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HT Acoustics for Dummies

General Home Theater & Media/Game Rooms - www.avsforum.com
I'm working on upgrading HT speakers and receiver in our existing family room setup and only recently learned - through this forum, thank you - that I should also pay some attention to the acoustics of the room if I want to maximize the investment in electronics.

The stuff in the room is going to present some challenges that I'll mostly have to live with. Overall dimension is about 14W x 13D and stuffed with a sofa, love seat, dog kennels, entertainment center, and misc crap. The entertainment center sits on one14' wall. Opposite that is an exterior wall/window that the sofa sits against. Half of one 13' wall contains the built-in fireplace, the opposite is a jail house wall (essentially a half wall) where the love seat sits. Maybe not so atypical for a room only being adapted for HT use but one that does present practical challenges to speaker selection / placement.

Question is how do I assess the potential of the new electronics in this environment and determine what subtle changes could be make to maximize that potential. More importantly I don't want to put $4-5K of speakers and AV receiver in a room if half that amount will produce the same SQ.

There's a completely overwhelming amount of graduate course level information available on acoustics but not much in the way of practical, inexperienced DIY ways to assess room potential and means to maximize potential.

Are there any resources - "HT Acoustics for Dummies" - you can point me to? I have an engineering background and a basic understanding of acoustics.


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