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Help me place my speakers

Old 11-10-06, 08:46 PM
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Help me place my speakers

Looking for some advice. We are taking our carpet out and putting in hard flooring, so this is a good time to try to optimize what passes for a home theater in my house.
Here is a somewhat-to-scale, very bad freehand drawing of my living room.



The only two cable outlets are in the upper left corner, and behind the sofa directly across from the fireplace.
Between the TV and the fireplace where I have the 'rack' mounted; it's an open shelf unit with HDDVD, DVD, cable box, HT receiver, PS2, and center speaker all stacked up [on separate shelves of course].
The W"s on the sides are windows.

So: Where are the best places to put my speakers? The previous owner had some wiring we were able to use to get the surrounds to the sides, but it wasn't optimal.
How high should they be?
I've got an Onkyo 7.1 HTiB setup, with 8 speakers. The subwoofer is currently behind the TV, the other speakers are the splotchy dots.
Any suggestions/advice would be appreciated.
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Old 11-10-06, 10:29 PM
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7.1 is pretty hard to put into a corner-loaded setup like this. It might be easier to just drop down to 5.1. Due to the less optimal shape, you might lose the rear center effects, even if the speakers were there. Maybe switch to 6.1 at least, with the SC behind the corner of the couches and the SL (surround left) and SR off to the sides like you show in the diagram. You'll want to be sure to use the distance settings in the receiver to set them up properly since they will all be odd distances. Hopefully it has settings for each channel.

I would put the 3 front speakers right across the front closer to the TV than you show, and definitely center the center channel on/below the middle of the TV. That is it's purpose. Maybe angle the L and R speakers out a bit more than usual since they will be very close to each other and your seating is more spread out.

Generally rear speakers should be high up near the ceiling and angled a bit towards the seating area. If you were willing, you could even hang them from the ceiling to give you the best placement options. For instance, you could theoretically move the SR from that far corner to near the couch, attached to the ceiling. Lots of people don't like this, though, so that isn't too common.
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Old 11-10-06, 10:33 PM
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Oh, and the sub will probably do best in a corner, so that's likely a good spot for it. But you might want to try other corners just to see if it sounds much different. Unless the aesthetics forbid it.
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Old 11-11-06, 12:10 AM
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Yeah, the shape and layout of the room is not the best for a home theater, but that's the only layout we could figure out that gave accessibility to everything and didn't have you right in front of the tv [the corner of the sofa is about 8-9 feet from the TV, which is 60", so I think that's just about right.]
I don't want to hang the surrounds from the middle of the ceiling, but I wouldn't mind it hanging from the ceiling on the edge of the room. Our old house had the living room prewired for the hanging surrounds, so that was nice.
The main viewing position is in the corner of the sofa, sort of right above and to the left of that rear surround speaker.
I haven't really used the 6.1 and 7.1 speakers for anything that actually had 6.1/7.1'; I mainly use them for all-channel music, or to 'fake' some surround from a 2.0 or 5.1 audio track, so I'm not real dependent on them.
My reciever does have settings for each channel, which is nice; the only limitation is that the settings have to be within X feet of one another, but it's a large enough number that it's not an issue [like you can't have front-left at 2 feet and front right at 30.]
What about hanging the left surround and right surround in the corners of the room [the lower left and lower right corners of the picture]? It wouldn't be a big deal to put the L one up, and we may even put a shelf there it could sit on; I guess the R could go on the wall to the right of the door, or on the shelf of the bookcase there. That would give them the height [maybe have to do something to get a bit of angle], and better placement.
That's pretty much the only place the sub can go; though I don't crank it all that much, when I do it does sound good [although now that we've taken the carpet out, that might change the acoustics a bit as well].
Thanks for the advice, you've given me some stuff to think about.
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