No space for the rears???

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  • 12-17-2006, 04:35 PM
    No space for the rears???
    Just moved into a new house and unfortunately, I do not really have any way of installing my rear surround speakers. So, I am thinking about just going to a 3.1 system (I guess that is what it is called), with two main speakers, a center and sub. I have a pretty basic system and my requirements are really simple. I have a five year old Yamaha RX-V520 receiver and some Klipsh synergy speakers. Sub is my only purchase at this time (not sure how I survived this long without one). Any thoughts on how I maximize the sound quality from this system? Will the receiver compensate for the lack of rear speakers, or will I miss some of the sound?

    One of these days, not real soon, I will finish the media room in the basement and then not have to worry about this, but until then...

    Thanks for your thoughts.
  • 12-17-2006, 05:32 PM
    Are you sure you dont have any place for rear speakers? there are some decent in wall / ceiling options available... i'm pretty creative when it comes to finding ways to get speakers where they cant go... snap a photo if you can, of the rear of your room, the floor above that room, if applicable, and the rear of your room as viewed from the outside of your house.

    as for your question, no, receiver wont compensate, in a 5.1 environment, you're definitley gonna loose a lot of the action without rears. as for a sub, dont skimp, sub is worth investing some dollars in, spend as much as you can afford to.
  • 12-17-2006, 07:20 PM
    if you got some cheap small speakers, could you fit thoes? hang on the rear wall?
    guessin you don't want inwall speakers since you are working on a media room...

    also for the sub, check out the titanic from partsexpress...
  • 12-17-2006, 07:30 PM
    Mr Peabody
    I agree, a less than optimum rear set up would be better than none. In addition to the other suggestions, is it possible to put a couple shelves up? At the hardware store you can buy some L brackets and pre-fab shelves in different lengths. I had to do this because my sofa is high back and I couldn't find stands high enough.
  • 12-17-2006, 10:52 PM
    Depends. If your fronts are good enough you should get a good dose of ambiant surround effects anyway.
  • 12-18-2006, 04:11 AM
    Dusty Chalk
    Here's the thing -- stereo and surround listening are really two different listening experiences. They're not really comparable. Your best bet is to either accept that what you're doing is setting up a quality stereo system, or find a way to do surround right. I, personally, would do the former (ain't nuthin' wrong with a quality stereo rig), since I shudder at the concept of a badly set up surround system, but it's your call.
  • 12-18-2006, 04:34 AM
    Lots of suggestions already. I like the idea of deciding what you want to accomplish before you spend money. If you decide there's no way you can have surround speakers, a wicked awesome 2.1 system would be the way to go IMO. The center channel is nice, but if you like to listen to music as much or more than you like to watch movies, this is a no brainer. You can get decent center imaging with 2 speakers anyway. Buy the best speakers you can get, throw in a sub for some fun factor and use the "virtual surround" modes on the a/v receiver (most brands have them). You'll be surprised at how good it does sound. And I bet you find yourself listening to a lot more music.

    If you do decide to pursue a full 5.1 system (maybe because you're planning to switch to a better room later) then there's absolutely no reason why you can't have a system setup well for both home theater and stereo. Setup your L/R speakers as you would with a stereo and go from there. But as Dusty says, don't do 5.1 half assed. Putting cheap crappy speakers in bad, asymmetrical locations is going to suck. You'd be wasting your time.

    Give it some thought, and resist the temptation to just run out and buy yourself new toys.
  • 12-18-2006, 07:09 AM

    Originally Posted by kexodusc

    Give it some thought, and resist the temptation to just run out and buy yourself new toys.

    My ID is crushed.
  • 12-18-2006, 07:22 AM

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    My ID is crushed.

    Id? Where'd you learn that word? www.freudainslip.cum?
  • 12-18-2006, 07:33 AM
    Thanks for the replies. No situation is impossible, but as far as I can tell, my rear placement would be poor at best. In my living room, the ideal loaction for the rear speakers happen to be in a window on one wall and in a double cased opening to the dining room on the other wall. The room is two stories, open to a landing above and large, probably 20x20. The rear is open to the kitchen. I love the open floor plan, for everything, but a HT set up. Which is why, one day... ahh one day, finish the basment. But, that day is a long way and lots of savings away.

    I think the basic stereo set up will probably be the way to go for me. I think I am more impressed with a full spectrum of sound reproduction, than surround effects anyway. Not only that, but the same amount of money for less gear = better stuff.

