Looking to upgrade 5.1 to 5.1.2 with 2 atmos upward firing speakers

ElGargamel

Novice Member
We have a 5.1 home theater system with the following setup:
  • Denon AVR-X2400H
  • 2 Front speakers: Monitor audio Bronze 2
  • 1 Center: Monitor audio Bronze Centre C150
  • 2 Rear: Monitor Audio Bronze FX
  • 1 Sub: SVS SB-1000
The bookshelf speakers are positioned on speaker stands. We're looking into adding 2 Atmos upward firing speakers to this system (budget: 400€ for both). Monitor audio has a pair of atmos enabled speakers to mount on top of bookshelfs or floorstanding speakers, but they are designed to match the next generation of speakers (Bronze 50 or 200), which are the smaller version bookshelf or floorstanding speakers. So it would be possible to add them on top of Bronze 2's, but it would look stupid as they're smaller.

The question is, do we go for another set of atmos upward firing speakers to put on top of our current Bronze 2's, or we change the 2 front speakers into the new Bronze 50 or 200 + matching Atmos speakers. Not gonna install ceiling mounted spakers, just redid the entire room only a year ago ;-).

So these are our options:
  • Add 2 monitor audio atmos speakers on top of our bronze 2's, and it will look a bit ridiculous. Is it relevant for the sound that the footprint is not exactly the same betwoon the monitor audio atmos en Bronze 2? If not, we can always replace the Bronze 2 with 50 or 200 later down the line.
  • Add 2 atmos speakers from another brand. Does it matter that these are not the same brand? We're not super audiophiles, we just love 4K movies in all it's glory and are curious about atmos.
  • Replace the 2 front speakers with atmos enabled floorstanding speakers (bronze 50 or 200), but this is quite expensive. For the 200+atmos, it will be up to 1000€. We're not sure about this option.
What would you advise?
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
So these are our options:
  • Add 2 monitor audio atmos speakers on top of our bronze 2's, and it will look a bit ridiculous. Is it relevant for the sound that the footprint is not exactly the same betwoon the monitor audio atmos en Bronze 2? If not, we can always replace the Bronze 2 with 50 or 200 later down the line.
    [*]Add 2 atmos speakers from another brand. Does it matter that these are not the same brand? We're not super audiophiles, we just love 4K movies in all it's glory and are curious about atmos.
  • Replace the 2 front speakers with atmos enabled floorstanding speakers (bronze 50 or 200), but this is quite expensive. For the 200+atmos, it will be up to 1000€. We're not sure about this option.

My recommendation of your options above is in bold.

What colour are your current Bronze 2's?

If you think the Bronze AMS will look silly etc, there are other atmos speakers that will sit on top of the Bronze 2's. There's no requirement to get exactly the same size or footprint for the Atmos speakers, or indeed to brand match. Although obviously if the atmos speakers are wider than the Bronze 2's it might look strange!

I can highly recommend a pair of Dali Alteco C1's. I have these and they were previous sat on top of a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze 5's floorstanders (same width & generation as your 2's).

My 5's were black and the Alteco's were a near perfect match in terms of colour and size. The C1's are 165mm wide with your Bronze 2 being 185mm - so the fit/look will be great.

The Dali's come in black, walnut & white:


Here's a picture of my Black Dali Alteco C1 on top of my old Bronze 5 floorstander (which is the same width & generation speaker as your Bronze 2):

20200611_233005.jpg


Here's a picture showing my old setup with the 2 Alteco C1's. The Alteco's (and cabinet) are the only things remaining from this setup!

20200701_150448.jpg
 
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Jester1066

Well-known Member
Incidentally the 5.1.2 Atmos layout with speakers positioned as in my picture is this, including how to connect the speakers.

Screenshot_20210501-192523_Chrome.jpg


Make sure you select 7.1 in the AVR's "amp assign" menu. Then select the speaker type as "Front Dolby". Details here:


🙂
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
There's no hard and fast rule about matching upfiring speakers to the same make and model range of the front three. It can make it look somewhat balanced if the colours and and build are the same, I have KEF R300 and R50s so that basically match except for footprint.

Easy enough to set up and I suggest you set the crossover at 120hz and after calibration lift the levels by +2dB or +3dB. I also have mine lifted at the back to increase the angle to better suit where we sit.
 

ElGargamel

Novice Member
My recommendation of your options above is in bold.

What colour are your current Bronze 2's?

If you think the Bronze AMS will look silly etc, there are other atmos speakers that will sit on top of the Bronze 2's. There's no requirement to get exactly the same size or footprint for the Atmos speakers, or indeed to brand match. Although obviously if the atmos speakers are wider than the Bronze 2's it might look strange!

