surround speaker height and dipoles?

Subject:      Re: Rear surround height question?
From:         Erik Olson
Date:         1998/02/06
Newsgroups:   alt.home-theater.misc

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Joseph E. Queen Jr. wrote:
> I would appreciate some opinions on this subject. I currently have my
> B&W 601's (rear speakers) sittting on 28 inch stands. They are rather
> expensive Sanus models and look sharp. Would the DD effects be much
> better if I mounted these speakers 6 feet up like i hear bantered
> about? If I go this route, I have to use wall brackets to mount them
> and give up the stands.

What I think is more important is the distance from your sounds to your ears.
You don't want them too close for a couple reasons:
* bigger surround sweet spot for your guests and when you move/turn your head.
* surrounds are annoying when they are blasting in your ears.
* you don't want to be able to pin point the surrounds (see difuse below)
* just like subwoofer levels, too blatantly loud is just too much, calibrate.
* do you really want that left surround 2 feet from your left ear?

I am totally against this 3D sonic holographic enveloping surround nonsense
that several magazines are promoting.  It is rubish.  First of all, what the
magazines dream of is really 2D anyway, you'd have to put speakers on your 
ceiling and floor for 3D!  Second, difuse surrounds are better, many
experts agree, and here is why:
* movies are mixed for theatre's which have surround arrays.
* stereo surround imaging is a nice pipe dream, but it's also distracting.
* difuse surrounds increase the sweet spot.
* most if not all independent tests show listeners prefer difuse surrounds.

I would also recommend placing the surrounds 6 feet or higher inorder to
increase the difusion and reflections within the room.

I've tried not to use the word dipole or THX here because this sort of
thing can start a holy war.  But this will most likely prove to be a futile
effort anyway.  Even if you are one of those odd folk who hate THX or if
you own direct radiating surrounds, my advice of FAR AWAY and HIGH UP are
still good recommendations.

erik olson

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