Who has 6.1 in small rooms?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Daniel Mai, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    Is 6.1 worth it in a small room about 12.5FTx12.5FT?

    Would love to hear from people who has this setup in similar size rooms.
     
  2. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Dan,
    My new room is going to be roughly 11.6 ft * roughly 13 and I don't plan on doing 6.1 because I don't think in that small of a room your going to get the greatest experience. I could be wrong on this. Some people might have it and enjoy it but I think a bigger room would be better...
     
  3. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    My thoughts are the same as yours, I was just kicking the idea around. Probably to many speakers and not enough space for the sound to travel.
     
  4. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    I agree....It might be ok if you have the couch off the back wall say 5 ft and put the 6th channel on the back wall.
     
  5. Daryl L

    Daryl L Supporting Actor

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    I have a 13.5 x 13.5 room and I use to have a AVR80MKII and Technic DD/DTS decoder with a 5.1 speaker setup for few years. In February 2002 I got an Integra DTR-7.2 and added a rear speaker for a 6.1 speaker setup. Evelopment improved some. 3 months later I sold the Integra and got the AVR8000 and switched to a 7.1 speaker setup and I enjoy the sound better. But thats just my opinion.
     
  6. Donnie Eldridge

    Donnie Eldridge Supporting Actor

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    I personally wouldn't do it. I'm in the situation that ChadLB is suggesting and I couldn't even imagine it would make a significant impact. If you already have the equipment give it a shot. If you don't, I wouldn't bother investing to try it out.
     
  7. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    My HT is in a 12'x18' room with the RPTV on the 18' wall. Unfortunately, my couch only sits about 1' from the back wall. Because of the seating location, 5.1 was never really enveloping no matter where I put my surrounds. I got them sounding pretty good by getting some B-tech BT-7 brackets and aiming them a bit better. I figured "what the hell", sold my Onkyo 595 and got an Onkyo TX-SR600 for the EX/ES capability. Then I realized that I couldn't add an identical rear center because Polk wasn't making the RT25i anymore. Luckily, thanks to Circuit City, I traded all 4 of my RT25i's and my CS175i for 6 RTi28's and a CSi30 for about $80 extra. To make up the difference, I ended up selling the extra RTi28 to someone who also needed it for a rear center.

    Basically, in my case it made a massive difference. I put it on a B-tech BT-7 bracket at the same height as my side surrounds and angled it down 15 degrees. The only problem I ran into with this setup was that the speaker was 3 feet from my head. Naturally, adjusting the level with my SPL meter was the first step. The interesting thing, however, was that speaker really stood out too much despite the levels being the same on all channels. After running through some material that has pans across the back three channels, I found that setting the rear center's distance to 2 feet instead of 3 on the receiver gave it the right delay to blend into the rear soundstage. I ran through some stuff that has 360 degree pans, and the imaging across the rear soundstage seems just as tight as it does across the front. My family also commented that from the less-than-optimal seats off to the sides of the room, the addition of the center surround really filled in the overall sound.

    In short, I recommend it. I think it makes a significant difference, especially in smaller rooms or rooms where the placement of the side surrounds is awkward. I leave EX/ES engaged all the time now because most material sounds better to me that way. Despite how close I am to the surrounds, the additional speaker took me from saying "that sound came from the left surround" to thinking "oh shit, was that noise from the kitchen?" That alone made it worth the upgrade.
     
  8. Eric_Strickl

    Eric_Strickl Stunt Coordinator

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    My room is 11x14 and I have 7.1. It honestly sounds great! I am using near field monitors which are made to be listen to from about 1-5 feet away.

     
  9. Dan Keliikoa

    Dan Keliikoa Stunt Coordinator

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    My room is 10' x 15' and 7.1 was a tremendous upgrade for me. MUCH better envelopment. The difference is positive and really significant. A friend of mine who has a bigger room upgraded to 7.1 after hearing mine...usually HE'S the one who drags ME into new technology kicking and screaming! [​IMG]


    He has a friend whose room is even smaller than mine, and he's 7.1 as well with his back speakers just right behind him...I mean CLOSE! But, with the distance settings and the backs being di-polar, he said it sounds fantastic.

