Question Upgrading from 5.1 to Atmos

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by plasma_novice, Dec 12, 2018.


    1. plasma_novice

      plasma_novice
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      Looking for some advice please folks...

      I'm thinking about upgrading my amp to a newer one and to add a few more speakers to create an Atmos setup. I'm looking at higher end amps, so work on the assumption that they will be able to push a 5.1.4 setup as a minimum. (new amp thread here for anyone interested)

      I've currently got a 5.1 setup, which is:

      - Front LCR - Monitor Audio Radius HD 270's
      - Rears - Monitor Audio Radius HD 45's
      - Sub - REL T1

      I've also got a pair of MA Radius HD 90's which I could potentially add to make it a 7.1.x setup, but as you can see from my pics, my lounge layout could make this pretty difficult. The only place I could mount them is on the side wall, just in front of the rears, which is far from ideal.

      I'd look to add either 1 or 2 pairs of ceiling speakers for Atmos height effects - any recommendations for these taking into consideration my existing speakers?

      Also, what about placement for the height speakers as they would have to fit amongst the spotlights.

      Room dimensions (within soundstage) are 3.70m (TV to back wall), 4.5m curtains to side wall (on left of pic) and 2.20m in height. The room is much longer, as you can see in the rough sketch, but not useable from a soundstage perspective.

      Front speakers are 2.3m apart, rears are 3.3m apart.

      Thanks as always
       

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    2. gibbsy

      gibbsy
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      Looking at your seating position I would say that 5.1.2 would be your best option. The Atmos would be roughtly where your knees would be sitting on the sofa. For best effect the 5.1.4 would need to be at the rear of the room but yours is compromised because of the proximity to the rear wall.

      5.1.2 will still greatly enhance your audio experience. Your surrounds may be considered to be too high by some, they are actually about the same as mine. I would leave those alone as they look very neat.

      Dog's enjoying him/herself.:)
       
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    3. plasma_novice

      plasma_novice
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      Thanks @gibbsy - any recommendation on Atmos ceiling speakers to match the rest of my speakers?
       
    4. Drifter74

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      @gibbsy is 100% correct. 5.1.2 is your best bet due to the couch being against the rear wall. Monitor Audio makes a range of in-ceiling speakers that will all work well with your current setup. In my setup I have opted for models with tweeters that can be angled towards the listening position.
       
    5. gibbsy

      gibbsy
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      Ceiling speakers is something that I've not looked into as my 5.1.2 involved KEF R50 upfiring modules. So many good manufacturers involved but I suppose a lot depends on the space that is involved.
       
    6. joust

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    7. xxGBHxx

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      Here's a question (I don't know the answer to). While Atmos may expect the rear pair of ceiling speakers in a 4 speaker setup to be behind the listener surely it bases the position on the setup, not on an assumption? As Atmos supports an almost limitless number of speakers (400+) then there can't be an assumption on placement made on the standard. Surely when you EQ your system this is all factored in and the position of the speakers is worked out as a consequence of the EQ process?

      If you place all 4 speakers in front of the listening position the system will take that into account and provide positional sound accordingly otherwise if you were putting 20 in an auditorium where is Atmos assuming you're placing them?

      Now a more relevant question might be is how much of a benefit would you get from this? How much of a positional effect would you get from 4 speakers placed in front of you (i.e. does the slightly enhanced positional effect outweigh the cost/hassle of simply putting up a 2 speaker system? Can't really answer that either. I can see that a pair near the front wall and a pair near the back wall might give enough positional separation that you get a noticeable effect our of it. Whether that offsets the cost and hassle involved I really don't know.

      G
       
    8. Chester

      Chester
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      That's a really nice looking room there. Love what you've done with the screen wall. Did that used to be a fireplace where the AV equipment is? We used the same kind of idea.

      What's the AVR you have there? Is it Atmos/DTS X/Imax Enhanced capable? My old SR876 looked very similar but had no immersive audio.

      As you've gone with Radius (great choice for the room by the way), I'd stick with a 4" C-CAM driver and use a pair of CS140s. Tonally they should be a match for your current fronts, as near as you're going to get anyway, and very discreet having such a small size. Positioning wise they need to feel as though they're enveloping, so slightly inside the surround speakers, and somewhere around 20-30° forward from vertical of the listening positioning. Joists might come into play for positioning though.

      Good luck and look forward to seeing it.
       
    9. Evinger

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      Just wanted to say your Room looks fantastic - great usage of the Space, IMHO.
      And I too like the Dog posing on the other Sofa - plus I love the lone sock in front of the Viewing Sofa! :thumbsup:
       
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    10. gav_sw20

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      I’ve just installed ceiling speakers to upgrade my 5.1 to 5.1.2. I purchased the Fisual HC65 ceiling speakers from AVO. An absolute steal at £72 per unit.

