7.1 Speaker Placement? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 02-08-2013, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,
I'm currently running 7.1 using front wides with my surrounds being about 6' behind the main seating area. I could possibly place the surrounds at the side position like Dolby recommends but it would be a pain and right in the ear of one seating position. My question is what do you think adds the greatest effect in a 7.1 system? Should I use the 6th and 7th speakers as wides, heights or the traditional rear surrounds? As I understand it only true 7.1 films (which seem to be rare) actually have that information encoded while most films are matrixed. And if I'm understanding correctly, when using a matrixed set up it's a matter of taste as to which set up is best since the information being sent to the additional speakers is faked by the AVR anyway. I can't really experiment with heights without drilling holes in the walls so I'm hoping somebody has experimented and formed some opinions as to what set up adds the most to the viewing experience. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanx.

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post #2 of 26 Old 02-10-2013, 04:22 AM
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I have a big room. Without the rear surrounds, the sound space behind me is empty. After upgrading 5.1 to 7.1 system, the surrounds come alive. Even standard 5.1 soundtracks make a difference, thanks to the Dolby ProLogic IIx upmix.
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post #3 of 26 Old 02-10-2013, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I just moved my surrounds from behind me to the sides. I was surprised at what a difference that made. I've still got my extra speakers set to wides but I'll try setting them to rears and see what I think. Did you experiment with any other placements before deciding on using the rear set up as opposed to heights or wides?

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post #4 of 26 Old 02-10-2013, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougReim View Post

I just moved my surrounds from behind me to the sides. I was surprised at what a difference that made. I've still got my extra speakers set to wides but I'll try setting them to rears and see what I think. Did you experiment with any other placements before deciding on using the rear set up as opposed to heights or wides?
Yes, I've experimented with DSX Wide before. Although it's nice, there are some situations where DSX Wide sounds weird, especially when the speech/dialogue spans to the left/right channel (when the movie character is not at the center of the screen, or sounds coming from the side). Not many movies are made that way. But when they are, I'll be annoyed by the DSX Wide.

My rear wall is about 9 feet behind me. The rear surrounds are now mandatory for my setup.

For Front Height setup, I have no experience with that.
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post #5 of 26 Old 02-11-2013, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, I've noticed that sometimes dialog with the wides on have an unnatural echo effect. I only notice this once in a while but when I do, it's annoying.
I'll reset Audessy to rears instead of wides this weekend and see what it does now that I have my surrounds in the correct position. I was surprised at how much difference there was when moving my surrounds from about 6' behind me to the sides where they belong.
Have you tried using heights?

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post #6 of 26 Old 02-13-2013, 11:24 AM
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The general consensus around AVS is for a preference in this order:

Front heights
Wides
Rear surrounds

Personally, I'm using rear surrounds and like the effect, but I've never tried them anywhere else. Would like to try front heights, but like you, it would require some modifications.
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post #7 of 26 Old 02-13-2013, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post

The general consensus around AVS is for a preference in this order:

Front heights
Wides
Rear surrounds
That general consensus is typically amongst Audyssey users/followers. The rest of us prioritize differently. In my case, it would be Rears, then Heights, then Wides. The movie industry has done the same, adding more channels in the surround field than up front: going from a mono surround channel (Dolby Stereo) to 2 surround channels (discrete 5.1) to 3 surround channels (Surround EX) to 4 surround channels (discrete 7.1). All while keeping the number of Front channels the same (3).

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post #8 of 26 Old 02-13-2013, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been thinking about a new 9.2 AVR, mainly for the extra channels but after listening to wides for a couple of weeks I think I'll stick with my 7 channel deal.
While I liked the wides during most effect heavy scenes, I'm drawn to an unnatural echo during a lot of dialog. It's becoming more and more distracting. I've been using a pair of very old, very inexpensive Kenwood speakers for my wides and even though they sound like crap, I don't think they would create an echo? I'm going to eliminate the wides and reset my rears and try to compare as best I can. I haven't heard much if any talk about an echo using wides.......could I possibly have something set up wrong? I used Audyssey to configure it so I'm not sure how I could have mangled the set up too bad but who knows?
Again, I'm amazed at the difference after moving my surrounds from behind me to the sides!

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post #9 of 26 Old 02-13-2013, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by DougReim View Post

While I liked the wides during most effect heavy scenes, I'm drawn to an unnatural echo during a lot of dialog. It's becoming more and more distracting.
That is a result of the processing you're using. It won't happen with DTS Neo:X wides.

