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Discussion Starter #1
We bought a new house recently and it comes with a media room which is 16'8" x 15'10" (5.08m x 4.83m) in size. The ceiling is vaulted and goes from 10ft (3.04m) at the walls to 12ft (3.65m) at the highest point. There is a 120" projector screen on the front wall and 5 in-ceiling speakers. Three of the ceiling speakers are positioned close to the screen (front wall) and two speakers are positioned close to the back wall. The easiest option for me is to add a subwoofer and treat this as a 5.1 home theater setup with all speakers in the ceiling and no speakers at ear level. However, I have been reading about Dolby-Atmos which uses a combination of ceiling speakers and speakers at the ear level. I am looking for advice on whether I should just set up the media room as a 5.1 home theater or get 4 more speakers (two as front-left and front-right speakers and two as rear-left and rear-right speakers), use the front-center ceiling speaker as the center speaker and the remaining four ceiling speakers as the Atmos ceiling speakers in a 5.1.4 configuration. The latter will require fishing speaker wires across the room for the two additional rear speakers (the front speakers can simply sit on top of the media cabinet).

I will appreciate any advice/opinion about which alternative would do more justice to the room. I already need to buy a new receiver because my current 7.1 receiver (Denon AVR-1913) is not 4K capable. If I go for a 5.1.4 configuration, I will buy a 9.1 receiver, else I will buy a 5.1 receiver. Cost is not a big factor in the decision and I just want to do justice to the available space and create the best experience possible with it. Thanks!
 

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In general, in-ceiling speakers are a major compromise when used for the 5.1 main listening channels.
 

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As Kal already mentioned, that's going to be a tough situation.

The LCR (Left/Center/Right) should all be roughly on the same plane, so either floorstanding/bookshelf on a stand or in the ceiling. A combination won't work, especially if the center is the one located someplace different. That is arguably the most important speaker in the entire setup. It needs special attention when it comes to placement.

Ideally the goal is to have sound seemingly emanate from the area of the video source, but with ceiling speakers they are 90 degrees off of that. If you just used those it's likely the result would be less than enjoyable. If you want a better viewing/listening experience you'll probably have to get 5 speakers - LCR and surrounds - and then perhaps use the ceiling speakers for the Atmos channels.
 

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I would:


Check to see how I can run cabling, is there a gap to run wire to a new in ceiling speaker position? if not, or it would require ripping out drywall

IF YES, Remove the in-ceiling speakers and move them back to the appropriate ATMOS spot. I would buy some speaker grills that match the front ones so that there is something to cover the hole where the in ceilings were

IF NO, or it simply would be too much trouble you can:
A. Upgrade the speakers to ones that can be aimed such as https://www.speakercraft.com/products/all/in-ceiling-speakers/aim-series-2
B. Leave the in ceiling speakers unused in the ceiling
c. Use them as part of a 5.1 system (least expensive but all not recommended)

Once you decide on the above you can look at next steps
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks a lot Kal, theJman and Andre, this really helps. I will follow theJman's suggestion of getting 5 additional speakers and use four of the current ceiling speakers as height speakers for Atmos. Even though as Andre points out, the position of the ceiling speakers is not perfect for Atmos (they are close to the wall rather than the positions prescribed in the Atmos guides), the slanting roof does point them somewhat at the listening position so it shouldn't be too bad. Just ordered Denon AVRX4400 for the 5.1.4 setup from Crutchfield. Now looking to buy new 5.1 speakers. I am wondering if I can avoid fishing wires to the rear speakers by using HEOS 1 speakers as rear speakers since Denon can apparently configure HEOS speakers as rear surround speakers. I would still have to figure out what to buy for LCH speakers and the subwoofer (SVS prime, Elac Debut, Pioneer, Energy, etc - so many choices!) Thanks again for all the help.
 

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If I were you i would first look into a new receiver from Denon like an AVR X6400 H or 6500 H these are both 11.2 receivers and one step down is AVR X 4500 H this one is 9.2 channel this is a 4 k ultra HD at 60 Hz. This Amplifier is amazing will do the work for you with the room correcting Audyssey eq it will correct the room pitch in the ceiling, also you already know the interface, very similar to the one that you have. You turn the 5 ceiling speakers to Atmos channels, you would need to unplug the center one in front and buy a new set of front stage, center channel, surround speakers, and sub.

Let me know if you have any other question at all.
Jason

PS
i have the exact set up with the AVR X 5200 w and love the way it turned out!
 

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go for the Elac, That is on my list of subs to buy once my Velodyne goes out. For your rear i do not suggest to go with wireless spend the time run your wires under your trim, trust me you do have the room to push the wires below the trim on top of the carpet.
If you have anything else send me a message!
Jason O
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Jason! Still waiting for the AVR X4400H to arrive from Crutchfield - it was much cheaper ($899) than the newer AVR X4500H ($1599) without much of a compromise, I think. I am still researching which front stage, center channel, surround speakers, and sub to buy and would love to hear some recommendations. Which speakers/sub did you end up installing? Glad to hear that you are loving your new setup!
 

