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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Front Left and Right Width


I'm setting up a new HT room in my basement. The room is set up wide, so the seating is also wide. I'm choosing my placement for my front left and front right speakers. My couches will sit 12 feet back from the TV, and the seating will be a long couch and a chair making about a 10 foot wide seating area.


Whenever I see pictures of home theaters, it seems that the front left and right speakers sit almost directly to the left or right of the TV. For me, it would be more convenient and aesthetically pleasing to put the front left and right on some bookshelves, which will place the speakers probably about 14 feet apart, rather than directly on the left and right side of the 5 foot wide TV. Is this bad? To me it would seem like I would end up with a wide soundstage, which I would think would be a good thing.


I've also read about people adding additional wide left and rights to their setup to widen their soundstage. Wouldn't just placing your left and right give you that effect (maybe to a lesser degree)?
 

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 http://www.dolby.com/consumer/setup/...ide/index.html


at 12' and the max 30 degree angle from the listening position to the center of the screen, the Dolby max. offset would be 6' on either side of the screen centerline (12' speaker to speaker). But this is a guideline, so experiment with placement and see what you like.


Even with that, the folks sitting out near the right or left edge of the seating will not get as good a soundfield experience as the guy in the center.
 

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You want the audio to "lock up" with the video image. If you place the speakers far away from the display, you won't get that. Sounds that "pan" across your TV will pan across a much larger space than the size of the TV. You'll have a very wide soundstage, but it will be much larger than the video image your eyes will see. For example, if a car move left to right on the screen, it will move a maximum of 5 ft. However, the sound will move 14 ft. from left to right. It won't "lock up" with the video image.


Wides left and right speakers are not used to widen the front soundstage. They are used to mimic the reflections at 60 degrees that Audyssey found to be pleasing in large concert halls. The effect is the sense that you are in a much larger acoustic "space" than your HT room. The front soundstage is still the same though.


Craig
 
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Guidelines are only guidelines.


"true speaker placement" for the front two "should be" a perfect triangle. you an even distance from both, and that distance from each other. But then you also have ribbon tweeters, piezo, horn-loaded and everything else that changes the "guideline".


If you are "close" to the guideline, you are golden. And the "close" has no math basis.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 /forum/post/20766637


Guidelines are only guidelines.

Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 /forum/post/20766637


"true speaker placement" for the front two "should be" a perfect triangle. you an even distance from both, and that distance from each other.

That guideline is for 2-channel. For a multi-channel system with a CC and a display, the guideline is different. Dolby, DTS, THX and everyone else recommends 22 to 30 degrees. 30 degrees would match your equilateral triangle, but it would be too wide for a 60" wide display. The OP would be better off with the 22 degree recommendation to scale the front soundstage to the size of the display.


Craig
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john /forum/post/0


Yes.


Better yet, move your seating distance closer to the display:
http://myhometheater.homestead.com/v...alculator.html

OK, so 8 is ideally what I'm aiming for. Not sure that I can get the wife to go for that. The room layout is pushing me closer to 12.


Could more toe in help my situation?


Wouldn't sitting closer force me to push my speakers even closer together?
 

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The "trade off" or balancing act in this situation is anchoring, as Craig beautifully described, and what thx or Dolby define as ideal angles. Since your tv is smaller than what is ideal for your viewing distance, you have to make a tradeoff. Make sense?


If you had a projector setup with a 10' wide screen, then speakers located just inside or outside of the edges of the screen would be appropriate. Audio would be anchored and the soundstage would be wider.
 

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Can you provide a picture of your "tv wall" or a description? Right now I'm picturing two built in bookshelves separated by 12 feet of wall. I'm also guessing that there is other furniture, besides the tv along that 12 section, or doorways/stairs or ????
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by UtahPaul /forum/post/20766916


Can you provide a picture of your "tv wall" or a description? Right now I'm picturing two built in bookshelves separated by 12 feet of wall. I'm also guessing that there is other furniture, besides the tv along that 12 section, or doorways/stairs or ????

OK, I took a picture, scribbled on it, and attached it. Here is the wall. On the left and right side are the bookshelves. They aren't installed yet, but they are already built, so I can't change them. (My father-in-law built them for me so they have to stay.) The TV hangs directly over the built-in component rack.


