Need help with speaker placement and setup

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Bowles, Dec 4, 2001.

  1. Brian Bowles

    Brian Bowles Second Unit

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    Hi everyone this is my first post. I am really new to home theater. I just bought my reciever and speakers 3 days ago. I have a room that is 20' x 18' and has 12 foot ceilings. I have my Onkyo 595 on the center channel polk 245 and polk r-5's in front of me. I also have a velodyne 1-" sub in front of me. About 5 feet behind the couch is the rear speakers. They are polk r-25's. They are up on a book case about 8 feet high. Here are my questions. It does not sound bad but I think I should be able do a better job of filling up the room with sound. It just seems like it is not doing the job. Thank you so much for your time. Also is there a place with all this information for beginners like me. I look in the forum but there are so many post it is hard to weed through them and find information on this topic.

    1. How far apart should the speakers in the font me from each other? Currently all three are pretty close. They are a foot or two apart because they are on the tv cabinent. Do you think I could do better? Also does it matter that they are higher than my head while I an seated?

    2. The rear speakers are 8 feet high. Does that matter? I did not know if they should be angled down or pointed at each other.

    3. Someone said I need to go to radio shack and get some type of meter or something? How important is this?

    4. It seems like I should have more volume. I have to turn the 595 up to around 55-60 to get real good sound for movies. Is this unusual? What is the max?
     
  2. Brian Bowles

    Brian Bowles Second Unit

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    Can anyone help me?
     
  3. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

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    Welcome to the HTF Brian.
    One quick suggestion...
    On almost any given topic, such as speaker placement, you can use the Search function built into this website to help get information and answer alot of your questions right off the bat.
    As far as speaker placement goes... we discuss that here very often and I'm positive you can find posts that cover in detail about speaker positioning.
    Just from what you put in your post I would move your front R/L speaker out a bit and more important mount those rear surround speakers much closer to your seated position than 5 feet. Try placing them no further then 2 feet behind you and at least 3-4 feet above your seated position.
    A good site that explains surround sound and speaker placement very well is http://www.dolby.com/ht/Guide.HomeTh....html#chapter3.
    No, you don't absolutely have to get a SPL meter but it's a pretty good investment if making your HT setup sound it's best is important to you.
    Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks will typically sound softer then cable TV or Prologic material because of the much wider dimension and depth DD brings to the table.
    Good luck,
    Brian
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Brian: Welcome to HTF! [​IMG]
    Let me venture an opinion: With a HT system, you dont fill the room. Rather, you surround a central seating position with an array of speakers so the sounds swirl around you. And with HT - most of the sound is still up-front, not coming from all around. So you are not trying to "fill a room" or expect all speakers to be working all the time. With music, yes, but not with HT.
    Another thing you might try: your receiver has a setup-menu that allows you to tell it if your speakers are LARGE or SMALL. Try setting all your speakers to SMALL. This will cause all the ".1" and low-frequency sounds to be routed to that nice external sub. This frees up some power and tends to sound better.
    Now to the questions:
    1) You L/R speakers should be somewhere between 30-45 degrees out from the center. When sounds move to the right speaker, you want it to pull your attention to the right. It's ok if they are higher than your head, but putting rubber door-wedges under them will angle the sound down to you, and get the speakers up off that cabinent which can muffle the sound. Also, some people like to angle the L/R speakers so the sounds intersect a foot in front of the primary listening position. Others like to focus on the listener, and my speakers focus 1-2 feet behind the central seat. You just have to try all 3 and decide which sounds best in your room. A cheap laser-pointer is a nice tool to help with this.
    2) I'd try angling the rear speakers down a bit. Personally, I like having the rear speakers at a height to match the fronts, but both positions work.
    3) Search for "Level Adjust" or "Calibration" to find gobs of info on this. You are basically adjusting the sound levels to each speaker so they all produce the same volume at your seat. You dont need to do this if you have 5 identical speakers and you set in the middle of a perfect circle with all speakers angled the same. Since most of us dont have this, the sound-meter helps us do this adjustment.
    4) Muffled sound could be because your speakers are set to LARGE, or you dont have them placed/angled correctly, or they are sitting on cabinents that steal some energy. The numbers are a "guesstimate" on how loud the sound should be. Assume they hooked up a "reference" speaker to your receiver, then placed a sound-meter 1 foot in front and made the numbers match the readings. Since you dont have the "reference" speaker and you dont sit 1-foot in front, your real volume will be different. But it's an aproximation.
    Good Luck.
     
  5. Brian Bowles

    Brian Bowles Second Unit

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    I want to thank all of you for taking the time to be some helpful and informative. I really appreciate it.
     
  6. Brian Bowles

    Brian Bowles Second Unit

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    Sorry I meant SO helpful not some helpful.
     

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