Atmos question - what would you do?

Conrad.

Well-known Member
I have a 7.3 system at the moment in a small room (2.4m x 3.7m). For space reasons my surrounds are already mounted high and point down at the listening position. Moving them lower isn't really an option, even with a 5.3 set-up. The door is in the way for any on- or in- wall solutions. It actually works surprisingly well and I'm not looking to change or move the speakers.

I just bought a Marantz AV7702, partly because I want to try out Audyssey and see what it can do in my room, and partly to try atmos.

I know with my surrounds that high I'm going to lose out on layer separation and I know it won't be the best Atmos can be.
The first thing I'm going to do is hook up my current rear speakers to the atmos channels and see what that sounds like, just to get an idea of the kind of content that's put out. 3.3.4 probably isn't a spec anyone at Dolby ever expected anyone to run!

I'm probably going to move the sides forward by a foot or so which will put them just forward of the listening position.

For atmos I'm thinking about the following:
- run a 7.3.2 set up and just have two height speakers.
- run a 7.3.4 but run them slightly narrower and slightly forward of spec

Anything else?

EDIT: Just to add, it's a loft space above so I've got plenty of room. If this is feasible I'll start another thread about what in ceiling speakers I need :)
 

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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I just bought a Marantz AV7702, partly because I want to try out Audyssey and see what it can do in my room, and partly to try atmos.
I just checked and this model doesn´t support the Editor App which is big shame! But as you are new to Audussey please read this review below cause especially the latter part is more technical and the person shows how each Audussey eq curve measures etc. I think you may find something useful from this article, it´s not your typical What Hifi garbage! Please do report of your findings later on after measuring. :)

With the app editor you would have gotten the midrange dip out and you could have limited the correction for ~300hz while keeping the speakers natural voicing in the upper midrange and treble as the article mentions, also create own target curves. But let´s see how you like it!
 

Conrad.

Well-known Member
Very useful, thank you, I was hoping from a response from you.
Any thoughts on placement of the speakers?

I might be being naive but I'm hoping that the angle of my surrounds and the different content coming through the atmos channels might mean that .4 is viable. My surrounds don't sound like they're coming from the ceiling. I know it's not ideal, but as you say, every room is a compromise.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Very useful, thank you, I was hoping from a response from you.
Any thoughts on placement of the speakers?

I might be being naive but I'm hoping that the angle of my surrounds and the different content coming through the atmos channels might mean that .4 is viable. My surrounds don't sound like they're coming from the ceiling. I know it's not ideal, but as you say, every room is a compromise.
There is much more knowledgeble persons that know more about atmos, hope they chime in. :laugh: Generally in-ceiling overhead speakers should work better with higher ceilings and the upfiring bouncing works better with lower ceilings. And then you have height channels (front/rear or opposite sidewall) to consider aswell. I don´t know what i would do in your shoes if you can´t lower the surrounds down.

@Seriously Ltd would Rich have any ideas as you have installed so many systems over the years?

@richardsim7 may have something in mind aswell. He has very small room aswell, but the surrounds are lower.
 

Topmetom 2

Well-known Member
Hmmm id try and get them on the ceiling? I have alteco but in a similar position to your surrounds
 

Conrad.

Well-known Member
Why on ceiling instead of in ceiling? It's an upstairs bedroom so the space above is dead easy to get to.

Bouncing is an option, although I'd have to put them next to my mains at the front as my mains don't have a flat top.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Moving your side surrounds forward of the listening position can work well by all accounts.

I think you’ll lose a fair bit of effects by changing your current surrounds and rear speakers to Atmos channels as they don’t get anywhere near the same amount of info.

Unless you can move your surrounds and backs lower, I’m not sure what you’re going to gain from Atmos. Height layer separation is the most important aspect with having an Atmos bubble, which you can’t really get if all of your speakers are located above your head already.

Atmos do state that your surround speakers should be lower than a normal 5.1/7.1 setup, they specify seating head height.
 

