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Speakers on Shelves
Speakers on shelves should be pulled out flush with the front edge of the shelf to avoid diffraction. Speakers in cavities in shelving units must be wrapped in foam or other acoustical dampening material a nasty hollow resonance. If speakers are ported out the back, either plug the port or find another speaker.
Select your equipment carefully. Too often I see million dollar receivers with 50 cent speakers. This usually comes from the salesman at the Big Box store convincing you that you need the biggest and best. Once you have a budget, select your speakers first and then get a matching receiver. the savings from doing it yourself quickly disappears when you purchase an unbalanced system.
There is a lot of hype in the world of cables when setting up your home theater. You can easily be oversold by a well meaning sales person. For speaker wires, there are charts that can tell you exactly what gauge you will need for any given length. Know if you will need in-wall rated cables. There are important specifications that HDMI cables will need to have. Find out if the less expensive cable has them. HDMI cables longer than 35′ will need special attention.