AV/HT/Hifi Rebuild

This has been in the works for the past 2 months.

It started initially with minor intention of “updating” my setup and like all things AV it suddenly exploded into a MAJOR upheaval. :sweat_smile:

I was looking to simplify the source component, ie finding a do-it-all device that can Stream and play offline collection for BOTH music and movies. In part I wanted to retire the bulky HTPC and merge it to a device like Nvidia TV or Apply TV. I too a look at zidoo and that amplified old discontentment with the existing setup.

Long story short, I ended up from trying to change a source component to redoing the entire setup :exploding_head:

Here’s a shortlist objectives of what I wanted to achieve.

  1. TWO sets of systems in ONE room, one for Audio, one for Movies
  2. Existing Audio setup with remain (ie Pre-Power-Speaker)
  3. Brand new dedicated setup for Movies
  4. Enhance/redo room layout and treatments
  5. Convert to in-wall/ceiling setup with AT screen

From the above the majority of work (ie 95%) is to separate the Movies components from current where it is a mash-up configuration.

SPK Selections

I’ve auditioned quite a number places (in the last 2 months) from Ken Kresiel, Lyngdorf, Focal, Wisdom Audio, Legacy and JBL.
The two I shortlisted:

  • Focal 300 Series
  • JBL Synthesis
    I am leaning towards the JBL though it is at a huge premium.

A few key changes.

  • Select a dedicated LCR designed range (ie vs those hifi stereo + center)
  • Replace reflection Atmos with Ceiling Atmos
  • Standardise all Surround and Atmos to same model
  • Consider adding Back Surround channel (will depend on final layout MLP distance to back wall)


This I am hoping to reduce cost by salvaging existing Krell amp vs a new gen low heat pwr amp
The current processor (Yamaha CXA5100) will be replaced with either SDR35/SDP55 or Lyngdorf MP40
The NAD T778 is under consideration as part of containing the runaway cost :sweat:


This one is still undecided, there are 3 contenders:

  1. Screen Innovation Slate perforated
  2. Screen Excellence Woven
  3. Screen Research Woven

I read that perforated is best in terms of visual but woven have an edge in terms of audio…
I need one that still works with a UST projector - did not want add prj upgrade to the ballooning cost!

Room Augmentation and Alteration

Currently I have some adsorbers deployed, it is not giving me the outcome that I expected. There are no diffusers.

The target is to:

  • Intersperse Diffusers and Adsorbers on front, side and back wall.
  • Add ceiling diffusers
  • Board up window at back wall (currently just a heavy curtain to block light)
  • Replace recliners with a 3 seater sofa.
  • Add 2D and 3D diffusers
  • Maintain a 15% Adsorbers and 20% diffuser ratio (advice from Audioholics YT)
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A very initial speaker layout (excluding the separate stereo system)
Room priority will be Movies while Stereo set with be merge in at a later stage

The front view (with JBL Synthesis mock up)

2 atmos?

Depending on the length of the room. 2 also ok.
For me, I would say min go for 4 will be better.

From 4 to 6 not much of difference though

The diagram is approximately to scale;
Each grid is 10cm, thus dim 3.1m x 4m

4 Atmos would nt be practical ie just like 4 to 6 u need a long room and multiple rows of seat to make it relevant.

The separate btw 2 to 4 needs abt 2 m by my estimation - I just dun hv that in my current space;

Wow…that’s quite small room you’ve got there. No wonder, you considering in-wall speakers to flush with the screen.

I see. Then 2 atmos makes sense

Wow exciting times ahead of u :slightly_smiling_face:

Congrats on your soon-to-be haven hehe

My listening area size is same as yours too. I would feel 2 pairs of atmos. At Front height + rear height/direct overhead positions would give u very good overhead sound field.

The front height placement is a must have. It will give u a great deal of sound stage difference at frontal top. Much more than direct overhead placement. Because there are much more movies/materials where the ambient sounds are from front afar, compared to scenes with footsteps on top or rain falling onto your ceiling.


Indeed, and a lot of work and simulation too.

updated the layout with the stereo components, namely spkrs and monoblocks
Planning to relocate all the movie electronics to the back wall right corner.

Studying the optimum placement of adsorbers to counter 1st point reflection.
Seems that I really only needed 1 on each side wall. Will add 2 at the back to counter the reflection along the length.

Took me some effort to recall my secondary school maths to help calculate the point of incidence…
I must thank my maths teacher for the trigonometry and algebra knowledge.

Screenshot 2021-10-07 at 1.43.42 PM

With the formula, I can now vary the L/R speaker separation and still calculate the point of incidence with relative ease. :smiley:

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Found this really cool looking tool on Audio Advice website.
It can generate a simple 3D simulation of an ideal HT given specific specs.
If your specs are out of range it actually highlight the component in red.

