View Full Version : Difficult Room Setup
The room where our entertainment system sits is primarily a window room, lots of glass on 3 sides. It is 24 X 20 and the 4th side opens into a kitchen and a dining room.
There is a modest 3/12 pitched peaked ceiling which is about 12 feet at the peak. There are several small abutments that break up the room (closet, 1/2 bath, bay window bump out) as well as a "soffit" created by the need to use an LVL beam to span the opening where the the room joins the kitchen and the dining rooms.
So, the TV must sit in a corner between a side window and and the bumped out bay window. It sits at about a 45 degree angle into the room. The main furniture is set to view the TV head on.
The main speakers (1980s Monitor 10s) are set about 7 feet apart on either side of the TV. No front center speaker. Yamaha RV-x1200.
Polk 650 subwoofer using speaker level inputs, set to 80 hz and set to kick in at about 110 Hz. Center and Main speakers set to small.
Rear center (CS 400) set into the "soffit" about 7 feet off the floor.
Currently (and these are the center of my question) the FX 500s are set directly in the corners, facing each other, firing almost along the adjoining walls. They are set to dipole.
There is one active sound dispersal unit (ceiling fan) and one passive dispersal unit (hanging light fixture).
Having grown up in the days when Dynaco and MacIntosh ruled, and Marantz and Fisher names still meant something, I have trouble accepting corners are a good place for speakers.
However, in the corners, they are above (about 6 feet above the floor) and directly to the side of the main furniture.
Is "dipole" the "correct " setting for this application?
Is there another placement I could (should?) try?
While decent sound is important to us, it is less important than the way the room is mostly used. Given all the glass in the room, it is apparent that home theater is not our highest priority.
Thanks for your thoughts.
04-30-2002, 08:48 AM
that is a difficult room.All the glass in that room willmake for a echo chamber.I have delt with room exaclty like yours.
1st things 1st......use curtians wherever possible.You need to absorb some of the room energy.The sound will bounce everywhere.If you have the tv in the corner,,it's not a lost caue for good sond.Keep the speakers away from the walls and out of the corners.unequal distance from the back to the sides.
The correst setting would be dipole for the rears.It will give you a goos sense of openess.The high ceiling isn't a bad thing but keep your rear speaker 72 inches or lower.What happens to the rear channels when you go higher then that, the rears just bounce around up in the high ceiling.
Get a center channel speaker.I would also take off the speaker level to the sub and run line level LFE to the sub.
I also noticed the rear center, to high,unless you point it slighty downward,but not directly at the seating.
I'm not sure on rear placement of what you describe, but think of it this way.....where you sit, you would idealy like the rears equal distance.6 feet up the wall,which is what I believe you already have,and you want to make a square..meaning trying to line up the front's and rears and center front and center rear.This should help you room a ton.You can get good sound in that room but it will take some work.
Back to the rears,the corner placement is not a real good place,you really don't want reflections that soon.
Thanks for your reply. You have the room pictured well. Figure the rear center is in a header over the entrance into the dinding room. It is pointed slightly down.
Also, thanks for the confirmation with the FX settings. While I <think> they sound best at the dipole setting, well, you know how it is. So it seems the corner IS the best place for em.
I hadn't thought about it before, but the speakers do form a square (diamond?) around my listening area.
You are correct about the glass as well. To an extent, this is the clash of room use. We built the room primarily to take advantage of our gardens and views. My wife maintains a large perennial garden that is on a steep hill 15 feet off the bay. In the summer, that window looks like a living painting. We are fortunate to live in a somewhat secluded setting so we have never put up drapes in this room. Just some decorative window treatments.
Mostlly, sound must be controlled by the fabric furniture and maybe I can find some place to install sound deading panels. But even now, "liveliness" is not too unbearable.
I am not sure why you recommend a front center. With the polks so close to the screen, it would not seem to add much.
The Yamaha allows you to send the front center to the mains. I am not sure if other units allow that since I had one "salesman" tell me that without a front center you cannot get dialog.
Oh yeah, the Mains are set to Large so the entire signal goes to the sub's speaker level inputs.
What would be the advantage of running the LFE to the sub rather than using the speaker level inputs? The Yamaha can send the bass to the LFE in music modes; but it seems I have more flexibility using the speaker lines.
