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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I use KEF Q55's as my left and right front. Currently, my speakers sit to the left and right of my screen, out of sight behind a curtain. There's about 3 feet of space behind my homemade screen.


Now I want to make my screen larger, but I won't have enough room on either side for my speakers. I'd like to put my speakers below the screen but they are too tall.


Is there any reason that I can't turn this things upside down, and build some sort of stand for them to be on. This would get the speakers themselves closer to the ground, so they could be below my screen The speaker cabinet would actually be behind the screen, but it they were upside down, the speakers themselves would be below the screen, and only blocked from the listening area by the curtain. I'd build a stand that would make the top speaker (which would be on bottom) about 6 inches off the floor.


The speakers look like this
http://www.kef.com/kefimages/image48.gif


In other words, is there any problem with performance of speakers like these if they are mounted upside down??
 

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ouch...........



if you did put them upside down, i would maybe angle them slightly outward from bottom to help direct the mids and tweets?

---just taking a stab.

--try it out, and let us know, could be interesting, although there must be a reson that the tweets are *most always* mounted top side. near your ear hieght.
 

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The tweeter should be at ear height for the best imaging and soundstage. Having the speaker upside down shouldn't damage the speaker. It would be pretty easy to flip them over and listen for yourself...
 

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You can do whatever you'd like with your speakers. Just try to aim or keep the tweeters at ear level since high frequencies are directional. Even +/- 3 degrees off axis will affect the frequency response considerably.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I couldn't help but laugh at myself when I read these replies. I know now that I am fully addicted to the forum.


I never even thought about just trying it. Of course, I knew there wasn't any risk to the speakers themselves, just to the sound quality. But, I still wanted to make sure to get answers from some of my fellow forum members.


I'll try it later today. Thanks to everyone.
 

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Steve


Technically, yes. The problem is that the drivers location are key to proper sound dispersion and you are changing that. The KEF uni-Q has unusually wide and even dispersion so the effect will be less than other speakers but it will still happen.


Regards, Michael
 

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That KEF uni-Q tweeter will be super close to the ground unless you used stands. Give it a try I guess.


I understand and identify with your problem. I too have large towers, but right now I just have a regular 32" TV. When I play with positioning of my speakers, while planning how I would set up a HOME THEATER with front projection, I realize that I can only put them beside the screen, otherwise the screen would be super high. I either need to restrict the screen to between the speakers or get smaller speakers!


So I would say try your stands and see if you like it. I can't do that because my towers have woofers and ports all the way down the front of my speakers and the operate up to 500 hz. Oh well, it works fine now. I think ultimately I will use a large enough room that I may place the speakers immediately beside the screen on either side.
 

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Wait! I just had a thought :cool:


The upper tweeter/midrange driver looks like it is the same size as the bottom woofer. If the entire enclosure is used for the bass using both drivers and the same port, then why not switch those two drivers? Then when you put the speakers on stands, the tweeter/midrange would be right below the screen and as high as it possibly can be above the ground? In my mind, this would be the absolute best way to setup your speakers if at all possible.


Just an idea. But I think its really worth looking into. Check out the spec of the speakers, maybe pop the drivers out and see if its possible. If you aren't brave, get a dealer who does repairs to take a look or call KEF.


What do you think?
 

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Is there any reason not to lay them on their side (on a stand)? This would keep all drivers away from the floor and make it easier to get them at ear level.
 

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Thats a good idea also. I had thought of that previously, but thought it wouldn't work because there isn't enough room left to right, however, as long as the tweeters are located roughly where you want them, it might be ok. There will, however, possibley be a reduction in bass response, plus I'm not sure about room inbetween for the center channel.


If you did that, you could put the tower speakers foot to foot with the tweeters at the far most outside. If you had room on the outside, you could set them so the tweeters are far apart, but so that they extend out to the side with room for the center channel in between.


Those are good ideas. Try those.
 

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I wouldn't place them sidways. Actually I wouldn't turn them upsidedown either, but ANY of the set ups you're describing or are being described to you, are very flawed sound-wise.


If you don't really care about sound quality, do whatever you want so that they fit w/ your screen and mess w/ them till they sound ok.


But if you actually care about audio quality...


You need your speakers to have a lot of air around them and NOT be next to walls or surfaces like a big screen (unless it's an acoustically transparent screen which usually isn't quite thransparent and makes a bad picture too).


You'll make your sound worse in any set-up that does not place the towers with the tweeter at ear level, and while this probably isn't an option you're willing to consider, you need to pull your speakers out in front of the screen.


