Correct side surround placement - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-03-2013, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, so I'm building a new house and had someone wire for side surrounds and "in ceiling" rear surrounds.

The side surrounds are about 10' from the wall with the not yet purchased projector screen. The "in ceiling" rear surrounds are 17' from the wall with the not yet projector screen.

I've been told that my side surrounds should be behind the seating area. I thought that was odd because I thought side speakers were supposed to be at the same position as, or angled to, the seating position.

I had been under the assumption that I could even place my side surrounds to the sides (of course) and in FRONT of the seating position - as long as they were angled to the seating position.

Was that an incorrect assumption?

I'm asking because after I had the speakers wired, I decided to also get everything wired for a projector and screen. A local A/V company wired everything and told me a 110" screen would work great for me, but I later read that my viewing distance should be more than 10' for that size screen, which is where the side surrounds will be mounted.

I really don't want any smaller of a screen (actually, I'd prefer at least 120"), but I'm afraid the sound won't be great since I'd have to move the seating position back a few feet and then my side surrounds will be angled at me but in front of me.

Is this a big deal since I'll also have rear surrounds in the ceiling and my side surrounds will be angled towards me?

Samsung TV - PN59D8000 - wall mounted
HW50ES projector w/electric Elite 120" ceiling mounted screen (drops in front of plasma)
Receiver - Yamaha RX-A3000
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-03-2013, 02:27 PM
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This article shows the correct way to place loudspeakers in a surround system:

How to set up a room

Note that none of the speakers should be in the ceiling.

--Ethan

RealTraps - The acoustic treatment experts

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post #3 of 10 Old 07-03-2013, 03:15 PM
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Your assumption is correct.

For a 7.1 set-up, I would put the side speakers directly to the sides of the listening position or slightly forward of the listening position (for a bit more spaciousness). This works because there is a pair of back speakers to anchor sounds behind you.

For a 5.1 layout, the surrounds have to strike a compromise between side and rear directionality, so along the sides but rearward of the listening position.

This would be a waste of resources in a 7.1 layout: with one pair of surrounds behind you already, why put your second pair of surrounds back there as well?

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post #4 of 10 Old 07-03-2013, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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What a relief! Thanks for confirming my assumption. I'm happy to hear that I can move my seating position back a bit without having to sacrifice great sound quality.

Now maybe I'll be looking for a 120" screen!

Samsung TV - PN59D8000 - wall mounted
HW50ES projector w/electric Elite 120" ceiling mounted screen (drops in front of plasma)
Receiver - Yamaha RX-A3000
Front Speakers - B&W CM9, Center - B&W CMC2, Surrounds - B&W CM5
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-03-2013, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Yup, understood, however I'm hoping that using in ceiling speakers with directional tweeters will help even though they'll be in the ceiling.

I hope I won't be disappointed, however I'm optimistic I'll be satisfied considering the rears don't get much use and they're really just for ambiance.

Samsung TV - PN59D8000 - wall mounted
HW50ES projector w/electric Elite 120" ceiling mounted screen (drops in front of plasma)
Receiver - Yamaha RX-A3000
Front Speakers - B&W CM9, Center - B&W CMC2, Surrounds - B&W CM5
SVS PB12+, SVS PB13 Ultra
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-03-2013, 09:47 PM
 
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If it is an open concept floor plan, it is very hard to place the rear sides & back speakers where you want them. So what you end up with, is just a 5.1 system for the majority, or 4.1 like some, with all speakers in the ceiling.

Posting a floor plan and pictures of what you have right now, does help in letting you know where you want the sub to place the boxes and plywood for any brackets you may want items placed at (ie flat screen mount, ceiling mounts for speakers if not mounting in the ceiling, etc.). Worse part is, if this is a Tract build, and your hands are tied, and any changes you want, they want to unload your wallet as much as they can, for how you want things.

Now of course the big thing that I would want if I am building a home, is a dedicated closet or space where I have at least two 20 amp circuits for networking and server equipment, a place to wire in a rack for A/V distribution, and network distribution. Then also having boxes up in the ceiling for ceiling mounted Wireless-N Access Points, that are PoE (Power over Ethernet). If you are putting in a flatscreen, and not always going to use the AVRS all the time, I would also want a way to power and place a sound bar with a wireless sub.

Think outside the box, place on a Spreadsheet or legal pad, in two columns: Needs & Wants. Then go through and create another sheet of paper of stuff that can be done later, and what needs to be done now. Also do not forget whole house surge protection, and if you can, at least a way of having remote UPS backup for certain outlets, such as your DVR, HTPC, NAS, along with spec'ing in Surge outlets instead of surge bars at the A/V cabinet, so you get at least a second layer of Surge protection after the Whole house, and you can have the third layer of anything plugged into a surge bar at that point.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-03-2013, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post

I'm hoping that using in ceiling speakers with directional tweeters will help even though they'll be in the ceiling.
Surround sound is supposed to come from around you, not above.

