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Speaker proximity vs. sound-stage/sound-imaging

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I own the economical Polk Audio RM 6750 5.1 setup. Because of moving arrangements, I'm having to compress layout of my home theater to the use of a very small TV (23" diagonal). I desire to retain a 45 degree viewing arc as with my last setup (a full blown front projector with larger speakers), which means I'm sitting 2' away from the 23" screen. This forces me to not use the center channel, since at this proximity to the screen, the usage of a center channel would seem to pull down the sound image too far, given my seating distance. I plan on using the front two speakers as a "phantom center." Given my situation, is this "phantom center" the best option? Also, is 2.5' too close to speakers (even if they're at a 60 degree listening arc) to preserve stereo imaging and sound-stage? Your advise is most appreciated.
post #2 of 6
Even 2-1/2 feet away is okay if you and the speakers form an equilateral triangle.

---Ethan
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Ethan, thanks so much for your input. Great to hear. I thought it would matter as long as the tweeter is at ear height. Can you think of any better solution than a "phantom center" speaker?
post #4 of 6
Caveat with being too close to a multiway speaker is that the drivers for one side may not have an opportunity to properly blend before reaching your ears. Well, that's the simple way of saying it I suppose. Problems may arise in spectral balance, comb filtering, and phase issues causing peaks or nulls near the crossover frequency(s), and these factors may exhibit a greater or lessor degree of sensitivity to head position. This isn't a spec that will be measured or published anywhere, and would require quite some effort to study yourself for your speakers. Other than a nearfield studio type monitor you can just assume that being too close is probably less than ideal.

How much less? I suppose that is only answered by how it sounds in practice.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Okay I see. I realize that is less than ideal. I'm glad that is not totally out of line to do it though. Thank you for your input, it is much appreciated.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmith967 View Post

Can you think of any better solution than a "phantom center" speaker?

You could get a real center speaker. biggrin.gif But if it's only you listening and nobody else, phantom center works fine.

--Ethan
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