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post #1 of 16 Old 10-18-2016, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Help - Acoustics, Surround Speakers, and Sealing the Room

As the title states my room is just about complete but there's a few areas I'm looking for some thoughts on. See the video here for what the room looks like currently...


1.) Acoustics - There's a very faint "echo" you can sometimes catch in the room. What type of acoustic enhancements should I do with a room like this? It's about 21 x 17 feet with that cathedral ceiling. It's a bonus room (only room on 2nd floor) of the house. That screen is 150" 16:9 for perspective. I'm not sure the exact height of the room but if I had to guess it's 10 feet at it's lowest and maybe 14-15 feet at it's peak in the center.

2.) Surround Speakers - The current surrounds are sold. Considering the way the room is set up would I be better off in just going to 5.1 (the two sides) and delete the two speakers behind the projector? If I go that route perhaps a dipole-based speaker instead of what's up there currently. I was thinking maybe the Silver FX to compliment the Platinum front setup

3.) Sealing the Room - Not a deal breaker but part of me is a bit disappointed that I can't completely close a door to the room. Walking up the front of the steps there's no where to reasonably put a door. I could make a wall behind the seats to go up to where the projector is but I don't think that would look good and would likely be cost-prohibitive. With that said, any thoughts on how to seal off the room better?

Thanks for your time.

Long term plan is to make a decorative surround on the wall where the screen is and repaint the room a darker color. The light color doesn't affect the projector's performance but figured a darker theater look will be nicer. That's on the queue for 2017 modifications.








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post #2 of 16 Old 10-18-2016, 11:54 AM
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You could extend that knee wall all the way to the ceiling and put a door in that back corner if you really wanted to seal the room off.
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-18-2016, 11:58 AM
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First thing I would do is cover the back wall with broadband absorption, maybe a 8' wide by 4' tall panel starting above the Man of Steel poster in the stairwell and another 8' wide by 2' tall absorber right below the molding on the short wall behind the seating. Centre both absorbers in line with your middle seat. Do you have a floor plan or drawing of the room & set-up that shows window and door locations? Also, any way to raise the screen so that the centre speaker can be closer in height to the L/R speakers?

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post #4 of 16 Old 10-19-2016, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
You could extend that knee wall all the way to the ceiling and put a door in that back corner if you really wanted to seal the room off.
would there be a benefit really in doing this from a sound stand point?

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First thing I would do is cover the back wall with broadband absorption, maybe a 8' wide by 4' tall panel starting above the Man of Steel poster in the stairwell and another 8' wide by 2' tall absorber right below the molding on the short wall behind the seating. Centre both absorbers in line with your middle seat. Do you have a floor plan or drawing of the room & set-up that shows window and door locations? Also, any way to raise the screen so that the centre speaker can be closer in height to the L/R speakers?
Raising the screen is not much of an option I don't have much more height before I hit the ceiling.

As for a floor plan it's basically that walk around I showed you. There are no doors it's just a stairway up to the room. There are two windows, one behind each curtain. There is also that small closet in the back right of the room where I have my small AV rack with the AVR, AMP, and sources. The left side of the room has the large window pictured and the right side of the room behind the front right speaker is a smaller conventional window. It looks like the following behind each curtain (old photos):

Pre-blackout material photo:



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post #5 of 16 Old 10-19-2016, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Nosferatu View Post
The left side of the room has the large window pictured and the right side of the room behind the front right speaker is a smaller conventional window. It looks like the following behind each curtain (old photos):
Thanx, the pic of the large window is what I was curious about; wanted to see if there was any wall space forward of the left side speaker. Consider moving your side speakers forward (so the left one butts up against the window) to improve side-vs-rear separation in the surround field. Aim each one at the listener at the opposite end of the row; having that listener on-axis to the speaker will help compensate for the speaker being farther away. A good time to move the side speakers is when you're prepping to re-paint the room (opportunity to patch holes).

