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Many people become baffled at this stage, they don’t know how to select just the right speakers and for each location in the room or how much of their budget should go to speakers. Location of speakers is the MOST important factor. Your room dimensions will then dictate how large your speakers can be.
Now you can choose from a range taking into consideration:
1. Speaker Sensitivity & Power handling
2. Capability with regard to room size
4. Timbre matching (very important)
5. Off axis sound (also very important)
6. Frequency response (if you can ﬁnd real ﬁgures as this is elusive)
7. LFE capability.
Often people think big (tower) speakers are needed for big sound. Some of our best projects use speakers smaller than you would imagine but sound incredible because of sound management, and clever use of subwoofers.
Your target is the ability to smoothly deliver 105db of sound at each seat. Not being able to do this leaves the room sounding a bit feeble. Ampliﬁers are responsible for the crisp clear dynamics of your sound. The WOW factor.
An AVR combines the processor/HDMI switcher with the power amps. AVRs often top out at 150 watt. Separate processors allow use of power amps which deliver an easy 200-400 watts. Brands like Anthem from Canada and Emotiva focus more on sound than features. We agree, the AVR’s job is to create great sound, not stream 10 different music services that another device can do anyway.
How much power do your speakers need? For smaller rooms (seating distances 3m or less) an “all in one” Ampliﬁer or “Receiver” may do. For larger rooms a separate Processor and Power Amp capable of delivering about 200W of power will be needed.
Also consider factors such as number of channels, equalization capability, audio and video format capability. A processors job is to manage all the sources signals, handle the latest audio formats, decoding digital sound for the ampliﬁer and pass on the picture signal. A good processor will not mess with the sound or picture and deliver full resolution without noise or harm.
Ampliﬁers and speakers are key components and will outlast many of the other cinema components. Invest wisely.
NO CUTTING CORNERS HERE!! The bass makes up over 30% of the sound. THE PERFECT ROOM WILL ALWAYS HAVE 4 SUBS, however we understand that sometimes this isnt affordable or workable. We alwasy suggest a minimun of 2 subs to get some balance at least.
Budget from $2000AU a sub, but more power means more money (12-15”drivers) these are around $3500AU
HDMI cables - This may sound off but good cables especially for long projector runs are vital to get the full data rate. Typically, HDMI over 7m starts to lose bandwidth. New Optical or Active cables deliver the full res to 10, 15 and 20 meters beyond.
Speaker cables - 14awg is the requirement for runs <30m. Good quality cable like this is about $8/m AU. For effects speakers at 10-25m runs we use 2x 14awg. Passive subwoofer - 4x 14awg. Front LCR (if rack is front center = <6m) a single 14awg is fine, often we’ll go higher quality Hifi cable for more delicate resolution. Also the shorter length makes this a reasonable investment.
EVERY HOME CINEMA NEEDS A POWER FILTER!!! Isolating your equipment from the grid is a must. When you install an isolation filter you will be shocked at how much noise was in the system. A filter CAN START AT at $300 AND END UP $10,000 PLUS DEPENDING ON HOW SERIOUS!