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Floor speakers on a shelf??? (1 Viewer)

Adam D

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Hi all,

I posted a thread yesterday,

Quality 3.1 System vs. Quality Passive 5.1 Soundbar?

All things considered, it looks like the answer so far is to go with a 3.1 setup.

Ok, that said, I liked the soundbar router because I have the perfect place for a long "center speaker". I do have room for bookshelf speakers, but the proper size (5.25" drivers) will be rather obtrusive in the entertainment center. Its doable, but less than ideal. On the other hand, to the left and right of the entertainment center, I have two shelves that can support a tower-like speaker. The bottom of that speaker would sit at 29" off the floor and the top should be about 75" high.

Can you place floor speakers on a shelf or is that just dumb as the speaker name insinuates, "floor"....

If that is dumb, then what kind of vertical speaker would I look for that can be mounted to the side of a entertainment center?
 

JohnRice

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Adam, I'm having difficulty understanding your logic. If you have room on shelves to the sides of the entertainment center for floorstanding speakers (no, that's not ideal) then you have room for larger bookshelf speakers.

Trying to visualize the layout you're describing, this is what I'd be inclined to do. If the shelf that you can put speakers on is 29" above the floor, I'd use bookshelf speakers on short (12-18") stands. That will put them around the best location. Ideally, you want the tweeters close to ear level when you are seated. BTW, if the speakers have rear ports, which many bookshelf speakers do, you want to place them as far forward on the shelf as possible.
 
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Adam D

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John,
When you said you were having trouble understanding my logic, I thought about that for a second and I totally see what you're saying. In my newbe mind, I'm thinking that a "bookshelf" speaker MUST be placed INSIDE of a bookcase, whereas non-bookshelf speakers would be placed outside. Clearly that is wrong and makes no sense. So first, thank you for setting me straight!!

Take a look at this image. Where would you place the mains?

The center seat is 12 feet from the TV. My ear height is 44" off the floor.

img032.jpg
 

JohnRice

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I'll ask a few questions.

How much room is there to the sides of the entertainment center?
Is it possible to get more height to where the center speaker goes? As in, a speaker that's more than 6" tall.
Could you maybe put the sub near the wall to either side of the entertainment center instead of inside it? Subs work best when they have room to breathe, and you can make adjustments to their location. If it has to go inside the center, then you just need to make certain it's a model that will work there, which means either a sealed sub or one that vents to the front. Subs tend to work best near a corner in the front of the room.
 

Adam D

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Grea questions.

I hate the fact that getting more that 6" for the center channel is possible but very difficult. The 6" is limited by a face frame. Behind the face frame is about 7.25" tall. Depending on the design, you could slide it in, then rotate it into position. Otherwise, I'd really have to work at it. Pain in the ass....

How much room to either side? Well at the floor, basically nothing on the right side as its a raised bench that wraps around the room. To the right of the entertainment center is a fireplace. To the left on the floor, there is room underneath the far left shelf. To the sides at the 44" height, there is pleanty of room for bookshelf speakers to be mounted at the appropriate height.

The sub could go under the shelf on the far left side, but thats where the air handler vent is. If placed on the right side the sub would have to sit 18" off the floor on that bench I mentioned earlier.

I'm narrowing in on the Definitive Technology ProMonitor1000 and ProCenter1000. I'm thinking you will suggest that I mount the mains outside of the actual bookshelf along that surface that has the 77" dimension.
 

JohnRice

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If those are the speakers you want, then this is how I would install them. If you don't mind drilling into the sides of the entertainment center, I'd use wall mounts and mount them onto each side of the entertainment center, as far forward (toward the listening position) as you can, with the tweeters roughly centered vertically to the middle of TV. You just need to be certain the wall mount lets you mount them 90 degrees to the surface, rather than behind it.

It looks like that center has passive radiators on the sides, which is good, because that means there are no ports in the back. I'd bring it as far forward as possible in the entertainment center, but I'd actually want to add a bit of an extension on it's shelf so the speaker can actually sit slightly extended in front of the entertainment center. When speakers are inside a surrounding, they can get a bit of a hollow sound and finding some way to move it forward even a couple inches can make a big difference.

