Front height speakers - AVS Forum

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SubaruB4's Avatar SubaruB4
05:28 AM Liked: 30
post #1 of 22
10-20-2012 | Posts: 1,002
Joined: Dec 2006
I don't really see too much talk about this but what type of speakers would be suited for this and does it really add much to be really noticeable?
boardinguy100's Avatar boardinguy100
12:52 PM Liked: 12
post #2 of 22
10-21-2012 | Posts: 94
Joined: Mar 2012
I've recently added front heights and I think they make a difference. I first tried smaller satellite speakers which really didn't do much. Then, after input from other forum member I tried bookshelf speakers which did make a difference. I'm currently running a 7.2 setup with Energy RC10's as heights and I really like it:D
lovinthehd's Avatar lovinthehd
02:01 PM Liked: 971
post #3 of 22
10-21-2012 | Posts: 7,217
Joined: Dec 2007
I've tried front heights a little bit when I went to front speakers on stands instead of mounted at the wall/ceiling junction as I already had. I was using Ascend HTM200SEs for the front height since they were already mounted at the time (using Sierra 1s as L/C/R) and they were good and then I briefly experimented with some Ascend170SEs in the front height position and liked them better (except that my mounts weren't quite up to the task of the larger speaker so eventually took the front heights out as generally I was still liking the rear surrounds better,, but would have left them in place had I had a processor that could do all 9 channels at once), but then as standalone speakers I like the 170SEs better. One factor when I used front heights was that sometimes the direction of sounds weren't quite right but overall I didn't try for a very long time, but am thinking about putting the 170SEs back up there, maybe as wides this time to see the difference (and easier to mount/place to an extent).
SubaruB4's Avatar SubaruB4
03:50 PM Liked: 30
post #4 of 22
10-21-2012 | Posts: 1,002
Joined: Dec 2006
Well in my case because my receiver Denon AVR 1612 is not native 7.1 I would need a amp for that I mean do you still think it's worth it? I wish I could find someplace that demos something like this.
boardinguy100's Avatar boardinguy100
04:34 PM Liked: 12
post #5 of 22
10-21-2012 | Posts: 94
Joined: Mar 2012
Depends on if you want to invest in a marginal difference in sound quality. I should clarify my original response. I could tell a difference and I would qualify it as a little more than subtle like it was with my satellite speakers. Others will tell you that they don't hear much at all while others like it. I had the extra speakers and when I upgraded to my Onkyo 818 which does 9.2 (with an external amp) it was a no brainer. I tried lots of movies and went back and forth between the various listening modes and ultimately settled on DTS NEO X as the listening mode of choice. Using heights just sound better to me. In other words I really enjoy it but if I had to buy an amp or upgrade my AVR for it I probably wouldn't. Hope that helps:)
SubaruB4's Avatar SubaruB4
04:48 PM Liked: 30
post #6 of 22
10-21-2012 | Posts: 1,002
Joined: Dec 2006
Yeah this is where I'm getting at, most people I hear say it does good with rain and stuff but it seems like bookshelf speaker sizes are pretty much needed?
boardinguy100's Avatar boardinguy100
05:34 PM Liked: 12
post #7 of 22
10-21-2012 | Posts: 94
Joined: Mar 2012
I think it depends on what speakers you already have. For example if you already have sattelite speakers where the crossovers are the same or similar then it would make sense to stick with that. If you already are using bookshelf that a higher quality speaker would be better. I went through this same scenario and others on this forum helped me. As an example I still have a set of Energy micros left over from my last upgrade. I was thinking of using them for my rear(not side surround) and going 9.2. Some might think its over kill but my room and avr support it so why not. The issue would be,if I understand crossovers correctly that this wouldn't be wise as my other speakers are much larger and have lower frequency response. The micros are set @ 150hz wheras the LCR are @ 60 and the front and side surround speakers are @ 80hz. Sorry for the long winded response but I was advised by others to go with the higher quality speaker when possible. I managed to mount my RC10's (front Height)myself with a DIY bracket and I really like it.
boardinguy100's Avatar boardinguy100
05:39 PM Liked: 12
post #8 of 22
10-21-2012 | Posts: 94
Joined: Mar 2012
As far as how it sounds, I think it makes the soundstage fuller. It seems diminished somewhat when I take it out of DTS NEO X mode and just listen to say Dolby Digital. Also speaker placement makes a difference as well.
lovinthehd's Avatar lovinthehd
07:52 PM Liked: 971
post #9 of 22
10-21-2012 | Posts: 7,217
Joined: Dec 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by SubaruB4 View Post

