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  • Help with room setup before speaker builds.

    Hello everyone,
    I have been a long time lurker (years) but never joined. Well, I have a big enough project now that I think I really need help. My home theater is pretty modest. I have a six year old JVC 7.1 receiver (RX D212B) and Sony blue ray player (BDP-S550). My TV is a Samsung LN46B750, so nothing to impressive.
    My speaker setup is an Optimus (Pro-SW200p) powered sub which from day one has always sounded pretty muddy. My mains are a pair of Dayton 3s that where my first real speaker build outside of plain old car trunk sub boxes. My center channel and surrounds are just off the shelf junk.
    A few years ago I built a small entertainment cabinet to house these specific items and it just takes up too much room. With the addition of a baby it’s just not working. The way our room is designed this is all housed in a corner, I know it stinks. I’m not good with drawling so here is my attempt.


    13”x19”
    8” ceiling
    My project is to create more floor space in the room and better access to the bookshelves and cabinets.
    In the same location I was going to use a full motion wall mount to keep the TV in about the same place along with the center channel. The powered sub under the TV will be replaced with an end table powered sub unit I plan to build (wood worker). I’ll be moving my mains for use in another room and build a pair of the Overnight sensation MTM since they are smaller to mount either from the wall or possibly suspended from the ceiling. My dilemma is my surrounds. Looking at better receivers I’m torn between 5.1 or 7.1. My current 7.1 setup is not the best and with this room being on the smaller side am I over doing it with surrounds? Lets remember that I’m a noob and not slam me for being unclear on something you might feel is a simple discussion. A decision with way will probably lead to building some Overnight sensation MT speakers. Please give me any input you have with either room setup speaker location or how if you were limited to this room you would obtain the best setup.
    Thanks everyone!

  • #2
    Re: Help with room setup before speaker builds.

    To your credit, you've started at the beginning. I have a similar room, 22x15, with a fireplace on the short side, and sliding glass door on the long side, but my doorway is a 5' hole behind your loveseat; you have more options!

    Orientation
    Screen on short side, opposite fireplace
    - your back is to the fireplace, but it beats TV over mantle
    - room for rows (loveseat in front of couch) for dedicated viewing, if you don't mind moving furniture
    - rears on shelves, sides up high like now, mains tight to screen to avoid doorway
    - disadvantaged by the focus reversal - fireplaces are meant to be the center of attention, not something stuck in the back.

    Screen on short side, above fireplace
    - screen should be a eye level
    - no room for CC
    - L/R speakers either on bookcase (bad for sound) or way out into room.
    - maintains room design focus and seating options.
    - makes it easy to leave loveseat on wall, bad for sound

    Screen on long side, opposite glass door.
    What I did, because it's the only unbroken wall.
    - your back is to the glass door, which seems like a bad idea because of the need for access to the door. But your seating area should be spaced out from the walls, to improve sound quality. I sit 3-4' from the back wall.
    - it is a bad idea for stray light, but there are a lot of curtain options.
    - it also turns out this placement is generically good for room modes as long as you stay away form the center of the room.

    Other considerations to the room
    - doorways lead somewhere. If a small room, can become acoustically linked to this room. If rest of house, can form bass transmission line filling house with sound no matter what.
    - glass doors act as a bass trap. Curtains are broadband sound absorbers. A curtained, sliding glass door is a very effective room acoustic treatment.
    - furniture affects acoustics; cloth upholstery is broadband absorber while leather reflects.
    - carpeting with a thick pad is a broadband absorber
    - shelves with random depth objects (as opposed to perfectly aligned walls of books) act as diffusers.

    There's a lot to think about here. Cogitate a bit, then see if any of this would work for your situation.

    HAve fun,
    Frank

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    • #3
      Re: Help with room setup before speaker builds.

