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7.1 surround speaker placement question (wide or narrow?)...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a 15' wide x 20' deep room, seating at 9.5' and 15.5' feet and each seating row of 3 seats is 8.5' wide centered in the room. One side of the room (the left side) is totally open to another large 10x20' space for a bar area so many conventional 7.1 mount positions are not available. In ceiling or on wall options for the side and rear surrounds are impossible... so ON CEILING is what I have to do. So the question is placement...

I have seen all the 7.1 charts but I still have questions...

1. Due to only about 3.5' behind the rear row a 60 degree spread from center for the rear speakers (7.1 standard) would place the speakers slightly inside of the outer seats which isn't acceptable I assume, so I will bump out the rear speakers to be in line with the outer edges of the 8.5' wide seating area, or should it be even wider, I could go as far as the 15' width of the room but the angle for the center seats gets worse and worse if I do that?

2. I intend to place the side speakers, again on ceiling, in between the two rows as a compromise. The question again is how wide? Do I place them at the edges of the 8.5' wide seating area or do I push them wider, closer to the full 15' apart I have at my option?

Thanks!
post #2 of 8
2 rows are a compromise for the side surrounds.

Ask yourself where do you want the best sound. This will be the row you make the bass sound the best, do your calibration from AND have the more optimal surround placement. You don't totally axe the b spots but you have to pick a place to level match for instance.

I have side surround between my 2 rows. It sounds a little off in the back row but not in a "I can't watch from back here" sort of way and the fronts row gets the good stuff.

In general you want to get the surrounds as far away as listeners as possible. I switched to dipoles on my side surround due to the close placement (a few feet of the listener), the diffused sound helped ALOT.

Have Fun! I get a lot of enjoyment from my basement theater.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Should I move the rear surrounds very wide too then even though it shreds the 60 degree angle goal?
post #4 of 8
Couple of questions:

- Which is going to be your main seating area, front row or back row?

- Are you willing to rotate the set-up 90 degrees, so that the bar area is behind the seating rather than on the left side?
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
the back row is the "best" row for viewing the screen based on its size/location so that would be where i run the audessy.

i can not rotate the setup or change the layout. i fully understand i am making massive compromises in the sound because of the room layout but i am just trying to make the best of what i have.

the speakers are L/C/R Def Tech UIW RLS II in-walls (their best in walls, actually pretty large and sealed) with little Orb Audio Mod 1 speakers for the 4 surrounds. The sub will likely be an Epik Empire.

from further research and what i am hearing here my current plan is to put the side speakers in between the rows (i know i could put them in line with the rear row but that places them a full 6 feet behind the front row and that seems too much to be acceptable) and put them nearly to the outside of the theater space, so about 13'+ ft apart. for the rears i am a bit more uncertain but perhaps 10.5' ft apart and 3.5' behind the last row which would be 1' ft to the outside edge of the outer seats.

does this at least sound "reasonable" i will have the onkyo 809 calibrate it for the room.
post #6 of 8
Surround sound is supposed to come mostly from around you, not primarily from above. To that end, I would mount the side speakers as far apart as symmetrically possible (full width of the room) to try and make them sound more like they are high up on the side walls rather than overhead.

As for angles, I think side speakers can sound nice slightly forward of the listening position (±80° from centre) but not too far forward. Is there any way to check what angle the side speakers will be in relation to the main listening position at the middle of the back row?

Also, don't spread the rear speakers too far apart (not more than 6-7ft). You want those sounds to be anchored behind you. Spreading them 10-13 feet apart will make them sound more like they're at your sides. As with the side speakers, mount the rear speakers as far back as possible, to make them sound like they're high up on the back wall rather than overhead.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
my chair seating area is 8.5' wide (3 theater seats). i get that you can truly only have one sweet spot but shouldn't i at least mount the rears 8.5' apart so that the folks on the outer edge don't have rear surrounds INSIDE of them? i wouldn't want right rear surround to come from the left shoulder of someone sitting in the right seat.
post #8 of 8
You'll be compromising the sweet spot for other seats, but you have decide whether it is worth that trade off.
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AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Audio theory, Setup and Chat › 7.1 surround speaker placement question (wide or narrow?)...