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Home Theater Advice (Page 3)
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Laminar  (op)
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Sep 14, 2011, 08:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
An engineer who can actually build things? My head just exploded!

Excellent work Laminar, soffit lighting is a nice touch and I love the 'stage' area under the projector screen. If you need to fly anyone out to Iowa and pay them handsomely to build some custom cabinetry I'm your man! Hehe, in all seriousness you seem to have a pretty solid grasp on carpentry and I'm sure that room is going to look amazing when it is done.
Thanks!

My wife did say "our" next project is some built-ins in the living room.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Sep 14, 2011, 08:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
I hope you play this when it's all done.

DTS Intro HD - YouTube
Ha! This one's pretty good, too:

Living World Of Audio HD DTS 1080p - YouTube

My cheap Logitec computer speakers completely flipped out when I played it just now...
     
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Sep 14, 2011, 07:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
...and his entire house costs...4 times less....
Exactly.
     
olePigeon
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Sep 14, 2011, 08:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Thanks!

My wife did say "our" next project is some built-ins in the living room.
Better draw the line at the granny house for your mother-in-law.
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Nov 21, 2011, 03:14 PM
 
I recently helped my brother-in-law setup his HT, and he'd gotten a cheap pair of speakers from Monoprice for his main left/right channels. I can't say they're great for music, but they're very good for movies and such. Anyway, they're only $42 /pair today, and for home theater that's the steal of the year. Just a heads up.

For only $42.05 each when QTY 50+ purchased - 8 Inches 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) - Black | Bookshelf Speakers
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Apr 1, 2012, 10:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Ha! This one's pretty good, too:

Living World Of Audio HD DTS 1080p - YouTube

My cheap Logitec computer speakers completely flipped out when I played it just now...
Time to upgrade the Computer speakers too?
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Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
olePigeon
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Apr 2, 2012, 01:19 PM
 
Any update on your home theatre? All your old pics are gone.
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andi*pandi
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Apr 3, 2012, 01:06 PM
 
He posted an almost complete pic in one of the recent "Rob's Back" threads. Not sure which one.
     
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Jun 2, 2014, 09:36 PM
 
Raising thread from the dead as a community service.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Jun 3, 2014, 09:35 AM
 
SURPRISE UPDATE!

When we last left off nearly 3 years ago, I had the screen up, the stage built, and some paint slapped up on the walls. Here's what has happened since then.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Jun 3, 2014, 09:36 AM
 
....
Originally Posted by November 2011
Enclosing the lower space:







Speaker cover frames built:







Left frame wrapped and installed, areas behind speakers and beside screen painted Mouse Ears Black:







Both speaker covers installed:




Mounts for Surround Rear speakers installed:







Left to do:


- Order furniture (I'm liking the Berkline Tangiers)

- Build second row riser

- Install carpeting

- Apply acoustic treatments

- Get iPod Touch working as a universal remote


So not a lot left to do, but those five things probably constitute around $3200. They will come as funds are available. Also, my receiver has been flaky, cutting out randomly and showing artifacts on the screen. I didn't get much help in the TX-SR608 thread and I haven't heard anything back from Onkyo tech support. I should get this taken care of before the 1 year warranty runs out, though.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Jun 3, 2014, 09:39 AM
 
...
Originally Posted by December 2011
And finally some more progress. My seats came in and I started working on the riser this morning.


I installed one back to get the feel of the seat (comfy!) and left the rest off for easy maneuverability.


The seats are in place where they will be permanently, minus 13" of elevation.







View from the far right seat:




And far left:




Riser frame with stair squared in:







I priced out OC703 at my local Home Depot yesterday, here are the prices I got:


4'x8' x 1" 12pcs/pk, $233

4'x8' x 2" 6psc/pk, $233

2'x4' x 3" 8pcs/pk, $116


There's a 5 pack minimum order and a 14 day lead time. My previous calculations had used 4" thickness for the bass traps, so I'm going to have to redo this to see if ordering online will be a better deal or not.


Of course it just struck me that since I went with the straight seats instead of curved, the far left recliner is going to recline directly into the corner bass trap. Again, might have to rethink this...
     