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post #10 of 26 Old 02-14-2013, 03:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougReim View Post

I've been thinking about a new 9.2 AVR, mainly for the extra channels but after listening to wides for a couple of weeks I think I'll stick with my 7 channel deal.
While I liked the wides during most effect heavy scenes, I'm drawn to an unnatural echo during a lot of dialog. It's becoming more and more distracting. I've been using a pair of very old, very inexpensive Kenwood speakers for my wides and even though they sound like crap, I don't think they would create an echo? I'm going to eliminate the wides and reset my rears and try to compare as best I can. I haven't heard much if any talk about an echo using wides.......could I possibly have something set up wrong? I used Audyssey to configure it so I'm not sure how I could have mangled the set up too bad but who knows?
Again, I'm amazed at the difference after moving my surrounds from behind me to the sides!
That is the problem of DSX Wide. This issue was discussed before (I guess in the Audyssey thread).
I have experienced the same problem (the echoey dialogue when the dialogue spans to the L/R channel) like you do. That's why I ditch the DSX Wide and go to rear surround setup.
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post #11 of 26 Old 02-14-2013, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post

The general consensus around AVS is for a preference in this order:

Front heights
Wides
Rear surrounds
That general consensus is typically amongst Audyssey users/followers. The rest of us prioritize differently. In my case, it would be Rears, then Heights, then Wides. The movie industry has done the same, adding more channels in the surround field than up front: going from a mono surround channel (Dolby Stereo) to 2 surround channels (discrete 5.1) to 3 surround channels (Surround EX) to 4 surround channels (discrete 7.1). All while keeping the number of Front channels the same (3).
Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougReim View Post

I've been thinking about a new 9.2 AVR, mainly for the extra channels but after listening to wides for a couple of weeks I think I'll stick with my 7 channel deal.
While I liked the wides during most effect heavy scenes, I'm drawn to an unnatural echo during a lot of dialog. It's becoming more and more distracting. I've been using a pair of very old, very inexpensive Kenwood speakers for my wides and even though they sound like crap, I don't think they would create an echo? I'm going to eliminate the wides and reset my rears and try to compare as best I can. I haven't heard much if any talk about an echo using wides.......could I possibly have something set up wrong? I used Audyssey to configure it so I'm not sure how I could have mangled the set up too bad but who knows?
Again, I'm amazed at the difference after moving my surrounds from behind me to the sides!
That is the problem of DSX Wide. This issue was discussed before (I guess in the Audyssey thread).
I have experienced the same problem (the echoey dialogue when the dialogue spans to the L/R channel) like you do. That's why I ditch the DSX Wide and go to rear surround setup.

Intresting discussion, as I've completed my 11.x set-up and getting used to the different options I have with my Denon 4520CI.

When I run full 11.x mode in Audyssey wide/height, at times I have noticed lack of a rear surround that was always there when I had just the traditional 7.1 side/rear surround set-up.
Then, in the same movie the rear/side surround field will totally come alive with the enhanced front soundstage via the wides/height, and I'm blown away.

I've experimented with The DTS NeoX and PLIIZ, problem is its hard to get "evalutaion time" in with the real world "dad we want to just watch a movie" chorus from the kids
rolleyes.gif

So, I'm still evaluating my situtation, for reference here is my 11.x layout
HT%2520Plan%25202x4%2520Seats-Riser-acoustics%2520Jan-2013_angles.JPG
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post #12 of 26 Old 02-14-2013, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

When I run full 11.x mode in Audyssey wide/height, at times I have noticed lack of a rear surround that was always there when I had just the traditional 7.1 side/rear surround set-up.
Then, in the same movie the rear/side surround field will totally come alive with the enhanced front soundstage via the wides/height, and I'm blown away.
There are a few things that happen when you turn on DSX: the L/R main speakers are reduced by 3dB, all the surround speakers are reduced also by 3dB and the surround channels are decorrelated (blurring the surround field so that it is more subtle/ambient rather than directional). The processing itself generates early reflections (that weren't in the original recording) based on research into concert hall acoustics. These synthesized early reflections are sent to the wide and height speakers to give the impression of a larger listening space (room simulation, like Yamaha does with their DSP modes).

By comparison, DTS Neo:X extracts heights and wides from the soundtrack itself. The wides, for example, are sent content that is the same in each front and side speaker (like extracting a centre output between those channels). Those sounds would have phantom imaged at those mid-wall locations anyway; sending them to a pair of speakers at those locations merely stabilizes the imaging, especially for off-axis listeners.

The "unnatural echo during a lot of dialog" that DougReim mentioned cannot happen with Neo:X, since it is extracting sounds from the soundtrack rather than generating early reflections.