    Is it an ESSENTIAL upgrade? No...but then what is? [​IMG]

    CHeers,
    Dan
     
  10. AaronJB

    AaronJB Second Unit

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    I have a 6.1 set-up in a 10ft by 10ft room; sounds simply tremendous. Now have bipole surrounds, too.
     
  11. Alex Dydula

    Alex Dydula Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a small room over my garage, with all sorts of wierd angles, sloping roof etc.

    I started with a SONY DA4ES, 7ch reciever and a 5.1 system (Dahlquist QX10 fronts, QX60C center, QX6 rear surrounds.

    I have two leather recliners against the back wall, the room is about 18 feet deep (long), 12 to 14 feet wide.

    A 57" RPTV is on one end and the chairs are on the the other end. The ceiling is 8 ft.

    It was extremley critical where the front speakers were placed, lots of moving and listneing, to get tight bass, with minimum boominess.

    The addition of one center channel was done several months after getting the 5.1 set up, calibrated and used to what this sounds like etc.......what drove me to 6.1 was:

    1. I had a capable amp.
    2. I wanted to hear what the discrete DVD's sounded like in my room. (there arent very many but they are really great - ie LOTR Directors Cut).
    3. Needed more rear envelopment with rear soundstage, having seats very close to rear wall with surround seemed to be somewhat lacking with all sorts of adjustments, I wanted to see if this 6.1 center would add to the rear soundfield +or-.

    Reason for not going to 7.1 was just due to the fairly small room size.

    Conclusions, It has improved my rear soundstage with certain DVD's and CD's With discrete dvd's its really neat, with non discrete dvd's in the matrix mode its not that aweswome..just a minor boost in the soundfield.

    When I listen to the Eagles "Hell Freezes Over Tour" the DTS version, its AWESOME. really rounds out the sound....I have the ability to play the rear center in one or two modes, the rear center has three speakers, one facing diretcly front, and two side speakers at the ususal 45 degeree angle....I play it with all three speakers playing, in a multidirectionla mode.

    Would I do this again, at first NO, but after three months or so of listneing to a wide variety if DVD's, CD's DTS recordings and SACDS...I now cant get along without it!! It grows on you for sure...

    Best of luck....make sure you calibrate the rear with a SPL and test tones etc..

    Alex

    (PS: The Dahlquists are Absoluteley AWESOME!).
     
  12. Kevin Sk

    Kevin Sk Extra

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    My room is about 12x18 or so, and I run a denon AVR-3803 in 7.1. I think it was well worth it. Besides the obvious advatages, I am able to listen to stereo encoded sources in awesome 7 channel stereo. Great for tv and sporting events etc. You may need to adjust your delay times and db settings, but it can be done. I use a radio shack digital sound level meter to help me out. The new lord of the rings will be in dts-es... Cant wait. Hope this helps.
     
  13. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    So long as you plan to have your couch well off the back wall, it's worth a try if you're really interested in those ES/EX soundtracks. But if you plan to have the rear speaker(s) crammed against the rear wall and yourself only a couple feet in front, then your soundstage is gonna suffer tremendously.

    Of course, that's almost equally true for a 5.1 system.

    Your front speakers will probably be no more than 8 ft apart (at most) and hopefully at least two to three feet off the frontwall. This would place your listening position at about 7-8 ft off the frontwall for a good nearfield setup. This would leave you enough space... but only barely.

    My recommendation in your setup would be to run monopole speakers all around in a 5.1 "ITU standard" setup (do a search). This would allow for excellent side imaging between your fronts and surround speakers, as well as very good imaging across the rear of your room.

    This is what I did when I recently upgraded speakers, and went from a 6.1 to a 5.1 setup. My room is larger than yours (22 x 15 ft), but I get wonderful imaging with my current 5.1 setup and have absolutely no desire to return to 6.1/7.1... even if the cost of more speakers and amplification was nil. I've had it; don't need it. It was better for me to sink the extra cash into the 5.1 channels.
     