Laminar  (op)
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Jun 3, 2014, 09:41 AM
 
...
Originally Posted by December 2011






     
Laminar  (op)
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Jun 3, 2014, 09:42 AM
 
...
Originally Posted by January 2012
Watching the Iowa State and Iowa bowl games on New Year's Eve Eve.








I also got a PS3 Move setup for Christmas and picked up 3 more motion controllers on sale at Target for $40 each, it's pretty fun, but it seems that most Move party games got poor reviews. I guess I'll have to pick up a couple used and see for myself. Sports Champions went over well.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Jun 3, 2014, 09:44 AM
 
...
Originally Posted by February 2012
Stripped and ready for carpeting:





All carpeted!








I'm hoping to do the trim this week.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Jun 3, 2014, 09:47 AM
 
And with everything put together:







And in March 2012 we found out baby was on the way! All discretionary funds were locked up and this is how the room sat until last week.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Jun 3, 2014, 09:59 AM
 
For my birthday this year, we finally decided to finish off the soffits.

I replaced the homemade MDF speaker mounts with legit mounts, and the soffits were lined with OC 703 acoustic insulation.


After that, the insulation was covered with Guilford of Maine FR701 fire resistant and acoustically-transparent fabric.




Trim painted and installed:


With the lights poking through:


I honestly don't know if it made a large difference in acoustics - I didn't really do any back-to-back listening sessions nor did I take any measurements. I might run the auto-calibration on my receiver again to see what it picks up now.

It looks great now and we're really happy with it. To totally call it completed, we still need to install blackout curtains for daytime viewing, finish trimming and painting the equipment cabinet, and do some touchup paint on the walls - all of this construction isn't nice to the paint, and the ultra matte paints I used aren't forgiving of flaws.
     
reader50
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Jun 3, 2014, 06:14 PM
 
I'm impressed. That's a lot of work, and plenty of dough too.

A question, are you happy with the light-colored carpet? I believe theaters use darker carpet as a rule.
( Last edited by reader50; Jun 3, 2014 at 07:01 PM. )
     
andi*pandi
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Jun 3, 2014, 07:41 PM
 
Swank. I'm just happy my spouse wired up the surround sound correctly.

A room like that, must be the popular place for your friends to visit (and now that you have a young one, not like you're going out to the movies! )
     
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Jun 4, 2014, 06:50 AM
 
Very professional looking! How well do the window blinds manage the light? My great room has east-facing windows with blinds, but depending on the time of year, I get more or less light spillage, even with the blinds closed.

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Jun 4, 2014, 09:11 AM
 
Looks great. I always just assumed that darker carpets in theatres was to hide spilled drinks/popcorn butter stains. Wonder if there's a visual component as well?
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Laminar  (op)
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Jun 4, 2014, 09:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I'm impressed. That's a lot of work, and plenty of dough too.

A question, are you happy with the light-colored carpet? I believe theaters use darker carpet as a rule.
The carpet is much darker than the pictures make it look - because everything in the room is flat, matte, and black, the carpet is the only thing reflecting light so it shows up as very light.

Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Very professional looking! How well do the window blinds manage the light? My great room has east-facing windows with blinds, but depending on the time of year, I get more or less light spillage, even with the blinds closed.
The blinds do pretty poorly, especially since the three main windows face west with no tree cover. It's fine in the fall/winter/spring when it's dark by 7 but right now it's staying light out until after 9 so I get some spillage and pattern on the screen. Usually not a big deal, but I think some blackout curtains are in the plan.
     
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Jun 4, 2014, 11:48 AM
 
but I think some blackout curtains are in the plan.
Save yourself some money and go "Elvis"
45/47
     
Laminar  (op)
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Oct 2, 2014, 10:31 AM
 
I took some updated pics now that the soffits are done.









It's kind of hard to capture light in a room specifically designed to absorb it, but you get the idea.
     
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Oct 3, 2014, 06:59 AM
 
Looks great.

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Oct 3, 2014, 02:45 PM
 
Yup great job....now that you have a kid it must be great to have a fantastic theatre room you don't use
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Laminar  (op)
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Oct 3, 2014, 03:27 PM
 
Well, the couch is usually moved out because it's a great place to roll around and roughhouse - it's the nicest carpet in our house by far - so the room itself does get used... We occasionally do Redboxes down there and I've managed to put 100+ hours into Far Cry 3 over lunch breaks. Also hosted a couple of man-baby showers and enjoyed the space.
     
andi*pandi
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Oct 3, 2014, 04:19 PM
 
actually, I'd say having a home theater is great if you have a kid, since you're not likely to get out to a real theater that often, unless it's the latest Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks animated feature.