Sanjay
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post #13 of 26 Old 02-15-2013, 08:16 AM
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Sdurani, thx, your posts are always very helpful.

Last night watched Judge Dredd -2012. Not the best movie, but it is 7.1 DTS-ma. Based on your post I listened in DTS NEOx mode, fantastic 11.1 experience!
Totally enveloping surround.
I have it on a 1 day redbox free rental, used the promo code "sweet", so can't compare to DSX or PL IIz.


Sent from my 32GB iPhone4 using Tapatalk
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post #14 of 26 Old 02-15-2013, 08:35 AM
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Mike,

I think the rental version of 'Dredd' has a DD 5.1 soundtrack on the Blu-ray while the for-sale version has a DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack. The 7.1 track is Neo:X encoded, meaning they started off with 11.1 channels and matrixed the wide channels into the fronts & sides and matrixed the heights into the fronts & rears. When listening to the 7.1 track, Neo:X is doing decoding rather than surround processing (since the track was Neo:X encoded). Not only makes for an enveloping experience, but any sounds coming from the heights and wides were intended by the mixer to come from those speakers. The only other BD encoded for Neo:X is 'Expendables 2'.

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post #15 of 26 Old 02-15-2013, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Mike,

I think the rental version of 'Dredd' has a DD 5.1 soundtrack on the Blu-ray while the for-sale version has a DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack. The 7.1 track is Neo:X encoded, meaning they started off with 11.1 channels and matrixed the wide channels into the fronts & sides and matrixed the heights into the fronts & rears. When listening to the 7.1 track, Neo:X is doing decoding rather than surround processing (since the track was Neo:X encoded). Not only makes for an enveloping experience, but any sounds coming from the heights and wides were intended by the mixer to come from those speakers. The only other BD encoded for Neo:X is 'Expendables 2'.

sdurani-my PS3 info screen clearly showed the Redbox blu-ray as having DTS-HD MA 7.1, so w/o knowing it I was truly experiencing the best availble 11.1 experience.
+100 for having more blu-rays encoded for Neo:X!
The redbox webpage does not specify the audio track http://www.redbox.com/movies/dredd-blu-ray.

In my other thread you did recommend 'Expendables 2', I'll add that to my netflix que, hopefully it is also the DTS-HD MA 7.1 version.
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post #16 of 26 Old 02-15-2013, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice, these forums have been a big help to me with a bunch of knowledgeable guys always willing and able to explain things.

My receiver (Denon 3311CI) has several DTS NEO modes but apparently X wides is not one of them.

Skylinestar:::::::::Does your receiver support DTS Neo:X? Are you able to compare the 2 formats directly?

sdurani:::::::::::::::Based on your description it sounds like DTS Neo:X is superior to Audyssey DSX, is that correct? I'm surprised to hear that DSX cuts the speakers by 3 dB's. That sounds pretty significant and I hadn't noticed that while I've been switching between the modes.

mtbdudex:::::::::::We have similar set ups. I have Paradigm 11's for my mains and Atoms for my surrounds and the new receiver I was lusting after was the 4520CI so I'd be really interested to hear back from you after you spend some more time evaluating your set up. Out of curiosity, do you miss the purple DSX light and the input and output speaker modes on the 4520CI front display? I know those things seem trivial but I'm used to them on the 3311 and also I'd really miss the custom 2 channel settings. As I understand it, on the 4520 you have to actually have separate, dedicated front speakers in order to have a custom setting for stereo? I don't get Denon's logic with that, it would seem to me to be very impractical and most people wouldn't have the space or the inclination to have 2 main speaker sets. I do listen to a lot of music and I prefer 2 channel stereo for my music.

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post #17 of 26 Old 02-15-2013, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougReim View Post

Thanks for all the advice, these forums have been a big help to me with a bunch of knowledgeable guys always willing and able to explain things.

My receiver (Denon 3311CI) has several DTS NEO modes but apparently X wides is not one of them.

Skylinestar:::::::::Does your receiver support DTS Neo:X? Are you able to compare the 2 formats directly?

sdurani:::::::::::::::Based on your description it sounds like DTS Neo:X is superior to Audyssey DSX, is that correct? I'm surprised to hear that DSX cuts the speakers by 3 dB's. That sounds pretty significant and I hadn't noticed that while I've been switching between the modes.

mtbdudex:::::::::::We have similar set ups. I have Paradigm 11's for my mains and Atoms for my surrounds and the new receiver I was lusting after was the 4520CI so I'd be really interested to hear back from you after you spend some more time evaluating your set up. Out of curiosity, do you miss the purple DSX light and the input and output speaker modes on the 4520CI front display? I know those things seem trivial but I'm used to them on the 3311 and also I'd really miss the custom 2 channel settings. As I understand it, on the 4520 you have to actually have separate, dedicated front speakers in order to have a custom setting for stereo? I don't get Denon's logic with that, it would seem to me to be very impractical and most people wouldn't have the space or the inclination to have 2 main speaker sets. I do listen to a lot of music and I prefer 2 channel stereo for my music.

