Advice on audio setup and speaker locations - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 35 Old 07-26-2019, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rbt192 View Post
I’️m thinking I’️ll need to do ceiling speakers in lieu of my floor standing surrounds. With my room and sofa layout, the floor standers aren't really working. They work good from one central seating position, but that's about it. To make it usable in multiple seating locations around my sofa without blowing out eardrums, I'm having to drastically turn down the surround channel volume. It's also only a matter of time until one gets knocked over. I think I"ll get more enjoyment out of doing ceilings and being able to sit anywhere in the room.

I’️m now debating on 5.1 (two ceiling speakers) or 7.1/5.1.2 (four ceiling speakers). Did you play with these various arrangements with your system? I'm thinking mixing Atmos speakers with ceiling mounted surrounds could cause a clash in sounds and that simply doing 5.1 (or 7.1) might be preferred. Price isn't really a factor on choosing between two and four speakers - if I'm already going into the attic to pull wire and cut holes for two, doing four is no big deal.
Have you considered an on-wall mount or in wall mounted speaker for the surrounds? If you have run room correction with your AVR, the surrounds wouldn't be too loud for the seating area as the levels will already have been adjusted to take into account the seating position.

If you still want to go ceilings only, you could try 5.1 or 7.1 or 5.1.2 or even 3.1.4 if your AVR can support it. I would play around with those and see what you like best. 3.1.4 might be the closest config to what you actually have physically installed.
I didn't try more than the one AVR speaker config I mentioned earlier (5.1.2 with 4 ceiling speakers).
Wall mounts would be great, but I have no clean way to get inside one of the walls. There is a large beam I’d have to try and drill through to get inside the wall and there isn’t enough attic space to fit a long enough drill bit. I did run room correction, but I still had to lower the volumes to make the seats near them tolerable at louder listening levels (loud effects were slightly jarring). The surround speakers are right next to the couch and within 18” of your head on the edge seats. It does still work, and maybe quieter surrounds is still better than going to the ceiling. In a central listening position, they do sound great though.

Cool, good to know. If I go that route, I’ll likely just buy four so that I can demo different arrangements.
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post #32 of 35 Old 07-27-2019, 01:11 PM
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Some pics of how the rear speakers are placed might be helpful in suggesting alternate placement options.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #33 of 35 Old 08-01-2019, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I’ve been learning a lot playing with my new system. After more time spent with it, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that my room needs some EQ help that my Onkyo’s AccuEQ can’t seem to provide. I’ve spent a lot of time tinkering with my subwoofer (placement, volume levels, crossovers, and AccuEQ’s presets) and was still dealing with harsh bass that had me reaching for the volume dial.

I finally downloaded a SPL app and played with YouTube test tones using C-weighted measurements. With EQ off, I quickly realized my low frequencies were all over the place. With EQ on, any improvements were minimal at best. From what I’ve gathered, AccuEQ in my Onkyo simply develops three random presets for you to choose from (with no visible data of what you’re selecting). For manual adjustments, it’s incredibly primitive. For subwoofer levels, all I can adjust are 25hz, 40hz, 63hz, 100hz, and 160hz frequencies. Regardless, I used YouTube test tones again and tried to balance these out (excluding 160hz since I’m crossing at 100hz). This resulted in a noticeable improvement. A lot of the harshness in my bass went away and my system sounded much better overall. I haven’t touched any higher frequencies yet, but I’m sure they’re off as well.

The fact that I can get better results with my iPhone and basic adjustments has me obviously disappointed in AccuEQ. I believe my TX-NR747 is right when Onkyo ditched Audyssey so it’s likely 1st gen tech. This has me looking at Denon receivers so that I can get Audyssey. Realistically, all I need right now is the X1500 for $399. However, I can’t get MultEQ XT32 until the X3500 for $699. I’m trying to determine if the X1500’s MultEQ XT is sufficient or if I should spring for the XT32... I’m really interested to know if Audyssey can help my system. As I mentioned before, I’m limited in what I can do for actual acoustical room improvements. I am planning to add an area rug to reduce my hard surfaces, but that’s about the extent of things.
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post #34 of 35 Old 08-02-2019, 01:55 PM
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You will not be happy with anything below Audyssey XT32! A sufficient number of filter points for the bass are crucial to tame certain problems.


But before making a receiver purchase, I strongly recommend two much cheaper(!) things first:


1. Get a measurement mic and learn how to use REW!
2. Once you know what's up with your room acoustically, you can DIY a few absorbers for a few bucks each.


The sound will improve dramatically. Probably more than you believe. Physics is a beast!
Without exaggeration: improvement in room acoustics could have such a dramatic impact on the sound, that it's possible you will be satisfied with what you've got then.


You could buy a new receiver sometimes later anyway and the improvements of the sound will stay.
So it's a triple win if you follow the recommended steps.


But if you just want to spend your money ineffectively on a new expensive toy, then buy a new receiver and ignore the tips.

Good sound is always the result of engineering. And engineering always starts with measuring. Consumer industry and mainstream will never tell customers about that: improvements in room acoustics are worth roughly ten (10!) times the amount spent on equipment like speakers and receivers. For example: only $500 in room treatment is worth more than spending $5000 (fivethousand) on equipment.

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post #35 of 35 Old 08-02-2019, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rbt192 View Post
This has me looking at Denon receivers so that I can get Audyssey. Realistically, all I need right now is the X1500 for $399. However, I can’t get MultEQ XT32 until the X3500 for $699. I’m trying to determine if the X1500’s MultEQ XT is sufficient or if I should spring for the XT32... I’m really interested to know if Audyssey can help my system. As I mentioned before, I’m limited in what I can do for actual acoustical room improvements. I am planning to add an area rug to reduce my hard surfaces, but that’s about the extent of things.
you can probably find the X3400's for under $500, closer to $400 even (like $430ish?) if you look around. Not much difference between it and the 3500.
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