I should say that while I like nice tight bass, I am too old for the "wow, watch blow me out my car windows with my sub" crowd. While I still listen to Springsteen, Rait, Rondstadt and Pink Floyd, most of the time I listen to concertoes and jazz.
OTOH, it is pretty wild to feel the special effects of a good DVD.
As an aside, I got into this mess because my 25 year old Yamaha receiver started acting up (50 watt per). I purchased the Rv-x1200 on eBay (because we <might> want to expand into a 6.1 system) and when I hooked it up to my Monitor 10s, I swore those speakers NEVER sounded this good. So, if two channels sounded that good, ..... And the rest is history (and money well spent).
While I accept that the increased headroom helps the speaker bass, I think amplifiers must have improved greatly over the last 2 decades. There is too much improvement in the midrange of these 20 year old speakers.
My wife wanted to get newer speakers (because of the size of the Monitors) but when we put everything together, the case got closed out.
05-01-2002, 09:36 AM
If your speaker are as close together as you say they are then maybe you don't need a center.
Having a center does however split up the duties of the main speakers.They are now rolling different sound at the same time the center is producing on screen sounds.
Theater was devoloped to work a certain way, you can however stray away from the rules(so Called).
But in all my experience I never found just a stereo pair for front array to be sadisfactory.But in your case it might be to you.
The sub should have line level to it from LFE OUT on your receiver.I'm not sure but running it in speaker level might cause a slight load on your receiver where it is not nessary.It has built in amps so it should be small but not nessary.
You seem to have your own theory about how theater should work.Thats fine man, but I personally wouldn't do it that way.
Tell you what try both ways and see if you like what way better.Then go with that.Remember not to over think it, just go with the flow.
As far as the room you are useing, It really sounds like the wrong room to use, but if thats what you have top work with, then you will need to treat it somehow to overcome the echo chamber you live in.I know all about live room as I had to live with one for years,I'm building a new house as we speak and I'm building a theater in the basement, betting it out of living space.
Keep the rears low and that should help the rear echo's,treat the wall behind the tv location for starters.And if you want I cann go over some cool tricks that might help your room without taking out your better half.
Sorry to take a while getting back, been out of town.
Amplifier inputs (such as on the PS 650) show a very high impedance, so the impedance change to the speaker outs on the receiver is quite small.
Still, I am unclear why you recommend the use of the LFE port over using the speaker lines. I believe speaker line connection is the Polk recommended setup and it does enable flexibility in the use of the crossovers.
OTOH, you seem to strongly believe that the LFE is the way to go. What is the advantage of using the LFE port?
I appreciate your concerns over the liveliness of the room. However, much of this is controlled by the choice of furnishings. Furniture , carpet and wall hangings go a long way to absorbing sound waves.
As you might guess, home theater is not our main priority. Setting up a viewing screen in a room with glass on 3 sides and no drapes? However, it is really nice to read in that room with the windows open and listen to the birds while Chopin is on low.
Good Lord, we don't even bother with cable or satellite. Basically, the system is intended to deliver adequate sound for the occasional DVD, excellent sound for the music we listen to, all the while living within the constraints imposed by our higher priorities.
That is why I appreciate your confirming that for this application, the corners may well be the best location for the Fx 500s and the the correct setting is dipole.
05-03-2002, 11:29 PM
I didn't realize your amin focus was music.I'm very theater driven.I'm also a believer of seperating the theater from the 2 channel listening.But with multichannel music,my feeling are changing.
The sub will work with both line level or speaker level.I think whatever sound better is best.There really isn't a written rule on this is the way you should do it.But theater I feel strong about correct set up.2 channel music with a sub is a trick in itself.
If speaker wire is working for you dont change it,but try line level as well for audio quality out of left and right not LFE.You can also run LFE to the sub for your DvD watching.2 bad you don't own a ReL as these subs let you do both at the same time with different input setup's.Such great sub's.
People like me put Theater and music over room decor.Thats why I'm building a theater in my basement...stand alone.Off my theat will be an equipment room hooked to it will be my office.In my office i plan on a 2 channel system.
No cable or satellite...man I couldn't do it...god bless you......
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