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6:1 - 7:1 set up 'slightly odd shaped' living room.

norfbech

Active Member
Hi all.

Currently dropping cables here, there and everywhere around the house...the speaker cables are pretty much the last run to go in (and hopefully we'll get to have ceilings again!).

My one 'curveball' is the living room surround set up. I'm probably stuck with what I've got to be honest, but any opinions will be warmly recieved.
The issue is with a door on the back wall where the sofa (facing the TV) resides. This means I have to shift the centre of the room to the right (furniture and the new stud 'fireplace' have been measured and cannot be altered) so that the two sofas are closer to the TV.

The two front L & R and centre are fine as is the rear right (on the right when facing the TV). The issue is the rear left as that side of the wall is further away from the 'centre' This is when placing the speakers just below the ceiling but on the side walls rather than the back of the wall.
This might also affect where I put the rear centre also (the 6:1 speaker) as it should ideally be in the centre of each rear rather than closer to one than the other.
The TV position and the kit I have cannot change, so it's a question of whether I should instead place the rear speakers on the back wall rather than the side (a bit congested as there are two wall lights there and one grid lighting plate).

I've 'knocked up' a sketch on a my own version of CAD ( :) ), in the hope that makes a little more sense than my description above!

You'll notice I've placed two ceiling speaker points there also (middle of room) - the plan is to drop the cables there and upgrade in the future to 7:1 (thereby getting rid of the central rear).

In all honesty, I could probably live without the central rear - we used to use a 'false' 6:1 set up, but I can't ever recall watching anything in genuine 6:1.
In saying that, even the 'false' 6:1 was pretty enjoyable on occasions...

So, I guess I'm asking whether I should just go along and fit it as best I can (rear a bit further out that the other) or drop the central rear and place the two L & R rears on the back wall rather than on the sides.



Many thanks.
 

norfbech

Active Member
Just a pic of this back wall to add (please excuse the 'Berlin Chic' decor!):



I've drawn a the location of the rear speakers in red should they be placed there (should just be able to make them out - one of them falling in between a wall light and wall switches). The central rear one would be above the DTS picture.
The right of the picture shows (obviously) the door - to the right of that is the wall where the left speaker would be out 'on a limb'.

Many thanks.
 

Member 605849

Standard Member
Hi Norfbech,

This is a tricky one really, especially given the furniture placement!

Ideally for proper 7.1 placement the sofa would be significantly off the wall to permit the rear speakers to be aligned further behind the listener and the surround L-R to be closer.

As it is though I would recommend ditching the 6.1 and the rear surround and reverting to 5.1 until you are able to upgrade to 7.1 as per your plan.

In this case the closer locations for the rear surrounds behind the sofa rather than out to the sides would be better for your final setup.

Hope that helps!
 

norfbech

Active Member
Hi Norfbech,

This is a tricky one really, especially given the furniture placement!

Ideally for proper 7.1 placement the sofa would be significantly off the wall to permit the rear speakers to be aligned further behind the listener and the surround L-R to be closer.

As it is though I would recommend ditching the 6.1 and the rear surround and reverting to 5.1 until you are able to upgrade to 7.1 as per your plan.

In this case the closer locations for the rear surrounds behind the sofa rather than out to the sides would be better for your final setup.

Hope that helps!

Thanks Ophidian - yes, unfortunately it's a fairly small room. The room next door has been knocked through, but that will have it's own separate set up (stereo ceiling speakers only...). I've tried to plan to the nearest cm with this refurb...and it can send you quite mad at times. The sofa really can't go any further forward or one's schnozzle would be nudging the screen.

Hey - thanks for the reply - I'll do exactly that then. As I've already mentioned, I don't think I've ever seen a true 6:1 movie anyway (was it a bit of a HD DVD tech?) so no big loss.

Again, I've planned for the 7:1 with the addition of speaker cables for ceiling speakers (simply no other place for them as I'd have a bay window one side and dividing room doors the other) - if I can just wedge another question in, should I plan for those mid ceiling speakers to be in line with the front Left and Right or can I take them a little wider (as in my 'CGI'd' room plan?)

Huge thanks.
 

Member 605849

Standard Member
Happy to help!

As the sofa is located farther back than ideal, locating the surround left and right for the 7.1 setup further out to the sides will actually improve their relative angle to the seating position according to the ideal setup.

When I referred earlier to moving them closer that was in terms of fore/aft placement - as you can see from this handy image the optimum location of L-R surrounds are rather more side on to the listening position:

71-copy.jpg


So to answer your question, wider is better in your case and certainly wider than the front left and right.

Best of luck with the newly revised setup!
 

norfbech

Active Member
Perfect!

Aye, I understood your suggestion was to move the L b and R b (I'll refer to them like that now) to the position I marked on the walls on the photo (rear rather than towards the sides) so I'll do it that way. At least the whole set up will then be symmetrical (even though I can adjust individual output from each speaker).
As for the 7:1 placement, that has answered that query too :)
I can, however, guarantee a spot light position will be there when I check (!)...but of course, given this isn't a new build extension I simply have to work with what I've got and fit other elements into the plan.

Many thanks Ophidian - that's settled that ship...and another quandary/headache put to bed :)

Cheers.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
I am a little confused. Do you plan to use the ceiling speakers in the centre of the room (and in front of the sofa) as the surround speakers? If so then they are in completely the wrong place.
Given your room layout I would suggest getting some bipole/dipole speakers and having a 5.1 system. The dipole/bipole speakers will give a diffused sound in the limited space you have and give a good rear effect. You are simply going to be sat too close to conventional speakers so the rear sound will be too directional and be overwhelmed by which ever speaker you happen to be sat closest too. This will not give a very good rear effect. Adding more speakers to the limited space is going to make things worse not better IMHO. Sometimes less is more when you have limited space and non ideal setup locations.
 

norfbech

Active Member
Hi PSMI.
I did originally plan to place the ceiling speakers centrally (as per my sketch at the top).
However, given the feedback on this thread (and looking at the picture posted by Ophidian) I can see this would be clearly incorrect.

