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Best place for centre speaker  

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Where do most people place their centre speaker - above of below the screen?
post #2 of 8
I would guess that it would be best to try to have the tweeters on all 3 front speakers at the same height. Is that generally accepted, or maybe I'm wrong?

post #3 of 8
Originally posted by predator:
Behind the screen! The dialog then comes from proper location. Above or below is a compromise. It is a subtle thing but very important to realistic sound. Once you have heard dialog in it's proper location it's odd to hear dialog four feet from someone's mouth. If you can't put it behind then as close as possible and tilt it towards ear level in the prime seating area. Behind the screen! The dialog comes from proper location. Above and below is a compromise.

MY HT http://www.geocities.com/dhummm/

My $.02
Behind the screen assuming you have a front projection system and a perf screen. Even then, perf screen introduce some problems. If the center speaker is not properly placed behind the screen, reflections and resonances can be introduced which color the voice range, in particular. Additionally, perf screens have a high frequency loss so some equalization is sometimes necessary.

My experience has been that in a large room, say 20-30 feet in depth, a center speaker placed directly below a non-perf screen works quite well if you're seated 15-20 feet from the screen. At that distance it is much more difficult to localized the dialog as coming from below the screen.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ideally I'd like it behind the screen, but am concerned whether the sound will be muffled and highs lost.
post #5 of 8

Actually I have found that it is better to put the center speaker below the screen and tilt it towards the listening area. The speaker is difficult to localize and it is much closer to the correct plane than a speaker that is mounted above the screen. Above the screen also presents serious placement issues in most FPTV installations. For a RPTV I agree with you, above the screen (atop the TV) is best. The question here was about a screen so I presumed that a FPTV is being used.
post #6 of 8
I know there will be alot of people who disagree with me, but the best place for a center channel is in the TV. That's where the center channel is located in the soundstage. I use my Toshiba CW34X92 sound system for the center channel, and I am very pleased with it.
post #7 of 8
I had a HT with Dunlavy SC1/AVs as L,R and C behind a stewart perf screen. I loved it, but I do not pretend to have a particularly sophisticated ear.

If you do put speakers behind the screen (which is also aesthetically v wife friendly) then there is another interesting issue to consider. Many speakers need a certain amout of 'room to breath' so there is the question of how big the 'nooks' to house the speakers should be and whether these holes are baffled and if so how.

I'd be interested in people's views on this, particularly experienced installers who have done a lot of behind the screen installs.

PS I have a selfish reason, I moved but am already
already plotting my next theater


ps can a high end eq really solve the problem?

post #8 of 8
I am in the minority of HT nuts saying this, but I think the best place for a center speaker is back in the box, unless you have one of those 5-sat micro HT packages.

A good pair of stereo main speakers with the center set to "phantom" will serve you just fine
DD mixes too much sound into the center channel IMO, causing most centers to soudn awful, as they are already at a disadvantage to your mains having far fewer drivers, and horizontal placement which is often bad for dispersion.

I do not understand the comments I see above about dialogue coming "four feet to the right" from the screen.
A well set up an balanced stereo pair of speakers can project soudn from ANYWHERE in the plane along your screen, and hopefulyl anywhere in your room if things are really working.
When you listen to music on your stereo it should sound like the musicians are amassed in the center your room, not huddled in front of each speaker. Movies should be no different, and decent speakers should project dialogue properly.
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