Of your sub options, I think your best solution is where you show it in the drawing. You just need to be certain it is either a sealed box or ported to the front. If it's not out of your price range, the SVS SB 1000, which is sealed, is a good place to start. Look into sub manufacturers like SVS and HSU rather than speaker manufacturers. I don't know how much depth you have to work with, but the HSU VTF-1 would probably fit, and maybe the VTF-2, both which port to the front.

BTW, my main sub, which is an SVS that's no longer made, has the same variable tuning feature as the HSUs, and it's a nice feature, even if deciding on how to best tune it can be confusing.
 
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Adam D

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I agree with everything you said. I can pull the center out a touch too. The sub cubby is 18" deep.

I'm curious though, they way you said it, "If those are the speakers you want...." Are you not a fan? Can you suggest something in a similar price range. I also really like the MartinLogan Motion 4 and Motion 8.

Thank you so much for the help!!
 

JohnRice

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I admit, I've never heard those DefTechs, but in general I just don't like little plastic speakers. Your main problem is what has a matching center that will fit in your space. Right now, I'm very keen on the Elac Uni-Fi UB5s, which are basically the same price as the DTs you are considering, but the center channel model is too tall for your space. There's a "slim" version of it, for a $150 premium that's slightly over 7" tall, which I guess is still too much. They also are rather difficult to drive, so there may be a tendency for receivers to overheat/shut down if you play them loud. The problem is that often, really good speakers are especially difficult to drive. It's a payoff from designing them for optimum sound rather than convenience.

Remember, if you use traditional bookshelf speakers (that don't have wall mount attachments) you could always attach a small shelf to both sides of the entertainment center to put them on. Just make sure it's solid and well braced.

I suggest you at least look up reviews and videos of the UB5s to see how amazed people are with them. You'll see how there is A GUY (Andrew Jones) behind the design of these speakers, rather than a corporate committee.

The MLs, despite the highly regarded name, are just another little plastic speaker.
 
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Adam D

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Hi.

I did read about the ELAC speakers, but because the center speaker was too tall, I stopped looking closer. Same with Polk except for their Signature line.

I think you are spot on about installing a shelf/bracket on the sides of the entertainment center. That enables me to set the height just right, keeps the out of the book case and also positions them far apart enough.

This has been a huge help.

The plastic little speaker comment had me laughing, but at the same time, has me thinking....

Thank you!!
 

JohnRice

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I suggest you think outside the box, especially regarding the center speaker size limitations. Are there ZERO ways to work around that?
 

Adam D

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Yes, it is possible.

My friend designed and built the new section of the entertainment center when we got the new TV. He looked at it and figured out a way that could make it possible. But even then, there would be restrictions. Let's look at those...

The new maximum height would be about 7.25" for the physical speaker. There is 7.5" available on the far side of the face frame. The speaker would still be placed inside a "cubby" and be closed off on three sides. Finally, doing the work would in fact gain some additional height, but any speaker that would use the new restrictions would likely cost more than my price range.

So, I am not sure this is all that viable. I can still find several speakers that will fit. Yes is does cut back on the options, but what it gains me are more expensive options.

That said, through this thread and others, I have learned it would be a good idea to pull the center speaker forward as much as reasonable to get it out of the cubby. Well, in front of where the center speaker would go is about a 4" shelf, and I can pull out the center speaker a touch. In this case, I'm still limited to 6", but if the speaker has a sloped back like the Polk Audio TSi A4, I can push some of the speaker into the cubby, and some of it will stick out. Doing this gains me just one new option. BUT, you have me thinking now....

Im going to post a photograph in a bit....
 

Adam D

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Here are some pìctures. I can move the center channel forward of the face frame, but I'm afraid I'm just trading one problem for another. By doing this I'd get about 9" for height, but only 4" for depth.

I will talk to my friend again about other ways to modify the face frame or access to that area.
 

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JohnRice

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I see a number of options. The shelf the TV sits on could possibly be notched out. You are correct that some of the Polk speakers, the TSi and Monitors, have a bevel at the back, which would gain you some room.

Regarding the mains, now that I see the pics, I'd try a short pair of stands instead of a shelf. 12" tall looks about right.
 

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