Trouble placing my fronts... bigger seperation worth elevating speakers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AdrianQ, Jul 23, 2002.

  1. AdrianQ

    AdrianQ Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi everyone! This is my first post to what looks like an excellent forum. I hope you guys can help me out!

    Let me start by describing the room I'm trying to position my Acoustic Research HC6 speaker system into. My television is placed against the north wall of my room. The room is about 22 feet wide (west to east) and 16 feet deep (north to south). On the south wall, the rear speakers are mounted at ear level when sitting, and the subwoofer is in the south east corner under a cabinet. On the west is a solid wall and on the right is an opening leading to the entry foyer (a ~8 ft gap in the wall). The ceilings are vaulted, the lowest point starting from the west wall, extending up to 14 feet at it's peak 18 feet going east.

    In the center of the north wall is my TV, and that is flanked by two very tall cabinets on either side. Immediately to the left and right sides of the cabinets are doorways to the kitchen and dining room that extend all the way to the west and east walls. Because of this configuration, I have to put the left and right main speakers right up against the TV, only about 3 feet apart (it's only a 27" tv). The center is on top of the TV, a little higher than the rears are mounted, and the mains are sitting on the same level as the bottom of the TV.

    This is my dilemma: I haven't been terribly happy with the separation in this setup. All the front channels sound like they're coming from one place (which isn't terribly surprising, considering the situation). The cabinets don't allow for any space further left or right and I can't mount them on the west/east walls because they'd block the doorway. The only alternate solution I can think of would be to mount the speakers above the doorways in the north wall.

    Would mounting the main speakers so far off the vertical plane of the other speakers be worth the increase in separation? I use this system for movies, mainly, so a sense of spaciousness is definitely desired. The mounting hardware I would buy lets you point the speakers pretty freely; would this counteract the difference in vertical placement?

    Any thought on the matter from minds and ears much more experienced than mine would help immensely. Thanks very much!

    Adrian
     
  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,703
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    Adrian, it doesn't sound ideal but it could be an impovement? Get two people to hold the speakers in the locations being considered and see what you think. You reciever may have adjustments for different speaker distances? My head unit (pre) does. Check your manual. Have fun with your experiments, best wishes!
     
  3. Wayne Clark

    Wayne Clark Agent

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 1999
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You did not describe what type of cabinets are on either side of the TV. If they are shelving units, is it possible to put the speakers on the appropriate height shelf? If they are glass fronted or not adjustable height shelves and the speakers won't fit then you are SOL. It's just a thought. Wayne
     
  4. JayDaniel

    JayDaniel Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2002
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Adrian,

    Why not mount them on stands? You could move them to the optimally sounding position, toe them in, etc. Stands also allow you to place them at ear level. That's what I do, and the sound is great. It does take some tweaking, experimenting, and above all else, proper calibration with a calibration disk and spl meter. A great speaker system, not calibrated correctly, can sound awful.

    Hope this helps.

    JayDaniel
     
  5. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    1,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    Greg
    Some basic rules to follow for good imaging:

    1) Have your speakers at least 3ft off the front wall (more would be better).
    2) The distance between the mains and listening position should be greater than the distance between the mains.
    3) The mains should be a few feet away from the side walls (or have the walls dampened).
    4) Never sit near the rear wall. Ideally you should be closer to the speakers than to the rear wall. Dampening / diffusion material on the rear wall will help as well.
    5) Mount the speakers so the tweeters are at ear level.
    6) Toe-in should be minimal, if needed at all.

    #1,2,&4 are the most critical. Have you considered placing the mains along the long wall? This would allow you to further separate the channels and allow you to pull the mains away from the front wall. If your mains are against the wall (or if you are sitting near a wall) you will never get good imaging or separation...
     
  6. AdrianQ

    AdrianQ Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks, everyone for the response!
    The cabinets are all solid glass-and-wood deals, so they can't be put on the shelves (unless I wanted to put them behind the doors... which wouldn't be too good!)
    Unfortunately, I dont' think the mobile stands would fly... my wife puts up with a terribly large amount of the stuff I do, but I don't think she'd like that idea too much.
    Greg_R, thanks so much for sharing the depth of your knowledge! Given the priority you've assigned, there is a second possibility that seem to satisfy those requirements a bit more. I could mount the speakers on the sides of the tall cabinets. It wouldn't look quite as good, but if it sounded better, I think that's a reasonable comprimise. Always nice to get advice from a Portlander! (I live in Beaverton)

    Thanks to everyone again!
     

Share This Page