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Discussion Starter #1
I'm building a new house and trying to determine where I should get the prewires run for my 5.1 L/R surrounds. I see basically 3 options that I have marked in the image. The back wall is an open wall making it difficult to place speakers.




In the image, the red arrows would be a prewire run down below to the short wall and the speakers on stands. I prefer this, but its also going to be difficult to keep the speaker stands from getting into the way and being bumped into by others. A second option is the orange arrows, would would be to mount them on the vertical wall above pointing down towards the couch. The ceilings are 9 foot, so about 9.5 to 10 feet above the ground is where they would be mounted. The last option and probably least likely, is to mount them on the side walls.


The floor plan below is what the room looks like, with the circled area being the open wall.




Any suggestions? Im leaning towards option 1 (stands) or 2 (wall mount up high), but I wasn't sure if the height and placement would be an issue. Ultimately this isn't meant to be a hardcore home theater, but I wanted to at least get the surrounds placed in there. I will plan to play video games and watch movies from the room, but don't expect it to be perfect quality sound. Also, any suggestions on decently priced surrounds?
 

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Why is placing them on the side walls the least likely option? I'm pretty sure it'd be the best option and that the ideal placement is to the sides just a bit behind your main listening position, about 5 feet or so up. See http://www.dolby.com/us/en/consumer/setup/connection-guide/home-theater-speaker-guide/index.html .


Oh, I see now that your side walls/placement spots are at different distances from your sweet spot. I have that too, my left surround is about 3 feet further away than my right surround. I can't tell a difference, Audyssey compensates well.
 

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Below is the link to the THX website regarding surround sound placement:

http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entertainment/home-theater/surround-sound-speaker-set-up/


So, it is actually better to have the speakers on the sides rather than the rear wall. Could you post pics of the 2 side walls? That might help determine placement options. It might also help determine if monopole or dipole/bipole surrounds would work for you.


I would actually not place the surrounds right next to the couch, too close to the listener's ears for me. You would likely localize the surrounds, which is not what you want.


So I would vote for option 3 (assuming we find a good spot on the side walls) or option 2. In my setup I have it like option 2, high up on the rear wall, b/c I have no side wall on the right. It works fine, but not ideal.


Oh, it seems like you have a pretty big room but the couch is pushed all the way to the back. Regardless of which option you choose, moving the couch up a few feet and therefore putting the listener more in the center of the room will really help the sense of immersion.


p.s. Nice house by the way.
 

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Hehe..as I was typing I see you already got a second vote for the side walls with another useful link...
 

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Discussion Starter #5

Quote:
Originally Posted by willieconway  /t/1419029/surround-speaker-placement-advice#post_22196226


Why is placing them on the side walls the least likely option? I'm pretty sure it'd be the best option and that the ideal placement is to the sides just a bit behind your main listening position, about 5 feet or so up. See http://www.dolby.com/us/en/consumer/setup/connection-guide/home-theater-speaker-guide/index.html .

Oh, I see now that your side walls/placement spots are at different distances from your sweet spot. I have that too, my left surround is about 3 feet further away than my right surround. I can't tell a difference, Audyssey compensates well.


Thats true. I was checking that site out before. Its kind of a difficult room because of its shape and size. The two side walls have their problems too. Here is a picture of the wall there the right surround would be (to your left facing the open wall)





The red rectangle is the portion of wall that would be usable (beyond the chandelier). I don't know what that measurement is, ill have to check it when I got to take a look at the model tomorrow. On the other side, there is a door that leads into the dining room, so the only usable space would be past that door on the wall, which would mean one speaker would be further forward than the other. I can get some better pictures tomorrow in a house that is the same layout under construction.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer  /t/1419029/surround-speaker-placement-advice#post_22196246


Below is the link to the THX website regarding surround sound placement:
http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entertainment/home-theater/surround-sound-speaker-set-up/

So, it is actually better to have the speakers on the sides rather than the rear wall. Could you post pics of the 2 side walls? That might help determine placement options. It might also help determine if monopole or dipole/bipole surrounds would work for you.

I would actually not place the surrounds right next to the couch, too close to the listener's ears for me. You would likely localize the surrounds, which is not what you want.

