Surround Setup Recommendation

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by YC1984, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. YC1984

    YC1984 New Member
    Thread Starter

    May 7, 2017
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    Hi all - it has been a while!

    We just moved into a new house that was pre-wired by the previous owner for home theatre, but unfortunately not in the way I would have done it (as if all audio enthusiasts are the same lol).

    There is actually nothing wrong with the wiring per se, but more so the positioning. The setup is such as that he had all speakers wired for a 5.1 setup all at 8’ feet high: imagine left, right, center and both right/left side speakers 8’ above ground (sides are also ~20-30 degrees behind MLP).

    I currently have a 3.1 setup (left & right towers, center channel and sub) and would like to add a few channels by using what wiring is already there from the previous owner but not sure what route to go:

    - Should I use the front L/R at 8’ high as atmos or front height channels?
    - What’s the best option with the side L/R at 8’ high? Use these as side channels or rear given they are slightly behind the MLP?
    - I think I will keep my center under the TV but might consider putting in a bookshelf as center and pointing it down towards the MLP if it would be worth it given it is so high up.

    Looking forward to your thoughts!


  2. tesseract

    tesseract Senior Admin
    Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2016
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    Lincoln, NE
    Hello, YC. I do not have an answer for you, so let's bump this to the top and see if we can get you one!
  3. 1_sufferin_mind

    1_sufferin_mind Active Member

    Apr 17, 2017
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    Hi YC!
    Your arrangement for the rear channels somewhat mimics my own. Obstructions near the MLP force the rear channel speakers to be located high above it near the ceiling. Even using special mounts that let me aim them toward the MLP, my rear channels are far from realistic or even involving. They can actually be downright distracting on certain material! In your situation I would try to mount the rear channels closer to ear height in a symmetrical pattern.

    In my opinion, your front L/R jacks would better serve HEIGHT channels instead of MAINS or ATMOS. You may find that anchoring the action/sound to your screen using only the center channel becomes an exercise in frustration as sound from the upper left and upper right combine to confuse the visual/sonic image. For example, instead of a train moving LEFT > CENTER > RIGHT across the screen it's sound moves from above-left down to the action and back up again to the right!

    More experience would help me answer your question about the side channels, but I would hazard a guess that they should be close to the same height as the rears.
    I hope someone with ATMOS knowledge weighs-in to help you out. Until then, I only know (correctly or not) that ATMOS speakers are best installed in the ceiling at specific locations relative to the MLP for the most immersive experience.
  4. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2017
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    Balt/Wash Metro
    Hey there YC,

    I have to agree with 1_sufferin... those L/R wires really aren't suitable for either mains or Atmos. You could potentially use them for front heights (although I'd argue against the utility of front heights) or figure out how to get them lower for mains.

    As for your rear surrounds, they are mighty high. No problem using them as surrounds, but I think their height isn't ideal.

    Tough one. Honestly, I might be looking for ways to snake additional lengths of wire up to where these wires are coming out the wall... safely tying them together... and then using the new length to lower the speaker positioning.

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