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Do any of you have thoughts on how well a 4 or 5 channel front setup would work?

How would you set it up to sound best?

Do you know of any receivers or processors that have a 4 or 5 channel output for the fronts?


Being that the majority of the sound comes from the front of the soundstage, it seems strange to me that the home theater industry is adding more and more surround speakers while the fronts are still only 3 channel. If I recall correctly, don't some large commercial theaters have 5 front channels?


My setup: 95 inch wide front projector screen, acoustically transparent screen is an option. 4 speakers for the rear. All speakers would be matching with an LMT sub from TC Sounds.
 

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I've read about a 10.2 setup ( not for commercial release yet ) that uses 4 front speakers. 2 closer together and 2 spaced very far apart. The other 6 are surrounds, and then 2 LFE channels. Supposedly this provides a really stable front image no matter where you are seated. But I haven't heard of anything available at this time.


Derek
 

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The reason they are adding more surrounds is that human hearing can not resolve stereo imageing behind the head well at all. In front of us though we are very capable of pinpointing the pocation of a sound with stereo cues, so extra channels are not needed.


That said Yamaha makes several receivers that have front "effects" channels. Supposedly to help reinforce the sound and make sound effects have more impact. Of course if you have speakers with pretty good dynamics this really isn't helpful.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by biomed_eng_2000
Do any of you have thoughts on how well a 4 or 5 channel front setup would work? How would you set it up to sound best?
Lots of different approaches. Some people would like an extra pair of speakers on either side of the centre speaker for panned dialogue (when characters move across the screen). Sony does this theatrically with their SDDS system, but only on the largest/widest screens. With the size of most home theatres, I think this would be overkill.


Personally, I would set up the three front speakers as they currently are and place another pair of front speakers at the first reflection points near the front end of the side walls. By absorbing the actual first reflections and replacing them with extract/simulated ones, you could do some amazing room simulation for music playback or heightening the 'surround' effect and sense of space for movie soundtracks.


In any case, I'd always want an odd number of speakers up front (3 or 5), not an even number (2 or 4). A single centre speaker is extremely important, especially for vocals/dialogue.
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Do you know of any receivers or processors that have a 4 or 5 channel output for the fronts?
Yamaha receivers use an additional pair of 'front effect' speakers placed higher and wider then the front L/R speakers. This expands the front soundstage, horizontally and vertically, providing imaging outside the front L/R speakers.


I think Sunfire receivers and pre-pros use 'side axis' speakers that go outside the front L/R speakers, blending the gap between the front L/R speakers and the side surrounds.
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Being that the majority of the sound comes from the front of the soundstage, it seems strange to me that the home theater industry is adding more and more surround speakers while the fronts are still only 3 channel.
I don't think it's strange. In fact, quite the opposite.


With a 5.1 system, you have 3 speakers covering the front wall. That leaves only 2 speakers to cover the left wall, right wall, rear wall, and ceiling. Isn't that a little lop-sided, not to mention asking for a lot from only 2 surround speakers? At least with a 7.1 system, the side and rear walls each get their own speakers, though not as many as the front wall.


So even a 7.1 set-up is still lop-sided in favour of the front wall. Which is too bad since our hearing is weaker to our sides and behind us, and that's where we could really use the additional speakers for imaging stability.
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If I recall correctly, don't some large commercial theaters have 5 front channels?
SDDS, as mentioned above.


Best,

Sanjay
 
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