My B&W Living room, Little advise needed!

RealNumber 1

Established Member
Oct 15, 2006
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Hi all, I've been browsing this forum a bit lately so thought it was about time I showed you my setup. That and maybe a little advice from some of you...:)

So until around 2 months ago I had a Tannoy SFX 5.1 setup with stands although I replaced the sub with a Paradigm PS1000 which sorted the worst of the SFX's shortcomings imo. This is it, I was quite happy with it tbh. I had a Denon 1802 running it and the sound was decent.


Then a few months ago I acquired a Denon 3805, some B&W 603 S2's and a CC6 and some QED silver anniversary xt bi-wire speaker cable.

I now have 4 of my SFX surrounds creating a 7.1 setup. So far it's bloody amazing. You don't realise until you change from small to large how much of the sound your loosing. Listening to music is like hearing the tunes for the 1st time again and films sound even more stunning.

I got the equipment from my brother and it is all 100% perfect condition apart from the paper on the bass of the 603 have faded over the years (not sure if they can be sprayed or something to bring them back to black?).

I also got some extra surrounds with it and this is my main question to you all...?
I have a pair of Eltax HT2 and a pair of Mission M3DS Bipolar's.
My room is 3m and a bit wide and 4m long with the main couch about a foot from the rear wall.
Reason I'm still using my SFX's is because they are on stands and I used 4 rather than 2 (even though the room is smallish) to spread the workload and make directing the sound better for the other seats etc. And also because the place is rented.
I could probs drill 2 of the above to the wall but the question is, is it worth the effort of going and asking the landlord if I can do this etc... Or should I stick with how it is?

Here's some pics of my setup below. Still a bit of tidying to do but getting there. Will list the equipment below.







LG PK590 50" Plasma
Denon 3805 AV amp
B&W 603 S2
4 x Tannoy SFX as surrounds
Paradigm PS1000 series Sub
QED silver anniversary xt bi-wire + QED Micro Wire to surrounds.
Virgin Tivo box
Xbox 360
Logitech Harmony One remote
Acer Laptop
3x Phillips Living Colours gen2 Remote Control Lights (For epic lighting adjustment)
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Hi there buddy. Great system !!- brings me back with those 603s :) although I had the Series 1s.

Ok firstly just to clarify you say you have 7.1 at the moment? If so how much of a difference does the rear speakers (surround back) give you over a regular 5.1 setup.

The reason I ask this is because of your room size - 7.1 sounds superb in a big room (when I mean big at least 5+ metres wide and at least 1 metre behind the listening position). This because of the void created between the surround speakers.

I have experimented with 7.1 myself and have a room about the same width as yours, and have to be honest it didn't make too much of a difference between my 5.1 setup that is why I got rid of my other speakers.

In all fairness it really depends on what you prefer and what you want to acheive in your setup - although a fellow sound engineer said too me once - a poorly designed 7.1 setup may sound ok will not outperform a great 5.1 setup. I happen to agree with him. :) If you need any advice mate please feel free to ask! :) Again great setup - (on an improvement note - move that left speaker out from the corner a bit more and tidy those wires :) )

Oh have a look at my older 600 series and newer 800 series setup in my signature. :)
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Thanks for the positive feedback:).

Yes I have it as 7.1 at the minute. The reason is because I find the SFX surrounds to be very directional. With using 4 I've managed to position them so that I get decent spread of surround on my main couch as well as the one along the side.

When I tried 5.1 it meant that I had the speakers pointing straight at the main seating position which meant people on the side couch had had one speaker right behind them and it was to loud. It was the same for anyone sat on the left side of the main couch.

I don't know much about the pair of Missions and Eltax. They are much bigger than the SFX for a start. They are also both dipole so should spread the sound better? If I was to get a big improvement with either of them I would happily look at mounting them to the left/right of the rear wall and going back to 5.1. The problem is it is difficult to test this without drilling holes in the wall and mounting them...

Or should I stick with how it is for now and look at saving up for some better surrounds all together?


I will look at moving the left speaker a bit although at the sound levels I can go to without annoying the person in the flat below I haven't noticed any adverse effects so far. The cables are an ongoing thing lol...
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Do you have any pictures of the opposite end of your room i.e where the sofa's are?

On average how many people watch movies at your house? If its just the two of you then I'd look at basing the 5 speakers around the main sofa you sit on to watch films.

However saying that if you're happy with how it sounds now then thats all that really matters at the end of the day!
Hi Acram_boy, here are a couple of pics. I've also included one of each of the extra speakers I have. It's mainly just me watching the films. But I also have friends around sometimes, a girlfriend when I have one and switch from sofa to sofa every so often lol.





