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Advanced Atmos Configuration Help Needed

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by HTAddict, Jul 20, 2019.

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  1. HTAddict

    HTAddict Auditioning

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    Hello all, thank you for your time. I really need help from some serious home theatre audiophiles, with my atmos configuration. I have read many forums and many people’s 2 cents, and I’m still stumped. I am hoping to do 5.2.4. My home theatre space is 21 feet long by 13 feet wide, with a ceiling that is only 6 feet 11 inches high. Since I have a pool table also in that space, my mlp is 17.5 ft away from the front speakers, and right up against the back wall. I may consider moving my couch a hair away from the wall if absolutely necessary.

    I have discovered 5 possible scenarios. #1. In ceiling speakers. #2. Exposed speakers mounted “on” the ceiling (if you don’t want to cut holes). #3. Height elevation speakers set as the atmos channels. #4. Atmos up-firing modules. #5. Towers with built in atmos modules. From reading, here are what I have deduced are the pros and cons to each setup.

    #1. In ceiling speakers are supposed to be the best if your ceiling is high enough however, I have heard they sound too directional if you have a low ceiling, and my ceiling is only 6 ft 11 inches high. Also, my couch is right against the wall. This also seems to rule out in ceiling speakers since I can’t put 2 behind me. Plus, I don’t want to cut holes.

    #2. Exposed ceiling speakers makes it so I don’t have to cut holes (and you can get thin wall speakers to use) however, I have the same problem as in ceiling speakers with my ceiling being too low and couch right against the wall.

    #3. As for height elevation speakers, someone did a test with sound meters and said that speakers in the height position set as atmos channels, most closely represent ceiling speakers. However, their set up was not as far away as mine, and with my mlp 17.5 ft away from the front wall, I am skeptical that the height modules will project the sound that far. If I am mistaken about that please correct me.

    #4. Up-firing atmos modules mounted on towers apparently are better for lower ceilings but, sound very localized. I have read the modules made by Atlantic Speakers help a bit since you can tilt the tweeter however, apparently even they sound fairly localized. Also, I have heard up-firing atmos modules sound like a mess when up-mixing music.

    #5. Towers with built in atmos modules apparently help make the sound less localized but, even they have their issues. They still will make up-mixing audio sound messy. Also, apparently it’s tough to position the towers to both sound great as main speakers, and as atmos modules. Also, as far as I know the only speakers with built in atmos modules are the pioneer elite and the klipsch, with the klipsh sounding better. However, with the klipsch, you have to put up with the treble fatigue of horn tweeters. Also, I would have to scrap all of my speakers I have spent decent money on, for new speakers.

    With all being said, would you go with option #1/#2, In/on ceiling speakers? or... #3. Height elevation speakers (ex: svs prime elevation) set as atmos speakers? or... #4. Atlantic Speakers atmos modules? or... #5. Towers with built in atmos modules?

    Fyi my receiver is a marantz SR7013 and my speakers are definitive technology BP10s for the fronts, and definitive technology centre and surrounds (tv is an 86 inch lg but that's irrelevant). I realize def tech speakers don’t get a lot of love but, I am not here to argue that point right now. I am just here get some help with my atmos set up. Thanks in advance to all who reply.
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    So your pool table is in between your MLP and the screen?

    I'm the king of 'ignore people who think an imperfect room will sound terrible' but this seems like a pretty bad situation... That seems like a deal breaker before you even get to the speaker positions.

    If it were me I'd nix the pool table or move it to a different room if at all possible, put the couch about 10' from the screen. Put 2 sets of in ceiling speakers, 1 set at 7-8 feet from screen ahead of couch and 1 set behind couch at 12-14 feet with the rears on the back walls slightly above the ear position while on the couch.

    But I'm just an enthusiast, not an expert, and I don't get all crazy about matching 'recommended' specs or measurements.

    Here's how I 'made it work' in mine:
    [​IMG]
    Basement
    by Sam Posten III, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Atmos 7.1.4 install
    by Sam Posten III, on Flickr
     
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  3. HTAddict

    HTAddict Auditioning

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    Mr Posten. Thank you for taking the time to reply. I would also would like to thank you for your generous offer to give me enough cash to afford a house with both home theatre space, and pool table space. That was very kind.

    I can only assume this is what you meant, since... #1. Asking if I should remove the pool table was not one of my questions. #2. Surely you wouldn't mean to imply that I'm an idiot, and not know that I'd have less problems if I removed the pool table right?

    As much as I love home theatre. I love pool even more. I would rather play pool and listen to an a/m radio, then watch movies on a Trinnov Altitude 32 with Krell amps and Focal speakers.

    However since you are willing to give me cash for a bigger house, I am not the least bit annoyed that you didn't give me any practical advice I could use for my situation.

    Cheers
     
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  4. xx Brian xx

    xx Brian xx Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, Whether you agree with Mr Posten or not, that is highly disrespectful to say to someone that took the time to offer advice.

    Might I suggest you get two am radios so it sounds more like stereo. If you find one with an audio input, you could even connect your TV to one of them for movie night.

    Brian
     
  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Sheesh.
     
