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Is my center channel placed too high?

 

Bronze Member
Username: Dpriwin

Post Number: 13
Registered: Sep-04
I'm planning the design of the cabinet where I will house my TV, speakers, and equipment. For reasons that would take too long to explain, the center channel would be placed approximately 6 feet from the ground, right on top of a 50 inch plasma TV. Is that too high for the CC?

If I placed the CC below the TV it would be about 40 inches from the ground, but right now that does not seem feasible.

HELP, please!
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 305
Registered: Jun-04
You mention that your plan is to put the speakers inside the cabinet along with the tv and equipment. Speakers will sound their best when not placed inside a cabinet, assuming you have booshelf speakers I would recommend purchasing some quality speaker stands. Also, your center channel speaker should prefferably be placed below your tv. If this placement is not possible, you can put it above the tv but I would recommend that you angle the center channel speaker downward to the listening area. You can purchase a product such as a foam type wedge from Home Depot to lift the rear of the speaker, these wedges can be modified to achieve the right angle so that the speaker would point directly at your listening area. Of course this is assuming that the center channel is in or on the cabinet you intend to use.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dpriwin

Post Number: 14
Registered: Sep-04
Vols, first, thanks for the comments, they are all useful to me. Although I very much would like to NOT place the speakers inside the cabinet, that is the only way my wife will allow it. Her sensitivity to this subject is heightened since it is a new house.

Would it be dumb to place the center channel belor the TV but VERTICAL rather than horizontal? I saw that arrangement on what seemed to be a very expensive setup (several McKintosh (sp?) amplifiers).
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 313
Registered: Jun-04
I have never tried this myself. In a perfect world the center channel would be placed at ear level directly in front of the listening area. I would not think it would hurt if it were vertical so long as it is direced at the listening area, but once again I have never tried it. Can you place it horizontal under the tv, if so I would stick to this. If not you could experiment with it prior to building the cabinet. Having it on top of the tv would not hurt, that's where mine is, I just angle it down as I mentioned earlier. One other thing, if you do place it on top make shure you have it all the way to the edge of the tv to prevent reflections.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 314
Registered: Jun-04
sorry for the typos
 

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 854
Registered: Feb-04
Vertical placement for center speaker is actually much better than horizontal. That way the sound will be good even when not sitting on the sweet spot. Placing any kind of speaker (exept 1-way or coaxial) horizontally will cause comb-filter problems when listening from the side.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 926
Registered: Aug-04
I had my center speaker (rear-ported B&W LCR6-S2) placed horizontally on the shelf below our display panel in a 3 level glass and alloy cabinet with open sides and rear. The mains are three way small floorstanders with the tweeters near the top and their height from floor (on small stands) is about 4ft. The level of center's tweeter was about 18ins from the floor and titled up to the listening position. This this was generally acceptable soundwise. But not always . . .

An occassional surround sound movie and especially a few (not all) SACD and DVD-A multichannel recordings, made it became glaringly obvious that this set-up with the center speaker would not do as voices sounded like they were emanating from the floor in front of us.

The solution (temporary) was to place the center speaker (horizontally) high up on a stool behind the dislay panel and tilt it down to the listening position. The height difference between the tweeter in the center (higher) and those in the mains is now about 10 ins - not perfect but okay - and this new placement has solved all problems and improved the overall sound immensely. I only need to find a more permanent method of keeping the center speaker in this position (wall bracket or custom stand).Hope this helps.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dpriwin

Post Number: 15
Registered: Sep-04
Vols, landroval, My Rantz: once again, thanks for the valuable input. Here is where I stand right now. The center channel will be placed above the TV and angled down towards the listener (thanks Vols). By the time I got to the cabinet maker my wife had already made decisions that make impossible placing the CC under the TV on a vertical bias (or horizontally for all that matters).

The fronts will be positioned in the cabinet in such a way as to line up the tweeters of all three front speakers. If you can, please confirm that is the appropriate positioning.

One more question, I've seen diagrams that show the left and right speakers "angled in" rather than firing straight ahead. Is that recommended? That is a very easy adjustment in my case.

Finally, I have auditioned the following bookshelf speakers: MA S2, MA Gold 10, Paradigm Monitor 5, Paradigm Studio 40, Dynaudio 42, Dynaudio 52, B&W 602 S3, B&W CM2. I am yet to audition Spendor and Quad L(not available in my city).

