Home Theater Setup Guidance for Audio

Z

zandaman

Enthusiast
Hi Folks!

I'm new to this forum! I had several questions about HT setup for a dedicated media room.

First off, what my room is like - it is a dedicated media room with no ambient sound or light, with insulated walls. The dimensions are 9' height x 13.5' wide x 17.5' deep. I plan on projecting onto a 120'' screen on a 9'x13.5' wall. The projector will be placed 13.5' from the screen (4 feet between the projector and the back wall).

First off - I'm fixed on the speakers that I'll be using - B&W 702 S2 and HTM71 for my LCR, CWM7.4 for surrounds, and CCM664 for atmos (if atmos makes sense...).

Now, the issue. In my excitement and hubris, I really wanted to take advantage of the pre-wiring in my room, and establish a full 7.2.4 system.

To power the system, I opted for the Arcam AVR 550, and the upcoming PA410 Arcam 4-channel power amp. This way, I've got all 11 speakers powered up and Dirac-able.

Few things have come to my attention that are giving me second thoughts:
1. The Arcam PA410 will only be available in April!! That's a loooong time to wait to set this media room up.
2. Is it wise or foolish to consider a 7.2.4 setup? Would a 5.2.2 or a 7.2.2 suffice for my room size? What is the potential value add of a 7.2.4 vs 5.2.2?
3. I've recently been made aware of bi-amping. The 702 can be bi-amped. If I were to do this, I'd dedicate two channels of the same receiver/power-amp to each 702. I believe this is called "vertical passive bi-amping" (correct me if I'm wrong). Is there significant value add in doing this? I intend to use the HT for 80% movies and games, 20% music.
4. How many rows of seating can I potentially have in this room? This will affect the number of surrounds and atmos speakers I install.
5. If I value a 7.2.4 setup and bi-amping, should I be looking at the Denon x8500h instead? What would the sound quality be by comparison?

I have attached pictures here. Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you so much!

Media Room Dimensions.PNG
Media Room Pre-Wiring.PNG
 
Last edited:
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
Here's a pretty recent video Gene and Matt put together about this very subject. In short, 5.2.4 is about where you hit the sweet spot tho Gene did say he likes 7.2.4 for some music.

*Edit: Forgot the video! lol

Quick question, have you bought everything already?

1. Yup. Long time. Why this unit particularly?
2. 7.2.4 is not what I'd consider foolish, but in your room 5.2.4 may be sufficient.
3. Bi amping or bi wiring is an interesting can of worms, lol. In short you'll likely notice zero improvements. There's no harm if done correctly, but no real advantages unless you're using active crossovers.
4. On that I have to defer to someone else. I've never set up seating in a media room before.
5. You could look more into a mid range AVR with preouts and buy a 2 or 3 channel amp for your front stage. That'll take some pressure off the AVR and you can use it to power your surrounds.

The 8500 is a beast on its own, but above is the way I'd go. Again, bi amping and bi wiring are mostly a waste of time. I have my fronts bi amped and there really wasn't any audible difference I noticed. I already had the unused amp channels and speaker wire laying around so I did it for shits and giggles but I would not spend more on amplification just to do it.


 
Last edited:
Z

zandaman

Enthusiast
Thank you so much for your
Here's a pretty recent video Gene and Matt put together about this very subject. In short, 5.2.4 is about where you hit the sweet spot tho Gene did say he likes 7.2.4 for some music.

Quick question, have you bought everything already?

1. Yup. Long time. Why this unit particularly?
2. 7.2.4 is not what I'd consider foolish, but in your room 5.2.4 may be sufficient.
3. Bi amping or bi wiring is an interesting can of worms, lol. In short you'll likely notice zero improvements. There's no harm if done correctly, but no real advantages unless you're using active crossovers.
4. On that I have to defer to someone else. I've never set up seating in a media room before.
5. You could look more into a mid range AVR with preouts and buy a 2 or 3 channel amp for your front stage. That'll take some pressure off the AVR and you can use it to power your surrounds.

The 8500 is a beast on its own, but above is the way I'd go. Again, bi amping and bi wiring are mostly a waste of time. I have my fronts bi amped and there really wasn't any audible difference I noticed. I already had the unused amp channels and speaker wire laying around so I did it for shits and giggles but I would not spend more on amplification just to do it.


Thank you so much for your response Pogre!

The reason why that amp is taking so long is because it's brand new. Though the data sheet has been made public, they've delayed the release of this and several other new power amps to April.

