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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:03 am 
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Hi all,

now i am one step closer to my little studio dream! :-) I got a plan for my mixing room! However, I want this to last as long as possible with possible adjustments that might happen in the near future. This is my original plan for my 5.1 system of adam p22a with LCR soffit mounted:
Attachment:
blueprint.jpg

The nice thing of this is that I can change the monitors easily with just having to replace the bezel. However, in spite of having enough room above the LCR speakers there is no way of getting an additional stereo pair inside the wall, without the listening position going off axis ... That is why I think about the following modifications of my plan:
Attachment:
Var 2.jpg

Here, the problem seems to be (and I am not sure, if there is a problem), that it gets pretty narrow for the adam monitors. My biggest concern is, that my flat screen monitor (1000x700mm) has to be mounted way to deep and the monitor on my desk will be in sight line with the mounted one ...
That's why I came up with an alternative:
Attachment:
Var 1.jpg

This looks way better in terms of spacing. This is a 3d representation of the design:
Attachment:
var 1 3d.jpg

My only concern is the flat area where each monitor is mounted is way smaller than in the original layout and this is the very reason for soffit mounting: creating an "endless front" for the monitors. So, will this sound in any way "worse" than just having a single stereo pair (or rather LCR)? I have not found many examples of people soffit mounting multiple stereo pairs. Surely, there must be a reason for this.
On the other hand, I see many goodies about my design:
- great flexibility in terms of speaker modification
- on axis and same distance for two stereo pairs (plus the option of a third one on the meterbridge)
- good location for the flat screen (it will show the movies I score most of the time)

What do you guys think? Did I make any mistakes? What about the distance between monitors (the o300 pair) and ceiling? Is it to close? Is there some kind of margin, how close it my get?
Any input appreciated!

Happy new year to all of you!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:47 pm 
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Nobody? Did I miss some information?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:25 pm 
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Hi there, "FriFlo", and Welcome back to the forum! :) A rather late welcome, but better late than never! Been a bit busy here on the forum lately, and I only just noticed that nobody had replied to your post.

Anyway...

Quote:
This is my original plan for my 5.1 system of adam p22a with LCR soffit mounted:
It is possible to mount two sets of speakers in one set of soffits, but you do have to be careful: there are limits to what will work. Yes, you can tilt part of the soffit to do it, but you should never go beyond 10° of tilt, and some of us think that even 10° is too much, and 7° should be the limit (for rather complex reasons, to do with the way the human ear works, and how it identifies direction). I'm not sure what angles you are tilting at, but the look like they are more than 7°.

Also, the way you show your P22's is not correct. The beveled edges need to be sunk into the soffit, so that the front fave of the speaker is flush with the soffit all around. That means that you need a strange shaped and unusually angled hoe cut in the soffit panel, to mimic the shape of the beveling on the P22A, but it is the only way to do it correctly.

Quote:
My only concern is the flat area where each monitor is mounted is way smaller than in the original layout and this is the very reason for soffit mounting: creating an "endless front" for the monitors.
"Infinite baffle" is the technical term, but yes, that's the correct concept. However, you actually are doing that, since all three soffits will be solid, hard, flat rigid surfaces that meet, so each soffit is a sort of extension of the one next to it. As long as you blend the L and R soffits into the room side walls, you should be OK. There seems to be enough area around each individual speaker, and the adjacent surfaces will do the rest of the job, albeit not perfectly.

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I have not found many examples of people soffit mounting multiple stereo pairs. Surely, there must be a reason for this.
Yep! The reason is that it is dam hard to get it all done right! It can be done.

