Question Designing a speaker set up around a living room

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by Basquelle, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. Basquelle

    Basquelle
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    Yes, I know, it's all the wrong way round! But this is what I have to do, the room is primarily a living room, it is part of the B+B guest space at times, so I need to work around it.

    First and foremost, how much space should I have behind speakers for them to work well, and how much should I not have them backed into a corner? Which speakers will be the most forgiving of being backed up to a wall, or near a wall, or into a corner? You will be getting the idea by now that I'm not free to stand the speakers very far from the walls!

    The AV unit is a Marantz SR6009, the speakers are yet to be chosen, the focus is musicality. The room is acoustically neutral, about 5m wide x 4m deep x 2m high. I'm thinking a 4.1 or 5.1 set up, I really don't have space for any more channels, and I'm thinking of up to £1500 budget for the speaker array.

    I know purists will tell me to stick with stereo kit for music, but I do love the extra depth that surround sound gives stereo music, which is why I'm using an AV unit rather than a stereo amp. Given this, does the advice to use identical speakers on all channels hold, or should emphasis be placed on the fronts?
     
  2. Ghostrider

    Ghostrider
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    To get the best flexibility in terms of placement why not consider some speakers like the Kef T Series, Monitor Audio Shadow or Artcoustic's range that are designed to be wall mounted?

    However to answer some of your questions directly - most speakers don't like to be backed upto walls or in corners as it tends to effect the bass response - especially if they are a rear ported design.

    For their Bronze range Monitor Audio recommends a minimum of 10 inches from the back wall and around 3 ft from the side wall.
     
  3. Basquelle

    Basquelle
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    I've looked at many reviews of the Kef T series, and I see a little question mark creeping in. For flat panels, they're good, it seems, but as replacements for conventional speakers, they seem unpopular. But what I can never find in a review is how a flat panel speaker compares to a conventional speaker that's too close to the wall!
     
  4. Ghostrider

    Ghostrider
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    Like everything speaker choice is a compromise - I'm sure that we'd all love some B&W Nautilus but most don't have the space or budget.

    I run the KEF T205 set which comes it at around your budget and for TV/Film they are outstanding as a sat/sub set. I don't really listen to music through them other than what is on TV or in the film I'm watching but I have no complaints whatsoever. How they would sound in direct comparison to a similarly priced set of floor standing speakers though I don't know and never will as they wouldn't fit in my room.

    Convention wisdom says that a full size loudspeaker setup will sound better if the setup is optimal - I don't think you'll ever find anyone to review a set of speakers who will purposefully place them in a corner and too close to the walls - what would be the point of that.

    It has often been said that speakers are a personal preference - for instance what sounds great to some may be lacking in bass to others. Try and audition a few different sets including on-wall and floor standing units and let your ears be the judge.
     
  5. Basquelle

    Basquelle
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    I think you're right: I will have to go listen. I've been avoiding it, the nearest showroom is 2 1/2 hours away and is in Spain. My Spanish is limited to hello, goodbye and can I have a glass of red wine with that tapas please. So it's going to be fun!

    The line up, if I can arrange it, will be Monitor Audio Shadow 50, Kef T 3 series, Monitor Audio Radius R90HT1. Can anyone suggest other likely contenders? Budget is around £1500 for a 5.1 set up, with musicality the priority.
     

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