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Answered AVR vs Soundbar for my living room.

Toobad

Member
Hi Alsh, I just wanted to stop by and say how much I enjoyed reading your thread and seeing how your journey has evolved. It was good to see the soundbar option went south very quickly and with the expert guidance available on this forum, you have truly managed to extract the very best bang for your buck. Of course, with your propensity to investigate and tinker, you have probably stepped onto the very slippery slope known as "Upgraditis" but your new kit will definitely keep you satisfied for at least 3 months :laugh: At that point you will be looking for 4 Atmos speakers and a second subwoofer so you can enjoy a 5.2.4 immersive experience ;)
 

Alsh

Active Member
Hi Alsh, I just wanted to stop by and say how much I enjoyed reading your thread and seeing how your journey has evolved. It was good to see the soundbar option went south very quickly and with the expert guidance available on this forum, you have truly managed to extract the very best bang for your buck. Of course, with your propensity to investigate and tinker, you have probably stepped onto the very slippery slope known as "Upgraditis" but your new kit will definitely keep you satisfied for at least 3 months :laugh: At that point you will be looking for 4 Atmos speakers and a second subwoofer so you can enjoy a 5.2.4 immersive experience ;)
Hahaha thank you!

Yes I’m sure I’ve already started descending down that slope. :D

At the minute I’m trying to focus on getting my head round the terminology and ins and outs. Audio/Video has never been something I’ve got property involved in at a technical level, quite pleased I’ve finally took the dive. :thumbsup:
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
Hahaha thank you!

Yes I’m sure I’ve already started descending down that slope. :D

At the minute I’m trying to focus on getting my head round the terminology and ins and outs. Audio/Video has never been something I’ve got property involved in at a technical level, quite pleased I’ve finally took the dive. :thumbsup:
I wrote a thread called "It's finished, I'm done' hereon the forums.
You can read post #1 then skip to post #6 of the renamed forum Apparently it is NOT finished and I'm not done! :)
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I realised I could just go open the boxes and take a look... so I did

I’ve managed to find a bracket with adjustable arms for the bronze centre so that’s been ordered.

However due to the layout of the room I’m unsure as to whether to mount the Bronze 2s or have them on stands.

View attachment 1189952

Excuse my crude drawing but I’m worried with the bronze 2s that they’ll be in the way of viewing from the 2 seater. Now I know the furthest sat right of the 2 seater would have hardly any viewing angle anyway and it’ll only really be used with guests.

However I’m still worried furthest sat left still may have the bronze 2 on the left in their way?

Also with the FXs is it worth mounting them on the side walls or rear wall?
Mount the FX on the rear wall. With the fronts they would be better on stands but if you need to wall mount them then ensure you get a good adjustable mount such as the B-tech BT77. I use them with my KEF R100 surrounds.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/B-Tech-BT77-Black-Side-Clamping-Loudspeakers/dp/B00KATG0AU/ref=asc_df_B00KATG0AU/?tag=bingshoppinga-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=
 

Alsh

Active Member
Mount the FX on the rear wall. With the fronts they would be better on stands but if you need to wall mount them then ensure you get a good adjustable mount such as the B-tech BT77. I use them with my KEF R100 surrounds.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/B-Tech-BT77-Black-Side-Clamping-Loudspeakers/dp/B00KATG0AU/ref=asc_df_B00KATG0AU/?tag=bingshoppinga-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=
Thanks! I will get floor stands then. Is there any recommended ones or they mostly all the same? If anything I’d want ones with good cable management. :)
 

Toobad

Member
In choosing your stand and wall mounting heights, you are trying to get the speaker's tweeter at the same level as your ear when seated. Here is the optimum Dolby-recommended speaker arrangement for 5.1 sound:

5.1 Surround Speakers Setup | Dolby Laboratories
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Thanks! I will get floor stands then. Is there any recommended ones or they mostly all the same? If anything I’d want ones with good cable management. :)
You want floor stands at:

1. The right height for when you're seated (see Toobad's post above)
2. Solid (no flex or wobble)
3. Heavy (so they don't topple over easily)

Atacama do a range covering all budgets, for example. But you don't have to buy new!

Think about it: someone buys some speaker stands and puts them in place. They basically just stand there for years until they're replaced for whatever reason. They then end up secondhand and literally worth hardly anything.