Quote:
- on axis and same distance for two stereo pairs (plus the option of a third one on the meterbridge)
I'd skip the "third one on the meterbridge" part: that's never a good idea, even though you see it so very often, and even in studios that should know better! :)

Quote:
Any input appreciated!
One thing I did notice is your aim points are slightly off. Yes, I know that that's how EBU shows it, but in reality most people have their ears mounted on the sides of their heads, not the center of their brains, or in their eyeballs, so it is better to adjust those speaker locations slightly such that the acoustic axes of the speakers are aimed at your ears! :) Make a sphere about the size of your head, and position it so that the equator is 1.2 m above the floor, centered on the theoretical EBU circle. Now re-aim the L, R and surround speakers so that the axes graze just past the edge of the sphere, maybe a cm or so away. The axes from the L and R speakers will intersect about 25 to 30 cm behind your head, and the axes from the surrounds will intersect a few cm in front of your nose. That's the correct way to do it, and gives you a better sweet spot.

Quote:
What about the distance between monitors (the o300 pair) and ceiling? Is it to close? Is there some kind of margin, how close it my get?
It's not so much the distance, as the first reflections. It looks like you might have a problem there with reflections off the ceiling getting to your ears. There's also not much space up there for a cloud.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:27 am 
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Hi Stuart,

thank you for taking the time!
So, I have to watch, that the tilt is no more than 10°, less being better.
The looks of the P22As is misleading, as I just put them there at about the height they should be, just for you guys to see where they sit. I have seen John's P11As soffit designs, so I know how to cut the front baffle. Thanks for pointing that out for me, though.
If the construction does its job, "albeit not perfectly", that is fine with me, as I am not a perfectionist. I want to do as good, as I can, but I know my limitations.
I will also skip the 3rd pair of monitors on the desk, as adviced. This was just an option I thought of and I was not a priority. However, that makes it really way more important to have the ability for a second stereo pair, as I do not want to be stuck with the P22As. You know, I wanted a Surround set of monitors, but I can only afford that with those older models, where I could easily afford 5 pieces on ebay. However, I know the limitations of those 2-way-speakers to well, as I recently tested some 3-way systems, so it is kind of carved in stone for me, that at some point I will get something like the Neumann KH 310 (Klein+Hummer o300), as soon as I can afford them. It might also become an Adam S3X-H, as I generally like Adam, I just didn't have the opportunity to test these.
So basically, when I finish my soffit mount construction, I would like to plan ahead a little and leave this option for later. Of course, I could just dump the P22As, as soon as I buy new monitors, but that would force me to buy the whole surround system with way more expensive monitors - at least for the LCR monitors.
So, you say it is damn difficult to build a construction like that right. I agree, it is one step further, however, what I don't get is, where lie the exclusive problems here? And: Would you definitively recommend me to stick with the simpler design? Or would you say, I should try it, if I so much want the optional monitor set?
I agree with the early reflection part: This is actually, what I am most afraid of, as I read somewhere here on the forum, that the distance between floor and speaker axis should best be less than the distance between speaker axis and ceiling. However, mounted at the correct position this is not even the case with the adams in the simple layout ... So I thought about these early reflections, but there is still space above them (albeit not much!) for a ceiling cloud, as the o300s are not very tall.
Well, would you guys say the risk in screwing the whole thing by this idea is to great to take the chance? Personally, I would do it, but it kind of keeps me off, that almost no one else seems to have tried it ...


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:49 am 
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Quote:
So, you say it is damn difficult to build a construction like that right. I agree, it is one step further, however, what I don't get is, where lie the exclusive problems here? And: Would you definitively recommend me to stick with the simpler design? Or would you say, I should try it, if I so much want the optional monitor set?
I guess the biggest problem is in getting all the angles to work out, especially in actually cutting the wood accurately. You have compound angles there, changing in both two and even three dimensions in some places, so you need to lay it out carefully in SketchUp, accounting for all the angles, then you need a skilled carpenter with a good chop saw (or radial arm saw) to cut the wood and put it together. If you are comfortable with 3D geometry and know SketchUp well, then it's not that hard to design, and a good carpenter should certainly be able to do it, but it might not be the ideal project for a beginner DIY'er... That's part of what I meant by "hard to get right".

