Optimum height for bookshelf mains & other positioning inquiries...?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matt_P, Jun 22, 2001.

  1. Matt_P

    Matt_P Second Unit

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    What is the best height for bookshelf main speakers? In other words, what is a good rule of thumb height in units (2 feet, 3 feet, etc.) which gives the best sonic imaging? Should the surrounds be at the same height, or a little higher? I am aware that Dolby says to put the surrounds a few feet above the listener's head, but this simply isn't an option for me. All of my speakers are on stands that adjust from 2-3 feet. Also, is it best to have the surrounds pointing directly across at each other, or at the listener? Right now, my surrounds are slightly behind the listening position, pointing directly at each other.
    Through experience, I have experimented with several arrangements. I was just wondering what your opinions are on these matters. Thanks.
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    "Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts." - Leonard Shelby, MEMENTO
     
  2. JohanK

    JohanK Second Unit

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    For the mains, if your tweeters are at ear height when you sit down, then they are at the proper height.
    For surrounds, the rule of thumb is a little higher though I keep one pair of surrounds at ear height (I would think this would be preferable for multi-channel music) and toed slightly in while facing the front of the HT. My second pair of surrounds (not center surround) is facing each other and tweets are about 3' above sitting ear height.
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    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/bbs/equipment/28687.html
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  3. Jin E

    Jin E Second Unit

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    IMHO...
    I did a lot of playing around with my system... moving speakers... changing height... changing location... putting them upside down... right side up... on it's side...
    With my room acoustics and furniture placement I had the best luck with my tweeters/mids right in line with my head. If I lowered them too much I would start to loose the right side image (think the couch arm blocking the sound has something to do with this) but I would get better bass response... and if I raised too much with the woofer head level (I have a three way speaker) I would start getting wierd reflections off the ceiling. The best sound actually came when I had the speaker inverted (mid/tweeter on the bottom at head level, woofer towards ceiling), but this looked REALLY weird because the speaker was soooo high up. It actually gave me the best bass response and good imaging to boot. Maybe if I could hang them from the ceiling...
    Take a look the link in my sig to see what I ended up with. The tweeter/mid are right at head level... since I placed the speakers soooo far wide I had to toe them in a little to get good imaging without spreading my sound stage out too wide (I could feel a hole in the image between the center and L/R). I say build yourself a adjustible speaker stand out of some MDF and threaded rod and play around with it (if you have that luxury).
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    -Jin
    My Theater
     
  4. Matt_P

    Matt_P Second Unit

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    Jin-
    Thanks for replying. I checked out your website. Nice setup. I especially like the classical columns which double as speaker stands.
    I am curious as to how you built your Sonosub for $81. Do you happen to have any instructions? Is it pretty easy to make? How's the performance?
    Thanks.
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    "Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts." - Leonard Shelby, MEMENTO
     
  5. Bobby T

    Bobby T Supporting Actor

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    I use very similar columns for my mains also but I painted mine black. I too would be interested in more information on the $81 sub. As far as speaker height I measured ear level in seated position and placed speakers so tweeters was at that measurement.
     
  6. Jin E

    Jin E Second Unit

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    FYI if you are interested in those speaker stands yo can get them at WalMart in the arts and crafts section for $12. I took mine and filled them with quickcrete to make them more dense. I had to put some rubber bumper feet on the bottom because they weren't 100% level. I also had to sand away some high spots on the top because they weren't level. I took some spray paint and them highlighted the colums... giving them a grey granit type appearance. They look much better in person!
    More info on the sub can be found here:
    [url=http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/Forum17/HTML/003226.html
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    -Jin
     

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