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  6. John Sparks

    John Sparks Cinematographer

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    I pretty sure he failed the audition! :thumbsdown:
     
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  7. HTAddict

    HTAddict Auditioning

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    To Brian and anyone else, I apologize for coming off as rude but his response was insulting. "Obviously" if I removed the pool table I would have less problems. This is probably something a 6 year old child could figure out. To imply that I never considered removing the pool table, insinuates that I'm a total idiot. Obviously, I'm purposely keeping the pool table.

    Also, he did not provide any practical advice or opinions for the other issues i brought up, such as: my ceiling possibly being way too low for in celing speakers, or the sound from the height positioned speakers poasibly not reaching my mlp, or the fact that upfiring atmos modules sound too directional and can sound very messy when upmixing audio.

    All he did was #1. Essentially call me stupid about the pool table. and #2. Brag about and post pics of his home theatre when it does nothing to help me with my situation.

    Yes you have a nice home theatre that can make one jealous. Happy? Now can you please offer some practical advice for my problem?

    Thank you.
     
  8. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    No, I really can't. Good luck!
     
  9. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Why would anyone contribute suggestions when you're more than likely to yell at them in return? Any suggestions I would have would tend to be along the lines of improving the layout first. But...
     
  10. CraigF

    CraigF Producer

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    The OP might want to take a look at the SVS Elevation speakers. Read what SVS has to say for some ideas for them. The format of the Elevations really helped me a lot for surface mounting, and it was the only reason I picked them (though I have other SVS stuff I like). I have 9' ceilings but these ought to work fine with ~7' ceilings.
     
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  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    You are still gonna have to stare through 6 feet of pool table to see your movie either way Craig. That's a deal breaker for me. I can't give any advice that isn't compromised by that. I know it works for some people as a 'bar' type setting but I can't help with that.

    Bottom line is some rooms just don't make good theaters. Maybe HTA will find a solution that works for him, and I applaud that. But there are too many problems and unknowns for me to make any recommendations here.
     
  12. CraigF

    CraigF Producer

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    ^ I can't even stand a coffee table in between me and the movie. Some (most) people are less fussy...
     
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  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    It’ll be in the way of the front speakers too. Sometimes if you don’t want to hear the answer, don’t ask the question.
     
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  14. HTAddict

    HTAddict Auditioning

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    Thank you for the advice Craig. This is exactly the kind thing I was looking for. My concern with SVS elevation speakers is will the sound be able to carry 17 ft to my mlp?
     
  15. HTAddict

    HTAddict Auditioning

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    Believe it or not you do not notice the pool table when sitting down. The tv is mounted on the wall high enough so that you aren't "gonna have to stare through" but stare over the table. Also, having a movie going, or music playing, and shooting pool with friends is really fun, and that is what I mostly will be doing, with the odd time wanting a serious movie experience. If I had the space would I make a separate dedicated ht room? Possibly, but it's not like I'm cringing when I use this one. Screen is big enough to see well, I don't notice the pool table, and the receiver and speakers sound not too shabby.

    I was just looking for some looking for some advice on adding atmos since my ceilings are fairly low, and my couch will be against the wall and pretty far from the main speakers. Even if I got rid of the pool table that still doesn't change the fact that my ceilings are only 6 ft 11 making it less than ideal for in ceiling speakers. So I am then left with elevation speakers or up-firing speakers and I wanted to know which would be better as my mlp will be far from the speakers.

    I also was hoping to avoid ht snobs who refuse to give any advice and only criticize to since my set up isn't "perfect" like theirs. Maybe my setup isn't how you would have it. Still don't have to be a snobby jerk about it. If you have any advice on whether 6ft11 is too low for in ceiling speakers, or if up firing speakers sound as terrible as some people claim, or if elevation speakers are a decent option, then it would be greatly appreciated. If not, I am sorry to have inconvenieced you with my pathetic home theatre set up.
     
  16. HTAddict

    HTAddict Auditioning

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    My pool table is only a little over 4 ft wide and both my front left and right towers are positioned further than 4 feet apart. Only speaker that is partially blocked is my center channel as it doesn't quite cleat the height of the table. If I mount the tv higher and raise up the centre I can avoid that.

    As for not wanting to hear the answer after I asked the question, I asked many questions but, I do not recall one of my questions being whether or not a pool table was a bad idea. If I am mistaken, then please show me where I asked that so I can apologize.
     
  17. Message #17 of 22 Jul 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
    CraigF

    CraigF Producer

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    I doubt you will have volume problems with the SVS Elevations, especially when they're used for height/ceiling Atmos speakers. They are not "cheaply-built" speakers just because they're small. AFAIK, SVS offer some form of in-home trial in the U.S., with return privileges. I'm in Canada, may be different here, but the local dealer will bring stuff to your house to demo (some of SVS's stuff is pretty damn large/heavy).

    If you go for some Elevations, and plan to mount them on the ceiling (like I did), make sure to ask for the locking brackets (no extra charge). They were optional when I got mine, and not standard for reasons that elude me. I think the locking brackets were new then, so maybe they had to limit distribution of them at the time. They have an extra set-screw that prevents the speaker from being pulled etc. out of the bracket.
     