Too bad it’s not intelligent enough to give you more specific details on exact positioning.
Nor does it allow you to specify more accurate info like speaker output angle spread in the sound coverage simulation.

You can use the web tool


Don’t have to crack your head with numbers

Having the back wall treated is of utmost importance. You will come to realise this when you use the tool. no matter where you place that right or left speakers in front, the reflections will hit the spot behind mlp

As with acoustics, apart from quality of the panels, quantity matters. The more speakers you have the more surface area you need covered. The bigger the room, the higher the budget $$

I concur with foodie, personally I like front heights for Atmos. I find it very satisfying having the front heights. If u have watched the recent squid games korean drama, u will love the front heights and Atmos, especially when they make the announcement, music etc

But very good and happy to see you are really making an effort to improve the set up, good job mate and keep the postings coming ! Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:

Wow, NICE !!
Though it kept zooming out, not sure it’s my mouse or because it’s iMac.
I could not get it to back in :cry:

notice the scale is in KM :crazy_face:

Have to explore more on how to use this…

Wow these are great tools man

Ya pretty straight forward, just toggle around with the settings

See this simple example above with a single reflection order….

You will notice no matter where u place the speakers in front , you will have a reflection coming off right behind MLP

This is why the area behind MLP has lotsa positive impact to sound quality when treated

These are all based on science. And if you use a good diffusor or effective absorbers, u will experience a difference in quality. But right at the back exactly behind MLP, it is always best to use absorption, tested and proven

In whatever you do, avoid using these type of absorbers in the room

Because quite honestly, they are not effective in treating the Low end, but it sucks away useful energy in the room.

Now assuming you do put this there, you then don’t have the space to mount an effective panel anymore because absorber has occupied that space on the wall.

There are 1001 advises on the net, u just need to be savvy and follow the right one. One that is tested and proven

GIK acoustics makes some solid panels, or if u plan to diy your own, then you need to know how to build it and use the correct material with the correct density , placed at the correct location. Then u will see a leap in performance

I’m have 2 of these and I put them at the corners of my HT room since 2010. Effective or not? Well it is for me.

Yes, this I’m aware - note the absorbers in my initial draft.

How do u place the MLP?
All I managed to do was place 1 spkr and see the rays traces.

Unfortunately, it still only gives an estimated visual of the reflection points. That I can already anticipate ie each speaker hitting each wall and bouncing back to mlp (1st reflection). To accurately plan and determine qty/size and precise location where to put the neede diffuser and absorbers, I still need to map out the LCR trace rays.

The 2nd and subsequent reflection is less important assuming the absorption coefficient is at least 0.6 (personal assumption :grimacing:).

Do you know who carry them?
I’ve searched the internet and the closest representative is a company in Msia.

that’s physics/science - you need a few feet of depth to actually make a dent on the low end while it wiped out the mids & high before it reach the depth. Just like why we EQ the frequency response to get a flat curve, since the highs and mids gets wipe out by the foams and leave out the lows, we will perceive the left over sound to be yucky. Or so my understanding of the science.

Once way to deal with these are those treatments with diffuser in front and still a sizeable absorbers behind. This way, a good portion of the mids and high get reflected back to the room while the low that passes the holes/slots get reduced as well… ie more even reduction overall.

The spec sheets for this looks promising.

GIK ships Worldwide, you can order directly from their website. Their shipping rates weren’t bad but that was pre-Covid days.

U need to sketch your listening space, choose number of reflection order and number of rags.

The logo that has like a ear, is where you put it as main listening spot in the sketched area

No estimation, it’s actual, according to the size of the room you have sketched

Wow I’m actually quite impressed, you know your stuff. U don’t sound like someone needing help in the forum. I noticed this from your replies. On another thread, u mentioned the speakers need to be in front, to have that soundstage depth. Not against the back wall. And you are absolutely spot on. And a de-cluttered front stage helps with imaging and depth.

You seem to be experienced and know the issues before hand.

Example when u push the speakers against the wall, u can shift the speaker boundary interference frequency to a higher point, u can then use the mains at a higher crossover and send the Low frequencies to the subs. But in doing that, u will lose the soundstage depth. Something that cannot be replaced

Pushing the speakers away from the wall, does create Low end problems that speakers alone can’t fix. Hence the use of subwoofers, or sacrifice certain frequencies <100hz if running full range

These sort of replies, u will only find from people who are experienced and been there, seen it and done it

Too bad I can’t host you as yet, but it will be nice to exchange pointers.

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