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Home Theater Speaker Setup Choices


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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   analytics

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Posted January 30 2013 - 03:26 AM

I'm finishing a basement, and am installing speaker wire in the walls. I won't be able to test my surround sound until after the walls are installed, so I'm trying to figure out the best way to do this on paper. The room is shaped like a long rectangle (let’s call it 35 by 20), and the cinema is located at one end of it, crosswise. So, the TV area is a 20x20 square, with a wall on your right and a big open area on your left. Here’s the challenging part: There is a soffit running lengthwise through the middle of the room, meaning that the ceiling drops down directly above where the couch will be, but then raises up in front and behind. I ordered a set of Klipsch RF-52 Reference speakers with the pieces for 7.2 surround sound. The front, center, sub-woofers, and rear speakers fit exactly where they should go. The challenging part is where to put the surround speakers—a pair of RS-42 II's. They are fairly big—about 14 pounds each, as I recall. Here are the choices: 1- Attach the speakers to the ceiling on the back of the soffit. This is the ideal location space wise, but there is a major problem—the speakers can’t point to the listener, because the soffit itself is in the way. 2- Attach the speakers on the bottom of the soffit. Two problems here. First, the speakers would be at the wrong angle—slightly to the front of the listener. Second, they’d be really low in the room, and would be in your face in the middle of a walking coridor. 3- Attach the speakers to the side walls. This allows both speakers to be at the right angle and positioned towards the listener and are out of the way. However, they aren't symetrically distant; the one on the left is about 15 feet further away from the listener than the one on the right. Which option would you chose?

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted January 30 2013 - 04:00 AM

If the speakers will be too low for simply getting around the room with option 2, then my choice would be option 3.  What receiver do you have?  Chances are it has some form of auto-setup/calibration feature.  These sorts of utilities do a pretty good job of correcting for sub-optimal placement of speakers.  The varying distance shouldn't be a problem provided the speaker levels are all calibrated so they "sound" equal at the main listening position.


Option 1 would definitely be my last choice.  Auto-setup in the AVR won't be as effective in overcoming a physical obstruction to the sound.  Odd reflections will likely occur, resulting in a muddied soundfield.


Hopefully others will chime in with their opinions.


Cheers!


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#3 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted January 30 2013 - 05:06 AM

Are you using RS42 for the 6/7 as well? If you aren't, I'd switch what you are using for 6/7 and put those 4/5 in option 2. Basically, if you can't place bi/di-pole properly...don't buy them.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   analytics

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Posted January 30 2013 - 05:23 AM

Jason, Thanks, I'm leaning towards Option 3 as well.

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   analytics

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Posted January 30 2013 - 05:29 AM

Sam, I have the following speakers:
  • (2) RF-52 II Floorstanding Speakers
  • (1) RC-52 II Center Channel Speaker
  • (2) RS-42 II Surround Speakers
  • (2) SW-110 Subwoofers
  • (2) RB-51 II Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch has the default setup as the bookshelf speakers at the rear, and the surround speakers as the surround. Another possibility would be to put the RS-42s on the back wall (which technically would closer to where the diagrams say the rear speakers should be), and use the RB-51's as Yamaha "presence" speakers up front. What do you think of that?

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted January 30 2013 - 05:35 AM

That would be better because, unless you have walls to diffuse the sound(as in send it back), you shouldn't have them. You should use point source(which is "everything" not "omni-directional") Omni-directional is ML Electrostat, Magnepan, Mirage OmniSat, DCM TFE.(amongst many others). Also, nobody said you can't use the RB 52 sideways. If you mount them sideways, does that mitigate most of the problem using them 4/5? Edit: If you haven't bought the speakers yet, check out the dimensions of the RB41. (you lose 1db efficiency, which is practically meaningless, and they will still work on a 80hz crossover)

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Posted January 30 2013 - 08:10 AM

To make sure I understand you, you are suggesting I use bookshelf speakers as speakers SL/SR (i.e. 4/5), and place them underneath the suffit (my option 2), but sideways so that they'll fit better. That helps a little, but not enough--my head almost brushes the ceiling without anything there.

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted January 30 2013 - 10:41 AM

I think you need to provide a picture. And "surround speaker" is just a word, like bookshelf is. If it were me, given the room, why not buy 6 RF series and just sit them all on the floor. And no, I'm not kidding. Two pairs of RF(whatever) solves your "I can't hang 'em in the right spot". You can still put the RS52(62??) On the back wall...or just do 6 towers.

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   analytics

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Posted January 30 2013 - 02:16 PM

Here is an illustration of the third choice to which I'm leaning: This has the following things going for it:
  • all of the speakers are at the correct angles
  • all of the speakers have a direct line of sight to the viewer
  • none of the speakers are in the way
  • none of the speakers are too close to the viewer
The disadvantage is that speaker 4 is about 10 feet further away from the viewer than speaker 5. But that shouldn't be a problem, should it? Isn't the objective that you shouldn't be able to hear exactly where the speaker is?

