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rear speaker height for home cinema

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by dazed&confused, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. dazed&confused

    dazed&confused
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    I've just bought some home cinema gear and I'm confused about what height to place my rear Castle Compact satellite speakers (regular ones rather than dipoles). I will be using wall brackets so am flexible on height.

    I thought I'd read that the tweeter should be at ear height but now I've just read in a magazine that rear speakers should be placed high on the wall and 'toed in'.

    Perhaps it dpends on how far behind you the speakers are? In my case the speakers will be on the wall, either side of a sofa that is virtually against the wall itself.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Ear level is really for fronts although the same could apply at the rear if we lived in American sized rooms and had loads of space behind.

    Up high and toed in is fine for rears although depending on layout you may want to think about fixing them on the side walls and firing across the seating position.
     
  3. dazed&confused

    dazed&confused
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    Thanks for the reply.

    Are you saying that I would still be better putting them high up the wall rather than at ear height, even though they will be on the wall either side of a sofa that is right against a wall?
     
  4. mhuk05

    mhuk05
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    If you've got the space to put rears at ear height do it...
     
  5. dazed&confused

    dazed&confused
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    Sorry for carping on about this, but if that's the case (and it certainly makes sense to me to put them at ear height) why would the mag say to place them high up the wall?
     
  6. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Yes
     
  7. deckard

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  8. wannabeav

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    I've tried both and found that higher up sounds noticeably better IMO. The sofa is about 50cm from the wall and the speakers are about 1.7m off the floor. Again as Ian suggested, I also found it better to have them on the side walls but as this is in the lounge no clearance granted as they're not wife friendly speakers!
     
  9. inzaman

    inzaman
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    I too have my rears like the Dolby site i.e above ear level and at the side of the listening position.
     
  10. Andywilliams

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    Hi
    If you put your rears at ear level they will be too localised i have heard rears at ear level and to be honest it sounded crap,no ambiance, ruins the whole effect. My rears are placed just under the coving slightly toed in pointing downwards and they sound great.
    Cheers Gonzo. :)
     
  11. SD_David

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    I think if they are at ear level they can sound too directional...above ear level makes for a more natural sound...but not too far above. I have had rear ceiling speakers and sometimes the sound effects sound much too directional and un-natural.
     
  12. Peridot

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    I currently have mine on metre high stands which puts them just slightly above ear level when listening. I'm not happy with the sound and was thinking about moving them higher. Afetr reading this thread I'll certainly give it a try.

    ___________________
    Dermot
     
  13. cool hand luke

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    I know this thread is more to do with the height of the rear speakers but can someone give an opinion as to what distance apart they should be spaced?
     
  14. inzaman

    inzaman
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    I'd imagine that they sould be inline with the front sides, mine are wall mounted so are slightly wider apart than the fronts.
     
  15. Supra

    Supra
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    The rears height should be 60 cm from tweeter to ear level, Got this info from replies to one of my posts. I have this setup to be excellent.
     
  16. Blu Ray

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    All seems rather subjective to me. Maybe get two slaves to hold each surround and move them up and down until it sounds right?
     
  17. KHCC

    KHCC
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    Mornin'

    If you have them too close and at ear level, things like planes fly through you not over you. If you can!!! try to get the rears 60 - 90cm from the average ceiling and at least 2M back as is gives the sound time to disperse (merge with the other speakers) and SURROUND you with sound otherwise if they are too close the sound is like a needle it's so directional, you will be aware exactly where the rear is and distract you when something happens through the rears and that has taken your concentration off the film, which means you are now not involved - the home cinema is not doing it's job properly.

    Try the beginning of the attack in Pearl Harbor before the the first torpedo is dropped when everyone is asleep and the Japanese fly over from behind you. It should get the hairs on your neck standing up.

    Try the bit is 'The Others' where there are running foot steps upstairs in the room above, they should sweep around the room. Again, neck hairs activation.

    Try 'Signs' where Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix both go different directions around the house and meet, there are Alien foot steps behind you running over the roof. It should sound like they are elevated above you!!!

    Hope this helps.
     
  18. dazed&confused

    dazed&confused
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    Thanks for all the advice. And the handy film references as well!

    I think I'll be putting speaker brackets high up the walls this weekend.

