Maggie 3.6s and Equipment Positioning Dilemmas

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Doug_B, Nov 4, 2001.

  1. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Maggie 3.6s have been on my short list as part of my new audio system. However, as I project out to a time in the hopefully near future when I will probably get a 65" widescreen RPTV, I don't think I'll have the room for everything across the viewing wall, which is 13' (13x20x8 room). A 65" RPTV cabinet is about 5' wide, add about 2' for an equipment rack, and that leaves 6' to play with for 2 Maggies, each of which is 2' wide.
    I don't want to cover up the equipment rack (physical access, IR signal), although I don't mind hiding my SVS behind one of the Maggies. I know that folks who have front projection systems often spread out their equipment on multiple 2 or 3 shelf racks under the screen (center channel permitting), but I'm not sure I'd want to do that in front of an RPTV, as the equipment would be coming out another 2' more into the room beyond the 2.5' depth of the RPTV. I also don't see placing the equipment in a different part of the room.
    Thus, I'm looking for ideas here. I may have constrained the problem enough so that no solution would satisfy me, but I may not have accounted for some options. I'd be interested if anyone has actually placed equipment in front of the RPTV and has photos online.
    BTW, I don't consider myself desperate from the perspective that I must find a way to get the Maggies into the room. I have other candidate speakers with which I am happy (and for which I'll be able to audition at home), so it's not do or die; just exploring the options.
    Thanks.
    Doug
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    "Today is a good day to die." ...Old Lodge Skins
     
  2. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Can the equipment rack go on a side wall? You'd need longer video and speaker cables (maybe other cables too), but I don't see why the equipment rack has to be on the same wall as the TV. This has the added advantage of keeping your front wall symmetrical (TV in the middle, speakers on two sides), which sometimes helps when trying to figure out speaker placement and reflection issues.
     
  3. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Doug, I have two racks of equipments against the right side wall and another lowboy rack in front of the RPTV holding four more pieces of gear in my main HT room. That said I opened up an upstair room for the 3.6's just because they need the back & side space to sound right.
    Have you consider a front projector? The Plus DLP model looks very promising. The current issue of SGHT has a descent review on it. If I am to upgrade videowise that's probably the way to free up space in my main HT room.
    PF
     
  4. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Maggies require breathing space, so try to get 2-3' behind them for starters.
    My experience with full range dipole radiators and RPTV is that it isn't a good match, with the RPTV basically obliterating the stereo imaging. I used Acoustats this way for a while and didn't love the results.
    It's not so bad with point source speakers (aka Dynamics) but it does some harm there as well.
    I ended up going with an FPTV setup because I don't have the luxury of seperate stereo and HT systems.
    You might not want to make the same choice as I did [​IMG]
    Regards,
    ------------------
    John Kotches
    Contributing Writer
    Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
     
  5. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the responses.
    With respect to the side walls, I have issues. First, it would have to be within a few feet of the video wall, because I have a window on the left, about 5' off of the common corner, and a doorway to the right, about 3' off of the other common corner. The depth of the rack on either of those walls would be ~ 20" plus room for cables, so it would appear that one of the Maggies would still be close to adjacent horizontally to the rack . I might as well have the rack facing front if it had to be that close to the video wall anyway. One other possibility, although it doesn't appeal to me, is to place the equipment in the rear left corner of the room. There's no walking path in that corner, but I'd have to rework the wiring plans (I already pre-wired the surrounds to begin at the video wall, although this position would be more conducive to video wiring with a FP down the road).
    I suppose in the spirit of symmetry, it might actually be better if the equipment rack was next to the side wall anyway, so that I would position each speaker flanking the monitor, as you suggested Saurov. Given that I will have an SVS in one corner, I could have an arrangement from left to right of: CS Ultra, left main, monitor, right main, equipment rack. This may or may not solve the Maggie problem, depending on how much better it is to have empty space behind and to the sides of the Maggies vs some clutter, but from what I've experienced auditioning them in just two shops, they appear quite sensitive to placement, so I think I would like more maneuvering freedom for them.
    As for FPTV, I haven't ruled it out. However, one thing that bothers me when reading forums on the topic (which I have yet to do in depth for FPTV) is that people tend not to include installation costs into the equation. I would prefer a ceiling mount and would not want to do this work myself, which includes electrical and video wire routing as well. How much should I expect this work to add to the costs? By the way, if I went for a special FP table instead of ceiling mount, how do folks deal with electrical and video? I'd be concerned about my carpet.
    Thanks.
    Doug
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    "Today is a good day to die." ...Old Lodge Skins
    [Edited last by Doug_B on November 05, 2001 at 10:33 AM]
     
