Going 7.1 - Opinions needed on my possible speaker configurations

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Mueller, Sep 24, 2001.

  1. Brian Mueller

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    Greetings all. I'm about to upgrade my pre/pro, and along with that I'll be getting 7.1, which means at least a couple of new speakers. Since my uncooperative room layout means in-ceiling or in-wall for the new channels, and since those types of speakers are a bit more difficult to audition and return if you don't like them, I thought I'd try to get as many opinions as possible on my configuration ideas before I take the plunge.
    Diagram A shows my current 5.1 layout, Paradigms all around (Mini-Monitor direct-radiators on shelves on the rear walls). The surrounds face each other directly. This isn't exactly ideal, but after some extensive tweaking this at least provides decent surround for the center seat. The seats on the sides miss out on most of the fun, and this is one problem I'm hoping to fix while I'm at it. Even for the center seat that "behind" effect is mostly missing, but I eventually managed to make it sound sort of behind instead of above or in front.
    Diagram B is the first idea I had to incorporate the rear surrounds and fix some of these problems. It's got a new pair in-wall (or in-ceiling) speakers at the rear, with the Mini-Monitors aimed back out towards the room. This still isn't ideal, since the side surrounds aren't really quite on the sides, but I figured that this would at least open up the surround field enough to bring in the side seats while providing a "behind" effect that actually sounds like it's behind the seats. The biggest question if I go this route is in-wall or in-ceiling - since the seats are against the back wall, will in-walls go right over my head and create an "above" effect?
    Since it was a slow week at work, I kept chewing on the idea and came up with Diagram C. This takes Diagram B and replaces the Mini-Monitors with in-ceiling speakers for the side surrounds. This allows me to get the side surrounds farther out to the sides, since my walls end but my ceiling doesn't. I think this would give better results than the previous idea since the speaker location would be better and include the side seats, but my concern here is that I won't like the sound I get replacing the Mini-Monitors with in-ceiling speakers. Here again also is the decision between in-wall and in-ceiling for the rear surrounds.
    That wasn't enough, so I came up with the layout in Diagram D. Same idea as before, except that the side surrounds are moved up to the "middle" of the ceiling. I can't imaging that this would work very well, since the surrounds will probably sound like they're coming from the front, but I thought I'd throw it out there for discussion anyway.
    As far as the speakers themselves go, for in-walls I might go with Paradigms to stay "in the family", but I might go Sonance instead (my dealer carries both), and in-ceilings would most likely be Sonance. That also raises the question of dipole or direct radiator if I go in-wall, since I've seen some recommendations that suggest dipoles for the rear channels (I'm not sure if Sonance or Paradigm make them, but I know I have seen in-wall dipoles somewhere).
    Anyway, I'll be going to dealer for some extended discussions this weekend, but I trying to get as much feedback as I can in advance. I would love to hear any opinions or experiences, particularly if anybody has actually tried similar setups. My gut feeling is that Diagram C with in-ceilings for both side and rear surrounds would give the best results, but I want to be as sure as possible before I do it since it would be a bit difficult to change it once the speakers are in.
    Thanks!
    - Brian
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    I'm not a real big Dipole man but in a case like this I would try a dipole on the rears mounted to the ceiling with one of the speakers facing the rear wall in order to bounce the image back to create a diffused behind you type feel. Then a second set of dipoles mounted again to the ceiling facing into the listening area and also away bouncing the sound off the walls to the far right and left. Depending how far that left wall is away this might create a bigger room feel.
    Just another Idea!!
    I am afraid that with the rears directly behind you it will over power all the other channels, and you would have to be sitting directly in the sweet spot or els the whole rear EX sound will be off.
    Wes
     
  3. Brian Mueller

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    Did I forget to mention the 12 foot ceilings? [​IMG] Actually, though, I kind of like that idea - instead of going in-ceiling, mounting regular dipoles directly to the ceiling. It's a good thing I was already planning on professional installation! [​IMG] The left wall opens out into the kitchen, but the dipole on that side could still have interesting effects. The bonus of course is that if I went this route it would be much easier to move the speakers around (versus cutting a great big hole in the ceiling). Something to ponder, thanks!
    - Brian
     
  4. Brian Mueller

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    * Bump* Wow, busy week on the forum. [​IMG]
     
  5. Luke_Y

    Luke_Y Second Unit

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    Brian, How about leaving it as you have it in "A" as this is the best you have worked out to this point and you currently enjoy it. Then add in ceiling directs (maybe the round Paradigms) spread over the couch as wide as reasonable and as far back toward the rear wall as you can. A friend has a similar setup and I must say it sounds excellent.
    ------------------
    Luke
     
  6. Brian Mueller

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    [​IMG] Luke, thanks, that's exactly what I needed, especially the part about it being done successfully. [​IMG] If I move the sofa up a foot or two I think that will accomplish my main goal of finally getting something resembling a soundstage in the rear. The bad thing is that this could save me enough money that I decide to upgrade all of my speakers while I'm at it. [​IMG]
    The issue that may or may not still be left if I go this way is that the side seats might still be left out of the surrounds a bit. I'd prefer to move the surrounds another 3 feet or so in each direction and get them "outside" the seats on the end (that's where I was going with the ceiling-mounts in diagram C), but if I keep the Mini-Monitors as they are I can't do that since my shelves are already cantilevered out about a foot past the end of the wall on the left side.
    Oh well, it's always hard to get optimal sound on the sides anyway, so it may just be a compromise I have to live with unless I drop a six-foot pole down from the ceiling or something. I guess I'll just have to see what the sound (and price tag with installation) of the good in-ceiling speakers the dealer has and see how much admission I can charge my friends. [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Brian Mueller on September 27, 2001 at 04:45 AM]
     
  7. Luke_Y

    Luke_Y Second Unit

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    Double post.
    [Edited last by Luke_Y on September 28, 2001 at 07:10 PM]
     
  8. Luke_Y

    Luke_Y Second Unit

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    Double post.
    [Edited last by Luke_Y on September 28, 2001 at 07:10 PM]
     
  9. Luke_Y

    Luke_Y Second Unit

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    Brian, glad I could help. [​IMG] As I said a friend has a setup exactly like yours and the in ceiling back surrounds are where I indicated and it sounds great. He has the Paradigm round in ceilings not sure what model.
     

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