• 08-18-2007, 03:53 AM
    kexodusc
    Planning new HT/audio rooms...what size is yours?
    Thread says it all...
    We are either moving or building a new home to start the whole family thing in the next 6-10 months. Either way i'll need a new house.

    Wife's given me the go ahead to make a dedicated HT room. I'll probably convert an unused bedroom into a practice/2-channel room again. 10 X 12 or so I'm not worried about that one.

    My last 2 HT rooms have been on the large side I think, by most home theater standards - 20 X 22, 20 X 24 and vaulted/sloped ceilings in both.
    For 5.1 audio especially, I've always felt that the sound would benefit from a smaller room, at least width wise to get a few more reflections for ambience, liveliness, etc. For HT, well the large room does present difficulties in achieving a coherent surround environment until a good volume is achieved 80-85 dB at a minimum.

    Then there's the whole practical side to building this room, I don't want 20 X 22 with vaulted ceilings again... I have other priorities in the home too :D. I'm thinking 20 X 14 or so would be optimal with the seating position about 8-9 feet away from the front speakers. This should allow 2 -3 feet wall clearance for the L/R speakers. I don't want to go too narrow obviously though.

    What are your room dimensions? How do you feel it works? If anyone's built a room, what did you do and what would you do differently?
    As always, I appreciate any input.
  • 08-19-2007, 07:38 AM
    kexodusc
    Gotta be someone out there with something to say?
    (bump)
  • 08-19-2007, 09:02 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    What are your room dimensions?

    Music only room is 16 x 25 with angled ceilings in front. Normal ceiling height.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    How do you feel it works?

    Far better than the previous 15 x 30 one. The room modes were fixable with room treatments. Length allowed me to place speakers in sweet spot - which ended up about 8' away from back wall and place couch behind center line of room. Definitely want to avoid even multiples.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    ...what did you do and what would you do differently?

    I wish the current room had multiple dedicated power lines. Had an electrician out to add three but he couldn't - there were fire braces in the wall so he couldn't drop lines from attic above.

    rw
  • 08-19-2007, 09:35 AM
    Wireworm5
    I'm a proponent of setting up HT width wise. Mind you I've only had experience with this in my room 11'x 25'x 7'. Previosly I used the length of the room with front back speaker placement and over time the narrowness of the soundfield was obvious to me. So I suggest using the width so you can place your surrounds off to the side instead of behind the listening position. This offers a wide soundfield and IMO much more satisfying. You can still place the rear channel speaker behind your listening position if you have the space for it.
    However I actually have my surrounds in the corners and have a second pair of tower fronts place perpendicular 10' to my listening position. I encourage you to try this for yourself if you can before making any firm decisions on your room layout.
    My HT also doubles as MC stereo which I encourage you to try as well while your at it. :)
  • 08-19-2007, 11:05 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wireworm5
    I'm a proponent of setting up HT width wise. Mind you I've only had experience with this in my room 11'x 25'x 7'. Previosly I used the length of the room with front back speaker placement and over time the narrowness of the soundfield was obvious to me. So I suggest using the width so you can place your surrounds off to the side instead of behind the listening position. This offers a wide soundfield and IMO much more satisfying. You can still place the rear channel speaker behind your listening position if you have the space for it.
    However I actually have my surrounds in the corners and have a second pair of tower fronts place perpendicular 10' to my listening position. I encourage you to try this for yourself if you can before making any firm decisions on your room layout.
    My HT also doubles as MC stereo which I encourage you to try as well while your at it. :)

    Hmmm, hadn't thought of that. Definitely something to consider. I currently set my surrounds off to the side, but my room is rather large. This is why I sorta planned 14' as a start, don't want it too narrow.

    My HT doubles as my MC audio source too - I use 7 speakers, and for MC audio the rear speakers aren't the side surrounds, but rather the rear surrounds. The 2 rear channels are toed in considerably, and are a bit further apart than typical 7.1 speaker placement would suggests, but within the angle suggestions for MC audio. They image so well that I don't notice any loss for 7.1 surround sound this way. I could see this being problematic in my new room though.

    Thanks Wireworm, I do appreciate the comment - hadn't considered this at all. This gives me way more options for planning the room/house layout. Great!
  • 08-19-2007, 11:11 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat


    I wish the current room had multiple dedicated power lines. Had an electrician out to add three but he couldn't - there were fire braces in the wall so he couldn't drop lines from attic above.

    rw

    Yeah I've got a list of golden rule dimensions for the room I'm trying to keep in mind. The internet is great, I've downloaded software (free) that graphs the modes produced as dimensions change. Useful. I'm leaning towards a elongated-octagan shaped room, that is with diagonal walls across the corners. I can't model this in the simple program I have, but it couldn't hurt (could it?). There's really no clear winner between the 8 and 10 ft ceiling however - I'll probably go with 10.