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post #6 of 16 Old 10-19-2016, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Thanx, the pic of the large window is what I was curious about; wanted to see if there was any wall space forward of the left side speaker. Consider moving your side speakers forward (so the left one butts up against the window) to improve side-vs-rear separation in the surround field. Aim each one at the listener at the opposite end of the row; having that listener on-axis to the speaker will help compensate for the speaker being farther away. A good time to move the side speakers is when you're prepping to re-paint the room (opportunity to patch holes).
Thanks for your input.

Stupid question but why would I move the side surrounds to being in front of the listening stage? Shouldn't they be even with or behind the primary listening area? There's decent separation between the side and rears from the listening stage as they're a good couple feet further back. Should I go with monopoles again or consider a bipole/dipole setup? Which each setup go 5.1 or 7.1?

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post #7 of 16 Old 10-19-2016, 02:45 PM
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Stupid question but why would I move the side surrounds to being in front of the listening stage? Shouldn't they be even with or behind the primary listening area?
When you sit in the sweet spot of a movie theatre, the surrounds start well forward of your listening position, immersing the listeners IN the surround field (as opposed to the surround field starting right at your seating and going back). For home theatres there are no hard rules; it's where ever the surrounds sound good (slightly forward, slightly behind, directly at the sides). Slightly forward has been catching on over the last few years because it tends to sound more immersive and seamless (seamless as in blending better with the fronts).
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Should I go with monopoles again or consider a bipole/dipole setup?
I would stick with monopoles all around; whatever sounds as similar as possible to your front speakers.

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post #8 of 16 Old 10-19-2016, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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When you sit in the sweet spot of a movie theatre, the surrounds start well forward of your listening position, immersing the listeners IN the surround field (as opposed to the surround field starting right at your seating and going back). For home theatres there are no hard rules; it's where ever the surrounds sound good (slightly forward, slightly behind, directly at the sides). Slightly forward has been catching on over the last few years because it tends to sound more immersive and seamless (seamless as in blending better with the fronts). I would stick with monopoles all around; whatever sounds as similar as possible to your front speakers.
Okay interesting...I was also giving another option a thought.

I started looking around what about something like the CT380-FX and mounting them higher in the cathedral part of my ceiling? would cost more but would give me better spatial separation of the rear sound fields.

http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/produ...s-300/ct380-fx

Maybe in a pattern like this...
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-19-2016, 03:46 PM
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I started looking around what about something like the CT380-FX and mounting them higher in the cathedral part of my ceiling?
That's a good plan for height speakers, but not surrounds. If anything, your surround speakers could benefit from being lowered a little. Keep in mind that surround sound is supposed to be around you, not overhead (there's a different format for that type of effect).

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post #10 of 16 Old 10-19-2016, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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That's a good plan for height speakers, but not surrounds. If anything, your surround speakers could benefit from being lowered a little. Keep in mind that surround sound is supposed to be around you, not overhead (there's a different format for that type of effect).
Okay fair enough.

So given that back right speaker sits so close to that closet is it doing me much good there? Should I move it elsewhere and if so where? If it's not good at all should I just do two surrounds as the sides and call it a day as 5.1?
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post #11 of 16 Old 10-19-2016, 04:27 PM
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So given that back right speaker sits so close to that closet is it doing me much good there?
It is anchoring sounds behind you, which are different from sounds at your side.
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Should I move it elsewhere and if so where?
Wouldn't hurt to lower it so that it is 2-3 feet above ear height. To keep the nearby closet wall from muddying the sound with reflections, place an absorber on that wall, right next to the speaker.
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If it's not good at all should I just do two surrounds as the sides and call it a day as 5.1?
A single pair of surrounds can't be in two places at once (at your sides and behind you, simultaneously), so it helps to have separate side and rears speakers for stable imaging in both those directions. You're not going to get that sort of wrap-around envelopment from only 2 surrounds.

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post #12 of 16 Old 10-20-2016, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
It is anchoring sounds behind you, which are different from sounds at your side. Wouldn't hurt to lower it so that it is 2-3 feet above ear height. To keep the nearby closet wall from muddying the sound with reflections, place an absorber on that wall, right next to the speaker. A single pair of surrounds can't be in two places at once (at your sides and behind you, simultaneously), so it helps to have separate side and rears speakers for stable imaging in both those directions. You're not going to get that sort of wrap-around envelopment from only 2 surrounds.
thank you so far very helpful

So how about this...keep 4 surrounds.

