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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks!

I am in new construction and want to prewire for different things. I really want to have an enjoyable movie watching experience in my main living room because I have a wall that will have the TV and a fireplace (electric) below it so I have a dedicated viewing location meaning I should be able to prewire speakers for this seating layout! However I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the options. I was hoping I could get some input, in a timely manner before that drywall starts hanging. I can start hanging other rooms that won't have wires, but I don't want to stop my progress.

Here's my current scenario....I have an ideal setup for 3 bookshelf sized speakers (left, center, right) in my current framed-in entertainment system. The room is not that big, but I am concerned I won't get any rear audio with just 3 speakers? Assuming I have 3 ear level bookshelf speakers up front, should I prewire for in-ceiling speakers that face the seating area with their tweeter, or flush mount speakers that mount at the wall-ceiling transition, or flush mount speakers on the back wall at ear level, or lastly...simply plan on having two standing speakers or speakers on a stand at the back?

edit: being new construction I am open to other suggestions too, either per house or this living room setup. I will post a different topic on my other important room, the office.

Here is a crude layout of the room for a better understanding...
 

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In my opinion this rooms is excellent for a 2.1 or a 2.1 + LFE, a surround set I just don't see to be fitting.
I'd love to see speakers built into the walls! I guess the sound will be kinda altered. Depending on the speakers some very pretty patterns can be energized in this room at ear level with high fidelity.

Keep it unique!
 

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Here's my current scenario....I have an ideal setup for 3 bookshelf sized speakers (left, center, right) in my current framed-in entertainment system. The room is not that big, but I am concerned I won't get any rear audio with just 3 speakers? Assuming I have 3 ear level bookshelf speakers up front, should I prewire for in-ceiling speakers that face the seating area with their tweeter, or flush mount speakers that mount at the wall-ceiling transition, or flush mount speakers on the back wall at ear level, or lastly...simply plan on having two standing speakers or speakers on a stand at the back?
Without rear speakers you won't get "rear audio" as there's nothing to play those channels. You can still have an enjoyable movie experience - as perhaps 80% of a 5.1 soundtrack is from the front 3 - but it won't be completely immersive. If you want to wire for rears you should consider mounting them in the ceiling because those channels are not designed to be aimed at the listeners from the front. In wall speakers are likely to create an issue as you'll only hear the one you're sitting under and not the other, making for an uneven soundfield.

The biggest issue is probably going to be the subwoofer though as just about the worst place you can sit for bass is with a wall directly behind your head. That will cause a significant amount of low frequency reinforcement which tends to overwhelm the listeners. Room EQ - Audyssey, MCACC, YPAO, et al - will struggle to curb that problem.
 

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I realize this room is not your ideal theater setup, but at least I can take advantage of nice looking wiring (as in, not seeing it at all!) I am thinking 2.1 would be great but sub location is horrible because the TV wall has NO floor space available for a sub to sit at this point. And if I do make a cubby for it under the electric fireplace, It will be enclosed on 5 of the 6 sides and only be open to the front which would be towards the room but I think the boxed environment would hurt the sub's ability to play bass.

Instead of starting a new topic on my office, I figure I may as well ask here. It will be a square shape and picture the desk where the TV is right now. How do you even drive 5.1 audio for music/youtube/videogames from a PC in this day and age? Seems like youtube and games would not even know about rear channel audio? (As in the speakers in the back would not be used?)
 

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I realize this room is not your ideal theater setup, but at least I can take advantage of nice looking wiring (as in, not seeing it at all!) I am thinking 2.1 would be great but sub location is horrible because the TV wall has NO floor space available for a sub to sit at this point. And if I do make a cubby for it under the electric fireplace, It will be enclosed on 5 of the 6 sides and only be open to the front which would be towards the room but I think the boxed environment would hurt the sub's ability to play bass.
2.1 is essentially amplified TV speakers, which forgoes the benefits of a Dolby or DTS soundtrack. Given the first post said you want an enjoyable movie experience that really won't provide it. You should consider wiring at least the front 3, just in case you change your mind.

Your concern about the sub is legit as they should never be placed inside a cabinet. Not only will it couple with the enclosure and transmit vibrations throughout it, the amp will likely overheat as well. They only cool by means of convection, so no air movement means no cooling.
 

