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#303413 - 04/27/10 12:45 AM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: grunt]
grunt Offline

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
 Originally Posted By: CV

Yes, very nice. Dean, I'm interested in what you think of the curtains after you have them sorted and have spent some time with them.

I was just rereading and noticed you asked this.

I am very happy with the curtains. After my experience in the apartment I was going to make them happen though the first quote I got of $6,000 did make me reconsider for a minute. Even at the finial price of almost $2,500 I would have been hesitant to get them had I not already seen the benefits of the temp curtains I put up in my apartment. This room isn't deep space black like in my apartment was because the size and brightness of the screen projector combo is like having a lighthouse in the room. However, one advantage of this is not running into the walls as much, only done it a couple of times when I misjudged where the opening to the hallway was. Another side effect is the gray bars with other than 16:9 material is less distracting to the point that I haven't even considered masking since I set everything up. I think this is also in part because virtually no light is being reflected back at the screen.

I've found the following from having the curtains.


They do a great job removing any distractions from my field of view making it easier to suspend disbelief.

They nearly eliminate light reflecting back to the screen improving contrast and perceived brightness which is why I can use such a large screen with a mid-low lumen projector at 19'.

In combination with the blinds they eliminate all light from entering the room in my field of view any time of day.

The curtain wall effect simulates an enclosed room perfectly so there was no need to build any false walls yet I have easy access to other rooms.

My IR remote still blasts through the curtains so I didn't have to upgrade to a RF remote.

By leaving the back of the room un-curtained it improves the ambiance of the surround effects and saved me money.

The double rod mounting brackets gave me a neat clean and very simple way of running all my wires through PVC pipe behind the main curtain rods. Only place itís visible is in the back of the room and then up next to the black ceiling I think it looks fine. Actually you donít even notice it.


Having to lift the curtains to vacuum up to the walls.

The potential fire safety issue. The material is NFPA small scale rated but till it would cause a fire to spread a lot faster.

Worrying about dirt. So far I always open and close them by reaching behind the curtain to grab the material to try to keep them from needing cleaned for as long as possible.


Near as I can tell the curtains havenít deadened the room much, certainly not as much as the chaise lounges. But only when I can fully open them will I be able to do any real comparisons. Anyway something I read a while back actually suggested that curtaining a room can improve the directional cues in multi-channel tracks because they cut down on some reflections. The corollary to that would seem to be that it can also cut down on the ambient sounds. In my apartment that appeared to be the case so I left the back of the room open even though I had curtains there. However, I never could do an honest A/B comparison. From what I can tell the higher and vaulted ceiling in this room more than makes up for any loss the curtains might be causing.


I need to come up with a better solution for hanging the curtains and rods. The stock rods I bought at Loweís dictated were the mounting brackets needed to be to support the connecting points. I need a double rod (one connecting point) solution so the curtains can be opened all the way to the corners of the room. Right now some areas of the walls canít be exposed because there are multiple mounting brackets blocking the way. I just couldnít find anything long enough not even smaller PVC pipe that could make the length of the room just doubled up.

I now feel I made a mistake painting the walls Burgundy. In my apartment I was always having problems with the curtains separating and the white walls showing through. Despite the excellent idea of using Velcro, I thing from Zimm, I chose not to screw around. However, now I just canít get the room as light as I would like it when not watching something. Plus these are real well made curtains so they hang beautifully and donít separate at the seams. So at some point Iíll likely be repainting the walls light colour again, probably combined with solving the curtain rod issue.
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

#303416 - 04/27/10 01:40 AM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: grunt]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11584
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Thanks for the detailed report, Dean. I'm still not set on what I'll be doing in my basement, but it's nice to read what other people are doing to tackle certain issues.

As you make more changes to your room (with Sean's help, no doubt), I'd love to see more pictures. I'm sure I'll be looking to this thread for pointers.

#303417 - 04/27/10 01:53 AM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: CV]
grunt Offline

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
I hope others can learn from my experience especially mistakes but the reality of it is that Iím using this as a sort of diary of my HT experience. That way if I did something and forget what results I got I can go back and re-read it myself. Also, it will let me see how my perception of things changes over time as I experience different aspects of the hobby. That others may benefit from it is an added bonus.

If there is one piece of general advice I think anyone can benefit from but especially those just starting out is to take baby steps. The temptation is to do everything all at once and have an awesome HT. I think this is the single most likely cause of misused time and money next to upgradites. Luckily I learned a lot from the trials and errors in the apartment so Iíve kept the mistakes since moving into the house to a minimum.

Iím looking forward in a couple weekends Sean is going to bring some of his stuff over. I hope to be able to try out some of his stuff in my ďmaster bedroomĒ actually I use it as a storage room (got to get on that) but plan on it being a sun room/workout area. However, Iím finding that I canít get optimal HT, optimal multi-channel audio and optimal 2ch audio in the same room w/o moving either the mains or the seating. Which screws up the distance delays for multi-channel. I was really looking forward to trying out the Sherwood Newcastle 972 as I had read you could save several speaker settings. But as far as I could tell from the early reviews they botched it and then Outlaw dropped theirs. So now maybe the next time I replace the receiver I can find something that has multiple speakers calibration settings.

Edited by grunt (04/27/10 02:00 AM)
Edit Reason: added more
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

#303486 - 04/27/10 01:23 PM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: grunt]
defuentes Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 12
Hi Dean, thanks for the help, I watch TV Shows, DVDs and Blu Rays mostly, I'd say 35% in 2.0 and the rest in 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 (Movies from the Satellite, Dvds and BluRays). I'd be using the same M3s for either set-up, my TV is a 52 inch LCD and I'm sitting about 8.5 feet from it, I'd say it's a mid-sized room but I have a lot of couches so they take some space, I made a drawing of my current 7.1 set-up with back surrounds:

The couches are bigger so there isn't so much space between things but itīs generally accurate.
What do you think?; Thanks again for all the help.

