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Speaker placement and selection (1 Viewer)

Psycholoafon

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Ajitabh Pandey
This is my first post, so please be gentle with responses....

We just moved in to a home with a large family/great room. The dimensions are probably 20'x20' with 25'ceiling(that opens up to the second floor). The great room is attached to the kitchen/breakfast area(ceiling 10'). We are looking to have our TV(Samsung LN52A750) mounted above the fireplace at the far end off the entire area, the height would be around 7'. The components that I have amasses over the past several months are:
Denon Reciever AVR-4308CI
Denon CD Changer DMC-390
Denon Blu-Ray DVD-2500BTCI
PlayStation3
Wii

The issue I have now is to determine the best speakers(I guess wall mounted would look the best, but am not sure if floorstanding would be better for the left, center, right). Any suggestions on selection and placement.

The family room right now has quite an echo with the TV placed on the mantle above the fireplace(with a stand, not mounted).

Thanks for all of your help.
 

Joseph DeMartino

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Joseph DeMartino
Ideally the TV should be mounted slightly above eye level for someone seated in the primary viewing area. Seven feet off the ground in an invitation to a stiff neck. How far back from that wall is the main seating area going to be? Is there another wall you can mount the TV on?

Putting a TV over the fireplace is one of those purely visual things that interior decorators push because they are all about form and have no clue about function. (Putting speakers in the ceiling is another. Good for public address systems, lousy for music and movies.) Setting aside the heat issue, it just isn't a very natural place to look while watching a movie. But in terms of decor it seems to make sense because the fireplace is designed to be the visual focal point of the room, and it seems natural to put the TV there, too. But unless the fireplace is low to the ground and has no mantle, putting the TV over the fireplace simply isn't very functional.

You layout sounds similar to my sister's family room, which has ridiculous ceilngs, is open to the kitchen and formal living room and to a loft where their home office is. The room is an acoustic nightmare, echo city. The fact that there are exterior walls are over half glass, the floors marble and the countertops granite doesn't help. What they (and you) need to do is get some serious sound-absorbing material going. Even their furniture is a problem - metal and glass tables and leather sectional and recliner - not a piece of soft cloth in the room except for a small area rug.
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif
You need wall hangings, plants, rugs, maybe even decorative screens to divide the space and tamp down the echoes. Plants can also help, as can things like wooden bookcases and books.

Regards,

Joe
 

Psycholoafon

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Ajitabh Pandey
Thanks for the quick response. Your sister's place does sound like ours, including the exterior wall being all glass. Even if the TV is mounted above the fireplace(since there is no other place to put it(without significant time/labor/money), would it be okay to get floormounted speakers on either side of the fireplace, a center channel on the mantle and then two surround speakers in the rear and still be somewhat okay with acoustics? I think that would serve our needs... My main concern is whether to mount speakers or get floorstanding and then my choices of speakers would be greater if I was able to get floorstanding ones.
 

Joseph DeMartino

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Joseph DeMartino
The trick with the floor standing speakers will be to make sure that the manufacturer offers a timbre-matched center channel speaker designed to work with them. The front three speakers can't be mixed-and-matched, they simply have to work as a unit if they're going to present a uniform soundstage. You might want to check out in-wall speakers for the LF and RF and possibly for the center. Major manufacturers like Polk and Klipsch make enclosed center channel speakers that are designed to match their in-wall speakers.

How far from the back wall is the main seating position? That will determine how best to handle the surround speakers.

One possible solution to the neck strain issue, and not necessarily an expensive one, is to build a platform for the seating area. This will raise the couch and/or chairs to a more comfortable height, allow you to add some more sound-deadening material to the space and give you a place to hide some wires. (And maybe add some "butt-kicker" bass modules. ;)) If done right this kind of "reverse conversation pit" can actually add to the aesthetics of a room while improving the function of the home theater gear.

Regards,

Joe
 

Psycholoafon

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Ajitabh Pandey
I guess I should clarify that this room would not be the primary home theater room, so it would be mixed use(kids theater, daily TV, and music). I understand that the Left, Center, Right speakers need to be the of the same family. I really don't want to put too many holes in the walls for in-wall speakers, but I have looked in to the Klipsch THX inwall speakers. Would looking at the TV above the fireplace with the Left and Right speakers on the floor "sound" weird, or do you think that for the uses above it would be okay...

We have a home theater in our basement with a projector that came with the house: Sony Superdata VPH-1252Q(it works), the previous owners also left some B&W speakers. I got a Marantz SR7001, DVD changer and Sony BluRay. None of this is completely hooked up... I have been just a massing components and hoping everything will work out.

My main dilemma has been the family room and where to put the speakers and what type of speakers. Is there any way to post a picture of the area for you to take a look at??
 

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