Audio Setup and Layout (5.1 or 7.2) Help Needed - AVS Forum
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm sheet rocking my family room so I want to pre-wire the walls for either a 5.1 or 7.1 type setup and can use some feedback. I have experience with car audio, no real home audio.


The room is roughly 17ft X 16ft, with the TV on one wall, and the couch against the back wall with about 14+ feet between the TV and the viewer. Check out the diagram below for a rough idea. I bought a spool of 250ft of 14 gauge wire already.

I'm not looking to break the bank, but I'm expecting to spend in the $1000 or below range. I'm mainly in the wiring stage for the entire system, and the speakers for the rear setup for now, and I'll get to the front's later.


General Questions:
1.) I'm considering either a 5.1 setup, or a 7.1/7.2. Since I have the walls open I figure I'll wire it for a 7.2 setup and then can decide on 5.1 or 7.1/7.2. Is a lot of media streamed in 7.1 currently? Will the extra 2 rear 7.1 speakers be washed out since the couch is against the back wall? Should I even bother or will they make a difference even though they will in theory only be about 2 feet or less away from the viewer?

2.) For the rear speakers I am considering in-wall speakers. Polk has some 6.5" or 8" speakers with decent reviews. Are in-wall speakers ideal for rear channel speakers? I am thinking for the future with kids so I'm trying to keep as few speakers exposed as possible since my front's already will be exposed.


Rear Speaker Sizes:
1.)Would a 6.5" wall speaker be good for the rear's in a 5.1 or 7.1 setup? Or is 8" more ideal? Should I use different size for the 5.1 rears vs. the 7.1's, or do all 4 the same size?

2.) What size sub for this size room? 10" sub or 12" be good in a 5.1 setup? If I go 7.2 would 2-10" be ideal?


Positioning:
1.) I've seen the diagrams that say the rear 5.1 speakers go between 90 degrees and 110 degree's. Is a 3 foot height from the floor good?

2.) If I am doing a 7.2 setup, should I keep the 5.1 rear's more at 90 degree's and the 7.1 rear's at about 140+/- degrees?

3.) Still not sure where the sub's will go, but I may wire for the rear and I can always pass wire on the front side if needed later.

Thanks in advance!!
LL
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:58 AM
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Those rear speakers are going to sound like they're at your sides, not behind you, just like your side speakers. Pointless to have a 7.1 set-up with no meaningful separation between the side and rear speakers. With the couch against the back all, you'd be better off with a 5.1 set-up: surrounds in the back corners of the room, at least a couple of feet above ear level, aimed roughly towards the listening area. BTW, the back corners would also be good locations for a pair of subs, since they flank the listening area.

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Old 12-07-2011, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Sanjay,
So are you saying I should just go with 2 rear surrounds (5.1) and shift them farther back on the wall? I've read that these should be between 90 and 110 degree's roughly. Since these are going to be in the wall I figure I should try to get them right around the 100 degree mark to hit the viewer's ear from the side. Or are you saying the surrounds should go on the back wall completely?
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:49 PM
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Yes to 5.1 (no room behind you for the rear speakers), but no to mounting in the back wall. I would put them in the side walls, as close to the corner as possible. That should put you within the range of angles you're looking for, while having the speakers pointing towards the listeners.

To keep the surrounds from distracting the listeners seated on either end of the couch, raise them (the surrounds, not the listeners) at least 2-3 feet above ear level; you can even go as high as the ceiling, using all the reflective surfaces in the back tri-corners of the room for a little extra envelopment. Since speakers typically sound best on-axis, see if you can find in-walls with pivoting drivers (or at least pivoting tweeters) that can be aimed down, roughly towards the listening area.

BTW, if you're getting a 7.1 receiver, you'll have 2 amplifier channels unused, so you may want to consider getting another pair of those in-walls to use as height speakers up front (the front tri-corners will work nicely for that, assuming you have wall-space above the window and pocket door).

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Old 12-07-2011, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Yes to 5.1 (no room behind you for the rear speakers), but no to mounting in the back wall. I would put them in the side walls, as close to the corner as possible. That should put you within the range of angles you're looking for, while having the speakers pointing towards the listeners.

Thanks for the specifics. So it sounds like the 5.1 is the way to go.

