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Need advice on HT setup and placement


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Hello everyone!


I'm new to this forum, but love all the shared info - I'm learning a TON! In the next couple of months I'm gonna get serious about a real HT setup and currently in the planning stages. I wanted to run my potential setup and speaker placement by this community and see if there is anything I'm missing to setup a Dolby Atmost 7.1.4 configuration. I've attached 2 drawings of my room layout to help visualize what I'm working with. Any and all feedback is welcome to help improve and optimize my setup. My grid was every two boxes equals 1 ft approx. Thank you!



  • RF-7 III


  • RC-64 III


  • R-51-M


  • RP-502S

  • both Rear speakers and Rear surrounds mounted on 30 inch speaker stands.

Atmos front mounted above front left and right speakers:

  • RP-500SA

Atmos mounted above the couch area 10ft off the ground.

  • RP-500SA

Sub: considering hiding it in the rear corner of the room instead of in the front: (the front speakers I've heard punches good bass + lack of space)

  • SPL-120


  • Denon AVR-X4400H or X4500 depending on whats cheapest and available.
  • Paired with a XPA-3 Gen3 AMP or Outlaw 5000 powering the front stage. ( I must admit I'm not 100% clear on the difference between that emotive 3 channel vs. the outlaw besides the obvious fact that the outlaw has 2 additional channels. The Emotive seems like it has a lot of power for those 3 channels comparatively.)



Thanks again for any advice,




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Hi Spencer, welcome to the Klipsch forum!  :emotion-21:  :emotion-19:


I have several comments.


First of all your equipment choices are excellent, you have really done your research starting with the L/C/R.  The Denon brand is known to work well with Klipsch, although I don't own one, I have the Marantz 6011.  I'd like to reserve judgement on your surrounds and Atmos speakers because I don't run that particular setup, I'm just not knowledgeable in Atmos.  I think others could advise you better on that than me.


Sub:  You have chosen a single 12" sub.  I have no problem with a single and I run a single in my living room but most people will suggest a pair. If you want more discussion on the pros and cons of dual subs let us know and several people will weigh in.  I would suggest you start with a 15" sub as it moves 40% more air than a 12 inch, doesn't take up much more room and is not much more expensive.


Amps:  As for your amps I'm typing an @ and choosing teaman from the drop-down list @teaman so he will get a Notification.  He has a lot of experience with external amps and Emotiva in particular.  He can give you good advice in that area.  FYI I have an Emotiva XPA-5 200 wpc but I am not an authority, just a user.


Fireplace:  Is that a working fireplace on the left?  Just asking for further consideration of how the room space might best be used.


TV:  I see there is 16' from the front to the back wall but I couldn't tell how big your TV was.  In general if you sit 10 feet from the TV a 65-70" is suggested.  Here is the science.



Saving Money:  There is a Forum member who is also a Klipsch dealer who has a golden rep on this and other forums for his great prices and excellent service.  He really knows how to ship speakers safely and I have bought from him.  You seriously will not be able to find better prices anywhere, including internet pricing but you have to talk/email/PM directly with him.


Cory is incredibly knowledgeable and will give you very straight forward advice that benefits you, not him.  He has electronics as well as Klipsch gear, I suggest you get in touch with Cory and talk with him.  You can save some money and get great advice, all the same time. 


Paging @MetropolisLakeOutfitters  and his business partner Steve who is also a very active member here, @Scrappydue  You guys might have to use email as I'm not sure Forum members with just a few posts can use the PM.  If you send a notification they'll know to get in touch with you.  Neither is pushy or intrusive at all so if you reach out to either, they will respond.





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Welcome to the forum Spencer. Seems to me you have a pretty good idea of what you want already so that is a good start. Your speaker selections are all solid choices.


Looking at your layout first thing I would ask is, is it possible to move the rear couch up to where the coffee table is to allow for some space behind your seated position? I realize the fireplace is there so that may be a solid no....just thinking that the stand mounted rear speakers are going to be blasting right in your ears. That would get fatiguing with the duration of a movie. Also with sitting that far back, your front wall mounted Atmos speakers might be directing the sound at your feet instead of your seated position. I'm sure once your gear gets in the room you can better initiate any relocating of furniture you may have to do. 


