Putting speakers in entertainment center...

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Robert Ross, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. Robert Ross

    Robert Ross Agent

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    I'm in the process of setting up a 5.1 setup I just purchased. The room I'm putting it in isn't very big (about 13.5' by 10'), so I'm having quite the time trying to figure out where to place it all. I have quite a large entertainment stand and don't have much room to put speakers on the outside of the stand. I was thinking of putting it on the shelves on the stand but the manual the came with the speakers said this wasn't a good idea because it affect bass response substantially (there are port holes on the back of the speakers). Here are two pics of my stand, one showing the complete thing, and the other showing how the speaker will look inside the shelf. As you'll notice I have placed the speaker sideways, will this affect sound quality? Also, will the glass door screw up the imaging (i.e. will the sound bounce off of the door?), and would it be better to take the doors off? There is a cardboard backing to the stand, would it sound better if I took it off? Oh, and don't pay any attention to the good amount of space you see to the side of the stand, I am going to be putting this in a different room.


    *edit* I forgot to mention, the shelf is 14" deep and the speaker is 7" deep.
     
  2. Steve Adams

    Steve Adams Second Unit

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    you will have to take the doors off, no sound will go through glass. other than that it should be fine for low space apps....
     
  3. Robert Ross

    Robert Ross Agent

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    LOL, no I didn't mean I was going to play them with the doors closed. I would open the doors when I would be playing the speakers, but if you notice in the pic the doors don't open very far back so I was afraid the sound might bounce off of them and screw up the imaging.
     
  4. Ed O'Neill

    Ed O'Neill Second Unit

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    Question: As you'll notice I have placed the speaker sideways, will this affect sound quality?
    Answer; not that much to worry about

    Question: Also, will the glass door screw up the imaging (i.e. will the sound bounce off of the door?)and would it be better to take the doors off?
    Answer: Get rid of the doors

    Question: There is a cardboard backing to the stand, would it sound better if I took it off?
    Answer:No it won't affect the sound. Leave it on don't worry about it.

    However here is my suggestion buy some speaker stands and put them in front of the unit, obviously out to the sides but if they get in the way of opening the glass doors you can always leave a little extra wire so you can easily slide them out of the way.

    I have to slide my right speaker out of the way to put in a movie everytime. I am now thinking I may cut the door into two pieces so the bottom door can stay closed and the top door can open to put in a movie. My speakers stands look like the ones in this auction
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=14997
    The cool thing about mine is the speaker wires can go right through the stand tso you can hide some of the wire.

    Just my 2 cents
    Ed
     
  5. Robert Ross

    Robert Ross Agent

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    Well I'd rather not set the speakers in front of stand for two reasons. One, I would like them even with my center channel speaker, and two, because of the tight space I will already be sitting pretty damn close to the speakers/tv and that would make it all the more closer. I havn't put the stand in the new room yet, but it looks like I could possibly fit speaker stands on either side of the stand, but then they would be right up against the side walls, and I've heard that can mess up imaging also.
     
  6. Ed O'Neill

    Ed O'Neill Second Unit

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    Robert wrote
     
  7. sean_pecor

    sean_pecor Stunt Coordinator

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    Here are some of my thoughts, FWIW.

    If the l/r mains are placed on the shelves then (it seems) they won't be at the proper angle with respect to the listening position. Dolby recommends a 45 degree angle for 5.1 soundtracks for proper imaging. To get to roundabout 45 degrees you will likely have to place them to either side of the wall unit. In my mind this will sound much better even if that means the l/r mains are very close to the side walls.

    Alternatively, l/r mains set on stands slightly ahead of the center channel (say, about 12") shouldn't noticeably affect quality. The speed of sound through air is about 1,100 feet per second. If the supporting sound waves of the l/r channels reach you 1/1100th of a second earlier than the center channel, are you really going to notice it? [​IMG] Furthermore, many receivers allow you to compensate for this, if you care, in the system configuration.

    Looks are an issue too, but I think speaker stands and vertical l/r mains look alot better than bookshelf speakers laid sideways, even if some real estate is eaten up by the stands themselves [​IMG]

    Sean.
     