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Maybe the rear channel speakers can be put on high shelves nearby the couch, being seated they will have an effect of course while standing they will not sound any natural. I guess the subwoofer can also be put nearby the couch on the floor or at some sort of a shelf (not entirely sane idea if not constructed properly) - with some channel volume equalization this can yield semi-satisfactionary results in this small of a room.

Speaking for myself but ... Low frequency extension never is any overwhelming, or rather I don't find it to be. I wish my neighbors had the same set of mind .. :D
 

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I like to point out I am not expert but some things that I work out over the year !!

1) In any 2.1 or 5.1 set up the better the left/right symmetry the better, Less balancing volumes or Dsp

2) There never A prefect set up I like 2.0 for music (I don't like the time aliment of 2.1 set ups for audio) and 5.1 or 5.2 for movies and what works for one dose always work for the other But what ever works for you is the best

3) You can do all the drawing and calculations in the world and there Total junk, what ever speaker set you go with you need to do test set up, I would like to be able to move stuff around as few inc left or right can complete change things if your in or out faze to key frequency, My tip is to temporary hang dry wall (no mud and just few screws to hold) set everything up and play around get your set sound as close as poss to good though you will need you seating in as that will complete change the sound of the room too !!! before setting you placement in stone with finished walls and cabling

Hope this help !!

Here how I set the room but there 100 different other ways too first but this my ideas

First I try and centre the tv in-between the left and right walls as they make your set up so much easier

Then have three front speaker set at ear level 60dec triangle set up from you centre seat and for the rear I would go with a pair of bookcase on wall brackets with hidden wires (poss a cheep range) set ruff set 1/2 the distance the left/right fronts are part set from centre of tv (but you need tweak all this with testing) at the same high as the fronts to centre of tweeter's

Depending on cost I would look into 2 small sub's/less powerful in A 5.2 set up as it give you more balanced sound thats easier to set up as you can't place direct in front of fire place lots of foke's say subs don't mater where there placed witch is true when they sound good but when there placed in corner or odd places they just don't sound right

Then I would move the seating forward 3 to 4 feet as 33% & 66% are sweat sports of the back wall and look into get acoustic panel to go behind your head between your rear's

just my ideas I sure loads will say I am talking rubbish
 

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Discussion Starter #8
2.1 is essentially amplified TV speakers, which forgoes the benefits of a Dolby or DTS soundtrack. Given the first post said you want an enjoyable movie experience that really won't provide it. You should consider wiring at least the front 3, just in case you change your mind.

Your concern about the sub is legit as they should never be placed inside a cabinet. Not only will it couple with the enclosure and transmit vibrations throughout it, the amp will likely overheat as well. They only cool by means of convection, so no air movement means no cooling.
Jman when you said wire the front 3, you mean the front speakers? I definitely plan on having 2.0 or 2.1 audio up front. I'm not sure about the rear speakers mainly.
 

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Correct, left, right and center. Since you're running speaker wires through the wall you might want to do all 3 now. That way if (when?) you do find 2.1 is not sufficient you'll be able to get at least 3.1 without having to make any big changes. The difference between amplified TV speakers and a true Dolby/DTS soundtrack (or as close as 3 speakers can get anyway) is really quite substantial, so at some point in the future you could switch pretty easily.
 

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Correct, left, right and center. Since you're running speaker wires through the wall you might want to do all 3 now. That way if (when?) you do find 2.1 is not sufficient you'll be able to get at least 3.1 without having to make any big changes. The difference between amplified TV speakers and a true Dolby/DTS soundtrack (or as close as 3 speakers can get anyway) is really quite substantial, so at some point in the future you could switch pretty easily.
So you are saying have a speaker on each side of TV and one below it on the fireplace mantle area and maybe 1 down low for a sub. I'm fine doing that. I was planning on 2.1 but 3.1 is just fine. The other two speakers would maybe then be floor standing if I ever did get them. I can run the wire down to the basement so the stand speakers can get fed from floor. I'm not sure where the sub can go, though. It would need power likely...and under the tv is not an option, nor near the TV for that matter. under the coffee table? No outlet there. corner of sectional? It would have an outlet but the sectional would need bumped out. Maybe under an end table if I have one. I'll plan that.
 
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