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Small Room, Big Screen - Speaker Placement

589 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Jim Mc
Drywall for our "Intimate" 11' wide by 17' long theater starts next Tuesday. I plan on using an 8' wide screen, which leaves me 18" on each side of the screen for speaker placement. The front screen area is under a 12" high soffit that hides a structural beam and HVAC ducting. This soffit extends into the room 4', and runs the full width of the front of the room.

What are my best options for acoustic treatment, speaker selection, and speaker placement?

I curently have ProAc Response 1sc minimonitors in my 2 channel setup (love 'em, they image like mad) but can do a completely separate setup for the theater. So speaker options are open.

There are a couple of issues:

1.) I'm concerned about early reflections from the side walls, obviously, and tonal imbalances from corner placement. Any thoughts on how to mitigate this?

2.) I'd like to place the center above the screen, but the Sony G70 I have requires a drop of 18" from the ceiling to the top of the screen, leaving me with 6" to 12" above the screen for speaker placement. I don't want to hang the projector too low because of aesthetics, code and headroom issues.

I could move the speakers out from the back wall, say 3 to 4 feet, and then that would allow me to mount the center up on the soffit front. Any thoughts on this approach? The first row of seating will be at 11'. (We sit up front at the movies too!)

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


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Regarding the corner placement of the mains you probably could improve them greatly with toeing-in and also a 2-4" of acoustic treatment such as Insulshield or high density fiberglass or Roxul to absorb early reflections off the adjoining walls.

Do not put soffitt across the front wall above your screen. (I did and tore it down.) Your 18" screen drop for your PJ works in your favor giving you 18" to mount the center channel if you like above the screen. So I don't understand why you mentioned a 6-12" space. Keep in mind the PJ may be causing the 18" screen drop but the PJ is still mounted mid-room not up front leaving that 18" area clear for your center.
Just curious Jim, why no soffitt across the screen wall?

You could either

1) use a microperf screen if room behind for speakers - will muffle sound and degrade pq - don't think you will like this if you are used to Pro Acs

2) Put up some Thiel PowerPoints on the ceiling. Have not heard them personally that way, but I understand it is quite nice. This would also elminate all your issues with the small space and not degrade PQ.

Just a thought

The soffit is hiding a structural 4 x 12 and the main HVAC runs for the house. So I'm stuck with it. So I automatically lose 12" of the projector's 18" drop because of the soffit. I can lower the PJ a max of about 6", leaving between 6" and 12" between the top of the screen and the bottom of the soffit for a center speaker.

I'd like to know what about your soffit didn't work, so I can (hopefully) avoid or mitigate the pitfalls.

I was planning on using 4" Sonex, (an open cell sculptured foam) on the side walls, but I'll check into other products like Insulshield.


I like the Thiel PowerPoint idea, I'll see if I can find a place that will let me try 'em out.
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The front soffit pushed my screen too far down and once completed it "looked wrong".

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