Atmos 5.1.2 with 4 ceiling speakers?

Ray1

Novice Member
Hello AV Experts,

I'd like to start with a disclaimer: I know nothing. I have just acquired my first AV receiver (Yamaha RX-V6A) and am looking to set up an atmos system. A knowledgeable friend suggested I use 4 ceiling speakers for my 5.1.2 setup, feeding the 2 pairs from the same output in parallel. With the seating position close to the back wall I can't position the rear pair in the correct position (45 degrees behind the listener). I'm wondering if I'll get better results with this setup vs. just using a normal 5.1.2 setup with 1 pair of speakers positioned 10 degrees in front of the listener. My friend has faith in the YPAO system claiming it will sound good after calibration.

Thanks for your help!
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Welcome to the Forum.

It's not something I would recommend, it would too much strain on the amp. You will not gain anything audio wise as both sets would be portraying the same Atmos audio, the idea of four in a layout to take the audio beyond the listener. You would be better of actually getting an AV amp that can actually use a 5.1.4 or higher set up.

As for calibration YPAO would calibrate both speakers as a pair not as individual speakers and could even throw up a phase problem. Best advice is to ditch your current amp and get a good nine channel model.
 

Ray1

Novice Member
Thanks Gibbsy. I wanted the Devon 3700, but the 9 channel receiver was an extra $1000. Too much right now. I think the goal of the recommendation was to expand the soundstage for now, and make it easy to expand when I get a 9 channel receiver. I think for now I'll go with 2 ceiling speakers, then expand to 4 when I get a different receiver. I'd like to hear the difference to see if it would be worth the extra $1300 though.
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
I wanted the Devon 3700, but the 9 channel receiver was an extra $1000.
Is second hand an option for you (I don't know where you are based)? I bought the Denon 6500 second hand for £1k, which is 11 channel (7.1.4), so a 9 channel option shouldn't be too expensive. Something like the 3500 would be good.
 

Ray1

Novice Member
I'm in Canada. I looked at used, but almost everything is 10+ years old. Any receiver capable of atmos was almost the price of new. If I could find a 9 channel for half the price of new (as you did - great find!) I would have bought it.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I'm in Canada. I looked at used, but almost everything is 10+ years old. Any receiver capable of atmos was almost the price of new. If I could find a 9 channel for half the price of new (as you did - great find!) I would have bought it.
Used prices have gone crazy here as well. I can get as much for my Denon X6500 than I paid for it at the beginning of last year. With supply problems and a totally devastating fire at the AKM chip factory in Japan new units are few and far between at the moment.

The problem you have with wanting four ceiling speakers, which is by far the best way to portray Atmos, having just two at the moment will have the holes for those speakers in the wrong place. For two speakers the rule of thumb is to have them above where your knees would be in a seated position at the MLP. They should also be in line with the front speakers.

The problem now is that the correct position for a 5.1.2 is the wrong position for a 5.1.4. If you are good at DIY then it may not be such a problem for you to patch up the old 5.1.2 holes and re-cut and wire for a 5.1.4.
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
I'm in Canada. I looked at used, but almost everything is 10+ years old. Any receiver capable of atmos was almost the price of new. If I could find a 9 channel for half the price of new (as you did - great find!) I would have bought it.
I didn't realise what had happened to used prices.

Gibbsy has covered the different positions for 2 & 4 speakers. Personally I'd build for 4, but start with 2 and accept the compromise that 2 aren't in the ideal position. It won't be long before the supply chain is working again.
 

Ray1

Novice Member
The shortage of AV receivers means nothing of quality goes on sale either. I can get a Pioneer for cheaper, but opted for the Yamaha. I wanted the Devon 3700 because it can decode 11 channels, allowing me to go 7.2.4 with another stereo amp. Maybe in the future.

I can patch drywall. It's not fun but I have the ability. When I developed my basement I pulled speaker wire anticipating 4 ceiling speakers. The seating position is against a wall, so I can't place the rear speakers at 45 degrees behind the viewer as recommended by Dolby. What's better - 4 ceiling speakers placed wrong or 2 ceiling speakers in the right position?
 

huai

Novice Member
The shortage of AV receivers means nothing of quality goes on sale either. I can get a Pioneer for cheaper, but opted for the Yamaha. I wanted the Devon 3700 because it can decode 11 channels, allowing me to go 7.2.4 with another stereo amp. Maybe in the future.

I can patch drywall. It's not fun but I have the ability. When I developed my basement I pulled speaker wire anticipating 4 ceiling speakers. The seating position is against a wall, so I can't place the rear speakers at 45 degrees behind the viewer as recommended by Dolby. What's better - 4 ceiling speakers placed wrong or 2 ceiling speakers in the right position?

Based on that description, it doesn't sound like you can do a proper 5.1.4 setup. I had the exact same scenario and went with a proper 5.1.2. I trust Dolby's recommendation over any other anecdotal posts on the internet.
 

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Ray1

Novice Member
Thanks huai. I agree. I’ll go with a 5.1.2 setup for now and maybe add to it in the future if I reconfigure the room.
 

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