Center speaker above or below screen- 2 level seating - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 22 Old 07-11-2018, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Center speaker above or below screen- 2 level seating

I’m wiring for my new build currently. I was planning to put the center speaker above the screen as we have the height and then the front row couch won’t block the sound. But my brother and a Best Buy guy said it will sound like the people’s voices are up in the ceiling. There’s an outlet right where I would otherwise put my screen below and I’m aftesid if interference and also being too low. Our wall is quite high- the basement floor is dropped down so the wall of the screen is close to 10.5 feet tall. We are going for a 135” screen so that’s 66” high. We should have a good 30” above and below the screen. Our lower level is about 12 feet from the screen and the next row begins it is about 17-18feet from the screen and then we will have a countertop behind with seating for when people are eating. What are your thoughts- above pointed down or below pointed up?
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post #2 of 22 Old 07-11-2018, 11:39 PM
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Such fine theater, you could perhaps treat with an acoustically transparent screen, and put that center right behind it? Then you wouldn’t need to worry.
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post #3 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by anden2000 View Post
Such fine theater, you could perhaps treat with an acoustically transparent screen, and put that center right behind it? Then you wouldn’t need to worry.


I would definitely go with an AT screen and three identical speakers across the front.


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post #4 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Such fine theater, you could perhaps treat with an acoustically transparent screen, and put that center right behind it? Then you wouldn’t need to worry.


I’d really like to avoid a trans parent screen because it wasn’t really in the budget. We had planned to put no texture on the wall and just paint it once we drywall. Would you pick above or below if behind the screen wasn’t an option?
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post #5 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by turbonerd12 View Post
I’d really like to avoid a trans parent screen because it wasn’t really in the budget. We had planned to put no texture on the wall and just paint it once we drywall. Would you pick above or below if behind the screen wasn’t an option?
Definitely check out DIY screens. You can get Seymour AV center stage UF material only for like 13$ a ft. You could have an awesome screen for only a couple hundred bucks in material.

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post #6 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by turbonerd12 View Post
I’d really like to avoid a trans parent screen because it wasn’t really in the budget. We had planned to put no texture on the wall and just paint it once we drywall. Would you pick above or below if behind the screen wasn’t an option?
Taking a closer look at your photos, and considering screen size and viewing distances, I think there's a substantial risk that the Best Buy guy is right. And I guess a similar problem would occur if placing the speaker under the screen, in addition to the sound being blocked by the front row.


As Klimo pointed out, an AT screen doesn't have to be expensive.


Not sure about the wall paint question - isn't the screen going to cover most of the wall permanently no matter if you go transparent or non-transparent? The only difference would be that the transparent screen would need to be installed at a certain distance from the wall to make room for the center speaker.


I would try to avoid the "wasn't an option" question.
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post #7 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 12:44 PM
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Absolutely do what you can to go AT. There is no substitute.

If you cannot do that, I think it depends how much you value the back rows. If you want them to have good direct sound, put the speaker above. If you want the best experience for the front row, below could be better. Either way is a huge compromise from going AT though.
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post #8 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I get that the AT screen is the best but I really don’t know if I want to compromise on the distance/space in the room either. The seating ended up closer than we originally planned due to how they had to drop down the lower section and line up the block walls. This house has also been a major project (we are doing our own general contracting) and I’m not sure I feel like messing with a screen now too. My concern is also that the screen material could get dented easily (my kids did it to ours at our last house). I was really hoping to put the speaker above the screen but I’m afraid of it sounding like the voices are up too high. I’ve read on several past forums about this that the human war can’t directly connect the sound coming from above as it would below and that above is better. Anyone have experience with this? Otherwise, talk me into an AT screen. How far out would it have to stick out from the wall? Can I get a strong one that won’t get “dented”? Insulators are coming next week so I need to make a decision.
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post #9 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbonerd12 View Post
I get that the AT screen is the best but I really don’t know if I want to compromise on the distance/space in the room either. The seating ended up closer than we originally planned due to how they had to drop down the lower section and line up the block walls. This house has also been a major project (we are doing our own general contracting) and I’m not sure I feel like messing with a screen now too. My concern is also that the screen material could get dented easily (my kids did it to ours at our last house). I was really hoping to put the speaker above the screen but I’m afraid of it sounding like the voices are up too high. I’ve read on several past forums about this that the human war can’t directly connect the sound coming from above as it would below and that above is better. Anyone have experience with this? Otherwise, talk me into an AT screen. How far out would it have to stick out from the wall? Can I get a strong one that won’t get “dented”? Insulators are coming next week so I need to make a decision.


