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speaker setup in corner of room?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 gil*c

gil*c

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Posted June 24 2002 - 09:40 PM

Hi.
I bought an RCA home Threatre System and now I am confused how to set it up. My main use will be for tv but I want to set it up for listening to cds.
My tv is in a corner cabinet: http://www.sauder.co......Corner_Units
When facing it there is a wall to the left and balcony doors to the right. The main seating area is about 15' in front of the tv. I have a vcr and dvd player and will be getting a cdchanger.
1. I can put the centre channel above or below the tv. If I put it above can the speakers sit on the shelf too, or must they be farther apart?
2. Will the receiver generate too much heat to have it on the very bottom shelf. There is only about 2" clearance on the sides and back but lots at the top.
3. If I don't add the rear speakers at this time will it make much difference to the sound?
4. Where should the subwoofer be placed. Does it really matter? I've seen so much conflicting information I can't tell. I was considering putting it in the bottom shelf. Will the vibrations affect the cabinet or the any of the components in it? I am also concerned it will bother my downstairs neighbours.
I really appreciate any thoughts you can give me. I have been to numerous sites on the net and get conflicting info on this. One thing I never realized is how ridiculously expensive speaker stands are.
I look forward to your opinions. Thanks a bunch
spinky

#2 of 9 Ted Lee

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Posted June 25 2002 - 03:35 AM

hi gil -

welcome to htf. let's see if i can tackle these for you.

1. if you must put the speakers up high, ensure that they are "aimed" towards your listening position...specifically your head! if you do not do this, all the high-frequency sound will shoot right over your head. if at all possible, get some stands and put your left/right speakers at ear level. at least that way, when listening to stereo, the speakers will be at the correct height.

2. receivers tend to run hot. i usually try to put mine at the top of the stack - that way, the heat doesn't rise and "cook" anything above it. two inches is not a lot of clearance, but if that's all that you have, then so be it. it looks like the front is open, so that'll help.

3. YES. in order to experience true home theater, you must have your rear speakers hooked up. if you do not, and you attempt to decode dd/dts, you will be missing all the rear channel sound. your only option will be to listen to your setup in stereo (or 3-ch) mode. again, if that's all you can do, then so be it. but you should make the herculean (sp?) effort to get your rear's hooked up! Posted Image

4. subwoofer placement is tricky. some people recommend putting the sub in a corner, but this can cause the bass to be too boomy. bob mcelfresh has some technique about putting it along the longest unbroken straight wall (or something like that...), others say to put it in the back, etc. one trick i often hear people say to do is to put the sub where you're going to sit, then crawl around the floor until you find where the sub sounds best - then put the sub in that spot.

hope that helps some...let us know if you have any other questions.

also, check out the faq link at the top of this forum...there's some good info there.

ted

[edit] - i forgot to mention...if at all possible, separate your left and right speakers some. that'll help improve the soundstage up front. if your speakers are too close to eachother, all the sound will appear collapsed since it will seem to come from one place...
 

#3 of 9 Vince Maskeeper

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Posted June 25 2002 - 03:53 AM

I too would recommend the FAQ and PRIMER linked at the top of this forum, and in my sig. You might find some additional helpful info.

1. I can put the centre channel above or below the tv. If I put it above can the speakers sit on the shelf too, or must they be farther apart?

Well, this and many of your questions come down to a core question of balancing performance with decor. These two things are usually at odds with one another- so often you have to make a decision between ideal placement for audio enjoyment and ideal placement for room layout, appearance and the approval of your spouse, SO or roommate.

Center channel speaker placement ideally is as close to the screen as possible (specifically the ideal would be directly behind the screen like in a theater, but in the case of a TV set, this is impossible). If you have room below the set- that's fine-- or above works as well. Often people put the center WAAAAAY up high- and aim it over their heads- which tend to result in less than pleasing performance. I would suggest putting it wherever it will be closest to your ear level when seated- and if it is slightly above or below your ear level- angle it slightly up or down toward your listening position.

As far as stereo speakers go, again the audio ideal is to create an equilateral triangle. The distance between the speakers should be equal to the distance between your listening position and the speakers-- creating a triangle with equal length sides. Again- this ideal is often thwarted by the available space and the allotted area-- so you should shoot for this as your goal, and compromise whatever you're willing (or forced) to compromise.

2. Will the receiver generate too much heat to have it on the very bottom shelf. There is only about 2" clearance on the sides and back but lots at the top.

