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Old 11-19-2007, 12:58 AM   #1
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setting up 1st "home theater-audio" gig


We are remodeling our kitchen, family room and enclosed patio (in order of decreasing work). In the family room, we have taken down most of the old drywall (for various reasons) and are getting ready to re-drywall.

Before we do, we want to run all the wires for an audio/visual "system". We are planning for that system to include our trusty audio components (Onkyo Integra Amp & possibly its Preamp, Infinity RS speakers, 300 CD carosel, turntable, AM/FM tuner) as well as the ever expanding kinds of visual/cinema components available for the home (5.1+ HT). We'd also like to use this system to provide audio (at least) to the patio and to the kitchen. [NOTE: I still don't know enough to decide on how to set up the components, but plan to before we get there in the next couple of weeks.]

So here are my biggest questions...
1) Does the attached look like it includes a reasonable 5.1 "future proof" speaker wiring plan (Please see below for a listing of our room's known issues)?

2) What's wrong with its speaker and gateway jacks/wiring? I'm still not sure about the heights and the placements (locations and heights) of the 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1 speakers.

3) I've been told the A/V Receiver replaces my Audio pre-amp. How do I set that up for an Onkyo Integra (which has a "synch cable" between these 2 components)? How do I best take advantage of the Amp's 2 parallel channels?

Known Issues in our rooms:
Family Room
- seating will be primarily mid-room as an 'L' shaped sectional set along the wall and into the space.
- there is a lot of open space (no walls) especially above 42" along the common wall with the kitchen. There is a major structural header at the top of that wall (8' height).
- the far wall includes a sliding door and the corner (opposite the kitchen) has a floor-to-ceiling window.
Kitchen
- the openess of the kitchen to the family room, but has 2 "pockets"
-- formal built-in hutch area (upper righthand corner of the floorplan)
-- the "pantry" pocket (bottom righthand corner of the floorplan)
Patio
- was formerly on the exterior and still has exterior walls and exterior electricals
- has metal roof and concrete floor
Attached Thumbnails
setting up 1st "home theater-audio" gig-wiring-lightingplan-v2b-kfp07.jpg  

1655graff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2007, 09:11 AM   #2
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setting up 1st "home theater-audio" gig


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1655graff View Post
We are remodeling our kitchen, family room and enclosed patio (in order of decreasing work). In the family room, we have taken down most of the old drywall (for various reasons) and are getting ready to re-drywall.

Before we do, we want to run all the wires for an audio/visual "system". We are planning for that system to include our trusty audio components (Onkyo Integra Amp & possibly its Preamp, Infinity RS speakers, 300 CD carosel, turntable, AM/FM tuner) as well as the ever expanding kinds of visual/cinema components available for the home (5.1+ HT). We'd also like to use this system to provide audio (at least) to the patio and to the kitchen. [NOTE: I still don't know enough to decide on how to set up the components, but plan to before we get there in the next couple of weeks.]

So here are my biggest questions...
1) Does the attached look like it includes a reasonable 5.1 "future proof" speaker wiring plan (Please see below for a listing of our room's known issues)?

2) What's wrong with its speaker and gateway jacks/wiring? I'm still not sure about the heights and the placements (locations and heights) of the 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1 speakers.

3) I've been told the A/V Receiver replaces my Audio pre-amp. How do I set that up for an Onkyo Integra (which has a "synch cable" between these 2 components)? How do I best take advantage of the Amp's 2 parallel channels?

Known Issues in our rooms:
Family Room
- seating will be primarily mid-room as an 'L' shaped sectional set along the wall and into the space.
- there is a lot of open space (no walls) especially above 42" along the common wall with the kitchen. There is a major structural header at the top of that wall (8' height).
- the far wall includes a sliding door and the corner (opposite the kitchen) has a floor-to-ceiling window.
Kitchen
- the openess of the kitchen to the family room, but has 2 "pockets"
-- formal built-in hutch area (upper righthand corner of the floorplan)
-- the "pantry" pocket (bottom righthand corner of the floorplan)
Patio
- was formerly on the exterior and still has exterior walls and exterior electricals
- has metal roof and concrete floor

Integra amp and pre-amp. Nice. I am a big fan of Onkyo.

ok....where to start.

I will assume that as for the living room, you are just placing wall jacks for speakers and you are not planning in-wall speakers.

