7.1, speakers, couches and walls.

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Edwin K, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. Edwin K

    Edwin K Auditioning

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    I know this is a basic question, but I have searched and read all the threads on speaker placement as well as all the references I could find via Google and I am not satisfied with the answers I found.
    I am close to buying a new receiver. It will be a long time before I have a true high fidelity home theater, but anything is better than nothing. I bought an entry level Sony 5.1 system. It served its purpose. I replaced the speakers, so at least they are less crappy then before. It’s time to replace the still crappy underpowered receiver.
    I’d like to go 7.1, but my couch is up against the wall and moving it out is not an option. The room is very small, 13’ by 13’. Ceiling or in wall are also out of the question. My rear speakers are currently just slightly to the rear of the couch, toed in (as far to the rear as they will ever get). If I add 7.1 surrounds they are going to be a bit forward of the couch and pretty close to the rears. I thought about flying the rears on the wall behind the couch, but they are bookshelf speakers and don’t have any mounting options, and I would have to point them straight down. Is it worth going 7.1, or should I just get a better 5.1 receiver? I could probably get a better 5.1 receiver for the money I was going to spend on a 7.1 ($400 to $500).
    At some point in the future I may move the whole mess into the living room, which is far better suited. But for now I am stuck in the small “rec” room.
     
  2. Edwin K

    Edwin K Auditioning

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    Ah well, never mind. I think I found a solution. I'll split the difference and go 6.1. I found an Athena that I can wall mount behind the couch. It will be high up the wall because of a window, but I can angle it down. Better than nothing.
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    Yes, the 6.1 thing is cool for sure.


    I have seen excellent 7.1 results, by moving your 5.1 rear's to the side, and then towing the back speakers as you are doing now, best if you can place the 5.1 rears your using now further apart than the new 7.1 rear's.
     
  4. Edwin K

    Edwin K Auditioning

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    I found a 6.1 receiver that I am really interested in, so I think I am going to use the one rear Athena to start. Later I might add a second one, wire them in series, and spread them out a bit on the back wall.
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    Great idea.. 2 speaker 6.1 is really every bit as effective as 7.1 in my experiences, makes sense really as there is no true 7.1 content / sources out there yet.

    1 speaker 6.1 is what I suggest for most people anyways. Not so much just for DDEX, and DTS, but you actually get a pretty good slew of additional good surround DSP's to play around with as well.
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    John: 7.1 is the recommended speaker array to avoid the reversal effect, as has been discussed very thoroughly in the past. That being said, this is a poor setup to attempt a 7.1 array, since you can't get the speakers behind you, since you are sitting up against the wall(which, btw is acoustically not recommended). I would stick with 5.1, but you can get a 7.1 receiver for future upgrades if you rearrange rooms, or move, etc, as most receivers will be more than 5.1 now anyway.
     
  7. Edwin K

    Edwin K Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the input. The receiver I am getting is inexpensive so an upgrade later won't be too heartbreaking. It is 6.1, not 7.1. I'll stick to a 5.1 speaker setup for now and spend my resources on better speakers. The room is so small moving the couch out from the wall just isn't practical.
     
  8. John S

    John S Producer

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    Correct Chris Wiggles.

    But I have seen it done enough times, to know now, that it is not the cardinal sin it is made out to be is all.

    Calibration takes care of a lot of it with the speaker distance/delay settings on the pre/pro/AVR.

    But your right, not optimal at all, but I'd probably do it if I had 7.1 and there was no alternative room placement.

    The 5.1's on the side even with the back most seating positions, and the 7.1 rear's just barely behind the seating positions tow'd yet on the sides. As I said not optimal by any means, but probably better results than some might think is all. Ay improvement over 5.1? Well, there is much debate about any improvement of 7.1 period over 5.1 really.

    Just more food for thought. The 6.1 would probably work better than the 7.1 would in this scenerio.
     
  9. Edwin K

    Edwin K Auditioning

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    I should have mentioned I am pretty deaf. My hearing is shot from years of playing guitar and shooting firearms unprotected. So close is always close enough for me.
    I wouldn’t recognize high-fidelity if it ran me over with a freight train.
     

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