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The Master Switch also recommends Elac as their #1 choice for speakers/sub. Currently $1829 at Amazon - Elac Debut 2.0-5.1 System with 2 F6.2 Floorstanding Speakers, 1 C6.2 Center Speaker, 2 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers, 1 Elac Sub3010 Subwoofer. Is that what you had in mind or some other Elac system? I am just a little concerned that this may be an overkill for my media room size (16'8" x 15'10" (5.08m x 4.83m), 10ft-12ft vaulted ceiling).
 

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The Elac Debut look really nice, but if i could afford it i would be have already bought the Elac Adante line, (LCR) Model AF-61 center being the AC-61. But my wife would shoot me so i would go with the the debut line (LCR) and the 10 inch sub but i would buy 2 subs. With the room that you have, your hearing will be able to detect where the sub is coming from with stereo subs that goes away. When my trusty Velodyne goes out that is what i plan to buy Elac 2.0 3010 x2. Your new amp has the control for stereo subs. So to round it all out i would do Left and Right front and Center in Debut 2.0 models listed below with optional height speakers that the Debut line offers but i would only get those if your current ones that are in the ceiling sound really bad. (Many of the builders in the Pacific Northwest like the Bothell area have a problem with putting in a decent quality speaker in the ceiling). I have listed the items below.
Let me know what you think!

floor standing or bookshelf
model # B6.2 or F6.2
Center C6.2
Sub
SUB3010x2
Height Speakers
IC-D61-W there are options based on current size of hole that you have.
For Cable look at this web site i upgraded all my cables when i moved in to this one
Google Blue Jeans Cable they have a really high standard and are very fair price. Figure out which ones you need off of their web site and buy them on amazon
and if you don't get anything i talked about, shoot me a message!
Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Jason, I haven't ordered the speakers yet as I grapple with one last decision regarding which Elac speakers I should get. The Elac Debut 2.0 bundles sold everywhere include a center speaker C6.2, two floor-standing speakers F6.2, two bookshelf speakers B6.2 and a subwoofer Sub3010. Looking at reviews, C6.2 and B6.2 are widely praised for their performance, but reviews of F6.2 are mixed. Also, I am a little concerned that two F6.2 towers might overwhelm the room especially when using a couple of subwoofers (the room size is 16'8"x15'10" with 10-12' vaulted ceiling). So I am thinking of getting one C6.2 for the center, four B6.2 speakers (two for the front, two for surround) and a couple of subwoofers. Also, I am not thinking of replacing the ceiling speakers yet (although they could be because this is a builder-built house, so we'll see). What do you think?
 

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I think you are on the right path it is what i would do if i were you, I am a fan of the bookshelf speakers that is what i own myself. What part of the country are you in? Did you look into the Blue Jeans cables?
Let me know what you think when you are all done !
Jason O
 

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Hi Jason, I haven't ordered the speakers yet as I grapple with one last decision regarding which Elac speakers I should get. The Elac Debut 2.0 bundles sold everywhere include a center speaker C6.2, two floor-standing speakers F6.2, two bookshelf speakers B6.2 and a subwoofer Sub3010. Looking at reviews, C6.2 and B6.2 are widely praised for their performance, but reviews of F6.2 are mixed. Also, I am a little concerned that two F6.2 towers might overwhelm the room especially when using a couple of subwoofers (the room size is 16'8"x15'10" with 10-12' vaulted ceiling). So I am thinking of getting one C6.2 for the center, four B6.2 speakers (two for the front, two for surround) and a couple of subwoofers. Also, I am not thinking of replacing the ceiling speakers yet (although they could be because this is a builder-built house, so we'll see). What do you think?


Personally, I would never buy a sub from elac although the aforementioned speakers seem to be well received and are worth consideration. As far as the towers go, I wouldn’t be concerned with overwhelming the the room with them. IMO they will deliver dynamics in a much better fashion than bookshelf speakers, and especially with a 120” screen, you will want to match the visual size to the audio dynamo. The dual 6.5” woofers also aren’t enough to add serious bass especially since the low frequency response is listed at 39hz. Who knows if that’s f3 or f6 or what. For subwoofer duty I would shop at Rythmik, HSU or SVS. The SVS cylinders are a great way to minimize footprint and maximize output and extension.
Also for speakers, consider RBH impression series. This link is to the towers but definitely browse away.
If you want to replace the ceiling speakers, or the time comes to put them in their proper place, consider RSL C34e’s. They have a 15deg angle built into the baffle and when installed in a slanted ceiling, will basically point strait down. They image like crazy and are a great value. I used 4 in my 7.3.4 system.
RSL also has speaker packages and for a small form factor their speedwoofer subs are awesome. They have a new line, and new subs coming too. Call or email joe Rodgers
https://rbhsound.com/r55.php
The 4400 is also a great choice. I saw a recommendation for the 6400 but it doesn’t add anything substantial.
 
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