Should I go 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 in my set-up?

Jonzey

Standard Member
Hi

So I've had a 5.1 set-up in many guises for nearly 30 years but I recently pushed it to 7.1.4 when I picked up a new Arcam AVR390. I already had the Proac Hexa satellites for my rears so it was an easy ask. However I'd now like to go full Atmos (utilising my old AVR200 to run the Atmos speakers)

I'm no novice to HT and I'm aware of the Dolby set-up spec but I also know every day is a school day so I was hoping for some advice regarding speaker placement in my environment.

Here's my spec and room layout:

Arcam AVR-390 (using my old avr200 for atmos channels)
L/R: Proac studio 125
C: Spendor c5e
S: Triangle Borea surrounds (old model)
RS: Proac hexa satellite
Sub: Monitor Audio ASW

The room is approx 4m x 3.5m.
It's about 2.5m from LCR to my MLP and 1.5m to my RS

The room has a bay window with a dropped recess ceiling which makes it all a bit trickier.

I have a single set of CA minx min 21 as a start of a potential 7.1.2 set-up. I am also looking at potentially mounting Monitor Audio Radius 90 instead.

Ideally I'd like to go 7.1.4 but I'm not sure my MLP and room layout will facilitate this. It is a stop gap as I'm (finally) planning on building a dedicated studio/HT in the next year or so. For this reason I'm mounting speakers on the ceiling.

Essentially long story short I want to know if I should stick with the idea of two ceiling speakers and mount my Minx a couple of feet in front of my MLP and just enjoy it for what it is or try and squeeze four in there? I'm conscious of muddying the separation by trying to get the rear atmos behind and in front of my MLP and ruining the sound by shoving too much in a small space too close together

I only really want to do this once as the ceiling's plasterboard is a bit fragile and I can't access the recess above as we've boarded up there (hindsight's 20/20 eh?)

Photos of the room are attached. (I thought all brown was the best way to go to control light 12 years ago haha)

I know it's not the ideal set-up but I'm a TV/film editor and it's also my office so it is what it is :)

Thanks in advance
 

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rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Plenty of room there. The issue is whether you are able angle them down enough what brackets are you going to use? I'm using q acoustic 3010i X two pair as they were the only decent sized speaker with considerable amount of side to side and down adjustment. Not a problem for fronts but rear heights need large adjustment
 

Jonzey

Standard Member
I had been advised I might just not hear the difference as the sound would just blend in with the rears. Where would you mount them directly above my MLP?
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
Not that you probably want to hear my comments, so sorry, but (a) you may need to find a solution to how high your SL and SR are before you can get a full benefit from adding height domain. And (b) if there was a solution, by moving room around etc, to widen your front soundstage I would suggest that would reap greater audible benefits first before moving to more speakers.
Even moving forward your MLP would gain closer to recommend angle to FL and FR and may enable SL and SR to be mounted lower (as your desk and screen wouldn't be an issue for SR).
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Personally I'd go for bigger height speakers than the minx they're 150hz..stick to 80hz minimum.
 

Jonzey

Standard Member
Yeah I know - I'm aware they're a bit high and the fronts could be wider... however as I said it's not ideal but I just can't do that on either count. The door stops me widening the front and all my work gear gets it the way of the rest. I've read all over that Side speakers can be above ear height without too much issue so it is what it is
 

kevin7sub

Active Member
I'd be inclined to turn your setup around 90 degrees, and have the screen on the chimney breast, If the throw distance of you projector didn't allow for this I would retire it for now (as you plan to build a dedicated room) and get the the biggest TV I could and put there. ( I Would go second hand and aim for 85 inches but if you can go brand new happy days! ) I would have your chair or a couch back near the wall the radiator is on. Have your desk on the wall the screen is currently on and the cushion beds in the bay or the desk in the bay if preferred. With this orientation I would go 5.1.4 this would enable your surrounds to be lower down for better separation and it will be fine having two Atmos above you and two toward the front of the room. You would have a really enjoyable setup while you plan and build your dedicated theatre 🙂
If you don't want to change the orientation and can't lower the side surrounds I would still go with the four Atmos speakers and with live the position of the side surrounds or scrap them.
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
I'll go away and stop bothering you soon sorry 🤣

kevin7sub's suggestion... if you could get those tower speakers well spaced around the chimney breast, I think you would be so flabbergasted by the soundstage that you'd forget about heights for a while!
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Angle of adjustment with my q speakers
 

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Jonzey

Standard Member
I'd be inclined to turn your setup around 90 degrees, and have the screen on the chimney breast, If the throw distance of you projector didn't allow for this I would retire it for now (as you plan to build a dedicated room) and get the the biggest TV I could and put there. ( I Would go second hand and aim for 85 inches but if you can go brand new happy days! ) I would have your chair or a couch back near the wall the radiator is on. Have your desk on the wall the screen is currently on and the cushion beds in the bay or the desk in the bay if preferred. With this orientation I would go 5.1.4 this would enable your surrounds to be lower down for better separation and it will be fine having two Atmos above you and two toward the front of the room. You would have a really enjoyable setup while you plan and build your dedicated theatre 🙂
If you don't want to change the orientation and can't lower the side surrounds I would still go with the four Atmos speakers and with live the position of the side surrounds or scrap them.
Hi Kevin

thanks for the thought but I'm just not a fan of TVs (can't stand them as film watching goes) I love the look and feel of a projector and I only just bought my Sony VPL hw40es s/h

