how high is too high for a center speaker?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Rob Michaw, May 29, 2005.

  1. Rob Michaw

    Rob Michaw Stunt Coordinator

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    I know you are supposed to try and keep your tweeters at or near ear height/height of your mains. I am on top of my 46" RPTV (on stand). It is fine for me now. Question is, how high is too high?

    I am looking at picking up an LCD or DLP in the 60-62" range and sitting about 8' away. That seems awfully high and close for the center. If I was 12' away, the angle wouldn't be so steep and noticeable. However, only 8' of travel distance seems like alot. Should I be looking to mount it beneath the screen? I also use my HT for STEREO and MULTICHANNEL music so that is of importnace too (70% HT/30% Music).

    Thanks.
     
  2. SteveMetcalf

    SteveMetcalf Agent

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    For this question there is a proper technical answer, and a proper answer for real life. They are different, and it depends on how particular you are as to which answer is yours. To have all of your speakers on axis with your ears is best, because the speaker is most accurate on axis in the higher frequency range. With a center channel the information coming out of the speaker is "mono" info. It is the sounds which, on a stereo would be common to the left/right channels. Sounds like speech, kick drum, bass guitar, snare drum etc. Usually these sounds do not have many high frequecy characteristics.(over say 6000hz whereas the on/off axis thing starts to be more apparent around 10-12000hz depending on the size of the tweeter).
    Answer this yourself as to whether or not it has to be on axis with your ears. The correct technical answer is yes, but for most people they wouldn't notice the difference.
    Ideally the speakers should be the same distance away from the listening position, or you may have a small degree of "combing" happening due to the time difference in the arrival of sound to your ears from each different speaker. If your center was farther away from you then the other front speakers, you could delay the other front speakers by 1millisecond per foot of difference distance, or if the center was closer you could delay it by the same amount. This would bring them into line with each other. You would also have to adjust the volume if the difference was substantial.
    Again, a question you should answer yourself. Start with the ideal layout, and listen for problems. Be your own judge of how substantial the differences are. Make a real life answer of your own.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Rob,

    I have my center on a custom built shelf about 18" above and slightly behind my 51" RPTV. I was worried about the same things you are in addition to the fact that it's super heavy and I was worried about the shelf coming down and well you know. But after a year, it looks and sounds great. Now, mind you, my processor allows me to put a time delay on the center channel to sync it with the mains like Steve said and it also has a center-EQ feature that allows it to compensate for a higher placement (not sure how it does this and I can't honestly say I notice a huge difference between my setting and the others) but it's still not as big an issue as you might think. If you want to see my setup, you can go to the ACI website in the customer gallery. Here is the link...

    Here

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    You might think about "mopads" to put under your center to angle it down or up which ever you need. I use them under mine as I sit close too and needed a slight angle downward and took care of the dialog problem when coming out of all front three which does not happen very often but does at times. Thats really the only time I noticed it, The mopads fixed it.
     
  5. Jeremiah Dant

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    I personally like it as close as i can get it to the tv. To me if you put it to far above it, the voices and such do not sound like they come from the tv, but from above it.It is all a matter of personal taste though, try it in different positions and see which you like the best. as far as above the mains, mine has always been above the mains, i would not know what it would sound like level with the mains. i think it is more important to make it sound like it is coming from the tv then anything
     

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