). If you have direct radiating speakers (most typical "non-surround" speakers), put them behind your listeners as far away as possible. They are there for effect and realism - not to be overpowering the fronts.

- if you are looking for great speakers at a modest price (you don't state your budget) - check out Emotiva's ERM-1 - bookshelf speakers that are being discontinued. They are selling them at a great price of $149 apiece. I'd use 3 of them for LCR and a pair of their ERD-1s for surrounds. I have a pair of ERM-1s in my office and they are worth 10x the price. $750 would buy you an amazing set of speakers that would challenge most speakers you can buy (they've won numerous awards and their users (myself included) are very loyal). That said - they are 4 ohm speakers... not everything can drive them.

Good luck - have fun with your new hobby!
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-21-09, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Building new HT

Thanks for the Info Bruce!

I'll use my current speakers for now (since most of the money is going into renovating the house right now), I can always upgrade later.

How can I tell if the speakers I have are direct radiating speakers or not? Like I said, these speakers came with a Sony 5.1 Surround sound system so should i assume that they are non?

Lets say that they are non, then should I place them at the sides of the listening areas (shoulder height) just behind it or should I place them at the sides just in front of the viewing area? Also, the rear center, does it point directly at the viewers from behind?

If they are direct I assume they should be at ear level just at the sides of the viewers pointing at them.

I just started going through this site and there is ALOT of info on here.....

Thanks again.

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post #4 of 5 Old 09-21-09, 09:40 PM
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Posts: 160
Re: Building new HT

hi steve - most likely your speakers are direct. the would be more likely bipolar/dipolar if there are speakers on 2 opposide (or near parallel) sides. If there are speakers on only 1 side - they are direct - you point them at the listener.

you say you have 5.1 but ask about a 6th speaker... did you buy another speaker? you'll need a processor that can handle 6 channels.

regarding the surrounds - yeah - if they are direct, you can place them behind and to the side, ear height (so like 4 and 8 pm on a clock). Keep them as far as reasonably possible, and make sure you do test tones to ensure they aren't overpowering the listener.

(note: i'm not an expert - this is my understanding )
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-22-09, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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Re: Building new HT

Thanks Bruce,

The reason why I was asking about the 6th speaker is because I upgraded my Amp from a 5.1 to a 6.1 and I reused the speakers that came with the 5.1 Amp, at the time it was the only Amp I could find in my price range that had 3 HDMI ports in (my old 5.1 amp did not have HDMI hence the reason I wanted to upgrade). Since then I had purchased a Yamaha center speaker bar for the front (making it the 6th speaker) but I am unsure of where to place the center speaker for the rear.

The way I had the rear speakers set up previously in my other room; I had them suspended from the ceiling pointing down at the listening area, is this incorrect? The only reason I did this is that I have two small children and anything that is in grabbing distance they go for. The fronts I had on wither side of the plasma and the center...well in the center right above the TV.

Thanks again!
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