You basically only need enough depth for the speaker. The speaker can be practically sitting against the screen material. There are some lower profile speakers out there.

Definitely look into DIY speaker for the LCR since no one will see them and you don't need to worry about finishing them.


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post #10 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 05:52 PM
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Can you move the screen up a few more inches to help accommodate the speaker below the screen?

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post #11 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 06:00 PM
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Do you already have LCR speakers?

If not take a look at HTD.com..
They have the Versa line of speakers that are on wall mount thin speakers.
Look at the HTS1's, they will fill your needs for behind an AT screen really nicely. I have these in my livingroom setup with a sub and they sound really good.

Hope this get your creative ideas flowing..

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post #12 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WOKNROX View Post
Can you move the screen up a few more inches to help accommodate the speaker below the screen?
We could because we have the height but I also don’t want the people in the front row to have to bend their necks so much by looking up. I’ll have have to just do my research tonight on an AT screen before I make any decisions.
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Originally Posted by turbonerd12 View Post
I’m wiring for my new build currently. I was planning to put the center speaker above the screen as we have the height and then the front row couch won’t block the sound. But my brother and a Best Buy guy said it will sound like the people’s voices are up in the ceiling. There’s an outlet right where I would otherwise put my screen below and I’m aftesid if interference and also being too low. Our wall is quite high- the basement floor is dropped down so the wall of the screen is close to 10.5 feet tall. We are going for a 135” screen so that’s 66” high. We should have a good 30” above and below the screen. Our lower level is about 12 feet from the screen and the next row begins it is about 17-18feet from the screen and then we will have a countertop behind with seating for when people are eating. What are your thoughts- above pointed down or below pointed up?
Work very good.
Only need to angle the center properly.
Since you are doing two row, I would aim for the MLP.


Here's some easy instruction to follow;
-First, go get yourself a cheap laserpointer, a flat one if possible.
-Then put-it on top of one of your main (does not matter which one, sincethey are both the same height).
-Point at your listening area.
-Put a piece of tape to mark the position.
-measure with a ruler the distance from the top of the speaker to the centerof the tweeter.
-Go back to your piece of tape at your listening area and subtract thatdistance going down.
-Put a new piece of tape and remove the first one.
-Now do the same for the center speaker with a little difference.
-First measure the distance from the top of the center speaker to the centerof the tweeter.
-Go back to your main listening area.
-Remember piece of tape #2
-now take the distance from the top of your center to the center of tweeterand go up from the piece of tape #2 to that distance.
-put piece of tape #3 , and piece of tape #2 can be remove if you like, since it was the distance of yourmain tweeter.
-put the laser pointer on top of your center
-adjust angle until the light hit that piece of tape (#3 ).
Now you're done, all tweeters should hit the main listening position at thesame height(for the main listening position)."
Also, Make sure your center speaker is sticking out of the cabinet by aboutan inch.
Sound reflection from the edge of a cabinet can play havoc on your sound.




Work well, either above or under the screen.
My center is below a 114" screen, also have two rows of seating, but the second row is rarely use.
Even it was use often, I believe the person who spend all the energy to built a theater, should have the best sound


Ray

Last edited by darthray; 07-12-2018 at 07:49 PM.
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post #14 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 07:49 PM
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I have an in-wall set-up and my center speaker is above my TV, but I do have the tweeters angled towards the MLP ear height and it sounds really good. It's barely noticeable if at all that the speaker is above the TV.
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post #15 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthray View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by turbonerd12 View Post
I’m wiring for my new build currently. I was planning to put the center speaker above the screen as we have the height and then the front row couch won’t block the sound. But my brother and a Best Buy guy said it will sound like the people’s voices are up in the ceiling. There’s an outlet right where I would otherwise put my screen below and I’m aftesid if interference and also being too low. Our wall is quite high- the basement floor is dropped down so the wall of the screen is close to 10.5 feet tall. We are going for a 135” screen so that’s 66” high. We should have a good 30” above and below the screen. Our lower level is about 12 feet from the screen and the next row begins it is about 17-18feet from the screen and then we will have a countertop behind with seating for when people are eating. What are your thoughts- above pointed down or below pointed up?
Work very good.
Only need to angle the center properly.
Since you are doing two row, I would aim for the MLP.


