confused about surround height

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Larry Alan, Nov 27, 2003.

  1. Larry Alan

    Larry Alan Auditioning

    Oct 12, 2003
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    I just purchased a pair of Paradigm Atoms to upgrade my surrounds and more closely match my Paradigm fronts. The Paradigm dealer where I bought them told me they should be placed at ear level for HT and music. I don't know what to think. I have checked the Dolby site and have seen threads here about placing surrounds 2-3' above listener. I made my own stands that are 5' off the floor and with the Atoms on top they are 6' tall, facing each other. They are about 2' to the side and about 6" behind the listening area.
    I can see the high position with wall mounting but my seating position is closer to one wall than the other and there are windows in the way as well, so wall mounting is out. I must use stands.
    Does this 2-3' above listener position refer to dipole speakers that are side wall mounted? Is there a lower position that will work well for my Atoms for both HT and music?
    Does anyone here use high surround stands? I have not seen any in member photos or even seen any for sale except ones for very small satellite's. I can cut my DIY stands to any height, just confused about proper height. Help........

  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

    Jan 16, 1998
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    Real Name:
    Neil Joseph
    The way you have it set up now should be ok, especially if it sounds good to you. I don't always agree with the Dolby suggested surround speaker locations as personally, I like my surrounds to be behind left and right as opposed to the sides so that the onscreen action matches with what I hear.

    When a plane flies from the front of the screen to the rear over the viewer, I get distracted when the sound goes off to the sides.

    Moving to speakers.
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Aug 3, 2000
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    Be bery bery careful. [​IMG]

    My opinion is that you can use dipoles more successfully at lower heights than direct radiators like the Atoms. I tried direct radiators at 12" above ear level, and on some elements of some soundtracks, they were waaaaay too localizeable. Once I knew what to listen for, they were too distracting (and annoying). Got rid of them and went with Omnipolars (similar to bipolars) at 2 ft above, and I am happy. I hear the soundfield now but not the individual speakers like before. Also, if you don't know, I'm referring to the tweeter height.

    Same-o as Neil: I also tried 90 deg and again too localizeable. I now have them about 7.5 ft away, and maybe 18" back (you could calculate that angle if you're motivated), but I'd guess it as 100-110 deg.

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