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Discussion Starter #1
Just moved into a new home and am trying to figure out speaker placement. Had a klipsch quintet 5.1 system in my old house along with a 10" reference series sub. I left the quintet speakers at the old place, but brought the sub with me. Thinking of just doing a 3.1 with some bookshelf speakers mounted on the wall to the left and right of the entertainment system. My question is, where would be the best place to set up a center channel speaker? Would it be ok to put a shelf on the wall and mount it just above the TV? The quintet speakers were small and im looking to upgrade this time to larger ones. My AVR is a Denon AVR-1600H for what its worth.
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I would not mount it above the TV. In your case, it looks like your best bet would be to mount your TV on the wall, about 8 inches up, which would then leave room for a center channel at the front edge of the console. Or, you could get a center speaker stand like the one from Sanus and place in front of the console. As for front speakers, you may want to go with some bookshelf speakers placed on stands, so you can get them away from the wall a bit.
 

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Just moved into a new home and am trying to figure out speaker placement. Had a klipsch quintet 5.1 system in my old house along with a 10" reference series sub. I left the quintet speakers at the old place, but brought the sub with me. Thinking of just doing a 3.1 with some bookshelf speakers mounted on the wall to the left and right of the entertainment system. My question is, where would be the best place to set up a center channel speaker? Would it be ok to put a shelf on the wall and mount it just above the TV? The quintet speakers were small and im looking to upgrade this time to larger ones. My AVR is a Denon AVR-1600H for what its worth. View attachment 3038519
center above the tv should be fine.. b/s speakers(on stands ) at the outer edges of the entertainment center should be ok.. that wall where the elec outlet is is a possible reflection point as are windows on other side .. some placement adjustments may be needed... a cheap throw rug might help if the set up sounds bright...
 

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Just moved into a new home and am trying to figure out speaker placement. Had a klipsch quintet 5.1 system in my old house along with a 10" reference series sub. I left the quintet speakers at the old place, but brought the sub with me. Thinking of just doing a 3.1 with some bookshelf speakers mounted on the wall to the left and right of the entertainment system. My question is, where would be the best place to set up a center channel speaker? Would it be ok to put a shelf on the wall and mount it just above the TV? The quintet speakers were small and im looking to upgrade this time to larger ones. My AVR is a Denon AVR-1600H for what its worth. View attachment 3038519
I have a similar set up and entertainment unit. Mine actually has a shelf above the TV. I put the centre speaker in the shelf and angle down. I have my towers on each side of the entertainment unit angled in. It sounds fine for a family room system.

My speaker is so close to the TV is still sounds like it’s coming from the TV.


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It's ever the balance between aesthetics and performance. Entertainment centers look nice, but are tough acoustically. There's just not a lot of room. Towers would be better slightly in front of the entertainment center than bookshelf speakers recessed back on the walls.

Also, you need more cow bell subwooferage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Would tower speakers sound better in a setup like this over bookshelf speakers? Im not opposed to them, just want the best sound while keeping this system simple. And yes, the sub needs to be upgraded.
 

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Utilizing the space outside of the entertainment cabinet to the right and left will sound best, either with bookshelf speakers on stands or with towers. Your room size and sub performance should drive the decision in towers vs. bookshelves so long as you’re willing to place the left and right in the open space. Raising the TV to the wall and center channel in the middle on the shelf is probably best, though make sure to bring it to the very front edge of the cabinet.
 

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Would tower speakers sound better in a setup like this over bookshelf speakers?
That depends, since you haven't mentioned a BUDGET hint hint! (But big bonus points for posting a picture!!!).
  • Bookshelf with subs can be fine, though I'd keep the woofers at 6.5" because the subs do not deliver ALL the bass. If you have the $$$ then towers can integrate better and play louder in the midbass.
  • For me this becomes an aesthetic choice-tall (TALL to match the center height) towers outside the shelving, versus bookshelf speakers inside the shelves (sorry ya gotta move the pumpkin ha ha). If the shelves don't adjust your choice of speakers in there might be limited.
  • The acoustic engineer part of my brain dislikes the center above the TV, unless you are going to put the L/R that high as well up in the bookshelf. Nobody is mixing with the center channel above or below the L/R. Now if the center is above, yeah, the TV provides a psychoacoustic anchoring effect, it's hardly the end of the world...but still I want them in line.
  • You don't mention if you have a receiver yet but Audyssey or Dirac room correction can sure help smoothen the sound. Don't spend too much money here since the speakers make a way far more huger difference to the sound.
 

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Here are some options for putting the center under the tv.
  1. Put some blocks under the legs or buy the Malm end table from Ikea. The whole thing costs $9 and each leg is 2" thick. Stack two together and you get 4" (I'm great at math). Should be plenty of options for a center around 6" high. They have several colors and aren't as noticeable as you may think.
  2. Get a TV stand with adjustable legs.
  3. Attach the TV to the wall. It should look fine since it will stick out a little and look like it's floating in the entertainment center.
#1 is the cheapest/easiest and I'd certainly try that while you determine what center you want.
 

