• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Nearfield surround sound - inspiration sought

jhaider

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
2,201
Likes
3,364
I recently on instinct bought the new 5.1 channel Pink Floyd “Animals” remix…and promptly re-realized what a PITA using disks is in our current immersive setup - the disk player is a floor away from the playback room.

I have a decent collection of 3.0 to 5.1 channel SACDs and DVD-A’s that sound great but don’t get much playback. So I’m thinking about making the desktop/nearfield setup multichannel. But I’m at a loss on how to make it look nice, even with relatively small speakers (I’d use KH 80 DSP for LCR, probably Mirage OMD-5 for surround.) Does anyone have a nearfield 5.1 system they’re willing to post for inspiration?
 

mkt

Active Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
266
Likes
353
23D57230-5273-4FC5-919B-EBEE8AD95904.jpeg
I may have given up on the making it look nice
 

Tom C

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
1,180
Likes
1,034
Location
USA
The Genelecs have the ideal form factor for making the center channel work with a monitor. Are the acoustic axes all at ear level? Looks like you’d be looking down at the monitor…
You’ve got three very nice systems there, mkt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mkt

mkt

Active Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
266
Likes
353
The Genelecs have the ideal form factor for making the center channel work with a monitor. Are the acoustic axes all at ear level? Looks like you’d be looking down at the monitor…
You’ve got three very nice systems there, mkt.
They are slightly tilted down and not quite as high as they look. I moved the monitor up a bit and my posture thanks you.
 

tifune

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
944
Likes
645
I may have given up on the making it look nice

I'm Also here to contribute to the "how not to do it" pile, although Jay has already seen it. One thing that does make it easier is dual monitors, so the center can go between them.

Just curious, @jhaider , why the OMD's? Cursory search suggests they're not much cheaper than another set of KH80, which gives you MA1 all around. But, you're far from first person I've seen suggesting these and it seems they were discontinued some time ago - what's different about them that maintains their popularity?

New Animals is really good, BTW. Very happy they didn't take the played out "move vocals to center channel" route
 

Attachments

  • 16641145058483212272894805471444.jpg
    16641145058483212272894805471444.jpg
    157.5 KB · Views: 106
OP
jhaider

jhaider

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
2,201
Likes
3,364
Just curious, @jhaider , why the OMD's? Cursory search suggests they're not much cheaper than another set of KH80, which gives you MA1 all around.

Simple answer is “I have them.” Longer answer is I’ve always found broader dispersion speakers to work better in surround roles.

Also I wouldn’t be using MA-1: don’t have the mic and my subs are not KH750s. I’d be using Audyssey XT32, bandwidth limited and curve corrected with the iOS app, here (Marantz 7703 - also in the “I have it” category). Obviously no MultEQ X - even if I thought it had useful value adds compared to the iOS app (I don’t) they didn’t bother to make a proper version to run on my 14” MBP anyway.

But, you're far from first person I've seen suggesting these and it seems they were discontinued some time ago - what's different about them that maintains their popularity?

They look really cool in the Karelia birch burl finish and are very broad in dispersion. They’re otherwise nothing special.
 

tifune

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
944
Likes
645
Also I wouldn’t be using MA-1: don’t have the mic and my subs are not KH750s.

All makes perfect sense except this part; the KH80's can run MA1 standalone, but maybe you're saying for full range integration it's easier to just stick with 1 solution?
 

mkt

Active Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
266
Likes
353
I'm Also here to contribute to the "how not to do it" pile, although Jay has already seen it. One thing that does make it easier is dual monitors, so the center can go between them.
OMG can you say a little more about your setup?
 
OP
jhaider

jhaider

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
2,201
Likes
3,364
All makes perfect sense except this part; the KH80's can run MA1 standalone, but maybe you're saying for full range integration it's easier to just stick with 1 solution?

KH 80 DSP don't really need anything IMO - the only use of further DSP with them is bass management and single-seat. Though you did just make me see a weakness in my thoughts - I would need two presets for bass management and EQ because it's a standing desk, which I currently have using the miniDSP SHD Studio. So maybe it's back to figuring out how to rip and play the DVD-A and SACD disks in multichannel from the M1 Mac mini in the rack...
 

ernestcarl

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
2,374
Likes
1,730
Location
Canada
I'm Also here to contribute to the "how not to do it" pile, although Jay has already seen it. One thing that does make it easier is dual monitors, so the center can go between them.

