5.1 Speaker Placement - Suggestions Needed

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by justix, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. justix

    justix Auditioning

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    Hi guys,


    I recently jumped in and got a 5.1 setup to go with my new HTPC, i'm just not sure about speaker placement (wall mounting). Since this is in our home office I wasn't sure if the general layout would apply as we are on either side of the room with the TV in between. Can someone please suggest the ideal places to mount these? I have attached an image of the layout.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I would put the right and left on the outside of both desks.

    The surrounds above the file and the triangle that says HTPC.
     
  3. justix

    justix Auditioning

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    I appreciate the response Sam,

    Just a couple of questions, this is so new to me and I do not want to screw it up. Since I am wall mounting will the corner near each desk suffice or should I pick a particular wall (I am using omni-directional mounts and can point them wherever)? Also, since the center speaker is about 4 feet away would it be better to mount it above the TV rather than below? My picture doesn't indicate that the file and audio cabinet (HTPC) are 60" in height and I keep seeing that speakers should be at ear level which is around 44", should I maybe mount the surround speakers more in front of the furniture on the wall to maintain "ear level"? We had such a nightmare with the sound bar that I just want to get this right. Thanks!

    Justin
     
  4. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Depends on the speakers used. If they have a wide enough spray pattern, They can make up placement issues.
     
  5. justix

    justix Auditioning

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    I don't have anything too great yet, better speakers will be next years project. My setup is currently a Denon AVR-X1000 receiver and Boston Acoustics MCS 160 speakers
     
  6. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    And...what is wrong with those?
     
  7. justix

    justix Auditioning

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    Thanks for the continuing response, I know the PC aspect of this situation so well and have so much more to learn about sound than I thought. Keeping in mind I am new to this and have never worked with anything more (than my HTPC) than a speaker bar until a month ago...I commonly see these speakers referred to as "Starter speakers", I personally enjoy the sound and I am far from an audiophile though so many seem to regard them as barely acceptable. My ultimate goal when starting this project was to play items from my archives via XBMC without having to adjust the volume constantly when a movie or TV show would jump from low vocals to a high volume action sequence. We live in a townhouse and I travel for great lengths of time, I'll be gone soon and want leave my SO with the ability to watch things without having to worry about adjusting the volume to hear quiet things then seconds later turning it down for an action sequence.

    Anyway I digress, if you believe these speakers (coupled with the AVR-X1000) are good enough to compensate for placement issues them I will mount them in all 4 corners at ear level (4ft) height for the front and about 2 feet above ear level for the rear (surround) speakers. If, knowing my systems model(s) you think an alternate setup would be ideal I will gladly welcome your advice. Thanks!

    Justin
     
  8. Type A

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    Welcome to the forum Justin :)They dont make a speaker that will compensate for less than ideal placement. They do make speakers that are more finicky in their placement but, for the most part, speaker placement will always be a compromise of some sort. Though few have a dedicated room, with perfect dimensions and the flexibility for perfect placement, there are things you can do to improve performance in any room. It starts with being mindful of reflections. Reflections add to the sound your speakers produce, this causes a loss in clarity and makes you turn up the volume to hear the dialog. Try to avoid placing your speakers close to flat surfaces, especially your center channel. If placed on a shelf pull that center speaker all the way out to the front edge. If speakers are mounted on the wall take a seat and have someone move along the side walls with a mirror until you can see the speaker in the mirror, thats your reflection point and thats where you might consider putting a simple acoustic panel for your front speakers.These are fairly cheap to purchase,even cheaper to make yourself. Heres a source that offers premade panels with a more artistic appeal:http://www.acoustimac.com/acoustic-panels/acousticart-panels/?gclid=CJKA9ffph7wCFYNQ7AodEFQA4gAs for speaker placement, I would always pick as close to ear level as possible if given that option. I would also experiment with placement and see what sounds best in your challenging situation.As for speaker upgrades, yes you would benefit from an upgrade but how much will depend on your budget and the time you take to improve your rooms' acoustics.
     
  9. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    As for the BA "package speaker"(assume these are from some Denon DHTxxxxBA system).Tiny speakers are tiny speakers. I'd no more own those or the Paradigm Atom. Not even the Totem DreamMaker(I think that is the smaller sibling to the RainMaker).Are those two immensely better than the MC160?.On paper, yes. But they still have the same physics limitation. Small speaker, small sound.There is nothing wrong with that if you don't want speakers taking over the room.But, always, always buy the largest speakers You can live with. Since your Denon has multiple crossovers, you could get two slightly larger Boston Acoustic(classic uses the same tweeter) with at least a 5" woofer. If you feel these are lacking.But yes. Try an acoustic panel first. Even a wall tapestry (that some people are fond of) will work.
     

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