I could reposition the cables in the ceiling (in preperation) so that the side speakers follow the preferred set up as above. I could even switch 'in ceiling' speakers for ceiling mounted ones (locating either a nearby joist or place a batten for mounting). I can take these slightly forward of the sofa, but fairly wide to the sides (Ls and Rs).
Or I could ditch the sides all together (am I right so far?) and switch the rears for bipole/dipole instead - this is in a 5:1 system (which my amp also enables)

I must admit I'd never heard of bipole/dipole speakers but I'll look into them. Perhaps all a bit academic at the moment as there's nothing else I can add to the system for a good couple of years. It's not going to be perfect my any means, but certainly much better than the current set up of relying on the tinny TV speakers :)
The last place we were in (when the amp was up and running) was perhaps less than perfect also, but I was impressed enough when watching movies in surround sound. There's a chance in the future if we extend the house that I can build a dedicated space, which would be much more ideal.

Many thanks.
 

norfbech

Active Member
Hi - just to add:
I've placed all the speaker cable in now, terminating at a point where the faceplate will eventually end up.

I'll fit the rears as per the advice above (the red drawn points on my back wall picture). Can I just clarify that these rears are the one's that can be replaced with bipole (or dipole) speakers? I've actually laid two more cables to the side of the sofa on the ceiling (I've taken them out wide as the 7:1 diagram shows) but given the proximity of the wall behind, these two side speakers will be fairly close to those rears. I was doing the cable run anyhow, so it was only a few more metres of cable. If this set up sounds like it will end up as a terrible 7:1 system, then I'll just stick with 5:1 (intially with the speakers I have, then perhaps switching for the bipoles).
The distance from the rear speakers to the sides would be 3 foot. I'll be boarding the ceiling over anyway, but will mark the location of these potential side speakers just in case a 7:1 is a viable option (next to a joist so I could use smaller suspended speakers).

I've altered the pic I posted - the new positions are marked in green. However, I'm happy enough to stick with 5:1 if it looks like it's simply too congested/small in that room to make even a half decent 7:1 set up.



Cheers.
I appreciate it's less than an ideal space, but I still want to achieve as good a set up witin the my boundarys as possible.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Personally I think I would stick to 5.1 and swap the current rears out for some bipoles as soon as possible. The extra speakers are really not going to be in a great location and also being a different height etc. I feel will ruin the rear soundstage. Focus on a good quality 5.1 system and I feel it will sound much better. If you do want extra speakers then I would look at some front heights instead as a better option.
 

norfbech

Active Member
^^ Cheers PSM1.
I'll do that then. As I mentioned above, I'd wired in those extra sides for possible future use, but if it ends up less of a system than a 5:1 then there's no point fitting speakers up there.
I'll shop around the bipoles in the near future.

Many thanks...pretty sure I'm ready to get the ol ceiling back up soon :)
 

MTech535

Active Member
Front height speakers seem quite popular at the moment, so it might be worth looking into that option and Running cables now if you like that idea as a future upgrade.
 

norfbech

Active Member
Front height speakers seem quite popular at the moment, so it might be worth looking into that option and Running cables now if you like that idea as a future upgrade.

Sorry MTech535 - only just picked up your reply.

The ceilings are not yet up and I have plenty of cable left...but could you expand a little?
I can't quite work out that scenario - front height as in fitting the front speakers at ceiling height (all three? L, R and Mid?) Still in a 5:1 set up?

Cheers.
 

MTech535

Active Member
It would be a 7.1 system, your usual 5.1, L,C,R fronts & L,R surrounds, plus 2 additional front L & R speakers that are placed up near the ceiling (still on the walls though) and usually wider than the existing front L & R Speakers. This can be used to give height to the soundstage and lift dialogue so it sounds like it is coming from the screen rather than the centre channel speaker below the screen.

Bear in mind that there are no soundtracks mixed in this format (at the moment) and the effect is produced by the AVRs DSP modes. If you prefer the sound to be a direct reproductionof what is on the disc, they will not be for you.

I hope that makes sense.
 

bonsai

Active Member
Use all your budget on a 5.1 system,you won't be disapointed.
 

norfbech

Active Member
It would be a 7.1 system, your usual 5.1, L,C,R fronts & L,R surrounds, plus 2 additional front L & R speakers that are placed up near the ceiling (still on the walls though) and usually wider than the existing front L & R Speakers. This can be used to give height to the soundstage and lift dialogue so it sounds like it is coming from the screen rather than the centre channel speaker below the screen.

Bear in mind that there are no soundtracks mixed in this format (at the moment) and the effect is produced by the AVRs DSP modes. If you prefer the sound to be a direct reproductionof what is on the disc, they will not be for you.

I hope that makes sense.

It does - thanks. I'll do some reading up on it. Only concern is that the current L, R and Centre speakers will be set in the 'false chimney breast' then directly to the left and right of that will be cabinets/shelving i.e. no space on the wall for speakers. If I did the method you mention above, I'd have to suspent the speakers from the ceiling just so I could take them a little further wider.
Also, due to the proposed position of the TV (panny 42") and the likely possibility of an electric fire (heat pushed down and out model) I'm having to position the centre speaker above the set. This is how I had my previous 5:1/6:1 set up - not ideal of course (the amp and speakers certainly aren't high spec!), but a decent experience all the same.

Many thanks.

@Bonsai - many thanks too - it's looking likely I'll be running with that...genuinely can't wait to get it up and running again...been living with these tinny TV speakers for far too long :)
 

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