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Acoustic First / Equipment First

What first for a greenfield HT Room


  • Total voters
    6
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indian21r

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#1
For the past few days I was reading various threads on the steps to follow for a green field Media Room. The wealth of information is commendable. But it is also reaching overwhelming proportions. Maybe it is time for a few sticky threads

Coming to this thread, at few places I read, acoustics should be done first followed by speakers. At others buy speakers and do the needful adjustments followed by acoustics. For a room that is still in Civil stage, both the sequence of steps work for me.

Choice - 1

1) Equipment
-What will be the Minimum equipment needed to start with for 7.2.4 layout
- Is it better to run speaker wires longer by a few feet and cut them after final positioning. Do speakers have wire length indication if any which the performance starts to deteriorate
- Projector Screen. should AT screen should be purchased at the start itself to get right acoustics

2) Acoustics Treatment after speakers are positioned
- If this is done later will it be only incremental improvement?


Choice -2
Acoustics first/ Equipment later.


Is it better to purchase all the equipment for the Media room before hand itself including the seating as each element will have some impact on the acoustics. What walls need acoustic treatment irrespective of speaker positioning.

Is room in room the best approach irrespective of the size/shape of the room.

If there are any threads that talk about this, please share as my searches are not giving concrete results.
 
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sdurani

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#2
What will be the Minimum equipment needed to start with for 7.2.4 layout
Minimum needed is a 7.2.4 capable receiver and a pair of speakers. That will allow you to start playing movies & music. You can add speakers (centre, subs, surrounds, heights) as budget permits.
Is it better to run speaker wires longer by a few feet and cut them after final positioning.
Yes, always leave slack in case you want to adjust placement.
Do speakers have wire length indication if any which the performance starts to deteriorate
See table: http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable
Projector Screen. should AT screen should be purchased at the start itself to get right acoustics
First figure out seating location (based on acoustically best location) THEN choose screen size based on viewing distance. If you buy the screen first, proper viewing distance might put you in a bad spot acoustically.
Acoustics Treatment after speakers are positioned
- If this is done later will it be only incremental improvement?
Depends on the room. If placement (seating & speakers) gets you most of the way there, then the improvement will be incremental. If placement ends up solving a smaller part of the problem, then treatment could make a significant improvement.

Acoustic treatments are solutions to problems. Fine tune speaker placement first to find out what problems are left. Address those problems with treatments and EQ (room correction). Don't waste time and resources fixing problems you don't have.
What walls need acoustic treatment irrespective of speaker positioning.
Most of the front wall and the middle half of the back wall should be covered in broadband absorption to help improve soundstage clarity. Even in this day and age of Atmos, the front soundstage remains absolutely critical: that's where your attention will be focused, whether listening to music or watching a movie.

By comparison, side wall absorption is optional, because lateral (sideways moving) sound tends to enhance spaciousness. Whether you like these reflections or not will come down to personal preference. There's no right or wrong.
Is room in room the best approach irrespective of the size/shape of the room.
That's for isolation, not acoustics.
 

indian21r

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#3
Minimum needed is a 7.2.4 capable receiver and a pair of speakers. That will allow you to start playing movies & music. You can add speakers (centre, subs, surrounds, heights) as budget permits.
Thanks for the input Sanjay. This feedback give me the clear direction I need to take. Now it is time to Audition and choose some equipment. I am looking to see if multi room options are possible. AVR may be the key for this.
  1. HT on the second floor - primary entertainment center
  2. First Floor- May be a few speakers scattered in the hall to play music
  3. Ground floor - It will have a TV and I am looking for a few speakers to play music.
I read some AVR's can support this. Any reasonably priced AVR for this. Or will I need a specialized one. If it gets too expensive, I will explore individual options.

Yes, always leave slack in case you want to adjust placement. See table: http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable
Done this sorts out any performance issues with the cables. Any cable recommendations

First figure out seating location (based on acoustically best location) THEN choose screen size based on viewing distance. If you buy the screen first, proper viewing distance might put you in a bad spot acoustically
I will work on this. I was looking at a 12-13 feet viewing distance (around 2/3rd's of the room which is 19').

Depends on the room. If placement (seating & speakers) gets you most of the way there, then the improvement will be incremental. If placement ends up solving a smaller part of the problem, then treatment could make a significant improvement.

Acoustic treatments are solutions to problems. Fine tune speaker placement first to find out what problems are left. Address those problems with treatments and EQ (room correction). Don't waste time and resources fixing problems you don't have.

By comparison, side wall absorption is optional, because lateral (sideways moving) sound tends to enhance spaciousness. Whether you like these reflections or not will come down to personal preference. There's no right or wrong.
This clears the air for me. Thanks

Most of the front wall and the middle half of the back wall should be covered in broadband absorption to help improve soundstage clarity. Even in this day and age of Atmos, the front soundstage remains absolutely critical: that's where your attention will be focused, whether listening to music or watching a movie.
When should this be done. After positioning the speakers or before that.

That's for isolation, not acoustics.
My room is isolated. No problem in this aspect then. All the walls are 9" thick brick. Infact I was worried that room in room was taking almost a feet away.

The poll feedback is also unanimous. Equipment first acoustics later. Thanks everyone.

My final room is now 19'x14'x10'.
 

sdurani

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#4
I was looking at a 12-13 feet viewing distance (around 2/3rd's of the room which is 19').
Excellent starting point. Odd divisions (3rds, 5ths) of room length have fewer peaks & nulls, resulting in smoother frequency response at the seating area.
When should this be done. After positioning the speakers or before that.
For the front & back walls, absorption can be placed before or after speakers are positioned (whichever turns out to be easier for you or your builder). Treatments on the side walls should be placed after speaker positioning AND should be easily removable. Listen to your system for a couple weeks, then add treatments to the side walls. If you like the results, make the treatments permanent. If you don't like the results, then remove the treatments. I tried absorbers & diffusers on my side wall first reflection points and kept coming back to bare walls. It's different for everybody. Again, no right or wrong.
 
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