You also have to consider how you are going to support each of those speakers rigidly and independently from the others, and how you are going to keep the angled ones in place without them sliding out over time from vibration: there has to be a slight gap around the front of the speaker, between it and the infinite baffle of the soffit front. They cannot touch, so you can't rely on the soffit panel to hold the speaker in place. Etc. The support system inside the soffit is going to get rather interesting!

And finally, there's the issue of heat and ventilation: All of those speakers need good airflow past the rear surface to keep them cool, so you need independent air paths to bring cool air to each speaker and exhaust the warm air out through the front again, high up. You don't want the hot air from the lower speaker flowing past the upper speaker, for example.

Combing all of those is quite a challenge.

Quote:
I agree with the early reflection part: This is actually, what I am most afraid of, as I read somewhere here on the forum, that the distance between floor and speaker axis should best be less than the distance between speaker axis and ceiling.
either greater then OR less than, if possible, but it's not life or death, and there are ways around that if it turns out that your speakers are slam bang in the middle. For example, you could angle the front part of your ceiling, or you could build a hard-backed ceiling cloud.

What you also need to do in SketchUp to check those reflections, is something called "ray tracing", which basically means that you draw many lines leaving the acoustic center of the speaker at various angles, and follow each line straight out to see what surface it hits. You then draw a new line that bounces off that surface at the correct reflection angle, and follow that one to see where it goes. You must make sure that none of the "bounced" lines reaches your ears. If one does, then you need to angle the surface that it hit until it no longer reaches your ears, or put another surface in the way to block it, or figure out some method to prevent it getting to you.

When speakers are high up and angled down, there's a very good chance that you will be getting first reflections off the surface of your desk and console, right into your ears. Those are often hard to deal with.

Quote:
Well, would you guys say the risk in screwing the whole thing by this idea is to great to take the chance? Personally, I would do it, but it kind of keeps me off, that almost no one else seems to have tried it ...
Actually, others HAVE tried it, and done it successfully. If you can make it work in SketchUp, then it will also work in real-life. So I'd say play around all you need to in SketchUp and see if you can get an optimal situation where everything works out well.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Thanks again, Stuart. I think, now I realize the problem!
While all things regarding air-flow can be solved, there is one major concern:
The height of the lower speakers is calculated to be 1,30 meters, derived from the height of my ears seated. This sets the location of the monitors, but also sets the boundary where the wall can be tilted from. Even if I set the tilt at the maximum of 10 degree (which would better be even less, as you implied!), I do not have enough room to place the upper stereo pair on axis with my listening sweet spot. Hence, I have to choose between:
1) Setting the axis of the upper stereo pair higher than my ear height
or
2) Setting the axis of the lower speaker pair lower than my ear height
or
3) Tilting beyond 10 degree ...

How has this problem been solved by others? Any threads there to look through? I couldn't find any regarding multiple speaker pairs mounted ...

Did I get it? ;-)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:04 pm 
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Quote:
The height of the lower speakers is calculated to be 1,30 meters, derived from the height of my ears seated.
We are talking about the height of the ACOUSTIC AXIS, correct? Not the height of the top, bottom or center of the actual speaker cabinet?

Also, 1.3m seems a bit high, unless you are unusually tall or sit on a very high chair. Most people are in the range 1.15m to 1.25m (although some really are a lot taller or shorter).

Quote:
This sets the location of the monitors, but also sets the boundary where the wall can be tilted from.
Not really: What sets the tilt point is that height PLUS the depth of the speakers. If you move the entire soffit more into the room, increasing the depth behind the speakers, then you can start the tilt lower down. In fact, there are examples here on the forum where the entire soffit is tilted, all the way down to the floor, with very large speakers, too.

