Help! Can I put my center channel on the floor? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I am trying to purchase my first HT system. I have been researching the board for days and was going to start with an AVS123 or a SVS system and then wham!!! I found out the center channel measurements are too big to fit in the opening in my home theatre stand. So what do I do? Do I put the center channel on the floor under the stand or do I find a different system where the center channel fits? My opening is 16 3/4" wide by 6" high. It's kind of the chicken and the egg. I don't really want to get a new entertainment stand b/c I just bought this one. By the way, the tv is a KDS-R60XBR2, I have a Denon 1907 receiver, and the room is approx 11' x 18'. I want to do the right thing. I want to buy a system that is going to last me for a while. I was going to do 5.1 and then look at a HSU or a SVS sub. Thanks for the help.
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post #2 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonbryan View Post

Do I put the center channel on the floor under the stand or do I find a different system where the center channel fits?

If you mean literally on the floor...you can, but it won't sound very good. Actually, it'll probably sound like crap.

If you mean on a lower shelf, sure, but you'll probably have to fiddle with positioning to angle it correctly up towards the listening area.

Assuming that a stand won't work for you (since it would be right in front of the EC), you might want to look into placing the center on or above the TV. That would be a much better option than putting it on the floor.


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post #3 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 09:29 AM
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Like the other guy said...putting it on or near the floor is going to produce a pretty foul result. I've got mine about 2 feet high and pointed slightly upwards towards the LP (couch area)...the TV is an LCD mounted up high on the rackmount stand that I bought with it. The SVS SCS center is pretty huge but I've since learn that's pretty normal. If you can stand mount in front of the Ent. Center that might be an option...if you look through some of the gallery pics on this forum you'll probably gain some ideas on what other posters have done.


As far as a smaller speaker setup...I've never heard them myself but I think the HTD Middy compacts (search Home Theater Direct) are a bit smaller and might work well with your situation. The Level 2 line might be a good option too but I can't recall their size specs off hand. Most centers are going to be pretty wide that you'll see that isn't coming from a HTiB setup.
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post #4 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonbryan View Post

I am trying to purchase my first HT system. I have been researching the board for days and was going to start with an AVS123 or a SVS system and then wham!!! I found out the center channel measurements are too big to fit in the opening in my home theatre stand. So what do I do? Do I put the center channel on the floor under the stand or do I find a different system where the center channel fits? My opening is 16 3/4" wide by 6" high. It's kind of the chicken and the egg. I don't really want to get a new entertainment stand b/c I just bought this one. By the way, the tv is a KDS-R60XBR2, I have a Denon 1907 receiver, and the room is approx 11' x 18'. I want to do the right thing. I want to buy a system that is going to last me for a while. I was going to do 5.1 and then look at a HSU or a SVS sub. Thanks for the help.

If the speaker has spikes, or feet on it, and you can angle it towards the listener you could. Also, if you wanted to build a custom base that wouldn't affect it too much acoustically you could as well. I'm going to be using my center channel on the floor when I purchase one, but mine can be angled towards the listener's ears, and it will have spikes on it (i.e. - it won't be lying directly on the floor pointing at people's feet...).

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post #5 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

If the speaker has spikes, or feet on it, and you can angle it towards the listener you could. Also, if you wanted to build a custom base that wouldn't affect it too much acoustically you could as well. I'm going to be using my center channel on the floor when I purchase one, but mine can be angled towards the listener's ears, and it will have spikes on it (i.e. - it won't be lying directly on the floor pointing at people's feet...).

Getting the Watch/Watch2/Polaris Center? You *should* put it above a Puppy and angle it towards your head

OP, do you have a link to your ET, im not sure what to picture in my mind of how your setup looks like.
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post #6 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Would post a pic but wife has camera, ugh. How about these ideas:

SVS system with 5 SBS-01's including using 1 as a center channel on its side?
Ascends using HTM 200 as center channel on it's side- can do CBM 170's for L and R with another pair of HTM 200's for L and R rear
Aperion Intimus 422 set up? Or I can just do the 422 center and go w/ the 532 for the rest of the surround.
HSU- Ventriloquist package.

Can I mix and match speakers among the same brand like I referenced above? Can I use those bookshelf speakers as a center channel?

Any ideas are appreciated.
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post #7 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 10:36 AM
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You can also go without the center channel. Your room isn't large enough to notice the difference and you'll gain some amplifier headroom and if the front mains are of better quality than the center channel, you'll gain better sound.

Play movie scenes that are busy with front surround steering and try with and without the center channel. Just switch the receiver's center channel setting to none. If the center channel sounds better then place where the center channel where suits you best, but aim it up or down toward the listening position ear level.

