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Surround Sound layout - Speaker Types (1 Viewer)

Marc T

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Jan 9, 2009
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Marc
HI All,

I am looking to set up a home theatre in my Great Room, and was curious about the speaker configuration I should go with. I was recently told that one option could be a pair of floor standing speakers + subwoofer as opposed to the traditional two fronts + center + 2 rear + subwoofer. The floor standing speaker suggestion as an example was a pair of Definitive Technology BP7004.

I've included a reasonable scale picture of my floor plan, ceiling height is about 9 feet. The 2 floor standing speaker idea sounds nice given that I will have a hard time surrounding the couch with the common pictures you see for speaker placement on a traditional 5.1 speaker setup. I am not looking to do in- wall speakers and I am having a real hard time figuring out where the rear speakers would go. I was just curious if the floor standing speaker configuration is a viable alternative, giving me the same feeling as the traditional 5.1 configuration....sounds going from left to right and front to back..etc.

Looking for all ideas, suggestions and opinions.

Thanks,

Marc

 

Kevin Stewart

Second Unit
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Oct 7, 2003
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Kevin Stewart
The 2 front speakers can be floor standing or bookshelf. Either way, having 2 of them will provide stereo sound. If you want some type of surround sound, you need 5.1 (or 7.1). Having floor standing speakers up front does not alleviate the need for more speakers.

You're right, with that configuration you'll have a hard time "surrounding" the couch. But that's because the couch isn't even set up right for good viewing. Your main seating area should be facing the display. As you have it laid out, everyone will have their necks cranked to the right all the time.

I'd rethink the furniture placement. You have plenty of speaker location options.


PS. Is there a way to get into that room?
 

Marc T

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Marc


Ha...I knew someone would ask that; as I made the jpg I realized I forgot to add in the entrance. About a foot to the right of the couch starts a single step into the room that goes the rest of the length to the wall.

Unfortunately, relocating the furniture is not much of an option. I did read a review on Definitive Technology's Mythos SSA-50...it seems like a nice way to cheat for 5.1 sound. I'm not sure what everyone hear feels about soundbars, but this one seems to have a very nice review.
 

Kevin Stewart

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Kevin Stewart
A soundbar would not be an option in that room.

Soundbars work off of reflections, so in order for them to give the illusion of multi-channel, you have to be sitting directly in front of it (facing the screen - which you're not), and you need equal reflection points (a square room without curtains, bookcases, etc.). You don't have equal reflection points either, as sound on the left will be diffused by the fireplace and sound on the right will be diffused by the couch.

That's a big room, especially for that size TV. You can't divide the room in half with the couch and put a sofa table behind it? (i.e. move the chair to where the couch is, but further down the wall toward the TV and put the couch parallel to the TV about 3/4 of the way back.

If you can't move the furniture, your only other option is to just put rear speakers along the back wall (or side walls). It'll sound real good from the chair and at least the couch will hear something other than stereo. Unfortunately, the video from the chair is going to suffer. 20' is a very long way from a 58" display. From that distance the eye can't even tell the difference between SD and HD
 

SethH

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
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I think the stereo speaker idea is actually a pretty bad idea for your layout. The idea of using stereo speakers for TV and movie viewing can work well if you have a good sound stage. In this case you would primarily be hearing the right speaker if you were sitting on the couch. I think it would be very difficult to make it sound as though the sound was actually coming from the TV for people sitting on the couch.

The soundbar idea is actually a pretty good one for your situation. Most report that Yamaha makes the best soundbars on the market. Also budget a subwoofer into the equation as most soundbars need a subwoofer to sound their best.
 

Joseph DeMartino

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Joseph DeMartino
If I had that room and was locked into that furniture layout, I'd seriously look at a ceiling-mounted front projection system with a mechanical screen that comes down in front of the firelplace. You'd need a good light control system for those windows, but if you can't move the couch (or lose the fireplace) it is really the best solution. I would not think about using a flat-screen above the fireplace, as that would put the center of the screen too high above eye-level for anyone sitting on the couch.

A sound bar might work. Some of them can be fine-tuned to off-set some of the problems Kevin mentioned - although obviously not the problem of all the sound coming from the right if you leave the TV where it is.

If you went for the front projector you could put the audio system where the TV is now, and run your front speakers to the fireplace mantel (where they'd be behind the screen when watching movies) and to the rear wall behind the couch. Very and effecient wriing plan. You'd just need an IR repeater on the wall with the fireplace to control the devices off to your right from the couch.

Regards,

Joe
 

Marc T

Auditioning
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Jan 9, 2009
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Marc
Thanks for all your helpful information and suggestions. After further review, I think I will try and reconfigure the furniture, as Kevin suggests.

Here is what I am looking to go with to start the ball rolling:

Pioneer KURO PDP-6020FD
Denon AVR-3808CI
SVS SCS - 01M Hi-output package (Two pair SCS-01(M) and one SCS-01 center)
SVS PB - 12 Plus
 

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