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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

To keep the surrounds from distracting the listeners seated on either end of the couch, raise them (the surrounds, not the listeners) at least 2-3 feet above ear level; you can even go as high as the ceiling, using all the reflective surfaces in the back tri-corners of the room for a little extra envelopment. Since speakers typically sound best on-axis, see if you can find in-walls with pivoting drivers (or at least pivoting tweeters) that can be aimed down, roughly towards the listening area.

Good tips, I'm going to see if I can find a speaker with an adjustable tweeter, thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

BTW, if you're getting a 7.1 receiver, you'll have 2 amplifier channels unused, so you may want to consider getting another pair of those in-walls to use as height speakers up front (the front tri-corners will work nicely for that, assuming you have wall-space above the window and pocket door).

There is no room above the pocket door or window, so my only option would be wall mounted.

I may look for a 5.1 receiver with a second zone and run some outdoor speakers.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:59 AM
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Sanjay I came across this post. I have the denon avr x4000 which is. 7.2 receiver. Currently it's only being used as 5.2. My "rear" speakers are mounted on the ceiling right behind the couch and those are the only rears I have. Bc I have 2 channels unused, based on your comments above, I can buy 2 more speakers for height and that won't sound funny? I think it's a waste not using those channels right now. Thanks
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk0oby21 View Post

Bc I have 2 channels unused, based on your comments above, I can buy 2 more speakers for height and that won't sound funny?
Yes, as long as the height speakers are forward of the listening position, somewhere between the front speakers and surround speakers.

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Old 04-16-2014, 11:55 AM
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All of my speakers are in walls except the center. I did some research while waiting for your response and in one site, it says to mount or put the height speakers at least 3 feet directly on top of the L and R speakers.

This finding was a little different from what you are recommending. Guess I have to buy the speakers to test them out. Hopefully it will work bc I have to cut dry wall .. Thanks
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:27 PM
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Height speakers placed high above your front L/R will give the impression of a taller front soundstage.

Height speakers placed high up between your fronts and surrounds will give the impression of sounds above you.

Up to you to pick the height effect you want to hear.

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Old 04-16-2014, 04:14 PM
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This is my current set up. I read online that if I were to add height speakers they would go above the l/r 3 feet above whixh I have room for. However I also read that is there is room then add wide speakers before height. Do you know where the wides would go ? Can't seem to find any clear illustrations of that . Thanks again for ur help!
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk0oby21 View Post

All of my speakers are in walls except the center. I did some research while waiting for your response and in one site, it says to mount or put the height speakers at least 3 feet directly on top of the L and R speakers.

This finding was a little different from what you are recommending. Guess I have to buy the speakers to test them out. Hopefully it will work bc I have to cut dry wall .. Thanks

THX vs Dolby vs DTS has slightly different recommendations for positioning the surround speakers. Decide on codec, that you will most likely use, or split the differences.

 

As for cutting holes, do that LAST! I recommend that you use ladders, boxes, friends holding up speakers, etc... to place them, listen, and then decide if it is a permanent type placement.

 

I run 7.1 traditional as I do not have an AVR that has PLIIZ or DSX. However, my understanding was heights before wides, assuming the mains and center are @ ear level and not above. I do not have any references or anecdotes to back this up, I just think it is more likely for the height soundfield to be used more than the wide soundfield.

 

Does anyone have anything to back that up?

 

All in all, and to the point of this thread, I's go 5.1 with bi-poles in the back corners. If the AVR has height/wide ability, then I'd go with Heights even distance between the Mains and Center, and only a foot or so from the ceiling.

 

Just my 2%.

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Old 04-17-2014, 12:15 PM
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Thanks. I just opened the grills to my l/r speakers which are in wall and see that the speaker is fixed which means I can't angle them. For aesthetic reasons I'm planning to buy the exact speakers for the height. If the height speakers are not angled downward and are pointed straight, do you think this will be pointless. I guess like u suggested; I need to get a speaker and just mess around with it before I spend more $$ in buying the new in wall for height.

I don't have any extra speakers
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:46 AM
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With regard to effect/presence speakers (not wide)
Yamaha recommends the front height speakers be placed
min. of 3 feet above mains & min. of 3 feet outside of the mains

I followed that for my Yam with 2 front effect speakers
& follow that for my newer Yam 4 effect speakers (rear effect speakers outside L&R back speakers & up at front effect speaker level)

Results have been fantastic

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