Unique Speaker Placement - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-13-2012, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey everyone, currently building my HT room, and ran into a couple of problems. What do you guys think of the following:

1. I have floorstanding speakers (Polk TSi 400) that used to be placed on the ground, but with my new set-up, with wall to wall, ceiling to floor cabinets where I'll place the TV, is it alright to place the floorstanding speakers on the cabinet, around 24 in above the ground? Since floorstanding speakers are suppose to be placed on the floor, I assume the drivers / tweeters are designed to send sound higher than their actual height.

2. I cannot place my surround speakers (for a 7.1) on the stands I made for them since there's no space. Is it okay mounting them by the ceiling? One concern I have is that my ceiling is 9ft high, so at a ear height of 4 ft about the floor, then the speakers are around 4-5ft higher than my ears.

3. My Onkyo NR709 can support wide fronts or high fronts. Would this be better than having a typical 7.1 speaker placement? Would it not matter as much if I have floorstanding speakers up front (and placed higher than the floor)?

4. Is it alright placing a sub under the table in the corner of the room? It's the most unobtrusive place I can place it without disturbing the walkway. Or, I can place it inside the cabinet (without a front cover), and make it a front firing sub, just worried that it'll cause vibrations / rumblings in the wood.

5. I have an extra Aura Bass Shaker. Is it worthwhile to place one in the sofa? I don't really like using the sub at full blast since I usually watch late at night and it can shake the walls and wake other people up.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-14-2012, 11:04 AM
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1. All speakers should be oriented so their tweeters are at ear height.

2 and 3. See #1 above.

4. The best place for a sub is where it gives the flattest response. The only way to determine that is to measure the low frequency response at high resolution as you experiment using appropriate software.

5. I have no suggestions about that, though I'd never use such a device.

Further reading:

How to set up a room
Subwoofer Placement

--Ethan

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-14-2012, 05:59 PM
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I have recently been configuring my speaker placement, so I've been doing a lot of research on the topic.

1. I agree with Ethan on this. Speakers should be set so their tweeters are at ear height. So, I'd avoid putting the front speakers anywhere but the floor.

2. Since you're using a 7.1 set up, are you referring to side surrounds or rear surrounds? Assuming side surrounds, they should be a foot or two above your ears at your listening position to diffuse the sound and prevent you from being able to localize them. I'm not sure what the ramifications of going higher are. I would reference Audyssey's forum. I've found a lot of great information there. I'll explain why I'm not addressing rear surrounds next.

3. I would suggest front wides. Research conducted by Audyssey has indicated that the human ear hears sounds in front of you better than they do sounds from behind you (seems pretty logical, right?). Additionally, the ears are better at hearing things on the same plane than from heights. So, this means that, in a 7 channel amp, adding speakers on the same plane (front wide) would give you the best use of the extra channels. Placing them in front of you and higher (front heights) wold be second best. Placing them behind you would be the third best option. This is why I did not address rear surrounds above.

4. Subs are supposed to be omnidirectional, so it shouldn't matter where you place it, you won't be able to localize the sound. However, that being said, location does have an impact on the way they sound. A popular way of determining the optimal location is to place the sub in your listening position, play a bass-y source on your system and crawl (literally) around your home theater to determine where the sub sounds best. Place it there. If that's a little too OCD for you, the corner will be fine, but it will sound boomier there, so it may require some tweaking.

5. I've never used one, but it can't hurt! If you don't use it, feel free to send it my way...
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-14-2012, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

1. All speakers should be oriented so their tweeters are at ear height.
2 and 3. See #1 above.
4. The best place for a sub is where it gives the flattest response. The only way to determine that is to measure the low frequency response at high resolution as you experiment using appropriate software.
5. I have no suggestions about that, though I'd never use such a device.
Further reading:
How to set up a room
Subwoofer Placement
--Ethan

I know that ideally, tweeters should be at ear level, however, would the impact be substantial if they're placed 5 ft higher? Is there's no other choice but to place them high up, are there rules that should be followed (ie. angle the speakers downward, straight forward, or straight down, etc)?
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-15-2012, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penti01 View Post

I know that ideally, tweeters should be at ear level, however, would the impact be substantial if they're placed 5 ft higher?

I completely disagree with the idea that tweeters need to be at ear height. It is far more important that they be oriented towards the listener in such a way that the high end has good balance with the rest of the audible range. I know of several systems including mine that mount the speakers in the room's soffit (in my case they sit on a sturdy bookshelf about 24" below the ceiling) with excellent results. This is a room with an approximate 9.5' ceiling. If I'm relaxing on the couch they are easily 5-6 feet above my head. Still sound great.

On occasion my AV system is used with a lot of people in the room. Since the speakers are mounted high, people's bodies don't block them from other people.

Recording studios have been using soffit mounted speakers for decades. One thing about the soffit - its close to the ceiling and that helps manage sound bouncing off the ceiling.

These articles talk about managing speaker mounting distances (mostly about walls behind the speakers because that is such a strong influence, but read on, please):

http://www.genelec.com/faq/acoustical/not-enough-bass/



http://www.genelec.com/learning-center/presentations-tutorials/placingloudspeakers/wallcancellation/



The point is that nearby planes, whether walls, floor or ceiling cause dips and managing the distances involved can be critical. Damping the surface tends to soften these effects. Absorptive materials on the ceiling are somewhat interchangeable with absorptive materials on the floor, but you can't put 2-4" thick absorbers on the floor nearly as easily as you can put them on the walls or ceiling.

Quote:
Is there's no other choice but to place them high up, are there rules that should be followed (ie. angle the speakers downward, straight forward, or straight down, etc)?

Yes, common sense - point the speakers at the listener(s) as required to balance the top end. IOW if your speakers tend to run a little hot, point them a little bit over the listener's heads, or something like that.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-15-2012, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Regarding the front wide speakers for a 7.1 system, would it work if I have the five up front and the other two at the back, around 45 degrees from the side and / or back (instead of being at the side), coz my main problem with the surround speaker is not the rear but rather the side ones.. Any suggestions on this?
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-16-2012, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I completely disagree with the idea that tweeters need to be at ear height. It is far more important that they be oriented towards the listener in such a way that the high end has good balance with the rest of the audible range.

Aw geez Arny, now look what you did. biggrin.gif

In the old days many studios did have the speakers high up, above the window from the control room into the live room. But these days designers put the speakers on either side of the window to keep the tweeters at a better height. This control room designed by Wes Lachot is typical of more modern designs:

lachot.jpg

I'll also mention that the problem with having speakers higher up and pointing down is that the on-axis angle changes as you move forward and back in your seat even a small amount. So the frequency balance arriving at your ears also changes.

--Ethan

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