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One pair or two pairs of M3 ceiling speakers?
#426406 08/19/17 03:05 PM
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All, I purchased a complete set of Axiom speakers for a 7.1 configuration more than 10 years back, which along with a Denon 3805 and a Denon universal DVD player, 'made my cup overflow' with music bliss (OK on the visual side with a Panny 42" TV).

Five years back, a Hsu sub added the oomph for classical tracks that are on the low frequency side like organ music, and for movies like U-571. A few years back I sprung for a projector and a BD player (with 7.1 analog outputs) that significantly improved the visual side of my previously music focused configuration. A day back I purchased a new Marantz SR6011 Dolby Atmos (supports 11.2 with extra amp) receiver. Though the Denon 3805 was a great receiver (driving the 4 ohm M80s with ease, and supporting 7.1 analog inputs for either the Universal DVD OR BD player), the lack of HDMI was getting to be increasing a serious handicap.

Now, the $1,000 question. Since my media room measures 16' long, 15' wide, and 10' feet high, would I be served best with TWO sets of ceiling speakers, or one pair? If the spend on the extra $500 will not provide me an appreciable increase in fidelity on the sound track of movies with overhead action, especially given the length of my room, then I don't think I need the 2nd pair.

Aside
The seating position (4 seats) is roughly 9' from the screen in a slight arc. The rear speakers are 7' behind the seating area (the room being 16' long). I'll have to lower the sides/rear QS8s to eye level based on the Dolby Atmos preferred room configuration for a 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 configuration . Additionally, I"ll move the seats 1-2 feet in front.

Would appreciate your insights you all on the ceiling speaker configuration. Over the years, I've come to respect the friendly camaraderie, and expertise in this forum, don't think I'll be disappointed!


Axiom M80Ti, VP150, M3 on walls X 4, M3 ceiling X4, HSU VTF-3 MK3

Re: One pair or two pairs of M3 ceiling speakers?
edvacdude #426407 08/19/17 03:12 PM
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7.1.4
Lol




Re: One pair or two pairs of M3 ceiling speakers?
edvacdude #426410 08/19/17 05:17 PM
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I subscribe the the 'more is better' idea as well, but would appreciate a little more color as to 'why'?

Thanks brwsaw.


Axiom M80Ti, VP150, M3 on walls X 4, M3 ceiling X4, HSU VTF-3 MK3

Re: One pair or two pairs of M3 ceiling speakers?
edvacdude #426424 08/21/17 01:58 AM
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I see this referring to a 7.1.4 setup as a 'reference' arrangement, so I guess my question is answered by both brsaw and Dolby Labs!

Last edited by edvacdude; 08/21/17 02:40 AM.

Axiom M80Ti, VP150, M3 on walls X 4, M3 ceiling X4, HSU VTF-3 MK3

Re: One pair or two pairs of M3 ceiling speakers?
edvacdude #426427 08/21/17 05:36 AM
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As someone who has had an Atmos setup in my theater for about 18 months I can say this... Go 7.1.4. You will be lacking the full experience with only 2 overheads.

Heck, I would recommend 5.1.4 over 7.1.2 as well.

Don't get me started on non-direct radiating (monopole) surround speakers though...

I traded in 4 QS8s and got 4 M3s for surround duty too, but again, don't get me started. LOL

Get 4 M3 speakers overhead, drop down your surrounds like you mentioned, and give it a whirl.


Farewell - June 4, 2020
Re: One pair or two pairs of M3 ceiling speakers?
edvacdude #426434 08/22/17 03:01 AM
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nickbuol, on the same page as far as four sets of ceiling speakers.

Now, not to start a 'holy war', but could you please help me understand the issues with the QS8s that I have for sides and rears if I were to reuse them in a 7.1.4 Atmos setup (assuming I lower them to ear level)?

In other words, did you have a chance to compare 4 QS8s for sides/rears with 4 M3s for the same areas?


Axiom M80Ti, VP150, M3 on walls X 4, M3 ceiling X4, HSU VTF-3 MK3

Re: One pair or two pairs of M3 ceiling speakers?
edvacdude #426435 08/22/17 03:57 AM
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Short version.

I had four QS8s for my (previously) 7.1 setup. It was great.

Dolby (highly) recommends mono-pole speakers for all locations in an Atmos setup.

I traded in all of my QS8s for on-wall M3s. It really helps Atmos (and DTS:X) to better pinpoint sounds within a 3D space.


