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For several reasons I may have to place my front speakers fairly high up close to the ceiling. We will be building the room over the next 6 months so need to plan now. I have a couple of questions and would appreciate any advice.

1. Is it an absolute no no to place front speakers above the flat screen TV and should I never do this or could it work?

2. The wall will be cherry paneling with a recessed area for the flat screen and the center speaker. The L and R front will be on either side ( of course) but about 2 feet lateral from the TV and 2 to 3 feet above the TV and they will be built into the cherry paneling. In place of the paneling in front of the speaker, there will be foam or cloth painted to look as close to the cherry as possible. Does anyone have any examples of recessed speakers (Klipsch RB 81s) behind cloth or foam or had any problems with it? We will build a small shelf or box behind the panels and can support the speakers on their sides and can aim them down and toward the sweet spot. Will this help and is aiming quite important?

3. would a painted metal grill like a lot of in wall speakers be acceptable or does it take away too much of the sound?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Ericl
 

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Erik, I can address the first issue. I have my speakers almost on the ceiling on mounts that exend them off the wall a few inches. I do have acoustic material around them. They sound just fine, but, did take some experimenting with the acoustic material to get the best sound. Dennis
 

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Having the speakers up so high will make the imaging of the front stage much harder to get right. if your not to concerned about the sweet spot at the listening position being very small you should be fine. placing the speakers at ear level and shooting across the room means that your imaging will be much better across the front just about anywhere in the room, up high will mean that the speakers will be aiming at the listening position only and anyone sitting outside this area will loose some of the clarity.
 

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Thanks Tony:

We can build the recessed area big enough to raise and tilt the speakers with wood wedges so that we could aim the speakers a bit down and angle them in toword the sweet spot. Do you think this is worth doing?

Eric in Austin
 

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I can speak from experience. We had the TV and stereo speakers in the great room. The house plans called for custom cabinets on either side of the fireplace. Not only did the speakers end up significantly higher than the listening position and the TV, the TV also ended up underneath the right speaker. This arrangement was tolerable, but distracting.

When I built our home theater, I vowed there'd be no compromise in speaker placement. The TV/Movie watching experience is far more satisfying now. Since you're in the planning stages, if there's any way possible, get the speakers at the recommended (ear level) height.

You may find this useful: http://www.genelec.com/learning-center/technology-tutorials/flush-mounting/

Keep in mind custom installation pretty much locks you in to the dimensions of the original speakers. If you ever have to sell this may hurt your home's value. Do you have to build in the speakers?

Doug
 

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Thanks Tony:

We can build the recessed area big enough to raise and tilt the speakers with wood wedges so that we could aim the speakers a bit down and angle them in toword the sweet spot. Do you think this is worth doing?

Eric in Austin
Think of your speakers as your display, when your sitting off to the side or to to close and below the display your picture quality suffers. The same goes for your speakers if your in direct line of the speakers it will work fine but as you get out of the area where they are firing it will loose the clarity of the sound.
This sort of placement is ideal for the surround speakers but not for the mains and center channel
 

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seems to me the larger the drivers it would be less of an issue and if you angle the tweeters to aim at the position you are sitting it could be minimized but it would suboptimal.
 
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