Need suggestions on how to turn my room into an Atmos-enabled home theater

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Steelers252006

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
9
#61
I have heard too many good two channel systems to count. The systems range from relatively cheap to extremely expensive, but good sound is good sound. But to just to throw an example out there, one two channel speaker system I dealt with recently that quite impressed me was a pair of Dayton MK442 speakers with both speakers positioned in an upright orientation so that they were standing vertically. What was impressive about them is how good they sounded- for $50 each! On the other end of that, I have heard two channel systems that sounded great but costed hundreds of thousands of dollars. What makes a big difference is how carefully the system is setup. A very expensive setup could have poor results if not setup correctly, but a cheap system can sound very good if care is put into the setup and positioning. If you want to get the most out of your speaker system, take some time to look into the best placement and positioning.

Here are some tips:
  • Try to place the speakers at an elevation where the tweeters are level with your ears at the listening position. So get the tweeters to the same height that your ears will be at when you will be watching and enjoying your system.
  • Give the speakers a stand-off distance from nearby walls and surfaces if possible. In other words, try not to place the speakers right next to a wall or in some kind of cramped area. The more space you can give them, the better it will be acoustically. You don't have to have them out in the middle of the room though, but try to give them at least two to three feet from the backwall.
  • Experiment with toe-in. The direct sound of the speaker changes its tonality depending on what angle you are listening to the speaker. If you like treble and heightened detail, have the speakers aimed right at your listening position. If you prefer a warmer sound, or you find a direct axis angle fatiguing, angle the speakers inward or outward with respect to the listening position; that will shade the high frequencies a bit.
  • Try to place the left and right fronts so that it forms an equilateral triangle with your listening position. It's also OK to have the front left/rights a bit closer together than that for a two channel system, or a bit farther apart than that when there is a center speaker being used in a surround sound system. Here is a decent diagram that kind of shows this:
  • As I mentioned before, don't assume equalization programs like Audyssey automatically improve the sound. Good speakers don't really benefit from equalization, and it can end up hurting more than helping. There is no harm in trying it out to see the difference though.
  • Tower speakers can not match the bass performance of a decent subwoofer. If you are interested in powerful bass, subwoofers are a must.
  • For a smooth, consistent bass sound, consider a multiple subwoofer system. The wavelengths of low frequency sound are much larger than domestic rooms, and so the pressure waves overlap each other and cause cancellations and summations. The summations and cancellations manifest themselves in the sound as frequency ranges that are too loud and frequency ranges that are too quiet. The best way to combat this is to get multiple subwoofers and use asymmetrical placement of the subs around the room, thereby averaging out the peaks and nulls for a more consistent sound overall.
I think I’m going to start this way, just focus on a two channel system with independent sub for now with upgradability, perfect way to dip my toes in. Give me a few combos to play well together for me to research if you will? I’ll have more questions after, too, but that’s a great place to begin.
 
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Steelers252006

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
9
#62
I think I’m going to start this way, just focus on a two channel system with independent sub for now with upgradability, perfect way to dip my toes in. Give me a few combos to play well together for me to research if you will? I’ll have more questions after, too, but that’s a great place to begin.
I think I’m going to start this way, just focus on a two channel system with independent sub for now with upgradability, perfect way to dip my toes in. Give me a few combos to play well together for me to research if you will? I’ll have more questions after, too, but that’s a great place to begin.
Thtow in which AV receiver you think plays nice with which speakers and why, too. I assume this to be the case, that certain speakers sound better with certain receivers?
 
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shadyJ

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
3,570 29 15
#63
I think I’m going to start this way, just focus on a two channel system with independent sub for now with upgradability, perfect way to dip my toes in. Give me a few combos to play well together for me to research if you will? I’ll have more questions after, too, but that’s a great place to begin.
I will just copy some brands I mentioned earlier, all of which are solid. RBH, Ascend Acoustics, Outlaw Audio, Hsu Research, Paradigm, SVS, JBL, Revel, RSL, Philharmonic, among others. As I mentioned before, I think bookshelf speakers would make more sense in that situation than towers, although if you cranking the volume really loud, tower speakers might make more sense, although there are bookshelf speakers and LCRs that can still handle wide dynamics, like the Hsu CCB-8, Ascend CMT-340se, RBH R-515/ R-515E, etc.

For subwoofers, I would look at what can be had from Hsu Research, Outlaw Audio, SVS, and Monoprice Monolith. For AVRs, I would look at offerings from Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha that fit your budget and criteria.
 
