SVS Ultra 7.2.4 Atmos System - AVR/powering recommendations and other advice

Discussion in 'AV Equipment Advice and Pricing' started by robkh1984, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. robkh1984

    robkh1984 New Member
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    I've looked at hundreds of reviews and keep coming back to this one. Great job, Todd!

    I want to go from a soundbar (Yamaha YSP-5600) to a full on surround sound system. I already have a SVS SB-16 Ultra sub and am thinking of going SVS all around.

    II searche all around to get ideas for my particular setup, but couldn't find many options where the couch is against the back corner wall and there's a large space where a side wall would normally be in a rectangular room. I can do either a 5.1.4, 7.1.4, or even a 9.1.4 setup with Atmos/Auro 3D and "Voice of God" Channel.

    Plan 1 - Ground Floor-01-01.jpeg
    What I'm comfortable with so far:
    • Fronts: SVS Ultra bookshelves for the FR and FL and a SVS Ultra Center
    • Atmos:
      • 2 rear heights above couch facing the front,
      • 2 front heights above FR and FL bookshelves facing the rear.
        (Left and Right front and rear heights would be aligned.)
    • A Prime Elevation for the "Voice of God" channel above and slightly in front of the MLP.
    • Four 24x48x2" accoustic panels in the corner where the couch is.
    • Two 24x24x2" accoustic panels, 1 behind where each bookshelf would be.

    QUESTION 1: What to do with the rear and/or side surrounds?
    I'll probably use all SVS Prime Elevations or a combination of Prime Elevations and SVS Surrounds (Bipole/Dipole/Duet mode?).

    I had some ideas I wanted to bounce around with you::

    a) Prime Elevations mounted on the back wall, both about 2' above the MLP (main listening position), either:
    a1) mounted horizontally, angled inwards to direct the sound more towards the middle of the room;
    a2) same as a1, but angled outward, away from the middle of the room to spread out the sound;
    a3) same as a1, but angled 45° down and more directly, albeit not too directly, to the MLP; or
    a4) angled to fire up to the ceiling, something recommended by Zeos (Z Reviews: 34:30 mark)​

    b) Ceiling mounted, one on each side of the couch, both angled towards the MLP.
    1 on side wall and 1 on the other side of the couch, but up against the back wall.
    ISSUE: Higher than recommended, but assume Audyssey MultEQ XT32 calibration can help with that.

    c) SVS Surrounds on the back wall, about 2' above th MLP, in either bipole or Duet modes.
    ISSUE: one of them would be in a corner pretty close to the corner and right above one of the seating areas.

    d) any of the combination above for more of a 7.1.4 or 9.1.4 setup.


    QUESTION 2: What the best options are for receiver and amp separates would power this setup? The other option is going with an all-in-one (eg, Marantz SR8012 / SR7013 or Denon AVR-8500H / AVR-6500H).


    Definitely welcome the feedback. Wife comes home in 2 weeks, so the time is now. Adding a floorplan with measurements in case it helps.
    (Apologies in advance for any typos. Doing this off my phone.)

    Thanks a ton, and looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

    Rob
     
  2. Sonnie

    Sonnie Senior Admin
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    Hi Rob and welcome the AV NIRVANA

    I moved your post to its own thread. We would not want to clog up the review thread with recommendations for you that will get into many things that will have nothing to do with the review thread.

    Personally I think you have a train wreck going on with your room setup there. I don't see how you will ever accomplish anything that is going to sound all that good given the seating and location of your display. With your present setup, I don't even see how you can get the display centered between the two bookshelf speakers.... and even if you did, they would be so close to it that it would create issues with the VOG center, unless you were able to mount it right at the top of the display. I don't know.... I see massive issues there.

    If you can some how move the display to where it is at an angle... the move the couch (assuming this is your MLP) to an angle facing the display.... or swap your MLP and display areas... put the display on the couch wall, which would make for a much better experience. You really need to get the front experience fixed right before you will be able to figure out the surround and height experience.
     
