Originally Posted by jwv651
BTW...since I sent my 03 back to Will and won't be getting a new replacement until next Monday I figured this would be a good time to update to 7.1 if it's worth it that is.
With 3 feet I think you have quite a few options. With less than 3 feet here's a couple of things I have done that worked reasonably well.
In one situation I had my seating about a 1 1/2 feet off the wall. I put my surounds on small stands about 7-8 ft apart, about a foot high off the floor and angled them slightly back & up. The speakers were hidden (wife pleasing). I probably lost some sound in the soft couch material but the overall effect wasn't bad, rather full in fact. It beat the speakers right behind me that lent a very artificial sound.
In another situation where the seating was about 1/2 foot off the back wall I placed them about 10 feet apart and 4 feet above ear level using 6" or so speaker supports and once again angled them back toward the wall a bit and slightly down. This had more channel separation (actually a bit too much but it was OK).
In both cases I used Audyssey for room acoustic adjusting and it did a very good job of fixing what acoustic problems my positioning may have caused. I've not used MCACC yet but I believe it too will help correct speaker placements.
There are some good suggestions posted above. Quadpole, Omnisats, dipoles- these will all help spread the sound around and mitigate extreme channel separation. Good ideas. I happen to use Mirage Omnis for my fronts and they are superb at opening up the sweet spot.
7.1. Go for it. One more reason to blow some hard earned cash on this wallet consuming hobby we're addicted to.