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snakeeyes

Audioholic General
Ratings
428 1
#64
I agree with Shady. A nice bookshelf speaker paired with a nice pair of subs beats most towers. I haven’t listened to as many speakers but my favorite right now is my Canton Vento 820.2 bookshelf speakers from Aceessories for Less. My favorite sub right now is the HSU VTF2. One advantage to bookshelf speakers is you won’t need the top of the line AVR or external amps to power them like you do with towers. I like Yamahas and I have 3 of them (Living room, Bedroom, and Home Theater). RXV681 and RXA770 and RXA2060 so I always buy the prior year model when they go on clearance in the fall rather than the current model.

There are rumors RSL has a new speaker coming out in November that has a larger mid/woofer so that might be interesting to check out. They have a return period of 30 days at RSL so that’s a cool option.

Do you listen to any certain type of music? Or is this mostly just for tv and movies? What is the cu ft of the space?

My recommendation would be to take a few weeks to research this. Good luck! :)
 
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shadyJ

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
3,570 29 15
#65
One advantage to bookshelf speakers is you won’t need the top of the line AVR or external amps to power them like you do with towers.
I would put a qualifier on this statement. You certainly do not need a top of the line AVR to power tower speakers. One advantage tower speakers have over bookshelf is higher sensitivity, so it won't draw as much power to achieve the same loudness level. However, many tower speakers can have low impedances in bass frequencies, and that can draw more current and be tougher to drive. A fairer statement to say that tower speakers are better positioned to take advantage of high end AVRs, but you definitely don't need a high end AVR to make a tower speaker sound great.
 
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snakeeyes

Audioholic General
Ratings
428 1
#66
I would put a qualifier on this statement. You certainly do not need a top of the line AVR to power tower speakers. One advantage tower speakers have over bookshelf is higher sensitivity, so it won't draw as much power to achieve the same loudness level. However, many tower speakers can have low impedances in bass frequencies, and that can draw more current and be tougher to drive. A fairer statement to say that tower speakers are better positioned to take advantage of high end AVRs, but you definitely don't need a high end AVR to make a tower speaker sound great.
Ya maybe what I meant to say is that the right combination of bookshelves and subs usually won’t need as much amplification from the AVR. This is a way to possibly buy a mid level AVR with most of the features of the high end AVR. It may be wise to divert funds towards bookshelves and subs and mid level AVR vs towers and higher end AVR and possibly even avoid expensive external amps as well. The goal in this method is to free up funds in a budget for quality subs of course. :)
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,309 4 1
#67
I agree with Shady. A nice bookshelf speaker paired with a nice pair of subs beats most towers.

There are rumors RSL has a new speaker coming out in November that has a larger mid/woofer so that might be interesting to check out. They have a return period of 30 days at RSL so that’s a cool option.



My recommendation would be to take a few weeks to research this. Good luck! :)
Hey, what about us guys with towers and subs? Whenever I recommend towers, it’s always with subs in mind. It takes really special towers to not need subs.

Good call on the rsl too. New line, and new bigger subs too.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,309 4 1
#68
I would put a qualifier on this statement. You certainly do not need a top of the line AVR to power tower speakers. One advantage tower speakers have over bookshelf is higher sensitivity, so it won't draw as much power to achieve the same loudness level. However, many tower speakers can have low impedances in bass frequencies, and that can draw more current and be tougher to drive. A fairer statement to say that tower speakers are better positioned to take advantage of high end AVRs, but you definitely don't need a high end AVR to make a tower speaker sound great.
This...
 
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snakeeyes

Audioholic General
Ratings
428 1
#69
Hey, what about us guys with towers and subs? Whenever I recommend towers, it’s always with subs in mind. It takes really special towers to not need subs.

Good call on the rsl too. New line, and new bigger subs too.
Ya I have towers and a sub I’m my theater room since 2002 but I’m learning that bookshelves with quality subs can do the job too. My living room has a 3.2 setup that is pretty good. :) Still trying to get some surround speakers in there but strong WAF resistance... Focusing on the 5.1.4 theater room this month. :)
 
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Danzilla31

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
321 1
#70
Just looked up those ceiling speakers. They offer full packages, too, like this one...very interesting!!

https://rslspeakers.com/products/cg3-5-1-2-dolby-atmos-home-theater-speaker-system/
RSL is an amazing company that's where I got my ceiling speakers from Joe and Howard are the best and they're packages are very budget minded (within reason) but have amazing sound. Give them a call and have a chat with them send them the room pics and ask for advice that's a great company I've had great experiences with them
 
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Danzilla31

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
321 1
#71
Hey, what about us guys with towers and subs? Whenever I recommend towers, it’s always with subs in mind. It takes really special towers to not need subs.

Good call on the rsl too. New line, and new bigger subs too.
I spoke to Joe and Howard yesterday they are coming out with a new the CG5 and CG25's and next year a bigger badger subwoofer. The speakers will be up for sell in November or December. I'm stoked that's a great company!
 
