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#327304 - 11/02/10 02:01 AM Height channels?
icehawk21 Offline
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Registered: 04/23/06
Posts: 118
I'm considering adding height channels to my setup. I currently employ M60s for (L/R), VP150 (C), QS8s on stands (SR/SL) and a single EP500. What Axiom speakers would be ideal for height channels based on my current setup? I would not be mounting them on a wall. They would be placed as bookshelves on top of the two entertainment piers flanking my television - which would put their base at approximately 6 ft high and just slightly inside my L/R speakers.

I'm personally considering M2s but would like the input of others on how they would hold up as height channels in either Prologic IIz Height or Audyssey DSX height configurations.

Other questions...

Can they be placed on their sides as a horizontal speaker (similar to VP150) or would this affect their sound quality? I think, asthetically, it might look better layed on their sides versus standing vertically. Plus, I thought it might be easier to tilt them on their side to point directly at the listening position. And I thought I might be more concerned with vertical dispersion rather than horizontal dispersion (similar to center channels).

What are others opinions on Prologic IIz Height vs. Audyssey DSX Height?

Do you think it is worth adding height channels at all? I cannot add back surrounds (my seating is directly against the back wall). And I do not have room to add wide channels ala DSX Width. Do height channels add anything to the soundstage and surround effects?

Thanks!

Bryan

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#327307 - 11/02/10 03:13 AM Re: Height channels? [Re: icehawk21]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10634
Bryan, Dean(grunt)is our member who's experimented the most with height and width speakers, so hopefully he'll see this and comment.

As to the most appropriate speakers, the height sounds are quite diffuse in nature and therefore an ideal speaker for this function would be the QS4s. You don't want the speakers beaming directly at you.

The height should be close to the ceiling and they should be directly above the mains, so the "entertainment piers" location you describe should be close enough. Some type of base to give the bottom driver a couple inches of free space should be used.
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#327309 - 11/02/10 03:29 AM Re: Height channels? [Re: icehawk21]
grunt Offline
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Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
I tried both QS8 and M22s as height speakers and found that in my room the QS speakers worked better but I think thatís partly because my height speakers are outside of my mains not inside like yours so you might find that M2s would work ok for you.

How much height speakers will help is room dependent. If you already have a high ceiling with a lot of ambience they probably wonít add a whole lot. Actually in my room the height speakers are the least impressive of all the speaker locations including wide and rear. An I probably benefit from them more than most since I have a very big screen and my front 3 speakers are all below it. So using the height speakers can pull the ambience of the front soundstage up making a little more of a ďwall-of-soundĒ effect.

Note that the only thing coming from the height speakers is ambient stuff like wind, rain, echoes but you could probably get close to the same effect in most room by just moving your surround speakers up higher. Because the effect only happens with ambient sounds the height channels donít come into play as often as the other ones.

If you have a friend who can loan you a pair of small bookshelf speakers you could try them out as height speakers before placing an order. Otherwise I probably wouldnít spend more than for a pair of M2s at the most a pair of QS4. Which should work marginally better than m2s but thatís going to depend on your room.

Because everything coming from the height speakers is ambient I donít think you would even notice if they were laying on their sides.

As for PLIIz vs DSX height I canít tell the difference, but then I almost exclusively use the DSX wide mode anyway. BTW what makes you think you donít have room for wide speakers? A couple M2s on wall brackets arenít that obtrusive (says the man with a bat cave).

Cheers,
Dean

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3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#327366 - 11/02/10 01:59 PM Re: Height channels? [Re: grunt]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10415
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Bryan, have you started/finished the basement HT yet or is this for the same room as you had the HT in before?
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#327371 - 11/02/10 02:07 PM Re: Height channels? [Re: jakewash]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Me thinks you have the wrong Brian? Or, maybe I've got it all wrong.


Moved comment



Edited by CatBrat (11/02/10 02:22 PM)

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#327393 - 11/02/10 03:50 PM Re: Height channels? [Re: CatBrat]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10415
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Brian, the OP is also named Bryan, but note the difference. smile
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#327405 - 11/02/10 04:47 PM Re: Height channels? [Re: jakewash]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Wasn't about same name as much as about HT projects. Oh well...

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#327431 - 11/03/10 12:43 AM Re: Height channels? [Re: CatBrat]
icehawk21 Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/23/06
Posts: 118
jakewash - no, this is same room. I'll finish off the basement home theater in a few years when the nanny leaves and we start using the basement for ourselves. But at this rate I don't think my wife will ever let the nanny leave. In our household I definitely rank below the nanny. In fact, I'm surprised I haven't been demoted to the basement and Armie (yes - she has a name!) hasn't been promoted to the top floor.

