• 10-22-2007, 08:55 AM
    pdawg17
    Which would be the lesser of two evils?
    We are having our house remodeled so I wanted to get things prewired the best I can...our main tv room will be the family room which will not have two side walls available to place the surrounds...therefore do you think sound output from surrounds would be more accurate if placed on the wall behind the viewer or in the ceiling off to either side of the viewing position angled toward the viewing position?

    Oh - and if you can't tell, floor-standing speakers are not an option ;)
  • 10-22-2007, 03:32 PM
    codecougar
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pdawg17
    We are having our house remodeled so I wanted to get things prewired the best I can...our main tv room will be the family room which will not have two side walls available to place the surrounds...therefore do you think sound output from surrounds would be more accurate if placed on the wall behind the viewer or in the ceiling off to either side of the viewing position angled toward the viewing position?

    Oh - and if you can't tell, floor-standing speakers are not an option ;)

    I would personally go with the wall mount behind the viewers. That seems to be much more common than ceiling mounts. I have my surrounds mounted on a wall behind my sofa and above my head. They are slightly angled in toward the viewers. They sound fantastic.
  • 10-22-2007, 04:16 PM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pdawg17
    We are having our house remodeled so I wanted to get things prewired the best I can...our main tv room will be the family room which will not have two side walls available to place the surrounds...therefore do you think sound output from surrounds would be more accurate if placed on the wall behind the viewer or in the ceiling off to either side of the viewing position angled toward the viewing position?

    Oh - and if you can't tell, floor-standing speakers are not an option ;)

    I would place them behind you, and angle them towards the listening position...when I had a 5.1 setup, I always tried the typical Dolby recommendations where the surrounds are close to your head firing across the room - I got better results moving them back further. You will likely experience better results, the further apart the surrounds are - ideally you'd want a 110 degree angle between the sweet spot and the surrounds but that's not always possible.

    I've had, well, awful results mounting speakers high on ceilings and angling them down...they tend to give away their locations and fail to reproduce ambient sound fields, IMO. I had one friend who insisted on this, just couldn't talk him out of it. Well, I can appreciate the fact this compromise was necessary to get his wife's buy in, but damn, it's an acoustic mess in there.
    Oh well.

    Good luck.
  • 10-22-2007, 05:51 PM
    pdawg17
    Thanks guys...I also don't think I'll be able to put them 2-3 feet above my head like "they" say too...they will probably be near the ceiling although I can probably find some to angle down...up until now I have Paradigm on-walls and Paradigm surround in-walls (another compromise) but will probably leave the surrounds in the living room for background music so I'll need to shop for some new surrounds...I'm sure my wife would prefer in-walls again :(
  • 10-23-2007, 12:41 AM
    pixelthis
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pdawg17
    Thanks guys...I also don't think I'll be able to put them 2-3 feet above my head like "they" say too...they will probably be near the ceiling although I can probably find some to angle down...up until now I have Paradigm on-walls and Paradigm surround in-walls (another compromise) but will probably leave the surrounds in the living room for background music so I'll need to shop for some new surrounds...I'm sure my wife would prefer in-walls again :(

    Rears are best if even with the heads of the viewers.
    If the old "ball and chain" wants em near the celling get inwalls and put them in the wall near the top of the wall, and get some with aimable tweeters.
    Or just get small speakers and paint them the color of your walls, small ones can sound quite well, (def tech, boston, etc) and blend in quite nicely:1:
  • 10-23-2007, 03:31 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pixelthis
    Rears are best if even with the heads of the viewers.
    If the old "ball and chain" wants em near the celling get inwalls and put them in the wall near the top of the wall, and get some with aimable tweeters.
    Or just get small speakers and paint them the color of your walls, small ones can sound quite well, (def tech, boston, etc) and blend in quite nicely:1:

    Rears aren't "best" at head level except for multi-channel audio sources like SACD and DVD-A. For movie soundtracks, the old dolby digital standards maket he assumption your rears are configured 2-3 feet above ear level during mixing. Deviating from that will produce less than desirable results.
    You might like it better, but it's not what is intended.

    pdawg17, I wouldn't worry about the speakers being "too high" if they are far enough behind you. Angling the speakers down provides you some flexibility. If it's only a foot or two behind you, well, you'll want to bring them down some if possible.
  • 10-23-2007, 07:05 AM
    pdawg17
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Rears aren't "best" at head level except for multi-channel audio sources like SACD and DVD-A. For movie soundtracks, the old dolby digital standards maket he assumption your rears are configured 2-3 feet above ear level during mixing. Deviating from that will produce less than desirable results.
    You might like it better, but it's not what is intended.

    pdawg17, I wouldn't worry about the speakers being "too high" if they are far enough behind you. Angling the speakers down provides you some flexibility. If it's only a foot or two behind you, well, you'll want to bring them down some if possible.

