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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some advice on 7.1 surround rear speaker placement. I'm doing new construction in a 18' X 15' ft room with in wall rear speakers. From what I've seen, ideal location on the rear wall is 135deg to 150deg rear of the sweet spot (not a THX receiver), which will be roughly 2/3rds the way from the front wall. I'm wondering if that sounds ideal and at what height should I should put them. Any input would be appreciated.
IMG_0003.JPG 2171k .JPG file
 

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Good choice on sweet spot location: sitting at one of the 1/3rd divisions will result in smoother frequency response (smaller peaks & dips).


I would put the side speakers directly to the sides (±90°) and spread the rear speakers 60 degrees apart (±150°). The easy way to figure out rear speaker separation is to measure the distance to the back wall and multiply by 1.2 to get the spread. So if your back wall is 5 feet from the sweet spot, the rears should be 6 feet apart (5 x 1.2 = 6).


Considering your seating is well away from the back wall, your 7.1 set-up should give you excellent rear-vs-side separation in the surround field.
 

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I would try to get the front speakers as close to ear height as possible. Having all three at the same height helps keep the soundstage consistent.


Mounting the side speakers at ear height presents a problem for the listener in the sweet spot, as the head of the listener on either side of him will be blocking the direct sound from the surrounds. Raising them up a 2-3 feet (the side speakers, not the listeners) will allow everyone clear line of sight from their ears to the tweeters.


Rear speakers can be mounted the same height as the sides for consistency, but it isn't that critical since our human hearing is not that great behind us. So if your rear speakers are a foot higher or lower than the sides, don't worry - it won't be noticeable. The main use of those speakers is to anchor certain sounds behind you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sdurani, again- good info as I build my theater. Side speakers will be mounted near the ceiling for bettter dispersion. I included some pics of the construction. Side speakers will be where the orange outlets are near the ceiling, and will be aimable to fine tune the sound after they are
IMG_0003.JPG 2171k .JPG file mounted. Front speakers will be floor-standing and center channel will be shelf mounted directly under a 80" sharp TV. Thanks again for the info.
 

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I am faced with the problem that one of my rear speakers is going to be either above or in front of a window. I'm wondering how horrible it would sound if my rear speakers were essentially tucked into the wall/ceiling corner behind us. I know very few movies are even in 6.1/7.1 but I'd like to have them for the full experience.
 

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@bobrob5: Assuming that the TV will be mounted so that the viewer's eyes will be centered vertically on the screen (ie. so that the center of the screen is at eye level of a seated viewer), I recommend putting the front center speaker above the TV if at all possible. If your TV will be wall mounted, then you can wall-mount the front center speaker (or place it on a small shelf) directly above the TV. The front side speakers should be as close to ear-height of a seated viewer as possible as mentioned previously.


If the TV is going to be sitting on a stand, then your options are a little limited. I used to have a rear-projection TV and I found a special shelf that was designed to sit on top of the TV so that the speaker could be directly on top of the TV. I don't know if they make such a shelf for flat-panel TV's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
More good info- It will be a wall mounted 80" TV with all new construction so I can put the center channel either above or below the TV. Above makes more sense for better dispersion for the second row of seating. There will be 2 rows of seating (3 seats each with an 8 inch riser for the second row). Front speakers will be floor standing and wall mounted surrounds will be even with the back row (so about 100 deg behind the front row) and 2 in-wall rear surrounds about 150 deg from the sweet spot. Any input as to any improvments would be appreciated- as the theater is still under construction and nothing is set in stone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
While I'm putting this theater together- anyone with input on JBL ES25CBK center channel speaker? There's a new one on Ebay for $219 http://www.ebay.com/itm/221215795103?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649 The reason I was looking at a JBL center channel is because my front floor standing speakers are JBL Northridge series & I wanted to voice match them ( I know they no longer make the Northridge Series and they're a few years old) If not, any advice on a good center channel speaker to match them?
 
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