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Thread: I'm about to embark on the dedicated home theater/music room build.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    28

    Default I'm about to embark on the dedicated home theater/music room build.

    Hi guys,

    A while back someone pointed me to Ascend and being in SoCal, the moment I narrowed it down I drove over and picked up Sierra's and have been very pleased.

    I'm about to hire an Architect to assist with an upcoming room addition. I'm stuck with 8' ceilings and it will be 21' long and the width is tbd.

    This will be a dedicated theater/music room space. I'll prewire for ATMOS (or whatever comes out next, in a 5.2.4 config) and thinking of using RAAL Towers, Sierra Horizon, and Sierra-2's for all surround speakers (haven't decided on the subs just yet.

    Has any of you done this?

    Being that we haven't broken ground yet it will be quite some time and slow going. I'll keep you updated but also being an audio newb I'll have lots of questions.

    First though is in trying to nail down the equipment list. What would you consider as an example of the bare minimum I'd need to drive all of this. I simply have a Yamaha Receiver, OPPO blue ray, Sierra 1's, Xbox One etc. but that's all. I have no experience in higher end equipment. I don't want to spend too much but I also need it to sound good and fill the room. I have never really turned up the volume too much but look forward to retreating to this new space and just taking it all in. I suppose the first question is the budget. I haven't decided yet. This is why I'll start with the minimum list and modify from there.

    Back to the speakers, I'm really happy I found Ascend. I posted something similar on AVS Forum but I expect home theater biased replies. My thought is that if I nail the musicality I'm ok wherever that leaves the home theater side of things. So bouncing this off you guys is just what I need.


    Drew

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: I'm about to embark on the dedicated home theater/music room build.

    I'm building a house right now as well, hopefully my budget holds out and I can get my room together the way I want it. I already have 90% of my equipment and I have to say that I've been incredibly happy with my Emotiva XPA-5 Gen 2 amp. They make incredible stuff. I would highly recommend going with a surround processor. I bought one refurbished from Accessories 4 Less, a Marantz AV7701 that I'm also really happy with, but it is not an Atmos model. The new Atmos models are much more expensive, but you can get the Emotiva XMC-1 for around $3k with the upgrades for Atmos, or one of the Marantz models for around the same. Keep in mind that you can use the analog pre-outs from the Oppo straight to an amp if you don't want Atmos yet.

    The XPA or BasX series will do just fine as far as amplification. I'd get an XPA-5 Gen 3 for your fronts and surrounds and then get two BasX stereo amps for the four Atmos speakers, at least that's what I plan on doing.

    For the surrounds I would go with the Sierra Satellite speakers that are due to come out some time towards the end of this year (hopefully if the next prototype is up to snuff) instead of the Sierra 2. They are front slot ported instead of rear ported, and they are much smaller. They'll be much easier to use for surround duties.

    If you want In-Ceiling speakers you can either mount the Ascend HTM 200 SE in the ceiling as one forum member has done (tknice) or you can get an In-Ceiling speaker from JBL or GoldenEar or some other company. I've heard that matching Atmos speakers to your fronts and surrounds isn't entirely necessary, but I'm certainly going to stay with Ascend when I go that route.

    Most of us are using Rythmik subs here since that is what Dave recommends and they are solidly engineered. I have two F12 subs in my setup and they're fantastic. Insanely deep and tight bass. I'd say buy two of whatever version you can afford and fits your tastes. Two of their big ported subs might be the trick for that room. The servo technology really makes sense for subs, I don't get why there aren't more of them out there, probably because the engineering isn't straightforward. It allows for much tighter and deeper bass to my ears, especially when you turn the rumble filter on. It makes every other sub sound terrible to me now.

    For cabling I can't recommend Blue Jeans Cable highly enough. Their cables are very reasonably priced and are the highest build quality you can hope to find. They're made in Seattle and come in plain fed ex boxes instead of hundreds of dollars in packaging and marketing materials. Solid engineering to back it all up, just like Dave does with Ascend.

    Finally, and most importantly, you need to treat your room with acoustic treatments. Go to GIK Acoustics and fill out their form. They'll recommend what you need and from everything I've read it'll make a drastic difference in your room. It'll likely cost in the $1k to $2k region, but you can do the basics and add on more treatments later. It's important to at least treat the first reflections and any major bass problems you might have. http://www.gikacoustics.com/acoustic-advice-form/
    Last edited by sludgeogre; 08-30-2016 at 08:05 PM.
    -Alex
    PS4/Nvidia Shield --> Emotiva XMC-1 --> Emotiva XPA-5 --> Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers and Horizon Center w/ RAAL tweeters (L/C/R), HTM-200 SE (Surrounds), 2x Rythmik F12 subwoofers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SouthWest of Cleveland
    Posts
    1,558

    Default Re: I'm about to embark on the dedicated home theater/music room build.