Well in my case because my receiver Denon AVR 1612 is not native 7.1 I would need a amp for that I mean do you still think it's worth it? I wish I could find someplace that demos something like this.

Depends on how much you want to spend on the amp. I already had some amps that I employed to supplement the avr's front channels anyways, so I could take advantage of running both rear surrounds and front heights (avr would change speakers according to 7 ch format as long as all were hooked up, just couldn't run all 9 at same time as my avr processed only 7 channels....altho I did consider going to an Onkyo 818 that is native 7 but can do 9 with outboard amps....). I think I like 7 channel better than 5, but only if I was upgrading anyways would I have done it over 5....
SubaruB4's Avatar SubaruB4
08:47 PM Liked: 30
post #10 of 22
10-21-2012 | Posts: 1,002
Joined: Dec 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by boardinguy100 View Post

I think it depends on what speakers you already have. For example if you already have sattelite speakers where the crossovers are the same or similar then it would make sense to stick with that. If you already are using bookshelf that a higher quality speaker would be better. I went through this same scenario and others on this forum helped me. As an example I still have a set of Energy micros left over from my last upgrade. I was thinking of using them for my rear(not side surround) and going 9.2. Some might think its over kill but my room and avr support it so why not. The issue would be,if I understand crossovers correctly that this wouldn't be wise as my other speakers are much larger and have lower frequency response. The micros are set @ 150hz wheras the LCR are @ 60 and the front and side surround speakers are @ 80hz. Sorry for the long winded response but I was advised by others to go with the higher quality speaker when possible. I managed to mount my RC10's (front Height)myself with a DIY bracket and I really like it.
Right now I have satellite speakers but will be moving to bookshelfs in a few, the thing would be mounting them that high and the angle and my Frq response is why I don't think the satellite speakers for the front height would be good

Quote:
Originally Posted by boardinguy100 View Post

As far as how it sounds, I think it makes the soundstage fuller. It seems diminished somewhat when I take it out of DTS NEO X mode and just listen to say Dolby Digital. Also speaker placement makes a difference as well.

