I am no audiophile. I have not had any skilled coaching in sound system integration (which can be VERY apparent in case you select to learn this). I do not declare to know greater than the individual subsequent to me. However I prefer to have enjoyable. I really like being surrounded by huge black containers that make lovely noise. I do not notably care if it seems ridiculous – I am having a blast with my system.
I began falling down this rabbit gap some 13 years in the past…I used to be a Freshman in highschool. My dad purchased me an Insignia HTIB, you already know those with the color-coded speaker wire and mini satellites? Good instances. When the soldered ideas began to interrupt off of the speaker wire from fixed repositioning of the little noise containers, I panicked as a result of I assumed I wasn’t ready to make use of the system any longer in its preconfigured state. There was no means I may probably use the pink speaker wire for the Entrance Proper unit on the Rear Left speaker, proper?! I stayed naive for a very long time – I used the web for lots of issues (largely RCT3 group boards), however educating myself on audio fundamentals wasn’t even on my radar.
One evening, that Insignia HTIB went berzerk on me at 3am. One thing triggered the receiver to activate a white noise static at FULL BLAST. My mother and father barged into the room with flashlights – they thought a water pipe had burst. I used to be paralyzed for a stable 10 minutes. That morning, I packed all the pieces up and took it right down to the storage, placing it in a field that would not be unearthed for a number of years.
(I promise I begin posting footage quickly)
At 16, some buddies and I went to Goal to do issues. I had $75 to burn and occurred upon the audio aisle in Electronics. There have been all types of HTIB’s that referred to as out to me, however I used to be nonetheless scarred from the traumatic Insignia incident. One among my buddies talked me into it, and the man behind the counter (who very clearly did NOT care however would have stated something to make me purchase one thing) enthusiastically advisable the RCA mannequin over no matter else I used to be taking a look at. On the time, I used to be shaking in my boots – I had a “good” dwelling theater receiver to pair with the White Van ‘studio displays’ an uncle had given me that previous December. Took it dwelling, set it up: audio bliss. Not less than for 16 yr outdated me.
Quick ahead one other Three years, I’ve moved to a brand new dwelling with my boyfriend. Very first thing we did was A) arrange the bed room and B) get a monster sound system equipped for a celebration. Faculty, child! Effectively, what ensued was the next:
It was a hodge podge of scrap I accrued through the years, together with an aftermarket sub from a 4Runner I totalled the yr prior and satellite tv for pc audio system from Three separate HTIB’s. No, not all the pieces was connected, although most have been, and no, I did not observe correct wiring practices…hell, I did not even know what working in collection/parallel was. It was no surprise the receiver fried on me after a short time….oops.
At 20, I needed to REALLY dive into dwelling theater correct. The exact same buddies from our Goal journey turned me on to the thought of Atmos, having stated they noticed just a few motion pictures within the immersive format on the theater. I used to be intrigued, and needed so badly to be surrounded by explosions and fights and area. In got here the Onkyo TX-NR636. This magnificence was model new on the time, and I could not consider I had spent $430 on an AVR, however I had all of the audio system to experiment with ATMOS. Feast your eyes on this disaster of wiring:
I did not know what the f*ck I used to be doing, however primarily based on what I had learn, it appeared you can simply put audio system wherever and profit from Atmos. The primary batch of films I purchased to check it out have been Gravity (the coveted Diamond Luxe version) and Transformers: Rise of Extinction. It was fairly cool. The TV was a 2008-ish Vizio Plasma. That factor weighed…rather a lot.
I rapidly realized how foolish this complete factor was as a result of THERE WAS NO “REAL SUBWOOFER”. So I purchased a Monoprice 10″ 150w sub to accompany the Frankenstein’s Monster that invaded our lounge. Our different roommates have been very chill about all of this, fortunately, and we weren’t there however a few years earlier than shifting once more, this time to a spot of our personal. We bought the Plasma and obtained a Polaroid 4K TV (lol I did not know they made TVs till it confirmed up on our doorstep – a shock from my bf).
It was time to get critical. We had 55″ of goodness that was going to have a pleasant, new throne. There needed to be matching gear. Solely downside was, we have been renting an condominium and did not wish to have holes far and wide. Now what?
