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Old 25-11-2019, 12:59   #1
Raigmore
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Unexpected problem with rear speakers!!

After all the excitement of what I thought was the ideal home cinema system for the lounge in our flat, I have encountered an unexpected snag. The installer, a professional, took a detailed look and told me that the room layout does not allow rear speakers to be properly placed, whether they are on stands or wall mounted. He said that mounting them haphazardly would give effects worse than not having them.

This is a major disappointment since I paid for Samsung HW Q90R soundbar that comes with rear speakers. The only suggested alternative is to change to the Sony HT ST 5000 that has no rear speakers. But will the surround effect be as good?
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Old 25-11-2019, 16:58   #2
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Not really sure what that means? Do you have somewhere for them to go?
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Old 25-11-2019, 17:38   #3
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Not really sure what that means? Do you have somewhere for them to go?
Hard to explain. We HAVE to get our normal furniture into the lounge first and this in itself is no problem. Also, the wall area where the TV and the units go is also OK. But the 'rear' of the lounge has the entry door and balcony door intruding on opposite sides and on the seaward side the ceiling slopes a bit. All this makes available wall space awkward for properly siting rear speakers. Stands are also out because of intrusion by furniture, walking space, radiator etc. The AV installer was very particular that it would not work properly. According to him, the only 'acceptable' solution was to wall mount the rear speakers on the far wall but that would put them some 160 cm behind and rather high - about 200 cm high in fact. He said that it would not worl well like that...I don't know.

OR, I have to change the order from Samsung HW Q90R to Sony HT ST5000; the later has no rear speakers but claimed to provide surround sound effect nevertheless.
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Old 25-11-2019, 19:17   #4
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Where were you thinking of installing them before you ordered ?
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Old 25-11-2019, 19:28   #5
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Where were you thinking of installing them before you ordered ?
I admit that I did not plan so intricately. In the previous house there was a separate room that I converted to a specialized Home Cinema and nothing else. But we don't have that kind of space here and the lounge will have to do.

I only took a general look and did not envisage that there would be such problems. Even the Richer Sounds salesman who came in said nothing about a potential issue. It was only when the installer turned-up that the above issues came to light.

I am still OK to wall mount the rears behind my seating area but the guy frowned and said that it was a major compromise because they would then be too high and too far behind. I had not thought of it all in such detail.
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Old 25-11-2019, 23:01   #6
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Sounds like he has some form of aspergers... rears have just got to be equally spaced and behind your ears. As long as you have a wall to put them on I'm sure they'll be fine. The software in the sound bar should even out the volumes... is there an 'auto setup' option on the device with a mic?
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Old 25-11-2019, 23:12   #7
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rears have just got to be equally spaced and behind your ears. As long as you have a wall to put them on I'm sure they'll be fine.
THAT is what he said and that's precisely is the problem. Where there is a wall on the left side, there isn't on the right and vice versa. The entry door, balcony door and the ceiling slope areas intervene. The only way they can be equally spaced and behind my ears is if they were mounted on the rear wall (even there, the door to the dining alcove intervenes), about 160 cm behind and 200 cm above.
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Old 25-11-2019, 23:22   #8
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We need pictures and/or a diagram.

Maybe you could dangle them from the ceiling? .. or get a stand which can move or something.
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Old 26-11-2019, 05:16   #9
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With some judicious balancing / volume levelling I’m sure it’s going to sound ok.
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Old 26-11-2019, 06:53   #10
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Maybe you could dangle them from the ceiling? .. .
Honestly, I asked about ceiling mounting but just about everyone involved ruled it out. The Richer Sounds installer said that the wall mounts were not meant to be used on the ceiling. Also, the electrician, who is doing other work in the flat, said that it would be difficult and expensive to get electric sockets close to the ceiling. The flat has solid internal walls and floors, the latter extending even to the eaves storage spaces.

Part of the problem is that the wireless rear speakers of the Samsung Q90R soundbar need electrical sockets and mounts. The AV installer, who is doing some work nearby in the next few days, said he'll drop by to take another look at what can be done. If nothing works out to acceptability, I will have to swap to the Sony HT ST5000 and hope for the best.
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Old 26-11-2019, 08:22   #11
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My personal view is that rears are not that critical. In most cases they simply provide ambience rather than focussed sound. If your chosen amp/receiver has an auto setup then it will attempt to compensate for differing distances from listening position by adjusting relative delay and level to compensate. I'd try to position them above and behind you and about as symmetrical as you can, especially as regards height; that is all. Even with a somewhat flawed layout, it's still (I guess) going to be more effective than the virtual surround effects offered by (eg) soundbars.
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Old 26-11-2019, 08:39   #12
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Speaking of dangling, how about some Gallo Acoustics Droplet speakers? They basically hang down from the ceiling on a cord so different roof heights could be adjusted for, bit more complex to fit and would need something other than a soundbar to drive them I would think.

I use a pair as ceiling speakers in an Atmos setup as they required a lot less hacking up of my potentially asbestos filled ceiling.
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Old 26-11-2019, 08:53   #13
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My personal view is that rears are not that critical. In most cases they simply provide ambience rather than focussed sound. If your chosen amp/receiver has an auto setup then it will attempt to compensate for differing distances from listening position by adjusting relative delay and level to compensate. I'd try to position them above and behind you and about as symmetrical as you can, especially as regards height; that is all. Even with a somewhat flawed layout, it's still (I guess) going to be more effective than the virtual surround effects offered by (eg) soundbars.
Yep, my thoughts exactly. Over the decades, I've evolved from a mixed bag of speakers connected with bell wire for DPL1, and these days I'm very happy with DD5.1. Despite far from perfect setups, I've never once thought the sound was ropey (apart from when I had a blown KEF speaker!)

Watching movies, the rears can be pretty quiet a lot of the time, and the centre is the real star of the show. I very much doubt you'll be unhappy with your best layout that doesn't compromise your living arrangements.

In fact, only yesterday I setup my 5.1 system again, and was highly enjoying the Depeche Mode DTS remixes, despite my speakers being positioned and angled all 'wrong'. The surround effects and immersion still work really well, even though the record studio engineer would definitely not approve!
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Old 26-11-2019, 10:19   #14
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Thanks guys. The installer was just in and he felt that mounting them on the rear wall would be OK and during the setting he would compensate for that as much as possible. In fact, with a 65-inch OLED TV I can keep the watching settee a bit further back without obstructing anything but closer to the rear speakers.
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Old 09-12-2019, 20:19   #15
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An update: The AV engineer called today while I was at the flat and asked if could pop over as he was in close vicinity for another job. He arrived and we discussed all the pros and cons once again. The way the 'rear' of the lounge is designed, there is too much interference with doorways, built-in furniture and sloping ceiling and so finally we both agreed that rear speakers would not be ideal. I therefore changed the order from Samsung HW Q90R soundbar to Sony HT ST5000 definitely. The engineer felt that the ceiling and walls in the 'front' part of the lounge would give very good Atmos effect with the Sony despite lack of rear speakers.

Well, at least I saved £300.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:32   #16
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Be interesting to hear your thoughts on the simulated surround effect, especially if you've been used to 5+ speakers.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:13   #17
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It will take another 5 to 6 weeks for all the plumbing, electrical and joinery work to be completed and we can move in and install the AV kit. Getting workmen to book dates at this time of the year is very difficult, as I have discovered.
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