    I will throw in a newcomer to the amp market: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=14566

    Got a really good write up. No personal experience with it.

    I had an opportunity to audition an Atmos setup which used the latest Marantz flagship prepro, 8000-something. Very impressive!
    Ed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: I'm about to embark on the dedicated home theater/music room build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mag_Neato View Post
    I will throw in a newcomer to the amp market: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=14566

    Got a really good write up. No personal experience with it.

    I had an opportunity to audition an Atmos setup which used the latest Marantz flagship prepro, 8000-something. Very impressive!
    I have heard that this amp is a clone of another design by ATI, which is apparently a very well respected design. I've only heard incredible things about it so far. Looks like a great option. I went with balanced connections to my amp, because I could, and I really love how the connections are so solid. I've had so many problems with bad RCA cables and connections and noise I just didn't want to deal with it anymore, and now if I'm paying that much for an amp I almost expect it to come with balanced connections. I know, I'm weird. Still, looks like a fantastic amp.

    I very badly want to pick up either one of the new Marantz 8000 series processors or an Emotiva XPA-1. They're both extremely impressive. One day I'll have the space and the money...
    -Alex
    PS4/Nvidia Shield --> Emotiva XMC-1 --> Emotiva XPA-5 --> Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers and Horizon Center w/ RAAL tweeters (L/C/R), HTM-200 SE (Surrounds), 2x Rythmik F12 subwoofers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Manhattan Beach, California
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    6,269

    Default Re: I'm about to embark on the dedicated home theater/music room build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mag_Neato View Post
    I will throw in a newcomer to the amp market: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=14566

    Got a really good write up. No personal experience with it.

    I had an opportunity to audition an Atmos setup which used the latest Marantz flagship prepro, 8000-something. Very impressive!
    I think this is a solid choice.

    I use an ATI amp...an older 1505. Bullet proof.

    Almost pulled the trigger on this last week when Monoprice had one day 20% off sale on all Monoprice branded products.
    -curtis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    SouthWest of Cleveland
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    Default Re: I'm about to embark on the dedicated home theater/music room build.

    Emotiva has created a network of dealers recently, one of them being in Gardena, CA.
    Reference Audio Video
    Gardena, CA 90248
    Phone: 310.517.1700
    Email: ken@reference-av.com
    Website: www.referenceaudiovideo.com

    You could audition the XPA amp without having to buy one, however, having it drive your system in your space is best to evaluate it.

    The Monoprice(ATI clone) is a beefy MoFo @ 93lbs. with those two big toroidal transformers. The Emotiva is a "new" technology with less weight/heat. One advantage of the Emotiva is that if you only need 5 channels then you would only purchase the 5 channel configuration with the ability to add additional amp channel modules as your needs grow.
    Ed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Manhattan Beach, California
    Posts
    6,269

    Default Re: I'm about to embark on the dedicated home theater/music room build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mag_Neato View Post
    Emotiva has created a network of dealers recently, one of them being in Gardena, CA.
    Reference Audio Video
    Gardena, CA 90248
    Phone: 310.517.1700
    Email: ken@reference-av.com
    Website: www.referenceaudiovideo.com

    You could audition the XPA amp without having to buy one, however, having it drive your system in your space is best to evaluate it.
    That place looks shady. No real storefront. Address is a residential area.
    -curtis

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: I'm about to embark on the dedicated home theater/music room build.

    Quote Originally Posted by curtis View Post
    That place looks shady. No real storefront. Address is a residential area.
    And all of the images on the whole site are broken. Does not usually make me confident in a business.
    -Alex
    PS4/Nvidia Shield --> Emotiva XMC-1 --> Emotiva XPA-5 --> Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers and Horizon Center w/ RAAL tweeters (L/C/R), HTM-200 SE (Surrounds), 2x Rythmik F12 subwoofers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Manhattan Beach, California
    Posts
    6,269

    Default Re: I'm about to embark on the dedicated home theater/music room build.

    Quote Originally Posted by sludgeogre View Post
    And all of the images on the whole site are broken. Does not usually make me confident in a business.
    Makes you wonder if Emotiva vetted them out first.
    -curtis

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SouthWest of Cleveland
    Posts
    1,558

    Default Re: I'm about to embark on the dedicated home theater/music room build.

    Quote Originally Posted by sludgeogre View Post
    And all of the images on the whole site are broken. Does not usually make me confident in a business.
    Hmm, interesting. Does not give one warm and fuzzy feelings.

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