Best speaker config for this room? Floorstanders or 7.1 sat/sub?

childejc

Active Member
This is what I am currently building


My projector screen is micro perforated so I will put my centre behind it, as in this picture. However I now think I will put the fronts wider apart than shown, one on either side of the screen. Up to now I have been planning on using in walls for the fronts, and in ceilings for the surrounds and rears, with decent sub, to make a 7.1 system. However, I am nervous about this because there is no flexibility to move the speakers if I position them incorrectly, and I think I may be compromising the sound for the sake of unnecessary aesthetic considerations (this is a dedicated cinema room). Therefore, whilst the centre will still be behind the screen, I am now thinking of freestanding floor speakers for the other 6, or a combination of floorstanders and stand mounts or wall mounts.

For movie viewing (not music), with my room size and layout, and with this budget, what would you recommend:
  1. 7.1 combination of front floorstanders, small rear satellites and sub
  2. 7.1 floorstanders all round plus sub
  3. 7.0 full range floorstanders only, no sub
  4. Or something else?

Thanks
 

Andori

Well-known Member
I would question whether you are far enough away from the back wall to make 7.1 worthwhile, though I'm no expert. Could initially start with 5.1, then upgrade to 7.1 at a later date.

I can't see a budget mentioned:confused:

Assuming 100% movie use, then consider M&K, with some tripoles mounted on the wall for the surrounds. Note that M&K don't do separate centre speakers, so you would buy 3 the same for left, centre and right.

A decent dedicated sub is going to outperform floorstanders. For subs look at either BK or SVS (available as a forum powerbuy here). If budget allows, I would suggest either a PC Ultra or PB13 Ultra, maybe dropping to the 20-39PC+.
 

mojogoes

Remembered (1961-2016)
I'm up against a rear wall (seating position) and using a 7.1 system = 2 sets of dipolers.......the side wall speakers (side surounds) are positioned 1.5 meters fowards from the seating position up high and the (back surounds) at the same height but on the rear wall and it works out great...........its about getting the rears up high and honest you think the rears are right behind your ears with the right film audio formats.
 

childejc

Active Member
I've done a bit more reading since posting this. The consensus seems to be that for movie viewing, in a smallish room, a sub/satellite combination is to be preferred to a set of floorstanders without a sub.

From what I've read, given the same specification, floorstanders and bookshelf speakers are interchangeable. What's most important is to get good quality. Also, there has been some suggestion that floorstanders are not high enough, especially for rears and surrounds. I could put them on a stand of some kind, but that would look a little odd I think, in a room of my size.

Therefore I am reverting to the sub/sat set up. My dilema now is whether to go for free standing speakers or revert to the in wall/ceiling option I had been considering. Up to now I have been pretty set on the Definitive Technology UIW RLSII for Fronts - see here. Everything I have read suggests they are very good. The two problems I have is that they are very expensive in the UK (£1=$1, UK cost = £1800 for the 3 speakers), and I have to make sure I place them correctly from the outset - there is no option to make trial and error changes. I think I can live with this for the fronts, because its fairly obvious where they should go, but I am a bit more unsure about the rears and surrounds as I will have to confirm their location and fit them before I have a chance to confirm my exact seating position. I'm not sure how critical their placement will be. My seating position could move 2-3 feet forwards or backwards. Any thoughts on this?

The speakers I have been looking at are the Def Tech BP/A (bi-polar) for the surrounds and another pair of Def Techs (can't remember which) for the rears - total cost £1200 for the 4, = £3k for all 7. I think this price includes a premium for the fact they are in-wall/ceiling rather than free standing, but if the quality is not too compromised then I can live with that, provided I can get them placed correctly.

Thanks
 

iainsilvester

Novice Member
Looks like you have a great opportunity here and a useful sized room. If as you say this is for a dedicated HC then you should buy proper HC speakers. "Satellite" means different things to different people, and is often used in a derogatory sense. Sats range from golf balls, cubes, eggs etc ("Lifestyle") to classic HiFi stand mounts. Sats just don't produce deep bass because they don't need too, the sub fills deep bass for all other channels.

