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How high should rear speakers be?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tim Kline, Aug 14, 2001.

  1. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    The way I'm resetting up my HT area, my rear speakers (I have the JBL NSP1 package) will be around 3.5 feet above the ear, and pointed straight at each other across the room. They have to be that high becase of the large picture window that takes up half the wall [​IMG] Will that be too high? Right now I have them behind the sweet spot pointed forward, and I don't hear them as much as I did when they were on the sides, so I'm gonna be switching them back soon as I buy new wall mounts for em..
    So will they be too high? I remember reading somewhere that they should be 2-3 feet above, or was it 3-4 feet above?
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Anywhere in that range should be fine.
    I have found that I get best sound with my rears on the sides, pointed towards eachother (tweaked slightly inward) about 3-4 ft. behind the listening position.
    How high above should be adjusted based upon your ceiling height, as you will get reflections from the ceiling.
    I have them at the same level as my mains though...(identical stands, since they are identical speakers)
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    [Edited last by John Garcia on August 14, 2001 at 01:31 PM]
     
  3. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    Because of the way my room is shaped, I can't do identical stands even though that was my original plan. And the speakers will be screwed in RIGHT above the window, it's really the only place.. and they'll end up being around 1 foot from the celing [​IMG] but I think this is the best I'll be able to do till I move to a house with a better room for a HT [​IMG]
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  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I had mine setup like that with my old surrounds, and it sounded fine. I have a similar problem, as my walls & windows in the rear of the room limited where I could mount them. It sounded fine, and I suspect yours will also. [​IMG]
     
  5. PhilS

    PhilS Stunt Coordinator

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    Tim, I dealt with similar issues a few months ago. I couldn't find a stand that I felt was sturdy enough to put my rears up above my head position, and the other option was mounting them on the walls or hanging down from the ceiling about 3 1/2 feet above my ears. I chose the latter, and pointed the speakers straight ahead, as opposed to being tilted downward, and it has worked fine. I worried for some time before I mounted them that they would be too high, but now that I have them there, it's great. They're out of the way and won't be knocked over like they might be if they were on stands. Also, for surrounds, the positioning that far above your ears seems to be fine becuase the sound from surrounds is not supposed to be too diretional anyway.
     
  6. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Tim - FYI: From Dolby Labs http://www.dolby.com/ht/sound/sound3.html
    Height
    "If space permits, install surrounds 2-3 feet above viewers. This helps to minimize localization effects."
    [​IMG]
    Aiming
    "Aiming surrounds straight across the room, not down at viewers, helps create a more open, spacious surround soundfield."
    [​IMG]
    ====
    My main HT direct-radiating (monopole) JBL N24 speakers located 3 feet behind my REF Calibration location (REF Loc. 9' from Center) and 7' feet high (measured from floor to the bottom of the cabinet), facing each other, on the side walls. ( http://www.geocities.com/p_iturra/HTRoom.html
    Phil
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  7. Mike Kao

    Mike Kao Second Unit

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    Hmm, I always had the impression that ear-level, behind to the side and angled towards the listener was ideal for rear speakers... am I wrong in this assumption? Wouldn't this give a better positional effect for the listener though?
     
  8. Mike Kao

    Mike Kao Second Unit

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    And can someone explain why placing the rear speakers 2-3 feet above the listeners ear would be ideal? Also, on a somewhat related topic, what would be the ideal length between the front speakers?
    [Edited last by Mike Kao on August 15, 2001 at 03:50 AM]
     
  9. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    if you place your speakers to the sides you will lose the rear center image and some direction. If you place the rears 120 degrees behind the sweetspot or about 1 to 2feet facing each other 2-3ft up on the wall "3 1/2 feet will be fine"
    you will get side effects, rear imaging, and good direction.
    Avoid placing the speakers to far behind the sweetspot as you will lose ambiant effects that need to image to your sides.
    And btw that dolby chart showing them to the sides is not correct. If you have an EX or DTS-ES, then you could setup your side surrounds to the sides or slightly in front of would be OK b/c you have a rear center to handle the missing rear image. With only two surround speakers you need to place them in a spot where you get the rear image without sacraficing the sides.
    The ITU standard calls for them to be at 120degrees from the sweetspot.
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  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  11. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the info
    I pretty much have to either put the speakers to the side of the sweet spot because of the wall setup and the window, or about 4 feet behind it (where they are now, and not working well for me). I would like to have them on the sides and back a bit but I can't [​IMG]
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  12. AllenP

    AllenP Auditioning

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    I like what Phil did getting the Dolby info for the rears but I have 2 questions. First one being if you set your sides up like Dolby says to how would you do the EX or rear center. Would you want it to be 2 speakers or 1 mono or BI-pole? And the second question is in my room I can't have side mounted speakers above the sides because I have an opening heading into my dinner room and a door heading to my patio out side. I was thinking about using the M&K Tripoles in the back corners of my room and aiming the front of the speaker towards the sweet spot and then mounting another Tripole in the center back wall and doing the same but running all 3 speakers in the tripole mode. [​IMG]
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  13. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    Side placement will be much better than 4 feet behind the sweetspot. So do this.
    Can you move the sweetspot up any so the center of your sides will be atleast 3-6 inches behind your ears? Even as little 6 inches will help with depth and direction for the rear soundstage.
    If side is all you have that will be good too. I have heard great setups with side placement. With direct sideplacement it has its advantages as well.
    The trade offs are too great to put your sides 4 feet back, you will loose too much ambiance. Example all Rain effects will sound like it comes from behind you and not all around you, etc.
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