I would definitely suggest dropping any idea of that Outlaw Audio 5000 amplifier. Both of those Denon AVRs are going to give you between 100-125 wpc so that Outlaw with 120 would just be flushing money down the drain. An Emotiva XPA-5 may be your best bet as far as bang for the buck goes, although I don't see anything about budget. It will allow you to power the front stage plus the rear surrounds with decent power and take some strain off your Denon. If that price tag is too steep, the XPA-3 would be fine. That allows your AVR to pack the punch it needs to immerse you in good power flowing to your Atmos speakers. 


There are plenty of good quality amps on the market today and priced pretty competitively so your budget will probably dictate which way you go. Emotiva, Parasound, Adcom, B&K, ATI, Monolith, Outlaw are all solid choices. 


I'm assuming this is mainly for movies and tv, not so much for music. If you think you will be listening to a lot of music, you may want to move up the food chain to a more powerful front amp for your towers. The RF-7 series really seem to like power and will probably benefit from a big amp, returning to you in spades with a silly smile every time you turn up the tunes...rrrrrrrrrrrrrrkkk. Okay, putting on the brakes since I don't know that yet. Are you only shopping for new amps and AVR or are you open to used? You can probably save a lot of money there going used. Accessories4less.com has some great demo, open box and refurb deals all warrantied. You can also add a longer warranty to them which would make sense since you are saving money anyways.  Cory or Steven can also help with the AVR and amp if you select something they sell. Remember too that Denon and Marantz are sister products and usually mirror each other as far as features. One may cost less but they can help you with that. Purchasing your speakers through them for instance can save you a lot of money. Parasound amps are on close out right now in limited supply that can be a great way to save money while still buying new....ask Cory or Steven about them!


You might also benefit from a second sub at the front of the room, or maybe even relocating your single sub to the front tv wall. Personally I like to hear the bass coming from the direction I am looking so my mind plays into the movie sound effects are actually coming from the tv. 


Happy to help if you need anything, just holler!




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A few thoughts...


1. I'd skip the R-51M unless you're just on a budget and already have them, try to get the reference premier bookshelves, RP-500M or RP-600M.  


2. Try to get a nicer sub if possible, the 120's don't dig all that deep, the RF-7III's are a heck of a speaker, try to at least the 115SW if possible.  


3. Be careful about running out of channels with a Denon 4500, best I can tell you're talking about 7.1.4, if you don't run an external amp you will be out of channels with this setup.  I believe the 4500 will let you process 11 channels though.  In the owners manual it will tell you to offload the last two Atmos channels to an external amp, but you should be able to reconfigure it where you offload the mains then reassign those amps, it's just not documented very well, just keep this situation in mind especially if you decide against an external amp.  

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@willland @wvu80 @teaman @MetropolisLakeOutfitters @Cor


Thank you so much for the in-depth reply's, thoughts and ideas. You guys really gave me some stuff to think about, which is what I was hoping for! @wvu80 by the way if thats you in the middle of your pic, thank you for your service. 


I'm definitely looking at going a 7.1.4 min, but probly a 7.2.4 setup in the end with an external amp. My goal is to have a well balanced, but powerful, audio setup that isn't bass overkill. I've been over to friends houses that setup a HT and it seems like they just put speakers in the correct spots and hooked up an AV unit, but didn't tweak anything. So when we are watching a movie its just like the bass drowns everything out and you get ear fatigue fast. Hopefully that make sense. There are many youtube videos for Denon explaining the setup config process for the different speaker combos so thats how I've been learning about that AV and amp combo because you are right @MetropolisLakeOutfitters, the docs are not that good.


Couch: It seems like the general consensus is that I need to move the couch forward for many reasons, ideally where the coffee table is located. I don't know if the wife will let me move it that far up but I will try ;) I definitely need to move it up though.


Subs: I'm not opposed to dual subs - I just am getting tight on space in the front. Basically I don't have room for one in the front because the R7-III are so big. Are there other alternative spots to place a sub, like off to one side? The volume of my room is 2800 cubic ft - I think using 2 twelves would be ok for that size right? I will look up the new sub that @MetropolisLakeOutfitters mentioned. I didn't think the sub I listed was the ideal model, but its all I had written down at the time.