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Originally Posted by nonbryan View Post

I am trying to purchase my first HT system. I found out the center channel measurements are too big to fit in the opening in my home theatre stand. So what do I do? Do I put the center channel on the floor under the stand or do I find a different system where the center channel fits? ...the room is approx 11' x 18'.

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post #8 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonbryan View Post

Would post a pic but wife has camera, ugh. How about these ideas:

SVS system with 5 SBS-01's including using 1 as a center channel on its side?
Ascends using HTM 200 as center channel on it's side- can do CBM 170's for L and R with another pair of HTM 200's for L and R rear
Aperion Intimus 422 set up? Or I can just do the 422 center and go w/ the 532 for the rest of the surround.
HSU- Ventriloquist package.

Can I mix and match speakers among the same brand like I referenced above? Can I use those bookshelf speakers as a center channel?

Any ideas are appreciated.

Tipping a bookshelf like the sbs-1 or Aperion 422 on its side is never a good idea. If that's the only other option, as has been suggested, you'd likely be better off going without a center at all.

From their website, it looks like the Ascend 200 would work as a center. So that may be your best bet...assuming, of course, that you like the sound of the Ascends.


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post #9 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 11:04 AM
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Why don't you use a center channel stand and put in in front of your XBR2. That's what I did and just bring out the L and R speakers a little further out in front of the TV.

Great TV BTW!
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post #10 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 11:04 AM
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Picking an unmatched center channel speaker is a mistake, but an even bigger mistake is placing the center much higher or lower than the left and right, and possibly the biggest goof is placing the center on or near the floor.

BTW, a two-way bookshelf tipped on it's side, while not ideal, usually has a better dispersion pattern than most horizontal mid/tweet/mid center channel speakers.

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post #11 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega View Post

Getting the Watch/Watch2/Polaris Center? You *should* put it above a Puppy and angle it towards your head

OP, do you have a link to your ET, im not sure what to picture in my mind of how your setup looks like.

Actually, it would be optimal to use a third Watt Puppy instead, but that would be just as impractical in my setup as the Watch Center on a stand. Wilson makes Puppy feet that can be used for floor setup of the center, so it will be good enough. Sure, it won't be the absolute best setup option, but it will work well enough not to be noticable if set up correctly.

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post #12 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

BTW, a two-way bookshelf tipped on it's side, while not ideal, usually has a better dispersion pattern than most horizontal mid/tweet/mid center channel speakers.

I'm really surprised to hear that. You've got boatloads more knowledge than I do on this, so I don't doubt it. Also, in the spirit of actually learning something here...is it just the lobing/combing that are the major "issues" with horizontal MTMs?


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post #13 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

Actually, it would be optimal to use a third Watt Puppy instead, but that would be just as impractical in my setup as the Watch Center on a stand. Wilson makes Puppy feet that can be used for floor setup of the center, so it will be good enough. Sure, it won't be the absolute best setup option, but it will work well enough not to be noticable if set up correctly.

The only "problem" I can think of is floor bounce first reflection for a low center channel placement. Do you think you will have a problem like this? I know some manufacturers build in something in their crossovers to account for floor first reflection of a floor mounted center, but I dont know if Wilson does this in their Watch.
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post #14 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonomega View Post

The only "problem" I can think of is floor bounce first reflection for a low center channel placement. Do you think you will have a problem like this? I know some manufacturers build in something in their crossovers to account for floor first reflection of a floor mounted center, but I dont know if Wilson does this in their Watch.

Unfortunately, I would have that problem with any speaker. I do have the floor well carpeted and padded though.

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post #15 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ssteel01 View Post

I'm really surprised to hear that. You've got boatloads more knowledge than I do on this, so I don't doubt it. Also, in the spirit of actually learning something here...is it just the lobing/combing that are the major "issues" with horizontal MTMs?


Scott

A 2-way bookshelf has more of a hemispherical radiation pattern than a d'Appolito array, which is not a problem until the d'Appolito is turned on it's side. Also, the distance beween the axes of the two drivers is closer than the axes of a typical 3-driver center. There is also more comb-filtering with a 3-driver center. This isn't to say they are bad, but sometimes a concession has to be made due to a video display sitting right where the speaker should go. The 3-driver center may also have a bit more headroom than a 2-driver speaker, so that is also a consideration.

I remain an advocate for three identical fronts, on an arc or inwall, at the same height, behind an acoustically transparent screen, and I am fortunate enough to have designed my theater that way. I understand that (as far as A/V is concerned) I don't live in the real world.

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post #16 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega View Post

The only "problem" I can think of is floor bounce first reflection for a low center channel placement. Do you think you will have a problem like this? I know some manufacturers build in something in their crossovers to account for floor first reflection of a floor mounted center, but I dont know if Wilson does this in their Watch.