Do the two sides as dipoles, maybe Silver FX. It'll give a broad side sound stage and then do some direct firing out back, maybe the Silver 1 or 2? I'm open to suggestion for speaker types. I don't want to spend more than $2,000 on the rear speakers total.

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post #13 of 16 Old 10-20-2016, 08:41 AM
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Do the two sides as dipoles, maybe Silver FX.
Dipoles are specialized speakers. They have two sets of drivers, pointing at the front wall and back wall. But you already have speakers at the front wall and back wall. What are you hoping to accomplish by reflecting side channel information off the front and back walls?

The two sets of drivers in the dipoles are wired out of phase with each other, creating a cancellation or null (quiet zone in the dispersion pattern) at the side of the speakers. This null will be pointing at the listeners, so they hear very little direct sound from the speaker and mostly hear reflected sound. This could be useful in a very narrow room, where having the row of listeners sitting in the null of the surround speakers will keep people on both ends of the couch from being distracted by a speaker right next to them. But I don't see what it accomplishes in your room.
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I'm open to suggestion for speaker types.
I would keep it simple and just get 4 monopole speakers that sound as close as possible to my front speakers, for consistent sound all the way around. There's no requirement for sides and rears to be different.

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post #14 of 16 Old 10-20-2016, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Dipoles are specialized speakers. They have two sets of drivers, pointing at the front wall and back wall. But you already have speakers at the front wall and back wall. What are you hoping to accomplish by reflecting side channel information off the front and back walls?

The two sets of drivers in the dipoles are wired out of phase with each other, creating a cancellation or null (quiet zone in the dispersion pattern) at the side of the speakers. This null will be pointing at the listeners, so they hear very little direct sound from the speaker and mostly hear reflected sound. This could be useful in a very narrow room, where having the row of listeners sitting in the null of the surround speakers will keep people on both ends of the couch from being distracted by a speaker right next to them. But I don't see what it accomplishes in your room. I would keep it simple and just get 4 monopole speakers that sound as close as possible to my front speakers, for consistent sound all the way around. There's no requirement for sides and rears to be different.
This is all getting complicated but makes sense. So 4 Silver 1 speakers to go around? Any ideas for maybe something a bit smaller in size to look at?

EDIT: Would the FX in Bipole configuration make sense. Still projects to the listener but broadens the side fields. I meant to say Bipole not Dipole from earlier.

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post #15 of 16 Old 10-20-2016, 09:40 AM
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So 4 Silver 1 speakers to go around? Any ideas for maybe something a bit smaller in size to look at?
I'm not familiar with your front speakers so I don't know what other speakers sound like them. I would just get 4 small bookshelf speakers from the same line or same manufacturer for as much consistency as possible when sounds pan around the room. Nothing more complicated than that.
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Would the FX in Bipole configuration make sense. Still projects to the listener but broadens the side fields.
It's not like you need coverage for 2 or 3 rows of seating, so I don't understand why you want speakers with a 180-degree dispersion pattern. You just need coverage for a single row of listeners, and a pair of monopoles along the sides of that row should have no problem doing that. If you're determined to get bipoles or dipoles, then that's your prerogative. But they're a solution to a problem that you don't have.

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post #16 of 16 Old 10-20-2016, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not familiar with your front speakers so I don't know what other speakers sound like them. I would just get 4 small bookshelf speakers from the same line or same manufacturer for as much consistency as possible when sounds pan around the room. Nothing more complicated than that. It's not like you need coverage for 2 or 3 rows of seating, so I don't understand why you want speakers with a 180-degree dispersion pattern. You just need coverage for a single row of listeners, and a pair of monopoles along the sides of that row should have no problem doing that. If you're determined to get bipoles or dipoles, then that's your prerogative. But they're a solution to a problem that you don't have.
Only reason was to give an illusion of less localization of those two speakers given how close they are to the listening area. If you feel that's not necessary then so be it I'll go with monopoles.

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