Questions About Rear Surround Speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Ray Stericker, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Ray Stericker

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    I am working on building a home theater as part of a room I am finishing in my basement. I am working on a limited budget, but am interested in getting the best sound for my investment. The theater area is about 12 feet wide with the prime seating about 10 feet from the front wall. Unfortunately it is just one end of an "L" shaped room that goes back 33 feet.

    My questions are about the rear surround speakers. I have been told all sorts of things by "salepeople" about what I should do for rear surrounds. I have Paradigm Mini Monitors and a CC-370 across the front and was planning on using ADP-370s for the side surround speakers. I want to try and maintain a uniform sound field around the back. With no back wall to mount it on, I am not sure how well the ADP-370(dipole) would work there. So my questions are:

    - Where can I find more information on how to configure "rear" surround speakers?

    - Do I want direct radiating speakers or dipoles for the rear speakers in this situation?

    - For a room that is only 12 feet wide do I want one or two rear speakers?

    - How should they be mounted? On the ceiling firing down or on the ceiling firing forward?

    - What about Paradigm speakers designed for mounting in the ceiling? Would they match my other speakers? Would they provide the diffuse sound I am looking for?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Neil Campbell

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    Ray, I don't know enough to answer all your questions mostly because I'm trying to figure out some of the same stuff myself. However, I found some reasonable information that should be reliable at the www.dolby.com site. The link below should take you to their speaker placement stage which gives various options for surround speaker placement. Doing an internet search for "surround speaker placment" will also get you a list of links with (sometimes conflicting) advice.

    http://www.dolby.com/ht/Guide.HomeTh....html#chapter3

    Neil C.
     
  3. Ray Stericker

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    Neil,

    Thanks for the reply. The guy at my local theatre/stereo store was talking about "in-ceiling" speakers. They don't have a model with aim-able tweeters, so I think placement might be tricky. Too close and they will "top surround" speakers, too far away and they may not be very effective.

    I will look at the links you listed and try some more searching. Good luck with your theatre.

    Ray
     
  4. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    No dipoles. Don't do it! They're hold overs from the ProLogic days, but are too diffuse IMHO for multichannel discrete surround, and especially if you're going to play SACD & DVD-Audio through the system.

    Axiom's seem to be pretty popular online-only speakers.http://www.axiomaudio.com

    However, if you want great brick 'n' mortar speakers the B&W DM602 Series 3 bookshelfs are great with a subwoofer and the DM604 Series 3 towers are great for music and standalone applications (use another DM602 or DM604 for the center speaker, and not their 600 series "center channel" speaker for the best sound). With good, clean amplification (I've heard them with Bryston power amps and Denon receivers-- they seem to match up well) they tend to be quite natural sounding speakers without any tendency towards extreme brightness or extreme dullness. Very easy to drive too.

    My ideal setup would be this:

    Five DM604's (main speakers) and 2 DM602's for the back surrounds.

    If you're on more of a budget constraint I'd go with seven DM602's and a sub, or maybe swap out two for a pair of DM604's in the front.

    For the back surrounds you might be able to devise a DIY ceiling mount with a small pole and platform to set the bookshelfs on (and strap them down). I'm sure there are ceiling mounts for regular bookshelfs out there somewhere with a swivel adjustment. I can't recommend in-wall or in-ceiling speakers either. Just messes up the sound.

    Dan
     
  5. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Ray, you could mount the speakers on the sidewalls and aim them in at the listening area or just use speaker stands. Are you doing 7.1 and having side and rear?

    To me to the best thing for a limited budget would be a pair of Atoms or Titans on stands(gives you the most flexibility in location) a few feet behind your listening position. If you want diffused turn them outward to bounce the sound off the wall. If you're concerned about timbre match use Mini-Monitors. Not having to place the rears against a wall is usally a plus.
     

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