I am experimenting with my SurroundBar 42", isolating the surround channels to try to get a more surroundy effect. I used the Set Menu on my AVR to set the center channel to NONE and turned off the front left & right channels with the A/B switch on the AVR. So what I end up hearing is nothing but the surround effects. I played the opening scenes from Master & Commander which has lots of water and creaky ship noises on the surround channels, later followed by cannon fire.
I closed my eyes and just listened. What I hear is that half to two thirds of the surround effects appear to originate from the front, occupying a sound stage that is maybe 2 feet wider on both sides of the SB42. The rest of the sounds are spread out directly to the left and right with an occasional sound appearing to come from behind.
My TV & SB42 are set up on the short wall of my 13' x 19' living room. There is an 8' opening to the 13' x 14' dining room opposite from the TV. The ceiling height is 8'-3" I have attached my room layout.
Has anyone else been able to achieve a more surround like effect from their SurroundBars, that is, a less frontal surround field? I have tried adjusting the relative volume of the surround channels through a range of +0 db to 10 db, without much effect. Is 13' not quite enough room for the SDA to develop a more encompassing surround field?