Dipole rear surround height query

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by nathan cashman, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. nathan cashman

    nathan cashman Auditioning

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    Just about to upgrade my receiver from an old 5.1 Yamaha to a 7.1 Arcam AVR 300 (much help from reading a million threads here..thank you).

    I have a smallish room with the two viewing/listening chairs up against rear wall directly facing the plasma TV.

    I was originally considering having two in wall speakers cut into the back wall, one each behind and perhaps just above each chair.

    After reading many threads here I am leaning towards Dipole rear surrounds or something along that line, IE Axiom QS8's.

    Question is.. do I put them directly behind listening position as in inches behind head (to create true rear sound but possibly too close to create sonic spaciousness),or would it be better to place them slightly higher?

    Thanks for your replies whether based on experience, word of mouth or an educated guess.
     
  2. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    You are in a bind. I would suggest first trying to move the seating out at least a few inches from the back wall. Second, get your hands on a pair of cheap direct radiators and try putting them on the floor on either side of the seating position, pointing up towards the ceiling.

    I would try that before you move on to more radical and expensive possibilities.
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Nathan- It sounds like you are aware that if you put *any* speaker too close to your head and ears, the sound will be too localizable and destroy the sense of spatiousness that typically surrounds and rears provide. Arthur's suggestion is a good one. Another suggestion is that whatever speakers you do want to try, make sure they are returnable, and that you try them on stands mimicking the final positions you think you want first, before you go cutting into a wall.

    Also, I very firmly believe that with a couch up against the back wall, 7.1 is useless. Put the surrounds out to the sides towards the back wall, and that's the best that you can do. Some people have had some luck with the surrounds in that position, and the rears up in the back corners of the room though.
     
  4. nathan cashman

    nathan cashman Auditioning

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    Thanks for your advice guys.
    Sounds like I need a new house. That won't be for a while though...so in the meantime...

    I've read too much good stuff about the benefits of the extra 6th and 7th rear surrounds to give up on the idea (and stick to my current 5.1 set up), although I do understand that if 7.1 is not done well(and in a large enough room), the sense of spaciousness can easily be destroyed.

    I will give the direct radiators facing up on the floor possibly behind or next to the two reclining viewing chairs a go, but I think if I do that I'll always be wondering if I'm getting the best rear effect sound available to me in my current situation. I'll be wondering if a few dollars spent wisely would improve my rear surround setup.

    So..while I'm here with this thread alive I'd at least like to entertain the idea of other possibilities..even if the above suggestion of upward facing direct radiators on the floor by default is what I end up doing..so..

    1. Would in wall speakers behind the listeners head be a chance?
    By nature of being flushly mounted they would be a greater distance behind the listening position than my previously suggested Axiom QS8's, if only by a few inches.

    What minimum distance behind would they have to be to be of benefit and not detriment to a great rear effect sound?

    I do understand sound quality of in wall speakers would not be as good as direct radiators or dipoles but would the rear positioning be worth the sacrifice?

    2. What about dipole type speakers above each chair, mounted on the ceiling up against the back wall quite a few feet above listening position?

    Of course the answer to all of my questions involves alot of my own experimenting but I'd like to gather as much informed advice and info I possibly can before I start down that road, ie, it'll be quite difficult experimenting with ceiling mounted dipoles and wall mounted speaker possibilities. I'd like to theoretically explore these avenues first.

    Thanks guys.
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    1) If you can spread them out as far as possible. If you can get them 4 ft or more from the closest listener's head, might work.

    2) I like this idea better though.

    There can be benefits to a 7.1 system. But IMO, a mediocre 7.1 setup is always bested by a good 5.1 setup. Remember, all the info is already there in the 5.1 soundtrack. (Even for DTS-ES, which is the *only* 6.1 discrete source, that 6th channel's info is matrixed into the surrounds.) All you are doing with a 7.1 setup, is to spread that surround info around back to the rears. But in your case, there isn't much room behind the listener's to spread that info. [​IMG]
     
  6. Marc*F

    Marc*F Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm about to setup my surround speakers and am curious to the same question...my room is fairly small and the seating is right up back against the rear wall, one side wall is right next to the seats and the other about 5 feet away from the seats......i read the main problem is having surrounds too close to the listening position thus u can here them more localised, does putting the surround speakers higher about the listening level help with this problem? would dipole/bipole speakers placed up high and exactly side on be better then direct radiating speakers? (i'm thinking considering the closeness of the surround dipole/bipoles would be a better option as the sound won't be as localised?)
     
  7. Marc*F

    Marc*F Stunt Coordinator

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    Also I am planning bipole/dipole speakers for the rear surrounds in a 5.1 setup....
     
  8. nathan cashman

    nathan cashman Auditioning

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    Thanks for your advice and suggestions Kevin, I will scrap the idea of in wall speakers and explore the other options..should be fun mucking around with different ideas and seeing what does sound better, ie 7.1 with one of the different rear options suggested or indeed 5.1.

    Marc, you shouldn't have a huge problem as you are only after left and right surrounds for a 5.1 setup.

    I have my left and right surrounds already above me and off to the side and have been reasonably happy with this set up with my old Yammy 5.1 for the past few years.

    In theory, you should be able to do basically the same and even though one side wall is close to your seating, the bi/dipole speakers you are suggesting should do a reasonable job at distributing the effects around the side of you.

    At least thats my take on it but I certainly have very limited knowledge on the subject.

    My problem is a bit trickier as I am trying to fit my 6th and 7th channel rear surrounds in somewhere. I'm trying to do this to access the benefits of DPLIIx on movie soundtracks.

    Where there is a will there is a way...possibly my first suggestion of a deeper room/new house is the best solution.
    ah..patience..a difficult but sometimes necessary virtue in the world of home theater.
     

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