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#327433 - 11/03/10 12:54 AM Re: Height channels? [Re: icehawk21]
icehawk21 Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/23/06
Posts: 118
I'd probably prefer to use QS8s but I'm not planning on mounting them to the wall and need to place them on the top of the entertainment unit. So I think the M2s will fit the bill for that purpose. I'll probably order them and return within 30 days if they don't add much.

I'd love to consider adding width speakers but I really don't have the room. The left tower is already only 22 inches from the side wall and only about 3 ft. from the end of the sectional. After adding the new TV the left tower will probably be 16-17 inches from the sidewall so I don't think I can get wide speakers on that side. But I'll most likely consider them for my basement build in a few years time.

grunt - you mentioned that height speakers might not add much in a room with high ceilings? My room has a vaulted ceiling so I might encounter this. But do you think they might overcome my current side surrounds placement? My side surrouns are on the FMS stands and not mounted on the wall. As such they are marginally above ear level and partially blocked by the sectional couch. They still sound awesome but I've been wondering if they'd sound better placed higher. Do you think the heights would help fill them in for some (not all, obviously) of the ambient effects?

I've been meaning to post a question about my side surround placements anyways. What do you guys think about using them with the FMS stands at or just above ear level? Has anyone tried placing the stands on blocks to raise them? I've considered this but I'm concerned about stability. They're pretty stable now on the FMS stand but not sure how they'd be if I raised them.

I could actually mount them on the wall. The left surround could be mounted perfectly but the right surround would have to be on the back wall facing into the room - which wouldn't be ideal. I'm not sure if my wife would like me to mount them so I've left them on the stands.

BTW - I'm using QS8s and they still sound awesome. Just wondering if I could improve them which is why I'm considering height channels.

Thanks!

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#327439 - 11/03/10 02:51 AM Re: Height channels? [Re: icehawk21]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Quote:

grunt - you mentioned that height speakers might not add much in a room with high ceilings? My room has a vaulted ceiling so I might encounter this. But do you think they might overcome my current side surrounds placement? My side surrouns are on the FMS stands and not mounted on the wall. As such they are marginally above ear level and partially blocked by the sectional couch. They still sound awesome but I've been wondering if they'd sound better placed higher. Do you think the heights would help fill them in for some (not all, obviously) of the ambient effects?


Placing your side surrounds up high is IMO a mixed bag. Generally I think they sound better a couple of feet above ear level as this seems to be the best compromise between spreading out the ambient surround effects and still keeping the directional ones from sounding like they are coming from to high up. Also, having your side surrounds up a couple feet above ear level helps overcome furniture like the backs of chairs from blocking them.

If you donít plan on placing your side surrounds up higher then a pair of M2s probably would help fill in the ambient effect more. Itís just that with speakers like the QS8s as side and or rear surrounds place up high especially in a room with vaulted ceilings like mine they fill the room with so much ambient sound that the height speakers donít add that much more, itís noticeable but not a huge difference.

One thing you might consider is that if you want to use wide speakers later in your other room you could always re-task the pair you are picking up to use as height speakers now. Also not that wide speakers donít have to be placed directly outside the main. More important is the angle to the listening position as shown below.

http://www.audyssey.com/technology/dsx.html

In order to accommodate the angles for the both the height and wide speakers I had to put them on the side walls. So my wide speakers are only about 2-3 feet in front of my seating right along the side walls. In my narrow room they do a fantastic job of filling the gap in the side surround sound stage between the mains and the side surrounds caused by the narrowness of my room. So if you get a pair of M2s at least try them out in the wide positions if you think there is any way at all you can fit them. Even just mounting a small shelf to hold them though for the test you could just use boxes or milk cartons.

Quote:

I've been meaning to post a question about my side surround placements anyways. What do you guys think about using them with the FMS stands at or just above ear level? Has anyone tried placing the stands on blocks to raise them? I've considered this but I'm concerned about stability. They're pretty stable now on the FMS stand but not sure how they'd be if I raised them.

I presently have my QS8s on FMS/QS stands sitting on milk crates and boxes because Iíve been to lazy to build proper shelves. No I donít recommend this as even just sitting on the stands Iíve knocked them over several times speakers have survived but had to order one replacement grill since all 4 pegs broke off. With the new magnetic grills this would happen. If you wanted to raise them w/o mounting them to the walls you would be better off finding a way to hang them from the ceiling than place the stands on top of something.

If you can find a way to raise them up to a couple feet above ear level I think you will find a noticeable improvement.

Cheers,
Dean
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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