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  1. #1

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    Jan 2012

    Default First HT setup - questions

    Hi everyone,

    My first post and a total newbie, so apologize in advace for ignorance.

    I am setting up my first 'real' HT (first one two years ago was Samsung HTIB in bedroom with Samsung Plasma) in our bonus room. I've been going back and forth on equipment selection and was hoping to get confirmation that what I have and have planned will work okay.

    What I already have:

    - Room size - 18x26 (basically a square with exception of back wall - one side is 4 ft shorter)
    - Epson Powerlite 8350 projector and Epson universal ceiling mount (planning to run 16-20' HDMI from Receiver through wall, ceiling and to the projector)
    - Sony Bluray DVD network DVD player (BDP-S580)
    - 2 Polk Audio TSi400 Front Speakers (plan running concealed speaker wire under carpet to speakers)

    Here's what I am about to purchase:

    - Receiver: Yamaha - 875W 7.1-Ch. (RX-V671BL)
    - Sub: Polk Audio PSW111 (possibly running concealed subwoofer cable if putting it at front of room instead of next to receiver - not sure best place to put it)
    - Surround/Rear: Polk Audio RC85i 2-Way In-Wall Speakers (2 Pair, White; one pair on my side walls and one pair on back wall; will paint to match my chocolate brown walls)
    - Center: Polk Audio CS20
    - Screen Innovations Sensation 120" matte white (considering 'Performance' series screen but double the cost!)


    - I was questioning whether the Yamaha 671 would be okay for this speaker mix, but from another thread (anon I believe), he was using similar if not more and believe the response was it was okay. The other receiver I'm considering is the Yamaha Aventage RX-A1010BL (but again, double the cost). Will the Aventage make a noticeable difference for a non-audiophile or offer any other immediate advantage?

    - I've gone back and forth on the in-wall speakers vs. something like the OWM-3 or 5's. My wife prefers them to be more invisible, but also doubts my in-wall installation capabilities (I've never done it). I'm also wondering about 'rattle' in the walls?

    - And on that last point, I'm also wondering if this is more than I should tackle if I've never done it before - seems doable to me, but I'd hate to run wire through walls, ceilings, under carpet, etc. and then it not sound or work right. Any advice on DIY vs. professional installation? Best Buy Geek Squad has quoted me $1200 to do all the install (incl. projector ceiling mount and screen mount).

    - How important is a power conditioner - BB quoted a Panamax for around $120.

    - Wondering about flat speaker cable for running under the carpet - any issues with that?

    - Will the different depth of back wall have any effect on the in-wall speakers? There is a small area on the 'long' side that is the same depth of other side and where I could corner mount the OWM's instead of doing in-walls on the back walls).

    Sorry again for so many questions and ignorance on my part, but any help or advice on any of the above is very much appreciated!


  2. #2

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    Jan 2012


    Since nobody has replied to you I will see if I can help you out a little. It seems that you are not a total newbie, your questions were well thought out and you understand more than I do on some things.
    First of all, as far as the receiver, I read that post as well, and I think it just might be a setup issue more so than the ability for that receiver to produce enough power. I will admit that I do not like Yamaha receivers, I have not owned one but have known people who have in the past, and I did not like them. Menu's were tough to navigate and the remote was useless. I looked when I upgraded my receiver but quickly dismissed the yamaha as it did not offer the features that I was looking for. I looked at the Pioneer, Onkyo and Denon. If you are not using the receiver for video upscalling, then I would recomend the Denon, as many have stated that the sound field reproduction on the Denons is better than the Pioneer and Onkyo. I would say that you will notice a difference with the Aventage RX-A1010BL, but I think that you could find something in the middle that will do fine.

    As far as the Sub, the PSW111 is an 8" sub. for your size room I would recomend a 10 or 12" sub. ebay has a Polk PSW505 which is a 12" sub with peak of 460w.