Longer version:
Atmos uses sound object within movies, and it takes multiple speakers to create those object to defined points within the 3D space of your room. Using bi/di/quad-pole speakers doesn't allow a system (receiver or pre/pro that is processing the audio) to use pinpoint accuracy to create those sounds since they are designed to spread the sound all around into a surround space.

With all of that said, I am not saying that it couldn't work or even work well, but when I specifically asked a Dolby tech at CEDIA back when they announced Dolby Atmos for the home about bi/di/quad-pole speakers, and he really said that it was "less than ideal" and made sort of a grimacing face. That alone was enough to convince me to change out the speakers from quad-pole QS8s for mono-pole M3s. It cost me my four QS8s, a VP150 (I had upgraded a few years earlier to a VP180), some Axiom Bucks, a sale price, and still some money to do it, but in my opinion it was worth it for me. It may or may not be for you.

Keep in mind that you can always set things up with QS8s for now and see how you like it. You would need to lower the surround speakers either way, so that needs to happen regardless of the type of speaker, so you can try the QS8 setup with Atmos without any additional cost.


Farewell - June 4, 2020
Re: One pair or two pairs of M3 ceiling speakers?
edvacdude #426437 08/22/17 05:45 AM
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Fwiw my argument wasn't for "more is better" but rather with 4 (or more) points above you it will work better as a system.
5.1 can be really good. 5.1.4 should be incredible.
I've gone back and forth between 5.1 and 7.1 and have had 5.1 layouts which were more immersive than most of the 7.1 layouts I've tried.
My poor mans atmos was to lower my towers to the ground, have my L&R (QS8's) surrounds with the bottom driver at ear height when seated and my rear surrounds (direct firing at the time) at ear height for my back row (18 inches higher than my QS8's).
The first time I watched Star Trek after the set up my head turned as a spear flew by me. When I watched Band of Brothers I was in a fox hole surrounded by troops crossing behind me and to my left while bullets wizzed by.
Atmos will be apart of any room I own in the future. My 7'2" ceiling height and lack of extra funds limit me at this time.




Re: One pair or two pairs of M3 ceiling speakers?
edvacdude #426650 09/21/17 02:14 AM
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Like Nick, with Nicks recommendations, I have completely changed my setup slightly different than nick....4 Ceiling M3s and 4 M22 Onwalls for the walls. Of course I still have 80s across the front and 3 subs, moooo haaa haaaaa


M80s VP180 4xM22ow 4xM3ic EP600 2xEP350
AnthemAVM60 Outlaw7700 EmoA500 Epson5040UB SonyUBPX800


Re: One pair or two pairs of M3 ceiling speakers?
edvacdude #437480 07/25/20 01:30 AM
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A couple of years back I had asked the forum gurus to help me design a Dolby Atmos enabled home theater. I joined the Axiom bandwagon many moons back (circa 2005) with QS8s/M80/VP180 (and a Hsu sub VTF-3 MK II), married to a Denon 3805, in a 7.1 configuration. It was great for its time. But as the years went by ... the lack for HDMI support on the receiver -- and -- for the exciting new Dolby Atmos sound format compelled, me to upgrade.

Both Ian (big thank you), and forum experts helped me do just that. With their help I ended up with a 7.1.4 configuration (two new pairs of ceiling speakers, M3 on walls for sides and rears replacing my QS8s). This is on top of a 4K projector setup (Epson 5040UB)/Apple 4K media streamer, as well as 9.1 receiver (Marantz SR6012) and an external power amp (Monoprice Unity series) to drive the overall setup.

I also added sound deadening through the use of GIK Acoustics bass traps.

The result has been extremely pleasing. As I watch content on Netflix, Prime, and lately Star Wars movies on Disney +, it demonstrates how *vital, tangible and enjoyable* the impact of quality speakers is, to the overall enjoyment in a home theater. Obviously, a good 4K/HDR setup, and a light controlled room, is vital to the experience as well, but a high quality arrangement on the audio side is equally vital IMHO. I sometimes catch myself realizing I never heard something with this level of accuracy and clarity (esp a well mastered Atmos movie) in the movie theater (e.g. Apocalypse now, Black Panther, Alita Battle Angel, the many Star Wars movies, Blade Runner 2049 etc).

Ian and forum experts, a big thank you!


Axiom M80Ti, VP150, M3 on walls X 4, M3 ceiling X4, HSU VTF-3 MK3

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