How to add "depth" to my theatre???

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by BryanDO, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. BryanDO

    BryanDO Stunt Coordinator

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    Ever since I have been into home theatre I have been trying to obtain a "deep" soundfield. I want it to seem like the speakers arent there and they are farther away then they are. I am using Athena AS-B1's as fronts, AS-b2's as rears and an AS-C1 as a center. The sub is a custom built ported Shiva, the receiver is a Yamaha HTR 5640. Is there any way to gain that "depth" without changing any of my equipment, such as receiver settings. I am also limited to speaker placement due to the room. The sound is clear and everything as it is now, but the speakers are really "in your face". I have tried everything that I can think of which isnt very much. Help would be greatly appreciated as I've spent thousands on a theatre I'm not pleased with [​IMG] Thanks...
     
  2. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Bryan,

    I have an idea of how you feel. Don't worry though, because it takes time to really get the best out of your equipment.

    The depth of the soundfield is usually a functionof the speaker placement in the room. Can you try and describe how the room is set up?
     
  3. Max F

    Max F Second Unit

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    I know what my wife would tell you:

    "why can't you just be happy with what you got?"

    Are those rear speakers direct radiating? Maybe you would prefer bi or dipoles?

    -or-

    Move to another house.
     
  4. Elinor

    Elinor Supporting Actor

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    Ok, so you want better deeper sound but you don't want to change equipment or placement of it.

    Pray for a miracle.
     
  5. BryanDO

    BryanDO Stunt Coordinator

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    'Pray for a miracle'

    LOL... I was thinking more of changing then settings on the receiver. I'll take a picture of the room and let me know what you think, thanks guys,...
     
  6. Aaron_Mum

    Aaron_Mum Stunt Coordinator

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    To really change the soundfield you need a speaker that is up to the task. Listen to some magnepans, they would do it for you. Better quality compenents with more power will further improve your situation. But since you are not in the position to change that stuff you have to tinker.

    You can impove the soundfield but you HAVE to play with speaker positioning, that is the only way you are going to open it up. Drag those mains as far apart as they can go without destroying the image and ensure that they are set up symetircal to the speakers and in the room (break out the tape measure). Make sure the center is pointed right at the sweet spot and play around with the angle of the surrounds. Then you have to re-calibrate everything with avia or DVE. You can get a huge improvement with tinkering around. If you can at least set up the room symetrically you can begin to fight the battle.

    Some DIY sound absorbing panels will again open it up more. Experiment with them at the relfection points and see if the soundfield improves

    I really think that proper setup is more important that amazing gear. You should be able to squeeze what you want out of your system but if you are limited in speaker positioning its going to be tough.
     
  7. Rutgar

    Rutgar Second Unit

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    I agree. Speaker placement has way more to do with depth, and width of sound field than the speakers themselves do. Proper acoustical treatment has a huge affect as well.
     
  8. BryanDO

    BryanDO Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the info guys, I've thought of a way to set-up my room so that I can use the "circle" idea where all speakers are the same distance away... One off topic qestion though that I'm very worried about. My Panny 47" RPTV will be very close to a gas fireplace, It'll sit a few feet beside it, will the heat this pose any problem to the TV? I snapped a few pics of the room,

    [​IMG]

    This is the set-up now, fairly limited as to where to place anything, terrible sound stage...

    [​IMG]

    This is where I want to place the TV, between the fireplace and wall. Speaker placement will easy with this set-up but you can see how close the TV will be to the fireplace, let me know what you think.
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    #1, pull them out. They are too close to the wall and relatively in line with the TV. Maybe swap the position of the sub with the right speaker to get them further apart and angle them in a bit.

    Your floors are another big factor there - contributing a lot to the brightness of your room.
     
  10. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

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    #1 pull em out at least 2ft
    #2 lay down a big rug. Put up a bookshelf, even a low one to clear the electrical panel (I think)

    #3 get your right surround on the right wall if possible. Use a open/unfinished pine rack to save cost if that matters.
    #4 do something with the left suuround. On that end table...not good.

    There's nothing wrong with your layout. I like the width that you've got. You have more flexibilty than alot of people. Just damp your room. Probably echoes like a mofo in there. Don't move your tv into that wall that I said to put a bookshelf. There isn't enough space on the left to get you big soundstage. And left speaker will have a reflective wall, whereas the right one won't.
     
  11. Aaron_Mum

    Aaron_Mum Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah I'd leave your layout as it is. Getting your big screen cooking near the stove might be too risky. Your room is evil with reflective surfaces! I agree with the other guys give those speakers some room to breath pull them out into the room. Maybe saving up for some nice speaker stands, they might allow you the flexibility as well as get it looking cooler. Get that right front main away from that empty bookshelf.