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted January 30 2013 - 03:16 PM

Originally Posted by analytics 

Here is an illustration of the third choice to which I'm leaning:


This has the following things going for it:

    [*] all of the speakers are at the correct angles [*] all of the speakers have a direct line of sight to the viewer [*] none of the speakers are in the way [*] none of the speakers are too close to the viewer

The disadvantage is that speaker 4 is about 10 feet further away from the viewer than speaker 5. But that shouldn't be a problem, should it? Isn't the objective that you shouldn't be able to hear exactly where the speaker is?


Ugh, when you see it drawn out like that... I know you said 15 feet in your original post, but I guess it just never really clicked with me how much that actually is...


I tend to think Sam's suggestion of using bookshelf surrounds on stands may be a better option.  That, or consider (shudder) in-ceiling speakers for the surrounds provided there's room in the soffit for them.  How small would the speakers have to be for them to NOT be a problem mounted to the soffit?


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#11 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted January 30 2013 - 03:37 PM

I assume the room is going to have carpet(or rugs)...??? That room begs for 6 tower speakers. Why? When you are listening to a movie you can have the towers float in the room. You would have to run the speaker wire across the floor(covered by a rug) to the spot where the speaker is. Your 4/5 can be right up "against the wall"(whatever that is in the right side of the drawing) and the other speaker sitting in space(as in...with nothing around it) the same distance the other way. Your 6/7 should sit off the couch edges at roughly 45 degrees and "equal distance" as the 4/5(meaning whatever your "couch to the wall is" for that speakers placement...is the basis for the rest). That room is not conducive to bi/di-pole speakers...at all. If you notice...the 4/5 float in the room...sit right next to the couches. The wire runs under the rug. If more people(besides the green chair) are in the room...the speakers are backed off a few feet. And, if the room is used for a party, the rears are moved to the back wall(there is enough speaker wire). That is my cousins house. That room is roughly 38x45. The sitting area is 10' off a 50" plasma...seating(when the room isn't a mess) for 5 people. My cousin is a Doctor, so he gets "front and center". He uses the room as a library. All of the walls(save the far back where the hutch and table are) have Ikea "Bobby" shelving...and more books than a small town library... His speakers are 5 Altec Lansing. two Model 100, two Model 96 and "whatever the center was for those". They were bought at Lazarus back in the early 90s, while he was still in med school. He doesn't even use a subwoofer. So his "bass management" in his Denon(789 I think) runs the Model 96 at 40hz, the center at 80hz. The fronts are set full range(with a believable 30hz ability).

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Posted January 31 2013 - 03:24 AM

If I went with option three, is the problem that I couldn't adjust the balance between 4 and 5 enough to compensate for the difference in distance? Or is it just too unsymetrical to work? It seems to me that since these speakers are mainly for ambiant sound, there can be a lot more flexibility with placement, provided we can get the balance right. Let me ask you this, Sam. If I put 4/5 on stands, could I leave the 6/7 mounted on the wall? Sure, they are far back there, but they are equal distance from each other. I'm not excited about the prospect of floating four speakers around the room. Now that you see the diagram, what's your opinion about option 4--going with a 5.2 surround system plus presence speakers up front? I think I'm going to wire the room for option #3. I'm really curious how that will sound. As a backup, I'll also wire the room for the 5.2 + presence. I'll always be free to float 4/5/6/7 on stands with the wires under the rug if I get the urge to experiment.

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted January 31 2013 - 03:32 AM

If you wire for option 3, don't buy RS. Buy RB. Again. Di/bi-pole speakers REQUIRE mounting in the correct spot. You don't have that. Every single diagram, from every single manufacturer that makes bi/di-pole shows them mountet at EAR height with the 4/5 mounted directly across from each other right across the seating. With the 6/7 mounted off the edge of the seating...straight back. If you can not do that. Don't buy the RS.

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted January 31 2013 - 03:36 AM

What you could do, as a variation to 3, call it 5... That far left area. Put two speakers over there for Zone B. Then when watching "the game" you can fire those up near the chip 'n dip and still hear the front channel of the game. Not sure, but does the 773 use the same speaker terminals for 6/7, Presence and Zone B? And when you use Yamaha's "all channel stereo"(whatever that is) you can have the entire room in stereo...

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Posted January 31 2013 - 05:08 AM

I'm with you on Option 5--that is one of my deciding factors for going with Yamaha. The 773 has 9 powered outputs, only 7 of which you can use at a time. It's supposed to be easy to switch 6 and 7 to zone B. You'll notice in front of the bar I'm putting a second TV. That is signaled by the 773's 2nd HDMI output. So if we wanted to have some REAL fun, we could could plug this HDMI into a second AVR...

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted January 31 2013 - 07:16 AM

PS3 over there...movie over here.... Except I don't think the 2nd HDMI on the 773 is "2nd Zone"...finally an excuse to move up to a 9 channel RX-A???(Yeah, I know...you have to draw a line in the sand somewhere...or you'd be looking at the Elite SC67 or an Onkyo NR2010 or RX-A3020...)




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