Check out Atacama's range and prices, if you find a pair you like then hunt around online and see if they're available secondhand and in what condition - I guarantee you'd pick them up for a song.

Atacama just came to mind as they're the brand I used when I had standmounts, there are other makes just as good, but the main thing is that you don't overspend on this as, despite the florid claims, you really won't hear much difference between £50 stands and £500 stands (in my opinion).

p.s. I think @Coulson had a similar dilemma recently, but I can't remember what the outcome was. Maybe PM him?
 
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L4_Isoside

Member
I realised I could just go open the boxes and take a look... so I did

I’ve managed to find a bracket with adjustable arms for the bronze centre so that’s been ordered.

However due to the layout of the room I’m unsure as to whether to mount the Bronze 2s or have them on stands.

View attachment 1189952

Excuse my crude drawing but I’m worried with the bronze 2s that they’ll be in the way of viewing from the 2 seater. Now I know the furthest sat right of the 2 seater would have hardly any viewing angle anyway and it’ll only really be used with guests.

However I’m still worried furthest sat left still may have the bronze 2 on the left in their way?

Also with the FXs is it worth mounting them on the side walls or rear wall?
Without actually being in the room I think I'd prefer to have the front speakers wall mounted, in your situation. I think they could look quite neat.

The FX speakers, IMO, are miles better on the side walls than the rear walls for a 5.1 setup. I have tried both and sides where night and day difference - dolby 5.1 setup and mixes are side / slightly behind your seating position.

When I tried them on the rear walls it just felt like everything was behind me, which sounded very odd when the mix is supposed to be side on...

If you could stack some books / side tables up and leave them on the side / rear for a while and do some testing, that'll be even better. They will sit flat and stable if left on a stack of books pushed against the wall. :)

You may find them being slightly above ear high probably sounds better / more spacious, however, if you plan on adding Atmos (ceiling) speakers later, then it is recommended to drop the speakers down to ear level. I found I have much better separation between side speakers and top speakers when I dropped them down to ear height.

EDIT: To say that when I had 5.1 in an old house, with fx speakers side on and slightly above ear level, that surround sound movies sounded fantastic. With my new house, I cant get fx on side walls, so used floor standing speakers side on. I never got the same effect as when I used the FX speakers. What I have done now is, used FX on the rear wall, and floor standing speakers to my sides, in a 7.1 setup. This to me sounds great now. Unfortunately its all a compromise!
 

Alsh

Active Member
Without actually being in the room I think I'd prefer to have the front speakers wall mounted, in your situation. I think they could look quite neat.

The FX speakers, IMO, are miles better on the side walls than the rear walls for a 5.1 setup. I have tried both and sides where night and day difference - dolby 5.1 setup and mixes are side / slightly behind your seating position.

When I tried them on the rear walls it just felt like everything was behind me, which sounded very odd when the mix is supposed to be side on...

If you could stack some books / side tables up and leave them on the side / rear for a while and do some testing, that'll be even better. They will sit flat and stable if left on a stack of books pushed against the wall. :)

You may find them being slightly above ear high probably sounds better / more spacious, however, if you plan on adding Atmos (ceiling) speakers later, then it is recommended to drop the speakers down to ear level. I found I have much better separation between side speakers and top speakers when I dropped them down to ear height.

EDIT: To say that when I had 5.1 in an old house, with fx speakers side on and slightly above ear level, that surround sound movies sounded fantastic. With my new house, I cant get fx on side walls, so used floor standing speakers side on. I never got the same effect as when I used the FX speakers. What I have done now is, used FX on the rear wall, and floor standing speakers to my sides, in a 7.1 setup. This to me sounds great now. Unfortunately its all a compromise!

Yeah I do like the thought of them being wall mounted, as they're out of reach of my little boy then. Even if they won't move with some sand in, the stands are still open to some "abuse" haha.

I've got some thinking to do!

If putting the FXs on the sidewall is best, does it matter if they're not equidistant? As the left FX will be further away then the right (See my crappy drawing haha). I guess I will have to make sure the door is closed as well to not block it when watching films and what not.

Atmos is certainly something I'd want to expand into in the future for sure.
 