Conrad.

Well-known Member
Sorry, I didn't mean permanently exchange my surrounds for atmos, I just meant as a trial so I can hear what's going on. It's easily done with a pre-power combo, I'll then switch back.

I was hoping that the content would be different enough in the atmos channels to make it worthwhile. It's an expensive test though, speakers and holes.

Thanks for the response. I think I'm going to move the sides forward anyway.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Sorry, I didn't mean permanently exchange my surrounds for atmos, I just meant as a trial so I can hear what's going on. It's easily done with a pre-power combo, I'll then switch back.

I was hoping that the content would be different enough in the atmos channels to make it worthwhile. It's an expensive test though, speakers and holes.

Thanks for the response. I think I'm going to move the sides forward anyway.
Nothing stopping you trying. I do feel though that your surrounds placement is key to a good Atmos effect and they really should be moved to just above a seated head height. They can go higher as no room is perfect and comprises have to be made. Mine are a little too high, no as high as yours, but I do get good Atmos effects from upfiring KEF R50s.

You have to get some separation between the base layer and the Atmos layer especially for those object based sounds.
 

Conrad.

Well-known Member
I've realised that I Have an old set of Bose acoustimass in the garage, I could use those as upfiring atmos modules to test. They're part of a sub-sat system but I can measure their response and see where they need crossing over. Probably 200Hz!
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
I've realised that I Have an old set of Bose acoustimass in the garage, I could use those as upfiring atmos modules to test. They're part of a sub-sat system but I can measure their response and see where they need crossing over. Probably 200Hz!
generally quite a few in-ceiling speakers use crossovers as high as this. All though not ideal, it should be a good test for you.

Just so you’re aware, I will likely be moving on my xtz S2 speakers as soon as arendal release their height range. The s2s are a really good Atmos speaker, I just want the whole range to be from arendal.
 

Conrad.

Well-known Member
Good to know, thanks. I think I'll probably go for B&W in ceiling. I presume that in-ceiling are the preferred choice, if you can do it, followed by on ceiling, followed by upfiring?

I've also had a look and, with a bit of mcgyvering I might be able to lower my surrounds. I'm going to try pointing them in different directions too, see if that works.

Another question for the atmos experts.

If you can't get the separation between surrounds and overhead, does Atmos just not work, or does it work, just not as well? Is it a binary 'it either works or it does' or does it degrade gracefully?

My first tests are with the speakers where they are and I need to assess whether the sound quality of the new processor is ok compared to what I'm running now. A step backwards in sound quality for a poor atmos implementation might not be the best move.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
First question regarding in-ceiling or not. I don’t think it makes any difference, it is more to do with the speaker itself. On ceiling you can often direct the speaker towards the listener, the S2 and Arendal Heights for example are designed with a chamfer to do this naturally. This does have a small advantage. But overall, i don’t think one will outperform the other if they are specced the same. In ceilings for me are a no no as I don’t have the roof space, on ceilings work well and I’m happy with them.

upfiring would be the most compromised solution as you are relying on bouncing the sound off the ceiling, which although can be effective, will never truly replicate a direct firing speaker.

Regarding it working or not working, it won’t NOT work, you’ll just get a better overall effect the more space you put between your base layer and your atmos speakers. The lower you can get the base layer (down to head height ideally) the better.

However, compromises do need to be made quite often. My rear surrounds for example are around 20-30cm higher than the rest of my base layer to compensate for my headrests of my seat.
 

Conrad.

Well-known Member
Awesome, thank you.

I'm also thinking about ditching the table we have in the room and moving the sofa forward a foot. That might help quite a bit and that's free to try. Gonna need another snack solution though!
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Good to know, thanks. I think I'll probably go for B&W in ceiling. I presume that in-ceiling are the preferred choice, if you can do it, followed by on ceiling, followed by upfiring?