As for the outside, if you are able to, I would lean towards some weather proof in-ceiling speakers. If you can, maybe throw in a volume control on the wall somewhere (then you would run the speaker wires to the control and then from the control back to your receiver area).

In the kitchen & pantry, I would also lean towards in-ceiling speakers. I would put two in...one near the door to the pantry, and one near the pot close to the built in desk area. You most likely would not require one in the pantry. And the same as outside, if you can, maybe throw in a volume control (then you would run the speaker wires to the control and then from the control back to your receiver area).

In the living room, the surround locations seem fine. You may want to look at the front L+R speaker jacks. Since the speakers should be L+R of the TV, and facing forward-ish, you may find it better to move those jacks to the back wall. Try also to plan ahead for the height of the center speaker jack, run a conduit or flex pipe for future AV cables to this location (unless you don't need a jack). Think about where you will want to have your subwoofer.....you will likely need an RCA cable to this location, and a power outlet. As for speaker heights......ear level or slightly above when seated is optimal, and directly above or below the TV for the center. For the sub, throw it in any corner, but really you could put it anywhere. The only thing that may suck is the surround speaker which would land at the 42" wall....not sure what to suggest to get around that one.

Now, as for your audio setup. I am afraid to say that with the newer AV receivers, they would pretty much replace your integra setup. Personally I would re-use the integra amp to power your kitchen and outside speakers. You might be able to get away without using the integra amp and run both the kitchen and outside speakers to a single L+R "B" channel in a AV receiver, but you risk running the impedance too low.

phew.....that was a long one.

jp.

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Old 11-19-2007, 11:52 AM   #3
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setting up 1st "home theater-audio" gig


No way to give you a proper set up without more detail....

Actual dimensions of the rooms (HxWxL).
Model of the existing Integra, CD, Tuner, Turntable, Speakers, etc, etc.

Planned brand/model of:

HDTV
Cable/Sat
DVD
Control System


And then. Would you want source control from the "stereo" room locations? Video to the room locations? Meta Data to the room locations? InWall/InCeiling speakers, or freestanding speakers?


Most importantly, what quality level of wiring? Quality level of sound and control?



The basics call for at least 2 cat5 and one 16x4 to each control location (not a volume control) with 16x2 continuing to each speaker location and a dedicated amp for the distributed audio.
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Old 11-19-2007, 01:44 PM   #4
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setting up 1st "home theater-audio" gig


If I had to guess (this is like a game....lets see how close i can get, or how far off i am )

From the drawing (using the doors, pot light locations, outlet locations, etc.), I am going to guess that the living room is in the area of 19'x16' ish.

If my memory serves me correct, all older integra systems which required an external amp (plus from the parallel 2 channel description) weren't surround, this is a nice 2 channel amp. The vast majority of modern AV receivers will replace the amp + pre-amp + radio. In this setup he would just have to make sure that the av receiver has a second zone.

I would also assume that he is not looking for a "whole house" style of system. Plus, to jump up to an Abus style system with a control unit would be a significant cost increase. Being that he will only be feet away from the receiver location (from outside and the kitchen), changing sources will be very easy. For added convienience he could get a RF remote. Plus there is already a very good quality amp with two stereo channels which is perfect to drive two rooms which aren't far away. So with that being said, a volume control would be all you need for the rooms, and that is only if you don't want to have to control the volume of those rooms only from the receiver area. The only real down side with this setup would be that the kitchen and outside would not be able to play different sources without additional or higher up equip.

Unless he is looking to do a whole house style system. But by the question, I assume not.
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Old 11-19-2007, 04:48 PM   #5
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setting up 1st "home theater-audio" gig


