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New house, how to do sound (my education left off in 1990 or so)


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#16 Linwood

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 05:07 PM

I tinkered here with the ARC connection and decided to only use one HDMI ==> AVR (with ARC) and put the rest of the HDMI sources to the television.

 

Works better for me.

 

Had a friend that configured a sort of sports bar finished basement.  Pool table et al.  She just put multiple TV's there on multiple walls for a view from different areas.  There was no concern about sound at the time.

 

Way long time ago configured the basement rec room which was long in to two sections.  Once section was for movie watching with the AVR and surround sound...the room was long at 30-35 feet and sectioned one side for TV viewing at around 15 feet to couches et al.  The other section was just a card table and had a smaller LCD TV on the wall.

 

That's what I am doing, all the sources are on the TV.  I'm not even sure if the AV does 4K video anyway, it's 5+ years old if I recall.



#17 LarrylLix

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 08:23 PM

That's what I am doing, all the sources are on the TV.  I'm not even sure if the AV does 4K video anyway, it's 5+ years old if I recall.

I wouldn't wory about Dobly Atmos yet. There isn't many sources out there. Give it 3-5 years and then buy your next A/V receiever smart. I was very surpeised fooling with my GH mini sound and those scary people at google started up my Onyko amp and started playing the music from my system without me setting anything up. Cool. but it scares the crap out of me. I don't like it.

 

Atmos doesn't require any particular speaker configuration, not even ceiling or height speakers. That is implied by some websites, even Dolby itself, but read between the lines. Atmos is just a new way of transmitting the positioning information and avoiding speaker configuration in the source. Instead of positioning a Horn 30% of the way to the front and 70% from the back speakers by volume and phase  blending, the exact position is specified and the decoder figures out the best way to accomplish that with your speakers you have specified. Height can help imaginging but not much of a difference will ever be noticed.

 

I didn't want back speakers standing on my floor in my Gathering room. They would always be in the way and be shadowed by the person sitting next to you on the couch so nobody ever gets balanced sound. When I built my newer home I wired to the ceiling just behind the main chairs. Then I hung back speakers from the ceiling so they hang about 45 degrees, pointing down. That works great and seems to produce many sound from the back that belong above your head. This seems to avoid most of the back speaker shadow caused by others sitting beside you.

 

The most important speaker position in surround sound is your centre speaker. This allows voices to be clear and centered without much volume. Now when the movie explosion happens your huge left and right speakers can light up and shake the house, then back to just talking at a lower volume.

 

With an modern A/V receiver the sound is setup with a supplied microphone you place close to the favourite listening position. Then the amp goes through a lot of sound tests and determines the phase shift and volume needed to balance the sounds. This makes Atmos shine as it knows exactly how to make you think the sound object is exactly where it should feel it is. Save you pennies for a few years. My Onkyo was a mid-range $700 CAD unit. The sound is unbelievable to the previous 4 Onkyo receivers I own, even the $2K A/V unit that did analogue decoding, and had Class G outputs, FET etc...etc..  years back. Things have changed and the CPU based receivers are just what Dolby ordered. They can do well with almost any speaker setup.


Edited by LarrylLix, 27 June 2019 - 08:24 PM.


#18 pete_c

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 08:50 PM

Yes in the main TV room here AVR has 6 speaker connections and 2 subwoofer connections went with a bose center speaker, JBL towers on either side and dual sub woofers in the corners then two in ceiling speakers and two rear external speakers mounted near the ceiling.   When listening to music typically only utilize front speakers. 

The TV has built in Roku and does play back 4K HD video fine. 

Looking at the specs for the Pioneer VSX-44 7.2 channel AVR (a few years old now)...sound wise...

Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio ...