Just curious, @jhaider , why the OMD's? Cursory search suggests they're not much cheaper than another set of KH80, which gives you MA1 all around. But, you're far from first person I've seen suggesting these and it seems they were discontinued some time ago - what's different about them that maintains their popularity?

New Animals is really good, BTW. Very happy they didn't take the played out "move vocals to center channel" route

My god, you really went “all out” even getting a center ceiling or voice of god channel in there!

Sometimes I think some of us multichannel obsessed folks must be crazy… believe me, I’ve been brewing something like this in my head as well. Maybe not today, but I bet someday…
 

kthulhutu

Active Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2022
Messages
125
Likes
100
I'm Also here to contribute to the "how not to do it" pile, although Jay has already seen it. One thing that does make it easier is dual monitors, so the center can go between them.

Just curious, @jhaider , why the OMD's? Cursory search suggests they're not much cheaper than another set of KH80, which gives you MA1 all around. But, you're far from first person I've seen suggesting these and it seems they were discontinued some time ago - what's different about them that maintains their popularity?

New Animals is really good, BTW. Very happy they didn't take the played out "move vocals to center channel" route
Dual monitors without a primary monitor are bad for eye and neck strain. Ergonomic standards call for one monitor to be properly centered.
 

amadeuswus

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
224
Likes
200
Location
Massachusetts
I'm Also here to contribute to the "how not to do it" pile, although Jay has already seen it. One thing that does make it easier is dual monitors, so the center can go between them.

Just curious, @jhaider , why the OMD's? Cursory search suggests they're not much cheaper than another set of KH80, which gives you MA1 all around. But, you're far from first person I've seen suggesting these and it seems they were discontinued some time ago - what's different about them that maintains their popularity?

New Animals is really good, BTW. Very happy they didn't take the played out "move vocals to center channel" route
This amazing setup must be for upmixing your work-related zooms, right? ;)
 
OP
jhaider

jhaider

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
2,201
Likes
3,364
Dual monitors without a primary monitor are bad for eye and neck strain. Ergonomic standards call for one monitor to be properly centered.
That is the trick for desktop multichannel - how to place monitors and the center channel so that it sounds good and looks good too. IMO it's a much harder balancing act than normal living room audio - there the obvious solution is to raise the TV so it starts 50"-60" off the ground and deploy three identical LCR speakers, an arrangement with no practical drawbacks that provides the best audio quality.

For me the issue is compounded because right now I keep my laptop open (on a riser) under the big monitor. After work today I played around a little bit with putting a laptop to the side on a riser so I could clear the space under the monitor for a center channel. That did not seem like a good option ergonomically. For aesthetic reasons I don't want the center over the monitor. I guess I could get a giant monitor and keep the laptop closed. However, last winter I tried an ultra-widescreen and didn't much care for it. So it went back and my old 27" monitor was put back in.
 

DJBonoBobo

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Messages
867
Likes
1,690
Location
any germ
I had a nearfield surround setup for a single LP with 3x KH310 as LCR on the same height ( ear level). But the center never fit in, it was always better without a physical center in my room. So i am using only 2 front channels with a phantom center now and don't think i miss anything.
Probably worth trying before making huge efforts to cram a center into a nearfield setup.
 

tifune

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
944
Likes
645
OMG can you say a little more about your setup?

Sure; I don't want to derail the thread any more than I already have but I'll explain a little. I just really got addicted to Auro3D in my living room, and wanted it while i'm working all day in my office. I work from home + spend your $ where you spend your time = this weird thing. Because it's all for 2ch upmixing, I didn't intend on ever using a center but I sort of 'ended up' with a spare R3 that I couldn't sell (some parts loose inside and I'm too nervous to disassemble + fix) so I hooked it up because why not? so it's a Denon 6700 with 8341 front L/R, 8331 front height L/R (chosen to emphasize phantom center before I got a real center), R3 center, 8330 surround, 8320 center height+VoG, KH120/80 surround back/rear height. Under desk is 2x7350's bass managed for all the Genelecs, 100Hz crossover because my desk creates a 12dB(!) dip around 96Hz. THe denon detects all the Genelecs as full range but I cross them over at 40Hz anyway because the 7350's, frankly, don't sound that great full range for any music with sub-bass. If I ever find a deal, I'd upgrade to 7360's unless the new Denon x800's have DLBC in which case i'll just move to rythmik.