    I have never used inwall speakers becuase I have never owned my own home so installed speakers would not work for me. I would imagine that installation should not be all that hard. I will require alot of sheet rock repair. you will have to not only have to cut a hole for the speaker mounting but you will also have to run the wires in the wall. you will have to be able to spackle, sand and repaint the walls. As far as wall rattle, there shouldnt be any unless your walls are old and not hung tight. I beleive that in-wall speakers should direct all the sound forward to reduce vibration in the walls, but again I have never used them. I will say that it would be quite an event to mount the speakers in the wall. It might be best to let someone do the install especially with the project, as proper mounting would be crucial.
    As far as the depth of the back wall, the receiver should be able to compensate for room dynamics with the microphone setup. I hope this helps a little

  3. #3

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    Sep 2011


    # 1) Don't let the geek squad touch anything. I would go with a Pioneer 1121. Plenty of power for you application and you can upgrade it in future if you want. Can be had for $400 if you watch for sales . tsi400' sound good with cs20. The OWM 5 will give you more flexibility than in wall and PSW 505 can be had for under $200, once again if you watch for sales.

  4. #4

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    Jan 2012


    I never had anything installed by geek squad. I would imagine that they are just kids off the street with a 2 week training course, but I still would not take on wall installations my self unless I was building the room from scratch. I agree with Chumlie on the Pioneer 1121. I wish that I had bought this AVR myself, but I could not find it for much less than $500. I went with the Onkyo 609 and saved myself $180 which I put to Monitor 70's instead of the 50's I was going to purchase.
    I would recomend instead of the CS20, you could go with the CS2 which is the older version, but I found it at ebay as a polk refub for 112.50
    Also you might want to look at the Monitor 40's. They would probably match the TSI400's you are using for the fronts. Here they are at Newegg. for $150

  5. #5
    Old School
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    Dec 2002
    Higher & Dryer, Texas


    Sometimes a little more ignorance is a blessing... I'll echo Tjc45, for a Newb that's a pretty healthy set of well thought out questions... especially if that Newb is an Aggie living on the North side of Austin as his/her screenname suggests...

    Your install reluctance is understandable, but BB/GS is just going to sub out the job, so forget them. Talk to friends, co-workers even relatives if you have to, but someone must know a reputable installer in your area. If not, you can also post over at Someone must know someone in your area. If all fails, Angie's list might yield results.

    One member (reeltrouble1) did a dedicated HT room with Polk in-walls with really good results. Polk guidance is good on locating them. Just remember that in-wall or not the best wire route is up and over and down (or down and under and up, if you have a basement or happen to be in a pier and beam home), but all in... in-wall, that is. And for in-wall, building codes come into play.

    Under carpet can work, but not under areas you walk over (breakage). And of course you have to avoid carpet strips. Some wire systems run behind baseboards. Then there are paint-able flatwire makes you use coming up from the base board to the speaker. But the more effort you try to save with these "gimmicks" the more you spend on wiring...

    I'll also echo Tjc45's caution on your room. Even with mere 8' ceilings it clocks in at over 3700 cu ft. It may take a great deal more system to fill it than it took for your 12x15-ish (?) "bonus room".

    What are you looking for out of your new rig? A nice HT experience with the family or a gut rumbling, Cinaplex experience that will drop friends' jaws?

    Or to put it another way.... What's your budget?
    More later,
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner

    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  6. #6

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    Jan 2012


    Thank you Tjc45, chumlie and Tour! Really appreciate your suggestions. Since my post, I have purchased all the equipment originally listed, although I'm most leaning towards switching out the Receiver as I'd like to add downstairs living room in-ceiling speakers as a 2nd zone. I will check out the Pioneer you mentioned as well as the different speakers - everything still in boxes so returnable. Assume I need video upscaling but honestly not sure - I'll do some research on that to confirm.

    Was really having similar thoughts about BB install and am working on getting a quote from a local installer - my main worry there is warranty compared to BB. The local installer is recommending running speaker wire behind baseboard as much as possible.

    On budget, I'm just trying to contain it as much as possible, having a little flexibility with 1year no interst on Amazon and 3yrs no interest with BB. As far as end result, would like a nice HT experience for the family over jaw-dropping cineplex. (and yes on your Aggie question!) :)

    Thanks again guys, I very much appreciate your replies and advice.

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