    You could put DIY panels behing the Left, Right, and Center if you pull the speakers off the wall. The bookshelf idea is good as it will do the same thing as a panel on the right side. Getting a big rug down will really help (too bad they are expensive). I'd at least start with thick floor to ceiling curtains to deaden that front wall.

    When you do move your speakers make sure you bust out the measuring tape to get them all equal from the walls and centered properly. Even measure the toe in for each main, you want the sound waves hitting you at exactly the same time.

    Let us know how it works out!
     
  12. BryanDO

    BryanDO Stunt Coordinator

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    Taking all considerations into play, I messed around with the speaker placement a little bit and wow, what a difference, I pulled the mains out, toed them in, and also pointed the center directly at the listening area, things are sounding better already. I went and checked out some nice speaker stands for my mains and Christmas is coming soon, might just get a nice big rug as well [​IMG] I'll be adding some shelves in that empty bookcase and putting my equipment in there, the left surround will find it's way on a shelf that I'll build on the wall and the right will go on the built in shelving which is the same distance away as the left wall. I have a copy of Nov. Widescreen review and they have some useful setup tips so I'll follow those guidelines. I guess you dont need expensive equipment to have a decent theater [​IMG] Thanks guys... I'll post some pics on here with the progression of the room...
     
  13. BryanDO

    BryanDO Stunt Coordinator

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    [​IMG]

    Tried a few different set-ups, this one was the easiest. One main is on the far side of the fireplace sitting on a stand I made quick. The other main is on the shelfing. Both are equal distances up and to the listening position. The soundstage seems to have opened up quite a bit. One rear surround will go on a shelf on the right wall, the other will go on the shelfing. The speakers are 16ft apart, I liked the sound better with the speakers 8 ft apart, 2ft off the wall and toed in. Is there any disadvantage to having the speakers too far apart?
     
  14. Rutgar

    Rutgar Second Unit

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    Yes. You lose your "center" when listening to stereo. You want to try to find the position to where you have a wide sound stage, but still gives a strong "center" image, with things like lead vocals. The easiest way to set this, is to put a stereo CD on with a strong vocal. Slowly move the Left and Right Front speakers closer to together, until the center image "snaps" into place.
     
  15. Aaron_Mum

    Aaron_Mum Stunt Coordinator

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    If they are too far apart your image will not be seamless when sound moves across the front soundstage. A couple of tests you could use to help determine this I can think of from the top of my head are: at the start of Gladiator a calvary moves across the the front soundstage and in LOTR FOTR when the enter Moria Gandalf moves off the screen to the right. The true test is 2 channel however so if you just follow Rutgar's advice you should be able to find the proper placement.

    Remember that putting speakers in bookshelves and near walls is going to work against you.
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Too far apart is not as bad as too close together. You are shooting for roughly as far apart as you sit away from them, but of course, that varies depending on the room as well. From the pic, it looks like they would be just about what I would call too far apart, but without being able to hear it, it's impossible to say. And the fact that the bookshelf is built in is obviously a factor. If it sounds good to you, I'd say go with it.

    The speaker in the bookshelf is reflecting directly off the cabinet it is sitting on, up towards the ceiling. Whenever you put a speaker on top of a surface, the best result will come from bringing it all the way out to the edge or even a little be beyond the edge.

    I agree with Rutgar, you can just move them in small increments until you get that center image. You'll know it when you hear it; it's like an epiphany [​IMG]
     
  17. BryanDO

    BryanDO Stunt Coordinator

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    http://www.cardomain.com/memberpage/665290/2

    Finally got a set-up I like! I moved my equipment to that empty bookshelf. It took awhile to setup the main speakers with the measuring tape but it was well worth the effort. I placed the sub at the listening position and crawled around the room, the best place for it turned out to be right beside the couch. Oddly enough it's hard to locate the sub when watching a movie and it shakes the heck out of ya to boot [​IMG] After everything was all said and done , I gave er a few tests with some music (Eric Clapton) and some movies (Gladiator) and everything sounded amazing. The music was seamless and so smooth and warm. The movie played seamless as well and the sounds moved right across smoothly. You could close your eyes and swear you were there. Just want to say thanks to all you guys for your input, it's always great to see people helping out the newbies [​IMG]
     
  18. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Great! And once you get used to the sound you have now, you can make some more adjustments to improve it even more.
     
  19. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

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    that's more like it! now just get some absorptive stuff in the room. good job!
     

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