Speaker position now driven by video, not audio, let's face it...

QuadraphonicQuad

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quicksrt

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My two cents. Whatever works for an individual household is better than just stereo or a shitbar. However, I criticize this specific Exhibit B layout shown below because it should come with a caveat: Those side surround speakers aligned at 90 degrees should be moved back a bit (i.e. 110 deg) unless they are installed above the listeners' head levels. If not installed above head level, the sound coming from the side surrounds will be blocked by a someone's head if there are multiple listeners.

View attachment 77719
Or how about moved (just slightly) forward a bit - what with all of that space to work with, no? Yes, either raised up higher, or moved forwards rather than back, so as to keep them more distanced from the rears behind.
 

quicksrt

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On a side note, when I play stereo with more than two speakers, say four speakers, I prefer no processing done at all. Just true stereo with full four speaker array, no delays or anything. It sounds so good, why mess with a good stereo mix when you are sitting inside of it in bliss.
 

James Jay

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My two cents. Whatever works for an individual household is better than just stereo or a shitbar. However, I criticize this specific Exhibit B layout shown below because it should come with a caveat: Those side surround speakers aligned at 90 degrees should be moved back a bit (i.e. 110 deg) unless they are installed above the listeners' head levels. If not installed above head level, the sound coming from the side surrounds will be blocked by a someone's head if there are multiple listeners.

View attachment 77719

And as for this:

View attachment 77720

Oh PUKE!
I believe your rear surround speaker in a 7.1.4 surround setup should raised for a “line of sight“ or your rear surround speakers sound will also be blocked by the back of your chair depending on the height of your chair/ couch/ theater seating.
 

quicksrt

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I'm looking for some nice (used) speaker stands. Currently using a couple of Rubbermaid step risers things. Atrocious looking but near perfect height.

Maybe I should put in a search into ebay, and watch for what comes up. I want something attractive and sleek. I've seen some really ugly ones, or way overpriced things. One can get burned on stands and really overpay.
 

Soundfield

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My default listening mode is stereo to be honest. I’ve got many times more stereo recordings than surround. I buy more stereo stuff than surround. Hence a wide, deep, detailed stereo image is of the highest priority to me. So my main system is more like ‘A’ than any other but with the rears rather further forward. I don’t muddy the imaging with centre and LFE speakers. But I believe that if your system can’t reproduce an expansive 2Ch. stereo image then your hopes of realistic surround reproduction will be forever dashed.
 

par4ken

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My default listening mode is stereo to be honest. I’ve got many times more stereo recordings than surround. I buy more stereo stuff than surround. Hence a wide, deep, detailed stereo image is of the highest priority to me. So my main system is more like ‘A’ than any other but with the rears rather further forward. I don’t muddy the imaging with centre and LFE speakers. But I believe that if your system can’t reproduce an expansive 2Ch. stereo image then your hopes of realistic surround reproduction will be forever dashed.
I agree that you have to start off with good stereo, surround should simply expand on that. With the rears moved more forward you really get super expanded stereo and no holes in the sound field.

I always listen to stereo via a quad decoder (mostly S&IC & QSD-1). I have always "decoded" stereo since first trying the Dyna speaker connection circa 1971/72. I would never go back to simple stereo.

Surround could have been better marketed if it's stereo enhancement features were better marketed! No special records required!
 

himey

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The real conundrum is that the 70's quads were mixed for A systems, while modern 21st century 5.1s are mixed for B systems. The one adjustment I have made for the purpose of listening to 70's quads is to to put speakers with a fuller range in the back (OK side surrounds). They still bottom out at 60 Hz, but that's way better than the 120Hz I had before. Having bass come from the rear isn't nearly as ridiculous. With modern mixes bass almost always come from the front so it's not an issue.

That hasn't been my personal experience with these new Atmos mixes. Many of them have lots of bass from the rears (sides). However, my rear speakers get lower than my fronts. Rears are 10 inch 3 ways with front port, Fronts are 2 ways with the addition of 2 sealed 8 inch "subs". My room is longer than it is wide so I can easily tell where most of the bass is coming from by simply moving away from the sweet spot.
 

AYanguas

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I believe your rear surround speaker in a 7.1.4 surround setup should raised for a “line of sight“ or your rear surround speakers sound will also be blocked by the back of your chair depending on the height of your chair/ couch/ theater seating.

My surround backs are at the same hight as the side surrounds.

But YES, that was a very important requirement for my choice of the reclining sofa, when building our new Home Cinema.
I finally found a good sofa, with the three seats/modules reclining, but with the headrest also reclining.

