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Centre speaker designed for floor??

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Jameselvin, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. Jameselvin

    Jameselvin
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    Hi all, I'm in the process of sorting the film room out, but am struggling with what to do about the centre speaker as I'm using a Projector.

    I don't like the idea of mounting it on a stand as I think it will look a bit odd, so wondered if there were any cheap centres designed for the floor and angled up (ie like PA monitor 'wedges')??

    Cheers,

    James
     
  2. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    u could just put a centre speaker on the floor and angle it up...ta da....lol

    why dont u like the idea of mounting it on a stand? if its because it might wobble over, just get two stands :)

    or make a shelf for it

    or if you want it really cinemaistic then get a perforated screen and mount the centre speaker approx half way up behind the screen...heh....
     
  3. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    oh, to answer the question, no, i dont know of any made specifically for the task....cheap or expensive, not to say they dont exist, just cant remember having seen any....
    sorry :)
     
  4. Jameselvin

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    Those perforated screens don't work with DLP Projectors (I think...).

    I think having three stands at the front will kind of detract from the cinema experience I'm going for.

    I'll probably have to cut a chunk of wood which will angle the speaker (bit like an oversized door stop :D )
     
  5. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    I use Auralex Mopads for angling my centre speaker up from the floor at the moment. I've also used them for angling it down from the top of my TV. :)
     
  6. raouf

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    Hi John,

    I was wondering about how you are experiencing the centre speaker on the floor, and if there was a large difference compared to above your TV.

    Thanks
     
  7. IWC Dopplel

    IWC Dopplel
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  8. lbstyling

    lbstyling
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    Idealy, your average center speaker will perform better stood the same way up as your L+R speakers- assuming that it doesnt have a mid driver above the tweeter (like in the pic linked to in IWC's post)

    so could you place it on its end?

    Also, as im here, idealy you should make sure your center has no reflective serfaces level with or infront of its front baffle- that means, you should make it stand proud of the surrounding rack/AV kit. :smashin:

    not sure if ive helped or made it harder- but good luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  9. dante01

    dante01
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    Regular speakers were once used as centre speakers and there was no such thing as a specific centre speaker. The reason the centre speakers developed into the elongated design you now associate with them is because the design widens the centre speaker output. Standing the centre speaker on its end would negate the reasoning behind its elongated design and narrow its output.

    The reasoning behind the placement of the centre speaker is that you need to keep the hi frequency tweeter in as close a proximity to the same level as your ears a possible while you are seated in the listening position. The further away the speaker and the tweeter from your ear level then the more disassociated it becomes from the screen and the images on it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  10. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I would suggest, as others have hinted, and assuming you have the room, that you use a shorter floorstanding model from the same line of speakers are your left/right front speakers.

    Case in point -

    This speakers is 1020mm high when on spikes -

    Product - Products - Wharfedale Hi-Fi

    This speaker is only, which would likely make a good center, is only 880mm high when on spikes (850mm) without -

    Product - Products - Wharfedale Hi-Fi

    For those not so metrically inclined 1020mm = 40", 880mm = 35".

    You could even use a large bookshelf speaker on a stand for the center, that would actually be preferable, as other have pointed out, to using a center speakers.

    Horizontal center speakers are not the best design. In fact, some might say they are the worst design, but the are also a practical necessity for most people in most rooms. However, in a dedicated Cinema room with a projection screen, a bookshelf or a floorstander in the center is definitely going to give the best results.

    I don't believe you specifically said what brand and model of speakers you have. But if you have the space, then bookshelf or floorstanding are the way to go.

    Perhaps someone else will have a link, but there are some isolation speaker stands (very low) that tilt the speaker. They are sort of wedge shaped. These could be used on the floor or on the top of low stands to angle the speaker upward, perhaps, enough to allow them to point at the listeners.

    If your theater room has tiered or rows of seating, speakers down this low are not the best. However, if you have normal single row seating, the low center should work fine.

