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Re Front WIDES

In an Atmos 11.1.4 system , if your front wides are wall mounted speakers , is it best to angle them towards the MLP ?

I know many experts now state they should be placed at the median angle between left and side surrounds... rather than the 50-70’ bisecting angle Dolby lists.. but just curious about how much the front wides should be angle towards MLP (assuming you tweeters have reasonable horizontal dispersion )
 

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Question for the he(a)rd - I'm about to upgrade from 5.0 to (anything up to 17 channels), and stuck as to how to allocate my available channels.

It boils down to:
Would you rather have 4 tops with front wides (9.x.4)- OR - front &rear heights AND 2 tops BUT no wides (7.x.6)?

How prevalent is content in the wides vs front/rear heights for general movies?


Long rec room in basement (13'x38') semi-dedicated. (pic below) Upgrading from 5.0. Planned processor is ANTHEM AVM70 which has three sets of height outputs plus one set of wide outputs. Possible 2nd row of seats in the future. (my full 'build' thread is here Resurrecting a 'vintage' Synthesis 3)

Mostly movies, a little music. Primarily streaming (I know...) Despite the doors on one side, I can get the wides, sides, and backs in about the right spot per Dolby guide.

Layouts (dolby recommendations in background, mine in red)

It would be nice to encompass the future 2nd row but not a big priority.

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Four tops I think would give better overhead pans, but the 2nd row would not really get the benefit. Wides seem nice to have though.

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Thanks for any advice.
 

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9.1.6 would be where I'd be looking (and using 4 subs instead of 1). Not using front/rear heights, but rather all 6 height speakers in the ceiling (top mids directly over 1st row, top rear just behind 2nd row, top fronts about same distace forward of mids as the rears are from the mids... I'd also go bipole on the surround speakers.

I'd push the front heights to 30 degrees and rear heights to 150 degrees from main listening position in 1st row to get as even of a coverage area as possible.

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Thank you for the input.
unfortunately I'm committed to a number of amp channels and this is one more than I have. So...either wides or 6 tops instead of 4?
push the front heights to 30 degrees and rear heights to 150 degrees
I think you just said no heights (tops only) so do you mean the base layer?
using 4 subs instead of 1
My plan is 3, using DSP to even them out
 

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Thank you for the input.

unfortunately I'm committed to a number of amp channels and this is one more than I have. So...either wides or 6 tops instead of 4?

I think you just said no heights (tops only) so do you mean the base layer?

My plan is 3, using DSP to even them out
I've got a 7.1.4 setup (with 4 subs), so you'll have to ask someone who has a 9.1.6 setup which way they'd downgrade... fewer tops or lose the wides... I suspect it'll be most favoring the wides over the extra tops... My snide remark would be to get another amp channel so you don't have to worry about it and go 9.1.6 since the processor supports it. ;)

If running 6 tops: Front top speaker closer to 30 degrees from MLP, mids over MLP, top rears closer to 150degrees behind MLP (and hopefully just behind potential 2nd row); basically run at the high end of the recommendations to try getting better coverage for the potential 2nd row. This assumes pretty wide dispersion from the tops, or toe as appropriate. The recommended specs are pretty lenient in my experience, and are forgiving of "real world" interfering with ideal setup.
If you go 4 tops, then I'd try to go at the normal 45 & 135 from MLP and tell the potential 2nd row to deal with it. My tops are at 45/135 (pretty close), and the effect is pretty awesome (but I'm single row). I suspect if I ever get around to adding the bar/barstools behind my theater seats, then anyone back there might not get the full impact of the Atmos, but what do I care... I sit in the money seat :D

4 subs is better than 3. Ask my how I know. Started with 2, ran 2 for 18 years. Added a 3rd for more consistency, then #4 was about a month later... 2 was good, 3 was better, 4 was more better (much improved seat-to-seat, got 10-12dB of gain over 1 sub as expected after dialing in with REW & MiniDSP), and lots of headroom.

I also stand by my earlier recommendation for bipoles for the surrounds on the bed layer (side surrounds, surround backs can be normal monopoles. Only because most bipoles have angled drivers, so it'll work better for 2 rows of seating, IMHO. I used 4 bipoles for my surrounds and surround backs, but mostly because I merely had to lower then and scoot the surrounds forward to switch form 7.1 to 7.1.4, and I already had them. It's a bonus that the location would be perfect to have them fire at a 2nd row if I ever add it..

To repeat myself a 3rd time, atmos layouts are pretty forgiving. I wouldn't sweat it too much. As long as you're in the ballpark of Dolby's guidelines, it'll sound anywhere from pretty good to awesome in my experience.
 
