Large room, Speaker advice

Matthew Legg

Novice Member
Hi,

My room is a converted barn, 4.5m wide, 5.5m long and ceiling height 4.8m. The screen isn't against the back wall and there is another empty area behind it 2m long by 5m wide.

I have an older Sony BNV N7100 system at the moment which I want to upgrade. The sound isn't great and you can't EQ anything which means dialog is often muddy and unrecognisable.

So what I'm looking for is an AV system that is clear, does not echo or get lost in the big room. I'm really after quality over output volume and help on speaker placement.

I'm going for this amp:

Marantz NR1711 Slim 7.2Ch 8K AV

It would be great to have some advice on speaker pairings. This is what I am considering at the moment:

Q Acoustics 3030i AV Speaker Pack

Bowers & Wilkins MT-50 Home Theatre System

Cambridge Audio S225

Monitor Audio MASS 5.1

I would consider adding 2 more speakers to make it 7.1.

I'm also considering mounting my centre speaker up high with the projector screen as the is no neat place for it below and at the moment I just pull it out the cupboard and place it on the floor when we watch.

Any help would be really appreciated as I'd like to get it right.
 

jamieu

Well-known Member
which means dialog is often muddy and unrecognisable.

does not echo or get lost in the big room.

Both of those issues are likely to be a side effect of using small lifestyle speakers in a room that size. What you're likely hearing at your listening position is the refections overpowering the direct sound from the speakers.

Unfortunately the obvious solution to that is to use larger speakers with waveguides or horns, which will help direct the sound to your listening position. But neither of those fit the small & discrete lifestyle speaker category.

As a very rough rule of thumb the models with the larger drivers/cabinets will likely perform better in that space. If you can get ones that rolloff below 80Hz you'll find them easier to crossover with a subwoofer.

You don't explicitly mention subwoofers, but I might be inclined to look at buying your subwoofer separately from your main speakers, rather than as part a "5.1 package". For example BKSubwoofers have been a long time favourite bang-for-buck option on these forums.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Hi,

My room is a converted barn, 4.5m wide, 5.5m long and ceiling height 4.8m. The screen isn't against the back wall and there is another empty area behind it 2m long by 5m wide.

I have an older Sony BNV N7100 system at the moment which I want to upgrade. The sound isn't great and you can't EQ anything which means dialog is often muddy and unrecognisable.

So what I'm looking for is an AV system that is clear, does not echo or get lost in the big room. I'm really after quality over output volume and help on speaker placement.

I'm going for this amp:

Marantz NR1711 Slim 7.2Ch 8K AV

It would be great to have some advice on speaker pairings. This is what I am considering at the moment:

Q Acoustics 3030i AV Speaker Pack

Bowers & Wilkins MT-50 Home Theatre System

Cambridge Audio S225

Monitor Audio MASS 5.1

I would consider adding 2 more speakers to make it 7.1.

I'm also considering mounting my centre speaker up high with the projector screen as the is no neat place for it below and at the moment I just pull it out the cupboard and place it on the floor when we watch.

Any help would be really appreciated as I'd like to get it right.

Clearly the Sony speakers aren´t up to the job and you putting speaker on floor (which is the worst idea ever) doesn´t help!

Do you have option to buy acoustically transparent projector screen so you can place the center channel on stand behind the screen in optimal position (as you have space there)? This is the best solution if you want the sound locked to middle of screen! If you place the speaker on top of screen and have rest of speakers much lower on top of speaker stands then the sound will go up and down which would run me mad, center channel is most active speaker so you would have to have the screen fairly low and then aim the speaker toward listeners downward. Below is few AT-screens:

Another option would be to run 4.1 / 6.1 system without center channel, so phantom center. The information would be directed to your main channels. You would need to sit fairly middle of the speakers and hopefully the couch isn´t too far away (or against rear wall!). Then you could consider either large standmount models or floorstanding speakers. Kef with coaxial driver design could be great option as they aren´t as directional. These were just few week ago on sale, i would ask if still possible (399£/pair) as you buy receiver you get discount. Then the smaller model Q150 for "rears". Naturally you would buy 600mm tall speaker stands, the shop below sells Fisual Dynami Duo for 60£/pair which would work fine.