What mid-range AVR would you suggest?

Would a 7.2.2 or a 5.2.4 be a better value add, if going for a 9 speaker config?
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Here's a pretty recent video Gene and Matt put together about this very subject. In short, 5.2.4 is about where you hit the sweet spot tho Gene did say he likes 7.2.4 for some music.

Quick question, have you bought everything already?

1. Yup. Long time. Why this unit particularly?
2. 7.2.4 is not what I'd consider foolish, but in your room 5.2.4 may be sufficient.
3. Bi amping or bi wiring is an interesting can of worms, lol. In short you'll likely notice zero improvements. There's no harm if done correctly, but no real advantages unless you're using active crossovers.
4. On that I have to defer to someone else. I've never set up seating in a media room before.
5. You could look more into a mid range AVR with preouts and buy a 2 or 3 channel amp for your front stage. That'll take some pressure off the AVR and you can use it to power your surrounds.

The 8500 is a beast on its own, but above is the way I'd go. Again, bi amping and bi wiring are mostly a waste of time. I have my fronts bi amped and there really wasn't any audible difference I noticed. I already had the unused amp channels and speaker wire laying around so I did it for shits and giggles but I would not spend more on amplification just to do it.


If I ever hear passive biamping again, it won't be long enough. It was bad enough when the marketing fad took hold in the 90s, worse so since every AVR 7 channel now offers the option.

Sorry carry on lol.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
Thank you so much for your


Thank you so much for your response Pogre!

The reason why that amp is taking so long is because it's brand new. Though the data sheet has been made public, they've delayed the release of this and several other new power amps to April.

What mid-range AVR would you suggest?

Would a 7.2.2 or a 5.2.4 be a better value add, if going for a 9 speaker config?
When (not "if", lol) I go atmos I'm gonna do 4 speakers overhead. I've been reading that 2 can work, but 4 seems to be the ticket so yeah, I'd go 5.2.4.

The Denon AVR X3600H has been discounted recently and $799 is a solid good deal for a great mid range AVR with good room correction and the latest features and processing. You could add a three channel or five channel Monolith amp to do some of the heavy lifting. Hmm... I was gonna say take a look at Outlaw's 2200 series mono amps too, but they don't appear to be on sale anymore...

That's what I'd be considering, but there are lots of options out there! Did you already buy your speakers?
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
When (not "if", lol) I go atmos I'm gonna do 4 speakers overhead. I've been reading that 2 can work, but 4 seems to be the ticket so yeah, I'd go 5.2.4.

The Denon AVR X3600H has been discounted recently and $799 is a solid good deal for a great mid range AVR with good room correction and the latest features and processing. You could add a three channel or five channel Monolith amp to do some of the heavy lifting. Hmm... I was gonna say take a look at Outlaw's 2200 series mono amps too, but they don't appear to be on sale anymore...

That's what I'd be considering, but there are lots of options out there! Did you already buy your speakers?
I agree. X.X.4 is the way to go fo sho. IMO, 5.1.4 is better than 7.1.2, but for example if the LP is against the back wall, then I’d stay with a 5ch bed layer, not to mention the mess you can have with bass against the wall.
Same for a 7ch bed layer. IMO you should have 5-6’ behind the LP before that makes sense.
 
A

AVUser001

Audioholic
When (not "if", lol) I go atmos I'm gonna do 4 speakers overhead. I've been reading that 2 can work, but 4 seems to be the ticket so yeah, I'd go 5.2.4.
2 works in the front, but if you're doing atmos, I'd plan for 4 atleast..to get the separation front to back. I'd choose 5.1.4 over 7.1.2 anytime. Even if you're starting with 5.1.2 , plan ahead for 5.1.4 (positioning,wiring etc) ...becos you'll get there sooner or later ;-)
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Hi Folks!

I'm new to this forum! I had several questions about HT setup for a dedicated media room.

First off, what my room is like - it is a dedicated media room with no ambient sound or light, with insulated walls. The dimensions are 9' height x 13.5' wide x 17.5' deep. I plan on projecting onto a 120'' screen on a 9'x13.5' wall. The projector will be placed 13.5' from the screen (4 feet between the projector and the back wall).

First off - I'm fixed on the speakers that I'll be using - B&W 702 S2 and HTM71 for my LCR, CWM7.4 for surrounds, and CCM664 for atmos (if atmos makes sense...).