  6. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    PF,
    Any photos available that show your rack topology?
    Thanks.
    Doug
    ------------------
    "Today is a good day to die." ...Old Lodge Skins
     
  7. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Doug,
    Everything's a compromise. I routed all cabling across the ceiling and am using a PS Audio Ultimate Outlet to feed the projector.
    Once I have all the various pieces/parts assembled, I'll cover the ceiling with black cloth to hide all the nasties ;-)
    Cost, you've got me on that. I've done all the work myself so far, so I don't know what it will set you back.
    Regards,
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    John Kotches
    Contributing Writer
    Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
     
  8. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    BTW,
    If you check the dispersion pattern on the Maggies, you might be surprised how little sound radiates to the sides from these speakers....
    Regards,
    ------------------
    John Kotches
    Contributing Writer
    Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
     
  9. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    Get rid of the RPTV!
    Seriously though, I wouldn't put anything between those instruments (the Maggies). In my stereo system I've got the rack (5 shelf) off to the right side of the room with the amps next to the speakers (longer interconnects from preamp to poweramps, but using only 3 foot long speaker cables). I used to have the rack inbetween the speakers against the wall with the speakers 4.5 feet from the front wall. Made an appreciable difference getting the rack out of there, so I can only imagine what an RPTV might do.
    Just my $0.02.
    ------------------
    Q
     
  10. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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  11. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    I haven't owned maggies, I have Acoustats that I'm currently using for the rear surrounds.
    My mains are Soundline Audio, which use a Planar Magnetic driver (very similar to the Maggie Quasi-Ribbon) from 250 Hz on up.
    I get about 30 degres horizontal dispersion to each side at max.
    The Acoustats are about 0 on the horizontal dispersion at the sides.
    This is due to the technology differences between the two speakers.
    The pattern is similar to the pickup pattern of a Cardioid microphone, with the side panels being anti-nodes.
    Regards,
    ------------------
    John Kotches
    Contributing Writer
    Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
     
  12. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    John,
    Thanks for the responses.
     
  13. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Doug
    definitely go with a front projector.
    If you're thinking of an HTDV of that size why not?
    As long as you can keep the room dim to dark for viewing then you ABSOLUTELY should go FP.
    Take a look at the Sharp 9000 or the Sanyo 60. The sharp 9000 is a absolute unbeatable picture...and if you projected it on a 65 inch screen I promise you it would BLOW AWAY any 65" HDTV out there.
    Of course, you can make the image even larger and it will still blow-away most RP sets [​IMG]
    I'll might be getting some dipole/electrostatic speakers (in the same spirit of the magies) and my situation is similar to yours. At present, I'm thinking of keeping the projector (yet to purchase) on a small table in front of the couch and just running the cables accross the flow where people are not likely to walk...and perhaps wrap the cables in some fabric like you see covering the rope of an old chandelier or something.
    But I just want to stress how incredibly cool FP can be. It's just a matter of shifing your idea from a "big box" in your room to a movie screen. Ahhhhh.
    -dave
     
  14. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    doug,
    the reason that magies and other "panel" type speakers tend to have less side-reflections is that they are dipole in design...they emit sound both front and back...but the sound in back is 180 degrees out-of-phase with the soundwaves out front (because the same driver is physically moving the air in front and behind the speaker).
    The out-of-phase waves tend to canel each other out as they overlap...which is to the side of the speaker. So relfelctions out on the side-walls are minimized.
    I'm hoping the panels will sound decent in my room as they'll be somewhat close to a paticular side-wall,but I can give them a few feet of space behind.
    -dave
     
