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Suspending center speaker from ceiling?

1746 Views 10 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Bixbe
I'm planning ahead for redesigning my home theater this summer (when the house warrantee period ends) and am considering relocating the center speaker. I plan to build a false wall on either side to hide the mains, and wonder if I could so something similar with a proscenium arch and hide the center as well. It's a shame really, as these are beautiful red cherry B&Ws, but I think it would be a more immersive experience with them hidden.

Anyway, How do I suspend a Nautilus HTM1 (big, expensive, fragile) center from my 9 foot ceiling? Build a suspended shelf and keep the speaker upright, or somehow suspend it inverted? The top of my screen is 24" from the ceiling when pulled down, and I imagine I will maintain that approximate height even if I change to an electric screen.

Any thoughts?
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I vote for a hidden suspended shelf for your center speaker. It works for me.

I also have 9' ceilings in my dedicated HT. Like you, I build a stage with a false wall to house my mains. The wall is just a 2X4 frame plus speaker frames covered with GOM fabric (all DIY). This allows me to remove the speaker frames from the "wall" if necessary to ajust my speakers or whatever. My center speaker (Rocket RCS200, which is big) is placed above the screen on a hidden suspended shelf built as part of this same wall assembly (screen is at 7' and the center speaker's bottom is about 6" higher). Plus, with a little careful planning I was able to place all my tweeters at the same level... which produces a more consistence pan across the front sound stage. In addition, my surround speakers are in half-round columns on the side walls. My 7.1 speakers are in the ceiling at the back of the room. So, there are no speakers visable.

My associate, who has the digital camera, is at the hospital having a baby. When she returns to work I'll take pictures of my HT and post them here on the Forum.

Let us all know what you decide to do.
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My concern about using a shelf is that the speaker uses B&W's tweeter-on-top design, so I'm worried about dispersion if I put the tweeter within 6 inches of the ceiling, as oposed to inverted, 18 inches or so from the ceiling. A shelf is clearly easier to build, but

Technically, I guess I could still invert the speaker on a shelf, and perhaps make a cutout in the shelf for the tweeter assembly, but I'd be worried about what damage I would do to the finish on the speaker, which cost more than I could possibly afford to replace. Perhaps I can build some sort of cradle that is firm but not abrasive.

My original thought was to use the mounting screw holes on the bottom of the speaker to suspend it. Perhaps screwed to a steel plate, or maybe just to arms like wall/ceiling speaker mounts.

If you hang your center speaker and hide your mains, will this look funny? Or, are you talking about suspending the speaker behind a false wall above your screen? Based on what I read here in the Forum, and as you no doubt already know, having the center speaker above the screen is preferrable to having it below the screen--which many individuals must do because they don't have the space to put the speaker above the screen.

I cannot say for your speakers, but I discussed the matter with my speaker manufacturer and the tech said turning my center speaker "upside down" to align the tweeters would cause no problem.... so, I did it. This resulted in my RS750 main tower speakers sitting rather high behind the false wall. I'm in the final stages of installation.... so, I'm anxious to see how it all works.
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I also have towers, and you and Dennis have helped answer the question as to whether to have the stage continue all the way across or cut it short of the false walls so as to leave the mains on the floor. It does make me wonder how 2 channel will sound with raised mains though.
..A proscenium arch as You mentioned is great and I wonder why this solution is so rare in the home theater world. My Atlantic Technology 270 center is tipped in a cradle on the shelf...
Andy, I've looked at your site before but have not really been able to understand where the center is sitting, and what supports it. Is there anything in front of it?

Professor, I would intend to hide the center behind another false wall that drops down 18-20 inches from the ceiling.
..Scroll down the page called "January 2003 version" and You will see pix of the center and more......:rolleyes:
Ah, I see now. Have you considered putting up some fabric to hide them?

I wrote to B&W to ask their advice about using the mounting holes and they said I should not try that, as they were not intended to support the weight of the speaker. Oh well. Back to shelf/cradle ideas. Unfortunately that means I can't put it up until I build the proscenium. Would have been nice to test it in that position before building.
odd, last post didn;t register
I never felt the need to hide the speakers because the black wall and the spotlights make them totally invisible..
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