From your list QA 3030i would be only thing to consider for larger room, although the small center channel is bit shame.. The subwoofer in that package would be waste of money as Jami mentioned so you would buy the bundle without subwoofer, any dealer will give you bundle deal price without sub:

As Jami mentioned BK subs are the way to go with tight budget. Made in UK Essex since 1992. You need to look the larger models even if you don´t listen very loud to get decent impact and weight/depth. What´s the point throwing big bucks in new system with tiny sub to be underwhelmed?! Your total room space is 35sqm and with high ceiling. Placement will be very important, but luckily BK subs are very wife friendly with gorgeous wood veneer finishes. Below is a link for BK P12-PR model. If you click on the AVF Editor stamp it forwards you to AVForums review which you should read if you are intrested in this model. It will be dramatically better than the package woofer! First thing first though= speakers and what will you do about the center channel dilemma.

This would probably be passed by wife and isn´t too large:

I assume you are limited with the size of av-receiver (height) due to picking slim receiver, cause otherwise there is not much reason to pay more and getting less vs. Denon X2700H / Yamaha RX-V6A for about same price.
 

Matthew Legg

Novice Member
Both of those issues are likely to be a side effect of using small lifestyle speakers in a room that size. What you're likely hearing at your listening position is the refections overpowering the direct sound from the speakers.

Unfortunately the obvious solution to that is to use larger speakers with waveguides or horns, which will help direct the sound to your listening position. But neither of those fit the small & discrete lifestyle speaker category.

As a very rough rule of thumb the models with the larger drivers/cabinets will likely perform better in that space. If you can get ones that rolloff below 80Hz you'll find them easier to crossover with a subwoofer.

You don't explicitly mention subwoofers, but I might be inclined to look at buying your subwoofer separately from your main speakers, rather than as part a "5.1 package". For example BKSubwoofers have been a long time favourite bang-for-buck option on these forums.
Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately there is a limit to the size of speakers that will approve of so I'm trying to find a middle ground. I'll look into the sub options. By the way, what is considered to be an optimal position of a sub?
 

Matthew Legg

Novice Member
Clearly the Sony speakers aren´t up to the job and you putting speaker on floor (which is the worst idea ever) doesn´t help!

Do you have option to buy acoustically transparent projector screen so you can place the center channel on stand behind the screen in optimal position (as you have space there)? This is the best solution if you want the sound locked to middle of screen! If you place the speaker on top of screen and have rest of speakers much lower on top of speaker stands then the sound will go up and down which would run me mad, center channel is most active speaker so you would have to have the screen fairly low and then aim the speaker toward listeners downward. Below is few AT-screens:

Another option would be to run 4.1 / 6.1 system without center channel, so phantom center. The information would be directed to your main channels. You would need to sit fairly middle of the speakers and hopefully the couch isn´t too far away (or against rear wall!). Then you could consider either large standmount models or floorstanding speakers. Kef with coaxial driver design could be great option as they aren´t as directional. These were just few week ago on sale, i would ask if still possible (399£/pair) as you buy receiver you get discount. Then the smaller model Q150 for "rears". Naturally you would buy 600mm tall speaker stands, the shop below sells Fisual Dynami Duo for 60£/pair which would work fine.



From your list QA 3030i would be only thing to consider for larger room, although the small center channel is bit shame.. The subwoofer in that package would be waste of money as Jami mentioned so you would buy the bundle without subwoofer, any dealer will give you bundle deal price without sub:

As Jami mentioned BK subs are the way to go with tight budget. Made in UK Essex since 1992. You need to look the larger models even if you don´t listen very loud to get decent impact and weight/depth. What´s the point throwing big bucks in new system with tiny sub to be underwhelmed?! Your total room space is 35sqm and with high ceiling. Placement will be very important, but luckily BK subs are very wife friendly with gorgeous wood veneer finishes. Below is a link for BK P12-PR model. If you click on the AVF Editor stamp it forwards you to AVForums review which you should read if you are intrested in this model. It will be dramatically better than the package woofer! First thing first though= speakers and what will you do about the center channel dilemma.