Now, the issue. In my excitement and hubris, I really wanted to take advantage of the pre-wiring in my room, and establish a full 7.2.4 system.

To power the system, I opted for the Arcam AVR 550, and the upcoming PA410 Arcam 4-channel power amp. This way, I've got all 11 speakers powered up and Dirac-able.

Few things have come to my attention that are giving me second thoughts:
1. The Arcam PA410 will only be available in April!! That's a loooong time to wait to set this media room up.
2. Is it wise or foolish to consider a 7.2.4 setup? Would a 5.2.2 or a 7.2.2 suffice for my room size? What is the potential value add of a 7.2.4 vs 5.2.2?
3. I've recently been made aware of bi-amping. The 702 can be bi-amped. If I were to do this, I'd dedicate two channels of the same receiver/power-amp to each 702. I believe this is called "vertical passive bi-amping" (correct me if I'm wrong). Is there significant value add in doing this? I intend to use the HT for 80% movies and games, 20% music.
4. How many rows of seating can I potentially have in this room? This will affect the number of surrounds and atmos speakers I install.
5. If I value a 7.2.4 setup and bi-amping, should I be looking at the Denon x8500h instead? What would the sound quality be by comparison?

I have attached pictures here. Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you so much!

View attachment 33420
View attachment 33421
I see you are trying to set up a really nice high end system. Unfortunately I have some bad news for you concerning your plans.

The first mistake is that the 120" screen is far to big for that room. THX recommends a viewing distance of 11' to 15' ft for a viewing distance of a 120" diagonal screen. Sitting too close to a screen that big is uncomfortable and a literally nauseating experience.

So an 85" screen or less is appropriate if you want more then one row of seats. With a 120" screen that one row will be close to the back wall in any event.

Having corrected that mistake I would not use a projector but a wall mounted OLED screen. A 77" LG OLED will fit the bill fine. The picture quality is much better than from any projector. With that screen you could just about manage two rows of seats. With reclining seats you need much greater spacing than you might imagine. Good theater chairs before reclining are 3' front to back. You need at least 3' 8" to 9" between each row form back to front. So that is almost 7' front to front between each row in the upright position.

I think you need to be about 8' to 9' at least from the screen to the front of the first row for comfortable viewing and any semblance of good sound. So that means the back of the front chair is 11' to 12' from the screen. I actually like to be at least 12' from the front of the screen and even so I like my second row best mainly for sonic reasons.

So the front of the second row is 14' to 15' from the screen and the back of the second row seat will be 17' 9" 18' 9" from the screen upright. Reclined it will be 18' 9" to 19' 9' from the screen which is beyond your back wall. So your back row will not really be able to recline unless your front seats are really too far forward to be optimal.

So ideally that room is a one row theater and two at a push.

The next piece of bad news is that the dimensions of the room are a long way from sweet spot ratios. The biggest problem is that the length and width are too close together. So the room will be inclined to be boomy. Unfortunately B & W tend to tune to higher Q on the bottom end which will exacerbate this problem. Make sure you install the back boxes on the ceiling speakers. Ceiling speakers should not radiate into floor and attic spaces.

So I think this room could be 7.2.4 but there will be little advantage over 5.2.4. If you go with two rows of seats I would definitely opt for 5.2.4.

Now make sure you run all cabling in conduit. Cables can fail and technology changes, so you need to easily be able to replace cables without cutting huge holes in your walls.

The next issue is ease of access. This is almost always overlooked. I would suggest you put racks in between your theater and game room, and allow access to the rear of the equipment from the game room

It is well known here that I really dislike receivers and advise to avoid them where ever possible. Now you have chosen B & W speakers. On the whole I like their higher end offerings especially the 800 series. However B & W persists in making their speakers very hard and difficult to drive, with impedance curves and phase angles that look like the Himalayas. In short they are amp busters, so robust power amplifiers are called for. In addition they tell a big fib about their nominal impedance, but own up to the fib in quoting the minimum impedance. In your case that is 3 and 3.1 ohms for the front set. So the good rule of thumb for the impedance of a speaker is minimum impedance plus 10%. So the impedance of each of your front three speakers is 3.5 ohms at most. B & W really do need to rid themselves of this habit. It is not necessary. I should point out this does not affect sound quality as long as the amps are robust. These are not speakers for amps that are in the least bit wimpy. The rest of your speakers are around 5 ohms or a little greater.

Make sure you follow the Dolby speaker layout to the letter.

