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Expanding from 5.1 to 7.1/9.1.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I am soliciting advice on where to add speakers to my setup. I've always been content with the 5.1 setup...mostly because I've owned separates for many years and have only had a 5 channel amp. Well, I recently pulled the trigger on a multi-channel receiver (Onkyo TX-NR3009) and am now exdcited at the possibility of experiencing more channels in my system now that I will have the amplifiers to run additional speaker.

I am not running a dedicated HT, so my room is not ideal (I have it set up in a family room and there is no right wall of the room...opens to breakfast nook/kitchen). The link in my signature has many pics of my setup to get an idea of what any possibilities may be. Note that pictured is a front projection system with a shelf mounted projector in the rear of my room. That is no longer there so that area is open for speaker placement if needed.
I am thinking that given my room restrictions....I should add Front Height speakers to the front sound stage and a Surround Back speaker/s at approximately the position of where the projector used to be? Thoughts on that???

Also, I'd like to stay in the Paradigm Studio line. Would Studio 20's be too much for the Front Height speakers? Would adding another bookshelf to the Surround Back be idea or would the ADP-590 be a better fit?

Take a look at my setup and let me know what you think.

post #2 of 6
Nice setup! The Studio line with the 100s was on my short list, but I've since decided to go with s system anchored with Klipsch RF-7iis.

Since you have the right wall missing, side surrounds are definitely out. I'd seriously consider the front height channels. I know Yamaha receivers have a "dialogue lift" function that will "lift" the dialogue up from the center channel and into the screen using the height speakers. I want to say Audessey will do this also, but after looking through the manual for your reciever, I'm not certain. I'm interested in this also as I have an Onkyo 809, so I may post a query in the Audessey thread.

As far as speaker selection, I think the Studio 20s would be great. They should have no problem keeping up with the rest of the front speakers.

As far as a mono back surround, A dipole would be a good choice since the seats are really close to the back wall. Others may argue monopoles all around, but that only really works if you have a large enough room that you can get them sufficiently far behind the seats. You don't have this, so I think a dipole could be a good choice.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input. I'm actually now considering a pair of Paradigm ADP-590 V.5 for the rear surrounds to be placed just to the inside of each window (flanking where the projector used to be). Do you think that would provide any benefit, or overkill given the lack of room behind the seating? This would mean that there would be 4 speakers all line up on the back wall.

I also think that the Studio Reference 10 V.5 speaker would be adequate for the Front Heights. I didn't know there was one smaller than the 20's at the time of my post.
post #4 of 6
Two dipoles in the back where you described them would probably help to create spaciousness, whereas what you probably experience now with your surrounds is sound which is obviously coming from one of the speakers, rather than a sense of envelopment in a larger room. But being so close to the sofa, they may be too close. You could try mounting them higher so you have more of a sense of "I'm in the environment of the movie", rather than "there's a speaker behind my head".

For front height, I'd personally go with the larger Studio 20. I'm of the mindset that when things get loud in a movie, I'd rather spend more and have more headroom rather than spend less and possibly run out of headroom. You have huge mains and a huge center. You'll want to be sure the height channels can keep up. Looking at the 10s vs 20s, the 20s are 1db more sensitive, and can handle 20 additional watts. Judging from your room pictures, it looks like your ears will be about 4 meters from your front height channels. Because of this, there will be 12db of loss due to your distance from the speakers. So technically, neither choice would be able to give you 105db at the listening position if you decided to turn the volume up to reference 0. Using the 20s, the loudest you could go is -7db from reference, and with the 10s, -8db. If you never listen with the volume higher than -10, which is about where most people listen, then either speaker will work. But the 20s will have 3db of headroom wereas the 10s will have just 2db.
post #5 of 6

Elegant setup for sure! What did you end up deciding on? Did you pull the trigger on anything?

If you are ever up a little more north I'm in Chantilly.
post #6 of 6
I have a similar dilemma. I currently have 7.1 system in a small dedicated room (small as can only fit a single double couch), room is about 15 x 10. I have monitor audio gold 60 for front, gold center, gold 10 for back and gold fx (dipole) for sides. 7.1 is overkill for the room an honestly not that much different than 7.1 but I thought why not do it anyway. I am using a Marantz AV7005 processor with Parasound Halo amps (A51 and A23).

I will be moving to a new house (design phase right now) but because of the size of the basement and our requirements I will have a media room with billiard area to the side, so no longer have a left side wall. I was going to use the dipoles as rear speakers (monitor audio says these can be used as side or rear) but now cannot have side speakers since no wall. Wondering if I should use the Gold 10s as height. Have read that wides are better but not sure if I could do that based on room design. If I can then that would be preferable. Would side speakers in ceiling be better than heights?

Long winded but thanks in advance.
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