Your best option -which I wouldn't do 'cuz it's pretty stupid, is to cut off the bottom of the towers so that you make a non-ported 'bookshelf' model that fits below your screen.


You'll crop out some low end bass, but you're probably already making 95% of that bass range in your subs and not your mains.


Instead of that dumb option, just sell your speakers and buy better quality bookshelf models (you can buy better quality bookshelve speakers for the same price as low quality towers usually) that fit just under (and far in front of) your screen and you'll have a tremendously better soundstage.


You need them in front of the screen anyway because your center speaker is probably just under the screen too, and so in a correct set-up, your mains need to be the same distance from the 'sweet spot' seating -which places the three speakers on a curve NOT in a straight line row like a lot of people mistakenly do.
 

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cpc
Quote:
I either need to restrict the screen to between the speakers or get smaller speakers!
You can also get a motorized porous screen with the speakers behind during ht and with no screen (raised) during regular audio playback :)


azryan
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You'll make your sound worse in any set-up that does not place the towers with the tweeter at ear level, and while this probably isn't an option you're willing to consider, you need to pull your speakers out in front of the screen.
The KEF uni-Q has about the best off-axis dispersion around so this type of placement might just work. We are talking about 1-2 feet difference -- easy for the KEF's. Also, the stands suggestion is right on.


Every HT requires some type of compromise. Steve, why not grab a favorite recording that has very sharp imaging and vivid soundstage and try it with your proposed set-up. You may be surprised.


Regards, Michael
 

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mbpg,


you wrote -"The KEF uni-Q has about the best off-axis dispersion around so this type of placement might just work."


Uh... what type of placement? YOU didn't recommend anything? Are you talking about the original 'upsidedown' idea or the later mentioned 'sideways' idea or what?


And your comment about '1-2 feet of difference is easy for the KEF's' doesn't make sense either? What are you refering to being 1-2 feet (I assume different) from something else?


If you mean that you can place the KEF's any which way you want (sideways, upsidedown, backwards maybe??) as long as they are 1-2 feet away from what a 100% correct set-up would be then you're way wrong. Sorry, but NO speaker I've ever heard or even 'heard of' is immune from being 1-2 feet from the optimal spot in a room without a performance hit -usually a large hit.


But I have no idea what you're saying so you can ignore my last comments if you actually meant something else.


What do you mean by off axis dispertion anyway? That the overall sound volume won't be diminished when off axis (that can be adjusted in the levels set up on any Rec. or Pre/pro no matter what the speaker).


Or (much more important) that the sound won't be radically different when off axis?


I doubt the KEF's will sound the same with the tweeter a foot or so off the floor (or whatever the exact height ends up being).


He could flip 'em upside down and place them on a stand so the tweeter was as close to ear level as possible, and angle them back so that they were perfectly aimed at ear level... but they still wouldn't be placed right, but then they weren't right the way he had them in the first place either, so probably no big deal whatever he decides to do.


You can do whatever you want with speakers, but if Steve wants a "what's the best thing to do" answer, he should sell those towers and if he likes those exact KEF's so much, he should buy a smaller bookshelf model of that same KEF design, that he'll be able to place correctly and not get in the way of the screen.


It will not sound the same as what he has now... it'll sound much better (if you do it right, you don't need that center chan. either), and I assume he's using a sub, so he won't need to have low bass producing tower style mains (the only sonic benefit of towers over bookshelf models).

Any good bookshelf model from almost any company (incl. KEF) can go lower than 80Hz meaning it'll blend into any sub set to a 80Hz (non-directional) x-over.

You shouldn't be running those KEF's at 'Large' anyway if you have a sub, so why cause yourself trouble trying to make them 'fit' when they don't fit cuz they're bigger than they need to be???


Why do people spend so much money on nice speakers but refuse to set them up properly so that they sound as good as they really are (only to want 'better speakers' down the road when they never made their currnet ones sound their best)?


It's like people spending hundreds of $ on SACD or DVD-A players to play a few new (over-priced) discs, when they could spend that money on a mint DAC to make all their CD's sound far better than they currently do.


I was in a 'hi-fi' shop last year that had similar KEF's as Steve's . They were about 14' apart!!, AND slightly BEHIND a massive wooden ent. center AND the speakers were almost up against the wall! It was beyond horrible!


