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Speaker Placement in A-V Center Set-up
Old 03-31-2012, 06:30 PM   #1
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Speaker Placement in A-V Center Set-up

Hi. My flat screen TV is the node of my setup. The computer and the DVD player deliver digital signal to the TV via HDMI cables, the TV then delivers digital audio to my large old fashioned hi-watt Sony receiver. I have 2 KEF speakers that measure 8 1/2"wide x 10"deep x 20"high. I also have some theater speakers that I am not using now. I need to move the L main speaker which sits on my fireplace apron. Choices are to hang both speakers on the wall, leave R on on the floor and hang L one, or move the L one to a spot on the floor a bit farther away just out of a corner. My guess is that easiest and best sound is to just move the L one farther laterally but leave it on the floor. Also, this would have the L and R speakers both flanking the TV, whereas at present both are to the R of the TV.

However, I am no audiophile (this rig was a gift), so I would appreciate suggestions and observations.

Thanks!

Ha
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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Your front speakers should be at ear level. I have mine flush with the bottom of the TV screen.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:11 PM   #3
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Your front speakers should be at ear level. I have mine flush with the bottom of the TV screen.
+1, but if not practical, keep both the L & R at the same level.

Most speakers have a very limited vertical dispersion - that's just a fancy way to say that the high frequencies drop off very quickly as you raise your head above or below speaker (tweeter) level (horizontal dispersion is normally much better). So an ear level tweeter is best, but at least if they are the same, the sound won't be off-balance.

You can probably demonstrate this pretty easily (unless you already have a lot of high frequency hearing loss). Just put on some music with nice clear cymbal work, and raise your head above and below the speaker. I think you will hear the difference. Try it with one ear covered to isolate reflections.

Audiophiles will also talk about keeping speakers away from walls or corners, but this kinda depends. Near walls and corners can re-enforce some frequencies, but that might not be a bad thing overall, or an even be good.

If I have some time later, I'll see if I can dig up some sound files for testing the room/speaker placement. Sometimes, with the right test tones, certain problems become obvious. You might not pin-point them just listening to music, but if you can clear them up, you may notice that the music sounds better.

One that I recall using was really revealing. It was just little, short, repeating blips of tones that would slowly raise in frequency. Most of the time, the blips would be very distinct, separate tones, then at certain points, they would all mush together. It was rather startling to hear that. It would point out that some short echoes were muddying the sound. Sometimes you can fix it easily by moving the speakers a bit, or adding some sound deadening material somewhere, other times you might have to live with it, but it can help to know.

-ERD50
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:22 PM   #4
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Ha, you are fortunate to have KEF speakers. They are an excellent brand and very forgiving with regard to placement. Recommendations made by hpnutty and ERD are good, you want one on each side of the TV and at the same level. Ear level would be nice, but so would the top of the speaker close to the top of the tv. If you can manage them, stands will help. Sanus Systems has a good line of stands with reasonable prices - or at least used to.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:41 AM   #5
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+1 to the previous posts.

I find speakers sound far better a few feet away from walls, corners. If placing them on furniture I put old computer mouse pads or pieces of closed cell foam sleeping mats to isolate rattles etc.

6 to 8 feet of separation between speakers is a fairly good distance. No need for gold plated super duper speaker wires, lamp cord works well.

Pay attention to the plus and minus markings. If out of phase the sound will be hollow.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:00 AM   #6
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I agree with what others have told you. My current setup has my speaker placement about one foot from each end of the TV and one foot from the wall behind (as is the TV screen) and on speaker stands which place them level with the bottom edge of the TV. The speakers are about 6' apart. Do not put them on the floor.

If you or anyone wants a good source to ask questions to audio/videophiles and get feedback on many products go here: AVS Forum
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:02 PM   #7
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If I use stands I'll need something that won't fall over in a small to moderate earthquake. And it will not be easy to spare the room space to get them 1' from the wall. I'll keep messing around and do my best.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Ha
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:19 PM   #8
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I have stands that are tubular construction that I have filled with lead shot. They hold up McIntosh speakers that weigh about 80 lbs. The speakers flank the TV and are very solid on the stands, I have no worries about them falling.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:12 PM   #9
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If I use stands I'll need something that won't fall over in a small to moderate earthquake. And it will not be easy to spare the room space to get them 1' from the wall. I'll keep messing around and do my best.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Ha
Ha,

If you can mount them on the wall an equal distance from the set on each side, I would say do so. I doubt that would provide any real discernable difference unless you are a sophisticated purist
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:18 PM   #10
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It's best if the center point between the speakers hits the center of your TV screen so that voices sound like they are coming from the picture rather than above, below, or to the side. Speakers at the same level as each other and the TV. My center channel is below the screen, as are many built-in TV speakers, and works OK if you're not trying to critique the system. I may try to add a center channel above the screen to balance it out some day.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:36 PM   #11
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Ha,

If you can mount them on the wall an equal distance from the set on each side, I would say do so. I doubt that would provide any real discernable difference unless you are a sophisticated purist
So, you're saying that Ha is neither pure nor sophisticated?
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:01 PM   #12
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So, you're saying that Ha is neither pure nor sophisticated?
Both would be accurate.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:14 PM   #13
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Both would be accurate.
Say it isn't so. At least not both.

Actually, with your taste in music (note to others - see his avatar) you score pretty well on both scales and would probably benefit from an effort to place your speakers as best you can, even if that entails a bit of risk and a few $$. Hope you enjoy ...
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:39 PM   #14
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However, I am no audiophile (this rig was a gift), so I would appreciate suggestions and observations.

Thanks!

Ha
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So, you're saying that Ha is neither pure nor sophisticated?
You trying to put me in hot water with Ha. That said, from a non-audiophile perspective I would say he is certainly sophisticated, but pure is another matter
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