When not needed, I completely lower the headrest and have my head over the back of the seat it with full line of sight to the surround backs. Although Not my wife who is shorter :ROFLMAO:
 

jimfisheye

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I believe that if your system can’t reproduce an expansive 2Ch. stereo image then your hopes of realistic surround reproduction will be forever dashed.
Fidelity comes first for me too. (If that's what you meant.)
Extra channels feels like a moot point if the sound is compromised. When it crosses the line where even mono is more immersive...

This goes for both ends. Like good sound comes before more speaker channels. A properly mixed and mastered mono or stereo mix comes before a crude surround mix or master.
 

~dave~~wave~

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My default listening mode is stereo to be honest. I’ve got many times more stereo recordings than surround. I buy more stereo stuff than surround. Hence a wide, deep, detailed stereo image is of the highest priority to me. So my main system is more like ‘A’ than any other but with the rears rather further forward. I don’t muddy the imaging with centre and LFE speakers. But I believe that if your system can’t reproduce an expansive 2Ch. stereo image then your hopes of realistic surround reproduction will be forever dashed.

There is a very helpful thread by Steve Hoffman on his forum about his method to check and adjust optimum stereo sound field.

Quoting for the greater good, no infringement intended, hope the Gorts don't ban me over there.
Please go to his forum to read, donate, and not to troll, there's plenty of that already. ;)



The background voices are floating and should seem to be way the hell to the sides, around you, almost surrounding you. Can't hear it? Reposition your speakers until you do. Then, enjoy!

Later: Folks, you will enhance this effect by toeing out, of course. In fact, no toe-in at all will make it just right, HOWEVER, check your center vocals on something in a good stereo mix. Sometimes NO toe-in (having your speakers straight, facing the room, no angle at all) can make your center stuff more muted sounding. Check and see, compromise is sometimes the best. Look at your speakers from your sweet spot. You should just be able to just see the inside walls of your speakers from your X. That is how I have mine, just a bit of toe-in to make sure the center volume is perfect.
 

jimfisheye

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Delays are pretty crucial, and there is nothing inherently wrong with rear speakers being a different distance from MLP than fronts.
Crucial if you set up speakers at different distances, I assume you mean? Goes without saying. It can obviously be done but this really throws a monkey wrench into the mix. Moving away from the sweet spot now exaggerates weirdness by adding those delays to the offset of your repositioning. Maybe someone likes it because it makes their room sound like a bigger hall? And they only ever listen from the sweet spot? That might be fair enough.

At any rate, it throws a variable into the room that can't just be removed and might be really altering. And you can just avoid it by pulling out a tape measure and level. The shit about different people using the room for other purposes and talking about compromising the music system around that is a separate subject. That's fair enough too but I'm interested in the purposeful listening room. Any other activities take 2nd place and need to stay out of the way!
 

NYMo

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I've only been in this surround game for a year, but have quickly learned to dump the sub ( always hated them from my studio days) and I've recently dumped the centre too...and I use seperate amps for the fronts and rears.
I have very large speakers in fronts and rears and am happy as a pig in shit !
( so the 70s one works for me )
 

quicksrt

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I've only been in this surround game for a year, but have quickly learned to dump the sub ( always hated them from my studio days) and I've recently dumped the centre too...and I use seperate amps for the fronts and rears.
I have very large speakers in fronts and rears and am happy as a pig in shit !
( so the 70s one works for me )
There are mixes that place elements in the center and in no other place (other than some reverb of that center material put in L&R). So I don't see how one can get rid of the center, The sub sure, but center is such a cool discreet channel when done right. And since AVRs have a center, all albums mixed in the last 25 years or more have center, I would never just ditch it. But I do see potential problems with space considerations in placing a center speaker in many room. I'm lucky, I have a shelf under the TV and I put two speakers, but smaller ones in that shelf and they fit perfectly. The two make up for it being a set of much smaller speakers. Still sounds great.

I do the center off fairly often, but I need to have it available but of course.
 
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kap'n krunch

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Exhibit A, 50 years ago:


View attachment 77671




Exhibit B, today:


View attachment 77672


What the heck?

What ever happened to proper stereo speaker placement, for a start?
Equilateral triangle of speakers and sweet spot, align toe-in for phantom center?

What started me down this path is listening to Atmos streams through speakers and comparing their "spatial" headphone renderings.
Then a vintage "wide stereo" mix.

I know the pushback on spatial headphone is going to be "big deal, sounds like wide stereo."

Well, for people sitting in a home theater layout like Atmos suggests in this diagram, what in the hell are they hearing?
It looks like three-point audio to me.
Narrow front, wide sides, "rear" speakers so close as to be useless for anyone seated outside the sweet spot.



View attachment 77674

Some of the highest rated "surround" titles in the polls are vintage quad.
How do those mixes translate to a setup like the above?
@edisonbaggins apparently gave up on compromising to try to make home theater work properly for quad, and has separate rooms for quad and Atmos.