Enter the T H E R G O L A. It is like a pergola, however designed particularly for dwelling theater. Therefore, “Thergola.” The thought is straightforward: create a free-standing help construction for which to mount audio system to in a surrounding style. (*Sidenote: the later into the night it will get, the fancier and nonsensical my writing turns into) The construction would cover all wiring, and I may even add job/accent lighting inside. I had drawn up plans in Sketchup:
…however determined this wasn’t the path to go. Too sophisticated, solely had 8′ ceilings to work with, new laminate was put in and I did not wish to scratch it up, yadda yadda yadda. The same old paranoias of being new renters, I suppose. For what it is price, I nonetheless plan to construct a Thergola in the future, perhaps outdoors with weather-resistant gear.
I stated f*ck it, I am going to simply patch no matter holes I make and repaint. No biggie. I additionally acquired two Monoprice HTIB units at a fantastic low cost and ran Three subs, two of which have been daisy-chained to one another. The Onkyo has two sub pre-outs, considered one of which ran to the 150w sub after which on to one of many smaller 60w subs, and the opposite pre-out to the second 60w sub.
As a substitute of constructing a thergola, I made my very own leisure middle utilizing these bogus studio displays as the bottom. I screwed all 4 of them collectively and wrapped them in black speaker fabric.
Shortly thereafter, I constructed a shell out of painted balsa wooden to masks them. On high of the displays sat all of my AV gear and sources, which have been hidden behind a drop-down panel product of extra balsa and speaker fabric. A piano hinge that spanned the width of the unit related the highest and backside parts. I put in an AC Infinity fan to maintain the Onkyo 636 cool. “Enclosures” have been additionally made for the subs in the identical style. Alongside the receiver have been the PS4, Wii U, bluray participant (a then-current Sony mannequin), and middle channel speaker.
The audio system on the wall to both aspect of the TV have been the MP satellites from the HTIB, after which above every of these have been the Onkyo up-firing Atmos modules. These ended up working HORRIBLY, so I continued the trouble with Pioneer’s model of the identical factor, and finally gave up. Atmos was not within the playing cards regardless of my finest efforts on this area.
I ran two surrounds as effectively (not pictured) and two further rear satellites off of a wi-fi transmitter/receiver equipment from Rocket Fish. This was a enjoyable venture – with the intention to cover the speaker wire, I needed to constructed out the column within the bartop and the underside of the joist above out of balsa wooden. The wire ran right down to the underside of the bar, the place the wi-fi receiver was stashed that might energy the audio system.
The 150w sub was hidden off to the left of the primary couch, below a aspect desk. The primary film showcased was Mad Max: Fury Street, which had simply launched on Bluray. What. A. THRILL. I bear in mind bragging to my stepdad about how I might invested over $700 in AV gear, laughing nervously as I contemplated how I used to be going to repay these credit score expenses…
However I nonetheless needed true Atmos. About midway via 2015, I joined AVSForum. Anybody who remembers their first few nights sifting via the hoards of knowledge obtainable will know what that feeling of dread is like. As if all the pieces you’ve got accomplished is unsuitable, or one way or the other inferior. However then you definitely even have threads from whole noobs like your self asking for very easy assist and, ultimately, you do not really feel so horrible. After studying and studying and studying (very like you could have accomplished in case you’ve made it this far into my epic), I made a decision to provide Atmos one other shot, however it could have to occur in one other room.
Initially, we put the ‘theater” in the lounge. We had two bedrooms, considered one of which was small (10’x10’) and was used as our workplace. It noticed little or no use as an workplace, so it was determined that it could function the brand new dwelling for our AV adventures. My bf once more generously purchased a brand new TV, this time a 60″ Vizio M60-D something-or-rather. It was rad. At this level, I knew something was higher than the gear from the MP HTIB kits I had faithfully used the previous few years. I found ZReviews and took his optimistic suggestions on the Micca audio system to coronary heart. However earlier than pulling the set off on shopping for them, I used to be talked into wanting on the BIC FH6-LCR’s. They have been huge (test), they’d attractive silver drivers (test), they usually have been ON SALE (mega test – I am a sucker for a great deal). I purchased 9 of them. Good lord, what was I considering…
And up they went… I additionally nabbed an SVS PB1000 since I used to be now not utilizing any of the MP subs. The room was smaller and the bass was FAR superior. I used to be starting to really feel fairly good about my selections.