My taste so far leads me to Paradigm Studio 40/Monitor 5, or Dynaudio 52. I plan to use this setup for HT/music @ 50/50. I also want to drive a second audio zone. Which receivers would you suggest (if possible mention model #)?
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 736
Registered: Dec-03
Best choice for both Dynaudio and Paradigm would be NAD. The NAD can drive the 4 ohm Dynaudio's with no problem while that is problematic with most other brands. If you decide on Paradigm go with the Studio 40 first of all but then consider Rotel and as a fallback the new Yamaha RX-V2500. If it was my money I would choose the NAD and Dynaudio combo assuming the NAD has enough inputs for your needs. They are quite limited[6 analog], Rotel had 7 while Yamaha is more generous[9] but not the same quality as the other two. NAD 763 and 773 and Rotel 1067 are the ones to look at I believe. As to your center channel question your solution will be fine. Both Dynaudio and Paradigm make very good centers but the Paradigm centers are quite large.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dpriwin

Post Number: 16
Registered: Sep-04
therealelitefan, I noticed when auditioning the Dynaudios that they sounded better and better as the volume was increased. The dealer was driving them with a Denon 3803. Pardon my lack of knowledge, but does that mean that the Dynaudio are "power hungry"?

My preference when listening to music is to keep volume at a very reasonable level (never loud). Are the Paradigm more appropriate for my needs?

Also, you are quite right. The Paradigm centers are very large at 22.75".
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 737
Registered: Dec-03
I think most any good speaker sounds better when turned up but as a former owner of the 3803 I can't imagine that it sounded good with Dynaudio. The Denon is very bright and thin and any dealer that would sell those two as a pair is not worth the time. I have always thought one way to judge how good a speaker really reproduces the entire audio spectrum is how it sounds at a low volume. Are you able to pick out every intstrument clearly? Are they placed in the proper place?
I would not say the Dynaudio's are power hungry but they do need a good amp to drive them to their best hence the recommendation of NAD.
You are choosing from two excellent speakers that have very different sonic characteristics and you need to figure out which one you will be happy with over time. The one advantage the Paradigm's have is that they are 8 ohm speakers and can be safely used with more brands of receivers than Dynaudio. For example you would have no problem driving the Studio 40 with say the Yamaha but I would not garranty the same with Dynaudio. In the end the best sounding combo is IMO the NAD/Dynaudio combo but any of what we have talked about would be very nice.
 

New member
Username: Jliverpool

Post Number: 10
Registered: Oct-04
There is a lot of valuable info here. My TV cabinet makes it impossible to put the center below my TV. There is a shelf dirrectly above the TV and that is where i have my center now. The problem is that this shelf is closed in and it seems like the posts indicate that this is not a great way to go. I'm going to move the center to on top of the whole cabinet. Unfortunately its 5'9 high. My front speakers are hanging about that high on the wall angled in and down toward the listener. If I angle the center down do you think it will slightly off-set the hight disadvantage of the center?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dpriwin

Post Number: 17
Registered: Sep-04
therealelitefan, thanks again. The Dynaudio / Denon combination sounded bright. I could tell the salesperson really did not know much. He kept trying to show me how loud the Dyn's could sound (even though I could not care less).

Another probably very basic question for all of you. If I choose the 4 ohm Dyn's, do the rear speakers have to be 4 ohm as well?
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 740
Registered: Dec-03
No but if you buy a completeDynaudio set they will be. I am not a believer in mixing a HT speaker package from different brands. Keep it all the same. I realize I have recommended the NAD/Dynaudio setup but I think you should check out the receivers section on this forum and read the NAD posts from the last few days. NAD has the best overall sound but they have had lots of quality problems and you should check that out as well. Sorry if this is getting a bit confusing but before you spend your money all things possible need to be considered. Good luck.
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 741
Registered: Dec-03
Daniel,
I forgot to mention in my last post that I think you should highly consider a Rotel/Paradigm system if it fits your budget. That way you get top knotch receiver quality and a very good match with Paradigm.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dpriwin

Post Number: 18
Registered: Sep-04
therealelitefan, the Rotel dealer happens to be the same as the Dynaudio and B&W dealer. I asked him to show me the equipment which he did, but it was not hooked up.

I have read about the "issues" with NAD and they concern me some but not enough to keep me away. From all that is written about Rotel it seems like it is a winner yet fewer people choose it. Is that because of price?

Is the Rotel 1056 surround receiver too small? The 1067 seems like it is a fantastic receiver, but it is definitely more expensive.
 

New member
Username: Reduca

Oklahoma USA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Oct-04
I read in this thread that a person can place some type of foam wedge under a center speaker that is on top of a TV. My center speaker is on top of my 53" RPTV and I would like to angle it down toward my listening area. However, I'm concerned that placing something under the rear of the speaker make cause it to slide off the front of the TV. Is there a safe way to angle the speaker and keep it in place?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jamesp

Mansfield , TX USA

Post Number: 65
Registered: Apr-04
Daniel,
I have NAD 752 receiver/Dynaudio 42 combo and the sound is great. My mains are placed inside of an entertainment center bookshelf units. My center channel is placed about 5 feet high on top of the TV inside of the EC with a door stop, like vols suggested, pointing it down. Placing speakers within another enclosure will constrict the speakers somewhat. Not giving "breathing space" and they may get a little boomy. I decoupled the mains from the shelf, and the center from the TV and that helped alleviate most of the boominess due to mains rear port design. Paradigm Studio V.3 are front ported so should not be as much of an issue. If you do get boominess you could put some rubber feet or felt pads under the speakers.