#303500 - 04/27/10 02:35 PM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: defuentes]
grunt Offline

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
First of all thanks for taking the time to make a drawing Eduardo. It makes it so much easier to understand what you are dealing with.

Based on the dimensions of your room and your seating layout I would go with wide speakers. Your room is wide enough compared to itís length I think the wides would really help to extend the front soundstage and make it more immersive, especially for the side couches. I would put the wides as far to each side as you can. And bring them out as close to the seating as you can get them without them sounding to close to someone sitting in the front of the nearest couch. I would angle them so they are not quite pointing straight to the back of the room but rather at the nearest side of the couch in the back of your room. That should help form a better soundstage while still leaving the nearest couches in the speakers dispersion pattern.

If possible I would also move the side M3s back a little bit so they are just behind the last seats and angled in toward the center of the group of seats. This will help make up for the loss of the rear speakers by creating a phantom rear effect in stereo between them. You could simulate this just by moving your seating forward temporarily if you have the room. That way you can get an idea of how it will sound w/o moving the speakers if they are wall mounted.

You may not want to hear this but itís going to be the best advice I can offer for your situation. If you can afford to get a pair of QS speakers even if it means using Axiomís trade-up program to trade in a pair of the M3s you will gain more improvement than any other single purchase IMO.

Trading up your side surround M3s for a pair of QS designs will give you a noticeable improvement in surround sound for all your seats. Their dispersion pattern would cover all of your viewing area much better than a direct radiating speaker and IMO be well worth the investment.

Finally, I think itís a coin toss as to height or rear speakers working better in your situation. Your room is wide enough to mount them on the front wall so the M3s should work ok but your ceiling height will limit how much ambient effect you get from them. If your room is normally full with people sitting on the side couches then height speakers would benefit those seats more than rears by spreading more sound around the room especially for scenes with wind, rain and echoes. However, if most of the time you only have people sitting in the back couch then rear speakers might benefit you more since they will help fill in the back soundstage for those seats. OTOH, if your side surrounds were QS design then I think they would spread the sound around enough in the back to make heights a better choice.

I know I must sound like a broken record but there is just no getting around the fact that the QS design does a fantastic job. For 3 years I ran only a 5.1 (side surrounds only) in my apartment even though I had the speakers and receiver for 7.1 because I found that with a pair of QS8s in that particular room rear speakers were completely unnecessary.

In summary I would move the rear M3s up and try them as wide speakers while moving the side ones back (or seats forward temporarily) to get a phantom rear effect from your side surrounds. Ideally Iíd upgrade to QS surrounds.

Otherwise if you mostly have people watching from only the rear couch Iíd leave the rear speakers. If you usually have people sitting in the side couches Iíd mover the rears to the height role and again adjust the seating forward or side surrounds back to get a phantom rear effect at least for your back couch.

Hope this helps. In the end the only way to know what will work best for you is to experiment but Iím pretty confident you will find the wides are more engaging than the rears in your room. Also Iím 100% confident you would find QS speakers more engaging as side surrounds in your setup. I'm sure others who own them will concur

3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

#303521 - 04/27/10 03:57 PM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: grunt]
defuentes Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 12
WOW!! Dean, THANK YOU!! I'm going to seriously consider the upgrade program!, upgrading the side speakers for QS and I've always wanted to upgrade the center channel to a VP150 for more dialogue clarity. Also I think I'll go with wide speakers and move the side speakers a little to the back to get the effect you mention, I'm going to do all the work this weekend, nothing is wall mounted so I can move the around a bit, I'm going to take an actual photo of the room tonight so you can look at the real situation...
THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Youīre the only person I've found that has really helped me with this, I've been asking around in AVSFroums without much luck really... I'm also upgrading my sub-woofer I'm down to 3 options and I was wondering I you could give me your opinion, none of the are AXIOM tough, I can't afford them...
I hope is OK to post them here even tough is the AXIOM forum:
Problem is I have a 800 dlls budget for this, but I have to consider shipping to Mexico and Customs for Importing them, so after contacting many companies this are my options.
I appreciate the help, thank you.

#303523 - 04/27/10 04:02 PM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: defuentes]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18029
Loc: NoVA
I would probably go for the Hsu, myself, but I think the ED is a good choice, too. Emotiva seems a little iffy these days as a company, but I could be wrong about that.
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

#303547 - 04/27/10 05:56 PM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: Ken.C]
tomtuttle Offline

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8462
Loc: Tacoma
I agree with Ken. The Hsu is a proven and revered design.
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

#303592 - 04/27/10 11:54 PM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: grunt]
St_PatGuy Offline

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7463
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
 Originally Posted By: grunt

Iím looking forward in a couple weekends Sean is going to bring some of his stuff over. I hope to be able to try out some of his stuff in my ďmaster bedroomĒ actually I use it as a storage room (got to get on that) but plan on it being a sun room/workout area.

I'm looking forward to it as well. First, Dean is going to have to throw in a few sticks of dynamite to clear the room! ;\)

I kid, I kid!

It'll be fun hooking up all the different gear and listening to music.
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

#303596 - 04/28/10 12:06 AM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: St_PatGuy]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16418
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Are you bringing your tube buffer for grunt to try out?
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

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