Quote:
How has this problem been solved by others?
See above... :)

Quote:
Any threads there to look through? I couldn't find any regarding multiple speaker pairs mounted ...
I don't think there are any threads on that, but it looks like you have now started one! :) So this will be the definitive thread on how to do it... But I do know that it has been done, as I have seen a design where Glenn did that for one of his customers, and it worked great. But you'll have to ask him if he wants to share that in public, since it was a proprietary design that was paid for by his customer, and he might not be willing or able to share it. Hopefully he can!

But if not, then 'm sure we can all figure it out here, and then this thread will be very useful to others who need to do the same thing.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:19 am 
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Quote:
Quote:
The height of the lower speakers is calculated to be 1,30 meters, derived from the height of my ears seated.
We are talking about the height of the ACOUSTIC AXIS, correct? Not the height of the top, bottom or center of the actual speaker cabinet?

Also, 1.3m seems a bit high, unless you are unusually tall or sit on a very high chair. Most people are in the range 1.15m to 1.25m (although some really are a lot taller or shorter).


I am 1.85 meters tall and indeed have a rather high seat, which has to do with my preferred ergonomics to play keys. And - yes - I speak about the acoustic axis of the speaker.

Quote:
Quote:
This sets the location of the monitors, but also sets the boundary where the wall can be tilted from.
Not really: What sets the tilt point is that height PLUS the depth of the speakers. If you move the entire soffit more into the room, increasing the depth behind the speakers, then you can start the tilt lower down. In fact, there are examples here on the forum where the entire soffit is tilted, all the way down to the floor, with very large speakers, too.


Sorry, I don't quite get, what yo mean by the depth of the speaker ... Of course, I need to have enough depth behind the soffit to have room for the speaker. But what does its depth got to do with the point of the tilt? To my understanding, I would have to start the tilt point at least a little higher than the upper physical boundary of the lower speaker, which would have to be at about 1.45 meters according to my ear height. How would moving the whole construction closer to the listening position change that? If anything, this would force me to use an even wider angle for the tilt. But how would it change the physical boundary of the lower speaker pair?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:05 pm 
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I thought I'd use a picture to make it clearer:
Attachment:
Seitenansicht.jpg

For this example I set the tilt to 10°. From what I understand, there are only the following measures to influence the positions of the upper speaker pair:

1) Obviously, the farther away I put the sweet spot (listening position) from the speaker (here it is set to 1.8 meters), the higher I may place the upper speaker. Going beyond 1.8m will be difficult, though, as this is the maximum distance for my LS and RS speaker in the back to be at an acceptable angle.

2) Changing the tilt beyond 10° would also allow me to position the upper speaker somewhat higher, but you implied earlier that was not a good idea.

I couldn't thank you enough, if you could explain based on the picture, which parameters should be changed to get a better solution. Obviously, in the example there is not enough room between both speaker pairs, to make the construction work ...


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:27 am 
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Hi Fritz,

the stereo speakers above and 5.1 speakers below would be better along with the reduced angles. however - in most cases, it's really hard to get both stereo and 5.1 in soffits, it's usually one or the other. so maybe it's best to soffit mount the stereo speakers and put the 5.1 on stands. this way you can tweak the front wall treatment a bit to accommodate reflections from the rear speakers and also position the stereo mains for best stereo imaging.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:34 pm 
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Hi Glenn,

