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Placement of Front Speakers

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by DEO, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. DEO

    DEO
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    I am a newbie so please be gentle:

    In my room which is 20' by 20' the TV/Plasma will be at the midpoint of one of the walls and the main listening position is approx 14 feet away from the TV.

    How far apart should the speakers be?

    Alternatively how far away from the edges of the Plasma should they be?
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    As a general starting position,if you position the speakers spaced equally to the sides of the screen,at the sides of an equilateral triangle,with the apex where you'll be sitting.
    Then gradually toe the speakers in towards your position,and keep adjusting the positions gradually until you get the best sound for your ears!

    Try and keep them away from walls and other reflective surfaces unless specifically recommended for that usage,and also ensure they're adequately screened if you should place them close to the screen itself.

    A lot of this is simply trial and error until you arrive at the best solution for your room sonically,and aesthetically....I used to get constant gip from my wife about the Linn Keltiks I had previously,and their gradual movement out into the room when she wasn't looking!
     
  3. DEO

    DEO
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    Thanks Alex

    These front 3 speakers will be inwalls therefore toeing in is not an option but I will base it on the equilateral triangle. Or perhaps on an isosceles (spelling?) triangle, ie where the both speakers are the same distance to the listening position AND the distance between the speakers is equal to the the distance between plasma and listening position.

    Does that sound reasonable too?

    Dave
     
  4. Ian J

    Ian J
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    if you have some other speakers around, a practice run would be useful before cutting holes in the wall
     
  5. DEO

    DEO
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    This sounds sad but a practise run is not practical as I have not yet purchased the av hardware or screen, all I have bought are the speakers.

    I am hoping the inwalls (they are M & K 150s at the front) provide a dispersive sound so that the actual positioning is not mega critical.

    For example the boxed versions of these speakers have a bit of automatic toe-in/angle already built in but this of course is impossible with inwalls.
     
  6. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Then either borrow three speakers or buy the cheapest from Richer Sounds and try them out with that.

    If you were using speakers on stands you would spend quite a while fiddling around until you got the placement just right but if you are making holes in walls you only have one go at it
     
  7. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    I thought the distance between the L/R speaker should be less then between listening position and wall?

    You could also look at the Dolby guide.
    http://www.dolby.com/ht/Guide.HomeTheater.0110.html#chapter3

    Mike
     
  8. uncle eric

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    Dave, apart from the advice I have personally given you, one or two more points here for whoever will be installing the system for you.

    As mentioned before, don't make the mistake of placing the L/R fronts too far away from the left and right of your 50 inch plasma. There is always much compromise in all things home cinema, but one should always tie in sound with screen as much as possible and within reason.

    Another thing not mentioned here are the levels (dB, not height) of your centre speaker. Because these are in walls, they cannot be placed equidistant to the main (or any) listening position.
    Simply setting similar levels with an SPL just won't do it. For reasons too boring to go into here, I would consider setting your centre channel at anything from -3 to -7db less than your front L/R mains for you to achieve a more coherent front soundstage.
     
  9. DEO

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    Eric,

    Placing the front left and right speakers closer to the plasma (we discussed a further 0.5 metres from the plasma edges) mean the front 3 speakers are going to be within a 6' to 7' space measured horizontally. The rear speakers are going to be a comparitively huge 20' apart.

    Is this an issue? On the face of it one thinks that the "stereo" effects separation (from the front) would be limited if you get my drift. Or does the fact they are inwalls provide a more dispersive sound?

    Dave
     
  10. uncle eric

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    Dave,
    I do indeed get your drift and this is why we are talking compromises. Placement of the centre is simple, the front L/R is a compromise between not having sound tie in with what's happening on screen (in other words, not placing the L/R speakers too far from the left and right of the screen) while at the same time placing them wide enough in order for you to achieve acceptable spatial seperation.

    My final judgement on the exact placement of the front L/R speakers would also depend on the main listening position.

    In fact, I would say, with every installation I do, "the chair" or main listening position is the single most important factor. Basically, every aspect, be it visual or audio is built around this one item.

    There's not much you can do with "in wall speakers" as surrounds. If the side walls are 20ft apart, then thats how far your speakers will be. Basically, one must make sure that the final placement and calibration for these is optimum in terms of ambience in the surround soundfield.

    Very busy must go.
     

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