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Surround choices - too high, too wide, or too far back.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to place surrounds in my theater room. The room layout puts a set of double doors right where I need to put my right surround speaker. The room is 13x16. I've placed the screen on the 13' wall that is farthest from the doors (the builder pre-wired for putting the screen on the 16' wall opposite the doors. I rotated the configuration by 90 degrees because I want two rows of seats). There are double doors on one of the 16' walls, at one end of the wall. I'm putting in two rows of seats - the front row will be about 10' from the screen, and the back row will be against the back wall (such that the double doors will be to the right of the people sitting in the back row)

My surrounds either have to go (a) forward of the doors, which would put them directly to the side of the front row, but too far forward for the back row; (b) on the back wall, which would be too far back for the front row (they would be like 7.1 rear speakers); or (c) above the 7' doors, which puts them above optimal height. I'm leaning towards option (c) which will put them too high. Any thoughts on which would give me the best sound?

This image shows the floor plan:


This image is looking at the back wall.


Glenn
post #2 of 7
For a 5.1-speaker layout, I would put the surrounds in the back corners of the room, at least a couple of feet above ear level, pointing towards the main listening position (middle of front row).

However, with your main seating away from the back wall, you are an ideal candidate for a 7.1 layout. Put the side speakers directly to the sides of the front row and the rear speakers above the sconces on the back wall. Again, all four surrounds mounted at least a couple of feet above ear level.

This will give you excellent rear-vs-side separation and wrap-around envelopment in the surround field.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

For a 5.1-speaker layout, I would put the surrounds in the back corners of the room, at least a couple of feet above ear level, pointing towards the main listening position (middle of front row).

However, with your main seating away from the back wall, you are an ideal candidate for a 7.1 layout. Put the side speakers directly to the sides of the front row and the rear speakers above the sconces on the back wall. Again, all four surrounds mounted at least a couple of feet above ear level.

This will give you excellent rear-vs-side separation and wrap-around envelopment in the surround field.

Thanks. I've been thinking about doing the 7.1 thing. The only thing stopping me is that the rear speakers will be right over the back row. OTOH, the back row probably won't get used much anyway.
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn_Law View Post

The only thing stopping me is that the rear speakers will be right over the back row.
But the speakers will be pointing forward, not at the listeners in the back row, so it won't be distracting for them. Imagine holding a bookshelf speaker above your head: you won't hear it as loudly as the person you're pointing the speaker at.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
It would be nice to have a 7.1 and not have a speaker in the corner. I can always put it back if the rear speakers don't sound right from the back row.
post #6 of 7

I would play with a few different surrounds, bi di pole booshelfs, I tried 5 different pairs before choosing the bookshelfs I have now, but in some rooms an inexpensive bipole works wonders, especially when mounting is optimal...  My bookshelfs are mounted on the ceiling at a slight downward angle, about 3 feet over the listener and a foot outside, but its 1 row of seating... They sound fine, but admittingly better when I had them on stands on the sides of the listener, but the wife didn't approve so to the ceiling they went...

 

I hate to say it but this is one of them things that I think needs to be tested, different speakers, different positions, and make a decision...

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by imcloud View Post

bipole works wonders, especially when mounting is optimal...  

I hate to say it but this is one of them things that I think needs to be tested, different speakers, different positions, and make a decision...

This sounds good. Bi/Dipole speakers give you flexibility. Here's a couple of links that might help out as well.

http://www.polkaudio.com/polk-university/articles/home-audio-speaker-placement

http://www.polkaudio.com/polk-university/technology/bipole-dipole-surround-sound-control
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