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Center channel placement

 

Bronze Member
Username: Sgtpeper

Post Number: 51
Registered: 12-2003
After my mishap today Im pushing up my plans to design and build my new entertainment center. One Idea I had was to build a shelf under the tv for the center channel to go on... Does that usually work well or is on top of the tv best? Im looking for best placement... Height wise where would I want it?
thanks
 

My Rantz
Unregistered guest
Where the tweeter is as close as possible to your ears listening position height is a general rule of thumb
 

New member
Username: Iceberg

Post Number: 16
Registered: 12-2003
I have mine on the bottom. Sounds good in my room. I watch mostly movies on my couch so ear level is good. Go with what sounds the best for you.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sgtpeper

Post Number: 52
Registered: 12-2003
what about if i made a slight part that comes out a bit in front and is slightly lower than the tv so it the center channel doesnt block the screen... how would that sound?
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 208
Registered: 12-2003
Heck, I have mine sitting on top of my 36" Sony. But when I get one of those new thin HDTV's I will have to build a shelf. If I get a hanging tv I will probably build the shelf under the tv. If I get a DLP or LCOS HDTV I will probably build a shelf that meets the top of the tv--to keep the speakers as close to my sitting ear level as possible.

I personally don't care for center channelsw firing up from below. But, like everything else--it is all a matter of taste. Some have good--some don't :o)
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 209
Registered: 12-2003
To accommodate a projection screen, I've recently moved our front center speaker from right on top of the TV to above it, wall-mounted about 7 ft from the floor (say 5 ft from the screen). It sounds better, if anything. I was surprised. Perhaps we can tell left-right more easily than up-down. Seems possible, since ears are mounted one on each side of your head. Also, Our TV cabinet is flimsey and plastic, and maybe some of the better sound comes from it no longer resonating.

This is try-it-and-see. You can put the center speaker temporarily on a small table, and build shelves or whatever after you have decided where it sounds good and is convenient.
 

New member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2004
Our 40in Pioneer R/P only allows center speaker placement at 4ft above ears, but I don't think the sound suffers significently.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ncavman

Post Number: 60
Registered: 12-2003
On one of my systems I am using the Sanus SB center channel TV stand to place a center above a very narrow RPTV. For $25 on ebay you can have a quick and dirty fix to the narrow tv prob until you build something serious. Works well. I was able to keep the center within 6" vertically of the tweeters in the front mains which are ear level.

I made a bracket for mine to add more bracing but it was fairly solid by itself. Also added some dampening material reduce vibrations between the center and TV.

Looks like this http://www.bigbangelectronics.com/product.asp?dept_id=5&pf_id=tvsb
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Post Number: 212
Registered: 12-2003
John A.

It could be your center channel has very good 15 to 30 degree off-axis performance. Some speakers don't. I would imagine it is a horizontal center speaker.

NC AV--

Looks like a good and cheaper solution if it is big enough for your center speaker---it only holds up to 15 lbs) for tv sets that don't angle down terribly fast in the rear. It would be dicey on my Monitor Audio Gold Reference Center channel which is 26 lbs.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 214
Registered: 12-2003
Gregory,

My center channel is a KEF "egg". It has the Uni-Q design of co-axial tweeter and bass-midrange which indeed gives good off-axis performance, including minimal phase problems from interference between the drivers. Equally, the speaker is mounted vertically, and points downwards towards the listeners. It is a good solution, and even looks OK. You would probably not choose to put a rectangular box up so high.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ncavman

Post Number: 61
Registered: 12-2003
Gregory, I have a large center, steel tilt stand, and heavy 10awg cables all on this stand. I doubt it is 26lbs though probably around 20. I have it angled down a few degrees so it is directly pointing at the listener, I like that position better than below. I have good wide dispersion from this center making precise adjustments not as critical as some others.

This TV stand is 3/4" solid MDF and can hold several times the weight rating. I think the weight rating is more of a disclaimer... to keep people from crushing/cracking the top of their TV's which were not made for supporting any weight.

Somehow that printed weight rating probably keeps them out of claim situations from idiots who put 100lb subs on top of their $6000 TVs.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Sgtpeper

Post Number: 58
Registered: 12-2003
Any more ideas for my cabinet and placement?
So far the idea is Im going to build it so it has 3 sections. Obviously the TV goes on top. There wont be a top part to it unless I decide that the top of the tv is best for the center channel. Otherwise it will be 3 sections wide. The 2 sides will be for all my eqipment - reciever etc and each will be on a rack that can slide out. The center area will protrude a bit and be slightly lower so the center channel can be on that and come up to the screen of the TV. Under this will be drawers for DVDs etc. The shelf for the center channel will also be at a ~15 degree angle so it will really be aimed at ear level. The height is yet to be determined but I think the center will come up to about 2.5 feet maybe? Thanks for any advice!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sgtpeper

Post Number: 60
Registered: 12-2003
bump
 

Bronze Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 13
Registered: 02-2004
"The height is yet to be determined but I think the center will come up to about 2.5 feet maybe?"

Sgtpeper,

Providing there is no furniture (coffee table etc) close to your center speaker that may absorb/deflect the soundwaves - at that height you should have no problem. Sounds like you'll have a good set up.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sgtpeper

Post Number: 61
Registered: 12-2003
when you say no coffee table close... how close is too close?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 14
Registered: 02-2004
If your center is 2.5 ft and angled at 15 degrees I can't see it being a problem as long as a table etc is not too close (and whether it's solid or on legs). You should be able to tell by sight and sound. If you imagine the sound waves from your center - would the majority be above the table.

The reason for my input was that one of my mains (about 3ft tall) was about 4ft from the end of our couch (you probably sy sofa - one of two in L shaped setting) so I ended up putting both mains on stands to prevent absortion. It worked well.

I don't know what center you are using but if it's going in a cabinet it should be fully enclosed or front ported - rear ported might create a boomy sound.

That's my 2 cents worth - others with more experience might have better opinions.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 220
Registered: 12-2003
sgtpeper is correct. The mid and high frequencies so important for detail in the sound stage are easily absorbed or reflected by items of furniture. Low frequencies such as from a sub much less so. It is OK to put a sub out of sight under a coffee table or behind a sofa.

But you want detail from a centre speaker. There should be nothing close to the line of sight between the listener and the speaker. Same for the main speakers. Also, you should be roughly on the axis of the speaker, especially the tweeter. This is the chief advantage of stands for small speakers, instead of location on bookshelves etc.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 221
Registered: 12-2003
I meant "My Rantz is correct". Apologies.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 230
Registered: 12-2003
Just to note I have done a bit of serious listening now and there is a drawback to having the centre speaker high above the mains. A classical DVD-A sounds just as if the soloist in a concerto is performing from platform about 20 feet above the orchestra, quite surreal.

I suppose the speaker will have to go below the screen when I eventually get a projector. But it won't look good. And I wonder if the soloist will then sound like he is playing but from the floor of the hall, not the stage. If not from a hole in the ground.
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