Newest Kodi box is doing 4K now well and will play back any type of configured audio (enabled all options)

The Kodi box is just an el cheapo TV Box S912 Octocore CPU using CoreElect (Only run Kodi in Linux (no Windows or Android) and Armbian Linux on other TV (Kodi) Boxes. I call this box an STB cuz it plays back live (streaming HD HomeRun) TV, recorded videos from NAS or streaming TV / movies (NetFlix / Amazon AOD).

#19 Linwood

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 10:09 AM

I wouldn't wory about Dobly Atmos yet. There isn't many sources out there. Give it 3-5 years and then buy your next A/V receiever smart.

 

Thanks for the comments that followed on Atmos, it makes much more sense the way you explained it than most web sites I saw.

 

I'm actually leaning toward just doing nothing for a while, at least in the biggest room, as it will be more of a game room than anything else.  The more I think about it, there's no "right" way to arrange speakers and sound in that room, as people will be moving around (large pool table in the middle) and so calibrating sound for any given spot makes it pretty wrong for all the other places someone may be.  In fact, I think that using stereo as opposed to surround sound would probably work better, keeping the "center" available near the back of the room.

 

I'll wait and see how often I even have the TV on when people are visiting.

 

I think I'm good in the "TV Room" aka den, with my old AV amp, now that I ran wires.

 

The one I still need to fix is my office.  I spend most of my alone time there, and probably 80% of the time have the TV on.  The current sound is adequate, but the den's sound is SO much better I think I will do something there.  And wireless there would be really good just due to the way the roof falls (and frankly because summer is just starting and I hate going into a SW Florida attic in summer). 


I also think for that room I want "fake" front speakers, i.e. a sound bar for the left/center/front, not discrete speakers, as I have no where to mount discrete left/right other than far corners and that's bad acoustically I think.

 

I'm thinking of the vizio SB36512-F6  

 

It has discrete woofer and surround speakers that are wireless, it claims atmos and I am probably paying a bit more for it even if it won't get used, but maybe it will do something.  It seems well rated generally.  And it's cheap enough that if in a few years there are better alternatives I will not feel awful if I give it away to my kid or similar.

 

Then I'll wait and see how much I miss better audio in the big room, and see if I ever really want an upgrade in the TV room, and spend bigger money only (a) later when the standards might settle a bit, and (B) if I need to.



#20 LarrylLix

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 09:13 PM

Thanks for the comments that followed on Atmos, it makes much more sense the way you explained it than most web sites I saw.

 

I'm actually leaning toward just doing nothing for a while, at least in the biggest room, as it will be more of a game room than anything else.  The more I think about it, there's no "right" way to arrange speakers and sound in that room, as people will be moving around (large pool table in the middle) and so calibrating sound for any given spot makes it pretty wrong for all the other places someone may be.  In fact, I think that using stereo as opposed to surround sound would probably work better, keeping the "center" available near the back of the room.

 

I'll wait and see how often I even have the TV on when people are visiting.

 

I think I'm good in the "TV Room" aka den, with my old AV amp, now that I ran wires.

 

The one I still need to fix is my office.  I spend most of my alone time there, and probably 80% of the time have the TV on.  The current sound is adequate, but the den's sound is SO much better I think I will do something there.  And wireless there would be really good just due to the way the roof falls (and frankly because summer is just starting and I hate going into a SW Florida attic in summer). 


I also think for that room I want "fake" front speakers, i.e. a sound bar for the left/center/front, not discrete speakers, as I have no where to mount discrete left/right other than far corners and that's bad acoustically I think.

 

I'm thinking of the vizio SB36512-F6  

 

It has discrete woofer and surround speakers that are wireless, it claims atmos and I am probably paying a bit more for it even if it won't get used, but maybe it will do something.  It seems well rated generally.  And it's cheap enough that if in a few years there are better alternatives I will not feel awful if I give it away to my kid or similar.

 

Then I'll wait and see how much I miss better audio in the big room, and see if I ever really want an upgrade in the TV room, and spend bigger money only (a) later when the standards might settle a bit, and ( B) if I need to.