So I would vote for option 3 (assuming we find a good spot on the side walls) or option 2. In my setup I have it like option 2, high up on the rear wall, b/c I have no side wall on the right. It works fine, but not ideal.

Oh, it seems like you have a pretty big room but the couch is pushed all the way to the back. Regardless of which option you choose, moving the couch up a few feet and therefore putting the listener more in the center of the room will really help the sense of immersion.

p.s. Nice house by the way.

heh, thanks. Thats the model, but the kitchen is a lot like ours will look. I posted a shot of the right surround wall in the post above. I don't have a picture of the other wall, but I will try to get one tomorrow. Because of the doorway into the dining room area and the windows on the other side, it makes it difficult to put the speakers in relatively the same place on the side walls.


I actually hope to put our couch further forward. With the length of that room and a 65 inch tv, well need to be closer most likely, so thats not a problem. I just have to measure some things to see how close the fireplace is to where I might put the couch. Ill see if I can get better pictures of the room tomorrow when I go to look at another home under construction. I plan to take a bunch of measurements because I have some outlets to place.
 

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Ah, that is a model home. I was a bit confused when you mentioned a new home under construction but then had pics of a finished home. Now I see. Will check back tomorrow.
 

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Any receiver's distance compensation system - part of Dolby's and DTS' licensing standards IIRC - will deal with the differently-placed surround channels (unless they're really differently-placed - check your manual).
 

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Discussion Starter #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer  /t/1419029/surround-speaker-placement-advice#post_22196517


Ah, that is a model home. I was a bit confused when you mentioned a new home under construction but then had pics of a finished home. Now I see. Will check back tomorrow.

I stopped back to take some measurements and pictures today. So here is the basic floor plan for that room:





If I were to use the side walls, i have about at least a 10 or so degree offset from the left to the right surrounds, and likely one would end up in front of the couch and one behind. The main issue I see is the difference in position between the left and rights, one being to the front and the other about 2.5 feet behind it on the other wall (based upon measurements in google sketchup). I would be possible to have the distance between the two surrounds somewhat equal, approximately 7 feet or so, depending on where the couch goes.


Here are better pictures of the 2 walls:






This is another picture of the same wall showing whats above it.




The window on the right side makes it basically impossible to have them on the same plane.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Actually I messed up on the floorplan in sketchup. The left wall is actually further from the right side wall. I just noticed that it looked odd. The front wall where the tv would be is 14'3" but the left side wall is about 20 feet from the right wall. The right would still be about 10 or so degrees behind the left, but the two would be 20 feet apart, so if the couch managed to be placed in the middle, that would give 10 feet to each speaker.
 

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I have a couple ideas. I will try to post them tonight when I get a few free minutes. Regarding the sketch, I assume the original post has the wall in the correct place? Oh, do you have a budget for the speakers? You asked for recommendations for surrounds. Do you already have the rest of the equipment or are you going to be buying it all from scratch?
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer  /t/1419029/surround-speaker-placement-advice#post_22198730


I have a couple ideas. I will try to post them tonight when I get a few free minutes. Regarding the sketch, I assume the original post has the wall in the correct place? Oh, do you have a budget for the speakers? You asked for recommendations for surrounds. Do you already have the rest of the equipment or are you going to be buying it all from scratch?

Great, appreciate your ideas. Yes the wall in the first floor plan is in the correct place. As for budget, not specifically. I already have everything else or have an idea of what ill be getting. I also have a bit of time, probably won't be closing till December, but I need to finalize my prewiring in the near future. I can have the audio guy run speaker prewires where I intend for them to go. I have some KEF IQ90's for the front and will be running an Onkyo 709 receiver. I also will likely go with the KEF iQ60c for my center. Still need to find a sub and the 2 surrounds. Ideally, I would like to keep it to a few hundred dollars for the surrounds, but am willing to compromise a little if something particular is needed for the space.
 

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Well, here are my ideas. Just to clarify, I am not a professional installer, just a regular guy.