So I would use a pre/pro. A Marantz 7705 should do the job nicely. Since this system is mainly for movies I would use rack mounted pro amps like those from Crown or QSC. I would mount everything in metal pro racks for obsessional grounding, hum and buzz avoidance. Also don't forget ventilation. I use a radon extractor fan above power amp case to gently extract air above the amps. I have it on a fan speed control.

As others have stated bi-wiring and Bi-amping is a waste of time and money. Says me who has triamped mains, biamped center and rear backs. However those are actively bi-amped which is a different story altogether. With those low impedance speakers I recommend you use AWG 10 speaker wire at least. You can get Belden wire from Parts Express.

Lastly don't forget protection. This is so often forgotten. The climate is getting more violent and we get posts here from people who have lost the lot due to power surges. We just had the last one within a week or so. So have your electrician install whole house surge protection. This will protect the boards in HVAC, fridges, ovens etc as well. Power strip surge protectors are for the 'birds". Now at the bottom of each rack put in a rack mounted UPS unit that will shave and boost out of range voltages and instantly go to battery if the power is out of bounds. I like units from APC. Power everything except the power amps from the UPS.

Now I have been through this misery twice now. My first home theater on Benedict Lake MN was 22' long by 14.5' wide with 8' ceilings. It had two rows of seats and sounded really very good.

We have recently built a new house and this theater is 29" long and 16' wide with 9' ceilings. Those are good ratios and the room sounds excellent. That just leaves room for three row of seats on risers. You need to raise each row of seats, otherwise view is obscured.

Here is a link to the thread of the new build.

This is what the room looks like now.





Don't forget powering for the seats. You can not get seats that are not powered any longer. Don't forget the rope lights at the steps for safety.



This was the former studio at Benedict MN





As you can see getting two rows of seats was tight.

So those are my only thought for now. My biggest concern is that the screen you propose is far too big for the room. Have fun!
 
Z

zandaman

Enthusiast
When (not "if", lol) I go atmos I'm gonna do 4 speakers overhead. I've been reading that 2 can work, but 4 seems to be the ticket so yeah, I'd go 5.2.4.

The Denon AVR X3600H has been discounted recently and $799 is a solid good deal for a great mid range AVR with good room correction and the latest features and processing. You could add a three channel or five channel Monolith amp to do some of the heavy lifting. Hmm... I was gonna say take a look at Outlaw's 2200 series mono amps too, but they don't appear to be on sale anymore...

That's what I'd be considering, but there are lots of options out there! Did you already buy your speakers?
I've already bought the speakers :) but these are great suggestions for future reference! Wish I'd joined these forums earlier lol.
 
Z

zandaman

Enthusiast
I see you are trying to set up a really nice high end system. Unfortunately I have some bad news for you concerning your plans.

The first mistake is that the 120" screen is far to big for that room. THX recommends a viewing distance of 11' to 15' ft for a viewing distance of a 120" diagonal screen. Sitting too close to a screen that big is uncomfortable and a literally nauseating experience.

So an 85" screen or less is appropriate if you want more then one row of seats. With a 120" screen that one row will be close to the back wall in any event.

Having corrected that mistake I would not use a projector but a wall mounted OLED screen. A 77" LG OLED will fit the bill fine. The picture quality is much better than from any projector. With that screen you could just about manage two rows of seats. With reclining seats you need much greater spacing than you might imagine. Good theater chairs before reclining are 3' front to back. You need at least 3' 8" to 9" between each row form back to front. So that is almost 7' front to front between each row in the upright position.

I think you need to be about 8' to 9' at least from the screen to the front of the first row for comfortable viewing and any semblance of good sound. So that means the back of the front chair is 11' to 12' from the screen. I actually like to be at least 12' from the front of the screen and even so I like my second row best mainly for sonic reasons.

So the front of the second row is 14' to 15' from the screen and the back of the second row seat will be 17' 9" 18' 9" from the screen upright. Reclined it will be 18' 9" to 19' 9' from the screen which is beyond your back wall. So your back row will not really be able to recline unless your front seats are really too far forward to be optimal.

So ideally that room is a one row theater and two at a push.

The next piece of bad news is that the dimensions of the room are a long way from sweet spot ratios. The biggest problem is that the length and width are too close together. So the room will be inclined to be boomy. Unfortunately B & W tend to tune to higher Q on the bottom end which will exacerbate this problem. Make sure you install the back boxes on the ceiling speakers. Ceiling speakers should not radiate into floor and attic spaces.