      Well, I say put the TV above the fireplace, put the center and mains high. Ceiling mount the CC, or put the CC under the TV, depending on how high your fireplace is and put the mains and electronics on the shelves. Switch the sofa and loveseat locations, losing the little round table. 5.1 makes more sense if your sofa is against the wall. Now, with high mounted TV and speakers, they are out of the child's reach, and you have more floorspace. Switching the sofa and loveseat gives you better shelf access. The high mounted TV and speakers make it more plausible to move the loveseat into the middle of the room facing the fireplace for a special movie occasion without blocking the sofa view.

      For normal viewing, the only really good seats would be two out of the three sofa seats. Right now, the only good seat for balanced surround sound is sitting on the floor in the middle of the room.

      BTW, my own arrangement is nothing to brag about. I have a 5.1 setup because my sofa is against the wall opposite my TV.

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      • #4

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        • #5
          Re: Help with room setup before speaker builds.

          Yeah, the 5.1 surrounds would be to the sides of the sofa. The 7.1 setup would have two more surrounds on the back wall, which doesn't work well with seating up against the rear wall.

          And I also meant to mention that if you put your mains on the shelves that you will want a near wall design with low baffle step compensation (BSC). The center channel also, if it's close to the wall.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Help with room setup before speaker builds.

            if this is a dedicated theater then put the sofa in the middle of the room and put the loveseat behind it on a raised platform that doubles as a subwoofer array. a dropdown screen and projector can be added to the list. say 100".
            " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

            Quote Originally Posted by hongrn. Oct 2014
            Do you realize that being an American is like winning the biggest jackpot ever??

            http://www.midwestaudioclub.com/spot...owell-simpson/
            http://s413.photobucket.com/albums/pp216/arlis/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Help with room setup before speaker builds.

              OK, so after speaking with the wife I was reminded that this space has to double as a living room and play room outside of being our movie viewing area. I was approved to move forward with the over the fire place method. And here is what I have.

              Also authorized were a new receiver, sub build, center channel build and main speaker build. A lot of this will have to wait until I get my bonus July 4th, so not to long away.
              Now my next problem is building main speakers that will play nice being on a book case. The shelves are large and deep so I don't know how that will affect the speakers that I plan to build performance. I was originally planning on building the MTM Overnight sensations (here)
              Another big issue in order to fit on the shelves they will have to be on their side...ugh...nothing is ever simple. Do you think I should start a separate build thread for that project? The sub will be much easier to design.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Help with room setup before speaker builds.

                Originally posted by WoodCock View Post
                Wow, some good ideas.
                As much as I would like the option three that Frank has used I don't think it would fly with the boss. ...So from what I’m gathering is when the seating is against the walls 5.1 is called for and if not the use of 7.1 is the better option?...
                There are always tradeoffs. However, there are also pitfalls - things that are never a good idea - and listener proximity to walls is a pitfall. We have no problem accessing the glass door because there's lots of room in front of it - no one sits near the walls.

                Walls can't move so they are are pressure nodes in acoustics. Listeners seated against the wall will have greatly amplified bass response. Depending on the wall reflectance, other frequencies will spike; treble will likely be sibbilant. Dialog will be hard to understand. There will be a loss of spaciousness - instruments will be located at the speaker - and very little envelopment, both of which correlate with higher listener preference. It has nothing to do with adding synthesized ambiance channels.

                Originally posted by WoodCock View Post
                OK, so after speaking with the wife...
                Now my next problem is building main speakers that will play nice being on a book case. ...Another big issue in order to fit on the shelves they will have to be on their side...ugh...nothing is ever simple....
                Yes, another tradeoff (the wife, I mean) and another pitfall, two actually.
                - placed in a bookcase
                - (MTM) on their side

                Smooth surfaces are a loudspeaker's friend. Ryan has posted what happens when you put a speaker on a shelf:
                http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php4?t=28655

                You're planning to do what's shown in Figure 12.11a. Note that all of the diagrams use the same speaker; one can design so that 12.9a is optimized to look like 12.8a, but that only addresses the bass rise (due to a full BSC design). There's nothing to be done about the peaks and dips, save for taking the speaker off the shelf. And that's going to be a trade-off, right?