Option 1:


Use monopole speakers such as these:

http://www.bostonacoustics.com/US/Product/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?CatId=HomeAudio%28BostonAcoustics_US%29&SubCatId=OnWall%28BostonAcoustics_US%29&Pid=BravoII%28BostonAcoustics%29

http://www.bostonacoustics.com/DocumentMaster/US/BravoIINPA.pdf


or these:

http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/owm/index.php?s=owm5


or these:

http://www.nhthifi.com/Home-Theater-Absolute-On-Wall-Speaker-Black?sc=12&category=7166


and mount them in the back corners like this:








You could angle them about 45 degrees toward the main room and try to get the heights as even as possible. Like this:




Option 2:


Use dipole/bipole surrounds. Like these:

http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/rm2008/index.php?s=rm8


or these:

http://www.definitivetech.com/Products/products.aspx?path=Surround_Speakers&productid=Mythos_Gem


And mount them like this:






On the right side, have the installer run the wire in the wall as close to the window as possible. Then have it exit through a faceplate with a tiny hole in the middle. You could then then run it in the narrow space between the 2 windows then down a bit so the speaker heights are almost the same. You can even paint the faceplate and wire, which makes it pretty unobtrusive. The 2 speakers I posted links to seem to be the narrowest I could find, about 4 inches, but you would have to measure the space between the windows. Here is what mine looks like:






It is the only bit of wire showing in my room, but really not noticeable at all.


Option 3:


Same place as option 2, but since you have pretty nice front speakers and a decent sized room, don't skimp. Go for more powerful dipole surrounds. It really depends on what might fit. There are many to choose from, but maybe something like this:

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_760IMGS5B/PSB-Image-S5-Black-Ash.html?tp=190






Hope these ideas help!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Interesting, hadn't thought of some of those ideas. I am liking the first idea, especially with the Polk OMW5's. Would those speakers be enough for the room? They seem to be very versatile as far as mounting goes. I could go with the articulating mount and aim the left speaker down and into the room at an angle and the right as well, down and angled. Looks like the height for the left would be roughly 7.5 to 8 feet. I would have to measure. Using sketchup, It seems that those locations are roughly 110 degrees from the center of the couch if I put it about in the spot shown below. (sorry I'm a bit of a nerd with this stuff so I'm sketching out my floor plan to get my own measurements and figure out where furniture and stuff will go.)





Those speakers seem to be the least obvious mounted on the wall. As for the other 2 ideas, I would have to measure that space between the windows and also get the wifes opinion. She might be more supportive of the 1st option since the speakers are smaller. If it weren't for the right windows, I could easily put them on either side of the seating area. Given the size and shape of the room, would the dipole/Bipoles be more appropriate?
 

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I think that you could go either way, the monopole or dipole route. The surrounds seem like they would be far enough from the couch so you will probably not localize the surrounds much either way. If I had a choice, I guess I would pick dipoles, everything else being equal. But often aesthetics and WAF override the sonic ideals!


The OWM5s would probably be enough to fill your room as surrounds. Their specs are pretty good for such a small, flexible speaker. It has two woofers instead of just one, and is rated at 91dB sensitivity, which is not bad. Also, the specs say it has a -3 dB range down to 80 Hz, so not bad low end for a tiny wall speakers.


FYI, it looks like Crutchfield is out of stock. Amazon still has some in black or white.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer  /t/1419029/surround-speaker-placement-advice/0_100#post_22200766


I think that you could go either way, the monopole or dipole route. The surrounds seem like they would be far enough from the couch so you will probably not localize the surrounds much either way. If I had a choice, I guess I would pick dipoles, everything else being equal. But often aesthetics and WAF override the sonic ideals!

The OWM5s would probably be enough to fill your room as surrounds. Their specs are pretty good for such a small, flexible speaker. It has two woofers instead of just one, and is rated at 91dB sensitivity, which is not bad. Also, the specs say it has a -3 dB range down to 80 Hz, so not bad low end for a tiny wall speakers.

FYI, it looks like Crutchfield is out of stock. Amazon still has some in black or white.