This is the reason for many speakers...such as Dolby 9.1 etc... The room architecture gets subtracted from the sound placement much more. 

To exemplify this, think of a speaker ever foot along every wall and the amp puts the sound object only from that speaker. it wouldn't really matter where you stand or sit, the sound comes from that direction. With Atmos, Dolby has realised this and all the different speaker setup. Then they subtracted the channels out of the formula and just state where each sound should be positioned X,Y,Z axis. 

 

I wonder if they can do Atmos on vinyl recordings? LOL



#21 pete_c

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:49 AM

Unrelated to OP finally got rid of my old vinyl here (4k) mostly cuz it was just too heavy to keep.

 

Way back do recall two platters I had....one a Thorens and another one a Technics...

 

I also finally got rid of the old Altec Lansing Voice of the theater speakers (also too big and too heavy).

 

Did keep a pair of antique Jensen (nice furniture) pair of speakers from the middle 50's or so and my Nakamichi Dragon and Marantz SD9000 casette decks.



#22 Linwood

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 12:01 PM

A brief update.

 

I have my Den aka TV room suitable.  Old yamaha, 5.1 speakers wired, a couple more holes in the wall to run the wires out of site, and it looks and sounds nice.  1 of 3 done.

 

My office I bought a Vizio Atmos sound bar, which includes 5.1 with a wireless sub which has attached two surround sound speakers.  I think the atmos is wasted, though it is hard to tell.  It was pretty cheap for atmos ($400, I think you can get the version without for about $250 or so).  I am disappointed in the feature set, it is a pain to set up (no on screen view and lousy remote, you do stuff with LED's on the bar and buttons you cannot see under the cloth), there is no calibration mic, but the sound is actually pretty good.  MUCH better than the TV itself, which I thought was "fine" but now think is awful.  So some more holes, hide the wires, pronounce it done.

 

Still thinking about the third room, but I have a fourth problem...

 

While I am not a big music listener, guests are.  I have a lot of digital music.  I'd like to serve it up, and integrate with Google.  That sounds so easy, but either I am missing something or it is hard (to do without a subscription to something).  If anyone has a suggestion, especially with Home Assistant in the mid, I just want to say "Hey Google, play A Hard Day's Night from the Beatles on Living Room Cast" where the song library is stored in something (anything) local.

 

Any ideas? 



#23 LarrylLix

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 12:36 PM

Hmmmmmm.. an old cell phone with the earphone jack connected to an extra input. Not sure if a mobile account would do it or just the wifi would work. Sent using Tapatalk

#24 Linwood

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 12:43 PM

Hmmmmmm.. an old cell phone with the earphone jack connected to an extra input. Not sure if a mobile account would do it or just the wifi would work. Sent using Tapatalk

 

So, some app that keeps a library of music on my (android) phone?   (Like I said, I am not much for listening to music).  I know iTunes and an iPad-app on iphone does it, but I think they shifted to cloud also?     Is there a local-only choice? 



#25 LarrylLix

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 10:20 PM

Not quite. Let the old cell phone run the gh app and make it a casting device so you can force it to be an interface for the amplifier. Might save you buying a GH smart amp until some of these new techniques settle down into their mature development. Sent using Tapatalk

Edited by LarrylLix, 06 July 2019 - 10:22 PM.


#26 Linwood

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 06:50 PM

OK, here's what I think I am doing with some of this -- music on command

 

Google Play Music is so simple to play, just invoke by voice, and it will play on any of the numerous devices I have.

 

And for free you can upload 50,000 tracks, which is more than enough.

 

So I'm taking all the music I have in itunes, CD's, etc., and putting in MediaMonkey.


Then I convert to MP3 and upload to google music.

 

Now with a voice command I can play or all speakers, some speakers, or individual cast devices.

 

I can also play to some extent from my PC where the library is, but that's not nearly as easy (though the quality may be higher I won't be able to notice, and it remains an option). 






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