Input needed on mains/center - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-02-08, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Jim
 
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Input needed on mains/center

Hey guys, I'm looking for some practical advice on the mains/center in our HT.


Relevant Background: Last summer, we put a dedicated HT (18'5" x 15' x 8') in the basement of our home. I am currently running Klipsch speakers across the front, with in-walls to complete a 7.1 system. The mains are floorstanders. The .1 is a Paradigm PS-1200 that I'm perfectly happy with (though it may be moving upstairs in a few months, paving the way for a DIY sub build ...but that's for another thread).

The audio system in our HT is used 100% for movies...music is listened to upstairs in out family room. My criteria are simple: the ability for the system to play clear, loud, and accurate...in that order of priority. And, the accuracy piece is a relative term...to me, it just means that I don't want any glaring issues with the frequency response of the system. It doesn't mean accurate in a critical listening, audiophile sense. Truth be told, I'm more of a video guy than an audio guy, and probably can't tell the difference in subtle speaker differences the way many of the folks on this forum can. At the end of the day, our HT is for casual use.

All walls are drywall and covered with a fabric similar to velvet. No treatments are planned (WAF).

Onto the challenge I need help with:
  • My wife has tasked me with cleaning up the appearance of the audio system. To her, this means no more floorstanders! :grumpy:
A picture of the front of the room (sub is now located directly below screen, and the center is sitting on it):





And the seating area (you can see 3 of the 4 in-walls):



This request started my quest to find a suitable solution that will meet both of our needs/wants. I also have some unpalatable constraints that I have to work in:
  • My screen is 2:35, and almost the full width of the wall. I'd like to keep as much of the width as we're reasonably able.
  • The equipment rack is located on the right side of the screen (where the right main will be). This eliminates elevated towers because they're deep enough that it makes equipment access impossible/difficult. This bookshelf area was already built into the room, and seemed the logical place to put the equipment. I've built a sliding door since the picture was taken that slides towards the back of the room (away from the screen wall).
So, as I see it, I have a couple of options:
  • Put bookshelf speakers in the upper corners. If they're high (above my head), then I can get in and out of the equipment area without any problem.
  • Get on-wall speakers (mains and center) to flank the screen, something like the speakers below.


Here's a to-scale schematic of a side-view of what the two options look like, with the listening position denoted with red blocks (although I'm not sure if the tweeter is aimable in on-wall speakers...if it's not, then they would project straight out from the wall):




My questions:
  • What should I be looking for if I go the bookshelf route? Would a rear-ported bookshelf be OK since it'll be tilted downward and not flush to the wall?
  • Is it a necessity to find speakers with a "boundary switch" that somehow perform better when placed in a corner?
  • Is one of the two options I've identified better than the other?
  • Are there other options I haven't considered?
  • What's the difference in a monitor speaker and a bookshelf speaker?
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-02-08, 09:44 PM
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jakewash
 
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Re: Input needed on mains/center

Check out Axiom Audio, they have some on walls that might work for you, You also look like there might be enough room on either side of the screen for some wall mounted booshelves9thin ones). I have seen a few systems with 3 center channels like the ones in your pic but all three were maounted above the screen angled down with great reviews of the sound quality.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-03-08, 06:39 AM
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Re: Input needed on mains/center

I wouldn't put speakers right in the corners unless that truly is the best option for your soundstaage. Try 2 JBL l820 and an LC2 mounted blow the screen. Device a mounting option that will allow you to tilt them up slightly, it won't give you as direct a soundpath to the second row as mounting them higher would, but if you are happy with your current setup, this won't be any worse.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-03-08, 10:04 AM
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Re: Input needed on mains/center

I can't tell from looking at the picture, and you didn't say, but what kind of screen is that? Don't suppose it is acoustically transparent?

Due to your constraints, I'd look at three in-walls just below the screen (unless of course you have an AT screen, then I'd put 'em behind), this would keep your mains pretty much where your current ones are and allow you to raise the center up a bit.

Mark
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-03-08, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Jim
 
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Re: Input needed on mains/center

Thanks for the input thus far. I'm looking into the axioms and JBL's.

Nova, are in-walls capable of producing the same sound as on-walls or bookshelf speakers?

As far as the screen, it's a DIY laminate screen...it can be trimmed down a bit to make room on the left and right. But, as I said, I'd like to maintain as much of the width as I can. So, to answer your original question...unfortunately behind the screen isn't an option as far as speaker placement.

I hadn't thought about going right below the screen with the mains, so thanks for adding to the option list. What in-wall options should I look into?
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-03-08, 06:12 PM
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Re: Input needed on mains/center

Quote:
cynical2 wrote: View Post
... it can be trimmed down a bit to make room on the left and right. But, as I said, I'd like to maintain as much of the width as I can...
Well, if trimming is not a problem ... Have you considered building a stage??? ... you can build a false wall and hide the speakers there ... look at this thread http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...ld-thread.html
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-03-08, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Jim
 
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Re: Input needed on mains/center

Quote:
salvasol wrote: View Post
Well, if trimming is not a problem ... Have you considered building a stage??? ... you can build a false wall and hide the speakers there ... look at this thread http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...ld-thread.html
Yeah, Ahmed does top-notch work. That turned out incredibly well.

I have to say that while I don't think I want a complete stage, I could live with something like the on-wall Axioms enclosed behind a speaker-cloth-covered frame. That would give us the clean lines we're after and (I assume) quality sound.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-03-08, 10:23 PM
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Re: Input needed on mains/center

Quote:
cynical2 wrote: View Post
Nova, are in-walls capable of producing the same sound as on-walls or bookshelf speakers? I hadn't thought about going right below the screen with the mains, so thanks for adding to the option list. What in-wall options should I look into?
Certainly,... unfortunately it does come with a higher price tag and some trade offs.
Options will mostly depend on your budget. I'd suggest well designed speakers (with enclosures) from the likes of:
RBH Sound
PSB Speakers
James Loudspeakers
Triad
There are lots of companies out there that make in-walls, but very few that do it well. There are a few others out there that do good in-walls. And just like everything else, there is a lot of hype, opinions and questionable marketing surrounding in-walls. Biggest problem is being able to audition them. They may sound great in a model home or a dealer showroom,... but your room??? So if I haven't driven it home yet, pay a little more and go with the folks that do in-walls, and do them well. Especially when you're looking at the Center and Mains.

Of course,....you need to take this with a grain of salt too, 'cause it's just my opinion

Mark
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