I watched Avatar on film 4HD last night and loved the way it sounded on either sofa. But if I can make it better than it already is with what I have then all the better!!
I'd also consider selling the collection of surrounds to get 2 better ones but i'm not sure I'd get much/enough for any of them?
At the moment I stream films via my TV so I'm not bothered about the lack of HDMI on the amp as I don't use blueray yet and to upgrade to an amp of similar standard would cost a lot. That can wait until the next Xbox comes out...
The biggest thing is that you're happy with your system.

Yes I / we could advise you to get a hd amp and Blu ray player which would improve both audio and sound and give you hd sound tracks but at least you've got that to look forward to!

Again with your speakers I would advise to concentrate on your main viewing sofa and get a decent 5.1 system however if you're pleased with the sound and like a bit of variation where you sit then stick with what you've got.

At the end of the day it's all about making tv viewing a more pleasurable experience and it seems that what your system does :)
So if I went back to 5.1, any idea which pair would be best to use?
I can't help feel that as good as the Tannoy's are they're still on a much lower level (sound/quality wise) compared to the B&W's and maybe one of the other pairs would be a better match?

I might have to try and get a couple of friends to stand holding them against the wall for an hour while I test them ha:laugh:.
I agree with Arcam Boy - with surround sound you will always have 'the sweet' spot or "money seat"- this spot is where it will sound the best from all speakers you have. Sadly unless you have a multiplex with the ability to place 50 speakers around the room this will always be the way. So some compromise will have to be sought.

However you say some speakers sound too loud compared to others. I would have a look at room correction - you can get this on a receiver with automatic setup - it is called Audyessy and can yield some good results. It can come in a variety of flavours but Audyessy XT and XT32 are among the best out there. These can alter create a unity between different brands of speakers (timbre matching) and alter the percieved 'loudness' to create a system that works well for most seating positions.

For example I have an Onkyo preamp with Audyessy XT32, due to the design of the room the right surround speaker is closer than the left - this of course makes the right surround louder than the left - using Audyessy has helped make that speaker match to the distance of the left surround. The percieved loudness has now been corrected between those speakers.

Of course it is never perfect and you will not get the same results from a sofa the otherside of the room but you should concentrate on your main listening position.

If you find 7.1 difficult to setup (may I say most people do! :) ) - then a good 5.1 setup may be more effective - of course that is my opinion, it all depends on what you want!

For rear speakers are you looking to wallmount them or just have regular bookshelves?
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My amp has an Auto setup/mic and it seems to work really well. I've had 5.1 in one form or another for 13 years now so I'm not too bad at setting things up but the auto setup makes it much easier...

When I had the Tannoy's in a 5.1 it was good in the "sweet spot" but if I had people round then they would end up with a speaker right behind their head which is when it was too loud. So I set it up in 7.1 to try and spread the sound around a bit better.

I've been using the Tannoy's as they're easy to position on stands but the others would need to fixed to the wall. For obvious reasons if I did this I'd need to get it right 1st time which makes experimenting harder! I've also never used bipole speakers before although I understand how they differ.
I'd be selfish and set it up for yourself mate! Its your room and your kit so it'd be worth setting it for you +1

It looks like the door may cause you trouble with your rear left if you use a stand mount so wall mount fairly high up just behind your sofa would be a good option for that one and the same the opposite side.

I'd be tempted to give the missions a try, I believe they were pretty decent in their day!
Cool, I think I'll have to try and prop the Missions up on some boxes or something and see how they sound. Will post new pics if I change to it:).
You'd only have to put two screws in the wall to mount them temporary mate. I'm sure if it doesn't work you could very easily hide a few screw holes!
I have the ELTAX linear response 10.5 fronts and centre and HT 2 rears and the sae missions as you..I have it wired to a pioneer vsx-921 in 7.- and it sounds wicked...I would go for it I have the missions behind me just above head height and my HT 2's on the side wall and my oaf is on the back wall and the sound is now more me it's much better...
I have the ELTAX linear response 10.5 fronts and centre and HT 2 rears and the sae missions as you..I have it wired to a pioneer vsx-921 in 7.- and it sounds wicked...I would go for it I have the missions behind me just above head height and my HT 2's on the side wall and my oaf is on the back wall and the sound is now more me it's much better...

Thanks for that reply.

So given the choice which pair would you stick on the back wall with a view to spreading the noise and quality?

Using both sets in 7.1 would be complete overkill in such a small room and look daft...

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