file Help with Speaker Selection and Positioning

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Carlos Fernandez Posted 3 years 4 months ago
#15054
Hello,
I'm looking to get some feedback for speaker selection and positioning in a less than ideal layout and family area. I'm looking to create a Dolby Atmos setup in my family room with the only speakers that would be ear level would be my front 3 channels (left, right, center). I'm shooting for a 7.1.4 but I would settle for a 5.1.4 if it makes more sense.

I currently have my 3 front channels as Definitive Technology BP7000sc and CLR3000, all of which have 6.5" midrange drivers with aluminum tweeters and built in subwoofers. The towers are also bi-polar. I may end up replacing these later with the Tritons if it makes sense.

Recently my wife has permitted me to install in-wall and in-ceiling speakers for surround, as long as they are out of sight. My ceilings are vaulted at about 13-14ft and my walls go up to about 9-10ft. I've attached some photos of my living space below, I was hoping you could provide some feedback especially on speaker selection and placement.

For the surround speakers, I was contemplating the Goldenear Invisa HTR 7000 on the wall directly to the left and right of the listening position, about 8ft up the wall and approximately 6ft away form the listening position. Looking at the picture, these would be above the bay window/kitchen eating area and the opposite side of the couch for symmetry.

For the rear surround speakers, I was contemplating using the same HTR 7000 about 4-5ft behind the listening position but the speakers would be about 12-13ft high in the ceiling. I'm curious if this would be worth the trouble as I read the rear surrounds should typically be placed around ear level. This is extremely high and I've read these speakers have a neat trick where they sound like they are ear level but perhaps this is too tall an order.

For the Atmos height channel, I was contemplating (4) Invisa 650s. The ceiling is vaulted and about 12-13ft where they would be installed. The apex of the vault is directly in the center of the listening position so I could achieve symmetry in positioning the speakers and tweeters towards the main listening position.

So as it stands, I was thinking about (4) HTR 7000s for surround and rear surround duties and (4) Invisa 650s for the height channels. If the rear surround doesn't make sense given their position then I was thinking of (2) HTR 7000s for surround left/right on wall and the (4) Invisa 650s for the heights.

My concern/question is whether the HTR 7000 is the correct choice for surround. In reading Dolby Atmos recommendations it would appear that surrounds should be placed near ear level. I cannot do that in my space, and it appears the HTR 7000 could pull off this type of image as if the sound was coming from ear level, but I'm not sure if that would apply with them being in-wall about 8ft up and 6ft away on-axis from listening position for surround, and 13ft in the ceiling for rear surround.

As for the height channels, I've read the recommendation is that for ceilings taller than 9-10ft to go with the Invisa 650's so that's what I may do, please let me know if this thinking is correct.

Thanks for any feedback you can give!
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Carlos Fernandez Posted 3 years 4 months ago
#15062
Wanted to provide an update and an actual floor plan. The couch is about 10ft from the wall exterior wall marked with the fireplace. I have no fireplace but in that location is where the TV and center channel are located.

The max height of the ceiling is 12ft at the vault, I measured incorrectly in my original post. The height channels will likely be around 11.5ft on either side of the vault.

From the main listening position to the left and right walls is about 9ft as well, that is where I was thinking to position surrounds. Again, not sure if HTR 7000 on wall would be best, or MPX on wall, or HTR 7000 in ceiling about a foot away from the wall angled towards the listening position, in which case it would be about 8 ft away.

Thanks!
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T Cobe Posted 3 years 4 months ago
#15064
Carlos,

Welcome to the forum and my apologies for the delayed response. We have a number of folks here with in-ceiling speakers but nobody has quite chimed in yet. I have a couple tips that I can share from my time doing my own research and in developing my own surround sound system. You have a great space there for your kitchen and family room!

First and foremost, have you listened to any GET speakers? While you certainly can mix and match brands, the cohesiveness of the surround sound will not be as good. While I am a GET enthusiast, it may make sense for you to decide if you want to upgrade your front 3 channels based on an audition of some GET towers and center channels. If you don't want to upgrade your existing speakers, you may want to consider checking our your options with Definitive Technology. Since GET uses very similar drivers between all of their models, they offer what I feel is just about the best flexibility in building a surround system that is Wife friendly.

I did use a mix of GET and Paradigm speakers for a period of time as I built my system. The mix of speakers was okay but when I was finally able to upgrade all of my speakers to GET, the resulting sound was a vast improvement. The tweeters of the GET speakers will be very different than what you currently have. While I admit I'm a bit biased, as are many here on the forum, I auditioned the Defintivie Technology speakers when I was shopping and decided on the GET speakers.

Based on your room, you have a number of challenges and offering any recommendations on exact locations of speakers based on the info you have provided would be a bit foolhardy. My general thought for a room like yours with significant challenges and being fully finished, I think it would be best to consult a professional installer. They can provide the best plan for your upgrade and prevent a lot of trial and error. Cutting and patching holes can be very tedious and you may not get the correct spacing on your own.