New room, new audio system, guess I needed to get a brand new AVR, too. A Pioneer SC-85, to be actual. I purchased it gently used and bought the Onkyo 636 and associated HTIB gear to my mother and father (they nonetheless have not used it). I might by no means had a real AV rack earlier than, and this was as shut as I used to be going to get! A used metallic cart thingy…with wheels.
You may also discover a Dayton APA-150 amp on a kind of cabinets – that was for the additional Atmos channels. You see, I made a decision that making an attempt to drive a 9.1.2 system into the tiny footprint of the room was absurd, so I returned the entire BIC FH6’s and as a substitute went with SVS Prime Books and Sats from the Outlet (Yay Memorial Day Gross sales!). I downsized from 9 channels within the mattress layer to 7, giving me the chance to do Four Atmos channels. The SC-85 processed 11 channels with additional amplification, which the Dayton amp took care of…. (or so I assumed).
I do not know what that Middle speaker was, however I feel I used to be additionally making an attempt out HTD’s Degree Three middle on the identical time that I obtained the SVS ebook and surrounds. Some leftover MP satellites have been used on the ceiling for Atmos. It is truthful to say that each single iteration of “Atmos” I’ve carried out, even till right this moment, fall below the notorious “Scatmos” moniker as I do not observe Dolby’s pointers for placement. I simply put stuff the place they match to my liking.
Concerning the SC-85, it had 11 units of terminals, which I assumed you can use abruptly in case you had the right amplification. Seems that exact AVR solely had the processing energy for 9 channels no matter exterior amplification efforts. I discovered this out means too late within the sport, and ended up promoting it shortly after buying in favor of a Marantz SR6011 from Accessories4Less.
Upgraditis set in REAL fast. I used to be continuously looking for the following finest enchancment I may make. I’d solely cling on to tools for just a few months at a time earlier than making an attempt to promote it and get one thing new. I am fairly positive I solely had the SVS audio system for lower than a month earlier than returning them and getting the HTD Degree Three books to match the middle. In doing hours of studying on AVS about completely different rooms and setups, I discovered that the surrounds did not need to be of the identical model – although it was splendid. The Degree 3’s use a ribbon tweeter, and the following closest factor I may discover that did not price a hefty sum have been the Dayton B652-Air’s. I obtained Four of them for my surrounds and stored the MP satellites up high for Atmos.
Wire concealment be damned. 2017 noticed one other TV make its means into the fold – a 55″ LG B6 OLED. We’d by no means need one other sort of tv once more! HOT DAMN this unit was lovely. Smaller than our earlier 60″, however not by a lot. I additionally up to date the rack association, biking within the hotly-anticipated Oppo 203 4K UHD participant.
It was time to begin shopping for some 4K blurays! I had some leftover balsa wooden from earlier initiatives, so I made somewhat shelf.
I additionally bought the PB1000 and went and picked up a splendidly mint PSA S3000i just a few cities over. This was the setup for a few yr. Minor enhancements over that point have been ~bespoke~ concealing speaker containers for my Atmos channels (which have been simply balsa wooden frames with white speaker fabric stretched over them) and a a lot nicer rack (a present from the boyfriend). I had additionally added Aura Professional Bass Shakers to the couch, which have been run off of one other Dayton APA-150 amp.
2018 noticed much more mayhem come to this teeny tiny dwelling theater….a second PSA sub (s3600i) and JBL Studio mains! My bf picked up some JBL 590’s as L/R and a JBL 580 at a loopy whole lot on Newegg with the intention of promoting them for revenue. We by no means did, and he opted to reward them to me for my birthday that yr <3 I've no footage saved to doc this improve, however rattling was it enjoyable. Afterward within the yr, the 580's went on sale via JBL once more, and this time I grabbed one other Three plus an additional 590 to future proof the room. The objective was to be prepped to place collectively a theater that had 590's as LCR, 580's as surrounds, and 520's for Atmos. This association was accomplished earlier than, albeit with 590's for all mattress channels, and it appeared stupidly superior. I needed to have that, however the 530s have been all however extinct at the moment and the 520s have been both out of inventory on a regular basis or full worth.
