What a difference center speaker position can make!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike OConnell, Apr 20, 2002.

  1. Mike OConnell

    Mike OConnell Second Unit

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    I recently switched my video setup from a TV in a cabinet with the center speaker on top of the cabinet angle down towards the seating position - see photos in this link:
    Note - the link now shows my new setup instead of the old one - made the change yesterday (or rather Parker did!).
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/bbs/...ent/28828.html
    Now I have an FPTV system with a 100" screen mounted to the wall where the cabinet used to set and a double-wide two shelf component stand that the center speaker sits on top of just below the screen. (See link above).
    Besides the obvious upgrade in the video presentation - the front sound field has expanded (due to losing the obstruction of the cabinet) and the center speaker clarity is stupendous!
    I thought my center speaker sounded good before, but I never realized what I was missing until the change. I was never completely satisfied with my Paradigm Reference Center and always thought it seemed to be a bit restrained - what a surprise with the change in placement!!!!!
    My suggestion - don't set your center speaker on top of a cabinet with just a little over a foot from a suspended ceiling - you will not realize what you are missing.
    Good Day!
    Mike
     
  2. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I think the flaw in your cabinet setup is that the center channel is so far away from the mains. Another flaw is that the center channel is not aiming at the listening position.

    Anyways good to hear about the improvement, just shows how much placement effects sound.
     
  3. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    I recently moved my CC as well. It had been located in a little cubby hole above my RPTV (both built into the wall). No matter how hard I tried, I could not get rid of a certain stuffiness in its sound.

    As much as I like Mike Knapp's CC configuration, it is simply not practical in my setup. So, as an experiment I pulled it out of the box and placed on a stand below the screen in front of the TV.

    What a revelation! The sound has been transformed and it now sounds like a completely new speaker.

    The CC is the hardest speaker to get right, in terms of positioning, and it is also the most important in an HT setup. If someone has to have the CC sitting on top of the set or on top of a cabinet, I highly recommend, in addition to angling down to the listening position, placing isolation feet underneath to acoustically decouple the speaker from whatever it is sitting on.

    /Jeff
     
  4. WesleyHester

    WesleyHester Stunt Coordinator

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    The center channel drivers should never be more than 2 feet (higher or lower) from the left/right main drivers.

    Ideally the center and left/right mains should be on the same plane but that can not always be the case. Luckily, most receivers allow for this during setup.

    Of course always remember: move a speaker -- break out the sound meter again and recalibrate.
     
  5. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    I personally believe that if at all possible to setup your speakers in a circle with the primary listening position in the very center. I have almost always put the center on several mousepads with a simple rubber door stop wedge in the back to aim the center to the primary listening position.
     
  6. Bob Sheen

    Bob Sheen Stunt Coordinator

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    My centre channel speaker sits on top of my 60 inch RPTV. I tried angling it down towards the listening area a couple of weeks ago. It made a huge difference.

    Bob
     
  7. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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    I have been preaching the placement of a center speaker on a small stand just below, and in front of, the TV screen for a long time now. My RPTV is placed in a niche in the wall, so my center speaker is on a stand directly in front of the TV, its top is about 1 to 2" below the screen and it is aimed up at me. I think this cures 2 problems. 1- when any speaker is adjacent to a big flat surface (like that on a TV), you are going to get a mid-bass emphasis as if the speaker were up against a wall. 2- I think it more natural for the sound to eminate from just below the screen than above it since most TV's built-in speakers are either to the sides of the TV screen or below it. Simply aiming the speaker towards you while leaving it on top of the TV doesn't cut it for me.
     
  8. WesleyHester

    WesleyHester Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Jim A. Banville about the center stand. They are infact becoming quite popular as I've seen more and more companies making them. I personally don't have the room for one though. I have mine on top of a RPTV and I'm using two rubber door stops to angle it toward the listening area. I have it placed just beyond flush with the front of the television so it hangs off just a tiny bit to get all of the sound from it without distortion. Also I'm lucky I'm still able to have the center and main speakers less than 2 feet (up and down) from one another.
     
  9. Jeff PB

    Jeff PB Agent

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    My solution to this issue was just ditch the center and run phantom
     
  10. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I was able to aquire a single stand which I used for my centre speaker. Like the original poster, I made the upgrade to FP so I had no choice. I haven't seen dedicated centre stands yet but I guess they exist out there.
     
  11. Dave Kalloch

    Dave Kalloch Stunt Coordinator

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  12. Dave Kalloch

    Dave Kalloch Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    For something as important as the center channel, I'd just as soon have one custom made. Sound Anchors and Tyler Acoustics would be two places I'd check with.
     
  14. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    You can purchase a pair of stands and place them side by side in front of your set. I purchased a pair of B&W stands to hold my HTM-2, they work very nice. I definitely recommend placing the center speaker in front, much better location than on top, IMO. [​IMG]
     
  15. Keith Barnett

    Keith Barnett Auditioning

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    I recently made the same change as Mike by moving the center from the top of my TV to a stand in front and below the screen, and I agree with all his comments. I to was wondering why I could not get the CC to sound right. Once I re positioned it I could not believe the difference. I think im going to have to watch a few of my favorite movies again so I can hear them the way they were intended to be heard.
     
  16. Robert G

    Robert G Stunt Coordinator

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    The HTF strikes again. Another great idea. I moved my center speaker to a stand(temporary) below the screen from on top of my Mits 65907(was aimed at listening position). WOW what a difference. I really beleive that many of the complaints against the center I have(B&W CC6)is due to improper placement. Now I need to find a stand that is the proper height to go just below my screen. The one picture above is a little on the low side. Thanks for this thread. Another cheap tweek. Unless I go crazy on the stand.[​IMG]
     
  17. Eric T

    Eric T Second Unit

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    I would love to do this myself, but putting the speaker in front of the TV is going to intrude into the room too much. My Mits WS is a really deep unit. Guess I'll have to wait until I get a FP [​IMG]
     
  18. KevinA

    KevinA Agent

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    ack, the position of my center will end up about 6 feet up from ground and about 2.5 ft. above my bookshelf speakers... really my only option for placement 'cause of the wife. :b oh well, at least i know to angle downwards now...:wink:
     
  19. Keir H

    Keir H Second Unit

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    I too after having my center on top of my my rptv put it on a small stand just in front of the tv about a foot out in front of the mains and 1.3 ft below the mains' drivers. I get much better balance and vocal clarity out of this configuration. Using a piece of foam to decouple it from the stand also does wonders for chesty male voices. Good luck everyone.
     
  20. joe rizzuto

    joe rizzuto Stunt Coordinator

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    would the lower placement of the cc matter as much for a smaller direct view set? i have a 35incher.

    also, i have a set of ikea speaker stands, the ones that aim your speakers up, they are angled and sit very close to the floor, do you think they would be ok for cc duty?
     

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