10 k speaker setup. 5.1

Hey Gang,

I am more of a two channel guy so I told my son in law I would reach out to the HT guys. 
‘They recently purchased a home with a dedicated theater room. 25x15X8.  Theater seating with elevated back row. 
He just had a Sony Laser projector installed with 120” screen. He has an Anthem electronics so he is good there. 
He lives in Madison,Wisconsin so may not have a lot to choose from locally.

The screen hangs pretty low because of a soffit in front of it.   The Fronts cannot be setup in a normal two channel configuration because of screen size. I think ha can get away with a phantom center with some real good speakers. 
The current surrounds are mounted on the wall and I am sure he will want to mount whatever he may buy. 
They do enjoy their music but with the seating configuration both of  front HT recliners are  way off axis. 
He has a 10k budget but they are both DR.s and if it goes a touch above it should not be an issue. 
6-7 k fronts?

1500 surrounds?

1500 sub? 

any input appreciated. 



I’m not sure I completely understand… “the fronts cannot be setup as normal two channel”.


But the center channel is the most important in home theater. 85% of the sound comes from this channel. So, it is really important to have the three fronts positioned appropriately, of the same brand (voicing) and of high quality. The other surrounds can be of lessor quality… same voicing… but while not used as much it never hurts to have high quality if you can afford them .


Also, this sounds like it is intended to be a pretty high end system. I recommend modifiers the front to get the sound system to be ideally placed, not let the decoration drive the speaker placement. 


i agree with ghdprentice--you won't want to forgo the center channel. it sounds like you can't do a conventional setup of your fronts/center because of the screen, but it would be more helpful if you posted a photo of the room--conceivably they could go to wallmounts or in-ceilings. as for speaker brands, lots to choose from--once you settle on the speaker type, i would peruse accessories4less, which has vg prices on focal, kef, b&w, etc.

I wouldn’t recommend a phantom center for reasons stated above and also because it sounds like the L/R speakers will be spaced pretty far apart and you’ve got people sitting off axis — all of which cries out for a center speaker. SVS offers a high-performance HT speaker package, and even adding a pair of their SB3000 subs (and you really should get a pair) they’d still only be around $6500 (+ tax), and they offer a 45-day, risk-free in home trial including shipping both ways.


If they prefer a wood veneer a similar system could be assembled with Aperion Audio speakers (but I’d still go with the SVS subs)…


They’d likely be thrilled with either, and with the $$$ they’d save they could take a really nice vacation. Hope this helps, and best of luck.

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Phantom center?

Smacks of a "consultant" who has never experienced 5.1 audio.

It looks like the rest of the HT experience will suffer for the sake of a 120" screen.

Does your son in law really need a 5' x 9' screen in what is a medium sized room at best?

And ghdprentice is correct that having a centre channel speaker is essential and the quality and placement will determine whether the experience is believable.

Finally, how does one build a home theatre room where the two primary seats are off axis?

Thanks for the input. I have put together a few high end 4.1 systems together with a phantom center but have always had a spot in the sweet spot. I have Persona 5 F’s now and people come over they look for a center speaker. Anchored dialog and seamless so please don’t diss phantom centers, you guys do make a great point about the seating so a center may be needed  

we are going to look at the Paradigm Founder series over the weekend   I think it may have the right amount of grunt and glamour for them  

His 120 screen is awesome from 9 ft  He has YouTube Tv so you can watch 4 games at once . Pretty sweet  

Thanks again


Like @ghdprentice strongly implies, this doesn't sound like a formula for success.  I'll add that wall mounted speakers are quite the compromise for HT.  I have 3 large pairs of floorstanders in my HT room for front, mids, and rears.


Paradigm makes very good center speakers, which is key and not true of many other makes where it seems more like a design afterthought.  I used to use a phantom center too and worked great near the sweet spot, but once you got more than a couple feet outside of it things went south fast hence the recommendation for a center in your use case.  I’m sure the Paradigms will sound great.

Madison used to have a good selection of Audio stores, and Milwaukee isn’t that far away

They ended up going with Paradigm 120 H , 90 cc , x10 sub and 300 surrounds. Should sound pretty good!!

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Nice! I’m sure they’ll be thrilled, and thanks for the follow up. Wait, just saw they got one X10 sub? What??? That’s not near inline with the level of the rest of the speakers and only goes down to 29Hz — the 120H goes down to about 20Hz for goodness sake! They would’ve done much better spending an extra $300 for the X12 or even a pair of V12s. Gotta say this is a head scratcher as, next to the center channel, subs can be the most important speaker for more involving HT, and one X10 won’t get them there IMHO and is a mismatch in the context of the performance level of the rest of the speakers IMHO. Yikes!

If your budget is 10k I would check out www.philharmonicaudio.com.  They have recently released a center channel to go with their HT floor standing towers.  You can use the BMR monitors for the rear surrounds.  You can look at Rhythmic Audio for a subwoofer or maybe Hsu subwoofers.  Best of luck in your search