to angle surrounds or not - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-16-2012, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought from every diagram i usualy see the surrounds should be 2-3 ft above ear level and slightly behind pointed straight out not angled. But now im seeing diagrams and even dolby under there setup guide in tips section under angles says to angle them to ear. I actually at first had them angle down and forward pointing almost right at ears, now the sound coming from them was really good but it seemed way to directional almost blended in or couldnt tell it was coming from rear. So i put them straight out again and sounds more ambient but lost clarity. Which way is correct?
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-17-2012, 12:07 AM
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Which way is correct?
Which way do you prefer? There is no correct (i.e., no agreed upon standard regarding tilt). The kind of directionality you describe sounds like it would be a good fit for the front soundstage but a bit distracting for the surround field. Somewhere in between the two angles you tried will be one that gives you the combination of clarity and ambience that sounds best to you.

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post #3 of 15 Old 07-17-2012, 12:26 AM
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It could be a volume difference and room related issue at the main listening position before and after you change speaker positions. You need to re-calibrate.

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post #4 of 15 Old 07-17-2012, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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well chriss from audyssey told me i could point them straight out and not recalibrate. although i think i should just tired of doing it
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-17-2012, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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yeah im taking it to far i will just angle them slightly forward towards ear but not down maybe that will give me best of both worlds
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-17-2012, 11:45 AM
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I thought from every diagram i usualy see the surrounds should be 2-3 ft above ear level and slightly behind pointed straight out not angled.

All speakers should be at ear height and pointed at you. More here:

How to set up a room

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post #7 of 15 Old 07-17-2012, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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What maybe for something other than Dolby Digital. the rears are suppose to sound ambient not bright and clear facing straight at ears
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-18-2012, 11:08 AM
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^^^ You miss that the proper balance and tonality is already embedded in the mix by the engineers. In another thread I just posted this link to the official standards by NARAS, the technical division of the Grammys:

Grammy Surround Standards

This is how the mix engineers listen as they create movie sound tracks, so they take into account that your speakers face directly at you.

It's a common misconception that ambience from the room you listen in should be added to the soundtrack playing through your speakers. The problem with that is most rooms are too small to have "good" ambience. Further, all rooms are different, making it impossible to create a soundtrack that sounds excellent everywhere. So the solution is to add absorption at all the loudspeaker reflection points, which avoids adding more ambience. Then you hear only the direct sound, which already contains all of the needed ambience.

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post #9 of 15 Old 07-18-2012, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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well it will not have theatre size ambience but i had mine pointing towards ears and was bothered the whole time because it was so directional i could mistake it for front field. its more about the direction im talking about yes I can even tell from the sound coming out of surrounds that it sounds like the ambience was mixed in at studio. And that mixed in ambience sounds better above and not facing your ears

It does say there really is no typical consumer surround sound listening experience.creating a surround mix that translates well in the broad range of home theater enviroments is indeed a lofty challenge. This article is for the professional mixer and how he should setup speakers, these mixers take into account that home theatre has different layout as described by most diagrams and mix the sound for it to sound good on a dvd or blu ray with the typical home theatre diagram speaker layout. Most of the article is about mixing for an actual theatre not for home theatre.

I dont know what to think anymore Ethan maybe dolby and all the receiver companies decided not to change there setup guidelines maybe as to not create confusion or something.

Maybe we can email these grammy standard guys and ask them why all the AVR companies recommend placing them on sidewalls and 2-3 feet above ears I want to get to the bottom of this I want a definitive answer
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-18-2012, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
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Maybe we can email these grammy standard guys and ask them why all the AVR companies recommend placing them on sidewalls and 2-3 feet above ears I want to get to the bottom of this I want a definitive answer

That's easy... Putting speakers on stands at specific angles all around a single seating position is completely impractical for almost everyone outside a recording studio. The AVR recommendations are more likely based on where the speakers *could* go in a reasonable residential environment. Which means next to or on the walls of a rectangular room. The distance "above" is to gain some average distance to the listeners' ears, so someone sitting directly under the speaker isn't blasted while the person in the middle hears much less (exaggerated example)...

All recommendations aside, do whatever sounds good to you.

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post #11 of 15 Old 07-19-2012, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
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Maybe we can email these grammy standard guys and ask them why all the AVR companies recommend placing them on sidewalls and 2-3 feet above ears I want to get to the bottom of this I want a definitive answer
There is no definitive answer, any more than there is a definitive flavour of ice cream. The Grammy standards are for professional listening environments used for production while the recommendations from Dolby and AVR manufacturers are for recreational listening environments which most consumers have.

Having all the surrounds at ear level gives a nice ring of sound around you. Raising the surrounds a couple of feet above ear level turns that ring into more of a bubble of sound around you (bit of height element). You have to decide where your preference falls. So far you seem to be leaning towards a more diffuse, less direct surround field. Which is fine, since that is closer to how you hear movies when you go to the theatre.

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post #12 of 15 Old 07-19-2012, 09:49 AM
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Here is my "definite" answer (I'm kidding):
I have my surround speakers a bit above ear level, so as not to block the sound for my wife sitting next to me and vice versa as mentioned by jautor. I have them tilted and pointed at us as the on-axis performance of loudspeakers is normally better than the off-axis performance.
If it were for me alone, I'd have them at ear level.
If you listen to classical music, the good surround mixes are incorporating the surrounds more and more directly with a sound stage of 180 degrees rather than "ambience sound"
If you have your surrounds next to you, a recording like Mahler's 9th ( http://www.amazon.com/Mahler-Symphony-Claudio-Jugendorchester-Accademia/dp/B0009JVOIO/ref=cm_cr-mr-img ) will put you in the virtual position of the conductor with a 180 degree sound field. If you move back a bit, it will sound as if you are in the center of row 1. That's what I call "surround sound" and it puts a smile on my face every time.
Of course, your speakers need to be positioned right, you need to deal with the reflections and they need to be balanced for loudness, as Ethan points out.
If you listen to "Master and Commander" in the opening scene, you hear the moaning and squeaking of the ship all around you and it feels like you are on that ship.
Now not all movies or concerts are recorded that good, but for the ones that are, you can't beat loudspeakers pointing at you and the movies will sound a lot better at home than they do in the cinema, imho. And I don't think the not so well recorded mixes will sound better by listening to them off-axis.
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-19-2012, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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ok figured it out

The only international standard is from ITU. The music industry is making up stuff that is not based on science. That whole document is full of errors. Please ignore it. The ITU recommendation for 5.1 monitoring is ITU-R BS 775. It says that fronts should be at ±30° and surrounds at ±110° (if they are direct radiators) or ±90° if they are dipoles.
The rest is internet babble...

Thats from Chris Kyriakakis at Audyssey
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-19-2012, 10:31 AM
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Unfortunately, the ITU "standard" is also just a suggestion. Many factors including types of speakers you have, shape and properties of your room, personal preferences, and both generic and specific music you are listening to might favor one arrangement over another.

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post #15 of 15 Old 07-19-2012, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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well of course those are all factors but it is the standard you should try to replicate as close as possible it talks about dipole and direct. preference i want to hear it way it was meant to be heard just my opinion which is the right one for me at least
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