Also moving everything around isn't really feasible as there's a whole lot of edit kit in the breast wall corner that really can't fit anywhere else. And with that chimney breast it would be about 1 meter to my MLP and very little room behind for rears. The door needs to be open often and would block the speaker as surely the window would mean I can't hang the side speakers anywhere but right by the back wall/door...?

I've juggle this around quire a lot since moving into the house but this really is the only option with all the stuff I have.

I do appreciate the advice and whilst I'm aware of its short comings I'm not about to fully rebuild my set-up right now I just really need advice on the 7.1.2 vs 7.1.4 aspect of the layout sonically. So you think mount two above (slightly behind) me and two in front?

Once I have my studio I will get everything properly spaced as I'm looking at a 7m x4m room and it will be the sole focus of the space rather than fitting in around work and family.
 
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Jonzey

Standard Member
I'll go away and stop bothering you soon sorry 🤣

kevin7sub's suggestion... if you could get those tower speakers well spaced around the chimney breast, I think you would be so flabbergasted by the soundstage that you'd forget about heights for a while!
You're not bothering me at all mate - I came here for advice and I do appreciate it. I am however living in a reality where I can't tear the room apart and start from scratch ha!
 
D

Deleted member 901590

Guest
Given that then, purely my opinion would be to give some separation from your SL and SR by placing the x.x.2 heights further forward than normally recommended on the ceiling. And, if possible, directed towards MLP as RCCarguy suggests.

Given the aesthetics of something on the ceiling on a bracket (which I couldn't cope with), if actual installed flush ceiling speakers weren't possible, then the compromise for me would be to go with front height speakers as far up the front wall as possible pointing at MLP.
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
What about moving rears to heights then get better rears? Or different rear design?
 

Jonzey

Standard Member
Given that then, purely my opinion would be to give some separation from your SL and SR by placing the x.x.2 heights further forward than normally recommended on the ceiling. And, if possible, directed towards MLP as RCCarguy suggests.

Given the aesthetics of something on the ceiling on a bracket (which I couldn't cope with), if actual installed flush ceiling speakers weren't possible, then the compromise for me would be to go with front height speakers as far up the front wall as possible pointing at MLP.
I hear you on that but I do think I can deal with the aesthetics of having them on the ceiling short term. I was advised that front heights (rather than above) weren't that effective?
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
I hear you on that but I do think I can deal with the aesthetics of having them on the ceiling short term. I was advised that front heights (rather than above) weren't that effective?

It's the upfiring ones that aren't that effective
 

Jonzey

Standard Member
It's the upfiring ones that aren't that effective
I mean I'd much rather not go into the ceiling...

So mount the minx as front heights above the screen pointing down at MLP? surely that won't give the same effect of sound from above?
Could I potentially do the same on the back wall for the other two or is that a bad idea?
 

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Even moving forward your MLP would gain closer to recommend angle to FL and FR and may enable SL and SR to be mounted lower (as your desk and screen wouldn't be an issue for SR).

I realise you've already said you can't do this - but I do think you're sitting too far from the screen, and your side surrounds are too far back, and high (the height mainly for Atmos separation). It would also allow you to bring the rears out of the bay and widen them slightly too if you sat further forward.

While this is a (hopefully) temporary setup, you may just have to live with what you have, and others have given you good ideas on how to get a bit of separation with your Atmos setup - so just do the best you can for now, but keep an eye on the ideal arrangements for when you build your dedicated space.
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Yeah with chair other side of the room that projector image is too small, I'd move chair closer. That'll also help with rear speakers not being so close and sound will spread out
 

Jonzey

Standard Member
the sides were placed there originally so they're only where they are due to it being 5.1. Everything I read 12 years ago said a meter above ear height was ideal...

My MLP can move forward easily

I could potentially move the sides forward but surely then the chimney breast will get in the way of dispersement I really don't want to sit that much closer to the screen (I think those pictures are deceptive on the room scale.) so if I place them at ear height on the breast they would likely be ahead of my MLP.

I also need the computer monitors laid out how they are as one is my client preview edit monitor. (they're not just there for more desktop space)
 

Jonzey

Standard Member
Yeah with chair other side of the room that projector image is too small, I'd move chair closer. That'll also help with rear speakers not being so close and sound will spread out
yeah usually what I do when watching films, the chair just goes back when not in use
 

Jonzey

Standard Member
So...out of interest if I move the MLP forward 1-2 ft, shunt the sides forward to the edge of the chimney breast and space the rears out at the back more (toeing them out more too) that would help improve things sonically somewhat and increase the effect of the 4 atmos speakers?
 

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