      Watched MMFR and The Last Jedi today and both made for excellent viewing. So much so I’m ordering two more to stick at the rear.
       
    11. plasma_novice

      plasma_novice
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      That's a really good point re equalization. I was thinking if a pair just above my head and another pair about half way into the room, but not sure if they'd be far enough away from each other to give good separation- probably only about 1.5m. Might be easier to stick with just a single pair about 50-100cm in front of the seating position
       
    12. plasma_novice

      plasma_novice
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      Thanks - the hole was originally a back boiler when we bought the house, but ripped that out before moving in & it just became the AV rack. The shelves slide out, so helps with heat dissipation.

      Yes it is an Onkyo 876 - I've had it about 10 years and it's never let me down, not even with HDMI which could sometimes be a weak point on these receives due to the heat they produce.

      I'll look into the MA ceiling speakers. Would the 4" be big enough, or would there be any benefit to going 6"? Would like them to be tonally balanced, so not sure what drivers the Radius 270's have.
       
    13. plasma_novice

      plasma_novice
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      I'll have to thank my 12yr old son for the decorative sock! Think he must be going through a "budding artist" phase, trying to emulate modern art by leaving stuff all over the house!
       
    14. Chester

      Chester
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      That's excellent. We've moved the lintel up from the original fireplace and just shoved an open rack in the hole, but eventually we'd like to build a false wall and decrease the size of the hole and use sliding shelves, so it would like uncannily similar to your arrangement!

      My SR876 had the HDMI problem you described and needed to go away for a new board, but was faultless when it returned and still going strong with its new owner. He's super impressed with it. Certainly is meaty.

      I think I've found your R250HDs and they don't use the C-Cam driver but are still 4". Your R45HDs use 3" drivers, so the CS140s should sound richer than those! It's an interesting one for sure. I'd be tempted to look for some R90HDs to upgrade the rears, and that would give a fantastic tonal balance front to back. MA have CS160s which are the 6" equivalent and would deliver more bass, but you could still cross over to the sub between 80-90Hz on all speakers with CS140s/R90HDs.

      Food for thought...
       
    15. Toon Army

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      I have a similar room set up and have a Quad Lite 5.1 set up. The rear surround speakers are on either side of the main settee ( bookshelf speakers on stands ). I am adding 2 Cambridge Audio min12 speakers for the rear heights this week by fixing them to the top of the walls either side of the settee. I will then use Audyssey on my Denon 4400H for the final setup.
       
    16. Joe Fernand

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      xxGBHxx - I suspect you are hoping for too much from the processing which will be embedded within a Consumer AVR.

      The 'setup' is a mix of you indicating the speaker positions relative to a pre determined graphic/layout and the results from the mic test (which assume speaker positions are somewhere close to what you have indicated).

      In a Cinema set-up you again have to indicate speaker positions 'relative' to a pre defined layout.

      https://www.dolby.com/us/en/technol...t-generation-audio-for-cinema-white-paper.pdf

      Joe
       
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    17. Recoveryone

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      Love the Projector setup, best of both worlds
       
    18. T800

      T800
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      Imo (and apologies for being slightly off topic) the best thing you can do to get better sound is to get some sort or partition even a curtain that blanks off the right hand side of your room that the speakers aren't in and some acoustic treatment.
       
      Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
    19. Chester

      Chester
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      It's a lounge! OK it's the OP's lounge, but I know what would happen if I presented that to my better half. I'm the first person to say that the room has the biggest impact on the listening experience, but something tells me that the OP is going to be equally as restricted in this case.
       
    20. Evinger

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      We have a similar room set up, in that the RHS of the Room is open, but in some ways it is better. In a relatively small Home Cinema Room I would personally feel claustrophobic. Our Sofa faces the TV & the 5.1.2 system is aimed towards that listening area, but a fourth "wall" would be uncomfortable; plus SWMBO would NOT stand for it! :)
       
    21. plasma_novice

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      Whilst I understand the logic behind your thinking, I've got more chance of flying to the moon unaided than getting this past the missus, not that I think I'd be a fan of it either. Much prefer the open room layout TBH.
       
    22. plasma_novice

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      I've actually got a pair of 90HDs sat in a box doing nothing. Unfortunately they're a little too big to replace the 45s in the same position & I'm struggling to find another place without them sticking out like a sore thumb. The beauty of the layout/positioning at the moment is that it blends into the room nicely, so have to bear that in mind for any new speakers being added in.
       
    23. T800

      T800
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      Fair point, theres always a trade off. The reason it jumped out at me because my set up was the same in my last house and I never knew how much difference it would make changing it until i moved.

      I also agree with most people here 5.1.2 makes the most sense for OP.
       

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