Then the moron salesguy comes into the room and tries to sell me on a 2 chan. only SACD player. I tell him -One, I'd buy a multi-chan SACD player IF I was going to buy one, and Two -that there's zero imaging, depth, and life from that horrible speaker set-up. If you're trying to show me how great SACD sounds, which I know can sound great, you didn't even come close.


So to 'fix' that, he sets the pre/pro (Sunfire I think?) to convert the nice clean analog 2-chan SACD signal back into digital and processed out as ProLogic so the center chan. fills in the massive gap between the mains!


Needless to say I explained to him why this was even worse than before. He left me alone after that! -heh.


mbpg, you also mentioned the poster could get an acoustically transparent screen...


Like I said in my last post, acoustically transparent screens really 'aren't', and they make the picture worse too. Those screens are for people who are interested in making a HT look like a movie theater decor-wise, and are less concerned (if at all) with maximum sound and picture quality.
 

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azryan

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Uh... what type of placement? YOU didn't recommend anything? Are you talking about the original 'upsidedown' idea or the later mentioned 'sideways' idea or what?
My "recommendation" was to support the original post Steve made.
Quote:
And your comment about '1-2 feet of difference is easy for the KEF's' doesn't make sense either? What are you refering to being 1-2 feet (I assume different) from something else?
1-2 feet is the difference between tweeter level and hearing level if the speakers are inverted.
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Sorry, but NO speaker I've ever heard or even 'heard of' is immune from being 1-2 feet from the optimal spot in a room without a performance hit -usually a large hit.
Maybe you haven't heard enough speakers :)
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What do you mean by off axis dispertion anyway? That the overall sound volume won't be diminished when off axis

(that can be adjusted in the levels set up on any Rec. or Pre/pro no matter what the speaker).
I thought my original post was quite clear. KEF excels at dispersing sound all around the listening area, so even changing the intended drivers-to-ear locations, I am sure they will still sound ok. DSPs or levels will not help here.
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I doubt the KEF's will sound the same with the tweeter a foot or so off the floor (or whatever the exact height ends up being).
Without doubt, but they may still sound good. This is the key.
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so probably no big deal whatever he decides to do.
It is a big deal to Steve, which is why he is posting -- and looking for help.


Steve, the worst that can happen is you turn them over and they sound poorly. Why not try and let us know what happens.


Regards, Michael
 

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I wrote that the KEF's probably wouldn't sound the same inverted


You wrote -"Without doubt, but they may still sound good. This is the key."


If they don't sound the same, that means the two set ups are altering the performance of the speakers output -Upsidedown would be a worse of the two.


So which is it -you say the speakers can be 1-2 feet from optimal set up without a performance hit, but you also agree that they'll sound different.


If you don't see this as a contradiction then your standards are a little low IMO.


The reason I said it wasn't a big deal whatever way he sets them up, is because (like I said twice already) he's got them set up poorly now anyway (from how he described it).


The only way to hear them at their best is to set them up like I suggested, so he'll try that if he really does care about the set up.


Sounds like he just wants to shove them under his screen though and want to know it that'll be really bad. It won't be much worse than the way he had, but I'm the only one posting here with a way to improve his sound.
 

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Ryan,


Some speakers are very placement-dependent while others are not; the Kefs with the Uni-Q drivers fall into the latter category. I use Kefs on every channel of my home theatre and I have to agree with mbpg: moving them away from the optimal location yeilds a very small hit in sound quality. So at the very least I think Steve should give it a try and see (hear) what the results are.


No home theatre is perfect; we all choose where we're going to have our compromises. If Steve wants a larger screen, for a more immersive movie watching experience, then that's fine. He then has to figure out how accomodate speakers that will no longer fit when standing right side up. I think Steve knows that this may compromise the sound, but I think he posted to get feedback on how much of a compromise it'll be. Personally I don't think it will be so bad, as long as he has the drivers sticking out below the screen; maybe even just the Uni-Q driver. After all, the bottom half of that cabinet has no drivers on the front baffle, so there's no reason why that half can't be behind a screen.


But hey, I'm not in Steve's room and I don't know for a fact what it will sounds like. Only Steve can answer that, after trying it out. In the end, mbpg is correct: the worst that can happen is that he won't like what he hears and turns them back over. I say go ahead and experiment.


Best,

Sanjay
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks to everyone for their spirited suggestions!!


Over the weekend, I'll build some crude stands and test these things. Everyone is invited over to take a listen!


Yes, I do know that their will be SOME degradation, but as has been said, any HT is a series of compromises.


I promise I'll report back on both the upside down and the on their side configurations.
 
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