  3. robkh1984

    robkh1984 New Member
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    Hi Sonnie, I have room for the fronts and center around and under the TV. The TV doesn't cover the entire wall .I have about 18" on each side.

    Mostly wondering about the rears and surrounds.
     
  4. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Hey Rob -

    Thanks for the kind remarks. Glad to see you here! I have some answers for you - have to wrap a few things up this morning and will be back this afternoon!

    Best , todd
     
  5. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Alright - let's see if we can work through this.

    For your front three, the Bookshelf and Center Channel speakers are excellent choices. You already have the sub, so as long as you get those bookshelves positioned in a way that they can breath a little in your space, you're going to love them. GREAT speakers for the coin.

    I have a Part 2 to the SVS system review that's been waiting to go live. Needs just a tad more baking. ;-) But, if you're looking to set up an Auro friendly system, you don't necessarily need a VOG channel. If you're ceilings are in the 8-9ft range, you should be fine with 4 height channels (in my opinion, the best sounding Atmos/Auro dual arrangement has ceiling mounted height channels over your primary seating and two front wall mounted channels for your "front height." This, of course, is wildly dependent on room size, etc... so if you have a way of rigging your speakers before you permanently mount them (I used 2x4s), then I suggest slogging through various speaker arrangements and testing it on your own. Based on your drawing, it looks like your area is about as long as my home theater.

    As for Question 1: Because you lack side walls near your seating position, I think you're okay rolling with Elevations mounted horizontally on the wall behind your couch. I'd make them as wide to the wall on the left side of the seating position as possible, then mirror that placement on the otherwise for symmetry. They'll be fairly easy to mount horizontal.

    Alternatively, you could use the Surround model, but I'm not convinced you'll gain much... and you'll loose the ability to aim them over the seating position.

    Of course this all just my opinion, you may want to ask SVS as well.

    Don't be afraid to run a 5.1.4 system (as opposed to 7.x.x... you have tight quarters there and I think the 5.x.x will sound just as good.

    As for Question 2: Any of the AVRs you listed should be able to drive the system you're looking at. Personally, I always like to add a dedicated amplifier for the LCR channels, but the Marantz and Denon models can drive those speakers clean to decently loud volume levels. I believe I have the 8500 coming for review any day now (unless there's supply hang up).
     
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  6. robkh1984

    robkh1984 New Member
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    Thanks, guys! I checked with SVS as well and shared this picture. They recommended the Ultra Surrounds on the back wall (red speakers) with 4 Prime Elevations for Atmos for a 5.1.4 setup.

    Definitely interested in seeing the 2nd part of your SVS review as the review of the 8500 unit!

    Adding pictures here in case you have any other thoughts.
    IMG_20181015_121121-01.jpeg IMG_20181011_075642-01.jpeg
    IMG_20181011_075544.jpg
     
  7. Matthew J Poes

    Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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    Hey Rob, you’ve come to the right place!

    Looks like you’re off to a good start too. I like that you already have some treatment in there.

    Here are my suggestions:

    1. Consider spending money on an external amplifier for the front three speakers. It takes a load of the receiver and frees up more power for the remaining speakers, and many of these amps can put out quite a bit more power than the receiver can. Don’t rely on specs, Outlaw makes a little 5x120 amp that puts out a lot more power than comparable receivers and handles impedance swings better. It looks the same as a good receiver on paper, but not under test.
    2. I wouldn’t go with a 7 or 9 channel system in your space. It won’t improve envelopment or sound, just waste more money. The external amp suggested above would offer a greater improvement in sound. The problem with loading too many speakers into a small space is that they end up being too close to you and to each other. It gets harder to integrate everything and envelopment can actually get worse. When surround speakers are near a barrier it actually creates an acoustic mirror. For the mains that is bad, but for the surrounds it just means you get twice the surrounds for free. Same with atmos, I would stick with no more than 4, and 2 is probably adequate.
    3. Consider adding bass traps. Especially in small spaces you really want more bass absorption than mid-high. Most rooms naturally have a lot of absorption down to about 500hz and it falls off from there. You actually want absorption increasing below 500hz without increasing any above that point.
     