    EDITED:
    Just noticed that eviljohn2 already provided a link to the Auralex Mopads, which is what I was thinking of -

    http://www.auralex.com/sound_isolation_mopad/sound_isolation_mopad.asp

    Just a few thoughts.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  11. lbstyling

    lbstyling
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    Im aware these are generally accepted views here but the reason center speakers are long and wide is simply because when dolby labs/Peter Scheiber investigated the dometic application of surround they found that the consumer found symmetry of the horrizontaly led speaker more acceptable. Its just that simple.
    Read vance dickasons loudspeaker design cookbook.

    All loudspeakers idealy should have atleast the critical mid and tweeter vertically alligned simply because the human ear isnt very sensitive to vertical dispertion irregularities but it is to horrizontal.
    This becomes less important as the freq reduces as the wave propogation becomes larger than the speaker anyway, and besides that, your ability to detect the location reduces with freq.

    This can be easily demonstrated.- as your ear is sensitive to directivity of less than 1 degree horrizontally-
    close your eyes while your partner/friend chooses a place to stand in the room. keeping your eyes closed, ask them to make a noise. point at where you feel the noise is coming from and open your eyes- you should find that your more or less pointing streight at them.- now same test again but ask them to stand on a ladder or chair, or crouch on the floor. you might be able to guess once weather there high or low but you cant reliably do it.
    This is also why hight information speakers havent been recieved by the public as particularly effective.

    The point about location of the tweeter in relation to the screen is a valid one- but this has no bearing on the orientation of the speaker.
    Idealy, a speaker should be a point source- as in all sound information comes from the same place, just as a voice will- although this is practically a issue, perposefully elongating the pattern will not help unless the drivers are placed in a semi-circle that is focused to the exact point the listener is sitting. This causes issues of its own to do with phase shift causing comb filtering which coincidentally all speakers that have multiple drivers playing the same FR will have, as is the drawback of the d'appolito format.

    In short- there are MANY MANY compromises in speaker design that home cinema has accepted- the problem is that you can spend tens of thousands on kit that looks amazing, but for very little money it could be slaughtered if the end user didnt have to buy baised on looks and WAF. This is just a small one.;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  12. dante01

    dante01
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    I found this which may be of some help:

    Vertical vs Horizontal Center Speaker Designs — Reviews and News from Audioholics


    It concurs with what lbstyling said ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  13. lbstyling

    lbstyling
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    well, I had to make up for my looks some how.;)

    In all fairness, I would conclude that all MTM's are the work of satan from that link.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  14. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    lbstyling
    ...the reason center speakers are long and wide is simply because when dolby labs/Peter Scheiber investigated the domestic application of surround they found that the consumer found symmetry of the horizontally led speaker more acceptable. Its just that simple.

    Read Vance Dickasons "Loudspeaker Design Cookbook.


    I'm not saying you are wrong, just that you aren't quite presenting the whole story, or taking it quite far enough.

    The reason for a horizontal center is shear practicality. In the average home it is next to impossible to use a vertical center. I would block the TV, or be otherwise positioned impractically. From a purely practice sense, a horizontal center is really the only workable choice, and yes, the symmetrical twin woofer design looks cool enough to entice buyers.

    But, there is a massive difference between placing a WTW (woofer, tweeter, woofer) design vertically, which is actually a good design, and placing the same speaker horizontally, which is a bad, but necessary, design.

    If you look at the Chapter titled "Home Theater Loudspeakers" on page 231 you will see frequency response graphs of horizontal WTW design, and the off axis response has huge notches in it (fig 10.15). Notches that don't appear when the same speaker is placed vertically (fig 10.16).

    But, what are you going to do? The choices are place the center horizontally, or have enough room to place it vertically or replace it with a speaker intended to be vertical, like a bookshelf or floorstander.

    In my fantasy home cinema room, this is my center speaker -

    Ergo 670 DC - Ergo Serie - CANTON pure Music (de)

    Of course, that is a room that cost about £1,000,000 (come on lottery numbers).

    By the way, the Vance Dickason book "Loudspeaker Design Cookbook" is pretty much a must for anyone even remotely thinking of building their own speakers. Or for those trying to understand how speaker design effects what they hear, and their buying decisions. Generally understandable, but a little deep in places.

