Trying to go from 5.1 to 7.1 with new HT room, have questions about layout and speakers - AVS Forum
Speakers > Trying to go from 5.1 to 7.1 with new HT room, have questions about layout and speakers
Chris Campbell's Avatar Chris Campbell 12:53 PM 04-29-2013
Current gear -

Pioneer SC-1522k (I've read this is a rebadged Elite SC-65?) AVR
B&W 683 Fronts
B&W HTM2 Center
B&W 602 S2 Rears (on 14" stands)
Custom "Sonosub" I made - 15" Adire Tempest, ~9 cubes, tuned to 17 Hz
Pioneer 9G Kuro KRP-600M
Panasonic DMP-BDT110 Blu Ray
60GB Launch PS3 (with SACD)
Tivo Series 4 Premiere XL
HTPC

I recently moved into a new house and the family room is now laid out as pictured. It's a moderate sized room (about 20'x15'x9'), with many entrances/exits. The entrance on the top left is actually a door that can open/shut, which forces my front left speaker (and consequently the whole system) to the right. The other openings have no doors. The bottom (back) of the room has a large 3 panel sliding glass door. On the upper right is a raised hearth that extends from the opening to the front wall - with a brick veneer from hearth to ceiling. This may make mounting a speaker on that side of the room difficult, but I'm convinced I can drill into the mortar.

The primary seating position(s) are the double reclining couch on the right side of the room, which are relatively centered. I realize this seating layout is suboptimal for HT, but it's the best I can do in here with so many entrance/exits. You may notice the absence of my sub in this layout - since it doesn't fit well into this room, I'm moving it to my basement rec room HT, and planning on picking up a (much smaller) Epik Empire for this room. Note that I plan to move my 602s downstairs as well, since they're a bit large to use as surround/rears in this room (and definitely not wall mountable - which is a must)

The problem: You can see how I've got my surrounds currently situated, but there are a couple issues with this: 1. if I move the left speaker to the rear (bottom) of the room like the right rear, I can't generally hear them since they're below the couch, and 2. it's far too loud and direct for the person in the arm chair where it's currently situated. These speakers are also way too big to wall mount, which I'd like to do to clean up the room.

The proposed solution: since this room is used 90% of the time for HT use, switch to bi/dipoles for the side surrounds, and pick up a pair for the rears as well. While I'm upgrading, switch to a 7.1 setup since I now have locations that work as such. You can see the proposed locations for the bi/dipole speakers in the drawing as the triangles in red.

Questions:
1. Would I be better served in this situation by using front high speakers rather than rears? I can easily accommodate them, but I think they may look more like a "wall of speakers" and a bit less room friendly. I'm still not sure how much I would gain out of adding rears over a regular 5.1 setup.

2. Since there is limited space to the outside of the rear speakers (to the sides of the sliding door), would I be better off with monopoles there? I'm concerned that half of the bi/dipole sound field would be thrown directly into the side walls since the speaker will likely be within 2' of them.

3. Should I mount the rear speakers at about the 4-6' height, or near the ceiling angled down (in the case of monopoles)? I'm planning on having an electrician come in and wire the rear of the room for those speakers, and I'd like to put the panels right under the speaker locations if I can, so i'd like to get it right on the first try. I'm leaning towards positioning them around 5-6' high, not near the (9') ceiling.

4. Due to the brick supports on the large mantle over the fireplace on the right side of the room, the surround speaker on the right will have to be just in front of the seating position, so it would be impossible to put the listener directly in the "null" of a dipole. Is this ok? Or should I go with bipoles if that's the case? How would this affect a quadpole like the Axiom QS8s?

5. Would appreciate suggestions for speakers. I'm pretty set on some form of indirect speaker for the surrounds on account of seating positions, but I'm open to suggestions for the rears. Whatever it is needs to be wall mounted though - I want to get these speakers where they can be heard and not have to take up my floor space. Budget is ~$1000 for all four. On my short list right now are Axiom QS8s surrounds paired with M3 on-wall rears, or infinity ES250 surrounds and rears (if I can find them used).



4DHD's Avatar 4DHD 06:43 AM 04-30-2013
One thought on the seating, I would place the single chair next to the FP/raised brick area.
That would place your main dual recliner about dead center of the room width.
For rear surrounds, most certainly use mono-pole speakers.
And you really want them about 6 ft to their tops. That way the projected sound is above the seat backs.
If you find the side surrounds too distracting, or problematic to mount, you could just go with a pair of single surrounds, mounted in the rear corners on 45* angles. Those locations provide the best of having both side, rear surrounds in one pair.
IMO, if one has good quality mains, height channels are a waste of money.
Chris Campbell's Avatar Chris Campbell 08:51 AM 04-30-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

One thought on the seating, I would place the single chair next to the FP/raised brick area.
That would place your main dual recliner about dead center of the room width.
For rear surrounds, most certainly use mono-pole speakers.
And you really want them about 6 ft to their tops. That way the projected sound is above the seat backs.
If you find the side surrounds too distracting, or problematic to mount, you could just go with a pair of single surrounds, mounted in the rear corners on 45* angles. Those locations provide the best of having both side, rear surrounds in one pair.
IMO, if one has good quality mains, height channels are a waste of money.

I definitely thought about switching the recliner and loveseat, but the issue is the loveseat and larger couch are both recliners too, so they would interfere with each other there. Plus, the diagram isn't entirely accurate - the recliner chair is actually sort of tucked to the side of the longer couch more than it appears (and angled toward the center of the room).

I think you're right on the rears. The more I think about it, the more I think it would be nice to have monopoles back there. They're cheaper too. I'm still leaning toward some from of bi/dipole for the sides though, due to the proximity of the seating. Maybe I'll try putting my 602s on higher stands at the 45 deg corners (where they currently are) to see if that's sufficient before going "whole hog".

Thanks for the tips!
4DHD's Avatar 4DHD 01:41 PM 04-30-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Campbell View Post

I definitely thought about switching the recliner and loveseat, but the issue is the loveseat and larger couch are both recliners too, so they would interfere with each other there. Plus, the diagram isn't entirely accurate - the recliner chair is actually sort of tucked to the side of the longer couch more than it appears (and angled toward the center of the room).

I think you're right on the rears. The more I think about it, the more I think it would be nice to have monopoles back there. They're cheaper too. I'm still leaning toward some from of bi/dipole for the sides though, due to the proximity of the seating. Maybe I'll try putting my 602s on higher stands at the 45 deg corners (where they currently are) to see if that's sufficient before going "whole hog".

Thanks for the tips!
I think you will be happily surprised by those locations and elevations.
Up
Mobile  Desktop