Hi Doug - yes I do miss the ability to see both the input audio signal and the output audio signal on the 4520CI front display, my 4308CI did that.....oh well.
My Paradigm 9's are circia 2008, paid for and doing their duty.
I'll share my impressions in my 11.1 thread over time.
I'm not sure on the 4520CI dedicated front speakers for stereo vs just switching to those for amp or using pure direct mode or stereo mode.
I'll try mine and see if I can just select stereo mode and what happens,


Now for sdurani - I took a iPhone4 pict of the redbox judge dredd, and indeed mine was full DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack with the dts Neo:X, as they say a picture or it did not happen, so here it is
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post #18 of 26 Old 02-15-2013, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougReim View Post

sdurani:::::::::::::::Based on your description it sounds like DTS Neo:X is superior to Audyssey DSX, is that correct? I'm surprised to hear that DSX cuts the speakers by 3 dB's. That sounds pretty significant and I hadn't noticed that while I've been switching between the modes.
It's not a question of better or worse, it comes down to which you prefer. If someone prefers DSX to Neo:X consistently, then DSX is "better" for them. I can tell you how they operate, but there's no way for me to know which you'll end up preferring.

Sanjay
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post #19 of 26 Old 02-15-2013, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

Now for sdurani - I took a iPhone4 pict of the redbox judge dredd, and indeed mine was full DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack with the dts Neo:X, as they say a picture or it did not happen, so here it is
I believed you in your earlier post. Lionsgate has a bad habit of doing no-frills versions of their titles for rental. Let me know if the rental version of 'Expendables 2' is full featured.

Sanjay
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post #20 of 26 Old 02-15-2013, 06:29 PM
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...Let me know if the rental version of 'Expendables 2' is full featured.

My Redbox rental copy wasn't...
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post #21 of 26 Old 02-15-2013, 06:45 PM
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My Redbox rental copy wasn't...
Missing the DTS-HD MA 7.1 track or extras (or both)?

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post #22 of 26 Old 02-15-2013, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Mike.....Regarding the stereo settings, it's not just switching to stereo but the older Denons' would automatically switch to stereo and change equalization and crossovers for a particular input when it detected a stereo source at that input. On the 4520 owners thread it was noted that the new receiver would only do that if you had separate speakers. Because I listen to a lot of music that feature is important to me.

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post #23 of 26 Old 02-16-2013, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougReim View Post

Hi Mike.....Regarding the stereo settings, it's not just switching to stereo but the older Denons' would automatically switch to stereo and change equalization and crossovers for a particular input when it detected a stereo source at that input. On the 4520 owners thread it was noted that the new receiver would only do that if you had separate speakers. Because I listen to a lot of music that feature is important to me.

Doug - I tried some things this morning
Select Stereo Music


The AVR downmixes to that


Go thru menus to switch visual on front face, a PIA (stupid Denon for doing this)


Yep Input was DD 5.1


When I played with different modes, and in that mode tweaked settings, it did remember what I did.
(I was playing with different 11.1 modes)
So as switched back to it those tweaks were there.
I've not checked if that is a temp memory or written to memory via on/off the AVR test, I'll do that later.

So, while not auto switching to stereo upon source detect, if you select music>stereo via remote and do some tweaks in set-up menu, as long as it remembers them that should be acceptable for your needs, right?
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post #24 of 26 Old 02-16-2013, 04:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for checking Mike, sounds like an extra step or two but not a big deal. I had different equalizations and xovers set for listening to music which the 3311 would revert to. I don't want to be a pain but can you tell if the 4520 remembers those settings as well?
Here's a link to the 4520 owners thread where it said in post #2 that custom 2 channel saving was not available unless you had dedicated speakers:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1430049/the-official-denon-avr-4520ci-thread

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post #25 of 26 Old 02-16-2013, 04:59 AM
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Ok, I see that now, I'll play some more later tonight, going snow skiing with my kids.
Quote:
- the 2CH Direct/Stereo custom settings can ONLY be used if you physically have a separate set of "B" dedicated 2CH speakers


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post #26 of 26 Old 02-16-2013, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Missing the DTS-HD MA 7.1 track or extras (or both)?

No 7.1 track...didn't look for the extras.
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