I can do the front height but none of that extra 9.1 or anything else, space issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Depends on how much you want to spend on the amp. I already had some amps that I employed to supplement the avr's front channels anyways, so I could take advantage of running both rear surrounds and front heights (avr would change speakers according to 7 ch format as long as all were hooked up, just couldn't run all 9 at same time as my avr processed only 7 channels....altho I did consider going to an Onkyo 818 that is native 7 but can do 9 with outboard amps....). I think I like 7 channel better than 5, but only if I was upgrading anyways would I have done it over 5....
What type of amp would you use anyways for this?
KidHorn's Avatar KidHorn
06:58 AM Liked: 238
post #11 of 22
10-22-2012 | Posts: 2,962
Joined: Nov 2003
I have a denon 4311 set to dolby plIIx and audyssey dsx with 5.1 sources and set to dolby plIIz with 2 channel sources. All I ever hear is diffuse foreground noises. I guess it expands the soundstage, but I've never had the experience of something sounding like it was over my head or higher up than the fronts and center. I don't think the type of speaker is the issue. I think it's that there's almost no content designed to be played on height speakers.
SteveCallas's Avatar SteveCallas
09:38 AM Liked: 43
post #12 of 22
10-22-2012 | Posts: 6,863
Joined: Jun 2004
I went from 7.2 to 9.2 and I liked the difference - as has been stated, the size of the soundstage grows and the "surround" in surround sound improves. I first tested with some small satellites I had laying around from years ago, and the effect was pleasant, so I ended up buying some Boston bookshelves to go with the rest of my Boston setup. I'd love to have gone with some towers, but the mouting would have been really difficult. Due to my subwoofers being so tall, I just positioned the bookshlves on top of the subs, one just inside each corner of the room. I often wonder why this wouldn't have been the preferred position - rather than choosing between WIDE speakers and HEIGHT speakers, using a high mounting at the edges of the front wall gives you the chance to due some really neat things in the mix.
Quote:
I think it's that there's almost no content designed to be played on height speakers
Ehh. DVDs rarely if ever have discrete rear surround channels in the mix, yet layering PLIIx over DD and DTS 5.1 makes a noticeable improvement in my system without just repeating the side surrounds. In the same respect, layering PLIIz over 5.1 or 7.1 sources makes a nice improvement without just repeating a channel.
MuaySteve's Avatar MuaySteve
12:26 PM Liked: 23
post #13 of 22
10-22-2012 | Posts: 507
Joined: Aug 2007
I have an all Energy RC setup for my mains and surrounds. I setup a pair of Energy CR-10's (which are bi/dipole) as front height speakers because I was able to get them real cheap, and I liked the idea that they mount flush to the wall and are angled down naturally. The affect is somewhat minimal. I think its better for atmospheric sounds like the sandstorm in MI: Ghost protocol, but actually takes away some of the directional que's from the surrounds as they duplicate a lot of what the surround speakers are playing. I am now thinking that I will switch to RC-10's which I can point directly to the seating positions.

The best advice I was given (from Batpig I think) is to disconnect everything else and listen to a few favorite movie scenes with just the heights connected to get a better understanding of what your heights are doing.

Overall I'm not sure I would go out of my way to do this setup again, but I will try it with RC-10 bookshelves this winter.
SubaruB4's Avatar SubaruB4
01:09 PM Liked: 30
post #14 of 22
10-22-2012 | Posts: 1,002
Joined: Dec 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuaySteve View Post

I have an all Energy RC setup for my mains and surrounds. I setup a pair of Energy CR-10's (which are bi/dipole) as front height speakers because I was able to get them real cheap, and I liked the idea that they mount flush to the wall and are angled down naturally. The affect is somewhat minimal. I think its better for atmospheric sounds like the sandstorm in MI: Ghost protocol, but actually takes away some of the directional que's from the surrounds as they duplicate a lot of what the surround speakers are playing. I am now thinking that I will switch to RC-10's which I can point directly to the seating positions.
The best advice I was given (from Batpig I think) is to disconnect everything else and listen to a few favorite movie scenes with just the heights connected to get a better understanding of what your heights are doing.
Overall I'm not sure I would go out of my way to do this setup again, but I will try it with RC-10 bookshelves this winter.

Hmm I was just watching MI: Ghost Protocol last night, I think I know what to do.. I think I will get this amp here http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=302-601

And when I replace my LCR I will mount two speakers up just to see I would only be out of $99 but I can use the amp for something else
lovinthehd's Avatar lovinthehd
08:10 PM Liked: 971
post #15 of 22
10-22-2012 | Posts: 7,217
Joined: Dec 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Depends on how much you want to spend on the amp. I already had some amps that I employed to supplement the avr's front channels anyways, so I could take advantage of running both rear surrounds and front heights (avr would change speakers according to 7 ch format as long as all were hooked up, just couldn't run all 9 at same time as my avr processed only 7 channels....altho I did consider going to an Onkyo 818 that is native 7 but can do 9 with outboard amps....). I think I like 7 channel better than 5, but only if I was upgrading anyways would I have done it over 5....
What type of amp would you use anyways for this?[/quote]