    They will probably be more like 5-6 feet behind so it sounds like it would be ok to angle down a bit...so should they be angled so the tweeter ends up aiming 2-3 feet above the head then? If I put some Paradigm ADPs on the wall does anyone know if those have the hardware to allow for angling down like that?

    And if there are any Paradigm "experts" here would there be a better option for surrounds? I have the onwall Monitor 5's...
  • 10-23-2007, 10:40 AM
    kexodusc
    I would just aim the tweeter to ear level - remember the sound won't radiate in a perfect straight line, anyway. But experiment if you can.

    I thought the ADP's had an optional wall mount Paradigm (or their Premiere brand) made?
  • 10-26-2007, 12:16 AM
    pixelthis
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pdawg17
    Thanks guys...I also don't think I'll be able to put them 2-3 feet above my head like "they" say too...they will probably be near the ceiling although I can probably find some to angle down...up until now I have Paradigm on-walls and Paradigm surround in-walls (another compromise) but will probably leave the surrounds in the living room for background music so I'll need to shop for some new surrounds...I'm sure my wife would prefer in-walls again :(

    My brother likes his Niles inwalls, if you have to get inwalls get them from someone
    who makes a lot of them and knows something about it.
    And Kex knows a lot about speakers, but I have always heard to mount rears evenly if possible with the ears, maybe a little above.
    In any event the human ear is built to hear things in front the best, our ability to localize
    sounds from the back is somewhat limited, so a little variation probably won't make much difference(in the old days, if you could hear something behind you, you were usually dead
    a few seconds later):1:
  • 10-26-2007, 04:08 AM
    kexodusc
    About the mounting
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pixelthis
    My brother likes his Niles inwalls, if you have to get inwalls get them from someone
    who makes a lot of them and knows something about it.
    And Kex knows a lot about speakers, but I have always heard to mount rears evenly if possible with the ears, maybe a little above.
    In any event the human ear is built to hear things in front the best, our ability to localize
    sounds from the back is somewhat limited, so a little variation probably won't make much difference(in the old days, if you could hear something behind you, you were usually dead
    a few seconds later):1:

    You'd be right about placing stereo speakers at ear level (actually, the tweeter at ear level).
    When Dolby came along with pro-logic they threw that all to hell though - Think about a movie theater - the surround speakers are significantly higher than the audience - their main purpose is to provide ambience and a some directionality when called upon. Ambience is achieved a bit better when the disperion of the speaker supersedes the pin-point directionality. Or put differently - if you mount your surrounds at ear level, your ears will pick up the strong directional cues of the higher frequencies and localize the sound right to the source (the speaker). This limits the ability of surround speakers to create a wide, engulfing sound field vs. raising your speakers.
    For whatever reason, Dolby adopted this logic into home theater (DTS too). When those tracks are mixed on a DVD they assume everyone is conforming to the HT speaker setup spec - that would be placing your rears 2-3 ft above ear level, several feet from your listening position. Maybe they could have designed it with speakers at ear level? I don't know if this is the ideal way to mix a surround track or not - just that it's the way they do it. So for optimal results, we aim to meet that spec.
    You can place them at ear level if you want - I'm sure you'll sleep well at night. Not the worst thing you could do in a home theater for sure - but for best results, try and mount them a bit higher.
    You'd probably lose some of the ambience in the room as disperion gives way to directionality if they're at ear level, but, I bet the few cues that are meant to be directional would probably sound a bit better?
    What complicates things is 5.1 audio formats - like DVD-A and SACD. Their speaker setup guidelines demand that you keep the surrounds at the same height as your front speakers, so yeah tweeter at ear level. Again, this is because the engineers mix those tracks with that assumption in mind.

    There is a practical side to this too - when we moved to our home a few years ago I mounted my bookshelfs about 2 feet above ear level to try and get "half-way" between the home theater placement guidelines and the multi-channel audio splacement guidelines - figuring I'd get the best of both worlds. One night my wife opened the door to my HT room, proceeded to the light switch and ran smack-head-first into 40 lbs of speaker.

    Needless to say that was all my fault and the speakers are now mounted high enough to give adequate clearance for anyone...:1: