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placement of surround speakers (1 Viewer)

Gary Shipley

Second Unit
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May 28, 2002
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I'm building a home theater with 2 rows of seats. The 2nd row will be on an 8 inch riser. Do I need a pair of surrounds for each row of seats, or a single pair of surrounds(such as a bipole/dipole)on the 2nd row only? I know the surrounds should be at ear level when standing, so if I do need a pair for each row, should I place the first row at ear level and the 2nd row also at ear level although the 2nd row is 8 inches higher? Or should each pair be placed at the same height? Any help would be appreciated.
Gary Shipley
 

John Garcia

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Welcome to HTF :D
I've never heard "surrounds should be at ear level when standing". Rule of thumb that I've heard is 3-4' above the listening position, aligned with the listeners to have the dipsersion to the front and rear. If you put two bi/dipoles right next to eachother, you will no doubt experience some cancellation, as the rear face of the first speaker will face the front of the second speaker. Since the bi/di's rely on reflection off the rear wall, this probably would not be a good idea.
You would also need to supply additional separate amplification for the second set of side speakers, as they will likely draw a bit too much current on a single channel each.
It sounds like you will have to experiment with placement, but I would say either half way between the two seating positions, or aligned with the front seats, since you (I would) be most likely to sit there when there are not enough people to fill the rear seats/couch.
 

Doug_NHT

Stunt Coordinator
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May 9, 2002
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I agree with placing the side surrounds between the 2 rows. When I placed my side surrounds on the walls, I placed them at the same height as my towers on their spikes. I use NHT VT2.4s and NHT VS2.4s(5) so the surrounds are the smae as the upper driver array on the towers. I did this because I have listened to HT with the side surrounds at 3'-4' above the seated listening position and the sound was 3'-4' above you and I didn't care for that at all. High freqs are rather directional so I disagree with the 3'-4' above the listening position. Now my back surrounds are on the rear wall about 10' up but angled toward the listening position and spaced about 6' apart. This goes against the THX Ultra 2 guidelines but I think one would want some seperation for the two rear channels. I'm very happy with my setup. Have fun placing your speakers and I would place them where they sound best to YOU...

Doug
 

Neil Joseph

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Welcome Gary.

Surround speakers on each row would not be the optimum way of using 4 surround speakers and (assuming you already have 4 surround speakers to place) I would space them out more. You mention dipoles. Do you already have the speakers now? If you have dipoles then by all means, place them either along the first row or between the first and second row at a height of 6-7ft. If you are using multiple direct radiating speakers (4 for example) then you can use 2 side surround locations and put 2 in a rear surround configuration.
 

John Garcia

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I have my surrounds on identical stands as my mains, so everything is at the same level.
 

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