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Center speaker under plasma?

1405 Views 19 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Brett
I have a 42" Panny coming this week with a table stand. For ideal placement, my center speaker needs to be under the TV, but the surface area of the center speaker is a bit smaller than the table stand footprint:

Center speaker - 25"w x 8"d

Table stand - 28"w x 10"d

I want a nice solid surface for my plasma, given the fragility of the things. Anyone have any suggestions where I can get a nice-looking enclosure/platform for the speaker that my plasma will be safe on?

This is going in an existing cabinet, so a normal A/V rack or stand is out of the question. I could mount the center speaker under the shelf above if absolutely necessary, but I'd rather not do that since I want to keep the it at the height of my front speakers.


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IMHO, I would never place anything on top of a speaker.

You didn't specify the height... Since you are getting the table stand, I'd recommend placing the center channel speaker right in front of the stand with the back of the speaker flat against the stand. There is enough space between where the plasma screen sits and the stand (1cm) to run the speaker cable through.
IMHO, I would never place anything on top of a speaker.
Why not? And do you mean "on top of" or "above"?

You didn't specify the height... Since you are getting the table stand, I'd recommend placing the center channel speaker right in front of the stand with the back of the speaker flat against the stand.
Nope. Won't work. Speaker height is 6". The bottom of the screen would be about 3" below the top of the speaker. What I need is a solid mini hutch to straddle the speaker and provide a solid base for the plasma.

Lots of great stuff here . I'm struggling with a similar problem, except that I'm trying to find room for a 3-channel amp and a center speaker below my wall-mounted plasma. The closest I've come is a stackable audio rack with the amp on the bottom and the speaker on the top. If you find anything let me know. Here are some additional links:





That should get you started.

- Ken
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I just purchased a Pio 503CMX - It looks fantastic hanging on the wall. My wife loves it.

She is going crazy about my now repositioning speakers espcecially the front channel speaker and how it looks.

The Plasma is slightly above eye level when sitting on a section of wall 83"long & 63" high -- then the ceiling curves at angle up.

How do I get good speaker placement and still maintain a clearn look?

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Try this salamanderdesigns .

I have my 42" plasma on the wall just above the Synergy 30 model, with the center channel speaker on the top shelf inside the cabinet. Also in the cabinet are all the electronics. My wife was terrified when I started buying all this gear, but she actually likes the setup with all the gear hidden.
Is it really bad form to put the center channel speaker above a plasma panel? I'm going to be building in my plasma above a mantel on a gas-log fireplace (heat doesn not seem like an issue) and don't want it any higher than it has to be. I was going to build in the center channel speaker ABOVE the plasma. Should it be angled to project sound down? Big problem?

Thanks. PlasMAN

Don't worry about form, just looks and results are what matter. I don't think angling the speaker downward is that critical as long as the voices appear to be coming from the screen especially if your amp or receiver will allow to adjust the center volume separately.

Finding a good solution to the center speaker has been a huge challenge for me. We have tried a number of locations to place mine 27"w 11"h 9"d including other locations in the room but the center really needs to be centered to provide the dialogue. My wall isn't thick enough to mount it in-wall. I do have the LFE mounted in-wall. I want the center to match my mains which it does but other than a custom cabinet, I haven't found a workable solution to the center speaker.

I don't know why, but there seems to be a certain wow factor when the plasma is mounted on the wall like a picture with nothing else around it. Everyone says "Is that one of those new thin TV things".

Anyone else find a good solution?
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I agree that having an obvious speaker near the plasma reduces the "picture on a wall" wow factor. I have my Panny mounted on the wall of the family room with the cables all invisibly routed through a hole in the wall behind the set. The center speaker is on a Queen Anne table under the panel, but with a plant, framed family pix & a few books around it. It isn't exactly hidden, just disguised so you don't notice it at first. The table just looks like what you'd expect to see under a painting that size. The electronics are behind a soji screen, so the only HT gear you notice when you walk in are the front L&R speakers, but they're far enough away from the plasma that you don't immediately make the connection.