  8. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Any chance at all that you’d be willing to cut into your ceilings to run wire?
     
  9. JStewart

    JStewart Active Member
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    Hi Rob,
    Lots of great points already and your plan above looks like the best option if your 100% on leaving the layout the way it is.
    Everyone here wants you to have the best experience possible and its not a small amount of coin you're looking to spend. So it's in that spirit I'd like to say what you're probably well aware of already... You're making compromises on the side surround speakers by placing them on the wall behind you and in the case of the left hand sofa position, directly above and behind the listener's head. Also the sofa being against a wall and in a corner is a very unlikely spot for clear articulate bass and likely spot with some strong boundary interference issues.
    What you've got in mind will be better than your current equipment for sure. It's just that it's also far more capable than the plan above will allow it to perform. If there's any way to re-arrange the furniture to be more compatible you should consider it. Have you explored putting the display in front of the window facing the kitchen island or in the corner between the two windows where the sofa is now?
     
  10. robkh1984

    robkh1984 New Member
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    I was thinking separates pre amp and amp all along, but wasn't sure what type of preamp to fet to process 9.1 or 11.1 or .2 setups. I was thinking that something like a Marantz 8012 or Denon 8500 + 5-channel amp. I even thought about bi-amping the front stage from the 13-chanell 8500, but that seems more like a hack. I'd rather get good processing and a good amp.

    Amps:
    Outlaw 5x120 does look good
    Emotiva XPA-7
    Paradound 52+

    Pre amp:
    Something with Dirac (miniDSP, NAD?), but the # of channels becomes an issue.
    Anthem STR (w/ ARC) --- $$$
    Marantz...
    Denon...

    Ideally, combined would be under $3k.
     
  11. robkh1984

    robkh1984 New Member
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    Haha, I wish! All the more reason I was leaning on the Prime Elevations.
     
  12. robkh1984

    robkh1984 New Member
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    Life is all about compromises. I think a big one now is the "Wife Acceptance Factor" lol
     
  13. JStewart

    JStewart Active Member
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    Why must they sometimes do this to us?

    Any particular reason? The value proposition is a lot better with a receiver and outboard amps. Processors have nasty habit of getting out of date quickly these days too.

    You might ask @Todd Anderson about his experience with Auro without the VOG channel and also I was thinking a Yamaha might have some advantages for you with their DSP programs that will increase the sense of spaciousness. Might be handy with the proximity of the rear surrounds.

    Re: the NAD with Dirac. Love mine but unlike the Yamaha and D/M products it won't accommodate front/rear height speaker placement for Atmos by design.

    Yup.
     
  14. robkh1984

    robkh1984 New Member
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    You're telling me? First year into marriage and balancing the awesomeness that will be sure to happen when I do this with, ", this may set a bad precedence if I don't do this right." Lol

    [QUOTE="Any particular reason? The value proposition is a lot better with a receiver and outboard amps. Processors have nasty habit of getting out of date quickly these days too.

    You might ask @Todd Anderson about his experience with Auro without the VOG channel and also I was thinking a Yamaha might have some advantages for you with their DSP programs that will increase the sense of spaciousness. Might be handy with the proximity of the rear surrounds."[/QUOTE]

    The two big reason I was thinking of getting a separate preamp processor and amp was:
    (1) upgrading the preamp processor every few years as the texchnology and codecs change or I go crazy with even more channels when moving into a larger space, and
    (2) have more dedicated power go to the speakers, which should decrease the odds of clipping from being underpowered and extend the life of the processor by not driving it too hard.

    Question here thoughs is if I could go with either:
    A) a AVR like a Marantz 8012 or Denon 11.2 or 13.2 AVR that has really good processing and internal amp power, possible bi-amping a few channels for the fronts;
    B) get a more affordable preamp processor without all the internal power and add an external 5 or 7 channel amp (would I need 2 amps, 1 for the 5 main speakers at floor level and another for the 4 Atmos speakers?); or
    C) Choice A and a 5-channel external amp

    [QUOTE="Re: the NAD with Dirac. Love mine but unlike the Yamaha and D/M products it won't accommodate front/rear height speaker placement for Atmos by design.