  18. HTAddict

    HTAddict Auditioning

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    Thanks for the advice; just a few other questions. I was thinking of doing Atmos 5.2.4, with my surrounds facing the sides of my couch mounted on the walls, and 4 SVS elevation speakers (used as atmos), 2 mounted above the couch on the back wall, and 2 on the front wall above my front main speakers. The only reason I am not thinking of 7.2.4 is because I don't think I have the space, unless I have the back surrounds lower on the back wall and the SVS elevations over top. This would make things sound too congested and confusing would it not?

    So the choices are 7.2.4 (with an extra amp) or 7.2.2 or 5.2.4 or 5.2.2 or 7.2

    According to a 2015 video by Gene DellaSala of Audioholics, he suggests 7.1 over atmos if you can't do both, just so you don't miss out on the extra 2 back channels. However, this is an old video so his opinion might have changed.

    Some people say you don't really notice much from back surrounds so there isn't a huge advantage of 7.x.x. over 5.x.x. and not to sacrifice any atmos for rear surrounds. Some say x.x.2 can be enough for atmos and not to go x.x.4, if it means having to cram it in. Others say only 2 atmos speakers isn't enough.

    If you couldn't have 7.2.4 due to space requirements, what would be your next choice? or Do you suggest cramming in 7.2.4 any way you can regardless?

    Thank you.

    p.s. Other's opinions are more than welcome as well.
     
  19. Message #19 of 22 Jul 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
    CraigF

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    I am the wrong guy to ask about this, for many reasons, but one of the main ones is I don't know what's "best". The other side of it, and you'll see/hear this a lot, is that it's really hard to do Atmos poorly. It's pretty friendly really, though all the official data etc. might seem overwhelming. The basics are quite succinct, and not that hard to do half-decently. As hobbyists, of course we're going to take it the extra hundred miles...

    I do experiments. And I can say that, at least in my room, if I mount the 2 back speakers of a 7.1 system "just so", and sufficiently high up, and the (side) surrounds a little bit higher, that with an Atmos soundtrack (and of course the decoder) it can be very good. Not at all the same as listening to a DTS or Dolby 7.1 soundtrack, much better overhead effects. Sufficiently good that one would have to be quite fussy to go to the additional trouble of overheads. People in A/V forums are sufficiently fussy. Also most people would be unwilling or unable to move speaker postions around on their walls etc. to try this, but I don't care, I'll worry when there's more holes than wall left. Also my wall-mounted speakers are very large, so they hide a lot of "hole space" behind them.

    My room is a smallish 18x12x9', in the ballpark of yours, and is fully treated, has no audio/video "obstructions" and is oriented towards audio. So I'm saying it is possible to make a 7.1 system do quite well with Atmos soundtracks, if you're willing to adopt a "non-textbook" speaker installation. At the cost of gear and effort, the ceiling-mounted speakers will be better though. Your room is large enough etc. that 4 "high" speakers (as opposed to 2) will likely be beneficial, I would say even more so if you're going to mount them high on the walls instead of the ceiling. If for example you got 4 Elevations (really, I have no afiliation :)), they are small enough and convenient enough to (temporarily) mount that you could try 5.1.4 or 7.1.2. Or you could just get two and try 5.1.2 and 7.1 first, then get two more to enhance it later. Most of us probably built our surround setups piece by piece, changing it over the years as audio formats changed, it doesn't have to all be done at once. Are you any good at patching screw holes in walls? Or do you have spare pictures you can hang? My HT room would look post commando raid if I completely stripped it to move out. [I can't mount in-ceiling, but a drop-ceiling isn't out of the question in the future, so then I would. I don't want to lose the ~foot of ceiling space so far, the extra height is why I moved into this room in the first place.]

    Re the Elevations, it's all about the mounting brackets and the angled fronts. That solves so many mounting problems, greatly increases mounting options. Compared to the nonsense I went through before when Atmos was new with giant brackets and extremely painful ceiling speaker mounting. So painful that even removing them after the Elevations were mounted was far far more work than Elevation installation.
     
  20. HTAddict

    HTAddict Auditioning

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    Thanks for the reply Craig. I am a little confused with your post. Are you saying you had a 7.1 system (with no atmos speakers hooked up) and were watching movies with atmos content and it sounded great? Or am I missing something and you had atmos speakers?

    You are right though it is probably best to do trial and error to see which is better. In order to do that though, I would have to get the 4 elevation speakers, otherwise I would have no idea how much (or how little) 4 chanels of atmos sounds better over 2. I am not doing on or in ceiling speakers because my ceiling is too low. For your problem of not being able to put "in" ceiling speakers, some people are taking ultra thin wall mount speakers and are screwing them "on" the ceiling to use at atmos speakers. IfI had the space for 7.2.4 if would make the decision way easier.

    After I finally decide on the atmos configuration, I then have to decide on subs. There are many questions for that too. Sealed or ported? Down firing or side firing? One sub or two? 1000w or 2000w? 12 inch or bigger? etc etc etc...

    One thing at a time though.
     

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