Dolby Atmos with AFX's

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lakersfreak

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My 7.2.2 system consists of
front: Motion 40's
center: Motion 30
surround rear: FX
surround rear: Helos 12
Atmos topper on fronts: AFX
subs: 2 B&W ASW610's
People tend to complain about placing toppers on the fronts for Atmos, but mine seems to be working fine. My ceiling is flat and about 99 inches high, and the room is rectangular. I wouldn't know how much better it would be if I had some in ceiling speakers instead of the AFX's, but the toppers cost about half of the total cost of in ceiling plus install. What are your thoughts?
 

Robert D

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I had some Martin Logan ceiling speakers installed. If you have an unfinished basement under the room then it can usually be done. Getting my 4 installed took much of the day. It sounds great. I can't compare to the atmos speakers that sit on top of other speakers.
 

lakersfreak

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I've been happy with the sound with the AFX's so far, but I can't compare it to having in ceiling speakers. Was hoping I can get some feedback before my return period ends.
 

spkrdctr

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I've been happy with the sound with the AFX's so far, but I can't compare it to having in ceiling speakers. Was hoping I can get some feedback before my return period ends.

If you have listened to them and like them, that is it. You are done with it. Asking us on here really is doing yourself a disservice as we can't hear the most likely fantastic sound you are getting. If it works, enjoy it! I would also get speaker toppers but I am under a no use rule until the wife goes back to work. I have not used my surround system much in the last year. She doesn't like the subwoofer rumble at all. I cant wait till she is back at work and I can unleash that beast!
 

lakersfreak

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I watched Saving Private Ryan last night (4K - Atmos) and I was blown away! The sound detail is superb. I am happy with my AFX purchase.
 

BDH55

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I am under a no use rule until the wife goes back to work. I have not used my surround system much in the last year. She doesn't like the subwoofer rumble at all. I cant wait till she is back at work and I can unleash that beast!
o_Oo_Oo_O

While your situation is horrible, my wife did keep her job, but she is now working from home so I'm kind of in the same boat! Unfortunately, her 'office' is our breakfast nook off the kitchen which is directly above my right side ESL 15, and REL 212/SX. She hasn't had to tell me not to turn it on during the day, I guess I just know from experience that that would be a bad idea!! :LOL:
 

JonFo

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My ceiling is flat and about 99 inches high, and the room is rectangular.
Those are key attributes for successfully using Dolby elevation speakers.

I have two systems, the big 5.4.4 HT with 4 JBL SCS8 Atmos overheads (same as used in Dolby Cinemas) and a 5.4.2 media room setup in a spare bedroom with Elac UniFi L/C/R and Elevation speakers.
I also have a Smyth Realizer A16 headphone processor loaded with a mapping of my big HT rig in the media room so I can listen to Atmos over headphones.
The media room is acoustically treated to a minimal (by my standards) level, with blackout curtains covering floor to ceiling the rear 3/4 of the room, and the entire back wall is covered with a thick carpet hung 3" from the wall (that's a super-effective cheap 'treatment' that also happens to look nice if you get a pretty carpet). So minimal reflections from the back or sidewalls.

OK, so how do they compare?

The media room system, although costing 1/10th of the big system, sounds very good. The Atmos bubble is there, and movies sound great. Since this room also has an LG 65C9 OLED, We actually use this more hours per week than the big HT. And the sound never disappoints.
So elevation speakers work very well if there is minimal to no reflection off the back wall, and likewise, no reflections from the sidewalls to smear the localization within the immersive bubble.

I find the~$250/pair Elac elevation speakers a great value, and being coaxes, their imaging is good.

Now, the big HT is amazing, and as I noted, not using as often, so whenever I do go there on weekends, rediscovering just how superb the sound of huge ESLs in a treated room is a joy. Atmos music is a real treat, and those SCS8's (fed 200wpc each) can sure keep up with the MLs.
Funnily enough, the atmos bubble is slightly less sharp than the media room, and that is because 6' tall line-sources are not as 'focused' as a monopole with a single tweeter. Also, there is less vertical distance between the top of the ESL and the center of SCS8 (about 3+ feet), so all that makes it less razor sharp. But for music, it's still the best sound I have.

So absolutely nothing wrong with using elevation speakers. Just like any other speaker, room setup will have a lot to do with the quality of the results.
 

spkrdctr

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o_Oo_Oo_O

While your situation is horrible, my wife did keep her job, but she is now working from home so I'm kind of in the same boat! Unfortunately, her 'office' is our breakfast nook off the kitchen which is directly above my right side ESL 15, and REL 212/SX. She hasn't had to tell me not to turn it on during the day, I guess I just know from experience that that would be a bad idea!! :LOL:
My wife is working from home also. So, no surround system use. But for her it is no use at all while she is home. So, I watch movies during the day when she is at work. Well I will when she goes back to work at the office. Being a retiree living in the lap of luxury is hard. Our one bedroom apartment is a tight fit for the two of us AND two cats who believe they can't live without a 3 bedroom house! I have come to realize they expect silver spoon service out of me (butler/servant/slave). They have no problem bossing me around as they have clearly originated the entire concept of Manifest Destiny. Who knew it was CATS that came up with the concept of Manifest Destiny, indentured servitude and slavery. Very influential species in the history of mankind.
 

lakersfreak

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Those are key attributes for successfully using Dolby elevation speakers.

I have two systems, the big 5.4.4 HT with 4 JBL SCS8 Atmos overheads (same as used in Dolby Cinemas) and a 5.4.2 media room setup in a spare bedroom with Elac UniFi L/C/R and Elevation speakers.
I also have a Smyth Realizer A16 headphone processor loaded with a mapping of my big HT rig in the media room so I can listen to Atmos over headphones.
The media room is acoustically treated to a minimal (by my standards) level, with blackout curtains covering floor to ceiling the rear 3/4 of the room, and the entire back wall is covered with a thick carpet hung 3" from the wall (that's a super-effective cheap 'treatment' that also happens to look nice if you get a pretty carpet). So minimal reflections from the back or sidewalls.

OK, so how do they compare?

The media room system, although costing 1/10th of the big system, sounds very good. The Atmos bubble is there, and movies sound great. Since this room also has an LG 65C9 OLED, We actually use this more hours per week than the big HT. And the sound never disappoints.
So elevation speakers work very well if there is minimal to no reflection off the back wall, and likewise, no reflections from the sidewalls to smear the localization within the immersive bubble.

I find the~$250/pair Elac elevation speakers a great value, and being coaxes, their imaging is good.

Now, the big HT is amazing, and as I noted, not using as often, so whenever I do go there on weekends, rediscovering just how superb the sound of huge ESLs in a treated room is a joy. Atmos music is a real treat, and those SCS8's (fed 200wpc each) can sure keep up with the MLs.
Funnily enough, the atmos bubble is slightly less sharp than the media room, and that is because 6' tall line-sources are not as 'focused' as a monopole with a single tweeter. Also, there is less vertical distance between the top of the ESL and the center of SCS8 (about 3+ feet), so all that makes it less razor sharp. But for music, it's still the best sound I have.

So absolutely nothing wrong with using elevation speakers. Just like any other speaker, room setup will have a lot to do with the quality of the results.
Awesome! The back wall in the room my system is in is about 20 feet behind the listening position, so I think by dumb luck I do have the best set up for toppers. It's really sounds great.
 
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