Here's some easy instruction to follow;
-First, go get yourself a cheap laserpointer, a flat one if possible.
-Then put-it on top of one of your main (does not matter which one, sincethey are both the same height).
-Point at your listening area.
-Put a piece of tape to mark the position.
-measure with a ruler the distance from the top of the speaker to the centerof the tweeter.
-Go back to your piece of tape at your listening area and subtract thatdistance going down.
-Put a new piece of tape and remove the first one.
-Now do the same for the center speaker with a little difference.
-First measure the distance from the top of the center speaker to the centerof the tweeter.
-Go back to your main listening area.
-Remember piece of tape #2
-now take the distance from the top of your center to the center of tweeterand go up from the piece of tape #2 to that distance.
-put piece of tape #3 , and piece of tape #2 can be remove if you like, since it was the distance of yourmain tweeter.
-put the laser pointer on top of your center
-adjust angle until the light hit that piece of tape (#3 ).
Now you're done, all tweeters should hit the main listening position at thesame height(for the main listening position)."
Also, Make sure your center speaker is sticking out of the cabinet by aboutan inch.
Sound reflection from the edge of a cabinet can play havoc on your sound.


Work well either above, or under the screen.


Ray
So if I put it above (what I’m leaning towards), would it be s problem that my front side speakers are not lined up with it? We will have towers on the floor and then the front center speaker would be about 8 feet high. I know for the best sound they should be lined up, so will this sound bad? I don’t need perfection or anything amazing- just some decent sound as we aren’t spending a crazy amount on this theater. Also, will it sound like the voice are too high?
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post #16 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by turbonerd12 View Post
So if I put it above (what I’m leaning towards), would it be s problem that my front side speakers are not lined up with it? We will have towers on the floor and then the front center speaker would be about 8 feet high. I know for the best sound they should be lined up, so will this sound bad? I don’t need perfection or anything amazing- just some decent sound as we aren’t spending a crazy amount on this theater. Also, will it sound like the voice are too high?

Did a few edit on my last post, and will be some on this reply, due to this site keep freezing on me


For the front speakers not be align with your center, no problem at all.
Most calibration system now a day, will take of all speakers distance, to reach the MLP at the same time.


The center is very high, meaning you will end up with a steep downward angle.
Below the screen would have much less of an angle.
But if your only option is on top, it should still work, since the tweeter would be aim at your MLP.


Ray

Last edited by darthray; 07-12-2018 at 08:12 PM.
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post #17 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbonerd12 View Post
So if I put it above (what I’m leaning towards), would it be s problem that my front side speakers are not lined up with it? We will have towers on the floor and then the front center speaker would be about 8 feet high. I know for the best sound they should be lined up, so will this sound bad? I don’t need perfection or anything amazing- just some decent sound as we aren’t spending a crazy amount on this theater. Also, will it sound like the voice are too high?

Did a few edit on my last post, and will be some on this reply, due to this site keep freezing on me[IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/frown.gif[/IMG]
I’m not seeing the reply to this one. Sorry!
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I’m not seeing the reply to this one. Sorry!

Post is finally done.
What use to take me 5 minutes, now take 15 or so.
The last window 10 upgrade, screwed up my system big time.


Keep asking if I want to see all contend, then tell me, a problem happen, need to reopen the page.
Very frustrating


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post #19 of 22 Old 07-12-2018, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbonerd12 View Post
So if I put it above (what I’m leaning towards), would it be s problem that my front side speakers are not lined up with it? We will have towers on the floor and then the front center speaker would be about 8 feet high. I know for the best sound they should be lined up, so will this sound bad? I don’t need perfection or anything amazing- just some decent sound as we aren’t spending a crazy amount on this theater. Also, will it sound like the voice are too high?