*mileage may vary, depending on locality of grandparents/cheap babysitters.
     
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Oct 5, 2014, 04:34 PM
 
The seats look a little too far back from the screen.
45/47
     
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Oct 5, 2014, 11:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
The seats look a little too far back from the screen.
They are.
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Oct 6, 2014, 08:16 AM
 
Yeah, but with a rectangular room and the entrance door in the back corner, you're going to have some layout trade-offs. Ideally that door in the middle of the room would be the entrance, and he could centre the seats, pull them off the wall 3 feet, and have a built-in mini bar in the back....

But I think he already said that the middle door goes somewhere else? So I think unless you're completely anal about precise sound positioning, it's a great theatre room!
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Laminar  (op)
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Oct 6, 2014, 10:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
The seats look a little too far back from the screen.
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
They are.
With a 130" diagonal screen and a 17' viewing distance, the seats fall well under the max THX recommended viewing distance and hits right at the distance recommended for visual acuity. The distance is appropriate according to every single calculator I can find. If I want to sit closer, I'll pull the couch into the room and sit there. I played through Borderlands 2 from the couch and Far Cry 3 from the seats, either worked well and I have no preference.

Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Yeah, but with a rectangular room and the entrance door in the back corner, you're going to have some layout trade-offs. Ideally that door in the middle of the room would be the entrance, and he could centre the seats, pull them off the wall 3 feet, and have a built-in mini bar in the back....

But I think he already said that the middle door goes somewhere else? So I think unless you're completely anal about precise sound positioning, it's a great theatre room!
The middle door is a small storage room with the furnace and water heater. If I've made compromises anywhere, it's sound positioning. I know I'm way below optimal but I honestly don't have the ears for it to bother me. The biggest thing I notice are bass hot spots.
     
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Oct 6, 2014, 11:25 AM
 
Yeah, that's what I referring to - audio-wise the room isn't ideal but like you said, that is only a problem if you really care about it.
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Jan 19, 2022, 05:40 PM
 
bump by request
     
Laminar  (op)
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Jan 19, 2022, 05:56 PM
 
Well since we're bumped, I might as well update.

After more than 10 years of service, my Mitsubishi HC6800 projector may have given up the ghost. I've replaced the bulb in the last year, but now it's giving me the "call your dealer" flashing lights after 5-10 seconds of being powered on. Bummer.

The killer feature on that projector was its ability to neatly switch between 16:9 HD and 21:9 Cinemascope ratios depending on the content that I'm watching. I do 16:9 for gaming, YouTube, some Marvel movies etc., then CinemaScope for most other movies. I don't really have any 4K content, my old Onkyo receiver predates that and I'm not ready to upgrade that yet. I'm just looking to stream from an AppleTV, Amazon Fire stick, computer, and play the occasional Blu-Ray.

Turns out that switching between ratios isn't really a thing. The closest available feature is a projector with memory settings for the lens - zoom, shift, and focus the lens for 16:9 content, save. Then zoom, shift, and focus for 21:9, save. The remote gives shortcut buttons allowing quick switching between saved lens settings.

Currently, the least expensive model on the market that offers that kind of feature is the Epson Home Cinema 4010, which retails at about $2k (ouch). However, I spotted Epson selling refurb Home Cinema 4000s on eBay for $1175. The HC 4000 is the previous gen model with all of the same lens features and light output but without some of the 4K upscaling support as the 4010. Since 4K isn't a killer feature for me, I'll gladly save the coin.

Showed up yesterday so after dinner I got to work. It is a good bit larger than the old Mitsu that I built the room around, specifically the hole in the soffit for housing the projector. I needed an extra four inches of width and at least an inch of height - between a couple sawzalls, a reciprocating tool, hammer, and crowbar, I managed to get that opened up. I set the projector in place and it juuuuust fit height-wise. That's lucky, because any more height and I'd have to redo that section of the soffit and drop it lower for more clearance.



Definitely needed to adjust the lens shift downward. Don't worry, I got it all the way in later, but I wanted to confirm everything was happy before getting it in place.



