Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
I am building a new house and trying to determine how to prewire the room.
Room dimensions are: 14'6" wide by x 18'8" length by 9' height.
There will not be any windows. I anticipate the AV gear to be in a cabinet up front. 2 sconces on each sidewall, plus obviously the furniture.
Entry will be throught the left wall via french door approx middle of the room.
I assume for the time being 2 rows of seating.
I hope to spent around 10k. (excluding furniture), I already have an Onkyo TX-SR 805 which I intend to reuse. Old speaker are all cheapo's so I intend to replace all of them.
Right now the blueprints for the wiring is setup as follows. Projector mount in ceiling approx. 12-14 feet (depending on stud location in ceiling) from the front wall. Fronts, center, sub floor level; surrounds 5 ft height, back speakers in ceiling.
Reading some posts here I am beginning to second guess the placement of the surround and the back speakers.
I foresee spending:
approx. $1000 on the projector (thinking Epson - PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 Projector, happy to hear other suggestions)
approx $1000 on a screen (I would welcome suggestions)
Which I guess leaves me about 8k for the 7.1 (how should my money be split between, sub, fronts, surround and backs?)
And for my biggest and most urgent question should the positioning of the surrounds and backs be changed (while I can change those for free)?
Contemplating to move everything down to floor level or moving the back speakers down to 5ft height.
Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
Other than going for identical high quality speakers all around, you want to spend more on the LCRs. With app. $1000/channel, average, you can do quite well.
As for the elevation of the surrounds, place them so the tops are 70~72" above the floor. If they were 24" tall, as mine are, then they will clear the tops of the seat backs. My preference would be to use the same speaker for all 4 surrounds.
As for the LCRs you are going to have to make a decision between using identical towers or stand speakers or using a matching center, non-identical.
As you are going with a screen, if you use an AT screen, you can then place the LCRs behind, using identical towers.
With ~$8k to spend after the projector and screen, I would do the following:
Receiver: $750-1000 for one with the feature set and room correction of your choice:
Amp: Either a 7 channel amp or a 5 ch/2ch pair: $2000
Front speakers: Best/most appealing to you in the $750 ea. range
Side/Rear surrounds: Best/most appealing in the $400 ea. range.
Subwoofer(s): I would look into the following internet direct manufacturers and spend the balance on 1 or pair from HSU, Outlaw, Epik, Rythmik, etc.
Personally, I would use the the Onkyo 805 in different setup altogether. There is just too much it doesn't do that the newer receiver do (network, streaming, Pandora, etc.)
I can suggest actual models that I would buy in the price ranges I listed, but they would be MY suggestions. It's best to try and audition any speakers you buy. Especially if you plan on spending ~$5k on the 7.1 setup.
I agree with DD, $1000 a channel for LCR, sugg. Ascend ST's LCR, 340SE's side surrounds or four 340's side and rear, or 340's side and 170's back or four 170's side and back.