The first reflection will be a problem, even with carpeting. The other problem will be that the tweeters in his L/R's will be about 40" off the floor, while tweeter in his CC will be about 10" off the floor. I don't understand paying $7K for a speaker and then laying it on the floor.

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post #17 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Great info and feedback thanks alot. Paul, and other gracious posters, would you say 1). go with the 3 similar speakers in the front or 2). no center channel -if I had to decide one way or the other?

Second,

It looks like I'm down to these systems-

Ascends - using 5 HTM 200's all the way around

SVS - using 5 SBS - 01's all the way around

Aperion Intimus 422 package

HTD - middy for center and level two bookshelves as remaining 4

Someone suggested a Velodyne front row set as well.

What qualifies as an unmatched center channel? If you stay within the same brand are you ok? Example would be Aperion Intimus 422 Center w/ Intimus 532 surround or does that qualify as unmatched b/c it needs to be in the same line?

Thanks.
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post #18 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 02:52 PM
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The only issue with the "phantom" center, (i.e., no center channel speaker), is that, to get the phantom effect, you need to sit directly between the two speakers. Otherwise the phantom image collapses to the side of the closest speaker. If more than one person will be watching at a time, only the persons sitting in the center will hear dialogue and other sounds in the center. If this is a consideration, you may want to opt for a center channel speaker.

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post #19 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 03:02 PM
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nonbryan,

a matched center is a center that is exactly the same as the fronts and placed in the exact same orientation as the fronts.

a compromised but typical center is one that uses the same drivers and crossovers as the front but placed sideways and sometimes has extra mid-driver.

Personally, I would not get a center channel or surrounds unless I could set them up correctly (as dolby suggests for example). Having the wrong center (eg non-matching) or overcompromising the center speaker (placement) many times leads to a sub-par listening experience -- usually worse than having no center at all.

I dont know what your Entertainment stand looks like, so I cannot really offer any more advice on that. Can you wall mount your TV? If this is a possibility, you can then put the center speaker oriented correctly on the top shelf (what your TV is on right now) so that it will be closer to the right height only requiring a small tilt towards your head.

Perhaps you can wall mount your Center above the TV angled down, perhaps you can wall mount your front 3 speakers angled down, depends how much freedom you have.
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post #20 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

The first reflection will be a problem, even with carpeting. The other problem will be that the tweeters in his L/R's will be about 40" off the floor, while tweeter in his CC will be about 10" off the floor. I don't understand paying $7K for a speaker and then laying it on the floor.

Craig

The first reflection is a problem for every speaker....

If the center speaker on the floor is aimed at the listening position ear height the problems will be negligible compared to that same speaker on a stand, since neither position is nearly as good as a third Watt Puppy 8 (and the Wilson Watch Center speaker itself is nowhere near as good as a Watt Puppy 8...). Both center channel positions are not in-line with the W/P8 height, so none of them will integrate any better than the other, except another W/P8. Both positions depend on the person setting them up to aim the tweeter at the ear height correctly.

Craig, you don't understand because you don't understand, not because there is any big difference between the two position choices I have with the Wilson Watch Center channel. The Watch Center is designed to be used on the floor with Puppy paws (speaker spikes) as well as on a stand, they market it that way (I assume they develop it that way as well). Acoustically it is not going to make a huge difference in the sound quality as long as it is aimed correctly to integrate at the listening position with the W/P8s.

To be exact, they aren't directly on the floor anyway, they are elevated a few inches above it on the speaker spikes (puppy paws...).

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post #21 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

The first reflection is a problem for every speaker....

If the center speaker on the floor is aimed at the listening position ear height the problems will be negligible compared to that same speaker on a stand, since neither position is nearly as good as a third Watt Puppy 8 (and the Wilson Watch Center speaker itself is nowhere near as good as a Watt Puppy 8...). Both center channel positions are not in-line with the W/P8 height, so none of them will integrate any better than the other, except another W/P8. Both positions depend on the person setting them up to aim the tweeter at the ear height correctly.

Craig, you don't understand because you don't understand, not because there is any big difference between the two position choices I have with the Wilson Watch Center channel. The Watch Center is designed to be used on the floor with Puppy paws (speaker spikes) as well as on a stand, they market it that way (I assume they develop it that way as well). Acoustically it is not going to make a huge difference in the sound quality as long as it is aimed correctly to integrate at the listening position with the W/P8s.

To be exact, they aren't directly on the floor anyway, they are elevated a few inches above it on the speaker spikes (puppy paws...).

