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Advice requested, please, for new HT design

Discussion in 'Archive' started by sleepy hollow, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. sleepy hollow

    sleepy hollow Legend

    Aug 25, 2003
    I am planning my basement finishing project and will include a HT setup. The room is about 14X20. It seems ideal. Here are my q's:

    1) Please recommend speakers. I plan to install built-in's though I am not sure how best to handle the center front speaker since that will depend on my choice of viewing solutions. I also do not want to spend a fortune. My ears are happy with good sound, but I not a neurotic when it comes to worrying about what the absolute very best solution is.

    2) Please recommend a receiver. I only need something good, not the absolute best. I also want to drive two other rooms in the basement with this receiver and separate audio selections or zones. Any advice here would be appreciated. In particular, can the audio to, say, my workshop be controlled from there, for example, volume, tuner, etc., so I would not have to wear out the carpet.

    3) Sound-proofing - please suggest approaches to eliminating the noise transmission up through the ceiling. The room will be drywalled. I was thinking about unfaced fiberglass insulation in the ceiling, but I understand there are other solutions.

    4) Please recommend a video solution. (I know there is another category on the forum for this, but it makes sense to keep these together.) Is a ceiling mounted HD projector viable? I have not looked to see what the prices are, and I hear they really get you with the bulbs. How about plasma or LCD? Are they "there" yet?

  2. nsafreak

    nsafreak Legend

    Mar 23, 2004
    Well personally I would go with in walls for the rears but for the fronts I would stick with tower speakers. It's harder to get a good sound field with built in speakers all around than it is to do a little mixing & matching. I'm a big fan of Paradigm myself but I'm not sure what your budget is. So here are a few suggestions:

    Fronts: Paradigm Reference OW Monitor Series

    Paradigm Studio Reference 40, 60s or if you want to go nuts 100s


    Paradigm CS-150 or 160
    Klipsch Quintets might work as well


    Paradigm once again, for your size probably a Paradigm PDR-10 would do the trick. I don't know if you have considered a sub or not for the setup but believe me it adds a lot to the experience.

    Well there are a few options that we can go with here. Be aware that multi zone receivers are going to cost you a fair amount more. But if you're willing to spend it there are a few options. Myself I'm a big fan of Harman Kardon and this is the receiver I would recommend from them:

    Harman Kardon AVR-630 - This receiver is well equipped with a very nice remote, A-BUS (which is great for multi-room) and RS-232 for multi room control as well as software updates.

    Some other options are:

    Onkyo TX-NR901 - Not as good at multi room as the Harman Kardon but it has some nice features nonetheless.

    Denon AVR-3805 - Very nice all around receiver, looks like it would work well in a multi room enviroment like the HK.

    One thing to keep in mind about the Harman Kardon receivers, when they say a certain wattage per channel they mean that when it is driving ALL channels. For instance my Harman Kardon AVR-230 can and does drive all channels at 50 watts apiece. It may not sound much but a lot of receiver manufacturers give the numbers based on when a receiver isn't driving all channels at full volume. Harman Kardon always meets their ratings and it's not unknown for them to be louder than what they rate them at. Please stay away from Sony unless you want to go with their more expensive ES line and even then I don't think they're worth it.

    This is not my area of expertise, perhaps it might be a good idea to pay the folks on avsforum a visit on this one.

    Frankly I would take a long hard look at the DLP displays from Samsung. Bar none they are some of the best displays out there now and beat the daylights out of any plasma or LCD that I've seen. Plasma has issues with color fade over time and LCD has its own issues currently. Overall DLP technology is the way to go right now.

    You're welcome :)
  3. sleepy hollow

    sleepy hollow Legend

    Aug 25, 2003
    Thanks very much, nsafreak.

    Great advice. I remember my cousin's fist HK receiver with the round speakers back in about 1970. It was so cool listening to Sunshine of Your Love on it.

    Anyway, if I may ask a follow-up:

    Regarding the speakers, I realize towers would be superb in the front, but I may have to go with built-ins there for some uninteresting construction trade-off reasons. So, assuming I want built-in's all around, are the JBL's, for example, worth the extra cost? I like Bose, too, but they are just plain overpriced for the sound. Do you have any recommendations assuming you had no choice but to put them in the walls? Price is not too much of an issue. I just want good value.

    (As for the sub-w, yes I definitely plan to have one, so thanks for the suggestion.)

    I will investigate the Samsungs too.
  4. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

    Mar 23, 2002
    Here's my advice, worth about the price of admission to DBSTalk :)

    Speakers - I really like the way B&W speakers sound. A friend of mine has build in B&Ws all the way around, and they sound very good. In my opinion, not as good as tower fronts, but very good.

    Receiver - I love my Harman Kardon receiver. I doubt I'll ever buy anything else, unless I decide to go to a Pre/Pro setup (which I probably won't).

    Sound Proofing - I've heard decent things about Acousti-Blok. Here's their website: www.acoustiblok.com
    I don't have it myself, so I can't make real comments about it.

    TV - either DLP front or rear projection is what I'd go with myself today, depending on your ceiling height, and how big of a screen you want. If you're not talking about bigger than 60" or so, then the front projector isn't worth it. If you want bigger than 60" then the FP is the way to go. If you go the FP route, make sure to get a good gray screen for it as well.
  5. Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

    Mar 25, 2002
    1. Fiberglas between joists
    2. Resiliant channel applied to the joists.
    3. 5/8 sheetrock installed to resiliant channels

    You can take a look here http://www.saecollege.de/reference_material/index.html for some ideas if space and budget permits.
  6. dfergie

    dfergie Hall Of Fame

    Feb 27, 2003
    One thing about the projectors... there is a post at avs about building an outdoor screen for summertime outdoor movies... I am going to try this someday soon with the side of my house just to check (light colored house, not the ideal but...)
  7. nsafreak

    nsafreak Legend

    Mar 23, 2004
    Paradigm would be the best choice. The first option that I gave you for the fronts are actually on the wall speakers. Granted they aren't IN the wall speakers but they don't take up too much space. They do have all in speakers that would do the trick. JBL makes some nice speakers but not as good of a value as Paradigm. You might also want to see what B&W has available like Mark recommended as they are indeed nice speakers.
  8. cnsf

    cnsf Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 6, 2002

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