Center Speaker Mount - AVS Forum
General Home Theater & Media/Game Rooms > Center Speaker Mount
gregzo's Avatar gregzo 08:47 AM 02-14-2011
Seems this is a difficult thing for most folks. I always rested my center on my big, deep Sony CRT WEGA. But now all TVs are thin..and getting thinner. So goes the center speaker mount problem. There are lots of options...many of which many folks find troubling.
NOTE: This only works with Base mounted flat panels. You will be using the rear VESA mount for the center speaker. So stop reading if you have a wall mounted TV.

I decided to mount the Center Speaker directly to the TV.

Here is my solution. I have a Panny 50" Plasma. I could not find anything commercial that puts a top shelf on the TV. There is one manufacturer out there that makes a mount that connects to the VESA mount on the rear of the TV with clips that hooks over the front/top of the TV for a center channel speaker. I was ready to get it...But when you pull the spec sheet and dimensional drawings...the uprights will not work on a 46" or larger panel. I am not sure what size they will work on? Probably 42" is okay? I also did not like the idea of the front clips. Seemed ugly to me...

I used what is called 80/20 aluminum extrusion. I cut two vertical posts are screwed into the VESA hole pattern (2 bolts in each vertical). As the 8mm mount holes are recessed into the back of the TV...I used fender washers to stand the vertical posts off the back of the TV. I cut two horizontal members that are attached to the vertical ones with corner brackets. The top horizontal is for speaker support and to add rigidity. The lower one can go anywhere and is just for strength. The top of each vertical post is tapped for a 1/4-20 bolt (Just tap the 80/20, it is already drilled for 1/4-20 tap). Have a piece of glass cut to your particular size requirements at any local glass house. I used 1/4" glass. They rounded the corners nicely and it looks great. I had them drill the glass in two places to allow the bolts to pass through at the each attach point. There is a rubber fender washer between the aluminum upright and glass. There is a rubber washer under the head of the flange head 1/4-20 bolts. So only rubber touches the glass at the two bolt/mount points (don't torque them, put Loctite on the threads to hold the bolts from vibration). There are four self-adhesive rubber isolation pads (all the same thickness as the rubber fender washers) on the bottom of the front of the glass that rests on the TV (Stick to the glass, not the TV). There are two on the bottom of the glass that rests on the top horizontal piece (plus the two fender washers that attach the glass to the uprights).
My speaker (DefTech ProCinema C2) is designed to rest on three points. I have each of the two front "feet" of the speaker resting in/on a rubber pad so the hard speaker does not rest directly on the glass. The single rear angle adjust screw has a rubber foot on the bottom already. (Or use another rubber adhesive pad if no rubber on the back leg)

All parts were purchased from McMaster Carr. A single 8' section of 80/20 1010 extrusion (1010 is 1" by 1", if you get 1515, you get 1.5" x 1.5"). The 8mm bolts to mount to the VESA pattern. There are corner brackets to mount the cross members to the vertical ones for strength. You will also need an attach kit to attach the corner brackets to the aluminum extrusion pieces.
Most everything else you could get at Home Depot...but I bought all through McMaster however. (Rubber feet, rubber washers, 1/4-20 bolts) You can cut the aluminum extrusion with any chop saw with a carbide wood blade. Non-ferrous blades are better, but carbide wood blade will work. Just keep the blade lubricated with saw wax and cut nice and slow. You want perfect square cuts. Lenghts of the horizontal members must be pretty accurate to match the VESA pattern. A little over-sized 8mm pass-through holes in the vertical extrusions allows for some mismatch on the horizontal length precision. Just get everything nice and level front to back and side to side (without the glass) before you tighten everything up. Then put on the glass.

It looks great and is a very clean installation. Much better than wall mounting IMHO. The VESA mount is designed to support the TV weight itself...depending on the size...that is over 70+ lbs. My DefTech C2 weighs 16 lbs. The hardware is 4 lbs. That is only 20 lbs on a mount system designed for much, much more. Obviously if you are running a very large center with a built in Subwoofer you may not want to do this.
Your mileage may vary....

Good Luck everyone.
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gregzo's Avatar gregzo 08:48 AM 02-14-2011
johnny15's Avatar johnny15 08:17 PM 02-15-2011
Nice work!! I like this a lot. Would't work for me as my DLP doesn't have the inserts for a wall/bracket mount.
I also like how the aluminum could give you a place to hide your speaker wire!
Spaceman's Avatar Spaceman 08:28 PM 02-15-2011
Nice job. Looks sharp.
MrBobb's Avatar MrBobb 11:17 AM 02-16-2011
Good job. I too would say no to clips.
B0)'s Avatar B0) 04:32 AM 03-29-2011
This is great! I will build such a shelf after my new plasma set arrives, a Samsung 59" D7000.

In the short term, as I build this shelf,, I would like to use a platform or box to elevate the new plasma TV enough to clear my center speaker -- about 8" in height. Can someone suggest something along these lines that is inexpensive and not hideous?

hoffz31's Avatar hoffz31 12:19 PM 01-17-2012
I like your center channel bracket a lot. I was wondering if you mounted your front right and left speakers on the wall or speaker stands. I was thinking about building a bracket similar to yours that held all three speakers.

LT73's Avatar LT73 10:22 AM 05-18-2012
Very interesting idea man. The really is an excellent DIY, and an excellent share. Makes me wonder (as someone else mentioned), why this couldn't be done with the L/R & C.
Scout's staff's Avatar Scout's staff 12:38 PM 05-18-2012
Originally Posted by LT73 View Post

Very interesting idea man. The really is an excellent DIY, and an excellent share. Makes me wonder (as someone else mentioned), why this couldn't be done with the L/R & C.