I can highly recommend a pair of Dali Alteco C1's. I have these and they were previous sat on top of a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze 5's floorstanders (same width & generation as your 2's).

My 5's were black and the Alteco's were a near perfect match in terms of colour and size. The C1's are 165mm wide with your Bronze 2 being 185mm - so the fit/look will be great.

The Dali's come in black, walnut & white:


Here's a picture of my Black Dali Alteco C1 on top of my old Bronze 5 floorstander (which is the same width & generation speaker as your Bronze 2):



Here's a picture showing my old setup with the 2 Alteco C1's. The Alteco's (and cabinet) are the only things remaining from this setup!

Thanks for the great advice, the clarifications, and the info on the setup with the receiver!

Our Bronze 2's are black oak, so those Dali Alteco C1's would fit stylishly. I'll look into it and see if we can get them locally.
 

ElGargamel

Novice Member
There's no hard and fast rule about matching upfiring speakers to the same make and model range of the front three. It can make it look somewhat balanced if the colours and and build are the same, I have KEF R300 and R50s so that basically match except for footprint.

Easy enough to set up and I suggest you set the crossover at 120hz and after calibration lift the levels by +2dB or +3dB. I also have mine lifted at the back to increase the angle to better suit where we sit.

Thanks for the advice. I'm not sure we configured the crossover on our speakers before, we set everything up with the automatic tool from Denon (audessey?), and used the default settings. Will look into it!
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Thanks for the great advice, the clarifications, and the info on the setup with the receiver!

Our Bronze 2's are black oak, so those Dali Alteco C1's would fit stylishly. I'll look into it and see if we can get them locally.
Here you go:


Thanks for the advice. I'm not sure we configured the crossover on our speakers before, we set everything up with the automatic tool from Denon (audessey?), and used the default settings. Will look into it!
If you do get the Dali's, you'll need to re-run the Audessey setup (using the mic again), after connecting the speakers.

Once the calibration is completed, go into the speaker crossover menu and alter the crossover as per @gibbsy post above - Unless the crossovers for the Dali's/Atmos speakers are already above 120Hz, in which case don't alter them.

If you need/want any other help with settings, just ask here. 🙂
 

debt collector

Standard Member
I am aiming for a 5.2.2 or 5.2.4 setup and I have a couple of questions if I may

1. I would like to avoid having speakers on stands (other than my front L/R (Harbeth HL5) so I prefer on-wall or better still in-ceiling speakers as back surround and height speakers. Could that work and if so what configuration would you recommend?

2. I read in this forum that angled speakers that you can tilt towards your listening position are the better ones to get. Would you agree?

3. I would rather not have to chase the wall to run speakers cables so am researching wireless on-wall and in-ceiling speakers. Are there good ones available?
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
I am aiming for a 5.2.2 or 5.2.4 setup and I have a couple of questions if I may

1. I would like to avoid having speakers on stands (other than my front L/R (Harbeth HL5) so I prefer on-wall or better still in-ceiling speakers as back surround and height speakers. Could that work and if so what configuration would you recommend?

2. I read in this forum that angled speakers that you can tilt towards your listening position are the better ones to get. Would you agree?

3. I would rather not have to chase the wall to run speakers cables so am researching wireless on-wall and in-ceiling speakers. Are there good ones available?
To answer your questions in order:

1. In ceiling surrounds would not be ideal if implementing either a 5.2.2 or 5.2.4 system. There needs to be enough sound separation between your base layer of 5 speakers (inc surrounds) and the 2 or 4 atmos speakers. In addition your 5 base level speakers should be at seated ear height.

On wall surrounds mounted at seated ear height will be fine though.

2. In ceiling speakers are the preferred choice for atmos duties. The tricky part is you have to get the placement right first time (unless you're good at patching holes etc). You can get in-ceiling speakers that have a directable tweeter, which will help if you can't place the speakers in the perfect position.

In my case, because a: I live in rented accommodation and b: I'm no DIY'er! I've opted for 4x Dali Alteco C1's and mounted them as heights (near the ceiling). I've used brackets to angle them down towards my seating position. This is not my room (I'm decorating it at the minute), but my C1's are in a similar position to this:

IMG_5780.jpg


3. I don't know of any wireless speakers that are compatible with an AVR. I too can't chase cables into walls. Instead all my speaker wires are hidden in D Line trunking. This just sticks to the wall and can be painted any colour to.blend in:


I've also attached the Dolby guidelines for the various speaker configurations/types for Atmos setups:


Select whichever setup you want from the link above. The site will show you the recommended speaker positions depending on the type of speaker use (eg in-ceiling, heights or Dolby Enabled Modules).

Hope this helps 😊
 

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