    Excellent comment on the dedicated power lines - I'll have 5 or 6 different amps going (including a receiver). That's a must! Thanks E-Stat.
  • 08-19-2007, 11:37 AM
    Wireworm5
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Hmmm, hadn't thought of that. Definitely something to consider. I currently set my surrounds off to the side, but my room is rather large. This is why I sorta planned 14' as a start, don't want it too narrow.

    My HT doubles as my MC audio source too - I use 7 speakers, and for MC audio the rear speakers aren't the side surrounds, but rather the rear surrounds. The 2 rear channels are toed in considerably, and are a bit further apart than typical 7.1 speaker placement would suggests, but within the angle suggestions for MC audio. They image so well that I don't notice any loss for 7.1 surround sound this way. I could see this being problematic in my new room though.

    Thanks Wireworm, I do appreciate the comment - hadn't considered this at all. This gives me way more options for planning the room/house layout. Great!

    The problem I see with 7.1 and I thought of that too for my long narrow room. Is the sound arrival time of speakers so close to the listening position. This tends to mask the sound coming from other speakers. Mind you for surround sound the effect or affect is probably minimal, for MC stereo a problem.
    If you've been to a movie theatre, you may have noticed that the majority of the sound comes from center speakers behind the screen. the side speakers are the ones the give the effect of things moving. Having the two sets of fronts and a center channel really widens this front image to that of a movie theatre. In fact I'll go as far to say that my HT sounds better than the movies I've been to at our state of the art theatre.
  • 08-19-2007, 01:32 PM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wireworm5
    The problem I see with 7.1 and I thought of that too for my long narrow room. Is the sound arrival time of speakers so close to the listening position. This tends to mask the sound coming from other speakers. Mind you for surround sound the effect or affect is probably minimal, for MC stereo a problem.
    If you've been to a movie theatre, you may have noticed that the majority of the sound comes from center speakers behind the screen. the side speakers are the ones the give the effect of things moving. Having the two sets of fronts and a center channel really widens this front image to that of a movie theatre. In fact I'll go as far to say that my HT sounds better than the movies I've been to at our state of the art theatre.

    In my experience, if you don't have at least 4 feet of separation between you and the speaker, there's very little benefit to adding a 6th, or 7th rear channel. Most people would do better getting better surround/front speakers than spending more money on another pair..
    In my room there is a rather obvious gap in the back sound field because of it's size that is filled in considerably.

    I'm not married to 7.1 in the new HT room. I'm going to play around try a few different dimensions where the room is wider than it is long as you suggested.
    When my wife goes away in a few weeks, I'm going to rearrange our current living room to test it out.
  • 08-19-2007, 02:39 PM
    bobsticks
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc

    Then there's the whole practical side to building this room, I don't want 20 X 22 with vaulted ceilings again... .

    C'mon Kex, do it up. How's about a little something like this...http://cgim.audiogon.com/i/vs/s/f/1178589063.jpg



    (taken from http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...syst&zzMitch4t )
  • 08-19-2007, 02:53 PM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bobsticks
    C'mon Kex, do it up. How's about a little something like this...http://cgim.audiogon.com/i/vs/s/f/1178589063.jpg



    (taken from http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...syst&zzMitch4t )

    Well, if we decide to renovate a hangar that might be a possibility :)
  • 08-19-2007, 04:35 PM
    musicman1999
    My room is about 12x20 and the system is set up on the long axis.The front speakers are about 4 feet into the room,toed in lightly and about 6.5 feet apart.The rears are on stands at ear height located just behind the couch and pointed at each other.The sub is in the rear of the room,next to the couch.It is a 5.1 system and I am very happy with the sound both for HT and stereo.Seating position is about 10 feet from the front speakers.
    I have tried setting up on the short axis as a previous poster had suggested,but found that in my room at least,a solid soundfield could not be generated.Speakers were to far apart and to easy to localize especially in the back.

    bill
  • 08-19-2007, 04:55 PM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by musicman1999
    My room is about 12x20 and the system is set up on the long axis.The front speakers are about 4 feet into the room,toed in lightly and about 6.5 feet apart.The rears are on stands at ear height located just behind the couch and pointed at each other.The sub is in the rear of the room,next to the couch.It is a 5.1 system and I am very happy with the sound both for HT and stereo.Seating position is about 10 feet from the front speakers.
    I have tried setting up on the short axis as a previous poster had suggested,but found that in my room at least,a solid soundfield could not be generated.Speakers were to far apart and to easy to localize especially in the back.

    bill

    Interesting - so you're about 10 feet back, with the speakers only 6.5 ft apart. That's a bit different. Works for you obviously. Do you find the soundstaging a bit narrow? That's kinda my big fear now.