Within the storage sat three 580s and a lone 590 nonetheless in containers, ready to in the future be used.
2019 was their yr. Effectively, nearly.
The bf and I made a decision it was time to rearrange our rooms. The largest bed room in our place was, effectively, our bed room, whereas the smaller room was the theater. Since we spent 98% of our time at dwelling within the theater, we figured we might simply swap rooms. What a ache within the ass that ended up being, however ultimately, it labored out swimmingly. A much bigger room meant we may lastly justify getting a much bigger TV! And so it was, the 77″ C8 OLED graced us with its presence.
The TV’s place within the room is the place our mattress was once, which is why there are sconces nonetheless on the wall. The ONLY place I may put the subs have been within the corners on both aspect of the TV. With some tweaking, I managed to have a phantom middle run fairly successfully for a short while as a result of I used to be genuinely terrified to mount the 77″ behemoth on the wall.
I stored my eyes peeled on eBay for an honest worth on the 530s, after which it occurred: JBL put them on sale in the course of the Summer season. I did not even blink earlier than shopping for two pair at $300/pr. This was imagined to be it – after this manufacturing run, we might by no means, EVER see them once more. Now or by no means, sh*t or get off the pot.
The opposite pair was mounted on the rear wall, above the MLP. The good factor about this barely bigger room (12’x11′ versus the earlier 10′ sq.) was that I may FINALLY incorporate the JBL 580’s as surrounds! I used to be solely capable of responsibly make the most of 5 mattress channels, however I had Four heights that labored properly!
I used to be tremendously bothered by not having a devoted middle channel, so I discovered a mint GoldenEar SuperCenter XL on AVS in November and gave it a attempt.
Let me simply say, a full-fledged GoldenEar system would most likely be one of many nicest listening experiences EVER. Nonetheless, the sonic signature of this speaker simply did not match the Studio collection I’ve spent so lengthy buying, so I needed to promote it inside per week of receiving it. She is an exquisite, BEAUTIFUL piece of substances by itself, and I would not hesitate to purchase one other one if the circumstances referred to as for it.
JBL opened the floodgates after they put the whole Studio 5 line (minus the 570s) in inventory and ON SALE for Black Friday final yr. I picked up one other pair of 530s (as a result of causes) and a 520c to make use of as a middle till I may get the TV up a bit larger to squeeze both a 580 or 590 in entrance of it on the desk, however laying on its aspect. I knew that I’d have that 520 up on the ceiling for top results ultimately.
Final month, I reoriented the present room, shifting all the pieces 90 levels clockwise. This made the ‘theater’ about 20″ longer, permitting me so as to add 2 additional mattress channels, hold the subs nearer to the MLP, however put the 580s on standby and use 530s of their place as surrounds. I obtained an additional 520c on sale, so now I’ve two of these as Rear Heights and two 530s as Entrance Heights (mounted sideways).
So to take stock, right here is my present tools checklist:
LG 77″ C8 OLED | Marantz SR6011 |PSA S3000i + S3600i | Aura Professional Bass Shaker x2
JBL Studio 590 x3, 580 x4, 530 x6, 520c x2
PS4 | Xbox One S | Oppo 203400+ 4K UHD
Because it stands proper now, I’ve obtained 590s L/R, a 580 middle (sideways), 530s as surrounds, and a mix of 520c’s and 530s as heights. Assuming this submit, that took Three nights to put in writing, will get up accurately, I am going to both replace or remark with footage of the ultimate product.
TL;DR — 5 years in the past, I began out as a complete noob, and I nonetheless am, comparatively talking. I had a mishmash of apparatus kind numerous HTIB’s and hand-me-downs that has advanced into higher echelon gear, and I am nowhere close to near being accomplished upgrading.
I am no audiophile. I have not had any skilled coaching in sound system integration (which can be VERY apparent in case you selected to learn this in its entirety). I do not declare to know greater than the individual subsequent to me. However I prefer to have enjoyable. I really like being surrounded by huge black containers that make lovely noise. I do not notably care if it seems ridiculous – I am having a blast with my system.