5.1 surrounds with seating against rear wall

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Dan Belina, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Dan Belina

    Dan Belina Agent

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    Been doing some reading on this before buying any speakers, but haven't been able to find any definitive answer (if there is one).

    I live in an apartment, and my sofa is against the rear wall. I don't have the room to spare to move it out a foot just to accomdate the surrounds. I've got a 1.5 feet on each side of the sofa where theres a side wall.

    Should I mount the speakers on the rear wall or the sides? And would this change depending on whether I get standard bookshelf speakers for the rears, or a dipole (hope thats the correct term) like the Axiom QS series surrounds?

    I've read on another forum that in my case I'd need to put the Left surround on the right, and vice versa but wasn't sure how much truth there was to that (havent seen a reply explaining it yet).

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ronn.W

    Ronn.W Second Unit

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    Test it out and see which way sounds better with the speakers. I'm in the same situation as you are. My media room is dedicated, but small. I didn't like the sound of sidewise firing speakers at all. I ended up getting JBL Northridge E10's and mounting them about 18" above the seating position on the wall. They seem to throw out sound almost multidirectionally, and you can't tell they're right above you.

    When I had some speakers sitting to the left and right, no matter what way I aimed them, they were really obvious.
     
  3. Dan Belina

    Dan Belina Agent

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    Well, thats the thing...I'm not sure if "standard bookshelf" speakers or dipoles would be better in this particular scenario. If it didnt sound good I'd be stuck with speakers or have to return them, if the shop allows that.
     
  4. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Dipoles should usually be mounted directly to the sides with the seating in the null position. They won't work too well if you're sitting behind them and against the wall. Also, if you mount them on the back wall they will be firing over your head. Try to angle them down if you can. Neither situation is ideal, but we all make do with the space we have. I moved my couch 2 feet forward from the back wall to accommodate dipoles. It worked. Keep trying different things, but I suspect traditional direct speakers rather than dipoles will work best given your room.
     
  5. Gralen

    Gralen Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the same problem and I have 2 floor standing speakers. They are direct firing speakers. They work but the big problem is when I have a 6.1 movie. Just keeping experimenting
     
  6. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    You might look into rears that are switchable di or bipole like the Energy rear speaker line. You'll get a lot more flexibility that way and you won't be stuck if/when you move some day.
     
  7. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    Dan,
    I had a similar problem in my old theater so I mounted them higher as Ronn suggested. Once the SLP was calibrated, their sound blended in well. I woulden't switch left & right.
    Dave
     
  8. rob-h

    rob-h Second Unit

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    Charlie Campisi, thats not exactly right. As a mater of fact, multi row placement puts dipoles in front of the second row.
     
  9. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    For a 5.1 system with dipoles or even direct radiators you need to have them mounted on the sides if possible but up from your ears 3+ feet if they are wall mountable. (some use floor standers which is ok for music but does not give you the greates in diffused sound for movies) When you go 7.1 is when you start thinking about back speakers. Of course if you have no where to mount side speakers you may wind up having to put them on the back wall and live with it. Also most surround speakers will come to you with how to mount whether on right or left. They are simply wired out of phase that your front right and lefts If memory serves me correct. This defines what comes out of the speakers (if dipole) what comes out of each side of the speaker so it is good to watch for placement on the right side.
     
  10. rob-h

    rob-h Second Unit

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    Mike Li, Dipole tweeters are wired out of phase with each other on the same speaker. I have NEVER seen a case where it matters what speaker goes right or left. It does matter that you connect "+" to "+" and "-" to "-" properly so that they are in phase.
     
  11. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Fair point, but it still represents a compromise -- it's in front of the second row because the first row is still the "sweet spot" where the sound will be best. Secondly, the fact that there is a second row in your example indicates that there is still space between the dipole and the rear wall, which the sound will reflect off of. The problem with the original poster's layout is that his couch is against the rear wall, so there is no space between the wall and the seating position. It's a different situation.
     
  12. Dan Belina

    Dan Belina Agent

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    Thanks for the replies. So it sounds like its 6 of one, half dozen of another, whether I go with standard bookshelf type speakers or dipoles? If bookshelf do I need a smaller speaker or just normal size? There's studs in the appropriate places so mounting is no problem in either case.
     
  13. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Don't despair, Dan. [​IMG] As I said, we all make do with the space we have. You will be getting a much better experience with rear surrounds, even if the placement is not ideal. In picking your rears, try to get speakers that are either the same make/model as your L/R fronts or the same brand, same line and same drivers. If you can't do that, try to stay with the same brand. And if you can't do that, then try other brands with the same type of sound as your fronts, e.g. warm or bright. The reason to do this is so that a 747 flying overhead doesn't sound like a Cessna when it reaches the surround speakers. You want them to match. Again, you can compromise if you have to, but if you can match your fronts, you will be in good shape.
     
  14. Dan Belina

    Dan Belina Agent

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    Ok, will do. I've got Paradigm Monitor 7's in front, so by that logic I'd have to go with their ADP-370 surrounds, or a pair of Mini Monitors (or Monitor 3's if they aren't too big...13-1/2" x 8" x 12-1/4" versus 15-5/8" x 9-3/16" x 12-3/4")
     
  15. Shaun Gallagher

    Shaun Gallagher Auditioning

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    I use Paradigm Monitor 11's as Mains, 7's as surrounds with the CC370 center and PW2100 for low end work. My couch is against the wall and everything sounds great. My 11's have a very slight amount of toe and are about 12' apart and 10' from listening position. The 7's are basically in the corners with alot of toe (they point about 3' ahead of the sweet spot and are 6' away on each side. With 7's as your mains 5's would make Kick Ass surrounds [​IMG] the 7's rock
     
  16. Dan Belina

    Dan Belina Agent

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    6' on each side is way more than I have...I have 1.5'
     
  17. Shaun Gallagher

    Shaun Gallagher Auditioning

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    "6' on each side is way more than I have...I have 1.5'"

    No Sweat, set your rear channels through your receiver for lower out put i.e. -6dB etc.. to compensate [​IMG]
     
  18. rob-h

    rob-h Second Unit

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    Shaun Gallagher, why would you do that? If you calibrate all channels to 75db, the distance is compensated for during that process.
     
  19. Shaun Gallagher

    Shaun Gallagher Auditioning

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    I set up manualy, Measure the distance between all speakers for delay, then sit down and listen and back off the signal from the rear channels until the sound "disappears" (cannot localize) seem's to work and sound great. I don't doubt auto calibrate would be fine but I don't like channel level adjustments over 0dB so I start there as a base line then "back off" to the negative i.e. -3dB, -6dB etc.. strickly an opinion thing but I find when you get to far +db things sound stressed to my ear.
     
  20. rob-h

    rob-h Second Unit

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    I am speaking of doing it manually. Measuring the distance is fine but irrelevant to volume. When you use your SPL meter to calibrate to 75db (or 85 depending on your source), you are setting the SPL at your seating position. I think you are saying you skip that very important step.

    Also, if you have direct radiating speakers, you will be able to localize the sourounds regardless of volume.
     

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