                So tradeoff what you must, even if it steers you into a pitfall, just don't drive into pitfalls by choice - if you have a height constraint, don't "fix" it by altering a design for the worse! Select a design that's intended for your application, either shorter so it fits the space, or designed for horizontal placement.

                I apologize if this seems negative. The nature of tradeoff is to get less than you want. An optimized tradeoff requires an understanding of what's being given up, so both sides get to keep part of what's "important" to them. You may have to put speakers on shelves, but at least you can choose a design that will play well from there!

                Have fun,
                Frank

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                • #9

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                  • #10
                    Re: Help with room setup before speaker builds.

                    Thank you for understanding my intent; you're the "right" kind of listener!

                    There are two things going on in those figures:
                    - steep dips in response due to the placement effects
                    - broad rise in response due to proximity to walls, AKA baffle step compensation (BSC), a crossover design variable

                    Looking back at Fig. 12.8a vs. 12.8b, the difference is purely BSC. (a) is a speaker optimized for free-standing operation, away from walls. (b) shows that the same speaker mounted flush into a wall will have rising response from ~1KHz on down, due to reflected energy from the wall. Thus the common practice of offering "stand-alone" and "on-wall/in-wall" crossover designs, or at least some discussion of placement effects and how to deal with them.

                    You can try this. Take a speaker that sounds good out in the room and it'll be boomy when hung on a wall. Take one that's nice when mounted on the wall, and the sound will get thin when it's sitting 2' out. You're hearing BSC.

                    Conversely, there are no design options to deal with the sharp dips of Fig. 12.9b or 12.11a, beyond changes to the nearby walls. The one good aspect is that peaks are far more noticable than dips... we don't notice sounds that are absent near as much as those that are bothersome.

                    Center channel is just another speaker. Some design families include them, others don't. Since it's beside the TV, this will need to be an on-wall XO design, preferably optimized for dialog.

                    Have fun,
                    Frank

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Help with room setup before speaker builds.

                      Curt and waynes aviatrix could work well aS front three. All on their sides.
                      " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

                      Quote Originally Posted by hongrn. Oct 2014
                      Do you realize that being an American is like winning the biggest jackpot ever??

                      http://www.midwestaudioclub.com/spot...owell-simpson/
                      http://s413.photobucket.com/albums/pp216/arlis/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Help with room setup before speaker builds.

                        OK, so I tried out what you said and your right. But you already knew that.....;)
                        I moved one of my Dayton 3s around and even put one on the self on its side....not so good...eek.
                        I did find this center channel which is perfect for my location.
                        https://sites.google.com/site/undefi...bipolewhatwhen

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Help with room setup before speaker builds.

                          If you keep the receiver you could add a Behringer eq on the mains

                          http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=248-724
                          John H

                          Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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                          • #14
                            Re: Help with room setup before speaker builds.

                            Originally posted by WoodCock View Post
                            OK, so I tried out what you said and your right. But you already knew that.....;)
                            I moved one of my Dayton 3s around and even put one on the self on its side....not so good...eek.
                            This is a case of YMMV - your mileage may vary. I assume you tried the wall proximity test... BSC is easy for me to hear, I'm sensitive to tonal balance, non-linear distortion and noise.

                            I must admit, however, I never heard anything bad from my toppled MTM CC... until I sprung for an untoppled one. I notice timbre changes, but I don't have a preference; the toppled MTM sounded different as I moved laterally across the lobe pattern, but not "bad" here and "good" there. I'm not as sensitive to linear distortion as you may be.

                            I did find this center channel which is perfect for my location.
                            https://sites.google.com/site/undefi...bipolewhatwhen
                            And a good match to ONS. You're not the only person I know building one.

                            Would it be possible to take an existing design like the overnight sensation MTM and port it in the front?...
                            In general, bass alignment is independent of XO design. Do what you want with the box, as long as driver locations relative to each other and baffle edges are maintained, your XO design won't change. The hard part might be finding real estate... thus the popularity of bottom slot ports on crowded MTM baffles.

                            Conversely, optimizing speaker proximity to walls is central to XO design, and now you know what it sounds like!

                            HAve fun,
                            Frank

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                            • #15

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