    I've almost always had my front speakers setup in the whole equilateral triangle scheme. About 9 or 10 feet apart. They have plenty of wall clearance. Gonna have to try moving them closer together just for kicks.
  • 08-19-2007, 05:18 PM
    PeruvianSkies
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wireworm5
    The problem I see with 7.1 and I thought of that too for my long narrow room. Is the sound arrival time of speakers so close to the listening position. This tends to mask the sound coming from other speakers. Mind you for surround sound the effect or affect is probably minimal, for MC stereo a problem.
    If you've been to a movie theatre, you may have noticed that the majority of the sound comes from center speakers behind the screen. the side speakers are the ones the give the effect of things moving. Having the two sets of fronts and a center channel really widens this front image to that of a movie theatre. In fact I'll go as far to say that my HT sounds better than the movies I've been to at our state of the art theatre.

    You should be able to calibrate your receiver so that you are getting sound at the same time, this is usually under the 'distance' option under your setup menu.
  • 08-19-2007, 06:08 PM
    musicman1999
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Interesting - so you're about 10 feet back, with the speakers only 6.5 ft apart. That's a bit different. Works for you obviously. Do you find the soundstaging a bit narrow? That's kinda my big fear now.

    I've almost always had my front speakers setup in the whole equilateral triangle scheme. About 9 or 10 feet apart. They have plenty of wall clearance. Gonna have to try moving them closer together just for kicks.

    Well i tried them wider apart but i found that put them to close to the side walls and the Labs seem to work better with lots of room to breathe both to the back and to the side.The toe in is very slight perhaps this helps with the soundstaging.
    Not saying i would not like a bigger room,however.

    bill
  • 08-19-2007, 06:36 PM
    Wireworm5
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PeruvianSkies
    You should be able to calibrate your receiver so that you are getting sound at the same time, this is usually under the 'distance' option under your setup menu.

    In my narrow room this would have put the side speakers at about 3' and on my receiver I can't adjust to under 5', not a viable option. In a wider room I probably would have tried this option. As it is now I have to use time delay on my center as it about 5' away. Even so this wouldn't have alieviated the narrow front back soundfield.
    Also I realized from what others were saying that I wasn't getting proper stereo imaging. Which prompted me to try using the room width wise. So I experimented with this and found that with the speakers far apart it left a sound gap in the middle which was overcome by placing another set of bookshelf speakers about 6' apart and about 5' from my listening position. Having front speakers off to the side doesn't draw my attention to the speakers as you may be thinking as it meshes with the front speakers with a fairly coherant soundfield. Of coarse nothing is perfect but it's still better than any other configuration I've tried. Even at the movie theatre I could localize all three centre channels behind the screen.
    For movies I usually use the Spectacle soundfield, which I've calibrated the best I can with spl meter. My receiver doesn't have the YPAO feature, which would be a good feature to have as it can be quite difficult to adjust soundfield parameters by ear.
  • 08-19-2007, 08:16 PM
    musicman1999
    I am afraid i am not familiar with Spectacle soundfield.

    bill
  • 08-19-2007, 08:22 PM
    Wireworm5
    It's a Yamaha soundfield that simulates 70 mm movie film.
  • 08-19-2007, 09:26 PM
    musicman1999
    Oh i see,a dsp mode.I have only heard a few Yamaha recievers.

    bill
  • 08-19-2007, 10:13 PM
    PeruvianSkies
    So, are you going to have a dedicated HT room AND a Music room, or just one room to do it all in? Also, is having a lot of people inside your HT room an important thing? I know for me I always like to watch movies with friends, family etc and I wish my room was bigger sometimes to accommodate everyone. Width-wise it's easier to fit more people as well, but length-wise is sometimes more practical. If I were building a room specifically for HT application I would even go as far as have seating built in as well with a slight elevation for people in the back section. I would probably also go with dipole surrounds and try to build the front section with easy access to all my equipment (i.e. a false wall with cables and everything running through with a door access).