6.1 setups, anyone?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ThomasL, Jan 23, 2002.

  1. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    What do you recommend for rear center speakers? Should they just be directs? Any other considerations? What about placement? How far should they be behind the listening position and how more in front should the rear surrounds be?
    I currently have the following:
    CSW Newton M50 pair - fronts
    CSW Newton MC300 - center
    CSW Newton MC100 pair - rear surrounds
    Paradigm PDR-8 - sub
    Our room is small (13.5 x 12.5) and the couch is only 1-2 feet from the back wall. Measure from the listening position, one's head is about 30 inches from the back wall.
    I'm also wondering should all of one's speakers be able to handle the same frequency range - my question is geared toward the rear surrounds. The M50 and MC300 both go down below 80 Hz but the MC100s are only rated to 100 Hz. My crossover is currently set to 100Hz but I know many receivers hardwire their crossover at 80Hz and this is a concern if I upgraded my receiver. I'm just wondering if I shouldn't have skimped and should have gotten the Newton MC200 pair instead which go down to 80Hz. My main reasons were price and space constraints (I couldn't fit another pair of M50s for rears). The MC200s seem way overpriced ($300/pair vs the M50s which I got for $200/pair). I'm not sure what reputation CSW has among the forum members but I like the Newton line and they work very well for our room and the WAF rating is pretty reasonable. [​IMG] Radio Shack should invent and market a WAF meter.
    thanks much for your thoughts,
    --tom
     
  2. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Anyone here have a 6.1 setup?
     
  3. Bobby T

    Bobby T Supporting Actor

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    I have a cc in the rear identical to the front cc.
     
  4. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Bobby. How far behind your sitting position is it?

    And how far behind your rear speakers, is it? I'm trying

    to get an idea on what the best placement is for rear

    surrounds plus a rear center

    --tom
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Thomas- I use a Def Tech CLR 2000 for front center, and it's little brother (same drivers, but cheaper cabinet) CLR 1000B for the rear center.

    And then all around, BP-30's up front, and their prequels, BP-20's for the rear. ALong with a Vandersteen V2W sub for the bottom end.

    My rear center is about 3 ft behind me. A little closer than what I'd like, but with all the levels balanced, doesn't seem to draw undue attention to itself...
     
  6. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Kevin. WHat is your recommendation/feeling on having all speakers be able to handle down to the same/similar frequency? This was the 2nd part/question of my rambling post [​IMG] Seems to me that it makes setting the crossover frequency easier - since the crossover must be set at or above the highest lowest frequency out of the lot or otherwise one may create a gap. My main concern is if I upgrade to a receiver that only has a fixed crossover of 80Hz that my rears will be left behind since they're only rated to 100Hz. I currently have a Pioneer with the crossover set to 100Hz.
     
  7. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

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    Thomas, I think it's a waste to get a center channel for the rear for the following reasons.

    1. Not a lot of voice dialog coming from the rear channel.

    2. No need for magnetic shielding

    3. It's hard to wall mount a center channel.

    reason I say number 3 is that I think you get more effect or better axis sound by mountng the rear channel 1 to 2 feet about ABOVE the rear listening position and pointing the speaker down at the listener. I actually have a 7.1 system and I have two B&W DM 302 in the back pointing down just slight toe in so that they converge about in front of the listening position.

    Also I say don't worry about the crossover setting, I'd reckon that in a discrete setup, the sound that is directed to the rear channel is not going to be bass intensive and even in a matrixed 6.1/7.1 system I doubt the volume level and low frequencies in the rear channel will ever reach it's potential... I'm just assuming this would be true about 98% of the time... Honestly having a 7.1 system, I can say that it's not that special, I can't even recall a specific instance where I said "wow that was a cool effect coming from the REAR channel", but overall I will admit it does create a much better fill and completes the sound circle better, it's not worth trying to pinpoint or be super precise.

    Much of the home theater hobby is about intelligent allocation of funds to get the best return on investment, the rear channel won't give you enough ROI to justify the opportunity costs of taking money away from other components where ROI would be much higher. JMHO
     
  8. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Johnny, thanks for the response. I assume when you say rears, you mean your L/R rears. How are these positioned in relation to your L/R "rear" surrounds? I'm mostly thinking if it'll even ever be possible in my room to have both 2 rear speakers and the surrounds.

    thanks,

    --tom
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Johnny- I'll disagree with your placement suggestion. [​IMG]
    I used to have dipoles in the back. Up high (maybe 5 or 6 ft off the ground). That's obviously 2 or 3 ft above my head.
    Then I got tower bipolars. Now, I feel like I am *in* the action, rather than *below* it, which is how I felt before.
    Also, if you have never felt the real presence of that rear center channel, get Toy Story 2, and watch the trailor/teaser for Monsters, Inc. There's a dog growl 1/2 or maybe 2/3 way through, that in a proper 6.1/7.1 system, *only* comes from the rear. Quite surprising when you 1st hear it.
    Johnny- As far as crossover, if your receiver supports it, just use a different setting appropriate for each "set" of speakers. With my pre/pro, I can set each channel individually. But irregardless of that, I have everything set to 80 Hz anyway. (But like I said, both my F & R center channels have the same drivers as my mains and surrounds.)
    100 Hz is kind of high actually. 80 Hz is typically regarded as the highest you want to go for *not* being able to localize sound from your sub. But try different settings and see what you like better.
    Here's a thought question: how many 6.1/7.1 systems are out there?
    Here's my guess: 50% are still 2 channel stereo. Maybe 45% are 5.1, and maybe only 5% (or less!) are 6.1 or 7.1 systems. (Multiple subs is a different question entirely!)
     
  10. Bobby T

    Bobby T Supporting Actor

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    Thomas, my rear center is 4 ft behind my listening position and the surrounds.
     
  11. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin, but that's my point. I'm sure you could name some other scenes where the rear channel effect is very memorable and distinct, but you can probably count them on your hands and feet. [​IMG] I don't think that's worth taking money away from my future dvd-a/sacd combo player. which will be 5.1 anyhow. [​IMG]
     
  12. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Thanks everyone for your comments. As it turns out, the spouse has officially axed the idea of rear center speakers in our current setup so down goes that long term plan [​IMG] But in exchange for that, she let me go ahead with my plan to upgrade the CSW Newton MC100s I had bought for rears before my 45 day window expired. I replaced them with the Newton S300s and there is a noticeable improvement and I like the flexibility of the 3 different modes. And they passed with a high WAF rating as well. [​IMG] While CSW may get mixed reviews as far as quality goes (I'm happy with the Newton line but the rest of what they make I don't really like), I must say, I like their 45 day return policy. The same guy who sold me my M50s was there and he remembered me from a month ago and had no problems with returning the MC100s even though I was missing manuals and warranty cards. So far my conclusion is that if you're looking into getting a 5.1 system, give the specialized surround sound speakers that your manufacturer may make a test drive.
    cheers,
    --tom
     
  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Thomas- Glad it worked out for you. For the money, CSW makes great speakers. [​IMG]
     
  14. joe logston

    joe logston Stunt Coordinator

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    i have 8.1 set up
     

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