    One more thing I'd like to know though. Does the high up the wall recommendation also apply to multichannel music (or stereo music processed through Dobly Pro-logic II)? I think I'll be listening to music more tnan watching films.

    Thanks.
     
  19. croozer

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    surely it must be a question of personal choice.if the speakers are high then you will indeed hear a plane flying over your head but a car roaring down the street would be up there as well when it should be low coming from behind you.in my case i chopped a couple of holes in the cavity wall behind me about 10 ft apart and 18 inches from the floor and mounted the speakers on a baffle.for most occasions this suits me well.
     
  20. Duffers0

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    Top grade amps have speaker outs for 2 sets of rears. One for cinema and one for surround music.

    Music surrounds should be lower ear height as per the fronts often stand mounted and cinema rears should be high on the side walls, at worst level with seating position, but not in front of, thinking distance front to back. If you can site side wall high behind seating position then all the better.

    If you add a 6th sourround back then central above (same height as sides) behind your seating position.


    Good luck. :smashin:
     
  21. dazed&confused

    dazed&confused
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    Thanks Duffers.

    I suspected someone was going to say that about music. This is a shame because I've discovered my system is giving a much fuller sound on multi-channel music (well, stereo mixed through pro-logic) so I'm not dissappointed with it like I was in stereo.

    What do people think the best compromise would be for music and cinema? I do not have a 'top grade amp' with outputs for 2 sets of rears (and wouldn't really want two sets of rears, one immediately above the other, anyway if I could help it).
     
  22. pwood

    pwood
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    The problem with using conventional boxes on the rear wall with sofa on the same plane is by the time you allow for brackets and the depth of the speaker the sound may fire over your head. If you intend using them and I imaging that you may well, given you already have the speakers then slightly higher up pointing slighly down and toed in a bit would be ok. Get decent brackets that can angle up and down as well as side to side so you can muck about with them till your happy
    I had a similar dilema a while ago and went for bipole speakers as they tend to sit flush on the wall.This would work well in your setup given the sofa is on the same wall as the speakers(like mine). The speakers I have are the monitor audio BFx which have a pair of side firing tweaters and a forward firing midrange. Sited just above head height they give a great image with movies and music.

    Good luck.
     
  23. KHCC

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    Mornin'

    All I can say about the rear speaker height debate is that THX cinema's, and all other cinema's, have the rears above head height!!! I believe it is cinema we are striving to achieve in our home but every room is different, even if there are two of the same houses in a development with the same layout. It is human nature that those two rooms will be furnished differently and set out differently. Even if they were set up the same but one with a leather 3 piece suite and the other with a velour 3 piece suite you would get a different sound as leather is very reflective where as velour has great absorbance.

    My point is, that, not every ones advise is going to be spot on. It may work in some rooms or speaker setups but then every one likes a different sound. I go to a specific cinema out of the 5 that are around me purely because I prefer that sound.

    In terms of the multi channel music media's that are now being recorded, you have to compromise on the rear sound in most cases, some systems will work very well with both depending on how they were set up or who set the system up!!! and the equipment used and probably most importantly the room the system is in!!!

    The best advise is to experiment as no one can give a piece of advise that will work with everyone apart from the obvious like the center speaker should be on the ceiling above your head :D


    Regards
     
  24. JBL 4645

    JBL 4645
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    As to placement of the surrounds there roll is that they should be placed horizontally along the side and rear walls, with the downward angle 15°…also height surround placement too same brand and model and fit them to they ceiling use as many as possible for the size of the room some high quality built bookshelf types will be good. :)

    Or multi configurations of bipolar ones fitted this will surround with total atmosphere of sound effects.

    Also wiring surround speakers up in a daisy chain way note the impedance on the speaker and the amplifier too…if wired incorrectly the amplifier will make a horrible sound when low frequencies at high dynamics and this can result in the AVR shutting down or total damage, so always note the impedance first and the power handling of the surround speakers for series or parallel which ever you decide on.

    Remember before taking on a task as big as this…pen paper and ruler sit down and design the layout and the type of surround speakers that have been selected two surround speakers in the home is not enough…but then most IMAX cinemas have only two positioned at the back with a downward angle of 45° so you can fix two at the back corners high up and angled down to the middle of the room.

    I’m always looking at new ideas that pop up into my mind and draw them down and look at it in 3-demisonal ways to solve it out and make work… :)

    Ashley…
     

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