    Just a thought.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  15. lbstyling

    lbstyling
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    Thanks for that bluewizard.:smashin:

    Well, your correct that I didnt go that 'deep' - but Ive gotta keep my feet on the ground here otherwise I can see you and me are going to quickly end up in a conversation thats going to realy be of no benefit to anyone who reads this thread.
    The posted speaker test from audioholics doesnt actually agree with me as much as it condems d'appolitos for use horrizontally. Admittedly I didnt correct this, as I felt that the article was correct- It just wasnt technically quite my point -and as mentioned, I didnt think its going to help the op.
    A well designed non MTM speaker will give a good measurement when placed on its side. Specifically mtm's measure very badly when off axis vertically for the reasons mentioned earlyer-
    A speaker that is of a classic 2 or 3 way design can actually measure very well because it doesnt have the phase issues- so the audioholics artical isnt actually a fair one.

    The reason why I wouldnt suggest that given the choice, you shouldnt place a speaker on its side is explaned if you read my post without looking at the audioholics site.- ie sensitivity to horrizontal pattern distortion.

    Personally, MTM's are a design compromise for a few reasons, but mostly baffle width limitation -this is somthing that most will have to compromise on- so acceptable, but not my first choice.

    Im a bit of a 'new wave' audio designer myself - horns are the future imo. A system that can effectively take the room acoustics out of the equasion without eq is the holy grail, assuming the compromise isnt too much. And I for one am all for it-
    Smurf has touched on the potential and I think hes seen it.

    In light of this, I thought I would give you a taster of my next build-
    Customer Projects - STEREO LAB
    The system at the top of the page is a similar layout to my design.:smashin:
     
  16. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Ibstyling -

    Admittedly what you said in an earlier post about MTM existing because they simply look cool, is TRUE. I was just taking it a bit further. So, I wasn't trying to dispute you, just expanding on what you said. Hope that's OK?

    The horizontal MTM is a flawed but necessary design. For most, there are no practical alternatives.

    However, the Original Poster, has a large projection screen, and assuming it is up high enough, there is no reason he should be locked into the generic horizontal MTM. A small matching floorstander or large matching bookshelf would serve him much better.

    But, again, he needs to give us more details about his current setup before we can make any real productive suggestions.

    The idea of using a slanted PA floor monitor would work, but it would be poorly blended with the rest of his system.

    He would do much better, as I have indicated, with a matching bookshelf or small floorstander.

    Another solution is to make a low stand for the MTM center, and place it vertically instead of horizontally. The Center design itself isn't flawed, it is the use and placement that is flawed. So, a Center standing on end, is going to work better than the same Centor placed on its side.

    But beyond that, without more details, there is very little that can be said in the way of direct practical solutions.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  17. lbstyling

    lbstyling
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    No worries blue.:smashin:

    Ive got the system 'image' now.

    I would agree a matching floorstander would be ideal, or as blue also says- a smaller speaker on a stand, I couldnt recommend having the speaker too close to the floor as an ideal choice even if angled up due to the early boundry reflection. though-
    having said that, youve gotta do what what works for you.

    I dont know of an angled lowish stand other than the one iwc linked to or the one they used to sell with the triangle leo major center speaker- cant see you getting hold of that too easy though.

    Make/comission one is always an option if you had too.
     
  18. sounddog

    sounddog
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    It's probably not quite what the OP is looking for, but Bower and Wilkins HTM1D is designed to sit on the floor...
    [​IMG]
    as is the Meridian 8000 center...
    [​IMG]
    and various other of Meridian's center speakers.

    Eloise
     
  19. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    If you happen to be in the business of kidnapping Kings and collecting the ransom, here is a Center speaker truly made for placement on the floor. Though it is so good, you would have no troubles with three across the front.

    Wilson Audio: Polaris: Introduction

    Wilson Audio: Polaris: Polaris as a Center Channel

    But ...again... there is that whole King's Ransom aspect.

    The same company does make a more conventional center speaker, that is probably on a Prince's ransom -

    Wilson Audio: WATCH System: Center Channel

    Again, it is not a question of what can be done, but a question of what can practically and reasonably be done. And I think we've suggested the best of that.

    Again, if the Original Poster wants more than us decending into grand fantasies of overly expensive speakers, he need to give us a lot more information about his room, his existing equipment, and his circumstances.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010

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