Question Speaker Placement - does my room allow 7.1?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Garioch, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. Garioch

    Garioch
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    Hi everyone,

    I am trying to plan some wiring runs for surround sound, with the rear speakers being wall-mounted for tidiness. I initially thought that I would go down the route of a traditional 5.1 setup. However, looking at the room arrangement, do I have the option of 7.1?

    What is making me doubt 7.1 is the location of the "surround right" (SR) speaker, as it would be located "out-of-symmetry" in relation to the remaining speakers.

    Thanks - any comments appreciated.

    cottage1.jpg
     
  2. adam-burnley

    adam-burnley
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    The room correction software on a decent AVR should set the levels appropriately and compensate. If you sit on the right side of the rear sofa then looks like it will be in the middle anyway?
     
  3. Garioch

    Garioch
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    Thanks @adam-burnley

    Cool - I'll put in the wiring in place for 7.1. Good to know that it would be possible and that's interesting what you say about room correction software.
     
  4. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    One of my surrounds is slightly out of alignment and the receivers room correctly has sorted it no problem.
     
  5. Dolus

    Dolus
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    From your diagram you are too close to the back wall to gain any benefit from having rear surrounds and to compound the issue the rear surrounds are too far apart and will tend to blend in with the side surrounds.

    You need distance behind you and a rule of thumb for placement is that when sitting in the main listening position, turn you head 90 degrees and if you can see the rear surrounds they are too far apart. I installed rear surrounds without knowing any of the above and I am not as close to the wall as you are. When playing a film straight 5.1 or 7.1 with no upmixing I cannot tell one from the other.
     
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  6. Garioch

    Garioch
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    Thanks for that. That's really interesting and good to know.

    So from my diagram, am I right in thinking that I should be doing the following:

    1. Try and edge the sofa closer to the TV.
    2. Probably go for a 5.1 setup.
    3. If going for a 5.1, then try and get the rear left and right speakers closer together.

    Thanks once again.
    G
     
  7. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    You could easily move the sofa forward, at least a metre from the back wall. It may very well be best to stick to a 5.1 floor layout. However, I would take an immersive 5.1.2 over 7.1. any day.
     
  8. Garioch

    Garioch
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    Brilliant that's good advice. Thanks all. Saves me money when I get round to receiver and speaker shopping.

    I'll rethink the sofa placement.
     
  9. Dolus

    Dolus
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    Assuming your diagram is to scale then moving the sofa forward means what are you going to do with the second sofa?

    It looks as if your space is 4 metres (12ft) so moving the sofa forward a metre will be 1/4 into the room. My space is 12.6ft and the back of the sofa is 26" from the wall which makes the front of the sofa 59" in, nearly 5ft almost in the middle.

    Most receivers are capable of 7.1 or better so go for a 5.1 setup and then borrow or beg a pair of speakers and try 7.1 to see what you think. This way you won't need to buy a second pair of speakers until you know.

    As an aside,I just bought a new receiver that has Dolby Atmos and as I have four old surround speakers and a bunch of speaker cable I get to try Atmos at no extra cost and then decide if I want to take it further.
     
  10. Garioch

    Garioch
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    The room is to scale (although the sofas are modelled on ones that we have already - we could get smaller sofas to suit). I think I'll edge the sofa closer to the TV and use your 26" as a good starting point - see what that looks like.

    I'll go for 5.1 to begin with and see if the receiver I choose (yet to buy) supports additional channels for atmos / upward firing. As you say - I could always beg / borrow speakers to see if I can benefit from 7.1 but based on the feedback on this thread, I think a 5.1.2 or 5.1.4 may yield better results.

    Thanks again,
    G
     
  11. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    I'll give you an illustration of how good 5.1.2, or even better 5.1.4 can sound even on non Atmos discs. There is some kind of sporting competition going on in Russia and my interest in it is somewhere south of zero, so I've been digging out discs to watch.

    Last night it was the first series of Black Sails, which I have not watched for a couple of years, so before I got the Atmos set up. The opening is a sea battle which is good but not great, nothing like the epic sound of Master and Commander, but it has a very good illustration of how good the upmixers are, DTS Neural in this instance, for overhead effects. The crew of one ship have holed themselves up in a cabin and the pirate crew start stamping their feet on the deck above, which in reality came from my own bedroom. Pretty damn good.
     
  12. Dolus

    Dolus
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    Actually the 26" was not a recommendation just an illustration that with the sofa that distance from the back wall the front is nearly in the middle of the room. Ideally a larger gap is preferable for back surround speakers but moving the sofa further forward and I would likely end up in the front half of the room. The real reason the sofa was moved away from the back wall was because being too close was affecting dialogue, more so female voices.
     
  13. Rob Sinden

    Rob Sinden
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    If your room is the size of a phone box, you can still benefit from 7 rather than 5 low level speakers.

    Any good surround system will have 3 identical front speakers which will fill less than a quarter of your 360 soundfield.

    After these, the most important speakers are those to the side of your head. Probably because we ears on the side of our heads, this makes placing speakers at ear level, at 90 degrees to the listening position the most important add on to the front pair/LCR’s.

    This side information will give you the clues that tell you the size and nature of the space you are listening in. This is critical for both life like music and film reproduction.

    With these speakers perfectly located at 90 degrees to your listening position if you use Tripoles or perhaps a little further back in the room with Dipoles/Bipoles or direct radiating speakers, this will leave a gap in the soundstage behind you.

    This is what rear speaker fill.

    7 speakers at low level are better than 5 regardless of room size. This is especially true now we have true 3D sound systems with Atmos/DTS-X and there Upmixes, which are awesome.

    If you want to test the theory, I’d be happy to show you.
     

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