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Designing an entertainment center from scratch, best bookshelf speakers and subwoofer integration?

Tokyo_John

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I'm gearing up to build an entertainment center (EC) from scratch for my new place, and a lot of questions are coming up as I envision different design possibilities. Of course aesthetics are a priority, but I think this is compatible with sonic qualities (these are not mutually exclusive).

At the moment I have a pair of KEF LS50 Metas and a KC62 subwoofer. The biggest object on the EC will be a LED TV, probably 65" in size. There will be a good amount of space behind the EC, and a heavy curtain to catch higher frequency back wall echo. I have Isoacoustics Aperta stands to provide some isolation from whatever surface the LS50s are placed upon. Questions include...

(1) Is it better to have the speakers on separate stands beside a narrower EC, or is it ok to place them on top of a wider EC (same surface that the TV rests on)? I often see speaker stands have a narrow center column and seem to emphasize putting as much empty space under the speaker as possible while still providing a rigid support beam (but kept as narrow as feasible). This makes me think that there may be some reasoning and principles that would suggest I should NOT put them on top of a continuous EC surface (alongside the TV). Is this correct?

(2) I plan to place the sub on the floor in the middle, keeping plenty of open space around it so that it isn't tucked into a crowded nook. Also, it will be roughly equidistant from the listening position with the LS50s, minimizing physical phase lag between them. Is there anything else I should be concerned about? Is there any reason to think that this kind of configuration will still be a bit confining for the sub? Is there possibly a better place to put it?

I realize that the answer to some of these questions depends on the room acoustics. Also, the SHD+Dirac Live will be able to take care of some of the room correction. However, my goal with DSP room correction is to minimize the need for it, such that any corrections it makes are as minor as possible. If there is a way to do this in advance (as much as possible), by using sound design principles, then I'd like to take advantage of that before I begin assembling the EC.

Am I obsessing too much about the EC design? Should I be placing more emphasis on other measures such as bass traps, diffusers, etc.? OK, I also realize that these depend on the room, but the question is more about order of magnitude influence...is the placement of the sound reproduction system on its furniture as/more/less important as other room treatment measures, in general?

Thanks in advance for any tips and advice you may have...
 

Trdat

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Emphasis should be on multiple subs and some room acoustic work depending on your rooms RT60(decay) times. You would be surprised how much DSP can do but I will at the very least get the basic of down pat with the room. Posititioning speakers to make use of later arriving reflections is something you might do after so do not worry about speaker placement too much, stick to the basic 101. In saying that yes, speakers on a bookshelf might cause some unwanted reflections, but again if you got stands great if you don't no biggie. I put my wide dispersion speakers on a subwoofer that is on another subwoofer.

Placement effects are various so its hard to tell so concentrating on integrating the system between mains and subs with DSP and then basic room measures will be your best bet to begin.
 
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Tokyo_John

Tokyo_John

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Emphasis should be on multiple subs

Not possible. There will only ever be exactly precisely one subwoofer.

and some room acoustic work depending on your rooms RT60(decay) times.

Yes, this seems to be a good way to experiment.

...Posititioning speakers to make use of later arriving reflections is something you might do after so do not worry about speaker placement too much, stick to the basic 101. In saying that yes, speakers on a bookshelf might cause some unwanted reflections, but again if you got stands great if you don't no biggie...Placement effects are various so its hard to tell so concentrating on integrating the system between mains and subs with DSP and then basic room measures will be your best bet to begin.

It makes sense, based on what you're saying it seems that there may be an advantage to having the flexibility to move the speakers around a bit. If they are confined to a single piece of furniture, there isn't a whole lot of room for exploring degrees of freedom...just minor tweaks.

Thanks for the comment, it gives me useful food for thought.
 

Trdat

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Pity about the subs, multiple subs really do make a difference.

I would recommend using google's search engine with the title at hand adding the major forum names to the search query and see what pops up you can find a lot of information on ASR and of course also on the DIY forum and Tecktalk. Once you have done some digging pop back on with more questions once beyond basics more people should chime in. Gearspace has a lot on room acoustics but also check out the room acoustics forum on ASR there are write ups with plenty of discussion about room treatment.

If my space and room allowed for it, I would also go with some nice stands so if you can manage the flexibility is worth it but like I said I have thousands of dollars worth off equipment and I haven't thought about that particular point too much.
 
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