The 3rd sub, not shown, is an ELAC 2050 - nothing special about it but since it only handles <40Hz for the important channels and <80/90Hz for the 120/80's it's just fine once I got placement correct. Then I use Audyssey to correct the timing introduced by disparate DSP latency and <300Hz. GRADE attached if that interests you - room needs a LOT of work, but I refuse to let go of that window seat so I'm not sure it's possible to ever make it "perfect." There are MANY days I wonder if I should've just spent all this on some 8C's, but, I tend to learn the hard way and I just "had to" know what a nearfield auro would sound like.

My god, you really went “all out” even getting a center ceiling or voice of god channel in there!

Sometimes I think some of us multichannel obsessed folks must be crazy… believe me, I’ve been brewing something like this in my head as well. Maybe not today, but I bet someday…

Indeed! That was the part I was most interested in, just to see how much it added. Spoiler: not much. It requires surrounds to be present, so it must be some extract/mixdown of those specific channels. Unless I turn it up 10dB, I literally don't notice it's there. Center height is even more useless although I do wish Atmos would adopt that because, sort of like a front L/R phantom center, I think it could ameliorate some of the localization 99% of us get by having the center above or below screen.
 

Attachments

  • Genelec GRADE Report 2022-09-14.pdf
    3 MB · Views: 12

tifune

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
944
Likes
645
Dual monitors without a primary monitor are bad for eye and neck strain. Ergonomic standards call for one monitor to be properly centered.

Very interesting point here - it sort of makes me want to switch things up such that I have my 8331's above & below a center monitor in a center/center height config. I don't really use atmos in my office, it doesn't work very well streaming from Windows for whatever reason, so no loss there. Thanks for the idea!
 

DJBonoBobo

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Messages
867
Likes
1,690
Location
any germ
Very interesting point here - it sort of makes me want to switch things up such that I have my 8331's above & below a center monitor in a center/center height config. I don't really use atmos in my office, it doesn't work very well streaming from Windows for whatever reason, so no loss there. Thanks for the idea!
Have you also tried to remove the physical center and use only the phantom center? And if so, what was your experience with it?
 
OP
jhaider

jhaider

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
2,201
Likes
3,364
I had a nearfield surround setup for a single LP with 3x KH310 as LCR on the same height ( ear level). But the center never fit in, it was always better without a physical center in my room. So i am using only 2 front channels with a phantom center now and don't think i miss anything.
Probably worth trying before making huge efforts to cram a center into a nearfield setup.

I take your point…but a major reason to do this would be to play 3.0 channel Mercury Living Presence SACDs, and it just seems wrong to cram them back down to 2ch.
 

DJBonoBobo

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Messages
867
Likes
1,690
Location
any germ
I take your point…but a major reason to do this would be to play 3.0 channel Mercury Living Presence SACDs, and it just seems wrong to cram them back down to 2ch.
Sure, my point was just meant as an inspiration. I think it is possible the advantages of a physical center only play out in other than "1 person in the nearfield" scenarios. But i don´t know these recordings.

To illustrate: That was my calibrated stereo system plus uncalibrated center (MMM measurements). I just wasn´t able to fit the center in, because it measured so different than L/R (dips in important areas, like 90Hz, 400Hz, 1500Hz) in my room. I tried manual EQ and Dirac 3.0 (PC version).

1664285365949.png


But that´s only my experience, maybe it is easier in your room or with a different system.
 

tifune

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
944
Likes
645
Have you also tried to remove the physical center and use only the phantom center? And if so, what was your experience with it?

I have, both in this room and my theater setup. With the Genelec's especially, but also the 226Be's, I think there would be almost no difference for limited seating if your room is dialed in. Mine are not :( so having an actual center is helpful, depending on your goal. Matching front heights didn't help phantom center as much as I expected, they just made front L/R "taller".

In my case it becomes a lot easier to hear what most audiophiles would call, for better or worse, micro-details. The reason being Auro "shifts" content from L/R to the center so it's as though there's more space/headroom for what's left behind. for example on U2's Please, at the end of a chorus I can easily hear the drummer count off to the band to start the next verse. with normal 2ch he would be masked by guitar reverb & bass sustain because his voice isn't directly mic'd. whether that's worth it in terms of $, and as pointed out the ergonomics, YMMV.

as always, getting your L/R/subs and room right is probably a smarter move unless you have a lot of native multichannel content (I don't). Frankly, were it not for Auro, I wouldn't bother. I don't like any of the other upmixers. although, if I had any free time at all, I'd love to try out Cavern or jRiver.
 
Top Bottom