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Surround & Rear Speakers - Upgrades & Placement?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by cmcg55, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. cmcg55

    Standard Member

    Jun 5, 2005
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    I’m currently running a 5.1 setup with Infinity Alpha 50s as the main units and an Infinity Alpha Center in the middle. The surrounds I currently have are also Infinity, US-1s.

    I must say that I have been very happy with the 50s and the Center, so I don’t intend on changing them anytime soon. However, I am now looking to upgrade to a 7 speaker layout, and as such, need some advice on both (a) the surrounds/rears and (b) some configuration issues.

    Firstly, with regard to the surrounds and rears… in your opinion(s) should I…

    (a) Use US-1s as surrounds, buy new rear units.
    (b) Use US-1s as rear, buy new surround units.
    (c) Move US-1s to alternative use, buy new surrounds AND rears.

    Recommendations? Thoughts? Either way, I'm buying new speakers, so are there any recommendations you would make? I don't want to spend an outright fortune, but... ahhh, you know. Just looking for capable units without breaking the bank. I'd prefer to keep the US-1s around in some capacity i.e. option (a) or (b), but would appreciate thoughts.

    Secondly, placement. A topic and a half I know.

    With the surround speakers, Dolby's site suggests that the L & R surrounds should be above ear level, but in line with the ear itself (so in the case of my setup, the surrounds will likely be mounted on the wall in line with the listening position). Question is though (or rather two questions)... how high above ear level, and should the speakers be angled in anyway (i.e. tilted downwards)?

    With the rear speakers though, there's far less guidance I've been able to find, probably because 6.x setups are still relatively rare. Again, Dolby's site provides some guidance, suggesting that the rears should be at a roughly 45 degree angle to the center of the listening area, or perhaps slightly more "toed-in" to the center. However, again, that's about as far as it gets - there's no guidance on (a) height relative to listening area or (b) whether the speakers should be angled (either horizontally or vertically, although their diagrams sseem to suggest that the rears should not be horizontally angled i.e. they should directly face the front speakers).

    I know this isn't an exact science, and experimentation will certainly be required, but just looking for some general guidance on where to start.

    Final FYIs (if these are of any help): receiver is HK AVR-325.
  2. pacificwave123


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    Personally I would keep the US-1 speakers if you feel that they blend well with the alpha series. If you don't think that they blend well with the alphas I would suggest replacing them.

    Regardless the speakers I would reccamend looking at would be the Infinity beta 10's and primus 150's since they would most likely blend the best with the alphas which unfortunately for you are now discontinued. From what I know both the beta 10's and primus 150's are resonably priced. :)

    If you chose to keep the US-1's I would try them out as both sides and backs to see which situation sounds better. After all every room sounds different so what works for me may not work for you.

    As for the ear level question. I personally would try to keep the speakers tweeter at dirrect ear level since the receiver naturally diffuses the sound when it decodes it. Plus I prefer dirrect radiation as opposed to diffused radiation but that is just me, I simply think that special effects sound better with dirrect radiation, and I think that it makes the sound stage seem broader. However if you want to try the speakers a bit above ear level go ahead, but just rememver to keep the tweeter angled toward the listening area were you will be sitting. Remember if the sound is supposed to be diffused the receiver will decode it that way, that is why I think you should keep the speakers at ear level and facing towards you.

    By the way your receiver and speaker setup is awsome! I have a Harman Kardon paired with Infinity speakers also! :smashin: Hope I was able to help :)

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