Great idea and clean implementation of the shelf.

There could be a couple of issues with trying to fit all 3 speakers on top of the TV. (1) Most main speakers are not shielded like center speakers and could/would cause picture interference, (2) Combined weight of all the speakers may be too much and (3) I would think you would want some separation between your speakers to create the proper front sound stage.
gregzo's Avatar gregzo 09:55 AM 11-29-2012
I know these question about L/R speakers were asked a long while ago...sorry for not looking back in a while.
I have old 1987 Snell Ci speakers. These are large floor standing speakers. I LOVE these speakers!!! There simply is mounting these to anything!!!

I would agree I persaonnly would not mount my L/R to the TV even if I had small speakers. Not enough separation. I do not think it would look clean. Maybe implement the glass shelf idea on the walls next to the TV would give a nice clean integrated/uniform look to the system.

Good Luck.
poison5151's Avatar poison5151 10:25 AM 01-04-2013
First of all, I'd like to thank the original poster, gregzo, for his write up which inspired me to put together my own mount, with several modifications. Here are some pictures, with the details after the jump:

As you can see, there are several changes from the original design. I am using a Klipsch RC-62II center, which has a depth of 12.8" and weighs ~ 30 lbs. Since the rear of the speaker is supported by a single foot which applies force to the rear center of the glass, only supporting the shelf from the front and center would be quite haphazard. Imagine pushing down on the very rear of the shelf - it would want to lift away from the front and tilt back, with the center bar as the pivot. To combat this tendency, I added two short bars which extend to the rear of the glass to support the back corners, while eliminating the unnecessary lower cross bar. I also did not drill holes or use screws to support the glass shelf. Simply sitting it on rubber feet provides more than enough friction to keep it in place. This also matches the rest of the media center (TV and A/V equipment stands use glass shelves that sit on rubber feet).

In order to put this together, I needed to place 3 separate orders: McMaster-Carr for hardware, Elite Custom Glass for the glass, and 80/20 (through a local distributor). The TV, by the way is a 60" Pioneer PRO-150FD, which has a 850x500mm mounting hole pattern.

Let's start with the 80/20, the hardest part. I actually had all the pieces machined rather than doing this myself, for higher precision and a more finished look. I used metric 25 series profiles (25x25mm), which made working with the dimensions quite a bit easier. There are 2 vertical bars, 1 horizontal cross bar, and 2 short cantilever bars, with the associated hardware. The horizontal cross bar is 825mm long - the centers of the vertical bars are 850mm apart and we need to subtract 12.5mm from each side for the additional width of the bars themselves. It only needs one T-slot, facing down. For the vertical bars, I measured from the center of the bottom mounting hole to the top of the TV. Then, we need to subtract 25mm from this length, because we are sitting the 25mm wide cantilever bars on top of the vertical bars. We also need to add 25mm to length to account for the bar extending down past the center of the bottom mounting hole. As you may notice, these cancel out, so just use the original measurement. For me, this resulted in a length of 688mm. Two T-slots are needed, one facing the rear of the TV (to attach the cantilever bars) and one facing the inside (to attach the horizontal bar). I also had 11 mm drill holes machined (at 25mm and 525mm from the bottom). The short cantilever bars (extending toward the rear of the shelf) are probably the most difficult measurement. I measured from the front of the TV, where the glass shelf would "start" to an imaginary vertical plane flush with mounting holes on the back of the TV, where the cantilever bars "start" (working towards the rear of the TV). We subtract this measurement from the depth of the shelf, and, allowing for some overhang, subtract about another 1/4". You also need to account for the thickness of the standoff washer, so subtract another 3mm. For me, this resulted in a length of 205mm. Only one T-slot is needed, facing down. Throwing in some endcaps and gussetted corner brackets, plus black anodizing on everything, and here is my 80/20 order:

Next, the hardware. We'll need thick washers to sit the bars slightly off the rear of the TV, thin washers that go under the head of the mounting screw, mounting screws, and rubber feet. The mounting screws are M8 socket head cap screws. Pioneer recommends 12-18mm of thread engagement, and between the head of the screw and the mounting hole, we have a thin washer (1.5mm), a thick washer (3.5mm), and the aluminum bar (25mm). So allowing for 15mm of thread engagement (leaves room for error), we arrive at a 1.5+3.5+25+15 = 45mm long screw. The washers are trivial, we just need to worry about the inside diameter clearing the thickness of the screw (8.3mm). You can use whichever rubber feet suit your fancy. Here is my McMaster-Carr order:

Finally, the glass, the easiest part. I chose a depth of 13" to accommodate the 12.8" deep speaker with some room to spare. As far as the width, the mounting holes are ~33.5" apart. Allowing for the added width of the vertical bars (12.5mm x 2) and some overhang (about 1/4", apologies for mixing dimensions here), I arrived at 35" of width. I ordered a 35" x 13" x 1/4" tempered, black piece of glass with a flat edge polish, to match the TV stand.

I placed four rubber feet spaced across the length of the horizontal bar, two at each of the back corners, and four on the glass itself (the edge that sits on the TV).

And there you have it folks. Putting this all together took about 15 minutes and is easier than assembling any piece of IKEA furniture. Doing extensive research of the 80/20 catalog (first time using the stuff), and triple-checking all the measurements was by far the biggest pain. I hope that this post helps and encourages someone else to do the same thing and saves them a bit of effort! Feel free to ask any questions you might have ...
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