The trick with in-ceiling speakers is to spread them out as far apart as symmetrically possible. So spread your side speakers wide apart and your rear speakers far behind you.

This will give the impression that your surrounds are high up on the rear and side walls rather than overhead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post

I'm optimistic I'll be satisfied considering the rears don't get much use and they're really just for ambiance.
I've been running a 7.1 set-up since 1991 and I can confirm that the rears get used as much as the sides.

Sanjay
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-04-2013, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post


The trick with in-ceiling speakers is to spread them out as far apart as symmetrically possible. So spread your side speakers wide apart and your rear speakers far behind you.

This will give the impression that your surrounds are high up on the rear and side walls rather than overhead.

That's what I've done. My side surrounds will be mounted to the wall on the sides, and the rear surrounds will be mounted in the ceiling, spread wide apart from each other as much as possible.

Samsung TV - PN59D8000 - wall mounted
HW50ES projector w/electric Elite 120" ceiling mounted screen (drops in front of plasma)
Receiver - Yamaha RX-A3000
Front Speakers - B&W CM9, Center - B&W CMC2, Surrounds - B&W CM5
SVS PB12+, SVS PB13 Ultra
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-04-2013, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

If it is an open concept floor plan, it is very hard to place the rear sides & back speakers where you want them. So what you end up with, is just a 5.1 system for the majority, or 4.1 like some, with all speakers in the ceiling.

Posting a floor plan and pictures of what you have right now, does help in letting you know where you want the sub to place the boxes and plywood for any brackets you may want items placed at (ie flat screen mount, ceiling mounts for speakers if not mounting in the ceiling, etc.). Worse part is, if this is a Tract build, and your hands are tied, and any changes you want, they want to unload your wallet as much as they can, for how you want things.

Now of course the big thing that I would want if I am building a home, is a dedicated closet or space where I have at least two 20 amp circuits for networking and server equipment, a place to wire in a rack for A/V distribution, and network distribution. Then also having boxes up in the ceiling for ceiling mounted Wireless-N Access Points, that are PoE (Power over Ethernet). If you are putting in a flatscreen, and not always going to use the AVRS all the time, I would also want a way to power and place a sound bar with a wireless sub.

Think outside the box, place on a Spreadsheet or legal pad, in two columns: Needs & Wants. Then go through and create another sheet of paper of stuff that can be done later, and what needs to be done now. Also do not forget whole house surge protection, and if you can, at least a way of having remote UPS backup for certain outlets, such as your DVR, HTPC, NAS, along with spec'ing in Surge outlets instead of surge bars at the A/V cabinet, so you get at least a second layer of Surge protection after the Whole house, and you can have the third layer of anything plugged into a surge bar at that point.

At this point, all of the drywall is already up so I can't change anything. I was asking more for trying to ease my concerns about not being able to move my seats back, only if I absolutely had to, without sacrificing sound quality.

This room is in the basement. The size of the room is 37' long by 18' wide.

My side surround speakers will be mounted 10' back and the rear surrounds will be placed in the ceiling 17' back. So, there is another 20' behind the rear surround speakers.

I wish I had enough forethought to think about having a closet dedicated to my A/V equipment, but I didn't.

I did, however, request a dedicated circuit for my A/V equipment and requested a whole home surge protector to be installed. I also have a Panamax M5300 surge protector/line conditioner that will be my backup. I had never even heard of surge outlets before. Dang! I totally would have had them installed had I knew about them. I'm assuming those can be installed anytime, correct?

Samsung TV - PN59D8000 - wall mounted
HW50ES projector w/electric Elite 120" ceiling mounted screen (drops in front of plasma)
Receiver - Yamaha RX-A3000
Front Speakers - B&W CM9, Center - B&W CMC2, Surrounds - B&W CM5
SVS PB12+, SVS PB13 Ultra
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-04-2013, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmeat View Post

That's what I've done. My side surrounds will be mounted to the wall on the sides, and the rear surrounds will be mounted in the ceiling, spread wide apart from each other as much as possible.
Careful with the rears: placing them too far apart will dilute the impression of those sounds coming from behind you and instead make it sound like they're coming from some side-ish/rear-ish direction. I would mount the rears as far back as possible, spread roughly 60 degrees apart.

Otherwise, it sounds like you read my mind about side speaker placement (slightly forward of the listening position and spread as wide apart as symmetrically possible). Should sound terrific!

Sanjay
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