Need advice for speaker placement (pictures included, etc) - AVS Forum
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Need advice for speaker placement (pictures included, etc)

I've recently moved into a new house and my "home theater" is in the basement which is shared between an office and theater area.

Here is a simple rendering of the room: (click to enlarge)


The left half of the room is an office with a desk, etc, and the right half is the theater area. There are lally columns that basically separate the areas.

Here is my equipment:
  • Athena AS-F2 (front)
  • Athena AS-C1 (center)
  • Athena AS-R1 (bipole, surround)
  • Athena AS-B1 (bookshelf, currently unused)
  • SVS PB12-NSD Subwoofer
  • Denon AVR-X4000 (w/Audyssey MultEQ XT 32)

I'm aware that the room is not ideal for a theater and I will have to accept whatever quality I can achieve, but I'm looking for opinions on how I can improve it. I'm extremely hesitant to move the wall the TV is on (due to WAF, etc) though.

You'll notice the surrounds are located on the back wall and are bipole speakers and they sound OK but I seem to be able to locate where the sound is coming from instead of just being immersed.

Here are some ideas on what I was thinking to improve the sound:

Option #1 :


The first option is to use my existing bookshelf speakers as front height (or front wide?) speakers. I'm not sure if I'll really be gaining that much improvement though. I can also move the subwoofer to the back of the room.

Option #2 :


The second option is to buy or build stands for my bookshelf speakers and put them alongside the couch and use them as surrounds and then turn my rear-mounted bipole speakers into surround-back speakers. This seems to possible be my best option, but I wonder how much improvement I will get from my current setup?

Here are a few more pictures of my current setup...






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Old 08-16-2014, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sofakng View Post
The first option is to use my existing bookshelf speakers as front height (or front wide?) speakers. I'm not sure if I'll really be gaining that much improvement though.
I can't offer any real advise but I'll post an endorsement for front height speakers. I recently swapped my rear surrounds for front height speakers and have been impressed. Beforehand I had zero issue with the fronts but the front height speakers really add to the audio engulfing you.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
The second option is to buy or build stands for my bookshelf speakers and put them alongside the couch and use them as surrounds and then turn my rear-mounted bipole speakers into surround-back speakers. This seems to possible be my best option, but I wonder how much improvement I will get from my current setup?
This. And if you could move the seating a bit more forward it would help with the rear surrounds, they should really be at least 2' behind the seating and angled towards the seating area.
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Old 08-19-2014, 02:07 PM
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+1 to moving the seats farther from the back wall, regardless what else you do.

I'll make two independent suggestions:
1) turn 90 degrees so the seats are in front of the pole, away from walls
This allows the surrounds to be properly placed to the side and behind, and gives you great options for a single rear (6.1) or to add front-wide (7.1/8.1?) unless the screen's really big or you have other reasons for speakers close to corners. My screen's on the long wall in a 15x22 room, and we sit ~10' from the screen and 8' from the side walls/surrounds running 7.1 with front-wides. I don't see any utilization issues given your current layout as things are still contained on one side of the poles.

2) add a second sub and bass traps
Any basement HT is handicapped by strong room modes. Mine's above grade, stick construction with a large sliding glass door and 5' doorway on two walls, so I don't have much by way of room mode issues. You seem to have space for additional subwoofage, and for bass traps under the stairs, on the rear wall, or behind that door on the current front wall (crawl space?). Front and rear wall treatments are one of the few universally-recommended treatments, and a little judicious geometric choices (space them away from walls) will give you broadband absorption.

If nothing else, try the sub crawl... put the sub where you sit and crawl around to potential sub locations to see which one sounds best over the sub's range of output. Better yet, get a simple measurement system, as there are experienced posters on this forum who can intrepret appropriate room treatments from measurement data.

Have fun,
Frank
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sofakng View Post
I've recently moved into a new house and my "home theater" is in the basement which is shared between an office and theater area.

Here is a simple rendering of the room: (click to enlarge)
I'm thinking:

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Last edited by arnyk; 08-20-2014 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions!

If I did rotate the room 90 degrees like you guys are suggesting, should I use my bookshelf speakers or the bipole speakers for the surrounds?

(I can't afford new speakers yet so I have to work with what I have...)
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by sofakng View Post
Thanks for the suggestions!

If I did rotate the room 90 degrees like you guys are suggesting, should I use my bookshelf speakers or the bipole speakers for the surrounds?

(I can't afford new speakers yet so I have to work with what I have...)
What fits best? Rumor has it that bipolar speakers are better for surrounds if you can place them reasonably.

I wouldn't throw away an otherwise good room setup to include or exclude them.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:18 AM
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I agree that rotating the room is the best option....I just didn't suggest it because you said it wouldn't be possible due to WAF.
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