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Surround speaker height...


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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Stan_S

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Posted July 24 2002 - 01:46 PM

Everything I've read says to mount the surround speakers 2-3 feet above the listeners ear level. I figure that to be 6-7 feet off the floor. I don't have walls where I want to put the surround speakers so I have to use stands.

My question: All the speaker stands I've seen are at most 4 feet tall. Is there a source somewhere for taller stands or is 4 feet acceptable?

Thanks,
Stan

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   TommyL

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Posted July 24 2002 - 02:23 PM

Stan, I went through the same thing...the stands will be unsturdy at 4feet unless they are very well built...they may also be big....I went with this route...Bought 5 bucks worth of home depot hangers(50#) rated for mirrors etc, and used them...they hold my 23# speaker no problem...you could also look into corner shelving, or maybe some type of bookcase/table fixture...this idea (crediting phil for) works very well...need more info? let me know...I can give you specifics on what parts you need...hope that helps..tom

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Joe Tilley

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Posted July 24 2002 - 03:08 PM

Stan, I've alaways found the best height for my speakers are around ear level to your setting hight,at about 3 to 4 feet.I made my stands wich are 24" high than with the speakers on them make them around 4 foot tall total, & puts the speakers at perfect ear level for me.

#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted July 24 2002 - 04:11 PM

Hi Stan.

The old VHS Dolby ProLogic guidelines told sound engineers to only put ambient/direction-less noises to the rear speakers. This would be things like wind, rain, rumbles. The 6-7 feet off the ground placement worked to help hide the location.

But modern movies are sending very specific, locatable sounds to some of the rear speakers. For these movies, it's funny to have sounds swirl around and shoot up over your head behind you.

This is why I prefer the rear speakers to be at the same level as the fronts.

Most speaker stands are designed for the front-speakers. This puts the tweeters at roughly ear-height. I doubt you will find 6 foot stands.

Usually, your speakers have brackets that can be used to mount the speakers up on the wall. Places like stereo stores and even Radio Shack often carry universal-brackets. If you really want to get the rears up, go for a bracket, not a stand.

Hope this helps.

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Doug_NHT

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Posted July 25 2002 - 12:11 AM

I put my L/R surrounds(NHT VS2.4) at the same level as my towers(NHT VT2.4) but they are angled toward the seating area and not directly facing the towers. My two rear surrounds(NHT VS2.4) are 9' up on the wall behind the seating position and angled toward the seating area. I agree with having the L/R surrounds at ear level and it definitely sounds great for both movies and music. Go ahead and experiment first.

Doug
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#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted July 25 2002 - 07:43 PM

does this apply if one has bipoles or dipoles, which produce a more diffuse sound anyway? I am going to be installing my rear speakers soon (in my case, the Mission 78DS, which are bipoles), and I was told by the hifi shop to "terminate" my in-wall speaker cables 6.5 feet above floor level, since the speakers will be mounted 6 feet above the floor. these will be on walls to the side of the listening position, the rear wall is much further away.

previously, when DIY installing my HTiB, the manual also said to mount them about 1.7m (5ft 8) off the ground. which I did. but these are mounted on the wall behind me, and I "fire" them towards the centre rather than straight forward.

any thoughts from the experts?

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted July 26 2002 - 03:23 AM

I've had rear speakers at ear level as well as mounted 9' feet up on the wall. My preference is following the guideline of 6-7' above ear level. Because of a useless wall outcropping in my living room I have to bring the speakers into the room by about 3', hence wall-mounting was not an option. My solution was to purchase 14" modular cubes found at Target or Wal-Mart and place 26" stands on top of those. This places the top of the speaker at around 6'. The appearance is unconventional and makes me think of lamposts, but I am very pleased with the rear surround effects. The set-up is sturdy, but I probably wouldn't set it up this way if I had little kids who like to run into things.
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#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted July 26 2002 - 06:23 AM

one word for ya: experiment Posted Image

also, here's some info from the dolby site:

http://www.dolby.com.....html#chapter3

i used to have my surrounds directly beside my couch, but for aesthetics (what? putting looks above sound? Posted Image ) i ended up putting them on a shelf above my head. tbh, i'm not really sure if i like them that high...the sound sort of "shoots" over my head. i'm thinking about figuring out an alternative whereby they rear's are closer to ear level.

again, you need to experiment and see what works best for you.
 

#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Roger Kint

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Posted July 26 2002 - 10:06 AM

Totally agree with Ted. You got to try different locations.

Quote:
But modern movies are sending very specific, locatable sounds to some of the rear speakers. For these movies, it's funny to have sounds swirl around and shoot up over your head behind you.


Bob, I don't understand how a sound can be specific in a theater when the side surround is basically all the speakers on one side of the theater, and all these speakers are mounted on top and high. Am I missing something, because I would think that to copy theater sound, you'd moount your home speakers high and far away and diffuse the sound as much as possible, right? For instance the sound is the same on the whole right or left side of a theater and there isn't anything to localize for instance directly to the right side, 20ft up, or 30ft up, etc., since it is just the 'right surround channel' in a 5.1 or 6.1 mix. Or are theaters using 10.1, 20.1.....?
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#10 of 14 OFFLINE   JasonKZ

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Posted August 03 2003 - 11:36 PM

Great thread. I am about to buy speaker stands as well and was looking at (according to Dolby) trying to get my 12 pound bookshelf speakers 5-6 feet in the air - not visually appealing or easy to do. However, it appears the consensus here and on other sites is more so to get the tweeter on the surrounds at ear level (matching the tweeters on the front main and center speakers) facing in towards the seating position.

Anyone disagree?

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Jeremy Scott

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Posted August 04 2003 - 02:28 AM

i would say ear level.

when i gte my stands here in the next couple days. i will set them at ear level while i am sitting on my couch/chair.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   chris_everett

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Posted August 04 2003 - 01:08 PM

Roger, I would guess that surrounds in a theater are matrixed, that is, The left front surround gets both some of the surround channel, and some of the main left channel. (I'm not sure, and could be wrong. Someone please correct me if that's not the case) Every film mixing stage that I'm aware of mixes to 7.1. (In recording, most everything is in 8 channel increments, making 7.1 very convenient). Also, most theaters have more acoustical treatment than an average HT, which means your probably better off being in the "near-field" of your speakers, where you hear mostly direct sound. Most theaters I've seen recently have the surrounds mounted just high enough so they can cover the whole seating area with sound, without blasting the nearest listeners, which combined with the acoustics, means your hearing mostly direct sound.
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#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Terry Montlick

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Posted August 04 2003 - 02:07 PM

Quote:
Roger, I would guess that surrounds in a theater are matrixed, that is, The left front surround gets both some of the surround channel, and some of the main left channel. (I'm not sure, and could be wrong. Someone please correct me if that's not the case)

No, the side surround speakers in movie theaters are not matrixed with any of the front channels. Discrete, post-ProLogic left and right surrounds are still meant to be diffuse.

With two back surround channels, there is more localization. Flyover and fly-around effects are more realistic. But it's not of the same order as the localization that the front soundstage has. There are multiple speakers in back which get the same surround signal.

Regards,
Terry
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#14 of 14 OFFLINE   chris_everett

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Posted August 04 2003 - 02:34 PM

Thanks for the correction Terry.
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