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  1. #1

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    Question Need help/opinions on rear/surround speaker placement in a not so ideal room.

    Help!
    I need some opinions to help me decide where and how to mount my rears and surrounds. I have a less than ideal family room for surround sound audio (or probably even 2 channel audio). I have a lot of questions. Hopefully the answers are simple or no-brainers for you all. I understand that the final test will be what sounds best to me but I would really appreciate any help.
    Sorry about the poor image edits-I just reloaded my system and only had MS Paint available - ugh.

    Description of the room (I can post a small layout of the room if requested)--Approximately 18x16 cathedral ceiling
    From the listening position:
    To the right - open stairs to an open hallway upstairs.
    Behind - open to the kitchen
    To the left - almost all window and floor to ceiling fireplace.
    There is just no other way to have the entertainment center setup-so it must stay where it is.
    Eventually I will build a dedicated HT in the basement, but for now...

    I've upgraded my entire system (well its a work in progress). Right now I am in the process of upgrading my surrounds and possibly adding rears. Right now I am using a couple of Klipsch satellites (Synergy III), which have a fairly small footprint. They are aimed at the sweet spot. I bought some FXi3s for surrounds, and some TC615i in-walls for the kitchen (separate zone or something). The new FXi3s won't fit or work the same (not aimable), so I decided my current plan is to mount the FXi3s (possibly in Dipole mode) as rears and some TC615i In-Walls as surrounds. I am also toying with just using the rear mounted FXi3s a surrounds (and leaving it 5.1 for now). Of course I would prefer to setup for full 7.1.

    In all cases the speakers will be mounted much higher than any of the recommended setups suggest-I think 7-9' from the ground (not by choice).

    OK, First picture is showing the new FXi3s mounted behind the listening position (Sweet spot is in the middle of the couch).
    You will notice the exposed speaker wires along with a splice -I only temp mounted the speakers and extended an existing wire just to do some listening tests and take into consideration any feedback I get from the forums before I did any permanent routing. (WAF is real low right now with the exposed wires and screw holes I have to finish this soon). I did ask if I could build a rear wall-but I didn't get an answer only a look.

    Click image for larger version

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    With the odd rear wall, I had to mount one FXi3 a few feet higher than the other. Each are approx 3' to either side of the sweet spot.
    Other than the odd look, will this work?Should I move the lower one higher to the same height as the other? Or will SPL/auto adjustments compensate for this difference?
    Or should I move it and rely on auto corrections anyway, just for the aesthetics?
    Should I move them farther apart?If I use them as rears and not surrounds-will Di-pole or Bi-pole be best?
    Should I try to tilt them down?

    In the next picture, I drew a box where I expect the TC615i to go (if I put it in) Right above the existing Klipsch.

    Click image for larger version

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    As you can see there is simply no room. As far as my considering the FXi3s for the surrounds instead of the rears the wife already said absolutely no to mounting the FXi3 on the window frame (center) and putting the FXi3 on a stand won't work too well either since that would be in the kids (almost 3 & 5) play area. Of course if it would make that great a difference to use the FXi3s on stands, I would move the play area. ;).
    Assuming I put the 615 where I indicated-its ends up a kind of in-ceiling with the angle (45 deg?). The other side would be in a vertical wall. Would that work acoustically? or would I really notice the difference. Obviously to mount these I would have to cut some large holes-I had better be damn sure they will work (acoustically) before I make any cuts. Especially the other side where I have to cut through wallpaper.


    The third pic is the other side (right side while seated)-again sorry for the crappy editing-also disregard the original back speaker (Sony)-I took these pics at different times.

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    Notice its also an odd wall (small hall to the laundry and garage-(oh and the main thoroughfare for family and common guests--why do I even have a front door??).
    Of course the end of the wall that the in-wall will go does not extend to the rear as much. As you can see the Klipsch is mounted on the side wall, putting it just about even with my ears in the sweet spot. The new in-wall will be more forward. I pasted a pic and drew a box where it could go. I drew the box low since all the recommendations suggest almost ear hight or just above.
    Should I mount it as high as I can to keep it almost level with the other side? (It can't go as high since the second floor gets in the way.), Or would I be better off lowering it and letting the Auto adjuster do its thing? Or should I scrap the plans to use the in-walls as surrounds and just stick with a 5.1 setup and use the rear mounted FXi3s as my surrounds?.
    Should I mount the other in-wall (in-ceiling) more forward to line up with this one?


    Another somewhat related question. I currently have Monster XP (white) speaker cable run for these-I think 16 awg-its not the in-wall designed stuff. Will that suffice? Or should I take the opportunity to replace it with a bigger awg (14, 12, 10?) or better in-wall rated wire?I expect to be running my setup with RTi12 fronts, a CSi5 center, via an Onkyo SR805 and Emotiva XPA-5. I plan to drive the rears with the Onkyo and the rest with the Emotiva (unless somebody can suggest a better connection option).

    So, fairly complicated arrangement?

    Thanks!!
    Michael Madden

  2. #2

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    Anybody? :(
    Should I post this in a new thread abridged?

  3. #3
    GV#27
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    Hi Micheal,for starters I would move one of the FXi3s further to the right(if seated) of where you show pasted in the third pic,then move the one above the double door in the first pic up to the same height.

    Having them higher up may not be such a bad thing because your couch appears to be close to the back wall.Having them higher will make their location less apparent when seated close to them.I would try both the dipole and bipole setting and see which works best.


    Alternatively is there room (or more importantly approval:D) for an FXi3 to fit in the space on the wall between the door molding and the stone of the fireplace?If so you could put one there and one on the opposite wall where you show a possible TC615 location.This would work if they where directly opposite and not ahead of the sweet spot.Then put inwalls in the back wall.
    Edit.oops I now see the arrow indicating the sweet spot and the speaker would be well infront of it, so disregard.

    Anyway thats all I have for now.
    Last edited by GV#27; 03-16-2008 at 10:09 PM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by GV#27 View Post
    Hi Micheal,for starters I would move one of the FXi3s further to the right(if seated) of where you show pasted in the third pic,then move the one above the double door in the first pic up to the same height.
    Thanks, I appreciate any feedback I can get.

    The FXi3s you see are equidistant from the center sweetspot (at the purple pillow in the first pic). The right surround is actual in this shot. I think I took the picture from an offcenter spot. Were you suggesting to move the one to the right because it looked off center or becuase you think they should be farther apart?

    Thanks

  5. #5
    GV#27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmadden28 View Post

    The FXi3s you see are equidistant from the center sweetspot (at the purple pillow in the first pic).
    Great.
    Were you suggesting to move the one to the right because it looked off center or becuase you think they should be farther apart?
    To me they just seem a bit too close together in the pic.I think you would gain a bit more surround effect if you had them further apart.You might try repositioning them while keeping them at the same hight and centered with the sweet spot.
    Last edited by GV#27; 03-19-2008 at 09:20 PM.

  6. #6

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    I was thinking they might be a bit close together as well. But then I wasn't sure if that mattered since the drivers are aiming to the sides and I'll probably end up running them in di-pole mode (as polk recommends for these when used behind). Of course I will do the listening tests-its just not an easy thing to do without putting a bunch of holes in the walls.

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