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Need some ideas for surround speaker placement


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 spshultz

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Posted February 21 2014 - 09:13 AM

My wife and I just purchased a home and it has an open floor plan.  Our last home had a living room shaped like a large rectangle so surround placement was easy.  But with this new home I'm scratching my head as far as where to place the surround speakers.

 

Here's my equipment list:

- 60" Sharp Aquos TV

- Onkyo TX-NR807 receiver

- dual SVS CS 22-31 subs w/Samson 700w amp

- Klipsch KM-4 Mains x 2

- Klipsch KM-C center channel x 1

- Klipsch KM-2 surround/bookshelf speakers x 2

- PS4

- Dish Network Hopper

 

I'll start by saying that I'm not married to the KM-2 speakers.  They are rather large but I'm not sure I could go with another, smaller pair of surrounds and have it still sound good with the rest of the older Klipsch's.

 

Here are some pics of the living room and what I have to work with.  The furniture is not ours.  These are the previous owners pics while the house was up for sale.

 

Living_Room_1_zpsfbcc2f43.jpg

 

Living_Room_2_zps7c177ea5.jpg

 

 

The KM-2's are going to stick out like a sore thumb no matter where they go.  They might look better if I place them on stands on each side of the couch.  However they will almost always be in a walking area and under threat of being knocked over.

 

- I could run the speaker wire under the house and install connector plates in the floor on each side of the couch.  Doing this though would limit us on how we could arrange the furniture.

- I could mount them on the ceiling.  It's a cathedral type ceiling and I suspect they won't look good up there nor sound good.

- I could also mount them on the wall next to the window and next to or above the cabinets.  But that seems like a really wide area.  And again they are big so would look horrible.  It would be a long wire run and I don't know if I have that ability.

- I've also thought of maybe having someone come in and install in-wall speakers but I just don't know how much that would cost or the amount of work involved with our particular floor plan.

 

I'm not entirely sure what to do.  I just don't want to run 3.1 if I don't have to and cost will play a part in what direction I end up going.  If anyone has any ideas or past experiences I would love to hear them.

 

Thanks!



#2 of 16 Dougofthenorth

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Posted February 21 2014 - 10:15 AM

Deja vu!

 

I rented a garden home almost exactly like that ~1985

Sans cathedral ceiling - hated the wood burning fireplace placement & it was used in winter.

Note: Heat will destroy the front Right main - even a gas fireplace

Finally, I switched around living & dining area. Wife even agreed!

Q1) Anyway that is possible?

Maybe Schan & some of the guys that do these installs fulltime will be able to help a lot.

 

I'll chip away as best I can.

If Q1) is no:

Q2) Anyway you could do an "L" shape with the 2 couches? (if normal seating is using only 1 couch)

If folks come over you could then make the "V" configuration

Q3) If the other person(s) regularly viewing don't mind sitting in the side couch of an "L" config. then that's great

 

I'll wait for your pivotal answers to Q1 & 2 before continuing...


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Doug

 

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#3 of 16 spshultz

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Posted February 21 2014 - 10:24 AM

Thanks for the reply!

 

With regards to Q1, I presented that to my wife early on and I was shot down most quickly.  So Q1 is a no go.

 

As for Q2, the couches aren't ours but we have thought about maybe purchasing an "L" shaped sectional to gain a few more seat spaces.  Currently we have no furniture what so ever other than a bed and TV stand.  And so anything furniture wise is possible.



#4 of 16 Dougofthenorth

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Posted February 21 2014 - 12:17 PM

Well then a sectional with the "L" along the wall side would allow a speaker stand for the A) Side Surround on the window side & a wall mount on the wall for the other, That is - looking at the TV the sectional goes across the room parallel to the TV wall & the side of the sectional goes towards the TV wall along the left looking like a reversed left to right "L" 

B) Or see what the 2 surrounds sound on stands at the L&R rear behind & to the sides of the sectional that is parallel to the TV wall.

If you go to a 7.1 do A) for the sides, & B) for the 2 rear surrounds

 

C)You can get a solid heat shield for the front right main speaker - some look really nice!

 

 D) A rug on the couch to TV wall floor would help EQ the room - that vaulted ceiling might be problematic with a hard floor as well

 

E) Some sound treatment panels may also help if things get weird with room EQ.

 

EQ = sonically balancing the speakers in regards to each other & in the physical room characteristics, so that they most accurately reproduce the qualities of the recorded source, as the media source authors intended, & not being interfered with by sound wave anomalies, caused by the physical room properties & the improper interaction of speakers with the room & each other.   


Regards,

 

Doug

 

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#5 of 16 schan1269

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Posted February 21 2014 - 02:32 PM

Rooms like this make me want to punch the designer. Good news. The room forces you to arrange your front speakers...in a curve. However far forward your right is, place the left there. I have a pair of DCM TF350 as my surrounds, floating in the room(40X40 with @12x18 viewing area. The DCM sit at the 18' mark spot). Can be done. Agree on the L sectional. Maybe even just do an entire U. Place the rear speakers 5' off the back corner of the U.

