I'm back with an update! This os going to be a long post, so strap yourself in! As you might remember, in July of 2017 I ordered the MTM-210C/T front stage. They've sounded fantastic! They're clear and have no trouble filling the room with sound. The towers have the weight that I required due to the little guy running around and generally being places he shouldn't. The center on the GWhiz stand has been rock solid. I love the look of the cherry wood and stain.
However, the rears (old JBL Northridge N38) had much of the same issues that my Cerwin Vegas had. Their footprint is odd. The base of the speakers is smaller than the actual dimensions of the speaker. So the left & right side and back of the foot lined up with the speaker, but the front of the base was about 2-3" recessed from the front of the speaker. This made them front heavy and would often tip forward on carpet. I had them on end tables which meant if the little guy happened to lean on the table, the speaker could have fallen and hit him. That was not safe. On top of this, my new sectional couch was cutting off the woofers in the rear right speaker, so I couldn't hear much. This all meant, time for new rears (with the wife's permission, of course)!!
I started looking at this thread for ideas on how to mount the rears. As I said above, I have a sectional that is quite large. The lady of the house said she did not want heads to bonk into the speakers when we (or guests) are sitting down. I saw one forum member use monitor arms with extenders to accomodate the 200mmx200mm VESA pattern that PSA thoughtfully added to the rear of the speaker. I went looking around and came across an arm at Monoprice
that has a 200mmx200mm VESA plate to attach to an arm. This particular arm has a weight rating of 85 pounds! This seemed to more than meet the need of the MT-110SR which weigh in at 34 pounds. I purchased the arms. As it turns out, they sat around on the dining room table for a while, but that was out of my hands.
I then went over to PSA's website. I spoke with Tom a bit about arms, told him what I had chosen and asked if he had known anyone to do the same. He hadn't, but that wasn't going to stop me! I asked for a discount code and he graciously obliged. I placed the order on a Sunday (January 14, 2018). Tom let me know via chat that the woofers were on backorder and wouldn't be available for about 5-10 business days. Let me tell you friends, that felt like a lifetime! Ok not really, but I have to keep you interested.
During this time, I thought to myself, "Self, you should really get some more cool gear, err, something that will let you dial in your expensive purchase." So, I decided to purchase a UMIK-1! I was really hoping it would arrive before the speakers, but it didn't.
The speakers were out for delivery on Friday, February 2nd. I decided to work from home that day. The last time the 210T/C's were delivered they arrived at 8:30 am. I figured the same would be true for the 110SRs. I asked the wife to take the little dude to daycare and I sat at my computer waiting for the doorbell. I waited...and waited...and waited. I got up several times to check the window when I thought I heard something outside. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve listening for Santa. While I was waiting I moved the old speakers out of the way. Here's a few shots to show you what I was dealing with.
Old JBL Setup 1
Old JBL Setup 2
Old JBL Setup 3
Finally, around 2:30pm the speakers arrived. Here you can see my customary pic of the FedEx truck
. I brought the boxes inside and boy are they big
! Really big
! I couldn't wait any longer so I popped open a box and wanted to behold their size. Dang
! I got to work getting the mounting plate
attached to the speakers
. I needed to find out the minimum height I needed to mount the arms. I took a measurement
from where the plate mounts to the arm to the bottom of the speaker.
After some measurements of the arm, and some math, I grabbed a level and took it to the back of the couch. I used the level to create a mark on the wall indicating the top of the couch. I then measured up to where I wanted to install the bottom of the arm's mount. I found the stud, and drilled a large hole at only the top screw hole of the mount. I put the speaker on the arm and this is what I got
This was way too close to the back of the couch. Someone would definitely hit their head if I left the mount there. Luckily, since I only drilled in the top hole of the arm, all I had to do was unscrew the arm and move it up! That hole became the hole for the bottom of the arm. This moved the arm up 7". It turned out to be perfect
I drilled and screwed the bottom hole. It was about 3:30 at this time and I got a call from my son's daycare. The little guy had a fever and I had to go pick him up. BUMMER! I quickly measured the distance from the wall to the top of the wall mount and duplicated my work on the rear left speaker mount. I was able to do this much faster the second time. It took me a few minutes to finish the mount. Then I had to clean everything up so the little guy wouldn't get into daddy's tools. I plugged the speaker wire in, and I didn't even have a chance to test the audio before I had to run to get him. But, I was able to take a pic of the finished setup
I had to wait until the next day during the kiddo's nap before I could even run Audessey. In the previous photo, the rear right speaker isn't in the best postion. Luckily, the arm let me move the speaker around a bit to find the best spot for the MLP and for some folks sitting on the side of the sectional.
After it was said and done, I listened to several scenes in movies and TV shows. I could immediately hear the difference. I could hear the ambience sound of a scene behind me. What really is interesting to me is that in the material I sampled, the rear channels were used, but not as much as I thought they would be. I probably haven't listened to appropriate scenes yet. People keep mentioning a particular scene in "John Wick." I still haven't seen that movie. However, I felt immersed in the movies I did watch. I was in the middle of the movie. It's been so long since I've had that.
Those JBLs probably weren't the best speaker to buy for rears due to their size and need to be on an end table in order to be heard. Even then, my recliner or couch always blocked their sound and when I leaned back in either, the things that were supposed to be behind me, were in front of me. Many will say, "You should have pulled your couch/chair forward from the wall so those speakers could be behind you." It's a nice idea, but in the past four places I've lived, that wasn't possible. There would have been no living room left. Maybe when I build the home theater room and can have rear surrounds that are actually behind me, I'll have this glee all over again! Also, I'm not sure it's worth having anything larger (MTM-210) in my room. They'd be way too big in the room. Maybe if I had a huge dedicated room. But, even in this house with a basement I can finish, the 210's as surrounds would be too large. I'm glad that PSA decided to make the 110SRs. They are a great size and work perfectly as surrounds. They'd even work well as ceiling HEIGHT speakers. I've already started thinking about that!
All in all, I'm quite happy. The little boy is safe, I'm hearing sound from behind me and these speakers look GOOD! The arm that I chose was perfect. It allows range of motion and is very strong. There is no flex at all. You're probably wondering about the UMIK-1. Well, I haven't had a chance at all to use it. Very anticlimactic, I know. Sorry! If anyone is thinking about purchasing these speakers for surround duty, don't hesitate. They deliver! Having the same timbre in my entire sound stage is wonderful. So what's next? Sub? Side Surrounds? 4K? I'm not sure, but there will definitely be a post somewhere about it.
PS: I tried putting the photos inline with the paragraphs, but somehow I'd always hit page back and lose all my work. Sorry for the links!