Surround Speaker Setup: 6.1 vs. 5.1 - AVS Forum
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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12 feet listening distance from the F/C speakers. Supporting two listening positions (large easy chairs), the rears of which are up against an open walk way access area leading to a door. No option to hang any surround speakers. Left side is up against a picture window with curtains. Right side is open to another walk way, with the wall 8 feet further away from the listening area than the window on the left.

I'm using a 6.1 setup, where the listening row is:
SL --> 3 feet --> 1st position --> 2 feet --> SB --> 2 feet --> 2nd position --> 3 feet --> SR.

Surrounds are cheap JBL surround monopoles. SB is on a stand; SL/SR are on bookcases. All are one foot above and one foot behind the listening positions, with the sides firing directly at each other and the SB firing straight ahead.

I use DD PLIIx Music when playing DD EX sources, as this spreads the SB channel to the two side speakers. As of result, any sounds directed to SB feel like they are coming from directly behind each of the two listening positions. Sounds directed solely to the two side surrounds are still pretty directional.

I have an 2011 model AVR that is Audyssey enabled. Timber matching the surrounds is not an issue.

Question is: by using DD PLIIx Music for movie playback, have I mitigated the setup restrictions as best I can for achieving surround effects? Or would dropping to a 5.1 setup, with the two side surrounds located in the same place as they are currently, and then upgrading to omnipole surround speakers give me the same surround effects, but with less localization of the surround channels?

jdg
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:46 AM
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Can you just buy another speaker to match the SB and have a 7.1 setup.... I have had a 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1/7.2 setup, and I will never go back to me 7.2 or more is the way to go.

Shawn
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

Can you just buy another speaker to match the SB and have a 7.1 setup.... I have had a 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1/7.2 setup, and I will never go back to me 7.2 or more is the way to go.

Thanks for the reply. Problem is that I am effectively up against a virtual back wall, so I have no place for the (2) SB speakers. The current SB is between the two listening positions with only a one foot recess.

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Old 11-02-2012, 12:44 PM
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So your space back there is only 1ft wide??? If that's the case its up to you how you want to handle it.... Are you not liking how localizable it is or what are you trying to fix?

PLIIx can still do a decent job even if the 2 rear speakers are very close but angled apart slightly (I had to do that for a while til I rearranged my room). Also THX ASA is intended to work with 2 rear speakers placed side by side right up against each other basically.

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Old 11-02-2012, 02:09 PM
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I'm wondering where you put the mic when running Audysssey?

The localization you report ("sounds directed to SB feel like they are coming from directly behind each of the two listening positions. Sounds directed solely to the two side surrounds are still pretty directional") are consistent with too high a level for the back speaker. You can adjust level directly (I do after every Adyssey run, but fot he subwoofer), or you can eliminate any mic positions that aren't in the ~2'x4' sweet spot where you sit.

Of you can bag the rears and try front wides for a more forward-focused 7.1... I still hear things behind me.

Have fun,
Frank
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

So your space back there is only 1ft wide??? If that's the case its up to you how you want to handle it.... Are you not liking how localizable it is or what are you trying to fix?
PLIIx can still do a decent job even if the 2 rear speakers are very close but angled apart slightly (I had to do that for a while til I rearranged my room). Also THX ASA is intended to work with 2 rear speakers placed side by side right up against each other basically.

I'm essentially up against a wall, but it is a hallway (open), so I have no available space in back of the listening positions to use a speaker stand. The current SB is between the two listening positions recessed by a foot.

Localization of the SR/SL speakers is the issue, thus the question about using omnipole speakers for the side surrounds instead of the current monopoles. Note that I have a wall on one side and open space on the other when it comes to depending on reflections for the side surrounds. SB is sounding good using PLIIX Music to reduce localization.

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Old 11-05-2012, 06:10 AM
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I guess I would try di-pole speakers for your side surrounds if you don't want them to be localizable. Keep in mind its all up to what you like but now with 7.1 and HD audio and blu-ray there are some directional sounds coming from the surround speakers.

Shawn
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbov View Post

I'm wondering where you put the mic when running Audysssey?
The localization you report ("sounds directed to SB feel like they are coming from directly behind each of the two listening positions. Sounds directed solely to the two side surrounds are still pretty directional") are consistent with too high a level for the back speaker. You can adjust level directly (I do after every Adyssey run, but fot he subwoofer), or you can eliminate any mic positions that aren't in the ~2'x4' sweet spot where you sit.
Of you can bag the rears and try front wides for a more forward-focused 7.1... I still hear things behind me.
Have fun,
Frank

I ran 6 positions with Audyssey: all within the 2x6 sweet spot with the initial being between the two positions. I then started to adjust the channel levels on the surrounds. SB was down by 3db compared to the others.

However, once you mentioned Audyssey, it occurred to me that the issues that I was noticing were at my normal listening levels, when the surrounds and SW are boosted by the receiver. I played around wit the levels and was able to get the surrounds to merge together a bit better.

Thanks for the suggestion.

jdg
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

I guess I would try di-pole speakers for your side surrounds if you don't want them to be localizable. Keep in mind its all up to what you like but now with 7.1 and HD audio and blu-ray there are some directional sounds coming from the surround speakers.

Thanks for the reply.

I thought about dipoles, but I have an open area on the right side (no wall reflections). Any thoughts on omnipoles (OMD5)? Also, any thoughts on dipoles/omnipoles used in a 5.1 setup vs. a 6.1 setup given the position constraints of the SB speaker?

jdg
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:42 AM
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I've never listened to omni pole speakers so I can't comment on them. But with di- poles you are supposed to sit in the null of the speaker so no sound coming directly toward your ear. You basically just hear the sound coming from somewhere around you.

Shawn
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:24 PM
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I made a "Pluto clone" and used them as surrounds for a while. It might be an ideal approach for your situation, as the speaker hates walls. sounding its best when as far from walls as they are from each other. You get stereo anywhere you stand, although there's a great advantage on axis (the tweeter's conventionally mounted). I replaced them due to power handling concerns - they're low sensitivity, and not great power handling making them the weak spot in my HT (compared with 180mm MTMs). Even if HT doesn't stress surround power handling, it bothered me that my mains were -9dB so the surrounds could keep up.

That said, I used a $20 Silver Flute driver, not the spec'ed Seas at $95, so there is a way around my issues, if they're even issues for you.

Have fun,
Frank
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