I've also had a look and, with a bit of mcgyvering I might be able to lower my surrounds. I'm going to try pointing them in different directions too, see if that works.

Another question for the atmos experts.

If you can't get the separation between surrounds and overhead, does Atmos just not work, or does it work, just not as well? Is it a binary 'it either works or it does' or does it degrade gracefully?

My first tests are with the speakers where they are and I need to assess whether the sound quality of the new processor is ok compared to what I'm running now. A step backwards in sound quality for a poor atmos implementation might not be the best move.
It will work per se. The receiver will still decode the Atmos metadata and send it to those speakers in the Atmos domain. With the surrounds placed high then any transition of sound in that layer may be somewhat muddled with sounds from the surrounds. Where the audio mix may incorporate the Atmos domain to show something overhead yet disappears or impacts on the base level surrounds, think artillery shell exploding, 1917 is a good example, those rearward explosions would still seem to be in the Atmos layer.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member

Conrad.

Well-known Member
Very useful, thanks. I've seen a lot of the images from that book, as you can imagine they come up in search results a lot. The text is interesting though.

Weirdly, other than the height, all my speakers are close to angle tolerance for a 7.1.4 set-up.
My front left and right are at 23 degrees from couch center, my sides are at 90, and my rears are at 123 (135 degrees is the minimum recommended). I have issues with distance and elevation though, I know that.

Assuming that the new processor doesn't sound significantly worse than my current one, I'll give it a go with the upfiring. If that makes even a little improvement I might just go for the in ceiling when I'm in a position to.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
what was your old processor?

A couple of tips on running audyssey.

1) First measurement point is critical. Make sure it is exactly where you want it to be, ideally use a laser, front to rear, left to right and floor to ceiling.
2) Make sure you have no obstacles in the way of any measuring points - obvious I know, but sometimes headrests, etc can get in the way.
3) Do all 8 measurements, order isn't so important, but easier to follow the on screen display to make sure you do them all.
4) Make sure all measurements are within 60cm of the the first measurement position.
5) Based on your room size, once audyssey is complete, swith the audyssey setting (Setup, Audio, Audyssey) to Flat.
6) Press menu on your remote to enable tone control. Reduce treble to -2/-3 - whatever suits you best

Audyssey gets some bad press on here, but personally I find it better than both Dirac and Roomperfect in my room at least.
 

Conrad.

Well-known Member
It's a Classe CT-SSP, same internals as the SSP-800 but in a rack mount chasis.

Thanks for the tips. With a processor it's a fairly simple switch over so I can go back and forth quite easily. The 60cm thing is really interesting. I was concerned about how I was going to take 8 measurements given that my room's only 2.4m wide.

I tested Dirac and I didn't like it at all. I probably didn't do it right but it sounded very over-processed to me. I think I prefer a less flat response, which is handy. That could be bias though, doing a double blind test would be interesting. I recently used JRiver to get me a completely flat response and I thought it sounded dull and flat.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Most people who complain about audyssey do so because they don't do a proper calibration. I've now done a high number and every time I follow the above rules, I get a great result.

Another point - keep the microphone at the same height level through your calibration

Shame you dont have access to the app as switching off the mid range compensation also helps - something you cant do on the older models.
 

Topmetom 2

Well-known Member
Most people who complain about audyssey do so because they don't do a proper calibration. I've now done a high number and every time I follow the above rules, I get a great result.

Another point - keep the microphone at the same height level through your calibration

Shame you dont have access to the app as switching off the mid range compensation also helps - something you cant do on the older models.
Same height? Ive never done that?
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member

Conrad.

Well-known Member
I have a boom mic stand that I can screw the audyssey mic to, that should help with keeping the same height. I'll get reflections but I don't think there's much I can do about that.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
I have a boom mic stand that I can screw the audyssey mic to, that should help with keeping the same height. I'll get reflections but I don't think there's much I can do about that.
boom mic is the best thing to use mate
 

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