My thanks go to both of ya. renfrey makes many good presumptions.
    1. The room is 18'L x12'W x8'H. Floor will be porcelain tile in the family room and Kitchen. The patio has concrete floor with sloping ceiling of 8-10 ft, and lots of glass on the outer 2 walls.
    2. We intend this "system" to be restricted to the Kitchen, Family Room, and enclosed Patio.
      • The MB, Library/office, and guest room all have exisitng, independent small TV-stereo equipment.
      • The formal living room and dining room may eventually outfitted with unobtrusive audio only feature/functionality.
      • Bathrooms may eventually be outfitted with some kind of unobtrusive audio only feature/functionality.
      • Landscape (as distinct from the patio) could become audio enriched wirelessly (distant future).
    3. We intend to re-use/make best use of exisiting audio processors (Onkyo Pre+Amp) and speakers (4 Ohm, Infinity Reference Standard). To that end,
      • I've considered using the Onkyo's to drive the Kitchen and Patio (using its channels), and recently
        • I've also read of using 1 channel for the normal audio, and the other channel to drive the other 2 rooms. OR
        • separately set up a compatible AV Receiver or even a whole HT-in-a-box that either passes through the pre+amp for driving the Infinity RS as L+R Front or completely by-passes the Onkyo and drive separate, small but compatible L+R Front speakers (Infinity?).
      • finally, a salesman suggested simply replacing the pre-amp with either an AV Receiver or "intelligent hub/switch" (? I think he called it)
    4. I'm generally "mid-tier" and component person. This room also does not lend itself to high-tier.
      • A "sub" (for me) has always been 12"+. I'm kinda skeptical of today's smaller ones.
      • As a (mostly former) vocalist (symphony choruses) and lover of classical music, I really want to hear the voices in their full audio context and found the Infinity RS+Onyo Integra was a decent balance for achieving that.
      • I have a number of analog recordings that I am concerned will not be properly produced by a surround-sound driven/dominated/dictated/dedicated system.
    5. We'd like to make this set up "_____-ready" for any of the video sources (cable, satellite, antenna, DVD, Blu-Ray, Game, VHS, TIVO, etc.) and peripherals (surround 5.1/6.1+ speakers, in-wall speakers, ceiling speakers, TV, HDTV, Plasma/LED/LCD TV, Projectors, etc.) that are out and widely adopted today in today's marketplace or that survive this round of dust settling.

Last edited by 1655graff; 11-19-2007 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:36 AM   #6
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setting up 1st "home theater-audio" gig


Well I was somewhat close on the dimensions, but the drawing was a pleasing help. Being that the floor is going to be tile, you may want to consider an area rug on top, that will help a lot with the sound reflecting off the floor. If you wanted, wall coverings would help with that as well (glass covered pictures will not do anything to help).

Considering for future audio to other rooms, you could consider as ktkelly was getting at, a "whole-house" system, which can be added on at a later time to other rooms. This would give the ability to control different sources from each rooms keypad. These systems are also fairly modular, so you can easily upgrade to other rooms later. However, this would require additional hardware, which could get costly.

Also consider that the more devices you have, the more confusing or difficult it could be.

You could run two seperate systems, but without a speaker switching device, you could end up with two sets of front speakers (one for the onkyo integra system and one for the HT system). A speaker switching device would allow you to utilize one set for both systems, but you would have to physically change the switch between the devices, plus it would degrade the audio quality minutely. If you did go with two seperate fronts, and used one channel of the integra amp for audio in the main room and the other for audio in the porch and kitchen, then just keep an eye on your impedance level of the porchand kitchen combined...don't go under what the amp is rated for. (two 4 ohm speakers combined will yeild 2 ohms..for example)

You could also utilize a new AV receiver to replace your pre-amp. There are many with excellent audio quality. Most will have pre-outs for your integra amp and even a "direct" audio mode which will by-pass any digital processors and feed your analog signal back out to the pre-out (with volume control), or to the front (L+R) speaker outputs of the av receiver.

My opinion (depending upon your thoughts on whole-house style control of course), would be to get a good quality AV receiver (probably what the salesman was refering to as an "intelligent hub/switch"). Take a look at the Integra line of av receivers...this way you could retain the product similarity and quality. Just make sure the receiver has the correct number of inputs/outputs you require to make it future-proof (difficult though, because technology changes so much). If you really like your current speakers, use them for the fronts and find some others for the surrounds and center which match your needs/quality...or get a whole new set of speakers which meet your quality standards. Pre-out the second zone from the av receiver to the integra amp and feed the other rooms with that. Get speakers (in ceiling or standard) to again match your quailty requirements for those rooms. I would also install a good sized conduit with a rope, to your attic space and/or basement. This will give you the opportunity to expand to other rooms in the future. You will likely find that handy.

Look on the web at a couple of receivers that fit your price range and quality range, and then go to their manufacture sites and download the manuals. This way you will get a no BS answer as to what the receiver is capable of. Also go and look at the opinions available on the web.

Remember though, most decent AV receivers will allow you to bypass the digital surround processing.

Another thing to note...just a personal thing i like to do....run a dedicated circuit for your system with an isolated ground.

I am sure that i probably missed some of your questions, so just let us know of any others.

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