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YOU Decide! My 7.1 speaker setup questions! (1 Viewer)

Dave Elliott

Stunt Coordinator
Aug 8, 2002
Hey folks. I'm planning on upgrading my 5.1 receiver/speaker setup to a 7.1 receiver and adding 2 more speakers. Just a little Christmas present to myself. :)
My current setup is:
- Pinnacle Classic Gold Reference Mains (Tower)
- Pinnacle CG Wide Center (on 22" stand)
- Pinnacle CG Surround (small angular spkr with two 4" and 1 tweeter in the center)
- NHT SWPi sub
- NEC LT150 DLP projector on 100" Dalite cosmo electrol screen
- Denon AV2800 (will be upgraded to either Denon 3803 or HK 525)
- Coming soon: Samsung SIR-TS160 HDTV sat rec'r.
- Lots more stuff.....
Currently the surrounds are setup at about 40" high, about 5' behind the sofa, angled towards the center of the sofa. This works great for 5.1. Of course, I have the itch to get 7.1 now.
So, I'm thinking of relocating my existing surrounds and getting a new pair of side surrounds. To do this I will have to mount the sides and rears up high, around 7' high. My ceilings are around 9.5 feet.
- What do you think of the room layout overall? Any minor tweeks I could make? I just added some sound absorbing (mexican wall hangings) on the wall to the right of the screen to help with 1st order reflections.
- Do you think mounting the surround speakers up high will work ok?
- Should I go with bipole/dipole speakers for the side surrounds, or just get another set of the angled directional surrounds and point them down at a 45o angle?
Also, I occasionally have movie nights so I have a futon on risers that I bring out for extra seating. Under the current setup they don't get great sound.
Current setup:

Proposed Setup:

Thanks for any help!

Tyler DJW

Stunt Coordinator
Aug 13, 2002
Real Name
Hi Dave, I'm one of those seemingly rare people who advocate dipolar surrounds. I would consider them in your room for two reasons:
1) It looks like you'd be able to mount them flush with the wall which tends to work best.
2) Dipoles seem to me to be more forgiving for where you can sit between them. In other words if you sit at either far end of the couch, they both sound equally good. If you pull up that second futon behind they'll likely have the same surround effect as the other sofa. I find that direct radiators are less forgiving when you can't sit in a comparatively small sweet spot. I really dislike the sound of one surround channel overpowering all the other channels because I'm sitting too close.
Just my $0.02. I'll also note that if you're interested in multichannel music direct radiators are typically considered best, not dipoles. However, I've neen using my 5.1 setup with dipoles for DVDA and I'm quite happy with it. I find the most effective use of the surrounds in music to still be ambiance, and I find that well conveyed by the dipoles.
If you do go with mono-pole speakers mounted ~7ft, I wouldn't direct them down at the listeners. Pointing them straight overhead should create better ambiance and be less sensitive to audience location.
Enjoy your 7.1 setup, I haven't gotten there yet!:)

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