    As an interim measure, as I save some dough for an upgrade, can I use my HT receiver with just the front speakers and an added sub (great suggestion on the Titanic, had that in my sights already)? If possible, what would be the best way to set that up for best sound?
  • 12-18-2006, 07:34 AM

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Id? Where'd you learn that word? www.freudainslip.cum?

    Learn? Me learn? Are you sure you've got the right guy?

    Wifey gave me the go-ahead to buy these over the weekend. But then I said no. Too many other things we need instead of want. D'mit!!!! Why did she have to say yes?!
    I hear these things at night calling me.
  • 12-18-2006, 09:31 AM

    Originally Posted by skinnyfatman
    an added sub (great suggestion on the Titanic, had that in my sights already)? If possible, what would be the best way to set that up for best sound?

    I usually try to keep my subs at least 1 foot away from any wall or speaker...
    I also usually keep my sub in the front, but have seen subs in all parts of the room...
  • 12-18-2006, 09:38 AM
    fyi, my suggestion to go w/ cheap wall mount speakers was only for the surrounds...
    get good speakers up front...
    but, for movies (not music), having some surroundsound is better than no surroundsound imo...
    a pair of atoms can be easily mounted and cost <$200 new
  • 12-18-2006, 12:11 PM
    what i would do:
    option 1: in wall/ceiling speakers, they aren't bad or something, they're just different, and yes, maybe common speakers might be better.

    option2: (my preferred one) move everything else, so there's room for the speakers.

    b&w makes in wall speakers, so does focal, and wharfedale too i think, not sure about it, anyways, these are just a few, there are tons of them out there.

    greetings and good luck,
  • 12-18-2006, 01:17 PM
    paridigm makes some $200 range inwall speakers...
  • 12-19-2006, 01:05 PM
    Dusty Chalk

    Originally Posted by skinnyfatman
    ...same amount of money for less gear = better stuff.

    Good call.
  • 12-19-2006, 01:53 PM
    Your receiver has a decent virtual surround function that will suffice if you absolutely have no way of accommodating the surround speakers. But, if there's any way of accommodating the surround speakers, definitely go with them. Virtual surround is no substitute for real surround speakers. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something or is enamored with the initials E-S-O-B.

    And accommodating the surrounds might not be as difficult as you think. Consider that the ideal alignment for the surrounds is 110 degrees off-center. In most cases, that's less than one foot behind the listening position and does not require a lot of space behind the sofa. (see diagram below) If you have to position the speakers closer to the listening position than the other speakers, simply increase the delay timing by 1 ms for every foot that the surround speakers are closer than the mains.

    Depending on which surround speakers you go with (Klipsch Synergy speakers have a unique voice signature, so you should stay with that series -- the B&W and Paradigm speakers that others have recommended will not match well), you can simply mount the speakers onto a tall telescoping speaker stand and position them right at the back of your sofa. You want to position the surrounds at least one foot above ear level, and point them directly at one another (not aimed towards the listening position). Telescoping speaker stands are cheap, but can't support more than 10 lbs. If your surround speakers are heavier, then you'll need to go with heavier (and more expensive) tall stands or look into wall-mounting options.

    Since you already have standalone speakers up front, I would not recommend going with in-wall speakers if you're at all concerned with performance and value. In-wall speakers typically lock you into a bad alignment and don't allow you to more optimally reposition the speakers if you ever decide to move furniture around the room. Plus, compared to similarly priced bookshelf speakers, in-walls are a big step down in sound quality. In-wall speakers are ONLY for situations where the decor/looks take full priority over sound quality. If sound quality is at all a priority, then avoid the in-wall speakers, especially if they don't match what you're using up front.
  • 12-19-2006, 02:44 PM
    Heres a thought. Since your basement is not finished, why not drill a small hole 1/2" right near your trim. I assume you have carpet (more better for this project). When I say right near the trim, I mean basically a 45 degree angle going into the floor. Then thread two wires down into your basement. Pull them to where you need them (run them through the joists drilling small holes if needed.)

    Then on the area where you need the speakers in the rear, drill a small hole 1/4" again at an angle to the trim. Pull the wire UP through the floor to your speakers on floor stands.

    Viola, wires are hidden, and you can move them about a bit if you need to.

    Later if circumstance calls, you can clip the wires off near the floor and no one will be the wiser. If you have hardwood, you can still do the project, just pull a piece of trim off. The floor needs to "float" and you will have some space between the flooring and the 2x4 stud on the floor.

    Granted this is not the most elegant method, but it worked for me, and it really doesn't look bad at all.