I have often placed a receiver at the bottom position of a shelving unit with no issues. Makes sure, of course, that there is nothing directly on top of it, and that it has reasonable ventilation above the unit. I'd check the manual and see what they suggest- but most receivers vent via the top- so having room above the unit should be enough to keep it safe.

I'd say run it for a while and keep an eye on it- place your hand on top and make sure that it isn't too hot (it will be warm, but if it hurts to touch, you might need to re-evaluate your positioning strategy.

3. If I don't add the rear speakers at this time will it make much difference to the sound?

Again- depends on your goals. Dolby Digital and DTS material from DVD would be seriously handicapped by not using the rear channels, and the rear surround effect is half the novelty of owning a "Home Theater" type system. I would suggest doing whatever you can to make the rears a possibility- but again it's always a struggle between the audio ideal and the decor ideal.

4. Where should the subwoofer be placed. Does it really matter?

Well, subwoofer placement is the single most important factor in its performance. But again- this is an issue of balancing performance ideals with your specific options. Usually the best "catch all" answer is to put it in a corner- this is usually "right" more often than wrong- and will usually yield the best output from the sub.

I wouldn't recommend putting it within the shelving unit- however I have seen people who place subs behind their equipment racks with no issue.

Chances are pretty high that it will bother your downstairs neighbors. If they are the least bit picky, they will absolutely be able to hear it if you run it properly- so usually the best solution is to invite them over for movie night!

Vince
Need an introduction to home theater? Check out our FAQ and Primer!!

#4 of 9 gil*c

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Posted June 26 2002 - 02:14 AM

This is great information. Thank you very much.

I was thinking about the subwoofer. Luckily, my downstairs neighbours is an office which is generally 9 to 5 and I don't like really loud noise anyway. I still would like to try to come up with something because I will be home during the day on Fridays. I read that MDF absorbs vibrations. Do you have any opinion on this? What I am thinking is making a very basic rolling sub stand using a square of MDF and casters. Can you think of anything else that absorbs vibrations without of ruining the bass?

thanks for all this.Posted Image
spinky

#5 of 9 Ted Lee

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Posted June 26 2002 - 03:07 AM

i think the easiest answer may be to simply turn down the sub level on fridays. that's gotta be much easier than building something, then moving the sub around. Posted Image
 

#6 of 9 gil*c

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Posted June 27 2002 - 03:15 PM

hehehe! Now that's just too easy.

I'll probably have to move the sub around anyways because of the way my room is laid out. From what I can gather the correct sub placement spot will be sticking out in the room in the major traffic path of the dog and cats.

If I'm not using the sub would it be safe to store in lying on it's side in my entertainment unit?
spinky

#7 of 9 Ted Lee

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Posted June 28 2002 - 02:52 AM

yeah...i suppose if you're not using the sub, you can stash it just about anywhere.

one thing to consider is whether your htb will ONLY route the bass via the sub. if that's the case, you'll have to have it "on" the whole time. otherwise you will not get any bass.
 

#8 of 9 Alex_Insley

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Posted July 31 2002 - 10:18 AM

Is there any issue to placing the subwoofer in the rear of the room, say to side of the couch? It wouldn't be in the center of the room, but about 2/3 along the back wall.

#9 of 9 Lew Crippen

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Posted August 01 2002 - 03:32 AM

Quote:
1. I can put the centre channel above or below the tv. If I put it above can the speakers sit on the shelf too, or must they be farther apart?
Quote:
Well, this and many of your questions come down to a core question of balancing performance with decor. These two things are usually at odds with one another- so often you have to make a decision between ideal placement for audio enjoyment and ideal placement for room layout, appearance and the approval of your spouse,

While I don't know your exact layout, my layout may be similar. Display is offset from the center of the room due to (this time) a fireplace that occupies the room center. The other wall are not suitable for a variety of reasons.

My solution (which likely will not meet with wide approval here) was to place the left speaker just to the left of the set, the center channel under the fireplace, angled slightly up (it’s a raised hearth, so the heat is not really an issue) and the right speaker to the right of the fireplace. Surround speakers in normal positions.

Balance the speakers (I used the meter from Radio Shack, which is reasonably inexpensive) from where you will normally sit to watch movies.

Takes a little practice in translating the sound offset, as the center of the sound no longer matches the center of the picture, but I no longer even think about this.

Otherwise, I can’t add anything to Ted’s suggestions.
¡Time is not my master!





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