This would probably be passed by wife and isn´t too large:

I assume you are limited with the size of av-receiver (height) due to picking slim receiver, cause otherwise there is not much reason to pay more and getting less vs. Denon X2700H / Yamaha RX-V6A for about same price.
Hi, I'll end up getting a stand for the centre speaker as a acoustic transparent screen isn't going to work.
I can mount the speakers on the walls but my wife will rule out cabinets that are too deep and stand out too much so I'm hoping to find some slightly smaller cabinets as much as I like the look of QA300i.
This is the first time buying a set up like this, I liked the look of the slimline Marantz amp but am open to other amps if they are better spec or value so will look into your suggestions.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Hi, I'll end up getting a stand for the centre speaker as a acoustic transparent screen isn't going to work.
I can mount the speakers on the walls but my wife will rule out cabinets that are too deep and stand out too much so I'm hoping to find some slightly smaller cabinets as much as I like the look of QA300i.
This is the first time buying a set up like this, I liked the look of the slimline Marantz amp but am open to other amps if they are better spec or value so will look into your suggestions.
If you buy stand for center channel the speaker would go then in front of the screen and you have to raise it up unless you have the necessary space below it. It can´t go behind the screen with normal projector screen! Below link has stand which is 450mm high and then add the speaker height 152mm (QA3090Ci) that much you need clearance below screen. The stand is available in different finishes, press on the green show more..

QA3030i aren´t small and wall mounting such deep speakers will look quite odd. You should use speaker stands. For surround speakers as in "rears" the 3010i model is usually fine and while not small it´s something which can be wall mounted. Either using the metal wall bracket QA 3000i-WB (does not hold 3030i!) or the popular BT77 Ultragrip Pro (black/white).

Amazon product
Both Denon and Yamaha offers more bang for buck over the slimline Marantz.

I think the price is nearly same for Yamaha if the main speakers are changed to 3030i.


If you can´t afford the subwoofer i linked earlier then at least consider the cheaper P12 version below, you can choose driver orientation in this so quite wife/kid friendly the first one:


Anything smaller and it would be too big compromise. Price/performance wise there is nothing better for 410£. You just need to ask how much the bundle deal price drops when they take the QA subwoofer out from it. Then you have to add little bit extra to get the BK. Right decision for long term purchase if you can afford it.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Although you're experiencing what an inadequate system in a room which is just to over bearing for the electronics in use, you don't have to use the largest speakers to bring something back.

Using the right equipment would deliver what you are after. Good quality speakers from either M&K, Piega, Monitor Audio, etc.. offer lifestyle type or compact speakers which do perform extremely well for their size. Sadly compact speakers which perform well do come at a premium

As for the woofer, large rooms usually need more than one and usually these need to be at a similar quality level (price with woofers doesn't always mean grunt to, so do some homework. One brand has been recommended thus far, but Rel are another). Have a look at using the high level and LFE connections in order to help the smaller speakers produce a much larger experience

If budget is a problem, build the system in parts to enable your system to develop other wise it will cost twice, three as much with upgrades to get to a level which fills the room
 
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jamieu

Well-known Member
Just to add to the advice above, focus on your main/front LCR channels.

You can get away with much smaller on-wall/satellite speakers for your surrounds/rears, but for your front three channels in a room that size you ideally want something more bookshelf sized. You subwoofer choice will also be be an important factor in ensuring you have enough power output to fill the room.

One option might be to place a sideboard type unit under the screen with three bookshelf sized speakers on it, with smaller 'satellite speakers' from the same manufacturer for the surrounds/rears.

As an example (this isn't a recommendation as such, more an indicator of speaker size, most manufactures - KEF/Monitor Audio/Dali/M&K etc. will offer similar ranges). You could use three bookshelf sized B&W 607 for you main LCR channels and 2 or 4 smaller satellite (or on-wall) speakers like the M1 for your surrounds/rears. Forgo the B&W subwoofer (your sub doesn't need to come for the same manufacturer as your main channels) and pair it with something like a BK Monolith which will have the power to fill that room and might also be easier to hide out of sight esp. the down-firing models, which simply look like a wooden side table.

Another option is to ceiling mount all three LCR channels/speakers in front of the screen housing and angle them down, but to do that you'll need to go with well performing (and ideally fairly directional) speakers or else they'll just get lost in the room. These are primarily designed as outdoor speakers, but the mounting arrangement on something like the B&W AM1 could work well for that kind of setup.
 