Yea, there is always a trade off. I do like the looks of the polks, but would be worried they might be a bit small, especially compared to the PSB's you posted. One alternative to mounting them on the wall might be to have the prewires run low on the left and right wall and mount them either on stands (for the right in particular) and maybe have a piece of furniture on the left side like a small hall table that I could put the other one on. That might make them a little less obscure on the walls. If I did something like the dipoles, what height should I be looking at? ideally ear level if they are kept level? Could they be angled? I need to research dipoles some more, I don't know much about them. Can the surrounds be positioned forward of the listening position? The dolby layout shows 90 degrees-110 but seems to show a forward angle. One issue with doing the side wall speakers would be moving the couch forward. Might not be a big deal but I have to do some furniture orientation on my layout to make sure everything would fit properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I got the wifes opinion and she's more supportive of something like this:






She didn't like it over the door way, but it would also work on the other side of the corner. She wasn't a big fan of the side wall options, not because she didn't want anything on the wall but more because the couch would be almost 4 feet away from the short wall. In fact we probably will put a table along that wall below the stairs that I could put a speaker on, but in order to have it in the plane of the listening position you have to pull the couch out about 4 feet from the short wall.


I suppose an alternative would be to put one the right in the space between the window and the corner up high and to put the left in either "a" or "b" below:






So I guess the question in that option would be, could you mount the dipole up high and aim it down towards the couch? Would it be too close to a corner/intersecting wall? I'm trying to research dipole positioning and it looks like you want it slightly behind the listening position, but I'm not sure if the height would have a huge impact.
 

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One thing to remember, if you go dipole on the sides, they are MUCH more diffuse than bipole or direct. Honestly in that configuration I wouldnt think localization would be an issue...at all. Ive got big Polk FXi A6's as my surrounds, and they are about 2 feet from the end of the couch...very little localization at all. Remember, with dipole, the sweet spot is in the "dead" space dipole creates.


Would FXi A4's be out of the question for you?


edit: yes, height is a big factor with dipole. Your primary listening area should be just barely in front of the speakers, with the speakers at no more than 18" above ear level.
 

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Discussion Starter #19

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackangst  /t/1419029/surround-speaker-placement-advice/0_100#post_22201379


One thing to remember, if you go dipole on the sides, they are MUCH more diffuse than bipole or direct. Honestly in that configuration I wouldnt think localization would be an issue...at all. Ive got big Polk FXi A6's as my surrounds, and they are about 2 feet from the end of the couch...very little localization at all. Remember, with dipole, the sweet spot is in the "dead" space dipole creates.

Would FXi A4's be out of the question for you?

edit: yes, height is a big factor with dipole. Your primary listening area should be just barely in front of the speakers, with the speakers at no more than 18" above ear level.

Good point. Do you mean out of the question for price or some other reason? I can't think of one, but it sounds like from your edit, that unless I can get them no more than 18 inches ear level, then dipoles aren't right for my situation?.


WIthout pulling the couch forward, I'm limited to about 9 feet up on wall to mount them, which I assume would be to high. I wish I could put them on either sides of the couch, but they would end up being probably closer than 2 feet to keep them from sticking out too far. I'd also be worried about them being knocked over if I had them off to the sides of a couch on stands.
 

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So it looks like dipoles directly to the side are pretty much out, because you don't want them in front of the couch, and you don't want to move the couch up enough. Not a huge deal, again, real world trumps ideal positioning.


So it looks like the 2 options left are the OWM5s, with the slight modification your wife made to the left one by moving it around the corner. I think that would be a fine option.


The other is mounting dipoles where you showed in your latest post, one in the right next to the window and then the left one at either A just under the railing or B hanging from the ceiing. I think I would choose A. If you do get a dipole, they are usually a foot or so high, so having that hanging down might be annoying. If you do choose this option, you would have to angle the dipoles down so they are pointed at the couch, so the "dead spot" is aimed at the listener. That is definitely an option. Just so you know, I looked at a situation like this before and most dipoles it seems only come with keyhole slots to mount flush to the wall, so they can't be angled. A few do have the threaded inserts so you could screw in an Omnimount 20.0 or something similar and then angle the speaker as you wished.


Check out these few:

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/item/features/542021944/energy-vs-surround-speaker

http://www.axiomaudio.com/surroundspeakers.html


with this: http://www.axiomaudio.com/fullmetalbracket.html


or surrounds from Atlantic Technology. I think those have threaded inserts also.
http://www.atlantictechnology.com/default.asp


As to which would sound better, I am not really sure. Usually dipole are recommended for primary movie watching, so again I guess I would go that way if possible.
 
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