  8. Robert Ross

    Robert Ross Agent

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    Here is a very rough drawing of the room setup. As you can see there should be about a foot of space on either side of the stand. I will be sitting prolly around 7 feet back from the stand and not all the way back against the rear wall because of a closet door that is placed at the end of the 13.5' side.
     
  9. sean_pecor

    sean_pecor Stunt Coordinator

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    I goofed around in Lightwave 3D and from 7 feet (eyeballs to screen) a good placement would be at least 3 feet away from the dead center of the screen. So you should be good with shelf or side-of-wall-unit placement. I'd consider the stands though; they would look better and you wouldn't have to fuss with or remove the glass doors (which help reduce dust buildup on your stuff).

    Sean.
     
  10. Ed O'Neill

    Ed O'Neill Second Unit

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    Great Job Sean,

    Sean used the technical route to help you.. 45 degress is correct but it's not etched in stone. I think you should put the stands at the very edges of the entertainment center and toe them in.

    Btw - wouldn't 45 degress at 7 feet be more like 3.5' from center.

    Remember it's all how YOU think it sounds.

    Here is an easy test turn on your surround sound sytem start watching a high action scene (prefable one you've seen before) and right in the middle shut of your reciever and then you'll realize how much a diffrence it is between surround sound and no surround sound, this is more important than speaker positioning.

    Remember the home theater experience is half visual half sound and btw The center channel is the most used speaker it's something like 60-70% of the sound. So what you are worried about is one half of the remaining 30-40%. So the front right/left are used about 15-20% of teh time.These figures may be off a bit but I think you get what I am trying to say.

    7 Feet from the screen? I hope your tv is only 55". Thx recomends 36 degree viewing angle for 65" it would be 7'3"

    Here check this out http://www.myhometheater.homestead.c...l#anchor_13194

    Signed,
    Ed
     
  11. Robert Ross

    Robert Ross Agent

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    Well I've got just about everything switched to the new room. Here is a pic of how the new setup looks. To me, it looks like the front l/r look too close to the center and the separation wouldn't be as apparent as it would if they were place on the outside of the entertainment center. The highest stand I can find locally is only 4 feet high, which would be right at ear level, but would place them quite a bit below the center speaker (the tops of the l/r speakers would be about 3" below the top of the tv). How bad would this affect imaging? I'm going to look at a couple of other places to see if I can find a taller stand. Another option would be to pull the sides of the entertainment stand out farther. If you look at the steel bars along the very top of the center, you'll notice the sides can be pulled out quite a bit farther. Also, FYI my tv is 50" diagonal.
     
  12. Ed O'Neill

    Ed O'Neill Second Unit

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    You wrote
     
  13. sean_pecor

    sean_pecor Stunt Coordinator

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    I had to look twice because for just a moment it looked like you moved into the bedroom of my house [​IMG]

    You might consider bolting a small platform on each side of the entertainment center for your speakers. What you have looks like MDF and it should be strong enough to hold your speakers on the platforms I'm suggesting. Then you can them place them at just the right height, and you'll also be able to make use of the floorspace that stands might otherwise claim.

    You could even see if the company that manufactures that wall unit can ship you a spare shelf. You could cut one of those shelves in half, and use those as the platforms, and get a perfect match on the veneer.

    Sean.
     
  14. Robert Ross

    Robert Ross Agent

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    For the time I think I'm just going to go with leaving them on the shelves and extending the sides of the stand out farther so I get better sound seperation. At the moment I'm just looking for the most cost effective way of placing these speakers, I've already went way over my budget for speakers/receiver, and I still have to buy the cables, wiring, and wall mounts for the rear surrounds (which I'm about to make a topic for now). My real question was whether or not placing the speakers in the EC would affect the sound quality and havn't heard anything against it, so for now I'm just sticking with that and when I get the money I'll go for the speaker stands (or maybe do what Sean suggested, sounds like an interesting idea). Thanks for all the help guys. [​IMG]
     
  15. Ed O'Neill

    Ed O'Neill Second Unit

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    Your Welcome Robert
     

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