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snakeeyes

Audioholic General
Ratings
428 1
#72
I spoke to Joe and Howard yesterday they are coming out with a new the CG5 and CG25's and next year a bigger badger subwoofer. The speakers will be up for sell in November or December. I'm stoked that's a great company!
Hmm wonder what the delay is. Think they have been “in the works” since 2017. :)
 
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shadyJ

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
3,570 29 15
#73
RSL is an amazing company that's where I got my ceiling speakers from Joe and Howard are the best and they're packages are very budget minded (within reason) but have amazing sound. Give them a call and have a chat with them send them the room pics and ask for advice that's a great company I've had great experiences with them
I don't think the OP has to resort to ceiling speakers. I think he can do in-walls for the Atmos height speakers, which would actually be better. If he can install the speakers in the slanted wall facing his sofa so that they are aimed at his listening position, it would be better to put in-walls in there than in-ceilings.
 
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Steelers252006

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
9
#74
I will just copy some brands I mentioned earlier, all of which are solid. RBH, Ascend Acoustics, Outlaw Audio, Hsu Research, Paradigm, SVS, JBL, Revel, RSL, Philharmonic, among others. As I mentioned before, I think bookshelf speakers would make more sense in that situation than towers, although if you cranking the volume really loud, tower speakers might make more sense, although there are bookshelf speakers and LCRs that can still handle wide dynamics, like the Hsu CCB-8, Ascend CMT-340se, RBH R-515/ R-515E, etc.

For subwoofers, I would look at what can be had from Hsu Research, Outlaw Audio, SVS, and Monoprice Monolith. For AVRs, I would look at offerings from Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha that fit your budget and criteria.
I'll print this out. Thanks!!
 
S

Steelers252006

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
9
#77
I would put a qualifier on this statement. You certainly do not need a top of the line AVR to power tower speakers. One advantage tower speakers have over bookshelf is higher sensitivity, so it won't draw as much power to achieve the same loudness level. However, many tower speakers can have low impedances in bass frequencies, and that can draw more current and be tougher to drive. A fairer statement to say that tower speakers are better positioned to take advantage of high end AVRs, but you definitely don't need a high end AVR to make a tower speaker sound
I would totally buy William a “Demon” receiver if I had the extra cash. :)
Haha!! So if the Denon 4400 isn’t considered a high-end receiver, what would be the next step up incrementally from there?
 
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shadyJ

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
3,570 29 15
#78
Haha!! So if the Denon 4400 isn’t considered a high-end receiver, what would be the next step up incrementally from there?
'high-end' is relative. You could spend $40000 on a receiver if you had the cash. The 4400 is pretty good. There are better AVRs, of course, but they are more expensive.
 
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snakeeyes

Audioholic General
Ratings
428 1
#79
'high-end' is relative. You could spend $40000 on a receiver if you had the cash. The 4400 is pretty good. There are better AVRs, of course, but they are more expensive.
Denon 4400 is a great AVR. Ya my point was mostly about dropping down to say Denon 3400 for $600 and saving $200 vs buying a 4400 for $800. Then applying the $200 towards front 3 speakers and sub or subs. I would stay at a min of 90w/ch in any case to have some AVR power.

It’s fun to dissect what really matters if someone has tossed out a budget that is near $3k vs double or triple that budget. But ya there are systems worth more than my house and anywhere in between. :)

PS. Towers are fun but often the same series speaker is available in a bookshelf version for much less.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,309 4 1
#80
I’ll share a cold beer with you out of my beer froster!!
I accept!
My favorite is fresh squeezed IPA by deschutes. Had a couple milkshake IPA’s that I like too. Of course this time of year when the temp starts going down, stouts and porters hit the spot a little better. Mmmmmmm

I would totally buy William a “Demon” receiver if I had the extra cash. :)
I accept! If you had the cash...

Haha!! So if the Denon 4400 isn’t considered a high-end receiver, what would be the next step up incrementally from there?
Well, in their stable the 6400/6500 is incrementally the next one up, but I think to get any more performance the 8400/8500 would be required. Their sister company Marantz makes good receivers too, but I think for the same money Denon is the better value. I’m might also be the only person alive who like the useless porthole lol!
I know it’s not Atmos but I have an Onkyo txnr808 that I’d like to sell to help finance my 4400! It’s a beast, rated at 135 watts times seven. The 805 is a legendary beast of power, and after that, they started to go down in performance despite the power ratings. I think the 808 might be the last one that was anywhere the 805 on the test bench, by onkyo anyways. I’d love to sell it to you, but truthfully in good conscience, I couldn’t. IMO, I’d rather see you get something with an eye on the future.
 

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