Listening to the Mirage Satellites and watching an Epson 3600 Projector in Action - the problem with Sats and Ceiling mounts

Just sharing a little movie night I experienced at a friend's home recently..

He has a place with a 5.1 setup using Mirage Sats and a 6" sub, and a Epson 3600 Projector. His source was a Denon BR and a 1910 AV amp in a small living room of his apartment.

The Front Left and Right channels were mounted near the top of the wall next to the ceiling, and the rear surrounds were also just as high. The centre was on his console, just below the edge of his Remaco screen which has a gain of 1.3.

We used Hero, and the Art of Flight as demos.

We used two scenes used from Hero:

- the fight between Donnie and Jet at the chess parlour first:

You could hear the sound of raindrops and the splatter onto the floor, the Mirage satellites did a nice job with the highs, and you could get a good sense of ambiance. However in the sound transitions from one speaker to another, they didn't do so well, as the sound was isolated to the ceiling, next to the speaker, and when the action traveled from one speaker to the adjacent one, there was a gap instead of a convincing transition. In particular when the action was panning from the left to right and vice versa, you could not get a smooth panning of the action and the sound leapt from one speaker to the next, with a large gap in between.

The other issue was the integration between the sub and the small sats. The mids, and even the bass was lacking, and where you are supposed to get a solid thud, you get a mild rumble.

One of the reason could also be the fact that he was using a small subwoofer with a 6" cone, and integration / calibration was found wanting.

- in the second scene at the book room, again you hear good ambience but as Hero (Jet Li) flies around the room, you lose the smooth transition, and you can clearly hear that the sound is limited to the speaker. Furthermore, the sound comes from up high, which works for ambiance, but instead of the action occurring around you, it's high up above the listener.

On the other hand, the Epson which is almost 5 years old, did a sterling job of conveying color, depth, and detail. The only caveat was that the blacks were more greyish in nature. But in bright scenes, and even darker ones, the color was very impressive. You do get some "soap opera effect", and if you are bothered by this, then you should choose your projector carefully...

In conclusion, the Projector impressed, and the Mirage Sats had high WAF, with a very nice treble, but ceiling or near ceiling speakers are certainly not the ideal position for surround placement, and a large distance in height between the centre and the fronts make for a poor transition and panning.

Do plan your placement or if WAF takes precedent, then understand the limitations of the surround envelop you can create.


 I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.


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