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Thread: Surround Height

  1. #1

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    Question Surround Height

    Most advice that I have seen on surround speaker height in a 6.1 or 7.1 is about 20 to 30" above ear level and forward of your listening position.

    I have a 7.1 system with my srb speakers behind the listening position about 6.5' off of the floor, with them tilted down towards the couch. My surrounds are what I am not satisfied with. Right now they are about 2' feet in front of where most of the seating is at, but they are on stands for now that are only 30" tall. I don't want to have to mount these as high as the srb speakers because of the exposed speaker wire running up the wall that far. The srb speakers wires are hidden by drapes. I have thought about mounting the surround speakers on the wall were they are, but just above my chair rail molding. This would put the bottom of the speaker at about 42", higher, but still well below the recommended height. One other complication is that I have a wraparound couch that has a back 36" high and is between where we sit and the left surround. I also use the auto eq function with mike that is built into my Denon reciever.

    My question is, will this lower than recommended hieght be a real detriment to my HT system, or is not that big of a compromise? Also do you think that the auto eq (which seems to work well) can compensate adequately for this?
    Last edited by limashaynut; 12-16-2005 at 12:46 AM.
    Jerry

    Denon AVR-3806 7.1
    Outlaw Audio M200 (RF,C,LF)
    Sony KDFE42A10 LCD
    Directv H10-250 DVR
    Sony DVP-NS90V
    Sony RDR-GX315
    JVC Super VHS
    Polk RTi8 m
    Polk CSi5 c
    Polk RTi6 sr
    Polk Monitor 30 srb
    Polk PSW505 sw (I know, I know, get an SVS!)

    PLUCK THE CHICKS!
    From A Former Fan

  2. #2

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    Compromises in a living room (non-dedicated, multi-use) setup are common. Even though, ideally, sound shouldn't have to pass through a listener sitting next to you to get to your location. That is the reasoning for high mounting suggestions. The sides are also suggested slightly behind the listener, not in front as you are using them. This is so that the sides create a better separation from the fronts. I also prefer a dipole type speaker for my 7.1 setups, instead of a direct speaker to get a more diffuse surround feeling with direct firing rears aimed at my seating. Just my experience and probably worth less than .02. Try different speaker placements for yourself and don't sweat it too much.

    Enjoy,

    Dennis

  3. #3

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    don't over-complicate things. just give yourself some slack in the wire and have someone hold the speakers where you want to try them and give her a listen. i am not much of one for all these rules and laws pertaining to placement (though they are set for a reason). some love having their speakers mounted as close to the ceiling as possible. some swear by having the tweets at ear-level. in the end you may have no other choice but to 'settle' on a location that benefits the room layout or decor versus optimal soundstage.

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  4. #4

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    Thanks for the feedback, I agree with what you are saying about compromise being the cost of not having a dedicated HT room, with my type of set up, it must work within the confines of everyday multi use. My wife already rolls her eyes with every new piece of audio/video gear I bring in the house, and the large to her eyes RTi8s are not her favorite furniture in the room. It is a good thing I have the cherry! I wonder what she would have said if I had got the RTi12s?

    The 2' foot forward of seating location of the surronds are dictated by the room layout, doors, fireplaces, etc. The FX dipoles are on my wish list for future upgrade, moving my RTi surronds to the srb location. I am very happy with what I have now sounds like, but always trying to tweek that little extra out of my set up.
    Last edited by limashaynut; 12-18-2005 at 01:23 AM.
    Jerry

    Denon AVR-3806 7.1
    Outlaw Audio M200 (RF,C,LF)
    Sony KDFE42A10 LCD
    Directv H10-250 DVR
    Sony DVP-NS90V
    Sony RDR-GX315
    JVC Super VHS
    Polk RTi8 m
    Polk CSi5 c
    Polk RTi6 sr
    Polk Monitor 30 srb
    Polk PSW505 sw (I know, I know, get an SVS!)

    PLUCK THE CHICKS!
    From A Former Fan

  5. #5
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    at least 6' off the floor for both side & rear speakers. monopole or di/bipolar.

  6. #6

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    Figure out where they sound best and then come back with how do I mount surrounds in x location and not have wires running up the wall.

    You tell us where it sounds good, we'll give you ideas on how to make it acceptable to your significant other.....

    Michael
    Mains.............Polk LSi15 (Cherry)
    Center............Polk LSiC (Crossover upgraded)
    Surrounds.......Polk LSi7 (Gloss Black - wood sides removed and crossovers upgraded)
    Subwoofers.....SVS 25-31 CS+ and PC+ (both 20hz tune)
    Pre\Pro...........NAD T163 (Modded with LM4562 opamps)
    Amplifier.........Cinepro 3k6 (6-channel, 500wpc@4ohms)

  7. #7

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    Here are a couple of suggestions on hiding wires:

    1.) run the wire along the baseboard and carpet. Pushing it in gently with a ruler. on the wall where you want to mount the speaker, pull the baseboard off. Cut a hole in the drywall about 2 inches up (make sure it is below the baseboard height so it will be hidden once you reinstall the baseboard). Fish the wire up the wall to a low voltage remodel box (usually orange and do not have a back). Put a nice faceplate with right/left connectors and your done.
    2.) You can always use flat wires and either put a skim coat of drywall compoound over it or just paint them to match your walls. This is, of course, if running wires behind walls or in ceilings is not an option.

    I've used the first option but not the second. Only read about option 2. There have been discussions on whether the flat speaker wire can carry enough signal. For surrounds I would say yes. Fronts and center, probably not.

    Hope this helps.

    -Lou

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    Default R50's?

    Which model speakers are you planning on moving? If the R50's are the ones that you are tweaking becuase you arent pleased with the sound then it just might be due to the fact that they stick out in the middle of all the RTi's which have better imaging and clarity. I had the R50's as surrounds when I first got my RTi's and could definitely tell the difference, they stuck out a bit and were more localizable, less transparent. It isnt a bad speaker, just different, especially when everything else in your system is voice matched as well as it is. So it may just be more the model and have less to do with placement. Just my two cents, do whatever sounds best to you :)

  9. #9

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    An update, I ordered a pair of B Tech speaker wall mounts. I now have my surrounds mounted at 6.5' with them angled down at about 10 degrees. The room layout did require that these still be roughly even with the main seating postion. I also now have my SRB speakers (I just found at that they are Mini Monitors and not R15) at the same level with a 10 degree down angle. After some critical listening, I have decided that my SRB speakes are in need of an upgrade, just not matched very will with the rest of the speakers, but with them bein SRBs, it is something I can live with for now. Overall this did improve the overall soundfield of they system, and I am glad that I did it. I was able to hide all of the wires running of the wall behind drapes (3 speakers) and the last one was run up flush with some molding.

    Now for the bad news, this project was done while my wife was out Christmas shopping all day. When she walked in and saw my little 'upgrade', she gave me the look. Not mad mind you, just a, "why in the hell did you need to do that?" LOL! We sat back tonight, watched 8 Seconds, and after she stoped crying when Lane died, I don't think she wasn't as peeved at me anymore.
    Jerry

    Denon AVR-3806 7.1
    Outlaw Audio M200 (RF,C,LF)
    Sony KDFE42A10 LCD
    Directv H10-250 DVR
    Sony DVP-NS90V
    Sony RDR-GX315
    JVC Super VHS
    Polk RTi8 m
    Polk CSi5 c
    Polk RTi6 sr
    Polk Monitor 30 srb
    Polk PSW505 sw (I know, I know, get an SVS!)

    PLUCK THE CHICKS!
    From A Former Fan

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