Atmos Modules; Jumping in Point

H

Hobbit

Full Audioholic
So, I've read the likes and dislikes, or pros and cons, of add-on atmos modules. I'm still really leaning towards giving them a try.

The next question becomes, do I go for matching KEFs, or jump in with something inexpensive like the ELAC atmos add-ons?
 
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ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
As long as the geometry is right in your room, then go for it. But this is the big problem... most people are throwing up firing atmos speakers into places where they aren’t able to function as intended.
Use the Dolby guide, check the math (and yes, I know most people run from geometry, but if you don’t want to waste money...), and then decide if it will work in your space.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
This article sums up why I'm on the fence on whether to go with the Elacs or KEFs:

https://www.audioholics.com/audio-technologies/dolby-atmos-success

If the effect is minor I don't feel I wasted anything but time with the Elacs. I'm also not convinced I would that timbre matching for a "bouncy" speaker is that important. Maybe?
I'm not convinced a bouncy speaker is important at all. With the acoustic characteristics of ceiling materials it sounds a very far fetched proposition to me.

Although I would say this. No speaker is like a ray. There will be an awful lot, at least 50% and probably more not radiated at the ceiling. If this of axis radiation is of lower quality, or even just different, than the main speakers, then the sound can't help but be degraded.

If you think I'm advising you not to bother, you would be correct.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Don’t disagree with that.
I have heard people say they got excellent results. That’s what they say, though.

I think if the geometry is right, and op is set on this path, then sure... give it a try.
If you measure and draw it out and the geometry isn’t even close. Don’t do it.

As far as timbre matching?
No. For atmos, it shouldn’t matter.

Would I do this out of convenience just to have atmos? No. I think the principle is flawed. I also have a sloped clerestory ceiling. :cool:
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
There is no way to get anything like timbre matching with bouncey speakers. The best you can hope for is some vague effects and ambient sounds to appear to be coming from above- and that is only if you install the right kind of speakers in the correct manner. Otherwise it will sound like its coming from the front stage speakers and just confuse everything. I would be looking at high directivity speakers for bouncey speakers, and that means large woofers and horn loaded tweeters. Otherwise, mount the speakers well above the listening position, so that you are outside of a 90-degree angle from the speaker's direct axis.
 
MarcG

MarcG

Junior Audioholic
Could you use Q50a in white wall mounted near the ceiling? If your ceiling's are white they're almost stealth!
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Actually I'm conflicted on this Atmos issue.

On the one hand true Atmos movies, of which there are few, the system does marginally add to the effect. But movies and TV is really about telling a story. I really think this complexity adds little to telling the story and come to that going above 2 or 3 channels adds little either as far as story telling goes.

What I have noticed is how these four ceiling speakers improve the audio effect of music from concert halls and especially ambient cathedral spaces. This did come as a surprise. I should add that up mixing music in the popular domain, that is muti miked and processed to death it makes it worse and is a definite negative reproduced though upmixers.

Now If I had not had speakers and amps at the ready I would not have bothered with this to be honest.

However it turns out that for me it was worth the effort, as my only expense was wire, conduit and some MDF, paint and four grills.

I'm lucky as my ceiling speakers are absolutely ideal, as they are pretty much a perfect acoustic match for all the other speakers. They have never once drawn attention to themselves and unless you switch them off would not realize their benefit. It seems to me that Dolby do have their preferred layout correct. Also Audyssey does seem to set the levels correctly.

And of course all these spaces have ambiance from the front of the space, if not more so then the rear and elsewhere. So if this upmixer gets it close to correct then you have ambiance form 11 distinct points in a small room.

I have no idea how close the tonal match of the speakers has to be, but my instinct tells me that for the way I use 11 channels it needs to be very close, or the odd speakers will draw attention to themselves.

As I have said before those little JW drivers have been my acoustic truth test for years. They are extremely well balanced speakers with no crossover to muck them up.

So my experience may be very different from others. I just can't imagine that these ceiling speakers with tweeters right in front of the cone can come close to the fidelity of my JW modules. However I don't own any, and reliable data on them is pretty much not to be found.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
So, I've read the likes and dislikes, or pros and cons, of add-on atmos modules. I'm still really leaning towards giving them a try.

The next question becomes, do I go for matching KEFs, or jump in with something inexpensive like the ELAC atmos add-ons?
I think the cost of admission is low enough to try. I think you could get similar performance from the elacs as Andrew Jones helped develop them, and he is a big advocate for bouncy speakers. I do NOT share his enthusiasm for them but the modules are cheap enough to try out imo. Just know that it will take a lot of fussing around to get right. Finding the right spot so they throw to your seat will take time, and if you have a highly textured ceiling, it will likely fail. You may also have to experiment with tipping them forward or backward a little. Ceiling height, and distance from will change where the sound path needs to go.

And keep this in mind, if you’re not happy with the results, it’s not necessarily a fault of Atmos. I’ve seen people try the modules and it doesn’t work and then they go and carry on about how dumb Atmos is etc.
Also, with hundreds of Atmos titles available, and the excellent upmixing capabilities of DSU and DTS-X, I can’t see why not to. Although I would personally recommend at least Height speakers vs modules.
 
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ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Bill’s thoughtful drawing illustrates well the point I was trying to make. :)
 

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