Modern mixes seem to have narrowed the front stereo sound field to approaching mono, leading to couples happily sharing earbuds.


View attachment 77673


Headphones sound field never matches speakers in a room unless
  • the mix is panned to the center, or
  • a listener at home moves his speakers from front to sides
Kindly help me process all this with your experiences and observations.


:51QQProper speaker layout & sweet spot for 5.1 Audio. One man's opinion, agree or disagree.
AGREE!!!
 

kfbkfb

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The link shows the 2 ch stereo listening position at 60 degrees.


I always thought that the 2 ch stereo listening position should be so that the 2 speakers are (close to) a 90 degree angle apart, the original square quad speaker arrangement is an extension of this philosophy (haven't read any tech papers that justify that though).


Kirk Bayne
 

MidiMagic

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Thanks for chiming in.

-----

Curious what a vintage quad "circular" pan sounds like in this diagram, regardless of delay calibration and toe-ins?
Is this what's driving the move to seven or nine floors speakers, when four used to be enough?



View attachment 77709

The note on your attachment says it's modeled on large halls, not home living / rec rooms.
Perhaps you might summarize how the references you cited apply to the A / B examples?

This is a question I can answer, because I have experimented with circular pans many times on different equipment.

I used my own encoder to create the circular pans in RM (covered in another thread). Here are the results from using several different decoders and speaker locations.

1. Dynaco diamond in my listening room: This made a nice smooth circle.

2. Dynaco diamond in an auditorium: This also made a nice smooth circle.

3. QS 4-corners arrangement with listener in center: This was the first time I heard the cogging effect. Anything panned to the side wanted to jump to the front or the back speaker on that side. You have to turn your head to hear it correctly.

4. QS 4-corners arrangement with listener between back speakers: Much less cogging effect. But circle passes through the listener.

5. QS 4-corners arrangement with back speakers farther apart than front speakers: The cogging effect is gone because the motion between the speakers on one side are heard as left-right motion in the ears.

6. Dolby Surround with listener in the center of a 4.0 square arrangement: The pan was smooth with no cogging. But the front part of the pan moved slower than the back part for the same panpot rotation.

7. Dolby Surround with listener in the center of a 5.1 square arrangement: The pan was smooth with no cogging. Pro-Logic I and II gave the same result.

8. Discrete experiment using the mixer without the encoder and 4.0 speakers - Bus L to LF, bus R to LB, Bus 3 to RB, bus 4 to RF (allowing a circular pan in discrete): Severe cogging on left and right sides.

9. Dolby digital 5.1 in standard configuration using studio films: Bad cogging on the sides.

10. Dolby digital 7.1 in standard configuration using studio films: Twice the cogging on the sides.
 

jimfisheye

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The encoded formats (especially analog matrix) are quite altering! Nice rundown.

Channel formats...
Listening arrays...

I might have some different preference or idea about a surround listening array. But it wouldn't matter unless I was mixing for me only. If I want to hear other people's mixes... I need to play along. 5.1 with a discrete center channel? Well, if I want to hear that as intended I kind of need a center front speaker regardless of my opinion on the format. That's what drives my equipment choices and setup. Nothing visual has anything to do with it!

Of course you can speaker manage center channel content into a front L/R pair along with the original L/R content. It's maybe not grossly altered but it's a downmix.
 

Guy Robinson

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1649584857220.png

The modern configuration does represent my 7 .1 channel setup (along with subs #2 and #3 along the back wall facing the back wall). The side speakers are up the wall tilted downwards into the listening space. I have tried to keep the back speaker drivers as close as possible to the same height as the side speakers. They are towers so required boosting from the floor and I had to flip them over upside down. Sounds great. The only tricky thing was the front left and right as I have my TV mounted on a cart, as for 4K I want it as close as possible to the viewing position without blocking the front speakers from any viewing position. I think I have accomplished this and the screen is around 5-6 feet from the viewing position. That's why I didn't mount it on the wall. It would be too far from the viewing position for a 65" set. That would have been about 10-11 feet.
 
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Ruudnotrude

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View attachment 77748
The modern configuration does represent my 7 .1 channel setup (along with subs #2 and #3 along the back wall facing the back wall). The side speakers are up the wall tilted downwards into the listening space. I have tried to keep the back speaker drivers as close as possible to the same height as the side speakers. They are towers so required boosting from the floor and I had to flip them over upside down. Sounds great. The only tricky thing was the front left and right as I have my TV mounted on a cart, as for 4K I want it as close as possible to the viewing position without blocking the front speakers from any viewing position. I think I have accomplished this and the screen is around 5-6 feet from the viewing position. That's why I didn't mount it on the wall. It would be too far from the viewing position for a 65" set. That would have been about 10-11 feet.

How does that set up work when you are listening to 5.1 because the wides are not great for stereo image?
 
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