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Advice on 5.1 or 7.1 for corner TV

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ok, I finally bought a house and figured it was time to get my fun room setup. I've been reading over the speaker placement forums and the '101 Guide' and have found conflicting answers on how to handle a room like mine. I don't really have an option other than putting the TV in the corner and the couches opposite of it because of where the wall openings are.

I was all gung-ho to get 7.1 implemented but I see a fair number of people posting that it would be better to just have a 5.1 system than a 7.1 system that has bad speaker placement.

Also, I have vaulted ceilings that go from 8-15 feet in height.

Here is what I was originally thinking (speakers are in red). Will I be able to get good sound out of a speaker placement like this?

I tentatively plan to get a Polk LSi/C for the center (on a shelf above the TV) and a pair of LSi/7 or 9's for the fronts. Not sure on the surrounds or sub at this point.

If it matters, I have a Pioneer VSX-03TXH for my receiver and a 73" Mitsubishi DLP.





Thanks in advance!
Matt
post #2 of 11
I wouldn't think you could get very balanced sound with that arrangment. Aside from the sound, it also appears that no matter where you sit, you will be viewing the TV at an angle. I couldn't handle that.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattbro View Post

I see a fair number of people posting that it would be better to just have a 5.1 system than a 7.1 system that has bad speaker placement.

Indeed, the two side surround speakers in your diagram are forward of ALL the listeners. Hard for them to feel surrounded with surround speakers in front of them.

Better instead to do a 5.1 layout, with a single pair of surrounds placed near the back corner of the diagonal set-up (a little forward of where you have the rear surrounds in your diagram). I would use diffuse speakers (bipoles or dipoles) and mount them high up on the walls.

Sanjay
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback! I'm pretty 'techie' since I have been working in the computer industry for a LONG time but all of this audio theory is a strange beast to me. Hopefully I will be the one providing answers for others in a few years.

As far as viewing the TV, it is actually fine at the angle it is at since it is 12 feet away. The straight-ahead view will have to wait until I save up and get a proper room built in the basement.

On the speaker placement, I just want to make sure I totally understand. I moved the surrounds in the diagram to where I was thinking you recommended. I assume 6-7 feet up on the wall will do? I had to move the left surround speaker to the back wall (on the other side of the stairs) if it needs to be that high. I should be able to just tweak the speaker settings on the receiver to account for this, right? My receiver has the mic to help get that adjusted.

Also, would it make sense to do 6.1 in this scenario? Could I just put another center-type speaker in the rear or would this just clutter the sound up? If it makes sense, should it be at an elevated height as well?



post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattbro View Post

On the speaker placement, I just want to make sure I totally understand. I moved the surrounds in the diagram to where I was thinking you recommended. I assume 6-7 feet up on the wall will do?

Yup, that's exactly what I was thinking.
Quote:


I should be able to just tweak the speaker settings on the receiver to account for this, right? My receiver has the mic to help get that adjusted.

With the levels and delays dialed in (using the mic), all the speakers should sound like they're roughly the same distance away, irrespective of physical placement.
Quote:


Also, would it make sense to do 6.1 in this scenario? Could I just put another center-type speaker in the rear or would this just clutter the sound up? If it makes sense, should it be at an elevated height as well?

It should work fine in your situation, since none of the listeners will be sitting directly in front of it (which can be problematic with a single rear speaker). At the very least, it will help bridge the gap between your two side speakers. Place the rear speaker near the back corner, at about the same height as the side speakers.

BTW, the back corner may also be a good location for your subwoofer (certainly worth experimenting with).

Sanjay
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattbro View Post

Thanks for the feedback! I'm pretty 'techie' since I have been working in the computer industry for a LONG time but all of this audio theory is a strange beast to me. Hopefully I will be the one providing answers for others in a few years.

As far as viewing the TV, it is actually fine at the angle it is at since it is 12 feet away. The straight-ahead view will have to wait until I save up and get a proper room built in the basement.

On the speaker placement, I just want to make sure I totally understand. I moved the surrounds in the diagram to where I was thinking you recommended. I assume 6-7 feet up on the wall will do? I had to move the left surround speaker to the back wall (on the other side of the stairs) if it needs to be that high. I should be able to just tweak the speaker settings on the receiver to account for this, right? My receiver has the mic to help get that adjusted.

Also, would it make sense to do 6.1 in this scenario? Could I just put another center-type speaker in the rear or would this just clutter the sound up? If it makes sense, should it be at an elevated height as well?




I didn't notice until I was house-shopping how 80% of homes have this same problem - in that there is no flat wall to place a home theater system on - you're stuck with a corner due to layout and wall openings. It's rather frustrating, really.
post #7 of 11
I was bored and hacked your photo into a non-corner layout. How does this look? Not only does it accomodate a 7.1 system, but it gives you a true sweet spot and at least three decent seats.
LL
post #8 of 11
Floyd Toole talks about a corner layout in this publication around page 9. You'll find additional articles in the sticky section of the Audio Theory section of the forum compiled by DrPainMD. Makes for good reading.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Floyd Toole talks about a corner layout in this publication around page 9.

Yeah, but notice in the diagrams that Toole is able to place his side speakers pretty much to the sides of the seating area, not forward of all the listeners as the OP would have had to do.

Sanjay
post #10 of 11
True. I think one of the points Toole was looking to make is that non optimum rooms doesn't mean your dead in the water. 'Course, the wife can see to that.
post #11 of 11
Actually, ITU recommendations for 7 or more speakers allow the side surrounds to be positioned as far forward as 60 degrees from the median line, as opposed to Dolby's 90-110 degrees. There is actually good psychoacoustic evidence to support the ITU recommendations, particularly the ear's sensitivity to reflections from the 60 degree angle increasing the perception of spaciousness and envelopment. Floyd Toole himself combines the ITU recs into his own composite recommendations in his book "Sound Reproduction." This is also why Tomlinson Holman, when discussing going beyond 5.1 in his book "Surround Sound", starts with adding a pair of wide front speakers.

To the original poster, your original setup is better than your 6.1 one. Two extremely knowledgeable and experienced professionals go beyond the recommendations from Dolby and posters here. I think that 7.1 would be better than 5.1 for more listeners watching your corner setup. Why not try it and see?
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