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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a speaker placement dilemma:


I have a floor-to-ceiling library wall on the front soundstage. It accomodates the TV, fronts, centre and sub at near ideal locations - eye and ear levels when seated.


However, the shallow but wide open concept room has some significant challenges:


It has no right side - a large panoramic window defeats standard side placement.


It has no left side - opens to a 30' space that defeats left surround placement


It has no left rear, another big panoramic window defeats rear left placement.


It has concrete ceilings that defeat in ceiling options.


I have a beautiful design conscious wife that defeats visible AV ephemera like stands and on wall options.


While I can get the right surround into a relatively conventional location, I don't have too many options for the left. I could put the left surround on a small accent table below the seating position and angle it up to the ceiling, but this would be somewhat imbalanced with the right srround which can't deploy in the same way because of a bookcase that holds it in the conventional rear corner, above the seated position option.


I was thinking of perhaps using the floor to ceiling library shelves on the front in what is surely the ultimate in home theatre sacriledge, -- all speakers up front -- but I'm wondering if it might just work?


The seating position is about 10 feet from the screen, the ceiling is about 9.5 feet high, and the highest shelf is about 8 feet from the floor.


Using the right A/V calibration, delay settings, and speaker angles, I wonder if I could get a good surround effect going? Something like those BOSE retail displays you see at Costco - the ones that put the surrounds sort of up over your head instead of behind you... Granted those are deisgned to fool you into thinking the BOSE can crank out real theatre sound when you take it home. It does however produce a reasonable surround steering effect for the person actually standing in the display sweet spot.


I could create a larger version of that with the fronts about 3 feet off the ground and 7 feet apart, and the "surrounds" about 8 feet off the ground and 10 feet apart...


My speakers are Energy Take Classics.


Do you think it would work best with:


a.) the speakers angled down to the listening position

b.) angled up to bounce off the ceiling

c.) pointed straight ahead

d.) toed in or out for dispersion

e.) or won't work at all, give-up?


Thoughts...
 

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put it on the side table and play around with the aiming... bouncing off the ceiling may sound better (and should) than aiming it into the side of a couch. The only way to find out is to experiment. Being that it's a surround you can cheat a little as reflctions and a diffused sound are tolerable and sometimes sought after, where as in the case of the mains and center they aren't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Truth be told it was the ceiling bounce option that got me thinking about just mounting them up front -- so long as the sound is disfusing off the ceiling, wouldn't a little delay in the surround channels produce a similar effect -- Isn't that part of the usual trickery soundbards use, together with cross cancellation? Then I noticed the speaker placement in those Bose retail stands and thought about it a little more.


Marriage and design often take a toll on A/V.


It's such a weird room: a single or dual back-surround would actually be easier to place than surrounds, or at least the left surround.


How important would it be for both surrounds to be placed in the same manner, ie, for reflection/diffusion or direction - the other problem is that while there's no good direct option for the left surround, there's no good reflection options for the right...
 

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"Surround Sound" is about being surrounded by sound. Placing the surround speakers up front won't "surround" you. The delay of the reflected bounce off the ceiling won't come close to mimicking the reflected surround effects used by "SurroundBars". If you can't place the side surrounds at your sides, the effect will be lost.


Frankly, I would forgo surround sound rather than try to shoe-horn speaker placements into spots that really don't work. Optimize the front soundstage as much as possible and accept it. Trying to place speakers where they don't work well will either: a. draw attention to them, (which would be more distracting than beneficial), or; b. cause them to be unheard, (which would be a total waste of time, money and effort.)


One alternative you could consider is to place speakers above the mains and use them as "height" channels. Both Audyssey DSX and Dolby PLIIz allow for "height" channels. You'll need a receiver capable of one of these processing modes, but that could be your best option.


Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Except for Yamaha's Sound projectors in a suitable room, most soundbars won't give a fully emmersive surround performance either, but they can still be nice to listen to.


Right now I have the 5 speakers and a Yamaha 765, which does have a front height mode - though it only works with sources up to 96Khz, which should cover most Bluray titles.


Honestly, what's there (the front stage only at this point) sounds pretty good. Though it's a book case, it takes up wide area and I left a good bit of space away from sides and back of all the front speakers. The centre sits just above the top edge of the TV, angled down to the listening position, and the fronts are pulled up flush with the front lip of the shelves. The weight of all our books keeps it pretty inert. We don't watch/listen too loudly most of the time.


The rest of the room is OK too. thanks to a thick rug and pad that sits on the wood floor, blinds, lowback leather sofa/chair/ottoman and popcorn on the ceiling.


I saw an option to hide the rears in false books. Something sure to muffle the sound somewhat, but it might give me an option to hide and bounce both rear speakers...


Maybe I could hide the left surround in a ficus?
 

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Crazy idea. How about if you put the left surround on the accent table, but find a telescoping stand that can be raised and lowered. Keep it low most times, but raise it for HT-watching (not sure how you'd hide the necessary extra speaker wire). I said it was a crazy idea.



BTW, I've read several reviews of Gallo and Orb round satellites that commented on their positioning flexibility. I've never heard them, but if that's the case you could get 2 of those as surrounds for the low and high positions, and use your current surrounds as height speakers up front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's not a bad idea... I can run wires under the rug, which is really a carpet sample that I had cut and bound when I couldn't find an area rug in the dimensions/style I wanted. The backing is very stiff, 'cause it's actually supposed to be installed as flooring, and I put a 10mm underpad to keep it cozy under the misses' feet. If I tucked the wire under the pad, it would probably take regular 12AWG wire without showing any bumps...


To your other point, I though about some small mirage satellites for the same reasons. I'm not sure I want to run more than 5 speakers though...
 
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