Did a few edit on my last post, and will be some on this reply, due to this site keep freezing on me[IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/frown.gif[/IMG]


For the front speakers not be align with your center, no problem at all.
Most calibration system now a day, will take of all speakers distance, to reach the MLP at the same time.


The center is very high, meaning you will end up with a steep downward angle.
Below the screen would have much less of an angle.
But if your only option is on top, it should still work, since the tweeter would be aim at your MLP.


Ray
Got your post now! It’s not really the only option above, we will just have 2 rows of seating with a countertop and barstools behind the 2nd row- so really like 3 rows. I don’t have couches or anything yet my um concerned the center speaker will be blocked by the front row. We also have an outlet right there so I was worried about possible interference with that (unless that’s not usually an issue)
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Got your post now! It’s not really the only option above, we will just have 2 rows of seating with a countertop and barstools behind the 2nd row- so really like 3 rows. I don’t have couches or anything yet my um concerned the center speaker will be blocked by the front row. We also have an outlet right there so I was worried about possible interference with that (unless that’s not usually an issue)

What you will need to do, is to experiment.
Try at the MLP first, see how it sound.
Then try a little bit above, assuming your MLP is on the first row.


It is very hard to make a perfect sound for all position.
In my theater, the middle front seat is mine, therefore the MLP.
My wife is very happy sitting next to be, as most people, She is not a critical listener, sound good enough for her


Ray
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post #21 of 22 Old 07-13-2018, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by turbonerd12 View Post
Got your post now! It’s not really the only option above, we will just have 2 rows of seating with a countertop and barstools behind the 2nd row- so really like 3 rows. I don’t have couches or anything yet my um concerned the center speaker will be blocked by the front row. We also have an outlet right there so I was worried about possible interference with that (unless that’s not usually an issue)

Hi,

I like Ray's advice for aligning your center channel angle with your ear level, but I am concerned about the 8' height. That's a lot of angle for the speaker, and while our brains can compensate to a degree for where sounds come from, that is asking a lot. The center channel is actively carrying content for well over 80% of a movie. And, it's carrying virtually all of the dialogue, which not only needs to sound as if it is coming from the people talking, but which also needs to be intelligible. When you add the distance from the speaker to the listening position, to the distance in the air, that adds to the potential problem.

If I were going to compromise a speaker, in a purpose-built HT, the CC is the last speaker I would choose. So, if I were you, I would think long and hard about using an AT screen. If I absolutely couldn't bring myself to do it, then I would probably put the CC under the screen, and at least give the front row good sound quality and dialogue intelligibility. It would be a much shorter angle firing up to the ears from a couple of feet off the floor, than down to the ears from 8' in the air.

Regards,
Mike
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post #22 of 22 Old 07-13-2018, 05:28 PM
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Hi,

I like Ray's advice for aligning your center channel angle with your ear level, but I am concerned about the 8' height. That's a lot of angle for the speaker, and while our brains can compensate to a degree for where sounds come from, that is asking a lot. The center channel is actively carrying content for well over 80% of a movie. And, it's carrying virtually all of the dialogue, which not only needs to sound as if it is coming from the people talking, but which also needs to be intelligible. When you add the distance from the speaker to the listening position, to the distance in the air, that adds to the potential problem.

If I were going to compromise a speaker, in a purpose-built HT, the CC is the last speaker I would choose. So, if I were you, I would think long and hard about using an AT screen. If I absolutely couldn't bring myself to do it, then I would probably put the CC under the screen, and at least give the front row good sound quality and dialogue intelligibility. It would be a much shorter angle firing up to the ears from a couple of feet off the floor, than down to the ears from 8' in the air.

Regards,
Mike

Very much agree, since I was also concern about such a great height.
My previous recommendation would require lots of experimentations, to work properly, as the OP wishes to install above.


Like You, I also believe an AT screen would be the best, second with the center below for much less angle required.


Ray
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Last edited by darthray; 07-13-2018 at 05:35 PM.
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