Hmmm...based on the Wilson website, it looks like it's designed to be stand mounted. I don't see anything there that says it should be mounted on the floor. I also don't see any kind of compensatory switch for mounting it close to a boundary. Some speakers have these switches to compensate for on wall (i.e., close to a boundary) placements.

The first reflection will be *less* of a problem with the speaker tilted up, but it will still be a big problem. Obviously any reflection is a problem for any speaker, but the closer that speaker is to any boundary, the worse the SBIR (Speaker Boundary Interference) problem becomes. The reflection is earlier (smearing imaging) and higher in level (causing greater interference.) The further away from the boundaries a speaker is placed, the less SBIR you'll get. If you place a horizontally oriented speaker directly on the floor, (or inches above it on feet or "paws"), the first reflection off the floor will be so close and so early, you'll get significant constructive/destructive interference, (comb filtering) which will certainly not be "negligible".

I hope it's not also close to the front wall, 'cause then you have an additional boundary (and additional SBIR) to contend with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

Acoustically it is not going to make a huge difference in the sound quality as long as it is aimed correctly to integrate at the listening position with the W/P8s.

If you can't understand dialogue out of your $7K speaker, now at least you'll understand why. The only fix will be a large broadband absorber placed on the floor in front of the speaker. 2' x 4" of 4" acoustical cotton wrapped in fabric ought to do the trick. Maybe you could even mount the absorber on some "Puppy Paws" to improve the absorption.

It has been said many times on this forum: an average speaker, placed well, in a good acoustic space will sound better than a great speaker, placed poorly, in a bad acoustic space.

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post #22 of 22 Old 07-09-2007, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Hmmm...based on the Wilson website, it looks like it's designed to be stand mounted. I don't see anything there that says it should be mounted on the floor. I also don't see any kind of compensatory switch for mounting it close to a boundary. Some speakers have these switches to compensate for on wall (i.e., close to a boundary) placements.

They can be placed on the floor and have been placed on the floor before in previous reviews of the product. Review link.

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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

The first reflection will be *less* of a problem with the speaker tilted up, but it will still be a big problem. Obviously any reflection is a problem for any speaker, but the closer that speaker is to any boundary, the worse the SBIR (Speaker Boundary Interference) problem becomes. The reflection is earlier (smearing imaging) and higher in level (causing greater interference.) The further away from the boundaries a speaker is placed, the less SBIR you'll get. If you place a horizontally oriented speaker directly on the floor, (or inches above it on feet or "paws"), the first reflection off the floor will be so close and so early, you'll get significant constructive/destructive interference, (comb filtering) which will certainly not be "negligible".

The comb filtering will be just as bad between the floor placement and stand placement in terms of what is hitting the ear. The brain doesn't hear comb filtering in and of itself, it just combines it with the regular signal and hears a different timbre (specifically, the difference in timbre will be related to an average of the original direct sound and the reflected sound, based on their angle differences). It won't sound bad, just different (this information can be found on pages 143 and 386 of David Moulton's Total Recording). Since neither is going to be perfect, or at least as perfect as a third Watt Puppy, this is all niggling. Considering my particular situation, where I have the Puppy below the Watts on my mains, the close to floor placement will likely be a benefit by boosting the low frequencies of the Watch Center to levels it can not achieve on its own when far removed from the floor.

Quote:


I hope it's not also close to the front wall, 'cause then you have an additional boundary (and additional SBIR) to contend with.

It won't be close to the front wall. You can see for yourself what kind of placement I will have by looking at my HT thread. You have a rather simplified view of SBIR IMO, as you don't even take the frequency range of the Watch Center into account before deciding it will not work in this position. You also don't take into account that I might have already planned on treating the area around the speaker and EQing it as well if necessary. The most significant effect will be bass reinforcement, which in this case is easily fixed if it does not in fact end up helping the smaller ranged speaker in integrating with the larger ranged W/P8. Wilsons, BTW are touted as being very easy to place near boundaries, they are designed for that.

Quote:


If you can't understand dialogue out of your $7K speaker, now at least you'll understand why. The only fix will be a large broadband absorber placed on the floor in front of the speaker. 2' x 4" of 4" acoustical cotton wrapped in fabric ought to do the trick. Maybe you could even mount the absorber on some "Puppy Paws" to improve the absorption.

I happen to have materials already sitting in my boiler room to deal with any issues like this, should they occur. Thanks for your concern though....

Quote:


It has been said many times on this forum: an average speaker, placed well, in a good acoustic space will sound better than a great speaker, placed poorly, in a bad acoustic space.

How nifty, and to think, all you have to do is change the character of the acoustic space and the speaker will work almost anywhere you want it. I guess that quote doesn't really help you all that much.

"It is worse still to be ignorant of your ignorance."
-- Saint Jerome (374 AD - 419 AD)


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