Best Rear Surround/Setup

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witthuhna

Audiophyte
I have always had surround sound for my television setup but never really delved into the minutia. My current setup is, towers B&W DM603 S3's, center Klipsch R-504c, front surround Klipsch SS.5, sub is a klipsch 10" powered, cant remember model, rear surround Klipsch SF-2 towers, may be overkill but I had them leftover after picking up the B&W's. What would your suggestion be for the speaker setup? Are the towers better for rear surround or the SS.5?
I'm running them from a yamaha receiver, changed them all to "small" and 80hz as I can't select the hz for each speaker.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Overlord
IMO, job number one is replacing that subwoofer. The rest of the speakers are ok enough for now, but if you want a real HT experience, I’d start there. Do you have any kind of budget planned for upgrades?
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
Other than speakers, actual placement is the most influential aspect of a good surround field.
 
W

witthuhna

Audiophyte
IMO, job number one is replacing that subwoofer. The rest of the speakers are ok enough for now, but if you want a real HT experience, I’d start there. Do you have any kind of budget planned for upgrades?
Why is replacing the subwoofer so important? It has a phase control switch, gain knob, and hz control knob. Sounds good overall and very powerful. The speaker placement and which speakers to use for rear surround vs front surround are my main concern. I will likely upgrade subs in the future though.
 
P

Phil J N.Z.

Junior Audioholic
Are you a Surround Sound only or Stereo as well? if you are like me and have the need for both then my advise is set your front main speakers up to give you a good stereo image and that right first.
Once you have done that then work on the surround sound but don't move the front mains.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Overlord
Why is replacing the subwoofer so important? It has a phase control switch, gain knob, and hz control knob. Sounds good overall and very powerful. The speaker placement and which speakers to use for rear surround vs front surround are my main concern. I will likely upgrade subs in the future though.
Well I mean no insult, but in the grand scheme of things a 10” Klipsch sub is a Prius on the track with a bunch of corvettes. The problem is it’s small, not powerful, doesn’t extend very deep and is very likely not very linear. Unless you’re in a very small room, and only watch rom coms, this subwoofer would be very disappointing.
Speaker placement is absolutely very important and time should be spent there. But that’s free(unless changing speakers too), and you subwoofer is a place to make a very noticeable gain. This seems like a case of not knowing what you don’t know. If you’re happy with it pay me no mind. I just know from experience that subwoofers are the foundation of Home Theater and are worth the investment in time and money.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Overlord
Also fwiw, I would use the towers as side surrounds and the BS(bookshelf) Klipsch as rears.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Overlord
Are you a Surround Sound only or Stereo as well? if you are like me and have the need for both then my advise is set your front main speakers up to give you a good stereo image and that right first.
Once you have done that then work on the surround sound but don't move the front mains.
Agree.
Placement overall starts with the Mains. After that, you have to extend that placement to the other Speakers in the Bed Layer. You should never even think Atmos unless you can get a very good 5.1 or 7.1 layout dialed in.

In support of Bill's comment, that Sub is definitely a weak link. My own personal feelings about B&W aside, your focus should always be on a proper 2.1 setup first. That LFE channel is really worth considering a proper upgrade.
After that, the next most important step is making certain you've got a great Center.
Surround and Rear Speakers do not need to carry the full load that the Front 3 do. You don't want to skimp, but they don't need to be a major drain on the budget.
If you upgrade, you can also move good Speakers around, assuming you are adding better up front! ;)

Understanding the Dolby PDF file (not the cool little overhead drawings you often see online) is a must. This takes you from basic 2-channel all the way to 9-channel bed layer setups and how to plan for atmosphere if you want it.
From there, however, it is really all about angles when you place your Speakers. If you can get the Angle right, you will benefit from a good sound field.
Even mediocre Speakers can be made to work in the proper setting. From there, your upgrade path becomes more linear as you can target the weakest link each time you choose to invest in your system.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
What are the room dimensions and where is the seating in this room?
 
W

witthuhna

Audiophyte
Are you a Surround Sound only or Stereo as well? if you are like me and have the need for both then my advise is set your front main speakers up to give you a good stereo image and that right first.
Once you have done that then work on the surround sound but don't move the front mains.
I have the stereo setup pretty well dialed in. My Yamaha is setup so I can switch it from surround so I usually do that for music but hoping to upgrade to a newer yamaha soon so I have more options.
 
W

witthuhna

Audiophyte
Also fwiw, I would use the towers as side surrounds and the BS(bookshelf) Klipsch as rears.
I appreciate your input, no offense taken. I've got a friend in luxury A/V and their listening room is awesome! I've heard a handful of great systems with great subs and imagine I could benefit but I don't see myself spending over $1,000 on a sub anytime soon. As much as I love audio, priorities are elsewhere especially as the economy waivers.
I used to have the bookshelves in the back but wanted more from the rear surround, was considering switching to something like the Klipsch RP-502S.
 
W

witthuhna

Audiophyte
Agree.
Placement overall starts with the Mains. After that, you have to extend that placement to the other Speakers in the Bed Layer. You should never even think Atmos unless you can get a very good 5.1 or 7.1 layout dialed in.

