Originally Posted by John Schuermann
A couple of points:
The Marantz will do wides OR 2 pairs of heights - one or the other. If you choose wides, I believe you will kill one pair of your in-ceiling heights. I am pretty sure you can't pick wides over rears (or vice versa), even if you have 11 channels in the Marantz. Only so many outputs in the processing are dedicated to either floor or height channels.
Wide speakers are a good idea if your left and right speakers are placed very close together in the front of the room. An example would be if you are sitting 12 feet back and your left and right speakers are only 6 feet apart. Wides are also considered "floor" speakers, so an in-ceiling installation is not ideal. Of course, your room also needs to be wide enough so you can get enough spread between your left and rights and the wides (in other words, if your room is only 8 feet across wide speakers are not going to accomplish much).
When designing an ATMOS system, it's best to think of your home theater as a "dome," and try to place your speakers within that space to fill out that dome. When thinking of the system in this way, it's easier to get your speaker positioning and angles right.
You can, of course, put the rear speakers behind you, like you discuss. When you run the room setup on the Marantz receiver / pre-pro, Audyssey will adjust the levels and response based upon how far the speakers are from your listening position. Still, you will probably end up being quite aware that the rear speakers are essentially firing right into your ear
Might be helpful for you to post some pics or diagrams of what you are talking about. Hope that helps!
That dome concept is what I've been thinking about which is why I'm entertaining the 7 channel layout so much.
My side surrounds (Paradigm Surround 1's) are bipoles and 10ft out from MLP. Therefore, they may be a little too diffuse by the time they hit my ears. I'm trying to pickup additional space where they may be weak on the 7 or 5 bed first stage.
here is my layout.
This may be a crazy experiment but I have 3 options to fill in some space in the back and in the opposite angle of the front. If you feel like, feel free to rule some out.
The first is the dual monopole's
about 6' up which would be 2' up from MLP. The sides and fronts are on a 4' plane with my ears. I'm hoping the with the rears higher than the ears but lower than the atmos that it would be diffuse enough to not be in my ear
Pros: It's the most proven set up. It's the second most expensive.
Cons: Doesn't achieve the recommended angles (because they're in wall) and would basically fire right at the fronts (and possibly at some ears 2' below). I did some measuring and I'm likely closer to 15 to 18 inches from wall to ear.
The second is dual tweeter in the center.
Also, 6' up (so above the ears) but in the center
Pros: Cheapest option, and likely not blasting straight on.
Cons: may be too close to the listeners to dispurse/diffuse outward
The 3rd option is dual 30 degree angled pointed
at the rear wall
Pros: near definitely diffuse, allows for the most flexibility
Cons: most unproven, most expensive, likely no room in the ceiling, could interfere with the top atmos channels as well.