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Question for the he(a)rd - I'm about to upgrade from 5.0 to (anything up to 17 channels), and stuck as to how to allocate my available channels.

It boils down to:
Would you rather have 4 tops with front wides (9.x.4)- OR - front &rear heights AND 2 tops BUT no wides (7.x.6)?
Personally, I'd go with 9.1.4 layout and with your layout, it seems like a good fit too.

My experience with six channel overhead systems (matrixed or discrete) is often a lot of content "collapses" into the middle overhead and it does not sound great when that happens.

How often are those seats in the 2nd row going to occupied and how critical of listeners will they be? Having separate front and middle overheads will not make any difference to the folks in the back row. The 9.1.4 makes the most sense, imo.
 

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Hi Dave. I’m curious what it is that you found to be different. The receivers should process Atmos the same since what’s on the track is on the track, and the decoders are the same(afaik). Differences you might hear between differences AVR’s would likely be attributed to a “sound mode” like Yamaha uses, or maybe differences in EQ between ypao or audyssey, or Dirac etc. Playback differences in top/height designations I can’t say. I have .4 tops and only select between DTS-NX or DSU. I have two versions of the helicopter demo. One atmos, and one not. When I upmix via DTSnx the helicopter is definitely “lower” in my room while DSU puts it more between the height and bed layer(iirc). The Atmos version is all above. Not sure that has anything to do with the conversation lol.
Hi. I was actually comparing FH to TM .With TM the sound appeared to travel from just below one speaker across the ceiling to just below the speaker on the opposite side. No perceptible front to back movement. My speakers are placed at the junction between wall and ceiling approximately 90 degrees left and right. With FH engaged the sound starts and ends inward of the speakers with a a very slight forwards and backwards movement. The only reason I experimented with FH with speakers in the “wrong” position is because my Sony receiver only allows DTS:x in FH (my observations are with Atmos engaged in both instances). Hope this makes sense!
 

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My experience with six channel overhead systems (matrixed or discrete) is often a lot of content "collapses" into the middle overhead and it does not sound great when that happens.
If wides were not possible in a room, would you prefer a 7.1.4 setup to a 7.1.6 setup for that reason?

I have 7.1.4 now and sometimes think about expanding to 7.1.6 just because I have the speakers mounted anyways (I mean when I was running the in-ceiling speakers I figured I might as well run 6 even if I only started by using 4). Now sometimes I think to myself "should I upgrade my receiver so I can support the extra two height channels?". Maybe not specifically for that, but, the next upgrade potentially one thing I was thinking about making sure was that it supported 13 channels rather than 11 (which more receivers do now). But maybe that would actually be a downgrade?

I really like front heights. To me those make the biggest difference. They make the room sound very big.
 

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Testing Wides (7.1.4 to 9.1.4)

I have a 7.1.4 Atmos and, after the recent Denon Upgrade that enable the use of Wides with DSU and Neural:X 9.1.4, I am tempted to try Wides using two additional old shelf speakers I had.

The Front Wide Right Speaker HAS TO BE placed on top of the lunch table of our Living Room-Home Cinema. Yes, that is the exact location. Of course, I must remove that speaker when we have guests to have lunch/dinner and the Table has to be used. My Wife permits That!

The Wides work good with the two Upmixers, but the Dolby Atmos results are, of course, dependent on the mixes:

I tested first with the ‘reference’ Yello-Point Atmos mix. I get more progressive panning from fronts to the sides listening this Yello-Point Atmos. I liked really. It is an improvement with the Wides with respect to the previous 7.1.4 experience.

BUT then I tested the last King Crimson Steven Wilson Atmos mix (1969 box). I was first disappointed. The Wides were completely silent. No sound at all putting my ear close to the Wides. I thought this KC Steven Wilson mix was a fixed 7.1.4, Disney style. Listening more time, I have occasionally listened some sound at the Wides in very briefly moments at very low volume. So, it seems it is NOT a fixed 7.1.4 print. It looks Steven Wilson has mixed most of the time with object sounds located at the main 7.1.4 speaker positions. At least, comparing with the fully aggressive Yello-Point Atmos that renders to an almost continuous use of the Wides.

Still pending tests with film sequences like cars running out the side of the screen to check if the ‘movement’ of the sound to the Side Surrounds is more progressive and not just jumps to there.
 

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If wides were not possible in a room, would you prefer a 7.1.4 setup to a 7.1.6 setup for that reason?

I have 7.1.4 now and sometimes think about expanding to 7.1.6 just because I have the speakers mounted anyways (I mean when I was running the in-ceiling speakers I figured I might as well run 6 even if I only started by using 4). Now sometimes I think to myself "should I upgrade my receiver so I can support the extra two height channels?". Maybe not specifically for that, but, the next upgrade potentially one thing I was thinking about making sure was that it supported 13 channels rather than 11 (which more receivers do now). But maybe that would actually be a downgrade?

