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I am surprised with the attic that you didn't go with some IB subs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I am surprised with the attic that you didn't go with some IB subs.
I've considered it, but to be honest I've avoided DIY speakers and subs mostly because I haven't felt like committing the time to really learn the theory and do it right. If the dual PSA XS30se's meet my expectations I think I'll be pretty well set in the sub department.
 

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I've considered it, but to be honest I've avoided DIY speakers and subs mostly because I haven't felt like committing the time to really learn the theory and do it right. If the dual PSA XS30se's meet my expectations I think I'll be pretty well set in the sub department.
If the PSAs are anything like the Triax was... Get ready to start repairing drywall and floor cracks. :T
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
If the PSAs are anything like the Triax was... Get ready to start repairing drywall and floor cracks. :T
Yeah, that Triax looks like an absolute beast. Dual subs offer huge benefits over a single in my room, so a pair of the XS30 was a bit more economical. Tom has projected some pretty outstanding performance for my room though so at least maybe I'll have a smile on my face while patching the walls.
 

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Yeah, that Triax looks like an absolute beast. Dual subs offer huge benefits over a single in my room, so a pair of the XS30 was a bit more economical. Tom has projected some pretty outstanding performance for my room though so at least maybe I'll have a smile on my face while patching the walls.
A single Triax in our family room separated the hardwood flooring from the wall, about 2 foot long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
One more update - the dirty work is done and all 6 speakers are mounted. I ran into some minor issues with placement of the rear set, so they ended up on the slanted section of the back wall and spaced slightly closer together than the other two sets. Overall I decided to pretty much optimize the locations for the front row/main listening position and hope for the best in terms of performance for the 2nd row. I'm expecting a Yamaha RX-A3040 for review to arrive tomorrow and my speaker wire from Monoprice to arrive on Tuesday. Hopefully I'll be up and running with Atmos in the next week or two. I'm glad to have the speakers at least mounted. Here's a picture of them all (looking toward the back of the room).

They are symmetric left to right, but only one side of the room and the back wall have the partially slanted section near the ceiling, so it makes them look off-center. I may eventually pay a contractor to add an angled section to the other side wall at some point just for aesthetics. One less corner might help with bass response too. In the meantime, I think I'm going to paint the ceiling to match the walls. Haven't decided yet whether I'll paint the ceiling speakers to match. I'm thinking I'll leave at least the grills as they are.
 

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Lookin good. Is the firmware update already available for Atmos to run on the 3040? Last I heard (a few days ago) it was still not released.

Excited to hear your impressions if it is though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Lookin good. Is the firmware update already available for Atmos to run on the 3040? Last I heard (a few days ago) it was still not released.

Excited to hear your impressions if it is though!
Regarding the firmware update - I was told by my Yamaha contact that it would be available "soon". That was about 2 weeks ago. The firmware on the downloads page for the 3040 says "last updated 7/17/14" so I'm guessing it's still not available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
The RX-A3040 is up and running, and after one firmware update it still appears to be lacking Atmos. I might try to wire my ceiling speakers tonight and be done with that. Apparently the Yamaha can use in-ceiling speakers for the front and/or rear presence speakers as well, so I could at least test them out a bit until the Atmos update is available.
 

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The RX-A3040 is up and running, and after one firmware update it still appears to be lacking Atmos. I might try to wire my ceiling speakers tonight and be done with that. Apparently the Yamaha can use in-ceiling speakers for the front and/or rear presence speakers as well, so I could at least test them out a bit until the Atmos update is available.
How do you like the Yamaha? I have been thinking of moving from my Denon to either the Marantz or Yamaha... Just waiting to see when a AVP comes out. :T
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
My initial impression of the Yamaha is very good. I'll go into more detail in the review of course. So far I have only listened to some music at lower levels and played around with some of the different DSP modes (there are lots). I did a manual calibration and it sounds pretty good so far, but I will eventually go through the YPAO process as well for comparison to others I've used.
 

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My initial impression of the Yamaha is very good. I'll go into more detail in the review of course. So far I have only listened to some music at lower levels and played around with some of the different DSP modes (there are lots). I did a manual calibration and it sounds pretty good so far, but I will eventually go through the YPAO process as well for comparison to others I've used.
Does the Yamaha have the conventional DTS, Dolby settings too? I know they used to have a ton of music settings. I am curious as to how it would sound with horns compared to my Denon as some say the Yamaha is brighter sounding than the Denon is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Does the Yamaha have the conventional DTS, Dolby settings too? I know they used to have a ton of music settings. I am curious as to how it would sound with horns compared to my Denon as some say the Yamaha is brighter sounding than the Denon is.
I don't have any horns to test them with but I will soon have both a Yamaha and a Denon on hand :T

If the Denon is like the Marantz I used to have it may be a bit more laid back than others. Aren't you planning to EQ all your channels with MiniDSP?
 