thanks for the answer! So, if I understand you correctly: Stereo plus 5.1 all in one soffit mount is a little bit to much to get under one hood.
But what if it were only two separate stereo monitors and no surround? Just to weigh my options: How would I get those two to work together? By raising the distance of my listening position?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:28 am 
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One last attempt, before I get rid of the idea to soffit mount an additional speaker pair: As I thought about all the parameters to change it seems the only valid one is height of the ears. I got no reply on what else could be done to place both speaker pairs for one ear height (except for increasing the distance even more, which is not an option for me), so I guess, there is none.
This led me to thinking more about, how I sit in different kinds of workflow and which speakers I would primarily use for that kind of work. I am composing music for media, so most of the time I sit on a piano bench without back rest, hence, fairly upright (ears at 1.3m). When I do mixing, I sometimes use the same seat, at other times, I use another chair (more comfy), that puts down my ear height at about 1.23m. My piano bench is easily lifted and raise by a hydraulic system and can be put down to ear height at 1.23m, too. I also tested these heights and everything in between with the early layouts of my working desk (another project, once this is finished). It seems to be working fine in terms of ergonomics, the higher position being better suited for keyboard playing.
What do you think about that: I could push down the Adam speakers by those 7cm. This would give me the last bit of room needed to place the K+H o300s at the perfect spot for my high-ear-position and to keep the tilt at 7-10°. I really think, I could live with the 5.1 system being optimized for sitting lower, as I can easily sit and work lower for mixing. Mouse, keyboard and euphonix mc mix (I haven't got a console and will never need one) are postioned as lowest elements, anyway!
On the other hand, what really frightens me about this idea is that I cannot really try this sound wise ... so, if this turns out to not work well, I have to take the whole construction down and almost start from scratch!
Would you guys be so kind to tell me, if this is madness and I should forget about that additional stereo pair? In that case, I would still soffit mount LCR adams and wait until I can replace the adams with K+H completely (at this time I couldn't afford 3 o300s, while I could afford a used pair from ebay.
Or is this worth trying? Thanks for your help!
Attachment:
Seitenansicht mit zwei Ohrhöhen.png


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Last edited by FriFlo on Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:13 am 
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if you're going to soffit mount them all, then put the S3 above and the A22 below all on the same level (or the rear ones raised 6" or so). if you frame out the soffits so the structure for the speaker box is larger than you need (assuming you're moving up to a larger set of speakers, if not ignore), and then a sub-frame inset into that to hold the speaker boxes. for the soffit face i'd use a layer of 25mm MDF or plywood with 35mm-50mm insulation under cloth to cut reflections from the rear speaker (and make the rear soffits soft as well) but mount all the speakers in the soffits. if you were to pursue only the stereo in the soffit - keep them up higher so the freestanding 5.1 speakers don't interfere. as with my previous comment - keep the difference of angles between as little as possible. if desired you could stack them into a single vertical soffit rather than an angled set.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:14 am 
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Wow! Thanks, Glenn!

I just cross-edited my sketch to the post.

Unfortunately, I cannot soffit the LS and RS speakers. The geometry of the room and especially the position of the door makes that impossible ...

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17825

My original layout is supposed to be reflective front and absorbing back of the room. But you are right! Covering the bezels with insulation and cloth absolutely makes sense for killing those reflexions of LS and RS. Does this plan still make sense, if I can't soffit LS and RS? There will be some treatment (absorbers) to kill some early reflexions.

In your sketch (thanks for the effort!!!) it looks like you are not even tilting the soffits to make up for the acoustical axis ...
This astounds me a little, as I understood being off axis would be definitively not a good idea ... especially with ribbon tweeters, which only have a very narrow axis. I guess, the o300s would be a little more forgiving. However, it would definitively save me a ton of work, not to tilt ...
In that case: which monitor would the acoustical axis be optimized for? Or would it rather be some kind of in between both? The acoustical axis of both monitors would be 272mm apart, if I were to just put the o300s on top of the P22as, by the way. But wouldn't create it even more of a heat problem, if I just stacked them on to of each other?

Finally, if I abandon the idea o an additional speaker soffit mounted, I will not go for free standing 5.1. It will rather be soffit mounted LCR (that also serves as stereo pair) and LS RS free standing, with the option to upgrade LCR at a later point. I will however always be stuck with one brand of speakers for the front, hence, all my stubborness to get this working with two speaker pairs ... ;-)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:29 am 
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And another thought regarding to covering the front baffles with insulation an cloth:
Isn't it crucial for this to get the front of the speakers meet with a solid front on one level? What would the front of the speakers have to meet with? The clothing or the plywood/MDF?


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