#6 of 16 spshultz

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Posted February 21 2014 - 02:50 PM

Thanks!  I would not have been able to listen to the system for very long with as much echo as that place has now.  It's absolutely horrible.

 

We have a large carpet coming in today for under the couch and TV area and another one for under the dining room table.  We'll also be getting some curtains up soon so I'm sure that will help a little.  Plus the sectional or what ever furniture we go with should help as well.

 

I might actually start looking for another set of Klipsch KM-4's (aka KG 3.5's) and relegate those to surround use.  I'm just paranoid of those KM-2's falling when bumped if they are sitting on a light weight stand.  They are heavy little things.



#7 of 16 schan1269

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Posted February 21 2014 - 02:57 PM

I like your train of though... What I got causes problems...fix it by going bigger.

#8 of 16 Jim Mcc

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Posted February 21 2014 - 08:53 PM

I wouldn't even use surrounds in that room.


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#9 of 16 Dougofthenorth

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Posted February 22 2014 - 03:37 AM

I wouldn't even use surrounds in that room.

 

 

Interesting!

 

If the AVR's speaker selection allows to delete the surrounds but still allows front height speaker use,

I wonder if that might help some in broadening the sound stage, making up for some of the loss of surrounds? 

Without surrounds, the AVR does have quite a few virtual options. Pg. 75 & on in the manual.

 

I'll put this thought out - maybe use compact wireless speakers, some decent brand makers now have them. Very portable & could easily be put out of the way. For sides? & or rears? It would at least provide some discrete channel experience.

 

RE in-wall/ceiling speakers - only if you were building or renovating would I speak to that.

RE connector plates in the floor - I would also strongly discourage that, in this case.


Regards,

 

Doug

 

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#10 of 16 schan1269

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Posted February 22 2014 - 04:25 AM

There are speaker interconnect boxes specifically designed to go in the floor. Just like mid-floor electrical outlets. Granted these are meant for fresh construction, why not to add speaker connects in the floor? I design that way all the time for when the plan is to use less than 60% of an open room. Setting the surround speakers "floating in the room" is hardly a new idea.

#11 of 16 Dougofthenorth

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Posted February 22 2014 - 05:10 AM

There are speaker interconnect boxes specifically designed to go in the floor. Just like mid-floor electrical outlets. Granted these are meant for fresh construction, why not to add speaker connects in the floor? I design that way all the time for when the plan is to use less than 60% of an open room. Setting the surround speakers "floating in the room" is hardly a new idea.

 

I was only concerned about resale as he has nice hardwood floors. Some prospective buyers are pretty picky.

If not wanted later on they are very hard to patch without the graft being seen.

Also, since he mentioned using the phrase "under the house" I visualized no basement, so that would be a more involved application. But my assumption may have been wrong.

 

"floating in the room" - I haven't heard that phrase "up here" hence, how does that apply in this case & to what I posted?  


Regards,

 

Doug

 

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#12 of 16 spshultz

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Posted February 22 2014 - 07:23 AM

The last time I looked at wireless speakers was a very long time ago and they were definitely not up to par yet.  Any recommendations on a sub $500 budget for just rears?  Well, wait, I don't have any power connections in the floor to power them.  Any power would have to come from the wall and that could potentially be a trip hazard depending on the configuration of the furniture.

 

Yeah, cutting holes in the floor really limits us on furniture configuration and possible "resaleablity" down the road.

And that is correct, the house does not have a basement.  Thankfully it has a rather large and dry crawl space.

 

I had forgotten about all of the listening modes on this receiver.  In the other house I just set it one way and never touched it again.  I may try running it with just the three front speakers and the subs and see how it does in "Theater-Dimensional" or "DTS Surround Sensation".  Worst case, I'll configure the furniture to hide the power wire for a small set of wireless surround speakers.

 

Thanks everyone.  This is helping a lot.



#13 of 16 Dougofthenorth

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Posted February 22 2014 - 08:08 AM

I googled wireless speakers & rechargeable wireless speakers & "wireless cordless outdoor speakers with battery" in quotes  

 

came up with many hits

 

I went through some quickly & some have Li-Ion batteries

 

Here is top ten & specs & battery life http://wireless-spea...tenreviews.com/

 

EDIT: Check out Focal wireless - I can't see if power corded or not


Regards,

 

Doug

 

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#14 of 16 spshultz

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Posted February 22 2014 - 08:31 AM

I've been Googling and Amazoning and think that maybe a wireless module set and a small set of good quality and efficient passive speakers might be the way to go if the virtual surround modes sound weird.  A couple of the module makers are Rocketfish and Soundcast (I'm still searching for others).  Their receiver modules include a low power amp (25-50 watts but probably a bit less) so efficient speakers are going to be necessary.



#15 of 16 Sam Posten

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Posted February 23 2014 - 01:07 PM

I agree with Jim, some rooms just aren't conducive to surround. You can fight it but you are either going to get poor acoustics, mess up the flow/design of the room, or both.

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#16 of 16 schan1269

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Posted February 23 2014 - 02:12 PM

It would help to have a pic of the room with your furniture. The existing furniture, The rear speaker would go next to the window(door?) Behind the couch. The other one on top of the kitchen cabinet. Why not use the little ones "up there"?




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