  14. Holger

    Holger Stunt Coordinator

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    daniel,

    my ht-room is about 3 meters wide(~9feet) and 5 meters long (~15 feet). i use a 7.1 logic7 optimized system with a lexicon mc-8 pre-pro. i have honestly to say that i don't care about those cheesy 6.1 formats like dolby ex and dts es (matrix and discrete) at all, since in my opinion logic7 blows them out of the water. i run a 9 speaker set-up by definitive technology as follows:

    front l/r: BP2004 TL (full range plus lfe)
    center: CLR 3000 (cut off at 30hz)
    sides: 2 pairs BP2X (cut off at 50hz)
    rears: SM 350 (cut off at 50hz)

    i don't use a dedicated sub, and i don't want one(anymore), since the build-in 10" subs in the fronts give me a far better bass-response then one single sub could ever do IMO.
    the two pairs of BP2X are about 1,2 meters apart to each other and i run them in a row (daisy chain). the seating place is about 1,5 meters away from the back wall. i placed the two rears in the corners of the back wall by an angle of about 140° (when you assume the center in the 0° position).

    the performance of this set up is absolutely stunning. the six surround speakers give me a sense of *being completely surrounded* and the four side surrounds doing just about the same job as a surround speaker array in a *real* cinema does. if you have the chance to go to 7.1, - even if the room is fairly small - i can only say from my point of view: do it.



    regards, holger
     
  15. Dan Keliikoa

    Dan Keliikoa Stunt Coordinator

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    Pictures Holger? I'd love to see that.

    Cheers,
    Dan
     
  16. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    WOW! The responses are mix on this one. However, I sit against the back wall as is and I feel that I'm not fully benefitting the rears speakers now. If I had 3 more feet and move my sofa toward the screen a little so that the speakers/sound are in fact coming from behind, I'm sure the benefit will be huge. Then, I'll got with 6.1 or 7.1 set up for sure. But if I had more length, I might want a bigger screen. Maybe the ultimate upgrade is a bigger house or room[​IMG] .

    Holger - I'd love to see pictures of your set up as well.

    Thanks for all the responses thus far.
     
  17. Holger

    Holger Stunt Coordinator

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    @ daniel and dan,

    sorry, i don't own a digital camera yet nor a scanner. but i look forward either to buy or to loan one. just be patient...

    daniel,

    indeed the rear(back)surrounds should at least about one meter away from your couch. if that is not possible i would rather recommend to go straight with 5.1 instead of 6/7.1


    regards, holger
     
  18. harold_s

    harold_s Auditioning

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    what about the "behind the seat method" where you put the surround speakers about 1 foot off the floor behind your listening posistion(couch), and have them pointing up? That is was a recommendation I say at dobly's site for 5.1, wouldn't it work here?
     
  19. Andrew Pezzo

    Andrew Pezzo Second Unit

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    I was getting poor surround effects from my stand mounted bookshelf speakers. I thought adding a 6 channel would help but my couch sits right against the back wall. So I took a shot and got a pair of wall mounted bipolar speakers to replace them and it made a huge difference. I no longer see the need for 6.1/7.1 until I get a bigger place.
     
  20. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    12x18 room.

    Denon 3803.

    Dipoles on the sides mounted at 6 feet on shelves.

    Direct radiating rears mounted at 4 feet on a wrap around bookshelf.

    Distance to listener is about 6-7 feet from any side or rear surround speaker.

    Rear sound stage is great in ES, EX, ES-Discrete, or "Widescreen" (Denon's 7.1 version of h/k's Logic 7).

    Last night we watched "Three Kings" and there is a scene where a tank drives right around the room, including directly behind the listener. Three Kings is not advertised as DD-EX, but running in the matrix mode sure worked great on that movie.

    I recommend 7.1. The two rear speaks really solidify the back sound stage.

    Regards,

    Ed
     

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