Speakers next to TV or angled in?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by george.Legeza, Dec 30, 2002.

  1. george.Legeza

    george.Legeza Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a (hopefully) simple question regarding speaker placement.
    I'm very limited in how I can place my speakers since this set up is in my bedroom and not a dedicated HT area. This makes things difficult since the TV has a desk to the right and a small hallway/alcove area on the left near my door. Right now the speakers are each about three feet from the TV - one is on the desk and the other is on a book case that's sitting in the middle of the floor. Both speakers are angled in towards the listening position.
    All in all it's not a situation that I'm happy with or that looks good. Aesthetics aside, the sound position seems "okay". From the primary listening position I get the impression that sound is coming directly from the TV and if I close my eyes it's difficult to pinpoint the exact speaker location.
    So here's my question: I'm considering buying a pair of speaker stands to place next to the TV stand. Each speaker would be roughly about a foot from the TV in a situation like this. Would this work as well (if not better) than my current situation or would I better off by leaving the speakers where they are? I'd really appreciate advice here since I'd hate to spend ~$150 on a pair of speaker stands and end up not liking the result.
    Thanks in advance! [​IMG]
    EDIT: Oh, I also have a related question. My surround speakers are placed in each corner of the rear wall facing directly forward. With my current set up this means that they're each a foot or two closer to the wall than my mains. If I get speaker stands this will mean the rear speakers will be about three-four feet closer to the wall than the mains. Will this have any kind adverse affect on sound? Should I also move the rears closer towards the listening position if I move the mains? Thanks again.
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Short Answer: the speaker stands will give you better sound.
    There are a few issues here.
    The first is that speakers radiate sound to the rear/sides as well as onto whatever surface they are sitting on. You have one speaker on a bookshelf (think "in a box"), and the other on a large, flat surface.
    Getting the speakers away from these weird reflecting surfaces, and in a more symetrical pattern with respect to the center should improve the sound stage.
    Try to get adjustable stands so you can make the height of all the front tweeters the same.
    Get a laser-pen or the $20 laser-level from Radio Shack and use this to "see" how much of an angle the L/R speakers are really making.
    There are 3 different thoughts on the ammount of angle/toe-in:
    - Make the sound from the L/R speakers intersect 1-2 feet in front of the primary listening position. (The traditional music alignment.)
    - Make the sound interesect exactly on the listening position.
    - Make the sound intersect 1-2 feet behind the listening position.
    You just have to try all 3 with your system in your room and pick the alignment that pleases you.
    Note: I feel that for HT, you WANT a L/R speaker to pull your attention to the left or right. Not the center (you have a center speaker for this). Use a modern movie that sends special effects across the front 3 speakers, or even dialog to the L/R for wide scenes and test. I like chapter 15 of Star Trek:Insurrection for this.
    Rear Speakers: After you place/align your speakers, use a SPL meter with test tones to adjust the volume levels for the center and 2 rear speakers. The level adjustment exists to compensate for different distances & alignments. Search this fourm for "Calibration" or check the FAQ for more info.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. george.Legeza

    george.Legeza Stunt Coordinator

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    First of all, thanks for all of the advice. I have a few concerns now, though... :b
     
  4. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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    Interesting thread. I just got my own place and was able to expand from a setup very similar to what George is describing, into a larger living space. I am using two very nice 31" speaker stands for my L/R and the television itself as support for the center speaker.
    Thanks, Bob, for some of the ideas about speaker placement. For visual symmetry, I've placed the L/R speakers about 6'-7' from each other (with the television in the middle, obviously, with about an 8' distance from the couch to the television. I've had my speakers both facing directly ahead, but is it preferable to aim them at angles as to 'cross the beams,' so to speak? [​IMG]
    I've noticed it sounds great but I have yet to create a 'sweet spot,' despite ideal placement of my rear surrounds. They are actually decent satellites and I don't believe that speaker stands are made for tiny speakers (am I wrong? if so, where can I find some?)
    Thanks again,
    Joseph
     
  5. GregLee

    GregLee Stunt Coordinator

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    Can't you find some boxes or crates around to serve as temporary stands? Then you can listen before buying, and you might even be able to get an idea how high you want the stands to be. How good the alternate placements sound will depend on characteristics of your speakers and room in hard to predict ways. The suggestion to get your speakers away from reflecting surfaces is good, and you might find ways to do that even with your present arrangement, if it's a problem.
     
  6. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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