So I think this room could be 7.2.4 but there will be little advantage over 5.2.4. If you go with two rows of seats I would definitely opt for 5.2.4.

Now make sure you run all cabling in conduit. Cables can fail and technology changes, so you need to easily be able to replace cables without cutting huge holes in your walls.

The next issue is ease of access. This is almost always overlooked. I would suggest you put racks in between your theater and game room, and allow access to the rear of the equipment from the game room

It is well known here that I really dislike receivers and advise to avoid them where ever possible. Now you have chosen B & W speakers. On the whole I like their higher end offerings especially the 800 series. However B & W persists in making their speakers very hard and difficult to drive, with impedance curves and phase angles that look like the Himalayas. In short they are amp busters, so robust power amplifiers are called for. In addition they tell a big fib about their nominal impedance, but own up to the fib in quoting the minimum impedance. In your case that is 3 and 3.1 ohms for the front set. So the good rule of thumb for the impedance of a speaker is minimum impedance plus 10%. So the impedance of each of your front three speakers is 3.5 ohms at most. B & W really do need to rid themselves of this habit. It is not necessary. I should point out this does not affect sound quality as long as the amps are robust. These are not speakers for amps that are in the least bit wimpy. The rest of your speakers are around 5 ohms or a little greater.

Make sure you follow the Dolby speaker layout to the letter.

So I would use a pre/pro. A Marantz 7705 should do the job nicely. Since this system is mainly for movies I would use rack mounted pro amps like those from Crown or QSC. I would mount everything in metal pro racks for obsessional grounding, hum and buzz avoidance. Also don't forget ventilation. I use a radon extractor fan above power amp case to gently extract air above the amps. I have it on a fan speed control.

As others have stated bi-wiring and Bi-amping is a waste of time and money. Says me who has triamped mains, biamped center and rear backs. However those are actively bi-amped which is a different story altogether. With those low impedance speakers I recommend you use AWG 10 speaker wire at least. You can get Belden wire from Parts Express.

Lastly don't forget protection. This is so often forgotten. The climate is getting more violent and we get posts here from people who have lost the lot due to power surges. We just had the last one within a week or so. So have your electrician install whole house surge protection. This will protect the boards in HVAC, fridges, ovens etc as well. Power strip surge protectors are for the 'birds". Now at the bottom of each rack put in a rack mounted UPS unit that will shave and boost out of range voltages and instantly go to battery if the power is out of bounds. I like units from APC. Power everything except the power amps from the UPS.

Now I have been through this misery twice now. My first home theater on Benedict Lake MN was 22' long by 14.5' wide with 8' ceilings. It had two rows of seats and sounded really very good.

We have recently built a new house and this theater is 29" long and 16' wide with 9' ceilings. Those are good ratios and the room sounds excellent. That just leaves room for three row of seats on risers. You need to raise each row of seats, otherwise view is obscured.

Here is a link to the thread of the new build.

This is what the room looks like now.





Don't forget powering for the seats. You can not get seats that are not powered any longer. Don't forget the rope lights at the steps for safety.



This was the former studio at Benedict MN





As you can see getting two rows of seats was tight.

So those are my only thought for now. My biggest concern is that the screen you propose is far too big for the room. Have fun!
All I have to say is, wow! Super impressive!!

Questions:
1. Did you set up these rooms all yourself?
2. You said you've done active bi/tri-amping. Do you notice an effect? How does that compare to passive bi/tri-amping?
3. What speakers do you use, and in what arrangement?
4. What seats have you used?
5. How would you compare Marantz to Arcam?
 
Z

zandaman

Enthusiast
I agree. X.X.4 is the way to go fo sho. IMO, 5.1.4 is better than 7.1.2, but for example if the LP is against the back wall, then I’d stay with a 5ch bed layer, not to mention the mess you can have with bass against the wall.
Same for a 7ch bed layer. IMO you should have 5-6’ behind the LP before that makes sense.
Dumb question - what do you mean by LP? Are you referring to the seating?

Secondly, how important are the quality of the atmos speakers relative to the rest of the bed layer? I've intentionally put in a lower quality speaker for heights, as I've read that they are not as important to be high quality.
 
Trell

Trell

Senior Audioholic
Dumb question - what do you mean by LP? Are you referring to the seating?

