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Surrounds on Stands, Couch 1 Foot From Wall

369 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  craig john
I'm still fleshing out ideas before I cut holes in my ceiling and mount some Athena AS-IC8s....

I have a corner sectional. A big one that is about 13 feet long opposite the TV. Basic setup is a wide open room with the TV/future surround pushed down to one end such that from the viewing position there is a right side wall, a back wall right behind the viewing position(s), and no left wall anywhere near. It is not an option to turn the whole setup 90-degrees.

I have almost to commited to Athena F2.2/C1.2/IC-8 for teh 5.1 setup, but.....would pushing the couch a mere 1 foot away from the back wall and putting some B2.2s on stands right behind the listening position and right against the back wall provide enough of an improvement in sound to be worth the loss in aesthetics?

Anybody have any experience with pushing a couch out from the wall barely enough to fit speaker stands in there? Any major pitfalls to watch out for in setting something like this up?
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With so little space between the surround speakers and the LP, you will probably end up with only one "good" LP and several others that are too close to one SS speaker or the other. Being too close to one of the SS speakers means that you will hear it distinctly as a point source, and probably out of balance, volume-wise, with the rest of the speakers. IOW, it will be too loud and it will demand too much attention. IMO, it would be better to go with a 2.1 or 3.1 system and *no* surround speakers than to sit so close to one of the surrounds that they overwhelm the SS experience.

Of course, ceiling mounted speakers are not much better. They "image" overhead as opposed to the ideal of above and slightly behind the LP. Also, most in-ceiling speakers use the ceiling drywall and joists as a speaker "cabinet". I've never seen a commercial speaker made of drywall and dimension pine lumber. The acoustic characteristics of the "chamber" of a drywall and joist ceiling is totally unpredictable. The resonances and vibrations of such an "enclosure" could negatively impact the sound.

In a surround sound field, it is important to have an environment that allows full envelopment of the sound at the LP. To accomplish this, you need the speakers and the listener positioned properly, and you need the speakers balanced properly. Obviously, this is not always possible in the real world and some compromises need to be made. In this case, I would compromise by eliminating the back speakers. Optimize the front soundstage with a really good 2.1 or 3.1 system. Also put a lot of thought into the .1 part of the system. Sitting so close to the back wall, you will have some significant bass re-inforcement issues. Look to optimize the bass either with bass traps or EQ, or both.

Good luck.

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