In support of Bill's comment, that Sub is definitely a weak link. My own personal feelings about B&W aside, your focus should always be on a proper 2.1 setup first. That LFE channel is really worth considering a proper upgrade.
After that, the next most important step is making certain you've got a great Center.
Surround and Rear Speakers do not need to carry the full load that the Front 3 do. You don't want to skimp, but they don't need to be a major drain on the budget.
If you upgrade, you can also move good Speakers around, assuming you are adding better up front! ;)

Understanding the Dolby PDF file (not the cool little overhead drawings you often see online) is a must. This takes you from basic 2-channel all the way to 9-channel bed layer setups and how to plan for atmosphere if you want it.
From there, however, it is really all about angles when you place your Speakers. If you can get the Angle right, you will benefit from a good sound field.
Even mediocre Speakers can be made to work in the proper setting. From there, your upgrade path becomes more linear as you can target the weakest link each time you choose to invest in your system.
Haha is B&W Bad? Always thought they were a brand that put quality over everything. I love mine, they sound way better than the Klipsch towers I was using. I have another stereo setup as well with two vintage Infinity RS4B's and an infinity sub that is a bit more modern, not sure the model. Love that setup for just music.
What are your thoughts on Sunfire, Monoprice, or JL Audio on subwoofer options? Any brands you prefer? Looking to stay under $1000, preferably the $500 range unless I'm going to see a huge improvement bumping up to $900-1000
 
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William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Overlord
I appreciate your input, no offense taken. I've got a friend in luxury A/V and their listening room is awesome! I've heard a handful of great systems with great subs and imagine I could benefit but I don't see myself spending over $1,000 on a sub anytime soon. As much as I love audio, priorities are elsewhere especially as the economy waivers.
I used to have the bookshelves in the back but wanted more from the rear surround, was considering switching to something like the Klipsch RP-502S.
So curious. What are the room dims, and seating in relation to the back wall? I don’t like bipoles personally, but they can have their place. For example, trying to cover multiple rows, or avoiding hotspotting from close proximity. The RP series in general would be a good choice. Easy to drive and dynamic. Rear surrounds don’t usually see a very heavy load although Atmos uses full range to all speakers(offset of course by XO) so…
FWIW the RSL 12s is a fantastic subwoofer for 799. One now and one later would be a great upgrade path. Seems to be a priority for a later time, but you only have one way to go lol.
 
W

witthuhna

Audiophyte
So curious. What are the room dims, and seating in relation to the back wall? I don’t like bipoles personally, but they can have their place. For example, trying to cover multiple rows, or avoiding hotspotting from close proximity. The RP series in general would be a good choice. Easy to drive and dynamic. Rear surrounds don’t usually see a very heavy load although Atmos uses full range to all speakers(offset of course by XO) so…
FWIW the RSL 12s is a fantastic subwoofer for 799. One now and one later would be a great upgrade path. Seems to be a priority for a later time, but you only have one way to go lol.
The room is a bit odd as it leads into a dining area. 24' wide by 14' deep, from the couch to the to the center channel is 6', 7' to the towers, 4' to the rear surround couch is kind of centered in the room. We are moving in a few months so I'm not too concerned with dialing it in to that respect.
For subwoofers, what are your thoughts on Sunfire, Monoprice, or JL Audio?
 
W

witthuhna

Audiophyte
What are the room dimensions and where is the seating in this room?
The room is a bit odd as it leads into a dining area. 24' wide by 14' deep, from the couch to the to the center channel is 6', 7' to the towers, 4' to the rear surround couch is kind of centered in the room. We are moving in a few months so I'm not too concerned with dialing it in to that respect.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Overlord
The room is a bit odd as it leads into a dining area. 24' wide by 14' deep, from the couch to the to the center channel is 6', 7' to the towers, 4' to the rear surround couch is kind of centered in the room. We are moving in a few months so I'm not too concerned with dialing it in to that respect.
For subwoofers, what are your thoughts on Sunfire, Monoprice, or JL Audio?
Well I guess if you’re moving soon, no need to be overly concerned. Although winter can be a good time to experiment and spend some time with placement.
For subwoofers, sunfire and JL only make sealed ones, which imo only serve to save space. )I don’t subscribe to the sealed for tighter more accurate blah blah blah). Well designed modern ported subs easily compete musically while offering much more extension and output below 35ish hz.
Sunfires are too small for my use case, and JL is way overpriced, but I do like their drivers for car audio applications.
Monolith makes great performing subs, but their reliability has often been questioned. It’s possibly overblown by the few that have had problems, but I have no actual metrics on it. Svs used to be the value leader, but they have baked so much stuff into their program that the cost to performance ratio is less than others. They do offer great CS and a handy app to control subs but it costs in the end and if you’re a set it and forget guy, the app is only so valuable.
If you want a sub that will destroy your house, DIY wins the day.(looking at you devastators) and save a lot of money. For commercial subs, my thoughts usually turn to Rythmik, PSA, monolith, RSLetc. But starke and arendal look interesting too.
Ok. Probably hit TLDR somewhere in there but that’s my quick .02.
 
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