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Newbie: Surround placement?


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#1 of 5 OFFLINE   Jeff TC

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Posted July 26 2003 - 06:09 PM

Because of the details of my room, which I won't go into here, there is no way I can put my surround speakers behind the main listening area -- and if I put them directly to the sides one would be only a couple of feet away from were I will sit... just not ideal. Am I better off putting them a couple of feet in front, where they can then be a few more feet off to the side? I know in every set up diagram I see, the surrounds are behind or next to the listening area... but how much will I sacrifice if they are a bit forward? (They will still be a significant distance from the fronts...)

Thanks for any advice!

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Terry Montlick

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Posted July 27 2003 - 01:04 AM

Hi Jeff,

I assume these speakers are direct firing? If so, do you have a rear wall or room corners that you can aim them at when they are directly to the sides? That way you'll get a minimum of direct sound from the speakers, and some nice diffuse surround from the rear.

Regards,
Terry
Terry Montlick Laboratories
Alpha Certification
The Standard for Home Theater Acoustics
www.tmlaboratories.com

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Jeff TC

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Posted July 27 2003 - 02:40 AM

Thanks for the comment. One of my problems is there is no rear wall... it is an "elevated" room, with only a railing behind the seating area. Although it might be possible to bounce the sound off the side walls.

I should mention, too, that this will be primarily for music... there is another system used for movies elsewhere in the house. Does that make a difference?

Thanks again.

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Terry Montlick

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Posted July 27 2003 - 04:13 AM

Hi Jeff,

If this is for music, surround becomes less critical. Movie surround is mixed to very consistent standards, to make it sound the same in different theaters. Music isn't, at leasts not yet.

You might try just turning the volume down on your side-placed surrounds so they are not distracting at this close a range. Or you might even opt for straight stereo -- this has served audiophiles well for generations.

Regards,
Terry
Terry Montlick Laboratories
Alpha Certification
The Standard for Home Theater Acoustics
www.tmlaboratories.com

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Jeff TC

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Posted July 27 2003 - 05:41 AM

Hi, Terry,

I appreciate your insightful comments. Good point about two-channel stereo... we do sometimes get carried away with this stuff, don't we? I will do most of my listening in two-channel, but considering the DVD-Audio/SACD player I have arriving on Monday, I do want to be able to take advantage of the 5.1 mix as much as possible.

And in the end, the ear is what rules. I think I will leave the speakers slightly to the front and to the side to see what it sounds like. And if it is not ideal, I will move them directly to the sides -- given the set up the room, it will be tougher to get the speakers in there, but that may be the ticket.

Regards,

Jeff
Minneapolis MN