I use inwalls because I wanted a clutter free experience, but they are trickier to install and as you say cannot be moved easilly. When I was researching placement, especially of the LCR, I was advised by M&K that you can achieve an "intimate sound" with all 3 in a row and all under the screen, or a more expansive "Holywood" sound with the L&R wider, either side of the screen. I was also advised to stay clear of inceiling speakers, unless you want that restaurant sound.

Most folk run their 5 or 7.1 at 80Hz crossover, ie all frequencies <80Hz fed to the sub for all channels. This is the norm and renders floorstanders redundant, anywhere. Given your budget check out M&K, they have few equals for HC.
 

childejc

Active Member
Iain

It was several of your posts in other threads that have turned me away from big floorstanders, so you are preaching to the converted. At least until someone else pitches a different view:rolleyes:

I was comfortable with everything you said until you dismissed in-ceiling speakers. Whilst I could put my rears on the wall, the arch door precludes the Left Surround being on the wall, unless it is above the door which might look/sound a bit funny, and the Right Surround would be where my curtains will pull back to.

Could I have the surrounds in the ceiling and the rears in the wall? How well would that work?

As for the fronts, I can't quite accept that having them behind the screen will give enough separation (2m) at our seating distance (3.3m), especially for those sitting to either side. Hence why I am favouring having them on either side of the screen.

I will check out the M&K you recommend - hopefully a bit cheaper than the Def Tech speakers mentioned earlier.
 

iainsilvester

Novice Member
Eric, I'm not against large speakers indeed I have a fine pair for stereo ;), but when someone says they want an array for a dedicated HC I chip in. There is sub bass all over the soundstage, centre, sides, rear etc and yet folk are quite happy for these speakerrs to be accoustically small (with a sub of course) provided they have a fine pair up front. IMO bonkers.

Many do use inceiling and please don't take my comment as dismisive, if anywhere I would suggest inceiling for sides/rears is probably fine.

I think you're right re the LCR, 2m apart is narrow and this is what the guy at M&K called "intimate". I would certainly go for wider if you had the chance. You're lucky having an accoustic screen; you can place all LCR in the same plane, something I couldn't do so mine is less optimal.
 

childejc

Active Member
Thanks Iain - I value your opinion, especially as it pretty much supports what I was planning to do:D

This is my current plan (which is subject to daily change, rather to my builder's annoyance)


I think I will go for in ceilings for the rears and surrounds, because it will look better and because I don't think I am discerning enough to notice the "restaurant effect", at least not once I've got used to it. I'm also reasonable confident that my seating position is definite enough that positioning them correctly should not be too hard.

I will also put the fronts wider than the screen. A custom installer I consulted did suggest they would be OK behind the screen, but I just can't believe that is wide enough. But I am glad I can put the centre behind the screen because that means I can put the screen at the height I want without regard to the speaker placement.

Now I just need to decide what to buy... I thought the Def Techs were expensive, but your M&K's are even more pricey - I don't think I can stretch that far.
 

iainsilvester

Novice Member
What is your budget? The SVS 5.1 system is a proper HC setup and much favoured on this forum. You can use with a wide range of their respected subs too.
 

Andori

Well-known Member
I thought he mentioned a figure of about £3k for the 7.1 Def Techs he'd been looking at, though he didn't mention a sub.

To the OP, there are other M&K options. Could do something like LCR750 THX for the front 3, S55T for the 4 surrounds, then throw in an SVS 20-39PC+ sub, which I think comes in at about £3k.
 

childejc

Active Member
Yes, my budget is upto around £3k for the 7 speakers excluding sub (I have a separate budget for that:smashin:).

Andori - are the speakers you mention suitable for in wall/ceiling fitting? Its not obvious from the site I visited. My centre has to be in (or at least on) wall and the 4 surrounds/rears have to be in ceiling.

Thanks
 

Andori

Well-known Member
I'm not actually familiar with them myself. Someone like Dav1dF may be advise better, as he sells them.

As the the S55Ts are tripoles, I think they are designed to be mounted on wall. I don't know if there are any restrictions on how high up the wall you can mount them (i.e. would they mount over the arch and curtains?). Looking at the dimensions, they are actually bigger than originally thought :blush:
 

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