Center speaker placement options - Ascend Horizon - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-28-2012, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm about to take the plunge and order Ascend Sierra Towers and a Horizon. My listening space is far from optimal in many ways (like having to place surrounds right next to the couch), but my main problem right now is figuring out where and how to place the center speaker. As you can see, neither the TV nor the center can be wall-mounted, as there is no wall behind them.

xKgCds.jpg

Some dimensions:

Horizon center: 11" x 23" x 12.5" HWD.
“Compact” Horizon center: 8" x 26" x 14.5" HWD.

TV stand: 23" x 60" x 22.5" HWD.
TV: 32” H with base.
Window ledge: 40" H, 22" D.

Sanus SF30 stands : 30” x 11.5” x 14.5” HWD, 6” x 6.5” WD top.
Sanus SFC18 stand: 18” x 12” x 15” HWD, 8” x 14” WD top.

Ideas I've gone through so far:

1) Order a custom low-profile Horizon and fit it on a shelf in the TV stand, where my current center is. Cons: quite a bit more expensive, would barely fit and the top 1" of front baffle would be blocked by TV stand's metal frame, no space to angle the center upward.

2) Get a new TV stand, which can accommodate a regular Horizon. Cons: again expensive, the only ones that exist would place the center very close to the floor.

3) Put a center speaker stand in front of the TV stand. Cons: not enough space, would block the doors.

4) Mount the TV on a free-standing BDI Arena 9972 mount and put it behind the TV stand. Place the Horizon on the top of the TV stand. Cons: TV screen would be about 12" above the current ideal viewing position, would have to be tilted forward and would also overlap the window more.

5) Place the Horizon on top of two 30" Sanus SF30 stands behind the TV and on top of the TV stand, use Auralex MoPADs or similar to angle it forward. Possibly use larger top platforms from Sanus SFC18 (8"x14" instead of 6"x6.5") for stability. Cons: TV would have to be moved almost to the front edge of the TV stand to accommodate the Horizon behind it.

6) Place the Horizon on top of two On-Stage SMS6000-P Studio Monitor Stands extended to 59". Place the stands behind the TV stand and in front of the window ledge. Use Auralex MoPADs or similar to angle the Horizon forward. Cons: very tall stands possibly unstable, would have to move the TV stand 10" forward to fit the bases of the speaker stands behind it.

7) Place the Horizon on top of one or even better two 18" Sanus SFC18 (rotated 90 degrees if two are used). Place the stand(s) behind the TV on top of the window ledge. Use Auralex MoPADs or similar to angle the Horizon forward. Cons: the front baffle of the speaker would be 10" behind the plane of the TV screen with the speaker's lower edge only 3-4" above the TV. I could use 4" taller Sanus SFC22, but then the center would have to be angled forward even more than 8 degrees that I'm comfortable with.

8) Add about 6" to the top of the TV stand legs, enough to fit an angled up regular Horizon on the center speaker shelf, where my current center is. Use Auralex MoPADs or similar to angle the Horizon up 8 degrees. The TV height would be borderline acceptable without having to get a tilting mount, as the vertical viewing angle would be about 4 degrees. Cons: will require some precision band sawing to get the tops of 4 legs level.

I was very excited about option 7 until I realized how far behind the TV the center would sit. Now I'm leaning towards option 5, which seems almost ideal from the sound quality perspective. My concern is that the glass top of the TV stand is rated for 200lb. The TV is 60lb and the Horizon plus stands would be another 80lb even before filling them with sand, so that might be getting a bit too close to the max weight rating for my comfort. Also, the whole structure might be a bit unstable in this earthquake-prone area. Option 8 also seems good.

Am I missing any other possible placements? Would love any sort of input.
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-28-2012, 03:26 PM
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I put my Horizon on top of my stand and worked everything else around it, although I had the benefit of a wall mounted (and adjustable height) display. Doing this allowed me to have the center closer to ear level and vertically aligned with the Sierra Towers. If you could fabricate some sort of wooden box or stand that the Horizon could fit inside while also supporting the TV, would it put the display too high? If so, you might be able to shorten the stand legs a few inches.

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post #3 of 8 Old 11-28-2012, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by holt7153 View Post

I put my Horizon on top of my stand and worked everything else around it, although I had the benefit of a wall mounted (and adjustable height) display. Doing this allowed me to have the center closer to ear level and vertically aligned with the Sierra Towers. If you could fabricate some sort of wooden box or stand that the Horizon could fit inside while also supporting the TV, would it put the display too high? If so, you might be able to shorten the stand legs a few inches.

Thanks for this suggestion; I've thought about a custom riser too. However, it would raise the TV at least 13" and definitely require a mount that can tilt forward, at which point I'm back to the BDI Arena floor-standing mount and no longer need to put the TV on top of the riser anyway. As you said, I could shorten the legs, but that would require taking apart the whole stand and would probably be more work than my newly added option 8.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-29-2012, 08:44 AM
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I have a similar problem as you, although, I have the Sierra center, (i am looking to sell my Sierra center and upgrade to the Horizon). I have a really deep 73" Mitsubishi rear projection DLP display, which makes this even harder. What I am planning on doing is fabricating a custom shelf on my wall to support my massive Mitsubishi tv, tilted down, and will using a regular speaker stand in the middle down below the shelf that houses the TV, and then moving to an equipment rack in the rear of the room, which will make a very clean looking setup because it will eliminate the need for an ugly, cluttered TV stand. I am not sure if I explained this well enough for you to get a mental image, but trust me when I say that it will look much better.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-29-2012, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I have a similar problem as you, although, I have the Sierra center, (i am looking to sell my Sierra center and upgrade to the Horizon). I have a really deep 73" Mitsubishi rear projection DLP display, which makes this even harder. What I am planning on doing is fabricating a custom shelf on my wall to support my massive Mitsubishi tv, tilted down, and will using a regular speaker stand in the middle down below the shelf that houses the TV, and then moving to an equipment rack in the rear of the room, which will make a very clean looking setup because it will eliminate the need for an ugly, cluttered TV stand. I am not sure if I explained this well enough for you to get a mental image, but trust me when I say that it will look much better.

Makes sense to me. Unfortunately, an AV rack is not an option for me because of space constraints, so I'm stuck with "an ugly, cluttered TV stand". I'm trying to avoid custom shelving as well. Good luck with your upgrades!
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-20-2013, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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A belated follow-up. I ended up extending the legs of the TV stand by 5". Apparently, the manufacturer changed the thickness of the corner posts after I bought the stand, so the extension are a bit thicker than the original legs. The center is angled up 4 degrees with Auralex foam wedges from a ProPADs kit. I might add another layer to get the angle to 8 degrees.

Stock TV stand doesn't tilt, so the vertical viewing angle is a bit suboptimal, but I'm not seeing any extra blooming or contrast issues. The right tower is about 1.5' from the wall, an unfortunate compromise due to overall room layout.

Satin espresso Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers / Horizon with RAALs, Rythmik F15HP, Denon 4311CI, Sony XBR-55HX929:

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-20-2013, 11:47 AM
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Looks great.

How does it all sound?

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post #8 of 8 Old 05-20-2013, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cschang View Post

Looks great.

How does it all sound?

Surprisingly good for such a difficult untreated space; Dexter Grodon doesn't seem unhappy. Audyssey XT32 helps quite a bit, however I do need to spend more time playing with Audyssey Pro and REW.
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