I'll say I'm absolutely blown away by the light and the quality. We watched a smattering of scenes to dial in the picture size and position.



I set up a few lens memory locations for HD, Cinemascope, and Disney+ 16:9. Today I'll have to go back with the calibration Blu-Ray and play with it some more, but I am extremely pleased with this unit. It takes 20-30 seconds for the lens to do its whole repositioning routine, but somehow it's cooler to watch that happen, 9yo was blown away even though he's seen me insta-switch between 16:9 and 21:9 plenty of times before. One additional possibility I can see is setting up a specific 21:9 ratio saved setting with a little extra space underneath for when movies put subtitles low enough that they get into the lower letterboxing. Normally those get cut off and the movie doesn't make much sense.
     
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Jan 19, 2022, 06:43 PM
 
Perhaps a silly question, but with a good projector running $1K+ (and sometimes $2K+) is it worth getting the Mitsubishi HC6800 repaired?

I tend to discard tools and devices when they break, if they cost less than $100. But $1K+ should not be a disposable device. I know that would grate on me.
     
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Jan 19, 2022, 07:08 PM
 
I'l update: I'm still using the same shit I was posting about back in 2007. Old school Technics for the win. However, my capacitors started to leak/dry out, so I had to have my receiver serviced. Found a local guy, $200 later and it has all new caps/pots. I suppose I'll have to do this again in another 40 years or so:
Technics SA-8500X (Quadraphonic)


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Jan 20, 2022, 07:21 AM
 
Sweet classic Technics gear.

My old Kenwood amp (Basic M2A) was doing some odd dropout shit. It was like the world’s worst needle-in-a-haystack search to find anyone who still works on home audio gear. I found one guy thirty minutes away, but he doesn’t work on any gear newer than the 70s (the Kenwood is mid-80s vintage) I eventually tracked-down a guy in a small town an hour away still doing god’s work. Ended up the gain pots just needed a thorough cleaning. While he was at it, he cleaned the whole thing and replaced a couple of dodgy-looking caps. It’s nice to have it running again.

I am not, in any way, the guy you want doing even simple electronics work. Not unless you want a fire, that is.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Jan 20, 2022, 11:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Perhaps a silly question, but with a good projector running $1K+ (and sometimes $2K+) is it worth getting the Mitsubishi HC6800 repaired?

I tend to discard tools and devices when they break, if they cost less than $100. But $1K+ should not be a disposable device. I know that would grate on me.
I already pulled the whole thing apart in early 2020 because the plastic iris arms had melted and the light shields had drooped and were blocking most of the light. It required a total teardown including pulling the motherboard and all of the tiny ribbon connectors. I'm shocked it worked after I put it all back together, but I got another couple of years out of it.

From what I can tell, this issue could be a few things - the bulb (new, not many hours on it, and it works just fine for 5-10 seconds before shutdown), heat rejection (I cleaned the filters and ensured good airflow, I can hear the fans running), or power supply. I could spend $130 on another new bulb, but I doubt that's it. I could do some more testing on the fans maybe to make sure I'm not just hearing one and there's another one that's not working. I don't know where I'd source another power supply, a quick Google doesn't pull much up. If I were to send it somewhere to be repaired, I'd expect the bill to be at least $500 between shipping, parts, and time. I'm not really in favor of spending $600 to end up with a decade-old twice-repaired projector when a new, better one is $1200.

I'll probably just throw it on Facebook for $100 and see if someone else wants to take a stab at it.
     
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Jan 21, 2022, 11:26 PM
 
I really really wanted to put a HT room in the basement and do it proper with real room treatment and an acoustic screen with the speakers & equipment behind. But yeah man, the price of that equipment is pretty insane especially when you’re in 4K territory.

