speaker placement and SPL

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by NeilO, Sep 29, 2002.

  1. NeilO

    NeilO Producer

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    I just got my JBL NSP1 speakers and a SONY WAM40 subwoofer. I haven't hooked anything up yet. I've been trying to get things arranged in the room, which isn't an easy task. The speakers are temporarily placed at the moment. The center is on the TV about 44 inches from the floor and 20-25 inches from the wall. The right is on top of a pair of cabinets 40 inches high and 6 inches away from the wall. There is a bookshelf on the left and the 40 inch spot is in the top shelf, so I've put it there for the moment. The left and right are about 40 inches away from the center of the center speaker.

    One question - would it be better to have the left and right
    both on top of bookshelves 53 inches high or as I just described?

    The surround speakers: I've put the left surround on the fireplace mantle 53" high at the moment. I think I might mount it to the wall offset from the mantle, if this height works. The right is on a half-wall about 42 inches high on the other side of the room. That might end up getting mounted on a pillar also 53" inches or so high, but the half-wall is where it can rest at the moment. They would be facing into where we are sitting in the room. Does this look reasonable?

    The subwoofer is over to the right of the cabinets propping up the right front speaker.

    Another question: I am going to be borrowing an SPL meter from a coworker. Should I get things set with that before putting the speakers in their final position? Or should they be in their final position first? Or should I iterate?
    Also, is there a good link to proper use of the meter or is it "obvious"?

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    Neil
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    You need to play around with placement, and decide on a fairly final position before you calibrate with the SPL meter. Calibrating without them in their final position does you little or no good, however, you may find that you want to change the positions or aiming, since after measuring with the SPL meter you may find that the location you have chosen is not optimum.

    I do not recommend aiming the surrounds directly at the listener with monopoles. If you have room behind your sitting position, I would suggest pointing them at eachother, from opposite sides, or towards the front of the room.

    Also, you will need to re-check it after a month or two, after all your gear breaks in.

    Using an SPL meter is not completely obvious. I would highly recommend picking up a disc with calibration material, many of which also have instructions on how to use an SPL meter. The least expensive one that I've found useful is Sound & Vision Home Theater Tune Up, which I've seen for as little as $12.
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hmm...it kind of sounds like your speakers are going to be all over the place. i suppose as long as you get your mains a decent distance apart from eachother, your center on top (or below) your tv and your rears to the left/right of you, then that should work.
    one thing to keep in mind - try to place the speakers at approximately eat height (at least for the front three). that way, all the high frequences will hit your head...exactly as it should. placing your speakers too high or too low will make the speakers sound duller (assuming that's a bad thing).
    you should definitely calibrate after your final position. depending on where you put your speakers, other things like walls, furniture, doorways, etc. can all affect the sound.
    i also have the s&v disc - worked fine for me.
    for tips on how to use the spl, check out the beginner's faq - vince has a nice post about it. or, just do a search. trust me...that question has been asked many times here.
    for tips about speaker placement, check out this link from dolby.com:
    http://www.dolby.com/ht/Guide.HomeTh....html#chapter3
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Are you following me still Ted? [​IMG]
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    yup! [​IMG]
    i gotta admit...it's kinda freaky....
    ted "chasing john around htf" lee
     
  6. NeilO

    NeilO Producer

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    Well, I've got the speakers hooked up as described in my original post. I tried it out with the beginning of the Lord of the Rings DVD and was quite impressed with how it sounds. Obviously, it blows away just using the TV speakers. The problem is that it sounds so much better, I don't know how much better than that it should sound.

    What kinds of things should I be listening for when trying different speaker placement? I so unfamiliar with things that I don't know what is really "better." How should the surround speakers sound?

    As the first reponse said, it looks like I should attempt to figure out that placement is best before doing calibration.

    Thanks,

    Neil
     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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