Does anyone actually put bookshelf speakers in a bookshelf?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DustinF, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. DustinF

    DustinF Agent

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    I have a very nice entertainment center that consists of a large center holding the tv and two bookshelfs on either side. It would be more asthetically pleasing to put the left and right speakers on the bookshelf. But is this a bad idea? Or is it better to just stick with stands?

    I would try both ways except I would have to drill a hole in the back to allow speaker wire in, which I don't want to do if you guys think its a bad idea.
     
  2. Jose G

    Jose G Supporting Actor

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    I think it depends on the type of speaker you are using and what you are using these speakers for (music vs. HT). Some bookshelf speakers don't sound good when placed too close to a wall, while others don't seem to be effected by this placement. My understanding is that this is sometimes due to the construction of the speaker itself, while other times it may be due to actual speaker placement (correct height for HT, correct distance apart for stereo imaging, etc.). I have a pair of Boston's I use as surrounds- the left surround is in a book shelf and the right surround on a table top, not the ideal placement but they sound great- both of them, even when I use 4 ch. stereo (which I don't use much, as I prefer 2 ch. stereo). Some of the new Boston’s I’ve seen need space from a back wall - something like 4-6 inches, so I would do some research into this first. Maybe call the manufacturer of your speakers to get their opinion. In the end, I think it comes down to what you think of the sound your getting. Some people are happy with sound that does not image directly in front of them while others are not. Some people don’t think proper speaker height or calibration is a big deal, others do. Some folks, like myself, have no other option but to have the surrounds at different heights [​IMG]
    In terms of fronts, I would make sure they were at a proper distance and height for my listening pleasure. If I had stands already, I would probably use them, unless after comparing I found no noticable difference. And that’s the bottom line (in my opinion)- compare the two locations and listen for the best results. Can't you compare without drilling the holes? Maybe pass the wire to the front for the test and take a listen. That's what I did before I placed my speaker on the shelf.
     
  3. Barry BB

    Barry BB Stunt Coordinator

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    Only you can tell if it sounds good or not. But as a general rule the sound will be compromised if you place speakers in an enclosed area. It will be best to keep them on stands.
     
  4. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    It is generally a bad idea to put a speaker in an enclosure. You will get all sorts of reflections making the sound muddy and boomy, especially if they are ported.

    If you want to try, can't you just leave the wire hang out the front for the test?
     
  5. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    I have a pair of Infinity RS-1 speakers that I have placed on bookshelves. They only get about 1 hour of use each week for strictly music listening. There's no real room for placing them on stands and given the fact that they get such little use, they're fine on the bookshelves.
     
  6. DustinF

    DustinF Agent

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    I had to get some speaker wire so it could go all the way around to the front of the entertainment center.

    It doesn't sound as good imho. Partly because the speakers are only 5ft apart instead of 6.
    The other reason, it sounds more boxy and a big difference in the lower end.

    So back to stands.
     
  7. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    If the speaker is unported, or else the port is at the front, you could place it on the utter front of the shelf. The speaker will almost be outside the bookcloset (and the rear of the speaker box doesn't mind to be between the shelves [​IMG], it's of no consequence for the sound). Just be sure it's in a stable position and there are no resonations caused by the shelves themselves.
    That way the speaker will hardly be "enclosed" by the shelves, nor sound so. Most speakers radiate across a 180 degrees area, so it will almost sound as free standing as it actually is.
    But given your wiring and distance problems: if you're happy with the placement on the stands, leave it there by all means!
    Cees
     
  8. sonny_b

    sonny_b Agent

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    I have a pair of Diva 2.1's on a bookshelf. I had them in the bookshelf but then I pulled them out so that the tweeter is extended from the front of the shelf. I did a blind test with my wife and she noticed the difference right away. It only sticks out about 3" and you can't even tell they're hanging over the edge. Unfortunately, stands are not an option for me.

    -sonny
     
  9. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    The term bookshelf speaker is a misnomer. The term is more in reference to the size of the speaker than the fact that it was designed to be on a bookshelf. A much better solution if the speakers must be on the shelves is to purchase a high quality inwall speaker that has a crossover that was designed to compensate for the boundary effect that occurs when a speaker is placed within another enclosure or at a boundary. You can then use a material like Luan (sp?) and stretch speaker cloth over it and custom mount it into the cabinet to give a nice clean installation AND much better performance than you'll get by putting speakers that were designed to be in the room on bookshelves. Regards.
     

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