I ended up with a 65” LG C1 in the living room, stuck in some sweet on-wall speakers for the fronts, in-wall speakers for the rears and two Atmos height channels, a killer Rythmik sub, and scored a nice Marantz HT receiver and couldn’t be happier. It’s not perfect but it’s damn near close enough for me.
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Jan 22, 2022, 05:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by MacNNFamous View Post
I'l update: I'm still using the same shit I was posting about back in 2007. Old school Technics for the win. However, my capacitors started to leak/dry out, so I had to have my receiver serviced. Found a local guy, $200 later and it has all new caps/pots. I suppose I'll have to do this again in another 40 years or so:
Technics SA-8500X (Quadraphonic).
Nice. I had a Marantz Quadrophonic amp from the same era. I sold it when one of the channels flaked out. In hindsight, I should have gotten it recapped, too. Although, I got a sweet NAD amp for next to nothing afterwards. My brother still has that and my Whafedale 70th Anniversary speakers. Those were — are — great.
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Laminar  (op)
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Jan 22, 2022, 10:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
I really really wanted to put a HT room in the basement and do it proper with real room treatment and an acoustic screen with the speakers & equipment behind. But yeah man, the price of that equipment is pretty insane especially when you’re in 4K territory.

I ended up with a 65” LG C1 in the living room, stuck in some sweet on-wall speakers for the fronts, in-wall speakers for the rears and two Atmos height channels, a killer Rythmik sub, and scored a nice Marantz HT receiver and couldn’t be happier. It’s not perfect but it’s damn near close enough for me.
My BIL was finishing his basement and asked me what he should do for a projector - I told him to just get a TV. He ended up getting an 85" 4K TV for like $1600 at Costco, and it's awesome for his space and what he wants to do with it - he's more into entertaining while watching sports than sitting down for an authentic movie experience, so TV all the way.
     
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Jan 22, 2022, 10:47 AM
 
I think that, unless you're going with risers and theater seats, a large TV is a better option than a projection system.

Basically, go for a true theater setup (risers, fancy seats, BIG screen, etc.; or go with a big TV. And since TVs are getting bigger and better all the time, a big TV may work better in a theater setup.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jan 22, 2022, 07:49 PM
 
I really have a soft spot for Technics gear, by the way. My father probably still has the Technics speakers my parents bought over 4 decades ago. Their design is absolutely timeless. It always had the air of affordable high-end in my mind. And I love their design language. Great you got it working again, Rob.
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Jan 24, 2022, 02:33 PM
 
My modest media room.
Yamaha TSR700, 2nd gen ATV 4K, DirecTV C61K, Philips 4K player, 2021 LG 75” nanocell 90 4K



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Laminar  (op)
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
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Jan 24, 2022, 02:49 PM
 
Looks like you've got 7.1 going, that's cool! Any reason you don't put the center channel right below the screen? Having it on the floor further from the picture can affect how it sounds.
     
Chongo
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
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Jan 24, 2022, 03:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Looks like you've got 7.1 going, that's cool! Any reason you don't put the center channel right below the screen? Having it on the floor further from the picture can affect how it sounds.
The center is there temporarily. It’s too tall and would block the bottom of the screen. I’ll need to find a couple of risers to raise the screen up enough.
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Thorzdad
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nobletucky
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Jan 24, 2022, 03:46 PM
 
How are those 301s sounding in a home theater setup? They’re designed to sort-of throw a wide soundstage, which could work really well.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
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Jan 24, 2022, 05:22 PM
 
My super-simple, Mac oriented setup with the rat’s nest framed out. M1 and Time Capsule under the TV. 25 year old Sony DA80ES receiver. It’s needed new caps a few times, but otherwise still runs like a champion. Also, no cats anymore, so it’s barf-free now. The speakers are so tall because they have integrated subwoofers. I wisely kept the stand for my CRT, so the extra room behind is good for hiding consoles (only Switch right now).



Could also use a dusting.
( Last edited by subego; Jan 24, 2022 at 07:14 PM. )
     
Chongo
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona
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Jan 24, 2022, 05:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
How are those 301s sounding in a home theater setup? They’re designed to sort-of throw a wide soundstage, which could work really well.
I bought them new in 1984.
They work well. They are especially good for two channel content. “Classic” movies like The Benny Goodman Story are available on Blu-ray, but are stereo. I get that “phantom center channel” without having to “toe in” the speakers.

I’m still ambivalent about spatial audio on Apple Music. They produce that on their own. I like some of the newer music ATMOS mixes, but prefer the original stereo mixes for most of the older albums that have been receiving spatial mixes. Sgt Pepper sucks, but Abbey Road and Let It Be are quite good.


I would like The Wall , Dark Side of The Moon, Animals, and Wish You Were Here to get a spatial mix, but that would require Waters and Gilmore to agree, and that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
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