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Placement of centre channel

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone. Looking for some help on where to place my new centre channel for home theatre. I currently have 2.0 setup and unfortunately the best I can do in my current room is a 3.0 setup. My TV is on a stand in between the stereo speakers which are sitting on stands approximately 4ft off the floor. My issue is whether to place the centre speaker below the tv or above it. Placing it below would require a small shelf to be build to support the tv, which would raise the TV up about 8 to 10 inches and leave the centre speaker about 3 feet of the ground. Placing it above the TV would require a more complicated stand that could support the speaker above the TV. In that case, the centre speaker would be well above ear level. Can anyone help me out on which setup is preferred? I can post some pictures of the space when I get home tonight. Thanks for reading!
post #2 of 16
Sadly, both positions have problems, as you've noted. Placing the speaker on a shelf above the TV might be better. Having to look up because the TV is too high can cause a sore neck. Whichever you choose, the speaker should be tilted so that its tweeter points toward ear-height at the listening position.
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bike View Post

Hey everyone. Looking for some help on where to place my new centre channel for home theatre. I currently have 2.0 setup and unfortunately the best I can do in my current room is a 3.0 setup. My TV is on a stand in between the stereo speakers which are sitting on stands approximately 4ft off the floor. My issue is whether to place the centre speaker below the tv or above it. Placing it below would require a small shelf to be build to support the tv, which would raise the TV up about 8 to 10 inches and leave the centre speaker about 3 feet of the ground. Placing it above the TV would require a more complicated stand that could support the speaker above the TV. In that case, the centre speaker would be well above ear level. Can anyone help me out on which setup is preferred? I can post some pictures of the space when I get home tonight. Thanks for reading!

Post some pircutures please. Meantime you may look at my setup (in my sig) where I have all 3 fronts (LCR) above the TV. All are tilted and nudged off the shelf by about an inch. Tilting them is important so as to be on-axis with the seated listening position coz speakers have their widest frequency response and highest SPL (Sound Pressue Level) when on-axis. There's another factor called toe-in or angling. This is mostly important for the Front L&R speakers. Whether to do it or not should always depend on the maker's suggestion. Look up the manual of your speakers to see what they recommend. In my case Dali does not recommend angling, so as you can see my Front L&R speakers are parallel with the front wall. The Center speakers is also tilted facing the MLP (Main Listening Position) at seated ear height.
Edited by mogorf - 12/6/12 at 1:58pm
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input guys. I'll get some pictures up here soon.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Here are a couple pics of my setup. Not optimal, I know. Apologies for the image quality. I guess my best bet is to setup some sort of shelf so the centre speaker is above the TV and angle it down slightly.


post #6 of 16
Any way for you to get the AV combo out of the corner and set it up against the adjacent front wall?
post #7 of 16
Corner placement is not a bad thing acoustically.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post

Corner placement is not a bad thing acoustically.

Yup. I've used firing the audio across the room diagonally to obtain a more favorable acoustic environment in the past.
post #9 of 16
I don't think it's really necessary to suggest that one of the above posts is, uh, technically incorrect, besides being nearly incomprehensible and non responsive.

OP if you can find a non-destructivem inexpensive way to try both, it could be worthwhile. My center is below my TV, but the TV is not TOO high. Some have stated, IIRC,that they found above the video to provide a more seamless experience. But tilting the speakers, in either situation, can be important. Because the wavelengths are so short at typical tweeter crossover frequencies, a relatively few degrees off axis can significantly change the frequency response in that crossover region, causing frequencies that were supposed to add together from both tweeter and woofer/midrange to subtract from each other because they're not in the correct relative phase at the listening position.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses so far. I know it's not the best space but it's all I have at the moment. I have toyed with the idea of moving it all to the wall but it would cut into the room too much and all the cables would be exposed. JHAz - is your center channel at ear-level when you are sitting down? I think mine would be a bit below ear level and so I would have to tilt the speakers a bit. Either way, I'm thinking my best bet is positioning it above the TV and tilting it down slightly.
post #11 of 16
Assuming the CC's big enough, it's easier to put the TV on top of a CC so why not try that first? You may find the bass is a little heavy as the stand and screen act like walls to reinforce low frequencies. You'd hear a lesser effect if mounted above, but one room correction SW can deal with.

Conversely, if the CC's too small to fit under the TV... you need a larger CC! Just my opinion there, but a valid one... CC's should not be small speakers!

HAve fun,
Frank
post #12 of 16
But if the CC is acting as a stand, its top surface has to be horizontal, so its tweeter can't be tilted up to point toward the ears of the viewer.

With some speakers that'll be OK, but in others, there'll be a significant loss in the audibility of high frequencies.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

But if the CC is acting as a stand, its top surface has to be horizontal, so its tweeter can't be tilted up to point toward the ears of the viewer.
With some speakers that'll be OK, but in others, there'll be a significant loss in the audibility of high frequencies.

Agree.

Those with a projector and a screen can easily solve the problem by installing acoustically transparent screens, so the placement of their Center speaker can be right behind the screen for best dialog intelligibility in harmony with the picture itself.

But us, regular mortals, with flat screen TVs have to take careful measures when it comes to Center speaker placement. The two choices we have are: above or below the screen.

Below needs tilt up, above needs tilt down, all this, of course, to be done in order to face seated ear height for improved dialog intelligibility.

Owing to the fact that our human ears are most sensitive for vertical directionality of sounds at an angle from our eyes down to the ground, and loose this sensitivity when looking/facing upward, the placement of the Center above the screen is more advisable than below, coz in this case picture and sound integration as regards directionality will be smoother. This sensitivity issue derives from evolution when the cavemen had to have sensitive ears to spot those things that wanted to eat them, usually coming vis-a-vis on the ground. Nothing changed in our hearing mechanism for this matter ever since. smile.gif
post #14 of 16
In some TV viewing rooms, where the seating is all centered and some distance from the speakers, another option is to eliminate the center speaker entirely. Sometimes such a "phantom center speaker" can be quite effective. If seating is scattered around the room, though, a center speaker is needed to "anchor" the sound, especially dialog, at the TV. Otherwise it'll seem to come from the speaker closest to the seating.
post #15 of 16

Are you still looking for a solution? I had a similar issue due to the size of my speakers, and so i created a rear facing shelf at the top of my tv, that was held on using the screwholes on the back of the tv that were meant for wall mounting. All you need is some screws, two bits of racking which were about £2 each, a plank of wood, and then the shelving bits that slot in. See the pictures below. If you do it right, you never notice it, and the tv is nice and sturdy.

 

post #16 of 16

Just realised that I posted in a thread with the last comment over a year old, and there I was thinking I was in January 2013...

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