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I don't have any horns to test them with but I will soon have both a Yamaha and a Denon on hand :T

If the Denon is like the Marantz I used to have it may be a bit more laid back than others. Aren't you planning to EQ all your channels with MiniDSP?
Yes... So it isn't a valid concern? :T
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Getting there little by little. I ran wire from the speakers down to the AV closet last night, so that's [hopefully] the last of the dirty work. It was really late by the time I finished so I have not yet connected/tested any of them. That and I'm still waiting for the Atmos firmware update from Yamaha.

I'll share a few tips for anyone installing in-wall or in-ceiling speakers in a finished room. Most or all of these may be obvious to you. I also may not be as smart as you. If you have never done it before, plan carefully and you could save yourself from some major mistakes.

  1. Make sure you know exactly were the studs are before you cut any holes in your wall/ceiling. I did this and it prevented some serious headaches since I ended up having to relocate all but two of the speakers before cutting. Oh, and get one of those little drywall saws. They're cheap and make quick work of cutting holes.
  2. Trace the template onto your wall with a pencil at all of your planned locations. Placement should be determined for best performance at the listening position, but there is certainly nothing wrong with factoring aesthetics into the equation. Having the outlines all traced on the wall can help visualize that. It's much easier to erase a pencil mark than patch a hole in the wall if you change your mind.
  3. The speaker should come with a cardboard template for cutting the mounting hole. Mine had perforations at two diameters - one for the hole template and one as a grill protector if you wanted to paint over it without painting the grill. The grill cover template was slightly larger. Even after realizing this and knowing I needed to use the smaller one for the cutout, I used the bigger one like a lame brain and now there is play between the speaker frame and the hole ID. They are more than secure enough still and I don't see any risk of them coming loose, but it was still frustrating. Best part? I didn't realize this until after I had cut all 6 holes..... :wits-end:
  4. Get a wire fishing tape. They are inexpensive and almost essential for doing this in a finished room. There are other methods (I've tried some) but they usually don't work as well.
  5. Make sure you get the correct gauge speaker wire. I got the same 12ga in-wall cable from Monoprice that I have used for the rest of my speakers, only to realize the terminals on the HTD speakers are a little too small for it. It ended up working ok, just not completely ideal. A little frustrating knowing 14ga would have been cheaper to buy and easier to pull...
  6. If you're dealing with any kind of fiberglass insulation it's definitely worth using the proper protective gear. Wear long sleeves and pants if possible, respiratory protection and maybe even eye protection depending on your specific case. Even after being up there multiple times, I am still dumb enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt. It makes for a few itchy days once the project is done. Good respiratory protection is a must. Even if it doesn't seem like you're inhaling the fibers, you are. Your throat and lungs will not like it.
 

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Peter, when you get your Yamaha setup... Can you let me know how well the voicing feature works? I have heard that you can voice all your speakers to for main channels (which sounds like a great feature). :T
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Peter, when you get your Yamaha setup... Can you let me know how well the voicing feature works? I have heard that you can voice all your speakers to for main channels (which sounds like a great feature). :T
My goal is to play with as many of the features as I can. I'll make a mental note to try this one. I haven't even touched YPAO yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Yamaha released the Atmos firmware update on 11/6, so I updated the RX-A3040 over the weekend and hooked up four of the six ceiling speakers (front and rear sets). We had a somewhat busy weekend so I only listened for a few minutes, and have not tested with any Atmos content yet. At this point the Yamaha allows using either in-ceiling speakers in the front and rear, or Atmos-enabled speakers front and rear. I'm currently running 5.1.4, and may add rear surrounds (requires external amp) for 7.1.4.

Initial impression using Dolby Surround on non-Atmos content is very good though. I watched portions of BBC's Planet Earth, which adds a lot of environmental sounds in all channels. Scenes in caves, underwater, and in forests sounded especially good in terms of having a large soundstage but without any particular speaker's location sticking out. Background music seems to just float in the air, which is a nice effect. I have not done A/B comparison with ceiling speakers on/off yet.

I have some Atmos content which I'll try this week. I still have not run YPAO either, but I will save that discussion for my review of the Yamaha and keep this thread focused on Atmos.
 
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