Secondly, how important are the quality of the atmos speakers relative to the rest of the bed layer? I've intentionally put in a lower quality speaker for heights, as I've read that they are not as important to be high quality.
Not a dumb question at all. The LP stands for Listening Position and usually means the main listening position.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
All I have to say is, wow! Super impressive!!

Questions:
1. Did you set up these rooms all yourself?
2. You said you've done active bi/tri-amping. Do you notice an effect? How does that compare to passive bi/tri-amping?
3. What speakers do you use, and in what arrangement?
4. What seats have you used?
5. How would you compare Marantz to Arcam?
1). Yes, I set up the rooms myself.

2). I would never passive biamp.

3). The speakers are my design and build. The powering follows the design. Basically you really can't make a passive crossover that is any good below 400 Hz and that is pushing it. The rear backs have a 180 Hz crossover, so that mandates an active design for that crossover point. The speakers are all aperiodically damped transmission line designs, except the two surrounds and the four ceiling speakers which are sealed. The front left and right speakers are dual transmission lines which are very unusual. The long bass line essentially acts as a sub, but it is sub plus as one of the bass drivers offloads the mids from baffle step compensation duty.

This is the FR and impulse response of one of the left/right dual TLs.



The HF droop is the measuring mic (omni mic) response.

Off axis responses.



The center speaker has a separate driver for baffle step compensation. The point of all this is to be able to precisely set the baffle step compensation to the room and especially the speakers relationship to room boundaries.

FR and impulse response of center speaker.






Off axis responses.



The point of TL design is all about improving bass efficiency and yet getting a response that is damped to the point to where it is essentially non resonant. So the bass is not only powerful but highly detailed and non resonant. This helps minimize interactions with the room. Unfortunately they are somewhat complex to design and build, and also have a large footprint.

I seem to have less bass leakage in this new room and even tighter bass. So the bottom end seems to take even less power. The ceiling speakers are rolled off at 120 Hz. The surrounds at 50 Hz and the midlines, center and rear backs at 40 Hz now. The LFE signal is captured and blended with the feeds to the four 10 inch drivers in the long bass lines. The LFE is crossed at 120 Hz. This is all a complex system requiring electronic crossovers, passive mixer/blender circuits and buffer amps. In the end it all works probably somewhat to my surprise.

I think the bass is tighter as this home is a concrete ICF home. Extra special care was taken with damping behind the sheet rock, the ceiling and floors. I think this has paid off as well.

4). The seats are Elran Finn from Canada.

5). I have never had any Arcam equipment. My power amplification is from Quad Electroacoustics and has been for about 50 years now.

My first pre/pro was a Rotel, this was pre HDMI, I am now on my third generation of Marantz pre/pro. In general I'm pleased with them and they measure well on my bench.

With all the complexity that goes with HDMI, I'm just nervous about sourcing that kind of technology from smaller companies. That is not a held fast opinion. I just tend to stick with what gives me good service and results. I do think the powering and protection that goes with it does substantially improve reliability and prevent costly failures. This is a part of the budget almost universally overlooked. Now remember I have not told you this improves the sound, it just keeps you enjoying the music!

If you think I'm a crusty old geezer somewhat set in his ways your are correct.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Dumb question - what do you mean by LP? Are you referring to the seating?

Secondly, how important are the quality of the atmos speakers relative to the rest of the bed layer? I've intentionally put in a lower quality speaker for heights, as I've read that they are not as important to be high quality.
Yep. As trell said, LP means listening position. In other forums it’s probably more common to use MLP but for some reason I dislike how it resonates when I say it in my head. Or out loud I guess...

For quality, it’s probably a personal choice. I’ve seen plenty of people use less expensive speakers and be fine with the experience, with no regrets. I’ve also seen people start with cheap ones and later upgrade them to match the rest of the speakers in the system and be surprised at how much better they liked the experience. Imo, using the best speakers that you can afford, or are at least comfortable in paying for should be what you use. I used RSL c34e’s. At 125 bucks each, Ime they perform like much more expensive speakers. I love them. In another part of my house, I have a pair of Polk rc85i’s in the ceiling. They were 80 bucks(iirc) each and are pretty nice. I can safely say they wouldn’t do the job as well as my RSL’s.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Ya crusty old geezer...
Now I can't get the picture of Geezer Butler out of my head...
Don’t forget our friendly doctor is also very British. I enjoy reading people’s butt hurt responses to him not realizing that his curtness and directness. This is the beauty of his communication. People need less sugar coating, and to grow some skin. Bless you Mark.
 

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