The right edge of the left bookshelf is 6 feet from the center of the TV. The left edge of the right bookshelf is 5 feet from the center of the TV. This means the minimum space I could get between the two bookshelves is 11 feet if I placed the speakers closest towards the center of the room. If I wanted the speakers to be symmetrically apart from the center, then I'll need to go 6 feet and 6 feet, totaling 12 feet. I can't move the TV any closer to the left bookshelf due to the window.


Between the bookshelves and the component rack are two bench areas for seating (We had an ugly 4 inch immovable waste pipe that we needed to cover up, which is why we ended up with a bench along the entire wall. We are breaking that bench up into the bookshelf, bench seat, component rack, bench seat, bookshelf design to make it look better.) The two bench seat areas will have cushions on them and obviously won't be used for watching TV, however they will provide additional seating facing our couch when we have a party or company overbasically, whenever the focus isn't watching TV.


I explained to my wife last night that the bench area is prime speaker real estate and she explained to me that she really doesn't care about my speakers and the bench seats stay.
So, that's my situation. I'm just trying to make the best of it.


I see what you mean about the TV size, but the 12 foot distance would at least get me the equilateral triangle from the couch.
 

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These are guidelines, and 12 feet is about right placement for stereo music anyway, so go with that and you'll be fine as long as you toe them in towards the center sweet spot. My speakers are designed to be widely-space apart and they are separated by 20 feet (outer edge to outer edge) and they sound fine for HT.
 

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OK, the picture is very helpful, worth a thousand words! And the solution is ......


You basically have two scenarios. The first is to accommodate your wife's desire to utilize the bench seating on either side of the tv which requires the front left and right satellite speakers go in the bookshelves. Ill call this the party mode scenario, probably more background music at lower volumes to facilitate conversations.


Scenario number two, movie night, when YOU'd prefer the best audio set. In this scenario I don't see those bench seats being used, perhaps adults on the couch and kids on the floor type of thing.


I'd wire so the front LR speakers can go in two locations each! Lets start with the party mode scenario, one set of speaker terminal plated in the cabinets somewhere. The speakers are not hardwired, but rather a 3' speaker cable with banana plugs on both ends to connect the speaker to the speaker wire terminal plate. Essentially it is a "jumper".


Now comes movie night, unplug speakers and plug into ANOTHER set of speaker terminal plates that optimizes speaker placement for movies. A good location might be on the sides of the center section housing your components.


Now you just flip up the bench seat cushions, bring out some little stands that your father-in-law can build that get the tweeters of the front LR speakers up to ear height when seated, plug speakers in and everyone is happy.


It can't take more than one minute to convert from one scenario to the other. The flipped up bench seats can probably even act as a acoustical treatment if the covering material is acoustically transparent. I would run your AVR's room correction when the speaker setup is in the movie night configuration.


Down the road, you might even consider a drop down, accousticly transparent screen and projector with the LCR speakers behind it. I hope I've been clear.
 

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It's an interesting idea UtahPaul, but I'd wager the sound difference likely won't justify the trouble of switching to movie-mode and he'll stop doing it after the first month. Honestly, I don't think the 12-feet spread is as much of a problem as people suggest. I'd rather have this setup than speakers butted up against the screen like we so often see here (even on senior member's systems!)
 

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I wasn't thinking that butting the speakers up against the tv is optimum. I've created some flexibility for speaker placement. I don't think speakers in a bookshelf is a great idea, even if that would gives optimum spacing/angles/etc. My thoughts for dual speaker terminal wallplate locations is that it's easy to do now and it avoids draping a speaker wire from inside the shelving units out and around to the speakers in the bench seat areas. Thinking WAF, plus I don't think it would look good either.


I think the speakers will just sound better out in "free space" rather than being trapped in the enclosed space of shelving
 

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That's true enough. And you're right that now's the time to do this, and it would be cheap to implement as well. A free parts from monoprice and you're done.


...yeah, you're right.
 

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The equilateral triangle "rule of thumb", 60 degree internal angles for those who have forgotten, or never really "got", geometry, is at the extreme of the 45-60 degree range that is normally recommended. Given the width of the OPs TV and the "localization" issue already discussed, I started at the 45 degree end of the recommended range. At a viewing/listening distance of 12, that calculation is 4.97 feet, centerline of TV to centerline of each LR speaker. That puts the right front speaker on the edge of the right shelving unit. Due to localization and maintaining symmetry for the front LR speakers, I think the the right front speaker goes a little closer to TV. A centerline to centerline distance of 4 feet, which would give 8" of space between it and the shelving. Then place left front speaker for symmetrical angle.
 
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