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Matthew Legg

Novice Member
Thanks for the help so far. Although the room is really large, it's pretty minimalist and larger speakers will not please the wifey.
I like the look of the XTZ Spirit speakers. I'm thinking of Spirit 2's for the 4 corners with either a Spirit 6 or Spirit 8 for the centre.
I also like the look of their Cinema M6 centre but am not sure if the higher spec would be mismatched or make the overall system better.
I'll have to accept that I'll just keep the centre speaker in the cupboard with its floor stand and pull it out for movie nights.
What do you guys think of their subs?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Do you have picture of the room with the screen open so could get better idea and perhaps some new ideas?!

Mixing Spirit and Cinema is bad idea (at the front).

XTZ subs are fine if you choose the 12.17 Edge or 1x12 Cinema Edge. Of course there is other brands available locally (SVS) if you want to step up from BK.

Arendal has also 1961 range speakers low depth 15cm and subwoofers.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
In a large room you should go for larger speakers with a larger centre speaker.

Mission LX mark 2 range have a choice of 2 centres. I would go for the larger centre as it's not much more money. Then go for the larger bookshelves or floorstanders if you prefer and a pair or 2 of the surrounds.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
‘Middle ground’ simply means a different, and usually just as horrible, set of compromises.

Speakers in corners and high up on beams with large horizontal and vertical separation between the various cabinets does not produce coherent sound.

As requested earlier in the thread pics or a layout plan which also shows the seating layout are the only way to start having a discussion around suitable options.

A decent Stereo system is going to be preferable to a poor surround system and rather than go ‘small and discrete’, which are designed for a small/compact room, you could consider larger cabinets which fit better with the decor and if you stuck with a stereo system could be far easier to integrate into the room.

Joe
 

Matthew Legg

Novice Member
Here's a few pictures of the room. I appreciate that you guys are saying to use large speakers but I have to consider the wifey's love of interiors so there is a limit to the size that will be accepted.


image2-1.jpeg
image1.jpeg
image0-1.jpeg
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
love of interiors’ is great if you are planning a photo shoot for a magazine :)

Ideally the AV is ‘planned’ in to the room design early on to avoid it looking plonked in as an afterthought.

Projection screen - have you considered a bracket to allow you to attach to the face rather than the underside of the beam, that will mean the canister is hidden from view, you could also go with a cover.

Possibly outside the scope of the budget there are specialists screens which bring a sound bar down behind the screen.

Floor-mount speakers - if the sideboard on the left could slide towards the fire wall could you possibly sit a floor-mount speaker in the space you create and it’s partner in the same place on the right hand side of the room.

Gallo acoustics - we have worked in a few similar ‘barn’ rooms and have used Gallo Micros, A’Diva and Strada (plus matching discrete Sub) with the speakers mounted to a beam.

Gallo have a decent range of colours plus a custom colour match service and the new ‘pendant’ style ‘Drop’ speakers provide an interesting option for suspended surrounds.


Joe
 

Matthew Legg

Novice Member
Hi Joe,

Some rooms are just tricky and the set up needs to be worked around. This one is unusual because there is such a large space behind the screen and I can't have a cabinet underneath.

Sadly the ceiling slopes steeply so the screen could not go on the back wall.

The pendant speakers are a good idea but not suitable as we will keep walking into them when the screen is up.

I feel like the best option will be to work on my beloved and see how big a speaker she will allow for the front sides.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Room - they are all tricky :)

Layout - we have worked on a fair few rooms where the screen comes down 'into' the room rather than against a wall.

Projection screen - I was meaning to mount it on the 'rear' face of the beam which it is currently mounted to (as you look at the beam from your seating) that way you 'hide' the canister from view when the screen is retracted.

Gallo acoustics - my thoughts were you mount the Front LCR (Micro, A'Diva or Strada) on the face of the beam where the screen is mounted, you can colour match to the beam and angle the speakers towards the listening position. The Drop pendant speakers would be used as Rear Surrounds set over your fixed seating at a suitable height and the latest versions have integral LED lighting so could be used as a reading light too!

Floor standing - a decent quality narrow cabinet stereo pair would be a good option and potentially then stick with a 2.0 or 2.1 system and minimise the number of cabinets in the room.

Joe
 

password1

Distinguished Member
You have plenty of space for large bookshelf speakers or floorstanders so go for the largest your wife will allow.

Generally, tiny satellites will not fill the room as well as larger speakers.
 

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