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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 15th July, 2002, 03:10 PM
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4.1 speaker setup guide

Does anyone know if there is such a thing as a 4.1 speaker setup guide in the net?? Something that teaches you where to optimally position your 4.1 speakers??? If there is a guide, could sombody give me the link please??

Thanks
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Old 15th July, 2002, 03:23 PM
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I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you
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Old 15th July, 2002, 03:27 PM
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Speaker positioning is critical for enjoying your tunes.

Unfortunately, most computer setups are not conducive to proper speaker placement.

Ideally you would want to be in the middle of the 4 speakers (maybe slightly closer to the back speakers). The subwooker should be on the floor anywhere between the two front speakers (does not have to be exact middle, as close as you can though).

Other factors include speaker size, distance from rear speakers/mounting, etc... it really varies based on your computer space/room.
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Old 15th July, 2002, 03:32 PM
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ok thanks for the speedy replies today pinky
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Old 15th July, 2002, 04:08 PM
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There's not much in the way of guides for 4.1 speaker setups... There seems to be a dearth of information on speaker positioning!

Front Speakers
Set up your front two speakers first, by placing them either side of your monitor. Tweek the setup by playing a music track you know well, and adjusting the position of the speakers until you get the best sound from them. Ensure when you play the track, you have the sound card set for two speakers.

Depending how close the speakers are to you, you may have to point the speakers inward to get a decent treble response. If they're far enough away, you won't need to do this. Also ensure there's nothing blocking the path from the speakers to your ears, as this will reduce the quality.

Try not to place the speakers in a corner, as this will colour the sound.

Rear Speakers
The rear speakers should be placed ideally to either side (rather than directly behind), about 60cm (2 feet) behind you, at the same level as your ears. If you don't have 60cm of room behind you, you can place the speakers 60cm above you instead.

If you can't do either side, then you can place the speakers directly behind.

Once again, don't place the speakers in a corner, as it colours the sound.


Subwoofer
Depending on the quality of your sub, there are different places. If you have a weaker sub, then you will need to corner load it. Basically, this entails putting the sub in a corner. This will enhance the strength of the bass, but at the cost of the quality.

If you have a good sub, don't put it in the corner, as this will make the sound boomy and lower the quality. Place the sub in the position where it sounds best, without sounding boomy.

The best way of doing this is to play some music (with strong bass!) you know well through the system. Walk around the room until you find a spot with the smoothest bass response. This is probably the best spot to put your sub.

Chances are, this won't be a convient place to put the sub, so feel free to experiment!

Tuning the levels
Depending on how good the speaker system you have is, you should have the ability to adjust the relative levels on the speakers. Find some white noise to listen to (Sounds like a radio not tuned in). Play the white noise through each speaker in turn and ensure that the sound is equally loud through all four speakers. If you don't have any white noise, use your favourite bit of music instead.

Each of the 4 satellite speakers should be balanced, so that no speaker is louder than the others.

Once your satellite speakers are set up, you can adjust the bass levels. Do this by turning the bass down, and adjusting it upwards whilst you listen to your music. You're looking for the point where the bass volume seems seamless with the satellite speakers. The most common mistake is to turn the bass up too much, so that it dominates the sound, resulting in a loss of detail from the other speakers.

Adjusting the delay
Depending on the distance between the speakers, you might find wierd effects like phase reversal occuring. If you have a good speaker system, or sound card, then you should be able to adjust the delays on each of the sets of speakers.

1 Measure up the distance between the front speakers and the listening position.

2 Measure up the distance between the rear speakers and the listening position.

3 Subtract the distance between the rear speakers and front speakers, and add 15 feet (450cm). So, if the front speakers are 10 feet away and the rear are 5 feet away, we'd get 10-5+15, which equals 20.

4 Adjust the rear channel delay to be the same as the answer you got in 3. In our example this was 20, so we'd set the amp's rear channel delay to be 20ms.


Other stuff
The first position probably won't be the best! Let your ears be the judge of how things sound. Placing speakers is actually very difficult to do due to the effects of walls and funishings bouncing and absorbing the sound waves. If it doesn't sound good, move things around a bit and see if it sounds any better.

AidanII
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Old 15th July, 2002, 04:34 PM
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Thanks again Aidan I'm trying to research and get advice and opinions from people because very soon I'm going to purchase a new sound card and 4.1 speakers. Im already sick of having onboard sound!! heheeheh

As of now, Im targeting to get a Hercules Game Theater XP paired up with a set of Klipsch Promedia 4.1. I know I know the Klipschs are expensive but Ive been eyeing those speakers for months now (maybe more than a year) . I was thinking that since a good set of speakers will last you a long time, might as well get high quality ones.

Thanks again guys
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Old 15th July, 2002, 06:36 PM
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Save yourself the money and get the Logitech Z540 4.1 speakers instead, almost as good sounding, solid speakers for a lot less.

Yes, the Klipsch speakers are damn nice, but very over priced compared to the quality of the logitechs.

The game theater sonud card should do, but for the difference in price between the Klipsch and Logitech, get a better sound card instead...
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Old 15th July, 2002, 07:07 PM
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How do Monsoon's MM-502 flat panels compare to the Klipsch?

Like everything audio, if you can get to hear the systems before you buy, then you're in a much better position! Just remember to take your favourite music with you!

AidanII
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Old 15th July, 2002, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by AidanII
How do Monsoon's MM-502 flat panels compare to the Klipsch?
I haven't personally heard those, but in a review they said the sound was very uni-directional (if you were not standing directly in front of them they didn't sound too great ). On the other hand, that same review said they did SOUND good (decent range and definition) and looked cool .
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Old 16th July, 2002, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pinky
I haven't personally heard those, but in a review they said the sound was very uni-directional (if you were not standing directly in front of them they didn't sound too great ).
Wierd! The whole big thing about the NXT panels is that they're meant to be less directional! I'm tempted to pick up a pair of Wharfedale panels, and put a couple of pictures in 'em, cuz they're designed to look like picture frames.

AidanII
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Old 16th July, 2002, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by AidanII


Wierd! The whole big thing about the NXT panels is that they're meant to be less directional! I'm tempted to pick up a pair of Wharfedale panels, and put a couple of pictures in 'em, cuz they're designed to look like picture frames.

AidanII
Nah, just another gimmick If you want multidirectional then go with a sweet surround setup...
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Old 16th July, 2002, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pinky
Nah, just another gimmick If you want multidirectional then go with a sweet surround setup...
The problem with conventional speakers is that their HF response is directional. As you start to move off axis, the high frequency response starts to drop off. This leads to a sweet spot for listening, but anyone outside the sweet spot has a much poorer listening experience. This gets worse the more speakers you add. Once you get to a surround setup, the sweetspot is beginning to get rather small!

The whole thing about the NXT panels is that they don't have the directionality or the resonances that conventional speaker design suffers from. This means that it shouldn't matter what angle you are at to the speaker. In addition, they don't suffer from cabinet design, as there is no cabinet. No cabinet means no cabinet resonances colouring your sound.

So, between the much wider imaging and the lack of resonances, NXT should sound much better off axis, and the same or better on axis.

Oh, BTW, NXT panels were a spin off from some design work by the UK's Ministry of Defence, who patented the design.

AidanII
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