  15. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Dave,
    quote: As long as you can keep the room dim to dark for viewing then you ABSOLUTELY should go FP.[/quote]
    Yes, I wouldn't have a problem getting the room dark. I have not ruled out a FP down the road.
    Would a FP be OK if I was interested in standard TV viewing? I can see wanting to view sports on a larger screen, and I watch a lot of local sports on weeknights (one can lose count of all the NY prof teams). Replacement bulbs would also be a concern with such viewing.
    Also, is it critical that a FP be driven by a HTPC? I do not want a PC in my media room!
    quote: At present, I'm thinking of keeping the projector (yet to purchase) on a small table in front of the couch and just running the cables accross the flow where people are not likely to walk...and perhaps wrap the cables in some fabric like you see covering the rope of an old chandelier or something.[/quote]
    No disrespect to you, but for me, I'm putting the finishing touches on my media room and consider it a "finished" room from the perspective that I would not want to be running cables across the middle. Now I might be willing to keep power and video cables under the sofa and wrap them around to the walls for a while to keep them hidden. Then I could place an LCD or DLP FP on a table in front of me when I'm interested in viewing and pull the wires out from under the sofa. Eventually, I could get some prof installation to transplant that mode of setup as $ become available.
    Thanks for the encouraging words.
    Doug
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    "Today is a good day to die." ...Old Lodge Skins
    [Edited last by Doug_B on November 05, 2001 at 05:17 PM]
     
  16. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    As a big maggie gan if you can make them work do it [​IMG] Going front projector would be the optimal solution in many respects but I can say that even when maggies are set less then optimally they still shine (see my HT for an example)
    ------------------
    http://www.mts.net/~glendap/
     
  17. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Doug, @ this stage of the game if you're going to spend over $3k for a new RPTV forget about it definitely go FP. When I bought my RPTV 4 years ago I realized I would be at the format transition soon but figured for
     
  18. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Ok guys, please keep in mind, this is a constant work in progress, but here goes :)
    [​IMG]
    The 5th Element shot is superimposed and has grossly distorted geometry. I have better shots, that will be included in an upcoming review.
    Also, please ignore a pair of review speakers next to the Soundlines [​IMG]
    With respect to dispersion of planars, the standard dynamic speaker radiates hemispherically for all intents and purposes from the center of the driver.
    Regards,
    ------------------
    John Kotches
    Contributing Writer
    Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
    [Edited last by John Kotches on November 05, 2001 at 11:38 PM]
     
  19. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Doug,
    I would have bought the review samples if they were for sale, but they were not.
    I got the SL6-6 Center at the end of 2000, and picked up the SL-2s in July of this year. I will be replacing the rear surrounds, which are my "Semi-retired" Acoustat Spectra 22s probably in early 2002 with another set of Soundlines, which ones are yet to be determined.
    The Nice thing about the SL-1 through SL-4, is that from 250Hz on up, they will all sound almost identical :) The differences are in the woofer enclosure and the vertical mounting elements for the ribbon.
    Since the SL-5 is a monopole, I don't know how its sound would compare family wise to the SL-1 through SL-4.
    They're really good speakers, and I've had several guests over whose interest has been piqued by them.
    Contact Greg Godfrey at Soundline, and he might be able to put you in touch with an owner in your area. I'd invite you to my house to hear them, but you aren't in my neck of the woods.
    Regards,
    ------------------
    John Kotches
    Contributing Writer
    Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
     
  20. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    You guys sure make it tough for me to walk away from the Maggies [​IMG] . Even if I go the FP route down the road, I still have to live with a 35" TV between the speakers for a while (unless I change course and do the video first and wait for the speakers). I also had a second audition of the 3.6s that wasn't quite as good as my first audition. The slap-in-the-face imaging I heard the first time just wasn't there nearly as strong the second time; it was noticeable. I did have to do some positioning tweaks to get it a bit better the second time. Also, I didn't get the same feeling of a wall of sound the second time relative to the first. Now the second dealer did say that they tend to sound better on the wall perpendicular to where they were set up, plus the amp was not broken in (I think it was a Bryston integrated that I think would have had enough juice; have to check my notes). At the very least, it seems like they are position-sensitive, and in my room I just don't know that I'll have sufficient degrees of freedom for moving them around.
    I guess there are tougher things in life to worry about.
    Doug
    ------------------
    "Today is a good day to die." ...Old Lodge Skins
     

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