IMO if you are going to be placing speakers in an entertainment center more clean power is the way to go. A good AV receiver such as NAD or Rotel are a good start. You could always add an amp later.

If seperates are within your budget than that would be even better. You can get great deals on
used amps from agon or ebay.

Ron,

I used 3/4" felt pads on the front of the CC and a rubber door stop to wedge the speaker. No issues with sliding for me : )
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dpriwin

Post Number: 19
Registered: Sep-04
James, my fellow Texan, your comments are really useful. That idea of using a rubber stop is great. I will try that.

Rotel or NAD? So many negative comments about NAD bother me some. If I hear a hiss in the background it will drive me insane. Now, in researching Rotel, I've found they are not without faults. Should I consider brands like Arcam and Cambridge Audio (two different price points)? Do you have an idea how they'll sound with either Dynaudio or Paradigm?
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 322
Registered: Jun-04
Daniel...I would suggest that the Dynaudio will sound great with the Cambridge Audio, I have not experienced the Paradigm speakers with the brands you mention. Yes you can use a rubber stop as well, I used foam with blutak to keep mine from sliding.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jamesp

Mansfield , TX USA

Post Number: 66
Registered: Apr-04
Daniel,

Both are excellent receivers. I would rate Arcam as the better of the two. I have not heard Arcam with Paradigm or Dynaudio. I have heard Arcam with PSB image and thought they paired well. PSB has a comparable sound to Paradigm. I believe Arcam would be good for Dynaudio but you would have to listen for youself. I have not heard Cambridge Audio but it is highly rated.

From your comments it sounds like you have been visting HT Store. I was able to get 10% off my Dynaudio's from there. Listenup.com offers dynaudio's for less than retail and HT Store agreed to take 10% but couldn't match them. I opted for HT store because they would be easier to deal with if there were troubles with the speaker and they will let you return them within a week.

As far as NAD goes I have had Paradigm Studio 20's and Dynaudio 42's paired with them and they both sounded great. I bought my NAD from dmc-electronics.com and the first unit had problems. David there exchanged my unit with another one and even tested it out before sending. I got a really good deal due to it being blemished (which I cannot find a blemish anywhere on the unit). So my advice, yes I have first hand experience with NAD problems but if you get a good dealer who will work with you then it is worth it IMO.

If I could do it all over again I would go with a pre/pro and a good 5 channel amp. Maybe something from Outlaw for pre/pro and amp from parasound, b&k, adcom for the Dynaudio speakers. That's just me. I plan on down the road using NAD as a pre/pro getting a seperate amp.

 

Bronze Member
Username: Jamesp

Mansfield , TX USA

Post Number: 69
Registered: Apr-04
Hey Daniel,

Where in Texas are you? Here in the DFW area it is kind of hard finding dealers. For some reason the audiophile community is not very big here.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 327
Registered: Jun-04
James...you should talk to J. Vigne, he is in the same area as you and apparantly is well familiar with local dealers
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 328
Registered: Jun-04
you can usually find him in the "teaching old dogs" thread in the DVD-A/SACD section
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jamesp

Mansfield , TX USA

Post Number: 70
Registered: Apr-04
Thanks Vols
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dpriwin

Post Number: 21
Registered: Sep-04
James P, I am in Houston. Just like in Dallas, this big "pueblo" is not big on audiophile equipment. You also got it right, I visited HT Store to audition Dynaudio, B&W, and Rotel. Sadly, they know as little as I do about this business.

I'd love to do separates, but I am somewhat intimidated. I barely understand integrated receivers so far.

I mentioned in a separate thread that Galen Carol in San Antonio has been helpful. It is clear that he knows his stuff. Galen carries Spendor, Quad and other brands and seems really intent on helping. The web site is www.gcaudio.com
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 332
Registered: Jun-04
No problem, I would also add that his (J Vigne) opinions on audio equipment are well respected, I believe he has been in the business for 30+ years, far more knowledgeable than I in this field. Good luck
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jamesp

Mansfield , TX USA

Post Number: 71
Registered: Apr-04
Vols-I will definitely give J Vigne a holler before my next purchase.

Dan,

DFW is a big city and the only PSB dealer I could find within a reasonable distance was a guy selling speakers out of his house. You are right about the HT Store guys. They may have a couple of knowledgable people there but the majority of them are just salesman with no real interest in the equipment they are selling.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dpriwin

Post Number: 22
Registered: Sep-04
James, what is it with these cities.
I want to be able to audition Rotel, NAD, Arcam Dynaudio, Paradigm, Spendor, all at the same time same place. I guess that is impossible most everywhere. In this town Rotel and Dyn are at HT Store. NAD and Arcam with other guys who seem to know their business. Paradigm is in stores that carry none of the receivers. Spendor is sold 200 miles away. PSB? What PSB?
Have you guys ever solved this issue effectively?
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