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Speaker Placement in Awkward Living Room


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#1 of 6 pvava

pvava

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Posted January 18 2007 - 09:37 AM

Hi all,

Just about to move forward on surround sound and flat screen for my living room. I am planning on adding some in ceiling speakers for rear and possibly for front and center. My living room is a bit awkward in that the TV is setup at an angle to the viewing areas (sofas). I am attaching a rough diagram of the living room.


My Wife and I generally watch TV from Sofa1. Guests will sit in Sofa2, but I am most concerned about sound from Sofa1, since that is where I do most of my viewing. I currently have a pair of B&W 200 series, which I have loved for many years, mounted above and behind Sofa2 in the bay window area. I just picked up a Polk CS1 center channel speaker. I want to add some in-ceiling speakers (they are easiest to install in my situation). Minimally I want to add two rear speakers in-ceiling, I was thinking, behind Sofa1, and keeping my B&W's a front. I am not sure what to do with the center channel. After I get my 40" flat screen and mount it on the wall, it would be great to have it on top of the audio cabinet which is what the TV is currently on, for convenience, but what will that do to the sound?

I might also go all out, and mount 5 or 6 in-ceiling speakers. In that case I have a couple of questions.

1. Should all in-ceiling speakers be of same size and/or make?
2. What would be best arrangement of the speakers in this living room?

Then there is subwoofer placement, but i will hold of on that.

Any help would be appreciated.


#2 of 6 Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted January 18 2007 - 11:15 AM

Welcome to the Forum, Peter!

If I understand you right, you have a pair of speakers behind Sofa two – i.e., dead-ahead of Sofa 1? And the TV is to the right of those speakers?

Quote:
I am not sure what to do with the center channel.
It’s supposed to go on top of or underneath the TV.

Quote:
After I get my 40" flat screen and mount it on the wall, it would be great to have it on top of the audio cabinet which is what the TV is currently on, for convenience, but what will that do to the sound?
Nothing good, I’m afraid. You can’t really have a coherent home theater experience if your center speaker is off to one side of your left and right speakers. For instance, a sound that pans across the front speakers will start to the left of Sofa 2, jump way over to the corner, then back again to the right side of the sofa.

It would be best to re-arrange the room so that you can put the left and right speakers to the sides of the TV, and the seating area in front of and facing the TV, like this:


Posted Image


Corner set-ups are problematic because too often you end up with what you have – poor speaker placement. Corner arrangements can work, if the room is arranged right, like this:


Posted Image


But since it requires the seating, speakers etc. all be at a 45-degree angle in the room, most people don’t want to follow through and do it right.

If you are unable or unwilling to arrange your room similar to one of these pictures, the best you’ll be able to do will be to move your B&W’s to the sides of the TV. It’ll still be rather poor imaging, but it will be better than having them in the bay window area.

Quote:
Minimally I want to add two rear speakers in-ceiling, I was thinking, behind Sofa1,
In-wall and in-ceiling speakers have their benefits, but keep in mind that they pretty much lock down your furniture arrangement.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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#3 of 6 pvava

pvava

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Posted January 19 2007 - 02:27 AM

Thanks for the comments. The point about the center channel speaker placement is most helpful.

How about a a complete in-ceiling system. Should that be set up with the angle to the tv in mind, or would it be ok to place the front in-ceiling behind and parrallel with sofa2 with the center in between, and the surround behind and above, and parrallel to sofa1.

Also, do people use the same type and size of speaker for all channels in a in-ceiling system?

#4 of 6 Brian D H

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Posted January 19 2007 - 03:50 AM

As Wayne mentioned the best idea might be to rearrange the room.
Is it possible to put the TV and center speaker on the wall behind sofa #1?

If so, then:
1) You move sofa #1 to face the fireplace.
2) You move sofa #2 forward slightly and place your surrounds in/near/above the bay window area.
3) You get some good black-out curtains for the glare from the window.
4) You do most of your watching from sofa #2.

Obviously this may not work if there's a door on that wall that you didn't mention. Perhaps the TV could go next to the fireplace?
Lurking at HTF Since 2001

#5 of 6 Wayne A. Pflughaupt

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted January 19 2007 - 03:31 PM

Quote:
How about a a complete in-ceiling system. Should that be set up with the angle to the tv in mind, or would it be ok to place the front in-ceiling behind and parrallel with sofa2 with the center in between, and the surround behind and above, and parrallel to sofa1.
Not sure I follow. Are you asking about putting all the front speakers behind Sofa #2? That’s fine, I guess, as long as you don’t mind having all of the sound in front of you, and the picture off to the side. Not terribly realistic-sounding. You can do a trial run right now by running your current B&Ws with TV and movie sound. I’m guessing you’ll get tired of that in a hurry.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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#6 of 6 greggor

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Posted January 20 2007 - 12:41 AM

I think in your situation (if you are leaving your furniture in it's present location permanently) that in ceiling speakers are your best option. As Wayne mentioned though, once you install in ceiling speakers you'll be forced live with your furniture arrangement.....

There are some very good in ceiling speakers available if you decide to got that route. I would look at the Paradigm reference in ceiling/in-wall speakers. Prices are reasonable and the sound very good.


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