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Placing speakers on entertainment center shelves

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ron Duca, Nov 12, 2001.

  1. Ron Duca

    Ron Duca Stunt Coordinator

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    I current have a pair of Paradigm Monitor 9's sitting on each side of our 53" Sony projection TV. My wife wants to get wall pier entertainment center that adjusts to fits various size projection TV's. The problem with doing this is there won't be room for my floor speakers to sit on each side of the unit.
    One solution is to trade my Monitor 9's in for a good pair of smaller bookshelf speakers, say the Paradigm Reference Studio 20's, and lay them on their sides on the entertainment center shelves.
    Has anyone done this and been happy with the sound quality vs. speakers placed outside of an entertainment center? Also, has anyone ever place a subwoofer inside an entertainment center?
    Thanks,
    Ron Duca
     
  2. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    I have my small Def Tech Promonitor100's on my ent center shelves and they sound great. The only problem is, they are too close together for my seating position, but they still sound fantastic. YOu can't put the monitors on the sides of the new ent center? Is your space too small?
     
  3. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    I don't believe you want to put any speaker in a "cubby" hole in an entertainment center. Especially a ported speaker, and even a non ported speaker. You will probably get considerable echo (lousy sound)
    If the only option with this new EC is to stick bookshelf speakers in or even above(on top) , do not let the wife get it.
    Bookshelf speakers in a cubby hole compared to your floor standers is going to be VERY disappointing.
    An entertainment center that would force you to get rid of your floor standers is EVIL as far as I'm concerned.
    If I were in your shoes I would talk with the wife, and talk her out of this!
    I'm pretty serious about sound and I would not go for this unless I had room to put at least bookshelf speakers on stands.
    Good Luck and get another EC, one that will allow you to use your speakers the way they were meant to be used!
    ------------------
    Sean
    "I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said.......I drank what?"
     
  4. Kendal Kirk

    Kendal Kirk Stunt Coordinator

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    If you must make peace and put bookshelf speakers in the e-center, your best sonic success would be to get a bass reflex encloser. I have seen B&W's in an e-center that has "speaker grill" doors. Raise them up to where they are centered in the space and tilter toward your listening position. Fill in around with poly-fill batting.
    A high end retailer here in Nashville has done this in their first "living room" theater display with very good results. Yours may vary . . . .
     
  5. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    "Book shelf" speakers on shelves is a good way to make $1500 speakers sound like $150 speakers (reflections off the furniture really color the sound).
    If you must add furniture, put the speakers on the floor 2-3 feet in front of it.
    Personally, I think different furniture would be a better idea...
     
  6. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Can someone please explain to me how using a sealed enclosure
    bookshelf speaker that is placed so that the face of the
    cabinents are at least "Flush" with the "cubby hole" will
    color the sound.. As long as the speakers are at least flush
    or protruding slightly there should be absolutely no sonic
    refraction from the E-Center they are sitting in.. Of course
    you may get vibration of the E-Center from bass output but
    that's another story..
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    Brett DiMichele
    My Home Theater Site!
    [email protected]
     
  7. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    Well Brett, IF the speaker has no ports, or if you want to plug the ports then I guess you could get them to sound okay.
    The big thing with this arrangement, assuming the speakers are not rear ported, or ported at all, will be that your mains will not be sufficiently spaced apart(unless it's a bigass EC).
    They still won't sound as good as if they were on stands, even if they are protruding a little over the shelf. And I think the reason for this is speaker height and when your spkrs are on stands you can (and most people do) pull them into the room a little. They always sound better pulled into the room in front of the TV a little bit.
    Also no matter what, the cubby hole tends to pick up vibrations(no matter where or how placed into or onto a shelf or cubby hole, and degrade their sound, I don't know exactly why but it seems this is the case the majority of the time.
    I used to install HT's and this is what I found. Others mileage MAY vary but I doubt it.
    ------------------
    Sean
    "I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said.......I drank what?"
     
  8. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Sean,
    Well I agree with the spacing issue but when I made my post
    I guess I was using my TV as an example. If I was to buy a
    Entertainment center for my RPTV (61") it would be as wide
    as my current positioning of my towers therfore the sound
    field would be as wide as it is now. Also if we are talking
    about E-C's for RPTV's they usualy consist of 2 very tall
    piers which would allow mounting the bookshelves very close
    to ear level rather than being too high or too low.
    I do agree a ported enclosure would muddy the low frequencies
    and I think a sealed enclosure would be a MUST in that type
    of install. You would also no doubt incour some sort of
    vibration that would require some extensive use of dampening
    materials. Perhaps lining the whole "cubby hole" with a good
    layer of Dyna-Mat would remedy such a problem?
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    Brett DiMichele
    My Home Theater Site!
    [email protected]
     
  9. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    Now your talkin' Brett!
    Yes, I do believe a non ported, properly spaced speaker mounted in a "dynamat stuffed"(or equivelent) shelf or cubby hole would suffer minimal degradation(if any) and would then probably sound as it was intended.
    Now Ron, this would probably work.
    Personally I like to have the freedom of moving and positioning my speakers for optimal sound.
    I much prefer the Rack/TV stand/moveable speaker setup(at least in my dedicated HT room).
    However in my Living room I have a Kenwood HTB with an EC(the wife likes it)and just today I built some stands for the mains(finally) and positioned them at the side of the EC(what a huge improvement)instead of on top of the EC.
    ------------------
    Sean
    "I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said.......I drank what?"
    [Edited again because of Sean Conklin's Spastic posting methods on November 13, 2001 at 01:31 AM]
    [Edited last by Sean Conklin on November 13, 2001 at 01:32 AM]
     
  10. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Stunt Coordinator

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    My center channel is in a dedicated "hole" below my TV in my entertainment center. The fit is very tight with less than 3/4" around the speaker. I have foam rubber stuffed in what little void there is to eliminate any of the reflections around my speaker enclosure. The ports are front firing. I have tried the center out of the cabinet on a stand directly in front of the tv as well and can tell very/very little difference. I would not however advocate putting any speaker inside an open shelf in a cabinet. If you can't effectively kill any sound coming from the space around the speaker you will end up with a somewhat hollow sounding speaker. Also if your entertainment center isn't very solid the cabinet will also resonate causing a change in the sound.
     
  11. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    Given waves that are relatively long (low in frequency) compared to the front baffle dimensions, a speaker will radiate in all directions.
    If you increase the baffle size by putting the speaker even with a surface, energy which would have ended up behind the speaker comes back at you thus increasing the volume in the larger range of frequencies that are reflected by the new baffle.
    The same thing happens if you put a surface close behind the speaker.
    With a subwoofer where the wave lengths are all long and therefore equally boosted, this effect can be good - it gives you 3dB of output for every nearby surface. IOW, given the same power a corner loaded sub will play 6dB louder than the same speaker sitting in the middle of your room.
    With fuller range speakers, the midrange and treble are already radiating into half space and therefore get no louder. However, the bass and midbass do get a boost; giving the speaker a boxy or chesty character.
    One could probably work arround this with speakers designed for in-wall installation, equalization, or maybe horns although this seems a bit silly.
     
  12. Ron Duca

    Ron Duca Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. FYI....the reason I can't put my main speakers to the sides of the proposed entertainment center is because on one side, the speaker would have to sit too close to our corner fireplace. Not only will the speaker block part of the view of the fireplace, but I'm afraid it will get too hot.
    I'll figure something out. Thanks again.
    Ron Duca
     

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