L4_Isoside

Member
The distance doesn't look like there would be a huge difference so I don't belive it should make a huge difference between left and right surround speaker. In fact that's the same issue I had in my old house and it still sounded great. Audysessy will do its best to correct for the distance differences.
 

Alsh

Active Member
The distance doesn't look like there would be a huge difference so I don't belive it should make a huge difference between left and right surround speaker. In fact that's the same issue I had in my old house and it still sounded great. Audysessy will do its best to correct for the distance differences.
Awesome! Side walls it is then. :clap:
 

Alsh

Active Member
Duronic Speaker Stand (pair) SPS1022-80 | LARGE 80cm | Set of 2 Steel Base Supports for Stereo Loudspeakers | Floor Standing with Spikes, Shoes and Pads | Insulating | Black | For Better Audio https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06X1DW7LS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_E1-ADbC48J6X8

Do these look like they’ll be okay? Been doing some measuring. The bronze 2s are 35cm high which means the tweeter sits around ~33/34cm up. If they need to be about ear height, with common sizes being 40/60/80cm in stand height I think they’ll probably just be about or just just above ear height when sat on the sofa.

Not much online that’s reasonably priced nor anything on gumtree that hasn’t already sold.
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
Duronic Speaker Stand (pair) SPS1022-80 | LARGE 80cm | Set of 2 Steel Base Supports for Stereo Loudspeakers | Floor Standing with Spikes, Shoes and Pads | Insulating | Black | For Better Audio https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06X1DW7LS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_E1-ADbC48J6X8

Do these look like they’ll be okay? Been doing some measuring. The bronze 2s are 35cm high which means the tweeter sits around ~33/34cm up. If they need to be about ear height, with common sizes being 40/60/80cm in stand height I think they’ll probably just be about or just just above ear height when sat on the sofa.

Not much online that’s reasonably priced nor anything on gumtree that hasn’t already sold.
Those will work as good rear stands as they are a little above ear height which I think is the recommendation. I have 60s in the front and height adjustables in the rear set at around 80cm. This height also means that I can put them behind the chairs.
 

Alsh

Active Member
Those will work as good rear stands as they are a little above ear height which I think is the recommendation. I have 60s in the front and height adjustables in the rear set at around 80cm. This height also means that I can put them behind the chairs.
Ahh so the fronts don’t have to be ear height then? Can they be just below?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Ahh so the fronts don’t have to be ear height then? Can they be just below?
No. Best position is just above seated head height in an Atmos set up. For basic 5.1 they can go higher. Certainly not lower. It's surprising the number of effects that portray height even in a 5.1.
 

Alsh

Active Member
No. Best position is just above seated head height in an Atmos set up. For basic 5.1 they can go higher. Certainly not lower. It's surprising the number of effects that portray height even in a 5.1.
On the sofa I’m on at the minute which is similar dimensions to the one I’m getting, my seated height to be just above my ear is around 108cm so I’ll need an 80cm stand + the 35cm speaker height to achieve it?
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
Ahh so the fronts don’t have to be ear height then? Can they be just below?
I never said that but I get what you mean. The speaker cones on top of the 60s are barely ear height at my seated position. 70+ would be better but they are Atacama stands and only cost me a fiver so :)
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
My front speakers are on a heavy duty cabinet which is 60cm high. The tweeters are therefore at exactly the height of my ears. Not by design but by the fact that I'm a short arse.

In a perfect speaker position the fronts should all have their tweeters at ear height with all the speaker aligned on the horizontal. There are not many perfect situations out there in a typical British home. My surrounds are higher than I'd like them. However they are lower than my wife would like them. Another compromise that is often found in a typical British home.

You have to make the best of any positional possibilities.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
OP - everything is a compromise and you try and get as near as you can to the guidelines.

And that's all they are - a guide. I mean, having your tweeters at ear height - great, but who sits bolt upright for two hours non stop? We all slump down!

I have my Rears higher than my Fronts, the Front tweeters are at ear height, the Rears are not. But I deliberately have my Rears higher because otherwise about 75% of the Rear speakers would be firing directly into the back of my sofa!

It's easy to get slightly obsessed with meeting all the parameters precisely, but as Gibbsy says, unless you're designing your room from scratch for Home Cinema, you're mostly just trying to find a way to fit your system into a space that's already there and can't really be changed.

