Rear (7.1) speaker placement

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Bobby C, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. Bobby C

    Bobby C Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    When I first started building my HT, I wired for 5.1, but later (based on advice given here), I went to 7.1. I'm about a week or so out from drywalling and I have a question about placement of my two rear speakers.

    First off, I am planning on having them at the same height as the surrounds. Normally, I like to center my speakers to a sweet spot, but I'm not sure if that would be a good idea with my setup. Basically my issue is with a rear door to my HT that goes into another room. Because of this door, I have two options:

    1) Center the speakers on the wall, but because the door takes us significant room on the rear wall, the speakers would be 16" off center, leaving a spacing of 32" between terminals (probably 28" between speakers).

    2) Mount the speakers off-center. One speaker would still be 16" off the center line (because of the door), but the other would be spaced about 32" off the center line. This would still leave that speaker a couple of feet from the back corner.

    Any suggestions on the best approach. I go back and forth, centering is always good, but I'm concerned that they might be too close together.

    Bobby
     
  2. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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    Placing the speakers so close together is essentially turning your 7.1 into a 6.1 setup. What are your room dimensions? How far is the rear wall from your seating position?

    I currently have mine placed on opposite walls facing each other. To me, this sounded better than having them face me.
    If the door is in the way, maybe a similar setup would be better.
     
  3. Bobby C

    Bobby C Stunt Coordinator

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    My room dimensions are 19' by 11'2". The back wall has a door in the left side that opens in. I'll put in a couple of rows of seating, probably the first row will be around 6' from the back wall, but I'll experiment some.

    Thanks,
    Bobby
     
  4. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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    I see, so the door will be in the way if you mount them on the side walls as well.
    How big are your speakers? Could you place one directly above the door?
    I know you mentioned that you want to keep them the same height as your surrounds but I would rather have them a little higher but in the location that I wanted.
    You could even raise your surrounds to match the rears.

    It is better, IMO, to have the surrounds and rears higher than ear height. I placed mine such that the tweeters are about 3' above listening level. This about 6 1/2' off the floor, a couple inches below door height.
    I feel this adds to ambience and lessens the ability to localize the sound.
    How high were you planning to mount them?
     
  5. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    I thought that I read somewhere that it is recommended placing the 6th and 7th speaker fairly close together in the back, as there is no real 7 channel sound, just filling in the sound field in the back. I could be wrong, I have been before and will be again...[​IMG]
     
  6. Bobby C

    Bobby C Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone for your feedback. I ran the question by the speaker's designer, Mike at Audio Concepts Inc., he suggested I put the speakers closer together rather offset. I actually could have the speakers centered at the corner of the wall, but that separation isn't recommended. I think that Jordan's response is on target, I just did the final supports for them and they will be about 35" apart.
    Thanks again,
    Bob
     

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