I really like front heights. To me those make the biggest difference. They make the room sound very big.
Isn't the jump from a 7.1.4 receiver to a 7.1.6 a pretty big one money-wise?
 

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Isn't the jump from a 7.1.4 receiver to a 7.1.6 a pretty big one money-wise?
It was, but now it's coming down a lot. The Denon 6700H, for example, can do 13 channels provided you run two channels an an external amp (which I have anyways). Right now I have a 6400H. Not sure I would run out and buy one just for that (I'd rather see how the HDMI2.1 stuff plays out a bit), but when I'm in the market for a new receiver I'm curious if having 13 channels would be a benefit for me.
 

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It was, but now it's coming down a lot. The Denon 6700H, for example, can do 13 channels provided you run two channels an an external amp (which I have anyways). Right now I have a 6400H. Not sure I would run out and buy one just for that (I'd rather see how the HDMI2.1 stuff plays out a bit), but when I'm in the market for a new receiver I'm curious if having 13 channels would be a benefit for me.
I got my X3600H for $799. From there to $2500, to me, is a really big jump.
 

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I got my X3600H for $799. From there to $2500, to me, is a really big jump.
For sure, but those things go on sale and closeout. I mean I got my 6400H for like $1300 when it originally retailed for $2300 or something. I wouldn't be surprised if electronics have some price hikes in coming years, but I imagine the 6700H will end up massively discounted at some point. I'm not in a huge rush, especially with the 2.1 unknowns, but was mostly just curious if I'd get a benefit from going to 6x overheads rather than 4x. If it's actually a negative, then maybe I'm better off not even going down that road.

This is a hobby with quickly diminishing returns, so if on a budget generally the best choice is to not upgrade lol.
 

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In an Atmos 11.1.4 system , if your front wides are wall mounted speakers , is it best to angle them towards the MLP ?

If you mean as opposed to firing at the opposite wall, definitely.

Further, you can improve coverage for multiple listeners by toeing them in to point at the far-side listeners.
 

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If on a budget, generally the best choice is to STAY AWAY FROM HERE!
Michael
ahaha yeah! Generally the happiest I am with my system is when I'm not browsing AVSForum haha. Sorta, anyways, because there are certainly people here who are down to earth and more realistic that I lean on. Where I get into trouble here is hanging out in speaker or subwoofer threads, all the sudden you feel you need a pair of 200 pound subwoofers to reach 8Hz at 130dB or because of EQ headroom you need a 105db/watt speaker at 10ft away with 2000wpc. When, in reality, most of us don't need that and can save the girlfriend forgiveness points for something else.

at my best I just read @Ralph Potts film reviews and lurk in the room setup, REW, Audyssey type threads. I've gotten way more bang for my buck reading those than any equipment thread because they tend to force you to look at what you realistically can really improve (or need to improve versus don't) rather than just upgrading to upgrade. Perfect example here, where I felt like maybe I should do 7.1.6, but reading a few posts here about how having a height right over you might make the stage collapse now I'm not so sure. A cheap visit!
 

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mostly just curious if I'd get a benefit from going to 6x overheads rather than 4x. If it's actually a negative, then maybe I'm better off not even going down that road.
That mostly depends on your room size and speaker placement. If you have a moderate sized room and your Top Front/Top Rear speakers are positioned at close to recommended angles (45 degrees before and behind your seats), the need for Top Middle speakers between them is minimized. Those speakers will probably do a fine job of imaging sounds between them right above your head.

But if you have a very large room and/or your height speakers are in compromised locations (e.g. Front Heights and Rear Heights far away from each other), you may not get much imaging. That's when an extra pair of Top Middle speakers between them is most helpful.
 

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Personally, I'd go with 9.1.4 layout and with your layout, it seems like a good fit too.

My experience with six channel overhead systems (matrixed or discrete) is often a lot of content "collapses" into the middle overhead and it does not sound great when that happens.

How often are those seats in the 2nd row going to occupied and how critical of listeners will they be? Having separate front and middle overheads will not make any difference to the folks in the back row. The 9.1.4 makes the most sense, imo.
Thanks for the input. I think I agree. The 2nd row is a big maybe, so if that day comes I might look into a third pair of tops. For now I like the idea of expanding the soundstage, especially since my front spread is on the narrow side until I can relocate the door on the screen wall (and go 2.3.5 CIH AT with speakers behind the screen :) ). And now I'm aware I shouldn't get my hopes up for them being used all that often. 9.3.4 it is.
 
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