    IlI' check out the Yamahas. I had one 15 years ago and wasn't too impressed. Also had a ~$800 Only 8 years ago and wasn't impressed either. I have a Yamaha YSP-5600 Soundbar. From what I can tell, it's their flagship model. It'd be great in a bedroom, but may space is too funny for rely purely on sound beams for effect, and I don't want to "invest" in a new setup and have it be half . I'll settle for 3/4 now as long as I know the equipment is good and can I can carry it forward in the next place I live.

    Yup.[/QUOTE]
     
  15. robkh1984

    robkh1984 New Member
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    Wish I could, but in an apartment right now without access to an attic space. I'd love to find a way of drilling smaller holes in the ceiling to run the wires from the back wall to the front. Any good ideas or sites I could check out?
     
    #15 robkh1984, Oct 21, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  16. JStewart

    JStewart Active Member
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    IMHO B will not gain much if anything in sound quality and will cost a lot more. "A" would be a good start then get an external amp just afterward from a company that allows returns, such as Outlaw as Matthew suggested. Hook it up, see what you think, and decide from there. You can be sure it's worth it to you this way.

    On the other hand, I have a business partner who asked the same question a couple of years ago, got the same answer on a forum, and got the preamp processor anyway because that's just what he wanted. He's been happy with his choice. So if separates fit your budget and that's what you want then go for it. No point in spending money and not being happy with it!
     
  17. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    I only ask because I've had the opportunity to test out Atmos with the Elevations mounted on the ceiling versus at the top corners of walls in the front and back of a room. From my experience, you get a more cohesive and seamless sound when you mount the Elevations over top of seating (on ceiling) and in a front position mid-way between your seating and front wall (on ceiling). That's not to say you can't still get immersive sound by going top front and top rear walls. But that positioning stretches the sound in a way that leaves a tiny bit of a gap effect.

    Of course, 1st world problems and if you install at the top of your walls, you'll never know the difference, right?? ;-)
     
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  18. robkh1984

    robkh1984 New Member
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    Would this be
    This on ceiling setup between the seating position and the front wall is for the Atmos, right?
     
  19. Matthew J Poes

    Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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    It might make sense to consider your total budget and needs. Here is why I say that:

    Speakers make a bigger difference than anything else. Upgrading speakers makes for a bigger upgrade than anything else. The SVS speakers are very good for the money. There is better for more money. The preamps you mention above are VERY good, and I personally think a receiver and amplifier for less money or a processor and amplifier with less channels but more money into speakers would be a better investment.

    Better processors don’t necessarily sound better than better receivers. At least not in a significant way. Some have better channel separation, lower noise, and lower distortion, but often we are talking marginally better.

    MiniDSP is a DIRAC processor but they don’t sell a surround processor with decoding for current surround formats. You would need a separate processor if you went with DIRAC.

    Basically don’t go overboard here. You won’t hear the difference, just spend the money. Better to focus on the things that make the biggest difference. That’s my opinion.
     
  20. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Correct. There are multiple positions that you can mount the speakers in... all the way from front and back wall corners to various points on the ceiling. The only problem with mounting your front/middle channels too close to the front of your room is a noticeable stretching effect in the resulting sound that leaves some gaps along the sides as over head sounds move from front to back (and back to front).

    It's not the end of the world to have that gap... by the way. But it definitely sounds better without them! ;-)
     
  21. Tony V.

    Tony V. Moderator
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    Im a bit late to the conversation but your getting some great advice already, I recently upgraded my receiver to a newer generation one with Atmos and was pleasantly surprised by the improvements. I run just my mains on a separate amp and everything else is using the receivers built in amps. Dont over think things too much and go with what your budget allows is my first thought to you. I also agree that a 5.1.4 setup would likely be your best option. You can always add another sub to the mix later.
    I also agree that SVS would be a tough system to beat for the money and they look great as well.
     

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