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How Far Back Should I Place My Surrounds?

Old 02-21-01, 11:50 PM
  #1  
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my HT is in the basement and since i have all the chairs set up around the midway point of the room (about 10' from the TV) i have the rear speakers on shelves facing each other and about 2' behind the chairs.
if i wanted to tho, i could place them all the way at the end of the room (about 12-15' behind the chairs)
would this create a more impressive sound field? apart from that new sub movie (U-something or other) i can't really detect much rear effects now.

does anybody here crank the volume of the rears in relation to the fronts and center...or is this a big no-no?
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Old 02-22-01, 11:01 AM
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The way you have them now is practically ideal. You would not want to place them further away from you than the mains (12-15' campared with 10'). The sound from each speaker should reach your ears at the same time. To compensate for the closeness of the rears (at 2'), you can add a delay so that they don't hit your ears before the mains (at 10'). However, if you move them further away (at 15'), I don't know of any system that allows you to delay the mains.

Also, you should not crank the rears for the same reason. The volume level for each speaker should be set equal, and you can set this using test signals. This may be +/- the level of the mains. That does not mean that all movies will have loud surround activity, but most will have some surround activity, and raising the volume will hinder the effect.

If you are not noticing any surround sound, that's good because you've probably got them set up correctly -- they should not be obvious and distracting all the time, only once in a while. The next time you watch a movie and think the rears aren't working, try switching to 3-Stereo or Stereo and notice how the soundfield collapses -- you'd be surprised at how the ambient noise is subtle but very effective in enveloping you in sound.
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Old 02-22-01, 12:13 PM
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much thanks for the cogent explination. i did try cycling thru the different listening modes and yes, there is a dramatic difference...i just expected to be hearing a lot of obvious effects in back of me for some reason with all these 5.1 movies. i'll have to pull out VE tonight and give a shot at calibrating it
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