According to Dolby...

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Pete Little, Dec 12, 2003.

  1. Pete Little

    Pete Little Auditioning

    Nov 14, 2003
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    0 bookshelf L/R speakers and center channel should all be placed at the same height. Does this make an appreciable difference, sonically speaking?
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Jan 18, 1999
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    Yes and no.

    I've found that making a "seamless" sound stage- the tweeters should be resonably similar height. I noticed a difference when I went from "different" heights- especially on full stage pans where an object moves across all 3 speakers.

    Did it make a "end of the world" difference- nope-- but when trying to make the most seamless transition from channel to channel, it certainly helps.

  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    I agree.

    There are a number of "rules" you should try and follow. Each one adds a little to the experience. You can even violate all of them and still have a great sounding system. (Just make sure you dont get so wrapped up in ajusting things you fail to just sit down and enjoy the system.)

    I like all 5 tweeters at the same height. (including the rears). In my second-room system, one of my bookshelf speakers is actually upside down to get it closer to the tweeters of the other 2.

    Use a SPL meter to level-adjust all your speakers.

    Play with the amount of toe-in for your L/R speakers. You have 3 choices: A) So the L/R speakers intersect 1-2 feet in front of the listening position, B) So the L/R speakers focus directly on the listening position, C) So the L/R speakers foucs 1-2 feet behind the listening position. You just have to play with your system to determine what sounds best to you. Hint: a laser-pen is a nice tool to help with this.

    Make feet for your center speaker to get it up off the top of the TV. Rubber door-wedges work great as do dowels or pink-rubber erasers. The door-wedges give a bit of slant to the speaker which is desirable to focus on your head.

    Pull the front speaker forward so it over-hangs the face of the TV by about 1/4 inch. This minimizes acoustic coupling & reflection issues.

    Browse round and you will find lots of other suggestions including how to place your subwoofer, using a SPL meter to chart your room-response, equalization tips, etc.

    WARNING: some of us LOVE to play around with our systems. This might make you think you HAVE to do all these things by the way we talk about it. You dont. Just follow some simple rules and enjoy.

    But if you are bored or want to turn HT into more of a hobby, feel free to jump in with both feet. Most of these tweeks/adjustments do not cost anything but time.

    Good Luck.
  4. RodneyT

    RodneyT Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    ANother piece of advice that i found invaluable when setting up my home theatre was to venture out to stores that deal with HT. Their specially designed rooms are great to play with and hear different speaker placements and stuff.

    I usually find that setting up a HT to suit the person listening to it most of the time (namely, YOU) is perhaps the most fun you can have with all those speakers. After all, if it sounds good to you, thats all you have to be happy with.

    On a side note, my rear channel speakers are set directly to the side of the listeners, about a foot higher than their head space would be. Room location does not allow for these speakers to be located behind the listener, but with some fiddling with the volume knob, found that the envolping surround sound was good enogh for a small room like mine.

    ultimately, take the time to have a play around and find what suits you the best.

    Have fun![​IMG]
  5. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

    Mar 5, 2002
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    Another hint: If you cannot get the tweeters all at head level, which is commonly a problem with center channels being below or on-top of a TV, try angling the speaker by stacking material under the rear (if you want if leaninf forward) or front (if you want it leaning back) of the speaker to "aim" the tweeter at your head.

    The best tweeks are often free!

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