Rear Speakers: Good call @MetropolisLakeOutfitters - RP-500M added.


Amps: I guess my biggest question for @teaman is about how exactly the Emotive amp works. What does the Emotiva XPA-5 do/offer in terms of features that the A-500 doesn't do or the outlaw for that matter? Does the XPA-5 or 3 just output more power and thats why they are better/more expensive? Seems like a lot of youtube reviewers have a Parasound Halo I think its called as well, but I've had a hard time finding that available online. Emotiva has a better website that I could order from.


Fireplace: It works, but its gas and we don't use it. Its got a smell to it that just isn't natural I think.


TV: Its a 55 inch non-4k. I agree want to upgrade but I don't think I can get the wife on board until we move again, or it "accidentally breaks" lol. We are hoping to move in 3 years, so still a little bit of time to kill. 


Saving Money: In terms of my AV or amp - I'm all about looking at refurbs or last years models/discontinued items as long as they at least come with a 1y warranty of some kind. Since this is my first real go around, if I break something or need to upgrade it will be less painful. Have either of you bought anything from Accessories4less.com - how was your experience?


Overall we do listen to music, not as much as movies though. Of course with a nice system I could see that evening out a bit more.


Anyways thanks again everyone for all the help. Once I get everything purchased, rewire the walls / attic :(  and installed later this year (Aug) I'll update with some final images and probly have more questions along the way and when tweaking the installed setup.





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41 minutes ago, spencersmb said:

@wvu80 by the way if thats you in the middle of your pic, thank you for your service. 


On behalf of my son who was in the US Air Force, thank you.  I am the grey haired gentleman on the right.



With regards to the fireplace, since you said you don't use it I think it gives your more placement options for the couch.  The consensus seems to be for you to move it more forward so the rear speakers don't play in your ear.


Talking about the TV, I know what you mean.  I had a 47" 1080p for ten years, and thank goodness the power supply went dead about a couple of months ago.  I sit about ten feet away from the TV and I just moved up to a 65".  My wife still thinks the old 47" TV is too big.


If you haven't checked prices lately, big TV's are ridiculously cheap compared to a few years ago.  Your 55" is still bigger than my old 47" but you could easily justify moving to a larger screen, or as an alternative move the couch closer to the TV.





I just saw Cory's three comments ^^^.  I agree with all three.


1.  I have the RP-600M's which I got from Cory just after Christmas.  They are good enough for front L/R, and in fact after running them in the Mancave for several weeks I'm going to move them to the living room replacing for the time being, replacing the RF-83's.   They are that good and highly recommended.


2.  Cory also suggested the SW115.  I agree with this as well as I believe a single 15 will outperform dual 12's in no small part because the 12's use a 300 watt plate amp, the 15 uses a 500 watt amp.  I'd start with a single 15 and add a second if you think one is not enough.  A second sub does have benefit as it will smooth out nulls and peaks but it only adds 3 db to the top end.


3.  As Cory said, if you are going to run 7.1.4, the Denon you suggested (and my Marantz 6011) processes 11 channels and will run best if you add an amp to power the fronts (L/R, or L/C/R) then let the AVR power the side and back surrounds.

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Nice setup! How are you using the, is it bipole or dipole speakers, above your Front L & R? 


Thats really awesome to hear about how RP-600M are performing!


Looking more at the SW115 I noticed on the back I'll need a male to 2male cable. I'll have to go hear that at like best buy or something if I can :) 


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You will only need one cable for your sub, a coax with RCA males on each end.  The sub should have one input labeled "LFE".  Plug it in there.  If you can wait a few days order a cable from Monoprice.  They are better and cheaper than Best Buy or Walmart.  It may say Digital or sub cable, they are all the same thing.





Those are RS-62 surround speakers, a bi-pole design.  They aren't supposed to be up there but I put them there as an experiment.  The did not work as poor man's Atmos speakers on their sides with the drivers facing straight up, but then I oriented them correctly and set them up as Front Heights, and I could choose Front, Middle, Rear sound so I choose middle.  They had a really wide soundstage so despite their odd look I kept them. 


Until yesterday when I put the RP-600M's in as L/R.   B)



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