Very nice done BlueJayFan - thank you again for sharing all the pictures and comments with us! There is tremendous value in sharing these things online as they can go a long way to inspiring other members to build their own entertainment rooms and suggest great solutions to some of the issues that one can encounter when building such a system. Case in point is the component cabinet built-in in under the stair case. Now that I've seen this from you and Chris, when I have the opportunity to build a HT from scratch, I'll definitely consider doing the same. The full access to behind the rack would be so very useful.
You are the first member on this forum to post pics of a home theatre with the front height channels! Which of the new surround formats do you use with these - Audyssey DSX or Dolby Digital Pro Logic IIz? Do you use it for all the movie watching you do?
It's never a bad idea to have as big of a window in the basement as you can. Nice thick drapes are a great way to deal with it for sound purposes (as you did).
I appreciate you comments about your wife realizing what it means to have a good surround system set up in the room. I find myself regularly justifying the addition of new audio or video related components to my girlfriend and although she's not always thrilled about this at the beginning... she does come around when I play stuff for her. That's the power of a good demonstration
One quick tip for you: although I can't tell from the picture, you should consider pulling your centre channel speaker slightly out of the cabinet so that it's front baffle sticks out about 0.25 of an inch. This should help significantly with dialogue intelligibility. When centre channel speakers are placed inside a cabinet, the sound sounds like it's coming from inside a cabinet... which can muddy up the dialogue. Anyway give it a try if you have a moment
Originally Posted by Suave
Hi, Suave - my AVR is a Yamaha, so these are technically "presence" speakers in their Yama-speak, so it is technically neither Audyssey DSX or DD Pro Logic IIz. Currently, I basically leave the setting on 7-channel stereo, rather than using any of Yamaha's pre-defined "Scenes". I haven't experimented a lot to see if this is always the ideal setting, but it seems to have the result that I currently like best.
I do have the center channel pulled out a little, but I might experiment with a little more. Also considered getting some pads/bumpers to maybe tip it up a little. The height of the cabinet worked out well as the center speaker is almost perfectly aligned with the tweeters on the floorstanders, but I might be able to tweak it a little.
I may have mentioned this in posts in other threads, but not here, that I pre-wired the room to be able to add speakers in a few more places. I could add front wides, I could add rear surrounds/heights at the same level as my side surrounds and/or I could add floorstanding rear surrounds. I also have drops in 3 or 4 other spots in the room for subwoofer placements. And, I pre-wired the adjoining room for a couple of in-ceiling speakers.
I am currently limited by my 7-channel capable AVR to add any more speakers right now, and I have read conflicting ideas about whether going to 9 or 11 channels in the main room really adds much at present - but the options are there. I have a crappy sound bar in my upstairs family/great room (with a 52" LCD) right now that I would dearly love to replace, so I'm on the watch for a 9-channel or 11-channel AVR at a decent price point that I could put in the basement and move the current one upstairs, and add some real speakers there.
Then there is still an unfinished den and my bedroom where I could build smaller systems - so the fun isn't over yet!
Thanks for explaining all of this above BlueJayFan! It was very wise to pre-wire the room with wires in so many different spots as it gives you incredible future flexibility - we should all takes notes on this kind of stuff
When you're ready to start shopping for a new AV receiver, I would definitely try one of the Anthem AV receivers. If you're looking strictly for the best sound these are definitely the way to go right now. Alternatively, if you're looking for a feature-rich receiver, I would consider one of the current Pionner or Onkyo AV receivers.
Keep us posted on the updates and new ideas in your various rooms.