The effect on first-timers is all you could hope for.
Sounds like you did a really nice job of balancing the visual sense of nothing immediatley on the wall to take your eye away from the Panny and the practicality of having the voices come from right in front of you

I am thinking about in wall installation as my Pio 503 is hung on a wood paneled wall and there is a crawl storage space behin it -- where I installed an outlet and ran my wires -- my dilemma is the room I am in has arched cieling which begin curving at about 65inches so the Plasma is a little above eye level when you sit on the couch so putting something immediatley infront of it is visually distracting

Anyone have experience with inwall speakers both installation and brand?

Michael: May I suggest the Niles HD-LRS and HD-CTR. They match the Plasma sets beautifully. Each has dual 5.25" woofers and 1" tweeters. The HD-Ctr has a dialog intelligibility switch for enhancing dialog in surround sound modes. Great looking in wall vertical mount speakers. Center speaker is usually mounted horizontally above or below a Plasma set. (it can also be mounted vertically).

Note that the farther away the center is, the more disjointed the viewing experience (video and audio seem disjointed).

Don't put the weight of the plasma on the speaker, though - it could ruin the speaker + plasmas are a too heavy for that sort of thing.

Here's an idea:
thanks Mr Hookup for reccommendation I will take a look at the Niles Speakers

Its tough managing getting the performance I want and the clean look ascetics my wife wants

what have others done with their Plasmas to get very clean looks??

I struggled with all of these same questions... I hung my Pioneer 505 plasma on the wall and didn't know what to do with that darn center speaker.

My solution actually solved two placement problems. I put more money into my main front speakers and deleted both the center and the separate subwoofer.

I bought Paradigm 90p mains which have powered subwoofers in each cabinet (you have to run subwoofer cables to each along with the normal speaker wires) I also have paradigm mini monitor surrounds.

I then set up my receiver to "no center speaker". All center channel info now comes from the mains. The only problem this creates is with a roomful of people the dialog may sound like it is coming out of whatever speaker you are closer to, although no one has complained. This setup didn't save me any money but it did make room placement easy.

My wife loves it!!! No subwoofer to decorate around, no center speaker to hang in a weird location.
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Dunno about you, but I would never do that. I love my center.

Adding a center is definitely worth it. I would think about digging into the walls and embedding the center there.

A properly calibrated 6.1 or 5.1 system is worth the money, the redecoration and the hastles...
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How about using 2 speakers for the center channel ??

You wire the speakers in series and place the center speakers to the left and right of the Plasma(as close to the screen as possible).

The height and dispersal pattern of the center speakers now can match the main speaker.
That have a contemporary setting, and no existing system or wallunit.


It is soo cool!

Glad your customers have the layout for such a posh item!

Do you have recommendations for those who live in antiques?

I thought of wall mounting it with a custom wooden sculpted gold-leafed frame (got many such specialty shops nearby) to display tiffs or gifs during receptions. Sure is hard to get an idiot box to integrate into a decor dating back to past eras. (yeah, I know, go Stark - already did that and then woke up!)




Brett (aka the cooter)
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If you get an antique dining credenza you can have it outfitted with a Plasma Lift and loudspeakers too. No one will tell if you do it right.

I knew I had knocked on the right door - had thought of a lift built into the footsection of a modern bedframe - but had excluded its possible integration to a decor from yesteryear. Some 19th century credences here have a mirror lining their lower sections, against the wall, behind which one could install a thin boxed-in lift section. Then one could easily match the surface marble with a strip of similar color and veins. True, it would slightly disrupt the proportions of the credence, something you wouldn't want to do to a masterpiece. However, a less perfect model, possibly too slim and long, might even benefit from slightly deeper proportions. If I take this route, I'd probably just wall-mount the lift-box behind the credence at the proper height, and then just position the intact credence against it.

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