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Hi guys, in the process of finishing my basement and building a small home theater. Everything is studded out now, insulation and sheet rock is scheduled for mid-December. Looking for some advice on speaker placement (drawing below). I want to do 7.1. The room is wide open and there is no dividing wall under the I-Beam, so the surround left will have to be mounting to the ceiling and angled downward with axioms brackets. In fact I will mount all the surrounds that way so it look uniform. I would put up a wall and divide the theater from the rest of the room, but worried everything will just looked to cramped. The basement isn't that large. I no it's not ideal, but I should be okay with the QS8's...right? Also, is the distance between the surround backs to close to the couch and side back speakers? Appreciate any advice you can spare. Thanks!


Sorry for the link, I can not figure out how to get an image from google drive/photos embedded.

UPDATE: never mind just switched the image over to imgur instead of google. Working fine now.
If you ever have plans of doing Atmos or dts:x, don't get qs8's. Don't mount to ceiling either. Go onwall M2 or M3's for surrounds. Keep them ear level. Bookshelves on stands would sound even better but most people don't have the room for stands around the back.

Otherwise QS8's will do fine duty up top and sound great, I did it for years, but the second I went Atmos they were the wrong speaker in the wrong position.

Now with Atmos, the entire process of buying speakers is different, only my opinion. You no longer need two great big towers up front, and little surrounds, you ideally need the same good bookshelves or onwall speakers all around and two subs to make up for not having the larger speakers up front.
I have a post here too about ths. NickBoul gave a lot of good advise regarding Atmos and DTS:X

My room is very close in size less the other side of yours. 11.9" x 15.6"
My M80's I sold to my son and got M22. I got two EP350 subs and the imagining is 2x better then M80. I think you will find the soundstage is about 18" below the tv. I think this is due to the fact I am only 10 ft away, whereas when they were up stairs I was 14 ft away.
Also, I had another post Alan Loft commented on regarding M22 and M80 in a smaller room like ours. I will say once you get the M80 you will find your going to set them up on Milk crates.
Also, yes if Atmos then you need direct radiating. My qs8's are leaving to my sons next month and I am getting 8 M2's 4 on wall for surrounds and 4 M2 regulars for cieling
Consider putting the AV rack under the stair and putting an acoustically transparent screen wall up where your stair wall juts out. Shorter run to PJ, line of sight for remote, gets it out of floating in far corner. Speaker wires for LCR can be sleeved through short wall through a data ring and plate.

The screen wall idea will allow you to reduce corner loading your speakers and provide concealment of subs, speakers, bass traps, diffusers, corpses, whatever. The right channel should have some form of absorbtion placed on the adjacent wall to reduce reflected energy. Your left channel has little reinforcement once moved out into the room. Attenuating the right reflections will help balance your channels somewhat. The rear wall is pretty close. You may want to bump your seating ahead a bit and get some panels opposing your surround locations from the leftside. Treat your right wall with 3x 3" thick roxul absorption panels total.
Originally Posted By newf
If you ever have plans of doing Atmos or dts:x, don't get qs8's. Don't mount to ceiling either. Go onwall M2 or M3's for surrounds. Keep them ear level. Bookshelves on stands would sound even better but most people don't have the room for stands around the back.

Otherwise QS8's will do fine duty up top and sound great, I did it for years, but the second I went Atmos they were the wrong speaker in the wrong position.

Now with Atmos, the entire process of buying speakers is different, only my opinion. You no longer need two great big towers up front, and little surrounds, you ideally need the same good bookshelves or onwall speakers all around and two subs to make up for not having the larger speakers up front.


Rockstar advice...

The only thing that I would add is that most current decent receivers will do some good bass management for you, meaning that you still want "full range" speakers all around (including overheads if you want Atmos/DTS:X) but solid "bookshelf" size speakers work great. I went with on-wall M3s for my surrounds and overheads, and they work amazingly well.

That said, don't skimp on your center channel. Even with good bass management, the center channel is the most active for movies, and sometimes you need it to do a bulk of the "work" for clean and crisp front soundstage work, and leave the subs available for LFE and low bass.
Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
... and putting an acoustically transparent screen wall up where your stair wall juts out.


Not sure what location you have in mind here (although I'm sure it's good), can I bother you to use a few more words ? Maybe some "screen starts at X then goes up/down/left/right"...
The 32" stub wall at the rising side of the stair. The screen wall could flush up to the stair line and head up to the long wall on the drawing. This would allow getting all front channels away from the wall. smile

Even if the screen wall is a no go, line of sight will not be obstructed by moving the R/L speakers forward a bit.
Thanks for all the tips everyone. I was originally planning on just going with what I have in my living room, the Epic 60 system with an additional pair of QS8's. I thought about going atmos, but there is no wall under that I-Beam. It is one big room, so I have nothing to mount all those side speakers too. I can only mount them directly to the ceiling or surface of the I-Beam. I considered putting up a wall and separating the two rooms, but it would make everything just look waaaay to small.

I am not a huge audiophile, I just want it to sound good without going too crazy. I really don't plan on doing any acoustical treatments, besides the drop ceiling and a few area rugs.

Here are a few more pictures so you can get an idea of the space. One is a quick drawing in SketchUp I did. The first four photos are from each corner of the room and the last two are the front and rear wall of the theater portion of the room.













Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
The 32" stub wall at the rising side of the stair. The screen wall could flush up to the stair line and head up to the long wall on the drawing. This would allow getting all front channels away from the wall. smile


Ahh, OK... my first thought was that running an AT screen the full width would be way too big, but it's "only" 120", and I do like the idea of getting the fronts away from the side walls... plus as Serenity_Now said you are going to want to pull the fronts out from the front wall either way.

I'm leaning towards using a regular (non AT) screen - even a 90" diagonal would be enough to give you a THX-recommended viewing angle, and you have room for bigger than that without the fronts getting in the way.

Originally Posted By mikecoscia
Thanks for all the tips everyone. I was originally planning on just going with what I have in my living room, the Epic 60 system with an additional pair of QS8's. I thought about going atmos, but there is no wall under that I-Beam. It is one big room, so I have nothing to mount all those side speakers too.


Thanks for the extra pics, they really help.

You could move the side surrounds forward a foot or so and still have one mounted on a bracket coming down from the I-beam without people banging their heads. Alternatively you could move them back a bit and run 5:1, but these days I think it's worth running 7.1 if you can.

Originally Posted By mikecoscia
I can only mount them directly to the ceiling or surface of the I-Beam. I considered putting up a wall and separating the two rooms, but it would make everything just look waaaay to small.


Agreed, a wall would make it feel too cramped. If you wanted though you could hang a heavy black curtain down from the I-beam framing and draw it closed to help with light/sound control (both ways :)).

Originally Posted By mikecoscia
I am not a huge audiophile, I just want it to sound good without going too crazy. I really don't plan on doing any acoustical treatments, besides the drop ceiling and a few area rugs.


I think you will end up wanting some absorption along the right side wall to make up for the left side being open (or curtain), or the sound will seem unbalanced.

A few people have posted pics of really nice decorative sound absorbing panels they made. Maybe 2 of those.
Originally Posted By newf
If you ever have plans of doing Atmos or dts:x, don't get qs8's. Don't mount to ceiling either. Go onwall M2 or M3's for surrounds. Keep them ear level. Bookshelves on stands would sound even better but most people don't have the room for stands around the back.

Otherwise QS8's will do fine duty up top and sound great, I did it for years, but the second I went Atmos they were the wrong speaker in the wrong position.

Now with Atmos, the entire process of buying speakers is different, only my opinion. You no longer need two great big towers up front, and little surrounds, you ideally need the same good bookshelves or onwall speakers all around and two subs to make up for not having the larger speakers up front.


Thought about it, but all the side speakers would have to be mounted to the ceiling due to the open wall on the left. Might lead to a lot of bumped heads as the ceiling is only 7'. I might just have to settle with 7.1 with qs8's. Which isn't terrible, I have yet to experience atmos at home. Ignorance is bliss...right?

Originally Posted By Serenity_Now
Consider putting the AV rack under the stair and putting an acoustically transparent screen wall up where your stair wall juts out. Shorter run to PJ, line of sight for remote, gets it out of floating in far corner. Speaker wires for LCR can be sleeved through short wall through a data ring and plate.

The screen wall idea will allow you to reduce corner loading your speakers and provide concealment of subs, speakers, bass traps, diffusers, corpses, whatever. The right channel should have some form of absorbtion placed on the adjacent wall to reduce reflected energy. Your left channel has little reinforcement once moved out into the room. Attenuating the right reflections will help balance your channels somewhat. The rear wall is pretty close. You may want to bump your seating ahead a bit and get some panels opposing your surround locations from the leftside. Treat your right wall with 3x 3" thick roxul absorption panels total.


Thought about that originally. But the wife wanted to build an area for the dogs under the stairs. She's letting me do whatever I want in the rest of the basement, so I have no problem giving her that one...lol.

Originally Posted By bridgman


Ahh, OK... my first thought was that running an AT screen the full width would be way too big, but it's "only" 120", and I do like the idea of getting the fronts away from the side walls... plus as Serenity_Now said you are going to want to pull the fronts out from the front wall either way.

I'm leaning towards using a regular (non AT) screen - even a 90" diagonal would be enough to give you a THX-recommended viewing angle, and you have room for bigger than that without the fronts getting in the way.

Thanks for the extra pics, they really help.

You could move the side surrounds forward a foot or so and still have one mounted on a bracket coming down from the I-beam without people banging their heads. Alternatively you could move them back a bit and run 5:1, but these days I think it's worth running 7.1 if you can.

Agreed, a wall would make it feel too cramped. If you wanted though you could hang a heavy black curtain down from the I-beam framing and draw it closed to help with light/sound control (both ways :)).

I think you will end up wanting some absorption along the right side wall to make up for the left side being open (or curtain), or the sound will seem unbalanced.

A few people have posted pics of really nice decorative sound absorbing panels they made. Maybe 2 of those.


Yeah, I figured between 90-100" as well for the screen size. I have plenty of room to move the speakers up without them getting in the way. That is one of the primary reasons I am placing the screen on that wall.

I think I am going 7.1. Atmos sounds great, but the room is small and all those speakers on ceiling might get in the way due to the layout. I imagine it's also more costly.

The curtain is a GREAT idea. Never would have thought of that and it's a good way to improve the acoustics without dividing the room up. I can just add a few panels on the one side then.

Thanks again for all the advice guys really appreciate it. I wish I could edit my original post title and just turn this into my build thread. Guess I will have to create another.
Separate build thread is better anyways IMO.

We enjoy spending other peoples money smile
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