Front speaker positions?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by mike.c, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. mike.c

    mike.c Auditioning

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    I currently have a 47-inch widescreen TV, and I position my 3 front satellite speakers on top of it. I am thinking about getting speaker floor stands for my front left and right speakers. Will this affect the sound quality if I have the front left and right speakers on a stand, and I have the center speaker sitting at a higher level on top of the tv?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    There will be a difference. If you put the L&R on stands the center will have a different frequency response. You will get used to that as well as the hight difference. Right now your L&R are too close together unless you watch from 5 feet. Also, if you get stands make sure the L&R are at least 6 inches in front of the front plane of your TV to minimize interference with the big box between them.
     
  3. Victor Ferguson

    Victor Ferguson Stunt Coordinator

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    Front L/R should basically make a equal triangle with your listening position. If you sit 8 feet back try placing your speakers close to that distance apart. Putting the L/R on stands is a good move and will give you a better soundstage.
     
  4. mike.c

    mike.c Auditioning

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    Thanks guys for the replies!

    1. What about not having all three speakers at the same height level? Is this not good in general? Should I ideally see if I can adjust the stands to put the L & R speakers at the same height?

    2. "Also, if you get stands make sure the L&R are at least 6 inches in front of the front plane of your TV to minimize interference with the big box between them."

    What kind of interferene are you talking about?
     
  5. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Ideally, speakers should be positioned so that the tweeters are at seated ear level. With the center on your RPTV, it will probably be higher than that. If so, tilt it down carefully. Raising your L&R above ear level is not a good compromise. If by some chance your center is at ear level when it is on top of the TV, you have it made.

    If you put the L&R on stands to the sides of your TV the sound will reflect off the TV between them. Those reflections need to be minimized. The farther the speakers are from the sides of the TV the better. For this discussion, I am talking front to back. So, I am saying that it helps to have the speakers at least 6 inches in front of the front plane of the TV. The more forward of the TV you place them the less reflection from the TV (box). Like Victor said, ideally an equal triangle. But that is the ideal. Very often, compromises have to be made.

    Getting the L&R off the TV is a good move. What I am saying is that ideally you would not want a big box (or anything else) betweeen your speakers. This is one area where people with plasmas or front projectors have a real audio advantage. Placing them on stands at least 6 inches forward of the TV helps minimize having a big box between your L&R.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Stands are a good idea, but you are probably going to be hard pressed to find stands that tall. As Arthur said, you don't need them to be exactly the same height, and the wider separation should be a bigger improvement compared to having them at the same height. Angle the center down toward your listening position and you should be fine. Also, with the center, it should be pulled as far out as possible (flush or better). Reflections off the top surface of the TV right in front of the speaker can make your center sound unclear.

    Dolby's site has a general guideline for speaker positioning here
     
  7. mike.c

    mike.c Auditioning

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    How can I angle the center down toward my listening position? It is currently just sitting flat on-top of th TV. Is there some kind of stand to do this?

    Thanks everyone for the replies.
     
  8. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    There are stands to tilt a center down but they are expensive. People have mentioned things like rubber door stops or wedges of other types. Assuming your center is not very large or heavy, it shouldn't be too hard to improvise something. At one time I used some soft silicone to help make sure my center didn't fall forward.

    A separate thread asking what people use to stabilize a downward tilted center might come up with some good ideas.
     
  9. Gavin_mi

    Gavin_mi Stunt Coordinator

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    John, in the picture that front L/R are not angled towards the listen, i was under the impression that you should point those speakers at the "sweet spot" just like the rear surrounds.

    Gavin
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    It's a general guideline, not 100% accurate, and is more for where/how to place the speakers. It does not totally address the smaller details of directing speakers toward the listening position, and that will slightly vary for every room and different speakers anyway.
     
  11. sfxjames

    sfxjames Auditioning

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    Hello, guys. I'm new here but I have a question.

    I have a home theater where my rear speakers are on the sidewall, I sit just before them, my front speakers are 8 feet apart and 8 feet back, but the real question is:

    How high can I place the tweeters?

    According to audioholics they have to be JUST above ear level.

    So I have done that so far, but does anyone disagree with that advice?

    What is ear level, what would be concidered ear level, would it be eye level, a point just above your ears or right on the ear line. I have trouble with this subject.

    The way I have it now I sit where the tweeters are about couple inches high, will that be okay?

    The speakers sit about halfway as high as the center channel height.
     
  12. Brian_cyberbri

    Brian_cyberbri Stunt Coordinator

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    2 feet above ear level for surrounds, to the side and slightly back, or behind the listening position. If you go higher than that, you might try turning them upside-down so the tweeters are closer to your ear level - if you have normal bookshelf-type speakers.


    For tilting the center speaker, I find that using an old book works great for being able to adjust height. I just open it up, use more pages to tilt it more, and push it under/out to get the angle just right.

    There are a ton of articles here on speaker placement, etc.:
    http://www.ecoustics.com/Home/Home_A...aker_Articles/
     
  13. sfxjames

    sfxjames Auditioning

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    Actually I was refering to the front speakers. I'm sure everyone here points their high frequency tweeters so that they arrive right at the ears. For my set-up the tweeters can't be too high or it throws the front imaging completely off.

    Aiming the center channel was the best thing I have ever done. Wow, that's where the smooth front and back imaging comes from.

    A good example when objects approach from front to back. With the center channel sitting straight the image appears kind of flat, there is no smooth balance between the front and back speakers, but when tilted then that's when you can hear the tansition more clearly. Wow what a difference.

    They say center channel is 50% of the home theater experience.

    Has anyone tried to upgrade their small center with bigger center channel?
     

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