Now, regarding the HTR-7000, it is exclusively an in-ceiling speaker. There may be a few freak instances where a wall application may work, but for the vast majority of installations, the HTR-7000 are for ceiling use. Based on input from Moderator Dude and Mr. Sandy Gross, it sounds like the Invisa MPX speaker is their best performing in wall speaker. It makes sense since it is configured very similarly to the T7 and SuperCenter speakers minus the bass radiators. So, the HTR-7000s would most likely be the best Atmos and surround solutions mounted in the ceiling. If you can get any of the MPX speakers mounted at ear level, that would probably be best. The left wall may be an issue but I can't completely tell based on your pictures.

I can also add that my local Cineplex has Atmos theaters. They placed their surround channels very high up on the side and rear walls around the theater. The resulting effect is a blending of the height and surround channels. I think getting the surrounds close to ear level is important for proper implementation. The HTR-7000s can simulate this placement if you get the angle correct.

So, my best advice is get out and conduct an audition of some GET speakers and determine if this is the direction you want to go. It would absolutely be my choice, but it's not my money. From there, I'd highly recommend a professional installer at least plan the system for you. You could always perform the install yourself if you'd prefer but having a good plan going into that process is key. I'm guessing your Wife is going to want the install to be smooth and fast since it will be right in your family room/kitchen.

Good luck with the process. Please check back and let us know what you decide. Finished pictures and project information would be very helpful for others that follow.

Cheers,

T Cobe
Speakers: Triton One L/R, SCXL, Aon 3 Surr/Back, HTR-7000 Height
Pre/Pro/AVR: Anthem AVM 60, Emotiva XSP-1
Amps: Emotiva XPA-5(2), Emotiva XPA-1L (2)
Sources: Oppo BDP-103D, Emotiva ERC-3, PS4, Pioneer PLX-1000 w/Ortofon 2M Bronze
Display: Epson 6030 UB, Elite Screens 110" Sable
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Carlos Fernandez Posted 3 years 4 months ago
#15081
Thanks for the reply T Cobe!

You've confirmed my fear regarding using the HTR 7000 as an in-wall speaker. Following my logic, I know I need an ear level speaker where I can't place one, so I thought that would be the best choice given all the feedback regarding it's imaging. Perhaps on-wall is the wrong place to put it, but what about in ceiling very near to the wall aiming towards the listening position?

If I were to do that, then I wonder what the best choice would be for Atmos height speakers? Surely at let say 10ft I can't get the 7000 to image at ear level for surround left/right and have 7000's as the heights at 11ft image as height speakers? This is where I thought the Invisa 650 would make more sense, given that I read on the forums that above 9-10ft it makes sense to use the 650s because hotspotting won't be an issue. However, my ceilings are vaulted.

And for rear surrounds as part of a 7 channel setup, would the 7000s make sense at about 11ft high to try and image at ear level...not sure given the height channels will also be around the same height.

I definitely want to demo these speakers and a full Goldenear setup. I went to my local dealer this weekend but he had other appointments and I couldn't demo anything, oh well. He also doesn't carry any of the Invisa line, so at best I could listen to the Tritons and SuperCenter when he's available. I'm going on vacation next week and in that vacation town there is a dealer that does have the 7000s, and I will be making an appointment to hear them there. I'd like to be sold on the 7000's before going down the road of a full Goldenear setup but driver and tweeter matching is important as you mentioned, no doubt.

Professional help is definitely what I need (hopefully that doesn't sound too funny).
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Moderator Posted 3 years 4 months ago
Last edit: 3 years 4 months ago by Moderator. info_outline
#15093
The HTR 7000s can be used as in-ceiling speakers for surround/rear applications as long as they can be placed far enough away from the listening seats to do their magic. I would suggest a 5.1.4 setup for you, place the surround HTR 7000's all the way behind the listening area toward the corners, pointed at the center listening area. Use the Invisa 650s as your four height channels positioned as recommended in front of and behind the main listening area. I've attached a rough drawing of this plan.
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Carlos Fernandez Posted 3 years 4 months ago
Last edit: 3 years 4 months ago by Carlos Fernandez. info_outline
#15099
Wow, glad you chimed in moderator dude! Thanks very much for mocking up my floor plan! I would have never thought that would be an ideal location for this type of setup. So what is an 'ideal' distance for this speakers? In your drawing it would seem to be 10-15ft. I'll have to measure to be sure.

I also wanted to add that the vaulted ceiling is sloped at 8 degrees. Not sure how that plays with the geometry of the HTR 7000 being at 30 degrees.

In comparison to the Dolby Atmos recommended 5.1.4 setup (attached) that position is significantly farther behind the listener, but I guess that's what is needed to make it image correctly.

So in terms of a 7.1.4, should I give up on trying to make that work? 7000's for surround left and right simply don't have enough space between the speaker position and listening position to achieve the desired imaging result (about 6-8 ft)?

I was contemplating MPX speakers in-wall and on axis with the listening position for surrounds, but they would be at about 8ft high as I mentioned earlier. Would that detract from the Atmos experience versus the 5.1.4 setup recommended with the 7000 all the way behind the listener?

The reason I ask is because I've read that a full Atmos setup is achievable with HTR 7000s. Maybe I was mistaken and the surrounds in that setup would need to be near ear level MPX speakers. If a full Atmos is achievable with 7000's, I thought I could make that work but perhaps not in my space.

I appreciate all the feedback, thank you.

I also noticed everyone calls you "moderator dude". I also have to ask, do you go by dude, his dudeness, the duder, or el duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing?
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