I used a pair of Carver M500t's I had, running the L/R off one and the center on the other. The amp you mention is an integrated amp, my amps were just power amps. Should work fine once you figure out the volume setting before running room correction.
SubaruB4's Avatar SubaruB4
01:41 PM Liked: 30
post #16 of 22
05-12-2013 | Posts: 1,002
Joined: Dec 2006
Crazy question I haven't done anything yet because I'm still a little unsure.. but why do people use bookshelfs for the front heights? can a satellite speaker be used instead?
Geoff4RFC's Avatar Geoff4RFC
08:13 AM Liked: 1366
post #17 of 22
05-13-2013 | Posts: 3,703
Joined: May 2010
Yes, you can use satellites, however, power amps are the way to go. Check your budget. Maybe start over from scratch i.e; new AVR with pre-outs for a 7.2 configuration.
Goat1's Avatar Goat1
12:27 PM Liked: 26
post #18 of 22
05-13-2013 | Posts: 326
Joined: Sep 2012
1st of all ,you can't just throw height speakers up and think your good. Especially the guys that say they can't tell a difference. You have to run audyssey,use and spl meter to dial them in and use PLII height or Audyssey DSX setting,otherwise they won't even be on! They do make a significant difference. If your using small satellite speakers,you might not get enough sound out of them. But if you use matching speakers,or bookshelf speakers,you will absolutely hear a difference. The dialog comes from the center and the height speakers. Now is sounds like the whole tv screen is filled with dialog. You need to match the sound level of the center with the height speakers or it won't matter.
DigitalJackson's Avatar DigitalJackson
11:09 PM Liked: 14
post #19 of 22
06-02-2013 | Posts: 143
Joined: Jun 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by SubaruB4 View Post

I think I will get this amp here http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=302-601

I have a Marantz AV 7005 and have decided I want to try height/wide speakers. I was going to add a Emotiva UPA 5 channel amp for the height and wide channels but seems like a waste of money to have dedicated amp power when the AV 7005 will only run height OR wide, not both at once. The Audio Source AMP100 switchable amp seems like it might be a good solution. Has anyone tried to use this amp in a similar situation? If I understand correctly, I could hook up both height and wide inputs from the AV 7005 since AMP100 has dual inputs, then I can use the A/B speaker selector on the AMP 100 to switch between height/wide speakers?
kaiforce's Avatar kaiforce
08:29 PM Liked: 32
post #20 of 22
03-02-2014 | Posts: 175
Joined: Nov 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goat1 View Post

1st of all ,you can't just throw height speakers up and think your good. Especially the guys that say they can't tell a difference. You have to run audyssey,use and spl meter to dial them in and use PLII height or Audyssey DSX setting,otherwise they won't even be on! They do make a significant difference. If your using small satellite speakers,you might not get enough sound out of them. But if you use matching speakers,or bookshelf speakers,you will absolutely hear a difference. The dialog comes from the center and the height speakers. Now is sounds like the whole tv screen is filled with dialog. You need to match the sound level of the center with the height speakers or it won't matter.

Woah, dialogue comes out of front heights! I had no idea of this greatness!!! Movies must sound insane with front heights..... eek.gif
dowop's Avatar dowop
01:34 AM Liked: 15
post #21 of 22
03-03-2014 | Posts: 395
Joined: Dec 2008
^^^^^
Yes Sir, Onkyo calls it Screen Centered Dialogue & I think Yamaha calls it presence or Dialogue Lift.
whiter's Avatar whiter
01:46 PM Liked: 15
post #22 of 22
04-23-2014 | Posts: 36
Joined: Mar 2010
Just found this thread because I have a couple of nice speakers left over and my amp can do front heights so I was wondering "what on earth is it for to begin with??" And now I'm wondering "Why don't I ever see front heights anywhere!??? It sounds like a MUST HAVE!" I love this forum. Going to figure out how to hook my speakers (Infinity Kappa Video Center 2) high up to the wall. Must be something standard available for that...
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