Does a surround a/v receiver make sense for a "lopsided" room?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Tabb, Nov 5, 2002.

  1. Michael Tabb

    Michael Tabb Auditioning

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    My stereo receiver is dying, and I'm trying to decide if I should upgrade my main listening/viewing room to full 5.1 HT. The problem is that the room is long and narrow (9x20, with a cathedral ceiling) and the listening/viewing area is not in the center of the room, but off to the left. If I upgraded, my front and rear left speakers would be 4-8 ft from prime viewing area, but my right would be 15-18 ft.

    Are there A/V receivers in the $400-500 range that can handle that kind of imbalance? I would mostly use the system for music, (approx. 85%) with occasional DVDs. Any recommended receivers?

    Also, off the listening/viewing room, I have a kitchen with a pair of built in B speakers. In the best of all possible worlds, I'd like a receiver where I could have Pro Logic II coming out of 5 speakers in the main room, and stereo coming out of the B speakers at the same time. Same source, just different sound modes. Is that doable at that price range?

    Mike
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Many $500 receivers can do what you are asking, including the second set of speakers.

    As for "imbalance", I don't understand what you are saying? How have you arrived at the location of the speakers? They do not need to be located in the corners of the room. Placement should be determined by the listening position, not just the room (though room acoustics are definitely a factor). The type of distance you are talking about can be somewhat compensated for with electronics, but that will not yeild the best results.
     
  3. Michael Tabb

    Michael Tabb Auditioning

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    John:

    Unfortunately, in this room, with my family, the speakers do need to be located in the corners of the room. While in the best of all possible worlds, placement should be determined by listening position, some of us must set up our systems in rooms used by other persons for other uses. The whole purpose of my inquiry was to see if surround receivers existed that could give me good sound in the way I wanted to use the room. While I have no doubt that there are excellent receivers that will provide excellent sound when used under optimal conditions, I, sadly, do not live in such a world.

    Michael
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    your situation should not be a problem for most of today's receivers...especially the higher end models.
    speaker positions
    most receivers have features to compensate for speaker positions.
    one feature is level control. you can tell the a speaker to be +/- db relative to the other speakers. that way, if your right speaker is too far away, you can "bump" up the sound to that one speaker. your best bet is to use a spl meter (like the ubiquitous radio shack model) to do this.
    another feature is time/distance delay. you can factor in the distance a speaker is from the listening position. this will also help for speaker positioning.
    multiple speakers
    although i haven't tried this, i'm pretty sure most receivers will allow you to output 5.1 to your main room plus stereo to your "B" pair of speakers. the only issue would be the load you would put on the receiver.
     

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