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Home cinema room speaker layout - 5.1 or 7.1


Active Member
I am now taking the plunge & going for my first speaker system to complement the plasma & bd player. Also just bought the Sony STR-DA2400ES so just need to get speakers:confused:

But 1st I want to mak sure the room layout is right.

I hav attached layout of room & pictures. I would be grateful for any tips or guidelines.

I am thinking floorstanders on either side of fireplace - but would these need to be placed on wooden floor or are they ok on the fireplace hearth???

Other potential prob is that once I remove the undermount speaker from the 5090, I only have 145mm height for a centre speaker. I could raise the tv 1 more notch on bracket but I think the tv is high enough already & dont want the hassle.
Suppose I could place the speaker above the tv but its gonna be high but prob just raise the tv.

I might get bookshelf furniture the rears or go with stands but worried they wont be high enough.

As this is my 1st system Im thinking 5.1 is a good start or should I be looking at 7.1???


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Distinguished Member
You can buy taller stands for rear speakers (over 1 m) so I would personally get some of these for your rear speakers. Due to the funny shape of the room I think sticking to a 5.1 configuration is probably best and the layout you propose looks good. The fronts can go on the hearth but I would prefer to have them further apart to give a wider front soundstage. They will be fine on the wooden floor, just need some protection cups to prevent the spikes from digging into the wood. The centre placement is going to be a bit of an issue but do not be tempted to go for a small one just because it will be easy to fit. The centre speaker is imho the most important speaker to get right. It takes around 60% of the total sound output so if you have large floorstanders but small centre then you can unbalance the front sound. Looking at your room layout you may be able to get away without having a centre and getting the front floorstanders to create a 'phantom' centre instead.
What is your budget for speakers?


Active Member
thks for the reply PSM1. I want a reasonably good set-up so thinking around £700 - 800 (don't tell the wife)
Don't mind if I don't get the sub now - maybe get a good one in january sales.
I showed the sub in 2 different locations on the layout, where is the best position for it, I hear they dont like corners.
Is getting the front floorstanders to create a 'phantom' centre going to reduce the overall quality of the system - I never like to compromise but may have to.
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Distinguished Member
As you're going to have to compromise somewhere due to the fireplace (unless you could knock it down and mount the TV lower and the centre below the TV ;):devil:), you may as well try using a phantom centre to see how you like it. You could always add a centre later if it wasn't to your liking.

Also considering the budget, I'd go for 5.1 rather than try to spread it too thin and go for 7.1 (room layout notwithstanding). You could always add another 2 speakers later as IMHO the surround rears don't have to be 100% matching (mine are monopole versions of my side surrounds for example, which was the recommendation at the time anyway, plus it was cheaper). If there isn't much depth behind the listening position, then I don't think 7.1 is worthwhile, but if there is a good few feet at least (7-8 in my case) then it does help fill in the surround 'bubble'.


Distinguished Member
Your budget should get you a nice speaker set. I would look at the Tannoy F series or maybe the Wharfedale Diamond 10 series. Other ones to look at would be the Q Accoustics 2000 series.


Active Member
I'm keen to fit a centre speaker beneath the tv as I have speaker wire already there. I could fit a tannoy mercury vc at 140mm high. But there will only be 30mm between the back of the speaker & the wall - is this an issue?
Also the height to centre of vc will be 1.45m. is this too high or will i get away with it?

As a rule of thumb how far should the back of the front floorstanders be from the wall.

Any other speakers that will work well with Sony STR-DA2400ES in £700 - £800 price range.
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Active Member
Also looking at the monitor audio br6 - but is the DA2400ES enough for these?


Distinguished Member
The MA BR speakers are often described as bright sounding and hence may not pair well with the bright sounding Sony amp. This could be made worse by the hard floors etc you have in your room which could make the sound even brighter. Hence I would not get the MA speakers unless you can demo them at home first to make sure they sound OK.


Active Member
thks for all the replies - it aint easy when you are new to the game.

I think Im set on the Tannoy F series - Im reading that they pair well with the Sony - thks PSM1.
2 x F4 @ £260
2 x F1 customs @£103 for rear. But i see there are F1R available too. Would these be worth going for???

Going to go the for the Mercury VC @ £110 for the centre as it will fit beneath the tv perfectly. Is there any issues, the rear of this centre will be 30mm away from wall. Is this enough for connecting cables? Is being close to the wall going to be a problem for the performance of the speaker:confused:

Gonna need stands for the rears - any recomendations.

Also would I be safer sticking to a tannoy sub or does it really matter.


Distinguished Member
There is no need to match the sub to the speakers so you can go for any make. For value for money it is hard to beat BK Electronics subs.


Active Member
I have a 7.1 system made up of MA radius Hd's. Personally when I have knocked it down to 5.1 I haven't noticed much difference. I'd go 5.1 with better speakers and add the others later if you feel your missing something

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