Floorstanders as rears or side speakers?

longwori

Active Member
Hi all, I am just in the process of changing from a 5.1 to a 7.1 set-up.

In my 5.1 setup I have Monitor Audio Bronze front and rear floor standers but I have another pair of large bookshelf speakers that are not in use. I want to use these speakers to upgrade to a 7.1 set up but I am unsure as to whether these smaller speakers should become the rear surrounds or the side speakers in a 7.1 setup. The smaller speakers are a different brand from the rest of the 5.1 setup. I know this isn't ideal but I am doing this on a budget and want to try it out anyway as the receiver can handle 7.1 and these bookshelf speakers are doing nothing right now.

Any thoughts where the bigguns should go?

Thanks people.

Ian
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
I'd use the bookshelf speakers as rears (Surround Backs) seeing as you currently have the floorstanders at the sides (Surrounds).
 

longwori

Active Member
Thanks Jase.

I am probably going to need to rewire all the speakers so the positioning of all speakers can be changed. I attach a pic of how it is now and a couple of options for the new layout, both with the sofa moving forwards a meter or so from where it is now. As I said, the larger floorstanders can go in any position.

One option has the rears pointing in from the sides of the room and the other has them more directly behind the listening position.

1608558217212.png
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
Thanks Jase.

I am probably going to need to rewire all the speakers so the positioning of all speakers can be changed. I attach a pic of how it is now and a couple of options for the new layout, both with the sofa moving forwards a meter or so from where it is now. As I said, the larger floorstanders can go in any position.

One option has the rears pointing in from the sides of the room and the other has them more directly behind the listening position.

View attachment 1426444

I'd go for the one on the right Ian. :)
 

longwori

Active Member
Thanks. I just need to double check I wouldnt walk from the door straight into the back of the speaker when I get home!
 

Conrad.

Moderator
Ideally the one on the right, but I wonder if you'd hear much difference between an Audyssey'd one in the middle and the one on the right. Plus running cable to the one in the middle might be easier. If the one on the right is in any way difficult to achieve, try the one in the middle, there won't be much in it.
 

Conrad.

Moderator
Any reason why you can't leave the speakers where they are, pull the sofa forwards and just add the sides? More distance between listening position and rears should give a better surround effect.
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
Ideally the one on the right, but I wonder if you'd hear much difference between an Audyssey'd one in the middle and the one on the right. Plus running cable to the one in the middle might be easier. If the one on the right is in any way difficult to achieve, try the one in the middle, there won't be much in it.

Going by my experience of positioning the Surround Backs you'd want them more behind you than off to the corners. My rear wall looked like a pin cushion by the time I found the right spots.

Having them placed behind makes the sound actually come from behind you rather than off to a side corner. EQ can help but getting the speakers ideally placed first is key.

FWIW the positions of the Surround Backs was the biggest single ball-ache to get right in my room. You can also have their sound appearing to come from in front of you as they reflect off the front wall. That's a weird experience!
 

Mr Wolf

Active Member
I also favour the layout on the right as the middle option won't gave you sufficient separation between the surround and back channels.

Another option you might not have considered is running a single back channel (i.e. 6.1) if you're able to stick one on the back wall next to the door. If the room isn't that wide then the compromise from 7.1 is not that great and it'll allow you to get the sound from behind you. In my experience the two surround backs often output the same signal as many mixes (even recent ones) are still mastered in 5.1. I run this configuration in my lounge system for practical reasons and to me it works very well, especially as the single back channel is quite elevated.
6.1 option.jpg
 

longwori

Active Member
Thanks for the comments Conrad, Jase and Mr Wolf.

Any reason why you can't leave the speakers where they are, pull the sofa forwards and just add the sides? More distance between listening position and rears should give a better surround effect.

I had considered this but I was keen to move a little further forwards to escape the projector noise (the projector is right at the back of the room) and because the door hits the rear right speaker when it opens. Moving everything forwards helps both those aspects a little.

I had not considered the 6.1 option but this could be a little easier to achieve than the 7.1 option for me, especially with the door position. I have just checked and my receiver will do 6.1.

Whats the thought on the placement of the floorstanders? Does everyone agree that they are better suited to the side and the bookshelf speaker(s) to the rear?

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the comments Conrad, Jase and Mr Wolf.



I had considered this but I was keen to move a little further forwards to escape the projector noise (the projector is right at the back of the room) and because the door hits the rear right speaker when it opens. Moving everything forwards helps both those aspects a little.

I had not considered the 6.1 option but this could be a little easier to achieve than the 7.1 option for me, especially with the door position. I have just checked and my receiver will do 6.1.

Whats the thought on the placement of the floorstanders? Does everyone agree that they are better suited to the side and the bookshelf speaker(s) to the rear?

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

My main reason for using the floorstanders at the sides would be for 5.1 tracks. You then having matching speakers all around.
 

Mr Wolf

Active Member
Whats the thought on the placement of the floorstanders? Does everyone agree that they are better suited to the side and the bookshelf speaker(s) to the rear?
For the best sound output, definitely, as they get used more than the backs and having them match the fronts tonally can only be a good thing. The only problem with using floorstanders for surround channels is that (in a non-Atmos system) they should really be positioned at least 1-2 feet above ear level which isn't possible unless you sit them on plinths or something.
 

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