Audyssey EQ usually compensates for less than perfect heights and distances anyway. But enough about this, what's happening with the Subwoofer? Now that's another whole ton of fun to get right!
 

Alsh

Active Member
I never said that but I get what you mean. The speaker cones on top of the 60s are barely ear height at my seated position. 70+ would be better but they are Atacama stands and only cost me a fiver so :)
My front speakers are on a heavy duty cabinet which is 60cm high. The tweeters are therefore at exactly the height of my ears. Not by design but by the fact that I'm a short arse.

In a perfect speaker position the fronts should all have their tweeters at ear height with all the speaker aligned on the horizontal. There are not many perfect situations out there in a typical British home. My surrounds are higher than I'd like them. However they are lower than my wife would like them. Another compromise that is often found in a typical British home.

You have to make the best of any positional possibilities.
OP - everything is a compromise and you try and get as near as you can to the guidelines.

And that's all they are - a guide. I mean, having your tweeters at ear height - great, but who sits bolt upright for two hours non stop? We all slump down!

I have my Rears higher than my Fronts, the Front tweeters are at ear height, the Rears are not. But I deliberately have my Rears higher because otherwise about 75% of the Rear speakers would be firing directly into the back of my sofa!

It's easy to get slightly obsessed with meeting all the parameters precisely, but as Gibbsy says, unless you're designing your room from scratch for Home Cinema, you're mostly just trying to find a way to fit your system into a space that's already there and can't really be changed.

Audyssey EQ usually compensates for less than perfect heights and distances anyway. But enough about this, what's happening with the Subwoofer? Now that's another whole ton of fun to get right!
Thanks everyone :)

I actually found a pair of 700mm Atacama Nexus stands on Facebook Marketplace, the pair for £30 and local to me so I went and snapped them up!!


Ahhh I’ll be ringing BK tomorrow to find out whether I should go for forward or downward firing and once I’ve found that out one of them will be ordered.

I’ll of course keep you all up to date. ;)
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
Thanks everyone :)

I actually found a pair of 700mm Atacama Nexus stands on Facebook Marketplace, the pair for £30 and local to me so I went and snapped them up!!


Ahhh I’ll be ringing BK tomorrow to find out whether I should go for forward or downward firing and once I’ve found that out one of them will be ordered.

I’ll of course keep you all up to date. ;)
BK has another open secret in that they are cheaper to order from a known vendor on eBay. Apparently they are slight seconds but I've never heard anyone complain. Front or Down Firing? Another one of those questions that may have a different answer each time you ask. After a lot of reading I went FF because I was worried about vibrations on the floor going downstairs. I'm still not 100% certain that's even an issue. Bottom line, get the BK, EQ it, be happy. Give it a couple of weeks to fully bed in and then the fun really begins :)
 

Alsh

Active Member
BK has another open secret in that they are cheaper to order from a known vendor on eBay. Apparently they are slight seconds but I've never heard anyone complain. Front or Down Firing? Another one of those questions that may have a different answer each time you ask. After a lot of reading I went FF because I was worried about vibrations on the floor going downstairs. I'm still not 100% certain that's even an issue. Bottom line, get the BK, EQ it, be happy. Give it a couple of weeks to fully bed in and then the fun really begins :)
Haha I was worried that might be the case.

It’ll be on the ground floor on carpet so I imagine down firing would probably be the one to go for! But I’ll see what they say anyway.

Just gotta decide which BK to go for :rotfl:
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
Haha I was worried that might be the case.

It’ll be on the ground floor on carpet so I imagine down firing would probably be the one to go for! But I’ll see what they say anyway.

Just gotta decide which BK to go for :rotfl:
I've got carpet and I'm using FF :rolleyes:
 

Coulson

Well-known Member
THIS IS NOT HELPING :rotfl:

So do you still feel plenty of bass with FF?

I just don’t think I’ve ever had an FF sub before so I’ve no idea if there’s any difference with the feel.
My other subs were only 8" so it would be unfair to compare. So the only thing I can tell you is that I am happy :) Whatever happens Audyssey Multi XT32 has been a revelation in sub EQ'ing for me, hopefully it will be the same for you.
 

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