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Just moved into a new home and am trying to figure out speaker placement. Had a klipsch quintet 5.1 system in my old house along with a 10" reference series sub. I left the quintet speakers at the old place, but brought the sub with me. Thinking of just doing a 3.1 with some bookshelf speakers mounted on the wall to the left and right of the entertainment system. My question is, where would be the best place to set up a center channel speaker? Would it be ok to put a shelf on the wall and mount it just above the TV? The quintet speakers were small and im looking to upgrade this time to larger ones. My AVR is a Denon AVR-1600H for what its worth.
The easiest (and least expensive) way to go would be to put 3 identical bookshelf speakers on top of the entertainment center on yoga wedges so that they are tilted downwards pointing towards where you sit, and have them flipped upside down so that the tweeters would be farther away from the ceiling, to prevent reflections. This is what someone recently did with his two front Atmos "height" speakers, but you could do the same if you have no plans of ever doing Atmos in that room.
3038552

Three good identical bookshelf speakers like Ascend 170SE, NHT SuperOnes, Hsu HB-1, etc. can easily be had for $400-600.
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^ Or, you could shop around for a wall mount shelf for a horizontal center speaker that would go right above your TV...this might "anchor" the voices more closely to the screen, if you are one to pay close attention to such things. That person positioned his L/R bookshelf speakers on either side of the entertainment center, which you could do as well or if you don't like the look of bookshelves on stands, you could use two tower speakers there. Towers are more of a visual preference than a functional necessity for most HT users; be careful not to sacrifice other more essential parts of your system just to have them.

However, from your photo it looks like you have a very small and probably under-powered subwoofer. I'd recommend upgrading that to something much better ASAP unless you seldom watch blockbuster action movies, and putting it in a corner to maximize its output...long subwoofer extension cables are cheap, $10-15 from Amazon. Minimum would be an RSL 10S ($400), better would be a $600 Hsu VTF-2 or Rythmik LV12-F, best would be a $900 Hsu VTF-3. From your photo it looks like you have an open plan space so I'd say the $600 sub (a pair of them, preferably) would be well worth it.
 
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+1 on Bookshelves on stands or tower speakers outside of the entertainment center to give you a wider soundstage with the front of the speakers being 2" in front of the line created by the entertainment center. You can put the center speaker above the TV and angle the speaker toward the listeners. I usually watch the TV when watching the TV, instead of staring at my speakers. With the proper angle, the sound will still appear to come from the TV. Or, you could just use a really good right and left speaker to create a phantom center on your TV. We do this often when we don't want the full blown 5.1 for watching the news or low level listening of a show while working.
 

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Thinking of just doing a 3.1 with some bookshelf speakers
You're gonna miss the surround channels after awhile. Been there, done that.
 

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Don't need to attach a shelf to your wall. They make shelves that sit on top of your TV that can hold a speaker.

Amazon.com: WALI TV Top Shelf 23.6 Inch Flat Panel for Streaming Devices, Media Boxes, Speakers and Home Decor (TSH002), Black: Electronics

It would behoove you to move your TV (with the attached speaker shelf) to the very front of the cabinet, so the speaker does not project the sound into the walls of the shelving, creating muddy sound. As stated in previous comments, having your speakers forward of the shelving unit (sides and center) will improve sound quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Is the massive wooden center a requirement? Sometimes when designing for A/V, we need to think differently.
No, its not required. My previous living room was around 20W x 15L so I had plenty of room on the sides for speakers and the quintet speakers were really small and wall mounted. This living room is rectangular, around 14W x 38L so Im losing a few feet on either side now. My previous house was 1 story so I ran the speakers wires through the attic but this house is 2 story and Im not really intersted in running wires the lenght of this living room. My idea was to use larger but fewer speakers (thinking of the Klipsch RP-600M bookshelf speakers and RP-600C center) along with a larger sub. The fireplace and bar are behind the main sitting area so if we have people over id like speakers that can still sound good while a good distance from the. This picture is taken from right next to my current entertainment center looking back.

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No, its not required. My previous living room was around 20W x 15L so I had plenty of room on the sides for speakers and the quintet speakers were really small and wall mounted. This living room is rectangular, around 14W x 38L so Im losing a few feet on either side now. My previous house was 1 story so I ran the speakers wires through the attic but this house is 2 story and Im not really intersted in running wires the lenght of this living room. My idea was to use larger but fewer speakers (thinking of the Klipsch RP-600M bookshelf speakers and RP-600C center) along with a larger sub. The fireplace and bar are behind the main sitting area so if we have people over id like speakers that can still sound good while a good distance from the. This picture is taken from right next to my current entertainment center looking back.
Good plan. That room would do well with at least one Hsu VTF-3 in that front corner to the left of your EC.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Looking at the Klipsch RP-600M bookshelf speakers, but are there any other brands I should be looking at? Ive always had Klipsch stuff and have been happy but am open to any suggestions for another brand with a similar price.
 

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Looking at the Klipsch RP-600M bookshelf speakers, but are there any other brands I should be looking at? Ive always had Klipsch stuff and have been happy but am open to any suggestions for another brand with a similar price.
Lots and lots of good stuff out there, and at very reasonable prices these days.

Some to look into off the top of my head:

  • Ascend 170SE/340SE = very dynamic and clear, excellent PTP
  • Chane A1.5/A2.4 = unfortunately these have been out of stock since June and you have to be very patient to wait for them to come back
  • Emotiva B1/C1/C2 = AMT tweeters, which imo provide the perfect balance of incredible treble extension/detail without any harshness or shrillness---best bang for the buck hands down even at regular prices
  • Hsu HB-1 / HC-1 = these are horns too, but with virtually zero risk of listening fatigue
  • HTD Level 3 = free return shipping makes these a great first-try choice, Kapton ribbon tweeters, front ported
  • Infinity Reference R162/R263/RC263 = best bang for the buck when on 60% off sale a couple times a year
  • JBL Studio 530 = when on sale for $300/pr also outstanding bargains, weakness is a puny "matching" center in the 520C so mismatched center is highly recommended
  • NHT SuperOnes = around $125 apiece on Amazon, a PTP champ, sealed cabinet, but also a weak "matching" center
  • RSL CG5/CG25 = front ported, high WAF, free return shipping, but not as strong PTP as others above
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the list. Im leaning toward the Emotiva B1/C1 setup and am wondering about thier subs. Id like to step up to a 12" and was wondering if you'd recommend their sub or another brand.
 
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