Speaker placement in a long room

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Marsio, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. Marsio

    Marsio Auditioning

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    Hi all,

    I’m in the process of setting up my home theatre room and need some advice.

    I have a 4m x 8.4m long room that is divided into two areas with an L shape couch which sits up against the long wall.

    The home theatre area is 4m x 5m and the seating position is 4.6m from the 4m wall where the TV is located. The area behind the couch is my meals area which is 4m x 3.4m

    If I draw a circle from the seating position, I can place all 5 speakers the same distance from the seating position. The main and surround speakers will be located near each corner of the long room with about 30cm space around the speakers from the corners.

    I can’t change the room seating position or TV location.

    What would be the best location for the speakers? I have tried temporary placing the speakers in these locations and can calibrate to reference level on all 5 speakers.

    Equipment list:
    Receiver: Yamaha RX-V596
    Mains: JBL J900-MV
    Centre: JBL N-Centre
    Surrounds: JBL N-24

    Regards,
    Marsio
     
  2. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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    So you have a room about 28'x13'. I can't think in meters and I'm Canadian.:b
    This is very similar to my room which is 30'x13'
    Ideally, you want to place your surrounds beside and a couple ft above the listening position instead of way back in the far corners.

    Then you calibrate so all speakers are the same volume at the listening position. Because your surrounds will be quite a bit closer than your mains, you will need to do a bit of adjusting.
    Also, there should be a menu in your receiver where you can adjust the delay.
    Your L shaped couch shouldn't be a problem, just raise the surrounds about 3' above ear level.
     
  3. Marsio

    Marsio Auditioning

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    Thanks for the reply,

    The Yamaha manual suggest to place the speakers behind you but it doesn’t mention how far. I have also read that direct radiating speakers are best placed behind you whereas dipoles are best placed on the side walls.

    The JBL N-24 are direct radiating speakers.

    Regards,
    Marsio
     
  4. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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  5. David Noll

    David Noll Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree. Slightly behind and above listening position. MOST important though is the calibration. A properly calibrated system can correct off-placed surround speakers to some extent.

    David
     
  6. Marsio

    Marsio Auditioning

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    I tried placing the surround speakers slightly behind and above listening position but found the corner seat in the L shape couch which is up against the side wall was to close to the speaker. It sounded to localised and annoying. I tried pointing the speaker in different directions and different heights and calibrated the levels and delay settings but still found it unbalanced.

    I then tried dividing the distances into 1/3. The mains and centre are 2/3 (4m / 13.12feet) from the seating position and the surrounds are 1/3 (2m / 6.56feet) behind the seating position mounted on the side walls in a 4m / 13.12feet wide room. IMO the surround field seemed more balanced than the other option for my room setup.

    What is the advantage of having the surrounds slightly behind the couch and have other people found any other solutions when the couch is up against the side wall (moving the couch isn’t an option)?

    Thanks,
    Marsio
     
  7. David Noll

    David Noll Stunt Coordinator

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    A key point to remember is that when calibrating your surround system, each and every seat will not be ideal. Calibrate to your best seat for viewing. Check-out my link below my signature. I have 4 rows of seats. My 'sweet-spot' is the second row, the middle seat and aisle seat. The other seat in that row is up against the wall making the right surround too strong, left surround too weak. My front row is lacking in the surround but the dialog is strong. My third row suffers in that dialog is a bit weak. The bar seats, well, they are the cheap seats, just keep the beer flowing.
    Now don't misunderstand me, the non-'sweet-spot' seats aren't BAD, they are just not as GOOD as the 'sweet-spot'.
    Good luck,

    David
     
  8. Marsio

    Marsio Auditioning

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    Thanks David for the reply, my setup is nowhere near as grand as yours. Are your surround speakers dipole or monopole?

    I found some very informative information on this website regarding speaker types, placement and a lot of other good stuff.

    /htforum/showthread.php?&postid=575801#post575801
    (NOTE: I can't post the full link because the system wont let me, just fill in the beginning with the homepage location)

    If I’m reading the link above correctly, it recommends monopoles behind the listening position. Which is what my surrounds are (JBL N24) in a 5.1 setup. I think that is why I’m so confused about placement of the surrounds. The more you read about placement, the more conflicting it gets.

    I think at the end it’s whatever works for your own setup using the knowledge gained from other peoples’ experience on web sites like this one.

    Marsio
     
  9. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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    Exactly.

    One other thing to consider is that whenever you make a change in speaker placement, room changes etc, it will take time for your ears to acclimatize.
    Just because it sounds different, doesn't necessarily mean it sounds worse.

    The problem with having your rears so far back is that it creates a huge hole in the sound field. So a sound panning from the front will all of a sudden be behind you without ever being beside you.
    Maybe you need a 7.1 setup?
     

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