What's the best way to set up an HT when recliners are involved?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Alex_Santos, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    I wasn't quite sure where to post this but since it involves tweaking my system I figured this was the best place. I've decided to go with 2 recliners for my small HT room and Im lost on the best way to set this thing up. The main problem is how to determine speaker location and settings when the main listening level will be changing constantly? I also don't know how to use my rat shack SPL meter because I don't know what my main listening position is going to be. Should I use some sort of reference point? Im going to be using DVE and S+V to calibrate incase anyone is curious.

    Also, Im mounting the rear speakers so Im not sure about how much hight I should give them. Jesus this is confusing. Anyone got a line on this? Thanks.
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Set up your chairs for where you think the viewing of your display will be optimum. Check my room [​IMG]....

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    My chairs do move around somewhat but I have set things up to the optimum placement point which for my room is 12' from the screen.

    Once your reference seating is done, then you place your meter at this point and follow the instructions on the DVE disk. If you have any questions about that, post back here.

    What kind of speakers do you have? Give additional info on your room, dimensions and whether speakers will be rear wall, side wall mounted or on stands.
     
  3. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    If you haven't already purchased your recliners, try to stay away from high backs and headrests. Headrests especially can kill a rear sound field. An experiment to make this clear is to compare a low back chair to a higher backed dining room chair w/ a pillow between your head and the back. You'll really hear a difference, especially if your surrounds are near ear level.
     
  4. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Thanks for the replies guys and sorry for the lack of info. I have already purchased the recliners. They are fairly normal and don't have any headrests or high backs. I purchased them at Sams club. Pretty nice for the money.

    As far as the equipment goes I will be having the following:

    Acoustic Research HC6 with the fronts mounted on stands and the rear speakers wall mounted with brackets

    Onkyo SR600

    Samsung 931 hooked up through DVI

    assorted other goodies.

    The positioning of the recliners is giving me the most trouble because if I move the recliners forward off the back wall to give them room to recline, it puts you close to the TV. Now I don't mind that but some might and may choose not to recline at all. But if I put them against the back wall I kill reclining totally, which Im not going to do.

    Also, when I recline, my head drops so Im unsure of how to position and tune the fronts and rears if Im going to be constantly moving.
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Of course, you can try experimentation but a mounting location of about 6-7ft on your rear surrounds will be adequate.

    Try not to get too hung up on the chair position. Place it where it will be most of the time then perform your calibrations based on that. With the kind of movement you are describing, you are probably talking about 1dB differences anyway.
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Use this Viewing Distance Calculator to set your distance. Then see if you have room to recline.

    Get a cheap camera tripod and put the SPL meter at ear-height. Make sure to stand back from it while doing level-adjusting. (for grins. Take readings and slowly walk up to the meter - you may notice the volume goes UP as you get closer to the meter. Your body DOES reflect sound.)

     
  7. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Well since Im going to be putting the fronts on stands and the rears mounted to the wall, is it possible to get them both at the same level. I was under the impression that the rears were best mounted above the listening position, which would obviously make them uneven with the fronts.
     
  8. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Ok got another one for you guys. Im trying to decide where to mount the rears. Here are my options:

    x=recliner l=side walls
    y=speaker - = back wall

    Option 1: Here the surrounds would be mounted about 2 feet behind and above the recliners on the side walls.

    l l
    l l
    l l
    l x x l
    yl------------------ly

    Option 2: Here the surrounds would be mounted on the back wall directly behind and above the recliners

    l l
    l l
    l l
    l x x l
    l------------------l
    y y

    Which one do you think would provide the best arrangement?
     
  9. DaveKahler

    DaveKahler Stunt Coordinator

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    Why do you need the recliners both so offset like that? From personal experience, being that offset from the surrounds kills the surround effect. So, you may be better off placing the right speaker closer to the recliners, even though that's hardly optimal.

    Maybe a rear center channel could help anchor the sound a bit?

    Also, I have a recliner in my home theater, and I notice zero difference in sound between sitting up and reclining (surrounds ~6ft up, ~5ft from listening position).
     
  10. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    For some reason the graphic won't come out right. The other recliner should be against the other side with the rears directly behind or beside them.
     
  11. DaveKahler

    DaveKahler Stunt Coordinator

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    Well.. dolby spec says to place the surrounds on the side walls firing across the listener, so that's what I would do
     
  12. AlexanderS

    AlexanderS Second Unit

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    Sorry to dredge up this old thread but I figured it was better than starting a new one.

    I got delayed with the building of my system and am about to mount the surrounds. I know that I should mount them above the listening position but my question is, should it be above the fully reclined position or above the seated position. The seated position is about 1 to 1.5 feet away from the wall with the reclined position right up against it.

    If I mount them above the reclined position then they will basically be level with the seated position but if I mount them above the seated position then they might be too far above the reclined position. Any suggestions?
     
  13. Mike*Williams

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  14. AlexanderS

    AlexanderS Second Unit

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    I think its becuase when the speakers are directly behind the listener then the sounds come straight at you as opposed to the sounds coming from the environment. Like if there was a bullet whizzing by, the rear setup would have the effect coming directly at you so you might get the effect before the actual sound from the front speaker. With the side setup you would get the effect in the background. On the other hand, I have no idea what Im talking about. So there you go.
     
  15. Mike*Williams

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    LOL.

    Well, at least you're honest. [​IMG]

    I guess it really comes down to how the audio is encoded (i.e. how the sound authors implemented the sound effect).

    For instance, in the beginning of Independance Day, the text breaks up and goes flying "past" the viewer. I've only heard this sound with rear-mounted speakers, and the effect is great. You hear the text "break up" then whizz by from front to back. Seems with side-mounted speakers you'd hear the sound go from the front to the side, which wouldn't really line up with what's seen on the screen.

    Oh well, not that I can do anything about it now. We're about to move in to a newly built house, and I had the wiring guy run wires from behind the entertainment system to the opposite wall, for rear-mouting of the speakers. :b

    I'm getting ready to setup my new HT rig (nothing fancy, but I'm excited. The Fluance SX-HTB with Dayton 10" sub and Pioneer VSX-S509D receiver. WOOHOO!). Since the Pioneer supports DTS, I'm anxious to throw in Galaxy Quest and hear the difference between DTS and Dolby Digital (which I've heard many, many times [​IMG] )

    Mike W.
     
  16. AlexanderS

    AlexanderS Second Unit

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    Anyone else?
     
  17. AlexanderS

    AlexanderS Second Unit

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    Well I ended up mounting them 60" up and 4" from the back wall. For reference, my mains are about 36" up. I picked the 60" because its about 2 or 3 feet from the top of my recliners. Too high?
     
  18. AlexanderS

    AlexanderS Second Unit

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    Anyone?
     
  19. AlexanderS

    AlexanderS Second Unit

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    Come on, someone tell me I screwed up. Did good? Am hot?
     
  20. DaveKahler

    DaveKahler Stunt Coordinator

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    Have you listened to it? How does it sound? You can follow all the science you want, but in the end, if you think it sounds good, who cares what the literature says?

    That said, 5 feet off the ground sounds just fine for surrounds.
     

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