5.1 speaker placement ... relative to physical structure of room or viewing location

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Kerry_Hayes, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Kerry_Hayes

    Kerry_Hayes Agent

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    Hello everyone ...

    I am new to this forum, but have learned a lot in a short time here, so thanks to everyone for all your contributions.

    I have just purchased the speakers for a 5.1 setup for my HT and am trying to decide on the best placement for the best sound. Use of my HT is probably 80% movies and 20% music. I have a fairly large living room (approximately 14' x 28') but only use about half of it for my viewing area. Because of doorways, walkways through the room, size of furniture, and satellite tv cable location, I am pretty much limited on arrangement of furniture in the room. I have come up with two possible arrangements for my HT (unless someone can give me a better idea):

    Notes: 1) My normal viewing position is at the "L" intersection of the 2 sections of my sectional sofa. 2) My satellite tv cable is in the corner of the room with the tv, but could be moved anywhere in the left half of the room.

    1) Setup #1: Relative to physical arrangement of room. (click for layout)


    In this arrangement, I have placed the tv, fronts, center, and sub on a wall across from my viewing location and can mount the rears on the wall behind me, but my viewing location is not necessarily centered within that arrangement. I believe, based on my limited knowledge of 5.1 systems, that this setup may produce better sound as far as actual location of speakers with respect to the room (symmetry within the listening area, location and distance from walls, no room corners to deal with, etc.).

    2) Setup #2: Relative to viewing location. (click for layout)

    In this arrangement, I have placed the tv in a corner of the room, squarely facing the usual viewing location, with the speakers pretty much "squared" around the viewing location. My thinking here was that although the speakers are not in a "normal" arrangement with respect to the walls (parallel or perpendicular to walls), they are much more centered on the viewing location.

    My questions are:
    1) Which of these arrangements would produce a better sound experience for the viewer in the usual viewing location?

    2) Can a 5.1 system overcome the disadvantages of placing the speakers at "wierd" angles in the room (not flat against walls) and having room corners to deal with or open space behind a speaker instead of a wall?

    3) Would the difference be enough to notice or would it be no big deal?

    4) If using Setup #1, should speakers be angled toward viewing location or kept parallel with walls?

    5) Does anyone have any better suggestions?

    I appreciate the opportunity to get everyone's input and welcome any suggestions. Thanks again.

    Kerry
     
  2. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    #1 would be the "ideal" setup, however the corner seat will not be the ideal seat. A "corner setup" is not going to produce the best results as far as 5.1 sound reproduction, but in some circumstances it cannot be avoided.

    Personally, I'd go with setup #1 and just sit closer to the sweet spot.
     
  3. Kevin Stewart

    Kevin Stewart Second Unit

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    I would go with number 1 as well, mainly because it will provide pretty good sound for all of the seating positions. #2 may provide better sound for the one sweet spot (the corner) - and that might even be debatable - but it would provide worse sound for anyone else that might happen to be watching/listening with you.



    Stew
     
  4. BillySmith

    BillySmith Extra

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    I set my buddies HT up like #2 I don't like it at all. I would go with the #1 setup.
     
  5. Kerry_Hayes

    Kerry_Hayes Agent

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    Thanks for your input. I went ahead and arranged my HT like Setup #1 ... and it sounds great! I thought that might be the best way to set it up, but I just wanted to get some other opinions. Thanks again.
     

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