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Affordable Atmos 7.1.4 setup from Windows 11 pc

goodkeys

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2019
Messages
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Hi everyone,

Currently I am playing with the idea of extending my monitoring setup. I have two specific usecases: I produce tv/media music with samples in Cubase. And I use the same system to watch movies and tv. I'd appreciate some help for choosing good hardware, and to check whether my idea actually will work.

Current setup:

2 Geithain RL 906 in nearfield. I use these to work in Cubase
2 Quad ESL 57. I use these for listening pleasure, and to check mixes.
4.1.2 with mixed and matched speakers, powered by a Sony STR-DH790. This is my setup for watching movies.

Now I would like to expand my multichannel setup to 7.1.4. The budget is tight, but not hard set. For each component I would like the buy the cheapest one that offers decent quality.

My goals are twofold. I would like to be able to use the 7.1.4 setup to work in Dolby Atmos in Cubase. And I would like to watch movies on my pc through the same speaker setup. Stereo sources should be upmixed live to Atmos 7.1.4.

Usually I'd need an AVR for this just for the upmixer. However, I found Cavern recently, and VoidX wrote that it can upmix live. This saves me quite a bit of money, as the cheapest 7.1.4 AVRs are around 1500$.

No here is my current plan. I'll keep my RME Aio Pro for the two stereo setups (Geithain's and Quad's). I'll add a Focusrite 18i20, plus a Behringer ADA8200, connected to the Focusrite through ADAT. These will be my line outputs to the 12 speakers and sub. Cubase 12 has a Dolby renderer, so that part is covered. For watching movies on my pc, I hope Cavern can provide the upmixing to Atmos 7.1.4. It looks like Cavern will also provide an option to remote control the volume from a mobile device.

Now I need 12 active speakers. Thinking about the Neumi BS5P. If they don't become available again, or if shipping and import taxes are prohibitive in Switzerland, I'll probably go with the Edifier MR4. I need active speakers, and these seem to be the cheapest decent choices. Are there any good, inexpensive active speakers for the height channels? The Neumi are rather large to hang from the ceiling in a smaller room. But if they are the best choice, I'll make it work.

Also I don't know what to do with the center channel. I need that one for working in Cubase. Will just a normal BS5P for the center be the best choice? Or is there an inexpensive dedicated center speaker that actually works? In Switzerland it's impossible to get hands on an Infinity RC263. So that's not an option unfortunately.

For the sub, I thought I'll keep my current one, which is from a Blue Sky eXo2 system. If there is a good inexpensive sub, I can replace it with that.

Are there any other speakers/sound cards I should consider? And crucially, will the setup work for watching tv/movies/videos on my pc, upmixing the sound to Atmos in realtime and play it back through my 7.1.4 setup?

Any input is greatly appreciated.
 

napfkuchen

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2022
Messages
83
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82
Location
Germany
For my 5.1.4 setup I chose a used Denon X3700H which cost less than 1.000 Euros and offers Dolby Atmos / Auro3D upmixing, 9 amps. If you want 7.1.4 you can add a cheap stereo poweramp as the Denon has 11 channel processing. Maybe it's personal taste but just thinking about the equipment you want to put together, separate power- and signalcables to each speaker and so on ... makes me feel kind of uncomfortable. Especially if you can have the same outcome with one neat box.
After seeing Erin's review the Kef q150 (2 speakers for 350 Euro) seems to be a strong recommendation.
 

birdog1960

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2022
Messages
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308
Location
Virginia
HTPC used to be a thing. Projector guys loved the term. I don't think video we'll be a problem you need to worry about. Most PC's handle at least 1080p and if you
re watching on a less than 24 inch screen it should look great. Not as familiar with PC based movie audio but I found this: https://games.dolby.com/atmos/pc/. Looks promising.
 
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